LAST CIVIL WAR SOLDIER BURIED IN ROSEAU COUNTY
TO BE HONORED JUNE 3RD, 2023
April 10th, 2023
Musician William A Stewart, the last Civil War veteran buried in Roseau County, will be honored in a ceremony at 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, at Riverside Cemetery at Warroad, Minnesota.
The ceremony is open to veterans, those with an interest in Civil War history, and the general public. Wearing Civil War-era attire is encouraged. Musician Stewart’s descendants are most cordially invited to attend as special guests.
The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is conducting the ceremony with the assistance of the Roseau County Historical Society.
William A Stewart was born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, on 16 December, 1846.
He enlisted into the 55th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment on 20 August 1862 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
He was mustered in on the same day as a Private into Company F. He was 16 years old. (His muster papers show he was born in 1844 at 18 years old). He was promoted to Musician.
He would have been with his Regiment during Sherman’s South Carolina Expedition, Drewry’s Bluff, Cold Harbor, The Battles of Petersburg, The Battle of the Mine, Chaffin’s Farm, Rice’s Station, and Appomattox Court House.
William was discharged on 11 July 1865.
He married Jane Elizabeth Rhine in 1873, and the couple had two girls. They lived in Cloe, Pennsylvania. Records of his move to Minnesota have not been found.
His parents had moved to the Spirit Lake area of northwestern Iowa. Forty settlers, including William Stewart’s family, were killed during the “Spirit Lake Massacre” on 8-12 March 1857. His younger brother John was the only survivor of his family. This was the last Native American conflict in Iowa and was considered by many to be a precursor to Minnesota’s Dakota War in 1862.
Brother John grew up and raised his own family. They all resided in the area around Olmsted County, Minnesota, except for his son Walter who was living in Warroad.
It appears that William’s wife and girls remained in Pennsylvania. His wife Jane died in 1927.
The 1930 Census has William listed as a resident of the Berg Family Boarding House in Warroad. William A Stewart died on 2 January 1933 in Warroad at age 86.
Interesting note: Burt C. Roberts, the Service Officer for the Warroad American Legion Post #25, ordered the Government Headstone for William from the War Department on 16 February 1933
SUVCW William Colvill Camp #56, Department of Wisconsin, will be presiding over the ceremony. The ceremony will feature the Last Soldier dedication ritual of the SUVCW and includes the placing of a Last Soldier Marker on the veteran’s grave. Camp #56 of the Department of Wisconsin, whose territory is the entire states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, supports the national goal of identifying and placing a marker on the grave of the last Union veteran buried in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties. The members of Camp #56 consider the Last Soldier ceremony an honor and a fitting tribute for a Union soldier whose service helped preserve the liberties Americans enjoy as a nation today.
The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a national veterans organization made up of the descendants of Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The SUVCW has more than 6,000 members across the country and is the successor to the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R), the veterans organization formed after the Civil War by soldiers who served in the Union Army. The last member of the G.A.R., Albert Woolson from Duluth, Minnesota, died in 1956.
Media inquiries: Jim Johnson Camp #56, Department of Wisconsin Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War firstname.lastname@example.org; 218 820-5580
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War websites:
https://www.suvcw.org/ Department of Wisconsin: http://www.suvcw-wi.org/index2.html William Colvill Camp 56: Col. William Colvill Camp 56 Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War I Facebook
Information accurate as of the date released