On my way home, I drove along U.S. 20 in Monclova and passed by Swan Creek Cemetery. It triggered a memory from long ago back in my Civil War re-enacting days. Adjacent to the road is a small monument dedicated to the residents of Monclova Township who died during the Civil War. Driving by and seeing the eagle atop the monument it triggered the memory of helping to re-dedicate this monument back in 2000.
At the time, I was a "high private in the rear rank" of the 14th Ohio/3rd Arkansas. The Monclova Historical Foundation had paid for the restoration of this nearly forgotten monument which had been erected in 1870, just five years after the war. We (our group) were invited to be part of the wreath-laying ceremony. Checking online, this event occurred May 29, 2000 at 10 in the morning- other than being there and part of the event, I can't say I remember much in the way of details except 1) it was sunny, 2) it was hot, and 3) I was very thirsty as a result. It was one of my first events as a re-enactor and it felt good to be paying tribute to the men in blue.
This year, I took a few moments to visit the monument and read the names of the men. Four brothers with the last name of Ruckel died within a few months of each other in 1864- I can only imagine how devastating the loss had to be for the parents of these brave men.
My attention was also drawn to the name of Edward Allen. He served with Battery H of the 1st Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery and lost his life during the Battle of Port Republic, Virginia on June 9, 1862. His name sounded familiar, and after digging into my research files, I found out why. The following letter was written by Second Lieutenant Martin B. Ewing of Battery H eight days after Port Republic, and he mentions that Sergeant Edward Allen was killed at his piece.