G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
1st MINNESOTA VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
ORGANIZED: on 10/1/62
MUSTERED OUT: 12/7/63
The “Mounted Rangers,” a twelve company, one-year unit, was thrown together in the fall of 1862 to deal with the Sioux uprising which had bloodied Minnesota since August. Many of the enlistees had lost wives, children, or were relatives to Indian massacres.
In light of this “crisis situation” the unit’s first three companies were immediately detailed “in state” for guard and patrol duty. In the spring of 1863 nine companies of the 1st assembled at Camp Pope for the Campaign of the Missouri.
Although the regiment engaged the hostiles in the battles of Big Mound, Dead Buffalo Lake, and Stony Lake, the harsh plains environment they encountered would prove more deadly to man and beast than did the fighting. Companies of the 1st were mustered out during the fall and winter of 1863/64, having never fired a shot at Johnny Reb.
Residence: Oronoco, Olmstead Co. MN Age: 30 years
Enlisted: 2/8/65 Rochester, MN Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 12/1/62 Ft. Snelling, MN
Discharged: 12/1/63 Ft. Snelling, MN
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Ira Hewitt was born 4/16/32 in Wyoming Co., New York State. Available documents provide no information on his childhood or young adult years. On 10/15/54 in Waupun, MN Mr. Hewitt married Arletta Yates (b. 4/27/38). The union would produce four children who would reach adulthood: George Arthur (11/28/56), Caznough Yates (1/1/59), Ella Elizabeth (7/21/65), and Emma Arletta (6/18/74).
Entering the U.S. Army in 1862 the 5’9” carpenter served “as first company bugler as well as chief bugler of his detachment.” Military records indicate the only absence from his unit was an 8/31/63 notation: “on detached service to a provision train.” Regarding his military tenure Pvt. Hewitt’s obituary observed he “rendered faithful and notorious service to his country, (accomplishing) the release of hundred of white prisoners whose lives were in the greatest danger.”
Leaving the army Mr. Hewitt resided in three Minnesota locations before immigrating to Snohomish in 1889. Shortly thereafter the rigors of Civil War campaigning began taking their toll on the aging veteran. Seeking a U.S. Government pension in 1891, the application focused on rheumatism, heart disease, poor eyesight, loss of teeth, running sore on face, corns, and bunions. Arletta Hewitt died 4/29/1900. Ira lived until 4/23/1919 when, after being in “feeble health” for a year, he died at the Snohomish home of daughter Ella. At the time of his passing the Past Commander of Snohomish’s G.A.R. Post #10 was receiving a $24 monthly pension.
Ira Hewitt was Post Commander in 1900.
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