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A tribute to Civil War service

  • The Sons of the American Legion cleaned and painted the Parrott cannons.
    The Sons of the American Legion cleaned and painted the Parrott cannons.
Published June 04. 2010 05:00PM

Samuel H. Kress donated the Civil War Memorial to the Union Cemetery, Slatington, in honor of his uncle, Samuel Kress, who was killed at Gettysburg on the second day of battle.

The memorial was 100 years old in 2009. Nancy Stott, historian at St. Paul's Indianland Church, said the Civil War Memorial had been in the cemetery longer than the well-known firemen's memorial. From her position as historian she learned the Kress family history.

"I went and looked," said Dave Altrichter of Post 16 American Legion. The Allen O. Delke Post formed a Memorial Day Committee to clean and prepare the monument for rededication after receiving permission from the Union Cemetery Association.

Bushes had grown and were obscuring the base of the monument. They had to be removed. The work was done by Art Koran, Justin Maurer and Harold Rauch. Topsoil was spread.

A new flag pole and flag were installed by Jeff Miller and Gary Jacoby of the Legion Riders. The original one was installed with concrete and was difficult to remove. The new one fits in a sleeve and can readily be replaced.

The Parrott cannons were cleaned and painted by the Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 16. The cannons have "unique characteristics" in that they could be fired rapidly and had a heavy bellyband to prevent them from exploding. Doing the work were Randy Zigley, Kyle Gruber, Gary Jacoby, Rick Kistler, Brian Shock Jr. and Danny LeVan.

The memorial and the eight gravestones within the circle were cleaned of the accumulation of 100 years of dirt. Cleaning was done by Michael Hamm and Charles Lenhart of Lehigh Valley Granite Studio, New Tripoli.

On May 16, the Indianland Garden Club and Ladies' Auxiliary of Post 16 American Legion planted flowers and shrubs. Participating were Cindi Christman, Regina Johnston, A.Y. Hughes, Mary Ann Bergen and Karen Krause.

Phlox was brought from St. Paul's Church where Kress had been interred when the body was brought from Gettysburg. In 1909 the body was moved to the Union Cemetery.

The phlox covers a hillside at St. Paul's.

"Since Kress was from Indianland, we brought him some phlox," said Christman, co-president of the garden club.

The plan devised by the garden club is to have a garden that is low maintenance. For this year, annuals have been used to fill in - red and white begonias and blue nierembergia.

The Union Cemetery Association watered the flowers and planted grass in the circle around the monument, and have been helpful in many ways, said Altrichter.

A man at the Egypt Veterans of Foreign Wars has the mold to make the cement insignia of the military units. There was no air force in 1909 and so there is no insignia for it. The pieces were in the Legion basement and it was decided it was time to use them.

All this work was made possible by the generous support of many individuals, service and veteran organizations, fire companies and local government.

"You can be sure on Memorial Day our Civil War Brothers in Arms will be looking down from heaven and thanking us for remembering their service and restoring their memorial," said Altrichter.

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