By Bob Evans
ROSS TWP. – The Mooretown Civil War Memorial is once again standing tall above the Yellow Creek Valley.
Time and neglect had taken its toll on the monument, commissioned in 1871 by Robert and Martha George in honor of their son, Thomas, who died at the Battle of Perryville, Ky., on Oct. 8, 1862.
The inscription on the monument also includes the names of 32 other men from Ross Township who died in the Civil War. The inscription on the monument’s base reads, “To the memory of the fallen soldiers of Ross Township, Jefferson Co. O. in the War of 1861-65.”
The monument stands more than 21 feet tall, but was originally close to 40 feet when erected. It was damaged by strip mining decades ago.
The mining company replaced the damaged Doric column, but around nine feet of the column is missing. The base was also damaged and replaced, complete with all the names on it. The old base now supports a cannon on the right side of the monument.
The refurbished monument is the results of the Mooretown Restoration Committee, which formed in 2010 to restore the monument to a grander time.
Monday, a Memorial Day service was held for the first time in approximately 60 years at the monument. About 400 people attended the potluck lunch and commemoration event.
Donna George Dunning, a descendant of the George family, praised the committee’s work. “My sister and I hold you in our hearts and give our heart-felt thanks for the work you have done,” she said. “I feel a little guilty that I haven’t been here taking care of it.” She now makes her home in Seattle, WA.
She spoke of the heritage of Ross Township and the sacrifices of its men and women. “It is for us the living to care for the high ideals for which they died,” she said, encouraging listeners to “create an even greater future” for the country.
Committee member Virginia Boyd Glenn was overwhelmed by the turnout.
“This is fantastic, absolutely unbelievable,” she said. “I never expected so many people to come out. This goes to show that people do care about this monument.”
The Committee was presented with an award from America the Beautiful for its grass-roots efforts at the monument.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 232 and its Ladies Auxiliary from Amsterdam served as the color guard.
Other entertainment included, Mackenzie Bake, who sang the National Anthem and a cannon firing demonstration by the 19th Ohio Light Artillery.