Cedar Valley Union Soldiers Memorial Bricks Project


Our Roundtable's meetings are held in Veteran's Memorial Hall, 104 West Fifth Street, Waterloo. Built in 1915, the hall was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The local Civil War veterans group, Maj. Robert Anderson GAR Post #68, met at the hall until the post was disbanded in January 1936.

A Soldiers and Sailors Park has been created in the area between the hall and the Cedar River. Memorial bricks, dedicated to veterans of all wars, pave the area. The Roundtable recently sponsored five bricks for Civil War veterans. The roster of the Anderson Post was reviewed and names of soldiers who enlisted from the Cedar Valley area were selected for consideration for a brick. Five names were drawn as the honorees and the bricks were installed on October 15, 2015. 

Five memorial bricks honored the following soldiers from the Cedar Valley area:

           - Lt. Edward C Dougherty Company A 38th Iowa;

           - Sgt. Samuel M Hoff Company G 1st Iowa Cavalry;

           - Corp. John LaBarre Company C 32nd Iowa; 

           -  Pvt. William Letter Company C 31st Iowa;

          -  Pvt. Orville O Williams 3rd Iowa Light Artillery.

The brief biographies on the veterans read during the program for the installation of the bricks follows. 

Lieutenant Edward C Dougherty - Janesville. Dougherty was 27 when he enlisted in August 1862 in Company A 38th Iowa Infantry. He received promotions to Second Lieutenant and then First Lieutenant. The 38th Iowa became known as the Martyr Regiment due to the numerous deaths from disease. In January 1865, the 38th was consolidated with the 34th Iowa and First Lt. Dougherty was now a member of Company I 34th Iowa. He was mustered out on Aug. 16, 1865 in Houston, Texas. GAR records show that he was a farmer and shoemaker. Dougherty is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Janesville. However we cannot find his date of death.

Sargent Samuel M Hoff - Waterloo. Hoff was a young 23 years when he enlisted in June 1861. As a 5th Corporal he was placed in Company G of the 1st Iowa Cavalry. The unit was also known as Hardin's Rangers, since many of the enlistees were from Hardin county. This regiment was pitted against guerrillas in southern Missouri and Arkansas. Records show the 1st participated in 45 battles and had daily skirmishes with bushwhackers. After the war Hoff farmed for a short time, then was named the first Marshal of Waterloo. After that his life was devoted to public service. He served terms as a street commissioner, deputy sheriff and assistant city engineer. Hoff died in 1916.

Corporal John LaBarre - Waterloo. LaBarre enlisted in Company C of the 32nd Iowa Infantry in August 1862. He received several promotions, the last being Second Corporal at the close of the war. As a young man and early settler in this area, LaBarre often worked in sawmills. After the war he returned to that business and worked in the Ford and Zeising Sawmill, Cedar Falls. In 1870 he returned to Waterloo and was a foreman in various lumber yards. LaBarre died in 1911.

Private William Letter - Waterloo. Born in New York state, Letter was 18 when he enlisted in Company C of the 31st Iowa in July 1862. He was transferred to the Invalid Corps in April 1864 and returned to Company C that December. He was mustered out with his regiment in June 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. Letter married in 1885 and had two children. Information concerning adoption for those children was found in an April 1900 Courier article. He died a few weeks later at the Iowa Soldier's Home, Marshalltown.

Private Orville O Williams - Butler Center. A bugler, Williams served in the 3rd Iowa Light Artillery, also known as the Dubuque Battery, enlisting in September 1861. His letters have given us insight of a soldier's day to day experiences. The unit rendered great service at the Battle of Pea Ridge Arkansas, April 1862. After Pea Ridge, the battery was sent on various expeditions around Arkansas and often endured long marches in the summer's heat. The 3rd L.A. was also engaged in the Battle of Helena, Arkansas 3 July, 1863, likely the most overlooked battle of the war. The unit played an important role in maintaining Federal control of Arkansas and the Mississippi River. Williams was mustered out 25 September, 1864 and he relocated to northwest Iowa, farming near Curlew. He was active in the GAR and died in 1920. Williams is Roundtable member Bill Witt's 3rd great uncle. Bill had the high honor of installing the memorial brick for him as shown in the photo below. Very inspirational moment for all of us present.


Here is a slide show with photos of the Brick Installation Program.


Hints for best viewing: 

  • The controls for the slide show are at the bottom of the player. 
  • Images in the slide show are sized to be viewed full size. Use the button next to the Slide Number Box on the right hand side to get to full screen viewing. Use the 'Esc' key to return to normal.
  • Auto play is a little too fast and can't be adjusted (that I've found anyway) so you might want to use the arrows on your keyboard.