Today has been a relaxing day. I had planned on going to the Tracy cemetery for the Memorial Day Observances. However, I was reading a book set in the Vietnam War and lost track of time. Of course, this was an appropriate book for Memorial Day as I was reading about some of the men that we are honoring today.
I thought of this quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt that is inscribed on a monument to the fallen of our community here in Tracy.
“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”
One family member that I thought of was my third great uncle Ellett Bolin. I don’t have a picture of him, but here is a picture of my great great grandparents Solomon Row and Mahana Bolen. Ellett was the brother of Mahana. The spelling of the last name differs, but this is very common in the records of the time.
Ellett Bolin was the only son of Thomas and Mary Manly Bolen and had four sisters. Ellett Bolin enlisted in the Iowa Volunteers, Twenty-Eight Infantry, Company I on August 11, 1862. Ellett mustered in on September 13 leaving his family behind in Millersburg, Iowa.
On May 16, 1863 Ellett was wounded in the Battle of Champion Hill/Bakers Creek in Mississippi and was taken prisoner. He was later paroled and rejoined his company.
In early 1864 the disastrous Red River Campaign began and Ellett was killed in action at the Battle of Mansfield/Sabine Crossroads in Louisiana on April 8, 1864.
I think of Ellet when I see gravestones of veterans of the Civil War in the local cemetery. The stones of the Civil War veterans are scattered through the old part of the cemetery and are not in what is called the Little Arlington area. I wonder what Ellet would have done if he had survived the Civil War. His four sisters all lived to be more than 70 years old so had many Decoration Days where they remembered his sacrifice for his country.
Who did you remember today?