The Last Soldier Project: Ladysmith, Wis.|
Truman D. Goodrich
Taps Sound for Last Veteran of Civil War
Rusk county's last remaining veteran of the great war that divided the states, Truman D. Goodrich, was gathered to his fathers Friday. The gallant old soldier, who had survived many a serious illness in recent years, had been slowly failing in health for weeks. He was almost 93 years of age at the time of his death.
Local patriotic organizations co-operated with the funeral director, Charles McElravy, and the pastor of the Methodist church, Rev. Walter Taylor, in the most impressive military funeral this community has witnessed. The ladies of the Women's Relief Corps, for whom Mr. Goodrich as commander of the G.A.R. Post here, has been an honored guest on many occasions, and the younger folks of the American Legion and auxiliary, as well as hundreds of other friends turned out to do honor to the veteran's memory. Business houses of the city were closed during hours of the funeral.
The Legion furnished a firing squad, color guard and honorary escort from the funeral home to the Methodist church and after the church service through the city on foot, before taking cars to the cemetery.
The salute to the dead at the graveside was especially effective. Rev. Kenneth Arrowood blew "taps" in unusually competent manner and was answered by an "echo" through the woods, played by John Dosedel. The Legion firing squad gave the salute.
Mr. Goodrich was born at Schuyler Falls, New York, August 4, 1847, and settled in Wisconsin in 1870. His marriage to Melissa E. Garthwaite took place at Little Grant, this state, December 2, 1875. Four children were born to them, two of whom survive, Melvin E. Goodrich, Madison, and Mrs. Mildred Bernau, Fond du Lac. Mrs. Goodrich passed away May 14, 1904, shortly after they moved to this city.
On November 1, 1906, Mr. Goodrich and Agnes Van Horn, of this city, were married and for the last 34 years they have resided on East Lake avenue here.
Mr. Goodrich's forebears were an old American family, coming from Wales to settle in Connecticut in 1645. Five generations of the family served during four different wars. With his father, Truman Goodrich enlisted n the 91st New York infantry and with his regiment served in the Civil War, being assigned to Company F, 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 5th army corps. A member of the Army of the Potomac, he was with General Grant's troops at the surrender of Lee's army at Appomatox courthouse. On two occasions, while serving under Grant, the young soldier Goodrich had met President Lincoln.
Two years ago, in company with his step-son, Norman Van Horn, the sprightly old veteran made the trip to Gettysburg to attend the reunion of Federal and Confederate troops 75 years after the battle was fought. The old boys talked over the great battle without rancor and with only pleasant humor. With other hardy veterans, Mr. Goodrich slept in a tent, had a fine time and even surprised his old comrades and adversaries by dancing a jig. He said then he felt just like he was back in the army again. Of the 2,500 veterans at the camp, the youngest was 88 years old.
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Department of Wisconsin