Isaac wrote to the Chairman of the Parole Board on behalf of his son, David. This was in response to a suggestion by Isaac’s son, Dr. Leslie Carr, who had recently visited his brother at the Stillwater prison. Leslie thought it might help shorten David’s confinement if Isaac shared David’s family background.
Nov 14, 1921 – C. J. Swendsen, Chairman, Parole Board, St. Paul, Minnesota
I take the liberty to write to you concerning my son D A Carr now confined in Stilwater prison No 6621. My youngest child Dr. Carr from Clermont Ia [Iowa] called on you lately and he wrote me that it might help shorten David’s confinement for me to tell you just about the kind of family we are.
I have allways been a farmer now retired. I am 85 years old last may and my wife 75 we have raised a family of 10 children 2 have died and D A is the only one ever accused of any crime or misdemeanor. I never sued a man and never was sued. We are members of the M E Church W. D. Moore pastor. I have been a church trustee many years. I served near 4 years in the Civil War 2 enlistments. I have 2 honorable discharges. I served the whole time in Co F 11 Ia infty 3rd Brig 4 Divis 17 AC army Tennessee. Was in the Battles of Shiloh Corinth Vicksburg Atlanta and many skirmishes. I marched with Sherman to the sea up thru the Carolinas to Wasn [Washington] DC. took part grandest of all grand reviews May 24, 1865. Mustered out at Louisville and discharged at Davenport last of July 1865.
I have no hospital record always ready for duty slightly wounded twice and a member of Ed Hamlin Post 112 dpt of Iowa GAR. Wife and 3 girls are WRC. I have been commander of the post 20 odd years reelected year after year. I gave D A as good education as our circumstances admitted. He speaks reads and writes german fluently tho there is no german blood in our veins. We are of scotch irish descent. I have 6 sons in law of whom I am proud. None use tobacco or have ever drank intoxicants. 2 are preachers all are church members and Dave tho not a church member has due respect for Christian religion. Uses no tobacco and is strictly prohibition and when he is free I am sure he will be law abiding and a useful man generally. We will be glad to have him come right home and I wil bind myself in any bond that he wil never again deserve a pris [prison?] punishment. You are strictly honest and upright or you wouldn’t hold the office you do. The laws must be upheld when your conscience tells you. Dave has been punished enuf. Kindly use your influence to send him home to his aged parents Brothers & Sisters and may heaven Bless you is our prayer.
I. N. Carr
Note: David would not be released from prison until March 1922.
The war in Europe was on Isaac’s mind as he wrote this speech, as well as a movement to redesign the American flag.
For joint Installation on Jan 8 1915
Ladies of WRC & Comrades
Im again assuming the duties of this office I thank my comrades for their continued & united Support & confidence the past year & I hope to perform the duties assigned to me to the best of my ability & in behaf of our post I thank you ladies for meeting with us on this occasion & for the excellent dinner we have enjoyed I believe I voice the sentiment of both post & corps in hoping we may have many more installations & many more dinners all in the spirit of DC&L in the years yet to come the thanks of Ed Hamlin post are due the Masonic Order of Wellman for their Kindness their unselfish generosity & Patriotism in tendering us the use of their hall for a meeting place as long as our organization exists & free of all cost Surely comrades we appreciate their kindness altho our years are growing many & our numbers growing few & less with each returning year yet taking our organization as a whole local state & Natl we have much yet very much to be thankful for
Never since we became a nation has there been greater cause for giving thanks for blessings that we enjoy of all the nations of the earth I mean of all the great Nations of the earth (for we rank as one of the great Nations) we alone can quote with right good will that oft repeated Christmas saying, peace on earth & good will to men & we are thankful at least I feel that we ought to be thankful that 3000 miles of Atlantic bring deep roll between our peaceful shore & the war cursed lands of Europe no firing acros that line as has been going on down on the Arizona line dropping Mexican bullets on American soil Killing innocent men women & children & wounding others we are thankful they cant shoot acros that line of 3000 miles & now that we have so much to be thankful for & so little to complain of I want to offer a resolution a joint resolution to both post & corps you no doubt have all heard & read of the attempt being made to change the face of our Natl flag anyhow it has raised a storm of protest all over the country Especially in GAR & WRC circles I pledge my allegiance to that flag under which so many of my comrades fot [fought] & died & earnestly protest against any change being made in it & while this Salute can in no sense take the place of the regular flag Salute, it is good patriotic sentiment & expresses the feeling of that post but I must offer my resolution before I forget it
Resolved that we the members of Ed Hamlin Post 112 dpt [department] Ioa [Iowa] GAR together with Ed Hamlin WRC No 88 in joint installation assembled go on record as being unalterably opposed to any change being made in our Natl flag Especially do we object to any part of the confederate or rebel flag being added to old glory
Adopted with much hand clapping & voted publisht in Advance [Wellman Advance newspaper] & National Tribune.
Isaac’s Speech – WRC Installation – January 10, 1913
Mrs. President Ladies of WRC & Comrades
We commence the new yr under Comparatively favorable condition our regular meeting day in dec was discouraging to our organization we met here at the usual hour a few of us the weather was cold & the room was cold finaly Adjt Bradford asked us to go to the PO & hold our meeting we were only fairly Settled when a motion was made [that] we disband after a Short discussion the motion carried with little opposition tho I believe Each one felt in their hearts they were doing Something they disliked very much to do the main regret seemed to be the Severing of our fraternal relations with the WRC & our last act as an organization was a resolution (past unanimously) thanking our Sister organization for their many acts of kindness the many helps social & financial & our sincere appreciation of the Same, this it was resolved should be put in shape & written out by the Comdr to be read at this meeting when the WRC install their officers, in one Sense our organization made then a will bequeathing to the WRC Evry thing belonging to dpt headqrs this marble tablet & gavel which Mrs. C C Gardner had taken great pains to secure & bring from Washington DC & presented to the post by the WRC Jan 2 1903 also the desk presented a short time before this at which our adjt [Adjutant] conducts the business of the post also a sum of Confederate money sent to our post by _______[left blank] to be held as a remembrance of war times the drums were not mentioned but had it been necessary to present the resolution here I should have included them in the list, at the last meeting of the WRC a Committee was appointed to confer with a like Committee from the post to see if this matter of disbanding could be reconsidered Mrs Longwell being chrmn of the committee Kindly askd them to meet at her home the result was a meeting of comrades was called at the PO last fri & in point of Nos [numbers] & in point of Enthusiasm the meeting Exceed any post meeting in 3 yrs or more & more of a feeling of J C & L was exhibited than I Supposed existed in Ed Hamlin post the quest of disbanding was Soon reconsidered & officers were elected for the Ensuing yr & all seemed determined to do what they could to keep the post alive for a time at least & the credit of this belongs to the WRC in genl & to the Committee of which Mrs Longwell was chrmn in Particular it was decided at this meeting that from now on the Post dispense with all services & ceremonies on decoration day turning that matter over to the Cittizens under the direction of the WRC I thank you ladies in the name of my comrades for the intrest you have manifested in our organization not only at this time but for many yrs past I thank you for the privilege of meeting with you on this occasion & for the Excellent dinner you have so well served I thank you all
Forty-seven years after the Civil War ended, it was clear that the Grand Army of the Republic could not remain viable. With each passing year, more veterans were dying. Isaac and his fellow comrades at the Ed Hamlin GAR Post were considering the inevitable.
Monday December 30th 1912 A very fine day I helped wash & Leslie went to Fosters to hunt with Wayne I learned of the death of Comrade B. F. Brown [Benjamin F.] of Crawfordsville, Iowa he served nearly 4 years in the same Co with me Co. F 11th Iowa I went down town awhile to see some comrades about meeting tomorrow to reconsider the disbanding of our post
Tuesday Dec 31 1912 A very fine sunny day I chopt & sawd some wood in the alley & shelled much corn pumpkins in the cellar are rotting & I am feeding them to Jersey once a day pm I attended Bank meeting, very little business done I got 15c crackers a few of the Post met 3 WRC at Longwells & tried to resurrect the post they made poor progress
Fri 6 Clear & cold NW wind it turned Cold last nite & Also very hard I got up at midnite & put down butry [?] window I had a good fire in the furnace & house warm all nite Wasson came early to work but failed to come back PM he worked 4 hours I piled some wood in the cellar & chored before dinner Harvey & Dave Carr [sons of Isaac] came from Minneapolis
PM I went to post meeting no fire or warmth in the hall 6 of us met in the PO [Post Office] [Ezra] Bradford [Thomas] Chandler [Amos or Rufus] Whetstine [Tom] McReynolds & Mayer & [Isaac] Carr & we voted to disband the post I was very Sorry to be a party to this Step but it had to come Sooner or later & might as well Come now we were truly Sorry to Sever our relations with the WRC the best Corps in the State & they have upheld & Encouraged our post in a way to command the respect & admiration of evry member & I was authorized to convey to our Sister organization our thanks & appreciation of their many Kindness social & financial farewell Ed Hamlin Post GAR for Ever
The Grand Army of the Republic held national encampments annually from 1866 to 1949. Isaac attended a few of them. He also regularly attended state encampments in part due to his duties as the Ed Hamlin GAR Post Commander. Knowing Isaac, he would probably have attended these encampments whether or not he was the Post Commander. Isaac wrote a report on his experiences at one such state encampment held in Muscatine, Iowa.
16000 inhabitants Report of Muscatine State Encampment For June 13 14 & 15 1911
Lot Abraham of Mt Pleasant was Elected dpt Com [department commander?]
The booming of Cannon at Sunrise June 13th started the State Encampment the good people of Muscatine have been for weeks preparing for with a cool north breeze & a clear Sky it seems the weather man Saved his most Comfortable days for this occasion hundreds of the gar & wrc thronged the Streets & the first day fully 1500 had registered & drawn badges the very first arrivals found the City ready to rec them [with a] well organized reception
Committees handled the crowd in good Shape & the Pearl City was given over to the men who wear the little bronz button with many Autos at hand & a complete filing system all visitors were assigned to quarters without delay Muscatine is to day displaying the same patriotism it did in 61 when it sent the greatest body of fighting men to the front of any county in the State
B C Ward [Desmoines] SVC arrived in the city the first day & as H A Dyer our dpt Com of Mason City is Sick the SVC will preside at the meetings gov Carrol was present & made a fine talk but left for Desmoines after Staying one night the decorations were said to be more & better than at any State Encampment & the Cordiality displayed by the People made Evry one feel at home & the music the best I have heard for many yrs drums & fifes that went thru the war & the men who played them in those Stirring times still able to make the best of music & I noticed many old veterans dressed in the navy blue uniform with brass buttons & the campaign hat with cord & tassel
Isaac wrote the following speech for the GAR installation services on January 7, 1910.
Ladies of WRC & Comrades
This being our first meeting in 1910 I wish you all a prosperous & happy new yr & may the prosperity of our land & the comforts of life that we Enjoy Compensate in part for the Sorrows of the past yr
in assuming again the duties of this office for the 14 time I thank my Comrades for their unanimous & continued confidence we have missed no meeting the past yr & the few in No [number] it was more than made up in TC&L [one of Isaac’s abbreviations] 8 applications were sent from our post for admissions to our Soldiers home & 2 of our Comrades are there now & Enjoying life & the comforts of home I hear from them frequently & here is a bill of fare of their Christmas dinner & ladies & comrades the more I think of these things the more I am impressed with the thot [thought] that the Soldier of the Civil war is the best cared for has the most reason to be thankful & the least reason to complain of any man or Set of men living rich or poor
in the first place he lived to return from the war to home & loved ones after many hardships & being shot at no one but the recording Angel knows how many times & he Should feel thankful & if he was injured in any way he is provided with a pension according to his injury & when old age comes on & he is physically unable to earn a living he recvs a pension according to his age & in the mean time he is up held & Encouraged morally Socially & financially by the best organization of women in the US an organization all that of Self is lost in the good they may do for others they are indeed & in truth our auxillary & last but by no means least we have our Soldiers homes State & Natl where Evry comfort of life is furnished & all as free as the air we breathe truly the Soldier of the Civil war has much to be thankful for & little to complain of
& ladies I want to thank you for meeting with us on this occasion & for the most Excellent dinner that we Enjoyed the only criticism I have to make is you have done too much you have taken too much pains as the Saying goes the game is not worth the powder but deserving or undeserving we appreciate it I assure you we do & I thank you not only as an organization but I thank you Each one individually for the good dinner & the most Excellent music furnished & the pains taken genly [generally] to make this a pleasant time & that Each comrade may Show his appreciation I ask for a standing vote of thanks from Ed Hamlin Post to our sister organization we now Stand til called by Pres [president] WRC
All rights reserved. The journal entries contained in this blog are part of the I. N. Carr Papers, Ms132, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240-1806, (319) 335-3916. They may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Please see the “Conditions for Reproduction” on the copyright page for guidance before using the material contained on this site. Information in these posts is taken from Isaac's journals and speeches written between 1861 and 1923. If you had ancestors who lived in Washington County, Iowa, they might be mentioned in Isaac's diary. Try searching for them in the search box, below. Use spelling variations in your search as names were often spelled differently.