- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

TOOLESBORO, Iowa (AP) - Hundreds of people have helped to dedicate a memorial to six southeast Iowa brothers who died after enlisting to fight for the Union in the Civil War.

The deaths of the sons of James and Martha Littleton had long been forgotten until their story was uncovered by historians, whose effort to remember their sacrifice culminated in the memorial dedication near the community of Toolesboro.

Gov. Terry Branstad was among those who spoke at Tuesday’s dedication, which honored George, John, Kendall, Noah, Thomas and William Littleton, The Burlington Hawk Eye reported (https://bit.ly/21my9rs ). They all joined the Iowa infantry months after the war started, and none made it back to their home.

“These brothers are role models who showcased the dedication and devotion ordinary Iowans have given,” said Branstad, who noted that an estimated 13 percent of the state’s population served during the Civil War.

Some of the brothers died of battle wounds, one drowned and one died in a Confederate prison.

Details about the Littleton brothers came to light after Louisa County historian Tom Woodruff was given a copy of a scrapbook page in North Carolina that included a 1907 article from a Columbus Junction newspaper. The story mentioned the deaths of the six brothers, prompting Woodruff to work with a friend, Ed Bayne, to investigate what happened.

After learning more about the brothers’ deaths, which were among the largest loss from a U.S. war to affect one family, Woodruff and Bayne began pushing for a memorial. Plenty of others joined them, including Branstad, who helped raise funds for the $250,000 monument.

The 9-foot-tall granite monument is surrounded by six stones, each bearing the name of a brother.

“Who knew that handing me a scrap of paper in Raleigh, North Carolina, would result in this,” Woodruff said.


Information from: The Hawk Eye, https://www.thehawkeye.com

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