WHL Wallace Gets His Monument

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By July 2012 the WHL Wallace Memorial Committee saw that they had enough cash and pledges to afford the 10 ft. tall obelisk honoring General WHL Wallace and which would be placed in the recently dedicated ground at the edge of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Section of the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery. The time for dedication of the monument was then set for October 28, 2012.

 

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The ceremony for dedication was very well attended and the 104th, 64th, and 21st Volunteer Infantry Civil War re-enactor units provided an impressive honor guard and musket salute. A Scottish piper was heard prior to the ceremonies and after the benediction & salute a bugler played taps.

Jerome Kowalski, chaplain of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave the invocation and benediction. Civil War re-enactors were on stage representing Ann Wallace, General Wallace’s wife; General U.S. Grant, Wallace’s commander; Col. T. Lyle Dickey, 4th IL Cavlary, Wallace’s law partner and father-in-law; Col. Daniel Hitt, 53rd IL Infantry, Wallace’s uncle. In addition, Ottawa Mayor Robert Eschbach spoke as did Edmund Thornton, local historian and very active supporter of the monument and restoration project.

The placement of this significant memorial to General WHL Wallace provides a space for the public to pay homage to him away from his land locked burial plot in the Dickey Cemetery. Someday it is hoped that with continued fund raising efforts his burial site will also become available to the public. Many local citizens as well as some outside have contributed to the reality of this memorial which has the concluding inscription of “From the grateful citizens of Ottawa. “

Worth mentioning among the very many individual contributions several significant contributors came forward to make this tribute a reality in 2012. Without their large support the monument may not have happened until 2013, 2014 or later. These monetary supporters are The Edmund B. Thornton Foundation; The Starved Rock Civil War Round Table; The D.O.H. Monument Group and Jobst Monuments and Gifts for cost concessions; Mr. Harold O. Hicks Jr. for foundation excavation; and The Western Materials Company for concrete donation.

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