Editor’s Note: Coverage of Sunday’s annual Memorial Run and Monday’s Memorial Day ceremonies and events from around the county will appear in the Wednesday edition of The Daily Sentinel.
POMEROY — Pomeroy’s Memorial Day events opened on Saturday as the Sons of Union Veterans held a ceremony on the courthouse steps.
Tom Gallaway, Commander of the Brooks-Grant Camp, said the yearly ceremony was the group’s commemoration for those who have died in military service for the United States.
The hour long program included a lecture by historian John Haas of the Ohio History Connection and period music performed by re-enactors.
Haas introduced himself “I’ve worked at the Ohio History Connection since 1989 as a reference archivist and military history specialist,” and delivered an overview of Meigs County’s contributions to the military history of the United States.
“Ohio has had a major historical role, from the Revolutionary War to modern conflicts,” he said, summarizing the numbers of men Ohio has sent to fight — and die — dating back to even before it became a state.
Through his research, Haas confirmed over 1,750 Civil War Veterans of Meigs County, serving in 17 different units.
The monument adjacent the courthouse lists Meigs residents killed in action during the Civil War, and Haas said newspaper records claimed 5,000 people attended the 1870 dedication.
Local military actions Morgan’s Raid and the Battle of Buffington Island were also covered in the lecture, including the lesser known Morgan’s Raid Claims Commission, which awarded $46,000 to Meigs residents for damage inflicted by the raiders.
Haas also referenced William W. Outerbridge, a World War II era Navy admiral and Middleport native, who led a United States destroyer that claimed to sink and destroy an unknown submarine in the early hours of December 7, 1941.
Decades later, underwater archeology confirmed Outerbridge’s account, making it possible “the first American shots fired on the Japanese during World War II were fired by a son of Meigs County,” said Haas.
Re-enactors Betty Snow-Rosser, “a Middleport grad,” and Ken Sams on steel guitar, performed historical songs using classic lyrics, including “Oh Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “America the Beautiful,” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Chester Shade Historical Association member Lorna Hart delivered the invocation and benediction, while A.J. Roush, former Southern High School band member, concluded the ceremony with Taps.
Michael Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel