County#039;s last Civil War soldier remembered

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 12, 2004

MILLER - He died in 1946 with remarks provided by a congressman, but no military rites.

Pvt. David Thorne Hooper finally received those rites from his era, thanks to the National Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Saturday's swollen skies seemed to hold back their promise of rain, especially for the descendants of Hoover as the county's last Civil War soldier was honored during a special memorial service at Miller Cemetery.

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Pvt. Hoover's memory was honored with Civil War-era military proceedings, including a 21-gun of salute and the playing of "Taps."

A new gravestone was unveiled bearing the epitaph, "Here in honored glory rest the last Civil War soldier of this

county. May their deeds and sacrifices be ever green in our memory."

Approximately 30 descendants and guests attended the ceremony including Hoover's last surviving granddaughter, Geraldine Pigman of Rome Township.

Pigman, 87, of Rome Township said she vividly remembers her grandfather because she was his baby. "I was sort of his favorite because his two others lived further away," she said. Her earliest memory is of him bringing her a little bit of candy from the grocery store.

The descendant said her grandfather was a good, Christian man. "I asked him about the war, but he wouldn't talk very much about it." Pigman keeps a family album of her grandfather's accomplishments and other Civil War newspaper clippings.

Andrea Shamblin of Arizona said the ceremony was fantastic. "We have a great heritage we remember through pictures."

"We have to remember our history or we are doomed to make the same mistakes,"great-granddaughter Carolyn Waggoner said.

Nephew Josh Hoover, 25, said he has always been aware of his family's history. "It feels great to be a part of something like this …

have respect for seniors.

The ceremony was presented by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War's Cadot-Blessing Camp 126 of Gallipolis and Brooks-Grant Camp of Middleport.

Camp commander James Oiler said it was an honor to have everyone present and a rarity to have someone (Geraldine) who can remember sitting on the lap of her grandfather. He presented Hoover's biography and spoke about the Ohio Volunteer Veteran Infantry regiment's contributions and sacrifices.

"It (the ceremony) was wonderful! I had no idea it would be anything like that," Geraldine said.

Hoover enlisted for duty with the 18th OVVI, Co. C. in 1865. He married the late Josephine Guthrie and they had 10 children.