JOHN VALE

Ceremony honors Civil War soldier, Medal of Honor recipient

2013-02-16T15:43:00Z 2013-02-18T10:07:47Z Ceremony honors Civil War soldier, Medal of Honor recipientDoug Schorpp The Quad-City Times
February 16, 2013 3:43 pm  • 

John Vale might have blushed at Saturday’s ceremony at Oakdale Memorial Gardens in Davenport where the Civil War hero was remembered.

He was a Medal of Honor recipient for his efforts during the Civil War. The ceremony commemorated the 150th anniversary of the skirmish that took place Feb. 15, 1863, for which he was recognized with the medal. He was buried in Oakdale when he died in 1909.

“By all accounts, he was a very humble man,” said Dustin Oliver of Bettendorf, a volunteer event coordinator for many similar events at Oakdale. “When he died, the article said how humble he was and said he was a fine, upstanding citizen of Davenport.”

It was Oliver’s idea to honor Vale with the special ceremony.

Vale was born Aug. 9, 1835, and died Feb. 4, 1909, in Davenport. Born in London, England, Vale grew up in the city and was employed as a store clerk at the age of 13. In 1851, he immigrated to LeClaire and worked at a sawmill. Later, he moved near Mapleton, Minn., and enlisted in the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.

On Feb. 15, 1863, he was one of a detachment of 16 men who defended a Union supply convoy against a Confederate cavalry unit near Nolensville, Tenn. Outnumbered 125 to 16, Vale warned his detachment of the impending attack, and the small band of soldiers were able to hold off the enemy until help arrived and drove the Confederate unit away.

After the war, he settled in Davenport, where he worked in the U.S. Post Office for many years. In 1897, he was one of eight other men from that detachment who were awarded the Medal of Honor.

“They were only able to find eight of the men. Two already died in battles,” Oliver said. “It was about that time they started going back through the records, awarding people who had not been awarded this honor before.”

Oliver said the only information he read about the medal was that it was mailed to Vale by the Chief of the War Department to his Davenport home.

“In 1909, he died of some illness, undisclosed,” Oliver said. “The last year of his life, he was an invalid and was being taken care of by his wife.”

Saturday’s ceremony included a reading of the official Medal of Honor citation as well as the report of the skirmish by Brig. Gen. James Steedman, a wreath-laying by Company “A” 49th Regiment Veteran Volunteer Infantry/Sons of Veterans Reserves Honor Guard for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and other military honors.

Copyright 2016 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. BessieBee
    Report Abuse
    BessieBee - February 16, 2013 4:08 pm
    Thank you Pvt. Vale for your service to your country. RIP.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

'Operation Methed Up' nets 46

'Operation Methed Up' nets 46

It started in August with a tip about a possible methamphetamine lab in a Davenport trailer park.

1 hour ago Photos

Photos

(2)

Gaul, Cullen honored with Iowa journalism awards

Gaul, Cullen honored with Iowa journalism awards

Quad-City Times reporters Alma Gaul and Jack Cullen were recognized by their peers on Friday when representatives of Iowa’s daily and weekly n…

18 hours ago Photos

Photos

(0)

8 things to know about Davenport's $201.7 million budget

8 things to know about Davenport's $201.7 million budget

Davenport city leaders are looking to pull a few more dollars out of the pockets of property owners and residents as it seeks to raise fees in…

19 hours ago Photos

Photos

(8)

Home show opens weekend run in RI

Home show opens weekend run in RI

The 39th annual Quad-Cities Builders and Remodelers Association Home Show offers just about everything you would need for your home and yard.

20 hours ago Photos

Photos

(0)

Audit identifies spending issues in Davenport fire accounts

Audit identifies spending issues in Davenport fire accounts

The Iowa state Auditor's Office said Friday it has identified more than $4,000 in improper or undocumented spending between 2009 and 2014 in t…

20 hours ago(0)

Scattered flurries and a low of 24

Scattered flurries and a low of 24

Good evening, Quad-Cities. Here is your National Weather Service forecast.

21 hours ago Video Related (0)

Clinton sheriff to run for re-election

Clinton sheriff to run for re-election

CLINTON, Iowa — Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln has announced he will seek a fifth term as sheriff.

21 hours ago(0)

Party insider: Dems should consider GOP-style voting

Party insider: Dems should consider GOP-style voting

DES MOINES — Iowa Democrats should consider altering their presidential precinct caucus procedures to look more like the vote conducted by Rep…

23 hours ago(1)

Drivers in fatal drag race crash plead guilty

Drivers in fatal drag race crash plead guilty

A Carbon Cliff teen and Davenport man have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a double-fatal crash in October.

February 05, 2016 2:30 pm(1)

New Q-C website promotes trail exploration

New Q-C website promotes trail exploration

Before October, Lisa Miller hadn’t hopped on her bicycle for an extended cruise for about a decade.

February 05, 2016 2:00 pm Photos

Photos

(1)

On Iowa Politics: A caucus wrap-up

On Iowa Politics: A caucus wrap-up

This week on the podcast, reporters talk who won the Democratic caucuses, should there be a GOP do-over and if Iowa will hold its first-in-the…

February 05, 2016 2:00 pm Related (0)

Mayor Klipsch's 5 issues in 30 days

Mayor Klipsch's 5 issues in 30 days

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch used his first-ever mayoral briefing Friday to update the community on five of the issues he has dealt with in h…

February 05, 2016 2:00 pm(9)

Google finds star doodler in PV second-grade classroom

Google finds star doodler in PV second-grade classroom

When Shalini Chandupatla was just a toddler, she started to doodle. And doodle.

February 05, 2016 2:00 pm Photos

Photos

(2)

Rock Island Arsenal Museum to reduce collection, operations

Rock Island Arsenal Museum to reduce collection, operations

About 3,200 artifacts will be removed from the Rock Island Arsenal Museum's collection amid an upcoming reduction in staff.

February 05, 2016 12:28 pm Related (3)

Attempt to delay Iowa Medicaid management rules fails

Attempt to delay Iowa Medicaid management rules fails

DES MOINES — The state will proceed with planning for private management of Iowa’s $5 billion Medicaid program after a legislative rule-making…

February 05, 2016 12:30 pm Photos

Photos

(1)

Iowa warned that 'party school image' is hurting credibility

Iowa warned that 'party school image' is hurting credibility

IOWA CITY — A Republican pollster warned the University of Iowa a year ago that its public standing was suffering from an image as a heavy-dri…

February 05, 2016 5:55 am Related (7)

Prosecutor seeks review of sentence for 'best meth cook'

Prosecutor seeks review of sentence for 'best meth cook'

ALEDO, Ill. — Just two days after a Taylor Ridge man was placed on three years probation in a Mercer County methamphetamine case, Mercer Count…

February 05, 2016 5:00 am(6)

Looking back: Remember the Vale?

Looking back: Remember the Vale?

Remember the Vale Apartments in downtown Davenport across from the Blackhawk Hotel on 4th and Perry streets?

February 05, 2016 5:00 am Related (11)

Sewer project closes Pershing Blvd. in Clinton

Sewer project closes Pershing Blvd. in Clinton

The City of Clinton reports that portions of Pershing Boulevard will be closed  for a sewer project beginning Feb. 5.

February 05, 2016 5:00 am(0)

Sentencing postponed in Davenport stabbing death

Sentencing postponed in Davenport stabbing death

A sentencing hearing scheduled Thursday for convicted murderer Gary M. Fortune was postponed until Feb. 18.

February 05, 2016 4:45 am Photos

Photos

(0)