Fascinating historical tidbits from yesteryear, including Civil War veteran imposters — in 1867!

Stolen Valor
I’ve watched a few videos on YouTube of people exposing gentlemen who parade around in military uniforms pretending to be active soldiers or veterans, but who are clearly posers. Yet, I never thought about the history of this quest for fake valor and glory.

Despite the fact that scoundrels have been trying to take advantage ever since the dawn of man, it surprised me to read about men parading about among Civil War veterans with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) back in 1867 in Moline, Illinois.

1867 — 150 years ago: Several men were seen in the GAR parade today wearing badges that were never in United States service. They were bogus soldiers.

Horse & Buggy
I have a few ancestors who had accidents of their own with horse and buggy, including some fatal ones.

1892 — 125 years ago: Considerable damage was caused by two vehicles when the horse and buggy driven by Mrs. Catherine Farrell collided with another buggy.

Agent Holmes
1917 — 100 years ago: Agent Holmes of the Milwaukee Railroad recovered his valuable Irish setter after the dog strayed and was absent several days.

Reading about Agent Holmes made me think of Sherlock. I’ve been a fan of him and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle since being introduced to the stories when I was kid. Then came Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke on television. Brett was the prefect Sherlock Holmes and Hardwicke was terrific as Dr. Watson. Until Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, I did not think anyone could or would match these two.

The Army Air Corps
Before the Air Force, there was the Army Air Corps. A day or so ago, I looked up my favorite Frank Sinatra flick, Von Ryan’s Express. It’s a World War II movie and a classic. Sinatra plays a character who is a pilot with the Air Corps. His plane crashes in Italy and he is captured, becoming a prisoner of war.

1942 — 75 years ago: Lt. A.S. Speed Chandler visited Rock Island to help recruit men for the Army Air Corps.

1967 — 50 years ago: The safest year on record was achieved in 1966 at the International Harvester Co’s Farmall Works in Rock Island, and as result the Farmall Works has been awarded a large trophy as the safest plant in the IHC farm division.

Farmall was a model of farm tractor. The only reason I included this last historical note is because my grandfather, Grandpa Hill, owned and used a few of these Farmall tractors. There is a bright red model H at the Whole Foods nearby.


These historical throwbacks are from the February 3, 2017 edition of the Dispatch Argus, published in Moline, Illinois.


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