Jim’s home town of Clinton, Iowa has a very nice display of war memorials for the most recent wars: Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam.Â The Civil War era memorial is for William B. Mayes who enlisted in DeWitt, Iowa and was born in Ohio.Â He was a Medal of Honor Recipient and was in Company K, 11th Iowa Infantry.Â He was at the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia.Â His memorial stone is also in this group of photos.
There is a common misconception that the Medal of Honor is called the “Congressional” Medal of Honor, when in fact that word is not part of the name. While Congress did approve the medal to be bestowed on those who earned it, it is the branch of the service the member belongs to that carries out the bestowal.
I probably would not know any of those details (which is why I am writing this, in case you don’t either) but my husband’s Great Great Grandfather, John Whitmore was a Medal of Honor recipient during his service in the Civil War.
So proudly the Army displays its flag with over 170 battle steamers at the Pentagon,White House, West Point Military Academy, museums and Army posts throughout the world. The Pine Ridge battle streamer has the highest number of Congressional Medals of Honor (20) of all the steamers including Normandy, Battle of the Budge, and Iwo Jima. According to the Army, the Secretary of Defense authorizes which battle streamers will hang from the flag. The Secretary could have the streamer removed if it was not connected to the 20 Congressional Medals of Honor. For this reason, the permanent removal of this offending streamer would take congressional and presidential action.
Just when you think you understand history, it comes up and bites you, doesn’t it? For years, I have been trying to set the record straight about the actual name of the Medal of Honor as a form of respect for all of those who actually earned it honorably.
If you think it would be right to do so, please think about signing the petition to rescind the medals. Over 2000 have signed to date.
Sorry, the link I provided was spam and so I have removed it. Thanks for alerting me to that Roy. I should have checked it more thoroughly.
When we were little kids in grade school each year we would dutifully make profile pictures of Abe Lincoln and proudly take them home to Mom and Dad. It never occurred to me that many years later I would be researching my husband’s family tree and find that there was a “kissin’ cousin” connection to the great man.
I should say, my husband is not directly related to Lincoln, but one of his DeSpain cousins was married into the Hanks family. Here’s how the connection happened:
Descendants of Andrew Jackson Hanks (brother to Nancy Hanks, Lincoln’s mother)
1Â Â Â Â  HANKS, Andrew JacksonÂ Source1: 1870 United States Federal Census, Source2: 1880 United States Federal Census, Source3: 1860 United States Federal Census, Source4: 1850 United States Federal CensusÂ Â Â b: 1815 in Grayson, KY
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +PORTER, MelindaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â m: 17 Mar 1837 in IllinoisÂ Â Â Â d: 29 Apr 1856 in Pleasant Grove, Des Moines, IA
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, MatildaÂ Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â d: Aft. 1932 in Clovis, Fresno, CA
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +CARTER, John
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, Caroline
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +HAWKS, William
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, ElizabethÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â d: 1927
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +MCNEIL, Jerimiah (Jim)Â Â Â Â b: 1838Â Â Â m: Abt. 1866Â Â Â Â d: 1919 in New London, Des Moines County, IA
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, Mary Ann
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +SHEPHERD, A.C.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â d: Abt. 1864 in Civil War
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, Melinda
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +EVANS, Milton
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, Celia
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +MATTHEWS, G. W.
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, CharlesÂ Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”Â Â Â b: 1841Â Â Â Â Â Â d: 1937
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +CARPENTER, Eliza JaneÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â d: 1914
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, NancyÂ Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”Â Â Â b: 05 Jul 1848 in Pleasant Grove, Des Moines, IAÂ Â Â Â Â Â d: 04 Jul 1932 in New London, Des Moines, IAÂ src: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +DESPAIN, NewtonÂ Source: 1880 United States Federal CensusÂ Â Â b: 18 Feb 1851 in Louisville, Jefferson, KYÂ Â Â m: 29 Apr 1869 in New London, Des Moines, IAÂ Â Â Â d: 08 Mar 1915 in New London, Des Moines, IA
2Â Â Â Â HANKS, William HenryÂ Source: “Obit for Nancy Hanks DESPAIN”Â Â Â b: 1854 in New London, Des Moines, IAÂ Â Â Â Â Â d: 1933 in New London, Des Moines, IA
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +MCCUNE, HarrietÂ Â Â Â b: 1855Â Â Â Â Â Â d: 1946
*2nd Wife of  HANKS, Andrew Jackson:
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +ROWE, SophiaÂ Â Â Â b: in New JerseyÂ Â Â m: Aft. 1838Â Â Â Â d: 27 Aug 1879 in Pleasant Grove, Des Moines, IA
*3rd Wife of  HANKS, Andrew Jackson:
.Â Â Â Â Â Â +MORAND, Milcah GardinerÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â m: 07 Jan 1881
My husband’s connection to Lincoln and the DeSpains:
(1) John DeSpain and Mariah Perkins were parents of
(2) *Mary Elizabeth DeSpain who married **John W. Whittmore 05 Nov 1865
(2) Newton DeSpain who married Nancy Hanks 29 April 1869
*there were other siblings
** John W. Whittmore was a Medal of Honor Recipient in the Civil War
Mary Elizabeth and John Whitmore’s daughter
(3) Mariah M. Whitmore married William Henry Wilkerson 11 March 1896 at Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa
Mariah and William Wilkerson were parents of
(4) Wesley L. Wilkerson who married Amanda Bean 17 November 1923 at Nashua, Iowa
Wesley and Amanda were parents of
Loren Wilkerson, father of my husband Jim
The Home Friend 1909
In the late 1980’s my husband and I owned an old house here in Port Orchard, Washington. It was in dire need of repair, and at one time we were in the process of tearing down a wall separating two rooms on the first floor. As we got one side of the wall boards off my husband noticed a rolled up paper inside which revealed itself to be an old ‘magazine’ called The Home Friend. I have toted that old magazine around for all these years, and just before Christmas I took it to a copier and had the pages scanned, printed and put on disk.Â It is now 100 years later and I thought it would be fun to share some of the articles and advertisements contained in that homemade time capsule.Â Be looking for them in future posts here on iPentimento. In the mean time, I leave you with one of the articles as a small tribute to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.