A carved gavel, with historical significance dating back to Boone County’s founding, was presented recently to the Boone County Historical Society by Bev Schuele of Cedar Rapids.
The gavel is carved with the initials “G.A.R.” meaning Grand Army of the Republic. It was initially presented to the Kit Carson Post 42 of Boone County by John Peters, an early pioneer in Boone County and a Civil War veteran.
Also etched into the gavel are the words, “Kit Carson Post No. 42, Nebr.” and “Presented by Jno. Peters.” At the bottom of the gavel is the date, “April 6, 09,” and the location, “Lookout MT.”
The bottom inscription meant that Peters had carved the gavel on April 06, 1909 when he visited Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN.
One of the most important battles of the Civil War was fought at Lookout Mountain on Nov. 24, 1863, when Union forces drove the Confederate Army deeper into the south. John Peters had fought in that battle and many others during the Civil War.
Mrs. Schuele surmised that Peters had gone back to Lookout Mountain to “make his peace” at the once-bloody battleground in April of 1909. He would have been 65 years old at the time of his visit, and he died three years later on June 15, 1912.
Peters had enlisted in the Union Army at Alton, IL, as a private in Company D, Tenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until July 4, 1865, when he was discharged at Louisville, KY. He was in the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Cumberland, taking part in nearly all the battles in which those commands participated.
Read the full story in the Dec. 4 Albion News print and e editions.