The Soldiers and Sailors Monument,
Not too long ago while visiting the
Soldiers and Sailors Monument downtown I overheard a docent telling
someone that the last Civil War veteran from Cuyahoga County died in
1943. His name was Peter Diemer.
I also learned that the last
Cavalry soldier to pass away in Cuyahoga County was Curtis Phillips.
Mr. Phillips died in 1942 and was buried in Butternut Ridge Cemetery
in North Olmsted. Being from that part of town I decided to visit
Mr. Phillips. My visit to Mr. Phillips's gravesite made me wonder
just who, exactly, these last two Cuyahoga County Civil War veterans
were, where they lived, what their war time experiences were, what
they did following the war and where they died. I decided to see
what I could find out.
I began my detective work with a
return visit to the Soldiers & Sailors Monument. The guys there were
more than helpful and we found the service records of both
gentlemen. I also went to The Western Reserve Historical Society and
was able to go online and get a much more detailed account of their
lives and Civil War service. Here's what I learned:
According to the Plain Dealer
and sources at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument the last living Grand
Army veteran from Cuyahoga County was Peter Diemer. Mr. Diemer was
born in Cleveland in 1844, when the city had a population of 9,000.
His father had come here from France six years before. Peter went to
work for the E.I. Baldwin Company, an early dry goods firm in
In September 1864 he was drafted
into the 150th Ohio Infantry for 100 days and went directly to
Washington D.C. There, he did guard duty at Forts Lincoln and Totten,
both of which were part of the vast network of defense forts
surrounding Washington. He served in and around Washington D.C. for
the duration for the war and was mustered out in July of 1865.
Upon returning to Cleveland Mr.
Diemer took up his old position with Baldwin & Company. He
lived at 1910 E. 89 Street between Euclid and Chester Avenues (the
house has long since vanished as the property now belongs to the
Cleveland Clinic) and, after the death of his wife in 1917, went to
live with his daughter in Montreal, Canada. He passed away in
February 1943 and is buried there. Mr. Diemer's name however is
listed proudly at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument along with other
members of the 150th Ohio.
According to the Plain Dealer
and sources at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument the last Cavalry
officer and second to last member of The Grand Army Memorial Post
141 in Cuyahoga County was Mr. Curtis Phillips. Mr. Phillips was
born in July 1844 in Salem, Ohio. He enlisted from Columbiana County
and, therefore, is not listed in the Monument downtown.
He entered the 12th Regiment of
Ohio Volunteer Cavalry when the was 18 and served for the duration.
The 12th Regiment operated in the West Virginia and North Carolina
mountains throughout the war. Interestingly enough, the 12th was
part of Stonemanís Cavalry's raid through North Carolina in April
1865 and almost captured Jefferson Davis and the remaining members
of the Confederate Government. They finished the War in Nashville,
Tennessee from where they were mustered out in November 1865.
Mr. Phillips returned to Salem and
was associated with his father in the tanning business. He
moved to Cleveland in the 1890s and became a druggist. He lived at
2901 Jay Avenue and his store was located at 1887 Fulton Road in
Ohio City. He retired in 1930 and at that time was living at 1666
Winton Avenue until moving to 1371 Clarence Avenue in Lakewood. He
passed away in December 1942. Services were conducted at Daniels
Funeral Home in Lakewood by members of Lookout Camp of The Sons of
Union Veterans. He was buried at The Butternut Ridge Cemetery in
North Olmsted, Ohio.