By Natalie Zarowny
Scott County's only Civil War Medal of Honor recipient gets some long overdue recognition today.
It was 150 years ago yesterday that Private John Vale fought in a Civil War skirmish that earned him a Medal of Honor.
Volunteers and veterans gathered at Oakdale Memorial Gardens this afternoon, to give a man that could have been forgotten over time, the recognition he deserves.
"The Civil War was a very important time in the nation's history and people that fought and earned medals and died in that war are kind of what kept this country as one," says Dustin Oliver.
An immigrant from London to LeClaire as a young man, Private John Vale enlisted in the union army when war broke out. In 1863, Vale and a group of 16 men defended a union supply convoy against a 125 man cavalry of confederate soldiers, which earned him the Medal of Honor.
Stories like Vale's still resonate with members of Iowa's 49th regiment volunteer infantry.
"All of us as descendants of men who fought in that war believe very strongly that war still echoes, still resonates throughout this country and our society," says David Lamb, 49th Regiment of IA.
A war that took the lives of hundreds of thousands and a war that many veterans say is still important to remember and study, despite the century and half that's gone by.
"No event in the history of the nation has defined us as a people to a greater extent than the American Civil War," says Lamb.
Without any surviving relatives, and over a century after his death, John Vale's story came to light today; a testament to the commitment of American veterans in remembering one of their own.
"Well, it's kind of a unique event, but it's pretty special too," says Eric Swanson, QCA Patriot Guard Riders. "Cause we have to honor our veterans past and present and of course into the future."
A little conclusion to john vale's life story: he ended up serving the U.S., even after leaving the military, and settling in Davenport and working for the post office.