It started with a letter to Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa President, Mike Rowley, from Harold Nevenhoven at the Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery in Brooklyn, Iowa. Nevenhoven had been given a link to our website listing the War of 1812 veterans who had lived in Iowa. He noted the name Christian Sowerwine was on our list of veterans, but did not have a proper headstone. Nevenhoven had ordered the headstone from the VA and now had it in his possession and was going to install it. Would the Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa help with a proper dedication ceremony?
Mike Rowley stands guard above the grave of Christian Sowerwine
Rowley put a call out to the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War asking for assistance. It all came together on Saturday afternoon, May 27, 2017, at the Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery.
Alan Wenger, Mike Rowley and Dan Rittel act as Color Guard
Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Iowa members Rowley, Alan Wenger (also representing the Sons of the American Revolution), Danny Krock and Dan Rittel (both also representing the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) along with members of the Brooklyn American Legion Post conducted a proper dedication ceremony for Christian Sowerwine’s new headstone.
Ceremony for Christian Sowerwine
Christian Sowerwine was born July 7, 1793, in Rockingham County, Virginia. He served in the 4th regiment of the Virginia Militia. In about 1834 or 1835, Christian and his brother John moved to Indiana. Four of their children were probably born in Cross Roads, Delaware County, Indiana. Christian’s first wife, Maria Good, died January 1838, in Indiana leaving him with nine children to raise.
Christian married Catherine Semer July 4, 1839, in Henry County, Indiana. She brought along her step-son Michael and her three daughters into a household that already had nine children. Quickly three more sons were added to their brood. Catherine died in 1852 and is buried in Indiana. He and his family moved to Iowa in 1856. At Brooklyn he farmed north of Brooklyn and operated a blacksmith shop.
At the time of the Civil War the Sowerwines offered their services. John, Jacob, Isaac and George served with the Union Army along with son-in-law James Maddy. Daughter Sarah’s husband, Michael Miller, served with the Confederate Army. John Sowerwine proved disqualified because of a crippled arm. Nevertheless, he served as a guard in the San Francisco harbor during the period of hostilities. Jacob Sowerwine was killed in the Civil War May 1, 1863 in Port Gibson, MS.
Group photo of participants after the ceremony