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Black Hawk County: Waterloo
GPS Coordinates: 42.490883 by -92.357250
Last Soldier Henry A. Bray
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Private Henry Bray (1844 - 1943) was the last living soldier of Black Hawk County. He served in Company F, 76th Illinois Infantry Regiment, enlisting in August, 1862. The Regiment had operations along the Mississippi in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Later they were part of the Siege of Vicksburg from Mid-May to July 4, 1863. They continued to be active in this region including the battle at Fort Blakely, Alabama in March, 1865. The Regiment participated in the charge at Ft. Blakely and the colors of the 76th were the first planted on the enemy's works. After the War, Private Bray lived in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. He moved to Waterloo in 1935 and lived with a daughter. He was a member of the Robert Anderson GAR Post No. 68 and enjoyed participating in the Memorial Day parades.
On April 27, 2019 there was a ceremony at Elmwood Cemetery in Waterloo to recognize and place a marker honoring Private Bray as the Last Soldier of Black Hawk County. The Cedar Valley Civil War Round Table and SUVCW organized the dedication which included relatives in attendance. Also participating were members of the Waterloo JROTC and American Legion. Thanks to Jo Porter and niece Mary Yetter for providing historical information. The grave site is in the south central part of the Cemetery.