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 Levi Banister

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Levi Banister

  • Birth 18 Mar 1843 Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 30 May 1931 Adair County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Bridgewater, Adair County, Iowa, USA
  • Memorial ID 22855004

Obit:
Levi Bannister, Civil War Veteran Dies Last Saturday
Last Saturday evening at 6:30 o'clock, just as the shadows were beginning to fall on another Memorial Day, Levi Bannister, the last of this community's Civil War veterans passed away at the home of his son, William, in Bridgewater. He had been in poor health for several weeks, suffering from a complication of ailments and his death was not entirely unexpected.
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Methodist church and were conducted by Rev. T.M. Walton, pastor of the Church of Christ. A male quartette composed of Guy J. Pote, Paul Pote, Roy Warrior and Rev. C.L. Thomas sang "Nearer My God to Thee", "Tenting Tonight ", and "Beautiful Land". Mrs. Ella Edwards played the accompaniments.
The pallbearers were: Frank E. Raasch, L.O. Raasch, Robert Whitaker, Elmer Raasch, Rex Sullivan and Paul Raasch. Interment took place in the Witt cemetery.
Levi Bannister was born March 18, 1843, at Springfield, Illinois, and departed this life May 30, 1931, at the home of his son, William Bannister, at Bridgewater, Iowa. He was aged 88 years, 2 months, and 12 days.
When he was four years of age the family moved to Indiana. Nine years later they again changed locations and came to Iowa, settling in Monroe county, where he resided until 1861 when he answered the call of his country and enlisted in the 36th Iowa Infantry and served four years with the Union army. During Mr. Bannister's term of service he participated in seven important battles, chief of which were the battles of Fort Sumter, Little Rock, Helena and Praire de Han. It was during the latter engagement that he was taken prisoner by the Confederate forces and for eleven months was confined at Fort Tyler, Texas. Three of his brothers also served with the Union army, one of whom was killed in action.
Mr. Bannister was captured while serving under General Steele and at the time of his imprisonment weighed 208 pounds. At the time of his exchange, eleven months later, he weighed 140 pounds. The prison covered an area of eleven acres and at the time contained as many as 4200 men at once. Fortunately a large natural spring flowed in the center of the prison area, which undoubtedly kept the prison from becoming such an undesirable place as the Andersonville and Libby prisons were. Mr. Bannister used to tell of an effort made by the prisoners to escape. They secretly digged a tunnel through the ground under the stockade, and a long file of men were in the act of escaping by crawling on their hands and knees through this tunnel. As soon as the first man got out he involuntarily gave a whoop of delight which attracted the guards. This was the only man to escape and all the others had to crawl backwards into the prison again. Mr. Bannister lost his speech for a couple of months as a result of prison life. Through all the four years of war he was never wounded.
In 1860, just eleven months previous to his enlistment, he was united in marriage to Minerva Jane Brawdy. Their marriage was solemnized at Staceyville, Iowa. Eight children were born to this union. They are: Mrs. Jane Singleton, of Chariton, Iowa; John, dedeased; William, of Bridgewater; Mrs. Amanda Webb, of Lucas, Iowa; Mrs. Elizabeth Pauley, whose address is unknown; Mrs. Ida Brown, of Bridgewater; James of Lacona, Iowa; Mrs. Rhoda Van Norden, deceased; and one child who died in infancy. The wife and mother passed to her reward in 1918. Besides his children, Mr. Bannister is survived by 33 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
At the close of the war Mr. Bannister returned to Monroe County, but in 1866 the family moved to Kansas. They resided there only a year, however, and returned to Iowa and for a time lived in Red Oak. In the spring of 1872 they came to Adair County and for the next 29 years lived in Washington Township. In 1901 he again became a resident of Monroe county, but in 1920 he returned to Adair county and spent his remaining years here with his son William, and his grandson, Harold Bannister.
When a young man he was baptized and united with the Methodist church.
In his passing his community not only loses its last surviving veteran of the Civil War but one of its earliest pioneers, and a citizen who thru strict honesty and kindly nature had justly earned the love and respect of his fellow man.



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  • Created by: karen christy meeker
  • Added: 12 Nov 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22855004
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Levi Banister (18 Mar 1843–30 May 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22855004, citing Witt Cemetery, Bridgewater, Adair County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by karen christy meeker (contributor 46936087) .