32nd Indiana Monument | Articles

I have long association with the historic 1st German, 32nd Indiana Monument formerly located at Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky, after removal in 1867 from Fort Willich, near Munfordville. This heartfelt memorial, created by regiment member Private August Bloedner to honor thirteen comrades killed in action at Rowlett’s Station, Kentucky, is the catalyst that compelled me to narrow my regional history interest to the Civil War, and German participation in the conflict. My initial intention was to write articles drawing attention to the condition of the monument, but after learning the forgotten accomplishments of these men, it has evolved into a full time project to compile their remarkable history. It wasn’t until years after I began that an opportunity arose to have something done about Bloedner’s work.
Hart County Historical Society
The Hoosier Genealogist
Kentucky Living
Hart County Historical Society By Michael A. Peake
The Hoosier Genealogist By Michael A. Peake
Kentucky Living By Michael A. Peake
By Michael A. Peake
December 2000
By Michael A. Peake
April 2001
By Michael A. Peake
Civil War News
Civil War News
American's Civil War
Civil War News December 2001 Article By Michael A. Peake
Civil War News February/March 2002 Article By Michael A. Peake
American's Civil War by Michael A. Peake
November 2011
By Michael A. Peake
In early 2000, I teamed up with John Trowbridge, then manager of the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, and together we began a campaign to convince the Veterans Administration that the Bloedner Monument existed as a National Treasure. During that period, we were able to confirm that Bloedner’s memorial was the oldest surviving Civil War monument in the Nation. Ultimately, we were successful in having a weather shield installed, initial preservation treatment began and an interpretive panel was placed on site. Part of our plan from the beginning of the effort included a recommendation that the monument be moved to a facility indoors to avoid additional weathering, that a duplicate be made to replace the original, and after preservation, Bloedner’s monument should be returned to the point of origin, Munfordville, Kentucky. Naturally that depended on Munfordville/Hart County having a suitable Civil War Interpretive Center to house such an item for the public. Munfordville has a growing endeavor to preserve their Civil War heritage, and personally, I can think of nothing more appropriate than returning the monument to where Bloedner and his comrades believed it would remain forever. In fact, Fort Willich, the small cemetery that remained within, and many of the other features shown on an 1864 map are remarkably unaffected by time.

Finally, on December 17, 2008, the 147th anniversary of the battle of Rowlett’s Station, the monument was removed from Cave Hill and sent to the University of Louisville for conservation. The Frazier International Arms Museum on Main Street in Louisville was chosen as the host agency to house this important memorial, and it now rests in the museum lobby for all to see. I am honored to use this site to chronicle the preservation of the Nation’s oldest surviving Civil War monument.