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Oshkosh residents remember the city's involvement in Civil War

Posted at 7:13 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 20:45:13-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — The Civil War may have ended more than 150 years ago, but some in Oshkosh are still working tirelessly to preserve its history and commemorate the city's role in it.

Ginny Gross is an Air Force veteran and works in visitor service at the Oshkosh Public Museum. She's done extensive research into the Civil War and the "wonderful stories" of figures from Oshkosh who played a role in it.

"[Oshkosh] was involved in [the war]," she said, "they sent off two units of Oshkosh men, who were trained here in Oshkosh…at camp Bragg, I think it was called.”

Gross used to give tours of Oshkosh's Riverside Cemetery that would include stops at the graves of 16 important figures, from Colonels and Brigadier Generals to freed slaves and nurses, who played a role in the conflict. She's since given up leading the tours but wrote a book designed to teach people about those figures...and take them on a self-guided tour of their graves.

Gross says her favorite figure, was a Private named Gilbert Sherwood.

"[Sherwood] enlisted in the army after he was 60 years old..." she explained, "...[he] went off because his three sons were already dead at this time and he wanted to serve his country."

Much like Gross, Duane Canon is also an Air Force veteran and serves as president of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 437. He says a distant relative of his fought for the Union in the war.

“I had one guy, great uncle, or great-great uncle John Rowe, and he served with General Sherman," Canon said.

Canon says he's grateful to his relative for serving and wishes he could've got to know him and those he served with.

"A lot of veterans they served and they don’t say anything," he said, "they just put it in the past, but I'd love to hear their stories."

As for Gross, she encourages everybone to keep in mind those who fought and even died for their country this Memorial Day.

“Anyone who serves has done their country a good deed and needs to be remembered," she said.

Those wishing to honor the fallen on Memorial Day can attend the Oshkosh Memorial Procession begins at the corner of Jackson St. and Algoma Blvd. at 9:00 am Monday.