By ESTHER MCCOY
NEW RUMLEY – For numerous years, the Custer Memorial Association has been celebrating the birthday of the famed general that many past students have studied about in history books. This year the group celebrated the 178th year since General George Armstrong Custer was born on Dec. 5 in a small log house on the main road in New Rumley. The tracing of the home’s foundation is still outlined on the bricked pavilion that houses the kiosk of Custer’s endeavors.
The New Rumley Methodist Church Fellowship Hall was the location of the dinner hosted by the Ladies Missionary group, where the welcome and invocation was given by David Rose, CMA president, with Roger Logsdon singing the National Anthem. Rose, who retired from the Harrison County Veterans Association recently, is known for walking in to the dining hall and getting the attention above the noise of the crowd by shouting “At ease.” And then with a smile on his face he will say, “For the sake of you civilians, that means “be quiet.” He explained the new look of General George Custer by saying that Rick Williams who has been doing the reenacting since 1999 was sick and that Rick Blevins, who has attended three other Custer events stepped in for the evening. Bevins has been the persona of four different military figures over the years, he told. And he did a great job of re-enacting the golden haired general.
Rose presented certificates to the golden sponsors who were present: George Scott, Dining Fork Ruritan president; Don Bethel, Cadiz Insurance Agency; Jim Thompson, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3072; and Steve Ward, Ward and Associates Appraisals in New Philadelphia;. Other award recipients not present were Dale Norris, Harrison County Commissioners; John Clark, Clark Kirkland Funeral Home; Scott Pendleton, Cadiz Animal Clinic; and American Legion Post 482, Scio. Other sponsors were NAPA Stores in Scio and Cadiz; Carrollton Ponderosa; Custer Pharmacy of Cadiz; Bakers IGA and Fuel in Scio; Gingerbread-N-Bows in Scio; Hugo’s Restaurant in Scio; Dollar General in Scio; Pennington’s Restaurant in Jewett; Orme Hardware in Cadiz; Lou’s Famous Fish in Hopedale; and Wendy’s in Cadiz for door and raffle prizes.
After the cutting the birthday cake, and drawings for door and raffle prizes, the group moved to the church sanctuary where Carrollton High School graduate, Dr. Mandal Hass, who has had a strong interest in Civil War history since high school and has been doing living history demonstrations and Civil War re-enacting for over 15 years spoke on Custer and his service at Gettysburg.
“Some of the fighting in this war was so loud it sounded like thunder with the horses from both sides running at full fever pitch and coming on hard against each other. Some of the approaching was so violent horses were turned end over end and the riders crushed beneath them,” he said. The fighting from July 1-3, 1863 was the largest engagement of the Civil War. There were 93,921 Union men versus 71.,699 Confederates, it was noted.
An auction of books on General Custer, two pictures by Jeanne Wilson, Ohio State University door decorations, and other paraphernalia were auctioned by Leroy VanHorne, who had this very job in years past before he left for Florida for health reasons. He is back in his birthplace of New Rumley now.