Tuesday, February 21, 2012


1833 Tippecanoe Co., IN 
1916 Loveland, Larimer, Colorado

2 May 1863 – New Carthage, Louisiana – Pvt. Aaron Trindle rustles impatiently on the cot crammed into the hospital tent.  He is worried about the battles facing his friends in Company A of the 23rd IA Regiment on the fields near Vicksburg.  Although his once hale 5' 10 3/4 inch frame is somewhat decimated by a bout of dysentery, he has recovered and managed to avoid the measles and smallpox that have invaded the troops, killing four from his company alone.(1)  

Rather, it is a senseless wound that  kept him from joining his company as they marched out on April 27,  “. . .  I was not very badly wounded but it come very near being a bad one my privates were touched but I do not think injured and the ball went through the thick part of my right thigh it was done by one of my own company looking at a revolver we was in a board shanty and I was faceing him and cautioned him to be careful and turned over on my hands and knees and was talking to nat thornton and while I was in that position it went off but it was purely accidental for he was badly scared and hated it very bad . . . ”(2

Aaron’s thoughts turn to home, the farm in Dallas County, Iowa,  “. . . you wanted to know that our land is rented and all sewed in wheat, our debts are paid . . . ” (3 He then visualizes the bulging household of his father-in-law, Aaron Smith, in Tippecanoe County,  Indiana, where Eliza reported “copperheads (southern sympathizers)  are getting very bold” (4  These were the least of his worries.

His worries focus on his loved ones, on Wesley his small son laid in the grave in Iowa the fall before, “I could almost see the dear little ones agonys but thank god he has gone where there is no more suffering but oh my Dear wife it is heard for me to give him up      of to think I could be there to kiss his dying brow . . .  you must excuse my bad writing for my feelings was so stirred and the tears blinded me so I could not write” (5

He tries to picture his third child, just weeks old.  The child that he is destined never to meet (6   “. . . ma you insist that I must name it I would rather you would name it yourself but if you cant think of a name that suits you better call it Ellen . . . ” (7

Thoughts turn from the new baby to Ally, now four  . . . ”Tell Allie that I still think of her and ma  tell her that she must be a pretty girl and mind what ma says and pa will love her better.” (8 His thoughts settle finally on his beloved Jane wrenched from her home in Iowa, suffering through birth, death and sickness without him at her side for support . . .  he has urged her not to “despair the restoration of the union and the termination of the war soon . . . I still look forward to the day not very far distant when this rebellion will live only in history.”  (9)  He has assured her of his love “Believe me my love for you and the children will last while life shall last.” Aaron longs to hold her in his arms and give her true comfort.

Aaron survived the war, and Eliza continued to cherish and save his letters the entire time he was away.  At the time of his discharge as a corporal on 5 June 1864 in Harrisburg Texas the 23rd IA infantry once 961 strong had dwindled to less than one hundred. (10) Three hundred and seventy men were lost at the Battle of Black River Bridge and fifty more in the battle with the rebels on Richmond road where for the first time colored troops took a prominent part. (11“On 14 Jul 1863 Aaron tells Eliza “. . . our regiment is nearly played out both officers and men --we started from vicksburg with about 80 men and part of them was not able to march – and there is now about 65 effective men in the regiment . . . ” (12) 

August 1912 – Loveland Colorado  – Aaron Trindle rustles impatiently in his bed, confined by a what he calls a breakdown, most likely a stroke.  Nearly 80 now his life has been filled with joys and sorrows both.  Nearly deaf, blind in one eye and fraught with rheumatism and lung disease, he has been collecting a military pension, now $20 a month,  for over twenty years.  In granting the pension it was noted that he had “no vicious habits.” (13) 

Visions of his life occupy him as he struggles to recover from this newest trial: the sorrow of losing four of his children cushioned by thoughts of the grandchildren scattered throughout Colorado and California; the hardship of keeping the farm in Iowa mitigated by the prosperity of the farm in Colorado and the eventual retirement in the town of Loveland; Jane the love of his life still after fifty four years of marriage. (14)     However, Aaron is worried about Jane and his son Howard, who was unable to care for himself.  He had put off his will for too long, now is the time to make sure that Howard will be cared for when he and eventually Eliza Jane are gone.

Aaron died April 1, 1916. (15)   In his will, Aaron did make special provisions for Howard with the same love that he had felt for him throughout his life. (16)  Aaron is buried in Lakeside Cemetery,  Loveland, Colorado (17) and Eliza Jane who died in Long Beach California 19th Feb 1923 is buried at his side. (18) 

(1)  National Archives, Civil War Pension Files, Washington DC # WC-810-095 - Aaron Trindle filed 1891
(2) Trindle, Aaron, Civil War Letters 1862-1865 to His Wife Eliza Jane Trindle. Original Letters in possession of Bruce Trindle, Nebraska, great-grandson of Aaron. Page 22, Letter dated 12 May 1863
(3) Ibid 2 Mar 1863
(4) Ibid 4 Apr 1863
(5) Ibid 10 Oct 1862
(6) Ellen is not buried with Wesley and Ida in the family plot in Iowa.  Most likely she was buried with the Smith family in Indiana.
(7) Civil War Letters 24 Apr 1863
(8) Ibid 18 Apr 1863
(9) Ibid 7 Feb 1863
(10)  Oliver, Philip (developer), The Civil War CD-ROM, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Guild press of Indiana, Inc 1997) Dyer's Compendium Part 3 Regimental Histories - Iowa Regiments
(11) Peterson, William J, The Story of Iowa v 1-2, Lewis Historical Publishing, NY 1952 p474.
(12) Civil War Letters 14 Jul 1863
(13) Civil War Pension File 
(14) Tippecanoe County IN - MR7 page 537 license issued 20 Feb 1858 at Lafayette, Tippecanoe, IN. The marriage was performed by G.H. Rondebush JP.
(15) Death Certificate -  Loveland, Larimer County, Colorado #153 filed 4-2-1916
(16) Will #1941,  Loveland, Larimer County,  Colorado, filed 16 April 1916 Trindle/Simpson Lawyers/ witness William H Trindle
(17) Reading provided by Lakeside Cemetery - Aaron Trindle 2 27 2 1833-1916 Corp Co A IA inf
(18) Reading provided by Lakeside Cemetery  – 3 27 2 Eliza Jane Trindle 1841-1923
See Documents page for links to Aaron's documents. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


1867 Dallas Co, IA
1930 Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA

Walter, the fifth of eleven children of Aaron Trindle and Eliza Jane Smith, was born in Dallas Co. IA in 1867.  He was only the second child and the first son to live past the age of two.  The family moved to Colorado shortly after the marriage of his older sister in 1877 and there on 18 Dec 1889 in Loveland he married Annie Dora Naylor.
"Mr. Walter H. Trindle and Miss Dora A. Naylor were married on Wednesday, December 18, at the residence of the brides parents, north of this town. Rev. Mr. Griffith officiating. Only the families of the contracting parties were present.  Mr. Trimble is one of our brightest of young men who has a host of friends and the bride is a charming young lady who is much admired in society circles.  We wish them a prosperous journey through life and that their pathway may be strewn with roses." FORT COLLINS WEEKLY COURIER

Walter was employed by the Great Western sugar Corporation  in Loveland .  Over the next 17 years five children extended the family. In 1910 he was transferred to Long Beach, California, where in 1918 they bought a house at 2260 Elm Street.

Beulah Garrison recalls "  I was 11 when he died and I don't remember him very well.  He was a big man and very quiet.  He had 5 Chihuahua dogs and a big brown leather chair.  When he came in and sat down they all flew into his lap.  They hated everyone else and just tolerated Grandma.  I knew him with a huge red mustache and he drank from a mustache cup.  (Greg's picture reminded me a lot of him)  I don't remember him playing with me at all.

He was an excellent carpenter and built the Holly Sugar Factory in Santa Ana that was in use until the middle 1990's, when it was torn down.  Whe he lived in long beach he built busses and was much sought after because he was left handed and could use tools in places difficult for a right handed man (actually he was totally ambidexterous) "

Walter died in Long Beach on 30 Dec 1930.  His death certificate attributes his death to apoplexy due to high blood pressure.  He is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood.

Annie Dora remarried but is buried next to Walter.

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