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Individual Record -- Cummings, Langdon Joseph


Age: 18, credited to Peacham, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT CAV
Service: enl 1/4/64, m/i 1/4/64, Pvt, Co. D, 1st VT CAV, tr to Co. C 6/21/65, m/o 8/9/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 11/16/1845, Barnet, VT
Death: 07/05/1919

Burial: Springdale Cemetery, Clinton, IA
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer:
Findagrave Memorial #: 6123398


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


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Springdale Cemetery, Clinton, IA

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.



The pioneers in any great reform must bear the brunt of the hard knocks and of the disapprobation; then, when the reform is finally accomplished they are likely to be lost sight of, and the glory rightfully theirs awarded to some opportunist who only espoused the cause of reform after it became popular. Such was the case with the Abolitionists. Slavery would never have been abolished but for their labor and agitation, yet they were alike unpopular in the North and the South and the praise for the abolition is mostly given to the Unionists of the Civil war period, who directly accomplished it, but whose work was the result of the agitation of the Abolitionists. Such is always the fate of the pioneer in reform, whose task is the hardest on earth, who is hooted and jeered when he begins his agitations, and forgotten when the reform is accomplished. Therefore it requires a brave man to be a reformer. And let us in this instance give full credit to the stanch Abolitionist father of Mr. Cummings.

Langdon J. Cummings was born in Caledonia county, Vermont, November 16, 1845, the son of Joseph and Sarah (Morse) Cummings. His paternal grandfather died in Plymouth, New Hampshire, when Joseph was twelve years old. His maternal grandfather, Josiah Morse, was a resident of Vermont and an early settler in that state, in which he was prominent in public affairs. His wife was Sarah Coffin, a relative of Senator Grimes of Iowa.

Joseph Cummings was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire, his wife being a native of Vermont. He was a contractor and builder until he was seventy, and met his death when eighty-eight by falling through a trap-door in a barn. He was an Abolitionist, and was secretary of a local abolitionist society. Of his five children, three are living. One son, William G., was a brevetted colonel in the United States army.

Langdon Cummings attended the St. Johnsbury Academy and entered the army on his eighteenth birthday, in 1863, in the First Vermont Cavalry, serving until the close of the war. In the latter portion he was under Custer and Sheridan, whose campaigns are well known. W. G. Cummings, a brother to the subject, was a lieutenant-colonel. Mr. Cummings was captured at Annandale and was five months in Libby prison. His war record is highly creditable. He had learned the carpenter's trade from his father and lived at home and worked at that until 1887. when he came to Clinton, Iowa. There he and his brother entered the coal and ice business, and later added feed to their line and have had a large and extensive trade. In 1905 his brother retired on account of a disability resulting from a head wound received during the war. In politics he is a Republican. He belongs to the Western Star Lodge of Masons, and is a member of the and Army.

Mr. Cummings was married in 1871 to Carlie Carpenter, who was born in Vermont, the daughter of A. B. and Cosbi Carpenter, who were of an old Waterford (Vermont) family. They were the parents of one child, Cosbi, who is a graduate of Clinton College and has been some time a teacher and is now principal of the Irving school. Carlie Cummings died in 1877, and her husband later married her younger sister, Mae, who has borne to him two children, Carlie Mae, a teacher in the Hawthorne school and a graduate of Clinton high school, and William, a railway mail clerk, also a graduate of the same high school.

Mr. Cummings has prospered in his business and is a man who has many friends, being very popular. He was a brave soldier and has been a straightforward, clean-cut business man, and upright, conscientious citizen.

P. B. Wolfe, History of Clinton County, Iowa, (B.F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis, IN, 1911), i:580-582.

Contributed by Jutta Scott, Peacham Historical Association.

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