SALT LAKE CITY — The memory of Utah's only known Civil War battle casualty will now be remembered on Capitol Hill, thanks to a ninth-grade descendant from Alpine.
More than a year ago, 14-year-old Jackson Barlow was looking for an Eagle Scout project idea when he stumbled upon a Deseret News article detailing the life of his fourth great-grandfather and namesake, Henry Wells Jackson. Jackson’s adventurous life story inspired Barlow to find a way to recognize him for his military service.
Barlow's arduous efforts will be completed on Wednesday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day — when a bronze plaque honoring Jackson is mounted on the Daughters of Utah Pioneers’ Civil War monument, located on the southwest corner of the Utah State Capitol grounds.
Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who serves as church historian and recorder, will dedicate the plaque. The public is invited to attend a ceremony at the Pioneer Memorial Museum that day at 4 p.m.
“It meant a great deal to be able to honor Henry Wells Jackson in this unique way because he set such a great example of courage and sacrifice for our family and to our country,” Barlow said. “Having a special family connection made me want to work harder and allowed me to be patient during this project because I knew it would be a rewarding and lasting project.”
Jackson, a Latter-day Saint, served as a lieutenant in the First Regiment, District of Columbia, Volunteer Cavalry. Jackson was shot May 8, 1864, during the Battle of White Bridge near Jarrett’s Station, Virginia, and later died from his injuries on May 27, 1864. He is buried in the Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia.
In addition to fighting in the Civil War, Jackson also served in the Mormon Battalion, panned for gold at Mormon Island in California, helped settlements in Tooele Valley and San Bernardino, and carried mail on the Overland Mail Route, a precursor to the Pony Express. He was married to Eliza Ann Dibble by Brigham Young in 1850.
The text on the plaque was taken from research by Devan Jensen and Paul A. Hoffman, both of whom are also descendants of Jackson. The Daughters of Utah Pioneers was also instrumental in bringing the project to fruition, Barlow said.
Barlow said the biggest challenge was patiently waiting while the project was approved by the state of Utah. But in the process, he learned several valuable lessons.
“This project was rewarding and meaningful to me,” Barlow said. “It taught me that things that take a lot of work and effort are worth it in the end. I learned to not give up and to keep going even when it seemed like it would not happen. Most importantly, I learned about my fourth great-grandfather’s history and his sacrifice for our family and our country.”
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