Bud Herron performing as George W. Dixon. Photo taken by Larry Simpson.
Bud Herron performing as George W. Dixon. Photo taken by Larry Simpson.

Bud Herron and Julian Smith will be performing as Hope-area Civil War veterans to help raise funds for HSJ Online at the "Once a Soldier" event, Friday Sept. 7th at WiLLow LeaVes of Hope. 

Larry Simpson, former owner/editor/publisher of the Hope Star-Journal, was a key organizer in Hope's Civil War Days. The annual event was part of Simpson's efforts to always have action on the Town Square.

After Simpson's death, HSJ Online was formed in 2015 to continue his desire for this small community to always have a local media source.

Herron will take on the role as Hope's George W. Dixon while Smith will perform as Hartsville's Barton W. Mitchell. The performers will take the audience on the soldier's life journeys -- journeys often filled with great hardships and agonizing emotions. Herron will also share a few songs from the time period.

Mitchell was a corporal in Company F, 27th Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Indiana. After being wounded in the cornfield at Antietam/Sharpsburg, he took a voluntary reduction in rank to work on ambulance detail. He was already old to be a soldier at 46 when wounded but wanted to continue to serve when he could have been mustered out for disability. He later fought at Gettysburg. Afterward, he operated a sawmill in Hartsville. He died in 1868, three short years after the war, and is buried at the Hartsville Baptist Cemetery. In the Hartville Town Square, there is a plaque by the Indiana Historical Bureau which recognizes him for finding an important lost note from Confederate General Lee.

Dixon was a private in Company I, 6th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Indiana. George was Bud's great-grandfather. Bud first heard stories about George from his grandmother, Ette Dixon Herron, when quite young. Etta was George's daughter. He had shared story after story with her, and she in turn felt it important to pass them to others. George's first battle was at Shiloh, one of several he would fight. Like Barton, he was also injured but continued to serve until earning his discharge. He would eventually move his family to Hope where he drove a delivery wagon and did some blacksmith work. George died in 1910 and is buried in the Moravian Cemetery.

Herron will end the evening with the following words:

“War is not glory. It is not war we should honor, but we certainly should honor the men and women who give their all. ...”