Major Ira Hobart Evans
Major Ira Hobart Evans (Civil War)
Ira Hobart Evans was born in Piermont, New Hampshire on April 11, 1844. Following the death of his father in 1852, his mother moved the family to her hometown of Berlin, Vermont, where the young Evans attended school and later graduated from the Barre Academy. With the Civil War and a call to arms sounding across the country, Evans enlisted as a private in Company B, 10th Vermont Volunteer Infantry on July 1862. He would later be promoted to Captain and eventually Brevet Major.
Major Evans received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company B, 116th U.S. Colored Troops, at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia. According to the citation, on April 6, 1865 “Evans voluntarily passed between the lines under heavy fire from the enemy and obtained important information.” Following the assassination of President Lincoln, Evans was selected to march in the Honor Guard for the fallen Commander in Chief.
At the conclusion of the Civil War, Evans was transferred to Texas as part of the Federal Forces to help oversee Reconstruction and served as the Provost Marshall of Brownsville. In 1867, he was discharged from active duty in New Orleans. Liking Texas, he returned to the area and soon entered politics. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and became the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives at the age of 25. In addition to being a legislator he was a businessman, religious leader and a philanthropist.
Evans was an early member of the Vermont Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) with a National Number of 2751. His Vermont State Number is 51. His Patriot ancestor is James Hobart who served as a private in the New Hampshire Troops in 1777. He signed his application on November 5, 1890 while living in Austin, TX. On December 8, 1896 he founded the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and transferred his membership to that new society. He held Texas Society membership number 1, and served as the group’s first President. It is believed that Compatriot Evans is the only known Medal of Honor recipient to serve as a Society President.
Ira Hobart Evans died in San Diego, CA, on April 19, 1922 of a heart ailment. His body was returned to Berlin, VT, to be buried with members of his family in the Berlin Corner Cemetery.