Holy Cross Brother and Priest Civil War Veterans
In 1910, there were eight Brothers living in the Community House (now Columba Hall) who were veterans of the War Between the States. Each had seen his share, and more, of combat: one had fought on both sides of the war and had been held as a prisoner of war; one heard at the onset of a battle, a voice that declared, “You will die today;” another was to become well known as a contributor to the science of apiary studies; another would become the lab assistant to Father John Zahm, CSC in the new (1906) Science Hall. Three others were so self-effacing that little is known about their forty-plus years as Holy Cross Brothers.
Included in the photo of these very proud and stately men are those seated in the first row: Brother Leander (James) McLain, Father William Olmstead (a diocesan priest), Father William Corby, Father Peter Cooney and Brother John Chrysostom (Mark) Will. Standing in the second row are Brother Benedict (Conrad) Mantele, Brother Ignatius (Ignatz) Mayer, General William Hayes, Brother Raphael (James) Maloy, Brother Cosmos (Nicholas) Bath and Brother Eustachius (John) McInerny. An eighth veteran is Brother Agatho (William) Parle, who was living at the time but is not pictured.
Each Brother-warrior brought to Holy Cross gifts, not because of his Civil War service, but in spite of it. For a few, the gifts given by these men to Father Sorin were quite grand; for others quite pedestrian. Regardless, for each of these grand old gentlemen, his photo radiates with a determination in the eyes that provided him with the ability to be a loyal, victorious citizen of this world, and eventually a very worthy citizen of Heaven. Ave Crux Spes Unica!