The Civil War community here in Western NC has been saddened by the passing of Dr. Richard Iobst, a long-time member of the Western North Carolina Civil War Round Table. Although best known for his history of the Sixth North Carolina, The Bloody Sixth, he was also an authority on Will Thomas, the commander of the Thomas Legion.
WNCCWRT president Carrie Kirkman wrote a fine obituary, which appeared in the newsletter and which I post here with her permission.
What a pleasure it was to know Dick Iobst, a charter member of the Round Table and our first treasurer, Dick was a willing worker and a supportive member of our new organization. And through the years he continued to bring his vast knowledge of the civil war period to our meetings, tours and symposia. He was, as his son Carl noted in his excellent eulogy, a man who loved history. He brought his encyclopedic knowledge to our meetings where he challenged our speakers. And to the many tours he attended and led, he brought a constant stream of facts that thoroughly engaged fellow participants. There is no one who knew more about William Holland Thomas and it was fascinating to hear him relate stories of this local hero. From his regimental history of the 6th NC “The Bloody Sixth” to his final definitive tome on “Civil War Macon” he was a master of facts both great and small. Yet while challenging speakers and Round Table members alike, I never heard him be anything but a gentleman. He was an old school professor. Never rebuking or condescending, he was more apt to say ‘here is what I know about this…let’s talk.” He knew what a fan of General Longstreet I was and he loved to tell how once upon a time he had escorted the general’s widow on a tour. Imagine that! We knew someone who knew a Civil War General’s wife…personally!! Another link to the past is lost. I’m so glad Dick Iobst was in our lives. We will miss him. It was a pleasure to know him.
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