In loving memory of

Alan T. Nolan
December 31, 1969 - December 31, 1969

Alan T. Nolan, 85, died on Sunday, July 27. He was born in Evansville, IN to Val and Jeannette Covert Nolan. When his father was appointed U.S. District Attorney in 1933, the family moved to Indianapolis. He graduated from Shortridge High School and from Indiana University, a Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation from Harvard Law School, he clerked for Sherman Minton at the United States Court of Appeals. In 1948 he returned to Indianapolis to practice law for 45 years with the firm that is now Ice Miller where he served as chairman of the management committee. For seven years, he was Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Indiana Supreme Court.
Mr. Nolan was also an author. In 1961, Macmillan published The Iron Brigade, a military history, which has been named by Civil War Times Illustrated as one of the ?100 best books ever written on the Civil War.? It remains in print 47 years. He also wrote Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History, UNC Press, 1991; Rally Round the Flag Boys; Rally Once Again; Giants in their Tall Black Hats: Essays on the Iron Brigade, with Sharon Vipond, and As Sounding Brass, a contemporary novel. He was a regular contributor to numerous Civil War publications, the Indiana Magazine of History, Traces and other periodicals. His last article appeared in Traces in 2008. He lectured widely on Civil War topics at various colleges, universities, round tables and the Smithsonian Institution. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Indiana University in 1993. In 1994, he was given the Nivens-Freeman award by the Chicago Civil War Roundtable. He was a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians.
His deep interest in history led to an active role at the Indiana Historical Society where he served on the board and was Chairman for twelve years during the planning and construction of the present facility. He was named a Living Legend in 2003.
Mr. Nolan had wide ranging community interests. He was a founder of the ICLU, the Civil War Round Table and a member of the Catholic Interracial Council. He held a position on the board of the NAACP in 1948 and received the National Council of Christians and Jews Brotherhood Award in 1968. He was instrumental in the successful effort to save the Meridian Street corridor from commercial encroachment in the mid-1960s. He served on the board of the Ensemble Music Society. Two governors named him a Sagamore of the Wabash. He was a member of the Indianapolis Literary Club.
Mr. Nolan?s first wife, Elizabeth C. Titsworth, died in 1967. In 1970, he married Jane Ransel DeVoe, who survives, and they adopted each others? children: Patrick A. Nolan, Mary F. Nolan, Indianapolis, Thomas C. Nolan, Los Angeles, Elizabeth T. Nolan, Columbus, IN, John V. Nolan, Seattle, John C. DeVoe, Portland, OR, Ellen R. DeVoe, Boston and Thomas R. DeVoe, Indianapolis. He is also survived by twenty grandchildren and his sister, Kathleen Lobley. His brother, Val Nolan, Jr. died in March 2008.
A calling will be held at the Indiana Historical Society on Sunday, August 10 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. An hour of calling will precede a memorial service at St. Thomas Aquinas on Monday, August 11 at 11:00 a.m. You are invited to visit where you can sign the online guestbook, leave a personal message to Mr. Nolan?s family or, in lieu of flowers, make a memorial contribution to the Indiana Historical Society, the Ensemble Music Society, P.O. Box 40188, Indianapolis, IN 46240, Civil War Preservation Trust, P.O. Box 17686, Baltimore, MD 21297 or a favorite charity. Arrangements were handled by the Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel.


Phil Harris wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My condolences to the family of Alan Nolan. My thoughts and prayers will be with you during your time of sorrow.I purchased the book "The Iron Brigade" in 1975 and I still refer to it to this day. We've lost a great historian and he will be missed by all. "

Jan and LD Foster wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Love to you and your family from all the Fosters. He was a great guy, and I remember his awe at meeting you for the first time! We will be with you at the services."

Katie Risch Cahow wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

" We won"

Nels Ackerson wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Alan Nolan was an inspiration for me from the first time I met him. His compassion and insights into matters of the heart poured from him. The occasion of that first meeting was a job interview in 1968 for a summer associate position at Ice Miller. Alan was recruiting lawyers and interviewed me at my law school. Our interview was scheduled for twenty minutes, but it extended to an hour and a half. He learned that my father had died the year before, and I"

Al Bynum wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Jane and family,I am sad to learn of Alan's passing. As you know well, he and I were fellow members of St. Thomas Aquinas Church. In recent years when his mobility was limited, I often had the privilege of serving him Holy Communion at 10:30 Sunday Mass.Alan and I also belonged to the Indianapolis Literary Club where he introduced a couple of his books. I too enjoy Civil War History and was fascinated by his thorough research and powerful writing style. His wry humor was also well known.Visiting with him at home was a treat.I pray for the repose of his soul and for the comfort of your family. A Mass is to be said in his name at St. Thomas Aquinas Church."

Donna Marie Schmink wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Mrs. Nolan and Family: Alan was a very kind man and loved history and sharing his knowlegde. Infact I believe he forgot more Civil War history than I will ever know! Case in point: I called him almost 20 years ago to teach a session of my civil war honors class at Our Lady of Lourdes School, Indianapolis, Indiana. He came and sat in a circle with very engaged 7th and 8th graders and shared his knowledge and time. He was kind enough to come back for several years. Once he mentioned the plight of the Indiana Civil War battle flags to the students. They took up the cause and worked with then Gov Bayh, legislators, concerned citizens to work on legislation to save part of our Hoosier Civil War heritage. This all came about due to the kindness of a great man, who shared his knowlege and time with 7th and 8th graders. God speed dear Mr. Nolan! It was such a honor and pleasure to know him and call him friend. I am so sorry for your loss."

Jenny Thompson wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"The Indianapolis Civil War Round Table has lost a wonderful member, historian, and role model. Alan will be greatly missed."

Paul Hill wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Mr. Nolan was a very approachable person. I met him and enjoyed listening to him speak and our conversations at the Indianapolis Civil War Roundtable from 1974 until I moved away from Indianapolis in 1978. He was very influential on my views of the Civil War. I told him that I was collecting regimental histories. He knew that I had interest in Indiana regiments that fought in the eastern theatre and upon learning I was moving to Pennsylvania offered to sell the regimental history of the 27th Indiana to me at far below market price. It's one of my prize possessions in my Civil War library.From his obiturary, I now learn what a great man he was beyond our common interest in the Civil War. The world is a better place because he lived."

Wanda Jacobs Strange wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Al is, always will be, a beautiful part of our lives. "

Steven Isenberg wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

""Mr." Nolan was a life role model for me. I will remember his books, the converstions we shared when I was a teenager, the hospitality he always showed me, the red station wagon with "chief" on the side and no radio so he could think when he drove, his support of the band, the loft, the food I ate, the atmosphere of family, his egalitarian viewpoint and his pipe. Thank you, Mr. Nolan."

Jay Harvey wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"As a reporter for the Indianapolis Star, it was my privilege to interview Mr. Nolan about his book "Lee Considered." My conversation with him in his office at Ice Miller is among my most memorable interviews. His courtly manner and penetrating intelligence was immediately evident. Only later did I learn of his devotion to the arts as well as his stalwart support of tolerance and progressive Hoosier values, stirred by early memories of the anti-Catholic agitation of the the Ku Klux Klan during his youth in Evansville. He seemed to appreciate my familiarity with his book and sympathy with his aim to demystify Robert E. Lee, which he accomplished with thorough scholarship and without rancor so well in "Lee Considered.""

Jim Trulock wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Jane and family,Alan Nolan is one of the best men I ever knew. There was always that Irish twinkle in his eyes but I think most of all I loved him for his wisdom and his willingness to share it. In the field of Civil War history, he was my mentor and I know he was for many others too. He stood for social justice and was an inspiration to those of us who knew about some of the things he accomplished. I think the best life of all is to put your ideals into action. No one did that better than Alan. I will miss him."

Patrick Tynan wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Pat Nolan:I am sorry to read of your father"

Nolan E. Alan wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Thanks again for The Iron Brigade."

Julie (Helmer) Southwick wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My mother attended grade school with Alan Nolan and always admired him. She was sure he would one day become president. In high school, I baby sat at the Nolan residence. I will always remember his beautiful voice and his distinguished personality. Yet, he had a way of making a 'kid' feel like someone important. He was a giant among men by his many accomplishments. Yet, it was his level of integrity and his living example of ethics that we should ALL aspire to. The world has lost a great man. We are lucky to have known him. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family, Julie (Helmer) Southwick"

Paddy and Kathleen McSteen wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Jane and familyIt was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of dear Alan. How glad we are that we had opportunity to meet him one last time last year when he visited Ireland with the boys for what he called his 'last hurrah'. He enjoyed the evening we spent with them in the oldest pub in Ireland. In the 30 or so years that we were privileged to know Alan we only met about five times but he left a lasting impression on us and we were happy to be called his 'cousins from Ireland'. We have signed copies of his books 'Lee Considered' and 'The Iron Brigade' (the latter given to us by Ed and Marion) which we will always treasure. Please be assured that you are all in our thoughts and prayers and we will be with you in spirit on Sunday. We will raise a glass of Guinness in his honour. Ar dheis D"

MARTY/JULIE KLAPER wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Jane: We were both so sad to learn that Alan had passed. He was a big part of our lives beginning with his giving me permission to miss a Labor Section lunch in order to get married. I do not need to tell you about his wit and intellect and his compassion. Nor do I need to tell you that many people will miss him. What I do need to tell you is how apparent it was to us, and therefore to Alan, that you loved him and cared about him as much as one can care for another. He likewise demonstrated his feelings for you. We are sorry that having lost your first husband that you again have to deal with that pain. Please know that we are thinking about you and hope that your wonderful memories of the many good years you had with Alan will provide you the comfort to deal with your loss. Warmest personal regards, Marty and Julie Klaper"

Chris Kernan wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My condolences to Alan's family during your time of sorrow. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have known Alan. I met him shortly after moving to Indy back in the late 80's when he was our labor attorney. Negotiations can drag on but there was never a dull moment with Alan around. He would spend hours telling us stories about his family, American history and his experiences. He was truly a fascinating individual. Over 20 years later, I still quote him and use the lessons I learned from him. He will truly be missed."

Barbara Finfrock wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Jane and Family, To have been in the presence of Alan was a wonderful experience. His superb scholarship and his easy way of speaking with people made him a treasure to so many of us. I will remember always that he came to speak at the Friends' Scholarly Seminar in 1997 after he had suffered a stroke while on vacation - he was dedicated to being here in Gettysburg, a truly remarkable gentleman who honored his commitment and made so many people feel good by just meeting him. His contributions are many, and he will be missed forever. Sincere condolences to you at this time."

Fred Beseler, Co. B, 2nd Wis. Vol. Inf. Reenactors wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"We will all miss Alan Nolan -- truly a latter day giant of the "Black Hats." I met him at a seminar at Carroll College a few years back -- what a fine gentleman and so patient to put up with my request for an autograph and photo. I will always treasure the memory of meeting and speaking with him. My condolences to his entire family. "

Peg and Rog O'Brien wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Jane and Family,Proud to be numbered among Alan"

Elizabeth Lowis wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I was sent the obituary by an old school friend from Indianapolis. My uncle and aunt, Michael and Kathleen Bowles (both deceased) were very fond of Alan and I know, if they were alive, they would be very sad to hear of his death. I expect they might well be sharing stories together in heaven. RIP"

Shirley Morey wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I met Al Nolan many years ago when I became employed at Ice Miller Donadio & Ryan (now Ice Miller). Although I never worked directly for Mr. Nolan, every encounter I had with him reinforced my opinion of him as a fine gentleman and a kind soul. I never heard a bad word about him from anyone at the Firm. Actually, my fondest memory was of Mr. & Mrs. Nolan sharing a table with me for an hour or so at what I think was the second year for the Midsummer Festival (way before it became the big event it is now). They were both charming, delightful company and made it a memorable evening for me. My sincerest condolences to the family. He will be missed by all."

Scott and Mary Catherine Brown wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"To the Entire Family,Our sincere sympathy to you all. A true testimony to the person is the wonderful people left behind."

John Connor wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I am a lawyer today in large part due to your husband, father, grandfather. Approximately 33 years ago Mr. Nolan didn't know me from Adam; however, he agreed to meet with me at the request of my father. Following that meeting Mr. Nolan wrote a letter of recommendation for me which was instrumental in my acceptance to law school. I'm very grateful for what he did for me...he made a difference in my life. John Connor"

Sandy Kohn wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Nolans,In the late 60's I was a regular visitor to the Nolan household, mostly visiting Patrick and Mary. I remember many encounters with Alan T, many in his study. I was at times a bit intimidated by Mr. Nolan, but also I was keenly aware of his interest in and concern for his children's friends. He was a wonderful model of a caring parent. Alan T. was a father figure for many of us and my life is richer for having known him. I was fortunate to see him occasionally over the more recent years, as he and Jane were friends of my parents.Having lost my dad just a few years ago, I know the sense of loss and the sadness in realizing there will be no more talks nor time to spend together. Know that I am thinking of you all in this time of transition.With Love,Sandy Kohn"

Patsy Read wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Nolan family,I am so sorry to hear that Alan is no longer sharing our space on this planet, but he is living on in our hearts and spirits. He was such a rock to me during our high school years, sharing his wonderful knowledge about the civil war, about life, about love. And his support to my mother and my family over the years was extraordinary. I feel grateful that he -- and all of you -- have been a part of my life. I wish you all love during this difficult time and know you will find strength in his love and his legacy.All the best to you,Patsy Read"

Kendra Curry wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My deepest sympathies are with Mr. Nolan's family now. I worked with him for many years and thought very highly of him. He was a very nice person to work for and I feel blessed to have known him. God Bless you all. "

Jim & Diana Kemper wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Jane and Family:We have lost a true mentor and lifeguide and will miss his wit, charm and leadership. I still remember Al's leadership and counsel at Ice Miller. His reminder that we focus on the "glue" that sets Ice Miller apart will live on forever within the lore of the law firm. Our deepest sympathies to you and the family."

Nikki Schofield wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I am sorry that I am unable to come to the memorial service, but I will be visiting my son and his family in Richmond, Virginia. We will miss Alan at the Indianapolis Civil War Round Table meetings. The very first meeting that I attended, a long time ago, Alan was the speaker. I was so impressed that I joined. I've been an active member, as he was. I'm serving as president this year, as he did. His contribution to the memory of the soldiers in the Civil War is a lasting memory to him. I consider myself blessed to have known him.Nikki"

Ross Lamoreaux wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My condolences to the Nolan family on the loss of one of the greatest writers and researchers of Civil War history there ever was. The very first book I ever read on the Civil War was "The Iron Brigade" and it sparked my interest in my ancestors from Hoosier regiments and my eventual love of living history and historical preservation. May God bless you Mr. Nolan and your family."

Maury Risch wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"To: Jane and family,Al was a business associate and friend for nearly 50 years. He was a valued adviser as an attorney for our company and myself in the field of labor relations and contract negotiations. Of greater importance was his personal friendship which I valued most of all. He was the "steady rock" at all times and in all situations. He will be missed by all who knew himWith deepest sympathy,Maury Risch "

Tammy L. Daulton wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Dear Jane,I was saddened to hear about Alan's passing and deeply sorry for your loss. The short amount of time I was able to spend with you and Alan at the Civil War Symposiums (with CWEA) were very happy and enjoyable for me. I will always cherish all that I have learned from Alan and knowing you both. I appreciate Mr. Ritchie for my introduction to that part of my life which allowed me to meet such wonderful people as yourselves. I think of you both often and will always. You both have been a great inspiration to me. My condolences to your family and all the best to you. Sincerely, Tammy L. Daulton"

Bob Rice wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Once again I would like to express my deepest and sincere condolences to everyone in the Nolan family, which you all have made the Rices such a close part of. I'll alway be deeply grateful to Alan for the warmth, comfort and support he gave me."

Asher Benrubi wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I loved Mr. Nolan. He always made me feel at home at his house...a part of the family. And what a great family. I loved the Nolans...still do. In life, one is priviledged to know certain folk as "impact players." Alan Nolan was that to me. As Ruben Benrubi was my Father...Alan Nolan was my "Dad." From our talks and from simply observing him as a parent, he impacted my life simply with the way he was and from the wisdom that he provided. One of the things that I loved about him (and Mrs. Nolan) was that, as many parents of the era (the 60's) were discouraging their kids from getting into Rock & Roll...Mr. Nolan supported us starting up our band, Frenchie & The Oui-Ouis (the name courtesy of a young Tom Nolan, I believe). It was the coolest thing to know that we could rock without fearing the adults shutting us down. Mr. Nolan was a big blessing to me in my life. He was a role model who helped me learn and come to know how to carry myself as a man, as a husband, and as a father. Thanks to the Nolan clan for letting me in. Alan Nolan...I love you."

Ruth E Wise wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Jane and Family:I felt great sorrow on learning of Alan's passing. He was a wonderful man who made a difference in this world. I remember him best as a great friend of my mother's, Alice Rains Trulock, who had a tremendous regard for him. He was very supportive to me and my family upon her death as you were also, Jane. I have never forgotten. My thoughts are now with you as this sad time. Peace."

William D Wise wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Alan Nolan was a true mentor and friend to my mother Alice Rains Trulock and encouraged her while she wrote "In the "Hands of Providence, Joshua L. Chamberlain and the American Civil War", in which which Alan wrote the forward. Alice first visited the Civil War Round Table in hopes of meeting Alan, because of his civil rights work which she admired. Alan was very helpful in getting mother contacts with the North Carolina Press, which published her book. Alan Nolan seemed to encourage the best in others and will always be remembered."

Eric Sandweiss, Ed., Indiana Magazine of History wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Please accept my condolences, on behalf of the staff of the IMH, for your loss. Our readers have lost a fine writer and historian, but you have lost something far more precious. I trust that Alan Nolan's legacy will live as long among those whom he loved as it will among those who share his love of history."

Bill Bennett wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I first met Mr. Nolan as a arbitraitor, then found he was a friend of Bob Bridwell, I read his books and enjoyed them.I am very sorry he has passed."

Frederick W. Farrell wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My condolences to the family of Alan T. Nolan. Indianapolis has lost a man, who touched the community through good works and scholarship. I will miss his papers at the Indianapolis Literary Club."

Sherryl Brooks wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My deepest sympathy to Jane Nolan and family in the loss of a truly wonderful man. I have known Al Nolan for many years at Ice Miller and I always considered him the ultimate gentleman's gentleman!! Very classy and compassionate man ... he will be missed. God Bless you all. "

Clara McKenna wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"I am a Saint Mary-of-the Woods College classmate and friend of Miriam Wanjiru Chege '64. When Miriam came to the U.S. from Kenya, it was a time of great unrest over civil rights. Miriam needed a place to stay during vacations and the Nolans through Mr. Nolan stepped up and became her second home. It was an act of moral courage that has never been forgotten.We as a class are very grateful for all he did for one whom we love and cherish. Thank you and thank you for giving her so many good memories of this country."

Bernie and Linda Carreno wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Mr. Nolan's noble efforts to defend the civil rights of all Americans were extraordinary. He was a man of integrity and great intelligence. His work made a real difference. He will be greatly missed by all."

Thomas F. Jordan wrote on Nov 13, 2012:


john stack wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"for alan and the family-- i am so sorry to hear of alan's death. he was a giant in many ways. My wife and I send our sympathies to jane and the family.we know Alan thruough his civil war books, and the fact that he has been friends with my brother chris stack MD in Indianapolis for many years.( we are Chicagoans) i have read and own most of alan's books and share his points-of-view on civil war matters. He is probably thebiggest reason i have become such a fan of the Iron Brigade.With his death, Indianapolis has lost a good person and a first rate thinker."

Tom Farrell wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"Two personal recollections of Alan.Once when I was 10 or 11 years old and had the spent the night at the Nolans', Alan rousted Patrick, Thomas and me for some Saturday morning yard work at the home of Alan's mother, Jeanette (known to one and all as Jenny). At the age we boys were then, strength and athleticism were the coin of the realm, and I was painfully aware that the Nolan boys were everything I wasn't. They were big and thick and strong and I was what we called skinny. (I liked to call them "husky", but that is a different story).At Jenny's our task was to haul bushel baskets full of heavy yard debris to the tailgate of the Nolan's blue and yellow station wagon. It was hard work and I was grunting along trying to do my share. Suddenly Alan says, "Tommy Farrell may not be big but he's strong. He's what you call wirey." Let me tell you - I lived on being wirey for the next two or three years.Fast forward to 1973. I was 23 and I had come home from Boston. I was trying to help my 75-year-old father get used to living without my mom, who had died after a bout with cancer. I landed a job building houses in Fishers, a good 10 mile drive from our house on Carrollton. I was over at the Nolans' telling about my new job when Alan asked me how I planned to get to Fishers every day. When I told him I was going to hitchhike until I could buy a car, he reached into his pocket and tossed me the keys to his gold Mustang. "Just bring it back when you get your car, Tommy," he said. That's the Alan Nolan I remember."

David Duncan, Dir. of Development, CWPT wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"The Civil War Preservation Trust is honored that Mr. Nolan would have gifts directed to the cause of battlefield preservation, in his honor. We express our deepest condolences and humble thanks to his family and friends. I am comforted by believing that good friends like Alan Nolan are not truly gone from us; they have merely gone on ahead... to reconnoiter."

Doug Murray wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"My condolences to the family. I'm sorry I just found out about Mr. Nolan's passing, or I would have written sooner. Fifteen years ago or so, I had purchased the book "Lee Considered" for my Dad's 60th birthday. To make the gift more special, I took the chance of calling Mr. Nolan and inquired if he would sign the book for my Dad. Mr. Nolan to my delight....invited me to his house where we had a great visit for over a half an hour. Total unexpected treatment for meeting a stranger.I shall never forgot his kindness.What an incredible life.God Bless your family.Doug MurrayFishers, IN"

Micheal Thompson wrote on Nov 13, 2012:

"A True friend in the Civil War history area, I shall miss him deeply. My respects and prayers go out the Nolan family."