CHAPTER VI - continued
service, the first being one in the regular United States
Yet, notwithstanding the special recommendation of Generals Herron, Schofield, Blunt, Rosecrans, Davidson, Steele, Carr, and others, besides that of the Military Bureau at Washington, General Custer seems for some strange reason, to have visited on this regiment all the indignities and abuses of which the most insolent martinet could conceive. About this time Custer issued an order against foraging, imposing severe penalties against any caught confiscating cattle belonging to the inhabitants of the country. Private Clure, of the First Iowa, was accused of knowing who killed two beeves that had been killed by a foraging party and brought in from the country. He did not know who killed them, yet his head was shaved and he was given twenty five lashes on suspicion that he did know. The indignation of the regiment was so great that Surgeon Chas. H. Lothrop, of the regiment, states, in his history of the regiment, that good Colonel McQueen, a strict Presbyterian, swore like a trooper, threatening that "if Custer again attempts to lay violent hands on a First Iowa soldier, I will here say his hide will not hold corn, by God!"
Governor Stone laid the case before the Iowa Legislature, and a rousing resolution was passed, denouncing the outrage on the part of Custer. The matter finally went to Major General Sheridan, who ordered the insult rectified. Custer, in vindication of the act, accused the entire command of infamy and insubordination.
The war was now over, and while the command remained at Hemstead, the time was mostly taken up in horse racing. Custer was fond of the sport, and had a horse which he called Jack Rucker, on which he and his friends bet a great deal of money; but one day the boys brought into camp a strange nag, which outran that of the general, and the result was that he was out considerable money.
On November 19th General Custer sent Assistant Quartermaster Sam'l T. Craig to Galveston to procure supplies for the troops.
From Hempstead the command was transferred to Austin, where the troops remained until January 24, 1866, when, by a general order, the First Iowa, Third Michigan, and Seventh Indiana regiments were mustered out of the service.
All the troops entertained a wholesome hatred
towards Custer. His acts of insolence were doubtless rendered more unbearable
from the fact that his command felt that the war was over, and that there was no
further necessity for their presence in Texas. Custer complained that he could
not induce them to wear pants, but Lieutenant Colonel A. G. McQueen, of the
First Iowa, says that in many instances they had none to wear; some had to go
shirtless, and others barefooted.
Previous to the mustering out of the regiments, General Custer and his staff had been mustered out of the service by order of the War Department, and Brigadier General S. D. Sturgis assumed command, and Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Wm. Thompson was placed in command of the First Brigade.
History of the Sixth Iowa Infantry
In July, 1861, the Sixth Iowa was mustered
into the United States service at Burlington, with John A. McDowell as colonel;
Marcoe Cummings, of Muscatine, lieutenant colonel; John M. Corse, of Burlington,
Company A, Captain H. W. Gray, was enrolled from Linn County; Company B, Captain Daniel Iseminger, was enrolled from Lucas and Clarke counties; Company C, Captain D. M. Strump, was enrolled from Hardin County; Company D, Captain M. M. Walden, was enrolled from Appanoose County; Company E, Captain Henry Saunders, was enrolled from Monroe County; Company F, Captain S. P. Glenn, was enrolled from Clarke County; Company G, Captain John Williams, was enrolled from Johnson County; Company H, Captain W. Galland, was enrolled from Lee County; Company I, Captain F. Brydolf, was enrolled from Des Moines County; Company K, Captain W. Denison, was enrolled from Henry County.
To most of the boys of the Sixth, that Sunday morning of April 7, 1862, when the rebels assaulted General Grant's center at Shiloh, may now seem like a dream. It was their first real taste of war. Many of the boys of the regiment had never seen a battle, nor heard the roar of artillery until the preceding day. The regiment had been mustered into the service at Burlington, and on August 3d had been ordered to Keokuk, and after participating in a movement
to repel a threatened attack of rebels on Athens, Mo., on August
5th, the regiment was hurried off to St. Louis, august 9, 1861, for the seat of
On the 19th of September, 1861, the regiment was ordered to Jefferson City, and on the 7th of October it was merged into Fremont's army at Tipton, Mo., where the army of 30,000 was reviewed by the Secretary of War and Adjutant General Thomas, on the 13th of the same month.
The Sixth Iowa was among the troops that made a forced march to Springfield, a distance of seventy five miles, in two days, on short rations. When they arrived November 3d, Fremont was relieved by Hunter, and on the 9th the regiment was ordered back.
It remained at Sedalia until December 9th, when it marched to Lamine Bridge; an don January 22, 1862, it was stationed at Tipton to perform guard duty. Colonel McDowell, who was mustered into the service as colonel of this regiment, was at this time absent on leave, and Lieutenant Colonel Cummings took command of the regiment. Major Corse was also absent, being detached on the staff of General Pope as adjutant general.
The Sixth was ordered to Pittsburg Landing on March 9th. On April 6th the regiment was assigned a position near Owl Creek in the vicinity of Shiloh church.
For a detailed statement of the part taken by the Sixth Infantry we are indebted to H. Hickenlooper, a member of Company E of the regiment, who kindly supplies us with the following:
"On the morning of April 6, 1862, the First Brigade of the Fifth Division of Grant's army was encamped with its right resting on Owl Creek, and its left out towards Shiloh Church. Colonel McDowell, of the Sixth Iowa, commanded the brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Cummings commanded the Sixth Iowa Regiment; this regiment was the extreme right regiment of the brigade and of the whole of Grant's army at that place. The rebel column did not attack this brigade in its position, but moved to the left and made their attack on the line of the left of this brigade.
"About this time Colonel McDowell discovered, or thought he discovered, that Cummings was intoxicated, and ordered him under arrest; and the command of the regiment then devolved upon Iseminger, of Company B, he being the ranking captain. Soon the regiment, with the brigade,
was ordered to the left, and the regiment took a position about
a half mile to the left, or east of the first position, and there fought a short
time, and several were killed and wounded at this place.
"Meantime the rebels had driven our line back on the left, or east of us, and the brigade was marched to the rear and left about a mile, and joined McClernand's right. Here the brigade charged the rebel line and drove it back about a quarter of a mile, and held this position about three hours, during the most desperate fighting of that whole day.
"Here Captain Iseminger was killed, and the command of the regiment by rank should have devolved on Captain Walden, but Colonel McDowell ordered Captain Williams, of Company G, to take command of the regiment. He, too, was soon badly wounded and unable to command, and Captain Walden, being offended, would not assume command, and for a long period during the battle the regiment had no commander.
"Lieutenant Colonel Cummings, who was under arrest, got a gun and fell into the ranks of Company E, Captain Saunders' company, and fought 'like a Turk.'
"The regiment held this position until about 3 o'clock p. m., and the rebels were fighting in front, to the right, and to the right rear; when General Sherman came galloping up to our rear and told us, 'For God's sake, get out of here or you will all be captured!' The regiment, as well as all other regiments in that line, moved to the rear with great alacrity, without any regard for military tactics - in fact, we 'skedaddled' for about a half a mile, when the regiment rallied and reformed under command of Captain Saunders, who was next in rank to Captain Walden. The whole line was slowly moved back towards the Tennessee River. Regiments, brigades, and divisions were badly mixed up.
"The Sixth Iowa took a position in the line about three regiments to the left of a battery of heavy guns - four 32 pound seige guns and two 32 pound howitzers. There was no support for the battery. Meantime Captain Walden had assumed command of the regiment, and presently we saw old Colonel Webster, chief of artillery, riding down the line on a white horse and making an effort to get a regiment to support the battery. The first two regiments nearest the battery refused to move, and he came on down the line to the Sixth Iowa and asked Captain Walden to move his
regiment up to the battery, with which request the captain
complied, and the regiment was placed in position in the rear of the battery,
and just in time to meet a charge of the rebels. Never was a battery worked
better than that one until the rebel line was almost to the guns; when the
gunners shouldered their swabs and fell back to the rear.
"It was now after sundown, and the artillery kept up a continuous fire, and the gun boats, Tyler and Lexington, in the river, about half a mile from the mouth of the ravine over which the rebels had to cross, kept up a furious crossfire. At length, when it was almost dark, too dark to see farther than a few rods in our front, the rebel masses came on again, and with a rush, almost to the guns, when again the regiment charged past the guns and met them with another volley, and then continued to fire as fast as the men could load and shoot, until there was nothing in our front to be seen or heard, except the groans and cries of the wounded rebels.
"The regiment again retired to the rear of the battery and remained there the balance of the night, but the batteries all along the line and the gun boats in the river kept up an occasional firing all night.
"Some time after the musketry fire had all ceased along the line, an officer came down the line and told us General Buell had arrived on the opposite side of the river. Soon General Buell himself and staff came riding along in rear of our line. Three cheers were proposed for him and the stars and stripes, which were given with all the vim left in our throats, but it was rather sorrowful cheering.
"Soon Nelson's division came marching past our front, regiment after regiment, with their bands playing, and appearing fresh and vigorous, and all the night through regiments and batteries kept passing along, taking positions in our front. We remained at the battery we had supported. In the fore part of the night there came up a storm of great fury, which continued all night.
"Before daylight Buell's men and Lew Wallace's men, who had come up in the night, commenced to move out in front; at about daylight, and about a mile in front of our line, the fighting commenced, and the firing was by volleys and ran all along the line for two or three miles away to the southeast, south, and southwest, and continued without intermission for several hours.
"General Sherman ordered the Sixth to
remain in its position at the battery until nearly noon, when he came along and
ordered it to follow General Oglesby, but soon colonel Garfield came and took
command, and Oglesby left for some other part of the field. Soon after the
regiment passed the line of battle. The rebels had fallen back. The regiment
passed the church and on, into a field growing in bushes and small timber, when
suddenly it ran into a rebel battery concealed in the bushes. The battery
shelled the regiment briskly for a short time, when it limbered up and fled to
"Thus ended the part taken by the Sixth Iowa Infantry at the battle of Shiloh.
"Lieutenant Colonel Cummings was court martialed and dismissed from the regiment, but he afterwards went to New York, where he became colonel of a New York regiment, and greatly distinguished himself in some of the battles about Richmond."
After the siege of Corinth the Sixth Iowa went west along the line of Memphis and Charleston Railroad, repairing track and bridges which the rebels had destroyed after having evacuated Corinth. On or about July 4, 1863, the regiment moved against Price at Holly Springs, and drove the rebels from their position.
Then, on the 17th of July, they arrived at Memphis and remained for three months doing provost guard duty. Then in October the division, including the Sixth Iowa, went on an expedition into Mississippi and returned in a week, to find that a battle had been fought at Corinth.
Then shortly after, in November, Grant's army started for Vicksburg in his attack on the rear. The sixth was included in General J. W. Denver's division of Sherman's corps and accompanied Grant's army. On the march to Vicksburg Sherman returned with a portion of his corps to Memphis, and General Denver's division continued with Grant. General Van Dorn came in the rear and destroyed the entire army supplies at Holly Springs; forcing the Union army back to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
The Sixth Infantry in January, 1863, was stationed at various points along the railroad, mounted on mules, which the soldiers had captured. During its stay near Grand Junction, the sixth made frequent raids into Mississippi.
Early in June the regiment arrived in the vicinity of
Vicksburg and was placed in General Park's command of the Ninth
Army Corps, doing outpost duty.
On the surrender of Vicksburg, July 14th, the regiment was marched back to Black River to drive back Johnson's army, and on the 6th, while hemmed in, in a bend of the river, had a severe brush with the enemy, but succeeded in driving it back, and in crossing the river.
The regiment arrived at Jackson on the 10th, and from the 10th to 16th participated in almost constant skirmishes with the enemy. On the 16th the fighting was so severe that on the following morning the rebels had entirely abandoned the city, after having burned their supplies.
After the battle of Chickamauga, the regiment, together with the entire Fifteenth Army Corps, was loaded in boats and taken to Memphis, Tenn., and then set out on a 400 mile march through Tennessee to Missionary Ridge, and participated in that battle. After the battle, the regiment was sent up to Knoxville, Tenn., to relieve Burnside, and returning a short time later, went into winter quarters at Scottsborough, Ala., and on April 1, 1864, started home on a thirty days furlough.
The regiment returned to the front, and marched with Sherman to Atlanta and took part in all the engagements before that city. The corps (the Fifteenth) was under command of General Logan.
The Sixth Iowa Infantry arrived in the
vicinity of Lookout Mountain three or four days in advance of Sherman's corps.
The regiment and brigade was ordered up Lookout Valley as a diversion, taking a position on the mountain in the rear of the rebel lines, remaining two nights and a day, making a big noise to deceive the rebels as to numbers.
On the second day of their arrival the enemy attacked the regiment in force, when it retired down the mountain. The Sixth then pursued its march down the valley, marching all night and arriving at Moccasin Bend in the morning. It crossed on pontoon bridges, which were being continually broken by rafts floated down the stream by the rebels, and then took a position opposite the mouth of the Chickamauga River.
In the meantime the battle of Lookout
Mountain was in progress across the river. About midnight of November 23d the
army recrossed the river at its mouth, and were assigned a position on the
extreme right of the corps. It then moved forward to Mission Ridge, and,
charging up the ridge, deployed as skirmishers.
On the 25th the brigade was ordered, with picks, shovels, and guns, to advance on the enemy. This was the opening of the engagement, and, after repeated charges, they gave up the hope of forcing the enemy back. The boys would charge on the lines, and being hurled back, would retire over the brow of a hill to reform. They remained here all night, and in the morning found that the enemy had retired.
After the fall of Atlanta, the regiment went on the famous march to the sea; was at Savannah a short time, and then, after a long and memorable campaign through Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, rounded up at the city of Washington, at the close of the war, and was a conspicuous regiment in that grand review up Pennsylvania Avenue.
Lieutenant Colonel Cune, of Burlington, was the last commander of the regiment.
The regiment took a prominent part in the battles of Shiloh, Resaca, Mission Ridge, Dallas, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, Jackson, Black River Bridge, Jones' Ford, Griswaldsville, and numerous fights of less note, and was mustered out of the service at Louisville, Ky., July 21, 1865.
History of the Thirty Sixth Iowa Infantry
The following sketch was kindly furnished by
Hon. Josiah T. Young, a member of the regiment:
"This regiment was organized in August, 1862, from the counties of Appanoose, Monroe, and Wapello. C. W. Kittredge,of Ottumwa, was its first colonel. He had seen service as captain in one of the companies of the Seventh Iowa Infantry, and was wounded in the battle of Belmont, Mo. Being somewhat recovered, Governor Kirkwood commissioned him for the Thirty Sixth. F. M. Drake was made lieutenant colonel, E. B. Woodward major, A. H. Hamilton adjutant. The place of rendezvous was Camp Lincoln, on the banks of the Mississippi River above Keokuk. By the
20th of September, 1862, the companies had arrived and were assigned quarters in commodious barracks. The Thirtieth Iowa, Colonel Abbott, was then preparing for active
C. W. Kitteredge, Col. THIRTY-SIXTH IOWA INFANTRY
service at the front. Our regiment settled down at once to the duties of camp life. The companies had received some instructions before leaving home in infantry drill. Scott's Tactics was used, and 'Hay foot, straw foot!' could be heard
on the drill grounds. Major J. B. Teas, of Albia, had seen
service in the Black Hawk War and was instructor for Companies A and K a portion
of the time. At Camp Lincoln the company officers were soon able to instruct
their commands in all the drill necessary in the school of a soldier.
"The first guns used were Belgian or Austrian rifles with sword bayonets. Our blue uniforms came ere long, and each man soon began to feel himself a soldier. The regiment was regularly mustered into the service of the United States on the 4th day of October, 1862, at Camp Lincoln, Iowa, by Lieutenant C. J. Ball, of the regular army.
"The fall election came on for the choosing of State officers and members of Congress, and the Thirty Sixth Iowa voted in camp. Captain M. J. Varner was on the board of election. Mr. J. B. Grinnell was elected to the lower house. On November 28, 1862, six companies were embarked on board the Fred Lorenze, and on the 29th the remaining four companies on the Harrison, and next day landed in St. Louis and marched out to Benton Barracks, where the command found quarters and engaged in the duties incident to the preparation for the active life of soldiers. Regular details were made on us for men to serve on camp guard, fatigue duty, policing camp, etc. The regiment was in Benton Barracks from December 1st to 19th; on the latter day orders came to "fall in," for we didn't know where. The order was obeyed, and the regiment was soon on board the Jennie Deans and Warsaw, which landed it in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday evening, December 23, 1862.
"On this trip, when nearing Columbus, Kentucky, the regiment was ordered to prepare for battle, which it did. On reaching the landing place in Columbus, we were hurried on shore, marched to an open place, and formed into line of battle - rifles freshly loaded and forty rounds in cartridge boxes - to wait for Forrest. The night wore away, Forrest did not come, and the regiment marched on board of the boats. The first night in Memphis the men of the command slept by their guns in Court Square, Memphis, around the marble bust of General Jackson - a beautiful place, nice shade trees, every prospect pleasing. A day or two later we were moved to Fort Pickering, being the exact line where General Jackson prepared to receive Packenham and his army in 1815. The stay here was brief, as on the last day of the old year we were landed in Helena, Arkansas, in the midst of a rain storm.
"Helena was and is the county seat of
Phillips County, Arkansas. At the time of our arrival it was held by some 5,000
Union forces. It was a sort of supply station for our army, and was garrisoned
largely by convalescent soldiers. Fort Curtis was manned by several heavy guns
located so as to command the shores and hills of the river. The regiment went on
duty in whatever capacity placed, and was fast learning a soldier's duties, when
General Gorman sent a force of men to Moon Lake on the east bank of the river,
about twelve miles below Helena, and blew up the embankment, letting water from
the river overrun the whole country.
"By the 26th of February, 1863, the Yazoo Pass expedition, several thousand strong, was on its way down toward Fort Pemberton, Mississippi. General Clinton B. Fiske was in command. The Thirty Sixth Iowa was on the steamboats Mariner and Lavina Logan. The river was crooked, narrow, and deep - trees on its bank hung over the water, making navigation slow and difficult. Many times the boats were greatly injured - in some cases their smoke stacks were knocked down and the "gingerbread work" nearly all broken off. Two or three rebel boats were in our front; these were chased by our fleet. One, the Parallel, a large boat loaded with cotton, was fired and abandoned by the enemy. The burning bales illumined far and near the wooded shores of the crooked river. Fort Pemberton was situated at the confluence of the Yallabeesha and Tallahachie rivers. Below this the stream is known as the Yazoo River. Major General W. W. Loring was in command of the fort. We were halted at the village of Greenwood by obstructions in the river. The Chillicothe, one of our gun boats, first engaged in an artillery duel with the enemy, which made a loud noise, but no results.
"Next day, March 13, 1863, our regiment was sent to the front, and held in battle line while the naval forces on the Union side carried on a furious fight with great guns, which lasted several hours. The next morning witnessed the renewal of artillery fight with Pemberton until an 18 pound shot from the enemy's line entered one of the port holes of the Chillicothe, killing 4 and wounding 7 of her men. The fight was kept up on our part by the gun boat De Kalb and by our land batteries until sundown. The next morning the commander of the Union forces concluded to give it up and start back up the river, which he did.
"General Quimby, with a force of several thousand men, met us on the 27th of March and assumed command. All our forces were soon in motion, going down to give Fort Pemberton another turn. But on March 23d he received an order from General Grant to go back up the river, abandoning the siege of Fort Pemberton. While in camp in front of Fort Pemberton the Thirty Sixth was ordered out on an expedition of exploration to find a way of approach to the fort, but no way was discovered. Water was in our way in all directions. That trip made many cases of sickness in our ranks. The men were compelled to wade in water waist deep in some places, and exposure brought on sickness, which resulted in death during the spring and summer. The regiment reached Helena again on the 8th day of April, 1863, and went into camp near Fort Curtis, where it did garrison duty. About the 2d day of May the Third Iowa Cavalry got into a fight with Dobbins' rebel guerrillas at Lagrange, about twenty miles from Helena, and lost several men, killed, wounded, and prisoners, including Adjutant Lowe, son of Governor Lowe, who was mortally wounded. The Thirty Sixth Iowa, with other troops, was ordered out to help the cavalry. We went, but the rebels were such good runners that we did not overtake them. The men of the command got lots of good chickens and other things good to eat. Time passed, and soon it began to be in the talk of those best posted that the rebels would attack us.
Battle of Helena, July 4, 1863
"General B. M. Prentice was in command of our forces. He had about 3,800 men for duty, behind strong earth works mounted with good guns. The gun boat Tyler, Lieutenant J. M. Pritchett commanding, was in the river in front of the town. Batteries A, B, C, and D were so located as to favor the defensive and prevent the bringing up of artillery by the enemy. The rebel general Holmes brought 7,646 men to the attack early on Saturday morning, July 4, 1863. Having arrived within five miles on the morning of the 3d, his front well covered by cavalry, who permitted no one to pass them riverward, he rested his men till midnight, when they were moved to within a mile or so of the outworks, where they halted till daybreak, and then pushed on. General Price, with a force of 3,095, assaulted Battery C under a
withering fire from the Union lines, Fort Curtis, and the gun-boat Tyler. He succeeded in capturing some of our guns, but only for a little time. The fire from our guns was more than could be endured by men alive. Some regiments took refuge behind a church; in an incredibly short space of time that church was lying in splinters over the hillside scene of conflict, and 700 men surrendered to our people and were marched down the river, placed on board of boats, and were on their way to prison at Alton, Illinois, before the battle was over. The Thirty Sixth took part in the engagement from opening to close. It was in the rifle pits at Battery A with a reserve, with its line reaching to the Sterling road. 'General Marmaduke was here trying to force his way in.' The Twenty Ninth, Thirty Third, and Thirty Sixth Iowa won their first laurels in battle.
"Hon. John F. Lacey, was present and saw, says: 'Price's charge with his Missourians was a terrible one.' The hills and ravines were full of his dead and wounded. So it was with Fagan in front of Battery D. The rebel columns came down over the hills during the gray of the morning of that 4th of July. They came with the rebel yell so well known by Union soldiers. Solomon Reynolds, a Thirty Sixth man on picket, was killed by the first volley from the advancing rebel line. When Price took Battery C, swarms of his men ran for Fort Curtis. Instantly all the great guns on the fort and in the Tyler down at the river belched forth their volleys of death, which caused the invaders to 'about face.' Colonel Kittredge led the Thirty Sixth in this battle, and was well pleased with the gallantry of his men and the result of the fight. The enemy retreated to Little Rock, and left their dead to be buried by our men on Sunday, July 5, 1863.
"Holmes admits his total loss at 1,636. General Prentice says: We captured 1,100 prisoners and buried nearly 300 rebels, while our loss was less than 250 in all.' The battle lasted from daylight until 11 o'clock. The Thirty Sixth had not eaten breakfast when the long roll sounded, and there was no time to eat till after the battle.
Capture of Little Rock
"The surrender of Vicksburg and other victories having left General Grant's army unemployed, Major General Fred Steele was sent to Helena to fit out and lead an army for the capture of Little Rock, Ark. About 6,000 men, with 22 guns
left Helena on August 11, 1863, under General Steele, for Little
Rock. The weather was very hot and dry, and marching was slow and difficult. The
sick list was very large. Those of the Thirty Sixth were sent in charge of
Lieutenant D. H. Scott, on a boat, via the mouth of the White River, to Devall's
Bluff, and set off on the ground without sufficient tents to shelter them.
Captains Varner, of Company A, and Webb, of Company K, were very sick and soon
died; at least 1,000 men were on the sick list when, on August 30th, Steele's
forces left White River for Brownsville, which was reached September 1st.
"On the 3d they reached Bayou Metoe, passing over the ground where a fight between our cavalry and the enemy had taken place. Some cavalry men of the First Iowa were killed. Colonel Dan Anderson's horse fell under him and the colonel made a narrow escape. General Davidson, with 6,000 cavalry men and 18 guns, added to our fighting ability very much. The skirmish fighting at Brownsville and Bayou Metoe was by our cavalry and artillery. The enemy had erected a fort on the level land north of the Arkansas River and placed in it men and arms to defend it against the 'Yanks.' Long handled pike poles were provided, with sharp iron points, with which to prod men to death. Steele caused the banks of the river to be cut down and a pontoon bridge laid six or eight miles east of the city of Little Rock, and sent several regiments, including some of our Iowa cavalry, across to the south side of the river, thus flanking the fort entirely. The enemy soon found this out and evacuated the fort, retreating pell mell for the city. We had camped the night before at Mill Bayou, from which a forced march began, which ended in the capture of Little Rock. A large Union flag floated from the tall flagstaff on the State house at 5 o'clock p. m. The fighting, began by the rebel skirmishing parties early in the morning, lasted nearly till sundown. This was on September 10, 1863. The rebels set fire to and partly burned their pontoon bridge over the Arkansas below town, also a boat fitting up for a gun boat (the Pontchartrain), about six cars, a machine shop, and other public property, and fled en masse from the city in the direction of Arkadelphia. Steele's forces marched into camp, the bands playing 'Yankee Doodle' and the men shouting with all their might. Great clouds of dust arose from the tramping of the enemy and our cavalry in pursuit.
The sound of our cannon was heard away into the night, while in
pursuit. Many old citizens fled along with the rebel army, leaving their houses
and other property in the hands of the 'Yanks.' At first the Thirty Sixth went
into camp north of the river, and later established permanent quarters for the
winter near the State arsenal, southeast of the city. We supported a battery on
the north bank of the river, which required much double quick marching on the
10th, and the men of our command were very tired when night put an end to the
contest. We lost no men in battle, but the mortality by sickness was terrible.
"One of the notable events of that winter was the capture and execution of a rebel spy. David O. Dodd, a young man, was caught, tried, and condemned to hang on the 8th of January, 1864. The writer witnessed his execution - a sad sight indeed. He was hung on the campus of St. John's College, Little Rock, the school in which he had received his education. A hollow square of Union troops was formed, into which the wagon containing the condemned man and his coffin and a chaplain was driven, under the gallows. After prayer by the chaplain, at a signal given, the end gate of the wagon fell, and with it the young man, dangling between earth and sky. One or two shrugs of the shoulders and drawing up of the lower limbs, and all was over. A copy of a letter written by him a short time before may serve to impress the reader with the solemnity of this case.
" 'Military Prison, Little Rock,
" 'January 8, 10 o'clock a. m., 1864
" 'My dear Parents and Sisters, - I was arrested as a spy and tried, and was sentenced to be hung today at 3 o'clock. The time is fast approaching, but, thank God! I am not afraid to die. I expect to meet you in heaven. Do not weep for me, for I will be better off in heaven. I will soon be out of this world of sorrow and trouble. I would like to see you all before I die, but let God's will be done, not ours. I pray God to give you strength to bear your troubles while in this world. I hope God will receive you in heaven. There I will meet you. Mother, I know it will be hard for you to give up your only son, but you must remember it is God's will. Good bye. God will give you strength to bear your troubles. I pray that we may meet in heaven. Goodbye. God will bless you all.
Your son and brother,
" 'David O. Dodd.'
"General Steele left Little Rock on March 23, 1864, in command of the Seventh Army Corps, to cooperate with General Banks' Red River expedition. After the first day out from Little Rock, we had about thirty days' fighting, sometimes in front - at other times in the rear or on either flank. At Spoonville it began, and Elkin's Ford, Prairie de Ann, Camden, and Mark's Mills were each in turn the scene of conflict. Company K started on this march with 53 men all told. The Thirty Sixth was present and took part in each of these fights. Its loss was inconsiderable until at Mark's Mills; in that fight it had 8 men killed or mortally wounded. The regiment lost in all 49 killed and the remainder captured; only one or two men escaped. Jonathan Witham, of Company K, was knocked down by a spent ball, and when he became conscious he found himself alone. He walked all the way to the Union lines at Little Rock, hiding in daytime, traveling at night, he was nearly dead when he reached our outside pickets. Lieutenant Colonel Drake was in command of the brigade, the Forty Second Indiana. Thirty Sixth Iowa and Seventy Seventh Ohio, and received a wound in one of his lower limbs above the knee, which seemed mortal. He and all others severely wounded were left behind and finally paroled and exchanged, but those able to march were taken in a southwesterly direction towards Texas.
"The battle occurred on the forenoon of Monday, April 25, 1864; the march to prison began that afternoon, and continued without stopping until sundown Tuesday, when we reached the Washita River. At this point the prisoners were allowed to rest and eat whatever they were fortunate enough to find. The writer snatched an ear of corn from a mule at the roadside, just before stopping; a fire was kindled, some dry sticks burned, and the corn was roasted in the ashes; this, with coffee from grounds in Robert Turner's can, which had been boiled and used Monday morning for breakfast served for a meal for 'Mess 3.' Chaplain Hare said it was the best coffee he ever tasted. Our marches were kept up until on Sunday, May 15, 1864, the big gate of the prison stockade at Camp Ford, Smith County, Texas, swung wide open to received the 1,200 or more new men. We were marched into our future home, halted in line, and listened to a speech from Colonel Hill, commander of the camp. Then we sat down, looked about us, and wondered how long we
Camp Ford Prison, Tyler, Texas
would have to stay in that horrible place - no shade, shelter,
or anything else necessary to our life. We were very hungry and began to hunt
for something to eat. The writer paid a one dollar greenback for one 'pone' of
coarse corn bread. A little later he sold his blue dress coat for $75,
Confederate money, and bought for that sum nearly seven pounds of flour. Corporal Eads set a can of
old fashioned 'salt rising,' and with it baked a loaf
of bread. In this way we had a little bread. Confederate beef, Texas long
came in about every third day. Weevil eaten corn, ground into coarse meal on the
horse mill, was dealt out every second day. The ration was one quarter of a
pound of meat and a pint of meal a day.
"On the 23d of July, 1867, Major A. H. Hamilton and Captain John Lambert, of Company K, and Allan W. Miller, of Company C, made their escape. At that time the writer was lying sick under an old gum blanket, stretched on poles, which served as some protection by day and night. The major came to my bed to say 'good bye.' Before going, he advised to make a soldier's will, by leaving word with some of my comrades as to the disposition of my effects at home. He told me I was a very sick man, and might not get well. I thanked him for his advice, but told him I expected to come out of that prison. I never for one moment gave up to die there. If I had, I would in all probability have died there. The three men walked to the west gate and presented a pass to go to the blacksmith shop south of the camp. It seemed properly signed and counter signed, and the guard let them out. From my lowly bed, lying on my side, I watched them go away past headquarters and over the ridge towards the south out of sight. They had hired a darky to bring some grub to them in the woods, which he did. Lambert was a good blacksmith, and they were carrying two old axes that need up setting. The axes were soon left by the roadside and those three men were many days traveling north before they reached the Union line. Miller and Lambert soon died, but Major Hamilton survives.
"On the night of the 28th a subterranean tunnel was opened through the stockade, by prisoners, and a lot of them escaped. Most of them were brought back, having been caught by blood hound. That tunnel was weeks in preparation, having been begun in a shanty many rods from the
stockade. The dirt was carefully deposited in small quantities
here and there over the ground, so as not to attract attention. The boys going
out made a mistake; they kept passing out until after daylight, and a sentry,
seeing them pass out from the tall weeds and grass as though they had come up
out of the earth, fired his gun and raised the alarm.
"On Tuesday, June 21st, from my place in camp, I looked across the narrow depression of the land between us and the rebel headquarters south, and saw a rebel officer flog a colored woman. My attention was drawn by her cries as he laid on the blows across her naked shoulders and back with the cat o' nine-tails. I was not brought up an abolitionist, but this sight made one of me. Two or three little children of hers stood partly behind the cabin and saw their mother being beaten, and the little fellows cried too. I also got mad. It was no wonder this country suffered so terribly in the war.
"Along about July 1st, the prisoners began to die very fast. Three died during the night of that day.
"On the 2d some prisoners tried to escape, and the next day the following order was posted upon a board at the meal box:
" 'Headquarters Camp of Federal Prisoners,
" 'Near Tyler, Texas, July 3, 1864.
" 'General Order No. - - -,
" 'Hereafter, any Federal prisoner detected in trying to make his escape from prison, either in the act or after he has made his escape, will be shot by the one capturing him.
" 'By order of Lt. Col. J. P. Border," 'B. W. McEachen,
" 'Lieutenant and A. A. Adjutant.'
"Camp Ford was an enclosure of possibly 6 acres of land, 4 miles north of Tyler, Smith County, Texas. The stockade was made of half logs 12 feet in length, 4 feet of same set in the ground. The spring supplying water was in the southwest corner of the stockade. It was fairly good water. Wood for use in cooking and fuel was cut on the lands nearest the camp, and usually carried on the shoulders of the men. There were two gates - one in the north, the other at the southwest corner of the camp. The boys of the Thirty Sixth were paroled for exchange in February, and on
the 15th of that month they bade adieu to Camp Ford forever, and
took up their line of march for Shreveport, La. At that place they were embarked
on board rebel transports, the Nina Sims, Doubloon, and Texas,
and reached the mouth of Red River, Louisiana, February 25, 1864, where
they were exchanged for a like number of rebels. When we reached the mouth of
that crookedest of rivers, the Yankees on board began to yell for joy, and it is
the private opinion of the writer that those old Spanish live oaks on the banks
of the Mississippi had not witnessed such noise since they began their life.
great big flag floating over the United States gun boat Tennessee
caused the yelling. The Magenta, a large lower river steamer, came up
the river and was drafted into the service to carry the 'boys' to a camp of
distribution in New Orleans, which was reached by daylight February 26th. The
Louisiana cotton press camp of distribution furnished good quarters for the
squad of 1,500, who went to work getting hair cut, beards trimmed, new clothes,
new everything - and in a short time all were ready to go north. Those who had
been prisoners were granted prisoners' furlough of thirty days from Cairo, Ill.
They came up, enjoyed the fresh air and good victual in Iowa homes, and returned
and rejoined their regiment (that portion of it left at Camden, Ark.) in April,
1864 (?), at Saint Charles, Ark. These escaped Camp Ford, but they were
participants in the battle of Junkins' Ferry under Steele on his retreat from
"The reunited regiment remained on White River, at St. Charles, Devall's Bluff, and at the mouth of the river, doing such duty as came to hand, till August 24, 1865, when they received their discharges and were sent to Davenport, Iowa, and paid off, about September 7, 1865. Colonel Kittredge issued his farewell order, which I copy in closing:
" 'Headquarters 36th Iowa Inft.,
" 'Davenport, Iowa, Sept. 6, 1865.
" 'General Orders No. 20.
" 'Officers and Soldiers:
" 'Your commanding officer, upon the final discharge of the regiment and its return to civil life, desires to express his admiration of the conduct of both officers and men for the past three years; and to express the hope that in civil
life all will prove, as heretofore, true men and worthy of the
high distinction of being called Iowa soldiers and citizens - and I have no
doubt that the new duties devolving upon you will be as promptly and faithfully
performed in the future as those of the past have been.
" 'In bidding the command farewell, your commanding officer is happy to express his high appreciation of the meritorious services of the command and his personal knowledge of their individual worth, and trusts that your future may be as happy and prosperous as our past has been arduous and illustrious; and now bids you adieu with heartfelt wishes for your individual happiness and prosperity.'
" The number of men enlisted in the regiment at first was 988, total aggregate, old soldiers and recruits, was 1,240; killed or mortally wounded at Mark's Mills, 49. There had been 280 deaths since organization; 20 more died soon after discharge; we lost 30 men on the road and at Camp Ford. We started on the Yazoo Pass expedition with 600 men.
"Josiah T. Young,
"Sergeant Co. K, 36th Iowa"
History of the Twenty Second Iowa Infantry
The Twenty Second Iowa Infantry was organized
in 1862, and on the 10th day of June of that year, the regiment, commanded by
Colonel Wm. M. Stone, afterwards Governor of Iowa, rendezvoused at Camp Pope in
Iowa City. There were seven companies of this regiment organized from Johnson
County, one from Jasper, one from Monroe, and one from Wapello County.
The regiment was mustered into the United States service on the 9th of September, 1862. On the 14th of September the regiment was shipped by rail to Davenport. From that point it was transported to St. Louis, on board the steamer Metropolitan. Arriving in St. Louis the men were assigned quarters at Benton Barracks, and here the regiment remained for a week or more. On September 22d the regiment was placed on cars and shipped to Rolla, Mo., where it remained until January 27, 1863, when it was assigned to the army of General Davidson at West Plains, Mo. It was then brigaded with the Twenty First and Twenty Third Iowa Infantry, the Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana Infantry, and the Eleventh Wisconsin regiments. These regiments
constituted the First Brigade of the First Division of the Army
of Southeast Missouri.
The army, after remaining at West Plains for about two weeks, took up its line of march for Iron Mountain, at which place it arrived on the 26th day of February, 1863. The army remained at Iron Mountain until the 9th day of March, when orders were issued to join General Grant at Vicksburg. The army marched by way of Ste. Genevieve and Milligan's Bend, La. The corps staid on the west bank of the river and remained about two weeks. By the first day of April the entire Army of Southeast Missouri had concentrated their strength at Milligan's Bend, where Grant was making preparations for the Vicksburg campaign. When the troops were concentrated at this point, the Twenty Second Iowa, Eleventh Wisconsin, the Twenty First and Twenty Third Iowa, constituted the Second Brigade, Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps. General Carr commanded the division, and General McClernand commanded the corps.
On the morning of the 12th of April, 1863, the brigade proceeded to Richmond, La., where they had a brush with a small body of rebel cavalry, defeating it. The brigade then pushed on to Perkins' Landing to await the arrival of the corps.
A fleet of transports and gun boats, having succeeded in getting past Vicksburg, arrived in the vicinity of Grand Gulf on the 28th of April. The Thirteenth Cops, having gone on down the river from Milligan's Bend, arrived in the vicinity of Grand Gulf, and were taken on board the assembled transports, with a view to making an assault on the rebel batteries along the river. In front of the transports were the Federal gun boats, pouring their shot and shell into the rebel batteries. It was a terrific duel, and the troops on board the transports saw it all in plain view. The engagement lasted all the afternoon of the 29th of April, and on the 30th the Union forces passed on down the river and crossed a short distance below. The fleet which engaged the rebel batteries was headed by the gun boat Benton, and every soldier of the Twenty Second Iowa has a vivid recollection of seeing the white sheets of smoke rolling out over the surface of the river from the gun boats, followed by the tremendous report of the cannon. Then they saw the batteries on shore responding with their deafening re-
tort. They watched the duel all the afternoon. It was a terrible
cannonade, but no results of any consequence were achieved, save the dismounting
of some of the enemy's guns. The object in taking the troops on board the
transports was evident to use them in a combined attack on the rebel stronghold,
but it was soon ascertained that they were too strongly fortified. The troops
were landed and marched down the levee, three miles below Grand Gulf, and waited
During the night the gun boats and transports succeeded in passing the rebel batteries, and arrived in time to take on board the Thirteenth Army Corps, which had proceeded by land. The corps was transported down the river about sixteen miles below Grand Gulf, near the village of Bruinsburg, Miss., and here it took up its line of march for Port Gibson. In the attack at Port Gibson the Twenty Second Iowa Infantry was placed in the extreme front. The night was dark, and, notwithstanding the uncertainty of firing in the darkness, the enemy poured a steady stream of shot and shell into the ranks of the advancing Union column. The Twenty Second Iowa was joined by the Twenty First and Twenty Third Iowa Infantry, and the Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry, but before these regiments took position the Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana Infantry were first to follow the Twenty Second in the assault. These regiments, comprising the brigade, were in command of Colonel Wm. M. Stone, of the Twenty Second Iowa.
The fight began at about 1 o'clock on the morning of May 1st, when the advancing column was within about three miles from Port Gibson. In the midst of the opening assault, the First Iowa Battery had been placed in position and the Twenty Second Infantry was ordered to support it. The rebel line was composed of artillery in front and infantry back of it. After about one hour's fighting, the rebel line was forced back to a stronger position about a half mile to the rear. At this juncture firing ceased on both sides, on account of the darkness, and the Union forces lay down on the field and slept on their guns until daylight. When day dawned, other regiments had come up and taken their positions in the Union ranks, and the enemy was strongly entrenched on Thompson's Hill. Two companies of the Twenty Second (Company H, Captain Shrader, and Company G, Captain Hawkins) were sent out as skirmishers to feel
the enemy. The entire brigade followed and then the corps.
the hill the advancing Federal column swept, like lines of breakers against a
reef. The enemy resisted stubbornly for a time, but finally began to relinquish
its footing. Then at this stage there arose a series of prolonged cheers from
the assaulting columns, which ran along the entire line. The rebels were
releasing their grasp like some monster in its death struggles. They finally
gave way and broke in confusion. Their whole line was thrown into a rout, and
they fled in great confusion in the direction of Jackson. The Union forces
captured several hundred prisoners and a few pieces of artillery. The rebels,
after being pursued three or four miles, reformed and took up a position on the
outskirts of the town, to endeavor to cover the retreat of their panic stricken
army. An artillery duel was kept up for several hours, when the rebel batteries
In this engagement the Twenty Second Iowa was again called on to support the batteries, and endured a murderous fire from the enemy's guns at short range. The Second Brigade was then ordered to advance and carry the enemy's works by storm. The Twenty Second deployed two of its companies as skirmishers - Company B, Captain Gearkee, and Company H, Captain Shrader. These two companies opened the attack. The brigade could not reach the enemy's works, on account of an intervening impenetrable growth of cane and underbrush, but received and returned their fire until the rebels fled. The next morning, the Union forces followed up the retreating enemy, and, after pursuing them for several days, drove them into Jackson. Colonel Stone now returned to the command of the Twenty Second, having been succeeded in his command of the brigade by General M. K. Lawler.
On May 13th the Second Brigade arrived at Mississippi Springs; having passed through Raymond. At Raymond, General Carr's division waited to hear the result of Sherman's expedition to Jackson, and the Twenty Second was ordered to remain at this point to guard the train.
When the rebels evacuated Jackson, the Twenty Second took up its line of march for Champion Hills, and encountered the enemy at Black River Ridge, on the morning of the 17th. General Carr's division led the advance. The rebels were on the Vicksburg side of the river, up on a hill side. They opened fire on the Union columns before the
latter had gotten into line of battle. The enemy's pickets were
encountered about two miles from the bridge, and the rebels were very strongly
fortified behind rifle pits along the margin of a swamp or bayou.
General Lawler ordered his brigade to charge on these works, and the Twenty Second Iowa, led by Colonel Kinsman, led the van, followed by the Twenty First Iowa and Eleventh Wisconsin. The Second Brigade dashed across the open plain like a troop of destroying fiends. They drove the enemy from their entrenchments, but their ranks were decimated by the riflemen behind the pits. The enemy broke and fled, and when the brigade leaped into their trenches, the Twenty Second Iowa assaulted their left wing, cutting off the retreat of the enemy before they all could reach the river. A few, however, reached the river and attempted to swim across, but many of the numbers were drowned, as the stream was running swiftly. As the enemy had burnt the bridge across the river, the Thirteenth Army Corps had to camp on the battle field.
On the evening of the 18th a pontoon bridge was thrown across the river, above, and the corps took up its march on the Jackson and Vicksburg road for Vicksburg. The enemy fell back into the city, on the approach of Grant's army. On the 19th the Union army reached Vicksburg and all day the batteries on both sides kept up a constant cannonade. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon the Federal infantry made a desperate charge on the works and after a couple of hours of hard skirmishing all were driven back save the Thirteenth Corps, which succeeded in securing an advanced position within 500 yards of the enemy, where a range of hills covered them from the enemy's fire. In this charge, E. B. Judson, of Company H, was struck in the nose by a grape shot, and received a painful wound.
On the night of the 20th the regiment was engaged in throwing up entrenchments for the fight on the next day. The men were so weak from exhaustion and short rations, Alex McCahan, a corporal of Company D, says, that they could not do as much work as ten year-old children. The next day was spent in continuous rifle practice between the two opposing forces, but with little effect.
On the 22d Colonel Stone received an order from General Grant to get his regiment ready to lead the assault to be made on that date. The Twenty Second was ordered
to cast off everything that would impede their movements, except
their guns and accouterments. The regiment was instructed to charge for a
position midway between the two lines, and hold it as a rallying point. It was
about midnight when the brigade stole noiselessly over the brow of the hill and
then crept cautiously down the ravine, sometimes being obliged to crawl on their
hands and knees, owing to obstructions which the enemy had placed there. They
finally passed down to the desired position without being discovered by the
pickets of the enemy, which were but twenty yards distant. It was now about
daylight, and the brigade lay down on the hillside to rest until the assault
should be sounded. At 9 o'clock the brigade was formed into battalions with the
Twenty Second Iowa in the advance, followed by its two gallant consorts, the
Twenty First Iowa and the Eleventh Wisconsin. Promptly at 10 o'clock Colonel
Stone was ordered to advance, and that instant the regimental colors went
sweeping over the hill like a fire brand of death, followed by a thousand
bayonets glistening in the morning sun. It was like the columns of the Russians
dashing against the walls of Plevna.
The stronghold covered about a half acre of ground, and the walls were 15 feet high, and surrounded by a ditch 10 feet wide. While hurling his regiment against this fortress, Colonel Stone was wounded, and had to withdraw. Lieutenant Colonel Graham took command, and with a small force reached the ditch, but could not climb over. Then the rebels began to throw hand grenades among the assailants. As soon as they would strike the ground they would explode. The boys of the Twenty Second would catch them in their hands as they came over the parapets and toss them back into the rifle pits of the rebels, to explode - a frightfully realistic game of ball or lawn tennis. Hugh Sinclair, of Company D, who died in Monroe County, July 15, 1887, and whose remains now rest in Oak View Cemetery at Albia, was one of the assailing party who got into the fort.
After three or four hours' fighting, the regiment fell back to the shelter of a hill.
The party who got into the fort was led by Sergeant Joseph Griffiths, and consisted of about 15 men, among whom was Sinclair. They climbed the wall by raising one another up the wall. They planted the colors on the ram-
part of the fort. The attack was a failure, and the Twenty
Second and her two fighting mates, the Twenty First Iowa and Eleventh
Wisconsin, remained on the field, giving the enemy blow for blow until their
ammunition was entirely exhausted.
Grant, seeing that an assault was useless, began the memorable siege. Day by day his army advanced their rifle pits, until finally they were up to the walls and the enemy ran up a white flag.
The next morning after the surrender of Vicksburg the entire Union army, save a small garrison, left Vicksburg for Jackson, where the enemy had massed in force. The Twenty Second, when it started away from Vicksburg, did not have more than 150 men fit for duty. While the Twenty Second was marching out of Vicksburg, and while passing Hospital Surgeon White's headquarters, White wheeled a barrel of whisky in front of his quarters and knocked in the head of the barrel. Each man was permitted to take a tin cup full of whisky, and none declined. Some wanted to fill their canteens, but strict orders were given that no canteens should be dipped in. Alex McCahan obeyed the letter of the command, but having a small tin pail with him, he dipped it in and went on his way rejoicing.
When Sherman's forces reached Jackson on the 9th of July, the troops were arranged in line of battle. The Twenty Second was placed on the south side of the Vicksburg road leading to the city. Company F, commanded by Captain Cree, and Company G, commanded by Sergeant J. K. Duncan, were deployed as skirmishers. The rebel batteries opened with grape and canister, and the infantry had its position in a body of forest near by, from which they opened a heavy fire of musketry. The Federal columns made a dash against the enemy's works, but were hurled back in confusion.
On the 16th the enemy evacuated the city, anticipating the attack which had been planned for the 17th. After Jackson had been taken, the Twenty Second Iowa was employed for a few days in tearing up railway track, and on the 24th of July returned to Vicksburg.
While the army was on its return most of the Twenty Second boys were worn out with hard service. Most of the ambulance horses were pressed into service to draw the artillery, and many soldiers who had in some manner pro-
cured mules on which to ride were forced by the officers to give
them up for use in drawing artillery. Corporal Alex McCahan, of Company D, had
gotten possession of an old mule in some way. McCahan was completely exhausted,
and had to depend on the mule for transportation. The mule was a large,
raw boned one, but a good traveler. Wm. Conway, a chum of McCahan's, also
secured a little old mule, which was totally worthless. One day, while on the
march, the two men ran upon a magnificent double seated carriage, which was
trimmed in frosted silver and upholstered in the richest velvets. They obtained
some ropes and improvised a set of harness, and hitching their mules to it,
moved along in a great state for a few days; finally, however, a heavy gun
caisson ran over it, and mashed it into the earth. The drivers once more mounted
their steeds and continued the march, until an officer approached Conway and
ordered him to dismount, that they might hitch the mule to a gun. Conway was an
Irishman, and of course showed fight; the officer pulled him off and took his
mule. McCahan, seeing an officer approach him, stopped opposite a large stump,
and began to take off his blanket as if he intended turning the mule loose.
officer approached and ordered him to deliver the mule. McCahan pretended to be
very glad to dispose of the mule, saying that it was of no use to him, and that
he would be glad if the officer could do anything with it. The officer so far
forgot himself as to address McCahan in a respectful tone, and inquired if the
animal was good for anything. McCahan replied that it was of no use to himself,
and, while seemingly in the act of removing the rope bridle, said the officer
could have him, accompanying the tender with an affected, sardonic grin. The
officer, supposing the mule was worn out, then rode off without saying another
word. When out of sight, McCahan slowly climbed on the mule's back and galloped
off to a thicket, and followed the train at some distance, so he would not be
seen by the officers. He states that if there had been no stump where he
dismounted, he could not have climbed on the mule's back, as he was so weak from
exhaustion and ill health. He rode the mule to near Vicksburg and then gave it
to Arthur Rose of Company D, who drove it to a cart.
The regiment remained a month at Vicksburg, and then the army was loaded on the transport Baltic and taken to
New Orleans. They next embarked by way of the Gulf to Texas, and
landed on Mustang Island, 70 miles from Matagorda Bay. On the 29th the regiment
went on an expedition against Fort Esperanza. The enemy, on their approach, blew
up their magazine and fled the town. On December 2d the regiment went into camp
at De Cruz's, on the peninsula.
On January 2, 1864, the regiment, with the division, was taken on board the steamer Matamoras and landed at Old Indianola, up the bay about 40 miles, where they spent the winter. Here the First and Second brigades were consolidated and formed the First Brigade of the First Division.
In the meantime Colonel Stone had recovered from his wound, and returned to his command a short time before Jackson capitulated.
While the army was at Vicksburg, Colonel Stone was elected Governor of Iowa, and here he took final leave of his command.
While stationed at Old Indianola, a squad of the regiment encountered a full company of mounted Texas Rangers. A desperate fight took place, about 15 miles from camp. There were over 100 of the Rangers, and about 25 of the regiment. The squad held them at bay for several hours, but were finally surrounded, when they surrendered. Among those who were captured were John Flemming and Wm. Bechtel, of Company A; Philip Hertzer, of Company D; Gabriel Hoffman, of Company H; Carl Bedner, of Company K; and Wm. Franklin, of Company F. Hertzer lived in Monroe Township and was of German extraction. He is now preaching in the Southwest.
In the spring the regiment returned to New Orleans, and then went on Banks' Red River expedition, nearly as far up as Alexandria, and then, meeting Banks on his return, returned to New Orleans, crossing the river at Algiers.
They then embarked on an ocean steamer and sailed around Cape Hatteras to Fortress Monroe, and then ascended the James River to Bermuda Hundred Landing, near City Point, Grant's headquarters. The regiment next went into the rifle pits at Petersburg, going into the Army of the Potomac. They remained here a few weeks during July and August, 1864, and then returned down the James, and up the Potomac to Washington.
On August 2, 1864, the regiment took up
quarters at Georgetown Heights, in Maryland, overlooking the city of Washington;
and on the 14th took up a line of march to join Sheridan's column. The rebel
general Early was chasing Sheridan down the Shenandoah Valley, and the Twenty
Second Regiment, with the division and brigade, was hastening through
Drainsville, Leesburg, and Hamilton, over the Kitoctan Mountains. The army
marched through Sneeker's Gap, of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and at midnight
arrived at the Shenandoah River at the foot of the mountains. Here the troops
waded the stream, and at daylight reached Berryville, where they joined
While marching from Berryville towards Harper's Ferry, Horace Judson, Marion Anderson, Hugh Sinclair, and Alex McCahan, members of Company D, went out one day on a foraging tour into the country. They met a traveling equipage, consisting of some women, a load of furniture or two, and a negro driver. They halted the cart and began to inspect the cargo. A tightly corked barrel aroused the interest of the boys, and McCahan made a vigorous attempt to punch a hole in the head with his bayonet. It was a slow process, and Judson, growing impatient, shouted to McCahan to stand to one side. He did so, and Judson, raising his Enfield rifle, blazed away at the head of the barrel. A tiny stream of whisky began to trickle out at the bullet hole, but it did not come out fast enough. Judson raised his gun again and sent another ball through the barrel-head near the upper edge. McCahan says than now a beautiful stream spurted out in the form of a golden rainbow. The boys held their canteens and filled them with the precious fluid, and then reverently plugged up the holes, so that no more of the liquor could be lost, and allowed the cart to proceed.
On the morning of the 21st of August the army went into a position along the bluffs of the Potomac. The left rested on the river and the right extended to the foot of the Blue Ridge. The Twenty Second Iowa was stationed near the center. The enemy made an assault, and, after several days' skirmishing, fell back to Bunker's Hill on the 27th. On September 3d Sheridan ordered the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps, which latter now included the Second Brigade; to march to Berryville, where a large rebel force was massing. The Eighth Corps was attacked in the evening, by the enemy,
near Berryville, but drove the rebels back. The Second Brigade
occupied a position on the right of the Eighth Corps. In this position the
forces skirmished until midnight, when they lay down in a drenching rain to rest
until daylight. On the arrival of daylight the enemy retired to their
fortifications on the Opequan.
The army, having now thrown up a line of works, remained until the 18th; and on the 19th, at about 2 o'clock in the morning, began its march on Winchester. The Sixth Corps was on the right, the Nineteenth in the center, and the Eighth on the left, as the army advanced. At about daylight the cavalry forming the advance guard encountered the enemy and drove in his pickets; and at about 9 o'clock the Nineteenth Corps arrived and formed a line of battle on a range of hills about a mile from the Opequan and facing the enemy. While the line was forming, it was shelled by the enemy's batteries for a short time; then a silence fell along the line like a calm before the opening of a tempest. Presently the command "Forward!" was given, and the army moved forward to the attack. The Twenty Second Iowa was on the extreme left of the Nineteenth Corps. The enemy was in a heavy belt of timber and about a mile of the Union army advanced, they were met by a volley of artillery, and when within about 500 yards of the enemy's line the latter poured in a deadly stream of grape and canister. The Twenty Second Iowa, with a yell, dashed forward on the double quick and gained a stone wall within 100 yards of the enemy, where they made a stand for an hour. The Sixth Corps, which was at the left of the regiment, began to fall back; and then, as they were pursued by the enemy in their retreat, the Twenty Second broke and was forced back by the enemy. General Grover finally succeeded in reforming his men, and, charging the rebels, drove them back at all points.
The action of the Twenty Second Iowa Infantry at the battle of Winchester furnishes one of the most gallant and intrepid exploits of the war. While the Union forces were being pushed back, the regiment rallied under a withering fire of the enemy and completely routed them. In this great battle the Twenty Second Iowa lost 109 men, killed, wounded, and missing.
On the 20th, after driving the rebels through
Winchester and on to Fisher's Hill, the rebels made a strong stand at the latter
place, and the pursuing Union column attacked them on the 22d. The Twenty
and Twenty Eighth Iowa were ordered to attack the enemy's rifle pits on the
heights in front of Fisher's Hill. They drove in the enemy's skirmishers about 4
o'clock; then these two regiments, with the One Hundred and Twenty Eighth New
York, charged on the enemy's line and drove it back at all points. In this fight
the regiment lost but 4 men.
It was now dark, but the Twenty Second Iowa and its invincible fighting mate, the Eleventh Indiana, followed up the retreating foe to Woodstock, a distance of 15 miles from Fisher's Hill. All night long these two regiments kept up a skirmishing fire on the retreating enemy, and succeeded in capturing several hundred prisoners. While encountering the enemy's rear guard, the latter opened with a volley of artillery and several of the regiment were killed. The latter poured in several volleys of musketry, when the enemy broke in disorder. For several days the victorious Union force harassed the retreating enemy, and then occupied Harrisburg until the 6th of October.
Sheridan now fell back to Cedar Creek. Here the army was disposed as follows: the Eighth Corps occupied the left, resting on the north fork of the Shenandoah; the Nineteenth Corps was placed in the center, and the Sixth Corps on the extreme right; the line forming a semicircle. On the 13th the enemy assaulted the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps' pickets. The Twenty Second and the Thirteenth Connecticut then assaulted the enemy, but the latter fell back without responding.
During the night the enemy withdrew to the defense of Fisher's Hill. On the morning of the 19th the Eighth Corps was attacked by the enemy and driven from their position, and to the rear of the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps.
The Twenty Second Iowa cut loose from the brigade to save a battery, but when it had advanced to within 200 yards the rebels had taken the battery, and the regiment fell back to the brigade.
The army then began to fall back towards Winchester, when that familiar episode of the campaign occurred, in which Sheridan met the retreating army, and reforming the men, drove back the enemy, and, largely through
Grover's Nineteenth Corps, achieved a memorable victory. The
enemy were driven through their camp and over Cedar Creek, and thousands of
their number were captured along with their train of artillery.
In this engagement the regiment lost 77 men, killed, wounded, and missing.
On the 20th the regiment was sent up the Blue Ridge, over the trail of Early's retreat. The route was thickly strewn with guns and accouterments. The regiment then returned to camp at Cedar Creek until the 9th of November, when it went into winter quarters at Winchester.
On emerging from winter quarters, the regiment went by rail to Baltimore, and from thence by ocean steamer to Savannah, Ga., where the regiment was mustered out.
At the battles of Winchester and Fisher's Hill there were wounded in Company D: Joseph Holbrook, arm and leg shot off; Wm. C. Wilson, both thighs severely injured; Geo. Lefever, right foot injured; Jas. H. Van Pelt, severely injured in head and leg. Henry C. Kritzer and Chas. H. Stephenson taken prisoner.
At Cedar Creek there were wounded in Company D: Samuel Byerly, wounded in abdomen mortally (since died); James Moore, severely wounded in hip; W. W. Cook, badly wounded in hip. Sam'l R. Conley, Joel H. Webb, and Calvin H. Bray were taken prisoners.
At Vicksburg there were killed in Company D: Corporal Nathaniel G. Teas, Jas. A. Eshom, Chester W. Farrar, Ezra L. Anderson, Samuel Byerly, Abner Barnard, Elmer Drummond, Hezekiah Drummond, Jas. Lindsey, Geo. W. Lefever, Geo. H. Miller, Geo. W. Maiden, John A. Robb, and David H. Willey. The wounded in Company D were: Geo. W. Buchanan, wounded slightly in the head; Munsen L. Clemmons, wounded slightly in the thigh; Jacob D. Mock, wounded slightly in the foot; C. T. McConnell, wounded in the jaw; Jacob S Ray, wounded in chest and arm; Thos. B. Tate, severely wounded in left ankle; Ferdinand Wood, slightly wounded in elbow.
In February, 1863, while the regiment was marching from White Plains, Mo., to Iron Mountain, it passed by a squalid hut in the timber. Alex McCahan says it was the most woe begone habitation he ever saw. The house contained a man, his wife, and several small children; all were nearly naked, and appeared half starved. The man's name
was Calvin Bray. He came to the fence and asked permission to enlist. He stated that he could not live any longer where he was located, and that he might as well go along with the regiment. He was taken into Company D, and, after drawing his first pay, sent it to his family and had them removed to some point of safety. He went through the war and was taken prisoner at Cedar Creek. On his release he rejoined the regiment, and on the 5th of April, 1865, died at St. Louis, of diarrhea. He was returning north to meet his family at Rolla, Mo.