Two full companies, A. and D. were organized in Benton county for the Twenty- eighth Infantry—the former being commanded by Captain W. A. Gaston and the latter. by Captain S. P. Vanatta. The regiment went into camp at Iowa city, where it remained several weeks, and was mustered into service November 10, 1862, nine hundred and fifty-six strong. On the 20th it arrived at Helena, Arkansas, and here encountered one of the many trials of war in the shape of malaria and small-pox. In the following January, the men who were in good health participated in the expedition which ascended White river, to Duvall’s Bluffs, and both during that campaign and for the balance of the winter, at, Helena, the suffering from exposure and cold was very severe.
In the following April the Twenty-eighth joined the Vicksburg campaign, and was first under fire at Port Gibson, May 1st, where it suffered the loss of one man killed and sixteen wounded. On the 16th the regiment fought bravely at the battle of Jackson, and earned the following words of praise from the division commander: “Scarcely more than six months in the service, and yet no troops ever showed more bravery or fought with more valor.” At this engagement the regiment lost twenty-two killed, sixty-five wounded and thirteen missing, four companies coming out without commissioned officers. Reaching Vicksburg on the 27th of July, the regiment was soon afterward transferred to the Department of the Gulf, and in September the scene of its operations was transferred to western Louisiana. In the following spring it participated in Bank’s expedition up the Red river, and at the battle of Sabine Cross Roads it lost eighty officers and men; its commanding officer Colonel Connell being severely wounded and captured. In the following July the Twenty-eighth joined Sheridan’s army in the Shenandoah Valley and at the famous battle of Winchester lost ninety of its men. It captured a battery, amunition and many prisoners at the battle of Fisher’s Hill, and afterward fought throughout the battle of Cedar Creek, in the Fourth Brigade of Grover’s Division. In January, 1865, it was ordered to Savannah, Georgia. where it performed garrison duty for several weeks, and, after the surrender of General Johnston, was transferred to Savannah, where it was mustered out July 1, 1865.
William P. Lathrop was the only general officer from Benton county connected with the Twenty-eighth. who was assistant surgeon of his regiment for several months in 1862. The roster of companies A and D composed of Benton county boys follows: