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Richards, John A. 1846-1936


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 9/6/2017 at 22:48:54

Edgewood - Death came to John A. Richards, 90, at his home here Monday afternoon, July 13, after a lingering illness of eight months caused by a heart ailment. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

On June 29, 1846, in Buffalo, N.Y., John A. Richards was born, the son of Abel Richards and his wife, Anne Ferry. Eighty-five years ago in June, he came to Iowa with his mother who had been widowed by a scourge of cholera which swept the city of his birth. The trip west was made on one of the big side-wheeler lake steamers of that period. From Dubuque the trip to Edgewood, the Yankee Settlement, was made in a hack which the mother hired for the purpose. They came to the home of her father-in-law, two miles northwest of here.

Mr. Richards received his education at a little rural school house three miles from their country home.

War was declared between the North and the South when Mr. Richards was but 15 years old. He stayed at home with his aunt while his uncle went to the front. However, when not yet 17 years old, he enlisted at an evening meeting at which a recruiting officer was presenting the needs of the North for more men. He, with a dozen other youths, joined Company B, Fourth Iowa Cavalry under Colonel Peters of Delhi. They were sent first to Vicksburg, then to Guntown, Tenn., where the Union forces suffered a defeat with a loss of between, 5,000 and 6,000 prisoners and dead. About that time General Price and General Marmaduke led raiding parties up into Missouri. The brigade in which Mr. Richards was serving, captured General Marmaduke with 600 prisoners. Mr. Richards' horse was shot from under him in this engagement. All men in the battalion who had lost their horses in this fighting were sent down the Missouri River from Jefferson City to Saint Louis, in charge of the captured men and twenty pieces of artillery. When they arrived they marched their prisoners down the crowded streets of the city and turned them over to the proper authorities. While in Saint Louis Mr. Richards cast his first vote for president -- for Abraham Lincoln.

Next orders sent them to Vicksburg. Arriving at nightfall, they went into camp immediately. Almost at once the bugle blew them to embark for Nashville, Tenn. Twenty-seven boat loads of troops, horses and supplies made the trip. The night before they arrived the Union forces were victorious over the rebels. During the next three weeks they made raids and captured 12,000 cavalry troops. The rest of their campaigning was done in Alabama and Georgia under General Sherman and General Allan.

When General Lee surrendered and the war was over, it was three months before the northern troops of which Mr. Richards was a member were able to start for home. They had to rebuild a bridge which had been destroyed during the fighting at the Chatahoochie river, seven miles out of Atlanta, Ga. A pontoon bridge was built to bring them supplies while getting the bridge ready.

For several years after his return to Edgewood he engaged in farming, then turned to carpentering. There are not over 30 houses in Edgewood on which Mr. Richards had not worked, and all of the newer business houses and the public school building were lathed by Mr. Richards.

In his early manhood, Mr. Richards married Miss Delle Palmer, and to this union were born six children, all of whom are living except W.T., who died a few years after his return from the World War. His living children are Ora Richards in Buffalo, N.Y.; Les Richards in Manchester; Mrs. Margaret Harris, Greeley; Harold Richards, Chicago, Ill.; and Miss Gretchen Richards of Paris, France.

When the youngest child was but a little girl, the mother died. Several years later Mr. Richards married Mrs. Sarah Hammond, who gave him the utmost devotion and splendid care until the end.

A member of the Grand Army of the Republic in Edgewood as long as there was an organization here, and then with other members of the post transferred to Manchester, and often attended the meetings in that town.

~Clayton County Register, Elkader, Wednesday, July 15, 1936

Buried in Greenhill cemetery, Lodomillo twp.


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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