Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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There are few among Cerro Gordo county's Civil war veterans who have had a more interesting military record, whose reminiscences of the days of the saving of the union are more thrilling and whose patriotism shines more brightly than Zenas C. BURDICK, now living in retirement in Rockwell.

Mr. BURDICK was born in Erie county, New York, December 17, 1836. His father, Harris C. BURDICK, was born in New York, in 1811, and died in Grand Junction, Green county, Iowa, April 1, 1897. The mother, Sally CHURCHILL BURDICK, was born in 1810 in the Isle of Mott, Vermont, and died in Boone county, Iowa, four or five years previous to the death of her husband.

Two years after the birth of Zenas C. BURDICK his parents moved to Dekalb county, Illinois, where the father practiced medicine. This state was the home of the family for many years, it being in the eighties that the father and mother came to Grand Junction , Iowa, the father's demise occurring in that place. Mr. BURDICK was educated in the common schools of Illinois and for two years after his marriage in 1860 made his livelihood by farming.

On August 12, 1862 , he enlisted in Company G, of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, being mustered in as a sergeant September 6, 1862. Soon the regiment was sent to Memphis, Tennessee, and put in Sherman's Division, later becoming a part of the First Brigade, Second Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps. It was Mr. BURDICK'S lot to see very active service and to be in some of the most decisive conflicts. He took part in numerous engagements, such as Black Bayou, Mississippi, and Arkansas Post, Arkansas, (where more prisoners were captured than had been taken up to that time). Sergeant BURDICK was for a time detached from the regiment and put on special duty in the quartermaster's department at Young's Point, Louisiana. On July 1, 1863, he rejoined the regiment, which was taking part in the siege of Vicksburg. Subsequently the regiment was engaged in the Atlanta campaign and accompanied Sherman on his march to the sea. It saw action at Fort McAllister, Georgia, and was later conveyed by boat from Savannah to Hatteras Inlet, South Carolina. Then followed the battles of Pocotaligo, South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and Bentonville, North Carolina. The regiment was sent from the latter town to Raleigh, North Carolina, where they were located at the time of the surrender of LEE. It marched to Washington, D.C., and took part in the grand review, being mustered out in the national capitol, June 7, 1865, and paid off at Springfield, Illinois, being discharged on the 28th of the month. The One Hundred and Sixteenth was engaged in a number of skirmishes and minor engagements not mentioned.

After the war Mr. BURDICK returned to Dekalb, Illinois, and in 1872 he removed to Clinton, Iowa, where he worked in a saw mill for twelve or thirteen years. His next place of residence was in Story county, Iowa, where he engaged in agriculture for a time. Returning to Clinton he made his residence in that place for the next four years and then came back to Story county, where the Story City branch of the Iowa Central Railway was being constructed to Zearing, Iowa. He spent part of his time meanwhile working in Marshalltown, Iowa.

He was assistant superintendent of the building of the Soldiers Home at Marshalltown, and had the honor of raising the first flag over that institution.

It was on Easter Sunday, 1900, that Mr. BURDICK took up his residence in Rockwell, he having come to take charge of his daughter's farm for the summer. At the present time, on account of poor eyesight, he has practically retired from labor, although he devotes considerable attention to his garden and to the raising of chickens.

Mr. BURDICK was married September 1, 1900, to Mrs. Emma DICKSON, widow of Robert H. DICKSON, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Cerro Gordo county in 1854 and in 1856 took up government land in Bath township. Mrs. BURDICK was born in Potter county, Pennsylvania, and in 1874 came to Iowa with her parents, Joseph and Phoebe (LOUCKS) SMITH. In the home state the father had been a miller, but followed farming after coming to Cerro Gordo county. The father was born September 1, 1810, and died February 7, 1890, and the mother was born March 30, 1826, and died January 19, 1909, the demise of both taking place at Rockwell. Mrs. BURDICK is the mother of four children by her first marriage, and of those two are living, Benjamin B. DICKSON of Waterloo, and Olive May Dickson who makes her home with her mother. Mr. BURDICK was previously married, November 11, 1860, and of the ten children of this union four survive: Cora Electa is the wife of Oscar LUNDIN, of Marshalltown, Iowa; Harris E., is a resident of Chicago; Leona May is the wife of Chauncey B. GUSTAFSON of Rose Creek, Minnesota; Zenas Elza lives in Dekalb, Illinois.

Zenas C. BURDICK is a Republican and very active in politics. In Story county he served for several years as justice of the peace. He is an enthusiastic Grand Army man and has every reason to be proud of his military record. He is at present commander of Atlanta Post, No. 389, at Rockwell. He is also affiliated with the I.O.O.F. Mr. BURDICK is a member of the Christian church and his wife of the Congregational.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. Pp. 475-79. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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