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History of Davenport and Scott
Submitted by Elaine
History of Davenport and Scott
MILITARY HEADQUARTERS - CAMPS WHERE SOLDIERS WERE TRAINED - MINNESOTA SIOUX - MANY CONFERDERATE PRISONERS AT ROCK ISLAND PRISON - THE ROUTINE OF PRISON LIFE - THE SOLDIERS' MONUMENT - ORATION OF GENERAL J. B. LEAKE - IOWA SOLDIERS' ORPHANS' HOME - FIRST EXERCISES AT OAKDALE - COMPANY B GOES TO FIGHT SPAIN - THE ROLL OF HONOR - COMPANY ROSTER IN DAYS OF SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR.
(Pictures included with this chapter are: Rebel Prison On Rock Island, In 1864 - Company B Starting For the Spanish-American War - The Armory, Davenport.
At the outbreak of hostilities between the north and south the telegraph lines terminated at Davenport. To be in close touch with affairs at Washington and to secure ready communication concerning military affairs Governor Kirkwood established his headquarters at Davenport, and before the close of the war there were located here various military organizations of the state and of the Union army. Among the state officers stationed here at one period of the war were N. B. Baker, adjutant general, and M. M. Trumbull, assistant adjutant general, with offices in the Griggs block, between Second and Third streets; also of the United States army Brigadier General B. S. Roberts, commanding the district of Iowa, whose headquarters were in the Metropolitan block, southeast corner of Second and Brady. On his staff were Captains J. M. Bell and T. P. Hunt, Lieutenant S. Prentiss, B. H. Roberts and Richard Skinner, Lieutenant Colonel William M. Grier, mustering and dispatching officer, had his headquarters in the Griggs block. The provost marshal for hte second district of Iowa, General Philo E. Hall, had his headquarters in the Metropolitan block, and in the same building was stationed Major Thomas Duncan, Third United States cavalry, acting assistant provost marshal for Iowa. Captain Charles Bennett was superintendent of barracks on the island and Major C. P. Kingsbury was superintendent of the arsenal buildings on the island.
DAVENPORT MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS
There were some attempts at the organization of companies of the citizen soldiery prior to 1857, but nothing of permanent character. In that year, February 3d, a number of German-born citizens who had seen service in the fatherland, organized the Davenport Rifle Corps. On July 4th of that year they made their first appearance in parade under command of Captain A. Iten. They had their armory at Second and Ripley streets. Captain H. Haupt was later in command.
The Davenport City artillery was organized July 9, 1857, and served a double purpose in the community. It had civil officers, John Johns, Jr., president; F. B. Wilkie, vice president; C. C. Harris, secretary; and D. W. Van Evera, treasurer; also a full complement of military officers headed by C. N. Schuyler. R. M. Littler was orderly sergeant. The rank and file numbered forty and they possessed two six-pounders. Their armory was at Second and Brady steets. The artillerists were notable both upon the drill ground and also in the ball room. They gave public assemblies through the winter and still linger in the memories of many citizens of Davenport.
The veterans of the Schleswig-Holstein uprising formed the nucleus and furnished the officers for the Davenport City Guards, organized in March, 1858. July 4, 1858, they made their first appearance in uniform. Their captain was F. Unrow. Later they were commanded by Captain D. H. Stuhr. Their armory was on Second near Ripley.
The Davenport Sarsfield Guards was another company organized at a date slightly previous to that on which the City Guards were organized, but they did not make their first appearance in parade in uniform until March 17, 1859. From that date and the name chosen to designate this body of militia it is not difficult to tell the nationality of a large part of its membership. Edward Jennings was the first captain. He resigned later and R. M. Littler was given the command. A hall on Brady street near Fourth was utilized as an armory.
In Barrow's history, written in 1859, there is this paragraph: "There is no young city in the west that can equal Davenport in her display of military. The companies are all excellently uniformed and officered and should their services be ever needed by their country they will not be found in the background."
That prophecy was amply fulfilled a few months after when Davenport was the scene, April 17, 1861, of a public meeting that immediately followed the receipt of the news of the fall of Fort Sumter. The war spirit there kindled found expression in the enlistment of Scott county men in every regiment that Iowa sent to the front. Company G of the First regiment, commanded by August Wentz was composed entirely of men from this county.
MILITARY CAMPS IN DAVENPORT
During the war there were at one time in Davenport five military camps: Camp McClellan was established August 8, 1861, and was the rendezvous of the Eighth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Sixteenth regiments of infantry, and also of recruits for old regiments. This camp was located east of the city limits, near the river, and was in command of Lieutenant Peckenpaugh.
Camp Joe Holt was established September 23, 1861, on the fair grounds, between Thirteenth and Northern avenue (Kirkwood boulevard), Perry and Rock Island streets. It was the rendezvous of the Second and Sixteenth cavalry.
Camp Herron was established August 25, 1862, in LeClaire's addition, between Farnam street and Churchill's addition. The Thirty-first and Thirty-second regiments of infantry were stationed here.
Camp Hendershott was the rendezvous of the Sixth and seventh cavalry. It was established October 10, 1862, between thirteenth and Locust and Ripley and Scott. This camp and Camp Joe Holt were soon vacated.
Camp Roberts was the headquarters of the Eighth and Ninth cavalry. It was established July 14, 1863, on Duck creek near Oakdale. It was afterward called Camp Kinsman, and the buildings were still later turned over to the orphans of soldiers and became the Davenport Orphans' home.
GEN. B. S. ROBERTS
General B. S. Roberts, after whom Camp Roberts at Davenport was named, graduated from West Point in 1835 and resigned from the service in 1839. He was appointed principal engineer of the Ogdensburg & Champlain railroad and later assistant geologist of the state of New York. He studied law and established himself in the practice of his profession at Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1844. In 1846 he was appointed first lieutenant of a regiment of mounted riflemen and took part in many heroic incidents in the Mexican war. He led the advance of Quitman's army into the City of Mexico and raised the United States flag over the ancient palaces of the Montezumas. For service in General Scott's campaign he was breveted major and a colonel in the regular army by President Polk. He was thanked by the legislature of Iowa and a sword was presented to him. At the breaking out of the Civil war he was given charge of the southern department of New Mexico, was made a brigadier general of volunteers by President Lincoln and served as chief of cavalry and inspector general of the army under General Polk and later commanded a brigade in western Virginia. He was assigned to the command of the department of Iowa on June 11, 1863, with headquarters at Davenport. He was relieved from this department the following December 2, 1863.
INDIAN MURDERERS AT CAMP MCCLELLAN
In 1862 the Sioux Indians, in Minnesota, committed many depredations and massacres of the whites. For these murders they were rounded up by the government, about forty hanged at Mankato, Minnesota, and a large number brought to Camp McClellan in April of that year. Speaking of their arrival here the Democrat and News of its issue of April 27, 1863, had the following to say:
"On the night of the 21st inst., the condemned Minnesota Indians, numbering 278 Sioux braves, including one Winnebago, were quietly removed from their log prison where they had been confined and strictly guarded since last December, and marched on board the steamer Favorite, Captain Hutchins, and started down the river for this point. The night time was taken for this movement and great secrecy was observed in order to elude any demonstration the enraged Minnesotans might make-they having threatened so savagely that the murderers of their wives, their children, brothers and sisters should never leave the state alive. In addition to the Sioux warriors there were sixteen squaws and two papooses that embarked and came here also. The prisoners while at Mankato were guarded by the Seventh Minnesota volunteers, Colonel S. Miller. The guard under which they came was Company C, seventy-four men, Captain Burt, First Lieutenant Winslow, second Lieutenant Pratt and a detachment of the Seventh Minnesota. Major Brown of the same regiment, who for the last forty-five years has resided with the Indian tribes of the northwest, was with the party. The other officers were Quartermaster Redfield and Dr. Signeurete, surgeon of the regiment. With the Indians came three interpreters: David Faribault, a half-breed Sioux, who speaks English fluently and writes a handsome hand, having received some education at school at Prairie du Chien; Antoine Provocilli, another French and Indian half-breed; and George Godfrey, a half-breed Indian negro, the same who escaped hanging with the thirty-nine who were executed last winter, by turning state's evidence, and who is under sentence of imprisonment for ten years. It is said that he alone murdered eighteen men, women and children in that awful massacre.
"The Favorite arrived here on Saturday morning. It landed above East Davenport in front of Post McClellan. Captain Littler was ready with his command and in thirty minutes after the landing the prisoners were all in quarters at camp. The pen made for their reception is 200 feet square and encloses four buildings, formerly barracks. Most of these Indians were taken by General Sibley, who led the attack against them, though a considerable number came in and gave themselves up, that being their best chance for life."
THE ISLAND BECOMES A MILITARY PRISON
By order of the war department in July, 1863, Rock island was made a military prison for the confinement of Confederate prisoners. During the same month Captain Charles A. Reynolds, assistant quartermaster United States army, arrived and commenced building a prison and barracks. The first soldiers for guard duty arrived November 2, 1863. Lieutenant Colonel Schaffner arrived on the 19th of November and took command. On the 22d Colonel Richard Henry Rush arrived and took command of the post and Colonel A. J. Johnson was appointed in charge of the prisoners. The first installment of prisoners, taken at the battle of Lookout Mountain, arrived from Chattanooga, December 3, 1863; and from that time until the close of the war a large number of prisoners were kept under a strong guard upon the island. The whole number of prisoners confined here was 12,215; the number of deaths was 1,960. About 500 died of smallpox, many of scurvy and others of vaious diseases, chiefly pneumonia. They were put into rough boxes and buried in trenches. The corner-posts of the cemetery where their ashes repose are composed of cannon taken from the Confederates, planted with their muzzles in the ground and strung around with chains. Within this enclosure sleep nearly 2,000 Confederate dead. At a few of the graves friends of the deceased have erected plain headstones and placed on them a few simple inscriptions. There is also near the head of the island a Union soldiers' cemetery where 310 graves are enclosed by a neat fence. Here exercises are conducted each Memorial Day by the Grand Army posts of Davenport, Rock Island and Moline.
REMINISCENCES OF AN EX-CONFEDERATE PRISONER ON THE ISLAND
In the Louisville Age some years after the war, the following very interesting reminiscent article, written by an ex-Confederate prisoner, was published. After describing the island and barracks, which embraced twenty acres of streets and buildings, he had the following to say:
"The outbuildings were about forty feet from the plank fence or parapet on which walked the sentinels stationed about fifteen feet apart. Between the parapet and a certain limit significantly known as the dead line, was a ditch varying in depth according to the amount of soil on the uniform rock foundation of the island, and the fact that it was a rock island made attempts to dig out of it very uncertain, although the activity displayed in the way of sapping and mining by the involuntary inhabitants of the place was astonishing. It was not an uncommn thing for a government wagon in making its rounds to drop through the molelike channels dug by the prisoners. A few escapes were made by tunneling out but in no proportion to the amount of dirt dug or the sleepless nights of the toilers spent in these human rat-holes. In fact, with all the methods of escape devised perhaps fewer prisoners gained their freedom surreptitiously from the Rock island prison than from any prison, north or south, during the war. Yet much daring was exercised. All manner of schemes were devised for escape-rope ladders, a sudden dash on the guards; climbing the wall unseen; crossing the dead line and ditch and digging out beneath the parapet and sentinel; a combined uprising bribing the sergeants and guards, etc. In dark night amid thunder, rain and storms, there were frequent epidemics of individual attempts. There were shots heard from the wall, and the quieter captives would murmur to each other their sympathy for some poor soul-some poor fellow killed in an insane attempt at climbing the parapet or digging out. These attempts became so frequent that the distance between the guards was decreased and headlights were placed at shorter intervals along the wall. A youth from Florida who messed with the writer quietly communicated to me one evening that he did not propose to die of disease which was then prevalent in prison, and that he intended to get out or die. He seized a large, sharp case knife immediately after roll was called, crept along the shadow of the barracks, crossed the dead line (it was death to be seen after roll call even in the rear of the outer barracks), slid down into the ditch and was lost to sight. He had attached to himself a communicating string with the agreement to make certain signals in case he succeeded in getting an outlet under the plank wall. But the communication by way of the string was lost and nothing was heard from him again that night. The next morning we could see where he had dug his way to open air and free daylight. A few Federals looked gloomily at the impudent hole, which was at once filled up again and a closer watch ordered. Such attempts were generally unsuccessful. It was not uncommon, after a very dark night, to see the bodies of three or four unfortunates, some of them half way through the hole, shot either from above, having attracted the attention of the guard by scraping against him in passing through, or being discovered on the outside by a passing sentinel. The largest batch of prisoners escaped during the building of the large government tunnel, the opening of which was protected by an iron gateway. Ten or twelve escaped by that road in one night.
"Each barrack was capable of accommodating 150 men. One's peculiar quarters was a bunk usually shared with a comrade, and in winter, for the animal heat, the bunk was occupied by a company of three, but the designs of the Federal government were liberal. We were well supplied with coal and two stoves were continuously kept glowingly hot at all hours of severe weather, around which would cluster the half clad prisoners. Each barrack governed itself. In the fall and winter of 1863 there were about 10,000 prisoners on the island, so that about 100 barracks were occupied. There was quite a difference in the efficiency of government in each barrack. In some the laws were numerous and stringent. In others much freedom and hilarity prevailed, and in others were factions and consequent discontent. The buildings were frame and the long seams in the wall were uncovered; but some occupants were negligent and others provident, so that in one barrack could be found the crevices all filled with a cement of mud and another quite cheerless. Some of the bunks were cosy; the walls were decorated with illustrated prints and many little tokens from home would be found, and not unfrequently a Bible under the pillow. Comfort or discomfort was more a personal matter than something for which the government was responsible. The kitchen was formed from a portion of the rear of the barrack. Boiling was the only preparation required for the food furnished, and the only cooking was done in an immense kettle attached to a small stove. In the better days of life there the bill of fare was generous-coffee, sugar, rice, molasses, boiled meats and bread in the loaf. After the Andersonville excitement rations were reduced and the state of affairs began to be painful. A wicked commissary tried a little private retaliation and corn beef got to be abominable. Considerable talent was required in the management of the kitchen-that important department of state. To be chief cook and butler was a crown of glory. The position of bottle washer and scavenger was dignified and no city election ever witnessed more intriguing. Men who had won their spurs in civil life and noted lawyers now on the bench canvassed in vain for office and sued for the honor of ladling out beef soup. Classic gentlemen who were familiar with the mode of cooking beef according to the best epicurean description fruitlessly presented their claims. The cook's was a fat office, with perquisites of bits of liver and scraps of choice bits. Thus the govenment was democratic but subject to central power on the outside. The representative of that power was as a rule a dilapidated veteran of the Federal army whose duties were simply to muster his barrack twice a day to hear complaints and see to the wants of its occupants. Some of those sergeants were sympathetic and acted as mediums of communication with the outer world-carring letters, bringing newspapers and other forbidden articles.
WORD FROM HOME
"The arrival of the letter carriers was the occasion of immense excitement, The regulation permitted but one letter a month, limited to a page. Many gave the use of their names to others, and thus a very comfortable correspondence could be carried on. By this system signatures became an article of commerce. When there were none on the market or they had run up in price beyond the means of some anxious purchaser, I had recourse to borrowing a friend's name until next week. The letter carrier was besieged at the door by the curious and the names of the fortunate winners in this lottery were echoed by many sympathizing voices.
"The prison on Rock island gradually grew to self-reliance and became an independent city. Intellectual life was possible. A library on a large scale was contemplated. Anything of a purely literary nature was admitted by the authorities. French and German teachers announced themselves. Such old scholars there were-antique pedagogues, inaptly cuaght up by the chances of war, who knew more of a the Punic or Peleponesian affairs than they did of the civil struggle which had landed them in prison. Barracks were transformed into shops. A lottery was established with a capital prize of several thousand dollars, and tales were told of immense amounts of money in the possession of some of the prisoners, smuggled in under buttons and in the heels and soles of boots or bow knots. Bread was temptingly displayed in windows-also cakes and pies. The making of rings and ornaments of cannel coal, gutta percha and silver developed much ingenuity. A theater was established in one of the barracks. 'Hell's Half Acre' was in the main avenue and all manner of games were conducted there-keno was the most popular, as the conditions of the betting admitted of a larger number of chance takers. The pot was made up of money or a certain quantity of tabacco, a loaf of bread or whatever the specialty of the cloth called for.
"In the autumn of 1863 the offer was made by the Federal authorities to administer the oath of allegiance to the prisoners and to receive them into the Federal army to serve on the frontier. A number of conscripted men, particularly those conscripted by General Price on his last raid in Missouri, accepted the conditions and were placed in barracks within the grounds, a new parapet being erected around them. To this quarter was given the name of 'calf pen' by the prisoners. There was at once noticed a great difference in the fare of the 'bull pen' and the 'calf pen.' Those were the evil days and humiliation and hunger were among the sufferings of the obdurate. Various punishments were devised against those cuaght in rebellious ways-riding a rail, hanging by the thumbs, wearing a ball and chain, etc., but on the whole the Federal government was liberal."
AUGUST WENTZ POST NO. 1, GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
The first post in Iowa was named J. B. Leake Post, No. 1. In 1881, when the order was re-organized, it was named August Wentz Post, No. 1, in honor of the gallant Lieutenant Colonel August Wentz, who fell at Belmont while fighting in defense of his country. In June, 1902, the following article was published in the Democrat and is self explanatory:
"Several days ago you republished from the Des Moines Capital an article written in view of the G. A. R. encampment to be held in that city, which was headed 'First G. A. R. Meeting. Call for meeting was issued in 1870, but 1874 virtually first reunion.' In the body of the article are these words: 'In 1874 at Keokuk the provisional department was organized to perpetuate patriotic sentiments of the war period. Hon. J. C. Parrott, of Keokuk, was elected first commander of the department.'
"Now in this there is, and no doublt unintentionally, an inversion of facts, both as to the time and place where the first provisional oganization of the G. A. R. association occurred, and also as to who was its first commander. These honors belong to Davenport and the time is 1866. General Stephenson in Illinois was that year the originator and promoter of the organization known as the Grand Arny of the Republic, and in his memory and to his honor as such a monument will be (was later on) soon erected at Washington. The first organization of the Grand Army of the Republic in the United States was consummated in Illinois, and the second was in Wisconsin. At this time (1866) there was a large society or association of 'old soldiers' in Davenport, and at one of their meetings or banquets, held in the old Turner hall, the question came up of establishing a G. A. R. department in Iowa, and the president of the meeting was invited to visit Illinois and confer with General Stephenson on the project. He did this at his own expense and after some days made his report at home. He brought with him the appointment and authority as first commander of the first projected G. A. R. department of Iowa, and as such was authorized to start and charter posts, and was also supplied with all the application blanks, etc. The report was accepted and the society's president, General Add. H. Sanders, elected department commander with proper formality. He appointed his adjutant general and quartermaster, with headquarters at Davenport, and all went actively to work. This work was laborious with a great deal of traveling to do, especially by the adjutants. The commander bore all these expenses and after post fees began to come in he even then refused to accept a dollar in recompense.
"When nearly seveny posts were organized the commander called a meeting at Davenport of two or three delegates from each for business, and aslo for the purpose of tendering his resignation because of outside demands upon his time and labor. Then everything seemed prospering in the Iowa department. Iowa was the third state naming and organizing a G. A. R. department. General J. B. Leake, of Davenport, was elected the next commander of the statre department, and it was no fault of his, in work or ability, that not very long after the veteran organization commenced its decline, until in 1870 there were but few posts left in the state. In 1874, at Keokuk, a provisional reorganization took place with General Parrott as commander, and in 1881 finally merging into a permanent state department. In fact, the original G. A. R. organization became too political, for almost every member of it was a republican and the organization voted republican. Why, as an illustration, at the time of the delegate meeting here, by the earnest request of the delegates and against his mild protest for such political action, the commander that afternoon marched, or had ferried over the river into Illinois, the whole unanimous body to hear General Logan make a political speech in Rock Island. They were received with great applause and the commander was invited to preside at the big meeting. But this honor he declined."
ADD. H. SANDERS.
On May 25, 1865, the Lincoln Monument Association of Scott County, Iowa, was duly incorporated under the laws of the state. The association had for its object the erection of a monument to the martyred president, Abraham Lincoln, and Scott county soldiers who died in the service of their country. Subscription papers were at once distributed but donations were not very generous. On the 18th of May, 1871, six years after the movement had been started, the secretary of the association reported donations to the amount of $529.25, with accumulated interest of $148.50, which totaled $707.40. At this May meeting Secretary Edward Russell informed the members present that Nicholas Fejervary was ready to give to the association the sum of $1,300 upon the condition that the name and object of the association would be so changed that its sole aim would be the building of a county soldiers' monument. After a full discussion on the merits this patriotic citizen's proposition the name of the association was changed to the Scott County Soldiers' Monument Association. After this donations began to increase and with the accumulation of interest it becme apparent that provisions would soon have to be made for the actual building of a soldiers' monument. Pursuant to this idea a call was issued for a meeting of the association to be held on January 5, 1880, for the purpose of electing a board of directors. At this meeting the following gentlemen were selected as members of that board: Nicholas Fejervary, Edward Russell, J. G. G. Cavendish, W. C. Warriner, George P. McClelland, J. G. Crane, James Gildenburg, Henry Egbert and Joseph Andrews. Plans for the new monument as it now appears to the public were adopted by the board on the 5th of June, 1880, and the contract was entered into with R. F. Carter, of South Rydate, Vermont, the designer for its construction. The price agreed upon, exclusibe of the foundation, was $8,000. Much trouble was experienced as to a proper site for the shaft, but the place where it now stands was finally selected. It is located on the brow of the bluff in the center of Main street, between the high school and Trinity cathedral.
The monument is of English granite, rising from the base to a height of fifty feet. The work of the monument is most admirable in every part. It is of solid granite, no piecing in any of its parts. The foundation sinks at least seven feet in the earth and is of the best Nauvoo stone, resting on a cement floor. The base is seventeen feet, sixteen inches square, with buttress extensions at the corners. The lower base has a depth of one foot, three inches and two sub bases of two feet, six inches. The third section is one foot, six inches deep with bas relief-wreaths-on one side. On the south panel of the shaft is the following inscription:
Erected by Grateful Citizens of Scott County
of the Fellow Citizens who Died in Defense of the Union 1861-5
Proved themselves the Bravest of the Brave-General H. W. Halleck,
They died "That Government of the People by the People and for the People Might not Perish from the Earth.-A. Lincoln.
"An Honor to their Friends at Home, to their State and their Country * * * a Terror to their Foes."-Inspector General W. E. Strong.
On a lower section of the shaft in bas relief panels in the following emblems appear: south panel, the coat of arms of the United States; east panel, anchor and shot, representing the navy; north side, crossed cannon representing the artillery; west panel, heavy crossed, sabers, belt, cartridges and revolvers, representing the cavalry. On the first plinth, immediately above the lower section of the column, are emblematic wreaths on the respective sides, thus: over the coat of arms, the laurel-joy; over the navy, the olive-peace; over the artillery, the oak-strength; over the cavalry, the ivy-lasting remembrance. The remaining plinths above the second and third sections of the columns respectively bear the record of those battles participated in by Scott county soldiers, as principal ones among many others: Wilson's Creek, Donelson, Shiloh, Iuka, Prairie Grove, Corinth, Vicksburg, Fort Blakeley.
This very graceful column is mounted by a capstone bearing on each side a shield and carving, Upon this rests the pedestal which is the support for the piece de resistance of the whole design-the figure of a soldier representing the infantry. This figure of the soldier of 1861 measures exactly eight feet in height from the sole of the boot to the crown of the cap. The base of the monument is protected by a neat iron fence that encircles it.
Janyary 15, 1909, the Scott County Monument association gave the shaft and grounds to the city of Davenport, and by so doing practically terminated the life of this organization.
At this monument patriotic exercises are held on each recurring Memorial day under auspices of the Grand Army post. With them unite the Loyal Legion, the Sons of Veterans, the Woman's Relief Corps and other patriotic organizations.
COMPANY B OF DAVENPORT IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR
The first military company to be organized in Davenport after the Civil war was composed mainly of veterans of that bloody conflict and was brought together by J. A. Andrews, who had attained the rank of major in the federal army. This took place in 1878 and the organization, as Company B, was mustered into the state militia, as a component part of the Ninth infantry, Iowa National Guards. The first officers elected were: captain, J. A. Andrews; first lieutenant, E. L. Cook; second lieutenant, J. L. Mason. This company maintained its organization and attended the various rendezvous in camps selected by the authorities and at the target, and as a well-drilled and disciplined entity of the regiment to which it had been assigned gained distinction and became the pride of all well-minded Davenporters.
When the difficulties arose between the United States and Spain on account of the latter's atrocities toward the people of Cuba, Company B was high on the pedestal of expectancy, looking eagerly for a call to arms and ready to respond. When President McKinley called for 125,000 troops the "boys" could scarce restrain the "war fever" that possessed them and when, in the afternoon of April 23, 1898, Captain Dalzell sent the word over the telephone to Sergeant Roe to mobilize the company, every member, on being notified, dropped whatever he had in hand and that evening had gathered at the armory to answer roll call and make ready for departure to camp and the field of battle, if need be.
MUSTERED INTO SERVICE
Davenport-its people-was equally excited by the declaration of war against the Dons. The Shriners donated $100 toward a company sick fund; the August Wentz post treated the company to a "mess" of hardtack, bacon and beans and the ladies vied with one another in the efforts to give the soldier laddies a fitting "send off." Tuesday the company, with Company I, of Maquoketa and the Second regiment band, boarded the train for Des Moines and arrived there at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The train had picked up on the way Company C, of Muscatine, and Company I, at Iowa City. At Grinnell Company K was taken on board and a part of Company I, at Newton.
While in camp at Des Moines the company was thoroughly drilled equipped with all the paraphernalia that comprises the accoutrements of the modern soldier and on the 17th of May, with the exception of a few rejected at the time of the physical examination, the boys were mustered into the service of the United States as Company B, Fiftieth Iowa Infantry, for three years or until the end of the war.
On the 20th of May the regiment left Camp McKinley for Tampa, Florida, there to go into camp and to acclimate for service in the West Indies. But Jacksonville was on the way and there the boys were ordered from the cars and into camp, which was named Camp Cuba Libre, and remained there until the articles of peace were signed and on the 13th of September the regiment broke camp and were entrained for Camp McKinley at Des Moines, which was reached on the 17th. On the 20th the company returned to Davenport on thirty days' furlough and was given a magnificent reception by the city, whose citizens were proud of the splendid record the boys had made, even though they had not been able to meet the enemy face to face.
Company B returned to Camp McKinley on November 1st, was re-examined, paid and honorably discharged, having served seven months and one week from the time the organization answered the president's call for troops the preceding April. It still maintains its identity as Company B, Fiftieth Regiment, Iowa National Guards.
ROLL OF HONOR
The following members of Company B died at Camp Cuba Libre, Jacksonville, Florida: Walter G. Nagel, August 19, 1898; John Schoreder, September 10, 1898; Olin G. Hoover, September 19, 1898; Gustav B. LeGrande, September 25, 1898.
PERSONNEL OF COMPANY B
The roster of the company in 1898: Company officers, Captain, Thomas C. Dalzell; first lieutenant, Alfred B. Hender; second lieutenant, James M. McManus. Sergeants, first, Albert A. Roe; quarter master, Julius E. Burmeister; Edward D. Middleton, Henry G. McBurney, John P. Leonardy, Emil Schmidt, Corporals, Frank S. Fidlar, DeForrest C. McCollister, James A. Taylor, George H. Greene, Francis J. Parker, John A. Miner (transferred United States Signal Corps), Charles W. Hoover, Olin G. Hoover (died September 19, 1898), Louis G. Lasher, William J. Carson, George C. Cook (discharged September 10, 1898), Victor H. Plath, Louis Peterson, William F. Weiss, James D. Mason, Hamilton F. Gronen. Musicians, Robert R. Sindt, Phillip A. Sonntag. Artificer, Layton R. Ackley. Wagoner, Emil A. Speth. Privates, Frank H. Alford, Frank Attwaterm David S. Baker, Hedley Beesley, Fred L. Bowman, Ernest E. Bruhn, Claude J. Bullock, August Busch, James Y. Cantwell (transferred to hospital corps), John D. Chambers (discharged August 20, 1898), Philo C. Colony, William H. Corry, Alexander L. Craik (transferred to hospital corps), Jesse L. Doty, Daniel F. Evers, Carl F. Finger, William F. Fisher, William H. Gosch, Arthur C. Grilk, Henry Groenwaldt, Albert Hass, Edward Haney, Harry N. Hoag, Henry Hoeft, Jr., Rudolph Huss, August Johannsen, Adolph Kahles, Jr., Hugo V. Koch, Oliver W. Kulp, Edgar M. Kurtz, Ole A. Landy, Frank Lane, Charles B. Lantry, Joseph Lawson, Gustav B. LeGrande (died September 25, 1898), Charles D. E. Lepper, George H. Martin, Harry T. McKown, Henry Meier, Herman H. Miller, Marshall Miller, William Huhs, Walter G. Nagel, (died August 19, 1898), Edward L. Nebergall, Robert P. Osborne, Thomas F. Owens, Max Pahl, Albert M. Parker, Peter Paulsen, Harry Pfabe, Obed K. Price, Alfred Proctor, Edward Reavy, Charles Reynolds, Robert Risley, John Rhoades, Carl A. Rhode, Theodore H. Rosche, Fred Schick, Herman T. Schmidt, Andy W. Schmidt, Paul Schmidt, John A. Schmidt, John Schroeder (died September 10, 1898), Eddie Schroeder, William Schwartz, Walter I. Sharpe, Martin Siegbrist, Peter L. Smith, Ernest Sparbel, Felix Spelletich, Charles Stebens, Fred Traeger, Alfred S. Van Patten (discharged August 20, 1898), Edward H. Villian, Fred Vollmer, Henry Wohnrade, Edwin C. Weingartner, Fred O. Willey, John Witt, Henry Wohlert.
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