Henry Inloes Childs

portrait painted in Baltimore, MD
by Richard Street, provided by
Carol Benning
Henry Inloes Childs was born on April 5, 1805 in Baltimore, MD.  He married Susann Turner in 1828 in Baltimore, MD.  He originally enlisted into the 14th Iowa Infantry, Company D as Assistant Surgeon.  Served in the 3rd Arkansas A.D.  Was stationed on Island #63 (Mississippi River) with his son Thomas Henry Childs.  He died on April 26, 1864 from small pox on Island 66.  

Thomas Henry Childs, son of Henry

William Oscar Childs, son of Henry, was born in Philadelphia on August 29, 1835.  Lived in Iowa about 1850 to 1870.  Married Sarah J Collins in Ft Madison, IA in 1860.  Enlisted on September 28, 1861 and was mustered into 14th Iowa Infantry Company D on November 2, 1861 as an orderly and ambulance driver at Brig. Headquarters.  Service records state he was discharged for promotion into the US Colored Infantry (USCT) August 18, 1863 in St Louis, MO.
 He tried to correct his record to reflect that he was only in the 14th IA Inf.  He died in Edinburg, MO on March 30, 1920  and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery.  

James Denis Childs,  son of Henry, Born September 25, 1846 in Van Buren County Iowa.  Enlisted June 24, 1863.  Mustered June 24, 1863 into the 8th Iowa Cavalry, Company E.  Mustered out Aug. 13, 1865, Macon, GA. Married Amanda Piper in Van Buren County, IA in 1867 and in 1883 married Alice E McGill in Kansas.  Died July 22, 1900 in Kansas City, KS and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Kansas City, KS.

Submitted by: Karen Childs


My dear Wife and Daughter:

I have just come from the contraband camp on the upper end of the island, having been called up to see a sick child. I do not know that I told you that after I came back to Helena from Memphis, the Medical Director, Surg. Geo. R. Wicks, ordered me to return to duty on the Island and in addition to that to take charge of the detachment of the Iowa first which is stationed on Island 66.  And on returning from my last trip, at which time I finished my last letter, I found an order from the Medical Director ordering me to take charge of the contraband camp, so between the three I have all my time employed.

I told you in one of my last letters of a yawl we cought adrift.  We fixed her up snugly with mast and sails and last Monday the Capt.. and Thomas, and 3 or 4 of the men got in her while I was up at the contraband camp and a good breeze was blowing, to take sail around the island.  They went along first rate before the wind, until they came to round the point of the island, when the wind blowing pretty fresh came on the quarter and careened her considerably and the water began to run in at the oarlock.  They had to run the boat ashore and leave it at the picket post for the boys on picket when the reliefs came in the morning to bring her down to camp, while they footed it home about 3 miles.

Today there was a fine breeze from the west and the Capt. wanted to go over to island 62 to a Dutchman's to get a frow to rive some shingles.  He came to me and asked me to go with him.  We took three of the men with their guns, we with our revolvers and my double barrel shotgun, one that I got in a raid on Christmas, and up we went.  Landed, went up to a cotton boat that was taking on brood.  Had a talk with some ladies on board.  The southern ladies are fond of talking with Yankee officers and would have kept us for dinner but we were in a hurry so went up to the house, got the frow, bought 10 lbs tobacco in the leaf at 40 cts. a lb. for the men.  The lady of the house gave us a gal. of milk in a preserve jar.  They had 5 Newfoundland dogs and a pup.  We asked Mrs. Decars (?) to give us the pup.  She said, if John says so.  John said, take him; so the Cpt. took him in his arm to the boat.  I took my gun and the frow.  One of the men had been left at the boat to guard it; the other two went to the house with us.  One took the other's gun while he carried the tobacco and the milk.  I took the milk and set it under the bowsprit and the tobacco by it.  The wind was blowing a good breeze and the dipping of the boat knocked the jar against the bow of the boat and spilt more than half our milk; but we got home with some of it.

In the afternoon the Steamer Cheek, one of Gen. Buford's raiding boats, with 100 of the 15th ILL. Cavalry and a company of the 3rd Ark. Co., C, Capt. Robinson, on a raid to White River, stopped at the Island with an order for our yawl.  So we took out our mast and sails and handed her over with considerable relustance.  So we are again without a sail boat.  I intended to go on island 66 on the Cheek, but before I could get ready, Lieut. Crits brought your two letters of the 20th and 26th.  As I thought you were in want of some money and the paymaster has not come, I send you $50 which Thomas is to express tomorrow if he gets to Helena.  The paymaster may get here and I can send some more if Thomas, when he gets to Helena, succeeds in getting 50 more for me he will send 100 instead of 50.

We are both well.  The weather is like May.  We don't think of a fire in our tents only of a night; too warm for a fire. We go around in our shirt sleeves all the time or at most have on a light blouse.  I got a letter today from Caroline Marti.  Also one from sister Pile, or Mrs. Gen. Pile as she signed her name.

As ever I remain very affectionately,
H. I. Childs, Asst. Surg.
3d Ark. Vol. Inf. A.D.
4th Feb. 1864
Island #63

Notes:  The Lieut. Crits he mentions may have spelled his name Kritz, for his son Thomas, sometimes speaks of Lieut. K. The fact that Dr. H. I. Childs served under Medical Director Surg. Geo. R. Wicks and made trips to Memphis and Helena may help in finding his record.