There are three published rosters for the 21st Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. They're significantly different and all three contain numerous errors, in large part since they were relying on handwritten records, handwriting was often difficult to decipher, some men could not read or write, and others sometimes did not know how to spell their own names or altered the spelling from time to time.
a. Nathaniel B. Baker, Report of the Adjutant General, Volume I (Iowa State Printer 1863). Baker's roster was prepared while the war was still in progress, many had not yet enlisted, and there were errors for those who did enlist.
b. George Crooke, The Twenty-First Regiment of lowa Volunteer Infantry (King, Fowle & Company, 1891). Crooke's roster has limited information and was prepared at a time when record keeping wasn't the best. While he was a member of the regiment, he was absent for almost ten months and probably for that reason some of his narrative is also wrong.
c. Roster and Record of lowa Soldiers, Volume 3; by Guy Logan (Iowa State Printer 1910). The most recent of the three rosters, part of a massive state effort to accurately reflect those who served and, I thought, the most likely to be accurate.
I have researched the regiment for more than thirty years and visited most sites that were visited by the regiment. Each of these biographies is based on that research, the soldiers records and records of his comrades that are on file with the National Archives & Records Administration, records and diaries on file with the State Historical Society of Iowa, original letters by members of the regiment, county histories, other original source documents and relevant online information.
Jerry Maloney was born in County Cork, Ireland, emigrated to the United States and, on July 25, 1856, married Mary Hennessy in Little Falls, Herkimer County, New York. During the next several years, tensions escalated over the slavery question, John Brown attacked the armory at Harpers Ferry, and Southern militia fired on Fort Sumter. Before long, the country was embroiled in war. On July 9, 1862, with the war escalating, Governor Kirkwood received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments as part of the Presidents call for 300,000 three-year men. If the states quota wasnt raised by August 15th, it "would be made up by draft." Jerry Maloney was one who answered the call.
On August 7, 1862, Jerry was a forty-year-old farmer when he enlisted at Strawberry Point in what would be Company B of the states 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. The company was mustered into service on August 18th and the regiment on September 9th, both at Camp Franklin in Dubuque. A Book of Irish Americans by William D. Griffin says 144,221 men of Irish birth served in the Union Army, with 1,436 enlisting from Iowa. In the 21st Infantry, Jerry Maloney was one of at least forty-five men mustered in on the 9th who gave Ireland as their place of birth.
Jerry was described as being five feet, five inches, tall with blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion. Crowded on board the Henry Clay, a sidewheel steamer with two barges lashed to its side, they left Dubuque on a rainy September 16th.
Muster rolls were taken bimonthly and Jerry was reported present on all initial rolls as they saw service in Missouri - Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Ironton, Iron Mountain, and Ste. Genevieve. At Ste. Genevieve they boarded the Ocean Wave on April 1, 1863, and started downstream to Millikens Bend where General Grant was organizing a massive army with a goal of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. Assigned to the 13th Corps under General John McClernand, they left the Bend on April 12, 1863, and started a slow movement south through swamps and bayous on the west side of the Mississippi River.
On April 30, 1863, the army started to cross the river from Disharoons Plantation on the west bank to the Buinsburg landing on the east bank. Soon after going ashore, the 21st Iowa, guided by a former slave, became the point regiment for the entire army as they headed inland on a dirt road. On May 1, 1863, Jerry Maloney participated with his regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson in which the regiment had three men fatally wounded and thirteen wounded less severely. He also was with the regiment during the Battle of Champions Hill on May 16th when they were held in reserve by General McClernand. .
Having not participated in the battle on the 16th, they were rotated to the front on the 17th and, with the 23rd Iowa, led an assault on a Confederate force hoping to keep the railroad bridge over the Big Black River open. The three-minute bayonet charge was successful, but seven members of the regiment were killed in the charge, eighteen were fatally wounded, and thirty-eight were wounded non-fatally. Among the most seriously wounded was the regiments Colonel, Sam Merrill, who suffered serious wounds to both thighs and fell on the field, but later became a post-war Governor of Iowa.
Five days later, Jerry Maloney participated with the regiment in an assault on the Confederate lines at Vicksburg when the regiment suffered its heaviest casualties of the war: twenty-three killed in action, twelve more with fatal wounds, forty-eight with non-fatal wounds, and four captured. This assault was unsuccessful and a lengthy siege followed. Jerry was present the entire time, but the siege took its toll. On August 14, 1863 he was granted a furlough on a Surgeons Certificate, although Jim Bethard, a comrade in Company B, wrote that Jerry had actually left for home the previous week. After receiving a thirty-day extension, Jerry started back to the regiment, reported in at Cairo on October 9th, and reached the regiment at Camp Pratt near New Iberia, Louisiana, on November 4, 1863.
His health restored, Jerry was marked present for two months of service in southwestern Louisiana, and during its extended service from November 1863 to June 1864 along the Gulf Coast of Texas. After returning from Texas, the regiment was stationed at Morganza, Louisiana, performed service along the White River of Arkansas and, about daylight on the 28th of November, arrived in Memphis. Again, Jerry was not well. Suffering from chronic diarrhea, he was admitted to the citys Overton U.S.A. General Hospital on December 15, 1864. Diarrhea plagued men and women on both sides, "and every day takes a greater number to the hospitals than are returned," said one. Men tried to clean cooking utensils and wash away dirt, but water was rarely hot. Drinking water was often contaminated and food fried in heavy grease caused one surgeon to complain of death from the frying pan. Intestinal infections were rampant, led to malnutrition, anemia and increased susceptibility to other diseases resulting in extreme dehydration, up to fifty percent weight loss, and an estimated 50,000 deaths in the Union army, at least sixty-five in the 21st Iowa. Medical treatment included Epsom salts, castor oil and opium. Some doctors thought quinine or calomel would help and all recommended fruits and vegetables if available. After hospital treatment in Memphis, Jerry was able to rejoin the regiment at Spring Hill, Alabama, on April 19, 1865, and was present when they were mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15.
After the war, he worked as a laborer at a variety of jobs including the rail line near Winthrop, Buchanan co., but his war-related illness continued and gradually grew worse. Finally, on March 19, 1874, giving his age as forty-nine and signing with an X, he applied for an invalid pension. By then, he said, he was a resident of Alden in Hardin County and felt he was totally disabled from obtaining his subsistence from manual labor. With many thousands of veterans seeking federal pensions, applications took a long time for claimants to prove and the government to investigate. Jerry secured affidavits from friends who knew him before and after the war, from doctors who had examined him, and from Salue Van Anda, the regiments former Lieutenant Colonel. Eventually on June 12, 1878 a certificate was issued entitling Jerry to $6.00 monthly, paid quarterly.
Five months later, he applied for an increase. His health, he said, had worsened since he first applied more than five and a half years earlier. He was examined by doctors in Eldora, they submitted their report, and Jerrys pension was increased to $8.00. Eventually, Jerry returned to New York where he had married his wife so many years earlier. He was living in The New York State Soldiers & Sailors Home in Bath, New York, when he died on October 17, 1892. He is buried in the Bath National Cemetery.
Mather, John H.
During the 1850s, several families, many related, emigrated from Ohios Union County to Clayton County. Among them were Joel and Sarah Rice and their children - James, Caroline, Robert, George, Marshal and Tero. Also emigrating were Southworth and Philena (Rice) Mather who had twelve children - three boys who died in infancy, three girls and six more boys (Fortner, Daniel, Darius, John H., Esquire aka "Squire"and John Sterling aka "Sterling"). Moving by himself was Jim Bethard who left his father's home near Dover to follow - and marry - Caroline (he called her Cal) Rice in Clayton County.
Of these, the Rev. Fortner C. Mather was the first to move when, in 1853, he became pastor of a Methodist Episcopal Church in Clayton County. During the Civil War, Jim Rice, John Mather and Jim Bethard were among more than 140 enlistees in Iowas 21st Infantry who gave Ohio as the place of their birth. Darius Mather joined the 27th Infantry while Squire and Sterling Mather joined the 9th Infantry. Robert Rice joined the 9th Cavalry and George Rice the 9th Infantry. As a result, Caroline had a husband, three brothers and at least three cousins serving with the Union Army.
John H. Mather was born near Marysville, Ohio on April 17, 1841 and accompanied his parents and siblings to Iowa. After Southworth's death in Castalia on March 30, 1861, his sons took responsibility for Philena's well-being but, when the President called for 300,000 more volunteers, Squire, Sterling, John and Darius answered the call.
John, Jim Rice and Jim Bethard enlisted together on August 11, 1862, giving Grand Meadow as their residence. On 18th they were mustered into Company B and on September 19th into Iowas 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. All three were farmers, unfamiliar with the military. On September 16th, after brief training at Dubuques Camp Franklin, they boarded the 181' long sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and climbed to the hurricane (top) deck while others crowded together on the lower decks and two barges tied alongside. The big wheel began to turn and they left for war while friends and relatives waved and cheered.
Jim Bethard wrote often to Cal and usually mentioned her brother James and cousin John:
09/16/1862 From Rock Island, Illinois. "Jim and John and I slept on the hericane deck last night.
10/15/1862 From Rolla, Missouri. "John Mather got a letter from Squire and Sterling a few days ago.
11/15/1862 From Hartville, Missouri. "John Mather received a letter this evening. from Sterling . . . . Jim and John and I have discovered that it [tobacco] is a nautious weed and we therefore abstain from the use of it."
12/07 /1862 From Houston, Missouri. John Mather has had a spell of the yellow jaundice but is about well now . . . . As I have nothing of importance to write I will give way to our friend John."
When they left Iowa, the daughter of Jim and Cal was three months old. As Jim said in his letter of December 7th, he gave way to a jovial John who added a personal note to Cal:
Dear Cousin I take this present opportunity to address you Well Cal how-de-do how are thee and thy little Babe I am well all tho I had the yuller gandice purty bad but have ... well I guess that is a nough of that last night James B & I slept together and we had a good old sleep we got us a pair of blankets & we had a pair before we have 4 blankets between us we sleep very warm in our little tents
well Cal I have good old times with your Jim & I hope we may still have we often talk of the nights we past last winter playing Chicken & we hope we may spend more such he is a sitting on the flore on the ground mending his pants write me a letter & stick it in with Jims
from your affectionate cousin John H Mather & Co
Jims letters continued:
12/13/1862 From Houston, Missouri. "the mails has just come and brought ... a letter for John. from Squire and Sterling."
12/28/1862 From Houston, Missouri. "John Mather and I wrote to Squire and George a few days ago."
On January 11, 1863, Jim Bethard was one of twenty-five volunteers from Company B who participated in the one-day battle at Hartville, Missouri. In his next letter he explained to Cal why her brother and cousin didn't participate:
01/22/1863 From Houston, Missouri. I believe I forgot to tell you in my last why Jim and John were not with us in the fight . . . . they were out on a four day forrage expedition and had not got back to camp when we started we met them on the way but they were too near worn out to turn back."
03/01/1863 From Iron Mountain, Missouri. "James and John and Frank Farrand and I were on the highest pinacle of the little mountain called Pilot knob from whence we could see in all directions."
03/02/1863 From Iron Mountain, Missouri. "John Mather is verry well liked by the majority of the company."
03/21/1863 From Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. "John Mather received a letter from his mother yesterday evening."
From Ste. Genevieve, the regiment was transported down the Mississippi to Millikens Bend where General Grant was organizing a massive three-corps army to capture the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. To avoid its guns, they walked and waded south through farms, swamps and bayous on the west side of the river. On April 30, 1863 they crossed to the Bruinsburg landing on the east bank. As the point regiment for the entire army and led by a former slave, they started inland. About midnight they drew brief fire from enemy pickets, but both sides then rested on their arms. The next day, John participated with his regiment in the day-long Battle of Port Gibson.
On May 16, 1863 he was present at the Battle of Champion's Hill although their commanding general, John McClernand, held them in reserve throughout the battle and their involvement was limited to guarding prisoners, gathering arms, and engaging in some light skirmishing after the battle.
On May 17th, the 21st and 23d Iowa infantries led an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River Bridge and, again, John participated. Regimental casualties were seven killed in action, eighteen mortally wounded, and forty wounded less severely. Among the most seriously wounded was Colonel Merrill who fell on the field with wounds to both thighs.
Jim Bethard had become ill and was left behind west of the river and was still there when he wrote his next letter:
05/18/1863 From Ashwood Landing, Louisiana. "I suppose you received a letter from John Mather written when I was in the hospital stating that we had been paid off and that I had sent you $40 . . . . as I was quite sick Mr Lyons came to the hospital . . . . so I gave him the money and he said he would attend to it and get John Mather to write to you."
Jim caught up with his regiment on the siege line at the rear of Vicksburg. While Jim had recovered his health, John had become ill:
06/04/1863 From Vicksburg, Mississippi. "John Mather is quite sick I believe his complaint is chronic diehrea he is in the hospital and I have not seen him since I came here I intend to go up to the hospital to day to see him but it is doubtful whether I get to see him or not when I go for Jim says he has been several times and could not find him."
06/07/1863 From Vicksburg, Mississippi. "I was up and seen John Mather the day that I wrote to you before he was up and around and mending slowly he looks verry slim but is doing well at present I have not seen him since that day but I hear from him every day . . . . Cal I am not at all surprised that you have not received my dress coat . . . . John Mather came and got mine but for some reason they did not go and mine came back home."
06/15/1863 From Vicksburg, Mississippi. "John Mather has been on the decline for the last three days he left the hospital about a week ago he told me this morning that he was going back today."
Four days later, on June 19, 1863, John Mather died from congestive chills and chronic diarrhea. Some records erroneously report that John died on June 10th, but it was clear from Jims letter that John was still alive on June 15th. The Company Muster Roll, an Inventory of Johns personal effects signed by Captain William Crooke, a Casualty Sheet, a report from War Department, and a report from the Surgeon General's Office all confirm the death was on June 19th. John was buried in an apple orchard on the Ferguson farm, about two miles to the rear. After the war he was reburied in the National Cemetery at Vicksburg, Section G, Grave 4972.
Reinterment document ...from Ferguson's Orchard to Vicksburg National cemetery ... courtesy of Cherie Valentine, a Mather descendant.
Jim wrote again:
06/21/1863 From Vicksburg, Mississippi. "James Rice has written of John Mathers death to his [Jim Rices] wife and I wrote to [your] Aunt Philena [Johns mother] yesterday It will be a great shock for her I feel sorry for her but it is the fortune of war John was a good and brave soldier but he now fills a soldiers grave he has done his duty and gone to his rest."
On September 26, 1863, John Mather's brother, Squire, died of chronic diarrhea in Lansing, Iowa, while at home on furlough. On March 30, 1864, Darius, died of erysipelas at Vicksburg. Like John, he is buried in the city's National Cemetery. The names of the three brothers appear on a memorial marker in Postville Cemetery.
The fourth brother, John Sterling Mather, survived the war, moved west and died on January 8, 1908. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Woodland, California.
Philena Mather's husband had died in 1861. Three of her children died in infancy and she had now lost three of her sons to war. She married William Bishop in 1863 but, eight months later, he too died. Philena applied for a widow's pension from the federal government, but her application was never acted upon and the date of her death is unknown.
Maxson, Christian Smith
Records indicate David Maxon was born in Ohio in 1830, Prudence Maxson in Ohio in 1835, and Christian Maxson in Indiana on October 18, 1842. All three, siblings, moved to Iowa prior to the Civil War. David and Christian would serve in Company B of the 21st Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Infantry, as would Prudence's husband, Seymour Chipman.
The regiment was raised in the state's northeastern counties, primarily Clayton and Dubuque. Christian enlisted in Lodomillo Township on August 6, 1862, the company was mustered into service on August 18, 1862, and the regiment was mustered in on September 9, 1862. Christian was described as being 5' 3¾ tall with blue eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion. Like others, he was paid $25.00 of the government's enlistment bounty (the $75.00 balance being due on completion of service) and a $2.00 premium.
Most in the company were farmers who, said their captain, William Crooke, had to learn "the process of getting used to restraints of freedom, to inclemencies of weather, to hard beds, and new forms of food, sometimes not well cooked. ... habits of obedience had to be formed." Further advice came from the Wapello Republican that said: "the Horrors of War can be greatly mitigated by that sovereign remedy, Holloway's Ointment, as it will cure any wound, however desperate, if it be well rubbed around the wounded parts, and they be kept thoroughly covered with it. A Pot of ointment should be in every man's knapsack."
Training was at Camp Franklin, "on a sandy plateau on the bank of the Mississippi" a mile or two above Dubuque. Its ten buildings were each twenty by sixty feet and "arranged to accommodate one hundred men each." On September 16th, they left for war.
For the first year Christian maintained his health well and, on January 11, 1863, he was one of twenty-five volunteers from Company B who participated in the daylong Battle of Hartville in Missouri. Casualties were light, but the physical strains of hurrying to Hartville and, after the battle, returning to their base in Houston, during a harsh winter, were hard on everyone. Some had to be discharged and many others would suffer the rest of their lives.
Christian continued with the regiment during the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign during which he participated in the May 1st Battle of Port Gibson, was present during the Battle of Champion's Hill on May 16th when the regiment was held in reserve during the battle (although he may have been one of he few men allowed to engage in post-battle skirmishing), participated in the May 17th assault at the Big Black River, and participated in the May 22nd assault at Vicksburg. After the surrender of the city, he participated in the expedition to and siege of the capital at Jackson.
By then, however, his health had declined and he was "sent to Hospl at Keokuk Iowa July 14, 1863." Muster rolls for the Keokuk U.S. Army General Hospital indicate he was admitted as a patient in late August and, except for an intervening 20-day furlough, remained in the hospital until May 13, 1864 when he was released and transferred back to the regiment.
During his absence, the regiment had served seven months on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Ordered to Louisiana, the right wing arrived on June 14th and the left wing on June 18th and there they were joined by Christian Maxson. Christian remained with the regiment as it was stationed at the Terrebonne Station west of the river, Algiers, Morganza Bend, at various locations along the White River in Arkansas, Memphis, and then for a month in Kennerville, Louisiana.
On August 5th, when Iowas 21st Infantry was at Morganza Bend, Admiral Farragut had a memorable battle at the entrance to Mobile Bay and federal infantry occupied forts guarding the entrance to the bay, but the city of Mobile was still in the hands of the Confederacy. On February 5, 1865, the regiment boarded the George Peabody at New Orleans. Two days later they went ashore on Dauphin Island where they camped near Fort Gaines. On March 17th, they crossed the bays entrance to Mobile Point and then participated in a movement north along the east side of the bay. The enemy abandoned the city before the regiments arrival on April 12th. After occupying the city, they camped in nearby Spring Hill and visited the Jesuit College of St. Joseph founded thirty-three years earlier by Michale Portier, first Bishop of Mobile.
On May 26th, said Strawberry Points Myron Knight, "we received orders right after reveille to pack up and get ready to move." Leaving Spring Hill about 6:00 a.m., they reached Mobile four hours later. They then spent most of the day resting in the shade until 5:00 p.m. when they boarded the river steamer Mustang and started a return to New Orleans. On arrival Christian Maxson was admitted to the Marine U.S.A. General Hospital. Still there with the war coming to an end, there was no need for him to remain in the military and he was discharged on June 4, 1865. His regiment would be discharged the following month at Baton Rouge.
Christian was married three times. He married Clarrissa (also shown as Clarissa) Fisher on October 27, 1865. She died on November 4, 1872, and was buried in Gantz Cemetery in Abingdon, Iowa. He then married Lorana (Bush) Newman on October 13, 1877. She died on December 28, 1887, and was buried in Edgewood Cemetery. His final marriage was to Effie (also shown as Effa) May Robbins on September 1, 1888.
Effie was almost twenty-eight years younger than Christian and four years younger than Mary, one of his daughters. Effie joined the Woman's Relief Corps, an allied order of the Grand Army of the Republic, and helped organize the Hiram Steele Relief Corps of the WRC. The following year she was an organizer and officer of Purity Temple No. 4, a local chapter of the Pythian Sisters, a female auxiliary of the Knights of Pythias. Effie and Christian would have two children, Mary Matilda and Irma V. Maxson.
Christian worked as a merchant in Edgewood, Iowa, where, on December 26, 1928, he died. Effie died on November 22, 1947. They're buried in Edgewood Cemetery
Maxson, David John
Ephraim and Mary (Smith) Maxson reportedly had ten children. Among them were Sarah born February 8, 1824, in Ohio, David born in Ohio in 1830, and Prudence who was born January 12, 1835, in Ohio or Michigan. For numerous reasons, Ohio seems much more likely. From Ohio, the family moved to Indiana where Christian was born on October 18, 1842. They then moved to Michigan and in 1852 to Iowa. Sarah was married to Andrew Marshall and, on August 24, 1853, in Strawberry Point, Prudence married Seymour Chipman.
On December 24, 1856, David and Harriet Ann Stevens were duly joined in marriage by Andrew Marshall a Justice of the Peace in Elkader (possibly the same Andrew Marshall who was married to Sarah). A daughter, Jane Ellen Ellie Maxson, was born in Elkader on September 22, 1857.
On April 12, 1861, Southern guns fired on Fort Sumter. President Lincoln called on the militia of the several states of the Union to the aggregate number of 75,000 in order to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly executed." The War Department asked Northern states to provide infantry or riflemen for a maximum of three months "to suppress insurrection. Three months seemed plenty of time, but "the gravity of the revolt" and the "power and will of the Slave States" were, said Walt Whitman, "not at all realized at the North, except by a few."
As the war progressed into a second year, more volunteers were needed. On July 9, 1862, Iowa Governor Kirkwood was asked to raise five regiments and, despite the imminent fall harvest, the state responded. David Maxson enlisted on August 5th, Christian on the 6th and their brother-in-law, Seymour Chipman, on the 11th. On August 18th, they were among ninety-nine men mustered in as Company B with David Maxson as 7th Corporal. On September 9th, at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, ten companies were mustered in as the 21st regiment of Iowas volunteer infantry with McGregor banker Samuel Merrill as Colonel.
On September 16, 1862, they left for war on board the Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its side. The first seven months of their service were spent in Missouri. After spending one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla and, from there, marched to Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, south to West Plains, and then northeast to Thomasville, Iron Mountain, Ironton and finally, on March 11th, into the old French town of Ste. Genevieve.
By then regimental strength had dropped from 985 at muster to only 882. Due to the vacancies that had been created in some of the officer ranks, David Maxson received incremental promotions to 6th Corporal, 5th Corporal, 4th Corporal and 3rd Corporal. On March 19th, still at Ste. Genevieve, David and several others were granted furloughs. While they were gone more vacancies occurred and, effective April 1, 1863, David was promoted to 1st Corporal.
David was still on furlough when the regiment was taken down-river to Millikens Bend where General Grant was organizing a massive army for the purpose of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. On a rainy April 12th, they moved to Richmond, Louisiana, where they were detailed to improve roads and work on a levee and thats where they were on April 14th when Company Bs Myron Knight wrote in his diary: did not feel very well - was detailed to watch guns while the rest were to work on the road - finished the work about noon and came back to camp. Saw Wm. Lebert - belongs to the battery. Three of the furloughed men came back W. W. Lyons, D. Maxson and John Carpenter.
From Richmond they continued south over roads, across bayous and through swamps on the west side of the Mississippi River until camping on the Disharoon plantation. On April 30th, they crossed to the east bank and the 21st Iowa Infantry had the honor of being the point regiment at the front of the Union army as it started a slow movement inland. About midnight, near the Abram Shaifer house, shots were fired by Confederate pickets. Union soldiers responded but, unable to see each other in the darkness, both sides soon rested. On May 1, 1863, David participated with his regiment in what the North called the Battle of Port Gibson. On the 16th they were present, but held in reserve during the Battle of Champions Hill, although Companies A and B were allowed, late in the day, to help guard prisoners and gather abandoned weapons.
On the 17th, they were in the lead with a four-regiment brigade led by Michael Lawler. As they approached the railroad bridge over the Big Black River, they encountered entrenched Confederates who were hoping to keep the bridge open long enough for troops they thought were still withdrawing from Champions Hill to cross the river. Union officers conferred, an assault was ordered and, in three minutes, it was over. The Confederates had been routed, but regimental casualties were heavy. Seven men were dead, eighteen had wounds that would prove fatal, and at least forty suffered less serious wounds. Among them was David Maxson who, a report said, was wounded in side ball lodging near the spine between the shoulder.
Grants army continued to the rear of Vicksburg, but regiments that participated in the assault remained behind to bury their dead and treat the wounded. Eventually, when safe access was gained to the Mississippi River, many were moved elsewhere so they could get better treatment. Colonel Merrill, who had given the order to charge, was seriously wounded while leading the assault and was one of many taken to Iowa. Others were sent to hospitals in St. Louis and Memphis while David, on August 11th, was taken on board the Charles McDougall hospital boat where he was treated for his wound and for febris intermittens, a term most often applied to malaria. Davids treatment continued as he was transported upstream and, on August 18th, he was admitted to the general hospital at St. Louis Benton Barracks. In the meantime, effective July 3, 1863, David was promoted to 5th Sergeant.
On October 12, 1863, he rejoined his regiment, then stationed at Vermilion Bayou in Louisiana and he remained present through the end of the year. Earlier that year the War Department had created an Invalid Corps for men unable to perform regular field duty, but still capable of light work (e.g. serving as hospital nurses, guarding prisoners, cooking and working as orderlies). The 20th Regiment of the corps was organized on January 12, 1864. The following month David was found unfit for field service but still able to perform light duties and, on February 29th, he was transferred to the 20th Regiment then stationed in Maryland.
His sister, Sarah, died on March 15, 1864, and was buried in Noble Cemetery, Yankee Settlement (Edgewood), while David continued his service in Maryland. The name of the corps was changed to Veteran Reserve Corps and David was still with it when, on July 25, 1864, he died from malaria (also shown as congestive intermittent fever) at Point Lookout, site of the largest Union prison camp for Confederates. A military stone, with an adjacent GAR marker*, in Noble Cemetery indicates his body was sent home for burial.
Harriet was twenty-seven years old when her husband died and, on August 10th, she signed an application for a widows pension with support from Elkader judge Alvah Rogers who attested to her marriage to David. The Adjutant Generals Office verified Davids service and, on February 24, 1865, Harriet was awarded an $8.00 monthly pension retroactive to Davids death.
Harriet also requested a pension for her daughter. Margaret Hughes and Jane Stevens signed a joint affidavit saying we were present at the time Jane Ellen Maxson was born, she was the only child of the marriage, and she was born on the 22nd day of September A.D. 1857. On April 1, 1867, a certificate was issued authorizing an additional $2.00 monthly that would continue until Janes sixteenth birthday.
On September 9, 1869, at Delhi, Harriet married John N. Steele. In November she signed an affidavit notifying the Pension Office of her marriage and surrendering her certificate, but said she had been appointed Guardian for her now-twelve-year-old daughter. A monthly pension of $8.00 was granted and a certificate was issued March 28, 1870. The certificate was later lost, but a new claim was approved and, on January 10, 1874, a new certificate was issued. By then Jane was sixteen, but accrued amounts would still be paid
Sarah and David had died in 1864. In 1927 Prudence died in Corvallis, Oregon, and in 1928 Christian died in Edgewood.
*note from Clayton co. coordinator - many times a GAR marker is placed next to a CW veteran's gravestone to denote that they did serve during the CW. Not all CW soldiers were members of the GAR, which was started after the War...sgf
Peter Mcintyre (also spelled "Mclntier" and "McAntier" in military records) was born in Ireland. His age was listed as twenty-four when he was enrolled at McGregor for three years by Willard Benton on August 15, 1862. Peter was described as being a 5 feet 9½ inch farmer with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. On August 22nd, they were mustered in as Company G and, on September 9th, they were mustered into service as the state's 21st Infantry with each volunteer paid $25.00 of the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 premium.
After brief training of minimal value at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, they walked through town on a rainy September 16, 1862, crowded on board the paddlewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied to its side, and started south. After an overnight stay at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they boarded railroad cars and traveled through the night to Rolla.
For many months they saw service in southern Missouri - Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Ironton, Ste. Genevieve - before going to Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where they became part of a massive army being organized by General Grant to occupy the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg.
Each Company was led by a Captain, 1st Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, five ranks of Sergeant and eight ranks of Corporal. Records for Peter are somewhat conflicting with one saying, on February 24, 1863, he was promoted from Private to 7th Corporal and another saying it was to 5th Corporal. Subsequent promotions were to 4th Corporal on May 31, 1863, 3rd Corporal on September 18, 1863, 2nd Corporal on April 1, 1864, and 1st Corporal on August 1, 1864.
Company muster rolls were prepared on a bimonthly basis and reflected the presence or absence of the soldier as of the last day of the period. Peter was marked ''present" on every roll until being mustered out with the rest of the regiment at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.
On April 5, 1864, Colonel Merrill signed an order providing that "Corporal P. Macintire Co G is hereby detailed a corporal of the color guard and will report forthwith for duty," although it's not clear how long he served in that capacity.
During his service he participated in the Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi, on May 1, 1863, was present while the regiment was held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill on May 16, 1863, and participated in the assaults at the Big Black River Bridge on May 17, 1863 and at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. He was present for the duration of the siege of Vicksburg, accompanied the regiment during a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson, Mississippi, and was with the regiment during its service in Texas, and the campaign that resulted in the occupation of Mobile, Alabama, on April 12, 1865.
With the war at an end, the government had no need for the hundreds of thousands of muskets, other arms and accouterments then in the hands of the military. The War Department's General Order No. 101 permitted men to keep their muskets and accouterments for $6.00, money a cash-strapped government could use. Like many others in the regiment, Peter elected to keep his musket and accouterments when they were mustered out on July 15, 1865 at Baton Rouge. From there they went north by river transport as far as Cairo where they debarked and traveled the rest of the way by rail. On July 24, 1865 they were discharged from the military at Clinton.
McKinnie, Linus P. 'Line'
Linus P. McKinnie was born in Ohio and was a thirty-one year old Clayton County farmer when, on August 14, 1862, he was enrolled at McGregor by postmaster Willard Benton for three years "or the war." While soldiers in current wars have "dog tags" for identification, soldiers in the Civil War had a hand-written Company Descriptive Book that gave the soldier's physical description and other information from his Muster-in Roll that was then augmented during his service. Linus was described as being 5' 7¼'' tall with dark eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion.
Each infantry company had eight ranks of Corporal and Linus started his military career as a 6th Corporal in Company G that was mustered in on August 22, 1862. When all ten companies were of acceptable strength, they were mustered in at Dubuques Camp Franklin on September 9th as the 21st Regiment of Iowa's Volunteer Infantry. They started south on September 16th on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two attached barges and, the next month, possibly due to his age and a better than average education, Linus was given the responsibility of Company Clerk. The following month he was detailed as an Orderly for Colonel Merrill, but on December 12th, Merrill ordered that Linus be "reduced to the ranks at his own request and this to take effect from Dec. 1, 1862. Maple Moody appointed in his stead."
The first several months involved a lot of walking, but was relatively uneventful except for the evening of November 24, 1862 when a wagon train carrying supplies from the railhead in Rolla, Missouri, to the regiment then stationed in Hartville was attacked and three men were killed. This brought a hard dose of reality to their mission and it was a shock for many when they viewed the bodies of their dead comrades. On January 11, 1863, Linus was one of 25 volunteers from Company G (262 men from the regiment) who participated in the daylong Battle of Hartville resulting in three killed in action, one fatally wounded, and thirteen non-fatally wounded.
The regiment concluded its service in Missouri by walking from Houston to West Plains, Thomasville, Ironton, Iron Mountain and Ste. Genevieve. From there they were transported downstream to Millikens Bend where General Grant was organizing a large army to capture Vicksburg. Assigned to a corps led by John McClernand, they walked and waded south along the west side of the Mississippi until April 30, 1863 when they crossed to the Bruinsburg landing on the east bank.
Linus, nicknamed Line, was again serving as Orderly for Colonel Merrill, and then for Lieutenant Colonel Dunlap, as they started inland. On May 16th Linus was present during a battle at Champions Hill when the regiment was held in reserve, but the following day participated in an assault over open ground at Confederates entrenched along the Big Black River. After taking their place on the line around the rear of Vicksburg, they participated in an assault on May 22nd and in the ensuing siege.
During the balance of 1863, Linus served as a guard, a company cook and a clerk, and word of his clerical skills apparently spread. On February 29, 1864, he was detailed for two weeks' duty as a clerk at brigade headquarters. On March 24, 1864 the regiment was on Matagorda Island in Texas when Linus was granted a 60-day furlough, the unusual length possibly due to the long distance he would have to travel. Leaving the same day, he reached home three weeks later. Due back on May 24th, he was still in Iowa when, on June 6th, Samuel Murdock, a McGregor judge, wrote to Adjutant General Nathaniel Baker: "to introduce to your favourable notice Mr Linus McKinnie of our County. Mr McKinnie has faithfully served in the 21st Iowa and is now on his way to his Regiment. From his experience and expertness and ability you would find him a valuable help in organizing the New Regiments and if you have a place for him you will confer on him and his friends here a great favor by assisting him to it."
By then, due to wounds received at the Big Black, Colonel Merrill had resigned and returned to civilian life as President of McGregor's First National Bank. On June 7th he signed a letter to a friend and explained that "L. McKinney the bearer is a soldier & has been a good & faithful soldier & was promised as was supposed a 2d Lieut. in 5th Cav. but for some reason it don't come." A second letter was addressed to Adjutant General N. B. Baker explaining: "the bearer L. McKinney of the 21st Iowa has remained here for 6 or 8 days expecting a commission of 2d Lieut in the 5th Cavalry. Maj. Call said Gov. Stone told him he would coms. McKinney on my recommendation. I gave my recommendation. McK. is entitled to a promotion. He has been a good soldier for two years nearly. If you can put him on the track I wish you would do so & oblige me. "
Knowing Linus would be late rejoining the regiment, Colonel Merrill gave him a letter explaining he had ordered Linus "to remain a few days for the commission. For some reason through the absence of the Governor the commission has not arrived and I have recommended him to wait no longer but to proceed to his regiment by way of Davenport. I would say that his overstay of five days on his furlough is not his fault." On Linus' return an inquiry was held, Linus presented Colonel Merrill's letter and theorized that Merrill had merely been in error about the number of days Linus would be late. He was restored to duty without penalty.
On June 26, 1864, they were at Terrebonne Station (now Schriever) when Linus was again detailed for work as a clerk, this time for 1st Lieutenant George Mayers, then serving as an Assistant Adjutant General. On July 7th, he was relieved as clerk but, on the 17th, he was again assigned, this time as Clerk at the headquarters of General George McGinnis. This proved to be an interesting assignment.
Washington had finally decided it was time to pay attention to the city of Mobile and Mobile Bay, the underbelly of the southeastern Confederacy. A two-pronged approach would involve both navy and army. Linus was with the infantry on July 29, 1864, when they left Algiers on the St. Charles. On the 30th they were underway pursuant to sealed orders. On August 3rd, Gordon Granger wired that the St. Charles and four other transports were anchored off Petite Bois Island with about 1,700 men and that afternoon he would start to disembark troops about ten miles east of the western extremity of Dauphin Island. Linus wrote that steamers ran as close to shore as possible. Some men jumped overboard and waded ashore while others took small boats. By daylight on the 4th the heavy siege pieces were on shore. On the morning of the 5th, a day ever to be remembered, said Linus: could be seen steaming up the bay Farragut and his fleet . . . the grandeur of which will fill many pages of our future history, and in less than twenty minutes from the time of their opening fire the deafening roar of cannon, with the bursting of shell, outbattled anything of the present war, and I doubt if history can produce the equal. The fight with the rebel ram Tennessee was a thing of no mean proportions
Linus, due to his detachment from his own regiment, had been able to witness the Battle of Mobile Bay that did, indeed, fill many pages of our history. Fort Powell was occupied on the 6th and Fort Gaines on the 8th and, said Linus, the old Starry Banner was flying from the ramparts as in days gone by.
On the 10th, General McGinnis was ordered to New Orleans to resume command of his old Division. Linus went with him and, on August 30th, rejoined his regiment. The following day, when Judson Hamilton was reduced to the ranks at his request, Linus was appointed Quartermaster Sergeant, a position he held until February 4, 1865, when he too was reduced to the ranks at his own request. On the 10th another order was issued, this time detailing Linus as a clerk at headquarters of the 1st Brigade of a Reserve Corps.
That spring his regiment sailed from New Orleans as Linus had done many months earlier. They went ashore at Dauphin Island and camped near Fort Gaines whose occupation Linus had witnessed the previous fall. The bimonthly Company Muster Rolls say Private McKinnie was present with Company G on February 28th at Dauphin Island, April 30th at Spring Hill, and June 30 at Baton Rouge (although theres a conflicting note that he was detached in February and not returned until June 5th). On June 23, 1865 he was with the regiment when it arrived at Baton Rouge. There, on July 15th, they were mustered out. The next day they boarded the Lady Gay and started north to rejoin their friends and families.
McLane, James Alfred
Co B, age 23, born Illinois, residence Clayton county / Delaware county
01/19/65 enlist as Recruit
01/19/65 muster in
07/12/65 transfer to 34th / 38th Consolidated
1914 died in Clayton county
None of the three rosters lists this man in Company D. On the other hand, the R&R has James Alfred McLane in Company B. I have not verified the R&R listing, but added McLane's date and place of death to what was in the R&R. I got that information from the History of Clayton County. Myron Knight wrote in his diary that, on 02/23/65, "Three recruits arrived for our Company- two from our town- (Luther) Pugh, (James Alfred) McLane and (George W.) Massey." The "our town" comment is curious since Myron was from Strawberry Point and the three new recruits are all listed in the R&R as being from Delaware County. I suspect the R&R may be wrong when it listed them as being from Delaware County, but I don't have NARA records for any of the three and can't verify their residence at enlistment. The History of Clayton Countv says Luther P. Pugh came to Clayton County as a boy and lived at Pugh Hollow near Mederville. He died in 1914, being the last of the pioneers of that neighborhood. Also dying that year from the same regiment were William Kellogg, Alfred McLane, Robert Parr, S. T. Richards, George Densmore, Thomas Fisher and Harvey King, all of Company D. That compounds the problem since it says Company D while Myron said Company B.
Samuel Merrill, son of Abel and Abigail Merrill, was born in Turner, Maine, on August 7, 1822. Deciding on a career as a teacher, he moved to the South but soon realized he was born too far north. His abolitionist views led him back to New England where he settled in New Hampshire. His first wife, Catherine Thomas, died in 1847 and, in 1851, he married Elizabeth Hill. He worked several years as a farmer and in the mercantile business with his brother before moving, in 1856, to McGregor, then "a small village with a few scattering houses, and surrounded by a country with a sparse population."
In New Hampshire, Merrill had served in the state legislature while Nathaniel Baker was serving as Governor and Frank Noyes was a practicing attorney. All three were now in Iowa, where Merrill was a merchant and banker in McGregor, Baker was the state's Adjutant General, and Noyes was Governor Kirkwood's aide-de-camp. All three were Republicans as was Kirkwood.
When the state's 21st Infantry was being raised, there was much politicking for Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel and Major, three positions to be filled by appointment of the Governor. Merrill vied with Dubuque city court Judge Samuel Pollock who received support from friends who said he was "an uncompromising War Democrat" and "of commanding stature" with "clear judgment." In recognition of his assistance in raising funds for the war effort and with influential friends in high places, it was the 6' blue-eyed dark-haired Merrill who received the Governor's appointment on August 26, 1862 and, on September 8th, took the oath of office.
The regiment was mustered into service on September 9, 1862 and, after training in Dubuque, left on September 16th by river steamer for St. Louis while Colonel Merrill and his wife made the trip by train. While stationed in Houston, Missouri, orders were received to send a relief column to Springfield. With 260 men from the 21st Iowa commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Dunlap and an equal number from the 99th Illinois, together with 200 cavalry, two howitzers, wagons, mules and teamsters, all commanded by Merrill, they left Houston on January 9, 1863, and, on January 11th, engaged Confederate forces in Hartville. In their first battle they did well, but were not experienced in rationing their ammunition. Recognizing the problem, Merrill sent messengers along the line ordering a withdrawal north to Lebanon, but Dunlap didnt receive the order and remained in position with only a small detachment to face an estimated 4,000. They were able to hold their position for the rest of the day, but Merrill was heavily criticized. He had, it appeared, abandoned his own regiment and fled to safety in Lebanon. Politically aligned Iowa newspapers called for his dismissal but, when the circumstances of the withdrawal were learned, no action was taken. In the ensuing months, he gradually regained the confidence of the regiment and, according to Private Jim Bethard, the boys say our little captain is true grit.
On April 30, 1863, at the start of what would be a successful campaign to capture Vicksburg, General Grant's massive army crossed the Mississippi from Disharoon's plantation on the west bank to Bruinsburg on the east. The 21st Iowa was the lead regiment as they moved inland, engaged the enemy after dark, and fought on May 1, 1863 in the Battle of Port Gibson. On May 16, 1863 a battle was fought at Champion's Hill, but the regiment was held in reserve and was limited to gathering weapons and guarding prisoners after the battle. Rotated to the lead on the 17th, they arrived at the Big Black River where entrenched Confederates hoped to keep a massive railroad bridge open long enough for their forces to cross.
In a three-minute charge across open ground, the 21st and 23rd Iowa infantries, followed by the 22nd Iowa and 11th Wisconsin, routed the enemy, but Colonel Merrill was one of many casualties. Severely wounded when a musket ball passed through both thighs, he fell on the field, and was thought by some to be dead. They say "Col Merrill has proved himself a brave man and a good officer," wrote Jim Bethard. Accompanied by a nurse (William Gaylord from Strawberry Point), Merrill was sent north on May 25th to recover his health.
He was still bedridden in McGregor on September 24th when, at the request of Merrill's second in command, Salue Van Anda, the War Department ordered his dismissal and that of four other officers. Quartermaster Charles Morse, suffering from remittent fever, had already resigned. The other four were on approved leaves: David Greaves (Captain of Company I for three wounds received on May 22, 1863), Jesse Harrison (Captain of Company C for a wound received on May 22, 1863), Elisha Boardman (Captain of Company B who was suffering from acute diarrhea), and Sam Merrill (for the serious wounds received on May 17, 1863). Except for Morse, they had no desire to leave the military.
Letters were written, recommendations were made and, before long, they were reinstated. While recuperating, Merrill, who had been active before the war with the McGregor Branch of the State Bank of Iowa, became one of the founders of the new National Bank of McGregor that was chartered on December 19th. He and his brother, J. H. Merrill, were two of the incorporators and Samuel Merrill served as the bank's first President.
Finally, able to go south, he rejoined the regiment at Indianola, Texas and no doubt had an interesting discussion with Lieutenant Colonel Van Anda who had requested his discharge. Mathew King, a private in Company H, said Merrill made a short speech to the boys and he was highly cheered by the boys on February 10, 1864. Company Bs Jim Bethard said Merrill was received: "with cheers and shouts of joy by his regiment and he seemed to be equally as well pleased to see the officers and men of his regiment he looks healthy but he does not walk so suple as he did before the charge at black river bridge he made us a short speech and then got off his horse and went around shaking hands and saying something to every man in the regiment he said we were the happiest looking set of men he ever saw he said that as he had travailed over the state of Iowa he had heard the 21st spoken of everywhere as one of the bravest regiments that ever left the state he said he loved us all and felt proud that he belonged to the 21st Iowa"
Unfortunately, Merrills return was brief and, on June 1st, he tendered his resignation saying his old wound "renders it still difficult to ride my horse with comfort & my health otherwise impaired I feel unable to endure severe field service in an extreme southern climate -I feel it a duty to leave the service, tho I regret exceedingly to do so before the rebellion is over." His resignation accepted, he left the regiment then stationed, as he said, "on Matagorda Island Texas, as guardians of the sacred drifting sands of Texas."
On June 28, 1865, a daughter, Hattie, was born while Merrill continued his work as President of the First National Bank. On August 18, 1866, he presided at a Republican convention held in Elkader and, that November, was proposed as a candidate for Governor. The North Iowa Times said he "enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him - he is a first class and successful business man - and well qualified to assume and discharge the varied duties of the executive chair." In 1867 he was elected and, on October 30th, wrote to the bank's directors: "I hereby tender my resignation as President of your Bank. In so doing, allow me to congratulate you upon the success which has attended the institution in the past and upon its hopeful prospects for the future. Its condition is prosperous and full of promise. At the same time permit me to express thanks for the courtesy you have ever accorded me and the confidence with which you have honored me in all our official relations."
Merrill was twice elected Governor with his first term starting on January 16, 1868. In 1870 a reunion of Civil War veterans was held in the capital. At Merrill's urging railroad companies agreed to haul the men (except for commissioned officers) to and from the capital at no charge. Veterans camped east of the old state house and crowds were enormous. On the morning of the second day no fewer than 27,000 rations were served. In 1871 the cornerstone was laid for the new state house and Merrill delivered the address. On January 11, 1872, his second term ended and he retired from public life, closed his business interests in McGregor and moved to Des Moines where he served as President of railroad, banking and insurance companies. He was a founder and President of the Citizens National Bank of Des Moines and, in recognition of his service, directors of the bank presented him with an elaborate water pitcher now on display in the McGregor Museum.
In 1874, Hattie was nine years old when, on November 24th (or 25th), a brother, Jeremiah H. "Jerry" Jere Merrill, was born to Samuel and Elizabeth. Their other children died young, but Hattie and her brother would grow to adulthood.
Impressed with the possibilities of Southern California, Colonel Merrill began acquiring interests in the state about 1886. He invested heavily and significant profits on some of his investments. He was instrumental in organizing and building the Southern California Motor Road to connect San Bernardino with Riverside. At least three towns (Riverside, South Riverside now known as Corona, and Rialto) owe their inception to developments instituted by Merrill and his associates. He was active in Los Angeles' Congregational Church, built a large home in Rialto in the vicinity of the present Merrill Avenue (a home that would be destroyed by fire after his death), invested in real estate, and was a shareholder in the Semi-Tropic Land and Water Company.
In 1887 he was granted a pension of more than $800, money he donated to support three beds for disabled soldiers in a Des Moines hospital.
On March 6, 1888, Elizabeth died. Seven years later, on March 30, 1895 Merrill secured a license to marry Mary S. Greenwood, nee Fiske, and the following day they were married. At the time he was reportedly worth about $300,000, but divided the bulk of his property between Jerry of Los Angeles and Hattie (Mrs. J. W. Craig) of Rialto, "leaving just enough to comfortably support himself and his wife." On May 30, 1899, at age 76, he wrote to his sister: "May, with its Memorial Exercises, is a thoughtful month to me. Thirty-six years ago, the 17th of this month, was the severe charge at Black River Bridge 11 miles from Vicksburg, Miss. We had been on the battle line for two long months, Milliken's bend, Young's Point, Port Gibson, Jackson, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge and Vicksburg, all in April and May. At Black River bridge, I was in command a part of the time of a Brigade consisting of the 21st, 22nd and 23rd Iowa and 99th Illinois and 2nd Iowa Battery. Col. Kinsman of the 23rd Iowa and myself were ordered to prepare to charge the 'Rebel Works.' They consisted of water in front of earth works and trees cut down and the limbs cut pointed, requiring slow work to separate the pointed limbs, wade the creek and mount the earth works. Colonel Kinsman and myself, my adjutant Howard and Sergeant Moore, the latter a Methodist Clergyman, were consulting as to the plans of the charge, Colonel Kinsman to the right and my regiment to the left. Before we four separated Sergeant Moore gently struck up the tune of Old Hundred, 'Be Thou O God Exalted High, 'and all of us, quartet, joined, my Adjutant Howard, a broad chested young man with a grand old bass, all singing tenderly. It was one of the most impressive and solemn scenes of my life time, but sadder things were to follow. Before I gave the order to charge the works, Sergeant Moore was shot in the neck and lay dead. In ten minutes our commands were struggling to capture the Works. In less than an hour Col. Kinsman, Adjutant Howard and myself lay near each other in the care of surgeons. Both Col. Kinsman and Adjutant Howard died before morning, and myself left to tell the sad story. I have rarely told this except to the Regiment at our Reunions. It seems too sad to talk about, but after thirty-six years it is like yesterday to me . . . . Today thousands of acres of precious flowers are mingled with tears from sorrowing hearts over precious loved ones. Tis a wondering sight. I took a large bunch of blooming sweet peas to the· grave of one of my Captains of the 21st Iowa. The dear boys are scattered in many of the states of the Union. They are precious to me whatever their station in life, or their conduct drunk or sober - they are beloved by their old Colonel, and I feel just like hugging them . . . ."
On August 31, 1899, Samuel Merrill died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The next day a Los Angeles newspaper reported that: "several months ago Governor Merrill was the victim of a trolley-car accident and has been in poor health since. He was stricken down last Wednesday, a week ago, and has been in an unconscious condition much of the time since then. His wife and daughter and grandchildren were at his bedside when the end came." His funeral was on September 3rd. Honorary pall-bearers included the Governor of California, former Governors of Illinois, California, New Mexico and Arizona, the editor of the Los Angeles Times, judges, politicians and representatives from the G.A.R. On the 4th, Jerry accompanied his father's body as they left Los Angeles by train. In Des Moines flags were at half mast, a state funeral was held and interment was in the family vault in Woodland Cemetery. "On top of the bier reposed a beautiful wreath of flowers, a flag of the Twenty-first regiment, and the sword of Governor Merrill who was the colonel of the Twenty-first."
John Meyer was born in Prussia and was a thirty-three year old Clayton County farmer when he was enrolled on August 11, 1862 at McGregor by Englishman William D. Crooke. He was mustered into Company B on August 18th and was with his company when it and nine other companies were mustered in as Iowa's 21st Regiment of Volunteer Infantry on September 9th. John was 5' 7¾"tall with grey eyes, grey hair and a fair complexion.
He is one of relatively few members ofthe regiment who was marked ''present" on every one of the bimonthly Company Muster Rolls with no remarks indicating any wounds, sickness or other issues, despite having participated in every one of the regiment's military engagements and campaigns. After brief training of questionable value at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, they boarded the paddlewheel steamer Henry Clay, and two barges tied to its sides, on September 16, 1862, and started south. Their early service was in Missouri - Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Thomasville, Ironton, Iron Mountain and Ste. Genevieve - but, by April 10, 1863, they were at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a massive army intent on capturing the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg.
Assigned to a corps commanded by General George McClernand, they moved south along the west side of the Mississippi and John was with the regiment when it crossed the Mississippi River on April 30, 1863. The next day they participated in the daylong Battle of Port Gibson, a battle fought near the town that Grant said was "too pretty to burn," a battle in which three members of the regiment suffered mortal wounds and another fourteen suffered non-mortal wounds. John marched inland with his regiment and was with it when it was held in reserve by a recalcitrant General McClemand on May 16, 1863. On May 17th they were rotated to the front and participated in an outlandish three-minute assault over open ground that routed Confederates entrenched along the Big Black River. Seven members ofthe regiment were killed in action, eighteen incurred mortal wounds and thirty-eight were wounded less severely.
A few days later he was at the rear of Vicksburg and with the regiment during the Union army's massive assault on the rebel lines on May 22nd. John participated in the assault in which twenty-three more members of the regiment were killed in action while twelve were mortally wounded and forty-eight suffered less severe wounds. When Vicksburg surrendered, the regiment engaged in an immediate race to Jackson in pursuit of Confederate General John Johnston. Regimental casualties in the campaign were one killed in action and six who suffered non-fatal wounds. During the final months of its service, the regiment was in Alabama where it participated in a campaign to occupy the city of Mobile. The campaign was successful, but another man was killed when caught in a crossfire.
Hundreds had been killed, wounded, taken prisoner, died from illness, been transferred, resigned or been discharged for disability, but John Meyer was not among them. On July 15, 1865 he was discharged with the regiment at Baton Rouge, traveled north on board the Lady Gay as far as Cairo and, from there, by rail, before being mustered out of service at Clinton.
It's not known what John did after the war, but he and Henry Dyer were two members of the regiment who attended an 1889 "old soldiers reunion" in Chickasaw County. He is buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery in Chickasaw County where his gravestone indicates he was born on February 19, 1829, and died November 24, 1911. A metal marker is nearby.
Descended from William and Margaret (Drum) Monlux, Ezra Monlux was twenty-three years old and living in Ohio on January 5, 1832, when he married twenty-one-year-old Susannah Wagner. Ezra and Susannah would have seven children - Margaret, William, John, George, Ezra, Charles and Eliza - all born in Ohio.
William was born on December 6, 1833 (according to a county history) and was with the family when they moved in 1856 to Wagner Township where Ezra purchased 240 acres and built a house. The 1860 census reflected Ezra (52) and Susannah (49) and six of their children - William (25) [sic], John (19), George (17), Charles (14), Ezra (12) and Eliza (6). In 1861 the county judge system of government was replaced by a Board of Supervisors with Ezra as the Supervisor from Wagner Township.
The following year, twenty-eight-year-old William Monlux was enrolled in the Union army on August 15, 1862, at Elkader by Elisha Boardman. At Camp Franklin in Dubuque, Company D was mustered in on August 22d with Elisha as Captain and William as a Private. On September 9th, with nine other companies, they were mustered in as the 21st Regiment of Iowas volunteer infantry and, on the 16th, on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside, they left for war.
The regiments initial service was in Missouri. They went first to St. Louis and then, by rail, to Rolla. From there they walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, West Plains, Thomasville, Iron Mountain, Ironton and, finally, to Ste. Genevieve where they arrived on March 11, 1863. From there, they went downstream to Millikens Bend where General Grant, intent on capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, was organizing a large army.
By then, due to deaths, discharges, resignations and transfers, William had been promoted five ranks to 3rd Corporal. The regiment was assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand and moved slowly south along roads, through swamps and over bayous west of the Mississippi until they crossed to Bruinsburg on the east bank on April 30, 1863. Late that day, they were given the honor of being the point regiment that led the army as it started inland along dirt roads. About midnight, they drew fire from Confederate pickets, but both sides soon rested.
On May 1, 1863, they fought the daylong Battle of Port Gibson (also referred to as the Battle of Baldwins Hills, Thompsons Hill, Andersons Hill and Magnolia Church) in which seventeen men were wounded. William Comstock died from his wound on May 2nd, while Charles Roehl and John Van Kuran were admitted to the Mary Ann Hospital in Grand Gulf, Charles on the 10th and John on the 12th. Charles left leg was amputated and Johns right arm was removed, but both men soon died. By then the regiment, with the 23rd Iowa, had successfully assaulted entrenched Confederates on May 17th at the Big Black River and suffered even greater casualties - seven killed in action, eighteen fatally wounded and at least forty whose wounds were less serious.
On May 22d, they were in position at the rear of Vicksburg and William, promoted five days earlier to 2nd Corporal, was serving as Color Bearer responsible for carrying and protecting the regiments flag. This was a dubious assignment since color bearers, usually unarmed, often became prime targets of the enemy.
After early cannonading, Grants army charged with the 21st assaulting the railroad redoubt in its front. The army was repulsed and the regiment suffered heavy losses - twenty-three killed in action, twelve fatally wounded, and at least forty-eight with non-fatal wounds. Among the wounded was William Monlux. Shot in the right leg, he fell between the lines where he lay with the dead and wounded. On June 17th, McGregors North Iowa Times reported:
Capt. Boardman, of Co. D, won imperishable fame by a single act on the memorable 22d, before the rebel works at Vicksburg. During the hot action attending our assault and repulse before the strong works of the enemy, the 21st Iowa regiment suffered severely. The color-bearer - who was a member of Capt. B.s company - fell wounded, right before the rebel works, and with all the killed and wounded was left behind, when our forces fell back. Notwithstanding heretofore the enemys sharpshooters had unerringly picked off those who returned after the wounded, Capt. B. said he would take off his men himself, or fall beside them in the effort. Divesting himself of his coat, sword and belt, he went boldly upon the field and finding the color bearer, lifted him up and bore him from the field. Whether impressed by his audacity or not, the rebels reserved their fire, and others inspired by the Captains glorious example, went forward, and the wounded were taken off and cared for.
On May 26th, while being treated in a regimental hospital, William was promoted to 5th Sergeant. On August 17th, he was in a general hospital in Memphis when two of his brothers, John and George, enlisted in Company I of Iowas 8th Cavalry. On November 3rd, the surgeon in command of the Memphis hospital certified that William has been unfit for duty 61 days (a regulatory term of art since he had actually been incapacitated much longer), was incapable of performing the duties of a soldier, and was not fit even for a transfer to the invalid corps. On November 5th, he was discharged from the military.
On January 19, 1864, William applied for an invalid pension. His wound was about half way between the ankle and knee, the bone was injured and, since leaving the service, his occupation has been doing nothing, he being unable to engage in any kind of business by reason of the wound. With a supporting affidavit from Elisha Boardman who had carried him from the field eight months earlier, a pension was granted.
On June 19th, William married eighteen-year-old Priscilla Forney. Four months later his youngest brother, eighteen-year-old Ezra, enlisted in the military and joined John and George in the states 8th Cavalry. William and Priscilla continued to live in Wagner Township where Priscilla gave birth to seven children - Cory, Laura, Mary, Charles, Delos, William and Katy - and Williams leg wound worsened.
In 1873, a doctor said William was totally disabled. The musket ball had carried away the anterior and lower two-thirds of the tibial bone and part of the fibula of the right leg. The skin, muscles, and tendons were all carried away close to the bone. In 1875, another doctor said the leg was swollen, inflamed and very painful and skin was discolored of a dark brownish hue with an active abscess. In 1877, Dr. Dwight Chase, who had served as the regiments surgeon for several months, examined Williams leg and said the whole limb is so much atrophied that it is one third smaller than its fellow. In an 1886 certificate, a board of pension surgeons in McGregor reported that there was still an open sore on the central portion of the leg, the leg was discolored, the muscles were shrunken, and the ankle was stiff.
On August 9, 1879, Abbie, wife of Williams brother Charles, died. Two days later, Williams mother, Susannah, died. They were buried in the Wagner Township Cemetery between Gunder and St. Olaf. Ezra continued to live in the old family homestead he had built many years earlier on Section 18. Living with him was his son Charles while nearby were William and Priscilla, owners of their own 200 acres of good land, well improved.
Ezra, at various times, served as a County Supervisor, Justice of the Peace and Township Trustee. William was also public-minded and, like his father, served as a Justice of the Peace and Township Trustee. He also held the office of Assessor and worked for more than fifteen years as a Town Clerk. On March 6, 1888, forty-two-year-old Priscilla died of consumption. She too was buried in Wagner Township Cemetery.
Eighty-three-year-old Ezra died at home on November 4, 1891, and was remembered as a man who furnished four boys to defend our countrys flag and was a man of integrity, worth and a representative citizen of Clayton County. He was buried next to Susannah and now sleeps his sleep of peace.
As Williams shriveled right leg continued to atrophy, he would, he said, be no worse if said leg was amputated. Walking with crutches, he suffered for decades from his Vicksburg wound - muscles and tendons destroyed, two-thirds of the tibia missing, the bone dead, and his shrunken right leg smaller than the left. Inundated with claims, the pension office worked slowly, but eventually his pension was increased to $17.00, an amount he was receiving when he died on August 21, 1903. He was buried next to Priscilla.
While Ezra and Susannah, Charles and Abbie, William and Priscilla, and Williams sister Eliza, had stayed in Wagner Township, George retired to Rock Rapids where he became active with the G.A.R., held all offices of Dunlap Post No. 147, was an Aide-de-Camp on the National Commanders staff, and served on the staff of the G.A.R.s Department of Iowa. In addition to working as a Justice of the Peace and Secretary of a School Board, he was a member of the Masons and became President of the Pioneer Association of Lyon County. John moved to California, died in 1915, and is buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery. Ezra also died in California in 1915 and is buried in Sunset View Cemetery, El Cerrito. George died in 1927 and was buried in Rock Rapids Riverview Cemetery. Eliza was the last of the siblings to die when she passed away in 1928. She is buried in Wagner Township Cemetery.
The Moody and Maple families were among the early pioneers of Carroll County in northeastern Ohio. Maple Moody, the son of James Moody Jr. and Mary (Maple) Moody, was born in the county on February 5, 1840.
Military records indicate that, on August 15, 1862, at McGregor, he was enrolled as a Private in a company then being recruited by Willard Benton. On August 22nd they were mustered in as Company G with a total of eighty-six men (officers and enlisted), the fewest number in any of the ten companies, the average being ninety-six. One of the tallest men in the regiment at 6' ¾", Maple was described as being twenty-two years old with grey eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, occupation farmer.
To spur enlistments, the federal government paid bounties to volunteers. Initially, the bounty was to be paid when the soldier completed his term but, on July 7, 1862, with enrollments slowing, Congress agreed, at Secretary Seward's request, that $25.00 could be paid in advance, the balance on discharge. With a total of 985 men (officers and enlisted), they were mustered in as Iowas 21st regiment of volunteer infantry on September 9, 1862. Maple and the other volunteers, were paid $25.00 of the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 local premium.
Training, of dubious value, was received at Dubuque's Camp Franklin located "on a sandy plateau on the bank of the Mississippi" just south of Eagle Point, about a mile above the city. Its ten buildings were each 20' by 60' and "arranged to accommodate one hundred men each."
On a rainy September 16th, they left for war. Crowded onto a side-wheel steamer, the Henry Clay, with two barges lashed to its side, they headed down the Mississippi. They were held one day at Rock Island with the possibility of being sent north due to an Indian uprising in southern Minnesota, but resumed their trip about 2:00 p.m. on the 18th, encountered low water at Montrose, debarked, took rail cars to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State, and continued on to St. Louis. After one night at Benton Barracks, they moved by rail to Rolla, Missouri, and, on October 19th, arrived in Salem where Maple was briefly hospitalized to recover from an illness.
He rejoined the regiment soon thereafter and was with it in Hartville where, on December 1st, he was promoted from Private to 6th Corporal to take the place of Linus McKinnie who was reduced to the ranks at his own request. From there they went back to Houston and then to West Plains before heading to the northeast. At Ironton on February 24, 1863, Maple was promoted to 3rd Corporal.
From Ironton, they continued on to Ste. Genevieve on the Mississippi River where they took transports south to Millikens Bend. There, with thousands of men from other regiments, they were organized into a massive army under the command of Ulysses S. Grant. Assigned to a corps led by John McClernand, they moved south through swamps and bayous west of the river and then, on April 30, 1863 crossed to Bruinsburg on the east bank. On May 1st, Maple participated with his regiment as it fought the one-day Battle of Port Gibson.
They were present but held in reserve during the Battle of Champions Hill on May 16. On the 17th he was with the regiment as it, and the 23rd Iowa, charged across an open plain and assaulted entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River and he was with it again on the 22nd during an assault at Vicksburg. In those two engagements, the regiment lost a total of 30 killed in action and another 30 who suffered wounds that would soon prove fatal.
After the fall of Vicksburg, Maple was promoted to 2nd Corporal and was with the regiment during its service in Louisiana and, for more than six months, on the gulf coast of Texas. During that time, from August 10, 1863 to April 1, 1864 when he was promoted to 4th Sergeant, Maple was detailed to serve as Color Guard and from August 1st to September 2, 1864 he was detailed for service as a Provost Guard at the division headquarters of Michael Lawler.
In the spring of 1865, Maple was present with the regiment during its service in the successful campaign to capture the city of Mobile. On July 15, 1865, they were mustered out at Baton Rouge. Maple, like many others, paid $6.00 to retain his musket and accouterments and he was with it as they traveled north and received a final discharge at Clinton.
Maple died on January 11, 1893 and was buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, McGregor (where his gravestone erroneously says he was born in 1843).
Moore, George H.
George H. Moore, Jr., was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on September 23, 1845. His parents were George H. Moore, who had emigrated from England when he was twelve years old, and Mary M. (Mercer) Moore. A section of the Pennsylvania Canal from Johnstown to Pittsburgh had been completed in 1830 and Georges father worked as a boatman on the canal. He died in 1854 at age thirty-eight. Mary died in 1859.
George, who had received only a limited education by that time, moved to Iowa. He was working as a farmer when, on August 15, 1862, he was enrolled at McGregor as a drummer in a company being raised by the towns Postmaster, Willard Benton. George was still a month shy of his seventeenth birthday, but his age was listed as eighteen when he and others were mustered into Benton's Company G at Dubuque on August 22, 1862. When all ten companies were of sufficient strength, they were mustered in as the 21st Regiment of Iowa's Volunteer Infantry. George was described as being eighteen years old, 5' 5¼ tall with black eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.
To encourage enlistments, the federal government offered a $100 bounty to enlistees. Initially, the bounty was paid when the soldier completed his term but, on July 1, 1862, Secretary of State William Seward had wired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that he thought a $25.00 advance was "of vital importance. We fail without it." Stanton agreed and ordered that, "out of the appropriation for collecting, organizing and drilling volunteers there shall be paid in advance to each recruit for three years or during the war the sum of$25, being one-fourth the amount of the bounty allowed by law; such payment to be made upon the mustering of the regiment to which such recruit belongs into service of the United States." His order was approved by Congress and subsequently vindicated as men, assured their families would have a degree of financial stability in addition to wages to be paid to the soldiers, enlisted at a greater pace. In addition to the $25.00, a $2.00 premium would be paid to anyone who secured a recruit, or to the recruit himself if he appeared in person. In Iowa, local meetings were held, the state was overwhelmed with enlistments, and a draft was not required. George and others in the regiment were paid the $25.00 advance bounty and the $2.00 premium.
Company muster rolls were taken bimonthly and indicated the presence or absence of the soldier on the last day of the period together with occasional "remarks" relating to his service. George was marked "present" on all available muster rolls from the date of his enlistment to the date of his discharge.
During the government's Vicksburg campaign, the federal army crossed the Mississippi River to Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on April 30th and, the next day, George was present for the first battle of the campaign, a battle known as the Battle of Port Gibson (also known as the Battle of Magnolia Hills or Magnolia Church). Two weeks later he was with the regiment when it was held in reserve during the May 16th Battle of Champion's Hill and he was with it on the 17th when the regiment assaulted entrenched Confederates guarding at large railroad bridge over the Big Black River. He was also present for the May 22nd assault at Vicksburg when his regiment suffered heavy casualties and during the ensuing siege that ended on July 4th.
On June 23, 1865, with the war at an end, the regiment arrived by river steamer at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, debarked and made camp on a hill a mile below the city about 10:00 a.m. Water was bad, heat was oppressive, the camp was poor, and officers worked rapidly to prepare muster-out rolls for men still present and for those who had served earlier. Including officers, 1,126 rolls had to be prepared before they could go home.
George Moore was still present and rolls indicated he and most others had been paid to February 28, 1865 and were due the additional monthly pay accrued since then. His clothing account had been settled as of December 31, 1864, but he had subsequently drawn $32.86. To the net amount due to George would be added the $75.00 balance of his enlistment bounty. His military records at the National Archives reveal no illnesses, no wounds, no detached duty, no furloughs and no other special remarks during his entire military career.
On July 15, 1865, pursuant to instructions from the War Department, General Orders No. 64, headquarters of the Military Division West Mississippi, they were mustered out by Captain E. L. Hawk of the 114th Ohio Infantry who was temporarily serving as an Assistant Commissary of Muster on the staff of Brigadier General Michael Lawler. That evening they turned in their tents and equipment and moved rations to the landing and, the next morning, those able to travel boarded the Lady Gay. Leaving about 7:00 a.m., they started up-river past memories of three years of combat, scenes of battle and graves of friends. At Cairo they debarked "went to the soldiers rest where a dinner was waiting" and then boarded cars of the Illinois Central Railroad for transport to Clinton. There, on July 24th, said one of George's comrades, "our regiment marched down to town at 1PM" and it was there that George Moore and others in the regiment were formally discharged from the military and free to return to their homes.
A short time later, George moved back to Pennsylvania where he lived in Pittsburgh until 1876 when he moved to nearby Verona. He worked in the oil business, spent several years as an oil refiner, and worked as an agent and foreman for the Philadelphia Gas Company and as Superintendent for the Verona Waterworks. Also active in community affairs, he held numerous positions including four terms as an Alderman and nine as a Justice of the Peace, a position he resigned in 1897 to become the boroughs Postmaster. He was also a member of the fraternal Royal Arcanum.
George Moore was married twice, first to Mary Porter in 1866. She died in 1867 and, in 1879 he married Miss E. A. Cribbs. They had eight children including George H., Bess D., Walter, Florence, R. Hyatt, J. R., Mary M. and Helen. George H. Moore (1845-1916) and Elizabeth Cribbs Moore (1852-1928) are buried in the same plot in Oakmont-Verona Cemetery, Oakmont, Pennsylvania.
Military records indicate that Edward Murray was twenty-two years old and working as a farmer when he was enrolled at McGregor on August 14, 1862, by Postmaster Willard Benton who was an active recruiter in the county. On August 22nd, with a total complement of eighty-six men, they were mustered in as Company G. Ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, they were mustered in with nine other companies as the 21st Regiment of Iowa's volunteer infantry on September 9, 1862. Like others, he received a $25.00 advance on the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 local premium.
Described as having grey eyes, black hair and a light complexion, Edward was, at 6' 2¼'', one of the tallest men in the regiment - and one of the healthiest. From muster-in on September 9, 1862, to muster-out on July 15, 1865, Edward was reported as sick for only 13 of its 1,038 days of service - and, he apparently had a way with horses.
One of the most difficult jobs in the regiment was that of the Quartermaster, the officer responsible for making sure the regiment had adequate supplies for men and horses as they traveled throughout the South. The Quartermasters were often dependent on wagon trains traveling long distances. Although usually accompanied by guards, the trains often had to cover long distances and were subject to attack. One of the regiments trains, while carrying supplies from the railhead in Rolla to the regiment in Hartville, Missouri, was attacked on November 24, 1862. Three members of the regiment were killed and three more wounded. The following May, four of the regiment's teamsters were with an ambulance train when they were captured in Mississippi.
Edward Murray was in the service only a few months when, on December 22, 1862 he was detached to serve as a teamster. He continued in that capacity during the regiment's early months in Missouri and during its difficult movement through swamps and bayous west of the Mississippi at the start of General Grant's Vicksburg Campaign. On April 30, 1863, they crossed the river to Bruinsburg and that night, in total darkness, they walked inland on a sunken dirt road, led by a former slave who offered his services. After a brief exchange of gunfire about midnight, they rested and, the next day, were fully engaged in the Battle of Port Gibson during which Edward received a slight gunshot wound to his right thigh.
On May 16th he became ill, but by the 27th he had recovered. On June 30th he was again detailed as a regimental teamster with the Quartermaster, on July 29th he was relieved, and on August 10th he was reassigned as a teamster, this time at the brigade level. In November he was relieved but, in December, he was detached as a division teamster. In July 1864 he was relieved, in November he was again detached, in March 1865 he was relieved and a week later he was again assigned to duty as a teamster as the regiment made its way north along the east side of Mobile Bay as part of the Union campaign to capture Mobile and the forts protecting it. By then they were nearing the end of their service and Edward's work as a teamster finally came to an end on April 22, 1865 when he was able to rejoin his comrades near the Jesuit College at Spring Hill.
The final three months of his service were spent with the regiment in Alabama and Louisiana. He was with it on July 15th when they were discharged at Baton Rouge, during their subsequent trip up-river, and at Clinton on July 24, 1865 when they were mustered out of the military, received their final pay, and started the return to their homes.
Nelson, Knute S.
Private Nelson is identified as C. S. Nelson, Hunt S. Nelson, Knute Nelson, Knut Nelson, and Knut S. Nelson on various military records, hospital records and rosters. Military records indicate he was born in Norway and was a twenty-two year old farmer when he was enlisted at McGregor on August 15, 1862, by Willard Benton in what would be Company G of the 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
The company was mustered in on August 22nd and the regiment on September 9th. Private Nelson was with it when it left Dubuque on September 16, 1862. Like other volunteers, he was paid $25.00 of the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 premium. On the Company Descriptive Roll he was described as being 5' 9¼ tall with gray eyes, light hair and a light complexion.
While many became ill and died or were discharged during the winter months in Missouri and the battles during the ensuing Vicksburg Campaign, Private Nelson was able to maintain his health during the first year of his service and was marked present on all Company Muster Rolls through June 30, 1863. He was one of twenty-five volunteers from Company G who participated in the Battle of Hartville on January 11, 1863, he participated in the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1, 1863, he was present with the regiment when it was held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill on May 16, 1863, he participated in the assaults at the Big Black River Bridge on May 17, 1863 and at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863, and he was present throughout the ensuing siege.
It was apparently during the siege that he became ill since there is no record of him leaving with the rest of the regiment to pursue Confederate General Joe Johnston immediately after the surrender of Vicksburg. Unable to recover his health, he was taken by hospital steamer to Memphis where he was admitted to the 400-bed Washington U.S. Army General Hospital. He was suffering from chronic diarrhea, an all-too-common illness treated with Dover's Powders, laxatives, opium, epsom salts, castor oil and other opiates. "Overall, disease caused twice as many deaths as battle injuries during the Civil War. Acute diarrhea and dysentery (the distinction between the two was vague) were the most common medical problems, related to spread of microorganisms because of abysmal sanitary practices, as well as to spoiled and poorly prepared foods . ... In addition to acute diarrhea/dysentery, chronic diarrhea was a constant problem throughout the war, especially when troops were stationary, such as in winter camps, or during sieges." Doctors in Blue (Morningside House, 1985), page 227. Also see Scurvy and Chronic Diarrhea in Civil War Troops: Were They Both Nutritional Deficiency Syndromes? Pages 49-50, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Inc. (1992). The author cites Surg. Gen'l Joseph K. Barnes, Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (Washington Government Printing Office, 1870-88), Medical Vol., Part Third, p. 27.
On August 20, 1863, Private Nelson died, one of a least sixty-five from the regiment who succumbed to the illness while still on the muster rolls. He had been paid through the end of June and had pay due since then together with the $75.00 balance of his enlistment bounty, but had drawn $54.25 in clothing since his enlistment.
His personal effects included a hat, underwear, shoes, a rubber blanket, a wool blanket, a knapsack, a haversack and $20.00 in cash. Joseph Wright, an Assistant Surgeon in the hospital, forwarded them to Archibald Stuart who was then commanding Company G.
Dwight Noble was born to Lorin Noble and Fanny (Boardman) Noble in 1833 or 1834 in Cattaraugus County, New York. He was the third of their seven children. The eldest child, Harrison Noble, moved to Delaware County, Iowa, in June, 1852. In 1854 the rest of the family followed.
On February 1, 1859, Dwight married Catharine Maria Fitzsimmons at Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Minnesota. Their first child was Frank Noble who was born on July 7, 1859, in Nunda, Freeborn County. He was followed by Sarah Noble who was born in Delaware County, Iowa, on December 1860.
On August 13, 1862, twenty-eight-year-old Dwight enlisted at Cox Creek in what would be Company B of the 21st Iowa Infantry. He was described as being five feet, three inches tall, with blue eyes, a light complexion and fair hair. His occupation was listed as carpenter on his Muster-in Roll, but farmer on the Descriptive Roll. On the 16th they were ordered into quarters at Dubuques Camp Franklin, on the 18th the company was mustered into service, and on the 22nd Catharine gave birth to their third child, a boy they named Charles.
Camp Franklin was located on a sandy plateau on the bank of the Mississippi" just south of Eagle Point, but training was minimal. Captain William Crooke said habits of obedience had to be formed, and these to men in the ranks were doubtless the most irksome of all, but actual training was minimal. According to one author, the rendezvous was so near the mens homes, that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and friends, were too often present to allow either drill or discipline to any great extent.
With a total complement of 985 men, officers and enlisted, they were mustered in as a regiment on September 9th by George S. Pierce, a Captain with the 19th U.S. Infantry, and a week later started downriver. They reached St. Louis about 10:00 on the morning of September 20th, debarked, stood on the levee for an hour heavily laden with knapsacks, clothes, blankets, arms and personal accouterments, much unnecessary and later discarded, and then started the four mile march to Benton Barracks in intensely hot weather. About midnight on the 21st they boarded railroad cars normally reserved for freight and livestock and huddled under blankets as they traveled through the night on the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad to its western terminus at Rolla.
For the next month they camped near Sycamore Springs, about five miles southwest of town on the Lebanon road. On October 17th, Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren arrived and ordered the regiment to Houston. By then two men had been transferred to other regiments, three had deserted, two had received medical discharges and four had died. About 1:30 a.m. on the 18th, said Horace Poole, drums called assembly, and soon thereafter those able for duty started a twenty-five mile march to Salem. Arriving the next day, they pitched tents on high ground, Frank Henderson entertained with his fiddle, and his brother, Cyrus told their parents "it sounds like home." Cyrus had two months to live.
On November 2d they were again on the move and walked south to Houston where they arrived before sundown on the 4th. From there they moved to the more remote town of Hartville but, when a wagon train carrying supplies was attacked on the evening of November 24th, Colonel Sam Merrill moved the regiment back to the more secure confines of Houston. Dwight Noble was present but sick on a bimonthly muster roll taken on December 31st.
On January 11th, 262 members of the regiment participated in a one-day battle at Hartville in which three men were killed in action. Another received wounds that would prove fatal the next day and thirteen received wounds of less severity. While some were cared for outside of town, most were able to return to their base in Houston. Theres no indication that Dwight, possibly still sick, participated in the battle.
From Houston, they walked south to West Plains, arriving on January 30, 1863, and leaving on February 8th. Walking through Thomasville and Eminence, they reached Ironton on the 21st and camped outside of town while an ambulance detail took the sick into town where they could be housed in the Iron County courthouse for better care. From there they moved to Pilot Knob and Iron Mountain and continued northeast toward the Mississippi River.
On March 11th, they reached Ste. Genevieve. On March 15th, Dwight Noble died. He was one of at least sixty-four members of the regiment who died from the debilitating effects of chronic diarrhea. The place of his burial is unknown.
Catharine was twenty-three years old when her husband died. Frank was three, Sarah two and Charles almost seven months. Four years earlier, Dwight and Catharine had been married in Freeborn County, Minnesota. On April 25, 1865, Catharine married again in Freeborn County. Her new husband, Patrick Honan, was appointed Guardian of her children.
On October 5, 1865, living in Nunda, Patrick applied for pensions for the children. Affidavits were submitted from witnesses who attested to Dwights good health before entering the military, his marriage to Catharine and his death in Missouri. A woman in Freeborn County said she had been present when Frank was born in Nunda. Three witnesses (including Relief Robbins, the mother of Charles and William Robbins who had served in Company B with Dwight) swore they were present in Clayton County when Charles was born and two (including Dwights mother, Fanny) recalled being present in Delaware County when Sarah was born. A pension examiner reviewed the evidence and found it sufficient. Pensions of two dollars for each child were approved, starting on March 16, 1863 (the day after their fathers death) and continuing until their sixteenth birthdays.
Catharine and Patrick continued living in Freeborn County and Catharine gave birth to three more children - Emma in 1866, Nellie Mae in 1870 and John Richard in 1876. The girls would grow to adulthood, but Little Johnnie died only a few months after he was born. Catharine died on May 7, 1886, at forty-six years of age and was buried in Saint James Cemetery, Twin Lakes, Minnesota. Patrick died on February 2, 1916, and was also buried in Saint James Cemetery.
~researched and compiled by Carl Ingwalson for Clayton co. IAGenWeb ©Carl Ingwalson & Clayton co. IAGenWeb.
Carl has offered to do look-ups in his extensive records of the 21st Iowa. His email address is on the Look-up Volunteers page.
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