Company B. The "Hawkeye Rangers"

From A history of the First Regiment Iowa Cavalry Veteran Volunteers from its organization in 1861 to its muster out of the United States service in 1866 -also, a complete roster of the regiment (1890)


In the early spring of 1861 Judge William E. Leffingwell commenced the organization of a company at Lyons. A nucleus of a company was also formed at De Witt in the early days of April, meeting at the law office of Samuel S. Burdett, a young attorney of that place. About the 1st day of May members of this De Witt contingent visited Lyons for the pur pose of uniting with the Lyons company and forming a perma nent organization. The organization was perfected, to which the name of Hawkeye Rangers was given, with Judge William E. Leffingwell as Captain ; Samuel S. Burdett, after- ward Captain of the company, First, and Charles M. Baldwin Second Lieutenants Soon afterward, however, Baldwin be came "sick" and "dropped out." William H. DeFreest was elected to fill the vacancy.

The members of this company were principally from Clinton and Jackson counties, a few from Morrison, Illinois, and other few from the State of Wisconsin. They were all hardy, robust young men. The Adjutant General s report shows that not a man was rejected by the mustering officer when this company was mustered into the United States service. A few of the members were in quarters as early as the first of May, 1861. The company went into quarters in the brick block on the south side of Main street, near the corner of Second street, and the drill in the "school of the trooper" became regular. On the 24th of July, orders having been previously received from Gov- ernor Kirkwood to rendezvous at Burlington, our " Rangers" were marched to the public square, and amidst a large con- course of citizens a very handsome standard of blue silk, trimmed with red and white silk fringe, was presented to the company by the ladies of Lyons Lyman A. Ellis, Esq., making the presentation speech, which was responded to by First Lieutenant S. S. Burdett and Judge W. E. Leffingwell, Cap- tain of the company. On one side of the standard were thirty- four gold stars, with the word Hawk and representation of an eye, followed by the word Rangers, indicating the name of the company, "Hawkeye Rangers." On the reverse were thirtyfour gold stars, with the representation of a hawk, on an ob long ground work, with the inscription, " We will meet you on the Border." After the speeches of presentation and re- sponses the Rangers were dismissed, and the excited citizens, dispersing into small groups, discussed the disastrous results of the war "within the last few days." The standard was care fully preserved by Captain Leffingwell until he left the service; he then gave it to Isaac Rhodes, now of De Witt, Iowa, a mem- ber of the company, who now has it in his possession. On Thursday morning, July 25th, the De Witt portion of the com- mand having arrived the day before, the Rangers left Lyons amid the cheering of the citizens for their rendezvous at Bur- lington, reaching De Witt on the evening of the same day, where they received an ovation. They left the next morning and arrived at Muscatine at ten o clock that night. Stopping at Wapello on the night of the 27th, they reached Burlington about five o clock P. M. on the 28th. They were mustered into the United States service on the 31st of July.

The following in reference to this company is from the Lyons City Advocate, July 27th, 1861 :

Captain Leffingwell, having succeeded in getting his men equipped, and all furnished with horses, left here on Thursday morning last for Burlington, where the regiment of cavalry are to rendezvous and be mustered into the service of the United States previous to starting for Washington. It is a task of no small magnitude for a man to raise and procure equipments for a company, without the aid of either the State or the general Government, but this has been accomplished by Captain Leffingwell, and he has the first full company of equipped cavalry in the State, numbering ninety-eight strong and hardy men including officers.

Our young ladies, never idle in times like these, had collected the means and purchased a beautiful flag, which was presented to the Ran gers on Thursday evening last on the public square, in the presence of a large number of our citizens. Rev. Kynett had been selected by the ladies to make the presentation, but being called away, L. A. Ellis, Esq. took his place, and upon the Rangers being drawn up in line made a very handsome speech. He spoke of the loyalty of all the citizens of the North to the Government, of their desire to sustain it as it had been handed down to them, and above all of their cherished love for the stars and stripes, the flag of the country. He spoke about fifteen minutes, when he closed and passed over the beautiful banner to the company.

First Lieutenant Burdett received the flag in behalf of the company, and replied to Mr. Ellis in a short but neat and appropriate speech. (We expected to have published the speeches, but failed to get them in time for this issue.)

The remarks were listened to by the large crowd of spectators with much interest and attention, and upon their close the flag was passed over to the standard bearer of the company, three cheers given for the Rangers and three for their officers. The Rangers replied by three cheers for the young ladies of Lyons, and six more for her citizens. In passing over the flag Captain Leffingwell affirmed by the uplifted hand, and called upon his men, each one of whom did the same, that entrusted to them it should never be disgraced or surrendered. The flag is made of blue silk, bound around with red and white fringe. Thirty-four gilt stars are upon either side of it. One side bears the name of the company with a large painted eye instead of the word, and on the other a beautiful hawk is painted bearing in his tal ons the motto of the company, "We will meet you on the Border." It was tastily mounted, and we have no doubt is highly prized by the whole company.

The company then marched to their quarters to spend their last night in our city and prepare for an early start in the morning and their departure for Burlington.

At an early hour on Thursday morning the bugle sounded the assem bly, and in a very short time the barracks were astir with the prepara tions for departure. Our citizens, also, congregated en masse to see them off. The baggage wagon was packed and started, and at eight o clock the company mounted and took up their line of march for Bur lington, where they are ordered to rendezvous on Monday next at nine o clock A. M. The Fulton brass band headed the column and accompa nied them some distance from the city. There was but one attempt at cheering that we heard upon their departure, the feelings of the people being entirely too much wrought up to indulge in a hearty cheer. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives and children were looking, perhaps for the last time, upon the manly forms passing before them, and sympathy for them and for the soldiers was plainly written upon every countenance. With the disastrous results of the last few days in full recollection, all felt that the going forth to war was no trifling matter, and none could help feeling and fearing that many passing be fore them then would never return to their homes and friends ; but that it might be otherwise we have no doubt many a spontaneous and ear nest prayer ascended to the throne of grace as they passed out of sight down Sixth street to take the road for De Witt.

Thus is another hundred stout hands and brave hearts added to the defense of the country, and we take occasion to predict here that if that company meet the enemies of the Constitution and the Union upon the field of battle, such enemies will have cause to remember the Hawkeye Rangers, of Lyons, Iowa. They are as sturdy a set of men as ever vaulted into a saddle, and not one of them, in our opinion, will ever show the white feather to an enemy, and if they do it will not be by the knowledge or consent of their commander. Brave almost to a fault, he has encountered every discouragement in the getting up of his company with a determination that has borne down every obstacle, until on Thursday morning last he marched forth at the head of as well an appointed company as there is in the volunteer service. Our citi- zens are justly proud of the company and its commander, and parted with them with real heartfelt regrets. At De Witt they were to be treated to a public dinner Thursday afternoon, which would undoubt- edly be enjoyed after a twenty mile ride on horseback.

Previous to starting a large number of towels and other necessaries, the proceeds of a picnic last week, were distributed among the men.

COMPANY B. William E. Leffingwell, Captain, Samuel S. Burdett, Captain, Joseph T. Foster. 1st Lieutenant, Wm. H. DeFreest. 2d Lieutenant. Joseph S. Edsall. John M. Gates, Henry P. Shiffer, Lemuel C. Hinman, Robert B. Fulton, Jephtha B. Dunn. Wellington Allen. George Kincaid, David C. Mclntyre, Joseph S. Vandegriff Strong Buell, Benj. S. Woodward. Hiram S. Heberling. Levi G. Allen, James Lister, George A. Gibson. John A. Miller. Hiram G. Hunt, Duncan C. McDonell. Wm. W. Gardner, Robert T. LeCavalier. Job G. Morton, Lemuel Durling. Ezra J. Smith. Wm. L. Soper, Charles C. Hall. Isaac Gulick, John F. Wanichek. Edmond T. Hopkins. George C. Tyler. John K. McKeen, Thomas Mullins. William G. Graham, John Richards, George D. Allen. George V. Avery, George F. Bantz. John L. Barr, Dexter A. Buck. John Carr, Silas D. Crawford. George R. Carney, Orrin B. Crane, Marcus M. Chatfield, Thomas Coleman. John A. Coe, James C. Carr, James M. Devinney. Thomas Dooling. William Durling, John Ditch Lyman H. Evans, George Flemming, Samuel B. Gates, Wm. H. Garland. Henry L. Grover. Henry Guth, George H. Harper. Wm. J. Haney. Reason B. Heddin. William Hughson. Harlow Kinney. James C. Kier, John M. D. Kelly. John Kelly, Henry K. Lowry, David D. Mills, Almond M. Mosher, Squire Monroe, Richard Moore, Peter W. McDonnell. Luke Pierson, Charles G. Penniman. George Redfearn. Frank Robinson, Isaac Rhodes, Joseph H. Robertson, Elisha G. Stanley, Alexander Shields, Sylvester M. Scott. Howard E. Smith, Henry B. Stockwell. August Thomas. Frederick Thorn, William Wilber. Edwin M. Winters. Samuel Whipple, William H. H. West. Dwight Wheedon. ENLISTMENTS AFTER MUSTER. John Downing, William H. Evans. Simon J. Toll. Cornelius Crawford. Nicholas Adams. David S. Bullock. Samuel Barr. William H. Bray. John M. Chase, Thomas M. Crawford. Michael Cunningham, George W. Dilley, Hughey L. Heinman, S. H. McMasters. George Rouse. John S. Stearns, Warren Williams, Oscar G. Williams, Benjamin F. Monroe.

Additional Enlistments: William Casley. William H, Sutton.


"THE BLACK PLUME RANGERS" Were composed of many of those men who were unable to join Company B, and enrolled principally in the county of Clinton. It was organized with W. H. Ankeny as Captain ; James Crissy First, and James P. Crosby, afterward Captain, Second Lieutenants. It went into quarters September 2d, and was mustered into the United States service September 12th, 1861, at Davenport.

This company had been recruited for the First Regiment, but was not accepted because it already had its complement of ten companies, and the company had been ordered to Davenport to become a part of the Second Iowa Cavalry. When the order wr as received increasing cavalry regiments to twelve companies, measures were taken which resulted in ordering this company to Burlington and becoming, in accordance with the original design of both officers and men, a part of the First Cavalry. The addition of this company to the regiment completed its organization, and it now numbered one thousand and ninety-five men rank and file. Soon after additional enlistments increased the number to one thousand two hundred and forty-five. Upon completing the organization of the field and staff, the officers were as follows :

Fitz Henry Warren, Colonel. Charles E. Moss, Lieutenant Colonel. Edwin E. Chamberlain and James O. Gower, (the latter promoted from Captain Company F,) Majors. M. B. Cochran, Surgeon ; D. B. Allen, Assistant Surgeon. James Latham, Chaplain. Dr. Joseph C. Stone, Adjutant. Martin L. Morris, Quartermaster. D. A. Kerr, Company A, J. S. Edsall, Company B, and J. M. Bryan, Company D, Battalion Adjutants. John A. Landis, Company I, W. H. Mussy, Company K, and C. A. Case, Company M, Battalion Quartermasters.

The regiment owned its horses and horse equipments, receiving from the Government forty cents per day for use and risk of each horse. It was composed almost entirely of educated young men, from twenty to thirty-five years of age, as is shown by the records of veteran re-enlistments. The average age of six hundred and fifteen examined at the time of veteran reenlistment was twenty-five and three-fourths years, and it is safe to estimate that one-half of the men in the regiment were as patriotic and worthy to have filled the offices as were those who had been chosen. All the trades and professions were represented in the ranks, and it was prepared for any emergen cy. Many were appointed to honorable and responsible positions, while others received promotions in other regiments, performing all their duties with credit to themselves and honor to the old First Cavalry.

Wm. H. Ankeny, Captain. James Crissy, 1st Lieutenant. James P. Crosby, Captain. Edward A. Dunham, 1st Lieut. Solomon Townsend, 2d Lieutenant. Charles A. Case, George McDowall. Wm. H. Mathews, Noah Boon. Marquis D. Lillie. Henry Landschooft. Alanson D. Gaston, Alanson H. Darwin, Charles E. Cook, Daniel M. Shureman. Clark Hodges, John M. Hoops. Edward Ware, George W. Rice, George T. Nettle, W. I. Walling, Peter Barr, Patrick H. Burke, Theodore Nissen. Henrich Klappin. William H. Todd. Josiah Gorham. Wm. N. Pendleton. Ward W. Hills, William O. Gulick. Joseph Moody, Daniel Dean, Edward P. Iden. DeWitt C. Brownson. Nathan W. Ballard, Thomas E. Francis. Nathan Gordon. Noble H. Brown. Henry Bennett, Joseph Boyd, Loyal A. Baxter. Missell Ballard, David Carr, Horace C. Cure, Jerome L. Church. Lewis E. Dean, Hans E. Diriks, Wm. H. Davidson, James Decker, Patrick Duffy, John C. Einwechter. Joseph Fohn, Thomas George, Josiah Gorham, Paschal Gardner, Charles Hibber. Hiram Hill, Wm. W. Hathaway. Reuben Hubbell. Mar-tin Jordan, Samuel A. Johnson, Richard M. Johnson. Sylvester K. Lake, Joseph McClay, John McDonald, Jacob McDonald, James McCormick, Marshall McKnight. Richard E. Miner, Charles J. Osgood, William C. Potts, Washington H. Rigby, Elisha A. Roland, James F. Randolph. Henry K. Robinson. Joseph Stamper. George Sears, John Stewart, Richard Smith, George Thompson, Fritz Thode, John Tietjens, Alfred C. Taylor, John S. Vosburgh. Josepth Wirth. Frederick R. Wilkes. Louis Warren, Christian W. Wilson. William S. Young. ENLISTMENTS AFTER MUSTER. Charles Barrows. James F. Bunce. Samuel B. Cory. Wm. H. Cavender, James Clark, Wm. G. Cummings. Milo D. Crawford, Christopher Deitman. Miron Dean. John Douglas, Francis A. Dory. Thomas Gammel. W. B. Goodall. Melville Green. Thomas C. Elce. Nelson P. Hill, Nicholas Hoist. W. H. Hunting. John T. Husband, Martin T. Hesler, Ed. B. Hines, Jeremiah Kilmer, John W. Makinson. Eugene T. Mullen. Abraham Murray, George McClintock. George A. Nelson, George Pennington, Henry Roberts, Hans Rohwedder, John B. Stocking, Duncan T. Stocking. Jacob Stephenson. Henry J. Stoops, George W. Stoops. Jerry Tietzgen, Wm. H. Todd, Jacob V. Van Neys. Jurgen Willis. ADDITIONAL ENLISTMENTS. Moses H. Amend. Robert B. Baker. N. W. Barr. Sylvanus C. Bascom. Levi Hendricks, H. H. Hutchins, Joseph Jackson, Benjamin F. Leach. John Leacy. UNASSIGNED. Aaron Babcock. John Cooper, Warren H. Chase. Ephraim J. Davis, Benj. T. Monroe. John B. McClelland. Jerod C. Palmer. Wm. H. Reily, Robert Rundell. James Flanagan. Wm. W. Golcher. Wm. H. Grater, Albert Greeley, George Remmington, Americus C. Smith. R. A. Williams. John A. Wallace. A. D. Allen, John Brown. Augustus Bittner, Herbert L. Barry, Rafus Bunce, Henry N. Cummings, Lander Folletts, William Her. Otis F. Johnson. Thompson Lewis. David Asher Ladd, John J. Miller, Arthur G. Merriman. Joseph L. McCann, Thomas W. Melody. Solomon Rufe, Asa W. Rose, Henry Samuels, Martin Stebbins. Franklin Strickland, Hiram M. Thurston, Charles M. Wheelock.