boys who went to the war from this county in 1861 and ’62 proved their
patriotism and their valor. Those that were spared came home at the
close of the war and at once engaged in the various callings of
citizens, and the splendid record which they have made is unsurpassed
by any other class of citizens in the country. They have proven loyal
to every principle of true citizenship. Two of the men who enlisted
from this county afterward represented the county in the state
legislature, to-wit: Gillum S. Toliver and A. R. Mills, while many
others have filled positions of trust and responsibility. Generally
speaking, they have made a success of life and assisted beyond
computation in keeping alive the spirit of patriotism and devotion to
the country and flag. Their ranks are being depleted from year to year
and on the re-occuring of May 30, annually, they with all of our people
gather in the cemeteries of the county and with the highest devotion
and most solemn sense of duty strew the passionless mounds of their
fallen comrades with choice flowers. This annual service of these
survivors of the Civil war veterans is in a large measure responsible
for the splendid condition in which the cemeteries of this county
appear today. Memorial day is observed throughout the county wherever there is a cemetery of the dead.
The soldiers of the
county represent nearly every northern state and they are scattered
quite evenly over the county. They are devoted to the principles of the
Grand Army of the Republic, and with a zeal unknown in any other order,
gather around their camp fires and touch elbows as they did during the
dark days of the rebellion, when the destiny of the country hung in the
balance. When they meet in their reunions there is no division on
acount of locality at time of enlistment. The Union soldier who went to
the war from the northern pines of Maine and the Union soldier who gave
his service from the Palmetto state, today meet in the most cordial
manner. They welcome all who are willing to swear allegiance to the
national government and dwell beneath the folds of the stars and
stripes. They extend the hand of good-fellowship even to those who
sought by force to disrupt the Union, yet they are the undying enemies
of treason and no man can enter their order upon whom a stain of
treason remains. Their
valor has been proven on scores of battlefields. The empty sleeves,
missing legs and battle scars are evidence unmistakable that they have
stood in the thickest of the fray and faced death in all of its
horrors. These grizzled veterans are held in loving esteem by their
fellow citizens. To them we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be
paid. We have not forgotten that these men made it possible for us to
enjoy our pleasant homes and the highest degree of prosperity ever
known to this or any other country. The Allwise alone knows what would
have been our destiny had not these men responded to the call of their
country and bared their breasts to the shot and shell of the enemy.
They realize that their
march is almost ended, and
that soon the final taps will be sounded, but in the language of
another they can truthfully say: “We have fought a good fight,” we have
saved the country without the loss of a star, and Old Glory, the
grandest banner that was ever flung to the breeze, is honored and
respected in all lands and by all people. Let us cherish the grand and
ennobling principles which these heroes have bequeathed to us and swear
by the memory of their heroism that we will take up the cause for which
they fought and bled and if necessary give our lives in defense of
these immortal principles.
Under the first call
of President Lincoln, the raising of but a single regiment was assigned
to Iowa, and this meagre quota was filled up so promptly by those
counties connected by railroads with the capital and other places of
rendezvous that remote counties like Greene found no place for its
gladly enlisting men until late in the summer of 1861, when the Tenth
regiment was organized. Company H in this regiment was enrolled in the
counties of Greene, Carroll and Johnson, fully two-thirds of the men
enlisting from Greene county. This splendid body of men, with such
facts as have been secured from oflicial reports and otherwheres, are
entitled to honorable mention in this Greene County History, as
follows: It will be borne in mind that the entire company was mustered
into service September 7, 1861:
Jackson Orr, commissioned captain September 24, 1861;
resigned August 8, 1863. Now living, in good health, near Silverton,
John H. Clark, promoted to first sergeant; wounded in the shoulder and
head at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; commisisoned
captain, August 11, 1863; mustered out January 13, 1865, veteran. Mr.
Clark settled in Jefferson for a time after the war and became a court
reporter; later moving to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he is still
enjoying good health. He is still a reporter in the state courts.
William G. Oungst, promoted from first sergeant to second lieutenant,
February 7, 1862; first lieutenant, March 3, 1862; resigned October 7,
1862. Mr. Oungst is reported as living in the far west at the present
Matthew Custer, promoted to second sergeant, veteran;
then first lieutenant, January 4, 1864. Served through the war;
afterwards a prosperous farmer in Hardin township, andnow a resident of Jefferson; in good health.
Andrew Purcell, commissioned September 24, 1861, as second lieutenant; resigned February 6, 1862.
Isaac H. Brown, promoted from second sergeant to
second lieutenant, March 3, 1862; killed at Champion Hills,
Mississippi, May 16,1863.
John Bish, promoted to second lieutenant August 7,
1865, but mustered out as second sergeant; wounded October 4, 1862, at
Corinth, Mississippi, and November 25, 1863, at Chattanooga, Tennessee,
slightly in the hip; veteran; now lives in Held county, Colorado.
Hubbard W. Bunker, promoted from fifth sergeant to first lieutenant, October 8, 1862; veteran; discharged October 11, 1864.
Isaac W. Deemer, enlisted in 1861; promoted to third sergeant. Now living at Lake City.
Goldsborow B. Burk, better known as “Banycr” Burk;
promoted fourth sergeant; wounded slightly in head at Chattanooga,
Tennessee, November 25, 1863; re-enlisted February 1, 1864. Returned
of war and died at Grand Junction several years ago.
Sanford M. Amy, first corporal; wounded severely in
the left thigh at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863. Died in
Coloradotwo years ago.
Robert T. Smith; second corporal, captured at
Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863, and died of diarrhoea, at
Andersonville, Georgia, in prison, July 1, 1865.
Joshua Burk, seventh corporal, promoted to
sergeant; wounded severely in the right arm at Chattanooga, Tennessee,
November 25, 1863; discharged at Davenport, Iowa, July 4, 1864, on
account of wounds. Died in Missouri several years ago while visiting.
Albert Crumley, third corporal; discharged for inguinal hernia at Bird’s Point, Missouri, February 1, 1862. Now lives in Kansas.
Henry Myers, fourth corporal ; re-enlisted February
1, 1864. Returned to Greene county at close of war, and for many years
was a farmer in Grant township. Later he moved to Jefferson and died about a year ago.
John L. Kinney, fifth corporal; transferred August 17, 1863, at
Vicksburg, Mississippi, to the Twelfth Louisiana volunteers, and
commanded a company of colored troops. He now lives in Louisiana.
Coleman P. Wright, promoted corporal; died at Columbia, South Carolina, February 19, 1865, on the “march to the sea.”
Archibald Burk, eighth corporal; wounded slightly
in the head at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; severely, in
the leg, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863; discharged at
Davenport, Iowa, July 15, 1864, on account of wounds. Returned to
Greene county and lives in Rippey.
George W. Short, promoted corporal; wounded severely
in the right leg at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863;
discharged at Davenport, August 11, 1863, for disability. Is reported living in Illinois.
Xavier Carlin, promoted corporal; re-enlisted January
1, 1864; wounded slightly in the foot at Cox’s Bridge, North Carolina,
Joseph Deemer, musician; came home after the war and is now living in Des Moines.
John Roberts, musician; discharged at Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, April 17, 1863.
Jacob Young, wagoner; re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
William Anderson, private; discharged at Milliken’s
Bend, Louisiana, March 6, 1862. Returned to his home in Jefferson,
where he lived many years, and is now at the Soldiers’home, Marshalltown, Iowa.
Joseph A. Anderson, private; wounded in the left leg
at Corinth, Mississippi, October 3, 1862; re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
Now livesat Storm Lake, Iowa.
Daniel H. Anderson, private; received an honorable discharge; re-enlisted March 20, 1864.
William L. Adkins, private; wounded slightly in the
left arm at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; re-enlisted
February 1, 1864. Returned to his home in Washingtontownship, where. he died many years ago.
John W. Adkins, private; died, date and place unknown. He went into an
engagement with his company and disappeared. It is supposed he was
killed and body never found.
Archibald L. Allen, private; discharged March 6,
1862, at Birds’ Point, Missouri. Returned to Rippey, where he died
Henry L. Athey, private; discharged at Birds’ Point,
Missouri, March 6, 1862. He returned to Greene county, but his present
residence isnot known.
Thomas Athey, private; re-enlisted January, 1864.
John Bennett, private; died of measles at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 9, 1861.
James M. Brewer, private; wounded in the back at
Champion Hills, Missouri, May 16, 1863; re-enlisted January 1, 1864.
Now livingin Kansas.
James B. Carter, private; died of measles at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 21, 1861.
John Chaflin, private;
died of measles atCape Girardeau, Missouri, November 19, 1861.
Philip Cline, private, a mere boy when enlisted. Had
a revolver, which he claimed was his main reliance. So far as known, he
was absolutely without relatives.
Jotham Crumley, private; died at Mound City, Illinois, September 15, 1862, from disease.
Edward Davenport, private; discharged at Bird’s Point, Missouri, February 10, 1862.
William Greek, private; served his term and
re-enlisted. Soon after he disappeared and has never been heard of
since. Was a brave soldier.
Amos Gilliland, private; wounded severely in the side
at the battle of Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863. He returned
home andnow lives at Paton, in Greene county.
William N. Hall, private; killed in the battle of Chainpion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.
John B. John, private; discharged at Keokuk, Iowa, December 10, 1862, for disability. Lives in Rippey.
Thomas M. Lee, private; wounded severely in the neck
at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; and severely in the arm
at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863; died two years ago in California.
Joseph R. Locke, private; transferred April 22,
1863, to the Eleventh Louisiana volunteers. It is said he commanded a
company of colored volunteers. He still lives in Louisiana.
Jefferson McCoy, private. It is reported of this
soldier that he never missed a day of service'while in the army, nor a
battle in which his company had a part, enlisting for all there was in
the struggle. Since the war he has been
living on his little farm in Grant township.
John C. McLain, private; re-enlisted February 1, 1864. Moved to Los Angeles, California, and died there, two years ago.
Daniel Miller, private; died at Birds’ Point, Missouri, of diarrhoea, February 4, 1862.
Jacob Miller, private; accidentally killed at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, October 19, 1861.
Oliver O. Mosier, private; promoted to commissary sergeant, October 19, 1861; died at Bird’s Point, Missouri, February 6, 1862.
William Rhoads, private; wounded in the thigh at
Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, and died from his wounds at
Memphis,July 16, of same year.
Abraham Scott, private; transferred February 15, 1864, to invalid corps.
Alonzo C. Stevens, private. At close of war took up his residence in Chicago.
Hiram Scott, private; died at Lake City.
Jerome W. Teitsort, private; re-enlisted January 1,
1864. Returned to Greene county and was killed by the cars at Scranton,
Thomas B. Turpin, private; died of the measles at Mound City, Illinois, December 25, 1861.
John E. Van Horn, private. Returned home after the war and now resides in Kansas.
John F. Wilson, private; re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
Lewis Wright, private.
William H. B. Wynkoop, private; discharged at Bird’s
Point, Missouri, February 1, 1862, on account of scrofula* and
consumption. Resided in Jefferson until his death some fifteen years ago.
A number of young men who presented themselves in
good faith for enlistment were rejected by mustering oflicers, but
their loyalty was rewarded by an acceptance later in the struggle.
Among these were John David, Lewis Adkins, Marion Reece, Addison Monroe
and Charles J . Wynkoop.
Smith J. Hutchinson’s name was added to the roll of
company H the day it was mustered in. He was killed at the battle of
ChampionHills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.
Gillum s. Toliver and Doily B. Johns originally
joined company K of the Tenth regiment. but at their own request were
transferred to company H so as to be with the rest of the Greene county
boys. Toliver was discharged for disability at Hamburg, Tennessee, May .7, 1862, and Johns died on
the same date at Mound City, Illinois.
There were other eulistments in company H from Greene county, as
follows: Harrison Bruner, February 25, 1864; Reuben B. Greek, February
26, 1864; John W. Myers (deceased), February 25, 1864; Henry Ranbarger,
March 16, 1864; James C. ,Toliver, February 25, 1864; James S. Wilson,
February 19, 1864.
The Tenth regiment, which participated in some of the
hard fought battles of the war, notably Champion Hills, Mississippi,
was in the service nearly four years, and was mustered out at Little
Rock, Arkansas, August 15, 1865. It was made up of patriotic, noble
The Thirty-ninth regiment contained about forty men who enlisted from Greene county, nearly all belonging to company E.
Robert M. Rippey was commissioned captain of
company E, November 24, 1862, and died at Corinth, Mississippi, October
30, 1863. He was a prominent and influential citizen of the county and
had held the oflice of county judge to the satisfaction of the people.
John N. Couttes was commissioned first lieutenant November 24, 1862, and captain October 31, 1863. He resigned January 6, 1865.
Newton P. Wright was promoted from second to first lieutenant October 31, 1863, and was killed at Altoona, October 5, 1864.
Jacob M. Toliver was commissioned second lieutenant
November 24, 1862, and resigned March 4, 1863. He returned to Greene
county where he lived for some years and now is apracticing attorney at Lake City, Iowa.
Among the rank and file of company E were Albert M.
Bills, now a resident of Meeker, Colorado; John Carson; Oliver M.
Smith, died in Texas; Jacob Warley; Mark York, who was lost in the war,
but is said to be still living; Theodore B. Powers, living in Oklahoma;
Caleb A. Shreve, of Oregon; Luther Short; Charles H. Tietsort, Pueblo,
Colorado; and William F. Waldron, of Glidden. Bills, Reed, Shreve and
Tietsort were captured at Altoona, October 5, 1864, with a large
company of prisoners. Fifteen made their escape from a moving freight
train, but only Reed and Bills escaped, and they were sixteen days and
nights in reaching the Union lines. The others were recaptured and
taken to Macon, Georgia. Carson and Waldron were wounded in the famous
battle at Altoona.
There were Greene county men who enlisted in other regiments, as follows:
John W. Myers enlisted in the Ninth, February 26, 1864.
David John enlisted in company E, Twenty-third regiment, August 16, 1862.
Robert Gilroy, John H. Sims, George W. Mason and William E. McCoy
enlisted May 11, 1864, in company H, Forty-fourth (100 days) regiment.
John Ladlie enlisted in company C, Forty-sixth regiment (100 days’ men), May 23, 1864.
It is a remarkable historical fact that Greene
county, with a scant population, not footing up to fourteen hundred,
should have furnished one hundred and fifty men who willingly enlisted
in the war for the Union. With a people mainly devoted to agricultural
pursuits, far removed from the scenes of strife, with no telegraphic,
and not even railway, connection with the outside world, it would
hardly seem as if a spirit of such splendid patriotism could be so
speedily aroused. But Iowa was a, part--a grand factor—in the Union,
and Greene county was a part of Iowa, hence when the calls came. and
meetings were held, the stars and stripes unfurled, the fife and drum
sounding the notes of the country’s great need, men, young and old,
jostled over each other in their great desire to have a part in putting
down the rebellion. So well were the quotas of every call kept full,
that there was never any demand for a draft in Greene county. The cry
seemed to be: “We are coming, Father Abraham, the last man of us, if
the need comes.” And that “our boys in blue” acquitted themselves bravely is well evidenced by the terrific
engagements at Champion Hills, at Chattanooga, at Shiloh, and on other
The present population of Greene county is largely
made up of men who came here from the eastern and middle states after
the close of the war, bringing their proud war record with them, hence
there is probably in the county today fully two hundred veterans, while
of the one hundred and fifty men credited to the county by reason of
local enlistments, probably not a dozen now reside here. Many have
moved away and a far greater number have gone to the far-away land “on
the other side of thehills.” It has been computed that the soldiers now
living in Greene county represent more than fifty different regiments
enlisted in half that number of states. And yet, under the unifying
influences of the G. A. R., they really are under but one command, with
liberty and fraternity as their battle-cry.