Hardin County, Iowa Military History

transcribed by Linda Suarez from
The Past and Present of Hardin County Iowa

ed. by William J. Moir.  Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1911.


It will be taken for granted that the reader of this work is well versed in the causes that led up to the various wars in which Hardin county has furnished her full quota of soldiers, hence it only need be said that the wars in which she has had a part are the Civil war, from 1861 to 1865, and the Spanish-American war of 1898.

The last words of President Lincoln's proclamation had scarcely been clicked from the telegraphic wires, calling for the first seventy-five thousand men to put down the Rebellion, before that call was filled, but this was not an army sufficient--no, nor ten times this number of men were not enough to bring about a peaceful union between the slave and free states. Hardin county was not undone, nor was she slow about sending her quota from field and store and office, though at that date her population was very small. She was without a railroad or telegraph office, hence the first call for men was filled before this country could muster her soldiers as volunteers, but the second and each succeeding call for soldiers was met manfully and patriotically. Indeed her war record is a noble page in her history, as will be seen by the reading of this chapter. The county board of supervisors and the people, in general, were alert to every interest that tended to put down the Rebellion.

The following commands were represented from Hardin county in that four-year, never-to-be-forgotten conflict:

First, she was represented in the Sixth Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment by Companies B and C.

Then followed the men who served in the Tenth Infantry (Company D), the Eleventh Infantry (Company B), the Twelvth Infantry (Company A), the Thirteenth Infantry (unassigned), the Sixteenth Infantry (Company C), the Eighteenth Infantry (Company K), the Twenty-third Infantry, the Thirty-second Infantry (Companies A, D, F and H), the Forty-fourth Infantry (Company G), the Fifty-fourth Infantry (Company K), the First Iowa Cavalry Regiment (Companies B, F and I), the Second Cavalrry (Companies B and F), the Fourth Cavalry (Company L), the Sixth Cavalry (twelve men, companies unknown), the Ninth Regiment (Companies G and H), the Third Battery of Iowa Light Artillery, Northern Border Brigade (Company C).

Roster of the Dead

Out of the more than five hundred men who were credited to Hardin county, who either lived here or came in to volunteer their services to the Union cause, the following seventy-six laid down their lives on the altar of their country. Over their graves should be inscribed the words: "It is sweet to die for one's country." The list is as follows:

Lieut. George W. Moir, killed in battle at Shiloh, April 6, 1862.
Lieut. Lyman H. Merrill, died of fever while in prison, May 29, 1862, at Montgomery, Alabama.
Austin, Nathan, died at Little Rock, Arkansas, September 27, 1863.
Beach, John M., died of pneumonia, at Jefferson City, January 12, 1862.
Boyd, Wilson, died at Brownsville, Arkansas, September 14, 1863.
Baldwin, Francis, killed in action May 28, 1864.
Buckner, Edward C., killed at Fort Donelson, February 13, 1862.
Brown, John W., died in hospital at St. Louis, December 19, 1862.
Bachelor, W. M., died of acute diarrhorea, at Memphis, Tennessee, July 21, 1863.
Black, Gustavus H., died at Memphis, Tennessee, July 23, 1864.
Brochard, Jonathon, died November 9, 1862.
Boyles, Daniel J., died of wounds at Memphis, October 9, 1863.
Buckingham, Hamilton, killed at Kenesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864.
Basham, John, died Septmber 19, 1863, at Little Rock, Arkansas.
Constant, William H., died June 18, 1864, at Memphis, Tennessee.
Cannon, Thomas N., died September 2, 1863, at Memphis, Tennessee.
Caraway, Joseph B., died of typhoid fever, May 9, 1862.
Cantonwine, Henry D., died at Brownsville, Arkansas, September 8, 1863.
Christian, Ira G., died at Little Rock, Arkansas, October 18, 1863.
Cantonwine, George D., died in hospital at St. Louis, January 4, 1862.
Collins, Nelson, died of typhoid fever, May 9, 1862.
Danger, Lewis, died March 5, 1863, at Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Estabrook, Charles E., died at St. Louis, January 23, 1863.
Estabrook, Andrew J., died at Memphis, Tennessee, May 22, 1864.
Egerton, H. James, died at New Orleans, May 6, 1865.
Fairbanks, Whitcomb, killed at the battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862.
Garne, Leonard, died April 26, 1864, at Andersonville prison.
Hall, Israel, died at Weldon, North Carolina, October 14, 1862.
Harper, Thomas, died at Moscow, Tennessee, summer of 1862.
House, Jason H., died at Davenport, Iowa, August, 1865.
Hughes, James, H., died at St. Louis, December 21, 1861.
Hall, Howard, died of pleurisy, at Fayetteville, Arkansas, December 8, 1862.
Hough, William F., killed at battle of Shiloh.
Hoover, Samuel W., died of pneumonia, at Savannah, March 28, 1862.
Johnson, Barton H., killed at the battle of Shiloh.
Johnson, James, died September 20, 1863, at Annapolis, Maryland.
Johnson, Samuel, died of pneumonia, at Jefferson City, January 15, 1862.
Jones, Thomas, died at St. Louis, April 17, 1862.
James, Eugene A., died at St. Louis, October 14, 1861.
King, Reuben G., killed at the battle of Shiloh.
Kinnen, Sylvester, died at St. Louis, January 17, 1862.
Lockard, Philander, died December 8, 1861.
Latham, William H., died at Memphis, Tennessee, July 3, 1864.
Lockard, John, died of wounds received at Shiloh, May 25, 1862.
Livingood, Thomas M., died at La Grange, Tennessee, August 5, 1864.
Myers, John R., killed at Bayou Du Glaize, Louisiana, May 18, 1864.
McKensey, Neal, died in hospital at St. Louis, December 30, 1861.
Macy, Isaac H., died at Camp Franklin, November 30, 1862.
Millslagle, Robert, died at Nashville, Tennessee, December 17, 1864.
Miller, Annanias, died at Jefferson City, October 28, 1861.
Nutt, William, died at Memphis, Tennessee, January 25, 1864.
Moon, Havilach B., died in November, 1862, at Keokuk, Iowa.
Osborn, Robert H., killed in action at Dallas, Georgia, May 18, 1864.
Payne, Charles J., killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862.
Potts, John M., killed in action, at Dallas, Georgia, May 28, 1864.
Quivey, Roswell F., died at Macon, Georgia.
Ripley, Jacob, killed at Corinth, October, 1864.
Royal, James, killed at the battle of Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864.
Rutan, John, killed in action, near Atlanta, Georgia, August 14, 1864.
Reed, George, wounded at Shiloh, and died of wounds at St. Louis, April 30, 1862.
Ripley, Lewis, died in hospital at St. Louis, April 6, 1862.
Race, Joseph, died in hospital at St. Louis, January 10, 1862.
Stotser, William, killed in battle of Shiloh.
Swain, David H., died at St. Louis, December 22, 1861.
Smith, Henry, died at Tyler, Texas, October 12, 1864.
Sawyer, Ozro, died at St. Lewis, November 28, 1861.
Surles, Anthony W., died of wounds received at Dallas, Georgia, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 7, 1864.
Spurlin, George, died at St. Louis, of pneumonia, February, 1863.
Shultz, Jesse, died at Little Rock, Arkansas, October 14, 1863.
Sayre, Calvin M., died at Little Rock, Arkansas, October 21, 1863.
Sayre, John L., died at Little Rock, Arkansas, December 23, 1863.
Travis, Joseph W., died July 17, 1864, of wounds, at Marietta, Georgia.
Treat, Charles D., died at St. Louis, February 5, 1862.
Vandervort, G. C., killed at battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862.
Woodruff, Jackson, killed at battle of Shiloh.

"On fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread;
Where angels guard, with solemn round,
The bivouac of the dead."

Official Support of the War

Now that the read has seen the record made by the men who went forth from Hardin County in defense of the flag from 1861 to 1865, attention will be called to what the county did in way of support to the cause in a financial way, and in casting a sympathizing tear for the brave boys who wore the loyal blue.

The county supervisor system was just ushered in a few months before the Civil war broke out, and among the first duties devolving upon them, after they were really organized, was to provide certain aid for the affairs growing out of the war, the enlistment of soldiers, etc.  At a special meeting of the board in July, 1861, the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars was appropriated to furnish "suitable clothing for the military company known as the Union Guards."  Three hundred dollars were also appropriated to assist in equipping a company known as the "Hardin County Cavalry," providing the company mustered into the United States Service.

At the regular session of the board in 1861, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

"Resolved, that each supervisor of this board be appointed a committee, each one for the township which he represents, to superintend and see to the families of volunteers in each of the several townships; to afford temporary relief to each family in need, according to their necessities; to purchase, or allow each family to purchase for themselves, goods as their wants may demand; but in no case shall families be allowed to purchase goods without a written order of supervisor, which shall be produced by the creditor as a voucher for his claim on the county."

In August, 1862, at a called session of the board, the following war measure resolution was adopted:

"Resolved, that the clerk of the board of supervisors is hereby authorized and directed to issue an order on the treasurer for the sum of twenty dollars to each volunteer that is, at the time of enlistment, a resident of Hardin county, that has or may volunteer under the last call for three hundred thousand for three years or during the war; and also the further sum of two dollars per month to the wife of each volunteer, and the sum of one dollar per month for each child of said volunteer under the age of fourteen years; and that an order for ten dollars of the first mentioned sum be issued on the presentation of the certificate of a recruiting officer; and that an order for the other ten dollars be issued on the presentation of the certificate of the captain of the company that said volunteer has been mustered into the service of the United States; and that the above allowance to the wife and children be paid only upon the order of the volunteer."

The above only applied to private soldiers, no commissioned men being included in the provision.

At the December session of the Hardin county board the following resolution was adopted:

"Resolved, that the board of county supervisors of Hardin county, Iowa, pay a bounty of one hundred and seventy-five dollars for volunteers to fill the quota of the county under the last call of the President for three hundred thousand men, to be furnished by the 5th of January, 1864; fifty dollars of said sum to be paid when the recruit is accepted and mustered into the service of the United States; twenty-five dollars to be paid on the first day of August, 1864; twenty-five dollars to be paid on the first of January, 1865; fifty dollars to be paid on the first day of August, 1865; and twenty-five dollars to be paid on the first day of January, 1866; and in addition thereto a monthly allowance to the families of volunteers of two dollars per month to wife, and one dollar to the child of each volunteer under fourteen years of age, and to be paid during the term of service of said volunteer."

At the June session of the board of county supervisors, the following resolution was passed, the same having been framed and offered by I. S. Moore:

"Resolved, that the board of supervisors of Hardin county, Iowa, will continue to pay a bounty of two dollars per month to the wife, and one dollar per month to each child under the age of fourteen years, whose husbands or fathers have been killed, died or disabled, or may hereafter be killed or disabled in the service of the United States, that have enlisted from the county, until such families get relief from the general government.   The allowance of those who have not received aid from the county to commence January 1, 1864."

In November, 1864, the supervisors ordered that the bounty to wife and children before named should extend to drafted men and volunteers under the call of five thousand men asked for by President Lincoln.

January, 1865, had been ushered in and it proved to be the last year of the great civil conflict.  Again the bounty question came up before the members of the county board.   The government was then making its last grand effort to crush out the rebellion, and the President had made an urgent call for three hundred thousand more men.  The board passed this resolution:

"Resolved, that the county will pay a bounty of two hundred dollars to all persons who may volunteer to fill the quota for Hardin County under the call of President Lincoln for three hundred thousand men; said volunteers to be entitled to draw said sum when he shall have been accepted and mustered into the serive of the United States.  Said sum to be paid in installments, as follows:  Fifty dollars to be paid August 1, 1865; fifty dollars to be paid January 1, 1866; fifty dllars to be paid August 1, 1866; fifty dollars to be paid January 1, 1867."

The last resolution found in the Hardin county records relative to the payment of and equalization of soldiers' bounties, growing out of the Civil war, was at the June session of the board, 1867, and reads:

"Be it resolved by the board of supervisors of Hardin county, Iowa, that the board refund all bounty tax, and exempt from all bounty tax all privates or non-commissioned officers at the time of enlisting in the service of the United States from this county, except those who have received the one hundred and seventy-five dollars bounty; and that said tax be paid out of the county fund.  We, your committee, consider it no more than justice that those who went out early in the struggle for freedom, for little or no bounty, should not be called upon to help pay the large bounties of those who went into the service at a later date.

"Your committee, in making this report, do not wish to be understood that they consider it in any way equalizing the bounty, but as an act of simple justice to the brave soldiers.  Your committee would further say, that when the county gets in a better financial condition, that all bounties will be equalized."

A Daring Act

Hardin county had a hero in Sherman's famous "march to the sea."  He was George W. Dart, for many years marshal at Ackley and who became a member of the Thirteenth Iowa Regiment from Clinton county and later joined General Sherman's army and accompanied it to the sea.  He, with a few more, entered the Southern  capitol at Columbia and climbed many stairways to the dome and there unfurled and made fast the Stars and Stripes over that state capitol building, which won for him much military fame and is spoken of at length in the army records and reports.  The Army of the Tennessee has ever been proud of this hero for this daring act.

Relief Fund

The state records show that in 1905 Hardin county paid as a soldiers' relief fund the sum of two thousand two hundred and sixty dollars.

Hardin County Veterans

Hardin county did proudly in the days of Civil War and now there still remain in the county as survivors almost two hundred and fifty of those who fought under Grant and Sherman and Logan and Howard and a score more gallant generals.  This is but a small part of the great number who went forth from 1861 to 1865.  The oldest veteran in the county today (1911) is Levi White, of Eldora, aged ninety years.  The youngest is John Hartman, of Iowa Falls, aged sixty-one years, the average age of all these soldiers yet living being seventy years.  The average age at date of enlistment was twenty-four years.

County Civil War Monument

At Eldora, in the public square, immediately to the east of the present court hosue, stands a metallic monument erected to the memory of the soldiers who served in the Civil war and lost their lives in defense of the Union cause.  It was erected at an expense of three thousand dollars by taxation upon the people of Hardin County.   It was erected about 1885 and was constructed in Des Moines.  It has stood at different places on the court house square, but after having been repaired and after the new court house was erected in 1891-2 it was placed where it now stands.  It is a handsome shaft, surmounted by a statue of a volunteer soldier, faacing the east.  The sides of the base are provided with plates or tablets on which are inscribed the names of the men who fell in battle or were stricken by disease.  "Atlanta," "Gettysburg," "Shiloh," and "Vicksburg" are in heavy raised bas-relief lettering on the four sides of the lower base.  Medallions of Washington, Lincoln, Grant and Farragut are on the second base of the shaft, proper.  It is a fine monument to the departed dead of the civil conflict from Hardin county.

It was unveiled with ceremony befitting and interesting.  The orator of the occasion was Hon. David B. Henderson, speaker of the House of Representatives, and was presented to the Veterans' Association by Hon. W. J. Moir, who spoke at length in eloquent words, and among other things said:

"Veterans, when our country was in danger, when treason's hydra head was raised, you left your wife and children, father and mother, and with a prayer for your safety and a 'God bless you' from every patriotic heart, you joined that great army of volunteers -- you tendered your country, if need be, a patriot's blood and a patiot's life.

"Many of you suffered in the roofless prison-pens of the South.   Many noble boy, as he lay on the field of battle with death not far away, thought of the dear ones at home whom he should never see again.

"You gave your country years of the best period of your lives; you stood like a wall of fire between us and the invading foe.  You and your brave comrades battled against secession on more than two thousand three hundred and forty-seven battlefields, until three hundred thousand of the youth of the country were slain.   You who lived returned victorious, bearing aloft the flag of the free -- without a star bedimmed or a stripe erased -- that now floats over a nation of states re-cemented with loyal blood, re-baptized with liberty's light -- forever one -- forever free."

The monument was accepted for the association of veterans by an eloquent address by F. J. Evans, of Iowa Falls.

Colonel J. W. Lawrence introduced the orator of the day, Colonel David B. Henderson, who in his splendid oration made use of the following sentences:

"There are three kinds of monuments: First, those representing ideas; second, those representing men; third, composite, or those representing men and ideas.   This monument belongs to the latter class.  It represents the men of Hardin county, who put their lives at the disposal of the Union during the great rebellion of 1861 to 1865 and it is an expression from this county in favor of liberty and national union."

Just as the monument was to be unveiled (during the oration) Henderson quoted Lincoln's immortal speech at Gettysburg, and in trying to remove the drapery of veiling the cords became entwined and tangled with the folds of the flag that draped the statue of the volunteer soldier surmounting the monument, and this delayed the undraping a few moments, whereupon Hon. W. J. Moir exclaimed, "Colonel Henderson, our flag is still there and we can't get it down."  Colonel Henderson, quck to catch the sentiment, said: "We will accept it as an omen that the stability and union of the American soldier and the flag are perpetual and indivisible."

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