Henry County, Iowa in the Civil War

Fourth Regiment of Iowa Cavalry

Excerpts are given to indicate the next segment of data included:

Civil War - 4th Cavalry - page 640-644

The Fourth Regiment of Iowa Cavalry was organized under the proclamation of President Lincoln, dated July 23,
1861. The original roster of the regiment shows that the twelve companies of which it was composed were ordered
into quarters by Governor Kirkwood, on dates ranging from August 25 to November 2, 1861. The place of
rendezvous designated in the order was Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where the companies were mustered into the
service of the United States by Captain Alexander Chambers, of the United States Army, on dates ranging from
November 23, 1861, to January 1, 1862.(1) Most of these companies had perfected their organization and were
awaiting assignment when the Governor's order was issued, but some of them had only an incipient organization at
the that time, hence the disparity in the dates upon which they were mustered into the service. Upon the date of the
muster of the last company, the regiment numbered 1,086 men and officers. The camp was named "Camp Harlan,"
in honor of the distinguished Senator from Iowa, whose home was in Mount Pleasant. Barracks were erected for
the use of the men and officers and stable for the horses.

Civil War - 4th Cavalry- page 644 - 647

On the 11th of May, Lieutenant Colonel Swan was ordered to move rapidly in the direction of Hayses Bluff and
reconnoiter that fortified position for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was still occupied by the enemy. Early
in the afternoon, the advance guard of the regiment came within sight of works, and continued to advance
cautiously, but not encountering opposition. Captain Peters with his company was ordered to move forward for
closer observation and meeting with no enemy, he rode into the fort and found but twenty of the enemy, who
surrendered without resistance.

Civil War - 4th Cavalry - page 648 - 654

General Sherman highly commended Colonel Winslow for his successful management of the expedition, in a personal letter, from which the following extracts are taken:

Page 648

"You did exactly as you were ordered and acted perfectly right.. I wish now I had ordered you to destroy all cars instead of attempting to save them, but my instructions were based on General Grant's wishes as conveyed to me in person...I now assure you of my great respect..I esteem you highly as A most promising cavalry officer, and only ask you , --- find yourself to obey orders, and when left to your discretion to do just what your judgment suggests. Only remember that boldness and dash are the characteristics of good cavalry...I will watch your progress always and wish you to consider me your friend and to call on me freely when you will..."

Civil War - 4th Cavalry - 654-655

In General Orders No. 6, dated at Fort Scott, Ks, October 26, 1864, General Pleasanton recounts the achievements of his cavalry division and says of Winslow's Brigade:

The gallant action of Phillips Brigade of Missouri Cavalry, and Winslow's Brigade, in capturing eight of the enemy's guns, on the Osage was so distinguished as to draw praise from the enemy...The night fighting of Colonel Winslow on the Big Blue deserves the highest commendation. The regiments of the Fourth Brigade are authorized to place upon their colors "Big Blue" and "Osage".

Civil War - 4th Cavalry - Partial Roster of Men

Another expedition in which 110 men of the Fourth Iowa--under command of Captain Beckwith-participated, left Memphis early in December and was conveyed by transports to a point on the river near which, it was reported, a large quantity of arms and medical stores, belonging to the rebel arm, were stored, awaiting transportation, and guarded by but a small force of rebels, who were visiting the arrival of a larger force with wagons to remove the arms and stores tothe interior. The camp of the guard was surrounded just at daybreak and after a brief resistance, they surrendered. On thousand rifles, ammunition for same, besides a large quantity of revolvers, quinine and other medical stores, were captured and, with the prisoners, taken to Memphis. Such captures were of great importance, as the rebels were merely in need of such supplies, which, on account of the destruction of so many of their factories and the maintenance of a strict blockade along the coasts, they found it very difficult to procure,. It is one of the marvels of history, that the soldiers of the rebel army, lacking as they did. In the latter days of the war, so many of the supplies necessary for their maintenance, should have been able and willing to prolong the hopeless struggle. They were brave American soldiers fighting for a cause they thought was just, and the brave men who finally conquered them, can well afford to pay tribute to their valor and endurance.


1. Report of the Adjutant General of Iowa, 1863, Vol 2, pages 509 to 544 inclusive
2. Roster of the Fourth Iowa Veteran Volunteer Cavalry--1861-1865. An appendix to "The Story of a Cavalry
Regiment", by William Force Scott; New York; Press J. J. Little & Co. 1902
3. Lieutenant Colonel Drummond went into the field with the regiment, but after a few months, resigned, and
returned to his position in the Fifth United States Cavalry. He was killed while gallantly leading his men into battle
in a charge at Five Forks, April 1, 1865.
4. Report of the Adjutant General, 1864, page 512 War- 19th Regiment - Company K, 19th Regiment

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