Fourth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

Page 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".

A few weeks later, when the brigade was about to leave his command, General Pleasanton, issued the following order":(1)

Headquarters Cavalry Division

Warrenberg, Mo., November 2, 1864

General Orders No. 11
Winslow's Brigade of Cavalry being about to leave for another department, the Major General commanding takes this occasion not only to express his regrets in separating from such glorious troops, but also to recall more especially than was done in General Orders No. 4, from these headquarters, the splendid manner in which the brigade fought at the Osage, capturing five pieces of artillery from the enemy, with a large number of prisoners, and carrying by a daring charge the most important and conspicuous position on that artillery field.

By command of Major General Pleasanton,

From the time it started out the expedition last described to the return to St. Louis, embracing a period of a little less than three months, the regiment had traveled 1,952 miles, had worn out two sets of horses, had suffered the extremes of intense heat and severe cold, had fought in several engagements in all of which it was successful, had been an important factor in the almost complete destruction of one of the rebel armies, and the virtual crushing out of the rebellion in that part of the enemy's territory which, thus far, had been the scene of its operations.

The original term of service of the regiment had now expired and those who had not re-enlisted, including also the officers who chose to retire at the close of their three years service, were sent to Iowa and given the honorable discharge to which they were entitled. They had served

their country well and faithfully for three long years and no just criticism could be made upon their leaving the service at the end of the term for which they had enlisted. The number of men and officers who were mustered out was about 250, part of whom were sent from St. Louisa and part from that portion of the regiment that were still at Memphis.

The number of men and officers of the regiment who had remained at Memphis, when their comrades started upon the campaign in Missouri, had been somewhat increased by men who had been sick in hospitals and had recovered and returned to duty, also by those who had returned from furlough, so there were now about the same number in Memphis as there were in St. Louis. They had not been idle. Nearly every day, from early in September to January, those able for duty were either on the picket line, scouting, or engaged in more expended expeditions. On the 14th of December, 1864, a detail of 45 men from Companies A and B of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, under the command of Captain Eldred Huff, of Company A, was sent upon a scouting expedition, and when near White's Station, about six miles east of Memphis, was suddenly attacked by a greatly superior force of the enemy's cavalry. After a severe conflict, in which three of his men were killed and eight wounded, the Captain ordered a retreat, during which twenty of his men and himself were overtaken by the enemy and captured. The remainder for detachment escaped and rode back to Memphis. A larger detachment was immediately sent to the scene of the conflict and endeavored to overtake the enemy, but did not succeed in doing so. The killed and wounded who had been left upon the field wars removed to Memphis, the wounded cared for in hospital and the dead buried with the honors of war. Some of the unfortunate captives died in prison, and those who survived the inhuman treatment they received in Andersonville remained prisoners until the end of the war.

More to come:


1. Footnote: Report of the Adjutant General of Iowa, 1865, Vol. 2, pages 275,6.

Military Index  ***  Home Page