Muscatine County Iowa

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889, pages 602-605


From the time the Government was established up to 1860, slavery, as a public question, entered into nearly every political contest. The States of the Union in which slavery existed feared their rights would be encroached upon, and to allay such fears and maintain peace various measures were passed. These only served for a little while, and were never quite satisfactory to either party interested. That known as the " Missouri Compromise" seemed to come nearer a solution of the difficulty than any other, and was the most satisfactory to the Northern States, and seemed for a time, to satisfy the South. By the terms of that compromise slavery was confined south of an imaginary line known as the Mason and Dixon line. The rapid growth of the North, and the formation of the new States without slavery, alarmed the Southern people, who feared the loss of power. Then came the repeal of the " Missouri Compromise," the adoption of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and the question of the introduction of the slaves into the Territories. The Republican party, formed for the purpose of preventing any further extension of slavery, was regarded as a menace by the South, and threats of secession were made in the event of that party coming into power. In the Presidential campaign of 1860, the Republicans, with Abraham Lincoln as their leader, presented a solid front, while the Democracy was divided, presenting Stephen A. Douglas as a candidate for the Presidency, representing the Northern wing of the party, and John C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, representing the Southern wing. John Bell, of Tennessee, was also a candidate, receiving his nomination from the Union party, composed principally of those formerly affiliating with the American or Know-Nothing party. The election of Lincoln was almost a foregone conclusion. While it was known that there were many hot-headed men in the South willing to plunge the country into civil war, few persons realized the danger, or for a monent believed that the threats of the Southern people would be carried into execution. Little was known of the preparations being made in the South for the event sure to follow the election of Lincoln. When the result of the general election was known, and months before the inauguration of Lincoln as President, South Carolina and other States passed ordinances of secession, and preparations were made to resist any force that would be sent against them, as well as to obtain possession of any property belonging to the General Government within the limits of their States. At Charleston, S. C., two forts were in the possession of the United States authorities, Forts Moultrie and Sumter. The former was abandoned, the troops being moved to the latter. Early in April 1861, the authorities of South Carolina demanded their surrender, and being refused, erected fortifications upon the mainland for the purpose of bombardment. No attempt was made to prevent them, and when completed, another demand was made with threats of opening fire upon the fort in case of refusal. In Fort Sumter were Maj. Anderson and a gallant band of loyal men, with provisions to last but a short time. To the demand for the surrender a refusal was sent, and on the morning of April 12, 1861, the rebels commenced the attack by opening fire upon the fort. The fire was returned by the brave commander of the fort, but on the 14th he was compelled to lower his flag and yield to the rebels.

The first gun fired upon Fort Sumter reverberated throughout the whole length and breadth of the land, and was more of a call to arms than the proclamation of President Lincoln for 75,000 men, which immediately followed. There was no lack of response to this call among the Northern States, and no State more enthusiastically and patriotically than the State of Iowa. Men and money were offered without reserve. Volunteers came from all vocations in life, and offered up their lives on the altar of their country. Patriotism was dominant in every heart. Party lines were ignored, and political conflicts were forgotten, and all formed themselves together for the preservation of the Union. The proclamation of President Lincoln was issued on the 15th day of April, 1861, and two days afterward Gov. Kirkwood issued his proclamation for the men of Iowa to offer their services to the Union. Muscatine County came promptly to the front, and from the first to the last did its duty faithfully, furnishing many of the best men, whose lives were offered up as a sacrifice that the Union might be saved. Time would fail to tell of the heroic deeds of those who went out in life's young manhood, and now sleep upon Southern soil, or who returned with body racked with pain, possibly minus an arm or a limb, and yet remain suffering in body and mind, with the consciousness that many of their fellow-countrymen fail to appreciate what they did.

While the boys were in the field the patriotic men and women remaining at home were not idle. Especially should the women of Muscatine County have a credit for what they did. Think of the struggle of the wife giving up a loved husband, the mother a dutiful son, and the maiden a lover with whom she imagined that her future was to be passed, while love would reign supreme in their hearts. But they not only gave them up, but sent them forth with their blessingg, while praying the God of battles to bring them safely home again. During the four long years that passed they held in check their tears, often with an almost breaking heart, wrote loving and cheerful letters to the absent ones, formed societies for the purpose of obtaining and forwarding to the front sanitary supplies. It was indeed a grand work in which they engaged, and not a soldier-boy whose heart was so callous that he did not greatfully appreciate the service. Even at this late day, when a quarter of a century has passed, as they gather together at their reunions they tell how their hearts were cheered by ths loving remembrance.

But the war is now over, peace reigns supreme throughout the land, 4,000,000 human beings have obtained that freedom for which they prayed but hardly hoped for. But it was a fearful price to be paid, though there are few who regret it--and may it never occur again. While it has been said that the brave boys who yet remain have a consciousness that their services are not appreciated by some, yet the great majority do not neglect to show their appreciation, and once each year all gather in the various cemeteries of the land, and while they strew the graves of the fallen soldiers with beautiful flowers, let fall the silent tear, teach their children lessons of patriotism, urging them to likewise be faithful, and that it is grand to die for one's country.


A public meeting was held in Muscatine, March 21, 1866, to consider what steps were necessary to raise a fund for the erection of a monument to the memory of the fallen heroes, who left their homes in this county, and joined the Union army, and whose lives were sacrificed in the great struggle. In September, 1867, articles of incorporation were decided upon, and a Soldier's Monument Association was formed, with Thomas Hanna, President; J. E. Robb, Vice President; John Mahin, Secretary; and A. F. Demorest, Treasurer. From that time on various methods of raising money were resorted to, until 1874, at which time W. W. Webster proposed to take the sum then in the treasury, amounting to about $700, and secure enough in addition to complete a monument, depending upon his own exertions for subscriptions and collections. W. B. Sprague designed the work and superintended its execution, performing much of the labor himself. The monument stands today an evidence of the artistic skill of the designer.

The monument consists of a massive pyramidal base of four steps, the pedastal or die, the shaft and the statue. Upon a solid foundation of masonry--ten feet square by five and a half feet deep, weighing thirty-four tons-- the imposing structure stands. The base is composed of three blocks of limestone and one of marble. On the front of the upper block is carved a shield, upon which is inscribed the legend, " 1861---Muscatine County. To her fallen sons---1865." The die of the pedastal is a marble cube. three feet and four inches in size, with an ornate Grecian cap, showing heavy-arched moldings on all sides. On the front in bold relief, and very handsomely carved, is a coat of arms, with shield, draped flag, spears, and guns. Surmounting this is a laurel wreath. Upon this die springs a graceful, fluted column. At a height of eleven feet it terminates in a coronal of stars, the emblematic thirteen, and a Grecian cap ornamented with leaves. Upon this shaft rests the grand crowning piece of the monument-- the statue of the American Volunteer, six feet two inches in height, representing a soldier in full uniform, with gun before him "in parade rest." The monument weighs thirty tons. The actual cost of the work was about $6,000, but the monument surpasses in excellence many which have cost twice or three times that amount. Herewith is given a list of the names carved upon the die:

FIRST INFANTRY--S. Norman,  A. L. Mason,  J. Wiley,  W. G. Eckles,  G. McGinnes,  C. Michenor,  T. J. Buchanan.
SEVENTH INFANTRY--W. W. DeHughes,  W. Wells,  D. Welker,  J. F. Hardy,  C. S. Booth,  C. Mahin,  J. Dill,
J. Tate, J. Henley, A. Truitt, H. Barker, F. Pitchforth, J. Brunting, J. Zaser, H. Borgers, J. Werst,
D. B. Underwood, L. Cunningham, J. Hunt, J.K.Holmes, E. Mills, L. Pallet, J. Cochran, J. Doder,
W. D. Kennedy, B. F. McGill, C. Stratton, J. Schuller, J. H. Wales, J. Shelley. EIGHTH INFANTRY--P. Smith, W. R. Stotler, J. Walker, H. Barcus. ELEVENTH INFANTRY--J. W. C. Burrell, E. E. Sparks, D. H. Collins, J. A. Robinson, J. G. Fisher, W. A. Akens,
P. Gissne, P. Fox, J. Geodocke, G. P. Kingsland, H. Van Hessle, J. W. Wilson, H. Benedict, F. M. Stretch,
M. Feldman, G. W. Cakendar, J. Guttka, C. Biers, M. Shellabarger, W. H. Meeks, N. Fay, M. Reyburn,
T. Kerr, D. Taylor, T. W. Corwin, A. Port, S. J. Alden, M. B. Bowles, C. O. Cooper, A. Moore, J. P. Melan,
H. Rice, F. J. Bailey, S. V. Krouse, D. B. Spillman, H. Liebert, T. J. Corey, P. Caven, W. Leverich,
W. White, R. R. McReed, R. W. Vaun, S. Campbell, A. A. Bradford, A. Thorne, E. McDonald, W. G. Rogers,
T. Hurnicutt, R. Curtis, J. H. Gregory, A. Rancipher, B. Spangler, D. Coleman, G. W. Hawk, J. Insley,
H. T. Prouty, H. Windrell, H. C. Ady, W. W. Evans, W. A. Gordon, H. M. White, C. G. Schenck, W. E. Budd,
D. Taylor, H. Hyink, C. Fitchner, W. A. Hawley, F. H. Newell, J. L. Small, W. Robinson, J. F Rubart,
C. Booten, B. S. Puriten, N. W. Wolf, C. Syberts, J. B. Sullivan, J. Williams, G. Clinton, J. Baxter,
H. Vanater, E. Briggs, J. Brown, D. Grant, J. Leech, W. J. Etherton, O. McGrew, A. Williams,
H. Hazelton, G. Daniels, W. Pittensbarger, M. Reyburn, X. Beall, A. Fish, J. M. Garrett, R. M. Curdy,
J. Galvin, R. Garland, J. Kester, T. McKeough, J. W. Tice, R. B. Hare, J. Ludlow. FOURTEENTH INFANTRY--T. B. Nicholas. SIXTEENTH INFANTRY--H. H. Washburn, N. Reed, T. Purcell, J. Dill, F. Dow, J. H. Howell, P. Hettinger,
G. Bradford, M. O. Halleck, O. Mattison, A. Drake, J. Davis, J. Esterline, J. Freybarger, J. Embree,
N. D. Younkin, A. H, C. Gottbrecht, W. Weaver, N. Reed. SEVENTEENTH INFANTRY--A. G. Fisher EIGHTEENTH INFANTRY--O. T. Stewart, J G Pratt, E. Hargraves, A. Heaton, W. Eberling, J. Stanley. TWENTIETH INFANTRY--A. Lindsley, B. Mills, T. Clemmons. TWENTY-SEVENTH INFANTRY--A. Edwards, C. Lindsley, B. Miller, J. Sissell. THIRTY-FIFTH INFANTRY--Col. S. G. Hill, Maj. A. John, W. A. Clepper, C. Leary, E. Henet, F. Reed, J. Grossman,
J. Temple, F. Harker, C. Hirshmann, J. A. Kyrk, H. Blanck, W. S. Chambers, D. Tice, J. Tice, L. Dawson,
I. Criner, J. Dill, J. Cargill, P. Harrison, T. Holliday, W. Everett, W. White, J. Strahorn, J. Longthern,
T. Jester, E. Jester, J. Reeves, M. Etherton, J. Ramsey, L. Chappell, J. Carter, A. Davis, D. Block,
F. Bowers, C. Mockmore, J. Chaudoin, W. Christ, F. Cork, J. Foster, W. Holmes, J. Joice, G. Krauff,
W. McCurdy, S. Davis, W. Brown, W. Brady, N. Blackstone, A. Wohlgevant, G. Brownawell, S. Holmes,
J. Springer, C. N. Burr, J. W. Beard, L. Hurst, W. Pickering, G. Moore, C. Narbaugh, A. Stoddard, N. Thomas,
G. Pickering, B. Stamford, F. Wooden, H. Phelps, G. P. Ruger, C. Sherman, G. Burmeister, G. Wonderlich,
G. Leutzbauch, J. Schlegelmilch, H. Richenberg, C. Knoblauch, C. Doerfler, C. Barr, H. Irwin, F. Peterkin,
C. Berg, L. Sanelsberg, J. Kurtz, J. Hessler, J. Hanley, S. Knouse, W. Herwig, F. Schmoker, W. Dimick,
C. Wright, C. Poole, C. Tyler, P. Nichols, J. Prouty, D. Hammer, A. Walder, H. Winning, S. Tschillard,
N. Schaffletzel, M. Smith, P. Parsons, M. Maher, J. Greenwood, F. Hill, J. Johnson, C. Hawkins, W. Guild,
G. Groters, G. Bischer, W. Biebush, J. Q. Adams, W. White, G. Redman, R. Manvel, J. Dobsen, P. Courtney,
T. Cook, J, Connorford, R. Carpenter, S. Keenan, J. Welch, G. Dickson, E. Doran, P. Slattery, W. Fanning,
G. B. Hill, J. H. Graham, J. Regenbogen, J. Ernst, F. Holtz, H. Schmidt, H. Hill, S. Robshaw,
J. C. Edgerton, T. A. Clark, C. C. Clark, E. J. Douglass, M. Cooper, H. T. Neff, W. L. Overman,
G. A. Palmer, T. B. Worrall, L. Nitzell, J. Huler, P. Boston, P. D. Parrerson, J. B. Welch, O. G. Mathews,
F. Peterke, C. Berg, L. Savelsberg, J. McElroy, J. McDonald, J. Alexander, P. Mylot, G. Robshaw, G. Lang,
J. Dunn, J. Walton, M. J. Chown, W. Townsley, C. Gore, J. McCoy, W. Bonham, I. Edgington, D. Edgington,
F. Epperly, T. Epperly, W. Fitzsimmons, H. Hitchcock, J. Bumgardner, F. McDaniels, T. Brown, A. S. Lord,
L. Wallingsford, A. Long, H. Sweeney, L. Ware, R. W. Escha, L. Wagner, I. McCartney, C. Parish, W. Ponbeck,
E, Stearns, S. Parkhurst, G. Hunt, D. Wilgus, T. Williams, D. Currie, J. Norton, W. D. Conn, J. Evans,
J. Lee, A. Lee, P. Reed, H. DeVore, B. F. Linnville, R. Miller, J. Crawford, W. H. Hackett, T. Hempfill. THIRTY-SEVENTH INFANTRY--H. Mockmore, J. Tannehill, W. K. Tyler, D. Lefever, T. Craig, H. B. Brannan,
A. Edwards, V. Darland. SECOND CAVALRY--W. Wiggins, J. Toren, J. Schmeltzer, J. Schiller, J. Hodges, L. C. Loomis, L. H. Waterman,
N. F. Avery, L. Avery, G. Brown, J. M. Terry, R. Hutcheson, G. D. Graves, I. R. Dunn, J. Wallingsford,
E. Brown, J.Hancock. M. Lee, A. Opel, J. Simpson, P. Smith, G. Ridgeway, A. Cradock, C. Neuberner,
G. W. Heinly, J. Coble, H. Berner, I. Norris, I. M. Smith, J. Thompson, J. W. Vanderwort, H. Wigham,
J. P. Dunn, G. Darland. THIRD CAVALRY--F. G. Whittaker EIGHTH CAVALRY--L. Loomis, J. Horton, R. Cunningham, W. C. Vail. NINTH CAVALRY--D. T. Watkins, L. Nietzel, J. Rigenbogen, J. Huler, P. Poston, P. D. Patterson, N. Cooper. REGIMENTS UNKNOWN--J. Jacks, S. Jackson, W. H. Chapman, B. Lyons, C. Nichols, N. Rheinhart, F. Finn,
T. W. Adams, G. W. Sissel, W. R. Aikens, J. Clark. SECOND OHIO INFANTRY--H. M. Pigman. FOURTH OHIO INFANTRY--J. Brookes. FIRST REGIMENT OF MUSCATINE COUNTY VETERANS During the month of March, 1880, the old soldiers then residing in Muscatine County, organized themselves
into companies as follows: Company A, Sweetland Township, forty-seven men. Captain J. B. Jester ; First Lieutenant, J. B. Downer ;
Second Lieutenant, John Anderson ; First Sergeant, J. A. Covil. Company B, Muscatine City, sixty-nine men. Captain J. W. Berry ; First Lieutenant, John Robertson ;
Second Lieutenant, D. B. Huffman ; First Sergeant, J. H. Carl. Company C, Bloomngton and Lake Townships, twenty-nine men. Captain, J. W. Miller ; First Lieutenant, A. B. Bamford ;
Second Lieutenant, Robert Wood ; First Sergeant, W. S. Fultz. Company D, Goshen Township, twenty men. Captain, Robert Booth ; First Lieutenant, G. W. Scott ;
Second Lieutenant, H. B. Waters ; First Sergeant, Robert Barklow. Company E, Wilton Township, fifty men. Captain, L. F. Kritz ; First Lieutenant, J. M. Kean ;
Second Lieutenant, H. S. Wise ; First Sergeant, F. W. Doran. Company F, Muscatine, thirty-one men. Captain, R. H. McCampbell ; First Lieutenant, Benjamin Beach ;
Second Lieutenant, A. S. Knowles ; First Sergeant, R. Hawley. Company G, Muscatine, twenty-three men. Captain, G. O. Morgridge ; First Lieutenant, W. H. Woodward ;
Second Lieutenant, J. E. Coe ; First Sergeant, A. K. Raff. Company H, Muscatine, forty-four men. Captain, G. Bitzer ; First Lieutenant, N. M. Brown ;
Second Lieutenant, George Keckler ; First Sergeant, H. P. Jones. Company I, West Liberty, twenty-seven men. Captain, J. W. McElravy ; First Lieutenant, C. W. Hodge ;
Second Lieutenant, A. W. Nicols ; First Sergeant, George Foster. Company K, Cedar and Orono Townships, thirty-nine men. Captain, O. H. P. Linn ; First Lieutenant, Holland McGrew ;
Second Lieutenant, Eli F. Cassel ; First Sergeant, A. Hendrix. Muscatine Veteran Battery, thirty- three men. Captain, John Robertson. Delegates from the different companies met in the city hall, Muscatine, March 29, 1880, and organized the regiment
by the adoption of a constitution and by-laws, and elected the following named officers to serve for one year :
Colonel, W. S. Robertson ; Lieutenant-Colonel, J. B. Bore ; Major, Lyman Allen, Surgeon, H. M. Dean ;
Chaplin, F. Mathers. By general order, No. 1, from Col Robertson, the following staff officers were appointed : Adjutant, C. C. Horton :
Quartermaster, Richard Cadle ; Quartermaster-Sergeant, A. M. Amlong.

The regiment took charge of the exercises on the following Decoration Day, May 29, 1880, and after the exercises were over, held a business meeting in the Court House, and resolved to hold a reunion on the 22d and 23d days of the following September. An invitationwas extended to all veteran organizations to join them in holding the reunion. Companies F and C of the Iowa National Guards were invited to participate with them. A committee of arrangements was appointed who secured the use of four pieces of artillery and a number of tents from the United States Government. A successful reunion was held on the days selected, a sham battle being fought on the last day. This was the first sham battle ever fought in Muscatine County, and was witnessed by thousands of interested spectators, who were well pleased at the sight. It was successfully conducted in every detail.

The annual meeting of the regiment was held on the last Saturday in March, 1881, at which time Col. W. S. Roberts was re-elected Colonel ; J. W. McElravy, Lieutenant-Colonel ; and William Lundy, Major ; Richard Cadle was reappointed Quartermaster ; and C. C. Horton, Adjutant.

On the 28th and 29th of September, 1881, the regiment participated in a reunion held at Washington, Iowa, which wa a success in every respect. During the summer of 1881, and before going to Washington, the men of the regiment supplied themselves with muskets and accoutrements and took 10,000 blank cartridges with them to the reunion, all of which were used by the regiment in a sham battle there held.

At the annual meeting held the last Saturday of March, 1882, the field officers were re-elected together with the following named : Chaplin, Lyman Allen ; Surgeons, S. M. Cobb, H. M. Dean.

The regiment took charge of the exercises on Decoration Day, May 30, 1882, and the graves of the veteran dead were decorated by their veteran comrades. During the fall of 1882 the regiment participated in the reunion held at Clinton, Iowa; some of the companies going to the place in wagons, and taking their camp-equipage, arms and ammunition with them.

On the last Saturday in March, 1883m the following named officers were elected: Colonel, W. S. Robertson ; Lieutenant-Colonel, J. W. McElravy ; Major, F. W. Doran ; Chaplin, M. A. Swain ; Adjutant, J. D. Vore ; Quartermaster, R. Cadle. This year the regiment attended a reunion held at Davenport, Iowa, and as usual took charge of the proceedings on Decoration Day.

At the annual meeting on the last Saturday in March, 1884, the following named officers were elected : Colonel, C. C. Horton ; Lieutenant-Colonel, F. W. Doran ; Major R. G. Lewis ; Surgeon, G. O. Morgridge ; Chaplin, Rev. H. E. Wing. In the fall of this year a large and very successful reunion was held under the auspices of the regiment at Muscatine, and one of the largest and most successful sham battles ever fought in the State took place at the reunion.

During the year of 1884, several posts of the Grand Army of the Republic were organized in the county,and they have since taken charge of the exercises on Decoration Day, and all other public exercises in which the old soldiers were called upon to participate. Since that time the regiment has merely kept up its organization by the annual election of officers. The present officers are : Colonel, J. H. Munroe ; Lieutenant-Colonel, J. B. Jester ; Major, J. D. Vore ; Chaplin, R. H. McCampbell ; Surgeon, S. M. Cobb ; Adjutant, S. M. Fultz ; Quartermaster, G. Bitzer.

The objects of the Muscatine County Veterans Association, as set forth in Article 2 of their constitution, are as follows: " The object of this association shall be to keep alive and preserve that kindly and cordial feeling which has been one of the characteristic features of the army of the recent war during its career in the service, and which gave it such harmony of action, and contributed in no small way to its glorious achievements in our country's cause. The fame anf glory of soldiers who entered the Federal armies from any of the United States, now living in Muscatine County, and connected with this organization, shall be a sacred trust to this association, and their names shall be transmitted with honor to their posterity. The families of all members of this association, who shall be in indigent circumstances, shall be a claim upon the generosity of this association, and will be relieved by volunteer contributions by its members, whenever brought to their notice."

Article 7 of the constitution required the regiment to hold reunions and encampments at such times and places as might be determined by a majority vote at its annual meetings. Article 11 requires its members on the 30th of May in each year to engage in the decoration of the graves of their falled comrades.

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