THE 39th IOWA INFANTRY
The 39th Iowa Infantry was organied under the authority of President Abraham LINCOLN's proclamation of July 2nd of
1862. Governor KIRKWOOD selected Captain Henry J. B. CUMMINGS of Company F of the 4th Iowa Infantry to organize and
command the reigment. Camp Burnside located near Des Moines, Iowa, was the rendezvous destination with the first of the companies
to report on September 20th of 1862. Governor KIRKWOOD ordered the removal of the regiment on October 26, 1862, to
Camp Herron located near Davenport, Iowa. The ten companies assembled on November 1, 1862 and were mustered into
service on November 24, 1862 by Captain H. B. HENDERSHOTT of the U.S. Army.
A few of the men became ill with the measles
while at Camp Burnside. With the troops convened at Camp Herron, the measles spread through the troops with nearly 300
men becoming ill. By the time the 39th received their orders to march into the South, most of the men had recovered.
41 men, however, were too ill to leave the hospital. Of these men, 10 died; 14 were discharged with disability;
1 was transferred to the Invalid Corps; and 16 recovered to rejoing the regiment.
Mortality from illness haunted the
early history of the 39th Iowa.
Battle of Resaca was a part of the Atlanta Campaign, waged in both Gordon and Whitfield Counties of Georgia from
May 13 to May 15 of 1864. The battle ended inconclusively with no advantage to neither side.
Battle of Allatoona, also known as the Battle of Allatoona Pass, was a part of the Franklin-Nashville Campaign,
fought on October 5, 1864 in Bartow County, Georgia. The Battle was a Union victory mostly because the Confederate
forces ran low on ammunition, forcing them to retreat and join HOOD's forces.
SHERMAN's March to the Sea is the name commonly referring to General William Tecumseh SHERMAN's Savannah
Campaign that occurred late in 1864. After leaving Atlanta, Georgia, the Union troops moved on with the objective
of capturing the port of Savannah, which was accomplished on December 21st. SHERMAN telegraphed President
Abraham LINCOLN saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with 150 guns and plenty of
ammunition, also about 25,000 bales of cotton." General SHERMAN's scorched earth policies during this campaign has
been burned long and hard into the long memories of Southerners. It has been estimated that the Union troops inflicted
$100 million in destruction during this campaign. SHERMAN's March to the Sea was an amazing accomplishment, however. It
defied military principles, operating deep within enemy territory without supply lines or communitation.
The 39th Iowa suffered the loss of 6 officers and 58 enlisted men who were either killed in action or died of their
wounds; 2 officers and 134 enlisted men who died of disease; a total of 200 fatalities.
ROSTER of the 39th IOWA INFANTRY
COMPANY K - RINGGOLD COUNTY SOLDIERS
BENNETT, William F., Captain. Age 24 from Osceola, Clarke County, Iowa; nativity - Indiana. Appointed as
Captain on August 22, 1862; mustered into service on November 24, 1862. Taken prisoner at Allatoona, Georgia on
October 6, 1864, later paroled. Mustered out of service on June 5, 1865 at Washington, D.C.
CAIN, Milligan J., 1st Lieutenant. Age 29 from Leon, Decatur County, Iowa; nativity - Ohio. Appointed 1st
Lieutenant on August 22, 1862; mustered into service on November 24, 1862. Resigned from service on January 8, 1865.
PORTER, Corrington S., 2nd Lieutenant. Age 32 of Leon, Decatur County, Iowa; nativity - Ohio. Appointed 2nd
Lieutenant on August 22, 1862; mustered into service on November 24, 1862. Resigned from service on February 4, 1863.
BEEBBE, Reuben L., Mount Ayr, Iowa. Nativity - New York. Enlisted as a Private at the age of 36 on August 22, 1862; mustered into
service on August 22, 1862. Mustered out of service at Washington, D.C. on June 5, 1862.
IMUS, William H., Mount Ayr, Iowa. Nativity - Illinois. Enlisted at the age of 19 as a 5th Sergeant on August 22, 1862. Promoted to Full
1st Sergeant on May 3, 1865. Mustered out of service at Washington, D.C. on June 5, 1865.
LAYTON, Dimmick, Mount Ayr, Iowa. Nativity - Indiana. Enlisted at the age of 31 as a Wagoner on August 22, 1862; mustered into
service on August 22, 1862. Killed in action at Parker's Cross Roads, Tennessee on December 31, 1862.
American Civil War Soldiers Database, ancestry.com
Compiled and transcribed by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2009
To contribute to Ringgold County's military pages,
contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
Iowa in the Civil War
An Iowa GenWeb Special Project, this site promotes the people, events, and genealogy of Iowa Regiments in the Civil War. This project includes a searchable database. To access the home page of Iowa in the Civil War Project, go to: iagenweb.org/civilwar/