Winneshiek County IAGenWeb
1891 3rd Iowa Regiment Reunion

Source: Decorah Republican Aug. 27, 1891 P 1 C 2 - 6

this page was last updated on Saturday, 09 January 2021


Surviving Members Meet in in the Sixth Bi-ennial Reunion.


Rousing Campfire at the Opera House last Evening.

Full Proceedings of the First Day’s Association Meeting.

When the Presidential call came in April, 1861 for 75,000 three months’ troops with which to meet the uprising rebellion in the South, to Iowa was assigned one regiment. The patriotic sons of the Hawkeye State sprang at once in answer to the call, and instead of one regiment men and companies for eight were tendered the Governor. The first call for three years’ men immediately followed, and out of the first tender two regiments were accepted, and organized at the same time. Thus the first, second and third regiments of Iowa Volunteer Infantry, although bearing rank in a numerical order, were almost triplets in the matter of birth. They all went into rendezvous together at Keokuk: and It is a fact of record that the second regiment moved out of rendezvous a few hours before the first. The third followed a few days later, and they all saw the same sort of service in the Missouri campaign, while that State was being saved from rebellion. The first regiment disbanded at the end of their short term, but many of its members entered the service again at a later date. This left the second and third regiments as


The second regiment was drawn mainly from south-eastern and southern parts of the State; while the third represented the following counties: Clayton, Winneshiek, Fayette, Dubuque, Butler,. Blackhawk, Story, Warren, Mahaska and Marion. Doubtless other counties contributed to the membership of the various companies.


As early as last Saturday Veterans began arriving; but Tuesday was the general reception day; and Capt. Weiser's drug store was Headquarters. From early morning until late in the evening Headquarters resembled a bee hire in swarming time. The old “boys" were meeting and greeting each other, with a “Hello, Jim, is that you?” accompanied by a warmth of hand shaking and demonstrations of delight that bore unmistakable evidence that, it was comrade meeting comrade, and brothers greeting brothers whom they had not seen for long, long years. Sometimes tears started to eyes not accustomed to weeping; but oftener some joke or funny recollection was aroused and a story had to he told; and that started another story. So the hours slipped away in a communion such as, one sometimes thinks, old soldiers only know. In the evening a


was arranged for the entertainment of the visitors. The two hose companies, and the Hook and Ladder company, led by the Decorah Band, appeared and after marching down Water street and back, making what was repeatedly called an "exceedingly creditable display," proceeded to Court House square, where was given an exhibition of what the city water works can do. Prior thereto the Hook and Ladder company, which Foreman Field (a soldier in the army of the Potomac) had been drilling for a few weeks past, gave an exhibition drill which elicited rounds of applause, and was voted to be "wonderfully fine." Lines of hose were then strung and by the use of Siamese couplings four streams were thrown from one hydrant, In a way that was surprising to all.


Ten years or so ago the first re-union was held, and it was wisely decided to repeat them every two years. At Pella In 1880 It was voted to hold the sixth at Decorah, and hither the members have come. They have been welcomed by hearts full of loving reverence. Generous preparations have been made for their reception and comfort, and the Republican hopes that the occasion will be to every visitor pleasant in its present enjoyment, and a happy reminiscence in the years to come.


The register of members present shows the following names enrolled up to last evening: [Note—Where no state Is given in the address it is presumed to be Iowa—REPORTER.]

DAnderson, Ole A.lieutenant Decorah
FAutwine, Joseph1st lieutenantBrush Creek
ABailey, T. S. Rev.corporal Cedar Rapids
AssocBaker, J H. Mrs.AssociateAvalanche
KBaker, J. H.private Avalanche
KBoehmler, Chas.lietuenantCedar Falls
AssocBoehmler, Chas. Mrs.Associate Cedar Falls
KBoehmler, JacobprivateCedcr Falls
IBoomhower, IsaacprivateLa Porte City
BBousquet, H. F.privatePella
AssocBousquet, H. F. Mrs.Associate Pella,
BBousquet, J J.privatePella
RegmtBrown, AdamCol. Fayette
DBrown, CalvinprivateDecorah
DBurdick, C. W.lieutenant Decorah
RegmtCool, D. M. Dr.assistant surgeon
and surgeon
Faribault, Minn.
BCornwell, W. H.private Knoxville
ICotton, G. M.privateRochester, Minn.
DCrandall, Horace E.sergeant Colfax, N. D.
HCrawford, J. LprivateDes Moines
ACrawford, P. W.1st lieutenant Dubuque
RegmtCrosley, G. WmajorWebster City, Iowa
AssocCrosley, G. W. Mrs.Associate Webster City
EDaniel, S. A.privateLawrence
AssocDaskam, J. S. Mrs.Associate Kendaville
DDaskam, J. S.privateKendallville
KDenton, H. L.sergeant Earlville
FDevey, FrankprivateMaynard
AssocDevey, Frank Mrs.Associate Maynard
DDoan, O. E.privateHoward, S. D.
FDooley, J D.private Randalia
AssocDooley, J. M. Mrs.AssociateRandalia
IDorian, P. S.private Waterloo
FDowns, Franklin S.privateDouglas
FEcker, A. B.musician Burlington
FEcker, JohnmusicianNorth McGregor
DEllingson, S.private Bloomington
EFitchpatrick, J A.corporalNevada
FFoster, C H.private McGregor
CGemmill, J. M.privateHarper's Ferry
IGrlttenberg, H Jprivate Mitchell
DGrove, Hans A.privateClear Lake
DHarmon, Johnwagoner Decorah
FHartsough, W. D.privateBristow
FHeartley, F M.private Fayette
DHolvorson, Peter B.privateWashington Prairie
IHorner, Davidprivate Mitchell
CJames, C. H.privateMcGregor
FJohnson, John G.private Blooming Prairie, Minn.
EJones, GeorgeprivateAmes
CJones, W. S.private National
RegmtKeables, B. F. Dr.surgeon
KKellogg, LprivateCharles City
KKing, H. H.privateLitchfield, Mich.
FKinyon, E. H.corporal Fayette
DKnutson, GilbertprivateAlbert Lea, Minn.
ALaybold, Johnprivate Greeley
GLittler, Rev. John J.privateLuana, Iowa
ELockwood, J K.private Clarion
KLongstaff, L M.sergeantDubuque
AssocLongstaff, S. M. Mrs.
and son
DLynch, JohnprivateMarshalltown
CMadden, Geo. W.private McGregor
DMcKay, CyrussergeantDecorah
DMcKay, G. W.sergeant Minneapolis, Minn.
IMcKinley, S. J.privateOaage
GMerrill, P. G. C.lieutenant Stillwater, Minn.
AMesser, Wm.privateWest Union
AssocMlller, FlorenceAssociate Des Moines
FMulline, A.privateCedar Falls
AssocMulline, A. Mrs.Associate Cedar Falls
GNewlon, W. C.sergeantWinterset
AssocNichols, Clarar EAssociate West Uuion
FO’Donnell, JohnprivateNorth McGregor
KOrchard, Geo.private Harton
FPatrick, J. P.sergeantMcGregor
IPatterson, Isaaclieutenant Blooming Prairie, Minn.
BPaul, J. M.privateDes Moines
AssocPhilpot, Geo Mrs.Associate Cedar Falls
KPhilpot, Geo.privateCedar Falls
ERaff, E A.privateGrundy Center
ERiddle, N. J.privateUte
FRobinson, S. E.sergeant West Union
AssocRobinson, S. E. Mrs.
and daughter
Associate West Union
CSaacke, Wilhelmprivate McGregor
FSawyer, J L.privateMarshalltown
BSchleier, Mathiasprivate Cassville, Wis.
ISchlieter, A.privateIda Grove
RegmtScott, Johncolonel Nevada, lowa
AssocScott, John Mrs.AssociateNevada
0Smalley, G. H.private Osage
AssocStaples, R. G. Mrs.AssociateMcGregor
FStaples, Robt. GLimaOhio
FStirk, C.West Union
AssocStirk, C. Mrs.Associate West Union
IStocks, G. W.privateNashua
GSwan, W. H.captain Cumming, Iowa
ITalmadge, C. H.privateWest Union
KThayer, G. B.majorWest Mitchell
ITitus, MorganprivateMitchell
0Townsend, C. M.private Charles City
KTroutner, J. T.privateBradford
RegmtTrumbull, M. M.Gen. Chicago
DVan Leuven, G. M. Jr.privateLime Springs
AssocVan Leuven, G. M. Mrs.
Daughter and son
AssociateLime Springs
AWard, E. H.privateMarion, Iowa
DWeiser, E. I.captain Decorah
DWillett, G. R.captainDecorah
AWinn, N. R.sergeant Spillvllle
DWise, DanielprivateCarl Junction, Mo.
KWolcott, N. M.private Belmond
KWomple, A. H.privateSumner
EWood, J. R.sergeant Maxwell
AWright, Geo. L.privateDenison


The meeting of the Regimental Association Wednesday morning was called to order in the Post room by Capt. E. I. Weiser. The exercises began with an opening ode, to the tune of "Glory Hallelujah," followed by an eloquent prayer by Rev, T, S. Dailey, of Co. A. At the suggestion of Col John Scott the roll was called, each comrade rising and responding as his name was spoken. New names were added to the list, in the midst of which Mrs. Col. Crosley was escorted to the organ and led the boys through a series of good old army songs, sung with a vim rarely equaled.

The Announcement was made that the tattered flag adorning the platform was the historic banner of the gallant 3d Iowa under which the regiment fought itself out of existence, The regiment and flag were captured by tho rebel Gen. Pat. Cleburn iu front of Atlanta. He presented it to a lady of that city, who preserved it for twenty years and by her restored to the State and the survivors of the regiment. The presence of this flag brought to their feet several of the comrades who eloquently told stories of their capture with this old flag. The question of the preservation of this flag was presented by Dr. Paul, who brought the flag from the Adjt. Gen'ls. office. Col. Scott moved a committee of five, with Mrs. Crosley as chairman, be appointed to take tho necessary steps for the preservation of the flag, and to prepare a suitable history to accompany it. Mrs. Crosley, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Philpott and Mrs. Boequet were appointed such committee.


As early as last Saturday Veterans began arriving; but Tuesday was the general reception day; and Capt. Weiser's drug store was Headquarters. From early morning until late in the evening Headquarters resembled a bee hire in swarming time. The old “boys" were meeting and greeting each other, with a “Hello, Jim, is that you?” accompanied by a warmth of hand shaking and demonstrations of delight that bore unmistakable evidence that, it was comrade meeting comrade, and brothers greeting brothers whom they had not seen for long, long years. Sometimes tears started to eyes not accustomed to weeping; but oftener some joke or funny recollection was aroused and a story had to he told; and that started another story. So the hours slipped away in a communion such as, one sometimes thinks, old soldiers only know. In the evening a


Upon the assembly of the Association this afternoon it was found that the Post Hall was inadequate to accommodate the crowd, and an adjournment was taken to the opera house. The exercises opened with "Marching through Georgia.” Letters and telegrams were read from forty-fire absent comrades, the list including

Adjt. Fitz Sessions,
Capt. T. P. Gregg,
Rot. J. A. Cruzan,
Lieut. J. H. Lakin,
Dept. Comdr. C. L. Davidson,
Col. N. G. Williams,
Capt. M, R. Tidrick,
Capt. S. L. Taggert,
Capt. A. L. Ogg, and
H. B. Shaw.

After the reading of letters Gen. M. M. Trumball was called to the front, and entertained the boys in one of his fiery, old time speeches. He said:

It is a very great happiness to me that I am able to be present on this occasion. I entertain an affection for the comrades of the old Third second only to that affection 1 have for my own son. I especially enjoy this occasion because I have not before attended a reunion of the Third Iowa. My health has interfered. There is not at my command language eloquent enough to express the enjoyment I receive in meeting you. I am exceedingly proud that I have been spared to this day to make this public acknowledgement of your patriotism and bravery. When you were under my command you provided for me everything the country afforded that you could possibly obtain on credit. And I hope this feeling is reciprocal, as it was my effort to take good care of you. The Gen. related how he had ordered a dinner for two companies at a Rebel hotel and paid for it by giving the landlord a voucher for $52 on the Government. He thought that if these vouchers were all paid it would go far toward an explanation of the public debt. You remember the “hungry march,” the day we went out before breakfast to build a bridge over the Hatchie, and then marched forty miles, twenty along the road and twenty off the road hunting chickens. Well, you boys worked it this way One would come up grumbling something about how the Col. would enjoy a chicken for supper, and would throw one in my wagon; then another, not knowing that any one else had been so thoughtful, would do the same, and when we went into camp that night I had five turkeys, twenty-three chickens and two geese. At that time I had to scold you for these things, but to-day, for fear I may never have another opportunity, 1 want to thank the 3d Iowa for that supper. I trust we shall perpetuate meetings of this kind in memory of days gone by, and, feeling as we must feel, for the sake of comradeship. Remember that ours is the only army in the world having no re-enforcement. Every day some of us are passing away. I say to you to-day, what you have heard me say in battle, when our comrades were falling one by one—“Close up.”

On motion of Capt. Langstaff a committee of five to memorialize the General Assembly to prepare a suitable place for the protection and preservation of the old battle flags of the Iowa regiments, was appointed, as follows: Col. John Scott, Col. G. W, Crosley, T. S. Bailey, C. U. Talmadge and J. M. Langstaff.


Steyer's Opera House was crowded last evening to its largest capacity. There was not even "standing room only,” for every available inch, was filled by listeners, and hundreds turned away unable to get within sight or hearing of the speakers. Commander Weiser was master of ceremonies, and at 8:15 exercises began with a patriotic medley beautifully executed by the Decorah band.

Prayer was offered by Comrade Bailey, the audience standing.

This was followed by a quartette appropriate to tho occasion, rendered by Mrs. Montgomery, Miss Wilson, Mr. Hopperstadt and Mr. Adams.

A. K. Bailey then endeavored, in such words as he could command, to express the pleasure the citizens of Decorah felt in extending to the surviving members of the old 3d Iowa, a most cordial, heartfelt welcome, He endeavored to explain why this community has always possessed a warmth of feeling towards that regiment, because it was the first contribution of the village and county to the armies that subjugated the Rebellion.

“Luren" then appeared and sang one of their best songs, and did it so well that theo audience demauded another— and got it.

Col. John Scott was then called to respond to the address of welcome. He said he had passed through some very trying ordeals in which he desired to know the end rather than the beginning. Words would fail me he said did I not know the old Third Iowa, that never quailed in face of foe, is standing at my back. In 1861 we learned to obey orders and I therefore appear in answer to the detail of your Commander. The Col. proceeded to speak glowingly of the "bounties and beauties" of Decorah, winning a fame that had spread throughout the state, and even beyond the state, attracting hither not only those from the empire states of tho east, but also from the mouhtains and fjords of Northern Europe, who were to become useful and patriotic citizens. Now we are here, and we are prepared to use the words of the Queen of the Sheba to the ancient philosopher and say "the half had not been told us.” For those old boys of '61 l accept your welcome so heartily extended by you to these my comrades. Reference was then made by the speaker to the make up of the various companies of the old Third, representing ten different counties In Its organization. The speaker also dwelt at length on the influence of the regiment on the after life of its survivors, and narrated two or three incidents showing that its fame was the key to political honor and preferment. In closing be said, I am not talking for myself, for circumstances prevented my participation in many of the events that made the fame of the Third Iowa, but for these old veterans, and in order that you citizens of Decorah in taking to your homes some of these old tramps may be entertaining angels unawares.

Mr. Ernest Willett was here introduced as the son of Comrade Willett, and as he came upon the stage with his violin was most warmly greeted. After listening to his playing the applause was thunderous. The audience was evidently wild with delight at the exquisite harmony and his perfect mastery of his instrument, and would not be satisfied till an answer to the encore was granted. Acknowledgement ought also to be made of the beautiful Work of Miss Grace Marsh as his accompanist.

Com. Weiser next introduced Mrs. C E. Nichols, of West Union, who spoke for, and in behalf of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Woman’s Relief Corps. Her address was peculiarly appropriate, because she is now serving as President of the Iowa Department, W. R C.

Miss Nellie Stiles then rendered a solo so charmingly that an answer to an encore was demanded and given.

Rev. T. S. Bailey, of Cedar Rapids, chose as his theme, the Home Guards, and said be would speak of those who were not of us and yet were with us on the battlefields. We who stood in the battle ranks were not the only ones who suffered. I refer to the mothers and the sisters who remained at homo and the work that needed to be done. I am thinking now of the mother, who in addition to the cares that belonged to her, added to her burden that she might send father, brother and son as defenders for her country. Comrades, you know too well the experiences they underwent. I stand here to say I believe the mental agony of those who stayed at home under these circumstances often was more trying than even the mental agony of those in the field. We under excitement met our fiercest foes; they, in the quiet homes, after gathering the little family around the altar and committing them to the keeping of their God would lay themselves down to sleep, not always to sleep—for they knew not but the dread morrow would bring them intelligence of disaster and death. The speaker eloquently enlarged upon the influence of mothers and wives in creating the manhood of the men, and expressed the belief that this had much to do with making the 3d Iowa what it was. We old soldiers never forgot those who were ours, and bore these. They come to us in our Post meetings, in our reunions and our hand-shaking—We cannot forget them. But I come to impress their claims upon the minds of these citizens and this is why, when detailed by your commander, I have chosen this theme. The closing words of the speaker were very eloquent and were listened to with eager interest as be narrated an incident of woman’s work in the hospital that cannot be reported with the effect he gave it.

Luren again delighted the audience with another song.

Commander Weiser here displayed the old regimental battle flag, as it now appears. It was brought here from its resting place in the Adjt. General’s office at Des Moines, especially for this reunion. Tattered, battle-stained, time worn, its very appearance told a story of valor. The commander called upon Comrade Paul to tell the history of its recovery. The story lie gave is partly outlined In the proceedings of the Association above. The lady who received it was the affianced of Gen. Pat. Cleyburne. (killed in battle afterwards), who captured the regiment and the flag at the battle before Atlanta, July 22d, 1863. It was given her as a keepsake, and sacredly kept by her until three or four years ago. She was an intense rebel, and said she would not surrender it to the government, nor to tho State of Iowa, but by its scars she know It had been carried by brave men, and to these she would resign it. Hence, here it is. During its visit to Decorah the ladies have reinforced it, and without touching it for repairs, have fitted it for better preservation.

As the closing exercise Commander Weiser read Gen. Hurlbut’s General Order No. 12, issued at Boliver, after he had been promoted In consequence of his own success at the battle of Shiloh. The 3d was the only Iowa regiment in his corps, and in the order the General recognizes that it was by the bravery of his troops that his new honors bad been won. The document is an original one —printed—and has been carefully preserved by private H. J. Biddle, of Co. E, now a resident at Ute, Iowa.


This morning the association votes to hold its next re-union at Winterset, and elected Comrade Newton, its President.


—Just 100 actual members of the regiment are here.
—The judgment of history is that this regiment “literally fought itself out of existence.”

—It was a luxury to the citizens of Decorah to hear the old Decorah Drum Corps one more.

—Capt. Weiser? There's nothing the matter with him. He may be tired, but he is exceedingly happy.

—The city put out all its flags and bunting Tuesday morning, and has rarely been move beautifully decorated.

I —Dr. J. M. Paul, of Des Moines, a private in Co. B, was an original member of the Grand Army of the Republic as it was originated at the headquarters of the 14th Illinois, by Dr. Stevenson. He is now, as far as known, the only living member of that original Post.

—The Republican owes its report of Association proceedings to the ready pen of Comrade Talmadge, of the West Union Gazette.

—S. J. McKinley, of St. Ansgar claims that he is now the Third lowa that he never was merged with the and never mustered out.

—A goodly number of “Vets." now members of the third Iowa, from the surrounding country, have been enjoying the festivities here the past three days.

—This is the largest re-union the regiment has held. The average attendance has been 70 to 80. Now there are 100. The wives accompanying will carry the total to 140. After its capture the remnants were consolidated with the second Iowa, its twin brother.

—Among the relics brought out by the reunion is the original muster roll of what became Co. D. This has been on display in the window of Capt. Weiser, who has carefully preserved it. This was made after Capt. Willett had returned from Des Moines with a promise from Gov. Kirkwood that a company from Winnesheik county, would be accepted for three years’ service. The roll has been scanned by hundreds with the keenest interest.

—In the window of the Citizens’ Savings Bank was exhibited a piece of time-worn silk, and faded fringe, owned by Capt. Burdick, which bore this: “A part of the 3d Iowa banner, captured by the Rebels at the battle before Atlanta. | Retaken by our boys before they could carry it off and torn to pieces, the parts concealed by the members of the regiment and brought home.”

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