IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
updated 05/08/2020

Clayton county Civil War Soldiers

of the

Twenty-first Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry

Historical information, notes & comments, in some cases correcting the record
Soldier biographies written by Carl Ingwalson

Surnames A

Carl will do look-ups in his extensive records of the 21st Iowa and he is always willing to share what he has.
His email address is on the Look-up Volunteers page.
If any of these biographies are copied, please give credit to Carl. Copyright info. at bottom of page.


Carl's notes:
There are three published rosters for the 21st Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. They're significantly different and all three contain numerous errors, in large part since they were relying on handwritten records, handwriting was often difficult to decipher, some men could not read or write, and others sometimes did not know how to spell their own names or altered the spelling from time to time.

a. Nathaniel B. Baker, Report of the Adjutant General, Volume I (Iowa State Printer 1863). Baker's roster was prepared while the war was still in progress, many had not yet enlisted, and there were errors for those who did enlist.
b. George Crooke, The Twenty-First Regiment of lowa Volunteer Infantry (King, Fowle & Company, 1891). Crooke's roster has limited information and was prepared at a time when record keeping wasn't the best. While he was a member of the regiment, he was absent for almost ten months and probably for that reason some of his narrative is also wrong.
c. Roster and Record of lowa Soldiers, Volume 3; by Guy Logan (Iowa State Printer 1910). The most recent of the three rosters, part of a massive state effort to accurately reflect those who served and, I thought, the most likely to be accurate.

I have researched the regiment for more than thirty years and visited most sites that were visited by the regiment. Each of these biographies is based on that research, the soldier’s records and records of his comrades that are on file with the National Archives & Records Administration, records and diaries on file with the State Historical Society of Iowa, original letters by members of the regiment, county histories, other original source documents and relevant online information.


Adams, James Kimble
Kimble and Elvina (aka Alvina) Adams had three sons and eight daughters. The sons' great-grandfather, Phineas Smith had fought with Connecticut and Vermont regiments during the Revolutionary War and all three of the sons would fight in the Civil War.

James Kimble Adams was born in Russeltown in Canada East (Quebec) on March 24, 1839. He and his older brother, Willard who was born in 1935, would emigrate to the United States with their parents in about 1841. Their younger brother, Asher Adams, was born in New York in 1842. On their way west, the family settled for awhile in McHenry County, Illinois, before moving to Clayton County, Iowa, in 1853.

During the first year of the Civil War, many in the North thought it would end quickly. "There are men enough in Pennsylvania alone to subdue South Carolina without the aid of Iowa volunteers, " said the Clayton County Journal. A year later, as the war escalated, President Lincoln called for another 300,000 volunteers. On August 11, 1862, James was enrolled at Hardin as a private in Company B by William Crooke. The Company was mustered in on August 18, 1862 with ninety-nine men and the regiment on September 9, 1862 with a total of 985, both at Dubuque. Twenty-three year old James was described in the Company Descriptive Book as being 5 feet 10½ inches tall (about two inches taller than average), with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.

The regiment's initial service was in Missouri and James was one of twenty-five volunteers from Company B who participated in the one-day Battle of Hartville on January 11, 1863. After subsequent service in Houston, West Plains and Ironton, they were in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, when, on April 1, 1863, they boarded the steamer Ocean Wave to go down-river and James was promoted to 7th Corporal.

During the ensuing campaign to capture the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, forces under General Grant crossed the Mississippi from the west bank to Bruins burg on the east bank on April 30, 1863. The 21st Iowa was designated as the point regiment to lead the army inland and James was with it during the next day's Battle of Port Gibson. The regiment was present during the May 16th Battle of Champion's Hill, but was held in reserve by General McClernand during the battle.
As a result, it was rotated to the front the next day and, with the 23rd Iowa, led an assault on entrenched Confederates at the railroad bridge over the Big Black River. Regimental casualties were seven killed in action and eighteen fatally wounded. Another thirty-eight had with non-fatal wounds but, for six of these, the wounds were serious enough to cause their discharge from the military.

After the assault they were allowed to rest, bury their dead and treat their wounded, but were soon in position on the line rapidly encircling the city of Vicksburg. On May 22, 1863, James participated in an assault during which the regiment lost twenty-three killed in action, twelve mortally wounded, forty-eight whose wounds were not fatal, and four captured.

On June 14, 1863, during the siege of Vicksburg, he was promoted to 6th Corporal and, on July 3rd, to 4th Corporal. The next day Vicksburg surrendered. The regiment then participated in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston and a siege of Jackson before returning to Vicksburg and taking steamers south to Carrollton, Louisiana. On October 2, 1863 they were west of the river, at Berwick, when James Bethard, a comrade in Company B, wrote to his wife that "James Adams of our company from Hardin received the news yesterday evening of the death of his sister. "

James continued with the regiment through its subsequent service in Texas (where he was promoted to 2nd Corporal), Morganza, Louisiana (where he was promoted to 1st Corporal), Alabama during the Mobile Campaign, and Arkansas, and he was with it when it was mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.

After the war, James returned to Iowa but, in 1880 moved to Kansas living first in Osage City and then in Alvonia. Twice (in 1898 and in 1915) he advised the federal pension office that he had never married and had no children. In 1907 he became a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. A lifelong farmer, James died on January 31, 1922. He is buried in the Osage City Cemetery, Osage City, Kansas.


Adams, Willard
Kimble and Alvina (Smith) Adams had three sons and eight daughters. Kimble’s grandfather, Phineas Smith, had fought with Connecticut and Vermont regiments during the Revolutionary War and all three of the sons would fight in the Civil War.

Willard Adams was born in Russeltown, Quebec (then known as Canada East) in 1835. A brother, James Kimble Adams, was born on March 24, 1839, also in Russeltown. Their younger brother, Asher, was born on February 8, 1842, in Franklin County, New York.

On their way west, the family settled for a while in McHenry County, Illinois, before moving to Clayton County, although records differ as to when they arrived. One says they arrived in Luana, Iowa, in 1850, while another says they didn’t leave Illinois until 1853. In 1855, at Hardin, Iowa, Willard married Jane Merriam. They would have three children: William and two, Emma and Albert, who died in infancy.

Asher was the first of the brothers to join the military and was mustered into the state’s 4th Cavalry on November 17, 1861. The following year, as the war escalated, President Lincoln called for another 300,000 volunteers. At Hardin on August 11, 1862, Willard and James enlisted together, Willard as a 2d Corporal and James as a Private. Willard was described as being 5' 7½” tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion; occupation, farmer.

At Camp Franklin in Dubuque, they were mustered in as Company B on August 18, 1862, and, on September 9th, ten companies were mustered in as Iowa’s 21st infantry regiment. Uniforms were poor and training, such as it was, was brief.

According to one author, Company A was eager to drill, but “Captain William D.Crooke, and lieutenants Charles P. Heath, and Henry H. Howard, of Company B, were in no such haste. The regulation uniforms, having been made for regulars, were ill adapted to the robust volunteers from Clayton. The coats were too short by several inches. The line officers protested against their men going into drill presenting any such aspect as they must necessarily do in such coats.” “Perhaps, if the real secret were known,” he said, “the reason why the regiment did not drill would be found in the fact that the companies had too much company. The rendezvous was so near the men’s homes, that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and friends, were too often present to allow either drill or discipline to any great extent.”

On September 16, 1862, they marched through town, crowded on board the four-year-old, 181-foot long sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside, and left for war. After one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla, Missouri, where they arrived on September 22nd. Water at their first campsite was poor and smelled “like the breath of sewers,” so Colonel Merrill moved their camp about five miles southwest of town where they had access to good spring water. Despite the better conditions, Willard became ill, but was able to travel with the regiment when it started a march south on October 18th. On the October 31st muster roll at Salem, he was present but “sick in quarters.”

He was still present on December 31, 1862, at Houston and, two months later, he was with the regiment at Iron Mountain but, again, was “sick in quarters.” From there they moved to Ste. Genevieve where they arrived on March 11th. On the 13th, with a difficult march and an arduous Vicksburg Campaign ahead of them, Captain Crooke, a McGregor attorney, signed a Certificate of Disability for Discharge indicating Willard had been “unfit for duty 60 days.” He had become sick at Rolla and was “more or less sick ever since.” Surgeon William Orr agreed and said Willard was suffering from “‘phthisis Pulmonalis’ - Symptoms - Cough, attended with muco-purulent expectoration, ‘obetic fever,’ emaciation, tenderness of left infra clavicular region, & cavernous bronchus.”

On the 17th, in St. Louis, a discharge was approved by Brigadier General Davidson then commanding the District of St. Louis and, on the 22nd, back in Ste. Genevieve, Colonel Merrill signed the order of discharge.

Willard returned to Iowa where his health improved but, on March 5, 1878, his wife died. His father died at Grand Meadow on April 10, 1879. Funeral services were on the 13th at the Luana church.

On October 3, 1887, Willard was married a second time when he married Eva B. Marsh of Hardin. They had three children: Burdell, Clarence and Asher.

Of the three Adams brothers, Willard became the first to die when he passed away on December 14, 1906, “at his home in the old townsite of Myron, Iowa.” He was buried in Luana Cemetery.

Asher died on March 19, 1919, and James on January 31, 1922, both in Osage City, Kansas, where they were buried in the Osage City Cemetery.


Aldrich, Frank (primary bio)
Aldrich, Nehemiah 'Nick'
Aldrich, Ruel Jr.
Ruel Aldrich Sr. was born in Massachusetts and Mary Ann Marsh in Rhode Island, both about 1809. After their marriage they moved to Ohio where Ruel Jr. was born in 1832, Nehemiah ("Nick") in 1840, Jane in 1842, Theron in 1851 and Laura Belle in 1854, all in Ohio. Their brother, Frank, was born in Shelby County, Ohio, but over his lifetime signed numerous affidavits that included his age, ages that would indicate a birth year anywhere from 1842 to 1847.

On April 13 , 1861 , at 4:30 a.m., General Beauregard's Confederate guns opened fire on Fort Sumter and, said a poet, "with a voice that shook the land, the guns of Sumter spoke." The North had been convinced states in the south would not secede if Abraham Lincoln were elected while those in the South felt "cotton is king" and northern states would not risk losing their source of supply by going to war. They were both wrong and tens of thousands of men died as the war escalated into a second year.

In the summer of 1862 President Lincoln called for another 300,000 volunteers. Iowa's quota was five regiments in addition to those already in the field. The "harvest is just upon us," said Governor Kirkwood, "but if need be our women can help." With a deadline of August 15th to avoid a draft, the volunteers came. On August 9th, at Strawberry Point, Frank was enrolled by dentist Charles Heath in what would be Company B of the 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry. On August 11th his brother, Ruel Jr., was enrolled by storekeeper William Grannis, also at Strawberry Point, in what would be Company D of the same regiment. Each company was to have approximately one hundred men and, when sufficient numbers were enrolled, the companies were separately mustered into service at Dubuque's Camp Franklin; Company B on the 18th and Company D on the 22nd.

Training was brief and relatively ineffective but on September 9th ten companies were mustered in as a regiment with McGregor's Sam Merrill as Colonel. Frank was described as being a 5' 6" farmer with blue eyes, flaxen hair and a light complexion, age eighteen (which may or may not have been accurate). On September 16th, at the foot of Jones Street, those able for duty boarded the four-year-old sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started south. After one night on Rock Island, they encountered low water at Montrose, debarked and traveled by train to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and continued downstream. They reached St. Louis on the 20th, were inspected the next day and that night boarded rail cars and left for Rolla.

Bimonthly company muster rolls reported the presence or absence of soldiers with occasional "remarks" relating to illness, furloughs, stoppages on pay and other matters. Rolls showed Frank and Ruel were present with the regiment on October 31st at Salem and December 31st at Houston. On January 27th, Frank was with the regiment when they started for West Plains, but Ruel was sick and left behind in the post hospital in Houston and later in Rolla. From West Plains the able-bodied walked to the northeast -through Eminence, Ironton, Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob - until reaching St. Genevieve on the Mississippi River on March 11th. From there they were transported south to Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was assembling a large three-corps army to capture Vicksburg and they were assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand. After walking south along the west side of the river, they crossed from Disharoon's Plantation to Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on April 30th.

The regiment was designated as the point regiment for the entire army as they moved slowly inland and, about midnight, were fired on by rebel pickets. After a brief exchange of fire they rested and the next day, May 1st, Frank participated with the regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson. He was present on May 16th when the regiment was held out of action during the Battle of Champion Hill, participated in the May 17th assault at the Big Black River and subsequently participated in the siege of Vicksburg. Ruel rejoined the regiment during the siege and on June 23rd was appointed 8th Corporal in Company D.

Vicksburg surrendered on July 4th and, said Gilbert Cooley, "July 5th our regiment started with the army for Jackson Miss. Comp. ' D' had 12 men under command of Lieut. G Cooley" with Ruel being one of the twelve still physically able to participate in a pursuit of Confederate Joe Johnston to Jackson. On their return toVicksburg, Ruel was granted a furlough but was back with the regiment in New Orleans on November 23rd when they were ordered to the gulf coast of Texas. On January 18, 1864, while Frank and Ruel were in Indianola, Nick was enrolled as a new recruit in Company D but it was April 11th before he reached his brothers then stationed on Matagorda Island.

In July, they were back in Louisiana where Frank was treated for chronic diarrhea before leaving on a sixty-day furlough pursuant to a Surgeon's Certificate of Disability. Nick received a similar furlough, but Ruel remained on duty and received several more promotions. Frank and Nick overstayed their furloughs, but rejoined Ruel and the regiment on the St. Charles River of Arkansas in October.

In December, Frank and David Drummond were "engaged in a friendly scuffle & wrestle" when David was thrown to the ground, landed on a cartridge box injuring his left shoulder, something that would continue to bother him after the war. All three of the Aldrich brothers participated in the next spring's Mobile Campaign before returning to Louisiana. As a recruit whose term had not expired, Nick was transferred to a 34th/38th consolidated regiment on July 12th for another month's service while Frank and Ruel were mustered out on the 15th at Baton Rouge and returned to Iowa where they were discharged at Clinton on the 24th.

Frank moved to South Dakota soon after his discharge, drove cattle through Potter County and "was engaged for years in furnishing beef cattle to the government for the Indians." In the spring of 1882 he bought a Potter County ranch "at the mouth of the Little Cheyenne" and built a house, a "dugout" according to Ed Von Wald who worked for him. Frank later sold the ranch and it was developed as "old Forest City" while he moved farther up the Little Cheyenne. He was recognized as the first settler of Forest City, and in 1883 married Josephine "Josie" Kirkpatrick who was believed to be the first white woman in the county. She died on August 28, 1889, and her remains were "buried on the home place."

Frank never remarried and in 1890 applied for an invalid pension indicating he was "unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of Rheumatism and general debility caused by Rheumatism." He was examined twice by pension surgeons who felt he was partially disabled but in 1893 the claim was denied on a finding that he was "not shown to be entitled to a rating." He applied again in an application dated August 4, 1894, the same day he sustained a serious injury while "driving a team hauling a loaded wagon, and trailing another team with a loaded wagon behind. He stopped at a well to water his horses, and stepped to the front to pound a loose tire into place; the team took fright and ran away." Frank clung to the lines and was dragged while the horses ran "at a furious rate." Twice he was run over by the wagon, his head struck a wood post and, when found, he was unconscious and carried to a nearby house where he remained "in a comatose condition for between seventy-two and eighty hours."

The following January he was examined by a pension surgeon who said, due to the accident, Frank was now blind in his left eye and deaf in his right ear and had a paralyzed right arm. When he walked, he staggered "like a drunken man." More applications and more medical examinations followed until finally, on February 9, 1898, a certificate was issued entitling him to a pension of $8.00 monthly.

Frank's barber, George Toomey, said Frank was "a contentious fellow who often had squabbles with neighbors." "These disputes," he said, "customarily wound up in court" with Frank carrying "a big ear trumpet." Frank applied for a pension increase in 1902 and told the doctor, "I am no good cant see or hear. " The pension had been increased to $12.00 by the time he died on November 15, 1909, and was buried in Gettysburg Cemetery. The following year Josie's remains were reinterred next to Frank and "a very fine granite monument" was placed on their graves.

In 1868, after the death of her first husband, Frank's sister, Jane, married James Chiles who had served with Frank in Company B. In 1870 Theron was killed by Indians in North Dakota. In 1871 Ruel's wife, Sarah (McCashen) Aldrich died and in 1874 he married Mary Ann Torrey. Seventy-four-year-old Ruel died in 1907 and is buried in Mitchell, Iowa. Laura Belle (Aldrich) Austin died in 1915 and is buried in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as is Jane who died in 1915. Nick died in 1917 at age seventy-seven and was buried in Whiting, Iowa.


Alloway, William H.
James Alloway and Sarah Wilson were married in Mackinaw, Illinois on November 22, 1831, but were living in Springfield when William, their sixth child, was born on November 24, 1843. They were among the early pioneer families in Clayton County.

In the fall of 1862 President Lincoln issued a call for 300,000 men to add to a war effort that had already lasted longer than most in the North expected. It was time for the harvest and families were busy, but Governor Kirkwood assured the President that the state would do her duty. "Our harvest is just upon us, and we have now scarcely men enough to save our crops, but if need be our women can help."

In Clayton County, Strawberry Point's Charles Heath and William Crooke and McGregor' postmaster, Willard Benton, were especially active in securing enlistments and it was Heath who, on August 6, 1862, enrolled William Alloway. The minimum age for enlisting without parental consent was eighteen, the age reflected for William in his military records. William's father would later say William was born on November 24, 1843, but, in the same affidavit, said William was "under age at the time of enlisting, but I was willing for him to go as he thought he could do more for me by enlisting."

Company B was mustered into service on August 18, 1862 with Private William Alloway described as being about 5' 8½'' tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. On September 9, 1862, with ten companies of sufficient strength, 985 men, officers and enlisted, were mustered in as the 21st Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. At Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union) in Dubuque, they received Enfield muskets and leather cartridge boxes containing forty of "Uncle Sam's Little Blue Pills," also known as "Forty Dead Men" and "secession pills." On the 16th, crowded on board the Henry Clay, a four-year old 181-foot long, side-wheel steamer commanded by Captain Stephenson, and two barges lashed to it side, they started south.

Their initial service was in Missouri and, after an overnight stay at St. Louis' Benton Barracks, they boarded cars usually used for freight and livestock and sped along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad to its western terminus at Rolla. William was with the regiment and maintained his health well as they walked from Rolla to Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Eminence, Ironton, Iron Mountain and, on March 11, 1863, into the little French town of Ste. Genevieve where they camped about 3:00pm "in a beautiful grove" on a ridge overlooking the Mississippi.

It was here that they learned they would be joining General Grant and were less than pleased when they were taken down the Mississippi to Milliken's Bend to become part of a massive army he was assembling to capture Vicksburg. Grant had a bad reputation. He had been surprised by the enemy at Shiloh and his previous attempts to take Vicksburg had failed. But here at the Bend, said William Crooke, "a new spirit was upon us; we had come in contact with Grant's men, and found them imbued with the most unbounded confidence in their General."

From Milliken' s Bend they walked and waded south through swamps and bayous west of the river until, on April 30, 1863, they crossed to Bruinsburg on the east bank. The first regiment to cross was ordered to occupy high ground above the landing and sound an alarm if the enemy approached. The second regiment, the 21st Iowa, received more ominous orders. They were to proceed inland on a dirt road as the point regiment for General Grant's entire army and to continue walking "until fired upon." About midnight their small advance squad encountered Confederate pickets. Gunfire was exchanged in darkness before men on both sides rested on their arms knowing what the next day would bring.

On May l, 1863 William was with the regiment as it participated in the daylong Battle of Port Gibson when seventeen of his comrades were wounded. William Comstock died the next day. Charles Roehl was shot in the left leg. The leg was amputated in the field, he was admitted to a Grand Gulf hospital on the 10th, and he died on the 20th. John Van Kuran was wounded in the upper portion of the left arm. He too was admitted to the Grand Gulf hospita1 where, on May 31st, Dr. Littlefield amputated the lower two-thirds of the arm. On June 18th, at Memphis, John would die. Fourteen others incurred non-fatal wounds that, for three of them, would lead to an early discharge.

From Port Gibson, now at the rear of the army, the regiment moved inland. Held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill on May 16th, they were in the lead on the 17th when they encountered Confederates entrenched on the east side of the Big Black River hoping to keep its large railroad bridge open until their comrades could cross. An assault was ordered. Two Iowa regiments, the 21st and 23rd infantries, led the way. In three minutes, it was over. The rebels had been routed and many captured. The way to Vicksburg was now open, but the regiment had suffered heavy casualties -seven were killed, eighteen had fatal wounds, and thirty-eight had non-fatal wounds.

William Alloway was among the wounded and that afternoon his right arm was amputated. He continued to receive medical care in the field hospital, but was eventually moved with others to a landing north of Vicksburg, taken on board a hospital boat, and headed north for better treatment. By then, however, he had contracted pyemia, the "bete noire" of surgeons according to one author who said it "struck 2,818 men, of whom only 71 recovered, a mortality rate of 97.4 percent." On June 8, 1863, near Napoleon (now a ghost town) at the junction of the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers, and still on the hospital boat, William died.

His mother had passed away when William was a boy of about seven years, but several siblings and his father, James Alloway, were still living. For many years James worked as a day laborer on a farm northeast of Strawberry Point but, in April, 1880, at age seventy-three, he applied for a pension. Giving his address as Littleport, he said he had been "greatly dependent" on his son for his support and that "no person has been legally bound to support him." Soon thereafter he moved to Red Oak in Montgomery County where a doctor in 1885 said James was totally disabled. Included among those signing affidavits regarding William's death were Christian Maxson, a Company B comrade who had known William for many years prior to their enlistment and William Orr, an Ottumwa resident who had been one of the regiment's surgeons. James was awarded a monthly pension of $8 .00 retroactive to June 9, 1863 (the day after his son's death) and increased to $12.00 on March 19, 1886.


Allurt, Harmon
Co G, age 19, b. Germany, residence North Buena Vista

08/13/62 enlist in Company
08/22/62 muster in Company G
09/09/62 muster in Regiment
07/15/65 muster out at Baton Rouge

This is from the R&R. I have not verified the information.


Ano, John
John Ano was born in 1835 in Lafayette, Wisconsin (although it's not indicated if this was the town, township or county of Lafayette) and was described as being 5 feet 3¾ inches tall with gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. He was a twenty-three year old farmer and laborer when he enlisted on August 14, 1862 at McGregor in a company being raised the town's postmaster, Willard Benton.

He was mustered into Company G on August 22nd and all ten companies were mustered in as the 21st Regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry on September 9, 1862. Leaving Dubuque on September 16th, John went south with the regiment and, like many others, became ill during the cold winter weather while stationed at Rolla, Missouri, that December. Fortunately for John his illness was minor, he was treated in quarters and he remained with the regiment as it completed its tour in Missouri before joining General Grant during the Vicksburg Campaign. Confederate General Pemberton surrendered the city on July 4, 1863, and, on July 14th, John was one of several who were granted 30-day furloughs. Due to their proximity to the river, they were able to get home faster than when the regiment was stationed at more remote locations, but before long they were back with the regiment.

John's service was arduous but relatively uneventful. A private from enlistment to discharge, he was marked "present" on every bimonthly Company Muster Roll despite being occasionally detailed for special duties. On March 13, 1864 he was detailed as a teamster at Division Headquarters. A year later, at Dauphin Island on March 4, 1865, an order from the headquarters of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the 13th Army Corps, said John was "hereby detailed for duty at these Head Quarters and will report immediately." On arrival he was assigned to work as a cook.

In June, after the occupation of Mobile, the regiment returned to New Orleans and then proceeded up the Red River. On June 4th, Lieutenant Colonel Van Anda learned he had been selected by Major General Herron "to command the post ofNatchitoches, where your own regiment will be stationed." The order said "the major-general commanding desires that you will do all in yourpower to restore confidence andpromote goodfeeling. You will have no system ofpassesfor the people, andwill interfere in no way with trade and transportation ofproducts." While Van Anda moved into town to assume his new duties at post headquarters, the regiment went to Saluria Springs about two miles northwest ofNatchitoches where they occupied Camp Salubrity. On June 14th, John Ano was detailed to serve as a headquarters Orderly and moved into town.

On July 15, 1865 John and others still with the regiment were mustered out of service at Baton Rouge. He had been in the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1, 1863, was present during the Battle of Champion's Hill on May 16, 1863 when the regiment was held in reserve, participated in the assault of May 22, 1863 at Vicksburg and in the subsequent siege, and he had been present throughout the Mobile Campaign and all other actions of the regiment. Now he was going home.

On the evening of the 15th they turned in their tents and equipment and moved rations to the landing. The next morning, they boarded the Lady Gay and, leaving about 7:00am, started up-river past memories of three years of combat, scenes of battle and graves of friends. They debarked at Cairo about 8:00am on the 20th and "went to the soldiers rest where a dinner was waiting for us" while the post commander sent a wire to Adjutant General Baker in Iowa: "The twenty-first 21 Iowa leaves by rail for Clinton at twelve 12n today.” They were delayed for two hours, but reached Clinton about midnight. On the afternoon of the 24th, John and others who were present received their discharges and final payment and were free to make their way to their homes.


Anthrom, John M.
Antrim, John M.

Co E, age 21, b. Ohio, residence Dubuque, Dubuque co.

08/14/62 enlist
08/22/62 muster in Company E
09/09/62 muster in Regiment
05/21/63 discharge at St. Louis (disability)

Notes: John and his brother, Knox, both served in the regiment. There was doubt about the spelling of their surname with Antrim, Anthrom, Antrum, Antran, Antrain, Antren and Antrami all appearing in once place or another. According to the following 05/07/1872 Fort Dodge letter, apparently handwritten for him, neither brother could read or write (at least during the war):

Fort Dodge May 7, 1872
Sir i am informed that you will assist any Soldier who has lost his discharge to get another. I lost mine in 1863 and never heard of it since i was one of comp. E 21st Iowa infantry under Capt. Swivel my name is John M Antrim i was taken sick and sent to the hospital in St. Louis they said i had the consumption and gave me my discharge and put me on a boat and sent me home when i was going a Mr Long who had been very kind to me, said he was sanitary agent and if i would give him my discharge and papers he would get my pay and send it to me i did so and when i got home i wrote many times & got one letter wich said i had overdrawn 8 dollars this i sent with a request to send my papers and discharge but i never got an answer since weather he got my letter or not i do not know but i can never hear of him since, if you can do anything for me you shall have not only my thanks but my blessing for the rest of my life you will find inclosed a letter writen by him on the day i started home yours respectfully John M Antrim

PS my name has been spelled wrong many times it may be wrong on the muster roll it is on the picture I got of my company there it is John M Anthrom so is my brother Nox Antrim of company A of the same regiment his i beleave is spelled Antaraim this is owing to us not being able to read or write Inglish long read my discharge and papers for me and said they were all right please answer this and let me know what to do
John W Antrim

Due to him bothering to explain the spelling (even if he merely dictated the letter to someone else), I presume "Antrim" is the correct spelling. In 1892 he wrote a letter to the Adjutant General and signed his name as Anthrom, the signature is in a different handwriting than the 1872 letter. This places the authenticity of the 1892 letter in question.


Appleton, William H.
William Appleton said he was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on July 22, 1839. He moved to Iowa in 1857 and, when the Civil War started, was unmarried and working as a Clayton County farmer.

On July 9, 1862, Governor Kirkwood received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments as part of the President's call for 300,000 three-year men. If the state's quota wasn't raised by August 15th, it "would be made up by draft." The Governor was confident, but enlistments started slowly as ''farmers were busy with the harvest, the war was much more serious than had been anticipated, and the first ebullition of military enthusiasm had subsided. Furthermore, disloyal sentiment was rampant in some parts of the state.” Throughout July and August military recruiters and local citizens "beat the drum" and the enlistments came.

In Clayton County, Willard Benton, McGregor's postmaster, and William Crooke, a local attorney, were especially successful in gaining enlistments. On August 16, 1862, it was Crooke who enrolled William Appleton at New Stand (a town then located in the eastern part of Elk Creek Township) in what would be Company B of the 21st Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Private Appleton was described as being 5' 7¾'' tall with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion. The company was ordered into quarters at Dubuque the same day and mustered in on August 18th with a complement of ninety-nine men. When all ten companies were sufficiently full, the regiment was mustered into service on September 9, 1862.

Most spent relatively little time receiving productive training since, according to one writer, "the rendezvous was so near the men's homes, that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and. friends, were too often present to allow either drill or discipline to any great extent." On September 16th, William was with his regiment as they left Dubuque and started south for several months of service in Missouri. After an overnight stay in St. Louis, they went to Rolla by rail and then marched to Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, back to Hartville, back to Houston, south to West Plains, and then northeast to Ironton, Iron Mountain, Pilot Knob and St. Genevieve.

William had been marked “present” on all bimonthy muster rolls in 1862, but became ill and was hospitalized on February 28, 1863 when they were in Iron Mountain. Soon thereafter they were in St. Genevieve and William was granted a furlough to go north to recuperate. During his absence the regiment went down the Mississippi to Milliken' s Bend and, from there, walked south along the west side of the river until crossing to Bruinsburg on the east bank on April 30, 1863. A battle was fought at Port Gibson on May 1, 1863 with few casualties.

Four days later, William rejoined the regiment and he was with it on May 16th when they were held in reserve by their commanding general, John McClernand, during the Battle of Champion's Hill. It was hard for the soldiers to stand motionless and listen to the sounds of the nearby battle and William Crooke felt McClernand had been "spellbound by a show of opposition and the throwing of a few shells from the high ridge in his .front caused three of his own divisions and one of Sherman's to stand motionless while another division of his own corps was being slaughtered."

Having not been engaged on the 16th, the regiment's brigade was rotated to the front on the 17th. Advancing towards Vicksburg, they encountered Confederates entrenched along the Big Black River, hoping to keep its railroad bridge open so the rest of their army could cross. Colonels conferred. An assault was ordered. Colonel Kinsman ordered the 23d Iowa forward and Colonel Merrill did the same for the 21st Iowa.

Those two regiments led the charge over an open field directly into enemy gunfire. The charge was successful, but there were many casualties including Colonel Merrill who had fallen on the field with severe wounds to his upper thighs. On May 22nd, at Vicksburg, they were in another assault, this one unsuccessful, and a siege was ordered. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4th and the regiment immediately engaged in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston east to Jackson. Following that expedition, they spent time back in Vicksburg and in Louisiana, and many months guarding the "sacred sands" of the Gulf coast of Texas. Seeing the vast expanse of water, gathering shells and tasting saltwater was a new experience for the Hawkeyes, but it soon grew old and they were "anxious for the fray." After returning to Louisiana for several months, their last campaign of the war was in the spring of 1865 when they participated in the Mobile Campaign in Alabama. They were mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.

After returning to civilian life, William spent a short time in Sioux City, but then returned to Clayton County and, in the fall of 1866, taught school. On June 9, 1867, William and Phoebe Lovett were married in Guttenberg. Their first two children were girls, Ida and Sylvia, both of whom reportedly died in 1870. Another daughter, Lena May, was born on April 13, 1871. She was followed by William Watson on July 17, 1874, Olive on October 27, 1876, Mark Lovett on August 29, 1882, Otto Blaine on January 24, 1885, and Roy Raymond on March 21, 1890.

While continuing to work his 240 acre farm in Elk Township, William served as a school director, as Township Assessor and as Township Clerk. In 1887 he applied for a government pension. Under laws in effect at the time, pensions for veterans were based on illness, wounds or other disability incurred in the line of duty. William said he had contracted a severe cold in February 1863 that caused lung fever and chronic diarrhea from which he was still suffering. His application was supported by an affidavit from Brad Talcott, a former comrade from Company B, who recalled that William "was taken sick" on the march from Houston to West Plains and caught a cold that "settled on his lungs." John Carpenter, also from Company B, said William was so sick at Iron Mountain that:

"our officers considered it necessary to send him home in order to save his life. And I being in poor health was detailed to take him home. we had to convey him on a strecher from camp to the boat. I went with him from Iron Mountain to Farley Iowa during the whole trip he was very sick."

With additional support from friends and doctors, William's pension was granted at $8.00 per month, an amount that was increased over time. On September 10, 1913, after forty-six years of marriage, Phoebe died. She was buried in Brown Cemetery, Colesburg. William was receiving a $30.00 age-based monthly pension when he died on June 7, 1925, at eighty-six years of age. He was buried next to Phoebe.


~researched and compiled by Carl Ingwalson for Clayton co. IAGenWeb ©Carl Ingwalson & Clayton co. IAGenWeb.

Carl has offered to do look-ups in his extensive records of the 21st Iowa. His email address is on the Look-up Volunteers page.


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