IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
updated 11/27/2018

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 C

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.


Carpenter, John Jackson
Pennsylvania residents John and Mary (Campbell) Carpenter had six children who lived past infancy. The first five of these, all born in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, were girls: Elizabeth born in 1806, Priscilla in 1811, Susan in 1818, Sophia in 1820 and Mary Ann in 1822. They were followed by their brother, John Jackson Carpenter who was born on May 1, 1824.

Thirteen days later, Mary J. Marshall was born in the same county. On December 22, 1846, John and Mary were married in the town of Jersey Shore by a Justice of the Peace.

On January 30, 1848, a son, William M. Carpenter was born. He was followed by John M. on February 28, 1850, Ambrose on April 13, 1852, and Alexander on April 19, 1854, the same year that John, Mary and their young family moved to Iowa. John was working as a Clayton County farmer when two more children were born - Mary Catherine on March 23, 1856, and James L. on December 22, 1858.

Politically, these were troubling times. North and South were conflicted. “It is not expected that we shall ever live in peace,” said Alfred Iverson, a Senator from Georgia. “Cotton is King,” said South Carolina’s James Hammond. In 1859, abolitionist John Brown and his followers occupied the arsenal and armory at Harper’s Ferry. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President and South Carolina passed an “Ordinance of Secession.” Three months later, on March 17, 1861, Mary Carpenter gave birth to Susannah, the couple’s last child.

On April 12, 1861, Southern guns fired on Fort Sumter. President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, volunteers who were asked to serve for three months. That seemed like plenty of time to put down the rebellion in the South, but the war escalated quickly into a second year and the President called for another 300,000 volunteers.

One of Iowa’s new regiments was to be raised in the “third congressional district, consisting of Dubuque, Delaware, Clayton, Fayette, Bremer, Chickasaw, Floyd, Cerro Gordo, Worth, Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, and Allamakee counties.” Soldiers' Aid Societies were formed, fund-raising fairs were held and residents donated money, furniture, lightning rods, real property, equipment, silver and other items for sale. On August 13, 1862, at Strawberry Point, John Carpenter enlisted in what would be Company B of the state’s twenty-first regiment of volunteer infantry. He was one of forty-five men who enlisted that day, thirteen of whom were in Company B. John was described as being 5' 7¼” tall with blue eyes, a sandy complexion and, at thirty-eight years of age, gray hair.

The regiment, with a total of 985 men, officers and enlisted, was mustered into service at Dubuque on September 9, 1862, with George S. Pierce, a Captain with the 19th U.S. Infantry, as mustering officer. On the 16th, those able to travel boarded the Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started down the Mississippi. At Keokuk on the 19th, they boarded the Hawkeye State and continued south arriving in St. Louis about 10:00 a.m. the next morning. From there they went by rail to Rolla and then walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville and back to Houston where John, suffering from jaundice, was hospitalized while the regiment moved on.

On February 28, 1863, John was still absent. By then the regiment was stationed at Iron Mountain where a comrade, William Appleton, was being treated in the regimental hospital. They left Iron Mountain the following week and, by then, John, although not fully recovered, had caught up. When they reached Ste. Genevieve, officers decided to give William a furlough and, according to John, “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.”

In early April, General Grant was at Milliken’s Bend organizing an army to occupy the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. The regiment was assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand and started a walk south along the west side of the river on April 12th. John rejoined the regiment the next day at Richmond, Louisiana. From Disharoon’s Plantation on April 30th, they crossed to the east bank and, on May 1st, John participated in the daylong Battle of Port Gibson. On the 16th, he was present when the regiment was held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill, on the 17th he participated in an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River, and on the 22d he participated in an assault at Vicksburg. Continuing to maintain his health, he participated in the subsequent siege of Vicksburg and, after its surrender on July 4th, he was with the regiment during a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston and a brief siege of Jackson. After returning to Vicksburg they were taken downstream where camped in Carrollton, Louisiana.

On September 4, 1863, the army participated in a grand review while Generals Ulysses Grant and Nathaniel Banks watched. Grant’s uniforms were often not much better than those of the men who served under him but a dapper Banks, sitting tall on a horse selected for its beauty, preferred yellow gloves to complement his impeccable blue uniform. An Ohio soldier said, “the old 13th did not Please the Eye of the great Nathaniel Banks neither in their dress nor manners most of our clothes had gone through the two sieges (and they did look some Shabby besides the dresscoats of the 19 Corps or in other words, Banks pets).”Banks didn’t think Grant’s men had enough “style” but Grant said, “well General by God if you do not like these men I will take them back. They was not drilled for Style they were drilled to fight and by God they will do it they know how to fight.” According to John Carpenter, “Banks is a good dresparade General but Grant is a good fiting General. Banks is all fer great stile while Grant is but a comin man among men.”

John continued with the regiment during the balance of its service in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and its final campaign, a successful campaign, in the spring of 1865 to occupy the city of Mobile in Alabama. They were mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865, and discharged at Clinton on July 24th. Returning to Clayton County, John bought a farm “consisting of 168 acres of rich land, upon which he . . . made many excellent improvements.”

Congress enacted numerous postwar acts providing for the payment of pensions to veterans. Initially, these were “invalid” pensions and claimants had to prove they were suffering from a war-related disability and unable, to some extent, to perform manual labor. Hiram Hunt had been the regiment’s surgeon at the end of its service, but said the chest in which he stored his records had broken and the documents were stolen while he was going up the Mississippi in 1865. As a result, to prove service-related disabilities, John and others had to rely on minimal notations on muster rolls, surgeons’ certificates of disability, descriptive books and other military records together with affidavits from comrades and friends.

On January 31, 1881, John applied for a pension and said the jaundice eighteen years earlier had left him “weak & nervous, pain in my back & under my ribs & head.” He was, he said, unable to do a full day’s work, “my hair now perfectly white, teeth all gone in fact I am used up generally.” His claim was supported by affidavits from former comrades - Strawberry Point’s Seymour Chipman, Osborne’s Charlie Robbins, Wadena’s Brad Talcott, and William Kellogg from Cox Creek Township. Dr. Benham, an assistant surgeon when the regiment was in Houston, recalled the jaundice, and “treatment given in quarters.” Also supporting John’s claim were friends and neighbors who testified to his health before the war and after he returned home. William Marshall, from Littleport, remembered John’s postwar complaints. Osborne’s Thomas Kennelly had known John for ten years and heard him complain of liver problems. Henry Meder who had met John soon after the war, said John was “one of his near neighbors.” Henry was the “virtual founder” of Mederville, a town that was named in his honor, and recalled that John was “a man of good character and steady habits” but, at sixty-six years of age, was “unable to earn his support by manual labor.”

A pension was granted and John was receiving $12.00 per month, payable quarterly, when he died on November 10, 1903, at seventy-nine years of age. He was buried in Ross Cemetery.

John and Mary had been married for almost fifty-seven years by the time of his death. Mary still had a house and lot in the Stearns Addition to Strawberry Point that were valued by the county auditor at $1,400, but said she had no adequate means of support. She filed a pension claim, but died on November 5, 1904, less than a year after her husband, and was buried next to him in Ross Cemetery.

Of their seven children, William, who, as an eighteen year old, had joined his father’s regiment as a recruit in 1864, died in 1899. Ambrose died in 1914, John in 1924, Alexander in 1929 and Susannah (Alderson) in 1943. William, Ambrose and Susannah are buried in Ross Cemetery while John and Alexander are in Strawberry Point Cemetery. The fifth brother, James, died in 1944 and is buried in Mount Cavalry Cemetery, Cogswell, North Dakota.


Carpenter, John V.
Civil War military and pension records of John V. Carpenter, indicate that he was forty-one years old (one of the oldest men in the regiment) and was working as a shoe maker when he enlisted on August 15, 1862, in a company then being raised by McGregor postmaster Willard Benton. Enrolled as a private, he was described as being 5' l0" tall with grey eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. He was mustered into Company G on August 22nd and the 21st Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, on September 9th, and received brief training at Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union) in Dubuque.

On a rainy September 16th, they walked through town, boarded the Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides, and left for war. After spending one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail Rolla and then walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, south to West Plains, and then northeast to Thomasville, Eminence, Ironton and Iron Mountain where John was briefly sick in quarters.

At the end of March, 1863, the regiment left Ste. Genevieve for Milliken' s Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a massive army for a campaign against the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg. On April 15th John, fellow McGregor resident David Drummond and Strawberry Point resident David Watkins received thirty day furloughs with David Watkins carrying a letter that Myron Knight was sending to his family in Strawberry Point.

Most of the regiment "laid in camp," but only briefly before starting a march south through the bayou country west of the Mississippi. On April 30th they crossed to the east bank at Bruinsburg, on May 1st they fought at Port Gibson, on the 17th they assaulted Confederates at the Big Black River and on the 22nd they participated in a massive assault at Vicksburg before settling into their duties on the siege line surrounding the city. In those three engagements, the regiment lost at least thirty men killed in action, thirty-three fatally wounded, and one hundred one with less serious wounds.

John returned from furlough on May 30th, joined the siege line around the rear of Vicksburg, and on June 12th was promoted. Each regiment had five ranks of sergeant. The Roster & Record (1910) says his promotion was to 4th Sergeant with a September 1st promotion to 3rd Sergeant, but his military records say the promotion on June 12th was to 3rd Sergeant and do not reflect an intermediate promotion to 4th Sergeant. It appears that the copyist who prepared the Muster Rolls made an error and the Roster & Record is accurate, since records also show that John Dolson was the 3rd Sergeant from June 12th to September 1st. John V. Carpenter was apparently 4th Sergeant from June 12th to September 1st and 3rd Sergeant from then until he was mustered out of service.

Following the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, John was present on Company Muster Rolls during the regiment's pursuit of Confederate Joe Johnston to Jackson, a siege at Jackson, a move to New Orleans, its extended service on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and its return to Louisiana where they camped in Algiers. For more than two weeks most hoped for orders that would send them to Virginia to join others who had already left, but the orders never came. Instead, on July 26th, they were ordered to break camp shortly after midnight, left about 8:00am the next morning on the Laurel Hill and, with three other large transports including the recently repaired headquarters boat Jennie Rogers, moved upstream while the sick were left behind. About daylight on the 27th they tied up and debarked at Morganza Bend. A month later, on August 22nd, John was granted another furlough, this one for forty days.

It was August 30th by the time he reached Dubuque where Provost Marshal Shubael Adams issued a requisition for transportation on the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad for "one soldier with an unexpired furlough without money going home Viz. John V. Carpenter." The requisition was for travel westward to Independence, Iowa. John over-stayed his furlough and was on his way back when he was "arrested" in Dubuque on October 22nd as a "straggler with expired furlough who voluntarily reported to this office for transportation being too ill to report at the expiration of his furlough. Has been taken in charge in accordance with instructions to Provost Marshall."

John reached the regiment on November 13, 1864 and was restored to duty without loss of pay or allowances. He remained present throughout the Mobile Campaign in the spring of 1865 and was mustered out with the regiment at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865. Like many others, John paid $6.00 for his musket and accouterments and then headed north where he would be formally discharged from the military at Clinton, Iowa, on July 24th.


Chantrow, Joseph P.
Chantro, Joseph P.
Civil War records, mostly handwritten, are notorious for spelling errors and Joseph’s name was misspelled more often than most, even more often than that of his Clayton County comrade, John Grutchek. Joseph was born in France and immigrated to Iowa, but the date he arrived is not known. An accent, coupled with the fact that he could not write and had to sign his name with an “x,” was a likely cause of many errors in the government’s records.

On August 12, 1862, giving his age as thirty-five, he enlisted at Paint Creek, Buena Vista, in what would be Company G of the 21st Infantry. He was described as being five feet seven inches tall with brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. While Chantreau would be the most likely spelling in France, the September 9, 1862, Muster-in Roll gave his name as Chantrow. On the October 31st Company Muster Roll it was Chantro and on a medical document it was Chantre. On other military and pension documents his name was, from time to time, given as Johndreau, Johndro, Johndre and Johnder, spellings that can possibly be attributed to an accent, but also appears as Andrew and Andrews. For the last fifteen years of his life the name was consistently given as Chantrow on pension documents.

On September 16th, those able to travel, left their Dubuque training camp, walked through town, crowded on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed alongside and started south. According to one of Joseph’s comrades, low water near Montrose forced them “to go a shore againe at about none on the 19th heare we went abord the cares and went by raleroad to Kearkuk and went a board the steamer Hawkeye State.”

The regiment spent one night at St. Louis’ Benton Barracks before traveling by rail to Rolla. A month later, with Joseph detailed as a carpenter, they started the first of many long marches as they walked south to Salem and Houston, then to Hartville and then, after a wagon train was attacked on November 24th, back to the more secure Houston. That’s where they were when word was received that a Confederate regiment was moving north from Arkansas toward Springfield. A relief force was quickly organized. Included were 262 men, including Joseph Chantrow, from the 21st Infantry.

On the night of January 10, 1863, they camped along Wood’s Fork of the Gasconade River west of Hartville, unaware that the Confederate force was camped a short distance away. On the morning of the 11th, bugles alerted each to the other’s presence, pickets fired and the opposing forces then engaged in a one-day battle in Hartville. Joseph was uninjured, but the regiment suffered three killed in action, another fatally wounded, at least three less seriously wounded and thirteen captured and soon released.

Those involved at Hartville had a difficult return to their camp, going first to Lebanon and then to Houston, enduring bitter cold and wading through icy streams. Some were discharged; others suffered the rest of their lives “from the aftereffects of Hartville.” They remained in Houston until January 27th when they started a walk to West Plains, but Joseph and many others were ill and left behind. From West Plains the regiment moved northeast to Thomasville, Ironton and the small French town of Ste. Genevieve. On April 10, 1863, a “special muster” was taken at Milliken’s Bend and, by then, Joseph was “present” as General Grant organized a three-corps army for the purpose of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg.

He stayed with the regiment as they walked along roads and waded through Louisiana swamps on the west side of the Mississippi River to Disharoon’s Plantation where, on April 30th, they crossed to the Bruinsburg landing on the east bank. The 21st Infantry was designated as the army’s point regiment as they left the landing in late afternoon and started to walk slowly inland along a sunken dirt road and under ominous orders to keep going until fired upon. About midnight those in the advance drew fire from Confederate pickets stationed near the Shaifer house. Those behind them rushed forward, shots were exchanged and, the next day, Joseph participated with the regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson.

The regiment was held in reserve by General McClernand during the May 16th battle at Champion’s Hill, but Companies A and B did some skirmishing after the battle and others helped guard prisoners. While working as guards, Joseph tripped over a tree stump, fell heavily and suffered a hernia, while Joseph Carter, leaned his musket against a rail fence and, he said, “shot off two of my fingers of right hand.” The next day, Joseph Chantrow was present with the regiment during an assault on entrenched Confederates guarding a railroad bridge over the Big Black River. The regiment lost seven killed in action during the assault. Another eighteen were mortally wounded and at least forty had wounds that were less serious but, for some, caused an early discharge on a “Surgeon’s Certificate.” From there they moved to Vicksburg and took a position on the siege line established by General Grant. The regiment suffered heavy casualties during an assault on May 22nd, but Joseph was unable to participate and the next day was hospitalized in the rear of Vicksburg. From there he was sent to Memphis and then, on June 28th, was admitted to a hospital at Benton Barracks in St. Louis.

On August 19, 1863, the Adjutant General’s Office in Washington issued General Orders No. 289 indicating the men listed, “having been examined and declared unfit for further field service, but fit for duty in the Invalid Corps,” were transferred from their regiments to the Invalid Corps effective August 1st. Among those listed were “Joseph P. Johndro” [sic] and two of his comrades, Samuel Lesher of Company C and Andrew Wick from Company I.

The transferred men were sent to Burnside Barracks in Indianapolis where Joseph was assigned to Company D of the 5th regiment of the corps whose name was changed in 1864 to the more palatable Veteran Reserve Corps. Among their duties was guarding Confederate prisoners at nearby Camp Morton, one of the largest camps in the North where more than 1,700 prisoners are estimated to have died. Joseph was discharged at Indianapolis on July 5, 1865, and returned to Iowa.

On February 19, 1866, he was working as a carpenter in Buena Vista when he applied for an invalid pension based on chronic diarrhea he said he had contracted during the events at Hartville three years earlier. Supporting his application was Archibald Stuart, formerly a 1st Lieutenant in Company G. While the ailment was common for soldiers in the west, an affidavit by a pension surgeon, Elkader doctor Alexander Hanna, although agreeing that Joseph was still suffering from the ailment, said that, in his opinion, the “disability is temporary.” Six years later, Joseph was still seeking a pension when he secured more affidavits, was examined by more physicians and twice changed attorneys, but the claim was rejected.

In 1887 he filed another application, this time basing his claim on the hernia for which he had been hospitalized at Benton Barracks. In the opinion of pension surgeons in Lyons, Joseph was totally disabled, but the Pension Office had to verify the hernia had been received in the line of duty. To that end, Joseph submitted affidavits from former comrades Andrew Wick of Company I, Charles Stoddard of Company G and Jonathan Foster of Company G. Andrew, who had been transferred to the Invalid Corps at the same time as Joseph and was now living in North Buena Vista, said they were guarding prisoners after the Battle of Champion’s Hill when Joseph was “injured by falling over a stump in the woods” and sustained a hernia. Jonathan said he had been with Joseph when Joseph fell and knew he had been sent to a hospital for treatment of the hernia while Charles said Joseph was healthy before his enlistment. A pension of $12.00 monthly was approved.

In October 1897, Joseph answered a Pension Office questionnaire and said he had married Lizzie Fox, but they had been divorced about thirteen years previously. He said he next married Kate LaBarge in August 1891 and had three children from his first marriage, but none from his second. Uniquely, only eight months later, he answered an identical questionnaire, didn’t mention Lizzie Fox, said his first wife was named LaBarge, his second wife was Kate LaBarge, he had no children “by issue” but had a sixteen-year-old adopted daughter named Nellie.

In a letter written from Lyons in 1900, Joseph, still signing by mark, said he had lost track of Jonathan Foster, was too poor to investigate his claims any further and was “in a very bad physical condition, and have not long to live.” He died on June 12, 1905, and was buried in Marshalltown’s Veterans Home Cemetery.


Chapman, George
New York residents Shubel and Polly Chapman had eight children. One of their six boys was Jeremiah who was born on July 25, 1810, in Martinsburg, New York. From New York, the family moved to Ohio where Polly died in 1839 and Shubel in 1846. They’re buried in Lafayette Cemetery, Lafayette, Ohio.

Jeremiah and his wife, Fanny, had three children, the first of whom was George who was born in Lafayette on September 23, 1843. He was followed by Polly Ann who was born on June 17, 1845. In February, 1853, the family of four moved to Iowa, entered a claim, erected two log houses and a log stable, and worked a farm in Sperry Township, not far from Volga. Another daughter, Mary M. Chapman, was born on August 9, 1857, the same year Iowa was enduring the so-called “Panic of ‘57. Grain prices were depressed, many farms were lost to foreclosure and looming ominously was “the great moral question of slavery.”

On April 12, 1861, Southern artillery under Pierre Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter. The War Department called on Northern states to provide infantry or riflemen for a maximum of three months. That seemed plenty of time, but the "power and will of the Slave States" were, said Walt Whitman, "not at all realized at the North, except by a few." A year later battles at Bull Run, Wilson’s Creek, Pea Ridge, Shiloh and many other sites were history when Iowa was asked to provide five infantry regiments in addition to those already in the field.

George Chapman was described by neighbor John Lowe as “a little wild and a little rattle headed like other boys his age.” Another neighbor agreed that George was “sort of rattle headed,” but he was still attending school and helping on the farm when the call for more volunteers was made. He wanted to enlist, but his father was suffering from back pain and kidney problems (some thought it was Bright’s disease) and was incapacitated “for any severe manual labor.” If his only son enlisted, Jeremiah would be unable to maintain the farm. George thought he could help his parents better by enlisting than he could if he stayed at home, said John Lowe who heard Jeremiah say, “if he George went to the army he would have to sell his farm for he was not able to work and could not tend the place and George said if they would let him go to the army he would send his money to his father to help support him and his mother.”

The deal was made and, on August 12, 1862, at Volga, George enlisted in what would be Company D of the state’s 21st regiment of infantry volunteers. Only 5' 3½” tall, he was described as having dark eyes and hair and a light complexion. Volunteers received a $25.00 advance on their enlistment bounty, a $2.00 premium and $13.00 as their first month’s pay. George gave most of the money to his parents.

On September 9th, ten companies were mustered into service as a 985-man regiment and, on the 16th, they left for war on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside. They laid over one night at Rock Island, continued south on the 17th, debarked due to low water and spent the night of the 18th at Montrose, were taken by rail to Keokuk where they spent the night of the 19th, boarded the Hawkeye State and reached St. Louis on the 20th. After one night at Benton Barracks, they boarded rail cars usually used for livestock and traveled through the night to the railhead at Rolla.

Water at their first location tasted and smelled bad (“like the breath of sewers”), but they moved a short distance to the southwest where good spring water was available. On October 18th they started the first of many marches and on the 19th reached Salem and pitched their tents. On November 2nd, those able for duty left for Houston where they arrived before sundown on the 4th. Houston was safely in Union hands but their next move was to the less secure Hartville where they arrived on a rainy November 15th. The next day, a wagon train was ordered to the railhead in Rolla for supplies and George Chapman was among those detailed to go with it.

The large army wagons, with teamsters and guards, typically “carried 4,500 pounds of freight at two and a half miles per hour when conditions were favorable.” The trip to Rolla was uneventful, but four days of rain turned dirt roads to mud and the return was slower than expected. They made it to Salem and then Houston without a problem and then turned toward Hartville where, on the 23d, Chaplain Sloan wrote, “We are to counter march from here to Houston as soon as our teams return from Salem, whither they have been gone for a week. We expect them certainly tomorrow.” Unfortunately, the wagon train was a day behind schedule and, instead of reaching Hartville on the 24th, they camped along Beaver Creek with plans to continue to Hartville the next day.

About 7:00 p.m., some of the men were cooking, some were helping with the horses, others were on picket and the more fortunate were searching for forage when the camp was attacked. Their attackers, with estimates ranging from 400 to 1,500 were mounted and within forty yards when first noticed as they “came down the road with yells & shrieks firing as they came.” Union infantry fired a quick volley and the attackers withdrew, dismounted and charged on foot. “We formed our little band across the road & charged them back three times in succession but they were too strong driving us back into our coralle which was formed of wagons.” George Chapman was just leveling his musket, preparing to fire, when “three balls pierced his breast” and killed him instantly. Two others were fatally wounded while another three had wounds that were less severe. The place of his burial has not been found, but he was probably buried locally and reinterred after the war as an “ Unknown” in a national cemetery, either Jefferson Barracks or, more likely, Springfield.

For his family, George’s death was personally and financially devastating. The following spring, his parents sold their farm outside of Volga and bought a house and lot in town. Hard labor was impossible for Jeremiah, but he kept three cows, had fifteen sheep and was able to sell two or three hogs a year. He also kept a team and wagons and, in 1867, was able to buy about six acres of timber in Highland Township. He found work as a teamster in the Volga area, always with someone to help him, and took occasional loads to McGregor and Clayton, making $4.50 a trip if he was able to return to Volga with a load. On January 11, 1880, Jeremiah died. He is buried in Volga’s Hillcrest Cemetery.

Two months later, Fanny applied for a dependent mother’s pension with help from local attorney L. M. Davidson, a veteran of the 16th U. S. Infantry. Numerous witnesses signed supportive affidavits confirming that George had helped support his parents, Jeremiah had always been “more or less indisposed and not able to perform hard labor” and Fanny was “destitute of means of support.” The government, however, was skeptical. Fanny still owned the timber which might produce income and the sale of the farm had generated income. On November 17, 1884, the government appointed J. E. Rogers of Calmar as a Special Examiner

Rogers examined William Penfield who had been married to George’s aunt Sarah, John Lowe who had been George’s bunkmate and lived only a few miles from the family, Roena Reddick who was another of George’s aunts, Edward Welch who lived less than a mile from the Chapmans, and many others, ten in total. On November 22d, the examiner submitted his report. All were reliable witnesses he said, some “among the most reliable and respected citizens of the communities.” To him, the claim appeared “fairly established” and the Pension Office agreed. On March 7, 1885, a certificate was issued entitling Fanny to $8.00 monthly retroactive to November 25, 1862, the day after George’s death.

Fanny died on May 16, 1895. She was presumably buried in Hillcrest Cemetery where Jeremiah is buried, but a stone has not been located.


Chapman, Ira Shubel
Ira Shubel Chapman, son of Luman and Lois Chapman, was born on April 28, 1835, in Medina County, Ohio. By 1846, the family was living in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. They were still there in 1850, but by 1856 were in Clayton County, Iowa. Living next door were Silas P. and Maria Antoinette Chapman. Silas, the son of Luman and his first wife, died in 1860 and, on April 18, 1861, a license was issued for Maria’s second marriage - to Silas’ half-brother Ira. Only six days earlier, Confederate guns had fired on Fort Sumter.

To the surprise of most, the war escalated into a second year. Battles were won and lost, thousands of men died, and, on July 9, 1862, Governor Kirkwood was called upon for five regiments in addition to those that by then were already in the field. On August 13, 1862, Ira Chapman was enrolled at Volga City by Elisha Boardman. On the 22nd they were mustered in at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin as Company D and, on September 9th, ten companies were mustered in as the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. Twenty-seven-year-old Ira, 6' ½” tall with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, was granted a brief furlough to Strawberry Point. On a rainy September 16th, men boarded the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started downstream, but Ira was not with them. Absent without leave, he was designated as a deserter.

Due to low water at Montrose, the regiment debarked, traveled by rail to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and reached St. Louis on September 20th. Remaining in Missouri, they then went to Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville and back to Houston. On November 24th a supply train traveling from Houston to Hartville was attacked at Beaver Creek and, on January 11, 1863, volunteers from the regiment participated in a battle at Hartville.

Ira was still not present but military records indicate he reached the regiment at Houston on January 21, 1863, the same day George Brownell, a comrade in Company D, noted, “Ira Chapman arived here to day.” Uniquely, Ira’s records include no letters from doctors explaining his four month absence and there is no indication as to whether he returned voluntarily or was arrested, how he reached the regiment, whether he was disciplined, whether he was reinstated without penalty, or whether his pay was stopped for transportation back to the regiment. Six days later, the regiment left for West Plains, but Ira was “absent in hosp. at Houston.”

The regiment reached West Plains on January 30th and then started a march to the northeast, through Thomasville, Eminence and Ironton to Iron Mountain where they arrived on February 25th. They were still there on the 28th when Ira was marked “present” on the company muster roll. They reached the old French town of Ste. Genevieve on March 11th and camped on a ridge north of town. The next several weeks were pleasant but, in early April, they boarded the Ocean Wave and went downstream to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was assembling a large army with the intent of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. The regiment was assigned to a corps under General John McClernand and moved slowly south along the west side of the river until crossing to Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on April 30th. On May 1, 1863, the regiment participated in the Battle of Port Gibson. On May 16th they were held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill but, on May 17th, they and the 23rd Iowa led an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River. The regiment was not present on May 19th for an assault on Vicksburg, but did participate in an assault on May 22nd. With two assaults having failed to break the city’s defenses, General Grant resigned himself to a siege.

A soldier’s Descriptive Book usually referenced the battles in which a soldier participated. Ira’s book lists no battles and, on June 23, 1863, with the siege still in progress, Ira received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge. According to William Grannis, then in command of the company, Ira’s disability “was caused by the accidental cutting off of the large toe of his right foot while on furlough to Strawberry Point.” As a result, said Grannis, “he has not been able to do duty since.” Dr. William Orr certified that he had examined Ira and agreed that Ira was “incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of the loss of the great toe of the right foot.”

Never having been able for military duty, Ira returned to Strawberry Point where two daughters, Laura Bell in 1866 and Celia in 1868 were born. Sometime during the next two years, Ira and Maria separated and in 1870, in Elkader, Maria married Silas Truman, a veteran of the 1st Iowa Cavalry.

On January 28, 1872, in Clark County, Wisconsin, thirty-six-year-old Ira married fifteen-year-old Ella Irish (daughter of Harley Irish who had served with the 5th Vermont Infantry). They had been living on adjacent farms and known each other for about one year before the marriage. Their first and last children were stillborn, but a daughter, Anna Bell Chapman, was born in Beaver, Minnesota, on January 16, 1877. Anna was followed by Robert in Thorp, Wisconsin, on May 2, 1879, Warren in Thorp on October 28, 1880, Walter in Beaver in 1883 and Mabel in Beaver in 1885. Three months later, they were back in Thorp.

On August 16, 1890, pursuant to an act of June 27, 1890, Ira applied for an invalid pension. The act required that the veteran have served a minimum of ninety days and received an honorable discharge as Ira had, but he also had to demonstrate that he was at least partially disabled from manual labor due to a service-related disability. Claiming a bad back, rheumatism and liver disease (none of which were mentioned in his military records) and referencing the toe that had been cut off twenty-eight years earlier, Ira applied. On May 13, 1891, he was examined in Thorp by pension surgeon W. R. McCutcheon. According to Dr. McCutcheon, Ira told him, contrary to military records, that “while defending a forage train in Ms. I was struck by a piece of shell on the toe of the right foot and when I went home to Ia. I had to have it cut off in 1862.” Ella’s father said Ira was sometimes confined to the house for a week or month at a time and a monthly pension of $12.00 was approved.

In 1904, Ira and Ella moved to Iowa and purchased a house and lot in Arlington. Still there in 1907, Ira applied for an increase and, on a printed form, the Adjutant General confirmed the dates of Ira’s enlistment and discharge without striking that portion of the form that said “the rolls on file for that period do not show him absent without leave or in desertion.” Ira’s pension was increased to $15.00 monthly. In 1909, they sold the Arlington property and moved back to Thorp and, in 1910, Ira received an age-based increase to $20.00. Seventy-seven-year-old Ira died from tuberculosis on January 7, 1913. He is buried in Thorp’s East Cemetery.

Ella applied for a widow’s pension. Fifteen years earlier, the pension office had sent a routine questionnaire to Ira. In response, he said he was married to Ella, formerly Ella Irish, but previously was married to “Maria divorced in Clayton Co Iowa in 1866.” In her application, Ella said Ira was previously married but “claimed” to have been divorced. To prove she had been legally married, Ella had to produce proof of Ira’s divorce from Maria. County clerks could find no record of a divorce. Some witnesses who had known Ira and Ella for more than forty years swore that neither had been married previously. Ella’s stepmother, Elzina Irish, said she was present at the marriage and knew neither had been married previously, but Ira had admitted the previous marriage and others were aware of it. More and more conflicting affidavits were submitted and a special examiner took depositions in Iowa, Wisconsin and Washington (where Ella’s daughters, Anna and Mable, had moved).

In 1915, Lois (Chapman) Lang, daughter of Maria and her first husband (Silas Chapman) and apparently unaware that Maria had married her third husband (Silas Truman) two years before Ira married Ella, wrote that “the Judge who married my mother to Mr. Truman told her that the fact of Mr. Chapman marrying [Ella] while he was still her husband freed her lawfully from him and gave her papers to that effect. . . . I blame him for not straightening things out before he died.” She knew there had been no divorce. Laura (Chapman) Squires, daughter of Maria and Ira, told Ella “there is nothing that any one could say that would establish the legallity of your marriage to my father. Consequently, I am my father’s only legal heir.”

Confronted with proof that Ella and Ira were never legally married, an attorney suggested that, if Maria had died, “you can procure the pension without evidence of divorce” (i.e. by proving a common law marriage). As long as Maria was alive, however, she was an “impediment” to such a marriage. By then, Ella was living part of the time with a daughter in Seattle and part with a son in Montana. More affidavits were submitted and more depositions were taken by a special examiner who suspected that Ella “never actually believed she was lawfully married with soldier.”

Proof was obtained that Maria Antoinette (Shoemaker) (Chapman) (Chapman) Truman had died on April 21, 1898, and was buried in Ross Cemetery, Clayton County. With the “impediment” removed as of that date, Ella then had to prove she met the requisite legal requirements for a common law marriage (i.e. whether she and Ira lived as husband and wife in Iowa or Wisconsin for a sufficient number of years between Maria’s death in 1898 and Ira’s death in 1913). While they had lived many years in Thorp, they had not been there continuously. They had, however, lived in Iowa from 1904 to 1909 and established a common law marriage under the laws of that state that would be recognized in other states. On November 16, 1917, Ella was granted a pension of $12.00 monthly, an amount that had been increased to $25.00 by the time she died on September 15, 1931. Ella is buried in Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, Edmonds, Washington - but that’s not the end of the story.

Apparently unknown to everyone was the fact that Maria was not Ira’s first wife and Ella was not his second. In 1859, Ira had married Mary (Baker) Boyington in Concord, Wisconsin. They had a daughter (Louisa) who was born the same year, married Adelbert Wheelock in 1874, died in 1890 and was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Delavan, Wisconsin. Mary died on March 5, 1924, and is buried in Hazel Ridge Cemetery, Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Records don’t indicate if Ira and Mary were ever divorced but, if they were still married when Ira married Ella, Ella would not have been able to prove a common law marriage.


Chase, Dwight Whitney
Dwight Chase, the son of Thomas and Melinda (Butts) Chase, was born in Cohocton, New York, on November 11, 1819. He worked on a farm, read extensively and, by age eighteen, was teaching in a local school while continuing his own education. When he was twenty-two years old, he began studying medicine with a doctor in Eagle, New York, and later attended lectures at a medical college in Massachusetts and at Jefferson College in Philadelphia. He graduated in 1845 and, on August 17, 1849, married Ellen J. Lyon of Eagle, New York.

In 1855 they moved to Yankee Settlement (Edgewood), Iowa, and later to Elkader. Dr. Chase's medical practice grew and he served as President of the Board of Supervisors and in the state's 9th General Assembly. While still in the legislature he was offered a position as Surgeon of several regiments by Governor Kirkwood, but declined the offers.

On October 18, 1864, William Orr, then surgeon of the state's 21st Infantry, submitted his resignation due to health issues. The resignation was accepted and, on October 26th, he was discharged. There was disagreement in the regiment as to his replacement - whether an existing Assistant Surgeon should receive the promotion or a new Surgeon should be appointed from outside the regiment as had been done previously with Dr. Orr.

On November 1, 1864, Adjutant George Crooke, eight of the ten Captains and eleven other officers asked that Lieutenant Colonel Salue Van Anda recommend Dr. Chase to the Governor. The next day, from the mouth of the White River, Van Anda wrote to Governor Kirkwood, forwarded the officers' request, and said he was "personally acquainted with him and his abilities as a surgeon" and he is "well known throughout the County."

On November 16th Dr. Chase was appointed Surgeon and on November 26th, still in Clayton County, he signed the oath of office swearing to ''faithfully discharge the duties of Surgeon of the Twenty first (21st) Regiment Volunteer Infantry of the State of Iowa, during my term of office, according to the best of my skill and ability." On December 3, 1864 he reached the regiment at Memphis and Van Anda ordered that "he will at once assume the duties of the office."

For several months, during the balance of the regiment's stay in Memphis and during participation in Mobile Campaign in the spring of 1865 he performed his duties but, like many others, he soon became ill. After occupying Mobile, the regiment camped in Spring Hill. On May 23, 1865, Hiram Hunt, an Assistant Surgeon, found Dr. Chase suffering from "remittent fever and nervous debility" and unfit for duty. Dr. Chase tendered his resignation the same day. It was passed up through the chain of command - from the regiment to the brigade to the division to the corps and finally to headquarters of the Military Division of West Mississippi where it received final approval on June 3, 1865.

By then the regiment had already started north on the E. H Fairchild. Most on board were disappointed when, said Jim Bethard, the steamer "turned her snout into the mouth of the red river," but Dr. Chase was on his way home and continued north on the Mississippi. The regiment completed its service at various sites along the Red River before going to Baton Rouge where it was mustered out on July 15, 1865.

In 1868, the Clayton County jail was viewed as “a shame and a disgrace,” funds were appropriated, and Dr. Chase served on the building committee while continuing his very successful medical practice. Dwight and Ellen had two daughters, Kate E. (Chase) Butler and Ella L. (Chase) White, both of whom moved to Kansas. In 1879, Dwight and Ellen followed them. Ellen died on November 17, 1886. For many years, Dwight remained active in the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons (the A.F. & A.M.), the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.0.0.F.), the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), and other organizations. Dr. Chase died on January 18, 1905. He is buried with his wife in Delphos Cemetery, Delphos, Kansas.


Chernois, Smith
The June 1, 1860 census of Clayton County indicated that Smith "Cheirms" had been born in Norway, was twenty-four years old, and was working as a clerk. There was no indication of family members or others with the same surname.

Two years later, with the Civil War more than a year old, President Lincoln called for another 300,000 troops and Smith answered the call. On August 15, 1862, he was enrolled at McGregor by Willard Benton. On the 22nd he was mustered into Company G with Benton as its initial Captain. Like other, Smith received a $25.00 advance on the $100.00 enlistment bounty and the $2.00 local premium. The regiment was mustered into service as the state's 21st Infantry on September 9, 1862, received another week's training at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, and started south by transport on the 16th. Smith was described as being a 5' 8¾" farmer with grey eyes, light hair and a light complexion. In military records, his surname was spelled Chernois, Cheirms, Churnos and Chinors.

The regiment's initial service was in Missouri - St. Louis, Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville and West Plains. At Iron Mountain on February 28, 1863 Smith was "sick in quarters," but he recovered enough to continue with the regiment when it moved from there to Ste. Genevieve. The first permanent settlement in Missouri, according to some, the town had been founded on the east bank of the Mississippi River in 1725 by Frenchmen from Canada, but moved to the west bank for better access to salt and as a better shipping point for lead and other minerals being brought from the west for export to France. Its residents were "almost all French and are rebel at heart," said one, but it was no longer on the water due to shifts in the river and even Mark Twain wrote that he could no longer see the spires of "the little French town of Ste. Genevieve" when passing by steamer.

From Ste. Genevieve the regiment moved south by transports until camping at Milliken' s Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a massive army intent on capturing the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg. The 21st Iowa was placed under the command of Gen. John McClernand and, on April 12, 1863, started a long, difficult march, south through swamps and bayous west of the river, often wading through waist deep water. They passed the Dunbar plantation on Bayou Vidal, Pliney Smith's Pointe Clear, and Francis Surget' s Cholula plantation. According to William Crooke, Strawberry Point resident and Captain of Company B:

"the columns marching in drenching rain - the corduroy roads built from the timber growing in the swamps, which sank out of sight in the deep alluvial soil as heavy trains of artillery passed over them, and required to be relaid for following trains - the broken condition of the levees - whole regiments working in the water - the bayous and streams requiring thousands of feet of bridges to be constructed - the scows, boats and rafts transporting men and material across submerged forest and plantation."

The health of the regiment suffered, but the regiment moved on while the sick were left behind, scattered among plantations at Cholula, Ione, Somerset and Ashwood. Among those left at Ashwood were Jim Bethard from Grand Meadow and Smith Chernois. Jim would rejoin the regiment at Vicksburg. Smith Chernois would not.

Military records at the National Archives say he was 1eft sick at the Ashwood landing on April 29, 1863, was not heard from again, and was presumed to have died. George Crooke, in his postwar narrative (“Twenty-First Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry,” 1891), said Smith had been left at Somerset, the plantation home of Judge Perkins. From there, said Crooke, Smith had been sent on May 1st to New Carthage. He was still there on May 9th according to Crooke, but was then not heard from again.


Chiles, Henry
James and Henry Chiles were born in Perry Township, Shelby County, Ohio. The brothers would serve together during the Civil War.

On July 9, 1862, Iowa's 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," 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" (The Enlistment of Iowa Troops During the Civil War, Iowa Journal of History and Politics (July 1917) Volume 15, Number 3, Page 355). All men between eighteen and forty-five were listed in preparation for a draft, but thousands of men answered the call and a draft wasn't necessary. The minimum age for enlistment without parental consent was eighteen.

Henry Chiles was born on July 26, 1844 and celebrated his eighteenth birthday on July 26, 1862. Seventeen days later, he was enrolled at Elkport on August 12th as an 8th Corporal in Company B of what would be Iowa's 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. He was described in the Company Descriptive Book as being 5 feet, 8½ inches tall, with blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion; occupation, farmer.

The Company was mustered into service on August 18, 1862 and the regiment on September 9th. Initial training was at Camp Franklin, just south of Eagle Point on the north side of Dubuque. On September 16th, a miserable rainy morning, the regiment left Camp Franklin at 10:00 a.m. and marched south through town, while families, friends and local residents watched. At the levee they boarded the side-wheel steamer Henry Clay and started south, but Henry and several others were left behind, too sick to travel.

Henry caught up with the regiment two weeks later at Rolla, Missouri, and was promoted to 7th Corporal. As others ahead of him were promoted, Henry was promoted to take their place as 6th Corporal, 4th Corporal, and, on April 1, 1863 as 2d Corporal, the same day the regiment boarded the Ocean Wave at Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and headed downstream as part of a massive army being assembled by General Grant to capture Vicksburg.

Henry was present throughout the campaign and, on May 16, 1863, was with the regiment when it was held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill. The next day they were rotated to the front of the army and, with the 23rd Iowa, led an assault on Confederates entrenched on the east side of the Big Black River and hoping to keep its massive railroad bridge open so their comrades could cross. The regiment's colonel was Sam Merrill, a McGregor banker, and it was Merrill who ordered his regiment, "By the left flank, charge!" With them was the 23rd Iowa whose colonel, William Kinsman, ordered his regiment "Forward!" The two Iowa regiments led a bayonet charge across an open plane, directly into the face of enemy fire, and quickly overwhelmed the rebel force in front of them.

The regiment had seven killed outright, eighteen mortally wounded, and at least thirty-nine whose wounds would not prove fatal. Among the wounded was Colonel Merrill who fell during the charge with a serious wound to his upper thighs. Also wounded was Henry Chiles who suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh. Merrill would return to McGregor for many months of recuperation, but Henry was among those taken to Milliken' s Bend for medical care. He recovered sufficiently to return to Vicksburg and was present for its surrender on July 4th.

Henry continued with the regiment for the next two years with service in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas. He received several more promotions and, on July 15, 1865, with a rank of 3rd Sergeant, was mustered out with the regiment at Baton Rouge.

He returned to Iowa, was discharged at Clinton, moved to Monona County and, before the year was out, was living in St. Joseph, Missouri. There, on October 25, 1866, he married Louiza Ann Clardy. According to Henry, their eight children included Evy (or Evry) born October 5, 1869, James Franklin born July 1, 1871, Hattie Lon born October 3, 1873, Harvey Logan born August 12, 1876, George Washington born September 20, 1881, Effie May born September 24, 1883, Mary Ellen born May 11, 1887, and Gussie Laura born September 28, 1889. Henry continued working as a farmer and, like most veterans, eventually applied for a federal pension. Initially, these pensions required the applicant to show his alleged disability was service-related. In Henry's 1885 application he said his old wound "has greatly disqualified me for hard labor." He submitted supportive affidavits from Company B comrades William Appleton and George Crop and from their former Captain William Crooke and, in 1887, was approved for $2.00 monthly.

On September 10, 1899, the Pension Office received a claim from Roxalina Sadie (Potter) Chiles. She said she had married Henry Chiles in 1892, he deserted her and, pursuant to a law adopted earlier that year, she was entitled to half of his pension. Her affidavit not only gave his name, but also his regiment, his company, and the number on his pension certificate. To substantiate her claim, she included a copy of a Certificate of Marriage indicating "Henry W. Chiles" and "Sadie Potter" had married on September 27, 1892 in Denver. The Pension Office sent a certified letter to Henry on November 6th advising that he had thirty days to respond to her claim.

Almost immediately Henry replied. In a November 14, 1899 affidavit he said Roxalina "is totally unknown to him. That he never heard of her until reported in said notice." Louiza's sister signed an affidavit saying Henry had married Louiza in 1866. An affidavit from Henry's brother, James, said Henry was single when he returned from the war and married "several years" later. Sam Pryor said Henry had married Louiza on October 25th 1866 as Henry claimed. Also submitting an affidavit was Myron Knight, a former comrade who said Henry was single while in the service. While none of these contradicted Roxalina's marriage claim, they did show that any such marriage would have been improper since he was already married and, accordingly, she could have no valid pension claim.

Roxalina was asked for more evidence, but apparently submitted nothing and, on September 24, 1900 her claim was rejected: "Clmt fails to prove that she is legal wife of pensioner." She felt the government did not "give me credit" and requested a return of her papers. Henry never used a middle initial, but Roxalina's Certificate of Marriage referred to "Henry W. Chiles" and there was a man by that name who served in the state's 22nd Infantry.

As Henry grew older, the infirmities of age, exacerbated by his old injury, caused him to apply for pension increases, undergo medical examinations, and submit more documents and his monthly pension was gradually increased, eventually reaching $72.00 per month.

Louiza died in 1913. On March 2, 1926 Henry died and two days later was buried next to Louiza in Mount Mora Cemetery, St. Joseph, Missouri. Henry's gravestone says he was born in 1840, but gravestone errors are not uncommon, especially since information is usually received from third parties. Henry gave his age as eighteen when he enlisted in 1862. While some young men stretched their age to enlist, Henry had no reason to do so. He had already reached the legal age. Many years after the war, on March 19, 1907, Henry signed an affidavit, under oath, and said he was born July 26, 1844. On May 31, 1912, again under oath, Henry reiterated that he was born July 26, 1844.


Chiles, James R.
James R. Chiles was born on March 16, 1839, and a brother, Henry Chiles, was born on July 26, 1844, both in Shelby County, Ohio. By 1862 they were living in Clayton County and working as farmers near Elkport.

On August 12, 1862, Henry enlisted as an 8th Corporal in an infantry company then being raised in the county. Four days later James enlisted at Elkport as a private. He was described as being 5' 9¾” tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a medium complexion. On August 16th, the company was ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin in Dubuque and, on August 18th, they were mustered in as Company B with a total enrollment, officers and enlisted, of ninety-nine men. On September 9, 1862, ten companies were mustered in as the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry.

The following week, they walked through town and, at levee at the foot of Jones Street, boarded a densely crowded sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and left for war. They spent one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis and then, about midnight, left for Rolla on rail cars of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad. Their initial service during the fall of 1862 and into the spring of 1863 was in Missouri: Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Ironton and Ste. Genevieve.

By early April, 1863, they were in Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a large army with the intent of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, a well-fortified city overlooking the Mississippi River. Assigned to a corps under General John McClernand, they walked and waded south along roads and through swamps and bayous west of the river. On April 30, 1863, they crossed the river to Bruinsburg and the 21st Iowa became the point regiment for the entire army as it started inland.

They drew first fire about midnight and, the next day, James Chiles participated with the regiment during the one-day Battle of Port Gibson. He was present while the regiment was held in reserve on May 16th at Champion’s Hill and he participated in the May 17, 1863, assault at the railroad bridge over the Big Black River when the regiment had seven of its men killed. Another eighteen sustained wounds that would soon prove fatal and at least forty more had wounds that were not fatal. On May 22, 1863, James participated in another assault, this one at Vicksburg where regimental casualties were even worse: twenty-three killed in the assault, twelve with fatal wounds and at least forty-eight with non-fatal wounds. The ensuing siege of the city ended with its surrender on July 4, 1863, and the regiment then joined others in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to the capital at Jackson and a siege of the city before returning to Vicksburg.

By then, after more than three months of difficult service, many were ill or suffering from wounds. Some were treated in regimental camps and some in southern hospitals, while others were granted furloughs so they could recuperate at home. Those still able for active duty went south and saw duty in southwestern Louisiana. While there, Company B’s Jim Bethard wrote to his brother-in-law, James Rice, who had borrowed money from Charles Robbins and James Chiles before leaving on furlough in July. On September 30, 1863, from Brashear City, Jim Bethard wrote: "Cap Crook went home before pay day and your money could not be drawn consequently Charly Robins and James Chiles remain unpaid they are not in a hurry for the money but if you are not likely to return soon they want your note in order to have the thing all straight and safe providing any thing should happen that you not return at all."

The regiment next saw almost seven months of mostly quiet service along the gulf coast of Texas, before returning to Louisiana in June, 1864. After being posted at Terrebonne Station, Algiers and Morganza, they boarded the St. Patrick on September 10, 1864, and started up Arkansas’ White River and, the next day, debarked at St. Charles and camped on a plateau above the city. The regiment would be stationed at St. Charles for a month and, while there, James reportedly contracted small pox. Military records are conflicting, but it appears that, after treatment by assistant surgeon Hiram Hunt in St. Charles, Jim was sent to Helena and then Memphis for continued treatment. He was discharged from the hospital on November 3, 1864, and rejoined the regiment three days later at the mouth of the White River.

He remained on active duty for the balance of its service. On February 28, 1865, they were on Dauphin Island at the entrance to Mobile Bay with James serving as a company cook. From there they moved up the east side of the bay, occupied the city of Mobile, and camped at Spring Hill. On July 15, 1865, they were back in Louisiana where James and Henry Chiles, and other original enlistees were mustered out of service at Baton Rouge.

The next year, Henry married in Missouri while James worked as a carpenter, often for railroads as they expanded across the west. In 1866, he was working on railroad bridges in the Dakota Territory. In 1867 he was working as a carpenter in Sioux City, Iowa.

During the war, Ruel, Nehemiah and Frank Aldrich had served with James in the 21st Infantry. Their sister, Jane Aldrich, had married Franklin Quick at the home of Justice of the Peace Jonathan Oglesbee in Strawberry Point in 1859. On October 16, 1865, Franklin Quick died. On January 8, 1868, Jane (Aldrich) Quick and James Chiles were married in Delhi by Judge Jeremiah B. Boggs.

Jane and James moved frequently as he continued his work as a carpenter. In 1875 they were in Tecumseh, Nebraska, and Mitchell, Iowa. In 1876 they moved to the Dakota Territory where James found work in Bon Homme County. In 1878 they were in Sioux City, Iowa, and Worthington, Minnesota. That’s where they were living when James applied for an invalid pension on January 9, 1882. He said he had “contracted small pox which affected his eyes” and, as a result, was now partially disabled from earning a living by manual labor. On September 25, 1882, while his pension application was pending and James was still living in Minnesota, he was granted a “homestead entry” land patent for 160 acres in Minnehaha County, Dakota Territory. On July 13, 1883, he signed an affidavit saying his residence was Worthington, Minnesota, but a month later, on August 13th, he signed another affidavit, this one saying his residence was now Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County.

In 1900, again giving Sioux Falls as his residence, he applied again and, eventually, was granted a pension of $6.00 monthly, payable quarterly. James died from typhoid fever in Sioux Falls on September 22, 1906. Burial the next day was in the city’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

Later that year, at sixty-three years of age, Jane applied for a widow’s pension and for payment of James’ accrued but unpaid pension. She was receiving $12.00 per month when she died on January 20, 1916. She is buried next to James in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Three times James had replied to government questionnaires and each time said he and Jane had two children - Fred G. Chiles born July 10, 1870, and Floyd V. Chiles born January 14, 1888. Fred died in 1936 and was buried next to his parents in Woodlawn Cemetery (where his gravestone says he was born in 1873).

Floyd married Laura O’Connell and worked as a postman for the federal government in Sioux Falls. On the morning of January 26, 1918, he was taking mail from a box on the southeast corner of West 9th Street and Prairie Avenue when a taxicab and a truck had an accident in the intersection. The impact caused the taxicab to go over the curb and hit Floyd who was carried to a nearby house but died on February 4th as a result of his injuries. He was buried in St. Michael Cemetery, Sioux Falls. Floyd was survived by Laura and two children, Russell who was seven years old and Francis who was one. Laura, as Administratrix of her husband’s estate, sued the drivers of the two vehicles and prevailed at trial, but one of the drivers appealed. The Supreme Court of South Dakota in Chiles v. Rohl, 47 S.D. 580, 201 N.W. 154 (Dec. 1924), upheld the lower court’s decision and said, “Had either of these drivers been keeping a proper lookout and had his own vehicle under control, he could have avoided the collision however fast the other may have been going. But both were negligent. Both were driving at a reckless and dangerous rate of speed. The truck driver was on the wrong side of the street and should have slowed down and let the cab pass the intersection first. The cab had the right of way over the intersection, but had the driver of the cab been keeping a proper lookout, and had his machine under control, he could have stopped or turned to the right or left and avoided the collision.” Laura remarried, first to Charles L. Shaff with whom she had two children and later to Daniel J. Stanton with whom she had no children. She died on June 23, 1930, and is buried next to Floyd in St. Michael Cemetery.


Chipman, Seymour
The son of John and Harriet (Hoadley) Chipman, Seymour was born in Essex, Vermont, on June 30, 1833. In 1843, the family moved to Illinois and, in 1852, to Clayton County where John owned and operated, with Seymour’s assistance, a sawmill and gristmill near Strawberry Point.

Also moving to the area was the Maxson family from Clark County, Ohio. Prudence Maxson was born on March 13, 1835, and, on August 14, 1853, twenty-year-old Seymour and eighteen-year-old Prudence were married. According to Seymour, their five children were Melvina “Eva” Emiline (born March 19, 1854), Charles Herman (born December 18, 1855), Clarence Case (born October 16, 1857), Lillian T. (born November 17, 1859) and Videllia (born April 22, 1862).

During the Civil War, Horace Chipman, one of Seymour’s brothers, was a musician with the 1st Minnesota infantry and another brother, Lafayette, served with the 1st Minnesota heavy artillery. On August 11, 1862, Seymour enlisted as a private in Company B of Iowa’s 21st infantry where he joined two of his wife’s brothers, David and Christian Maxson, who had enlisted a few days earlier. Seymour was described as being 5' 10" inches tall with hazel eyes, black hair and a dark complexion; occupation, mechanic. The regiment was mustered into service at Dubuque on September 9, 1862, and left for war a week later on board the Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside.

After one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla. From there they walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville and back to Houston with Seymour listed as a musician. In January word was received that a Confederate column was advancing on a Union base in Springfield. A relief column of 262 volunteers from the 21st Infantry and an equal number from a Missouri regiment was ordered to proceed on the “double quick” to Springfield. They had gone only as far as Hartville when, on January 11, 1863, they met the enemy in a daylong battle. Seymour was one of twenty-five volunteers from Company B and was unscathed in the battle although his regiment had three killed in action, another whose wounds would prove fatal, and thirteen with less serious wounds.

The hurried march to Hartville and the return to Houston during a harsh winter was hard on everyone. Seymour, according to Lieutenant Barney Phelps, “caught a severe cold, resulting in bad cough, severe pain in head followed by deafness,” was excused from duty, and was briefly hospitalized. He was well enough to continue with the regiment when it went south to West Plains later that month and then, with Seymour traveling part of the way by ambulance, northeast to Ironton and Ste. Genevieve. On April 10, 1863, he was present at Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing an army intent on capturing the city of Vicksburg. Thousands of men walked and waded south, through swamps and bayous west of the river and crossed to Bruinsburg on April 30th. That night, as the point regiment for the entire army, the regiment drew first fire about midnight.

On May 1, 1863, near Magnolia Church, they fought the Battle of Port Gibson. Seymour was present but still not well and, said Lieutenant Phelps, “we were obliged to leave him there” when the regiment moved on. Seymour eventually caught up, but, on June 30th, as the siege of Vicksburg was nearing an end, he was listed as absent from the regiment and serving as a hospital nurse.

On August 8, 1863, he was granted a thirty day furlough due to his continuing illness and, the next day, a comrade, Myron Knight, noted that he “sent $15 home with Chipman who went on furlough - also a gold pen I bought for Mother.” Also writing was Jim Bethard who told his wife “there has been 5 of our company went home on sick furloughs in the last week;” among them was Seymour Chipman.

Later that month, Myron Knight also received a furlough and left for his home in Strawberry Point. Myron’s furlough, like Seymour’s, was for thirty days, but it often took longer for men to recuperate. Most consulted doctors at home and, when possible, secured certificates extending their stay. Myron and Seymour were still in Strawberry Point on December 21st, when Myron noted that he “got another certificate by the Dr. and had it signed - went up town to see Chipman.” On the 25th he wrote that “Chipman and I started for Davenport” and, on the 26th, he said “arrived at Davenport about 7 and went up to Camp McClellan into the Barracks - fare was $6.60.” On the 27th, he noted that “we were sent up to the hospital to report but did not find the Dr.” On the 29th, Myron said he “was examined by the Surgeon and marked to go to my regiment.”

Seymour, however, was not well enough to rejoin the regiment. Instead, he was admitted to the city’s U. S. Army General Hospital. Seymour’s convalescence was a long one and he was still there on April 30, 1865, when a muster roll said he was suffering from “dyspepsia & irritative fever.” Although not fit for “active field service,” he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps for light duty. On June 28, 1865, he was discharged and returned to civilian life.

For several years after his discharge, Seymour worked as a blacksmith and carriage manufacturer in Strawberry Point but, in 1881, he and Prudence moved to Gilmore City. While there, Seymour worked in agriculture and the hotel business. He was elected mayor of the city and was serving in that capacity in 1890 when they moved to Oregon and purchased a claim in an area known as “Forest Grove.” In 1893, they moved to Corvallis and, on August 14, 1903, they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. A 1903 biographical portrait says:

“Mr. Chipman met his friends at the door and received them with a hearty handshake and word of welcome. They passed into the parlor, where Mrs. Chipman, as active and light of heart as a girl of sixteen, expressed her pleasure at their presence. Here all registered, and after partaking of the contents of the punch bowl, presided over by Mrs. Clarence Chipman, passed out onto the lawn where they were served with lunch.”

On December 15, 1904, seventy-one year old Seymour died. He was buried in the city’s Crystal Lake Cemetery where his gravestone gives his name as “Seymore Chipman.” Seymour signed his name as “Seymour.” The same spelling was used consistently by Prudence and numerous comrades and friends who signed affidavits on his behalf. It was also used in all military records, in all pension records, in the 1903 biographical portrait, and in Iowa’s 1910 Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers. The first time “Seymore” appeared was on his death certificate but that information came, not from a family member, but from a doctor who had treated him for two days. That error apparently found its way onto the cemetery stone.

With Seymour’s $12.00 monthly pension terminated, Prudence applied on January 30, 1905, for a widow’s pension. She secured supportive affidavits from several friends who had been present at her marriage and a pension was approved. When she died on July 21, 1927, at ninety-two years of age, she was receiving a pension of $50.00 monthly, payable quarterly. Prudence was buried next to Seymour in Crystal Lake Cemetery. All of their children grew to adulthood. Eva married Charles Moyer, died in 1935, and was buried in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Charles married Nancy Prather, died in 1929 and was buried in Corvallis as is Clarence who died in 1923. Lillian and Vidella both married and lived in Oregon, but their burials were not found.


Cole, Alonzo
Alonzo Cole was born in Oneida County in central New York, emigrated to Iowa, and worked as a tailor in McGregor. It was there, on August 12, 1862, that he was enlisted by William D. Crooke as a private in what would be Company B of the state's 21st infantry. While the Muster-in Roll says he was 41 years old, it appears from numerous documents that he was born in or about 1812. He may have intentionally understated his age since, at the time, volunteers had to be at least 18 years old but no older than 45. He was described as being 5' 8¾" tall with blue eyes, grey hair and a light complexion. Like other enlistees, he was paid $25.00 of the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 premium.

Each of ten companies in an infantry regiment had approximately 100 men when mustered into service. On August 18th, Company B was mustered in with the requisite number of 100. Total enrollment decreased as the war continued and another seventeen would eventually be enrolled in the company as “recruits.” The regiment was mustered in on September 9th with 985 men and received brief training at Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union) in Dubuque. On the 16th, in heavy rain and crowded on board the steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides, they started south.

After one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla and then walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville, and back to Houston. That’s where they were stationed on January 9, 1863, when word was received that Confederates were moving north from Arkansas towards Springfield. A relief force of 262 men from the regiment, a similar number from an Illinois regiment, and several pieces of light artillery left on the "double quick." To hasten their movement, some had their backpacks and muskets carried in wagons while others, including Alonzo, were able to ride part of the way in one of the wagons. Jabez "Jabe" Rogers, a McGregor carpenter, said he was driving a wagon "rapidly down a hill, the wagon struck a rock throwing the men up from their seats, and one of the men in coming down struck Cole in the knee with the hammer of his gun, cutting through into the knee pan and tearing off the periosteum of the same."

Despite the damaged kneecap, Alonzo remained on duty for the next several months and, during the Vicksburg Campaign, participated in the Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi, on May 1, 1863, the May 17th charge at the Big Black River, and the May 22nd assault on Confederate lines at Vicksburg. By the time the city surrendered on July 4, 1863, regimental casualties in the campaign had claimed thirty-one killed in action, thirty-four fatally wounded, one hundred non-fatally wounded, and eight captured.

Immediately on conclusion of the siege, the regiment left in pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston, but ''papers were made out for my discharge," said Alonzo. Instead, General Grant ordered that convalescents such as Alonzo be taken to army hospitals in Memphis where they could receive proper medical care. Transported on the Crescent City, Alonzo was in a group that arrived on July 12, 1863 and was one among many listed in the city's newspaper: “Alonzo Cole Company B ·local injury of right knee.”

By then, however, Alonzo had a new problem. For months his eyes had bothered him. They were sore and itched constantly. Unwisely, he had stood in the open air on the way to Memphis and, "coming against a strong head wind, the eyes were so much inflamed that by the time I got to Memphis the eyelids were almost closed and I could hardly see." For many months he received treatment for his knee and what they called granulated eyes (i.e. blepharitis) in several Memphis hospitals, at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, and in a Keokuk general hospital.

He eventually rejoined the regiment on September 23, 1864, at St. Charles, Arkansas, participated in the next spring's Mobile Campaign, and was with it when they were mustered out at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 15, 1865.

From there they went north on the Lady Gay as far as Cairo, Illinois "where a dinner was waiting for us. " From Cairo, they took the Illinois Central Railroad as far as Clinton where, on the afternoon of July 24, 1865, they received their final pay, were discharged from the military, and headed for their homes. Alonzo returned to McGregor, but he was not the same healthy man who had left the town three years earlier. He tried to resume work as a tailor and "cutter," but found it impossible and applied for a government pension as an "invalid." Karl Gamdt, a former coworker, said Alonzo's:

"eyes were so blinded by the granulation that he could not see to thread a needle and his kneepan and leg were so sore and stiff that he could not follow his trade of a Tailor being unable to see and unable to sit on the bench -That Cole is wholly unable to follow his trade as a cutter because he can not see to cut holes ... and his right leg prevents him standing at the table -Cole is growing more and more disabled thereby."

Another McGregor coworker, George Genz, agreed. Even though Alonzo tried to resume work, operations on the knee had failed to correct the problem, it was badly scarred and discolored, and it was obviously painful. The "blinded eyes disable him from cutting to his tracings -and his wounded leg will not permit him to stand at the table but a few minutes at a time." When sewing was required, "others threaded the needle for him." Alonzo's pension application was further supported by Jabez Rogers and William Crooke, former Captain of Company B. H. H. Clark and C.H. Hamilton examined Alonzo in McGregor on March 28, 1883, and agreed he was disabled. Alonzo's claim was approved and, on May 28, 1883, a certificate was mailed that entitled him to receive $6.00 per month through the pension agency in Des Moines.

In the normal course of events, he would have applied for subsequent increases and they would, eventually, have been granted, in part because increasingly liberal laws would allow higher pensions based merely on age. Alonzo, however, was a widower with no next of kin, he was unable to work, and he needed assistance. He elected to move east.

On August 19, 1884, Alonzo was admitted to the Alms House in New York City, but his stay was very brief. Possibly because he was a Civil War veteran entitled to live in one of the country's homes for veterans, or possibly because he was not a New York resident, and ''with transportation furnished from New York City by Rev. Thomas," Alonzo moved back to the west. On September 20, 1884, he was admitted to the northwestern branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. On September 23rd General Jacob Sharpe, Governor of the Home, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions that Alonzo had assigned to the Home "his Pension Certificate and the moneys secured thereby." Alonzo died at the home on April 26, 1886, with his age listed as 74 and was buried in the Home's cemetery, Block 21, Row 2 (now known as Plot 15, Wood National Cemetery) in Milwaukee.


Cole, Ira L.
Co D, age 32, b. New York, residence Strawberry Point

08/15/62 enlist
08/22/62 muster in Company D
09/09/62 muster in Regiment
01/22/63 discharge at Houston for disability

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


Conant, John B.
John B. Conant was born in New York where he married Lydia Allen. From there they moved to Kewaunee, Wisconsin and then to McGregor, Iowa. During the Civil war, he enlisted on August 15, 1862, at McGregor as a private for a three year term “or the war.” John was described as being a thirty-four year old musician and sailor (possibly working as a musician on one of the river steamers) with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion. At 5' 5½'', he was about three inches shorter than the average height of men in the regiment. On August 22nd, he was mustered into Willard Benton's Company G.

The men, the vast majority with no military experience, received brief training at Camp Franklin in Dubuque. While there, on September 15th, John was detailed as a Company cook and, the next morning, they started south. Except for a brief illness in Missouri, he maintained his health during the first year of his service and participated in the May 1, 1863, Battle of Port Gibson, was present at Champion's Hill on May 16th when the regiment was held in reserve by General McClernand, and participated in the assaults at the Big Black River on May 17th and Vicksburg on May 22nd, and in the lengthy siege of the city.

Soon thereafter he became ill and was sent north for better care. After brief confinement in Memphis and St. Louis, he was sent to Keokuk where, on August 20, 1863, he was admitted to one of the city's U.S. Army General Hospitals. Many never recovered their health and it took a long time for John but, on April 18, 1864, almost eight months after he was admitted, he was finally transferred back to his regiment then stationed on Matagorda Island on the Gulf coast of Texas. From there they moved to New Orleans in June and, on the 23rd, started an expedition into the bayou country west of the Mississippi. Duty was light and, at Terrebonne Station, soldiers had time to tour the mills and fields and talk to Negro laborers. Life had been hard said one, "the sound of the whip was never silent" and many had been killed, "shot down here like cattle .... if a man was found preaching or praying, his flesh was cut from his back with the lash."

On July 8th, they returned by rail and camped in Algiers, across the river from New Orleans. On the 25th, John and his McGregor comrade, John V. Carpenter, were left behind when the regiment left for Morganza, but they soon rejoined the regiment and on September 5th, John was again detailed as a Company cook. In good health, he was present with the regiment during its successful campaign to occupy the city of Mobile and its subsequent service in Arkansas and Louisiana. When final muster rolls were completed, the regiment was mustered out of service at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.

After being discharged at Clinton, John returned to McGregor and he and Lydia continued to live in Mendon Township for many years before moving to Brainerd, Minnesota. In Brainerd, John became active in law enforcement and, on March 9, 1872, was one of many who called a meeting of residents to consider “putting in operation a police force, for the better preservation of law and order in our town.” The following month, on April 6th, the Brainerd Tribune reported on a criminal trial “before Justice Conant.” An article on May 30, 1874, reported that:

John B. Conant, Esq., has been appointed Deputy Sheriff and Jailer for Crow Wing County. This makes things "more binding," and we congratulate "Uncle John" on his fat streak. With Geo. Whitney to gather in the evil doers, and Uncle John to look after their comfort whilst they sojourn at his hotel, we rather guess they'll "stick," and pay their bills besides.

Subsequently, at a town meeting in March, 1876, John was elected Constable. He died on April 19, 1882, and was buried in Brainerd's Evergreen Cemetery. Lydia A. (Allen) Conant died on July 11, 1918, and was buried with her husband. Their son, John C. Conant, died in Missoula, Montana, on July 20, 1943, and was buried with his parents in Evergreen Cemetery.


Cooley, Gilbert
Co D, age 28, b. New York, residence Strawberry Point

08/11/62 enlist as 1st Sergeant
08/22/62 muster in Company D
09/09/62 muster in Regiment
01/01/63 promote to 2d Lieutenant
07/06/63 service as Acting regimental Quartermaster starts
08/12/63 service as Acting regimental Quartermaster ends
08/12/63 service as Acting brigade Quartermaster
08/26/63 service as Acting brigade Quartermaster ends; relieved at his own request
07/15/65 muster out Baton Rouge
00/00/10 died in Clayton County (heart failure)

This is augmented from the R&R. Gilbert is one of the men who kept a journal. I have a copy of the journal, but not his military or pension records. It's obvious from the context and appearance that the journal was not written contemporaneously, but was written subsequent to the events, possibly after the war from notes. He concentrates almost myopically on Company D and makes virtually no mention of events, some very significant, occurring in other Companies or in the Regiment itself. However, to the extent he includes them, the dates and places he mentions are, in almost all instances, accurate.


Craig, Cyrus
Co G, age 20, b. Ohio, residence Millville

08/15/62 enlist
08/22/62 muster in Company G
09/09/62 muster in Regiment
01/24/63 discharge at Houston (disability)

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


Crooke, George
George Crooke was born in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, England on November 27, 1828, and moved to northern Illinois with his brothers, John and William. It was there that George met his wife, Jane Lloyd. Jane had been married to Ira Lloyd, but Ira died on October 20, 1849. At the time, they had a daughter, Emily, born in 1848. A son, Ira Jr., was born seven months after his father’s death. On April 2, 1856, George Crooke and Jane Lloyd were married in Warren, Illinois. From there they moved to Strawberry Point where George worked as a clerk and opened a hardware store. They later moved to a farm three miles outside of town.

The 1860 census listed George (age 32) who was working as a farmer, Jane (38), and her two children, Emily (12) and Ira (10). Also listed was Maurice, age one, who appears nowhere else but was possibly a child of George and Jane and who may have died very young. On January 13, 1862 George and Jane would have a child, referred to as being their "only" child, a daughter named Maria.

Seven months later, on August 4, 1862, at Strawberry Point, George enlisted as a private and, on August 18th, he was mustered into Company B of the 21st Iowa Infantry. On September 16th, after brief training in Dubuque, the regiment marched south through town while families, friends and local residents watched. Women sent cakes and cheese and others tossed apples. From the levee at the foot of Jones Street, they boarded four-year old 181-foot long side-wheel steamer, Henry Clay, and two open barges, one lashed to each side, "packing ourselves like sardines" according to one of his comrades.

After spending one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla and, from there, walked to Salem. While serving as Colonel Merrill's clerk, George became ill and entered Salem’s post hospital. He was released a month later, but was still unfit for duty and, at Houston, Missouri, on January 26, 1863, suffering from chronic diarrhoea, he was discharged from the military.

During his absence, the regiment continued its service in Missouri and, during the Vicksburg Campaign, in Mississippi. On May 17, 1863, Colonel Merrill was seriously wounded while leading an assault at the Big Black River Bridge and was forced to return to McGregor to recuperate. It took a long time, but he rejoined the regiment on February 7, 1864 on Matagorda Island, Texas. On March 17, 1864 Adjutant Horace Poole resigned to accept an appointment as Aide de Camp to General Fitz Henry Warren. By then, Colonel Merrill had already realized his previous injuries would impair his ability to ride a horse. He wrote to Adjutant General Baker asking to return to Iowa to help encourage more enlistments and, on April 12, 1864 wrote to Governor Kirkwood asking that George Crooke be appointed Adjutant to fill the vacancy created by Poole's resignation.

Merrill's requests were granted. He returned to Iowa while, on May 4, 1864, with a rank of 1st Lieutenant, George Crooke was appointed Adjutant. On May 9th, still in Clayton County, he signed the oath of office. On June 10th the regiment began leaving Texas and on June 15th, at New Orleans, George was mustered in as its new Adjutant. He continued with the regiment for the balance of its service and was mustered out with it at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 15, 1865.

After the war, George, Jane and their children lived in McGregor for several years and George worked as an agent for the Liverpool & London and Globe Insurance Company. The family later moved to Milwaukee, but George maintained contacts with his former comrades. On September 16 and 17, 1872, when the regiment was in Dubuque for its first reunion, George and his brother, William, both attended.

In 1884, Jane's daughter, Emily Lloyd, died and was buried in Milwaukee's Forest Home Cemetery. George became the regiment's biographer and wrote the only known history of the regiment, “The Twenty-First Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. A Narrative of its Experience in Active Service” (King, Fowle & Co., Milwaukee, 1891). Like most books about the war, George Crooke' s book contains errors. Most are very minor, but others, usually occurring during the sixteen or seventeen months when he had been absent from the regiment, are more significant. There are also to-be-expected variations in statistics and in the spelling of soldiers' names.

Eight years after publication of his book, George Crooke died from ptomaine poisoning on October 17, 1899. He died in Evanston, Illinois where he had been visiting for a week, but was buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee. Jane stayed in Milwaukee, lived with Maria, and gave their address as 329 Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee. Jane applied for and received a widow's pension and, on October 19, 1911 died in Milwaukee. She was buried with her husband in Forest Home Cemetery. Her son, Ira, died April 29, 1828 in Ellsworth, Kansas. Maria, apparently the only child of George and Jane, married Hiram Mabbett and, like her parents, they too are buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee.


Crooke, William Dawson
Rev. John Crooke, a Baptist minister, and his wife, Mary (Dawson) Crooke, were the parents of ten children, all born in England. Three of the boys immigrated to the United States and settled in Iowa. John (born in 1826) did not serve in the military, but George (born in 1828) and William born in about 1837 in Hebden Bridge would both serve in the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry during the Civil War.

After emigrating in 1853, William worked as a farmer for two years before studying law with the McGregor firm of Odell & Updegraff. He was admitted to the bar in 1862 and later that year was an active recruiter of volunteers for what would be the regiment’s Company B. In recognition of his efforts, he was elected Captain. Training at Dubuque's Camp Franklin was brief, but Crooke felt:

"the process of getting used to restraints of freedom, to inclemencies of weather, to hard beds, and new forms of food, sometimes not well cooked, was not always a pleasant one. Habits of obedience had to be formed, and these to men in the ranks were doubtless the most irksome of all."

He was, however, critical of the uniforms. Most members of Company A had seen service in Clinton and their uniforms "fitted to a hair's breadth all around, and they were anxious to drill," but, supportive of their men in Company B, Captain Crooke and his two lieutenants:

"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."

The regiment left Dubuque on September 16, 1862 and went first to Missouri. After one night in St. Louis they traveled by rail to Rolla and then walked to Salem and Houston. On January 11, 1863, William led twenty-five volunteers from Company B who were among those participating in the daylong Battle of Hartville and helped guard the artillery from the attacking Confederates. During the Vicksburg Campaign, William was with the regiment when it crossed the Mississippi on April 30, 1863 and started a movement inland. On May 17, 1863, he participated in an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River during which the regiment lost seven killed in action, eighteen fatally wounded, and at least thirty-nine non-fatally wounded.

A few days later they were on the line at the rear of Vicksburg, opposite the railroad redoubt. An assault on May 22, 1863, was ordered by General Grant, but proved to be unsuccessful and Grant decided on a siege that would last forty-seven days. Casualties in the regiment during the assault included twenty-three killed in action, twelve fatally wounded, and forty-eight non-fatally wounded. Among the dead was the regiment's popular Lieutenant Colonel, Cornelius Dunlap (Mitchell, Iowa). Major Van Anda (Manchester) was promoted to fill the vacancy and William Crooke, the regiment's senior Captain, was promoted to Major to take Van Anda's place.

Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863 and the regiment then engaged in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston and a siege of the city of Jackson. On August 2, 1863, back in Vicksburg, William requested and received a leave to attend to "adjustment of matters of bizness" and returned to Iowa carrying money that other soldiers were sending home to their families. After returning to the South, he was continuously on duty with the regiment through the balance of the year and into 1864.

On Sunday, August 28, 1864, after service in Texas and the bayou country in southwestern Louisiana, they were stationed at Morganza Bend. Many attended "services as usual" and several men were baptized by the regimental chaplain, James Hill (Cascade). Among the baptized was William Crooke. For the next few months he continued performing his duties as Major and, said Jim Bethard (Grand Meadow), "Major Crook [sic] is the best officer in the regiment."

The regiment spent New Year's Eve, 1864, in Memphis but, on New Year's Day, broke camp, boarded the Baltic with the 47th Indiana, 15th Massachusetts Battery and two companies of the 28th Illinois. By noon on the 2d, they were underway, "we think headed for New Orleans," said some. They reached Vicksburg about 5:00 p.m. on the 3d, loaded coal and were on their way by 11:00 p.m. By 7:00 a.m. the next morning, the 4th, they were at Natchez and by mid-afternoon passed Morganza. They passed Baton Rouge in the evening and traveled throughout the night. Before sunrise on the 5th they reached New Orleans and, seven hours later, moved back upstream to debark at Kennerville (Kenner) where Federal camps had been maintained since the middle of the previous year, a camp of instruction had opened in December and a telegraph office had opened the previous day. The regiment was assigned to a low site on ploughed ground at Oakland, the Kenner family's old sugar plantation. While there, on January 23, 1865, William tendered his "immediate and unconditional resignation" saying:

"In view of the teachings and character of Jesus Christ, my convictions of Christian duty will not permit me longer to use the sword for the redress of wrong.”

Acceptance of the resignation was recommended by Lieutenant Colonel Van Anda who noted that William's convictions were ''formed after months of deep study and meditation." Discharged two days later, William returned home and resumed civilian life.

On December 13, 1865, he and Sarah S. Updegraff were married by a Minister of the Gospel in Elkader. In 1866 he won an election for Recorder of Clayton County, but in 1876 moved to Hinsdale, Illinois, where he worked in the insurance business, first with the Royal Insurance Company and then the Northern Assurance Company of England. Despite the move to Illinois, William remained active in Iowa’s veterans' organizations and regimental reunions. At the 1889 reunion in Strawberry Point he addressed his comrades and recalled that, after crossing the Mississippi at the start of the Vicksburg Campaign, they had been led by "Old Bob," a former slave who did not know his age but did know, if caught by the Rebels, he would be shot. Bob stayed with the regiment "learning the habits and thoughts of liberty in the camps of the 21st Iowa" and returned with William to Iowa for a year. "When he. finally returned to his wife and family in Vicksburg," said William, "the word 'marster' had dropped from his speech, for both he and they were free men."

After suffering three years with heart disease, William died on April 27, 1894, at fifty-seven years of age. He was buried in Oak Forest Cemetery, Oak Brook, Illinois. Sarah remained in Illinois and applied for and was granted a widow's pension. She died on April 10, 1925 and was buried with her husband in Plot 58, Oak Forest (now Bronswood) Cemetery.


Crop, George
George Crop was the son of John H. Crop (1804-10/07/1870) and Margaret (Stigger) Crop (06/12/1803-12/20/1893). He was born on November 3, 1841 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

On August 12, 1862, during the Civil War, he was enrolled in Company B, a company then being raised for the state's 21st infantry regiment. He enlisted at Newstand (in the eastern part of Elk Creek Township), Clayton County, and was described as being 5' 8½' tall with blue eyes, light colored hair, and a light complexion. Volunteers such as George were entitled to a $100.00 enlistment bounty. Originally, this was to be paid on completion of honorable service but, as an incentive to spur enlistments, the law was changed so $25 .00 would be paid when the soldier started his service and the balance on honorable completion of that service. George received the $25.00 plus a standard $2.00 premium.

He was mustered in with the company on August 18, 1862, and the ten companies were mustered in as a regiment on September 9, 1862, at Dubuque. After initial training at Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union), they boarded the Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides and, on September 16th, started south. After one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla and then walked - first to Salem, then Houston, then Hartville, then back to Houston, then West Plains, then northeast to Thomasville, Ironton Iron Mountain, Pilot Knob and Ste. Genevieve on the Mississippi River. To that point they had only limited encounters with the enemy. A wagon train was attacked on November 24, 1862, and 262 members of the regiment participated in the Battle of Hartville on January 11, 1863. There is no record of George having participated in either matter, but that was about to change.

Except for minor ailments, George had maintained his health well for the first year and he was with the regiment throughout the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign. On April 30, 1863, they crossed the Mississippi to the Bruinsburg landing in Mississippi. The next day, George was with the regiment during the daylong Battle of Port Gibson. He was present on May 16, 1863, at the Battle of Champion’s Hill when the regiment was held in reserve by General McClernand and they were forced to stand and listen while comrade in other regiments were dying. On May 17, 1863, George participated in an assault at the Big Black River bridge in which the regiment charged an entrenched enemy over an open plain. It lasted only three minutes, but the Confederates were routed. Casualties in the regiment were seven killed in action, eighteen fatally wounded, and thirty-eight non-fatally wounded.

Still recuperating on the 19th, the regiment was not present for General Grant's initial assault at Vicksburg, but George was present and did participate with his regiment in an assault on May 22, 1863. Regimental casualties were twenty-three killed, twelve fatally wounded, and forty-eight non-fatally wounded. George remained present during the ensuing siege and participated in the subsequent expedition to and occupation of the state capital at Jackson, Mississippi.

After returning to Vicksburg, they were transported downriver, debarked, and camped at Carrollton, Louisiana. While there, George was admitted to a convalescent camp and was not with the regiment when it left for the bayou country west of the river. He rejoined his regiment on November 10, 1863 in southwestern Louisiana and was with it for the balance of its service during which he served as provost guard in Morganza, Louisiana, and participated in the campaign to occupy Mobile, Alabama. They were mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.

Back in Iowa, George was living in Farley in 1886 when he signed an affidavit for the widow of one of his comrades and in Sand Spring in 1889 when he gave a deposition in her case. Eventually, George and his wife, Tryphena Clarissa (Gibson) Crop, made their home in Monticello. Tryphena died on December 28, 1907 and George on November 3, 1929. They're buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Monticello .

Some records give the surnames for George, Tryphena and their children as "Cropp," but his parents, his two brothers (John and Ezra), and their children are all reflected as "Crop." Similarly, all military records for both George and his brother, John S. Crop who served in the same regiment, reflect the "Crop" spelling.


Crop, John Sherman
John H. and Margaret S. Crop had three sons, all born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. John S. was born in 1835 or 1836 (based on his age at enlistment), Ezra on March 9, 1839, and George on November 3, 1841. The family moved to Clayton County, Iowa, where, on February 7, 1856, John S. Crop married Amanda M. Haught in Mallory Township. A daughter, Margaret E. Crop was born on November 16, 1856, and another daughter, Mary Elizabeth Crop, was born on April 10, 1858. A website reference indicates a third child, John Crop, was born November 17, 1859, died on September 6, 1860, and was buried in Brown Cemetery, Colesburg.

By then two of county's papers, the Herald and Tribune, had ceased publication and the weekly North Iowa Times remained as its only paper. Elkader tried unsuccessfully to regain the county seat from Garnavillo, McGregor was characterized by "roughs and desperados" and streets were lined with drinking places, gambling houses and "dissolute women," and tensions were rising in an overly confident South. South Carolina Senator James Hammond bragged, "without firing a gun, without drawing a sword, should the North make war on us, we could bring the whole world to our feet." "Cotton, "he said, "was King."

In 1861 Southern canon fired on Fort Sumter. A war started and quickly escalated. By the summer of 1862 it was obvious more soldiers were needed. President Lincoln called for 300,000, states were given quotas, and Iowa responded. On August 12, 1862, 26-year-old John Crop and his 20-year-old brother, George, were enrolled at New Stand, Elk Creek Township, by Charles Heath, a 30-year-old Canadian living in Strawberry Point. In a regiment where the average height was only slightly more than 5' 8", John was described as being 6' ½" tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.

On August 18th, John and George were two of 100 men mustered in as Company B. On September 9, 1862, with all ten companies of sufficient strength, they were mustered in at Dubuque as the 21st Regiment of Iowa's volunteer infantry with 985 men (officers and enlisted). A week later, on a rainy September 16th, they boarded the steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides and left for war. Amanda was twenty-one when her husband left. Their girls were four and five.
The regiment went first to St. Louis and from there, by rail, to the end of the line in Rolla. In October they were ordered to Salem and, by l:00 a.m. on October 18, 1862, tents were down, knapsacks packed and wagons loaded. At 1:30 a.m., drums called assembly and the battalion formed. At 2:00 a.m. they gave three cheers and started a twenty-five mile march in the morning darkness, happy to be on the move.

Company muster rolls were prepared every two months and reflected the presence or absence of the soldier as of the last day of the bimonthly period. Additional comments reflected furloughs, detached service, illness, discharges, promotions, pay stoppages and other events. The regiment's first such roll was dated October 31, 1862, and John was ''present" but sick in quarters. His illness continued into April, but he was present with the regiment on April 10, 1863 at Milliken's Bend and was with it as it started south along the west side of the Mississippi River in a corps led by John McClernand.

They walked and waded slowly through swamps, bayous and difficult terrain, crossed small streams on anything that would float, and sometimes traveled on corduroy roads that sank in the mud. From the Dunbar plantation on Bayou Vidal to the Disharoon plantation in Tensas Parish, hundreds of previously healthy young men became sick and were left behind, hoping to recover their health at Pointe Clear, Cholula, New Carthage, Ione, Ashwood and other plantations abandoned by their owners. Among the sick were John Crop, Jim Bethard, Abe Treadwell and many others who gathered at Judge Perkins' Somerset plantation under the protection of the 60th Indiana infantry. There, on May 26, 1863, they were attacked by a force of Texans but, with covering fire from a federal gunboat, they were able to rush on board a transport, the Ocean Wave, that took them to safety.

By then, Union forces had encircled the rear of Vicksburg. The Company Muster Roll for June 30th reported that John was present but, again, he was sick. He stayed with the regiment to the July 4th surrender of the city and, on August 5th, was granted a furlough to go home to recuperate. Jim Bethard wrote a letter to his wife, Carolyn Bethard, to let her know that five men, including John, had been granted sick furloughs.

Military and pension records on file with the National Archives, including sworn affidavits signed by John's widow, by his brother and by Dr. Stout of Elkader, confirm that John died at home on September 7, 1863, from the debilitating effects of chronic diarrhoea. (Elsewhere it's indicated erroneously that he died on September 13th at St. Louis.) He was buried in Brown Cemetery, Colesburg.

On October 2, 1863, the regiment was near Berwick, Louisiana, when John’s comrade, Jim Bethard, again wrote to Caroline in Grand Meadow Township, “I have forgotten whether I spoke of John Crops Death in my last or not he went home from Vicksburg and died shortly after his arrival at home.”

It took almost a year but, on August 13, 1864, a government auditor mailed a certificate payable to Amanda "as the Widow of deceased or to your order, by the Paymaster of the US. Army." The certificate covered the $75.00 balance of John's $100.00 enlistment bounty and $28.60 for his service from June 30th to his death on September 7th.

On March 29, 1866, Amanda married Franklin McMonigal and, on January 22, 1868 she filed a petition pursuant to which she was appointed guardian of her two girls. It took a long time, and a lot of documentation, from Amanda, George, John's mother who had been present when the girls were born, and others, but finally, on January 11, 1871, a pension was granted for each girl retroactive to September 8, 1863, the day after their father's death. The payments would continue until their sixteenth birthdays.

John's father (John S. Crop) died on October 7, 1870. His mother (Margaret S. Crop) died on December 20, 1893. Amanda's second husband (Frank McMonigal) died on August 24, 1906. Amanda M. (Crop) McMonigal died on July 6, 1922. John's brother (Ezra Crop) died on July 19, 1927. All are buried with John in Brown Cemetery on Colesburg Road north of Colesburg. John's other brother, George Crop, died on November 3, 1929, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Monticello, where his stone reads "Pvt. George Cropp."


~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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