IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
updated 08/03/2018

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 D-E

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. 


Dalton, Milo
Job Dalton and Mary Jane “Polly” Meeker were married at her father’s house in Smthville, Chenango County, New York, on September 5, 1838. Milo, the fourth of their eight children, was born in the county on August 26, 1844. By 1852 the family had immigrated to Iowa.

The 1860 census for Cass Township in Clayton County indicates that forty-three-year-old Job was working as a cooper while Polly had her hands full with the household. Their oldest daughter, Ann, had married James Roe the previous year, but the other seven children were still at home with Milo and John working as farmers and Melissa teaching. The four youngest children ranged in age from five to thirteen.

The following year, on April 12th, Confederate guns under General Beauregard fired on Fort Sumter. War followed and, on November 4th of that year, twenty-year-old John Dalton enlisted in Iowa’s 16th infantry regiment. He was discharged on July 10, 1862 and on August 13th, at Strawberry Point, Milo enlisted in Company B of the states’s 21st infantry. Three days later they were ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin just south of Eagle Point in Dubuque where, on September 9th, they were mustered into federal service. Milo was a 5' 4½” eighteen-year-old with no military training. One writer said, “from reveille at 5:00am to taps at 8:45pm, when not eating or standing guard, men drilled and performed fatigue duty followed by more drill and more fatigue.” This was important, said William Crooke, since "habits of obedience had to be formed, and these to men in the ranks were doubtless the most irksome of all." Another writer felt, “the rendezvous was so near the men’s homes, that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and friends, were too often present to allow either drill or discipline to any great extent.”

Drilled or not, on September 16, 1862, on board the Henry Clay, they left for war. One night was spent on Rock Island before they resumed their trip, debarked at Montrose, traveled by rail to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and continued to St. Louis where they arrived on the 20th. The next night, they boarded cars of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad and traveled to Rolla, a town of about 600 residents. From there they walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville and then, after a wagon train was attacked on November 24th, back to Houston. That’s where they were on January 9, 1863, when word was received that Confederate troops were advancing toward Springfield. A relief force was quickly assembled with Milo being one of twenty-five volunteers from Company B. On the 10th, they camped along Wood’s Fork of the Gasconade River and the next morning they realized a large enemy force was camped nearby. After early skirmishing, both sides moved into Hartville where a day-long battle was fought with light casualties.

Milo continued with the regiment throughout the balance of its service in Missouri and was with his Iowa comrades when they marched into the town of Ste. Genevieve on March 11th. From there, at the start of the North’s successful Vicksburg campaign, they were transported south to Millken’s Bend on the west side of the Mississippi River where a special muster on April 10th indicated Milo and numerous others were present, but sick. Despite that, Milo was well enough to continue with the regiment when it left camp two days later and started a difficult movement south along dirt roads, across bayous and through swamps west of the river. On the 30th, they crossed to Bruinsburg, Mississippi, and the next day Milo participated with his regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson. During the balance of the campaign Milo was present when the regiment was held out of action during the Battle of Champion’s Hill, but participated in an assault at Vicksburg on May 22nd and in the ensuing siege, serving part of the time as a company cook. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4th and the next day he was with the regiment when it moved east in pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston and during a siege of the city of Jackson.

On their return they reached Vicksburg on July 23rd and on the 24th made camp next to a levee for a well-earned respite almost three months after their crossing to Bruinsburg. On August 13th, men able for duty boarded the Baltic and headed downstream, but Myron Knight, Milo Dalton and several others were sent to the hospital. On the 19th, on board the hospital steamer City of Memphis and suffering from chronic diarrhea, Milo died, one of sixty-four in the regiment to die from the illness. The location of the steamer on the 19th and the place of his burial are not known. His personal effects were inventoried and stored in St. Louis for subsequent distribution. The regiment was in Louisiana on October 2nd when Jim Bethard, a private in Company B, wrote to his wife, Caroline (Rice) Bethard, and told her “we got the news yesterday evening of Milo Daltons death we left him sick on the hospital boat at Vicksburg I don’t know whether he died there or whether he had been sent up the river.”

Milo’s brother, William, was too young to serve during the war. He married Lucy Ball in 1872 and they made their home in Taylor County, Iowa. When their first son was born three years later, they named him Milo.

Twenty-seven years after their son’s death, Milo’s parents were living in the town of Bedford in Taylor County on August 27, 1890, when Polly applied for a Dependent Mother’s Pension pursuant to an act adopted by Congress two months earlier. Seventy-one years old, she said Milo had left no widow or children under sixteen and she had no means of support except her own manual labor. Her application was witnessed by her daughter and son-in-law, Mary Ameline (Dalton) and Charles Engstrom, and the application was filed by Fred Mack, a pension and bounty attorney with offices at 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

James Noble and W. H. Russell signed a supportive affidavit saying Job and Polly had no property or means of support “except the small amount her husband can earn by manual labor which is not nearly enough to support him” and Polly had to go to friends for her support. Another affidavit was signed by John Inger and Victor Balluff who said Milo had never married and had left no widow or children. It took a year and a half, but Polly’s claim was finally approved on February 9, 1892, and on the 26th a certificate was mailed entitling her to $12.00 monthly, payable quarterly through the Des Moines Pension Agency. She died on March 31, 1898, and was buried a few miles to the south in New Hope Cemetery north of Gaynor, Missouri.

On April 9th, eighty-one-year-old Job applied for a Dependent Father’s Pension. Dr. Henry Dunlavy testified he had been present when Polly died, Lewis Lawton said he had been present when Jobe and Polly were married, and her brother Josephus Meeker said he too had been present at the wedding and testified that Job and Polly had lived as husband and wife. With the application lagging, Job asked that evidence in his wife’s file be considered in his case and submitted an affidavit saying Milo had served in no other military unit. On November 29th, three more affidavits were signed. Frank Arthaud, a notary public, submitted an affidavit saying he had examined the family Bible that said “Milo Dalton was born McDonough Chenango Co. N.Y. August 26" 1844,” while Dr. Dunlavy and R. F. Larison testified that Job had no assets or income and was living with family members. The claim was approved and, on February 25, 1900, a certificate was mailed entitling Job, like Polly, to $12.00 monthly.

Job died on July 15, 1902, at the home of Mary Ameline and her husband in Marshall Township northeast of Bedford and was buried next to his wife in New Hope Cemetery. An obituary in the Bedford Times-Republican said he and Polly had eight children, six of whom survived him. “In his early married life he professed faith in Christ, and united with the Missionary Baptist church, and remained a faithful member to the end.” Funeral services were conducted at the New Hope Church by Rev. A. W. Loudy. “A good man has fallen,” he said, “but he shall rise in the bright eternity.”


Daniels, Thomas W.
Thomas W. Daniels was born in England and was a twenty year old farmer with a McGregor address when, during the Civil War, he was enlisted in the Union army on August 15, 1862, by postmaster Willard Benton. Many who enlisted at McGregor lived on nearby farms and merely went into town to enlist. For Thomas, however, the inventory of his effects indicated, correctly, or incorrectly, that he was actually a resident of the town.

On August 22nd, with eighty-six men, officers and enlisted, they were mustered in as Company G with Benton as Captain. On September 9, 1862, with nine other companies, they were mustered into federal service as the 21st Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The Company Muster-in Roll said Thomas was 5' 9" tall with grey eyes, red hair and a light complexion. In heavy rain on September 16th, the regiment left Dubuque crowded onto the Henry Clay and two barges that were lashed to its sides. The steamer was described as being a four-year old 181-foot long, side-wheeler under the command of Captain Stephenson. According to the Dubuque Daily and Weekly Times:

"the poor boys upon the Henry Clay did not have even as comfortable accommodations as the horses upon the boiler deck. Absolutely there was not roof enough on the boat to shelter them all from the storm."

Low water at Montrose forced them to transfer to railroad cars while the barges were cast off and floated downstream. The next day, at Keokuk, they were reunited on the larger Hawkeye State of the Northern Line Packet Company and left for St. Louis.

Thomas was present and continued with the regiment when it traveled from St. Louis by rail to Rolla and, from there, walked south to Salem, Houston and Hartville. When a wagon train bringing supplies from the Rolla railhead was attacked in November, Colonel Merrill decided the trains were too exposed to the enemy and moved the regiment back to Houston. From there they moved south to West Plains and then northeast through Thomasville and Eminence.

On February 28th, at Iron Mountain, Thomas was one of many who were sick in quarters, but he was with the regiment when it left Ste. Genevieve on April 1st, was transported downstream, debarked at Milliken' s Bend, walked and waded south through swamps and bayous west of the river, and crossed to Bruinsburg on April 30, 1863. The plantation at Bruinsburg had once been the site of a small trading post established by then future President Andrew Jackson, but now had little more than two or three deserted houses and, by 1865, even its landing would cease to exist.

As the Vicksburg Campaign continued, Thomas participated in the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1st, an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River on May 17th, an assault at Vicksburg on May 22nd and the lengthy siege that followed until the city surrendered on July 4th. Thomas was not among the thirty-one killed in action, thirty-four who suffered fatal wounds and one hundred who were wounded less severely during the campaign but, by the end of August, he was seriously ill.

While being taken north with many others for better treatment, he died on board the hospital boat R. C. Wood on August 16, 1863. Previously known as the City of Louisiana, it had carried Lincoln and Douglass from their 1858 debate in Quincy to Alton, had been chartered as a hospital boat in 1862, and had changed its name in 1863. Thomas was one of at least sixty-five men who died from chronic diarrhea while still on the regiment's muster rolls. Many others were discharged for the same illness. He had been paid through the end of June, left no personal effects, and was buried in the Memphis National Cemetery, Plot A, 2220.


Dewey, Perry
In 1824, twenty-one year old Lester Dewey, an early settler, purchased property in Chautauqua County, New York. On March 23rd of the following year, he and Fanny Patterson were married. Records indicate that Perry Dewey, born in November 1829, was the third of their eight children, all born in the area of what would, in 1832, be organized as the town of Sherman.

In April 1852, Perry married Sarah McGill, but Sarah died less than a year later and was buried in Sherman’s Pleasant View Cemetery. On July 4, 1854, Perry married Matilda Bigelow. Their son, Squire J. Dewey, was born in Chautauqua County in August 1855.

This was a time of great emigration westward. Clayton County’s 1856 population of 15,187 included only 2,567 natives of Iowa. Another 1,722 were from New York and it was about this time that Perry, Matilda and their young son emigrated. By the time their daughter, Sarah Dewey, was born on February 8, 1859, the family was living in Iowa.

At Strawberry Point on July 29, 1862, Perry Dewey was enrolled as a 3rd Corporal in the Union army by local dentist Charles Heath. The muster-in roll for Company B listed Perry’s age as thirty-two, occupation farmer and residence Strawberry Point. He was described as being five feet nine inches tall with a dark complexion, black hair and brown eyes. When ten companies were of sufficient strength, they were mustered in at Dubuque on September 9, 1862, as the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry. Others in the regiment who were born in Chautauqua County included Gilbert Cooley, William Wallace Farrand, Tyler Featherly, Abel Griffin, William Hall, Norman Scofield and Henry Howard.

After brief training at Camp Franklin during which many contracted measles, those able to travel left Dubuque on September 16, 1862, crowded “like sardines” on the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay. Due to low water at Montrose, they were forced to debark and finish their trip to St. Louis on the Hawkeye State. After one night at Benton Barracks, they traveled by rail to Rolla and, from there, walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville and back to Houston where, for a short time, Perry was reported as “sick.”

Leaving Houston on January 27, 1863, they walked south to West Plains and then angled to the northeast, passed through Thomasville and Eminence, and reached Iron Mountain on February 26th. There, on March 1st, Perry was promoted by Colonel Merrill to 4th Sergeant to fill a vacancy created by the promotion of McGregor resident David Drummond to 2nd Sergeant. They reached Ste. Genevieve on March 11th and, from there, were transported down the Mississippi River to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was assembling a large army for the purpose of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg.

Assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand, they walked along roads and waded through bayous west of the river until April 30th when they crossed to the east bank at Bruinsburg, Mississippi. As the point regiment for the entire army, Iowa’s 21st Infantry led a movement inland, fought a one-day battle at Port Gibson on May 1st, led an assault at the Big Black River on May 17th, participated in an assault at Vicksburg on May 22nd, and was on the siege line around the rear of Vicksburg until its surrender.

On the afternoon of July 3d, Confederate General Pemberton met with General Grant under an oak tree on the Jackson Road. An armistice was declared until 10:00pm when formal surrender terms would be communicated by Grant. With the lull in fighting came another round of promotions in Company B as Leroy Parker was promoted to 6th Corporal, William Robbins to 5th Corporal, James Adams to 4th Corporal, John Farrand to 3d Corporal, Abe Treadwell to 4th Sergeant, Perry Dewey to 3rd Sergeant, Brad Talcott to 2d Sergeant and George Purdy to 1st Sergeant.

Vicksburg was formally surrendered on July 4th and, the next day, the regiment left with General Sherman in pursuit of Confederate General Johnston to Jackson, but Perry did not go with them. On July 14th, suffering from chronic diarrhoea, he was granted a 30-day furlough to go north and, on the 15th, Myron Knight noted in his diary that “Sarg. Dewey and W. S. Warner started home on furloughs - sent letter by them.” Still at home a month later, Perry received an affidavit from Strawberry Point surgeon Alexander Wiltse on August 10th saying that Perry “is unfit to travel or perform military duty by reason of Chronic Diarhea and general debility” and would “not be able to join his rigament in the next 30 days.”

As the weeks passed without his return, Jim Bethard, a comrade in Company B, noted that “Perry Dewry is also at home yet.” Finally, on October 26th, Perry reported to the Provost Marshal seeking transportation back to the regiment. Although arresting Perry as a “straggler” (one late returning from furlough), the Provost Marshall noted that Perry “has been prevented from returning by sickness and is worthy of great lenity.” Perry was then hospitalized in a Davenport general hospital. After returning to the South, he was again hospitalized, this time in New Orleans. He rejoined the regiment on June 18, 1864, when it arrived in New Orleans after service along the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Perry remained with the regiment for its ensuing service in Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. During the spring of 1865 the regiment participated in a campaign to occupy the city of Mobile. On February 22, 1865, while the regiment bivouacked on Dauphin Island at the entrance to Mobile Bay, Perry was treated for erysipelas, a potentially fatal bacterial illness. Although not capable of regular duty, he remained with the regiment as it moved north along the east side of Mobile Bay, occupied Mobile, and camped at Spring Hill where he was returned to duty. He then remained with the regiment until it was mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15th.

During its service, the regiment had participated in numerous skirmishes, assaults and battles and suffered significant casualties. Perry was present and presumably participated in all or most of them, including the Vicksburg campaign when casualties were the heaviest, but his Descriptive Book, which would normally reflect his participation, makes no mention of any involvement.

After being discharged at Clinton on July 24th, Perry returned to Strawberry Point. Still in New York, his mother died in Sherman in 1870 and his father in 1872. A brother, Talcott Dewey, died in Strawberry Point in 1874. In 1892, Perry was living in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, when he applied for an invalid pension. He was awarded $8.00 monthly, payable quarterly, due to his continuing war-related medical problems. By 1903, he had moved again, this time to Butte, Nebraska, where, on December 14th, he applied for a pension increase.

Two months later Matilda died and was buried in Butte Cemetery. Seventy-six-year-old Perry was receiving a $12.00 pension when he died on March 21, 1906. He too was buried in Butte Cemetery. Their son, Squire, died in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1934, and their daughter, Sarah (Dewey) McMath, in Butte in 1946.


Donahue, Dan
Military records indicate that Dan Donahue (also erroneously listed as Donnahue, Dunhue and Donehew) was born in Madison (town or county), New York.

During the Civil War he enlisted at McGregor on August 14, 1862, in a company then being organized by postmaster Willard Benton. The company was mustered in as Company G on August 22d and, with nine other companies, was mustered into service as the 21st Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry on September 9, 1862.

At the time of his enlistment, Dan said he was a 23-year-old unmarried man working as a steward, or porter, possibly on one of the river steamers then frequenting the town. His age on subsequent documents does not correlate with this and his actual age cannot be verified. He was described as being 5 feet 7¼ inches tall with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion. Like others, he was paid $25.00 of the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 premium. He would receive a $13.00 monthly salary as a Private and the $75.00 balance of the bounty on completion of his service with an honorable discharge.

The regiment started south from Dubuque on September 16th, spent one night in St. Louis, traveled by rail to Rolla, Missouri, and saw early service in Rolla, Salem and Houston. By November, they were based in Hartville and dependent on wagon trains to bring supplies from the railhead in Rolla. One such train, fully loaded and accompanied by guards, was nearing Hartville when it camped on the night of November 24, 1862 along Beaver Creek. They were just finishing dinner when attacked by mounted rebels. Volga City’s George Chapman was just leveling his musket, preparing to fire, when “three balls pierced his breast” and killed him instantly. Two others suffered wounds that would prove fatal, three suffered non-fatal wounds and thirteen were captured, but four others escaped, made it to Hartville and sounded the alarm. A relief force was quickly organized and, said Captain Benton, left on "a forced march from Hartsville [sic] Mo to Beaver Creek Mo. a distance of about 15 miles in about two hours time. In doing so had to ford streams of cold water in some places waist deep getting thoroughly wet" and the exertion of the march coupled with "sleeping on the damp ground" made things worse. Dan Donahue was one of those who rushed to the scene of the attack and one of many who contracted a severe cold.

Colonel Sam Merrill soon moved the regiment back to the more defensible Houston and, while there, thirty-five men whose disabilities made them unfit for further service were discharged in anticipation of the regiment's next move. Dan wasn’t discharged, but he was too ill to travel and stayed in Houston when his comrades left for West Plains on January 27, 1863.

By April he had rejoined his regiment. During the Vicksburg Campaign, he was with the regiment when it crossed the Mississippi on April 30th and led the march inland as the point regiment for General Grant's 30,000 man Union army. He participated in the daylong Battle of Port Gibson on May 1st and was with it when it was held in reserve on May 16th at Champion’s Hill. They next day their brigade was at the front of the army when they encountered entrenched Confederates guarding an impressive railroad bridge across the Big Black River. With the 21st and 23rd Iowa infantries leading an assault, they quickly overwhelmed the enemy, but casualties were heavy - seven killed during the assault, eighteen who would soon die from their wounds, and another thirty-eight with non-fatal wounds.

Dan was among the wounded. A musket ball that passed through the calf on his left leg damaged two muscles and impaired the Achilles tendon. The regiment soon moved on to Vicksburg to take its place on the siege line slowly encircling the rear of the city, but Dan was among the sick and wounded who were left behind for treatment in field hospitals. When access was gained to the Mississippi north of the city, hospital boats carried them to general hospitals farther north. On June 13, 1863, Dan was one of nine men from the regiment who were on board the army’s City of Memphis when it reached Memphis. He was admitted to the Adams General Hospital and there he would remain as a patient and occasional nurse for almost two years until, on May 13, 1865, he was finally discharged from the military.

He returned to McGregor and, on June 9, 1865, applied for a government pension based on the debilitating effects of the wound that hindered his ability to perform manual labor. Representing him was McGregor attorney Thomas Updegraff. Signing as witnesses to the pension application were A. J. Jordan (an attorney) and Tim Hopkins (previously discharged from the 21st Infantry and now a Captain of the city's National Guards), while McGregor's Judge Baugh, an ex officio clerk of the court, notarized their signatures. A supportive affidavit was signed by Dan's former captain, Willard Benton, and by the regiment's colonel, Sam Merrill, who had been seriously wounded in the same assault at the Big Black River. Dan was granted a $2.00 monthly pension.

Seeking an increase, he was examined by John Low, a McGregor surgeon, who said Dan's disability "now consists in the want of power to contract & relax the two muscles that go to make up the calf The power to bend the foot at the ankle is very limited Long-continued walking is impossible." Despite his disability, no increase was granted.

Dan was still living in McGregor when he crossed the river and, on August 4, 1868, was married to twenty-five year old Adaline H. Edwards by a minister of the gospel in Prairie du Chien. Four years later, they were living in Omaha, Nebraska, when Dan, in 1872, again sought an increase in his pension. His payments had increased to $4.00, but he felt he was entitled to more. Still unable to do manual labor, he worked at various times as a watchman in a hotel, in a warehouse, and for the Union Pacific Railroad.

On December 8, 1880, a daughter, Blanche G. Donahue, possibly their only child, was born. Dan continued to submit results from numerous medical examinations and affidavits from friends and neighbors, but it would be several more years before an increase was granted to $8.00 monthly. In 1890 he applied again, this time indicating for the first time that, in addition to the leg wound for which he was already pensioned, he was also suffering from a kidney disease that he attributed to the effects of the forced march from Hartville to Beaver Creek twenty-eight years earlier. Numerous doctors signed affidavits confirming Dan's mounting medical problems.

As previously, Dan received support from Willard Benton, from a friend who said Dan's work was limited to that of a watchman, in both McGregor and Omaha, and from neighbors who knew him well. With nothing in his military records relating to his latest ailments, Dan's application was denied. He appealed the decision and his appeal was still pending when he died on October 7, 1892 from complications stemming from long-standing diabetes. He was buried in Omaha's Forest Lawn Cemetery.

The following week, Adaline applied for a widow's pension and a pension for Blanche who was only eleven years old when her father died. After submitting a certified copy of her marriage record and affidavits from friends who knew this was her only marriage, that she and Dan had lived as husband and wife and that she had not remarried, she was awarded a $12.00 monthly pension. Another $2.00 monthly provided for Blanche would continue until her sixteenth birthday. Adaline remained in Omaha for several years, but eventually moved to the Soldiers' & Sailors' Home in Burkett, Nebraska. There, on November 4, 1928, Adeline died. She is buried with Dan in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Omaha.


Drake, Philander N.
Philander N. Drake was born in/about 1824 in Oswego, New York, but was living in McGregor, Iowa, when he was enrolled by Willard Benton in what would be Company G of the state's 21st volunteer infantry. At age thirty-eight, he was described as being five feet, seven inches, tall with blue eyes, a light complexion and light-colored hair; occupation, carpenter.

He enlisted at McGregor as a Private on August 14, 1862 and was mustered into the company on August 22nd. Initial training was at Camp Franklin in Dubuque and, on Tuesday, September 9, 1862, the regiment was mustered in with a total complement of 985 men, officers and enlisted. On the 15th, Philander was assigned to duty as a wagoner. The next day, the regiment walked through the city and, in a heavy rain, boarded the steamer Henry Clay, a four-year old 181-foot long, sidewheel steamer with two barges lashed to its sides.

From Dubuque the regiment went to St. Louis. After an overnight stay and an inspection at Benton Barracks, they marched into the city and, on the night of September 21st, boarded railroad cars usually used for freight and livestock. When the train left the depot about midnight, the air was cold and men huddled under blankets as they sped along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad to its western terminus at Rolla. From there they walked south to Salem and Houston. By the time they arrived on November 4th (a contrary account indicating they arrived on the 5th was written twenty-nine years later and conflicts with contemporaneous accounts) five men had already been discharged, three had been transferred, three had deserted and four had died from disease. Philander was one of many who was sick and hospitalized.

Recovering his health, he was released soon thereafter and was present with the regiment on May 1, 1863 when it participated in the Battle of Port Gibson, May 17th when it assaulted the enemy at the Big Black River bridge, and during the siege of Vicksburg and a subsequent siege at Jackson.

By the end of October 1863, he was again ill and this time was confined in a newly organized Convalescent Camp at Carrollton, Louisiana, while the regiment participated in an expedition into the bayou country west of the Mississippi. Philander was still recovering his health when, in late November, the regiment was ordered to the Gulf Coast of Texas. On December 3, 1863 he rejoined the regiment, then at Matagorda Island where religious services found new converts as a revival swept the regiment "awakening sinners to repentance."

The enemy kept its distance, while Union soldiers were moved to various locations along the coast and, when not building breastworks, enjoyed fishing in the Gulf and searching for shells they could send home to family members. Carried either by soldiers going home on furlough or shipped through the Adams Express Company or regular mail, they were sometimes delivered to Odell and Updegraff, a McGregor law firm where families living on local farms could call for them. Unfortunately, said one of Philander’s comrades, the shells were often "broke all to smash" by the time they arrived.

Brutal winds, "Northers," sweeping in from the south exposed men to extremely cold winter weather, Philander again became ill and, in late February 1864, it was ordered that he be transferred to an Invalid Corps for such duty as his health would permit.

After his discharge, he returned to his home in McGregor. Philander had been a Private in Company G while David Drummond had risen to 2nd Lieutenant in Company B. Like Philander, David was a carpenter, having learned the trade in Scotland before immigrating to the United States. On March 26, 1870, they jointly applied for a patent for an invention they said would improve splint-planes, or slat-cutters, used by carpenters "in cutting thin strips or slats for rustic shades, and other purposes." Their invention was approved and, on September 27, 1870, Letters Patent were issued by the federal government.

Philander eventually moved to South Dakota where he became an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was living in the Soldiers' Home at Hot Springs, South Dakota, when he died in 1899 at seventy-six years of age. He is buried in the State Veterans Home Cemetery, Hot Springs.


Drummond, David
The late 1840s were a time of massive emigration from Europe. Revolutions in 1848 swept through France, Germany and many other European countries. Carl Schurz was one of the German revolutionaries who felt compelled to leave his home in Germany and flee to the United States where he fought in the Civil War, was elected to the U.S. Senate and later became Secretary of the Interior, but most were more like John Rogman and John Baade. Both were from the Mecklenburg area of northern Germany, immigrated to Clayton County, worked as farmers, and served in the 21st Regiment of Iowa's Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

Ireland's well-known potato famine that started in 1845 and lasted for six years caused massive emigration from that country. At least forty-seven men who served in the regiment had emigrated from Ireland, many to Clayton County. The famine, although less severe in Scotland, also caused many Scots to emigrate. On April 4, 1849, the Clydesdale Company was formed in Scotland with the purpose of acquiring land in the United States where members, "by means of the united capital and industry of its partners" could make "a comfortable home for themselves and families."

David Drummond, one of the original members of the Clydesdale Company, was born in Glasgow, a city on the River Clyde, on September 9, 1820, and it was in Glasgow where he married Margaret Stevens and where a son, also named David, was born on September 25, 1849. The following year the Drummond family and others from the company immigrated to Clayton County. Three more children (Margaret on June 23, 1852, Elizabeth on February 9, 1856, and another who has not been identified) were born after their arrival.

In the pre-war years David worked as a carpenter in McGregor and, on August 8, 1862, he was enrolled as a 4th Sergeant in a company then being raised by English immigrant William Crooke. The company was mustered in as Company B on August 18, 1862. When all ten companies were of sufficient strength, they were mustered in at Dubuque as the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry on David’s forty-second birthday, September 9, 1862. On September 16th they left Dubuque and started downstream on board the steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides. Three months later they were in Houston, Missouri, when, on December 23, 1862, Margaret gave birth to their fifth child, a daughter named Lillie Gertrude.

David was promoted to 2nd Sergeant and then, when Barney Phelps resigned, to 2nd Lieutenant after Captain William Crooke vouched for his "faithfulness and abilities" and certified that David "does not use intoxicating liquors to such an extent as to interfere with his duties." David was a well-liked and competent officer but, on April 28, 1864, was arrested "for disobedience of orders and gross and wilful neglect of duty as Officer of the Guard." Six days later, due to the uncertainty of the charge, he was released and the arrest was revoked on orders from headquarters, although any future carelessness or neglect of guard duty "will be visited with severity on the offender."

Before going south and knowing he would be leaving his young children and a pregnant wife behind and that he might not return, David had put all their assets in his wife's name. In 1864 Margaret became seriously ill and, on June 20th, while stationed in New Orleans, David requested leave after being:

"credibly informed that my wife is in very feeble health - in fact - that she can only live a short time. I have five children, the eldest of whom is only 14 years of age. They have no relatives in this country, if their mother dies will be entirely helpless. I desire to see my wife once more -I desire to provide for the future of my children."

With David then in command of the company and there being a scarcity of officers present and able for duty, leave was denied. On July 25th, a McGregor friend, George Colgate, wrote directly to Secretary of State William Seward "to intercede with you for your influence in favor of Lieut David Drummond." Margaret, he said, "will not likely live but a few weeks under her wasting disease, he has a large family of children, besides which his small means are all in his wife's name.” David, he said, was "on the point of resigning his place simply because of his great despair to see his wife."

On August 17th, 1st Lieutenant George Crooke, wrote to Major C. T. Christensen on David's behalf. He had seen Margaret in May when she was already "prostrated by sickness, and confined to her room & couch." Her disease was "rapid consumption." David also wrote and again begged leave for "the privilege of seeing my wife." Finally, on August 25th, at Headquarters of the Military Division of West Mississippi in New Orleans, by order of Major General E. R. S. Canby, "leave of absence for twenty (20) days with recommendation of the Adjutant General of the Army for an extension of twenty (20) days" was granted. At the time of the order, the regiment was camped among an estimated 20,000 soldiers along the Mississippi River at Morganza, north of New Orleans. On August 28th, David was relieved from duty and immediately started the thousand mile journey north to McGregor.

He made it in time to see his wife, but her health had not improved. David requested another twenty days and, on September 14th, a Special Order from the War Department in Washington granted his request. On September 29, 1864, Margaret died. She is buried in McGregor's Pleasant Grove Cemetery. [gravestone photo] Understandably, David was late returning to his regiment which, by then, was stationed on the White River in Arkansas. He arrived on October 21st, had fourteen days' pay deducted from his monthly salary, and served the balance of his enlistment without incident. They were mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15th and discharged at Clinton on July 24th.

On August 23, 1865, David Drummond, married nineteen year old Abbie Baily in Waukon. They would have five children -Charles Willis, Florence Myra, Andrew Bailey and two others who have not been identified.

David resumed work as a carpenter and ''pattern maker" in McGregor. On January 18, 1870, he was granted federal Patent No. 98,933 for an improvement to screw-drivers. David and Philander Drake, who had served in Company G and was also a McGregor carpenter, jointly applied on March 26, 1870 for a patent for an invention they said would improve splint-planes, or slat-cutters, used by carpenters "in cutting thin strips or slats for rustic shades, and other purposes." Their invention was approved and, on September 27, 1870, Patent No. 107,765 was issued.

In about 1874, the Drummond family moved to Dubuque where David joined the A. Y. McDonald Mfg. Co., a company still in existence. Andrew McDonald, like David, was born in Glasgow and immigrated to Iowa. After serving in the state's 1st Infantry, he was enrolled as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company G of the 21st Infantry, was wounded during the Vicksburg Campaign, promoted to 1st Lieutenant, mustered out with the regiment, and returned to Dubuque. Like David, he had secured two patents, both for improvements to wrenches.

On August 7, 1889, still working with McDonald Mfg., David applied to the government for an invalid pension due to an injury that he said was incurred in the line of duty, a claim ultimately accepted by the government despite the circumstances (i.e. "while engaged in a friendly scuffle & wrestle with Frank Aldrich a member of said Co. 'B' he threw me down on a cartridge box and bayonet which was lying on the ground"). David had injured his left shoulder and arm "and carried his hand afterwards with great pain & unfitted him to a great extent in using said arm & he has never recovered from said injury. " David worked for his fellow Glaswegian at McDonald Mfg. for nineteen years, but failing health eventually forced him to retire. On February 4, 1898, David died at his home, 83 Caledonia Place, Dubuque, after suffering from paralysis for the previous three years. Three days later he was buried with Margaret in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

He was survived by Abbie who married Amariah Shaffer in 1923. They were divorced in 1925 and, later that year, Abbie married Handy B. Clark. Handy died on August 9, 1926 and Abbie, at eighty-two years of age, died on August 29, 1928. They're buried in the Iowa veterans Home Cemetery, Marshalltown.


Dunn, George Truman
George Truman Dunn was born on June 25, 1836, in Yates County, New York. On December 13, 1860, twenty-four-year-old George and twenty-year-old Isabell N. Clark were married by a Baptist minister near the Yellow River in Allamakee County. On August 11, 1862, he was enrolled in the military at Hardin by William Crooke, a McGregor attorney. George was described as being twenty-six years old, 6' 1¾” tall, with brown hair, brown eyes and a light complexion; occupation farmer. Like other volunteers, he was paid a $25.00 advance on the $100.00 enlistment bounty and a $2.00 premium. On August 16th they were ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, on August 18th they were mustered in as Company B and on September 9th ten companies were mustered in as the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry.

Brief, relatively ineffective, training was received as officers, most of whom had no military experience, tried to teach the mostly-young farmers how to be soldiers. 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.” While men may have learned that military life would be decidedly different than what they enjoyed at home, they were not drilled, said one writer, due to the fact that “the rendezvous was so near the men’s homes, that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and friends, were too often present to allow either drill or discipline to any great extent. But, whatever the cause, the main fact is, the regiment was not drilled at Camp Franklin.”

Clothing usually included an overcoat, uniform coat, pants, blankets, shoes, hat, two sheets, a cap, two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, a shirt and a blouse but, depending on availability, this was not always consistent. Normal accouterments were a rubberized blanket, mess kit, knapsack, haversack and leather cartridge box containing forty of "Uncle Sam's Little Blue Pills,” aka “Forty Dead Men,” aka “secession pills.”

On a rainy September 16th, they crowded on board the Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started downstream. After one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla and then walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville and back to Houston. On January 11, 1863, George was one of 262 volunteers from the regiment who engaged in a one-day battle at Hartville. Three were killed in action, one suffered fatal wounds and at least thirteen had wounds that were less serious.

George maintained his health better than most and was working as a company cook as they continued their service in Missouri. They went south to West Plains and then started a long march to the northeast. On February 11, 1863, they were between Thomasville and Ironton when George’s wife gave birth to a daughter, Isabelle L. Dunn. The regiment reached Ironton on the 21st and Ste. Genevieve on March 11th. From there they traveled by river steamer, south to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a large army for an upcoming Vicksburg Campaign. On April 16, 1863, the regiment was at Cholula, Louisiana, Union gunboats ran past the Vicksburg batteries, and George Dunn’s wife died.

On April 22d, George was granted a thirty-day furlough while the regiment continued south. It crossed the Mississippi on the 30th, fought at Port Gibson and the Big Black River, and took its place on the siege line at the rear of Vicksburg. On June 18th, George rejoined his comrades and delivered a letter that Jim Bethard’s wife sent to her husband. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4th and George Dunn participated with others from the regiment in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson and in a brief siege. After occupying the city, they returned to Vicksburg and rested before going farther south.

On August 22, 1863, they were camped at Carrollton on the outskirts of New Orleans and George’s four-month-old daughter died. She was buried next to her mother in Hardin Cemetery. This time, with his wife and daughter dead, George remained with the regiment. On September 4th, after a “grand review,” the regiment boarded a train in Algiers, headed west and, about midnight, camped east of Brashear City. George Dunn remained behind in a Carrollton convalescent camp, but rejoined the regiment on November 11th. He then continued with the regiment during its subsequent service along the Gulf Coast of Texas and in southwestern Louisiana until detached briefly for service at brigade headquarters. By the end of August, 1864, he was back with the regiment at Morganza Bend and he continued “present” throughout its remaining service in Arkansas and Tennessee and during the Mobile Campaign in Alabama. He was mustered out with other original members of the regiment at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865. After going north on the Lady Gay, they were formally discharged at Clinton on July 24th.

On New Year’s Day, 1867, George married nineteen-year-old Ellen Jane King in Prairie du Chien. They moved frequently thereafter and Ellen gave birth to seven children: Anson, George Lafayette, Celvania Caledonia, Ademla Amelda, Jerome Firman, Emma and May. In 1882 he applied for an invalid pension that was not granted, but he reapplied in July 1891 after an accident. He said he had been working in New Westminster, British Columbia, the previous month when he: “was severely ruptured, so as to incapacitate him from any work, by a waggon falling on him, owing to the breaking of an axle, he the said George T. Dunn being then employed with a party that was hauling cut wood. That the rupture was between the stomach and the navel.”

This time a pension was granted and a certificate issued. From British Columbia, George moved back to Iowa and was admitted to the Soldiers Home in Marshalltown. While living there in 1907, at age seventy, he applied for and was granted an age-based pension, but before long he was again on the move and was soon admitted to the Washington Soldiers Home near Orting while Ellen moved in with their son, Celvania, in British Columbia. From Orting, on April 12, 1915, George answered a government questionnaire and said he had a total of nine children - seven with Ellen and two from his first wife, Isabell and Bartley (who apparently died young). Only Anson, George, Celvania and Ademla were still living.

On July 4, 1919, Ellen left Celvania’s home and moved to Blaine, Washington, where she lived with her daughter, Ademla, and son-in-law, Hy Elmer Chambers. George died on July 26, 1921, and was buried in the Washington Soldiers Home Cemetery in Orting. On October 8th, giving her address as 4443 36th Avenue S.W., Seattle (possibly the home of her son, Jerome), Ellen applied for a widow’s pension.

In 1823, Ademla, in Whatcom County, signed an affidavit saying her mother, “owing to her physical condition,” was unable to sign an affidavit, but that her parents had never divorced and she and her mother had visited with George while he was in the Orting soldiers home and he had visited with Ellen when she was living in British Columbia. Signing for the first time with an “x”, Ellen confirmed their visits and said she was then living with Ademla at the corner of B Street and East Peace Portal Drive in Blaine, Whatcom County. Ellen died in Blaine on December 1, 1932, and was buried in Blaine Cemetery.


Dunn, William C.
William's military records were ordered from the National Archives and Records Administration, but NARA replied on November 20, 2012, that "we are unable to locate the file you requested." It's possible that William's records were misfiled or lost, but there seems to be no doubt that he served in Company G of Iowa’s 21st Regiment of volunteer infantry during the Civil War.

1. The Report of the Adjutant General, Volume I (Des Moines, 1863), indicates William was born in Illinois and was twenty-two years old when he enlisted as a Private at McGregor on August 15, 1862 and was mustered in at Dubuque on August 22, 1862 in Company G.

2. George C. Crooke, The Twenty-First Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry, a Narrative of Its Experience in Active Service (King, Fowle, Milwaukee, WI, 1891), is available online and says William was among those captured on November 24, 1862 when a wagon train traveling from Rolla to Hartville, Missouri, was attacked. The prisoners were stripped of their belongings and paroled on scene to await a rescue by their regiment. He was also listed as participating in the day long Battle of Port Gibson on May 1, 1863, as being present when the regiment was held in reserve during the May 16th Battle of Champion's Hill, and as being in the assault of May 17th at the Big Black River and the assault of May 22 at Vicksburg. He was also listed as participating in the siege at Vicksburg and the Mobile Campaign in Alabama, before being mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.

3. The Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers, Volume III (State Printer, 1911), says William was born in Illinois and enlisted at age twenty-two at McGregor on August 15, 1862. He was mustered into Company G on August 22, 1862 and the state's twenty-first infantry on September 9, 1862, and was mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865.

4. The History of Clayton County, Iowa (Robert O. Law Company, Chicago, 1916) also lists him among members of the 21st Infantry.


Eldridge, Daniel Gilbert
Daniel Gilbert Eldredge was one of two sons of Charles Frederick and Harmony (Vickery) Eldredge who were married in 1819 in Vermont. Daniel was born in Canton, New York, on March 23, 1833. His brother, Joseph E. Eldredge was born on May 15, 1836. Daniel married Margaret Atlee Edwards on December 19, 1834, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Their two children were Gilbert Atlee Eldredge born in 1857 and Adella Eldredge born in 1859. During the early months of the Civil War, twenty-five year old Joseph enlisted on October 15, 1861, in Iowa’s 12th Infantry. He was one of many reported as “missing” at Shiloh, Tennessee, on April 6, 1862, but later rejoined his regiment.

Daniel was twenty-nine years old when he was enrolled by Charles P. Heath at Strawberry Point on August 9, 1862, in Company B of the state’s 21st Infantry. The Company was mustered in at Dubuque on August 18th with a total of ninety-nine men including a Captain, 1st Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, five ranks of Sergeant, and eight ranks of Corporal. The Company Muster-in Roll dated August 18, 1862 indicates that Daniel was enrolled as 1st Corporal, the highest of the Corporal ranks. In lieu of dog tags used in more recent wars, soldiers in the Civil War had a Descriptive Book and Daniel was described as being 5' 7½" tall with blue eyes, fair hair and a light complexion; occupation farmer. On September 9th, the regiment was mustered into service with a total of 985 men, officers and enlisted, on the muster rolls.

To encourage enlistments, federal law provided for a $100.00 enlistment bounty. Initially, it was to be paid when the soldier completed his term but, on July 7, 1862, Congress agreed, at Secretary Seward's request, that $25.00 could be paid in advance, the balance on discharge. "We fail without it," he said, and Secretary of War Stanton agreed. Daniel received the $25.00 and a $2.00 premium; the $75.00 balance of the bounty would be due on completion of a soldier’s honorable service.
After training at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, they started south on September 16, 1862, crowded on board the Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides. Low water at Montrose forced them to debark but, after walking a short distance, they were loaded on board the Hawkeye State and resumed their journey.

They spent one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, walked to the depot on September 21st and, about 9:00 p.m. that night, amid cheers from local residents, boarded railroad cars usually used for freight and livestock. After traveling through the night, they arrived at the railroad's western terminus at Rolla, debarked, and made camp. Water at their initial location "oppressed the senses like the breath of sewers," said George Crooke, the regiment’s postwar biographer, so they soon moved a few miles out of town on the Lebanon Road where there were springs with good water.

In Rolla they engaged in drills while waiting for orders that arrived in mid-October when Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren ordered them to Salem. At 1:30 a.m. on the 18th, drums called assembly and the battalion formed. At 2:00 a.m. they gave three cheers for Camp Dunlap (named for their popular Lieutenant Colonel) and three for the nearby Missouri cavalry as they started a twenty-five mile march in the morning darkness, singing, happy to be on the move, back through Rolla and then southeast on the road to Salem. On the 19th they reached Salem and pitched tents on high ground near one of its many springs.

By November 2nd when they left Salem for Houston, four men had died of illness, four had been discharged, three had been transferred to other regiments, three had deserted, and many more were ill and unable for duty. Daniel had maintained his health well but, on the march to Houston, he too became ill. On arrival he was hospitalized and he was still in the hospital when the regiment left for Hartville on November 13th.

At Hartville the regiment was dependent on supplies brought by wagon train from the Rolla railhead. On November 24, 1862, one such train was attacked, one man was killed and two others suffered wounds that would prove fatal. Realizing the trains were vulnerable, Colonel Merrill moved the regiment back to Houston. Daniel was present in Houston, but the December 31st Company Muster Roll reported that he was still not able for duty. On January 11, 1863, the regiment fought its first battle, a one-day fight back in Hartville, before again returning to Houston. On January 27th, they were on the march again, this time for West Plains near the Arkansas border, but Daniel was still in a Houston hospital. He caught up with the regiment and was marked "present” at Iron Mountain on February 28th, but his illness continued.

Finally, reporting that Daniel had been unfit for duty for more than sixty days, Captain Crooke signed a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on March 8, 1863 and added that Daniel "was always a good intelligent & faithful soldier. He was always a good soldier when in good health." Surgeon William Orr explained that Daniel was suffering from a "chronic inflammation of the spine which has partially deprived him of the use of his legs." On the 16th, Lieutenant Colonel Dunlap signed the discharge noting that Daniel asked to be addressed at York in Delaware County.

Meanwhile, in the 12th Infantry, his brother, Joseph Eldredge, was promoted from Private to 5th Corporal. As the war continued throughout 1863 with no end in sight, many reenlisted as “veterans.” Joseph was one of those who reenlisted in the 12th Infantry. He was remustered on January 5, 1864, and suffered a head wound during the Battle of Nashville on December 15, 1864.

After being discharged for disability from the 21st Iowa, Daniel recovered his health and, on February 16, 1865 enlisted in the 149th Illinois Infantry, a regiment organized for one-year “or the war.”

On June 1, 1864 Joseph was promoted to 3rd Sergeant in the 12th Iowa and on September 17, 1865, Daniel was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in the 149th Illinois. Joseph was mustered out on at Memphis, Tennessee, on January 20, 1866 and, a week later, on January 27th, Daniel was mustered out at Dalton, Georgia.

Their mother died at York, Iowa, on March 4, 1869 and their father at Yankton, South Dakota, on September 7, 1873. They’re buried in Edgewood Cemetery, Edgewood. Daniel’s wife, Margaret, died on May 5, 1875, at forty years of age. She was buried in Manchester’s Oakland Cemetery. The following year, on July 23rd, Daniel married Mary W. Small.

In 1869 Daniel had been a charter member of the First Presbyterian Church in Manchester but, by 1883 they were living in O’Brien County where Daniel was active in the Grand Army of the Republic. At various times he served as Commander of the McKenzie Post, Post 81, of the G.A.R, in Hampton, 165 miles east of Sheldon; as Mustering Officer for the 11th District of Iowa; as a member of the Code of Arms for the Department of Iowa; as a Chief Mustering Officer; as Lieutenant Colonel of the 21st Iowa’s Veterans’ Association; and in other positions.

Joseph died on December 21, 1900 at sixty-four years of age and was buried in Harmony Cemetery, Savonburg, Kansas. Daniel died in April 1915 at age eighty-two and was buried in Oakland Cemetery Manchester, Iowa. His son, Gilbert, died in 1922 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Indiana. His daughter, Adella (Eldredge) McClelland died in 1923 and was buried in Linn Grove Cemetery, Linn Junction, Iowa.

Most military rosters and records erroneously spell their surname as Eldridge.


Eno, Lewis / Louis
In National Archive military and pension records, Mr. Eno is referred to as “Lewis.” A comrade also used the “Lewis” spelling, but may not have known if that was correct. An obituary refers to him as “Louis” which, right or wrong, is used below. Since he signed his own name with an “X,” he may not have known which spelling was correct. Louis was born in Montreal in what was then known as Canada East. From there he moved to New York where, in 1848, he married Eliza (also known as Elisa and Liza) A. Edgley. By the time the Civil War started, they had five children (Charles Louis born January 27, 1850; Josephine born in 1852; Emmy Jane born in 1854; Augustus LaFayette born in 1856; and Hattie M. born in 1858).

Louis was working as a laborer in McGregor when he enlisted on August 5, 1862, in what would be Company B of the 21st Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The company was mustered in on August 18th and the regiment on September 9th. Louis’s Descriptive Book said he was 5 '8" tall and had hazel eyes and brown hair.

In a pension document, Louis said he was born on May 10, 1829. A descendant, said Louis was born May 19, 1827. Another record blends the two and says May 10, 1827. The 1860 Mendon Township census gave his age, apparently erroneously, as twenty-five while the regiment's roster says he was thirty-six when he enlisted. Either date in 1827 would coincide with the age at death as reported in an obituary. If that's correct, Louis would have been thirty-five when he enlisted.

Bimonthly Company Muster Rolls indicate he maintained his health and was present on every roll through February 29, 1864 and, during the Vicksburg Campaign had participated in the battles at Port Gibson on May 1, 1863, and the charge at the Big Black River on May 17, 1863, when he "was slightly wounded in right hand."
While the regiment was stationed in Texas, Louis requested a furlough. With the support of his captain (then William Lyons) and the approval of Colonel Merrill, the brigade's Colonel H. D. Washburn and the division's Fitz-Henry Warren, a furlough of 30 days was approved.

For months the soldiers had enjoyed the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico and wandered its shores. Jim Bethard and his brother-in-law Jim Rice were also in Company B. On April 17, 1864, from Matagorda Island, Texas, Jim Bethard wrote to his wife and said he was "sending a small box of shells by Mr. Eno he has been tenting with Jim and I since we have been on this Island you can safely trust anything with him." The trip north was a long one and, April 29, 1864, almost half way through his furlough, Louis was in Cairo, Illinois, still on the way north.

In May he was promoted to 6th Corporal and started a return to the regiment, while Jim wrote, "I am glad to hear that Mr Eno has been to see you and delivered the shells all right he must be pretty well along on his way back by this time I shall be verry glad to see him." The regiment reached New Orleans about 6:00a.m. on June 18, 1864 and, that afternoon, Jim wrote, "on our arrival we were joined by our furloughed boys Eno. Hayes. and Merriam." In August, Louis was promoted to 5th Corporal.

In February 1865, with warmer weather on the way, Jim sent heavy clothes north and told his wife, "there is one overcoat in the box belonging to Lewis Eno to be delivered to his wife." On March 2d, in Alabama, Louis was detailed for duty with a Pioneer Corps to help build roads through soft ground on the west side of Mobile Bay as they made their way north towards the city of Mobile. On June 18th he returned to the Company and on July 15th he was with it when they were mustered out at Baton Rouge.

After their discharge in Clinton on July 24th, Louis returned to McGregor where he continued to work as a laborer and he and Eliza had three more children (George N. born on June 7, 1866; Anne or Annie E. born in 1868; and Joe born in 1872). In 1875 or 1876, the Enos’ home was burned and, unable to write, Louis had McGregor resident H. W. Burlingame write to the Iowa Adjutant General for a copy of Louis’ discharge papers so he could "get a land warrant with or to aid him in getting a homestead or something of that kind.” “He is poor and totally blind -direct to me," said Burlingame. On January 27, 1879, at age fifty-two, Louis signed, by mark, a Declaration for an Original Pension of an Invalid and said:

"he contracted sore eyes at Matagorda Island Texas in March 1864 while building earth works caused through the sand blowing into them (his eyes) The material of which said works were built was of sand & the weather being very windy, the sand lodged in his eyes and his present physical condition is total blindness & unfit for any labor."

Louis' attorney, Thomas Updegraff, argued that:

"since his discharge he has suffered constantly with 'sore eyes', with increasing disability therefrom during a period of near 12 years ('65 to '77) when the inflamation reached a stage involving complete destruction of the organs of sight."

On February 24, 1915, after sixty-two years of marriage, Eliza died in McGregor. An obituary placed by her husband and children said she had been born in “Prescot, Canada,” in 1831 and was survived by three of her children (Mrs. Annie Bailey, Charley Eno and George Eno) all of McGregor. She was buried in the town’s Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Ten months later Louis was receiving a monthly pension of $100.00 when he died on December 18, 1915. The next day he was buried with Eliza in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. An obituary was published in the North Iowa Times on December 23, 1915.


~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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