IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
updated 10/17/2020

Clayton county Civil War Soldiers

of the

Twenty-first Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry

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

Surnames F-G

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.


Farrand, James Frank
James Frank Farrand, known as Frank to his friends, was born in Ogle County, Illinois, but by the time of the 1860 census was living in Strawberry Point. Two years later, with the Civil War in its second year, he enlisted at Gem (in northeastern Marion Township) on August 13, 1862, in Company B of Iowa’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. The Muster-in Roll said he was twenty years old, 5' 9¼” tall with grey eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion.

Joining him in Company B were David Shuck who enlisted at McGregor and Jim Bethard, Jim Rice, Robert Pool and John Mather all four of whom enlisted at Grand Meadow (a post office and rail depot between Luana and Postville). Ranging in age from eighteen-year-old David Shuck to twenty-seven-year-old Robert Pool, the six men were referred to by Jim Bethard as “the Roberts Creek crowd.”

Company B was ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin in Dubuque on August 16th and mustered in on the 18th. On September 9th, with a total of 985 men, ten companies were mustered in as a regiment. On a rainy September 16th, those able for duty crowded on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and started south. After an overnight stop at Rock Island and a subsequent transfer to the more commodious Hawkeye State of the Northern Packet Line, they arrived in St. Louis about 10:00 a.m. on September 20th.

The regiment’s early service was in Missouri. From St. Louis they traveled by rail to Rolla where they camped southwest of town for a month before walking to Salem, Houston, Hartville and, after a wagon train was attacked, back to Houston. Many in the regiment participated in a battle on January 11th in Hartville before again returning to Houston and walking south to West Plains and then northeast to Thomasville, Ironton and Pilot Knob. On March 1, 1863, Jim Bethard wrote to his wife that “James [Rice, her brother], and John [Mather, her cousin] and Frank Farrand and I were on the highest pinacle of the little mountain called Pilot knob from whence we could see in all directions as far as the eye could reach.” Jim wrote again the next day and said, “Frank Farrand gets along verry well he is a good honest boy he minds his own business and has no enemyes that I know of I believe he has never been excused from duty on account of sickness since in the service.”

Frank continued to maintain his health as the regiment moved to Ste. Genevieve and was then transported down the Mississippi to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was assembling a large army to capture Vicksburg. Walking south and roughly paralleling the winding river, they crossed swamps and bayous until reaching Dishroon’s Plantation and, on April 30, 1863, crossing to the east bank at Bruinsburg. By then the health of the regiment had suffered greatly. David Shuck and Robert Pool had both died from typhoid fever and others, including Jim Bethard, were sick and left behind on the west side of the river.

Frank Farrand, Jim Rice and John Mather had crossed with the rest of the regiment and participated in the May 1, 1863, battle at Port Gibson, were present at Champion’s Hill on May 16th when the regiment was held in reserve by General McClernand, and participated in an assault at the Big Black River on May 17th. After burying their dead and caring for the wounded, they moved on to Vicksburg where they participated in an assault on the railroad redoubt on May 22nd and took their place on the siege line behind the city. Jim caught up with the regiment on June 4th and told Caroline, “I found James Rice and Frank Farrand well.” Not mentioned was her cousin, John Mather, who was in a field hospital. On June 19th, John died from the effects of chronic diarrhoea and two days later Jim wrote that, “three of the Roberts creek crowd have now gone to their long homes and three are still spared Jim Rice Frank Farrand and myself I think it is no more than fair that half of the crowd should be spared to return to their homes.”

After the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4th, the regiment participated in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson and in various movements in southwestern Louisiana. In early November they were led on a forced march with big Mike Lawler in command. Prostrated by ague, Jim Bethard was jostled along most of the way in an ambulance while Frank Farrand suffered a severe rupture on his right side and was almost totally disabled. Averaging nearly thirty miles a day with knapsack, rifle, accouterments and forty rounds of ammunition, there was constant griping. Even the popular Lawler shared the criticism as he kept the men moving "as fast as his horse could walk, giving no thought, apparently, to the men behind him, who with blistered feet, many of them barefoot, carrying their shoes, lugged at a quickstep their heavy load."

From late November 1863 to mid-June 1864, they saw service along the Gulf Coast of Mexico with Jim noting that “Frank is the champion checker player in our company.” Texas was followed by service along the Mississippi and the White River in Arkansas. In the spring of 1865 they participated in their last campaign of the war, a campaign to capture the city of Mobile. In February they were transported from New Orleans to Dauphin Island at the entrance to Mobile Bay and camped for a month near Fort Gaines. They then moved up the east side of the bay, occupied Mobile and camped at Spring Hill before returning to New Orleans, performing guard duty, and accepting Confederate surrenders along the Red River. On July 15, 1865, the three surviving members of the “Roberts Creek crowd” were mustered out at Baton Rouge with Frank paying $6.00 so he could retain his Springfield musket, bayonet and military accouterments. On the 16th they started north and on the 24th were discharged from the military at Clinton.

On discharge, they received almost six months of pay plus the $75.00 balance of their enlistment bounties less any amount they may have owed the government for loss of equipment or excessive draws of clothing. Many, often tenant farmers before the war, moved elsewhere and used their money to buy acreage where land was less expensive. Jim Bethard moved to Sigourney to join his wife who had moved there with her parents during the war. Jim Rice moved to Wright County and Frank Farrand moved to Union County in the Dakota Territory. There, on November 25, 1868, he married Hester Ann Heath.

Frank and Hester had at least two children, Almond Bert Farrand born on August 14, 1874, and Eva Farrand born on November 9, 1879. By then the family was living in Covington, Nebraska, with Frank working as a farmer. He applied for and received an invalid pension based on the hernia suffered in Louisiana. Eventually, he said, it became so bad that “at times he is unable to perform any labor on account of said hernia even with the aid of a truss.”

Frank Farrand died on January19, 1884, in Covington and was buried a few miles away in the Dakota City Cemetery.

On June 9, 1884, thirty-three-year old Hester applied for a widow’s pension and a pension for Almond (10) and Eva (5). Witnessing her declaration were her sisters Elizabeth and Nellie (who was married to Leroy Parker who had served with Frank). In October she applied again, this time for her husband’s pension that had accrued but not been paid by the time of his death.

Hester’s son, Bert Farrand, eventually moved farther west and lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Adaline. Hester also moved to Colorado Springs and, nine years later, was living at 212 East Fontanero Street when she died from pneumonia on December 22, 1936, at eighty-six years of age. She was buried in the town’s Evergreen Cemetery. Bert and Adaline died in 1941 and were buried in Evergreen Cemetery on the same day, February 27, 1941.


Farrand, William Wallace
William Wallace Farrand was born in Chautauqua County, New York. On October 22, 1860, in Sugar Grove, New York he married Rhoda A. Loomis. Soon thereafter they moved to Clayton County where, on October 13, 1861, a son, Frank Welsey Farrand was born. The attending physician was J. S. Green of Hardin. Young Frank was only ten months old when, on August 14, 1862, his twenty-four year old father enlisted at McGregor as a 5th Sergeant in what would be Company G of the 21st Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry.

A farmer, William was described as being 5'10" tall with black eyes, black hair and a light complexion. Having moved to Iowa less than two years earlier, now caring for a young child and again being pregnant, Rhoda returned to her home in Harmony, New York, to be with family and friends while her husband was away.

The Company was mustered in on August 22, 1862 and the regiment on September 9, 1862. On September 16th the regiment started south, but William was not with them. He, like many others, had become ill during training and was confined to the post hospital at Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union) in Dubuque. He caught up with the regiment on December 21st while it was stationed in Houston, Missouri.

On January 9, 1863 the regiment was ordered to the relief of Springfield and 262 volunteers from the regiment were quickly organized and on the way with a similar number of Illinois troops and a howitzer. On the 10th they camped a few miles west of Hartville “on a knoll covered with timber and brush, the adjacent farm being then and now known as ‘the widow Morrison’s place’” near Wood's Fork of the Gasconade, "a nice stream of water and plenty of wood for fires." Only a half mile away, the Southern enemy was camped along the same creek paralleling the same road.

The next morning, when bugles were sounded, the two forces became aware of each other, shots were exchanged, and both sides rushed to Hartville with the Confederates taking high ground on the east and Federals occupying a low ridge on the west. The day-long battle ended in a technical draw with the Federals withdrawing to the north and Confederates to the south. Jim Bethard was a private in Company B and wrote to his wife, Carolyn “Cal” Bethard, that “Wallace Farrand,” as he was called by friends, “joined the regiment long before we left Houston and was with us in the Hartsville fight and stood up to the rack like a man.”

On March 21, 1863, in New York, another son was born, a son named William Wallace Farrand in honor of his absent father. By then, the regiment was in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and before long it was moving south through swamps and bayous west of the Mississippi in a Corps led by John McClernand as part of General Grant's massive army with its eye on Vicksburg.

On April 30th they crossed to Bruinsburg on the east bank and, as the point regiment for the entire army, started inland at night. About midnight, they drew first fire from Confederate pickets. After exchanging fire for a short time, both sides rested. They next day they fought what is known as the Battle of Port Gibson, also known as the Battle of Magnolia Church. Three men in the regiment were fatally wounded and at least fourteen others suffered wounds that would not prove fatal.

On May 16th, 1863 they were held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill, although two companies engaged in some light skirmishing after the battle. Having seen light action on the 16th, they were in the front on the 17th when they approached entrenched Confederates guarding the large railroad bridge over the Big Black River. Together with the 23rd Iowa, they led a short, three-minute, assault over open ground directly at the enemy. They routed the Confederates, but suffered heavy casualties (7 killed in action, 18 with mortal wounds and at least 39 with non-fatal wounds). For the next two days they were permitted to rest and care for their casualties.

With Confederates under John Pemberton taking refuge in Vicksburg, Grant quickly built a line around the city from the river in the north to the river in the south. Pressing his advantage, he ordered an assault for May 19th that was unsuccessful. By the 22nd, the regiment had joined other regiments on the line at the rear of Vicksburg. A bombardment started early, watches were synchronized and, at 10:00 a.m., the infantry charged with the 21st Iowa focused on the railroad redoubt, a "steep-sided earthwork with a deep ditch to protect the front and a line of rifle pits in the rear." They performed well and some entered the enemy's works, but again the Confederate defenses held firm. Regimental casualties were 23 killed in action, 12 with mortal wounds and at least 48 with non-fatal wounds. Among the dead was William Wallace Farrand. On June 4th, Jim Bethard wrote to his wife that their friend, “Wallace farrand was killed in a charge on the rebel works here at vicksburg".

In New York, twenty-six year old Rhoda, with two sons, aged 19 months and 2 months, applied for a widow's pension that, on June 14, 1864 was granted at $8.00 per month. On February 8, 1868 it was increased to $12.00 and she was awarded an additional $2.00 monthly that each of the boys would receive until reaching his sixteenth birthday. On March 19, 1885 Rhoda married George Hills, a sixty-three year old stone cutter living in Jamestown, New York, and her widow's pension was terminated. When George died in 1898, Rhoda asked to be restored to the pension rolls and, in July, 1901 it was approved at $12.00 monthly, an amount that had increased to $50.00 monthly by the time of her death in Spring Lake Beach, New Jersey, on October 26, 1928. Frank Wesley Farrand died in 1954 and was buried in Ogallala Cemetery, Keith County, Nebraska.


Farrington, Horace O.
Horace O. Farrington was born on January 24, 1830, in Chester, Windsor County, Vermont.

On August 4, 1862, Strawberry Point resident William Grannis, a storekeeper and one of five musical Grannis brothers who frequently performed concerts in the area, was appointed 1st Lieutenant in an infantry company then being organized in Iowa’s northeastern counties. Still in Strawberry Point on the 11th, he enrolled Horace, a thirty-one-year-old farmer described as being 5' 8½” tall with grey eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.

On August 22, 1862, at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, with a total enrollment, both officers and enlisted, of ninety-seven men, they were mustered in as Company D, one of ten companies that would be mustered in on September 9th as the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. Training, very brief and very ineffective, was received for another week. On the 16th, at the foot of Jones Street, they boarded the Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and left for the South.

After one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they took cars of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad and traveled through the night to its western terminus at Rolla, a town of about 600 residents, where they arrived on September 22nd. When water at their first camp was considered too poor and smelled like the “breath of sewers,” they moved to Sycamore Springs about five miles to the southwest on the Lebanon road.

General Fitz Henry Warren arrived on October 17th and, the next day, the regiment started the first of what would be many long marches. On the 19th they reached Salem and, on November 2nd, resumed their march south, but Horace was hospitalized and left behind with many others. By the time the December 31st roll was taken at Houston, he had caught up but was “sick in quarters.” He was well enough to continue with the regiment for the next several months as they walked from Houston to West Plains, and then northeast to Iron Mountain where Horace was marked “present.” They reached Ste. Genevieve on March 11th and, on April 10th, Horace was again “present” when a special muster was taken at Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a large army to capture the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg.

From the Bend, they walked, rode and waded south along roads, across bayous and through swamps west of the Mississippi River. Grant hoped to cross to the east bank at Grand Gulf but, when Confederate defenses proved too strong, he continued south and, on April 30, 1863, crossed to the Bruinsburg landing. The first regiment to cross was ordered to the hills overlooking the landing so they could sound an alarm if the enemy appeared. The second regiment, the 21st Iowa, was ordered to move inland as the army’s point regiment and to keep moving until they met the enemy.

When advance pickets drew first fire about midnight near the A. K. Schaifer residence, the rest of the regiment hurried to the front. After brief, ineffective, firing, both sides rested but, on May 1, 1863, they fought the daylong Battle of Port Gibson. Concerned they would be trapped in Grand Gulf, Confederates evacuated the city. Union forces moved in while most of the army, including the 21st Iowa, continued to the northeast, but Horace was no longer with them.

In declining health, he had been left behind at Young’s Point during the march south, but now was hospitalized in Grand Gulf. On August 6th he was granted a thirty-day furlough to go north to recuperate, but he failed to return when the furlough expired. On October 26, 1863, an Iowa doctor wrote to Elisha Boardman, Captain of Company D, and said Horace was suffering from chronic diarrhea and intermittent fever, and “I would recommend that his Furlough be extended to cover all time necessary to his return.” Two days later, despite the doctor’s letter, Horace was arrested as a “straggler,” but with a notation that “he has been too ill to return sooner and is deserving of great leniency.”

Horace was admitted to a general hospital at Camp McClellan in Davenport where a December 31, 1863, muster roll said he had been unfit for active field service for a year. Still capable of performing light duty, he was transferred to the Invalid Corps (soon to be renamed the Veteran Reserve Corps). On June 29, 1865, he was discharged from the military at Davenport.

Returning to Strawberry Point, Horace resumed work as a farmer and became an accomplished apiarist. On May 8, 1869, his wife, Leah (Adams) Farrington gave birth to a son, Frederick B. Farrington.

In 1886, Horace applied for an invalid pension and the Pension Office asked the War Department to verify his service. Stragglers, such as Horace, were distinguished from deserters with the former usually referring to men who were late returning to their regiments while the latter referred to men who had intentionally absented themselves from their regiments with no intention to return. Twenty-two years earlier, when Horace was in Davenport, his regiment was in the deep-south, had little information about him and listed him as deserter, something that would bar him from receiving a pension. On May 4, 1887, after reviewing his records, a notation was made that “all charges of desertion in 1863 against his man are removed.”

Horace died on January 16, 1894, and was buried in Strawberry Point Cemetery. The Oelwein Register reported his death: “Horace Farrington of Strawberry Point, a noted bee farmer, was struck by a limb which he was trimming and killed.” Leah applied for and was granted a widow’s pension.

Their son, Frederick, married Nellie M. Fox and they had three children: Lucy M. born in 1895, Horace B. born in 1897, and Grace N. born about 1904. Ten years later, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo and war was declared. On September 4, 1918, with World War I still raging in Europe, Horace B. Farrington enlisted in the army at Elkader, fifty-six years after his grandfather had enlisted at Strawberry Point.

A year later, Private 1st Class Horace B. Farrington was honorably discharged. His mother, Nellie, died in 1941 and his father, Frederick, in 1944. They, like Leah and Horace O. Farrington, are buried in Strawberry Point Cemetery.


Featherly, Tyler D.
In the years preceding the Civil War, Iowa saw a large influx of immigrants. In 1858, Clayton County's 15,187 residents were estimated to include 2,567 natives of Iowa, only 17% of the county's total population. An estimated 1,328 were born in Pennsylvania, 1,545 in Ohio, and 1,722 in New York. Records indicate that Tyler Featherly was born in Chautauqua County, New York, on March 1, 1832. William Farrand, Abel Griffin, William Hall, Norman Scofield, Perry Dewey, Gilbert Cooley, Henry Lewis, George Penhollow, Barney Phelps and others who would be his comrades in Iowa's 21st infantry also said they were born in Chautauqua County.

Tyler said that, on his way west, he married in Ohio on August 17, 1853, before settling in Iowa. In 1861, Confederate cannon fired on Fort Sumter, war followed and, by the fall of 1862, it was obvious that more regiments were needed. President Lincoln called for another 300,000 volunteers with each state being given a quota and Tyler answered the call. On August 14, 1862, he was working as a construction laborer when he was enrolled at McGregor by the town's postmaster, Willard Benton, as a 4th Sergeant in Company G.

In a regiment where the average height was slightly more than 5' 8½", Tyler was described as being 5' 5½'' tall with blue eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion. Like other volunteers, he was paid $25.00 of the $100.00 federal enlistment bounty and a $2.00 premium. The balance of the bounty would be paid on completion of his service.

They were ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin "on a sandy plateau on the bank of the Mississippi" just south of Eagle Point in Dubuque. Here they received their uniforms, muskets, knapsacks and other accouterments, but they were less than pleased. "The regulation uniforms, having been made for regulars, were ill adapted to the robust volunteers from Clayton," said one. "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.”

On August 22nd, the Company was mustered into service with eighty-six members (officers and privates). When all ten companies were of acceptable strength, the regiment was mustered into service on September 9, 1862. On the 16th, crowded on board the paddlewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside, they started south. They went first to St. Louis where they spent one night at Benton Barracks before traveling on the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad to Rolla where they arrived on September 22d. They remained in camp near a spring a few miles southwest of town until October 18th when they started a march south to Salem. They stayed there until November 2d when they were again on the move, this time to Houston, about thirty-five miles to the south.

Houston was safely in Union hands, but they stayed less than two weeks before starting a two-day march to Hartville. On a rainy November 15th they arrived and went into camp. The rain continued on the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th and, by then, Tyler, like so many others, was sick and unable for duty. On the 24th, a wagon train bringing supplies from the railhead in Rolla was attacked and Colonel Merrill decided to move the regiment back to the safer confines of Houston. When the bimonthly company muster roll was taken in Houston on December 31, 1862, Tyler was marked ''present," but still he was not well. In January they were ordered to West Plains, fifty miles to the south. The able-bodied would walk. Some of the sick would accompany them in wagons, but others would remain in a Houston hospital. Some had already died and many, such as Tyler, had been unable for duty for two months or more. Eight were discharged for disability on the 20th, another eight on the 21st, two on the 22nd, two on the 23rd, nine on the 24th, one on the 25th and four on the 26th, the same day the regiment started its march (although it was on a wrong road and would have to start again on the 27th).

On January 22, 1863, Captain Benton had signed a Certificate of Disability for Discharge for Tyler who, he said: "has been unfit for duty 61 days; was taken sick November 19th 1862 in camp at Hartsville [sic] Missouri while doing camp duty and has been unable to perform the duties of a soldier since that time and in my opinion never will be if retained in the service."

The regiment's surgeon at the time was William Orr and he said Tyler was: "incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of Phthisis Pulmonalis. The symptoms - cough, prevalent expectoration - small and frequent - tenderness on pressure of left infra clavicular region of left side, emaciation, dyspnola on slight exertion. Useless as a soldier." On the 26th, Tyler was one of those discharged by order of General Fitz Henry Warren and free to return home.

After his discharge, Tyler was able to recover his health sufficiently to have a long life. He said he lived in Iowa about nine years before moving to Texas. In 1876 he was in Fort Worth standing on a scaffold when it collapsed. Tyler fell and broke his left shoulder. Fourteen years later he was living in El Paso when, on September 22, 1890, he applied for a pension as an invalid claiming the shoulder injury had rendered him partially unable to earn a support by manual labor.

An El Paso news article on March 13, 1892, said that, "while seated in front of Noake's blacksmith shop, T. Featherly was injured by being struck by a carriage spring, thrown in for repairs." He was still in El Paso when he applied for membership in the Emmett Crawford Post, Post 19, of the Grand Army of the Republic, but he had lost his discharge papers. On March 29, 1892, a member of the Post wrote to the Iowa Adjutant General and secured evidence of Tyler's service. Tyler was then admitted to membership.

He was examined by a pension office surgeon, but the surgeon didn’t feel Tyler was sufficiently incapacitated to merit a pension and the pension was denied. Still living in El Paso, he reapplied and supported his claim with a statement from two people who knew him and said he had the appearance “of an infirm old man, totally unable to earn a livelihood by hard work.” His case, they thought required “prompt action, as he seems to have but a short time to live.”

This time a $6.00 monthly pension was awarded. On application it was increased to $10.00 in 1903, $12.00 in 1904, and $20.00 in 1907. In 1911 he moved and was admitted to the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in the Sawtelle area of west Los Angeles. He stayed for several years and his monthly pension was increased to $21.00, but he was back in El Paso when, on June 4, 1914, he died. His sole assets, $48.00, were deposited with the county clerk. Tyler’s burial in the city’s Concordia Cemetery was handled by the G.A.R. but, with only a few aging members, Post 19 was unable to pay the $60.50 burial expenses.

When answering government questionnaires, Tyler said his wife, whom he failed to name, had died in 1883 and he had not remarried. He said he had three sons - James S. Featherly born July 16, 1855, Tyler D. Featherly born April 23, 1857, and George Reed Featherly born April 14, 1866 - but, two years before his death, said he didn’t know “where they are or whether they are alive or not not heard from them.”


Foster, Jonathan
Jonathan Foster was born in County Fermanagh in northern Ireland on March 19, 1838. He immigrated to the United States and, on November 11, 1860, married Clarissa Ann Flowers in Cassville, Wisconsin, across the river and not far from North Buena Vista.

After Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, it was widely thought in the North that it was the action of only a few hotheads and any war would soon end. Instead, the war escalated and leaders, both North and South, called for more volunteers. On July 9, 1862, Governor Kirkwood received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments in addition to those already in the field. Even though the fall harvest was imminent, the Governor assured President Lincoln that Iowa would meet its quota. In addition to the regular monthly pay of $13.00 for privates, volunteers would receive a $100.00 enlistment bounty with $25.00 paid in advance and the balance on honorable completion of the soldier’s service.

Enlistments came quickly in the northeastern counties and, on August 12, 1862, Jonathan, with a post office address at North Buena Vista, was enrolled as a private by McGregor postmaster Willard Benton in what would be Company G of the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. G.A.R. records also show that Jonathan was a resident of Clayton County when he enlisted. He was described as being 5' 6¾” tall, two inches shorter than the regiment’s average height. With a total of eighty-seven men, the least of the regiment’s ten companies, they were mustered into service at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin on August 22nd. On September 9th, with a complement of 985 men, officers and enlisted, they were mustered into federal service and, on the 16th, left for war. Crowded on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay, they were held over briefly at Rock Island, took rail cars from Montrose to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State, reached St. Louis about 10:00 a.m. on the 20th, spent a night at Benton Barracks and left by rail for Rolla late on the 21st.

Jonathan’s early service was uneventful. He maintained his health and was marked “present” on bi-monthly Company Muster Rolls as they saw service in Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville and West Plains, Missouri. On February 8, 1863, they started a long march to the north east - through Thomasville and Eminence and into Ironton where Jonathan was promoted two ranks to 6th Corporal to take the place of Peter McIntyre who was promoted to 5th Corporal.

Jonathan remained with the regiment as it marched into the old French town of Ste. Genevieve on March 11th and when it was transported downstream to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was assembling a large army with the intent of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. Assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand, they walked south on roads, through swamps and across bayous west of the river until they reached Disharoon’s Plantation. From there, on April 30, 1863, they crossed to a landing known as Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on the east bank. Designated at the point regiment for the entire army, they started a slow movement inland on a sunken dirt road. About midnight, advance scouts commanded by Cornelius Dunlap drew fire from Confederate pickets near the Shaifer house. Following a brief exchange of gunfire, men rested until the next day when opposing forces engaged in what is known as the Battle of Port Gibson.

Jonathan participated in the battle, was present on May 16th when the regiment was held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill, participated in a May 17th assault against entrenched Confederates hoping to keep the railroad bridge over the Big Black River open so all of their soldiers could cross to the west, participated in a May 22nd assault at Vicksburg and participated in the siege that ended with the city’s surrender on July 4, 1863. From May 1st to July 4th, the regiment had lost 31 men killed in action, 34 whose wounds would prove fatal and at least 102 whose wounds, although not fatal, often led to amputations or were otherwise so severe as to merit discharges from the military.

On July 5th, under the command of General Sherman, the regiment left in pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston who had been hovering near the Union rear during the siege. At Jackson, they engaged in a brief siege during which Jonathan was seriously injured. He later explained, “while in the advance picket guard at Jackson Miss. on or about the 10th July 1863," he was “struck by a minie ball fired by the rebel cavalry who charged on the pickets, between the shoulders which knocked him down, and in falling, on his elbow, disabled it, so as to render him unfit for active duty, for over 3 months.” The minie ball was “spent” and caused no wound, but the impact had knocked him from his horse. Jonathan was treated for a week in a division hospital at Jackson and for three days in a Vicksburg hospital. On July 25, 1863, he was granted a thirty-day furlough to go north to recuperate. While there he secured a certificate from a doctor who said Jonathan was also suffering from irritation of the lungs.

Jonathan was promoted to 5th Corporal during the Vicksburg siege and to 4th Corporal effective September 18th while on his way back from the furlough. On October 2, 1863, a comrade, Jim Bethard from Grand Meadow Township, wrote that “John Foster and Pat Burns of Co. G arrived here the first of the week.” That was at Berwick, Louisiana, but Jonathan was soon relegated to a camp for convalescents in Carrollton before returning to the regiment for good on November 12th at Berwick. He was then again marked “present” on all company muster rolls through the end of his enlistment and saw service in Louisiana, along the Gulf Coast of Texas, in Arkansas (where he was treated for a hand injury and dysentery), at Memphis, and during the regiment’s final campaign, a successful campaign to occupy the city of Mobile during which he was treated for a knee problem. Promoted to 2nd Corporal, he was mustered out with other original enlistees at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865, and discharged at Clinton on the 24th.

After the war, Jonathan and Clarissa lived for a while in Clayton County and were living there on February 19, 1866, when Jonathan witnessed a comrade’s affidavit. Four months later, on June 14, 1866, a son, Amos C. Foster was born. Two other children, James and Jonathan, died as infants.

On March 5, 1870, Jonathan said he was a resident of Dubuque when he applied for his own pension based on the arm injury sustained in the war. He couldn’t find the doctors who treated him in military, but comrades Archibald Stuart, George Moser and George Fisher signed supportive affidavits. William Watson, a doctor in Dubuque, examined the arm, said it had been fractured, the elbow was enlarged and, in the doctor’s opinion, Jonathan was three-eighths disabled. It took several years to convince the government but a $3.00 monthly pension was eventually approved.

He was receiving $4.00 monthly in 1877 when two North Buena Vista residents signed affidavits contending that Jonathan was a healthy man despite what Jonathan, his comrades, personal doctors and government pension surgeons (including the President of the Board of Examining Surgeons and the well-known and highly respected Asa Horr) had said. One of the men said Jonathan was a “bully” and “when any fighting is to be done he is the man that steps forward to do it. . . . he disputed with me and knocked me down and bruised me so that my face is disfigured.” If the pension was based on a “wound it does not disable him.” The other said, “if he is pensioned for sickness I believe this case is a fraud or rather will say that his health appears good. He gets on sprees once in awhile.”

Jonathan’s pension wasn’t based on sickness or a wound. It was based on the arm and elbow injury he incurred when knocked from his horse. He had moved to Dubuque to work as a miner and later as a carpenter where he was paid $1.75 daily instead of the $2.25 paid to able-bodied men. In 1881 he was attached to the Dubuque police force and at other times worked for a railroad. On August 27, 1890, he was working on a railroad bridge near St. Paul when a tie broke. Jonathan fell twenty-three feet, inured his spine and broke his right thigh near the hip. Two months later, with the injury not healing properly, he was treated Dr. J. H. Greene and put on crutches. Then, on November 11th, Jonathan fell while walking down the back steps at his residence, at 1734 Clay Street (now Central Avenue), Dubuque, and re-fractured his leg. On December 23, 1911, at seventy-three years of age, he was “struck by an engine was unconscious or partially so 7 or 8 days” and was treated by Dr. M. J. Moe. A year later the doctor said, the numerous injuries and advanced age “have practically incapacitated Mr. Foster for all work.”

Jonathan was receiving an age-based pension of $30.00 monthly when he died on March 5, 1916. He is buried in Dubuque’s Linwood Cemetery as are Clarissa who pre-deceased him and their son, Amos, who died on November 7, 1930.


Gates, Orlen Fitzgerald
Orlen Gates was born on January 30, 1841 in Jackson, Michigan, the son of Isaac and Laura (Fitzgerald) Gates. Laura died of consumption, Isaac was remarried to Cevilla (Jackson) Gates, and the family moved to McGregor. The 1860 census for Mendon Township includes a family of six: Isaac, Cevilla and five children from Isaac's first marriage: John (age 22), Ann (age 21), Orlen (age 18), Mary (age 14) and Martha (age 11).

During the second year of the war, Orlen was one of many recruited by McGregor Postmaster Willard Benton and, on August 15, 1862, he enrolled as a Private in what would be Company G of the state's 21st infantry with Benton as its initial Captain. The Company was mustered in on August 22, 1862 with the Muster-In Roll describing Orlen as a 5' 8¼'' tall farmer with gray eyes, black hair and a light complexion.

They went into quarters at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, were mustered in as a regiment on September 9th, and received equipment and training under the supervision of Samuel Brodtbeck, formerly a Major with the 12th Iowa. As one of Orlen's comrades said, "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," irksome but necessary for men, mostly farmers, preparing for war.

On September 16th at the foot of Jones Street, they boarded the paddlewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides and started south. After one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla. From there they would walk south to Salem and then Houston where Orlen was briefly hospitalized. For the next several months they saw service in Hartville, Houston, West Plains, Iron Mountain and Ironton. They were in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, when Orlen was promoted to Corporal on March 19, 1863.

By April 10th they were in Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a massive army at the start of what would be a successful campaign to capture the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg. Men made their way slowing south along the west side of the Mississippi and Orlen was present on April 30, 1863 when they crossed the Mississippi from the Disharoon plantation to Bruinsburg on the east bank. He participated in the next day's Battle of Port Gibson, was present when his regiment was held in reserve during the May 16th Battle of Champion's Hill, and participated in a May 17th assault on entrenched Confederates guarding the railroad bridge over the Big Black River, an assault in which seven of his comrades were killed and another eighteen suffered wounds that would prove fatal. By the end of the month only 240 of the original 985 were still alive and fit for duty.

In August, after the siege and surrender of Vicksburg, the sick and wounded recuperated, while those able for duty participated in an expedition to Jackson. On their return to Vicksburg, the entire regiment rested until mid-August when they boarded transports, went down the Mississippi and made camp at Carrollton, Louisiana. On September 4th, the regiment joined others on an expedition into the bayou country west of the Mississippi, but Orlen was not with them. Sick, he was left behind at Carrollton and, a month later, received a furlough to go north to recuperate.

Unable to recover his health, he entered the U.S. Army General Hospital in Davenport and, while there, received promotions to 5th and then 4th Corporal. Ultimately, suffering from general debility and intermittent fever (often a term for malaria), Orlen was discharged from the regiment so, on January 10, 1865, he could be transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps where he served in Company K of the 4th Regiment. Men in Orlen's 2nd Battalion included men whose disabilities prevented them from carrying a musket, marching or performing military guard or provost duty. Many had lost limbs or suffered other injuries or disabilities. As a result, they were commonly employed as cooks, orderlies, nurses or guards in public buildings. He received a final discharge on November 25, 1865 at Davenport.

On September 18, 1875, Orlen married Cora Douglas. Their only child, Laura Fitzgerald Gates, was born on April 9, 1883. For a while Orlen and his brother, John Asa Gates (who was married to Cora's sister), owned and operated a store in Anita, but they soon moved from there to Des Moines, then to Eastonville in Colorado where John joined the G.A.R., and finally to Denver where Orlen died on June 21, 1898. He is buried in the city's Fairmount Cemetery. He was survived by forty-six-year-old Cora and their fifteen-year-old daughter.

In her youth, Cora had been a graceful ice-skater and was known as “The Pride of McGregor’s Landing,” but life was difficult after Orlen’s death. She received a widow’s pension that she augmented by working as a seamstress. Laura went to Texas to live with a cousin, while Cora moved to San Francisco. In 1901 she was joined by Laura and they lived together until Laura married Joseph Sykora in 1907. All three, and the children who were born to Laura and Joseph, lived for a while in New York and then Leonia, New Jersey. They were back in New York when ninety-seven-year old Cora died on May 31, 1949. Her ashes were buried in Greenwood Memorial Park, Fort Worth, Texas.


Gaylord, William F.
Stephen A. Gaylord, a native of Tennessee, and his wife, Rachel (Robinson) Gaylord, a native of North Carolina, made their home in Illinois in 1827 and, five years later, Stephen served as a soldier in the Black Hawk War. In 1849 they moved their family to Clayton County where they acquired land in Cass Township and erected a log house. Stephen died in 1854 and was buried in Strawberry Point Cemetery. During their marriage, Stephen and Rachel had nine children, including four boys who served in the Civil War, only one of whom survived the war.

William, enlisted at Strawberry Point on August 15, 1862 in Company D of the 21st Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The company was mustered into service at Dubuque on August 22, 1862 with William described as being a twenty-four year old farmer, 5' 7¼” tall with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. When all ten companies were of sufficient strength, the regiment was mustered in on September 9, 1862. Military training was received at Dubuque's Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union) where the close confines of the barracks led to an outbreak of measles that caused two early deaths.

The regiment left for the South on the 16th, spent one night in St. Louis, and then traveled by rail to Rolla. From there, on October 18th, they started a march to Salem, but William was no longer with them. Measles have an incubation period that can be as long as three weeks and William was one of fourteen in Company D who were now suffering from the illness.

While the regiment saw many months of service in Missouri - Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Ironton, Iron Mountain and Ste. Genevieve - William remained under medical care in Rolla. Eventually recovered and in good health, he was able to rejoin the regiment at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where, on April 10, 1863, George Brownell, a comrade in Company D, made an entry in his diary, "Wm. Gaylord arrived here to night has not been with us since last fall." On arrival, William was assigned to duty as a cook for the regiment's colonel, Sam Merrill.

At Milliken's Bend, General Grant, intent on capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, was assembling a massive army. Iowa's 21st, 22nd and 23rd Infantries, together with the 11th Wisconsin, were designated the 2nd Brigade of the 14th Division of the 13th Army Corps led by Major General John McClernand. After marching and wading south through swamps and bayous west of the Mississippi, they crossed to Bruinsburg on the east bank on April 30, 1863, and started a movement inland with the 21st Iowa as the point regiment for the entire army. About midnight, an advance patrol encountered Confederate pickets and, after brief firing in darkness, both sides slept on their arms. On May 1st they fought the Battle of Port Gibson and on May 16th were present, but held in reserve, during the Battle of Champion's Hill.

Having been held out of the battle on the 16th, they were rotated to the front on the 17th and were in the advance when their brigade arrived at the Big Black River where a Confederate force, hoping to keep the nearby railroad bridge open long enough for all their men to cross, was entrenched behind breastworks. Officers consulted and decided on an assault. Their men fixed bayonets. Colonel Kinsman ordered the 23rd, "Forward!" Colonel Merrill shouted to the 21st, "By the left flank, charge!" The two Iowa regiments ran directly at the enemy. The 22nd Iowa and 11th Wisconsin followed. In three minutes the Confederates were routed, but Union casualties were heavy. Colonel Kinsman was dead. Colonel Merrill lay on the field with serious wounds to both thighs. His regiment had seven killed in the assault. Another eighteen were mortally wounded and at least thirty-nine suffered non-fatal wounds.

While other regiments went on to Vicksburg, the 21st stayed on the field to bury their dead and care for the wounded. Still detailed as Colonel Merrill's cook, William Gaylord was furloughed on May 18th and detached to accompany his colonel to McGregor so Merrill could recuperate from his wounds. In late June, William reported to the Provost Marshal in Dubuque seeking transportation back to the regiment. Since he had over-stayed his furlough, his name appeared on a list of deserters, but the Provost Marshall noted that William was "not properly to be considered as a deserter," transportation was arranged, and William rejoined the regiment in July.

Soon thereafter he became ill. On August 13th, when the regiment boarded steamboats and headed south for New Orleans, William and others unable for duty were left behind. Taken on board the hospital boat R. C. Wood, they headed north where they could receive better treatment. Still on board on August 22, 1863, William died. Thomas Appell, a surgeon on the R. C. Wood, signed an inventory of William’s personal effects and wrote to William’s commanding officer to advise him that "Private Wm. F. Gaylord of your Company died in this hospital on Aug. 22, 1863 of chronic dysentery." The illness caused at least sixty-five deaths in the regiment.
William is buried in the Memphis National Cemetery. He was survived by a twenty-four year old wife. William and Clara E. Eaton had been married on April 19, 1860 in Strawberry Point and had no children. On September 8, 1863, pursuant to an act of Congress, Clara applied for a widow's "half pay pension." It took a long time and numerous affidavits from others but, on June 24, 1864, a pension certificate providing for $8.00 monthly, retroactive to the day after her husband's death, was mailed to her attorney.

Meanwhile, Benjamin one of William’s brothers, was continuing his service with the 3rd Missouri Cavalry. On November 11, 1864 he was mustered out and, in 1865, he married his brother’s widow, Clara. Their four children were Alice, Burton, Minnie and another who died as an infant. Clara died in 1891 and Benjamin in 1925. They are buried in the Strawberry Point Cemetery.


Girard, Theophilus J.
Benigne Bresson and Jean Marguerite Soffie Eugene Girard, both born in France, were married there on September 2, 1828. Their children included at least two girls, Clarice (born April 13, 1850) and Sophia. A son, Theophilus J. Girard, was born February 20, 1840, most likely in the area of Amblans, Haute Saône, in eastern France. (Theophilus’ obituary said he was born near “Adlam.” Military records, with slight variations, say he was born in “Hautston.” Many families - including those with Bresson, Chenevey, Girard and Jeanmougin surnames - immigrated from Amblans to Holmes County, Ohio).

When Theophilus was twelve years old, the family immigrated to the United States, made their home in Holmes County, Ohio, and became members of St. Genevieve’s Parish, Calmoutier. On April 16, 1860, his sister, Sophia, was married in the parish to Theodore Jeanmougin. Theophilus was still living there as late as February 1861, but shortly thereafter moved to Iowa.

He was working as a farmer when he was enrolled in the infantry at McGregor on August 11, 1862, by Englishman William D. Crooke. On August 18th, he was among ninety-nine men (officers and enlisted) were mustered in as Company B with Crooke as their initial Captain. The only Frenchman in the regiment, Theophilus was described as being twenty-two years old, 5' 9" tall with hazel eyes, fair hair and a fair complexion.

When the last of ten companies being organized in northeastern Iowa had reached sufficient strength, they were mustered in at Dubuque as the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry on September 9, 1862. On September 16th, they left for war.

The regiment spent the night of September 20th at Benton Barracks in St. Louis and then traveled by rail to Rolla. From there they walked south to Salem and then Houston, Hartville and back to Houston where, like many others, Theophilus became ill and was confined briefly in a regimental hospital. He recovered enough to travel with the regiment as far as the old French town of St. Genevieve but, with a difficult Vicksburg campaign ahead of them, only the able-bodied were needed. Theophilus and many others were ill and, on March 28, 1863, he was sent to a general hospital in Cairo, Illinois, where, when able, he worked part of the time as a nurse while recovering his own health.

He was granted a furlough from the hospital, but was late returning and, on January 2, 1864, a division inspector marked him as a deserter, something that was not uncommon. Men often took more time than anticipated to regain their health and were reported as stragglers or deserters by their regiments. Theophilus reported voluntarily and was ordered to the regiment on February 9th. It took more than a month of travel, but he reached the regiment on March 14, 1864, at Matagorda Island in Texas. By order of Major General Napoleon Dana, he was restored to duty without loss of pay or allowances.

In the southern climate, Theophilus was able to maintain his health and was present with the regiment during its remaining time on the Gulf coast of Texas and its subsequent service in southwestern Louisiana (Terrebonne Station, Algiers and Morganza) and along the White River in Arkansas. In the spring of 1865, he participated in the regiment’s final campaign of the war as part of a Union force that moved north along the east side of Mobile Bay and occupied the city of Mobile abandoned a few days earlier by the enemy. The regiment then camped outside of town near the Jesuit College of St. Joseph at Spring Hill and many took the opportunity to visit its museum filled, said Company B comrade Jim Bethard, with "all kinds of minerals shells, birds eggs, insects and all kinds of natural curiosities from all parts of the world and some splendid pictures."

From there they returned to Louisiana, performed garrison duty, and were mustered out on July 15, 1865, at Baton Rouge. After returning to Iowa, they were discharged at Clinton on July 24th and free to return to their homes.

On February 6, 1866, in Wooster, Ohio, not far from his former home in Holmes County, Theophilus married Mary Louise Martin whose parents, like those of Theophilus, had been born in France. The couple lived in Ohio until 1876 when they moved to Adair County in Iowa. They lived for a short time in Stuart before moving to Arbor Hill and, eventually, to Greenfield. Theophilus worked as a farmer and joined a local post of the Grand Army of the Republic.

In answer to a government questionnaire, Theophilus said they had eight children - Emma (born December 24, 1867), Joe (born October 12, 1870), Alice (September 17, 1872), Albert F. (April 18, 1875), Lucy E. (July 8, 1876), Jennie (August 20, 1879), Clara D. (February 22, 1883) and Esther (February 24, 1887).
Meanwhile, his sister Clarice died in 1870, his father in 1878 and his mother in 1881. All three are buried in Holmes County’s Saint Genevieve Catholic Cemetery.

Theophilus continued to work a farm in Iowa but, by the time he was fifty years old, health problems began to impair his ability to earn a living by manual labor. Early pension laws required that claims be based on a war-related disability, but a new law effective June 27, 1890, no longer required a military origin. Less than a month after the law became effective, Theophilus signed an application and said he was suffering from rheumatism, a bad knee and varicose veins. A board of surgeons in Winterset verified the problems and a pension of $8.00 monthly, payable quarterly, was granted.

Laws were further liberalized in 1907 when pensions became age-based with no need to show a disability. Less than two weeks after the law became effective, Theophilus applied. A pension was granted that periodically increased as he grew older - from $12.00 to $15.00 to $24.00 and, shortly before his death, to $30.00.

In Greenfield, on February 6, 1916, Theophilus and Mary celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Later that year, on October 12th, Theophilus died at seventy-six years of age. His funeral two days later at the Catholic Church was attended by all eight of his children. An obituary in the Adair County Free Press remembered him as "Dad Girard," a man:

''who was in a class by himself. He was full of sunshine, good cheer, witticisms and jokes. Everyone stopped to chat with him, for he was a cure for the blues, and he scattered good cheer and sunbeams wherever he went.”

The day after her husband’s death, with the help of her son-in-law George Musmaker of Greenfield, Mary applied for a widow’s pension. On August 4, 1917, a certificate was mailed that entitled Mary to $20.00 monthly, an amount later increased to $30.00. Mary died on October 25, 1926, and was buried near her husband in Greenfield Cemetery.


Golder, Eber
Eber Golder was born on December 10, 1835, in Somerton, England, one of nine children born to William and Sarah Golder. He arrived in the United States on November 9, 1852.

During the “Mormon Migration” from the 1840s to the 1860s, an estimated 70,000 people immigrated to the valley of the Salt Lake from states to the east and many foreign countries. Some traveled in wagons while others walked and pulled handcarts with their possessions. In 1856, the Hodgett Wagon Company and the Martin Handcart Company, with immigrants primarily from England and Scotland, left Iowa City late in the season and started west. Listed among those with the Hodgett company were Eber’s older brother, twenty-four-year-old Richard Golder, Richard’s wife (Mary Ann) and their two young children (Emma and George). Accompanying them as a “teamster” was Eber Golder.

Sometimes the two companies were traveling close to each other. Other times, the wagon company trailed the handcart company by two or three days. An online source says Fort Laramie “was passed” by the Martin company on October 8, 1856. On that same date, also at Fort Laramie, Eber Golder enlisted for five years in Company I of the 1st U. S. Cavalry. Officers included Colonel Edwin Sumner, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Johnston and George T. Anderson, Captain of Company I. Eber was described on the Descriptive and Historical Register as being 5' 7½” tall with a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair; occupation laborer.

On November 5th, the Martin company was at Martin’s Cove in the Wyoming Territory, while Eber was 830 miles away at Leavenworth, in the Kansas Territory, where he signed his enlistment papers under oath before Mayor William Murphy. Cavalry companies within a regiment often operated separately from each other and details of Eber’s service with Company I are lacking. The government’s Descriptive and Historical Register does indicate that he deserted on February 16, 1858, was apprehended on June 9, 1860, and deserted again on August 3, 1861.

In Iowa, on June 3, 1862, twenty-six-year-old Eber and twenty-year-old Viola Shippee were married by Methodist minister Alfred Bronson. On August 9th, in Elkader, Eber was enrolled by Elisha Boardman Jr. as a 4th Corporal in what would be Company D of Iowa’s 21st Regiment of volunteer infantry. The company of ninety-six men was mustered in at Camp Franklin in Dubuque on August 22nd. When all ten companies were of sufficient strength, they were collectively mustered in as a regiment on September 9th. The Company Muster-in Roll of that date said Eber was now 5' 8¾” tall and had a complexion that was dark, eyes that were hazel and hair that was black; occupation “soldier.”

A week later, they crowded on board the four-year-old sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started south. Low water at Montrose forced them to debark, go downstream by rail, board the Hawkeye State at Keokuk, and continue their trip to St. Louis. After spending one night at the city’s Benton Barracks they traveled by rail to Rolla where they would camp about five miles west of town for the next month. On October 18, 1862, they started a march south. According to Stephen Hysham, one of Eber’s comrades, Eber got very wet while “getting some teams over a stream.” By the time they reached Salem on the 19th, Eber’s health had deteriorated and “he was placed in regimental hospital.”

Still at Salem on the 25th, Eber was promoted to 3rd Corporal to take the place of Strawberry Point’s Joseph Hewlet who had died from lung congestion. On November 2d, with Eber “taken on a wagon,” they started another march, this time for Houston, thirty-seven miles to the south. On arrival, Eber was again hospitalized. Still in Houston a month later, he was promoted to 2d Corporal.

The regiment would remain in Missouri for another five months serving in Houston, Hartville and West Plains before marching through Eminence, Iron Mountain and Ironton, and into the old French town of Ste. Genevieve. That’s where they were on March 27, 1863, when Viola, in Elkader, gave birth to their first child, a boy they named Richard James Golder.

Eber remained with the regiment and, like many others, suffered from hard marches, often in freezing winter temperatures, often getting wet while fording icy streams. He contracted chronic diarrhea (an illness that caused the death of at least sixty-four of his comrades) and rheumatism attributed to the difficult conditions of those early months in Missouri.

From Ste. Genevieve they were taken down the Mississippi River to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a large army for the purpose of capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, a city that Jefferson Davis said was “the nailhead that held the South's two halves together." Assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand, they walked south along the west side of the river to Disharoon’s Plantation where, on April 30th, they crossed to the east bank.

The next day, Eber participated in the day-long Battle of Port Gibson during which three of his comrades were killed and another fourteen wounded. They were present but held in reserve during the May 16th Battle of Champion’s Hill but the next day, with the 23rd Iowa, led an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River. Seven more members of the regiment were killed during the assault, eighteen suffered wounds that would soon prove fatal and at least thirty-eight had non-fatal wounds of varying severity. Eber, who had been promoted to 5th Sergeant in January and 4th Sergeant in March, was now promoted to 3rd Sergeant to take the place of twenty-four-year-old Wallace Moore who, said Colonel Merrill, “was shot in the neck and lay dead” immediately prior to the assault.

On May 22d they were in position on the siege line around the rear of Vicksburg when General Grant ordered an assault along the entire line. Again Eber participated and again the regiment suffered heavy casualties - twenty-three were killed, twelve more had fatal wounds, and at least forty-eight had wounds that were sometimes slight but other times led to amputations before the men were sent north to their families. Effective on May 26th, Eber was promoted to 2d Sergeant. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, and, on the 28th, Eber was granted a thirty-day furlough. He returned home and, on expiration of the furlough, reported at Davenport’s Camp McClellan, secured transportation and went south to find his regiment then in Louisiana.

He remained with the regiment during its service in Louisiana and for more than six months on the Gulf Coast of Texas. In June, 1864, they returned to Louisiana with Hiram Hunt serving as the regiment’s Assistant Surgeon. Many of Dr. Hunt’s records were lost when the war ended, but he later found “by looking over what few Hospital reports in my hands that Eber Golder Serg of D Co. 21st Regt Infty Iowa Vol was treated by me in the Regt for Diarrhea and piles and was excused from duty from Aug 30th 1864 to September 2nd 1864.” Unable for duty, Eber had been granted a medical furlough to go north. On December 1st, he rejoined the regiment at Memphis. He stayed with the regiment during the balance of its service in Tennessee, Alabama and back in Louisiana, but needed frequent medical care for the continuing chronic diarrhea and resulting piles and hemorrhoids.

At daylight on June 23, 1865, they arrived in Baton Rouge where recruits who had not completed their service were transferred to another regiment and muster rolls and descriptive books were updated for those who would be going home. On June 28th, while anxious soldiers continued to wait in Baton Rouge, Viola Golder was at her brother’s house in High Forest, Minnesota, when she gave birth to a second child, Zabin Henry Golder. On July 15th, Eber and other original enlistees were mustered out of federal service. The next morning they boarded the Lady Gay and started the long trip north.

Eber and Viola remained in Iowa until about 1882. During that time they had, said Eber in an 1898 affidavit, three more children - Lorena on August 27, 1868, Albert Ishmael on June 15, 1870, and Lois M. on November 19, 1872 - while Eber continued to receive medical care for rheumatism, piles and hemorrhoids. Treatment was received from Dr. Andrews in McGregor and, later, from Edgewood’s Dr. Blanchard who performed surgery “by ligature” that provided temporary relief. On May 4, 1878, Eber applied for an invalid pension from the federal government. Three years later, supported by affidavits from doctors who treated him, friends and neighbors who knew him before and after his service, and comrades who served with him, he was awarded $4.00 monthly retroactive to July 16, 1865. Eber was one of at least three men in the regiment who had previously served with a different regiment, deserted, voluntarily re-enlisted, served their entire terms, and received honorable discharges and federal pensions in recognition of their service. Over a period of many years his pension was gradually increased to $6.00 and then $10.00.
For about five years, from 1882 to 1887, the family lived in Walsh County in the Dakota Territory where, in 1886, Eber was granted a land patent, but they did not stay. Instead, they moved to Anaconda, Montana, where Viola died on June 19, 1896, at fifty-four years of age. She was buried in the town’s Upper Hill Cemetery. Eber continued to work as a plasterer and brick mason, but was frequently hindered by his continuing health problems. He was active in the Grand Army of the Republic, served as Commander of the George C. Meade Post in Anaconda, and attended numerous GAR encampments in the state. Congress eventually authorized age-based pensions and Eber was receiving $72.00 monthly when he died on February 9, 1923. He was buried in Upper Hill Cemetery.

Lois died on June 8, 1927, and, like her parents, is buried in Anaconda’s Upper Hill Cemetery. Zabin died on November 10, 1935, and is buried in Missoula Cemetery, Missoula. Richard died February 2, 1939, and is also buried in the Missoula Cemetery. Albert died on March 29, 1947, and is buried in Idaho’s Rexburg Cemetery. Lorena is believed to have died sometime prior to July 5, 1898, but the date is not known.

Richard and Mary Ann Golder had completed their 1856 journey to Salt Lake City where a daughter, Louise, was born on February 20, 1858. Sometime later they moved east and settled in Seneca Falls, New York. During the Civil War, Richard enlisted on August 29, 1864, in the 15th New York Engineers. He died on June 14, 1920, and is buried in Seneca Falls. Another brother William Golder, also served during the war. He enlisted on August 15, 1861, in the 8th Iowa Infantry. He reenlisted as a veteran volunteer and was mustered out at Selma, Alabama, on April 20, 1866.


Goldsmith, Alfred
Co F, age 21, b. New York, residence Manchester, Delaware co. IA

07/13/62 enlist as Musician (fifer)
08/23/62 muster in Company H
09/09/62 muster in Regiment
05/22/65 muster out

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


Goodman, George
Mathias and Mary Goodman and their two boys, George and J. D., were born in Pennsylvania, but were living in Clayton County when the census of 1860 was taken. George was born on February 22, 1842, in Harrisburg, but was working as a McGregor painter when he was enrolled by William D. Crooke on August 11, 1862 in what would be Company B of the 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was described as being 5' 6" tall with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion.

The company was mustered in at Dubuque on August 18th. When all ten companies were of sufficient strength, the regiment was mustered into service on September 9, 1862. The following week, on the paddlewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its sides, they left for war.

George maintained his health and was with the regiment for all of its initial service in Missouri - Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Ironton, Iron Mountain, Ste. Genevieve. During Vicksburg Campaign, George participated in the May 1, 1863 Battle of Port Gibson, was present while the regiment was held in reserve during the May 16th Battle of Champion's Hill, and participated in the next day's assault at the Big Black River and in the May 22nd assault at Vicksburg. He remained with the regiment throughout the siege that ended with a Confederate surrender on July 4, 1863. The regiment lost thirty-one killed in action, thirty-four who succumbed to wounds that proved fatal, and at least another one-hundred two men whose wounds were non-fatal.

After the surrender, George participated in the subsequent pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson and a battle on July 10th.

In August, George was detached from the regiment and assigned to duty with the Pioneer Corps of the 13th Army Corps' 1st Division. The following month Jim Bethard wrote to his wife that "Lieut Lions John Presho and George Goodman are detached in a pioneer corps." It was another year before he was relieved and able to (no doubt happily) rejoin his regiment then at Morganza Bend in Louisiana. He stayed with it for the balance of its service in Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana, and was mustered out with the regiment at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865. Like many who elected to retain wartime souvenirs, he paid $6.00 for his musket and accouterments.

John Presho, George's tent mate in Company B, had married Celena Giroux in 1862 and during the war had possibly spoken favorably of her younger sister, Martha. On June 9, 1872, thirty-year old George Goodman married twenty-two year old Martha in Cook County, Illinois. Making their home in Waukon, they would have three children - Minnie born May 6, 1873, William born June 20, 1876 and Mattie born May 30, 1879. On September 1, 1883, George joined the J. J. Stillman Post of the G.A.R. in Waukon.

During the last few months of his service he had suffered from night blindness in May and diarrhea in June, 1865, during the regiment's service in Arkansas. After the war he tried to work as a brick and stone mason, but the diarrhea became chronic and he also suffered from rheumatism. In 1890, at age forty-nine, he applied for an invalid pension. A comrade, David Drummond, wrote a supportive affidavit and two friends in Waukon, Carlton Earle and James Hays, attested to his current condition. They had worked with George a good deal of the time and knew that, during cold or rainy weather, he suffered so much from the rheumatism that he could not work. He was, they said, a "poor man" with no other income or property and tried to work but, at best, could only do the work of half an able-bodied man. George was approved for a pension of $6.00 per month.

In 1900 he was examined by a doctor. George had injured his left knee twenty-eight years earlier and the doctor said George was now suffering from atrophy of the muscles of the thigh, he was limping badly, and he "stumbles very frequently and cannot lift any considerable weight without flinching." A pension increase was granted, but his health continued to decline. In Waukon, on May 26, 1907, George died of pneumonia at age sixty-five. He was buried in the town's Oakland Cemetery.

Following her husband's death, Martha sold what few assets she had, moved to Chicago to live with her daughter, Mattie, and applied for a widow's pension. A pension was granted but, since she had not married George until after his discharge, the amount was limited to $12.00 monthly. She later moved to California to live with another daughter. Martha was still receiving that amount when she died on February 27, 1947 at age ninety-seven. She is buried in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.


Griffin, Abel
Abel Griffin was born in Chatauqua County, New York, in 1832. Like many others from New York, he moved to Clayton County where, on June 21, 1856, “Abel Griffin and Marion Eaton were duly joined in marriage by E. L. Gardner a Justice of the Peace.” On July 22, 1858, Marion gave birth to a daughter they named Nellie E. Griffin.

The following year abolitionist John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry and the Clayton County Journal called him a “traitor to his country.” In 1860, despite rising tensions in the South, newly elected Governor Sam Kirkwood assured citizens that “passion will subside, reason will resume its sway.” The Journal discounted secession threats but, on April 12, 1861, Southern artillery fired on Fort Sumter and, on September 18th, a son, Elmer E. Griffin was born to Abel and Marion.

The war that most thought would never happen escalated rapidly and the President called for more and more volunteers. With his son less than a year old, Able enlisted as a drummer in Company B on August 5, 1862. Ten companies were mustered in as the state’s 21st Infantry regiment on September 9th. Also serving in the regiment were other immigrants from Chatauqua County including Gilbert Cooley, William Wallace Farrand, Tyler Featherly, Perry Dewey, William Hall, Norman Scofield and Henry Howard.

Abel maintained his health well during the regiment’s early service in Missouri and was marked “present” on all bimonthly muster rolls as they moved from St. Louis to Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, West Plains, Ironton, Pilot Knob and Ste. Genevieve. He was also present on April 10th at Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a large three-corps army hoping to open the Mississippi by capturing the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. In a corps led by General John McClernand, they walked south along roads west of the river and waded through swamps ("a home for alligators and reptiles").

Understandably, many became sick and were left behind. Among them was Abel Griffin who, on April 21st was reported as “sick at Perkins’ plantation.” On April 30, 1863, the army began to cross the river to the Bruinsburg landing on the east bank and start a march inland. As the point regiment for the entire Union army, the regiment drew first fire from enemy pickets about midnight as they approached the Shaifer house. Abel was reported as “absent” on April 30th, but also as participating with his regiment the next day in what the North called the Battle of Port Gibson. He was also reported as present on May 16th when the regiment was held in reserve by General McClernand during the Battle of Champion’s Hill and as participating in the May 17th assault at the Big Black River, the May 22nd assault at Vicksburg and the siege that followed. General Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to Grant on July 4, 1863.

During the siege, Confederate General Joe Johnston had been little more than an irritant as he roamed around the rear of the Union lines, but ultimately did nothing to help his comrades in the city relieve the siege. Never one to waste time, as soon as the siege ended Grant ordered Sherman to take care of Johnston. Abel Griffin and others in the regiment left with Sherman on the 5th and headed east in pursuit of a rapidly withdrawing Johnston. They pursued him as far as Jackson where defenders of the city resisted their advance for several days, but eventually it too fell to the federals. After helping to destroy railroads, gather abandoned arms, burn buildings and remove anything that might benefit the rebels, Sherman ordered a return to Vicksburg.

From the 25th of July through the 12th of August, they camped next to a levee near the city but, on the 13th, they boarded the Baltic and started downstream. Many thought they were going to Natchez but, instead, they continued south, went ashore on the 16th, and made camp at Carrollton, then a suburb of New Orleans. Abel was admitted to the Barracks U.S. Army General Hospital in New Orleans where, on August 31st, he died from typhoid fever, one of at least twenty-five men in the regiment whose deaths were attributed to the illness. Buried initially in the barracks hospital, he was likely reinterred after the war but the site of the burial is unknown.

Marion was left to care for their two children, five-year-old Nellie and Elmer who would have his second birthday eighteen days after his father’s death. On January 21, 1864, still living in Strawberry Point, Marion signed a “Widow’s Declaration for Pension.” Clara Gaylord and Amos Eaton, who had been present when Abel and Marion were married, signed a joint affidavit attesting to the marriage, confirming that Abel and Marion had “lived together as man and wife, and were so reputed,” and that Marion “has remained a widow since his death.” In Elkader, Alvah Rogers, a County judge, issued a certificate that also confirmed the marriage “which appears of Record in my office.”

Abel’s military record and death were confirmed by the Bureau of Pensions and Marion was awarded a pension of $8.00 monthly, payable quarterly, through a local pension agent. On July 4, 1867, she applied again and this time was awarded an additional $2.00 for each of her children, amounts she would receive until their sixteenth birthdays.

On October 24, 1867, after more than four years of widowhood, Marion married David Baker in Anamosa. Since she was no longer entitled to a widow’s pension, she asked to be appointed guardian of her children, now ages nine and seven. The appointment was approved and signed by Clayton County judge C. A. Dean on June 2, 1868, and the government issued a new certificate recognizing Marion E. Baker as guardian and continuing the children’s pensions until their sixteenth birthdays.


Grutchek, John
Kruchek, John (post-war)
Born in Austria1
08/12/62 enlisted McGregor, Co. B
08/18/62 mustered in Dubuque, IA
07/15/65 mustered out Baton Rouge, LA

John Grutchek was born on August 10, 1837 in Austria. He emigrated to the United States in 1852, lived one winter in Cleveland and two years in Dubuque, and then settled in Clayton County. The 1860 federal census said he was then working in Grand Meadow Township as a laborer on the farm of P. G. Bailey, a farm that was irrigated from two creeks, had a fine stand of timber and, to the south, abutted the farm of Levi and Abigail (Rice) Haines and their daughter, Phila. On August 12, 1862 he enlisted in Company B then being raised by McGregor postmaster Willard Benton. The Company was mustered in on August 18th and the Regiment on September 9, 1862. The Muster-in Roll described John as being 5' 5" tall with blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion, listed his occupation as farmer, and said he enlisted at "Grand Meadow."2

Unlike many others, John maintained his health well and was one of twenty-five volunteers from his Company who participated in the day long Battle of Hartville, Missouri, on January 11, 1863. He remained with regiment during General Grant's successful Vicksburg Campaign during which he participated in the May 1, 1863 Battle of Port Gibson (Magnolia Hills) when three members of the regiment were fatally wounded, was present during the May 16, 1863 Battle of Champion's Hill when General McClernand held the regiment in reserve, participated in the May 17, 1863 assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River (when the regiment's casualties were 7 killed, 18 fatally wounded and 38 non-fatally wounded), and the assault at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863 (when 23 were killed, 12 were fatally wounded and 48 were wounded non-fatally).3 Following the siege and surrender of Vicksburg, John was with the regiment as it pursued Confederate General Joe Johnston and during the siege and occupation of Jackson, Mississippi. After returning to Vicksburg, John became ill and was granted a 30-day furlough to return home, a furlough that was extended another 30 days based on a statement by Clermont's Dr. Lewis that more time was needed. He eventually returned to the South and rejoined his Regiment on November 4, 1863. The following April, Jim Bethard, a comrade in Company B, wrote to his wife, Caroline: "John Gruchae keeps poking his head out of his tent and bothering me John is as fat and saucy as a pet sheep ever since he came back from up north" John stayed with the regiment through its subsequent service in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas. They were in Louisiana when, on June 12, 1865, Jim Bethard again wrote to his wife: "John Gruchek has spoken to me several times in a laughing way about catching you and Phila Haiens in the blackberry patch dressed in mens clothes he says he meant to have had some fun not pretending to know but what you were boys but you cut and run to soon he is good natured and always full of fun".

After being mustered out with the regiment at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865, John returned to Iowa, moved to Humboldt, and joined the local post of the G.A.R. It was there, on January 1, 1868, that 30-year old John married 18-year-old Mary Steward. Their children, apparently all born in Humboldt and with some variations in spelling over time, were: Elva A., b. 12/15/1868; Louisa K. / Lonesa R., b. 03/28/1870; George F., b. 05/01/1872; Charles S., b. 09/14/1873; Burtis H. 'Bert', b. 05/08/1875; Margaret M. 'Maggie', b. 12/01/1877; Minnie F., b. 07/30/1879; John M., b. 02/12/1880; Walter W., b. 10/04/1882; Lethe / Letiva, b. 09/25/1884; Liciel, b. 03/23/1886; Nichodemas, b. 05/05/1883; Hazel, b. 02/28/1890 and Sailor, b. 08/03/1893

All children bore the surname of Kruchek as John would explain to the federal Pension Office: "until I was discharged from the army I spelled my name G-r-u-t-c-h-e-k but ever since my discharge I have spelled my name K-r-u-c-h-e-k except in my signature to pension papers when I have used the former spelling". On July 15, 1892, John applied for an invalid pension claiming he was suffering from chronic diarrhoea contracted while in the service, an illness that led to subsequent complications. With supportive affidavits from former comrades David Drummond and Othmar Kapler, as well as his doctor, he was granted a pension initially at $4.00 per month and then periodically increased as he aged and medical issues escalated. On August 17, 1901,John's G.A.R. membership was transferred from the Humboldt post and it seems likely that's when he moved to Waitsburg, Washington with Mary and several of their children. From there they moved to Pullman, WA and that's where John died on September 20, 1912. He was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Pullman. Mary continued to live in Pullman until, less than a year later, she died on August 9, 1913. She was buried with her husband in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Also buried in Pullman's Odd Fellows Cemetery are three of their children: Letivia who died on February 16, 1923 at age thirty-eight, Margaret (Krucheck) McKarcher who died on January 23, 1952 at age seventy-four, and Bert who died on November 30, 1958 at age eighty-three. Charles, died in 1952 and was buried in Dayton Cemetery, Dayton, Iowa. John and his brother Walter are buried in Waitsburg Cemetery, Waitsburg, Washington. The graves of the other eight children have not yet been located.

1The 1860 census said he was born in Germany, but all other documents, including many signed by John, say he was born in Austria.
2His Company Descriptive Book said he enlisted at "McGregor" but also has "Grand Meadow" written above it.
3Other sources have reported different casualty figures, but the figures given here are accurate and the names of each of the men have
been verified from military and pension records at the National Archives and Records Administration and from regimental and other


~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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