IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
updated 08/03/019

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 K-L

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.


Kain, John
John Kain's parents were married on November 10, 1840, in the borough of Belfast in northern Ireland. They immigrated to Canada where John was born and then to the United States. In 1856 John's mother died in Lansing, Iowa.

John was only eighteen, the minimum age for a legal enlistment, when he was enrolled by Willard Benton at McGregor on August 14, 1862, for three years or until the end of the war. He was described as having gray eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and being 5 feet 6¼ inches tall; occupation, farmer.

On August 22, 1862 he was mustered in as a private in Benton's Company G of the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry, a regiment still in formation. On September 9, 1862, with ten companies of sufficient strength, they were mustered in as a regiment with a total complement, officers and enlisted, of 985 men, 87 of whom were in Company G. Like most others, John was paid $25.00 of the $100.00 enlistment bounty plus a $2.00 ''premium" that was paid to volunteer recruits who appeared in person.

Most of the enlisted were farmers with no prior military experience and they would receive only brief training before going south. For John and others in the 21st, training was at Camp Franklin "on a sandy plateau on the bank of the Mississippi" "at the upper end of the bottom land adjoining Lake Peosta" just south of Eagle Point on the north side of Dubuque. Its ten buildings were each twenty by sixty feet and "arranged to accommodate one hundred men each." The camp, including the drill and parade grounds, was enclosed by a line or path where a sentry walked his beat day and night, with instructions to let no one pass either in or out without permission.

It was a miserable rainy morning, September 16th, when the regiment left camp and marched south through town, while families, friends and local residents watched. Women sent cakes and cheese and others tossed apples. From the levee at the foot of Jones Street most of the men boarded a "densely crowded'' steamer, the Henry Clay, with two open barges lashed to one side, ''packing ourselves like sardines" said one at a reunion fifty years later.

Bi-monthly company muster rolls indicated the presence or absence of the soldier as of the last day of the period and, initially, John maintained his health well. He was ''present" at Salem, Missouri for the roll ending October 31, 1862, at Houston, Missouri, for the roll ending December 31st, and at Iron Mountain, Missouri, for the roll ending February 28, 1863. He was also with the regiment when it went to Ste. Genevieve but, when it started south at the end of March, John did not go with it. He was seriously ill and, on March 28th, was admitted to a general hospital in Cairo, Illinois.

Suffering from "typhoid pneumonia," he died the next day. Medical terminology varied over time and from one doctor to another, but records attribute another twenty-four regimental deaths to "typhoid fever" and eleven to "pneumonia" (also known as lung fever). John was buried in the national cemetery at Mound City, Illinois. He had been paid through the end of December and had subsequent pay still due, but had drawn $41.61 in clothing since his enlistment. His personal effects were sent to relatives.

Twenty-seven years later, John's father, Henry Kain, was living in DeSoto, Wisconsin, upstream from McGregor, when, at age sixty-six, he applied for a pension claiming he was "greatly dependent" on John for support. Having survived so long without support from his son, it would be hard to convince the government that he had truly relied on John for his support and his task became more difficult when his attorney, N. W. Fitzgerald of Washington D.C. was disbarred for having committed pension fraud. On December 14, 1886 the Pension Office sent a circular to Henry advising him of the proof that would be needed to substantiate his claim. The letter was returned to the government with a note from his attorney, his new attorney, indicating that John had notified him that "he wishes to abandon his claim."
Nothing more was found regarding Henry or any other members of the family, but a "Henry Kain," possibly John's father, is buried in the Milwaukee County Almshouse and Poor Farm Cemetery, in Milwaukee.


Kapler, Othmar
Vinzenz Kapler and Bernhardina Stehle were married in Binsdorf, Germany, on April 1, 1839. They had ten children including Othmar who was born on November 15, 1840, in Binsdorf. In about 1852 they emigrated -first to West Virginia, then to Illinois, and eventually to Iowa.

On August 12, 1862, in Grand Meadow Township, Othmar was enrolled by Strawberry Point resident William D. Crooke in what would be Company B of the 21st Regiment of Iowa's Volunteer Infantry. The Company was mustered in at Dubuque on August 18, 1862, with a complement of ninety-nine men. Training was at Camp Franklin where men, mostly farmers with no military experience, were expected to drill, perform fatigue duty, and get used to taking orders. Company officers, however, were unhappy with the uniform coats that were, said one author, "too short by several inches." The site was also "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" As a result, little if any drill was practiced before the regiment left for the South.

Othmar had grey eyes, fair hair and a light complexion and, at 5 feet, 11½ inches, was about three inches taller than the average height of men in the regiment. On September 16th they boarded the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay (described by a Dubuque newspaper as a "miserable cramped up old tub") and two barges lashed to one side and started downstream. They spent one night at St. Louis' Benton Barracks before boarding rail cars that took them to Rolla. From there they walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville and back to Houston, and that's where they were when word was received that a Confederate column was advancing on Springfield. Othmar was one of 262 men from the regiment who rushed to its relief but, before getting there, met the enemy at Hartville where they fought a one-day battle on January 11, 1863, suffering three killed, one mortally wounded, and at least thirteen who were wounded less seriously.

They spent several more months in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, but were then ordered to join a massive army being formed by General Grant to capture the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, a city that President Lincoln said was "the key" to winning the war. They organized at Milliken's Bend, walked south along the west side of the Mississippi, and on April 30th crossed to the landing at Bruinsburg. From there, the 21st Iowa was the point regiment as the army moved inland in total darkness and drew first fire about midnight. After a short, restless night, they fought the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1st. They were present but held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill on May 16th, but were at the front on the 17th when, with the 23d Iowa, they led an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River. The enemy was routed, but seven in the regiment were killed, eighteen were fatally wounded, and at least forty had wounds that ranged from slight to serious.

The regiment then took its position on the siege line at the rear of Vicksburg and participated in a massive assault on May 22, 1863. Again, casualties were heavy with twenty-three killed and at least fifty wounded, twelve of whom would soon die from their wounds. Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, and the next day the regiment joined General Sherman in an expedition to and siege of Jackson. By July 20th they were back in Vicksburg and, for the first time in months, were allowed to rest, but not all were well. Among them was John Grutchek, an Austrian who, like Othmar, had been living in Grand Meadow Township. John was suffering from chronic diarrhea, an ailment that caused the death of at least sixty-five men while still on the muster rolls. He was granted a thirty-day furlough to return home to recuperate, but was so weak that he could no longer walk. Othmar secured a team of horses, took John to a hospital boat, and, helped carry his friend on board. John's recovery took longer than expected, but he rejoined the regiment several months later and was restored to duty without penalty.

Meanwhile, Othmar had maintained his own health well and continued on active duty with the regiment during many months on the Gulf Coast of Texas, subsequent service in Louisiana and Arkansas, and during the campaign in the spring of 1865 to capture the city of Mobile, Alabama. By then he had been promoted from Private to 4th Corporal and, on July 15, 1865 he was with the regiment when they were mustered out at Baton Rouge. On July 24th, at Clinton, they were discharged, received their final pay, and headed for their homes.

Five months later, on December 28, 1865, Othmar and Barbara Bachel married in Festina, Iowa, at St. Mary's Church, 2348 County Road B32. Othmar said they lived in Conover (no longer in existence) from 1865 to 1866 before moving to Spillville, but their first two children - George R. born November 7, 1866 and Caroline P. born June 9, 1868 - were born in Calmar. Other children were Rosalia born March 11, 1870, Ludvica born January 9, 1872, Mary Anna born September 14, 1874, Regina born January 31, 1878, Frank born August 26, 1881, and Gertrude E. born May 1, 1888.

They were living in Spillville on September 11, 1880, when thirty-nine year old Othmar signed an application seeking a government pension. He had, he said, contracted rheumatism during the Vicksburg Campaign and had sustained a severe rupture during service in Texas. With support from others who knew him, a pension was eventually granted. Othmar also signed affidavits supporting pension applications of several men with whom he had served. One of them was John Grutchek. Othmar remembered that John had been a robust and hardy person before the war, but had suffered greatly during the forced march to Hartville and had been too weak to walk to the hospital boat at Vicksburg.

Othmar's mother, Bernhardina (Stehle) Kapler died on September 13, 1882 and was buried south of Spillville in the St. Clement Cemetery, 1705 County Road Wl4, Fort Atkinson. Othmar and Barbara continued their life in Spillville. In November 1892, "while in the employ of the U.S. Government while carrying the mail from Conover to Spillville," Othmar was getting out of his buggy when he slipped and fell "striking my elbow ofright arm on the frozen ground and breaking the cap of same." Ten years later, in January 1902, while walking on an icy sidewalk in Spillville he again slipped and fell, this time "breaking my hip ofleft leg very severely." Othmar's father, Vinzenz "Vincent" Kapler, had left Spillville after his wife's death and, on March 9, 1896, died in Postville. He was buried with his wife in St. Clement Cemetery. Othmar died on September 1, 1911 and was buried in St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, 207 Church Street, Spillville. Barbara applied for and was granted a widow's pension, a pension she received until her death on April 27, 1924 at age seventy-seven. She was buried with Othmar in St. Wenceslaus Cemetery.


Kellogg, Christopher
At forty-two years of age, Christopher Kellogg was one of the oldest men to enlist in the infantry where the acceptable age was generally given as eighteen to forty-five. He was enrolled at McGregor on August 14, 1862, in a company being recruited by postmaster Willard Benton. Christopher was mustered into Company G on August 22, 1862. With eighty-six men (officers and enlisted) it was the smallest of the companies, but another fourteen recruits would join the company during its subsequent service.

When all ten companies were of sufficient strength they were mustered in at Dubuque as the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry with George S. Pierce, a Captain with the 19th U.S. Infantry, serving as the mustering officer. On the Company Muster-in Roll, Christopher was described as being 5 feet 9½ inches tall with grey eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion; occupation farmer. Like other volunteers, he was paid $25.00 of the $100.00 federal enlistment bounty and a $2.00 local premium. The balance of the bounty would be paid on completion of honorable service.

Brief training was received at Camp Franklin that was located "on a sandy plateau on the bank of the Mississippi," "at the upper end of the bottom land adjoining Lake Peosta," just south of Eagle Point, a mile or two above Dubuque. Its ten buildings were each twenty by sixty feet and "arranged to accommodate one hundred men each" and "boarded horizontally with pine board with shingled roofs having within on either side three tiers of bunks for the men, with a hallway or aisle through the middle with doors at either end, built on opposite sides of the drill or parade ground.”

On September 16, 1862, Christopher was with the regiment when the men crowded on board the steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its side and started down the Mississippi. After one night in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla, Missouri. On October 19th, they left Rolla and started a southerly march to Salem where, on October 23d, Christopher, possibly due to his age, was detailed as a hospital nurse. He returned to regular duty on December 12th, but was soon ordered back to his nursing duties. He continued in that capacity through the balance of the regiment's service in Missouri (Houston, Hartville, West Plains, Ironton, Iron Mountain and Ste. Genevieve) and was with it throughout the Vicksburg Campaign that culminated with the city's surrender by Confederate General Pemberton on July 4, 1863.

Soon thereafter, however, Christopher became ill and was taken to a hospital in Memphis. From there he went north and, on July 25th, was admitted to the New House of Refuge United States Army General Hospital in St. Louis with an undisclosed illness. He continued to be hospitalized in St. Louis at both the New House of Refuge and at the Jefferson Barracks United States Army General Hospital. On September 9, 1863 he was well enough to be granted a furlough to McGregor and, on his return, he was assessed $10.18 to cover the fare.

He continued to be listed as being sick in a St. Louis hospital until being transferred to the Invalid Corps on March 15, 1864.

Notes: The Invalid Corps permitted men to perform garrison duty, guard duty and other services commensurate with their condition and to thereby free more able-bodied men for active service. Due, however, “to an absurd, if understandable, prejudice against the word 'invalid, 'which had led men in the field to throw aspersions on a garrison organization the name was changed in the spring of 1864 from Invalid Corps to Veteran Reserve Corps, a change which also permitted the enlistment of discharged soldiers, not incapacitated but no longer subject to the draft." (Lonn, Desertion During the Civil War, p. 177). Some also objected to the "IC" acronym which was the same as that used for "Inspected-Condemned" stenciled on defective equipment.


Kellogg, William F.
William Kellogg was the son of Alfred and Mary P. (Brumbly) Kellogg. He was born in New York on February 28, 1830, and had an older brother, Samuel (born in 1824) and possibly other siblings. In 1849 the family moved to Clayton County, Iowa, and settled in Lodomillo Township. On September 12, 1856, William married Mary Jane Hines at her father’s house in Lodomillo Township. A son, James Albert Kellogg, was born on August 12, 1858.

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President. Southern states threatened to secede, but the Clayton County Journal wasn’t worried. "We do not believe that the people of South Carolina desire a dissolution of the Union simply because a Northern man was elected President.” The Journal was wrong. When South Carolina passed an ordinance of secession on December 20, 1860, the Journal still wasn’t concerned and on January 10th hoped readers “will not become too excited over this, because it is not worth while. There are men enough in Pennsylvania alone to subdue South Carolina without the aid of Iowa volunteers.” Mississippi had already joined South Carolina and five more states soon followed. On April 12, 1861, Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter. Virginia withdrew, Arkansas withdrew and on May 20th North Carolina joined them. A week later, May 27th, William Henry Kellogg was born to William and Mary Jane.

The war no one expected soon followed and quickly escalated into a second year. On July 9, 1862, with deaths and discharges from wounds and disease mounting, Iowa’s “War Governor,” Sam Kirkwood, received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments as part of the President’s call for 300,000 three-year men. If the state’s quota wasn’t raised by August 15th, it would be made up by a draft. “Our harvest is just upon us,” said the Governor, “and we have now scarcely men enough to save our crops, but if need be our women can help." It was in response to this call that Iowa’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry was raised, primarily in the northeastern counties.

With a wife and two very young children, William was not among those who were mustered in with the regiment on September 9, 1862. The regiment’s early service was in Missouri, it suffered heavy casualties during the Vicksburg Campaign and, after a round trip expedition to Jackson, it saw service in southwestern Louisiana and for six months along the Gulf coast of Texas. They returned to Louisiana in June, 1864, and were stationed at Terrebonne Station, Algiers and Morganza Bend before proceeding up the White River of Arkansas.

On January 18, 1865, they were stationed in Louisiana when General Edward Canby received authorization to move on Mobile. On the 19th, Luther Pugh and James McLane enlisted for one year and on the 20th Henry Coonfare, Flavel Halleck, Albert Knight, Noble Richards, Calvin Wilson and an almost- thirty-five-year-old William Kellogg also signed one-year enlistments. William’s Muster & Descriptive Roll dated February 9th at Dubuque said he was 5' 7" tall with brown hair, a dark complexion and blue eyes.

From Dubuque he went to the rendezvous at Davenport where recruits were assembled and organized, received a $33.00 advance on the $100.00 enlistment bounty, and was issued a haversack, knapsack canteen and other equipment. William was assigned to the regiment’s Company B and before long they started south. When Albert Knight and Flavel Halleck became sick on the way, Albert was left in St. Louis and Flavel in Memphis while the others continued their trip. Albert would eventually catch up, but Flavel died of tuberculosis and is buried in Memphis National Cemetery.

The regiment had been camped near Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island, Alabama, for a month when William Kellogg arrived on March 9th. On the 17th, they crossed the entrance to Mobile Bay and went ashore at Navy Cove. As part of Canby’s army, they then started a difficult march north, often in heavy rain and mud, along the east side of the bay. Dabney Maury commanding the Confederate army assigned General St. John Liddell to command Fort Blakely and General Randall Gibson to command Spanish Fort, two forts the federal army would have to pass to reach Mobile.

On the 25th Canby started an advance from Fish River and early the next morning the regiment “came on to the Jonnies at the old Spanish battery.” Casualties were light but Arnold Allen was caught in a crossfire and killed. He was the last member of the regiment to be killed in battle. While Canby was moving north along the bay, a separate federal force under Frederick Steele had moved north from Pensacola to Pollard hoping to intercept any attempt by Maury to withdraw from Mobile in that direction. From Pollard, Steele started south to join Canby. When his commissary train of seventy-five wagons became stuck in the mud, the 21st Iowa received orders on March 29th “to pack up our duds and get ready to move.” They were relieved at 4:00 p.m. and marched four miles in Steele’s direction. They covered another eight miles the next day and camped at Holyoke Mills. On April 2nd they “formed junction with General Steele’s command, and his train came to camp after supplies.” By April 3rd, they had taken a position in the rear of Fort Blakely. For the next two days they moved, unloaded and escorted wagons and on the 5th two of the companies guarding the wagons were relieved and “reported to our regiment.” That night, Confederates “tried to drive our boys out of the rifle pits” and the regiment was “called out to support them but were not needed and so we went back to our tents and lay on our arms.”

On April 8th, vastly outnumbered and hoping to save his men, Maury ordered the abandonment of Spanish Fort and that night they silently made their way across a plank walkway “to a point opposite Battery Huger.” On the 9th, still unaware that the Confederates had abandoned the fort, the 21st Iowa “started for Spanish Fort,” but after going only three miles they were ordered back to their camp. Meanwhile, other federal forces attacked and captured Fort Blakely on the 9th. “On the loss of Blakely,” said Maury, “I resolved to evacuate Mobile.” With Mobile evacuated on the morning of the 12th, General Gibson “sent a white flag to the fleet to inform the enemy that he might take quiet possession of Mobile” and “soon after midday Canby marched in.”

William Kellogg had been with the regiment during the entire campaign. His regiment had not been present when the army occupied Spanish Fort and had not participated in the assault on Fort Blakely, but had done the work assigned to it and from April 13th to May 26th would camp at nearby Spring Hill before being transported back to New Orleans. From there they moved up the Red River and Company B was one of ten companies that were stationed at Camp Salubrity near Natchitoches. By then William, like many others, was having problems with his eyes. They became so bad that he could not see well enough to write a letter and on June 17, 1865, he dictated a letter that one of his comrades, Sears Richards, wrote for him. They left Camp Salubrity on the 21st, reached Baton Rouge on the 23rd, and waited while officers made out final muster rolls and Sears wrote two more letters for William. While original enlistees were mustered out on July 15th, William still had time to serve and, with other recruits, was transferred to a 34th/38th consolidated regiment. He was mustered out on August 15, 1865, at Houston, Texas.

William and Mary Jane had two, possibly three more children. In 1898 he told the government he had four children then living: James and William born before their father enlisted, Alfred born April 23, 1871, and Carrie B. born February 9, 1872. There is an online reference to another daughter, Mary “Belle” Kellogg born in 1872 (the same year as Carrie) and died in 1897 (the year before William’s report to the government.*See notes after the bio.

William maintained his health well after the war but was a resident of Littleport on March 9, 1886, when he applied for an invalid pension indicating he had contracted eye disease and chronic diarrhea with resulting piles during the Mobile Campaign. He said he had been treated by the regimental surgeon during the war and used “eye water” after his discharge. Dr. Randall of Littleport had also treated him but could furnish no evidence since “he was killed by falling from a horse.” Several of William’s comrades - Abe Treadwell, James McLane, Luther Pugh, Charles Maxson and Sears Richards - signed affidavits attesting to his wartime health issues. Dwight Chase knew William well and had been the regiment’s surgeon for six and one-half months. Dr. Chase said he was the Kellogg family doctor, William “was often in my employ as a laborer” and “I met him at the landing at Dauphin Is. Al.” At that time, he said, William was suffering from “jaundice and sore eyes.” In 1887 a certificate was issued entitling William to $8.00 monthly from March 16, 1886, and $16.00 from April 27, 1887, with all amounts to be paid quarterly
In 1891 and again in 1896, still living in Littleport, he said his pension had been increased to $24.00 but he felt he was entitled to a further increase. Instead, he received a February 10, 1897, letter from the Commissioner of Pensions saying the amount allowed for sore eyes “was erroneous and contrary to law as said disability is in no way due to your military service but existed prior to your enlistment.” There was no indication of the basis for the letter. His $24.00 pension would remain, but William would have to repay the government for overpayments, amounts that would be withheld from the $24.00 until the unspecified overpayments had been reimbursed.

William reacted quickly and in less than a month had signed affidavits from people in Edgewood, Littleport and Strawberry Point - fifteen witnesses who said they knew William before his enlistment and his eyes were strong. Several had worked with him, one had known him since they were “young men,” another had known him for fifty years and one, who had been the County Sheriff and a member of the state legislature, said he had seen William frequently and would have known if William had an eye problem. William’s pension remained at $24.00, but there’s no indication whether the pension office ever changed its previous ruling.

On November 4, 1913, William died at his home in Littleport. He was buried near Edgewood in the Noble Cemetery. Mary Jane retained the Newberry Bros. firm of Strawberry Point to represent her and, on November 15, 1913, signing with an “x,” she applied for a widow’s pension. Several witnesses testified that William and Mary Jane had only been married once, they lived as husband and wife, and she had not remarried after his death. The undertaker, George Pilkington, said he had prepared William’s body for burial, put it in a casket and “consigned the same in grave.” Mary Jane’s application was approved. She died on March 21, 1915, and was buried next to William in Noble Cemetery.

*Added by S. Ferrall: re: the names of William's children - according to his obituary he had only 4; 3 sons and a daughter.  Depending on the year of the census, they were named variously James / Albert (same son); William; Alfred & Carrie B./ Mary Belle (same daughter - 1880 census = Carrie B., 1885 census = Mary Belle). Carrie Belle was married to George Wm. Scott in January 1888 when she was 17.  George went by the name William Scott, Will Scott or G. Will Scott.  They had at least 2 sons Miles & Elmer Scott and 2 daughters Molly & Leona.  George committed suicide in 1939 and is buried with his parents (Thomas & Mary True Scott) in the Strawberry Point cemetery.  Carrie & George may have been either separated or divorced (not verified).  George was married again 3X after Carrie died. His 2nd wife was Leona (1900 census), 3rd marriage (Virgaline) ended in divorce (she filed for desertion, see record on this website).  His death certificate (familysearch.org) indicates he was again married for a 4th time (Nellie) when he died. Carrie is buried in the Noble cemetery, and her gravestone is inscribed Belle Scott.  She was living in La Crosse, WI at the time of her death, or had been living there shortly prior to her death.  I couldn't find an obit.  Her son Miles & daughter Leona are living with their paternal grandparents Thomas & Mary in Cass twp. per the 1900 census.  Leona is age 4, so it is very possible that Carrie Belle died in childbirth with this daughter.  Molly & Elmer are living with Will & his 2nd wife Leona per the 1900 census.


Kimber, Charles
Charles Kimber was one of eleven children born to Andrew and Sarah (Morgan) Kimber in Genesee County, New York. Charles was born on November 20, 1822, attended school, worked on the family farm and, on October 13, 1847, married eighteen-year-old Malvina Fenn. After his father’s death in 1849, Charles, his wife, his mother and his sister Asenath moved to Medina County, Ohio.

In the spring of 1850 Charles moved to California where he engaged in mining for three years before returning to Ohio in March 1853 and then moving to Iowa that same fall. In Iowa he lived in several places in Clayton County before settling in Strawberry Point. He was a thirty-nine-year-old farmer, 6' 1" tall, when he enlisted on August 15, 1862, at Elkader as a private in Company D of the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. He was mustered in with the company a week later at Camp Franklin in Dubuque where he was paid a $2 premium for his voluntary enlistment and a $25 advance on the $100 federal bounty.

The regiment was mustered into federal service on September 9th and started south on the 16th on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay. Due to late summer low water at Montrose, they debarked, traveled by rail to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and continued to St. Louis. Charles was present during their early service in Missouri - Rolla, Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, West Plains, Ironton, and Iron Mountain - before marching into Ste. Genevieve on March 11, 1863. From there they were transported downstream to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a large army to capture Vicksburg, the key to opening the Mississippi. The army moved south along the west side of the river and crossed to Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on April 30th. The next day Charles participated with his regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson. After becoming ill near Five Mile Creek on May 10th, he “continued unfit for duty during the campaign in rear of Vicksburg” and was granted a furlough to go north. On June 22nd, Gilbert Cooley, 2nd Lieutenant in Company D, noted in his diary that “Charles Kimber was appointed Corp” and on July 26th that “Chas. Kimber and private John M. White arrived from furlough.” On his return, Charles was promoted to 5th Corporal to take the place of Ripley Hale who was promoted to 4th Corporal.

Late in the year the regiment was ordered to Texas and Charles was present when they left New Orleans in November and when they returned the following June. They then saw service at Terrebonne Station and Algiers in southwestern Louisiana, before going north to Morganza Bend in early August 1864. Gilbert Cooley would later recall that Charles “while in the line of his duty and attending to drawing rations for Company” wasn’t well, the “weather was excessive hot” and “before he reached his tent after attending to this duty he had an attack of sun stroke” and was treated by surgeon Hiram Hunt.

In late November, they were camped on a former plantation near the mouth of Arkansas’ White River when a dozen or more members of the company, including Charles, had “sore eyes.” Cooley said it was while they were “cleaning away cotton from the plantation,” but others had a different explanation. One of the recruits had syphilis and was found inside his tent washing “his privates” while using the company’s “mess pan,” the same mess pan others used for washing their hands and faces. Regardless of which, if either, was the cause for the sore eyes, Charles was among several who were sent to the Overton General Hospital in Memphis where Charles, by then a 1st Corporal, was treated for a “chronic inflammation of iris.” He rejoined the regiment on May 29, 1865, but was unable for duty. On June 15th, they were at Camp Salubrity in Louisiana when George Brownell noted that “Corp Kimber and I went out bee hunting got several ... but did not succeed in finding any trees.” From there they went to Baton Rouge where they were mustered out on July 15th, started north on the 16th, and were discharged at Clinton on the 24th.

In 1870 Charles applied for an invalid pension. The law at the time required at least ninety days’ of service, an honorable discharge and a disability due to a wound or illness contracted in the line of duty. Charles said he “was taken with sore Eyes” and excused from duty, but the condition became worse, he was sent to the hospital, had a sixty-day furlough and even after he returned to the regiment, “never was able to do any duty afterwards.” Since leaving the service he had lived in Elkader and worked at farming, but was “unable to do any hard labor by reason of said disability and his left eye is now nearly blind.” Although 1st Lieutenant William Grannis confirmed that Charles had suffered from sore eyes in the military and government records confirmed the medical treatment he had received, a doctor in Elkader felt “the sight of this eye is not the least impaired. He has had syphilitic sore eyes” and, while he had conjunctivitis, it was “chiefly due to intemperance.” A pension was denied.

Charles purchased forty acres in Cass County and he and Malvina took trips to Ohio and New York where they both had family and friends. Charles’ mother-in-law (Sarah Beebe Fenn) died in Medina, Ohio, in 1874, one of his sisters (Irene Kimber Cushing) in New York in 1876 and another sister (Maria Kimber Fenn) in New York in 1883. Meanwhile, in 1879, Charles again requested a pension. “I believe that injustice has been done me in not granting me a Pension as applied for,” he said, and “my disability is now worse.” “I have never in my life had any venerial disease nor been exposed to such only by washing in the same wash basin that one of my comrads in arms used to wash his disease parts.” His application was supported by affidavits from a neighbor and from four of his former comrades. This time, contrary to the previous report, a pension surgeon in Elkader found no evidence of intemperance and “I can find no symptoms of applicants ever having syphilis. Dont believe he ever had the desease.” The doctor confirmed the eye problems and recommended a pension. Charles was awarded $4.00 monthly, payable quarterly through the pension agency in Des Moines.

It had been increased to $6.00 by the time he applied for an increase in 1887 with support from William Simmons, a Justice of the Peace who said Charles had worked for him in 1881as a stone mason laying a basement but could not do a full day’s work. Other times, Charles became sick while working in a quarry, while hauling sand then being unable to work for several days, and while “slacking lime in a very warm day he was obliged to go home.” Henry Oglebee recalled that he once visited Charles at his home in Highland Township when Charles “was not able to do any work on account of said sun stroke.”

In 1890, Malvina died in Strawberry Point. Charles Roberts said she “died July 26, 1890 that the body was embalmed, placed in a casket and shipped to Medina Ohio on July 27, 1890 by myself as acting undertaker.” Charles arrived in Medina on the 30th and two days later a funeral was held at the home of Malvina’s younger brother, Elon Fenn. Malvina was buried in Medina’s Spring Grove Cemetery.

Charles returned to Clayton County and that October applied for a pension increase with supportive affidavits from Dr. Cole in Olewin, Dr. McLean in Volga, and Asa Haskins and John Inger of Strawberry Point. In November he was examined by doctors in McGregor, but then moved to Ohio, made his home in Mallet Creek and on October 18, 1891, at sixty-eight years of age, married Louisa Salmon whose first husband, William Kendrick Salmon, had died in 1876.

As he grew older, Charles suffered from eye problems, vertigo and cephalalgia he blamed on the sunstroke and his pension was gradually increased. In 1896, a family doctor found him unconscious. Charles regained consciousness but four months later still had trouble speaking, could utter only short sentences and often used the wrong words. On March 4, 1897, still living in Mallet Creek, Charles Kimber died and was buried next to Malvina.

Charles was receiving $14.00 monthly ($42.00 quarterly) when he died. Louisa received his accrued pension but did not qualify under the law then in effect for a widow’s pension. She applied again in 1916 when the law was amended, but died on January 9, 1917, before her claim could be processed. Born on May 22, 1839, Louisa had been a member of the Methodist Protestant Church since she was sixteen years old and was a charter member of Mallet Creek’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union for which she had served as President, Secretary and Treasurer. She is buried next to her first husband in Branch Cemetery, Medina County.


King, Harvey H.
This is a story of two people, Emily Tremain and Harvey King, that demonstrates how personal lives sometimes became intertwined and complex due to the Civil War and the country’s pension system.

Emily Tremain (sometimes spelled Truman) was the daughter of Henry and Rowena (Chapman) Tremain. She was born in New York on March 25, 1821, as was one of her sisters. Four other siblings were born in Ohio and that’s where Emily met, and on March 2, 1842, married William Bartholomew. Emily’s father died while they were still in Ohio, but Emily, her husband, her mother and her siblings moved to Iowa and settled in Clayton County.

Harvey King was born in Oneida County, New York, on September 24, 1836. Clayton County marriage records indicate that, on January 20, 1860, he married Caroline M. Osborne whose first husband had died in 1858. A Lodomillo Township census five months after the wedding includes Harvey (age 23), Caroline (age 34) and her daughter, Lydia Osborne (age 8).

Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and on July 23rd of that year the President called for volunteers to augment the regular army. One of Emily Tremain’s brothers (21-year-old Cyrus) enlisted on September 12th and her oldest son (18-year-old Andrew) enlisted on September 24th, both in the 9th regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry. Two days later the regiment left for St. Louis’ Benton Barracks. Emily’s husband (42-year-old William) enlisted in the same regiment on November 19th and started south to join his son and brother-in-law. On January 8, 1862, Cyrus, was discharged for disability and on June 4th Emily’s husband died. Suffering from chronic diarrhea, William had been given a sick furlough and died at home. Dr. C. H. Rawson said “I saw him the day he arrived at his home. He came home sick with Typhoid Fever” from which he died. William was buried in Ross Cemetery, Sperry Township.

By then the war had escalated even further and, on July 9, 1862, Governor Sam Kirkwood received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments as part of the President’s call for another 300,000 volunteers. In response to this call, Emily’s younger brother (Martin) enlisted on August 14th and, on the same day at Strawberry Point, Harvey King was enrolled, both in state’s 21st infantry. The regiment was mustered into service at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin on September 9, 1862, with a total of 985 men, officers and enlisted, with Harvey described as a 25-year-old farmer, 5' 8" tall with blue eyes, light hair and a sandy complexion. On the 16th, those able to travel started south on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay. After one night on Rock Island, they continued their journey, debarked at Montrose, traveled by rail to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and continued to St. Louis. They arrived on the 20th and the next night, on board a freight train of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad, they left for Rolla.

Their first camp was poorly located and the air “oppressed the senses like the breath of sewers,” but they soon moved to a new site about five miles southwest of town where the air was fresh and good water was available from numerous springs. On October 15, 1862, orders were received indicating the regiment was to march south to the town of Salem. General Fitz Henry Warren arrived on the 17th and the able-bodied left on the 18th, but Harvey King was not among them. Suffering from epilepsy, Harvey had had several “convulsions” and was discharged from the military.

Emily’s son, Andrew, completed his tour of duty with the 9th infantry, reenlisted as a veteran, died on February 29, 1864, and was buried near his father in Ross Cemetery. Her brother, Martin, was discharged from the 21st Infantry on a surgeon’s certificate of disability.

On April 1, 1864, with McGregor’s Thomas Updegraff as her attorney, Emily gave her address as Volga City when she applied for a widow’s pension and for pensions for her four children who were under sixteen years of age when their father died. The law at the time provided for pensions only if death was due to a service-related medical issue and the only thing mentioned in William’s military records was chronic diarrhea. Dr. Rawson had not mentioned chronic diarrhea and said death was due to typhoid fever. This created a potential problem for Emily, but Dr. Rawson signed another affidavit, this time saying death was from “chronic diarrhoea terminating with typhoid symptoms just before his death.”

Emily’s application was still pending on March 29, 1865, when she married Harvey King (whose first wife had apparently died). As a result of their marriage, Emily’s widow’s pension was terminated. By the following January, only three of her children were still under sixteen when William Penfield, as their guardian, applied for a pension, a pension that was granted four months later. On March 27, 1866, Harvey and Emily had a daughter of their own, a daughter they named Mable.

Forty years passed until, on January 20, 1906, sixty-nine-year-old Harvey applied for his own invalid pension. With J. J. Berkey & Son of West Union as his attorneys, he said he was no longer able to earn a living by manual labor due to his age and “injuries to brain causing epilepsy while in service.” A pension was quickly denied since pension laws required at least ninety days’ service and Harvey had been discharged after only sixty-five days. Fortunately, the county had formed a three-member soldiers’ relief commission to care for indigent persons “who are cared for in part at their homes, or in the families of friends, and who are exempt from the humiliation of going to the poor house by reason of having been soldiers in the service of their country.” On November 17, 1910, the commission awarded Harvey $10.00 per month, an amount he received until his death on October 2, 1914. G. W. Pilkington, then an undertaker in Strawberry Point, said he prepared Harvey’s body for burial and, on October 5th, “I placed the body in a grave in the Cox Creek cemetery in Sperry Township, Clayton County.”

After Harvey’s death, the relief commission awarded Emily $10.00 per month, an amount she was receiving on October 5, 1915, when she retained Newberry Bros. of Strawberry Point and asked to be restored to the pension rolls as the widow of her first husband, William Bartholomew. Affidavits from friends and the county treasurer said she had no property and was in financial need. A process that sometimes took several years was shortened when a pension examiner pointed out that “in view of the advanced age of the claimant (94 years) and her apparent dependence the claim is not held up for another witness to cohab. with King. The claimant lives in the same locality in which she married her sub. hus. Harvey H. King and there is nothing in the claim to arouse suspicion.” A legal reviewer quickly approved it and Emily was awarded $20.00 per month from the date her application was received.

Emily’s pension had been increased to $25.00 monthly by the time she died on October 26, 1918. Like both of her husbands, she was buried in Ross Cemetery. Since a small amount of Emily’s pension had accrued after the last payment, her daughter, Mable (King) Carpenter, applied for reimbursement of expenses she had incurred. My mother, she said, “lived with me and I cared for her for four years up to the date of her death.” Mable’s husband, Ambrose, had died four years earlier and Mable said, “I have a home and but little other property.” The pension office reviewed the invoices she had received for her mother’s final medical expenses ($27.00), for the digging of a grave ($4.00), for a casket and undertaking services ($115.00), for livery ($2.00) and for Rev. Wells’ officiating at the funeral ($5.00). She was paid the full $19.17 that had accrued since her mother’s last payment.

Mable died on January 7, 1945, and, like her parents, is buried in Ross Cemetery.


Knight, Albert Harmon
Samuel H. Knight and Betsy (also seen as Betsey) Stevens were married on March 14, 1833, and lived in Norwich, Hampshire county, Massachusetts. Albert, the seventh of ten children of the marriage, was born on April 27, 1847, and was an eight-year-old schoolboy when the family moved to Strawberry Point in 1855. Reclaiming unimproved land in Section 30, the family worked hard and Samuel "became one of the pioneer farmers and influential and honored citizens of Lodomillo

On April 12, 1861, Southern artillery fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Initially, Iowa was called upon to provide one regiment of infantry, but it soon became apparent that more were needed and more calls were made. Enlistees were to be no younger than eighteen nor older than forty-five although age requirements were not always honored. On September 15, 1861, Albert's brother, seventeen-year-old John (giving his age as eighteen), enlisted in Iowa's 9th regiment of volunteer infantry. On March 7, 1862, he was severely wounded in the right leg during the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwestern Arkansas. After treatment in the field, he was discharged on August 14th.

By then, twenty-year-old Myron Knight had become the second brother to join the army when he enlisted at Strawberry Pointon August 11, 1862, in what would be Company B of the state's 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. Myron saw extensive service with his regiment in Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. In the spring of 1865 the regiment started its final campaign of the war when those still able for duty were transported to Dauphin Island, Alabama. That's where they were on February 1, 1865, when Albert became the last family member to join the military. Almost eighteen years old, his address was in Strawberry Point when he enlisted at Yankee Settlement (Edgewood) in Myron's Company B. He was described as being 5' 4¾" tall with grey eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion.

At the same time, Will Boynton, who had already served ten months with the company before being discharged due to illness, reenlisted. (After the war he would marry Katherine Knight, a younger sister of the Knight brothers). Albert, Will and five other recruits started south from Davenport but, on the way, Albert became sick. He was briefly hospitalized in St. Louis and again in New Orleans, but reached the regiment on March 25th at the mouth of the Fish River on the east side of Mobile Bay.

Confederate troops were forced to abandon Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely and, on a "warm and pleasant" April 11th, Albert, his brother Myron, Will Boynton and Jim Bethard (a comrade from Grand Meadow Township) took time to examine Blakely. Meanwhile, Confederate troops withdrew from Mobile and, on April 12th, Union troops moved in. The regiment camped nearby and, on May 10th, the same day Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia, Albert and William were granted leave and explored Mobile. Albert then continued with the regiment during its subsequent service on Louisiana's Red River.

With the war at an end, recruits such as Albert, who had not completed their three-year enlistments, were transferred on July 12th to a consolidated 34th/38th infantry. Myron and other original enlistees were mustered out on July 15th at Baton Rouge. Albert was one of 110 men who were transferred as "unassigned recruits" to their new regiment then stationed in Texas, but their service was brief. There was no longer a need to maintain a large military force and, on August 15th, they were mustered out at Houston.

A prewar farmer, he pursued a postwar career as a machinist and tool maker. In December 1871 (or 1872), Albert and Mary Wright Platt were married at her father's house in Paterson, New Jersey, by the Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. They had two children, Samuel Wright Knight and Albert Platt Knight. The family lived most of the time in Cleveland, Ohio, but, in answer to an inquiry from the Pension Office, Albert said he had also traveled to or, for short periods, lived in California, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

During his prewar residence near Strawberry Point, he had met Truman McKee who lived a few miles'south in Honey Creek Township, Delaware County. Truman was an accomplished and well known drummer "who had learned it from his father, a Mexican war veteran. His father, in turn, was taught by a veteran of the war of 1812." During the war, Truman would serve as Drum Major of Iowa's 12th Infantry.

Albert learned from Truman. Many years later, a news article described a sixty-seven-year-old Albert as a "grizzled old drummer, probably the greatest expert on the 'long roll' in the country." The "long roll" was the call to arms and something Albert never forgot. He "devoted years to mastering it as it was taught him by Trueman [sic] McKee of Iowa. And his first 'tryout' came when he was seventeen, when he had to play long lines of "tired men in blue into action." In postwar contests, other drummers performed well, "but the ovation came when the gray-haired veteran, with the young hands, smilingly stepped forward". He won so often that '"first prize to Mr. Albert Knight,' became popular."

By 1916, he was concerned that drumming was "becoming a lost art." "But it will always be best for marching," he said. "A good war drummer can make himself heard five miles." "I am willing to compete with any drummer in the country on the long roll," he said. "I learned it from the master of them all." At Cleveland's hippodrome that Fourth of July he would "play an imitation of a battle, including the march of men; the rattle of rifle and the boom of artillery."

After Mary's death on March 21, 1922 (or 1923), Albert continued to live in Cleveland at 1529 East 4 7th Street. He was slowed by heart trouble and other age-related problems, but it was a fall from the back porch on February 2, 1925, that most incapacitated him. He died on March 26, 1927. Albert's body was cremated and the ashes sent to Paterson, New Jersey, for interment. His drum is in the possession of a great-grandson.


Knight, Myron Elder
Samuel H. Knightand Betsy(also seen as Betsey) Stevens were married on March 14, 1833, and lived in Norwich, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Myron, the fifth of ten children of the marriage, was born on February 19, 1842, and was a thirteen-year-old schoolboy when the family moved to Strawberry Point in 1855. Reclaiming unimproved land in Section 30, the family worked hard and Samuel "became one of the pioneer farmers and influential and honored citizens of Lodomillo township. "

With the outbreak of the Civil War, volunteers were needed with enlistees to be no younger than eighteen nor older than forty-five although age requirements were not always honored. On September 15, 1861, Myron's brother, seventeen-year-old John (giving his age as eighteen), enlisted in Iowa's 9th regiment of volunteer infantry. On March 7, 1862, he was severely wounded in the right leg during the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwestern Arkansas. After treatment in the field, he was discharged on August 14th.

Three days earlier, twenty-year-old Myron had been enrolled at Strawberry Point by Charles Heath, a local dentist, in what would be Company B of the state's 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. His Descriptive Book said Myron was 5' 10" tall with blue eyes, fair hair, and a light complexion.

The company was mustered in at Camp Franklin in Dubuque on August 18, 1862, mustered in as a regiment on September 9th, and left for war on a rainy September 16th. After one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they traveled 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 on November 24th, they moved back to Houston but, on January 11, 1863, they were again in Hartville where a one-day battle was fought. Myron was one of the participants in the battle during which Company B was assigned to help guard the cannon.

They returned to Houston but, on January 27th, started south to West Plains. They were there only a short time before moving again, this time to the northeast. They passed through Thomasville, Ironton and Iron Mountain and, on March 11th, reached Ste. Genevieve on the Mississippi River. A month later the regiment was camped at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, where General Grant was organizing a massive army to capture the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. They were assigned to a corps led by General John McClernand, walked south across bayous and through swamps west of the river, and crossed to Bruinsburg, Mississippi, on April 30th.

As the point regiment for the entire Union army, they drew first fire about midnight but, after a short exchange, both sides rested. On May 1, 1863, Myron participated with his regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson. On May 16, 1863, they were present but held in reserve during the Battle of Champion's Hill, but, the next day, were one of two Iowa regiments that led a successful assault on Confederates entrenched along the Big Black River. It took only a few minutes, but the regiment had seven killed during the assault, eighteen with wounds that would prove fatal and at least forty with less serious wounds. Among the most seriously wounded was the regiment's colonel, McGregor banker Sam Merrill, and among the dead was Company B's 1st Lieutenant, Henry Howard.

On May 22, 1863, after taking their place on the line that General Grant was extending around the rear of Vicksburg, they participated in an assault on the steep-sided railroad redoubt and Fort Beauregard (Salient C) directly in front of them. The assault was unsuccessful and casualties were heavy: twenty-three killed in action, twelve fatally wounded and at least forty-eight with non-fatal wounds, some serious and some not.

On June 3, 1863, one of Myron's sisters, ten-year old Mary Alice, died in Strawberry Point. Myron learned of her death on June 18th. He was treated for illness in quarters on the 20th, and "wrote to Mother in answer to the notice of Alice's death" on the 21st. Following the city's surrender on July 4th, the able-bodied in the regiment joined in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson, but Myron was among those left in Vicksburg so he could receive further medical care.
After his comrades returned from their Jackson expedition, they left for Carrollton, Louisiana, on August 13th but, again, Myron remained behind, sick in a Vicksburg hospital. On the 18th, according to hospital records, he was admitted to the No. 3 U.S.A. General Hospital where a comrade, Charles Reeves, was a working as a nurse: "and I helped take care of him his feet and legs were so badly swollen that he could hardly walk. the surgeon told me to go and tell Knight "I have got a furlough for him."

Myron started north with a 30-day furlough on August 27th, reached Strawberry Point on September 3rd, and was there on the 22nd when one of his brothers, twenty-five year old Judson, died. Myron's recovery took longer than anticipated and, lest he be viewed as a deserter, he visited a local doctor and, three times, secured certificates documenting his continuing disability. Finally, on Christmas day, Myron and Seymour Chipman, a comrade from Strawberry Point, started for Davenport. A doctor cleared Myron for a return to the regiment, but Seymour was held in the hospital and ultimately transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps.

For Myron the trip to his regiment - by rail to Cairo, the Emmadale to New Orleans and the George Peabody to Texas - was a long one but, on February 14, 1864, he reported for duty at the regiment's camp in Indianola, Texas. He continued on active duty during the balance of the regiment's service in Texas and was with it when it saw subsequent service in southwestern Louisiana and on the White River in Arkansas. They were at Duval's Bluff on November 20, 1864, when Jim Bethard, a Company B comrade, wrote to his wife in Grand Meadow Township: "we commenced building our shanties on Tuesday morning and on wednesday morning I went on picket and on Thursday morning Jim Rice went on and on Friday morning Frank Farrand went on and this morning Miren Knight our fourth tent mate went on but notwithstanding all the picketing and rain we have got us a comfortable log shantie built a fier place to it".

On February 1st, 1865, another brother, almost-eighteen-year-old Albert Knight, enlisted at Yankee Settlement (now Edgewood) as a new recruit for the regiment that was about to start its final campaign of the war. (see Albert's bio above) Myron and others in the 21st regiment were mustered out at Baton Rouge. They were discharged from the military on July 24th at Clinton and Myron reached home the next evening.

On January 1, 1871, Myron and Bessie Jane Gilbert were married by Elder Perry of the Baptist Church. They would have six children: Mary Alice in 1872, John Samuel in 1873, William Myron in 1875, Katie Maria Knight in 1878, Charlie W. in 1880, and Earl Munro in 1882.

Myron lived in Lodomillo Township for the rest of his life, worked a splendid 215 acre farm, and had a "commodious and attractive brick residence." The 1916 county history said he had "the distinction of having maintained longer continuous residence on a single farm than any other man in Lodomillo township." He was a member of Strawberry Point Lodge No. 131 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, was a member of the Henry Howard Post, Post 259, of the G.A.R., was a township Treasurer and Trustee, served on a local school board, and attended numerous regimental reunions.

In 1889, reciting his wartime disabilities, Myron applied for an invalid pension with former comrade, Gilbert Cooley, as his attorney. Supporting his application were two other comrades, Charles Reeves who had helped care for Myron in the Vicksburg hospital and Abe Treadwell who was "his near neighbor ever since he came home from the army." A.R. Carrier testified that Myron was free from illness before the war. After the war, they sometimes worked together, "changing work on their respective farms," but Myron was frequently unable to work due to his continuing infirmities. Myron was granted a $2.00 monthly pension, but was dropped from the rolls after his "Disability ceased to exist." Several years later he reapplied under new laws and was granted a pension that increased in increments to an eventual $40.00 monthly, payable quarterly.

Bessie died on October 23, 1908, at sixty-six years of age. Myron was seventy-eight when he died on April 5, 1920. They're buried in Strawberry Point Cemetery. Descendants continue to live in the area.


Larkin, Thomas J.
Thomas Larkin was born in New York City on May 25, 1843, but when he immigrated to Iowa has not been determined.

Confederate guns fired on Major Anderson’s garrison at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and the ensuing war escalated quickly into a second year. On July 9, 1862, Governor Samuel Kirkwood received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments as part of the President’s call for 300,000 three-year men. If the state’s quota wasn’t raised by August 15th, it "would be made up by draft" but, despite the Governor’s confidence, enlistments started slowly as "farmers were busy with the harvest, the war was much more serious than had been anticipated, and the first ebullition of military enthusiasm had subsided. Furthermore, disloyal sentiment was rampant in some parts of the State." All men between eighteen and forty-five were listed in preparation for a draft, a draft that wasn’t needed.

On August 12, 1862, at Volga City (now Volga) nineteen-year-old Thomas was enrolled by Elisha Boardman as a Private in what would be Company D of the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. In lieu of dog tags used in more recent wars, soldiers in the Civil War were identified by physical descriptions. On the Company Muster-in Roll and in his Descriptive Book, Thomas was described as being 5' 6" tall with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion; occupation farmer. At Dubuque’s Camp Franklin the company was mustered in on August 22nd with 97 men and the regiment on September 9th with a total of 985. To partially replace men who were killed, transferred, discharged or deserted before the regiment was mustered out of service, the company would receive another 16 recruits and the regiment 143.

On September 16th, after brief and largely ineffective training during which they received Enfield muskets, they left Dubuque on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside. They spent their first night on Rock Island, resumed their trip the next day, debarked at Montrose due to low water, traveled by train to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and continued to St. Louis where they arrived on September 20th. After one night at Camp Benton, they boarded rail cars usually reserved for freight and livestock about midnight on the 21st and the next morning arrived at Rolla where they would spend the next month.

From there, and still in Missouri, they walked to Salem, Houston, Hartville, back to Houston, south to West Plains and then northeast to Ironton, Iron Mountain and St. Genevieve where they arrived on March 11, 1863. They were then transported downstream to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a large army for what would be a successful campaign to capture Vicksburg. On April 30th, after walking south on roads and through swamps west of the Mississippi, they crossed the river from Disharoon’s Plantation to the Bruinsburg landing in Mississippi and on May 1st Thomas participated with his regiment in the Battle of Port Gibson. There’s no indication that he participated in other battles of the campaign and, on June 30th with the siege still in progress, he was reported as absent “sick” in the Division Hospital.

Vicksburg surrendered on July 4th and the next day the regiment was part of force that started a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston from the rear of Vicksburg and east to Jackson. By then Thomas was well enough to participate and Gilbert Cooley noted that “our regiment started with the army for Jackson Miss. Comp. “D” had 12 men under command of Lieut. G Cooley. The following are the names of the men. Orderly Salmon Bush Cop’s Edward B. Snedigar & Otis Allen & Ruel Aldrich, Privates, Wm H. Fobe, Jacob Gunther, Samuel H. Knickerbocker, Thomas J. Larkin, Robert Leitch and John W. Burdine.” On July 26th, after returning to Vicksburg, Thomas was promoted to 8th Corporal to replace of Ruel Aldrich who was promoted to 7th Corporal.

On August 5th Thomas was granted a furlough, but he was back with the regiment by October 13th when he was one of many who signed a petition asking that their captain, Elisha Boardman (who had imprudently been discharged), be reinstated. The War Department had no objection and Elisha was soon back in command. For the next several months, they served in southwestern Louisiana where Thomas was promoted to 7th Corporal and along the Gulf coast of Texas where he was promoted to 6th Corporal. They were on Matagorda Island on April 5, 1864, when Colonel Merrill signed an order reducing Thomas “to the Ranks for using language to His Superior Officers unbecoming a soldier and for the disobedience of orders.”

Thomas continued with the regiment when they returned to Louisiana and was marked “present” on the muster rolls of June 30, 1864, at Terrebonne Station, Louisiana, August 31st at Morganza, Louisiana (by which time he had been detached to serve as an Orderly at regimental headquarters), October 31st when they were on the White River of Arkansas and December 31st when they were stationed in Memphis. From there they moved downstream and debarked at Kennerville, Louisiana, on January 5, 1865. On the 30th, George Brownell wrote that he and four others, including Thomas, “took the Morning train down to New Orleans had a pleasant time went to the St Charles Theater in the eavening.”

Thomas continued as an Orderly during that spring’s successful campaign to occupy Mobile before being mustered out on July 15, 1865, at Baton Rouge. The next morning, on board the Lady Gay, they started north. They reached Cairo on the 19th and had a good meal at “soldiers’ rest” before leaving by rail in the afternoon. On the 21st they camped outside of Clinton, Iowa, and on the 24th they marched into town, were discharged from the military, received their final pay and the $75.00 balance of their enlistment bounties and, in small groups, headed for their homes.

On July 15, 1866, in Prairie du Chien, Thomas and Martha J. Love were married by a Justice of the Peace and for several years lived in northeastern Iowa where Thomas joined the Hervey Dix Post of the G.A.R.. Their first child, Nelly, was born on November 1, 1867. Margaret was born the following year, but died a few weeks after her first birthday. A son, Frank, was born on December 14, 1870, in Elkader, and another daughter, Edna, was born on August 25, 1876. Edna was nine years old when she died and was buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, McGregor.

By 1891 Martha and forty-eight-year-old Thomas were living at 229 Aldrich Avenue North in Minneapolis when Thomas applied for an invalid pension saying he was suffering from rheumatism, liver and kidney problems, weak eyes and the loss of teeth due to scurvy. Surgeons thought he was entitled to a pension for the loss of teeth and rheumatism, but a pension was denied and Thomas reapplied with a new attorney. His request was supported by a neighbor for whom Thomas had worked, a friend who saw him almost every day, and a doctor who had treated him and said Thomas was often confined to his bed, but again the Bureau of Pensions said he had “no ratable disability under Act of June 27, 1890.”

Living at 740 26th Avenue N.E., Minneapolis, Thomas applied again in 1895, but the claim lingered. He secured numerous supportive affidavits, answered questions from the Bureau and received opinions from doctors who said he could do no manual labor, could not “get about,” was “confined to his house a great part of the time” and was “totally incapacitated. In 1898, seven years after he had first applied, a certificate was issued entitling him to $8.00 monthly retroactive to February 25, 1893.

Thomas was living at 946 25th Avenue N.E. when he applied for increases in 1899 and 1900, at 1029 28th Avenue N.E. when he applied in 1902, and at 942 28th Avenue N.E. when he applied in 1905. Each time he said his then ratable issues had worsened and his pension was not commensurate with amounts received by others with similar disabilities, but the Bureau denied increases. On February 23, 1907, with an address of 944 28th Avenue N.E., he applied under a recently enacted age-based act and his pension was increased to $12.00.

Postwar, Thomas had worked in the livery business and as a laborer and janitor. He was a sixty-six-year-old janitor at the G.A.R. hall in Minneapolis when he died of stomach cancer on August 4, 1909. His body was shipped to McGregor where he is buried in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

Three weeks after her husband’s death, Martha gave her address as 3012 34th Avenue South when she applied for a widow’s pension, a pension that was soon granted at $12.00 monthly. In 1926 she was living at 3030 Hiawatha Avenue North and seven years later, on May 8, 1933, she died. Her son, Frank, giving his “new address” as Glenwood, Minnesota, notified the Bureau of Martha’s death, but her burial has not been found. Frank died in 1945 and is buried in Glenwood’s Lutheran Cemetery.


Lawrence, Andrew 'Judge'
Andrew Lawrence, nicknamed "Judge," was born in Scotland, immigrated to New York and, shortly before the war, moved to McGregor. On August 14, 1862, at age thirty-four he enlisted in the union army for three years “or the war.” The company was ordered into quarters at Camp Franklin (formerly Camp Union) in Dubuque where, on August 22, 1862 it was mustered into service with an original complement of eighty-six men, officers and enlisted. On the Company Muster-in Roll he was described as being 5' 9½” tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. When all ten companies were of sufficient strength they were mustered in on September 9, 1862, as the 21st regiment of Iowa’s volunteer infantry.

On September 16th, they left Dubuque on board the steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its side and started down the Mississippi. Andrew was one of relatively few men who were marked "present" on every bimonthly company muster roll although he was away from the regiment from September 4, 1863 (when he was ill and left behind while the regiment moved to Texas) until he rejoined the regiment a month later. From November 5, 1864 to February 5, 1865 he was detailed as a hospital nurse and it was during that time that he would later claim he contracted a debilitating head cold and chronic catarrh of the head. A private throughout the war, Andrew was meticulous. As one of his comrades, Jim Bethard, said, "Judge Lawrence is the same old Judge he keeps his gun in splendid order devoting the whole of every Saturday afternoon to scouring and cleaning it up."

Andrew was reported present for the entire Vicksburg Campaign when the regiment saw its heaviest casualties. General Grant organized a massive army with three corps of infantry at Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana. From there they walked, and rode, and waded, through swamps and bayous west of the river, until crossing to the east bank on April 30, 1863. The next day they fought in the daylong Battle of Port Gibson. On May 16th, they were present but held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill. Because of that they were rotated to the front the next day when they were one of two Iowa regiments that led an assault on entrenched confederates at the Big Black River. During the assault, the regiment’s Colonel, Sam Merrill, was seriously wounded when shot through both thighs. On May 22d, they were in position on the union line encircling the city when they participated in another assault. They then participated in the siege that ended on July 4th with the regiment having suffered a verified 31 killed in action, 34 who died due to mortal wounds, 102 who incurred non-fatal wounds, and eight who were captured.
Andrew continued with the regiment during its subsequent service in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, and in Alabama during a campaign in the spring of 1865 that ended with the occupation of Mobile. He was mustered out with the rest of the regiment on July 15, 1865 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, paid $6.00 for his musket and accouterments, and headed north to be discharged at Clinton.

From there he returned briefly to his old home in New York where, on March 17, 1870, he and Jane Biggar were married. An online site for Bovina, New York, indicates that Jane was born on November 22, 1837. Although having no children of their own, they later adopted the son of Andrew's youngest sister.

Andrew and Jane settled first in Crawford County, Missouri, where Andrew worked as a carpenter and joiner. Applying for an invalid pension in 1873, he claimed that on or about August 4, 1864, during their second posting near Morganza Bend, he developed a liver problem and that, on or about December 26, 1864, near Germantown, Tennessee, he contracted catarrh which later became chronic although he had not been treated in the hospital for either problem.

After investigation by the federal pension office, Andrew was awarded a monthly pension of $6.00 and, periodically thereafter, he applied for increases based on increasing disabilities and new laws enacted by Congress. Claims were supported by affidavits from neighbors and other friends who knew him before and after the war. Many soldiers had also become good friends during the war and maintained their friendships subsequently. Others were located through the Grand Army of the Republic, periodic reunions, and the Adjutant General’s Office. Andrew was successful in securing supportive affidavits from several former comrades including Iowa residents William Barber and Edward Warn in Luana, former surgeon William Orr in Ottumwa, and Maple Moody in McGregor. Also signing affidavits were Rufus Grosvenor (a former hospital steward) living in Covington, Nebraska, Frederick Richardson in Madison, Nebraska, and Gilbert Gulbrandson living in Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Although military records disclosed no illness, Dr. Orr recalled that Andrew had been under his care for malaria. Rufus Grosvenor said that, in December 1864, Andrew "was detailed as one of the best and most capable men of the Regt to carry a medicine pack on his back and a case of Instruments in his hand on the Wolf River," and it was during the return that Andrew contracted a "severe cold and considerable fever."

Andrew was receiving a $14. 00 monthly pension when, on December 8, 1904, he died of heart disease at his home 5.5 miles east of Ewing, Nebraska. As his widow, Jane was entitled to a widow's pension, but would first have to prove that she had married Andrew, that they lived together as husband and wife, that they were still married when Andrew died, and that she was in financial need of a pension. To do this, she secured an affidavit from the minister who had married them thirty-four years earlier, from sixty-three year old Nelson Reynolds who had served with Andrew, and from friends and neighbors who knew of her lifestyle and financial circumstances. A pension was approved and, like her husband, Jane periodically applied for increases as new and more generous laws were approved by Congress. She was receiving $30.00 monthly when, on November 21, 1922, one day before her 85th birthday, she died in Ewing, Nebraska.


Lewis, Henry Thomas
Henry Lewis was born in 1828 in Essex, New York. Sarah Ann Johnson was born on August 28, 1833, also in New York. They were married in New Albion, New York, by justice of the peace Arad Rich. Their children included Helen Melissa (born July 6, 1855 in Cattaraugus County, New York), Charles Nelson (born December 30, 1856 in Buchanan County, Iowa), Edward Alphonso (born September 19, 1858 in Buchanan County, Iowa), and Forest Leander (born August 5, 1861).

On the day of Forest's birth, Iowa's Governor, Sam Kirkwood went to Washington to confer with Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs and, to finance what had become an increasingly expensive war, Congress enacted the country's first income tax. Those who predicted an early end to the war were wrong. Iowa troops were already in the South and more were needed. The following year, when President Lincoln called for more volunteers, Governor Kirkwood assured him "the State of Iowa in the future as in the past, will be prompt and ready to do her duty to the country in the time of sore trial. Our harvest is just upon us, and we have now scarcely men enough to save our crops, but if need be our women can help." A draft was organized but not needed.

On August 14, 1862, Henry Lewis enlisted at McGregor in a company then being organized by Willard Benton. On the 22nd they were was mustered as Company G with Benton as Captain and, on September 9th, with nine other companies, they were mustered in as the state's 21st Infantry. Henry was described on the Company Muster-in Roll as being 5' 10" tall with brown eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion; occupation farmer.

During their short training at Camp Franklin in Dubuque, several soldiers contracted measles. One was Thompson Spottswood, a thirty-one year old dentist who was given leave to return to his uncle’s home to recuperate, but soon died from the illness. Due to a long incubation period, the illness did not manifest itself with others until weeks later.

On September 16th, crowded on board the Henry Clay and two barges lashed to its side, they left for war. Henry's four children and his twenty-nine year old wife, pregnant with their fifth child, stayed in McGregor. Henry had three weeks to live.

The regiment went first to St. Louis and then, by rail, to Rolla, Missouri. Finding its first camp unsatisfactory due to poor water, water that "oppressed the senses like the breath of sewers," they moved on September 28th to a place Walter McNally called Sycamore Springs, about five miles southwest of town on the Springfield Road. There they camped in a cornfield and there, on October 7, 1862, Henry Lewis died from the measles. He was buried with others a quarter of a mile north of the camp.

On January 19, 1863, Sarah gave birth to a daughter, Flora Emma Agnes Lewis. Soon thereafter she hired McGregor attorneys Murdock & Stoneman to pursue a pension claim on her behalf and, on April 1, 1863, she and the children moved into town. On April 16th the Pension Commissioner referred the matter to the Adjutant General in Washington to verify Henry's service and death but, on the 27th, the Adjutant General replied that records were incomplete. There was no record of Henry’s enlistment, but there was a record of his death. Sarah needed more proof of Henry’s service. Nathaniel Baker, Iowa’s adjutant general, confirmed that Henry had enlisted in and been mustered into the regiment. The regiment's initial chaplain, Sam Sloan, a Congregationalist minister from McGregor, said, "I conducted the burial services of said Lewis." Willard Benton appeared before Judge Baugh in McGregor, and testified that Henry had been a "good soldier" who died "in the service of his country."

While Henry's service and death were then sufficiently documented, Sarah also had to prove she was his legal widow. A document written and signed by justice of the peace Rich, said they were married on July 3, 1854, and was, said Rich, “given under my hand the 3d day of July 1854.” This apparently did not suffice and an undated form Certificate of Marriage, also signed by justice of the peace Rich, said the marriage was on the 3d day of July 1855. Information written into the blanks on the form was in a handwriting that was different from that of justice of the peace Rich. The contemporaneous document, indicating it was signed on the date of the marriage and was entirely in Rich’s handwriting, most likely has the correct year while the undated certificate was not signed until sometime between 1857 (when Benton & Andrews, printer of the form certificate, started in business) and the date of Sally’s application and seems less likely to be correct. For unknown reasons, both gave her name as Sally rather than Sarah.

On September 25, 1865, satisfied that Henry and Sarah had been married, and that Henry had served as claimed, the Pension Office mailed a certificate confirming that Sarah had been approved for an $8.00 monthly pension, retroactive to Henry's death three years earlier. Sarah was entitled to an additional $2.00 per month for each child of the marriage until the child’s sixteenth birthday. On November 17, 1866, Sarah applied for these additional amounts (and for an increase to her own pension), but listed only Helen, Charles and Edward as her children. Witnessing her application was Jabez Rogers, one of Henry's former comrades. Sarah was no longer able to get testimony from persons who had been present at her children’s birth, but said “she had an important record in her family Bible of the births of her children which she cut out” and sent to the Pension Office. The record from the Bible also reflected Henry’s 1828 birth and the birth dates of Sarah and her two youngest children, apparently now deceased. Signing the same affidavit was Ellie Hatfield, a McGregor resident, who said she had no doubt as to the ages of the children since she had been “a near neighbor of Mrs Lewis and her children until they were taken to the Assylum and ever since they came to this town to wit on 1st of April 1863.”

The “Assylum” was a Soldiers Orphans Home, the Anne Wittenmyer home, 2800 Eastern Avenue in Davenport, that admitted children whose parents were deceased or, as in this case, unable to care for them. Helen, Charles and Edward Lewis were admitted sometime prior to January 1, 1867. On June 30, 1893, the pension agent in Des Moines, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions to advise him that Sarah, “who was last paid at $12-, to 4 Oct., 1892, has been dropped because of death.” The specific date of her death was not mentioned.


Libby, Hiram S.
Hiram S. Libby was born on November 9, 1840, in Somerset County, Maine, but the family was living in Iowa at the start of the Civil War. His brother, Ebenezer, enlisted in Iowa’s 3rd Infantry in 1861 and, on August 9, 1862, at Strawberry Point, Hiram was enrolled by Charles Heath in what would be Company B of the state's 21st Regiment of volunteer infantry. The company was mustered in on August 18, 1862 and the regiment on September 9th, both at Camp Franklin in Dubuque. On September 16, 1862 they crowded on board the Henry Clay, a sidewheel steamer, and two barges lashed to its sides and started for the South. Hiram was described as having a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair and, at 6' 1¼”, was one of the tallest men in a regiment where the average height was about 5' 8."

Hiram was in good physical condition when he enlisted, maintained his health, and participated in most of the regiment's early engagements. On January 11, 1863, he was one of twenty-five volunteers from Company B who participated in a daylong battle at Hartville, Missouri. The regiment was posted at Houston at the time and returned to Houston after the battle. During the next three months they walked to West Plains, Eminence, Ironton, Iron Mountain, Pilot Knob and into St. Genevieve. From there they were transported down the Mississippi to Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a massive army intent on capturing Vicksburg. During the campaign Hiram participated in the May 1, 1863 Battle of Port of Port Gibson, the May 17th assault at the Big Black River when the 21st and 23rd Iowa regiments routed entrenched Confederates, and the ensuing siege of Vicksburg. He then participated in a pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson and a siege of that city. After returning to Vicksburg and recuperating from their campaigns in Mississippi, they were transported south where, for a while, Hiram was detached to serve with a battery of light artillery. On the 24th of that month Ebenezer died in Natchez.

On September 4, 1863, in a large field between New Orleans and Carrollton, the regiment was formally reviewed by General Nathaniel Banks before embarking on a new campaign west of the river. Moving from place to place - Bayou Boeuf, Berwick, Vermillion Bayou, New Iberia, Brashear, Jenerette - they encountered little resistance and, before long, were back in New Orleans.

In the meantime, President Lincoln had become increasingly concerned about French designs on Texas and the ability of Confederates to receive arms shipped to various points on the Gulf coast. Defenses were to be strengthened and, on November 23, 1863, Hiram and others well enough to travel left New Orleans on two transports. Landing near Aransas Pass, they moved up San Jose Island and the Matagorda Peninsula. For the next six months they would move to various locations on the peninsula and the nearby mainland.

On February 22, 1864, they were camped at Indianola when a party of twenty-two to twenty-five scouts from several regiments, mounted on "poor scrubs," rode out about eight miles to graze lame horses and gather cattle. Each man had been carefully selected for "known ability as horsemen marksmanship and courage." Included in the party were several men from the 21st Iowa, including Hiram Libby. While rounding up cattle and performing reconnaissance near Green Lake, they realized they were surrounded and outnumbered by "well armed and well mounted cavalry of the enemy." Some in the scouting party managed to escape but others, including Hiram Libby, were captured and taken to Lavaca. Joseph Speer, a private in Iowa’s 20th Infantry, was captured several weeks later and, in a postwar affidavit supporting Hiram’s pension claim, said:

I first met him in company with some fourteen or fifteen other Prisoners of war at a little place by the name of Lavaca Texas they were confined in a stockade made by placing logs of wood side by side in such a position as to make an enclosure so common in the south as prison pens. This was some time in April 1864 I do not remember the exact date but it was the forepart of the month I do not remember anything about the condition of his health at that time but we were removed shortly afterwards to Houston Texas where we were confined in a room some 14 feet square said room was in the Basement of the Court House and had been used as a common jail for criminals The windows were grated with Iron Bars the same as other jails but to make the place more safe or more gloomy the rebels nailed oaken planks over the windows on the inside so that there was not ray of light in the room only which little came through the cracks of the planks In the course of a few days the place became mouldy and damp on the account of there being but little or no ventilation while thus confined I remember very distinctly of said H S Libby having a severe cough and he raised a considerable corruption and as there was nothing to spit upon but the floor he used that, much to the annoyance of the remainder of the prisoners I do not remember very distinctly how long we were confined in that jail but I think about five weeks when we were removed to a stockade located near Tyler Texas known as Camp Ford this prison was a common pen as I have already described We were confined there without any shelter or blankets of any kind until the middle of July 1864 during the latter part of May & part of June there was a great deal of rainfall, cold rains at that, and we had to stand in the wet mud & sand a great many nights all night through and make the best of it After that rainy season was over with is when I first remember of H S Libby having what I supposed was inflammatory rheumatism he may have had it before that time but I do not remember as to that but I do remember very distinctly of his feet and legs from the knee down being swelled & inflamed very badly & he suffered with them so much at times that I have seen him cry like a child from pain At the time when we were exchanged which was July 22d 1864 his feet was so puffed up that he could not wear his shoes We separated at a Camp of Distribution New Orleans I have never seen him since.

Camp Ford was a former Confederate training facility about four miles northeast of Tyler. By the time the Green Lake prisoners arrived it was described by some as a "sewer pit" and "hellhole" that was a "sty not fit for pigs." On July 8th, Hiram was among those taken by their captors to Shreveport and down the Red River to the Mississippi where they were exchanged on the 22d at Red River Landing and boarded transports for New Orleans. All had lost weight and were in poor health. Hiram Libby's cough was worse. His feet and legs, from the knees down, were swollen and inflamed and he was unable to wear shoes, but he refused a discharge.

Hiram stayed with the regiment when it moved to Morganza in Louisiana, performed service on the White River in Arkansas, and participated in the next spring's Alabama campaign to occupy the city of Mobile. They were mustered out on July 15, 1865 at Baton Rouge, went north by river steamer and rail, and were discharged at Clinton on July 24, 1865.

In 1871 Hiram was badly injured while working on a farm owned by John Getchell near Glencoe, Minnesota. According to John's son, Marshall Getchell, Hiram was working on a threshing machine and "standing upon a pile of bundles oiling the gearing in the cylinder of the machine. The bundles slipped from under him and his left hand was caught in the gearing." Byron Pierce took Hiram to see Dr. Wakefield in Hutchinson, but there was little that could be done. Hiram lost two fingers on his left hand and a third finger was stiff and permanently flexed down on the palm of his hand.

Not long thereafter, Hiram moved to Montana where he worked at several mines near Butte, but health problems resulting from his confinement during the war continued to plague him. Lung problems, swollen ankles and feet, and rheumatism severely limited his ability to earn a living. For several years he worked for the Hecla Consolidated Mining Company where a supervisor said Hiram: "has been 'a jack of all trades' ever since he first commenced working for this Company a part of the time as machinist, blacksmith, lubricant on account of disease of the lungs and rheumatism he could only do about one half (½) of a sound able bodied mans work."

Horace Brown said Hiram: "worked in various capacities, but mostly in the capacity of day watchman whose duty it was to watch the machinery, do light repairs and a general tinkering business. He was not able to do laberious work owing to frequent and prolonged attacts of rheumatism and shortness of breath under heavy work."

In 1879, Hiram was living in Glendale, Montana Territory, when he applied for an invalid pension, a pension that required him to demonstrate a war-related disability. The process was complicated and lengthy but, with supportive affidavits from other Green Lake prisoners and from those aware of his current health problems, a $2.00 monthly pension was granted in 1884. Later, as pension laws became more liberal, he secured testimony regarding the hand mangled in the threshing machine and an increase was granted.

On June 6, 1898, in response to a government questionnaire, Hiram said he had married Alice Roberts in Forestville, Iowa, in 1867, a daughter (Kathlyne J. Libby) was born in June 1875, and “Wife died in Nevad about 87.” The following year, on September 6, 1899, Hiram gave conflicting information when he answered another questionnaire and said Alice’s “Mother informed me that she died in Nevada in 1890 not divorced.” Hiram was receiving a $24.00 monthly pension when he died on March 27, 1914. He is buried in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis. His daughter, Kathlyne, married James L. Bird and, in 1940, they were living in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Kathlyne J. (Libby) Bird died on December 30, 1947. Her husband, James Langton Bird died on January 27, 1951. Like Hiram, they’re buried in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis.


Lyons, William W.
William W. Lyons was born in Morgan County, Ohio, southeast of Columbus, on December 27, 1832. From there he moved to Iowa where he married Jennette J. Beedy, daughter of Julius C. Beedy, a Hardin merchant and postmaster, and his wife, Susan M. (Debar) Beedy. On May 18, 1859, Jennette gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Hattie. In August of that year the Clayton County Journal told readers “there never will be a better time than the present, for investment in Iowa lands,” but two months later abolitionist John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry and tensions began to escalate rapidly between North and South.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter. A year later, with the war in its second year and Hattie three years old, William was enrolled at Hardin on August 13, 1862, as a 2d Sergeant in what would be Company B of Iowa’s 21st Infantry. At Camp Franklin in Dubuque, the regiment was mustered into service on September 9th. A week later, on a rainy Tuesday, they marched through town and, from the levee at the foot of Jones Street, boarded the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside and started south.

The regiment’s early service was in Missouri. After spending one night at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, they traveled by rail to Rolla where they camped outside of town for a month. They then moved south to Salem and, from there, to Houston followed by Hartville and back to Houston. On January 27, 1863, they started another march, this one fifty miles to West Plains near the Arkansas border. After a brief stay, they left on February 8th and walked to the northeast through Ironton to Iron Mountain where they camped near an iron mine a quarter mile from town. While there, on March 1st, William was promoted to 1st Sergeant to take the place of Barney Phelps who had been promoted to 2d Lieutenant. Two days later Jennette gave birth to their second child, a boy named Leroy.

On March 19th, Mason Bettys of Grand Meadow Township died at Ste. Genevieve from the debilitating effects of chronic diarrhoea and, the same day, William Lyons started north on a furlough to see Jennette, Hattie and his new son. Two days later, Jim Bethard, also a resident of the township, wrote to his wife, Caroline (“Cal”), that “you will probably see Mr Lyons our orderly sergeant who went home with the dead body of Mason Bettice [Bettys] before this letter reaches you he promised me that he would go over and make you a visit.”

William’s furlough was brief and, on April 14th, Myron Knight noted in his diary that “three of our furloughed men came back W. W. Lyons, D. Maxson and John Carpenter.” The regiment was then under the command of General John McClernand in an army led by Ulysses S. Grant intent on capturing Vicksburg. William was present on April 30th when they crossed the Mississippi River from Disharoon’s plantation on the west bank to the Bruinsburg landing in Mississippi. On May 1, 1863, the regiment participated in the one-day Battle of Port Gibson, on May 16th they were present but held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill, and on May 17th, with the 23d Iowa, they led an assault on entrenched Confederates at the Big Black River. William was wounded in the left hand during the assault and that evening Dr. Orr amputated one of his fingers. On June 10th, William was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company B.

In the interim, Cornelius Dunlap, Lieutenant Colonel and second in command of the regiment, had been killed during an assault at Vicksburg on May 22d. Promotion of the officer next in line would normally have come quickly but, for reasons he chose not to put in writing, Colonel Merrill, then in McGregor recuperating from serious wounds he received while leading the assault at the Big Black, delayed making his recommendations. Eventually, on July 17th, after inquiry by Governor Kirkwood, he wrote a cover letter admitting, but not wanting to explain in writing, his hesitancy. He then wrote separately to say, “I have the honor to recommend the promotion of Maj S. G. Van Anda to the office of Lt Col 21st Regiment and Capt Wm D. Crooke of Co. B for Maj of said Regiment. I certify on my honor that Capt W. D. Crooke above recommended does not use intoxicating liquor to such an extent as to interfere with the discharge of his duties as an officer or as to set a bad example to those under his command.”

The promotions were made and the commissions issued, but that left a vacancy at the company level. William was in line for the position but, again, a usually prompt promotion came slowly. On August 15th, after a two day trip from Vicksburg on board the Baltic, the regiment went into camp at Carrollton, Louisiana. Still there on the 26th, William was ordered to report to Division headquarters where he was detailed for detached service as an officer with a Pioneer Corps. Pioneers were soldiers, and sometimes civilians, who cleared roads, erected bridges, built breastworks, dug trenches and constructed other structures. For the next several months he served in that capacity in southwestern Louisiana and on the Gulf coast of Texas until, “at his own request and by reason of his promotion to be Captain of co. B,” he was relieved on January 17, 1864, and ordered back to his regiment. “I think Lyons will make a good captain,” said Jim Bethard. “[H]e was verry well liked as orderly and lieutenant by the majority of the company his worst enemy is from his own town and I think his enmity originated mainly from jealousy.”

Three months later and still in Texas, it was ordered on April 18th that William again be “detailed for duty in the Pioneer Corps of this Division and will report at once and take Command of the Corps.” In June the regiment, and William who was still with the Pioneer Corps, returned to Louisiana where, on August 8th at Morganza, he resumed command of Company B.

On September 17, 1864, Jennette Lyons died. She was buried in the Hardin Cemetery, but William’s duties kept him in the South as the regiment saw service in Arkansas. They were near the mouth of the White River on November 6th when Jim Bethard wrote again. William, he said, “is a well meaning man and wants to please every body but dont know how to do it. there has been some complaint in the company of his being to fraid of displeasing some of the higher officers to do his duty to his men.”

By February, 1865, they were on Dauphin Island at the entrance to Mobile Bay and about to start a march along the east side of the bay to Mobile, when Jim, his brother-in-law, Captain Lyons “and some of the hardin boys” packed a box of clothing for shipment to Jim’s father-in-law, Joel Rice, for delivery to Jennette’s father, Julius Beedy, “who will call for it.” If not picked up soon, Captain Lyons “would be obliged if you would open and air it.” The upcoming march was going to be difficult and the Brigadier General commanding the 1st Brigade advised the Assistant Adjutant General of the U. S. forces, that William Lyons was “the most suitable man in my Brigade to command the Pioneer Corps of the Division.” General Veach ordered that William “immediately take command” and organize a company of pioneers - including three Sergeants, three Corporals and thirty Privates, all to be selected by William.

The march was difficult said Strawberry Point’s William Grannis - "through swamps much of the way and that the men were detailed to make corduroy causeways, that the swamps were of such a nature that horses and mules could not be used so that the men had to cut and drag in place the timbers for causeways, that heavy rains fell, especially on the night of the 20th of March that the work was arduous and hard on the men; work all day in the mud and wet and then lie down at night in their wet clothes." Lyons’ pioneers labored hard as roads floated away, teams and wagons floundered, and animals were half buried but, on April 12th, the regiment walked into the city of Mobile, a city that had been quickly abandoned by the enemy.

Mobile was their last campaign. On July 15, 1865, the regiment was mustered out of service at Baton Rouge and, on July 24th, they were discharged from the military at Clinton. Two years later, on September 5, 1867, William married Atlantic Hatfield in Montezuma. They had at least three children - William E. Lyons on August 21, 1870, Charles A. Lyons on March 5, 1876, and Samuel M. Lyons on January 7, 1877.

In 1879 they were living in Glenville, Nebraska, when William applied for an invalid pension based on the loss of his finger. A pension of $4.00 was approved and, on July 30, 1890, he applied again. By now he was fifty-seven years old and said he was suffering from a bad back and hip and other ailments. During the fall of 1893, he said, “I was working on a hay loader and was trying to keep the hay out from the drive pinion and chain which caught the middle fingers of my right hand and mashed them up to the second joint.” A witness recalled that he had been standing on the back end of the hay rack “when Mr William W. Lyons walking along the side was trying to adjust the drive chain. I seen the chain catch his Right Hand and drawing his fingers in the sprocket wheel under the chain.”

William died on July 25, 1904, and was buried in Adams County’s Parkview Cemetery. Abbie continued to live in Hastings for several years, applied for a widow’s pension, and eventually moved to Edison, Nebraska. She died on May 9, 1923, and was buried with William in Parkview Cemetery.


~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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