Dubuque County IAGenWeb      

Join Our Team


~ Military Biography ~

Dubuque 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

Carl will do look-ups in his extensive records of the 21st Iowa and he is always willing to share what he has.


Enos (born Ignatz) Lang was the son of Henry and Catherine (Scheurich) Lang. He said he was born on January 15, 1842, in southern Illinois although different dates appear elsewhere and his age given periodically in pension records often coincided with none of the dates. In 1846 or 1847, the family moved from Illinois to Iowa where Henry purchased land in Dubuque County, engaged in farming and worked as a shoemaker. Ten years later, Johann (John) & Katherina (Catherine) Schirra Ziegler moved to Iowa from Pennsylvania where Johann, like Henry Lang, purchased land. Johann worked as a farmer and as a tailor.

In July, 1862, Civil War casualties having escalated, President Lincoln called for 300,000 volunteers with Iowa to furnish five regiments by August 15th. Jacob Swivel was instrumental in raising a company in the Dubuque area and before long Sam Osborne and Henry Hess advised the Governor that, at an election on August 4th, “a motion was made and carried that Jacob Swivel be elected Captain Saml F. Osborne 1st Lieutenant and Andrew Y. McDonald 2nd Lieutenant.” On August 9th, with officers elected but the ranks far from full, the Company was ordered into quarters at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin while efforts continued to secure more volunteers. Enos was one of sixteen who enlisted as privates on August 16th and joined those already in camp. On the Muster-in Roll he was listed as Enos Long and described as being a twenty-two-year-old farmer, 5' 6" tall with dark hair and a dark complexion. On August 22nd, he was one of 101 men mustered in as Company E and, on September 9th, they and nine other companies were mustered in as the state’s 21st Infantry with a total of 985 men, officers and enlisted.

Training was very brief and a postwar author said “the rendezvous was so near the men’s homes, that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives, sweethearts, and friends, were too often present to allow either drill or discipline to any great extent.” Jonathan Merry would later recall that, in pouring rain on September 16th, they marched from Camp Franklin to the foot of Jones street and “packing ourselves like sardines in a box on every deck and on a barge on each side of the Steamer Henry Clay, we headed for Dixie.”

Their early service was in Missouri - Rolla, Salem, Houston and Hartville. They were back in Houston when word was received on January 9, 1863, that a Confederate column was moving north from Arkansas to attack Springfield. A relief force of 262 volunteers from the 21st and an equal number from the 99th Illinois, together with supportive artillery, was quickly assembled and left on the “double quick.” Enos was among them as they rushed westward. On the night of the 10th they camped along Wood’s Fork of the Gasconade River not realizing two Confederate columns had united and were camped nearby. The next morning, bugles alerted each to the other, pickets fired and, after a brief skirmish, both sides rushed to nearby Hartville where a daylong battle was fought. With ammunition running low, the Union soldiers withdrew north to Lebanon while Marmaduke led his men southward.

In "drenching rain and freezing sleet," said Gilbert Cooley, most of the men in Lebanon started a sixty mile return to Houston on the 13th. With reports of a large force of guerrillas somewhere in the area, they camped in sparse woods with few blankets and without "the privilege of a fire." It was bitterly cold, it was impossible to lie down and men shuffled about trying to keep weapons dry and "mitigate the deathly chill" during a "night of horrors - one never to pass out of memory." By the next morning many could no longer walk. Wagons became ambulances and enabled some of the wounded to reach Houston while most of the others continued to struggle along a muddy road. Rain stopped by nightfall and fires lit the sky. Tired men in wet clothes and wrapped in wet blankets laid near blazing logs where, said one, a "warm steam finds every pore of the skin, producing a delicious sense of comfort." They woke to a clear sky and "a light blanket of snow" on the 15th, but still had ten miles to go. With blistered feet they crossed numerous icy streams, some men wading, some in wagons and others on cavalry horses. That afternoon, during a brisk snow, they reached "home again," wet, muddy and very tired. Almost thirty years later Enos could still recall “wading creek 7 times in one night caught a severe cold.”

When the bimonthly muster roll was taken at Iron Mountain on February 28th, Enos was reported sick in Rolla, but he was back by April 10th when a special roll was taken at Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was amassing a large army to capture the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg. During the ensuing campaign, the regiment participated in the May 1st Battle of Port Gibson, with the 23rd Iowa led an assault on Confederates entrenched along the Big Black River (during which the 21st’s colonel, Sam Merrill, was severely wounded), and participated in an assault at Vicksburg on May 22nd and the siege that followed. Enos was marked “present” on the June 30th muster roll and presumably participated with his regiment in its recent engagements and throughout the campaign.

During the May 16th Battle of Champion’s Hill, they were held in reserve by General McClernand. At the regiment’s 1889 reunion, William Crooke recalled that “Those who stood there that day will surely never forget the bands of humiliation and shame which bound them to the spot, while listening to the awful crashes of musketry and thunders of cannon close by.”

During subsequent service, they spent more than six months on the Gulf Coast of Texas (Matagorda Island and Indianola), guarded rail lines in southwestern Louisiana, and served along the White River of Arkansas where Enos was treated for Whitlow (a painful infection of the hand). Their final campaign was to occupy the city of Mobile in the spring of 1865. After advancing along the east side of Mobile Bay and engaging in light skirmishing, they entered the city on April 12th and camped at nearby Spring Hill and the Jesuit College of St. Joseph. While there, Enos was treated for a cold and diarrhea (a common ailment that led to the deaths of at least sixty-five of his comrades).

On July 15, 1865, at Baton Rouge, they were mustered out of federal service, turned in their tents and moved rations to the landing. The next morning they boarded the Lady Gay and started upstream. They reached Cairo on the 20th and then traveled by rail to Clinton. There, on July 24th, they were discharged from the military, received their final pay ($16.00 monthly accrued from February 28th for privates and the $75.00 balance of their enlistment bounties less any stoppages for transportation, lost accouterments or excess clothing draws) and started for their homes.

Church records indicate that, on April 26, 1866, Enos married nineteen-year-old Barbara Ziegler in Saints Peter and Paul Church in the town of Sherrill. Their children included Peter who was born January 15, 1867, John who was born September 12, 1868, and Heinrich “Henry” who was born on May 23, 1870, but died fifteen months later. He was followed by Anna Maria who was born November 23, 1871, and died the following April. Their fifth child was Henry (born June 9, 1873) who was followed by Louisa (born May 29, 1876), Michael (born April 27, 1879), Mathilda “Tillie’ (born April 4, 1880) and Edward (born March 18, 1883). Adam was born on Christmas Eve 1884, but died the same day. A year later, on December 22, 1885, Barbara (Ziegler) Lang gave birth to another girl but, at age thirty-nine, died giving birth and was buried in the cemetery of the church where she had been married. Their new daughter was given her mother’s name of Barbara.

For many years following the end of the war, pensions were granted to soldiers who could demonstrate they had received honorable discharges after service of at least ninety days and who were suffering from an injury or illness incurred in the war. Enos’ illnesses had been minor and he did not apply but, in 1890, the law was changed. Soldiers still had to demonstrate a ratable medical problem, but it no longer had to be service-related. One month after the law was enacted, Enos applied, gave his address as Sherrill and said he was suffering from asthma that he attributed to a “severe cold” while he was in Missouri. A board of pension surgeons in Dubuque said Enos had asthma, hay fever and rhinitis, but the Pension Office found it was not sufficiently serious to be “ratable.” Enos applied again in 1892, 1895 and 1897, but each time, even though the doctors found medical issues, the Pension Office said they were not ratable. In 1899, giving his address as Balltown, he applied again. The doctors said he had asthma, catarrh and rheumatism and this time the Pension Office approved a pension of $6.00 monthly, payable quarterly through the Des Moines Pension Agency. Giving his address as Spechts Ferry, Enos applied two years later and his pension was increased to $8.00.

Eventually, Congress approved the award of pensions based solely on age and, in 1907, Enos was approved for $12.00, an amount he was still receiving when he died on October 26, 1910. Enos is buried as Ignatz Lang in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery with Barbara and at least five of their eleven children.

back to Dubuque Military

back to Dubuque home