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~ 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.



Archibald H. Stuart was born in the historic city of Perth in central Scotland in about 1835. On June 24, 1857, Archibald and Fannie A. Flowers were married in Hudson, Wisconsin.

On August 12, 1862, he was enrolled in the Union Army at Millville by McGregor postmaster Willard Benton. On the 22nd, at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin, Archibald was mustered into Company G and, on September 9th, ten companies were mustered in as the state’s 21st Regiment of volunteer infantry. On a rainy September 16th they marched through town and, at the foot of Jones Street, boarded the steamer Henry Clay and two barges lashed alongside and headed downstream. They spent one night on Rock Island, later transferred to the Hawkeye State and reached St. Louis on the 20th.

After an overnight stay at Benton Barracks, they traveled by rail to Rolla and then, on October 18, 1862, left Rolla for Salem. Most men walked, but those suffering from a variety of ailments were often able to ride in wagons and ambulances. From Salem they went to Houston and then Hartville. On November 24, 1862 a wagon train bringing supplies from Rolla was attacked and, on January 11, 1863, 262 men from the regiment fought a one-day battle at Hartville.

On January 26, 1863, they left Houston, discovered they were on the wrong road and returned to Houston. On the 27th, a miserable day of sleet and snow, the regiment headed south on the correct road to West Plains while Archibald was promoted two ranks to 1st Sergeant.

They spent eight days in West Plains where the post was commanded by Brigadier General John Wynn Davidson. Also present was the 22nd Iowa Infantry under the command of Colonel William Stone (Iowa Governor 1864-1868). On February 6, 1863, Davidson wired Major General Curtis:
I found Stone a ready soldier and a gentleman, and I put the Iowa people in one brigade, the ‘Iowa Brigade,’ under him, and he manages everything, to my great relief.”
On February 8th they left West Plains, but not towards Arkansas as most expected. Instead, they started a long walk to the northeast - to Thomasville, Ironton, Pilot Knob and Iron Mountain. At Iron Mountain, on March 9th, Archibald was granted a furlough while the regiment continued its march. They went into camp at Ste. Genevieve while Archibald boarded a northbound steamer. By the end of the month he had returned and was marked “present” on a special muster taken April 10, 1863, by which time the regiment had moved farther south to Milliken’s Bend where General Ulysses Grant was organizing a massive army of three corps in preparation for a campaign to capture Vicksburg.

The army started to cross the Mississippi from Disharoon’s Plantation on the west bank to the Bruinsburg landing on the east bank on April 30th, but Archibald had become ill and was sent to a hospital in New Carthage. Two weeks later he caught up near Bolton Station, Mississippi. He was present on May 16, 1863, when the regiment was held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill, participated in an assault at the Big Black River on May 17th and participated in an assault at Vicksburg on May 22nd.

John Craig had been serving as the company’s 2nd Lieutenant since they were mustered into service but, effective May 27, 1863, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant while Archibald Stuart was promoted to take his place as 2nd Lieutenant of Company G. He continued with the regiment during the siege of Vicksburg and a subsequent expedition to and siege of Jackson, Mississippi. Effective July 27, 1863 there was another round of promotions. John Dolson resigned as Captain, John Craig was promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain and Archibald Stuart was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant.

By the end of September, the regiment was at Berwick Bay, Louisiana, and Archibald was suffering from shortness of breath, lung problems and “congestive chills.” He was admitted to the Convalescent Camp in Carrollton, Louisiana, and, while there, was placed in command of the 2nd Company of the 1st Division of Convalescents. He was later transferred to a New Orleans army hospital that was housed in the Levee Steam Cotton Press building that, before being occupied by the army a year earlier, had operated the largest cotton press in the world.

After rejoining his comrades at Indianola, Texas, on February 14, 1864, Archibald was with the regiment during its remaining service in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama where it participated in the campaign to occupy the city of Mobile. Original enlistees still on the rolls were mustered out at Baton Rouge on July 15, 1865. Tents and equipment were turned in and, the next morning, they boarded the steamer Lady Gay, built only a few months earlier in Cincinnati for the Atlantic & Mississippi Steamship Company, and started upstream. Traveling against the current, progress was slow, but they reached Cairo and debarked on the morning of the 19th. After a good meal at the “soldier’s rest,” they boarded cars of the Illinois Central Railroad and continued north. On the 21st they reached Clinton and camped outside of town. On July 24th, according to Myron Knight, "our regiment marched down to town at 1PM and received our final discharge and payment.”

Archibald returned to his wife and family in Dubuque where he worked as an attorney and frequently represented soldiers making claims for federal pensions. Among them from his own regiment were George Hess, William McCarty, Alfred Kephart, Joseph Carter, Loring Knaebel and William Schwaegler. On September 16, 1869, he signed an application for his own invalid pension citing the problems that led to his hospitalization six years earlier in Louisiana.

The War Department verified his service, but the Surgeon General’s Office could find no record of his hospitalization in either Carrollton or New Orleans, the regiment’s hospital records were not on file and the Dubuque doctor who treated him after the war had died. As a result, it was not easy for Archibald to convince the pension office that he was still suffering from a war-related disability. Salue Van Anda, formerly a Lieutenant Colonel in the regiment recalled Archibald’s congestive chills, shortness of breath and lung problems at Berwick Bay. Dubuque resident H. F. Rice said Archibald was still suffering from the same problems, but Dr. William Watson thought it was merely a cold with no respiratory problems or lung disease. Well-respected Dubuque doctors gave their opinions. Dr. Staples said Archibald had lung disease and general debility of long-standing and couldn’t perform “any considerable physical labor or exertion.” Dr. Belden said Archibald’s health was feeble. Josiah Fulmer said Archibald returned from the war greatly debilitated with shortness of breath and constant coughing. Dr. Kittoe, of Galena, Illinois, said there was considerable bronchial irritation and Archibald’s breathing was difficult when “mounting the stairs to my office.” On November 11, 1871, a certificate was issued entitling Archibald to $4.25 monthly retroactive to July 16, 1865.

In 1872, Archibald attended the regiment’s first reunion. Held in Dubuque, the two-day meeting started on September 16th, ten years to the day from when they had started south from the same city. In the ensuing years, he applied seven times for increases to his pension. Each application was followed by medical examinations, supportive affidavits and an analysis by legal and medical reviewers in the Pension Office. Sometimes increases were granted and sometimes not. He was receiving $30.00 monthly when he died from the effects of “double valvular disease of the heart” and “chronic bronchitis” on August 1, 1890, at his home, 837 Locust Street, Dubuque. He was buried in the city’s Linwood Cemetery where, three years later, thousands would gather to “witness the unveiling of the soldiers' monument.”

On September 2, 1890, Fannie applied for a pension for herself and their two children who were still under sixteen years of age: Margaret born August 24, 1875, and Bessie born December 16, 1877. Witnesses swore to the marriage and births of the two girls, that Archibald and Fannie had lived as husband and wife and that Fannie had not remarried. A pension of $8.00 monthly was granted, plus $2.00 for each of the girls until their sixteenth birthdays. Fannie died on September 12, 1894, and was buried in Linwood Cemetery where her stone erroneously gives her name as “Fanny.”

In addition to Bessie and Margaret, another daughter, Elizabeth M. Stuart was born in February 1864. Other children named in an online website include Hastie A. Stuart (born 1857), Charles Stuart (born 1862), James Stuart (born 1868) and Lizzie Stuart (born 1872), but independent verification has not been found.


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