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The Civil War and Story County

Story County

From History of Story County, Iowa by William G. Allen, published March 1, 1887 by Iowa Printing Company, Des Moines, pages 58-63.


At the beginning of the war for the Union Story County was but sparsely settled, having a population of less than 800 voters. This was before the days of railroad and telegraph communication in this part of Iowa, and our only reliance for the news of the day was a semi-weekly hack line from Marshalltown to the Missouri River, leaving mail at Nevada, College Farm, and New Philadelphia. It was several days after the firing, on Fort Sumpter before our people were fully aware as to what had occurred, but on learning the particulars their patriotism was at once awakened and all were alive to the duties of the hour. Men who had always acted in sympathy with the people of the South instantly changed, and were among the first to offer their services to the Government. Under the first call for three months' volunteers, the regiment assigned to Iowa could have been filled in Story County. A company was organized under this call at Nevada, and Messrs. John John Scott, Paul A. Queal, and George Childs were appointed a committee to go to Des Moines and tender its services to the Governor. On reaching the Capital they found that the three months' regiment was already full and running over, but that another call had been made by President Lincoln for three years men, and that thereunder two regiments had been assigned to Iowa. Governor Kirkwood agreed to accept from Captain Scott a company for one of those regiments, and the committee then returned and reported the facts, when there was a great thinning out from the ranks of those who had offered their services. They could stand it for three months, but "three years, or during the war," was a different thing. However, a company of one hundred could have been easily raised within the borders of our own county. At that time Boone and Story Counties formed a kind of a partnership, and Captain S. B. McCall had raised a company at Boonsboro, and as only one company would be accepted from this part of the State, he brought about forty of his men to Nevada and joined Captain Scott's company, which then organized by the election of John Scott, Captain; S. B. McCall, First Lieutenant; and W. A. Wise, of Iowa Center, Second Lieutenant. There was quite a scramble for those offices, but the war lasted long enough to enable those who were disappointed on this occasion to satisfy their ambition by getting like positions in other organizations. This company was enrolled at Nevada, by order of the Governor, the twenty-first day of May, 1861, and designated is Co. "E," 3rd Regiment Iowa Infantry, and ordered into quarters at Keokuk same day. It left Nevada, Tuesday, May 28th in wagons for Keokuk. At Iowa Center the citizens had prepared a bounteous supper and entertained the company in good style. Arrived at Keokok June lst, and was mustered into the United States service June 8, 1861, and the regiment was then organized and Captain Scott was then made its Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant McCall was then made Captain of the company. and George W. Crossley, of Nevada, First Lieutenant. Lieutenant Crossley was afterwards promoted to be Major of the regiment. The regiment left Keokuk the last of June for the South, and from that time until the grand review at Washington in May, 1865, it was on the move and always in front. Its first battle was at Blue Mills, Missouri; its last in North Carolina. It was in the battle of Shiloh, siege of Corinth, and with Hurlbut on the Hatchie; with Grant at Vicksburg, and Banks on Red River; in Lauman's reckless charge at Jackson and Sherman's march to Meridian. It marched all the way with Sherman from Clifton, near Donnelson, on the Tennessee, to Washington, on the Potomac, via Chattanooga, Atlanta, Savannah, Columbia, Goldsboro, and Raleigh. It engaged in all the important events of that campaign, and during this march the regiment went out of existence. At Atlanta all its commissioned officers present were killed, and it was then consolidated with the 2d Veteran Infantry, forming Companies "A," "F," and "P," of that regiment, Co. "E" being a part of Co. "A" as then organized. The Story County boys who went out in this company saw service in every State south of Mason and Dixon's line, except Florida; and out of fifty who enlisted from the county only ten returned with the company in July, 1865; others had preceded them, having been discharged on account of disease and wounds received in battle. But the following, who will always live in the memories of their friends and comrades, who went forth with strong hands and brave hearts but will never return, viz: Nathaniel Jennings, Elisha B. Craig, George W. Grove, Henry H. Halley, Wm. B. Taylor, Lewis M. Vincent, Asa Walker, Wm. R. White, Thomas Dent, and Thomas M. Davis. Some of them died in battle, others, of disease, and one, the last named, succumbed to the horrible treatment at Andersonville Prison.

Our County being but sparsely settled offered a foraging field for recruiting agents from other counties and in consequence our volunteers were widely distributed in a large number of regiments. The lst, 2d, 3d, 10th, 11th, 12th 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 23d, 32d, 37th, 40th, 41th, 47th, and 48th regiments of Infantry; the 2d and 4th Artillery; and 2d, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Cavalry--all having more or less Story County men in them. In the 10th were quite a number scattered in three different companies, but not enough in any one to claim it as a Story County organization. Paul A. Queal raised about forty men who were assigned to Co. "B," 2d Cavalry. of which he was made first Lieutenant and afterward Captain. This company was mustered into the United States service August 31, 1861, and during the fall and winter of that year, operated in Missouri. In the spring and summer of 1862 it did valuable service in the seige of Corinth, and suffered severely in the battle of Farrington. After the evacuation of Corinth it was busy scouting in Mississippi and Tennessee, and participated in innummerable skirmishes and raids, engaging the Rebel General Forrest on several occasions. It was in the battle of Nashville in December, 1864, and lost heavily. It was among the best Cavalry organization in the army, and was busy until the close of the war. The only citizens of our county who lost their lives while in this company were Captain P. A. Queal, who died of disease, and Archilles M. See, who was taken prisoner and died from the effects of prison treatment after reaching our lines at Annapolis, Md. James C. McHone, a member of this company deserted, and was never heard of afterwards. About one-half of Co. "A," 23d Infantry were Story County men, recruited by Deville P. Ballard, who was appointed First Lieutenant of the company. This organization was mustered into the United States service September 19, 1862, and went immediately to the front. During the fall and winter of 1862-3, it operated in Southern Missouri, and joined in the campaign against Vicksburg during the spring and summer of 1863. It fought nobly at Port Gibson, Black River Bridge and Milliken's Bend, meeting with great loss. It was also at Champion Hills and Jackson. After the capture of Vicksburg it went to New Orleans, and thereafter operated extensively in Louisiana and Texas, being several times engaged and always doing its whole duty. Among our noble citizens who went out in this company, but did not return, and whose remains repose on the banks of the Mississippi, from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico, and on the borders of the Gulf to the mouth of the Rio Grand, may be mentioned Harvey J. Heistand, Charles P. Miller, Geo. W. Smiley, James Bevington, Pierson Brown, Henry Barber, D. V. Foster, J. R. Foster, J. A. Grove, Thos. J. Harrison, Toor Hegland, J. P. Jenkins, A. Kintzly, Daniel M. McCoy, Christ Ness, Levi J. Stratton, O. Scott, O. Week, and Collins Snyder, all of Co. "A." Augusta B. Illingsworth, Elias Ersland, David A. Breezley and Wm. Sunday of Co. "E"; and Jno. Ballard and Wm. Mencer of Co. "B"; John Yocum, of Co. "C"; and John See, I. N. Shenkee. and Chas. E. Culver, of Co. "K." C. P. McCord was a member of this company, and lost a leg at Black River Bridge, and R. May, Co. "A" lost an arm at the same time. Company "K" of the 32nd Infantry was almost exclusively a Story County organization. Rev. Joseph Cadwallader was its first Captain, and Geo. Childs its 2nd Lieutenant. After about one year's service Capt. Cadwallader resigned to accept the position of Chaplain of regiment which was more in keeping with his calling, and Lieut. Gideon Wheeler, of Marshall County, was then made Captain, Lieutenant Childs, lst. Lieutenant, and V. Tomlinson, 2nd Lieutenant. This company was mustered into service October 2, 1862, and immediately went south with the regiment, and for more than a year, until February 1864, did post duty at New Madrid, Island No. 10, Ft. Pillow, Columbus and other points along the Mississippi.

This was known as Scott's regiment, Col. John Scott, of Nevada, being its Colonel. who had command of the regiment until after the Red River expedition in May, 1861. Capt. T. C. McCall was its Quartermaster until promoted Captain and A. Q. M. in March 1864. Although the first year of its service was one of apparent inactivity it more than made up for this by extraordinary activity during the remainder of the war.

In the year 1864 it probably traversed as wide an extent of territory, and was in as many engagements as any other regiment in the service. At the opening of this year it was stationed in detachments along the Mississippi, in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. In February it made the march with Sherman to Meridian, which occupied the whole month. March, April and May were occupied with Bank's expedition up Red River, where it fought valiantly at Fort De Russy, Pleasant Hill, Cruthersville, Bayou Rolerts, Marksville and Yellow Bayou. It is conceded that it saved the day for the Federal troops at Pleasant Hill. In June it participated in the battle. of Lake Chicot, Arkansas; and in July was engaged at Tupelo and Old Town Creek, Miss., and in August was in the raid on Oxford, Miss. In September and October it marched over seven hundred miles in driving Price out of Missouri. In November it joined Thomas at Nashville, Tenn., and was engaged in the battles at that place on the fifteenth and sixteenth of December. It distinguished itself on this last occasion by the capture of a battery of five guns and fifty prisoners. After resting a month at Eastport, Miss., it went to New Orleans and joined in the expedition against Mobile, and was in the assault on Ft. Blakely. It then went to Montgomery where it remained until ordered mustered out in August 1865.

That this organization nobly did its whole duty and was in the thickest of the fight is attested by its long mortality list in which appears the names of the following Story County men:

N. A. Mount, 0. Egland, E. Modlin, F. M. Anderson, Wm. C. Ballard, D. J. Bloys, F. S. Daniels, H. Elliason, Peter Egland, H. B. Henryson, E. Hefley, J. R. Hand, Wm. L. Lemmon, Wm. Pierce, C. M. Sellers, J. Sorter, N. A. Tichenor and John S. Wood.

The Story County boys in the Tenth, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Thirty-ninth Regiments of Infantry, and Eighth Cavalry and other Regiments, did equally as good service, and were in as many hard fought battles as any of the organizations mentioned. They each have a history of thrilling interest, and in order to fully preserve it for the information of coming generations it should all be written out and published, but lack of space in a work of this kind forbids giving a full history of those organizations, or even making what has been attempted as full and complete as justice demands.

There are scores of individual cases entitled to special mention, and enough of entertaining matter might be written on those cases to fill a good sized volume, but we must desist from entering on that branch on this occasion. The list of dead belonging to our county, not already given, as near as I am able to ascertain, is as follows: Wm. Crum and Wm. Tanner, Company A, Tenth Infantry; B. F. Craig and H. Howard, Company D, Tenth Infantry; S. Kelley, Company K, Tenth Infantry; R. D. Casebolt, James T. Mount, S. D. Allen, Company E, Thirteenth Infantry; Sam W. Jenks, J. J. Aldrege, Thomas Snelling, John T. Shumaker, H. Spangler, J. L. Martin, George Lowell and Z. F. Martin, Company G, Fourteenth Infantry; E. Eillott, Company B, Fifteenth Infantry; H. Hunt, Company I, Nineteenth Infantry, (died in prison at Tyler, Texas); David C. Vail. Company G, Fourteenth Infantry, (died at same place); Marcus D. Cong, F. Lowell and D. Womack, Company B, Thirty-ninth Infantry; Thomas Fatland, Company F, Forty-seventh Infantry; Wm. Keltner, Company G, Seventh Cavalry; A. G. Briley and S. P. Shaw, Company I, Eighth Cavalry; Wm. C. Evans, Company H, Ninth Cavalry; Lieutenant Jason D. Ferguson, of the Twelfth Infantry, was killed at Shiloh.


In casting up accounts in 1864, it was determined by the powers that be that Story County had not furnished her full quota of volunteers, and that a certain number must be forthcoming within a given time, or a draft would be necessary. This announcement caused great consternation among the home guards, and a regular epidemic appeared to have at once broke out all over the county among those who had heretofore been considered in good health. Doctors were in great demand, and they reaped a rich harvest. Nearly everybody turned agent and tried to prevail on his neighbor to enlist. Great was the running to and fro, and finally only twenty were wanting to make out the required number, and the draft was ordered, and that number of our patriotic citizens were drafted; some of the unlucky ones submitted to it gracefully, and some who had the funds hired substitutes. This ordeal having passed, quiet reigned. and people became more healthy. It was afterwards found that the draft was a mistake, as our county had already furnished more than its quota, but some sixty odd who had enlisted from this county had been wrongfully placed to the credit of adjoining counties, and had the proper credit been given the draft would not have been a part of our history. On the whole, Story County may be well proud of her military record. Not an important battle was fought, nor an important event occurred daring the whole war in which some of her citizens did not take an active part. They were with the immortal Lyon at Wilson's Creek; with Gen. Grant at Ft. Henry, Donnelson, Shiloh, and siege of Corinth; with Rosecrans at Inka and Chicamauga; with Sherman in his first attack on Vicksburg, and in when it surrendered to Grant; with Hooker on Lookout Mountain, and with Thomas when he scaled the heights at Mission Ridge, and with Sherman from Chattanooga to the sea, and engaged in every battle in that memorable campaign, with brave Corse at Altoona Pass when Sherman signalled from Kenesaw to " Hold the Fort for I am Coming;" with Sherman at Columbia and Goldsboro, and with Grant at Appomattox. They experienced the horrors at Libby, Belle Isle and Andersonville, and joined in the triumphal march in the Grand Review at Washington. In all these phases of the war the citizens soldiery from Story County sustained a conspicuous part, and returned at the end to their homes, resuming their quiet and peaceful vocations as though they had only been absent on a holiday excursion. The county provided liberally out of her revenues for all her volunteers. December, 1863, our Board of Supervisors passed a resolution giving to each volunteer who should thereafter enlist $100, and in case he was a married man $50 in addition thereto, and also to the family of each married man then in the service, was given one hundred dollars. Also in January, 1867, our board made a further appropriation, giving to each person who had been a soldier an amount equal to that received by those who had been paid under the first resolution. Under all these appropriations there was paid out of the county treasury to soldiers' widows and orphans something over $46,000.

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