IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Robert S. Stevenson
Co.C, 2nd Regt. Wis. Vols.

To the People of Grant Co.
The following we publish by request of the wife of the deceased, who now lives at Waukon, in this State:

Many of our late citizens now lie in humble graves in remote parts of the country, who have fallen victims to this unholy rebellion. Among the number is Robert S. Stevenson, late of Co.C, 2nd Regt. Wis. Vols., who fills and honors a soldier’s grave on the bloody field of Antietam.

Being only a private, and thus having no place in the regular color guard of his regiment, yet it was his pride to stand by and uphold the colors, in the face of every danger, regardless of personal safety, as the following record will show:

1. During the disasterous battle of Bull Run the 1st, while our forces were everywhere scattered, and in disorderly retreat, he voluntarily relieved the color Sargeant of the colors, and bore them safely out the conflict.
2. In the severe fight of Gainsville, on the 28th of August, ’62, where the Regiment, in the short space of one hour and twenty minutes lost over 250 officers and men our of the 450 engaged, and when every man of the color guard had fallen, he rushed to the post of danger, and after the enemy were driven back; bore the National colors from the field, and carried them all through the two days of fierce battle which followed that bloody day.
3. At South Mountain, Sept. 14th, though too unwell for duty, he was there to float his favorite flag in the face of the foe. And—
4. At Antietam, in the early morning of Sept. 17th, as the sound of the first gun announced the opening of that memorable conflict, he left a sick bed in the hospital at the rear, and disregarding the remonstrances of the medical officers, sought his regiment then in line of battle under fire, and saying to his Capt. As he came up—“Captain I am with you to the last,” took his post by his favorite colors, when he well knew what was apparent to all—that he was entertaining “the very jaws of death.” Brave, noble man, and worthy of a better fate; it was his “last.” Within an hour he fell pierced with five bullets!

Some idea of the hazard attending the post which our deceased comrade fought can be formed by an examination of the regimental colors of the 2d. They show in the National colors, two bullet marks in the staff, and twenty-two in the colors; and in the State, 3 in the staff and 24 in the colors; and besides these, many marks have been shredded out and worn away by the hard usage the colors have seen.

Fellow citizens, I call upon you to unite with me in paying a proper tribute of respect to the memory of private Robert S. Stevenson. Let us erect a monument, to him which shall have engraved upon it in imperishable characters the record of his patriotic devotion to the flag of our country, and of his glorious death; to inculcate in the minds of all, both of the present and future, the virtues of him whom it will commemorate.

I beg leave to name Hon. J.H. Rountree, Esq., S.E. Lewis, Esq. and Geo. Cole, Esq, as suitable persons to act as Trustees in this matter, and would respectfully suggest the Court House Square at Lancaster, as a proper place in to locate the proposed monument. The persons named or their representatives can call upon me for $25, or twice that amount if required, as my contribution to the fund.

Respectfully submitted,

-submitters notes:
It is not known what Iowa newspaper this was republished in. The article was found in Minerva Shattuck Stevenson’s widow’s pension file. It may have been a Dubuque newspaper.

Robert S. Stevenson came to Waukon, Allamakee County from Dubuque, Iowa with his wife Caroline Shattuck Stevenson in the spring of 1851. Caroline was the daughter of George C. Shattuck. They had one son Ralph Carver Stevenson, who was born in Dubuque in September 1849. Caroline passed away within two weeks of the couple just having joined the first class of the Methodist Church in Lansing, in July of 1852. It is presumed that Ralph and his son then lived with the Shattuck family.

In May of 1856, Robert married Minerva Shattuck, Caroline’s sister. According to Ellery Hancock, in his history of Allamakee Co., Robert became a lawyer and then he and Minerva shortly thereafter left for Wisconsin. Robert and Minerva had one child, Ida A.C. Stevenson in December of 1858 in Waukon. They were living in Grant County, Wisconsin by 1860. Robert pursued lead mining in the region.

In May 1861, Robert joined the Union Army from Beetown, Grant Co., Wisconsin. After Robert’s death and before Minerva returned to Waukon, there was a notice in the Grant Co. newspaper that a “valuable package” presumably containing Robertson’s personal items, had arrived and was waiting for her at the newspaper office.

A monument was never made for Robert S. Stevenson specifically, however there is a monument to all of the Grant Co., Wisconsin soldiers that died in the Civil War on the grounds of the county courthouse in Lancaster, Wisconsin. The author of this article, Charles K. Dean, was a resident of Waukon, Iowa and served as a Lieutenant in the Civil War.

-submitted by Nancy A. Shattuck

Return to Military Records Index