For more information on Tunis contact Sandi Franklin.

This regiment was made up of Clinton Co men, although Jackson and Jones counties made contributions to the ranks. I t was mustered into the service at Clinton IA on the 30th of September, 1862. The field officers were Colonel Milo Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel S. G. Magill, Major Samuel Clark, and Adjutant Thomas G. Ferreby. Very little time was given for drill before the regiment was ordered South, going to Helena on the 28th of October. Its' first service in the field was under General Hovey on the White River expedition. Two of its' prominent field officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Magill and Major Clark, were so unfortunate as to be captured at Helena and both resigned on the 2nd of December . After a march into Mississippi, in support of General Grants' first movement against Vicksburg, the regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division of the Fifteenth Army Corps. With General Sherman in his bloody defeat a t Chickasaw Bayou it suffered no loss. On the 2nd day of January, 1863, it was sent down the river to the mouth of the Yazoo River, where General McClarnand was in command of the army. Soon after the regiment moved against the enemy occupying a strongly fortified position on the Arkansas River about fifty miles from the mouth. This was the key to central Arkansas, had a fine armament of heavy Parrott guns and columbiads; the garrison numbered about 7,000 well disciplined troops under command of General Churchill.

Battle of Arkansas Post

General McClernand moved his army by transports up the Arkansas River and disembarked on a swampy bank a few miles below the little village of Arkansas Post. Dispositions for t he attack were promptly made. General Morgan commanding two divisions of the Thirteenth Corps on the left and Sherman with two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps on the right moved forward over ground greatly obstructed by swamps and bayous. A brigade under Colonel Lindsay was landed below the Post on the opposite side of the river to prevent the escape of the enemy in that direction. Admiral Porter with a fleet of gunboats was cooperating with the land attack . Finally after much difficulty the lines were drawn around the Post under a heavy fire of artillery from the fort and of musketry from the earth works and rifle pits. The fleet soon opened fire, which was kept up until after dark when the troops passed a cold and gloomy night in swampy bivouac without fires. The next day a heavy fire was opened on the works from the gunboats and land artillery under cover of which the infantry advanced to the attack. The brigades of Hovey, Thayer and Smith gained a position in the woods near the enemy's rifle pits, but met such a terrible fire of artillery and musketry that they were compelled to seek shelter for a time. Again they advanced supported by Blairs' Brigade, to within short musket range and took position in deep wooded ravines. The infantry of Morgans' Corps advanced and gained a position close to the works. The battle now raged with great fury all along the lines, the enemy never slackened. General McClernand now decided to order an assault. the brigades of Burbridge, Smith and Sheldon pushed forward under a deadly fire and several of the regiments swept over the entrenchments. Shermans' command at the same time stormed the works in front in an equally brilliant manner, the victory was won and soon the rounds of ammunition, six hundred horses and mules, 5,000 muskets and a large amount of other property. The Iowa regiments engaged in this battle were the Fourth, Ninth, Twenty-fifth , Twenty-sixth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first and the Thirty-fourth. This was the first battle in which the Twenty-sixth met the enemy in mortal combat, and no regiment contributed more to win the great victory. Its' loss was one hundred twenty men. Lieutenants P. L. Hyde, J. S. Patterson and James McDill were slain, and among the wounded were Colonel Smith, Adjutant Ferreby, Captain N. A. Merrill and Lieutenant Svendsen. Soon after the battle the Twenty-sixth was sent down the river and stationed a few miles below Vicksburg , where it remained until the 2nd of April--then accompanying General Steeles' expedition to Greenville, Mississippi , where five men were captured.

Toward the last of the month it went into camp at Millikens' Bend and early in May joined Grants' army then moving out on the Vicksburg campaign. The regiment participated in the capture of Jackson and on the 16th moved with the troops toward Vicksburg. During the siege it was on the left of Thayers' Brigade in General Steeles' Division and took part in the assaults of the 19th and 22nd of May; its' losses during these engagements and the siege were six killed and thirty-three wounded. The Twenty-sixth was in the second expedition against Johnstons' army, in which Colonel Smith commanded a brigade, and Adjutant Ferreby who had not recovered from his wound was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and in command of the regiment. At the close of the campaign it returned to Black River, remaining in camp about two months. In the latter part of September it was sent to Memphis and on to Corinth, where Osterhaus' Division was engaged in repairing the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Early in November Osterhaus' command joined General Shermans' army then moving on toward Chattanooga. The Twenty-sixth reached Lookout Mountain the evening before the battle and took part in the engagement. Lieutenant-Colonel Ferreby was again severely wounded. Under Hookers' command, which followed the retreating enemy, the Twenty-sixth was in the battle near Ringgold where it did excellent service. Captain J . L. Steele was here mortally wounded and Lieutenants N. D . Hubbard and William Nickel were severely injured. During the month the regiment marched over three hundred miles of the rough mountain country of Alabama and took part in three battles. About Christmas time it went into winter quarters at Woodville, reduced in numbers to about one-half of the original strength, and during the winter it did patrol duty along the Tennessee River where eight men were captured. Early in May the Twenty-sixth joined General Shermans ' army at Chattanooga and for the next four months participated in the marches, skirmishes, sieges, battles, and exhausting labors of that famous campaign. The regiment lost eighty men in the various battles at Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw and Atlanta. After a months' rest at East Point it joined in the march northward early in October in Pursuit of Hood, and on the 16th lost five men in battle at Taylors' Ridge. In December the regiment was with the army in Savannah and in January, 1865, started on the march through the Carolinas, sharing the labors, hardships and battles of that campaign and at Bentonsville ended its' brilliant fighting career. Marching on northward to Raleigh, and from there to the National Capital on the 6th of June it was mustered out of the service. The flag of the "Clinton County Regiment" bears upon its' fold the names of the numerous battles in which honor is reflected upon the State by gallant conduct: Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Jackson, Vicksburg , Cherokee, Tuscombia, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge , Ringgold, Resaca, Dallas, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, Atalnta, Ezra Church, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Savannah, Columbia and Bentonsville make a formidable list of engagements where this noble regiment won its' proud place in our war history.

The Grand Army of the Republic

The GAR was a society of veterans who fought for the North in the Civil War (1861-1965). The GAR was founded by Benjamin F. Stephenson in Decatur IL on April 6, 1866. The society was founded to strengthen fellowship among men who fought to preserve the Union, to honor those killed in the war, to provide care for their dependents, and to uphold the Constitution. Membership was open to honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, or marines of the Union armed forces who served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865. The Grand Army had 409,489 members in 1890. In the 1870's and 1880's, it was an important political force in the North, especially in the Republican Party . It had one woman member, Sarah Edmonds. She had served in the Civil War disguised as a man. The last member o f the Grand Army of the Republic, Albert H. Woolson, died in 1956, and the organization was discontinued.

The GAR founded soldiers' homes, and was active in relief work and pension legislation. It started the celebration of Memorial Day in the North by a general order issued by John A. Logan. The Womans' Relief Corps began as a GAR auxiliary.

The GAR badge was a bronze star hung on a red, white and blue ribbon. The star shows a soldier and sailor shaking hands in front of a figure of Liberty.

(Note from Nettie Mae:  The Gen. N. B. Baker GAR Post operated in Clinton until the 1930's when it's last member, Thomas Barlow, died.  The Historical Society Museum Gene Library has a wonderful hand-written book of short biographies of the men from this post.)

More About TUNIS EDWIN WALROD: Military service: August 14, 1862, Clinton Co IA5


Clinton IAGenWeb Logo