Delaware County IAGenWeb

Military Biography

United We Stand

Delaware County, Iowa in the Civil War
Delaware 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.



Descended from German immigrants, Salue Gattshall Van Anda was born in Sunberry, Pennsylvania, on April 20, 1834 (or 1835). He moved with his parents to Knox County, Ohio, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University where he studied law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar. Soon thereafter he moved to Delhi, Iowa, where he established a law practice. In Epworth, on December 3, 1859, he married Lydia B. Weatherby who said she was born on February 25, 1840.


In the fall of 1861, he was elected to the state’s 9th General Assembly. The following year, on March 18th, a son, Charles Van Anda, was born. Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter on April 12th and three months later Governor Samuel Kirkwood received a telegram asking him to raise five regiments as part of the President’s call for 300,000 three-year men. On August 2, 1862, Salue Van Anda enlisted in what would be Company H of the 21st regiment of Iowa volunteers. They were ordered into quarters at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin on August 13th and, that same day, members of the company elected Van Anda as their Captain. Meanwhile, Governor Kirkwood had the task of selecting officers to lead the regiment. On the 26th, he designated McGregor’s Sam Merrill as Colonel, Mitchell’s Cornelius Dunlap as Lieutenant Colonel, and Delhi’s Salue Van Anda as Major. The regiment was mustered into service on September 9th and left for war on the 16th.


Their early service was in Missouri where, on November 20th, Surgeon William Hyde resigned under pressure. Colonel Merrill wrote to the Governor and recommended Asa Horr as a replacement.

 Bypassing his senior officer, Van Anda wrote his own letter to the Governor and recommended Lucius Benham. With a sense of diplomacy, the Governor selected Ottumwa’s William Orr.


By the time Orr reached the regiment there was open dissension. In February, seven of the ten Captains advised Colonel Merrill of their belief that “a conspiracy has existed for more than four months to destroy your influence.” Names weren’t mentioned, but the North Iowa Times said it had been advised by one of the soldiers that there was a “clique” whose “desire of promotion” was trying to get deserving men thrown out so they could be “raised to positions obtained by fraudulent means.”


On March 11, 1863, James Noble, 2nd Lieutenant in Company H, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and again there was a difference of opinion. Colonel Merrill told the Governor that Company H’s captain wanted William Dickinson to take Noble’s place while Van Anda bypassed his Colonel, wrote directly to the Governor, accused Merrill of having personal motives and said he and “the boys” preferred Willis Brown. Perhaps disheartened, Dickinson asked to be reduced to the ranks. Two years later Van Anda’s brother-in-law, Theodore Weatherby, was promoted to the position, but the war ended before he could be commissioned.


In the summer of 1863, the regiment participated in the Vicksburg campaign. On May 17th, the 21st Iowa’s Colonel Merrill, Henry Howard and Sam Moore, and the 23rd’s Colonel Kinsman, planned an assault at the Big Black River. The Colonels gave the orders and led their regiments across an open field. William Crooke said “regimental and company organizations immediately broke up - the fastest runners ahead. Too late now to stop them or issue orders - as well to try to stop the whirlwind or the cyclone. . . . To stop one instant would be to die.” Of the four who planned the assault, Merrill was the only one who survived. Seriously wounded when shot through both thighs, he laid where he fell until after the assault when the Thompson brothers helped carry him from the field. On May 22nd, those still able for duty, participated in an assault at Vicksburg. Lieutenant Colonel Dunlap, due to an earlier foot wound, was unable to participate, but watched from the breastworks, was shot and died.


When vacancies in the officer ranks occurred, it was normal for the commanding officer to quickly recommend the next in seniority for promotion and to certify that the recommended person did not use intoxicating liquor to an extent that would impair his ability as an officer or set a bad example for his men. Wording to this effect was routine. On June 10th, Van Anda made such a certification when recommending the promotion of David Drummond in Company B, but Merrill was hesitating as to Dunlap’s replacement. Days and weeks passed. Eventually, the Governor inquired about the delay until, on July 17th, almost two months after Dunlap’s death, Colonel Merrill wrote two letters to Governor Kirkwood. In one, a cover letter, he admitted he had hesitated about recommending Van Anda for promotion and said, “if I could see you, would explain many things.” He was making the recommendation now “more because I believe you desire it than for any other cause. I refrain from writing my opinion of him.” In the second letter he recommended Van Anda as Lieutenant Colonel and William Crooke as Major to take Van Anda’s place and said, “I certify on my honor that Capt W D Crooke above recommended does not use intoxicating liquor to such an extent to interfere with the discharge of his duties.” He made no similar certification as to Van Anda, but the promotions were made. Van Anda was considered promoted effective July 29th (changed after the war to May 23rd).


By September, Merrill and several other officers had been absent more than sixty days, three recuperating from wounds and one from illness. This was sufficient time to justify a discharge, but none of the four made such a request. Still in field command, Van Anda asked a General to order their discharge. The General had no authority to do so and Van Anda then wrote to the War Department which complied and sent notices of discharge to Colonel Merrill and Captains Boardman, Greaves and Harrison. All four contested their discharges.


Meanwhile, their regiment was in Algiers on November 22, 1863, when ordered to Texas. A federal officer delivering the order found Lieutenant Colonel Van Anda in his room at New Orleans’ St.

 Charles hotel “but was unable to gain any information from him from the fact that he was intoxicated.”

 The officer gave the order to Major Crooke and the regiment left for Texas while Van Anda was held under arrest in New Orleans. Van Anda said he had been told to secure 20 days’ rations before leaving, had done his best until 11:00 p.m. and had gone to bed. Several spoke to his good character while Brigadier General Lawler said his character was “unquestionably bad” and the service “would be benefitted by the acceptance of his resignation.”


The four discharged officers were reinstated, Colonel Merrill assumed brigade command in Texas on February 9, 1864, and the following month Van Anda was relieved from arrest and ordered to rejoin the regiment. Colonel Merrill was back in Iowa on recruiting duty in June when, with the regiment “reduced to about 500 soldiers 'present' with three field officers” and his wound making it “still difficult to ride my horse with comfort & my health otherwise impaired,” submitted his resignation. Merrill’s resignation having been accepted, Van Anda was in command of the regiment for the balance of its service, albeit as Lieutenant Colonel. They were mustered out of service on July 15, 1865, at Baton Rouge and discharged on July 24th at Clinton.


Van Anda’s problems with alcohol were clear but, even in reluctantly recommending him for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel Merrill had said “he has some good qualities.” The following July, with their old Enfields having been replaced by new Springfield muskets, Sergeant Major John Dubois said the “regiment has, through the unceasing efforts of Col. Van Anda, drawn new guns and equipment for the entire regiment.” On November 6, 1864, Jim Bethard, a private in Company B, wrote that “Col Vananda has quit drinking and does a great deal better than he used to he is a man of good sense and when he is sober a good officer he has raised a great deal in the estimation of the 21st regiment since he quit drinking.”


After the war, Salue and Lydia lived in Manchester. A daughter, Catherine Sophia, was born on December 19, 1866, while her father continued his legal career. He refused to reenter politics when offered a position by a “Soldier’s Convention,” participated in an 1866 competition hunting prairie chickens, argued a case before the state Supreme Court, was one of the members of the Early Settlers of Delaware County when it was organized in 1877, and continued to suffer from chronic diarrhea contracted at Vicksburg. In 1881, he applied for an invalid pension saying medication didn’t help and, at forty-seven years of age, his health had been reduced “to that of an old man.” Salue was in the early stages of dementia.


On July 5, 1881, testimony was filed with the Circuit Court alleging he was “insane and a fit subject for custody.” After a hearing by the Board of Commissioners of Insanity, he was admitted to the Insane Hospital in Independence on July 7th and told doctors he had contracted syphilis during the war. He was suspected of taking opium and, as the next few years passed, his condition became worse and Lydia was appointed Guardian of his person and estate.


On the 15th and 16th of September, 1887, the regiment held a reunion in Manchester. The History of Delaware County had been published in 1878 and portions relating to the regiment and its assault at the Big Black River were published in The Manchester Democrat the day before the reunion. These erroneous representations said that Merrill had been taken sick, that Van Anda had run to the front and led the assault, and that Merrill only came up after the assault and was then slightly wounded by one of the prisoners. Those who attended the reunion passed a resolution that “most emphatically” stamped “such representations of our gallant colonel as false.” They noted that he had fallen “severely wounded while gallantly leading the regiment against the enemy” and held him “in the highest esteem for his bravery and efficiency while commanding our regiment.”


Van Anda’s health prevented him from attending the reunion in his hometown. The doctors cured his diarrhea soon after his admission to the hospital, but his mental condition had steadily deteriorated. He could no longer converse with doctors and a Special Examiner said Van Anda was “an advanced paretic” and “wholly bereft of intelligence or reason.” On January 1, 1888, he died. Burial was in Manchester’s Oakland Cemetery.


Lydia applied for and received a pension of $8.00 monthly, but that was terminated when she married Jacob Lanning on August 27, 1904. Jacob died on November 15, 1912, in Corinth, Mississippi.

 Pursuant to a private bill in Congress, Lydia was granted $12.00 monthly, an amount increased to the $20.00 she was receiving when she died on March 19, 1924. Lydia, like Salue, is buried in Oakland Cemetery.


Charles Van Anda married Minnie Warren (Cox) Rhines, died on November 28, 1928, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Shreveport, Louisiana. Catherine married William Sutton in 1891, died on February 15, 1937, and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Delhi.

~ Compiled & submitted by Carl Ingwalson <>