daybreak on the 12th of April, 1861,
the stillness of Charleston Bay was disturbed by the firing of a large
morttar and the shriek of a shell as it rushed through the air. The
shell burst over Fort Sumter, and the war of the great Rebellion was
begun. In the North the hope had been tenaciously clung to that the
peace of the country was not to be disturbed. This dream was rudely
broken by the siege of Fort Sumter. The North awakened suddenly to the
awful certainty that civil war was begun. There was a deep feeling of
indignation at the traitors who were willing to ruin their country that
slavery might be secure. There was a full appreciation of the danger,
and an instant universal determination that, at whatever cost, the
national life must be preserved. Personal sacrifice was unconsidered;
individual interests were merged in the general good. Political
differences, ordinarily so bitter, were for the time almost effaced.
Nothing was of interest but the question how the audacious rebellion
was to be suppressed and the American nation upheld in the great place
which it claimed among men.
Two days after the fall of Fort Sumter Mr. Lincoln intimated by proclamation the dishonor done to the laws of the United States, and called out the militia to the extent of 75,000 men. The free States responded enthusiastically to the call. So prompt was their action that on the very next day several companies arrived in Washington. Flushed by their easily won victory, the Southerners talked boastfully of seizing the capital. In a very short time there were 50,000 loyal men ready to prevent that, and the safety of Washington was secured.
The North pushed forward with boundless energy her warlike preparations. Rich men offered money with so much liberality that in a few days nearly $25,000,000 had been contributed. The school-teachers of Boston dedicated fixed proportions of their incomes to the support of the Government while the war should last. All over the country the excited people gathered themselves into crowded meetings and breathed forth in fervid resolutions their determination to spend fortune and life in defense of the Union. Volunteer companies were rapidly formed. In the cities ladies began to organize themselves for the relief of sick and wounded soldiers. It had been fabled that the North would not fight. With a fiery promptitude, unknown before in modern history, the people sprang to arms.
Greene County had at this time less than 1,400 inhabitants. With a population mainly devoted to agriculture, who knew nothing of war except by history or tradition, it could hardly be expected that a warlike spirit would soon disturb the peaceful population. But we know little of the fire that slumbers in quiet breasts until occasion calls it forth.
The stars and stripes were unfurled in all the principal public and business places in Jefferson, and meetings were held all over the county to express the loyal sentiment of the people. The promptness and unanimity with which Greene County's citizens set about contributing their quota for the Union army will ever be a source of pride and wonder. At this date it seems almost inconceivable tliat the young farmers, meclianics, clerks and professional men could so soon drop their respective avocations and arrange themselves by companies and regiments to march at the word of command. Political and other differences seemed completely forgotten.
Under the first call of President Lincoln the quota of Iowa was fixed at one regiment, and this was filled up so promptly by those counties connected by railroads with the capital and other rendezvous points that the remote counties, like Greene, stood no show until late in the summer af 1861. when, among other regiments, the Tenth was organized. Company H, in this regiment, was enrolled in the counties of Greene, Carroll, Calhoun and Johnson counties, about two-thirds of the men being from Greene County. The Greene County boys in this regiment, together witli such facts as can be obtained from the official reports are here given:
Jackson Orr, mustered in September 7, 1861 (the whole company was mustered in on this date), commissioned Captain September 24, 1861, resigned August 8, 1863.
John H. Clark, promoted to First Sergeant, wounded in the shoulder and head at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; commissioned Captain August 11, 1863; mustered November 17, 1863, veteran; mustered, out January 13, 1865.
William G. Oungst, promoted from First Sergeant to Second Lieutenant February 7, 1862; First Lieutenant March 3, 1862; resigned October 7, 1862.
Matthew Custer, promoted to Second Sergeant, veteran, then First Lieutenant, January 4, 1865.
Andrew Perteuch, commissioned September 24, 1861, as Second Lieutenant; resigned February 6, 1862.
Isaac H. Brown, promoted from Second Sergeant to Second Lieutenant March 3, 1862; killed at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.
John Bish, promoted to Second Lieutenant August 7, 1865, but mustered out as Second Sergeant; wounded October 4, 1862, at Corinth, Mississippi, and November 25, 1863, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, slightly, in the hip; veteran.
Hubbard W. Bunker, promoted from Fifth Sergeant to First Lieutenant October 8, 1862, veteran; discharged October 11, 1864.
Isaiah W. Deemer, Third Sergeant.
Goldsborow B. Burk, Fourth Sergeant, wounded slightly in the head at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863; re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
Sanford M. Amy, First Corporal, wounded severely in the left tliigh at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.
Robert T. Smith, Second Corporal, captured at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863, and died of diarrhoea at Andersonville, Georgia, in prison, July 1, 1865.
Joshua Burk, Seventh Corporal, promoted to Sergeant; wounded severely in the right arm at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863; discharged at Davenport, Iowa, July 4, 1864, for wounds.
Albert Crumley, Third Corporal, discharged for inguinal hernia at Bird's Point, February 1, 1862.
Henry Myers, Fourth Corporal, re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
John L. Kinney, Fifth Corporal, transferred August 17, 1863, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, to the Twelfth Louisiana Volunteers.
Archibald Burk, Eighth Corporal, wounded slightly in the head at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, severely in the leg at Chattanooga, Teimessee, November 25, 1863; discharged at Davenport, Iowa, July 15, 1864, for wounds.
Coleman P. Wright, promoted Corporal, died at Columbia, South Carolina, February 19, 1865.
George W. Short, promoted Corporal, wounded severely in the right leg at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, discharged at Davenport August 11, 1863, for disability.
Xavier Carlin, promoted Corporal, re-enlisted January 1, 1864; wounded slightly in the foot at Cox's Bridge, North Carolina, March 20, 1865.
Joseph Deemer, musician.
John Roberts, musician, discharged at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, April 17, 1863.
Jacob Young, wagoner, re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
William Anderson, private, discharged at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, March 6, 1862.
Joseph A. Anderson, private, wounded in the left leg at Corinth, Mississippi, October 3, 1862; re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
Daniel H. Anderson, private, re-enlisted March 12, 1864.
William L. Adkins, private, wounded slightly in the left arm at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
John W. Adkins, private, died, date and place unknown.
Archibald L. Allen, private, discharged March 6, 1862, at Bird's Point, Missouri.
Henry L. Athey, private, discharged at Bird's Point, Missouri, March 6, 1862.
Thomas Athey, private, re-enlisted January 1, 1864.
John Bennett, private, died of measles at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 9, 1861.
James M. Brewer, private, wounded slightly in the back at Champion Hills, Missouri, May 16, 1863; re-enlisted January 1, 1864.
James R. Carter, private, died of measles at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 21, 1861.
John Chaffin, private, died of measles at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 19, 1861.
Philip Cline, private.
Jonathan Crumley, private, died at Mound City, Illinois, September 15, 1862.
Edward Davenport, private, discharged at Bird's Point, Missouri, February 10, 1862.
William Greek, private.
Amos Gilliland, private, wounded severely in the side at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.
William N. Hall, private, killed in the battle of Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863.
Jolni B. John, private, discharged at Keokuk December 10, 1862, for disability.
Thomas M. Lee, private, wounded severely in the neck at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, and severely in the arm at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1863.
Joseph R. Lock, private, transferred April 22, 1863, to the Eleventh Louisiana Volunteers.
Giles Jeff McMoy, private.
John C. McLain, private, re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
Daniel Miller, private, died at Bird's Point, Missouri, of diarrhoea, February 4, 1862.
Jacob Miller, private, accidentally killed at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, October 19, 1861.
Oliver O. Mosier, private, promoted Commissary Sergeant October 19, 1861; died at Bird's Point, Missouri, February 6, 1862.
Addison Monroe, private.
William Rhoads, private, wounded in the thigh at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863, and in consequence died at Memphis, Tennessee, Jnly 16, following.
Abraham Scott, private, transferred Febrnary 15, 1864, to invalid corps.
Alonzo C. Stevens, private.
Hiram Scott, private.
Jerome W. Teitsort, private, re-enlisted January 1, 1864.
Thomas B. Tarpin, private, died of measles at Mound City, Illinois, December 25, 1861.
John E. Van Horn, private.
John F. Wilson, private, re-enlisted February 1, 1864.
Lewis Wright, private.
William H. B. Wynkoop, discharged at Bird's Point, Missouri, February 1, 1862, for scrofula and consumption.
John David, Lewis Adkins, William McCoy, Marion Reece, Addison Monroe and Charles J. Wynkoop enlisted at the same time, but were rejected by the mustering officer. The company was mustered into the service of the United States at Iowa City September 7, 1861. On the same day Smith S. Hutchinson was added to the roll. He was killed in the battle at Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863. Daily B. Johns and Gillum S. Toliver joined Company K of the same regiment, but on the 28th of September, 1861, they were transferred to Company H, to be with the rest of the Greene County boys. Toliver was discharged at Hamburg, Tennessee, May 7, 1862, for disability, and Johns died on the same date at Mound City, Illinois.
Among the subsequent enlistments in this company from Greene County were Harrison Bruner, February 25, 1864; Reuben B. Greek, February 26, 1864; John W. Myers, February 25, 1864: Henry Rambarger, March 16, 1864; James C. Toliver, February 25, 1864, and James S. Wilson, February 19, 1864.
The Tenth Regiment was in the service neary four years, and was mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas, August 15, 1865.
The Thirty-ninth Infantry, Company E, contained perhaps two score men from Greene County. Robert M. Rippey was commissioned Captain November 24, 1862. He died at Corinth, Mississippi, October 30, 1863. He had been county judge of Greene County, and was a popular, valuable citizen. John N. Coulter was commissioned First Lieutenant November 24, 1862, Captain October 31, 1863, and resigned January 6, 1865. Newton P. Wright was promoted from Second Lieutenant to First Lieutenant October 81, 1863, and was killed at Allatoona October 5, 1864. Jacob M. Toliver was commissioned Second Lieutenant November 24, 1862, and resigned March 4, 1863. Among the rank and file were Albert M. Bills, John Carson, David Reed, Oliver M. Smith, Jacob Worley, Mark York, Theodore B. Powers, Caleb A. Shreve, Luther Short, Charles H. Tietsort and William F. Waldon. Shreve, Reed, Bills and Tietsort were captured at Allatoona October 5, 1864. Carson and Waldon were wounded in that famous battle. Mark York died at Resaca, Georgia, May 22, 1864.
There were a few Greene County men in other regiments, and some of these were:
John W. Myers enlisted in the Ninth, February 26, 1864.
David John enlisted in the Twenty-third, Company E, August 16, 1862.
Robert Gilroy, John H. Sims, George W. Mason and William E. McCoy enlisted May 11, 1864, in the Forty-fourth (100-days), Company H.
John Ladlie enlisted May 23, 1864, in the Forty-sixth (100-days), Company C.
Altogether, Greene County, which had but 1,374 inhabitants in 1860, furnished about 150 men for the army of the Union. Of these scarce a score are now living. The present population being largely made up of immigrants from Eastern States, there are in the county many old soldiers who enlisted
from other States, or from other counties in this State. Altogether, it is estimated that not less than 250 ex-soldiers reside in Greene County, representing more than sixty different regimental organizations.
The Tenth General Assembly passed a law organizing the militia of the State, in accordance with which 917 militia companies were formed, including two from Greene County. But little was done, however, in the way of drilling.
Source: Biographical and Historical Record, Greene and Carroll Counties, Lewis Publishing Company, 1887