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History of Iowa

Volume II

Chapter XIII


Pictures included in this chapter are of General William Vandever,

Battle of Pea Ridge and Colonel H. H. Trimble.



Ninth Iowa Infantry


            In July, 1861, immediately after the disastrous defeat of the Union army at Bull Run, Hon. William Vandever, the Republican member of congress from the second district of Iowa, tendered to secretary Cameron of the War Department a regiment to be raised in his district. His offer was promptly accepted and in a few weeks recruits were gathering at Dubuque. The regiment was composed of companies enlisted largely from the counties of Jackson, Jones, Buchanan, Clayton, Fayette, Black Hawk, Winneshiek, Howard, Bremer, Linn, and numbered nine hundred and seventy-seven men. The field and staff officers were William Vandever, colonel; F. J. Herron, lieutenant-colonel; W. H. Coyle, major; William Scott, adjutant; F. S. Winslow, quartermaster; Benj. McClure, surgeon; A. B. Kendig, chaplain. A few days after being mustered into service on the 24th of September, 1861, the regiment was sent to Benton Barracks, near St. Louis. For three months it was engaged in guarding the railroad from Rolla to Franklin and in drilling in camp of instruction. On the 22d of January, 1862, joining the Army of the Southwest, under General Samuel R. Curtis, Colonel Vandever was placed in command of the Second Brigade, consisting of the Ninth Iowa, Twenty-fifth Missouri, Third Illinois Cavalry, and the Third Iowa Battery; this brigade was in General Carr’s Division. The army marched to Springfield, in pursuit of General Price. He retreated to Arkansas, followed by General Curtis. In a skirmish at Sugar Creek the Ninth was under fire. Here was encountered a large force of the enemy supported by a battery and charging under a sharp fire, it was driven in confusion from its position. On the 4th of March Colonel Vandever, with a portion of his brigade, was sent to Huntsville, fifteen miles distant. He there learned that General Price had received heavy reinforcements from McCollough and Van Dorn and that the Confederate army, 40,000 strong, was now marching rapidly north under Major General Van Dorn, to attack Curtis. Vandever, in order to rejoin Curtis and avoid Van Dorn, was obliged to make a circuit of about forty miles. Starting at four o’clock in the morning, in a snow storm, in a forced march of fourteen hours, he reached Pea Ridge, where Curtis had taken position and formed his lines of battle. His little army numbered but 10,500 men of all arms, with forty-nine pieces of artillery. General Sigel, at Bentonsville, with part of two divisions, on the morning of the 6th, started to join Curtis.


Battle of Pea Ridge


          General Sigel was bringing up a small detachment of his command some distance in the rear, when he as attacked by the enemy and cut off from his main body. Help was soon sent and by sharp fighting his detachment was relieved with a loss of about thirty. Curtis now completed his lines, formed along the bluffs and ridges of Sugar Creek. In front was a broad valley, through which he expected the enemy to approach. In the rear of his army, which extended along the creek for several miles, was a broken plateau called Pea Ridge and still farther in the rear was the deep valley of Cross Timbers. The enemy approached on the extreme right of the Union lines, moving around to strike the flank and rear of the Union army at the same time, expecting with his greatly superior force to drive it in confusion and destroy it. Curtis saw his design and hastily reformed his lines, bringing his army face to face with the enemy. In order to gain time to complete his new line of battle, as his little army was almost surrounded, Curtis ordered an attack on the Confederate flank, led by General Osterhaus. The Third Iowa Cavalry and other detachments of horse were in this opening charge, and assailed the enemy with great vigor, but after a desperate struggle were driven back with heavy loss of men and one battery. The sacrifice, however, enabled Curtis to place his army advantageously in the new position just as the heavy columns of the enemy swept down on Carr’s Division. And now the battle was on. One thousand Indians, under Pike, aided the confederates with fierce war cries, tomahawks and scalping knives, adding to the horrors of one of the great battles of the war. On this part of the line the Dubuque Battery, under Captain Hayden, opened on the advancing enemy, doing great execution. The Confederates made a fierce charge upon the battery, captured one gun, but the Ninth Iowa poured a deadly volley into them, covering the ground with their dead. Dodge’s Brigade, on the right, was assailed and a section of the First Iowa Battery, under Lieutenant David, opened fire on the lines. The brigade for two hours held its position against greatly superior numbers. Colonel Vandever’s Brigade, after a stubborn fight and heavy loss, had been slowly driven back, Dodge firing his last round of ammunition into the confederate ranks, and General Curtis ordering the Fourth Iowa to charge bayonets, the enemy was driven back.


            In this day’s battle the Iowa regiments suffered severely, nearly two hundred each had been the losses of the Fourth and Ninth regiments. The latter had not a field officer left on duty. Lieutenant-Colonel Herron was taken prisoner and promoted to Brigadier-General for gallant conduct. Major Coyle and Adjutant Scott were wounded. When darkness put an end to the conflict the situation of the army was serious. All day it had fought with heroic courage against the best Confederate army of the south-west, ably commanded and outnumbering Curtis’ men two to one. The losses had been heavy and the right wing, after a most desperate struggle, had been forced from its position, while the enemy was still encircling it in front and rear. All night was spent by Curtis in forming a new line of battle and there was little sleep in the camp. Early on the morning of the 8th the battle was renewed all along the lines by a heavy fire of artillery. This was followed by a general advance of the Union army, which charged with such fierce determination and unflinching courage that the Confederate lines began to weaken. The batteries were now pouring in such a deadly fire that a number of Confederate positions were taken. The enemy’s lines began to waver before the steady storm of shot and shell, but as Davis, Sigel and Carr closed in on them with volleys of musketry, they were met by a deadly fire at short range, which rapidly thinned our ranks. Slowly the confederates were crowded out of the woods into the open field, where their lines were broken, and the men at last turned and fled in confusion.


            The Confederate army suffered very severely in this battle. Two distinguished Generals, McCulloch and McIntosh, were killed, and Generals Price and Slack were wounded, besides the loss of minor officers and men of not less than 2,500. The Union loss was two hundred and three killed and a little more than 1,000 wounded and prisoners. The Ninth Iowa lost two hundred and eighteen men; the Fourth, one hundred and sixty; the Third Cavalry, fifty; the two Iowa batteries, thirty-nine.


            Ingersoll says of this battle:


            “Whether considered in reference to the skill with which the troops were maneuvered or the valor with which they fought, the battle of Pea Ridge must be placed among the most memorable and honorable victories of the war. In a field far removed from General Curtis’ base of supplies, in a country much better known to the enemy than to him; that enemy outnumbered him more than two to one. Yet he defeated him so thoroughly, that his scattered squads were driven in panic far away to the south.”


            Iowa men had borne a most conspicuous part in this great battle and contributed largely to the glorious victory.


            The commanding General, Samuel R. Curtis, was an Iowa Congressman who had resigned his seat at the beginning of the war to enter the army. In this campaign and battle he had exhibited the rare qualities of an able and successful military commander. It is not too much to say that no General of the Union army won a victory against such superior numbers and no one fought a more difficult battle, requiring rare exercise of skill and resources to meet the sudden and unexpected emergencies of the battle-field. Colonels Vandever and Dodge, of Iowa, were in command of brigades. Colonel Dodge and Lieutenant-Colonel Herron, who commanded the Ninth, was wounded. These three Iowa regiments and the brigades commanded by Dodge and Vandever were in the thickest of the two days’ battle, and none surpassed them in coolness, courage and stubborn fighting. The First and Third Iowa batteries also did excellent service.


            “The Fourth and Ninth Iowa,” says General Curtis, “won imperishable honor,” and Colonels Dodge and Vandever are especially commended. Among the killed of the Ninth were Captains Drips and Bevins, and Lieutenant Rice, while Lieutenants Kelsey, Neff and Captain Towner were wounded, the army took up its march to Helena. While in camp here, the Ninth Regiment was presented with a stand of beautiful silk colors by a committee of ladies, of Boston, in appreciation of its gallant conduct at Pea Ridge. In November Colonel Vandever was promoted to Brigadier-General. The Ninth was now assigned to Thayer’s Brigade of Steele’s Division, and joined Sherman’s army in the expedition against Vicksburg. It took part in the disastrous Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, after which it went to Milliken’s Bend, where General McClernand succeeded to the command of the army. During the year 1862 the regiment had lost by death, capture and discharge, three hundred and twenty-five men, and gained fifty-six by enlistment, so that it numbered seven hundred and twenty-six at the beginning of 1863. The new year opened with the capture of Arkansas Post, after which the Ninth was sent with the army to Young’s Point, opposite Vicksburg. The encampment was in a swamp near the river, where for long weeks, amid rain and floods, the camp was nearly submerged. Sickness and death were thinning the ranks, and acres of graves were made in the oozing swamps. The army was at last driven by the floods to the levee, where, cooped up between the river and the vast overflowed stretch of lowland, the men had to lie in their camps day after day, listless and despondent. As the floods increased malaria invaded every camp, the swamps and graveyards were overflowed, and the dead had to share with the living the narrow levee, the only land above the all-pervading waters. Here, amid the gloom and despair that prevailed, hundreds of the bravest and noblest young men of western homes sickened and died, with the sad thought that none of the glory of the battle-field would temper the tidings of their fate to distant friends, and their deaths could contribute nothing to aid the great cause they had volunteered to serve. For more than two months the Ninth suffered in these swamps.


            In June, 1863, Captain Carskaddon, of Company K, was promoted to colonel of the regiment, as Lieutenant-Colonel Herron had been made a Brigadier-General on the 29th of November of the same year he was again promoted to Major-General; and major Coyle was promoted to lieutenant-colonel; Captain Carpenter, of Company B, became major and Lieutenant Mackenzie, adjutant.


            The Ninth next marched with General Steele in his expedition to Greenville, Mississippi, and after its return in April, joined in Grant’s campaign against Vicksburg. It sent with Sherman in the movement against Jackson which resulted in its capture.


            In June, 1863, Captain Carskaddon, of Company K, was promoted to colonel of the regiment, as Lieutenant Herron had been  made a Brigadier-General on the 29th of November of the same year he was again promoted to Major-General; and Major Coyle was promoted to Major-General; and Major Coyle was promoted to lieutenant-colonel; Captain Carpenter, of Company B became major and Lieutenant Mackenzie, adjutant.


            The Ninth next marched with General Steele in his expedition to Greenville, Mississippi, and after its return in April, joined in Grant’s campaign against Vicksburg. It was sent with Sherman in the movement against Jackson which resulted in its capture. The regiment returned to the army before to the army before Vicksburg on the 18th of May, and took part in the assault of the next day, in which it lost a number of men. In the general assault of the next day, in which it lost a number of men. In the general assault of the 22d, the Ninth made a gallant fight under the lead of Captain Washburn, who was three times wounded in the charge and died from his injuries at his home on the 16th of June. Among the killed in this charge were Captain F. M. Kelsey, and Lieutenant Jones, Tyrell and Wilbur. Lieutenants Little and Sutherland were among the wounded. Sergeant J. M. Elson, the color bearer, while gallantly scaling the earthworks, was shot through both thighs and, as he fell, the flag was seized by Lieutenant Granger and brought off the field. During the siege the regiment lost one hundred and twenty-one men, killed and wounded. Immediately after the surrender, the Ninth was sent with Sherman against General Johnston’s army, and participated in the siege and capture of Jackson. Colonel Williamson, of the Fourth Iowa, now took command of the brigade in which were the Ninth and other Iowa regiments, marching to Chattanooga to participate in the brilliant campaign under Grant.


            On the 23d of November, after a march of three hundred miles, their tents were pitched at the foot of Lookout Mountain. Twenty four hours later the Ninth was charging up the steep and rugged mountain side and fighting the great battle up above the clouds. It joined in the pursuit of Hood’s beaten and flying army, fought at Ringgold, and on the 27th was again moving against the enemy. Its losses in these engagements were three killed and sixteen wounded. Winter quarters were at Woodville, Alabama, where early in January, 1864, about three hundred of its members reenlisted as veterans. A month’s furlough enabled them to return to their homes. At Dubuque a royal reception greeted them and citizens return to their homes. At Dubuque a royal reception greeted them and the citizens gave them an ovation that testified their appreciation of the many gallant deeds of the regiment. At their various homes the veteran soldiers received the warmest welcome that loyal people could bestow. Many recruit were added to the regiment, and in March, under command of Major George Granger, the successor to Major Carpenter (who had died of consumption), it returned to Woodville. On the 1st of May, Colonel Carskaddon, who had been absent on account of illness, joined the regiment and it took up the line of march from Chattanooga to join in Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. For four months it participated in the hard marches, skirmishes, sieges and battles of that expedition. It took part in the battles of Resaca, Dallas, New Hope, Big Shanty, Keneshaw, Chattahoochee River, Decatur, Atlanta, Jonesboro and Lovejoy. The losses in these engagements were fourteen killed and seventy-six wounded and missing. In the battle before Atlanta, on the 22d of July, the left wing of the army was furiously assailed by Hood. General McDe Grass’ Battery of twenty-four pound Parrott guns had been captured, the left wing forced back and its center broken. Colonel Williamson in command of the Second Brigade, consisting of the Fourth, Ninth and Twenty-fifth Iowa, was ordered to charge on and recapture the lost battery. There was a deep ravine in front and through it the brigade moved with firm tread, climbed the steep banks and charge with great impetuosity straight upon the battery. So fierce was the assault on the flank that the enemy had scarcely time to fire before overwhelmed by the Fourth and Ninth Iowa, the guns were recaptured and turned on the foe. This gallant charge was under the eye of the commanding general and was one of the most brilliant episodes of that great battle. In the fight of the 28th, Colonel Carskaddon was wounded. After the fall of Atlanta the Ninth marched with the army to Savannah, which was taken December 21st. During the march to Savannah the Ninth was under command of the regiment sailed to Beaufort, South Carolina. Colonel Carskaddon, whose term of service had expired, was honorably discharged on the 29th of December, and Major Alonzo Abernethy succeeded to the command of the regiment. He was a brother of Lieutenant-Colonel Jacob Abernethy of the Third Iowa, who was killed in the battle before Atlanta July 22d. Both had entered the service as sergeant and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. On the 19th of June, 1865, Major Alonzo Abernethy was promoted to that rank.


            The northward march began on the 26th of January, 1865, and the regiment reached Alexandria, Virginia, on the 19th of May. In the last campaign it had done hard service in the swamps of South Carolina, building corduroy roads, bridges, and erecting intrenchments. In skirmish and battle it always fought with bravery. The regiment was in the Iowa Brigade under Colonel Stone, which held an important point in the capture of Columbia. It was in the grand review at Washington, after which, at Louisville, on the 18th of July, it was mustered out of the service, numbering at the time five hundred and ninety-five men. Lieutenant-Colonel Coyle, who had been absent from the regiment for two years, serving as Judge Advocate in the Department of Kentucky and one the staff of General J. M. Palmer, was mustered out of the service at the same time. During the term of service the Ninth Iowa Infantry had marched more than 4,000 miles, been transported by railroad and steamer more than 6,000 and participated in the skirmishes and battles of Pea Ridge, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Jackson, assault and siege of Vicksburg, siege of Jackson, Brandon, Cherokee, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope, Big Shanty, Kenesaw, Chattahoochee, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station, Savannah, Columbia and Bentonsville. It had furnished the service Major-General Herron, Brigadier-General Herron, Brigadier-General Vandever and Judge Advocate Coyle.


Tenth Iowa Volunteers


            This regiment was made up of companies raised in the counties of Polk, Boone, Warren, Tama, Madison, Greene, Jasper, Poweshiek and Washington. It numbered nine hundred and thirteen men, who went into camp at Iowa City and were mustered into service in September and October, 1861. After which, at Cape Girardeau, the men were drilled. The first field and staff officers were: Nicholas Purczel, colonel; W. E. Small, lieutenant-colonel; J. C. Bennett, major; W. P. Davis, surgeon; T. W. Jackson, adjutant; John Truesdale, quartermaster; D. W. Tolford, chaplain. On the 13th of December the regiment went into winter quarters at Bird’s Point. On the 8th of January, 1862, Colonel Purczel was sent with his regiment to capture a body of Rebels reported to be at Charleston, twelve miles distant. The night was dark, the rain falling in torrents and the line of march led through swamps, where the roads were nearly impassable. While slowly feeling their way in storm and darkness, the men were suddenly fired upon by an enemy in ambush and thrown into confusion. Quickly rallying, the regiment returned fire in the direction of the concealed foe, the strength of which was unknown. The enemy was soon dislodged and scattered and the regiment marched on beyond Charleston. The Tenth lost in this first fight, eight men killed and sixteen wounded. In February the regiment joined General Pope’s New Madrid expedition. That place was defended by five regiments of infantry and several companies of artillery, and strongly fortified by earthworks, upon which were mounted twenty-one heavy guns. Six gunboats, carrying from four to six heavy guns each, were anchored along the shore between the upper and lower redoubts. Thus the approaches to the town were commanded by direct and cross-fire with at least sixty guns of heavy caliber. General Pope sent a detachment of infantry with a battery of Parrott guns, under command of Colonel Plummer, twelve miles below to seize Pleasant Point and there blockade the river. The enemy had now been heavily reinforced from Island Number Ten, having in all 9,000 infantry, a large addition to its artillery and nine gunboats. The siege guns reached General Pope on the 12th of March and early on the morning of the 13th a vigorous bombardment began. The trenches were steadily extended nearer the town, and by night the army was within easy musket range. A furious thunder storm broke over the armies at night, and under cover of the noise and darkness, the Confederate army evacuated the town. The Tenth Iowa was the first to enter the place and learn that the enemy had fled in a panic, leaving artillery, tents, ammunition, horses, mules, wagons and camp supplies for an army of 10,000 men, to fall into the hands of the victors. The Union army lost but fifty-one men in the siege. General Pope’s army was immediately sent to support the gunboats of Commodore Foote in an attack upon Island Number Ten. After a vigorous bombardment of twenty-three days, this stronghold was also evacuated on the 7th of April. The trophies of this victory were one hundred and twenty-three pieces o heavy artillery, nearly 7,000 prisoners, 7,000 stands of small arms, several steamboats and wharf boats filled with stores, 2,000 horses and mules, 1,000 wagons and a vast amount of ammunition and army stores. The Iowa regiments that took part in this successful campaign were the Fifth, Tenth, and Second Cavalry. Soon after, General Halleck absorbed General Pope’s army in his march against Corinth, and the Tenth Iowa took part in the so-called siege. The Tenth went into camp at Corinth, where for months it was kept on duty, suffering greatly from sickness. Week after week through the hot summer the men were kept in idleness, the long sultry days bringing nothing but drill and sickness to vary the depressing monotony. Many died and many contracted disease which caused their discharge. In September the regiment participated with Rosecrans’ army in the bloody Battle of Iuka, where it repulsed two separate charges of Texas regiments and won special commendation of the commanding general. In the desperate two day’s Battle of Corinth which soon followed, the Tenth, under Major McCalla, in General Sullivan’s Brigade, made a most gallant fight, of which Major McCalla says in his report:


            “During both days I was assisted in the field by Captain N. A. Holson, acting lieutenant-colonel; Captain Jackson Orr, acting major; and Lieutenant William Manning, adjutant; who acted throughout with great coolness and courage and to whom large credit is due. The line officers without exception deported themselves with great gallantry, and to the men under my command too much praise cannot be given for their courage, endurance and strict obedience to orders.”


            The regiment lost three killed and thirty-seven wounded, among the latter was Captain Albert Head.

            The regiment was with General Grant in the Oxford campaign and later at Memphis, where it went into winter quarters. Colonel Purczel had resigned in November, 1862, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Small. Major Bennett had resigned in November, 1862, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Small. Major Bennett had resigned in January of the same year, and Captain McCalla was promoted to the vacancy. Dr. Davis resigned in April, and R. J. Mohr was appointed surgeon. Adjutant Jackson also resigned in April and was succeeded by Lieutenant John Delahayed. The next active service of the Tenth was under General Quimby against Fort Pemberton which was bombarded for several days without success. The regiment soon after joined General Grant’s army at Milliken’s Bend, and was in the great campaign which captured Vicksburg. In this campaign the Tenth Iowa bore a conspicuous part, fighting bravely at Raymond on the 12th, at Jackson on the 14th and at Champion’s Hill on the 16th of May. General Quimby being ill, his division was under command of General Crocker, of Iowa, and the Tenth was in a brigade under Colonel Boomer, in McPherson’s Corps. At Jackson the corps did the largest share of the fighting and then turned west to cooperate with the main body of Grant’s army, which was concentrating to meet General Pemberton, marching from Vicksburg to resist Grant’s progress toward that city. Pemberton had taken a strong position on a high hill on the plantation of a Mr. Champion. To the right of the road a dense forest extended some distance down the hill, opening into cultivated fields on a gentle slope and broad valley. Here Pemberton, with 25,000 men, had posted his army, commanding the roads by which Grant was advancing. The divisions of Logan and Crocker were soon in the thickest of the fight, where the heavy rattle of musketry for an hour and a half had not been surpassed in any battle of the war. Hovey, who had been holding his ground tenaciously against greatly superior numbers, was finally forced slowly back, when Crocker and Logan reinforced him, and were soon in retreat, so vigorously pursued that much of their artillery and many prisoners were captured. There were many Iowa regiments in this greatest battle of this campaign, and none fought with greater bravery than the Tenth. When Crocker came to the aid of Hovey, this regiment, with the brigade, was thrown into the vortex of as desperate a struggle as ever was witnessed on the field and helped turn the tide of battle. But Boomer’s brigade was immolated in the conflict and the loss of the Tenth was fearful, reaching nearly fifty per cent of its entire number. Among the killed were Captain Poag and Lieutenants Terry and Brown, while Captains Lusby, Head, Kuhn and Hobson and Lieutenants Meekin and Gregory were wounded. Soon after the battle the Tenth was with the army before Vicksburg. It was in the assault of the 22d, making two gallant charges on the impregnable works. Colonel Boomer, commanding the brigade, was killed in one of the charges and Captain Head was severely wounded. After the surrender, the Tenth marched with Sherman against Johnston and after his retreat again returned to Vicksburg, remaining for two days for two months garrison duty. Near the close of September it was transferred to the fifteenth Corps and marched with Sherman to Chattanooga. General Matthies, of Iowa, had succeeded to the command of the brigade after the death of the gallant Boomer, and the Tenth took part in the brilliant battles which Grant fought in and about the city. Here, many of its best officers and men perished in the storming the defenses and bravely facing the death–dealing batteries. The soldiers never faltered in the line of duty and everywhere sustained the high reputation won on many battle-fields.


            At Missionary Ridge the Tenth won high honors. At three o’clock on the 24th of November, General Sherman moved against Missionary Ridge, where General Bragg was strongly posted on that range of hills. The Tenth Iowa, with its brigade and division, marched down through the timber and low bottom land to the assault. Reaching the first hill on a high range beyond, the enemy was seen strongly fortified and in force, and against this position the Seventh Division directed its attack the next day. The Union army had won Lookout Mountain and on the night of the 24th, held the entire line from the north side of Lookout Mountain through the Chattanooga Valley to the north end of Missionary Ridge. General Bragg was now defeated and was fighting to save his army, artillery and baggage. The point against which the Fifth, Sixth, Tenth and Seventeenth Iowa regiments were directed on the 25th, covered Bragg’s line of communication to the rear, and if this hill were lost Bragg’s defeat would be disastrous. The Tenth, with its brigade, moved at eleven o’clock to reinforce General Ewing, marching over an open field to low ground covered with underbrush and advancing to the attack on the hill. The artillery fire was terrible. Solid shot, shell, grape and canister at short range form forty pieces of artillery, smote their ranks, mowing down the men by scores. No troops could stand against it and a retreat was ordered. General Matthies fell severely wounded; it was next to Champion’s Hill the most terrific artillery fire the Tenth ever encountered. After the close of the Chattanooga campaign the regiment went into winter quarters at Huntsville, Alabama, and, during the months of January and February, 1864, nearly three hundred of the men reenlisted, converting it into a veteran regiment.


            Colonel Small had left the service in August, 1863, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Henderson; Major McCalla became lieutenant-colonel and Captain Robert Lusby was promoted to major. The Tenth was sent with General Thomas in a movement against Johnston in Tennessee and in April was ordered to Decatur, Alabama. In June the veterans were granted a furlough, retuning to duty in the latter part of July, and were stationed along the Chattanooga and Atlantic Railroad, having headquarters at Kingston, Georgia. The Tenth was next in the expedition under Generals Steadman and Rousseau against Wheeler, and in the march to the sea, taking part in the battles around Savannah. In the campaign through the Carolinas it made a gallant passage of the Salkahatchie River, crossing waist deep under a heavy fire from the enemy posted behind earthworks and, with another regiment, dislodging the Confederates. The Tenth was with the advance upon Columbia, and was warmly engaged at Cox Bridge on the Neuse River in North Carolina at the opening of the Battle of Bentonsville. It moved with the army to Goldsboro and Raleigh, and was at the surrender of Johnston’s army of nearly 37,000 men on the 21st day of April, 1865, which event virtually ended the war.


            The Tenth soon after went to Washington and participated in the grand review of May 24th. From there it was sent to Louisville, and thence to Little Rock and was not mustered out until the 15th of August. It numbered at that time little more than three hundred men and had the following field and staff officers: Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Silsby, Adjutant H. S. Bowman, Surgeon R. J. Mohr, Chaplain W. G. Kephart. The regiment entered the service over nine hundred strong and had received thereafter about three hundred recruits; so that during its four years of camp life, hard marches and battles it had lost from disease, wounds, disability and death as many men as it took into the service. Such are the ravages of war. The flag of the Tenth Iowa Volunteers, deposited in the capitol of the State, is entitled to have inscribed upon its war-worn folds the names of Charleston, New Madrid, Island Number Ten, Farmington, Iuka, Corinth, Raymond, Jackson, Champion’s Hill, Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, Decatur, Salkahatchie, Columbia, and Bentonsville.


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