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History of Iowa

Volume II

Chapter XXVIII

Pictures included in this chapter are: General Fitz Henry Warren,

Colonel H. C. Caldwell, and Lt.-Col. William P. Hepburn


The Fortieth Iowa Infantry


          This was the last in point of numerical number of infantry regiments enlisted for three years, organized by Iowa. But it was not the last to leave the State. Three or four other regimental, when the “Hundred Days” regiment was formed, it was numbered the Forty-fourth. The Fortieth was in war times called “The Copperhead Regiment” for the insufficient reason that a large number of its members were Democrats. An active Republican member of this regiment wrote thus indignantly on the subject:


            In the summer of 1862 our party friends urged that the Democrats did to but should enlist and bear their portions of the burdens of the war. Under these circumstances the men of this regiment, Democrats as well as Republicans, left their homes, and responded to their country’s call. With perhaps a few exceptions from both sides they had endured every hardship, braved every danger, performed every duty and obeyed every order with a hearty and unselfish patriotism which might be beneficially emulated by those who denounce them as “Copperheads,” because they differ in the matter of politics. As between those who enter the army and fight Rebels wherever opportunity offers and vote the Democratic ticket and those who stay at home and disparage the men who fight, because they cannot control their votes at the polls, it is not difficult for me to make choice. I hold the former in the highest esteem and have nothing but contempt for the latter.


            The regiment was made up of four companies from Marion County, two from Jasper and one each from the counties of Poweshiek, Mahaska, Keokuk and Benton. John A. Garret, of Jasper, was appointed colonel; Samuel F. Cooper of Poweshiek, lieutenant-colonel; S. G. Smith of Newton, major, and L. A. Duncan of Iowa City, adjutant. On the 15th of November, 1862, the regiment, nine hundred strong, was mustered into service at Iowa City, where it remained in camp a month. The men were armed with Enfield muskets and on the 17th of December started for Cairo, going form there to Columbus, Kentucky. Here the regiment remained during the winter. Sheltered only by dog tents, the men were exposed to the sudden and severe changes of that climate, a succession of cold driving rains, deep mud, snow and hard freezing. Unaccustomed to such exposure many were stricken by disease and died. The monotony of post duty unrelieved by the excitements of active service in the field was depressing in the extreme and there was great rejoicing when the order came to embark for Paducah, seventy miles up the river. Here in comfortable quarters the men soon recovered their health. They remained at Paducah nearly three months, on light duty, becoming well drilled and disciplined. On the last of May the regiment moved down the river to join General Grant’s army, then engaged in the Vicksburg campaign. It was not called to take part in the numerous brilliant battles which followed in rapid succession but was employed in the swamps of the vicinity where sickness and death thinned the ranks. Bad water and the malaria of the swamps were more fatal to the men than hard fought battles. In August the Fortieth joined general Steele’s army in the campaign against Little Rock. With about 12,000 men General Steele marched against the city. On the 10th of September the Fortieth led the advance in crossing the Arkansas River at a point below the city, where the enemy was thought to be in force on the opposite side in the timber. It supported the batteries during the laying of the pontoons, a part of the time under fire, but met with no losses either there or at the crossing. The enemy fled and Little Rock surrendered. The colonel being ill the regiment was under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cooper, who was barely able to mount his horse. The march had been a hard one and of the seven hundred and fifty men in the regiment less than two hundred and fifty were able to keep their places in the ranks. Before General Steele’s army had marched half the distance from Helena to Little Rock, more than 1,000 men had been sent to the hospital at Duvall’s Bluff. The Fortieth Regiment was with General Steele in his disastrous Camden expedition and suffered all the hardships of that badly managed campaign. The army moved from Little Rock on the 22d of March, 1864, the Fortieth forming a part of the Third Brigade of the Third Division. On the 3d of April the regiment was in a heavy skirmish near Okalona, in which Lieutenant Roberts was wounded. In the running engagement at Prairie d’Anne on the 10th of April the regiment was conspicuous, losing eight men wounded. On the 27th General Steele began his disastrous retreat, the enemy pursuing. On the 29th the main body of the Union army was in camp on the bottom lands of the Saline River at Jenkins’ Ferry. Heavy skirmishing at once began which was continued at intervals until after dark.


Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry


            Rain had been falling all day and came down in torrents during the entire night. Wet to the skin and covered with mud, the soldiers worked with desperate energy to save the army, but morning came before the passage was completed and with the first rays of light the enemy opened the attack. The situation was perilous in the extreme. A battle must be fought against greatly superior numbers or the army must surrender. The Thirty-third Iowa under Colonel Mackay held the extreme rear near the bluff. At daylight this regiment was fiercely attacked. It was hastily reinforced by the Fiftieth Indiana, but the line was gradually forced back by superior numbers. The Ninth Wisconsin and Twenty-ninth Iowa were posted in a strong position about half a mile to the rear of the line first taken, their right resting on the creek, their left to some extent protected by a marsh, while in front was an open field. The Thirty-third Iowa and Fiftieth Indiana now fell back behind this line not far from where Colonel Engleman’s Brigade was stationed. In a short time the battle was raging furiously, requiring all the troops on the right bank of the river and reinforcements from those who had already crossed. General Rice of Iowa here commanded and as the regiments came to his aid, personally posted them as advantageously as possible. The Confederates hurled three divisions against our little army, each of which was repulsed with great slaughter. At one time a movement against our right flank was threatened and the Forty-third Illinois and a detachment of the Fortieth Iowa were sent to the point of danger, driving the enemy back. The Confederates now advanced from all quarters in a grand attack upon our left and center, forcing our line on the left, held by the Thirty-third Iowa, which had stood its ground until the ammunition was exhausted. Four companies of the Fortieth under Colonel of the Thirty-third and, forming under a withering fire, restored the line. Within an hour these regiments had advanced more than half a mile, driving the enemy entirely from the field. It was a battle of musketry. A section of Confederate artillery was planted and fired one round when the Twenty-ninth Iowa and Second Kansas, colored charged across the filed and brought the guns back in triumph. The battle was fought largely by the brigades of General Rice and Colonel Englemann on the Union side. At half-past twelve o’clock the Confederates had retired from the field and the Union army crossed the river in safety. The battle was fought in the mud where the men sunk to their horses’ knees and in many places stood in water up to their own. The Fortieth did not fight in a body at any time during the engagement. Early in the morning two companies under Captain Campbell had been sent out as skirmishers. Later four companies under Major Smith crossed the creek on the right and remained there during the engagement. The remaining companies under the colonel did a large part of the regiment’s hard fighting and suffered much of the loss.


            “The four companies holding the extreme left,” says Colonel Englemann in his report, “were hard pressed by the enemy, but maintained their position with the most commendable bravery, suffering, however, in proportion to the number of men composing those companies, the most severe loss of any of our troops engaged at Jenkins’ Ferry.”


            Out of one hundred men these companies lost six killed, thirty-four wounded and five captured. Shortly after midnight on the morning of May 4, orders were issued limiting transportation to one team for each brigade and directing the destruction of all surplus baggage. This done, the army continued its retreat. The men were short of food and the horses were in starving condition. Corduroy roads had to be constructed through swamps over which men helped to drag the artillery as the horses sank down exhausted. The heavy guns and caissons had to be dragged by the weary soldiers. New roads had to be cut through the dense forests and causeways built by men famishing with hunger. It was one of the most desperate retreats of the war. The army struggled along day after day bearing the pangs of hunger and all of the fearful hardships with stern endurance and stout hearts, finally reaching Little Rock. In November a detachment of the Fortieth was sent up the Arkansas River to guard the steamer Alamo. When near Darenelle the boat was attacked by two hundred cavalry who were driven off with loss after a spirited fight. General Bussey, in command of the Fort Smith district, called for duty on the staff of General Reynolds and did not again join the regiment. Colonel Garrett being for some time in command of a brigade, the regiment was under Captain Ridlen. Colonel Garrett was assigned to the command of the District of South Kansas with headquarters at Fort Gibson and retained the place until his regiment was mustered out. On the 2d of August, 1865, the Fortieth Iowa was mustered out of the service and after a journey by steamer of 1,500 miles, reached Davenport on the 10th, and was soon disbanded.


The Iowa Regiment of Colored Troops


          According to the census of 1860 there were about 1,000 persons of African descent in Iowa. The beginning of the Rebellion sent more into our State from Missouri and it is likely that the negro population had increased to nearly 2,000 before 1863. These realized early in the gigantic struggle that their race had a vital interest in the results of the war. The success of the Union armies would almost certainly bring emancipation to the slaves. As soon as our Government determined to enlist colored soldiers the negroes of Iowa hastened to volunteer their services. The Sixtieth regiment of United States colored troops was largely made up of Iowa men. Six companies of this regiment went into camp at Keokuk, where they were mustered into the service of the united States on the 13th of October, 1863. The four companies which completed the regiment, entered the service at St. Louis at different times during the two following months. The regiment numbered about nine hundred. It was not employed in any of the great campaigns of the war but through no fault of the patriotic men who were anxious for participation in the fighting line. Assigned to garrison duty at St. Louis, while serving about a year and a half, it performed valuable guard and garrison duty. The Sixtieth was afterwards employed on similar duties in other parts of the Mississippi Valley. The chief officers of the regiment were Colonel John G. Hudson, Lieutenant-Colonel Milton F. Collins, Major John L. Murphy, Adjutant T. W. Pratt.


            The regiment performed every duty required of it faithfully, was well drilled and soldierly in appearance. Upon returning to Iowa the members addressed a memorial to the people of the State on the subject of equal political rights, which received the earnest attention of the thoughtful and fair-minded citizens. A few years later the State removed the unjust discrimination and granted the race full citizenship.


The First Iowa Cavalry


            The first regiment of cavalry raised in Iowa was recruited from the State at large. Six companies were in camp at Burlington as early as July, 1861. Others were soon ready and in August the regiment was organized. Fitz Henry Warren, one of Iowa’s most able and accomplished public men of Iowa, was commissioned colonel, Charles E. Moss was lieutenant-colonel, E. W. Chamberlain, James O. Gower and W. M. G. Torrence were the majors, while J. C. Stone was adjutant. The regiment numbered 2,200 men when it embarked for Saint Louis early in October. The first and second battalions were soon sent into the field. The third remained at Saint Louis under Colonel Warren. The eight companies sent into the field were employed most of the winter in patrolling the State which was infested with guerillas and many were hunted down and shot be the First Cavalry. Four of the companies, with a detachment of the First Missouri Cavalry, attacked and routed a party of the enemy under Poindexter at Silver Creek in January. The same companies in February, made a raid on Warsaw and captured several Confederate officers. In similar services the eight companies spent the winter almost constantly in the saddle on either side of the Missouri River everywhere protecting Union men. Early in March the third battalion was ordered to Sedalia where it joined the first battalion under Major Torrence. On the 12th the two battalions marched to Clinton, where they established headquarters and remained until the 8th of April.


            Colonel Warren marched with a part of his regiment to the river Marias des Cygnes and returned with thirty prisoners and a quantity of ammunition. In July Major Gower defeated the notorious guerrilla Quantrill in a fight, killing and wounding many of his men. Our loss was three killed and ten wounded. On the 2d of August Captain Heath with one hundred men, attacked a greatly superior force of the enemy posted in a grove on Clear Creek and with the help of Captain Caldwell, was victorious; Captain Heath lost four men killed and fourteen wounded. On the 8th of August all of the companies of the regiment were united for the first time since leaving Burlington. Although the separated battalions had rendered valuable services in hunting down bands of desperadoes that were a terror to the Union men of Missouri, that kind of warfare brought them no glory. It was full of hardships and dangers and helped materially to hold Missouri in the Union. In September Colonel Warren was promoted to Brigadier-General and, bidding farewell to his comrades of the First Iowa Cavalry, departed to assume his new duties. He was succeeded in command by Colonel J. O. Gower, promoted from lieutenant-colonel. Soon after the regiment marched to Springfield and was employed in protecting that region from hostile bands. In December the regiment marched to Cane Hill and joined General Blunt’s army taking part in the Battle of Prairie Grove and rendering valuable service.


The Capture of Van Buren


            After General Hindman’s defeat at Prairie Grove he retreated toward Van Buren. On the morning of the 27th of December General Blunt moved his army toward that place and at night rested on the north side of Lee’s Creek. Early the next morning the army crossed the swollen stream, the cavalry was ordered forward, the First Iowa taking the lead. At ten o’clock the advance came upon two regiments of Confederate cavalry at Dripping Springs eight miles north of Van Buren. The First Cavalry promptly charge upon them supported by the remaining mounted troops of the army and by four mountain howitzers, keeping up a running fight into the town. After a few shots form the howitzers the cavalry made a dash into Van Buren, galloping down the hill at a great speed. Some rode to the landing to prevent the escape of the Rebel cavalry, while others descended the bank of the river to capture steamboats which were making off. The boats were captured and brought back to the landing. The enemy now opened on our cavalry with artillery from the south side of the town but the guns were soon silenced by Blunt’s howitzers. Before four o’clock in the afternoon our army was in complete possession of the town and had captured a large amount of property consisting of wagons, commissary stores, four steamboats, a ferry boat, camp equipage, mules, a large quantity of ammunition and about one hundred prisoners. The total loss to the Confederate cause from this foray was estimated at about $300,000. Blunt’s army returned to Prairie Grove. The early months of 1863 found the First Cavalry in Arkansas and Missouri scouting over a great extent of country, dispersing guerrilla bands and capturing many prisoners. On the 26th of April a night attack was planned on the advance guard of a Confederate force near Jackson and the charge was intrusted to the First Iowa Cavalry under Major Caldwell. At midnight Lieutenant Hursh with a platoon of eight men and a howitzer loaded with musket balls steadily approached to within thirty yards of the unsuspecting foe and, discharging howitzer and carbines simultaneously, effected great slaughter among the enemy. A moment later the First Iowa Cavalry charged and not a man of the entire force escaped, all who were not killed or wounded being taken prisoners. Guns, horses, camp equipage and several thousand dollars’ worth of property were captured by the Union army.


            The affair was a most brilliant one and the Iowa regiment returned without the loss of a man. The pursuit of Marmaduke’s army was continued to Chalk Bluff, on the Saint Francis River with skirmishing all the way. Major Caldwell, who had the advance, lost but five men wounded. In March the regiment was armed with Colt’s navy revolvers, five hundred new sabers and six hundred Sharp’s breech-loading carbines, making a much more complete armament than it had ever before possessed. General Steele was now preparing for his Little Rock Campaign and the First Iowa Cavalry accompanied the expedition. When the advance approached Brownsville, midway between the White and Arkansas rivers, on the 26th, there was a sharp skirmish, the Iowa Cavalry having the extreme front. The enemy was driven from his works but on the next day strongly posted behind a bayou, made a stubborn resistance. The First Iowa made a dashing charge to capture a bridge which afforded the only crossing of the deep and miry stream. The charge was made with drawn sabers on full gallop under a heavy fire from the enemy’s artillery and sharpshooters. But it was not possible to save the bridge as every preparation for this destruction had been made beforehand. Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson had his horse shot from under him and the regiment in the brief charge lost thirty-seven men in killed and wounded. When the army approached Little Rock the Second Brigade of cavalry was placed in the advance the Frits moving in front as skirmishers. During the fighting which continued nearly all day our regiment was on the extreme front sometimes fighting its way on foot, again charging with drawn sabers, often under heavy and continuous fire. It recaptured from the enemy two howitzers which had been taken from the Tenth Illinois Cavalry. Thought the regiment had been under fire most of the day, its loss was but one killed and three wounded, among the latter Major Caldwell.


            Many changes had been made in the field officers of the regiment, during the year 1863. When Colonel Warren was promoted to Brigadier-General, Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan was elected to succeed him as colonel but Governor Kirkwood exercised his  power and gave the commission to Major Gower. Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan, who stood first in line of promotion and was an excellent and popular officer, regarded the action of the Governor as unjust and resigned his commission. Colonel Gower who made an excellent officer, resigned August 20th on account of failing health and died at his home in Iowa City in the fall of 1865 from disease contracted in the army. Captains Chase and William Thompson were promoted to majors and Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson was made colonel of the regiment upon the resignation of Colonel Gower. Major Caldwell was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and Captain McQueen was at the same time made major. During the campaign which closed with the capture of Little Rock, the regiment suffered greatly from sickness. Disease brought on by hardships and exposures of the march prostrated hundreds of men and death sadly thinned the ranks. During the last two months of the year the men were most of the time in the saddle scouring the country in the vicinity of Little Rock in search of forage or dispersing bands of the enemy. It was with Steele’s Camden expedition and had many brushes with the enemy during that disastrous campaign, losing five men killed and twenty-five wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell was in command of the Third Brigade at this time and Captain Crosby of the First Cavalry. The recruits and non-veterans of the regiment were now left in command of Colonel Anderson while the veterans with Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson while the veterans with Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell were granted furloughs and while on their way North they overtook the retreating army of General Steele near Jenkins’ Ferry and participated in the severe battle of that place. Reaching Little Rock on the 2nd of May they continued their homeward journey, returning to the army about the middle of July. On the 27th of September the guerilla Anderson captured a train near Centralia, murdering all of the soldiers on board numbering about thirty. Among them were seven members of the First Iowa Cavalry.


            Colonel William Thompson, promoted from major, was in command of the non-veteran portion of the regiment which was on duty at Memphis. Lieutenant-Colonel Caldwell, after three and a half years’ honorable service, was mustered out in the fall of 1864. He was succeeded by Major Alexander McQueen. Toward the close of the year 1865 the regiment was sent to Texas where it served until February 15th when it was mustered out. Its history is a record of hard and faithful service, extending through a period of nearly five years. Although not its fortune to participate in many of the great battles of the war, no regiment sent out of Iowa performed a greater amount of arduous labor for the Union cause. It was one of the first in the field and one of the last mustered out.


The Second Iowa Cavalry


            In the summer of 1861 steps were taken to organize the Second Regiment of cavalry and companies were recruited from the State at large. They went into camp at Davenport during the months of August and September numbering 1,050 men. Captain W. L. Elliott of the regular army was appointed colonel, Edward Hatch, lieutenant-colonel; W. P. Hepburn of Marshall County, Datus E. Coon of Cerro Gordo and H. W. Love of Johnson were the majors. The adjutant was Charles F Warden. The regiment remained at Davenport nearly three months undergoing thorough drill and when it entered upon active service in the field the men were expert in the use of the saber. Before the departure of the regiment for the South, Adjutant-General Baker, on behalf of the State, presented it with a stand of colors.


            On the 7th of December the Second Cavalry left Davenport for Benton Barracks near Saint Louis. While here the men were crowded into close quarters where a great amount of sickness prevailed resulting in sixty deaths. On the 17th of February, 1862, the regiment entered upon active service in southwest Missouri, making hard marches through a swampy region. It was with General Pope at the siege and capture of New Madrid, and was for a long time thereafter employed in scouting, guarding trains and picket duty. Upon the fall of Island Number Ten the regiment crossed the Mississippi and the advance under Lieutenant Schmitzer was the first body of Union troops to land on the island. Eighty-six prisoners were captured before the remainder of the regiment captured in all about two hundred prisoners. General Pope’s command soon after joined General Halleck’s army which was cautiously approaching Corinth and was engaged in skirmishes, losing several men and capturing many prisoners. On the 29th of May General Paine was occupying a position in advance of General Pope’s camp, where he was attacked by the Confederates under Price and Van Dorn. About ten o’clock Lieutenant-Colonel hatch was sent with the Second Cavalry to reinforce Paine. Coming upon the field Paine was found to be retreating before overwhelming numbers, meanwhile making a strong fight. The Union forces were obliged to cross a creed on a poor bridge and were in a dangerous position. The Confederates were preparing to charge in order to gain an eminence from which their artillery would command this bridge and render passage over it impossible. To prevent the seizure of this eminence, the Second Cavalry was ordered to charge. Drawing sabers the men swept forward in a resistless charge upon the artillery and drove the men from their guns. But the Confederate infantry assailed them in overwhelming numbers driving them back. The charge however had served its purpose as the army had time to cross the creek.


            When the Second regained its position the battle was ended. The charge had been a desperate one but had saved the army from great disaster and during the brief time, fifty of the brave men had fallen killed or wounded. Among the wounded were Captains Henry Egbert and William Lundy and Lieutenant Benjamin Owen, the latter being captured. Not a member of the regiment flinched from the desperate and hopeless encounter; every man was a hero. It was one of the sudden emergencies liable to come, when a sacrifice is demanded. While Halleck’s army was lying before Corinth, Colonel Elliott was sent with the Second Iowa Cavalry and the Second Michigan to destroy the railroad at Boonville as well as such property of the enemy as might be found. Starting at midnight on the 28th, by forced marches he reached the Mobile and Ohio Railroad at Boonville on the 30th. He proceeded at once to destroy several miles of the railroad blowing up a culvert, burning a depot, a locomotive and a train of twenty-six cars loaded with supplies. He also destroyed 10,000 stands of arms, three pieces of artillery, a great quantity of clothing and ammunition and paroled 2,000 prisoners. The loss of the Second Iowa on this expedition was but two killed and six captured. Fro his success in this affair Colonel Elliott was promoted to Brigadier-General. Hatch was soon after made colonel of the regiment, Major Hepburn succeeded him as lieutenant-colonel and Captain F. A. Kendrick was promoted major. About this time the Second Michigan Cavalry received a new commander in Colonel Philip H. Sheridan who developed into one of  the greatest generals of the Union army. In the latter part of June Sheridan was in command of a brigade made up of the Second Iowa and Second Michigan Cavalry. On the 1st of July while at Boonville, he was attacked by General Chalmers with 5,000 men. After skirmishing for some time Sheridan fell back toward his camp situated on the margin of a swamp, where he could not be easily flanked. Here he held the enemy at bay for some time. Finding there was danger of being surrounded Sheridan had recourse to that rare strategy for which he afterwards became so distinguished. He sent a detachment of the Second Iowa, numbering about one hundred men, to the rear of the enemy by a detour of several miles with orders at a certain time to make a vigorous attack while he at the same time was to attack in front. The detachment gained the rear without being discovered and emptying their carbines on the enemy charged with drawn sabers. The Confederates, taken by surprise and supposing they were assailed by a strong force, were thrown into confusion. Before they had time to recover, Sheridan charge them in front with such fury that they fled in utter rout leaving many dead and wounded in our hands. They retreated twenty miles throwing away arms, knapsacks, coats and every impediment to their flight. This brilliant affair made Sheridan a Brigadier-General. He had be his superior strategy, defeated nearly 5,000 men with a force of eight hundred. Colonel Hatch with the Iowa cavalry in this affair cooperated in the most skilful manner, aiding greatly in winning the brilliant victory. The loss of his regiment was twenty-two killed and wounded.


            While in camp near Rienzi the command was attacked by a Confederate force under General Faulkner. After a lively fight the enemy was driven off and pursued many miles with heavy loss. In this affair the Second Iowa lost ten men. During the fall campaign the regiment participated in the battles of Iuka and Corinth and in Grant’s campaign in Central Mississippi. On the day of the Battle of Iuka the cavalry had a sharp skirmish with Faulkner’s troopers at Payton’s Mills routing them with considerable loss, many prisoners falling into our hands. The Second Iowa Cavalry this day marched forty-five miles, had a sharp skirmish with the enemy and captured a Rebel camp with much property. At the Battle of Corinth it did good service on the right, acting as couriers and joining in the pursuit.


            In Grant’s Mississippi campaign it was continually employed; entering Holly Springs, driving the enemy out and on the 19th marched on Ripley, dispersing a large force of the enemy capturing many prisoners, horses, and mules. The Battle of Coffeeville was fought on the 5th of December in which the Union forces under Colonel Dickey were defeated. The Second Iowa here lost twenty-two men in killed and wounded. It soon after marched to La Grange, where it went into winter quarters.


The Grierson Raid


            The orders for this expedition were issued on the 16th of April, 1863. The army consisted of the Second Iowa Cavalry, the Sixth and Seventh Illinois with five pieces of artillery. The object of the raid was to cut railroad communications with the Confederate army at Vicksburg, in the rear of that city, to inflict damage on the enemy’s resources in central Mississippi and to make way as best it could into the Union lines of the Department of the Gulf.


            Colonel B. H. Grierson of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry was in command. On the morning of the 17th the troops began one of the most daring raids of the war. At Clear Spring Colonel Hatch with his command separated from the main body and managed to attract the attention of the enemy to his regiment, concealing by stratagem the march of the main body under Grierson. This he did so successfully as to give the principal column nearly two days’ start of the enemy’s forces gathered to resist the invaders. After obliterating Colonel Grierson’s trail, Hatch marched in the direction of West Point and, when near Palo Alto, was attacked in rear and on both flanks by a large force under General Gholson, while between him and West Point was an Alabama regiment with several pieces of artillery. Hatch made a most gallant fight driving the enemy some three miles, capturing many arms and horses and releasing a company which had been cut off on the first attack. Hatch then moved on northward I face of an enemy which greatly outnumbered him, arriving safely at La Grange. He had attacked Okolona driving before him the enemy’s cavalry, burning barracks for 5,000 men and destroying stores and ammunition; he had repulsed Chalmers with loss near Birmingham and Molino; had marched in by-ways and bridle paths and through fields; had, beside the damage inflicted on the enemy already noted, captured twenty-five horses, and mules, fifty prisoners and killed and wounded more than one hundred men. Upon his return to La Grange Colonel Hatch took command of a brigade consisting of West Tennessee Cavalry and four pieces of artillery. He made frequent raids in different directions captured horses, mules and prisoners. He was attacked at Wall Hill by Chalmers whom he defeated. During the summer he made a raid on Panola capturing much property. He marched against Forrest, who had entered Tennessee and fought with him near Jackson, where the Union loss was fourteen and that of the Confederates was one hundred and seventy-five.


            In the raid on Grenada Major Coon commanded detachments form the Second Iowa, Third Michigan and Eleventh Illinois, numbering five hundred mounted men. After reaching Grenada through great difficulties, he destroyed two depots, sixty locomotives, five hundred cars, machine shops, two flouring mills and a large number of army wagons. In November the regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Hepburn marched to Collierville to the relief of the garrison threatened by Chalmers and coming upon the enemy had a lively engagement, defeating Chalmers, killing forty-one, wounding about two hundred and capturing fifty prisoners. On the 28th of November Colonel Hatch in command of his own regiment, the Sixth and Ninth Illinois, moved out to Moscow where Lee was threatening the garrison. A battle was fought in which Lee was defeated with heavy loss. Hatch lost eleven killed, thirty wounded and forty missing. Hatch received a dangerous wound with a Minie´ ball which passed through his lungs. In February, 1864, the Second Iowa under command of Major Coon accompanied an expedition under General W. S. Smith, sent to cooperate with General Sherman who was marching on Meridian in Mississippi. Hepburn was in command of a brigade. The expedition was a failure. On his retreat from West Point there was heavy fighting, in which the Second Iowa bore a conspicuous part. AT one time it fought and retreated for sixty consecutive hours, saving the whole column by its bravery and endurance. The losses of the regiment during the expedition were heavy. In March, a sufficient number of the regiment having reenlisted, the Second Iowa Cavalry Veteran Volunteers were mustered into the service. The regiment now numbered 1,028, of which three hundred and sixty were veterans. On the 7th of April the veterans departed for home on furlough and on the 15th of the following month returned to service. Major Coon was now colonel, while Captains C. C. Horton, Gustavus Schmitzer and Charles P. Moore were promoted to majors of the regiment. The men were remounted and armed with Spencer seven-shooting carbines. In the summer of 1864 the regiment took part in General A. J. Smith’s campaign in central Mississippi fighting in the battle of Tupelo. It was with General Thomas in his campaign against Hood in Tennessee and won additional fame. Hatch, who had been made a Brigadier-General, commanded the Fifth Cavalry Division and own great renown. In the Battle of Nashville, General Hatch’s Division took a brilliant part and, with the Second Iowa, was in the severest of the fight. In this battle and the pursuit of Hood, Colonel Coon’s Brigade did gallant service. It  captured 1,186 prisoners, fifteen pieces of artillery and a great amount of other property. The Second Cavalry had fourteen men killed and forty-seven wounded.


            The regiment continued to serve with great efficiency until September 19, 1865, when it was mustered out of the service at Selma, Alabama. No sketch so brief as this can do justice to this superb regiment. The long term of service, extending through four years, was filled with deeds of daring, suffering a heroic endurance that have seldom been surpassed in modern warfare. It was always noted for vigor, fire and dash. Officers and men were of the best material to be founding the service. They seemed to be endowed with superhuman energy and endurance. No march was too long, no peril too great for these superb horsemen. Their fame will live in the annals of Iowa and make one of the brightest pages of her glorious war record.


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