Cpl. Richard Henry Morgan

April 2, 1840 – December 17, 1916




Richard Henry MORGAN was born on April 2, 1840 in Dubois County, Indiana, the son of Stephen G. MORGAN (1811- ) and Elizabeth W. MORGAN (1814-1865). In 1853, the MORGAN family moved from Indiana and settled on a Taylor County, Iowa farm.

Richard and Sarah Emaline PACE were married in April of 1861. The couple settled in Dallas Township of Taylor County.

Richard enlisted in the Union Army at the age of 21 years on August 27, 1861. He gave his residence as Hawleyville. Richard was mustered into Company A of the 4th Iowa Cavalry on November 23, 1861. He re-enlisted and was re-mustered on December 12, 1863. Richard was promoted to the rank of 6th Corporal on January 1, 1864; to 4th Corporal on January 1, 1865; and, to 3rd Corporal on March 1, 1865.

Seven days after General LEE surrendered, a Union cavalry force led by General J. H. WILSON moved on Columbus, Georgia, to secure the city's naval yards, weapons factories and supply depots.

On the afternoon and evening of April 16, 1865, the 3rd and 4th Iowa Cavalry dismounted and advanced to capture Confederate entrenchments protecting the bridge over the Chattahoochee River. The regiment entered the works and continued down the entrenchments capturing the defenders. During the engagement the regiment captured a fort protecting the bridge approach, 12 pieces of artillery, and 8 battle flags.

Lt. Col. J. H. PETERS of the 4th Iowa Cavalry stated in his report, "The number of prisoners taken at Columbus . . . I place it at 941, including 67 commissioned officers. We captured also 8 battle-flags, 12 pieces of artillery, and 8 caissons. The loss of the regiment was 1 man killed, Private Nathan Beezley, of Company I, and 10 men wounded."

 For his actions on April 16, 1865 at Columbus, Georgia, Cpl. Richard H. MORGAN was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on June 17, 1865. His citation reads: "Capture of flag (C.S.A)."

Other Iowans from the 4th Cavalry involved in this action who received the Medal of Honor were Sgt. Norman Francis BATES, Pvt. Edward BEBB, Sgt. Horatio BIRDSALL, and Pvt. Richard COSGRIFF; and Pvt. John H. HAYS and Pvt. Andrew TIBBETS of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry.

The flag that Cpl. MORGAN captured, of "Dillards Greys," is a Second National C.S.A. pattern with the stenciled unit identification. The unit has yet to be fully identified. The flag, labeled as War Department item #443, was sent to the State of Iowa by order of the Secretary of War in 1905. It is in the collection by the State Historical Society of Iowa at Des Moines. For many years another flag, number C-8, has been reported as the flag captured by Richard MORGAN. Recent research has corrected this error.

Cpl. Richard H. MORGAN was promoted to the rank of 2nd Corporal on June 1, 1865, and was mustered out on August 8, 1865 at Atlanta, Georgia.

After the war, Richard returned home. He worked as a prison guard at the state penitentiary, Fort Madison. Later the MORGANS retired to their 80-acre farm. Richard and Sarah raised six children to maturity and were respected members of their community. They retired to New Market, Iowa.

Richard died at the age of 76 years on December 17, 1916. Sarah Emaline (PACE) MORGAN was born in Indiana in October of 1841, and died at New Market, Iowa, on August 24, 1913 at the age of 71 years. They were interred at Memory Cemetery, New Market, Iowa.




Compilation by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2012