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History of Pottawattamie County
by Homer H. Field and Hon. Joseph R. Reed


During the winter of 1860-1 we, in common with all the north, felt the unrest and uncertainty that hung like a nightmare over us, while state after state was seceding, and a large element among us was in full sympathy with the movement, when the president's proclamation for prayers proved unavailing; when the president-elect had to proceed by stealth to the capital we realized that the inevitable was close by and began to cast about as to what could be done in our small way at this distance.

Nor was the spirit of secession confined to the political world. Up to this time Brigham Young had been the recognized head of the Mormon Church, but a schism had crept in and had grown until the non-polygamists came out openly, repudiating Brigham Young and the Utah hierarchy and organized under the leadership of Joseph Smith, son of the prophet who was murdered in the Carthage jail in Illinois by the mob. The first meeting under the new organization was held on the 4th of January, 1881, which continued for several days, and many converts were baptized, and the construction of a church building ordered; and although the local society has not grown to large dimensions, it contains among its adherents as good citizens as we have in the community, and one of its peculiarities is that it is self-sustaining. Its members are never seen soliciting funds or getting up fairs or other schemes to get outside help. Although, as already stated, the local society is not large, it has quite a large membership in many counties in Iowa as well as in other states.

With the advent of Mr. Lincoln's administration, his conservative, kindly yet admonitory inaugural address, many still hoped that actual war might be averted. Our local affairs were conducted as usual. Not until the firing on Sumter did our entire people fully realize that the worst was upon us; but the effect was magical. Old party lines were ignored and it became Union or '"Copperhead," as those in sympathy with secession were termed. G. M. Dodge, who had already organized a company, tendered its services to Governor Kirkwood, but he, believing it imprudent to leave the frontier unprotected, declined to accept its service at that time, as the regulars at the frontier forts were being drawn in for the defense of Washington.

We at this distance got our first glimpse of actual preparation for war one day as a battalion of regulars who had come by steamboat from Fort Randall. As warning had been sent by General Dodge of probable difficulty in their passing through Missouri, they landed here and marched across the state to Eddyville, the nearest point to strike a railroad. There were four companies and they had a fine band, and as they marched up Broadway to the tune of "Dixie," with the regular swing peculiar to disciplined troops, they made a fine appearance; and three or four of our boys were so charmed that they joined them.

Nebraska promptly raised a regiment of cavalry to protect the frontier on the withdrawal of the regulars, and Captain Dodge was authorized to raise a regiment, which he proceeded to do by opening a recruiting station in the Bluffs and establishing Camp Kirkwood on a beautiful spot just south of the city limits. Dr. S. H. Craig, who was sheriff of Pottawattamie county, resigned his office, and proceeded to raise a company. Captain English was the first to report with a full company from Mills county, which became Company A, and Captain Craig, assisted by W. H. Kinsman, was next in with Company B, recruited largely from the city and almost wholly from within the county. It must be remembered that at that time the entire population of the county did not exceed five thousand and that, as now, that of the city constituted about one-half; so that raising a regiment was an entirely different proposition from what it would be now with its sixty thousand, and the entire southwestern part of the state had to be drawn upon to fill the different regiments and companies organized here, while at different times we were drawn upon to fill quotas in other parts of the state; and while we are justly proud of the achievements of our Pottawattamie county boys we do not wish to withhold our praise from their fellow soldiers from other parts of the state or country at large.

Nor is it the purpose of this little history to follow our citizen soldiers through their long terms of service, their suffering in hospitals and rebel prisons. This has already been done by abler writers. Suffice it to say that we have no apologies to make. From General Dodge to the private soldier, we simply wish to record our approval of their every act and joy that a grateful country remembers them.

While the Iowa Fourth was being filled, N. T. Spoor, who had been postmaster during Buchanan's administration, received authority to raise an artillery company. He also opened a rendezvous at Camp Kirkwood, and this brings to us another person who was destined to become a prominent figure later on. Joseph R. Reed, a young lawyer of Dallas county, had started to raise a company and had thirty-six men enlisted. He came with them and, combining these with those recruited by Spoor, and securing a few more recruits, a full company was formed and organized as the Second Iowa Battery, with N. 'I'. Spoor as captain, Joseph R. Reed first lieutenant, Charles V. Reed second lieutenant. Subsequently Daniel T. Walling was commissioned junior first lieutenant and served one year. Captain Spoor served three years as captain and, on being mustered out, Lieutenant J. R. Reed became captain September 1. 1864. At the same time John W. Coons, of Dallas county, became first lieutenant, and John Burke second.

During the four years of service the total number of enlistments in the battery was over one hundred and fifty, among which were a number from Council Bluffs and various other parts of the state. It was mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, August 7. 1865, after exactly four years' service.

The record of the Fourth Iowa is a glorious one. From here they went to St. Louis, then to Rolla; from there they joined the army under command of General Curtis, participating in the battle of Pea Ridge, then marched across the states of Missouri and Arkansas to Helena: were in at the capture of Arkansas post, the long seige and final capture of Vicksburg. From here they moved to Corinth and from there to Chattanooga, where they, with the brigade of which they formed a part, were assigned to General Hooker's command, and carried the point of Lookout Mountain in the famous battle above the clouds. After the battle of Pea Ridge they were commanded by their lieutenant-colonel, James A. Williamson, Dodge having been promoted to brigadier-general and assigned to a higher and different command.

On January 1, 1864, the Fourth Iowa re-enlisted and on February 26 they started for home on veteran furlough and arrived in Des Moines on March 9. The city gave them a royal reception, and the legislature then in session adopted the following resolutions:
"Whereas, We have learned that the veterans of the Fourth Iowa have re-enlisted for three years or during the war, and that they are on their way to this city on furlough to enjoy for a short time the blessings of the domestic circle, and the citizens of Des Moines are preparing to give them a proper reception, and deeming it our duty as their representatives to express our appreciation of their gallantry and their services in the suppression of the rebellion; therefore, be it

Resolved by the General Assembly of the state of Iowa, That we have watched with pride and admiration the Fourth Iowa Infantry, as step by step they have borne the ensign of the free on the memorable fields of Pea Ridge, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Jackson, Vicksburg siege and assault, Cherokee, Caney Creek, Tuscumbia, Lookout .Mountain.\, Missionary Ridge and Ringgold, and in their long and weary marches, enduring all the hardships and privations of a soldier's life, they have toiled on and fought for home and kindred until the mute graves of their comrades in arms point with sadness to remnants of brave men who have honored their state and added to the glory of the nation.

Resolved, That in the re-enlistment of said regiment we have the strongest proof of their loyalty to the principles of civil liberty; and that their love of country is paramount to all other considerations and entitles them to the lasting honor and gratitude of those whose firesides have been protected by their arms.

Resolved, That as a token of our confidence and regard for the distinguished services of that regiment, we will adjourn and attend in a body the reception of the veterans on their return to the city.

Resolved, That the Governor be requested to present them with a copy of these resolutions, and on behalf of the members of this General Assembly bid them welcome to the capital of the state whose honor they have kept so sacredly untarnished."
On the expiration of their furlough they returned and rejoined their brigade, taking part in the campaign which resulted in the taking of Atlanta, the march to the sea and capture of Savannah and the march northward through the Carolinas and Virginia, taking their place in the grand review at Washington. The regiment was finally discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, on the 24th of July, 1865.

It is proper in this connection to refer to one who took an active part in raising Company B of this regiment. This was W. H. Kinsman. He was a native of Nova Scotia, who had drifted into this county, taught school near the old Wicks' mill, was a newspaper correspondent, became first lieutenant in Company B, where he served until in organizing the Twenty-third infantry he was commissioned lieutenant colonel in August, 1862, and colonel in September of same year; was killed at the head of his regiment during seige of Vicksburg and was buried on the field, where he rested forty years, when his grave was identified and bis remains brought to Council Bluffs and reinterred in the soldiers' ground in Fairview Cemetery and a suitable monument erected to his memory.

During the years of 1861, 1862 and 1863 the raising of troops seemed to be the principal business.

After the Fourth Infantry and Second Battery had gone to the front, there seemed to be no abatement in the zeal for carrying on the war. D. B. Clark, a pioneer farmer, opened a recruiting office and with the assistance of Steven W. King, of Pottawattamie, and John A. Donelson, of Harrison county, raised a company for the Fifteenth Infantry. W. T. Burke later raised seventeen men for the Seventeenth Infantry and was made first lieutenant of Company H and J. C. Linieger raised twenty-three men and took them into the Twenty-third Regiment and was made captain of Company E.

On looking back, one is inclined to wonder where so many soldiers could be recruited from in the then thinly settled portion of Iowa, but they came just the same and more were destined to follow. With the enlistment constantly going on, prosecution of the war became more and more popular and any man opposed to it had little show of election to any office.

The Ladies of Council Bluffs were not behindhand in aiding the country in its great struggle. At an early period of the war they organized a Soldiers' Aid Society that did excellent work, and on March 22, 1862, was merged into a branch of the Army Sanitary Commission of Iowa that did a great work in supplying hospitals and prisons with needful articles which could not always he furnished by the War Department.

During the summer of 1862 Thomas H. Benton, Jr., nephew of Senator Benton, of Missouri, who had been a banker previous to the crash of 1857, received authority to raise a regiment of infantry and. although this territory had been pretty well drained of its young men. a rendezvous was opened a little south of Camp Kirkwood. on the same beautiful table land, and named Camp Dodge in honor of the general who had already become renowned. Sheriff J. P. Williams, like his predecessor S. H. Craig, resigned and started a recruiting station and succeeded in raising Campany A, nearly all of the members of which were from Pottawattamie county, and a large part from the city. In organizing the company J. P. Williams was made captain; first lieutenant, George A. Haines; second lieutenant. R. R. Kirkpatrick; orderly sergeant, C. V. Gardner. By December the regimenl was organized and ready to take the field. Of the regimental officers the following were from Pottawattamie county: Colonel Thos. Benton, Jr.: quartermaster, W. W. Wilson; surgeon, Dr. W. S. Grimes; adjutant, Joseph Lyman. Lyman had enlisted at the forming of the Fourth Iowa and for meritorious service was commissioned a lieutenant by Governor Kirkwood and assigned to the Twenty-ninth and served as adjutant and later became major. This regiment went through the whole of Dixey and were stationed for some months on the Rio Grande, observing the movements of the French in Mexico after the rebellion had collapsed. It was mustered out at New Orleans on the 10th of August, 1865, and on the arrival of Company A at the Bluffs they were given a royal reception. Many arc still with us, and many more have joined the great majority. Among the latter are all of the field and staff officers.

As an illustration of the spirit which prevailed at this time, Mr. Curtis Burroughs, who had just built a neat cottage in Glendale on a lot purchased on time, remarked that be would go with this regiment if his lot was paid for, so he could leave his family comfortably fixed. Old Captain Beal, his creditor, says: ''If you want to enlist, don't stop on that account. Intcrest will stop while you are in the service and if you die or get killed, your widow shall have a clear title to the lot." He died at Helena, Arkansas, and old Captain Beal kept his promise. Several of Council Bluffs' boys fell in this campaign, among which were Geo. W. Fouman, N. H. Folsom and Lawrence Smith, brother to Hon. Spencer Smith. Captain J. P. Williams, who had to resign on account of failing health, recovered and at eighty-two is living in comfortable retirement, as is also his first lieutenant, Geo. A. Haines. Second Lieutenant R. R. Kirkpatrick died in California some years ago. C. V. Gardner, who became the last to command the company, became one of the founders of Avoca and later of Deadwood, Dakota. Among the members that are still with us are Drum Major McFadden, Bugler Robt. Bucroft and Oliver Payne.

About October 25, 1862, W. G. Crawford received a captain's commission from Governor Kirkwood to raise a company for the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, being formed at Davenport. D. F. Eicher and J. C. DeHaven enlisted and all three commenced recruiting through the western part of the state. Notwithstanding the territory had been pretty well drained, they succeeded in raising a full company and in organizing. C. W. Lamb was elected first lieutenant. D. F. Eicher second and J. C. DeHaven third. Later the government dropped the third lieutenant from the rolls and DeHaven was appointed orderly sergeant. The company was transported by stage to Davenport. Captain Crawford's health entirely failed, and he was compelled to resign. Lieutenant Lamb also resigned, and Lieutenant Eicher became captain, J. C. DeHaven first lieutenant and David Ellison second. Thus organized they were incorporated in the Sixth Cavalry as Company E and went into Camp Douglas for five months' drill and instruction and were assigned to the command of General Sully for service in the northwest, and marched across the state via Council Bluffs and Sioux City, first camping between that city and Yankton. The summer campaign was through the Dakotas, reaching Fort Pierre in June, and continued marching north to the Cannon Ball and Yellowstone rivers, encountering the Indians and defeating them in numerous battles and skirmishes, in one of which seventy-five Indians and eight soldiers were killed. After service until August, 1865, they were relieved by regulars and ordered to Davenport and mustered out, all returning to their respective homes to resume their former occupations. Among them belonging to the Bluffs were Captain Eicher, Lieutenant DeHaven, William Marble, Allen Spicer, Kade Rogers, and several others. The company lost two men. Captain Crawford died before their return and Captain Eicher in 1902.

Early in the spring of 1864 the draft was being used in places, but Pottawattamie had done so well that department Marshal Field received word from headquarters that if we would furnish twenty good men within thirty days there would be no draft that spring.

Mayor Palmer called a meeting of the council and steps were taken to get the board of supervisors to issue $2,000, so as to make a cash bounty of $100. It was carried through promptly and the men furnished. Provision was also made to assist the families of all soldiers that were in need, this being accomplished largely by the ladies. During this year W. F. Sapp came from Omaha and formed a law partnership with Samuel Clinton. He was a native of Knox county, Ohio, came to Omaha at an early day and when the war drew the regulars in he became lieutenant-colonel of the First Nebraska Cavalry and was for a time stationed at Fort Kearney. On coming here he entered into an active participation of affairs. As a lawyer he was an able advocate, he was a man of commanding presence, being over six feet tall and weighing 200 pounds; was a powerful stump speaker and soon made bimself prominent. He was a republican and was elected to the legislature, where his influence was largely instrumental in securing the locaiton of tbe School for the Deaf at this place. Later he became United States district attorney and was twice elected to Congress. It was he and Judge A. V. Larimer that originated and conducted the proceedings through the courts to compel the Union Pacific Railroad Company to comply with the terms of its charter in making its terminus at this point. He had purchased a farm and contemplated retiring, but was stricken down and died October 22. 1890. and, by a strange coincidence, in the same house and room in which the Hon. Walter I. Smith was born many years before. Thus, one member of Congress was bom and another died in the same room.

During this summer the first brick schoolhouse in the city was erected on the northwest corner of Pierce and Stutsman streets. The contract was let to G. P. Smith for $6,000, being only a two-room house. Later, when the large Pierce streel schoolhouse was built, this was sold. and is now owned and used as a dwelling by Mr. Bell. After the visit of Mr. Lincoln to the city, the great hill on which was the old Mormon burying ground was given by common consent tbe name of Mt. Lincoln, and this year a company was formed and the ground bought and platted as tbe Fairview Cemetery, and, as its name implies, is one of the most charming sites in the country.

It was during this summer that a horse-thief was brought from Harrison county and lodged in the old Cottonwood jail, only to be taken out and bung on a tree in the eastern part of the city, where be was found the next morning. No effort was made to learn who were the lynchers.

Notwithstanding Pottawattamie county had sent most of her young men to the front, the commands to which they were attached had been reduced to the extent that some of the regiments could muster but four or five hundred rank and file, and a draft was ordered, and the quota assigned for Pottawattamie county was sixty.

It is probable that if it could have been credited with all that went into regiments in other states Iowa would have been exempt, but the determination to end the war left no time for parleying, and the draft came. That for the eastern part of the fifth district was held at Des Moines and that of eight counties in the western part at Council Bluffs. It was conducted in the room over what is now the Pierce shoe store, on the corner of Main and Broadway. It was done by towns and townships. The names of all liable for military duty were written on cards and placed in a revolving cylinder, and after it had made several revolutions a ticket was drawn by a person blindfolded, and the man whose name was on that ticket was duly drawn. This was repeated till the required number was secured. If any citizen was present belonging to the precinct being drawn upon he was invited to draw, and in one instance a man drew his own son. Five days' notice then had to be served on each drafted man, and if he failed to appear at the rendezvous within that time he was considered a deserter and subject to arrest. Nearly all came forward, but a few jumped the country. The same assistance was extended to the families of these as to those of the enlisted men, and, although it was a serious matter, they started for the front cheerfully, like true Americans that they were.

The draft at Des Moines was conducted by Provost Marshal S. C. Brownell and at the Bluffs by H. H. Field, deputy.

The presidential election followed immediately on the heels of the draft and although party feeling ran pretty high it passed off without any violence. It commenced snowing in the morning and continued for forty-eight hours and the weather was cold for three weeks, which made it pretty severe for the drafted men, who were coming in rapidly; but a requisition had been made for blankets, which arrived in time, and detachments were forwarded daily, until by the 25th the last of our quota were on their way to Davenport, that being the rendezvous for Iowa. At this time the railroad had only reached Grinnell.

The draft took some curious freaks. For instance, it took ten men out of the first ward, and two out of the block where it was conducted. It was no respecter of persons. It caught A. J. Bell, our representative in the legislature, and it took Charles, son of L. W. Babbitt, editor of the Bugle. People supposed he would put in a substitute, but he declared he was able to do his own fighting and went, and ever since has been fighting for the government right in the city of Washington. In looking back to those exciting times, it is pleasing to remember that through it all moderation prevailed, and at no time was violence resorted to. In fact, some of the best friends of the writer were what were at that time called Copperheads. The most trying time was on receipt of the news of the assassination of Lincoln. Even then, although there were a few cases of rudeness, moderation prevailed and nothing approached violence.

During the winter of 1864-5 fairs and festivals were held and quite large sums of money were raised to assist the families of the soldiers.

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