By Harry Church Chappell, and Katharyn Joella Chappell
Note: I took a little liberty with this. It contained information regarding other units from Buchanan County. I extracted the information that pertained to the 27th Iowa. The original is here: History of Buchanan County (page 151) It seems to me that the account is not chronological.
Captain Miller's company was at first designated as Company C but this name was given to Captain Noble's company and the former Company C became 'Company H. Both companies were in the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry. They were ordered by Governor Kirkwood to rendezvous at Camp Franklin, Dubuque, August 26, 1862, and were mustered into the service of the United States by Capt. George S. Pierce, United States Army, on October 3, 1862, under proclamation of the President of the United States, bearing date July 2, 1862, as Companies C and H of the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry.
All during the war, the different churches, schools and societies throughout the county and particularly at Independence were getting up patriotic entertainments for the purpose of raising money for the soldiers and everything that could be spared from the homes to add to their comfort and benefit was sacrificed.
The Independence Women's Aid Society as usual sent numerous boxes and barrels to these companies while stationed at Dubuque and among the articles were the customary needlebooks, which elicited two very grateful acknowledgments in the form of letters from Lieut.-Col. Jed Lake and Lieut. W. G. Donnan. They also at this time shipped five or six barrels of eggs, onions, and fruit, firkins of butter, etc., to the other companies at the front, and later, to the companies still stationed at Camp Franklin, pails of honey, butter, eggs, and some of their sporting friends sent nearly two hundred prairie chickens at one time. And these kindly services of the dear friends left at home helped to cheer and comfort the poor soldiers who were sacrificing all the joys and comforts of home life to fight for the Union. The accommodations at Camp Franklin were not completed when our soldiers arrived, barracks had not yet been constructed and everything was in confusion but the soldiers took hold with a will and soon had it in a state of completion and they were really enjoying camp fire life.
In this same issue of the Guardian with the above statement is one to the effect that the governor had decided to officer the Twenty-seventh Regiment as follows: Gilbert of Allamakee County, colonel; and Jed Lake, lieutenant colonel. At that time Colonel Lake had been appointed, by the President, as collector of Federal taxes for this Congressional District, but after consulting his friends, he concluded to decline the civil and accept the military position. He was always extremely fortunate in having offices thrust upon him and filled them creditably and conscientiously. His commission dated from the 4th of September, 1862, and he went immediately to join his regiment, the Twenty-seventh, stationed at Dubuque.
About the first of the year 1863 word was received that three more noble heroes of the Twenty-seventh had recently died from disease. John McBane and John Sanders died at Cairo where they had been left in the hospital in November, 1862, and William Leuder died near Holly Springs. They were all fine young men and excellent soldiers.
There was a great deal of sickness in the Twenty-seventh; fifty-six at one time were in different hospitals, from Minnesota to Tennessee, and a report a little later from Tallahatchie, Mississippi, from Colonel Lake, said the regiment had only 630 men on duty, had left in Memphis 105 sick and convalescent, forty five more were sick, and all along the river going down they had left some sick.
January 9th, a letter stated that the Twenty-seventh had been in one of the two brigades which were in pursuit of General Forrest, but were too late to help General Sullivan defeat him at Red Mound.
Nearly every week some of the soldier boys were returning, being discharged from the service for physical disability. The last week in January, 1863, Howard Stutson, Clinton Losure, Warren Munson, N. J. Boone, of Company H, Twenty-seventh Regiment, all were discharged, and George Kirkham had been discharged at Cairo, but was still there waiting for his papers.
Then later came the death of Jacob Glass, of Company H, son of Martin Glass of Buchanan County, a noble-hearted man and one universally respected.
Along in 1863 the feeling of bitterness and animosity between the administration sympathizers and supporters and the antis or Copperheads, as they were called, was at white heat, even in Buchanan County—there seem to have been many southern sympathizers, anti-Lincoln, anti-war, anti-administration, and more extreme in degree, anti-abolitionists. It was a most strained and critical condition for the poor soldiers at the front who were there sacrificing all the joys and comforts of life, enduring all the hardships of war, exposed to all conditions of weather, half clothed and half fed, under the strain and fatigue of long weary marches and actual warfare and subjected to the ravages of both battle and disease and all for the purpose of defending the country and their own and their neighbors' hearthstones of liberty. And to feel that they did not have the hearty and unanimous support of their own countrymen was, indeed, a bitter realization. To voice their feelings, the Twenty-seventh Iowa held a general ratification meeting in front of Colonel Gilbert's tent (February 12, 1863) to adopt resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the regiment with regard to the Copperheads of the North. A lengthy and detailed series of resolutions composed by the field officers about Jackson were read and adopted, also a series of which Lieutenant-Colonel Lake was sponsor and one of Colonel Gilbert's design. Both were adopted without a dissenting voice. They expressed their opinion plainly in regard to these Copperhead individuals who were so numerous in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, and ranked them with the rebels, as infamous, traitorous destroyers of our nation. Not only were the soldiers' letters full of consternation over the attitude and influence of the Copperheads at the North, but some of them were becoming sorely tried at the inactivity and treatment they were receiving; many were becoming fearfully disgruntled at their higher officers and the "powers that be," blaming them for not allowing the soldiers to forage whatever, wherever and whenever they pleased, and accusing these officers of showing partiality to the Secesh, or else having been bribed, because they would not allow their men to steal or destroy everything along their paths.
Other letters were equally strong in commending their officers. In a letter from the Twenty-seventh of this same date, February 12th, we read that Captain Miller had been sick for some time and First Lieut. 0. Whitney had been in command and made a fine officer—Lieutenant Donnan had been for some time at brigade headquarters as acting aide-de-camp on Acting Brigadier General Dunham's staff. He was well liked and liked the office, too. Orderly Wilcox had injured his foot with an ax and Sergeant Smyser was acting as orderly for Colonel Dunham. Soon, however, the brigade organization under Colonel Dunham was dissolved and they had all returned to camp with the exception of George Fuller, who had been detailed as clerk at district headquarters for General Sullivan. Surgeon D. C. Hastings had been ordered to Young's Point to report to Major-General Grant. Company H had sixty-nine men present, fifty of whom were reported as effective men; Company C had sixty-nine present, fifty of whom were effective; Company H had eighty-six in all and Company C had ninety-two.
In March, 1863, Governor Kirkwood issued a sanitary circular with letters of Mrs. Whittenmyer, head of the Iowa Sanitary Commission, stating the terrible conditions of our soldiers—the prevalence of scurvy, the fearful ravages which it and other diseases induced by the absence of a vegetable diet were making, and begging people to send vegetables quickly. Under this appeal of the governor Quasqueton sent a couple of loads of different things and Doctor Warne shipped from Independence 16 barrels of potatoes, 4 barrels onions, 1 barrel of eggs, 1 firkin of pickles, firkin cabbage, and a large box filled with wines, jellies, pickles, horseradish, corn, etc.
Doctor Warne and his wife were among the indefatigable workers in the interests of the soldiers and deserved and received the soldiers' grateful appreciation. At a meeting of the Alton Union Club, held at the Minton Schoolhouse, in Fairbank Township, on March 26, 1863, resolutions were adopted condemning the bitter partisan spirit which was becoming so dangerously vindictive and malicious and eulogizing and indorsing the President, the administration and the war policies, and urging upon all loyal, true Americans, without regard to party, to unite in a supreme effort to save the Union.
All through the county patriotic societies, churches and school districts were participating in such proceedings. In Independence, Winthrop, Quasqueton, Hazleton and all the small communities copperhead and Union meetings were frequently held, often at the same time, and the bitter feeling was growing instead of abating. Almost every week a Union meeting was held in the courthouse at Independence and a copperhead or democratic club meeting at Allen's Hall, with speakers of note to make the addresses. Often their meetings were conducted as a debate. This feeling even permeated the hearts of the gentler sex. A party of Union women whose husbands, fathers and sons and brothers were in the Union army talked of ducking a woman who lived on Spring Creek who was persistently hurrahing for Jeff Davis. The presence of her husband probably saved her. These loyal women would not tolerate such open treason in their midst.
The President appointed Thursday, April 30, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer, and the churches were to observe it with Union services.
Captain Miller of the Twenty-seventh returned home Saturday, April 25, 1863. in a very feeble state of health, suffering from a spinal injury which he received in the service, and, being unable to continue, he was honorably discharged. He was a fine soldier; patriotic, honorable and kind to his men. He brought home with him $5,272 from members of his company and $242 from Captain Noble's company. Reverend Sampson also received $3,647.25 from Captain Noble's company. Mr. Blair of Quasqueton brought $1,000 from members of the First Cavalry and various other sums sent home, so in all, probably eleven thousand dollars must have been received in this county from just two regiments. The soldiers evidently saved their money and remembered their families at home.
Senator Hastings, of Buchanan County, had received the appointment of assistant surgeon of the Twenty-seventh Regiment. The Independence company, at Camp Franklin, were delighted and felt the Doctor would make a fine officer. There was an excursion to Camp Franklin on Thursday, September 18th; a large crowd, about 1,300 people, attended. It took two coaches and two engines pulling to accommodate the crowd and many had to ride in open cars with pine boards as seats.
They found the Twenty-seventh in excellent condition as to health, food and quarters. They were furloughed home by Colonel Gilbert, October 5, 1862, for five days before they should begin active service. They were assigned to General Pope's division and the adjutant general had selected them for frontier service in Jackson County, Minnesota, to operate against the Indians.
This was very distasteful to the regiment, but like all true soldiers, they did not murmur or complain. Sunday, October 12th, was the day selected for moving—and as scheduled, they started by boat for St. Paul.
They received all that was coming to them in the way of uniforms, guns, a mouth's advance pay and $2.00 bounty from the Government and also the bounty from the county and were extremely happy over this fact—most of the money was sent home to Reverend Sampson to distribute. From both companies it aggregated about $2,500. The soldiers were loud in their praise of the D. & S. C. R. R. Company, which put on an extra train and a fast one, and brought them out on Sunday, thereby giving them the benefit of another day's visit at home. Charles L. Coleman, a member of the Twenty-seventh, died at home on Tuesday night, October 7, 1862. He was taken sick at Camp Franklin and his father brought him home and he died the next day. He had only enlisted about seven weeks before.
The next we hear of the Twenty-seventh was that six companies, among them Captain Noble's, had been ordered to Mille Lacs, a lake in Aiken County, about one hundred miles northwest of St. Paul, to accompany Government agents to transact business connected with the Indians. During their absence, the Twenty seventh, with the rest of Pope's division, was transferred from the northern to the southern department and the four companies left Fort Snelling and departed immediately for Cairo, Illinois. The other six companies would follow as soon as they returned from the Mille Lacs expedition. Captain Miller left his company at Dubuque and visited home on a furlough to recruit his health, which had been impaired by exposure; he only stayed one week, however. The extreme cold and exposure worked havoc in the camp of the Twenty-seventh and in one month's service they had lost three men by disease.
When the regiment went South, Benjamin Sutton and Morgan Boone, both of Independence, were left in a critical condition with typhoid fever at Fort Snelling. S. Abby was sick and had gone to Milwaukee on a furlough. The following week the death of young Sutton was announced. Colonel Lake on his return from the Mille Lacs expedition, finding Morgan Boone convalescent, brought him and two other soldiers who were seriously sick. Walter H. Munger, of Company C, who was left at Anoka on the return march from the north, died at that place on the 8th of November. He received the kindest attention from the people of the little village, who took him to a private house, nursed him tenderly and turned out en masse to do honor to his remains.
"He was an honest, upright, truthful man, and no one has gone into the army from purer motives of patriotism, or a nobler sense of duty. When we last saw him at Dubuque, he was full of life, energy, and good feeling; but now, alas, he is in the silent tomb. May the sod press lightly upon his bosom." We insert this tribute written of him by a friend, because should any friend or relative glance at this it might perchance stimulate them to emulate his worthy example and too, it well serves as a tribute to all the brave fellows who sacrificed themselves for their country's cause. Ex-Senator and Doctor Hastings of Company H received the appointment as assistant surgeon of the Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteers, a position he was eminently fitted to fill and his friends were delighted with his promotion.
On the way down the river from St. Paul, the boys of Captain Miller's company in appreciation of his worth as a man and as an officer presented him with a beautiful sword and sash, and a splendid Colt's revolver. They were valuable testimonials of respect and love for an officer who was ever alive to the wants of his men and untiring in providing for their comfort. Orderly Aaron Wilcox made a fine presentation speech, and Captain Miller accepted with one equally so. Doctor Sanborn, Lieutenant Whitney, and Lieutenant Donnan followed with short patriotic speeches. C. B. Kandy had been appointed sutler of the Twenty-seventh Regiment and left Independence November 18, 1862. The Soldiers' Aid Society were still doing fine work, and seemed never to tire or become discouraged with the constant, unceasing demands made upon them. When Colonel Lake returned to his regiment November 12, 1862, they sent about seven hundred pounds of "goodies" to gladden the hearts of the soldier boys.
On the evening of Wednesday, November 20th, Pope's army was ordered to report at Columbus, Ohio, to Brig.-Gen. T. 0. Davis. They went by boat and arrived there at 9 P. M. of the same day. There they were ordered to report to General Sherman at Memphis, Tennessee. They were put in the Sixth Brigade under Brigadier-General Lauman, an Iowa man, and a fine officer. Quite a few of the men were sick and had been left behind to garrison Fort Pickering. Captain Miller and Lieutenant Donnan were among this number and had charge of the sick. Company E, Captain Lee's company, of the Fifth Iowa, was with General Grant's army then encamped near Oxford, Mississippi. Colonel Lake finally located the Independence boys on the march, after a great deal of searching (Grant having fifty regiments, of about fifty thousand men, in his army and all on the march). He wrote home how well they looked and acted and said they seemed to enjoy war as one of the necessities if not the luxuries of life. He found Lieutenant Marshall, who had been promoted to adjutant of the regiment, laboring through the mud (with Colonel Matthias). The Twenty -seventh was not long under the command of either Major-General Sherman or Brigadier General Lauman, who were assigned to new commands, but again were ordered to report to Colonel Dubois at Holly Springs, Mississippi.
Early in December, 1862, it was announced from the state's chief executive office that Buchanan County was out of the "draft business," having furnished thirteen in excess of her quota, and ten more had enlisted since that report. Add to this the fifty or more who had enlisted with the regular army and a number who had enlisted with regiments outside the state and we conclude that Buchanan was exceedingly loyal.
Another letter from the Twenty-seventh tells of their skirmishes with the guerrillas, but no casualties had taken place. John Buck of Independence had accidentally shot himself in the leg, shattering the bone and compelling amputation. It was feared the wound would prove fatal.
Independence was preparing to celebrate the Fourth and some mean, contemptible individuals (probably copperheads, so the opposition said) had stolen the town cannon so as to prevent the firing of salutes. This was the second offense of that nature. Also the ropes to flagstaffs had been cut in several places around town.
But evidently a cannon was obtained in time for celebrating, because at daybreak "the deep boom and clear ring" of a new cannon startled the town from repose and made the copperheads feel how perfectly futile their meanness in stealing the old cannon had proven, in the way of a lessening Union thunder. This started the grandest success in the way of a demonstration that ever had been achieved in Independence. By 9 o'clock the delegations from the extreme parts of the county began filing through the main streets, headed by martial music and with flags and banners flying. From Hazleton, Littleton and the north came a delegation of sixty wagons; from Quasqueton, Sumner and the south came one of seventy-three wagons; from Winthrop, Spring Creek, Jefferson and various other points came smaller delegations, all with music and banners. Fully five thousand people were in attendance.
At 11 o'clock the procession was formed at the courthouse by the efficient marshal, Lieutenant Scott, and his assistants, and marched to the grove near the Methodist church, where seats had been provided, and there enjoyed a fine program of the usual Fourth of July kind—music, speaking, reading of the Declaration, and an excellent oration by Hon. Henry A. Wiltse. Then followed a most sumptuous and bounteous dinner. They had 400 feet of table room and fed over nine hundred people. The farmer and town women vied with each other in their generosity and excellence of their donations and there was a large amount of provisions left and this was distributed to needy soldiers' families and the poor. After the dinner toasts were responded to, twenty in number, and yet there was no lagging in enthusiasm to the end.
The celebration ended with a fine exhibition of fireworks. The Independence cadets and three bands were part of the procession. Could we ever nowadays get up such a display? A fine arch was erected at the entrance to the dinner inscribed to "Iowa's Soldiers in the Field," and "Iowa's Departed Heroes," and the proceeds from this dinner was expended for some patriotic cause, probably to buy necessities for the Iowa Sanitary Commission, and we note they cleared $277.49 and had heavy expense. It does one's heart good to read about one of these old-fashioned, genial, patriotic, spontaneous celebrations, where everybody is interested and all are welcome.
A great celebration was indulged in at Independence on July 6th, upon hearing the glorious news that General Meade and his Army of the Potomac had achieved a signal victory over General Lee. The wildest enthusiasm was displayed by the citizens, cheer after cheer greeted the reading of the war bulletins and soon the cannon was thundering forth a deep boom of triumph. Directly a big keg of lager was on public tap at the post office, and not a man was slighted, but all, particularly the copperheads, were made to drink to General Meade and his brave soldiers. A packing box (dry goods box) was procured and one after another of the citizens was called upon to speechify. Then at night another glorification was indulged in. Thirty-five guns brought out nearly the entire population on the green in front of the post office, the band was out and a fine choir sang patriotic airs. There was a fine spirit manifested and a general good fellowship. Party differences were forgotten and everybody participated in the celebration. Speeches were made by Messrs. Holdridge, Hart, Boggs, Fulton, Woodward, Reed, Bryant, Smith, Hedges, Leavitt, Roszell, S. P. Adams, Esq., of Dubuque, McCorcle of Minnesota. These men were representative of both parties and this united feeling was a happy result.
Then again when the news of the fall of Vicksburg reached Independence on Wednesday night, July 8th, it caused a renewal of the jubilation indulged in by the citizens over the victory of the Army of the Potomac. The cannon was brought out, lager flowed freely and eggnog was handed around by the bucket full. Very sedate gentlemen became very noisy and nearly every loyal man in town was transformed into a "high old boy." The whole of Union and Brewer blocks, including the Guardian office and the post office were brilliantly illuminated. The band was out, speeches were made by some dozen citizens, patriotic songs were sung by the excellent Glee Club of Independence. After the meeting, the young folks improvised a dance, in which the old folks were not loth to indulge. Every loyal person shouted, hurrahed, laughed, danced, or sung, or did something to manifest his joy. It was a time long to be remembered and deserves a place in history.
Again the announcement of the surrender of Port Hudson and the opening of the Mississippi called forth another demonstration of joy from our loyal citizens. It was honored by a salute of thirty-five guns.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lake, who had been commander at La Grange, had just been relieved and returned to his regiment at Moscow. All of Company C's men who had been detailed in the various departments had returned with the exception of Lieutenant Hemenway, who was acting assistant adjutant-general at brigade headquarters, vice E. R. Wiley, who had been promoted to major in a colored regiment. Baker of Company C had been made captain of Company A, and Glass, first lieutenant of the same company.
There were other affairs being celebrated in a like manner with a keg of lager on tap for public consumption. This seems a strange procedure for an Independence community, but that was in the days before temperance was so universal and so popular as it is now.
A notice in the papers of July 21, 1863, shows there was no lack of patriotic enthusiasm. All persons in favor of forming a military company in our county were respectfully requested to meet at the courthouse on Thursday eve.
Another notice to the effect that the dearth of labor consequent upon the drain of young men in the army had made harvest hands so scarce that they had raised wages up to $2.00 per day and every available person, old, young, male and female, had gone into the harvest fields.
Everything was correspondingly high during war times, and a revenue tax was imposed upon all legal papers; marriage licenses, mortgages, bonds, deeds, leases and everything upon which a tax could be levied came under the ban.
The President had appointed Thursday, August 6th, as another day of thanksgiving, praise and prayer, on account of our "recent victories," which was duly observed in Independence and other towns in the county.
Another draft was to be made on the Third Congressional District and the first class liable to draft, between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, numbered 12,421, of which Buchanan County was responsible for 673.
A large Union mass meeting was held in Independence, September, 1863, and was the largest affair of its kind ever held in the county up to that time. Senator Grimes was the drawing card. Delegations from all over the county came in with bands, flags, and banners, as they did for the Fourth of July celebration.
Politics was waxing fast and furious and between the county papers there was much scathing criticism and bitter denunciation, which although it may be unpleasant, nevertheless is mighty interesting. Candidates for offices were stumping the county with much enthusiasm and no cessation of labors (quite different from the present quiet methods employed for political campaigning). Meetings were held in every available public place, groves, schoolhouses and picnics. Party demonstrations and torchlight processions were numerous. The Union party was particularly active, and had a large and enthusiastic following in this county.
Likewise the Democratic Club or Copperheads were holding forth, but their following here was much smaller than the opposition, although equally as enthusiastic and strenuous.
Lorenzo Moore was one of their big chiefs and their principal orator. He never lost an opportunity to indulge in bombastic vitriolic oratory and expressed himself freely and fearlessly in criticizing the administration and its war policies. O. H. P. Roszell, Leavitt, Albert Clark, Sanford Clark, S. S. Allen, Henry Bright, E. W. Purdy, John Smyser, also were prominent adherents of this political creed.
Captain Miller, although he had denounced the Copperheads and their treasonable attitude, yet affiliated himself with them and accepted a nomination for treasurer for this county, but in his letter of acceptance he explains his position and fully vindicates himself. Claims to be a Union democrat and believes in supporting the Government. Later he challenges the editor of the Guardian to enlist. To an unbiased mind, it appears that the bitter opposition, wrangling, and animosity between the democrats and republicans, or the "Copperheads" and "Union" men, as they were usually termed, was not a matter of principle, but rather of party, fealty—pure, unadulterated political partisanship. Not for home, country, family or friend can a real, dyed-in-the-wool politician sacrifice his loyalty to his party. It seems strange, but it is a proven statement, that men generally are more devoted to their political party than to any other civil institution. Celebrations similar to those held after victorious war news was received were indulged in after election; also an oyster supper was participated in. The soldiers were allowed to vote in camp and their vote counted.
In letters from Colonel Lake, of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, then (September, 1863), encamped at Little Rock, Arkansas, and various places thereabout, he reported three more Buchanan County boys dead—Thomas Magill of Buffalo Grove, Isaac Gill and William Minton. Thomas Magill was killed in a skirmish with the enemy. Isaac Gill, of Independence, died in a hospital at Brownsville, and William Minton, a member of Company C, Twenty-seventh, died at Moscow, Tennessee. All were fine young fellows and died doing their duty.
The Aid Society of Independence elected for the ensuing year the following officers: President, Mrs. N. T. Bemis; vice president, Mrs. M. P. Woods; secretary, Mrs. H. 0. Jones; treasurer, Miss Carrie Curtis. Mrs. P. C. Wilcox was treasurer, Mrs. A. J. Bowley, vice president, and Miss Gillispie, secretary. This society, never weary of well doing, kept constantly at their good work, their last shipment, in October, 1863, was seventeen barrels and a large box of canned fruit, all donated by the liberal, patriotic citizens of the county.
Orton's circus was in Independence in October, 1863, and he generously gave the entire proceeds of one performance to the Soldiers' Aid Society, which materially increased their funds. Orton was an Independence man and used to winter his show here.
Early in November, 1863, Lincoln issued another call for 300,000 troops. Iowa's quota was 8,910 and Governor Kirkwood was urging volunteers' service before the draft would be made on January 5th, 1864. The Third District was required to furnish 1,754 and Buchanan County, 96. It was the intention that these recruits raised would fill up the old regiments, and every possible inducement was offered to attract volunteers and hasten the recruiting.
The bounty money had been raised from $300 to $402, and a month's extra pay to those who would re-enlist (the $2.00 was the premium money), and $302 bounty and premium money and one month's pay to every new recruit, and every volunteer would be allowed to select his own regiment.
In December, 1863, the citizens began holding war meetings again, all through the county, probably in an effort to revive enthusiasm and interest in the cause, which had suffered somewhat of a reaction, but was soon rampant again, and patriotic sentiment and loyalty was kindled anew.
The rebels graciously permitted private supplies to be sent to the prisoners. Friends at home availed themselves of this privilege and sent things to them at intervals, which although they seldom ever reached their intended destination, probably did some poor soldier good. They were treating the prisoners much more humanely now, and had ceased the barbarities which characterized the treatment of Union prisoners at Richmond, a few months since. The railroad companies generously carried donations to the soldiers for half fare, and the express companies too were generous in that way.
The last recruiting was going on slowly, although $1,400 had been raised by a subscription to be divided equally among the recruits as soon as the necessary fourteen were secured, probably owing to the fact that the $1,400 was not to be distributed until the entire number were recruited. Quasqueton had fulfilled all her obligations in this matter and had given each recruit a purse of $50; this sum was raised by the citizens of that town alone. A premium of $15 was given to any person recruiting a soldier. In January, 1864, notice was given that many of the soldiers whose time had expired had re-enlisted, and they were expected home to recruit until spring.
The previous call of the President for 300,000 troops had been raised to 500,000, to enlist for three years' service or during the war, and if they were not forthcoming by the 10th of March, were to be drafted. The $400 premium expired the 1st of March, so speedy volunteering was urged in order to obtain the premium. This, of course, again raised Buchanan's quota. Governor Kirkwood, on the 22d of February, issued an embargo on all persons leaving the state prior to the 10th of March, on account of the draft to be enforced. Many were flocking to the newly discovered gold fields in Montana, Idaho and at Pike's Peak, and this embargo by the governor greatly disconcerted their plans. The Unionists in Independence accused the democrats, some of whom the gold craze had ensnared and who had made their plans to go West, of embracing this as an excuse to escape military duty.
Captain Noble had resigned and returned home the 1st of February, 1864. He was obliged to resign on account of ill health, a fact which everyone regretted, because he had been a very efficient and valuable officer. It was a noticeable fact that most of Buchanan County's captains were compelled to resign their commands and return home.
Doctor Wright, who for weeks had been recruiting men throughout the county to the number of eighty, had taken them to Davenport, where they would be assigned to their different regiments. The following is the complete list from the different townships:
Arthur Merriman, Twenty-seventh Infantry; James H. Laughlin, Twenty-seventh Infantry; Hiram M. Thurston, Twenty-seventh Infantry; William Plevert, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
H. H. Ramsey, Twenty-seventh Infantry; Abraham Black, Twenty-seventh Infantry; James A. Waldron, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
A. Sanford, Twenty-seventh Infantry; J. Booth, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
Allen Brant, Twenty-seventh Infantry; S. W. Patterson, Twenty-seventh Infantry; William E. Cairn, veteran, Twenty seventh Infantry.
T. C. Canfield, Twenty-seventh Infantry; George D. Smith, Twenty-seventh infantry. HAZLETON TOWNSHIP
D. A. Todd, Twenty-seventh Infantry; A. D. Allen, Twenty-seventh Infantry; H. D. Barry, Twenty-seventh Infantry; Henry Hardy, Twenty-seventh Infantry; Martin Hayes, Twenty-seventh Infantry; R. Merril, Sr., Twenty-seventh Infantry; R. Merril, Jr., Twenty-seventh Infantry.
Mort Smith, Twenty-seventh Infantry; Gustavus Jackway, Twenty-seventh Infantry; Benjamin Crocker, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
Preston Reinhart, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
Robert Buth, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
J. F. Henderson, Twenty-seventh Infantry; R. H. Wilson, Twenty-seventh Infantry; J. Dawson, Twenty-seventh Infantry.
There were also eight men from Oran Township, Fayette County. Although this was guaranteed to be the last call for volunteers, and this supply of our quota would preclude any further draft from this county, it was not long until the President issued another call for 200,000 more for the military, navy and marine corps, and Buchanan County was again urged to her duty. No particular news of the Twenty-seventh had been received for some weeks past, until Lieutenant-Colonel Lake and Lieutenant Donnan came home the last of March, 1864, for a two weeks' furlough and reported that the Twenty-seventh was participating with Sherman in the Red River expedition. A soldiers' sanitary fair meeting was held on the 25th of*March, 1864, at the instigation of the state committee for the purpose of perfecting county and township organizations. A state sanitary fair was to be held in Dubuque on the 24th of May and generous donations were requested. Several men and women from Dubuque and Chicago were present and addressed the meeting, urging the people to assist in this very necessary and humane work. Lieutenant Donnan also was present and addressed the meeting in a speech replete with patriotism and incidents of the war. A committee of six was appointed to solicit subscriptions of money and vegetables. Doctor Warne, Doctor Wright, C. J. Reed, Mrs. Morris, Mrs. Dunham, and Mrs. Warne constituted the committee.
Committees of two from each township were appointed to act in conjunction with the Ladies' Aid Society of Independence to procure and forward supplies to the Northern Iowa Sanitary Fair. Mrs. Bemis was president of the fair for Buchanan County and in a short time thirty-eight barrels had been received at the post office and were ready to forward to Dubuque. Later Doctor Warne shipped 100 barrels of potatoes. Every available means and opportunity were enlisted to raise funds and provisions for the sanitary board by the Ladies' Aid Society. The express companies carried all packages for the soldiers for half fare.
For three years they had been actively and tirelessly at work, giving constantly of their time, money and energy. At the evening reception given to Company E they collected over one hundred dollars in voluntary subscriptions, raffled a cake and made $100.00, and yet had the cake left to donate to the Sanitary Fair at Dubuque. Another festival soon after that netted them $64.00. A mush and milk and popcorn and milk sociable was another novel feature to which the aid society resorted to raise funds. In all the other towns in the county organizations were working for the Iowa Sanitary Fair. Quasqueton always was active and liberal in everything pertaining to the benefit of the soldiers. Hazleton had up to the last of May, 1864, raised something like $150. Fairbank, Littleton and Buffalo Grove were zealously at work.
Another society known as the Soldiers' Friend Association was organized the last of March, 1864. It met at the Masonic Hall. Mrs. Snow acted as chairman and Mrs. Henshaw as secretary. In the election which followed the organization Mrs. P. C. Wilcox was elected president, Mrs. Purdy vice president, Mrs. Hedges secretary, Miss Gillispie treasurer, and Miss Romans corresponding secretary.
The Twenty-seventh Iowa, early in April, 1864, was in Alexandria, Louisiana. On April 23, 1864, Governor Stone issued a call for ten regiments of the state militia to enlist for 100 days' service from the date of mustering in, and they responded by offering the Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth and Forty seventh Regiments, and the Forty-eighth Battalion of Infantry, in all 3,901 men. These troops came from all parts of the state and were the voluntary offering of our people, who gave them for the special service contemplated, without expectation of any credit on the general calls for volunteers. President Lincoln had agreed to accept 100,000 volunteers offered by the governors of the northwestern states, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The proposition originated in these states in order to increase the fighting strength of the Union forces, and at first met with considerable hostility from the authorities, but was at length adopted, the term of service being established at 100 days. With this augmentation of the army it was confidently expected that the rebellion could be substantially crushed and exterminated in that length of time. These volunteer troops could relieve others on guard and garrison duty and occupy the ground already taken. It served as a defensive organization while the veteran troops could wage an offensive campaign. It was thought that men who had previously served and others who would like to serve for a short time would readily enlist. Graphic pictures of fresh laurel wreaths, honors, and fame, which were yet to be acquired by any who might enlist, were some of the many inducements held forth in the Government message. The same pay and allowance was given as to previous troops. Every company was allowed to choose its own officers, etc. The entire number was to be raised and report to the adjutant-general at Davenport within twenty days.
Word from the Twenty-seventh Regiment telling of the Red River campaign and the battle of Pleasant Hill and their losses was received. The regiment had four killed, one mortally wounded, seventy wounded and fourteen missing. Of Buchanan County companies but one, Company H, was in the fight. Company C being detailed as guard at General Smith's headquarters. The wounded of Company H were Corp. H. H. Love, H. B. Booth, A. Cordell, •I. E. Haskins, all of Quasqueton; E. E. Mulick from Brandon and Harrigan of Independence. Love and Mulick were thought to be prisoners.
In the fall of 1864 national politics was again consuming people's time and attention and the two parties, union and copperheads, were strenuously campaigning. Lincoln was the republican nominee for President for a second term and General McClellan was the democratic. In Buchanan County politics as usual was hot and sizzling, each party having mass meetings, with delegations and demonstrations. The U. L. A.'s were particularly busy. At a union mass meeting held September 27, 1864, rousing and patriotic speeches were made by Colonel Lake, Captain Lee and Rep. D. D. Holdridge, all home from the war on furloughs. Another union mass meeting of Buchanan and the adjoining counties was held in Independence, Tuesday, October 25, 1864. Several prominent speakers were on the program, among them Ex-Governor Kirkwood, Gov. William M. Stone, Hon. B. T. Hunt, and Superior Judge C. C. Cole. Hon. William B. Allison was at a previous union meeting. A torchlight procession in the evening by the Independence "Wide Awakes" (another union patriotic society) was one of the features
W. C. Morris, a jeweler of Independence, had gotten up a fine breastpin consisting of a spread eagle bearing in his beak a medal, with the bust of Lincoln and the words, "Lincoln and Liberty." The design and execution were excellent and proved very popular with the politicians.
As would be expected during the war times, prices of some of the principal commodities, particularly those imported and manufactured, were exceedingly high, while those of home production were very cheap compared to prices of 1914. The Independence retail market in January, 1865, was:
Pork was retailing at 18 cents per pound. Two years before it sold at 2 cents. People were wondering how they could "grease their whistles" if it still raised.
Gold was at a premium and greenbacks were below par. When farms were sold, or any large exchanges made, gold was largely demanded and a reduction or per cent off allowed for it, although greenbacks were legal tender, but the finances in the country were rather insecure. It was a matter of public interest and comment and published in the papers, when in February, 1865, Mr. Spragg had come all the way from New Brunswick, in the British provinces, 2,000 miles away, and bought the William L. Clark farm near Fairbank and paid gold for it—$1,500 in gold and the remaining $2,000 he was privileged to pay in greenbacks. The value of the $1,500 in gold was worth over $3,000 in currency. This was a farm of 200 acres—170 acres of it fenced, 45 acres under cultivation, 70 acres of it timber, with only a few log buildings. That was an extra good price for land at that early day.
In the Guardian, of Wednesday, July 19, 1865, is a notice that the Iowa Ninth was coming home. It was in Chicago, enroute to Davenport, where it would be mustered out and thence home. The Twenty seventh's term of enlistment expired September 13th, and this brought it within the order for mustering out all regiments whose time expires before October 1st. Companies C and H, of the Twenty-seventh, disbanded the first week in August, and reached Independence, Tuesday, the 8th. Mr. Heege, of the heavy artillery, met them with the usual "loud and bursting welcome," and tried in vain to form a line of march, but as he expressed it—"friends, children, mother, frau, all there—nothing but hug—kiss—cry; scatter everywhere—no process— nothing." But happiness reigned supreme, and little else mattered. The Twenty-seventh elicited much praise from the different places where they encamped on their way home. From the Clinton Herald: "No better regiment ever went into service, and the conduct of its members while here, showed them to be good citizens as well as brave soldiers. The officers labored diligently on muster rolls and pay rolls, and promptly did their duty. The men were quiet, unobtrusive, and well disciplined, etc. Their deportment was not excelled by any regiment." The Clinton women got up a bounteous dinner for them, and the school board threw open the schoolhouses for their shelter from the rain. The regiment passed resolutions of thanks for their kind and generous treatment.
The Dubuque Herald highly complimented them for their quiet, orderly, and gentlemanly behavior while in Dubuque. "No regiment that had passed through that city showed a greater respect for law and order than the Twenty seventh." Col. Jed Lake made a very laudatory parting address, which we herewith print.
Fellow Soldiers: In taking leave of you at this time, after three years' service in the field, I hardly know how to express myself, such varied emotions crowd themselves upon my mind. Sorrow at parting the associations that have naturally grown up among us during the hardships that we have suffered in the field, and joy at the prospect of once more rejoining our families and friends in civil life. But knowing that we have fully accomplished that for which we entered the United States military service, you are to return to your homes with the full consciousness of having done your duty to your country as soldiers. By your courage on the field of battle, your patience on long and fatiguing marches, your uncomplaining submission to the hardships and privations of camp life, you have won for yourselves an enviable reputation; you are now about to return to civil life. Be as good citizens as you have been soldiers, and you will ever maintain for yourselves the highest esteem of your fellow-men. While we mingle our tears and sorrows over the graves of our comrades, who lie buried, from the Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, let us ever strife to maintain the integrity of the Republic, and the honors of her citizen soldiery.—Signed, Lieut.-Col. Jed Lake, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry.