|This regiment was mustered into the service at
Dubuque, October 3, 1862. James I. Gilbert was commissioned Colonel, Jed
Lake Lieutenant Colonel and George W. Howard Major. The regiment was
ordered to St. Paul, Minnesota, to report to Gen. Pope, commanding the Army of
the Northwest. Here Col. Gilbert, with six companies, was assigned as an
escort to guard a paymaster and train from Fort Snelling to Mille Lacs.
Accomplishing this, Col. Gilbert proceeded to Memphis, Tennessee, whither Maj.
Howard with the remainder of the regiment had preceded him.
As a part of Gen. Shermanís army, the regiment was
then advanced against the Rebels under Price, strongly intrenched on the
Tallahatchie river on the railroad below Waterford, Mississippi. Gen.
Grantís army was at the same time moving down the railroad, with base of
supplies at Holly Springs. The enemy retreating from the Tallahatchie, the
Twenty-seventh was soon assigned to guarding railroad on the river. In the
meantime, Holly Springs was lost to us, and Gen. Grantís expedition, with
Vicksburg for its object, was abruptly brought to a close. December 31st,
the regiment, except Company G, serving as a train guard, was sent with
re-enforcements to Gen. Sullivan, operating against the Rebels under Gen.
Forrest near Lexington, Tennessee. But Forrest was defeated that same day
by the victory of Parkerís Cross Roads, where the Thirty-ninth Iowa fought so
nobly. The Twenty-seventh joined in the pursuit. At the close of the
year 1862, the Twenty-seventh had lost 69 enlisted men. Nearly 200 more
were lying in hospitals in seven different states.
Until June 2, 1863, the regiment was at Jackson,
Tennessee, performing provost, guard and picket duties. There were a
number of marches into the country. One was to Corinth, where the regiment
remained twenty days, while the troops, previously there under Gen. Dodge, made
a successful raid to Tuscumbia, Alabama. A detachment of the regiment went
once as train guard to Burnsville, Mississippi. From February 3d to the
28th, five companies were at Henderson Station as railroad guard. May 6th
the companies were all distributed at various stations between Corinth and
Memphis. Early in June, Jackson was evacuated, when the regiment moved to
Moscow, again guarding railway. June 6th, Lt.-Col. Lake was made
commandant of the post at La Grange. Maj. Harvard [probable misprint - s/b
Howard] took command of the regiment and until August 15th, Col. Gilbert of the
brigade. August 20th, the regiment marched for Memphis.
The next expedition was to Arkansas. At
Brownsville the brigade joined the Army of Arkansas under Gen. Steele.
This army captured Little Rock, September 10, 1863. The battery of the
brigade was engaged, the infantry being in reserve. The regiment started
November 15th for Memphis, reporting to Gen. Hurlbut of the Sixteenth army
corps. Here it did picket duty the remainder of the year 1863.
January 28, 1864, the regiment moved to Vicksburg.
In the brigade of
Col. Shaw of the 14th Iowa, together with the Fourteenth and Thirty-second
Iowa, and Twenty-fourth Missouri, it participated in Gen. Shermanís Meridian
raid. March 10th, with this gallant command, it embarked under Gen. A. J.
Smith for Gen. Bankís Red River campaign. Approaching Fort de Russey, the
regiment was doing as provost guard in Marksville, until the army should pass.
Accomplishing this it moved rapidly after the column, Col. Gilbert hurrying word
forward, that if a battle were in prospect, the Twenty-seventh wished to be in
it. Permission being accorded, the regiment joined in the charge, crossing
the field, springing into the ditch, mounting the parapet and compelling
surrender. Again at the hot battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9th, the
Twenty-seventh bore an active and gallant part, suffering severe loss.
Col. Gilbert was among the wounded. With itís brave brigade it did the
hardest fighting of the day. Covering the army on the grand retreat, there
was continuous skirmishing and fighting. May 18th, occurred the battle of
Yellow Bayou or Old Oaks, where Shawís brigade was actively engaged. "It
saved the army," said Col. Shaw. The Twenty-seventh lost 3 killed and 14
wounded. Among the latter was Capt. Chas. A. Slocum. The command
arrived at Vicksburg May 24th. June 4th, it embarked for Memphis, but on
the 5th debarked to dislodge the enemy at Ditch Bayou on Old River Lake, Chicot
county, Arkansas. Col. Gilbert led the brigade and Maj. Howard the
regiment. Routing the enemy, the command moved to Memphis.
Next, the regiment was engaged in the expedition
under A. J. Smith to Tupelo, Miss. In the battles of Tupelo and Old Town
Creek, it was an active participant. In August, the regiment was in the
Oxford expedition of Gen. Smith, returning to Memphis August 30th.
September 5th, it was ordered to Missouri, where in October, in the army of Gen.
A. J. Smith, it joined in the pursuit of Price, returning to St. Louis November
18th. November 25th, still in Gen. Smithís army, the regiment moved to
Nashville, Tenn., debarking December 1st. In the battle of Nashville,
December 15th and 16th, the regiment participated. It was led by Lt.-Col.
Lake. Col. Gilbert commanded the brigade, which was conspicuous for
bravery. He was promoted brigadier general for gallantry. December
17th, the regiment joined in the pursuit of the enemy. January 5th, 1865,
found the regiment at Eastport, Miss. On the 9th, it made a reconnaissance
to Iuka. February 9th, it left to enter on the Mobile campaign.
Leaving Dauphin Island on March 20th, on the 25th, with its command, it joined
in the march with the Thirteenth and Sixteenth army corps, arriving near Mobile
on the 26th. April 3d, the march was resumed to Blakely. The
regiment engaged with honor in the siege and in the assault. It was led by
Maj. Howard. With its brigade, under Gen. Gilbert, it occupied Blakely on
the 10th. On the 13th, it marched for Montgomery.
July 14th, 122 recruits, whose terms of service
would expire later than October 1, 1865, were transferred from the
Twenty-seventh Iowa to the Twelfth Iowa Infantry. After this, however,
delayed until August 8, 1865, when it was finally mustered out at Clinton, Iowa.
Its record had been one of constant bravery and constant fidelity to the cause
it had served.
Col. Gilbert was made brigadier general February 9,
1865, and was brevetted major general March 26th, for gallantry at Blakely.