Private William Perry Marvin, in the months before his death on 22 May 1863, at the Railroad Redoubt at Vicksburg, wrote many letters. Some went to his sister-in-law and her husband. To those two ("Brother and Sister"), he described life in camp; asked about his wife Harriet and their son, five-year-old Charley (both gone to Ohio to live with her parents); and pined for Iowa. His descendant Charles Dyer provided to 22 iowa.com images of William and those letters, excerpts of which appear below.
William, a farmer, mustered in to the 22nd Iowa on 9 September 1862.
13 September 1862: " I got my picture taken when we were up town. When you send Harriet's things to her I want you to send it.... I got it taken for Charley. He will not think very much of it now but if he should live he may think something of it in after days."
"Between Keokuk and St. Louis we expected a fight...but before we got there they had left.... I have not seen any country as good as Iowa.... The Iowa breezes give life and vigor; here the atmosphere is poison. But the people have plenty of fruit, some of the best kinds. But what is fruit compared with health;... Iowa, Iowa every time: look out for me, for I am coming."
"I am exempt from duty today. I am left alone.... We have some as good fellows in our camp as any the world can produce. They are friendly, intelligent, good-looking, firstrate fellows. But when I get sick everything looks bad to me. I have had a very bad cold on my lungs.... Oh if we were only let loose - when I say we I mean the men, the soldiers - how soon the war would close. But while those lazy, mean men to who we have to bow are in command so long the war will continue."
"We have been reinforced at Rolla. The Rebels are getting thick and ugly. They are starved out of Arkansas and some places in Missouri. The poor scapegoats, how I would like to annihilate them. It seems as though they must be annihilated before we can conquer them.... Tell George I will write in a few days if the Rebels do not get the upper hand fee, and your father may expect to hear from me when I kill a Rebel."
"We have been on the march four weeks. We have been traveling over the worst country in the world. Stony, broken, worthless, I would not take the country over which we have traveled for a gift. The country around Iron Mountain is very good.... Money is plenty, but the citizens are mostly Dutch, so I would not like to settle here, so I...say Iowa now and forever.... You know I was anxious to have a piece of land.... I will send you $45.... I will be with you if the Rebels do not kill me."
"We are well at present...cannot say the same for all of the boys.... The general complaint is the Mississippi quick step. It is not anything uncommon to see a soldier buried.... We are in hearing of the Rebel's guns at Vicksburg and while we write we hear the roar of the cannon.... The money I sent to you, do with it the best you can. If you think best not to invest it in land till you get more put it out on usury or use it yourself. If I ever get back to Iowa I want a piece of land."
The American Battlefield Trust is poised to preserve 33 acres of land connected to the gallant but doomed assault of the 22nd Iowa at Vicksburg on 22 May 1863 - but needs our help! Find out more at https://www.battlefields.org/give/save-battlefields/save-99-crucial-acres-three-western-theater-battlefields
The target property is behind the treeline visible here -- now roughly marking the Confederate line from which the Redoubt protruded. Also visible is the State of Texas' Vicksburg monument, honoring the Lone Star soldiers who helped defend that point. (Photo: David Woodbury)
James Robertson of Iowa City, the Captain of Company "I", died at the head of his troops near the Railroad Redoubt during the Vicksburg assault of 22 May 1863. His great-great-grandnephew, Jeffrey Robertson Pelham, recently provided these images of Capt. Robertson's sword, which he carried that day.
"Robertson was killed between the abatis and the redoubt. He was a giant in strength, a physical king of men - with the muscles of Vulcan - and a blacksmith by trade. At the head of one of the companies, near the center of the line, with sword aloft, he was a conspicuous target for the confederate sharp-shooters. They refer to his handsome towering figure as a conspicuous feature of this battle."
(Vanishing Footprints, p. 126)
More than 15 of Robertson's men in Company "I" were killed, wounded or captured on 22 May. Overall, the Regiment took 189 casualties -- 82% of the men it took into battle that day.
The Iowa Battle Flag Project -- which aimed to stabilize, preserve and if possible restore the state's collection of more than 200 military-related flags from the Civil War through World War One -- ended its work in 2016. The 16-year project met its goal, and the flags are now conserved to the greatest extent possible and stored in conditions that will ensure their futures for many years to come.
Unfortunately, the National Flag of the 22nd Iowa, shown here, was too deteriorated to restore sigificantly, but it has been professionally conserved and is part of the collection. This was the national colors carried up to and during the Siege of Vicksburg, and is the very flag which was planted (along with the regimental "blue banner" of the 22nd) on the parapet of the Railroad Redoubt at Vicksburg during the doomed assault of 22 May 1863. It was replaced after that due to its poor condition, as recalled by Samuel Pryce in his regimental history, Vanishing Footprints:
"[The National flag] was taken to the ordnance department, condemned, and a new flag issued. The old tattered flag was sent by the writer to the State Historical Society at Iowa City and from thence it was taken to Des Moines about . It was placed in one of the hermetically sealed cabinets in the capitol." (p. 129)
This Iowa Public TV story from 2001 details the beginning of the project, including the removal of endangered flags from those display cabinets at the State Capitol:
We've heard from more 22nd Iowa descendants in the past months, and are happy to pass along what they've shared.
Tom Haine's great-grandfather Corporal William M. Haines (shown here as a Private), served in Company "I". Tim wrote about his ancestor:
"William M Haines was born in Harrison County, Ohio in 1844. His family moved to Iowa somewhere near Iowa City. He enlisted in 1862 when the regiment was formed. He was wounded at Vicksburg during the big assault in May. [Assault on the Railroad Redoubt, 22 May 1863.] There is some evidence that he was wounded again in 1864 in Virginia. He was listed as a casualty in a 1905 book published by a Lt. Jones who was an officer in the regiment. [Reminiscenses of the 22nd Iowa Infantry, by Lt. Samuel Calvin Jones of Company "A", available from the Camp Pope Press.]
"William married twice with children from both marriages. He settled after his first marriage in Belvedere, Illinois where he had a farm. He apparently was quite active in the local GAR chapter. He also resided for a time in Springfield, where he served for a time as the Doorkeeper for the Illinois Assembly. He died in 1935 and is buried in Belvedere."
Thanks to Tom for sending this along!
This lovely photo, which shows some added 1903 "metal scraping" effect, is of 1st Lt. Oliver Pierce Hull, an Ohio native, who served in Company K. It has been proudly provided to 22iowa.com by his great-great-great-grandson Brent Spencer.
Hull's Civil War service was quite eventful! He first enlisted from Washington County as a Private in Company "F of the 1st Iowa Cavalry on 13 June 1861, and was discharged for disability in Sedalia, Missouri on 1 August 1862. Whatever the problem, it must not have been too debilitating, as he enlisted in Frank Pierce, Iowa as 1st Sergeant of Company "K" of the 22nd Iowa on 12 August 1862 -- less than two weeks later.
Hull saw hard service with the Regiment at Vicksburg and elsewhere, before being captured during the 22nd's desperate fighting at the Battle of Third Winchester on 19 September 1864. He spent several months at the notorious Salisbury Prison before being exchanged on 22 February 1865. He rejoined the Regiment, and was mustered out with his comrades in Savannah on 25 July 1865. He died in Johnson County, Iowa in 1879.
Private Benjamin Booth of Company "I" of the 22nd spent miserable months in Confederate captivity. Many years later, he published "Dark Days of the Rebellion" - his somewhat bitter recollection of those days. This article gives a good overview of the POW life Booth experienced and later wrote about.
A great-great-grandaughter of Corp. Michael Yoakam of Company "I", Sherryl Buckley, contacted us recently. Sherryl has been trying to find out more about him. She passed along this photo, apparently taken when he was a resident of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Los Angeles, also known as the Sawtelle Veterans Home.
The Sawtelle Home was a major resource for the thousands of aging veterans who flocked to sunny southern California after the War. Many of them are now buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery nearby.
Michael, however, was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia after his death in 1918. He is one of three known soldiers of the 22nd buried there.
We continue hearing from a steady stream of 22nd Iowa descendants, many of whom have photos and stories of their relative's service.
Shawn Lloyd sent this photo of his g-great-grandfather Thomas Rucker Lloyd's grave marker in Lakeview Cemetery, Windom, Minnesota.
Thomas enlisted from Davenport in Company "G" of the 22nd in February 1864 and served until the regiment was mustered out in July 1865. He died in 1888.
Sometimes items get "buried" in the 22iowa.com inbox...as did this photo of Private Henry C. Brown of Company "C", sent to us by Gary Gibbons of Colorado a few years ago. Henry enlisted, age 20, from Vandalia, Iowa and served in the 22nd until his transfer to the Veterans Reserve Corps in May 1864.
He enlisted with his brother Stephen, who sadly died of disease in August 1863 in St. Louis.
GREAT NEWS FROM VICKSBURG!
Eleven acres, including the site of the 22nd Iowa's siege camp and stepping-off point for the May 22, 1863 assault, has been saved from commercial development after being purchased by the Civil War Trust. It eventually will be made part of the Vicksburg National Military Park. (The photo shows the Iowa Memorial at Vicksburg, adjacent to the eleven acres, on May 22, 2013.) Here's a link:
Earlier this year, our friend Rob Cardwell of WTVR-TV Channel 6 in Richmond, Virginia took home a National Capitol Area Emmy Award for a special report he did on genealogy -- a report that contained a prominent mention of his 22nd Iowa ancestor, Pvt. Pleasant Cardwell of Company G!
Heres a link to the story:
Corry Bialota sent along this wonderful photograph of his regimental relative, Private August H. Fisher of Company B. Note it's a reversed image, typical of a daguerreotype, although this appears perhaps to be a later reproduction of an original image.
August was born in Germany and enlisted (along with his brother William) in the 22nd from Iowa City on 14 August 1862. He was taken prisoner on 22 May 1863 at Vicksburg, but was soon released, and thereafter served until the regiment was mustered out in Savannah on 25 July 1865.
A number of the 22nd's veterans moved West after the Civil War...
Among them was Colonel Harvey Graham, the second of two men to have formal command of the regiment. He first served as a Lieutenant in the 1st Iowa Infantry, and was wounded at Wilson's Creek, Missouri. Like many veterans of the "Old First," he found further service in the 22nd. He was captured at Vicksburg, later released, and took command of the Regiment later in 1863 when Col. Stone was elected Governor.
We recently found his grave in Los Angeles's Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, one of the City's oldest and most historic burial places. He is buried next to his wife Caroline, and his son Alfred, one of their eight children.
Jerry Crow of Michigan sent in an image of this envelope from a letter addressed to Fifer William H. Stiles of Company "H". It was send from Western College, Iowa on May 5, 1863, and received less than two weeks later and just a day after the 22nd and its brigade led the way to a smashing victory at the Battle of Big Black River.
Jerry is a descendant of Pvt. John M. Crow of Company "E".
Todd Pederson sent this image of a group photo taken at the 1897 reunion of the 22nd Iowa. Though the ranks were thinning, men still turned out in large numbers. Note the women in the shot, likely wives or daughters of soldiers who had died during or after the War.
That reunion was held, as had been earlier ones, in Iowa City, with the group shot always taken on the steps of the Old Capitol Building.
The 22nd's valiant service at the battles of Third Winchester (19 September 1864) and Cedar Creek (19 October 1864) have been celebrated this fall in the Shenandoah Valley. Here, descendants of men who fought own those battles (including two relatives of 22nd Iowa soldiers) gather at the City of Winchester Courthouse on 19 September 2014.
The "Middle Field" at Winchester saw the desperate charge of the 22nd to reach, and drive back, Confederate troops and artillery fighting from the trees beyond.
A tour of several hundred enthusiasts visited important points like the Middle Field, and this stream, "Red Bud Run", across which Union troops splashed to turn the tide of the battle.
Exactly a month later, on 19 October 2014, a National Park Service "As It Happened" tour ended up at "Rienzi's Knoll" just north of Middletown. It was 11:30 a.m., exactly 150 years to the minute after Gen. Phillip Sheridan and his horse, Rienzi, arrived there to take command and reverse the retreat of the 22nd and other Federal units at the Battle of Cedar Creek.
Federal re-enactors gathered later that chilly, windy day to be reviewed, just prior to the annual recreation of the battle there --- one of the few such events staged on the actual battlefield.
Hearty thanks and kudos to the National Park Service, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, and the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation for staging these events. They were worthy commemorations that truly honored the Iowans and others who fought in the Shenandoah Valley during that Autumn of 1864.
In this new history, Vermont resident and author Thomas McKenna - a relative of Pvt. George Mason Goforth of Company "H" - details the organization, travels and battles of the 22nd.
It is a valuable addition to the rich body of work on the Regiment, and we at 22iowa.com are pleased to announce its release.
Michael Sturgeon has sent us these images relating to his relative, Private John Thomas Whittington of Company "H".
John, from Johnson County, was 21 when he enlisted in August 1862. He was killed in action near Port Gibson, Mississippi on May 1, 1863 - one of the regiment's first battle deaths. He possibly rests today under an "Unknown" marker at Vicksburg National Cemetery.
Descendant Kent Metcalf has provided these images of items that belonged to his great-great-grandfather, Pvt. Joseph Workof Company B.
Private Work, a Pennsylvania native, enlisted from North Liberty and served for the entire term of the regiment. He died in 1924.
The Vicksburg Sesquicentennial event of 22 May 2013 featured the re-dedication of the Iowa Memorial, located at the point where the 22nd Iowa began its fateful assault of 22 May 1863.
The Fourty-Ninth Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry, "The Governor's Own Iowa Rifles", provide a Union Blue backdrop.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (speaking) joined former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (third from left) at the event.
At the Battle of Big Black River on 17 May, the 22nd helped lead one of the most decisive charges of the War. This is the farmland over which the 22nd advanced against Rebel defenders.
This modern railroad bridge is just yards from the remnants of the span over the Big Black, that was burned by Confederates fleeing the 22nd and other units.
The marker of 1st Lt. Matthew A. Robb, Company "D", in Vicksburg National Cemetery.
He was killed while in the vanguard of the assault on the Railroad Redoubt, 22 May 1863. Of the roughly 200 men of the Regiment taking part in the assault, more than 160 were killed, wounded or captured.
Cort Walker of Spanish Fort, Utah is the proud relative of Sgt. John Loader of Company G, and sent along this photo. Loader was a Mormon convert immigrant from England, who after a rough voyage stayed in Iowa rather than keep moving on to Utah. After his service, he eventually did go there, where he died in 1876.
David Lamb, a volunteer conservator with the Iowa Battle Flag Project, and an officer in the "Governor's Own Rifles - Co. A, 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry" ceremonial unit, recently came across this uniform coat in the State's collection. He has identified it as belonging to then-1st Lt. Harvey Graham of the 1st Iowa Infantry. Graham later served as colonel in command of the 22nd, and finished the War as a Brevet Brigadier General.
Also in the State's archives is Graham's commissioning document in the 1st Iowa, signed by Governor Samuel Kirkwood and Adjutant-General Jesse Bowen.
Nicholas Messenger, shown here, left the University of Iowa to muster in as a sergeant in Company "I" of the 22nd in August 1862. He helped lead the charge on the Railroad Redount at Vicksburg on 22 May 12863, and was one of a handful of men to enter the earthwork. Despite taking three bullets in a leg, he and his comrades held their position without reinforcements until forced back after nightfall.
Gneral Grant promoted him to 1st Lieutenant the next day, in recognition of his bravery.
Messenger served in various offices in Marshall County after the War, but the effect of his wartime wounds followed him. He died at age 53 in 1894.
To the right is his wartime uniform sash. It was donated to the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1920 by Messenger;'s daughter, Edyth.