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Civil War Rosters
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Roster and Record
This work has been compiled in accordance with the provisions of the following act of the Thirty-second General Assembly:
ROSTER OF IOWA SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND MARINES.
H. F. 79.
An Act providing for the compilation of a roster of Iowa soldiers, sailors and marines in the war with Mexico and the War of the Rebellion, the Spanish-American and Philippine wars, including military service in the Spirit Lake expedition, and other service against the Indians; providing the manner of its publication, distribution and sale and making an appropriation therefor.
Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa:
Section 1. That the Governor, Attorney General, Adjutant General, Curator of the Historical Department of Iowa, and one soldier of the Civil War whose selection shall be made and certified to the Governor by the Commander of the Department of Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic, who shall thereupon be commissioned by the Governor, which member so selected shall receive the same compensation as that now paid to the trustees of educational institutions for the time actually and necessarily employed, shall constitute a board authorized to prepare in form for publication a complete roster of all Iowa soldiers, sailors and marines of the war with Mexico, the War of the Rebellion, and the Spanish-American and Philippine wars, including the military service of soldiers engaged in the Spirit Lake Expedition and other service against the Indians, and State troops rendering active service during the War of the Rebellion.
Section 2. Said compilation shall contain the main item of record of each officer and soldier, and of each organization, so far as the same is obtainable from the records in the Adjutant General's office, in the War Department in Washington, in the official records of the Union Armies, and from other official and reliable sources. It shall include brief historical sketches of the organization, service and engagements of all Iowa regiments, and other Iowa organizations, with summaries of casualties, list of soldiers confined in Confederate prisons, and those buried in National Cemeteries.
Section 3. Said compilation shall be under the direction of the Adjutant General, and the sum of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) or so much thereof as may be necessary is hereby appropriated from any moneys, not otherwise appropriated, in the treasury of the State, for the employment of extra help and other necessary expense in making said compilation. The compilation shall be divided into volumes of proper size and shall be printed by the State printer, shall be bound by the State binder in half sheep, and paid for as other public documents. The edition shall be ten thousand of each volume and shall be disposed of as follows: Twelve sets to the State library, twelve sets to the historical library, six sets to the State Historical Society, one set to each public library in the State and one set to each Grand Army Post in the State and one set to each Camp of Spanish war veterans. The foregoing sets shall be distributed free; all other sets and volumes shall be sold by he Adjutant General at actual cost, to be determined by the Executive Council, and the proceeds paid into the State Treasury. An itemized account shall be kept and vouchers filed to be audited by the Executive Council and warrants drawn by the State Auditor to pay expenses provided for in this act.
Section 4. This act being deemed of immediate importance shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Register and Leader and the Des Moines Capital, daily newspapers published in the City of Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa.
Approved April 10, A. D. 1907.
In compliance with the requirement contained in section 1 of the act, Col. Geo. W. Crosley was selected as the Civil War soldier member of the board, which was then constituted as follows: Albert B. Cummins, Governor; H. W. Byers, Attorney General: W. H. Thrift, Adjutant General; Charles Aldrich, Curator of the Historical Department, and Col. Geo. W. Crosley.
On the 25th day of May, 1907, the board met in the office of the Governor, and organized by electing Governor Albert B. Cummins, chairman, and Col. Geo. W. Crosley, secretary. The secretary was instructed to supervise the work of compilation --- under the direction of the Adjutant General --- and these two members were requested to formulate plans for the work and, when such plans were completed, to submit same for the consideration of the board. It was declared to be the earnest purpose of the board to have the work prosecuted with energy, and, with this purpose in view, the preliminary work of investigation was promptly begun.
On June 5th, the general plan of the work was submitted, and adopted by the board. With some modifications and changes, the plan has been carried out as shown in these volumes.
It has been a difficult task to condense the history of the different organizations into what could be fairly considered "a brief historical sketch," as prescribed in the act. History has never dealt, and perhaps never will be able to deal, in the most satisfactory manner, with all those whose achievements go to make up history, even where there are no limitations as to time and space. In the preparation of these sketches, the compiler has confined himself exclusively to the facts as shown by the military records, and to his own personal knowledge of the conditions that pertained to the common experience of the volunteer soldiers of the War of the Rebellion, a knowledge gained by experience as a soldier in active service from the commencement to the close of that war. He could at best point out only the most conspicuous figures and events as contained in the official reports. Only a few of the names of the gallant officers and men whose acts of bravery entitled them to special mention are contained in these reports. In the long period of service which the greater number of these Iowa organizations rendered, they were engaged in so many important expeditions, campaigns and battles, that but few could be described in detail, and none with that particularity of detai which would do them full justice. The brief paragraph opposite the name of each soldier, which follows the history of the organization to which he belonged, is also compiled from the official records. It shows only the leading features of his service. It does not and can not be made to show in detail the service he performed, or what he endured and suffered, and, notwithstanding the careful research of the official records, there will no doubt be some few cases in which even this brief paragraph will be found, either in part or as a whole, incorrect. In all such cases, the injustice to the soldier is due to the official records, and not to carelessness or neglect on the part of those who prepared these revised rosters. General N. B. Baker, who was the Adjutant General of Iowa during, and for a number of years after, the War of the Rebellion, and who was a man of great ability, had the wisdom and foresight to require of the Iowa officers copies of their official reports and returns for preservation in his office, in order that the military record of each organization might be preserved for all time. For this purpose blanks were prepared and sent to the commanding officers of Iowa regiments in the field, upon which to make copies of all their reports and returns. To add emphasis to this requirement, and as an evidence of appreciation of the importance of compliance with it, the Tenth General Assembly of the State of Iowa adopted the following concurrent resolution:
Resolved, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, that the Colonels of Iowa regiments engaged in the service of their country, be respectfully requested to furnish the Adjutant General of the State, at their earliest convenience, with a brief history of their respective regiments, showing what they have accomplished and endured, not only on the battlefield, but upon the march and in camp, with a view that the information thus obtained may hereafter be embodied into a permanent history and monument of the patriotism, the heroism, and achievements of the soldiers of Iowa.
Resolved, that the Adjutant General be requested to communicate the above resolution to the Colonels of all Iowa regiments.
ENOCH W. EASTMAN,
Approved February 23, 1864.
WILLIAM M. STONE,
There seems to have been a general disposition to comply with these requests, but, in the exigencies of war, some of these reports and returns were lost in transmission, some were captured by the enemy, and, at the close of the war, the records of the office of the Adjutant General were still, in many respects, in a very incomplete and unsatisfactory condition. General Baker made every effort to remedy these defects by appealing to the officers, who had returned to their homes, to supply the information that would enable him to complete the records. The information thus obtained was not complete, because of the fact that it was mostly given from memory. A part of these incomplete records have been corrected by information obtained from the War Department in Washington and from surviving Iowa soldiers. It is greatly to be regretted that this work of revision was not undertaken at an earlier date, when a larger number of the surviving soldiers of the war were still living. After the lapse of nearly half a century, it is difficult for most men to remember with accuracy events that did not make the most lasting impression upon their minds. They can remember the most important events distinctly, but, when it comes to recalling the personal record of comrades in their company or regiment, it is only of those with whom their relations were most intimate that they can give positive information . There was now and then soldier who kept a daily diary in which he recorded the principal events that occurred during his term of service. The compiler has personal knowledge of only one such private record that covered a period of three years' continuous service in the field. Could all the records of this kind which have been preserved have been collected, they would no doubt have been of great value in compiling a work of this character.
The errors and omissions which may occur in these revised rosters must therefore be accounted for by the causes before mentioned. In many instances the only record obtainable is the name, age, date of enlistment, residence, date of muster into the service of the United States, and the date of discharge or muster out of the soldier. In such cases, particularly where the soldier served for the full term of his regiment and was mustered out with it, the inference is that his history is identical with that of his regiment. He may have participated in every battle in which his regiment was engaged, but, as only the names of those who were killed, wounded, captured, or missing in action, or those who were favored by special mention, appear in the official reports, his name would not appear as a participant. The men who had the good fortune to go through their entire term of service without sustaining any serious injury, and who were also fortunate as to have excaped being the victim of some form of sickness, have no record --- as a rule --- except that of continuous service; but such a record is remarkable, and certainly most commendable.
Col. George H. Turner, who compiled the record of service of Michigan Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion, in his introductory refers to the class of soldiers above alluded to, and also to those reported as missing in action, in the following forceful and truthful statement:
It scarcely occurred to the officers who made their official returns to the different departments that forty years after the conflict an individual history of each soldier who participated would be written. * * * The hardships of a campaign, the duties exacted night and day, the constant attention to matters of vital importance, are not conducive to literary efforts of biography or general history. It is pathetic to know that thousands upon thousands of Union soldiers who participated in many of the most desperate battles of the Civil War have no records of such battles to their credit in the official reports. A limited number were fortunate enough to have their names recorded by their officers as participating in such engagements.
In was sometimes impossible in the stirring times of war for commanding officers to give authentic and final history of men who disappeared in a great battle, as in many cases the bodies of the dead could not be found, and if possession of the field was yielded to the enemy, the fate of those who were made prisoners of war could only, if ever, be learned through unreliable Confederate sources.
For such heroes who died for their country and who sleep in nameless graves, their epitaph is inscribed in this history as "missing in action." A more honorable or heroic epitaph could not be penned.
It will thus be seen that the same difficulties encountered in the compilation of this work existed elsewhere. In fact, the same conditions prevailed in all the states, and it may be safely assumed that the record of personal service of Iowa soldiers recorded in these volumes is as nearly correct and complete as that published by any other state. The total enrollemnt, together with the Summary of Casualties which follows the Historical Sketch of each regiment, has been carefully compiled from the records, and demonstrates more clearly than language could describe the tremendous sacrifice of life, and the untold suffering endured by these brave sons of Iowa. The State has honored itself in thus endeavoring to do justice to their memory.
Volumes I. and II. of this work, containing the historical sketches and revised rosters of the First to the Sixteenth Regiments of infantry, inclusive, had been published prior to the comencement of the session of the Thirty-third General Assembly, which made provision for the completion of the compilation, by the adoption of the following Act:
ROSTER OF IOWA SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND MARINES.
H. F. 171.
An Act providing for the completion and distribution of the roster of Iowa soldiers, sailors and marines as provided by chapter two hundred twenty-three (223), laws of the Thirty-second General Assembly, fixing number of volumes, and making an additional appropriation therefor.
Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa:
Section 1. Appropriation --- how drawn. That the sum of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated from any moneys, not otherwise appropriated, in the treasury of the State, for the employment of the extra help and other necessary expense to complete the compilation of the roster and record of Iowa soldiers, sailors and marines provided by chapter two hundred twenty-three (223), laws of the Thirty-second General Assembly, and the same shall be drawn and expended as provided for in section three (3) of said chapter.
Section 2. Number printed and bound --- distribution. The edition of each volume hereafter printed shall be three thousand, instead of ten thousand, as provided by said chapter. Two thousand of each edition shall be bound in half sheep and the remainder shall be stitched and stored for future use and so bound whenever required for sale or distribution. One hundred sets of said rosters and record shall be placed in the hands of the Adjutant General and one hundred sets in the State library, for exchange with libraries of other states, the War Department Library, and the Librarian of Congress and such other institutions of other states as have extended or may hereafter extend courtesies of like character to this State; one set shall be issued to each Camp of the Union Veteran's Legion, located in the State of Iowa; the remainder of the edition shall be disposed of as provided in section three of the aforesaid chapter, except as said section is modified by the provisions of this act.
Section 3. In effect. This act being deemed of immediate importance shall be in force from and after its publication in the Register and Leader and Des Moines Capital, newspapers published at Des Moines, Iowa.
Approved March 12, A. D. 1909.
The work of compilation had been discontinued on December 1, 1908, on account of exhaustin of the appropriation, and was resumed on March 17, 1909, when the new appropriation became available.
The following Legislative Act of the Thirty-fourth General Assembly of the State of Iowa explains itself:
ROSTER OF IWOA SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND MARINES.
S. F. 45.
An act providing for the completion and distribution of the roster of Iowa soldiers, sailors and marines as provided for by chapter two hundred twenty-three (223) acts of the thirty-second general assembly, and by chapter two hundred forty-eight (248) acts of the thirty-third general assembly, and making an additional appropriation therefor.
Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa:
Section 1. Appropriation --- purpose. That the sum of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated from any moneys, not otherwise appropriated, in the treasury of the state, for the employment of the extra help and other necessary expense to complete the compilation of the roster and record of Iowa soldiers, sailors and marines provided by chapter two hundred twenty-three (223) acts of the thirty-second general assembly and the same shall be drawn and expended as provided for in section three (3) of said chapter.
Sec. 2. Distribution. Forty copies of the first and second volumes and five copies of each of the other volumes of said publication will be apportioned to each member of the thirty-fourth general assembly, two copies of each volume to each state officer; one copy of each volume to each member of the roster board and the remainder which are not required for distribution as provided for by chapter two hundred twenty-three (223) acts of the thirty-second general assembly or chapter two hundred forty-eight (248) acts of the thirty-third general assembly shall be distributed by the adjutant general to soldiers who served in an Iowa organization or to the families of such soldiers.
Sec. 3. In effect. This act being deemed of immediate importance shall be in force from and after its publication in the Register and Leader and the Des Moines Capital, newspapers published at Des Moines, Iowa.
Approved April 3, A. D. 1911.