Saturday, January 10, 2009

Iowa Troops In The Battle of Pittsburgh

We have intimations in several quarters that some of the Iowa Regiments did not sustain the reputation of Iowa troops in the desperate battle of Pittsburgh Landing. But no specifications are made except as to the 16th. We have been waiting for some time for a true and impartial account, but thus far we can get nothing. – The accounts say that the 15th Regiment, Col. Reed, behaved remarkably well, loosing more than half its number – that the 16th, Col. Chambers, after two or three rounds, ran away. Several other regiments are mentioned, but without praise or censure, and up to the hour we have not the name of a single officer or private killed in the eleven regiments at Pittsburg.

The 15th and 16th were both green regiments which had only just received their arms. One of them is represented as having fought bravely, and the other, in common with half a dozen others, from other States, ran away after a short resistance. This may or may not be true. Further accounts may place the matter in a different light. The 16th was commanded by a brave man – there is no doubt about this. Whatever else may be said against Colonel Chambers there is the best evidence of his bravery, exhibited upon other battlefields. He is an old army officer, a graduate of West Point, who distinguished himself in the Mexican War. He may be indolent, overbearing and possess other faults unnecessary to mention, but he certainly is brave and intrepid. We think we can afford to wait for further reports even from the 16th.

As to the other regiments, time, we think, will prove that they did their duty as they always have done it wherever tried. We shall not abate one iota of our confidence in Iowa troops, and we are satisfied that later reports will prove that we have still greater reason than ever before to be proud of them.

– Published in the Burlington Daily Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Wednesday, April 16, 1862

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