Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sergeant William Stanberry

Brother of Mr. Samuel Stanberry, of East Des Moines, Polk County, with whom he was engaged in business before the war, having lived in Des Moines about three years. He, with five of his brothers, were in the Union Army — all enlisting from Ohio, but William; four of them lost their lives — two in battle and two by sickness.

"William Stanberry (native of Ohio, resident of Des Moines) enlisted (says Captain A. G. Studer) September 25, 1861, with all the spirit and ardor of a true patriot. At the time of enlistment he was the father of an interesting family. From the very day of enlistment he evinced great anxiety to become proficient in drill and discipline, was prompt and ever ready to obey. He was of a hilarious spirit, very good-natured, and thus influenced often many of the company who were despondent or homesick, to abandon such ideas. He was chosen as sergeant when the company was mustered, November 9,1861, and proved himself at all times thereafter, a valuable and efficient noncommissioned officer. In the battle of Shiloh he conducted himself with coolness and bravery, never left his company command during the two days' fighting, called many a man separated from his command to rally, and, in short, was anxious, under all circumstances, to perform his duties faithfully and well. He was alike esteemed by officers and men, and ever ready to assist a sick or afflicted comrade. Few such soldiers as Will Stanberry could be found in the service. He continued faithfully to perform his duty till the latter part of June, 1862, when he was seized with congestive fever, and expired at Corinth, Miss., July 5, 1862, after a short illness, most cordially and deeply lamented by all who knew him. Every soldier of Company B will ever cherish the memory of Will Stanberry."

Says Lieutenant Reese Wilkins: — "Stanberry was remarkably kind to his sick comrades; when he made friends he never forsook them; a man of very kind heart and self-sacrificing."

SOURCE: Leonard Brown, American Patriotism: Or, Memoirs Of Common Men, p. 219-20

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