Friday, October 28, 2011

The Ninth Iowa Infantry

On the day after the defeat of the union army at Bull Run, in July, 1861, Hon.William Vandever, representative in congress for the Second Iowa district, went to the secretary of war and tendered a regiment of volunteers to be raised by himself. His offer was at once accepted, and in September the Ninth regiment was ready to enter the service. William Vandever was commissioned colonel, F. J. Herron, lieutenant-colonel, and William H. Coyle, major. The companies were raised chiefly in the counties of Jackson, Jones, Buchanan, Clayton, Fayette, Bremer, Black Hawk, Winneshiek, Howard, Linn, Chickasaw and Dubuque.

The regiment was taken to St. Louis and placed in camp of instruction, where it remained until October, when it was sent to guard the southwestern branch of the Pacific railroad. In January, 1862, the Ninth joined General Curtis' army in pursuit of General Price. At Sugar Creek it was first under fire, making a brilliant charge on the enemy. Colonel Vandever was placed in command of a brigade composed of the Ninth Iowa, Twenty-fifth Missouri, Third Illinois cavalry and Third Iowa battery. In the battle of Pea Ridge, which soon took place, the Ninth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Herron, did gallant service and sustained heavy loss. Herron was taken prisoner after being wounded, Major Coyle was wounded, and the loss to the regiment was nearly 200. General Curtis, in his report, says "The Fourth and Ninth Iowa won imperishable honors." The Ninth was, soon after the battle, marched to Helena, Ark., where it remained for five months and became one of the best drilled regiments in the volunteer service Its next active service was under General Sherman at the battle of Chickasaw Bayou. It took part in the battle of Arkansas Post. For a long time it was with Steele's division, encamped on the low ground opposite Vicksburg, where the army suffered severely from sickness which was more fatal than battlefields. Capt. David Carskaddon was now promoted to Colonel, and soon after the regiment joined Grant's grand campaign against Vicksburg. During the siege its losses were 121 men. It was with Sherman in the battle before Jackson, and in the brilliant campaign of Chattanooga, and the battle of Lookout Mountain it did excellent service. At the beginning of the next year about 300 of its soldiers re-enlisted as veterans and returned home on furlough, where they met a royal reception. On the 1st of May we find the regiment marching with Sherman through Georgia and participating in many of the battles of that glorious campaign. The command of the regiment soon after devolved on Maj. Alonzo Abernethy, as Major Granger had died at Nashville, and Carskaddon had resigned. On the 26th of January, 1865, the regiment began its march northward, and on the 19th of May went into camp in sight of the national capital, and was in the grand review of the 26th. On the 24th of July this veteran regiment reached Clinton, Iowa, and was there disbanded. It had marched more than 4,000 miles, been transported by rail and steamer 6,000 more, and participated in twenty-three battles, and numbered, when mustered out, 594 men.

SOURCE, Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 96

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