Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Twenty-Second Iowa Infantry.

Seven companies of this regiment were raised in Johnson county, one in Jasper, one in Monroe and one in Wapello. It was mustered into service at Iowa City on the 9th of September, 1862. Its first field officers were Wm. M. Stone, colonel; John A. Garrett, lieutenant-colonel; Harvey Graham, major. The regiment was first sent to Rolla, Mo., where it did garrison duty for about four months. In March, 1863, it was sent to Grant's army to take part in the Vicksburg campaign, and was in the First brigade of the Fourteenth division of the Thirteenth army corps, under General McClernand.

At the battle of Port Gibson, Colonel Stone commanded the brigade, and Major Atherton led the Twenty-second regiment, which lost twenty men. At the battles of Champion Hill and Black River Bridge the loss of the Twenty-second was light. Having driven Pemberton's army behind the fortifications of Vicksburg, General Grant determined to assault the works on the 22d of May. Early in the morning the artillery from the fleet and all of the guns in position in the rear opened on the enemy's works and kept up a heavy fire until l0 o'clock. Then the bugles sounded the charge and the assaulting columns moved forward with fixed bayonets. They were met by a terrible fire of musketry all along the lines. Still the troops pressed on and fell before the deadly fire by hundreds. It was impossible to face the terrible volleys which smote the advancing columns. They sought such shelter as they could find and returned the fire, but could not dislodge the enemy.

The Twenty-second led the charge made by the brigade under General Lawler, and a few men, led by Sergeant Griffith scaled the enemy's defenses, entered the fort and captured some prisoners. But most of them were killed or captured; Sergeant Griffith and David Trine alone escaped. Lieutenant-Colonel Graham and several men were captured in the ditch, and the assault was ended.

The loss of the regiment was 164. There were sixteen Iowa regiments engaged in this battle, the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth, Seventeenth, Twenty-first, Twenty-second, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-eighth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first and Thirty-fifth, and the First and Second Iowa batteries.

Before the end of the siege, which followed the assault, Iowa had thirty regiments in Grant's army, which won this greatest victory of the war.

In this campaign the confederacy lost, in killed and wounded, 10,000 men, and in prisoners, 37,000, fifteen general officers, arms and munitions for an army of 60,000, and an immense amount of property, with the strongest fortified city in the limits of the confederacy, opening the navigation of the greatest river of the continent.

No soldiers in this great campaign surpassed those of Iowa. The First Iowa brigade led the advance at Port Gibson; the Seventeenth surpassed all others at Jackson; the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth won immortal honors at Champion Hill; the Twenty-first and Twenty-third covered themselves with glory at Black River Bridge, while the Twenty-second alone, at the assault on Vicksburg, entered the confederate defenses. Colonel Stone resigned soon after the surrender of Vicksburg, having been nominated for governor by the Iowa republicans. The Twenty-second regiment was sent to Texas in November, where it was employed several months, Lieutenant-Colonel Graham having been promoted to colonel, Major White promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and Captain Gearkee, major. In July, 1864, it was transferred to Virginia, and in August became a part of General Sheridan's army and took part in the battle of Winchester. It made a most gallant fight in that great battle and did its full share in winning a glorious victory. Its losses were heavy and among them were several of its bravest officers: 109 were killed, wounded and captured. At the battles of Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek the Twenty-second was engaged and met with losses. These were its last battles, and on the 3d of August, 1865, it was disbanded at Davenport, after having traveled more than 13,000 miles and served in nearly all of the southern states.

SOURCE, Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 106-7

1 comment:

Jeffry Burden said...

A true fighting regiment, and one of the most-traveled of the War. I'm glad to see it highlighted here.