Friday, December 23, 2011

The Twenty-Ninth Iowa Infantry

The companies making up this regiment were recruited on the Missouri slope, from the counties of Pottawattamie, Mills, Harrison, Adams, Fremont, Taylor, Ringgold, Union and Guthrie. The regiment numbered 900 men and was mustered into the service in December, 1862, with the following field officers: Colonel, Thomas H. Benton; lieutenant-colonel, R. F. Patterson; major, C. B. Shoemaker. It was sent to join General Curtis' army in Missouri, in December, and from there was transferred to Helena, Ark., and went with General Gorman's fruitless expedition up the White river. Upon its return it was attacked by measles and there were over 400 men on the sick list In August the regiment was in General Steele's campaign against Little Rock, and fought bravely in the battle which preceded the capture of that city, losing thirty-one men.

In March, 1864, Steele's army moved southwest with a wagon train of 400 teams which strung out four miles long, guarded by the Twenty-ninth Iowa. On the 2d of April General Shelby's rebel brigade of cavalry made a dash upon it. A lively fight ensued and the result was doubtful when General Rice came up with reinforcements. For miles the fight continued as the long train moved on, but finally the rebels made a fierce charge which was repelled with heavy loss and the train came into camp without the loss of a wagon. The Twenty-ninth lost twenty-seven men during the day. At Jenkin's Ferry the regiment fought for six hours and made a brilliant bayonet charge, losing altogether fifty-nine men. The army returned to Little Rock, where General Steele was soon after relieved of the command. Early in 1865 preparations were made for the Mobile campaign in which the Twenty-ninth took part, fighting with its usual vigor. The regiment was sent to Brazos Santiago, Texas, in June and in July returned to New Orleans where it was discharged from the service in August. It returned to Iowa, landing at Davenport on the 19th of August, 1865, numbering 765 men, including parts of the Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-third which had been attached to it.

SOURCE, Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 111

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