Friday, January 6, 2012

The Thirty-Fifth Iowa Volunteers

Muscatine county contributed eight companies and Cedar county two for this regiment, which went into camp on Muscatine Island late in the summer of 1862. The regiment numbered 957 men when mustered into the United States' service on the 18th of September. Its field officers were Sylvester G. Hill, colonel; James H. Rothrock, lieutenant-colonel; and Henry O'Connor, major. Its first service was in western Kentucky, during the winter of 1862-3. In April the regiment joined the army of General Grant in the Vicksburg campaign, and took part in the capture of Jackson. In June Major O'Connor resigned, and in August Lieutenant-Colonel Rothrock retired from the service. They were succeeded by William B. Keeler, promoted to lieutenant-colonel from captain of Company A, and Abraham John, captain of Company B, promoted to major. It was on duty in western Tennessee for several months. In March, 1864, it joined General Banks' army, and participated in the hard marches, battles and retreat of that campaign.

On the 22d of March, the regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Keeler, made a march with another regiment to Henderson's Hill, surprised and captured a body of 350 confederates with four pieces of artillery, horses and other property. At the battle of Pleasant Hill the Thirty-fifth did good service, and lost many good officers and men. At the battle of Yellow Bayou it made a gallant fight, losing forty men. Its total loss in this disastrous campaign was more than 100. In June, at the battle of Lake Chicot, the regiment made a brave fight, in which Major John was mortally wounded. From September to the middle of November, the regiment was in the army sent to drive General Price out of Missouri and Arkansas. At the battle of Nashville, in December, the Thirty-fifth was under the command of Major Dill, who had been promoted from captain of Company C, Colonel Hill commanding a brigade. This brigade, in which was his own regiment, made a brilliant charge on the enemy's batteries, which it captured, but the gallant colonel was killed in the conflict. The last battle in which the Thirty-fifth was engaged was in the campaign against Mobile. Soon after it was sent to Selma, and late in July it started for home. On the 10th of August it was mustered out at Davenport, and soon after disbanded at Muscatine, after nearly three years' honorable service.

SOURCE: Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 115

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