Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Thirty-Fourth Iowa Infantry

The four counties of Lucas, Decatur, Wayne and Warren furnished the ten companies that made up this regiment. It had 934 men and went into camp at Burlington in September, 1862.

The field officers were George W. Clark, colonel; Warren S. Dungan, lieutenant-colonel; R. D. Kellogg, major.

It was sent to Helena, Ark., in November, where the smallpox broke out in their camp.

Its first service was with General Sherman's disastrous campaign against Vicksburg and the battle of Chickasaw Bayou. It afterwards shared in the brilliant campaign against Arkansas Post. After the capture of the post and garrison, Colonel Clark was sent with his regiment and five companies of an Illinois regiment to convey the 5,000 prisoners to Chicago. The 6,000 men were crowded into three steamboats and they suffered almost beyond human endurance for the two weeks it took to reach St. Louis. The smallpox broke out among them and the misery they endured is beyond description.

When his command returned to Benton barracks in February, it was completely prostrated by the horrors the men had passed through, and many were discharged. From St. Louis the regiment was sent to Pilot Knob, Lieutenant-Colonel Dungan in command, as Colonel Clark was in command of a brigade. Soon after the regiment joined General Grant's army, then besieging Vicksburg, and was sent under General Herron in an expedition to Yazoo City. It was afterwards sent down to Port Hudson, and finally on to near the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas. It was in the battle at Fort Esperanza, in which that post was blown up and evacuated. The regiment remained in this vicinity for five months, when it was transferred to New Orleans and sent up to Alexandria to reinforce General Banks' defeated and retreating army. In July the regiment was sent to join in the expedition against Mobile, and participated in that successful campaign. After the capture of Mobile the Thirty-fourth was sent to New Orleans, and in November was in camp at the mouth of White river. Soon after the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-eighth regiments were consolidated, numbering now 950 men. In January the regiment was sent to Florida, and from there it joined the army in the siege of Mobile. After the capture of that city it was sent to Galveston, Texas. It was mustered out of the service on the 15th of August at Houston, and reached Davenport, where it was discharged, on the 29th. Since entering the service the regiment had traveled more than 15,000 miles, and faced the enemy in many hard battles.

SOURCE: Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 114-5

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