Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Thirty-Sixth Iowa Infantry

This regiment was made up of companies raised in the counties of Monroe, Wapello and Appanoose. When it went into camp at Keokuk late in the summer of 1862 it numbered 930 men. But soon after smallpox and measles broke out and the men suffered terribly for several months; many died and others were discharged for disability, reducing the regiment about 100. Its field officers were: Charles W. Kittredge, colonel; Francis M. Drake, lieutenant-colonel; Thomas C. Woodward, major. On the 19th of November it was sent to St. Louis, and in December to Helena. In February, 1864, when the regiment embarked for the Yazoo Pass, its number had been reduced by sickness to about 630. In that fruitless expedition the regiment suffered greatly from sickness and buried many of its brave boys in the swamps along the way. It was in the battle of Helena and in August went with the Arkansas expedition under General Steele and spent a portion of the winter in camp at Little Rock. The regiment was with General Steele in his march to Camden and had a fight with the enemy at Little Missouri in April. A detachment of about 1,000 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Drake was sent to guard a train of 300 wagons sent to bring army supplies. On the 25th of April it was attacked by a superior force of the enemy near Mark's Mill. After a severe battle, in which Lieutenant-Colonel Drake was severely wounded, the command was compelled to surrender. The Thirty-sixth fought bravely under Major Hamilton, but the force against them was too large and the regiment surrendered with the others. They were taken to Tyler, Texas, where they were imprisoned. In July Major Hamilton, Captains Miller and Lambert escaped and reached Little Rock; both of the captains died from sufferings in prison and privations endured in their escape. At the battle of Jenkins' Ferry a portion of the Thirty-sixth, which had escaped capture, fought bravely under Lieutenant Huston. At Little Rock a number of recruits joined the fragment of the regiment, and it now numbered about 250 men, under Colonel Kittredge, who had command of the post. In April 1865, the survivors of those captured at Mark's Mill were released and joined the regiment at St. Charles. It soon after was moved to Duvall's Bluff, and on the 24th of August was honorably discharged.

SOURCE: Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 115-6

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