GREENE C. ADKINS, son of the late Wyatt Adkins, was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, September 1, 1837. He was reared on the homestead farm in his native county, and there attended the log-cabin subscription schools, with puncheon floor, split-log seats, greased paper for windows, and clapboard roof. In 1856 he came with his parents to Doyle Township, Clarke County, which has since been his home.
In May, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, Sixth Iowa Infantry, and was taken prisoner at the siege of Corinth. He was discharged on account of disability in November, 1862. In August, 1863, he re-enlisted in Company H, Iowa Cavalry, and was in the service till February, 1866. He commanded a company of twenty-seven men at Gun Springs, Arkansas, fourteen of whom were killed or wounded. The rest were taken prisoners with the exception of Mr. Adkins, who managed to escape that time. He was taken prisoner in May, and confined in a negro jail at Jackson, Mississippi. The prisoners were taken to Pearl River to bathe, and while returning from the river our subject picked up a railroad spike which he concealed under his clothes. With this spike they managed to pry off a board, then tunneled through a brick wall twenty inches in thickness, and after climbing twenty-seven feet down a tarred rope six of them escaped, but three were afterward caught by bloodhounds. Mr. Adkins and two other prisoners reached the river, and while an old rebel was praying our subject stole his skiff, with which they managed to reach the mouth of Black River, where they were picked up by a Union vessel.
Mr. Adkins was united in marriage August 27, 1863, to Catharine Shields, a daughter of John Shields, who is now deceased. They have five children – Elmer, William, Laura, Cora and Lizzie. Mr. Adkins is one of the prosperous farmers of Doyle Township, and is also a successful stock-raiser. He has a well-cultivated farm on section 4, Doyle Township, where he resides, which contains 340 acres. Mr. Adkins is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has been a member of the Christian church for the past twenty-nine years.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 432