Thursday, November 17, 2011

The 18th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 08:00 AM PST
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The Eighteenth Iowa Infantry
  This regiment was made up of companies raised largely in the counties of Lucas, Clarke, Monroe, Keokuk, Iowa, Mahaska, Muscatine, Louisa, Linn, Wapello, Appanoose, Marion, Warren, Polk, Fayette, Benton, Clinton and Washington. It was mustered into the service early in August, 1862, with John Edwards, colonel; Thos. F. Cook, lieutenant-colonel, and Hugh J. Campbell, major, and numbered 875 men. It was sent to southwest Missouri and joined General Schofield's army at Springfield. Here it did garrison duty for a long time, and in January, 1863, took part in the defense of that city against the Confederate army, under General Marmaduke. This general, with an army of over 4,000 men, well supplied with artillery, moved against Springfield which was then held by General Brown with Missouri militia, some invalid soldiers in hospital and the Eighteenth Iowa Volunteers, in all, about 1,500 men. There were some unfinished forts about the city, but not in condition to aid much in the defense. When the battle opened on the morning of January 8th, five companies of the Eighteenth regiment were absent on outpost duty. The Missouri militia did excellent service, charging on the right and center of the advancing army. Captain Landis' battery supported by three companies of the Eighteenth Iowa, advanced on the enemy, but a charge in overwhelming numbers captured his guns, and the rebel army continued to advance. General Brown was severely wounded and the command devolved on Colonel Crabb. When the militia were driven back by superior numbers at about 4 o'clock, the five companies of the Eighteenth came in from their outpost and, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cook, charged on the rebel center, compelling it to give way. When night came on we still held the city and in the morning of the 9th our troops were ready to renew the battle, but the enemy had retreated with a loss of more than 200 men. Our loss was about the same. The Eighteenth remained at Springfield a long time after this battle, holding southwest Missouri from General Shelby's rebel army and driving it out of the state. In October the Eighteenth was stationed at Fort Smith. In March, 1864, it joined General Thayer and marched to unite with General Steele's army moving towards Shreveport, La., to co-operate with General Banks. But when that general was defeated at Mansfield Steele marched towards Camden, and at Moscow was attacked by a rebel army. Colonel Edwards commanded a brigade and had quite a lively fight in which the Eighteenth lost a few men. In guarding a forage train near Poison Springs, the Eighteenth and First Kansas had a severe battle in which the Iowa regiment fought bravely and lost seventy-seven men. The regiment was mustered out late in the summer of 1865.
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  SOURCE, Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 103

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