Thursday, November 17, 2011

The 18th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

Posted: 16 Nov 2011 08:00 AM PST
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.
  SOURCE, Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 103

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The 17th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

Posted 15 November 2011 08:00 AM PST
The Seventeenth Iowa Volunteers
  The companies making up this regiment were raised chiefly in the counties of Lee, Van Buren, Des Moines, Wapello, Decatur, Polk, Jefferson, Washington, Appanoose, Marion, Dallas and Warren. It was mustered into the service on the 16th of April, 1862, with 935 men. Its first field officers were John W. Rankin, colonel: David B. Hillis, lieutenant-colonel and Samuel M. Wise, major. It was sent to join General Halleck's army at Corinth, in May, and joined in the pursuit of the confederate army. At the battle of Iuka the regiment was engaged and thrown into confusion, for which it was censured by General Rosecrans, as many believe, unjustly. Colonel Rankin resigned on the 3d of September.
  On the 3d and 4th of October was fought the battle of Corinth, in which the Seventeenth took an active part, and fought with great bravery. Smarting under the unjust censure cast upon them at Iuka, the men went into this battle with a determination to wipe out the stigma, which they did most effectually. At a crisis of the battle, when the rebels had forced their way into Corinth, the Seventeenth made a splendid charge upon the advancing column and after a sharp conflict drove it back in confusion.
  After the victory was won, General Sullivan, commanding the brigade in which the Seventeenth Iowa served, wrote to Governor Kirkwood as follows: "I have the honor to present to you the colors of the Fortieth Mississippi regiment, captured by the Seventeenth Iowa on the battlefield of Corinth, in a gallant charge on the advancing columns of the enemy, which the Seventeenth alone met, broke and pursued. I have never led braver men into action than the soldiers of the Seventeenth proved themselves in the desperate and bloody battle of Corinth." The colors were captured by Corporal John King, of Company G, from Marion county.
  General Rosecrans, in a general order, said: "The Seventeenth Iowa infantry by its gallantry on the battlefield of Corinth, charging the enemy and capturing the flag of the Fortieth Mississippi, has amply atoned for its misfortune at Iuka, and stands among the honored regiments of this army. Long may they wear with unceasing brightness the honors they have won."
  The loss of the regiment on the field of Corinth was twenty-five. Ingersoll says: "The Seventeenth inflicted as much damage upon the enemy as any regiment at Corinth, and received less damage in return." Lieutenant-Colonel Hillis was now promoted to colonel of the regiment, and Capt. Clark R. Wever to lieutenant-colonel. For several months the Seventeenth was employed in Tennessee and Mississippi, joining General McPherson's army in February, 1863. It shared in the hard marches, severe battles and glorious victories of Grant's Vicksburg campaign. At Jackson and Champion Hill it fought bravely and lost heavily. Colonel Hillis had resigned in. May and Lieutenant-Colonel Wever was now colonel, Major Archer, lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. John F. Walden, of Company F, was major of the regiment.
  The Seventeenth participated in the Chatanooga campaign and fought bravely at Lookout Mountain, where it lost fifty-seven men. In April, 1864, the regiment re-enlisted as veterans to the number of 479. In July, the regiment occupied Tilton. Two companies were captured near Dalton after exhausting their ammunition in a brave defense. On the 13th of October the garrison at Tilton was assailed by overwhelming numbers. Lieutenant-Colonel Archer made a heroic defense until his blockhouse was rendered untenable by artillery, when he was forced to surrender. Colonel Wever was in command of a brigade at Resaca when he was attacked by Hood’s army. He had but about seven hundred men and four pieces of light artillery. He defended the post with great energy all day, and at night was reinforced by 500 cavalry. Colonel Wever spent the night strengthening his position, and early in the morning the attack was renewed; but further reinforcements came, and General Hood finally retreated as General Sherman’s army came in sight. Colonel Wever received warm commendations from Sherman and Howard for his brave and successful defense. When the Seventeenth was captured at Tilton, Captain Horner and some forty men of the regiment only remained in the service, and were disbanded in August, 1865.
SOURCE, Benjamin F. Gue, Biographies And Portraits Of The Progressive Men Of Iowa, Volume 1, p. 102

Friday, November 4, 2011

Music, Supper At Jerome - 30 October 2011

The Seymour Herald - 27 October 2011
  Everyone is invited to a Bluegrass Halloween soup supper and music at the Jerome United Methodist Church Sunday.
  See ad in this issue for time.

ACHS's Centerville Digitization Process Complete

Daily Iowegian - November 4, 2011
Iowegian digitization process complete;
database will be open soon at museum
  CENTERVILLE — The curator at the Appanoose County Historical and Coal Mining Museum reports the digitization of area newspapers is complete.
  Lisa Eddy writes in the Appanoose County Historical Society fall newsletter the newspaper database has been delivered by Advantage Company. As soon as an Advantage Company representative properly installs the database and trains museum employees, it will be available for public use on a computer at the museum.
  In early 2012, the newspaper database will be online. Look for a link to the database on the museum's website.
  "We want to extend our sincere appreciation to those people and businesses who donated to this worthwhile project," Eddy writes in the newsletter. "It was an expensive procedure, but now that it is done, it is much less expensive to maintain it, year to year."
  Becky Maxwell, Daily Iowegian publisher, has committed to pay the annual fee to keep the database up-to-date, according to the newsletter. A grant from the Community Fund helped pay for the newspaper digitization project and a new computer at the museum "to access the old Iowegians."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lela Ruth (Fenton) Ponsetto, 1928-2011

Daily Iowegian31 October 2011
  CENTERVILLE — Lela Ponsetto, 83, of Montrose, and a former Jerome and Centerville resident, died on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 at Montrose Health Care Center in Montrose.
  She was born the daughter of Otha and Myrtle (Dochterman) Fenton Sr. on July 1, 1928 near Udell. She graduated from the Mystic Community School.
  On Sept. 22, 1946 Lela was united in marriage to John Ponsetto in Corydon. They lived and farmed in the Jerome area for many years. She was a homemaker and a member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Centerville.
Lela Ruth (Fenton) Ponsetto
  She was preceded in death by: her parents; husband, John Ponsetto on March 22, 2005; brothers, Otha Fenton Jr., Lyle Fenton and Paul Fenton; and a sister, Barbara Allen
  Lela is survived by: her sisters, Beverly McFall of Montrose, and Colleen Bryant of Niceville, Fla.; also several nieces, nephews and cousins.
  Funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 at 11 a.m. at the Schmidt Family Funeral Home in Centerville with Fr. Dennis Schaab officiating. Burial will follow in the Jerome Cemetery at Jerome. Visitation was held on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011 from 4-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Gravestone of Lela Ruth & John Ponsetto
in Jerome Cemetery
  Memorials can be made to either the Parkinson's Association or Jerome Cemetery and can be left at or mailed to the funeral home. The Schmidt Family Funeral Home of Centerville, Iowa is caring for the Ponsetto family at this time and condolences can be sent at: