Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lucas County's Civil War dead


The Iowa Soldiers and Sailors Monument, completed during 1894-96, is the largest and most elaborate of the state’s tributes to those who served and died. It is located just south of the state capitol building in Des Moines (photo taken June 1, 2008).

This is the beginning of an effort to account for Lucas County’s Civil War dead. Although I’ve been working at it for some time, the post coincides with the beginning of the first sesquicentennial year of that most costly of our wars.

Only a few names at the beginning of the alphabetical sequence are here now, but that number will grow as the year advances. I currently have preliminary information about 125 Lucas County men who died, and there are considerably more to be tracked down. There is no single source or master database to go to, so it all takes time.

Iowa was sparsely settled when the Civil War began --- total population of roughly 675,000. More than 76,000 Iowa men served, the largest per capita contribution of any state to the Union effort. Of the 76,000, 13,000 died.

Roughly a third of Iowa’s losses were sustained in combat; the remainder died of disease or infection. And nearly all were buried where they died and remain there.

Some families sustained terrible losses. Among just these few names here now are those of two sets of brothers. The story of two of my Lucas County uncles, half-brothers James M. Rhea and Robert Etheredge, is not that uncommon. Robert, who idolized his elder brother, lied about his age to enlist at 16 and died of disease at 17. Jim died of wounds sustained at Vicksburg.

The memories of many of these men are nearly extinguished. Baley Chaney, for example --- post office Lagrange but a resident of Cedar Township’s Ireland neighborhood --- enlisted at 18 and was severely wounded in the foot at Shiloh. Sent home to recuperate --- or die --- he died and most likely was buried in what now is Bethel Cemetery. After the war, his family moved on, his grave was not marked and no one was left to tell his story.

As this project continues, anyone with input is welcome to contact me by commenting on this post or by e-mail (you’ll find that address under “view my complete profile”).

A

ABLES, JOHN B., age 18 at enlistment, Private, Co. L, 9th Iowa Cavalry, died 15 August 1864 of disease at St. Louis; buried Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis (Section 34, Site 3353).

Son of Alexander and Lucy Ables, resident 1860 of English Township (P.O. Chariton), enlisted 14 July 1863, mustered 14 July 1863. John’s elder brother, Theodore (which see), also was a Civil War fatality and also is buried at Jefferson Barracks.

ABLES, THEODORE, age 21 at enlistment, Private, Co. K, 15th Iowa Infantry, died 3 (or 2) June 1862 of disease aboard a floating hospital at or near St. Louis; buried Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis (Section 51, Site 759).

Son of Alexander and Lucy Ables, resident 1860 of English Township (P.O. Chariton), enlisted 20 January 1862 at Knoxville, mustered 13 February 1862. John’s younger brother, John (which see), also was a Civil War fatality and also is buried at Jefferson Barracks. Note: Theodore Ables is carried officially as a Marion County fatality because he enlisted there. He probably was a veteran of Shiloh, 6-7 April 1862.

ARMSTRONG, JOHN W., age 29 at enlistment, Fifth Sergeant (promoted Fourth Sergeant 10 January 1862), Co. B, 6th Iowa Infantry; wounded 6 April 1862 at Shiloh, died of wounds 8 May 1862 at Mound City, Ill; buried (perhaps) among the unknowns at Mound City National Cemetery. Nativity Illinois; residence at enlistment Chariton; enlisted 1 July 1861, mustered 17 July 1861.

B

BADGER, JOHN W., Private, age 23 at enlistment, Co. I, 8th Iowa Infantry; killed in action 6 April 1862 at Shiloh; buried among the unknowns at Shiloh National Military Park. Son of Ebenezer and Margaret Badger, nativity Grant County, Indiana, resident 1860 of Chariton Township (now Lincoln), farmer, enlisted 10 August 1861, mustered 30 September 1861.

BARKER, VERLIN, age 30 at enlistment, Private, Co. E, 34th Iowa Infantry; died 27 March (or 1 April) 1863 at St. Louis of disease; buried Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (Section 1, Number 7115). Nativity Indiana; residence Chariton; enlisted 20 August 1862; mustered 15 October 1862. There’s a good deal of confusion regarding Verlin. He apparently is buried at Jefferson Barracks under the name Verlin Barkley with death date given as 1 April 1863, but other records give as his death date 27 March 1863 which actually seems to be a “mustered out” date. Verlin’s widow, Martha E. Barker, with three minor children, Johnson Barker, John C. Barker and probably Cynthia Barker, received a pension after his death. Verlin Barker apparently is the Verlin “Baker” who married Martha Ellen Triggs on 19 December 1857 in Keokuk County.

BECHTOL, ABRAHAM, age 24 at enlistment, Private, Co. K, 34th Iowa Infantry; died 22 January 1863 of disease “on the steamer Iatan”; place of burial unknown. Son of Polly Bechtol, nativity Ohio, residence 1860 White Breast Township (post office Chariton), farmer, enlisted 11 August 1862, mustered 15 October 1862.

BELL, NELSON, age 26 at enlistment, Private, Co. B, 6th Iowa Infantry; died of disease Dec. 21 (or 20), 1862, at Camp Yocona, Miss.; place of burial unknown. Husband of Rebecca (Hobson) Bell/Plimpton, father of Cyrus Nelson Bell, Residence 1860 White Breast Township (post office Chariton), farmer, enlisted 11 September 1862, mustered 11 September 1862.

BOYCE, JOHN W., age 22 at enlistment, Private, Co. B, 6th Iowa Infantry; died of unspecified causes 3 November 1862 at Memphis, Tenn.; probably buried among the unknowns at Memphis National Cemetery. Son of John Harper and Nancy R. (Sanderson) Boyce, nativity Ohio, residence 1860 Union Township (post office Argo) in the household of John A. and Mary A. Sanders, farmer, enlisted 1 July 1861, mustered 17 July 1861. Note that John’s brother, Samuel (which see), also was a Civil War fatality.

BOYCE, SAMUEL, age 18 at enlistment, Private, Co. I, 8th Iowa Infantry; missing in action, wounded and taken prisoner 6 April 1862 at Shiloh; died 13 February 1863 of unspecified causes at St. Louis; buried Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (apparently among the unknowns). Son of John Harper and Nancy R. (Sanderson) Boyce, nativity Ohio, residence 1860 White Breast Township (post office Chariton), enlisted 10 August 1861, mustered 12 September 1861. Note that Samuel’s brother, John (which see), also was a Civil War fatality.

BROCKWAY, LYNAS, age 22 at enlistment, Private, Co. B, 6th Iowa Infantry; died of disease 16 December 1862 at Memphis, Tenn.; buried among the unknowns at Memphis National Cemetery. A veteran of Shiloh and other engagements, Lynas died of chronic diarrhea. Son of Titus and Nancy Brockway, nativity Lee County, Iowa, living there with his widowed mother and siblings in 1860, enlisted 1 July 1861, mustered 17 July 1861. Commemorated on family tombstone in Fairview Cemetery, Washington Township, Lee County.

C

CALAHAN, JOHN T., age 32 at enlistment, Private, Co. C, 13th Iowa Infantry; died of disease (diarrhea) 23 June 1862, Keokuk; buried Keokuk National Cemetery (Section B, Site 181). A veteran of Shiloh, John, a farmer, was living with his wife, Mary E., and sons Jeremiah, James M. and Francis M., in Whitebreast Township when the 1860 census was taken; nativity, Indiana; enlisted 28 September 1861; mustered 28 October 1861.

CHANEY, BALEY, age 18 at enlistment, post office Lagrange; Private, Co. C, 13th Iowa Infantry; enlisted 28 September 1861; mustered 28 October 1861; died at home in Cedar Township, Lucas County, of wounds sustained at Shiloh 20 May 1862; perhaps buried in unmarked grave, Bethel Cemetery, Cedar Township.

Baley, born in Indiana, was living with his parents, Francis and Rachel Chaney, and siblings, in the Ireland neighborhood of Cedar Township when the 1856 and 1860 census enumerations were taken. The 1856 census suggests the family had moved from Indiana to Iowa ca. 1851. He enlisted 28 September 1861 and was mustered 28 October 1861. Severely wounded in a foot at Shiloh, he was sent home to recover or die --- and died. Later, Francis and Rachel and children moved from Iowa to Walnut Creek Township, Bates County, Missouri, where they were living when the 1870 census was taken.



CHRISTY, HENRY C., age 20 at enlistment, resident of Lucas County, Private, Co. G, 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; enlisted 14 August 1862, mustered 15 October 1862, received disability discharge 30 March 1863 at St. Louis, died at home in Lucas or Monroe County on 25 or 27 April 1863; buried Evans (aka Hannam) Cemetery, Jackson Township, Monroe County.

Henry, born in Indiana, was a son of the Rev. Isaac and Susannah Christy (or Christie). He was living with his parents and brother, William, on a farm near Gentryville, Gentry County, Missouri, when the 1860 census was taken. Isaac Christy, a supporter of the Union who was living and working in a hotbed of secessionist sympathies, reportedly was told to leave Gentry County in the fall of 1860 or risk losing his life. He brought his family to south central Iowa where he became affiliated with the Eden Baptist Association, a group of scattered Baptist churches in several counties, including Lucas. It isn’t known exactly where the Christys lived or which church or churches he served. Henry was among soldiers in Co. G, 34th Infantry, taken from the riverboat Sam Gaty on 25 Jan 1863 to a hospital on Arsenal Island, St. Louis, suffering from smallpox. He survived, but was discharged for disability and sent home where he died a few weeks later. His was buried in Evans Cemetery, located where the corners of Lucas, Monroe, Appanoose and Wayne counties meet and his name is inscribed on the Civil War memorial there. Isaac Christy died in 1865 and Susannah, in 1880. Both are buried, too, at Evans.


CHRISTY, JONATHAN, age 42 at enlistment, resident Lucas County; Private, Co. K, 36th Iowa Infantry; enlisted 17 October 1864, mustered 20 October1864, died of disease 24 December 1864 at Little Rock, Arkansas; buried Little Rock National Cemetery (Section 1, Site 285).

 Jonathan, a farmer born in Indiana, was living in Lick Creek Township, Davis County (post office Floris) with his second wife, Catharine, and children Alexander, William H., Mary E., George W. and Margaret J. when the 1860 census was taken. His first wife, Charlotte, had died during 1855 in Indiana. The Jonathan enlisted in Lucas County suggests the family had moved west soon thereafter. Far older than the usual recruit, Jonathan may have enlisted as part of an effort to reconstitute the 36th Iowa Infantry, three-fourths of whom had been killed or captured during the April 1864 Battle of Marks Mills, Arkansas. His daughter, Isabel, was born the year of his enlistment (and death) so he left eight children ranging in age from newborn to 15 behind. Following the war, the Christy family moved on to Kansas.


CARSON, HARVEY L., age 21 at enlistment, resident Chariton; Private, Co. K, 34th Iowa Infantry; enlisted 3 August 1862; mustered 15 October 1862; died 15 February 1863 of disease at St. Louis; buried initially at Christ Church Cemetery in St. Louis, reburied perhaps at Monmouth Cemetery, Harrison County, Illinois.

 A son of Franklin and Sarah (Hines) Carson, Harvey was born in Harrison County, Ohio, and reportedly was visiting his brother, John B. Carson, in Lucas County when he enlisted (two other Carson brothers, William F. and Isaac Newton, also settled in Lucas County). There is some confusion about where Harvey is buried. He definitely was among approximately 200 Union soldiers buried in Christ Church Cemetery in St. Louis, which later was closed and the remains removed. His name is not among those buried or reburied at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. However, both his service gravestone and an “in memory of” inscription on a family stone are located on the lot of Harvey’s uncle, Walter Carson, in the Monmouth Cemetery, Warren County, Illinois. So it is possible, but not certain, that the Illinois Carson family claimed Harvey’s body when it was disinterred at Christ Church Cemetery and took it upriver to Warren County.


COFFMAN, OLIVER W., age 29 at enlistment, resident of Chariton, Saddler, Co. C, First Iowa Cavalry; enlisted and mustered 31 August 1862; died of disease at home in Chariton on 26 December 1863, buried Douglass Cemetery.

Oliver, born in Ohio, had arrived in Chariton by 15 August 1855 when he married Elizabeth J. Ross. His residence as given in both 1856 and 1860 census records was the city of Chariton and his occupation, painter and plasterer. By 1860, Oliver and Elizabeth had a daughter, Dora, age 5. He enlisted in the First Iowa Cavalry at a time when it was engaged in campaigns in Arkansas and southwest Missouri. His final engagement would have been the Little Rock Campaign which ended when that city fell to Union forces on 10 September 1863. The unit, encamped near Little Rock during the following winter, sustained few casualties but was hit hard by illness. A victim of “chronic diarrhea,” he was sent home to Chariton to recuperate or die --- and died. He was buried in what now is called the Douglass Pioneer Cemetery and a fragment of his tombstone is mounted in the memorial area of that cemetery although his grave has been lost. Elizabeth married John Alexander at Chariton on 9 April 1867 and they apparently left the area.

COLVER, GEORGE B., age 30 at enlistment, resident of Cedar Township (probably), Private, Co. K, 34th Iowa Infantry; enlisted 9 August 1862, mustered 15 October 1862, died of disease 6 February 1863 at Mound City, Ill., probably buried Mound City National Cemetery.

George, a son of Edmond and Sarah (Brotherton) Colver, was born in Greene County, Ohio, but had arrived in Lucas County with his family prior to 1850. He married Mary Margaret Sellers 30 October 1851 and they farmed in Lucas County for 11 years. There were six children: Sarah Margaret (Parkin), James Joseph, Susan L. (Wood), Douglas and Johnson (twins) and Georgeanna (born posthumously). George was a member of the 34th Iowa’s initial muster at Burlington and perhaps served with it in early engagements in Arkansas. He was, however, hospitalized to receive treatment for an unspecified disease at Mound City, Ill., when he died. There is no record of George’s burial in the Mound City National Cemetery, but he most likely is there among more than 2,400 “unknowns.” Mary Margaret did not remarry. She continued to live in Cedar Township until her own death on 4 August 1901. She is buried in Bethel Cemetery.


D

DAVENPORT, NELSON, age 24 at enlistment, resident Lucas County but no other record of him found here, Private, Co. G, 34th Volunteer Iowa Infantry, enlisted 12 August 1862, mustered at Burlington 15 October 1862, died of smallpox 20 February 1863 at St. Louis.

Nelson was among soldiers from Company G taken from the riverboat Sam Gaty on 25 January 1863 to a hospital on Arsenal Island, suffering from smallpox (his unit was engaged in transporting prisoners of war). He died on 20 February 1863, presumably at that hospital and was buried nearby. His unidentified remains were transferred later to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Born in Ohio, Nelson was married to Rebecca, who was living in Oskaloosa with children when he wrote a surviving letter to her on Nov. 25, 1863. Samuel Shepherd, who received a dependent's pension, may have been a stepson.

DAWSON, ZADOCK, age 19 at enlistment; Private, Co. K, 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; enlisted 9 August 1862 Chariton; mustered 15 October 1862 at Burlington; died of disease 9 February 1863 at St. Louis; buried as “unknown” in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

Zadock, eldest son of Thomas S. and Elizabeth (Prickett) Dawson, was born in Grant County, Indiana, ca. 1843 and came with his family to Whitebreast Township, Lucas County, in 1855. His occupation was given as farmer in the 1860 census and at 17 he was living with his parents and six younger siblings, William, Solomon, John, Henry, Austin and Rosanne. His father enlisted on 30 July 1862 as a private in Company K, as did Zadock on 9 August. They were mustered together and shipped downriver, but Zadock became ill and was hospitalized in St. Louis, where he died six months after enlisting. His unidentifiable remains were collected after the war and reburied in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. His father served until war’s end.

DAY, AMRAH, age 21 at enlistment; First Sergeant, Co. K, 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; enlisted 30 July 1862 Chariton; mustered 15 October 1862 at Burlington; died of disease 19 January 1863 at Memphis, Tennessee; buried (as “unidentified”) Memphis (aka Mississippi River) National Cemetery.

Amrah probably was a son of William and Julia (Perry) Day, born 6 February 1842 in Belmont County, Ohio, who came west to join his uncle, Henry H. Day, who was living during 1860 in Jackson Township, Lucas County, with his wife, Rebecca, and children Mahlon and Jessie. Amrah survived Shilohand other engagements, but died of disease the following January at Memphis, Tenn. Several sources state that he is buried in the Memphis National Cemetery, but no marked grave exists for him there. Most likely, he rests among the “unknowns.”

DIXON, JAMES, age 22 at enlistment; Private, Co. B, 6th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; enlisted 7 October 1861; mustered 7 October 1861; died of pneumonia 25 December 1861 at Sedalia, Missouri; probably buried at Jefferson City National Cemetery.

James was a son of Isaac and Rebecca Dixon who had moved west with his father and stepmother, Nancy, to Chariton Township, Lucas County, ca. 1855. He was living there with his family, including a full brother, Jesse, and six half-siblings when the 1860 census was taken, occupation given as farmer. The 6th Iowa, deployed in Missouri, had yet to have combat experience when James died at Sedalia, Missouri, on Christmas day, 1861. His remains most likely were reinterred some years after death at Jefferson City National Cemetery, but if so he rests there among the “unknowns.”


DOOLEY, CHARLES LEWIS, age 19 at enlistment, Private, Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, killed in combat April 6, 1862, at the Battle of Shiloh, buried Shiloh National Cemetery, 13th Iowa Section, Grave No. 493.

Charles was born ca. 1845 in Jackson County, (West) Virginia, and by 1855 had moved west with his family to Union Township, Lucas County. About 1960, the family moved very briefly to Iowa Point Township, Doniphan County, Kansas, but were living in Lucas County again by the fall of 1861 when both Charles and his father, Jonathan, enlisted as privates in Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Charles was killed in combat on April 6, 1862, during the battle of Shiloh. His father, having survived the battle, died a month later of dysentery at a military hospital in Keokuk.


 DOOLEY, JOHN WESLEY, age 40 at enlistment, Private, Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, died May 28 or 29, 1862, of dysentery at a military hospital in Keokuk, Iowa. Buried Keokuk National Cemetery, Section C, Site 52.

Jonathan, born March 10, 1821, probably in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, married Mary Fisher Oct. 18, 1844, in Jackson County, (West) Virginia, where their three oldest children --- Charles Lewis, William Monroe and Rebecca Mahala, were born. Ca. 1855, the family moved to Union Township, Lucas County, where they were living when the 1856 state census was taken. Daughters Sarah Ann and Hester Ellen were born here. Ca. 1859, the family moved to Iowa Point Township, Doniphan County, in extreme northeast Kansas Territory, but remained only briefly. By 1861, the Dooleys were living in Lucas County again. On Sept. 28, 1861, both Jonathan and his son, Charles L., enlisted as privates in Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and they were mustered in together at Davenport on Oct. 28. The 13th sustained substantial losses at the Battle of Shiloh on April 5-6, 1862. Charles was killed in combat on April 6. Jonathan survived, but died of dysentery at a military hospital in Keokuk a few weeks later, on May 28 or 29 (records vary, but Keokuk National Cemetery records show May 28). The widowed Mary Dooley was living with other family members in near Chelsea in Poweshiek County during 1870, but the family moved soon thereafter back to Luas County. Mary reportedly died at Chariton on Aug. 11, 1873, but there is no record of her burial here. Reports that she was buried with Jonathan at Keokuk are in error.


DUCKWORTH, JACOB ASBURY, age 28 at enlistment, Private, Co. F, 36th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; enlisted 28 March 1864; mustered 24 April 1864; died of disease 1 June 1864 at Little Rock, Arkansas; buried Section 2, Site 1591, Little Rock National Cemetery.

Jacob was a native of Indiana, son of John M. and Sophia (Peck) Duckworth, who married Elizabeth Foster June 19, 1856, in Lucas County. Jacob and Elizabeth were living in Pleasant Township where he was employed as a carpenter when the 1860 census was taken. They had four children ranging in age from 7 to 2 --- Lewis M., Andrew O., Harriett R. and Matilda F. --- when Jacob enlisted. Disease claimed his life little more than two months later. Elizabeth did not remarry. She died 10 February 1931 and was buried in Zion Cemetery where his name also is inscribed on the family tombstone.


E

EASTER, JACOB, age 21 at enlistment, Private, Co. G, 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry; enlisted 11 August 1862; mustered 15 October 1862; died of smallpox 29 January 1863 at St. Louis. Buried Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (among the "unknowns").

Jacob, born ca. 1841 in Jennings County, Indiana, was a son of George Easter and his first wife, Eliza. They moved west during the 1850s to Monroe County, where Eliza died. George then married his second wife, Mary. When the 1850 federal census was taken, the family was living in Jackson Township, Monroe County. Jacob's home county is given as Lucas in military records, but his family continued to live in Monroe County. Fellow Lucas Countyan William Goltry noted in a diary entry that Jacob was among six smallpox-stricken soldiers of Company G, 34th Iowa, removed on Jan. 25, 1862, at St. Louis, to the hospital on "Smallpox Island" from the ship the unit was using to escort prisoners upriver. He died there four days later and would have been buried nearby. After the war his remains, by then unidentifiable, were removed to Jefferson Barracks. Jacob is, however, commemorated on the Civil War memorial in Evans Cemetery, located at the "four corners," where Monroe, Lucas, Appanoose and Wayne counties join.

EDWARD, ABLE
ETHREDGE, ROBERT
EVANS, JAMES
EVANS, WILLIAM

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