3rd Iowa Cavalry Reenactors Inc.




               Third Iowa Cavalry Reunion Photograph
                Photograph taken in
           Centerville, Iowa in the year of 1888

                                           Col. Cyrus Bussey                                                                                                                                      Col. John W. Noble                                                           
First Col. of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry Regiment.                                                                             
Col. Noble was with the regiments   
                                                                                                                                                                                         beginning to it's end.

Not many of those who matched, fought and suffered in its ranks remain upon earth, but to those who May live to peruse what is here written will come the assurance that the State, which sent them forth in the strength of their young manhood, to fight the battles of their country, has made such provision as was possible to perpetuate the memory of each brave and faithful soldier of the old regiment.  These men of the Third Iowa Cavalry have left the impress of their lives upon the history of their State and Nation, not only as brave soldiers in time of war but as good citizens in every honorable avocation of life. Some of their number have been highly honored since the close of the war, and have achieved fame and distinction in the high places to which they have been assigned, but, to each one who faithfully served his country in her hour of greatest need, posterity owes a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid. or the greater part of that period they marched and fought together, and re-enlisted about the same time as "Veteran Volunteers" their dead and those of the enemy they encountered, lie upon many battlefields, from the plains of Kansas to the mountains of Georgia.

The passing of the colors. John Gunter, has graciously given me permission to copy his web site to ours.

John and I, will be working together as we restore his site to its original glory. 


Regimental History

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 Third Regiment Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

The Third Regiment of Iowa Cavalry was organized under the proclamation of President Lincoln dated July 23, 1861. The preliminary organization of the twelve companies, which were subsequently assigned to the regiment, had been under the charge of Hon. Cyrus Bussey, acting as Aide-de-Camp to Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood, and, under the direction of that energetic and capable officer, several of these partially organized companies had performed very efficient service in protecting the southern borderof the State of Iowa from invasion by rebel forces from the State of Missouri. Upon the completion of their organization, the twelve companies were ordered to rendezvous at Keokuk, Iowa, and arrived at that place on dates ranging from August 3 to September 13, 1861.They were there mustered into the service of the United States by Captain Charles C. Smith and Lieutenant Ira K. Knox, of the United States Army, between the dates August 30 and September 14, 1861. When the muster was completed, the rolls showed an aggregate strength of 1,096 men, rank and file. Cyrus Bussey was appointed and commissioned Colonel of the regiment August 10, 1861. Among the files in the office of the Adjutant General of Iowa are several letters describing in detail the events connected with the attempted rebel invasion of the State in the summer of 1861. These letters were addressed to Governor Kirkwood by Hon. Cyrus Bussey, then acting as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor, and show the methods adopted to meet the threatened invasion. Colonel Bussey had gone to St. Louis and asked General Fremont to give him an order for arms and ammunition with which to equip the militia companies in that part of the State. There seemed to be a plentiful supply of ammunition, but arms could not at that time be procured as fast as they were needed. Colonel Bussey succeeded in getting 50,000 rounds of ammunition shipped to Keokuk, with the assurance that the guns would be shipped as soon as they could be procured. A day or two later a freight train arrived in Keokuk with 1,000 guns, consigned to Colonel G. M. Dodge, at Council Bluffs. Colonel Dodge had gone to Washington and succeeded in procuring these arms for his regiment, the Fourth Iowa Infantry, then in rendezvous at Council Bluffs. Colonel Bussey, without waiting for instructions, took possession of the guns and distributed them to the troops at Keokuk, and they at once marched across the border, reinforced the small body of troops, under Colonel Moore, who were bravely resisting the advance of the invaders, and won a signal victory over them. In his letter reporting his action to the Governor, Colonel Bussey says: "I am aware that I had no authority over United States arms, in transit to arm United States troops, but, without these guns and the ammunition I had procured, Green could have captured Keokuk and destroyed much property. It was fortunate that the ammunition I had procured at St. Louis was the right caliber to fit the guns." The bold, prompt and energetic action of Colonel Bussey, in that crisis, marked him for the successful leader of men and great  enterprises which he afterwards became, and made him worthy of the high honor which came to him at the close of the war, when he was promoted to the rank of Brevet Major General of Volunteers. The regiment was very fortunate in the selection of Colonel Bussey as its commander. While he had not received a military education, he was a very able man, possessing in a high degree the requisite  qualifications of a leader of men. He secured the confidence and respect of his officers and men from the day he took command of the regiment. The dates of appointment and commission of the other field, staff and line officers, together with their record and that of every non-commissioned officer and enlisted man in the regiment, from the commencement to the close of its service, will be found in the subjoined roster. The roster has been carefully transcribed from the official records, supplemented by such other information as it was possible to obtain from reliable sources, and the compiler hopes that it will, in the main, be found correct. In the following pages, the compiler has endeavored to condense the history of the regiment into a description of the most conspicuous features of its service. With the wealth of material at his command, included in the official reports extending over the long period of its service, it would have a much less arduous task to have written an extended history than to condense it into the narrow limits rendered necessary by the magnitude of the work and the giving to each organization an approximately equal amount of space.On the 4th of November, 1861, the regiment was ordered top proceed to Benton Barracks, near St. Louis, Mo., where it arrived on the 6th. Before leaving the State it had-by the persistent effort and energy of Colonel Bussey-been provided with the necessary camp equipage and horses, but did not receive arms until its arrival at Benton Barracks, and then was compelled to take the field armed only with sabers and revolvers. The carbine, or revolving rifle, so necessary for the complete armament of a cavalryman, was not supplied until the regiment had been in active service for a long time.  On the 12th of December, 1861, the Second Battalion, consisting of four companies, under command of Major H. C. Caldwell, was ordered to Jefferson City, Mo. Owing to the fact that this battalion did not rejoin the other eight companies of the regiment for nearly two years during which time it performed most important and arduous service, the compiler finds it impossible to give a connected  history of the operations of the regiment as a complete organization; he will, therefore, proceed to give an account of the operations of the battalion which was the first to take the field, covering the time until the regiment was reunited at Benton, Ark., early in October, 1863; and the description of the operations of the other two battalions, covering the same period of time, will then be given, followed by the operations of the regiment as a whole. The official report of Major Caldwell, covering the period to October 28, 1862, is here given in full:

Headquarters Second Battalion, Third Iowa Cavalry,
Camp near Lebanon, Mo., Oct. 28,1862
To N. B. Baker, Adjutant General, State of Iowa.

General: I herewith transmit to you a memorandum of the service of the Second Battalion, Third Iowa Cavalry. This battalion composed of Company E, Captain George Duffeld; Company F, Captain B. F. Crail, since resignation of Captain A. M. Robinson; Company G, Captain E. Mayne; Company 14, Captain Jesse Hughes, under my command, was ordered into the field from Benton Barracks, December 12,1861, proceeded to Jefferson City, and from thence to Boonville, Glasgow, and into the country adjacent. In the course of this expedition, one hundred and seventy-three kegs of powder were captured from the enemy. On December 25th, were stationed at Fulton, Callaway Co., Mo. And were engaged constantly during the winter and ensuing spring in scouting, capturing and dispersing rebels and rebel gangs, and securing quantities of ammunition from the enemy which, had be secreted for future use. In the spring detachments of my command were stationed in the counties of Callaway, Audrain and Monroe. In the forepart of the ummer these counties were constituted a sub-district under my command. On the 31st day of May, I proceeded with detachments of Companies G and F, under command of Lieutenants McCrary and Hartman, respectively, to attack a rebel camp on Salt River. At the first intimation of our approach, the rebels fled precipitately; we wounded several, captured all their horses, camp equipage, and part of their arms. Our casualties were two men, of Company G,
wounded. On the 22nd day of July, 1862 detachments of Companies F and G, under command of Lieutenants Stidger and Hartman with sixty men, encountered the rebel Porter three hundred strong at Florida, in Monroe County; notwithstanding the great disparity in numbers, the detachment fought the rebels gallantly for one hour, when they were forced to fall back upon the post of Paris; three rebels were killed, and many wounded. Our casualties were twenty-two men wounded and two taken prisoners. On the 24th day of July, 1862, with one hundred men
encountered the rebel Porter with his force of about four hundred men, strongly posted in the dense brush on the " Botts" farm in Monroe County. Killed one rebel and wounded many others. Our casualties were one man killed, Captain B. F. Crail, of Company F, and nine men wounded. Porter fled south into Callaway County, wither we pursued. On the 27th day of July, 1862, one hundred men of the Ninth Missouri S. M. And fifty men of Company E, under command of Captain Duffield of Company E, drove the rebel Porter with his force, which had been augmented to nearly eight hundred men, from Brown's Springs in Callaway County. He retreated in the direction of Moore's Mill. On July 28th a detachment of Missouri S. M. Merrill's Horse, and of this Battalion, with a section of the Third Indiana battery, all under command of Colonel Guitar, encountered Porter in a strong position in a dense thicket near Moore's Mill in Callaway County. After a desperate fight of four hours the rebels were utterly routed with a loss of thirty killed and nearly one hundred wounded; a great many guns and horses fell into our hands. The casualties of this battalion were four men killed and twenty wounded. Company E of this battalion had twenty-seven horses killed. The rebels fled northward, this battalion with the other forces continued in pursuit, and on the 6th day of August found the rebels two thousand strong posted in the town of Kirksville, in Adair county A severe engagement ensued, resulting in a complete rout of the rebels. Rebel loss one hundred and twenty-eight killed, two hundred wounded and forty taken prisoners. We captured two hundred stands of arms and about two hundred horses. Casualties in this battalion; Killed, Captain E. Mayne, Company G; wounded, Captain Jesse Hughes, Company R; Lieutenant M. 1. Birch, Company H, and ten men. Battalion continued in pursuit of rebels and rebel bands until they were utterly routed and dispersed, when we were ordered to this post where we are now stationed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. C. Caldwell, Major
Second Battalion, Third Iowa Cavalry.

A recapitulation of the losses sustained by the battalion during the campaign shows six killed, sixty-five wounded and two captured by the enemy, total seventy-four. This was a heavy percentage of loss-more than thirty percent of the actual number of the battalion able for duty. There is a slight discrepancy in the official reports as to the loss of the detachment of the Third Cavalry in the battle of Moore's Mill. Colonel Guitar, the senior officer in command, in his official report states that the loss of Major Caldwell's battalion was 2 killed and 24 wounded, and that the horses killed belonged almost entirely to the Third Iowa Cavalry. At the battle of Kirksville the loss of the Third Iowa was one-third of the total loss sustained by all the Union troops engaged. In his official report Colonel John McNeil mentions the gallant conduct of Captain Mayne, who was killed at the head of his command, and also commends the bravery and efficiency of Major Caldwell. It will thus be seen that this battalion performed most efficient and gallant service in those early days of the war, doing more than its share of the fighting andlosing more than its proportion of men in the engagements in which it fought in conjunction with other troops. The subsequent operations of this battalion, prior to the time it rejoined the regiment, embraced such a wide scope that the compiler finds it impossible to describe them in detail, owing to the limited space assigned to this historical sketch. He therefore has recourse to the summarized record of the services of the battalion as given by a well known compiler of Iowa military history.  The rebels in this part of Missouri being utterly dispersed, soon after the affair of Kirksville, Major Caldwell reported with his command at Lebanon, a considerable town about fifty miles southwest of Rolla. He was soon afterwards appointed Lieutenant Colonel, in place of Trimble, who, having been severely wounded at the battle of Pea Ridge, resigned early in September, 1862. The duties of Lieutenant Colonel Caldwell's command in southern Missouri were similar to those which had been done north of the river. By the campaign of Pea Ridge, Missouri had been cleared of rebels in force. Subsequently, General Curtis having marched with the Army of the Southwest through Arkansas to Helena by Batesville, southwestern Missouri became again uncovered and liable to incursions from the insurgents moving through the passes of the Boston Mountains. Wherefore, General Schofield, with headquarters at Springfield, eventually organized the Army of the Frontier, which covered the State against the threatened attack, and in December, by the battle of Prairie Grove, warded off the principal danger. Nevertheless, Missouri was perturbed, and restless as the waters of a roving guerrillas, and frequently considerable bodies of troops made forays into the State. It may readily be believed, therefore, that it was a difficult as well as dangerous task to protect our long lines of communications to the frontier army. This service also involved the keeping down of outbreaks and the covering of a frontier from the Iron Mountains of Missouri to the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. In this important line of duty Lieutenant Colonel Caldwell was engaged for several months, his command augmented by Companies L and M, which did not join in Curtis' march through Arkansas, being constantly engaged in fatiguing service, and oftentimes meeting the enemy in skirmish or in battle. A detachment of his command was engaged at the sharp battle of Hartsville in January, 1863, and in a number of affairs of lesser note his troops acquitted themselves with great credit. The detachment was engaged in these services of importance, but of no such general interest as to meet with much public notice till the summer of 1863, when it joined the cavalry division under General Davidson in the campaign of Little Rock. Moving by Pilot Knob, the detachment marched into Arkansas near the southeastern corner of Missouri, and thence, moving southward, joined the column under Steele near the White River, and took prominent part thenceforth in the operations which resulted in the capture of Little Rock. Afterwards, the command was actively engaged in movements in the direction of Camden, and performed services both valuable and brilliant.
The official reports and correspondence in which Lieutenant Colonel Caldwell and his detached command are mentioned always most favorably are numerous, and the compiler regrets that his limitation of space will not permit him to make further quotations from them. On February 4, 1862, the eight companies composing the first and third battalions of the regiment, under command of Colonel Cyrus Bussey, were ordered to proceed from Benton Barracks to Rolla, Mo., at which place they arrived on the 6th. A few days later orders were received from General Halleck to detail two companies to garrison the post at Salem, Mo., twenty-five miles southeast of Rolla.
Companies I and K, under command of Major William C. Drake, were selected for this duty and, like the Second Battalion, were destined to a long separation from the rest of the regiment. On February 11th, 1862, Colonel Bussey received an order from General Curtis, couched in the following language: "Come on by short route; make forced marches to overtake me." The commander of the post at Rolla telegraphed General Halleck, asking to have General Curtis' order countermanded, as he was apprehensive of an attack and needed all the troops then at the post to defend it. Other troops were forwarded to take the place of the cavalry companies and , on the morning of February 14th, Colonel Bussey left Rolla with the remaining six companies of his regiment. The weather was very cold, the roads were bad, forage was scarce, and this first long march was prosecuted under many difficulties,  Knowing that General Curtis was pursuing the rebel army, that he deeded reinforcements and that a battle was impending, Colonel Bussey pushed forward, night and day, only making brief halts to enable the men to procure food for themselves and horses, and reached Springfield, only to find the army gone.Leaving Company L, as a garrison at Springfield, the march was continued with the remaining five companies until the night of the 18 di , when, after a march of over two hundred miles in four days, Colonel Bussey joined the army of General Curtis at Sugar Creek, Ark., with Companies A, B. C, D, and M. of the Third Iowa Cavalry After a brief rest, the detachment accompanied an expedition to Fayettville, Ark., which captured that town, drove out a force of the enemy, killed one man and captured fifty.
From the 22nd of February to the 4th of March the detachment was kept upon the move, reconnoitering towards the Boston Mountains, where the enemy were concentrating a large force. On the night of the 5th of March, the enemy, 40,000 strong, were reported advancing. The army was ordered back to Sugar Creek, a distance of twelve miles. General Sigel's division, while falling back in obedience to orders, on the morning of March 6th was attacked by the enemy, and the cavalry brigade, commanded by Colonel Bussey, (of which the five companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry formed a part,) was ordered to reinforce him. The brigade moved promptly and soon met the wounded which were being sent to the rear. This was the first experience of the detachment under fire. A running fight ensued and was kept up until the enemy abandoned the pursuit, within a few miles of the position occupied by the rest of the army at Sugar Creek. In this engagement the loss was considerable on both sides. On the morning of March 7, 1862, the hard fought battle of Pea Ridge began. The official report of Colonel Cyrus Bussey shows how gallantly the five companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry fought during the battle, and the important service they rendered in the subsequent pursuit of the enemy. Besides the five companies, A, B, C, D, and M, of the Third Iowa Cavalry, consisting of two hundred and thirty-five men and officers, the Colonel, as the ranking officer of the brigade, had under his command during the battle the following forces: The Benton Hussars, under command of Colonel Nemett; four companies of the First Missouri Cavalry, under command of Colonel Ellis; two companies of the Fremont Hussars, under command of Lieutenant Howe, and three guns of Captain Elbert's battery. His report describes at length and with particularity of detail all the movements of his command during the battle and the pursuit which followed. The report covers the operations of all the troops under his command, the following extracts referring only to the most conspicuous portion of the service rendered by the companies of his won regiment. After describing the preparatory movements and the taking of positions assigned to the different organizations of his command, Colonel Bussey thus describes the opening of the battle in his front: At this point we came within full view of the enemy's cavalry passing along about a half mile distant to the north. No other force being discovered, the three guns were immediately advanced by General Osterhaus, who was present and in command, about two hundred yards, and immediately opened fire on the cavalry of the enemy on the road to the northwest. One company of the First Missouri Cavalry was in line of battle on the left of the guns and one company of the same troops on the right. The companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry were formed in line of battle in rear of the guns, parallel with the road and facing to the north. While forming the Benton Hussars in line on the right of the Third Iowa Cavalry and facing the west, I was ordered by General Osterhaus to send two companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry down the road to the west, to charge the enemy's line at a point supposed to be about a half mile distant. This order was communicated by me to Lieutenant Colonel Trimble, who immediately advanced with columns of fours, which was necessary, the road leading along a fence on the south and thick brush and woods on the north, The Benton Bussars were now in line about one hundred yards to the right and rear of the battery of three guns, and the Fremont Hussars were yet in column of fours at the edge of the prairie, having just arrived on the ground. The Third Iowa Cavalry galloped down the road, and going beyond the edge of the woods or timber on the west side of the prairie they unexpectedly found themselves in front of several lines of infantry heretofore unseen and who were drawn up in line to the front and right of our men, at short musket range.......  The companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry were immediately wheeled into line facing the enemy, it being imp ossible for them to advance in column farther, when they at once received a deadly fire from the near and overwhelming numbers of the foe, who were also partly concealed and protected by the woods and brush. A large number of my men and horses were here killed and wounded, and Lieutenant Colonel Trimble, at the head of the column, was severely wounded in the head. This fire was returned by the Third Iowa Cavalry from their revolvers with considerable effect. Just as this moment a large force of the enemy's cavalry charged from the north upon different portions of our cavalry line, and, passing through the line, went into the fields in our rear. The Third Iowa Cavalry companies now charged this cavalry force, and an exciting running cavalry fight ensued between these forces, the enemy fleeing and being pursued by my men to the south. The enemy was followed in this direction by the Third Iowa Cavalry alone to the brush on the other side of the large open fields. The loss of the enemy in this running fight was very heavy, and estimated by me, from the most reliable information I have been able to obtain, at eighty-two    ..... After seeing the cavalry mentioned in line, I sent Adjutant Noble, who had remained with me on the field during the whole time, to bring up the companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry to our new position, they having pursued the enemy through the fields as above stated had not yet made their appearance. He soon returned with all the companies, having met them coming in perfect order to the place desired, the companies having returned towards the camping ground, Major Perry being in command (Lieutenant Colonel Trimble having been wounded early in the engagement, as heretofore mentioned). The enemy immediately advanced to the western edge of the field in which our new position was taken, when a general engagement ensued. . . . . A force of the enemy made their appearance evidently endeavoring to turn our left flonk I sent the Third Iowa Cavalry to support Colonel Ellis. When our force appeared the enemy withdrew,, were followed by Colonel Ellis about two miles, and did not again show themselves in this quarter.... The Third Iowa Cavalry were then formed in line of battle immediately in rear of the artillery, and maintained this position until the close of the action, when they were ordered to conduct a battery to reinforce General Carr,, who was still engaged on the right. I went with them, leaving the remainder of the cavalry force under the command of General Osterhaus. This was at 5 o'clock P.M. The accompanying report of the killed, wounded and missing of the Third Iowa Cavalry is hereby referred to as part of this report. The loss of the other forces will be reported to you by their immediate commanders.....  On reporting to General Carr, in pursuance of the order requiring me to do so, my companies took position on the right in rear of our batteries, where we remained
until after the darkness of night closed the action of the 7th. On the morning of the 8th, pursuant-   to order, I went with my command, now being the five companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry, into the field on the road leading to the Elkhorn Tavern, and was then ordered to take position on the right flank, where the enemy was expected to attack This position was held by my command, with other cavalry forces, until the retreat of the enemy after the middle of the day. In pursuance of your direct order, my command, at 2 o'clock P.M. , started in pursuit of the enemy towards Keetsville, on the road leading east, and continued to be thus engaged until night. I took fifty-nine prisoners, with some horses and arms, on this expedition.... In conclusion, I beg leave to express my satisfaction with the conduct of my own, men, who, in their first action, having been the first and most directly of the cavalry forces engaged with the enemy, and suffered a severe loss from an unexpected fire, yet evinced great coolness and courage in their attack upon the foe; and although the loss of my command is greater in proportion to my force than perhaps any other engaged, being twenty-four killed, seventeen wounded, and nine missing, out of two hundred thirty-five men and officers, yet it was retaliated upon the rebels by a loss to them of double that number. You will perceive that eight of my men were scalped. That their brave comrades fighting in support of our national banner, the emblem of all that is good and great in the present civilization of the world, should thus be butchered and mangled by rebel savages has excited among my men an indignation that will, I assure you, exhibit itself on every field where they may in future be allowed to engage the enemy, in a relentless  etermination to put down the flag that calls to its support bands of rapacious and murdering Indian mercenaries. I have to acknowledge valuable assistance rendered me on the 7th by Adjutant John W. Noble, who acted that day as my Aide .....Appended to this report is the following supplementary report of the Adjutant: The killed were buried on Saturday after the battle was over and the pursuit ended. Hearing it reported by my men that several of the killed had been found scalped, I had the dead exhumed, and on personal examination I found that it was a fact beyond dispute that eight of the killed of my command had been scalped. The bodies of many of them showed unmistakable evidence that themen had been murdered after they were wounded; that first having fallen in the charge from bullet wounds, they were afterwards pierced through the heart and neck with knives by a savage and relentless foe. I then had the bodies re-interred, each in a separate grave, properly marked.

By order of
Colonel Cyrus Bussey.
John W. Noble, Adjutant.

There were numerous other official statements and affidavits corroborating those of Colonel Bussey and Adjutant Noble, as to the commission of these atrocities by Indians who were regularly enrolled in the rebel army. The five companies of the regiment had acquitted themselves with credit in this great battle. They had demonstrated their ability to endure hardships and their willingness to perform their whole duty under the most adverse condition. On the 12th of March, 1892, Companies D and M were ordered to proceed to Rolla as guards to prisoners sent to that place. They performed the March of three hundred miles and returned to Springfield, arriving there on the 1st of April. On April 20th, Company D returned to the detachment with General Curtis' army. Companies L and M were subsequently ordered to Lebanon, Mo., under command of Major C.H. Perry, who was assigned to the command of that post. These companies were employed constantly during the summer guarding trains from Rolla to Springfield and had several encounters with the enemy, in all of which they were victorious. In the meantime, Companies I and K, had been stationed at Salem, Mo., from which place they performed important service, which may be summarized as follow: Scout of detachment of twenty-five men, under command of Adjutant Cutler, to the head of the Marvamec, adistance of fifty miles; encountered a force of the enemy and captured eighteen rebels, including a captain and lieutenant. On the 20'h of February, 1862, Major Drake with his command attacked a force under the rebel Colonel Coleman, at West Plains, Mo., killing and wounding twenty-five men and capturing sixty prisoners and a large number of horses and arms. Between the 20th and 28th , these companies were scouting the country and almost every day had encounters with the enemy. On the 8th of March, 1862, Major Drake's detachment  joined the battalion of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Colonel Wood and, a few days later, these two detachments started in pursuit of a rebel force, which they overtook near Spring River Mills, just across the border in Arkansas. After a severe engagement the rebel force was defeated with a loss on the Union side of three killed and twenty-one wounded and a loss to the rebels estimated at one hundred. In his official report of this engagement, Lt. Colonel Wood makes special mention of the gallant conduct of Major Drake, Adjutant Cutler and others of the Third Iowa Cavalry detachment. Major Drake rejoined the regiment with his detachment about the 1st of April, near Forsyth, Mo. The companies of the regiment no attached to General Curtis' army were kept actively employed in scouting from the 6th of April to the 1st of May, while that army was on the march by way of Cassville, Forsyth, Osage, and West Plains and Salem, to Batesville, a distance of nearly three hundred miles, over mountains and rivers, and through a country almost destitute of supplies. The regiment made numerous expeditions, watching the movements of the enemy, but not coming into contact with any considerable force at Sylamore, fifty miles above Batesville, on White River. The enemy was defeated with considerable loss, including twenty-five prisoners, fifty horses, arms and other property. The loss of the Third Iowa Cavalry was as follows: Sergeant S. B. Milan, killed; Captain Israel Anderson and Private Joseph French, severely wounded. On the 1st of June, the Third Iowa Cavalry was assigned to the First Division, commanded by General Steel, and ordered to Sulpher Rock, where it remained until June 22nd, Lt. Alvin H. Griswold, with twenty men of Company K, was detailed to guard a forage train and, while engaged on thid duty, was attacked by a party of the enemy concealed in ambush near the road over which the train was passing. Lt. Griswold and his small force made a gallant resistance and saved the train from capture, but nearly one half of the detachment were killed and wounded. Those killed were Lt. Alvin H. Griswold, Corporal Thomas Wasson and Private Richard Leike; the wounded were James M. Beacom, Edwin Beckwith, Wesley Pringle, James Marsh and Marcus Packard. In official reporting this loss, Colonel Bussey says: "Lt. Griswold was a most faithful and efficient officer, and a gentleman, whose loss will be deeply felt by a large circle of friends in the regiment and in Iowa, where he leaves a wife and two children." On the 1st of July the army again advanced. The Third Iowa Cavalry was kept well to the front and had its full share of duty in scouting and skirmishing. On the 7th, Matthew D. Williams, of Company C, was killed. On the 8th the army arrived at Clarendon. The weather was intensely hot, the supply of rations nearly exhausted, the water was bad, and the soldiers suffered greatly from sickness and the heat. Colonel Bussey was now in command of the regiment. The army left Clarendon July 11th and, in three days, reached Helena. During the remainder of the summer the regiment was engaged in scouting the country from White River to the St. Francis, having frequent skirmishes, but meeting no considerable force of the enemy. On the 10th of September the regiment was transferred to First Brigade of the Division. And, on October 1, was transferred to the Third Brigade of the Fourth Division. During the months of September, October and November, the regiment was very actively engaged, marched several hundred miles, and captured many prisoners and a large number of horses and other valuable property. On the 20th of September the Third Iowa Cavalry formed a part of a force of two thousand cavalry under command of Colonel Bussey. This force was attached to the troops under General Hovey in his expedition against Arkansas Post. The expedition involved great hardship, Colonel Bussey's force marching through almost impassable cypress swamps to Prairie Landing. On White River, where he expected to meet the troops of General Hovey, which were being conveyed on transports; though, owing to low water, the latter could not get up the river, and the original plan of the expedition was abandoned. Colonel Bussey's force marched back through the swamps to Montgonery's Point and from thence to Helena, where he joined the army under General Steele. He then crossed the Mississippi River at Friars' Point and advanced by way of Coldwater to Grenada, where he burned the railroad bridge and destroyed a portion of the track, thus inflicting great damage to the enemy's line of transportation. On his return he was attacked by a force of the enemy near Panota and, after an absence of two weeks. A large number of horses were captured on this expedition. The army was reorganized on the 16th of December, by General Gorinan, who had assumed command at Helena. The Third Iowa Cavalry was transferred to the Second Cavalry Division of the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Major General C.C. Washbume, and, with five others, formed the Second brigade of that division. On the 10th of January, 1863, the army was ordered to proceed against Little Rock, Ark., but, just as the division was ready to march, the order was countermanded, so far as Colonel Bussey's command was concerned, he having been assigned to the command of the District of Eastern Arkansas. Major William C. Drake died of disease on the 24th of November. By his death the regiment lost a faithful, brave and accomplished officer. The command of the regiment then devolved upon Major O.H.P. Scott. During the winter the regiment performed its usual work of scouting and watching the movements of the enemy, but it was not until the 5th of March that any considerable force was encountered. Upon that date the regiment routed a considerable force near Madison, Ark., and captured a number of prisoners. On the 4th of April, Lieutenant Niblack, Company D, with twenty-five men charged a rebel force at Madison, killed and wounded a number and captured fifty-six prisoners. The remainder of the rebel force, over one hundred, was driven off. In the charge Lieutenant Niblack was severely wounded. With the prisoners. Horses, arms and other property were captured. Major General Prentiss was now in command of the army at Helena. On the 6th of April, 1863, Colonel Bussey, who had commanded all the brigades with which his regiment had served, was assigned to the command of the Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Tennessee, relieving General Washbume, who was ordered to Memphis. The rebels were concentrating in force on White River and their scouting parties were frequently seen in the vicinity of Helena. When not on scouting duty, the regiment, under the direction of Major Scott, was engaged in strengthening the defenses of Helena. On the 21th and 27th of April, detachments of the regiment had skirmishes with scouting parties of the enemy. On May 1st, Captain J.Q.A. De Huff, of Company B, with one hundred and sixty men of the Third Iowa Cavalry, was sent on an expedition to the town of La Grange, for the purpose of observing the movements of the enemy. When within a mile of the town, Captain De Huff's detachment encountered a force of the enemy posted in the woods on either side of the road. A brisk engagement ensued and, just as the enemy in forefront were beginning to five way, another force of the enemy's cavalry charged the Fear of the detachment, thus putting them between two fires of an overwhelming force. In this desperate situation Captain De Huff realized the danger of the capture of his entire command. The following extract from his official report will show how the engagement terminated: My force had expended their revolver and most of their carbine fire, and It became evident I must retire or be completely overwhelmed. I got my men into column and directed them to the left,  failing back through the timber a distance of some three miles. The enemy pursued with vigor, but were kept in fear of too near approach by the firing of the reloaded carbines of my rear guard. Some of my men were also able to reload their revolvers and discharge them at the enemy. Making a circuit I again came to the La Grange road, to the rear of the place of attack about four miles.My men had become somewhat scattered, and, on coming into the La Grange road, I retired toward Helena, until reinforced by the remainder of the regiment and the Fifth Kansas Cavalry. We then advanced to the place of conflict, and found the enemy had fled, taking with them their dead and wounded. The loss on our side was three killed, eight wounded, thirty missing,--probably taken prisoners-total forty-one. Among the wounded are regimental Adjutant Glenn Lowe and Second Lieutenant Cornelius A. Stanton, Company 1. A list of the names of the officers and men killed, wounded and missing accompanies this report. My advanced guard-twenty-nine men of Company D under command of Lieutenant Niblack deserve particular notice for the manly stand they made against the enemy, whose hottest fire they withstood with the most determined bravery.Lieutenant Stanton was at the head of the column, and fearlessly assailed the enemy with his command Company 1. He was wounded in his left arm very severely early in the engagement, and from loss of blood was compelled to retire from the field. Adjutant Glenn Lowe was also at the head of the column, and throughout this uneven contest displayed a heroism of an unusual character. His horse was shot from under him as soon as he came up with the enemy. He at once mounted another and, as the attack in the rear commenced, drew his saber and encouraged our men with his voice. At this time he was shot through the ankle and afterwards fell into the hands of the enemy, who treated him with kindness and left him in a neighboring house without paroling him Sergeant Breeding, Company A, and Corporal Birdsall, Company B, attacked a party of the enemy who had five prisoners and, killing two of the rebels, released our men, who thus escaped. Many minor skirmishes took place during our retreat, in all of which a continuous resistance was made, with fatal effect to the enemy. I do not desire to give particular praise when all did as well as men could do against such odds, and I have only to regret that my force was not greater. With the valor of my men I am satisfied. The loss inflicted on the enemy was not less than forty men killed and wounded. Many of their dead were seen upon the field. On the 25th of May, Lieutenant McKee, Company B, with fifty men of Companies A and B, encountered the enemy in superior force seven miles from Helena and sustained a loss of five men wounded and two missing, The official report of Lieutenant McKee show how well the honor of the regiment was sustained in that engagement. The headquarters of the regiment had now been located at Helena for about eleven months.
Colonel Bussey was anxious to have his regiment transferred to General Grant's army, at Vicksburg, and had made frequent requests for such transfer. On the 4th of June, 1863, the long wished for order came and the regiment, with its camp equipage and horses, was soon embarked on transports, which landed at Snyder's Bluff on Junes 8th. Upon his arrival, Colonel Bussey was assigned to the position of Chief of Cavalry and immediately entered upon the discharge of his important duties. The rebel army, under General Johnston, was concentrating along Black River and watching for opportune moment (which never came) to hurl his forces on the rear of Grants' army and raise the siege of Vicksburg. The gigantic struggle for the possession of that mighty stronghold was in progress, and constant and unremitting activity was required of all the troops. From the day the Third Iowa Cavalry disembarked until the surrender of Vicksburg,
the officers and men had but brief intervals of rest. They were almost constantly in the saddle, scouting the country along the Big Black, guarding the fords and ferries and keeping watchful eyes upon the movement of the enemy. It was the turning point in the great conflict, and every nerve was being strained on both sides to achieve the victory which meant either the triumph of the rebellion or the beginning of its certain defeat and the absolute assurance of a restored Union. Upon the surrender of Vicksburg, (July 4, 1863) a cavalry brigade, composed of the Third and Fourth Iowa, Second Wisconsin and Fifth Illinois, under command of Colonel Cyrus Bussey of the Third Iowa Cavalry, crossed the Big Black River at Messinger's Ferry and at once took the advance of the army, under command of General Sherman, which General Grant had ordered to proceed against the rebel army commanded by General Johnston. From the morning of the 6th to the 11th of July, Colonel Bussey's command was constantly at the front, covering the movements of the infantry and artillery in his rear, having daily skirmishes with the enemy's cavalry, until the rebel army was driven into its entrenchment's at Jackson. While General Sherman's army was prosecuting the siege of Jackson. Colonel Bussey's cavalry command, acting under the orders of General Sherman, had proceeded to destroy a portion of the railroad to the north of the ene my's works, and then marched in the direction of Canton, twenty-five miles further to the north, and, in conjunction with a force of infantry and artillery, engaged the enemy, driving him into Canton on the night of July 17th. That night the enemy evacuated Canton, and the next morning Colonel Bussey marched into the town with his command, and proceeded to destroy factories and machine shops, which had been engaged in the manufacture of equipment's for the rebel army, also a large number of cars and locomotives which had been used in transporting supplies for the rebels. A part of Colonel Bussey's command was sent to destroy the railroad bridge over the Big Black River, together with the railway property at Way's Bluff, which was successfully accomplished, and the command was again concentrated at Canton that night. The next day Colonel Bussey marched with his command to Messinger's Ferry and went into camp. From the 5th to the 20th of July, the Third Iowa Cavalry had performed a series of its gallant Colonel Bussey, and had received his earnest commendation for the prompt and skillful manner in which it had executed all his orders. Had the record of the regiment ended with that glorious campaign its fame and that of its gallant Colonel would have been secure. The official report of Colonel Bussey, as Chief of Cavalry, while covering the movements of all the cavalry forces during this history making period, shows that the Third Iowa Cavalry performed its full share of duty and fully sustained the good record it had made by its previous service. At the conclusion of his report Colonel Bussey acknowledges the valuable service rendered him by Captain H. D. B. Cutler, A. A. A. G., and Lt. D. E. Jones, A. A. Q. M., of his staff, both of whom were officers of the Third Iowa Cavalry. The operations of the regiment connected with the campaign and siege of Vicksburg covered the period from June 8 to August 10, 1863. The latter date found the regiment encamped upon the bank of the Big Black River, in rear of Vicksburg, where it remained until August 10th, in the enjoyment of a well earned rest. Major Scott having resigned, the regiment was now under the command of Major Noble.  On the 10th of August the regiment was again upon the march, attached to an independent cavalry brigade composed of the Third and Fourth Iowa and Fifth Illinois regiments, under command of Colonel E. F. Winslow, of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry. Major John W. Noble in his official report fully describes the operations of his regiment on this important expedition. The total strength of the brigade was but eight hundred men, but the damage they inflicted upon the enemy, in killed, wounded and prisoners, and the destruction of rolling stock of the Mississippi Central Railroad, was very great and out of all proportion to the loss sustain by the brigade, which was only two killed, five wounded, and six missing.
The casualties in the Third Iowa Cavalry were four men wounded. The brigade marched two hundred sixty-five miles, mostly through country occupied by the enemy, arriving at Memphis, Aug. 22, 1863. On the 26th of August the regiment embarked at Memphis with order to return to Vicksburg, but, on reaching Helena, was ordered to disembark and report to General Steele, then on the march with his army to Little Rock, Ark. The regiment marched form Helena, by way of Clarendon and reached Little Rock (which had been occupied by General Steele's army on the 10th of September) on the 1st day of October, and was ordered to proceed immediately to Benton, Ark., an important, outpost of the army, occupied by the other six companies of the regiment, and commanded by Lt. Colonel 14. C. Caldwell. Here the entire twelve companies were reunited, after a separation of nearly two years. The cordial greetings exchanged by these war worn soldiers and the intense interest with which they listened to each others' description of the trials and dangers through which they had passed during this long period of separation may well be imagined.The duties performed by the regiment at this outpost were arduous. Forage trains requiring heavy guards were sent out almost daily, and detachments were frequently sent on scouting expeditions extending forty to fifty miles into the surrounding country. On the 26th of October the regiment was ordered to reinforce the post at Pine Bluffs, and arrived at that place after a day and night march. The enemy had been repulsed and was then moving toward Arkadelphia. The regiment followed, surrounded the town and captured a number of prisoners, arms, horses, mules and wagons, belonging to the rear guard, but the main body of the enemy succeeded in escaping. Early in November the regiment engaged in an expedition for the purpose of bringing into the Federal lines several hundred refugees-loyal citizen of Arkansas, who had banded together and taken refuge in the mountains to escape the rebel conscription.
Nearly three hundred men and horses were brought out from their hiding places. These men were glad to be given the opportunity to enlist in the Union army. During this expedition the regiment captured a rebel Major with twenty-five soldiers of his command. During the month of November Colonel Bussey commanded the cavalry division, (General Davidson being absent,) but, upon the General's return, on the 1st of December, Colonel Bussey resumed command of the First Brigade and the Post at Benton. On the10th of December he conducted an expedition to Princeton, where a force of the enemy was encountered, several of whom were killed and wounded and thirty prisoners captured. On the 20th of December, having exhausted all the forage in the country, the post of Benton was evacuated and the regiment, with the brigade, returned to Little Rock. On the 1st of January, 1864, more than six hundred men of the regiment re-enlisted for three years as veteran volunteers. This number embraced nearly all the men who were at that time present and able for duty. A few days later the regiment was relieved from duty and provided with transportation to Iowa. Keokuk was designated as the place at which the men were to receive their furloughs and the rendezvous at which they were to assemble when the furloughs should end, the time being limited to thirty days. On the 12th of February the men left Keokuk, bringing with them seven hundred recruits for the regiment, which was immediately ordered to proceed to St. Louis, and, upon its arrival there, was provided with a new and complete equipment of arms, horses and everything necessary for active service in the field. The aggregate strength of the regiment was now greater than when it first left the State of Iowa, in November, 1861, and it was ready to again take the field under the most favorable conditions. In the meantime, Colonel Cyrus Bussey had been promoted to Brigadier General, and Lt. Colonel H. C. Caldwell succeeded him as Colonel of the regiment On May 23,1864, President Lincolnappointed Colonel Caldwell judge of the United States District Court for the State of Arkansas, and the Colonel resigned to accept the appointment. Lt. Colonel John W Noble was then promoted to Colonel and Major George Duffield to Lt. Colonel; Captains Jones and McCarry were promoted to Majors. The regiment moved from St. Louis to Memphis, where it arrived in the latter part of April and where it performed patrol and picket duty when not absent on expeditions until late in December. During the months of June, July , and August the regiment was engaged in the expeditions to Guntown, Tupelo and Oxford, Miss. In the months of  eptember, October, and November, the available portion of the regiment took part in the campaign in Missouri, against the army of the rebel General Price.
The expedition to Guntown, under the command of General Sturgis, was a disastrous blunder and failure, owing entirely to the  ncompetency of the General in command. In his official report of the operations of the Third Iowa Cavalry on this expedition, Colonel Noble gives a most complete and accurate description of every movement of the regiment, and shows the importance of its service in connection with the other regiments of the cavalry brigade to which it was attached in acting as rear guard during the retreat and saving the army from being utterly overwhelmed and captured by the enemy. After describing in detail the movements of the regiment and its encounters with the enemy during the advance and up to the time the battle at Brice's Cross Roads began. Colonel Noble thus describes the situation at the most critical period of the battle: At this juncture, my whole command was relieved by regiments of infantry, and was retiring when the infantry became engaged. We formed a new line immediately in their rear, rather than in appearance to leave them in an emergency. After the order was received for us I to retire to our horses, this regiment did so in the best order, mounting by companies and forming a column of squadrons. The contest on the field and in line lasted but a short time after this, and the enemy was hotly pressing his victory. The infantry was filing past us in great numbers. The train was turned to the rear, and it became necessary for us to take a second position, mounted, to protect the retreating column. A column of squadrons was again formed, facing the empty, who failed to attack with small arms, but finally opened upon this regiment a heavy cannonade of round shot and shell. These fell around my men, wounding a number, but causing not the least disorder. By order we moved further to the rear something near half a mile, and again formed in squadrons faced to the enemy, who kept at a distance and used his artillery only. Our own artillery was being retired and did not protect us. After holding our position for some time, we were ordered to retire, which we did in the best
order, not an officer or soldier being out of his place. The greatest difficulty was found in recrossing the bayou or swamp in our rear, and in it were caught most of the artillery and train of the army. Arriving at Stubbs" plantation, on our camping ground of the night previous, we rested from about 11 P.M. to 2 A.M., when we again moved toward Ripley, holding the rear. After daylight, two squadrons were sent by me a mile to the rear, and a line formed by battalion to support them, when the few infantry who had not already passed us were brought up and sent forward. But after this the enemy began to assail us with great determination, and it was only by the greatest energy and courage that my squadrons, Companies L, M and A, united under Captain Brown, and Company B, under Captain DeRuff, were able to hold the bridge leading to Ripley. They did so, however, until relieved by the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, who now took the rear .... My regiment now accompant General Grierson to Ripley by his own personal orders. Arriving a Ripley.... I was notified that the enemy was about to attack on the left, and to prepare for him I formed in a column of squadrons, faced to the rear immediately, and at the same time was ordered to support the Fourth Iowa Cavalry then in action      ..... My advance in line was under sever fire, and over fields broken by high fences and deep ditches   .....  The enemy was checked, and the position held until, his object obtained, General Greirson ordered me to retire. To retire at this point was a matter of no little difficulty, for the enemy, having no resistance elsewhere, were flanking as well as pressing from the rear. Their fire was redoubled as we moved again upon the road. In this stand we lost Lieutenant Miller, of Company D, who fell wounded,bravely fighting and facing the foe; also Corporal Gilchrist, Company C, was killed, and others wounded.... I have the satisfaction of knowing that the enemy did not escape without punishment; his flag was seen to fall three times under our fire, and many of his men were killed and wounded. To hold the rear of a rapidly retreating column against a superior and assailing enemy now became the task of my regiment, and resulted in considerable loss to us. Companies I and K were thrown to the rear, under the command of Major Jones. A column of the enemy, advancing through the surrounding thickets, came upon them while they were gallantly holding another regiment at bay, and charging them suddenly, after much resistance, by overpowering numbers captured most of those who are reported in the accompanying tables      ..... Platoon after platoon was thrown out right and left along our road, and, facing to the rear, presented front to the rebels.... This method of defense was continued throughout the morning and afternoon. A cavalry force of our men and an infantry command now gave my regiment temporary relief. But the enemy still pressing, the cavalry failed to hold their place and a portion of the infantry was thrown into confusion and captured.... I immediately formed another battalion line, supporting it with squadrons placed at advantageous points, the infantry left passed through my line, and I was once more contending with the advance of the enemy. The duty was severe, and, in view of what had already been performed, somewhat unexpected; but, as it had been assigned to help others, it was persevered in without complaint as long as strength was left to resist. I was finally relieved by the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and they by the Second New Jersey. After this my command was not again under fire. The rest of the day the column advanced without food or rest, except a short halt at evening, when, the enemy approaching, the column was again put in motion, and the march continued through the night and next morning to LaFayette....Colonel Noble concludes his report by a description of the remainder of the march to Memphis. This was the most unfortunate expedition in which the regiment participated during its long term of service. That it maintained its well won reputation as a fighting organization and demonstrated most completely is the efficiency of the cavalry arm of the service, both upon the advance and retreat of the army, is shown by the foregoing extracts from Colonel Noble's report, which is also verified by other official reports of cavalry and infantry commanders upon that expedition. The compiler has given much more space to this report than he will be able to devote to those which follow, for the reason, drawn from his own experience and that of others, that it is the severest test of the bravery and fortitude of soldiers and their commanders to obey orders and persist in fighting under the demoralizing conditions resulting from the blunders and incapacity of a General unfit to command an army. It is under such conditions that men and officers exhibit the nearest approach to total self abnegation of which human nature is capable, save only that matchless spirit of self sacrifice shown by the Union soldiers who suffered in the prison pens of the South. At the close of his report, Colonel Noble says; I refer to the accompanying tables for a more definite statement of my losses in this most unfortunate expedition, in which my command labored so hard and fought so well. My officers and men behaved universally so well that I cannot make much distinction among them. But, for their aid in getting a new line to face the enemy at one particular emergency, I deem Captain Curkendall, of Company D, and Lieutenant McKee, of Company B, worthy of particular notice.
Major Jones was constantly at his post, and did all a good and brave officer could. If occasion offers, I hope to bring the merits of others of the brave men more prominently forward than I can do now. The aggregate number of the regiment engaged upon this expedition was five hundred forty-five. Its aggregate loss was seventy. The report of Colonel E. F. Winslow of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, who commanded the brigade, shows an aggregate loss in his command of one hundred twenty-six. He also reports the loss of horses on the expedition, as follows: Forty killed, one hundred eighteen wounded, and two hundred twenty-eight abandoned, of which number the Third Iowa Cavalry lost nineteen killed forty-one wounded and one hundred abandoned. The figures show conclusively the hard and persistent fighting done by the cavalry as the rear guard of that army. The regiment arrived at Memphis on June 14th, and remained in camp until the 24th, when all the officers and men able for duty started upon another expedition, this time under the command of that able and energetic officer. Major General A.J. Smith, who knew how to handle men in battle and care for them on the march. The regiment was engaged in many skirmishes on this expedition, participated in the battle of Tupelo, and performed its full share of duty with the other cavalry regiments associated with it. The enemy was defeated in every encounter and the disasters of the previous campaign were fully retrieved. In his official report Colonel Noble gives a detailed account of the operations of his regiment, and especially commends the valor displayed by his officers and men in as encounter which occurred on the 13th of July, at Oldtown Creek, in which the enemy was driven from a very strong position. Special mention is made of the meritorious conduct on this occasion and at all times during the expedition of Major Duffield, Captain Crail and Captain Brown, commanders of battalions, and Captains McCrary and Johnson. The regiment returned to Memphis on July 13th, having marched nearly four hundred miles while on the expedition, during which the casualties were as follows: Enlisted men killed one; wounded seventeen; missing one. Horses, killed, eighteen; wounded eighteen; worn out and abandoned eleven. On the 25th of July, 1864, all the cavalry army corps, composed of two divisions, the first under command of General Hatch (former Colonel of the Second Iowa), and the second under command of Colonel Winslow, of the Fourth Iowa, the whole under command of General Grierson. The Second
Brigade of the Second Division was composed of the Third and Fourth Iowa and Tenth Missouri, with Colonel Noble as Brigade Commander, and Major B. S. Jones, in command of the Third Iowa. On the 5th of August this cavalry force left Memphis and, in co-operation with General A. J. Smith's Division of Infantry, proceeded upon an expedition to Oxford, Miss. The Third Iowa performed its share of duty upon this expedition, but did not suffer any serious casualties. It returned with the other troops to Memphis, on August 30th, just in time to start upon one of the most important campaigns in the history of its service- that against the rebel army commanded by General Price, which had again invaded the State of Missouri. The campaign against Price was one of the most brilliant and effective of the closing campaigns of the western armies. And during its entire progress the Third Iowa Cavalry performed most arduous and conspicuous service. Major B. S. Jones, who commanded the regiment during this period of its service, gives a carefully detailed account of all its movements in his official report. His report is dated at Benton Barracks, Mo., November 28, 1864. Major Jones assigned command, and left Memphis with his regiment on the morning of September 2, 1864. At that time the available mounted force of the regiment was 483 men and 15 line officers, and formed a part of the brigade commanded by Colonel Winslow of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry. The command marched to Cape Girardeau, Mo., arriving there October 5th, and, embarking on transports, proceeded to St. Louis, where it arrived on October 10th . The next day it started on the march up the Missouri Valley, marching rapidly and almost constantly until October 22nd, on which date it joined the forces under Major General Pleasanton, then engaged in conflict with the enemy near Independence, Mo., participated in that battle, and in the battles of the Big Blue and Osage Rivers, which quickly followed, the first being fought on the 23rd and the second on the 25th of October. In all Three of these battles the Third Iowa cavalry distinguished itself, boldly charging the enemy and capturing many prisoners. The following extracts are made from the concluding portion of the official report of Major Jones, referring to the conduct of his regiment in the battle on the Osage River, and the closing scenes of the campaign: . . . . The enemy, having been routed from his position on the river, was followed up at a gallop for several miles, by Winslow's brigade, in the following order, Tenth Missouri, Fourth Iowa, Third Iowa, Fourth Missouri and Seventh Indiana Cavalry, when he attempted to make a stand, formed on the open prairie, in two lines of battle, supported by eight pieces of artillery. My command was formed in line of battle, with the brigade in column of regiments, in their order of march, and constituting the left center of our whole line, We charged the enemy, breaking his right and center, killing, wounding and capturing many of his men. Among the captured were Generals Marmaduke and Cabell, the former by Private James Dunlavy, of Company D, and the latter by Sergeant C.M. Young, of Company L, both of the Third Iowa Cavalry/ Companies C, D and E captured three pieces of the enemy's artillery. The whole of my command did nobly on that field, as also on others, and the highest commendations are due to every man and officer. The remainder of this day was one continued charge upon the enemy, and his compete rout. We rested on the open prairie over night, near Fort Scott. On the 26th of October we rested our brigade, at Fort Scott. Early on the 27, again joined in the pursuit of the enemy, and continued through Arkansas and the Indian Territory to a point on the Arkansas River, forty miles above Fort Smith, without again seeing the enemy. From there we returned to this place, having marched, since September 2nd, 1,650 miles participated in three general engagements, marching through a country destitute of forage, it having been devastated by the enemy, and many times without food for my men, having had only three fifths rations from the 28th, ult. To the 7th inst., and not any bread from the 7th to the 12th inst., in consequence of the destitution of the Indian Territory through which we marched, and the great distance form the
base of supplies. We suffered a total loss of sic men killed, and two officers and forty-one men wounded, several of whom have since died. I append a list of casualties. During the absence of Major Jones and his command, that portion of the regiment which had been left at Memphis, consisting of eleven commissioned officers and three hundred and nine enlisted men, under the command of Colonel Nobel, took part in an expedition under General Grierson, passing over much of the ground over which the regiment had previously marched and fought, but not meeting any considerable force of the enemy, the main object of the expedition being the destruction of the railroad and rolling stock mad military stores and other property belonging to the rebel army. This was accomplished in a very effectual manner, and the scattered forces of the enemy, which endeavored to rally and oppose the advance of General Grierson's command, were easily overcome and dispersed. In his official report Colonel Noble gives an account of the vast amount of property destroyed, and describes the various movements of his command on this expedition. The Casualties were: Private Nelson Pringle, Company K, wounded and captured January 1, 1865; Private James Barr, Company B, mortally wounded January 4, 1865, and one man missing name not reported. On the 5th of January, 1865, Colonel Noble entered Vicksburg with command and embarked on Steamer "E. H. Fairchild.". He concludes his report with the statement that his command arrived at Memphis on January 11,1865, where he received orders to proceed to Louisville, Ky., the portion of the regiment under command of Major Jones having already departed for that place. At Louisville the regiment was once more united and received a supply of Spencer carbines, a remount of fresh horses and the other equipment's necessary to put it again in perfect marching and fighting condition.

While these two portions of the regiment were engaged upon the expedition as heretofore described, the men and officers who had not re-enlisted and whose term of service had expired were mustered out of the service and returned to their homes in Iowa. The names of these soldiers will be found in the subjoined roster, with the dates of their honorable discharge by reason of expiration of term of service. they had, in fact, become veterans, although not so officially designated. They had faithfully served the their term of three years, many of them were not in physical condition to be again mustered into the service, and all of them had earned the right to retire with honor and without being subjected to criticism by comparison with their comrades who remained have the official right to the title of Veterans, and are so designated in the roster, the lack of that title should not be considered as a disparagement to those who did not re-enlist when their original term of three years had expired.

The reunited Veterans, under command of Colonel John W. Noble, remained in camp at Louisville while preparations were being made for the next and last great campaign in which they were to engage. The regiment was assigned to the First Brigade of the Fourth Division of the Cavalry Corps, commanded by Brevet Major General James Wilson. The division was under the command of Brevet Major General Emory Upton, and the brigade-consisting of the Third and Fourth Iowa and Tenth Missouri Cavalry was under the command of Brevet Brigadier General Edward F. Winslow. The threeregiments numbered about two thousand four hundred men and officers. It was especially fitting that these regiments, which had so long been associated together, should be retained in the brigade and commanded by an officer under whom they had fought so often and in whom they implicit confidence. It was evident that this last struggle was to be a desperate one. The cavalry forces of the enemy were under the command of Lieutenant General N. B. Forrest, of whose ability and courage no troops on the Union side had better knowledge than those composing Winslow's Brigade, which had so often fought the rebel forces under command of that intrepid Southern leader.  The regiment with its brigade marched from Louisville to Chickasaw Landing on the Tennessee River, where the first active operations of the campaign commenced of March 21, 1865, and ended at Macon, Ga., with the close of the war. There was no engagement during this great campaign, in which Winslow's Brigade participated, in which the Third Iowa Cavalry was not conspicuous. The brigade commander recognized the meritorious conduct of Colonel Noble and his gallant regiment and highly commended them, as will be seen by the following extracts taken from his official report:

Headquarters First Brigade, Fourth Division, C. C. M. D. M.,
Macon, Ga., April 21, 1865.

scouting, expeditionary, flanking, and Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of my command since leaving Chickasaw Landing, Tennessee River, March 21st last. The distance marched, direct, has been four hundred eight eight miles, while the foraging marches swell the number of miles to an average of six hundred to each regiment. Though much of this has been over a mountainous and partially sterile region, we have found sufficient corn, and if it were not for the long, hard marches, often extending into the night, our animals would now be in exceedingly good condition. Those worn out have been abandoned or turned over to the Negroes, and their places supplied with captured horses and mules. The general conduct of officers and men has been excellent. . . We had slight skirmishing before entering Montevallo, March 30th, one man of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry being slightly wounded March 31st, my brigade moved in rear of the division, when a few miles south of Montevallo, it passed to the front, and the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, being dismounted, the enemy, an Alabama Brigade, was at once pushed out of position. Two men of the Tenth Missouri were wounded. While this regiment mounted, the Third Cavalry, Colonel J.W. Noble commanding, took the advance and one company charged the enemy on the road, at a time when its column was in retreat. A portion of the enemy being separated from their main force, Captain Johnson, with two companies, was sent to the right, and, charging, captured quite a number. Several of the enemy were killed and wounded. This officer acted with vigor and gallantry. The enemy were driven in great confusion to Randolph, leaving many animals and a number of men along the road and seventy-five prisoners in our hands. Colonel Noble led his
regiment, which behaved admirably, and his Adjutant lost his horse in the first charge. Moved April 1st in rear of the division and, when at Mapleville Station, heard firing in front; receiving soon afterwards orders to push forward rapidly, two regiments, Third Iowa Cavalry leading, were hastened to the battle-ground of Ebenezer Church, arriving just as the engagement was being decided. Captain Arnim, Company 1, was thrown out on the left of the road and directed to charge a line of the enemy formed on the bank of the creek four hundred yards from the head of my column. This company, having to throw down a fence under a severe fire, had one officer, Lt. J. J. Veatch, and several men, wounded, losing also about fifteen horses. Captain Arnim and his company behaved in a gallant manner, as did also Captain Alonzo Clark, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, A. A. Q. M., who voluntarily aided in conducting this movement. The column moving forward, the enemy quickly retired, and the Third Iowa Cavalry was sent in pursuit, following the enemy to
Plantersville, five miles. Captain John D. Brown, Company L, charged his men over a deep stream, capturing more of the enemy (a color company) than his command numbered. This officer had been sent with his company to Mapleville early in the day, and, meeting a body of the enemy, charged it, capturing several and scattering the others. Sergeant John Wall, guidon bearer of Company K after being wounded in the hand, retained the saddle, carried his colors and, in a subsequent engagement, captured a rebel officer.

We arrived near Selma, April 2nd, at 2 P.M., dismounting I battalion lines until 5 o'clock. At that hour, in obedience to orders from the Brevet Major General commanding the division, I dismounted my command and, leaving every eighth man to hold horses, formed the Third Iowa to the right and the Tenth Missouri on the left of the Plantersville road, in line, about half a mile from the rebel works and fronting them. Seven companies, Fourth Iowa, were preparing to move to the left of the Tenth Missouri, when the Second Division on my right attacked in force, and soon gained possession of the fortifications in its front. Observing this attack, the dismounted regiments were immediately advanced, and when the Second Division obtained possession of the outer works, the Fourth Cavalry, which had not yet left their horses, came forward at a gallop in column of fours, and at once pushed into the city, companies going in various directions to complete the discomfiture of the enemy. About this time the Third Iowa and Tenth Missouri were directed to remount, but the road being blocked by subsequent movements this was not fully accomplished until a late hour ...... The mounted companies secured four guns, three stands colors and about one thousand prisoners; several hundred of the enemy were killed and wounded and many were drowned in attempting to escape ...... April 3rd , by direction of Brevet Major General Wilson, I assumed command of the city, while my brigade, Colonel Noble commanding, made a March to the rear, through Summerfield to Johnson's Ferry, returning on the 6th inst. With the army this brigade moved from Selma, April 10th, arriving at Montgomery on the 12th, near which city we remained until the 14th.

Major Curkendall, with six companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry, was here detailed as provost guard, and did not rejoin the command until after the capture of Columbus ........ This brigade reached the point of attack before Columbus about 7:30 P. M., and at 8 o'clock was disposed in the following order: Six companies of Third Iowa Cavalry, Colonel Noble commanding, dismounted in line at right angles to the Somerville road, with the left resting thereon, two hundred yards from one line of the enemy immediately in front and about two hundred and fifty yard from the main line on our left; the latter formed behind fortifications running parallel with the Somerville road;
the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Lt. Colonel R. W. Benteen commanding, on the Somerville road, four hundred yards in rear of the Third Iowa, in column of fours mounted, and the Fourth Iowa, Lt. Colonel John H. Peters commanding, in the same order, on a by-road three hundred yards from the point of its intersection with the Somerville road, being thus to the right and rear of the Third Iowa two hundred yards.

The moment we were ready to attack, the enemy opened fire in front with small arms, and on the left with shell, canister and  usketry, when the Third Iowa was directed to charge, and in five minutes we were in possession of the rifle pits in our front. Supposing the captured works to be a portion of the enemy's main line, the Tenth Missouri Cavalry was ordered forward at a gallop, and two companies pushed at once for the bridge, nearly three fourths of a mile distant, securing it with about fifty prisoners. This detachment passed in front and to the rear of the enemy's line unhurt, but the officer, Captain R. B. McGlasson, finding his position untenable, released his prisoners and rejoined his regiment with loss of one man killed. When this regiment commenced its forward movement as the enemy developed his main line on our left, the Third Iowa was immediately directed to charge this other position, and this gallant regiment pressed forward vigorously, Captain McKee and Wilson with about fifty men penetrating the line, capturing some prisoners and holding the position ........  The Fourth Iowa, which was now immediately in front of the enemy's lines, was dismounted, except four companies, and, in charge of Captain Abraham, Company D, were pushed into the enemy's works near where the detachment of the Third Iowa had secured a lodgment. In obedience to instructions, when inside the works Captain Abraham moved directly toward the bridge, not stopping to secure the prisoners, who, after being made to throw away their arms, were left where found. Near the end of this line of rifles pits was a work with six 12 pound Howitzers, which Captain Abraham at once assaulted, capturing the garrison and armament together with four 10 pound ]Parrot guns, gunners and caissons, which were in position and firing near this fort. Without halting, a portion of his command rushed over the bridge (a covered one), capturing two 12 pound Howitzers, caissons, etc., on the east end. These two guns were loaded with canister, but the gunners could not fire without killing the rebels flying over the bridge with our men, The capture of this bridge was in itself a great victory, as it had been fully prepared for sudden and compete destruction. The enemy were unable to fire this structure, which, being saved, enabled our forces to occupy Columbus and march immediately upon Macon. Any delay at the Chattahoochee would have prevented our forces reaching Macon before the armistice went into effect. The capture of Columbus involved the fall of Macon   ....... There have been very many instances of individual heroism, while almost every one did all he could. If in this report some persons seem to have done more than well, it must not be inferred that others would not have done equally well if they had been fortunate in securing opportunities.

During the campaign this brigade has taken in action three thousand one hundred prisoners, including two hundred commissioned officers, eleven stands of colors, thirty-three guns, twenty- five caissons, three thousand five hundred stands of arms, and a large number of horses, wagons and mules  ........ As a testimony of my respect and appreciation of their ability and services, and because of gallantry in presence of the enemy, I respectfully recommend as follows: That the rank of Major by Brevet be conferred upon the following named officers:    .......  John D. Brown, Captain Company L, Third Iowa Cavalry. This officer was wounded severely in the battle of Big Blue, Mo., October 23,1864; he has twice, on the present expedition, attacked, with his company, a force of the enemy greater than his own, and each time completely routed him, once capturing more than his own command numbered. George W. Johnson, Captain Company M, Third Iowa Cavalry. This officer, once with two and again with one company, charged a superior force of the enemy with great gallantry, touting them each time, and killing, wounding, and capturing quite a number. His courage, good conduct and gallantry have been frequently observed      ....... Samuel J. McKee, Captain Company B, Third Iowa Cavalry. This officer has several times led his company gallantly, and was the first officer to enter the lines of the enemy at Columbus, himself and men having to work their way through an abatis in presence of the enemy, securely posted behind entrenchment's, and only a few yards distant. With two companies he met and repulsed the enemy at Fike's Ferry, Cabawba River, killing and wounding some, and capturing thirty animals.

Your obedient servant,
E. F Winslow, Brevet Brigadier General, Commanding.

The regiment marched with its brigade and division from Columbus to Macon, arriving at the latter place just after the rebel forces which had occupied it had surrendered unconditionally. The war was now practically ended, but the services of the Union troops could not at once be dispensed with. The rebel soldiers, having been paroled, were rapidly returning to their homes. The country was in a state of destitution, the civil authorities incapable of exercising proper control, and it was necessary, for the preservation of order and the protection of life and property, that the military power should be exercised for a considerable length of time. Early in May the regiment with its brigade and division proceeded to Atlanta, where headquarters were established, but detachments were sent into the surrounding country.
The duty was irksome and the men were anxious to return to their homes, but it was late in the summer before their services could be safely dispensed with. On the 2nd of August orders were received directing the assembling of the Third and Fourth Regiments of Iowa Cavalry at Atlanta for the purpose of being mustered out of the service of the United States, at Atlanta, Ga. It was soon after provided with transportation to Davenport Iowa, and, upon reaching that place, the regiment was disbanded and the men departed for their homes.

In the long list of Iowa regiments, the outlines of whose history the compiler of this sketch has attempted to describe not one has been found to surpass the glorious record of patriotic service rendered by the Third Cavalry. Its full and complete history would occupy a volume larger than that which contains this brief and imperfect sketch. Not many of those who marched, fought and suffered in its ranks remain upon earth , but to those who may live to peruse what is here written will come the assurance that the State, which sent them forth in the strength of their young manhood, to fight the battles of their country, has made such provision as was possible to perpetuate the memory of each brave and faithful soldier of the old regiment. These men of the Third Iowa Cavalry have left the impress of their lives upon the history of their State and Nation, not only as brave soldiers in time of war but as good citizens in every honorable avocation of life. Some of their number have been highly honored since the close of the war, and have achieved fame and distinction in the high places to which they have been assigned, but, to each one who faithfully served his country in her hour of greatest need, posterity owes a debt of gratitude which can never be fully repaid.

Reference Used 


Reference Used:
  • Adjutant Generals Office of Iowa
  • The Story of Iowa...Author:  William J. Petersen
  • Old Soldiers Book of Iowa...Author:  Unknown
  • History of Iowa...Author: B.F. Gue
  • War of the Rebellion
  • Iowa Historical Society
Photographs Used:
  • Library of Congress
  • U.S.M.H.I.
  • Iowa Historical Society
  • Donations From Individuals
  • From References

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