3rd Iowa Cavalry Reenactors Inc.

Began this Day the 30th
In the Month of JULY
In the Year 2012

 Third Iowa Cavalry Reenactors Inc

 Honorary Member-Alan R Davis

Thank you for submitting the Bio of


Co. E, 3 Iowa Cavalry


Allen R. Davis

(3rd Great Grandson)



esley Fletcher Swift was born December 20, 1846 near Columbia, Boone County, Missouri to Henry Swift  and his second wife, Assenith [various spellings of this name including Acenath] Selby. His grandfather, Henry Swift, was an Englishman who reportedly lived to the age of 101 years. Wesley’s father had been married previously to Mary McRae and that union produced one son, Martin Edward Swift. Mary Swift died giving birth to Martin on September 11, 1825. Henry later married Assenith Selby on July 8, 1830, and to this union were born Charity Ann (1833), Amanda M (1835), James (1839), Henry Milton (1842), Wesley (1846) and Joshua Thomas (1852). The 1850 U.S. Census shows Wesley (listed as Fletcher) living in District 8, Boone County, Missouri with his parents and his siblings, Charity, Amanda, Milton and James. The census lists their father Henry’s occupation as stonemason. Henry Swift died in 1856 when Wesley was 10 years old. The 1860 U.S. Census shows Wesley living in Cedar Township, Boone County, Missouri along with his mother, Acenath, and his brothers, Henry M. and Joshua T.  The family’s real estate was valued at $600 and their personal estate at $350. The next year the Civil War broke out and Wesley’s older brother, Henry Milton Swift, enlisted in Co. E, 11th Iowa Infantry. He died on June 23, 1862 after the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. He was buried in Monterey Cemetery, Tennessee, but later his body was moved to the Shiloh National Cemetery where he is buried in Section D or A (records indicate both sections), grave number 882. His brother, James Swift, enlisted as a private in Co. K, 1st Arkansas Cavalry (USA) in 1863 and survived the war. His half-brother, Martin Edward Swift was a Captain in Co. G, 61st Enrolled Missouri Militia (E.M.M.).

http://o.mfcreative.com/f4/file06/objects/4/d/6/2/64d625db-e2d9-4ea9-b7d9-f50e60bacaa5-1.jpg            Wesley and his family must have received news of Henry Milton Swift’s death and perhaps that factored into his decision to answer the call from President Lincoln for more troops to fight the war. When he enlisted in Co. E, 3 Iowa Cavalry on August 1, 1862, he was only 15 years, 7 months of age. He served from the time of his enlistment until the regiment mustered out of service on August 9, 1865. In later life, Wesley said that he was one of the youngest, and the smallest, man in the regiment and came to be known as the “baby of the regiment.” Wesley reported that he initially served under General Steele in the taking of Little Rock, Arkansas and later under General Wilson in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Under the command of General Vandever, Wesley accompanied Captain Spencer in the pursuit of Confederate Major General Marmaduke beginning April 25, 1863. Of course, this excursion proved futile as Major General Marmaduke had the distinction of being captured   October 25, 1864 by JamesDunlavy, a Private in Co. D, 3 Iowa Cavalry.

            Wesley re-enlisted as a Veteran on January 1, 1864 for three years or the duration of the war, and received a promotion to full bugler March 1, 1864. Wesley was severely wounded June 7, 1864 during an engagement near Ripley, Mississippi. The Union troops, commanded by General John Sturgis, retreated from Brice’s Cross Roads (Gun Town) after tangling with an inferior number of Confederates under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was shot through the leg, just above the knee and spent the rest of June and July 1864 in Overton Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. He later reported that he spent five months in the hospital as a result of this wound, although his muster roll cards indicate June and July 1864. According to the official regimental records, Wesley was the only man wounded at Ripley, Mississippi on June 7, 1864. After rejoining his unit, he continued to serve in Co. E, 3 Iowa Cavalry, being mustered out August 9, 1865 in Atlanta, Georgia.

            Following the war, Wesley returned to Boone County, Missouri. He married Joan Elizabeth “Lizzy” Dillion August 12, 1866 both being 19 years of age. To this union were born three girls, Amanda (1868), Sarah (1870) and another who died and whose name is unknown. The 1870 U.S. Census, enumerated on August 24, 1870, shows Wesley and Lizzy living in Cedar Township, Boone County, Missouri along with their daughter, Amanda. Wesley’s occupation is listed as farmer and his personal estate is valued at $100. The couple’s daughter, Sarah, was born later in 1870. Lizzy died while the family lived in Missouri between the time of Sarah’s birth in 1870 and Wesley’s marriage to his second wife in 1876. The couple had a third daughter who died apparently in infancy, so it is possible that Lizzy died in childbirth with this daughter.              While on a trip to Cooke County, Texas to visit one of his sisters, Wesley met Lucretia Ann Gabriel. They wed September 29, 1876 in Cooke County, Texas. The 1880 U.S. Census finds Wesley and Lucretia in Precint 3, Cooke County, Texas with Wesley’s daughters, Amanda [listed as Amand] and Sarah. The union of Wesley and Lucretia produced six children: John Wesley (1877-1879), Cora Maud (1882), my 2nd great grandfather, Theodore Joshaway and his twin Thaddeus Fletcher (who died within a month of their birth in 1884), Agnes Lourinda (1888) and Susannah Wesley (1893). Wesley became an Ordained minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1889 while still living in Cooke County, Texas. Before the birth of their youngest child, Susannah, Wesley and Lucretia moved their family to Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, in 1889. While in the Indian Territory he preached to the Chickasaw Indians through an interpreter for many years. He also helped establish a church in Oak Grove.  Luther B. Hill, in A History of the State of Oklahoma, Vol. 1, described Wesley as a “pleasant and forcible speaker, earnest in the presentation of truth”. He stated that Wesley was a staunch prohibitionist. The Indian Territory combined with Oklahoma Territory to form the state of Oklahoma in 1907. I was proud to have Wesley and Lucretia Swift documented as a First Family of the Twin Territories on January 15, 2011. Wesley’s daughter, Susannah “Susie” (Swift) Martin provided the following information in the family history Every Gabriel, Come Blow Your Horn, which stated in part:


            My Mother, Loucretia Ann Gabriel, was born in Arkansas July 19, 1852 and moved to Crosse Timbers in Texas when she was 12 years old. She had two brothers, Joshua and John Gabriel, and a sister, Mary. Mother saw the wild buffalo by the thousands and lots of other wild animals. She saw one man that the Indians had scalped.

            My father, Wesley Fletcher Swift, was born December 20, 1846 in Missouri. He served in the Third Iowa Cavalry in the Civil War. He came to Texas to visit his sister, met my Mother and they were married September 26, 1876 at her home by Abraham Morrow. Mother was living in Cooke County, Texas. Six children were born to this union – three boys and three girls. Two boys passed on in infancy; one boy and three girls lived to be grown and married. All were born in Texas, except the youngest and she was born near Raisville, Indian Territory – that’s me, the only one left and I am 81 years young!

            I do not know why my parents left Texas unless, like the old cow, “the grass was greener across the river.”  We lived between McMillan and Durwood, Indian Territory.

            When we moved to Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma (Indian Territory) in December of 1900, my Father was an ordained Methodist minister having been ordained in 1889 in Texas. He was a strict parent. He and a minister named Berry organized our home church at a school house in 1901. In 1903 they started to build a church in the country and it is called Oak Grove. Dad and Mother are buried in the cemetery. He preached to the Chickasaw Indians through an interpretor [sic].


            The 3 Iowa Cavalry held a reunion in Centerville, IA in 1888. It is unknown whether Wesley attended the reunion, but if he did, he would be one of the younger looking men in the picture below. I have a full-sized copy of this photograph, courtesy of the 3 Iowa Cavalry reenactors. He lived in Cooke County, Texas at the time and this was the year prior to his ordination to the ministry and his moving the family to Indian Territory. Wesley applied for a pension for his Civil War service on March 14, 1889. The timing of his pension application is interesting. Perhaps he made the application to help subsidize his family after they moved to Indian Territory. The 1900 U.S. Census record shows that Wesley and Lucretia lived in Township 5, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory with their children, Theodore, Agnes and Susanna. Wesley was a farmer by occupation. Luther Hill wrote, “…in 1900 he located on his present homestead in Moore township. He bought improved land and twelve dollars and a half an acre, and in the meantime he has placed the land under an excellent state of cultivation, has planted a good orchard and has made the farm one of the valuable ones of the township. His land is well watered and very fertile.” He became a Mason and was a charter member of the Adel Lodge before transferring his membership to the Wanette Lodge.

http://o.mfcreative.com/f4/file06/objects/8/f/5/8/68f5892a-6896-4b0e-bc95-520056143a08-0.jpg            I have not found a record for Wesley for the 1920 U.S. Census. Lucretia died May 12, 1923 in Asher, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma and is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery. By the time of the 1930 U.S. Census, Wesley lived in Rider, Mayes County, Oklahoma in the home of his son, my 2nd Great Grandfather, Theodore J. Swift and his wife Laura (Milburn). The census taker enumerated the census in Rider on April 23, 1930. Also living in the home at the time were nine of Wesley’s grandchildren including Vera Viola (Swift) Johnson (my great grandmother) and her two children, two year old Barbara Jean Johnson (my grandmother) and infant, Mildred Louise Johnson.   Wesley Fletcher Swift died at the age of 83, June 10, 1930 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Asher, Oklahoma next to his wife, Lucretia.


3 Iowa Cavalry Reunion, Centerville, IA 1888. Photograph by Wales, Centerville, IA and  "presented” by Gen. John W. Noble, St. Louis, MO. The white stripes in the flag say "August 1861 Third Iowa Cavalry August 1865" and then lists each battle the 3rd participated in during the war.




3 Iowa Regimental Flag

                      Alan R Davis

 Third Iowa Cavalry Reenactors Inc

 Honorary Member-Richard Welton

Thank you for submitting the Bio of Jacob Tyron


Jacob Tryon was a patriot, a farmer, and father. He was born in Pennsylvania on April 16, 1834 to Jacob A. Tryon and Catherine Applegate. The family moved to Missouri sometime before he was five years of age. In 1839, his father purchased public lands from the United States Land Office in Clark County, Missouri. President Martin Van Buren signed the patent papers to these lands on April 1. Jacob’s father was a farming pioneer in the Clay Township. Jacob may not have been born on a farm, but he was raised on one. 


Jacob married Jane T. Tall on March 29, 1860 in Clark County, Missouri. When their first child was three years old and Jacob nearly 30, his patriot roots called him to serve his country. Both of Jacob’s grandfathers (Eliod Tryon in New York and Bartholomew Applegate in Jew Jersey) were soldiers in the Revolutionary War and two of his great grandfathers (Jacob Aldrich in New York and Jacob Applegate in New Jersey) also served in the War of the Revolution.  Jacob left his wife Jane, Manford their son, and farm in Clark County to volunteer in Lee County, Iowa to serve in the Iowa Third Cavalry. Records show his enlistment date as February 24, 1864.  As private in Company C, he saw duty in the Third’s campaigns of Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, and Alabama.


With the end of hostilities, Jacob was mustered out on August 9, 1865 in Atlanta, Georgia. He returned to his beloved family and farm. During the years after the war, his family and farm grew in size.  Eight children were born to Jacob and Jane. Clark County, Missouri land records in the early 1900’s indicate Jacob owned most of the land in Section 5 and parts of Section 6 of Township 63 North, Range 6 West. He passed away on June 18, 1910 and is buried in the Bluffs Springs Cemetery, Gregory Landing, Clark County, Missouri. After his death, Jane and her sons continued the farming operation. Jane died on August 17, 1925 and is buried beside Jacob in the Bluffs Springs Cemetery. 


Written by Richard F. Welton

GG Grandson



Third Iowa Cavalry Reeanctors Inc

Honorary Member-Jo Porter

Thank You for submitting the Bio of your Great Uncle

James J. Porter

22 Jan 1846 – 18 Jun 1864

Co. I Third Iowa Cavalry


Born 22 Jan 1846 in Belmont county, Ohio, James was the first born of Phinehas and Hannah Bunker Porter. Originally from Fayette county Pennsylvania, the Porters migrated to Ohio in 1845 and farmed in the area for ten years. They migrated with several other families to Appanoose county Iowa in 1855. The Porters settled on an 80 acre farm in Pleasant township. (Today the farm in located on 210th Avenue, southeast of the Centerville Airport.)


As Iowa responded well to all the calls for soldiers, a draft was not enacted until the summer of 1864.

James probably enlisted on 23 Feb 1864 to avoid being drafted and to collect a bounty of $60. He could have been swept up in a desire to enlist as Capt. William Vermilion was back in Centerville the winter of 1863-64 to recruit new soldiers. A Sam Nelson enlisted the same day. As James refers to Sam and others in the Nelson family in letters, they must have been childhood friends. Census records show that Sam's parents were born in Pennsylvania, lived in Ohio in 1850 and then in Appanoose county in 1860.


James never saw active duty as a member of Co. I of the Third Iowa Cavalry. He caught a cold shortly after his arrival at Camp McClellan. While at Camp McClellan James observed the Dakota Sioux that were imprisoned there. Shipped out by rail from McClellan to Cairo, Illinois, he rode in a hog car, which would have been a breezy ride in March. The unit ended up in Memphis, but James was sent to a hospital across the river at Helena, Arkansas. Named “Hell-in Arkansas” by many Union soldiers, hospital conditions left much to be desired. James then came down with the measles.


In a few days he was transferred to Adams Hospital, a converted department store, in downtown Memphis. He rallied for a short time, but his condition worsened. He died 18 Jun 1864. Chaplain H. M. Carr kindly wrote the family concerning James' death and added that he was buried at Ft. Pickering.

The burials at Ft. Pickering were later interred at Memphis National Cemetery. A memorial for James is included on the headstone for his sister Mary in the Porter Cemetery. His name appears on a memorial on the Appanoose County Courthouse lawn, Centerville.

Make a free website with Yola