See the category--Civil War Sketches
CIVIL WAR. The American Civil War was a struggle fought within the United States from 1861 until 1865 with such complex political, economic, psychological and social causes that reasons for the conflict remain a source of disagreement among historians. For an excellent background, read chapters 1-9 of James McPherson's Pulitzer Prize winning book Battle Cry of Freedom.
The Civil War was a glaring example of getting into a war before being prepared for it. (1) In 1861 most of the 16,000-man United States army was scattered among seventy-nine frontier posts west of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. One third of its officers resigned to serve with their friends in the South. All but one of the heads of the eight army bureaus had been in service since the War of 1812. The Union Army had no general staff, no strategic plans, and no program of mobilization. It possessed few accurate maps of the South. When General Henry W. Halleck, commanding the Western Department in early 1862 wanted maps he had to purchase them from a St. Louis bookstore. (2)
A call signed by about one-hundred citizens appeared about the middle of January, 1861, for a meeting of
all persons who are impressed with the imminent perils of dissolution now threatening the Union and are willing in a spirit of conciliation and compromise to agree to an settlement of the questions which now unhappily distract the country, upon the basis of the Crittenden Compromise propositions. (3)
This meeting was held at the Dubuque court house, and Warner LEWIS was named chairperson and William W. Mills declared secretary. A committee of five-- T. M. Monroe, Dr. James C. Lay, Thomas Faherty, James H. Williams and J. H. Emerson--were chosen to write resolutions. While these men met, the secretary read the Crittenden resolutions and the meeting heard a strong Union appeal by John D. JENNINGS. The resolutions declared that the people were unalterably attached to the Union; that there was no natural conflict between the two sections; and that the Crittenden Compromise or some other practical proposition should be adopted. After debate, the resolutions were unanimously adopted and forwarded to Congress. (4)
The DUBUQUE HERALD consistently expressed the view that the country was unnecessarily headed for war.
War has probably been commenced between the North and the South, consequent upon the persistency (sic) of the administration to hold Fort Sumter and to carry into effect the doctrine of the 'irrepressible conflict.' We have but little heart today for comment. In a day or two at farthest we shall probably have the result of the conflict in Charleston harbor. We anticipate it will be a bloody one — destructive of life and property, and the beginning of revolution which will end in the destruction of the government and of course of the Union. (5) Herald, April 10, 1861
The Herald argued that while the government had a right to reinforce Fort Sumter, other circumstances overshadowed such a right. A different plan should be taken and remedial measures taken. (6)
A parental government would have tried remedial measures first before resorting to the exercise of its vengeance; but the government as administered by Mr. Lincoln seems to know of but one course to pursue, and that is to provoke a conflict between the government and its disaffected people, for the purpose of coercing them to obey its own behests and to submit to the infliction of intolerable grievances from a fanatical faction which have obtained control of the government. Herald, April 10, 1861
By 1861, many military companies had been organized in Dubuque: the DUBUQUE CITY GUARDS, Turner Rifle Company, GOVERNOR'S GREYS, JACKSON GUARDS, DUBUQUE LIGHT HORSE GUARDS, UNION GUARDS, DUBUQUE LIGHT ARTILLERY, and the WASHINGTON GUARDS. The number of military groups and their lack of training was a concern for some residents. (See editorial on left)
Just two days before the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Herald carried this editorial: (7)
What deep lethargy has fallen on the American people? The government is tumbling into ruins. The nation is on the verge of a plunge into civil war. Imbecility of rulers at the federal capital is governed by a military dictator. Hostile fleets and armies are dispatched to begin hostilities upon our brethren of the South, when that act shall become the death knell of the Union. Men of all parties can be found who deprecate the hostile operations of the military dictator at Washington. Let us all who are opposed to the code of coercion meet in one vast body in Dubuque and protest with our loudest voice against civil war and the military terrorism inaugurated at Washington. Our motto should be, 'No fraternal bloodshed — no civil war; but peace and conciliation. Herald, April 11, 1861
The opposing view during the lead up to and years of civil war was expressed by the DUBUQUE TIMES. On July 12, 1861, an article signed "Patriot" appeared in the Times, from which the following are extracts: (8)
To the Lazy-Abiding Citizens of Dubuque. — It is well known to you that there is a paper published in our midst that is devoted entirely, both in its editorials and selected matter, to the cause of those who are endeavoring to overthrow our government and our liberties. This paper, while it professes to be in favor of the Union and denies being in favor of secession, yet boldly advocates a recognition of the Southern Confederacy and opposes 'forcing a government upon people which they do not desire,' thus giving the lie to its professions of Union, a paper which is notoriously in the hands of a few persons of "gentle southern blood,' who boldly sympathize with the South and rejoice over any temporary success she may achieve and who have repeatedly declared their intention of returning to her soil to take arms against our government. It is well known that this paper is exerting quite a wide- spread and seditious influence upon its readers and waxing bolder every day.
Would it not be well for the patriots of this city to assemble in mass meeting in a quiet and orderly manner to express our indignation and abhorrence of the sentiments of this paper and its supporters, to declare that such are not the sentiments of this community in general, to withdraw our support from it, both in subscription and in advertising, and to counsel as to those means which may be rightly used to rid us of the reproach and injury its existence brings upon us? That this is a duty now devolving upon us is freely admitted by many influential citizens with whom longer patience has ceased to be a virtue."
With the firing upon Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers. At the time, the State of Iowa was only twelve years old; Dubuque was thirty. (9) When the final records were checked at the end of the war, it was found that half of the men of military age in Iowa had marched to war. The state never again saw a departure of so many of its young men (as a percent of population) in any war. In the first days of enlistment, so many young men came forward that four companies rather than just two could have been created. (10) The First Iowa Infantry regiment, formed in Dubuque under the leadership of Colonel John F. Bates, was the first Iowa unit established under Lincoln's call for volunteers on ninety-day service. Later regiments were formed of men volunteering typically for three years.
Volunteers, of course, had concerns about their families when they were gone. Some of Dubuque's leading citizens quickly formed the short-lived VOLUNTEER FUND BOARD. (11)
The call-up of volunteers brought tension to Dubuque. A picket was stationed in town to keep the many troops from "committing acts of indiscretion" such as blocking sidewalks or excessive drinking. (12) Iowa Catholics especially in Dubuque were not generally supporters of the war. (13) Bishop Mathias LORAS owned a slave. Other Catholic bishops while insisting that slave owners treat their slaves in a humane manner seemed to accept the practice as a part of Southern society. Traditionally Democratic, Dubuque Catholics supported Democratic candidates in 1860. Patrick J. QUIGLEY and George Wallace JONES committed themselves to the Democratic candidate, Breckenridge. Dennis MAHONY, an influential lay leader in the church, teacher, state legislator, and newspaper editor chose to support Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas. While Lincoln carried the state in the election of 1860, Dubuque and Lee counties, voted Democratic. (14)
Iowa Catholics also had reservations about the new Republican Party. Formed just before the election of 1860, this political group included anti-Catholics such as the former Know-Nothings. The DUBUQUE OBSERVER came into existence in 1854 with a definite hostility to the Irish and foreign born and a suspicious attitude toward Catholics. A belief at the time was that a Catholic conspiracy existed which was attempting to bring down the Republic and the Constitution. (15)
Given the strong pro-Southern leanings of many of the citizens, Bishop Clement SMYTH took a decidedly different approach. The bishop strongly condemned the activities of the COPPERHEADS and threatened excommunication of any Catholics who joined. He called upon the foreign born not to do anything that would suggest they were disloyal and openly expressed grief at the death of Lincoln at the end of the war. (16)Francis J. HERRON and the Jackson Guard. Only four of the Jackson Guards were native-born Americans. The other members of the company were immigrants from Prussia, Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, and nine German states. The Governor's Greys were primarily native-born Americans with nearly half of the company originally from New York and only five natives of Iowa. There were fifteen foreign-born members of the group.
On April 22, 1861, the companies departed Dubuque for Missouri aboard the "Alhambra" in a scene illustrated by Alexander SIMPLOT. (17) The Dubuque Herald on April 23, 1861 noted that volunteers continued walking as far as twenty-five miles to come to Dubuque to volunteer. Pro-war sermons were preached by ministers of the Baptist and Congregational Churches. Classes at Catholic schools were dismissed, and Bishop Smyth flew the Stars and Stripes. Led by the GERMANIA BAND, the companies marched to the boat at the base of Jones Street.
Especially active were the Ladies Volunteer Labour Society and tailors of Dubuque. Despite two hundred and forty-eight people helping make uniforms (see the editorial on the left), they were not complete and were sent two weeks later. Plans had called for: (20)
Capt. Herron’s Company, Dubuque; each man, hat, frock coat, pants, two flannel shirts, two pairs of socks and one pair of shoes.
Capt. Gottschalk’s Company, Dubuque; blouse instead of coat, and other articles same as Capt. Herron’s.
In August 1861 members of the First Iowa returned home in brand new uniforms after their ninety-day service. The new uniforms hid the fact that for most of their duty, the soldiers had been dressed in "tatters...that would excite the profoundest contempt of the seediest beggar." (21)
The following humorous account is given of the Governor’s Greys when they put on their first uniforms:
They are admirable fits, all of them, except say eighty or a hundred… A majority of the boys are able to get their pantaloons from the floor by buttoning the waistbands around their necks—others accomplish this desirable result by bringing the waistbands tight up under the arms and rolling them up six or eight inches at the bottom. To be sure this is a little inconvenient in some respects—a fellow has to take off his belts, then his coat, and then ascend one story before he can reach his pockets, and after reaching them they are so deep that one has to take the pants off entirely before he can reach the bottom. Each pocket will hold a shirt, a blanket and even the wearer himself if at any time he finds such a retreat necessary.
And the coats fit beautifully—almost in fact as well as the pants. To be sure half of them are two feet too large around the waist, and almost as much too small around the chest—but then these two drawbacks admirably offset each other. In the cases of fifteen or twenty of them the top collar is but a trifle above the small of the wearer’s back, and in the cases of about as many more the same article is a few inches above the head of their owners. The same collar also in some cases terminates beneath each ear, and in many others it sweeps away around in a magnificent curve, forming a vast basin whose rim is yards distant from the neck of its possessor. And the sleeves, too, have here and there a fault—some are so tight under the arms that they lift one up as if he were swinging upon a couple of ropes that pass underneath his armpits—others strike boldly out and do not terminate their voluminous course till at distance of several inches beyond the tips of his fingers, while others conclude their journey after marching an inch or so below the elbows.
Despite the problems, the work of the women was appreciated. The Governor’s Greys adopted the following resolution:
Head-Quarters, G. Greys, Co. I, 1st Reg. I. S. M., Verandah Hall, Keokuk, May 15, 1861
At a meeting of the company the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas, The matrons and maidens of Dubuque, fired with the same noble patriotism and enthusiasm as inspired those of ’76, and emulating their noble example, have left their daily avocations of business or pleasure, to unite in aiding us to go forth properly accoutred to meet the enemies of our country; therefore
Resolved, That we appreciate with the liveliest emotions of gratitude that self-sacrificing patriotism which flowers indigenous in the breast of woman, and has prompted them to this act of kindness toward us.
Resolved, That the consciousness that we shall daily carry with us the smiles and the prayers, the hopes and the fears of so many lovely faces and warms hearts, will strengthen our rougher bosoms to endure with patience the hardships, and courage to meet boldly the dangers that may oppose us, while fighting the battles of our country.
Resolved, That these uniforms, into which so fair hands have woven so many and so kind wishes, will be an impenetrable web to the entrance of traitors or cowardly thoughts and a sacred remembrance of those for whose protection we are fighting.
Resolved, That the coats shall be our coats of arms, that they shall never be turn coats, that they will always remind us of the petticoats, and that while we wear the pants we shall always pant for honor, and hope to make the ladies participants of that hour.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the President of the Ladies’ Volunteer Aid Association and to the daily papers of Dubuque.
F. J. Herron, Capt. Co. I Charles N. Clark, Clerk of Co. I.
Governor Kirkwood wrote the following letter to Dubuque:
Mrs. A. Gillespie, Sec’y, &c., Dubuque, Iowa:
Dear Madam:--Through the attention of D. N. Cooley, Esq., I am informed of the voluntary services rendered by yourself and other ladies of Dubuque, in fitting out the two companies of volunteers from your city.
I can not allow the occasion to pass without expressing my sincere thanks for this practical display of the patriotism of the ladies of Dubuque.
You have set a noble example in thus coming forward in the time of our need, and have shown us by this patriotic offering to the welfare of our gallant soldiers, that it needs, but the occasion to reproduce the heroines of ’76. With the request that you will convey to each and every one of the ladies connected with you in this good work, my assurance, that your general assistance will be fully appreciated by the people of the State, I beg to subscribe myself, most respectfully,
Your obedient servant, Gov. Samuel J. Kirkwood. (22)
Stories from the scenes of battle were written by the "Bohemian Brigade," America's first war correspondents. (23) Alexander Simplot, one of this group, wrote of being housed in a little tavern near St. Louis:
It was southern in style, a broad balcony in front over a cool pavement--no two rooms upon the same floor; no way of getting up stairs except by going out of doors...little boys and girls standing behind the guests at dinner and waving long wands over the table to disconcert the omnipresent flies...
The body armor manufactured by both companies was never officially issued to the troops on either side. There were no regulations or guidelines in place to control how they were designed and tested. G&D Cook Company manufactured two models, one for infantry and one for cavalry and artillery. The vest for cavalry and artillery was the heavier model. Two steel plates were joined together in the center, supported by hooks secured over the shoulder. A blue cloth fabric with gold buttons was placed around the waist to cover the steel plating. This was also done to resemble the Union uniform. (25)
Whether the Atwater Company manufactured more than one model is not known. Their vests were heavier and more expensive. Atwater used four steel plates. Like the Cook's vest, it was also secured over the shoulder with two hooks. A belt was added around the waist for a tighter fit. (26)
The vests sold quickly in the early days of war, but soldiers quickly became disillusioned with them. They were marching with as much as 50 pounds of equipment and when the vest was included that was an additional 6 to 12 pounds. Some soldiers did not wear the vest because of the stigma of cowardice associated with it; others complained the vest did not fit comfortably under their uniforms. (28)
Food supplies were a definite problem. Soldiers in the First Iowa during one four-day march covering seventy-eight miles were issued one cup of corn meal mush per day. (29) Soldiers added what food they could find along the way. Perhaps the worse element of the meal was the pork. Correspondent Franc Wilkie claimed "it reposes in superlative nastiness in every barrel. (30) This may have been especially disturbing to Dubuque soldiers who were aware that William A. RYAN of Dubuque was such a major supplier of pork that he was called "Hog" Ryan back home.Franc WILKIE claimed the guns posed a bigger threat to "friend than enemy." (32)
On August 10, 1861, Dubuque troops fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in southwestern Missouri near Springfield. The First Iowa Regiment was in the center of battle and took heavy loses. The Union Army lost 1,235 men and the Southern army lost 3,000. (33) The bloody battle, which lasted only one morning, led to the death of 30 percent of the Jackson Guards and 23 percent of the Governors' Greys whose gray uniforms unfortunately led many to be mistaken for Confederates. (34) The battered troops marched home to be mustered out. Many enlisted again in new companies and became officers. The First Regiment was never reorganized. (35) Instead of recruiting old regiments up to strength, states preferred to organize new ones with new opportunities for patronage in the form of officers' commissions and pride in the number of regiments sent by the state. (36)
Professional soldiers detested the practice of electing officers in volunteer regiments and appointing generals through politics. On July 22, the day after the Union defeat at Bull Run, the Union Congress authorized the creation of military boards to examine officers and remove those unqualified. Hundreds were quickly discharged or resigned voluntarily rather than face the examiners. (37)
Some soldiers deserted. On August 12, 1863 two officers, Delos E. LYON attempted to arrest Wendel and Adam Jacobi on the charges of desertion and other charges. The resisted and Wendel was shot and killed and Adam was seriously wounded. The corner came to a decision that Wendel had come to his death be being shot to death by an unknown person willfully. The grand jury chose to return no indictment. (38)
Dubuque residents along with Americans throughout the country soon became aware of the terrible nature of war. Correspondents like Wilkie reported the tragedy:
Some the wounds were horrible; some had the lower jaw shot away, others had arms torn off, others came in with legs dangling over the sides of the wagon, all thirsty, and calling almost incessantly for water. A flag of truce went out soon after to bring in the wounded and bury the dead, and up to a late hour the work went on. (39)
Eleven days after Wilson's Creek, one-fourth of the Jackson Guards and half of the Governors' Greys re-enlisted. In 1862 Captain Herron became the youngest major general on either side at the time of his appointment. (40)
Dennis Mahony, editor of the Dubuque Herald, wrote to Governor Kirkwood and offered to recruit and lead an Irish regiment. His offer was not accepted. Other efforts by Democrats to join in the war effort were also rejected, an action that has led some historians to suspect the Republican Party of attempts to gain a partisan victory from the war with political and economic benefits. The conflict over the Civil War was carried out locally through the NEWSPAPERS. The editor of the Dubuque Times, a staunchly Republican publication, even suggested that if Democrats really wanted to cooperate in the war effort they would join the Republican Party.
Most Northern Democrats did support the war effort, earning the title "War Democrats." Other Democrats came to oppose the war and earned for themselves the term "Peace Democrats" or more commonly "Copperheads." (41) Dubuque also had its southern sympathizers. Senator George W. Jones, a life-long friend of Confederate President Jefferson DAVIS and United States ambassador to Columbia, was arrested upon his return to the United States in part because of indiscreet letters he had written Davis prior to the Civil War. His political fortunes ended, Jones raised an uproar by going south to visit Davis after the war and returned in 1899 to attend the funeral of his friend. (42)
Anti-Catholic and anti-foreign attitudes expressed by those who were also anti-slavery angered many Dubuque residents. Republican leaders including President Abraham Lincoln believed that many influential Dubuque citizens were pro-slavery. Dubuque was rumored to be a headquarters of the KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. There was widespread suppression of the press, along with arrests, censorship, and suspension of habeas corpus. It has been said Jones was jailed as much as a warning to powerful Dubuque residents as for his letters to Davis.
Nearly every company of soldiers stopped in front of the offices of the "Dubuque Times" to give three cheers for the newspaper's support of the war. (43) Dubuque's principal newspapers bitterly attacked each other's point of view. Accusations made by the Dubuque Times against the Dubuque Herald led Dennis Mahony to charge the paper with libel. The Herald further incited the Times by printing editorials that urged peace and condemned the Lincoln Administration. A riot caused by rumors of a plot to destroy the Herald office was prevented by law enforcement officials and the efforts of MAYOR Henry L. STOUT.
Mahony, a bitter opponent to the war, was arrested on August 13, 1862, at his home and jailed in the Washington, D.C. prison without habeas corpus until after the elections in November 1862. (44)CAMP UNION. Located near the Mississippi River and current day Rhomberg Avenue, it opened in August, 1861, and initially served as a recruiting center for the Ninth and 12th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Within a month there were 600 volunteers at the camp under the military discipline of Col. William Boyd ALLISON. There were ten barracks, outdoor cooking and eating, water and bathing facilities, and ample food. Col. Julius K. GRAVES served as quartermaster at the camp and gave out rations and blankets. (45) Recruiting offices flew flags from nearly every block in the city.
Since Dubuque had such an anti-Lincoln reputation, the idea of it being the headquarters for a training center called Camp Union made little sense. The camp reopened in July 1861 as CAMP FRANKLIN and housed the 21st, 27th, 32nd, and 38th regiments. All 120 men of the 21st regiment were residents of Dubuque; Captain Swivel was their leader. (46)
The barracks for the volunteers were constructed 60 feet by 20 feet to house one hundred men. More than six hundred were quartered two weeks after the camp was built. Soldiers were advised to take their own blankets or quilts because the camp had none. (47) Apparently this advise was not followed because "Captains Welsh and Rogers went door to door in Dubuque asking for blankets" with the promise that they would be returned when they were no longer needed. (48)
Julius K. Graves built a hospital on the bluffs to treat the wounded and sick. Outbreaks of typhoid, measles and other diseases, however, occurred during the fall of 1862, causing 11 deaths and over 200 sick men. Sick soldiers were cared for by the Soldiers Aid Society and the Dubuque Women's Society. The hospital initially run by the SISTERS OF CHARITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (BVM) was later torn down and replaced with COLUMBIA ACADEMY. (49)
In October 1862 Governor Kirkwood visited the camp after being told of complaints about patient care. A report at Camp Franklin indicated that 193 men had been admitted to the camp hospital, 163 had returned to duty, seven were convalescing, one had been discharged, eight had died and 14 were still in the hospital quite ill.
By 1863, Camp Franklin housed 2,000 soldiers with another 1,500 living in private homes and hotels in the city. (50) The camp was closed. (51) The buildings were dismantled and sold at an auction in January, 1863, for $1,564. (52)
The search for more soldiers led to the movement to form an Irish regiment in Dubuque. Service for one year would grant citizenship to foreigners. Those who joined were attached to General Corcoran's Irish Brigade.Joseph B. Dorr earlier in the war helped recruit a regiment after he had escaped from a Confederate prison. (55)
When the government issued a call for more troops, each state was given a quota to fill based on its population. The number of volunteers would be subtracted from the quota and the difference would be drafted. If a draftee volunteered before the final muster, he avoided the stigma of compulsory service and was eligible to collect a bounty of $100 from the federal government plus additional bounties from the state and local communities. In total, the bounties could exceed $500, which was about the average yearly wage in those days. States considered it a matter of pride to fill their quotas without having to resort to the draft.
The Dubuque Herald had another view of the draft: (56)
The fairest way to raise troops is by drafting. There are at least a hundred partisan leaders who are urging every Democrat they meet to go to war, but not one of whom volunteers himself to go. It is amusing to see our Stouts, Langworthys, Allisons, Adamses and other leading Republicans running to and fro urging their poorer neighbors to go to war. If they will not, let them take their chances.. Herald, July 30, 1862
A draftee could gain an exemption by paying a fee of $300 or by hiring a substitute. Negotiating for substitutes was perfectly honorable. Fees were governed largely by the availability of men willing to serve as a substitute. A substitute usually got as much as a fee of $300.00. Therefore substitute could receive his fee of $300.00 plus volunteer bonus of $100.00, totaling $400.00 which was about equal to a year's average rural income. (57) The bounty system created a large number of unscrupulous persons called "bounty jumpers." These men would enlist to collect their bounty, then desert and enlist somewhere else and collect another bounty. (58)
The Dubuque Democratic Herald in 1863 appealed to the Board of Supervisors to create a fund through the sale of bonds or otherwise to provide an exemption for those who could not provide the money for themselves. It went on to suggest that members of the UNION LEAGUE enjoyed safety from being drafted. Among the arguments was that it was cheaper than to provide for an impoverished family without a male to work. The Board created a committee of five members to investigate the matter. (59)
Interest in the war led to pages of reports in the local newspapers. One of the more unique informative displays of the news was Chesley's "Panorama of the War." The painted canvas was slowly unrolled to display events in chronological order. As the display moved about the nation, scenes were added of recent events. Between performances in Dubuque, the audience was entertained by the GERMANIA BAND. (60)
Iowa was the only state to organize a group of older men for service; this was the GRAYBEARD REGIMENT which included several Dubuque residents. (61)
Despite the stories of death and destruction, humor about the war was to be found in local newspapers. The following article appeared in the Dubuque Democratic Herald: (63)
Enlistments. The Dubuque bar is responding promptly to the 100 days' call, and will be largely represented in the new companies. We find on the Muster roll of the Greys the names of Messrs. Harvey, Edmonds, Doud, and Beach. Several more, it is thought, will be added. We shall expect to hear a good account of these disciples of Blackstone, for if they sustain the reputation of the profession, they will make prompt, bold and desperate charges.
Sacrifice on the battlefield was matched by determined assistance from those left at home. Under the leadership of Mrs. James Langworthy, Mrs. Henry L. Stout, and Mrs. J. W. Taylor, the Ladies' Volunteer Labour Society in Dubuque made uniforms for the Jackson Guards and the Governor's Greys in 1861. In eight days, 248 women sewed all the uniforms for the Governor's Grays and the Jackson Guards. (64) Boxes of clothing and food were sent to soldiers in the field throughout the war. The Society met in the basement of the Baptist Church. Annual membership dues were twenty-five cents. Donations of knitting, sewing, money, and food were accepted. Christmas dinner was provided every soldier's family in Dubuque in 1863.
Other community groups established to help in the war effort included the Christian Commission Society. Organized on November 21, 1864, the agency met the needs of the church in distributing food and spiritual needs to military personnel. Representatives were sent to every command with supplies and Bibles. Direct benefit to the troops also came from the NORTHERN IOWA SANITARY FAIR and LINT SOCIETIES.
Public sponsored relief for soldiers vs relief for their families was quite different. Many considered relief to a soldier as something earned and therefore respectable. There was a definite thought, however, that relief to a soldier's family only encouraged poor habits and was a financial drain on the community. (65) Solon LANGWORTHY noted in his diary on August 4, 1862:
The family of soldiers are begging throughout the city with less success then (sic) circus men meet with. Shame on the Community who Suffer the defenders of the Constitution to Complain that their Families are not Provided for while they are Batling (sic) for Liberty + Law. (66)
In 1864 Iowa passed its first law requiring special arrangements for family assistance in each county. In failing to define all soldiers' families as worthy of relief, however, the law only supported methods already in effect. Local officials could still reward or withhold relief on their own perceptions of worthiness. (67) By 1864 "the present high rates of living make it impossible to support large families on a soldier's pay of $13 per month." (68) The failure of the Volunteer Fund Board by 1862 threw the question of family support to the board of supervisors. They initially considered a special appropriation or special tax but rejected both. (69) Even the Ladies Aid Society as early as 1862 appointed a visiting investigative committee to determine whether aid to a soldier's family was appropriate. (70)
Soldiers continually pleaded for better means of providing for their families. In 1861 Iowa's Senator Grimes convinced Congress to pass an Allotment Act. Under its conditions, each state had three agents to travel "from time to time" among Iowa's troops collecting money to deliver to families back home. It was left to the officers, however, whether their regiments would participate in the system. In response, soldiers offered to resign so that they could return home. Others deserted and faced court martial. (71) Rather than provide an example of a system that left women dependent upon men, the lesson learned by many was self-dependency. Government should not interrupt this dependency even in the case of soldiers' families. (72)Oliver Perry SHIRAS ordered a salute fired with one hundred guns in WASHINGTON PARK. FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST rang so long it cracked. (73) Flags were displayed everywhere. Those excessively patriotic dressed themselves in national colors and paraded through the streets.
Few knew what to expect from the returning veterans. "Great God!" the Iowa Religious Newsletter, a newspaper founded in the city during the war by a group of pro-war ministers, quoted an army chaplain in July 1862.
I tremble at the result of this war, lest tens of thousands of the valiant defenders of our country be turned into men of vile speech and ruined character and then turned loose to curse the country their arms have rescued. (74)
The anti-war "Dubuque Herald" and the pro-war "Dubuque Times", each expressed similar concerns. Dennis Mahony, regularly worried in print about the creation of a "subservient army" of "rapine and plunder" to do Lincoln's bidding and tied it to a more general loss of the "sturdy manliness which [once] characterized the citizen of the United States." The "Times" offered this advice to the soldiers: "We would earnestly say to all of our noble hearted volunteers ... [you] may come home maimed for life in body and limb, but do not return with crippled character, and poisoned faculties." (75) In 1864 a SOLDIERS' HOME was established. (76)
The concern about the effects of military service upon the men was far different, ironically, than the feeling prior to the war when military service had been considered a potential cure for problems in Dubuque society. "We are becoming emphatically a nomadic race," an editor at the NORTHWESTERN FARMER AND AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL argued in 1860. He concluded that "our social system is breaking up" as a result. "No people can be a wandering, and at the same time a civilized, intelligent and virtuous people." (77)
A perceived decline in the local work ethic became another area of concern. A female contributor to the Northwestern Farmer wondered when "labor" had come to be "looked upon as degrading." "Where," she lamented, "is the vital energy, the vigor, and strength of mind, that the generation before us possessed? Are not the wan features of the Dyspeptic and the Consumptive a strong evidence that they have departed with the simple and industrious habits of our forefathers?" A contributor to the Times added that "if we mean to prosper again, we must pull off our coats and go to work; dispense with unnecessary help; do away with luxury; closely watch our business; till the earth and explore the mines."(78)
Geographic mobility and a decline in the work ethic caused less comment and concern than the habits and morals of the city's boys and young men. Despite their strong political differences, the city's newspapers agreed on this issue and developed a catalogue of sins including smoking, chewing tobacco, swearing, drinking, playing billiards, and throwing stones and snowballs at passersby, as well as actual crimes like arson, larceny, and assault. An assistant Times editor found it "painful ... to witness the gradual demoralization going forward among youths of our fair city." These were "not the miserable 'brats' from the haunts of vice and iniquity, but the hopeful sons of our bankers, merchants, professional men, christian [sic] men, respectable men in every way." The Express & Herald editors argued, "The hopes of our country are centered in the young men of the nation. If they grow up depraved, vicious and ignorant," as the youth of Dubuque seemed to be, "they will give their character to society and to government."(79)
Military service seemed to offer just the solution to the "unrestrained independence" critics noted among the city's young men and boys. The Times and the Iowa Religious Newsletter regularly stressed "the wholesome restraints of military discipline" and stressed the value of the army in teaching "systematic habits," "the delights of hard work," "obedience," and "Puritan discipline." The Times even promoted establishing a local military academy to spread the benefits of military discipline to those too young or not inclined to join the army." (80)
The Civil War led to the deaths of 3,540 in combat; 8,498 of disease; 515 in prisoner-of-war camps; 227 in accidents; and 221 from nonmilitary causes. There were 8,500 reported wounded.
The Civil War decade marked Dubuque's growth into an important manufacturing city. The 1860 Census ranked the 102 cities in the United States with populations over 10,000 according to their manufacturing output. With a population of 13,000, Dubuque was the 80th largest city in the country in 1860 and ranked 93rd in manufacturing. By the time of the 1880 census, Dubuque was the 70th largest manufacturing center in the country despite slipping to 81st in population. Dubuque's gain of twenty-three manufacturing businesses compared favorably with Detroit's gain of twenty-seven. (81)
One of the unexpected results of the Civil War was a growing feeling that Catholics could be trusted. Originally the target of "Nativists," "Know-Nothings," and the KU KLUX KLAN, Catholics benefited from the role nuns took in service to both sides during war. Catholic nuns made of twenty-two percent of all nurses. This translated to 580 sisters coming from twelve religious orders. The most, more than 300 nuns, came from the Daughters of Charity, the the largest order in the nation. (82) Some nuns turned their convents into hospitals or took over disease-plagued hospitals. They stayed with their patients even after medical staff fled. (83)
On May 5, 1868 Gen. John A. Logan commander-in-chief of the GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (G. A. R.), issued an order directing that on May 30th the organization, throughout the United States, should decorate the graves of soldiers who died during the war. On that day a squad of cavalry assembled at WASHINGTON PARK at 8:00 a.m. and under the command of Lieut. Col. Pollock proceeded to cemeteries at Key West, Center Grove, Rockdale, and on Kelly's Bluffs, to cover the graves of soldiers with flowers. (87)
At 2:00 p.m., soldiers, citizens and the Germania Band assembled at Washington Park. Horsemen, footmen, and people in carriages gathered all bearing bouquets and wreaths of flowers. The order of procession was: First, mounted men; then followed the band; then footmen, and then carriages. The procession as it passed the DUBUQUE CITY HALL consisted of forty-seven mounted men, seventy-seven men on foot, and thirty-five carriages. A large number of carriages, as well as citizens on foot, preceded the procession to the cemetery. The order of march was: Down Locust street to First; along First to Main; up Main to Eleventh; down Eleventh to Clay; up Clay and Couler avenue to Eagle Point, and then to LINWOOD CEMETERY. (88) Following a speech and the decoration of the graves with flowers, the groups returned home.
Veterans of Civil War battle often held reunions. In 1892 such an event in Dubuque was attended by James Hill, a resident of Cascade and the chaplain of the 21st Iowa, who captured three Confederates. (89) For his heroism, Hill began one of four Protestant chaplains awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in the war. (90)
In 1893 Dubuque's monument to her Civil War dead was erected in Linwood after twelve years of collecting funds. Iowans constructed monuments as mourning sites for grieving relatives and as tributes to the dead although many were buried in the South at the expense of the federal government. By February 1866, 333 Iowan were buried in the federal cemetery at Helena, Arkansas; 302 at Little Rock, Arkansas; and 147 at Andersonville, Georgia. The interest in monuments peaked in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. (91)
In 1895 survivors of the Battle of Shiloh returned to the site to help the national commission locate where different regiments fought. The passage of thirty years made the task nearly impossible. Boards were placed at different locations on the battlefield to allow former commanders to indicate where their soldiers had been at different times of the day. The results often showed confusion. The commission began its survey of the battlefield on April 4, 1895 and was expected to complete its work in six months when the site became a national park. (92)
In 1928 Dubuque still counted twenty citizens who were veterans of the Civil War. (94) Many visited Linwood Cemetery on Decoration Day. Later called Memorial Day after the nation had been involved in other wars, the day was originally set aside by the Grand Army of the Republic to pay respects for those who had died in this battle or afterwards. (95)
An account of Dubuque's role in the Civil War often leaves the actions of a Dennis Mahony or the role of the Copperheads as the sole representatives of the anti-war or anti-Northern response. The City of Dubuque contributed four sons of the most prominent local figures to the defense of the Confederate States of America. These were Junius Lackland HEMPSTEAD, the son of Iowa's first governor; George Jones and Charles Scott Dodge JONES, the sons of George Wallace JONES, and lastly; Daniel O'Connell QUIGLEY, one son of Dubuque's first Justice of the Peace, a founding father, trustee, and a treasurer of the city.
On October 4, 2014 a ceremony at MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY was held honoring the military service of the Jones brothers. Participating in the program were several Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization dedicated to preserving a factual history of the Southern soldier and sailor. The Iowa division of the organization had researched and documented more than 225 Confederate veterans buried in Iowa. (96)
CIVIL WAR DIARY. One of the celebrated Civil War veterans was Andrew Young MCDONALD. An abridgement of his diary appeared in the Telegraph Herald on March 12, 1961. (97)
Left in the evening on steamboat Alahambra for Davenport. Arrived in Davenport April 24 and were escorted to our armory by a Davenport company.
After a little more than a week of drilling, McDonald left for Keokuk on May 5th aboard a steamboat. In Keokuk, the soldiers were sworn into the service of the United States government and were issued uniforms. On June 13th they left Keokuk by steamboat for Hannibal, Missouri. The first action seen by McDonald took place in Macon, Missouri on June 15th.
Some of our company captured a secession (Confederate) Drum and Fife. Four prisoners were taken. A pole was erected by the boys and a grand flag raising by the Union ladies of this place.
McDonald's company captured a Confederate flag at a hotel in Renick, Missouri on June 18th. From there, the company moved to near Booneville, Missouri. On June 26th, he wrote:
Regiment got paid by State of Iowa for the three weeks they were in the service. Eight dollars each man. Orders issued to have all our things packed up only one valise allowed to each tent.
The First Iowa Regiment and the First Missouri Regiment during the first week in July marched for Springfield, Missouri were a number of skirmishes were occurring.
Fight at Springfield (July 5th) reported with 1,200 secessionists and 20 Union men killed.
On July 7th, the Iowa and Missouri regiments joined forces from Kansas. On July 22nd, the combined force took Forsyth, Missouri.
Town taken with only seven men killed. Marching in all a distance of 30 miles. Thirteen wounded. Got some coffee, lead and provisions in town. Swam creek crossed several times depth about three feet.
McDonald reported supplies were low by July 25th with only a cup of mush for rations. On August 2, McDonald reported on another skirmish:
After marching about 14 miles our advance guard met the advance guard of the enemy. The cannon were placed in position on several of the surrounding heights. We deployed off in woods. The cannon kept up a fire for about one hour. Our cavalry charged the enemy, 80 of whom killed. Four of our men were killed and eight were wounded.
McDonald took part in his largest battle on August 10th and 11th.
We found the enemy ready to receive us with their position well chosen. The first gun was fired at 5 1/2 o'clock. The battle raged with unabating fury for five hours.
On August 11th one member of McDonald's company was killed and 20 were wounded. He was apparently wounded. He wrote of staying at a printer's and being cared for with other wounded. Confederate forces under General Price left the area, but others remained. McDonald wrote on August 28th:
Went out in the yard on crutches for the first time. Sat on the grass for awhile and ate dinner. Was told that our men left on the battlefield had all been buried numbering 101. About 12 or 15 are supposed to have been burned by secessionists. Some 20 or 30 died from their wounds--in all about 140 dead.
On August 31st, McDonald was told he was going home. He left Springfield on September 2 and was repeatedly stopped and searched. He received his discharge on September 10th. He reported leaving for Dubuque aboard the ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD on September 11th and reached Dubuque the following day.CARNEGIE-STOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY. Once belonging to members of the Grand Army of the Republic, the collection had been gradually returned to family members. The weapons illustrated the change taking place during the Civil War when a brass cartridge with a bullet at one end was being developed. The self-contained cartridge allowed soldiers to fire more quickly than those using muzzle-loading rifles. Muzzle-loaders, however, were still the most used rifles. It was not uncommon after battles to find rifles in the field that had been loaded more than once by nervous troops. If fired, these guns became bombs that exploded killing their user. (98)
Two yellowed, rolled scrolls containing a roster of Buchanan County Civil War veterans and picture of the two men who compiled it were found in an attic at 421 Locust in 1962. The two men pictured were Job Barnes and Gustoff Jakway who were members of the Iowa 27th Infantry which spent some time training at Camp Franklin. The command later served under Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman at Memphis, Tennessee and took part in the Vicksburg campaign. Barnes purchased the home in which the scrolls were found in 1881 and apparently stored them in his attic. (99)
For additional information, check these links:
1. McPherson, James. Battle Cry of Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, p. 312
2. Ibid. p. 313
3. Oldt, Franklin T. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Online: http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-29-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml
8. Ibid. http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/franklin-t-oldt/history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl/page-30-history-of-dubuque-county-iowa-being-a-general-survey-of-dubuque-county-histor-tdl.shtml
9. "Tattered Dubuquers Paid the Full Price," Telegraph Herald, Oct. 16, 1859, p. 29. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fItFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0LwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3801,5157564&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en
11. Johnson, Russell Lee. Warriors Into Workers: The Civil War and the Formation of Urban-industrial Society in a Northern City. Fordham University Press, 2003. p. 61 Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=ahqtg54TXyEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
12. "Forwarding Recruits," Dubuque Democratic Herald, January 16, 1864, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640116&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
13. Gallagher, Mary Kevin. Seed/Harvest: A History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa, Archdiocese of Dubuque Press, 1987, p. 19
15. Ibid., p. 20
16. Ibid., p. 21
18. "Uniforms of the Iowa Troops," The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, January 1918. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/Arms_CW.htm
20. Gallagher, p. 21
21. "Uniforms of the Iowa Troops," The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, January 1918, Dubuque County, IAGenWeb, Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/uniforms_CW.htm
23. Hunter, John. "Alexander Simplot: Forgotten Bohemian," Wisconsin Magazine of History: Volume 41, number 4, Summer, 1958, p. 259. Online: http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/wmh/id/26084
24. Porter, Melvin. "Body Armor Vest in the American Civil War," Hub Pages, Online: http://melpor.hubpages.com/hub/Bulletproof-Vests-Were-Used-During-The-American-Civil-War
29. Johnson, Russell Lee. p. 62
32. McPherson, p. 313
33. Johnson, Russell Lee. p. 62 Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=ahqtg54TXyEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
34. "Iowa Soldiers in the Civil War," The Des Moines Register, Feb. 20, 1933
35. "Battle of Wilson's Creek." Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wilson%27s_Creek
36. "Iowa Soldiers in the Civil War."
37. McPherson, p. 326
38. Goodspeed, Weston Arthur. History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago : Goodspeed Historical Association, 1911, p. 299
39. McPherson, p. 327
40. "Awakening to Battle...," Iowa Heritage Illustrated, Spring 2014, p. 16
41. Fact and Grave. "Francis J. Herron," Online: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?GRid=4842&page=gr
43. History, Art and Archives of the United States House of Representatives, "George Wallace Jones," Online: http://history.house.gov/People/Listing/J/JONES,-George-Wallace-%28J000221%29/#biography
44. Wildman, David. Iowa's Martyr Regiment. Iowa City, Iowa: Camp Pope Publishing, 2010, p. 20
45. Kruse, Len. My Old Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa: Center for Dubuque History, 2000.
47. "Dubuque Observes 50th Anniversary," Telegraph Herald, Apr. 23, 1911, p. 25. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5_BCAAAAIBAJ&sjid=76sMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4979,1216434&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en
48. Renner, Beverly. "When 'Boys in Blue' Had Rendezvous Camp Here," Telegraph Herald, July 11, 1952, p. 31. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=b3VFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ubwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5649,1872181&dq=camp+union+dubuque&hl=en
50. Wildman, David. p. 16
51. Ibid. p. 37
53. Renner, Beverly.
55. "Honor the Colors," County Enlistments in the Civil War by Regiment, State Historical Society of Iowa, Online: http://www.iowahistory.org/museum/battleflags/info/assets/county_enlistments.pdf
56. Johnson, Russell Lee. p. 59 Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=ahqtg54TXyEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
57. Edward DECKERT and Cherba, Connie. "The Union Hero and the Anti-Lincoln Fanatic," Julien's Journal, August 2010, p. 77
58. Moffat, William C. Jr. "Soldiers' Pay in the Civil War," The Cincinnati Civil War Round Table, January 1965. Online: http://www.cincinnaticwrt.org/data/ccwrt_history/talks_text/moffat_soldiers_pay.html
59. "The Draft," Dubuque Democratic Herald, September 11, 1863, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18630911&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
60. "The Panorama Tonight," Dubuque Democratic Herald, November 25, 1863, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18631125&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
61. "Union Draft-Civil War," Online: www.wtv-zone.com/civilwar/usdraft.html
62. Iowa in the Civil War, "37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry," Online: http://iagenweb.org/benton/civil_war/37th/37th-history.htm
63. "Enlistments," Dubuque Democratic Herald, May 12, 1864, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640512&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
64. Edward DECKERT and Cherba, Constance. "Florence Healey: Dubuque's First Shop Girl," Julien's Journal, August 2011, p. 58
65. "Civil War Draft List, Other Records Posted by City Clerk," The Morning Record, Jan. 26, 1967, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0QlIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UwANAAAAIBAJ&pg=2486,2736953&dq=civil+war+draft&hl=en
66. Johnson, Russell Lee. Warriors into Workers, p. 238
67. "Dubuque During the Civil War," Telegraph Herald, May 29, 1997, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=xQZRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=wsAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6614,6141606&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en
68. "Soldiers' Wives," Dubuque Democratic Herald, September 16, 1864, Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18640916&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
69. Johnson, Russell L. "A Debt Justly Due: the Relief of Civil War Soldiers and Their Families in Dubuque," The Annals of Iowa, State Historical Society of Iowa, Vol. 55, Number 3, p. 235 Online: http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=10046&context=annals-of-iowa
70. Ibid.p. 226
72. Ibid., p. 231
73. Ibid., p. 233
74. Ibid., p. 237
75. Johnson, Russell L. The Civil War Generation: Military Service and Mobility in Dubuque, Iowa 1860-1870. Online: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Civil+War+generation%3A+military+service+and+mobility+in+Dubuque,...-a055084000
76. "Soldiers' Home." Dubuque Democratic Herald, October 17, 1864, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=A36e8EsbUSoC&dat=18631017&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
81. Fialka, John J. Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003, p. 61
82. Fialka, p. 6
83. "Embalming During the Civil War," Online: http://www.pccpc.org/link/embalming.html
84. Kelly, Kate. "Embalming Invented During the Civil War," America Comes Alive, Online: http://americacomesalive.com/2010/08/03/wars-drive-advances/#.VSyOGhcQTsY
85. "Embalming During the Civil War."
86."Decoration of Graves," IAGenWeb. Online: http://iagenweb.org/dubuque/military/May1868.htm
88. Cook, Robert. "A War for Principle? Shifting Memories of the Union Cause in Iowa 1865-1916," The Annals of Iowa, Volume 74, Number 3, Summer 2015, p. 226
89. "Memories of Shiloh," Dubuque Daily Herald, April 7, 1892, p. 4
90. "V--For Victory," Online: http://v-forvictory.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-medal-of-honor-chaplains.html
91. "Decoration of Graves,"
92. "Southern Relief," Dubuque Herald, August 28, 1866, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18660828&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
93. Cook, p. 239
94. "Back From Shiloh," Dubuque Sunday Herald, April 4, 1895, p. 2
95. "Dubuque Still Has Twenty Veterans," Dubuque Telegraph Herald and Times Journal, May 30, 1928, p. 4. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_apFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Gr0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=1474,5835924&dq=civil+war+dubuque&hl=en
96. Reber, Craig D. "Dubuque Ceremony Will Honor Confederate Army Soldiers," Telegraph Herald, p. 4A
97. "Dubuquer's Civil War Diary Records Early Fighting," Telegraph Herald, March 12, 1961, Dubuque News, p. 1
98. Ingerson, Ralph. "Find Civil War Guns Here," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 1961, Dubuque News, p. 1
99. "Mystery of Scrolls Solved," Telegraph Herald, January 6, 1963, p. 11
See: AFRICAN AMERICANS