F^O I^ T^^ = N I N T H: .
Ideate; ^er-^eeint C;c:>. O, ^0ttT^. Io>.A.-Ga, X_T. S. ^'c:>l. Iin^f.
"VirT-ton, Icj-vs.-^. 1903.
Copyright applied for. All rights reserved.
In presenting -The Story of The Forty-nintli" to the public I have only endeavored to
give some of my recollections and not a history of the regiment. My point of view was
from the ranks, and the things of which I have written are naturally those experienced by
the enlisted man.
Of the enlisted men of the regiment a volume could be written. They were from every
grade and class of our citizenship. Army life in the ranks is a great leveler. The hod
carrier and the banker slept under the same blanket. The well digger and the preacher
touched elbows and shared each others troubles and pleasures. The day laborer and the
lawyer were partners in games of cinch, while the farm hand and the doctor ran the guard
lines together. There were enough men of every profession, line of business or occupation
to supply any community. It is said that the wealthiest man in the regiment was the
colonel, and the next in line with this world's goods was a high private It must be ad-
mitted that the enlisted men of the Forty-ninth were able to -make good" under all con-
ditions or circumstances.
The officers of the regiment were in every respect lifted to command such men. For
the most part rt was their chief aim to care for their men. and by their own example set
the standard for soldierly conduct.
The author desires to express his thanks for kindly assistance rendered by many, and
especially to Lieut. Frank M. Haradon, of Co. H. and Private Joseph H. Allen, of Co. F. for
a number of the plates used in illustrating this humble work. Colonel Dows. Lieut. Nattin-
ger, Serg't. W. E. Bickel and The Times-Citizen-Union, of Jacksonville. Fla.. are also en-
titled to credit for favors shown.
He who looks for literary merit in this hook will waste his time. If my former com-
rades read its pages with any degree of interest then I shall be satisfied
J. E. Whipple.
Vinton, January 5, 1903.
To those three most potent forces in maintaining
the safety and integrity of our country, the Americari
Volunteer, the Soldier's Mother, and the Army Nurse,
are these lines gratefully dedicated.
THE SOLDIER'S MOTHER,
Preparations for War — Called Out — -The Parting and De-
parture — At Camp McKinley.
• A third of a century nad elapsed after
the close of the civil war before the
United States was called on to show her
power, and then her strength was scarce-
ly tested much less exhausted. ]n fact
the Spanish war, in which the 49th Iowa
Volunteer Infantry was enlisted, was a
tame affair when compared with the gi-
gantic struggle of the sixties. It is not
news to my readers that great excite-
ment existed throughout the country
following the blowing up of the battle-
snip Maine, for that lamented affair oc-
curred only four and a half years ago.
During those two months, before war
was declared, there was a very great deal
of criticism because of the apparent
slowness of the authorities and their de-
sire to avoid war. The failure of the
president to spit fire, or even to talk
"sassy," caused many very worthy gen-
tlemen in private life to tell what they
would do if they were running things.
However the president and his advisors
were not idle by any means. During
those two months they were quietly, but
rapidly, getting things in shape for busi-
ness. The declaration of war came and
the president made requisition on the
governors of the various states for a total
of 125,000 men, for two years, or until
the war should end.
Then it was that the members of the
First Regiment, Iowa National Guard,
afterwards the Forty-ninth Iowa Vols.,
began to get busy. The twelve com-
panies, composing the regiment, were
at their armories all day on Monday,
April 25th, anxiously awaiting the ex-
pected orders to go to the rendezvous at
Des Moines. Men who had never taken
the slightest interest in the home mili-
tary companies, and never given any at-
tention to them except to occasionally
call them tm soldiers, now heartily ap-
plauded them and called them "Bully
Boys," both words accented.
The company commanders received
The Stor}^ of 71ie Forty-ninth.
orders on the nij^ht of the 25th to report
at ODce. Then it was that the steam
whistles sounded and the bells rang, and
thousands of people tatubled out of bed
to see the boys start. It is a never to-
be forgotten night and the scenes which
I witnessed at Vinton were undoubtedly
the same that were enacted in every
town that furnished a company. Cheers
there were in plenty, and tears too. The
mothers and fathers were there — every
father proud that he could give a son to
the service of his country, and every
mother proud, too, only her heartstrings
vibrated nigh unto breaking. Here and
there a man left a wife; brave, splendid
women! Here and there were to be seen
a little bronze button in the lapel of
men whose forms were more erect than
usual, and whose eyes A^ere aglint with
the fires of long ago.
But I must not dwell too long on the
good byes that were said, or the tears
that were shed. I must proceed with
the story of the 49th. That regiment,
together with the other three regiments
of the state, was encamped on the state
fair grounds before the close of the 26th,
The first detachment to arrive was com-
posed of companies C, F, G anp K of the
49th, under command of Colonel Dows.
The regiment was quartered in the six
horse barns on the east side of the race
track. Thus two companies occupied
3ach barn. A driveway extened through
each of these barns, with ten box stalls
on either side. This cluster of buildings
was the home of the regiment for nearly
seven weeks, During these seven weeks
we learned many things that we didn't
know before. Some of the boys thought
they knew all about soldiering, but they
found, ere their service of thirteen
months expired, that there were a few
other things besides executing "fours
Before proceeding further it will be
proper to give a list of the field and staff
officers, and also the locations of the
companies and the names of thier officers
as they were at this time.
Field and staff: Colonel, W. G. Dows,
Cedar Rapids; Lieut. Col., vacancy;
Majors, C. D. Ham, Dubuque, S. E.
Clapp, Toledo, and B. F. Blocklinger,
Dubuque; Reg't. Adj't, Capt. ^J. C. Mc-
Collum. Clinton; Bat. Adj'ts, A. M.
Jaeggi. Dubuque, and E. E. Reed,
Monticello; Inspector of Small Arms*;
Practice, Capt. W. H. Thrift. Dubuque:
Quartermaster, Lieut. F. W. Woodring
Waverly; Commissary of Subsistance,
Lieut. C. S. Goodwin, Vinton; Sur-
geons, Major A. L. Wright, Carroll;
Capt. J. R. Guthrie, Dubuque, and
Capt. E. L. Martindale, Clinton; Chap-
Iain, Capt. Thomas E, Green, Cedar
Company A, Dubuque; Captain Wil-
lard M. Fhnn; First Fieut. Jacob Bal-
lough; Second Lieut. C. J. Stewart.
Company B, Waterloo; Captain F. R.
Fisher; First Lieut. C. W. Cottton; Sec-
ond Lieut. J. A. Gurry.
Company C, Cedar Rapids: Captain
George A. Evans: First Lieut. H. J.
Sugru; Second Lieut. A. U. Machemer.
Company D, Charles City: Captain
C. B. Roziene; First Lieut. C. A. Dan-
forth; Second Lieut. D. W. Fowler.
Company E, Independence: Captain
H. A. Allen; First Lieut. M. B. O'Brien
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Second Lieut. R. ?. Snow.
Companv F, Tipton: Captain L. J.
Kowell; First Lieut. F. H. Gunsolas
Second Lieut. J, E. Bartlev.
Company G, Vinton: C-ptain J. F
Traer; Firat Lieut. C. F. Young; Second
Lieui. Guy Kellogg.
Company fl, Marshalltown: Captain
C. S. Aldrich; First Lieut. B. F. Moffatt.
Company I, Waukon: Captain A. G.
Stewart; First Lieut. R. A. Nichols.
Company K, Toledo: Captain H. G.
Ross; First Lieut. P. W. McRoberte.
Company L, Clinton: Captain C. L.
Root; First Lieut. F. L Holleran; Second
Lieut. Geo. Michelson.
Company M, Maquoketa: Captain E.
C. Johnson; Second Lieut. G. M. John-
Each company consisted of about
forty Ave men. The companies were
soon recruited until the barns were over-
flowing with as noisy a set of youngsters
as ever lived. Every recruit met with a
vociferous greeting when he entered
Camp McKinley. The fact that he was
a "rooky" was impressed upon his mind
until every particle of self importance
vanished, and he became properly sub-
missive. The evolutions of military drill
was to him a sealed book, and he couldn't
have told the difference between "fours
right" and "balance all," although gen-
erally he was well versed in the latter
One day a young man appeared in
camp and was assigned quarters with a
half dozen young fellows, one of whom
wore the chevrons of a corporal. Now
this youth believed that persons having
military rank were exalted indeed, but
he knew Bolhing a out the difference
between a non-com. and a brigadier.
One of his new bunk mates seeing this,
told him that he would give him all thn
information that lay in his power, and
that was not a little. He told the rooky
that he was frequently consulted b) Col.
Dows and Gen. Lincoln on important
The rooky felt that the troubles, he
had bden anticipating, were over, and
congratulated himself that he had fallen
into the hands of one who could post
him fully. He assured his new friend
that he appreciated his kindness in offer-
ing to teach him and said, "Now that I
am here what is expected of me, what
am I to do."
"Well," said the instructor, "you must
be careful of your actions towards the
corporals and sergeants. You saw that
man with chevrons on his arms, did you
not, the one who went out just after you
The rooky assured him that he "eaw
the fellow but did not notice him par-
ticularly." "That man" continued the
good fairy "is not a fellow; he is a cor-
poral, and you will not be here long un-
til you will notice him all right. In fact
the army regulations require that for
one week after joining you must salute
a corporal or a sergeant when you meet
one. Whenever this corporal, who is
quartered with us comes into the stall
here you must immediately rise to your
feet, salute and remain standing, your
arms hanging at your side and your eyes
straight to the front."
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
"How long must I stand that way"
said the recruit, anxiouslj'. "O, you are
to stand in that position until ho gives
you permission to be seated. 1 don't
think he will require you to stand more
than two-thirds of the time."
The recruit received a lot of other in-
formation along the same line, among
which was the assurance that "these
fellows you see around camp with things
on their shoulders that look like bana-
na peels are waiters. They are hired by
the government to polish the boys' shoes
and to do a thousand things you may
want done. Some of them are a little
haughty and need calling down frequent-
ly. Talk right up to them and they will
soon learn their places." But the rook-
ies were not rookies long. In a very
short time they were the principal char-
acters in the initiatory team.
The state fair grounds had become
Camp McKinley, and the troops present
consisted of the four regiments of Iowa
national guards, all under command of
Gen. J. R. Lincoln. Thousands of peo-
ple visited the camp and drill grounds
everyday. On Sundays excursion trains
were run from different parts of the
state and on these days the size of the
crowd ranged as high as twenty thous-
and. To the onlooker it seemed that
the boys in blue were having acontinous
picnic. Had the onlooker taken a few
whirls at the daily drills of four hours,
besides the many other duties, he would
have felt differently about the matter.
The forenoon was devoted to battalion
drills, while brigade and regimental
drills was the order for afternoons.
There was no fun in these drills but they
resulted in great benefit to both officers
and men. These drills, and the out
dnor life, tanned the skin, hardened the
muscles, and, together with the army
diet, fitted us for the life we were soon
to experience in the Florida climate
The records will show that the men who
had the benefit of the training at Camp
McKinley withstood the fearful scourge
of typhoid, that invaded the camps at
Jacksonville, better than did those who
joined the regiment after its removal to
the south. Those who joined the regi-
ment at Jacksonville, under the second
call, constituted about one-third of its
force when its ranks were full. Yet of
all who died half were from this smaller
number who did not have the benefit of
the training at Des Moines.
One thing that attracted attention
every day was the large number of young
girls about the camp. Many of them
were anxious to make a "mash" on a
soldier boy, and, in the language of the
street, the boys were generally there
with the goods. Many of these girls
were very young and evidently of respec-
table families. Most of them should
have been turned over the maternal
knee and exercised with a broad carpet
slipper in the good old fashioned way.
Had this been done, or had the parents
kept better tab on the giggling misses
some of them would have had less
trouble a little later. Certain organiza-
tions in Des Moines, composed of women,
would have saved themselves the trouble
of adopting resolutions denouncing the
soldiers for things which, primarily, was
the fault of many of the parents of the
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Scarcely had we got settled in our two lir;ht batteries, total maximum
•quarters when the question of getting strength of all grades, commissioned and
four regiments accepted, when but three
were called for, came up to bother us.
It was made known that it would be
necessary to either send one regiment
home, or else disband it and let its mem-
bers join the other three regiments.
Neither regiment would consent to dis-
band, nor did either want to go home.
Finally it was decided that the junior
regiment should go home and wait for
the second call, should there be one. It
was reasoned, by those in authority, that
our regiment was the junior regiment
because our colonel was junior to the
other three, his coramiasion having later
date than theirs. This reasoning, was
in accordance with military usages, al-
though we wouldn't admit it then, for
every man was boiling over in his anxie-
ty to get to the front. The telegraph
wires were worked, and a number of in-
fluential men from northeastern Iowa
were soon on the ground. There was a
hot time, in certain spots, in the old
town of Des Moines. After two or three
conferences with the state authorities it
was decided to sena a telegram to the
Iowa congressional delegation, asking
that the order be changed so that four
regiments be accepted instead of three.
This plan solved the problem as was
shown by a telegram, received April 30,
1898. As this whole aflfair was an im-
portant event in our history, the tele-
gram, which carried the intelligence of
our salvation, should be given here. It
is as follows:
"Governor of Iowa. — Your apportion-
ment is three regiments of infantry and
non-commissioned and enlisted of 3,328.
I now authorize this changed to four regi-
ments of infantry each compi-sed of
eighteen held, staff and non commission-
ed staff officers, twelve companies, each
composed of three officers and sixty-five
enlisted men; total aggregate strength
of all grades 3,336 and no more."
ti. A. Alger,
Secretary of War.
Notice was immediately sent out to
camp. It is needless to say that the
good news was received with many hear-
Quinine has ever been an important
article for army consumption. Our first
introduction to it was on the night of
May 4th. It was a cold night and the
boys suffered much, but they did not
suffer in silence. Silence may be golden
under certain conditions, but it is not a
striking characteristic of American sol-
diers, especially when they feel like
kicking about something. Thty grum-
bled about the cold and longed for feath-
er beds. The surgeons feared that an
epidemic of malaria night invade the
camp. So they sent for the first ser-
geants, and gave each a supply of quinine,
in capsules, with instructions to give
each man in the regiment a capsule.
Directly each sergeant appeared in his
company's quarters, waked the boys up
for most of them had gone to sleep by
this time, (midnight,) and giving each a
quinine capsule, said: "'Here, swallow
this, it will warm you up."
The scheme worked, and nearly every
man took his medicine like a little man.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Then they began to realize that they had
done something that they would rather
not do. They "warmed up" all right. A
kick was made, but of course it did no
good. All sorts of remarks "'ere in-
dulged in, and one fellow waS heard to
say: "The next time I join the army it
will be of the salvation variety and I am
going to carry a big drum."
The next day after the quinine episode
the ladies of Des Moines gave the regi-
mont a big dinner. If there is anything,
above all others, that a healthy soldier
is particularly strong at it is in eating a
good dinner. Pie and chicken took the
taste of quinine out of our mouths, and
contentment and good nature once more
held full sway.
On the day following the big dinner
Governor Shaw, accompaninied by his
staff, reviewed the four regiments, on
the plain between camp and the city.
It is a very pretty ceremony, and one
that a person would rather witness than
participate in, especially if the flies are
Once, since the war, and at a review of
the regiment since it has again become
a national guard affair, I suffered untold
agony because of one of these pests
The regiment was in line and my com-
pany was on the extreme left. I was
standing in front, at attention, my sword
at an order and my eyes straight to the
Just as the governor, and accompan-
ing oflBcers, started towards the right
and thence to ride slowly (fown the front
of the long line, a fly planted itself on
Now, my nasal appurtenance is not of
the inconspicious kind; and it is sensi
tive, not only to the amused smile that
accompanies the glance of the eye, wbich
never fails to linger when once it comes
within range of the vision of any
stranger, but it also is sensitive to touch,
exceedingly so. Now this fly was not of
a timid nature or retiring disposition.
Not on your life, it wasn't. Its nature
was of the inquisitive sort, being a lady
fly, undoubtedly, and its aggressiveness
was very prononced, it being of the
My, how that fly did dig! And the
governor twenty plattoons away, his eye
taking in the blue uniforms and glisten-
ing brasses, while he secretly prayed
that his horse would shy neither to the
right nor to the left. I could not brush
the confounded fly off with my hand for
the white glove would have attracted
the attention of every one of the five
thousand spectators, it seemed to me.
Why don't the governor hurry; why
don't his norge run off with him; any-
thing, so this fly will vamouse." But no,
the governor lingered, and the infernal
fly got in its deadly work. But there is
an end to all things, and, just as reason
was tottering on her throne, the chief
executive appeared, and the fly trans-
fered its attention to a fat and docile
looking staff officer.
One of the most interesting and pleas-
ant incidents, of the period spent In
Camp McKinlev, was the living flag,
which was given on May 19th. It took
thirteen hundied schoolchildren to com-
pose the flag. A stand was erected on
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
the ground, just inside the track, that
looked like the bleacher seats at a base
ball game. The children were seated
there in thirteen rows, those on one row
being dressed in white, the nezt in red,
and so on the whole width of the stand
In the upper left hand corner the child-
ren were all dressed in blue Large
stars, made of pastboard, were held in
place by children. It was a very in-
spiring sight, and one not soon to be
forgotten. All four regiments were out
and passed the stand in salute to the
flag. At a given signal every chiM drew
a small flag from hiding and waved it
On the morning of May 2l8t the 50th
regiment (formerly the 2nd) left for the
south, their destination being Tampa,
Florida, although it went to Jackson-
ville, having received orders to that ef-
fect while enroute. The 49th escorted
one battilion (Major MoflBt's) to the
train, which they embarked amid the
cheers of our fellows.
The question that was discused every
day was about our probable destination,
for no one doubted that we would move.
One could hear all kinds of news (?) re-
garding the matter. One report was
that we were going to the mountains of
Tennesee, the next to New Orleans,
another to Ckickamauga. 8carcely had
these reports besome well circulated
when came the word that we would leave
within a few days for Wasington, D. C.
This gave way to the report, said to be
absolutely true, that we would go to
San Francisco, thence lo Manila. Of
coarse none of these rumors had any
foundation, except that there was some
reason for believing that we would go to
Some ladies, members of the Women's
Relief Corps, I think, presented the reg-
iment with a fine flag on May 16th. The
process of physical examinations went
forward as fast as possible. About thirty
per cent, of those who enlisted, were re-
jected by the examining board, chief of
which was a regular army surgeon.
Some of those who were first rejected
were examined a second time and passed
In order to prevent confusion in after
years it was decided to change the num-
bers of the regiments, beginingone num-
ber above the highest in the civil war
As this was the 48th, our regiment be-
came the 49th when mustered in.
Mustered In — Enroute to the South — Camp Cuba Libre-
A Dav at St. Augustine.
June 2, 1893, will always be remember-
ed as the day on which we became
Uncle Sam's soldiers, that being the day
of muster-in. The place was one of the
large pavilions on the grounds, the mus-
tering ofBcer being Captain J. A. Olm-
sted, of the regular army. Each com-
pany was mustered separately. After
each man had answered to his nanae,
as it appeared on the muster roll, every-
one, with up lifted hand took the oath
that made us the Forty-ninth Iowa U. S.
Infantry. June 4th was the first pay
day with us. The pay was from the
state and covered the time from the day
of our enlistment to the day of muster-
in. The manner of paying off, on this
occasion, was different from that prac-
ticed by United states paymasters. The
money was placed in small envelopes, on
which was written the name of the man
to whom the money in each belonged.
It took about 820,000 to pay the regi-
On June 9th orders came directing
the regiment to proceed to Jacksonville,
Florida, and there to report to Gen.
Fitzhuiih Lee. Arrangements were made
to leave two days later. The First bat-
talion, field, staff and band, under com-
mand of Col. Dows, went over the Chi-
cago & Milwaukee, the Second battalion,
under command of Major Blocklinger,
went over the Great Western, and the
Third battalion. Major Fisher, went over
the Wabash. The experiences of the
three sections were similar, doubtless.
As I was with the Second battalion I
will give only my observations while
enroute. The baggage was nearly all
packed on the 10th. Early on the morn-
ing of the 11th a number of large furni-
ture vans, (one for each company) ap-
peared and were soon loaded and started
for the trains. The officers and men
went aboard at points near the old camp.
While there had been a general desire to
leave, and, on this morning, there was a
MAJOR B. F. BLOCKLINGER.
MAJOR S. E. CLAPP.
CAPT, A. M. JAEGGI, ADJ'T.
LIEUT. C. J. STEWART, COMPANY A.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
fever of excitement raanifeat in every
countenance, everybody bade farewell to
Camp McKiuley with some retjret. For
almost seven weeks it had been our home
and we had become attached to the
place. As ours was the last regiment to
leave thousands of people, from the city,
were on hands to see us off. If I remem-
ber aright we left Des Moines about ten