Homer Howard Field.

History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) online

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have the effect of splitting the democratic party.

Although it was openly declared by the pro-slavery element that a dis-
solution of the Union would follow in tin- event of the republican party
coming into power, the great mass of the people were loath to believe it.

The political campaign of L860 resembled the hard cider and loo cabin
campaign of 1840. Both of the leading parties were provided with speakers
of great ability, and torch-light processions, stump-speaking and brass bands
were the order of the day. Pottawattamie county had local talent of a high
order in both parties. The republicans had their Wide-awake and Rail-
splitting organizations, and the democrats their Little Giant clubs, and as
for speaker-, there was no lack. D. C. Bloomer. C. E. Stone. W. II. Kins-
man and Frank Street were always available for a republican rally, while
Captain Price. Colonel Babbitt, W. G. Crawford and .1. C. Turk were equally
qualified to entertain the democrats, while the bra- band, whose number-
were about equally divided politically, caught them "comin' and goin'."

During the summer the city became infested with what the president
call- "undesirable citizens." One in particular named Phil McGuire, a pow-
erful man. whose headquarters were about the Ocean Wave saloon, had made
himself obnoxious in many ways, was finally located with some stolen mules
belonging to John Jones in a temporary camp in the timber on the river
bottom. He was found one morning hanging on a walnut tree on the
western slope of the hill below Fairview cemetery. The coroner was not in
the city, and he remained there all that day and the following night, and
probably a thousand persons went up to "view the remains." A card was
pinned to his coat collar on which was written, "Hung for all manner of

The coroner not returning, Justice Bigg.-, acting ;1 s coroner, had a jury
summoned and held an inquest. Not being able to find any clue as to who
were responsible, the jury returned their verdict, as follows: We, the jury,
find that the deceased came to his death at the hands of persons unknown
to the jury.

The inquest being over, the coroner proceeded to administer on the
estate. On the person of the deceased was found a pocket knife, a pair of
thimbles for playing the thimble game, a brass medal with chain attached,
and a one dollar bill.

A bystander suggested that the coroner and three jurors play a four-
handed name of seven-up for the dollar, alleging that there was a precedent
for it in scripture. This was overruled by the coroner, and the order was
made giving the knife to one juror, the chain to one, the thimbles to a third,
and the medal to the constable, providing they would accept them in full


for their fees, and that the body be buried at the expense of the county. The
coroner retaining the dollar for his fee. The jury and constable agreeing,
the order was carried into effect, the burial being by the side of Muir, on
the ridge a short distance above the soldiers' cemetery. It is doubtful if
anything remains at this time to show their graves. "While this was being
done, about twenty others received warning to leave town within ten hours,
which they were quick to obey, and thugs were scarce for quite a while.

The fall election went democratic so far as local affairs were concernedy
but on learning the result, so far as the president was concerned, some of
the old wheel horses nearly went wild. A grand ratification meeting was
held, in which a grand torch-light procession, with bonfires, music and
speaking, was indulged in until after midnight. Notwithstanding the dire
threats that had been made, the greal mass of our people believed a way
would be found to avoid civil war. J. P. Casady was elected county judge,
he being the last to serve in that capacity, as the legislature had abolished
the office and inaugurated the system of control of county affairs by a board
of supervisors, consisting of one member from each township. The first
meeting of the board in this county was on the 7th day of January, 1881,
and consisted of the following named persons: Judge Douglass represented
Kane township; C. Vborhis, Macedonia; William Elswick, Grove: Josiah
True. Knox. J. II. Layton, Center: L. J. Childs, York: Robert Kent. Boomer;
Abram Jackson, Rockford; David Dunkle, Crescent; William Lyman.
James: and John Bratton, Silver Creek.

During the fall of I860 a new bank wa- established, of which .Tame- A.
Jackson was made president, John D. Lockwood, cashier, S. S. Bayliss, Sam-
uel Knepper and J. I'. Casady were directors. It did not. however, com-
mence operation until in January, lsCil. It wa- afterwards merged in the
First National Bank when the law creating such institutions went into effect.
The new board of supervisors found the affairs of the county in unsatisfactory
condition, especially that of treasurer, W. D. Turner, and after filing his
report, it required that hi- bond be raised, and instead of complying he
tendered hi- resignation, which was accepted, and Thomas Tostpvin was
appointed to till the vacancy, which he proceeded to do so satisfactorily that
hi' held the position by election for six year-. He. like G. M. Dodge, was a
surveyor, a line scholar, though nol a military man. being reared a Quaker,
but probably next to General Dodge he has had more to do with the conduct
of affairs than any man in the county, and although his field of operation
was small compared with that of the General, there were points of resem-
blance between them, being about the same age, both untiring worker- and
in politic- intensely republican. In addition to county treasurer he has held
at different times the office of mayor of the city, county surveyor, city en-
gineer, and was -cut by the city as one of a committee to negotiate with the
officers o\ the Union Pacific Railroad Company for the location of their
terminal requirements here, wherein the city pledged two hundred and five
thousand dollar.-, to which the company agreed but afterward- repudiated.


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During the winter of 1860-1 we, in common with all the north, felt
the unrest and uncertainty that hung like a nightmare over us. while state
after state was seceding, and a large element among us was in full sympa-
thy with the movement, when the president's proclamation for prayers
proved unavailing; when the president-elect had to proceed by stealth to the
capital we realized that the inevitable was close by and began to cast about
as to what could be done in our small way at this distance.

Nor was the spirit of secession confined to the political world. Up to
this time Brigharo Young had been the recognized head of the Mormon
Church, but a schism had crept in and had grown until the non-polygamists
came out openly, repudiating Brigham Young and the Utah hierarchy and
organized under the leadership of Joseph Smith, son of the prophet who
was murdered in the Carthage' jail in Illinois by the mob. The first meeting
under the new organization was held on the 4th of January. 1881, which
continued for several days, and many converts were baptized, and the con-
struction of a church building ordered; and although the local society has
not grown to large dimensions, it contains among it- adherents as good
citizens as we have 1 in the community, and one of it- peculiarities is that it
is self-sustaining. Its members are never seen soliciting funds or getting
up fairs or other schemes to get outside help. Although, as already stated,
the local society is not large, it has quite a large membership in many coun-
ties in Iowa as well as in other states.

With the advent of Mr. Lincoln's administration, his conservative, kindly
yet admonitory inaugural address, many still Imped that actual war might
be averted. Our local affairs were conducted as usual. Not until the firing
on Sumter did our entire people fully realize that the worst was upon us;
but the effect was magical. Old party lines were ignored and it became
Union or '"Copperhead," as those in sympathy with secession were termed.
G. M. Dodge, who had already organized a company, tendered its services to
Governor Kirkwood, but he, believing it imprudent to leave the frontier
unprotected, declined to accept its sendee at that time, as the regulars at the
frontier forts were being drawn in for the defense of Washington.

We at this distance got our first glimpse of actual preparation for war
one day as a battalion of regulars who had come by steamboat from Fort Ran-
dall. As warning had been sent by General Dodge of probable difficulty in
their passing through Missouri, they landed here and marched across the
state to Eddyville, the nearest point to strike a railroad. There were four
companies and they had a fine band, and as they marched up Broadway to
the tune of "Dixie," with the regular swing peculiar to disciplined troops,
they made a fine appearance; and three or four of our boys were so charmed
that they joined them.

Nebraska promptly raised a regiment of cavalry to protect the frontier
on the withdrawal of the regulars, and Captain Dodge was authorized to
raise a regiment, which he proceeded to do by opening a recruiting station
in the Bluffs and establishing Camp Kirkwood on a beautiful spot just south


of the city limits. Dr. S. H. Craig, who was sheriff of Pottawattamie county,
resigned his office. and proceeded to raise a company. Captain English was
the first to report with a full company from Mills county, which became
Company A, and Captain Craig, assisted by W. H. Kinsman, was next in
with Company B, recruited largely from the city and almost wholly from
within the county. It must be remembered that at that time the entire
population of the county did not exceed five thousand and that, as now, that
of the city constituted about one-half; so that raising a regiment was an
entirely different proposition from what it would be now with its -ixty thou-
sand, and the entire southwestern part of the state had to be drawn upon to
fill the different regiments and companies organized here, while at different
times we were drawn upon to fill quotas in other parts of the state; and while
we are justly proud of the achievements of our Pottawattamie county boys
we do not wish to withhold our praise from their fellow soldiers from other
parts of the state or country at large.

Nor is it the purpose of this little history to follow our citizen soldiers
through their long terms of service, their suffering in hospitals and rebel
prison-. This has already been done by abler writers. Suffice it to say that
we have no apologies to make. From General Dodge to the private soldier,
we simply wish to record our approval of their every act and joy that a
grateful country remembers them.

While the [owa Fourth was being filled, N. T. Sp r, who had been

postmaster during Buchanan's administration, received authority to raise an
artillery company. He also opened a rendezvous at Camp Kirkwood, and
this brings to us another person who was destined to become a prominent
figure Liter mi. Joseph R. Reed, a young lawyer of Dallas county, had
started to raise a company and had thirty-six men enlisted, lie came with
them and. combining these with those recruited by Spoor, and securing a few
more recruits, a full company was formed and organized ;i- the Second Iowa
Battery, with X. 'I'. Spoor as captain, Joseph R. Reed first lieutenant, Charles
V. Reed second lieutenant. Subsequently Daniel T. Walling was commis-
sioned junior first lieutenant and served one year. Captain Spoor >erved
three year- a- captain and. on being mustered out. Lieutenant ,T. R. Reed
became captain September 1. 1S64. At the same time John W. Coons, of
Dallas county, became first lieutenant, and John Burke second.

During the four years of service the total number of enlistments in
the battery was over one hundred and fifty, among which were a number
from Council Bluffs and various other parts of the state. It was mustered
out at Davenport, Iowa, August 7. 1865, after exactly four years' service.

The record of the Fourth Iowa is a glorious one. From here they went
to St. Louis, then to Rolla; from there they joined the army under command
of General Curtis, participating in the battle of Pea Ridge, then marched
across the states of Missouri and Arkansas to Helena: were in at the capture
of Arkansas post, the long seige and final capture of Vicksburg. From here
they moved to Corinth and from there to Chattanooga, where they, with the
brigade of which they formed a part, were assigned to General Hook
command, and carried the point of Lookout Mountain in the famous hi'


above the clouds. After the battle of Pea Ridge they were commanded by
their lieutenant-colonel, James A. Williamson, Dodge having been promoted
to brigadier-general and assigned to a higher and different command.

On January 1, 1864, the Fourth Iowa re-enlisted and on February 26
they started for home on veteran furlough and arrived in Des Moines on
March 9. The city gave them a royal reception, and the legislature then in
session adopted the following resolutions:

"Whereas, We have learned thai the veterans of the Fourth Iowa have
re-enlisted for three years or during the war, and that they are on their way
to this city on furlough to enjoy for a short time the blessings of the domestic
circle, and the citizens of Des Moines are preparing to give them a proper
reception, and deeming it our duty as their representatives to express our
appreciation of their gallantry and their services in the suppression of the
rebellion; therefore, be it

Resolved by the General Assembly of the state of Iowa, That we have
watched with pride and admiration the Fourth Iowa Infantry, as step by
step they have borne the ensign of the free on the memorable fields of Pea
Ridge. Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Jackson. Vicksburg siege and assault,
Cherokee. Caney Creek, Tuscumbia, Lookout .Mountain. Missionary Ridge
and Ringgold, and in their long and weary inarches, enduring all the hard-
ships and privations of a soldier's life, they have toiled on and fought for
home and kindred until the mute graves of their comrades in arms point
with sadness to remnants of brave men who have honored their state and
added to the glory of the nation.

Resolved. That in the re-enlistment of said regiment we have the strong-
est proof of their loyalty to the principles of civil liberty; and that their love
of country is paramount to all other consideration- and entitles them to the
lasting honor and gratitude of those whose firesides have been protected by
their arms.

Resolved. That as a token of our confidence and regard for the dis-
tinguished services of that regiment, we will adjourn and attend in a body the
reception of the veterans on their return to the city.

Resolved, That the Governor be recpiested to present them with a copy
of these resolutions, and on behalf of the members of this General Assembly
bid them welcome to the capital of the state whose honor they have kept so
sacredly untarnished."

On the expiration of their furlough they returned and rejoined their
brigade, taking part in the campaign which resulted in the taking of At-
lanta, the march to the sea and capture of Savannah and the march north-
ward through the Carolinas and Virginia, taking their place in the grand
review at Washington. The regiment was finally discharged at Louisville,
Kentucky, on the 24th of July, 1865.

It is proper in this connection to refer to one who took an active part
in raising Company B of this regiment. This was W. H. Kinsman. He was
a native of Nova Scotia, who had drifted into this county, taught school near
the old Wicks' mill, was a newspaper correspondent, became first lieutenant
in Company B, where he served until in organizing the Twenty-third In-



fantry he was commissioned lieutenant colonel in August. 1802, and colonel
in September of same year; was killed at the head of his regiment during
seige of Vicksburg and was buried on the field, where he rested forty years,
when his grave was identified and bis remains brought to Council Bluffs
and reinterred in the soldiers' ground in Fairview Cemetery and a suitable
monument erected to his memory.

During the years of 1861, 1882 and 1863 the raising of troops seemed
to lie the principal busine - .

After the Fourth Infantry and Second Battery had gone to the front,
there seemed to be no abatement in the zeal for carrying on the war. D. B.
Clark, a pioneer farmer, opened a recruiting office and with the assistance of
Steven W. King, of Pottawattamie, and John A. Donelson, of Harrison
county, raised a company for the Fifteenth Infantry. W. T. Burke later
raised seventeen men for the Seventeenth Infantry ami was made first lieu-
tenanl of Company II. and J. C. Linieger raised twenty-three men and took
them into the Twenty-third Regiment and was made captain of Com-
pany E.

On looking back, one is inclined to wonder where so many soldiers
could be recruited from in the then thinly settled portion of Iowa, but they
came just the same and more were destined to follow.

With the enlistment constantly going on. prosecution of the war became
more and more popular and any man opposed to it had little show of election
to any office.

The Ladies of Council Bluffs were not behindhand in aiding the coun-
try in it.- great struggle. At an early period of the war they organized a
Soldiers' Aid Society that did excellent work, and on March 22, L862, was
merged into a branch of the Army Sanitary Commission of Iowa that did a
great work in supplying hospitals and prisons with needful articles which
could not always he furnished by the War Department.

During the summer of L862 Thomas II. Benton, Jr., nephew of Senator
Benton, of Missouri, who had been a hanker previous to the crash of 1857,
received authority to raise a regiment of infantry and. although this terri-
tory had Keen pretty well drained of it- young men. a rendezvous was opened
a little south of Camp Kirkwood. on the same beautiful table land, and
named Cain]' Dodge in honor of the general who had already become re-
nowned. Sheriff J. I'. Williams, like his predecessor. S. II. Craig, re-igned
and started a recruiting station ami succeeded in raising Campany A. nearly
all of the members of which were from Pottawattamie county, and a large
pan from the city. In organizing the company -I. I'. Williams was made
captain; tir-t lieutenant. George A. Maine-: second lieutenant. P. R. Kirk-
patriok; orderly sergeant, C. V. Gardner. By December the regimenl was
organized and ready to take the field. Of the regimental officers the following
were from Pottawattamie county: Colonel, Thos. Benton, Jr.: quartermaster,
W. W. Wilson; surgeon, Dr. W. S. Grimes; adjutant. Joseph Lyman. Lyman
had enlisted at the forming of the Fourth Iowa and for meritorious service
was commissioned a lieutenant by Governor Kirkwood and assigned to tie 1
Twenty-ninth and served as adjutant and later became major. This regi-


ment went through the whole of Dixey and were stationed for some months
on the Rio Grande, observing the movements of the French in Mexico after
the rebellion had collapsed. It was mustered out at New Orleans on the
10th of August, 1865, and on the arrival of Company A at the Bluffs they
were given a royal reception. Many arc still with us. and many more have
joined the great majority. Among the latter are all of the field and staff

As an illustration (if the spirit which prevailed at this lime Mr. Curtis
Burroughs, who had just built a neat cottage in Glendale on a lot purchased
on time remarked that be would ,lv> with this regiment if his lot was paid
for. .-<> lie could leave hi- family comfortably fixed. Old Captain Beal, his
creditor, says: ''If you want to enlist, don't stop on that account. Intcm-t
will stop while you are in the service and if you die or get killed, your widow
shall have a clear. title to the lot." He died at Helena, Arkansas, and old
Captain Beal kept his promise. Several of Council Bluffs' boys fell in this
campaign, among which were Geo. W. Fouman, N. II. Folsom and Law-
fence Smith, brother to Hon. Spencer Smith. Captain J. P. Williams, who
had to resign on account of failing health, recovered and at eighty-two
is living in comfortable retirement, as is also his first lieutenant. Geo. A.
Haines. Second Lieutenant R. R. Kirkpatrick died in California some years
ago. C. V. Gardner, who became the last to command the company, became
one of the founders of Avoca and later of Deadwood, Dakota. Among the
members that are still with us are Drum Major McFadden, Bugler Robt.
Bucroft and Oliver Payne.

About October 25, 1862, W. G. Crawford received a captain'- commis-
sion from Governor Kirkwood to raise a company for the Sixth Iowa Cav-
alry, being formed at Davenport. D. F. Eicher and J. C. DeHaven enlisted
and all three commenced recruiting through the western part of the state.
Notwithstanding the territory had been pretty well drained, they suc-
ceeded in raising a full company and in organizing. C. W. Lamb was elected
first lieutenant. D. F. Eicher second and J. C. DeHaven third. Later the
government dropped the third lieutenant from the rolls and DeHaven was
appointed orderly sergeant. The company was transported by stage to Daven-
port. Captain Crawford's health entirely failed, and he was compelled to re-
sign. Lieutenant Lamb also resigned, and Lieutenant Eicher became captain,
J. C. DeHaven first lieutenant and David Ellison second. Thus organized they
were incorporated in the Sixth Cavalry as Company E and went into Camp
Douglas for five months' drill and instruction and were assigned to the com-
mand of General Sully for service in the northwest, and marched across the
state via Council Bluffs and Sioux City, first camping between that city and
Yankton. The summer campaign was through the Dakota.*, reaching Fort
Pierre in June, and continued marching north to the Cannon Ball and Yellow-
stone rivers, encountering the Indians and defeating them in numerous bat-
tles and .skirmishes, in one of which seventy-five Indians and eight soldiers
were killed. After service until August. 1865, they were relieved by regulars
and ordered to Davenport and mustered out, all returning to their respective
homes to resume their former occupations. Among them belonging to the



Bluffs were Captain Eicher, Lieutenant DeHaven, William Marble, Allen
Spicer, Kade Rogers, and several others. The company lost two men. Cap-
tain Crawford died before their return and Captain Eicher in 1902.

Early in the spring of 1864 the draft was being used in places, but Potta-
wattamie had done so well that department Marshal Field received word
from headquarters that if we would furnish twenty good men within thirty
days there would be no draft that spring.

Mayor Palmer called a meeting of the council and steps were taken to
get the board of supervisor- to i<sue $2,000, so as to make a cash bounty
of $100. It was carried through promptly and the men furnished. Pro-
vision was also made to assist the families of all soldiers that were in need,
this being accomplished Largely by the ladies. During this year W. F.
Sapp came from Omaha and formed a law partnership with Samuel Clinton.
He was a native of Knox county, Ohio, came to Omaha at an early day and
when the war drew the regulars in lie became lieutenant-colonel of the First
Nebraska Cavalry and was for a time stationed at Fort Kearney. On coming
here he entered into an active participation of affairs. As a lawyer he was
an able advocate, lie was a man of commanding presence, being over six
feet tall and weighing 200 pounds; was a powerful stump speaker and soon
made bim-elf prominent. He was a republican and was elected to the leg-
islature, where his influence was largely instrumental in securing the loca-
iton of tbe School for the Deaf at this place. Later lie became United States
district attorney and was twice elected to Congress. It was he and Judge
A. V. Larimer that originated and conducted the proceedings through the
courts to compel the Union Pacific Railroad Company to comply with the
terms of its charter in making its terminus at this point. He had pur-
chased a farm and contemplated retiring, but was stricken down and died

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 59)