Linn County, IA Biographies

Private Henry H. Stevens
Company "H", 24th Iowa Infantry

Henry H. Stevens was born in Morgan County Ohio to Mr. Isaac Stevens and Elsie (Haines) Stevens in 1829. (Henry was born before Isaac married Elsie and thus is either the child of Isaac or Elsie from a previous marriage) Henry spent his beginning years assisting his father in farming in the Ohio countryside. Henry's other brothers and sisters were: Sarah Ellen born 1830 in Morgan County Ohio; Mary Delilah born October 13, 1832 in Ohio; Heulda Ann born August 18, 1834; Mary Jane born May 2, 1836; Elizabeth Ann born in 1850; Amos Stephen born July 12, 1839 and Vincent Forrest born May 4, 1842.

Henry H. Stevens accompanied his brothers and family in moving to Linn Co, Iowa near Springville Iowa in 1853 to continue farming in the Iowa region.

Henry married Sarah C. Davis (Born: 1827) on April 15, 1852 in Muskingum County Ohio.

Henry H. Stevens (Stephens) is listed in the 26 June 1860 Linn County, Iowa Census at age 31 born in Ohio with a wife Sarah C. (Davis) age 33 born in Virginia along with a daughter Libbie (Lydia) Ann age 11 born in Ohio (born November 14, 1849).

Henry H. Stevens, Amos S. Stevens and his brother-in-law Benjamin Mann (Mary Jane's first husband) were all mustered into service at in the Union Army on August 8-11, 1862 near Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Captain Abraham R. Knott's Company H, 1st Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Henry was listed at twenty-three (23) years of age at the time of enlistment, but is also listed at 33 years of age on muster-in paperwork. Thus there is some confusion on his real age at the time of of his enlistment; but the later age (33) should be correct.

Henry and Amos moved with their Volunteer Infantry Company from the county muster area to a Regular Army Training site near present day Cedar Rapids for further Infantry Training and induction into Federal Service.

Henry H. was 33 years of age, a residence of Springville, Iowa, nativity of Vermont and enlisted August 11, 1862 in Company H, 24th Iowa. Henry was listed as a farmer with Blue eyes, light hair, dark complexion at 5'5" tall.

Here Henry along with Amos and Benjamin Mann were mustered along with ten other companies of Iowa Volunteers into service of the United States on September 18, 1862 at "Camp Strong", Muscatine, Iowa as the 24th Iowa Infantry Regiment. The original enrollment was 979 with subsequent recruitment brought the total up to 1024 by the end of the war. From 1862 through 1865, 9 Officers and 119 enlisted men died from wounds inflicted in battle while another 215 died from disease. Private Benjamin Mann (Mary Jane's first husband) was among those Iowans who died from disease during the Civil War. Benjamin Mann died on January 4, 1863.

The 24th Iowa Regiment departed Camp Strong on October 19, 1862, for St. Louis, Traveling by river transport. On Arrival in St. Louis they received orders to proceed to Helena, Arkansas. The troops disembarked in Helena on October 28th, many of them ill from contagious diseases contracted aboard the crowded boats. The Regiment joined the brigade of Colonel McGinnis of the Eleventh Indiana in a swampy, unhealthy camp just south of the city. The sick list continued to grow.

The regiment formed part of the force under General Hovey that departed for the mouth of the White River on November 17, 1862. Returning once again to Helena, the troops then formed part of an expedition to Coldwater, Mississippi, to cooperate with the movement of General Grant against Vicksburg. On January 11, 1863 the regiment again found itself on the march up the White River, under General Gorman this time.

These three mid-winter campaigns never met with any consequential number of Rebel forces, but that winter took a heavy toll on the regiment, and indeed the entire brigade. Poorly equipped for the stormy, blustery weather and chronically short of good food, the troops readily fell prey to debilitating, often fatal, illnesses. The moral of the 24th Iowa Volunteers was never lower. Upon their return from the third expedition the troops found their camp at Helena flooded. The arduous task of moving camp, however, turned out to be most beneficial exercise. Once on higher ground, the overall health of the camp improved tremendously.

On February 15, 1863, the brigade joined other forces under the command of General Washburn, engaged in clearing out obstructions in Yazoo Pass. Then in early Spring they returned to Helena. At that point, the regiment was transferred to the 13th Army Corps and ordered to join General Grant's army in its operation against Vicksburg. The troops wee shipped on transports to Milliken's Bend. Disembarking there they made the difficult march overland to Perkin's Landing. On April 28th at Perkin's Landing they again boarded transports and barges, and headed downriver.

Just above Grand Gulf the troop boats stopped while gunboats exchanged fire with Rebel batteries on the shore. The fierce exchange seemed to have little effect in quieting the enemy guns, so the troops disembarked and marched down the levee to a point about three miles below Grand Gulf, where they bivouacked until morning. During the night the gunboats and some transports slipped by the Rebel batteries, allowing the troops to embark once again in the morning. They continued down to Bruinsburg, where they landed and began the march toward Port Gibson.

At the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1, 1863, the 24th Iowa was held in reserve while the 34th Indiana, supported by the 56th Ohio captured a Rebel battery along with 220 prisoners. Later in the day however, the 24th and 28th Iowa were ordered to support Major General Logan's troops who were under heavy fire. Here the 24th Iowa got their first experience of sustained battle, continuing the fight until the enemy was driven from the field as night began to fall.

Between May 2nd and 15th the 24th Iowa and other members of the 13th Army Corps were engaged in various small skirmishes with Rebel forces. On May 16th they fought the bloody Battle of Champion's Hill. Nine of the ten companies comprising the 24th Iowa were involved in the fight, Company "B" being on detached duty at the time. Outnumbered three to one, the Union forces still managed to prevail, but at great cost of life to both sides. Major Edward Wright of the 24th Iowa was severely wounded, while Captains Silas Johnson and William Carbee, and First Lieutenant Chauncey Lawrence were among the dead. The toll for the 24th Iowa was 35 dead, 120 wounded and 34 missing and presumed captured. Theirs was the highest percentage of loss for any regiment in the battle.

During the battle of Vicksburg, MS at Champion Hill, on May 16, 1863, Private Henry H. Stevens (Stephens) of Company H, 24th Iowa was killed in one of the many Union Infantry assault of Confederate Trench works.

Private Henry H. Stephens (Stevens) is buried in the Vicksburg Cemetery which is part of the National Park Battlefields.

Henry's younger brother, Private Amos S. Stevens later fought at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia in 1864 when Confederate Forces under GEN Early tried to defeat GEN Sherman's Army in the Shenandoah Valley 1864 Campaign. (See Pension Record #427.791 signed by Lt. Leui S. Staufield, 24th Regimental Adjutant) Private Vincent F. Stevens was captured in Feb of 1864 and sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. He was released back into Union forces hands in 1865.

At the end of the war Amos was discharge on July 7, 1865 from Company H (Co 26), 24th Iowa Infantry as a Private at David's Island, New York State.

Amos and his brother, Vincent F. returned to the homestead near Springville, Iowa. From Iowa, Amos and Vincent moved from Iowa to St. Edward Nebraska after the Civil War in 1872. During this timeframe Amos dated and married Ms. Sarah Whitlach. Both brothers joined the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post 140 local St. Edward GAR Post.

Henry's wife Sarah (Davis) applied for a Pension Claim as the widow of a Civil War Soldier on October 21, 1863 with her daughter Lydia Ann from Rixville, Muskingum County Ohio and received $8.00 per month commencing on May 16, 1863. The last known residence of Sarah C. (Davis) Stevens was in the Rixville/Richhill Muskingum Ohio area in 1863.
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Biography submitted by Randall Stevens on 1/24/98.
Copyright (c) 1998 by Randall Stevens, All Rights Reserved.
Email:
eadbear@earthlink.net

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