CIVIL WAR DAYS
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With the election of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 the South was aroused to sudden and determined action. Beginning on December 20, 1860, the states seceded one by one, organized the confederacy, and opened fire on Fort Sumter April 12, 1861.
On April 15 the President issued a call for 78,000 troops for ninty-day service. War Governor Kirkwood on April 17 then called for a full company of seventy-eight men from Linn County. The feeling in Mount Vernon was intense and by noon of April 19, 35 men had signed a muster roll. On the twenty first 40 volunteers went to Cedar Rapids. Of these 27 were accepted for the first company from Linn County, the remainder were placed in a second regiment.
The first Iowa was mustered into the United States service in one month after the appeal was made and Linn County was represented by a full company.
It seems difficult to believe there could be southern sympathizers in Mount Vernon in those years. "Cooper heads" they were called because of the pin they wore. Yet disloyal hands tore down a large flag which the women of the town, under the leadership of Mrs. Olive Fellows and a student, John O. Foster, had made and hung before the Methodist parsonage on Main Street. Undaunted the women made another and "Old Glory" floated again to the breeze.
On June 25, 1863 during commencement an angry mob broke out. Patriots against Copperheads. John Wade, a loyal veteran on furlough, rebuked a young lady who was flaunting a cooper head pin. Naturally he refused her dare to take it off, but instead suggested some young woman might act in his place. Lida McKay a loyal visitor who had already lost a brother in the war accepted the challenge. A great disturbance followed, the pin was removed and a purse then made up for the ruined clothes. During the struggle a farmer north of town gave a loud yell for Jeff Davis and was promptly knocked down by another Federal soldier, then run off the college grounds.
As the war continued and more men were called, those at home anxiously waited for news. The nearest telegraph line was at Davenport, from which the news was relayed to Iowa City.
On August 10, 1861 Mount Vernon suffered most sever losses at the battle of Wilson's Creek-called Oake Grove by the Confederates. The death if Brigadier General Lyon on this day was not in vain, for through him the swift movement of secession in Missouri was checkmated. These men who fell among them Richard Hayzlett, were the first offerings of Iowa in the Civil War.
The Thirteenth Iowa Regiment Company A. was enrolled at Mount Vernon September 12-20, 1861, with John Quincy Wilds chosen as its first Captain.
The total casualties of Company A in killed, wounded, discharges, prisoners, and deserters were 89 leaving 27 of its original numbers at the time of mustering out on July 21, 1865. Twelve of these bore the scars of battle, four died in prisons at Andersonville and Florence, South Carolina.
The Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry was called the "Temperance" regiment. Its colonel, Eber C. Byam was a Methodist preacher, as were others of its officers. In 1865 the Twenty-fourth became a part of Sherman's Army and was finally mustered out July 17, 1865.
The forming of the "Graybeards" Regiment, the Thirty-Seventh Iowa Infantry, was a wonderful expression of the loyalty and devotion on the part of the men who had already sent sons and grandsons to the war. Members of the regiment enlisted December 15, 1862 from Linn, Benton, and Black Hawk counties. All of its members were over 45 years of age and some were even 60. Mount Vernon gave three patriots to the regiment Corporal Richard Harbert 56, Robert Daughtery, and Samuel Westlake.
The women of Mount Vernon, as in neighboring towns, were ever ready to cheer and encourage at this period of heartache and broken homes. In many instances the woman took the places of men who had gone to the battle fields and worked in the fields.
On April 15, 1865 the front page of the Chicago Tribune carried these captions; "The end -Old Flag Vindicated- Lee and his whole army surrendered yesterday. " This news brought gladness to a nation wearied with the long struggle. The war was over . The Union was saved.
Levi Mason Quartermaster, served until July 1863, came home and died.
William Warren, died of malaria on the hospital boat. "Nashville", leaving as did so many others, a brave wife and lonely children.
Dr. Amos Witter, our surgeon died from exhaustion on his return home for a furlough, after days and nights of caring for the wounded.
William Hayzlett gave all three of his sons to the cause.
Edward , wounded July 21 1864 near Atlanta, died August 14 near Marietta.
Richard wounded at Wilson's Creek, died of woods and disease contracted in the army, while Joseph wounded at Corinth also died from wounds.
Some special mention should be made of the man who bore the most scars fro battle in Company A, J.N. Easterly. Wounded six times in battles and skirmishes, he still remained with his company until his last battle before Atlanta in July 1864.
On February 12, 1937, Simon S. Haun, the last surviving veteran in Mount Vernon, died at the age of ninety-six at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ida Haun Kettleson. Commander of the local Post at the time of its disbanding , he became a commander at Cedar Rapids. He had served throughout the war, been in eleven battles and had been a prisoner at Andersonville.
A soldier's monument in the Mount Vernon cemetery stands as a tangible evidence of the town's deep appreciation for the veterans of 1861-1865, whose glorious services are enshrined in the hearts of a grateful people who recall that:
"These are the men of Shiloh
Who pass with footsteps slow
A lingering note of the bugle
Throb of the muffled drum,
As down the springtime highways
The old grey soldiers come
Only a few more twilights
On the wavering ranks and thin
Then night and folded banners,
And muskets gathered in.
Civil War Record
Alexander, Jeremiah, Antles, David, Arford John J., Arrasmith Willis, Ballard, Cassius, Ballard, Nathan U., Barks, Walter, Barager, Zacheus, Barkus, Joel, Barnes, George, Barr, John, Bedell David, Billington, Israel, Birdsall, Charles Bogart, Lafayette, Boxwell, Moses, Boyd, Abraham, Boyd, Isaac, Bradshaw, Centenary, Brenneman, Abraham, Brenneman, Amos, Brenneman, Benjamin, Brenneman Christopher, Brooks, James, Brown, Allen S., Bunce, Hiram, Bunce, Milo, Burge, William, Buswell, William, Butler, Benjamin E., Byam Charles L., Byam, Commodore, Byam, Eber C., Byam William, Camp, William. Camp, Daniel, Carhart, Garretson, Carmichael, Albert, Carnahan, Joseph, Carney, Peter, Clow, Samuel, Cochran, Wallace, Cole, Anderson, Coleman, Adam, Comstock, William L., Conner, Charles W., Conaway, Alonso, Cookus, Joseph, Cooper, Aaron, Cooper, Isaac, Cornell Smith, Coveston, Henry C., Cowan, John, Dagley, William, Daughtery, Robert, Devore Elijah, Dimmitt, Wilbur C., Doty, Andrew, Doty, George, Downing, Preston, Dundore, John, Dunn, Isaiah, Easterly, Jacob, Ebersole, Ezra, Esgate, Charles W., Everhart, Jason, Everhart, Peter, Fairchild, John, Ferguson, Jackson, Fink, John W., Finnegan, William, Firkins, John W., Fitz, John A, Fitz, James, Forrest, Asa, Fuller, Alonzo, Gager, George, Garnett, Robert, Geiger, John, Geiger, Solomon, Gilliland, Nathan, Glenn Oliver, Goodman, George, Goudy, Cyrus, Goudy, John, Goudy, Joseph, Graver Frank, Hale, Horatio S., Hale, Thomas W.S., Hall, George, Hall, George W., Hall, William, Hallock, Henry, Hollock, Samuel H., Hamilton, David A., Hamilaton, Samuel, Hamon, Andrew, Hampton, Jesse, handley, Arba L., Hanna, George, Hansall, John, Hansall, Lewis, Harmon, Spear, Harbert, Richard, Harper, Joseph, Harrison, Josiah, Hart, Franklin, Hart, Horace, Hastings, John, Haynes, Henry, Hayes, James C., Hayzlett, Edward, Hayzlett, John G., Hayzlett, Joseph, Hayzlett, Richard, Hergeshamel, Samuel, Herman, Anton, Hinckley, William, Hines, George, Hipp, John T., Huyck, William, Hyatt, Joseph, Ide, John, Ingram, Albert, Ingram, Oliver D., John, George, Johnston, Abel, Johnston, John, Johnston, Samuel, Kafer, Chris, Kamberling, Henry, Keith, Frederick, Kellogg, Walter, Kendig, Amos B., Kennedy Justin Co., Kennedy, Richard, Kepler, Charles W., Kepler, Edgar, Kepler, John, Kepler, Monroe, Kern, Peter, Klinach, Chris, Knott, A.R., Kountz, Thompson, Lacock, Albert, Lanning, John, Largent, John M., Lattimer, William, Looby, Patrick, Mabee, Levi, Marshall, Joseph, Mason, Edwin, Mason, John, Mason, Levi, Matthews, James , Matson, James, Maxon, Jonathan, McAfferty, Benjamin, McClaskey, John R., McClelland, Benjamin, McCoy, A. Clark, McCoy, George W., McCoy, Joseph, McDowell, George, McElroy, Josiah, McFarland, James, McRoberts, George, McRoberts, William, McWilliams, Francis, McWilliams, John C., Mitchell, William, Morford, James, Morgan, John W., Muntz, Peter, Myers, Charles A., Myers, Joseph V., Myers,Wesley, Myers,William, Neal, Horace, Neal, James E., Nicholson, James B., Norris, Thomas, Norris, William, Oldham, James T., Oldham, James F., Pendergast, Edward, Pisel, John, Plasket, Samuel, Platner, William H., Porter, James, Rathburn, Robert S., Rayborn, John, Reed, Alexander, Renfrew, John, Rice, James, Robinson, John W., Roder, George, Rogers, Robert M., Rogers, Robert W., Rood, Henry W., Rose, James, Rundall, Shedrick, Rupert, jacob, Safely, John J., Safely, John Jr., Safely, Andrew, Safely, Socrates, Safely, John, Scott, John, Shafer, William H., Shaver, Jacob K., Shaver, John, Simons, Calvin R., Smith, Alonzo, Smith,Amadel, Smith,George S., Smith, Jackson, Smith,James W., Smith,James R. Smith,Joseph W., Smith,Robert S., Smith, Stephen, Smith,Thaddeus L., Snow, Dennis T., Stevens, Vincent, Stewart, Edward, Stewart, Edward, Stewart, Robert B., Stewart, William C., Stine, John, Stinger, Andrew, Stinger, Theodore, Stream, Fenton, Taft, Linas, Taylor, Martin T., Taylor, Martin W., Thompson, William, Thompson Robert, Torrence, Boyd, Turner, Charles, Turner, George, Turner, Washington, Twomley, Peter, Umstead, Samuel, VanSant, James, VanSant, Richard, Varner, Francis, Walling, Oscar, Walling, Washington, Waln, Alonzo, Walton, Alfred, Warren, William, Weaver, David, Westlake, Samuel, White, James, Whitlatch, Adam, Wilds, John Q., Williams, George W., Winterstein, Louis, Witter, Amos B., Wolcott, William, Woodcox, Isaac, Woodward, Moses, Young, George W..
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