History of the 2d Iowa Infantry

Regiment: 2nd Infantry Regiment IA
Date Mustered: 12 July 1865
Regiment Type: Infantry
Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident: 12
Officers Died of Disease or Accident: 108
Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded: 4

Second Infantry.-Cols., Samuel R. Curtis, James M. Tuttle, James Baker, Noah W. Mills, James B. Weaver, Noel B. Howard;

Lieut.Cols., James M. Tuttle, Marcellus M. Crocker, James Baker, Noah W. Mills, Henry R. Cowles, Noel B. Howard;

Majs., Marcellus M. Crocker, Norton P. Chipman, James B. Weaver, Noel B. Howard, Mathew H. Hamill.

This regiment was organized at Keokuk in April and May, 1861, the first regiment of three- years men organized in the state and the first to take the field from Iowa. It was mustered in May 27-28 and left the state at daylight June 13 for St. Joseph, Mo., where it remained on railroad guard duty and aided in maintaining order until the latter part of July. Moving to Bird's Point, it remained there until the latter part of October on similar service. The climate was such that on its removal to St. Louis the number of men fit for duty was only about 400.

Col. Curtis having been promoted to brigadier-general,, Lieut.-Col. Tuttle was commissioned colonel, Maj. Crocker was made lieutenant- colonel, but soon afterward was commissioned colonel of the 13th regiment and was succeeded by Lieut.-Col. Baker, promoted from the captaincy of Co. G.

The regiment remained in St. Louis during the winter, engaged in the duty of guarding prisoners and recuperating. An unfortunate incident here led to an unjust order, the regiment being marched in public disgrace from its quarters to the levee for embarkation to Fort Donelson without music and with its colors furled, the reason being that some one had crept into the "museum" of McDowell college, at that time used as a prison, and carried away some stuffed rabbits, etc. The culprit not being discovered the regiment was held to be guilty of the crime under the peculiar canons then prevailing in military circles and suffered accordingly.

At Fort Donelson it splendidly redeemed itself as a part of Lauman's brigade, which stormed the enemy's works on the left, the regiment leading the column, planting its flag within the outer works, pouring a murderous fire into the opposing lines, and compelling the enemy to seek his inner lines. Even Halleck, who had approved the unmerited disgrace, telegraphed commendations. After the surrender the 2nd was awarded the post of honor and was first to enter Fort Donelson. But it had paid dearly with 41 killed and 157 wounded out of 630 in action.

It participated at the battle of Shiloh, its brigade repulsing several assaults and the regiment losing about 80 in killed and wounded. It took part in the siege of Corinth and in the pursuit of Beauregard's forces, later marched to Iuka, but did not take part in the battle.

Col. Tuttle was promoted brigadier-general, Lieut.-Col. Baker was commissioned colonel and was succeeded by Capt. N. W. Mills. James B. Weaver was appointed major. In the battle of Corinth in October it made a brave charge, Col. Baker falling mortally wounded on the first day and Lieut.-Col. Mills on the second day.

The regiment's loss was 108 in killed, wounded and missing out of 346 engaged. The regiment moved to La Grange, Tenn., and to Pulaski in October, going into winter quarters. On Dec. 9 it marched to Tuscumbia, Ala., in pursuit of raiders, but returned on the 23d after one of the hardest marches in its history.

Maj. Weaver had been commissioned colonel upon the death of his superior officers at Corinth, Capt. Henry R. Cowles succeeding as lieutenant-colonel, and Capt. N. B. Howard was promoted to major.

About the first of 1864 the regiment reenlisted as a veteran organization. Leaving Pulaski on April 29, 1864, it joined the army in the movement toward Atlanta, skirmished at Snake Creek gap, fought at Resaca, and other points, and took part in the siege and battle of Atlanta. At Jonesboro, with the 7th Ia. it cleared the way through a fortified position for the cavalry. The non-veterans having been mustered out on May 22 the regiment had but six companies during this campaign, Lieut.-Col. Howard commanding. Its numbers were augmented at Atlanta by the addition of the three remaining companies of the 3rd Ia. and Lieut.-Col. Howard was promoted colonel.

It moved with the army toward Savannah, was in a lively engagement at the Ogeechee river, in which the enemy were soon put to flight, and moved into Savannah two weeks later. In the march through the Carolinas it was engaged at Columbia and again at Lynch's creek, which closed its fighting history. After moving to Goldsboro, thence to Raleigh Petersburg and Richmond, it proceeded to Washington City. where it took part in the grand review.

It was mustered out at Louisville. The regiment's original strength was 998; gain by recruits 223; unassigned recruits 26; total 1,247.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 4

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