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in the American Civil War
|Second Iowa 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 3d 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.
Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing
Company, 1908 - Volume 4
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