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6th Iowa Infantry
in the American Civil War

Regimental History
Sixth Iowa Infantry. — Cols., John A. McDowell, John M. Corse, Alexander J. Miller; Lieut.-Cols., Markoe Cummins, John M. Corse,. Alexander J. Miller, William H. Clune; Majs., John M. Corse, John Williams, Alexander J. Miller, Thomas J. Ennis, David J. McCoy. This regiment was organized at Burlington, and was mustered in July 15, 1861. It moved to Keokuk soon after and a detachment of the regiment was sent to the assistance of Col. Moore at Athens, Mo., but reached there too late to take part in the fight and returned to Keokuk. It then moved to Tipton, Mo., joined Fremont's forces and marched to Springfield with the army late in October. It was placed on railroad guard duty at Lamine bridge, but later was ordered to Tipton, where six companies were placed on garrison duty, the others being sent to Syracuse for similar service. Col. McDowell was in command of the brigade in the meantime, leaving Lieut. -Col. Cummins in command of the regiment. It took part in the battle of Shiloh, where it held an advanced position with tenacity until all support had been driven back, and retired under a terrible fire. Lieut. -Col. Cummins was retired from command during the battle and Capt. John Williams led the regiment through the most desperate part of the fight until wounded, when Capt. Walden took command. Out of 650 in action, 64 were killed, 100 wounded, and 47 missing, most of them captured. Maj. Corse was lieutenant-colonel and took command of the regiment, Capt. John at the time on the staff of Gen. Pope, but was soon afterward made Williams being promoted to major. It was in the siege of Corinth, was present at the evacuation of that place, accompanied a detachment of the army to the interior of Mississippi, marched from Holly Springs to Memphis, where it remained during the summer and most of the fall. It accompanied Grant's army in the campaign against Vicksburg but retraced its steps and went into winter camp at Grand Junction, Tenn. Col. McDowell resigned and Lieut.-Col. Corse succeeded to the command, being succeeded by Maj. A. J. Miller, and the latter in turn by Adjt. Ennis. During the winter the regiment was mounted and made several raids into the enemy's territory. In the early summer it took part in the investment of Vicksburg, was in position at Haynes' bluff; was engaged in the siege of Jackson, where it made a gallant charge through the timber, across an open field, up a slope over the crest, driving the men from the guns of opposing field batteries and into two supporting regiments, but was compelled to lie down to escape the fearful fire, until retreat was ordered and it was made in an orderly manner. The entire move was made so bravely and with so much coolness, that the general commanding the division wrote Col. Corse a congratulatory note in which he said, "I cannot too highly commend the gallantry you have displayed in two successful charges. The valor of your noble regiment has been conspicuous." The operations here resulted in the appointment of Col. Corse to the position of brigadier-general of the 4th brigade, in which the regiment was then serving. This brigade was afterwards broken up, the 6th being assigned to the 2nd brigade, 4th division, 15th corps. Maj. Miller and Adjt. Ennis were made lieutenant-colonel and major respectively. Going into camp near the Big Black river, it remained until the general movement toward Chattanooga. It participated in the battle of Missionary ridge, losing 69 in killed and wounded. It then joined the memorable move for Knoxville to relieve Gen. Burnside, with two days' rations, without change of clothing, and with but a coat or blanket each. On its return it went to Chattanooga and early in 1864 proceeded to Scottsboro, Ala., where it went into camp. Most of the men reenlisted as veterans and passed the month of April at home on furlough. The regiment reached Chattanooga on May 5 and immediately joined Sherman's army in the Atlanta campaign. It was in action at Resaca, New Hope Church, Big Shanty, Kennesaw mountain, about Atlanta, at Jonesboro and Lovejoy's Station. At Dallas, Col. Miller was wounded. Maj. Ennis was mortally wounded at Atlanta, and Capt. W. H. Clune took command. The regiment lost 159 in killed and wounded from Resaca to Lovejoy's Station, nearly one half of the command that left Chattanooga, and went into camp near Atlanta with but 120 fit for duty. It joined in the pursuit of Hood, but returned in time to take part in the march for Savannah, and was engaged at the battle of Griswoldville. At Savannah, Robert Barr, a member of the 6th on the skirmish line, was the first to discover the evacuation by the enemy and was the first man of the Union army to enter the city, going in alone early the following morning. In the march through the Carolinas, the regiment took part in the battles at Columbia and Bentonville, went into camp at Goldsboro but soon moved to Raleigh, proceeded then to Washington via Richmond and participated in the grand review. It was greeted with a shout as its handful of men swung into view, its colors torn into shreds, and the applause grew into deafening cheers as its remarkable history was whispered about. It was then ordered to Louisville, where it remained until the latter part of July, when it was ordered home. Its original strength was 883; gain by recruits, 130; total 1,013.

Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 4

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