United States Regiments & Batteries > Iowa

The 28th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment lost 6 officers and 76 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 3 officers and 186 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.

August-September Organized at Camp Pope, near Iowa City.
October 10 Mustered in under the command of Colonel Wiliam E. Miller, a circuit court judge, Lieutenant Colonel John Connell, Major Hugh B. Lynch and Adjutant James E. Pritchard. There was a total of 956 men on the muster rolls.

Company A – Benton County, Captain William C. Gaston
Company B – Iowa County, Captain Bartholomew W. Wilson
Company C – Poweshiek County, Captain John W. Carr
Company D – Benton County, Captain Samuel P. Vanatta
Company E – Johnson County, Captain David Stewart
Company F – Iowa County, Captain John A. Staley
Company G – Tama County, Captain Thomas Dillin
Company H – Poweshiek County, Captain Aaron Wilson
Company I – Iowa County, Captain John B. Kerr
Company K – Jasper County, Captain John Meyer

November 2 Moved to Davenport.
November 20 Moved by steamboat to Helena, Arkansas., Arkansas and attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, District of Eastern Arkansas, Department of Missouri. The camp was on low and swampy ground and many men died of sickness.
November 27-
December 5
Hovey’s Expedition from Helena, Ark., to Grenada, Mississippi.

Attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Eastern Arkansas, Dept. of the Tennessee. Three hundred men were detached under the command of Major Hugh Lynch.  The regiment suffered its first casualty, Private William M. Hall, of Company C, who was killed.

January 11-19
Gorman’s Expedition up White River.

Attached to 2nd Brigade, 12th Division, 13th Army Corps, Deptartment of the Tennessee. The men were completely exposed on the open decks of the steamboats to freezing rain and snow, and many died of exposure or were permanently disabled from sickness.

January The regiment went into winter quarters, constructing “rude log cabins.”
February 6 Adjutant James E. Pritchard resigned.
February 14-
April 5
Expedition from Helena to Yazoo Pass by Moon Lake, Yazoo Pass and Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers
March 14 Colonel Wiliam E. Miller resigned due to disease and returned to Iowa. Lieutenant Colonel John Connell was promoted to colonel.
March 13-April 5 Operations against Fort Pemberton and Greenwood.
April 5-11 Expedition to St. Francis River
April 11-13

Vicksburg Campaign

Moved to Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana.

April 14 Major Hugh Lynch resigned.
April 25-30 Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf.
May 1
Battle of Port Gibson

The regiment lost 3 men killed, 14 wounded, and 3 missing in its first combat.

May 2-3 Bayou Pierrie
May 12-13 Fourteen-Mile Creek
May 16
Battle of Champion’s Hill

From the report by Adjutant Joseph G. Strong:

“….Four companies of the regiment came out of the fight without a commissioned officer. Lieutenant John J. Legan, of Company A, (Captain Shutts acting as Major,) was killed while gallantly leading his men; Captain Benjamin F. Kirby, of Company I, was also killed while doing his duty nobly; Lieutenant John Buchanan, of Company H, lost his arm; Captain John C. Staley, of Company F, was taken prisoner while crossing the field north of the Raymond Road, gallantly disputing the advance of the enemy. .,”

The regiment lost 100 casualties.

May 17 Marched by way of Edwards’ Station to the Big Black River, then guarded the bridge.
May 18-July 4

Siege of Vicksburg

The regiment lost 3 men killed and 7 wounded during the siege, while also losing 16 men died of disease and 7 men disscharged for disability.

May 19
Assault on Vicksburg
May 22
Assault on Vicksburg
July 5-10 Advance on Jackson, Miss. attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 13th Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee
July 10-17
Siege of Jackson
August 2 Ordered to New Orleans, Louisiana.
August At Carrollton and Brashear City attached to Dept. of the Gulf
October 3-
November 30

Western Louisiana Campaign

November 3 Vermillionville, Carrion Crow Bayou
November At New Iberia
December 17 Moved to New Orleans
January 7 To Madisonville. A considerable number of recruits joined the regiment.
March 14-May 22

Red River Campaign

The regiment began the campaign with 550 men.

March 14-26 Advance from Franklin to Alexandria
April 8
Battle of Sabine Cross Roads

The regiment was in an advanced position when the attack began and was forced to fight its way out, almost surrounded. It suffered 8 men killed, 41 men wounded and 26 men captured, most of whom were also wounded. It was the heaviest loss of any regiment in the division. Colonel John Connell was wounded near the end of the battle and taken prisoner. His arm would be amputated, and he would be exchanged. Captain Thomas Dillin of Company G then took command of the regiment as senior surviving officer.

From Captain Dillin’s report:

“We went into the engagement 500 strong, and in the best of order . . . All most nobly did their duty. Not an officer flinched, not a man gave back. Colonel John Connell had his horse shot under him early in the action but he remained on the field, cheering and urging his men to the last, and, it was supposed, fell mortally wounded while retreating from the field. Loved most by those who knew him best, his loss to the regiment is irreparable. He possessed not only the respect but the affection of his men. Adjutant J. G. Strong, while heroically and fearlessly doing his duty, was knocked from his horse by a minie-ball. inflicting a severe wound in the right shoulder. and was taken from the field. Having his wound dressed, he returned to the field and continued rallying the men in the thickest of the fire. First Lieutenant H. H. Weaver was wounded in the right cheek while leading his company and was compelled to leave the field. Second Lieutenant O. F. Dorrance, while cheering his men in action, was severely wounded in the right hip and had to he borne from the field. I regret that space will not permit me to speak of all the officers standing up bravely and racing the rain of death, and of the non-commissioned officers and privates, many of whom fell in the conflict, yielding up their lives upon their country’s altar. .. .”

April 9
Pleasant Hill

The regiment acted as train guards during the battle.

April 23-24 Cane River Crossing
April 26-May 13 At Alexandria
May 5 Graham’s Plantation
May 13-20 Retreat to Morganaza
May 16 Mansura
May 30-June 6 Expedition from Morganza to the Atchafalaya attached to District of LaFourche, Dept. of the Gulf
July 22-August 2 Transported on steamship Arago from New Orleans to Alexandria, Virginia. The trip was hot and crowded.
August 2 The regiment disembarked at Alexandria then took the ferry to Washington and marched to Tenleytown, where it went into camp. The 28th Iowa was the first Iowa regiment to reach Washington during the Civil War.
August – October

Sheridan’s Valley Campaign

Assigned to 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Corps, Army of the Shenandoah. The regiment would lose 200 men during the campaign.

August 14-18 Crossed the Potomac River and marched west, reaching Leesburg on the 17th. Continued on through Snickers Gap in the Blue Ridge and across the Shenandoah River to reach Berryville at 3 am on the 18th.
August 22 Fell back to Harpers Ferry, skirmishing daily with Confederates.
August 27 Advanced to Charles Town.
September 8 Advanced to Berryville and engaged in heavy daily skirmishing.
September 19
Third Battle of Winchester (Opequan)

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel B. W. Wilson. From his report:

After crossing the Opequam we formed in line of battle, my regiment occupying the extreme left of the brigade. On receiving orders to advance, I immediately moved forward and was soon warmly engaging the enemy. The First Brigade of our division (being in advance) gave way, and were pressed back through our lines, yet we moved steadily forward for about fifty yards, under one of the most withering fires of shot, shell and canister, I have ever witnessed. Here I was ordered to halt. At this point the fighting was most terrific, yet I am happy to say none showed a disposition to either flinch from duty or fall back. We remained in this position until the right of the brigade, being pressed back, exposed my command to a severe flank fire, and I was forced to fall back a short distance to the cover of the timber, where we rallied and drove back the enemy, who were in the act of charging one of our batteries (the First Maine). We soon charged forward and took possession of our former position, where we remained until, our ammunition being expended. we were relieved by troops from General Crooks’ command. We then obtained a fresh supply of ammunition and pressed forward to the front line again, where we remained until ordered to join the brigade in pursuit of the retreating foe. We followed them beyond Winchester. Here, night overtaking us, we lay down to rest and dream over the events of the day…

Captain J. W. Carr, of Company C, was severely wounded, yet he continued to cheer the men under his command until borne from the field. Adjutant Joseph G. Strong was wounded in the early part of the engagement, had his wounds dressed on the field. and refused to leave the same, although advised to do so by surgeons, but continued to rally and cheer the men until victory was ours. He is a brave and fearless officer and worthy of promotion. First Lieutenant D. S. Dean of Company C was wounded, and told his own son not to leave the ranks to assist him, until the rebels were whipped, and he did not, until ordered to do so by me. 

In addition to the officers mentioned in Wilson’s report, Captain Palmer was killed and Captain Houseworth was mortally wounded. Captain Wilson and Lieutenants Haverly, Summers and O’Hair were wounded. Eleven enlisted men were killed, 55 were wounded, and 25 were missing.

September 22
Battle of Fisher’s Hill

From the report of the Adjutant General of Iowa:

“The Twenty-eighth Iowa was not ordered into action until just before the enemy abandoned his position and began to retreat, when it was ordered to make a charge, in which it captured a six gun battery, a large quantity of ammunition and a number of prisoners. In this charge the regiment had five men wounded. “

October 19
Battle of Cedar Creek

From the report of Major John Meyer, who took command of the regiment after Lieutenant Colonel Wilson was wounded:

I have the honor to report that, in compliance with orders, the regiment at 5 A. M. was standing at arms, awaiting the issue of a reconnaissance to be made by the First, Second and Third Brigades of our division: but, before the reconnaissance was made, the enemy, in overwhelming numbers, attacked the Eighth Corps, which was on the left of the army. That corps, failing to be under arms, was soon driven from their works, and the enemy was rapidly advancing toward the Nineteenth Army Corps, occupying the center of the army, when General Grover, commanding the Second Division, ordered the regiment, with the Fourth Brigade, by the left flank, to change front and assist the Eighth Corps. The regiment was on the extreme left of the brigade and division, and, under the personal direction of the division commander, it was taken about one-fourth of a mile to the east of the Winchester Pike to hold the crest of a hill. In the hurry, the remaining regiments of the brigade were left west of the pike, and the Twelfth Maine was ordered to form on our right, but, after several unsuccessful efforts, it failed to come to the line and retired in confusion, which left our right exposed. A brigade from the First Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, formed on the line on our left, but the right of the line of the enemy extended far beyond the left of that brigade. It was soon outflanked and gave way. The Twenty-eighth was the last to fall back, but, being engaged on both flanks and front, there was no hope left of holding our ground.

At first we fell back slowly. It was, however, soon discovered that our retreat was being closed. I gave the order “double quick,” and for one-third of a mile we passed through one of the most destructive fires ever witnessed, losing six men killed, and between thirty and forty wounded a few of the regiment, rather than run that great hazard of life, laid down their arms and have gone to Libby Prison.

Arriving at Major General Sheridan’s headquarters, which were about half a mile northwest from the crest of the hill where we first engaged the enemy, with other regiments, we rallied and for a short time held the enemy in check. Here, while rallying and encouraging his men, Captain Riemensehneider of Company I was instantly killed, and Lieutenant Colonel Wilson was wounded and taken from the field. The Sixth Corps, which was on the right of the army, now engaged the victorious foe, but every effort failed, because the enemy continued to flank us on the left. The whole army was, therefore, ordered to fall back about two miles, so that our left was no longer exposed to the rebel right. The enemy, finding that they no longer had the advantage and seeing that our brave boys were not subdued, but ready to renew the conflict, ceased to advance. Then during a pause, such as is wont to prevail before a terrible storm, our army lines were formed, front to front with the enemy. The Twenty-eighth as well as the whole army had been repulsed. The enemy had our camps and all we had except our arms; they had possession of the battlefield, of our dead and our wounded; but we were unconquered.

Major General Sheridan comes upon the field. The Nineteenth Corps is placed on the right, the Sixth in the center, and the Eighth on the left. The Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth Iowa form the connecting link between the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps. The awful scene opens. We notice nothing except our own commands and the enemy in front. No officers ever did better, nor any soldiers ever fought more bravely, than did those of my command in that hour, which turned our defeat into a glorious victory. We press forward, the enemy yields, he flees. The victory is won, the rout transcends all others of the war. It seems so cruel, yet so satisfactory to the loyal heart, to see our boys drop the running foe, and when he gets beyond the reach of the rifles of the infantry, to see the cavalry plunge with their carbines, revolvers and sabers right into the disorganized masses of the traitors, to kill, to terrify, and to scatter them in all directions. The Twenty-eighth goes into its old camp; our food and clothing are all gone. We had no breakfast, no dinner and nothing for supper; nor any rations nearer than Winchester, thirteen miles away. We go forward to guard a captured train two miles long. It is cold and dark. The mind grows calm sadness and solemnity come over us all. The last struggles of our brave comrades, the heroic dead, are forever engraver on our memories. In after years we invite all interested in the Twenty-eighth, as they pass by on the hill, on the right of the pike, just before they cross Cedar Creek, to pause and read the names over the nine graves of the killed of the regiment on that day. They, with those mortally wounded, and the crippled and scarred for life, are some of the tokens of the unflinching fidelity of the regiment to an undivided nationality. 

The regiment lost 9 men killed, 77 wounded, and 9 missing. In addition to Captain Riemensehneider of Company I, Lieutenants Taggart and Barker were also killed.

October-December Duty in the Shenandoah Valley
Mid-November Went into winter quarters.
Late December Moved into quarters at Stephen’s Depot. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Corps
January 6-20 Moved by rail to Baltimore, Md.; then on the steamship Illinois to Savannah, Georgia. Attached to 2nd Brigade, Grover’s Division, District of Savannah, Ga., Dept. of the South.
January 31 Companies A & D under Captain H. M. Wilson were posted as the garrison of Fort Barlow.
March 12 Embarked on a steamship for Morhead City, enduring a heavy gale off Hilton Head.
March 18 Landed at Morehead City and moved by rail to New Berne.
April 13 Returned to Morehead City.
May 4-6 Sailed on a steamship for Savannah.
May 9 Marched to Augusta.
May 19-31 Halted along the Savannah River at Hamburgh, South Carolina and collected Confederate government property in the area.
May- 31 Moved to the Augusta Arsenal.
August 2-5 Sailed to Baltimore.
August 5-8 Moved by rail to Davenport, Iowa, where the regiment was disbanded.