Iowa
Grand Army of the Republic
Biographies

James H. Aldrich

Was born in Chester, Randolph County, Ills., July 28, 1849, and was raised on a farm. Enlisted at Perryville, Mo., March 16, 1864, at the age of fifteen years, as a drummer - boy in Company G, 50th Missouri Infantry; the regiment was, during its period of service on detached duty, fighting bushwhackers, guarding railroads, etc.; was in several skirmishes with portions of Price's rebel forces; honorably discharged at St. Louis in August, 1865.

Removed to Iowa, and attended Iowa State University for two years; edited Ida County, la., Pioneer, and Iowa Independent; removed to Oregon in 1877, and is the editor and publisher of The News, at Newport, Or.; is a member of Ellsworth Post, G. A. R., at Corvallis, Or.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


W. H. Arnold

Was born in New Berlin, Union County, Pa., October 8, 1840. Has been a farmer, teacher, and mechanic; on the breaking out of the war was attending school in Iowa. At once tendered his services and being accepted, enlisted on July 18, 1861, in Company K of the 6th Iowa Infantry and served as 5th sergeant, 1st sergeant, and 1st lieutenant; was attached to the 1st Brigade, 4th Division, of the 5th Army Corps; Took part in seventeen battles. The principal of which were in Sherman's campaign to Atlanta, and the engagements at Shiloh, Red Rock, Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Mission Ridge, and others; was wounded through both thighs at Shiloh, and in left hand at Mission Ridge.

Comrade Arnold is a member of Grant Post, No. 9, at Modesto, Cal., his present place of residence; was discharged from the service in October, 1864; was commissioned 1st lieutenant (for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Shiloh) on the 26th of August, 1862. Was leader of the forlorn hope at the battle of Newhope Church.

After the war was a teacher in Iowa until 1870, when he came to California, where he has since resided. Is by occupation a carpenter and builder.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Thomas A. Atwood

Was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, February 27, 1843; has been a farmer and carpenter;

Enlisted August 22, 1862, in Company B of the 25th Iowa Infantry and served as a private; was attached to the 1st and 3d Brigades of the 1st Division, 15th Army Corps; joined the army of the Tennessee at Helena, Ark., in November, 1862, and was with it through the campaign and capture of Vicksburg; thence to the battles of Jackson, Miss., Chattanooga, and Lookout Mountain; was with Sherman in his march to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to the sea, and through the Carolinas to Washington, taking part in the grand review; at Resaca, Ga., was wounded in right hand; honorably discharged June, 1865.

Comrade Atwood is a resident of Sacramento, Cal., and a member of Sumner Post at that place.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Benson Clarke Bellamy

Was born in Moorefield, Switzerland County, Ind., January 8, 1844, and is a physician.

Enlisted in the 18th Iowa Volunteers July 19, 1862, serving as a private; his first service was in the Department of the Frontier in Missouri and Arkansas; was afterwards attached to General John M. Thayer's Brigade, 7th Army Corps, General Fred Steele commanding; was engaged in the battles of Springfield, Mo., Poison Springs, Ark., and numerous skirmishes; shot through the left shoulder at Poison Springs, and taken prisoner, which he remained until liberated May 27, 1865, in consequence of the close of the war; was confined at Camden and Magnolia, Ark., Shreveport, La., and Camp Ford, Tex.

After being mustered out, July 5, 1865, Comrade Bellamy studied medicine, and since his admission to practice has been engaged in it ever since in Iowa, Nebraska, and California; has been in the employ of the Government as surgeon in the Indian Department for five years - one year at the Tule River Agency, and the remainder at the Round River Valley Agency.

Is a member of Lou Morris Post, G. A. R., at Livermore, Alameda County, Cal., his place of residence.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


B. F. Bivins

Was born in Erie County, N. Y., March 6, 1836; moved to Iowa with his parents in 1844; raised on a farm; was a teacher ten years, and is at present engaged in mining; was educated at Iowa State University, but left a few weeks before graduating and enlisted in Company D, 24th Iowa Infantry, August 14, 1862; served as a sergeant; was commissioned 2d lieutenant in December, 1863, and 1st lieutenant in January, 1864; was in all of the campaigns on the Arkansas till Vicksburg, in which siege and all the principal battles attending it the regiment took part; led personally the second and successful charge at Champion Hills, Miss., May 16, 1863, after the division (the 12th), 13th Army Corps, to which he belonged, had been forced back in its first onset. Lossing, in his "History of the Civil War," says: "The 24th Iowa was called the 'Methodist Regiment,' its principal officers and a large portion of its men being of that denomination. They fought most gallantly, and at evening after the battle was over they held a religious meeting and made the hills resound with the grand air and stirring words of 'Old Hundred.'" After the capture of Vicksburg the regiment was attached to the 19th Army Corps, and was in both the Red River expeditions. Comrade Bivins was ordered by Secretary of War for examination in North Arkansas for commission in colored troops; passed successfully, and received commission as 2d lieutenant and 1st lieutenant of the dates before stated; helped to organize and drill the corps; was on duty as captain and assistant surgeon - as he had gone through a medical course - when he was taken prisoner on Lake Marafos, La., March 13, 1865, and was held as such for thirty - three days; ran great risk of being hung on account of being an officer of colored troops; was released after the final surrender of the rebel forces; honorably discharged from service at St. Louis, Mo., in May, 1865.

After the war came to the Pacific Coast, and was principal of Carson City public school for two years. Began mining in eastern Nevada in 1868; moved from thence to Oakland, Cal., and then to Arizona in 1879; has been in Mexico the greater portion of the last three years, engaged in mining. Is a member of Negley Post, No. 35, G. A. R., at Tucson, A. Ty., which is his post - office address.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Benjamin F. Brannan

Was born in Brownstown, Ind., August 8, 1833, and has been a farmer and hotel - keeper.

Enlisted in Company F, 28th Iowa Volunteers, August 5, 1862; belonged to the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 13th Army Corps, and served as a private; while on picket duty near Helena, Ark., was, with twenty - five other men of his regiment, taken prisoner; was exchanged, and rejoined the regiment in time to go on the Vicksburg campaign; was in all the engagements, including the battle of Port Gibson, from the first part of April until the 16th day of May, 1863; when in the battle at Champion Hill he was wounded and taken prisoner for the second time; at the time of exchange was almost on the verge of death; when sufficiently recovered was sent up the Mississippi River to St. Louis; when pronounced by a board of surgeons as unfit for field duty, was ordered to Indianapolis, Ind., and assigned to provost and detective duty, on which he remained until honorably discharged July 13, 1865.

Came to California in 1867; is a member of Lou Morris Post, G. A. R., at Livermore, Alameda County, Cal., where he resides.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Daniel Mack Davis

Was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, August 26, 1848. His occupations in life have been various; has been a printer, engaged in agricultural pursuits, then merchandizing; an orchardist when he first came to California after the war, and is at present in the hardware business in San Jose.

He enlisted in Company E, 15th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in January, 1865, the regiment belonging to the 17th Army Corps. On account of his youth, being but sixteen years of age, and his delicate constitution, he was appointed regimental postmaster, and assigned to duty at regimental headquarters. He was honorably discharged from the service in August, 1865; is a member of John A. Dix Post, G. A. R., at San Jose, Cal., where he resides.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


John C. Dixon

Was born in Franklin County, Ohio, December 19, 1840, and is a farmer; was attending school at Newtown, Jasper County, Ia., when the war broke out.

Enlisted in Company B, 5th Iowa Infantry, in June, 1861, and served as a private; his first service was with his regiment under generals Fremont and Hunter in Missouri; the regiment afterwards belonged to the 17th and to the 16th Army Corps; participated in the operations against Island No. 10, the battle at Fort Pillow, the siege of Corinth, Iuka, second battle at Corinth, Grant's expedition through Mississippi, the siege and battles of Vicksburg, Chattanooga, the Atlanta campaign, and Kenesaw Mountain; was accidentally wounded at Memphis by a bullet through both thighs, laid up in hospital about three months and then returned to duty; was mustered out at Chattanooga, Tenn., July 4, 1864, by reason of expiration of three years' term of service.

Came to California in 1874 and settled in San Bernardino County, where he is engaged in farming.

Comrade Dixon is a charter member of W. R. Cornman Post, G. A. R., at San Bernardino, Cal., and has been post chaplain and quartermaster.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Hamilton Fay

Senior vice commander of J. F. Reynolds Post, No. 98, department of California; was born in Muscatine, Ia., December 3, 1841; is a son of Plinny Fay, who was a prominent and respected citizen and druggist of that city.

Enlisted, September 18, 1862, in the 35th Iowa Infantry; served as private, corporal, and sergeant; was attached to the Seventeenth Army Corps, and took part in the battles at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Tupello, Shreveport, Jackson, Nashville, Spanish Fort and Mobile, and many skirmishes; was slightly wounded in the side by a ball at Vicksburg, while on skirmish duty; marched in different parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and Kansas, covering in all about 3,000 miles of marching, under the leadership of Generals Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Rosecrans, Banks, and Canby.

Comrade Fay is at present a resident of Santa Cruz, Cal., where he is engaged in the drug business.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Edward S. Frey

At present a resident of Farmington, Cal.; was born in Delaware County, Ohio, July 22, 1843; is a farmer; enlisted in Company C of the 15th Iowa Regiment in January, 1863, and served as a private; was attached to the 17th Army Corps, 4th Division and 3d Brigade; took part in the battles of Shiloh, siege of Corinth, Iuka, battle of Corinth, Holly Springs, Grand Gulf, Raymond, Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, Vicksburg, Kenesaw Mountain, and Atlanta; was with Sherman in his march to the sea and to Washington; was mustered out in July, 1865.

Comrade Frey is a member of Rawlins Post, No. 23, of Stockton, Cal.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Francis M. Garrison

Was born November 6, 1838, in Cedar County, Iowa; has been a teacher, farmer, and stock-raiser; is at present county assessor.

Enlisted June 8, 1861, in the 3d Iowa. Infantry, and served as a private; was attached to the 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Army Corps, also to the 1st Brigade, 4th Division, of the 15th Army Corps; took part in the battles at Hager's Wood, Mo., Blue Mills, Shiloh, Hatchie River, Tenn., Greenville, Miss., Vicksburg, Jackson, and Atlanta; was captured at Atlanta and confined in Andersonsville; was with Sherman on his march to the sea and through the Carolinas; honorably discharged July 19, 1865.

Comrade Garrison joined the G. A. R., of San Quentin, Cal., in 1881; has been post commander of Custer Post, G. A. R., of California, and is at present adjutant of Baker Post, G. A. R., of Marshfield, Coos County, Or., where he resides.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Hiel Hale

Was born in Columbianna County, Ohio, February 23, 1842.

Enlisted as a private May 1, 1861, in Company K, 1st Regiment of Iowa Infantry for three months, and immediately upon being mustered out re-enlisted in Company D, 12th Iowa Infantry, and was commissioned 2d lieutenant September 20, 1861; on April 7, 1862, 1st lieutenant, and again March 24, 1863, captain. Comrade Hale was engaged in the battles of Dug Springs, Mo., Wilson's Creek, Mo., Fort Henry, Tenn., Fort Donelson, and Shiloh, where he was captured, and remained a prisoner at Andersonville, Madison, and Libby for over six months; while a prisoner he became the victim of a chronic complaint, which caused him to resign his commission December 26, 1863.

Comrade Hale is a member of Negley Post, No. 35, G. A. R., of Tucson, Arizona, of which place he is a resident.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


C. H. Keagle

Was born in Pennsylvania, September 9, 1843; removed to Iowa at the age of thirteen; lived on farm until enlistment in Company B, 20th Iowa Infantry, July 14, 1862; served as a private until discharged July 8, 1865; was attached to the 2d Division, 13th Army Corps, and participated in the engagements at Prairie Grove, Vicksburg, Fort Morgan, Blakely, and Mobile; was honorably discharged from the service July 8, 1865.

In 1866 went to California; farmed and clerked until 1884, when he was elected county treasurer and tax-collector, which position he now holds.

Comrade Keagle is a member of Rawlins Post, No. 23, of Stockton, Cal., where he resides; is adjutant of his post and department aid-de-camp.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Albert Martindale

Was born August 6, 1842, in Crawford County, Pa.; a carpenter and joiner by trade.

Enlisted in Company H of the 38th Iowa Infantry, which regiment was consolidated with the 34th Iowa in 1864, after which it was known as the 34th Iowa; served as a private; was attached to the 13th Army Corps; took part in the battles at Vicksburg and Mobile; was prostrated by sunstroke at Vicksburg, on account of which is at present a pensioner; was honorably discharged at Davenport, Ia., after the war.

Comrade Martindale is a member of W. H. L. Wallace Post, G. A. R., of Santa Cruz, Cal., where he resides.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


John S. Mather

Was born in Logan County, Ohio, November 19, 1843, and is by occupation a miller.

Enlisted in Company I, 9th Iowa Infantry, September 8, 1861; commissioned 2d lieutenant November 2, 1864; 1st lieutenant January 5, 1865, and captain June 19, 1865; promoted for gallant and meritorious services on the battlefield; was engaged in the battles of Pea Ridge, Chickasaw Bayon, Arkansas Post, Jackson, Miss., siege and assault of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Ringold, Resaca, New Hope, Big Shanty, Lovejoy, Eden Station, Congaree Creek, Columbia, Bentonville, all the engagements of Sherman's march to the sea and through the Carolinas; served continuously for four years with his regiment, it never made a march, was never under fire without his being with it; the regiment lost 247 men at Pea Ridge, its first engagement, and 111 in the assault at Vicksburg; was under fire for fifty-six consecutive days in the Atlanta campaign; it belonged to the 1st and afterwards the 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 15th Army Corps; mustered out of service July 18, 1865.

At the close of the war comrade Mather was tendered a commission of captain in the regular army, but having lost three brothers in the war, and being the only son left his mother, on her account declined the position. He was for a time captain of the Jasper Grays of the Iowa National Guard, which he resigned on his removal to California some ten years ago; is a member of L. H. Rousseau Post, G. A. R., at Kelseyville, Lake County, Cal., his place of residence; is the post commander, to which he has been twice unanimously elected.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


James W. Morrison

Was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, October 1, 1842; a miner by occupation.

Enlisted on the 26th of April, 1861, in the 2d Iowa Infantry, and re-enlisting in the Cavalry served as a private until the 16th of May, 1865, the date of honorable discharge from the service; was attached to the 16th Army Corps; was in the battles at Fort Donelson, Iuka, and Nashville; was wounded in right ankle by a musket-ball at Fort Donelson, which put him off duty for three months.

Comrade Morrison was a member of Reynolds Post, No. 37, the headquarters of which were at Wilmington; recently disbanded. Present residence Stockton, Cal.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


John A. F. Pieper

Was born in Prussia November 18, 1840; a farmer; enlisted May 28, 1863, in Company G of the 47th Iowa Infantry, and later veteranized into Company F of the 7th Iowa Cavalry; served as a private; was honorably discharged in February, 1866; served with Buford's detachment and on the frontier; was in the battles at Helena, Ark., Powder River Indian fight in 1865, and Julesburg on the Platte; was wounded at Helena by a musketball in the left hip, the bone being shattered; was again wounded by a pistol-ball in the right leg near the same place while foraging. The shot was fired by some one concealed in a loft.

Comrade Pieper is a member of Rawlins Post, No. 23, of Stockton, Cal., where he resides.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


Judson Rice

Born in Steuben County, N. Y., August 15, 1847, whose present occupation is that of carpenter and builder, at the outbreak of the war was a resident of Iowa, where his father, who was a land-owner of considerable importance, was engaged in farming.

On account of his youth, being but fourteen years of age, young Rice was restrained from entering the service with his brother two years his senior, but determined in the matter, in the fall of 1864 he went to Wisconsin and enlisted in Company C, 45th Wisconsin Volunteers, serving for a time as a private and then being promoted to corporal. Immediately on enlistment he proceeded to Nashville, where his regiment formed a portion of General John F. Miller's command. Though too late to take part in the battle of Nashville, he saw much active service on provost guard duty in and around Nashville in guarding trains to Chattanooga, Huntsville, and other military posts and doing general escort duty over Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, frequently being in command of the detachments. He was honorably discharged from the service at Madison, Wis., August 15, 1865—his eighteenth birthday.

He then returned to the normal school at Decorah, Ia., which he attended until 1866, when he crossed the plains to Denver in the employ of the Western Union Telegraph Company. In Colorado he worked at the trade of carpenter for a time and then engaged in mining. In 1868 he came to Nevada and entered the employ of the Central Pacific Railroad Company in the construction department, in which service he came to California in 1869. He is at present in charge of the bridge and building department of the Southern Pacific Railroad; was the foreman in the construction of the magnificent mansion of Governor Stanford in San Francisco, and also the costly and spacious barns and stables a this Palo Alto ranch and likewise of the Crocker mansion in San Francisco.

He belongs to John A. Dix Post, G. A. R., of San Jose, and is the post commander.

[Records of the Memberrs of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


John R. Smelser

Was born in Washington County, Iowa, November 8, 1845; his occupations in life have been those of farmer and mechanic.

Enlisted in Company E, 10th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, September 16, 1861, and served as a private; his regiment belonged to the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, of 17th Army Corps, and afterwards of 15th Army Corps; was in the battles of Iuka, Corinth, siege of Vicksburg, at Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Atlanta, Resaca, and all the engagements of Sherman's campaign; was present at the surrender of Johnston and in the grand review at Washington city; was constantly with the regiment through the entire four years of service, never sick a day and, though exposed to the same danger as less fortunate comrades in the numerous battles, escaped without a wound.

He is a resident of San Jose, Cal., and a member of John A. Dix Post, G. A. R., of which he is a past officer.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]


James Danforth Thompson

Was born in Fredonia, N. Y., September 19, 1832; was educated at the academy in his native town; studied law, but his health failing engaged in railroading for a few years in Ohio, and then went to Iowa, locating in Hardin County. Resuming the profession of law was elected prosecuting attorney of that county in 1854, and in 1857 was elected judge of the district court for a term of four years.

In May, 1861, engaged with others to raise an independent regiment of cavalry, each officer and private owning his own horse and equipments. Tendered the regiment to the general Government; it was accepted, and known as the 1st Iowa Cavalry. Comrade Thompson was mustered in as captain of Company G, July 31, 1861; became major 8th Iowa Cavalry in September, 1863, and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct; commanded the cavalry battalion in the fight at Milford, Mo., in which 1,300 of the rebel forces were captured. Fought Poindexter at Silver Creek, and after a long pursuit of General E. W. Price and Colonel Dorsey, succeeded in capturing them and others, though the main command of 600 escaped by crossing the Missouri River. Commanded at White Sulphur Springs, Tenn., in 1863-64; was on military commission at Nashville in spring of 1864, and joined General Sherman's army at Cleveland, Tenn., in May. Was with the cavalry under General McCook around Buzzard's Roost, and on the raid to Rome, Ga.; on return was sent to hospital at Nashville, and on surgeon's certificate of permanent disability, given after examination by a medical commission, was sent home in July, 1864, and discharged the service.

Was appointed U. S. pension agent at Des Moines, Ia., in 1867, for the term of four years.

Removed to California in 1875, where he has ever since resided. Is a member of George H. Thomas Post, G. A. R., at San Francisco.

[Records of the Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1886, submitted by C. Danielson]



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