Iowa at Gettysburg

In “The Battle of Gettysburg Discussion Group” on Facebook, Jessie Weedleton pointed to an article in the The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which said that a memorial to Civil War soldiers in the city cemetery in Lisbon, Iowa included a large boulder that had been moved from the battlefield at Gettysburg.  According to the article, “The blue granite stone chosen was removed from a spot along the Baltimore Pike, near where the right flank of Gen. George Meade’s army fought. The boulder measured five feet by six feet and was three feet thick. It weighed about four tons.”

Although the monument was apparently intended to be to all Civil War soldiers from Iowa, it was placed in the cemetery adjacent to four (later seven) veterans who “served in Meade’s army” and, in light of the boulder, presumably served at Gettysburg.  Jessie wondered in which regiments those soldiers had fought.

My first reaction was to point out that the 11th U.S. Inf. was raised in part from Des Moines County, IA and the 12th U.S. Inf. was raised in part from Dubuque County IA.1  But the article in The Gazette mentioned seven soldiers by name.  I did a little online research about them and, while they each died in Iowa, none of them lived there at the time of the war.

In fact, they were all born in Pennsylvania and they all (with one possible exception) fought for a Pennsylvania regiment!

This is for you, Jessie:

Josiah Richard is something of a mystery.  The article suggests that he died in 1911.  But the Josiah Richard who is buried in that cemetery and died on 11 Aug 1911 was born on 21 Feb 1855, according to his tombstone, and is unlikely to have served in the war at the age of 6-9.

His father, “Josiah Richard” aka Reichert/Reichart, was born on 6 Aug 1831 in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, PA and died 18 Feb 1901 in Lisbon and is buried in the same cemetery.  The Linn County Death Records say that a Josiah Richert born ca. 1831 died on 3 Apr 1901.  Anyway, the Iowa GAR Membership records say that he mustered into Co. G, 173rd PA Inf. on 2 Nov 1862. But that regiment was in the 7th Corps of the Department of Virginia and on 1-3 July 1863 was on provost duty in Norfolk, VA.  On July 9th, the regiment was transferred to the 1B, 2D, 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac and Richert mustered out of that regiment five weeks later, 18 Aug 1863.  Despite the discrepancies with his name and death year (apparently confused with his son’s), this is probably the veteran to which the article refers.  He did indeed serve “with Meade’s army” — but only briefly and not at Gettysburg.

Dewalt Shontz Fouse was born 15 Nov 1840 in Huntingdon County, PA and died 13 Mar 1912 in Lisbon, IA.  He enlisted as a Sergeant in Co C, 53rd PA Inf. on 16 Sep 1861, was promoted to Lt. on 1 Dec 1862, served at Gettysburg, and was discharged as a 1st Lt. on 8 Oct 1864.  According to his obituary, he had been a minister in the Reformed Church for 45 years and the general superintendent of the board of home missions for 20 years.  His name is on the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg.

David Christian Bruch was born 10 Jan 1833 in Northampton County, PA and died on 30 May 1915 in Linn County, Iowa.  (His pension records says that he died on the 29th in Cedar Rapids). He enlisted on 25 Sep 1862 as a Private in Co I, 153rd PA Inf., served at Gettysburg, and was discharged on 24 Jul 1863. His name is on the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg.

Benjamin Shirey Rowe (aka Row) is another mystery.  According to his tombstone and Iowa GAR records, he was born 12 Jan 1837 in Leigh Co., PA and died 8 Apr 1916 in Lisbon, IA.  However, his obituary (Lisbon Herald, 16 Apr 1916) gives his birth date as 12 Dec 1836.  In any case, he first served as a Private in Co. A, 8th Indiana Infantry which was a 3-month regiment (Jun 19-Aug 6, 1861).  Then he re-enlisted 24 Aug 1861  in the 3rd Battery, Indiana Light Artillery and was discharged as a Sergeant.  His obituary gives that date of discharge as “1863” but the Adjutant General of Indiana reported that Rowe re-enlisted on 30 Nov 1863 and was finally discharged on 21 Aug 1865.  As we will see below, that potentially leaves a short window in mid-1863 during which we cannot account for his whereabouts.

But neither the 8th Indiana Infantry nor the 3rd Battery, Indiana Light Artillery was ever in “Meade’s army.” Interestingly, however, the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg lists a “Private Benjamin S. Rowe” in Co. F of the 26th PA Emergency Infantry regiment which mustered in on 22 Jun 1863 and out on 31 Jul 1863.  While the 26th PA Emergency Infantry wasn’t technically part of the Army of the Potomac, it was a Union regiment that fought at Gettysburg.  Could Rowe have been discharged in 1863 (as his obituary says), moved back to his state of birth, served during the short span of the the 26th PA Emergency Infantry, and then re-enlisted in the Indiana Artillery? Perhaps but we will likely not know until someone examines his complete pension file at the National Archives (Appl. #711271, Cert #826453).  Failing that, we have no explanation for him having been described as a veteran of “Meade’s army.”

Daniel Stahl was born in 21 Feb 1841 in Jonestown, PA and died in 16 Jan 1927 in Lisbon, IA.  He enlisted as a Private in Co. G, 96th PA Inf. on 23 Sep 1861. The Iowa GAR records claim that he was in the Battle of Gettysburg but he is not listed in that regiment on the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg. He was wounded in the left thigh at Spottsylvania Court House on 10 May 1864, transferred to Co. G, 95th on 18 Oct 1864, and was discharged on 17 Jul 1865.

William L. Barnicle (aka Barnacle) was born on 18 Jan 1838 in Huntington County, PA and died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 28 Feb 1927 in Cedar Rapids, IA. He enlisted in 30 August 1861 as a Private in Co. D, 49th PA Inf.  He transferred (during consolidation) on 11 Jan 1863 to Co. C of the same regiment and was discharged on 23 Oct 1864 (or 15 Jul 1865, according to a different source).  The regiment fought at Gettysburg but his name is not listed on the Pennsylvania State Memorial.

Conrad Bowers (aka Bauer) was born 2 May 1835 in Northampton County, PA and died 14 Dec 1929 in Lisbon, IA.  He enlisted on 25 Sep 1862 as a Private in Co. I, 153rd PA Inf. and was promoted to Corporal on 16 Oct 1862.  He fought at Gettysburg and mustered out on 24 July 1863.   His name is listed as “Conrad Bauer” on the Pennsylvania State Memorial at Gettysburg.

I know – that’s more than you wanted to know, Jessie :-)

It is interesting to note that 364 Civil War veterans who were living in Iowa in 1913 — maybe including some of those above — came to Gettysburg to attend the 50th anniversary of the battle.  46 attended the 75th anniversary in 1938.

Sources: Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, FindAGrave.com, Newspapers.com, Familysearch.org, CivilWarData.com, and NPS.gov.

1 Pocket Gettysburg citing Edmund J. Raus, Jr., “A Generation on the March: The Union Army at Gettysburg (Gettysburg, Thomas Publications, 1996).




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