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Iowa Buttons

"Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain."

Aquilla Standifird’s Civil War Journal - Part One

Enlisted at Corydon, Iowa---July 26, 1862 as 1st Sergeant---Mustered in August 23, 1862—Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, April 11, 1863 at Millitant Bend, Louisiana.

Resigned at Pasca Valley, Texas, March 27, 1864. Elected and commissioned Captain of the Grand River Township, Wayne County Mounted Militia of the State of Iowa – October 20, 1864—Disbanded May 1st, 1865.

Aquilla Standifird, born October 22nd, 1838—two miles from Napoleon, Ripley County, Indiana.

Battle of Fort Gibson, May 1, 1863
Battle of Black River, May 17, 1863
Battle of Champion Hill, May 16, 1863
Siege of Vicksburg, May 29, 1863

(The above is on a document with a picture of Aquilla Standifird hangs on the wall in the Library in the Wayne Co Museum.)

*Aquilla also fought in the Battle of Milliken's Bend on June 7, 1863

Terms that might be helpful to you:

Ague: shivering
Battery: Ideally, a Civil War field battery mustered 6 guns of the same caliber, each attached to a limber (a 2-wheel ammunition chest) drawn by 3 pairs of horses. Aquilla mentions a 3 armed battery in his entry on November 3, 1863.
Brigade: The common tactical infantry and cavalry unit, the brigade generally consisted of 4-6 Regiments.
Dropsy: Edema, congestive heart failure.
Egypt: The southern counties of Illinois were referred to as "Little Egypt".
Enfield Rifle: A rifle musket equipped with an angular bayonet; as accurate at the Springfield rifle musket.
Fife: A wind instrument
Foraging: "to live off the land" and "to plunder".
Hardtack: Called "Army Bread" by manufacturers, hardtack was a quarter-inch-cracker made of unleavened flour. It was a staple of Union and Confederate soldiers’ diets. It was unpopular and unpalatable.
Haversack: A white canvas bag about a foot square which held the soldier’s daily rations. Slung on a strap over the right shoulder, it had a waterproof lining and a flap that buckled over its top, and hung on the left hip.
Parapet: a wall
Pontoon bridge: The pontoon bridge was a floating caseway that facilitated the rapid transportation of men and equipment across water barriers. (See photo below).
Regiment: Composed of men usually from the same area.
Skirmish: limited combat, involving troups other than the main body; engagement.

The Army Diary of Aquilla Standifird of Company D 23 REG Iowa Draft

"After the election of Abraham Lincoln the fall of 1860. The South or part of the slave states met at Montgomery, Alabama February 1861 and ceded and set up a Southern Confederacy. Jefferson Davis as its president. The South claimed the citizens first allegiance is due his state. The North claimed first allegiance to the general government, and the union of the States must be preserved and that cecesion was treason. The slavery question and the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency had more to do with cecesion movement than any other. On the 12th day of April, 1861 the first gun was fired at Charleston, South Carolina by the Confederates. Since then there has been a number of battles fought between the two contending armies, but the majority of the victories has been won by the North. But the end not yet. And a long and bloody war was the result of treason.

Under a call for more volunteers by the president I concluded to enlist.

July 26, 1862

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Today this is to be company organization at Corydon, Iowa I, C. G. Mauk, Jacob A. Tabler, and John W. Eastman went to Corydon and enlisted for three years of until sooner discharged. After a sufficient number had signed the roll we proceeded to elect officers. Elected as follows:

Captain Samuel L Glasgow 1st Lieutenant Hiram Evans
2nd Lieutenant James B. Orrusby 1st Sergeant Aquilla Standifird
2nd Sergeant Frank Crathorn 3rd Sergeant William M. Littell
4th Sergeant Cummings S. Mauk 5th Sergeant Joseph F. Sharp
1st Corporal Phillip Harrimack 2nd Corporal Lewis Smith
1st Corporal Phillip Harrimack 2nd Corporal Lewis Smith
3rd Corporal James W. Knight 4th Corporal Lewis H. Rankin
5th Corporal Thomas H. Knight 6th Corporal John W. Boon
7th Corporal James A. Hasberd 8th Corporal John W. Eastman
Musician Peter H. Baets Musician Earnest Fisher
Teamister Edward B. Wilkie Private Barita, Henry K.
Private Bridge, Josiah Private Blana, Francis M.
Private Bobbinhouse, Henry Private Browning, Robert G.
Private Browning, John F. Private Blana, Joseph
Private Brock, Noah Private Bond, John
Private Batterll, Columbus C. (killed) Private Blunth, William
Private Brock, Phillip H. . Private Carnnieron, William L
Private Campbell, Richard Private Collins, Martin L.
Private Collins, Morrison Private Cavinder, Joseph (drowned)
Private Cavender, James Private Coulburn, Lorerogo
Private Clancy, William K. Private Douglass, William A.
Private Dean, George W. Private Davis, Jarad H.
Private Douglass, John N. Private Davis, Andrew J.
Private Emerett, Jacob Private Frilton, John W.
Private Fitzgerald, Hatwell M. Private Foster, John
Private Fransworth, Silas Private Garaner, Lambert B.
Private George, Ednara W. Private Gleason, Calvin
Private Greenman, Sylvester F. Private Glasgow, John N.
Private Greenman, Sylvester F. Private Glasgow, John N.
Private Greenman, DeWitt C. Private Hays, Samuel
Private Hogue, William Private Hays, Cornelius
Private Harnlin, Curtis W. Private Hacker, Brice
Private Journey, John H. Private Kellogg, Martin T.
Private Lyon, John J. . Private Laughlin, Thomas A
Private Lyon, Elisha C. Private Munden, George M.
Private Milligas, Joseph A. . Private Moose, James E
Private Misserva, Miller Private Monk, Samual T.
Private McMaster, John M. C. Private Merris, Armnon E.
Private Morrison, William H. Private Orven, Iorria E.
Private Osburn, Henry Private Perkins, Alexander
Private Priehara, Calvin Private Roe, James
Private Rankin, John W. Private Rankin, Lewis H.
Private Rankin, William N. . Private Sharp, George W
Private Sharp, Henry J. Private Slavens, Daniel G.
Private Sturgeon, Francis A. Private Shane, Henry
Private Stine, John M. Private Torr, James M.
Private Trillis, Perry . Private Tabler, Jacob A
Private White, James M. Private Wilson, Andrew C.
Private Wolf, John W. Private Wilkie, William F.
Private White, Joel W. Private York, Hiram
Private Young, Michael G. (Died) . Private Young, John C
Private Young, Johnathan Private Yearwood, James J.

After the company organization and the election, I returned home and consulted Anna my wife as to who could be found to stay with her during my absence. We concluded to get her brother Adebbet Gray to stay with her and Baby Ida until other arrangements could be made. The few days left for me at home was spend in making hasty preparation either for a long or short time we cannot tell. The fortunes of war is uncertain.

Aug 5th: Started this afternoon the goodbyes with wife and baby is the saddest of all to think possible for all time. It is something to remember in camp and battlefield. Starting going by the way of Christoper (brother-in-law) and from there by wagon to Corydon. He with Elias Jennison (another borther-in-law) and other takes a load each to Des Moines, Iowa where we will be drilled and equipped. Arrived at Corydon and stayed all night at W W Thomas Esquire with others of the company and was royally entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas.

Aug 6th: Fell in line this morning. The company was presented a flag by the ladies of Corydon. Mrs. Thomas delivering the presentation address which was truly loyal and good advice given. Which the boys highly appreciated. The Flag was handed to me in behalf of the Company by Miss Booth. We got in the wagons and started with cheers and tears arriving at Bethlehem where the good people had a fine dinner prepared for us in the church of that little city. Several of the boys live near here. Their wives, fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers was there to give us a royal welcome and help with the dinner and bid them goodbyes. Started cheered by the music of the fife and drums arriving at Chariton and stayed all night at the hotel.

Aug 7th: We found it rather warm today but the boys kept up considerable noise either with their mouths or the fife and drum. Stopped at noon for lunch and feed teams. Heard a speech from some woman, but did hear her name. Arrived at Indianola and stayed all night at the hotel.

Aug 8th: Handed the flag to Sargeant Crawthron and got in the buggy with A. A. Powers and went in advance of the company to find a place to stop at when they arrived at Des Moines. We secured board and lodging at the Union Hotel kept by Stout, Des Moines.

Aug 9th: Putting in our time drilling and looking around, some of the boys has the mumps must brought them from home. The teams that brought us up got their pay today and started off for home tomorrow morning.

Aug 10th: Teams started on their return this morning. Mr. Christopher and E. Jennison bid me goodbye and was off for home. Preparing to build barracks and will soon have lumber on ground and details called to build them.

Aug 11th: Drilling mornings and evenings we have in our company three fellows that is rather dissatisfied get themselves in trouble by drink, don’t think they will amount to any-thing as a soldier.

Aug 12th: Part of the company detailed to work on barracks.

Aug 18th: The same thing over and over again except Sunday, we don’t drill, have dress parade Sunday evening. Some of the boys growled about the grub, rather poorly cooked. Barracks finished.

Aug 19th: Moved from the hotel to the barracks on the east side of the river and probably one mile and more from the river, the camp is very nicely situated near a cottonwood grove, we now take up camp life, cooks detailed. Camp policies and drilling and guard duty is the order.

From the last date to the 18th September did not date the daily doings of camp. However the time was taken up drilling, guard duty and the routine of camp life. Draw our months pay, which came very convenient for most of us. Some of the boys was rather sweet on some of the town girls of which their seemed to be plenty. Got examined as to our physical ability drew our uniforms, guns and cartridge belts. Sent a detail to Winterset to put down some trouble there and the stage coach up set and Perry Trillis of our company was badly hurt. We have dress parade each evening. And great crowds of people come out from town to see how well it is done, I suppose.

Sept 18th: Expect to be sworn in to the U. S. Service tomorrow our company is D and Regiment 23 Iowa.

Sept 19th: The regimental officers if Colonel William Dewey Lurst, Colonel William H. Richardson, Major Samuel S. Glasgow which leaves a vacancy in our company. Captain James W. Glasgow came to the company recently and it is probable he has been offered the position if he would come and he got it.

Sworn into the U. S. Services and drew $20.00 bounty and one months pay. Sent some home to wife.

Sept 20th: Ordered to move five companies march to Eddyville and the other five companies to go by state.

Sept 21st: Five companies are on the way and part of what is left will go by stage.

Sept 23rd: Two companies goes this evening.

Sept 24th: Our company starts for Eddyville this morning stage crowded both inside and on top. Arrived at Pella for supper, a very good supper and plenty of boiled eggs. I rather think W. M. Rankin too more than his share. Traveled all night.

Sept 25th: Arrived at Eddybille about ten A. M. and got aboard coal cars for Keokuk. Arrived there at 7 o’clk dirty, hungry and dry, the sut and sparks from the engine made it anything but pleasant. The car our company rode on was a coal car and boards laid across for seats. The company camped in a schoolhouse tonight. I stayed at the Western Hotel with friend Siras Holland of Drakesville, he belonged to the 30th Iowa. I also saw several other old friends belonging to the same regiment and from the vicinity.

Sept 26th: Wrote a letter home. I was very much surprised to see cousins Leon Broshar and Lewis Morris. They came to where we were camped, I was glad to see them. They are camped here. They belong to the 36th Iowa, I did not know they had enlisted.

Sept 27th: Leave Keokuk on the boat meterpollitan for St. Louis, part of the regiment has to go on barges lashed to the boat, not a very pleasant place to ride, but we must get use to such things.

Sept 28th: The pilot lost his bearings last night and landed on a sand bar and did not get off until this morning, making delay of about six hours. Arrive at St. Louis at 9 o’c p.m.

Sept 29th: On board boat, this morning is bright and beautiful. We drew our first hardtack this morning and they happened to be wormy and was thrown overboard by the boys. They thought they would not hurt the fish as they was fond of that kind of diet. Moved off the boat at 2 o’c p.m. and marched to Sehofield Barracks and took possession, our regiment is detailed as post guards.

Oct 2nd 1862: Company drill from nine to 11 o’c. Having a very pleasant time, duty light and a very comfortable place to stay.

Oct 3rd: Battalion drill 3 p.m.

Oct 4th: Sunday and general inspection at 9 o’c a.m. Preaching at 11 by the chaplain (Barton).

Oct 5th: Our duty when detailed is to see that all soldiers out of barracks without a pass, is arrested and reported to headquarters for punishment. Oct. 5 received orders this morning to be ready to march by 6 o’c a.m. We moved out and marched to the Iron Mountain rail road for some cause or other we were delaid until after dark. Some of the boys got some whiskey at a grocery store near where we stopped and got beastly drunk. The country we are passing through tonight is very hilly.

Oct 8th: Arrived at Ironton the end of the rail road at 2 o’c p.m. (I found out the loading of horses, wagons and camp equipage caused the delay yesterday.) We were ordered off the cars and marched south and crossed a small stream and went into camp by the time we arrive in camp it commenced raining and before we could get out tents staked down our clothing and blankets was thoroughly soaked. Night came on and we were without fire or anything dry enough to start one. So we cut some brush and put in our tent. Spread our blankets on them and laid down cold, hungry and wet.

Oct 9th: Still raining this morning we got up looking rather tough and muddy. After some trouble we got our fire started and cooked our first meal in camp under rather damp difficulties. Some of the guards came in we, cold, hungry and mad. They was told this kind of weather was all right when thoroughly seasoned as a soldier, Colonel Dewey called the quarter master to issue brandy to the regiment which he did. Some drank it and some did not. The indication’s are for another disagreeable night.

Oct 10th: Raining this morning, but stopped toward noon. After dinner I and 4 of the boys of our company got in a wagon with a teamster. When we got to the creek between the camp and station we found it about three feet deep at the ford and running very swift. We got across fairly will. Back of us there was another team, when we got across we stopped to see how he would succeed in crossing with his balky team. He started in and got in about the center of the stream, the team stopped, the swift current commenced to drift the wagon below the ford into deep water which jerked the horses off their feet and as the wagon and team started down stream the wagon threw the horses near the bank. The teamster sprang from the wagon on the horses back and onto the bank he had not more than landed on the bank when the box left on the wagon and floated down stream. The horses and wagon rolled over and over landing at the bend in the stream in shallow water about three hundred feet below the ford. Harness and wagon in pieces and the horses nearly drowned. As it was not our business to look after that part of Uncle Sam’s equipage we went our intended journey to the camp of Pilot Knob at the foot of the Knob there is and old smelter but has been partially destroyed. We went up the track that was once used to bring down oar from the side of the mountain. When on top you look south you can see the little town of Arcada and the Shepherd Mountain. Looking south east the few houses in the village of Ironton and the Iron Mountain rail road after looking around some time we returned to camp.

Oct 11th: On the move again started south at 12 o’clk a.m. Arrived at Arcada in the evening. We have very nice camping grounds it is Camp Davidson.

Oct 12th: General inspection at 9 o’clk. a.m.

Oct 13th: Clear and pleasant, dress parade at the usual hour.

Oct 14th: Election day and the boys most all voted. Two-thirds of the votes was for the republican candidates. There is several of the boys got the measles.

Oct 15th: Ordered to move, got a late start marched 6 miles and camped in an orchard. The apples was all gathered and we had to content ourselves with the amount issued by the quarter masters.

Oct 16th: After another days march we camped on the bank of the clear waters of Marble Creek. The night is fine and clear. This is nothing a soldier enjoys better after a days march than fine weather plenty to eat and no guard duty.

Oct 17th: On the march again through a very hilly, rocky country pass through a place called the batteries the ground is covered with rock. And strange as it may appear, there is a large oak tree standing where the rock seem numerous. Arrived at Patterson. This our first march caused some blistered feet, but a few days rest will cure them with some attentions.

Oct. 18th: Our quarters is very nicely situated in a meadow with plenty room for drill and East of the little town of Patterson.

Oct 19th: Sunday general inspection, preaching at 11 o’c a.m.

Oct 20th: Drill in fore noon, dress parade at 5 o’c in evening.cwcampfire.gif (17209 bytes)

Oct 21st: By order of Colonel Dewey the boys policed the street between the field and line officers tents putting it in shape for a dance this evening, I suppose the Colonel thinks we do not get exercise enough for the amount of rations we consume.

Oct 22nd: The boys had a fine time last night. Used bayonets for candle sticks. They went in for lots of fun and had it. I will say however there was not a woman in camp.

Oct 22nd: I am 24 years old today.

Oct 24th: Colonel Dewey received orders this evening to start to Pitmans Ferry on the Current River.

Oct 25th: The detachment of 500 started under the command of Colonel Dewey this morning for Pitmans Ferry. Appears there is a few rebs collected there and he goes down to stir them up. Our company was not included in the detail so we are left in camp.

Oct 26th: One member of Company B accindently shot himself in the ankle.

Oct 28th: Received orders this morning to march. Call unit line Colonel Boyd of the 24 Mo. Rode along the line inspecting us very critically. Then gave the offers a short rough speech which was not relished either by the officers or men. We were ordered back to camp.

Oct 31st: General inspection at 9 a.m., mustered for pay.

Nov 2nd: Colonel Dewey arrived with his detachment from his expedition to Pitman Ferry with several prisoners and the 15 horses. There was but few shots fired and no one hurt.

Nov 3rd: 5 company’s of our regiment was ordered to Dallas in Bollinger County for the purpose of capturing or drive away some rebels, commanded by Colonel Jeffery. Our company was included in the expedition. Also a three gun battery marched 5 miles and camped in a field.

Nov 4th: Marched hard all day and camped on side hill. Tried to cook an old hen captured by some of the boys but failed. I guess she was and old citizen. Spread our blankets down on a bed of leaves and had a good nights rest.

Nov 5th: Arrived at Dallas at 4 p.m. our company and Captain George’s Company F was ordered forward as Skermishers Captain George in command. We moved forward, but could see nothing, moved down into a hollow across a small stream through a field up a steep hill into a timber found a citizen and a tough one at that. Sent him to the rear. Climb to the top of the hill, and down the other side to the bottom found a house and near it a smoke house and in the yard some bee hives. The boys got meat, honey and molasses. Confiscated a team to take their supplies to camp. Don’t think they took time to pay for them, our salaries all gone. What we started with and the outlook for grub is not very flattering. Some of the boys of our company got a sack of flour and went to a private house and Geo. Sun raise baked several haversack full of biscuits. After which we returned to camp which was in the courthouse. Ate our supper, spread down our blankets on some paper and turned in for the night.

Oct 6th: Ordered back to Patterson this morning. Some of the 12 Mo. States Militia came here about the time we came. They left in the direction of Cape Girardeau. As we were starting some of the buildings caught fire and soon the center of the town was in a blaze. The town was nearly deserted. The town was a rendezvous for Guerillas.

Nov 8th: Arrived at Patterson at 3 o’c p.m. several of our company had the measles and could not go with us, which they very much regretted.

Nov 9th: Preaching at 3 p.m. by Captain Goodman of Company H, in front of Colonel Dewey’s tent.

Nov 16th: Skipped several days it was the same old routine. Taking the mumps they have been in our regiment ever since we left Des Moines.

Nov 20th: Cold and clear, my mumps are at their worst, but not very bad.

Nov 21st: General Davidison arrived from St. Louis and takes command of the brigade.

Nov 22nd: Inspection at 9 a.m. by Colonel Skerrk of the 18th Ind.

Nov 28th: I am able for duty again. A detail was sent from our company to work on fort and block house under construction here. Colonel Dewey is sick and moved from camp to Mrs. Gills in the neighborhood.

Nov 29th: The company detailed for picket I went out with them and was on post with Frank Strugeon. We had a lively old time and made considerable more noise than was in the instruction we concluded that rebs were scarce in that vicinity and a little noise more or less did not matter. (Colonel Dewey died).

Dec 1st 1862: The remains of Colonel Dewey was brought out of his tent this morning and placed in ambulance started out the 1st Nebraska as escort. This 23rd Ocrea following. Marched a short distance and on the banks of little stream. The body was taken out of the ambulance and laid on the gound. The salute was saluted by the 1st Nebraska. Then his body was taken up and placed in the ambulance and taken to Pilot Knob thence to his home in Iowa.

Dec 2nd: The death of Colonel Dewey created a vacancy. Lieutenant Colonel Kinsman was promoted to Colonel Major. S. L. Glasgow was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel Captain Clarke of Company B to Major.

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A Block House
From: Library of Congress

Dec 3rd: Still working on the block house.

Dec 5th: General inspection by order of Colonel Hardee of the 25th Missouri. Colonel Kinsman started for St. Louis today.

Dec 9th: Some troups leaving for Black River.

Dec 10th: Colonel Kinsman arrived from St. Louis. There some difference of opinion as to the treatment of the sick between the colonel and the surgeon in charge.

Dec 13th: Lieutenant ? was arrested for passing a flag of truce through the picket lines. Rained 6 days.

Dec 14th: Rain.

Dec 15th: Rain and water very high in the creeks, out of banks.

Dec 16th: Quite to day, expecting a raid from the rebs. I with others was sent out one mile to establish a chain picket. The sentinel will not be relieved but once during the night at 12 o’clk. While in company with Lieutenant Houston was placing the pickets. We came out of the brush in a road, their happened to be a German Captain of Calvalry passsing and he heard us, and yelled halt, advance and give the countersign. The Lieutenant Deatia to advance and he yelled halt again, give the countersign and the Lieutenant had to give him the countersign loud enough to be heard forty rods. There was only oue attact during the night and that was cold, which made us shake.

Dec 19th: Received orders to be ready to march tomorrow morning at 6 o’clk.

Dec 20th 1862: We are in the 2nd brigade of 1st division army of the Southeast Missouri. Moved out and going about eight miles and camped.

Dec 21st: Moving along slowly in the wet.

Dec 22nd: On the move again today and camp to night near Black River.

Dec 23rd: Our company rear guard today in crossing the river this morning on a log John Rankin fell off, James Roe was near him and he reached his gun out to him and he caught hold and he was pulled up again and landed safely on shore. We did not camp until late about dark. The after part of the day was very hard marching.

Dec 24th: Arrived at Current River near Van Bruon some 50 miles from Patterson. Some forage to acres taken by the rebels on the west side of the river.

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