21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment
|21st Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry|
Iowa state flag
|Active||August 25, 1862, to July 15, 1865|
|Equipment||.577 Enfield Rifles|
|Engagements||Battle of Hartville (MO)
Battle of Port Gibson
Battle of Champion Hill
Battle of Big Black River Bridge
Siege of Vicksburg
Siege of Jackson
Siege of Fort Blakely
Battle of Spanish Fort
The 21st Iowa Infantry was organized at Dubuque, Iowa and mustered in for three years of Federal service on August 25, 1862.
The regiment left Camp Franklin in Dubuque, Iowa, and floated by barge to Saint Louis, Missouri, then moving to Rolla, Missouri, that autumn and then to Houston, Missouri, forming as part of a brigade that included the 21st Iowa, 99th Illinois, and 33rd Missouri regiments as well as detachments from the 3rd Missouri Cavalry, 3rd Iowa Cavalry, and from the 1st Missouri Artillery. This brigade was under the command of Gen. Henry Fitz Warren.
The regiment's first test was at the Battle of Hartville, Missouri, in the January, 1863; a Confederate victory.
Following the expedition in Missouri, the regiment was formed with the 22nd Iowa, 23rd Iowa, and 11th Wisconsin regiments in March, 1863, to form the 2nd Brigade (Lawler's Brigade) of Gen. Carr's Division, of the 13th Army Corp under U.S. Grant to participate in the Vicksburg campaign. The brigade saw action in Mississippi at Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, Black River Bridge and the Siege of Vicksburg. The brigade distinguished themselves at the Big Black River when they surprised the enemy, charging out of a meander to the enemy's left flank causing the Rebel defenses at the Black River bridge to collapse and forcing them to retreat. Thus, the path to Vicksburg was now unimpeded resulting in Grant's army enveloping the city.
Lawler's brigade distinguished themselves again during the initial assaults at Vicksburg by the brigade's assault on the Railroad Redoubt. The brigade charged up the slopes toward the Texans waiting at the top in the redoubt. After fierce fighting, the brigade controlled the ridge at the top for a few hours before being driven off. Gen. Grant abandoned his efforts to take Vicksburg by force and settled into a prolonged siege which ended with Gen. Pemberton's surrender of his Confederate forces and the city on July 4, 1863. An impressive memorial near the redoubt honors the Iowans who fought and those who sacrificed themselves in the Vicksburg Campaign.
Following Vicksburg, the regiment was part of a force that marched on Jackson, MS. The regiment then took part in expeditions in Louisiana and then moved to Matagorda Island, TX.
The regiment finally saw action in the Mobile campaign, taking part in the caputulations of Ft. Blakely and Spanish Fort.
The regiment was mustered out on July 15, 1865.).
Total strength and casualties
The 21st Iowa mustered 1181 men at one time or another during its existence. It suffered 4 officers and 77 enlisted men who were killed in action or who died of their wounds and 1 officer and 168 enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of 250 fatalities.
- George Crooke (Regimental Adjutant), The Twenty-First Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, A Narrative, 1891
- http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/books/logan/mil505.htm Iowa Genweb Iowa in the Civil War Project after Logan, Guy E., Roster and Record of Iowa Troops In the Rebellion, Vol. 1
- http://www.civilwararchive.com/Unreghst/uniainf3.htm#20thinf The Civil War Archive website after Dyer, Frederick Henry. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. 3 vols. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959.
- Iowa Genweb Iowa in the Civil War Project after Logan, Guy E., Roster and Record of Iowa Troops In the Rebellion, Vol. 1