By Donald C. Elder III
William Henry Harrison Clayton used to be one in every of approximately 75,000 squaddies from Iowa to hitch the Union ranks through the Civil conflict. owning a highschool schooling and stronger penmanship, Clayton served as a firm clerk within the nineteenth Infantry, witnessing battles within the trans-Mississippi theater. His diary and his correspondence together with his kin in Van Buren County shape a special narrative of the day by day soldier existence in addition to an eyewitness account of severe battles and a prisoner-of-war camp. Clayton participated within the siege of Vicksburg and participated in operations opposed to cellular, yet his writings are certain for the descriptions he offers of lesser-known yet pivotal battles of the Civil battle within the West. scuffling with within the conflict of Prairie Grove, the nineteenth Infantry sustained the top casualties of any federal regiment at the eld. Clayton survived that conflict with basically minor accidents, yet he used to be later captured on the conflict of Stirling's Plantation and served a interval of ten months in captivity at Camp Ford, Texas. Clayton's writing finds the complex sympathies and prejudices time-honored between Union infantrymen and civilians of that interval within the country's background. He observes with nice disappointment the brutal results of struggle at the South, sympathizing with the plight of refugees and lamenting the destruction of estate. He excoriates draft evaders and Copperheads again domestic, conveying the intra-sectional acrimony wrought via civil struggle. eventually, his racist perspectives towards blacks display a standard yet ironic angle between Union infantrymen whose efforts helped result in the abolition of slavery within the usa.
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Extra resources for A Damned Iowa Greyhound: The Civil War Letters of William Henry Harrison Clayton
On dress parade companies are arranged the same as they would be when in line of battle. Company C is in the center and carries the colors. Co. H is next on the left, and as artillery is generally directed towards the colors our position will be a very important one. <><><><><><><><><><><><> Benton Barracks34 St. Louis Sept. 7/62 Dear Father & Mother: We left Keokuk last Thursday morning about 10 o'clock on the steamer J. L. McGill and arrived at St. Louis about the same time on Friday morning.
Louis, about 11 o'clock at night. It was right cold after the rain, enough so to make a blanket feel comfortable. We remained at Rolla until Saturday morning. Friday the teamsters got their teams harnessed up and broke them. Each company has a six mule team & there are 5 commissary2 teams making 15 teams to the regiment. I went to the fortification near Rolla last Friday. It was about 3/4 of a mile from our camp. It has four 32 pounders3 mounted and commands the country around for a long distance.
Nincehelser went on picket guard44 &, as we expected to stay 24 hours, we had a day's rations in our haversacks. We had been on guard about two hours when orders came to march immediately. The boys at camp were just getting supper ready but they had to leave it & do without. We marched at dark & marched until 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. We rested until daylight & started again & marched all day. Nobody had any rations prepared and a good many had nothing to eat. During the night march we passed through where the Pea Ridge battle was fought.
A Damned Iowa Greyhound: The Civil War Letters of William Henry Harrison Clayton by Donald C. Elder III