Iowa Regiments Leave for War

Iowan, Grenville Dodge, convinced the U.S. government to supply arms to Iowa soldiers in 1861. The soldiers were trained and left for the battlefront. Friends and family members sent them off with well wishes.


Grenville M. Dodge, who had achieved some status as a railroad builder, was eager to be commissioned as an officer. So the Governor put him to work. Dodge was sent to Washington to convince federal officials that arms were needed by Iowa troops. He succeeded in getting six thousand rifles and a commission for himself as Colonel in the 4th Iowa Infantry.

(drums, talking and music)

Iowans by the thousands were answering the call for able-bodied soldiers. So two miles east of Davenport, on the Mississippi River, Camp McClellan was built. Even before construction was finished, a thousand men were ready to be trained. And within a month the 8th, 9th and 10th Regiments were marched aboard a steamer bound for St. Louis and on to the battlefront. Most of the men left without uniforms for arms. And were lead by officers trained no better then the men under them. Large crowds cheered as the boats pulled away.

(cheering, music and drums)

Friends of the soldiers still lingered. Biding tearful farewells, imprinting loving kisses. Fathers parted with sons, mothers with their darling boys, sisters with their brothers and maidens with their lovers. And when the whistle sounded and the ship moved out carrying with it the objects of so much affection many a moistened eye might be seen in the crowd that looked toward their homes.


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