3rd Regiment Infantry


Field & Staff--NCO Staff


Organized at Keokuk and mustered in June 8, 1861. Left State for Hannibal, Mo., June 29. Attached to Dept. of Missouri, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, District of Memphis, Tenn,, Dept. of Tennessee, to September, 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, District of Jackson, Dept. Tennessee, to November, 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Right Wing 13th Army Corps, Dept. Tennessee, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Army Corps, Army Tennessee, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 16th Corps, to July, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 13th Corps, to August, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Corps, to March, 1864. (1st Brigade, Provisional Division, 17th Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to June, 1864. Non-Veterans.) 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 17th Corps, Army Tennessee, to November, 1864.

SERVICE.--March into Missouri July 1-12, 1861. Skirmish at Utica July 3. Hagar's Woods July 8 (3 Cos.). Monroe Station July 9 and 11 (Cos. "A," "F," "H" and "K"). At Chillicothe, Mo., and guarding Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R. until August 7. Moved to Brookfield August 7 (7 Cos.), and against Green's forces at Kirksville August 15-21. (3 Cos. on Expedition to Paris, August.) Operations against guerrillas in North Central Missouri August 30-September 7. Action at Shelbina September 4. Expedition to Fonda against Green's forces September 8-9. Moved to Liberty September 12. Action at Blue Mills September 17. Operations in North Missouri until October 18. At Quincy, Ill., November. Regiment reunite. Moved to Benton Barracks and duty there until December 26. Guard duty at Mexico and on Northern Missouri R. R. until march, 1862. Ordered to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn. Battle of Shiloh April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. March to Memphis, Tenn., June 2-July 21, and duty there until September 6. Moved to Bolivar September 6. Skirmishes at Bolivar and Middleburg September 21. Duty at Bolivar until October 4. Battle of the Hatchie, Metamora, October 5. Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign November, 1862, to January, 1863. Worsham's Creek November 6. Guard Memphis & Charleston Railroad until March, 1863. Duty at Memphis until May. Expedition to the Coldwater April 18-24. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., May 17-20. Attack on Steamer Crescent City, near Island 82, Mississippi River, May 18. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., May 22-July 4. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 5-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Assault on Jackson July 12. Duty at Vicksburg until November. Moved to Natchez, Miss., November 18. Return to Vicksburg December 16, and duty there until February, 1864. Meridian Campaign February 3-March 2. Veterans on furlough March to May. Non-Veterans on Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Fort De-Russy March 14. Pleasant Hill April 9. Pleasant Hill Landing April 12-13. About Cloutiersville April 22-24. At Alexandria April 30-May 13. Boyce's and WeBs' Plantation May 6. Bayou Boeuf May 7. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Yellow Bayou May 18-19. Non-Veterans mustered out June, 1864. Veterans moved to Cairo, Ill., thence to Clifton, Tenn. March to Ackworth, Ga., via Huntsville and Decatur, Ala., and Rome, Ga., May 5-June 10. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign June 10-September 8. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 6-12. Leggett's, Bald Hill, July 20-21. Battle of Atlanta July 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Pursuit of Hood into Alabama October 1-26. Shadow Church and Westbrooks, near Fairburn, October 1-3. Veterans consolidated to a Battalion of three Companies July, 1864. Transferred to 2nd Iowa Infantry as Companies "A," "F," and "I," November 4, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 119 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 122 Enlisted men by disease. Total 249.

     This regiment sprang to arms at the outbreak of the war.  It was sworn into the United States service on the 8th and 10th of June, 1861, at Keokuk.  Nelson G. Williams was commissioned colonel; John Scott, lieutenant colonel; Wm. M. Stone, major. June 29th, it left for Hannnibal, Missouri.  July 1st, before the arrival of its colonel, destitute of all equipment but empty muskets and bayonets, and without means of transportation, the regiment was hastened westward more than half way across the state.  Two companies were left at Chillocothe, one at the bridge over Grand river, and the others at Utica. Col. Williams arrived at this juncture.  July 8th, Capt. Herron, with three companies of the Third, moved toward Hannibal, forming a junctin at Monroe with a detachment of the Sixteenth Illinois under Col. Smith.  This force marched after the Rebels, skirmished at Hager's Woods, and retreated back to Monroe, where they found their train in flames and the track destroyed.  The Rebels besieged the place, only retiring when union re-enforcements came up.  From near the middle of July till August 7th, headquarters were at Chillicothe, where were seven of the companies.  The remaining companies guarded the railroad in the vicinity.  There was now great hope of successful action.  The regiment proceeded to Brookfield, and Lt. Col. Scott started with it on an expedition against Col. Martin Green, in force near Kirksville, which place Scott was ordered to hold.  Gen. Hurlbnt came up with the Sixteenth Illinois soon after, but the men were disappointed as to a fight.  Gen. Hurlbut tried pacific measures by proclamation.  After the expiration of the five days granted for consideration, our force marched after the Rebels, but it was too  late.  They were beyond reach.  And the regiment returned to Brookfield, September 3d.  One man, Corporal Dix, had been killed while scouting.

     Col. Williams in the meantime had received orders to move south with the remnant of the regiment which had remained with him.  At Hannibal, he increased his force to between 600 and 700.  He moved to Paris, but after a day retreated.  At Shelbina, where, on September 4th, the enemy attacked him, he kept up his retreat.  At Macon City he found Gen. Hurlbut, whom he had expected earlier, on his way to re-enforce him with 250 men.  Col. Williams had lost one man wounded.  Under such unfortunate leadership, the men of the Third Iowa were greatly discouraged.  The arrival of Gen. Pope on the field led them to hope that something would now be accomplished.  Gen. Pope immediately ordered Gen. Hurlbut and Col. Williams to St. Louis in arrest.  He then began concentrating troops at Hunnewell, where Lt.-Col. Scott, as soon as he had returned to Brookfield from the Kirksville expedition, was ordered with the Third. Gen. Pope marched his troops by nig-ht against Green, near Florida, with the intention of surprising him. In this object he completely failed, and the disappointed army marched back.

In reading Lieut. S. D. Thompson's "Recollections with the Third Iowa Regiment," from which much material has been drawn for this sketch, the sympathies are warmly engaged for this brave regiment, continually suffering exposure, fatigue and disappointment, without even a chance to meet the enemy--this for want of a competent commander. The regiment went, September 12th, to Macon City, where was Brig. Gen. S. D Sturgis. The men felt again encouraged to hope for something. The Third was now removed westward to Cameron. On the afternoon of the 15th, 500 of its number, with about 70 home guards and some artillery, all under Lt.-Col. Scott, were marched to Liberty against the enemy. Scott reached there early on the 17th, and took position on the hill commanding the town at the north. Then followed the battle of Blue Mills. Col. Smith having arrived with re-enforcements, the combined force moved on the enemy, who was already off to re-enforce Price. After two or three days, Scott got his troops on a steamer for Fort Leavenworth, and then passed down to Wyandotte, Kansas. Gen. Sturgis's headquarters were now three miles distant, at Kansas City. In October, the regiment was united at Quincy, Ill. After a rest, it proceeded to Benton Barracks, at St. Louis, remaining till the day after Christmas. Under Maj. Stone, it spent the winter guarding the North Missouri railroad, with headquarters at Mexico. Col. Williams being relieved of arrest, arrived near the close of February, 1862, and assumed command.

Early in March the regiment was on its way to join Gen. Grant's forces in Tennessee. It was assigned to the division commanded by Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, which disembarked March 17th at Pittsburg Landing. At the battle of Shiloh, April 6th and 7th, the regiment took part with distinguished bravery. The Third joined in the siege of Corinth, and after the evacuation, went into camp near town. Afterward, it went to Memphis. Sept. 6th it marched to the vicinity of Bolivar. It engaged with great honor and great loss in the battle of the Hatchie River Oct. 5th, in Lauman's brigade. Lt.-Col. Trumbull commanded. The regiment now returned to Bolivar and early in November joined in the march southward. It performed its part in the expedition into Central Mississippi, and on its return went into camp near Moscow, about the middle of January, 1863. Here it remained some time, then removed to Memphis.

During this time. Col. Williams had resigned, and Lt.-Col. Trumbull still earlier. Aaron Brown was now colonel. Capt. James Tullis had been promoted lieutenant colonel, and Lieut. G. W. Crosley, major. May 17th the regiment embarked for Vicksburg, repelling severe attacks from land on the way, during which 14 were wounded. It took part in the arduous duties of the siege, taking its place May 25th in the investing line. It shared in the frequent conflicts with the enemy and the resulting losses.

In the second siege of Jackson, in the division of Gen. Lauman, the Third fought heroically and suffered cruelly and needlessly. In the reckless assault to which its brigade was ordered, it was led by Maj. Crosley. About one half of its number was left upon the field. After Jackson, the Third Iowa, with ranks so sadly thinned, returned to Vicksburg. Soon afterward it moved with its division to Natchez. It returned to Vicksburg in December and went into camp for the winter near the Big Black. Reenlistment for veteran service having taken place, from February to to March 4th, 1864, the regiment engaged in the famous Meridian raid under Gen. Sherman, during which 12 men of its number were lost. On March 17th, the veterans of the regiment under Maj. Crosley went home on furlough. The non-veterans under Lt.-Col. Tuliis joined in Gen. Banks's Red River expedition. At the close of that disastrous enterprise, the time of their enlistment having expired, they went home to Iowa, and were honorably mustered out of the service. Their comrades in the dangers and glory that had marked the proud career of the Third, the veterans, returned to the field to participate as a part of the Seventeenth corps in the Atlanta campaign. But the Third was now too few in numbers to admit of its remaining a regiment. It was formed into a battalion of three companies with one field officer. Col. Brown remaining with it for a time. At the battle of Atlanta, July 22d, 1864, it again suffered severely--so severely, that as an organization it could not longer survive. " In that fierce conflict," says Ingersoll, "The Third Iowa fought itself out of existence." The remnant of this brave regiment was consolidated November 8th 1864, with the Second Iowa infantry, serving with it under Sherman till the war was ended. It had supplied from its numbers no less than nine colonels and lieutenant colonels for other regiments in the service. Col. Wm. M. Stone, afterward governor of Iowa, was its first major.

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Reference: Iowa in War Times, by, S. H. M. Byers.  1888.  W. D. Condit & Co. Des Moines.