5th Regiment Infantry










Field & Staff/NCO Staff

Organized at Burlington July 15, 1861. Moved to Keokuk, Iowa, August 2, thence to St. Louis, Mo., August 11. Attached to Fremont's Army of the West and Dept. of Missouri, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army Mississippi, to April, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army Mississippi, April, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Army Mississippi, to November, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 7th Division, Left Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. Tennessee, to December, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 7th Division, 16th Army Corps, to January, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 7th Division, 17th Army Corps, to September, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 17th Army Corps, to December, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 15th Army Corps, to August, 1864.

SERVICE.--Expedition to Northeastern Missouri August, 1861. Detachment moved to St. Louis, Mo., August 11, thence to Jefferson City, Mo., August 14. Expedition toward Columbia September 2. Moved to Booneville September 14, thence to Glasgow September 25. Return to Booneville October 2. Fremont's Campaign against Springfield, Mo., October 4-November 8. Guard railroad and duty at Booneville and Syracuse until February, 1862. Moved to Cairo, Ill., February 6, thence to Benton, Mo. Operations against New Madrid, Mo., February 28-March 15, and against Island No. 10. March 15-April 8. Expedition to Fort Pillow April 13-17. Moved to Hamburg Landing, Tenn., April 18-22. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Pursuit to Booneville May 31-June 6. At Clear Creek until August 5. Expedition to Holly Springs June 27-July 10. Moved to Jacinto August 5. March to Iuka September 18-19. Battle of Iuka September 19. Moved to Corinth October 1. Battle of Corinth October 3-4. Pursuit to Ripley October 5-12. Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign November, 1862, to January, 1863. Reconnaissance from LaGrange November 8-9, 1862. Duty at Memphis, Tenn., January to March, 1863. Expedition up Yazoo and operations about Fort Pemberton and Greenwood March 13-April 5. Fort Pemberton March 25. Moved to Milliken's Bend, La., April 13. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. South Fork Bayou Pierrie May 2. Battles of Raymond May 12. Near Raymond May 13. Jackson May 14. Champion's Hill May 16. Siege of Vicksburg May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Surrender of Vicksburg July 4. Duty at Vicksburg until September 13. Moved to Memphis, thence march to Chattanooga, Tenn., September 13-November 20. Operations on Memphis & Charleston railroad in Alabama October 20-29. Battles of Chattanooga November 23-25. Tunnel Hill November 24-25. Mission Ridge, November 25. Pursuit to Graysville November 26-27. March to relief of Knoxville November 28-December 17. Duty at Bridgeport and Huntsville, Ala., until April, 1864. Veterans on furlough April-May. Non-Veterans guard railroad until June 15. Mustered out July 30. Moved to Huntsville, thence to Kingston, Ga., June 23. Guard duty there and at Etowah River until July 30. Consolidated with 5th Iowa Cavalry August 8, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 9 Officers and 108 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 131 Enlisted men by disease. Total 250.    

     This regiment rose to arms when Fort Sumter was fired on. It was sworn into the service at Burlington, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of July, 1861. Wm. H. Worthington was appointed colonel, Chas. L. Matthies, lieutenant colonel, and Wm. S. Robertson, major. It was ordered to Keokuk August 2d. There, a detachment under Lt.-Col. Matthies was sent to northeastern Missouri, to help put down the Rebels under Green. Returning to Keokuk, the regiment embarked, August 11th, for St. Louis. On the 14th it went to Jefferson City. August 25th, Col. Worthington, with a detachment, made some arrests at Booneville, and confiscated rebel property. On the 28th, a detachment was sent to guard, for a time, the bridge of the Pacific railroad over the Osage river. September 1st. the regiment engaged in an expedition toward Columbia. September 14th, it embarked to re-enforce Home Guards at Booneville. It remained at that place ten days, when it continued up the river to Glasgow, returning to Booneville in a week. October 4th, it joined in the march of Fremont's army toward Springfield, arriving there November 3d, and remaining till the 8th. It was in the brigade of Col. Kelton, in Gen. Pope's division. During the winter, seven companies were at Booneville under Lt.-Col. Matthies, and three companies at Syracuse, guarding the railway. Col. Worthington commanded the brigade with headquarters at Otterville. Feb. 6th, 1862, the Fifth started for Cairo, Illinois. Its next stopping place was Benton, Missouri, where it became a part of the Army of the Mississippi, under Gen. Pope. March 1st, the march on New Madrid was begun, the Fifth being in the First brigade, commanded by Col. Worthington, and in the Second division under Gen. Schuyler Hamilton.

     In all of the operations about New Madrid, Island No. 10, and against Fort Pillow, the Fifth bore an active and honorable part. From there, the regiment moved to Hamburg Landing, Tennessee, to participate in Halleck's movement against Corinth. May 22d, while at Farmington, occurred the death of Col. Worthington, who, while visiting at night the grand guard of the division as general officer of the day, was shot by a startled picket of our own army. Some months later Lt.-Col. Matthies succeeded to the colonelcy, Capt. Sampson became lieutenant colonel and Capt. Banbury, major. Maj. Robertson, a popular and beloved officer, resigned. On the evacuation of Corinth by the Rebels, May 30th. the Fifth engaged in the pursuit, till on reaching Booneville it went into bivouac. June 10th, it returned to near Corinth and camped on Clear Creek. June 27th, it started for Holly Springs, Mississippi. June 30th, the expedition was abandoned, and the regiment returned to Rienzi, Mississippi. July 10th, it returned to Clear Creek. At this time, Gen. Rosecrans succeeded Gen. Pope in command of the Army of the Mississippi. Gen. C. S. Hamilton also succeeded Gen. Schuyler Hamilton in command of the division in which was the Fifth.

     August 5th, the regiment marched to Jacinto. Mississippi. September 18th, it broke camp and marched for Iuka. In the late afternoon of the 19th of September, in the battle of luka, one of the hottest fights in history, the Fifth Iowa made a record for heroism, and won a glory which will last as long as the great deeds of the war are remembered. " The glorious Fifth Iowa," said Rosecrans, " bore the thrice repeated charges and cross fires of the rebel left and center with a valor and determination seldom equaled, never excelled, by the most veteran soldiery."  The fifth Iowa," said Hamilton, "held its ground against four times its number. " It made every step a battle ground and every charge a victory." It was led by the brave Matthies. The regiment returned to Jacinto and October 1st marched for Coriath. On the 3d and 4th of October it participated in the battle of Cormth. On the 5th, it joined in the pursuit of Price. Gen. Rosecrans had been succeeded in command of the Army of the Mississippi by Gen. C. S. Hamilton. The division in which was the Fifth, was placed under Gen. Isaac F. Quinby. November 2d, the regiment marched to join Gen. Grant's Central Mississippi expedition, preparatory to the fruitless movement by Holly Springs. On returning, it was ordered, with its division, to Memphis, to march in advance with a train for supplies. Arriving there, it started back with the train on the 31st, but on the way was relieved and stationed a short time at Germantown. The division was now assigned as the Seventh to the Seventeenth army corps, Gen. McPherson commanding.

     January 3lst, 1863, the regiment returned to Memphis. March 2d, it began its work on the Vicksburg campaign, and from that time till the surrender of Vicksburg, July 4th, its acts form a creditable part of the events of that period.

     The regiment participated in the novel and adventurous Yazoo Pass expedition, returning April 5th to its previous camp near Helena. April 13th, it embarked for Milliken's Bend. Here the enthusiasm of the men was at such a point that it was difficult to restrain them from volunteering to run the blockade of the Vicksburg batteries. April 25th, the regiment entered on Grant's campaign around Vicksburg. May 1st, it crossed the Mississippi river at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, marching then for Jackson through the interior, being at Port Gibson on May 2d, Raymond on the 12th and Clinton on the 13th. The regiment participated in the battle of Jackson, May 14th. At the battle of Champion Hills, on the 16th. it distinguished itself anew by its gallantry and determined fighting, and lost heavily.

     From May 19th to June 22d, the regiment was in front of the enemy's works at Vicksburg. It participated in the terrible, but fruitless, assault of May 22d. Col. Boomer, its brigade commander, being killed in the second charge of the afternoon June 22d, the brigade moved off to the Big Black river, to aid in preventing Johnston's re-enforcing Vicksburg. Brigadier general Matthies, who had been promoted from the colonelcv for gallantry at Iuka, commanded the brigade after Col. Boomer was killed. Lt.-Col. Sampson had been most of the time in command of the regiment. On June 5th, Col. Banbury, promoted from major, assumed command. His official history of the regiment is the principal source of information for this sketch.  Adjt. Marshall was made major. Quartermaster Sergt. S. H. M. Byers received his commission as adjutant, accompanied by the gift from Gen. Matthies of his own sash, in token of personal esteem. Adjt. Byers read his first order to the regiment on July 4th, announcing the fall of Vicksburg, which news was received by the brave Fifth with unbounded demonstrations of joy. Among esteemed officers of the Fifth Iowa who will be remembered with attachment by its members, was Chaplain Thos. Merrill, one of the very best Christian men in the United States service; numbers of whose  "boys" from his school at " College Farm," near Newton, were in the regiment. Also, Surgeon Henry C. Huntsman, whose loyal service, whose skillful hand and humane and kindly acts awakened recognition and gratitude among the sick and wounded. The regiment was at Champion Hills and Black River Bridge from the 17th to the 24th of July, when it returned to Vicksburg. September 12th, it started for Helena, with the object of re-enforcing Gen. Steele, but that general's success in the meantime rendered this unnecessary. While the troops awaited transportation back, the division which was the Fifth, was transferred to Sherman, to re-enforce the Army of the Cumberland The Fifth therefore was sent to Corinth, arriving on October 4th, the anniversary of the battle. Here the regiment was stationed at points on the railway, preparing for the march to Chattanooga, which was begun October 29th.

     The regiment arrived opposite Chattanooga, November 20th. It was now a part of the Third division, Fifteenth corps, and, with its division, crossed the Tennessee river in the night of November 24th, in the face of the enemy on Missionary Ridge. November 25th, in the battle of Missionary Ridge, it fought with desperate courage and lost heavily. Among the captured were the major and adjutant. The regiment joined in pursuit of the enemy, returning to its old camp on the west bank of the Tennessee. December 3d, it was ordered to Bridgeport, later to Larkinsville, and on January 7th, 1864, to Huntsville. On April 1st, re-enlistment having taken place the veterans of the Fifth started for Iowa to enjoy veteran furlough. On its expiration, they rendezvoused. May 7th, at Davenport, and started for the front. At Decatur, Alabama, they rejoined the brigade. A few of the Fifth knowing the regiment was ordered to Madison Station, went there in advance, and were captured with other troops in a rebel raid upon the railway The regiment now guarded the railroad till June 15th, when it was ordered to Huntsville, and June 23d to Kingston, Georgia. It soon moved to the Etowah river, guarding several fords and a bridge till late in July While there, one man was killed and one wounded by guerrillas. July 30th, the non-veterans of the regiment received an honorable discharge from the service. So battle-thinned were the ranks of the Fifth Iowa that this virtually closed its existence as a regiment. Its remaining members, too few to maintain a distinct organization, were transferred soon after to the Fifth Iowa cavalry, in which they afterward did gallant service.  Charles L. Matthies, first lieutenant colonel of the Fifth, was made brigadier general November 29, 1862.

Previous Page

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