6th Regiment Infantry










Field & Staff/NCO Staff/Band

Organized at Burlington and mustered in July 17, 1861. Moved to Keokuk August 3, thence to St. Louis, Mo., August 9, and duty there until September 19. Attached to Dept. of Missouri, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 5th Division, Army Tennessee, to May, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 5th Division, Army Tennessee, to July, 1862, and District of Memphis, to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 5th Division, District of Memphis, 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of Tennessee, November, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Memphis, 13th Corps, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 17th Army Corps, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Corps, to May, 1863. 4th Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Corps, to July, 1863. 4th Brigade, 4th Division, 15th Corps, to September, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 15th Corps, to September, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 15th Corps, to July, 1865.

SERVICE.--Moved to Jefferson City, Mo., September 19, 1861. Fremont's Campaign against Springfield, Mo., October 7-November 9. At Sedalia until December 9. Moved to Lamine Bridge November 9, thence to Tipton January 22, 1862, and duty there until March 7, Expedition to Crump's Landing, Tennessee River, and operations there March 7-14. Expedition from Savannah to Yellow Creek, Miss., and occupation of Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., March 14-17. Battle of Shiloh April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. March to Memphis, Tenn., via La-Grange, Grand Junction and Holly Springs June 2-July 21. Skirmish with Forest July 2. Provost duty at Memphis until November. Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign November, 1862, to January, 1863. Tallahatchie march November 2-December 12. At Grand Junction and duty along Memphis & Charleston railroad until June, 1863. Regiment mounted. Expedition to Hernando, Miss., April 17-26, 1863. Holly Springs April 17. Scout from LaGrange into Northern Mississippi April 29-May 5. Salem May 20. Expedition to Senatobia, Miss., May 21-26. Moved to Vicksburg, Miss., June 9-14. Siege of Vicksburg June 14-July 4. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Birdsong Ferry, Big Black River, July 4-6. Jones' Ford and Messenger's Ferry July 6. Queen Hill July 7. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. At Big Black until September 25. Moved to Memphis, thence march to Chattanooga, Tenn., September 25-November 20. Operations on Memphis & Charleston railroad in Alabama October 20-29. Battles of Chattanooga November 23-25. Tunnel Hill November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. Pursuit to Graysville November 26-27. March to relief of Knoxville November 28-December 17. At Scottsboro, Ala., until April, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8. Demonstration on Resaca May 8-13. Near Resaca May 14. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 6-17. Battle of Atlanta July 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Ezra Chapel. Hood's second sortie, July 28. 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. Snake Creek Gap October 15. Ships Gap October 16. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Griswoldsville November 22. Ogeechee River December 7-9. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Salkehatchie Swamps, S.C., February 3-5. South Edisto River February 9. North Edisto River February 12-13. Congaree Creek February 15. Columbia February 16-17. Lynch's Creek February 25-26. Battle of Bentonville, N. C., March 20-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 9-13. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June. Mustered out July 21, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 144 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 126 Enlisted men by disease. Total 280.

     This regiment was mustered into service at Burlington, July 17 and 18, 1861.  John Adair McDowell was made colonel, Markoe Cummins, lieutenant colonel and John M. Corse, major.  August 3d the regiment was ordered to Keokuk.  A detachment was sent on the 5th about twenty-five miles to Athens, Missouri, to help repel the Rebels under Green.  On its returning, the regiment left, August 9th, for  the seat of war.  It remained in St. Louis till September 19th, when it went to Jefferson City. October 7th, the regiment started out on Fremont's campaign. It tarried four days at Tipton, where Fremont's army had concentrated, 30,000 strong'. October 13th, the army was reviewed by Secretary of War Cameron, and Adjt. Gen. Thomas. The Sixth Iowa was among the troops under Gen. McKinstry, and made the trying march to Springfield of seventy-five miles in two days, over rough roads, with short rations. It arrived November 3d. Fremont was now relieved by Hunter, and a retrograde movement was commenced November 9th. At Sedalia, Mo., the regiment remained till December 9th, when it was marched to the Lamine Bridge, and on January 22, 1862, to Tipton, to perform guard duty. Meanwhile, Lt.-Col, Cummins came into command of the regiment, Col. McDowell being absent on leave, and Maj. Corse being on detached duty on the staff of Gen. Pope, as inspector general. The Sixth was ordered on March 7th to Pittsburg Landing, and arrived on the 16th. It took up position on our extreme right near Owl Creek. Company D was detailed to perform picket duty at the bridge on the road to Purdy. It remained on this duty till recalled to take its place in the battle opening April 6th, by a messenger from Gen. Sherman. Maj. Walden of Centerville, at that time captain of Company D, relates that while on duty at the bridge, Charles Stratton, musician in his company, was shot in the hand early on the morning of the battle, by the enemy in advance, and that this was the first gun and the first blood in the battle of Shiloh. A brief sketch of the Sixth Iowa by Maj . Walden has been of great value in preparing this article. The Sixth was in the First brigade. Fifth division, in the command of Gen. Sherman. Col. McDowell commanded the brigade, Lt.-Col. Cummins the regiment. Later in the day, the latter was placed in arrest during the progress of battle, and was succeeded in command by Capt. Iseminger, who was killed. Capt. Williams then had charge of the regiment until severely wounded, when the command devolved on Capt. Walden. The regiment thus losing leader after leader in succession, still fought with a courage and persistency never surpassed, On the second day of the battle, it was in the brigade of James A. Garfield, afterward President of the United States.

After Shiloh, the Sixth joined the army under Gen. Halleck in the siege of Corinth, and was present when the Rebels evacuated the place, May 30th, 1862. Lt.-Col. Cummins had been mustered out of the service by order of court-martial and had been succeeded in rank by Maj. Corse. The latter having been released from duty with Gen. Pope, was now in command of the regiment. Capt. John Williams of Company G, was promoted to the majority. During June, the regiment camped at various points. In the last of the month, it went on a reconnoissance to the interior of Mississippi. July 2d, it skirmished with Forrest's cavalry, driving them from the way. It returned to Memphis July 24th, where it remained till in the autumn, its brigade doing duty as provost guard. November 17th, it was on a four days' scout to Holly Springs. In November, when Grant's campaign against Vicksburg, by attempting to secure position in the rear, commenced, the regiment, with the rest of Sherman's division, marched with the forces under Grant as far as the Yohnapatafa river. The army then being forced to return, the Sixth went into camp at Grand Junction, Tennessee, and during the winter of '62 and '63, being mounted, took part in several important raids in that vicinity. It was at this time attached to a division under command of Brig. Gen. Wm. S. Smith. March 12th, Col. McDowell resigned, and at the same time, Lt.-Col. Corse was made colonel. Maj. Williams had resigned October 22, 1862, and had been at once succeeded by Capt, Alex. J. Miller, Company G. On March 14th, Maj. Miller was promoted lieutenant colonel, and Adjt. Thos. J. Ennis major. June 14, 1863, the Sixth was assigned temporarily to the Ninth army corps, and stationed with two divisions of that corps at Haines's Bluff, to keep off Johnston. When Vicksburg fell, July 4, 1863, the Sixth was hurried away to the siege of Jackson. There, on July 16th, occurred the reconnoissance under Col. Corse, in which the Sixth distinguished itself by the most extraordinary valor and coolness. Gen Corse says : " I cannot speak in too extravagant terms of the officers and men of the Sixth Iowa on this occasion." Brig. Gen. Smith wrote a glowing congratulatory letter to their colonel. In this campaign and siege, the Sixth Iowa lost between 60 and 70 men. Col. Corse had so distinguished himself as to lead to his promotion to brigadier general. The regiment was now assigned to the Second brigade. Fourth division, Fifteenth army corps. In Sherman's famous march to Chattanooga, the Sixth was an active participant. In the battle of Missionary Ridge, November 25th, Maj Ennis was severely wounded. The regiment now marched with Sherman's army toward Knoxville, to relieve Burnside, marching over frozen ground, with scanty rations, some of the men barefooted. Gen. Sherman says of this march:

"Seven days before, we had left our camps on the other side of the Tennessee river, with two days rations, without change of clothing, stripped for the fight, with but a single blanket or coat to the man. from myself to the private. We had no provisions, save what we gathered from the roadside; but we knew that 12.000 of our comrades were beleaguered in Knoxville, eighty -four miles distant, and must have relief within three days. This was enough; it had to be done."

The way thither was contested by the enemy, but the siege was raised on the night of December 4th, in anticipation of Sherman's arrival. The Sixth went into camp at Scottsboro, northeastern Alabama, early in 1864, and remained during the winter. Here the re-enhstment of most of the men made it a veteran regiment. The veterans went home for furlough. April 27th, they left Davenport for Chattanooga, where the regiment entered on the Atlanta campaign, being again in the Second brigade. Fourth division, Fifteenth army corps. It participated in all the battles and many of the skirmishes of this campaign. Col. Miller was wounded at Dallas, Major Ennis then assuming command. Adjt. Newby Chase was mortally wounded. At Big Shanty, Acting Adjt. Lieut. John S. Grimes, was killed. At Atlanta, July 28th. Maj. Ennis, commanding the regiment, was mortally wounded. Capt. W. H. Clune led the regiment through the rest of this hot fight. From Resaca to Lovejoy, the regiment lost in killed and wounded 159, nearly half of the number with which it commenced the campaign. At the close of the campaign, it went into camp near Atlanta with 120 fit for duty--scarcely more than a company! In a month came marching orders. The regiment started northward, to help drive away Hood's threatening forces, had a week's rest, and then, about the middle of November, started on the march to the sea.

At the battle of Griswoldsville, November 22d, the Sixth lost 4 killed and 20 wounded. Arrived in Savannah, it remained three weeks. Major Clune was promoted lieutenant colonel and Capt. David J. McCoy -major. The difficult march through the Carolinas northward began the middle of January, 1865. At Columbia. South Carolina, in skirmishing with the enemy, the regiment lost 1 killed and 7 wounded. It participated in the battle of Bentonsville, North Carolina, and, with the army, made the march from Raleigh to Richmond, 150 miles, in five days. At Washington it took part in the grand review. Of this scene, L. D. Ingersol writes in " Iowa and the Rebellion."

"It was my fortune to witness that magnificent spectacle, and I shall never forget the emotions of pleasure with which I heard the shout of applause that greeted this thinned regiment, as it wheeled into Fifteenth street, in front of the grand colonnade of the Treasury Department. Its colors were torn into shreds, its number was small; but the men marched with a free, steady step and that elastic spring which only belongs to veteran troops. The Sixth then marched to Louisville, Kentucky, where it was mustered out of the service, July 2lst, 1865. No regiment in the service marched more, endured more, suffered more, fought more battles, or lost more killed than did the Sixth Iowa, and none should be more gratefully remembered by the the people of the state."

Gen. John M. Corse, first major of the Sixth, was made brigadier general August 11, 1863, and brevet major general October 5, 1864. Major John Williams was later brevetted brigadier general.

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