War Between the States

Colonel of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry

One of the cavalry regiments that participated in Grierson's Raid

War Date Autograph Endorsement Signed at Eastfield, Mississippi


(1831-93) Born in DeRuyter, New York, he was a newspaper editor before the war. He was a 30 year old resident of Mason City, Iowa, when he enlisted as a captain, on August 20, 1861, and was commissioned into Co. I, of the 2nd Iowa Cavalry. He was promoted to major, September 14, 1861, colonel May 5, 1864, and brevet brigadier general, March 8, 1865. He was mustered out of the service on September 19, 1865, at Selma, Alabama. After the war he was an Alabama carpetbagger and real estate agent.

8 x 10, imprinted form, filled out in ink.

Eastfield, Miss.

The United States,

To Mrs. Eliza B. McKissack, Dr., Dec. 31, 1864. For 1,600 Lbs. Fresh Beef at 85 cents per lb. $128.00

To be paid for at the end of the war on proof of Loyalty

Approv., Datus E. Coon, Col. 2d Iowa Cav., Comdg. Brigade

I certify, that the above account for One Hundred & Twenty Eight Dollars is correct and just, and has not been paid by me for want of funds: that the articles specified were purchased at the lowest market price, and had been accounted for on my Return of Provisions for the month of December 1864. The purchase was necessary for the following reasons: To supply troops on the march no meat rations being furnished by the Subsistance Department. E.A. Davenport, Lieut. 9th Ills. Cav., A.C.S.

Light age toning, staining and wear.

Edward A. Davenport, who also signed this document, served as a member of the 9th Illinois Cavalry from his muster into the regiment on September 10, 1861, until his muster out of the service on October 31, 1865, at Selma, Alabama.


The 2nd Iowa Cavalry was mustered in at
Davenport, on August 25, 1861, and they aided General Pope in the reduction of New Madrid and Island No. 10, a squad
of the regiment being the first Union soldiers to enter the works at the latter place.

By May 1st, Pope's army was assisting in the celebrated siege of Corinth, which followed the battle of Shiloh, and on May 9th, the 2nd Iowa Cav. made the famous charge at Farmington, in which 100 men were unhorsed and half
as many killed or wounded. On May 28th the regiment with the 2nd Michigan Cavalry, dashed around to the south of Corinth in the night, destroyed the railroad in the Confederate rear
together with large supplies, and captured many prisoners.

On July 1st, these same regiments fought the cavalry battle of Booneville.

With September of 1862, hard riding, scouts and skirmishes commenced again. After a ride of 45 miles and skirmishing with the enemy, the regiment stood to horse all
night at the battle of Iuka.

Soon came the battle of Corinth, and the extent of that victory was greatly added to by the extraordinary activity, by day and by night, of the 2nd Iowa
Cavalry. "It has been the eye of the army," said General Rosecrans with truth, for it had guarded every road in the vicinity, scouted everywhere, and at last was present in the battle.

In November and December, the regiment took a constant and important part in Grant's great move through central
Mississippi toward Vicksburg. It was present at the unnecessary defeat at Coffeeville, where the Union troops
engaged were barely saved from utter rout and the regiment lost 22 men killed and wounded.

It then followed Grant's army as a rear guard in its retreat toward Memphis and went into winter quarters at Lagrange.

The early spring saw it riding all over northern Mississippi in little expeditions and scouts, and by April 16th, it was ready to start on what was
known as the Grierson raid. "This was one of the most brilliant cavalry exploits of the war," said Gen. Grant.

The regiment then went to Memphis, where it remained in quiet till the end of November.

On March 28, 1864, many of the regiment
reenlisted as veterans and in April went to Iowa on furlough.

The following summer was largely spent in raiding and scouting through Mississippi and middle Tennessee, without any engagements of great consequence, although it participated in the fight at Tupelo.

But by the middle of November it was engaged in the hardest campaign of its history; resisting Hood's invasion of Tennessee. With headquarters near
Florence, Ala., it watched and fought his advance step by step, formed with Coon's brigade the rear guard of the Federal army as it fell back to Franklin, and in the battle there
played an important part on the left.

Then followed the battle of Nashville, in which the gallant regiment, with the
whole of Hatch's division, dismounted and fought as infantry, storming and capturing forts and driving the enemy in dismay. This was the regiment's last active campaign.

The following spring and summer were passed in unimportant duties in
Mississippi and in Oct. 1865, it was mustered out.

Source: The Union Army, Vol. 4

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