Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century Volume 2.djvu/307

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CHAPTER XVII
SEVENTEENTH IOWA INFANTRY

THE counties of Decatur, Lee, Van Buren, Polk, Wapello, Appanoose, Washington, Marion, Louisa and Dallas furnished the men who formed the Seventeenth Regiment which was organized at Keokuk in March and April, 1862, and consisted of nine hundred thirty-five men. The first field and staff officers were: John W. Rankin, colonel; David B. Hillis, lieutenant-colonel; S. W. Wise, major; S. Guthrie, adjutant; Nathan Udell, surgeon; E. J. Aldrich, quartermaster; William L. Wilson, chaplain. On the 19th of April the regiment was sent to St. Louis, and early in May joined Halleck’s army near Corinth. After the close of that campaign it was on duty in that region until September 18th, when it marched to reinforce General Rosecrans’ army at Iuka. Upon arriving at the front it was hurried into battle, of which Stuart says:

“Its position was at the cross-roads and along the open ridge. Just across a narrow ravine filled with dense brush was the enemy. Hardly had the regiment come into line, when it was met with a terrible fire of grape, canister and musketry, and General Sullivan ordered it to a less exposed position. While Colonel Rankin was giving the command for the movement, a portion of General Rosecrans’ bodyguard in reconnoitering at the front encountered a terrible fire from the enemy, rode hurriedly back and finding the Seventeenth Iowa drawn up across the road, dashed through its ranks, knocking down and injuring several men. About this time Colonel Rankin’s horse was shot and becoming unmanageable ran and threw him, his head striking a tree which rendered him insensible. Standing under fire for the first time, overrun and its ranks broken by stampeding cavalry; its commanding officer disabled, is it a matter of wonder that the Seventeenth was throw into temporary confusion and partially discouraged? A portion of the left wing got separated from the