The 21st Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry
that served in the Union Army
American Civil War
Iowa Infantry was organized at Dubuque, Iowa and mustered in for three years of Federal service
on August 25, 1862.
The regiment left Camp Franklin in Dubuque, Iowa, and floated by
barge to Saint Louis, Missouri then moving to Rolla, Missouri, that
autumn and then to Houston, Missouri, forming as part of a brigade
that included the 21st Iowa , 99th Illinois, and 33rd Missouri
regiments as well as detachments from the 3rd Missouri Cavalry, 3rd
Iowa Cavalry, and from the 1st Missouri Artillery. This brigade was
under the command of Gen. Henry Fitz Warren.
The regiment's first test was at the Battle of Hartville, Missouri,
in the January, 1863; a Confederate victory.
Following the expedition in Missouri, the regiment was formed with
the 22nd Iowa, 23rd Iowa, and 11th Wisconsin regiments in March,
1863, to form the 2nd Brigade (Lawler's Brigade) of Gen. Carr's
Division, of the 13th Army Corp under U.S. Grant to participate in
the Vicksburg campaign. The brigade saw action in Mississippi at
Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, Black River Bridge and the Siege of
Vicksburg. The brigade distinguished themselves at the Big Black
River when they surprised the enemy, charging out of a meander to
the enemy's left flank causing the Rebel defenses at the Black
River bridge to collapse and forcing them to retreat. Thus, the
path to Vicksburg was now unimpeded resulting in Grant's army
enveloping the city.
Lawler's brigade distinguished themselves again during the initial
assaults at Vicksburg by the brigade's assault on the Railroad
Redoubt. The brigade charged up the slopes toward the Texans
waiting at the top in the redoubt. After fierce fighting, the
brigade controlled the ridge at the top for a few hours before
being driven off. Gen. Grant abandoned his efforts to take
Vicksburg by force and settled into a prolonged siege which ended
with Gen. Pemberton's surrender of his Confederate forces and the
city on July 4, 1863. An impressive memorial near the redoubt
honors the Iowans who fought and those who sacrificed themselves in
the Vicksburg Campaign.
Following Vicksburg, the regiment was part of a force that marched
on Jackson, MS. The regiment then took part in expeditions in
Louisiana and then moved to Matagorda Island, TX.
The regiment finally saw action in the Mobile campaign, taking part
in the caputulations of Ft. Blakely and Spanish Fort.
The regiment was mustered out on July 15
Total strength and casualties
The 21st Iowa mustered 1181 men at one time or another during its
existence.It suffered 4 officers and 77 enlistedmen who were killed
in action or who died of their wounds and 1 officer and 168
enlistedmen who died of disease, for a total of 250