The Davenport Daily Gazette
January 7, 1862
Benton Barracks, near St. Louis
Editor Gazette:~~I am not desirous of enrolling myself among the numerous
list of "Army correspondents" now in existence, but write in this instance
so that the 14th Iowa Infantry may for once be represented in the columns of
As you are aware, we left Davenport on Nov. 27th, 1861, and
arrived here Nov. 30th, where we are still stationed. The entire regiment
regret that we did not take the field immediately after leaving Davenport,
as undoubtedly it would have been better for the regiment in many respects.
Were it not for the crowded stated of the Barracks, we would have been
comfortably quartered here. The Barracks are divided into divisions, and
each of them in four blocks, one of which was originally intended for two
companies whereas four now occupy them. In this manner they become
exceedingly crowded. The ventilation, until recently, has been very
poor-lately they have constructed ventilators on top of the Barracks,
rendering them much more comfortable and healthy. If a hundred and eighty
men are placed in a room poorly ventilated, which is not large enough for
half that number, you can readily imagine how foul the atmosphere must be.
This, and the changeable weather, has in a !
great measure caused so much illness among the men. Another great cause is
in the fault of the men themselves. They have their daily rations issued
them, which in quantity far exceeds the amount they would eat at home, yet
they devour the entire quantity as though the Government required it and
between meals they patronize apple-pie and pop-corn peddlers to an extent
that would astonish one who has not been a personal observer. This error is
more particularly to be found among new troops who have but recently left
their homes. If all new troops will bear in mind the injurious effects of
this course, they will avoid a great deal of illness, and some of them will
prolong their lives. To exclude the peddlers is an utter impossibility,
unless they exclude all citizens, and particularly washerwomen, who conceal
pies in the bottom of their baskets and hide them with washing they bring
We have had as many as a hundred and forty-five men on the
sick list, though never had over thirty-five of that number sick enough to
go to the regiment hospital. We have lost only fifteen men altogether since
the organization of the regiment, and one of those by a fall while at Camp
McClellan. You will readily discover that the mortality in this regiment has
been much less than in other regiments, which have lost from forty to sixty
in the same length of time. The regiment numbers about six hundred men and
seven companies, three having been detached and are now at Fort Randell, D.
T. We attribute this comparatively small loss to our good physician and the
manner which our hospital arrangements are conducted. The hospital is under
the direct supervision of our Col., who visits it frequently, and attends
personally to the wants of the sick, without leaving it entirely for his
chaplain to attend to. We have also an excellent physician (Dr. Staples,
who is busy from before reveille in the morning until taps at night. At the
hospital we have two ladies, who have frequently received the compliment of
keeping the cleanliest hospital in and about the city. We have not yet sent
one of our sick to any of the general hospitals in and about St. Louis, but
have kept them at our own, a large brick building just outside the lines.
Colonel Shaw has provided the regiment with their tents,
which they have pitched in the Fair Grounds, a short distance from the
Barracks. The latter are occupied by men who are unfit for duty yet not sick
enough to go to the hospital. Since we have been in tents the health of the
regiment has greatly improved.
That Sanitary Committee that was sent from Iowa must
certainly have forgotten that such a regiment as the Iowa 14th was in
existence, for they did not visit our hospital; if so, it was without the
knowledge of the Colonel, Surgeon or Chaplain. I notice by a report from
that committee, published in a Keokuk paper, that they had provided the Iowa
14th with a box of hospital stores. This certainly must be an error, for we
have never received anything from them, and if they forwarded it to the
regiment, it never reached its destination. All articles we have ever
received from any source whatever have been from the Ladies' Aid Society in
St. Louis, who have kindly provided us with hospital shirts, slippers, &c.
The officers of the regiment contributed freely to the wants of the sick in
furnishing those delicacies which the Government does not. Should they
overlook anything, the Colonel himself orders it furnished. The Surgeon
General for the State of Iowa was down !
here recently, and called on our Surgeon; he remained a few minutes, stating
that he could not visit our hospital, as he was going away next morning
though it is positively known that he was in the city for several days
afterward. If you desire, you can publish the following list of deceased
members of our regiment, since its organization up to date, with cause,
Dec. 26, 1861--Jef. Morris, Measles, Co. D, Henry Co.
Jan. 4, 1862-A. W. Balluff, Pneumonia, Co. D., Henry Co.
Jan. 5, 1862-Sam'l Edwards, Pneumonia, Co. D., Henry Co.
Jan. 10, 1863-Nap. B. Henry, C** Fits, Co. D., Henry Co.
Jan. 14, 1863-Robt. Goodacre, Typ'd Fever, Co. E., Jasper Co.
Jan. 13, 1863-S. C. Grooms, Pneumonia, Co. E., Jasper Co.
Jan. 24, 1863-Noah Kinney, Lung Fever, Co. E, St. L., MO.
Dec. 10, 1862--Geo. W. Pitt, Pneumonia, Co. F., Linn Co.
Dec. 22, 1862-H. J. Chapman, Lung Fever, Co. F., Henry Co.
Dec. 29, 1862-Leroy Bowen, Typ'd Fever, Co. G., Marshall Co.
Dec. 29, 1862-J. J. Aldridge, Pneumonia, Co. G., Marshall Co.
Jan. 6, 1863-Chas. Wheslen, Pneumonia, Co. G., Marshall Co.
Jan. 9, 1863--*. Haymaker, Lung Fever, Co. H., Jones Co.
Jan 8, 1863--*. Heil****, Lung Fever, Co. I., Henry Co.
Nov. 24, 1862-G. Rekhard, Fall at Camp McClellan, Davenport, Co. I., Henry
Nearly all of the above cases, were first taken with measles,
terminating as above: All with the exception of four whose bodies were sent
home, were buried in the Wesleyan burying ground, about two miles southwest
from camp. Friends of the deceased can secure the bodies of their friends
and gain any information they desire, by addressing Mr. John A. Smithers,
Undertaker, No. 113 Chestnut street, St. Louis, Mo., who has a complete
register of each death that has occurred in and around the city. Persons
making application should be careful to state the name of the deceased, also
company or Captain, and regiment, and if possible the date of death.
To-day, the Iowa 12th, col. Woods, and the Mo. 13th, Col.
Wight, left the camp for Cairo. The Iowa 1st, 2d and 3d cavalry are here,
also the 14th, sit in these barracks. We do not know when we will leave, and
our destination is as uncertain as our departure. With kind regards for all
at home, I am
N. N. T.,
14th Iowa Infantry.
For the U. S. Regular Army
Able Bodied Men, of good moral character, between the ages of 13 and 23,
without wife or child.
Pay per month, $13, With Clothing and Rations, and the best Medical
Captain S. A. Wainwright
Recruiting Officer for 13th U. S. Infantry
Office-S. E. Corner of Brady & Second street, upstairs.
Transcribed by Elaine R.
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