Category Archives: 22nd Iowa Infantry

1862-65: Samuel Reed Connelly to Sarah T. Patterson

I could not find an image of Samuel but here is one of William Needham who served in the same company and was from the same home town. Needham was promoted to a Lieutenant in 1863.

These letters were written by Samuel Connelly (1839-1918) of Co. D, 22nd Iowa Infantry. [He is identified as “Samuel B. Conley” in the muster rolls of the regiment.]

Samuel was the son of William Connelly (1812-1864) and Louisa Kilmer (1812-1847) of Cedar, Monroe county, Iowa. He wrote all of these letters to his girlfriend Sarah T. Patterson (1836-1908), the daughter of Samuel Patterson (1810-1887) and Malissa Mathews (1813-1880) of Albia, Monroe county, Iowa. But the correspondents did not “join hands for life” as Samuel expressed in his letter of 12 July 1864. From the letters we learn that their relationship ended by early 1865 and census records inform us that Sarah never married; she died “single” in 1908 and was buried at Lovilia. Samuel, however, took Paulina Odell Cross (1843-1937) as his wife in November 1866.

Samuel enlisted in the 22nd Iowa in August 1862 and spent the early part of his time in the service in southern Missouri.. During the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863 he was captured on 22 May and briefly held at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis until they he and the other prisoners were exchanged. Later in the war he was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia on 19 October 1864 and he mustered out at Savannah on 25 July 1865.

[Note: These letters are from the personal collection of Michael Huston and were transcribed and published on Spared & Shared by express consent.]

Letter 1

Camp near Rolla, MO
December 24, 1862

Dear Sarah,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope that these few lines ay find you all well. I can almost speak now. I had an easy time of it I think that I can talk in a few days.

Capt. Wilson has not got here yet. I think that we will have a dry Christmas. We have very pretty weather here now. I guess that we will stay here all winter. I would like to be at home tomorrow.

Well, Sarah, I thank you very much for your kindness in sending me what you are a going to send. If you send them by captain, it will be alright. I will be sure to get them. All that I have to do is to walk about camp and eat. We have lost but four men out of our regiment by death yet.

Well, Sarah, I love you as well as ever. I always expect to love you. Give my best respects to all the family. I like soldiering first rate. It just suits me.

Yours truly till death, — S. R. Connelly

To S. Patterson

Letter 2

Benton Barracks
St. Louis, MO.
September 26, 1863

My Dear Sarah,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and hope these few lines may fid you well.

Well, Sarah, I received a letter from you yesterday and was glad to hear that you was well. Well, Sarah, I am glad to hear the news that we are exchanged and will soon get to go to my regiment again for then maybe I can get some money. Uncle [Sam] now owes me seven month’s pay. We may leave in a few days and we may not leave for a month so I want you to write as soon as you get this and direct here till you get other orders.

I saw Frank Eshom [Isham] day before yesterday. He is in the Jefferson Barracks Hospital. He begins to look tolerable well now. He was up here to see us.

Well, Sarah, you wanted me to say whether I had anything against you or not. Well, Sarah, I have nothing against you and I do not want you to think that I have. I do not blame you for not going to see my folks if they do not come to see you.

Well, Sarah, I love you the same as ever and always expect to. I would [like] to have come home before I went down the river but I will not get to.

Well, Sarah, I do not want you to stay at home on my account for I do not know when I will be at home now. When I leave here, I do not know when I will hear from you. I must now close. Your lover truly, — S. R. Connelly

to S. T. Patterson

Letter 3

Camp at Algiers, Louisiana
July 12th 1864

Dear Sarah,

It is with pleasure that I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am well at his time and hope these few lines may find you enjoying good health.

Well, Sarah, it has been a long time since I got a letter from you. I do not know what to think. It has been two months since I got a letter from you although [I have] written two or three to you. Well, Sarah, I hope you ain’t a going to forget me for I think as much of you as ever and my love [is] the same as ever and I hope yours is the same for me. I am a coming home when my time is out and then if you are in the same notion that you was when I left, we will join hands for life. I long to see that day. Oh, Sarah, you do not know what pleasure it is to me to hear from you.

In your last letter that I received from you, you said that you thought that as I was talking of going in the veteran’s [service] that I would like to back out [of our wedding plans]. I have no such thoughts and if anything of the like happens, it will be on your part. I am a coming home when my time is out for I do not like the Colonel that we have got now over us to be a veteran, so I am a doing to come home to you and I hope you will be ready.

Well, I will just say the boys in the company are all well and in good spirits. James Van Pelt and John Hittel is well. The weather here is very warm. This place is just opposite New Orleans.

There is an expedition leaving here and we are to go with it. We do not [know] where it is to go to. Some thinks it is to go to Mobile or to Virginia to Grant. Them that has left went on board of steamships and started down the river. 1

I have got Cuz to tend to my business. I expressed one hundred and sixty dollars to Cuz on the 23rd of June. My father owed me just two hundred and seventy-four dollars. I sent my account to Cuz.

I expect Park is nearly scared to death by this time. Well, I must now bring my letter to a close. I remain your affectionate lover, — S. R. Connelly

to S. T. Patterson

Direct to Company D, 22nd Iowa Vols. Infantry via New Orleans. Be sure and write soon.

1 The 13th Army Corps having been temporarily discontinued by the War Department, the 22nd Iowa was ordered to report to General Reynolds at New Orleans, was conveyed to that place on July 6th and went into camp at Algiers. The regiment was there assigned to the Second Brigade of the Second Division, 19th Army Corps, composed of the 101st and 159th New York, 13th Connecticut,3rd Massachusetts Cavalry, 22nd Iowa and 11th Indiana. The brigade was commanded by Colonel E. L. Molineaux, of the 159th New York. The 19th Corps, as reorganized, comprised three divisions. The first, General Dwight’s, was composed of eastern troops exclusively; the second, General Grover’s, had five western regiments and the remainder were eastern troops; the third, General Lawler’s, was composed entirely of western troops. The first and second divisions having been ordered to report to Washington D. C., the 22nd Iowa, with the 131st and 159th New York, embarked, on the 17th of July, on the steamer “Cahawba,” and arrived at Fortress Monroe on the 24th, after a voyage void of incident. On the 25th the ship proceeded up the James River to Bermuda Hundreds Landing, where the troops disembarked and, after marching seven miles, joined the forces under General Butler. These three regiments were separated from the division to which they had been assigned, the other portion of it having gone direct to Washington. They were temporarily attached to General Terry’s division of General Birny’s corps and placed on duty in the trenches, extending across the peninsula from the James River to Appomattox occupying a portion of the line in General Butler’s front until July 31st, when orders were received to report at Washington. The troops marched to Bermuda Hundreds Landing, where they embarked on transports, proceeded down the river to Fortress Monroe and from there up the Potomac to Washington, where they arrived on August 1st and disembarked. [From Regimental history]

Letter 4

Davenport, Iowa
January 15th 1865

Dear Miss,

It is with pleasure that I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and hope these few lines may find you enjoying one of God’s greatest blessings—good health.

Dear Miss, I do not want you to think hard of me for not writing sooner for this is about the first letter that I have written since I have been wounded. Well, Sarah, when I arrived here, I found James Moore 1 and James Van Pelt. 2 James Van Pelt is a going to get his discharge. I do not know what they will do with James Moore and myself. They are both in good health. James Van Pelt is in a great fidget to get home and I will be very glad to see him get home for it is a great satisfaction for a person to get home and see their friends once more.

Well, what did you think of my not coming to see you again before I left home or going down to Eddyville with another girl. You may think that I asked her to go with me but I did not. But you will have to think as you will. I expect to hear of a wedding soon after James Van Pelt gets home.

Well, I must now close for it hurts my hand to write. Direct to 5th Ward, Camp McClellan, Davenport, Iowa. I hope you will answer this. Your fried and well wisher and lover, — S. R. Connelly

to S. T. Patterson

1 Moore, James J. Age 19. Residence Albia, nativity Indiana. Enlisted Aug. 2, 1862. Mustered Aug. 27, 1862. Wounded May 21, 1863, Port Gibson, Miss. Wounded severely Oct. 19, 1864, Cedar Creek, Va. Discharged June 8, 1865.

2 Vanpelt, James N. Age 26. Residence Albia, nativity Ohio. Enlisted July 26, 1862. Mustered Aug. 27, 1862. Wounded severely Sept. 19, 1864, Winchester, Va. Discharged for wounds Jan. 30, 1865, Davenport, Iowa. 

Letter 5

Camp McClellan
[Davenport, Iowa]
April 15, 1865

Dear Miss,

I again take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines hoping these may find you enjoying good health. Well, Sarah, I received a letter from you about the middle of March and you said you wanted to know what to do with my letters. I answered it and told you what I wanted you to do with them but have received no answer yet and I would like to know if you are a going to send them or not. All that I want is my letters. The likeness you can destroy for I don’t want it. And if you do not want to keep the ring, you can send it to me. You can put the letters in a package and send them by mail. the money that I sent you I intend it for a present and I never will receive a cent of it back again.

[If you] had of acted as a girl should have acted, you would now have been my wife and it would have been before I left home on furlough, but I do not believe that you loved me by the way you received me when I came home. If you had of loved me, you would have acted different to what you did. It would have made no difference who had have been there when I came. You was always very long about writing to me when I wrote to you.

I hope you will answer this and let me know whether you are a going to send them letters or not. I will close. Write soon if you please. With respects, — S. R. Connelly

to S. T. Patterson

1863: Vincent Francis Lilly to his Family

The following two letters came to me for transcription from Jen Foley with the following request:

I could not find an image of Vincent but here is one of Patrick Monaghan of Co. K, 22nd Iowa Infantry. He was wounded in the same battle where Vincent was killed. [Iowa Civil War Faces]

I recently came across your page on Facebook and it’s really amazing what you are doing. Not too long ago I acquired the pension files of my great-great-granduncle, Vincent Lilly, who served in the 22nd Iowa Infantry and was killed at Vicksburg in 1863. The file included a few letters he had written to his mother and brother. I have been in the process of transcribing one letter he wrote to his mother, my great-great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Mills Lilly. The ink is mostly legible and it’s just a matter of trying to read the handwriting. But I have been at a loss as to what to do with the other letters because the handwriting is so faded that I can’t make it out in most places. This is an important piece of my family history and it’s especially important to me to honor Vincent, who was just 21 when he died. His younger brother James was my great-great-grandfather. James was too young to enlist though another brother, Charles, also served in the 22nd Iowa Infantry. Fortunately Charles survived the war and lived on until 1911.

Vincent Francis Lilly (1841-1863) was the son of Francis Lilly (1812-1872) and Frances Elizabeth Mills (1821-1898) of College, Linn county, Iowa. The Lilly family resided in Lancaster, Ohio, until sometime in the 1850s when they relocated to Iowa. Vincent and his younger brother Charles (“Charley”) E. Lilly (1844-1911), enlisted on 9 August 1862 in Co. H, 22nd Iowa Infantry. Charley survived the war, Vincent did not. He was killed on 22 May 1863 in the “suicidal frontal assault” on the Railroad Redoubt (or “Fort Beauregard”) near Vicksburg. Several members of the 22nd Iowa actually made through a ditch of the redoubt, up the side and through a hole blasted in the parapet by Union artillery fire where they fought hand to hand and planted their flag on the ramparts, but they were eventually driven back.

Both of these letters were written from the camp of the 22nd Iowa Infantry as they awaited transports to cross the Mississippi River below Vicksburg in mid-April 1863.

The 22nd Iowa National Flag that flew over Vicksburg on May 22nd, 1863 rests in the basement of the Iowa State Historical Building at  Des Moines, Iowa.  This flag is one of over 200 Civil War battle flags in the Civil War Battle Flag preservation project at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines.  Due to damage, the flag is not fully unfurled and represents only a portion of its original size.   Pictured above:  Flag preservation staff from Iowa State Historical Society (Sheila and Sarah), 24th Iowa Re-enactor, Terry Folkerts – Iowa Ghost Town Project videographer, Jeffry Burden – 22nd Iowa Infantry historian and editor of Vanishing Footprints, and Kathy Baker, Marshall County Recorder.  Lt. Nick Messenger was the Marshall County Recorder from 1872 through 1880.

Letter 1

Camp near Carthage, Louisiana
April 17th 1863

Dear brother Sam,

We have moved 20 miles below Vicksburg I do not know what we are going to do. It is supposed that we will work our way in the rear of Vicksburg. We have march through this state here. We had been within 6 miles of Vicksburg. This is the beautifulest country I ever seen. The land is level and rich. We are camped in a large cotton field. As we moved down here, the inhabitants leave everything and flee. The most of them burnt their cotton and grain. Most every plantation has a saw mill and cotton gin on. Our boys uses the saw mills to saw lumber for flat boats to cross steams in and to fix the roads with. We are within 5 or 6 miles of 4 or 5,000 rebels that is on an island and they can’t get out and yet we can’t get them for water and swamp, but we are building boats as fast as we can so that we can get at them. They are getting reinforcements from Vicksburg and I think it will make that place easier to take. They do not want to lose the island for they save all the stock that was in this county there and I guess we will fool them.

Well Sam, Charley is detached from our company to a 1st Iowa Battery. He is cannoneer of a 6-pounder. That battery is in our Brigade near the rear. A great many troops are here now. I don’t know how many there is—somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000. We have plenty of negroes to do our work. We don’t have any fatigue duty to do and are getting lazy as dogs. I seen Charley last night. He is well and likes his exchange very well. They do not have to march; they ride o the cannon [caissons]. We just come here yesterday from Richmond and cut a cross a short bend in the river.

Well, Sam, I guess you can’t get this letter til after the. battle for they have stopped the mail at present and I don’t know whether we can get any or not. They stop our mail….

Yesterday we marched 16 miles and over the prettiest country I ever seen. We are going to stay over here two or three days. A[ddison J.] Booth is well and fat as a pig. He is cook for his mess of 4. John Carmichael and Anderson Purcell is sick. They was left at Richmond. They had the mumps pretty bad but are getting better. They was walking around yesterday morning.

Sam, our regiment has some 50 nigger waiters and we find them awful handy. Sam, A[ddison] Booth commenced to write on this sheet and spill the ink on it so he tore it off. I commenced this letter the 17th. It is now the 18th. It rained last night and is awful muddy this morning. Everything is still except we send the rebels a shell once in a while. We have got them where we want them. Our troops is camped on the island and more going over to camp. There is also several gunboats watching them.

Well, Sam, I forgot to tell you that I am well and enjoying myself very well and hope you are enjoying the same blessing. The 24th [Iowa] is here. I am going to see them so I will have to close for this time by requesting you to write as soon as you get this letter.

P. S. I received the package of papers and book you sent to us. We are going to draw our pay this week and will send it home by James Shrader. No more. This from you affectionate brother, — V. F. Lilly.

Give my love to all the girls.

P. S. Sam, we have marching orders. We have to march at 2 o’clock this morning with 2 days rations in our haversacks and the boys is up cooking. I will enclose $20.00 and Charley will send $20.00 by Jim Shrader. He is coming there. I went to see Charley to get his [money] and it was dark as the devil and muddy as hell. We will have a nice time marching in the dark. No more.

Letter 2

Camp near Carthage, Louisiana
April 21st 1863

Dear Mother,

I received your kind letter last evening and was glad to hear from you. It has been a good while since I heard from you, or I thought it was. Your letter found us well and in good spirits and I hope when these few lines comes to hand, they will find you the same.

Well Mother, I was a Carthage yesterday. That is where the rebels was but they left. We burnt the town and found a great many horses and cattle that they could not take with them. Also a large quantity of cotton and you better believe we had a nice bon fire. We are going to attack Vicksburg as soon as we get in the rear. There is something like 100,000 troops to cross the river and it takes a good while. Our Division commenced crossing today. Our Brigade will cross tomorrow and as soon as we take Vicksburg, we are coming North to tend to the traitors there.

Charley was in our tent last night. He is well and like his change very well.

Well, Mother, things you sent in the box has not come yet. I guess the things that was sent will never get too Co. H. We will draw our pay tomorrow. I will send it home by James Shrader. We expected it three days ago but there is so many troops to pay that it takes a good while to get around.

Well, Mother, I have no news to tell except there is preparations for a big battle and I guess we will have a finger in the pie for we want to put down this rebellion or get whipped for we are tired of soldiering. We have to drill hard every day from daylight till dark and it is awful hard work. We have three hours [off] at noon for it is awful hot. I will tell you the drills we have to perform every day. In the morning from 6 till 8 company drill, from 8:30 till 11 Battalion drill. Brigade drill 11 till 4. Then Division drill till 6 tor 7. Then dress parade and we are willing to quit. In the morning we will cross the river and it tickles the boys considerable.

Well, Mother, I don’t know what to write for there is nothing going on in camp so I will have to close for this time by requesting you to write soon. This from your affectionate son, — V. F. Lilly

Send along love to all enquiring friends. I wrote to Sam the other day and have not had a chance to send it yet so I will put this in it.

They are calling roll for drill. Goodbye for this time. — V. F. L.

P. S. I received two months pay this afternoon but I don’t know how to get it home as James Shrader is not going home till after the battle and we don’t like to risk it by mail. There is no Express Office here so we will have to keep it till we get where we can send it. Mother, please send us some postage stamps and get them here.

Troops is crossing the river as fast as they can cross in skiffs, flatboats, coal barges, gunboats, rafts, steamboats, and everything they can get. Thy have to go by water about 6 miles down the bayou, then cross the river. It is raining now pretty hard. You use to think that Iowa mud was so sticky and hard to clean up. You should see this [mud] when we go out. It will stick to our feet and we have to kick off every step.

Well, I have no more news. Goodbye, — V. F. Lilly

1864: Isaac Newton Haldeman to his Sister

I could not find an image of Isaac but here is one of Patrick Monoghan of Co. K, 22nd Iowa Infantry (Hinkletown Comm. History Project)

This letter was written by Isaac Newton Haldeman (1840-1922), the son of Isaac Haldeman (1812-1885) and Marie S. Miller (1823-1910) of West Liberty, Muscatine county, Iowa. Isaac enlisted in Co. F, 22nd Iowa Infantry as a corporal in September 1862. This letter was written in January 1864 when the regiment was mounted and comfortably situated in Indianola, Texas, where they encountered the enemy in small reconnoitering parties from time to time.

In his letter, Haldeman refers to a detachment of mounted infantry that encountered a full company of rebel cavalry belong to Wall’s Legion (formerly known as the “Texas Rangers”) that fought fifteen miles in the interior and captured six men—John Fleming, William Bechtel, Philip Huzer, Gabriel Huffman, Karl Bednar, and William Franklin.

After their winter in Texas, the 22nd Iowa was sent east and was one of only three regiments from Iowa to serve in Virginia. Isaac was with his regiment at Cedar Creek, Virginia, when he was taken prisoner in October 1864. He mustered out of the regiment on 12 July 1865.

The captain of Co. F, 22nd Iowa Infantry was Alfred B. Cree. I previously transcribed three of Capt. Cree’s letters on Spared & Shared 7 which can be found at 1864-65: Capt. Alfred B. Cree to Martha (Smith) Cree.

This letter is from the private collection of Michael Huston and is published on Spared & Shared by express consent.


Addressed to I. N. Haldeman, Funkville P. O., Pa.

Camp 22d Iowa Infantry
Indianola, Texas
January 23, 1864

My dear sister,

I received your very kind letter dated December 27th a few days ago and this is Saturday I concluded to try & reply. Whether I shall succeed in making mine as interesting as yours, I shall leave you to judge. I will do as you did in answering mine which is answer yours first and then, as you said, “let the rest bring up the rear.” You had a turkey dinner, did you? Well I should like very much to have been there & shared a portion of it with you. I am pretty confident I could have done the turkey justice. You speak of your own individual self & “friend” attending the “Fireman’s Fair.” So you have a friend, have you? When you answer, just tell me who that friend is—whether a male or female, I expect some fellow will have you “gobbled” too before I return.

It seems to me those fellows back there are getting very impudent by taking the advantage of our absence. Well, all I have got to say is for them to go ahead if they think there is no hereafter. There is Ida, Amanda, & I expect the next thing will be Betsy will come up missing. Let them go I say for it don’ make a great deal of difference now as we about begin to think they will be of no consequence to us at all. You know we can get along without the “gals” while you girls would pine away & finally “go up the spout.” But as I will not swear what I have said to be a fact, I will quit.

Now as you are getting very inquisitive in regard to my love affairs, I shall insist on knowing who you are “making love to,” and I would very much like to see some of their letters. I will tell you what I will do. If you will send me one of “his” letters, I will send a letter to you to read that I got from a certain young lady. It is not [ ]. You must not think she is the only “gal” I correspond with. It is a first rate one, also good and long.

You ask me if I still receive any letters from [ ] or Betsy. I did receive one from her a couple of weeks ago, it being the first one I have received since leaving Rolla, Mo. She said the reason she remained silent so long was she did not know how to direct. That is not all. Don’t you believe she is going to send me a photograph of herself. She said that one she sent me was a poor one. In speaking of photographs, made me think of receiving Cousin Lida & Winne’s a few days ago. I think I will send them home for you to put in that nice album father got you.

You also ask me if I have formed an attachment for any of my companions. I can say that there is one that I think considerable of. His name is Hopwood. 1 He is not only a first-rate fellow, but he possess that particular feature so necessary to gain the good wishes of the ladies, “good looking.” He is slightly acquainted with Uncle Patton & lives not far from Millersburg. Was it not the McClean farm Uncle Levi bought & then sold just about the time he went into the oil business? It was his uncle that owned that farm. His grandfather also lives near Minerva. His name is Latell. He is well acquainted in Columbiana County & near Minerva. Now if you have formed anything of the kind yourself, just let me know.

Min, I was sorry to hear of mother Elmore’s ill health. I wish you all enjoyed as good health as I do at present. I never felt better.

We are now quartered in our tents & get plenty to eat and nothing to do but drill twice a day. Yesterday 36 men detailed from our division, went out on a scout yesterday, and came back with 7 men less than they went with. They went out too far and the rebs having so much the best horses they “gobbled” them.

Give my love to all. Affectionately your brother, — I. N. Haldeman, Co. F, 22nd Iowa

To Muss Minnie Haldeman

Mr. I. N. Haldeman
Co. F, 22nd Iowa Mounted Infantry
13th Army Corps
Dept. of the Gulf

1 There were two Hopwoods in Co. F, 22nd Iowa Infantry—James W. Hopwood and William D. Hopwood.