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Killed on Independence Day

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2023 3:02 am

Killed on Independence Day

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 27, 2023 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Des Moines WHO listener Joy Neal Kidney, the recipient of our 2021 Great American Storyteller Award, tells the story of several Iowa Civil War volunteers to the Union Army and their lasting impact on her community.

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So grab your phones, raise your tray table, and relax with I Heart Radio and Southwest Airlines. And we return to our American stories and our Memorial Day special. All show long, we're honoring our nation's fallen heroes. Up next, a story from Joy Neal Kidney about a family member entitled Healed on Independence Day, 1863.

Take it away, Joy. James Redfield of Wisconsin, Iowa served only one term in the Iowa Senate. After the call for volunteers came from the White House, James Redfield became Lieutenant Colonel of Company H, 39th Iowa Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. I've read that only single men were accepted as volunteers, but Redfield was a family man, as were others in his unit.

Iowa still wasn't a state when he graduated from Yale in 1845. Redfield raised a company of soldiers, most of whom were from Indiana, ex Hoosiers like himself. When they marched for the South later that year, there were at least three marshal men along.

The brothers Colin and Miles C and a nephew Clayton, all ex Hoosiers. Colin owned a farm west of what is now Dexter. Struggling to get started in cattle feeding, he nevertheless talked over the war situation with his wife Sally and decided to enlist.

A few months later, she wrote, I thought I never could bear for call to go in the war, but he thought it was his duty. After training, the 39th was sent to Eastern Iowa, where they boarded steamboats and headed south to join the fight. Colin became second Lieutenant of Company H. The spring of 1863, the Iowans were sent far into Northeast Alabama, destroying railroads and anything else useful to the Confederates.

North Alabama is the finest country I've seen in the South, but houses, barns, and fences alike are in ashes now. We let them know we were here. They gathered livestock, grain, and other supplies, believing that nothing less than complete defeat of the Confederates would end the war and get them home.

While such measures hampered the military, they aroused the civilians who struck back, harassing them any way they could. July 4th, 1863. A small force from Company H were camped near Iuka Springs, Mississippi, guarding a corral of cattle destined for the army when news came of Vicksburg's surrender. When Colin's sister Minerva got the bad news, she wrote to relatives in Indiana what had happened that Fourth of July.

I must first tell of the death of Col. He was shot the afternoon of the fourth while riding out about a mile from camp by a company of gorillas, some eight or ten in number who lay hid, then allowed to surrender and fired a volley at the same time, two paws passing through the breast and one through the neck. His horse was wounded also.

He raised his hand for them not to shoot, but they only wanted his life. Lieutenant Colin Marshall's body was embalmed and started home two days later, accompanied by his younger brother, Bob. Ten days later, Bob arrived in Redfield without the coffin of his 37-year-old brother. He got as far as Eddyville, Iowa, 80 miles from home, but there was no freight service from there.

Apparently, according to Mr. Charles, steamers couldn't navigate the Des Moines River north of that point in July. Bob had his brother buried there temporarily, then came on alone. He was buried in Masonic style on a hill at Wisconsin.

A military burial might have been more fitting, but there were not enough soldiers left around Redfield to accomplish that. Two of old Miles Marshall's grandsons, Swain and Alonzo, also served with Indiana units. Alonzo was wounded by a mini ball but finished the war working in a military hospital.

Swain also survived the war, part of the Victory Parade in Washington, DC. Their sister Rhoda Marshall had married a Tennessee man. When the war broke out, John Neal joined a Tennessee Confederate cavalry unit, but by then they were living in her home state of Indiana and his own brother had joined the Union. John deserted the Confederates and joined up with an Indiana cavalry unit. After the war, they too moved to Dallas County, Iowa.

The Civil War and other letters of the Marshall family are now owned by the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis. The loss of their lieutenant, Colin Marshall, was only the beginning of trouble for Company H. On the morning of July 7, their corral was surrounded by 500 rebels who captured 28 men, including nephew Clayton Marshall and all the livestock. The Redfield men were marched over the mountains, some barefoot and poorly clothed because of the early morning surprise. They were shipped to the notorious prison at Bell Island, but they were later exchanged. Colonel James Redfield was wounded twice. First he was shot in the foot, then later in the leg, but he refused to leave his post. His life ended soon after when he was shot through the heart during the Battle of Allatoon Pass, Georgia in October of 1864.

He was 40 years old. Redfield's body was returned to Dallas County, where he is also buried in Wisconsin Cemetery. A Civil War monument marks his grave. Founder of Yonder Town is carved on one side of the monument. You can see the town of Redfield from the hill where he's buried. Lieutenant Colin Marshall's grave is just to the southeast of the monument.

After the war, local reunion groups of the GAR, or Grand Army of the Republic, built meeting halls. The GAR post in Redfield, Iowa is named for Colin Marshall, who was killed in the war between the states on Independence Day, 1863. The story of Lieutenant Colin Marshall here on Our American Story. Lee Habib here, the host of Our American Stories. Every day on this show, we're bringing inspiring stories from across this great country. Stories from our big cities and small towns, but we truly can't do the show without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to Our American and click the donate button. Give a little, give a lot.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-27 04:13:24 / 2023-05-27 04:17:46 / 4

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