Saturday, October 31, 2015

James M. Simeral.

Iowa First Cavalry Regimental History.
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Lieutenant James M. Simeral, Company L, with twenty dismounted men of Companies L and M, recaptured the howitzer and brought it off the field. It was a most daring act of bravery, k 4 pluck and c nerve, for twenty men in the very face of an overwhelming force of the enemy to recapture the gun. Perhaps none except Lieutenant Simeral and a few i dare devils of these companies would have entertained the thought of such an exploit for a moment.

The location being most unfavorable for a cavalry engagement, all the cavalry were ordered to take position upon the prairie, and the First Iowa Cavalry ordered to support Allen s Battery. That battery proved to be well able to take care of itself, for guns were never worked better. The battery appeared to be in one constant sheet of flame, so rapid were the discharges. Three different times the rebels charged it in immense numbers from their cover upon the wooded hillside, and as many times they would waver, halt and retreat in the utmost disorder, leaving the field strewed with dead and wounded.

James M Simeral.

Birth: Mar. 12, 1822.
Death: Oct. 25, 1902.

Wife: Martha W. Simeral ( 1823-1900.)

Children: Edward W. Simeral (1854 - 1928).

Burial:Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska .

Friday, October 30, 2015

William. Alexander Lord.

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Captain William. Alexander Lord, born in Rochester, New York, August 31st, 1838. Childhood was spent in Rochester, Albany and Buffalo. In 1851 moved to Chicago, Illinois. In 1856 graduated from Judge Bell's Commercial College. In i860 graduated from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, with degree of A. B. Employed as accountant by G. and C. Union R. R. Co. ; devised new system of book accounts for their shops. Went to Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Studied law with Judge Spooner When the war broke out, enlisted 70 men; was made 1st lieutenant in Tompkins' battalion of mounted riflemen, afterward Company "H," 13th Missouri; and later 5th Missouri Cavalry.

After more than a year's service the command was transferred to Illinois credit, and Governor Yates commissioned Tompkins major 3d battalion and Lieutenant Lord as captain Company "H," 14th Illinois Cavalry; were mustered February 6th, 1863. Commanded Company "H" until September 30th, 1863 ; was then detached as A. A. G. of 4th brigade, 4th division, 23d Army Corps. Captain Lord served on General Stoneman's staff during the raid to Macon, Georgia, and did valuable service in the battle of Sunshine Church, and led one of the columns that charged through the rebel lines after Stoneman surrendered. During the last campaign Captain Lord served on General Schofield's staff. He was mustered out with the regiment.

Colonel Capron, in his report of Stoneman raid, says : "I would here mention the valuable assistance which Captain Lord of the 14th Illinois, and assistant commissary I of musters on General Stoneman's staff, rendered me, not only in the engagement of the 31st, where he exhibited great gallantry and bravery in leading a portion of my command several times in the charges made on the enemy, but also on my retreat in obtaining information in regard to the best route to be taken, and in constantly leading the advance of my command."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Isaac R, Bronson.

Captain ISAAC R. BRONSON was born at Middlebury, Conn., Mav 22, 1826. His father was Hon. Leonard Bronson, a prominent citizen of that town. Isaac early left his home and was engaged as a clerk, 6rs1 in Watertown, then Guilford, and later in Rochester, N. Y. In 1849, he removed to Waterbury, where he was engaged in the book Belling and book binding business. In 1856, he removed to New Haven, where he was extensively engaged in the manufacture of daguerreotype case At the outbreak of the war, he was anxious to enlist at once, but his duty to his wife and young family of children caused him to defer the duty until the disasters of the Peninsular campaign satisfied him that to go was his highest duty.

He threw his whole soul into the organization of Co. I of the 14th, and succeeded after much difficulty. He was commissioned captain August 19, 1862. At Antietam and Fredericksburg his company suffered severely, but their captain won a reputation for devotion to his duty that earned him the respect of the regiment. In the retreat after the fruitless bloody charges up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, Capt. Bronson stopped to give water to the wounded and to help remove them to less exposed positions under the terrific fire that was raging.

Tims engaged, he came upon Capt. Gibbons, who, lying on the  field with a broken thigh, asked his assistance. In company with Lieut. Canfield, the captain undertook to carry him off, when Canfield was hot through the head and fell dead. Capt. Bronson called two men to help him, and they had just resumed their burden when one was shot and the other ran. Seeking for others, Capt. Bronson himself received a slight wound across the lower part of the bowels. In this fight he had fifteen bullet holes in his clothes.

In April, 1863, Capt. Bronson had a ten days' leave and visited his family returning in time for the battle at Chancellorville, May 1st, 2d, and 3d. In this battle a bullet struck his right shoulder, shatter-
ing the bone into fragments. Our devoted Surgeons (and as a regiment we were very fortunate in the Surgeons of our staff) did all in their power for him. He was conveyed on a litter to the hospital at Potomac Creek, where he lingered till June 2d, 1863, when he breathed his last with wife and brother by his side, and in a triumphant hope  for thi' hereafter. His last connected words were: "Death is nothing to the glory beyond His body was embalmed, and in accordance with Ins last request conveyed to Middlebury, his native place, where it was interred.

His funeral was held with military honors, a very large concourse being in attendance. Rev. S. W. Magill of Waterbury preached the memorial sermon, a remarkably able and appropriate one. The notices in the Waterbury American and the resolutions passed by the officers of the 14th were deeply sympathetic, but perhaps the best tribute to his memory was that of his old Lieutenant, Capt. Samuel Fiskc, who in one of his letters to the Springfield Republican, now published on page 16 of the book entitled "Dunn Browne in the Army," sums up the career of Capt. Bronson in words that honor both the dead soldier and the writer so soon to follow his friend. Capt. Bronson was very nervous and impulsive, and not a man that would be always popular. Yet I doubt if any man in the 14th was more truly a Christian than he. The very day of the Chancellorville battle, when he had been repeating numerous tales of disaster with flushed cheeks, I said : " Captain, I wonder you, with such a keen sense of peril, are not a coward ; but the past has shown me that you are not. What is it that sustains you ?" His reply was slowly and solemnly uttered : " It is nothing on earth but my faith in Jesus Christ."

Next morning I saw him leading his men gallantly in the struggle in that vast wilderness. The same afternoon I spoke to him as he lay wounded in the hospital when he exclaimed: "I would give this shattered arm to be leading my men once more."

Looking back at his life at this distance of time, when nine sum-mers have gone by, I am impressed by the memory of his dying words to think that our whole army experience should solemnly reecho in our hearts those words : " Death is nothing to the glory beyond."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Martin V. Wert.

Martin V. Wert.

Birth: Jul. 17, 1841.
Death: Jan. 29, 1928.

Wife: Adaline Aston Wert, ( 1847- 1930. )

children: Arthur B. Wert

Burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana.

Martin V. Wert, Company B.

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Martin V. Wert was born in Fountain County, Indiana, July 17, 1841, his parents being Henry and Isabelle Wert. The principal part of his life prior to his entry into the army was spent on the farm. He attended the county schools, and graduated in the Fountain County High School in 1860.October I, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company B, Tenth Indiana Infantry, and served with that organization until September 5, 1864, at which time he was transferred to Company B, Fifty-Eighth Indiana Infantry, serving in that organization until November 1, 1864, at which time he was honorably mustered out of the service, having served three years and one month.

His company received the brunt of battle at Perryville, being on the left of the regiment and suffered the heaviest loss of any company in the regiment, of four killed and seven wounded. After- the regiment left Tuscumbia, Ala., in July, 1862, and stopped for a few days near Huntsville, Ala., Lieutenant Snyder, M. V. Wert and Fleet Martin, Company B, with two men from each of the other companies of the regiment, and ten men from the Fourth Kentucky, ten from the Tenth Kentucky and ten from the Fourteenth Ohio, were detailed to take a special train of ten cars and get 500 bales of cotton at Decatur, Ala., some forty miles down the Tennessee River.

The men were told to take sixty rounds of ammunition and one day's rations. They were given to understand that they must not be captured. They were to be ready to start at 3 o'clock a. m., which was before daylight at that time. They were also told that 500 of our cavalry had gone to the same place, starting at noon  the day before, and that a heavy wagon train had gone with the cavalry. The men started, got the cotton on the train, running very slow and making no noise on the way there, but on the way back the engine and soldiers made plenty of noise. The detail arrived safely with the cotton.

They saw large numbers of the "Johnnies" at a distance and used plenty of ammunition on them. A large force of our cavalry was scattered at points along the line which saved the detail from being killed or captured. They pressed in a large number of "darkies" to handle an load the cotton, throwing out pickets in all directions on all roads to prevent a surprise, but the pickets were not attacked until on the way back, when squads of Confederate cavalry would be seen at some distance away.  tey ired on the train, but a few shots from the Enfield rifles would soon drive them out of sight.

This raid was widely reported in the papers at the time and strongly condemned by the rebel press. The brigade wagon master, W. K. Harris, Company B, Tenth Indiana, had been sent with the cavalry to gather in the cotton and he stated he was glad we came for it because he did not believe he could have returned to the army without being captured.

The above engraving is of M. V. Wert, who had charge of the squad from the Tenth Indiana and was posted on one of the roads on the outskirts of the town while the cotton was being loaded. He also had charge of one car of cotton on the return and made a barricade of cotton bales at the car doors for protection. It required a great deal of tact and courage to carry out the orders given. On another occasion he was selected for a very perilous and hazardous job, which was to take a large drove of cattle from Marietta to Atlanta in the early part of September, 1864.

The distance was some 25 or 30 miles. The detail consisted of some 300 men. They were two days getting through, being compelled to skirmish with the rebels the whole distance. At times it looked as though the enemy would capture the bunch, but our cavalry came out and cleared the road the remainder of the way to  Atlanta. When the regiment returned home Wert was transferred to the Fifty-Eighth Indiana, with which command he served the remainder of his three years, being discharged November 1, 1864.

After the close of the war he learned the carpenter trade and moved to Crawfordsville in 1870. and has been in the contracting business ever since; was elected to the Common Council of the city of Crawfordsville for the term of two years in 1901 ; was elected Mayor of Crawfordsville for four years, taking his office January 1, 1910, and is at the present time occupying that position. He was elected First Lieutenant, Company D, First Regiment, Indiana National Guard, in August, 1887, serving in this organization three years.

This company was transferred to the Second Regiment. I. N. G.. and assigned as Company I. ; was elected Captain of this company for three years ; was again appointed Captain, Company M, Second Regiment, I. N. G., May 24, 1897, by Governor Mount. At the outbreak of the war with Spain his regiment was sent to the front April 26, 1898, serving until the war ended. He was a number one soldier and a first-class citizen, honored and respected by all, a hero of two wars.