Wild West

THE OTHER 7TH CAVALRY

Forged in the furnace of the Civil War, the 7th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Cavalry fought the same warrior tribes as the 7th U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, with victories and defeats and a record that was sometimes reputable and sometimes controversial but never as dire as what happened to Custer’s men on the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory a decade later. The 7th Iowa was perhaps typical of the Volunteer regiments that fought Plains Indians during the waning days of the war and in the months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s April 1865 surrender in Virginia at Appomattox Court House.

Samuel W. Summers and Herman H. Heath took the lead in forming the 7th Iowa in Davenport through the latter half of 1862, and in late April 1863 the regiment consolidated, two companies mustering in on April 27, two on April 28, two on June 3, one on June 16, and one more on July 13. The U.S. War Department then transferred in the three companies of the disbanded 41st Iowa Volunteer Infantry—presumably men who knew something about horses—and a company of municipal cavalry from Sioux City. Summers, a Virginia-born attorney and man of property from Ottumwa, was appointed colonel of the 7th Iowa. Canadian-born John Pattee—Iowa’s onetime state auditor, formerly of the 41st Infantry—was appointed lieutenant colonel, and Heath served as one of the regiment’s three majors.

Heath, born in New York in 1823, was a postmaster in Dubuque at the outset of the war and had been elected a first lieutenant in the 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteer Cavalry. He was soon promoted to captain. On Aug. 2, 1862, Heath was wounded leading the 75 men of his company in an attack against several hundred concealed Confederate guerrillas at Clear Creek near Taberville, Mo., reportedly “running a flank along a double line of shotguns and Minié

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de Wild West

Wild West11 min de lecture
First Western Gunfighter?
His name was J. Ferdinand Patterson (we have late author Glenn Shirley’s unsupported word the J stood for “Jason”), and he is perhaps the least known and most underrated gunfighter in Western history. Ferd Patterson was a contemporary of the infamous
Wild West2 min de lecture
Some Daisey!
Nannita R.H. Daisey, popularly known as “Kentucky Daisey,” was arguably the most celebrated homesteader to have emerged from the April 22, 1889, land rush into the Unassigned Lands of Oklahoma. She gained a reputation as an energetic, adventurous spi
Wild West5 min de lecture
Always Bigger In The Retelling
Kingston, New Mexico (population 32, according to the 2010 U.S. census), is a shadow of its former self. Once upon a time it was a busy place, an 1880s boomtown that went bust little more than a decade later. The town and its adjacent mines peaked ar