By Donald C. Elder III
William Henry Harrison Clayton was once certainly one of approximately 75,000 squaddies from Iowa to hitch the Union ranks in the course of the Civil warfare. owning a highschool schooling and more advantageous penmanship, Clayton served as a firm clerk within the nineteenth Infantry, witnessing battles within the trans-Mississippi theater. His diary and his correspondence together with his kinfolk in Van Buren County shape a distinct narrative of the daily soldier lifestyles in addition to an eyewitness account of severe battles and a prisoner-of-war camp. Clayton participated within the siege of Vicksburg and participated in operations opposed to cellular, yet his writings are exact for the descriptions he offers of lesser-known yet pivotal battles of the Civil warfare within the West. struggling with within the conflict of Prairie Grove, the nineteenth Infantry sustained the top casualties of any federal regiment at the eld. Clayton survived that conflict with basically minor accidents, yet he was once later captured on the conflict of Stirling's Plantation and served a interval of ten months in captivity at Camp Ford, Texas. Clayton's writing unearths the complex sympathies and prejudices general between Union squaddies and civilians of that interval within the country's heritage. He observes with nice unhappiness the brutal results of conflict at the South, sympathizing with the plight of refugees and lamenting the destruction of estate. He excoriates draft evaders and Copperheads again domestic, conveying the intra-sectional acrimony wrought by means of civil struggle. eventually, his racist perspectives towards blacks display a standard yet ironic perspective between Union squaddies whose efforts helped result in the abolition of slavery within the usa.
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Additional info for A Damned Iowa Greyhound: The Civil War Letters of William Henry Harrison Clayton
Sept. 23rd, 1862 Dear Brothers: With pleasure, I seat myself on a log, my paper on my knees before me, to write an answer to your letter. I would have written sooner but I had not time. We were in camp 5 miles from Rolla when your letter reached me. We had received orders to march about 8 o'clock in the evening, and I was helping the boys cook provisions for the next day, when the letter was brought to me. The letter was mailed on the 10th & reached me the 15th. I was very glad to get a letter from you & to hear that you were all well.
Two of our companies have got their uniforms, we will probably get ours tomorrow. Our blankets were issued to us last evening. I like it so far very well. The fare at the Simpson house was rather indifferent especially toward the last. There was plenty of good bread & that was about all that was good. " We have issued to us here bread, potatos, salt pork, rice, sugar & coffee. The examiner did not like the looks of AB Buckles 9 eyes. He asked him if he could see & he told him he could. He did not ask whether he could see well out of both eyes so he passed.
I had intended to write to you sooner but I knew that you would hear from me when ever I wrote home. The last letter from home was dated the 19th of last month. I wrote last from Mill Spring about 12 miles from Springfield. The next day after writing, we packed up and came to this place about 1 1/2 miles northwest of Springfield. The location is a very good one, with one exception, that is the water is too far off. It is nearly 3/4 of a mile to the spring, we carried water for awhile, but it is now hauled.
A Damned Iowa Greyhound: The Civil War Letters of William Henry Harrison Clayton by Donald C. Elder III