Book .i_^ \4/j:^
"VirTLton, I0X-1.Q. I£>0^^.
THt LiBRAT^Y OF
Two Copies Received
FEB 12 1903
CLASS ^ XXc. No.
Copvright applied for. All rights reserved.
In presenting- "The Story of The Forty-ninth"' to the public 1 have only endeavored to
give Some of my recollections and not a history of the regiment. My ptjint of view was
from the ranks, and the things of which I have written are naturally those experienced by
the enlisted man.
Of the enlisted men of the regiment a volume could be written. They were from every
grade and class of our citizenship. Army life in the ranks is a great leveler. The hod
carrier and the banker slept under the same blanket. The well digger and the preacher
touched elbows and shared each others troubles and pleasures. The day laborer and the
lawyer were partners in games of cinch, while the farm hand and the doctor ran the guard
lines together. There were enough men of every profession, line of business or occupation
to supply any community. It is said that the wealthiest man in the regiment was the
colonel, and the next in line with this world's goods was a high private It must be ad-
mitted that the enlisted men of the Forty-ninth were able to "make good" under all con-
ditions or circumstances.
The otticers of the regiment were in every respect fitted to command such men. For
the most part it was their chief aim to care for their men, and by their own example Set
the standard for soldierly conduct.
The author desires to express his thanks for kindly assistance rendered by many, and
especially to Lieut. Frank M. Haradon, of Co. H, and Private Joseph H. Allen, of Co. F. for
a number of the plates used in illustrating this humble work. Colonel Dows. Lieut. Nattin-
ger, Serg't. W. E. Bickel and The Times-Citizen-Union, of Jacksonville, Fla., are also en-
titled to credit for favors shown.
He who looks for literary merit in this book will waste his time. If my former com-
rades read its pages with any degree of interest then 1 shall be satisfied
J. E. Whipple.
Vinton, January 5, 1903.
To those three most potent forces in inaintainin.i;
the safety and integrity of our country, the American
Volunteer, the Soldier's Mother, and the Army Nurse.
are these lines gratefully dedicated.
THE SOLDIER'S MOTHER.
Preparations for War — Called Out — The Parting- and De-
parture — At Camp McKinley.
A third of a century had elapsed after
the close c.f the civil war before the
United States was called on to show her
power, and then her strength was scarce-
ly tested much less exhausted. ]n fact
the Spanish war, in which the 49th Iowa
Volunteer Infantry was enlisted, was a
tame affair when compared with the gi-
gantic struggle of the sixties. It is not
news to my readers that great excite-
ment existed throughout the country
following the blowing up of the battle-
stiip Maine, for that lamented affair oc-
curred only four and a half years ago.
During those two months, before war
was declared, there was a very great deal
of criticism because of the apparent
slowness of the authorities and their de-
sire to avoid war. The failure of the
president to spit fire, or even to talk
"sassy," caused many very worthy gen-
tlemen in private life to tell what they
would do if they were running things.
However the president and his advisors
were not idle by any means. During
those two months they were quietly, but
rapidly, getting things in shape for busi-
ness. The declaration of war came and
the president made requisition on the
governors of the various states for a total
of 125,000 men, for two years, or until
the war should end.
Then it was that the members of the
First Regiment, Iowa National Guard,
afterwards the Forty-ninth Iowa Vols.,
began to get busy. The twelve com-
panies, compohing the regiment, were
at their armories all day on Monday,
April 25th, anxiously awaiting the ex-
pected orders lo go to the rendezvous at
Des Moines. Men who had never taken
the slightest interest in the home mili-
tary companies, and never given any at-
tention to them except to occasionally
call them tin soldiers, now heartily ap-
plauded them and called them "Bully
Boys," both words accented.
The company commanders received
The Stor}^ of The Forty-ninth.
orders on tliH ni'^ht of thfi 25th to report
Ht once. Theti it wna tiiAt the steHLD
whistles sounded and the belis rang, and
thousands of people tumbled out of bed
to see the boys start. It is a oever to-
be forgotten night and the scenes which
I witnessed at Vinton were undoubtedly
the same that were enacted in every
town that furnished acompany. Cheers
there were in plenty, and tears too. The
mothers and fathers were there — every
father proud that he could give a son to
the service of his country, and every
mother proud, too, only her heartstrings
vibrated nigh unto breaking. Here and
there a man left a wife; brave, splendid
women! Here and there were to be seen
a little bronze button in the lapel of
men whose forms were more erect than
usual, and whose eyes A'ere agiint with
the tires of lung ago.
But I must not dwell too long on the
good b^es that were said, or the tears
tiiat were shed. 1 must proceed with
the story of the 49Lh. That regiment,
together with the other three regiments
of the state, was encamped on the state
fair grounds before the close of the 26th.
The tirst detachment to arrive was com-
posed of companies C, F, G anp K of the
49th, under command of Colonel Dows.
The regiment was quartered in the six
horse barns on the east side of the race
track. Thus two companies occupied
^ach barn. A driveway extened through
each of these barns, with ten box stalls
on either side. This cluster of buildings
was the home of the regiment for nearly
seven weeks. During these seven weeks
we learned many things that we didn't
know before. Some of the boys thought
they knew all about soldiering, but they
found, ere their service of thirteen
months expired, that there were a few
other things besides executing "fours
Before proceeding further it will be
proper to give a list of the field and staff
oflQcere, and also the locations of the
companies and the names of thier officers
as they were at this time.
Field and staff: Colonel, W. G. Dows,
Cedar Rapids: Lieut. Col., vacancy;
Majors, C. D. Ham, Dubuque, S. E.
Clapp, Toledo, and B. F. Blocklinger,
Dubuque; Rog't. Adj't, Capt. C. C. Mc-
Collum. Clinton; Bat. Adj'ts, A. M.
Jaeggi. Dubuque, and E. E. Reed,
Monticello; Inspector of Small Arms;
Practice, Capt. W. H. Thrift. Dubuque;
Quartermaster, Lieut. F. W. Woodring^
VVaverly; Commissary of Subsistance,
Lieut. C S. Goodwin, Vinton; Sur-
geons, Mnjor A. L. Wright, Carroll;
Capt. J. R. Guthrie, Dubuque, and
Capt. E. L. Martindale, Clinton; Chap-
lain, Capt. Thomas E, Green, Cedar
Company A, Dubuque; Captain Wil-
lard M. Flinn; First Pieut. Jacob Bal-
lough; Second Lieut. C. J. Stewart.
Company B, Waterloo; Captain F. R,
Fisher; First Lieut. C W. Cottton; Sec-
ond Lieut. J, A. Gurry.
Company C, Cedar Rapids: Captain
George A. Evans: First Lieut. H. J.
Sugru; Second Lieut. A. U. iViachemer.
Company D, Charles City: Captain
C B. Roziene; First Lieut. C. A. Dan-
forth; Second Lieut. D. W. Fowler.
Company E, Independence: Captain
H. A. Allen: First Lieut. M. B. O'Brien
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Seoood Lieut. R. ?. Snow.
Company P, Tipton: Captain L. J.
Kowell; First Lieut. F. H. GudsoIhs
Second Liout. J, E. Barllev.
Company G, Vinton: C-iptain ,1. F
Traer; First Lieut. C. F. Young; Second
Lieut. Guy Kellogg.
Company H, Marsbalitown: Captain
C. S. Aldiich; First Lieut. B. F. Moffatt.
Company I, Waukon: Captain A. G.
Stewart; First Lieut. K. A. Nichols.
Company K, Toledo: Captain H. G.
Ross; First Lieut. P. W. McKoberts.
Company L, Clinton: Capiain C. L.
Root; First Lieut. F. L HoUerau; Second
Lieut. Geo. Michelson.
Company M, Maquoketa: Captain E.
C. Johnson; Second Lieut. G. M. John-
Each company consisted of about
forty live men. The companies were
soon recruited until the barns were over-
flowing with as noisy a set of youngsters
as ever lived. Every recruic met with a
vociferous greeting when he entered
Camp McKiuley. The fact that he was
a "rooky" was impressed upon his mind
until every particle of self importance
vanished, and he became properly sub-
missive. The evolutions of military drill
was to him a sealed book, and he couldn't
have told the difference between "fours
right" and "balance all," although gen-
erally he was well versed in the latter
One day a young man appeared in
camp and was assigned quarters with a
half dozen young fellows, one of whom
wore the chevrons of a corporal. Now
this youth believed that persons having
military rank were exalted indeed, l)ut
he knew nothing a out the difference
between a non com. and a brigadier.
One of his new bunk mates seeing this,
told him that he would give him all the
information that lay in his power, and
that was not a little. Be told the rooky
that he was frequently consulted b> Col.
Dows and Gen. Limujln on important
The rooky felt that the troubles, he
had b^en anticipatintr, were over, and
congratulated himself that he had fallen
into the hands of one who could post
him fully. He assured his new friend
that he appreciated his kindness in offer-
ing to teach him and said, "Now that I
am here what is expected of me, what
am 1 to do."
"Well," said the instructor, "you must
be careful of your actions towards the
corporals and sergeants. You saw that
man with chevrons on his arms, did you
not, the one who went out just after you
The rooky assured him that he "saw
the fellow but did not notice him par-
ticularh." "Thai man" continued the
good fairy "is not a fellow; he is a cor-
poral, and you will not be here long un-
til you will notice him all right. In fact
the army regulations require that for
one week after joining you must salute
a corporal or a sergeant when you meet
one. Whenever this corporal, who is
quartered with us comes into the stall
here you must immediately rise to jour
feet, salute and remain standing, your
arms hanging at your side and your eyes
straight to the front."
The Stor}^ of The Fort^^-ninth.
"How long must I stand that way"
said the recruit, anxiously. "O, you are
to stand in that position until he gives
you permission to be seated. 1 don't
think he will require you to stand more
than two-thirds of the time."
The recruit received a lot of other in-
formation along the same line, among
which was the assurance that "these
fellows you see around camp with things
on their shoulders that look like bana-
na peels are waiters. They are hired by
the government to polish the boys' shoes
and to do a thousand things you may
want done. Some of them are a little
haughty and need calling down frequent-
ly. Talk right up to them and they will
soon learn their places." But the rook-
ies were not rookies long. In a very
short time they were the principal char-
acters in the initiatory team.
The state fair grounds had become
Camp McKinley, and the troops present
consisted of the four regiments of Iowa
national guards, all under command of
Gen. J. R. Lincoln. Thousands of peo-
ple visited the camp and drill grounds
everyday. On Sundays excursion trains
were run from different parts of the
state and on these days the size of the
crowd ranged as high as twenty thous-
and. To the onlooker it seemed that
the boys in blue were having acontinous
picnic. Had the onlooker taken a few
whirls at the daily drills of four hours,
besides the many other duties, he would
have felt differently about the matter.
The forenoon was devoted to battalion
drills, while brigade and regimental
drills was the order for afternoons.
There was no fun in these drills but they
resulted in great benefit to both officers
and men. These drills, and the out
door life, tanned the skin, hardened the
muscles, and, together with the army
diet, fitted us for the life we were soon
to experience in the Florida climate
The records will show that the men who
had the benefit of the training at Camp
McKinley withstood the fearful scourge
of typhoid, that invaded the camps at
Jacksonville, better than did those who
joined the regiment after its removal to
the south. Those who joined the regi-
ment at Jacksonville, under the second
call, constituted about one-third of its
force when its ranks were full. Yet of
all who died half were from this smaller
number who did not have the benefit of
the training at Des Moines.
One thing that attracted attention
every day was the large number of young
girls about the camp. Many of them
were anxious to make a "mash" on a
soldier boy, and, in the language of the
street, the boys were generally there
with the goods. Many of these girls
were very young and evidently of respec-
table families. Most of them should
have been turned over the maternal
knee and exercised with a broad carpet
slipper in the good old fashioned way.
Had this been done, or had the parents
kept better tab on the giggling misses
some of them would have had less
trouble a little later, Certain organiza-
tions in Des Moines, composed of women,
would have saved themselves the trouble
of adopting resolutions denouncing the
soldiers for things which, primarily, was
the fault of many of the parents of the
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Scarcely had we got settled in our
quarters when the question of getting
four regiments accepted, when but three
were called for, came up to bother ue.
It was made known that it would be
necessary to either send one regiment
home, or else disband it and let its mem-
bers join the other three regiments.
Neither regiment would consent to dis-
band, nor did either want to go home.
Finally it was decided that the junior
regiment should go home and wait for
the second call, should there be one. It
was reasoned, by those in authority, that
our regiment was the junior regiment
because our colonel was junior to the
otber three, his commission having later
date than theirs. This reasoning, was
in accordance with military usages, al-
though we wouldn't admit it then, for
every man was boiling over in his anxie-
ty to get to the front. The telegraph
wires were worked, and a number of in-
fluential men from northeastern Iowa
were soon on the ground. There was a
hot time, in certain spots, in the old
town of Des iSloinea. After two or three
conferences with the state authorities it
was decided to sena a telegram to the
Iowa congressional delegation, asking
that the order be changed so that four
regiments be accepted instead of three.
This plan solved the problem as was
shown by a telegram, received April 30,
1898. As this whole afilair was an im-
portant event in our hidtory, the tele-
gram, which carried the intelligence of
our salvation, should be given here. It
is as follows:
"Governor of Iowa. — Your apportion-
ment is three regiments of infantry and
two light batteries, total maximum
strength of all grades, commissioned and
non-commissioned and enlisted of 3,328.
I now authorize this changed to four regi-
ments of infantry each composed of
eighteen field, staff and non commission-
ed staff officers, twelve companies, each
composed of three officers and sixty-five
enlisted men; total aggregate strength
of all grades 3,336 and no more."
tJ. A. Alger,
Secretary of War.
Notice was immediately sent out to
camp. It is needless to say that the
good news was received with many hear-
Quinine has ever been an important
article for army consumption. Our first
introduction to it was on the night of
May Ith. It was a cold night and the
bo)s suffered much, but they did not
suffer in silence. Silence may be golden
under certain conditions, but it is not a
striking characteristic of American sol-
diers, especially when they feel like
kicking about something. They grum-
bled about ihe cold and longed for feath-
er beds. The surgeons feared that an
epidemic of malaria n ight invade the
camp. So they sent for the first ser-
geants, and gave each a supply of quinine,
in capsules, with instructions to give
each man in the regiment a capsule.
Directly each sergeant appeared in his
company's quarters, waked the boys up
for most of them had gone to sleep by
this time, (midnight,) and giving each a
quinine capsule, said: "Here, swallow
this, it will warm you up."
The scheme worked, and nearly every
man took his medicine like a little man.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Then they be^an to realize that they had
done something that they would rather
not do. They "warmed up" all right. A
kick was made, but of course it did no
good. All sorts of remarks ^ere in-
dulged in, and one fellow was heard to
say: "The next time I join the army it
will be of the salvation variety and I am
going to carry a big drum."
The next day after the quinine episode
the ladies of Des Moines gave the regi-
ment a big dinner. If there is anything,
above all others, that a healthy soldier
is particularly strong at it is in eating a
good dinner. Pie and chicken took the
taste of quinine out of our mouths, and
contentment and good nature once more
held full sway.
On the day following the big dinner
Governor Shaw, accompaninied by his
staff, reviewed the four regiments, on
the plain between camp and the city.
It is a very pretty ceremony, and one
that a person would rather witness than
participate in, especially if the flies are
Once, since the war, and at a review of
the regiment since it has again become
a national guard affair, I suffered untold
agony because of one of these pests
The regiment was in line and my com-
pany was on the extreme left. I was
standing in front, at attention, my sword
at an order and mj^ ej'es straight to the
Just as the governor, and accompan-
ing officers, started towards the right
and thence to ride slowly down the front
of the long line, a fly planted itself on
Now, my nasal appurtenance is not of
the inconspicious kind; and it is sensi
tive, not only to the amused smile that
accompanies the glance of the eye, which
never fails to linger when once it comes
within range of the vision of any
stranger, but it also is sensitive to touch,
exceedingly so. Now this fly was not of
a timid nature or retiring disposition.
Not on your life, it wasn't. Its nature
was of the inquisitive sort, being a lady
fly, undoubtedly, and its aggressiveness
was very prononced, it being of the
My, how that fly did dig! And the
governor twenty plattoons away, his eye
taking in the blue uniforms and glisten-
ing brasses, while he secretly prayed
that his horse would shy neither to the
right nor to the left. I could not brush
the confounded fly off with my hand for
the white glove would have attracted
the attention of every one of the five
thousand spectators, it seemed to me.
Why don't the governor hurry; why
don't his norse run off with him; any-
thing, so this fly will vamouse." But no,
the governor lingered, and the infernal
fly got in its deadly work. But there is
an end to all things, and, just as reason
was tottering on her throne, the chief
executive appeared, and the fly trans-
fered its attention to a fat and docile
looking staff officer.
One of the most interesting and pleas-
ant incidents, of the period spent In
Camp IMcKinley, was the living flag,
which was given on Maj' 19th. It took
thirteen bundled schoolchildren to com-
pose the flag. A stand was erected on
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
the ground, just inside the track, that
looked like the bleacher seats at a base
ball game. The children were seated
there in thirteen rows, those on one row
heina dressed in white, the nezt in red,
and so on the whole width of the stand
In the upper left hand corner the child-
ren were all dressed in blue Large
stars, made of pastboard, were held in
place by children. It was a very in-
spiring sight, and one not soon to be
forgotten. All four regiments were out
and passed the stand in salute to the
flag. At a given signal every chi'd drew
a small flag from hiding and waved it
On the morning of May 21st the 50th
regiment (formerly the 2nd) left for the
south, their destination being Tampa,
Florida, although it went to Jackson-
ville, having received orders to that ef-
fect while enroute. The 49th escorted
one battilion (Major MoflBt's) to the
train, which they embarked amid the
cheers of our fellows.
The question that was discused every
day was about our probable destination,
for no one doubted that we would move.
One could hear all kinds of news (?) re-
garding the matter. One report was
that we were going to the mountains of
Tennesee, the next to New Orleans,
another to Ckickamauga. Scarcely had
these reports besome well circulated
when came the word that we would leave
within a few days for Wasington, D. C.
This gave way to the report, said to be
absolutely true, that we would go to
San Francisco, thence lo Manila. Of
coarse none of these rumors had any
foundation, except that there was some
reason for believing that we would go to
Some ladies, members of the Women's
Relief Corps, I think, presented the reg-
iment with a fine flag on May 16th. The
process of physical examinations went
forward as fast as possible. About thirty
per cent, of those who enlisted, were re-
jected by the examining board, chief of
which was a regular army surgeon.
Some of those who were first rejected
were examined a second time and passed
In order to prevent confusion in after
years it was decided to change the num-
bers of the regiments, beginingone num-
ber above the highest in the civil war
As this was the 48th, our regiment be-
came the 49th when mustered in.
Mustered In — Enroute to the South— Camp Cuba Libre-
A Dav at St. Augustine.
June 2, 1898, will always be romemher-
ed as the day on which we became
Uncle Sam's soldiers, that being the day
of muster-in. The place was one of the
large pavilions on the grounds, the mus-
tering oflBcer being Captain J. A. Olm-
sted, of the regular army. Each com-
pany was mustered separately. After
each man had answered to his name,
as it appeared on the muster roll, every-
one, with up lifted hand took the oath
that made us the Forty-ninth lowaU. S.
Infantry. June 4th was the first pay
day with us. The pay was from the
state and covered the time from the day
of our enlistment to the day of muster-
in. The manner of paying off, on this
occasion, was different from that prac-
ticed by United states paymasters. The
money was placed in small envelopes, on
which was written the name of the man
to whom the money in each belonged.
It took about §20,000 to pay the regi-
On June 9th orders came directing
the regiment to proceed to Jacksonville,
Florida, and there to report to Gen.
Fitzhutjh Lee. Arrangements were^made
to leave two days later. The First bat-
talion, field, staff and band, under com-
mand of Col. Dows, went over the Chi-
cago & Milwaukee, the Second battalion,
under command of Major Blocklinger,
went over the Great Western, and the
Third battalion, Major Fisher, went over
the Wabash. The experiences of the
three sections were similar, doubtless.
As I was with the Second battalion I
will give only my observations while
enroute. The baggage was nearly all
packed on the 10th. Early on the morn-
ing of the 11th a number of large furni-
ture vans, (one for each company) ap-
peared and were soon loaded and started
for the trains. The oflBcers and men
went aboard at points near the old camp.
While there had been a general desire to
leave, and, on this morning, there was a
MAJOR B. F. BLOCKLINGER.
H; ■ ■ -^
^H^^P^^ " ^— -^
F, >. .
MAJOR S. E. CLAPP.
CAPT, A. M. JAEGGI, ADJ'T.
LIEUT. C. J. STEWART, COMPANY A.
The Stoi"}' of The Fort\--ninth.
fever of excitement manifest in every
countenance, everybody bade farewell to
Camp McKiuley with some regret. For
almost seven weeks it had been our home
and we had b?conae attached to the
place. As ours was the last regiment to
leave thousands of people, from the city,
were on hands to see us off. If I remem-
ber aright we left Des Moines about ten
o'clock and started on our long trip to
Jacksonville. Very few of us had ever
been so far south and we were all anx-
ious to see the country.
This 11th day of June is one long to
be remembered. The people all along
the route knew that the battalion would
be taken over the Great Western on this
day and many of them were at the sta-
tions as we went by. The first stop made
for any length of time, was at Waterloo.
It was told us that the good people of
that city had a feast ready for us. Wat-
erloo was the home of company B, Vin-
ton and Independence, which had furn-
ished companies G and E, were located
less than 30 miles distant. When we ar-
rived at Waterloo and disembarked we
found what appeared to be the people of
the greater part of three counties ready
to welcome us. The feast, which we had
been looking forward to with such pleas-
ure, was beyond our expectations in
variety, quantity and quality. When the
dinner was over opportunity was given
the boys to say goodbye to their friends
Of course it was a sad parting for man},
and for some it was a last parting.
Leaving Waterloo we proceeded east-
ward, making several stops before pass-
ing beyond the borders of the state. At
every town were crowds of people to bid
us Godspeed. At about nine o'clock we
reached Dubuque. A finn lunch was
furnished by the people of Dtibuque,
and was served to us on the cars by a
large number of beautiful ladies. We
left Dubuque about 11 o'clock, and be-
fore midnight all were fast asleep in
their berths. We entered Chicago at an
early hour Sunday morning. Prom the
time we entered the suburbs on the
west, until we left the great city
to the south, ovi-r the lilitiois Cen-
tral railroad, at 10 o'clock, we received
much attention in the way of cheers and
by ttie waving of flags and the like.
It is impossible to describe in detail
the manner in which we were received
by the people of Illinois, as we passed
through their beautiful towns and vil-
lages. It being Sunday the people were
out in great numbers. Even in the
country, where the wagon roads crossed
the railroad tracks, were to be seen
many people, for they seemed to know
that a train load of soldiers was to pass.
Our experiences all the way through the
state of Lincoln and Grant was the same
as that which we had the day before in
Iowa. There were flowers and flags,
ai.d flags and flowers on every side-
Most of the boys did a land office busi-
ness something after this manner. A
fellow would receive a large bouquet
with some girl's name attached. This
he would divide into several smaller
ones, to each of which he would attach
his name ard address and a request that
the girl receiving it would wri e to him
At the next town he would distribute
them among the many girls who were
sure to be on the platform. By this
means a correspondence was started be-
tween our boys and several regiments of
The Story of 7'he Forty-ninth.
girls in Illinois. Some of the boys kept
up the correspondence and I know of
several cases where marriage resulted
after the close of the war.
We had dinner at Champaign and sup
per at Centralia. We earned travel ra-
tions with us but got coffee at different
points along the route. We went to bed
in Southern Illinois and waked up on the
morning of the 13Lh in Southern Ten-
nessee. The change in the appearance
of the country was very striking. The
land spemed very poor and the inhabit-
ants suited the country. Instead of the
waving corn and great fields of oats and
wheat, that we had been used to, we saw
cotton, and very little else in the way of
crops. We saw no fine pasture lands
with sleek Shorthorns grazing thereon.
About the only live stock in sight was
an occasional mule.
We took breakfast this morning at
Holly Springs, Miss. At this place some
of the boys went to the railroad lunch
counter to get some provender, The
proprietor saw an opportunity to
make a stake and charged about two
prices. His experiences during the next
few minutes made him a sadder, though
very much wiser, man. Some of the
boys payed what the food was worth,
while others compromised the matter by
Prom Holly Springs we proceeded
through the northern part of Mississippi
and Alabama. There were few white
people and they were somewhat shy. In
Illinois and Iowa we saw flags every-
where. I do not remember seeing a
single flag in either Tennessee or Missis-
sippi, and very few in Alabama and
Georgia. One of the boys gave a small
flag to a twelve-year old boy, who was
greaLly pleased to get it, and said that he
had never seen one until the soldiers
came along. Birmingham, Ala., was the
best city of the south we saw on the
route, and it was at this point that we
received the most cordial reception ac-
corded us south of the Ohio. After
leaving Birmingham the country im-
proved somewhat, although it soon be-
came night and we did not see much.
Next morning we stopped at Lumber
City, a small town in Georgia. A large
saw mill was located here. A dismal
country surrounded the town.
While here I talked with and old man,
who was a typical southerner. He was
eighty years old and had always lived in
that county. He said that he had seen
a great deal of the world, however, as he
had been in the Mexican war, and was a
quartermaster in the Confederate army.
He was proud of his county and actually
thought that he lived in the garden
spot of the universe. I asked him what
land was worth there.
"Well sah," said he, "right heah near
town it is wo'th fo'h dollahs an acre, sah;
but you all kin go back into the country,
sah, and buy it foh a dollah and a half,
I half suspected that the old fellow
was a land agent and sprung the price
about four hundred per cent.
At about two o'clock in the afternoon
of this day, June 14, we arrived at Camp
Cuba Libre, Jacksonville. As our camp
was but a short distance from the rail-
road tracks we were not long in get-
ting there. As soon as a number of
pine trees, were removed, the tents
were duly installed as a part of the
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
camp. At this time there were nioe reg-
iments there including the 49th. This
force constituted the Second divipion of
the Seventh army corps. We were as-
signed to the Third brigade, the other
two regiments thereof being the Second
and ITourth Virginia.
Iowa had two regiments, Illinois two,
Virginia two, and Wisconsin, New Jersey
and North Carolina one each. It was
admitted by everybody that the 49th
was the best equipped regiment in the
camp. All of us had good, clean cloth-
ing, and what was better, money. While
at Des Moines we had kicked because
we were not sent to the front sooner.
We now realized the wisdom shown by
Gov. Shaw in not allowing us to leave
until we were in shape and had been
paid off. Troops from other states had
not received a cent of pay, and most were
poorly equipwed with clothing etc. Tbe
tents which we used were poor, being the
ones which the national guard of Iowa
had used for years.
We were crowded at the beginning, and
were even more so when the recruits be
gan to arrive, which they did in about
two weeks. The condition of our tentage
and the hot weather made our surround-
ings somewhat unpleasant. However
the resourcefulness of American boys is
well known, and it was not long until we
were pretty woU fixed.
America's Oldest City and Its Many Interesting Points-
About the Nesfro.
One of the most popular places to visit
was St. Augustine, which was distant
from Jacksonville about thirty-five miles.
Excursions were run to that city on
Sundays, and large numbers of soldiers
took advantage of the opportunitiy to
to visit the oldest town in the United
Arriving there one day in July, four of
us chartered a sail boat and its darky
owner and proceeded to the north beach,
where we put in an hour or more hunting
shells and bathing. While here we saw
our first porpoises. They were four or
five feet long. One of them got into a
narrow strip of water at high tide and
couldn't get out at low tide. About fifty
yelling, young soldiers, dressed in na-
tures uniform, tried to catch him. They
did did not do so, though several of the
boys had hold of him. He was as slip-
pery as an eel.
We returned to the city and had din-
ner, after which we took in the different
points of interest, plaza and monuments
old city gates, caihedral and Presby-
terian chnrch, old slave market, old Fort
Marion, sea walls, oldest house in Amer-
ica, Dade monument and St Francis
barracks. The plaza is simply a small
park, with a Confederate monument and
an old Spanish monument. The inscrip-
tions on the latter were in the Spanish
language so I could not tell what they
signified. The natives could not tell us:
at least all of whom we made inquiries
did not know. They were evidently too
tired to take the trouble to investigate
the matter. A more blunt spoken per
son than myself would call it pure
The city gates are of stone and show
evidence of great age. They are all that
remains of the stone wall which once
surrounded the town as a protection
against the Indians and other enemies
of the inhabitants.
The Presbyterian church is a fine
modern structure and was erected by a
wealthy eastern lady in memory of her
daughter, who died early in life. Our in-
telligent colored driver gravely informed
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
us that it cost two hundred million dol
It probably cost about a hundred thous-
and dollars However this is as near the
truth as one should except in this his-
The old slave market is a pavilion
shaped building on the plaza. The block
on which the victim stood has been re-
placed with a fountain. Our driver's
grandmother was sold here for a fabu-
siim, which is now forgotten by me.
The most interesting of all the sights
is old Port Marion. It is surrounded by
outer stone walls which are fast decay-
ing. Adjoining and surrounding the fort
is a deep ditch or moat which was filled
with water in times of danger. A draw-
bridge furnished means of getting into
the fort. There are numerous rooms with
entrances from thej court, through doors,
and narrow, iron barred windows, high
up on the outside. There are several
dungeons: one had been sealed up, per-
haps two hundred years ar more, by the
Spanish. The only opening is from an-
other cell and is only four feet high.
When discovered and broken into by the
Americans, many years ago, it was found
to contain the skeletons of a man and a
woman, both chained to the wall; silent
and grewesome evidence of Spanish
cruelty and inhumanity. A broad, stone
stairway leads from the court to the top.
The United States occupied it and kept
it repaired until a few years ago. When
we were there iv was in charge of an old
ordinance sergeant, who had been in the
regular army thirty-eight years.
The building, which was shown by the
guides as tho oldest house in America, is
a queer looking structure in the
south part of the city and shows unmis-
takable evidence of the handiwork of
modern oiechanics. This building, like
many other things we saw, is a most
The Dade monument is in the govern-
ment cemetery and was erected to com-
memorate the deeds of the soldiers
who lost their lives in the Seminole war.
St. Francis barracks are government
buildings occupied by regular soldiers.
Only a small guard were there at that
Among the interesting features are the
narrow streets and old houses. The or
dinarv street is only about thirty feet
wide, while the narrowest street is only
seven feet across. There are a few side-
walks three or four feet wide. Generally
there no sidevi'alks. Nearly every street
is as smooth as a floor and are made of
shells and cement. There are many fine
residences, owned principally by north-
erners who spend their winters there.
We had an opportunitv, while in the
army, to study the negro at close range.
Hardly had we landed in our camp at
Jacksonville, when hundreds of negros
swarmed all about the company streets.
Nearly all wanted washing to do. Some
sold pies and jelly rolls, and such pies
and jelly rolls were never seen before,
and I do not care to see any more of the
same kind. Notwithstanding the utter
worthlessn'3Ss of these alleged articles of
food, there were lots of the boys who
would buy them. Many of the poorer
negros would hang around the cook
shacks at mess time and would beg the
refuse from the kitchen. I have even
seen them fish out bones from the slop
barrels so as to get the bits of meat that
etill adhered to them. Some of the fel-
The Story of The Fort^^-ninth.
lovvs used to say that they would take
these pieces of meat, make them into
mince pies, and then come back to camp
and sell them. I could never believe
The southern negro is an entirely dif-
ferent individual from the northern
negro. In the south he is to be found
on every hand. In numbers he is truly
apalling. The northern white man does
not appreciate, fully, the importance of
negro question. Tnere is such a question
in the south and it is ever present-
What the solution is to be is more than
I am able to tell. We of the north have
criticised the whites for their attitude
toward the blacks. Personally, I felt
that the whites of the south were wholly
to blame for the conditions that exist in
nearly every part of that section of
our country. I have changed my views
very materially since the summer of
1898. I do not think the blacks are to
blame. Perhaps a large part of the fault
lies with whites of another generation,
All will admit that a grave mistake was
made when the right of franchise was
given to the ex-slave so soon after freedom
The negro is of three colors, yellow,
brown, and black. The yellow is, of
course, mulatto, and has more or less of
the blood of the proud Caucasian cours-
ing through his veins. The best and
the worst are the yellow. Most of the
leaders, the professional men and busi-
ness men of the race are mnlattos. Some
of the yellow women are eminently re-
spectable, especially among the better
classes. The houses of ill fame have
large numbers of this color.
I doubt if the browns can claim any
white blood, although among children
of the same family you may see yellow,
brown and, not infrequently, coal black
As a rule the brown negro has fairly
regular features and most of them are
above the average in point of inteili-
The real black is the least promising.
The ignorance exhibited is something
worth thinking about. Thousands o
them have no more expression in their
countenances than a government mule
and that is saying a good deal. They are
crafty, and as liars they can give cards
and spades to the most accomplished
politician that ever straddled a fence
They are great on religion. The most
ignorant among them will gravely explain
problems that would have floored Henry
Ward Beecher. If these instructions
were not instructive, they at least were
entertaining to one who cared for amuse-
ment, Their preachers are all old men,
and as ignorant as the most benighted of
them. Just outside of the city of Sa-
vannah and near our camp, when we were
there, was a little negro hamlet of not
more than two hundred inhabitants. Yet
they had five preachers and five congre-
gations, three being Methodist churches
and two Baptist.
Of course all of the negro churches
are not of this kind. In the cities they
have some well educated preachers and
many fine church buildings. The negros
of Jacksonyille have one of the largest
and imposing churches to be seen in that
Although, in many respects, the pres-
ence of the negro is the great drawback
to the country, it is doubtful if they
could get along without him. He is
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
about the only common laborer they
The social relations of the two races
are far different there from what they
are anywhere else on earth. In return-
ing to the regiment from a furlough I
left St. Louis one night about eight
o'clock. In the smoking car I struck up
an acquaintance with a southerner, who
was returning to his home in Tennessee.
Somewhere in Illinois a negro came into
the car. My southern friend said:
"When we get across the Ohio river
that d — n nigger will have to ride in
the nigger car."
It was true. They have a different
place for them south of Mason and
Dixon's line. The white man has use
for the negro and uses the men for all
kinds of labor out of doors and eat the
food cooked by t he negro women, and
in infancy, is nursed by her. The same
feeling exists with every white man,
whatever may be his station in life.
One day while going to the city from
the second camp at Jacksonville I fell in
with a member of the 4th Virginia. We
entered a place kept by a mulatto to get
some ice cream. Just before leaving,
while seated at one end of a very long
table, a negro entered and asked for
some lemonade. He sat down at the
other end of the table. I thought
nothing about it. When we had
left the Virginian told me that if I had
not have been with him he would have
left the place at once when the "nigger"
came in and sat down. During the talk
"A southern white man, whatever
may be his social position, will not sit at
the same table with a negro because he
feels that by so doing he is placing him-
self on the same level with the darky."
Yet in other respects he is connected
with the negro more closely than a nor-
therner would permit. "Many white
men in the south," he continued, "have
yellow mistresses in preference to white
Rainy Season — Celebration of the Fourth — Friendship Be-
tween Virginians and Hawke3^es.
Both at Jacksonville and St, August
tine are large hotels, Most of them are
open for busines only in winter. The
roan or woman from the north, who goes
there for climate, can get it in large
quantities, but a well filled pocketbook
is necessary. The native have great re-
gard for the sojourner amongst them,
providing he is a free spender. The
Seventh army corps furnished the people
of Jacksonville an opportunity to replen-
ish their exchequer, and 1 never heard of
one who failed to do his part in releiving
the boys of their spare change.
Within a short time after arriving at
Jacksonville life became a routine of
camp duties. The weather was very
warm and the men suffered, at times,
from the heat. They have a rainy sea-
son in Florida and it began when we ^&d
got well established in camp. When we
arrived there we thought that we had an
exceedingly fine camp ground. We had
not long endured the rains until we dis-
covered that level land does not make
the best camping place, however fine
may be the prospect during the dry sea-
son. There was no drainage except a
deep ditch which ran along the east side,
between our regiment and the ith Illi-
nois. We had a number of heavy rains
late in June and early in July. In a
short time the sandy soil was saturated
with water. This condition of the soil
and the rank vegitation, which was hard
to keep under control, and the hot
weather were all productive of malaria
and typhoid, the result of which after-
wards proved disastrous to the health of
the entire command.
The people of Jacksonville made great
arrangements to celebrate the Fourth of
July. A parade, through the city, of the
entire corps was to be one of the princi-
pal features. The Fourth came along at
the proper time, but it proved to be a
rainy day. So the parade was postponed
until the 5th. I had an excellent oppor-
tunity to see this parade, as I was sent
down tc the "Aty in charge of a large
LIEUT. J. B. NATTINGER, COMPANY L.
CAPTAIN E. C. JOHNSON, COMPANY M.
LIEUT. J. E. BARTLEY, COMPANY F
LIEUT. G. M. JOHNSON, COMPANY M.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
number of recniito, who could not take
part in the affair, as there were no arras
for them. Prom the west entrance to
the no^toffice building; I saw the entire
array p^ss. Of course Gen. Fitzhugh
Lee led the parade on his big grey horse,
«nd followed bv his entire staff. In the
light of the events of forty >ears ago it
seemed strange to see a grandson of Oen,
Grant as one of his aids, the other being
his own son, Fitzhugh Lee, Jr., (shortly
afterwards appointed to a lieutenantcy
by President McKinley). These two
^young men rode side by side, seemingly
forgetful of the fact that their sires had
fought on opposite sidt*s in the old war.
There were other noted men on Gen-
Lee's staff. One, Major Russell B. Har-
rison, is the son of an ex p-esident.
Only two or thres regiraents had pas-
sed when it began raining and the wind
blew almost a gale from the south. Ev-
ery man had his poncho, or rubber blan-
ket. Sometimes the wind would blow so
hard that it would nearly break up the
companies, (they were marching in col-
nmns of companies),
On the Fourth the whole regiment
went visiting. In a body, though with-
out any particular order, and with the
band in tht- lead, a thousand yelling,
young soldiers went to the camp of the
2nd Virginia. The colonel of that reg
iment and Colonel Dows, and other offi
cers, made speeches. After a whole
lot of cheering we went to several other
camps, including the 4th Virginia and
the 50th Iowa.
It was DO unusual thing to get up a
crowd and go visiting to other camps.
Sometimes several hundred of the boys
would start on trips of this kind with
the regimental band at their head. Men
from other regiments would visit us in
the same way, I remember one parade
thro gh our camp in particular, al
though r have forgotten to what regi-
ment the visitors belonged It was the
most unique, impromptu affair I ever
heard of. There must have been eight
hundred or a thousand of thpra. They
had taken off their outer clothing. They
had then wrapped their array blankets
abnut their forms in the way an In-
dian wears that article, and for a head-
gear thev had taken their haversacks
and put them on with the flaps hanging
down behind It was at night, and in
the moonlieht they looked very ranch
like noble red men, especially as their
actions and the sounds that they made
were intended to carry out that idea.
Many acquaintances were made with
men of o'her regiments. At th first
Jackson\iIle carap our nearest neiehbors
werj the 4th Illinois. They had been
there some time when we arrived. In
going through Illinois we had stopped
in a number of towns that furnished
companies to that regiment. In one
town a man handed me a letter addressed
to his son and asked me to deliver it.
Of course the letter would have reached
the eon through the mai's, but the
father thought the letter would be bet-
ter appreciated if delivered by one who
had so recently been through the old
home. As soon as possible after getting
in camp I hunted up the boy and gave
him the letter. I could see that he was
more th in pleased to hear from home in
There existed a very warm friendship
between the members of the 4th Vir-
1 ne ;:!>cory or i ne rorcy-nintn.
ginia and the 49th Iowa. I do not know
the origin of this but I do remember one
incident that undoubtedly contributed
thereto. One night some sort of an
entertainment was held over in the 4th
Virginia camp and our band went oyer to
assist in the affair. They played a num-
ber of pieces which were heartily ap-
plauded. Finally the band played "Dix-
ie." The shout that went up from those
Virginians must have raised the dead.
Prom this time on the Virginians were
our firm friends. There was one piece
that our band refrained from playing
after we went south. That was "March-
ing Through Georgia." It was known
that this was a painful subject to the
southern people and no possible- good
could be done by playing it. Shortly
after the incident referred to, when
'Dixie" was played, the 4th Virginia
played "Marching Through Georgia,"
thus showing that no rancor existed in
their hearts toward the north. From
this time there was no North, no South,
so far as these two regiments were con-
One night, while we were at Savannah
I was riding in a ear to camp from
the city. In the seat in front of me were
two young soldiers, members of the 4th
Virginia. They were more than half
seas over, being in that condition of in-
toxication when they felt at peace with
themselves and with the world. As
they sat with their arms about each
other, and apparently oblivious to their
surroundings, one of them said: "Shay,
d-do you all know what I think?"
•'No, I didn't kn-know 'at you all had
contracted that habit. Better let some
co'pl do your thinkin' ".
"Well sah, said the first fellow, with-
out paying any attention to the advice,
"I think 'at the Fo'th Va'ginia is the
best regiment in the a'my.'less'n it is the
Well sah," said his companion, "I
think 'at the Fo'tv-ninth Iowa is the
best regiment in the worr,'less'n it is the
And so they were agreed. That was
the opinion apparently, of every man
among them. Those fellows would
rather fight for the 49th than for them-
selves. One night some 49th men got
into a scrap with a larger number of
North Carolinians, and were getting
worsted, when some 4th Virginians came
up and helped "do" the Carolinians.
Foot ball and base ball teams were or-
ganized in a number of regiments. The
49th had good teams, and at every game
the Virginians always turned out in
large numbers. They would take every
bet in sight and then offer to lick anyone
who criticised the playing of our fellows.
The applause and other forms of en-
couragement from the Virginians con-
tributed much to the success always at-
tained by the 49th players, for they nev-
er lost a game out of the many played.
Sixteen miles from Jacksonville is
Pablo Beach, a resort frequented by
people from the city. A railroad runs
there and it was well patronized by the
soldiers from the camps. The town is a
small affair. It was from this place that
most of Iowa's soldiers had their first
look at the ocean. It was about the
only thing worth looking at, except the
beach, which was a fine one. Very soon
after the train arrived several hundred
men had donned bathing suits and were
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
having a fine time riding the waves. It
was some time before I learned how to
do it. If one stands still the wave is
sure to engulf him. I had just learned
that it was necessary to give a little
spring upward when the wave strikes,
and it would pass under me. At this
time one of the boys appeared on the
scene. He was new at the business and
when the first wave came rolling in, he,
of course, was covered with water. In a
moment he came spluttering out of it
Gee whiz, Jim, I stepped in a hole ten
Everybody enjoyed these experiences.
Another trip taken by many was
down the St. Johns river to its mou^h,
where was situated Mayport, a straggling
little fishing village, nestled in the sand.
The most striking thing about this vil-
lage was the dilapidation of everything
in it. Except for the river and the
island near by, the surroundings had a
desolate appearance. Local chroniclers
had it that the island referred to was
one of the rendezvous of Captain Kidd,
the notorious pirate of two hundred
years ago,'who demanded tribute from
Camp Moved — First Death — Provost Duty — T3^phoId ¥
ver — Tribute to the Nurses.
As hag been said, our firat camp was
on level ground. This was undesirable
because there was no natural drainage-
In the interest of the health of the men
it was decided to move to a better loca
tion. This was done on August 18th.
The new camp was at what was known
as Panama Park and was about two
miles farther from the city, being in a
northeasterly direction from the old
camp, A turn pike or shell road ran
along the west side of the camp and the
ground sloped nicely to the east. On
this side was heavily timbered bottom
land. It was about a quarter of a mile
across this bottom to the St. Johns river.
At this time there was a good deal of
sickness in some of the regiments. We
had begun to think that the 49th would
be more fortunate as there was not much
sickness in the regiment during the first
two months. A number of men were
sent to the division hospital but not so
many as from some other regiments.
Three days after the camp was
changed, or on August 21st, occured the
death of First Lieutenant Guy Kellogg;
company G. He was taken sick in camp
about ten da>9 before, but was sent to
the boarding house in the city Arhere his
wife was staying. This was the first
death in the regiment. The news was
received with great sorrow as the lieu
tenant was one of the most popular as
well as one of the most efficient young
oflBcers of the regiment. Being a relative
of Mrs. Kellogg I was sent for and was
present when the spirit of the lieutenant
took its flight. It was a sad hour at the
undertaking parlors of Clark & Burns,
where short seryices were held on the
22nd. Every man of the company pass
ed through the room and looked for the
last time upon the face of their loved
comrade. As I was to accompany Mrs.
Kellogg and the body of the >oung lieu-
tenant to Iowa, I bade the boys good
bye, and as I took each one by the hand
I could fully understand the feeling of
great sorro«v that prevailed.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
A Jacksonville paper tells of the fol-
lowing incident which was witnessed
when the funeral procession bearing the
remains of Lieutenant Kellogg passed by.
"General J. J. Dickinson, of Ocala
visiting in the city, saw the procession,
and kneeling on the sidewalk, offered a
fervent pra>er to God to save the flag
and to protect our boys. General Dick-
inson is well known as one of the bravest
leaders on the confederate side during
the civil war, and this simple act brought
tears to many eyes."
I arrived in Jacksonville, on my re-
turn from Iowa, on Sept. 12th, and found
my company just entered upon a tour of
provost duty. The company and com-
pany C of the 6th Missouri were quarter
ed in the large three story brick building
one block west of Bridge street. This
was in the heart of the toughest part of
what was then the very tough city of
Jacksonville. During the ten days we
were there the daily arrests ranged from
twenty five to seventy. It was part of
my duty to keep the register in which
was entered the name, rank, company
and regiment of each man arrested, and
last, but not least, the offense with which
he was charged.
As a student of human nature and
human kind I found much to interest
me. More than half of those arrested
were guilty only of being without a pass,
something that every enlisted man was
supposed to have when absent from
camp. "Drunt and disorderly" was
often written opposite the names of men
belonging to the 4th Immunes, and the
New Jersey, Alabama and Mississippi
"Knock-out drops" got in their deadly
work in many cases. While w^e were
there a number of men were brought to
headquarters in an unconscious condi-
tion. In every case they were found in
alleys or on side streets with their money
etc., gone. In nearly every case the vic-
tims had taken Out one drink, and it
was always with some chance acquaint-
ance. One night one of the boys brought
in a captain of a southern regiment who
was as drunk as a lord. He was just
able to realize that he was in a predica-
ment. He cried like a school boy and
said that he had made application for a
commission in the regular army, and that
with such a serious charge against him
there would be no hope for appointment.
His request was not granted.
In these days we hear much about tha
water cure as it is administered in the
Philippines. We had a water cure at
provost headquarters, but it was admin-
istered externally. Whenever a '' ad man
was run in -the kind that wanted to
fight — his clothing were removed and he
was chucked into a small closet and
given a cold shower bath that he would
not soon forget. If this did not produce
the desired effect he was then bucked
and gagged and stored away in a dark
One day word came to us that a man
had been killed near our quarters. A
guard went to the spot and found that a
negro had been shot by another negro in
a quarrel over a game of craps. The
police were already on the ground. The
murderer was not apprehended and no
great effort was made to find him. There
was no sensation over the affair and the
papers next day contained only a very
brief account of the shooting. While
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
we were at Jacksonville a negro was
hanged for the murder of a white man
The next morning the leading daily
paper had a very short account of the
Our tour of provost duty ended about
September 20 Including the time spent
on provost it had been nearly a month
since I hiid left the regiment. I found
a very great change. Many men were in
the hospital and several had died. For
some time there averaged one death a
dav. During the two months following
the death of Lieutenant Kellogg forty-
one men died from our regiment. It
was said that seventeen men were taken
from the Second division hostital to the
dead house in one day. In my own
company, at one time, there was but one
corporal, of the twelve, able for duty.
It was no unusual thing for but twelve
or fifteen men to show up for drill. One
morning company B had only four men
for drill. For sometime the entire regi
ment was consolidated into four com-
panies for parade, making a total of
about two hundred men. When the
corps was reviewed by Secretary of War
Alger the regiment mustered but three
hundred, formed into six companies.
Bad as the situation was it undoubt-
edly would have been much worse if it
hadn't been for the rigid enforcement of
the sanitary regulations. Colonel Dows
is entitled to great credit for his work in
this respect. His hobby was sanitation
and many said that he was a crank on
this subject. It is certain that had it
not been for him, and the other officers
who enforced his orders, the death rate
would have been two or three times as
great. Surgeon Major Clark and the
assistant surgeons, Lieutenants Martin-
dale and Hamilton, together with the
hospital stewards and volunteer nurses
were all hard worked and performed
Much praise is due the medical depart-
ment for the conveniences at the hos-
pitals, and for the special food furnish-
ed, and for many other things, but most
praise should be given to those splendid
women, the hospital nurses, who unself-
ishly, devotedly and tenderly cared for
the boys who succumbed to the dread
typhoid. Everywhere, whether in our
own country or on foreign soil, where
there were military hospitals, weie to be
found those angels of mercy, silently and
earnestly soothing the fevered brow, en
couraging the despondent and coaxing
the convalescent to sure recovery. I was
not in any hospital, except as a visitor,
but my observations, and the informa-
tion received from the boys who were
sick, have taught me that the one most
entitled to credit is the army nurse in
Even now many eyes are filled with
tears fresh from hearts saddened by
thoughts of those for whom taps have
sounded for the last time on this earth'
and opposite whose names, on the com-
pany rolls, have been written these
words, "Detailed for duty above." In
Iowa cemeteries are fifty-five members
of the 49th at rest in the last long
sleep, all sacrifices to the cause of
humanly. None of ihese fell in battle'
nor did they ever hear the singing of
bullets, except across the rifle range, yet
they as surely gave their lives for the
starry banner as if they had fallen in
the trenches about Santiago.
Big Storm — The Hoodoo Horse — Work on Rifle Range
Regiment Moves to Savannah.
While at the spcood camp we experi-
enced one of the worst storms ever
known on the southwest coast. The
rain fell in torrents most of the time for
two days and the wind certainly belongr-
ed in the tornado class. Nearly half of
the tents in the regiment were blown
down. At the Second division hospital
much damaije was done and many pa-
tients suffered from exposure. Many
humorous incidents occurred daily, and
one such incident, happened at one
o'clock at night during the big storm.
In some of the regiments it was the cus-
tom for the sentinels to call the hours.
I do not know why it wasn't done in the
49th. Someone suggests that the noise
would have disturbed the stud-poker
game that was recognized as the big
social affair down at the mule corrall.
However the custom prevailed with
our neighbors, the 4th Virginia. On the
night referred to, as I lay in my tent,
listening to the howling of the wind and
the beating of the rain, I heard, in clear
and distinct tonps, these words from the
camp of the 4th Virginia:
"Number two, one o'clock, and all s
Then seemingly a little farther awav
came these words:
"Number three, one o'clock, and alls
Still father away the next man, who
doubtless appreciated the situation fully,
took up the cry in these words:
Number four, one o'clock, and this is
Every man who served in the 49th
will remember Lieu'enant Reed, ad-
jutant 1st battalion, and they will rever
forget his horse. This horse was even
more conspicuous than Gen. Lee's mag
uificent grey charger. Of all the horses
in the 7th corps the general's was the
most beautiful, while the lieutenant's
was the ugliest. He answered to the
name of Battle-Ax, This name was ap-
propriate for three reasons. First, be-
cause he was probably foaled in th" days
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
when the battle ax was the main weapon
used in the wars which then prevailed.
Second, becnuae it was naturally suited
to a war steed. Third, becatise to ride
this horse was as bad a conflict neainst
a battle-ax in the hands of a valiant foe.
Battle-ax's color was a dull bav in
siiots, the other portions of his body be-
inff a dniler bav. He was a loner, erann*',
hiingry looking quadruped, with a pair
of ears that nature had intended should
adorn that patient and lone suffering
animal, the armv mule. The ears were
geared to the horse on the alternating
plan. One ear wo\ild shoot to the front
and as it came back the other one would
advance, and so on until all witnesses
were hynotised. The everv action of
these ears was strictiv consistent with
the drill regulations, the sweep of each
ear was thirtv inches in its movements,
the cadence being 120 to the minute.
On ordinary occasions the ears were
in repose, but on dress parade thev got
in their deadly work. There was some-
thing facinating about those ears that
riveted the attention of all beholders.
The long lines of twelve hundred men
were interesting: the field and staff
ofiBcers, handsomely uniformed and
splendidly mounted, were very attrac-
tive; the band and bugle corps, following
in the wake of Drum Major Joe Eeis,
constituted an inspiring sight. But all
these were completely eclipsed when
Lieut. Reed, astride Battle- Ax, rode
across the parade ground and reported
the First battalion "all present or ac-
Of course, in the eyes of the field and
staflf oflBcers, the horse was a disgrace to
the regiment. The lieutenant was re
viled. and coaxed, and sworn at, and
cajoled, and commanded to get rid of
that "hoodoo of a horse." The lieuten-
ant tried his best to trade him off but
without success, until that expert horse
trader. Chaplain Mason, in the goodness
of his heart, came to the rescue and
effected some kind of an exchange that
gave the lieutenant another horse and
prevented an epidemic of nervous pro-
stration among the officers of the regi-
Since the above was written I have
been informed by Captain .Jaeggi that I
am in error regarding reason for the name
of this celebrated horse. In conformity
with the claims of a well known tobacco
company, he was named "Battle-Ax" be-
cause he was the "biggest plug."
Before leaving Jacksonville it will be
proper to say something about the rifle
range which constituted a prominent
, feature. There were twentj-four targets,
so that a whole regiment could fire each
day, two targets being assigned to each
company. The iGth made good records
every time it was out. Capt. E.G.. John-
son was range officer for sometime, and
the members of his company, (M), oper-
ated the targets anc" acted as score keep-
After being at Jacksonville for more
than four months we left for a new loca-
lion. It had been known for sometime
that we would move, but we didn't
know where until the war department
saw fit to enlighten us, which was a few
days before we left. On October 25th,
we were packed up and about half past
two o'clock, afternoon, we marched to
Cummer's saw mill, and in the woods
near by we waited in the rain until about
LIEUT. E. R. MOORE, QUARTERMASTER.
LIEUT. F. M. HARADON. CU.Wl'AX^ H.
LIEUT. W. S. HART, COMPANY I.
MAJOR GENERAL FITZHUGH LEE.
The Story of The Fori \ -ninth.
nine o'clock. Allhouf?h we had our
ponchos and rubber coats there was not
much comfort to be enjoyed in this ex-
perience, although we built roaring fires
When wt boarded the train everyone
was wet to the skin.
Early next mo'-ninK we waked up to
find the train standing on the track in
the midst of a forlorn pine forest. I ao
not remember just what was the reason
for ihe delay. I think, however, that
the engine had balked.
A short distance from the train was a
small village, consisting of a dozen
houses built of rough pine boards
Thinking that I might get something to
eat and maybe a cup of hot coffee I
speedily made my way to the only store^
where I found the proprietor, a real
Georgia cracker, just opening up. See
ing that the establishment could not be
rated with Delmonico's, I ask d if he
could supply me with cheese, crackers
and bologna. Answering me he said:
"Well sah, I haint got no bolony and
never hed. 1 know what it is. Got a
hunk once when 1 was up toe Savannah.
Hit may be all right fur them as is used
to high livin'. I am jest out of cheese —
sold the las' piece toe a drummer las'
week. You all caint 'spect to git coffee
here, but I kin fix you all out with
crackers and whisky."
I took crackers and reasoned thus re-
garding the other commodity: I was
wet and cold, and, uiidfratandii;g that
whisky was stimulating, I decided that I
could no •' kill two birds with one stone
— get stimulated and at the same time
learn what whisky tasted like.
Although it was out one hundred and
thirty nine miles from .Jacksonville to
Savannah it was noon of the 26ih before
we arrived at the last named city As
soon as we got off the cars we had our
dinner of hardtack and beans We then
marched to our new camp ground south-
east of the city. We found a much bet-
ter camping place than we ever had be-
fore The location was high and the
soil was much better — not so sandy as
at Jacksonville. Only two hundred
yards away was an electric car line. For
obvious reasons this was nice.
Soon after arriving on the ground
wagons appeared with the tentage. This
included new 7x7 tents for every com-
pany. We were glad of this for the
rags which had constituted the tentage
at Jacksonville had long since survived
their usefulness. The "^ents were soon
put up and we again commenced house-
The first night in the new camp was a
cold one. In fact it was plain that we
were rid of the hot weather which had
been almost unbearable at Jacksonville.
We hailed the cool weather with delight,
for it meant the end of so much sick-
Camp Onward — The City — Foot Ball — New Rifles— Move-
ment of Troops to Cuba Begins.
Our new camp at Savannah did not
receive a name until November lOth,
when Gen. Lee issued orders announcing
that it would be called "Camp Onward.'
This we understood was because we were
supposed to have begun our onward
march to Cuba.
Savannah is an interesting city. Here
I believe, was made the first settlement
south of Virginia. General James
Oglethrope was its founder and a hand
some monument, intended to perpetuate
his memory, graces one of the numerous
little parks. These little parks, or
"breathing places," as the natives call
them, are located at the intersection of
many of the streets. They are called
wards, and named after persons. To
illustrate, one was called "Crawford's
Ward," and probably one or two, and
possibly more, men will remember that
it required a special pass, signed by
Major Harrison, provost marshal, in
order to visit it.
Among the monuments erected to the
memory of Revolutionary heroes are those
of Sergeant Jasper, Count Pulaski and
The shipping at Savannah is much
larger than at Jacksonville. At the lat-
ter place the principal cargoes for ship-
ment were lumber, while at Savannah it
was cotton. Large amounts of turpen-
tine and rosin are also shipped.
Our first pay day after arriving at
Camp Onward was about Nov. 5th. Of
course there were and unusally large
number of requests for passes that night.
For some reason, probably in the inter-
est of discipline, the number approved
by the adjutant were limited to ten to
each company. Straightway there were
numerous kicks made in the company
streets. The boys, who had been broke,
wanted to spend some of the money they
had that day received from the paymas-
ter. The failure to get passes didn't
deter them, but they went anyhow. Had
one been in the rear of the camp he
would have seen whole squads of men
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
walking through the guard line. They
paid no attention to the challenges of
the guards. They came back into the
camp in the same manner and were very
quiet about it. Probably this is the
reason that nothing was ever done about
it. There must have been two hundred
men who ran the guard lines on this
The weHther became quite cold while
we were here and the boys made their
quarters quite comfortable by the use
of little oil stoves. Many of them bought
pancake flour, eggs, milk and other ar-
ticles of food and did their own cooking.
Thankdgiving Day, 1898, will long be
remembered by all who served in the 7th
corps. Then it was that the ladies of
Savannah successfully carried out the
undertaking of giving a good Thanks-
giving dinner to every man of the twelve
thousand then in Camp Onward. This
dinner was served about four o'clock by
the ladies themselves. This kindly at-
tention on the part of the good people of
Savannah completely won our hearts
and now, four years afterwards, we still
sing their praises.
Our regimental foot-ball team played
its flrpt game on this day. The contest
was with the First Texas and resulted
in a tie, the score being five to five. Be-
fore leaving Catrp Onward these two
teams played another game, the score
being eight to nothing in favor of the
Two and a half miles from our camp
is located Ft. Jackson, on the south
shore of the Savannah and not far below
the city. It is an old brick structure
and has not been occupied since the
civil war. No doubt at one time it
served its purpose admirably, but against
modern guns it would not be worth a
One point of interest was Thunder-
bolt, a small town, distant about three
miles from camp, and accessible by elec-
tric car line. Near here is located an in-
dustrial school for colored people. The
town is located on the Thunderbolt river,
from which the negroes take large quan-
tities of ojsters.
On November 25th, occured the sham
battle with the 1st brigade, of the 2nd
division intrenched in the earthworks
which had been erected by the confed-
erates in 1864 while Gen. Sherman was
making his celebrated march to the sea
The 2nd brigade, of which the 49th waa
a part, was the attacking force. History
fails to record the result of this blood-
less battle, but I now remember it
we were repulsed. The getting licked
didn't worry our side so much as the
mud and water which had to be waded
in order to get at the enemy.
On November 30th the old Springfield
rifles were turned in and new Krags
were issued intsead. As the Krag is the
rifle used by the army a few facts con
cerning it may_b9 of interest.
Used as a single loader 42 shots have-
been fired in two minutes. Firing from
hip, without aim, 36 shots have been
fired in one minute. Penetration into
white pine; from muzzle 53 inches; from
distance of five hundred yards, 19 85
inches; from one thousand yards, 11 44.
Weight of the gun 10.174 pounds.
To give an idea of our life I give a few
extracts from a diary now before me:
"Dec. 1. News that the Second Divi-
sion has been ordered to Cuba. At news
The Story of The Fortv-ninth.
of moving to Cuba the boye shouted
much Breakfast: hash bread and
coffee. Dinner: I'eefpteak, rotatcep, to
matoes. Warm biscuit for supper. A
rice day "
"Dec. 2nd. S -hoo) in taking new guns
apart. News of g^oing to Cuba confirm-
ed. Had orders to take all badges from
coat or shirt and to wear no ornaments.
"Dec. 3rd. Our last review to be
Tbursda\. A few bets up that wa will
be in Cuba bv Christmas "
'Dec. 4th This is Sunday. Went
to the ci'-y and spent greater part of the
afternoon on the wharf. Saw acres of
baled cotton and miles of ships from
all countries. The Minnewaska was
loading 202nd New York "
"Dec. 5th. Drill in forenoon. Head-
quarters pulling up stakes for depar-
ture to Cuba (?) No special news as to
departure of the regiment — only rumors.
Very coid this morning. Boys ate break-
fast with gloves or mittens and over
coats. Good grub today."
Dec 6th. Cold morning. Review and
parade of entire corps in the city. This
is also pay day. Peddlers are swarming
through the camp."
"Dec. 7th. North Carolina regiment
boards transport for Cuba. Fourteen
men reported absent from parade. A
very nice day; temperature at 7 a. m.,
"Dec 8t,h. No school or parade be-
cause of show at Thunderbolt for offi-
cers. Temperature nine a. m. 37; three
p. m. 47."
"Dec. 9Lh. Because of a little snow
and more rain everything is declared off
except roll calls and guard mount."
This is enough to show how the days
passed. It will be noticed that prepara-
tions were rapidly being made for the
mo\e to Cuba. On Sunday, the 11th,
General Lee and his staff went on bonrd
the transport Panama and left amid the
cheers of a great multitude of people
who lined the wharf.
Some troops had preceded Gen. Lee.
The first to leave were the First North
Carolina, followed in a few days by the
The Fourth Virginia left their camp
on the 15th for the transport which was
to carr} them to Cuba. They were ac-
companied on the transport by the 16l9t
Indiana. The Virginians were anxious
to have the 49lh go with them and some
of them were so much disappointed that
they threatened to throw the Hoosiers
overboard when they got out to sea.
President McKinley visited Savannah
on the 17th accompanied by several
members of his cabinet and by Generals
Lawton and Wheeler. Of course there
was a review of all the troops then
camped in or near Savannah. This re-
view was the last one for us while at
Camp Onward as we left for Cuba on
On Board Transport— Havana Harbor— First Impressions
of Cuba — Our Reception.
Oq Friday, December 16th, we got
orders to pack all extra baggage acd be
prepared to load it on a transport at any
moment. By Saturday evening it was
all ready. Sunday morning about seven-
ty-five array wagons appeared and then
there was a great bustle in camp. A
stranger might have thought that every-
thing was in confusion. He would have
been mistaken In a short time everything
was loaded and at the wharf and by one
o'clock all was loaded except the men
and the things that each one carried.
We were to go on board Monday morn-
ing. The boys celebrated their depar-
ture by bonfires.
Secretary of Agriculture James Wil-
son, who had accompanied President
McKinley on his southern trip, visited
our camp on Sunday. He greeted the
boys cordially, and all were glad to see
Next morning, December 19th, reveille
sounded at about five o'clock. At 7:30
the regiment started for the wharf
After waiting nearby for sometime we
went on board at eleven. The Minne-
waska was the name of our transport.
It was a "sizable" boat, being 46i feet
long, .50 feet wide and nearly 60 feet from
keel to the top of quarter deck. When
we went over the bar at the mouth of
the Savannah river she drew 21 feet, but
after getting to sea she was sunk four
feet more by filling compartments with
The ship left her dock at noon. Two
tugs towed us to the mouth of the river,
a distance of about twenty miles. A
number of ladies, wives of officers, ac-
companied us until we had crossed the
bar, when they returned on one of the
The enlisted men were located on the
second floor below the main deck. The
first floor below was occupied by the
mules and horses. Our quarters were
nothing like I supposed they would be.
Imagine a great big cellar about eight
feet deep with an iron floor. Prom side
to side were rows of 4x4 posts twenty-
two inches apart. These rows of posts
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
were about twelve feet apart. One end
of two hammocks (one about three feet
above the other) was attached to each
post, the other end being attached to a
post in the next row. Thus two men
had a space 22 inches by 12 feet. The
most objectionable thing about these
quarters was water whicd collected on
the iron floor.
The cooking for the one thousand men
on board was done bv steam in big iron
kettles on the main deck, just back of
the principal hatchway. The whole reg-
iment had to file by this place to get
grub. Naturally it took a long time to
The officers were nicely quartered. In
this respect they were much better situ-
ated than when in camp.
Everyone spent most of his time on
the upper deck, looking at the ever
changine sea, but never changing scene,
excepting now and then when a school
of porpoise could be seen. The water
was a deep blue, except the crest of the
waves, where were to be found the
famed white caps. The sailors said we
were hsving very smooth water and fine
weather, Jbut to a landlubber it seemed
we had a pretty stiff breeze from the
south. The boys had to keep their hats
tied on with strings.
Of course the novelty of our surround-
ings had not paled when night came on.
On this first day it was quite cool and
we wore our overcoats. Most of us were
up next morning to see a sunrise at sea.
I had read many fine descriptions of this
magnificent scene but I am not able to
do the subject justice. I can only say
;hat when Old Sol made his appearance
he was there and didn't loiter on the way.
1 will not attempt to describe it but will
refer all who care to investigate the sub-
ject to the works of the many poets who
have treated the subject.
Seasickness was enjoxed by all who
were not affected with it. Those who
had it failed to see the joke.
After leaving the mouth of the Savan-
nah river we were out of land until about
noon next dav. From this time on we
were in sight of the Florida coast all day.
It became quite warm on this day and
overcoats were discarded. The evening
was pleasant and nearly everyone re-
mained on deck until a late hour.
The weather grew very much warmer
on the 21st and much interest was shown
when it became known that we would
reach Havana this evening. About 4:30
o'clock the Cuban coast hove in sight.
A number with phenomenal eyesight and
vivid imaginations claimed they could
see monkeys in cocoanut trees throwing
nuts at natives. About 6:30 the revolv-
ing light on Morro Castle could be seen.
We entered the harbor between eight
and nine o'clock and anchored in the
bay shortly afterwards. As we passed
Morro we could see many persons on the
walls and could hear cheers, or what
seemed to be cheers, for the Spanish
language was used. We also passed a
large ship and their band played "Yankee
Doodle," which was vociferously ap
plauded by our boys. Although the
moon was shining it was too dark to
distinguish objects on the shore.
It was understood that we were anch
ored near the wreck of the Ma.ne
Every man was on deck at daylight.
What was left of the Maine above water
was gazed at with great interest by every
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
man of the 49th.
On all sides wonderful scenes were
realized. The forts looked verv strong.
To the south were hills that were green
with grass. The stars and stripes were
waving over Port Atores, at the end of
Soon after breakfast we proceeded to
the do:!k. A good many Cubans were
about the ship offering cigars and or-
anges for sale. A brisk trade was im-
mediately established, but was soon cut
off by the officers of the regiment, who
seemed to think that somebody would
The mules and horses were first un-
loaded, after which each company quar-
termaster sergeant was furnished a de-
tail of ten men form his company to as-
sist in moving t&e baggage out and load-
ing it on wagons to be taken to camp,
which was about nine miles distant from
the bay. The regiment, except guard
and baggage details, stayed on board all
day Thursday night, and went out to
camp Friday morning.
Being one of the quartermaster ser-
geants I was required to stay on the
wnarf until Saturday night, and in this
way I met a good many Cubans and
Spaniards. The Spanish soldiers were
very friendly, and gave many of the boys
buttons and ornaments from their uni-
forms. They examined our Krag rifleS'
which are not much different from their
Mousers, except that the latter are very
dirty and would cause an American in-
specting officer to have a fit.
The Spanish soldier is undersized and
anything but soldierly in appearance.
Their uniform was a wide brimmed
straw hat, blouse and trousers of some
material very similar togineham. Some
of them wore shoes made of soft white
canvas and with hemp soles. As it was
quite cold (for Georgia) when wo left
Savannah, we wore our heavy blue cloth-
ing. These were examined with interest,
and raanv exclamations b\ both Cubans
and Spaniards. The Spanish soldiers
were all very friendly and man} of them
envied our lot. One of them, who was
only seventeen years old, and had been
in the army three Aears, said that he
would not go back to Spain, but would
go to the United States. He was very
small, weighing not more than one hun-
dred pounds, but was exceptionally
soldierly in appearance, for a Spaniard,
and very bright. He showed me scars
of two wounds that he bad received in
battle, and he wore a gold bidge given
him for special act of bravery. He bad
been a bugler but when we saw him he
was a sergeant of cavalry.
The Cubans frantically received us as
if we were their saviors. When the reg-
iment marched through the city it was
greetec" with loud shouts of "Vive la
Americanos," and bouquets were thrown
at the flag. The buildings were decorat-
ed with both American and Cuban flags,
the former being given the place of
Everything interested us greatly, and
especially the buildings. They are mas-
sive stone structures, mostly two stories
in height, cemented on the outside, and
with no ornamentations. The doors
were heavy and wide. Eyery window
had iron grates but no glass — only wood-
en shutters. The shutters were nearly
always open and one could see clear
through the house to the court beyond.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
This court beloDged to every dwelling,
and was doubtless a very pleasant place,
being filled with flowers, plants, and
banana and orange trees. There is not
a carpet in Havana and but few rugs.
The floors, in the ' -etter class houses, are
of tile, in pretty designs. Among th^
poorer classbs the floors are of rough
stone and some times only dirt. Most of
the streets are very narrow, and in such
streets the sidewalks are sometimes not
more than eighteen inches wide. In the
newer portion of the city, back from
the bay, the streets and sidewalks were
wider. The streets were very dirty as
compared with those of our cities. I
said then that the man who would turn
a big hose on the whole city would ever
after be hailed as a public benefactor.
Early Saturday morning two of us
went up town to get something to eat-
We entered a cafe and sat down at a
table and wondered how we could give
an order, since we knew no Spanish and
the waiters evidently knew no English.
Directly a waiter came and said "caufa
meelka." I sagely nodded but could not
even guess what he meant. He soon
returned with a beer glass on a saucer
for e >ch of us. These he filled to within
an inch of the top with hot milk. Then,
from a metal kettle, he poured enough
of a black liquid to completely fill the
glasses. It was coffee and the best I
had ever drank. In every cafe were
men drinking coffee, but not eating any-
thing except sometimes a small roll.
,^>t. ^.f:V^> v%i.V
A Fatal Accident— A Cuban Scrap — The Hoys Skip out-
Cuban Funerals — Christmas Eve,
A very distressing accident occured on
the first morning after we arrived in
Havana harbor. It was not >-et da3'-
iight when breakfast was ready. As
soon as each fellow got his grub he
w^ould either go down to his quarters or
would seek a place on the upper deck to
eat his morning meal, Hearj Becker,
a member of Co. A, stepped into an open
hatchway and fell to the bottom, a dis-
tance of thirty feet, striking on the iron
floor. Although I helped take him out
I never knew what his injuries were
He was taken to the hospital ship Mis-
souri, which happened to be there, and
in a few days he died.
Like every other man in the ■i9th he
was anxious to see Cuba, its people and
institutions. The goal was reached
early in the night but ere the light of
day came he had met his fate, and he
never opened his eyes in consciousness
on the sights he longed for,
A large number of Cuban stevedores
were employed on the wharf to handle
the baggage and supplies. It was great
fun to watch them. A very
excitable people, are the Cubans. They
were generally dressed in a pair of light
cotton trousers, a thin shirt, canvass
shoes and no socks, and for the most part
without hats. There were a large num-
ber of small cars loaded with supplies,
the motive power of each being three
or four Cubans. Whenever there was a
collision, which was frequent, every last
Cuban would stop work, throw his hands
in the air and all v/ould talk at once.
One would think there was going to be
a big fight in about a minute. However
the scrap always blew over without
The officers of the regiment did not
want the boys to go into the city. There
were two gates that furnished entrance
from the wharf into the city. These
were guarded and it would seem that no
•ne could get through. Before night a
number had been through and seen some
of the sights. One of these was out of
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
tobacco and commenced a search for the
much desired "chewin." After a long
search he returned with a piece of
alleged tobacco that looked like a chunk
of black asphalt. He went to a number
of stores and asked for tobacco. The
clerks always produced some cigars. He
said that he couldn't make anyone un-
derstand him. Directly he saw a negro,
and thinking that his troubles were over
he accosted the colored brother with
"say! can you tell me where I can find
some plug chewing?" The intelligent
son of Ham threw his arms around in
the air and said, "Me no comprehenda."
"What do you think of such a durn
country, Jim," said my blue shirted
friend, "where even the niggers can't
talk United States."
The regiment left the ship for camp
at nine o'clock Friday morning, Dec,
22nd, leaving the baggage and guard de-
tails behind. The baggage of each com-
pany had been placed in piles on the
big covered wharf' A large number of
teams appeared early in the morning and
were loaded with the baggage and sup-
plies and started out to Camp Columbia,
which was to be our home for nearly
After the wagons had been loaded we
had a long wait until their return from
camp, I put in part of this time in
making short excursions into the city.
Street peddlers were numerous and were
selling bread, vegetables, notions, rib
bona, (which were allowed to hang out
from the pack) and other articles. The
dickering was always done at the win-
dows, the peddler without and the ladies
within examining the wares through
the bars of the windows.
I was alo"e and attracted a good deal
of attention, as American soldiers were
new to the people. They were very po-
lite and seemed pleased that the Ara'^ri-
can soldiers had come. At one doorway
were a number of children, .lust as I
passed them some word in English was
spoken that attracted my attention. I
turned back and found that they had
sheets of paper on which were written
words in Spanish translated into Eng-
lish. They were studying English and
v/ere making good progress.
It was on this day that a sight was
witnessed that would have drawn a
large crowd of people had it occured in
any Iowa town. There it attracted very
little attention. An old woman had
died on the street, more than likely of
starvation. When the boys came along
a priest was there. The body of the
poor woman was laid out on the street.
The candles were burning and the
funeral rites were being said over the
When night came about half the goods
had been sent out to camp. The boys
all wanted to go up into the city.
Sergeant Weingartl, of Co. C, Sergeant
Churchill, of Co. D, and myself appoint-
ed ourselves a committee to ask permis-
sion of Col. Ham, who was in command
of the whole detail. He told us that it
would be impossible as the orders were
that not even the officers would be al-
lowed to go. We returned to that part
of the wharf where we were quartered
and found that nearly every one of the
guard and baggage details had disap-
It did not take us long to discover
where they had gone. During the day
The Story of 'Hie Forty-ninth,
soldiers were allowed to pass in and out
at will. Experience had taught the boys
that new orders would be given when
the guard was changed at six o'clock.
Therefore while the highly respected
committeemen were interviewing Col.
Ham the other fellows, to the nuiaber of
a hundred more or less, quietly and
effectually vamoused. We discovered
all this too late, for six o'clock had come
and the guard was changed and had re-
ceived the new orders.
Most of the men had returned by nine
o'clock. The rest straggled in from that
time until midnight. One party had
struck up an acquaintance with some
Spanish soldiers who were off duty
They pronounced the Spaniards fine fel
On the morning of Saturday, the 24th,
the wagons were on hand early. The
day was much like the preceding one.
About four o'clock I left on one of the
wagons for camp. We had to pass
through the city from east to west. Af-
ter we had passed through the old part
of the city, and reached the newer por-
tion, we found the streets much wider
and the buildings much better. When
we had gotten into the western suburbs,
beyond the influence of the Sbanish pro-
vost guards, we saw many Cuban fl^g^^
together with the stars and stripes.
The people were enthusiastic and seemed
gloriously happy because the American
soldiers had come and would soon take
the place of the Spanish troops.
On every side were interesting sight?.
We met two funeral processions,. The
tirst was while wc were still in the
city. It consisted onlv of a hearse to
which were hitched four finely harnessed
horses The driver was dressed in a
flashy uniform and wore a three corner-
ed hat. The undertaker, who sat on the
seat with the driver, wore a similar uni-
form as to cut and shape, but it had no
bright colors, all a somber black. The
second funeral party was seen in one of
the outer suburbs, and consisted of ten
or twelve men, all on foot. The coffin
was being carried on the shoulders of
six of the men. The manner of dispos-
ing of the dead, in Cuba, w ill be ex-
plained in a future chapter.
I arrived in camp in time for
supper. This being Christmas eve the
boys indulged in much conjecture as to
whether Santa Claus would visit our
camp. A good manv socks, such as
Uncle Sam furnished at six cents a pair,
were hung up.
Oil bfid 3j j;.-!
ayS 1o b^jfejfeo ■
.VA -.if] Hi ^^ ,5,.
tiio aJHiv biuov;
,-iJsq 8 aineo xife
Christmas—Reo-iment Goes Swimming— We Have A Fine
Camp — Graybacks — Appear.
The bugles wakened ua Cbristmaa
morning. Santa Claua had failed to
visit the camp. A good many reasons
were given for his non appearance. Some
said that the reindeer couldn't stand the
climate. Others claimed that Santa
only remembered good boys, and there
were none in Cuba, aside from ourselves,
and that he had not received notice of
our departure from God's country. There
were many reasons why it seemed un-
like Christmas. There were no ill en-
crusted tree branches, no snow on the
ground and consequently no pretty girls
wondering if Charley would show up
with a horse and cutter. The weather
was as warm as a July day. Everybody
was in their shirt sleeves.
Not only was it Christmas but i was
also Sunday. Morning services were
held in front of headquarters. Chaplain
Mason preached an eloquent sermon,
the text being "The Star in the East.
Peace on earth, good will to men."
On our right, this is to the northeast,
were camped our old friends of the 4th
Virginia. On the other side of our camp
was a vacant piece of ground on which
the 6th Missouri afterwards encamped-
Just beyond was the town of Quemodos.
Marianes was a short distance beyond
Quemodos. In fact the two towns were
After dinner it was announced that
the regiment would go to the beach for
a swim. The opportunity for going
swimming on Christmas day was too
good for Hawkeyes to miss, besides a
bath was badly needed. The sea was in
plain sight of camp and seemed about a
mile and a half distant. Soon the regi-
ment was formed, everyone with his
Krag rifle and twenty-five rounds of
ammunition. With Major Clapp in
command we started.
When we arrived at the beach we
found a village inhabited by two or three
hundred Cubans. A little bay here
furnished a harbor for fishing smacks
and other small vef sels. Very soon after
arriving the boys of the 49th were hav-
ing a bully good time splashing about
in "Old Ocean."
When I had got my fill of swim I put
on my clothes, and taking my gun, I
went to the village where I found a
The Story of The Fortv-ninth,
mercaQtile establishment, which a
double conceotrated optimist raight
have been excused for calling a grocery
store. In this store was a barrell con-
spicuously labeled "Vino." In United
States talk this meant wine. What was
inort appropriate than that I should
mark the experiences of the day by tak-
ing a small glass of wine? So producing
a nickel 1 beckoned to the half naked
clerk, and, in what had to go for Spanish
said "Vino, cinco centavo, Americano
monee." 1 really wanted to invest a
dime but not knowing Spanish for ten I
was compelled to content m; self with
what I feared would be half rations.
But when a large goblet, holding not
less than a pint, was handed to me, I
folt that this was surely the land where
milk and honey and such like abounded.
I took a big swallow and discovered that
it was about the sourest and most bitter
substance that ever found its way to my
The name of this village is Playa. In
pronouncing the name you should bear
down on the middle letter and make it
good and broad. In the upper end of
the town is an ancient looking structure
built of stone. It is round and sixteen
to eighteen feei in diameter and about
twenty feet high. In early times it
served the double purpose of a block
house and a lighthouse. At night a fire
would be built on its top, where it served
a star of hope to the weary mariner. I
think I am justified in saying he was
weary, when 1 remember that all the
natives of the island seemed to be suffer-
ing from that tired feeling."
Near the stone tower, half buried in
the sand and fast rusting into nothing-
ness is an old cannon, that may hare
done service two hundred years ago,
A nondescript railway runs from
Playa, via Quemodos and Marianeo to
Havana. There were quite a number of
fair residences in the village, and before
the war it was quite a pleasure resort.
In the little bay is an old wreck. One
day I swam out to it. Very little of it
remains but the iron work.
Many of the boys slipped away from
their companies and soon there were
many stras^glers to be rounded up.
Major Clapp kept his horse pretty much
on the jump getting the boys into their
proper places in line. We arrived in
camp just about supper time when the
eagle eyes of the top sergeants soon as-
certained that all were present. There-
fore the Major was able to retire to the
solitude of his couch full of the concious-
ness that none of his soldier boys had
been kidnapped, or poisoned or other-
wise ill used by any lurking enemy,
while the good little soldier boys them-
selves were all safely tucked away in bed
by the non-coms and sound asleep ere
the bugles had sounded their mournful
taps. Across the angelic features of the
sleepers played smiles that told of happy
dreams of another land where Santa
Claus never failed to visit on Christmas,
The first day after Christmas it rained
all day and everybody, except guard and
fatigue details, had to stay in their
tents* During the time before New
Year's no passes were issued.
We had six different permanent camps
during our term of service. This, which
was known as Camp Columbia, was by
all odds the best of the six. The only
drawback was in the soil. It was a vel-
Tlie Story of J he Forty-ninth.
low clav, and after a rain it would stick
to the feet very badly. The tents wore
all new, and were of the kind known as
hospital, with high walls. We also had
good folding cots issued to us. After ^9
had put in floors we were nicely fixed.
The only fences to be seen wure of
stone. They were substantially built
and would have made a splen-
did protection in case of a scrap.
There is no better water to be found
any where than in this part of Cuba. At
first we had some difficulty in getting it
as it had to be hauled. Afterwards it
was piped to us.
We also had difficulty in getting fuel.
A diary before me mentions that on the
28th we had to eat hardtack and canned
corned beef for supper because there
was no wood to cook with. The only
fuel we ever got was shipped on the
railroad, and was poor staff.
Everyone was anxious to get mnil. A
few letters came on the 26th. It was
sometime before mail began to arrive
with any regularity. A military post-
office had to be established and a force
organized to handle the large mails as
they arrived from the states.
My diary of December .30th mentions
that graybacks are in the company.
This was not the first time that these
pests had made their appearance in our
camp. The first time that the insects
showed up was soon after we went into
camp at Jacksonville. Company G was
invaded by the vermin before Company
D was. Shortly afterwards there was
some bantering being indulged in be-
tween members of these two companies.
They guyed each other unmercifully.
Directly someone asked, "What's Ggot?"
A number of voices in D company
answered, 'G's got graybacks." Prompt-
ly came back from G, "You bet we have,
and we are proud of it. That makes us
veterans." I have heard many old sol-
diers say that it was impossible to get rid
of graybacks. That was not our exper-
ience. Clothing infested with them if
boiled in salt water always did the busi-
ness. Of course there would be a man
now and then who made no effort to get
rid of them. There was one such in our
company whose clothing was fairly alive
with them. We will call him Smith be-
cause there was no man of that name in
the company. Some of the boys said
that these particular graybacks were
well raised and that they wore splendidly
trained in military drill, and always exe-
cuted the movements on the back of
Smith's blue army shirt. One very
truthful lad said he once witnessed a
review by a big buck grayback tha*^ had
horns. He said that as the companies
marched by they put up a better "front"
than the North Caroleenians could have
done. One day when the company was
resting from a drill, in the shade of a
tree, one fellow observed Smith digging
away down the back of his neck under
his shirt collar, and ejaculated: "Gee
whiz! Smith, why don't you get a
In the diary I find a memorandum of
some of the prices that prevailed when
we first landed. They are as follows:
eggs, 10 cents each; butter, SI 85 cents
per pound; turkeys $8.00 each; kerosene,
$1.00 per gallon; oranges, American mon-
ey, five for 5 cents, and in Spanish mon-
ey, three for 5 cents.
When the Spanish Flag Was Lowered — A Visit to the City
And the Stranofe Siefhts.
January 1, 1899, was the day on which
the Spanish authorities were to transfer
the reins of government to the Ameri-
cans. It was arranged that there should
be a big parade. On Saturday night,
Dec. 31st, forty five rounds of ammuni-
tion were issued to each man. The
orders directed that each man should
carry his rifle, canteen filled with coftee,
and haversack with one ration. The
uniform campaign hats, blue shirts,
khaaki trousers and leggins. We left
camp about 7:30 o'clock on the morning
of Jan. 1st. Much of the distance was
over a rough by-road, which took our
brigade to the north side of the city, and
to a point directly across the neck of
the bay from Morro Castle, All along
the water front here are heavy fortifica-
tions. After resting nearly an hour we
entered the city. It is impossible for
me to describe the scenes wh ch we wit-
nessed. When I say to you that you
may put together all the Fourth of July
celebrations you ever saw, and then add
all the political rallys of a life ^-ime.
When you have done this you will only
have a very small side show compared
to what we saw. Flags, both United
States and Cuban, waved everywhere,
and the people cheered constantly. Very
often the words were in English, which
the people seemed to have learned for
the occasion. "Hurrah for America
flag," was most often heard. It was my
fortune to be chief of the platoon (we
were marching in column of platoons)
to which the color guard of the 49ch was
attached. When the colors appeared
the people seemed to go crazy. I saw
old men and women who had suffered
many cruelties inflicted by Spain, with
tears of joy coursing down their cheeks.
We marched fully twenty miles, fifteen
of which was through streets lined with
people, snd there was the same noise and
hurrah, the whole distance. Did we
answer their cheers? You who were not
there should have heard us. One fellow,
who had a voice that caused angels to
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
wepp and strong men to swear, was
hoarse for a week afterwards. We
wished that all of Iowa could have been
with us. It was worth the long march
and a good share of the hardships we
There were lots of prettv girls, and
there would have been more if so many
of them did not powder their faces so
much. Whenever a bevy of these girls
were to be sean the boys would give
three cheers and a tiger. It was the
tiger ihat caujiht them. They had never
heard anything like it.
This was th:* first occasion on which
we had seen Gen. Lee since we had been
in Cuba. It must have been a proud
day for him, for it will be remembered
that one year before, when he left
Havana, where ho had been Consul
General, he promised to come back with
When we got back to camp we were
all very tired It had been a great day,
although 1 am afraid some of the boys
did not fully appreciate its full signifi-
cance. There were always a great many
of the boys who simply couldn't see the
serious side of army life. If they did
see it they refused to let it influence
them very much. It is better so. The
fellows who were full of life, as a rule,
failed to get sick. Other men who put
in a portion of their time worrying saw
more or less service iu the hospitals.
During the two days following the
ceremony on the 1st, it rained. On the
fourth it was clear and most of the
time was put in building floors for our
tents. The paymaster also appeared
and payed off the regiment.
After -January 1st, a limited number
of men from each company were allowed
to go to the city in charge of an officer.
On the first Sunday following th^ big
parade, Lieut. Crawford chaperoned six
enlisted- men, of which the writer was
one. As early as possible we proceeded
to the depot at Quaraodos, near our
camp, where the lieutenant politely in-
formeu the ticket agent that we wanted
tickets to Havana. The agent fired back
a lot of Spanish talk, all the time waving
his arms iu the air. This is character-
istic, of all Spaniards and Cubans.
Tie their hands behind them and they
Tjre as dumb as an oyster. After much
difficulty we learned that the fare was
thirty cents in Spanish money, or twen-
ty three cents in United States currency
for the round trip. We boarded the
cars and were soon under way to the
city. The train was made up of first,
second and third class cars. The first
class were a little more comfortable than
a freight car caboose in this country.
The third class have plain board seats
without backs. The coaches are built
on the same plan as the passenger
coaches of this country, but are dilapi-
When we arri\ed in the city we found
that we must walk a distance of a mile
or two before we were in the business
center. We might have rode in their
street cars, but one look at those back
numbers satisfied us that walking was
to be preferred. The street cars are not
exactly patatial in their furnishings.
Mules furnished the motive power. So
we walked. We soon learned that we
had done the right thing, for on every
side was something new. The people.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
the buildings, and every thing in fact
were strange and interesting. On the
streets everywhere were men and women
offering for sale a very few useful arti-
cles, and many, very many, other articles
that were entirely useless.
Provost guards were to be found on
every side. The very best order pre-
vailed everywhere. I did not see a
drunken man all day, although liquors
were sold in all of the numerous cafes,
and each had placards on which was
printed, in both English and Spanish,
an order of General Ludlow, the military
governor, forbidding the sale of intoxi-
cating liquors to soldiers. The order
was obeyed to the letter. Although
Havana is a large city its business
houses are smnll. The drug stores are
apothecary shops, pure and simple. No
patent mediciness and no glass
bottles for liquids, only white porcelain
jars. There were no numerous show
cases filled with toilet articles and the
like. A cigar case in a drug store would
be a nine days wonder. Although
small, some of the stores are elegant. .
In one portion of the city the narrow
streets are entirely covered with awnings
stretched from buidings just above the
first floors. This gives a unique ap
pearance to the streets and is very pleas-
ant on hot days.
Prices were apparently high, but it is
because they were always quoted in
Spanish money. They would give us
prices in United States money, but the
difference usually did not equal the diff-
erence in the value of the two moneys
In order to be safe it was best for us to
get our money exchanged into the Span-
ish article. For that purpose we entered
a " Cambio de moneda," or money ex-
change, where we got fourteen dollars
Spanish money (less twenty cents for ex-
change) for a ten dollar bill. This place
would have interested an Iowa banker.
It was about twent) feet square. A
counter without screens diyided the
room. On the counter was a show case
with a display of money. Behind the
counter was a large safe and a man whose
only words were, "Me no speak English.'
This was a bank or money exchange, and
fairly represented in appearance all
others we saw.
COLOR SERGEANT AND GUARDS.
THE THREE GRACES.
READY FOR INSPECTION OF QUARTERS.
CAMP COLUMBIA, CUBA.
TORREY's Rough riders.
OLD DEWEY, THE 49TH WAR EAGLE.
OLD DEWEY'S BURIAL PLACE AT VINTON.
Pineapi)les and Bananas Shut Out — Senoritas Visit Camp —
Cuban Funerals And Cemeteries.
About the middle of January orders
were issued against soldiers bringing
bananas and pineapples into camp, and
another order directing that the floors
in the tents should be raised, and still
another order prohibiting visits to cem-
eteries without a pass for that purpose.
The first two orders indicated that Col.
Dows was enforcing rules that should
have been in vogue in every regiment in
the army, but which is too often neglect-
ed in volunteer organizations. About
the time we would get comfortably set-
tled in camp, with floors in our tents,
along would come an order to raise the
floors eighteen inches and to sprinkle
lime on the ground underneath. Nearly
everything had to be whitewashed once
a week. The floors had to be scrubbed
three times a week while we were in
Cuba. A solution of carbolic acid was
put into the water used in scrubbing.
The policing of the camp was an im-
portant daily duty. Details of men, us-
ually under command of a corporal.
went over the ground every morning
with a fine toothed rake. They were re-
quired to pick up every little piece of
paper etc, even if it was no larger than
one's thumb nail. In this way the gen
eral appearance of the camp was always
neat and clean.
The boys used to kick about the rule
prohibiting the. bringing into camp of
bananas, pineapples etc, although they
recognized the necessity for it. Of
course the rule was violated, and such
things had to be smuggled in. The con-
sumption of these articles was reduced
to a minimum. The army ration is the
best food a soldier can have. Other
things used to excess are more likely to
cause disease in the army than at home.
Hence the reason that pineapples,
bananas and melons were forbiddon.
The adherance to sanitary rules pays
and it may be said that the 49th had a
splendid reputation in this respect.
The order against soldiers visiting
cemeteries was issued because certain
The Ston' of The F^orty-nmth.
dnprpflatinnM had ''een committed hy
B'lmB poMi'-rs. Those crepredatinna con-
sisted princfpa'lv in rf-movintj artificial
flnwfTs with which man\' <<? th^- rraves
were dncorated. Guards were placed at
th« different cfme'eiies. after which no
more trnnhle was reported.
It "as announced one dav that an en-
tertainment would he yiven at the bior
tent, commonly called the Y. M. O. A,
tent, on that night h>' a nnraber of Cu-
ban sennritas from the citv. It is need-
]pqs to pav that there was a bi? "house."
My rer-ollection now is that there wore
three vonng ladies, all sisters, and their
brother and two other youngr men, one
of whom was an American Baptist
minister located at Havana The Cuban
Voung people were the children of a
native Baptist minister. I believe his
name was Diaz. At all events it was
said that his chnrch was the only pro-
tectant organization in the city. The
oldest girl and her brother had been
teachers in Havana, '^heir object was
to organizf^ a class in Spanish. This was
done during the evening, a large number
"enlisting." with the expectation that
the pretty senorita was to be the
teacher of this particular class.
The entertainment consisted of a
speech by the preacher, who was frona
"No'th Ca'liny" and said "you all" twen-
ty-seven times by the watch, a talk by
the young Cuban and singing by ths
senoritas. All the songs were in Span"
ish, except one; the "Star Spangled Ban-
ner" was sung in English, or what had to
to go for English. Had you heard it you
would have admitted that it was the
most thoroughly mangled piece of bunt-
ing you ever knew.
Among the many things thst interest-
ed us were the funerals and the way they
dispose of their dead. There are no long
funeral proces-Jions in Cuba as in thie-
coun'r\. If the deceased was well to da
a fine send otf was given him. The cof-
fin was put vnto a magnificnnt hearse
drawn by a fine pair ot f^mrse-^. The
driver and undertaker, both of whom
wear a unifortn with a three cornered
bat, mount the seat and drive away to
to the cemeterv, where the remains are
buried. If the late lamented had beect
prominent and accounted a great leader,
then a big parade is bad. Sometimes
several hearses are driven in the parad&
as in the case of Gen. Garcia. At^ Lis
funeral, which occured while we were
in Havana, ten horses were used to draw
In the case of the middle classes, if
the distance to the cemetery is not toa
great, the coffin is carried on the shoul-
cers of the pallbearers. It is no uncom-
mon sight to see little funeral proces-
sions of this kind. If the family of the-
deceased is very poor no coffin is used.
Sometimes that article is rented until
the grave is reached, where the body is
taken out and buried, and the coffin re-
turned to the undertaker to be used
One day some of the boys of the 49tb
were at a cemetery near our camp, wheis
an undertaker's cart drove up to the pot-
ter's field, just outside the walls of the
cemetery. The driver and the grave-
digger took the body of a woman from
the cart. The woman was enshrouded
in a single garment — an old dress. This
was removed, and without a single
stitch of clothing, the body was literally
The Story of Tlie Forty-ninth.
dumped into ihf^ iTi-HV3, whi(th wh-< th^-n
Slied up. Thero is no explanation to
■offer for the removal of thu dress. It
may have b^^Hn the only compensation
for thn yrave (iit^tfer.
The furipral, or dead carts, werf' queer
iookintt vehicles. Mounted on two
wheels WHS a box shaped affair, about
three feet svide, six feet lonir atjd two arid
a half feet hitjh, with a door in the rear
■end Cross boo s are painted on each
side. Th«se carts are used for the poor
In the city of Havana were dead carts
used to haul the dead paupers. It was
tio unusual thiny to find corpses l>ing
upon the street. These bodies and thof»Q
of other paupers, taken out to Colon
cemetery and left at the "Casa de!
Muerte," or house of the dead.
One day several of us concluded to
visit Colon cemetery, on the outskirts of
Havana, wherein we had previously
learned were intered the retnains of
those who had perished when the Maine
was blown up. After a fatiguing tramp
of several miles across creek and mf»ad-
ows, through thickets and brambles, and
up aud down the grassy slopes of num-
erous hills, we at length reached the
famous old cemetery which wag natned
in honor of the world's most famous nav-
igator — Christopher Columbus, or Cris
tobal Colon, as Spanish speaking people
call him. It is a queer institution, this
old hurrying ground of centuries, about
a mile in length by three-quarters of a
mile in width, inclosed with a fence or
wall about fourteen feet in height, with
alternate panels, probably forty feet in
length, of thick, sculptured stone and
heavy ornamental iron grating. The
gates were io -kf-d, but that did not deter
us in the sliiihtesT. for we soon found a
loose iron bar in the wall and ewch of us
succeeded in f^queezinir ihrouuh. Then
we started upon our tour of observation
and it is oeedleps to add that it was a
vei V thorouiih otie before returning to
Not very far from the place in the wal
through which we had gained ad^rission
to the cemetery we found a ^arye pile of
skeletons stacked up beneath a tree, and
close to it were a number of workmen
engaged in the pleasant and cheerful
occupation of disintering others and
adding thetn to the collection beneath
the tree. Nearby a fir-" composed of rot-
ten coffins bwTned sullenly and poluted
the atniosphere with the fumea of its
sickening smoke. We silentU stood by
and watched the workmen labor at their
gruesome task until their shovels brought
up to view the'livid and distorted feat-
ures of a hadly decomposed corpse; then
We met a citizen before we had gone
very far from the trench and fire and
pile of bones, and in reply to questions
he stated that burial lots in the cemetery
were so dear that only the wealthy could
afford to purchase them outright; that
when a poor man died his friends rented
a grave for him at so much per annum,
and that when the rent was left unpaid
for a certain length of time the remains
were disintered and thrown upon the
bone pile and the grave leased to another
occupant. It seemed to me to be a most
cruel and monstrous custom to dig up a
man's bones and stack them up under a
tree just because his friends are too pov-
erty stricken to pay the rent on a two by
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
six plot of ground. As I muse thus the
thought occurs to me that man is the
only animal who will wilfully and inten-
tionally disturb the dead of his own
kind, and that despite his veneering ot
culture and civilization he is every bit as
much ot a brute at heart as any other
member of God's animal kingdom. As
I looked at the great piles of bones and
grinning skulls, I said to myself: "These
were once filled with life. That skull,
perhaps, once cradled a brain that
dreamed of schemes for the betterment
of mankmd, and for the liberation of an
enslaved people. That small one un-
doubtedly belonged to some prattling
child vvho never knew the trials and sor-
rows and troubles of its elders."
Near the middle of the cemetery we
located the two humble mounds beneath
which repose, in their last sleep, the
bodies of those who went down with the
Maine. You would not know the graves
unless someone pointed them to 3'ou, as
was done in our case. A cheap wooden
cross, with a simple inscription in Span-
ish painted upon it, is all that had been
done to indicate the place.
We then visited the Casa del Muerte,
or dead house, connected with the ceme-
tery, before returning to camp. This is
located at the southern gate. Our curi-
osity prompted us to learn the manner
in which Havana disposed of its pauper
dead, which in recent years has been
very numerous. An obliging cemetery
employe, whom we met at the gate, in
reply to our questions concerning the
dead house, kindly volunteered to pilot
us to and through it. Through a long,
low, rambling stone building, filled with
a numerous assortment of rooms — for
the house is inhabited by the many
cemetery employes as well as Havana's
dead paupers. Some of the rooms were
used as kitchens, dining rooms, bed
rooms, parlors offices, storage rooms for
the effects of the unknown dead or
cofHns for the reception of the wealthy
and more aristocratic who die in their
own beds, stablea for horses, granaries
buggy and hearse rooms, the entire
heterogeneous collection massed beneath
a common roof. Our guide led us to the
grated door of ihe casa del muerte and
politely motioned for us to enter. We
did so and in an awed manner looked
around upon the scene of death. Along
the center of a low room, twenty feet
wide by fifty feet long, were standing a
row of heavy tables with two or three
long, shallow, narrow, coverless oaken
boxes resting upon each, and in these
boxes lay the remains of human beings
like ourselves, whose breasts were once
sentient with the throbbings of health
and hope. Although as naked as when
they came into the world, you could see
nothing of the dead save the head, hands
and feet; all other portion of the frame
were concealed beneath thick little heaps
of quicklime, for this was the local mode
of practicing cremation.
The casa del muerte is both a morgue
and a crematory, and the reason whv the
faces of the dead are left uncovered by
the chemical so long is because the au-
thorities hoped that someone will come
foreward to identify the remains of the
unknown before the final process is
adopted: and also because the head and
feet yield more quickly to the corosive
effect of the chemical than any other
portion of the frame. If no one claims
The Story of The Forty-nnith,
the corpse, witbin a certain length of
time, quiokiiiiie is heaped upon the head,
feet and hands, and after its disintegrat-
ing work has been completed the skele-
ton is removed from the house and
thrown into a deep pit close by the cem
«tery, to keep company with the thous-
ands of others, which have preceded it.
Some of the cadavers were almost des-
troyed, in others the process was only
half completed, while still others were
■evidently new arrivals, for the quicklime
heaped upon them was pure and white,
«s though it had 3ust been placed there,
as was evidently the case. Ljingin one
cer>uer of the room io all positions.
where they had been unceremoniously
dumped out of a dead wagon a few min-
utes previous to our arrival, were the re-
mains of five or six paupers found around
the city that morning. They were still
covered by the rage in which they had
died, and were awaiting the process of
When our eyes had taken io all the
room and its lugubrious details we decid-
ed to return to camp, for we had seen
enough horrors for the time being. In
years to come even the sight of an inno-
cent lime barrel will be sufficient to con-
jure up to our minds a vision of the casa
del muerte of Colon cemetery.
The Big Spring— Insane Asylum— Female Soldiers— Eight
Days March Into the Interior.
One dav during the latter part of Jan-
uary, the Second Battalion hiked to the
springs. Pilling our canteens with coffee
and our haversacks with grub we left
camp early one morning. From Marianeo
we went south. Three or four miles out
we came to a big sugar plantation with
its big mills. Piom this point we follow-
ed the railroad, and es there is no wagon
road here, we were compelled to walk on
the track. About ten o'clock we arrived
at our first stopping place, the big spring,
which is the source of water supply for
Havana and is sixteen miles from that
city. The spring, or several springe, are
enclosed within an immense stone wall
about thirty feet high. The water is
onducted through a tunnel from this
enclosure. The tunnel passes under a
deep and rapid stream. Two blocK
houses are standing on high ground near
the spring. A guard is kept here all the
time. At the time we were there Com-
pany B had twelve men doing the guard
A large insane asylum vs located not
far from this place, and was visited by a
number of the bo}s. I wad told that
there were over a thousand inmates a
few years ago, but that starvation and
death had reduced the number to about
At one o'clock we again started on the
march, intending to go to camp by
another loute. This covered a distance
of about twelve miles. We passed over
what had at one time been a prominent
thoroughfare, but was then grown up in
grass. Although it was a hard march
no one regretted it, for we saw lots of
things we could have seen in no other
way. We passed a number of places
that had, at one time, been magnificant
plantations. At one place the buildings
were occupied by a number of families.
What had once been a fine a<vu,orpark,
with fountain and summer house, had
been plowed up and a fine crop of to-
bacco was growing. Apparently not
more than one acre in a hundred was in
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
cnltivation. ThnsH thintxs wk saw grow-
ing WPTH pineapples, nrantreH, bananas,
tobacco, sviijar cane and one or two small
fields of r>rettv poor corn, as viewed from
an Iowa standpoint.
One day I visited the Cuban hospital,
which is located on the road about one
mile be\ond Marec.neo. This hospital
was only for those w ho had bpen wound-
ed Most were fl>^sh wounds, but there
were several pretty bad cases. One man
had been shot through the head and was
getting well. Two were V)o>s only thir-
teen years old. About two thirds of ihe
patients were negroes. Ever; thing was
clean and seemed to he in good shape.
In a Cuban camp, a few miles from our
regiment was a company, numbering
forty or fifty, composed entirely of
women. They had been through the
entire war with the Spaniards, and had
participated in all the discomforts and
dangers. Their leader was a \oung
woman, whose mother was murdered by
the Spaniards. Before that time I had
always doffed my hat to the fair sex be-
cause they are good to look upon, and
are handy to have around, when one is
hungry, or begins to "hanker" for his
flannels when the winter winds begin to
howl. Since then I have other reasons
for endorsing the sentiment of "long life
and eternal sunshine to womankind."
One Sunday, while in the city, I visit-
ed the battle ship Texas. A sailor show-
ed us over the entire ship, from upper
deck to the lowest point in the hold,
where the boilers are. We examined,
with great interest, the places where the
vessel had been struck by the Spaniard's
big bullets when Servera tried to escape
from Santiago harbor. The places had
been so skillfully repaired and painted
that a landsmat-i would not notice them
unless his attention was called to them.
The crBw consisted of about four hun-
dred offii^ers and men. Visits to the
shore were very rare. Captain Phillip,
who commanded the ship at Santiago,
was wpII beloved by the men, who said
that he was a fighter. The commander
of the ship at the time we visited it, was
Captain .Sigshee, who went down with
the Maine He was not so well liked.
On Pebruarv 20th our brigade, con-
sisting of the^th Virginia, 49th Iowa and
6ih Missouri, started on what is gener-
ally known as "The March." We ex-
pected to start Sa'^urday the 18th, but
on Friday orders came changing f'-e
time to Sunday. It rained hard all Sat-
urday night, which caused a postpone-
ment to Monday morning, the20th. This
time nothing interfered and we started
at 8:.S0 o'clock. Every mar, except those
detailed with the wagons and the com-
missioned officers, carried his rifle, bayo
net, belt with twenty five rounds of
ammunition, canteen filled with coffee,
haversack with mess outfit and grub con •
sistec" of bacon and bread or hard tack
as each man preferred. After the first
day however the option narrowed to
hard tack and bacon or bacon and hard
tack. The most bulky as well as the
most contrary burden was our blanket
rolls. This is made by first spreading
out on the ground the half of a dog tent.
On this is spread the blanket The rest
of the outfit, consisting of tent stakes
change of underwear, etc., is then dis-
tributed along the middle. The whole
is then tightly rolled up and tied with
strings. It looks something like a huge
The Story of The Forty-ninth,
bologna sausage. The ends are tied to-
gether and it is put on like some lodge
regalias. I don't fenow just what the
whole business weighed but before noon
I would have sworn that mine was as
heavy as a horse. Of course I don't
mean a Clydesdale but just a common
For the benefit of those who never saw
an army on the march I will explain how
the column was made up. First of all
came 'Uncle Henry," (Gen. Hasbrouck)
our brigade commander, followed by his
staff, orderlies and bearer of the brigade
colors, all on horseback. Next was an
ambulance with the headquarters equip-
ag e. After this came the three reg-
ments in following order: 4th Virginia
49th Iowa, 6th Missouri. Each regiment
was formed in the following manner.
First the colonel followed by his staff
and mounted orderly; next comes the
band, followed by the different compan-
ies. The men march in columns of four
with the file closers on the right. We
marched through Marianeoat attention,
with bands playing and flags flying, but
as soon as we arrived at the outskirts of
the town Major Blocklinger commanded
"Route step, march!" Immediately guns
were shifted to the left shoulder or car-
ried over the shoulder by the straps, and
talking began. "What did you talk
about" you ask. Well, I can hardly say,
but most generally someone was getting
joshed proper. No jollier crowd ever
went picnicing. At 10:20 we stopped for
a few minutes rest. At 11:55 we made a
45 minute stop near a banana grove for
rest and grub, and at 12:30 we filled our
canteens with water from a large tank
which each regiment had for that pur-
pose. At 2:40 we turned to the leh and
pitched camp in a hay field. Everybody
was tired and hungry. As soon as th&
wagons came up fires were built and the
cooks were busy getting supper. I for-
got to mention that the wagon trains
were in the rear of the last regiment-
Each regiment has its own train. Each
company had two four-mule wagons to-
carry the grub, wood, cooking outfit and
officers tent and baggage. As we carried
ten days' supplies we had big loads. The
day had been hot but the road was very
good being a turnpike. Our diiection
had been southwest and the distance
traveled was sixteen miles.
Tuesday morning we broke camp at
8 o'clock and were soon on the road.
After going about three miles we struck
a village. Here we left the turnpike and
went due south. The road was very bad,
stony and not much traveled. We
soon passed through another village.
The houses, many of them built of bark^
were all covered with thatch, except a
block house which was covered with tile.
After passing through this town we
stopped two hours and had dinner. The
boys foraged a little here and soon came
back aded with oranges andcocoanuts.
Our guide said it was only three miles
to San Antonio, where we were to go intc
camp for several days, but the distance-
must have been measured with an elastic
chain, for it was the longest three miles
I ever knew. It was a very hot day and
about a mile out of the town I fell out
and went to grass where I staid only a
few minutes. I had lots of company, in
fact the ambulances were crowded. I
fought shy of those vehicles and trudged
along until I caught up with my regi-
PRIVATE HENRY BECKER. Co. A; died at Savannah. Ga.. January 3. 1899. from injuries received
from falling' down open hatchway of transport. December 23. 189S, Havanna harbor Cuba.
PRIVATE CHARLES LOBDELL. Co. A; died September 22. 1S9S, of typhoid fever.
CORPORAL FRED E. WILLIER. Co. B; died October 13. 1S9S, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE DANIEL A. MILLER. Co. B; died October 27. 1S9S. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE GEORGE W. VAN LOON. Co. B; died October 2. 189S. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE FRANK E. WREN. Co. B; died September 30. 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE DAVID M. McCORD. Co. C; died October 5, 1898, of typhoid fever.
CORPORAL WILLIAM J. RUDISILL. C >. C; died March 28, 1899, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE GEORGE S. BLOOD. Co. D; died September 21. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE GIRD M. CRASPER. Co. D: died September 2S. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE FRANK H. RUBENHAGEN. Co. D; died September 4, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE OLIVER R. WALLER. Co. D; died October 23. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE WILL E. DORMAN. Co. E; died September 20. 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE CHARLES HELMICK. Co. E: died September 5. 1898. of malarial remittent fever.
PRIVATE ALONZO L. HARTMAN. Co. E; died September 10, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE EDWARD W. LIZER. C?. E; died Ausrust 24, 189S, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE FRANK J. McKRAY. Co. E; died October 13, 1898, of typhoid fevdV.
PRIVATE OTTO E. NELSON, Co. E; died October 20. 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE MORSE A. WOLCOTT, Co. E; died September 23, 189S, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE JOSEPH CREVIER, Co. F; died October 26. 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE ARTHUR D. CRIST. Co. F: died January 16. 1899. of inguinal hernia.
PRIVATE HARRY H. STAININGER, Co. F; died Octocer 5. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE CLARENCE F. WARREN. Co. F; died October 23, 189S. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE JOSEPH R. WILSON, Co. F; died September 27, 189S, of typhoid fever.
FIRST LIEUTENANT GUY KELLOGG. Co. G; died Aiisust 21. 189S. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE CLARENCE DEARMIN. Co. G: died October 28, 189S. of typiioid fever.
PRIVATE EMIL C. FRAHM, Co. G; died October 5. 1898, of typiioid fever.
PRIVATE HARRY W. KERLIN. Co. G: died October 9. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE WILLIAM E. SPEER. Co. G; died September 25, 1898. of typiioid fever.
PRIVATE IVAN E. SHOTWELL. Co. G; died January 9. 1899. of appendicitis.
PRIVATE CLAUS HANSON, Co. H; died August 24, 1898. of typhoid fever.
CORPORAL JAMES T. FURNESS. Co. H; died September 11. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE MILAN H. KEELER, Co. H; died October 22, 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE EDWARD KLC)STEMANN. Co. H; died February 20. 1899, of typiioid fever.
PRIVATE GUS MOSIER. Co. H; died February 23. 1899. of typiioid fever.
PRIVATE OLE LUNDSTRUM, Co. H; died March 9, 1899, of intestinal hemorrhage.
SERGEANT ALBERT M. STEWART, Co. I; died August 25, 1898, of typhoid fever.
CORPORAL FRANK M. RUPP, Co. I; died September 15, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE JOSEPH M. BASTEN, Co. I; died September 14, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE JOHN E. CHAMPLIN, Co. I; died October 12, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE MICHAEL DEEGAN, Co. I; died November 9, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE H^NS E. ENDESTAD, Co. I; died September 30, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE OLE H. EVENSON. Co. I; died October 2o, 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE FRANK C. TRUMBULL. Co. I; died September 23, I898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE THOMAS L. WILSON, Co. I; died Sepneniber 5. 1898, of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE GEORGE LENDRUM, Co. K; died September 7, 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE ALLAN E. GORDON, Co. K; died September 13, 1898, of acute Brighfs disease.
PRIVATE ALBA A. ISBELL.Co. K; died March 18. 1899. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE WESLEY S. KLINE, Co. K; died September 27, 1898, of typhoid fever.
FIRST LIEUTENANT GEORGE M.MICHELSEN. Co. L; died September 6, 1898, of typhoid fever
PRIVATE HENRY C. HANSEN, Co. L; died October 1. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE ROY A. HUMPHREY. Co. L; died September 24. 1898. of typhoid fever.
PRIVATE HERBERT R. ROMAN, Co. L; died October 15. 1898. of typhoid fever.
MUSICIAN LOYAL ATHERTON, Co. M; died September 27, 189S, of typhoid fever.
PRINATE MAEHEN H. COLLINSON, Co. M; died November 30, 1898, of ulcerated enteritis.
READING THE NEWS,
THE HUKKV-UP WACON AT t ROVuST HEADQL'AK lEKi
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
mpnt where it had halted just outside
the town. We had the lead on this dav,
\Ve marched through the town with
binnersflving and t>ands playing and
went into camp just north of town, the
tirndest lot of fellows who ever wore out
shoe leather on a rockj' road. Supper
over WH crawled in our dog tents and
staid there until 8 o'clock when we had
to turn out to r U call.
Wednesday morning, the 22nd, we
were permitted to lie in bed until six
o'clock. I soon espied a grocer's delivery
wagon which apparently had but recent-
ly come from the states. J ts owner was
a Cuban who had spent most of his life
in New YorK and but two months tiefore
had returued and opened up a grocery
store. It is useless to say that he did an
immense business. While here I bought
our bread and condenbed milk of him
and we had one cabbage dinner. This
being the anniversary of Washington's
birth, passes were given to all and we
visited the town. San Antonio has
about 8,000 inhabitants. Like all the
towns in Cuba, except the very small
villages, San Antonio has one-story
houses built together. Among the poorer
classes everything is very dirty.
Among the better class it is very dif-
ferent. The people were all very friend-
ly and whole families visited our camp
every evening. They were all anxious to
learn English and the children were
making good progress in that difficult
language. At every doorway little child-
ren 8alu'"e us with "goo' bye." I was
accosted by a bright little fellow at one
of the better class houses. We learned
that he could not speak English but
could read it and understand it. The
entire family, consis^^ing of one or two
other children, a very pretty >oung lady
and a nice looking, motherly old lady,
all gathered about the door and we were
soon in the midst of a lively conversa
tion carried on mostly by signs Before
leaving I was presented with a beautiful
flower. The presentation of fiowers is
very common and is intended as an evi-
dence of good will.
The 23rd was put in as dajs generally
are in Camp Columbia, except that the
first battalion took a hike of several
miles. On the 2-lth our battalion went
to Alquizar, a town about seven miles
from Sail Antonio. The inhabitants
had evidently seen but few Americans.
Two of our ladies, Mrs. Major Blocklin-
ger and Mrs. Vlajor Clark, were there
and attracted gr^at attention.
The 25th was the last day sptnt in
camp. In the afternoon Gen. Hasbrouck
reviewed the brigade. This was done to
impress the Cuban-^. In fact the whole
trip was for efffct, and in that respect
was satisfactory. On this evening more
Cubans visited our camp than usual. A
good many people here lived in Tampa
and Key West during the war and can
speak more or less English. After re-
treat our band gave a concert until dark
when our visitors left with many ex-
pressions of good will, which sentiment
was heartily endorsed by the soldiers.
Jollity prevailed everywhere. In one of
the Missouri companies the boys placed
a lighted candle on top of their dog
tents. As the tents are only about three
feet high it was soon noticed and every-
one proceeded to do likewise. The
night was dark and the scene was most
beautiful all over the brigade. On the
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
east side of our camp a numhHr of pnr-
sons yot togpthPr and fnrniinsr a line
held their candles in a position to form
the word "Iowa " It was trreeted with
cheers from other rptrirnent.
Sdnif- ver> fine sioriH is found hero
It is verv soft when first taken from the
ground and can easily he cut with a
knife. After ht^ing exposed to the air it
Early Sunday morning we hroke camp
and started on our return hy another
route. We passed through Ricon a
small town on the railroad. At noon we
stopped for dinner nfter traveling eight
miles. Soon after resuming the march
we passed through Santiago de Vegas, a
town of several thousand inhabitants
Prom this point we had a turnpike to
travel on until we got to Camp Columbia-
During the afternoon we passed through
a village called La Cubana. About five
o'clock we arrived at Calabazar on the
railroad where we went into camp. As
soon as the tents were up we all went
swimming in a stream which ran along-
side our camp. The water in all the
streams I saw in Cuba was good and as
clear as crystal.
Monday morning, the 27th, we started
on what we knew was to be our last day
out. As the wagons had been consider-
ably lightened, a good share of our loads
were hauled into camp. As we were
nearing Havana the number of villages
increased. We passed through the su-
hiirh« of that citv. An incident occurred
hfTH which nhowM thn irrnvHrence of the
avHTrtg*' siildinr «nd his quickoHsss in p^r-
Cf'ivintf H sham and hi>4 readiness to nn-
niask it. Whenever a high official ap-
pears It is the vluty of the flr^t man see-
ing him to call out "attention, men! hnre
comes General so-and-so." On this oc-
casion we had sto()pHrl in the Hu*»urb
known as .lesus del Monte, for a rest.
Thtre being but few stre^'t car linm the
city is full of carettes which carrv pas-
senger to the various suburbs. One of
these vehicles, on the front of which was
painted the words ".Jesus del Monte,'
came along. Its onlv passenger was an
old fellow whose self importance wae
dazzling to all behnldeis. As soon as
the carette appeared someone immedi-
ately sang out, "attention, men! here
Just before getting to our own camp
we saw Gen. Lee standing by the road-
side closely «i(Tutinizing every man as he
marched by. Soon after one o'clock we
got back to the uld camp.
Taking it altogether, the trip, which
had lasted eight days, was a success.
The weather had been good, there being
but one rain and that was not heavy.
We had seen lots of new things, Cuba
has a bright future if those half breeds
called soldiers will turn their hungry
looking ponies out to graze, throw away
the machette that continually dangles at
their sides and go to work.
When the Circus Came to Camp — Why Rastus Didn't Buy
A Chicken for the Chaplain.
For a wppk in Pebniarv a oirfos show
held forth in Oarap Colurahja. Offoiirse
it was wpH natroniz«ri. Sotne of the
boys attended the "services" pv»»ry night,
and it rande little difference to thera
whether they had monev to pay the ad-
mission pr»ce or not. If the price was
not at hand they crawled under the tent
in the good old fashioned wav Of
course there was a provost euard. There
always is whenever the soldiers congre-
gated in anv large numherB outside of
camp The guard on this occasion was
composed of men from the First Texas
A young scamp was in the act of crawl-
ing under the tent when he was espied
by a guard, who said "You-all stop
there," The language of the young
scamp was very reprehensible, indeed.
He directed the attention of the guard
to a place not on the map, but which,
according co the good old orthodox idea,
has existence, and is said to possess a
very warm climate. The guard answered
with a shot from his Krag and the bul-
let struck an F man in the leg. Imme-
diately ^h^'^e WH'^ an mirnar. The 49 h
m^n wanted lo mob the guard who had
done thp shooting and of course the 4th
Virginia men helped in the matter.
Word was sent to Col. Dows and he
ordered the regiment, or that portion of
It no* at the show, to fall in under arms
in the company streets. This was done
to prevent the men running down to the
show and thus increasing the disorder
that already prevailed. We did not
know that at the time. Somehouy said
that the Cubans had started an insur-
rection. This did not seem improbable
sine =1 that it was well known that there
was considerable unrest among them for
some reason. Besides it had only been
about two weeks since the Filipinos be-
gun a war against the United States
armv. There were many laughable oc-
curances on this occasion. One patriot,
unable to find a match, was rummaging
around in the dark trying to find his
;ins, and his gun, and his belt. He
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
was in a hurry and he whs toad clefir
throutih. Hh was heard ti> hh\ : "If
thev want to fitibt why the h — I don't
they fitiht in the day tioit*?" In the
mt^aniinie thn tfuard from thn nearby
retiiments were hurried to ncene of action
and the difficulty was soon settled.
When this had all been done the cotn-
panies were dismissed, and peace once
more reigned in Cuha.
A story of the 49th would not he com
plete without something about "Rastus."
Rastus was a young negro about eighteen
years of age. rather bright, but the
"orneriest" coon that ever "ducked"
when work was in sight. His home was
in Des Moines, and while the regiment
was at Camp McKinley he "hired out"
to Captain Jaeggi. I believe that Lieut.
Colonel Ham also shared the responsi-
bility of being Rastus' boss. I cannot
say that the following story, which
Raetus told himself, is true, but I will
give it for what it is worth.
One day the chaplain met Rastus and
said: "Rastus, do you know where you
could get a chicken for us."
"Now look here, Mr. Mason," said our
colored brother, "jest 'cause I'm a nig-
ger I aint goin' to steal chickens fo' no
"I don't want you to steal it, I want
you to buy one. One of the boys is sick
and he can't eat army grub; I want to
buy a nice fat hen for him. Do you
think you could overcome your racial
prejudices in the matter and pa3 cash,
providing I furnish the money?"
"I felt sorry for the poor soldier boy''
said Rastus, telling the story afterwards,
"and I told Mr. Mason that I would buy
a hen or die in the attempt." So the
chaplain gave rre fo'ty cents and I sta'ted
out to NiCHte the domicile of some poul-
try. Of co'se it wa-< my luck, when I
turned the first co'ner, to find a hunch
of corral niygers shooting craps Now,
I jest nache'l> can't stand it to heah no
man say, seven, come eleven.' without
gittin' mighiily interested. So I got in
the mixup right away. The first time I
lose ten cents The riext time I lose ten
cents moah Then 1 began to git scared
and said that I would play twenty cents
and git even. I would then go and buy
the hen. I played and win Now I saw
that my luck had changed, and I
thought that mv time had couie to win
a stake. I kept plavin' until all the
chaplain's money was gone. That was
about an hour ago and 1 have been busy
dodgin' the chaplain. "Say," continued
the troubled darky, to the listaner, "do
you suppose the chaplain would let me
oflf if 1 told him that I intended all the
time to let him have half of the win-
He was assured that it was hardly
probable that the chaplain would care
to act as his backer.
One evening about dark, l^a got
into an argument with two of the boys
about ghosts. The boys insisted that
there were such things, while Rastus
stoutly maintained that there was noth
ing in it. Said he: "You can feed that
kind of stuflf to them southern niggers
we saw in Jacksonville and Savannah
but you can't make me believe anything
of that kind; I'm a Des Moines nigger
and I don't take in no ghost stories "
Just then a certain non-com came up
and one of the boys said: "Say, Sergeant,
Rastus denies that there are such things
The Story of I'he Forty-ninth.
as ghosts. What do von sav H*i..ut it?"
ThB sertjHHnt said that liHstim waa
mistaken, and, after talkintr nhuut all
sorts of uncanny thingH, adiuittPi tl.at
hn himself was a medium who could call
up the spirits of the depurted, hut that
he did not want the fact tjeneraliy known
Of course he was urged to give an ex-
hibition of his powers. Rastus joined
in the urging, but said that he didn't
take anv stock in the matter. The ser-
geant led the way to his tent, the soldiers
all ttie time maintaining a most serious
air. It was a very dark night and every
thing was quiet in camp, so r.har things
were favorable for a spiritualistic seance.
.\rriving at the tent a candle was
lighted and the sergeant seated himself
at the cracker-box desk, put his hands
on the top with his two thumb nails
pressing each other jflrmlv, and with a
far-away look in his eyes, began wrest-
ling with the spirits. Now it must be
known that anyone can produce rappinga
bv pressing his thumbs together and
moving them slightly. If his hands are
resting on the top of a table, or other
object that is a good conductor of sound
he can thus produce a popping sound,
especially if everything is quiet.
After two or three minutes of perfect
silence the sergeant was heard to say, as
if to himself, "There are so many of these
Cubans, who were killed bv the Span-
iards, in the old building near our guard
house that it is diflficult to get control of
any one spirit." Now Rastus, together
with everyone else had heard the story
about the killing of forty Cubans at this
place, and the remark had the effect of
placing the ghost proof darky in a proper
frame of mind to appreciate what was to
.After waiting a few minutes longer the
sergeant said; -If there are any spirits
present that desire to communicate with
us they Will answer by 'yes' and 'no ' If
your answer to my question is 'ves' you
will rap; if it is 'no' you will not rap."
The following dialogue then ensued be.
tween the medium and the spirits:
Ques ion "Is there a spirit present
that, in life knew anyone now present?"
Question "Did vou know this med-
Question. "Did you know Rob Gil
Question. "Did you know 'Bench'
Then turning to Rastus the sergeant,
in a trembling voice, asked: Rastus,
what is your real name?"
And Rastus, in a voice still more
trembling, answered: "John Allen."
The medium then turning his attention
to the spririt said;
"Did you know John Allen?"
Then turning again to Rastus the ser
geant asked: "Did you know anyone who
is now dead?"
With chattering teeth the darky said:
"M-m-may-b-beJt is my gr-gr-grand fa-
It is not necessary to continue this any
further, except to say that Rastua was so
badly scared when the seance was over
one of the boys had to go with him to
After returning from the march the
The Story of 7'he Forty-ninth.
roeiment asraia took up the reeular camp
duties. Vlost of the men had already
visited the principal points of interest.
Time hung heavily on our hands, and
the principal subject talked about was
the probable time of muster out.
Some tira»> during the latter part of
March the 4th Virginia left for the
states. As it was not ♦^hought that we
would again see them our entire regi-
ment went over to visit them the night
before they broke camp. The next
morning the 49th escorted them to the
train. We were sorry to see them go.
Some time before this Gen. Hasbrouck
was relieved from the command of our
brigade and was sent to the western part
of the island. Being the senior colonel
in the brigade, Colonel Taylor, of the 4th
Virginia commanded until his regiment
left, when Colonel Dows succeeded him.
This left Major Clapp in command of the
regiment as Lieut, Col, Ham was in Iowa
on leave of aosence.
One night, just before leaving Cuba,
several companies experienced a smoke-
out. Everybody had gone to their tents
and were engaged in reading or writing,
and in some cases playing cards. Some
fellow would say, "I smell smoke." "So
do I," another would exclaim. Then
they would see the smoke coming from
the bedding, apparently. Vhev would
throw things out and look for the fire
but could never find it. This occured in
a number of tents 'n several companies.
Afterwards it was learned that a num
ber of mischievous chaps had got some
smoke preducing material, and firing it,
would slip it under somebody's tent and
await developments. It was said that a
certain captain, whose name was Allen,
was at the head of this ••nn-^piracy.
On the evening of Ariril 1st orders
came for the 49th to y^t ready to leave
for the states ImmediatMlx there was
great rejoicing. The band serenaded the
entire regiment, after which a great
crowd gathered in front of headquarters'
where speeches were marie in celebration
of the good news. The wise ones refused
to join in the rejoicing, claiming that the
report whs only an 'April fool." Like
many other wise men they were wrong.
On April 4th orders were re':ieived for
six companies to proceed to Savannah,
Georgia, an board the transport San An-
tonio. The next day companies P, H, K
and C, composing the first battalion, un-
der command of Lieutenant Colonel
Ham, left the harbor of Havana and pro-
ceeded to the mouth of the Savannah
river where they went into quarantine
camp on Daufuskie island. As this is
not intended as a history of the regiment
but only my own recollections, I am un-
able to give further account of the doing
of this detachment until after we joined
them at Savannah.
On April 8th the other companies of
the regiment, with headquarters and
band, and also the entire command of
the 6th Missouri broke camp, and went
to Havana, to go on board the steamship
"The City of Havana " The bag-
gage deta'l went with the wagons, which
carried the baggage, there being about
eight wagons to each company. All the
rest of the officers and men went to the
city bv train. It was understood that
the regiment that first got its baggage to
the wharf would be the first to load.
Therefore there was a great deal of
hustling, and as usual the 49th won the
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
We arrived at the wharf before noon
and were compelled to wait until night
before all was loaded. The ship started
for God's country at five o'clock next
morning. 1 did not wake up until we
were well out at sea and in two minutes
I was the sickest man that ever breath-
ed. I had plenty of company for nearly
everybody was in the same condition.
It is impossible to describe one's sensa-
tions when seasick. I thought that my
time had come, and when the boys asked
me what word I wanted to send to my
family, I instructed them to report my
demise, but not to lie about it by saying
that I died happy.
Four Days Exper'ences With Detail at Quarantine Sta-
tion — An Historical Spot.
When the steamship, City of Havana,
left Havana, Cuba, at five o'clock Sunday
morning, April 9th, 1899, she bad on
board the entire regiment of the Sixth
Missouri and six companies of the H'ort}-
ninth lovpa; and also the headquarters
and band of the last named retjiraent.
She was a fast boat and arrived at the
mouth of the Savannah river at eight
o'clock of the evening of April 10th. We
there learned that we would have to
stay in quarantine for five days. The
ship went to anchor in the river a short
distance above the fumigating station.
Not a soul on board knew a single thing
about the processof fumigation, but that
did not prevent many reports to be in
circulation about what they would "do
Early next morning the ship drew up
to a wharf, or dock, which was out in the
middle of the river. Immediately after
breakfast I was detailed with six men
from Co. G to stay, with like details from
other companies, to unload the ship.
while all the other troops from both reg-
iments left the ship on lighters towed by
tugs. They went to be fumigated. Later
in the forenoon we saw them going on
steamboats to Difuskie Island which was
said to be six miles distant. In addition
to the details from the 49th were as
many men I'ro n the Vlissouri retjiment
One who has never seen a steamship
can have no idea how much merchandise
one will hold. All the quarter-master
and commissary stores, and all the per-
sonal belongings of the officers and men
of both regiments, 'were in the hold and
we had to unload as there were no steve-
dores in sight. The first thing to do was
to unload the officers horses. Col. Dows
horse was the first to make the trip.
The horse was put in a sling which was
attached to a rope, that was connected
to the steam derrick. At the words "go
ahead" the lever was moved and Mr.
Horse went flying up through the hatch
and considerably above the upper deck.
The derrick was then swung aroGnd and
A COMPANY STREET,
COMPANY BARBER SHOP.
PACK MULES AT JACKSr'NVILLE.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
the horse was suspeoded 30 or 40 feet
above the water. He was then lowered
to the lighter, on which he was taken to
shore. One can only imagine the horses
fright. He was perfectly helpless and
kicked his legs in vain.
When we went on the detail we had
expected to stay only 24 hours, so we
kept out rations for one day, and travel
rations at that. It consisted of a can-
teen of coffee, some hardtack and a can
of corned beef We worked all day and
until two o'clock at night before every
thing was unloaded onto the dock and
the lighters. We then went to bed.
Early next morning we had to get off the
ship as it was to leave immediately. We
stood on the wharf and watched the
great ship move away. Then we began
to wonder when a tug boat would come
after us. Then we began to get acquaint-
ed with the Missourians and found them
to be pretty nice fellows. The sun be-
came hot and then hotter. About noon
we discovered, upon comparing notes,
that we were out of rations. We looked
through the stores on the wharf and
found plenty of hardtack and that was
all. One of the 6th Missouri boys said
that their colonel's private mess outfit
was on the wharf somewhere if it had
not been lost. Everyone being anxious
lest it was lost began looking for it It
was found. A council of war was im-
mediately called, and giving the matter
rrature and careful consideration for
about thirty seconds, or at least eight or
ten seconds anvway, it was decided to
confiscate the chewable articles. Good
and suiBcient reasons controlled our ac-
tions throughout, and were as follows:
1st. The colonel was a regular army
officer and therefore the stuff should be
2nd. Among the stores were canned
peaches, canned cream, sugar, breakfast
bacon and other things, all of which
were too good for an officer; therefore
they should be confiscated.
There were other reasons for the con-
fiscation, not least among which were 25
or 30 very hungry men. There had been
about a hundred altogether on the detail
but the others had gone to camp early in
There was no coffee to be found. This
was surely a bad showing for the colonel.
A common soldier must have coffee.
The hospital steward of the 6th Missouri
said that he believed there was some
French bouUion among the hospital
steres. It was found, and with it was a
supply of whisky in quart bottles. It
had been bought for the sick, and as
the surgeons occasionally get in that con-
dition, the quality was good. The first
impulse of the lowans was to throw the
liquor in the river, but the Missourians
outnumbered us. Besides they put up
a strong argument for its retention.
They told us how we were all liable to
get malaria, and whisky was the best
known remedy. Besides were we not out
on this wharf, in the mouth of the river,
with the great waters of the mighty At-
lantic surrounding us. In the unknown
depths of these waters were awful mon-
sters — sea serpents particularly. Would
any reasonable man deny that there was
great danger of these serpents bitting us.
Was it not true that this same Kentucky
dew was the best known remedy for
snake bites. These arguments were un-
answerable, at least by soldiers from
The Story of The P'orty-ninth.
What should we do for water with
which to boil the bouUion? Fortunately
the tide wag going out, and the fresh,
though muddy, waters of the Savannah
had reduced the salt of the sea to a
brackish taste. By adding some of the
colonel's sugar and condensed cream,
and a few drops (only a few, remember)
of the hospital liquor, we compounded a
substitute for coffee. We feasted like
kings and ate like wolves, for had we
uot been living for several days upon
travel rations and sea sickness.
Being just from Cuba we were well
supplied with good cigars. Lighting
these we sought the shady side of the
piled up stores, and there lying on our
backs with half closed eyes we watched
the curling smoke, from the fragrant
flavanas, until it mingled with the great,
lazy, floating clouds framed in the blue
When we had finished our after din-
ner siesta we put in the time in organiz-
ing a provisional brigade. Lieutenant
E. R. Moore was unanimously elected
brigadier general. The 6th Missouria's
big Q. M. Sergeant was elected colonel
and everybody else got a commission.
Lieut. Machemer, of Co. C, who was
acting as regimental commissary of the
49th, wanted to be Chaplain, but as he
didn't know anything about horse trad-
ing it was decided that he was not qual-
About four o'clock a tug came with a
lot of negro stevedores on board. They
had a lighter on which was loaded all
the stores from the wharf. We expected
to be taken down to the fumigating
station, but were disappointed, as orders
had come directing us to stay where we
were until next morning.
We again allowed hunger to overcome
our scruples and sloped on Colonel
Hardeman's rations. I may as well state
here that nothing was ever said about
our use of the colonel's grub. I suppose
he would have done just as we did bad
he been in our place. It has always
been a well recognized principle that
soldiers will eat when hungry, providing
there is anything digestible to be found,
regardless of who is the owner. '
Night having settled over us we rolled
our forms in our blankets and content-
edly went to sleep with only the blue
sky, studded with sparkling stars, for a
roof, and the hard floor of the lighter for
a bed. However we had been roughing
it for a year, and slept soundly, only
waking when daylight came. Speedily
converting an empty hardtack can into a
basin, we soon "washed up," and comb-
ing our hair with our fingers, we were
ready for breakfast, which the self ap-
pointed cooks soon had made.
We did not have to wait long for a
change. A tug soon towed us to the
fumigating station. This was Thursday
morning and we had been at the wharf,
in the middle of the river, since Mondaj-
Arriving at the wharf of the fumigat-
ing station we found an immense amount
of government stores on lighters. There
were a large number o gangs of men
each consisting of one white man and
four uegros. The white man wore a big
metal badge, which set forth, in clear
cut letters, the fact that he was an in-
spector. His haughty bearing indicated,
beyond question, that he fully appreci-
The Story of The Fort3'-ninth.
ated the innportance of his position, and
expected us common mortals to prompt-
!}■ apologize for daring to breath in his
presence. However his efforts in that
direction were all in vain, for the devil-
may care manner with which those
graceless scamps, the boys, appropriated
.the surroundings to their own use and
comfort, soon caused Mr. Inspector to
confine his authority to the darkies.
This inspector reminds me of a story
the bo3 stall on a member of the i9th
who was best known in the army as
"Benchlegs." Now when we first went
into the service we all had to learn the
"General Orders," and the officer of the
day or the officer of the guard never
failed to ask each sentinel if he knew
them. As the recruit had spent half the
night before memorizing these particu-
lar orders he generally knew them all
right, but new to the service and having
a sort of a hazy idea that the wearer of
shoulder straps was at least a second
cousiri to a duke, he naturally forgot
them. After a little while he could re-
cite the orders to the entire satisfaction
of the most exacting officers in the army.
When the boys had all learned the du-
ties expected of them, when on guard,
they were not questioned on this point.
They knew the General Orders just as
well on the day we mustered out as they
did a year before when they memorized
them, but they couldn't have repeated
them correctly, according to the text, if
the guard house had been the penalty
for failing so to do. One day, near the
end of the service, Bench was walking
his poet "in a military manner," when a
certain captain, acting as officer of the
day, appeared Bench promptly presented
arms, expecting that the captain would
pass on. But no such luck. He came
up to where Bench stood. That individ-
ual brought his rifle to a "port" and, with
due humility, awaited the will of his su-
perior. The captain quickly said, "Do
you know General Orders?" It was a
surprise to Bench, though he didn't say
so, and pretending to be half scared td
death with his knees knocking together,
his hands trembling and his gun shaking
he stammered, "N — No sir, I — I know
General Lee and General Hasbrouck and
a lot of these other generals running
around here, but I don't know General
Orders." The captain knew he was be-
ing guyed, and turning on his heel he
left the spot without another word.
We knew we would have to stay at the
fumigating station until our baggage and
belongings of all kinds were inspected
and fumigated. We hoped to get
through on this day (Thursday) and re-
turn to the regiment by night. We soon
learned that we would be disapointed
in this respect. Like the pioneer fathers
going to mill, we had to wait our turn.
The time was put in in various ways. A
good deal of "gassing" was indulged in.
One question, that had become chronic
in the regiment, was again thoroughly
discussed. It was about when we would
be muatered out. When the argument
had waxed warm, I suggested that we
would probably get out by the middle of
the week, which suggestion was not
deemed worthy of attention.
Seeing that i was not likely to be a
very conspicious flfgure in the contention
I borrowed a pipeful of tobacco of one
of the boys and then sought a quiet nook
on top of a lot of stores, where I could
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
take in all the surroundings. Over yon-
der, just a little ways, are the dull,
weather beaten walls of old Fort Pulaski,
nanaed in honor of that soldier of fortune,
but none the less patriot, Count Pulaski,
who gave his life at the siege of Suvan-
nah, only 18 miles away, just 120 years
ago. I cannot help thinking that had
I been here 266 years ago I could have
seen Gen. Oglethorpe and his expedition
just entering the river on their way to
make the first settlement in Georgia, at
Savannah. Two years later I might
have seen the founder of Methodism,
John W esley, accompaning Oglethrope
on his second, expedition to Savannah
where, a little later, I might have at-
tended the first Sunday school organized
in America. Then I realize that this is
an historic spot and that these shores
have silently witnessed many scenes of
interest to every American. My eyes
wandering once more to the fort, my
mind takes a leap of more than two hun-
dred years and I see the stare and
stripes lowered and the traitor's flag,
the stars and bars, is flying to the breeze.
For four years the fierce conflict of the
great civil war rages, and I see coming
yonder thousands of ragged, footsore
marching men with the btarry banner in
the van. It is Billy Sherman and his
bummers just completing their "March
to the Sea." I mingle with them and I
see faces that are strangely familiar. Ah!
Now I know they are the same men who
yearly meet in reunions. Thirty-flve
years makes great changes in their ap-
pearance. I go up the river a few miles
and see the old brick Fort Jackson, gar-
risoned by four companies, and in their
youthful commander I recognized the
present grizzled Captain Benry M. Vvil
son, of the 28th Iowa.
Awakened from my reveries by the
smell of frying bacon, I hastily join my
comrades at supper, when they noncha-
lantly explain, in response to my inquiry
as to where the grub came from, that
they "stole it from the 3rd Kentucky
over on that lighter." The 3rd Ken-
tucky. Why that regiment is composed
of the sons of the men who followed the
fortunes of the stars and bars thirty five
years ago. And they, like ourselves,
have just returned from a foreign land,
^here they have carried the stars and
stripes in its mission of extending the
blessings of liberty and freedom. Sure-
ly this is a queer world of ours.
Whee we had finished supper someone
suggested that we put up'a'tent to sleep
in. Plenty of material being at hand we
soon had up a large hospital tent on a
clear spot on one of the lighters. Hav-
ing been used to every luxury during the
past year, we felt that we should have a
carpet. A tent fly was soon spread.
Some of the boys had seen a lot of bed-
ding consisting of silk covered pillows
with beautiful monograms, which had
evidently been worked by the fingers of
somebody's sweethearts: portable mat-
tresses; patchwork quilts, that would
have dazzled the eyes of even a pamper-
ed and perfumed dude. It was all piled
up on the wharf, waiting transportation
to the building where it would have to
undergo a dry steam fumigating process.
It belonged to the officers of some other
regiment, and m some way was soon be-
ing distributed inside our tent. Candles-
had been secured somewhere and some-
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
It was a happy family gathered in the
tent. There was Lieut. Moore, the regi-
mental quartermaster, and commander of
the detail. His clerks and regular stand-
bys were Jack Waychoff, Bill Hasty and
Quimby. This was a great trio. The
tirst two were characters in their way.
Jack was known as "the noisy, man"
probably because he never said anything
unless spoken to. His vocabulary was
limited but rich. He industriously
chewed his own tobacco and was an old
bachelor. Bill was big and noisy and
much given to expletives. He was great-
ly pleased when he was detailed from
his company to the quartermaster's de-
partment, for "now" he said, "I can take
a chew of tobacco without asking per-
mission of the captain." Another advan-
tage was that he didn't have to get a pass
to go out of camp when he wanted to do
"a little cussin." Then there were Sergt.
Churchill, of Co. D: Sergt. Bankston and
Private Fowler, of Co. B; Sergt. Hol-
comb and Corporal Sellars, of Co. M-
Sergt. Raymond, of Co. E; Sergt. Hund;
ly and Privates Tracy, Dovan and Booth,
of Co. L; and Corporal Dand and the
writer of Co. G. Sergt. Major Townsend
was there to look after the headquarters
baggage; and hospital steward. Dr. Haer-
ling, kept an eye on the Hospital stores.
Early next morning we waked up and
rolling our blankets, we cooked and ate
our breakfast. After this was done we
proceeded to our work. This work con-
aieted largely in keeping an eye on the
inspectors and their negro helpers while
they inspected and fumigated our be-
longings. Our object in keeping an eye
on them was to see that they didn't dis-
turb things too much and especially to
prevent their stealing anything. Seeing
that they were not likely to get to swipe
anything the colored brethren tried beg-
ging. One of them asked me to give him
a pair of old shoes. I told him that I
would be glad to do so, but in this case,
I couldn't as these particular shoes had
belonged to Gen. Maceo, and were the
ones he was wearing when he was killed
by the Spaniards, Now Gen. Maceo was
not only the greatest of all Cuban fight-
ers, but he was a negro, a fact which
every coon knows. Our Mr. Darkey's
eyes popped out, and hastily dropping
the shoes (from which he more than half
expected to see the ghost of the dead
Maceo emerge) he moved away quickly.
The process of fumigation was very
simple. Each inspector had four helpers,
one to open the boxes, one to cake out
the contents, one to sprinkle them with
the "dope," and one to do the repacking.
The "dope looked like water but smelled
different. In fact, the smell had staying
The boys of the 6th Missouri detail,
with whom we had fraternized while at
the dock in the river, had been separated
from us, since coming down to the fumi-
gating station, by the orders of a lieuten-
ant of that regiment. We all regretted
this as we had found them to be fine
fellows. I do not know what was the
lieutenant's object, but I believe it was
nothing but pure cessedness and a vain
desire to parade his authority.
It was the general desire to get through
with the work and join the regiment on
Daufuskie Island. Every man must go
through a fumigating process at the
building on the hill, according to the
rules, and so far as I know the rule was
The Story of 71ie Forty-ninth.
rigidly enforced. But rules didn't apply
to this particular detail, therefore there
was a general desire not to be fumigated.
The most innocent looking chap in the
outfit— one who looked like he might
have been a candidate for the ministry
before he donned the blue — was selected
ae a sort of steering committee in the
matter. Along in the afternoon, when
the chief mogul among the inspectors
happened to be near, Mr. Innocent re-
marked to a comrade that he was 'glad
that we had been fumigated with the
regiment, for we could go to camp just
as soon as our work was done." It
worked like a charm.
When the work was completed, at just
before night, we were permitted to go
aboard the steamboat, which was to take
us to the island. We had only got on
board when a man came running down
and said that our stuff had been through
the steam fumigating proees-s and that
we could have it. Now the facts were
that we didn't have anything of the kind,
but we were all polite people and didn't
want the fellow to think that we doubted
his word. So meekly following him we
soon came to a big boiler looking affair
about ten feet in diameter and lined on
the inside with steam pipes. It was
cooled sufficiently for us to enter, and
there we found more than a wagon load
of quilts, pillows, camp chairs and many
other articles that had evidently contrib-
uted to the comfort of many officers, and
some of the articles were fine enough to
have even belonged to the gorgeous Gen,
Miles. None of it belonged to anyone
in the 49th, but we did not want to dis-
pute the word of the inspector, so we
promptly took as much of the bast arti-
cles ae the fifteen of us could carry.
When we arrived at tbe camp with our
booty the boys wanted to know whether
we had robbed a female boarding school
or a summer hotel.
The steamboat soon started and made
its way amongst a lot of islands to the
camp, on Daufuski, a distance of six or
seven miles, where we arrived about
Before we got into camp we agreed
that we would tell the boys that their
cigars had all been conflscdted by the
revenue officers. Everyone had packed
in their boxes at least one box of fine
Havana cigars and some of them had a
number of boxes. When we got into
camp the boys all gathered around and
wanted to know what condition their
'things" were in, and were especially
anxious about their cigars. We told
them that every cigar was taken by the
re\enu6 officers, but that they would be
permitted to redeem their smokers by
payiag the duty, which, according to our
tell, was about S2 00 a box of fifty. Im-
mediately there was a loud and prolonged
kick from the whole regiment, for the
boys from the other companies had told
the same story.
Having returned to the regiment the
story of the detail is ended. We re-
mained on the island two days lojager,
and on Sunday, April 16th, went on a
a steamboat to Savannah, where we
went into Camp.
When the six companies of the Forty-
ninth left the quarantine station they
proceeded to Daufuskie Island and went
into camp very near the sea. The island
was quite large and was generally level,
there being no hills. The population
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
Vi'as evidently stnaH, consisting princi-
pally of iiey:roes. There were two or three
^ood houses probably used by summer
residents of Savannah. Near our camp
was a fine beach on which guard mount-
ing was held every morning.
The first night in caoip was so much
colder than we had been used to that
some of the boys built fires in the com-
pany streets. One of the most interest-
ing and amusing sights seen during the
service was a guard mounting by the
4ih Tennessee. I didn't see it but I was
told that the drum major, who was about
seven feet tall, conducted his band to
the parade ground, and during the cere-
mony of insp ction he went to one side
and sat do '^n at th foot of a tree. Every
feature of the ceremony was almost as
The six companies which hsd pre
ceeded us from Cuba had served their
five days on the island and gone to
Savannah. On Sunday morning, April
16th, just one week after leaving Cuba,
we went aboard the steamer Stafford
and proceeded up the river to the city.
We disembarked at the wharf on the
east side of Savannah and marched out
to the old camp ground which we had
|eft four months k>efore. The 161st
Indiana occupied the ground where our
former camp had been and we moved on-
to the ground which had been the camp
of the 4th Virginia. That regiment was
just east of us in the old 6ih Missouri
We remained in this camp for almost
a month when we were mustered out.
Time hung heavily on our hands: disci
pline was somewhat relaxed. The men
did not need written passes when they
wanted to go to town or elsewhere.
This section of the country had ex-
perienced a severe winter and for the
first time in years there had been snow.
The negroes had suffered much, and
many of them had no food. Hundreds
of them, principally women and children,
visited our camp at meal times to beg
for the scraps that was left from the
One evening some of the boys asked
me to attend a cake walk and swell ball
which was to be given by the elite of
East Savannah, a small town near our
camp, all the inhabitants of which were
negroes. As it was my last opportunity
to participate in anv social affair in the
sunny south 1 decided to go. We went
to the town and asked to be directed to
the hall where the festivities were to
take place. We were informed by a man,
whose bearing indicated that he be-
longed to the bon ton, that it w-as not
customary for society psople to gather
until about nine o'clock. He pointed
out the hall, a one story frame building
about twenty fee*- wide and thirty feet
long. Soon after it was opened the
crowd gathered. A motlv crowd it
proved to be. About half were soldiers
all others being negroes of all ages.
Across one end of the room was a
counter made of a board laid on two
barrels. On it were a number of sand-
wiches and a keg of beer. Two meek
and humble followers of the flag ap-
proached the old colored woman, who
was stationed beiiind the counter, and
asked for two glasses of beer to which
request the old woman responded-
"No, sah, you caint have it: we don't
sell it, sah."
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
The boys back stepped to a corner
where they watched the proceedings.
Soon they observed a young darkey pay
five cents for a sandwich, whereupon the
old woman gave him a glass of beer.
The boys drank but little of the beer,
but it wasn't because they didn't want
it. It was because nearly everybody
was broke. I don't think there was two
dollars in the whole crowd.
Prom the whisperings that went on
about me I soon learned that plans were
being laid to capture the beer. I induced
the boys, however, to give up the plan.
About this time a young negro, seeing
I had more white on my sleeves than
any one present, said to me:
"Is you-all goin' to stay to the ball?"
I informed him I was and asked him
how much it would cost.
"Ten cents a piece, sah," responded
the dusky son of the south.
I asked him how much it would
amount to for twenty men.
"I can't rightly say, sah, but I'll have
the secretary flggah it up, sah."
Evidently the secretary was not strong
en multiplication, as he has not present-
ed his bill to this day. The dance, how-
ever, was interesting, but it cannot be
For sometime before the muster out
arrangements were being made, among
ourselves, as to the route we would take
in going home. All wanted to go to
Chicago and over some route we had
not traveled in going south. The rail-
road companies had relieved us of all
trouble in the matter by selecting the
roads over which we were to travel. We
were to be taken through Alabama and
Mississippi thence north by way of St.
Louis. A kick was immediately and
emphatically legistered, as this was ex-
actly the route we didn't want selected.
Before this each company had appointed
a committee on transportation. These
committees visited the railroad offices
but were unable to get any satisfaction.
We then decided to ask Col. Uows to
help us out. This he cheerfully con-
sented to do. With the colonel as chief
spokesman about a dozen of us made an
attack upon the enemy's work. The
ammunition used was a goodly supply of
pretty warm words. The railroad men
threw up all their hands and not any too
gracefully slid down the pole.
John H. Perker, a First Lieutenant in
the regular army, had charge of the mus-
tering out of the 49th. He was an in-
fantry oflBcer but he had been deeply
interested in machine guns and was con-
sidered an authority on the subject. He
was known as "Gatling Gun Parker." be-
cause of his having had charge of all the
guns of that kind in the operations about
Santiago. It was said that he went to
Cuba without orders. It seems that he
was in charge of several gatling guns
and a detail of men to man them at
Tampa. He was not attached to any
particular command. When the orders
came for General Shatter to move his
command to Santiago Lieutenant Parker
went along, though he had no orders to
do so. Of course he did the right thing,
for his guns were needed in Cuba and
they were not needed at Tampa. He
was afterwards a m .jor of volunteers in
Colonel Dows was beautifully taken in
a few days before we left Savannah for
home. The officers of the regiment had
rf #* */. 3^ ^^
'' , ^^ -^
E'RLY SUNDAY MuRN.NG
SHE Wants washing To DJ.
rHtY LT, E IN DUG TENTS.
The Story of The Forty-ninth.
procured a fioe gold mounted saber
which was presented to hiua in a neat
speech. It is neediass to say that he
prizes it very highly. While the colonel
was held in high esteem by the officers
of the regiixicnt he was held in the very
highest respect by theenliated men. He
fully understood that the men composing
his command were of the best that Iowa
afforded. The men seconded his efforts
to maintain a )iigh standard of efficiency.
Not only was the 49th noted for its
efficiency in all duties but it also had
established a record for the good con-
duct of its members. The records of the
provost marshal prove that this regiment
made the best showing of any organiza-
tion of the 7lh army corps. So excellent
was the record that it attracted the
notice cf officers of high rank in the
regular army. At least one general pro-
nounced the 49ch to be the best volun-
teer regiment, in all things, except as to
conduct, and in that respect it surpassed
both regular and volunteer, that he had
Who of the 49t'"' will ever forget the
last night in camp? Pew of the boys
went to town. They gathered about the
camp fires in the company streets and
talked over the scenes of the past year.
The reminiscences had placed all in
proper frame of mind to appreciate the
most beautiful of all bugle calls, taps.
It was an expert who handled the bugle
that night and his whole soul seemed to
be in his work. Every voice was stilled
at the first note, and when the last one
had sounded the clapping of hands,
throughout the entire regiment, was the
only applause. None obeyed the sum-
mons to bed, but long into the starry
night the forms of the men of the 49th
remained by the camp-fires, alcne with
themselves and their thoughts.
Next morning the blankets were rolled
for the last time and stowed away in the
trunks and boxes. Soon after breakfast
the mustering out began. Each com-
pany was taken to the place of muster
out. The companies were formed in
order of rank, the privates in alphabeti-
cal order. As the names were called
each man answered "here" for the last
time as soldiers and took his place in a
new line. Lieutenant Parker made each
company a little speech in which he paid
the highePt possible compliment when
he said that when he should get another
bar on his straps he would ask for no
better men to command.
As soon as the mustering officer was
through with us we were marched to
the building where the paymasters were
located and there received our pay and
discharges. As soon as we stepped out
of the building we were beset by a horde
of fakers who had every imaginable ar-
ticle of sale. After fighting ourselves
through the throng we hastened to the
city, where we got our dinners at hotels
and restaurants. Our trains were to
leave about three o'clock. We bade
goodbye to Savannah with considerable
reluctance and left between three and
four o'clock. Sunday morning found us
in Chattanooga and by night we were at
Lexington, Kentucky, and we took
breakfast at Indianapolis Monday morn-
ing. We arrived in Chicago about noon
and remained there until after midnight.
Of our arrival and reception in Iowa
on Tuesday, May 16, 1899, nothing need
be said with the view of imparting any
The Story of The Fort^^-ninth.
news. What occured is well know. All
of northeast Iowa were gathered at the
home stations of the different companies
where "something was doing." With
blare of trumpets, with stirring strains
of patriotic music, with the stars and
stripes brightening the heayens, with
praises of speech, with the loving ten-
derness of the mother's embrace, with
the sparkle in the sweetheart's eye, and
at banquet board, was the boy in blue
welcomed home. When the sun next
arose it cast its warming rays upon
peaceful scenes, and the soldier of yes-
terday had become the citizen of today.