JAMES HARRISON LEFLER, son of David Lefler and Ellen Thayne, enlisted into the 14th Iowa Infantry Company G from Tama County Iowa, along with his brother-in-law, GEORGE WILLIAM SHINER, son of George Hughes Shiner and Rachel Curlet Pierce.
The Leflers from were Canada, the Shiners from Virginia, before members of both families moved to Tama County Iowa. The families were close. James Lefler's sister Janet was married to George Shiner. James Lefler's brother Elijah married George Shiner's sister Rachel. Another Lefler brother, John, married another Shiner sister, Sarah Jane.
From the roster of the 14th Iowa Infantry Company G:
Lefler, James Harrison. Age 19. Residence Tama County, nativity Canada. Enlisted January 26, 1864. Mustered February 11, 1864. -- Consolidated into Company A, Residuary Battalion Fourteenth Infantry. Mustered out August 8, 1865, Davenport, Iowa.
Shiner, George William. Age 28. Residence Buckingham, Tama County, nativity Virginia. Enlisted January 1, 1864. Mustered January 23, 1864. -- Consolidated into Company A, Residuary Battalion Fourteenth Infantry. Mustered out August 8, 1865, Davenport Iowa.
After their enlistment their regiment of ten companies was sent on the Red River campaign to Shreveport Louisiana, where they fought at the battle of Fort deRussy and the battle of Pleasant Hill. Later they fought on campaigns through Mississippi and were engaged in several battles there. In November 1864 the three year enlistments of most of their Company G expired and those members were discharged. The remaining veterans and recruits were then consolidated into three companies to be called the 14th Iowa Residuary Battalion. Lefler and Shiner were assigned to Company A.
After the re-organization, in early 1865 the newly formed battalion was moved to Camp Butler near Springfield Illinois, where they were stationed when word arrived of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The 14th Iowa was therefore on hand to participate in the historic funeral and burial ceremonies, standing guard when Lincoln's body was honored in the Illinois Statehouse, marching in the procession to the cemetery, and standing guard again after Lincoln's interment.
After the War, James Lefler settled near Fairmont, Fillmore County, Nebraska where he is buried. George Shiner eventually settled near Castle Dale, Emery County, Utah were he is buried.
A new book featuring a diary and many letters of Tama County men of Company G, 14th Iowa infantry, has been printed by the museum of Traer Iowa. The diary is by BF Thomas whose brother was a close friend to George Shiner and James Lefler. The book mentions them several times and also quotes from a brief memoir of George Shiner.
The book, all first-person accounts, is 288 pages, hardbound, 8x11, with a very nice dustjacket, photos, maps, and an index.
Members of these Lefler and Shiner families may be interested in this book which can be found on the Traer Museum website: