John Wright ABBOTT, b. May 1, 1843 Porter Co., Indiana
Burial - Fairbank Cemetery, Fayette Co., Iowa
With the 38th Iowa Volunteers, USA, Civil War, Pvt, company " F ".Enlisted Aug. 19, 1862, mustered Nov. 4, 1862, Discharged Jan. 9, 1864, at New Orleans, LA,Died two weeks after returning home, contracted a disease in the army.
The 38th Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry was organized under the call of the President, dated July 2, 1862.The companies were enlisted in the Northeastern part of the State, mainly from the counties of Fayette, Winneshiek, Chickasaw and Howard.The rendezvous was at Camp Franklin, near the city of Dubuque, and there the companies had all assembled about the 20th of September, 1862.The organization was not fully persented, however, until November 4, 1862, upon which dated the regiment was musted into the service of the United States by Capt. George S. Pierce, of the regular Army.At the completion of the muster, the rolls showed that the ... strength of the regiment was nine hundred and ten men, rank and officers.The regiment entered the service under the most favorable auspices.The location of Camp Franklin on the hights above the city of Dubuque was an ideal one....
The regiment left Dubuque, Dec. 15, 1862 and was conveyed to St. Louis, where it was temporarily assigned to quarters at Benton Barracks, and was completely equipped for active service in the great campaign which General Grant had inaugurated, and for the execution of which the preliminary movements of his troops were then being made. It had been intended that the 38th Iowa should be sent to Helena, AR, and orders to that ... had been issued to Col. Hughes, ... on the steamer "Platie Valley", on Dec. 28, 1862, and left ...These instructions were changed, however, when the steamer arrived at Columbus, KY, on Dec. 30, 1862, and Col. Hughes was ordered to disembark his regiment at that place and proceed to Union City, which was threatened with attack by a force of Rebels.The rebels withdrew and Col. Hughes was oredered back to Columbus, re-embark his regiment and proceed at once to New Madrid. The regiment arrived at New Madrid on Jan. 2, 1863.The regiment constituted the garrison at New Madrid ... to the stisfaction of General Curtis, ...On June 7, 1863 it was relieved and ordered to join General Grant's army, then actively engaged in the siege of Vicksburg.The regiment embarked on the steamer "Daniel G. Taylor", and proceeded down the Mississippi River and up the Yazoo River to Sherman's Landing, where it arrived on June 11th, and ordered to report to Young's Point, where it arrived on the same day.On June 12th, the regiment marched to Warrenton, where it crossed the river on the 14th, and on the 15th arrived in front of the enemy's works.The regiment was had been assigned to the First Brigade, Second Div., 13th Army Corps, and its position was the extreme left of the line of investment.The location proved to be extremely unfortunate one, being upon the border of a swamp, the putrid waters of which exhaled a poisonous odor, which contaminated the air and was the direct cause of the sickness which subsequently decimated the ranks of the regiment.
The 38th Iowa, performed its full share of arduous duty from the time it became a part of the investment force until the surrender of Vicksburg on the 4th of July, 1863.The weather was extremely hot, and the heavy labor of constructing earthworks, digging trenches and rifle pits, continued from day to day, as the lines were steadily advanced around the doomed city, was enough to test the strngth and endurance of the men to the limit.It was not the exhausting labor, however, but the conditions under which it was performed, the heat, lack of pure water, and the poisonous odors inhaled, that caused such disastrous results.The casualties of the regiment at the hands of the enemy during the siege, were comparatively slight, one man killed, one mortally wounded and one severely wounded.This is accounted for partly by the fact that the men were protected by the works they constructed and from which thier fire prevented the enemy from serving his artillery with much effected, and partly by the enemy reserving his limited supply of ammunition, for the purpose of repelling the general assault which was expected, but which was never made.
The day after the surrender, July 5th, the 38th Iowa marched inside the enemy's works at Vicksburg, where it remained until the 12th, when it embarked on transport, with orders to proceed to Port Hudson and assist in the capture of that place.News having been received that Port Hudson had surrendered, the order was changed and the regiment was then ordered to join the expedition against Yazoo City, under the command of General Herran.The transports conveying the troops proceeded up the Yazoo River, but the enemy evacuated the city. The regiment occupied the city on the 14th, without resistance, the ...The expedition returned to Vicksburg on July 21st.On the 25th the regiment embarked on the steamer "Lebanon" for Port Hudson, were it arrived on July 27th and went into camp. In short order nearly all the men and officers were incapacitated by sickness.Both wisdom and humanity required that the regiment should have been sent North after the surrender of Vicksburg, and placed in some healthful locatity, where it would have been possible for many of those who subsequently died, to have recovered.The camp of the regiment at Port Hudson was enshrouded in gloom, on account of the constantly increasing sickness and the number of deaths and discharges for disability which occured there.Col. D.H. Hughes, the commander of the regiment, died on the 7th of August, 1863.His loss was deeply regretted by the officers and men of his regiment...The terrible ravages which disease had wrought in the ranks of the 38th Iowa are shown by the morning report of its Acting Adjutant on Aug. 13, 1863, in which it is stated that only 8 officers and 20 men were reported as being able for duty. There was probably not another instance during the war, in which an entire regiment had been so fearfully reduced in numbers without having sustained a proportionalely larger number of casualties in conflict with the enemy, or in which there were so many deaths resulting from sickness alone.
The officers and men of the regiment, who were able for duty, embarked on the steamer, Aug. 15, 1863, and were convyed to Carrollton, LA, where they went into camp in a healthy locality, and where many of those who had been absent, on furlough and in hospital, returned and reported for duty.On Oct. 23, 1863, the regiment embarked on the ocean steamer "Empire City" and joined the expedition to Texas, under the command of Major General Banks.There were sixteen transports loaded with troops, and the fleet was accompanied by three gunboats.The fleet went to sea on Oc. 28th, and on the 30th encountered a heavy storm, during which one of the vessels foundered, but the troops which she carried were removed to the "Empire City" and no lives were lost.On Nov. 2nd, the fleet arrived off Brazos Santiago, TX and the troops disembarked the next day.On Nov. 6th the army moved forward toward Brownsville, and camped on the evening of that day on the historic battlefield of Palo Alto.On Nov. 9th the army arrived at Brownsville and occupied that place without opposition, the rebel force which had been stationed there having retreated toward the interior upon the approach of the Union troops.The 38th Iowa remained on duty at Brownsville for nearly nine months.