Civil War Record for William B. Worley


Keokuk County War Record
40th Regiment Inf. Co. I


            This regiment was mustered into service, at Iowa City, November 15, 1862, and immediately moved to Columbus, Kentucky, arriving on the 18th, where it remained during the winter, until March 3, 1863, when it moved to Paducah. May 31, by order of General Grant, the regiment was ordered to Vicksburg. It reached Saratia, on the Yazoo River June 4, and during the siege of Vicksburg it was stationed in the vicinity of Haine’s Bluffs. It did not meet the enemy in battle, but it encountered a more deadly foe in the disease-laden waters of Yazoo River. Its fifty days service there was the worst in all its history. It next moved to Helena, arriving there July 26, and after a short rest, joined General Steeles forces against Little Rock. Reduced by malarial disease as was the regiment, this march told fearfully on their weakened constitutions: and of the six hundred men who started, only two hundred and fifty reported for duty on the morning of the entry into Little Rock. The regiment remained at Little Rock until the spring of 1864, when it moved with Steeles forces on the Camden Expedition, and in the great battle of the campaign, at Jenkin’s Ferry, the regiment distinguished itself, though for some reason it was divided, and only Companies H, E, K and G were engaged, and for four hours without relief, in the hottest of the fight, they held their ground and covered themselves with renown. The remembered the little speech made to them in the morning by Colonel J. A. Garrett, typical of the man and his confidence in the men. Said he:

            “Boys! We will probably have a little fight. Remember your own good name, and the fair fame of the glorious young state which sent you to the field. Don’t tarnish it. Do you see that flag? Follow and defend it! Don’t shoot at the sky: There are no rebels up there.  That climate does not suit them. Aim low, and send them where they belong. That’s all!”

            The regiment remained at Little Rock until the following February, when in response to a request of Brigadier-General Bussey to the War Department to send him a first-rate regiment, the fortieth was ordered to Ft. Smith, as what he wanted. It was subsequently sent to Ft. Gibson, where it remained until mustered out, August 2, 1865.

            The casualties were: killed, 19; died, 173; discharged for disease, 140; total, 332 enlisted men. Of officers: 3 killed; 3 dismissed; 29 resigned; total 35.


History of Keokuk County Iowa 1880

pg. 522


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