By Donald C. Elder III
William Henry Harrison Clayton was once one in every of approximately 75,000 squaddies from Iowa to hitch the Union ranks through the Civil conflict. owning a highschool schooling and stronger penmanship, Clayton served as a firm clerk within the nineteenth Infantry, witnessing battles within the trans-Mississippi theater. His diary and his correspondence along with his relations in Van Buren County shape a special narrative of the day by day soldier existence in addition to an eyewitness account of serious battles and a prisoner-of-war camp. Clayton participated within the siege of Vicksburg and participated in operations opposed to cellular, yet his writings are targeted for the descriptions he provides of lesser-known yet pivotal battles of the Civil battle within the West. scuffling with within the conflict of Prairie Grove, the nineteenth Infantry sustained the top casualties of any federal regiment at the eld. Clayton survived that conflict with in simple terms minor accidents, yet he used to be later captured on the conflict of Stirling's Plantation and served a interval of ten months in captivity at Camp Ford, Texas. Clayton's writing unearths the complex sympathies and prejudices frequent between Union infantrymen and civilians of that interval within the country's background. He observes with nice disappointment the brutal results of struggle at the South, sympathizing with the plight of refugees and lamenting the destruction of estate. He excoriates draft evaders and Copperheads again domestic, conveying the intra-sectional acrimony wrought via civil conflict. ultimately, his racist perspectives towards blacks display a standard yet ironic angle between Union infantrymen whose efforts helped result in the abolition of slavery within the usa.
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Additional resources for A Damned Iowa Greyhound: The Civil War Letters of William Henry Harrison Clayton
It is the largest & best looking company here. We were mustered8 into the service yesterday. We have not drilled any yet nor in fact done anything. Our quarters are not quite finished yet & it is not likely that we will get to going rightly until next week. d. Courtesy of the Lincoln Memorial Shrine Collection. Two of our companies have got their uniforms, we will probably get ours tomorrow. Our blankets were issued to us last evening. I like it so far very well. The fare at the Simpson house was rather indifferent especially toward the last.
I think we will get along finely in our bunker. Our company has not yet received our letter 10 in the regiment. 11 It is 8 of us boys who are acquainted: A. J. Buckles, Mooney,12 Nincehelser,13 George & Joseph Paxton,14 John Stone,15 Utt16 the blacksmith who worked in Troy awhile, son in law of Leache's17 & myself. All are well. I believe that I have written all that I can think of at present. I remain ever your affectionate son Wm. H. H. Clayton <><><><><><><><><><><><> Camp Lincoln Keokuk August 31st, 1862 Dear Father & Mother: I intended to have written to you on Friday, but it came my turn to stand guard on Friday morning.
Give my best wishes & respect to all who enquire after me. I expect some of my friends will think that I am negligent about writing but I have not had much time and I hope they will not think hard of it. If letters are directed here they will follow the regt. I would like very much to receive a letter from some of my friends, every evening about 8 or 9 o'clock the mail is distributed through camp and lucky is the person that gets a letter, so the rest think who get none. Nothing more at the present but I remain ever affectionately yours, Wm.
A Damned Iowa Greyhound: The Civil War Letters of William Henry Harrison Clayton by Donald C. Elder III