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Samuel L. Cutshall
The following appeared as a article in the Spencer, Iowa Newspaper, dated September 23, 1926.
Samuel L. Cutshall (11-7-1845 to 9-29-1933) enlisted as a recruit on Octopber. 1, 1863 in Company. B, 4th Iowa Cavalry and went to Camp McClellan, Davenport, Iowa where he drilled for two months, before going to Vicksburg on scout duty.
While stationed at Vicksburg, Mr. Cutshall's regiment under General Sherman went on an expedition to Canton where a battle was fought and the rebels defeated. From Vicksburg Mr. Cutshall, with his scouting brigade, went to Memphis where they were reunited with the veterans of the 4th Cavalry, and assigned to the second brigade of the Cavalry division of the 16th Army Corps. On the 30th of April 1864, the 4th Cavalry took up their march from Memphis to Bolin, Mississippi, reaching there May 4, expecting a fight with General Forest's forces, but found be had retreated to the interior of Mississippi.
In August 1864, Mr. Cutshall was again stationed at Memphis when the enemy under General Forest made a surprise raid on the city and reached the center of the city before the Union troops rallied and drove him out. General Washburn, then in command, was taken so suddenly by surprise he escaped in his night robe to Fort Pickering to avoid being captured.
On the 21st of December 1864, Mr. Cutshall's regiment with three thousand Cavalry under General Grierson left Memphis for Vicksburg. On the march they came across four hundred hogs fattening for the rebel army. There was no way of transporting the hogs north to be made use of by the Union Army, so orders were given to destroy all the hogs and pile them up and burn them.. The last hog was destroyed by the soldiers and while they were burning, six hundred rebel prisoners were marched past and viewed the destruction.
At Macon, Georgia, said Mr. Cutshall, a rebel officer approached the Union lines under a flag of truce and informed the Union general that Lee had surrendered to Grant, and that the war was at an end. The Union general informed the officer that he was not taking orders from the enemy and ordered the officer to get his men out of Columbus, which was promptly obeyed. But the news of the assassination of Lincoln, said Mr. Cutshall, came from the enemy before it reached the army through the Union news service. The war was drawing to an end and the last battle was fought at Columbus, Mississippi, April 15, 1865.
When the news of the surrender of Lee became authentic, General Wilson at once dispatched his body guard to hurry to Andersonville, 60 miles away, to capture the rebel officers in command of the prison. On reaching the prison they found that all had fled but Captain Wertz, who was captured and afterwards ingloriously hung for his brutal treatment of the Union soldiers in that prison. Meanwhile, Jeff Davis had fled from Richmond and was making his way towards Texas or Mexico to escape capture, but a detail 3rd and 4th Michigan Cavalry headed Davis off and brought him to Augusta, on the Savannah River, and placed him on a gunboat for Fortress Monroe. Mr. Cutshall was at Augusta when this historical event took place.
The war being now practically over, the 4th Iowa Cavalry was mustered out of service at Augusta, Georgia, in August 1865.
One of the pathetic incidents of Mr. Cutshall's experience as a soldier was when passing over the battlefield at Tupelo, in a humane spirit, rendering what relief he could to the wounded enemy, Mr. Cutshall came across an officer with face upturned to the boiling sun. Mr. Cutshall gathered some branches from a tree and tenderly placed them over the officer's face while he was praying, His last words before expiring were for the old flag and acknowledging their wrong.
A few of the battles in which Mr. Cutshall was engaged were at Montevel, March 30, 1865, Six Mile Creek, the 31st, and at Ebenezer Church the same day, Selma Alabama, April 3, Tupelo, Mississippi April 8, Columbus, Mississippi, the last battle of the Civil War. At the battle of Old Town Creek, Mr.Cutshall recalls a gruesome task - standing picket among the rebel dead strewn all around him.
After the war, Mr. Cutshall joined the Annett Post, #124, Grand Army of the Republic in Spencer, Iowa. The photograph below was taken when he was Post Commander. His obituary states that there were only four surviving members after his passing, and it is strongly suspected that the other men in the photograph are those four. The names of the four surviving members are, L.H. Sargent, C.W. Hoxie, John Runkle and Aaron Jones.
Photograph and information submitted by Samuel L. Cutshall's Great Great Grandson, Robert R. Blechl.
Samuel L. Cutshall (front row on the left)