8th Iowa cavalry boys fought together, CDVs

Here are a few CDVs from some boys who were members of the 8th Iowa – fought at Nashville and Franklin.

Abner McClure

Residence Kossuth IA; 18 years old.

Enlisted on 7/29/1863 as a Private.

On 9/2/1863 he mustered into “D” Co. IA 8th Cavalry

He was Mustered Out on 8/13/1865 at Macon, GA

Other Information: born in Iowa

Information about the 8th Iowa Cavalry

Organized: Davenport, IA on 9/30/63
Mustered Out: 8/13/65

Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 3
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 2
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 37
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 116
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)

William Christy, born in Ohio, was a Capt. in Co, D, 8th Iowa Cavalry.

Residence Osceola IA; 22 years old.

Enlisted on 6/25/1863 as a Sergt Major.

On 9/30/1863 he mustered into Field & Staff IA 8th Cavalry.

He was Mustered Out on 8/13/1865 at Macon, GA

He was listed as:
* POW 7/30/1864 Lovejoy Station, GA
* Wounded 7/30/1864 Lovejoy Station, GA
* Paroled 12/15/1864 Annapolis, MD (Estimated day)

* 2nd Lieut 7/15/1864 (As of Co. D)
* 1st Lieut 1/29/1865
* Capt 6/24/1865

Intra Regimental Company Transfers:
* 7/15/1864 from Field & Staff to company D

Other Information: born in Ohio

Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.

John H. Walkinshaw, from Macon, GA

Residence listed as Linton, IA; 19 years old.

Enlisted on 7/29/1863 as a Private.

On 9/2/1863 he mustered into “D” Co. IA 8th Cavalry

He was Mustered Out on 8/13/1865 at Macon, GA

Other Information: born in Ohio

Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.


The Regimental History

Eighth Cavalry. Cols., Joseph B. Dorr, Horatio G. Barner; Lieut.-Col., Horatio G. Barner, Majs., J. J. Brown, James D. Thompson, A. J. Price, Richard Root, John H. Isett, E. Shurtz, J. W. Moore, John Dance, George W. Burns.

The 8th cavalry saw little of real war until the spring of 1864, when it started with Sherman in the celebrated campaign for Atlanta. The regiment had been organized late in the previous autumn at Davenport. It left Iowa in the middle of October and by the middle of November was stationed at Waverly and other points west of Nashville, Tenn., where it remained on guard and garrison duty all the winter, with little opportunity for showing the pluck of its soldiers and no chance at all for distinction.

May-day, 1864, brought on the new campaign, and the 8th IA was made a part of the 1st brigade of McCook’s division of cavalry. In all that arduous campaign the regiment was constantly at the front, and when the Confederates, after weeks of constant skirmishing and battles, at last fell back behind the Chattahoochee, the 8th Iowa cavalry was the first troop across the river after them. So the fighting and the skirmishing went on around Atlanta, and then came that luckless raid of Gen. McCook’s to the Macon railroad, in which the regiment was captured near Newnan, only a few escaping through the woods to tell how heroically the command had tried to save itself.

The late autumn found Col. Dorr exchanged, and with his regiment, again ready for battle against Gen. Hood, who was then invading Tennessee. It was engaged near Franklin, but quietly fell back with the main army to take an important part in the great battle and victory of Nashville. It participated in a charge on the first day of the battle and in the rapid pursuit of Hood, in which the whole Confederate army was nearly annihilated, the 8th cavalry did its full share of hard riding.

Late in March, 1865, the regiment was at Chickasaw, Ala., eager to join the other Iowa cavalry there in the grandest raid of the war — the march of Wilson to Selma, Columbus and Macon. On Aug. 13, the regiment was mustered out at Macon and started for Iowa, its honorable and patriotic career complete.Its losses were as follows: deaths from battle, 16; deaths from disease 168; wounded, 15; discharged, 64.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 4

To learn more about Iowa in the Civil War visit these sites:


50 thoughts on “8th Iowa cavalry boys fought together, CDVs

  1. When the bulk of the 8th Iowa was captured near Newman, a handful fought their way out to Union lines. These were 17 men led by Major John Dance. They then were reorganized to fight again. Family information indicates that Major Dance was then placed in command of four companies and continued fighting until mustered out at the end of the war. Major John Dance was my greatgrandfather.

    • Don- I am researching all of the men of the 8th Iowa Cavalry. Here’s what I have on Major Dance. Can you add to this?
      Dance, John Battalion Major

      He was born on 24 Nov 1822 to Henry and Mary Winslow Dance at Sapperton, Lincolnshire, England and enlisted with Company K on 4 Jul 1863 from his residence in Cedar Bluff, IA. He also served with Company K, 11th Iowa Infantry. He was discharged on 13 Aug 1865 at Macon, GA. He was married to Pheobe Harriet Hodson (22 Jan 1819-12 Jan 1904). On 1 Jun 1868 he applied for an invalid pension (#24370), certificate #153799. He died on 21 Feb 1905 at Orient, Adair County, IA and they are both buried in the Lisbon Cemetery, Linn County, IA.

      • Dear Ron:

        Just noticed your comment concerning Major Dance’s Reminenices. I do have a copy as well as a partial diary. Thanks, Don Treichler

  2. Dear Dale:

    Your information on Major Dance is correct. I am in the process of gathering additional information for a biography of Major Dance (Cold Steel-Raw Courage: Civil War Biography of Major John Dance, Commander 3rd BN., 8th Iowa Cavalry). Major Dance enlisted in the 11th Iowa Infantry rising to the rank of Corporal before being wounded in the arm from a minnie ball at the Battle of Pittsburg Landing. He was discharged and then mustered back in as the Captain of Company K, 8th Iowa Cavalry recruited in Cedar County, Iowa. He spent the remainder of the war as a Captain and promoted to Major of the 3rd Bn. at the war’s end. He was involved in a number of hair raising escapades (one I described previously). Another, he was ordered to block the Confederates crossing the Duck Creek fords with his Bn. (apparently, this was the 1st Bn.) while the remainder of the Union forces withdrew northward. He was ordered to not retreat until ordered. In doing so, they finally were surrounded by stronger forces and, since communications with his superiors was cut off, he cut his way though the Confederate forces with his Bn in the darkness and marched through the woods toward the north. They were challenged in the darkness by a Confederate sentry saying “who goes there?” and Captain Dance barked back, “Major Williams – General Forest sent me up here to kill some damned Yankees, which way are they?’ Bluffing his way through, he marched his Bn. alongside a Confederate artilley battery for three hours (6 miles) in the darkness before splitting off and reporting back to General Johnson (Union) who exclaimed – “My God, I thought you were lost for good.” I intend to cover a homesteading attempt in Nebraska and comments on his sister who was assistant head housekeeper for Queen Victoria. Buried just across an interior road in the Lisbon Cemetery from Major Dance and his wife Phoebe are Captain James Madison Treichler and his wife Mary Emma Dance Treichler, the Dance’s daughter. I just published a book on James (Crimson Fields: Civil War Biography of Captain James Madison Treichler – available at LuLu.com [type books then Don Treichler]). Mary Emma was a teacher, poet, song writer, and artist. Like many researchers, I would like to record in writing these Civil War stories before they are last for ever. Best regards, Don Treichler

    • Don- I was wondering if you knew what brought your relation to Orient, Iowa. My relation in Orient fought in some of the same battles, being stationed with the 3rd Ohio Independent Artillary Battery. His name was Winfield Scott Creighton and worked for the railroad in Adair County, dying there in 1924.

      • Dear John:

        Sorry for the delay in answering, I was driving across country to do some research and just returned. Major Dance and his wife Phoebe lived in Lisbon, Iowa until Phoebe’s death. He was not particularly in good health at this stage and moved to Orient, Iowa to live with his daughter, Mary Emma, and her husband, Captain James Madison Treichler. Major Dance died in Orient and was interred in the Lisbon, Iowa cemetery with Phoebe. Just down the short interior road from Major Dance’s burial site at a bend is the grave of Captain Treichler and Mary Emma. Captain Treichler and Emma had lived near Lisbon at a location called Coon Creek, near Major Dance’s farm. They moved from there to Orient. I suspect that they became familiar with Orient when traveling to and from Buffalo County (near Kearney), Nebraska to homestead and subsequently moved there. A son, Jim, ran the Orient Independent newspaper for some time. Best regards, Don Treichler

      • Dear Woody:

        My other response aparently didn’t go through. The 8th Iowa Cavalry rode south of Atlanta with Brigadier General McCook on a search and destroy mission (railroad tracks, supplies, military installations, etc.) This occurred on 27 July 1864. The Brigade regiments were down sized for the expedition with the 8th Iowa riding with some 24 officers and under 300 enlisted men (1/3 the original size of the regiment). On 30 July, the Confederates under Roddy and Wheeler blocked the Union’s progress at Newnan, GA. The 8th charged and cleared the road, but the main body was slow in coming up. These charges and counters continued until the 8th Cavalry, now acting as a rear guard, was surrounded and captured in mass except for a small force under Captain John Dance which cut its way out and returned to the Union lines. Captain Dance’s group totaled three officers and 17 enlisted made up mostly of Company K personnel (Captain Dance’s company), but a smattering of others. Later that year, the 8th Iowa personnel were paroled and the regiment reformed. The Newnan battle is a month later than the date you mention. If your ancestor wasn’t captured around Newnan, then he may have been captured while foraging (scouring the countryside for supplies) or scouting. Such captures were not unusual since these foraging parties usually were composed of small groups unable to put up a sustained fight if confronted by a superior force or ambushed. Hope this answers your question. Don Treichler

  3. i have an ancestor named john johnstion who served in the 8th iowa cavalry company F. on around june 30th 64 he was captured and spent 8 months in andersonvile prision. would you by any chance know of that and if so were anyother men captured in the same incedent.

    • Dear Woody:

      In the publication “Iowa and the Rebellion” on page 699 there is a listing as captured for a Private E. Johnson, but not the name spelling in your post. Regards, Don Treichler

    • My grt grt grandfather was captured and was in Andersonville. He survived but never regained his health. His name was Levy Spencer Sylvester. He is buried in Albia Iowa.

      • Levy Spencer Sylvester was born in Albia, IN and enlisted in the 8th Iowa Cavalry on July 10, 1863. He was mustered into Company F on August 28, 1863. He was captured at Newnan, GA on July 30, 1864 during a raid with General McCook’s Brigade. Later repatriated, he mustered out on June 5, 1865 at Clinton, IA. Captain Ephraim Cummins commanded Company F.. .

  4. Don,

    My Great Grandfather was William S. Delay and I believe was in company F, Iowa 8th Cav. He was with Sherman o the march to the sea and somewhere along the way was wounded when as my great Grandmother said his horse was shot from under him and fell on William crushing his chest. He lived until about 1903 however was unable to work much because of “a large absess” in his chest from the horse falling on him. I would love to be able to trace where he was at during the Battle of Atlanta and on and possibly where he was wounded.

    Thanks for your help,

    Doug Kysar

    • Dear Doug:

      I haven’t been up on this site for a while and just found your query. I will reply by email and give you a call about your grandfather William S. Dyer. Rgds, Don Treichler

    • I have a David C. (could be a G.) Smith, age 21 at joining from Birmingham Iowa, Pvt, Company C, 8th Iowa Cavalry, Born in Ohio, taken prisoner on 6 Apr 1864 at Pleasant Ridge, GA, Discharged 19 Jun 1865 at Davenport, IA, buried at Mount Olive Cemetery, Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas.
      John Smith, age 21, Pvt, Company C, 8th IA CAV, born KY, enlisted from Bloomfield, Iowa on 11 Aug 1863, died on 12 January 1864 at Section 49 of the Nashville and North Western Railroad in TN, buried in the National Cemetery at Nashville, TN, Section M, Grave 371.
      I have more details on other members of the 8th IA CAV.

      daletalkington at gmail.com

  5. Of the several Smiths listed on the IAGENWEB, two seem to be possibles. You asked about David G. Smith. There is a David C. Smith – age 21, residence Birningham, nativity Ohio, elisted July 13, 1863, mustered July 30, 1863, Prisoner April 6, 1864 at Pleasant Ridge, GA, mustered out June 19, 1865 at Davenport, IA.

    You asked about a John Aikens Smith – John Smith is a possible. Age 21, residence Bloomfield, nativity Kentucky, enlisted August 3, 1863, mustered in August 11, 1863, died January 12, 1864 at section 49 (49 miles west of Nashville) on the Nashville & Northwestern RR, buried in the nNational Cemetery at Nashville, Section M, Grave 371,

    Both men were Company C, 8th Iowa Cavalry. Regards,,Don Treichler

  6. I have some bare data on David C. (could be G.) Smith, he is buried at Mount Olive Cemetery, Pittsburg, Crawford County, KS.
    John Smith died 12 January 1864 at Section 49 of the Nashville and North Western Railroad in TN, buried in the National Cemetery at Nashville, TN, Section M, Grave 371.

    daletalkington at gmail.com

  7. My thanks to all who have contributed to this most interesting site!
    Can anyone tell me more of Company H of the 8th Iowa Calvary?

    I am researching my great uncle, Joseph H. Walker (Wayne County, Iowa).
    Joseph was captured and held prisoner at the infamous Anderson?
    Prisoner. Does anyone know where members of Company H were captured –where–when.

    Is it possible that Joseph’s father, John Walker (wife Sarah Frances Jones/Walker) died during tha civil War??—perhaps in the 8th Iowa?

    Thank you so much.

  8. For those interested in the 8th Iowa Cavalry, I just published “Cold Steel – Raw Courage: Major John Dance and the 8th Iowa Cavalry” on Amazon. It is under books – Don Treichler. Major Dance commanded Company K and near the end of the war, the 3rd Battalion. It currently is in paperback and the Kindle edition is being worked on. Rgds, Don Treichler

  9. My name is Craig Johnson, a descendant of a Sergeant Rucker who i believe was assigned to F Company 8th Iowa Cavalry. Does your book mention him, or can anyone who reads this confirm him as a member of the unit 1863-1865?
    Craig Johnson

  10. My ancestor was Pvt. Welcome Martin born Ohio 1842, joined the 8th Iowa Calvary, company G. He was taken prisoner July 30th, 1864 in Newnan, Georgia and died of disease April 15th, 1865 in Baltimore, Maryland.Any info on this soldier would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Rhonda

    • Anonymous….I am also looking for information on Joseph E. Rouse to see if he was from Buchanan County Iowa….bor in December 1820…could possibly be my Great Great Grandfather

  11. I am also looking for information on Joseph E. Rouse to see if he was from Buchanan County Iowa…..possibly my Great Great Grandfather

  12. I recently came across a nice group of items identifed to Captain Wm T. Ogle, including his CDV, Bible and Cavalry Tactics Manual. The group also included another CDV of a Captain, apparently taken at same sitting (both cdv s are unmarked). Wonder if anyone familiar with the regiment could help me identify this officer? Any help would be much apprecieated. Could I post a shot of the image?

  13. Apparently portions of the 8th Iowa were stationed at Johnsonville on the Tenn. River before joining Sherman’s moves toward Atlanta in 1864. Anyone have information on how these boys were armed in the early spring of 1864?

    • Dear Myers:

      The 8th Iowa Cavalry was armed with the Burnside Carbine (.54 caliber, breech loading, single shot) by late 1863. For sidearms, they carried the 1860 Remington .45 Army pistol. By April 1865, they had been issued Spencer carbines with 7-round chambers. Rgds, Don Treichler

      • I think you are wrong on what pistol they carried. There is no such thing as a “model 1860 Remington” however there is a model 1860 ” Colt”. If it were a Remington it would be model 1858 or the “New Model” 1863. In addition they were both 44 cal. not 45.

  14. My grt grt grandfather enlisted in the 8th Iowa calvary. He was captured at Newnan and survived captivity at Andersonville. He returned home to Albia Ia and suffered from poor health the rest of his life. Levy Spencer Sylvester is buried at Oakview Cemetary in Albia. I possess his 8th reunion ribbon. His family was in Albia during the 1840 census and he was older than many with several children but felt obligated to serve. Cindy Stiles

    • Mr. Treichler, I have been doing some research as to the various regiments in Gen. James Wilson cavalry and have a question concerning the Spencer carbines issued to the 8th Iowa which were part of Croxton`s brigade.
      When Wilson was planning the raid on Selma Alabama in the spring of 65 he wanted to rearm as many of the participating regiments with Spencer`s as possible. Up to that time according to inventory records the 8th Iowa was armed with Cosmopolitans and Burnsides as of the fall of 1864.
      The regiments in Coons brigade were not to be a part of the raid so Wilson ordered those units to turn over their Spencer`s to the regiments in Croxton`s brigade that had none or very few.
      I have found out that the 4th Kentucky Mounted Inf. were given Spencer`s that came from the 2nd Iowa, so do you know if there is there any record or perhaps someone`s ancestor mentioned this “swap” of arms in a diary and what regiment the 8th Iowa got its Spencer`s from?

      • Dear Robert:

        My research did not disclose who had the Spencer rifles before the 8th Iowa, although I suppose they could have been new issue. I suspect that this was not the case and that they were turned over by another regiment. On page 147 of my book “Cold Steel – Raw Courage,” in discussing Major Richard Root’s courts-martial, it is attributed to Major Root that he wished the 1st and 3rd battalions had as good as weapons as the 2nd battalion that was armed with Burnsides. Major Dance did not mention this directly in his diary. Don Treichler

  15. Do youhave any infomation on Pvt. Albert Raney 9Rainey) Comp C 8th Iowa cavalry killed at the Battle of Resaca, May 13, 1864? He is an ancestor of mine. Any leads on photos of him too? Thanks. RIchard Wright, richardwright02@yahoo.com

    • Dear Richard:
      Albert Rainey enlisted on July 29, 1863 and was mustered in to Company C, 8th Iowa Cavalry on July 30, 1863. He was from Van Buren County. He was promoted to 7th Corporal on March 24, 1864. His company commander was Captain Edgar Pickett. In Sherman’s march on Atlanta, GA,, he was killed in action on May 15, 1864 near Tilton, GA (north of Resaca). He is buried at the National Cemetery, Section K, Grave site 323, in Chattanooga, TN. In my book, Cold Steel-Raw Courage, Major John Dance and the 8th Iowa Cavalry, Major Dance notes that one man was killed during that brief engagement. Then Captain John Dance commanded Company K. He didn’t note whether the one man killed was from Company K or another company. I hope this helps. Don Treichler

  16. Mr. Treichler,
    I know this is an old post, but I just discovered it. I am from Pinson, AL (Mt. Pinson in the war) and have been researching Croxton due to my home area. There is a place called Turkey Creek and what was once the Mt. Pinson Iron Works that members of Croxton’s BDE destroyed on the creek about a mile from my house. There is a reference in “The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union” of the 8th Iowa encamped at Mt. Pinson on 19 April 1865. I discovered a what I call a Scroll type 3 Branded in a tree about 30 feet up on a tree next to turkey creek maybe a quarter mile from the foundry site.I had read that symbols like that were used to mark way points, distances, units and encampments. If part of the 8th Iowa was encamped there do you know where I can find any info on them or diary entries about the area? Thanks.

    • Dear Lynn:

      In the War of the Rebellion, serial 103, p. 0423, it discusses Wilson’s raid in Alabama and Georgia. On April 19, it indicates that the command, minus the 8th Iowa Cavalry, encamped near Mount Pinson, approximately 14 miles from Elyton. In my book about Major John Dance, Company K commander of the 8th Iowa, he states “Companies C, G, and K destroy much of the crops, then cross over the river to go and forage places and then get out before dark. Company K goes across the creek first, then C, then G. Camp on the river bank and wait until morning.” In his preceding entry on April 17, 1865, he described camping near the Black Warrior River. Hope this helps, Don Treichler

  17. Don, I am looking for information on my great grandfather Joseph W. Dilley who was with the Iowa 8th Cavalry, Company L (?). Any thing you can share about engagements and if they were part of the group surrounded at Newman Georgia?

    • Dear Larry:

      Joseph W. Dilley enlisted on October 14, 1864 from Dubuque, IA. He was mustered into Company L of the 8th Iowa Cavalry on October 23, 1864. He was mustered out On August 13, 1865 at Macon, GA. His company commander was Captain Aaron Pinney. It is difficult to determine precisely which men from the various 8th Iowa Cavalry companies rode south on the Macon RR with McCook since they downsized the companies and left some of the men in the rear. In any event, when surrounded at Newnan (not Newman), McCook ordered the 8th Iowa first to clear the road and then to fight a rear guard action. Greatly out numbered and running out of ammunition, the 8th Iowa Cavalry finally surrendered. A small group under the command of Captain John Dance, Company K commander, fought their way out of the encirclement and were able to return to the main force. Later, those captured and not dying in captivity, we repatriated and the regiment reformed. You can find internet articles describing the 8th Iowa’s activities. My book, Cold Steel-Raw Courage, Major John Dance and the 8th Iowa Cavalry, follows John Dance and Company K throughout the history of the 8th Iowa which gives you a pretty good idea of the activities of the 8th Iowa. I hope this helps. Don Treichler

      • Don,
        Thank you very much for this information on my great great grandfather in the Iowa 8th Cavalry. Can you tell me where i can find your book, since I am sure it will be an interesting read.

      • Dear Larry:

        The book is carried by Amazon under Don Treichler. It is in print and Kindle. The title is “Cold Steel-Raw Courage, Major Jon Dance and the 8th Iowa Cavalry.” Hope you enjoy it. Don

      • Larry-
        I am doing a lot of research into the 8th Iowa, because my Great, Great Grandfather Peter Nichols Talkington was a Farrier in Company F.
        If you will look at the free website: http://www.findagrave.com you will see a LOT of material on the families of Joseph W. Dilley, Jr., his father Joseph Sr, and his father Aaron. Robert DeLong has created eight of the Memorial Pages on the Dilley family buried in Iowa. He says his policy of transferring these Memorials to members of the Dilley family is very liberal. You might want to join the free FAG with just a simple Public Name and Password. This way Mr. DeLong can do the transfers and you can then add more information and pictures. I have been on FAG for over five years and think it is a GREAT place to find relatives. If you have question about FAG, call my cell phone 3zero5.343.422nine N. Dale Talkington, Stillwater, OK

  18. Wow. What a great site with such detailed answers. I’m intrigued by this book.

    I have a gg-grandfather that served with the 8th Iowa company M. He settled in Barbour County Ala after the war. I’m not sure how he arrived in Barbour County. His name was James Thomas Knight. That’s essentially all the information I have on him. I’m not even sure of his state of birth. Though he served with Iowa, he may have been born in Ind.

    Thanks for your help.

    Dr. Sandy B. Hunter

    • Dear Dr. Hunter:
      James Thomas Knight enlisted in the 8th Iowa Cavalry Regiment at age 19 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was originally from Indiana. He was assigned to Company M under the command of Captain William H. Hoxie. The other two company officers were 1stLT Henry Moreland and 2ndLT James H. Eldrege. His enlistment date was August 20, 1863. He was wounded at Cassville, GA on May 9, 1864. Subsequently he was discharged on May 29, 1865. Hope this helps, Don Treichler

  19. Like so many of you in this conversation my great grandfather was in the 8th; Howard Gordon Co. G. Enlisted in Appanoose Co. grew up in Forbush north of Centerville. Captured in Newman with so many others, and imprisoned near Macon. The Newnan battle site is well preserved and marked with detailed kiosks and maps at the site. Well worth a visit. He always said he was held in Andersonville, but my research there revelaled no listing of him. The Iowa historical building in Des Moines holds the original enlisted documents for the 8th. Great to see the oringinal handwriting of our ancestors on their enlistment documents.

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