5th Iowa cav soldier – Schlapp – writes about being captured near Corinth

5th Iowa Cav. (Curtis Horse) – August Schlapp

Tells story of action at Lockridge’s Mill, TN (part of Siege of Corinth) where the 5th Iowa suffered severe casualties, over 60 soldiers captured, including Schlapp

The 5th Iowa was engaged in Hood’s middle Tennessee campaign, fought at Nashville and was much engaged in Hood’s Retreat in late December.

Iowa Cavalry soldier, prisoner of war story in relation to the siege of Corinth, battle detail between cavalry units, middle TN action, soldier and a Cav unit that saw significant participation at the Battle of Nashville and in Hood’s retreat.

– – – – – –

Fort Heiman, TN (near Dresden and Ft Henry)
Soldier (August Schlapp, Co. F) writes “Seven miles from Dresden we stopped and camped, when we were attacked by 2200 Secesh cavalry, we slapped on our saddles and off we went to where our main force was encamped, you will remember that 40 of our whole force of 128 fleeing, one of them kept a mile in the rear of the balance as rear guard. Many of our rear guard was killed, wounded or taken prisoners, before they got to their horses. When we got to the other camp they was not mounted, but most of them soon became so, and we formed a line of battle, but after a very short stand were ordered to retreat, then commenced such a funny race between Secesh and Union soldiers which I never witnessed before. Horses plunging into holes, men tumbling off killed or wounded or jumping off and taking to the bushes, with the constant roar of musket, carabine and pistol fire, saber rattle and Indian like yell of the men made a laughable fuss for a cool listener. To make short a long story 61 of us were taken prisoner … back to Corinth where we were sent on parole across the lines, into Halleck’s Camps. There we met with severe ill treatment from Halleck who contrary to our oath put us to hospital work such as digging graves and burying dead. At last we were sent to our Regiment and upon refusing to report for duty before regularly exchanged, were put in the Guard house and bound to hard labor. After two weeks confinement they read us an order wich releaved us of our parole,”

Notes from Schlaap’s letter

1. He is describing the severe engagement at Lockridge’s Mill, TN where he and 60 of his comrades were captured during a surprise raid by Rebel cavalry.

2. Details incredible action during the raid between Union and Confederate cavalry forces.

3. Mentions 61 of the Union men were taken prisoner, and were taken back to Corinth, paroled, and had to dig graves under Halleck’s supervision.

Research notes on August L. Schlapp, Co. F. 5th Iowa Cavalry

August L. Schlapp was from Burlington, Iowa. He was 24 years old when he enlisted on September 7th, 1861 as an 8th Corporal. On October 25, 1861 he mustered in to Co. F., 5th Iowa Cavalry. He reenlisted 1/14/64 and mustered out 8/11/65.

About two months prior to writing this letter he was listed as a POW at Lockridge’s Mill, TN.  He was returned to his regiment on 6/10/62, writing this letter just a few weeks later. Schlaap was born in Germany.

At the time of Schlapp writing this letter he was a member of the District and Army of West Tennessee.

According to David Conzett’s web site: Schlapp was one of the men who was part of an amazing episode in the regiment’s history. The Official Roster entry says “taken prisoner May 5, 1862, Lockridge’s Mill, Tennessee. Returned to Company June 10, 1862.” However, the story did not end there. The men had been paroled by the Confederates, but were not properly exchanged. Nevertheless they were coerced by their commander to reenter the fray. This was contrary to laws of war, and the men knew it. Some disobeyed the order, but most acquiesced when they witness the punishment of their friends. Schlapp’s entry in the 1888 Portrait and Biograhical Album of Des Moines County, Iowa describes the event this way, stating he “was captured near Mayfield, Ky., in 1862, held a prisoner for two weeks and discharged on parole. The parole was not respected by his superior officers, and, with others of his comrades, he was forced to return to active duty.”

The 5th Iowa Cavalry saw action at:

  • Paris, TN – March 1862
  • Lockridge’s Mill, TN – May 1862
  • Cumberland Iron Works, TN – August 1862
  • Lafayette, TN – October 1862
  • Garrettsburg, KY – November 1862
  • McMinnville, TN – September 1863
  • Wartrace, TN – October 1863
  • Chattahoochee River, GA – July 1863
  • Atlanta Campaign – summer 1864
  • Duck River, TN – November 1964
  • Battle of Nashville – Dec 15, 1864; “when the great battle before that city was fought it took part at the extreme right where it suffered but little.”
  • Pulaski, TN (Hood’s Retreat) – late December; In the pursuit of Hood, which nearly annihilated his whole army, the regiment was very active, repeatedly overtaking and engaging his cavalry, with some loss.
  • Other places: Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee

Key words this letter pertains to:

5th Iowa Cavalry | August Schlaap | Confederate Cavalry | Union Cavalry | Lockridge’s Mill, TN | Prisoner of War | Corinth | Burying the Dead | Fort Heiman | Battle of Nashville | Duck River | Hood’s Retreat

More about Schlapp:

August L. Schlapp, a member of the wholesale grocery house of Biklen, Winzer & Co., was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 27, 1837, and is a son of H. L. Schlapp, also a native of that country. He was educated in the gymnasium of his native city, taking a classical course, and then was employed in an antiquarian book-store for a time as a salesman, but subsequently emigrated to America, coming direct to Burlington, Iowa, which he reached in July 1857. At this time he was but twenty years of age. He engaged as a farm-hand in Des Moines County, also doing some work of he same character in Henry County until the war broke out, when he enlisted in the Fremont Hussars, an independent cavalry regiment, but was subsequently transferred with his company to the 5th Iowa Cavalry, was captured near Mayfield, Ky., in 1862, held a prisoner for two weeks and discharged on parole. The parole was not respected by his superior officers, and, with others of his comrades, he was forced to return to active duty. His promotion to the rank of Second Lieutenant occurred Oct. 20, 1864. Until 1863 Mr. Schlapp’s services were employed in hunting guerrillas, but at that time his regiment joined the main army, the Army of the Cumberland, before Murfreesboro, and participated in the battles of Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Chattanooga, capture of Atlanta, battle of Jonesboro, Franklin, Nashville, Decatur, the raid through middle Tennessee, Wilson’s Raid, the capture of Selma, Ala., and of Columbus, Ga. He was mustered out at the close of the war, Aug. 20, 1865.

On his return from the war, Mr. Schlapp located in Burlington, Iowa, and engaged with Starker & Hagemann, wholesale grocers, as shipping clerk, and one year later left them to engage in the retail grocery business at Ft. Madison. He carried on that business successfully until 1875, when he sold out, returned to Burlington, and with Biklen and Winzer succeeded the wholesale grocery house of Starker, Hagemann & Co. Mr. Schlapp has been an active member of the firm of Biklen, Winzer & Co., the most extensive house in this line in the city since its incorporation.

On the 13th of October, 1866, in Burlington, Iowa, Mr. Schlapp led to the marriage alter Miss Lina Krust, a native of St. Louis, Mo. Three living children grace their union, two sons and a daughter–Carl H. L., Ernest Otto and Anna.

Mr. Schlapp was a Republican for many years, but is now known as a member of that class called Mugwumps, and, having never been an aspirant for the honors of public office, has devoted his attention strictly to business pursuits. He is a member of the Turners’ Society, the Crystal Lake Shooting Club, the Burlington Commercial Club, and Burlington Schuetzen Verein, and has always taken an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare and development of the city, being recognized as one of the representative business men.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Desmoines County, Iowa. Chicago: Acme Publishing, 1888.

All information is deemed reliable but subject to revision as more is learned. I offer few items for sale so please contact me at civilwargazette[at]yahoo.com if interested.   Let me know if you’re looking for specific items or areas of interest.

3 thoughts on “5th Iowa cav soldier – Schlapp – writes about being captured near Corinth

  1. Am compiling 950 page book, “Confederate History Compendium of Tennessee” for TN Division United Daughters of the Confederacy. In checking items regarding Weakley County, TN., found your letter
    of August L. Schlapp. If you will check the tcwpa.org website on the Lockridge’s Mill Battle, you will see that
    Col. Thomas Claiborne reported that he paroled a man named Henry Schlopp to take care of the wounded.
    Could they be the same person or related? There seemed to be too much coindence in the report and the letter! Too interesting. Barbara B. Parsons, chairman
    TN Division UDC Remembrance of 150 Years committee

  2. Pingback: July 6th in Tennessee Civil War History « Tennessee in the Civil War

  3. As a boy, I visited the old house where the Battle of Lockridge Mills took place, many times. “The Civil War House”, as we called it, still had blood stains on the walls and floors. My grandmother was raised in that mill area, and recounted the story to me many times. She said Miss Susie Bondurant told her the blood was leaking through the floors from the upstairs and dripping onto a nursing mothers breast. Eerie even now to think about. I can still see the stains in my mind on the poplar walls and drops on the floors. The house is long gone now, but still stand in my minds eye.

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