Friday, January 10, 2014

Charles F. Stratton, Sergeant

 This was the first tidbit I found about Company D of the 6th Iowa. This is to my knowledge the only photo of a soldier of this company.
Charles F. Stratton, Sergeant 
 Stratton, Charles F. (Veteran.) Age 19. Residence Centerville, nativity Missouri. Enlisted June 25, 1861, as
Drummer. Mustered July 17, 1861. Wounded April 6, 1861, Shiloh, Tenn.
Re-enlisted and re-mustered Jan. 26, 1864. Promoted Third Sergeant Nov. 10,
1864. Killed in action March 20, 1865, Bentonville, N. C. Buried in National
Cemetery, Raleigh, N. C. Section 17, grave 5.

 In researching this young man he seems to have been well liked by the men. I found this excerpt :

"On Friday morning, April 4th, a scouting party of Con- federate cavalry made an attack on the picket guard posted on the Purdy road beyond Owl Creek, which was guarded by Captain Walden with his company (Company D) at the bridge. Here Charles F. Stratton, company drummer, serving on the picket post at the time, was shot and se-verely wounded in the hand, causing the amputation of a finger. The bold raiders were speedily driven away, by the guards on duly, without any additional casualties. The jolly drummer boy of Company D had the distinction of being the first man in the regiment to be shot by the enemy."
                          -A History of the 6th Iowa Infantry by Henry H. Wright 

 This is a fascinating story. Charles Stratton almost survived the entire war. He was killed at Bentonville  on March 20th. Henry Wright recounts some of the days actions. 

"At daybreak, March 20, 1865, all of the troops were busy wiping out guns, filling up cartridge boxes with fresh dry ammunition, and putting everything in order for the work of the day, for they knew, as well as did the general commanding, what was in store for them as the advance division of the corps 
....all of the troops were busy wiping out guns

 "The Second Brigade led the advance with the Sixth Iowa next to the advance regiment in the brigade."

 "Captain Orlando J. Fast, serving as brigade Adjutant-General and always a familiar figure
at the front, spoke encouragingly to the troops as they filed into position, saying, "Keep a stiff upper lip boys, and give them the best you have".

 "The battle opened at once with a crackling fire of small arms, accompanied by the familiar shouting of the 97th, which was heartily responded to by the whole brigade. Glorious commencement! The enemy was routed from his first position and the column steadily advanced for three miles, the skirmishers driving the foe out of several strong; positions, protected by rail barricades. A hall was called to let the column close up, at which time the 97th Indiana was relieved and the 6th Iowa advanced as the skirmishers." 

After they were relieved the 6th were not engaged for the rest of the day taking up a position in a fortified line at the rear. 


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