Charles Hennrich Letter - Sept. 22, 1862
27th Iowa Top Banner

Transcribed and submitted by
Teri Button
Great Great Granddaughter of Charles Hennrich

Dubuque, Iowa
Sept 22, 1862

Dear Parents;

I received your letter the 19th of September and see from it that you are all still well.

Dear parents, that which you have written in your letter, that we must sleep out under the open sky, is not true. The first two weeks we slept without blankets, but then, since our covers had not come, Capt. Meyer said that we did not want to enter the fighting before we had our covers so he said that he would go to Guttenberg to gather some there, he thinking that enough could be gathered there for every two. During the time that he was gone another company tried to occupy our camp and Silas Garber said that we would have to occupy our camp or they would take it away from us. So we made camp there one Saturday afternoon and two days later Capt. Meyer returned with enough blankets to give one to every two men.

Now it is better since our regiment received its supplies on the 20 and 21st. We have two suitcoats, the one for every day wear and for drill, the other for Sundays and for dress parade. Dress-parade is held every evening at 5 o'clock when the entire regiment must assemble. We have also gotten an overcoat, two pairs of underpants, two shirts, one pair of shoes, and a hat, a cap, and a pair of blue trousers, and two pairs of socks.

You wrote that you had laid aside a blanket to send to me but that will be unnecessary since we now have clothes enough.

We have received no money as yet but rumor has it that we will receive our bounty money any day now. Nicholaus, of Guttenberg, was here in our camp and said that $1500 was laying in Guttenberg for our camp.

Dear parents, you asked if I would be allowed another furlough and if so that I should come home once again. I have asked Meyer if we would have another furlough. He said that we would have another four or five day furlough before we leave here.

We ourselves do not know yet if we will go down to St. Louis or to Minnesota. General Pope has given orders that no soldier from Iowa or Wisconsin shall leave until further orders.

The 21st Regiment, which was here by our camp, left here the 16th of September, in a heavy rain, sailing for St. Louis. There they received orders to proceed no farther toward their destination of Rolla, Missouri. It is said that they must return and go to Minnesota.

Dear parents, there is nothing much new here. Every day soldiers arrive here. Four regiments are in camp here and almost two regiments lie in town so that the total count runs over 5000 men.

One evening there were three regiments on the drill ground. The dust was so thick as to almost suffocate one. We have to drill more each day than here-to-fore since we do not know how much longer we will be here. We have to drill from six to eight and from ten to twelve in the morning and again from two to four when the whole regiment drills together. Mornings companies drill by themselves and evenings at 5 o'clock there is a dress-parade.

I must close, and greet again all my brothers and sisters.

I remain your faithful son,

Carl Hennrich

When you send me another letter you must address it differently,

Camp Franklin, Dubuque, Iowa
D. E. Meyer Company
27 Regiment Iowa Vol.

NOTES: The 27th Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry was recruited from seven northeastern counties. The Clayton County recruits made up Company D. Regimental officers' commissions were dated variously from August 10, 1862 to September 21, 1862. All company officers' commissions were dated the day of mustering in of the regiment which was October 3, 1862.

Captain Daniel C. Meyer was born in Germany and was a resident of Garnavillo, Iowa. He was 41 years of age at the time of his enlistment. He resigned his commission April 13, 1863.

Silas Garber, 1st Lieutenant of Company D, age 28 years, was a neighbor of the parents of Charles Hennrich. He had previously been enlisted in the 3rd Missouri Volunteer Infantry as 3rd Sergeant, had been promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and was aide-de-camp on General Scofield's staff at the time that he asked for, and received, transfer to Company D. He was promoted to captain when Captain Meyer resigned.

The 27th Iowa left Dubuque, Iowa by boat 11 October 1862 going to Fort Snelling, Minnesota where they remained in camp until late November 1862. They moved from there by boat to Cairo, Illinois and again by boat, to Memphis, Tennessee on the 20th of November 1862.

Guttenberg, in Clayton County, Iowa, was originally named Prairie La Porte. In 1845 German immigration to Iowa was promoted by the Western Settlement Society, a Cincinnati, Ohio organization. At this time an attempt to name the place in honor of Johann Gutenberg resulted in the town's name being Guttenberg because of the spelling error made on the plat filed in the County Recorder's office.

Dubuque, Iowa is the county seat of Dubuque County. The first white man to settle here was Julien Dubuque. He operated lead mines just south of the present town site. These mines were known as "The Mines of Spain" when operations started in 1788, No other white settlers were allowed in this territory of the Fox Indians until after the Black Hawk War in 1833.

Moving troops to Minnesota in the fall of 1862 was prompted by an uprising of a group of Sioux Indians under Chief Little Crow. They had been living peacefully on their Minnesota Reservation since the Spirit Lake massacre in 1857. So the outbreak which started on Sunday, the 17th of August 1862 took the whites by complete surprise. About 800 settlers were killed during the first week and about 30,000 fled from a twenty-three county area of southwestern Minnesota. Most of the Indian participants escaped to Dakota Territory, but the army did capture and hold for trial 2000 Sioux warriors. Of these, 300 were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. However, a board of review reduced the convicted to 38 and these were handed simultaneously at Mankato, Minnesota December 26, 1862.