Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Proud German Soldier

John Hormel, a native of the “Kingdom of Germany”, enlisted on August 9, 1862 and became a member of Company G of the 22nd Iowa Infantry. The 21 year-old worked as a blacksmith and stood five feet six and a half inches tall with black eyes and black hair; he was discharged in June 1865 from Company K of the 5th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. On his discharge papers, he proudly and carefully used red ink to write “In Battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge, and Seige of Vicksburg Where he was wounded.” The 22nd Iowa Infantry played the key role in the assault on the Railroad Redoubt on May 22, 1863 and suffered losses of 27 killed, 118 wounded, and 19 missing or captured. The sturdy trans-Mississippians went on to serve in the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign, but the assault at Vicksburg was their most memorable fight. For a recounting of the assault see Jeffry C. Burden's "Into the Breach: The 22nd Iowa Infantry at the Railroad Redoubt" in Civil War Regiments: A Journal Of The America Civil War (volume 2, #1, pages 19-35).

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