Tuesday, May 17, 2011

William Tannahill goes to War

About William’s Tannahill's picture: A photographer said that this type of picture was made around the turn of the century (1900) when the photographers, with their horse and buggy would travel the country and from tintype pictures they would enlarge them, and then paint them.

The Civil War began in 1860 and being the kind of man that he was, William was one of the first to enlist in Co.P, 7th Iowa Regiment in the service of his country.  On the First Chickasaw County Company Roster there are several names which are important to our family.  From Bradford, Chickasaw Co.,  Thomas Bigger, A.J.Felt, John Laird, William Tannahill.  From New Hampton, B.E. Morton, and A.H. Morton
William always wore a long beard and it was shot off as he stood by the side of his friend, Andy Feldt, in the Battle of Belmont.  As fate would have it, a young man named Benjamin Ellis Morton had come to this same battle to enlist in the same regiment.  He became acquainted with William and shared those experiences in battle.  Both William and Andy were taken prisoners there, and were given a chance to go free if they would agree not to re-enlist.  Not a man took his freedom.  Alvin H. Morton, Benjamin's brother, was killed.

There was a battle at Belmont, Missouri, opposite Columbus, on 7th. An expedition numbering about 3500 men and including the Twenty-second , Twenty-seventh, Thirtieth and Thirty-first Regiments, the Seventh Iowa Reginent, Taylors Chicago Artillery, and Dollen’s and Delano’s Cavalry, proceeded down the river on steamboats accompanied by the gun-boats Lexington and Tyler, landed on Thursday morning, and made the attack on the rebels, seven thousand strong, about 11 o'clock.  The enemy were strongly entrenched, and being so much superior in numbers, made a strong resistance.  They were, however, driven out of their camp, which was destroyed, and their battery, consisting of twelve pieces, was captured — two of the guns being brought away.  Their camp and baggage were destroyed, their horses and mules were captured, and a large number of them were taken prisoners.  The object of the expedition having been accomplished, the National forces were retiring, when they were attacked by a heavy rebel reinforcement from Columbus, on the opposite side of the river, and another, desperate engagement took place, which continued until our forces were all withdrawn.  The losses in killed and wounded were heavy on both sides.  How much the rebels suffered in this respect is not known with certainty, but the casualties of the national forces, in killed, wounded, and missing are estimated at three to five hundred —probably at least ten per cent.  The expedition was commanded by Generals Grant and McLennand.
 Taken from  Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 7, 1861 

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