Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gone for Soldiers: Willet Orlando "Richard" or "Dick" Worden (1843 - 1912), Soldier, U.S. - Part 8

This week marks the 153rd anniversary of my great great grandfather Willet O. "Dick" Worden's enlistment in the Iowa Twenty-Fourth Infantry - Company G, the same company from which he had received a disability discharge the previous August at Carrollton, Louisiana after taking part in the Vicksburg Campaign. He had just turned 21.*

[Report of the Adjutant General and Acting Quartermaster General of the State of Iowa. U.S., Adjutant General Military Records, 1631-1976 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Various. Sacramento, California: California State Library.]

His 17-year-old brother John Henry Worden (whose name is just below his) had enlisted in the same company the previous month.

Since Dick Worden was a veteran he wouldn't have needed training so was probably sent directly to rejoin his comrade of Company G in Louisiana where it was preparing to take part in General Banks' joint Army/Navy Red River Campaign. Here's what a regimental history says about that period:
The first of the year 1864 found the regiment encamped at Algiers, weather very wet, the mud and water rendering the camp almost impassable to man or beast. Recollections of Helena came forcibly to the men’s minds, but the 14th of January, quarters were obtained in warehouses. The 21st, the command moved, and the next day encamped near the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, By Madisonville. This was the most pleasant camp the regiment ever had, after leaving Camp Strong, near Muscatine. It was evacuated on the evening of February 26. The regiment was reviewed by General McClernand at Algiers on the 3d of March, and received the special commendations of that officer.
From Algiers the Twenty-fourth moved by rail to Berwick Bay, and Thence on the 13th joined the Red River Expedition under General Banks.

[Detail showing Algiers, Louisiana from LLoyd's new map of the Mississippi River from Cairo to its mouth; New York H. H. Lloyd & Co. (1863?). Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C.]

Next month we'll pick up the story of the Red River Campaign which was later characterized by General Sherman as "one damn blunder from beginning to end."

*He was born on February 4, 1843.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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