THE SIDNEY ARGUS - HERALD
Sidney, Fremont Co., Iowa
January 10, 1935
War Reminiscences of Imogene Veteran
F. M. Straight is an interesting and respected citizen of Imogene, the only civil war veteran left in that town. He recently passed his 90th birthday which was commemorated by a birthday dinner at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C. B. Abbott. Mr. Straight is living a quiet life and growing old gracefully. Young and old are glad to meet him in his daily walks about the little town. His temperate and wholesome living is giving its reward in a serene old age. At 17 years and 20 days of age Mr. Straight enlisted at St. Louis in Company E, 23rd Missouri Infantry and army preparations were made there. In April, 1862, he with his company boarded a river steamboat bound for Pittssburg Landing, Tennessee, where Grant's concentration forces were preparing to engage the confederate forces at Corinth, and as he says:
"We marched out to conflict. After the battle we returned home with decimated ranks to recruit our forces. We left St. Louis again for Bowling
Green, Kentucky, and marched through the eastern part of that state to western Tennessee, stopped to guard some cotton factories for a time, thence to Chattanooga where we had placed in our charge a drove of beef cattle which we were to guard through to Sherman's army on the Chattahootche river. We got through safely with the cattle and found Sherman's army resting temporrarily.
"About June 20, we crossed the Chattahooche river on pontoons and had action with the confederates on the opposite side. Our enemies fell back to Atlanta, a mile distant, our army following up. Atlanta was a fortified stronghold. Our coprs was ordered out to take the confederate railroad at Jonesboro, Georgia, a task which we accomplished. It was the only railroad the confederates had, so with it out of their control they evacuated Atlanta, Then came the march through Georgia. My birthday fell on Novermber 10 during this march, and the election of Lincoln took place in that month. Our troops took Savannah by storm.
"On New Year's day, 1865, we boarded a ship for New York City, wearing our old, dirty, wornout uniforms. Snow fell prior to our landing and it was cold. The snow was deep. From New York to St. Louis we went by rail in citizens' clothes procured in New York.
"My life was uneventful up to 1900 except that we labored hard, had eleven children in our family, and made but little money. In 1900 I was fortunate in a farming venture and my finances improved."
Mr. Straight lived at New Market, in Council Bluffs four years, was in California for six or seven years, and the past seven years he has lived at Imogene.
[transcribed by W.F., April 2008]
Iowa Old Press