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hank posted a topic in Fort DonelsonIn the “Charles C. Cloutman Papers, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines” there is a memorial book dedicated to Captain Charles Cloutman of Company K of the 2nd Iowa. Captain Cloutman led his company up the slopes of Fort Donelson on February 15, 1862 and was shot dead through the heart during the advance on the fort. He was 37 years old and had a wife and three children plus Charles Cloutman Jr. was born the day after his father’s funeral on February 25, 1862. His wife was a cousin of General Winfield Scott. The Iowa State Archivist gave approval to this posting of letters and information from the Charles C. Cloutman Papers. The Iowa State Archives is a treasure trove of information concerning the battles of Shiloh and Fort Donelson. The memorial book is almost two inches thick and contains pages that are probably legal size. Someone prepared the book and typed information pertaining to the regiment and numerous newspaper articles from the Ottumwa, Iowa newspaper, the Courier, and others. Some of these articles were written by Captain Cloutman under the pseudonym the Pewquaket Boy. Interspersed within these typed pages are original letters written by Captain Cloutman to his wife. Captain Cloutman was a musician and taught singing school. He was engaged in the grocery business in Ottumwa, Iowa and was Captain of the Ottumwa City Guards. He offered his services to Governor Kirkwood of Iowa in November, 1860. He must have anticipated the need for soldiers for the troubles to come. The Ottumwa City Guards were one of the first companies in Iowa to tender service to the state. The City Guards were mustered in as Co. K of the 2nd Iowa on May 6, 1861. The regiment served in various locations until sent to Fort Donelson on February 10, 1862. As an aside there was a 1st Iowa regiment that fought under General Lyon at Wilson Creek suffering 159 casualties. The 1st Iowa was a 90-day regiment and was mustered out in August 1861. Reenlisting soldiers went to other regiments and the designation 1st Iowa was not assigned to a regiment again. For another account of the charge of 2nd Iowa by a man who was there go here: https://books.google.com/books?id=jLVJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=The+midland+monthly+magazine+fort+donelson&source=bl&ots=arEze88_TY&sig=ucihtbCoDYANRrVJ9w6DF2P0XP4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRu76-pqjPAhVV6GMKHSwqB0YQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=The midland monthly magazine fort donelson&f=false I copied and pasted the above link and it worked. If it fails Google - The Midland Monthly Magazine Fort Donelson - and it should show up. The author is W. S. Moore. Midland War Sketches – The Famous Charge at Fort Donelson. Moore’s account is interesting because he relates a conversation with Captain Cloutman and how Cloutman has a presentiment of his upcoming death in combat. Cloutman wants to go home but feels he cannot do so without dishonor. He must first lead his company as they “see the elephant” for the first time. The article contains a picture of Captain Cloutman. Upon reading the memorial book to Captain Cloutman at the Iowa State Archives in Des Moines, Iowa I was struck by the letter he wrote to his wife on January 31, 1862. In the letter he referred to the “fiery epistle” he had received from his wife, Rachel. From reference to his response it appears Rachel accused Captain Cloutman of “growing cold” and scolded him to the point Cloutman hastily stutters a reply to the accusation that must have caused him great grief. Rachel Cloutman was home without her husband with three children and in the eighth month of the pregnancy of their fourth child. One can just imagine her feelings when she learned that the man she had scolded for being cold had died in the charge of the 2nd Iowa at Fort Donelson. I found the letters of Cloutman to be of extreme interest as they relate to the movements of the 2nd Iowa towards Fort Donelson and their activities prior to the movement. In letters dated January 26, 1862 and February 10, 1862 there is reference to the melancholy that Cloutman experienced as related by W. S. Moore in his account of the charge at Fort Donelson. Several times Cloutman instructs his wife to burn a letter. I started with a letter dated December 10, 1861 and continued to the last one dated February 10, 1862. There are nine letters of varying length. Cloutman’s handwriting was not too hard to decipher once you got use to his writing but there were some words that I could just not decipher. Some sentences run together as he frequently did not use periods and did not use apostrophes as in dont and wont. Following are letters from Captain Cloutman to his wife, Rachel. They have three children named Ella, Lefe and Frank. Cloutman reveals feelings he does not want known to others than his wife and thus you see a couple notations to her to burn the letter. It is hard to tell why Rachel accused Cloutman as “growing cold” as he seems to profess his love for her and the children in his letters. Cloutman was a Democrat and regretted the election of Lincoln but had no hesitation to offer his services to defend the Union. On a trip through Springfield Cloutman related in a story to the Courier as to how he visited Lincoln’s home and went through the front gate and put his hand on the door knob Lincoln must have used thousands of times. There was a tenant in a portion of Lincoln’s home. With no more comment here are some of the letters Cloutman wrote to his wife that give a glimpse of the hardships and conflicting feelings the war caused to sacrificing families. Benton Barracks Dec. 10. 1861 After a long time I have arrived in camp. I had to stop 3 nights & 2 days in Keokuk waiting for a boat. On Thursday at noon I took the ferry boat for Quincy. At 4 oclock that afternoon we got on a sand bar in the River and could not get off until Saturday morning. The men on board 2 nights and one day. On arriving at Quincy we found that no packets were running and that no trains soon to leave for South late Sunday night at 10 oclock. There being no other way to do it we left for Springfield Ill. and after stopping 10 hours in that town we took the Chicago down train at 6 oclock on Monday night and got into St. Louis at 12 oclock last night. Today at noon I got into camp. Pretty well tired out and willing to rest. To night (Tuesday) I thot I would drop you a line to let you know that I am safe and sound. Nothing new in Camp. I am going to write a letter to the Courier in a day or two in which you will (page 2) see a listing of my travels and something that occurred. I expected to send you home money this week but I find on arriving here that they will only pay the Officers when the companies are paid off. Which will happen about the first of January. You will have to do with what you have got. I am plum strapped but can borrow enough to do me till that time. I am getting bigger every day and cant tell when I shall stop. I have just got a letter from Bro. Io which says he weighed 222 and can whip me he thinks. I don’t think so. I hope you will content yourself and get along well. The present prospect is that our regiment will stay here for some time probably all winter. I dont expect it likely that any thing will happen to us very bad. (Ed. note: Not a good prediction) I shall write you again as soon as I can. Be a good girl and remember I love you and how I would like to be with you. Keep the children and yourself comfortable this winter. Good-bye. Chas Camp Benton – St. Louis Dec. 20, 1861 My Dear Wife I have just received your letter the 1st I have received since I have been here. We are all jogging along quietly here in camp with nothing to do except the usual duties of drilling and other camp duty. Our Regiment is improving a little in health. Our sick list is about 200 some less than it was. The camp is lively and full of soldiers. The picture above (Ed. note: Cloutman glued a print of Camp Benton at the top of the sheet) will give you an idea of the appearance of about one half of it looking towards the East it is being extended out and additional quarters built for the men. Our Company is situated where I have made an X. We are comfortable. I have a very good room with two lieutenants in with me a good coal stove and bunks to sleep on. We have a small room for a kitchen in the rear when Io cooks and we get our meals. Io is a first rate cook and we are getting along very comfortably. When I get tired (page 2) I go down to the city and see the sights. Like I wrote I am getting along comfortable. The weather has been warm and ?? Io came back but today it has turned cold and I think we are going to have some pretty rough weather. I have nothing of importance to write you as we are doing nothing and but little prospect of much to do. There is some talk that our Regt will be sent down to the City to do Police Guard duty in the city. But I don’t credit the report very much. I am glad you are getting along so well. I hope Mary will stay through the winter. Keep Frank and Ella at School and have him write me once in a while. His letter was written very well. Have him keep trying and be careful how he spells and it will improve him very much. I am fat and heavy yet. I have got up to 190 and think now I shall get through the war(?) first Rate. I drilled our Regiment yesterday (page 3) afternoon for the 1st time. The Col is at home & the Lt. Col had a sore throat and I am the oldest Capt on Parade so he gave it up to me. I done very well they said for a green hand. I think I can improve after a little practice. Senator Johnson and Alvan Sieghton(?) are here in the city. They have been out to camp once or twice. When you write again tell me whether you got the Bedstead and got it set up. You had better get a good pile of wood and get it sawed up so you will not be troubled during the winter for wood. Keep enough feed for the Cow and see that she is well fed as it is better and cheaper to keep her fat than poor. You will be able to get along I think if you try. I hope you will content yourself and keep things all right. I shall not get any money till after new year but when I do I shall send some to you. Eaton is flourishing around as usual. I should like to be with you but I cannot hope to at present. I think it is quite as much self denial to me as to you to be away. If I could make as much money I should rather be at home. It is a little tough but I shall have to stand it awhile. Give my love to all and remember for yourself and our little ones that I am constantly thinking. You know more than I may tell you on paper. Good by. Charles St. Louis Dec. 21, 1861 Rachel, I have borrowed 35 dollars of Nathan Manro who is going home and I want you to pay him back that amount and as soon as I get my pay I will send you some. I am out of money and have had to borrow of him. Pay him 35 dollars and it will all be right. I am very well. He will tell you all about how I am getting along. My love to you and to the little ones. Charles C. Cloutman St. Louis Dec. 30. 1861 My Dear. I have been looking anxiously for a letter from you every day during the last week but none has come. Since I wrote you last we have moved from Benton Barracks to this place for the purpose of guarding the Regiment of Secesh captured at Warrensburg last week. We are stationed at buildings called “McDowells College” in which are confined 10 or 12 hundred prisoners. Our duty is to see that they don’t escape. Our Regiment is quartered in a Block of 3 storyed brick buildings and are very comfortable. My boy Io is a first rate cook and I like him first rate. We are getting along well. My room is a dining room in the ell part of the house. Back of us is a kitchen where our cooking is done. We have plenty to east and I have a nice cot to sleep on with plenty of blankets. We are stationed in the city about 1 mile from the Planters (Ed. note: Planter’s House was a famous St. Louis hotel which stood from 1817-1922) southwest. I think we shall stay here 3 or 4 weeks. Though we cant tell. If you are getting along comfortably I shall be very happy. I need not tell you how to get along as you know already. I want you to write me often and tell me all about how you are getting along. What you are doing. and how Mary and the children flourish. I have some things that I do not want with me that I shall send home in a box sometime (page 2) soon coats pants and caps together with some other things that I have got and I want you to keep them safe till I get home. I have a spy glass, a Powder flask and some other little traps that I have picked up and having no use for them here I shall send them home. You will get them out of the express office & keep them. My health is first Rate. I am weighing 190 and can eat all my rations. If you should want any little things that I might get for you down here I can buy them after I get my pay. Which I hope will be soon. I have been out of money since I came down and borrowed some from young Manro who was going home & gave him an order on you for 34 which I suppose you have paid him by this time. It is all right. I will send some home as soon as I get paid. You will see a letter in the Courier this week probably and another next from the Pequawket Boy which you may read. I shall write occasionally when I feel like it. Kiss Lefe & Ella & Frank for me & tell them to be good children. I was glad to get Franks letter. I will write to him before long. You may kiss Mary for me and tell her I should like to scholtisch (Ed. note: This appears to be reference to a Scottish round dance like a polka and spelled schottische) with her and talk about the bible to her. I don’t know how to kiss you so far off but I can kiss some pretty woman down here & think it is you-(by mistake). Now dont be jealous but believe me I had rather kiss you than anybody else in the world. I hope some day to do it. Write me every week or I won’t believe you love me a bit. Keep up your courage and some day I will come in and give you a good hug. Good by and a happy night (?). The following was written over the above handwriting and it was difficult to read but I finally got it: It is now about 11 oclock at night and I must close. I am as ever yours ever after. Charles. In addition the following is found in the upper margin of the first page and upside down to the other writing. It appears to be a final thought just before mailing: Dont show this to anybody but burn it. Write me how you feel and all about private matters. I want to know. How are you getting along and whats up, generally. You know what I mean. St. Louis Fri. Jany 3 1862 My Dear Wife I have received two letters from you this week. Am very glad to hear from you. I wrote you a day or two ago and said everything I could think of. I am hard at work. Have something to do all the time. Today I am on a Court Martial. Don’t know how long we shall hold it. We have 7 cases to try. I shall have but little time to spare. So I will write you to night. The 35 dollars to Manro is all right. Whatever you want get and pay for it. Buy a hog and anything else you need. I shall get paid off next week I expect. I am certainly willing you should get everything you need. Don’t be afraid of your money. Make yourself comfortable. About the singing books I paid 40 cents a piece. They are worth 25 cents I think. If they want them for that let them have them. But don’t lend them as they will (?????) them. I have written two letters for the Courier but have seen neither of them. I wish you would send me the Papers if Norris has published them. If not all right. I have got very comfortable quarters In the margin of page 1 is this sentence: I sent you a picture entrusted by Walter Grubber(?) who will give it to you. Page 2 here in a 3 story brick house. We shall probably be here sometime. I have no news to write you. I spent Christmas and New Years at work in the day time. In the evening I went to the City & spent half a dollar going to the theater. We are not allowed to go out of camp now without permission from Head Quarters. This I don’t like very much but suppose I shall have to stand it. Lieut. Murtrick is unwell. Mobly is tough and myself the same. I want you to write as often as possible and if you try I think you can say something to me that I want to know. Now try. It may be to late for me to write love letters but you are younger than I am and as you never have written me any you can try your hand at it. Dont be afraid to tell it right out. You need not show this to any body and than they wont know that I am about half homesick and want to see you and be with you. But enough, I will make it up when I do get away. Good night and remember you foolish (Ed. note: ends there) The next letter is sent from the infamous McDowells College which is also known as the Gratiot Prison in St. Louis. Here is a link to a site describing the mad doctor who founded the college. http://www.prairieghosts.com/mcdowell.html McDowells College H. Quarters 2nd Iowa Regt. St. Louis Janaury 8th 1862 My Dear Wife. I say dear because you are dear to me in more ways than one. At this time you are dear to the amount of 200. dollars (Ed. note: Not a mistake. The letter says 200) which I enclose to you. The other way you are dear to me I will not now write about. As I wrote you the other day all I then had to say. I want you to put this where it will be safe. Don’t swap it off for any thing else because it is safer to keep this than any other kind of money. See that you dont lend any of it to anybody, and if possible dont let anybody know that you have got it. I am willing you shall do the spending of it as I am quite sure you will spend prudently. I hope the next time you have turkey for dinner it will not prove to be a slaughter (?). We(?) men paid off last Monday & I am glad to be able to send you so much. Save it as much as possible as we may want it some day. I am first rate in health. Just fill up my uniform exactly. We have nothing ??? in camp. Page 2 I got a letter from Joe from Conway(?) a day or two ago & he informed me that my Father is very low with the Heart Disease and was expected to die any day. He is probably dead by this time. Susan is at home. Well. My mother is very well also. Let me know when you secure the money and all about who knows any thing about it. And now my dear good night and many happy days and “New years” be yours. Keep up a good heart and bear bravely whatever is in store for you and remember that I am thinking about you constantly and I don’t know that I need be ashamed to say that I love you more and think of you more than I ever had before. There that will(?) do now. Write me soon and I will answer as often as possible. I am very affectionately yours “Snoaked”(?) or “Muggins” Burn this up St. Louis Jany 26, 1862 My Dear Wife I have received all your letters up to this date. I have written as often as I had opportunity. This Sunday afternoon I have a moment to spare and will drop you a line. We have as much to do on Sunday as any other day. I have just come from church. I have been to hear Dr. Elliott ??? who has a very fine church and is a good old man. After church we were coming home and Dr. Whittier spoke to us on the street and invited Mobley & me to go up to his house & take dinner with him. We did so and had a good time. We made the acquaintance of a very nice family. He has a little girl just as large as Ella, a little boy about as large as Lefe. I hugged and kissed them till I thought I was at home again. The lady I did not hug, of course, but I wanted to right bad. I thought it was pretty hard though to be away from home. I have just heard that Mr. Hebard of Burlington may (be) living in St. Louis. I have not seen them yet but I have learned where (Page 2) they live. I shall call on them in a Sunday. I expect in the course of a couple weeks that the prisoners we are now guarding will be sent to Alton, Illinois and we shall be relieved from guard duty so that case I expect we shall pack up and go down the River again, probably to Cairo or Bird Point. It is likely that we shall be in the army that will go down the River. You can write me at St. Louis as you have done. In the event of our going I shall write you all about it as soon as I find out about it. My health is very good excepting a bad cold. I have been so hoarse for 2 or 3 days that I have hardly been able to speak. It is now getting better. Eaton started today for Chicago to meet his wife. I have nothing new to write you. I have not heard from my father since I had wrote you. I suppose by that he is still living. I am glad you got the money and box safe. The box contained my Gray suit one blanket which you can wash and use. Some powder that you must take care of and keep it away from Jim and from the children. Look out for accidents! Some other things that I now forgot but you can save them till I get home. You will find a letter in the Courier this week from me. Send me the paper as soon as you read it. I dont always get the paper (Page 3) till it gets cold. I saw my two letters in papers sent to a man in my company But I did not receive those sent by Norris. I have seen them however so you need not send them to me. I shall write the Courier occasionally as I have any thing to write but do not expect to be very regular. What do the folks say about them? You need not tell that I have inquired. You can write me any thing you wish to and it will all be right. I take good care that no one sees them. I should like to know how you are getting along and when you expect to be sick. (Ed. note: Cloutman’s wife is about eight months pregnant) How do you feel about it. Write me freely about it as you know I am anxious to know all about it. I am very happy to know that some one sincerely cares for me. I have never had a doubt but that you loved me most truly. I think I have had reason to believe that much and I can only say that bad as I have been I yet love you as much as when I first knew you. May we both continue to do so and we shall never repent(?) it. Think kindly of me and learn our little ones to love us and if it is my lot to fall in this service let them never have reason to blush for my memory. You are very comfortable at home and have perhaps nearly all you wish. But think how you would (Page 4) feel if you were in my place away from the one you love best and away from your children. How would you like to live so. You have your own troubles but you know not how I feel sometimes. I would give any thing to see you. But I cannot leave now without dishonor. I shall have to take my chances down the river. I would like to have you give yourself but little trouble about it. I have no fears about it for my own sake. I only think how it would fare with my loved ones if I fall. This is perhaps too sober so I will stop it. Cheer up my dear one and believe it will all be right. Some day I shall be with you and then it will all be the sweeter and we shall love the more. Bless you my Dear Rachel and my little ones. ??? that you dont know how much I think of you. Write me often and I will drop a line when I can. Direct to “St. Louis Mo” 2nd Iowa Regt as before and your letter will find me. Good Bye. Be a Good Girl. Don’t give yourself any trouble about me. Love to all, I am yours truly, Charles McDowells College St. Louis Jany 31, 1862 My Dear Wife I have just received your fiery epistle written last Sunday, in which you take occasion to scold me pretty hard. I hope you will think the matter over and perhaps you will see that it is pretty hard to be away from home all the time and be scolded too when I do all I can to make you comfortable and happy. I have written you as often as once a week and I think you have got them all. I have written when I could. I have a good deal to do. I was on a Court Martial for three weeks every day. When off and in my quarters I have had to attend to my company matters and keep things all straight. I have had a good deal of company writing to do besides taking my turn for duty out on Parade. If you were here you would see how busy I am most of the time. And my dear I hope you will not scold me so again when I write you on all occasions I have. I know how hard it is for you and perhaps you dont know how hard it is to be a soldier. I suppose you find it a little lonesome sometimes. So do I. But I hope you will stand it bravely. I hope you will never think I do not love you and my family. Some day you will know how much perhaps. Till then I shall expect you to bear it all and I shall like you all the better. I am sorry Ella is sick. Take all the care of her you can for she is my only girl and I love her dearly. Keep my little Lefe all right and tell Frank to be a good boy and help you. I am very well and have neither got hurt or wounded. I wrote you a long letter one day this week & have time only to say that I do not see any prospect for us to get away from here yet. I am very thankful for the thousand kisses you send me. If I was with you I think I should get a thousand more. (Page 2) Tell Eliza I wrote her a long time ago and have not heard from her since. I hope she will write me soon. Now dont get in a bad passion again and I will try and send you a line oftener. Eaton got home from Chicago yesterday. I suppose he had a happy time. I went out the other day to hunt up Mrs. Hebard but could not find her. I called in & saw Mrs. Brooks the Methodist Preacher’s wife and had a good time kissing her little girl and Boy. Both about as big as Ella and Lefe I wanted to kiss someone(?) right bad so I kissed them. Nothing wrong I hope. Is there? Not having much time today I have written this in a hurry and hope it will assure you that I am not growing cold as you think. but on the contrary that I still continue to think of you as my little (big!) darling wife and that I love you pretty near to death. There, wont that do? I hope by this time you are good natured and feel Better. Good Bye and I will Kiss somebody a thousand times for you. Your aff Hus Chas St. Louis Mo Feb 6th 1862 My Dear Enclosed find a picture. You can look at it and ask somebody who it is if you dont know. We expect to go south next week. You can write me addressed to St. Louis as before. I shall write you a time or two before we go. My health is good. I have nothing important to write you today. Good Bye and write me soon. Charles St. Louis Monday morning Feb. 10 1862 My Dear We are just on the point of starting south. At one oclock we are to move. It is now 12. We are to take a Boat and go down to Cairo & from there probably to Fort Henry Tennessee. We are all packed up and in an hour we are off. I take this opportunity to write you in great haste. We have been under orders to march for several days and have been expecting hourly to move. Now we are off. I have had the Blues pretty bad for a few days but it is no use(?) I shall write you as often as possible. I dont know what will happen to us(?) but I shall do the best I can for myself and soon as I can I shall get out and go home. But I cannot now. Let us hope for the best. Keep up your courage as well as you can and let me hear from you often. When you are sick I want some one to write me immediately. Dont fail. I have but a moment to spare. Good Bye. Give my love to all and remember one who loves you well. Charles In the afternoon of February 15, 1862 Captain Charles Cloutman led his company in the attack upon Fort Donelson. He was shot through the heart and died instantly while in front of his men and waving his sword as he cheered them on. His son, Charles Jr., was born the day after his funeral back home in Ottumwa, Iowa. While the subject of this posting is Captain Charles Cloutman of the 2nd Iowa Regiment his story is similar to hundreds of thousands of the men, Blue and Gray, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the American Civil War and whose wives and children had their lives forever changed with the loss of their husband and father far from home. This posting honors them all. Hank