1863: Ward Bannister Sherman to Charles Edward Putnam

Lt. Ward B. Sherman

This letter was written by Ward Bannister Sherman (1840-1913) of Buckingham, Iowa, who enlisted in September 1861 at the age of 21 in Co. G, 13th Iowa Infantry. He was discharged in November 1863 to accept a commission as Lieutenant in the 9th Iowa Cavalry where he eventually became its Adjutant.

Ward was the son of Phineas L. Sherman (1802-1873) and Eveline E. Robinson (1803-1876) of Tama county, Iowa. Ward married Eunice Jane Cole (1841-1903) in April 1865.

Ward wrote this letter to Capt. Charles “Edward” Putnam (1839-1913) of the 13th Iowa Infantry. Edward entered the service as a corporal in the regiment in October 1861. He was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant in November 1861 and a 1st Lieutenant in April 1862. In March 1863, Edward was promoted to captain of his company. He mustered out of the service on 1 November 1864.


Headquarters 9th Regiment Iowa Cavalry Vols.
Camp Roberts, Davenport, Iowa
30th November 1863

My Dear Putnam,

The muster-in to the U. S. Service of the 9th Regt. Iowa Cavalry Vols. was effected today and, thank God, we as a regiment exist. We number a little over 1200 men — quite the maximum of  cavalry regiment. There is a surplus here of some 200 men who had enlisted for our regiment but, it being already filled, they “are left out in the cold” — probably to form a battalion for garrison duty here.

The Field and Staff were mustered-in to their respective position also today — your humble servant with the rest as 1st Lt. and Commissary, and may I have the requisite ability to do my whole duty well.

I will simply mention the officers that you may know who they are. Comment will be unnecessary as they are all favorably known as men of patriotism and tried valor. Our Lt.-Col. is John P. Knight, formerly Capt. in 3rd Iowa Infantry. Our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Majors are, respectively, E. T. Ensign, formerly Capt. 2nd Iowa Infantry — went into the service first as 2d Lt. of the now Brig. Genl. Crocker’s old company in the 2nd; Willis Drummond (2nd Major) is a lawyer from McGregor — a man of marked ability. William Haddock of Waterloo, formerly Capt. 12th Infantry, completes the list of Majors.

Jessie Wasson of Laporte City is Surgeon. Dr. Bell of Louisa Co. is 1st Asst. Surgeon. The 2nd Asst. has failed to report as yet. For Adjt. we have John Wayne of Cedar Falls, formerly 2d Lieut. in 3rd Infantry. J. J. Grant, formerly Capt. 11th Illinois Infantry is regimental Quartermaster and my name completes the list.

Without doubt you now have the order of my discharge from the War Department. If not, Adjt. Genl. Baker will send you a certified copy.

Love to all the boys. Saw Lt. Ridge here the other day. Don’t forget me to Col. Shaw and Maj. Walker. I am expecting to hear from you soon.

Truly yours, — Ward B. Sherman, 1st Lt. & Commissary, 9th Cavalry

Members of 9th Iowa Cavalry sold at Cowan’s Auction in  2005: Top row (l-r) — Lt. Col. John P. Knight, Brig. Genl. Mathew M. Trumbull, Sgt. Major William A. Sullivan; Bottom Row (l-r) — Major John Wayne, Lt. Ward B. Sherman, Major William J. Haddock, and RQM Sgt. Moses J. Teeter



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