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Iowa History Daily: March 31 - Peters Comes Marching Home Again

Iowa History Daily: On March 31, 1865, Colonel John H. Peters of Delaware County, Iowa, led his American regiment to a victory over a brigade of Confederate soldiers near Montebello, Georgia. During his service during the Civil War, Peters engaged in at least forty battles.

Born in Connecticut, Peters overcame health issues in early life and eventually studied law. Peters ultimately settled in Delaware County’s Delhi and opened a law office. Peters participated in the Iowa Constitutional Convention of 1857, representing Dubuque and Delaware counties.

A compatriot of General Ulysses S. Grant prior to the onset of the Civil War, Peters initially served under his old friend in the western theater. Peters led a significant movement when Grant thrust his cavalry unit between those of Confederate Generals John C. Pemberton and Albert Sidney Johnson in the rising action before Vicksburg. Peters’s men prevented the two Confederate forces from joining together, an important strategic victory for the United States during the battle for control of the Mississippi River. 

Peters’s military service lasted a total of four years and eight days, and he had his horse shot out from under him during a battle on July 18, 1865. He significantly injured his leg while pinned beneath the horse, and his soldiers carried him off the field on a stretcher. Peters refused amputation of his badly damaged right leg. After discharge, Peters still needed the use of crutches for support for at least two years after returning to his law practice. A widely-traveled man for the time-period, Peters visited every state in the Union before his death in 1921. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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