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Iowa History Daily: September 19 - An Iowa Civil War Story

Iowa History Daily: On September 19, 1864, Alfred B. Cree of Iowa City was wounded while serving as a Captain with the 22nd Iowa Infantry in Virginia. A thrice injured member of the military, Cree served valiantly in critical engagements throughout the American Civil War.

Born in Pennsylvania, Cree headed west as a 25-year old and spent a stint in Muscatine before settling in Iowa City. While in Johnson County, Cree worked as a carpenter on several early University of Iowa buildings and met his wife Martha “Mattie” A. Smith. When the American Civil War started, Cree enlisted with the 22nd Iowa Infantry, Company F, in August of 1862.

After a stint at Iowa City’s Camp Pope, Cree and 22nd found themselves under the direction of Ulysses Grant for the Vicksburg Campaign. The only American regiment to breach Confederate defenses at Vicksburg, the 22nd proved their mettle under fire almost immediately. Following Vicksburg, the regiment ended up in operations along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Alabama. From there, the 22nd headed to Virginia to serve under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Campaign.

First injured at Vicksburg, Cree suffered from a shot to the right shoulder in September 1864. The following month the Captain from Iowa City again found himself injured, this time with a right leg wound. Despite the injuries, Cree suffered less than many others in the 22nd: over the course of the war at least 250 men. Many of Cree’s memories are preserved through letters he sent back to his wife Mattie in Iowa before mustering out in late summer of 1865. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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