American Patriotism: or, memoirs of "common
Unless noted, bios submitted by Dick Barton.
James O. Salisbury, Company H, Ninth Iowa Cavalry, enlisted at Des Moines, Sept. 23, 1863; died on Plague Island, St. Louis, Mo., of small-pox, Feb. 15, 1864. Was born March 17, 1843; a native of Indiana; was a professor of religion; a member of the M. E. Church, East Des Moines, where he had lived for a long time, employed in Messrs. Jordan and Shepherd's woolen factory. He was a man of good character, and brother-in-law of Mr. McBroom of Delaware Township, Polk County, Iowa.
John B. Saylor, successor of the lamented Alfred M. Lyon, as sutler of the Twenty-third Regiment, lost his life by disease at Vicksburg, Miss., July 26, 1863. Born in Franklin County, Ind., March 15, 1806, he emigrated to Van Buren County, Iowa, in the year 1839, seven years before Iowa was admitted into the Union as a State. He was one of the first white men that permanently settled in what is now Polk County. He came here in the month of April, 1845, having a permit to settle, and a contract to supply beef, hay, etc., to the garrison stationed at Fort Des Moines. He chose as his place of residence the beautiful grove which now bears his name. The township in which he settled bears also his name, and the village in Saylor Grove. He began to till the soil in this county three years before the lands in central Iowa were surveyed, and while the Sac and Fox still possessed them. Keokuk's village was then standing a few miles southeast of Fort Des Moines, on the prairie which bears his name, and old Pash-a-pa-hoe, the war chief (who was buried on the hill overlooking Fort Des Moines from the south), was still living, and proud and boastful of his past achievements.
John B. Saylor was a man of much influence in the community where he lived, and his township fairly represents his sterling patriotism. Saylor Township sent more men to the army in proportion to its population than perhaps any other township in the county, and it lost not less than twenty brave men. Four of Mr. Saylor's sons, and one son- in-law enlisted in the Twenty-third Regiment. So many of his relatives, neighbors, and friends being in that regiment was assigned by him as a reason for hi going South as his advanced age. "I go," said he, "to watch over the men of Saylor Township, and see that they want for nothing that can be got to them by my assistance." But the too sudden change from a Northern to a Southern climate was more than his constitution could endure. He sunk under it and expired. His body was brought home for burial.
His monument is an enduring one, and the recollections of him will not soon fade from the minds of his neighbors and acquaintances. He was a good and useful man; a professor of religion; a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; a representative Western man; a true and tried patriot; a Christian gentleman.
His son, James A. Saylor, was a member of Company A, 23d Iowa regiment, and was discharged for disability at Patterson, Mo., Nov. 23, 1862. He returned home and recovered his health. The eldest boy remaining at home unmarried, he was his mother's chief reliance in carrying on her large farm. In the month of February, 1868, by overlifting, he brought on himself disease which in a short time resulted in his death, and he was buried beside his father in the cemetery near Saylor Grove. He was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, in the year 1841. James was a young man of uncommon good qualities. Intelligent, kind-hearted, and industrious, he gave promise of becoming not less useful and influential than his father had been. I knew him well; for he was formerly a pupil of mine. A diligent student, his ambition was to become a good and useful man. His brothers, Sergeant Thomas J., John Q. A., and William A. Saylor, who were members of the Twenty-third Regiment, lived to see the end of the war, and are engaged in peaceful pursuits, useful and honorable men. William A. Saylor, Esq., is now a citizen of Galveston, Texas.
Elisha C. Sherrill was born in Lincoln,
Lincoln County, N. C., Nov. 25, 1835; he came to Iowa in 1846, and to Polk County in 1847,
where he resided when the war broke
out; married and living in Saylor Township; had
been married about four years. Three
brothers enlisted at the same time,
Elisha, John, and William. The two
latter served through the war, and
were discharged July 25, 1865. Elisha
was with his company in all of its
marches and battles until Dec. 5, 1864, when he came home on sick furlough,
and was never permitted to return, but died at home of bronchitis
and chronic diarrhoea, March 27, 1865, and was buried in the grave-yard
near Saylorville. He was resigned
to his death. He thought that if he had come home earlier he would have lived.
His last words were, "They kept me a soldiering a little too long; now I
must go." He requested
a short time before he died to be buried wrapped in his country's
flag, which was accordingly done. Sherrill
had many friends. He was a
true and noble soldier; a respected citizen; a kind husband; a good
man; a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Since writing the above, John Sherrill has
also died. After the war he spent
a short time amongst his friends in Polk County, and then went to Galveston, Texas, where he died during the summer of 1867, of
yellow fever. Nothing can be said truthfully against the good name of John Sherrill,
while much may be said in his praise. I
was well acquainted with him.
He was formerly connected with my school (Forest Home Seminary)
as a student. Earnest in the
pursuit of knowledge, he was a noble
example of the industrious, studious, conscientious, brave American
Was wounded in the shoulder at Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1863, and died May 26, 1863, in the hands of the enemy, who amputated his arm. He had passed unhurt through five severe engagements. Born in Brown County, Ohio; had lived in Polk County, Iowa, six years, with Mr. Edward Person, his brother-in-law, residing near Adelphi. Story had no enemies, and many warm friends. Enlisted July 25, 1862, aged twenty-two.