On July 4, 1863, the 39th Regiment was encamped at Iuka Springs, Mississippi, guarding a corral of cattle destined for the army. Collin’s sister, Minera (Marshall) Thornburg, related the sad news to relatives in Indiana: “I must first tell of the death of Coll. He was shot in the afternoon of the 4th, inst., while riding out about a mile from camp, by a company of Guerillas, some eight or ten in number, who lay hid, then halloed to surrender and fired a volley at the same time, two balls passing through the breast and one through the neck. His horse was wounded also. He raised his hand for them not to shoot, but they only wanted his life.”
Ten days later, Bob arrived in Redfield without the coffin. He got as far as Eddyville, Iowa, eighty miles from home, but there was no freight service from there. He had his brother buried temporarily, then came on alone.
Their older brother, Calvin (Peet) Marshall drove his team and a wagon to Eddyville, returning home seven days later with Collin’s casket. They buried him “in Masonic style” on a hill at Wiscotta, overlooking the town of Redfield.
Private Elwood Elliott of Redfield, a native Hoosier, mustered into Company H 39th Iowa Infantry in August 1862, age 30. He was captured by Confederate forces at Corinth, Mississippi, on July 7, 1863. He was taken to Belle Island Prison in Richmond, Virginia, where died in the squalor of the camp on December 9, 1863. He is buried at Richmond City, Virginia.
Left a widow, Hannah.
George W. Noel
George W. Noel, age 40, of Redfield, was born Kentucky. He enlisted Aug. 11, 1862, as Third Sergeant. Mustered Aug. 25, 1862. Taken prisoner July 7, 1863, Corinth, Miss. Paroled. “Mustered out June 5, 1865, Washington, D. C.”
But he was never heard from after July 7, 1863, when he was captured at Corinth, Mississippi. When he was mustered out, he was mustered out as a missing soldier.
No one knows where he is buried, but there is a marker for him in Wiscotta Cemetery.
Co. H 39 Reg Iowa Vol; KILLED July 4, 1863; Aged 41 ys 2 ms 15 ds”
Gravesite Details George was actually captured on July 7, 1863, at Corinth, Mississippi, and was never heard from again.
More information from Andy Likins about George W. Noel: The Noels moved from Putnam County, Indiana, to Dallas County, Iowa, in 1850. George W. Noel enlisted in Company H, 39th Regiment Iowa Infantry at Redfield, Iowa, on August 11, 1862. According to a letter written on May 11, 1863, from Corinth, Mississippi, requesting that Sergeant George W. Noel get a furlough, Capt. J. M. Loomis of his company wrote, “The said George W. Noel has served his country honestly and faithfully since his enlistment and fought bravely at the battle of Parker’s Cross Roads Tenn. Dec 31st 1862 under Col. Dunham Actg. Brig. Gen. Also did his duty well on the late march to Town Creek, Ala. under Gen. Dodge. … The said George W. Noel is forty (40) years old, six (6) feet high, light complexion, blue eyes, dark hair and by profession a farmer, was born in Scott county, State of Kentucky…”
Several documents state that George W. Noel was taken prisoner on July 7, 1863, at Corinth, Mississippi. This includes the testimony of Wesley Wright of Dallas Co., Iowa, who was in the same company as George. George and another soldier were guarding mules and horses in the line of duty when they were taken prisoner by rebel soldiers. Wright testified that “George W. Noel was either starved or hanged by said rebels.” On June 5, 1865, with “all prisoners having been released and his not returning home,” George was mustered out in Washington, DC, along with other missing members of his company. Some of the biographical sketches of George’s sons give other accounts of what might have happened. Joseph Rice Noel’s biography in “History of Buena Vista County (Iowa)” states that, “[George] was captured at Corinth just prior to the battle at that place. On the night of the third day after the surrender of Vicksburg, anxious to convey the news of the surrender to his company, he and a comrade named Roop started on the perilous journey but on the way were captured by Quantelle’s forces and as nothing was ever after heard of them it is supposed they were shot by the rebel commander.” A biography of David Wilson Noel in “Progressive Men of Iowa” relates, “[George] was a member of the Thirty-ninth Iowa, and was captured near Corinth, Mississippi, by the rebels, after which no definite information could ever be obtained concerning his fate. It was generally accepted belief of the members of his command that he, with six others, were murdered by a band of guerrillas.” Both George and William Talbert Noel have their names on a grave marker in Wiscotta Cemetery, near Redfield, but it is not known where George was buried and William was buried in Keokuk National Cemetery.
Dulcena (Thornton) Noel was left with six children under the age of sixteen to care for,
(From Roster and Records of Iowa Soldiers; also information from a descendant, Andy Likins.)