Andrew, son of James and Anne (Miller) Hannah, was born in Canada on August 2, 1832. In 1860, at Iowa City, he married Annie L. McGinnis. An Internet site indicates they had four children although, after the war when asked to name all children “living or dead,” he listed only one from this marriage.
On April 12, 1861, Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter. War followed, thousands of men died and military ranks, both North and South, were in need of more volunteers. On July 9, 1862, Iowa's Governor, Sam Kirkwood, received a telegram calling on him to raise five regiments in addition to those already in the field. If not raised by August 15th, they "would be made up by draft," but it wasn't needed.
The 21st regiment of Iowa's volunteer infantry was composed mostly of men from the northeastern counties together with eighty-two men who had been raised for the 18th regiment and transferred to the 21st's Company A. Enlistments for Company F started slowly with the first three men enlisting on July 21st, but recruiting continued with Andrew, no doubt reluctant to leave a pregnant wife, enlisting at Dubuque on August 20th. On the 22nd, with Leonard Horr, a forty-seven-year-old real estate agent as Captain, they were mustered in at Dubuque's Camp Franklin and on September 9th, ten companies were mustered in as a regiment. Senior commissioned officers included McGregor merchant Sam Merrill as Captain, Cornelius Dunlap as Lieutenant Colonel in recognition of his prior service with the state's 1st Infantry, and Manchester attorney Salue Van Anda as Major. On the Company Muster-in Roll, Andrew was described as having blue eyes, light hair and a florid complexion, occupation mason. He was one of twenty-two who served in the regiment after emigrating from Canada.
Crowded on board the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside, they left Dubuque on September 9th, spent the night on Rock Island, resumed their trip the next morning, debarked at Montrose, traveled by rail to Keokuk, boarded the Hawkeye State and reached St. Louis on the 20th. From there they moved to Rolla where they spent a month before starting a march south. “There was an order sent to the camp for to men to drive teams for the Company,” Andrew said. “There was no one that wanted to go so I was asked if I could drive mules I told them I could I cant say wheather I was detailed or not but can say I went and took 6 mules oute of the lot that they were in with help took them oute hitched them up got them prety well brok staide withe them untill we got marching orders to move onto Salem Mo,” a march that started on October 18th. During the march, Andrew was driving the mules when “the sadle mule that I was on got skeard from a gun that sum one shot at sum distance from Whar I was.” Andrew was thrown to the ground, landed hard and received a rupture on his right side, but continued on duty.
From Salem they moved to Houston where they were stationed on December 12th when Annie gave birth to a son, James A. Hannah. Soon thereafter the regiment moved to Hartville and from there back to Houston, south to West Plains for a few days and then northeast to Ironton and Ste. Genevieve before being transported down the Mississippi to Milliken's Bend where General Grant was organizing an army for his Vicksburg Campaign. During the campaign, Andrew participated in the siege that ended on July 4, 1863, and in the subsequent pursuit of Confederate General Joe Johnston to Jackson. Andrew had been marked “present” on all bi-monthly company muster rolls since his enlistment and on July 26th was granted a 30-day furlough to go north to visit his family. On his way back to the regiment, he had gone as far as St. Louis when, on August 28th, there was a “requisition of Pri A. Hannah co F 21st Iowa Inf” to continue his journey as far as Vicksburg, but it was the 16th of September before he reached the regiment then at Brashear City, Louisiana.
He then remained “present” during its service in southwestern Louisiana and for its six months of service along the gulf coast of Texas before returning to Louisiana. There's no military record of another furlough but one of his comrades, Flavius Patterson, noted on July 5, 1864, that “Andrew Hannah left for home to day on A 50 days furlough.” By the time of the August 31st roll, he was again “present.”
In the spring of 1865 the regiment participated in a campaign to occupy the city of Mobile at the head of Mobile Bay. On February 5th they left New Orleans on board the George Peabody and on the 7th went ashore on Dauphin Island at the entrance to the bay. On March 17th, they crossed to Mobile Point and started a slow, difficult march north along the east side of the bay where horses, mules and men struggled to pull wagons though deep mud. On the 24th they broke camp about 5:30 a.m., advanced twelve miles, “moved easily across the low land to the more elevated country bordering Fish River” and that afternoon united with a force led by A. J. “Whiskey” Smith. Unknown to the federals, Lieutenant A. O. Sibley and eight Confederate cavalrymen had left Greenwood early in the morning, passed around Polecat Creek, located the Union column two miles above Magnolia and watched for stragglers. Before long they saw five men resting by themselves and galloped ahead with a rebel yell. The surprised Federals made no resistance and were easily captured. Among them was Andrew Hannah.
Andrew was taken to Vicksburg where, on April 18th, he was turned over to Union forces. On the 26th, he reported as a paroled prisoner at Benton Barracks in St. Louis. From there he was furloughed and on June 12th was mustered out of service at Clinton, Iowa.
Annie died on November 6, 1868, and on October 23, 1872, Andrew married Mary Van Meter. They had six children: Francis (1874), John (1876), William (1879), Edwin (1882), Henrietta (1885) and Florence (1889).
Andrew was fifty-two years old and living in Moline, Illinois, when he applied for an invalid pension on March 31, 1885. The rupture had given him little trouble in the service, but his work as a stone mason often entailed heavy lifting and he began to suffer in the postwar years. Andrew “tried to wear a truss but could find none to serve.” His hernia was usually “easily reduced but sometimes not, confining him to bed for days.” A board of pension surgeons said the hernia was about the size of an “English walnut.” Another doctor confirmed that “he suffers when from any cause it becomes inflamed.” A comrade, William Dusenbery, recalled that Andrew “could not stand or walk for some time” after being thrown from the mule and another, Lewis Deaver, said Andrew “became quite Sick at the time.”
The claim was still pending when, he said, “I was ruptured on my left side while working on a job of stone work in the year 1887 at the Moline Wagon Co. I felt it in a few days after working there and have suffered a grate deal eber since that time.” Deciding that stone work aggravated his two hernias, he “went on a job of brick work at Rock Island” but after a few days “I felt the effects of the rupture on left side.” Three years later and five years after he applied, a pension was finally granted at $8.00 monthly, payable quarterly. In 1893 he was living in Stewartville, Illinois (a Moline suburb created for people “of modest means”) when he said he was still wearing a “Doble Truss and I could not Do a Days Work” and, he added, “This has Bine a prety Sever Wintter and the Wether I go oute in the Wind came Back in house and when I got to Bed I cough half of the Knight.” In 1897, he was approved for an increase to $10.00.
By 1899 Andrew's vision was impaired after he was hit by a brick and suffered a broken bone under his right eye and only four of his children were still living: James from his first marriage and Edwin, Henrietta and Florence from his second. Still in Moline, he moved often and gave his address as 1844 24th Avenue in 1900 and 1903, 1307 24th Avenue in 1907, 404 19th Street in 1912 and 3318 Park Place in 1915. His pension was increased to $12.00 when President Roosevelt issued an Executive Order in 1904 making all veterans over 62 eligible for a pension. It was increased to $15.00 in 1907, $20.00 in 1908, $30.00 in 1915 and $40.00 in 1918.
In 1915 in answer to a government questionnaire asking him to name all children “living or dead,” he named James from his first marriage and six from his second marriage although Francis had died in 1876, John in 1879 and Henrietta in 1903. Mary died on December 27, 1918, and was buried in Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island. Eighty-eight-year-old Andrew was receiving a $50.00 pension when he died on New Year's Day 1921 while living in Detroit where his son, Edwin, also lived. Edwin bought two tickets and took Andrew's body to Rock Island for burial in Chippiannock Cemetery. To help defray what he had paid for his father's final medical bills he received $146.67, the amount of Andrew's accrued pension that was unpaid on his death.
Submitted by Carl F. Ingwalson, San Diego, California