Appanoose County had contributed 47 volunteers to the 17th Infantry Regiment, Company F. They too had marched to Corinth and Iuka, Miss. They had fought at Jackson, Miss., Champion Hill, the siege of Vicksburg, Miss. They had fought at Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge, Tenn. Nearly all survivors had reenlisted by the spring of 1864, ready to embark on Gen. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
The 18th Infantry had had 32 men enlist from Appanoose County. The spring of 1864 saw them fighting in Arkansas along with the 36th Infantry Regiment, largely from Appanoose County. They too had experienced many losses as killed, wounded, captured or otherwise disabled. The 3rd Iowa Cavalry under Col. Cyrus Bussey of Bloomfield had fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge at Elkhorn Tavern, Ark. Detachments had fought at LaGrange, Ark. and Helena, Ark. They had been involved in the siege of Vicksburg and the siege of Jackson, Miss.
There had also been 65 Appanoose County men who had enlisted as part of the 8th Iowa Cavalry Regiment. Their leader was Centerville’s Capt. M. M. Walden, who had recovered and reenlisted in the cavalry. By the spring of 1864, they had already traveled from Louisville, Ky. to cover a wide area of Tennessee from Nashville to the Tennessee River, guarding and protecting the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad right of way. By the spring of 1864 they refitted and advanced to Chattanooga, Tenn., and were placed to the left of Gen. Sherman’s advancing army of 110,000 men. They were headed for Atlanta and Sherman’s march to the sea. That spring they were ready to advance on Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s 64,000 man force at Dalton, Ga.
But by far the largest contingent of Appanoose County men had formed four entire companies of the 36th Iowa Infantry Regiment – Companies C, F, G and I plus parts of Company A, E, H and K. Nearly half the total of Appanoose County volunteers had enlisted in the 36th Iowa. All under the leadership of Lt. Col. Francis Marion Drake of Unionville, who had helped to recruit and organize the Appanoose County troops. Drake had been a veteran of the Appanoose County volunteer militia border guards. He had been part of the Missouri Campaign, and had been commissioned lieutenant colonel by Iowa Gov. Kirkwood. Other leaders of the Appanoose troops included Capt. William Vermilion of Company F who had been a physician from Iconium, Capt. Thomas M. Fee of Company G who had been a lawyer from Centerville, and Capt. Joseph Gedney of Company I who had enlisted and was elected captain as a 36 year old farmer from the Bellair-Numa area.