The History of Company B, 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

and Biographies of its Officers

Contributed by Judy Landauer

49th Iowa Volunteeer Infantry, Co. B
This is a view of some of the members of the 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Co. B. In the front row, the man seated fifth from the right is Guy Perry Jenks. Jenks was born in Shell Rock, Iowa on September 15, 1879 and died on December 3, 1950.
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The following is the printed history of the 49th Iowa, Company B and biographies of its officers.

The History:

"Company B was organized in Waterloo, Iowa, about the year 1883, and was a part of the Fourth Regiment, Iowa National Guard. Among its first officers were Captain LAUGHLIN, Lieutenants  MILLER and FISHER.

It was reorganized in 1894 as Company B, of the First Regiment, Iowa National Guard, and as such was mustered into the Volunteer Army June 2d, 1898. Company B was at the dedication of the World's Fair, in Chicago, 1893, and acquitted itself with considerable  credit.

Captain Charles W. COTTON was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and is 29 years old. He was educated in the College of that place, and joined  Company B as a private in 1889; was corporal 1892, sergeant 1893, lieutenant in 1895. He was unanimously elected  Captain May 25th, 1898.

Captain COTTON has a sympathetic disposition, is liked by all his Company and enjoys soldier life "when his boys all keep their health." Through his untiring efforts for the welfare of his Company, he has become one of the most popular officers in the Regiment. In civil life, he is a prominent Real Estate and Insurance Agent in Waterloo, Iowa, his native town.

First Lieutenant Edwin J. GEIST is 25 years old, and a native of Iowa. He has been a member of Company B since 1895, joining as a private. He rose rapidly from the ranks and was appointed Sergeant in 1896 and Lieutenant, May 27th, 1898. Lieutenant GEIST was in Government service as a mail carrier before being  mustered into the Volunteer Army.

Second Lieutenant Joseph A. GURY was born in Illinois thirty years ago, but moved to Waterloo, Iowa, when twelve years of age and has resided there continuously since. Lieutenant GURY is well educated, and before entering the service of the United States  was a hustling  reporter on the "Waterloo Reporter". He joined Company B in 1892 as  a private, was made sergeant in 1893, and second Lieutenant, his  present rank, in 1894."


"Historical and Biographical Souvenir of the 49th Iowa U.S. Volnteer Infantry.  Illustrated with scenes of camp life." (Jacksonville, FL 1898).

The photo of Company B is courtesy of the family of Guy Jenks.

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