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The History of Company K, 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

and Biographies of its Officers

Contributed by Judy Landauer
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The following is the printed history of the 49th Iowa, Company K and biographies of its officers.

The History:

"Company K, Forty-Ninth Iowa Infantry, United States Volunteers was organized in Toledo, Iowa, in 1884, and is a part of the First Regiment, National Guard of Iowa.  Company K is composed of some of the flower of Iowa's youngest manhood, and has been steadfast and reliable since its organization.

In the drill at the State Fair at Des Moines in 1886, and also at the dedication  of the World's Fair, at Chicago, in 1893, Company K distinguished itself, and easily holds the record of being the second best drilled Company in the State. Again, during the great strike in Sioux City, in 1894, Company K saw active service and did much to restore quiet and order in the city.

Captain Peter W. McROBERTS was born in Tama County, Iowa, May 9th, 1869, and was educated in the public schools of Toledo until about eighteen years of age.  Was deputy sheriff of Tama County 1894-95, and has been in the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway since.  He joined Company K June 22d, 1886, as private, and rose step by step from the ranks until he was commissioned Lieutenant in 1893. He was elected Captain August 27th, 1898, vice Captain Herbert G. ROSS, resigned. Captain ROBERTS was married in Camp McKinley, Des Moines, Iowa, two days after being mustered into the Volunteer Army, and enjoys the unique distinction of being the first officer in the Volunteers to be married after being mustered into service.  He deserves additional praise for leaving a young wife to serve his country, not knowing how soon a Mauser bullet might stop him in the fight.

First Lieutenant John N. LICHTY is 26 years old, having been born in Toledo, Iowa, April 8th, 1872.  He was educated in the public schools of Toledo, and afterwards graduated from the Western College, at Toledo, Iowa, June 16th, 1898, taking the full literary course. Lieutenant LICHTY, being ambitious for an education, finished his course, studying at odd times for two years while serving as while serving as assistant postmaster at Toledo.  He joined Company K as a private July 15th, 1889, and developing rapidly into a good soldier, he has risen to his present rank, his appointment being made August 27th, 1898.

Second Lieutenant Gustav E. REICHMANN was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., January 29th, 1869, and was educated in the public schools of New York City and Toledo, Iowa, moving to the latter place when he was 13 years of age.  He joined Company K as private, October 29th, 1891, and has served as corporal and sergeant.  Was appointed Second Lieutenant at Jacksonville, Fla., September 15th, 1898.  Lieutenant REICHMANN is one of the crack shots of Iowa, is a member of the State Rifle team, and was a member of the Company that won the silver cup (a brigade trophy) for the past three years, and has a number of minor individual medals proving his ability with the rifle.  He has an uncle in the Tennessee Cavalry, a cousin in the Ninth U.S. Cavalry and a cousin an Ensign in the navy.  Lieutenant REICHMANN is well versed in tactics, and is a handsome officer.  He has been chief of the Toledo, Iowa, fire department."


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

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