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The History of Company M, 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 M and biographies of its officers.

The History:

"Company M was organized as a part of the First Regiment, Iowa National Guard, December 8th, 1893, electing Elza C. JOHNSON as Captain.  On April 26th, 1898, in response to President McKINLEY's call for volunteers, Company M at once reported at Des Moines and was mustered into the United States Volunteer Army June 2d, 1898.  It was ordered into camp at Jacksonville, Fla., arriving there June 14th. While in camp Company M served on the Second Division rifle range and on the patrol guard.  The men are robust and the health was the best in the Regiment while in Camp.

Captain Elza C. JOHNSON was born in Wyoming, Iowa, in April, 1873, but moved to Maquoketa in 1879, where he received his education in the public schools, afterwards taking the Ph. B. Degree in the Iowa State University. After his school days were over, Captain JOHNSON studied law in the office of Hon. D.A. WYNKOOP, of Maquoketa.  He organized Company M, and became its Captain December 8th, 1893.  He has always taken an interest in military matters, and was prominent in the University Battalion while at school.  While in camp at Jacksonville, Fla., he was appointed Acting Inspector of small arms practice and rage officer of the Second Division, Seventh Army Corps. In civil life he is a lawyer and real estate agent in Maquoketa, Iowa.

First Lieutenant George M. JOHNSON was born in Clinton, Conn., in October, 1875, but has lived most of his life in Iowa. He graduated from the Maquoketa high school in 1893, and entered the medical department University of Iowa, being in is junior year when the call to arms came.  Lieutenant JOHNSON began his military career as a private in Company M, December 17th, 1893.  He has served as corporal, sergeant and Second Lieutenant, and was elected to his present rank May 12th, 1898.  He is a clever young officer, and expects to be a physician when he has served his country through the crisis.

Second Lieutenant Fred H. NIETZEL was born in Muscatine, Iowa, September 5th, 1875; moved to Maquoketa, Iowa when six years old and was educated in the public schools of that place.  He joined Company M in December, 1893, as a private, and the next year was made First Sergeant, which rank he held until commissioned Second Lieutenant, May 12th, 1898.  Lieutenant NIETZEL is a successful brick contractor in his home town, and enjoys the confidence of all the men of Company."


"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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