A letter found by Eric Burke that you Co. B boys might like.
Editor National Tribune:
In an issue of The National Tribune of some time past, Serg't David Cornwell, in speaking of the battle of Shiloh, casts a bitter slur on the noble officers who fought on the first day of that memorable conflict. The names of Grant, Sherman, Wallace, McClernand, Crocker and others are imperishable, and ...notwithstanding the fact that their troops were raw recruits, they held 60,000 rebels at bay for 10 hours. The intimation that the troops were without a head or without commanders is an unjust aspersion upon brave men, unworthy a comrade. I belonged to Gen. M. M. Crocker's Iron Brigade, and we hardly knew how to load our guns, yet we rallied, not alone, but under the command of the noble Sherman, and hurled back the rebel ranks again and again. To be sure, Grant was not there when the battle began, but soon arrived, and was with us until death had robbed him of half his brave army. Our gallant Generals during all that dreadful day never for a moment left their posts of duty. If that brave little army had given up, Gen. Buell would not have crost [sic] the river there. Honor to whom honor is due. The noble officers who fought that battle are all gone, but their names and the history of their gallant deeds are written in imperishable characters on the scroll of fame. I have nothing but praise for Gen. Buell and his veterans, and I would not detract one iota form their well-earned glory if I could. Gen. Sherman seemed to bear a charmed life on that day, and at night lay with his exhausted troops on the bloody field. I neve rheard any member of the Army of the Tennessee, except Serg't Cornwell, criticize in any way the noble men who led us to victory on so many fields from Vicksburg to Goldsboro, N.C. Success to the grand old National Tribune.
-- John S. Strain, [Company B] 15th Iowa, Soldiers and Sailors' Home, Burkett, Neb.
Published: The national tribune, January 3, 1907
John S. Strain, of Company B, was his successor( fife major Tilghman H. Cuningham of Co. K) . He was in this position in the later days of the Regiment, and he was always ready when wanted, and capable.
I have thus given hurriedly, amid the pressing cares of business, my recollections of the Field and Staff of the Regiment. Omissions must have been made, I know, but the fault must be attributed to the failure of memory in passing years. It is difficult to signalize any one where all did their duty so well. But the members of the Field and Staff, as well as every officer and soldier of the Regiment, have my lasting regard. They bore so many hardships without murmur that, as I have often said, "the meanest man among them was a hero."
And they have no more fond and faithful friend and lover than their old Commander.
WILLIAM W. BELKNAP,
Second Colonel Of The Regiment,
Brigadier-General Of Volunteers,
1420 New York Avenue, Washington, D. C., May 26, 1886.
SOURCE: William W. Belknap, History of the Fifteenth Regiment Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry, p. 49