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Members of the MORLAN Family who
SERVED in the CIVIL WAR (2)

Go to:   1-Erwin Chamberlain Morlan     2-Robert W. Curry

1 ERWIN CHAMBERLIN MORLAN 4th Missouri Cavalry, Company C M301 Great-Grandfather

ERWIN MORLAN was born on August 7, 1835, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the son of Richard and Mary (Erwin) Morlan.

After spending some time in New Orleans, Erwin worked his way up the Mississippi River, first to St. Louis, then to Hannibal, Missouri, before settling in St. Joseph, Missouri. He was working for the railroad, digging telephone post holes, when he enlisted to serve in the Civil War. He was almost 27 years old at the time.

He first enlisted in the state troops for three months. Also enlisting was his brother, Charles L. Morlan. After this service, Erwin enlisted in April of 1862 for three years in Company C of the 4th Missouri Cavalry. Among other places, his time in the service took him to Kansas City, Missouri; Stockton, Missouri; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Jasper and Barton Counties, Missouri (he eventually lived in Barton County, Missouri); Springfield, Missouri; central Missouri towns of Sedalia, Princeton and Waverly); Linn County, Kansas, and St. Louis, Missouri.

Erwin participated in the following major encounters:

  • Little Blue River (Jackson Co., MO) - October 21, 1964 - Confederate victory
  • Independence (Jackson Co., MO) - October 22, 1864 - Confederate victory
  • Westport (Jackson Co., MO) - October 23, 1864 -
        Union victory - over 3,000 Union and Confederate casualties
  • Mine Creek (Linn County, KS) - October 25, 1864 -
        Union victory - about 100 Union soldiers and 1,200 Confederate casualties
Erwin's son, George Morlan, indicated that his father was also at Wilson Creek. Wilson Creek, southwest of Springfield, Missouri, was fought in August of 1861. This was before Erwin enlisted but it is possible that Erwin was at Wilson Creek after the major conflict in 1861. Erwin was an Commissionary (Orderly) Sergeant. Records indicated he entered the service (4th Missouri Cavalry) as a Sergeant.

He was mustered out of the service after three years on March 31, 1865, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Erwin's older brother, William Seely Morlan, also served as a Sergeant in the Civil War. He was in Company F, 101st Pennsylvania Infantry. He was captured at Plymouth, North Carolina, on April 20, 1864, and confined in the Anderson Prison for about 8 months. After being released he returned to Pennsylvania to practice law. He was elected Justice of the Peace. He died at the Soldiers Home in Dayton, Ohio, in 1895.


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2 ROBERT W. CURRY 33rd Regiment, Infantry, Company C M402 Great-Great Grandfather

ROBERT CURRY was born on September 30, 1833, in Virginia, the son of John and Sarah (Greathouse) Curry.

He was living in Mahaska County, Iowa (which is southeast of Des Moines, near Oskaloosa, Iowa) when he enlisted in the Union Army on September 4, 1862, in Company C, 33rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry. He was about 29 years old at the time with a wife, Amanda Kelley, and five children -- 3 sons and 2 daughters -- and an additional daughter expected in four months.

The regiment was raised and organized by General S. A. Rice . The companies of the regiment were composed of four from Mahaska County, three from Keokuk, and three from Marion County. They were all organized about the first part of September of 1862.

They all met at Oskaloosa at the county fair grounds which was named Camp Tuttle. On October 1, the regiment was sworn into service. The total manpower was 980 men.

The regiment left Oskaloosa on November 20, by foot, to Eddyville, Iowa, about 10 miles to the south. From there they traveled to Keokuk, Iowa, by train and then by steamer down the Mississippi to St. Louis. At St. Louis, they were assigned provost guard duty and the guarding of the prisons.

At midnight, December 21, they left by steamer again, going south to Columbus, Kentucky, which they reached on the morning of December 24. They were expecting to be attacked at this point and, therefore, they spent the next few days and nights in their defensive line sleeping on the bare ground in the mud and rain. There was no fighting on this occasion.

On New Year's day, they moved to Union City, Tennessee, where another attack was expected. None was made and on the 3rd of January, they returned to Columbus. On January 8, 1863, they were bound, by steamer, south on the Mississippi, to Helena, Arkansas. The trip of approximate 275 miles took 5 days.

Until July 4th their time was spent in picket duties, scouting parties, foraging expeditions, the repelling of expected evasions, drilling, etc. They also made expeditions to Yazoo Pass and Fort Pemberton, which was done in a season of constant rain fall. This caused a great deal of sickness and disability among the men.

The regiment was attacked by the Confederates, led by Lieut. General Holmes at 4 AM on July 4, 1863. This was the regiment's first really big battle after almost 9 months of service. After 6 hours of fighting the confederates were driven back towards Little Rock. It was indicated that the strength of the Confederates was 2,500 men compared to the 33rd regiment's strength of 500 men. The Union army lost a total of 86 men, either dead, wounded, or taken prisoner.

The regiment then marched towards Little Rock, which was taken on September 10th. They stayed there until March of 1864 when they commenced the southwestern expedition.

Major fighting took place on Prairie D'Anne, in Hempstead County, Arkansas, around March 12 and then it was a race to Camden, Arkansas, which was unoccupied at the time. Both armies were driving for it with fighting all the way. The race was won by the northern army on the evening of the 15th of March. The win was short lived as they were only able to hold Camden for five days.

During these five days they were without rations. They lived on four ears of corn per day per person which they ground in hand mills and made into cakes.

The 33rd had to retreat at this time. The rebels could not catch up with them until they reached the Saline River. The Union loss here was very heavy -- 123 men were either killed, wounded, or captured. Among the wounded was General Rice, who received a wound in the ankle and died from this wound two months later on July 6.

Also wounded and taken prisoner at the Saline River fight (also called the Battle of Jenkin's Ferry) was ROBERT CURRY on April 10, 1864. These wounds affected him in later years and he died April 15, 1879, in Barton County, Missouri, only 45 years old.

Robert participated in the following major encounters:

  • Helena (Phillips County, Arkansas) - July 4, 1863 - Union victory -
        1,842 casualties (206 Union & 1,636 Confederate)
  • Bayou Forche (Pulaski County, Arkansas) - Sept. 10, 1863 - Union victory -
        72 Union casualties with unknown Confederate losses
  • Elkin's Ferry (Clark and Nevada Co., AR) - April 3, 1864 - Union victory -
        92 casualties (38 Union and 54 Confederate)
  • Prairie D'Ane (Nevada County, Arkansas) - April 9, 1864 - Union victory
  • Jenkins Ferry (Grant County, Arkansas) - April 30, 1864 - Union victory -
        964 casualties (521 Union and 443 Confederate)
          Robert Curry was wounded here
  • Fort Blakely (Baldwin County, Alabama) - April 2, 1865 - Union victory -
        a total of 4,475 casualties with only about 20% Union soldiers
Robert W. Curry was mustered out of the service on July 20, 1865, at Davenport, Iowa.

Robert died from military wounds on April 15, 1879, in Barton County, Missouri, at the age of 45. He was buried in the Forrest Grove Cemetery in Barton County but his name was spelled "Currey" on his gravemarker.

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