65th ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Spring, 1862 Camp Douglas Chicago Cook County, IL
Mustered In: 5/1/1862 Camp Douglas Chicago Cook County, IL
Mustered Out: 7/13/1865 Greensboro, NC
Discharged: 7/26/1865 Chicago Cook County, IL
6th IOWA VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: December, 1861/January, 1862 Davenport, IA
Mustered In: 1/31/1862 Davenport, IA
Mustered Out: 10/17/1865 Sioux City, IA
REGIMENTAL HISTORY: (65th)
The 65th was a three year infantry regiment. It was initially assigned to the Mountain Department within the eastern theater of American Civil War (ACW). Later, it served in the western theater.
Also known as the "Scotch Regiment", the 65th was organized in Chicago during the spring of 1862. Following its 5/1/1862 Federal muster it was ordered to Martinsburg, WVA.
When Harper's Ferry, WV was surrendered to Rebel forces in September, 1862 the soldiers of the 65th became prisoners of the enemy. Although "paroled", they were not "exchanged" until 4/1863, so remained out of The War for a number of months. Returned to the field, the unit then served in the campaigns of east Tennessee taking part in the battles about Chattanooga (8 & 11/1863) and in the defense of Knoxville.
In 3/1864 the 65th veteranized. Re-enlisted members then went home on thirty day furloughs.
Returning to the field the 65th joined Union General W.T. Sherman's movements to capture Atlanta, GA. This meant that the regiment was engaged in numerous actions, some of them quite severe.
With the fall of Atlanta (7/22/1864) the 65th pursued the fleeing graybacks into Tennessee. Actions during this period included Columbia (11/24 - 29/1864), Franklin (11/30/1864) and Nashville (12/15 - 16/164).
January, 1865. The 65th moved into North Carolina. It then fought its way northward.
With the muster out of non-reenlisted veterans, the 65th was joined by four new companies. Consolidation gained it men from the 92nd, 107th and 112th Illinois.
On 7/11/1865 all of the men were mustered out and started for home. Arriving in Chicago on 7/22/1865 the men received final pay and were discharged on 7/26.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 1; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 1; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 30; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.:97.
REGIMENTAL HISTORY: (6th)
The 6th Iowa was a three year cavalry unit. It was recruited from a wide swath of territory running from the northeast to the southwest parts of the state and rendezvoused near Davenport Iowa.
The regiment's entire period of service was spent fighting - not Johnny Reb - but Native American hostiles along what was then America's western frontier. That "frontier" included the western borders of Minnesota and the Dakota Territory/Territories.
Always more or less divided, the 6th garrisoned many far flung military posts, scouted and marched in many different directions. This existence made creation of a succinct history of the unit almost impossible.
Officers Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 1; Officers Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 1; Enlisted Men Killed Or Mortally Wounded: 21; Enlisted Men Died Of Disease, Accidents, Etc.: 74.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 18.6 yrs.
Enlisted Enrolled: 3/1/1862 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 3/1/1862
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Desertion: Pvt.
Residence: Volga City, IA Age: 19.1 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 9/22/1862 Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/22/1862
Mustered Out: 10/17/1865 Sioux City, IA
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.
NOTE: The birth - to - death biographical profile of Rufus King was created in October, 2021 during the Covid-19 medical pandemic. It contains less depth of detail than many other biographies within this website because military service, pension and other veteran-related files housed in Washington, D.C.'s National Archives were not available. At a later time those documents may be obtained and the data contained therein added to the narrative which follows.
Rufus L. King was born 8/19/1843. All we know about the location of his birth is that it was within the state of Ohio.
Parenting Rufus were Justus King (b. 9/17/1806 Rodman Jefferson County, NY - d. 1/31/1883 Sperry Clayton County, IA) and Rhoda (nee Vaughn b. 6/29/1810 Medina Medina County, OH - d. 1/11/1898 Clayton Clayton County, IA) King. The King family was a farming family.
As best as can be determined from available U.S. Census data Justus and Rhoda produced four children. Of those four, Rufus was the third. Older than he were Wilder Benton King (b. 5/13/1833 Medina Medina County, OH *) and Sophia Lucinda King (b. 10/31/1836 Westfield Center Medina County, OH). Younger than he was Sylvia Diana King (b. 4/2/1847 Medina County, OH).
At the time of the 1860 U.S. Census Rufus was living on his parents' farm which, at the time, was located in Sperry Clayton County, IA. Approximately two years later when he enlisted in the U.S. Army he did not list a community or state of residence.
Private King's unit was the 65th Iowa Infantry. When the organization took to the field in May, 1862 it did not remain there long. Sent into West Virginia in September while stationed at Harper's Ferry it and other regiments were surrounded. They were then surrendered by their officers - without a fight - to Rebel forces under the command of Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.
Based the 65th’s regimental history, it would appear that after capture, the men in blue were paroled by the Rebels who could not be encumbered by prisoners of war as they raced toward Sharpsburg/Antietam, MD. For the time being, The War was over for these troops. On parole, they returned to Chicago's Camp Douglas to await formal exchange and return to the field.
Without accessing Private King's military service files, the most that can be said as of now is that after being captured with his regiment, he apparently did not want to sit out The War. As such, after reaching Camp Douglas he deserted from the 65th. **
On 9/22/62 - claiming his address was in Volga City, IA, Rufus reenlisted in the U.S. Army's 6th Iowa Cavalry. E. The army’s enlistment system, at that time, likely recognized him only as a new recruit. We can speculate, however, that if enlistment officers were aware of his deserter status they looked the other way because of the humiliating, ignominious circumstances under which the 65th Illinois and other units were captured at Harper's Ferry. Besides, the 6th Iowa was not going to fight Johnny Reb. It's foe would be Native American hostiles then rampaging along America's western frontier. Again, accessing Private King's 6th service files may be the only way to shed more light on this matter.
Private Rufus King did not back out on the 6th Iowa. He completed his term of enlistment and returned to life as a civilian in October of 1865.
Based on available documentation, it appears that after leaving the military Rufus returned to Iowa. He also married and became a father.
Rufus' bride was Cornelia Welch. Her parents were Canadians, but she had been born in the state of Illinois during the year 1849.
Sometime prior to or during the 1860s the Welch family had departed Illinois, moved to and took up farming in Sperry Clayton County, IA. This was the same community in which the Kings lived, so it is highly likely Rufus and Cornelia had known one another as youths.
After being wed, it appears that Rufus and Cornelia resided on the Welch family farm in Sperry. That was where the U.S. Census for 1870 found the couple and their young child.
Circa 1868/'69, in Iowa, Cornelia gave birth to a son. He was given the name Albert Leroy King.
What happened to the relationship between Rufus and Cornelia is not documented. By 1880 the couple had divorced.
The census tally for 1880 found Rufus in Burlington Des Moines County, IA residing in a boarding house and employed as a stone mason. Cornelia and Albert were still in in Sperry Clayton County, IA living on her parents' farm.
Based on available information, Rufus remarried in 1880. His new bride was Florence A. Coyle. Florence was born ca. 1860. The location of her birth was IL.
During their years together Rufus and Florence produced six children: Justus "Jay" Luke King (b. 4/18/1881 Des Moines, IA), Walter L. King (b. 1883 IA ), Mabel Rhoda King (b. 12/1/1885 Sumner Sumner County, KS), Maude "Maudie" Emily "Emma" King (b. 5/26/1888 (Fall City King County, WA), Minnie Hanna King (b. 10/4/1890 Fall City King County, WA) and Madge Christine (b. 8/23/1892 Fall City King County, WA. Five of the six were alive at the dawning of the twentieth century.
As noted by the birth locations of Rufus' and Florence's children. After the 1883 Iowa birth of Walter the King family moved away from Iowa. Their first stop appears to have been Sumner Sumner County, Kansas.
Rufus’ brother, Wilder, and family were also living and farming in Sumner County, KS at that time. From there the two families jumped westward to the Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. Likely, what had drawn them here was homestead farm land that both brothers could claim because of their ACW military service.
An unknown is exactly when the Kings arrived here. A good guess however would be around 1886 because, on 11/23/1891, Rufus "proved up" on having resided on and worked his homestead for five years. 11/23/1891 was the date on which he received the patent (deed) to the property which was located in the Fall City/Snoqualmie area of eastern King County.
Dropping back a tad, on 8/13/1890 in the State of Washington Rufus applied for a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. That all had been forgiven regarding his deserting the 65th Illinois is evidenced by the fact that a pension stipend was granted. Without access to the old soldier's pension files, however, details of his monthly stipend remain unknowns.
Tragedy struck the King family on 6/3/1896. That was the date Walter drowned in Patterson Creek near Fall City, WA.
Sadly, Florence Coyle King died on 1/22/1908. Details of her passing at forty eight years of age are not known. Burial was/is in the Fall City Cemetery located in Fall City King County, WA.
Rufus did not live long after the death of Florence. He died on 5/8/1909 in the Seattle (north 63rd & Cedar) home of his adult son Justus "Jay" King. Cause of 65.7 year old's death was chronic (interstitial nephritis) kidney disease. Burial was/is in the Fall City Cemetery with Florence.
As a final note on Rufus King, after Florence's passing and about a year or so before his own death he had a will drawn up. In that document he bequeathed $100 each to two of his grand- daughters. The bulk of his estate - after payment of funeral expenses and any outstanding debts - he left to his four (Maude, Minnie Mabel and Madge) daughters. He left his son Leroy by his first marriage and Justus, in whose residence he spent his final days, one dollar each....................
*During the ACW Wilder served in the 9th Iowa Infantry. He survived the conflict and ultimately moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1886. That was about the same time Rufus, and family settled here. Both King Brothers took up farming in or near the eastern King County community of Fall City. Wilder died 1/11/1898 and was/is buried in the Fall Cemetery.
** It appears that Private King's desertion from the 65th was not immediately noticed or at least recorded. Regimental records of the 65th do not note his desertion until 10/1/1862. However, regimental records of the 6th show him as having enlisted in that unit on 9/22/1862.
Buried at Fall City Cemetery
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