G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
27th IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: Summer, 1862
Mustered In: 10/3/62
Mustered Out: 7/65
The 27th, a three-year unit, was active throughout the “western theater” almost from the day it was mustered into federal service. Its initial 1862 assignment involved elements taking part in the campaign against Indians waging war on Minnesota settlers.
The entire regiment then assembled at Cairo, IL before moving into Mississippi where it ultimately spent the winter suffering greatly from sickness because previous campaigning had been without blankets or rations.
1863 found the 27th clashing with guerillas and performing railroad guard duty in Tennessee and Arkansas. 1864 saw the unit at Vicksburg, MS, involved in the Red River Expedition, and under fire in Louisiana locations such as Pleasant Hill, Grand Encore, Marksville, and Yellow Bayou.
February, 1865 found the Iowans embroiled in operations around Mobile, Alabama, including the final assault on Ft. Blakely. Garrison duty and a stay at Montgomery capped off the regiment’s career.
Residence: Delaware Co., IA Age: 23 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/14/62 Rank: Cpl.
Mustered In: 9/1/62
Discharged/Mustered Out: 8/8/65 Clinton, IA
Highest Rank: Cpl.
John was born 9/10/38 to parents James and Lucy McKinnis in Liberty Township, Hancock Co., Ohio. No information is available on possible siblings or his childhood and formative years. On 8/2/57 eighteen year old McKinnis married Emily “Emma” Davis (b/8/4/34) in Franklin Township, IA. The union would produce two children: Mary (8/12/58), and Cyrus Melville (10/24/59). (Note: One genealogical source lists two additional offspring: Minerva J. *1866) and Martha (1868). The veteran, however, makes no mention of these names in his pension papers.)
In Sept., 1862 the 5’9 ¼ farmer/laborer entered the U.S. Army as a corporal. By Nov., while at Cairo, IL he had contracted typhoid fever which resulted in his remaining there in the hospital while his regiment moved on. Returning to duty at the end of Feb., 1863 McKinnis requested- perhaps because he had been away from the 27th for an extended period of time and unable to perform necessary duties- and was granted a demotion to the rank of private. On 4/15/64 he would regain his corporal stripes.
Available documents are not clear as to whether Mr. McKinnis returned to Iowa following his separation from the military. However by early 1870’s he was in Rice Co., Kansas where his wife, Emily, died. On 9/14/75, once again in Iowa, John McKinnis remarried to divorcee Sarah Jane Stephenson (b. 1/39). The couple would have two children: James F. (1876/7) and Bertha (1878). John and Sarah would later separate and divorce.
In 1889 at age 51 years, John McKinnis applied for a government disability pension claiming having never fully recovered from typhoid fever contracted while in the army. The disease had since lead to his having problems with his eyes and kidneys. 1900 found John McKinnis in Boulder, Col. 1915 has him in White Bluffs, Benton Co., WA. No details are available on these periods of his life.
By 1922 the aging Civil War vet is in Port Orchard, WA. (Perhaps at the Washington Soldiers’ Home in Retsil) While there he apparently met Marian Eargood, a resident of Snohomish, WA and widow of ACW veteran John Eargood (Row 23 Site 6). The two married on 9/7/21 and set up household in Snohomish. Thereafter Mr. McKinnis’ health declined markedly. On 5/4/23 at the age of 84.7 years of age, he died. At the time of his death John McKinnis was receiving $50 per month from the government. Later that same year the third Mrs. McKinnis was reportedly living in Retsil, WA. Marian died 11/18/1940 in Seattle, WA.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
Mt Lake Terrace, WA
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