Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Joseph Chase

Joseph Chase

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • James Blair Steedman Post #24 Bellingham, Whatcom Co. WA

Unit History

  • 17th Iowa Infantry K

See full unit history

Joseph Chase
Full Unit History

Organized: 3 & 4/1862 Keokuk, IA
Mustered In:
3/21/1862 Keokuk, IA
Mustered Out:  7/25/1865 Louisville, KY

Regimental History


The 17th Iowa was a three year infantry regiment. During the American Civil War (ACW) it served in the western theater of operations.

Leaving the state the 17th moved to St. Louis, MO before marching into Tennessee. Reaching Tennessee in early May it then proceeded to Corinth, MS where it participated in the siege of that place and then pursued the retreating enemy. It fought at Iuka, MS (9/19/1862) then returned to Corinth, where (10/3 – 4/1862) it made so fierce a charge that Rebel forces were put to flight.

Spring, 1883. The 17th joined the forces of Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant as they marched toward Vicksburg, MS. At the battle of Raymond (5/12/1863) the unit lost one fourth of its numbers from enfilading enemy fire. Service in the trenches before Vicksburg preceded the capitulation of that citadel (7/4).

On 4/1/1864 almost every man in the 17th re-enlisted. Then came furloughs home. Returning to the field the regiment joined Union armies under Gen. W. T. Sherman as they swarmed into Georgia to capture Atlanta. That city fell on 7/22/1864.

The dawning of 1865 found the 17th marching northward from Georgia through the Carolinas. The War ended, the 17th was mustered out of service and into history.

Officers killed or mortally wounded: 5; Officers died of disease, accidents, etc.:2; Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded: 66; Enlisted men died of disease, accidents, etc.121. 

Soldier History

Residence: Tipton, IA   Age: .17.6 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 3/12/1862 Tipton, IA   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 4/16/1862
Discharged: 7/8/1865
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.


Family History


Joseph J. Chase was born 9/19/1844. The location of his birth was Rockford, IL.*

Parenting Joseph were John Chase (no b. d.) and Mary (nee Strawn no b. d.) Chase. Both John and Mary had been birthed in Canada. It is not known if the couple produced children other than Joseph.

In the spring of 1862 teenaged Joseph enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry.  His unit was the 17th Iowa Infantry. Without accessing Private Chases’ military records all that can be said about his period of service is that he survived his first three year enlistment and re-enlisted for the duration of The War. The shooting war having ended earlier, he was mustered back into civilian society in 7/1865.

Where Joseph settled following his exiting the army is not known. The next we hear from him is in 9/23/1875. On that date in Otoe County, NB.

Joseph’s bride was Delilah “Lila” Jane (nee Cooper). Reportedly, Lila was born ca. 1858 in Donaphin County, KS.

As best as can be determined, during their time together Joseph and Lila produced three children. They were: Iva May Chase (b. ca. 1876 NB), Arthur Chase (b. 12/1879 NB) and Maud Ruth Chase (b. d. & loc. unk.).

On 3/28/1882 while in Nebraska Joseph applied for and granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. More on this, later.

After 1882 we lose track of Joseph until 2/15/1921. By that time he is in the Pacific Northwest applying tor residency in the Washington Veterans Home located in Retsil Kitsap County, WA. From his application we learn about Joseph the physical man. At seventy six (76) years of age he was described at being five feet, nine inches (5’9”) tall and having a light complexion. Pension-wise, he was receiving a princely $50 per month. As for his marital status, he indicated his wife had “deserted” him, so he and Lila divorced.

From the Home application we also learn that he had come to Washington in 1917. Why? Probably because his married daughter, Ruth Garner and family were here. It appears that, at least by 1921 he was residing with them in the Grays Harbor County community of Hoquiam.

Admitted to the Soldiers Home on 3/16/1921, remained there until discharged on 5/11/1929.  No reason for the discharge was given.

Joseph Chase died 8/26/1932 in Bellingham Whatcom County, WA. Again, the 89 year old had been residing with daughter Ruth (whose last name was now Wells). Burial was/is in the Soldiers’ Home cemetery in Retsil.

Interestingly, as a closing note, ex-wife Lila died in Bellingham on 11/20/1947. She was/is buried in that city’s Bayview Cemetery.

*Another source notes his birthplace as Canada.

 Posted: 4/1/2024


Buried at Washington Old Soldiers Home Cemetery Retsil
Row: Section 39 Lot 21

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