Sergeant Patrick McGuire

Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

Patrick Morgan McGuire was a twenty-three year old resident of Omaha when he enlisted in Company A of the Curtis Horse. After serving a year in that Company he transferred to Company H of the regiment in October of 1862. He must have transferred to enable his promotion to Company Quartermaster Sergeant, since the promotion is recorded as occurring on the same day.

The Official Roster records that Morgan was "taken prisoner July 31, 1864, Newnan, Georgia." This, however, was not the first time he was captured by the Confederates. That story is briefly related in an excerpt from a letter written to his father. The June 16, 1862 issue of the Daily Gazette published in Davenport, Iowa, includes the following report:

A Davenport Soldier is Taken Prisoner and Escapes. We make the following extract from a letter written by P.M. McGuire to his father, James McGuire, Esq., giving an account of his capture, forced travels in Secessia, and final escape from the rebels. Mr. McGuire belongs to Co. A., Curtis' Horse, and although a young man, is an old citizen of this place. His letter is dated Fort Hieman, June 5th.

"I have arrived back safe to my company after nearly three months' imprisonment. I was taken prisoner at Paris, Tenn. On the 11th of March; from there was taken to Humboldt, from there to Memphis, from there to Columbus, Miss.; from there to a little town in Louisiana; from there to Mobile, Ala.; from there to Tuscaloosa, Ala.; from there I made my escape on the night of the 6th of May, after cutting my way out through a brick wall. I traded my uniform for a secesh uniform, and part of the time traveled as a Confederate soldier, and a part of the time I kept in the timber, killed young hogs and roasted them, and eat them without salt or bread. I finally got to our forces across the river from Decatur, Ala. Gen Mitchell's division; from there to Shelbyville by wagon train; from there to Louisville, by way of Bowling Green and Nashville; by cars from Louisville down the Ohio to Paducah, and up the Tennessee river by steamboat, and arrived here on the 3d inst."

Sadly, Morgan's second imprisonment did not end as fortuitously as did his first. He died of disease while still held a prisoner, on November 8, 1864, Florence, South Carolina.

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