Private John A. Stillwell

Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry

By odd coincidence, two men by the name of John A. Stillwell enlisted in the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. One had been born in Canada and served alongside two relatives in Companies B, H and L.

The other Private John A. Stillwell was born in Ohio and was a resident of Hardin County, Iowa at the time of his enlistment on December 29, 1863. He was twenty-one. In 1864, he transferred with most of his companions into Company D of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry Consolidated. He mustered out on August 8, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.

Our records of Private Stillwell do not end there, however. Thirty years later, on July 1, 1898, his name shows up as a member of Company A, First Regiment Washington Veterans Volunteer Reserve Corps of Olympia, Washington. What brought Stillwell to the West Coast remains a mystery, as do the events of the intervening years… but it is good to know that he was one of the proud veterans of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry who continued to serve his nation after the close of the War Between the States.

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