Mail Tribune 100

Nov. 23, 1917


Word has been received in Medford of the death of Captain Washington Rawlings, civil war veteran, aged 83, formerly of Medford, where he was prominent in the G.A.R., at his home near Meldrum Station, on Nov. 19, of old age. He was born in Sanfamore county, Ill., July 8, 1833. His final illness was of short duration, as he was confined to his bed but six days, though he has been in failing health since the loss of his wife, Nancy Jane Rawlings, 15 months ago, to whom he had been married nearly 64 years.

He enlisted if Co. F, 23rd Iowa infantry, August 2, 1862, and fought in his first battle April 29, 1863, at Grand Gulf, Miss.; He fought his sixth battle at Black River, Miss., May 17th, 1863, and in this battle he captured a Confederate flag. His company led the charge on the Confederate works and lost out of the 23rd Iowa, 325 men killed and wounded. It was in this battle Colonel Kinsman was killed.

In capturing the rebel flag, Captain Rawlings ran and grabbed the staff with his left hand and raised his sword in his right hand; the color-bearer threw up his hands and surrendered when he saw the sword, then a Confederate color guard ran ten steps and shot Captain Rawlings in the leg, and ran ten steps further, jumped behind a tree and threw up his hands and surrendered. The company here captured 3,500 prisoners.

On June 6, 1863, Captain Rawlings, in charge of a convalescent camp, had only about 30 able men and he marched them upon a hill and back down and up again for about one hour, the Confederates, with nearly 2,000 strong men, seeing this march thought they consisted of many thousands and it frightened them and they retreated; the little company of 300 then got on a boat and went to Milliken's Bend, where on June 7, 1863, they lost 23 men and 48 wounded, and went into the siege of Vicksburg, June 12, remaining there until July 4th, when Vicksburg surrendered. The company then marched back to Jackson, Miss., requiring two and a half days to make the march, and fought the ninth battle which lasted two days; here the captain took sick and was sent home. He often remarked that the fight at Milliken's Bend was the only fight in which he ever had to run.

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