19th Indiana Infantry Veteran Personal History – Lewis Yeatman

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The 19th Indiana Infantry Regiment served in the famed Iron Brigade.

In the effort to remember the sacrifices of all those men of the 19th Indiana Infantry, and their families, I will narrate another one of their experiences. The 19th Indiana Infantry was composed of over 1,000 volunteers who answered President Lincoln’s call to defend the Union. Each man and his family have a story to tell. Here is another story:

Lewis Yeatman (Co. ‘D’)

Age 22  in 1861:

Yeatman’s prewar occupation is recorded as ‘Blacksmith’, and his home was in Indianapolis. He was 5 ft 5 inches tall, had blue eyes and dark hair. Census records show he had $25 in wealth.

Lewis Yeatman mustered into the 19th Indiana (Co. ‘D’) in July 1861 as a private. He was promoted to corporal (1 Nov 61). Yeatman was promoted to sergeant (28 Feb 62). He was slightly wounded at the battle of Brawner Farm (28 Aug 62), and then wounded again at Antietam (17 Sep 62). Yeatman was promoted to 2nd lieutenant (14 Oct 62), and to 1st lieutenant (28 Feb 63). He was wounded in the hand along the Willoughby Run defense line at Gettysburg (1 Jul 63). Yeatman was wounded again, at the Wilderness (5 May 64), and a fifth time in the Petersburg assault (18 Jun 64). His five wounds were the most of any soldier in the 19th Indiana. The battered veteran mustered out of the 19th Indiana on 28 Jul 64.

Lewis Yeatman returned to Indianapolis and his old job but quickly realized the stresses of combat had affected him severely. He could not adjust to civilian life so he enlisted into the 134th Indiana regiment as a private and finished the war, once again wearing the blue wool.

Once the war was over the bewildered soldier found himself without an anchor. He bounced around, slowly drifting eastward, and eventually ending up in Buffalo, NY. Here, Yeatman met Hannah Johnson and they married. However, the restless veteran still could not find roots so the couple moved west and found themselves in Dakota Territory. Yeatman took a blacksmith job at Fort Randall, and his life slowly began to take focus again. Yeatman and his wife raised a small family, and when the old soldier’s wounds slowed him down, they moved to Yankton, SD, where they settled down. Hannah Johnson Yeatman died in 1913, leaving the veteran to be taken care of by a daughter. Lewis Yeatman passed into history in 1927, at the age of 88.

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