Peter Nichols Talkington, Farrier, Company F, 8th Iowa Cavalry

He enlisted on June 24, 1863, from the town of Iconium, Iowa, for a period of three years. Ephraim Cummins, a Notary Public and future Captain of Company F, acknowledged his enlistment. He was listed as being 36 years old and born in Hamilton County, Ohio. His occupation was that of a Blacksmith.

His first wife, Sarah Ely Talkington had died on April 4, 1858. His children were Lafayette 15 (great-grandfather of N. Dale Talkington), Samuel Elliott 13, Annie 11, and Catherine 8. On August 27, 1861, he married Martha Jane Childs. George, their first of five children, was born on August 28, 1862.

On August 21, 1863, he was officially mustered into federal service as a Farrier (Blacksmith).

1,200 soldiers in Unit

The 8th Regimental Iowa Cavalry was composed of 1,200 men and formally organized at Camp Headquarters, Davenport, Iowa, on September 30, 1863.

On October 17th, Company F received written orders to leave Camp Roberts by railroad for Louisville, Kentucky. They arrived on October 22 by way of Michigan City and Indiana.

The Company started a march of 220 miles to Nashville, Tennessee on November 4. They arrived on November 16th for duty protecting the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad against southern guerrillas.

On December 1st, the Company left Nashville for Waverly, Tennessee. They stayed there until March 13, when they left for Nashville, Tennessee.

On April 1st, they started marching toward Chattanooga, Tennessee, and arrived on the 10th. They reached Cleveland, Tennessee on April 13th.

On May 3rd, they marched to the front lines.

Newnan, Georgia was a Disaster for Many 8th Iowa Soldiers

During a critical battle at Brown's Mill, at Newnan, Georgia, many men of the 8th Iowa Cavalry were killed in action or taken prisoner. A lot of research has been done by N. Dale Talkington in this area, including a field trip to the battle site.

On December 30, 1864, Company F reached Waterloo, Alabama

In February of 1865, Peter Talkington contracted rheumatism and was exempt from duty during the Company's stay in Waterloo.

They left Northport on April 8th and captured the town of Jacksonville, Alabama on April 24th.

Death of Colonel Door

Colonel Joseph B. Door, regimental commander of the 8th Iowa Cavalry, died of neuralgic rheumatism and a congestive chill at Macon, Georga on May 28th. His body was embalmed and sent home to Dubuque, Iowa by train. A complete copy of his pension records is in the file.

On August 13, Company F was mustered out at Macon, Georgia. Less than one-half of those who left Iowa with the regiment ever returned home.

Peter Nichols Talkington was honorably discharged. His separation papers listed him as being 5 feet and 11 1/2 inches tall, with dark complexion and hair and hazel eyes.

Many Good Men Lost in War

The 8th Iowa Cavalry reported total casualties of 24 enlisted men and 3 officers as being killed in action. Nine enlisted men later died of wounds from battle. 91 enlisted men and two officers died of various diseases. 237 enlisted men and 22 officers were reported as captured by the enemy.

Thirty years later, Peter Nichols Talkington died in Appanoose County, Iowa, on January 10, 1896 at the age of 69. He is buried next to Sarah Ely Talkington at Brushy Cemetery near his old homestead in Independence Township.

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