The Thirty-eighth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry was organized under the call of the President, dated July 2, 1862. The counties represented were mainly from the northeastern part of the state: Fayette, Winneshiek, Bremer, Chickasaw and Howard. The companies assembled at Camp Franklin, near Dubuque on September 20, 1862. The regiment was mustered in on November 4, 1862, by Captain George S. Pierce, of the Regular Army. The aggregate strength of the regiment was nine hundred and ten men, rank and file.
The regiment left Dubuque December 15, 1862, for St. Louis, where it was temporarily assigned quarters at Benton Barracks and was equipped for active service. It had originally been intended for the regiment to go to Helena, AK, and it left for that place on the steamer "Platte Valley" on December 28, 1862; upon arrival at Columbus, KY, on December 30th, Colonel Hughes was ordered to disembark his regiment, and proceed to Union City, then threatened by Rebel forces, but before the arrival of the regiment at Union City, the enemy had withdrawn and Colonel Hughes was ordered to return to Columbus and there re-embark his regiment, and proceed at once to New Madrid and take possession of that place, which had recently been evacuated. The regiment arrived at New Madrid on January 2, 1863.The regiment was ordered to proceed to Donaldsonville, LA, on November 27, 1864, where it was stationed at the order to consolidated with the Thirty-fourth Infantry, on December 12, 1864, to be thereafter known as the Thirty-fourth Regiment of Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The Thirty-eighth was order to proceed to Morganza, LA, and the consolidation was perfected at that place on Januray 1, 1865.
|Original strength of regiment||39||876|
|Gain-added in field by recruits||0||112|
|added by promotion||9||0|
|added by transfer||1||0|
|Loss-killed in battle||0||1|
|died of wounds||0||1|
|died of disease||4||307|
|aggregate Nov. 27, 1864||25||523|
The regiment, without having participated in any of the great pitched battles of the war, (at that time), passed through a frightful struggle with disease and death, surpassed only by those other regiments whose conflicts with the enemy involved the loss of so many lives in addition to those claimed by disease.