BYERS, SAMUEL H. M., son of James Byers, was born in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, July 23, 1838; he received a common school education, and studied law with Hon. Wm. Loughridge, and was admitted to the bar in 1861; upon the breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted in 1861 in the 5th Regiment Iowa Infantry, and was appointed quarter-master sergeant; he was soon after promoted to adjutant of the regiment; at the battle of Mission Ridge he was taken prisoner with eighty others of his own regiment, Nov. 25, 1863; he was held a prisoner for sixteen months, and was taken from one prison to another, and suffered almost everything but death. After making two attempts to escape and being recaptured, the third time, Feb. 16, 1865, he was successful. While in prison he composed the song which has become national, "Sherman's March to the Sea." After his escape Gen. Sherman sent for him, and assigned him to duty on his staff; he was selected by General Sherman as bearer of the first dispatches to Gen. Grant and the President after leaving Savannah. After the war he returned here; in 1869 he was appointed United States Consul to Zurich, Switzerland, and he has held that position since then, nine years, and is the only one of President Grant's foreign appointments that remain abroad; he married Miss Maggie Gilmore, from Michigan, in 1869; they have two children, Lawrence and Helen.>> from History of Mahaska County
Samuel Hawkins Marshall Byers
Civil War (Union) · US Army
Captured by the Confederates, Byers escaped and later represented the U.S. as Consul in Switzerland.
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Brief Biography of S. H. M. Byers
- Mahaska County, Iowa
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