Born July 11, 1832, in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia
— Killed in Battle of Black River Bayou May 17, 1863 —
Teacher in the public schools
of Council Bluffs,
Lieutenant and Captain Co. B.
4th Iowa Infantry,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel
23rd Iowa Infantry.
[Dedicated] May 17, 1902
By mid-May, 1863, the Union Forces of Major General Ulysses S. Grant had captured Jackson, Mississippi and wheeled west to attack and encircle Vicksburg. In the vanguard of the Federal assault was the Twenty-Third Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel William H. Kinsman of Council Bluffs.
On the morning of May 16, 1863, the Twenty-Third led the charge against the Confederate troops defending the Black River, the last natural barrier protecting the South's remaining vital city on the Mississippi River. Kinsman was fatally wounded as he led the Iowans into a volley of Confederate fire; he died the following morning and was buried at the battle site.
In the late 1800's, veterans of Kinsman's command, with the encouragement and help of General Grenville M. Dodge, recovered and returned the colonel's remains to Council Bluffs. On May 17, 1902, the monument celebrating the colonel's life, military career and devotion to the Union was dedicated. General Dodge presided at the ceremony.
A Project of the Bluffs Arts Council,
Council Bluffs, Iowa, November 11, 1997
Funded by a gift in memory
of James A. Fox, 102nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment,
of Peder Pederson, 46th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment,
of Charles Jordan, 17th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and
of William Robinson, of the Ship's Company, U.S.S. Thomas A. Benton, an ironclad of the Mississippi River Flotilla.
The Union Forever