Isaac Gothard was my Grandpa Epps' great-grandfather. Isaac was a free person of color with a twin brother, John. They were born in Indiana and lived in Iowa, but Isaac's life ended at the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
On July 1, 1863, both Isaac and John enlisted in the 3rd Iowa Infantry, Company B. They were living in Westfield, Fayette County, Iowa. I do not know exactly when Isaac began his service, but the information below is from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors website showing the areas in which his unit served until the time of his capture.
"Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 5-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Assault on Jackson July 12. Duty at Vicksburg till November. Moved to Natchez, Miss., November 18. Return to Vicksburg December 16, and duty there till February, 1864. Meridian Campaign February 3-March 2. Veterans on furlough March to May. Non-Veterans on Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Fort DeRussy March 14. Pleasant Hill April 9. Pleasant Hill Landing April 12-13. About Cloutiersville April 22-24. At Alexandria April 30-May 13. Boyce's and Wells' Plantation May 6. Bayou Boeuf May 7. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. Yellow Bayou May 18-19. Non-Veterans mustered out June, 1864. Veterans moved to Cairo, lll., thence to Clifton, Tenn. March to Ackworth, Ga., via Huntsville and Decatur, Ala., and Rome, Ga., May 5-June 10. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign June 10-September 8. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 6-12. Leggett's, Bald Hill, July 20-21. Battle of Atlanta July 22."
Isaac was captured on July 22, 1864, at Atlanta, Georgia. He died on October 5, 1864, one of approximately 45,000 Union prisoners to die there. I honor Isaac Gothard for his willingness to defend the principles of freedom.