Joseph J. Brobst

February 6, 2011

We have a letter with query from Mr. Brobst of Maryland. If you can help him, drop him a line at

Dear Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas,

Thank you very much for your web site. I wasn’t able to find an answer to my questions below, but I hope you can help me learn more about Joseph J. Brobst who I think was wounded, taken prisoner, died and buried after the Battle of Jenkins Ferry in Arkansas. He served in the Iowa 33rd Infantry, Company I.

By way of background, I have a copy of his pension index and am researching all of my 80-90 Brobst ancestors who served in the Civil War. I would appreciate whatever suggestions and assistance you can offer on the following.

First, I’m trying to figure out if Joseph J. Brobst survived the Battle of Jenkins Ferry? If not, where is he buried and is that grave identified? I have read he was born Jan. 8, 1843 in Sidney, Champaign County, IL. Then enlisted in Marion County, Iowa, on July 26, 1862 and mustered in as a Private in the Iowa 33rd Infantry, Company I, Sept. 11, 1862. He was wounded severely April 5, 1864, in the Battle of the Saline River in Gen. Steele’s retreat from Camden, La, to Little Rock, Ark. He was left on the battlefield, shot through the left lung. Taken prisoner on April 30, 1864, in Pine Bluff(s?), Ark. (History of 33rd says he was wounded and taken prisoner at Jenkins’ Ferry.) He died of wounds on May 11, 1864 in prison in Princeton, Ark. He was then buried (or reburied after five years?) in Livingston, Ark. on July 3, 1869. (or should it be July 3, 1864?) Was it called the Battle of Jenkins Ferry or Saline River or both?

Second, if you have time, I would also appreciate your help and guidance on whether a similarly named Brobst, who apparently served in the same regiment and company, was also wounded at Jenkins Ferry. I’m told he is Josiah (Joshua) Josephus Brobst born Sept. or Oct. 12, 1818 in Catawissa, Columbia County, PA. Moved with his family to Marion Co, Iowa, in 1846, and as a resident of Knoxville, Iowa, enlisted Aug. 9 or Sept. 8, 1862, at Oskaloosa, IA, and mustered in Sept 11, 1862, Iowa 33rd, Company I. Josiah (Joshua) Josephus Brobst was wounded and taken prisoner at Jenkins’ Ferry. Mustered out at New Orleans July 17, 1865. Died Sept. 17, 1896, and buried in Kansas.

I realize your members are busy with a lot of other things, but I wanted to give you enough detail so you might offer any suggestions when you have a chance on where I go from here. Please feel free to call me with any questions or thoughts.

Thanks very much for your understanding and any assistance. There is a lot of confusion over these two similar names and you can help me reduce the confusion with confirmation that both of my ancestors were at least wounded at the Battle of Jenkins Ferry.

Bill (Wm. Leander) Brobst
Germantown, MD

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