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Voltaire P. Twombly
Born (1842-02-21)February 21, 1842
Died February 24, 1918(1918-02-24)
Place of birth Farmington, Iowa
Place of death Pittsburg, Iowa
Place of burial Pittsburg Rural Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch U.S. Army
Years of service 1861-1865
Rank Corporal (at the time of Medal of Honor action), Captain (at end of war),
Unit Second Iowa Infantry, Company K

Civil War

Awards Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Spouse(s) Chleo A. Funk (m. 1866)

Voltaire Paine Twombly (February 21, 1842 – February 24, 1918) was a veteran of the American Civil War and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Background[edit | edit source]

Twombly was a corporal in the 2nd Iowa Infantry.[1] During the course of the Civil War, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.[2] By the end of the Civil War, he had achieved a rank of captain. Following the Civil War, he opened a flour mill and later a retail store. He briefly served as mayor of Keosauqua, Iowa. From 1885 to 1891, he served as the treasurer for the state of Iowa. He would later serve as Home Savings Bank of Des Moines until his retirement in 1901.[3] Sometime following his death in 1918, Twombly's Medal of Honor was donated to the Fort Donelson National Battlefield museum.[4] The Twombly Building Museum in Keosauqua, Iowa, is named for Twombly.[5] The building was originally built for Twombly in the 1870s, and presently hosts the Van Buren Historical Society Museum.[5]

Twombly attended the Burlington Business College in Iowa and later married.[6] Twombly became a flour merchant in Ottumwa, and then worked in the flour milling business at Pittsburgh, and later as a merchant in Keosauqua.[6] Twombly entered public service, becoming the treasurer of Van Buren County for four years, serving as Keosauqua's mayor for almost a year, and as the Iowa State Treasurer from 1885 to 1891.[6] Twombly was the president of bank he founded in Des Moines from 1891 to 1908.[6]

Actions during the Battle of Fort Donelson[edit | edit source]

On February 15, 1862, the 2nd Iowa Infantry, under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant attacked Fort Donelson in Tennessee. During the attack, three members of the 2nd Iowa Infantry's color guard were killed or wounded by enemy gun and cannon fire. Twombly took the flag and was almost immediately knocked down by enemy cannon fire. He survived the attack and carried the flag for the remainder of the battle.[3]

Official Citation[edit | edit source]

Took the colors after 3 of the color guard had fallen, and although most instantly knocked down by a spent ball, immediately arose and bore the colors to the end of the engagement.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

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