History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William T. Shaw
WILLIAM T. SHAW was born in Steuben, Washington County, Maine, on the 22d of September, 1822. He was educated in the Maine Wesleyan Seminary and went to Kentucky where he taught school for some time. When the Mexican War began he at once enlisted and served through the war taking part in many of the principal battles. In 1849 and in 1852 he led parties across the great western plains which were then unsettled and infested with hostile Indians. In 1853 he came to Iowa, locating at Anamosa. Upon the organization of the Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry Mr. Shaw was appointed by Governor Kirkwood, colonel. He led the regiment in the thickest of the fight at the Battle of Fort Donelson and again at Shiloh where his regiment was assailed by overwhelming numbers and forced to surrender. At the disastrous Battle of Pleasant Hill, Colonel Shaw commanded a brigade and made a most gallant fight, aiding greatly in saving General Banks' army from disaster. In a letter written soon after the battle he exposed the incompetency and drunkenness of certain of his superior officers and they took their revenge by procuring his dismissal from the service. It was the general opinion of his associates in the Red River campaign that he richly deserved promotion to the rank of Brigadier-General. In 1875 he was elected on the Republican ticket a member of the House of the Sixteenth General Assembly.