Jesse McClure was one of four brothers from Mahaska County in Company H of the 3rd Iowa Infantry: John (age 26), David (24), Jesse (22) and William (20). It is obvious from the photo that Jesse was a large guy, but why do I call him "hard-headed"? In the first battle the regiment was engaged in, Blue Mills Landing (9/17/1861), he was wounded severely in the head. But that was not enough to stop big Jesse. He got patched up and rejoined the 3rd Iowa, and persevered with them through Shiloh, Corinth and Hatchie Bridge. Then in the summer of 1863, he was in the trenches around Vicksburg. Things were heating up as they squeezed ever closer to the Rebel fortification. On June 20 another bullet found Jesse's big head. As my dad told me when a baseball hit me in my forehead, "At least it hit something hard." And, yes, Jesse survived that wound as well, and survived the full 3-year enlistment.
Unfortunately, 2 of his brothers did not survive the conflict. William and John both died of disease. David, however, not only survived the enlistment, he re-upped and fought till the end of the war, marching into Washington DC with Sherman.
After the war, big Jesse bought a farm and married Sara. The couple had 5 children. There must have been a good brain in that hard head, because his kids were very smart. You can read about their successes here: https://2mcclurefamily1871.wordpress.com/
photo is from FindAGrave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/32346347
More info -
(Note - Brother Thomas McClure was just a bit too young to join the 3rd, but a couple months after his brothers left he turned 18 and joined the 7th Iowa.)
Account first posted here: