In July 1861, Julius W. Gardner enlisted in the defense of the Union, and was assigned to Company D, Eighth Iowa Infantry. His baptism of fire was received at Shiloh, where he was a member of General Prentiss' division. He was wounded three times in that battle, in the right wrist, the left arm and right knee. He was captured, but being wounded was left on the ground by the rebels and recovered the next day. After a short hospital experience he was sent home, and the following August had recovered sufficiently to rejoin his regiment, then stationed at St. Louis, Missouri. On account of his wounds be was unfitted for field duty, and was detailed on guard and recruiting duty, and served until January 1863, when he was honorably discharged and placed on the pension roll.
The year following he spent at Aurora, Illinois, attending school, still unable to walk without crutches. He was married at Cedar Rapids September 13, 1864, to Miss Jennie Ross, daughter of Hiram and Mary Ross, who settled in Linn County in 1863, coming from Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where Mrs. Gardner was born December 6, 1844. Her father is deceased, and her mother now lives in Sioux County, Iowa, with her son George. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner have five children: Flora E., Fred H., Mary A., Ross J. and Bert R.
Mr. Gardner is proprietor of four different "Gardner Additions" to Manning. He has platted these, ninety-five acres in all. His homestead, adjoining the city plat on the east, is 200 acres. In addition to his Manning property he owns a fine farm of 200 acres in Audubon County. Mr. Gardner is one of the representative citizens of his township, and an influential, public-spirited man. He is a member of McPherson Post, G.A.R., at Manning. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party.