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Full text of "Battle fields and camp fires of the thirty-eighth : an authentic narrative and record of the organization of the thirty-eighth regiment of Wis. Vol. Infy, and the part taken by it in the late war : a short biographical sketch of each commissioned officer : and the name, age at time of enlistment, nativity, residence and occupation of every enlisted man : with notes of incidents relating to them"

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Effects of the campaigns of I^IcDowcU, McClellan, Barnsidc, 
and Hooker— Of the victories of Antietam and Gettysburg— 
The campaign in the West— Capture of Vicksburg, New 
Orleans, and Port Hudson— Conduct of the Rebels— Call of 
the President for troops, April 3, 1864— How the Nonh-west 
■was affocted by it— Course of Isorlhcrn opponents of the 
war— Conduct of the Executive of Wisconsin— Organization 
of four companies of the Thirty-Eighth- Presentation of a 
sword to Col. Bintliff— Start for the front. 

cnArTER II. 

Journey to Chicago— Soldier's Rest— Fine appearance of the 
men— Journey to Pittsburg— Report at Baltimore- Ordered 
to Washington and Arlington Heights— M:\rch to Alexandria 
— Voyage from Alexandria to White House Landing. 


Arrival at White House Landing— Assignment to Provisional 
Brigade— Wins the post of honor— Escorts trains to Cold 
Harbor- Reports to Gcu. Jleadc, and is assigned to 1st Bri- 
gade, 1st Division, ISinlh Army Corps— Builds its first breast- 
works-Transferred to 3d Division— Its first loss— March 
toward City Point— News Ixom Petersburg. 


Arrival in front of Pt-tcrsburg— Battle of 16th of June— Battle 
of the ITih- Battle of the ISlh— Losses of the B.Utalion— 
Hardships and cxpoburcs— Battalion decimated by sickness- 
Is moved uut of the trenches— Arrival of Company E. 


The task of writing the following pages was un- 
dertaken at the request of several gentlemen, hold- 
ing various positions in tlic Thirty-Eighth Regiment, 
who desired that an authentic narrative of the part 
I it had performed in the War of the Great Rebellion, 

toward vindicating the authority of the Government, 
might be given to the world. The task was not 
undertaken without many misgivings. It involved 
much patient -and close attention, and even after 
weeks spent in collecting the material, where cannon 

" Shrieked thch* horror, boom for boom," 
all his labors and pains-taking in the collection of 
data might be swept away by a single mischance of 
war. Added to this was the foct that he felt a great 
^ diffidence in undertaking the work, knowing how 

I inadequate he was to the task of doing justice to as 

I brave and noble a band of men as ever battled for 

I tlie Right. However, he finally determined to make 

; the t'lTort, aud tlie result is this little volume. 

t The author does not claim that it is entirely per- 


feet. Much of the data was collected while the 
Regiment lay under fire in front of Petersburg. 
Agahi, when he visited Madison, as late as the mid- 
dle of last September, for the purpose of correcting 
and verifying the "llegimental Record," he was 
unable to find any Muster-Out Roll of Company A 
on file in the Adjutant General's office, and therefore 
the record of that company is not as full as that of 
the others. 

In this connection, the author would express the 
great obligation he is under to his brother officers, 
for many courtesies extended to him — especially to 
Gen. Bintliff, Col. Pier, Avho furnished the material 
for that portion of the work which relates to the 
First Battalion, and to Lieut. W. E. Maxson, many 
of whose letters are embodied in the work. 

The map to accompany the work will be sent as 
Boon as it can be prepared and worked off. 

If this little work sliall serve to keep fresh, in the 
memories of his conn-ades, tlie scenes through which 
the Thirty-Eiglith passed, and enable them to occa- 
sionally spend a pleasant hour, in the quiet and 
peace of home, in "fighting their battles o'er," it will 
fulfill the greatest desire of 


January Ioth, l-eco. 



Effects of the campaigns of McDowell, McClellan, Burnsldc, 
and Hooker — Of the victories of Antietam and Gettysburg — 
The campaign in the "West — Capture of Yicksburg, New 
Orleans, and Port Hudson— Conduct of the Rebels — Call of 
the President for troops, April 3, 1SG4 — How the Nonh-west 
■was affected by it — Course of Norlhcrn opponents of the 
war — Conduct of the Executive of Wisconsin — Organization 
of four companies of the Thirty-Eighth — Presentation of a 
sword to Col. Bintliff— Start for the front. 


Journey to Chicago — Soldier's Rest — Fine appearance of the 
men — Journey to Pittsburg— Report at Baltimore— Ordered 
to Washington and Arlinglou Heights — March to Alexandria 
— Voyage from Alexandria to White House Landing. 


Arrival at White House Landing — Assignment to Provisional 
Brigade — Wins the post of honor — Escorts trains to Cold 
Harbor — Reports to Gen. Meade, and is assigned to 1st Bri- 
g.-ule, 1st Division, ]Smlh Army Corps — Builds its first breast- 
works— Transferred to 3d Division— Its first loss— March 
toward City Point — News from Petersburg. 


Arrival in front of Petersburg— Battle of 16th of June— Battle 
of ihe 17th— Battle of the ISlh— Losses of the Battalion— 
JIardships and exposures— Battalion decimated by sickness — 
Is moved ^nt of the trenches— Arrival of Company E. 



Explosion of Biunsidc's mine and battle of July 30tb— Gallant 
conduct of the men — Death of Capt. Ferris— Losses of the 
Battalion— -Gloom and despondency in camp. 


Battles of the Weldon RaUroad, Aug. 19-21— Charge of the 
Thirty -Eighth— Is fired on by our own artillery through mis- 
take—Gallant charge and terrible slaughter of the enemy — 
Losses of the Battalion- Moves Irack to .Yellow Ilouse. 

ciiArTEii Yir. 

Battle of Ream's Station — Moves to the right — Fatigue duties — 
Brightening prospects— A new movement — Battle of Poplar 
Spring Church — Arrival of the Second Battalion. 


Reasons for the delay in organizing the Second Battalion — 
Company E goes to the front— Call of the President, July 
18th, for 500,000 men- Organization of the Tiiirty-Eightii 
completed — Journey to the front — March in the dark and 
rain — Join the Firit B.xttalion — First Sabbath in Virginia — 
Hard duties and exposure — Two-thirds of the Regiment sick. 


Movement of the 27th of October — Battle of Hatcher's Run — 
The work of our shell— Heavy rain — Return to camp. 


Relieved from overtaxing duties— Beneficial clTects— Spirit and 
cQiciency of the men — The election — Moves into the trendies 
iiumeduit-My in front of Petersburg— Muddy weather- Mur- 
derous picket-firing— Grand news from Sherman- Fall of 
SSavaunali— Flag of truce. 



ne:\vy storm of 9th of January — Pickets cease firing — A wo- 
man from "Dixie" — Glorious news from Georgia and llie 
Carolinas — Deserters — Hard times in Rebeldom — Friendly 
spirit between tlie men in the opposing lines — Shelling. 


A "Flag of Truce" — Tlie "Peace Commission" — Great num- 
ber of deserters from the enemy — New troops in front — 
Splendid artillery practice— Letters from rebel deserters. 


More good news from Sherman— Continued desertions from the 
enemy— A " shotted salute "—Rumors from Dixie— Rebels 
capture Fort Steadman — Are driven out with great loss — 
Splendid conduct of our troops— Regimental matters. 


Invcstigalions in Q. M. Department— The Grand Movement 
begun— Firing heard in camp— The storming of Fort Mahone 
—Splendid conduct of the men- Gallantry of Cols. Biutliff 
and Pier and ]Major Roberts— Hoisting the colors on the 
enemy's works- The conllagralion.' 


Entrance into Petersburg— Amusing scenes— March back to 
camp- Contrabands— Up the South-side Railroad— Surrender 
; of Lee's Army— News of the a?sassmatioQ of President 

r Lincoln— Ordered to Washington— The journey. 


J Camp at Tennally Town— Visit from Gov. Lewis— His Address 

I —The Grand Review— llie first detachment mustered ont— 

I Homeward Round— luciJcnts of tlic journey- Receptions at 

\ Pittsburg, Cleveland, Owa.?so, ]\mwaukce, and Madison— 

I Paid olf and discharged. 



The last detachment— Ordered to consolidate with the 37ih 
Wis.— Resignation of Gen. Biatliff— Promotions— Detach- 
ment mustered out— Journey home — Reception at Madison 
—Speech of Col. Pier— Paid off and discharged— Conclusion. 


Gen. James BintlifF- Col. C K. Pier— Major C P. Larkin— 
Major R. N. Roberts— Capt. Anson Rood, R. Q. M.— H. S. 
Butterfleld, R. S— Hugh Russell, 1st A. R. S.— C B. Pier- 
son, 2d A. R. S.— C. Tochterman, 2d A. R. S.— A. H. M c 
Cracken, Adjutant— J. liL Walker, Chaplain— Capt. Charles 
T. Carpenter— Capt. C L. Ballard— Lieut. J. 31. Searles— 
Lieut. G. W. Pier— Capt. F. A. Hay ward— Lieut. Geo. H 
Nichols— Lieut. 3. C Strickland— Capt. S. D. Woodworth— 
Capt. L. B. Waddiugton— Lieut. W. N. Wright— Lieut. J. D. 
SlilUon— Capt- James Woodford— Capt. W. H. Foster— 
Capt. B. S. Kerr- Lieut. J. P. Nichols— Lieut. C W. Hyatt 
—Capt. N. S. Ferris— Capt. F. G. Holton- Lieut. F. M 
Phelps— Lieut. E. A. Bentley— Capt. A. A. Kelly— Capt. E. 
W. Pride— Lieut. J. \V. Parker-Capt. R. F. Bcckwith— 
Lieut. W. E. Maxson- Lieut. C S. Wood— Capt. T. B. Mars- 
den— Lieut- S. W. Pierce— Lieut. Ered. T. Zeltelor. 


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O ^ M P F IKE S 

• OF THE > • -ii>;iM*^| 

. 3Slb. IVISCOXSIX VflllMttES. 


Tlie "War, with va-rlcd fortunes of suceesHes nnd 
reverses to the National arms, had dragged its l>loody 
lengtli through three years, .AfcDowell, MeClelhm, 
Burnside and Hooker had successively advanced to 
assault the llehel eapitnJ, and each in his turn was 
driven back with disaster. Antietani ojily suve<i the 
Xorth from invasion ; .and the victory of (Tettysburg 
only compelled the insurgents to retire within their 
own lines. Xowhere in. all the Eastern States, in 
rebellion, had wo made progress at all commensu- 
rate with the expet'tations of the loyal people of the 

In the West, our .arms liad met with gratifying 
success. Sweeping from the North along the Missis- 
**ij>pi, the invincible army of (Trant had surnn>untcd 
all obstacles and capturctl Vicksburg. New Orleans 



had fallen an easy conquest into our hands. Banks 
had succeeded in clearing all the lower Mississippi, 
and live days after the capitulation of VicksLurg, 
received the surrender of Port Hudson, the last 
Rebel strongliold on the great " Father of Waters."" 
Kentucky and Missouri were firmly established in 
the Union, and the greater part of Tennessee was 
recovered and remained in possession of the Nation- 
al arms, wliile, at the same time, we had secured and 
retained important positions in Georgia and other 
portions of the rebellious States. The Mississippi 
was open to navigation from Cairo to the Gulf, and 
the rebellion i)raotically cut in twain. 

Notwithstanding these successes, however, on the 
part of the Union armies in the Southwest, the rebels 
were still as arrogant and defiant as ever, and it was 
evident, during all the winter of 18G3-4, that the 
national forces must bo largely augmented in order 
to bring the contest lo a speedy and successful 

The successive cjflla of the President, for men to 
fill up our armies, had been prom})tly responded to 
on tiio part of Wisconsin, until the spring of 18G4. 
Owing to a variety of causes, recruiting had been 
very dull through the latter part of the winter, and 
it was a source of pride and gratification to the peo- 
ple of our State, when it was announced that our 
quota was full. But our self gratulation was of 
short duration, for, hardly was the announcement 
made, before the telegraph flashed over the country 
the call of the I'rosident of Aj»ril ;?d, for 200,000 men, 
and the furtlier ungi-atilyingni^ws that the large boun- 


ties heretofore paid by the Government, wonhl im- 
mediately cease. 

These heavy calls for men were severely felt by 
the sparse population of the Xorthwest — and tlio 
unscrupulous opponents of the war, seized the oppor- 
tunity to fan every latent spark of discontent into a 
flame of intense dissatisfaction. Everything that a 
perverse ingenuity could invent to throw obstacles 
in the way of a successful prosecution of the war was 
resorted to. The President was declared to bo a 
brutal, perjured tyrant, who only waged war for the 
purpose of immolating its victims upon the altar ot 
his bloody ambition, and that he might trample the 
liberties of our people under his feet. Gen. Grant, 
to whom liad been assigned the chief command of 
the Union armies, w'as simply a butcher, deligiiting 
in the effusion of blood, but possessed of no military 
abilities of any merit whatever. The war was de- 
clared to be "Lincoln's war," and the brave men 
who had gone forth to battle for the salvation of the 
national existence were stigmatized as " Lincoln's 
hirelings." . ■ 

In this trying liour, the executive of our State, 
true to the interests of the nation and the honor of 
"Wisconsin, issued a call, earnestly urging the i)eople 
to furnish the number of men required by the quota 
of our State. The organization of two more regi- 
ments — the 37th and .T8th — wore at once undertaken. 
Camp Randall, Madison, Wis., was designated as 
the place to rendezvous. Uecruiting commissions 
were liberally issued, and the work of raising the re- 
quired number of men earnestly began. 


Early in April, nearly five conipiinies of the men 
raised for the Tliirty-Eicclitli lia<l assembled at ^NFadi- 
son. On the loth of that month, fonr companies, A, 
B, C, and D, were mustered into the military service 
of the United States. The companies Avere respect- 
ively placed under the commands of Captains Charles 
T. Carpenter, R. X. Roberts, S. D. Woodworth, and 
James Woodford. From the time of being mustered 
into service until leaving for the seat of war, these 
companies remained in Camp Randall, drilling and 
otherwise prei)arin2 for the work before them. May 
3d was the day appointed for the battalion to leave 
Madison, and proceed to Annapolis, Md., at which 
place it was to repgrt. The battalion was commanded 
by Lieut. Col. Pier and ^Major Larkin. 

In the morning, previous to starting, the battalion 
was drawn up in line of battle, to witness the plea- 
sing spectacle of the presentation of an elegant 
sword, sash and belt by the battalion to -Col. Bintlilf. 
The ceremonies were very appropriate and interest- 
ing. The presentation was made, on behalf of the 
battalion, by Lieut. Col. Pier, in a neat and effective 
speech, which Avas responded to by Col. Bintlift" in a 
feeling and hapi)y manner. Immediately after the 
ceremonies of the presentation were over, the battal- 
ion embarked on the cars, and bidding a soldier's 
"good-bye" to those who were to join them in the 
field when the balance of the regiment should be 
raised, started on its way to "Dixie."" 

While n\arching from camp to the cars, the battalion 
passed the .'lOth Wisconsin, under Colonel Haskell, 
M-hieh was drilling on the parade grounds. The 


CJolonel brought that regmient into line, aud saluted 
the 38th with three parting cheers, which -were heart- 
ily responded to by the latter. Little did either party 
then think that their next meeting would be on the 
hotly contested field at Cold Harbor, the 36th torn 
and blood}' with its leader slain, and the Thirty- 
Eighth, burning with high hoi)es,- about to receive 
its first baptism of battle. 


The manager of the Soldiers Rest at Chicago hav- 
ing been previously notified by telegraph of tlie move- 
ment of the battalion, the agents of the Institution 
met it on its arrival in that city and conducted it to 
tlie "Rest." Willing hands and pleasant smiks 
waited upon the " boys in blue " and spread before 
them a bountiful repast. The hour was enlivened by 
music and song, and all " went merry as a marriage 
bell," until the shrill whistle of the locomotive called 
the battalion aboard the train for Pittsburg. 

The memories of the pleasant hour spent at the 
Soldiers' Rest in Chicago, will live forever in the 
hearts of those present. 

The soldierly appearance, and gentlemanly cdh- 
duet of the men elicited uii^ersal praise from all, and 
the several newspapers of the city spoke of them in 
the most iiattering manner. Arriving at Pittsburg 
early in the morning of the 5th, the battalion was 
welcomed by the agents of the Soldiers Rest and 
received the hospitalities of Pittsburg. 

To the excellent and abundant meal spread before 
them the men did ample justice. 

Here the managers of the l^cnnsylvania Central 
Railroad proposed (.u transport the battalion over 
their road in box cars. The utmost care had been 


exorc'isLMi, thus f;ir, to prevent iiijniy to the cars used, 
and kiiowiii*^ tliHt there were plenty of passenger 
t'oaelies, the K.iilroad Superintendent was politely 
informed that the ba4;talioii Avould remain in Pitts- 
burg until suitable cars Avere furnished for its trans- 
portation. In less than an hour tlie troops were all 
seated in elegant cohelies and moving toward Bal- 
timore. I'pon reporting the folJowiiig day, Lieut. 
Col. l^ier found the Ninth Army Corps had left. 
Here the inca first tasted the idealities of a soldier's 
life. Crow<lod into a close, dark basement, they were 
there kejit under guard until they left the city. 
However, the battalion was ordered to report im- 
mediately to "Washington, at which place it ari'ived 
about midnight on the 0th, and was comfortably 
accomodated at the Soldiers' Rest near the Railroad 
depot. Sunday, 3[ay 8th, it was moved across Long 
Bridge, and encamped on Arlington Heights. 
Here it was furnished with a full supply of Camp and 
Clan-ison e<iu;page, a camp was laid out, and tin.' usual 
daily routine of drill and camy> lite commenced. 
Officers and men improved rapidly and were attaining 
to a tine state of disciplined The unavoidable aiiings 
and minor diseases, such as colds, measles, mumps, 
etc ., always more or less attendant on the change from 
civil to military life, were borne with commendable 
fortitude by t!ie men and finally overcome. Under 
such cireunistanees it was earnestly hoped the bat- 
t:ilion might renmiu there in camp until it should be 
joined by the balance of tlie Regiment. 

These hopes, however, were fated to dis;ij)noint- 
ment, tijr orders weie received ibr the battalion to 
move, on the oUth of 3Iay, to .Alexandria, and there 


embark. Promptly at sunrise, with knapsacks and 
haversacks packed, the men were in line. Lt. Col. 
Pier then briefly addressed them ; told thera they 
were about to move into unseen and unknown dan- 
gers ; that they would be called upon to undergo 
privations, hardships and exposure that would severe- 
ly tax their patience and endurance; that he should 
trust to their courage, patriotism and manliness to 
supply any deficiency of discipline that the limited 
time allotted them for instructions had prevented 
their attaining; and that, whether on the march or in 
the battle-field, he should expect every man to guard, 
maintain and defend to the last, the reputation of 
the regiment, the fair name of our State, and the 
principles for which they fought. 

Nothing could exceed the enthusiastic readiness 
of the officers and men to enter on the campaign 
then opening for them. The march to Alexandria 
was extremely pleasant and interesting. Avoiding 
the dusty higliM-ay, conducted by its trusty guide, 
"Charley," the battalion followed green by-paths 
across fields, through forests and grassy lanes, over 
gurgling brooks, keeping step to the stirring mea- 
sures of martial music. A battalion of the 1st Min- 
nesota regiment accompanied it on its march, and 
arrived at the same time at Alexandria ; but aside 
from these, of all the trooi)s that started from Arling- 
ton Heights at the same time, none arrived until later 
in the day. Having arrived first, the officers in 
charge gave Lieut. Col. Pier the choice of the boats 
there assembled for the transportation of troops. 
Tile steamer Emilie was selected, and the Thirtv- 


Eighth and the battalion of the 1st Minnesota imme- 
diately embarked. 

The voyage down the Potomae Kiver, tlirough the 
Chesapeake Bay, up the York and Pamuuky Kivers, 
was very pleasant, and was enjoyed by all. 



The battalion arrived at White House Landing at 
noon, on the 1st day of June, and immediately re- 
ported to Gen. Ames, and was ordered to disembark 
and encamp. There Avas no land transportation to 
be had, and all the material, baggage and stores of 
the regiment had to be carried by the men more than 
a mile. 

The battalion was assigned to the Provisional 
Brigade, commanded by Col. Johnson. 

On June 3d, the regimental commanders of the 
brigade were ordered to break camp, and report im- 
mediately at headquarters with their commands. A 
new position was to be taken, and the regiment that 
should report first, it was understood, would be as- 
signed the post of honor, the right of the brigade. 
The race was a spirited one; the Thirty-Eighth, 
leading the van, was first in and won the position. 

In the new position taken by the brigade, slight 
earthworks were thrown up. Here, too, the 1st 
Minnesota battalion was temporarily consolidated 
with that of the Thirty-Eighth. 

On the following Sunday, the regiment marched 
to Cold Harbor, a distance of eleven miles, as escort 
for a wagon train. It arrived at that place in the 
evening, and bivouaced for the night. Next day it 


returneil to tlio White AVliile at Cold Har- 
bor a heavy and coutiimous luuskctry fire broke out 
along the lines. For the first time the men heard 
the roar and thunder of battle. 

On the 9th, the battalion again escorted a Avagon 
train to the front. The rainy weather had rendered 
the roads almost impassable. All night the men 
struggled and Houndered along as best they could. 
The train was nearly two miles in length, and when 
one •wagon mired or became disabl^l, or an exhaust- 
ed mule fell down, or any impediment occurred suf- 
ficient to stop one wagon, it would stop all behind it. 
It was thus rendered necessary for the men to take 
hold and build bridges, raise sunken wagons, unhai"- 
ness dead and dying mules, and perform many other 
laborious acts. Thus they alternately marched and 
halted, until 2 o'clock a. su, when they arrived at 
their destination. 

Then the men lay down to rest their oveilasked 
energies. But such a rest I Scattered thickly over 
the ground were scores of dead horses and mules, 
whose decaying carcasses emitted a noisome stench 
that was oppressive and sickening in the extreme. 
The result was that many of the men vomited up 
their suppers, and scarcely any Avere able to eat 
their accustomed breakfast. 

That day tJie battalion reported to Gen. Meade, 
commanding the army of the Totomac, and was by 
him assigned to the Xinth corps. The Minnesota 
battalion was assigned to the Second corps. Upon 
reporting to (Jen. Ijurnside, commanding the Xinth 
corps, the battalion was liually a>signed tu the Thlid 
briffadc of the First division. The latter command- 


cd by Gen. Lodlic, find the formei' by Col. John- 

Xcxt to the 30th of July, the day Gen. Bnrnside's 
mine was exploded, the 10th of June may be ranked 
for the intense heat of the sun. Xot a breath of 
wind stirring, and the dust, notwithstanding the 
rain of the day before, was fully "a foot deep, and 
being disturbed by thousands of horses, mules and 
wao-ons, rendered marching almost insulferable. 
The battalion Avas so gray with dust that it miglit 
have been readily mistaken for rebels. 

The next day it constructed its tft-st line of breast- 
works, and although, during the successive months 
the regiment built many miles of field fortifications, 
and learned to build them quicker, it never erected 
more perfect ones than those at Cold Harbor. 

During the afternoon the battalicJn was detailed 
to perform its first picket duty. The same day it 
was also, by special orders, transferred to the Third 
division, conmianded by Gen. O. B. Willcox, and by 
that officer assigned to the 1st Brigade, commanded 
by Col. (afterward General) J. F. llartranft. Reliev- 
ed from picket duty at midnight, it marched to the 
new position assigned it, occupying a line of rifle- 
pits from which the enemy had recently been driven, 
and which was still swept by his fire. Here the bat- 
talion lay, and amid the thunder of bursting shells, 
and the whi7:/,ing of bullets, learned its lesson, pre- 
)>aratory to more active operations in the field with 
the army of the Potomac. 

It wa^ while laying here, June I'Jth, that the Regi- 
ment met its first loss. Corporal Ilackloy Adams, 
of company A, was on the picket line, and with seve- 


ral others was watching a troublesome rebel sharp- 
shooter, who was posted in a tree a few hundred 
yards in front. 

One of the men with Adams, Franklin Parks of 
company D,was mortally wounded by a shot from the 
rebel, and fell exposed to full view, and in easy ran^c 
of his deadly rifie. Kegardless of personal safety, 
Ilacklcy generously sprang to the assistance of his 
wounded comrade and removed him to a place of 
comparative safety. There, although himself still 
exposed, he continued to minister to the wounded 
man, and while so doing, fell, pierced with a bullet 
from the same gun by which the other was wounded. 
The dead and dying were immediately carried to the 
real', a rude coffin was constructed, and a sorrowing 
company followed the remains of their brave and 
noble comrade to his final resting place. 

A mild, quiet, unassuming boy was Hackley. 
Xone stood higher in the estimation of the battalion; 
none were more attentive, dutiful, or soldierly in 
tlieir conduct than he. 

Parks died about an hour after him who had so 
nobly lost his life in ministering to his needs, and 
was buried, as he deserved to be, with a soldier's 
honors, by the members of his company. Orders 
were received that day to be preparc<l to move at 
early dusk. At the designated thne the column 
moved to the rear. Xight and day, stopping only 
occasionally to take a hasty cup of coftee, across 
fields, along by-roads and highways, over hills, 
through forests, rivers and marshes, the men, with 
heavy loads, tracked tlie weary journey. 

"Wagons broke down — horses, tired out or disa- 


bled, were shot on the spot — yet the men still moved 
forward, citing and drinking as chance oft'eretl an 
opportunity, and sleeping as they walked. Thus 
passed four days and nights, when Gen. Bnrnside 
received information that if he could arrive at Peters- 
burg soon enough, that city, as well as Richmond, 
would inevitably fall. The news was read to the 
troops. AVeary, lame, footsore and exhausted by 
hardship and exposure as the troops were, the ranks 
were at once closed up, and the column moved off' in 
quick time, while loud hurrahs bespoke the indomi- 
table spirit that pervaded the hearts of all. 



On the evening of the 16thof June, having croBsed 
the James River near City Point, the battalion ar- 
rived in front of Petersburg, The heavy boom of 
artillery and the sharp rattle of musketry told but 
too surely that the battle had already begun. It 
seemed hardly possible that these men, so fatigued 
and exhausted, could be expected to take part in the 
battle ; yet the movements indicated that they were 1 
to do so. Lines of battle extending for miles, were 
formed, a hasty supper eaten, and the advance 
commenced. ^ 

Shot, shell, grape and cannister screeched and 
Bcreamed through the aii*. Darkness came, and still 
tlie battle raged on. About nine o'clock Lieut. Col. 
Pier was ordered to take possession of an earthwork 
from which the enemy had just been driven, and to 
hold his coimnand in readiness to support the line of 
battle then moving forward. The command was im- 
mediately moved to its assigned position. Here the 
gallant battalion, completely worn out, standing at 
an "order arms," and leaning against the earth- 
works, while the terrible conflict raged but a few 
rods in front, and artillery thundered and musketry 
rattii'd, slept the sleep of exhaustion. 

Thus the night passed. Thousands had fallen du- 


ring tlie fight. The dead and wounded scattered 
over the field and carried by scores to the rear, told 
how fierce and desperate had been the struggle. 
Still the enemy held his ground, and it was decided 
that the Ninth Corps must measure stj'ength with 

The order came at nine o'clock in the morning. 

The lines were formed, the first brigade in front, 
the Thirty-Eighth on the right of the brigade. For 
two hours, and while the troops were moving into 
position, the battalion lay exposed to a severe artil- 
lery fire from the enemy's forts and batteries. The 
final dispositions were at length made, and at 12 
o'clock, noon, the order came to move forward. The 
entire line charged at once. The course of the 
Thirty-Eighth lay through a field in which the corn 
was about knee high. A thick cloud of smoke and 
dust soon covered the field, and liid everything, be- 
yond a few paces, from sight. For twenty minutes 
the men stood up against the hot, deadly stream of 
fire from the enemy's works, but a mistake of the 
engineer oflicer as to the direction of the rebel lines, 
caused the assault to fail. 

But not until the Thirty-Eighth had struck the 
enemy's works, and its wounded and dead wore fall- 
ing inside of his lines, was it discovered that the 
other portions of our line wore falling back in dis- 
order, and that the day Avas lost. Then with a quick 
"right-al»out" the Thirty-Eighth gave up the fight, 
and relinquished the ground it had so gallantly won, 
and in comparatively good order foil bark to the ra- 
vine in which (ho linos Avere originally fonued. It 
was during this charge that Major Larkin while 


gallantly leading the men, sword and bat in hand, 
fell, severely wounded, the ball entering his riglit 
side, just above tlie hip. In the smoke and dust tlie 
fall of the Major was unoticed, and his absence not 
observed until the line had been reformed, when it 
was learned that he had been wounded and left upon 
the field. A wounded officer who had managed to 
crawl otF the field, gave the information that the 
Major lay about halfway to the enemy's lines, under 
a severe fire from both sides. 

Several officers immediately started to his rescue, 
and Capt. Carpenter, springing forward to where he 
lay, succeeded in bringing him off the field. 

The lines were again aligned, and everything 
being ready, the troops at seven o'clock, r. m., again 
moved forward to the assault. But, during the in- 
tervening time the enemy had not been idle, and 
the fire under which our men now moved forward, 
was, if possible, even more severe and terrible than i 

that they met during the first assault. This move, | 

however, was destined to be far more successful than j 

the former one. The enemy was driven from his 
works, and compelled to fall back upon the line 
of the Petersburg and Norfolk railroad, and the j 

national forces, weary Avith the heavy fighting, rest- J 

ed until morning. 

The next day, the 18th, towards evening, our ! 

forces, including tlie Tliirth-Eighth, charged and cap- | 

tured ihe enemy's works along the railroad. Then, j 

every man that could be, was set to work on fortiti. • 

cations. Breast-woi'ks, forts, covered ways, and ritU- 
pits sprung into existence as if by magic. The lo>s 
oftliebattalionintlietwodays — iTthand ISthof.Inne 


— was three killed and thirty-six wounded, — six of 
them, mortally, and four missing. Among the 
wounded were Lt. Col. Pier, Maj. Larkin, Capt. Car- 
penter, and Lieutenants Ilayward and Wright. All, 
however, were able to, and remained upon the field 
with their respective commands, except Maj. Larkin, 
whose wound, .considered mortal at the time, was so 
severe as to render him unable to stand upon his 

Early dawn of the 19th of Juno saw two opposing 
lines of earthworks, consisting of forts, batteries and 
breastworks, almost within a stone's throw of each 
other. From either side, during the day, a sharp 
continuous volley of musketry flashed forth. 

A stream of dead, dying and wounded, was con- 
stantly passing to the rear. During the day the men 
were requried to keep constantly at their posts with 
guns in their hands. As soon as darkness would hide 
their forms from the enemy, they were obliged to take 
the pick and shovel and work at strengthening the 
defenses. Never did troops perform more arduous 
duties. Exposed to unimaginable hardships — doing 
fatigue duty of every nature, for eighteen consecutive 
days these hei-^cs fought by day and shoveled by 
night. They went to the spring for water at the peril 
of their lives. They rested a moment thai tired nature 
might recuperate, but rested exposed to shot and 
shell and every missile of death. Nature could not 
always bear tliis terrible strain. The strongest and 
most robust must yield in time to overwork beneath 
a liot and sultry sun, irregular meals, or rather no 
meals, broken hIolj* aiid uncleansed clothes and body. 
So, gradually the sick list increased and tlie number 


" present for duty " grew less and less. "What was 
true of the Thirty-Eighth was equally true of tlie whole 

July fourth, what was left of the battalion was 

relieved, and moved out of the pits, to the rear about 

three quarters of a mile, where a camp was formed 

and the men rested. But nature could not quickly 

recover her exhausted energies beneath the sultry 

rays of a southern summer's sun, under fire and the 

excitement caused by being so near the lines. Rest 

and good nursing were needed, and these could not 

*^ be obtained in the field during the exigencies of an 

f active campaign. But the relief from the immediate 

f front gave the men an opportunity to wash and cleanse 

tlieir persons and clothing, and to obtain and cook 

their rations with much greater regularity. Xotwith- 

i standing these more favorable conditions, tiie men 

were so worn and diseased by exposure and overwork, 

and perhaps somewhat di:«couraged, the number of sick 

I continued to increase until on Sunday, July 1 7th, only 

I twenty men and six officers were reported for duty, 

i. and these were ordered into the pits again to assist 

f. in repelling an expected attack by the enemy.. 

f Tlie stream of fire from eitlier line continued, with 

unabated intensity, night and day. From 4,000 to 

. 11,000 rounds of ammunition were expended daily 

^ hy each regiment. Every hour some were killed or 

fc wounded. For weeks the opposing forces watched 

f <':ich other through their respective loop and port 

liolos, and sent a bullet whizzing at every indication 

"f life that exposed itself in the enemy's lines. Men 

had learned to keep well under the cover of the 

^, earthworks, and to dread any exposure to the xiner- 


ring and deadly aim of the enemy's sharpshooters. 
On the 26th of July, the battalion was joined by 
company E, commanded by Capt. Xewton S. Ferris, 
a decided acquisition to the effective force of the 


The morning of tlie ever memorable ;iOth of July, 
broke over the besiegers and the besieged. Com- 
panies B and E, occupied a position in the most ad- 
vanced line of works, while tlie remainder of the 
battalion was posted in the second line, a few rods 
to the rear. At early dawn the men made their 
accustomed preparations, expecting to be felievcd % 

in a few moments, and to move to the rear to pro- 
cure the rest so much needed by every soldier, who 
after being under tire all day is obliged to keep watch 
during the night. 

It was, while waiting the expected relief, that the 
battalion was surprised to behold and hear the tei" 
rible explosion of Burnside's miue, under the rebel 
fort cfirectly in oiu- front and only a few rods distant^ 
The following extract from the columns of the Xew 
York Times, written by an eye-witness, gives a very 
graphic account of the position and the reasons for 
the movement : j 

" Headquarters in front of Army of Potomac, [ 
Saturday Evening, July oUth, 1664. \ 

Witii the passage of the James was exhausted all 
possibilities of a movement by tlie left tlank, with 
Uichmond as the objective point. Xothiug, there- 
fore, remained to Gen. Grant but to assault the rebel 


lines in front of hira at Petersburg. The past six 
weeks have been devoted to preparation for this as- 
sault. From day to day, by the aid of the shovel 
and the pick, our lines have been insidiously ad- 
vanced by zigzag and covered ways, until the out- 
lying pickets of both armies have scarcely averaged 
live hundred yards distance between them. Along 
portions of the line, the interval between the rifle- 
pits was scarcely one hundred and fifty yards. The 
ground over which our advances have been made is 
itself a series of natural fortifications, adding vastly 
to the difficulty of taking possession of it. Perhaps 
your readers will form a more perfect opinion of its 
features, if I tell them that it very much resembles 
Greenwood cemetery in its profile. 

There were similar hills and eminences, sloping 
more or less precipitately into ravines, which inter- 
sect at every conceivable angle, and many of the 
elevations are thickly wooded. Over ground of this 
impracticable nature, our men have sturdily fought 
and dug their way, driving the enemy before them, 
until only one hill remained for them to take, to place 
our guns in a position commanding, at easy range, 
the town of Petersburg. It is known as Cemetery 
Hill. Its crest, frowning with guns, is not more than 
800 yards distant from our advanced works, and its 
gently sloping sides are welted with long rows of 
earthworks, pitted with redoubts and redans, and 
ridged with serried salients and curtains, and all the 
skillful defences known to able military engineers. 

The vital importance, to us, of this point, will 
readily be admitted. To gain it by direct assault 
must necessarily cost many lives ; but to gain it in 


the cheapest manner, gave occasion for that high 
strategy of which Gen. Grant has long since proved 
liiniself the master. Therefore it was, that on Tues- 
day night last, the Second Corps, under Gen. Han- 
cock, and two divisions of cavalry, under Gen. Sher- 
idan, and another division under Gen. Kautz, crossed 
the James River for the purpose of engaging the 
enemy, who, misled by some preliminary operations 
of Gen. Foster's command at Deep Bottom, and of a 
portion of the Nineteenth Corps at Strawberry 
Plains, a mile below, had, a day or two earlier, re- 
inforced the troops in the vicinity of Malvern Hill. 
The demonstration here had precisely the effect 
which Gen. Grant desired. Fearing a serious at- 
tack, Lee dispatched a column, estimated at from 
12,000 to 15,000 strong, from before Petersburg, and 
the railroad between Petersburg and Richmond was 
kept busy on Friday and Friday night in transport- 
ing the troops. To keep up the rebel GeneraVs de- 
lusion, an immense train of more than 400 empty 
covered wagons, mainly the transportation of the 
Sixth Corps, crossed the Appomattox on Friday, in 
broad daylight, in full view of the rebel signal look- 
outs at Bermuda Hundred, as if destined for the 
army at Deep Bottom. But on Friday night, as the 
rebels were hurriedly taking possession of their new 
line, the Second Corps and the cavalry were quietly 
withdrawn, with an additional facility for rapid 
movement in a third pontoon bridge, laid across the 
James in the afternoon. 

By daylight this morning these troops were nearly 
:ill in position to co-operate with Uic remainder of 
thy army in the attacL The strategy was, there- 


fore, perfect, and uo share of the reverse can be 
attributed to failure in this part of the programme. 

All these stratagems, too, were conducted with 
such secrecy, that information of their precise bearing 
was narrowed down to the circle of the corps com- 
manders. Until late on Fi-iday night, few persons 
in the army were disposed to believe differently from 
what Gen. Lee suspected, viz : that a movement u])- 
on Richmond was intended, from the north side of 
the James, and were only undeceived when, at one 
o'clock this morning, the trooj^s were got into posi- 
tion for the assault. The tactics of the movement 
were under Gen. Meade's direction. His arrange- 
ment of troops and order of battle was as follows : 
The Eighteenth Corps (Gen. Ord) was withdrawn 
on Thursday morning from its position on the ex- 
treme right, resting on the Appomattox, (being re- 
lieved by Mott's division of the Second Corps,) and 
massed in the rear of the Ninth Corps (Burnside''ti), 
the centre of our line, in front of which the attack 
was to be initiated. The extreme left, held by the 
Fifth Corps (Warren's), was to be in readiness to 
advance as soon as Burnside pierced the works in 
front of him. 

Collaterally, but in unison with the advance of the 
infantry, every piece of siege artillery posted along 
the line was ordered to open simultaneously upon 
the enemy at a given signal, made by the explosion 
of a mine containing eight tons of powder, which was 
placed directly beneath the rebel battery which 
IJurnside was to assault. Not only were tlio siege 
pieces to open a licrce tire, but all the lieid artillery 
which could be got into position aiUr the opening of 


the battle, was to advance as opportunity offered, 

and bring their batteries into play. Upon this awiul 

fire of heavy guns, it was natural that great stress 

should be placed, in the expectation tliat the shock 

of its suddenness would have a demoralizing effect, j 

and so make the way of the infantry easier. So far 

all was well arranged; success was promising, and 

much confidence was felt in the result. 

The time fixed for the assault was 3^ o'clock, when, 
without any moon, an almost Cimmerian darkness 
would effectually shut out from the enemy the un- 
avoidable stir and bustle of the troops as they got in- 
to position. But just here the first misfortune of the 
day occurred. Upon attempting to fire the mine, the 
fuse or slow match failed, and another was tried, with 
a similar result. The third was succesful in its 
mission, but the hour's delay had made it broad day- 
light, and, in consequence, the enemy's suspicions 
were aroused, (at least along a portion of his front,) 
and we were robbed of the advantage of a suprise. 

This was a very great misfortune. The army felt 
it to be such as they stood in suspense and silent im- 
patience in the cold gray of the morning, crouching 
on their arms. Of the effect of the explosion you 
have already been apprised. The mine had been 
talked of in the army for weeks, but only talked of 
with bated breath, although whisperings concerning 
it had been wafted over from the rebels. Clearly 
they did not know its precise locality, and few on our 
^ide I .suspect, were any wiser. It has been tacitly 
:u'knowlcdgcd as an improper subject for conversa- 
ti'>i», and the most curious have appeared to feel the 
propriety of checking themselves. 



The noise of the explosion -was a dull, rumbling 
thud, preceded, I am told, by a few second's sway- 
ing and quaking of the ground in the immediate 
vicinity. The earth was rent along the entire course 
of the excavation, heaving slowly and majestically to 
the surface, and folding sideways to exhibit a deep 
and yawning chasm, comparable, as much as any- 
thing else, to a river gorged with ice, and breaking 
up under the influence of a freshet. But there was a 
grander effect than this observable also. Where the 
charge in the burrow was heaviest, directly under the 
rebel work, an immense mass of dull red earth was 
thrown high in air, in three broad columns, diverging 
from a -single base, and, to ray mind, assuming the 
shape of a Trince of Wales' feather, of collossal 
proportions. Those near the spot say that clods of 
earth weighing near a ton, and cannon, and human 
forms, and gun-carriages, and small arms, Avcre all 
distinctly seen shooting upward in that fountain of 
horror, and fell again in shapeless and pulverized 
atoms. The explosion fully accomplished what was 
intended. It demolished the six-gun battery and its 
garrison of one regiment of South Carolina troops, 
and acted as the wedge Avhich opened the way to the 
assault. Our men were to rush through this breach, 
and so beyond upon the second lino of works which 
crown the crest of Cemetery Hill, thus cojnpclling 
the enemy to evacuate the first line, or, what was 
more probable, to surrender under the fire of our 

The awful instant of the explosion had scarcely 
passed when tiie dull morning air was made sta*'- 
nant by the thunder of our artillery. From ninety- 


five pieces, niched in every hill side commanding the 
enemy's position, there belched out sheets of flame 
and milk-white smoke, while the shot and shell sped 
forward, screeching, howling, rumbling, like the 
rushing of a hundred railroad trains. But why at- 
tempt to give an idea of such indescribable sound? 
The sudden transition from utter silence to fiercest 
clamor was terrible. So the rude combat raged 
without sign of slackening for two long hours. At 
tirst the enemy was slow in replying to our fire, but 
gradually their lines were brought into action, and 
in less than half an hour banks of angry smoke par- 
tially veiled the scene from both sides. 

In accordance with the plan of battle the First 
Division of the Ninth Corps, (Ledlie'8,)h was made 
the assaulting column. Gen. Ledlie formed his 
troops in three lines of battle, having each a front of 
about six hundred. The Second Brigade of this 
Division, (Col. Marshall,) led the assault, followed 
by the First Brigade, (Gen. W. F. Bartlett), and the 
lliird line made up of the Third Brigade (Col. Gould's.) 
Tiio left of Ledlie's division was supported by Brig, 
(Jen. Ilartranft's Brigade of the Third Division, (Will- 
cox'a) and itsriglit by Gen. Griffin's Brigade of Potter's 
Division. The Fourtli Division of the Ninth Corps, 
(:ill negroes,) was posted directly in the rear of the 
assaulting column, to press forward whenever practi- 
cable. The Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery 
wore the first to enter the breach made by the ox- 
I'losion. They bounded forward at the word, in the 
'ni.lst of the shock of the artillery, through the dense 
'•i'"'U,ls of living dust, and clambering over the debris, 
i"iind themselves violently pushed down into the 


yawning crater. The siglit which there met them 
must have been appalhng. Bodies of dead rebels 
crushed and mangled out of all resemblance lo hu- 
manity, writhing forms partly buried, arms protru- 
ding here and legs struggling there — a very hell of 
horror and torture, confined to a space fifty feet in 
length and half as many wide. But the time was 
not favorable to the play of human promptings. 
This chaos of mangled humanity mixed with debris 
of implements and munitions of war must be un- 
heeded. Enough for the storming party to do was 
found in exhuming two pieces of rebel cannon with 
thoir caissons, and, in obedience to the law of self- 
preservation, turning these guns upon the enemy, who 
was throwing into the crater a ehower of shells and 
minnie balls from the hill beyond, and from points 
on either side, which they still held on the first lino. 
Getting these pieces into position promptly, and un- 
der cover of their fire, the assaulting column was 
reformed, and at the word of command dashed for- 
ward once more to storm the crest of the liill. It 
was a task too great. They gallantly essayed it, 
and nearly gained the summit, subjected all the 
time to a withering fire, which increased in fierce- 
ness at every step, until they became the center of 
a converging storm of shot and shell. Attacked on 
the right fiank and the left tlank, in front anti rear, 
they were compelled to fall back to the partial pro- 
tection of the crater, leaving their course thickly 
strewn with the dying and the dead. 

The colored troops, upon the heel of tliis repulse, 
w<>re ordered to charge, and they moved out gallant- 
ly. Ahundred yards gained and they wavered. Then 

A?fD CAMP FIliKS. 30 

the Tliirty-ninth Maryland regiment, wliich led, be- 
came panic-stricken and broke tlirou^'h to the roar, 
spreading demoralization swiftly. Their ollicers ur- 
ged them, entreated them, threatened them, but fail- 
ed to rally them, and, the mass, broken and shatter- 
ed, swept back like a torrent into the crater that vras 
literally choked with white troops. The confusion, 
incident to this wholesale crowding and crushing of 
the negro soldiers into the ranks of the white troops, 
very nearly caused the i)anic to spread. Had such 
been the result, it might have been fortunate, and 
many a brave fellow who afterwards fell, might have 
escaped his fate. But at the moment the rebel lire, 
which had been murderously directed on the place, 
materially slackened, and the white soldiers recover- 
ed their stamina. Our lines were once more straight- 
ened, and just in time to check an impetuous charge, 
which was afterwards repeated, and with a similar 
result of heavy loss to the assailants. 

vSo the morning waned. It became apparent, 
doubtless, that the position gained could not be held 
without more sacrifice of life than could be well af- 
forded at this time. 

At any rate, thi^ seems a fair inference, or the 
other corps would have been ordered to advance 
upon those i>ortions of the first line still held by the 
enemy, and as far as I can ascertain, no such order 
was given. On the contrary, about noon the order 
was given to retire — a matter not easy of execution, 
as to gain our Avorks an open space must be tra- 
versed, over which one man in every twenty was 
>-iire to be 1)rought down by the cross-fire that swept 

I the spot.' 



A correspondent of the New York World, writing 
next day from the scene of action, gives the fol- 
lowing : 

"After the explosion, at an early hour yesterday 
morning, everything betokened a brilliant victory ; 
but soon after matters assumed a different aspect, a 
part of the attacking force having given way, expo- 
sing the balance to an enfilading fire from both artil- 
lery and infantry. 

The prograimne was as follows : The mine to 
be exploded at 3 a. m.; the batteries to open at once 
along the entire line, immediately after the explo- 
sion, and the 9th Corps to make the charge, support- 
ed by the ISth Coi'ps, Ayers' division of the oth 
Corps, and the 3d division of the 2d Corps. 

The greater part of the arrangement was carried 
out as ordered, although the commencement was 
later than the hour designated, on account of the 
fuse going out twice. The explosion took place at 
precisely 40 minutes ])ast 4 o'clock. The roar of 
artillery that followed was almost deafening. 

At 5 o'clock the charge was made, and the fort, 
witli a part of the line on each side, was carried in a 
most brilliant manner. The '2d division, which wa« 
in the center, advanced and carried the second line, 
a short distance beyond the fort, and rested, holding 
their ground with the utmost determination. At this 
time tlie colored division, imder Gen. Julius White, 
was pushed forward and ordered to charge and 
carry the crest of the hill, which would have decided 
the contest. The troops advanced in good order as 
far as the first lino, where thi'y received a galling 
fire, which checked them; and although quite a 


number kept advancing, the greater portion seomcd 
to become utterly demoralized, part of them taking 
rcfnge in the fort, and the balance running to tlio 
rear as fast as possible. ■ . • 

They were rallied and again pushed forwanl, 
but without success. The greater part of their otn- 
cers being killed or wounded during this time, they 
seemed to be without any one to manage them, and 
finally fell back to tlie rear, out of the range of the 
volleys of canister and musketry that were plougli- 
ing through the ranks." 

It was through this storm of every conceivable 
missile, that companies B and E of the Thirty-Eightli 
charged toward the enemy's works — going forward 
until ordered to halt, and retreating only when com- 
manded to do so. The other companies, though not 
taking i)art in the charge, were under fire, and all 
suffered more or less. 

At 3 o'clock r. M. tlie gallant Ninth Corps, haying 
performed untold prodigies of heroism, and failing 
only because it was not properly supported — or rath- 
er not supported at all — with torn and shattered 
ranks, was driven back to our lines, after having lost 
four thousand men. 

In the Thirty-Eighth, of the officers who took part 
ill the assault, Lieut. Ballard was the only one who 
escaped unharmed. Cajit. Ferris, of company E, 
was killed, and Lieut. Ilolton wounded. Tlie loss of 
the battalion was 7 killed, 10 wounded, and 10 pris- 
r>ncrs and missing. 

Darkness, gloom and despondency now gatliered 
arnnnd, and spread its pall over the national camp. 

The lack of sympathy, unity of council, and voW' 



cert of action among the leaders, as evidenced by 
the almost entire neglect to render any support to 
tlie Ninth Corps during the terrible hours of the 30th 
of July, only served to increase and intensify these 
feelings, so naturally following the heels of defeat 
and disaster. Officers and men alike felt its be- 
numbing influence. 

The usual firing and constant duty in the pits and 
trenches was again resumed. Day after day the 
men lay crouching behind their works, boiling and 
scorching beneath the intense rays of a southern 
August sun, and suffering as only soldiers can sufi'er. 



August had more than half worn away. On the 
19th orders came to get in readiness to move with- 
out delay. At 3 o'clock a. m. the battalion moved 
toward the left, in the direction of the Weldon Kail- 
road. It rained during the previous night, and the 
morning was showery. Thousands of feet worked 
the earth and water into " Virginia mud.'" Through 
this the column pressed on until noon, when the bat- 
talion was halted, during a heavy shower, stacked 
arms, and the men proceeded to prepare such a din- 
ner as is usual to soldiers on the march. AVhile 
kindling little fires to boil their coftee, freshening 
their salt mackerel, or wringing the water from their 
saturated clothes, they were startled by the sharp 
rattle of mxisketry breaking forth from two skirmish 
lines, engaging each other but a short distant be- 
hind them. Instantly the men fell into line, and in 
four minutes the battalion was advancing in line of 
battle to support our skirmishers. Through ravines, 
ditches and brushwood it moved in fine style, keej)- 
ing the files well dressed^ Already the men com- 
prehended the situation ; for the first time they were 
to meet the euemy on open ground and cqiial terms. 
As the battalion gained a piece of open ground, the 
skirmish line was discovered rapidly tailing back, 


and the enemy closely pressing forward after it. 
With a ringing "hurrah," the battalion charged for- 
ward upon the enemy. The Tliirty-Seventh and 
Thirty-Eiglith, in the movement, became detached 
from the rest of the brigade, and, passing over the 
retreating skirmisli line, threw themselves upon tlie 
enemy, scattering his line in confusion. It was here, 
while our forces were securing prisoners, that one of 
those mistakes occurred, which, it seems, no amount 
of foresight can always avoid, but which are none 
the less to be regi'etted because they cannot be pre- 
vented. These two regiments had advanced so far 
that they were n^i^itaken, by those in the rear, for 
the enemy, and our own artillery opened upon them, 
making the positiofi they held untenable, and both 
regiments foil back out of range. 

During the remainder of the day the enemy at- 
tacked successively upon the right, left and centre of 
the national lines, but each time was driven back 
with heavy loss. The successes of our arms had a 
most hapjty effect, and never were soldiers in better 
sj)iritsthan were ours upon tlic evening of that day. 

The next day Avas spent by both armies in maneu- 
vering for position. On the morning of the 21st, the 
l)rigade was moved to tlie left and thrown across 
the Weldon liailroad, the TIiirty-Eighth taking a 
.position directly across the track. Inmicdiately every 
available man was ]»utto work to fortify the position 
occui)iod, for it was understood, generally, that the 
day would flccidc the question as to Avhich party should 
Ijold the rt>;i'l. Hut while the I'nion loroes weretlnis 
busily eugngfd in strengthening their position, the 
enemy was liy no means idle; nor did he int«nd to 


abandpu the lost ground without a struggle for its 
recovery. 3Iussiug his forces on the front, and right 
and left flanks, he moved to the assault. 

By ten o'clock the hattle commenced. The enemy 
was seen emerging from the woods. In three lines 
of battle, at a double-quick, they bore down upon the 
Union lines. How little did they realize the terrible 
trap into the very jaws of which they were blindly 
rushiug! Still, on they came, with battle-flags stream- 
ing and steel glistening in the morninar sun. 

Nearly half the open space intervening was i)assed 
over, and yet all remained quiet Avithin the Union 
lines. Suddenly a hundred cannon belched forth a 
tornado of destruction through tlie rebel ranks. 

Volley after volley, in rapid succession, sweep 
through the advancing ranks. Whole companies and 
regiments melt and disappear, until torn, broken, shat- 
tered, and disorganized, the mingled mass turn and 
flee, in wild terror, for the cover of the woods from 
which, only a few moments before, they had emerged 
confident of victory. Wild, exultant cheers rent the 
air, and glad hurrahs rang along the Union lines. 
The enemy had been met in fair flght and driven 
buck. Then followed the stillness and quiet that al- 
ways succeeds tlie tumult and roar of battle. For an 
iiour all seemed »|uiet. Smldenly heavy flring was 
lieard on the extreme right. The roar and tumult 
increased. Staft' officers and orderlies rode furiously 
from brigade to brigade. In a moment the troops 
were moving at a double-quick to the left. WJiat 
could this mean V this ap})areut retreat from the fleld 
*>f buttle? Soon the movement dcvelope»l itself, for 
troops were also seen moving from the left toward 
the center. The trooi)S were being massed there 


for some purpose. Gradaally the tiring on the wings 
died away ; the attack on the riglit was only a feint 
to mislead u.s; bat Gen. Grant is on the field in person, 
and his clear intellect has at once penetrated the 
enemy's movement and divined where the next blow 
is destined to fall. 

Hardly are the troops placed in position, when 
another rebel column is seen advancing to assault 
the center. This time they come on the full run and 
charge directly for the railroad. Rebel batteries' 
open upon our line with solid shot, grape, and 
schrapnol. Suddenly our lines became a livid sheet 
of flame. Artillery and musketry swept the rebel 
ranks and mowed thcni with destructive fury. But 
Avith an indomitable bravery, worthy of a better and 
holier cause, the rebel column swept on. Xo troops, 
however, could long withstand the terrible fire con. 
centrated upon the rebel column. It Altered, wav- 
ered, swayed, and then broke and fled in wild con- 
fusion. !Many threw down their arms, and, with up- 
liftetl hands, made for our linos, preferring to sur- 
render as prisoners of Avar, rather than run the 
hazard of an attempt to leave the field. As soon as 
it was discovered that the enemy had faltered, a 
line of battle sprang forward over our temporary 
works, and with shouts of victory pursued the fleeing 

'• The flglit was o'er : the flasliing through the glooui, 
AAliieh robes the cannon as he winja a tomb, 
Had ceased ; and suli^hury vapors upvrard driven 
Had left the earth, and but ]y>\\ uted heaven : 
The ratt'iins; roar wh.ieh runi; in every volley 
Had left the valleys to their melancholy ; 
Xo more they sliriekcd tlicir horror, boom lor boom ; 
The strife was done, the vanquished had their doom." 

—The Islattd : Canto III. 


Thus -were fought and won the successive battles 
that wrested forever from the confederacy the Wel- 
don railroad, one of its chiefest and most important 
lines of communication and supply to the forces it 
had gathered for the defence of the rebel capital. 
He struggled terribly before it was wrenched from 
his grasp, and desperately tried to recover it after 
it was lost, but his efforts were wholly vain. This 
too, was the first open field fight of the campaign, 
and for us the most complete victory as yet gained. 
The entire loss of the Thirty-Eighth during the two 
days fighting was two killed, four wounded — one 
mortally — and one missing. All the" men lost du- 
ing the fight were lost from rear or fiank firing, from 
which the men quickly protected themselves as soon 
as opportunity offered. 

Leaving the railroad the regiment moved a short 
distance towards the Yellow House, where it en- 
camped and fortified its position in front, fiank and 

t \ 

^^... » 

';; )-'i •••i-j':;i v -if?-,--- • . /;; 


• On the 29th of August, while the regunent -vvas 
out performing picket duty, orders were unexpected- 
ly received for the regmieut to break camp, and soon 
as relieved, to follow the Brigade, with all possible 
speed, in the direction of Reams' Station, seven 
miles distant. The column took the double-quick, 
and constantly urged forward, kept up its speed un- 
til it arrived on the field of battle. Many of the men 
had become exhausted by the way and were compel- 
led to foil out; but the remainder, though iew in 
number, and having been only an hour in mai-ching 
the distance, immediately moved into line so as to 
close a gap between the Second and Fifth Corps. 

Tlie fighting, however, had nearly ceased, and soon 
quieted down altogether. The day following, the 
battalion moved several miles to the right, and took 
part in the work of extending the chain of forts and 
line of breastworks along the front of the crronad ac- 
quired and held by our forces. During the month 
fatigue duty of every nature was performed. Earth- 
works extending miles in length, with double and 
often treble rows of abattis in front, bridges, rail- 
roads and corduroy roads, were built, tlie work being 
pushed forward day and nigiit, rainy or lair weather, 
Sundays as well as week days, without intermission 



Camps were formed; company and brigade drills 
were had ; mounting of brigade and other general 
guards were instituted, and the morale of the army 
generally, greatly improved after these victories. 

Alarms and anticipated attacks were frequent, 
such as any soldier of experience will readily under- 
stand, usually resulting in the batteries opening and 
shelling furiously fot an hour or so ; but the mnrder- 
ons picket firing, so common in the immediate front 
of Petersburg, was entirely wanting here. Quarter- 
masters and Sutlers came up from City Point and 
joined their commands — the weather grew a little 
cooler — grand news came up from Sheridan, and 
everything assumed a brighter, more cheering, and 
more prosperous aspect. 

On the 25th of September a new movement was 
inaugurated. Relieved by colored troops, the regi- 
ment moved oft' the line and took a four days' rest, 
and then started again on the war-path. On the 
29th the Ninth Corps moved near to the Wilson 
House, and there lay and listened to the engagement 
between the Fifth Corps and the enemy. 

Prisoners and the wounded began streaming to- 
ward the rear, and, as usual in such cases, rumors 
were rife as to how the fight was going. The next 
day the Ninth Corps moved forward to engage the 
enemy. Early the men had been aroused; coftee 
was boiled, tents rolled up, and the column marched 
toward the theatre of yesterday's fight. Passing 
Poplar Spring Church, the battalion emerged from 
the woods aii<l took position on the "Pcgram Plan- 
tation." After waiting about an hour, orders came 
for the brigade commanded by Col. Ilarriman to 


move forward and engage the enemy. A field bat- 
tery was already shelling the woods where the liid- 
den enemy lay. Moving the brigade by the right 
flank, in a line perpendicular to the enemy's front, 
the brigade, by a halt, front, and right wheel, swung 
around into line. The Thirty-Eighth was detached 
from the left of the brigade and moved to the right, 
to support a battery. The fight began and raged 
furiously for a short time. Suddenly the regiments 
on the left began to break and scatter ; the panic 
extended from regiment to regiment, and like a 
tumbling row of blocks, the line crumbled, broke 
and scattered toward the rear, leaving the Thirty- 
Eighth alone with the battery. Flanked on its right 
and left, with an enemy flushed Avith success and an 
assurance of victory, the position of the battalion 
was precarious in the extreme. Though numbering 
only about one hundred and fifty men, all told, it 
steadily held the enemy in check until the artillery 
had time to limber up and move oS" the field. Then 
it gradually fell back, in good style, until it reached 
the wood, where it took up a position, which it held 
until the next morning. Here the glad news was 
received that Col. Bintliff, with five companies, and 
a detachment to strengthen the others, had arrived. 
A few hours after, the new battalion arrived at the 
position, and the two battalions were merged to- 

. CHAPTRR Vfll. 

It vraa expected and earnestly hoped, by Col. Bint- 
liff and the other officers of the Thirty-Eiojhth, who 
were obliged to remain in the State when the first 
battalion left, that the regiment would be filled and 
the balance soon be able to go forward and take the 
field ; bat circumstatices were nnpropitious, a vari- 
ety of causes conspiring to delay that consummation. 
The State had nearly filled its quota, under the pend- 
ing call of the President for men for the militaiy 
service of the country; and that, coupled with the 
interest that an almoss exclusively agricultural peo- 
ple always feel, at seeding time, in their labors, 
tended to withdraw the attention of the people, in a 
great measure, from tlie contemplation of the great 
struggle. Add to this, that our yoiang State had 
already met, and, from her sparse population, filled 
all calls upon her for men, until the drain began to 
be severely felt in every walk of life, and it will not 
appear at all surprising that recruiting lagged, and 
but few men were enlisted during the summer of 

Company E was finally raised, and organized in 
.Time. On the 20th of.Tulytho company left Madison 
for the theater of active service. Tt arrived in front 
of Petersburg and joined the four companies that had 


preceded it, on the 26th of the same month, taking- 
part and suffering severely in the battle of the Mined 
Fort on the 30th. It was in this battle that its Cap- 
tain, X. S. Ferris, a noble and true man, -was killed. 

In this manner the spring passed and the summer 
wore on until the 18ih of July, when the President 
issiied his proclamation of that date, calling for 500,- 
000 more men, with the alternative of a draft in case 
any state failed to fill its quota within fifty days after 
the issuing of the proclamation. Xor, even then, did 
recruiting quickly revive. The call came just at the 
time when the tarmers of the Northwest were the 
most heavily engaged in hai-vesting their crops. But 
in Aiigust the great mass of the people became 
thoroughly aroused, and fxdly appreciated the ne- 
cessities of the situation. Men from all the walks of 
life east aside every consideration of home comforts, 
business and all ties, and unreservedly gave them- 
selves to the army and to filling up its wasted ranks^ 
Large local bounties were ofiered, andmeetings were 
held in almost every school house, at which spirited 
addresses were made. The feeling of the people, 
■while it was not so wildly enthusiastic as in ISdl, 
vas equally intense and determined. By the middle 
of September, the Thirty-Eighth was filled. The 
class of men recruited for it was such as drew encom- 
iums from all. 

On the 20th, the last company was fully organized; 
and on the 22nd, at 8 o'clock a. m., the battalion left 
Camp Randall and started for the seat of war. The 
following letter gives a very fair description of the 
journey from Madison, until the battalion reached ''the 
front" and there joined the first battalion. 


Mr. Editor : — The Thirty-Eighth regiment broke 
camp at ]\raJison, on the 22(1 of September, and 
started for Dixie. The <lay "svas pleasant, tlie ac- 
commodations comfortable, and the boys, neai'ly all, 
in the gayest of spirits. It is true a few, as their 
thoughts reverted to home and the loved ones, they 
were leaving for the lield of danger, perhaps never 
to return, would allow a not unmanly tear to dhu their 
eyes for a moment. 

About 10 o'clock, a. m., the whistle shrieked its 
shrill note of warning — the conductor and company 
officers shouted their " all aboard," and we were oft' 
for the city of " mud and effluvia." Only one of our 
company deserted, and he on the morning we left 
^ladison. His name is Henry T. Lawrence. He 
was from Lindon, Juneau county. Our journey to 
Chicago was, on the whole, a pleasant one. Every- 
where along the route we were greeted by the wav- 
ing of handkerchiefs and hats. "SVe arrived at 
Chicago about 11 o'clock, p. m., and immediately 
marched to the Park, opposite the Soldier's Rest, 
where we bivouaced for the remainder of the night. 
In the morning a good and wholesome breakfast was 
ser\'ed up to the boys at the Rest, to which they did 
ample justice. 

With three rousing cheers, such as we Badgers are 
wont to give when we feel it, for the Soldier's Rest 
of Chicago, we started for Pittsburg, via Ft Wayne 
and Crestline. Our journey was not so pleasant 
this day, for the clouds which had been thickening 
J-ince early morning, about 10 o'clock opened their 
tluo Jgates and the rain descended almost in torrents. 
That evening in a heavy, driving rain, we arrived at 


Ft. Wayne, where Ave stopped long enough to get 
supper. The next morning, in time for an early 
breakfast, we reached Crestline, and the next eve- 
ning Pittsburg. Immediately on leaving the cars at 
the latter place, we marched to the Soldier's liest, 
where we found a supper, that would have been a 
credit to any hotel in the land, awaiting the demands 
of our appetites, made ravenous by three days of 
travel. And here let me stop to add my tribute of 
praise to that spirit of liberality and patriotism 
which, from the beginning of this unhappy contest, 
has been displayed by the citizens of Pittsburg, and 
which must cai-\-e for it a broad niche in the grate- 
ful remembrance of future generations, as it already 
has in the remembrance of this. This Soldier s Pest, 
at which every regiment of Union troops that passes 
tlirough Pittsburg is fed at least one meal, was es- 
tablished in August, 1861, and has ever since been 
sustained entirely by the private contributions of the 
citizens of that city. All honor to their noble patri- 
otic generosity ! 

I wish that truth would admit of my speaking in 
even terms of commendation of tlie Pennsylvania 
railroad, but I must confess my belief that it is the 
meanest, dirtiest, and most soulless corporation on 
the face of God's footstool. If there is one that de- 
serves more execration, may Heaven pity the poor 
soldier who is obliged to pass over it. ^V majority 
of our men were huddled together in freight cars, 
and in these, without fires or light of any kind, were 
drairgod at a snail's pace through the chilling and 
benumbing night air of the .Mlegauy mountains. 
We arrived at Altooua, in the mountains, in time fur 


breakfast, and n,t9 o'clock that morning again start- 
ed on our way. Creeping and winding around the 
mountains, or speeding down some narrow ravine, 
we struck, before dark, the broad valley of tlie 
Susquehanna river. Turning off six miles west of 
Ilarrisburg, the Capital of Pennsylvania, we were 
on the road to Baltimore, now, thank God, by the 
free untrammeled act of the citizens of beautiful 
Maryland, a free city in a free State. The experience 
of the niglit before had notified us of the kind of 
treatment we might expect from the Pennsylvania 
railroad, on which we were still traveling, and a few 
of us determined not to submit to it. Xight of 
Egpytian darkness came on, but Avith it came no 
lights or fuel from the railroad company, to light or 
warm up the cars. AVestern spunk and spirit Avould 
not submit to it longer. Captain Coleman, than 
whom a better soldier or finer gentleman is not, and 
the writer, applied to Col. Bintlitf for leave to bring 
the railroad company to a sense of duty. Leave was 
readily granted. On arriving at York a soldier was 
stationed at each brake with orders as soon as the 
train stopped to put on the brakes and under no cir- 
cumstances, to let them up until ordered l.y some 
officer of the regiment. The conductor was notified 
to produce light and that the train should not stir an 
inch until the notice was complied with. Of course 
there was considerable blu.stcr, but we told them 
that as the train lay on the track so no others could 
pass, if the company could afford to have all its trains 
blocked there, we could ailbrd to wait i'nv morning 
and daylight, and would. In a short time Hghts were 
forthcoming — the cars were lighted up — the brakes 


let up, and Ave were again on our way to Baltimore, 
where we arrived next morning. 

A breakfast, the smell of which alone vanquislied 
your correspondent and almost tlie entire 38th, and 
drove it in disorder into the street, was served to us 
at the Soldiers' Kest. We understand this is a go- 
vernment institution, run on contract. I think so, 
for the food seemed to have contracted all the odors 
of all the filth of the city. A restaurant supplied 
many of us Avith a palatable meal. Here, also, we 
had a sight of some nine hundred rebel prisoners, 
captured by Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. 
TheyAvere a good looking lot of men, but A'cry mean- 
ly clothed. 

After a rest of two or three hours, Ave took the 
cars for Washington, Avhere Ave arrived, without the 
occurrence of any incident Avorth noting, that after- 
noon, and immediately marched to the barracks. 
The next day avc received our arms — the Springfield 
rifled musket. The next day avc Avent aboard the 
Steamboat John A. "Wainer, and about noon were 
really olf for Dixie, and that line, so little compre- 
hended by our people at home, "the front.'' On 
Thursday morning, September 29th, just one Aveek 
from the time Ave left ^Madison, avc passed Fort Mon- 
roe, and the next evening reached City Point, tlio 
lieadquarters of Gen. Grant. We stayed aboard the 
boat that night, and the next (BViday) morning Avent 
ashore and lay there till al^out noon, Avhcn orders 
came for us to take cars and report to Gen. ^Feade, 
or somebody else, aAvay to the south of Petersburg. 
The day Avas showery, but nothing seemed to damp- 
en the spirits of our noble boy.s. Just .at dark Ave 


reached the end of the raih-oad, and after waiting 
about an hour for orders, were marched back nearly 
two miles to the Yellow House, near which we en- 
camped for the night. The niglit Avas dark and 
rainy, the roads muddy, and, of course, the march 
hard and very disagreeable. Two or three of the 
boys, under the accumulated load of gun, shelter 
tent, haversack, canteen, and very plethoric knap- 
sack, gave out on the march, but came up a short 
time afterwards. 

On Saturday afternoon we reached the camp of 
that part of the 38th which liad i)rccedcd us, and 
were warmly greeted by our " veteran brothers in 
arms,'" Hardly had the boys unslung their knap- 
sacks, when the rebels sent a shell howling over our 
lieads, and sharp picket firing was heard in front. 
Preparations were immediately made to repel any 
attack, but the rebels, mindful of the previous day's 
cliastisement on this very ground, and probably dis- 
covering that our forces had thrown up formidable 
breastworks during the night, thought discretion the 
better part of valor, and retired without furtlier de- 
monstration. That some of our men were somewliat 
excited, was no more than was to be expected, but 
none were extremely so. 

That night we camped on the ground, thoroughly 
drenclied as it was Avith the previous rain. The 
next morning was clear and beautiful; and this, our 
first Sabbath in Virginia, promised to be, indeed, fur 
us a day of rest. Clothes Avere spread out to dry, 
Hros Avcre built, and every one proceeded to make 
liiinsclf as c«)mfortablo as })0ssible. 

In the evening, lioAvever, came orders to ]nove. 
Our lines Avcrc to bo advanced, and strong earth- 


works thrown up, and the 38th was to take a hand 
in. Moving a mile or so lo our right, we halted, 
arms were stacked, the several regiments divided 
into reliefs, and the work commenced. Daylight 
found the 38th behind a strong line of breastworks. 
It was here that private Simpson was injured by a 
falling tree. He is now in hospital, but much better. 
From this time on, until about a week since, no regi- 
ment was ever more over-worked and subjected to 
exposure than ours. As might have been expected, 
this course sent nearly or quite one-third of the men 
into the hospital. I do not pretend to say where the 
blame lies, but there is some one who has little less 
than the guilt of murder on his soul. Xow, however, 
all is changed. Through the eiforts of Col. BintlifF, 
the men have been relieved from overtaxing duties, 
and, as a consequence, feel re-invigorated and more 
hopeful. Keieg. 

From the first of October until late in the month, 
these constant and overtaxing duties were required. 
Nearly or quite one-third of the regiment were sent 
out on picket daily, while almost an equal number 
were detailed for camp guard. This kind of duty 
would only allow the men one night's rest in three. 
Even those men who were exempt for the dav from 
picket or camp guard, were required to perform 
fatigue duties, company, battalion, and brigade drills 
or Dress Parade. Such a senseless and inhuman 
course could have but one result. The men, worn out 
by exposure and flxtigue, became a prey to all the ills 
consequent to a malarious climate. In a few weeks 
two-thirds of the command were either in the hospital, 
or excused by the Surgeon from duty. 


In the meantime the movement of the 27th of 
October was inaugurated. The previous evening 
Col. Bintlifi" called the company otHcers toReghnent- 
al Headquarters, and informed them that a movement 
was in progress, and that the Thirty-Eighth would 
move at two o'clock next morning. He informed 
them tliat a battle was expected to follow as a result 
of the movement, and said he had been informed 
that the Thirty-Eighth would be assigned to an honor- 
able position in the coming fight. Said he felt ex- 
tremely anxious that the Kegiment should behave in 
a creditable manner ; and reminded those present 
that, on their conduct in leading, Avould depend al- 
most entirely the good behavior and efficiency of the 
enlisted men ; and hoped all would act with coolness, 
bravery and discretion. 

The officers returned to their respective quarters, 
and immediately the busy hum of preparation was 
heard throughout the camp. Five day's rations were 
cooked and issued to the men. Knapsacks were 
packed, and at two o'clock a. m. of October 27th, 
the IJcgiment was ready to move. ^Moving along our 
lines to the left to the distance of a half mile or so, the 
liegimeut passed out through the works of the Third 


Division, to the front, and after marching a short dis- 
tance halted to alloAV other troops to file past. 

For nearly an hour the lieginient lay where it was 
halted, while regiment after regiment filed past it. 
Finally it again moved toward the front. Daylight 
came and we were still moving off to the left and 
front. About seven o'clock the crack of musketry 
was heard along our skirmish line — our skirmishers 
had discovered the enemy's pickets and were driving 
them in. Still mile after mile, over fields and through 
woods and brush, moving by the tlank, the Regiment 
kept on its way. The fire on the skirmish line 
gradually increased as Vv^e neared the enemy's main 
line of works. lieaching a strip of timber that partially 
hid our men from the view of the enemy, the Reg- 
iment was halted and thrown into line of battle, in the 
rear of two other lines. Suddenly on the right the 
heavy boom of artillery was heard, and shell came 
howling and thundering along our ranks. The enemy 
had discovered our position, and had opened with a 
battery in a i)Osition to rake our whole line. Under 
these trying circumstances the men lay as coolly and 
quietly, almost, as though they were in camp. 

After laying in this situation for about an hour, 
orders came for the Regiment to move to the left and 
take a new position. While executing this move- 
ment, a shell came crashing through the Regiment 
and knocked down tvro ranks of double files of 
company H. Only one of the men, David llarned, 
was seriously injured ; the rest gathered up their guns 
and accoulrements and etK)lly took their places in 
the ranks. ^Vith scarcely a halt for this incident, 
the Rcguucnt moved on thirty or forty rods, Avhen it 


was brought to a front, nnd moved up into the front 
line of battle. It was getting to be Avarm out on the 
skirmish lines, and the bullets were whistling through 
the air in a very lively manner. To increase the 
unconifortableness of the situation, the battery that 
iiad been throAving shells along the line, now changed 
and threw grape and canister. Suddenly a cheer 
broke out far to the right, there were a few rapid 
discharges of artillery, and then, comparatively, all 
was quiet again. The rebel battery had ceased to 
pay its attentions to us and become silent. 

That the cheer and the silence of the battery were 
in some way connected, seemed evident, nor did we 
have to wait long for an explanation. A brigade of 
Negro troops had been ordered to charge the battery, 
and going in in splendid style, had compelled the 
rebels to limber up, and get away on a run, to save 
their guns from being captured. 

Ilclieved from the troublesome attentions of the 
rebel battery, the Thirty-Eiglith quietly remained in 
its assigned position, expecting each moment an or- 
der to advance. News came from the extreme left 
that affairs were prospering finely with the Second 
and Fifth Corps, and the men felt in good temper 
for the work they expected to soon be called upon 
I to perform. But the day wore away, and no orders 
I to move came. Tlie afternoon had been slightly 
I showery, and as the day drew to a close the heavens 
f became thickly overcast, and a heavy rain com- 
i nienced falling. The skirmish line was strongly re- 
inforced, a giiaril detailed along the line, and the 
b\l;inee of the regiment — each man protecting him- 
self as best ho could, and wrapping himself in his 


blanket — lay (.lown and slept as soundly and sweetly 
there, in the immediate presence of the enemy, and 
in a drenching rain, as the more favored ones at the 
North, whose limbs Avere pillowed on beds of down. 

Toward morning a light breeze sprung up, and 
the clouds began to break away, although it still 
rained at intervals. 

At daylight all were aroused, coffee boiled and 
breakfast eaten. Then with such few tools as could 
be obtained, the men were set to work to erect 
breastworks. Logs, poles, rails, brush, leaves, and 
in fact everything that could be obtained, that would 
assist to turn a bullet, was brought into use. 

liumor, too, began to peddle unwelcome news. 
It was said that our forces on the left had met with 
a severe check, 

A little later, and it was whispered around that 
the left wing was rapidly falling back. The report 
proved true. 

The Thirty-Eighth, which had for some time been 
standing under arms, was brought to an about-face 
and moved to the rear. Falling back a short dis- 
tance, to some partially constructed Avorks, the regi- 
ment was again faced to the front. 

All this time tliere was continuous and heavy firing 
on the skirmish line. Waiting a f{;w moments for 
some troops to jiass to the rear, the regiment again 
fell back a short distance, and again formed in line 
of battle, and faced to the en^my. This move- 
ment was rejieatod several times, until all apprehen- 
sion of {)ursult lu'ing over, tlie regiment moved back 
to caTujt, where it arrived about four o'clock in the 


The principal cause of this check to the movement 
seems to have arisen from the Second and Fifth 
cor])S failing to connect. Througli the gap that in- 
tervened betAveen the two commands, the rebels 
succeeded in throwing a heavy force, which, falling 
on the flank of the Second corps, doubled it up and 
threw it into inextricable confusion. 

Tile Fifth corps also suffered severely from the 
same cause. After that, it became evident that the 
movement could not be continued without a loss too 
heavy to be commensurated by the object to be ob- 
tained, and so it was abandoned, and the great "re- 
connoisance in force " came to an end. 


On the returu of the regiment to camp, the same 
routine of duties and labors, that prevailed previous 
to leaving it, were again established, and the " sick 
list " swelled its enormous proportions. The sur- 
geon remonstrated earnestly against the continuance 
of a system that had already sent two-tlm-ds of the 
command to the hospital, and large numbers to the 
grave. CoL Bintliff, too, took hold of the matter and 
represented to Brigade Headquarters the magnitude 
of the evil that was being inflicted on the men. 
Finally, about the middle of Xoveraber, these efforts 
were successful, and the condition of the men sensi- 
bly ameliorated. Tlie amount of guard duty on 
picket was considerably decreased, the camp 
guard was cut down from seventy-five to about twen- 
ty men, and the amount of fatigue labor required, 
lessened nearly or quite one half. The beneficial 
effects of this change were felt almost imnieiliatelv. 
The number of sick reporting to tlie surgeon shortly 
began to fall off and lessened daily. On tlie daily 
drills the men n\oved with energy, instead of tlie 
fveblc lassitude that had previously characterized 
their actions; and it is doubtful if the spirit and 
(.lUciency of the regiment had at any time previously 
equalled that exhibited during the last few days of 



its stay near Peeble's House. Tlie following letter 
gives a very truthful relation of the matters of which 
it speaks : 

Camp near Peeble's House, Ya., } 
Tuesday, Xov. 15th, 1864. )' 

Deae Press : — As the telegraj^h used, during the 
lifetime of " Little Mac," and while he controled the 
operations of our armies, to daily chronicle the fact 
that all was " quiet on the Potomac," so I have 
nothing of importance to communicate to your read- 
ers, save that quiet reigns, all alon^- the lines of our 
anny, on the James river and in front of Petersburg. 

The election here was probably as free and un- 
tramnjeled an expression of the will of the soldiers 
voting, as ever was given by an equal number of 
men, at any time, in our country. Many of the 
company commanders went through their respective 
companies with Union tickets in one hand, and 3ic- 
Clellan and Pendleton tickets in the other^ and freely 
distributed them among their men, at tlie same time 
charging them that in the exercise of the great right 
of suffrage, they were acting solely in their capacity 
as American citizens, and as such, to vote for tho.-e 
whom they believed would administer the Govern- 
ment, during the next four years, for the best inter- 
est of the nation. The charge, made by some of the 
unscrupulous copperhead papers, that regiments were 
paraded and marched by their officers up to the 
polls, and directed to vote for Lincoln, is simply an 
absolute, unqualified falsehood. So far as my ob- 
servation extended, not only Avere the men not para- 
ded at tlie ])olLs that day, but, witli the exception ut 
camp guard and picket duty, they were excused 


from all duties until " Dress Parade," at 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon — long before which every man had 
cast his ballot. 

Over the result of the recent election, the rebels 
fool quite as blue as their brother copperheads of the 
Xorth. There was this difterence between these 
two classes, however — the rebs really believed that 
Little Mac had a good chance for the election, and 
tliat his success was equivalent to an acknowledge- 
ment of their independence, •wliile the copperheads 
of the Xorth, for the i~>urpose of securing the votes of 
tiie War Democracy and inveigling the unwary into 
supporting their ticket, dishonestly pretended to be 
sanguine of McClellan's election, and that his elec- 
tion was synonymous with peace and a restored 
Union. Of course the great body of the two classes 
are bitterly disappointed. A little incident, that oc- 
cured almost in our immediate front, will illustrate, 
in some measure, the disappointment of the rebs. 
The picket lines of the opposing armies are within a 
few rods of each other; so near indeed, that the vi- 
dettes can readily talk to each other. Three or four 
days after the election a newsboy came along our 
picket crying out his papers. One of the Johnnies, 
anxious to hear of the success of McClellan, of which, 
it seems, he had no doubt, hallooed to the newsboy 
and asked him how election had gone. " Big for 

Lincoln," was the reply. " Its a G — d d d lie," 

shouted the reb in the bitterness of his disappoint- 
ment ; and then a little squad of them were seen to 
gather together, and if gestures arc any indication, 
earnestly dicuss the news. 

Another incident is e<iually instructive and inter- 

70 UATTLE rii;LDS 

esting. It vvas told me by an oliiccr, avIio witnessed 
it, and -whose words need no vouclier. When tin.- 
newspapers wore first received here containing tlie 
evidence of Lincohi's re-ek;ction, one of our oiiiceis 
took one and went out between t])c lines, (a thincr 
jiracticed almost every day,) to exchange papers 
with the rebs. lie was met there by a rebel Caj)- 
tain, anxious for atrade wliich was soon consununated. 
The rebel anxiously looked over the election returns, 
until convinced that Lincoln was really elected, when 
he threw the paper on the ground and actually shed 
tears. In the subsequent conversation it ajipearcd 
that ho had believed in the election of McClellan and 
the consequent acknowledgment of the independ- 
ence of the confederacy. Now, however, he frankly 
admitted that the South had no hope but to make 
the best terms she could, and submit to the power 
of the Federal government. 

The oSth, since my last, has had no experience but 
such as is incident to the camp life of the soldier. 
Uclicved from the overburdening tasks imposed uy- 
on it during tlie tirst four weeks after our arrival 
here, and aided by the cool weatlicr, the health ot' 
the whole regiment, here in camp, is much improved. 
Our men owe a debt of gratitude to Surgeon llussell 
for his efficient .and untiring zeal fur their welfare. 
In these days of drunken, careless and inefficient 
Surgeons, it is a pleasure, as well as a duty, to ac- 
knowledge tlic merit of those Avho really devote 
tliemselves to the work of relieving the sutlerings ot 
tlie sick and wounded soldiers. I)r. Russell is froiii 
Fox Lake, Dodge county. 

Tlio field officers of the regiment are men wli<> 


ijrow in one's good graces, tlie longer he is acqnaint- 
imI witli them. Col. Ijintliir, althoiigli a strict disci- 
plinarian, is very careful fur the ^velfare of his men. 

Lieut. Col. Pier has been in command of the first 
tivo organized companies of the OSth, during the 
spring and summer campaign. He is a fine appear- 
ing, social gentleman, and his companions speak in 
very fiattering terms of his soldierly qualities. 

]Maj. lloherts and Adjutant McCracken have each 
earned honors on the held, and are first rate fellows. 


On the 29th of Xovember, the Ninth Corps broke 
camp and moved into the trenches immediately in 
front of Petersburg. The part occupied by the first 
division extended from the Xorfolk and Petersburg 
iJailroad to the Ap})omattox liivcr. The Thirty- 
Eighth was i^ostcd on the extreme left of the line 
occupied by the division. Tiiis position it held until 
the capture of Petersburg, on the morning of the '2d 
of April, 18G5. 

The regiment arrived upon the ground assigned, 
just after dark. 

The following letter will give some incidents of in- 
terest that occurred at this time : 

In the Trenches before Petersburg, } 
Dec. Sth, 18G4. j' 

I)i:au PiiESS: — Since my last, the 3Sth regunent 
has again " changed its base," and moved much 
nearer to that city which remains to be entered by 
those of the great army of the Potomac "who continue 
fiitliful to our cause, and hold out to the end — i. e. 

The distance from our former camp to Petersburg 


was nearly or quite seven miles. From our present 
position it is not over two and a half or three miles ; 
the church steeples and spires being in i)lain view, 
as would also be the city, but for a high ridge be- 
tween our lines and that place. On the crest ami 
outer slope of the ridge, the rebs have coustructe<l 
three lines of earthworks, which, so far, have provetl 
very serious obstacles to our peaceable entry into 
the city; a piece of vain foolishness on their part, 
which shall surely be brought to nothing ; for hath 
not Ulysses said it! 

The prospect before us is decidedly muddy. Il 
there is a "soger" in the 38th who doesn't feel, and 
look too, as though he had put his foot into it, tlic 
subscriber lias failed to discover him. 

At any rate, all who traverse our rather extended 
picket line through the slush, in many places over 
knee deep, will feel the force, if they fail to see the 
"pint." On the 29th of Xovember last, we broke up j 
our beautiful camp at Peeble's House, and marched i 
to the position we now occupy. The march, though 
not a long one, owing to the state of the roads, ren- i 
dered in many places almost impassable by the late j 
heavy rains, was fatiguing in the extreme, obliging j 
many of the men to fall out on the way. We arrivoi I 
at this place in the evening, about 8 o'clock, and 
slept on the ground, with nothing but our blanket-^ 
for protection. ****** ^ 

The weather is very line and invigorating, and 
the licalth and strength of the army is very mucli 
improved under its favorable influences, iCniEc 

The next day after the arrival of the Regiment In 
the position assigned it, the camp was laid out, teni 

Aim CAMP FIRES. i •> 

erected and everything made as comfortable as pos- 
sible. On the picket lines, however, amurdcrons fire 
was kept np night and day. On either side a dozen 
bullets were sent at every indication of life in the op- 
posing lines. In this way the pickets of our Heij,- 
iment expended from 2,000 to 10,000 rounds of 
ammunition daily. The bullets of the enemy, in 
answer, whistled and i)urred over our main line- 
Almost every day some one was wounded or killed. 
The trained marksmen of Wisconsin, however, w^ere 
sure to repay the enemy, in kind, w^ith large measure 
for every injury of this kind inflicted upon ns. 

Here, too, almost every day we were obliged to 

submit to the nncomfortal)le artillery practice of «the 

enemy. Yet, notwithstanding these difficulties in 

the way, battalion and brigade drills weie kept up 

almost daily. Ditches were dug, new covered ways 

' constructed, and old works enlarged, repaired and 

r Strengthened. "Without cessation, through all the 

[ month of December, these labors and duties were 

I performed by the men. The rains of December filled 

|. the ditches with watei*. and hundreds of feet con- 

i . ... 

I tmually worked, and'ground and juixcd it with eartli, 
I until the ditches and pits became so many mortar 
I- beds. The men literally waded, stood, sat and slept 
in the mud. But amid alb the uncomfortableness of 
the situation, the men, encouraged by the glorious 
news from Thomas, Sherman and the Atlantic sea- 
board, endured everything with an heroic fortitude 
tliat could but win the admiration and praise of all. 

On the 23d of December, Pound Sterling wrote as 
^-•llows to the State Journal: 


"Trenches before Petershuri;, YivGcinia, ) 
December 23(.l, 1804. )' 

The echo of news swells into one gvanJ anthem 
of victory. AVe received the telegraphic dispatches 
this morning, officially signed. If the news is glorious 
to you at home, wliat must it be to the soldier wlio 
sees in it the glimmer of the hope he had not till now 
dared to cherish — that of sitting down some happy 
day in the midst of that group of loved and joyous 
faces in his own home ! That's what makes victory 

It is needless to repeat the news: The fall of 
Savannah — the destruction of Hood — Wilmington 
tlireatened — Ciiarleston and Augusta threatened — 
^lolflle threatened — Breckenridge overwhelmed — a 
cloud of war and famine hovering over Ivichmond I 

The reserve line of battle has heard the news; the 
front line has heard it; the pickets havelieard it; and 
ever since dawn, cheer after cheer has rent the air. 
The soldiers salute each other this morning Avith, 
" Hurrah forborne I" ''How are you, Jeff. Davis I" 
" How are you, Southern Confederacy!" "I don't 
want a furlough 1"' I tell you, Mr. 'Editor, we feel 
decidedly good. 

When national good news flood the press, regi- 
mental affairs sink into insigniticance. ]iut Til ven- 
ture to say a word to let our friends know that * we 
stilllive.' There have been i^Qw casualties since my 
last. This is due to the energy displayed by the regi- 
ment in fitting up tlie picket line. Sliarpsliooters 
annoyed us very miicl) at lirst, but now avc have cov- 
ered ways to tlie line, and casualties need only oeeiir 

.VXD c.urr niiEs. 7o 

by whells and carelessness. Picket tiring lias abated 
pomewbat, but there was a lively fusillade last night. 
Occasionally a sharp artillery tire tills the air witli 
bursting shells. Deserters come in every night in 
s([uads of men from tw.o to half a dozen. They report 
universal dissatisfaction among the reliel troops. 
One party tlirew down their guns in presence of the 
orticer of the picket line andr pickets, and walked 
over to our posts. They say their whole Brigade 
will come before long. Olftcers and men talk of the 
waning fortunes of the Confederacy, and miiversally 
decide that " it is going to h — 1." Three came in 
this morning; They contirm the report that Lee is 
wounded, and that one of our shells killed their 
chief of artillery on the lUtli. Tliey report rations 
short, as usual in such cases. IJut what they say of 
poor and insufficient clothiug is thought to be true. 
* And many such little things they say.' * * "* 

« * * * ir 

Col. Bintlitf has returned to the command of the 
regiment. lie has for some time been in command 
of the Third Brigade. Cai)t. Ballard, Co. A, has 
gone home on furlough. There have been several, 
of late in the regiment, but it would be needless to 
name them, as you arc are always aheael of corres- 
pondents in looking after such matters. I hope to 

have something good to write in my next. 

p ■>■> \ 

During all this time, and until the 9tli of January, 
1>^G5, the same murderous picket tire that had })re- 
viously prevailed, was contantly kept up. Througli 
the nights, while darkness protected the men lioni 
the fatal and deadly aim of the enemy's sharpshoot- 


ers, fatigue parties were constantly at -work. Ditches 
were dug, breastworks throAvn up, pits constructed 
and gabions manufactured, and so placed as to pro- 
tect all exposed points, until our picket line became 
almost absolutely safe from ever}- thing but shells. 
About this time a " flag of truce " came over from 
the rebels. Some of the ladies of Secessia, having 
tired of the luxuries of rebellion, anxiously desired 
to come through the lines and once more place 
themselves beneath the protecting folds of the Na- 
tional flag. The ceremony was winessed by thou- 
sands on each side. After some delay, the applica- 
tion was refused, and these fair sinners learned once 
more that the " way of the transgressor is hard." 




On the 9tli of January, one of those heavy storms, 
uncommonly heavy in this instance, prevailed during 
the day and night. The ground became deluged 
with water and sleet, and the ditches were literally 
tilled with it. In some instances the men were ob- 
liged to stand for hours in water and mud nearly 
knee deep. Banks caved oS", and breastworks, the 
labor of weeks and months, were washed down in 
a few hours. On the morning of the 10th, by mutual 
consent, the opposing forces ceased firing on each 
other, and quietly proceeded to rebuild and repair 
their respective works. 

Krieg has hardly overdrawn the picture in the 
following letter wittcn at that time : 

Dear Press: — ^^Nlud, mud, mud is now king in 
Virginia, and for the last thirty-six hours the nasty 
monarch has been holding complete sway through 
all tlie camps, trenches, pits and covered wiiys of 
the Army of the Potomac. Mud saturated soldiers, 
wading through trenches of almost bottomless 
mud, with muddy hands salute mud covered officers 
as deep in the mud as themselves ; and considerate 
foes refuse to tire on each other, because they are 
unable to tell, with anytliing like accuracy, where in 
the vast heap of moving mud, the incarnate enemy 
is located. 



Since my last, ftMV changes have occuretl in tlie 
Thirty-Eiglith regiment. Capt. Cory, of company 
II, has heen discharged for disability. Capt. Cole- 
man, of company I, is at homo sick, on Leave of 
Absence. Lt. Col. Pier is at home, on Leave of 
Absence, enjoying the rest and j^loasure to Avhicli 
his arduous duties during the spring and summer 
campaign, ably performed, fully entitled him. This 
morning Col. Bintlilf left the regiment for Washing- 
ton, and is expected to be absent four days. The 
Col. was accompanied on his way by ]Major Roberts 
and Capt. Hayward who go home on a twenty 
day's visit. These changes for the time being, place<l 
Capt. Kelly, of company F, in command 'of the reg- 
iment with Capt. ^larsden next in rank. 

During the six weeks our regiment has occupied 
its present position, the proximity of our line of 
pickets, to the enemy's works, subjects our men to 
an almost continual fire from the enemy's pickets and 
sharpshooters, and yet we have lost, so excellent are 
our works, only four men killed 'and five wounded. 
Xone of company K have been injurerl. 

It seems almost providential that no more of our 
men are injured l)y the fire of the enemy ; for, cer- 
tainly, no troops have ever shown a more hardy — 
I had almost said reckless — contempt for personal 
danger. The very opposite is the case with the ene- 
my, as they keei> themselves well covered by their 
works. I remarked the difterence to a deserter a flnv 
nights since, and asked hin\ tlie cause. "We'uns 
have nol)ody to put in liis place, if one of our fellers 
gets killed, as you'uns have,'' was the sententtou- 
I'cply. Our regiment has received cpiite an acces- 


-ion to its numbers fit for duty,^during the last week, 
in convalescents returned from various hospitals. 
Yours truly, Km kg. 

AVhilo matters were pro^-essing thus quietly, one 
of those incidents occurred that, Avhile it was of no 
particular importance in itself, served for the moment 
to relieve the dull monotony of camp life. A woman, 
whose husband had deserted from the rebel army 
and succeeded in reaching our lines, had made appli- 
cation to the Rebel Commander to obtain permission 
lor herself to pass through the line, tliat she might be 
able to join her husband who was then in Govern- 
ment employ at Xorfolk. 

Owing, perhaps, to the fact that a similar applica- 
tion, ixnder flag of truce, had been denied by the 
Federal Commander but a few days previously. Gen. 
Lee refused the request, but intimated that if she 
could succeed in working her way through the lines 
lie would have no objection to her doing so. ^ With 
this slight encouragement the courageous woman de- 
termined to make tlie etfort. An influential friend 
accompanied her as fir as the rebel picket line and 
succeeded in obtaining permission for her to pass 
throufjh. It must have been a most trying moment 
to her. Ik'hind she was leaving home, friends and 
all the scenes and associations of her life. The ties 
of kindred were to be severed, perhaps never to be 
linked again. Before her everything was wrapped in 
uncertainty, except danger. But behind, also, was 
grim want and stern opin-ession, while before her was, 
at least, the hope of again joining her husband and 
enjoying i>eace, quiet and plenty. 

So, buoyed up by this hope, she bade her frieud 


" gootl-byc," took her little child of two years in her 
arms, and resolutely turned her face toward tlie 
Union lines. Hundreds on either side watched liei- 
progress as she slowly and laboriously traversed the 
space between the opposing lines. "When she arrived 
within a few rods of our works, a gallant Union 
soldier sprang over them and, going to her assistance, 
relieved her of her burthen and brought it into our 
lines. Assured by tlie kindly manner in which she 
had been received, the woman told her sad story of 
destitution and her final determination to seek relief, 
by gaining admission within our lines, with the hope 
of tinding her husband. 

The regulations, however, required that her case 
should be passed upon and decided at Army Head- 
quarters, before she could be allowed to proceed 
farther. A delay of several hours took place ; but, 
meanwhile, every pains were taken to render her en- 
forced dclay^as comfortable as possible. The " boys," 
with a spirit of generous hospitality, always a part 
of the nature of a true soldier, feasted her and her 
child on the choicest " hardtack," and the finest 
cotfee they could prepare. Finally, orders were re- 
ceived to admit her, and she was forwarded, just 
before night, first to Brigade, and then to Division 
Headquarters where accommodations were furnished 
her for the night. The next morning she was for- 
warded to her destination. 

ileanwhile the glorious tidings from Georgia and 
the Carolinas increased in grandeur an<l importance. 
Our soldiers were elated with the news. A hearty 
enthusiasm pervaded every portion and rank of the 
army. Tlic same causes that inspired and raised the 


Hpirits of our men, served in a corresponding meas- 
ure to depress tliose of the enemy. Desertions, 
which before had been nuraerons, now increased to 
such an extent that the rebels came over, not singly 
as formerly, but in squads. 

Then came the news of the failure of the Wilming- 
ton expedition, under the command of Gen. Butler. 
For a short time the tables seemed turned against us. 
Yet for all that, though our men seemed somewhat 
depressed in spirit, and the rebels quite jubilant over 
the result, it was noticed that there was very little 
falling off, in the number of deserters. But a 
i'tw days elapsed, however, before the news of the 
success of Gen. Terry and Commodore Porter, in 
capturing Fort Fisher and closing the port of 
Wilmington, removed every vestige of gloom from 
the minds of our soldiers, and sent the spirits of the 
rebels into a state of despondency anything but 
agreeable. Salutes were fired from our batteries, and 
cheers on cheers rang along our lines. Yet it must 
be confessed that the rebels bore their tribulations 
with surprising fortitude " You'll break your necks 
yet in some of your moves ! Old Bobby is only 
giving you a little rope," said a rebel one day across 
the line. " If we do there'll be life enough left to 
pound your Confederacy into the earth," was the 
prompt reply of a Union soldier. 

We find the following letter relating to affairs at 

this time in the State Journal : 

"Headquarters 1st Brig. IstDiv. 9th A. C, ) 
Before IVtcrsburg, Jan. ITtli, IbGo. \ 

Startling events burst so continuously upon us 

that we have hardly time to swing our hats and 


hurrah for one, before another comes. The echo of 
the salute given in honor of Sherman's ' Christmas 
Gift' — has hardly died away, when again the can- 
non thunders a welcome to the news from Fort Fisher. 
The news was immediately ordered to he taken to 
' Johnny rehs.' Col. Ilarriman also sent the brigade 
band to the front, to give them a few national airs. 
Mingled with this, cheer after cheer went up from 
thousands of joyful soldiers. Some of the rebs 
at first did not seem to like it, but many of them a]»- 
peared as much pleased over it as we. Col. Bint- 
liff went down to the jjicket line to break the news to 
the rebs in our immediate front. After he had an- 
nounced it, he asked them how they liked that. 
'Bully for you I' says one. 'That's bully I' said 
another. A third added 'Fort Fisher's nothing I ' 
'Richmond's nothing! ' If all that is true, I would 
like to liave some Copperhead banker compute the 
interest for one year in Confederate scrip, on one 
thousand dollars, and tell me the value in gold. It 
wouldn't sum up enough to buy his boy Pete a ' ca- 
nine jack-knife.' 

Your Johnny rebels have just come over and h.ave 
been put through the ' pickets ' pretty well, Cols. 
Ilarriman and liintlitf, 3Iajors Smith and Eaton, and 
Captains Xorton and Hobbs, constituting the board 
of investigation. They con6rm tiie rumor in refer- 
ence to the Union proclivities of (Georgia. One of 
them is from that State, and says he Jcnowsthc jjeople 
of Georgia will hail witli joy the return of the <)1<1 
flag, and will do all iu tiu-ir power to restore the 
Union. lie renewed the com])laint of insutKcienl 
rations, 'and then,' he said 'you can buy nothing 



with a moderate amount of Confederate money.' 
He j»ointed to a jiair of cavalry boots an ofticer was 
wearing, and said ' such would cost five hundred 
dollars in Petersburg. Coarse shoes cost fifty dol- 
lars. Bob. Lee is a great general, but Grant has 
fronted him on every fiank. Thei'e is universal dis- 
satisfaction among our men. They do not "want to 
fight any more. Lee dare not attempt to retreat, as 
it would divide his army. One half would go to the 
front, (to the Union army.) ]\[y regiment pickets in 
front of the 'Crater' and to the right. Bob. Lee 
has told the people of Petersburg and liichmond, 
that if they don't furnish the array with rations, he 
must and will take his army away in three weeks, and 
the people are anxious for hini to do so, as his im- 
pressments for food are starving them. Oh, sir, you 
can have no idea of the deep settled misery and des- 1 

pair that this war has brought upon Virginia. I be- 
long to an Alabama brigade, but I am from the 
State of Georgia. I Z-noio the people of Georgia will i 

shout for iov at the return of the .State to the L'nion.' 
He made tlie same assertion of the people of Peters- . ,' 

burg. 'The report reached our camps to-day, that 
Gov. Thonias "Watts, of Alabama, had resigned. I 
know the Governor, and knoAv him to be a Union 
uian at heart. He would not furnisli any more men i 

to the Confederacy. It was also reported to-day i 

that Fort Fisher is captured.' * 

Tills nu^n was intelligent and seemed to belong to 
the better class. He gave much otiier information 
and other incidents; told the names of men in his 
regiment who had made a special mai'kof some of our 
otlicers a\ hile on the iiickct line. They spokefcelingly 

8i liATTLE FlELDb 

of friends they Lad left in the army and told amusing 
incidents of the picket line and of their escape. 

I have never seen a deeper de2)ression of spirit 
among the rebels than tliere seems to be at present, 
nor a more jubilant and confident spirit among our 
men. There has been no firing to amount to any- 
thing since the flag of truce attempted to bring over 
the ladies; General Meade, unnatural man, would not 
allow them to come Both armies have improved the 
opportunity to fit up the picket lines and breastworks. 
The Colonel in command of the brigade, Col. Ilarri- 
man, has bent every energy to the work and our 
pickets are now comfortable and safe. But we were 
a very sorry looking set, I assure you, during and 4 
after the terrible thunder storm of the night of the 
9th inst. 

Picture yourself a second Horace Greeley crouched 
in a picket pit within a few rods of the enemy, winc- 
ing beneath the falling torrents of cold rain; his 
clothes drenched; a rivulet of ice-water running 
down his neck and back; Avater dripping from his 
nose and chin; Ijis boots filled with water; up to his 
ankles in | mud; vainly endeavoring to 'keep his 
powder dry' beneath his wet garments, and you will 
see in your mind's eye tlie pickets of the memorable 
night of the 9th. Many in the trenches and bomb- 
proofs waked up on the 10th to find themselves in 
the midst of a sea of water and mud, or half buried 
beneath a bank of dirt. Tents, breastworks, picket- 
pits, all caved in. By mutual consent both armies 
in the morning stopped firing and dragged themselves 
out of the mud. 

Col. Bintlill'has returned from Washington but has 


JiiJT) CAMP I'lKIlS. ' 85 

\ivcn summoned to preside at a court martini con- 
vened at Corps Headquarter?. Lieut. Col. Pier, 
.Major Roberts and Captain Ilayward are home on 
furlough, reveling in the smiles of pretty faces and 
the sparkle of loving eyes. Don't think ^Iv. Editor 
that I envy them, for they are brave and gallant men 
and have braved death on many a bloody field, and 

'None but the bravo de:erve the fair,' 

but I would like a thirty day furlough myself. Cap- 
tain Kelly is in command of the regiment, and as- 
sisted by Capt. Beck-vvith, Co. G., has strengthened 
and fitted up the picket line very much. 

Capt. Ballard has returned looking very much as 
tliough he had been where apple-dumplings and 
chicken pie abound. 

Lt. Nichols, Co. B, is away on court martial at divi- 
sion headquarters. ******** 

The health of the regiment is good. It drills and 
has dress parade just as if wc were not constantly in 
range of the enemy's muskets and cannon. To-day 
Col. Ilarriman sent the brigade band down to piny 
'America' to the Johnny rebs. They did not like 
it and began to pitch shell at our camps. 

Ever yours, £." 

From the iVth until the 29th aftairs in our immedi- 
ate front remained remarkbly quiet. Picket firing 
was almost entirely done away with, and the opposing 
pickets walked and lay exposed to the full view of 
each other with perfect impunity. Frequently some 
"four men would meet others from the enemy be- 
l^^■ocn the lines and trade them coftec for tabacco. 
I>oserter3 came over to us in great numbers, and 


these little trades were often found to beu convenient 
means by which these deserters could transmit letters 
to freinds still in tlie reuel ranks. All such lettijrs 
breathed the most unbounded satisfaction of the man- 
ner in which the writers had been received and were 
treated after entering the Union lines, and express- 
ed the utmost regret that they had not come 

This intercourse could not do otherwise than beget 
a friendly feeling between those whom the necessities 
and restraints of the war compelled to be enemies. ^ 
Conversations, usually of a very amicable character, 
were frequent between individuals in the opposing 
lines, though sharp jests and equally sharp retorts 
were bandied back and forth. "What kind of men 
are you'uns? it appears to me as though I could whip 
about five or six like you'uus in fair fight," hallowed 
a burly rebel across the Imes one day. " Braggarts 
like you are always the first to run when there is real 
danger," was the curt reply of a Union soldier. ^ 

A little incident occurred about this time, that 
will illustrate the good natured feelings that existed 
between our boys and the rebels in front. Standing 
about midway between the hues was a cluster of 
trees. One cold night, a couple of our adventurous 
boys, impelled by the discomforts of standing on 
picket without a fire to warm their benumbed fingers 
and wet, shivering limbs, determined to visit tliese 
trees and secure a suj^ply of M^ood. Accordingly, 
taking an axe with them, they proceeded on tlieir i 
errand. Arriving at the trees thcv iiuinediatelv 1 

commenced operations. The sharp ring of their axe '4 
resounded through tlie night air. " Halloo, liilly ! A 


What are you doing out there?" sliouted a rebel 
picket directly in front and but a few rods 
distant. " Getting some tire-wood," was the res- 
ponse. "Devilish cold to-niglit, isn't it?" queried 
.folinnie. "Yes ; how is it with you, plenty of wood ? " 
" Xot a stick, and we're almost froze." " Come out 
here and get some," said our boys. " Hain't any 
axe," said Johnnie. " Well, you may take ours." " If 
we go out there will you let us come back ? " " O, yes, 
Johnnie, that is all on the square ! " " "Well, hurry 
up, and Ave'll be over there soon." Our boys pro- 
vided themselves Avith an armful of wood for each, 
and then informed the Johnnies that they could use 
the axe. Two came over — used the axe until they 
liad secured as much wood as they could carry — re- 
tiu-ned the axe, and the two parties separated, each 
wending its way back to its post. « 

80 matters progressed (][uietly from day to day. 
But while the infantry was thus quiet on either side, 
the artillery on both sides indulged daily in furious 
practice, shelling the opposing lines incessantly for 
hours together. To protect themselves from the 
ertects of the ex2)loding shells, the men constructed 
bomb-proofs by digging large square holes, like 
those dug for cellars to houses, and covering them 
over compactly with railroad rails taken from tlie 
Petersburg and Norfolk railroad, and then covering 
tlie rails to the depth of several feet with dirt. Still, 
even during the most furious shelling, many of tlie 
men would neglect to enter the bomb-proots, so 
Iiardy and fearless had they become. 


On the 2 9 til of January, a clear and beautiful Sab- 
bath, about nine o'clock in the morning, a flag of 
truce was noticed "waving above the enemy's works. 
After waiting a suthcicnt length of time to be recog- 
nized, the bearer advanced to midway between the 
lines, where it was met by one from our side. 

The following letter relates the incidents of the 
first two meetings of the truce flags, as well as 
some incidents connected with deserters, and an 
expedient which the enemy resorted to, to prevent 
desertions — that of placing their most trustworthy 
troops as videttes in front of their picket-line, not to 
guard against a surprise l)y our forces, but to pre- 
vent their own men from deserting; an expedient 
tliat, as will be seen, was not always successful. 

"Trendies before Petersburg, Jan. 2011). 

Messrs. Editors: — A flagof truce, with the neces- 
sary excitement accompanying it, lias intruded itself 
upon the monotony of ' life in the trenches,' and the 
comfort of our winter quarters. "We were enjoying 
(hugely,) all the comforts of our rustic flre-places on 
a winter's Sunday, when a flag of truce 'came a 
knockin' at the door.' A trio went down to see what 
icas the matter. We found the whoh; 'Pi-aco Com- 
inis.sion,' — no — ' Southern Chivalry,' shivering in 




the wintry wind, and hunting for the riglit road to 
the bosom of ' Father Abraham.' One interview 
with the officer of the picket, resulted in a dispatch 
requesting an interview with one of Gen. Grant's 
staff on business of immense importance, and in thir- 
ty minutes time. Cnpt. Burnett, ^Vid-de-Cainp, 
hastened to lay the matter before the Col. command- 
ing the Brigade, (Col. Ilarriman,) while Col. Bint- 
liff and myself remained to amuse ourselves with the 
intense interest and curiosity manifested among the 
Johnnie rebs. 

Soon they came out again, and we went to meet 
them. Col. Hatch, Asst. Com. of Exchange, came 
this time, and made known the true state of matters, 
and said that Vice President Stephens and R. M. T. 
Hunter were of the party ; we proceeded to lay tlic 
last communication before Col. Ilarriman. Soon 
there was a stir among the natives, and a general 
spurring to and fro. Col. 11. sent Capt. Xorton, A. 
A. G., to division headquarters, and to save time, it" 
possible, rode over to corps headquarters. But, alas 
for human effort and the waste of horse flesh ! the 
poor 'Peace Commissioners' must stand there for 
hours, shivering and freezing their toes and lingers, 
while waiting to be led into the land of promise. 
They appear to have forgotten that 'large bodies 
move slow,' and that in the Army of the Potomac 
everything is 'huge,' and moreover it requires a 
long pull, a strong pull, and a ])ull altogether, on 
tlie 'colored tape' to move it; and, furthermore, 
that their villaino'.is trcaclicry, that for four long 
years has deluged the land in blooil and tears, can- 
not be atoned for in thirty minutes. 

AND CAMP FiniiS. 91 

Gen. Ilartranft and Gen. McLaughlin, with their 
staff officers, have been down, but after waiting till 
dark for word from City Point, they returned. 

Of course, if the Commissioners come over in the 
morning and proceed to Washington, you will get 
the news and have a good time and big speeches, 
and discuss the best manner of dividing the spoils, 
before tliis reaches you. But, in the meantime, re- 
member that the rebels have not yet laid doun their 
arras. Soldiers here know that rebel cannon point 
at us from almost every direction, and rebel works, 
manned by as brave and tried soldiers as ourselves, 
frown defiance at us. 1 believe they are a whipped 
nation, but the death-struggle lias not yet been 
made. The rebel soldiers themselves have no confi- 
dence iu the 'Peace Commission.' 

Deserters come iu rapidly. Three have just now 
arrived and are being 'picked.' One tall, gaunt, 
slouched hat, hauds-in-his-pocket fellow, in telling 
of his escape said : ' We're picked men. They've 
put them on since the 26th. They put us on picket 
because they thouglit "we'd stick, hut we raised them 
a Lean.'' The manner of the man and the joke was 
a side-splitter, and we laughed licartily. lie says 
they have often talked of charging our picket line 
for the purpose of getting bread and meat, A rebel 
wagon train of forage was charged upon day before 
yesterday by a brigade, and every vestige of corn 
taken. They are also very short of clothing. 

ril finish next mail. The health of the regiment is 
good. We are anxiously looking for Lieut. Col. l*ier. 

Very Truly, -L'." 
The ceremonies of the occasion were witnessed by 




thousands on each side. Of course no guns "sverc 
fired 0!i either side — artillery or others — that could 
by possibility reach near the ground where the flag 
"was received. The affair was deemed of so much 
moment that it was referred to the President at 
Washington for instructions, and, of course, con- 
siderable delay was occasioned. The 30th was s^ 
passed away by inquiries and responses. On the 
31st at noon, Lieutenant Babeock, of Gen. Grant's 
Staff, arrived upon the ground to receive the commis- 
sion. Then a further application was made that Col- 
onel Hatch, the Confederate Commissioner for the 
Exchange of Prisoners, might be allowed to accom- 
pany the Peace Commissioners. This, too, had to 
be referred to Gen. Grant, and several hours elapsed 
before an answer was received. x\.t last, just as the s 
sun was sinking behind the western hills, the famous 
"Peace Commission" was admitted within our lines. 
An ambulance stood in readiness near fortlMorton to 
convey the Commissioners to Meade's Station, where 
a special train was waiting to convey them to City 

The following letter will be read with interest in 
this connection : 

"Trenches before Petersburg, Jan. 81, 18G5. 

AIessus. Editors : — This date will be liistorical. 
If the poor ' Peace Commission,' Avhich -we have 
just admitted within our lines, fails of its object, 
from this will date the terribly agonizing death 
struggles of the l)ogus confederacy. If it succeeds, 
this day will be remembered with joy by iiullions of 
happy freoinen. But from the appearance cf tliis 
Commission, in my humble opinion they will fail, for 


llic j»eople of the United States, true to the instincts 
uf a brave and noble people, will submit to no terms 
— recking notliing of liuman blood and treasure — 
but those of justice and humanity. 

Correspondence "was kept up yesterday between 
tlie parties wishing to come in and headquarters. 
Well dressed and beautiful ladies came down from 
Petersburg to look at the " detestable Yankees," and 
ill remembrance of home, said Yankees rushed franti- 
cally upon the breastworks and heights to get a 
sight once more of crinoline. 

At noon to-day, much to the relief of our suspense, 
Lt. Babcock, of Gen. Grant's statF, arrived to bid the | 

Commission welcome. Accompanied by the brigade 
commander, Col. Ilarriman, and Lieut. Col. Lidig, 
and Capt. Brackett, of Gen. Willcox's statf, he went 
out to meet them. This time the Peace Mongers j 

wanted Lieut. Col. Hatch, Asst. Com. of Exchange, ', 

to come along with them. Another two, hours 
were consumed in getting Avord from Gen. Grant. 
During this time quite a lively cannonade was kept J 

up to the right of us, reaching near the Commission, 
probably jogging their nicmories. 

Just as the sun was sinking into a red and smoky 
horizon, ]\Iessrs. Stci>hens, Hunter, Campbell and 
Uatch, accompanied. by a line looking negro '"boy," 
passed through an immense crowd of the ragged 
confederacy, and met between the lines, — on the very 
ground red Avith blood of the battle of the OOth of 
July, — the gallant Yankees who had pushed them 
into the * last ditch.' They seemed surprised as 
they passed along the works at the manifest strength 



ot'otir position, and the numbers and fine appearance 
of our men. 

I did not sec Vice President Stephens smile, and 
he looked depressed in spirit. The others were 
cheerful and liglit-liearted. Hunter's was the cheer- 
fulness of a bull dog when he thinJcs he's got the 
bear by the throat. Col. Hatch's cheerfulness was 
the outgrowth of a kindly heart. Some sharp re- 
marks were dropped by the soldiers as they passed. 
One * gentleman from the Emerald Isle ' said : ' Be 
Jazes ! if they'd stJiaid a month longer they^l not had 
ttn'ngth to come over at all.'' 

A ' coach and four' was in readiness to take them 
to the special train waiting for them, and they filled 
it and were off, followed by a dashing, galloping 
troop of general and staff oflicers. 

Their baggage consisted of four dingy looking 
trunks. It was liurricd to the station, and when we 
liad got their bnggngo safely aboard and bid them 
God speed and returned to our cheerful blazing 
licartlis, I was too tired and sleepy to finish my let- 
ter for the morning mail, so you will have to wait a 

Some items of interest have transpired lately. 
])esei-ter<^ of last night report the breaking of the 
big dam above Petersburg during the recent rainji, 
washing away the railroad bridge and an immense 
quantity of government stores. These deserters had 
no faith in the peace Commission. 

Lieut. Col. Pier, of the 38th Wis., has returned, 
and tlie boys all gave him as liearty a grip of the 
hand as ever welcomed back a brave soldier. They 
arc expecting ]\[aj()r Iloberts every day. £." 


■-■ ■ ' 


So the "Peace Commission " went on its useless 
t'rraufl. Every soldier of the Thirty-Eighth, how- 
ever, Avill recollect how gladly they saAv the Commis- 
.•ijoners pass through the lines, and how sanguine the 
tno>;t of the them were that peace was at hand. In 
fancy they trod the f^imiliar paths of home, and 
wandered amid the scenes of their native North. 
Fancy painted scenes where doting fathers and fond 
mothers should welcome, joyously welcome home, 
the one long absent " amid dangers' rude alarms.' 
Then others pictured a place where a warm, wifely 
hosora would heave with emotions of delight at 
tlieir coming, and loving arras, should entwine their 
necks — a Avreath more precious than any glory 
weaves — while little feet pattered their joyous notes 
of welcome to " papa come home!" And others, still, 
saw the light of beautiful eyes and sweet, ruby lips — 
eyes that should beam so tenderly, and lips that 
should whisper such sweet accents of Avclcoming 
praise and trust. Woe to him who just then dared 
to doubt that the Commission would nicct with suc- 
cess. But it came, failed and returned, and tlie 
stern realities of war remained after all our blissful 
anticipations of pea'^e had vanished. 

The same routine of duties followed, and the usual 
mortar and artillery jn-actice was kept uj). Tlie 
weather remained unusually cold — the ground out of 
tlie trenches being frozen quite hard. 

After the Peace Commission returned, its failure 
seemed greatly to irritate the enemy. Orders were 
i^i-^ned to their pickets to fire upon any of our men 
showing themselves outside of tlie trendies. Opposite 
the Thirty-Eighth, however, these instructions were 


never carrictl out, but on other portions of the line 
the fire, at times, Avoukl be very heavy. The Thirty. 
Eiglilli, however, was not allowed to go entirely 
without some evidenee of rebel spleen. Xo working 
party, squad or detail could pass into the view of the 
rebel gunners, but a shell was immediately sent at it. 
The troops, too, in our front were relieved, and those 
taking their jtlaces, though they did not fire on our 
Regiment, appeared surly and uncommunicative. 

The following extracts from a letter of " F" to the 
State Journal will not be uninteresting: 

"Ninth Army Cor])s, Trenches, ) 
February 20, ISOo. \ 

Messks. Editors: — Since the disastroiis failure of 
the late attempt at peace, the rebels in our front 
have seized every opportunity to vent their spite. 
Strict ortlers have been issued to their pickets to fire 
upon our men whenever seen, and in some instances 
t'lese orders have been obeyed, the men partaking 
of the same disappointed spirit. They seem to be 
especially pitted against the 8th ^Michigan, one of 
the regiments of tliis brigade. 'They never shoot 
blank cartridges at them.' They have killed and 
wounded several of the 8th, and a few days since 
they killed Capt. liobinson, of Col. Cutchin's stati", 
wiiile he and the Colonel was passing the lines of 
that regiment. They have also kept up a lively co- 
tillion with their artillery, which hasJ^een vigorously 
replied to by our guns. At this moment the shot 
and shell are ploughing the fields and camps, and 
bursting in tlic air in tlie wildest confusion. IJut I 
guess, from the way our boys cheer, the rebs are 
getting the worst of it. 



Our mortars plnut the shots with great precision 
right into the forts and into the main line, among 
tlioir tents, and often penetrating their boom-proofs. 
IJattery E, of thirty-two pounder Kodraan guns, is 
shelling tlie rebel camps, over two miles away, (easy 
range for them,) and the terrible missiles drop right 
into the camps of the astonished enemy. Tit for tat. 
It is a game they have been playing upon our camps 
for some time. The rebels have also done well to- 
day, for they have already put three shot inside the 
parapet of Fort Morton, and many among the camps. 
It is what the boys call 'right lively.' Very few of 
the snobbish gentry would probably believe that a 
refined and gentle lady, nursed in the lap of luxury, 
could endure the shock of the cannonade above de- 
scribed. Mrs. Major Eaton was here, and as appa- 
rently undisturbed, except for the safety of her liege 
lord, as if adorning the drawing-room which she 
seems so well fitted to grace. While she was watch- 
ing the bursting sliells, one mortar shell burst near 
by, and a heavy fragment struck at the feet of a 
staff officer, throwing tlic mud upon him. She con- 
sidered it quite a curiosity, and took it along when 
her happy husband and herself left for the Xorth. 
I would give you the particulars of this romatic 
* union under difficulties,' but it would crowd your 

Night before last four deserters came through the 
lines. In the morning, by permission of Col. Ilarri- 
man, they sent back the following letters: 

* United States of America, Feb. 19th ISCj. 

Mr. G. AV. : 

Dear Friend : I seat myself to let you know that 



it is all right with us this Sabbath morning. The 
Billies treat us mighty M'ell so far. I would have 
come a long time ago if I had known how they would 
have treated me. ' You all' had better come. I 
got crackers and sweetened coffee and cheese for my 
supper and as much of the 'obcjoy' as I wanted. 
Things is all right here. We come through saft, and 
Blackburn of the 00th is with us, so you may find me 
in Hanover, Pa. Xo more at this time. I hope to see 
you all soon, but not in the Confed. I am in a 
hurry. W. L. Davis. 

'Grant's Lines, Feb. 25th, ISGo. 

"We reached here and got plenty to cat and good 
whisky to drink. We start for the Xorth free men 
again. What you heard is true about the boys that 
desert. If you knew what I do you would come to- 
night.. This is true. Tell Capt. Heaves I am sorry 
for him. Alfued Wiiittef, 

Co. F, 59th Ala., Gray's Brig. 

P. S. — Please hand this to the 45th Ala.' 

Last night four more came in, and to-niglit the 
Capt. Reaves spoken of in the above, came over, 
bringing with him a sergeant and corporal. The 
captain is a fine looking, proud spirited man, and it 
is evident that desertion cuts to his very soul, but he 
Las seen far more sutloring than most of us, and has 
been di'ivcn to it by despair. lie says : ' I have al- 
ways tried to do about right by the boys, and lead 
tlicm bravely and well, but I thou, ht it Avould be 
hardly right to lead them into another fight and have 
them butchered up for nothing.' 

Col. Bintlitf is home on a leave of absence for 
twenty days. Col. Pier is in command. The health 


i»f the regiment is good. Convalescents are retnrn- 
iiig. Capt "NVaddlngton has returned. The boys 
are feeling good over the glorious news. The (|ues- 
tion is oft repeated, ' "Where in kingdom come will 
the rebs go to now?' F." 


The conimiicd good news that reached us, of the 

progress of Sherman northward from Savflnnah, had 

a most inspiriting effect on our troops. Desertions 

from the enemy were both frequent and numerous ; 

and all told tales of hardships and suffering. The 

following letter will illustrate : 

"Head Quarters, First Brigade, ) 
First Div., Ninth A. C, Feb. 25. f 

During the last two nights twenty-seven deserters 
have come into the lines of Col. Ilarriman's brigade 
fronting the " Crater." They all tell the same story 
of hardships and suffering; but they bring a piece of 
intelligence, which, if true, is important. They say 
the rebels are making every preparation to evacuate 
Petersburg and fall back on the opposite side of the 
Appomattox. They also say many are leaving their 
anny to go home to their families and farms. The 
term of service of "Wise's brigade expires on the 1st 
of March. They say if nothing transpires' of a cheer- 
ing nature before that tune they will all go home. 

The 'shotted salute,' ordered by Gen. Grant in 
honor of the capture of Wilmington, was fired this 
afternoon at 4 o'clock. It created considerable ex- 
citement among the rcbs. One man of the 51st P. 
V. V. was killed and one Abounded to-day by a shell. 
Truly, £." 



Rumors of the kind mentioned in this short letter. 
were common in camj), but the discerning miinl- 
easily arrived to the conclusion of tlieir fallacy; lor. 
by abandoning Petersburg, Lee Avouldhave exposed 
his entire communications to the mercy of Grant, and 
to having his army shut up in Richmond, and it w:i- 
hardly to be supposed that so able a leader would 
make such a move imless, indeed, he intended to aban- 
don both Petersburg and Richmond and retire tu 
Danville or Lynchburg. 

From this time until the 25th of March, nothing 
out of the usual line of occurrences took place. 
Picket firing was resumed to some extent during' 
the night, but between the Thirty-Eighth and tl.o 
enemy in front there existed a tacit understandinir 
that neither should commence firing on the other 
without first giving fair warning — an understandiuj; 
that was faithfully kept by both parties. The usual 
shelling was also steadily kept up, almost daily, audi 
altogether the position of the Regiment was a warm 
one. Day by day the rebels in front grew less com- 
municative. From them we could get little news oi 
what was transpiring in rebeldom. The trading and 
trafticing that had been carried on between the o['- 
posing pickets, was prohibited, and comparatively 
all intercourse between our men- and those of tlu 
enemy ceased. 

For several days the Richmond papers had thrown 
out suggestions of a contemplated movement by tlio 
rebels. What its nature, character, extent, or tlie 
point to be struck were kept a profound secret. 
Only this information was vouchsafed to our anx- 
iously waiting minds : that it would be so startliui:. 


overwhelming ami decisive as to surprise the Avliole 
world. The wonder transpired at last. 

During the fore part of the niglitof the2-t-25th of 
.Alarch, heavy rumbling noises were heard, dogs 
harked, and many things indicated that a movement 
of troops was taking place within the rebel lines. 
J]efore many hours the movement developed itself. 
About four o'clock in the morning of the 25th, Lee, 
having massed his forces during the dai-kness, be- 
hind his lines at the foot of Cemetery Hill, hurled 
his legions upon Fort Steadman. The careless and 
negligent picket line of the Fourteenth Xew York 
Heavy Artillery, in front of the fort, was surprised 
and captured without giving any alarm. Over the 
main line into the fort, the rebel hosts rushed. The 
surprised troops were shot or bayonetted in their 
tents, or taken prisoners and sent to the rebel rear. 
The guns of Fort Steadman were turned upon our 
own lines, and thus far everything went on swim- 
mingly in the enemy's favor. 

The following letter, in the main, gives a correct 
account of the fi^ht : 

" Headquarters First Brigade, First Div., ) 

Ninth Corps, March 25 th, 1SG5, j' j 

AVell, dear Journal, Lee has astonished the world. j 
At least he has astonished the world of soldiers here . j 

in the trenches by a pusillanimous attempt to break j 

the center of our division line, double it upon the j 

flanks, and by folloM'ing it up, cut our army in two. } 

He would undoubtedlv have been successful if he I 
had brought fi<jh(i)ij men enough along, and if tlie 
Ninth Corps had not been on the route. 

Wc were aroused from sleep about half past four 


o'clock by desultory shots fired in rapid succession, 
and a variety of yells from the picket line. Col. 
Ilarriman, commanding the brigade, was first in the 
saddle, and sent his staff officers flying in every 
direction, carrying oi'ders and ascertaining the state 
of affairs. The brigade "svas soon iinder arms, and 
ready for any emergency. It was still thought by 
all to be merely a picket fusilade. t>ut mindful of 
emergencies, the Colonel ordered me to look at the 
gi-ound facing Fort Steadman, that he might know 
where to throw a line of battle if necessary. I obey- 
ed the order, and emerged from the pines near tlic 
Third brigade headquarters. Gen. McLaughlin had 
just gone down to see what was the matter, accom- 
panied by his Aid, Lieut. Sturges. I followed for 
the same purpose. They were both captured, and 
as I was met by a volley of musketry, I deemed it 
prudent to retreat in good order, and as fast as my 
iron gray could carry me. The rebels had turned 
the Fort Steadman guns upon Fort Haskell, and upon 
the retreating men of the Third brigade. Their in- 
fantry were also pressing Fort Haskell, and had ad- 
vanced a line from the rear of that fort toward 
Meade's Station, and threatened division headquar- 
ters, thus isolating our brigade from the division 
commander. I inmiediately communicated this to 
Col. Harriman, who sent two of his regiments — tlio 
37tli "Wisconsin, and the 109th Xew York, command- 
ed by Lt. Col. Pier, of the 3Sth Wisconsin, to take 
position at right angles with the main line on the 
crest of the hill facing the captured fort. The brig- 
ade pioneers, a heroic little baud of men, worki'<l 
with their might during the entire action, throwing 


up a Hue of breastworks at this point, ruuniug at 
riglit-angles to our niaiu line, in order to protect the 
tlireateued flanks of the brigade. 

Gen. Parke, conuiianding the Dth Corps, and 
temporarily in command of the Army of the Potomac, 
sent to know what disposition had been made of the 
1st Brigade. CoL Ilarriman replied that he had 
thrown two regiments back at riglit-angles witli the 
main line to protect the flank and shifted his troops 
well to the right. Gen. Parke returned word that 
that was right and to keep them in that position until 
further orders. This proved a drawback to the spirit 
of the men, who wanted to t;ike a few prisoners from 
the thousands before them. We might have captured 
many prisoners, but to charge Mould leave Fort 
ilorton uncovered, and once in possession of the 
enemy it would cost us dearly to retake it. 

At daylight Gen. Ilartranft brought up liis (od) divi- 
sion of new troops at double-rpiick. They opened a 
"withering lire upon the advanced line of rebels and 
soon drove them out of the old earthworks behind 
"which they were posted, and occupied them. Fr* m 
these he opened upon the main line. This with the 
thundering volleys of cannon and musketry from the 
embrasures and j)arapet of Fort Haskell on the left, 
and "\\ithin thirty rods of them, and Fort 3LcGilvery 
on the right, "within easy range, together with the 
showers of shot and shell from the forts and batteries 
surrounding Fort Stcadman, made it too warm for the 
four divisions cooped up in so small a compass- 
They could also see column after coIumiu marching 
to the sup}>ort of Gen. Hartranft's lino, and a llanking 
line of breastworks at the only weak point in their 


front being thrown up and occupied by the riglit 
wing of Col. Harriman's brigade, they now gave it 
up as hopeless, and commenced to draw back their 
reserves, while the advanced guards kept a bold 
front. Our batteries on the left now aided Fort 
Haskell in sweeping the lield between the works, 
and the scene here was terrible. The rebels were 
mown down in swaths. Our musketry had told 
heavily on them, while hemmed in by the walls of 
Fort Steadman, but here we strewed the field with 
their dead and dying. Gen. Hartranft could wait no 
longer for orders or reinforcements, but led his divi- 
sion in a brilliant charge. They came down upon 
the frightened rebels like an avalanche. The 2d 
brigade of this division also moved up rapidly on the 
right. At the approach of our men the rebels threw 
down their guns by hundreds and surrendered. 
Our two divisions made short work of the capture 
of two thousand three hundred prisoners. 

By nine o'clock a. m. the battle was over and all 
was quiet. Under a tlag of truce the rebels asked 
for leave to bury their dead, which was granted. 

Many of their wounded got back to their lines. 
A liberal estimate of their losses in the action will 
reach three thousand five hundi-ed. Among the 
captured were three brigade commanders. "We lost 
a part of the garrison of Fort Steadman, 250 of the 
14th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, and a part of each of the 
29th and oTth Mass. The casualties in our brigade 
were five wounded. Our total loss will probably 
foot up l)etween five and six hundred. Capt. 
Swords, of Gen. Willeox's stalf, was taken prisoner. 
Gen. Deven, commanding one of Gen. Hartranft's 



brigades, was wounded. But you will get tlie par- 
ticulars by telegraph before this reaches you. 

Our troops did splendidly. I have never seen 
troops in better condition, or more eager to fio-ht 
since the battle of South Mountain. ***** 

We have heard nothing definite from attacks on 
other portions of the line. 

A word of regimental matters. The health of the 
3Sth was never better. Quartermaster Hood and 
Lieut. Pier arrived this morning. Lieut. Col. Pier is 
in command of the lOOtli X. Y. Y. Y. One man of 
Co. n was wounded in the action by a piece of shell. 
Very truly, £." 


Af\:er the repulse detailed in the previous chapter, 
the rebels contented themselves with shellinsr our 
lines and camps daily, meanwhile keeping closely 
under cover themselves. Picket tiring was resumed, 
and, especially during the night, was kept up with 
considerable spirit. Each side became more vigi- 
lant, and the rebels less communicative. 

About this time, too, some investigations were 
made into the atfairs of the commissary department. 
For many weeks the enlisted men had complained of 
the insufficient quantity of rations issued to them, 
and had been compelled to purchase food to a con- 
siderable extent to satisfy the demands of nature. 
AVhat ai)peared very singular, and first aroused sus- 
picion that something Mas wrong Avas, that the com- 
missary sergeant had considerable quantities of 
bread and pork to sell. The bread was Government 
bread, and the pork Government pork. What the 
investigation evolved has not transpired; but the 
result was, that Chambers, the conunissary sergeant, 
was reduced to the ranks, and that, from that time, 
the men received all the rations they needed. 

Meanwhile, the grand movement that was to cul- 
minate in the fall of l*etorsburg and Uichmund, and 
the destruction of Lee's veteran army, began. Shcr- 



idan, after annihilating Early's army, had swept 
down from the Shenandoah Valley, and, passing 
around to the north of Richmond, destroying roads, 
bridges, canals and vast quantities of other property 
on his way, liad crossed the James River and en- 
camped to the rear of us. The heavy spring rains 
had ceased, and the ground Avas rapidly approaching 
a condition to render operations on a large scale 
practicable. Five days' rations were kept constantly 
ill the men's haversacks, all redundant baggage 
sent to the rear, and everything made ready to move 
at an liour's notice. Troops were continually moving 
from the direction of City Point toward the extreme 
left. Everything betokened that hot, sharp work 
was ahead. 

On the 29th, Ave heard in camp, far off to the left, 
the first rattle of musketry. Heavy cannonading oc- 
curred at the same time, and gave evidence that the 
work had actually begun ; and the rumors that 
had reached ns that the army Aras again in motion, 
Avcre verified. During all this time, until the first 
day of April, the Thirty-Eighth laid in the trenches 
and Avatched anxiously the rebels in front, and for 
ncAvs from the scene of conflict. "Wounded and 
prisoners in great numbers passed along the rear to- 
Avard City Point, and gave evidence that Avork, sharp 
and bloody, Avas being done on the left. But, aside 
from the general statement that everything Avas 
going well Avith our forces, nothing definite reached 
us from the scene of conflict. 

The first day of April, 1805, Avas drawing to a 
close. All day, at intervals, the sharp rattle of mus- 
ketry and the thunder of heavy artillery, far on our 


left had been heard in camp. Wq knew that the 
Sdcond and Fifth Corps, with Sheridan'^ cavahy, 
were engaging tlie enemy. How fared the fight none 
couhl tell. Tlie more sanguine, taking counsel from 
their hopes, believed tliat our forces had made the 
most cheering progress, and had succeeded in driving 
the enemy's right far back; wliiJe another class"', 
having just as good means of arriving at a correct 
conclusion, Avere just as confident that we were suf- 
fering defeat. Nor did the various rumors from the 
scene of conflict at all tend to relieve the anxiety and 
uncertainty of these long hours of suspense. ' One 
rumor said that Sheridan had reached and cut the 
South-side railroad, and hurling his impetuous le- 
gions on the right Hank of the enemy, was rapidly 
doubHngup his right wing; while another storv, 
apparently from just as reliable source, told a tale of 
hideous disaster— that Warren, with the Fifth Cori)s, 
had been driven back, with terrible slaughter, a dis- 
tance of two miles. Xeither of these rumors was 
wholly true or wholly false. Sheridan, with his cav- 
valry and the Second Corps, had, indeed, made good 
l.rogress on the left, although he had not yet^'suc- 
ceeded in entu-ely throwing his forces across the 
South-side railroad, and Warren, by some as yet un- 
explained combination of events, had been obliged to 
yield ground to the enemy, and had been relieved of 
his command by Sheridan. 

It was late in the afternoon, and while these ru- 
mors were rifest in camp, that I met. Col. Bintliff. A 
tew minutes conversation ensued, during which he 
confidentially informed, ine that lie expected we 
should have work to do before the next mornin.^ lie 


sai«l, that, while it was desirahle tliat tiie men should 
be ready to move at a moment's notice, tlicy ought 
not to 1)C unneeossarily alarmed, hut that it would 
be best they should be cautioned that, nnder pre- 
sent circumstances, we might reasonably expect 
an attack from the enemy, or to receive an order to 
move, at any moment. 

This conversation convinced me that our forces on 
the left had gained substantial successes ; for, unless 
such was the fact, om* leaders wouM never have 
dared, with the small force available near our ]>osi- 
tion, to attempt to carry the opposing works in front. 
It was only upon the theory that the enemy had been 
badly worsted elsewhere, and obliged to materially 
weaken his forces at this point, to till up his shattered 
ranks, that the movement would be at all justifiable. 

The afternoon was Avarm and pleasant, and aiFairs 
in our immediate front had been unusually quiet all 
day. Only on our right, near the Appomattox river, 
and our left from Fort Mahone and its surrounding 
batteries, had.the enemy that day indulged his pen- 
chant tor throwing shells. As the evening wore on, 
the men gathered in little groups to enjoy its calm 
beauty — to talk of home and friends — to sing the 
songs that find an answering echo in every soldier's 
breast, or to ind.ulge in conjectures concerning the 
battle in }»rogrcss. There are very many of the gal- 
lant Thirty-Eighth Avho will remember how vividly 
their hearts gathered around them the sweet influ- 
ences of lionie and home scenes, amid the beautiful 
lakes and prairies of the Xorth, as the pathetic notes 
of "Just before the battle, mother,'' iloated out upon 
the quiet evening air. To me it seemed almost as 


tliMiigh the veil that separates the fiaite iVoin the in- 
titiite was drawn aside, and their i^ouls were permit- 
ted to catch a j^dimpse of the future heforc theui, as 
they sang — 

*' Comrades brave are "round me lyinij, 
Filled with thoughts of home and God, 
For, well they know that on the morrow, 
Some shall sleep beneath the sod." 

As the evening passed away the usual routine of 
camp duties was strictly observed. At lletreat the 
men were again cautioned to have everything in 
readiness to repel an attack of the enemy should one 
l)e made, or to move at a moment's notice should it he 
rerpiired. The lights were extinguished, and all was 
<piiet in camp, save the measured tread of the 
sentinels as they walked their respective beats. 

Suddenly, on our right near Fort Steadman, Avere 
heard the sharp rattle of musketry and the heavy 
booming of artillery. "What could it mean? Had 
the enemy attempted a repetition of the atiair of the 
25th of starch ? Xo, it is our men shouting now, 
while the rebels are still and quiet. It was our 
forces on the ottVnsive. Soon the rattle of musketry 
ceased, and only the thunder of cannon was heard. 
Then tl»e truth tiaslied upon our minds — our forces 
had made a feint attack on the rebcd works opposite 
Fort Steadnuiu. Each retired to his quarters, and 
again all was quiet in camp. 

Just after midnight the order was passed to each 
company commamler to call the men into line as 
stilly and quietly as possible. Xo lights were made, 
and, to an observer distant a tew rods, nothing un- 
usual in camp would have been perceptible, save per- 
liaps, dark forms tlitting noiselessly ])ast in the murky 



gloom, like restless spirits keeping their nightly 

Everything being in reatliness, the 51st Penn- 
sylvania was deployed to hold the brigade line, and 
our regiment moving by the left Hank, marched along 
the line past P'orts Meikle, Davis and Sedgwick, (the 
latter probably better known by the popular name of 
" Fort Hell,'') just to the loftof the latter of which the 
regiment was halted, and laid while a brigade of 
General Ilartranft's Division [the 3d] filed past us. 
Here we found the 87th "Wisconsin and the 27th 
Michigan regiments that had preceded us, and shortly 
after the 8th Michigan and 109th Xew York arrived 
upon the ground. 

As the last of General Ilartranft's Division marched 
past, the Thirty-Eighth was ordered to move out and 
form in line of battle directly in front of Fort Sedg- 
wick and in the immediate rear of our picket line. 
At the same time, the lOQth New York, under com- 
mand of Lieutenant Colonel Pier, and the 8th 
Michigan, commanded by IMajor Doyle, were res- 
pectively moved out and formed in line, the former 
about ten rods in the rear of the Thirty-Eighth, and 
the latter about the same distance in the rear of the 
109th New York. 

The 37th Wisconsin and 2 7th Michigan still lay 
behind the works to the left of Fort Sedgwick, Avith 
orders, if the assaulting column should carry the fort 
in front, to move out innnediately, and oblicjuing to 
the right, carry a portion of the enemy's line between 
the fort and the Ai>poinattox river. ^ 

These dispositions having been made, Cob Harri- ,1 
man, our Brigade Commander, who had retained the 


immediate control of matters, aiul had directed these 
ilis|)0!?itions of tlie troops, now sought Col. BintlilF 
and turned over the comiuaud of the assaulting 
column to that officer. 

The responsibilities of the command having thus 
been thrown upon him at so terribly critical juncture, 
the intrepid Colonel proceeded to make such ar- 
rangements as were possible, in tlie short space of 
time that would elapse, before the decisive moment 
to move would arrive. To Major Roberts he turned 
over the immediate commaudof the Thirty-Eighth, at i 

the same time informing him of his reasons for doing ' 

so. Hastening to Lieut. Col. Pier and Maj. Doyle, he 
informed those officers of the canimand to which he 
had been assigned. " You will lead us, sir, I hope?" 
said !Major Doyle on receiving the information.* 1 

Stung by the covert insinuation the chivalrous Col- j 

onel sharply replied, "I intend, sir, to accompany my I 

regiment, and I believe it is in advance of yours." | 

All was ready. Nothing as yet gave any token 
that the enemy was aware of the terrible visitation i 

that was soon to be upon him. Only a few mortar 1 

shells, thrown from a battery to the right of Fort i 

Mahone, and an occasional random gun fired by j 

♦ I do not believe that the gallant Major intended any reflec- 
tion upon the character of Colonel BintlitT. Cortanly none \ 
could have been more misplaced or uncalled for. Col. BintlilT 
had been assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, after 
the capture of Gen. IMcLaiighlin at Fort Steadraan, on the 25lh 
of March, but had sought and obtained permission to remain 
with, and lead liis regiment iu this action. The curious will, 
perhaps, find a sutlicient key to the ^lajor's meaning in the 
sudden change of command at so critical a moment, without 
having the insinuation refer to Colonel BintlitT. 


fiome rebel picket, gave any indication of life within 
the rebel lines. 13ut directly in our front, so indis- 
tinct that its dim outlines were scarcely traceable 
against the western sky, stood the frowning battle- 
ments of Fort Mahoue, from the embrasures of which, 
with those of a dozen surrounding batteries, a with- 
ering shower of death was ready to belch forth upon 
us with terrible fury. 

The appointed moment at length arrived — the sig- 
nal's flash was seen — and at four o'clock of the morn- 
ing of the '2d of April, just as the first gray streaks 
of dawn appeared in the east, the command was 
given, "Column, forward!" Steadily, quietly as it 
would had it been on parade, the column mo^ed to 
the assault. The trenches of our picket line were 
first to be crossed, and down into them sprang the 
first line of battle. Here, through some mistake, an 
order was given to fire, and instantly the sharp crack 
and rattle of musketry rang along tlie line, and 

" Now, storming fury rose, 
And clamor such us liearil on earth till now, 
Wa3 never." 

Hardly waiting to reload their guns, the gallant 
fellows s})rang over the works and on toward the 
enemy. The rebel ])ickets fired one wild, aimless 
volley, and fled like frightened deer toward their 
main line. "Forward! forward, my hearties!" A 
loud, exultant cheer responded from the whole line, 
and catching the spirit of the monient, a hundred 
voices shouted the inspiring cry, "Forward! for- 
ward!" i)Ut the enemy is awake now, and fully 
realizes the danger that is coming. Every gun he 
could bring to bear has been trained upon our col- 
umn, and rains upon it a storm of death. Above, 


and all around, the air is lurid with bursting shells. 
Solid shot tear wide great gaps of death. Grape 
and canister shriek through the air as though all 
the demons of destruction gathered together, -were 
holding high carnival. But above the roar of can- 
non and the bursting of shells — above the howling 
of shot, the shriek of canister, and rattle of musket- 
ry — above the wail of the wounded, and the groans 
of the dying, rang out the determined, exultant 
shout of the Thirty-Eighth. The strong chevaux 
de frize of the enemy was reached, rent apart as 
tliough it was a rope of sand, and cast aside. The 
gallant Kelly sprang forward and fell with a terrible, 
gaping wound in tlie side. Forgetful of everything 
but the mighty issue at stake, the noble fellow raised 
his head, waved his sword, and shouted, "Forward! 
For God ajid our Country, now!" Xothing could 
withstand the unpetuous onset. The ahatis that 
surrounded the fort was reached, and the long, 
sharpened stakes were literally wrenched oft' or from 
the ground. The intrepid "Wood sprang to the front 
shouting, "Follow me!" but just as he reached the 
outer base of the fort, a ball crashed through his left 
liand and thigh, and he fell to the earth. All the 
way the ground was strewn Avith the dead and 
wounded; but unmindful of loss, and unappalled by 
any danger, the heroic Tliirty-Eighth pressed for- 
ward to the work. Xobly emulous of the honor, 
each strove to be first in the fort. All else seemed 
forgotten. Officers and privates alike vied with each 
otiier in the effort. On, on, with resistless sweci), 
the line rushed, uj) the steep slojie, over the parapet 
blazing witli hre, down into the works, a short hand- 


to-hand conflict, and Fort Maliono, the rebel strong- 
hold, "was Avon. 

Immediately the e:i[iliu-ed guns were manned and 
turned upon the enemy. So suddenly had the rebels 
been driven from tlicm, that one they had succeeded 
in loading remained charged. Our boys rammed 
homo another, and sent the double charge after the 
fleeing enemy. The commandant of the fort was 
captured, and his papers secured. 

"How do you like the way the Thirty-Eighth per- 
formed, to-day?" I asked of Col. Bintlifl'as we met 
and clasped hands a few minutes after. With a look 
and a smile that bespoke the highest satisfaction, the 
intrepid leader replied, " It was noble ; it was glori- 
ous ! Every man is a hero ! " 

Having performed the part assigned to us, and the 
109th New York and the 8th Michigan hariug close- 
ly followed us into the fort, the 37th Wisconsin and 
27th Michigan, following their orders, moved up from 
behind the works to the left of Fort Sedgwick, where 
they had laid during the storming of Fort Malione, 
and obliqixing a little to the right, came into the 
•works of the enemy just to the right of the captured 
fort; but as the enemy had already been nearly, or 
quite flanked out of that portion of his line they 
were expected to carry, these two regiments were 
enabled to get in with a trilling loss. 

The gray dawn had whitened into daylight. All 
the tools that could bo found, suitable for the pur- 
pose, had, been brought into requisition, and vigor- 
ously used to fortify against the counter-assault that 
we had every reason to expect the enemy would 
make; for, it was idle to suppose that he would re- 


sign the lost position, one of such vast importance to" 
him, without a desperate struggle for its recovery. 
Xot long had we to wait. Tlie sun was hardly two 
hours high in the east, when the enemy was signaled 
as being in motion. Every man was immediately on 
the alert, and each with alacriiy took his allotted 
place, and quietly awaited the coming onset. 

The bayonets of the enemy were visible as they 
moved along behind a Hue of earthworks that served 
them as a cover. In fine style they moved out into 
the open field, and, forming at a double-quick, 
charged on the works we had taken. Instantly the 
Avhole length of our line belched forth a sheet of 
flame. Few ever witnessed so terrible an infantry 
fire, while shell, grape and canister swept over the 
field hke a tornado. Flesh and blood could not stand 
up under it, and the broken quivering mass reeled 
back and sought safety behind the same cover it had 
left but a moment before. Four times, durino- the 
day, the enemy essayed to retake the captured works, 
and each time he was repulsed with terrible slauorht- 
er. The dead literally lay piled upon each 
other. Broken, defeated and disheartened. Gen. 
Hill, their leader, slain, the task was abandoned, and 
we were left in the quiet possession of the key to 

Our success, however, was not achieved without 
heavy loss. The Thirty-Eighth went into the action 
with less than three hundred men, eighty-four of 
whom were placed }ior$ da combat. The extent of 
the rebel loss can never be ascertained, but it must 
liave been terribly severe. 

In the course of the day, Col. Biutlilf was ordered 


to immediately as^surne command of the Tliird Lng- 
.idc, (McLauglilin's,) and -was, therefore, obliged to 
leave the "works for that inirpose. Lieut. Col. Pier 
had, for some time previously, been in command 
of the 109th Xew York, and thus the conimand of 
the Thirty-Eighth devolved upon Major Roberts. 

The gallantry of Col. Bintlilf, in this aftair shone 
conspicuously. Previously assigned to a command 
that would have relieved him from all participation 
iu tbo dangers of the assault, he sought an<l obtained 
permission to remain ■with his regiment and lead it 
in the attack. His conduct iu the trying position in 
■which he unexpectedly found himself placed, as com- 
mander of the assaulting column, showed a coolness, 
courage and fortitude of the noblest character. To 
bear a prominent part among a band of officers 
everyone of whom -was cons])icuous for the gallantry 
of his bearing, amid dangers the sight of which a])- 
palled other troops,'* is an honor of which any man 
may well feel proud. 

Lieut. Col. Pier, as above stated, had, for some 
time previously, been in command of the 109th Xew 
York, and led that regiment in the charge. Ilis 
conduct was such as to win, from both officers and 
men of that regiment, the heartiest encomiums. It 
seems singular that, in his report of the operations of 
this day. Col. Ilarriman has omitted all mention of 
Lieut. Col. Pier's name. It can only be accounted 

*A brigade of troops came into our main line just as tlie 
rebels made one of tliclr fiercest charges to recover the cap- 
tured works. Though the brigade was almost entirely out ol 
danger, the sight so appalled Ihcm that oUicers and men broke 
and lied. 


for on the liypotlicsis that Col. Ilarriinan was not in 
a position to witness the conduct of his subordinate 
officers. Certainly, the unanimous testimony of an 
entire regiment, officers and men, to the efficiency 
and bravery of an officer, must have greater weight 
with any unprejudiced mind, than the omission of 
that officer's name in the report of a superior, wlio, 
having a noble oi)portunity to win an honorable dis- 
tinction, avoided the dangers and lost the o])porLu- 
nity, by transferring the post he ought to have filled 
to another and subordinate officer. 

Major Roberts won golden opinions from all by the 
gallant manner in -which he bore himself A son of 
Erin gave vent to his admiration by declaring that, 
" There nivcr was a buUicr boy than that little stub 
of a Major, at all!" 

It would be a pleasant task to recount the various 
deeds of individual heroism that occurred that day, 
but that is not within the scope of this worlc, and it 
would be unjust to make exceptions, where all be- 
haved in a manner so gallant that they wrung the 
appellation of " hero" from a commander never pro- 
fuse of praise. 

In this connection, too, must not be forgotten the 
incident of planting the colors on the enemy's Avorks. 
The Thirty-Eighth had no colors with it, nor did it 
have at any time during the campaign. When the 
regiment left the State, its colors had not been pre- 
pared, and so, it was obliged to leave without tluin, 
but with the understanding that, as soon as tirnisheil, 
they should be forwarded t) the regiment by tiio 
State authorities. From some cause, the colors never 


reached the regiment while at the front, and were 
not found until it had returned and encamped near 
"Washington, in April, 1865. Thus, having no col- 
ors, the Thirty-Eighth, though acknowledged to have 
been the first regiment in the fort, was obliged to see 
the colors of others planted upon it instead of its 
own. The first colors planted uj^on the captured 
fort, were those of the 109th New York, which close- 
ly followed our regiment into the enemy's works. 
The second stand of colors planted on the works, 
belonged to the Sth Michigan. 

I have been thus particular, because a few of the 
officers of the 27th Michigan, have attempted, through 
the columns of the Xew York Herald and other 
newspapers, to claim that honor for their own regi- 
ment, and thus rob those to whom it justly belongs. 

The fact that, during all the time the fort was 
being stormed, the 27th Michigan, in pursuance of 
orders, lay behind our main line of works, which 
position it did not leave until the fort was captured, 
ought to be sufficient to settle this question beyond 
all controversy, and fully dispose of the pretensions 
of that regiment. But my own observation, perhaps, 
may not be impertinent here. It was sometime, 
after, (though how long, I cannot definitely state,) 
the colors of the 109th New York, and of the Sth 
Michigan, had been hoisted over the works, that the 
color bearer of the 27th ^lichigan came over the par- 
apet into the fort, with the colors of his regiment 
ttill encased. A Lieut, of our regiment told him to 
plant the colors on tlie fort, but he replied, that the 
Thirty-Eighth had first carried the fort, and were en- 


rilled to the honor of first planting their colors upon 
iL Soon' after, Major Roberts requested him to hoist 
Ills colors, and he did so. 

All night the troops lay in the captured works and 
witnessed the conflagration caused by the cotton 
and tobacco burnt by the enemy to prevent its fall- 
ing into our hands, as well as the burning of two 
rebel gunboats on the Appomattox river, and the 
stupendous columns of fire tliat shot heavenward 
when the fire reached and exploded their magazines. 


i About 3 o'clock on tbe morning of the 3d, tlie whole 

I line was called up,' and every precaution taken to 
I prevent a surprise. As the first gleam of day- 
light appeared in the east, a strong skirmish line 
t was thrown forward, and the whole line advanced 
toward the city of Petersburg. As the darkness 
I disappeared, it became evident that no enemy re- 
mained to confront us ; but that Gen. Lee, taking 
i advantage of the darkness of the previous night, 
i bad withdrawn his forces across the Appomattox, 
■ carrying with him all the material he could get otf 
I with. As it became apparent that the city had been 
[' evacuated, less precaution was taken, and the troops 
' pressed eagerly forward, anxious to obtain" a sight 
i of the prize for which they had so long and so ardu- 
^ ously labored, and risked so much. 
* But here, as on all other occasions, the good con- 

duct of the Thirty-Eighth shone conspicuously forth. 
Tlie men, though eager and exultant, and often in- 
l dulging in ringing cheers, kept from straggling and 
J avoided all rudeness toward the people. A lady, 
'■ just by whose residence our regiment halted and 
"rested at will,"- remarked that she was surprised at 
the excellent demeanor of our troops. She said tiiat 
a single regiment of rebel troops would, on entering 



the city, make inoro noise and greater commotion, 
than did our entire brigade. 

Upon arriving in the city, the battalion haltil. 
stacked arms, and rested for a short time. The ex- 
travagant joy manifested by the colored population, 
on our entrance into the city, often led to scenes o; 
the most amusing and laughable description. One in 
stance must serve to illustrate : Just as the regimeii'. 
entered the suburbs, an old wench was descritu 
across a common, hurrying toward us with all possi- 
ble speed, in one hand swinging an old sunbounct. 
and in her other her apron, and shouting, "Ilallelu 
yah! Glory to Jesus, de Linkum sogers am cumi " 
Hastening up to the column, she would first gras]' 
the hand of a soldier in both her own, and, shakin;-' 
it earnestly, would turn, hopping and dancing wiili 
joy, and throw her arms around some other wench. 
Her antics soon brought a crowd of "Linkun. 
sogers" around her, drawn there by her voluble an i 
queer expressions. "Oh," said she, "I heerd yon 
'uns holler yis'day mornin', as me and my ole man 
lay on de bed, and I tole um I wus dun gone sartiu 
shore de good Lawd would send you 'uns in <X\^ 
time ! I felt dat de good Lawd had heerd my prayer 
dis time ! Oh, I knew de ehillen of Jesus wa> 
comin', and now here you is !" And then she wouKi 
indulge in another hand-shaking and hugging scene 

God grant that these poor, oppressed people may 
not have their hopes of freedom and hai)piness lo-' 
in the. mazy labyrinths of " Reconstruction." 

After resting a short time, the men were recallfil 
and the regiment, passing by a cu'cuitous rout' 
through a portion of the city, returned to its ol > 


camjy in the Union lines. This was rendered neces- 
sary, because, when the movement began, none of 
tlie men had taken their haversacks with them, and, 
of course, many of them had been without food for 
nearly two days. Besides, the men were so worn out 
tliat it was absolutely necessary to allow them a few 
hours to rest, before they should be obliged to enter 
upon anew field of operations. Tired and worn as 
the men were, they could not restrain the expression 
of their joy at the great successes that had attended 
the Union arms, and bon-fires blazed, powder was 
burned, and the jubilation kept up until late at 

Many of the contrabands in Petersburg accom- 
panied the forces 1 ack to camp. During the siege, 
they had acquired a not unnatural dread of shot and 
shell, and when they discovered one of the latter 
lying on the ground, no matter how harmless its 
condition, always gave it a wide berth. Their ex- \ 

citability and nervousness amused the men exceed- | 

ingly, and many were the jokes perpetrated at poor | 

Culfee's expense. -^Vmong other methods invented j 

by the men to give expression to their happiness, 
was to siuk a hole sufficiently deep to receive a 
pork barrel. Planting a canteen of powder, with a 
slow-match attached, in the bottom, they would then j 

place over it barrel, filled with old caps, hats, haver- i 

sacks, canteens, plates, shoes, and cvei-ythiug avail- i 

able around camp, and touching off the powder, I 

send the barrel, whirling and scattei-ing its contents 
in every direction, hundreds of feet into the air. 
Occasionally one would be sent up entirely empty. 


One of Ihe latter kind -was elevated just after a 
young darkey had arrived in camp. Hearing the 
explosion, he turned quickly around and saw the bar- 
rel shooting upward. "Oh, Lawd ! Oh, Lawd, what's 
dat?" exclaimed the frightened darkey. "Don't be 
frightened, CurFee," said a Lieutenant standing near, 
" that's the way the Yankees draw water, and they 
have just sent up a barrel." " Oh, Lawd!" was the 
only expression the bewildered fellow could utter, 
in his wonder at a people who 'placed cannon in 
the bottom ©f tlieir wells and sliot out barrels of 
water as they needed them. 

On the morning of tho-:44th of April, preparations 
were made for a movement. Clothing was packed, 
tents rolled up, and by 9 o'clock, everything was in 
readiness to march at a moment's notice. About 
noon the order came to start, and a few minutes 
ater the regiment bade a final adieu to the place 
where, for so many months, it had bravely con- 
fronted the enemy, and endured so many privations, 
hardships and dangers. Passing through Peters- 
burg, we camped that night in the rear of the main 
line of works constructed by the rebels to the soutli 
of the city. 

The next day after noon, tlio regiment started on 
its march up the Soutli-sido Railroad, and camped 
that niglit fourteen miles from its starting place. At 
3 o'clock next morning it was again on the march, \ 
and reached Wilson's Station a little after noon, ha- 
ving made over thirty miles in about twenty-four 
hours. Compelled to lay in tl^c trenches for months 
previously, until the men had become unaccustomed 


to marching, the journey from Petersburg to Wil- 
son's Station will be regarded as one of extreme 

That night we encamped on the plantation of Mr. 

Northington — tents were put up, pickets established, 
and everything indicated that our stay there Avas to 
be comparatively permanent. The next day, how- 
ever, the regiment moved about three miles up the 
road, toward Black and "White's. At this place a 
camp was laid out, and arrangements made to ren- 
der our stay as comfortable as possible. The usual 
routine of camp and picket duty was performed, but 
with the exception of three or four days' work on a 
fort at Black and White's, the men were relieved 
from all fatigue duties. 

Scouting, at first, was allowed to a great extent, 
and many vv'cre the chickens, turkeys, and quarters 
of mutton tliat found their way into our camp ; but 
in a fasv days, as the inhabitants of the surrounding 
district came in and took the "Parole oath," it Avas 
discontinued, except upon permit from brigade head- 

The news of the surrender of Lee's army was re- 
ceived about the 10th, and was hailed with extreme 
delight. Prisoners, by thousands, passed down 
toward Petersburg. In every heart there was an 
all-pervading hope — almost belief — that the long, 
weary, bloody years of war were finally past, and 
that the beams of a glorious peace were breaking 
upon the land. 

On the luili, in the midst of all these rejoicings, 
came the awful news of the assassination of our 
good and noble President, The story seemed too 


horribly "wicked for belief, and, therefore, at first, 
men were disposed to doubt its truth ; but as con- 
firmation of the fact reached us, the idea took pos- 
session of the minds of the great mass of the army, 
that the monstrous crime was but a part of the un- 
natural and wicked rebellion, and a stern spirit of 
revenge woke up in almost every heart. "Well was 
it, indeed, for the South tliat her resistance liad 
ceased ; for awful and bloody would have been the 
penalty exacted of her people. 

The day will come, when, with the film of rebel- 
lion and hate lifted from their eyes, the people of the 
South will recognize, in all its noble simplicity, the 
grandeur of the stainless patriotism of Abraham 
Lincoln, and proudly claim their share in the price- 
less legacy his death bequeathed to the American 
people. Let us rejoice, then, that with our feelings 
stirred to their uttermost deptlis, we were saved 
from meting out a punishment that, after all, could 
only reach those who were guilty only by associa- 
tion, and those, too, who will yet learn to abhor the 
crime and its authors, and revere the name of the 
man who gave his life in his labor for the good of all 
our people. 

Closely following the news of the assassination of 
the President, came tlie order for the Ninth Corps to 
report at "Washington. On the 18th it broke camji 
and marched tOAvard City Point, at which place it 
arrived on the 20th, about noon. The same after- 
noon, seven companies embarked on steamers for 
Alexandria, but three, 1>, G and K were obliged to 
remain until next morning. This, however, proved 
no serious delay to them, as by the superior speed of 

.\JfD CAilP FIKES. 131 

the boat in -whicli they finally cmbarkeil, they arrived 
at their destination within a half hour after the com- 
panies that preceded them. 

On its arrival at Alexandria, the regiment imme- 
diately disembarked and marched to the heights 
about two miles back of the city, where it remained 
until the morning of the second day, when it moved 
to Tennally Town, horth of ^Vashington. 



The camp occupied by the regiment while lying 
near Tennally Town, was extremely picturesque and 
beautiful. Surrounded on all sides by a thick 
growth of 'timber, a little rill of pure water on the 
east, and another on the south side, rippling over 
their pebbly bottoms, while in the distance shone 
the dome of the Xational Capitol and splendid coun- 
try residences dotted the surrounding landscape. 

To add to the beauty of the situation, booths and 
arches of evergreens were erected at Regimental and 
Company headquarters, and evergreens were plant- 
ed along the company streets in front of the tents. 

While lying here, company and regimental drills 
were had daily, brigade drill twice a week, and 
" Dress Parade " every Sunday afternoon. Heavy 
canip-guards were put out through the day, from 
which, however, most of the men wex'e relieved at 

Early in May, the regiment was visited by His Ex- 
cellency, Gov. Lewis. The regiment was drawn up 
in line of battle to receive him, ftud after tlie custom- 
ary ceremonies, was formed in double-column by div- 
isions, in close order, after which Ilis Excellency 
atldressed them substantially as follows : 


Wisconsin : — It is with feelings of mingled joy and 


sadness, that I meet you on this occasion. Joy that, 
in. the dealings of a kind Providence, so goodly a 
number of you have been spared to us through so 
many hard fought battles. Joy that you, together 
with every "Wisconsin regiment in the field, have 
gloriously maintained the honor of our State and 
country, in the face of the common enemy ; and joy 
beyond measure at the crowning success of the Na- 
tional arms, in this unparalleled struggle with a re- 
bellion greater than has hitherto shook to its founda- 
tions any nation ; and now that peace is nearly 
restored, and the authority of the Xational govern- 
ment vindicated, that you can soon go home to your 
own firesides'and industrial i)ursuits, where the State 
of your adoption or nativity, will welcome and honor 
you. But sadness, because the cruel sods of disloyal 
Virginia cover the lifeless forms of so many of 
your brethren, who went forth like you to battle for 
our country, and whose presence is so much missed 
in your camp circles — brave, noble men, whose warm 
hearts beat high with patriotism, and around whose 
every fibre clustered afl:ection's dearest bands. Sad- 
ness and sympathy for your brave, wounded com- 
rades who are ekeing out a miserable death-in-life in 
our hospitals ; and deep sadness also, for the cruel, 
cruel murder of our loved and honored Chief Magis- 
trate. ♦ ♦**** 

Your greatest anxiety, undoubtedly, is to be mus- 
tered out and sent home. I have anticipated your 
desires, and will use every effort in my power to 
hasten the time of your departure. I had an inter- 
view with the Secretary of War a few days since, 
and lie assured me that you siiall be sent home at 


the earliest possible Bioiueiit. As soon as he hears 
from Texas and. Arkansas, lie will be able to give a 
definite answer, and he thinks that will be within ten 
days. I hope you may be on yoiir Avay home within 
that time. I want to have you go home as a regi- 
ment, and to see you proudly marching through 
the streets of the Capital city of our own State, and 
I shall do all I can to secure that result. 

I am glad to meet you here as soldiers, and shall 
be still more happy to meet you at home as citizens, 
where you will live, honored and respected by your 
fellow men for the great Avork you have helped to do, 
in saving the Xation and preserving our liberties." 

At the conclusion of the Governor's remarks, the 
regiment marched back to its quarters, and His 
Excellency, accompanied by Colonel Bintliff, re- 
turned to Brigade Headquarters. The next morn- 
,ing, at 9 o'clock, he reviewed the entire brigade 
and expressed himself highly pleased with the fine 
appearance- of the men and the pei'foction of drill 
they exhibited. Said an officer who witnessed this 
review, "This brigade has won a name to be proud 
of, and it does not lose any of its laurels by close 
inspection." A day or two after, the Governor paid 
the regiment another visit, remaining nearly all 
day, and mingled and conversed freely with the 
men, who were highly ])leased with his affability and 
the interest he manifested in their welfiirc. 

From this time, until the Grand Review of tlio 
"Army of the Potomac and the Xinth Corps'' on 
the 23d of !^^ay, little outside of the usual daily 
routine of drill and camp duties occurred. On the 


20th and 21st, however, tlie regiment took part in 
'^c Division Reviews of those days. 

On the afternoon of tlic 22d, the regiment march- 
ed from camp to a phice a short distance oast of tlic 
National Capitol, where it Livouaced for the night. 
The Thirty-Eighth was to be the leading regiment of 
infantry in the grand j^agcant, threfore it was ne- 
cessary for it to be in readiness to move at an early 
hour the next morning. At daybreak tlie men were 
aroused, breakfast was eaten, and tlie regiment 
moved into a position so as to be ready to take its 
place in the column. 

What pen can paint the scene of that triumphal 
day ! Washington was a world of flowers, and flags 
and streamers waved and fluttered in every breeze; 
and through it all, from 8 a. ir. until 4 r. m., flowed 
a stream down Pennsylvania Avenue, of burnished 
steel, heaving to the measured cadence of the tread 
of the victorious legions, and carrying upon its broad 
bosom, here and there, the glorious banner of our 
Union. Martial music lent its stirring strains, and 
beauty smiled, and fair hands decked with choicest 
flowers the toil-worn victors of the nation. Xot 
•when the legions of imperial Rome had returned 
from their grandest conquests, Avas there awarded 
them a day of triumph like this. They might 
proudly drag a captive people after their victorious 
chariot wheels, but we, with a loftier pride, could 
point to our work and say, " Behold, we preserved 
the life of our nation, and liberty for our enemies.'' 

At tlic head of the column of infantry moved the 
Thirty-Eighth. Whether in the cadence of the step, 

AND C\-MV FIRES. ^ 137 

onr'the wheel, or in lianclling arms, tlio men that day 
in every act, exhibited the perfection of military 
movement. Exclamations of "IIow perfect I" "IIow 
splendid!" "Did you ever see anything equal it?" 
broke, at every step, from the crowd that thronged 
the street on either side, and every moment the 
spectators gave expression to their admiration by 
cheers and cla])ping of hands. 

It was a proud day for our soldiers. Their great 
work was done, and this was to be its brilliant and 
fitting close. 

After passing the reviewing stand, on which sat 
the President, Gen. Grant, the Secretaries of the va- 
rious Departments, the Foreign Ministers and other 
notables, the regiment moved into one of the by- 
streets, where the men were allowed to rest for a 
short time, and then we moved back to camp. 

In a day or two an order was issued to muster out 
all men, in the Xinth Corps, whose term of enlist- 
ment would expire before the first day of October. 
This reached nearly all in companies G, IT, I, K, 
and considerable numbers in the other companies. 
On the 2d of June, all those of the regiment entitled 
to it, were 'mustered for discharge. Those of the 
four companies so mustered, who were not entitled 
to be discharged, were transferred to other com- 

With the break of day on the 0th, those who were 
to be discharged, took leave of their less fortmate 
comrades, and marched to the dci>ot of the Ilalli- 
more and Washington JJailroad. Col. Jjintlilf, yi-AJ. 
lifibcrts and several other olllcers of the rcLriiiiont, 
accomi)anicd the detachment to the oars. Lieut. 



Cal. Pier, who was at tlie time in Washington, ser- 
ving on a court martial, met it at the depot. After 
waiting several hours, the detachment went aboard 
the cars, and bidding: their last "soldier's good-bve" 
to those who had accompanied them from camp, 
started for home. ^ 

That niglit the detachment reached Baltimore, 
and immediately marched to the depot of the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad, where a train was waiting to re- 
ceive it. At Pittsburg an excellent breakfast was 
furnished to the detachment, at the Soldier's Rest, 
on the morning of the 9th. The next evening it 
reached Cleveland, and received the generous and 
really magnificent hospitalities of the people of that 
city. The change from the cars to steamer here, 
proved an agreeable relief from the monotony of 
railroad traveling, and enabled the men to secure 
the luxury of a night's good sleep. Arriving next 
morning at Detroit, an excellent breakfast Avas fur- 
nished by the citizens, to which the men did ample 
justice. Immediately after breakfast, the detach- 
ment went aboard the cars and started for Grand 
Haven. At Owasso, a little station on the road, the 
people of the surrounding country had gathered in, 
and furnished us with a bountiful repast. This man- 
ifestation of good will on the part of the people of 
our sister State, unex}>ected on our part, as it was 
generous on that of our entertainers, will be remem- 
bered with gratitude as one of the brightest episodes 
in our lives. 

The next evening tlie iletachment rcaclie<l Grand 
Haven, and immediately went aboard the boat for 
Milwaukee. The trip, from Grand Haven to Mihvau- 


keo, will be renienibcved as tlic most dreary and un- 
comfortable part of our journey home. Even tlie 
slow time, on platform cars, from Washington to 
Baltimore, was a luxury, compared to the crowded 
condition of the men, and ofi'ensive and insolent con- 
duct of the officials and employes of this boat. Tlie 
broad contrast between the demeanor of these men 
and that of the gentlemanly and obliging officers 
and employes of the boat tliat carried us from Cleve- 
land to Detroit, grated most harshly upon our feel- 

We arrived at day-break in ^Milwaukee. Our 
reception by the people was not merely generous — 
it was sumptuously elegant. Everything that could 
tempt the palate of a hungry soldier, was spread upon 
the tables with lavish profusion, while the beauty, 
worth, and social excellence of the city, gave hands, 
unused to toil, to the willing task of serving the 
" boys coming home." 

On the evening of the same day, June 11th, the 
detachment reached Madison, when the usual kind 
of meal, furnished to all of our returning soldiers, 
"was served to them. The next morning, with do 
tachments from three other regiments, amid the 
tliundcr of cannon and ringing of bells, it marched 
from Camp liandall to the Capitol Park, where it 
was addressed by Gen. Fairchild, tSecretary of State ; 
Major Keycs, and several other gentlemen. After 
giving rounds of cheers for the Union, for "Wisconsin 
and her Governor, the troops marched back to camp, 
and this closed, substantially, their career as soldiers 
in the Great Army »)f the Union. On the 2o(li, the 
men were paid otV and finally discharged. 


It was expected when tlie tii-st detnclinient of tlic 
regiment was mustered out, that the remaining por- 
tion would be consolidated wnth the 37tli Wisconsin, 
but tlie order for that purpose was never carried into 
etfoct. The regiment remained quietly in its camp, 
doing such duties as were required of it. 

During its stay here, Col. Bintliff resigned, and 
was mustered out on the 2Gth of June, the command 
devolving upon Lt. Col. Pier, who was soon niter 
commissioned as Colonel. On the 1st of July, 3I:ijor 
Kobcrts was mustered out, and shortly after Capt. 
Ballard of company A, was commissioned as Lieut. 
Colonel, and Capt. liny ward, of company 1>, as 
Major. Owing, however, to the paucity of numbers 
in the battalion, none of these oliicors were able to 
muster imder their commissions. 

On the 25th of July, the battalion was mustered for 
discharge. The men had waited impatiently for this 
time, and the delay had proved extremely irksome to 
their anxious spirits; but as the i)rospect of again 
seeing home and friends brightened, the brave fel- 
lows gave vent to their unbounded joy. 

It would be useless to attempt to describe their 
journey home, as, in its main features, it was but a 
repetition of the experience of the first battaUon, 



already described. EvcryAvherc along the route, 
they were greeted with cheers and the waving of 
flags, handkerchiefs and liats. A grateful people 
joyfully welcomed them home from the scenes of 
their toils, dangers and victories. 

The reception of the battalion at Madison was the 
same as that extended to the first, — Gov. Lewis, who 
liatl returned from visiting our sick and wounded 
soldiers in southern Hospitals, Gen. Fairchild. an<l 
others, making addresses, welcoming the soldiers 
home. Col. Pier responded in a short speech, in 
which he recounted the deeds the regiment had per- 
formed, — eulogized the bravery, patience, fortitude 
and other high soldierly qualities of the men, and 
concluded with the prediction that, iu the retirement 
and walks of civil life, they would prove themselves 
good and worthy citizens, as they had already proved 
themselves br.ave and excellent soldiers. 

After the ceremonies of the reception had ended, 
the detachment marched back to cam}). On the 15th 
of August, ISOo, the men were finally paid oti" and 
discharged; and the name, and the deeds, and hero- 
ism of the gallant Thirty-Eighth Regiment passed 
into history, and became the legacy of as bravo and 
noble a band of men as ever Inattled for Liberty and 
against "Wrong, to the people of our State and of the 
Nation. So long as they shall esteem courage and 
- despise baseness — love })atriotism and detest trea- 
son — so long will the memory of its deeds and its 
sacriiices be cherished in the grateful hearts of those 
whose liberties it helped to preserve. 






Tiie subject of this sketch Avas born in the county^ 
of York, England, on the first day of November, 
1824, and, therefore, was in liis fortieth year Avhcn 
he took command of the Tiiirty-Eighth Regiment of 
AVisconsin Infantry. In his personal appearance. 
Colonel liintlitf is above the average of men. 
Standing fully six: feet high, a forehead full and of 
more than medium breadth and height, — a bluish 
gray eye, — a long nose, deviating slightly from 
straight — firm set lips, and a chin neither prominent 
nor retreating, the whole features surmounted by a 
thin head of lightish-brown hair, and you have a 
picture of Colonel Bintllfi". In his carriage he is 
usually inclined to stoop ; but when once aroused 
or excited, his posture becomes erect and dignified. 

In the spring of 1842, he came to the United 
States, and settled in central New York, where he 
resided until the fall of I8.5I. In November of that 
year, he removed to Wisconsin and settled in Green 
county, where he continues to reside. 



In August, 1802, lie raised a company lor tlie 
2'2ikI regiment, and was elected and commissioned 
its Captain, and mustered into tlie United States' 
service on the 2d of September of that year. On 
the IGth of the same month liis regiment left the 
State to report to General Lew Walhice, then in 
command at Cincinnati, and he accompanied it. 
The city was at that time threatened l>y a strong 
force under command of the rehel General Kirby 
Smith, wlio liad a})proached within three miles of it. 

Upon reporting to General Wallace, the reghnent 
was assigned to a position on Covington Heights, 
and thus became a part of the army of Kentucky. 
The movcn^ent of Kirby Smith was designed to cover 
the concentration of supplies for the rebel army, 
which had, for some time previously, been going for- 
ward at Camp Dick l»obinson, Ky., and to facilitate 
their removal, as Avell as to co-operate with the army 
of General Ilragg, which was then invading Ken- 
tucky. The failure of Bucll to tight Bragg at 
Perrysville, neutralized all the operations of our 
armies in the AVest during that year, and enabled 
tlie rebels to escape with their accumulated plunder 
into East Tennessee. 

In February, 1803, tlie Army of Kentucky, of 
which the 22d regiment was a part, numbering 
twenty thousand men, under ihe conuuand of Gen. 
Gordon Granger, marched from Danville, in that 
State, to Louisville, where it embarked on steamers^ 
and under a convoy of gunboats, went, via the 
Ohio and Cumberland rivers to Nashville, Tennes- 
see, and became the Keserve Army of the Cumber- 


land, its position being on tlie extreme right and ex- 
tending to Franklin. 

On tlic 4th of^rareli, 1SG3, tlic brigade to whicli 
the 22nd Wisconsin Avas attached, with one battery 
of artillery, under the command of Colonel John 
Cobiirn, of the 2.jd Indiana, (who is maliciously 
suspected of having been in search- of a Star,) mov- 
ed out from Franklin to the front, in the direction 
of Thompson's Station. On tlic 5th, Coburn engag- 
ed the enemy 15,000 stiong, under the command of 
Van Dorn. The engagement commenced at 10 
o'clock in the forenoon, and continued Avith great 
obstinacy until 3 p. yi. The brigade was annihilated. 
About 700 men were killed or wounded, and l,7uo 
taken prisoners.. Only 300 or 400 escaped. Capt. 
Bintlift' Avas one of the few, who, at the last mo- 
ment, made their escape. 

The fragment of his regiment was sent to the 
rear, half way between Franklin and Xashville, to 
guard the railroad depot at l]rent\vood. On the 25th 
of the same month, Gen. Forrest, who, with two 
briga les of cavalry had succeeded in passing around 
the extreme right of Gen. IJosecrans' line, at Frank- 
lin, and in gaining the rear of his line, surrounded 
the camp at Brentwood before daybreak, and before 
the garrison Avas aAvare of his approach. After a 
feeble resistance the entire command Avas captured, 
and before 7 a. ic, on its Avay to liichmoud and 
Libby Prison, Avhere it arrived on the 0th of 

On the Gth of ^May, Cnpt. Bintlilf and his fellow 
jrisuners were exclianged at City I'oint, autl sent to 
Annapolis. Arriving at the latter place, they were 


at once ordered to report at St. Lonis for reorganiza- 
tion. In Juno they ■were again sent to Tennessee, 
and stationed at Franklin and MurfreesLoro. 

In January, 1864, he resigned his conunission to 
accept the appointment of Commissioner of the 
Board of Enrollment, ■u'hich had been tendered liim 
by the President. On the Sth of IMarch folloAving, 
he Avas commissioned by Gov. Lewis, Colonel of the 
Thirty-Eighth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer In- 
fantry, and immediately gave all his energies to 
raising and filling up the ranks of his command. 
Owing to a variety of causes enumerated in the first 
chapter of this work, it vv'asnot until after the middle 
of the next September, that the ranks of the regiment 
was filled, and the command ready to take the field. 

On arriving at the front and merging the two 
battalions, he immediately commenced the Avork of 
discipline and instruction, in whicli the men were 
sadly deficient. The new companies because too re- 
cently enlisted, and the old ones because the over- 
burdening duties theretofure required of them, had 
allowed no time for instruction. 

At the battle of Hatcher's Run, on the 27th of Oc- 
tober, Col. Bintlitf handled his regiment with skill 
and coolness. 

For several weeks, during the winter, following 
he was in the command of the brigade, and in this 
position, as in others, commanded the respect and 
esteem of all. His gallantry and .daring on the 2d 
of April, ISGo, at the storming of Fort Mahone, was 
conspicuous, and won for him the" conlidonce and i 
admiration of all those whose fortmie it was to wit- 
ness it. lie had been previously assigned to tlic 


command of the Stl brigade of the division to "wluch 
he belonged, but suspecting that his regiment was to 
take part in tlic approaching figlit, souglit, and 
obtained permission to remain witli it and lead it. 
The manner in ^-hich the command of the entire as- 
^ saulting column Avas unexpectedly throw upon liim, 
lias been detailed in a previous portion of this work. 
After the capture of Fort Mahone, Col. BintlifFwas 
ordered out of it and to the command of the 3d brig- 
ade, which position he held during the march up 
the" South-side railroad to Wilson's station, and until 
after the Corps ai'rived at Washington. 

Col. Bintliff was a strict disciplinarian, and made 
little allowance for the idiosyncrasies of men trained 
in a sphere of the utmost freedom of thought, speech 
and action, and hence, his measures often had an ap- 
pearance of stern and unnecessary harshness. His 
first requirement of his soldiers was implicit, un- 
questioning obedience, and woe to him who failed of 
these. On the other hand, no commander could 
move quicker than would ho to right any wrong 
when once convinced thai; any of his men were suf- 
fering it. 

Of an excitable temperament, he was often hasty, 
and even boisterous, in his manner, indulging in 
language to his men, which he, more than any other, 
would regret when his passion had i»assed away ; 
but in the hour of danger lie was always himself 
cool and collected. 

Col. Bintllft' was promoted to Brevet Brigadier 
General of U. S. Volunteers, for, as the order s:iys, 
"conspicuous gallantry at the assault on I'otersburg, 
to date from April ^d, 180.')." As very few Brevets 


were conferred for that reason, this promotion will, 
of course be more highly i»rized. Gen. liintlilf Avas 
lionorahly clischargetl from service, June 20th, 18G.J. 



Lieut. Col. Cohvert K. Pier was born at Fond tTu 
Lac, in the then Territory of Wisconsin, on the 7th 
of June, 1841, and Avas, consequently, only in his 
twenty-third year Avlieu commissioned Lieut. Colonel 
of the Thirty-Eighth Pegimeut. His fi\thcr moved 
to Wisconsin in 1830, and is the oldest resident of 
Fond du Lac county. It Avas there that the subject 
of our sketch, Avhen Indians Avere ninnerous, and 
with Indian children for playmates, passed the days j 

of his boyhood, attending a district school, or per- 
forming such labors as were usual for a boy of his 
age, Avhose parents resided on a farm in a new 

At tlie age of sixteen he Avas sent to Lombard 
University, Galesburg, lib, Avherc he iinishcd liis 
education, so far as the schools Avere concerned. In 
18G0, he commenced to read law in the olUce of the 
Hon. Robert Flint, of Fond du Lac. 

Upon the call of the President, in April, ISGl, he, 
it is supposed, Avas the iirst man in Fond du Lac 
county to respond, enlisting as a private in the 1st 
Wisconsin Regiment, and campaigned it Avith that 
organization, carrying a musket for three moTiths, in 

The following autumn, he attended a course of 
law lectures at the Albany LaAV School, Xew York. 


Returning to AVisconsin, he took an active part, in 
1863, in organizing the State ]Militia, and was suc- 
cessively commissioned as Captaiu of Zouaves and 
Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of State 3EiIitia. Dur- 
ing this time, also, he Avas in a law office in Fond 
du Lac. 

In March, 1864, he was commissioned Lieutenant 
Colonel of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment, and in May 
left the State in conmiand of the First Battalion, 
and was present with it in all its marches and 
battles up to its consolidation with the Second Bat- 
talion, at Poplar Spring Church, on the 30th of 
September, 1864. In the battle of the 17th of June, 
for the possession of the Xorfulk railroad, he was 
slisjhtly wounded. From the 30th of September, 
1804, until early in March, 1865, Colonel Pier re- 
mained with the regiment, except while home on a 
short leave of absence, accompanying it to Hatch- 
er's Run, on the 27th of October, and in all its sub- 
sequent movements. 

About the 1st of Marcli, 1865, he was assigned to 
the command of the 109th Regiment of Xew York 
Veteran Volunteers, and took part in the operations 
of our forces in retaking Fort Steadman from the 
rebels, on the '25th of that montli. His coutluct, on 
this occasion, was such as to inspirp the men 
under his command, with the fullest confidence in 
his coolness and steady courage. On tlic 2nd of 
April, he gallantly led that regiment in the assault 
on Fort ]\[ahone, and by his intlueuce, «lid mucli to 
inspire the men with the steadiness and bravery tiiey 
showed that day. 

During the march up the Soutli side railroad and 


back, and the voyage to "Washington, he still ic- 
mained in command. Shortly after tiic arrival of 
the Brigade at Teiuially Town, lie was relieved of 
the command of the regiment, and subsequently de- 
tailed on duty, as a member of the Division Court 
Martial sitting at that time in Washington. 

On the discharge of Brevet' Brig. Gen. Bintlilf, 
Colonel Pier was commissioned Colonel of the 
Thirty-Eighth, but owing to the regiment's not num- 
bering sufficient men, lie was unable to muster. 

Colonel Pier has a fine personal appearance and 
an engaging address. Is about five feet nine or ten 
inches in height, and has a fine head of brown hair, 
a broad and rather high forehead, blue eyes, a 
prominent and slightly lloman nose, thin lips, rather 
full chin, and light complexion. He is sociable, gen- 
erous and companionable, quick and decisive, yet 
seems to lack that perfect steadiness that is neces- 
sary to insure the highest state of discipline in a 


Was born in the city of 3[ihvaukee, Wis., on tho 
12th day of April, 1S44, and was, therefore not quite 
twenty yeafs of age when commissioned ]\Iajor of tlie 
Thirty-Eighth Regiment. His father is Charles II. 
Larkiu of Milwaukee, and, if we mistake not, at 
onetime slieritfof the county of that name. The 
boyhood of ]\r:ijor Larkiu was passed at school, in ac- 
quiring an education. At one time he attended tin' 
St;ite University at IMadison, and subsequently the 
Alfred University, Allegany county, X. Y. 


Upon leaving the University, he entered the law 
office of the Hon. Levi J. Ilubbell, and began a 
course of reading in order to fit himself for tlic prac- 
tice of the law. 

When the 24th regiment was organized, he was 
commissioned as Second Lieutenant of company IL 
He accompanied the reghncnt when it loft the State, 
and was with it at the battle of Pcrryville. Some- 
time afterwards, in consequence of sickness, he re- 
signed and returned home. Recovering his health 
he assisted in raising company B, First Wisconsin 
Heavy Artillery, and was commissioned its Junior 
First Lieutenant. On the 17th of March, 1S64, he 
was promoted to Major of the Thirty-Eighth Regi- 
ment, and left the State with the First Battalion, un- 
der the command of Lieut. Col. Pier. He took part 
with the battalion, in the battle on the Norfolk rail- 
road, June 17th, 1SG4, and was severely wounded by 
a musket ball which entered his loft side, between 
the ribs and hip, and lodged internally, where it still 
remains. In consequence of this wound he was 
honorably discharged, from the Military Service of 
the United States, on the 2d of September, 1S64. 

Major Larkin now resides in Milwaukee, and is en- 
gaged in the practice of his profession. He is six 
feet in height, has a light complexion, brown liair, 
and gray eyes. 



Was born in tlie kingdom of England, on the 30tli 
day of August, 1S41, and was, therefore, in his twen- 
ty-third year at the time he entered the Military Ser- 
vice. His father was a merchant, and young Rob- 
erts passed his boyhood in attending school. When 
he was two years old, his father removed from Eng- 
land to the United States, and settled in Wisconsin. 

On the loth of April, 1SG4, he was commissioned 
Captain of company B, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, and 
left the State with his company when the First Bat- 
talion went. He was with his company in all its 
marches, and took part in all its battles in which it 
was engaged. After 3Iajor Larkin was discharged, 
ho was promoted to Z^Lajor, his commission bearing 
date September 2Tth, ISGl. From the time of his 
promotion, he remained constantly with the Regi- 
ment, except during a short leave of absence the 
next winter. 

At the assault and capture of Fort Mahone, on the 
2d of April, ISOj, he commanded the Regiment, .and 
behaved witli great intrepidity and daring. He re- 
mained in command during all the subsequent move- 
ments of the Regiment nntil after it reached AVash- 

Major Roberts is short of stature, being only five 
feet, three and a half inches in height, but is stout 
and robust. He has a dark complexion, brown hair 
and brown eyes, and is social, genial and fond of 
company and conviviality. 



Captain Anson lioocl was bora in the town of 
JericLo, CliittenJen county, Vennont, on tiie 2:3d 
day of September, 1827. In 1837, bis father rcniov- 
ecl his fjimily to Chicago, Illinois, and the next year 
to Jollet, in the same State. In IS-il, his father and 
himself went into the "Wisconsin Pineries, penetrat- 
ing to the Eau Claire river, in what is now ISIarathon 
county, and were the first white settlers on tliat 
stream. In 1842, the family removed from Joliet to 
Madison, "Wis., and there the subject of this sketch 
made his home until his marriage, on tlie 10th of 
P^ebruary, to Miss Clara A. Sylvester. Shortly after 
this he removed to Stevens' I'oint, in Portage county, 
and engaged in mercantile business. AVhilc resid- 
ing at that place, he Avas elected a member of the 
City Council, and its President. He also represent- 
ed his district, one term, in the State Legislature. 
He subsequently renioved to ^Vdams county, settling 
in the town of Dell Prairie. In 1SG3, he was elected 
to represent that county in the State Legislature, 
and performed his duties in a }nanner that was cred- 
itable to himself and to his constituents. 

In April, IS(34, he was commissioned as (Quarter- 
master of the Thirty-Eighth liegiment of Wisconsin 
Volunteers, with the rank of First Lieutenant. In 
August following, he was detailed to take ehargo of 
the recruiting service for the regiment, and by his 
energy and tact, materially assisted to lill its 


tVhen the Second Battalion went to the front, he 
accompanied it, and on its arrival in Virginia, as- 
sumed the full duties of the Quartermaster's De- 
partment. Ilis administration of the affairs of his 
office proved very successful, and he was therefore 
advanced in rank, receiving a commission, dated 
February 9th, 1863, from President Lincoln, as As- 
sistant Quartermaster of United States Volunteers, 
with rank of Captain. But having become strongly 
attached to the Thirty-Eighth, he deferred mustering 
under his commission, for fear he might be compel- . 

led to separate from the regiment, until after it had \ 

reached "Washington. On the 26th of May, how- | 

ever, he assumed charge of the Quartermaster's De- ] 

partment of the First Brigade of the First Division j 
of the Ninth Corps. i 

Captain Rood has a fine personal appearance, i 

being six feet in height and well proportioned, and I 

strikes an observer at once, as being a shrewd, intel- 
ligent, energetic Western man. 

GEON, j 

H. S. Butterfield is a native of Cheshire county, j 

New Hampshire, and studied medicine in Monroe i 

county, New York, with Dr. Lucius Clark, now of j 

Rockford, Illinois. He subsequently attended medi- j 

cal lectures at Geneva, New York, and afterwards 1 

entered Willoughby College, at which he graduated j 

in ]84o. In ISGi, he removed to Wisconsin, and -j 
settled at Waupun, and began the practice of his 


In 1856, he served one term in the State Legisla- 
ture. Ou the 11th of 3Iarch, 1864, was commission- 
ed Surgeon of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment, and ac- 
companied the First Battalion to Washington, 
"White House Landing, Cold Harbor, and to the 
front of Petersburg. During all this time, he per- 
formed his duties in a manner to secure the respect 
and esteem of the men of the regiment. We never 
heard a member of the Thirty-Eighth speak other- 
wise than to his credit when referring to him. 

Surgeon Butterfield returned home with the last 
detachment of the Thirty-Eighth, and was honor- 
ably discharged from service, August 11th, 1865. 


OftheThirty-Eigmh Regiment of Wis. Vol. Irift'y, 
was born in Down county, Ireland, on the Vth of 
August, 1827. In 1849, he emigrated from Ireland, 
and came to the United States, settling in Chatauque 
county, in the State of New York, where he remain- 
ed for about a year. He then removed to Wiscon- 
sin, and settled in Fox Lake, Dodge county. 

Previously to leaving Ireland, he comenced the 
study of medicine at Belfast. After arriving in this 
country and settling in Wisconsin, he pursued his 
studies at Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois, 
and graduated at that Institution in the spring of 
1854. He then returned to Fox Lake and immedi- 
ately began the practice of his profession in which 
he was fairly successful. 

On the otli of March, 1SG4, he entered the ^lilitary 
Service of the L'nited States as First Asst. Surgeon 
of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment of Wisconsin Infantry, 


158 lilOGKAl'lilCAL SKETCHES. 

with the rank of First Lieutenant. lie acconipaiiie<l 
the First Battalion when it left the State, and cli<l 
all that a f\iithfiil officer could do, to alleviate the 
sufferings of the sick and wounded men of the com- 

Surgeon Kussellis about five feet ten inches high 
has a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. lie 
is somewhat eccentric, abrupt and brusque in his 
manners, hasty and impetuous in his temper, but is 
generous to a fault, and possessed of quick, Avarm 
sympathies that are deeply moved at the sight of suf- 
fering. There were few officers in the Regiment at 
the close of its service who had more warm friends 
among the rank and file, than did Surgeon Russell. 
lie ivas honorably discharged from service, July 
5th, ia«5. * ... 


We arc unable from want of data, to furnish any- 
thing approximating a biographical sketch of this in- 
divi<lnal. Surgeon I'enrson, wo believe, is a native 
of New England, and is about fifty years of age. He 
was commissioned as Second Asst. Surgeon of the 
Thirty-Eighth Regiment in the spring of 1864, and 
during the summer had charge of the examination of 
recruits for that Regiment, as well as the care of the 
liealth of that portion of it remaining at Camp Ran- 

When the last battalion left the State for the seat 
of War, Surgeon i*ears(jn accom}>anieil it, and re- 
mained with it until sometime in November, when lie 
resigned and returned to the State, lie is quiet, dig- 
nified and gentlemanly in his deportment. 



He was born in SwiterlanJ, October 30th, 1820, 
and received a liberal education, graduating at the 
University at Berne. 

In the spring of 1 80 2, he emigrated from his na- 
tive country and came to the United States. On his 
arrival in this country, he first settled in the State of 
Illinois, -where he lived about four years, and then 
removed to Green county, AVisconsiu, where he has 
resided ever since. 

August 7th, 1S62, he enlisted as a private in com- 
pany G, of the 22d Regiment of Wis. Vols., and serv- 
ed successively as a common soldier, nurse in hospi- 
tal, Dispensing Clerk and Hospital Steward. 

He was taken prisoner of Avar on the 25th of March, 
1S62, and sent to Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., and 
there paroled. In June following, he was exchanged 
and returned to duty. ^Vccompanied Sherman's 
army in its great march from Look-out Valley to the 
Sea, during which time he was detailed in the Field 
Hospital, as attendant at the amputation table. 

November 2f)th, 1804, he was commissioned as 
Second Asst. Surgeon of the Thirty-Eighth Regi- 
ment, with the rank of First Lieutenant. On the 
31st of January, IbGo, he reported for duty in this 
Regiment, and remained with it duriug all its subse- 
quent operations and movements, until it was tinally 
mustered out. 

Surgeon Tochterman is a fair specimen of the men 
oi his native countrv — is strong and robust of con- 

Jl « 


Btitution— shrewd and cautious— anxious to perform 
his" duties conscientiously and well, and is a quiet 
and worthy citizen. 


Aaron II. McCracken, Lieutenant and Adjutant j 

of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment, was born near the 1 

village of Monroe, Green county, Wis., on the 1-ith j 

day of February, 1839. Ilis boyhood was passed j 

upon his father's farm, until he was thirteen years j 

old, when he began a two-years apprenticeship in I 

the druc: store of J. K. Eilert, in ^Monroe. At tlie 4 

expiration of his apprenticeship, he alternately | 

taught and attended school, until his twentieth ] 

year, when he entered the State University, Madi- i 

son, "Wis. Here he remained, attending to his | 

studies, until the 11th of August, 1862, at which 
time he left the Junior Class of that Institution, and 
enlisted as a private in company G, of the 22d 
Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers. In this com- 
pany ho successively served as private, Corporal 
and Sergeant, until the 3d of May, 18G4, when he 
received a commission as Lieutenant and Adjutant 
of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment. lie reported at 
^ladison, and was mustered into service under his 
commission in nine days thereafter. 

When the First Battalion left the State, Adjutant 
3IcCracken remained to assist in recruiting. 

On the 22d, when the Second Battalion left the 
State, lie accompanied it, and remained with tlie 
rt'giment nearly all the time until it was mustered 
out. lie was present during the aftair at Hatcher's 


Bun, on the 27th of October, ISG-l, .ind took part in 
the assault at Fort Mahone, April 2d, ISGo. 

In person, Adjutant McCraken is rather slight, 
but well knit, and capable of great endurance, when 
it is required. He was a faithful officer and per- 
formed the duties of his position in a most satisf\ic- 
tory manner. He took great pride in the appear- 
ance of the Regiment, and it was no fault of his if it 
failed to rank at the head in that respect 


J. M. "Walker was born in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, on the 23d day of January, 1823. His parents, 
however, resided, both before and after his birth, in 
what is now the State of West Virginia. 

In early life, he enjoyed good educational advan- 
tages. At the age of fourteen, he entered Wells- 
burg Academy, at which Institution he remained 
four years. Upon leaving that Institution, he'went 
into business ; but, being passionately fond of the 
law, he at the same time began a course of study 
and reading to fit himself for tlio legal profession. 

At the age of nineteen or twenty, occurred tliat 
which, however, was to change his entire course. 
In answer, as he believes, to tlie prayers of a pious 
mother, the Lord inclined his lieart to seek for 
mercy at the Throne of Grace, and he was made 
happy in a saving knowledge of the Truth. Fol- 
lowing his inclinations, he connected himself with 
the Methodist E[>iscopal church. 

In 1845, he was admitted as a member of the 
Rock River Annual Conference, which, at that 


time, embraced within its boundaries tbe north half 
of the State of Illinois, and all the region of torri- 
toiy lying to the nortli and northwest. His api)oint- 
nients have always been, however, within the limits 
of what is now the Wisconsin Conference. 

Among the more prominent of his pastoral charges 
are, Beloit, Whitewater, Beaver Dam, Milwaukee, 
(Spring Street Church,) Waukesha and Waupuu. 
He also served four years as Presiding Elder of 
Beaver Dam District, and left a highly prosperous 
charge to his successor. 

When the war broke out, he labored assiduously 
to promote volunteering. Determining at last to 
go himself, anyway, he, in August, 18G4, enlisted iu 
the Thirty-Eighth Regiment. On the 20th of Sep- 
tember, he was commissioned and mustered as Chap- 
lain of the Regiment, and two days after, accom- 
panied the Second Battalion to Virginia, and after- 
wards accompanied and remained with the regiment 
until the last detachment was mustered' out and 
sent home. 

Chaplain Walker is a good and interesting speak- 
er, short, robust, and always possessed of a happy 
and contented spirit. 


Company A. 


Charles T. Carpenter Avas born at Itliica, Tomp- 
kins county, X. Y. His fatlier was a fanner, and 
Cliarles remained at home until he arrived at his 
majority. Toward his jjarents and sisters he always 
exhibited tlie warmest filial alloction. He was ever 
a modest boy, and as his years increased his diffi- 
dence grew upon him. 

On arriving at twenty-one years of age, he learned 
the carpenter and joiners' trade, and followed it as 
his business until ISotJ. That year he came to "Wis- 
consin, and entered the store of his brother at Fond 
du Lac, who had preceded him several years. Hero 
his manly bearing, gentlemanly deportment ami 
strict integrity, won for him tlie respect and esteem 
of the connnunity, and <lrew around him a large cir- 
cle of friends'. 

In 18G1, he promptly responded to the call of the 
President for troops, serving as an enlisted man 
with the First Wisconsin Infantry, during their ser- 
vices as a three montlis regiment. 

.Vs a soldier he was ever ready and prom[>t in the 
discharge of duty. l>y exposure and over-exertion, 
during this time, lie brought on an attack of tyj)hoid 


fever, and for weeks his mind wandered and he hung 
on the verge of eternity. 

Having recovered his health, he returned to Fond 
du Lac, and establi;<hed himself in 31ercantile busi- 
ness. "While thus engaged he was elected First 
Lieutenant, and subsequently Captain of Zouaves. 

"When the Thirty-Eighth was called for, he imme- 
diately began the work of raising men for it, and in 
April, 1S64, was commissioned Captain of company 
A. When the First Battalion left the State, he ac- 
companied it. Always ready for duty, gentlemanly 
and kind, he won the respect and esteem of all with 
whom he associated. 

During the battle of the 17th of June, on the Nor- 
folk railroad, he led his company in a most gallant 
manner. After the Battalion fell back from the first 
chargp, leaving Major Larkin lying severely wound- 
ed on tlie field, Capt. Carpenter was the first to 
generously sj^ring forward to the Major's rescue, and 
brought him oft' the field. 

The next day, during the assaxdt on the enemy's 
line, the Ca{)tain was severely wounded in the hand 
by a minnie ball. This, with a physical system much 
reduced in vigor, compelled him to leave his com- 
mand a few days after. lie subsequently obtained 
a Sick Leave of Absence, and returned to his father's 
in Ithica, X. Y., where he died on the 3d of Septem- 
ber following, surrounded by his relations and friends. 
But though dead to earth, in the memories of his 
brother soldiers and the community in which he re- 
sided, he "still lives." 



Captain C. L. Ballard -was born in Machias, Xew 
York, on SepteuiLcr 2Cth, 1839, In tlie summer of 
1856, he removed to Wisconsin, and settled in Mil- 
waukee, following the business, if we mistake not, of 

On the 5th day of September, 1861, he volunteered 
as a private in company D, First Wisconsin Volun- 
teer Infantry. On the 8th of October following, he 
was promoted to Corporal. On the 2Sth of the same 
month, the regiment left the State and proceeded to 
Louisville, Ky. lie took part with his regiment in 
the battle of Mumfordsviile, Ky., December IGth, 
1861, and Perryville, October 8th, of the same year, 
and was on that day promoted to Sergeant. He re- 
mained with the regiment, and subsequently took 
part in the battles of Jeflerson's Pike, Stone River 
and Hoover's Gap, in Tennessee, Dug Gap and 
Chickamauga, in Georgia; Look-out Mountain and 
Mission Ridge, Tennessee, and Buzzard's Roost, 

On the 1st of April, 1854, he was promoted to 
First Lieutenant of company A, of the Thirty- 
Eighth Regiment, and reported and was mustered in 
on the 30th of the same month. 

When the First Battalion left the State, he ac- 
companied it, and took part in the battles in which 
the Battalion engaged. At the Battle of the Mined 
Fort, July 30th, 1804, he was the only ofiiccr of the 
Thirty-Eighth, that took part in the charge, who 


escaped uiiLurt. lu September following, he was 
promoted to Captain in place of Captain Carpenter, 
deceased. After the captnre of Fort 3Iahone, April 
2d, 18G5, he was accidentally wounded l»y one of the 
guns captured from the enemy. In July following, 
lie was conmiissionc'd Lleutunant Colonel, hut owing 
to the small number of men in the regiment, was un- 
able to muster. 

Captain Ballard was mustered out and returned 
to the State with the last detachment of the Thirty- 

Q/a ^^-^^Js.^y f /".- 


The sul)ject of this sketch was born at Iowa City, 
in the State of Iowa, June 5th, 1SG4. In 1S47, his 
parents removed to Grant county, Wisconsin. In 
1852, the family removed to Madison, where it re- 
sided four years, and moved to Fox Lake, Dodge 
county. Here he resided four years, two of which he 
Served as an apprentice to a marble cutter. During 
1801 and 1SC2, he worked at his trade in Oshkosh, 
Winnebago county. 

He enlisted, and was mustered into company C, of 
the 21st regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 
on the 5th of September, 1SG2, and six days after 
kit the State with his regiment, to join the Army of 
the Ohio. On October Sth, he took part in the 
l»attle of Perryville, Ky. The 19th of that month he 
was dct.ailed as Clerk in the oHiee of the ^ledical 
Director of the Division. -Uthough not taking part 
with hi!i company, he was present at the battles of 


Stone River, Hoover's Gap, Dug Gap, Cliickamauga 
and RinggolJ, 

On the 9th of December, 1803, he was detailed 
as Clerk in the office of the Provost Marshal General 
of the Department of the Cumberland, and re- 
mained in that position nntil the 11th of ^March, 
1SG4, when he received a furlough, and returned to 
Wisconsin. Shortly after his arrival in the State, he 
was commissioned Second Lientenant of company 
A, of the Thirty-Eighth regiment, and mustered on 
the 15th of April. 

On the 2d of May, he was detailed as Acting 
Quartermaster of the First Battalion, and accom- 
panied it when it left next day for the front. On 
the arrival of the Second Battallion in Virginia, he 
was relieved from duty in the Quartermaster's De- 
partment, and reported back to his company. He 
remained with it from that time, except an absence 
.• of twenty (]ays^ and took an honorable part' in all 
* the movements and actions in which the regiment 
was subsequently engaged, and was houorobly 
discharged when the last detachment was mus- 
tered out. 

LIEUT. G. W. PIER.-:^'>'-^C^^^ ^/^- '-^ 

Lieut. G. u. Pier was born on the 1st day of Julv, 
184t, at Fond du Lac, Wis., and was trained to the 
occupation of a farmer. 

On the HLst of -March, 1^>'JI, he enlisted, at Fond 
du Lac, as a private in company A, of the Tiiirtv- 
Eighth Regiment. April 15th he was appointed 


Corporal. lie left the State Avith the First Battalion, 
and on the 28th of June ^vas detailed for duty in the 
Q. M's office, where he remained until the 1st of 
September, when he was promoted to 2d Sergeant 
and returned to his company. 

He participated in the battle of Poplar Spring 
Church, September 30th. "VYas promoted to Orderly 
Sergeant October 14th, and to Second Lieut, of his 
company, November 10th, 1864. He took part in all 
the subsequent movements of the Regiment. "Was 
present, and bore an honorable part in the assault of 
the 2d of April, 1864, on Petersburg. 

He was honorably discharged from service while 
the last detachment lay at Tennally Town in June 

Company B. 

Capt. Frank A. Hayward was born in Bridgeport, •',,'j 
^Yis., May 12th, 1S44. He enlisted as a private in | 

company G, of the 21st Regiment of Wis. Vol., and 
remained with it in all its movements and battles un- 
til November, 186.1, He was thus engaged at the 
battles of Chaplain Hills, the affair at Jefferson's 
Pike, Hoover's Gap, and Chickamauga. 

In January, ISGo, he was promoted to Sergeant, 
and shortly after to the position of Orderly Sergernt 
of his company. In November, following, he was 
detailed on recruiting service in "Wisconsin. 

In March, 1SG4, having raised a sufficient number 
of men to entitle him to tlie position, he was commis- 
sioned First Lieutenant of company B, of the Thirty- 


Eighth llegiment. "When the first detachment left 
the State, he accompanied it, and took part in all its 
battles and marches. In the battle of the 17th of 
June, on the Xorfolk railroad, he was wounded. His 
wound, however, was only sufficient to keep him 
from his company three days. lie afterwards took 
part in the battles on the "Weldon railroad and Pop- 
lar Spring Church. 

On the promotion of Captain Roberts to Major, 
Lieut. Hayward was promoted to the Captaincy of 
his company. lie subsequently took part in the bat- 
tle of Hatcher's Hun, October 27th, and the assault 
on Petersburg, April 2d, 1865, and in all subsequent 
movements of the Regiment. 

Captain llayward possessed unquestioned bravery, 
and was the strictest of strict disciplinarians. Fond 
of military life, because of the nicety and exactness 
of its rules, he made no allowances for the fiiilures 
of those who, not only disliked it, but had no appre- 
ciation of its rules and distinctions, and often pun 
ished his men with inconsiderate severity for olTonscs 
against forms merely. As a consequence, he was 
enabled to bring his company to a high state of per- 
fection in drill and in the manual of arms, but he 
failed to inspire the men with that confidence, re- 
spect and aifection, the capacity to do which, after 
all, is the highest qualification of a commander. 

In his private capacity. Captain llayward is a 
social, genial companion, and liouorablc and high- 
minded in all his relations.- 

AVhcn Col. IJlntlilf and I\rnjor lioberts were mus- 
tered out, Cni>tain llayward was commissioned ,"Ma- 



jor, but for the same reasons given in the cases 
of Col. Pier and Cnpt. Ballard, vas unable to 

j(tiJHc^j^ ". 

V^ LIEUT. GEO. II. XICnOLS. fij- f'-if j'ij 

Lieut. Geo. 11. Nichols, was born in Utica, in the 

State of New York, in 1S3S. The next year his 

parents removed to Wisconsin, and settled in the f 

southern part of the State, residing for the last f 

fifteen years in Kenosha. On the 5th of July, 1801, I 

he enlisted as a private in the 1st regiment of Wis- I 

consln cavalry, and took an active part in all the • 

battles and marches in which that regiment partici- \ 

pated while he belonged to it. On the 2jth of Octo- j" 

ber, 1862, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in j 

the nnd regiment "Wis. Vol. Inft'v. AVhilc with this ^ 

reiriment he took part in the battles of Haines' Blutf \ 

. . I 

and the siege of Yicksburg. After the capitulation ! 

of the latter place, he resigned and returned home. •• 

Upon the subsequent call of the President for vol- ] 

nnteers, he enlisted again as a private in company t-, 

of the IGth Wis. Vols. j 

On the Sth of ]\[arch, 1SG4, ho was commissioned | 

Second Lieutenant of company B, Thirty-Eighth j 

Uegiment, and accompanied the First Battalion when \ 

it went to the front. He Avas with the l^egiment and i 

took part in the battles on the Weldon railroad, ' i 

Beam's Station and Pojilar Spring Church. When 

Lieut. Ilayward Avas promoted to Caiitain, Lieut. 

Nichols was advanced to the First Lieutenancy <>f 

his company. ^ 


f lie subsequently took part with the Kegimcnt in 
i its movements, and was present at the capture of 
■ Fort IMahone, April 2tl, ISGo, and behaved in a very 

creditable manner. 
He remained with his company imtil the last de- 
' t:ichment was mustered out, when he was honorably 


r . >^ 

LIEUT. SDIOX C. STRICKLAXD. .!'"•"'. ^^~^'- 

Lieut. Simon C. Strickland is a native of Chatau- ^ 

<|uc county in the State of New York, and is about 
thirty-eight years of age. Li 1840 the family moved 
to Barzetta, Trumbull county, Ohio. In September, 
180:3, Lieut. Strickland moved his family to lola, Wau- 
p.ica county, Wisconsin. 

On the ISth of March, 1304, he enlisted in the 
Tliirty-Eighlh liegunent, and on the organization of 
company 1>, was appointed 5th Sergeant. lie left 
the State with his company, and was present at the 
engagement of July .30th, and the battles on the 
Weldon railroad. 

On the loth of October, 1804, he was promoted to 
Second Lieutenant. 

He subsequently remained with the Kegimcnt, and 
was present at the storming of Fort^NIahone. Ho re- 
mained with tlie la>t detachment until the •Jsth of 
of . I line, 1805, when he was mnstered out and honor- 
ably discharged. 

Lieutenant Strit-kland has red hair, blue eyes, and 
fair cumiiloxion, and is quiet an»l gentlemanly in his 


Company C. 

We have not been able to obtain any data from 
which to write a sketch of the individual whose nanu- 
heads this short article. 

All that we liave been able to learn of him is 
drawn from the records of the Regiment and per- 
sonal observation during the few days we were in 
Camp Randall, and on the jonrney down to the 

Captain Woodworth appeared to be about forty- 
three or forty-four years of age. lie was about five 
feet ten or eleven inches in height, hair turning gray, 
blue eyes and fair complexion. In his intercourse 
with those imder his command, he was rough, over- i 
bearing and insolent. Report says that he was very I 
little with his company ; and during the summer oh- j 
tained a leave of absence. When the Second Bat- i 
talion went to the front, he accompanied it on his l 
return from his leave of absence, and had charge of I 
the recruits for the companies of the First Battalion. | 
The climate, liowever, affected his health in such a ! 
manner that he found himself unable to proceed be- j 
yond City Point. On the loth of October, he sue- | 
ceded in obtaining a transfer to the Veteran Reserve I 


CAPT. L. 13. AVADDINGTOX. ' ytH^t^c^^ 

Captain L. B. WaclJington was Lorn in Cliatauque 
county, in the State of Xew York, and is now about 
thirty-one years of age. At the age of twenty-one, 
he came to Wisconsin, and settled in Argyle, Lafay- 
ette county, where he resided until he entered the 
military service. 

He was commissioned First Lieutenant of company 
C, on the 1-tth of April, 1864, and accompanied the 
first detachment when it left the State. He Avas 
present in command of his comj^any at the battles of 
the Mined Fort on the 30th of July, Weldon railroad, / 
Poplar Spring Church, and at Hatcher's liun. He 
was promoted to Captain, Xovember 14th, 18G4. At 
the storming of Fort Mahone, he hehaved with great 
credit to himself 

When the first detachment was mustered out,' the 
most of the men transferred from that detachment 
were, of their own choice, assigned to his company. 
Captain Waddington came home with the last de- 
tachment, receiving an honorable discharge when it 
was mustered out. 


Lieut. William N. Wright, was born in Louisville, ' 
St. Lawrance county. New York, on the first day of 
Xovember, 1842. 

In the fall of ISO I, he removed to the State of 
Wisconsin. On the 27t]i of February, 1SG2, he enlist- 

174 niOGRAniiCAL sketches. 

ed in company I, 27tU Reg. Wis. Vol. Inf., aud Kit 
the State with that regiment for the front, on tl:" 
31st of March, 1S02, arriving in Tennessee in time t.. 
participate in the battle of Sliiloh. He afterwards 
took part in the siege of Corinth. He was promote'l 
to Corporal on the 14th of April. Was at tlic 
battle of luka, and also that of Corinth, at the latter 
of M-hich he was wounded in the hand, and sub^^c- 
quently sent to the hospital at St. Louis, Mo., where 
he remained until the 22dof January, 1863, when he 
was discharged for disability. 

On the 2Sth of December following, he rc-eulisted 
in the same company and regiment and remained 
with it until about the 12th of March, 1864, when he 
received a commission promoting him to Second 
Lieutenant of company C, Thirty-Eighth Regiment 
"Wis. Vol. Inf'y. Shortly after, ho joined his coni- 
pa|?y and went with it mIicu the First Battalion lell 
the State and went to the front. At Cold Harbor 
lie was placed in command of the company. He was 
in tlic battle on the Xorfork Railroad, Welden Rail- 
road and Poplar Spring Church. On the 13th uf 
November following, was promoted to First Lieuten- 
ant. He remained with the Regiment and was pres- 
ent at the stornung of Fort J\Lahone, April 2d, 180-3. 
.Vt the time the last detaeliment was mustered out, 
lie was honorably discharged from service. Lieut. 
Wright was a brave and ctlicient officer. 



Lieut. John D. ^Million, Avas born in Wiota, Lafay- 
ette county, "Wisconsin, on the 11th day of February, 
1839." In ISoG, he -went to Kansas, as a Free State 
soldier, in Captain AVhipple's company. He return- 
ed to Wisconsin, and enlisted ifi company C, Thirty- 
Eighth Regiment, "Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, on 
the ISth day of March, 1864. "When the company 
was organized, he was appointed Second Sergeant. 
"When the First Battalion left the State, he accom- 
panied it, and took part in all its subsequent marclies 
and battles. On the 11th of July, of the same year, 
he was promoted to First Sergeant, and on the 14th 
of November, following, to Second Lieutenant. On 
the 3d of July, lSG-5, he Avas honorably discharged 
from service. Lieut. Million is five feet seven inches 
in height, is strongly and compactly built, has black 
hair, black eyes and a dark complexion, and is a 
(piiet and unpretending gentleman. 


, / CAPT. ja:\ies AVOODFOPJ). / 

We have no data from whicli to write a biogra- 
j)hical sketch of this officer. His military career in 
the Thirty-Eighth llegiment, was of short duration. 
lie is spoken of, by the men of his company, as pos- 
sessing many tine and gentlemanly qualities. Ife 


was couimi.ssionc'J Captain on the &th of Mareli, 
1864, and accomiianied the Fu-st Battalion when it 
went to the front. The feeble state of his health, 
however, soon compelled him to abandon the service, 
and on the 1st day of August, following, he resign- 


Captdin Foster is ai, native of Winthrop, Maine. In 
the fall of 1S44, he went to Mobile, Alabama, and in 
the spring of 1845, came to 'Wisconsin, and settled in 
Monroe, Green country. In 1853 he went to Cali- 
fornia and was absent three years. On the 22d of 
April, 1861, he enlisted to serve three years in the 3d 
regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Took part 
in the battle of Bolivar, and Avas wounded in the 
right leg at the battle of AViiichester, May 25th, 
1SG2. He took part in Banks' retreat, Poi)c"'s cam- 
paign ; was at the battle of Cedar ^lountain, and 
was wounded in the hand at the battle of Antietam. 
He was subsequently in the battles of Chancellor- 
ville, Beverly Ford and at Gettysburgh. 

In September, 1863, the Twelfth Corps, of which 
the Third Wisconsin formed a part, was transferred 
to the AVestern Department, and Mintered in Ten- 
nessee In the spryig of 130 1, under the command 
of General Sherman, it started in the grand cam- 
paign against Atlanta. At the battle near Dallas, 
Captain Foster was wounded in the left arm, in eon- 
j^Cfpience of which he was sent to the hospital and 
afterwards transferred to 3radison, "Wisconsin, 


where he was honorably discharged, his term of ser- 
vice having expired. On the 10th of September, 
1S64, he was commissioned First Lieutenant of com- 
pany F, Thirty-Eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infan- 
try. On the 25th of December, following, was pro- 
moted Captain and transfei'red to company D, of , 
that Regiment. On April 17th, 18Go, was honorably 
discharged from the service by reason of disability • 
Tlie record which Captain Foster has made for him- 
self, is indeed a most honorable one. 

C APT. BEXJAMIN S.' KERR. . /«. ,, 

Captain Renjamin S. Kerr, is a native of Knox 
county, in the State of Ohio, and is about twenty- . 
four years of age. His father was a farmei*. AVhen 
young Kerr was about four years old, his fiithor re- 
moved to AVisconsin, and settled in Green county. 
At tlie age of thirteen he had the misfortune to lose 
his father, and was thus, in a great measure, thrown 
upon his own resources. lie subsequently attended 
Platteville Academy, and was there at the time the 
war broke out. lie continued in the Institution until 
the spring of 1S(32. Shortly after leaving it, he 
t aught school for a few months, and in the spring of 
1863, began tlie study of the Law, in the office of 
Judge Dunwiddie, of 3Ionroe. 

In the Sj)riug of 1S04, he recruited a sufficient 
number of men to entitle him to a position as First 
Lieutenant, and was accordingly commissioned by 
Governor Lewis, on the 15th of April, in company 


D. He left the State with the Fh-st Battalion, an-l 
participated in all the battles in which the Regiment 
has been cngafjed, except those on the Weldon rail- 
roatl — he at that time being detailed on court 
martial at City Point. Lieutenant Kerr was in com- 
mand of his company nearly all the time from June, 
1865, until it was mustered out. • 

On the 8th of April, 18G5, lie Avas commissioned 
Captain, and mustered on the 13th of the same 
month. lie remained with the last detachment, and 
was honorably discharged from service when it was 
mustered out. 

Ca])tain Kerr is a very quiet, unpretending gentle- 
man, and as a soldier, attentive and assiduous in tiie 
discharge of his duties. 

This officer is another of those whom Ave have been 
unable to obtain such, data concerning, as Avould 
enable us to write an intelligent and reliable sketch- 
lie is a about twenty-one or twenty-two years of 
age, and possessed of a rather slender constitution. 
Ho Avas commissioned Second Lieutenant of com- 
pany D, on the 8th of 3Iarch, 1SG4, and left for the 
front Avith the First JJattalion, Soon after his arri- 
val in Virginia, ho was taken sick and Avent to hos- 
pital, Avhere he remained all summer. Despairing 
of recovering his health in Virginia, he tendered his 
resignation on the Dth of June, Avhich, hoAvcvcr, 
was not accepted until sometime iu October or No- 
vember, fullowiug, when he was honorably dis- 
charged from the service. 


/O / < ^ LIEUT. CIIAUXCEY W. IiyiVTT. / 

Lieutenant C^auncey AV. Hyatt was born in the 
county of Putnam, State of New York, on the 28th 
(lay of Fchrnary, 1838. lie removed to Wisconsin 
in May, 1855, and engaged in school-teaching. In 
jSIarch, 1859, he went to ^Missouri, where he remain- 
ed until the fall of ISGO, when he returned to "VVis- 

In May, 1861, he enlisted in coniiiauy C, 4th 
Wisconsin Volunteer Infimtry, and was with that 
regiment in all its services. AVas in the Eastern 
Shore campaign, under Lockwood; the Xew Or- 
leans Expedition, under Butler; was twice up the 
river to Vicksburg, under Williams; assisted in 
digging the famous canal that was to make Vicks- 
burg an inland city ; was at the battle of Baton 
liouge, after which he was sent to Chanty hospi- 
tal, and about two months after discharged. 

L^pon being discharged, he retarned to Wiscon- 
sin, where he remained until March 2Tth, 1SG4, 
when he re-enlisted, entering company D, of the 
Thirty-Eighth Regiment. He was appointed First 
Sergeant of the company, April 15th, and left the 
State with the First Battalion. He was with the 
Regiment, and i)articipated in every engagement in 
which it took part, excc})t those on the Weldon 
Railroad, at which time he was sick in hos])ital. lie 
was promoted to Second Lieutenant, December 24th, 
18G4, and to First Lieutenant, ;^[ay i;nli, 1805. 

Lieutenant Hyatt remained with the last dctacli- 
ment, and was honorably discharged when it was 
mustered out. 



■ ( 


Captain Newton S. Ferris was a native of the 
State of Ohio, and was, at the time he entered the 
military service, about thirty-eight years of age. 
Ilis educational advantages, in early life, Avere 
such as could be obtained in the common schools of 
the community and the neighboring Academy. lie 
subsequently engaged in teaching for a time ; but, 
desiring to fit himself for the legal profession, he, 
just after his majority, if we are not mistaken, -en- 
tered the law office of the Hon. William J. Bright, 
afterwards of New Lisbon, Wisconsiu, His apt- 
ness and intelligence, as a student, was apparent in 
this as in all other studies, and his rapid progress 
was as gratifying to his preceptor and friends, as it 
was honorable to himself Having finished his 
legal studies, in 1854 he came to Wisconsin, and 
opened a law office, in connection with Thomas 
Mason, at Quincy, in Adams county. For some 
tune, while there, he held the office of County 
Judge. In 1S59, he removed to New Lisbon, Juneau 
county, where he remained, in the practice of his 
profession, until the spring of 1864. In 1802, he 
was the democratic candidate, in the Sixth Congres- 
^ioual District, for Representative in Congress, but 
was defeated, the district giving the L^nion candi- 
date a large majority. 

In the spring of 1^C>\, he was drafted, aud though 
having the ability to commute, he refused to do it, 


declaring that it had fallen to his lot to go into the 
military service, and that it was both his inclina- 
tion and duty to do so. 

In May following, he was commissioned First 
Lieutenant of company E, of the Thirty-Eighth 
Regiment, and soon after was promoted to Captain. 
In July he left the State with his company, to join 
the four companies already in the field before Peters- 
burg, and reached them on the 26th of the same 
month. He gallantly led his company in the charge, 
at the battle of the Mined Fort four days after- 
wards, where he was killed. / 

Captain Ferris possessed talents of a high order. 
Without being an eloquent speaker, it may truly be 
said that few advocates could more closely enchain 
the attention of court or jury. lie seemed to pos- 
sess, in an eminent degree, the faculty of impress- 
ing upon those whom he addressed a sense of his 
own deep sincerity in all he said, and of imbuing 
them, for the time, with his own individuality. 

In his priv.ite relations, he was honorable and 
straightforward; and in his family a kind and aftoc- 
tionate husband and father. 


Captain Frank G. Ilolton, was born in the city of 
Milwaukee, "Wisconsin, in 1 S4G. 

His boyhood was passed in attending schools, un- 
til 1S61, when he entered the otllce of tlic Assistant 
Provost ^Marshal of the State, with the rank of Scr- 
jreant. When the otlicc of the Assistant I'rovost 

; - 

C-L^ C t■^.^i.>■{criy 


Marshal was vacated, he returned to his studies. 
Early in the summer of 1804, he Avas commissioned 
First Lieutenant of company E, Thirty-Eiglith Kcui- 
ment, and on the 20th of July left the State Avith his 
company, to join that j^art of the Regiment already 
ia front of Petersburg, under command of Lieut. 
CoL Pier. On the 30th of the same month, he took 
part in the battle of the Mined Fort, and was severe- 
ly wounded in the thigh, in consequence of which he 
was sent to the hospital, and afterwards received a 
leave of absence and returned home. On the last 
day of September, he started to return to ;the liegi- 
mcnt, but was taken sick on the way, and Avas un- 
able to reach it until the last of October. 

After that time, he remained with his command, 
but was scarcely ever able to perform full duty. 
Wlien the first detachment was mustered out, he 
was honorably discharged and returned home. 
Captain Ilolton is a nephew of E. D. Holton, Esq., a 
prominent banker of Milwaukee. 


Lieut. Phelps, Avas born on the iOd day of Docem- 
lu-r, 1814, at Three Rivers, in the State of ^Michigan. 
AVheu he was three years of age, his father removed 
to Wisconsin, and settled in Milwaukee. In IS.')], 
his father removed to Ajqdeton. There he had the 
niisfortunc to lose his only remaining parent, his 
niKther having died Avhen he Avas one year old. 
From the death of his father, until 1801, he lived 
with an uncle. In September of that year, he en 



listed in company C, Tenth Regiment of "Wisconsin 
Volunteer Infantry, and left the State with that reg- 
iment, on the 9th of November, following, for Louis- 
ville, Kentucky. While in this regiment, he took 
part in the battles of Chaplin Hills, Stone River, 
Hoover's Gap, Chicamauga and Look-out Mountain, 
at the last of which he was seriously injured, by a 
log that rolled down the side of the mountain. Be- 
fore fully recovering from this injury, he was com- 
missioned, March 3d, 1864, as Second Lieutenant of 
company E, of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment, Wiscon- 
sin Volunteer Infantry, and left the State with that 
company, when it went to the front. He took part 
in the battle of the 30th of July, and those on the 
Weldon Railroad, in the last of which he was Avound- ^"^ 
ed in the hand. lie afterwards took j^art in the bat- 
tle of Popular Spring Cliurch, and also the move- 
ment at Hatcher's Run. He was promoted to First 
Lieutenant, Sept. Gth, 18G4, and was honorably dis- 
charged from service, when his company was mus- 
tered out. 


Lieut. Bentley, was born in Floyd, Oneida county, 
Now York, Xavember 18th, 1829. He removed to 
Wisconsin, in 18t.5. His business lias, generally, 
been farming and huubering. He entered the mili- 
tary service as a private, ^farch 23(1, 1804, in com- 
pany E, of the Thirty-Eighth Regiment. He was 
pron\(jt('<l io Third Sergeant, on the Ifh of the next 
Jujie, and to First Sergeant, October 1st, anti to 


Socoftd Lieutenant, on the 12th of the following 
Xovember. Ho took part in all of the marches and 
battles in which his company was engaged, and was 
honorably discharged from service, at the time his 
company was mustered out. Lieut. Bcntlcy was a 
good soldier and an efficient officer. 

CAPT. ANDREW A. KELLY.^^"'j^--*^/*^^- 

Captain Andrew A. Kelly, M-as born in the king-' * " 
domofXorway, on the 22d day of August, 1838, and 
received as good an education as the excellent Com- 
mon Schools of that country afford. 

In April, 1852, he emigrated from his native coun- 
try and came to America, landing at Quebec on the 
Gth of June following. From that place he immedi- 
ately proceeded to Chicago, where he remained for 
three months endeavoring to learn the English lan- 
guage, which he found a task of great difficulty. At 
the end of that time, finding his means exhausted, 
he went to ^Michigan, where he hired out to work in 
a mill for six dollars a month. "At first," says the 
Captain, " they put me to loading lumber on vessels, 
rolling logs, chopping and assisting to clear land. In 
fact, everything that was hard was my lot ; " but as 
time passed, ho soon gained the confidence of his 
employers, and as his knowledge of the customs and 
manner of business of our people increased, his 
wages were augmented and he was relieved from 
In May, ISoO, he removed from Michigan to North- 


western Wisconsin, settling on a farm in AUlen, 
Polk county, Avhorc ho continued to reside until 
alter the war conxnienced. 

In the summer of 18(32, ho enlisted as a private in 
the Thirtieth regiment, and served in the company 
commanded by Captain Sam Ilarriman, for twenty 
months, in enforcing tlie draft and })icking up con- 

On the iGlli of April, l8Gt, lie was commissioned 
First Lieutenant of company F, in the Thirty-Eighth 
liegiment Wisconsin \'olunteers, and was promoted 
to Captain on the Ttli of Sei)tembcr, following. 
When the la<t JJattalion left the State, he accompaied 
it, and was with the liegiment in ail its principal 
movements and battles until after the assault on 
Petersburg, .Vpril 2il, l>^ij.5, where he was severely, 
and at the time su2»posed mortally, wounded in the 
back and right sitlc, during the storming of Foit 

Captain Kelly was remarkably temperate in his 
habits; abstaining entirely from all intoxicating 
drinks. It was, undoubtedly, owing to this trait of 
Ills character, that his life was saved at the time he 
was wounded. He is <piiet and gentlemanly in his 
deportment, and an intelligent and faithful officer. 
His gallantry on the tield was unsurpassed. Capt. 
Kelly was honorably dis(;harge<l from service on 
the 0th of June, IS'Jj, for disability, caused by the 
wounds received at Fort Mahone. 



CAPT. E. W. PRIDE. - / . p; 

C'nptain E. W. Pride was born in tli/ State of 
New York, in \Hi^^, where a portion of liis boyliood 
was passed. His i)arents subsequently removed lo 
Wisconsin and settled in Brandon, Fond du Lac 
county, wliere young Pride was brought up on a 

In tlie spring of l8tU, he earnestly set to work to 
raise men for the Thirty-Eighth Regiment, and on 
the l.jth of April, was appointed Sergeant 3Iajor. 
When Lieutenant Foster was promoted to the rank 
of Captain, Sergeant ^lajor Pride was commis- 
sioned First Lieutenant of company F, but that 
company having become reducej] below the mini- 
miuu number, he Avas unable to muster. .Vt the 
assault on Fort Mahone, he behaved with coolness 
and bravery. A fvw days afterwards, he was re- 
duced to the ranks for disobedience of orders of 
some kind, and returned to his company. When 
Captain Kelly was discharged, he was enabled to 
musleruntler his connuission, and was shortlv after- 
wards promoted to the rank of Cajitain. He was 
honorably discharged from service, July iMth, ISr;'.. 

Lieutenant James W. Parker was/ borii ifi Cass 
county, in the State of Indi;uia, on the 1st dav of 
June, lf>l(>. Soon after his birth, his parents remov- 
ed to Pittsburg, I'a., where thev residetl until he 


was about twelve years ot" age, when they vemovetl 
to Wisconsin, and scttleil in tlie town of Pleasant 
Springs, Dane county. 

On the 29th of May, ISGl, he enlisted in the IMack 
Hawk liitle-!. This company, however, owing U> 
some misunderstanding, was disbanded shortly after, 
when he immediately re-enlisted in company I>, 4tii 
Wisconsin ^'olunteers. He accompanied that regi- 
ment in all its movements, and took })art in all the 
battles of Grand Gulf, Bonnettecaire, liisland, the 
numerous skirmishes in which his regiment was en- 
gaged, and the cai>ture of Xew Orleans. 

On the Sth of ^[arch, 18G.5, he was commissioned 
Second Lieutenant of company F, Thirty-Eighth 
Regiment. lie joined his new command and was 
mustered into service on the 2(Jth of April. 

lie left the State with the last Battalion and was- 
l)resent with the Itcgiment in all its subsequent 
jnovements. On the 2d of Ajjril, during the assault 
on Petersburg, lie had charge of the picket line and 
made a charge across upon the enemy's pickets and 
captured several prisoners. AVhen laeutenant Pride 
was promoted to Captain, Lieutenant Parker was ad- 
vanced to the rank of First Lieutenant. 

lie remained with the last detachment, and was 
honorably discharged from service when it was mus- 
tered out. 


Company G. ^ 

CAPT. 11. V. BECKWITH. V^-'^-^-t-' 

Captain Reuben F. IJeckwith is a native of the 
State of Elaine, from wliicli lie veiuoved to the State 
of Wisconsin, and settled in Oconto county, Avhere 
he engaged in lumbering. 

ITpon the breaking out of the war he enlisted in a 
company of Wisconsin cavalry, and Avas for some 
time in active service in the Southwest. 

In September, 18G4, he was commissioned ('ap- 
tain of company G, Thirty-Eighth Kegiment. "When 
the Second Battalion left the State, he accompanied 
it, and subsequently took part in all the movements 
and battles in which the Regiment Avas engaged. 

During the months of February and March, lSG-5, 
he was entrusted Avith the repairing and fitting up of 
the ])icket line in front of the Regiment, and per- 
formed that important duty in a very satisfactory 

Captain Beckwith Avas not far from forty years of 
age Avhen he joined the Thirty-Eighth Regiment. He 
is about five feet nine inches in height, has light 
brown hair, grayish blue eyes, a very fair complexion, 
and is possessd of great decision and force of char- 
acter. In his temper he is imperious and self willed, 
but brave and fond of excitement and adventure. 


LIEUT. WILLIAM E. M.VXSOX. *, y . ^'^-^I 

The subject of this sketch was born in Friendship 
Allegany county, Xew York, in the year 1837. 
When he was twelve years of age his father removed 
to Wisconsin and settled in the south-eastern part of 
Dane county. 

At the age of nineteen, with the consent of his 
father, he left home for the purpose of making liis 
own fortune in the world. lie possesses a naturally 
inventive mind, and was, in connection Avith an old- 
er brother, the first to invent and patent a success- 
ful sack-fastener. 

In 1856, he entered Alford University, Xew York, 
where he pursued his studies between two and three 
years, after which, in connection with his brother, 
he commenced the publication in that place of *'Tlic 
Xew Era," a literary paper. The enterprise 
flourished for nearly a year, when, upon hearing of 
the " Fall of Fort Sumter," he and his brother, with 
thirteen college students, bade good-bye to friends 
and home and started for Washington, lie enlisted 
in the 23d, Xew York Volunteers Infantry, then 
rapidly organizing, and with that regiment, took part 
in the battles of Kappahannock Station, White Sul- 
phur Springs, Gainesville, Bull Kun, C'hantiila, 
South ^Mountain, Antietam and Fredricksburg. The 
two years for which he had enliste<l having ex- 
[)ired, he wns discharged in ..May, 1^03. During the 
hours olf duty he compiled a history of the two 
years campaign of his regiment, entitled ''Caui[) 



Fires of the Twenty-Third," wliich lie puLHslicd in 
yiay, 1863. 

In the following autumn he went to City, 
^fissouri and afterwards to Wisconsin. 

During the summer of 1S64, he raised a company 
of men, for tlie 4'2d Wisconsin Volunteers, but fail- 
i ig to get into that Regiment, entere i the Thirty- 
?'iglith liegiment, with sixty-six of his men, and was 
commissioned First Lieutenant of company G. 

"When the Second Battalion left the State, he ac- 
companied it, and was with thelvegimcnt in all of its 
movements, until December following, when he was 
detailed on the staff of Col. Sam. Ilarriman, com- 
manding the P^irst Brigade, First Division, Ninth A. 
C, as Pioneer Oflicer, in which capacity ho took 
part in the assault on Fort ^lahone, April 2d, 18G>. 
He remained upon the staff of Col. Ilarriman, until 
about the first of June, following, Avlicn he was re- 
lieved, and returned to his com]>any. 

When his comj>any was mustered out he was hon- 
orably discharged from service. Lieut. ?.[axson was 
a cnuseientious and intelligent ofhccr, and gave all i 

the powers of his mind to the faithful discharge of 
his duties. 

LIEL'T. CIIAPvLKS 8. WOOD. / /^^-^ ' 
Lieut, Wood was born in the State of Xew "^'ork, 
in the year 1845. The period at which he reiiioved 
to the State of Wisconsin is unknown to us; but 
upon the first call for troops we find Jiim, iu June 
l-'^tJl, although only sixteen years of age, enteriu"- 


the service as a private iu the oth "Wisconsin Vohm- 
teers, in which organization he served two years 
and ten months. 

During tliat time he took part with his regiment 
in the battles of Williamsburg, Yorktown, GolJen's 
Farm — where he was slightly wounded in the left 
leg — Second battle of BulFs llun, First and Second 
battles of Fredericksburg — at the latter of which he 
was Avounded with three balls iu the left hip — Chau- 
cellorville — where ho was slightly wounded in the 
left arm — Antietam, Gettysburg and Cedar Moun- 

In April, ISOl, he was commissioned Second Lieu- 
tenant of Company G, Thirty-Eighth Regiment "Wis- 
consin Volunteers. "When the second Battallion left 
the State, he accompanied it, and remained with the 
Regiment during all its subsequent movements and 
battles until the second of April, 18G5. At the 
storming of Fort ^Eahone on that day, he was se- 
.verely wounded in the left hand aud thigh, while 
gallantly leading his company. 

Ilis uonduet was so conspicuous on this occasion, 
that on the second of June following, he was for that "»^ 
cause breveted First Lieutenant. 

Lieutenant Wood was honorably discharged from 
service, at the time the First detachment was mus- 
tered out. 





Company H. . 


This ottieer is a resident of Monroe, Green county, 
Wisconsin, and at the time he entered tlie Thirty- i 

Eigiitli I{ei:^imcnt, we slionld judge, about thirty-five { 

or thirty-six years of age. In the sunitner of 18yi, | 

he raised a company for the Thirty-Eighth, and in 
Se{>tember was commissioned its Captain, his com- 
j>any being designated as II. 

When the .Second Battalion left the State, he ac- 
companied it to the front. In Xovember, following, | 
he was taken sick and went to the hospital, from 
which he never returned to duty. Sometime during 
the latter part of the next winter, he tendered his 
resignation, and was discharged for disability. 

tMo ' 2.i ^ 

CAPT. r,. F. FREES. 

Captain Frees Avas born in Orono, Penobscot 
county, Elaine, on the 3d day of August, r846. 

His father was a merchant. In the fiiU of 1830, 
his parents moved to ]\lonroe, Wisconsin, whete he 
i;csided until August, 1803, Avhen he removed to 
Whitewater, Jefferson county. 

He enlisted in the Thirty-Eighth IJegiment Wis- 
consin Volnnteers as a private, on the iTtli of ^Vu- 
gust, l8(j4, and was conunissioneil First Lieutenant 
of company H, on the tith of September, following. 

When the Second Battalion left the State, he Avent 


with it to the front, and "remained with his company 
during all the subsequent operations and movements 
of the Regiment. 

On tlie l4th of January, 1865, lie was promoted to 
Captain in place of Captain Corey who had been 
discharged for disability. 

At the assault on Petersburg he behaved with 
great gallantry. Captain Frees was a brave and 
accomplished officer, and was very popular with his 
brother officers and the men of his command. 


Lieutenant Heth was born on the ]9th day of Feb- 
ruary, 1841, in the city of BuHalo, X. Y. 

In 1855, his! father removed his family to Milwau- 
kee, Wisconsin, where the subject of this sketch con- 
tinues to reside. 

On tlie 11th of August, 1802, he enlisted in com. 
pany B, 24rtli Wisconsin Volunteers, and with that 
regiment left the State for the seat of war, on the 5th 
of the next month. 

He participated in all the marches and movements 
of that regiment, and was with it in the battles of 
Chaplin Kills, Stone liiver, Ciiickamauga and Mis- 
sion Ridge. 

On the 8lh of March, 1864, he was promoted to 
Second Lieutenant of company II, Thirty-Eighth 
Regiment AVisconsin Volunteers. 

He accompanied the Second Battalion when it left 
the State for the front, and was with the Regiment 
in all of its subsetpient niuvements, and took part 


with it in the battle of Hatcher's Run. On the 14th 
of January, 1SG5, he was promoted to First Lieuten- 
ant of his company. 

lie took part in the assault on Fort Mahone, April 
2(3, 1865, where he behaved with great coolness anrl 


Lieutenant Adams was born on the 5th of January, 
lt<35, in Bedford county, Penn. 

Subsequently his parents moved to Hardin county, 
Ohio, and afterwards to Cohocton county in the 
same State, where he resided till the fall of 1854, when 
he removed to the State of Wisconsin and settled in 
Green county. In the spi-ing of 1863, he went to 
California, from which he returned in the fall of the 
same year. 

On the 5th of August, 1864, he enlisted in the Thir- 
ty-Eighth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, and 
when company II was organized was promoted to 
Orderly Sergeant. 

He left the State with his company Avhen it went 
to Virginia and took part in all of the subsecpient 
movements and battles of the Regiment. He was 
at the battle of Hatcher's Run. On the 14th of Janu- 
ary, 1865 he was promoted to Second Lieutenant <->t 
his company. He took part in the assault on Fori 
^lahone, A[)ril 2ud, 1865. Lieut. Adams is five fctt 
ten inches in height, has fair complexion, blue cye>, 
auburn hair and is about thirty years of age. His 
present home is Monroe, Green county, Wisconsin. 


Co^rPANY I. 


Captain Colman was born in Yates county, New 
York, on the '20tli day of August, 1825, lie re- 
moved to the State of Ohio in 1832 and remained 
tliere until the winter 1834, when he removed to 
^Yashtenaw county, ^Nlichagaii, where he resided un- 
til 1844. That year lie removed to Wisconsin and 
settled in Kock county, wliere he has resided ever 
since, except a part of 18-52 and 1853 spent in Cali- 

On his return from that State, he established him- 
self in the mercantile business, which' he 'followed 
• until 1800, when he went to Colorada Territory and 
was absent about t\\'0 years. On his return he en- 
tered the dry goods house of A. O. K. Bennett. 

On the 1st of August, 1864, he enlisted as a pri- 
vate in the Thirty-Eighth llegiment, and immediately 
commenced to raise a company. 

On the 2 1st of September, he was commissioned 
Captain of Company I, of that Regiment, and left 
tlie next day with his company for Virginia. Shortly 
after the arrival of the Uattalion in Virginia, the 
(dimatCj exposure and latigue which lie, in common 
with all the rest of the command, was comj)elled to 
luulergo, so alVected his health that he found himself 
compelled to go to the hospital, where he remained 
until some time in the month of February, lSG5,M'hen 
having recovered, he letnrned to his conuuaud. 

At the storming of Foil Mahone, April 2nd, lbo5. 


he took part and showed hunself possessed of a cool- 
ness aiid courage hardly surpassed. 

Capt. Cohnau was honorably discharged from 
the service when the first detachment was mustered 


Lieutenant Straight was born on the 16th of June, 
1832, in the town of Williamson, Wayne county, 
X. Y. 

lie came to the State of Wisconsin at the age of 
tifteen and settled in Xeosho, Dodge county, where 
he was joined the next year by his parents. 

In 1851, he went to Milwaukee and apprenticed 
himself to learn the jeweller and watchmaker's trade. 

lie entered the military service as a private on the 
1st day of August, 1861, in company H, r2th regi- 
ment Wisconsin Volunteers. In October following, 
he was transferred to the regimental band, and in 
that capacity was with it in all of its marches and 
movements from the time it left the State until 
April 14th, 18G4. 

Dm-ing that time the Kegiment was engaged in 
the battles of Tallahatchie, Hernando, Grand Gulf' 
Fort Gibson, liaymond, Chanii>ion Hills and Vicks- 
bnrgh, at the latter of which he was slightly Avounded 
in the neck. 

On tlic 14th of April, 1864, he was discliarged for 

He was commissioned First Lieutenant of com. 
pany I, Thirty-Eighth Hegiment Wisconsin Volun- 


teers on the loth day of September, following, and 
accompanied the Second Battalion when it went to 
tlie front. 

He remained with liis regiment during all its sub- 
seqnent movements and actions till liis company was 
mustered ont, Avlien he was honorably discharged 
from tlie service. 


Lieutenant Iloyt was born at Framingliani, Mid- 
dlesex county, I\[ass., on the 2Vth day of September, 

His father was a Physician and Surgeon, and ser- 
ved in that capacity during the Mexican "War, with 
the 1st Massachusetts Volunteers, and during the 
late Rebellion, with the 30th Wisconsin Volunteers. 

In 184(3, the family removed to Charlestown,Mass., 
and two years later, to St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. 

Young Iloyt was partly educated at Platteville 
Academy, Grant county, and partly at St. Paul Col- 
lege, Minn. -s^ 

He entered the army the 19th of April, ISCl, as a 
private in company G, 4th Wisconsiu Volunteers, 
in which company he served until promoted to 
Second Lieutenant of company I, Thirty-Eighth 

During the time that he was in the 4th regiment, 
he took part in the first siege of Vicksburg, battles 
of Baton Pouge, Clinton, and tlie siege of Fort 

He was promoted to Second Lieutenant of company 

198 ijior.nAPiiiCAL sketch E^^. 

T, Thirty-Eiglitli' liogimcut Wisconsin VoluiiU( r-. 
on the Sth of Mnrcl), ISGi. He loft the State witli il..' 
Second IJattalion, and participated in all of the suit- 
sequent movements of the lleginient. 

He pai-ticii)ated in the battle of Hatcher's lliui,aii>l 
in the storming of Fort Mahone, April 2d, ISO"*. 

lie behaved with coolness and courage, and wif^ 
honorably discharged from service when his com- 
pany was mustered out. 

Company K. 


Captain Thon\as ]>. Marsdeu was born in York- 
shire, England, October 22d, 1824. His parents im- 
migrated to the United States in June, 1824, and 
settled in Wayne county, X. Y. In -Vugust, follow- 
ing, his father died. A t'aw years after his father's 
death, his mother again married, and in 18:^1, her 
husband and herself, taking her son with them, re- 
moved to ]\[ichigan. The family, in 18:30, came t<> 
Wisconsin, and settled in the town of ^lenomonee. 
Waukesha county. There he maile it his home, un- 
til he was eighteen years old, when he began an ap- 
prenticeship to the trade of manufacturing faTining- 
mills. Having finished his api>renticeship, he estab- 
lished liimself in the business of manufacturing such 
mills. In 1840, lie was married to 3[iss ]\Iinerva 
Xye, of ^Fenotnonee, and two years later rcinovecl to 
Appleton, where he continued the niauufacture of 
milh. In 1855, ho removed to l*rest(jn, Adams 


county, "where lie remained nbout cigliteen months, 
and then settled in Fricndsliip in tlic same county, 
where he continues to reside. 

In 18o7, he was ek^ctod cliairman of the Board of 
Supervisors of liis town, and member of the County 
Board of Supervisors, In 1858, he was elected 
Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors, and was 
subsequently lionored with two successive rc-elec 
tions to the same office. 

On the 31st of July, 1804, having determined to 
enter the army, he enlisted, as private in the Thirty- 
Eighth Kcgiment. Having a recruiting commission, 
ho immediately, in connection with S. "W. Pierce, 
began the work of raising a company of men in 
I Adams county. In this he was successful, and on 

the Sth of September, following, was commission- 
ed Captain of company K, of the Thirty-Eighth I\eg- 
iment. lie accompanied the Second Battalion, wlien 
it left the State, for the theater of active operations, 
and took an active part in all the subsequent move- 
ments of the Regiment. He took part in the battle 
of Hatcher's Rim, and the assault on Fort Mahone, 
wlicre he behaved with coolness and intrepidity. 
When the first detachment was mustered out, it re- 
turned to the State, under his conmiand. He was 
honorably discharged, at the same time. At the 
fxeneral Election, 1805, he Avas elected to represent 
the Assembly district, in which he resides, in the 
next State Legislature. 

Ca[>t. !Marsden, is a gentleman of tine and com- 
man<ling i»ersonal api»earaiice, and was uiiivorsally 
popular in the Regiment. 



Lieut. Pierce was born in Cattaraugus county, X, 
Y., on the 7th of 3Iarcli, isnl, Wlien he was about 
a year okl, however, his parents removed to ^lou- 
roe county, in the same State. There his parents 
resided and his boyhood was passed until liis thir- 
teenth year, when lie met witli the irrei)arablc loss of 
his father, wlio died after a long illness, leaving the 
family in very destitute circumstances. lie ncN er 
forgot, however, the noble example of an honorable 
life that his fatlicr left him — a legacy far more 
precious than gold. He never had a prouder moment 
than when, a few years since, he heard a gentleman 
who had known his father intimately for years, in 
all the relations of life say, "your father was the 
most honorable man I ever knew; I do not believe 
he was ever guilty of a dishonorable action." It is 
tliat example that, through all the years of his boy- 
Iiood, acted as talisman to save him from the tempta- 
tions and vices that throng around the paths of an 
unprotected youth. 

The next summer he lived with an uncle of his 
mother's, where his only compensation for months of 
hard labor was what food he wanted to eat. That 
fall he secured a situation in Rochester, X. Y., where? 
by working out of school hours, he could pay for liis 
board and clothes. Here he remained nearly a year 
attending scliool. From that time until he was nine- 
teen years old, his time was si)ent alternately work- 
ing on a farm and attending school. Having a i)as- 


sion for the study of the law he, during this time, 
read every "vvork on that subject he was able to 

In 1855, he came to "Wisconsin and settled in Cas- 
cade, Adams county, and tv,'0 years later formed a 
law-partnership with IT. P. Brown, Esq. The con- 
nection, however, was dissolved by mutual consent, 
after a few months, as ho desired to remove to 
Friendship and open a law office there, which he did 
in December, 1857, and has resided there ever since. 

In 1861, he was elected County Judge, without op- 
position, and held the office until entering the army, 
when he resigned. 

In April, ISGl, he began the publication of the 
Adams County Press, a weekly newspaper, which is 
now in a flourishing and prosperous condition. 

July 31st, 1864:, enlisted as a private in the Thir- 
ty-Eighth Regiment, and in connection with Capt. 
Marsden, raised Company K, of that Eegiment, and 
was commissioned First Lieutenant of the company, 
on the 12th of September. He was never absent 
from his company a day, from the time it reached the 
front until it was mustered out. 

"Was honorably discharged from service on the 2d 
day of June, 1805. 


Lieut. Fred. T. Zettclcr, was born in Flushing, in 

the kingdom of the Xelherlauds, on tlio Sth day of 

Decen\ber, 1813. In 1847, his parents removed to 

the L'nitcd States, and settled in Milwaukee ^YU' 



In 185-4, Lis parents moved to Madison, wlicre they 
resided six or seven years, and then returned to r>lil- 
vvaukee. In 18G0, lie apprenticed himself to learn 
the Tinsmith's trade. August 12th, 18G4, he enlist- 
ed in Capt. Yon Bombach's company, (C), of the 2itli 
Kegiraent, Wisconsin Volunteers. He served with 
that Regiment, until he was promoted. He took 
part in the battles of Chaplin Hills and Stone Paver, 
at the latter of which he Avas woimded and taken 
prisoner. He was treated very kindly by the rebels, 
except that he, nor any of his comrades were furnish- 
ed enough to eat, one small biscuit being the ration 
allowed each day. On the succeeding Sunday, after 
his capture, he was retaken by our forces, and sent 
to the hospital at Nashville, and from there was suc- 
cessively sent to the hospital at West End, and to 
Cincinnati. His wound having nearly healed, on the 
15th of March lie requested to be sent to his Hegiment, 
to which he reported for duty, on the 4th of April. 
The Regiment was then at Z>Iurfreesboro. He sub- 
sequently took part in the battles of Chickamauga 
and Mission Ridge, and all the marches and skir- 
mishes in whicli his Regiment was engaged, until 
the Ist of April, 1864, when he received a commis- 
sion, dated March Sth, promoting him to Second 
Lieutenant of company K, Thirty-Eighth Regiment, 
for gallant and meritorious conduct. He was mus- 
tered April 13th, and ordered to Milwaiikee on re- 
cruiting service. Ho joined the Regiment in Septem- 
ber, with the Second Battalion, and remained with 
it, and took part in all its subsequent movements and 
battles, and was honorably discharged from service 
when his company was mustered out. 







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On page 25, first line of second paragraph, for cannisier 
read canister. 

On page 123, first line of second paragraph, for Uth read 

On page 158, third line of third paragraph and second line of 
last paragraph, for Fearson read Ficrson. 

On page 217, fifth line from bottom, for 4S65 read 1865. 

On page 222, fifth line, for Albree read Albee. 

On page 223, ninth line from top, for 1863 read 1SG4.