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Full text of "History of the 6th Wisconsin Battery : with roster of officers and members; also proceedings of Battery reunions, speeches, &c"

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REYNOLDS HISTORICAL 
GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



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f l i l ini N ,, < iW.T, Y . PUBL| C LIBRARY 




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OF THE 



6th WISCONSIN BATTERY 

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WITH ROSTER OF 



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Proceedings of Battery Reunions, Speeches, &c. 



LANCASTER, WIS. 

HERALD BOOK AND JOB ROOMS. 

1879. 



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PIRZETACIE, 



At the second animal reunion of the 6th Wisconsin 
Battery, held at Avoca, it was resolved to publish a his- 
torical' sketch of the Battery, embracing a complete roll 

• members, with the address of the living and burial 
tee of the dead, so far as known ; also the proceedings 

cf the two reunions. A. committee, consisting of Jenk. 

LI. Jones, O. J. Burnham and myself, was appointed, to 

prepare and publish the same. To me was assigned the 

tty of preparing the MSS., which was done, and the 

me placed in the hands of the other members for pub- 

'. atjon. They failed to obtain estimates within the 

I mtU prescribed by the means at our disposal, so the 

ration was deferred. The past Spring, I was re- 

I ted by the other members to publish, having secured 

tory terms, but the manuscript was not all re- 

turn« to me until the present month. The Secretary 

- :'t: '.- . I i furnish full proceedings of the reunions In 

•4 the historical sketch, the effort has been to 

c mize space — to epitomize rather than amplify. The 

• lless contains many inaccuracies, which it is 
• I Comrades will report promptly, in order that like 

ni iy : e 1 bviated in the future. H. S. KEENE. 

1 ikcastkk, Wis.. June 23d, i8jq. 



STir "wis g or?si?s uattebt, 



HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

The 6th Wisconsin Battery was principally recruited 
in the counties of Richland and Sauk, bv Henrv Dillon, 
of Lone Rock, afterwards elected Captain, and Samuel 
F. Clark, of Prairie du Sac, afterwards senior 1st Lieu- 
tenant; though it drew volunteers from the adjoining 
counties o{ Grant, Iowa, Dane and Columbia. It was the 
first to receive its full quota of men, and instead of being 
numbered as the 6th, it should have been the 1st; but 
those in charge having by some inadvertence failed to 
follow the prescribed line of V red tape," it failed to get 
its appropriate number. 

The organization was perfected at I one Rock by the 
election of officers, on the 25th of September, 1861. 
Henry Dillon was elected Captain, S. F. Clark and Thos. 
R. Hood 1st Lieutenants, and John \V. Fancher and 
Daniel T. Noyes 2d Lieutenants. Capt. Dillon was a 
veteran of the Mexican war, having been a member of 
the celebrated Bragg's Battery officered at the time by 
George H. Thomas, T. W. Sherman and John F. Rey- 
nolds, all of whom were. afterwards Major-Generals in the 
Union army. Lieuts. Clark and Fancher had seen ser- 
vice, having been members of the. 1st Wisconsin Infantry 
— 3 months' volunteers. 

The Battery was ordered to rendesvous at Camp Utley, 
Racine; and left Lone Rock on the 30th of September. 
At Racine it was mustered into the U. S. service on the 
first of October, by Capt. Trowbridge, U. S. A. Here it 
was expected the Battery would soon be equipped- and 
svnt to the front; but this hope proved to be a futile 
un^, as weeks passed and the troops were Rot even 



4 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

uniformed. The thought of having to spend the winter 
in common army tents, exposed to the rigors of a Wis- 
consin winter, was not a pleasant one. The troops were 
poorly supplied with blankets, and the approach of winter 
brought much suffering ; but kind friends at home were 
not unmindful of the comforts of the Battery boys.and from 
thence they were soon amply supplied .with clothing 
Despite the forbidding aspect of camp life in winter, there 
were too many attractions in the city for time to pass heav- 
ily, so the winter passed pleasantly and rapidly, and the 
approach of spring brought marching orders. 

Left Racine on the 15th of March, 1S62, for St. Louis, 
at which place stopped but two days, and proceeded un- 
der orders to New Madrid. Arrived at the latter place 
March 21st, and was temporarily assigned to Gen. John 
M. Palmer's Division of Pope's Corps. The siege of 
Island No. 10 was then in progress ; and the Battery being 
still unequipped for the field, was placed in charge of 
heavy guns at points along the river, to prevent reen- 
forcements or supplies from reaching the besieged army; 
and where thev were engaged in several brisk skirmishes 
with the rebel gun boats. 

After the surrender of Island No. 10. Capt. Dillon 
equipped the Battery from a park of guns that had been 
left by the rebels in their flight from New Madrid ; and 
being furnished with horses, the organization was at last 
equipped for the field, though it remained in New Madrid, 
on garrison duty, until May 17th, when it embarked on 
transports, under orders, and proceeded up the Tennes- 
see River to Hamburg Landing, at which place it arrived 
on the 2 ;d. and on the 26th moved to the main line in- 
vesting Corinth, where, being assigned to Gen. Jeit. C. 
Davis's Division, took up a position with Pope's besieging 
forces. After the evacuation of Corinth, joined in the 
pursuit of the retreating forces as far as Boonyille, then 
returned to Rien/.i where it remained on garrison duty 
during the summer. Broke camp at Rien/.i ( >ctober 1st, 
1862, under orders to report to Gen. Hamilton at Corinth: 
Took part in tin* battle of Corinth October 3d and 4th, 



HISTORICAL SKETCH. 5 

going into battle with 93 effective men, and sustaining a 
loss of 5 killed, including one Lieutenant, and 21 wound- 
ed. After the battle, had the ranks repleted by a detail 
of 25 men from the infantry, and joined in the pursuit of 
the retreating enemy, returning to Corinth on the 11th. 
Left Corinth November 2d, marching via Grand Junction, 
Davis' Mills and LaGrange to Moscow, Tenn. Partici- 
pating in the general southward movement of Grant's 
army, passed through Holly Springs and encamped at 
Lumpkins' Mills ; from thence followed in pursuit of the 
enemy, who, having been flanked by a column under 
Sherman, were evacuating their works on the Tallahatchie 
and retreating southward. Went as far as the Yocona 
river, south of Oxford, Miss., when the sacking of Holly 
Springs, cutting off the base of supplies, caused a retro- 
grade movement. Returned to Lumpkins' Mills, from 
whence one section under Lieut. Clark was sent to Mem- 
phis, as escort to a supply train. The remainder of the 
Battery returned to Holly Springs, and thence moved to 
LaFayette, Tenn., where it was rejoined by the section 
under Lieut. Clark. ( n the 2d of January. 1S63. went 
into winter quarters at Buntyifs Station, 5 miles east or 
Memphis. Hmbarked at Memphis March 1st, and pro- 
ceeded down the river to Grand Lake, Ark. but returned 
and encamped on a sand-bar opposite the head of the 
" Yazoo Pass," four miles below Helena, Ark., from 
whence moved as a part of the Yazoo Pass expedition, 
::. vvn the pass on transports as far as Greenwood, 

being nine days in the de-cent. Disembarked April 3d, 
and tiie next day one section under Lieut. Clark moved 
out and opened on the rebel fortifications. Being ordered 
to return, reembarked that night, and eariy next day set 
out on the return, reaching the former rendezvous on the 
oth of April. Reembarking on the I 3th. proceeded down 
: le river to Milliken's Rend, La. Left the latter place en 
the 25th, and marched across the peninsula, arriving at 
the river below Grand Gulf on the 30th. Crossed the 
river May 1st, taking up the line of march for Port Gibson, 
the advance being then engaged at Thompson's Hill. 



6 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

The Battery was placed in a position to prevent a flank 
movement, but did not become actively engaged. On the 
2d pursued the retreating enemy through Port Gibson as 
far as Bayou Pierre, where further progress was checked 
by a burning bridge. The pursuit was resumed the next 
morning, the enemy making a stand near Willow Springs, 
where the Battery silenced a rebel battery. 

The enemy were driven across Black river, burning the 
bridge after them. On the 9th, resumed the march toward 
Jackson, participating in the battle of Raymond on the 
I2th and Jackson on the 14th, sustaining a loss oi two 
wounded at the latter place. 

Left Jackson next morning for Vicksburg, retracing 
our steps as far as Clinton and on the 16th were again 
engaged on the hotly contested field of Champion Hills, 
sustaining a loss of two wounded. Followed the retreating 
forces to Black river, they destroying the bridge after 
fchem. Crossed the next day, and on the 19th reached 
the enemy's fortifications surrounding Vicksburg. Took 
up a position at once and opened fire, being actively en- 
gaged every day daring the siege, sustaining a loss of one 
killed and seven wounded. 

After the sui render, remained in camp at Vicksburg 
until the 1 2th of September, when embarked on transports 
and proceeded up the river under orders to reenforce 
Gen. Steel at Little Rock, disembarking at Helena on the 
15th. Little Rock being evacuated, remained in camp 
at Helena until the 26th, then embarked and proceeded 
up the river to Memphis. Lett Memphis October 6th, 
under orders to report to Gen. Sherman at Glendale, 
Miss., from which place moved with the 1 5th Army Corps 
via Iuka, M;>s.. Florence, Ala., and Winchester, Tenn., 
to Chattanooga, arriving at the latter place on the 20th 
of November. Grossed the river above Chattanooga with 
Sherman's forces on the 24th, moving with the advance, 
and the same day one section was planted on the summit 
of Mission Ridge — the guns being drawn up by ropes — 
maintaining this position and being actively engaged 
throughout the battle of Mission Ridge. Joined in the 



HISTORICAL SKETCH. 7 

pursuit on the 26th, following as far as Gravsville, Ga.. 
then returned to Chattanooga, where the guns were turned 
over to the ordnance officer, having been condemned as 
worn out in service, prior to leaving Vicksburg. 

Left Chattanooga December 2d, and returned to Bridge- 
port where remained in camp until the 22d; then moved 
to Larkinsville, Ala., remaining there from the 26th of 
December to the 7th of January, 1864 ; then marched for 
HuntsviUe, where on the 9th went, into winter quarters, 
being here equipped with a new battery o( 12-pound Na- 
poleon guns. Remained in 1 hints ville, on garrison duty, 
until June, one section being in the meantime sent to 
Whitesboro, on the Tennessee river, where they occasion- 
ally exchanged a few shells with the rebel forces on the 
other side. Left HuntsviUe on the 22d of June for the 
front, where active operations were in progress for the 
reduction of Atlanta; moving by rapid marches to Ste- 
venson. Left Stevenson by railroad on the 30th of June, 
reaching Kingston, Ga., on the 2d of July, and went into 
camp. Left Kingston July nth, and next d\iy took up 
a position in the fortifications on the Etowah river, near 
Cartersviile, where it remained during the summer. 

Thos-e of the original organization who had not reen- 
listed under the call for veteran reenlistments, left Carters- 
viile on the 26th of September, under orders to proceed to 
Madison. Wis., to be mustered out for expiration ofservice. 
Readied Chattanooga and found the railroad track was 
torn up and in possession of a rebel force, so remained in 
the cars at Ch.ittanooga a week ; leaving on the night of 
October 3d, and reached Madison on the 10th. Hereon 
the 10th day of October, 1S64, the old organization was 
mustered out ofservice. 

Atter the departure of the " boys of '61 " the company 
was reorganized as a four £un battery by Lieut Simpson, 
the rolls indicating 2 commissoned officers and 96 mem- 
bers, 40 of whom were reenlisted veterans. But the force 
in camp numbered but 34 men. For the next month the 
Batten- continued to garrison Ft. Etawah subject to all 
the activities, dangers Find uncertainties incident to an 



8 6t!I WISCONSIN' BATTERY. 

outpost in front of mancevering armies. Their railroad 
connections were continually bcin^ broken, their com- 
raissarv supplies beinsz very limited, both horses and men 
subsisted largely on the countrv, which was infested with 
guerillas and rebel cavalry. 

The terrible battle of Altoena Pass fought on the 5th 
q{ October was within sight and hearing of Ft. Etawah, 
the Battery was held in readiness but was not called into 
action. Immediately after the battle Lieut Simpson was 
despatched to Nashville for fresh horses and such other 
supplies as would put the Battery in moving condition. 
Failing in this mission, on the 1st of November, their re- 
maining 23 horses fit for service were turner, over to the 
12th llitten-, and on the 10th of November the Battery 
proceeded by rail to Nashville, arriving in time to take 
an active part in the defense of that town against Hood, 
who invested the ci f y soon after their arrival. Without 
■ horses and gur.s of their own. the men were ordered from 
point to point manning gunsthat were stationed by mule 
terms. Superintending the censtruction of artillery de- 
fences, bearing muskets, handling ammuniti< n, &c, S:c. 
This campah n exposed the men to much suffering and 
many privations. Not until after the decisive battle of 
December 17th and iSth did they j:;o into permanent 
quarters near Ft. Gillcm. Cant. Hood assun com- 
ma nd of the company, Nov. 29. On the 17th of Feb.. 
1865, the company was ordered to Chattanooga and went 
into permanent quarters withthe artili ry reserve corps 
of that department. The company was filled up with a 
transfer of al ut 50 men. mostly frcm the 3d and 8th 
Wisconsin B; tteriesand were fully equipped as a mounted 
battery, and were kept busy with camp and drill duties 
until the 26th d fune, wl n theyv 1 red tot 

to b tered ut — whence they immediately pro- 

ceeds I ler Capt. Simps< 11, who assumed ;nand on 

the rcsi * fCapt- H r 21 st npany 

arrived in M n, .;t 6, P. M., July : d v I eupon the 

entire command "broke ranks" without orders. Very 
many of the boys were able to reach their h - in time 



HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



to celebrate "Independence Day." On the 18th day of 
July the company re-assembled at Madison, and were 
formally mustered out of the service. 



=j~= 






1ST REUNION, AT SPRING GREEN, 1 8/6. 



There have been held four annual reunions cf the Bat- 
tery, in addition to the one held in September succeeding 
the oisbandment. The first annual reunion was held, 
at Spring -Green on the 3d of October, 1876. There 
was a fair" attendance of citizens, and forty-six of the 
Battery boys responded to the roll-call. A picnic dinner 
was provided under the auspices of 3.iiss Dora Hayes and 
Miss Ida Hood, and a pleasant, sociable and agreeable 
day was passed. Capt. H. Dillon was in command, ^ergt. 
A. J. Hood, Chaplain, and Jenk LI. Jones the orator of 
the day, who delivered the following address: 

Comrades cf the 6th Wisconsin Battery: Upon re- 
turning to mv post o( cutv some ten davs a<jo I found 
amid the accumulated pile of letters upon my table a mes- 
sage from comrade Clayton, bidding me meet the "Old 
Hoys" here to-day and asking me to put in words some 
fitting thought for the occasion. The first part of the 
message, like an invitation to a Christmas dinner, came 
with glad welcome. My blood went bounding through 
my veins as I anticipated the joy of once more touching 
elbows with even a few of those to whom the heart was 
knit with the associations of the camp, the march, the 



IO 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

hospital and the bloody field. My feelings did not stop 
to ask permission of my judgment to give',an emphatic — 
yes! "Of course I'll come to renew in some measure 
the recollections of those swift years, of brotherly life 
filled with incidents now gay and jolly, now heroic and 
terrific. Some, alas ! too coarse, many, oh so many tear- 
fully sad." 

But the second part of the invitation found a different 
welcome. I, to be the spokesman on an occasion like 
this, where if words are to be spoken at all they must be 
golden words. I, to attempt to put in fitting words, the 
congratulations, the recollections and the significance of 
those four years into which were crowded the discipline 
and the experience of a lifetime! Four years, as I be- 
lieve, that wrought for God and man the growth and pro- 
gress of a generation. The more pressing but perhaps, 
minoi claims were upon me, they would ryot be put off, but 
even this request I could not refuse. " During these ten 
days crowded with other duties I have had no time to 
"search our records, to compile our statistics or to select 
my words. But, boys, I am here to thank you for this 
compliment — the choicest compliment I have received 
since I was released from the honor of carrying the pouch 
of No.6, on the third piece of the old 6th Battery. I am here, 
boys, to do for you what I tried to do when I drove the 
swing-team — hold a steady rein, do the best I can with- 
out too much personal exertion. If I don't keep my 
place as well now as then it will be because I have not 
the Impetuous "Tom" (Hungerford I mean) to jerk me 
up with his lead team if I go too slow, or the steady hand 
of "Wat" (Hayes is his surname), to hold me down with 
his well groomed wheel-team if I go too fast. If I don't 
know enough to stop, just let Dick (Corporeal Dickson, 
I mean) sing out his characteristic "Ha-a-uit" and then if 
I don't let him put in one of those explanatory words of 
Saxon origin, not in the tactics, that we used to be famil- 
iar with, then I'll mind, leastwise I remember I always 
used to, i. e. after this last kind of command was given. 

Yes, fellow soldiers, I rejoice to be with you to-day 



ADDRESS BY JENK LL. JONES. 1 1 

though I've scarcely disturbed the sleeping notes in the 
pocket-worn diaries I carried in those days and from 
which and other available sources I would have been 
glad and very proud to write up something like an accu- 
rate and in some small way an adequate story of the toils, 
trials, and triumphs of the Buena Vista Battery. This 
has never yet been done. I would ere we part that some 
steps might be taken to secure this end — that their chil- 
dren and oars may not fail to know of the 6th Battery, 
who — 

"Right in the van 
On the red rampart's slippery swell, 
With hearts that beat a charge they fell, 

Forward as fits a man." 

And how others denied the easy honor of being trans- 
ported to the silent shores of glory in the fiery chariots 
of battle still endured loyally; and murmured not while 
the candle of life flickered, grew pale and died in the 
malarial atmosphere of disease; and in tne record let 
there be some mention of those who were not released by 
death's promotion, but were left on duty ; were called 
back to wait and work in other ways for the dawn of the 
nobler day. If such a record would serve in anv way to 
cause the fires of patriotism to burn brighter in the 
breasts of our children we ought to leave it them. 

But after all, comrades, to-day we need no wordy 
record o{ the past, for to each of us I dare say there has 
come in these last expectant days, now glimpses, now 
Bashes and now long dreams of the old times. 

Memory has been turning the leaves of the mind's pho- 
tograph album and on pages '6r, '62, '63, '64 and '65 we 
find pictures that were supposed to be lost, there still. 
How it all comes back to us now ! 

Those early autumn days upon which I doubt not the 
sun shone as serenely as now, the bright colors oi Octo- 
ber crept over these groves, up yon bluff sides and down 
the river bank as beautifully as to-day, but there was a 
great difference. Farmers did not talk so much of their 
crops and their cattle then as now. The boys were less 
boisterous and conversed in undertone, and somehow 



12 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

when women tried to smile there were tears often in their 
eyes. One by one the scythes were left in unfinished 
swathes on yonder hay-bottom. Every day some plow- 
man neglected to start his plow. The hum of the thresh- 
ing machine seemed somehow to have less inspiration 
than now, and the threshers stopped to oil up whenever 
the mail come or a late paper appeared. At last there 
came a day — nay the day when Spring Green, Lone 
Rock and Prairie du Sac must tear off the mask and 
things thus far spoken of in whisper must now be spoken 
of out loud. You who are men and women now were 
bovs and rnrls then. You recall how hard we tried to 
make a gala day of it, but somehow r it was a poor day 
for fun ; there was too much in it for mirth. The roads 
in this valley were filled with moving wagons and car- 
riages. Drums and fifes made what was then verv 
strange music. The lines gathered at Wilson Creek. 
'Twas fifteen years ago the month just gone. Lone Rock 
with her squad, and Captain Dillon formed at one end of 
the ground. Lieut. Clarke, with the beys from Prairie du- 
Sac "fell in" at the other. Awkwardly approached each 
other and somehow, no matter how, a line was formed 
and then we tried to cheer but it was more husky than 
Lusty. The girls waved their handkerchiefs but most of 
them seemed very limp, they had the appearance ofbeing 
used a great deal. Then and there Richland and Sauk 
counties struck hands and the Buena Vista Battery of 
Flying Artillery had being. It's ranks filled rapidly. 
Not a few bovs left their chores undone that night and 
went with the others to Lone Rock. 

"It seems but yesterday. 
Vet scarce so long ago," 

When the train stopped at the depot here that carried 
you to Camp Utley. Fifteen years ago to-day, I think, an 
l.\ S. officer accepted the offering from Spring Green and 
elsewhere and you were "mustered in." Of that Winter 
spent in a Wisconsin camp I cannot speak from experi- 
ence. I only know that love and war, always the essen- 
tial elements of chivalry were mingled in fine proportions. 



ADDRESS EV JENK LL. JONES. I 3 

Drill during the day and a good time with the pretty 
Welsh girls of Racine during the evening, and as fast as 
you could get a military jacket on your backs, you ran 
home to kiss the girls you left behind you. All winter 
you kept accumulating the dispensable necessities of a 
soldier, learning to snugly reach your knapsack with so 
many things you did not need, things which one by one 
you dropped along southern waysides as bread cast upon 
secesh waters, so to speak, which, after many days have 
not come back to you. 

March 15th, 1862 — Marching orders at last- — 6th Bat- 
tery ordered to the front by rail via St. Louis and Sykes- 
town. Then the first march of 22 miles. It reports to 
Gen. Pope at New Madrid. Rebellion and rebels become 
something more than the background of a romance. The 
Battery bunks in cuarters scarcely cold from the en- 
emy that vacated them. Frcm thence to Island >.'o. 10, 
where garrison duty and heavy artillery prepares them 
for sterner work. Things were stirrirg around them. 
Shiloh was passing into history as a field where heroic 
blood flowed like water. On the 17th of May you em- 
barked to the scene of active operations. You ani\ed at 
Hamburgh Landing soon after the fight. E'atterv is :m- 
me-, iat ly.-j iven position in the forces that besieged Cor- 
inth. After the evacuation it is thrown forward to occr; y 
one of tlie outposts ef tic Union line at Rier.zi. Here 
you spend the summer months, dividing your energies 
between false alarms, field drill, becoming accomplished 
in the fine art of foraging, and making the acquaintance 
of the secesh beauties. 

Meantime, comrades, my imagination lags behind. My 
memory still hangs over scenes in Wisconsin. While 
your ranks were being silently but savagely decimated 
bv the hands of d s ase, other boys, who the fall before. 
in w of their beai s faces had net dared 

whi ' aloud their pur] s ; had net forgotten you. 
Lieut. Rancher was home recruiting. Ihe severest bat- 
tle oi the war, the one which some of you fought and 
won in September, '6 1 1 remained for some of us to fight 



14 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

• 

in August, 1862. On the 1st of September we '62 boys 
joined you, some eighteen of us, I think. You gave us 
( cordial welcome, and by this time have, I think, quite 
forgiven us that we did not go in with the first. Hence- 
forth my memory and experience runs parallel with that 
of the 6th battery to its close. Details have a fascina- 
tion for me which I dire not at this place indulge in, the 
time is too short. Long, vigilant nights and anxious 
days in that September at Rieazi. No day was exempt 
from alarm at the picket post. " Boots and saddles " 
was a more familiar call from bugle than the stable call. 
The harnessing, saddling, mounting la hot haste — the 
moving out for battle — the long waiting in the sultry 
road, then returning to something harder to bear than 
battle, waiting aod watching became monotonous. The 
battle of Iuka was fought and won with the echoes of 
guns in our ears. All day we stood harnessed in the 
road, at night the story of the carnage that fell like a 
whirlwind upon our comrades of the 12th Wis. Battery, 
came to us, and each one wondered and inwardly doubted 
if he were equal to such demands. The enemy close in 
on us, the outposts are gradually withdrawn, Rienzi is 
abandoned, the 1st of October. The 6th Battery among 
the last to leave, turns its face towards Corinth, some in 
vigorous health, ready for duty's call, others of us pros- 
trate, carted like limp sacks of wool in mule wagons and 
on flat cars. 

I will not undertake to touch with adequate words the 
thrilling story of that battle on the 3d and 4th of October, 
1862. It ^ive to the 6th Bitterv its terrible baotism of 
blood. Corinth is one of Wisconsin's Thermopylaes, for 
there a few of her sons with heroism equal to Spartan 
received a flowing tide of unnumbered multitudes un- 
flinchingly, die they might and did ; yield they could and 
would not. Here the 6th Battery made good its claim 
for a permanent niche in the history of your State and 
Nation. Their part in this battle is a theme for poetry 
and not for prose. Let him who would fittingly honor it 
invoke the muses of poetry and song. Let him dip 



ADDRESS BY JENK LL. JONES. I 5 

his pen in ink that will not fade as he receives their in- 
spiration. For deeds such as they often enacted do not 
die and are not reenacted. They come but once in a 
lifetime, once in a century — in a nations history. Like 
the six hundred that rode " into the valley of death" — 



"There is not a man dismayed, 
Not though the soldier knew 

Some one had blundered. 
Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why. 
Theirs but to do and die," 

Like the six hundred.'' 

Fourteen years ago to-day the battle began. All day 
long the muttering noise of the impending conflict, the 
agitations, uncertainties and fatigues of a moving column 
in front of an enemy on the defensive had exhausted our 
bovs. Marches and counter-marches filled the night, 
little rest and no sleep, scant food and scanter drink. 
The morning breaks, finds them on the advanced line. 
Soon the lurid fires ot battle pale the parching southern 
sun. The enemy are preparing for one last, desperate 
struggle. The energy of the command and all the hop^s 
of the dav are being masked in the woods under the hill. 
Their ranks are formedfour to six deep. At about 9 a. m. 
thev aooearatthe outskirts an advance in V shaoed lines 
with the ancde thrown forward so that vacancies can be 
readily closed from abundant material. The pickets are 
driven in, and with rapid, confident steps they advance 
up the hill-slope, on the top >f which stands expjsed, un- 
fortified and practiciliy unsupported an untried Battery 
of Artillerv — the 6th Wisconsin. Will thev retire? Are 
they sure that they have an available line of retreat ? Al- 
ready they are too neir for shot or even shell. There 
battle begins where that of artillery generally cads, but 
now it is one wild storm of noise and smoke. The hill is one 
b\ick thunder-cloud, pouring one pelting shower of iron 
canister. The chests are emp:;e 1 and the advancing line 
has been staggered, stunned and mowed down. It reach- 
es the too, but with courage and strength both exhausted. 
When there was no more ammunition in the chest, the 



I 6 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

enemy, now, not before them, but amidst them, by a fit 
of courageous inspiration the men and horses slipped from 
their midst and escaped the grasp of the hand that was 
too much weakened to seize its prize. It was the work 
of thirty minutes. In a short time they were in order for 
service again, but it was victory for the whole line. It 
was the beginning of the end. The chase continued for 
days, and that army flushed by victory at Corinth never 
more knew defeat, nor lagging of energy or cooling ol 
zeal until the serpent treason was throttled to the death 
at Richmond, and the would-be-head of the new confed- 
eracy was begging for mercy in woman's clothes in the 
hands of the boys in blue. 

Only ninety-three men in the morning, nearly one- 
third of these at nccn were dead or disabled. What a privi- 
lege to have been one of such a band and to have had a 
hand in such a victory! In the report of the Adjutant Gen- 
eral of Wisconsin for 1862 I find the following con- 
cerning our company: 

^1 hey took part in the battle of Corinth on the 3dand 
4th df.Ocfc ber, and lost and killed six, inducing Lieut. 
Daniel T. Noyes, and in wounded twenty-one. The 
6th Battery wen: into the battle with ninety-three men 
all told. They were considereda forlorn hope, but by 
their severe fighting and l< d bravery they actually 
turned the tide ofbati in our favor and won the fight. 
Officers and men, loyal and rebel, all agree that no more 
desperate or better fighting was ever done than by that 
batterv. at the battle of the 4th of October. Well may 
our State be proud ol our troops.*' 

Says Gc r.:..r .'. Rcsencrans in his official report of the 
battle. S| aking of the rebel char; • 1 n our entire front, 
"Parts r lines were brok' i into fragments, they 

(the rebels pentlrat far as General H; k's head- 

quarters, tin. entire tin - n of General Davis gave way 
-• fightii of Hamilton with 

the 6th Wis onsin Hatter) ■ led on the prolongation of 
the d the I • • • 00 the right.*' 

Now that v.e ha\e got fairly starte these reminis- 



ADDRESS BY JENK LL. JONES. \J 

cences it would be pleasant for me to go on stringing out 
the story, of the chase, that march into the interior of 
Mississippi, the bivouac at Davis' Mills, where the treas- 
onable old mill was started up so suddenly to grind rebel 
corn into Yankee rations, the night march through the 
sombre beech forest, the weird and awful beautv of the 
devastating fires that illuminated the country* around, of 
Moscow, Holly Springs, YVaterford, Abbeville and Ox- 
ford. Towns so beautiful that one can scarcely be rec- 
onciled to the thought that they were stained by treason. 
Then the disappointment and the counter- march when 
Holly Springs was taken in cur rear; the hard retreat, 
the race for bread.the dreary Christmas with its dinner of 
parched corn at Lumpkins 1 Mills, not encugh of that, 
were our mouths less sore from this monotonous diet, 
but the richer supper of the fat heifer with the few bushels 
of sweet potatoes which the foraging squad brought us. 
I would like to dwell on the sixty miles march of the* 
First Section under Lieut. Clark, four teams on the gun, 
with only the limbers of the caissons, escorting the train 
of empty wagons, then the refreshing though the demor- 
alizing touch of the City of Memphis, the city of plenty, 
filled with life-giving hard-tack. Those of us who were 
along remember the bottomless pools of mud that 
awaited the returning train now laden, moving slowly to 
meet the swiftly moving lines of a hungered army. 
Then came four months camp life at Buntyn's Station, 
guarding railroad, where the long winter evenings were 
spent in discussing the grape vine telegrams and determ- 
ining how the war might be brought to a close in six 
months, if, perchance, the administration only had our 
sense. Dividing the time for amusement between harm- 
less poker, with a peck of corn for capital, hence the 
skillful could afford to be generous with their antes 
and in writing letters to the girls that we never married 
after all. 

You recall, how on the 3d of March. 1863, we em- 
barked on the Mississippi, those weeks of life on trans- 
ports, where the passengers daily increased in numbers. 



1 8 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

You remember that awful encampment of a fortnight on 
a bare sandv island below Helena. Arkansas. 

On the 9th of April, 'neath flying colors and with 
beating drums, we entered upon the most unparalleled 
experiment in navigation, a sail across lots, a steamboat 
ride through the woods. It was an attempt to capture 
Vicksburg by getting in the rear of it, with a lot of steam- 
boats taken across the country, using, it is true, what 
waters we could rind in the brooks and marshes along the 
way. The history of this fourteen-day ride through the 
woods has never yet been written and probably never will 
be, for it was of a kind which war correspondents and 
special artists did not care to join. 

That splendid dash into Moon Lake, then the banging 
against trees, the pulling ourselves along by windlasses, 
making a thousand isles on our own hook, making fast 
at night in sight of the tree from which we cast loose in 
the morning, at last disembarking at the Union of tbe 
waters which formed the Yazoo, to find that we were 
caught at our own game, the flood tide of the Mississippi 
let in upon the country through a break in the levee, 
brought us there, but it also saved our foes. Fort Pem- 
berton was guarded by a water-ditch three miles wide, so 
we made haste to get out, in the same way that we went 
in, lest the receding waters might show us our Ararat in 
the Mississippi woods. As we went we left behind us 
our marks on the top of the trees. If some listless brig- 
adier of the Confederacy, looking up as he wanders along 
the banks of the Coldwater catches sight of a board that 
was once the bottom of a hard-tack box in which board 
is burned by a hot iron the mystic legend 

"Jes— se— K— Bell 
All Stove to Hell." 

April 1st, 1S63. 

he may not know what it means but you and I know 
that that was put there by a 6th Battery boy and that the 



ADDRESS BY JENK LL. JONES. 19 

Jesse K. Bell was the name of the boat that we rode in, 
that the other line is the soldier's way of saying that the 
craft was rather the worse for wear, the pilot-house rid- 
dled by bullet-holes, the glass all broken in the cabin, a 
dead limb had speared the kitchen and demoralized the 
pantry, and half the paddles out of the stern wheel were 
broken ; and you and I know that this expresses the real 
condition of the Armada, the White Rose, and the dozen 
other stern-wheel boats that went down with flying ban- 
ners, and returned without a peg upon which to hang a 
banner. On the 9th of April we landed again on that 
desolate island below Helena, known to us by a name 
which is neither suggestive of beauty or of fragrance, but 
one suggestive of a terrible reality. 

Of the campaign down the river, the two-weeks halt 
at Miliken's Bend, where our boys faded of the awful 
blight of that sickly flat, and the levee that kept back the 
water of the Mississippi, was strengthened by the bodies 
of the Union soldiers, as the only land in which a grave 
mi^ T ht be sunk unflooded. I cannot speak words more 
than moments are wanting. Then came the march ot 
more than sixtv miles through Louisiana, where the 
sight of strange cypress knees, weird Spanish moss, 
festooning with funereal aspect the boughs above us, and 
the log-like roll of the lazy alligators in the Lagoons 
gave diversion to our mysterious march. Now the cross- 
ing of the Mississippi, below Vicksburg, at Bruinsburg 
on transports that have run twelve miles of rebel arma- 
ment, now on the battle-field of Port Gibson ere the 
powder-smoke has cleared away. Then pushing hard 
on the enemy day and night, for nineteen successive days, 
fighting tbem regularly on each alternate day. Then oc- 
curred the brush at Jones' Creek, where the old howitzer 
of the Third Platoon in which your speaker held the 
exalted position of rider of the swing-team, was thrown 
forward on the skirmish line. The noise it made started 
our boys into a cheer, that broke the enemies line and 
captured many prisoners. Raymond's bloody held we 
reached by six miles of "double-quick, 1 ' in time to help 



2C 6TH WISCONSIN" BATTERV. 

put another star on the shculder cf John A. I cgan. At 
Jackson. Mississippi, the 6th Battery, always with the 
tendency to use its cannon as men usually use their 
broad-swords, in close quarters, join the charging line, 
presenting a scene, I believe unparalleled in the history 
of war ; \iz.: a brass battery in full equipment, making 
a bayonet charge and coming out victorious. You re- 
member how properly and proudly we entered the capi- 
tal city o( Mississippi, expecting a few days respite, in 
which we might enjoy our honors and forage the town, 
but we marched in only to march out again. Next 
morning with the early dawn we took up a counter- 
march, in order to be on hand in the terrible contest of 
Champion Kill, where in reality Vicksburg, 'The Key 
of the Miss." was fought for in fair field fight and won by 
the loyal troops. You remember the position, how, in 
the hurried march, we became separated from our com- 
mand, and General Pemberton's whole army was pouring 
its deadly fire upon the few divisions of McPherson that 
were on the ground. You remember the magnificent line 
of Lo^an, the most exciting battle line we ever saw, per- 
haps; that line, nearly a mile long, coming its grand 
left wheel upon the enemy s left. This but drove them 
more fiercely upon the fitr: ed remnants o( Hovev's 
Division, in the thick wo Is to our front and left. Time 
and time in, had his exhausted lines met the rebel 

columns and fallen back. Things looked dark, when 
here come th I Col. Holmes at the head of 

his Secon i Bri . peering is none other could over his 
German spectacles as he cried. "Give way to de left for 
my men.'' am U in into the \ - he led his line with 
a cheer, but i ed hopeless; in a short time, they were 

c mpell - ; to fa back I I dint* and t«>rn. It was dark 
yet, try gathered in helpless clusters around 

the colors on our h . The artillery were ordered to 
retreat, lest they be flanked, when, Jo, there appeared 
lust over the crest, Mel >n, brave and beloved above 

nil others! At about tfie Fame instant, Capt. Dillon, 
whose judgment was never so reliable as in times of great- 



ADDRESS BY JENK IX. JONES. 21 

est danger, on his own responsibility-, threw the Battery 
into action, and the guns of the 6th fired to and for the 
right. Its brazen arguments quickened the steps of Mc- 
pherson's fresh troops, and by the sudden transition 
which often happened on our Western battle fields, victory 
came as sudden as it was overwhelming, the hardest 
faught and perhaps the most significant battle of the West 
was won. 

Vicksburg was besieged, and in due time it capitu- 
lated. On the 39th, the first day of investment, the 6th 
Battery was thrown out on one of the boldest points 
nearly opposite Fort Hill. There we fortified our- 
selves, and remained until the surrender, in the foremest 
. line. There for forty-seven days, we lay, now chatting 
with and again bombarding the brethren just over the 
line, now lazily sleeping the aimless hours away, on the 
clayey shelves' we had scooped for ourselves out of the 
hill-sides, and again taking our lives and running the 
gauntlet where hissing minnie balls would spit about us, 
in order to save drawing water for our horses or for the 
sick, or for the sake of a pail full of blackberries. 

But, never mind, that was a grand old 4th of July cele- 
bration we had on Independence Day, 1^63. 

Then some more hot weather, more sickness, when 
the hospital Stewart marshalled a longer line than the 
orderley Sergeant, more men drawing quinine and whis- 
key than there were to stand guard. Then up the river, 
from Memphis across lots over the Cumberland Mount- 
ains, up the steeps of Mission Ridge to the release of 
Thomas at Chattanooga. Then the muddy chase, and 
at last the rest during the remainder of the winter ot '63 
and '64. 

Winter days diversified again by literature that has il- 
lustrated pages in fifty -two leaves to a volume, with false 
alarms concerning brother Rhoddy and, on the part of 
a few of you, thoughts of tenderness toward savage- 
eyed maidens of high degree, who wore butternut pins. 
The following summer found us bound for Atlanta, until 
we reached Etawah, where ripe peaches did more for 



22 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

the Confederacy than their bayonets ever did in giving 
them three of the 6th Battery boys as prisoners. It was 
not for us to go with Sherman to the Sea, but our horses 
went, while we returned with Thomas to defend Nash- 
ville against Hood, during the bleak winter months, 
our equipments being a grotesque collection of old 
cannon, rusty mu'skets and stubborn mules. That over, 
we returned again to Chattanooga, there to wait the 
final summons, the "Well done" of the U. S. Govern- 
ment which came in July, '6;. 

To recapitulate with a few figures : 

Original strength J 57 

Received of recruits of every kind S5 

Re-eniisted - 34 

Total 276 

Killed in battle 6 

Died of disease 22 

Discharged for sickness 36 

Total 6 4 

Leaving 112 who served their term of service. 



o 



Comrades, shall the bugle be blown ? Orderly Ser- 
geant, call the roll. Where are the boys ? Oh, they are 
beyond the reach of our voice! Some of them cannot 
make their "Here" heard to-day! Some on Western 
prairie, some mid northern pines, some in town, in coun- 
try many ; some are discharged, others reported this 
morning to the sick call and are off duty ; in their veins 
the old diseases are preying ; and some, perhaps, as of 
old, like the hero of Will Carleton's Poem, are "Over the 
hill" — to the poor-house. Boys, we welcome the few 
Yes, the/ftc, for 

"Ah me! n <\ all! S • ne come not with the rest, 
Who wont forth brave an 1 bright a> any h*re! 

I strive to mix souae %\ 1 - with my strain, 
Bat the >a I strings 1 and will not please the ear,* 

Iswee;i th .- n i- >r i> can bat they wane, 



Ajj • 1 an I yet again 



Into a dirge, an 1 die away, in pain. 
In thc-«e brave ranks I only see the gaps, 
Thinking of the dear ones whom the dumb turf wraps, 

Dark to the triumph which they died to gain. 



ADDRESS BY JENK IX. JONES. 23 

Fitlier m.iy others greet the living, 

I, with uncovered head, 

Salute the sacred dead, 
W.10 went, and who returned not." 

Call the roll, Sergeant; Lieut. Noyes, Corporal L. B. 

Honn, Privates — Gilbert Thomas, George Brown, George 

Barney. 

Translated were they in the fiery chariot, the Corinth 

Holocaust. They fell with their faces to the foe, with the 

light that illumines the brave resting upon their brows. 

The mangled bodies rest sweetly in the most honored 

grave of a soldier, unnumbered and unnamed battle 

trench. 

Gunner. Alvah Page, he who carried the manliest of 

hearts with the steadiest of hands, lived long enough to 
see the flag of truce over the ramparts ofVicksburg, and 
then fell, lamented and beloved. 

Sylvester J. Gould, His is a guarded grave in the 
Cemetery of Wyoming across yon river. He fell in the 
eager promptness to excel in bravery, not less honored 
than they who fell before the leaden hail. 

Dear Comrades, thedost of our boys minifies with 
that of many a hill-side. It enriches the soil they went 
forth to save. 

Albert Hauxhurst's body was left at New Madrid. 
Hoskins, Hungerford, and Ben Johnson, on the Corinth 
slopes. Solomon Wheeler, at Rienzi. Coulter Camp- 
bell at Vicksburg. Ephraim Perry at Memphis. John 
Rogers at St. Louis. Menzo Tenhant, in the National 
Cemetery at Keokuk. Martin Weaver at Cairo. Knoch 
Johnson, Pess Moss, and Michael Murphey at Hunts- 
ville. Robert E. Banks, at Chattanooga. Bradley Ben- 
son and Fred King, at Nashville. Gordon at Etawah, 
faithful Eilenstine, sank in the turbid waters of the Talla- 
hatchie In this solemn roll, we must write the names 
of Capt Hood,- the gentle Alba Sweet, who wore his 
stripes ><> modestly that \ve forget the Lieutenant in our 
respect for the man, and George »Spencer, names that re- 
mind us. that sudden dangers and unexpected deaths 



24 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERV. 

await us at home as abroad, in peace as in war. These 
are the first names we call in- our roil to-day. Not their 
death, but their lives, though, do Ave most celebrate. 
As we call the roll, we look for our wounded ones. 
Here is Christian Berber, -with his two mangled stumps, 
all that is left of two royal hands, let them be held up to 
testify against us who, with unmaimed hands, perhaps, 
fail to win for us and for ours, bread as honest, as these 
crippled hands win for him and for his. Where is Flan- 
nery, with his mangled face, and Goodman with that 
long neck of his, a capital place to expose now and then 
to view an honorable scar. Let them and their fellow- 
sufferers and our fellow-comrades step forth, to teach us 
present duty for dangers escaped, and for lives spared. 
But it is time you are released, comrades, from the past. 
Let us conserve no drop of bitterness, no thought of ha- 
tred, but may we re-enlist, to-day, in the old company. 
Let us be mustered in anew into the fellowship and com- 
panionship of arms, not. let us hope, the murderous arms 
of war, but the life-fostering service of peace. In even- 
case, let us "touch elbows and dress to the right" 
Again, I salute you, again, I thank you. 




2D REUNION, AT AVOCA, tSjJ, 



The second reunion was held at Avoca, May 22d, 1S77. 
A large crowd of citizens and soldiers was present, some 
fortv of the Battery boys registering. A cannon had been 
brought from Madison, and the bovs went through the 
drill, handling the swab and the lanyard as gracefully as 
in the past. A splendid dinner was provided by the citi- 
zens of Avoca, who spared no pains to make the meet- 
ing a success, aud their efforts were not fruitless. CapL 



ADDRESS BY H. S. KEENE. 2$ 

Dillon presided, Jenk LI. Jones was chaplain and H. S. 
Keene delivered the annual oration, as follows : 

Mr. President, Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen : We 
are assembled to-day beneath the shadow of the old 
banner of the Stars and Stripes ; we hear the swelling 
bugel blast and the roar of cannon ; yet we listen in vain 
for the hissing bullet or shrieking shell, for the groans of 
the wounded or wail of the dying. These war-like 
sounds such as we hear to-day are not the harbingers of 
coming conflict ; they do not denote the gathering in 
battle array to bring grief, agony, suffering and death to 
man ; but they are, on the contrary, the tokens of peace ; 
and to us, the emblems of pleasure. True, they carry 
the soldier back, in imagination, to many a death strug- 
gle, and while the retrospect of war may start the tear of 
sorrow, it is soon dissipated by the sunshine of present 
peace, and the pleasant thought that to the consummation 
of this glorious peace, he was a humble contributor. To 
the outside world there may appear but little occasion 
for our assembling to-day, an assembly which calls from 
their various occupations men so widely separated, to 
meet merely for asocial purpose. But to those who have 
together borne the fatigues of the march and felt the 
gnawings of hunger; who have together faced the driv- 
ing snow ?nd sleet of winter and sweltered under the 
scorching heat of ihe summer's sun — who have together 
braved the dangers of the battle-field there is a fraternal 
tie that renders such a meeting a bright oasis in the 
desert of life. 

We meet to-day to renew the fond friendships 
formed amid these trying scenes — friendships cemented 
by the blood of mutual friends in those memorable days 
of the past ; we meet to clasp the hands of those survivors 
who have passed that fiery ordeal, and to pay the tribute 
of a soldier's tear to the memory of those of our com- 
rades whose lives were given in defense of their country. 

We meet to-day with decimated ranks, and vainly look 
for the happy faces that were in our first meetings in '61. 



2_6 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

i 

And although we now meet untrammelled by the excite- 
ment which then pervaded- all classes, free from the dark 
foreboding of coming strife; free from anxiety concern- 
ing our country's fate : and the pleasure of our meeting 
enhanced by the knowledge that our little bind forms a 
part of those to whom the country is indebted for its 
peace and unity; still our minds solemnly revert to those 
who have fallen from our ranks. Their accustomed 
places in our ranks are vacant, but in the hearts of their 
.surviving comrades their memory is still enshrined. 

With our surroundings to-dav, how vividly those days 
of'6i come back to us! Sixteen years' have oasse'd 
since then — years fraught with the vicissitudes of joy and 
sorrow, of hope and despair, of success and failure, of lite 
and death — years that mark the epoch of some of the 
most thrilling events in the world's history; and yet we 
look bevond them all, back to our first meetings, as though 
it was but yesterday. 

The war cloud that had so long been hanging on our 
horizon, dark and threatening, " had burst upon the land 
in all its fury; enshrouding the nation in its terrible 
gloom, and deluging the land in blood. We had but 
just emerged from an exciting political campaign charac- 
terized by more than it- wonted crimination and recrim- 
ination ; and alth nigh secession and war had been openly 
threatened by a large element of one of the three con- 
tending p i^L-es. in the event oi its :..;eat. it was regarded 
by most as an idle threat, uttered only to influence the 
then pending political struggle. Thus lull many, in their 
blind zeal to further the interests of their party, had tac- 
itly nurtured treason, and were apparently more devoted 
to party than to country. It was said, and by men emi- 
nent for their sagacity, that, in America, patriotism was 
dead. It was thought that love of party' had smothered 
love of country, and upon this supposition treason stalked 
the more openly. But patriotism, though dormant, was 
not dead, nor was it confirmed by party lines. The re- 
verberations of the first e;un hr<.d upon Sumpter had 
scarcely died among the distant hills when that patriot- 



ADDRESS BY H. S. KEENE. 2J 

ism was aroused ! An answering shout arose simulta- 
neously from the farm, the factory, the office and the 
counting house, and the demand of the government for 
troops was promptly supplied. 

True, many, doubtless, rushed forward who were im- 
pelled as much by the excitement of the time as by love 
of- country; many did not stop to consider, but madly 
followed the swaying throng ; : while others again went 
under the delusion that actual war could be averted. But 
before the organization of our Battery .all this had changed. 
There had been time for mature- reflections ; men had 
thoughtfully weighed the impending struggle, and hard 
contested battles had dissipated all hopes of a peaceful 
adjustment. Our boys had counted the cost — had viewed 
the war as an actual existence, and come together know- 
ing the privations and dangers they had to encounter, 
yet determined to meet them" as became true soldiers. By 
birth they belonged to many different nationalities ; by 
affiliation they represented many and different religious 
and political creeds, but they- came together not as Ger- 
mans, as Frenchmen, as -Englishmen or Irishmen — not 
as- .Republicans or Democrats, but as American citizens, 
claiming the Government of the. United States as their 
patrimony, . and determined to uphold the honor and 
unity of that Government, or die in its defense. . 

If there is aught that is grand or noble in the career 
of the soldier, it is the purity of the motives' that prompt 
him to action. The trained soldier loves the b ittle-neid 
because it is in the line of his -profession. He may ex- 
hibit bravery, zeal and endurance for the hope of reward 
or the love of. conquest. But these incentives have no 
tendency to cause the citizen-soldier to immure himself 
within the. confines of a military camp, abandon the com- 
forts of home and the pleasures of society, to embrace a 
calling so opposed to his tastes, so fraught with danger. 
It is only the promptings of duty and an innate patriot- 
ism that' make him voluntarily exchange the comforts of 
peace for the horrors of war. And when the emergency 
•ceases that called him to anus, he leaves the tented field 



28 6TH WISCONSIN DATTERY. 

to resume his accustomed occupation without a pang of 
regret. It is always to the motives that influence him to 
action more than to his success, that credit is awarded to 
the soldier. History points out as among the most not- 
ed of military heroes the names of Alexander, Hannibal, 
Caesar and Napoleon ; and they each embodied many of 
the attributes that combine to make the successful sol- 
dier. Genius, courage, endurance, energy' and zeal they 
all possessed, and had not these been dimmed by a mor- 
bid ambition, they might have proved a blessing rather 
than a curse to mankind, and have met death peacefully 
instead of in the tragical and ignoble manner in which 
their careers were terminated. Alexander died from the 
effects of a drunken debauch, if not as many have held, 
from the effects of poison, secretly mixed with his wine. 
Hannible, after the loss of his influence, died by his own 
hand while in voluntary exile. Caesar was murdered in 
the midst of supposed friends, by those who professed the 
warmest friendship; and Napoleon t4 theman of destiny," 
who in the zenith of his glory, was designated as the 
"morning star," "the man of a thousand thrones" died un- 
wept and unhonored, an outlawed prisoner, upon the bar- 
ren island of St. Helena ! While these names stand con- 
spicuously among those celebrated for military greatness, 
their memory is tarnished by their ungovernable ambi- 
tion and they fall short in the just estimate of humanitv 
of many who fall far beneath them in the brilliancy of 
their achievements. In the merit of true greatness they 
fall beneath a Tell, a Bruce, a Kosciusko or a Washing- 
ton — like those who became soldiers through love of 
country and not through love of conquest. It is patri- 
otism and not ambition that calls nut the true soldier; 
and in our organization there were none who were actu- 
ated by the ambition of conquest or lured by the paltrv 
pittance of a soldiers' wages ; but their country in her 
hour of need called for their services and to that call they 
cheerfully responded. There were tender partings when 
we left the camp — there were ties that rendered home 
dear to all — but the call to duty was imperative. 



ADDRESS BY H. S. KEENE. 29 

It is unnecessary for me to dwell upon the time spent 
in camp of instruction at Racine; of the impatience to 
get into active service ; of the delay in equipping us ; of 
the long days spent cooped up in camp or the pleasant 
evenings spent witfi the fair ones in the city. This was 
incipient soldiering, but it gave but a faint premonition 
of the coming future. 

At last we left Racine with some sad adieux, tender 
regrets and tearful partings, and were on our way to the 
scene of action. The necessitv of comDressincr the events 
of years into such narrow limits will only permit me to 
give a cursory glance at our soldier life proper — a life 
that always seemed to me may be said to have begun 
the day we left Cairo and entered Missouri ; when, worn 
with the fatigue of the long journey, we left the cars at 
Sykestown and commenced our first march, to New Mad- 
rid. That first march is one not easily forgotten. It was 
after 2 o'clock when we started, and we had to make 
twenty-two miles before we slept. A drizzling rain set 
in and the roads became muddy, still we pressed for- 
ward, cheered on the march by no music save the heavy 
boom cf cannon at Island Xo. 10. As an example of 
complete exhaustion. I always refer back to that night, 
when, supperless, I crept in upon a pile of corn to sleep. 

At New Madrid we txpected our equipments, but 
were put in charge of some heavy guns at different 
points along the river, and here got a chance to exchange 
our first shot with the enemy. But again we ^rew im- 
patient with the delay in equipping us — a delay for which 
it seemed there must be somebody responsible. At this 
point our Captain proved equal to the emergency, and 
developed a knowledge of that attribute of the soldier 
which is known in soldier parlance as " jayhawking." In 
one of the deserted forts, where they had been left by the 
rebels in their hasty retreat from the town, was a light 
batter^' of new bronze guns, just such as we had so 
long coveted ; and the Captain M drew " them without 
the intervention of an ordnance officer, or the usual form- 
ality of " red tape." Horses were obtained from the quar- 



•» 



3<3 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY, 

termaster, and, by a little strategy, harnesses were also 
procured, which were designed tor another battery; and 
we at last equipped for the field. Those little guns bore 
well t.ieir part on many a hard fought field, until they 
were condemned as " worn out in the service" by the in- 
specting officer; and yet it was not until after the close 
of the war, that the department at Washington made the 
inquiry of the Captain, where he got his equipments ! 
Being equipped, and Island No. 10 having surrendered, 
we were ordered to Corinth, to take part in the siege, of 
that town. The evacuation of Corinth and retreat of the 
rebels southward virtually suspended active operations 
in th it quarter for the summer, and we remained in camp 
at Rienzi. But we were on the front, constantly men- 
aced, so there wis little chance for that apathetic feeling 
generally so inseparable from inactive life in camp. 'vVe 
all remember the many nights when our slumbers were 
so abruptly broken by the order M Harness and hitch up 
— Cannoneers to your posts ! " 

The approach of autumn brought a renewal of active 
hostilities, and from this time our Battery history is 
merged in that of the old 3d Division. The battle of 
Iuka had been fought and won, and we broke camp and 
left our summer quarters, ignorant of our destination. 

As we entered Corinth that bright October's morning, 
speculation was rife as to our destination but the uncer- 
tainty was dispelled as the heavy boom of cannon broke 
the morning's stillness. How vividly we recall those 
days of strife, of anxiety, of seeming defeat and ultimate 
victory. But I do not wish to lift the pall from that scene 
of death, for even to the soldier who is engaged in the slrife 
the horrors of the battle are only seen when it is past. 

"There ^ something of pride in that perilous hour, 

Whate'er he the shape in which death may lower. 

For lame is there to tell who l>!eeds 

And Hon >r's eves on darinjj deeds. 

But when all is o'er, it is painful to tread 

O'er the weltering held of the tombless dea 1, 

To see worms <>f the earth and fowls of the air, 

Beasts of the forest, all gathering there, 

Each regarding man as his prey 

All rejoicing m his decay." 



ADDRESS BY H. S. KEENE. 3 I 

Our brilliant victory over the enemy at Corinth was 
dearly bougnt, to: it cost the lives of many of our best 
and bravest comrades. On that bloody field, we left the 
gallant Xoyes, Honn. Brown, Thomas, and Barney. 
Braver men never lived — truer heroes never died. Of 
them we can only say with the poet : 

" Brave men who » ' * * f e Ji 
Beside their cannon, conquered not, though slain, 
There is a victory m dying well * * * — 
Ye have not died in vain ! " 

I shall not attempt to follow in detail our long- chase 
after the retreating enemy, nor our long march through 
Lagrange, Holly Springs and Oxford to the Yocona 
river. The close of the year found us near Memphis, 
where we went into winter quarters. Thus closed the 
first year of our active service — an eventful year to us 
and an important one in our country's history. At its 
close, but little progress could be noticed, an J a cloud of 
vague uncertainty still enveloped the ultimate result. 

Important battles had been fought : Donaldson, Shiloh, 
Pea Ridge, Williamsburg, 2d Bull Run, Antietam, Chap- 
lin Hills, Corinth. Fredericksburg, and many others of 
lesser note. Thousands had yielded their lives a sacri- 
fice in their country's cause; thousands had suffered 
worse than death in the loathsome prison pens ; while 
thousands were left crippled and maimed, to drag out a 
miserable existence ! The year had been fraught with 
the vicissitudes of hope and fear, of victory and lef it ; 
vet we did not desoair, but while looking with deep so- 
licitude to the hidden future, determined to go forward 
in the path of duty. The dreary winter at last wore 
away, and the opening spring brought a renewal of ac- 
tive hostilities. The first of March we broke camp and 
embarked on transports, to cooperate with the army des- 
tined for the reduction of Vicksburg. All must remember 
the grand and imposing scene as our fleet swung out into 
the river, and the loveliness and beauty of the first eve- 
ning spent upon the water. The gentle ripple of the 
river, whose placid waters were unruffled by the slight- 
est breeze, but mirrored back the silver sheen of the 



3- 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERV. 



clear, full moon, seemed to illy harmonize with this mar- 
tial array. Yet the beauty was marred bv the thought 
that of the many thousands crowding the decks to <raze 
upon that scene, thousands would never return, but fall 
victims to miasma, disease and the engines of war. Then 
followed our disembarking near Grand Lake, our return 
to Helena, and the dreary and monotonous expedition 
down the Yazoo Pass — an expedition that always calls to 
mind the celebrated one wherein, 

"The King of France with forty thousand men. 
Marched up the h:ll and then marched down again." 

Our first trip down the river and back, the Pass expe- 
dition, our being cooped up on the sand island below 
Helena, and subsequent trip down the river, consumed 
the time until the middle of April, when we disembarked 
at Milliken's Bend. Ten days afterward we were on the 
march around Vicksburg, moving without tents or ban- 
gage, and. as all must remember, much of the time even 
unencumbered with rations. Crossing the river below 
Yicksburg the f.rst of May, our progress was contested 
step by step ; the roar of cannon was almost incessant, 
yet success as constantly perched upon our banners. Port 
Gibson, Jones' Gross Roads, Raymond, Jackson, Cham- 
pion Hills and Black River Bridge followed each other in 
rapid succession, with the usual intermediate Skirmishes. 
They were busy days, but the}* developed the fact that 
hungry men fight well. Days together we had nothing 
but corn meal — no sugar, coffee, salt, meat or grease of 
any kind — vet our bread made of the unsifted meal and 
brackish water was verv palatable when we could C'et it. 
but once a day. A dollar apiece was freely offered for 
crackers ; yet in the Rush of success, men even forgot to 
curse the quartermaster. 

Some of these battles were hotly contested — Cham- 
pion Hills being among the hardest fought battles of 
the war; but their successful issue gained fur us the 
point sought, and Vicksburg was invested in the rear. 
Then followed the long seigc — forty-eight days of inces- 
sant fighting — in which no battery engaged played a 



ADDRESS BY H. S. KEENE. 33 

more conspicuous part than the old 6th. Our Captain 
displayed the true national characteristic of the land of 
his extraction, for like the Irishman, who in a general 
fight wherevei he sees a head to hit he hits it ; so the 
Captain, wherever he saw a chance for a shot, the shot 
was given. 

The incidents of that memorable siege can never be ef- 
faced from the memory of those who were participants, nor 
can the granJeur and sublimity of the night scenes dur- 
ing the bombardment. The roar of cannon has a pecul- 
iar fascination to the soldier at any time, but when it 
would break upon the stillness of midnight from the whole 
investing line of batteries and gunboats, while the sky 
was filled with the meteor-like light of the cours- 
ing shells, it possessed a sublimity that baffles 
description. Nor can we forget those days of fear- 
ful slaughter when we assaulted their w^rks, of 
one of which to-day is the anniversary. The 19th and 
22d of May and 25th of June are days not to be soon for- 
gotten, as their record is written in the bleed of many of 
our noblest heroes, hut the dawn of the anniversary of 
our nation's birth brought the end, and abc\e the walls 
that had so long and persistently poured their deadly 
hail into our ranks, the glorious old stars and stripes 
were flun^ to the breeze! How often on the recurrence 
of that day had we gazed with pride upon the flowing 
folds of that o'.d banner, but never did it seem to wave 
so proudly as it did that day over Vicksburg! 

The successful termination of the siege gave us another 
period of rest — a rest that though much needed, seen 
grew monotonous and made us long for active service. 

September brought marching orders, and embarking 
we took a final farewell of Vicksburg. We stopped first 
at Helena, but soon moved from there to Memphis, from 
whence, early in October, we set out on our long march 
to Chattanooga, a march that was only eclipsed "When 
Sherman marched down to the Sea." 

We often marched to the music of the cannon, as for 
daws it was a constant skirmish on the front. On this 



34 ^TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

march there was often such a scarcity of rations as to 
cause a lively dispute between the boys and the mules 
as to the rightful ownership of the corn scattered from 
the feed of the latter. But the long march was finally 
made, and we passed under the frowning batteries on 
Lookout Mountain and took the position to which we 

E 

were assigned near the river above Chattanooga. 

From this point our Battery and Battery A. 1st Ills, 
were sent in response to a requisition from Gen. Grant, 
for the "two best batteries in the corps", to cross the river 
with the advance in the attack on Mission Ridge. The 
crossing was successfully accomplished — the batteries 
planted on Mission Ridge, where we assisted in gaining 
the battle that broke the rebel power in Tennessee. 

Then followed the pursuit of the retreating forces ; the 
return to Bridgeport, where we stopped two or three 
weeks ; (he march thence to Larkinsville, where two 
weeks were spent ; and thence to Kuntsville. where we 
arrived the 9th of January and went into winter quarters. 
At Hunts ville we spent over five months, when we 
were ordered to join the forces operating against Atlanta. 
Throughout that long siege we were £enerallv in hearing 
of the sound of strife, but our active participation was over. 
Guarding points at Kingston, Cartersville and Etawah 
consumed the time until the term of the old organiza- 
tion had expired. However, the organization was not 
broken up as the veterans and recruits kept it up uniil 
the close of the war. 

Throughout these long marches, along the shores of 
the Mississippi, the Tennessee, the Cumberland and the 
Etawah. our course is marked by the mounds that cover 
the mouldering forms of our fallen comrades. The erass 
and flowers of many summers have grown above them, 
upon which the pearly dews of morning sparkle in the 
sunlight, emblematical of the tears shed ovuv their fate 
by the many loved ones. But their slumbers are un- 
broken by the crack of the whip of the overseer or negro 
driver — the clanking of chains or gnxftts of the slave. 
Above them floats the old flag, flapping in the gentle 



POEM BY J. ALLEN COOMBS. 35 

breeze a meiancholly dirge over the fallen heroes whose 
blood helped wash the foul blot from its escutcheon — its 
stars no longer dimmed by the dark cloud of human 
slaver} — but emitting the bright scintillations of liberty 
and freedom. With us these fallen comrades will all meet 
at the great and final reunion. When the trumpet sounds 
the assembly, all must fall into ranks ; every name will 
appear on that final muster-roll, and each must respond 
to that final roll call. And let us all endeavor to live 
lives so pure that we may appear at that final review by 
the Great Commander in garments so immaculate that 
not one will be called upon to step from the ranks. 

After the oration, the following Reunion Poem, by J. 
Allen Coombs, was read: 4 w^r— «->^ ^ -^ 

Tne years may rush forevermore, *■* m*-\j% j 

Like ocean waves, upon the shore 

Of Time and leave their changes. 
And on each brow may leave their mirk; 
But hearts that glow with friendship's spark 

No night of year-) estranges. 

The memories of angry strife 
• Awake sad pictures into h.'e — 

We can forget them never; 
Hut crimson tides have ceased to flow, 
And Friendship's bonds -hall stronger grow, 

Forever and forever. 

No more is bared the glittering steel — 
No more with battle's -hock we reel — 

No more Death's fires are burning; 
Comrades again stand side by side, 
And Memory" s doors are opened wide, 

'On golden hinges turning.' 

H'u-'. 1 is the bugle's blast, 

Hushed is the roll ot drum, 
Silent rhe shriek of shell 

And the deadly cannon dumb. 
The sleeping lull- ami vale- 

Repose from 1 de's roar, 

And the camp fire"- light illume- the night 

In our stricken land no more. 

The peacetul song is heard 

Where the trimson -.abres clashed, 
When the ch Irons rode 

And the rattling mu.-kets flashed. 





36 



6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 



Hashed is the sound of strife — 
Hushed is the martial straii 
Lifted the smoke and the bondsman's yoke, 
And shattered his galling chain. 

The reaper reaps the grain 

Where Bashed the hero's sword, 
And thepurp!e violets grow 

Where the patriot's life blood poured ; 
The echoing bu;_;'.e call 

Is changed for the peaceful bell. 
And liijht has teamed on a race redeemed 

Where the dying warrior fell. 

Tenderly sigh, O breeze, 

Fondly ve branches wave, 
Lovingly twine, O vines, 

Over the hero's grave ! 
Ye birds in woodland Umers 

Sing from the boughs o'er head 
A plaintive song and the notes prolong, 

A dirge for the royal dead. 

The seasons come and go — 

The years pass one by one. 
But our comrade's deeds shad hve 

Till the day of life is done. 
Theirs was the cause of Righr, 

Theirs was the cause of God ! 
Ami angels above looked down with love 

Where they iieep beneath the so>.L 

Comrades, the strife is o'er ! 

The swr>rl is rusting now. 
And the ripened fruits of Peace 

Hung from tlie tended bough. 
The chain •! friendship sums 
Again the crim>on tlood. 
And God's great hand protects the land 
So late baptized in blood ! 

May His outstretching hand 

S'ill guide cs on through life ; 
May He our nation keep 

From fratricidal strife. 
On His great camping gTound 
May ire rogcther meet. 
Beyond the strife and toils 

When the butt long roil »* beat. 



ADDRESS BY O. J. BURNHAM. 37 



3D REUNION, AT LONE ROCK, 1 878. 



The third annual reunion was held at Lone Rock, 
September 25th, 1878. 

A steady rain the night previous and up to a late hour 
in the morning, made the attendance small as ccmpared 
with the previous one. There were forty-two of the Bat- 
tery boys in attendance. "Old Abe," the war eagle of 
the old 8th Wis. was bcrne at the head of the procession. 
O. J. Burnham, of Richland Center gave the annual 
oration, as follows : 

Seventeen years have passed since first we met as a 
military organization, here in the little village of Lone 
Rock. Can it be possible that so many years have 
elapsed since we united with the "Sauk Beys" at Wilscn 
Creek, and were escorted by almost the entire population 
of this Prairie, and the adjacent valleys, to our Head 
Quarters at Lone Rock? 

\\ hen we trust to the first impressions of memory, as 
we take a retrospective view of the past, it seems impos- 
sible, and yet "time" has scored 17 full-fledged years, 
each with its long, creamy, hrzy Indian Summer Au- 
tums, its cold, dreary, tempestuous Winters, its bright, 
joyous budding Springs, and its long Summer days, so 
full of labor and promise to the farmer ; each year, a full 
cycle of germination, growth, maturity and decay. Years 
overflowing with incidents that have passed into history-, 
recorded as some o( the most wonderful and greatest 
achievements of man in his 4000 years of existence. Our 
awn 4 years' straggle tor National existence, in which a 
million lives were lost, and the grand structure of the 
American Republic shaken to its foundations, tottering 
on the verge of ruin, and the whole social system of one- 
half the United States completely revolutionized, is but a 



38 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

small portion of the eventful history of the past 17 years. 
Three times has Europe been engaged in wars, which, 
though short, accomplished as great or greater changes. 
The map of Europe has to be so often remodeled that 
the closest student can hardly keep himself posted suffi- 
ciently to pass a creditable examination, while in the 
matter of progress and improvement the world has taken 
a stride, hardly equalled in any previous lialf-century. 
The time I have allotted myself will not admit of ref- 
erence to even a hundredth part of the events which 
rush into memory as my mind wanders back over the 
last half generation. We onlv need to glance at our- 
selves and few remaining comrades who meet us here, to 
be forcibly reminded of the lapse of years. With most 
of us nearly half our lives have passed since first we met 
here. We were mostlv bovs or voung men then. We, 
who then were cultivating incipient downy mustaches, 
now find our hair and beard streaked with gray. To-day 
we clasp the hands of middle aged men, and can hardly 
realize that they and the gay youthful soldiers, who, 17 
years ago parted from their s\Veet-hearts here at the de- 
pot, are the same. A few old men were with us then. 
Most have passed to the other land to receive their re- 
ward, with many, Oh! how many, of fewer years? 
But, comrades, although what remains of our lives be 
spent in scenes far removed, under brighter skies, or upon 
more fertile lands, we can never forget Lone Rock. We 
shall always remember the little town as it was then, a 
few houses and stores on the treeless prairie, inhabited 
by a warm-hearted patriotic and hospitable people. Lone 
Rock is the birthplace of our battery and as such will 
always have a warm corner in our hearts. It was here 
we organized and elected our officers, here we made a 
few attempts at drill and roll call, and here we received 
our name, — Bttetia Vista Battery o( Light Artillery, 
a name associated with the military history of our Cap- 
tain, as a soldier of the Mexican war, and the name of the 
Town in which we organized. After seventeen years, 
like the Locusts, we have returned to devour again the 



ADDRESS BY O. J. BURKHAH. 39 

substance of this hospitable people, and yet the}' do not 
seem to complain. On the contrary I think I discern 
something of a feeling of pride and satisfaction in welcom- 
ing their boys who return, as a family of children to the 
old homestead, to celebrate an anniversary, and clasp the 
hands of brotherhood and fellowship, whose bonds have 
never diminished, here upon the very soil which saw us 
first united. There is no place more appropriate, or 
which would bring to mind more forcible the feelings and 
inducements which caused us to leave our homes and 
kindred for the dread uncertainties of war. As comrade 
Keene told us at Avoca, "it was Patriotism that called 
us." Our country was assailed and our hearts burned 
with indignation, that our Government, the Great United 
States, should be openly defied and challenged to mortal 
combat bv a few overbearing, arrogant Southerners. I 
don't believe that we thought the country in great dan- 
ger. We had too great confidence in the patriotism of 
the United North, and too little respect for the fierce de- 
termination and vast resources of the South. \Vc had 
yet to learn that our Generals high in authority, com- 
manding divisions, corps, and even grand armies, would 
from motives of jealousy alone, withhold their support, 
in direct disobedience of orders, and suffer a great and- de- 
cisive battle to be lost, and thousands of brave lives sacri- 
ficed for naught. Xo ! We had no fears fur the result. 
i\ e had confidence in our leaders, ourselves, and our 
cause, and we went forth expecting to return in a tew 
months, one year at farthest, with the crown of victory 
upon us. We looked forward to a short, glorious and 
decisive campaign. How little we realized what was in 
store for us. We had all read histories of wars, lives of 
soldiers, and romances in which soldiers were the heroes, 
and battles and adventures, the main feature. We had 
had bovish dreams of the greatness and renown we should 
achieve when we too should be soldiers and our country 
in danger. What bov has not indulged in "day dreams," 
built castles in the air? and the brightest and grandest 
structure he ever built upon that ethereal foundation is 



40 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

the one in which he imagines himself a renowned sol- 
diei . His fancy perhaps pictures himself as starting out in 
his grand career no higher than a private soldier. But ac- 
cording to the books he has read, it is an easy matter to be- 
come the hero of some adventure and rise first to the 
dicrnitv of strines upon the sleeve of his jacket, and 
then two plain straps upon the shoulder. And then 
what opportunities are before him. He weaves a romance 
for himself after the pattern of the stories. Mounted 
upon a coal-black war-horse, at the head of a gallant 
band of followers he charges a battery. They dash on 
through the dense smoke of the battle field. The hissing 
bullets and plunging shells shriek past them dealing 
death on every side ; but he bears a charmed life, and 
pressing on with thinning ranks they meet the enemy in 
a hand to hand conflict. He mows them down with his 
sabre in his strong ri<*fat arm. while with a death dealing; 
revolver in his left hand he scatters them like chaffin the 
wind, and they flee in dismay. The victorv is ours. The 
next scene : He stands before his Commander-in-Chief 
and under the admiring eyes of the whole army he re- 
ceives his promotion. Now his opportunities are 
doubled. He distinguishes himself again and again, 
until at last, with stars upon his shoulders, at the head 
of the victorious army, accompanied by a retinue o^ 
General and stafPofhcers, with banners waving in the 
breeze, and bands playing their most inspiring National 
airs, he enters the gates of die conquered city, the last 
stronghold of the enemv, who lay down their arms in 
token of submission as he approaches. 

And will the boy's dreams st< >p here ? No ! His country 
would delight to hon the hero who had brought vie- 
tory to her arms and he is chosen President, like Wash- 
ington. 

Yes, when we were buys we were willing to stop here. 

If we could train the '.ion and renown of Geon r e 

Washington, we were content; but I imagine the bov 

of the future will look farther if not higher ; he will have 

another military hero and President in his mind's eye as 



ADDRESS BY O. J. BURNHAM. 41 

t 

a pattern to be imitated. After two terms as the highest 
officer in the greatest Nation that e'er the sun shown on, 
he will, like Washington, decline a re-election, but will 
not like him retire to his farm to live and die in piivate ; 
but will travel in Foreign Lands and receive the admira- 
tion and homage of the titled aristocracy of Europe and the 
whole world, when weary of this to return for more hon- 
ors from the Republic, his Native Land. 

This is but a dim outline, a faint sketch of those splen- 
did castles in the air that boys build in their flights of 
youthful fancy. But how much of the realities of a sol- 
dier's life enter into those dreams? Comrades, how- 
much didjou foresee of them when you enlisted in the 
6th Battery ? 

I shall never forget how the conceit was taken out of 
me when a boy often or eleven years. I had mace up 
my mind that I was born to be a soldier. I was brave as 
a lion / thought, (though I recollect a little circumstance 
that casts seme doubt in my mind now upon that sub- 
ject.) I was sent on an errand to a faim-hcuse in. the 
' country a half mile or so. I rather enjeyed the errand 
in prospect, for a little girl about my own age lived there 
whom I thought was the prettiest girl in the world. 
When I got in sight of the gate a large Newfoundland 
dog came out barking, as most farm dogs will at passers 
by. That settled me. I couldn't get up courage to go 
any farther and went home whining the excuse that the 
big dog wouldn't let me go in the gate. But as I was 
saying, I thought I was brave enough to be a soldier, and 
my father had promised to try and get me into the West 
Point school when I got old enough. But I went to .1 
circus, and there, in a fight, saw one man beat another 
to death with a murderous sling-shot. I turned away 
faint and sick at heart ; and as I went home I thought of 
my chosen career, and then and there renounced my am- 
bition to become a soldier ; for I concluded it took sterner 
stuff than I to pass through scenes of blood and carnage 
without flinching. I think the impression left by that 
occurrence has never been effaced ; for to this day a 



43 6 Hi WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

street fight possesses no attraction to me. I feel more 
like turning away in horror from the sight. Another in- 
cident, a sad accident that you all remember, happened 
in the earlier days of our soldiering which made a deep 
impression upon my mind. It was our mimic battle on 
thd drill ground at Xew Madrid. Each section of three 
guns, with their limbers caissons. 36 horses and as many 
men, came rushing at a fierce gallop trom opposite sides 
of the broad field. ** Into Battery,*' rang the call from 
the bugle and almost while yet in full gallop the guns 
were uniimbered, faced to the front, horses and limbers 
to the rear and instantly the continuous roar of artillery 
was re-echoing from shore to shore of the broad Missis- 
ippi. Suddenly through an opening in the dense smoke 
I saw a form dashed to the earth from the muzzle of 
piece No. 5 which stood nearly facing me, at the same 
instant the shattered pieces of the rammer whizzed past. 
M Cease firing" came the order, and hastening to the 5th 
piece we found the cannoneers tenderly raising the limp 
and. lifeless form of one of our most genial and lively 
comrades, S. J. Gould. I don't know how the rest of you , 
felt but / couldn't help thinking that if this was the re- 
sult of playing at war whit would the reality be? And 
do you recollect the first time we were ever under mus- 
ketry fire, at the west of Corinth Oct. y\, as we were 
changing front upon a hill, with the battle in fierce prog- 
ress in front upon lower ground in the timber? A volley 
of musket bails at long range whizzed over our heads.? 
How well we remember the s >und of the drawn out /nss 
of the bullet at long range. We came to be perfectly fa- 
miliar with it in later d ivs, as als ) with the spiteful spit 
of the same deadly missile at short range. One of these 
bullets coming at ran lorn p.is^ed between the Captain 
and myself who rode in advance of the battery, and 
passed through the lc*s of two men walking one behind 
the other, lL-rger an i Dj:nnjr. I believe were the men. 
Here again it seemed as if fate hid marked us, for if one 
bullet at long range placed two men/tors tiu Combat, what 
would be left of us alter a regiment had tired a few rounds at 



ADDRESS BY O. J. BURNHAM. 43 

us at short range? But the next day when the real danger was 
upon us we forgot it all. We did not stop to listen to the 
shower of bullets that incessantly swept around us. In- 
stead we listened to the sharp detonations of our own 
euns as they sent double loads of canister into the ranks 
of the advancing host, and the cheers of our cannoneers 
as the enemy were mown down by scores. Our calloused 
hearts were not moved by the sight of hideous wounds, 
heaps of dead and dying, or streams of blood. What is 
the cause o( this ? Is it the excitement of the moment 
that causes us to forget the misery ? and .yet we cannot 
forsret while it is before our very eyes ; oris it the wlwle- 
sale slaughter that makes us indifferent, while one bleed- 
ing body would cause us to faint? or is it a benehcent 
plan of nature that gives us strength as we need it to bear 
the burden that God gives us to bear ? 

It was only the grand, the heroic, the chivalric portion 
of military life that we saw in our visions of the future, 
and how comparatively little oi all that we realized ! It 
is true, a few pages of our history might pass into litera- 
ture along side of the chivalric stories of Walter Scott 
Had we a poet among us he might have immortalized 
the heroic deeds of the old Sixth Battery. It is of no 
use for my feeble language to try to portray them. They 
are indeliibly written in the memory of every member; 
and the least allusion to them strikes a chord that vi- 
brates in unison with the warlike strains which commem- 
orate the heroic deeds of the world's victorious armies. 
But those few deeds of valor, those few moments of war- 
like inspiration and excitement, what were they compared 
with the three or four long years of weary days that 
dragged along in the monotony of camp drudgery, the 
daily duties of guard and drill, the sweeping and clear- 
ing of camp grounds, care of horses, cleansing and bright- 
ening equipments, digging earthworks and building for- 
tifications. The constant struggle to keep ahead of dirt, 
disease and vermin, the irksome confinement to the nar- 
row limits of a camp surrounded by guards, who exer- 
cise equal vigilance in preventing passage from either 



44 ^TH WISCONSIN BATTER V. 

direction, except the passer be in possession of the " open 
sesame," a pass from head-quarters. These are only mi- 
nor difficulties when compared with the actual hardships 
and privations which we were often called upon to en- 
dure. The long, weary marches in inclement weather.on 
the road from early morn till late at night — lucky if we 
can find a diy spot of ground for a bed, water for coffee 
that is not too thick with mud to flow — and a few hard- 
tack in our havresacks ; then we try and get a short rest, 
broken by the driving rain or snow, or the chilling wind 
that creeps under our scanty covering of blankets, as we 
lay at the mercy of the weather. Even under these hard- 
ships the average soldier does not grumble, but you will 
find him extracting some fun from everything. For in- 
stance, if the rain be failing in torrents and the ground 
fast becoming a shallow lake, you will hear some one as 
he gropes about in the darkness hunting for a dry knoll 
calling out in imitation of the leadsman on board a river 
boat. " Mark twain " "and a half three." "Four feet," 
etc. But if you wish to strip the last vestige of romance 
from our " soldier bow" prostrate him with one of the 
many diseases incident to a Southern climate, and put 
him in the hospital. Here he will dream no more of 
warlike honors, but his mind will drift back to his pleas- 
ant home in the North, the gentle mother, wife or sister 
who would bathe his feverish brow, bring cool water for 
his parched lips> constantly watch and nurse him back to 
health and strength. Comrades " you know how it is 
yourself" you have felt it .would bea/.v.r//rv to be sick 
nigh unto death, if you could only be at home. 

No, comrades, our anticipations then were as much dif- 
ferent from the realization as they have been since we 
ceased to be soldiers and became citizens again. For we 
did not stop dreaming when we became familiar with the 
realities of a soldier's life, but the current of our dreams 
was changed. We no longer dreamed of military glory, 
but of advancement in civil life. We mapped out the 
course of our lives w hen we should become our own mas- 
ters again. And how many of us thought that at this 



ADDRESS BY O. J. BURN HAM. 45 

day 1878, \vc would be no farther toward the goal of our 
ambition than we are. But such is life ! and thus will it 
ever be till man can be content to take what good he 
can from the little things of the present which really 
make up the whole of life, instead of longing for some- 
thing <rreat in the dim and uncertain future. 

But comrades I did net intend to preach a sermon to 
you. You expect me to recall to you some of the inci- 
dents of those days when " we went soldiering." I will 
hastily go over some of the ground that we marched 
over together "In days of Aulct Lang Syne/' Oh, those 
days, weeks and months at Racine where we spent our 
first half year. We thought then after being mustered 
into the Unites States Service, and placed under the com- 
mand of such an important officer as Colonel Foster, that 
wehadbe^un soldier life in earnest. How strictly we had 
to obey orders then. Hew closely confined to camp wilh 
only a limited number of passes per day, which seemed a 
terribly small number when compared with the one hun- 
dred and sixty odd men w ho wanted an occasional airing 
outside cf camp. I !ear you almost learned to hate your 
buglers and orderly sergeant who were always calling 
you to some duty or other. These early reveilles, in- 
numerable drill calls, roil calls, guard calls, fatigue calls, 
etc. let three times a day we played tunes thai were 
better appreciated when the breakfast, dinner and supper 
ught you into line to march into the eld rccss- 
house. 'I he old mess-hou.^e, can we ever forget that in- 
stitution? My recollection of the fare is rather dim, but 
can recall the soup with an occasional dish-rag for vari- 
ety, fried pork, and stewed beef alternately, good baker's 
bread and molasses, with army coffee. You ail know 
what kind of a diink that is. Not a very inviting bill of 
fare; but we had wonderful appetites then, and with our 
healthy out-door living and exercise, we nut on flesh like 
fattening bogs. But you all recollect it didn't last long, 
for when we got down into the swamps oi Missouri the 
shakes and the fever and that other chronic disease of 
llie soldier soon took off all superfluous flesh. Another 



46 6rH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

recollection of the last useful days of the old mess-house 
when the weather began to grow piercing cold and the 
early reveille called us from under our warm blankets to 
stand in line in the face of the chilling blasts that swept 
over Lake Michigan, until one hundred and sixty men 
could be got into line and their names called and re- 
sponded to, one after another, and then perhaps ten or 
fifteen minutes, which seemed an hour, to wait before 
the doors would be opened ; and then to sit down to 
coffee that would almost freeze in the cup ; tin plates, 
knives and forks full of frost. Surelv this was £ettim T 
uncomfortable, to say the least ; and we voted the thinjj 
a nuisance, and there came a ctian^e. We now had to 
cook our own grub in an eight by ten tent, occupied by six- 
men, cookstove and furniture. What a lesson such an ex- 
perience would be to the woman wdio is always antin^ 
another back kitchen built on. to cook in. Kut we en- 
joyed it, and still ^rcw fit and healthy, notwithstanding 
the seeming exposure of living through a cold Wdnteron 
the shores of Lake Michigan, with only the thickness of 
cotton canvas between us and the freezing winds. Neither 
can we forget the furloughs, when we. went home to meet 
again the friends from whom we had parted, we thought 
until the war should close. Tho.se first leaves of absence, 
when the newly gained importance and responsibility sat 
heavily upon our Post Commander's Head, were limited 
to five days ; half of which must be spent in going and re- 
turning. We too, telt the necessity of implicit obedience, 
and should we chance to stay but one day beyond the 
limit of our furloughs, we expected nothing could save 
us from court-martial and severe punishment, perhaps 
death, for desertion. But in the language of the soldier 
that " soon played out." and when the intense cold of 
Winter caused a mutinous feeling in regard to guard 
duty which soon put an cnA to tfiat, and we were allowed 
some freedom to pass our tvemngs especially as we chose, 
then the life which was becoming irksome began to be 
more endurable. Long furloughs were given, and I 
think most of us can look back to that winter as one of 



ADDKfiaS BV O. J. BURNHAM. 47 

the plcasantest in our lives. We thought then that we 
were rapidly learning to be soldiers, and we were becom- 
ing skilled in marching and handling guns, but in later 
days we smiled at the recollection of what we considered 
then the hardships of a soldier's life. We also learned 
a little of that art then unnamed, which we afterwards 
found ample opportunity to cultivate. But it fell to the 
lot of the Seventh Kansas to furnish the enduring name 
to that branch of the service, entirely separate from, yet 
still accessory to the subsistence department. 

At Racine, jayhawking was not a necessity, but we 
seemed to have a premonition that a little practice in 
that line might sometime be of service to us when sup- 
plies failed to come through the regular channels of the 
Quarter Master's department. If such real!}* were our 
motives in our little nocturnal expeditions to the surround- 
ing country, then they were well timed for in after years 
we well remember many a time, when, after a long day's 
weary march, we would have gone supperless to bed 
upon the cold, wet or frozen ground, with no shelter but 
the heavens above us; and no fire even, had it not been 
for the faculty we had acquired of slyly disobeying those 
general orders which related to confiscation of private 
property, when we {private soldiers) saw ' a military ne- 
cessity in so doing, But I believe the good people of Ra- 
cine and vicinity made no disturbance over the few ap- 
ples, chickens, etc., that they missed, although I do rec- 
ollect something of the old Frenchman and his daughter 
trying to trace the whereabouts of certain chickens that 
had mysteriously disappeared ; but they had no better 
success than did certain officers nearly two years later, 
when trying to find the missing sutler and commissarv 
stores at Helena, Arkansas. All winter long,as we heard 
of the success of our armies in the South, the fall of one 
strong hold after another, we were feverishly anxious to 
join them for fear the war would be over ere we had a 
chance to achieve any of the glory. Among all the 
would-be prophets of the final result, who prophesied 
that three years more would not see the end? 



48 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

Perhaps you all recollect our rejoicing over those vic- 
tories , and on Washington's birthday we had a grand 
time, and hung Jeff Davis in effigy to the flag staff; 
another dream, alas ! which we never saw fulfilled. A 
year and a half ago Comrade Keene recalled to your 
memorv the most striking incidents of cur service after 
leaving Racine, and at Spring Green,comrade Jones from 
the time he joined, so I will not give you a rehash of the 
same, but stiii as recollection reviews those years in de- 
tail, I recall many little episodes that perhaps will entertain 
you more than any other subject, and as we get together to 
talk over these old times, the story never seems to get 
thread-bare or lose its interest. 

It is amusing now, to think how promptly and swiftly 
orders were obeyed and troops moved in those early 
times of the war. The pending trial of Gen. Porter, for 
delay and disobedience in obeying orders, recalls some 
of our own experience. 

On the Qth of March, 1862, we received orders to pro- 
ceed to St. Louis, immediately. On the 10th another 
peremptory order, but the 13th found us still in Racine, 
and by referring to my diary [ mid that I attended a 
sociable in town on that evening. And not until noon of 
the 15th did wc finally get underway for Dixie. Cold 
and cheerless was the day; but our hearts were light, for 
the hour we had so long anticipated had come, and we 
were now on our way t.^ actual war to lend our idd to 
the cause of our country. We remember ^ur halt at 
Chicago, and the generosity of our officers in furnishing 
coffee frem a restaurant to the whole company. We 
had not yet learned, as the train halted for a short time 
to collect a few sticks, build afire on the ground and 
from thecantccn fill the little coffee kettle, manufactured 
from an empty fruil 1 in, which each soldier earned in 
later years and fr< m * le havresack take a ration of cof- 
fee and brew a cup winch not inebriate but wonderfully 
cheer the heart of the weary, hungry soldier. 

Twenty-four hours after leaving Racine *c were on 
board a St. L< uir> hi at at Alton, lllionis. 'I he warmth 



ADDKF.SS BY O. J. BURN HAM. 49 

of summer was in the air, and we threw off the blue 
overcoats that had been so comfortable until now. Three 
hours later in St. Louis. The most distinct impression I 
have of St Louis is a broad levee sloping to the water, 
lined with steamers, and covered with crowds of people, 
drays, army wagons and mules, and heaps of merchan- 
dise, conspicuous among which were great piles of meat, 
corded up like cord wood ; a convenient lookout for the 
small boys who climbed up to look over the heads of 
the crowd to see the disembarking of the troops. Those 
piles I learned were composed ol arm)' bacon, which was 
to supply the waste of bone and sinew, to our toiling 
army. We formed a more intimate acquaintance with it 
afterward. The five mile march through crowded and 
muddy streets to Benton Barracks was indelibly stamped 
in mv mind bv the acute pain in my shoulders, for our 
knapsacks were packed as full as skill and long practice 
could pack them, and in r ddition our heavy overcoats, 
blankets* and haversacks with rations, made a load winch 
our inexperienced shoulders were hardly able to tarry 
such a long distance, without rest. This was our first 
and or.lv experience in that line; for which we were truly 
thankful. Only two days at St. Louis, and then to the 
front, without a weapon oi offence or defence, more deadly 
than the heknives we carried in cur pockets. 

The ride from Birds I't. to Sykestown I noted in my 
journal, as upon the roughest railroad I had ever seen 
or ever expected to see. But I had never seen the Pine 
River Valley Narrow Gauee. Friend Keene referred to 
the march, to New Madri I twenty-two miles alter two 
o'clock p. ». as an example of complete exhaust:* n. I 
always remember it as a lesson which, has pro\ :d in- 
valuable. It l.rs saved me from many a bed ofsickness, 
and perhaps, from death. had been sick cversinceouf 
arrival at St. Louis, had eaten nothing for three days ex- 
cept a dish of oysters procured at Henton Barracks. It 
seemed an imoossibiiity for me to walk two miles with- 
out fainting bv the way-side, but I started with the rest 
and soon fell far behind, as their impetuosity took them 



50 • 6XH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

ahead for the first few miles at a furious rate. One friend 
staid and cheered me on, carrying niy blmkets and 
haversack. Mile after mile was passed and to my sur- 
prise I felt no weaker, and after six or eight miles as we 
began to overtake stragglers that had given out after the 
first heat of excitement, my strength and ambition began 
to return, ana we .pushed ahead with constantly increas- 
ing speed until we hid overtaken and passed half the 
comomv. As a rain cimj on and we hid no shelter, we 
turned aside as darkness appro iched and found an old 
deserted house, tore up a portion of the floor and built a 
fire on the ground, with a pole knoeked a hole through 
the roof for the sm:>ke to go through ; and after a lunch 
from our haversacks, lay down and slept off the weari- 
ness, and awoke in the morning as well and fresh as ever. 
That lesson taught me to never give uo and go to the 
hospital while I could possibly stand or keep along with 
the battery. 

You remember the deserted Secesh barracks comfort- 
ably built for winter quaters, suoplied with fire places,- 
cocking utensils, and an abundance of provisions of some 
kinds, showing that they had been deserted in a hurry. 
Three weeks liter, a jolly prisoner from Island 10, told 
us the story of their sudden departure. 

Pope's army had surrounded them on three sides so 
there was n^> possible escape but via river. Siege guns 
hi 1 been placed in position during the night within easy 
range, and in the morning opened fire with a vigor which 
threatened to blow the fortifications and barracks into 
atoms. A steamer came under the bank out of reach of 
the shell, to take away the frightened rebels. The bank 
here is clay and nearly perpendicular for twenty feet to 
the water. A broad gangplank was laid from the deck to 
near the top of the bank. miking a steep incline for the men 
to walk down. Onto the plank they rushed pell mell 
for safety. It was raining hard, and the mud was deep; 
and after the first few pissed down, the plank became so 
slippery with mud tint no mm could keep his feet at 
that angle, and as each coming upon the run jumped 



ADDRESS HY O. J. BURNIIAM. 5 I 

upon the plank his feet slipped from under him and down 
he sailed to the deck with feet and hands flying in the 
air. And, said our informant, " For a month afterward 
you could tell a man from New Madrid by looikng at the 
seat of his pants." 

At first we were shv of the barracks, on account of 
the vermin which no doubt infested them. Some of us 
pitched our tents upon the bank of the river in front of 
them, but a storm coming up in the night the billows of 
the broad river washed theban^ so that it caved for sev- 
eral feet in width, and some of the tents went down with 
it, the occupants narrowly escaping with their lives. By 
decrees we fixed ourselves comfortablv in the barrac s, 
and enjoyed the new life. 

But, comrades, I didn't intend to detain you here listen- 
ing to me so lon^r. Thirty minutes at the outside had I 
allotted myself to perform this duty, and the time has 
more than passed already. I also intended to glance 
over the whole period of our service, mentioning some 
of the minor incidents that comrades Jones and Keene 
had omitted for want of time. But we must stop, even {{ 
we have reached no stopping place. Besides, we have 
all done over duty. As a matter of duty and of form, 
you selected one of your number to address you on this 
occasion, though why vou should have thought of mc 
for that duty is more than I can imagine. Being absent 
at the time I had no opportunity to decline, and the only 
course left me was to tacitly accept, or ignominiously 
bac out. And I believe the 6th Battery always objected 
to the crawfish method of advancing. Therefore I have 
performed my duty ; but you whose duty it was to listen 
would have the most cause for complaint had you not 
brought it upon yourselves. You have performed your 
part creditably for which you have my than s. 

I \ now you are hungry, and besides, all of you are 
charged to the muzzle with your own recollections and 
are impatiently longing for the opportunity to grasp the 
hand of some comrade, and to recall to each other a few 
of those almost forgotten incidents which to-day throng 



52 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

in your memory. Therefore I will thus abruptly break 
oJTthe thread of this narrative and after the formal cere- 
monies of the day are over, we will meet face to face, 
hand clasped in hand, and together we will continue the 
history 1 have only just commenced. Together will we. 
upon the wings of those thronging memories that hover 
round us to-day, again ^lide up the broad Mississippi on 
board the old '* i>lue Wing ;" up the silvery, winding. 
silent Tennessee, between whose high and wooded 
ban*s we sailed for days, scarcely meeting a thing of life 
or hearing a sound to disturb the Sabbath-li-e stillness 
of those quiet shores ; over the battle fields to Corinth 
to be swallowed up in that immense army of one hundred 
thousand men. then slowly and blunderingly on after the 
retreating foe. Together we will live over again the 
quiet summer days at Rienzi, and — alas ! if we continue 
until memory fails to furnish an inspiring theme, we will 
have to establish a permanent camp here for the rest o( 
the autumn. 

Again I think you for listening with the spirit of mar- 
tyrs, and if you will only tell me who at our last meeting 
suggested mv name for this business I will cheerfully 
nominate him t< > deliver our next address. 

After the oration II. S. Keene read the following Re- 
union Poem, by Miss Ella Haskell, of Lone Rock : 

Von meet :i„':\in. brave soldiers, 

With o! ! friends kind an 1 true, 
B« I • et 

Of the grsTxl red, w ■ m<\ blue ; 
V --.I talk fn days now passed and gone 

Of patriots brave an ! tr 
An«l ol t!>o <i.ir o <•-- pithere ! home 

\\ '::<> fought so brave w th yoa. 

Before you c rkened walls 

( M a ;>■ .-om, Ion : an I drear, 
A" i li] n i ■ v. '.:».• u irli aiwu 

Will '■... r words to dieer. 

Veil ■• I e. 

I lis l-n_\ t eyes * .i dim, 

Th • ■ « : tcness 

Where the v i e lately beamed. 

And i ;■• n yon see tl 
So fu!! of • tos strife. 



POEM BY ELLA HASKELL. 53 



Where many a one so nobie 
Has lost hi-i precious life. 

Oh, if the Lord of battles 

Were not our strength and stay, 

Mothers and friends and children 
Where would you be to-day ? 

You see the desolate homes 

The battle too has made. 
Before you comes the far off grave 

Where your comrade now is laid. 
At last the joyful meeting 

Bv God's own mercv wrought 
From many fields o t danger 

The brave at last are brought. 



'it " a 

"X-rv r \ ' ' 

A 



54 ^TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 



4TH REUNION, AT RICHLAND CENTER, I 879. 



The fourth annual reunion was held at Richland Center, 
June Ilth and 12th, 1879, the boys going into camp on 
the night of the nth. 

There were forty-eight of the Battery boys present, 
and the largest crowd of citizens th it had ever met with 
us. The annual oration was given by Sergeant A. J, 
Hood, and was followed by speeches from Gov. Smith, 
Gens. Reynolds, Bryant and Wilson, Col. J. G. Clark and 
Elder Loomis. The Battery boys effected a permanent 
organization and adopted a constitution. 

The following are the officers for the ensuing year: 
President, Capt. Henry Dillon. 
Chaplain, Rev. Jenk LI. Jones. 
Orderly Sergeant, M. Dziewanowski. 
Secretary, O. J. Burnham. 
Corresponding Secretary, H. S. Keene. 
Executive Committee, H. S. Keene. W. T. Hayes and 
A. P. Clayton. 

Publishing Committee same as last. 
Sergeant A. J. Hood, the orator of the day was intro- 
duced, and although he had prepared an address, on ac- 
count o( the many speakers being present, he occupied 
but a short time. We give a portion of his address : 

Ladies and Gentlemen, and Fellow Soldiers of the late 
War: — When I was detailed to address you to-day, I 
was not aware there would be so many " big guns " here, 
but we soldiers feel like talking to his Excellency, the 
Governor of the State of Wisconsin as well as to our old 
comrades to-day. It brings fresh to our minds the days 
of '6l, when we learned the rudiments of a soldier's du- 



ADDRESS BY A. J. HOOD. 55 

ties here in our own State, that long winter in Racine 
where we spent the days in drill, the evenings, when off 
duty, writing to our wives and the girls we left behind 
us. When finally orders came we went to the front 
(Xew Madrid) with its ruins, Island Xo. 10, with its 
Dooming guns, Ruddle's Point, with its rebel gunboats ; 
then the journey up the river to join Grant at Shiloh. 
Cairo, where some of the men went through the process 
of sobering off according to a new plan, as you may re- 
member ; but we passed the spring campaign to rest at 
Rienzi, where we had to drill before breakfast, and satisfy 
the Orderly at roll call in regard to absent friends by 
answering " over the hill." Then comes Corinth with 
its terrible battle, when we, with other Wisconsin sol- 
diers, won laurels that will be green in history as long as 
the State of Wisconsin stands. But we have no time to 
talk of how we whipped the rebs or wintered near Mem- 
phis, or to take you down to Yazoo Pass and show you 
the broken steamers among the trees or read the signs 
nailed to the trees by our boys. Then comes Mill ken's 
Bend; the crossing in hot haste at Breimsburg amidst 
the roar of musketry ; the battles in rear of Vieksburgh, 
together with the siege. Then that grand old Fourth of 
July, when the Star Spangled Banner was raised over the 
rebel city. But we must now ^o and help our comrades 
at Chattanooga. When we think of all we have passed 
through together, is it to be wondered at that we love each 
other like brothers ? Those ties formed in the army are not 
easily broken. We have rejoiced and wept together ; we 
laid some of our comrades away in Southern graves ; we 
marched home as conquerors. Boys, we love one an- 
other, we love these reunions and are glad to see that 
the people of Richland i.\o. Then there is that dear old 
flag we followed in the mud and storm. We stc od side 
by side in its defense when our comrades fell dead at our 
feet; we have seen it advancing to assault the enemy's 
works when the color bearer would fall pierced to the 
heart, the flail shattered with traitor's lead, would be 
borne on up the hill over the ramparts to wave in vie- 



56 6TH WISCONSIN BATTERY. 

tory. God Bless the old Flag. (Applause.) I would 
say to the Governor, if traitors ever insult or try to de- 
stroy this Government, if he calls for us he will find us 
here. But if we must leave the plow in the field, lock up 
the store and the workshop to go and chastise those 
traitors again crinoline will not save their leaders. (Ap- 
plause.) We have those principles purchased by the 
blood of our forefathers at Bunker Hill in the war of a 
hundred years ago, nourished by their blood in 1812, 
again on the plains of Mexico, as well as our own in the 
late war. Let us teach these principlesto our children, in- 
still them into their hearts so that when our work is done 
and we are called away to that other world those princi- 
ples and the old flag will be in safe keeping. 













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65 



To commemorate the heroism, patriotism and virtues of our comrades 
who died that their country might live, — to cement more firmly and per- 
petuate the friendships formed amid die trying scenes of war; we, the 
surviving members of the 6th Wisconsin Battery hereby form this Associa- 
tion and adopt the following Constitution 

ARTICLE L— NAME. 
Section i. This Association shall be known as the Sixth Wisconsin 
Batten-. 

ARTICLE [I.— MEMBERSHIP. 

Section i. All persons who have been members of the old organization 
and who have received an honorable discharge, shall be considered members 
o( this Association. 

Section 2. Members of the families of deceased comrades may, by a 
vote of the Society, be chosen as honorary members, with all the privileges 
of full membership. 

ARTICLE III.— MEETINGS. 

Section I. There shall be held at least one reunion each year, at such 
time and place as may be determined at any regular meeting, or as may be 
designated by the executive committee. 

ARTICLE IV.— OFFICERS. 

SECTION i. The officers shall consist of a President, Vice President, 
Chaplain, Orderly Sergeant, Recording Secretary, Corresponding S ■eretary, 
Treasurer, an Executive Committee and a Publishing Committee of three 
members each, all of whom .-hall be chosen for one year, except a> herein- 
after provide< L 

SECTION 2. The ranking officer shall be president of the society. He 
shall preside at the meetings, preserve order, and have command of the 
tery. He shall also 1 ', a member of the executive committee, 

and as such may participate in their proceedings. 

Section ;. Th :r in rank shall be vice president. He shall 

assisl tl iident in his duties when present, and in his absence shall 

preside in his place. 

SECTION 4. The recording secretary shall keep the minutes of eacii 
me ling and report the same t<i the subsequent meeting. He shall aLo 
ncta> clerk t<> the executive committee* 

noN 5. The corresponding secretary shall conduct the correspond- 
ence of t!i ty. 

Si CTION o. The treasurer shall safely keep all moneys entrusted to his 

care, and shall disburse the same only on orders drawn on him by the 

utive committee. 

- CTION 7. The executive committee shall conduct the business of the 

i\ and tate the limes and places of holding the reunions when the 

ie shall not have been determined '. the previous meeting. 

IOS 8. The publishing committee shall prepare lor publication and 
I isn such proceed . addresses, sketches, etc, as may be designated 
by the -><>c : 






574