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"IT can no longer be unfurled, and five bullets have pierced the 
staff. Its tattered folds and splintered staff bear witness more 
eloquently than words to the conduct of the men who have rallied 
around it from Gainesville to Gettysburg." 

[Letter of R. R. Dawes, Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, return 
ing this old color to the State of Wisconsin, August 4th, 1863 ] 







With the hope that I may contribute something of value for 
the history of one of the most faithful and gallant regiments in 
the army of the Union, the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, and 
with the especial object of preserving tor our children a record 
of personal experiences in the war, this book has been published. 

A box of old letters and papers, collected during the war and 
carefully arranged and preserved by my wife, has been a chief 
source from which I have drawn the subject matter. 

Contemporary statements and opinions have not been changed. 
In cases where subsequent knowledge disclosed an error, the 
fact is noted. 


MARIETTA, OHIO, November roth, 1890. 

To my wife who joined her destiny with my own 
when I was a soldier and thus became, together with 
myself, subject to the extreme perils of war, this book 
is affectionately dedicated. 




The Call for Volunteers The Lemon weir Minute Men Anxious Haste to 
"Crush the Rebellion" Provoking Delays Captain Balfour s Opinion 
Assigned to the Seventh Wisconsin A Poster Ordered Into Quar 
tersCalled to the Sixth Regiment Reception at Camp Randall 
Company "K," Better Known as "Q" Officers of the Sixth I Dis 
cover That I Have a Servant We are Uniformed in Gray Mustered 
Into U. S. Service Bull Run To the Front The Glorious Passage 
East Miss Anderson The March Through Baltimore Attacked by 
"Plug Uglies" Lieutenant Kellogg in the Battle of Patterson Park 
On to Washington Kalorama Heights Our Brass Band First Sight 
of General McClellan. 


Picket Duty on the Potomac Camp at Chain Bridge We Hear General 
Hancock Whisper to his Brigade To Arlington Heights The "Iron 
Brigade" in Embryo Officers Weeded out Reviews and Reviews 
The Battle Hymn of the Republic The Grand Review Our Drum 
Major Thanksgiving and Mince Pies A Visit to Ohio Amusements 
in the Winter Camp The Arlington House I Reconnoitre a Seminary 
for Young Ladies Tossed in a Blanket Gambling and Vice On 
Picket in the mud Interviewed by a Congressional Committee 
Washington s Birthday Celebrated A March to the Front The 
Enemy Gone Hard Campaigning Reviews More Hard Campaigning 
The Brigade Stampeded by a Bull Camp Life in Stormy Weather 
Bull Frog Concerts My Brother in Battle at Shiloh Picnic at St. 
Stephen s Chapel On to Fredericksburgh A Whisky Ration News 
From Shiloh Camp Opposite Fredericksburgh Practical Eman 


Fac-Simile Confederate Currency A Remarkable Bridge Advent of Gen. 
John Gibbon Extra Clothing Still "Spoiling for a Fight" Feathers, 
Leggings and White Gloves President Lincoln Visits us "On to 
Richmond" Stonewall Jackson in the Valley We Pursue Jackson 
His men Carry "A Hundred Rounds and a gum Blanket," Ours Carry 
"Saratoga Trunks" "You uns is Pack Mules, we uns is Race Horses" 


Overcoats and Knapsacks Flung Away Celerity of Jackson vs. 
Ponderosity of McDowell Up the Hill -and Down Again We Attend 
Church in Fredericksburgh Mink Teaches School A Very Pretty 
Fight of my own Win by a Scratch and am Appointed Major Frank 
A. Haskell Advent of General Pope Prejudice Against McDowell 
A Mule Race Pope s Proclamation not Well Received A Raid 
Toward Orange C. H By Help of a Slave, I Capture a Confederate 
Officer "Its the Lord s Will That the Colored People Help you uns" 
Impending Battles The Fredericks Hall Raid To Cedar Mountain 
He "Done got out" William Jackson Retreat Before General Lee 
First Experiences Under Fire To Warrenton To Warren ton Sulphur 
Springs Again Under Fire Stonewall Jackson in our Rear Back 
Toward CentrevillQ Can t Stop to eat Battle of Gainesville Corps 
Commander "Lost in the Woods" A Midnight Retreat Some Com 
ments on Gainesville Sound of Battle on the Bull Run Field Fitz 
John Porter s Corps Marches by We March to the Field of Battle 
Clouds of Dust Interpreted as a Retreat of the Enemy Battle of Bull 
Run Second Midnight Visit From General Kearney and Retreat 
Death on Picket Duty Chantilly To Upton s Hill Joy at the An 
nouncement That McClellan is in Command Colonel Bragg s Manly 
and Patriotic Political Stand Colonel Cutler Pays his Respects to Mr. 


Army Re-organized General Joseph Hooker our Corps Commander 
Advance to Maryland At Frederick City Enthusiasm for "Little 
Mac" On to South Mountain The Battle Volleys by Wing All 
Night on the Field Complimented by General McClellan On to An- 
tietam The Battle Captains Brown and Bachelle Killed Colonel 
Bragg Wounded Terrible Slaughter of our Regiment at Antietam 


Exhaustion After Antietam A sad Blunder Colonel Bragg Nominated 
for Congress President Lincoln Visits the Army Twenty-Fourth 
Michigan Joins the Brigade Appointed to Inspect Troops Forward 
to Virginia Dr. John C. Hall Colonel Cutler Takes Command of the 
Brigade General McClellan Removed from Command of the Army 
Colonel Cutler Takes a Stand The Burnside Regime On to Fred- 
ericksburgh General Solomon Meredith Distrust of Burnside 
Battle of Fredericksburgh The Retreat Clayton Rogers Saves the 
Pickets "Clayt" and "Bony" Whitworth Shell for Breakfast The 
Defeat as Viewed by a Member of Congress Camp Near Belle Plaine 
General James S. Wadsworth The Mud Campaign The Fifty-fifth 
Ohio in our Houses Darkness Upon us as a Nation Exit Burnside 
General Joseph Hooker in Command of the Army The Northumber 
land Raid Correspondence with Mr. Cutler Political Conditions. 



A Visit to Ohio A Public Address Promoted General James S. Wada- 
worth Preparations for the Campaign General Lysander Cutler 
Colonel Bragg s Letter with our old Flag Reviewed by the President 
General Joseph Hooker How to get Ready for a Battle Campaign 
Twenty-fourth Michigan *Makes a Raid Campaign Opens I Entrust 
Dr. A. W. Preston with Letters to be Mailed only if I am Killed Fitz 
Hugh s Crossing Experiences at Chancellorsville Dismal Retreat 
Dr. Preston Mails my Letters Resulting Troubles and Excitements 
My Mother Refuses to Take my own Word that I am Killed. 


Camp Near White Oak Church Regimental Court Expedition Down the 
Northern Neck Captain Charley Ford A War-Horse Prefers Death, 
to Duty as a Pack Mule In Command of a Post "The Patrol has 
Caught the Colonel" General Lee Assumes an Offensive Attitude 
Major Hauser Picket Duty on the Rappahannock Colonel Bragg 
Sick Fooled by the Balloon Lying in Wait Ed Brooks Pours Water 
in Sam s ear How to Execute a Deserter Camp Routine W T e March 
Northward "Under a Scorching Sun, and Through Suffocating Clouds 
of Dust" At Centre ville Bivouac on Broad Run At South Moun 
tain General Meade s Appointment a Surprise On to Gettysburg 
An Unfinished Letter The Battle as Reported to M. B. G. How the 
new Recruit Stands Fire. 


The Sixth Wisconsin at Gettysburg. 


Pursuit of the Enemy The Pride of Victory William sport A Little 
Rest On to Virginia Provost Duty at Midclleburg Too Much 
W hisky To Warrenton JunctionEchoes of the Morgan Raid To 
Beverly Ford The One Hundred and Sixty-Seventh Pennsylvania 
Refuses to MarchThe old and new Colors Letter From one of Sher 
man s men South of the Rappahannock I Command an Outpost 
Mink Argues the Case Refused a Leave of Absence Conscripts and 
Bounty Jumpers "Iron Brigade" Flag At Culpepper I Make a 
Friendly Call on the Enemy Ordnance Returns To the Rapidan 
Picket Duty. 


At Morton s Ford The Retreat to Centreville A Skirmish at Haymarket 
Bob Tomlinson To Thoroughfare Gap Roast Turkey Judge Ad 
vocate of a Court Martial General Fairchild Colonel Edward Pye 
To Catlett s Station Adjutant Brooks Captured General Cutler Re 
sorts to Vigorous Measures A Gentleman of the Old School To 


Rappahannock A Visit to M. B. G. in Ohio The Mine Run 



At Kelly s Ford "All Hail to Old Abe ! "Question of Veteran Re-enlist 
ment My Brother Reports From Sherman s Corps To Culpepper 
Kindness From a Rebel Living in Reuses Veteran Excitement 
Regiment Re-enlists and Goes to Wisconsin I go to Marietta A 
Grand Reception at Milwaukee A Quiet Wedding at Marietta A 
Wedding Trip A Happy Accident In Ohio In Camp Again at Cul 
pepper General U. S. Grant Obliteration of the old First Army 
Corps The Fifth Corps General G. K. Warren A New England 
Clergyman Colonel Bragg s "Religious Affiliations" General Grant 
on Review Major Philip W. Plummer Preparations Minor Faults 
in the Management of Military Affairs A new Chaplain We win 
First Honors on Inspection Adjutant Brooks Returns Chess Court 
Martial Crime Indians "We move at Midnight." 


The Wilderness Laurel Hill The Bloody Angle and Spottsylvania. 

Forward to the North Anna Battle of Jericho Ford Battle of the North 
Anna Forward Toward Richmond Battle of Bethesda Church The 
Pennsylvania Reserves "Pediculus Vestimenti" Battle of Cold Har 
borReport From my Brother With Sherman In the Trenches A 
Bullet-Proof Chaplain Lawson Fenton Death of Charles B. Gates 
A Little Rest My Brother Shot at Dallas His Journey Home. 


A Change of Base To the James River Petersburg Repulsed Worn, 
Weary and Discouraged The Trenches Disorganization from Losses 
Colonel Bragg Promoted Out of the Trenches Rising Spirits Ad 
jutant Brooks Expedition and its Fate Captain Kellogg in Rebel 
Prison His Escape Captain Lewis A. Kent Lieutenant Earl M. 
Rogers Wounded Mortar Shell Ice Our Chaplain Finds a Cow- 
Appointed to a Responsible Duty Cowards and Inefficients Cuyler 
Babcock Commissioned Colonel The Muster Out Questions as to 
Term of Service Dr. Hall Promoted Mine Explosion In Camp 
Mustered Out and Honorably Discharged The Ordnance Sergeant. 


From the Stand-point of a Civilian The Battle on the Weldon Road 
"Poor Murdered Timmons!" Letter From Captain Remington Cap 
tain Chas. P. Hyatt Killed Dr. Hall Writes Fully from the Sixth- 
General Bragg Writes of our Comrades Fallen My Brother Under the 
Surgeon s Knife The Sixth Re-organized Colonel John A. Kellogg 

Individual Records The Cheering in the Wilderness Explained by a 
"Johnny" The Story of William Jackson Captain Marston Shot at 
Gettysburg Seventeen Years Later To my Living Comrades Statis 
tics From Colonel Fox and the Official Records. 


General James S Wadsworth, Frontispiece 

General Irvin McDowell Page 36 

General* Stonewall" Jackson, " 66 

General E. S. Bragg, (as Lieut. Colonel 6th Wis.) " 72 

General John B. Callis " 82 

General Joseph Hooker, " 132 

General Solomon Meredith, " 156 

General Abner Doubleday, " 180 

General George G. Meade, " 192 

General Robert E Lee, " 214 

General John Newton, " 224 

General Lucius Fairchild, (As Commander of Grand Army) " 238 

General Lysander Cutler " 274 

General Rufus R Dawes, " 276 

General John A. Kellogg " 310 

Colonel E. C. Dawes, " 286 

Captain Rollin P. Converse, " 260 

Lieutenant Charles B. Gates, " 284 

Surgeon John C. Hall, " 302 


Battle-flag of Second Mississippi, Page 172 

Advance on the railroad cut,....* . " 173 

Flag of the Sixth Wisconsin, " 177 

An end game at chess,. " 248 


"There s a cap In the closet 

Old, faded and blue, 
Of very slight value, 

It may be, to you; 
But a crown, jewel studded, 

Could not buy it to-day 
With its letters of honor, 

Brave Company K. " 


The Call for Volunteers The Lemonweir Minute Men Anxious 
flaste to "Crush the Rebellion" Provoking Delays Captain 
Balfour s Opinion Assigned to the Seventh Wisconsin .A 
foster Ordered Into Quarters Called to the Sixth Regiment 
Reception at Camp Randall Company K Better Known 
as Q Officers of the Sixth I Discover That I flave a Servant 
We are Uniformed in Gray .Mustered Into U. S. Service Bull 
Run To the Front The Glorious Passage Bast Miss Ander 
sonThe March Through Baltimore Attacked by Plug Uglies 
Lieutenant Kellogg in the Battle of Patterson Park On to 
Washington Jfalorama Heights Our Brass Band .Pirst Sight 
of General McClellan. 

Fort Sumpter was fired upon, and recognizing the full import 
of that event, on the fifteenth day of April 1861, President Abra 
ham Lincoln issued his proclamation calling for seventy-five 
thousand volunteers to suppress the rebellion by force of arms. 
This first bugle call of war found the author of this book in the 
sparsely settled County of Juneau in the State of Wisconsin. 
I was then twenty-two years of age, and had come out of college 
with the class of 1860. With the proclamation of the President 
came the announcement that the quota of the State of Wiscon 
sin would be only one small infantry regiment of seven hundred 
and eighty men. It seemed quite evident that only by 
prompt action I might secure what was then termed the glorious 
privilege" of aiding in crushing the Rebellion, which undertaking 


it had been estimated by * one in high authority, could be 
accomplished in sixty days. It is pleasant to remember that at 
that day few questions were raised as to the rates of compensa 
tion for service, and so remote a contingency as realizing upon 
the promise of a pension was not considered. Nothing beyond 
the opportunity to go was asked. What seemed to most concern 
our patriotic and ambitious young men was the fear that some 
one else would get ahead and crush the Rebellion before they 
got there. Drawing up the following pledge and signing it, I 
began the work of gathering Volunteers on the twenty-fifth day 
of April 1 86 1. 

"We, the undersigned, agree to organize an independent 
military company, and to hold ourselves in readiness to respond 
to any call to defend our country and sustain our government." 
It will be noted that the service offered was not limited to three 
months but was for "any call." 

Forty-eight signers were secured as the result of my first day s 
work. Then John A. Kellogg, the Prosecuting Attorney of the 
county, would not be denied the privilege of signing my paper 
and joining with me in the work of raising a company of 
Volunteers. I argued with Kellogg, who was ten years my 
senior and a married man, that young men, without families, 
could crush the Rebellion, but he could not brook the thought of 
being deprived of sharing in the satisfaction and glory of that 
service, and feeling that this would be his only chance, he 
joined ii%the work of making up the company with the utmost 

On the thirtieth day of April one hundred men, who had 
agreed to volunteer, met in Langworthy s Hall, in the village of 
Mauston, the county seat, to organize the company. There was 
no contest for the positions of Captain and First Lieutenant . 
But for the other offices there was active competition, and the 
meeting assumed something of the aspect of a political 
convention. After a discussion in which Badgers and other 
typical beasts and birds were considered for an appropriate name, 
we adopted the mellifluous title of "The I^emonweir Minute 
Men" from the peaceful and gently flowing river, in the beautiful 

* Win. H. Seward, Secretary of State, in President Lincoln s Cabinet. 

valley of which most of our men resided. It would "remind us 
of home" said one, and this argument carried the day. 

Extracts from a letter written to my sister in Ohio will serve 
to illustrate the spirit of these times and of this occasion. Their 
zeal might have been tempered had they known more of war, 
but a purer impulse of patriotism never burned in the souls of 
men, than that which inspired the unmercenary Volunteers of 


MAUSTON, JUNKAU Co., Wis. MAY 4th, 1861. 

I have been so wholly engrossed with my work for the last 
week or I should have responded sooner to your question: "Are 
you going?" If a kind Providence and President Lincoln will 
permit, I am. I am Captain of as good, and true a band of 
patriots as ever rallied under the star spangled banner. We hope 
to get into the third or fourth regiment, and if old Abe will but 
give a fair and merited share in the struggle to Wisconsin, we 
will see active service. The men expect and earnestly desire to 
go, and wait impatiently their turn. I shall esteem it an honor, 
worth a better life than mine, to be permitted to lead them in 
this glorious struggle. I am in hourly dread of hearing of some 
violence offered you on the border, and wish I might be permitted 
to bring to you, in your peril, some as strong hands and as true 
hearts as the Badger State can *boast. 


MADISON, May 2nd, 1861. 


Dear Sir : Enclosed please find commissions for your 

*This is what I had heard from home. Letter from my mother dated 
Marietta, Ohio, April 28 ? 1861 : 

"Governor Dennison has sent six cannon and two companies of the 
regular army to Marietta. Your Uncle (William P. Cutler) has not joined 
the Silver Greys for he will have to o to Congress in two months. He is 
one of the Committee of Safety. Business is prostrated, yet the people are 
hopeful and seem determined at all hazards to sustain the Government. 
Provisions here are abundant and cheap. The excitement is so great and 
so entirely engrossing that all other subjects are dismissed/ People 
recognize the hand of God in these things and feel thankful that the North 
is right. To-day at church the soldiers marched in and took the front 
seats. What a sight for Marietta ! The Ohio river perhaps will be the 
border. Before the end of the week there will be thousands of troops 
quartered in Marietta. I despair of giving you any idea of the excited state 
of things here." 


company. You will be registered in your regular order, and 
called on when reached. Until further orders you will make no 
expenses on account of the State. 
Very Respectfully Yours, 

WM. Iy. UTLKY, Adjutant General. 

Commissions enclosed : 

Rufus R. Dawes, . . Captain. 

John A. Kellogg, .... First Lieutenant. 

John Crane, . . . . Second Lieutenant. 

The question of getting into active service now absorbed 
the minds of all, and great* anxiety and impatience was displayed 
lest we should not be called, or other companies, later organized, 
should be preferred. On May i6th, I wrote to my brother, K. C. 
Dawes, then a student in college in Ohio, "I am working like a 
beaver to get my company into active service. We sent John 
Turner, (an influential citizen,) to Madison to see the Governor. 
I have a hundred men upon the muster roll. I have quite a 
number of raftsmen from the pineries. To endure the hardships 
of actual service none could be better fitted. Campaigning in 
the field would be a luxury in comparison to logging in the 
winter in the pineries. I don t believe there can be better 

During this period of doubt and anxiety, I found comfort in 
the judgment of one Captain Balfour, of Mauston. He differed 
from the general opinion as to the serious magnitude of the 
coming war. Jle was an old gentleman who had served as a 
Captain in the British army. He had been through campaigns 
in Spain and was present at the burial of Sir John Moore. He, 
and other young officers, he informed me, had taken turns in 
sitting on the throne of Spain which had been abandoned by 
Joseph Bonaparte, when Wellington s army had entered Madrid. 

His wife, a hale and bright old lady, had been with him in 
these campaigns, serving as vivandiere of his regiment. Captain 
Balfour, then over eighty years of age, said "Don t fret, young 
man, your company will be needed. Those Southern people are 
determined upon war. It will take years to put them down. 
You ll see, you ll see! You have no Wellingtons or Napoleons 
in this country, and next to no experience in war. This is no 

job of sixty days." I constantly advised with this venerable 
soldier who gave me excellent counsel and suggestions of 
practical value, drawn fiom a long experience in field service. 
Two w r eeks moie passed away, much exciting news coming 
from Ohio,* and on the second of June, I find tlte following 
report of the condition of our affairs in a letter to my sister. 
"At present the prospect seems very good for our company 
remaining at home a month or two yet. We have been assigned 
to the seventh regiment. Six regiments are now under pay and 
the seventh will be called into camp when the fifth is mustered 
into the United States service. The first four regiments have 
already been mustered in. It is perhaps better to be so, though 
a severe trial to our patience. I went to Madison to see Governor 
Randall and the Adjutant General, but could get no higher on 
the list. Wisconsin has twelve regiments already, and we are 
well up to be in the seventh." On the loth of June I write: "The 
first six regiments are now accepted by the General Government, 
and I expect to be ordered into quarters. I think we will be in 
ample time to go with the grand expedition down the Mississippi 
and hold a merry Christmas in New Orleans. This delay will 
make some hard work, recruiting to fill vacancies, but I can have 
a full company. George W. Bird and William F. Vilas are 
looking after my interests at Madison." These gentlemen had 
been old friends and college associates at the Wisconsin State 

^Marietta had now become a Cainp for the troops that made up the army 
for the campaign in West Virginia. From my mother : 

MARIETTA, OHIO, May 27ib, 1861. 

"All of the first ladies in the city have given their names to nurse or 
furnish supplies for the sick. As yet we have no system, but hope to get 
organized in a day or two. The hospital is an old brick building near the 
Fair ground. There are thirty-nine sick men there to-day, and they are 
far from comfortable. But the Citizens are sending in things every day and 
we shall soon get fixed. Most of the men are sick with the measles. There 
is one case of typhoid fever. Another regiment (18th Ohio) came in to-day. 

Everybody is making bandages, lint, and Havelock caps. L has 

made five and a half dozens of plasters of mutton tallow, spread on linen 
rags, four inches square and done up neatly in oiled silk, very acceptable, 
the surgeons say." Such were the preparations for war in 1861. 




Sir: The Governor desires to know whether your company 
is now full to at least eighty-three men for three years or the 
war. Quite a number of the companies on our Register fail to 
muster full at the appointed day. You will oblige by replying to 
this letter at the earliest day possible, and stating a day on or 
after which you can stand ready to meet a mustering officer with 
a full company. We expect to send off the first six regiments 
within four weeks, and two more will then be called into camp 
and equipped. 

Yours Respectfully, 

W. H. WATSON, Mil. Sec y. 

A Poster: 


BOYS, RALLY ! ! RALLY ! ! ! 


This company is ordered by the Commander in chief to hold 
itself in readiness to be mustered into the service on Monday, 
June 24th. Men are wanted to complete the full complement of 
one hundred and one. Come forward, boys, and place your names 
on the roll. R. R. DAWES, CAPTAIN. 

To my sister on the 2oth of June, I write: "I am at present 
tormented beyond measure by the delay in calling my company 
together. The men are scattered over nearly a whole Congres 
sional district. Many influences operate now to deter and 
discourage the men, and I fear they will order us into camp 
without giving me time to collect my men or recruit for vacancies. 
But I have one glorious satisfaction. We have a place certain 
and nothing but the lack of a full company can stop us. I ride 
and travel night and day. It will take a load off my shoulders 
to have my men brought together." "Your excellent advice and 
the pin cushions will be very serviceable, and on behalf of the 
company I return their thanks. Please say to Mrs. E. B. 
Andrews that I appreciate highly my pin cushion made from 
Kossuth s vest." Some ladies of Marietta, Ohio, had sent to me, 
through my sister, one hundred pin cushions for my company. 


On the 29th of June came the welcome telegram, which was 
received with the greatest enthusiasm, ordering us into quarters. 

CAPTAIN R. R. DAWKS : You can board your company at 
expense of the State at not more than two dollars and a half a 
week, until further orders. It is possible that you may be 
wanted for the sixth regiment. 

W. H. WATSON, Military Secretary. 

On the 6th day of July, in compliance with orders, the 
company, ninety-four men in all, took the cars for Madison to 
join the sixth regiment. We had been assigned to that regiment 
because of the failure of several other companies registered 
higher on the list in the Adjutant General s office. Our arrival, 
therefore, as it completed the organization of the regiment, was 
an event, increased in its interest and importance by the several 
previous disappointments. I received a telegram from the 
Colonel of the sixth regiment, while en route, asking the hour of 
our arrival. Had I suspected the reception that was being 
prepared for us, I think I should have entered protest. As we 
approached Camp Randall that afternoon, the fifth and sixth 
regiments, nearly two thousand men, were in line, of battle to 
receive us with becoming state and ceremony. My company 
had had practically no drill. "By the right flank, right face" 
according to the Scott tactics, and "Forward march" was almost 
the sum total of my own knowledge of military movements. 
The men stumbled along in two ranks, kicking each other s heels 
as they gazed at the novel and imposing spectacle before them. 
A few wore broadcloth and silk hats, more the red shirts of 
raftsmen, several were in country homespun, one had on a 
calico coat, and another was looking through a hole in the 
drooping brim of a straw hat. - I remember, also, that there were 
several of those ugly white caps with long capes, called 
"Havelocks." The men carried every variety of valise, and 
every species of bundle, down to one shirt tied up in a red 
handkerchief. My confusion may be imagined when I was met 
at the gate way of Camp Randall by Frank A. Haskell, the 
Adjutant of the sixth regiment, who was mounted on a spirited 
charger, and quite stunning in his bright uniform and soldierly 
bearing. With a military salute he transmitted an order from 


the Colonel "to form my company in column by platoon/ and to 
march to Headquarters under escort of the Milwaukee Zouaves. 
Hibbard s Zouaves, (Co. B, 5th Wisconsin,) was then considered the 
best drilled company in the state. Their appearance in bright 
Zouave uniform was fine. I answered Adjutant Haskell, "Good 
afternoon, Sir. I should be glad to comply with the wishes of 
the Colonel, but it is simply impossible." So we took our own 
gait in the direction of Headquarters. The maneuvres and the 
yelling of the Zouaves, who engaged in one of their peculiar 
drills, increased the distraction of my men, and they marched worse 
than before. However, we got into line in front of Headquarters 
and were briefly congratulated upon our arrival, in a few pertinent 
remarks by Colonel Lysander Cutler. The Colonel informed us 
-in his speech that we would be designated as Company "K." 
But in recognition of our grand entree, the camp had already 
christened us Company "Q." 

Fortunately, our first essay in military evolution at the evening 
dress parade, took place behind the backs of the regiment. 
Adjutant Frank A. Haskell came to my relief, and of his 
kindness on that occasion I have an appreciative memory. The 
fun he enjoyed in watching us, amply repaid his service. By our 
designation as Company "K" we were brought in camp, and in 
line, into close connection with Company "K," an alliance which 
proved congenial. The Captain of that Company appeared to be 
much gratified that a Captain had come in, who knew less than 
he did about military matters. Thus began an intimate 
association, which lasted through three hard years of trial, in 
wHich we were together. At this beginning of our acquaintance, 
I think a fellow feeling made us wondrous kind. In politics and 
law, Edward S. Bragg stood among the first men in his state, but 
in military matters he had yet, as the Indians would say, "a heap 
to know." The sixth regiment was an exceptionally fine body 
of officers and men, as their history may abundantly attest- 
There were many of the officers of the line, already well qualified 
by education and experience, for their duties. Company "A" 
was commanded by Captain Adam G. Malloy, who had been a 
soldier in the war with Mexico. His Company was being well 
instructed, and he was ambitious that they should justify their 


selection as first upon the list. Company "C," which had been 
made the color company, was commanded by Captain A. S. Hooe, 
whose father was a Major in the regular army. In that 
association he had grown to thorough knowledge of the drill. 
Company "F," of Germans from Milwaukee, had two of the 
most highly qualified officers with whom I met in all my service, 
Lieutenant Schumacher and Lieutenant Werner von Bachelle. 
Both had served in the armies of Europe, and as competent, 
exact and thorough drill masters, they were no where to be 
surpassed. It was to me an instructive pleasure to watch them 
drill their companies. The influence of this splendid company, 
and its Lieutenants, was marked in stimulating others to equal 
their performance. Both of these gallant men and model soldiers 
were killed in battle for their adopted country. The Captain of 
Company "H," which was also composed principally of Germans, 
was a character. He could, at that time, express himself only 
with much difficulty in English, He was a tall and stalwart 
soldier, rigid as a disciplinarian and exact as an instructor, as he 
had been educated in the military school at Thun, Switzerland. 
He had also served in European wars, and acted on the Staff of 
General Garibaldi. One saying of Captain Hauser in Camp 
Randall is memorable. Exasperated at his men who got into a 
huddle, he shouted, "Veil, now you looks shust like one dam 
herd of goose." Lieutenant John F. Marsh of Company "B," 
had served in the war with Mexico, and there were other officers 
of excellent qualification, among those upon the roster.* 

*Colonel Lysander Cutler. 
Lieutenant Colonel J. P. Atwood. 
Major B. J. Sweet. 

Surgeon, C. B. Chapman. Adjutant, Frank A. Haskell. 

First Ass t., A. "W. Preston. Quartermaster, Isaac N. Mason. 
Second Ass t., 0. F. Bartlett. Chaplain, N. A. Staples. 


Co. A, A. G. MalJoy. D. K. Noyes. F. C. Thomas. 

Co. B, D. J. Dill. J. F. Marsh. H. Serrill. 

Co. C, A. S. Hooe. P. W. Plummer. T. W. Pluinmer. 

Co. D, John O Rourke. John Nichol. P. H. McCauley. 

Co. E, E. S. Bragg. E. A. Brown. J. H. Marston. 

Co. F, W. H. Lindwurm. F. Schumacher. W. Von Bachello. 

Co. G, M. A. Northrup. G. L. Montague. W. W. Allen. 

Co. H, J. F. Hauser. J. D. Lewis. J. T. Tester. 

Co. I, Leonard Johnson. F. A. Haskell. A. J. Johnson. 

Co. K, R. R. Dawes. J. A. Kellogg. Jno. Crane. 


On July Qth, I reported progress in a letter to my sister as 
follows : 

"After two months of incessant, aggravating and provoking 
labor, my company is in the sixth regiment. We came into 
camp on Saturday evening last and we are now under the severest 
kind of drill. We were at first quartered in barracks, and given 
old straw in which there was no scarcity of fleas, but last night 
we moved into our tents. My men are not more than half 
supplied with blankets, and, as we have cold drizzling weather, 
they have suffered. It is a new life to us all, but I hope we can get 
broken in without much sickness. I am studying up on tactics, 
drilling and attending to the business of the company, so that I 
have very little time to see my old friends in Madison." 
About this time we received from the State of Wisconsin 
payment for our services. To our surprise and gratification 
we were instructed to make up our pay roll from May 
3rd., the date of our commissions. I remember that when I 
took my pay roll to that excellent gentleman, Simeon Mills, the 
Paymaster, he said, "I see, Captain, that you have omitted to put 
in your servant." I said, "I have no servant." Mr. Mills said, "I 
think you certainly have, as the Regulations require it." Seeing 
that he knew more about the subject than I did, I made no 
further objection to a servant s going on the pay roll. This was 
one of the farces of our military system. My treacherous 
memory forbids my recording here, whether rny servant was 
described as having green eyes and red hair or red eyes and green 
hair ; but I think the old pay roll will disclose a very remarkable 
descriptive list of this imaginary person. A Captain of infantry 
had sixty dollars per month as pay and sixty-eight dollars per 
month as "allowances." Thirteen dollars per month and thirty 
cents per day (one ration) was allowed for a servant, and one 
dollar and twenty cents (four rations) was allowed for 
subsistence. But the Captain was obliged to certify that he had 
a servant, and to describe him. Few Captains had servants, but 
all had one hundred and twenty-eight dollars per month. 

Our regiment, strange to say, was uniformed by the State of 
Wisconsin in the color of the Confederacy, gray. These gray 
uniforms were of honest and excellent material, and we 


exchanged them with regret a few months later for the sleazy, 
shoddy blue, we received from the general government, at that 
early period in the war. 

The question which absorbed the most attention next in Camp 
Randall, was the impending muster into the United States service. 
As the day approached, I found it was inevitable that I should 
lose four men, who could not or who would not be mustered in. 
One was too old, one was too young, one showed that he had 
no idea of going with us, and the last one had a presentiment 
that he would be killed. I labored with this last man, for he 
was a strong, hearty, good fellow, but he said that in a dream he 
had seen himself killed. This seemed absurd, but I had to let 
him go. Later in the war this man enlisted in a Wisconsin 
Cavalry regiment, and served his term without a scratch. Captain 
Bragg asked me if I did not want two of his men. I was 
anxious to muster in as many as possible, and did want badly two 
men. He said that one of his men wanted to serve his country 
as a fifer and the other as a drummer. The fifer could not fife, 
neither could the drummer drum. But none of my men in 
Company "K" could perform such service, and they were all 
desirous to serve as soldiers in the line. There seemed nothing 
in the way of this arrangement to swell my ranks by two, and so 
I took them in. Captain Bragg got nothing for his men, but he 
settled perplexing questions about the music in Company "E." 

We were mustered into the service of the United States for 
the term of three years, unless sooner discharged, on the i6th 
day of July, 1861. The regiment mustered in ten hundred and 
forty-five men. In my company ninety-two men were mustered. 
In giving these figures, I follow the authority of my own 
contemporary letter. 

Referring again to the old bundle of letters, carefully preserved 
by my sister, who herself, long years ago, passed away from us, I 
find that the movement of our army towards Bull Run, in 
Virginia, which was then in progress, aroused our expectation of 
moving Eastward. I find, also, that upon the occasion of the 
presentation by the State, of colors to the fifth and sixth 
regiments, there was a grand celebration and jollification at 
Camp Randall. There were about six thousand visitors present. 


A fine supper, the gift of the ladies of Dane County, was served 
to both regiments in the dining hall. The camp was beautifully 
decorated, and no grounds were neater or more tastefully 
adorned than those of Company U K." To our First Sergeant, 
David I,. Quaw, is chiefly due the credit. 

My next letter is dated at Camp Cutler near Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania, August ist. "The disastrous affair at Bull Run 
caused us to be ordered this way. Our journey through from 
Madison to Harrisburg was like a triumphal march. Men, 
women and children, crowded in hundreds and thousands at 
every town and city, to hail us and to cheer us on our way to 
help rescue the down trodden flag. This shows how the people 
are aroused. At Milwaukee an abundant table was spread for us. 
At Racine, Kenosha, arid Chicago the haversacks of our men 
were crammed with every delicacy. We came through by the 
way of the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago, and Pennsylvania 
Central Rail Roads. The trip was full of exciting and pleasing 
incidents. At Cresson, on the Allegheny Mountains, we met 
the family of Major Robert Anderson. You may be sure the 
Badger boys made the mountains ring with cheers for the 
daughters of the hero of Fort Sumpter. His oldest daughter is 
a very handsome young lady. The enclosed sprig please keep 
for me till the wars are over, as it was presented to me by Miss 
Anderson in acknowledgement of our compliment to her father. 
We expect to go from here to Harper s Ferry and will probably 
be attached to Gen. Banks Division. The rebels are said to be 
advancing on Harper s Ferry. We therefore expect a fight in a 
few days. I wish my men were better drilled." 

The question was raised, why Miss Anderson passed our old 
Colonel by and presented this little token to the youngest 
Captain in the line. It was wholly due to the superior lung 
power of Company "K." 

We did move from Harrisburg, but it was not to Harper s 
Ferry nor to fight the enemy, for the next letter is from 
Baltimore. "We are encamped in Patterson Park, a beautiful 
grove overlooking the city, the bay, Fort McHenry and a broad 
extent of finely cultivated farms. We marched several miles 
through the streets of Baltimore last night, without arms. We 


were escorted by two hundred armed police. Our boys were well 
supplied with brick bats. The rebel Plug Uglies commenced an 
attack on Bragg s Company, "E," which marched just in front of 
my company, but it was promptly suppressed by the police. 
The streets were jammed with people, as we marched, and the 
excitement was very great. The sentiments expressed were 
spitefully hostile. There is a slumbering Volcano in Baltimore 
ready to break out at an}^ success of the Rebellion. Your 
imagination cannot picture with what unction they would roll 
under their tongues such morsels as, "Bull Run you blue 
bellies!" "How do you like Bull Run?" "It was Yankees Run." 
We have come into a different atmosphere. I hope we may 
remain here awhile. We need drill badly* and our present 

*Muster Roll of Company "K," 6th Wisconsin Volunteers, in August, 

Captain, . . . . Rufus R. Dawes. 
First Lieutenant ... . John A. Kellogg. 
Second Lieutenant, . . John Crane. 


First Serg t, David L. Quaw. Second Serg t, Linnaeus Westcott. 

Third Serg t, Eugene P. Rose. Fourth Serg t, H. H. Edwards. 
Fifth Serg t, John Ticknor. 


W. N. Remington, W. S. Campbell, Reuben Huntley, 

Franklin Wilcox, Wm. H. Van Wie, John Holden, 

Oliver Fletcher, 1 : Thomas Flynn. 


A. J. Atwell, E. G. Jackson. 

Charles A. Abbott, Wm. Garland, James W. Scoville, 

Charles A. Alton, Jacob Garthwait, Edward Simons, 

Daniel D. Alton, S. Frank Gordon, Erastus Smith, 

Eugene Anderson, Cassius Griggs, Cyrus Spooner, 

William Anderson, Henry Gallup, William Stevens, 

Alonzo Andress. William Hancock, John St. Clair, 

James L. Barney, William Harrison, James P. Sullivan, 

Ira Butterfield, PeterHelmer, Hugh Talty, 

Frederick Boynton, Cyrus Hendrick, Albert Tarbox, 

Ralph Brown, Edward Hendrick, Silas Temple, 

John Carsley, Israel Hendrick, Charles M. Taylor, 

Geo. Chamberlain, Thomas S. Hills, A. R. Thompson, 

Joseph A. Chase, Llewellyn Hills, John R. Towle, 

Thomas Cleveland, Volney Holmes, Hoel Trumble, 

Ephraim Cornish, James W. Knapp, Lyman B. Upham, 

George W. Covey, Bernard McEwen, Richard Upham, 

Chas. A. Crawford, Daniel J. Miller, William Valleau, 

John A. Crawford, E. Mitchell, Stephen Whicher, 


situation is all that could be desired. We are very closely 
confined in camp. No commissioned officer can leave without a 
pass from the Colonel. There is plenty of money in the 
regiment now, gold and silver. Our old Colonel Cutler is a 
very strict disciplinarian, and will tolerate no nonsense. He was 
Colonel of a regiment in Maine in the Aroostook war. Queer 
as it now sounds, the boast of our Colonel s military record was 
in serious earnest. 

"Our camp was attacked about midnight by the Plug-Uglies of 
Baltimore. A fire was opened on our Guards, who promptly 
replied, and the bullets whistled occasionally through the camp. 
Several companies were turned out and quiet soon restored. 
Fortunately none of our men were struck." This little afiair 
was our first contact with rebels who would shoot. In some 
respects it was a very laughable experience. When the firing 
began, which was after midnight, I formed my men in the 
company street and loaded up with brick bats. We had no guns. 
Companies "A" and "B" only had been armed as yet, and they 
were on guard duty contending with the foe. I sent Lieutenant 
Kellogg to the Colonel for instructions. This was super 
serviceable as the Colonel would have sent for us if he had needed 
our brick bats. Lieutenant Kellogg wandered around in the dark 
night and found the Colonel in the back part of the camp where 
the firing was the hottest. What instructions he received we 
never learned, as he fell into a dreadful hole in his reckless rush 
to bring them to us, and his condition of body and mind was 
such that he did nothing but swear a blue streak about his own 
mishap. With us the tragedy ended with a roaring farce. Lieut. 
Kellogg was of quick blood and it was not always safe to 
congratulate him as the only man wounded in the Battle of 
Patterson Park. 

W. R. Davis, Alex. Noble, Charles West, 

Willard Button, Andrew J. Nott, Chauncey Wilcox, 

Thomas Ellsworth, William Patterson, Arlon F. Winsor, 

A. G. Emmons, Lorenzo Pratt, Samuel O. Woods, 

R. W. Emmons, Waitstell Ranney, Aaron Yates, 

Abram Fletcher, James Rodgers, VolneyDeJean, Wagoner. 

Dennis Fuller, Charles Reynolds, 


While we were at Patterson Park we were under the Command 
of General John A. Dix. 

On the seventh day of August we moved on to Washington. 
The order came while the regiment was engaged in the evening 
Dress Parade, and it was received with enthusiasm. *Our orders 
were to move at once, and there was hurrying in hot haste. 
The regiment had been armed, while at Patterson Park, with 
Belgian muskets, a heavy, clumsy gun, of large caliber, and not 
to be compared with the Springfield rifled musket. We again 
marched through the streets of Baltimore at night. Our muskets 
were loaded and my letter says, "at half cock," and we received 
from all citizens the compliment of respectful silence. We 
started about midnight, in filthy cattle cars, and reached 
Washington City at daylight. We marched to the City Hall 
Park, and, late in the day to Meridian Hill, where we established 
our camp, a few rods from Columbia College, then being used as 
a hospital for the wounded from the Bull Run battle. This camp, 
called Kalorama, was, as indicated by its classic name, indeed 
beautiful for situation and for its magnificent view of the Capitol 
and the city. But the three weeks spent there were a great 
trial. There were in my company twenty-five men sick with the 
measles, and the other companies were in like manner severely 
scourged. The weather was intensely hot and the water was 
not good. Melons were freely sold in camp, and a general run of 
sickness was the result beyond our measles. On August fifteenth, 
we had in Company "K" thirty-five reported sick and unfit for 
duty. On August twenty-third, a more cheerful condition 
prevailed, as I write as follows to my sister : 

"My men are getting through with their* measles, and I hope 
to soon have out full ranks. We are drilling every day and 
improving rapidly. It is announced that we are soon to be 
reviewed by President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan." 

To my brother on August twenty-fourth, I wrote from Camp 
Kalorama : 

"We are here at Washington yet, and I think likely to stay a 

^General Dix says he had "telegraphic orders" to send General Kufus 
King and the two Wisconsin regiments (5th and 6th,) to Washington. 


week or so. We were reviewed yesterday by the Brigadier, 
(Rufus King,) and our regiment never before appeared so meanly. 
It was enough to try the patience of a martyr, the performance 
of that contemptible brass band of ours. They played such slow 
time music that we passed the reviewing officer at about 
forty-seven paces a minute. We had to hold one leg in the air 
and balance on the other while we waited for the music. By the 
way, old Kanouse belongs to this band. He is sick, and I do not 
wonder at it. He goes along, pumping up and down on a big 
toot horn. He wants to get out of the band. I should think he 
would, for if a man in the regiment is caught in a rascally trick, 
the whole regiment yells, Tut him in the brass band. " Theodore 
D. Kanouse, who was an old college friend at the Wisconsin 
State University, otten came to my quarters, and his witty 
comments upon the infelicity of his service in the band, were a 
source of amusement. He said he had undertaken to crush the 
Rebellion with a trombone and, willing to admit his own failure, 
he hoped the Government would not rely wholly upon its brass 
bands to accomplish that result. "As the regiment is at present 
organized, I am junior Captain in the fourth division, (Companies 
K and K ). Captaki Edward S. Bragg, of Company* E, is 
rated as my senior. I really rank him though, by the date of 
my commission, and I propose to have this thing corrected.* 
Twice yesterday, on that ridiculous review, I gave orders when 
Bragg was at fault. Captain Bragg, though, is the brightest man 
in the regiment. He was a delegate to the Democratic National 
Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore. It is highly 
entertaining to hear him relate his experiences. Our Colonel 
(lyysander Cutler) is rigid in his discipline, and stern and 
unflinching in exacting the performance of all duties, and I 
believe will prove of determined courage. Frank A. Haskell is 
one of the best Adjutants in the army." Frank A. Haskell 
exercised at that time a marked influence upon the 
progress of the regiment in soldierly knowledge and quality. 
He was an educated gentleman, a graduate of Dartmouth College. 
He had belonged to the Governor s Guard, a military company at 
the Capitol of Wisconsin, and had been drawn by natural tastes 

* Youthful vapor. 


to some study of military tactics. Haskell had been born with 
every quality that goes to make a model soldier. He took great 
interest and pride in the instruction of the regiment, and *o 
elevated his office, that some men then thought the Adjutant 
must at least be next to the Colonel in authority and rank. It 
was a good instruction in the school of a soldier to serve a tour 
of duty in the regimental guard. One especial and untiring effort 
of Adjutant Haskell was to exact cleanliness and neatness of 
personal appearance, an essential condition of true soldierly 
bearing. The cotton gloves, which he required the men to wear, 
were kept snow white, nor did he allow them to cover dirty 
hands. It was a dread ordeal for a man to step four paces in 
front and face the Adjutant before the assembled guard and in 
fear of this he went there clean at however great and unusual a 
sacrifice of customary habit. To see Haskell, "About face" and 
salute the Colonel before the regiment when we were on dress 
parade was an object lesson in military bearing. 

On the twenty-sixth of August there was a general review of 
all the troops encamped on Meridian Hill. General George B. 
McClellan was the reviewing officer, and this was our first 
introduction. On that day I wrote to my sister: 

"The General is a splendid looking man, just in the prime of 
life. The boys are all carried away with enthusiasm for him. 
Our Brigade is as well drilled as any I have seen, and is made up 
as follows: 2nd Wisconsin, 5th Wisconsin, ygth New York 
(Highlanders, uniformed in kilts), 32nd Pennsylvania, 2nd New 
York, (Fire Zouaves) and the 6th Wisconsin. General McClellan 
pronounced our regiment one of the best in material, appearance 
and bearing. We expect and hope to be in the first advance and 
this opinion expressed by the commander of the army is, I think, 
an earnest of things hoped for. The 5th Wisconsin Colonel 
Amasa Cobb is a fine regiment. The New York Fire Zouaves, 
the yQth Highlanders, and the 69th New York seem to be 
drunken rowdies. The i4th and i5th Massachusetts are the 
most neatly uniformed, the best equipped, the best provided for, 
and the best drilled regiments I have seen. L,ast night we had 
considerable excitement on account of an order to be ready to 
march at a moment s notice." 


Picket Duty on the Potomac Camp at Chain Bridge -We Near 
Gen. Hancock Whisper to his Brigade To Arlington Heights 
The Iron Brigade in Embryo Of ficers Weeded out Reviews 
and Reviews The Battle Hymn of the Republic The Grand 
Review Our Drum Major Thanksgiving and Mince Pies A. 
Visit to Ohio Amusements in the "Winter Camp The Arlington 
House I Reconnoitre a Seminary for Young Ladies Tossed 
in a Blanket Gambling and Vice On Picket in the mud 
Interviewed by a Congressional Committee Washington s 
Birthday Celebrated A March to the Front The Enemy Gone 
Hard Campaigning-ReviewsMore Hard Campaigning The 
Brigade Stampeded by a Bull Camp Life in Stormy Weather 
Bull Frog Concerts My Brother in Battle at Shiloh Picnic at 
St. Stephen s Chapel On to FredericksburghA Whiskey 
Ration News From ShilohGamp Opposite Fredericksburgh 
Practical Emancipation. 


SEPTEMBER 8th, 1861. 
"It is very difficult now for me to write at all, so do not be 
alarmed at a little irregularity in my correspondence. We left 
the old camp on Kalorama Heights, a week ago to-morrow night 
(Sept. 2nd.) Since then we have been moving around from one 
place to another, wherever o^r presence has been deemed 
necessary. We left our tents, extra clothing, cooking utensils, 
everything but one woolen blanket and one oil cloth. We sleep 
on the ground with nothing above us but the canopy of heaven. 
To intensify our discomfort, the weather has been cold and 
rainy. This is rather a hard road to travel, but I keep healthy, 
hearty and happy, and feel better than when I first began to 
sleep in a tent. Our regiment has been doing picket duty along 
the Potomac river on the Maryland side from Chain Bridge to 
Falling Waters. My company has been deployed along about 
four miles. The rebel pickets and cavalry could be occasionally 
seen along the other side of the river. I have really enjoyed 
this week s work. The scenery on the Potomac here, is very 
romantic.- The people generally sympathize with the rebels. 


Our boys have fared sumptuously every day. They declared 
that even the pigs were secessionists and they burned them at 
the steak for their treason. Turkeys and chickens shared the 
same fate. It was impossible for me to restrain men who had 
been starved on salt-beef and hard tack, when they were 
scattered over four miles of territory and sneered at as Yankees 
by the people. The fact is I ate some pig myself. The present 
bivouac of the regiment is within a few rods of the ruins of 
Montgomery Hall, once, you know, General Washington s 
Headquarters. Across the river, opposite on a high hill, now the 
site of a powerful battery, is the spot where Clay and Randolph 
fought their duel." 

To my brother : "You are anxious to know whether we have 
any skirmishing. No. Our men are all at work constructing 
forts and digging trenches. You want to know what it has cost 
me to uniform. My sword, sash, and sword knot cost $35. My 
blue dress uniform, thirty-three dollars, undress uniform, 
seventeen dollars, and overcoat twenty-two dollars. Then I was 
fool enough to spend thirty dollars on gray, which is now of no 
use. Buff vest cost four dollars, army shoes, six dollars, and cap 
two dollars. My blue dress uniform turns red and is a 
confounded cheat. My sash is. at least half cotton, and it is 
rapidly fading. My scabbard is metal that tarnishes in half an 
hour. The army is being terribly fleeced by the Washington 
sharps. Fancy uniforms are useless sleeping in the mud. Frank 
Haskell, our Adjutant, has been * assigned to command of 
Company I and P. W. Plummer of Company C is acting as 
Adjutant. If you are going to be an Adjutant, set to work at 
once, learning how to About face gracefully." 

"The same masterly inactivity is still the order of the day. 
Beauregard is strenuously preparing himself for an attack by 
McClellan. McClellan keeps thousands of men building 
fortifications to resist an attack by Beauregard. Yesterday from 
the dome of the Capitol of the United States, with the aid of a 
telescope, I distinctly saw the rebel flag waving on Munson s 


Hill, six miles away. I could see a company of rebel soldiers 
also. This is a sorry spectacle." 

The 5th Wisconsin regiment had been separated from us, and 
attached to a brigade, which was commanded by a young 
Brigadier who was yet unknown to fame, Gen. W. S. Hancock. 
Hancock s brigade was encamped at the opposite end of the 
Chain Bridge in Virginia. The General had a voice like a 
trumpet and we could hear him drilling his brigade. He would 
give some such order as, "On first division, third battalion, deploy 
column, quick, march !" and the regiments would proceed. 
Colonel Cobb of the 5th Wisconsin, a civilian appointee, would 
sometimes blunder, and we would hear in the same ringing, bell 
like tones, "Colonel Cobb, where the nation are you going 
with that battalion?" Amasa Cobb was a distinguished citizen 
at home and this was a source of extreme amusement to our 
men, some of whom would go down among the willows under 
the bank of the river, and shout across in fine imitation of 

General Hancock, "Colonel Cobb, where the nation are 

you going with that battalion?" The men called this 
performance, "Hancock whispering to his brigade." 

To my brother : "The army of the Potomac is in high spirits 
this morning. The Grand Army has moved forward and taken 
possession of Munson Hill and the whole line of rebel outposts 
without firing a gun. Our troops at the Chain Bridge did not 
move forward, but we were up nearly all night, to be ready to 
march at a moment s notice. But as General McClellan will not 
fight on Sunday, we do not now expect to move until to-morrow. 
(Reference is here made to a general order issued by McClellan 
in regard to inaugurating movements on Sunday. As he did not 
inaugurate them on any other day, it was not of much 
importance.) It is said that our brigade will go to the Arlington 
House, and probably pitch tents there, and perhaps advance in 
light marching order towards Fairfax Court House. It is said 
that some of our regiments in the movements last night, fired on 
each other, and that others, who were out of range but scared by 
the noise, threw away their guns and ran. Colonel Atwood has 
resigned, and Major B. J. Sweet has been promoted to Lieut. 


Colonel and our little Captain Bragg of Co. E has been 
promoted to Major. Companies E and K rejoice and are 
exceeding glad, but one or two of our Captains are mad at 
Bragg s promotion. He is the best man and I am glad of his 
advancement. They say the Colonel would have preferred to 
have Frank Haskell appointed Major, but Bragg captured 
the Governor.* Our old Colonel is as rugged as a wolf, and the 
regiment has great confidence in him, both as a man and an 
officer. We have not been roughing it lately, but have been 
living high. My Second Lieutenant has even struck up a 
flirtation with a young lady in Georgetown. Crane is making a 
fine young officer. He is one of the best instructors in the 
manual of arms in the regiment." 


OCTOBER 6th, 1861. 

"We crossed the Potomac yesterday by the Aqueduct Bridge at 
Georgetown. We have joined the division commanded by Gen. 
Irvin McDowell. The yth Wisconsin has been substituted for 
the 5th Wisconsin in our brigade. They have an old Dutch 
Colonel named Van Dor. The igth Indiana regiment, 
commanded by Colonel Solomon Meredith, is now in our 
brigade. t We are encamped in the woods on the line of 
fortifications which extends from Chain Bridge to Alexandria in 
front of Washington, and near the Arlington House." 

To my sister : "Ten officers]: have left or been removed from 

*This is camp chaff. Governor Alexander W. Randall, about that time, 
visited our camp at Arlington and this circumstance probably gave rise to 
such talk. 

tThus was originally made up the Iron Brigade of the Army of the 
Potomac. The camp at Chain Bridge may be considered as the beginning 
of the history of that body of troops, and this movement to Arlington 
its first march. The regiments comprising the brigade were now, 2nd 
Wisconsin, 6th Wisconsin, 7th Wisconsin and 19th Indiana, and these 
regiments remained brigaded together till the close of the war. It was 
fully a year from this time, however, before the brigade became known by 
its now historic title. 

+Officers who left the regiment about this time : 

Capt. M. A. Northrup, Co. "G." First Lieut. G. L. Montague, Co."G." 

Capt. John O Rourke, Co. "D." First Lieut. J. D. Lewis, Co. "H." 

Capt. Wm. H. Lindwurm, Co. "F." 2nd Lieut. P. H/McCauley, Co. "D." 
Capt. Leonard Johnson, Co. "I." 2nd Lieut. John Crane, Co. "K." 
First Lieut. John Nichol, Co. "D." 2nd Lieut. A. J. Johnson, Co. "I." 

our regiment for various reasons. My Second Lieutenant has 
resigned upon invitation of the Colonel. I feel indignant about 
it but am unable to prevent it. He was certainly a very 
promising young officer. First Sergeant, David L. Quaw, will 
be Second Lieutenant of my company in place of Crane. He will 
be a genial, companionable tent mate, but I doubt if he 
develops the fine soldierly qualities possessed by Crane." 

Colonel Cutler applied a rigorous policy of weeding out 
line officers, who, for various reasons were not acceptable to 
him. Under the thin disguise of failure to pass examination 
before a certain commission of officers, of whom I believe, 
General James S. Wadsworth was President, several very 
promising officers were arbitrarily driven out of the regiment. 
The Irish Company "D" was entirely stripped of its officers, and 
too close a sympathy with them, by our young Irish Lieutenant, 
Crane, probably brought this attack upon him. Company "G" 
was also stripped of its officers. There was much bitter feeling in 
the regiment over these matters. Some, however, of the displaced 
officers had proved incompetent, and others might be termed 
incorrigible, so far as the discipline of the regiment was 
concerned. First Lieutenant, Philip W. Plummer, of Company 
"C," was appointed Captain of Company "G." He proved one of 
the most successful of our company commanders. Of patient 
temper and considerate judgment, he was yet a strict and 
exacting officer. The trim and soldierly First Sergeant of 
Company "E," William A. Reader, was made First Lieutenant of 
Company "G," and James L. Converse, the First Sergeant of 
Company "G," was promoted to Second Lieutenant. No more 
deserving officer was upon our rolls than James L. Converse, and 
he was faithful to the end, for he was killed in battle. Loyd G. 
Harris was advanced from First Sergeant to be Second 
Lieutenant of Company C." Lieutenant John A. Kellogg was 
promoted to be Captain of Company "I" and Clayton K. Rogers, 
of Company "I," was promoted from the ranks to be Second 
Lieutenant. This brought upon the list an officer of great 
usefulness and remarkable courage and energy. David L. Quaw 
was made First Lieutenant and Sergeant John Ticknor, Second 
Lieutenant of my company, "K." The Irish Company, "D," 


which had been stripped of its Irish officers, was officered by the 
appointment of Lieutenant John F. Marsh of Company "B" as 
Captain, and Michael H. Fitch, the Sergeant Major, was 
appointed First Lieutenant^, and Samuel Birdsall, Second 
Lieutenant. Thomas Kerr, who afterward reached the rank of 
Lieutenant Colonel, was with all others in the ranks of Company 
"D," overlooked. This appointment of strangers to command of 
the company, and disregard of their natural and reasonable 
preference as to nationality, made bad feeling among the men of 
that company. Marsh and Fitch were excellent officers and 
discreet men, and less difficulty resulted than was anticipated. 

This changing around of officers, indiscriminately from 
company to company, was a new departure, and it gave to our 
regiment a violent wrench. Colonel Cutler had in all matters of 
command and discipline, the courage of his convictions, and his 
justification must be found in the fact that good results 
ultimately followed. Among the best results was bringing up 
from the ranks, a number of excellent young officers. 

To my sister : (no date.) "A military life in camp is the most 
monotonous in the world. It is the same routine over and over 
every day. Occasionally we have a small excitement when 
on review. The other day an aristocratic old gentleman 
rode up in a splendid carriage, driven by a superb darkey in 
livery. It was William H. Seward. He is a particular friend of 
our Brigadier General, Rufus King. Caleb B. Smith, the 
Secretary of the Interior, has been in our camp several times. 
He visits Colonel Solomon Meredith. There was an inferior 
looking Frenchman at our review the other day, highly adorned 
with decorations, and gold lace, who is a mystery as yet. He is 
some sort of a foreign Prince. Our boys call him Slam Slam.* 
The finest looking military officer, McClellan not excepted, is 
our division commander, General Irvin McDowell. General 
King is a homely looking man, but he is a cultivated gentleman. 
General Blenker, who commands the division encamped upon 
our left, looks to me like a very common Dutchman. 

If you have stockings and blankets for the soldiers, send them 
where they are needed, not here. If you could hear our men 
complain about being pack horses to carry the clothing forced 


upon them, you would not think they were suffering. Every 
man in my company has one cloth uniform coat, one overcoat, 
some men two,* three pairs of pants, three to five pairs of 
stockings, two woolen shirts, one undershirt, and most of them 
two pairs of shoes, and the regiment has been forced to send to 
Washington a large amount of good state clothing, (gray). Take 
the above mentioned articles in connection with two or three 
blankets, and pile them on to a man, in addition to his Belgian 
musket, cartridge box, and accoutrements, and you can appreciate 
the just cause for complaint of our knapsack drills. The plea 
is, that these drills make the men tough. Knapsack drills, 
reviews and inspections are the order of the day. General 
McDowell reviews us, then General McClellan, then General 
McClellan, and then McDowell. Every member of the Cabinet 
has been present on some of these occasions, but we have not 
yet had the President. How soon we will move, or what the 
plan of campaign will be, are subjects I have long ceased to 
bother my head about. We feel very sad over the battle of 
Balls Bluff. You may remember that the i5th Massachusetts 
was formerly brigaded with us. The officers were a fine set of 
men, and General Baker s brigade was for a long time* encamped 
next to us at Chain Bridge. The most intelligent, best looking 
men I have seen in the service, belonged to the i5th 
M assachuse tts . 

The super abundant supply of clothing may be taken as a 
sample of the magnificent manner in which the grand army was 
being equipped. The resources of the government were freely 
lavished upon it. But "rooted inaction," as Horace Greely puts 
it, was upon us, in the hero of the hour, the commander of the 
army, whom in our imaginations we enthusiastically exalted to 
the skies as a great organizer, and a "Young Napoleon." 

One of the reviews referred to in the foregoing letters was held 
at Bailey s Cross Roads. The troops were dismissed in the midst 
of the review, owing to some reported movement of the enemy, 
and McDowell s division marched back, taking the road toward 

*0ne blue and one gray. When the men gave up the gray clothing, 
they were disposed to keep the overcoats, because of their superior 

Washington, to our camp on Arlington Heights. With our 
column rode a lady visitor ; my authority is her own account. 
Our regiment marched at the head of the column, because we 
stood on the extreme right of the line. As we marched, the 
"evening dews and damps" gathered, and our leading singer, 
Sergeant John Ticknor, as he was wont to do on such occasions, led 
out with his strong, clear and beautiful tenor voice, "Hang Jeff. 
Davis on a sour apple tree." The whole regiment joined the 
grand chorus, "Glory, glory hallelujah, as we go marching on." 
We often sang this, the John Brown song. To our visitor 
appeared the "Glory of the coming of the Lord," in our 
"burnished rows of steel" and in the "hundred circling camps" 
on Arlington, which were before her. 

Julia Ward Howe, our visitor, has said that the singing of the 
John Brown song by the soldiers on that march, and the scenes 
of that day and evening inspired her to the composition of the 
Battle Hymn of the Republic.* We at least helped to swell the 



Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: 
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. 
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword : 
His truth is marching on. 

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps ; 
They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps ; 
I can read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps, 
His day is marching on. 

I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel : 
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal , 
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, 
Since God is marching on." 

He hath sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat ; 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat. 
Oh! be swift my soul, to answer him ! Be jubilant, my feet ! 
Our God is marching on. 

In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born across the sea, 
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me : 
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, 
While God is marching on. 



"L,ast Sunday I attended Dr. Gurley s church in Washington 
City. I went there to see President Lincoln. I think many 
others of the worshipers went there for the same purpose. Mr. 
Lincoln is very tall and very homely, but no one can look at him 
without being impressed with the serious earnestness of his face. 
On Tuesday we marched out to Bailey s Cross Roads to take part 
in the grand review. I must not write about what the papers 
are so full of. You know that it was the largest review of troops 
ever had in America, that sixty thousand infantry, nine thousand 
cavalry and one hundred and thirty pieces of artillery passed in 
review before McClellan, that the regiments marched by 
battalions en masse, and that it took from n o clock A. M. 
until 4 P. M. to pass the reviewing officer, and that the President, 
the members of the Cabinet, and all the celebrities, foreign and 
domestic, were present. But perhaps you have not seen that 
General McClellan was so overcome by the lofty pomposity of 
drum major William Whaley of this regiment, that he took off 
his hat when Whaley passed. But, sad to relate, Whaley was so 
overcome by this recognition, which took place while he was 
indulging in a top loftical gyration of his baton, that he dropped 
the baton. From the topmost height of glory he was plunged 
into the deepest gulf of despair. This drum major of ours we 
regard with pride and affection as the finest adornment of the 
regiment. He can hold his head higher, and whirl his baton 
faster than any other drum major in the Army of the Potomac. 
It is enough to make one sad, to see the stately Whaley leading 
that execrable brass band on dress parade, eternally playing the 
Village Quickstep, but when his own drum corps is behind him, 
Richard is himself again, and he snuffs the air and spurns the 
ground like a war horse." 

The marching of the regiment, which led the brigade and 
division at the grand review, had now become almost faultless. 
As the solid block of eight hundred stalwart western men, 
approached the Commanding General, marching in perfect time 
and with free and easy stride, led by this truly splendid drum 
major, the great crowd at the reviewing stand continued cheering 
and clapping hands. 


On the twenty-eighth of November, the regimental mess, 
composed of the field, staff and line officers, had a Thanksgiving 
dinner. We had built a large log dining hall, which was very 
comfortable, although home made. Our dinner was no small 
affair. Colonel Cutler also made each company in the regiment, 
the happy recipient of twenty mince pies, about a quarter of a 
pie to each man. 

I here obtained a leave of absence for ten days, for a visit to 

Letter received at Marietta, from Sergeant Upham : 



"CAPTAIN D AWES, Dear Sir: I take this early opportunity 
of writing to you, knowing that you will be glad to hear from your 
company. I will tell you how we got along since you left. You 
remember that Lieutenant Quaw was on court martial, and that 
Lieutenant Reader was to take the company out on battalion 
drill, the afternoon you left. Well, Reader was unable to go. 
So this deponent formed the company, and when drill time came, 
there was no one to take it out. *At the drum call I marched the 
company out and formed them in battalion, anxiously hoping 
that some commissioned officer would come to my relief, and 
wishing that Marietta were in a hot place so that you could have 
remained with us. Well, Captain Brown took charge of K, and 
I felt as though a mountain had been lifted from my shoulders. 
We had a good drill. K never did better. K came into camp 
in good season and fell in immediately for dress parade, Lieut. 
Serrill taking command. Thus ended our first day without our 
Captain. Two men remained in off dress parade, Simons and 
Dick. f They said you had excused them before you left, a? 
in my mind. This morning all was bustle, preparing for monthly 
inspection. I made out the roll of the company, took the muster 
roll to the Adjutant, prepared my own accoutrements, and was 

*The few days vouchsafed me sped swiftly. My brother had graduated 
from college, and he was now Adjutant of the 53rd Ohio Volunteers. His 
service was destined to be with the armies in the West, and he was soon to 
go to the front in the division commanded by General William T. Sherman. 
On the sixth day of January, 1862, I started to rejoin the regiment. 

t Richard Upham, an Indian. 


getting barbered when the drum beat. I left with my hair half 
combed and fell the company in. We were inspected by Captain 
Chandler. All the sons answered to their names, except Ralph 
Brown and A. G. Hmmons. Even Hancock came up to be 
mustered. I am cross and ugly. I took two men to the officer 
of the guard to-day, for coming back to the company quarters 
when on guard duty. An imperative order to that effect was 
issued by the Colonel. Captain Brown says he wishes he had 
Company K. They move so easily. Bully for Company K. 
I will write again shortly, so as to keep you posted. I remain 
Yours truly, LYMAN B. UPHAM." 

I arrived in camp on the Qth day of January, 1862, the trip 
from Ohio to Washington consuming three days time. 

We had many amusements in our winter camp on Arlington 
Heights. We played whist, chess, and other games on wintry 
days, and, despite restrictions on political discussion, in the 
articles of war, we discussed all questions of politics or religion, 
with the utmost freedom. Bragg was a Douglass or war 
Democrat, Brown and Kellogg, Republicans, and I was called an 
Abolitionist. But the baleful shadow cast by slavery over the 
border, and the fierce and brutal insolence of the slave catcher 
who was often seen on our free soil of Ohio, tended to make 
Abolitionists. Captain Edwin A. Brown was a singer. We 
were unconscious then, that his melodious voice predicted his own 
sad fate when he sang his favorite "Benny Havens, O." "In 
the land of sun and flowers, his head lies pillowed low." 

The officers of the whole brigade would gather in our log 
dining hall and jokes would be ventilated, speeches made, and 
hilarious songs sung. The "Chinese song" as performed by 
Captain Hooe on those occasions, was so amusing that this 
reminder will recall it to all of our living comrades who heard it. 

The men had one sport in this camp which was quite exciting. 
It was tossing men in a blanket. They became expert and 
would throw a man to an astonishing height and catch him in the 
blanket as he fell. I once took this whirling aerial flight, but 
only once, having no desire to repeat the experience. There 
was gambling in camp, that ever-present curse of camp life ; 
but the strict orders of Colonel Cutler against this vice, and his 


vigorous discipline greatly restricted the evil in Camp Arlington. 
It was well that the regiment had so resolute a commander. He 
gave almost no passes to the city. Thieves, speculators, 
gamblers and vile characters of all kind had flocked to 
Washington to prey upon the army. This enemy in the rear 
was now more dangerous than the enemy in front. The great 
thoroughfare, Pennsylvania avenue, was constantly thronged 
with a surging crowd. The street was so muddy that it could 
not be crossed, and the western side only was used. In spite of 
the constant marching of the armed patrols, our soldiers were 
constantly made victims by the Harpies. Washington was a 
very sink hole of iniquity in other ways of evil. The unfinished 
dome of the United States Capitol, and the half built Washington 
Monument well typified the uncertainty of a continued national 

The grand old southern homestead of Arlington, with its 
quaint and curious pictures on the wall, its spacious apartments, 
broad halls and stately pillars in front, was an object of especial 
interest; but, abandoned by its owner, General Robert E. Lee, 
who was using his great power as a military leader, to destroy 
the Government he had sworn to defend, it was now a desolation. 
The military headquarters of McDowell s division was in the 
Arlington House, which was open to the public and hundreds 
tramped at will through its apartments. 

Having ample time to plan campaigns, that indeed being the 
chief business of our lives at Arlington, and pursued by an 
increasing curiosity regarding a young lady then attending the 
seminaay at Ipswich, Massachusetts, I threw out skirmishers in 
that direction. I sent sundry illustrated papers with pictures of 
our camps, and received from the enemy a return fire of 
catalogues and other Massachusetts publications. I was then a 
devout admirer of General McClellan and I received with disgust 
one of these missives directed to the "Army of the Potty Mac." 
But the seminary girls breathed the air of independent opinion 
in New England, and they were beyond the circle of McClellanism. 
This trifling skirmish resulted in no engagement. 


To my sister : "We are now having terribly muddy weather. 


All drills are omitted. Unfortunately our turn for picket duty 
on the outposts came in the midst of this spell of bad weather. 
Your anxiety about the approaching battle had better be 
postponed. Any movement of the army is impossible. As we 
marched up Munson s Hill, on our way to the outposts, the mud 
rolled down upon the men in a kind of avalanche. They waded 
up the hill through a moving stream of red clay mortar. Luckily 
I was ordered to act as Major, and had a horse to ride." 

Six days from my Journal : 


"Went to the city (Washington) to-day. Had a pleasant visit 
with uncle William. (W. P. Cutler, member Congress.) In the 
evening we went to his rooms to call on Hon. Henry L,. Daw r es, 
of Massachusetts. Mr. Dawes treated me very politely. The 
Congressional Investigating Committee of which Mr. Van Wyck, 
of New York, is Chairman, was holding a session at his rooms. 
Mr. Holman* of Indiana, overhearing that I was an officer in the 
6th Wisconsin, undertook to pump me on some charges somebody 
has been making against Colonel Cutler. It was all new to me, 
and I knew nothing at all about the matter. Mr. Dawes was 
evidently annoyed at this breach of his hospitality and Mr. R. C. 
Fenton called Mr. Holman sharply to order, and to a proper 
sense of the rudeness of. his conduct. It was quite disagreeable. 
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd, 1862. 

Returned to camp in the morning. I found one of my men, 
private Ed. Hendrick, sick with the small pox. I had him 
removed to Washington. It is varioloid, and I hope may stop with 
this case. 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd, 1862. 

Was officer of the day. Rode over to Balls Cross Roads to 
inspect guards. I never saw mud before, equal to that I 

Mud, mud, mud precludes drill, everything, to say nothing 

*This does Mr. Holman an injustice. He fairly inferred that I was there 
to be examined as others had been. An evidence of the wonderful 
memory of details possessed by Mr. Holinan is the fact that in 1882 he was 
able to recall this circumstance. 


of an advance on Manassas. Was detailed to-day as a member 
of a General Court Martial. 


General Court Martial convened at headquarters McDowell s 
division, (Arlington House.) We tried one case and adjourned 
over until Friday. Colonel Cutler is President, and Capt. Hooe 
of our regiment, Judge Advocate. 


A dull day in camp. Captain Brown and Captain Kellogg are 
jolly fellows to make time pass lightly. Kellogg sprained 
Brown s neck by an awkward blow with the boxing gloves." 

During the continuance of bad weather, target shooting was 
about the only exercise required, and Colonel Cutler offered 
small prizes for excellence. Our Belgian muskets had been 
exchanged for Springfield rifles, a much lighter and better gun, 
and this gave great satisfaction. Washington s birthday was 
celebrated by Congress with appropriate ceremonies. Our 
brigade formed in a semi-circle in close column before the broad 

*Page 718, Vol. 5, War Records, February 6th, 1862. McDowell s 
division was made up as follows : 


6th Wisconsin, 960 men. 

7th Wisconsin, 996 men. 

2nd Wisconsin, 821 men. 

19th Indiana, 892 men. 

3,669 men. 

21st New York, 735 men. 

23rd New York, 878 men. 

35th New York, 976 men. 

20th New York, 915 men. 

3,504 men. 

30th New York 800 men. 

22nd New York, 837 men. 

24th New York, 825 men. 

14th N. Y. S. M., (Brooklyn,) 659 men. 

3,121 men. 

2nd N. Y. Cavalry, (Ira Harris,) 982 men. 

Batteries of artillery, 663 men. 

Total division strength, 11,939 men. 

portico of the Arlington House, and listened to the reading of 
Washington s farewell address, and to an excellent oration from 
our Brigadier General, Rufus King. The columns were then 
deployed and battalion volleys of blank cartridges were fired in 
honor of the day. The inspiration of the occasion was felt more 
deeply because we stood upon ground once owned by 

On Sunday, the 9th day of March, my uncle, Mr. Cutler, 
accompanied by Edward Ball, Sergeant at Arms of the House 
of Representatives, came over to Arlington to visit me in 
camp. I turned out my company "K" for their inspection. 
They addressed the men briefly, and assured them that they 
would soon be called to more active duties, and on that evening 
we received our marching orders. At 4 o clock on Monday 
morning, March loth, 1862, the old camp on Arlington Heights 
was broken up. The whole army of the Potomac advanced 
in full marching order in the direction of Centreville. We 
expected battle, and our men were in that verdant and idiotic 
frame of mind, which was then termed "spoiling for a fight." 
After a hard day s march we encamped two miles west of Fairfax 
Court House, and on Tuesday morning, March nth, we were 
informed that the rebels had evacuated Centreville and Manassas. 
I quote the comments of my journal, as to the manner in which the 
announcement of this fact was received. "The men were greatly 
disappointed. They had made their wills, and written their 
farewell letters, and wanted to fight a battle. The fortifications 
at Centreville are by no means so formidable as they have been 
represented. I saw two saw-logs in the embrasures representing 
cannons. So much for wooden guns." We remained in camp 
near Centreville until Saturday, March i5th. At noon on this 
day the brigade marched back toward Alexandria, and the rain 
poured down in dismal torrents all the afternoon. We passed an 
exceedingly disagreeable night in bivouac near Alexandria, and 
on Sunday morning returned to the old camp on Arlington 
Heights. General Irvin McDowell had been assigned to the 
command of an army corps, composed of three divisions. 
(*Franklin, McCall, King.) General Rufus King succeeded to the 

*Page 755, Volume 5, Official War Records. 


command of McDowell s division, which was now designated as 
"King s division," Colonel Cutler succeeded General King in 
command of the brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Sweet, 
succeeded to command of the regiment. 

We now understood that we were to accompany the Army of 
the Potomac, under General McClellan, which was then 
embarking at Alexandria, for Fortress Monroe. We received 
orders on March i8th, to go to Alexandria, and we fully 
expected to embark. We were instead ordered into camp near 
Alexandria and while our tents were being pitched, we were 
directed to march back again to Fairfax Seminary. The order 
was- obeyed with much grumbling and scolding, and without our 
supper. The rainy, cold, dismal weather, together with the 
pungent and blinding smoke of the camp fires of green wood, 
rendered camp life at Fairfax Seminary, extremely unpleasant. 
The little shelter tents, usually called "dog tents," occupied by 
the men, proved like most army material at that period of the 
war, to be of the poorest quality, and leaked badly. On March 
25th, the sun had broken through the clouds, and there was, as 
might be expected, a grand review conducted by General Irvin 
McDowell. The divisions of Generals Franklin, King, and 
McCall were out in full force, perhaps 25,000 men. Two days 
later there was another review, upon which occasion Lord Lyons, 
the English Minister, was present with General McClellan. 

One white day from my journal. 

SATURDAY, MARCH 29th, 1862. 

The regiment was paid this morning. I got a pass to 
Washington. The men of my company sent by me $610 to be 
remitted in drafts to their friends. Got drafts of Rittenhouse 
& Company. 

Tiresome and monotonous camp life ensued until April 4th,* 
when the regiment marched not to embark at Alexandria, but 
towards Fairfax Court House. We pushed on until April 6th, 
when we encamped near Bristoe Station. During this march an 


GENERAL MCCLELLAN : By direction of the President, Gen. McDowell s 
army corps has been detached from the force, under your immediate 
command, and the General is ordered to report to the Secretary of War. 
Letter by mail. L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General. 


amusing excitement was created by the i4th Brooklyn regiment. 
The men of that regiment were from the city, clerks, book-keepers 
and business men. They were full of shrewd devices to avoid 
unnecessary hardships. They were then uniformed in short 
Zouave jackets, made in the cutaway style, often seen on 
youngsters of about six years of age, and profusely adorned with 
buttons. Their pantaloons were red. When we were somewhere 
near Centre ville, they captured in a field, a quiet and peaceable 
looking young bull. After much ingenious labor, they succeeded 
in harnessing him to a cart, using an old horse harness for this 
purpose. Then, loading up the cart with a pyramid of their 
heavy knapsacks, they endeavored to persuade the bull with their 
bayonets to march along with the troops. The terrified animal 
would at first only go backwards, but finally goaded beyond 
endurance by the bayonets, he made a sudden bolt. Our troops, 
all unconscious of impending danger, were marching quietly 
along the turnpike, when there arose a shout, "Clear the track ! 
Clear the track ! " Men on foot, and mounted officers needed no 
second warning, but crowded against the fences to give the bull 
the road. Down the turnpike came the rushing bull, the air 
about him filled with flying knapsacks. He completely routed 
our brigade. He soon upset the cart and kicked himself 
loose. When we saw him last he was still at full speed., and the 
"Red I^egs" were hunting knapsacks. 

The following from my Journal : 

TUESDAY, APRII, 8th, 1862. 

"There is rain and snow to-day. Company officers are supplied 
only with shelter tents. Our camp is very muddy. It is difficult 
for officers to get anything to eat, as our wagon is loaded with 
hard tack, and very poor ham only. I paid Jake* ten dollars 

WEDNESDAY, APRII, gth, 1862. 

"Rain and snow to-day. I was not able to get my wet boots 
on, this morning, and was obliged to lie in my dog tent until 
afternoon. As I could not stay in the tent without continually 
lying on the bunk, it was tedious. The rain and snow storm has 

*Jake was my colored servant, and while in a comfortable camp, he was 
a very good one. 

continued all day, confining all the men to their shelter tents. 
We have no mail, no papers, no literature of any kind. The men 
beguiled the weary hours, by croaking like frogs, quacking like 
ducks, and barking like dogs. I gave Jake a gold dollar and 
sent him in quest of something to eat. The base wretch has 
deserted me, and done gone to Baltimore. That is what he 
wanted his $10 for. I got supper at a house at Bristoe Station. 
Breakfast and dinner I had none." 

One performance of our men in these dismal rain storms, was 
quite comical. It was called, "The bull frog of Bull Run." A 
leader would shout : "When our army marched down to Bull 
Run, what did the big bull frog say?" Hundreds of men would 
respond in deep bass, bull frog croaks: "Big thing! Big thing! !" 
Then the leader would ask, "When our army came back 
from Bull Run, what did the little frogs say?" "Run Yank! 
Run Yank!!" would be screeched in response, in excellent 
imitation of a swamp full of frogs. "What does the bully Sixth 
say? " Again the bull frog bass would respond, "Hit em again ! 
Hit em again!!" Brave boys! how they contended against 
adverse circumstances, with their cheerful and courageous spirit. 

While near Bristoe, we received news of the great battle of 
Pittsburgh Landing. Our army was said to have gained a 
victory, after suffering a terrible loss. General King kindly gave 
me the use of the Government telegraph, but I was unable to 
learn anything of my brother, who, I knew, must have been in 
the engagement. On Sunday, the 13th, we marched from camp 
near Bristoe to Catletts Station. Here we enjoyed the good 
fortune of a "high, dry, and excellent camp ground." 


APRIL i4th, 1862. 

"Our troops are engaged in repairing railroads, and building 
bridges. We are advancing through a beautiful country, but, 
deserted by its people, and desolated by the armies, it seems 
likely to become a wilderness. At present, my company, and 
company K, are doing outpost duty under command of Major 
Bragg. My own headquarters are at St. Stephen s Chapel, a 
handsome little Episcopal church, with pulpit and pews 


uninjured. It is the most comfortable quarters I have had for a 
long time." 

(Journal.) TUESDAY, APRIL lyth, 1862. 

"We were relieved from picket duty by the 2ist New York. 
We were sorry to go back to camp. Our tour of duty at St. 
Stephen s Chapel was a picnic." 

General Augur s brigade, of King s division, marched forward 
to opposite Fredericksburgh, after some skirmishing near 
Falmouth, and on Monday, the 2ist of April, our brigade 
marched from Catletts Station towards Fredericksburgh. In 
accordance with our customary fate, a severe rain storm prevailed 
all day. The creeks were overflowing, and we were so delayed 
at the crossings, that we made only six miles. The brigade 
bivouacked for the night in a muddy field. The men were wet, 
wood scarce and wet, mud deep, air chilly, and everything in a 
forlorn condition. As a remedy, a heavy whiskey ration was 
issued. It was the first experiment of the kind in the history of 
our regiment, and it proved a miserable failure. There were 
many who would not drink their liquor at all, and others, as a 
result, obtained a double or triple portion. My journal says: 
"A thousand drunken men in the brigade, made a pandemonium 
of the camp all night." 

We reached Falmouth opposite Fredericksburgh at four o clock 
on Wednesday, April 23rd. Our hearts were made glad by 
finding our mail waiting for us. I heard fully from my brother 
that he was engaged in the bloody battles of April 6th and yth, 
at Shiloh, and in the skirmish of the morning of the 8th, at 
Fallen Timber. He had escaped without injury, though fighting 
with a courage and valor honorable to himself, and gratifying to 
his friends, as he was placed under very trying circumstances. 


APRIL 26th, 1862. 

"We are now encamped on the heights north of the 
Rappahannock river, opposite Fredericksburgh, which is an old 
fashioned, compactly built, little city, situated in a beautiful 
valley. Our troops do not occupy the town, but, as the hills 
north of the river are high, our batteries command it. Above 
the town, the river is full of rapids, but vessels come up to the 


town, and a U. S. gun boat was here yesterday. We hope to 
push on toward Richmond and join McClellan s army. Our 
camps are now flooded with negroes, with packs on their backs, 
and bound tor freedom. No system of abolition could have 
swept the system away more effectually than does the advance of 
our army. Behind us the slaves, if they choose, are free. All 
civil authority is gone." Our military authorities refused to have 
anything to do with the negroes. But with the sympathy and 
active assistance of the soldiers, the poor slaves were breaking 
their fetters in spite of their masters. Some men in one of our 
New York regiments, so roughly handled a slave owner, who was 
trying to recapture his slave in camp, that the provost guard 
interfered to protect him, but not to catch the slave. Meanwhile 
the slave made good his title to liberty, by taking refuge with 
the soldiers. I wrote from this camp : "So far the slave holders 
have vainly called upon our military authorities, for assistance in 
returning fugitives. Thus the great question of liberty is 
working its own solution. The right must, and surely will, 
triumph in the end. Let us thank God, and take courage." 


Fac-Simile Confederate Currency A. Remarkable Bridge- 
Advent of Gen. John Gibbon Extra Clothing Still " Spoil 
ing- for a .Pig-Tit" feathers, .Leergring-s and White Gloves 
President Lincoln Visits us "On to Richmond" Stonewall 
Jackson in the Valley We Pursue Jackson ISTis men Carry 
"a Hundred Rounds and a gum Blanket," Ours Carry 
"Saratoga Trunks" "You uns is Pack Mules, we uns is Race 
Horses" Overcoats and Knapsacks Flung Aw ay Celerity of 
Jackson vs. Ponderosity of M eOowell Up the Kill and .Down 
Again We Attend Church in FredericksburghMink Teaches 
School A. Very Pretty Fight of my own Win by a Scratch and 
am Appointed Major Frank A. Haskell .Advent of General 
Pope Prejudice Against McDowell A Mule Race Pope s 
Proclamation not Well Received A Raid Toward Orange C. H. 
By Help of a Slave, I Capture a Confederate Officer "Its 
the Lord s Will That the Colored People Help you uns" 
Impending Battles The Fredericks flail Raid To Cedar 
Mountain He "Done got out" William Jackson Retreat 
Before General Lee First Experiences under Fire To 
WarrentonTo Warrenton Sulphur Springs Again Under 
Fire Stonewall Jackson in our Rear Back Toward Centre- 
ville Can t Stop to eat Battle of Gainesville Corps Com 
mander "Lost in the Woods ^. Midnight Retreat Some 
Comments on Gainesville Sound of Battle on the Bull Run 
Field Fitz John Porter s Corps Marches by We March to the 
Field of Battle Clouds of Dust Interpreted as a Retreat of 
the Enemy Battle of Bull Run Second Midnight Visit From 
General Kearney and Retreat Death on Picket Duty 
ChantillyTo Upton s Hill Joy at the Announcement That 
McClellan is in Command Colonel Bragg s Manly and 
Patriotic Political Stand Colonel Cutler Pays his Respects to 
Mr. Stanton. 

SATURDAY, APRIL 26th, 1862. 

"Some men in our brigade bought to-day of citizens, large 
amounts of tobacco and other goods, with fac-simile confederate 
currency. The people refused United States treasury notes 
when offered, but sought this bogus confederate money with 
avidity. Indeed, I think myself, it looks a little better than the 
original rebel money. An order was issued to-day, forbidding 
this kind of swindling." 

On Sunday, we marched out four miles, on the line of 
the Acquia Creek Railroad. Here we were engaged in 
building a great pole trestle bridge over Potomac creek. 


The work was under direction of Herman Haupt, a vol 
unteer engineer officer on the staff of General McDowell, and 
the bridge was considered a triumph of military engineering. I 
quote from General Andrew Hickenlooper, a description of this 
bridge. He says: "It was five hundred feet in length, and 
eighty feet in height, composed of unhewn trees and saplings, 
cut in the adjoining woods and placed in position by the troops 
of General McDowell s command. So rapidly was the work 
executed that the whole was completed within a period of nine 
days, which, allowing twelve working hours a day, required the 
placing in position of five hundred pieces of timber every hour. 
And so well was the work done that for several years it carried 
in safety from ten to fifteen heavy trains per day and resisted the 
destructive influence of several devastating floods." Lieutenant 
D. L,. Quaw was in command of a large force getting out this 
bridge timber. Lieutenant Clayton K. Rogers was also doing 
work with his accustomed vim, having a large band of choppers. 
After this service, we again encamped opposite Fredericksburgh. 
No event worthy of mention transpired until Thursday, May 8th, 
when Brigadier General John Gibbon took command of our 
brigade and Colonel Cutler returned to the command of the 
regiment. General Gibbon graduated from West Point in 1847. 
In 1854 he was at West Point as Assistant Instructor of Artillery, 
which shows that he was considered, even then, master of his 
profession. The "Artillerists Manual," published in New York 
in 1859, was from his pen and was considered an extremely useful 
work. He was Captain of Battery "B" 4th U. S. Artillery in the 
regular service. He soon manifested superior qualities as a 
brigade commander. Thoroughly educated in the military profes 
sion, he had also high personal qualifications to exercise com 
mand. He was anxious that his brigade should excel in every 
way, and while he was an exacting disciplinarian he had the good 
sense to recognize merit where it existed. His administration of 
the command left a lasting impression for good upon the character 
and military tone of the brigade, and his splendid personal 
bravery upon the field of battle was an inspiration. The brigade 
was now known as "Gibbon s brigade." 

We were ordered to procure an entire outfit of new hats and a 


supply of clothing. There was complaint on the part of the 
men at being obliged to draw overcoats at the beginning of sum 
mer in a hot climate. 

On the evening of the loth of May, there was an alarm over 
the river beyond Fredericksburgh. The men received the 
announcement that they would probably be needed for a fight 
with a tremendous shout. They said "a year s fight was bottled 
up in them and it was spoiling to come out." It transpired) 
however, that there were not enough rebels in the vicinity to 
accommodate our men with the desired fight. 

We now had a large force of men engaged upon the timber 
work of the railroad bridge across the Rappahannock river. This 
bridge was of the same character as that of the Potomac Creek, 
and it was. six hundred feet in length by sixty -five in height. 

Meanwhile General McClellan s army was pressing on toward 
Richmond. A strong feeling possessed us that we were to be a 
mere side show while others performed the real acts of war. We 
had now been nearly a year in active service and could boast only 
of the inglorious battle at Patterson Park. This circumstance is 
the more notable, since statistics show that, when the war was 
ended, our brigade had lost more men killed in battle than any 
other brigade in the whole army of the Union. 

About this time I visited in the cemetery at Fredericksburgh, 
the tomb of Mary, the mother of Washington. The rebel 
soldiers, who had been encamped in this vicinity, had set targets 
against this sacred monument and it was shamefully defaced by 
bullets fired against it. 

On Saturday, May lyth, the regiment was fully supplied with 
white leggings, black felt hats adorned with feathers, and white 
cotton gloves. These decorations were received with the 
greatest merriment, but we all felt proud of the fine appearance 
of the battalion. My journal says : "General Gibbon attended 
our dress parade to-day, and the regiment was in fine feather. " 
The next day, a gay looking young rebel Captain came in with 
a flag of truce. The men, delighted to see a live rebel, flocked 
around him by hundreds. On the igth of May, the great 
railroad bridge across the Rappahannock was completed, and a 
locomotive passed over into Fredericksburgh. 


It is worthy of record, that on our pay-day, the men of my 
company, "K," sent home in various small sums to their families 
and friends, over $800, nearly one half of the entire pay 
received. General Shield s division joined us on the 23rd of 
May, and on this day President Abraham Lincoln and the 
Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, were present at a review 
of our brigade. On Saturday, May 24th, the journal says : "The 
soldiers of Shield s division have christened us the bandbox 
brigade. Our boys retort that they would rather wear leggings 
than be lousy. Shield s division are the dirtiest ragamuffins we 
have yet seen in the service." At this time General McDowell, 
himself a precise and exacting soldier, said of our brigade : 
"Many times I have shown them to foreign officers of distinction, 
as specimens of American Volunteer soldiers, and asked them 
if they had ever anywhere seen even among the picked soldiers 
of royal and imperial guards, a more splendid body of men, and 
I have never had an affirmative answer." The brigade was not 
excelled in the precision and accuracy of their movement by any 
other body of troops I have ever seen, not excepting the cadets 
at West Point. Beyond a doubt, it was this year of preparation 
that brought the "Iron Brigade" to its high standard of efficiency 
for battle service. 

The next day we had marching orders, and to the great joy of 
the men, we moved toward Richmond. The men said: "As 
soon as old Abe saw our brigade, he knew it could take 
Richmond, and he has sent us to do it." But we marched only 
eight miles south of Fredericksburgh, and encamped for several 
days in the woods. We here received news of the disastrous 
retreat of General Banks in the Shenandoah valley, before the 
swift advance of Stonewall Jackson. 

The next two weeks journal, is the record of experiences on a 
wild goose chase by McDowell s corps, after Stonewall Jackson, 
who was in the Shenandoah valley. 

THURSDAY, MAY 29th, 1862. 

"We marched at ten A. M., northward, and camped for the 
night, six miles north of Fredericksburgh, on the road to Catletts 
Station. It was a hard tramp. Sixty pounds is an awful load 
for a man to carry on a hot summer day." 


FRIDAY, MAY 3oth, 1862.* 

"We marched at 8:30 A. M. The weather was hot and sultry. 
One hundred and fifty men fell out of the ranks exhausted, on 
the march to-day. It rained in the afternoon. We camped six 
miles from Catletts Station. It was one of the hardest marches 
the regiment ever had. Twenty miles was the distance marched." 

A few weeks later (Fredericks Hall raid) upon an equally 
sultry day, our regiment inarched thirty-five miles without 
knapsacks. The men were here absurdly over burdened. They 
had been required to carry each an overcoat, an extra pair of 
shoes, and an extra pair of pants. These superfluous articles, 
added to the necessary hundred rounds of ball cartridges, shelter 
tent, gum and woolen blankets, haversack full of rations, 
canteen full of water, musket and accoutrements, w r ere a load 
beyond the strength of ordinary men. Our young boys were 
broken down by the needless overtaxing of their strength. I 
can not say who was responsible for such management. I know, 
however, that General McDowell, whether justly or unjustly, 
was thoroughly cursed for it. Vast numbers of new overcoats, 
and many knapsacks were flung away by the exhausted men on 
this march. The men said they were "issuing overcoats to the 
rebel cavalry," and it is very likely that they were. I know 
well the weight of those monstrous knapsacks from personal 
experience. Many a mile I carried a knapsack on my shoulders 
to aid the tired and weak of my company. I well remember 
seeing strong men carrying two knapsacks, and sometimes stout 
Abe Fletcher loaded up with three, to help the "little fellows"f 
along. At Gettysburg, this kind hearted man fell dead at the 
front of battle. But the smallest man in the company was a 

*See pages 309310, Volume 12, Part III, War Records, for strength 
and composition of McDowell s corps on May 31st. 1862. Present for duty 
in the corps, officers, 2,023, men, 42,422. In King s division, officers, 466, 
men, 8,560. 

tThe "little fellows" of Company "K" were Silas W. Temple, John R. 
Towle, Charles M. Taylor, George E. Chamberlain, Cassias Griggs and 
Aaron Yates. They were young, slight, round cheeked boys, who endured 
their hardships with ,a cheerful patience that won us all. The leather 
straps cat their shoulders, and the weight was too heavy under the hot 
sun, and pressed upon their lungs. They were not fitted to become beasts 
of burden, nor were they thus rendering the cause a useful service. 


marvel. He was a diminutive Irishman, named Hugh Talty. 
In recognition of his shortness he was called "Tall T." He 
would often carry an extra knapsack for the "little fellows." In 
the distribution of new clothing, there was a difficulty in properly 
"sizing up" the company. "Tall T" was under the smallest 
size contemplated in the Regulations, and he could never be 
fitted. Poor "Tall T" sometimes had pantaloons that would 
almost button around his neck. I gave this matter particular 
attention. "Who s your tailor, TallT? " once shouted a man 
as we marched. "The captain, be gob," came back like a flash 
from "Tall T." 

There was another little Irishman in the company whom we 
called "Mickey," (James P. Sullivan.) For genuine sallies of 
humor at unexpected times, I have never seen his equal. He 
was a heroic soldier, and he was shot and severely wounded, 
three different times in battle. "Micky" and "Tall T" were both 
shot, and laid in the same hospital together at Gettysburg. 
They softened the sufferings of many by their unconquerable good 
humor and genuine wit. Such men are of priceless value in 
an army. 

The most caustic comment I can make on this campaign, is to 
quote the remarks of a deserter from Stonewall Jackson s army, 
who came to us at some time during the marching. He said, 
"You uns is pack mules, we uns is race horses." "All old 
Jackson gave us, was a musket, a hundred rounds and a gum 
blanket, and he druv us so like hell, that I could not stand it on 
parched corn." Another saying of some Johnny from Jackson s 
corps was quoted then. He said: "We uns durst leave our 
mammy. You uns is tied to granny Lincoln s apron string." 

Our men called their knapsacks, "Saratoga trunks." The 
weary details of the hot and dusty tramp need not be repeated. 
We marched from Fredericksburgh to Warrenton, and then from 
Warrenton to Fredericksburgh, opposite which city we were 
again encamped on June loth, 1862. With Jackson, celerity 
was success. With us, ponderosity was military science. 

The most pleasant incident of the expedition, was our camp, 
in a beautiful grove near the village of Warrenton, which is 
delightfully situated, overlooking an extensive mountain 


landscape. Here we enjoyed a luxury, not common in that 
region, good, pure water. Some of the first families of Virginia, 
made their homes here, but we found the first people particularly 
bitter in their hostility. 

It was my custom to attend church with my company, while 
we were in camp near Fredericksburgh. On Sunday, June i5th, 
I attended tlie Episcopal church with fifty men. The men 
enjoyed attending church, as it seemed homelike. We were 
kindly received, and made welcome by the minister, but so much 
can not be said for the people. 

In the camp near Fredericksburgh, our enlisted men had their 
brasses scoured, guns wiped, white gloves washed, and shoes 
blacked by the contrabands who swarmed about them. How 
these people lived being a mystery to me, I one day cornered a 
very black, but quick witted little imp, called "Mink." "Mink," 
said I, "where did you come from?" "Bides hole, sah!" (Boyd s 
Hole, below Fredericksburgh.) "What do you eat?" "I picks 
up a bone, sah!" "Where do you sleep?" "I sleeps under a 
leaf, sah!" "What do you do?" "I teaches school, sah!" Sure 
enough, investigation proved that this little black "Mink" was 
teaching a class of other contrabands their letters, which he had 
already quickly learned himself. As "Mink" explained matters 
to me, our colored barber, who came with us from Wisconsin, 
"done bossed the school," but the colored barber himself could 
not read. He was only useful in keeping order. 

(Journal.) SATURDAY, JUNE i4th, 1862. 

"Served to-day on a board of survey with lieutenant 
Colonel Lucius Fairchild, 2nd Wisconsin, and Captain Linsley, 
1 9th Indiana. We condemned a large amount of wormy 
hard-tack. There seems to be some chance of our going to 
Richmond yet." 

SUNDAY, JUNE isth, 1862. 

"I marched eighty men of my company to church in 
Fredericksburgh. We went to the Episcopal church. We were 
made to feel at home. Requested Colonel Cutler to settle 
definitely the question of seniority among captains." 

There were four of the original captains remaining on the 
rolls who had been mustered into the United States service on the 


same day, July i6th, 1861. There still remained an unsettled 
question as to their relative rank. 

(Journal.) MONDAY, JUNK i6th, 1862. 

"Colonel Cutler ordered the seniority question settled by lot. 
Captains Dill, Hooe, Hauser and I repaired to the Colonel s 
headquarters. The Colonel put four scraps of paper into his 
hat, marked severally i, 2, 3, and 4. The drawing resulted: 
Dawes, i; Hooe, 2; Hauser, 3; Dill, 4. Much favored by fortune. 
Lieutenant Colonel Sweet sent in his resignation to-day. Now 
comes a tug of war. Colonel Cutler wants Haskell appointed 

TUESDAY, JUNK lyth, 1862. 

"Colonel Cutler has asked an expression of the officers for 

Major. A caucus called for to-night. deserts me and 

works for Haskell. O, treachery ! Was appointed officer of the 
brigade guard, and did not attend the caucus. Final vote: 
Haskell, thirteen, Dawes, fourteen." 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE i8th, 1862. 

"A very exciting day in the regiment. No report made of the 
caucus. It did not come out right. Captain Brown battles for 
me like a hero. Haskell told me he should get the appointment 
if he could. I told him, I should do the same, as it was my 
right in order of rank, and w r e shook hands over it. Sent my 
papers to Bill Vilas. He will give them a hustle if he gets the 
papers in time. Major Bragg works hard for me. He says, 
this attempt to dragoon the officers into over-riding the rights of 
captains, will not win. " 

FRIDAY, JUNE 2oth, 1862. 

"Colonel Cutler, General Gibbon, General King, and, I suppose, 
all Madison, Wisconsin, recommend Haskell. Lieutenant 
Colonel Sweet, Major Bragg, seven Captains, fourteen 
Lieutenants, and three regimental staff officers recommend my 
appointment. signed a private recommendation for me.* 

* was trying to carry water on both shoulders, and as usual in 

such cases, it tipped over and spilled upon him. Colonel Cutler was 
an able commander, but not a good politician. It was a blunder to ask for 
an expression of preference by the officers, especially when he was already 
supported by the solid line of Brigadier Generals. 


SUNDAY, JUNK 22nd, 1862. 

"I attended the Episcopal church with my company. Private 
Hoel Trumbull ran away from us, but was caught and locked up 
in the guard house. He spent a season in meditation. He 
thinks, on the whole, the church would have been the lesser evil. 
Colonel Sweet has received notice of the acceptance of his 


JULY ist, 1862. 

"For a week I have been fighting a bilious fever, but now have 
the mastery and am rapidly recovering. I have also won another 
victory which will please you. I have received a commission as 
major and am no more a captain. I sent my papers for presenta 
tion to the Governor of Wisconsin (Edward Salomon) to my 
friend, William F. Vilas, at Madison. Vilas writes that he called 
at the Governor s office and sent in word that he wished to see 
him in connection with the majorship of the Sixth regiment." 

"The Governor came to the door and said : Mr. Vilas, I do not 
wish to hear anything more upon that subject. The friends of 
Mr. Haskell have already harassed me beyond my patience. I 
shall make no appointment until I hear more fully from the 

Oh! but/ says I, I happen to be on the other side of that 
question. Walk right in Mr. Vilas, says he, I am glad to see 
you . I went in and presented your case the best I could, and 
have since learned with great pleasure that your commission has 
been issued. Accept of my dexter in token of heartiest congrat 

"This promotion comes very fortunately just before active 
operations against the enemy, which I doubt not will soon take 
place, since Gen. Pope has been sent to command our army." 

When Colonel Cutler assumed command of the brigade, 
Haskell went upon his staff. It was an unfortunate step, as it 
put entirely out of the line of promotion one of the finest officers 
Wisconsin sent to the war. General Gibbon, who was intimately 
associated with him, has said that Haskell "was better qualified 
to command an army corps than many who enjoyed that honor." 
He continued to serve on staff duty until 1864 when he was 


appointed Colonel of the 36th Wisconsin. He was killed at the 
battle of Cold Harbor, while exposing his own life to encourage 
his regiment to attack the enemy s works. 

"We hail the coming of General Pope with much satisfaction. 
There is a strong feeling among the soldiers against McDowell. 
He is considered incompetent, if not disloyal." This harsh 
opinion of General McDowell is only suffered to appear as a 
moderate expression of the prejudice existing at that time among 
our officers and men against him. This whole question was 
considered in the McDowell Court of inquiry; and I make no 
effort to explain the cause. 

July 4th was celebrated with festivities and merry-making. 
Gibbon s brigade gathered upon a large plain, where there was 
horse racing, foot racing, and other amusements and athletic ex 
ercises. There was a great mule race, a sack race, and a greased 
pig. Wagon master, William Sears, of our regiment, won the 
mule race. The prize in this case was for the mule that got 
through last. Each rider accordingly whipped another s mule, 
holding back his own. Sears rode a balky mule which would 
go backward whenever whipped. Captain Hollon Richardson, of 
the seventh Wisconsin, won the foot race. 


"I am not near Richmond, nor likely to be. General Pope 
is charged with the same old duty of guarding Washington. So 
unless the rebels move on Washington, our future presents a 
peaceful aspect." 


"General Pope s bombastic proclamation has not tended to 
increase confidence, indeed the effect is exactly the contrary. 
(Pope s celebrated order, concerning Lines of Retreat, and Bases 
of Supply, is Ijere referred to.) For the present, I do not 
anticipate that we will move from Fredericksburgh. Should 
Stonewall Jackson make another raid, we will likely take the 
same tramp in pursuit of him. King s division with some 
detachments under General Doubleday, are now the only troops 
here. I think General Pope does not reinforce us here, for fear 
of General Jackson in the valley. Of course we feel eager to be 
something more than ornamental file-closers. Our regiment has 


been more than a year in the service ; and in soldierly bearing, 
perfection in drill, and discipline, we do not yield the palm to the 
regulars in any service." 


"We have just got back after a dash toward Orange Court 
House. This is one of the fruits of the policy of our new 
commander, General Pope. Our boys are growing enthusiastic 
in the prospect of a general who has a little life. We left camp 
by order of General Pope, on July 25th, and marched fifteen 
miles on the Gordonsville plank road, to a point where the road 
forks. We remained in this position, while other troops made a 
raid within five miles of Gordonsville. The rebels are 
concentrating in some force at that point, and I think General 
Pope will offer battle. If the forces are nearly matched, we will 
defeat them. I judge of the Southern army by the character of 
the prisoners we have taken, and our division is superior to such 
troops. When we were at the front, an old negro slave came in 
the middle of the night to our picket line. He said that "Massa 
Bullock," a Lieutenant in the rebel army, was in a house, a mile 
away. I took forty men, surrounded the house, and captured 
him. He was a fine young scion of a first family of Virginia. 
He was not in uniform, and he denied my right to take him as a 
soldier. When the darky identified him, he asked me if I would 
take the word of a nigger. ? But when I proposed that he take 
the oath of allegiance,* he said that I might take a horse to water, 
but I could not make him drink. So I brought the gentleman in 
as a prisoner of war. General Pope s orders are carried out in 
good faith, and, so far as I know, no abuse has been perpetrated."f 

The colored man who came to our picket line was very old. 
I felt suspicious of a trap, and questioned him closely as to his 
motives in making such disclosures. He said "Fore God, Massa, 
we knows you uns is our friends. Its the Lord s will, that the 
colored folks help you uns." I told him that if he led us into 
an ambush, he would certainly be the first one killed; but 
he led the way, audibly praying God to sustain him. 

*See Volume XII, Part 1, Page 271, War Records, as to oaths of 
tReference to orders concerning foraging. 


From the consolidated morning report of Major General Pope, 
July 3ist, 1862, the number of men present for duty, in the 
ranks of Gibbon s brigade was 40 companies, 2,664 men. To 
this must be added at least 1 50 for commissioned officers, making 
a total of about 2,800 for duty in the brigade. This was just 
before engaging in the hard and bloody campaign of forty-five 
days, covering the battles of Gainesville and Bull Run Second, 
under General Pope, and the battles of South Mountain and 
Antietam, in the Maryland campaign. In these operations, 
Gibbon s brigade suffered a loss of 1,592 men killed or wounded, 
and by its heroic conduct, acquired the historic title of the "Iron 
Brigade;" by whom first applied, I do not know. 

The regiment left camp opposite Fredericksburgh, at 2 o clock, 
on the morning of August 5th, 1862, as a part of an expedition 
intended to cut the Virginia Central Railroad. General Gibbon 
was in command of the force sent forward for this purpose. He 
divided his force, placing Colonel Cutler in command of about 
one thousand men.* The troops were without knapsacks, and 
stripped for a race. Colonel Cutler marched by the Orange plank 
road for several miles, and then turned south, passing by a 
narrow road through Spottsylvania Court House. Cutler s flying 
column marched thirty-five miles on this day, one of the very 
hottest of the summer. General Gibbon s force (about 3,000 
men) marched on the Telegraph road, running south from 
Fredericksburgh. They accomplished fifteen miles. He 
discovered that the rebel General, J. K. B. Stuart, was advancing 
by the Bowling Green road on his left, with a strong force. All 
possibility of General Gibbon s force surprising the enemy was 
gone, and he moved his troops over to the Spottsylvania road, to 
cover the retreat of Colonel Cutler s detachment. Unconscious 
of the happenings narrated, our column had reached a place 
called Mount Pleasant, fifteen or twenty miles from the 
railroad. Here, at eleven, o clock at night, a courier from 
General Gibbon, caught us sound asleep in bivouac, except the 

*Six companies of the Ira Harris cavalry, two guns of Gerrish s (N. H.) 
battery, under Lieutenant Edgell, and 650 of our best men of the Sixth 
were present in the ranks. 


proper guards. General Gibbon sent by his courier to Colonel 
Cutler, the facts of the situation, and directed him to act 
according to his judgment. Colonel Cutler called a midnight 
council of the field officers. Besides the Commander, there were 
present, Colonel J. Mansfield Davies, lieutenant Colonel Judson 
Kilpatrick, Major H. W. Davies of the cavalry, Lieutenant 
Kdgell of the artillery, and Lieutenant Colonel K. S. Bragg and 
Major R. R. Dawes of the infantry. Colonel Cutler explained 
that we were many miles in advance of our supporting column, 
and that General Stuart, with a force estimated at five thousand 
men, was behind us. Before us was the North Anna river, an 
unfordable stream, with wooden bridges that could be easily 
burned. Seven miles beyond the river was the railroad. The 
main force under General Gibbon had abandoned the effort to 
reach the railroad. The question was, should we go on and 
attempt to destroy the railroad as originally proposed, taking our 
chances of peril in front and rear, or should we fall back upon 
Gibbon s force which was waiting for us. Lieutenant Colonels 
Kilpatrick and Bragg, argued strongly in favor of going on.* 
They urged that this was the safest, as well as the most honorable 
course and such was the decision of the council. At the earliest 
dawn, the column started for the railroad. The men were given 
an intimation of the situation, and told that everything depended 
upon their speed. About one hundred and fifty of the foot-sore 
and weary men were left at Carl s bridge, over the North Anna, 
under Captain P.W. Plummer, to hold it for our retreat. When we 
approached Fredericks Hall station, Kilpatrick charged in with 
the cavalry, and cut the telegraph wires, and picketed the roads. 
Lieutenant Edgell put his guns in position to cover the retreat, 
and our men were kept hard at work for some time, destroying 
the railroad track, and the torch was applied to all Confederate 
Government and railroad property. f We then hurried back to 

^Lieutenant Edward P. Brooks, Acting Adjutant, was present at this 
council, and he has written of it, "Bragg, Dawes, and Kilpatrick insisted 
on going on." 

tBrooks says: "Burned Government warehouse, several thousand 
bushels of corn, fifty hogsheads of tobacco. Found ten barrels of peach 
brandy, and the men took a supply in their canteens, which refreshed 


get across our wooden bridge. We made a great march upon 
that day. Private William L. Riley, of Company "I," made the 
following note in his journal : "Part of the regiment left at a 
bridge. The rest goes on to Fredericks Hall station, and returns 
to Waller s tavern; about forty miles accomplished in one day. 
Big marching for infantry" We tore up about two miles of 
railroad track, so says Colonel Cutler.* 

On the afternoon of August Qth, 1862, an order was received 
by telegraph directing that King s division should join General 
Pope at Cedar Mountain which was forty-five miles distant. 
On this day was fought the bloody battle of Cedar Mountain 
between Stonewall Jackson s corps and our troops under command 
of General N. P. Banks. On the early morning of August loth 
we left the old camp opposite Fredericksburgh, never to return. 
The regiment marched twenty-one miles that day and on the 
evening of the nth arrived near the scene of Cedar Mountain 
battle. General Jackson s army had retreated beyond the Rapidan. 
On this evening my contraband, whom I had employed in place 
of Jake, also deserted me. He smelled the battle from 
afar and "done got out." Sergeant Howard F.Pruyn of company 
"A" had in his employ a bright little yellow boy who had 
attracted my notice. The Sergeant could not keep a servant 
while on the march. I asked him if he thought this boy could 
do my work. He said he was a good and willing boy, but that 
he did not know anything and could not do my work. I was 
not in a position to be exacting, so I took him on trial. His 
name, William Jackson, will appear often in the after pages. A 
more excellent servant or a more faithful friend than he proved 
throughout the remainder of my service in the war could scarcely 
have been found. 

*General Gibbon says in his official report of this affair : "I can not refer 
in too high terras, to the conduct of Colonel Cutler. To his energy and 
good judgment, seconded as he was by his fine regiment, the success of 
the expedition is entirely due." In Colonel Cutler s official report, occur 
these words : "I wish especially to notice Lieutenant Colonel Kilpatrick, 
and Major Davies of the cavalry, and Major Dawes of the infantry, for the 
prompt and efficient manner, in which they caused all my orders to be 
executed, also for the very valuable suggestions I received from them." 
See report Brigadier General Rufus King, Page 121, Volume XII, Series 1, 
Official Records of the War. Brigadier General John Gibbon, Page 122, 
Volume XII, Series 1, Official Records of the War. Colonel Lysander 
Cutler, Page 123, Volume XII, Series 1, Official Records of the War. 


We were now encamped directly upon the battle ground of 
Cedar Mountain, where we remained for a week. We were 
obliged to bury many of the rebel dead whose corpses, left half 
buried upon the field, were intolerable. This was our first contact 
with one of the real horrors of war. Private Riley s journal 
mentions the fact that while we were in this camp, there was a 
roll-call every two hours, which, he says was a "new wrinkle." 
The object was of course to keep the men at hand for action, as 
we were in the presence of a largely superior force of the enemy. 
On the i gth day of August, we began our retreat before the 
advancing army of General Lee. We marched back fifteen 
miles toward the Rappahannock and camped tjiat night five miles 
from the river. On the early morning of August 2oth, we 
resumed our northward march. Riley says that his company "I," 
under Captain Kellogg, was sent to build a bridge across the river 
above the railroad station and that they worked all night, com 
pleting their bridge at daylight. 

On the 2oth day of August, our regiment crossed the 
Rappahannock, at the crossing of the Orange and Alexandria 
Railroad. We encamped a mile from the bridge. On the 
afternoon of that day, cavalry of the enemy appeared on the 
opposite bank of the river. By the clouds of dust rising on all 
the roads, we could trace the advance of the rebel army. On the 
morning of the 2ist of August, the enemy opened fire on our 
troops from a battery of artillery, about >a mile above the bridge, 
the first artillery we had ever heard in actual battle. One of our 
batteries wheeled into position on a gallop, cheered by the 
excited shouts of our men, and was admirably served in reply. 
Private William Riley says of this artillery duel, which was 
witnessed with great interest by our novices : "Our battery got 
the better of them in a few shots, showing a better practice, and 
more accurate shooting. Our shells burst close to their guns, 
while the enemy fired wide of their mark." Gibbon s brigade 
was ordered to the right of King s division, and we marched 
along in the rear of the batteries, now all placed in order of 
battle to fire upon the enemy. As we came into range of the 
enemy s battery, they turned their fire full upon the sixth 
Wisconsin. This was our initiation. The shell whizzed and 


burst over us and around us. The men marched steadily, keeping 
their places, and holding their heads high. They soon 
learned that a discreet and respectful obeisance to a cannon ball 
is no indication of cowardice. 

When our brigade had taken position, six companies of our 
regiment were ordered forward to cover the brigade front, and to 
advance as skirmishers to the river. Lieutenant Colonel Bragg 
was in command of these companies, I was second. General 
Patrick s brigade skirmish line, next on our left, was ordered to 
join us, and be governed by our movement. But Patrick s line 
did not wait, and Colonel Bragg, seeing Patrick s skirmishers 
advancing, ordered the right of his own line forward, before our 
deployment on the left was completed. By this accident, company 
"E," under Captain Edwin A. Brown, was switched off, and lost 
from the line, and no connection was made with General Patrick s 
skirmishers. Our line also swung away from the proper front, 
and in place of advancing toward the river, we gradually changed 
to moving up parallel with the river, opening at every step, the 
gap between us and General Patrick s skirmishers. The thick 
woods concealed all from our view. After passing through the 
woods, we came upon a body of cavalry with blue overcoats. I 
galloped up to the officer in command and asked him if he had 
seen any rebels. He said, "Yes, Sir, plenty of them, just in 
that point of woods, not five minutes ago." So we pushed on pell 
mell across an open field toward "that point of woods." Sharp 
musketry skirmishing broke out directly behind us. It was 
Captain Brown with our lost company "E," and lieutenant 
Charles P. Hyatt, with a platoon of company "B," gallantly 
driving this rebel cavalry, for such it was, across the river. But 
we had been sent on a fool s errand by a rebel company, who 
were dressed in Union blue overcoats. Brown s and Hyatt s 
men killed and wounded several of the enemy, and captured a 
Lieutenant and two private soldiers. These officers and their 
men won the first glory for the sixth Wisconsin on the field 
of actual battle. The interpretation of our movements by 
Private William L,. Riley is amusing. He says, "Went up the 
river to reconnoitre fords." 

Toward night our regiment was ordered to advance nearer the 


river. The rebels saw the movement, and opened fire upon us 
with a battery of artillery. Colonel Cutler halted, established 
guides, and aligned forward into the position assigned before he 
would allow the men to lie down. He said "you must get used 
to it." Fortunately the rebels were poor artillerists and did not 
hit us, so nobody was hurt. We learned to "lie down" in battle, 
later in our experience, without waiting . to establish guides. In 
this new position, we were under a heavy artillery fire. During 
an interval, Colonel Cutler brought up his colored servant, an 
excellent cook, to make a pot of hot coffee, which he invited me 
to share w 7 ith him, but, just as we sat down to enjoy our feast, 
the coffee-pot was knocked from the fire at least twenty feet in 
the air by a rebel shell. The darky, not stopping for his coffee-pot, 
left the field at the speed of a race horse. Our experiences the 
first day under fire, as we lost no men, were really valuable in 
showing the men, that artillery fire was not so dangerous as they 
had anticipated. During the next two days we were subjected 
by the rebels to, what I call in my journal, "several good 

On August 23rd, we marched to the village of Warrenton. 
The rebel troops, judging from the clouds of dust which we 
could see beyond the river, were moving also. We marched to 
the Rappahannock at Warrenton Sulphur Springs, where we 
supported a battery, and were under fire of artillery nearly all 
day of August 26th. * At the Sulphur Springs, on August 27th, 
we were ordered to march with the utmost haste back to 
Centreville. The enemy was in great force between us and 
Washington, (Stonewall Jackson s corps. f) As we marched 

*0n this day, Lieutenant Edward P. Brooks, our Acting Adjutant, was 
ordered to report to General Pope, to act as guide to the columns of troops 
from the Army of the Potomac. He guided General Philip Kearney s 
division, and rendered other service so excellent in character, that General 
Pope gave him letters of the highest commendation. 

tLieutenant Arthur C. Ellis, of Company "B," himself disabled from 
marching, was with the wagon train of our brigade at Manassas Junction, 
when the cavalry of General J. E. B. Stuart reached there. Our 
brigade park of twenty-one wagons, was a short distance from the 
headquarters wagon train of General Pope. General Pope s wagons, and 
all others in the vicinity, excepting those of our brigade, were captured 
and destroyed by Stuart s cavalry. But Lieutenant Ellis rallied the 
crippled and sick men from our brigade, and directing them to lie on the 


through Wa rrenton, wagon-loads of hard tack and pork were 
being destroyed, but the emergency seemed to be considered so 
great that the troops were not allowed to halt and fill their 
nearly empty haversacks, and some of our men were marching 
hungry. Time would have been gained by stopping a few 
moments to eat. We passed through New Baltimore and 
camped for the night near Buckland s Mills. Before daylight on 
August 28th, we were again on the march. About the middle of 
the forenoon, we halted for some time in the road near Gainesville. 
Quite a large body of rebel prisoners passed us here. Artillery 
fire was heard toward the Bull Run battle field. We pushed on 
for two miles, when \ve turned off from the turnpike into a piece 
of timber on the right hand side of the road. Here we remained 
until four o clock in the afternoon. Beef was killed, and a ration 
issued. About this hour, General McDowell, according to his 
own testimony, became convinced that the troops who had been 
firing on our men, "were a small reconnoitering party, not 
worthy of mention to the Commanding General," and he ordered 
King s division to march on the turnpike to Centreville. General 
McDowell himself then left his corps, and having, he says, 
"important business with General Pope," he went to find that 
General and in the search became "lost in the woods." He 
remained lost in the woods during the entire night. 

General Stonewall Jackson, at that very hour, was forming 
a column of eighteen thousand men along the Warrenton 
turnpike to attack General McDowell, and this force was scarcely 
two miles away. After \vatching our extraordinary movements 
for a season, Jackson says: "By this time it was sunset. * * * I 
determined to attack at once, which was vigorously done by the 
divisions of Taliaferro and Kwell" (six brigades). This attack, 
it will be seen, struck the second Wisconsin and nineteenth 
Indiana regiments. 

Our division moved, as ordered, back to the turnpike and then 
along the turnpike toward Centreville, first, Hatch s brigade: 
second, Gibbon s; third, Doubleday s; fourth, Patrick s. 

ground under the wagons, successfully defended, and saved from capture 
our train. The attack upon them was made at midnight. It was a very 
gallant deed, and of especial value to us, as all of our papers and much 
property were with the wagons. 



General Hatch, in advance, sent the i4th Brooklyn regiment 
as advance guard and flankers. I remember seeing the line of 
their red legs on the green slope of the same hill from which the 
enemy fired upon us, but they discovered no enemy. Our 
brigade moved along the turnpike on that quiet summer evening 
as unsuspectingly as if changing camp. Suddenly the stillness 
was broken by six cannon shots fired in rapid succession by a 
rebel battery, point blank at our regiment. The shell passed 
over the heads of our men, and burst in the woods beyond. 
Surprise is no sufficient word for our astonishment, but the 
reverberation had not died away when gallant old Colonel 
Cutler s familiar voice rang out sharp and loud, "Battalion, halt|! 
Front! Load at will ! Load!" The men fairly jumped in their 
eagerness, and the iron ramrods were jingling, when "Bang ! 
Bang ! " went the rebel cannon again. Again they overshot our 
men, but a poor horse was knocked over and over against the 
turnpike fence. "Lie down !" shouted Colonel Cutler. 
Fortunately a little bank along the roadside gave us good cover. 
Battery "B," 4th U. S. artillery, now came down the turnpike 
on a gallop. Quickly tearing away the fence, they wheeled 
into position in the open field, and the loud crack of their brass 
twelve pounders echoed the rebel cannon. Thus opened our 
first real battle. General Gibbon ordered the 2nd Wisconsin and 
1 9th Indiana regiments to move forward upon the enemy. This 
attack of General Gibbon was made upon the theory that a 
comparatively small force of the enemy was present. (See 
reports of Gibbon and Doubleday.) No sooner had the 2nd 
Wisconsin shown its line in the open field, than there burst 
upon them a flame of musketry, while Confederate batteries 
distributed along about a mile of front opened with shell and 
and round shot. Under this terrible fire the second was obliged 
to change front before they could return a shot. We could not 
see them nor the igth Indiana, owing to the intervening woods, 
but we heard the awful crash of musketry, and we knew there 
was serious work ahead. Captain J. D. Wood, of Gibbon s staff, 
came galloping down the turnpike with an order for the sixth to 
move forward into action. "Forward, guide centre," ordered the 


Colonel. The word here ran down the line from a remark 
of Captain Wood s, that the second was being slaughtered, and 
when Colonel Cutler shouted "March," every man scrambled up 
the bank and over the fence, in the face of shot and shell, with 
something the ieeling that one would hurry to save a friend 
from peril. My horse partook of the fierce excitement, and ran 
up the bank and leaped a fence like a squirrel. I could now see 
the men of the second Wisconsin. They were under the 
concentrated fire of at least six times their own number of the 
enemy. Our regiment, five hundred and four men in ranks, 
pushed forward rapidly in perfect line of battle, field officers and 
Adjutant E. P. Brooks mounted and in their places, and colors 
advanced and flying in the breeze. Colonel Cutler was on a 
large dark bay, well known to all the men as "Old Prince." 
Colonel Bragg rode a pure white horse ofhigh mettle, which was 
skittish and unmanageable. My own sturdy old mare was 
always steady under fire. 

The regiment advanced without firing a shot, making a 
half wheel to the left in line of battle as accurately as if on the 
drill ground. Through the battle smoke into which we were 
advancing, I could see a blood red sun, sinking behind the hills. 
I can not account for our immunity from the fire of the enemy 
while on this advance. When at a short range, Colonel Cutler 
ordered the regiment to halt and fire. The seventh Wisconsin 
now came forward and passed into the ranks of the second 
Wisconsin. Our united fire did great execution. It seemed to 
throw the rebels into complete confusion, and they fell back into 
the woods behind them. We now gave a loud and jubilant cheer 
throughout the whole line of our brigade. Our regiment was on 
low ground which, in the gathering darkness, gave us great 
advantage over the enemy, as they overshot our line. The other 
three regiments of the brigade were on higher ground than the 
enemy. There was space enough vacant between our regiment 
and the others for a thousand men. Colonel Cutler sat upon his 
horse near the colors at the center of the regiment. Lieut. Colonel 
Bragg was on the right and, being myself upon the left, I was in 
good position to observe the progress of the battle. It was quite 
dark when the enemy s yelling columns again came forward, and 


they came with a rush. Our men on the left loaded and 
fired with the energy of madmen, and the sixth worked with an 
equal desperation, This stopped the rush of the enemy, and 
they halted and fired upon us their deadly musketry. During a 
few awful moments, I could see by the lurid light of the powder 
flashes, the whole of both lines. I saw a rebel mounted officer 
shot from his horse at the very front of their battle line. It was 
evident that we were being overpowered and that our men were 
giving ground. The two crowds, they could hardly be called 
lines, were within, it seemed to me, fifty yards of each other, 
and they were pouring musketry into each other as rapidly as 
men could load and shoot. Two of General Doubleday s 
regiments (56th Pennsylvania and 76th New York,) now came 
suddenly into the gap on the left of our regiment, and they fired 
a crashing volley. Hurrah ! They have come at the very nick 
of time. The low ground saved our regiment, as the enemy 
overshot us in the darkness. Men were falling in the sixth, but 
our loss was small compared to that suffered by the regiments on 
the left. I rode along our line and when near Colonel Cutler, he 
said, "Our men are giving ground on the left, Major." "Yes, 
Sir," said I. I heard a distinct sound of the blow that struck 
him. He gave a convulsive start and clapped his hand on his 
leg, but he controlled his voice. He said, "Tell Colonel Bragg 
to take command, I am shot." Almost at the same time "Old 
Prince" was shot ; but he carried his master safely from the 
field. I rode quickly to Lieut. Colonel Bragg and he at once took 
command of the regiment. There was cheering along our 
line and it was again standing firmly. General Doubleday s two 
regiments by their opportune arrival and gallant work, aided 
much in turning the battle in our favor. The "little Colonel" 
(Bragg,) always eager to push forward in a fight, advanced the 
regiment several rods. But soon the enemy came on again just 
as before, and our men on the left could be seen on the hill, in 
the infernal light of the powder flashes, struggling as furiously as 
ever. I could distinctly see Lieut. Colonel Fairchild, of the second 
Wisconsin and Lieut. Colonel Hamilton of the seventh Wisconsin, 
and other officers whom I recognized, working among and cheering 
up their men. Men who had been shot were streaming back 

from along the whole line. Our regiment was suffering more 
severely than it had been ; but, favored by the low ground, 
we kept up a steady, rapid, and well aimed fire. As I galloped 
backward and forward along the line, my horse encountered 
ditches. Excited by the firing, cheering, and whizzing of the 
rebel shells, she would squat and jump a long distance in crossing 
them. How long our men withstood this last attack, I can not 
estimate, but, in the history of war, it is doubtful whether there 
was ever more stubborn courage than was displayed by the 
second and seventh Wisconsin and nineteenth Indiana regiments, 
on this field of battle. The only reason why I speak less of the 
1 9th Indiana regiment is because I could not see them so 
distinctly. Our line on the left gradually fell back. It did not 
break but slowly gave ground, firing as savagely as ever. The 
rebels did not advance. Colonel Bragg directed our regiment to 
move by a backward step, keeping up our fire and keeping on a 
line with our brigade. But one of the companies of the right 
wing ("C") became broken by the men marching backward into 
a ditch. Colonel Bragg halted the regiment to enable them to 
reform their line, and upon this ground we stood until the enemy 
ceased firing. The other regiments of the brigade fell back to 
the turnpike. After an interval of quiet, Colonel Bragg called 
upon the regiment to give three cheers. No response of any 
kind was given by the enemy. It was now about nine o clock, 
and the night was very dark. Feeling assured the battle was 
over, measures then were taken to secure the burial of our 
eight dead men, and to hunt up our sixty-one wounded. Three 
men were missing.* The regiment moved back by the left of 
companies and formed in the edge of the piece of woods. By 
direction of the Colonel, I rode toward the left to ascertain the 
location of our other troops. I came suddenly in the darkness 
upon a marching column. Fortunately, I kept still and soon 
discovered myself to be by the side of a rebel regiment. I rode 
quietly along for a short distance with them and turned off into 
the darkness unheeded. General Gibbon directed us to remain 

*One of our best officers, Lieutenant Jerome B. Johnson, of Company 
"E," was found severely wounded. Surgeon A. J. Ward, of the second 
Wisconsin, remained with our wounded men. 


where we were. The enemy, a short distance away, was caring 
for their wounded and burying their dead. We could hear their 
conversation, but ordered our picket line not to fire or in any 
way to disclose our proximity. 

About half past twelve o clock at night we marched back 
through the woods to the turnpike. Painful to relate, to this 
woods many of our wounded had gone when shot in the battle. 
They were now scattered about under its dark shadows, suffering 
and groaning and some were dying. In the pitchy darkness we 
stumbled upon them. This was the battle for which we had so 
long been yearning. On the turnpike we found hasty preparations 
for retreat and at about one o clock A. M. we silently filed away 
in the darkness, muffling the rattling tin cups, and turning our 
course toward Manassas Junction. As major I rode at the rear 
of our regiment. Presently there sifted out from the marching 
column numbers of wounded men, who were struggling to keep 
with their comrades and to avoid falling into the hands of the 
enemy.* I saw Captain John F. Marsh, who had been shot in 
the knee, drop to the rear, and dismounting from my horse, I 
lifted him to the saddle, marching through on foot myself. My 
steady old mare did the service of a good Samaritan. Each 
stirrup strap and even her tail were an aid to help along the weak 
and weary. The cry at such times is for water, water. There 
was none left in the canteens. But we deemed ourselves very 
fortunate. We had lost 72 from our 504 men in battle. But the 
second Wisconsin ! 298 men of [the splendid second Wisconsin 
had been killed or wounded in the fight and they had taken not 
more than 500 men into action. The yth Wisconsin and the igth 
Indiana had suffered in almost the same terrible proportion. Of 
twelve field officers in the brigade, but four remained for duty, 
and two of them were of our regiment. The second Wisconsin 
regiment had been almost mortally wounded. Never afterward 
could be filled the places of such soldiers as went down at Gaines 
ville. For free and easy movement, combined with exact 

*A second Wisconsin man, E. S. Williams, whose leg was later amputated, 
in some manner crawled over that nine miles, and another man of that 
regiment, Hugh Lewis, went over the road on that fearful night, to have 
his arm amputated in the morning. 


precision and perfect time, that battalion had a little surpassed us 
all on the brigade drill ground. The elan of the old second 
Wisconsin could not be excelled.- It has passed into the history 
of our country, as the regiment which had the largest number of 
men killed in battle, in proportion to its numbers, of any regiment 
engaged in the war for the Union. Gainesville contributed much 
to this unequalled list of dead upon the field of glory. But the 
weary and dreadful lists of battle casualties can not be repeated 
here, they must be looked for upon the official records of the war. 
About daylight we reached our bivouac near Manassas and flung 
ourselves exhausted upon the ground for rest. 

lyeaving the tired brigade in its heavy slumber, we may con 
sider briefly the Battle of Gainesville. 

The cold figures speak for the battle power shown by our 
glorious brigade, more eloquently than language can express. 
Stonewall Jackson sent into action six brigades of infantry and 
three batteries of artillery. The brigades were: Trimble s, 
L,awton s and Early s of E well s division, and Starke s, Baylor s, 
and Taliaferro s, of the Stonewall division, thirty regiments of 
infantry, at least eight thousand men. The batteries in action 
were, Wooding s, Pogue s, and Carpenter s. Our force engaged 
could not have exceeded three thousand men. The officially 
reported loss of Hwell s division was seven hundred and fifty- 
nine.* The loss of the Stonewall division was not less. 
Gibbon s brigade lost seven hundred and fifty-four and 
General Rufus King has testified that the entire loss of our six 
regiments and one battery f engaged, was one thousand men. It 
is now made quite certain by the Confederate Official Records 
that our troops inflicted upon them a loss of fifteen hundred men. 
This is reasonably explained by the fact that the Confederate 
force twice advanced in columns of attack. Our men stuck 
desperately and persistently to one deployed line, from which 
they delivered a steady and well aimed fire. At the time of the 
hottest firing, the troops were stationed approximately as shown 
in the diagram given. The Confederate brigades are arranged 

*See Page 813, Volume 12, Part II, War Records. 
t"B," 4th U. S. artillery. 


in the order that seems to be indicated by their own official 
reports. I have not attempted to locate their artillery. 


, A -Division. Swell s Division 

-o a yior. Starke. Trimble. r 

19th 2d & 7th. 56th Pa. 6th Wis. 
Ind. Wie. 76th N. Y. 


t t t t t t 
Battery B. 

Patrick s Brigade, 
on turnpike. 

Doubleday, 6th Wis.t 
95th N. Y. 

Warrenton Turnpike 

fPoint where fired on. 

I do not feel that our army commander, General Pope, has in 
his official statements of this battle, done justice to our troops 
engaged. I much prefer the more worthy tributes from the 
Generals who were opposed to us upon that bloody field. The 
Confederate General, T. J. Jackson, says in his official report in 
regard to this battle : "The conflict was fierce and sanguinary. 
The federals did not attempt to advance, but maintained their 
ground with obstinate determination. Both lines stood exposed 
to the discharge of musketry and artillery until about nine 
o clock, when the enemy slowly retired, yielding the field to our 
troops. The loss on both sides was heavy and among our 
wounded were Major General Kwell and Brigadier General 

The Confederate General, William B. Taliaferro, who com 
manded Jackson s old division, three brigades in the battle, says 
in his official report: "Here one of the most terrific contests that 
can be conceived occurred. The enemy never once attempted to 
advance upon our position, but withstood with great 
determination the terrible fire which our lines poured upon them. 
For two hours and a half, without an instant s cessation of the 



most deadly discharges of musketry, round shot and shell, both 
lines stood unmoved, neither advancing and neither broken nor 
yielding, until at last, about nine o clock at night, the enemy 
slowly and sullenly fell back and yielded to our victorious 

General John F. Reynolds says, "After the firing ceased I saw 
General King, who determined to maintain his position.^ I left 
about 9 o clock P. M., to return to my division, promising to 
bring it up early in the morning to his support. "J General 
Reynolds commanded the Pennsylvania Reserve division, twenty- 
five hundred of the best possible quality of veteran soldiers. 
But a Council of War was afterward held by the Generals of 
King s division. The old adage was again verified that "A 
Council of War never fights." General King has written as 
follows : "Then came the question, what next to be done. The 
enemy in greatly superior force barred the way in which the 
division was marching. The only alternative was to deflect to 
the right to join the bulk of Pope s army in the vicinity of 
Manassas." It seems however that the bulk of Pope s army 
was not then at Manassas. This movement was an abandonment 
of the ground we held between L,ee s army and Jackson s isolated 
corps. Brigadier General Gibbon, who so gallantly attacked the 
enemy with his single brigade, says in his own official report: 
"I sent repeated and earnest requests to Division headquarters 
(General King) for assistance." "I sent repeatedly and urgently 
to Generals King, Doubleday and Patrick for assistance, but the 
two regiments of Doubleday s brigade was the only assistance 
furnished me." General Doubleday sent his two regiments 
however, to assist Gibbon, without orders to do so from General 
King. He says in his report: "Receiving no orders, and unable 

*In Volume XII, Series 1, Part II, War Records, may be found official 
reports of the battle of Gainesville. 

Brigadier General John Gibbon, Pages 377 and 379. 

Letter of General Gibbon, Page 380. 

Report Lieutenant Colonel E.S.Bragg, " 382. 

" General A. Doubleday, " 369. 

" J. P. Hatch, , " 367. 

Casualities, " 380. 

tGolden words for General King. 

{Page 393, Volume XII, Series I, Part II, War Records. 


to obtain them, I almost immediately sent two regiments of my 
brigade, the 56th Pennsylvania, under Colonel S. A. Meredith, 
and the y6th New York under Colonel W. P. Wainwright, to aid 
Gibbon. Knowing he would be overpowered if not succored, I 
immediately complied with his earnest request and sent him the 
two regiments referred to, leaving myself but one regiment (95th 
New York) in reserve." General Gibbon says: "Patrick s 
brigade remained immovable and did not fire a shot," and he 
says also, "No superior general officer was in the vicinity with 
the requisite knowledge and authority to order up troops to our 

I have searched the official records in vain for further 
explanation of the management of this battle. Our Corps 
Commander, General McDowell, had no part in the affair, for he 
was "lost in the woods." 

What a painful contrast is presented in the records of the 
Generals of the enemy. The rebel Corps Commander, Stonewall 
Jackson, conducted the battle in person. Two rebel Generals of 
Division were shot in the fight, (Kwell and Taliaferro). Jackson 
had exact knowledge of the field, a clear purpose, concentrated 
action by his troops, and his Generals led their men to battle. 
On the afternoon of this day, August 28th, 1862, was lost the 
only opportunity that occurred in that campaign to attack 
Jackson with superior forces while separated from Lee. The 
verdict of history is likely to be, that the opportunity was "lost 
in the woods."* 

The best blood of Wisconsin and Indiana was poured out 
like water, and it was spilled for naught. Against a dark 
background of blunders, imbecilities, jealousies and disasters in 
the Pope campaign, stands in bright relief the gallant conduct of 
our heroic leader, John Gibbon. Whatever history may do for 
others, his fame is as safe as that of the faithful and gallant heroes 
of the brigade he commanded. 

But let us now return to our sleeping brigade at Manassas. A 

*See Pages 328 to 331, Volume XII, Part 1, War Records. The McDowell 
Court of Inquiry. "The court finds that he, (McDowell) separated himself 
from his command at a critical time, without any orders from his superior 
officer and without any imperative necessity." 

fresh beef ration has been issued and hot coffee has been made, 
and at nine o clock all are listening to the sounds of battle that 
come from the old Bull Run field. There is a heavy sound of 
cannon and an occasional ripple of musketry. We were near the 
railroad track, which branches off at Manassas Junction. I was 
myself aroused from a sleep by the heavy tramp of hurrying feet. 
I arose to see the corps of General Fitz John Porter passing by 
us toward the battle field. At the time they were passing, the 
cannon were roaring so loudly that the men fully believed they 
were marching directly to battle. They appeared fresh and in 
good spirits and the corps was a remarkably fine body of troops. 
The men marched rapidly, appeared to be well fed, and there was 
a great contrast between them and our own exhausted troops. 
As things are in a battle campaign they were in excellent con 
dition. They showed quite a contempt for us as of "Pope s army." 
They said : "We are going up to show you straw feet how to 
fight." The lesson did not prove to be impressive. All through 
the ranks of Porter s Corps was a running fire of disparagement 
of us as "Pope s " soldiers, something quite inferior to the Army 
of the Potomac. Of course our men retorted. There was one 
regiment of Zouaves with baggy trousers (Duryea s I think). I 
remember one of our men said : "Wait till you get where we 
have been. You ll get the slack taken out of your pantaloons 
and the swell out of your heads." 

We remained until some time in the afternoon when we marched 
back toward the field of battle where a heavy engagement 
seemed to be in progress. We moved along the Manassas Gap 
Railroad and turned on to the road to Sudley Springs. As we 
marched up to the battle field that afternoon, we could see heavy 
clouds of dust stretching away toward Thoroughfare Gap. This 
of course was caused by the advancing army of General Lee, but 
it was interpreted to us at the time as indicating that Jackson 
was retreating to join Lee. Private Riley states in his journal : 
"Upon our arrival at the Warrenton turnpike, General McDowell, 
who sat upon his horse by the road side, said, We have been 
driving the enemy all day. : Riley also says in his journal that 
General McDowell used this language : "Give him a good poke, 
boys. He is getting sick," meaning the enemy. General 


McDowell wore a peculiarly shaped cap at this time which was 
commented upon by the men. 

King s division was formed in two lines of battle in a large 
open field, but Gibbon s brigade was detached and ordered away, 
and we marched toward the right, nearly a mile and a half. We 
went into position in support of batteries of artillery, relieving 
troops who marched toward the front. It was about sunset. 
King s division, excepting ourselves, had become involved in a 
very sharp battle with the enemy. Listening to this musketry, 
we deemed ourselves exceedingly fortunate to have escaped a 
fight. Our one night s experience at Gainesville had eradicated 
our yearning for a fight. In our future history we will always 
be found ready but never again anxious. 

A few artillery shots from the enemy whistled over us, but we 
soon fell into a profound and much needed slumber. 

The sun rose clear on the morning of August 3oth, 1862, and 
during the forenoon the troops of our army were moving quietly 
into position. From our hill we had an excellent view of the 
field. The whole of our army was spread before us, but inter 
vening timber hid the enemy from our sight. The drift of talk 
was that the rebels were falling back. About three o clock in 
the afternoon, we were ordered forward to "pursue the enemy." 
We marched on the Warrenton turnpike, perhaps half a mile, 
when our brigade was formed into two lines of battle in an open 
field on the right hand side. General Patrick s brigade was in 
front of us, formed also in two lines of battle. We had thus at 
our point of attack four lines of battle. Before us was woods, 
beyond which a railroad embankment. Behind this embankment 
quietly awaiting the attack were our antagonists at Gainesville, 
the veteran army corps of Stonewall Jackson. Just before we 
entered the edge of the woods, our brigade was changed to one 
line of battle with the sixth Wisconsin on the right. As the 
troops entered the woods a very heavy artillery fire broke out 
upon our left, (L,ongstreet s). Musketry opened in our front. 
Bullets, canister, shell, and the men said, " scraps of railroad 
iron," tore through the limbs and brush over us and around us. 
We pushed on, advancing as the lines in front of us advanced 


and lying down on the ground when they stopped. There was 
no order to charge upon the enemy, and we wondered why 
such orders were not given. Thus we slowly advanced. 
Suddenly, the lines in our front broke and the men ran back in 
great disorder. The rebels raised a tremendous shout, and 
poured in a heavy fire of musketry. The sharp artillery fire of 
the enemy which enfiladed our line, added to the panic and 
confusion. Colonel Bragg shouted, "Sixth Wisconsin, kneel 
down ! Captains, keep your men down ! Let nobody tramp on 
them!" General Gibbon himself came running up on foot with 
his revolver drawn, shouting, " Stop those stragglers! Make 
them fall in! Shoot them if they don t!" It was a new 
experience, but we were not swept away. Our men were down 
with bayonets set, when the fugitives began to swarm upon them. 
All the officers were struggling to stop stragglers and force them 
to join our ranks. Many were held with us, but no Union troops 
were left in front of us. General Gibbon directed Colonel Bragg 
to throw forward a company as skirmishers. This was a fearful 
duty. Colonel Bragg called for my old company "K." 

"Who faltered or shivered ? 
Who shunned battle stroke ? 
Whose fire was uncertain? 
Whose battle line broke ? 
Go ask it of history, 
Years from to-day, 
And the record shall tell you, 
Not company K. ". 

The boys immediately sprang up under command of Captain 
David L- Quaw, and deployed forward upon a run. We could 
see them firing and dodging from tree to tree. They met a rebel 
skirmish line coming forward through the woods, and they drove 
it back upon the rebel line of battle. The spirit and conduct of 
company "K" was beyond praise. The panic and retreat of our 
own troops and the exultant shouts of thousands of rebel soldiers 
did not daunt these men. Captain Quaw says that "after the 
rebel skirmishers retreated, there arose up from behind a 
railroad bank, a mass of rebel soldiers several ranks deep. I 
shouted to my men to tree. I jumped behind a small tree 
myself, where I must have shrunk to the dimensions of a wafer. 


A dozen bullets hit that tree. I did not wait for the rebels to 
fire again, but ordered the men back to the regiment." 

All the troops that had been in the woods, except the sixth 
Wisconsin, had now retreated and gone to the rear. Brigadier 
General John Gibbon, be it ever remembered to his honor, re 
mained with our regiment. He said he had received no orders to 
retreat and he should stay until he got them. The regiment was 
now lying on the ground, subjected to a fire from rebel sharp-shoot 
ers and quite a number of our men were killed or wounded by them. 
A bullet would strike a man who would writhe, groan and die or 
spring up, throw away his impediments and start for the rear. 
Our men peered through the leaves, shooting at the puffs of 
powder smoke from the muskets of the rebels. As I walked 
along the line, some men of company "I" said : Major, don t go 
near that tree." I was not aware what tree, but had wit enough 
to jump away. Spat, went a bullet against a tree, cutting a 
corner from my haversack. They had notice.d that the tree had 
been several times struck by the bullets of a sharp shooter. A 
soldier of a New York regiment lay wounded in front of our 
line. He begged piteously for water and for help. First 
Sergeant, Charles L,ainpe, of company "F" went to give him a 
swallow from his canteen and was himself shot dead by the 
merciless bullet of the sharp-shooter. Private William Bickel- 
haupt, of company "F," had been shot through the body, and I 
heard the poor little boy, for such he was, in plaintive broken 
English telling his comrades what to write to his "Mutter." 

It now being evident that no staff officer could bring us orders 
of any kind, General Gibbon directed Colonel Bragg to form a 
line of skirmishers to cover the retreat of the regiment, and to 
move to the rear. The skirmishers were quickly deployed and 
Colonel Bragg ordered the regiment to face about and march 
back. But the rebels redoubled their fire, killing and wounding 
quite a number of our men. Bragg immediately ordered the 
regiment to face to the front. Our skirmishers were hotly 
engaged with the enemy. By a slow backward step, we moved 
out of the woods. Upon reaching the open ground, Colonel 
Bragg faced the regiment by the rear rank and took a steady 
double quick. It was full three quarters of a mile over the open 

Bullets hit that tree. I did not wait for the rebels to 

. , but ordered the iu to the regiment." 

All the troops that had been in the woods, except the sixth 

msin, had now retreated and gone to the rear. Brigadier 

General John Gibbon, be it ever remembered to his honor, re 

mained with our regiment. He said 1 
retreat and he should stay until he go 
nov. i the ground, sub; 

ers and quite a number of our mer 
A bullet would strike a man 
spring up, throw av 
Our men peered tb 
powder smoke from 
along the line, some 
near that tree." 
to jump away. 8] 
corner from my ha\ 
been several times . 
soldier of a New 
He begged 

d no orders to 
The regiment was 
dl sharp-shoot- 
i aided by them. 
>an and die or 
for the rear, 
puffs of 
T walked 

I t gO 

at tree, but had wit enough 

cutting a 

tree had 

-harp shooter. A 
uded in front of our 
and for help. First 
"F" went to give him a 
rnself shot dead by the 
Private \Villiarn Bickel- 

,.:g to form a 
t, and to 

: . . . 

F," had >dy, and I 

boy, for ""oken 

inrades what iis "Mutter." 

It i that no staT . Id bring us orders 

of any k, 
line of skirm: 

move to the rear. T deployed and 

about and march 

But t ; ing and wounding 

.:ately ordered the 

rmishers were hotly 

By a rd step, we moved 

u reaching the open ground, Colonel 

regiment by the rear rank and took a steady 

It was full three quarters of a mile over the open 


fields to the place where our new lines were forming. The sixth 
Wisconsin regiment alone upon the plain, in full sight of both 
armies, marched this distance. General Rufus King in describing 
this scene says: "The sixth Wisconsin, the very last to retire, 
marched slowly and steadily to the rear, with column formed and 
colors flying, faced the front as they reached their new position, 
and saluted the approaching enemy with three cheers and a 
rattling volley." General King is in error as to the volley. We 
should have killed our following skirmish line by such firing. 
The regiment was ordered into position in support of battery 
"B," 4th U. S. artillery. We were on a high point, commanding 
the Warrenton turnpike and the open fields over which we 
had retreated. Just as the line was being formed, a solid shot 
cut off the tail of a fine bay horse ridden by Lieutenant James 
Stewart, of battery "B." *The shot gave the horse a deep cut 
across the rump, the scar of which lasted his life-time. The 
horse s tail flew into the faces of men of our regiment, switching 
them severely. 

It was now late in the afternoon. The rebels (Longstreet s 
corps) directed a heavy fire of artillery on us, and began a 
general advance of their infantry toward our left. We could see 
regiment after regiment of the enemy moving in column by 
division, and forming into line of battle as they advanced upon 
our men. From the point where we lay upon the ground, the 
view of the battle was extensive. Our batteries were all actively 
firing upon the advancing columns of the enemy. Their artillery 
was also in action. The solid shot and shell struck around us 
and whizzed over us. Occasionally a horse would be killed 
by them, and one man s head was carried away entirely. Such 
sights very severely test one s nerves. A solid shot will plow 
into the ground, spitefully scattering the dirt, and bound a 
hundred feet into the air, looking as it flies swiftly away like an 
India rubber playing ball. We could see every movement of the 
left wing of our own army, and of the right wing of the rebel 
army. Our lines were in open fields in front of a strip of woods. 
The rebel musketry fire was pouring from the woods upon our 
men who were closing together and rallying under the attack. 

*This horse was called "Tartar." 


Regiments would sweep splendidly forward into the front line, 
fire a crashing volley into the woods and then work with great 
energy. But they quickly withered away until there would 
appear to be a mere company crowding around the colors. The 
open fields were covered with wounded and stragglers, going to 
the rear. The rebels charged up a ravine endeavoring to 
capture an Ohio battery upon our immediate left. The second 
and seventh Wisconsin had been consolidated and were under 
command of lieutenant Colonel Lucius Fairchild. Colonel 
Fairchild had his men change front and attack the enemy, who 
were quickly driven back and the battery saved. We could now 
see that our troops upon the left were being driven back in 
confusion over the open fields. This outflanked our position, 
and it was evident that we must soon draw back our line. 
General Joseph Hooker, who was mounted on a white horse, 
rode up among the guns of our artillery and carefully noted the 
situation of affairs. He ordered batteries and infantry to retire. 
Regiments moved steadily by the right of companies to the rear, 
the batteries moved also in retreat. A rebel line in our front 
rose up from the ground and advanced slowly after us. It was a 
strange sight, our blue line slowly retreating, and the long gray 
line slowly and quietly following. When we halted and formed 
again, the rebels halted and lay down on the ground. It was 
growing dark. There was still a heavy roll of musketry to 
our left and some sharp firing on our right. By nine o clock, all had 
died away.* About ten o clock, General Philip Kearny came up 
























Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers 






Second Wisconsin Volunteers 




9 05 




Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers 







Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers 
















in rear of our regiment, which now lay across the Warrenton 
turnpike near the stone bridge over Bull Run. He informed us 
that our brigade was to be the rear guard of the army which was 
in full retreat. We had not before suspected the real extent of 
the disaster. General Kearny remained with us anxiously 
watching the front, and Colonel Bragg and I had much conversa 
tion with him. It was after midnight \vhen we started for the rear. 
Mock camp fires had been built to deceive the enemy. We lay 
down to rest at a point three miles from the battle field and on 
the early morning of August 3ist, we drew back across Cub 
Run, forming a line of battle on the eastern bank. About noon 
of that day we marched from Cub Run to Centreville. We 
bivouacked near Centreville. Late at night, I was sent out 
to establish a line of pickets. Our men, after the privations, 
labor, and intense excitement of three successive days in 
battle, were unfitted for such duty. One man placed on picket 
post in the woods, in the bewilderment of his senses, got him 
self faced toward our camp instead of toward the enemy. When 
he was approached by his comrades to relieve him, he mis 
took them for the enemy and fired upon them and killed Rudolph 
Fine of Company "I." 

On September ist, 1862, we marched six miles toward Fairfax 
Court House. On the afternoon of this day occurred the battle 
of Chantilly, in which fell General Philip Kearny. We were in 
line of battle, but at some distance to the right of the troops 
engaged. A heavy storm was prevailing during this battle. The 
noise of the artillery and musketry intermingling with the roll 
of very sharp thunder produced a striking effect. The darkness 
incident to a sky overcast with heavy, rolling clouds, lighted up 
alternately by flashes of lightning and the flames of artillery, 
made a scene long to be remembered. Several wagon trains 
became jammed together on the turnpike and a great panic 
ensued. Wagons were two or three abreast, and the mules going 
at a full gallop. There came a sudden crash, and a jam, and 
wild cursing and shouting by the drivers. 

September 2nd, we marched twelve miles to Upton s Hill, 
within six miles of Washington and went into position. 
As the column approached Upton s Hill, the announcement 


was made that General George B. McClellan had been placed in 
command of all the troops. There was genuine enthusiasm at 
this news. General John P. Hatch who was commanding 
our division, swung his sword and called for cheers, which were 
given with an uproarious good will and repeated. Open snearing 
at General Pope was heard upon all sides. It began with the 
advent of the troops from the Army of the Potomac, and it 
spread through our whole body. General Pope made a grave 
blunder when he assailed the ingrained hero worship ot General 
McClellan, which possessed our troops. The force of this feeling 
can be little understood now, because conditions akin to those 
which affected us have passed away. Such a feeling, as that for 
General McClellan, was never aroused for another leader in the 
war. An intense party spirit attended these conditions. The 
Army of the Potomac was smarting under criticism, and was 
disappointed at its own failure to meet the unduly elevated hopes 
and expectations of the people. Richmond had not been taken. 
Pope was now defeated, and there were those even in high 
position, who seemed to glory in the fact. Those were dark days 
for the administration of President Lincoln. He pursued the 
only course left to him, and he acted wisely in placing General 
McClellan again in command. The animadversions against the 
President himself, for what was called interference" with the 
plans of his Generals, were common and severe throughout the 

(Letter.) UPTON S HILL, SEPTEMBER 5th, 1862. 

My dear mother: "I have tried in several ways to send you 
word of my safety. We have had a terrible ordeal. We were in 
battle or skirmish almost every day from August 2ist to 3ist. 
Our brigade has lost eight hundred men; our regiment, one 
hundred and twenty-five. The country knows how nobly our 
men have borne themselves. I have been at my post in every 

On Upton s Hill, we received our delayed mail. Colonel Bragg 
found several letters urging him to stand as a War candidate for 
congress. From Bragg s reply to such solicitation, I give an 
extract: "Say to Judge Flint that I shall not decline a 
nomination on the platform, the Government must be sustained, 


but my services can not be taken from the field. I command the 
regiment, and can not leave in times like these." Brave words 
from our gallant "little Colonel." 

Colonel Cutler had a curious experience in Washington, which 
well- illustrates conditions in that city after the Pope campaign, 
and how they affected the temper of the great War Minister, 
Edwin M. Stanton. Colonel Cutler had bought a new uniform, 
and as soon as he could walk, he went with great difficulty, leaning 
on two canes, to pay his respects to the Honorable Secretary of 
War. The office of the Secretary was, as usual, crowded, and the 
Colonel patiently waited for his turn to be received. As the 
Colonel approached, the Secretary, with a glance at the new coat 
and bright brass buttons, blustered out as only Mr. Stanton 
could, "What in h 1 and - - nation are you doing in 
Washington ? Why don t you go to your regiment, where you 
are needed?" Colonel Cutler answered: "If I had not been shot 
and a fool, I would never have come here. Good day, Mr. 


Army Re-organized General Joseph floolfer, our Corps Com 
mander Advance to Maryland At Frederick City Enthusiasm 
for "Little Mac" On to South Mountain The Battle -Volleys by 
Wing All Night on the Field Complimented by General Mc- 
Clellan On to Antietam The Battle Captains Brown and 
Bachelle Killed Colonel Bragg Wounded Terrible Slaughter 
of our Regiment at Antietam Incidents. 

In the reorganization of the army which took place at Upton s 
Hill, our brigade was designated as *4th brigade, ist division, ist 
army corps, Army of the Potomac. The Army of Virginia, 
which was the title of General Pope s command, was now 
obliterated. General John P. Hatch was in command of our 
division, and that magnificent soldier, General Joseph Hooker, 
commanded our first army corps. Army corps from this time 
were known rather by their numbers, than by the names of their 
commanders. McDowell s 3rd corps was changed to be the ist 
corps. We marched from Upton s Hill via Washington City, and 
Rockville, Maryland; and on September i2th, 1862, I wrote to 
my mother from L,isbon, Maryland : 

"Our army is moving up again to the battle field. Probably 
before this reaches you the conflict will be over. If so, you will 
know that I was there. My health is good and I am ready to 
take my chances. Do not feel that our task is easy or sure of 
successful accomplishment. The battle will be desperate and 
bloody, and upon very equal terms. Give my love to all." 

Our camp on the quiet Sabbath morning of September i4th, 
1862, was in the valley of the Monocacy, near Frederick, 
Maryland. There are few fairer landscapes in our country 
than this valley affords from its eastern range of hills. The 

*Page 170, Volume 19, Part I, War Records, Organization of the 
Army of the Potomac. In our brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Bragg com 
manded the sixth Wisconsin, Lieutenant Colonel Lucius Fairchild, the 
second Wisconsin, Captain John B. Callis, the seventh Wisconsin, and 
Colonel Solomon Meredith the nineteenth Indiana. 

morning was bright, warm, and clear. The bells of the city 
of Frederick were all ringing. It was a rejoicing at the 
advent of the host for her deliverance, the Army of the 
Potomac. The spires of the city were glistening in the 
morning sunlight. To the south-west could be distinctly heard 
the muttering of cannon. This was General Stonewall Jackson 
attacking the garrison at Harper s Ferry. From right to left 
along the valley below us, were stretched the swarming camps of 
the blue coats, and every soldier felt his courage rise at the sight. 
Through a wooded and uneven country, by different and devious 
routes, the columns of the grand army had marched forward. 
We had known something of their progress, but had not so felt 
their power as we did now when they were concentrating before 
us. The deep feeling of almost affectionate admiration among 
the soldiers for the commander of our army, General McClellan, 
was often thus expressed: "We have got a General now, and we 
will show the country what we can do." 

At eight o clock A. M., our brigade marched forward on the 
National turnpike, the sixth Wisconsin in advance. Our entry 
into the city was triumphal. The stars and stripes floated from 
every building and hung from every window. The joyful people 
thronged the streets to greet and cheer the veterans of the Army 
of the Potomac. Little children stood at nearly every door, 
freely offering cool water, cakes, pies and dainties. The jibes 
and insults of the women of Virginia, to which our men had 
become accustomed, had here a striking contrast in a generous 
and enthusiastic welcome by the ladies of Frederick City. At 
eleven A. M. we reached the summit of the Katoctin mountain. 
Fences and trees showed marks of a skirmish of the evening 
before. From the summit of this mountain a splendid view was 
spread before us, in the valley of Middleton. Over beyond the 
valley, eight miles away, from along the slopes of the South 
Mountain, we could see arising the smoke of battle. We hurried 
along down the road toward the scene of action, every gun of 
which we could see and hear. Our march through the little 
village of Middleton was almost a counterpart of our reception 
at Frederick City. The people were more excited as the cannon 
boomed loud and near, and bloodstained soldiers were coming in 


from the field of battle. Hearing that a colonel of an Ohio 
regiment had been brought in to Middleton, wounded, I made a 
special inquiry and found that it was Lieutenant Colonel Hayes 
of the 23rd Ohio. (Rutherford B. Hayes.) We marched on 
beyond Middleton about a mile and a half and then turned into 
a field to make our coffee. The fires were not kindled, when an 
order came to fall in and move forward. It was announced that 
General Hooker had said "that the crest of that mountain must be 
carried to-night." General Hatch s division turned from the 
National road toward the right, but an order was received 
assigning Gibbon s brigade to a special duty. The brigade 
countermarched and adva nced again on the National road for 
half a mile. We then turned to the left into a field and formed 
in two lines of battle. The seventh Wisconsin and nineteenth 
Indiana were in the front line; the second and sixth Wisconsin 
in the second line. We had in the ranks of our regiment four 
hundred men." Simmon s Ohio battery, planted in this field, was 
firing shell at the rebels on the summit of South Mountain. 
Before us was a valley, beyond which by a steep and stony slope, 
rose the South Mountain range. From our position to the 
summit of South Mountain was perhaps two miles. Two miles 
away on our right, long lines and heavy columns of dark blue 
infantry could be seen pressing up the green slopes of the 
mountain, their bayonets flashing like silver in the rays of the 
setting sun, and their banners waving in beautiful relief against 
the background of green. 


Turner s gap through which the National turnpike passes over 
the mountain, was directly in our front. To attack this pass was 
the special duty for which we had been selected. To our left 
along the wooded slopes, there was a crash of musketry, and the 
roll of cannon, and a white cloud of battle smoke rose above the 
trees. From Turner s gap in our front, and along the right on 
the summit of the mountain, the artillery of the enemy was 
firing, and we could see the shells bursting over and among our 
advancing troops. For nearly an hour we laid upon the grassy 
knoll, passive spectators of the scene. The sun was sinking 
behind the mountain, when our order came to move forward. 


The two regiments in front (yth Wisconsin and igth Indiana) 
moved in line of battle. Our regiment and the 2nd Wisconsin 
followed at supporting distance, formed in double columns. 
Thus we went down into the valley and began to climb the slope 
of the mountain, which was smooth at first and co vered with 
orchards and cornfields. The regiment was halted in an orchard 
and two companies ("B," Captain Rollin P. Converse and "K," 
Lieutenant John Ticknor) were sent forward as skirmishers. 
Our skirmishers immediately encountered skirmishers of the 
enemy and drove them slowly up the mountain, fighting for 
every inch of the ground. Nothing could be finer than the 
conduct of these two companies, or more gallant than the 
bearing of their young leaders. The officer commanding the 
skirmishers of the second Wisconsin, Captain Wilson Colwell, 
was killed. 

For half a mile of advance, our skirmishers played a deadly 
game of "Bo-peep," hiding behind logs, fences, rocks and bushes. 
Two pieces of artillery of battery "B" moved up on the turnpike 
under Lieutenant James Stewart, and when the skirmishers were 
checked, they would wheel into action and fire shell at the 
houses, barns or thickets, where the rebels found a cover. The 
enemy now turned upon us the fire of their batteries, planted in 
the pass near the mountain top, but their shot flew over. 

General Gibbon mounted upon his horse and riding upon high 
ground where he could see his whole line, shouted orders in a 
voice loud and clear as a bell and distinctly heard throughout the 
brigade. It was always " Forward ! Forward ! " Just at 
dusk we came to a rough, stony field, skirted on its upper edge 
by timber. Our skirmishers had encountered the enemy in force 
and were behind a fence. The seventh Wisconsin in front of us, 
climbed the fence and moved steadily forward across the field and 
we followed them, our regiment being formed in double column. 
Suddenly the seventh Wisconsin halted and opened fire, and we 
could see a rapid spitting of musketry flashes from the woods 
above and in front of us, and wounded men from the seventh 
began to hobble by us. The sharpest fire came from a stone 
wall, running along in a ravine toward the left of the seventh. 
Captain John B. Callis was in command of that regiment. He 

ordered a change of front, throwing his right forward to face the 
wall; but there burst from the woods, skirting the right of the 
field, a flame of musketry which sent a shower of bullets into 
the backs of the men of the right wing of the seventh Wisconsin. 
Many men were shot by the enfilading fire to which they could 
make no reply. Captain Hollon Richardson came running 
toward us shouting: "Come forward, sixth!" Sharp and clear 
rang out on the night, the voice of Bragg: "Deploy column! 
By the right and left flanks^ double quick, march!" The living 
machine responded. to this impulsive force with instant action, 
and the column was deployed into line of battle. The right 
wing of our regiment came into open field, but the left wing was 
behind the seventh. "Major!" ordered Bragg, "take command 
of the right wing and fire on the woods!" I instantly ordered: 
"Attention, right wing, ready, right oblique, aim, fire, load at 
will, load!" The roll of this . wing volley had hardly ceased to 
reverberate, when Bragg said: "Have your men lie down on the 
ground, I am going over you." "Right wing, lie down! Look out, 
the left wing is going over you !" was the command. Bragg had 
brought the left wing behind the right wing and he ordered them 
forward over the men of the right wing as they laid upon the 
ground. The left wing fired a volley into the woods, and the 
right wing advanced in the same manner over them and fired a 
volley into the woods. Once more Bragg gave a volley by the 
left wing. There were four volleys by wing given, at the word 
of command. In a long experience in musketry fighting, this 
was the single instance I saw of other than a fire by file in battle. 
The characteristic of Colonel Bragg in battle, was a remarkably 
quick conception and instant action. The conduct of the men 
was worthy of their commander. In the deployment of the 
column under fire, they hurried over the rough and stony field 
with the utmost zeal, and while many men were struck by the 
bullets of the enemy, there was neither hesitation nor confusion. 
After the four volleys by wing and a welcome cheer by the 
seventh Wisconsin, there was positive enthusiasm. Our whole 
line was slowly advanced up the mountain, the men shouting and 
firing. The rebels behind the stone wall and in the timber 
would shout : "O, you d d Yanks, we gave you h 11 again 



at Bull Run!" Our men would shout back: "Never mind 
Johnny, its no McDowell after you now. Little Mac and 
Johnny Gibbon are after you now." The rebels fell back from 
the woods, but stuck to the stone wall. The hostile lines had 
approached each other closely and the fire was deadly. It was 
dark and our only aim was by the flashes of the enemy s guns. 
Many of our men were falling, and we could not long endure it. 
Colonel Bragg took the left wing, directing me to keep up the 
fire with the right wing, and crept up into the woods on our 
right, advancing a considerable distance up the mountain. He 
gained higher ground than that of the enemy in our front, and 
from this position opened fire. 

Colonel Bragg directed me to join him with the right wing. 
Owing to the thick brush and the darkness of the night, it was a 
difficult matter to scramble up the stony side of the mountain. 
To add to our difficulties, the rebels opened fire upon us; but 
our gallant left wing fired hotly in return and the junction was 
completed. Our cartridges were getting short and our guns 
were dirty with bad powder. Gradually by direction of Colonel 
Bragg we ceased firing and lay still on the ground. A man in 
company "A" exclaimed: "Captain Noyes, I am out of cart 
ridges!" It is likely that the enemy in the woods above us 
heard him, for they immediately opened upon us a heavy fire. 
We returned the fire, and for a short time the contest was very 
sharp. This was the last of the battle. When all was again 
still, Colonel Bragg felt sure that he could hear the enemy with 
drawing. He ordered, "Three cheers for the Badger State." 
They were given and brought no reply. A few volunteer 
skirmishers crept forward into the woods in front of us. Further 
pursuit was impossible. We were nearly out of ammunition and 
our guns so dirty that we could hardly use them. We lay 
among thick bushes on the steep rough slope of a mountain in 
almost total darkness. 

We did not dare to let the men sleep. Colonel Bragg sent to 
General Gibbon for ammunition. General Gibbon replied that 
it was impossible for him to furnish it, but that he hoped that we 
would soon be relieved by other troops. He said that we must 
hold the position we had gained so long as there was "an inch of 


our bayonets left." The night was chilly, and in the woods 
intensely dark. Our wounded were scattered over a great 
distance up and down the mountain, and were suffering untold 
agonies. Owing to the difficulties of the ground and the night, 
no stretcher bearers had come upon the field. Several dying 
men were pleading piteously for water, of which there was not a 
drop in the regiment, nor was there any liquor. Captain 
Kellogg and I searched in vain for a swallow for one noble 
fellow* who was dying in great agony from a wound in his 
bowels. He recognized us and appreciated our efforts, but was 
unable to speak. The dread reality of war was before us in this 
frightful death, upon the cold, hard stones. The mortal suffering, 
the fruitless struggle to send a parting message to the far-off 
home, and the final release by death, all enacted in the darkness, 
were felt even more deeply than if the scene had been relieved 
by the light of day. After a long interval of this horror, our 
stretcher bearers came, and the poor suffering heroes were carried 
back to houses and barns. At last word came that General 
Sumner s troops were marching up the mountain to relieve us. 
How glad we were to hear it, they only can know who have 
experienced the feeling of prostration produced by such scenes 
and surroundings, after the excitement of a bloody battle. It 
was after midnight, and it seemed to us bitterly cold. The other 
regiments of our brigade had marched down the mountain, but 
our relief where was it? We sent Adjutant Brooks to General 
Gibbon, who said that our relief had been ordered, and would 
certainly come. But it did not come. Colonel Bragg finally sent 
Adjutant Brooks to Brigadier General Willis A. Gorman, the 
brigade commander, who had orders to relieve us. The Adjutant 
reported that he offered to lead the way to prevent the possibility 
of confusion or mistake, but that General Gorman s reply was: 
"I can t send men into that woods to-night. All men are cowards 
in the dark." He forgot that the men whom he condemned to 
shivering and misery for the rest of the night had fought and 
won a bloody battle in the dark. We were not relieved until 
eight o clock in the morning of September i5th, when the 2nd 

*William Lawrence of company "I." 


New York regiment of Gorman s brigade came up. As soon as 
it became daylight, we examined the field of battle, and found 
many dead and wounded rebels. The troops opposed to us were 
five regiments of a brigade commanded by Colonel A. H. 
Colquitt, the 6th, 23rd, 26th and 28th Georgia, and 1 3th Alabama 
regiments. One rebel soldier from Georgia, wounded in the 
head, his face a gore of blood, fled from us as we approached. 
We could hardly persuade him that it was not our purpose to kill 

General George B. McClellan was stationed in the same field 
where Simmon s Ohio battery was planted and he had watched our 
brigade in the engagement. He wrote the following to the 
Governor of Wisconsin : "I beg to add my great admiration of 
the conduct of the three Wisconsin regiments in General Gibbon s 
brigade. I have seen them under fire acting in a manner that 
reflects the greatest possible credit and honor upon themselves and 
their state. They are equal to the best troops in any army in the 

After being relieved by the second New York we marched 
down the mountain to the National turnpike and the men began 
to build fires to make coffee and cook their breakfast, but we 
were ordered to march immediately to the Mountain House on 
the top of South Mountain. It was hard, but the men fell in 
promptly and marched along munching dry hardtack. It was 
now 24 hours since they had had their coffee. Our brigade was 
put by General Hooker in the advance in the pursuit of the 
enemy and our regiment marched at the head of the column. 
We pushed along the turnpike down the western slope of the 
mountain. Presently old gray haired men, citizens of Maryland, 
came rushing up to meet us. They seemed almost frantic with 
joy. They swung their hats and laughed and cried without re 
gard for appearances. One respectable old gentleman who trot- 

*Official reports of action at South Mountain, niav be found in Volume 
19, Part I, War Records. 

General John Gibbon, Page 247. 

Lieutenant Colonel E. S. Bragg, ? 253. 

Captain John B. Callis, 257. 

Lieutenant Colonel Lucius Fairchild, 252. 

Colonel Solomon Meredith, * 266. 

Colonel A. H. Colquitt, confederate, 1052. 


ted along beside my horse said ; "We have watched for you, Sir, 
and we have prayed for you and now thank God you have come." 

Here his feelings got the better of him and he mounted a bank 
and began to shout. The last I saw of him, he was shouting and 
thanking God and the igth Indiana was responding with lusty 
cheers. As we approached the village of Boonesboro, it seemed 
deserted, but when our column entered the streets, doors and 
windows flew open and the people thronged out to greet us. 
Flags that had been hictden in the darkest corner were now un 
furled. These people informed us that the rebel infantry had 
passed through the town in haste and in much disorder. Colonels 
were in some cases, they said, carrying regimental banners. They 
said that General Lee was present when the retreat commenced. 
We turned to the left in Boonesboro toward Antietam creek. 
Our cavalry in front were picking up hundreds of prisoners, 
stragglers and wounded men from the retreating army. We 
pushed on five or six miles, passing through the village of 
Keedysville. When we were on the hill west of that place, the 
rebels opened fire on us from batteries planted in front of the 
village of Sharpsburg. We turned off the turnpike into a field 
and marched into a ravine, where we had protection. Still frag 
ments of bursting shell fell thick in the fields around us. Our 
batteries came galloping along the turnpike and wheeling rapidly 
into position along a ridge they returned the fire of the rebel 
artillery. Unmindful of this clatter, our men rallied for the 
fences and building fires made their much needed coffee with 
little regard for the fragments of shell flying around. 

After drinking coffee I went up to the ridge where our 
batteries were firing upon the enemy. I could see on the hills 
beyond the creek (Antietam) a rebel line of battle stretching 
over the fields. General Joseph Hooker was there at this time 
with his field-glass and I heard him say that from appearances the 
force of the enemy was at least forty thousand. It was now 
three o clock in the afternoon. We marched up the Antietam 
more out of range of the rebel batteries and bivouacked for the 
night. Our greatly exhausted men were soon sound asleep. At 
several times during the i6th of September the cannonading was 
heavy and from our position, we had a good view of the combat. 


About four o clock in the afternoon, General Hooker s army 
corps began to cross Antietam Creek. The division of Pennsyl 
vania Reserves crossed on the bridge above Keedysville, while 
General Doubleday s* division, to which we belonged, forded the 
creek at a shallow place below. The troops advanced slowly 
toward the Sharpsburg and Hagerstown Turnpike. We passed 
over open fields and through orchards and gardens, and the men 
filled their pockets and empty haversacks with apples. About 
dusk, sharp musketry and cannonading began in our front. It 
was nine o clock at night when our brigade reached the position 
assigned it. The men laid down upon the ground, formed in 
close column, muskets loaded and lines parallel with the turnpike. 
Once or twice during the night, heavy volleys of musketry 
crashed in the dark woods on our left. There was a drizzling 
rain, and with the certain prospect of deadly conflict on the 
morrow, the night was dismal. Nothing can be more solemn 
than a period of silent waiting for the summons to battle, known 
to be impending. 

About daylight, General Doubleday came galloping along the 
line, and he ordered that our brigade be moved at once out of its 
position. He said we were in open range of the rebel batteries. 
The men were in a heavy slumber. After much shaking and 
kicking and hurrying, they were aroused, and stood up in their 
places in the lines. Too much noise was probably made, which 
appears to have aroused, the enemy. The column hurriedly 
changed direction, according to orders, and commenced moving 
away from the perilous slope which faced the hostile batteries. 

We had marched ten rods, when whiz-z-z ! bang ! burst a shell 
over our heads; then another; then a percussion shell struck 
and exploded in the very center of the moving mass of men. It 
killed two men and wounded eleven. It tore off Captain David 
K. Noyes s foot, and cut off both arms of a man in his company. 
This dreadful scene occurred within a few feet of where I was 
riding, and before my eyes. The column pushed on without a 
halt, and in another moment had the shelter of a barn.f Thus 

*General Doubleday succeeded General J. P. Hatch, wounded at South 

tPofienberger s barn. 


opened the first firing of the great battle of Antietam, in the 
early morning of September lyth, 1862. The regiment continued 
moving forward into a strip of woods, where the column was 
deployed into line of battle. The artillery fire had now increased 
to the roar of an hundred cannon. Solid shot and shell whistled 
through the trees above us, cutting off limbs which fell about us. 
In front of the woods was an open field; beyond this was a 
house, surrounded by peach and apple trees, a garden, and out 
houses, f The rebel skirmishers were in this cover, and they 
directed upon us a vigorous fire. But company "I" deployed as 
skirmishers, under command of Captain John A. Kellogg, dashed 
across the field at a full run and drove them out, and the line of 
the regiment pushed on over the green open field, the air above 
our heads filled with the screaming missiles of the contending 
batteries. The right of the regiment was now on the Sharps- 
burg and Hagerstown Turnpike. The left wing was obstructed 
in its advance by the picket fence around the garden before 
mentioned. As the right wing passed on, I ordered the men of 
the left wing to take hold all together arid pull down the fence. 
They were unable to do so. I had, therefore, to pass the left 
wing by the flank through a gate with the utmost haste, and 
form again in the garden. Here Captain Edwin A. Brown, of 
company "E," was instantly killed. There is in my mind as I 
write, the spectacle of a young officer, with uplifted sword, 
shouting in a loud imperative voice the order I had given him, 
"Company E, on the right by file into line !" A bullet passes 
into his open mouth, and the voice is forever silent. I urged the 
left wing forward with all possible speed. The men scrambled 
over briars and flower-beds in the garden. Beyond the garden, 
we entered a peach orchard. I hurried forward to a rail fence 
skirting the front edge of the orchard, where we overtook the 
right wing. Before us was a strip of open-field, beyond which 
on the left-hand side of the turnpike, was rising ground, covered 
by a large cornfield, the stalks standing thick and high. The 
rebel skirmishers ran into the corn as we appeared at the fence. 
Owing to our headlong advance, we were far ahead of the 

tDavid E. Miller s house. 


general lines of battle. They were in open fields, and we had 
the cover of the houses and orchard. Colonel Bragg, however, 
with his usual battle ardor, ordered the regiment forward. We 
climbed the fence, moved across the open space, and pushed on 
into the corn-field. The three right companies of the regiment 
were crowded -into an open field on the right-hand side of the 
turnpike. Thus we pushed up the hill to the middle of the 

At this juncture, the companies of the right wing received a 
deadly fire from the woods on their right. To save them, Colonel 
Bragg, with a quickness and coolness equal to the emergency, 
caused them to change front and form behind the turnpike fence, 
from whence they returned the fire of the enemy. Meanwhile, I 
halted the left wing, and ordered them to lie down on the ground. 
The bullets began to clip through the corn, and spin through the 
soft furrows thick, almost, as hail. Shells burst around us, the 
fragments tearing up the ground, and canister whistled through 
the corn above us. Lieutenant Bode of company "F," was 
instantly killed, and Lieutenant John Ticknor was badly 
wounded. Sergeant Major Howard J. Huntington now came 
running to me through the corn. He said: "Major, Colonel 
Bragg wants to see you, quick, at the turnpike." I ran to the 
fence in time to hear Bragg say: "Major, I am shot," before he 
fell upon the ground. I saw a tear in the side of his overcoat 
which he had on. I feared that he was shot through the body. 
I called two men from the ranks, who bundled him quickly into 
a shelter tent, and hurried away with him. Colonel Bragg was 
shot in the first fire from the woods and his nerve, in standing up 
under the shock until he had effected the maneuver so necessary 
for the safety of his men, was wonderful. I felt a great sense of 
responsibility, when thrown thus suddenly in command of the 
regiment in the face of a terrible battle. I stood near the fence 
in the corn-field, overlooking the companies on the turnpike 
which were firing on the enemy in the woods, and where I could 
see the left wing also. I noticed a group of mounted rebel 
officers, whom I took to be a general and staff. I took a rest 
over the turnpike fence, and fired six shots at the group, the men 
handing me loaded muskets. They suddenly scattered. 


Our lines on the left now came sweeping forward through the 
corn and the open fields beyond. I ordered my men up to join 
in the advance, and commanded: "Forward guide left march!" 
We swung away from the turnpike, and I sent the sergeant- 
major (Howard J. Huntington) to Captain Kellogg, commanding 
the companies on the turnpike, with this order : "If it is prac 
ticable, -move forward the right companies, aligning with the 
left wing." Captain Kellogg said: "Please give Major Dawes 
my compliments, and say it is impracticable; the fire is 

As we were getting separated, I directed Sergeant Huntington 
to tell Captain Kellogg that he could get cover in the corn, and 
to join us, if possible. Huntington was struck by a bullet, but 
delivered the order. Kellogg ordered his men up, but so many 
were shot that he ordered them down again at once. While this 
took place on the turnpike, our companies were marching 
forward through the thick corn, on the right of a long line of 
battle. Closely following was a second line. At the front edge 
of the corn-field was a low Virginia rail fence. Before the corn 
were open fields, beyond which was a strip of woods surrounding 
a little church, the Dunkard church. As we appeared at the 
edge of the corn, a long line of men in butternut and gray rose 
up from the ground. Simultaneously, the hostile battle lines 
opened a tremendous fire upon each other. Men, I can not say 
fell; they were knocked out of the ranks by dozens. But we 
jumped over the fence, and pushed on, loading, firing, and 
shouting as we advanced. There was, on the part of the men, 
great hysterical excitement, eagerness to go forward, and a reck 
less disregard of life, t of every thing but victory. Captain 
Kellogg brought his companies up abreast of us on the turnpike. 

The Fourteenth Brooklyn Regiment, red legged Zouaves, came 
into our line, closing the awful gaps. Now is the pinch. Men 
and officers of New York and Wisconsin are fused into a common 
mass, in the frantic struggle to shoot fast. Every body tears 
cartridges, loads, passes guns, or shoots. Men are falling in their 
places or running back into the corn. The soldier who is shoot 
ing is furious in his energy. The soldier who is shot looks 
around for help with an imploring agony of death on his face. 



After a few rods of advance, the line stopped and, by common 
impulse, fell back to the edge of the corn and lay down on the 
ground behind the low rail fence. Another line of our men 
came up through the corn. We all joined together, jumped over 
the fence, and again pushed out into the open field. There is a 
rattling fusilade and loud cheers. "Forward" is the word. The 
men are loading and firing with demoniacal fury and shouting 
and laughing hysterically, and the whole field before us is covered 
with rebels fleeing for life, into the woods. Great numbers of 
them are shot while climbing over the high post and rail fences 
along the turnpike. We push on over the open fields half way 
to the little church. The powder is bad, and the guns have 
become very dirty. It takes hard pounding to get the bullets 
down, arid our firing is becoming slow. A long and steady line 
of rebel gray, unbroken by the fugitives who fly before us, 
comes sweeping down through the woods around the church. 
*They raise the yell and fire. It is like a scythe running through 
our line. "Now, save, who can." It is a race for life that each 
man runs for the cornfield. A sharp cut, as of a switch, stings 
the calf of my leg as I run. Back to the corn, and back through 
the corn, the headlong flight continues. At the bottom of the 
hill, I took the blue color of the state of Wisconsin, and waving 
it, called a rally of Wisconsin men. Two hundred men gathered 
around the flag of the Badger state. Across the turnpike just in 
front of the haystacks, two guns of Battery "B," 4th U. S. 
artillery were in action. The pursuing rebels were upon them. 
General John Gibbon, our brigade commander, who in regular 
service was captain of this battery, grimed and black with 
powder smoke in himself sighting these guns of his old battery, 
comes running to me, "Here, major, move your men over, we 
must save these guns." I commanded "Right face, forward 
march," and started ahead with the colors in my hand into 
the open field, the men following. As I entered the field, a 
report as of a thunderclap in my ear fairly stunned me. This 
was Gibbon s last shot at the advancing rebels. The cannon was 
double charged with canister. The rails of the fence flew high 
in the air. A line of union blue charged swiftly forward from 

*Hood s old Texas brigade, and Law s brigade. 


our right across the field in front of the battery, and into the 
corn-field. They drove back the rebels who were firing upon us. 
It was our own gallant igth Indiana, and here fell dead their 
leader, Lieutenant Colonel A. F. Bachman; but the youngest 
captain in their line, William W. Dudley, stepped forward and 
led on the charge. I gathered my men on the turnpike, reor 
ganized them, and reported to General Doubleday, who was 
himself there. He ordered me to move back to the next woods 
in the rear, to remain and await instruction. Bullets, shot, 
and shell, fired by the enemy in the corn-field, were still flying 
thickly around us, striking the trees in this woods, and cutting 
off the limbs. I placed my men under the best shelter I could 
find, and here we figured up, as nearly as we could, our dreadful 
losses in the battle. Three hundred and fourteen officers and 
men had marched with us into battle. There had been killed 
and wounded, one hundred and fifty-two. Company "C" 
under Captain Hooe, thirty-five men, was not in the fight in 
front of the corn-field. That company was on skirmish duty 
farther to our right. In this service they lost two men. Of two 
hundred and eighty men who were at the corn-field and turnpike, 
one hundred and fifty were killed or wounded. This was the 
most dreadful slaughter to which our regiment was subjected in 
the war. We were joined in the woods by Captain Ely, who 
reported to me, as the senior officer present, with the colors and 
eighteen men of the second Wisconsin. They represented what 
remained for duty of that gallant regiment. 

The roar of musketry to the front about the corn-field and the 
Dunkard church had again become heavy. Stragglers and 
wounded streamed in troops toward the rear. This tide growing 
momentarily stronger, General Gibbon directed me to form a 
line of the whole brigade, perhaps five hundred men present, to 
drive back, at the point of the bayonet, all men who were fit for 
duty at the front. But, soon, the troops engaged about the 
Dunkard church fell back, and the whole line was formed in rear 
of batteries, planted on the ridge near Poffenberger s house. We 
were on the ground from which, at the early dawn, our regiment 
had moved forward to begin the battle. 

At the very farthest point of advance on the turnpike, Captain 

Werner Von Bachelle, commanding Company F, was shot dead. 
Captain Bachelle was an ex-officer of the French army. Brought 
up as a soldier in the Napoleonic school, he was imbued with the 
doctrine of fatalism. His soldierly qualities commanded the 
respect of all, and his loss was deeply felt in the regiment. 
Bachelle had a fine Newfoundland dog, which had been trained 
to perform military salutes and many other remarkable things. 
In camp, on the march, and in the line of battle, this dog was 
his constant companion. The dog was by his side when he fell. 
Our line of men left the body when they retreated, but the dog 
stayed with his dead master, and was found on the morning of 
the i gth of September lying dead upon his body. We buried 
him with his master. So far as we knew, no family or friends 
mourned for poor Bachelle, and it is probable that he was joined in 
death by his most devoted friend on earth. 

It was about noon when we got to our position in rear of the 
batteries, and we were greatly astonished and rejoiced to meet 
here our gallant L,ieut. Colonel, Edward S. Bragg, who had come 
back to join us on the field of battle. He was severely wounded and 
unfit for duty, but he was there, and we had believed him to be dead. 

Captain John A. Kellogg showed great ability as a commander 
of men in battle. He rallied several hundred stragglers of every 
regiment engaged and organized them as a regiment ; posting his 
line behind a stone wall on the right hand side of the turnpike 
near the Poffenberger house. He did this while I was deploying 
the brigade to stop stragglers, as ordered by General Gibbon. 
General Doubleday, our division commander, seeing his line and 
not knowing how to account for it, galloped up shouting, "What 
regiment is this ?" "A regiment of stragglers, Sir," said Kellogg. 
"Have you any orders?" "Stick to the stone wall." Captains 
P. W. Plummer and Rollin P. Converse, Lieutenants Charles P. 
Hyatt, L,yman B. Upham and Howard V. Pruyn were always in 
the lead. But the same is true of all of our line officers 
who were there. Whoever stood in front of the corn field at 
Antietam needs no praise. Captain Converse was shot 
through both thighs, as we were about to advance in pursuit of 
the running rebels. He convulsively threw his sword into the 
soft ground and said, "Hyatt, I can t run after them, I am shot, 


take command," and he hobbled off, refusing help. 

The excitement of the men at the point of the battle when 
the rebels began to run before us, is illustrated by curious inci 
dents. Private Thomas Barcus of company "I," like Captain 
Converse, was shot in such a manner as to disable the flexor 
tendons of his legs. Finding he could not run, he shouted, 
"Here is where you get your stiff legs !" Corporal Sherman of 
company "D," after shooting several times at a rebel color, saw 
it fall. At that moment a bullet went through his arm. He was 
boasting in a loud voice that he had "fetched it," and seemed 
greatly surprised to find his own arm paralyzed. 

During the remainder of the day we were in position in support 
of the heavy line of batteries. About 4 P. M., while the musketry 
of General Burnside s battle upon the left was crashing, the 
enerny suddenly opened upon us a heavy fire of artillery. Our 
cannon, I believe about forty in number, replied with great vigor, 
and for half an hour a Titanic combat raged. We lay as closely 
as possible to the ground. I was upon the same oil-cloth with 
Captain John A. Kellogg, when a large fragment of shell passed 
into the ground between us, cutting a great hole in the oil-cloth, 
and covering us with dirt. It was a mystery how this could be 
and neither of us be struck. 

Right here on the front line two enterprising reporters were 
gathering lists of killed and wounded and items of the battle, 
when this cannonading suddenly opened. One, whose name I 
have forgotten, reporting for the "New York Herald," got down 
and hugged the ground like an old soldier. As he lay near me, 
he was showered with dirt plowed up by the fragment of shell, 
but he "stood fire." The other, Mr. L,. Iy. Crounse, of the "New 
York Times," frantically straddled his horse, and buried his spurs 
in the animal s flanks. Bowed flat, his hat gone, and in headlong 
flight over the fields toward the rear, he presented a spectacle 
amusing to the soldiers. Amid the thunder of cannon and 
screaming of shell, a great shout was set up to cheer Crounse 
upon his ride. But Crounse doubtless got his report in first. 

The piles of dead on the Sharpsburg and Hagerstown Turnpike 
were frightful. The "angle of death" at Spottsylvania, and the 
Cold Harbor "slaughter pen," and the Fredericksburgh Stone 


Wall, where Sumner charged, were all mentally compared by me, 
when I saw them, with this turnpike at Antietam. My feeling 
was that the Antietam Turnpike surpassed all in manifest evidence 
of slaughter. When we marched along the turnpike on the V 
morning of September igth the scene was indescribably horrible. 
Great numbers of dead, swollen and black under the hot sun, lay 
upon the field. My horse, as I rode through the narrow lane 
made by piling the bodies along beside the turnpike fences, 
trembled in every limb with fright and was wet with perspiration. 
Friend and foe were indiscriminately mingled. 

In climbing the two post and rail fences that lined the turnpike, 
great numbers of men were killed. They climbed these fences 
as the shortest cut to the woods, through fear of retreating before 
the fire over the open fields. In climbing, they made themselves 
an easy mark. . Our own troops climbed these fences under the 
same circumstances on their several retreats from the woods 
around the Dunkard Church. 

In front of the haystacks where Battery B, 4th U. S. Artillery, 
had been planted was seen a horse, apparently in the act of rising 
from the ground. Its head was held proudly aloft, and its fore 
legs set firmly forward. Nothing could be more vigorous or life- i> 
like than the pose of this animal. But like all surrounding it on 
that horrid aceldama, the horse w T as dead. 

The student of this battle will be well repaid by a careful study 
of the Confederate reports. The troops we first encountered in 
the early morning and drove into the woods around the Dunkard 
Church were the same we met at Gainesville, the Stonewall 
division of Jackson s Corps. The troops who in turn drove us 
back were Hood s Texas brigade, who originated the rebel yell, 
and from them we heard it on this occasion in all its terror. 
Colonel W. T. WofFard commanded the Texas brigade. In Law s 
brigade in line with the Texans was the second Mississippi 
regiment afterward encountered by us at Gettysburg. It will be 
seen that we get even with this regiment in that battle. It will 
be of interest to observe how closely my own account of our 
movements given above, which was written for my mother while I 
was in winter quarters at Belle Plaine, Virginia, in January, 1863, 
accords with the official reports of the enemy. 


(Letter.) SEPTEMBER 18, 1862. j 

"MY DEAR MOTHER : I have come safely through two more 
terrible engagements with the enemy, that at South Mountain 
and the great battle of yesterday. Our splendid regiment is 
almost destroyed. We have had nearly four hundred men killed 
and wounded in the battles. Seven of our officers were shot and 
three killed in yesterday s battle and nearly one hundred and 
fifty men killed and wounded. All from less than three hundred 
engaged. The men have stood like iron. We are now under 
General Joseph Hooker. Lieut. Colonel Bragg was wounded 
yesterday and I commanded the regiment during most of the 
battle. The battle may be renewed at any time." 

It will be noticed in this letter that for the first time in my 
contemporary writing, I speak of the men as having stood "like 
iron." It is probable that the title of "Iron Brigade" was applied 
before the date of this letter. 

It is evident that I was not aware when this letter was written 
that General Joseph Hooker, our corps commander, had been 
shot in the battle of the day before. 

*This battle closed the campaign of forty-five days, which may 
properly be called the first battle epoch in the history of the 
brigade. During this time, the brigade was on eleven different 
days subjected to the battle fire of the enemy. 

*See Official Records of the War, Volume 19, Part 1. 

Report Lieutenant Colonel E. S. Bragg, Page 254. 

Report Captain John B. Callis, " 257. 

Report General A. Doubleday, " 223. 

Report General John Gibbon 248. 

Report General Joseph Hooker, " 235. 

Report Captain W. W. Dudley, 257. 


Colonel W. T. Woffard, Texas brigade, Page 927, Vol. 19, War Records. 

General J. B. Hood, Page 922, Vol. 19, War Records. 

Lieut. Col. M. W. Gary, Page 930, Vol. 19, War Records. 

Lieut. Col, P. A. Work, Page 931, Vol. 19, War Records. 

Colonel E. M. Law, Page 934, Vol. 19, War Records. 

Lieut. Col. B. F. Carter, ,..Page 934, Vol. 19, War Records. 

Captain Ike N. M. Turner, Page 937, Vol. 19, War Records. 

General J. R. Jones, Page 1006, Vol, 19, War Records. 

Major H. J. Williams, Pages 1010 1012, Vol. 19, War Records. 

Colonel Edmund Pendleton, Page 1015, Vol. 19, War Records. 
















Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers 
















Second \Visconsin Volunteers 

Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers 

Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers 



Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers 















Second Wisconsin Volunteers 

Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers 

Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers ... 


In Vol. 19, Part I, Page 189, War Records, will be found a corrected 
statement of casualties of 6th Wisconsin at Antietara, aggregating 152. 


J.7cnaustion After .Antietam .A sac? Blunder Colonel Bragg Nomi 
nated for Congress President Lincoln Visits the Arm y Twen- 
ty-Fourth Michigan Joins tne Brigade -Appointed to Inspect 
Troops JForward to Virginia Dr. John C. Nail Colonel Cutler 
Takes Command of tne Brigade General McClellan removed 
From Command of the Army Colonel Cutler Takes a Stand 
The JEJurnside Regime On to Fredericksburg General Solo 
mon Meredith .Distrust of Burnside Battle of Fredericksburg 
The Retreat Clayton Rogers Saves the Pickets "Clayt" 
and "Bon j^"Wnit worth Shell for Breakfast The Defeat as 
Viewed t>j^ a Member of Congress Camp near Belle Plaine 
General James S. Wadsworth Tne Af ud Campaign The Fifty- 
fifth Ohio in our ffouses Darkness Upon us as a Nation Exit 
Burnside General Joseph flooker in Command of the Army 
The Northumberland Raid Correspondence -with Mr. Cutler- 
Political Conditions. 

The regiment was now in a condition of exhaustion from the 
severity of its service and from its losses in battle. Colonel 
Cutler and Lieutenant Colonel Bragg were wounded, disabled, 
and absent, and I remained for some time in command. Captains 
Brown and Bachelle were dead. Captains Noyes, Marsh and 
Converse were wounded and disabled. Lieutenant Bode had 
been killed and Lieutenants Jerome B. Johnson and John Tick- 
nor had been wounded, and two hundred and sixty enlisted men 
had been killed or wounded in the campaign. I have included 
the men reported "missing" as among the killed or wounded. 
Such was almost invariably the fact. The wounded man, when 
shot, went to the rear and availed himself of the first assistance 
found. Often he fell into the hands of stretcher bearers or 
ambulance drivers of another corps. He would be taken first to 
their field hospital and finally to Washington, or perhaps, to 
Baltimore to the general hospital. We would hear from him in 
an urgent appeal for his "descriptive list" to be sent "at once" to 
the hospital where he was located. This important paper he 
needed to draw his pay. Meanwhile our return of killed, 
wounded and missing had been made, and it remains upon the 

Official Records of the War. The companies were disorganized 
by the loss of officers, and a period for rest and reorganization 
was a necessity. 


"I have for a day or two been suffering from a severe attack of 
bilious sick-headache, a result of the late terrible excitement and 
trying times. We are encamped amid a dreadful stench of the 
half-buried thousands of men and horses on the battle field. 

Captain Edwin A. Brown, of company "B," my best friend in 
the regiment, was shot dead at Sharpsburg. That gallant soldier, 
Captain Von Bachelle, was shot dead and his Newfoundland dog 
lay dead upon his body." 

One of our sergeants made the blunder of sending to Mrs. 
Bragg a message that her husband had been killed, instead of 
sending it to Mrs. Brown. The results were sensational and 
very sad.* 

The Republican Union Congressional convention for the 
fourth district of Wisconsin, which met at Fond du Lac, Septem 
ber, 24th, 1862, adopted resolutions seconding the nomination of^ 
Colonel Bragg, as an independent War candidate for congress, on 
his own platform. The following is one of the resolutions 
adopted: "Resolved, that we recognize in Edward S. Bragg, a 

Extracts from a newspaper published at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin : 
"The entire people of Fond du Lac have been, during the last few days 
the subjects of the most painful emotions, and two families and their con 
nections prostrated with grief, when but one was really afflicted. Last 
Friday morning, a pang of intensest pain ran from heart to heart, on 
reception of a telegram that Lieutenant Colonel E. S. Bragg was killed in 
the battle of the 17th inst. The dispatch was sent from Hagerstown, Md., 
by a sergeant of company "I," directed to Mrs. Bragg, stating that her 
husband was killed, and that his body would be forwarded by express to 
this city. The news was considered reliable almost beyond a doubt. The 
city council convened, made arrangements to take charge of the funeral in 
a city capacity, and appointed a committee to proceed to Chicago to escort 
the body home. His family, plunged in grief, had made every arrange 
ment for the funeral and burial, when, lo ! light came back to that home, 
and a dark cloud threw its shadow across another threshold. The commit 
tee sent after Colonel Bragg s body, found when they reached Chicago, that 
it was Captain Edwin A. Brown, instead of Colonel Bragg, who was killed, 
and telegraphed to that effect, Sunday last. The news created a new and 
painful excitement. What was gained in one direction, was lost in another. 
The city council determined they would take the same course in regard to 
conducting the funeral, that had been marked out when it was supposed 
that Colonel Bragg had fallen." 


true patriot, pledged to the support of the government and in 
every way qualified to represent the people of this district in the 
next congress of the United States, and we cheerfully recommend 
him to the people for their suffrages, notwithstanding upon 
questions of civil administration, he sustains a creed different 
from ours. He is true to the country, and in this trying hour we 
will know no subdivision of the National friends." 

(Letter.) OCTOBER 2nd, 1862. j 

"We are now encamped at a beautiful spot on the banks of the 
Potomac river, enjoying the rest that we so greatly needed. All 
has been quiet since the battle until yesterday, when there was 
cannonading at a distance, all day. Our camp ig about one mile 
from the village of Sharpsburg." 

On the third day of October, the Army of the Potomac was 
reviewed by President Abraham Lincoln. The line was formed 
in almost the position occupied by the army of General Lee at 
the opening of the battle. We had about two hundred and fifty 
men in our ranks at this review. Our battle flags were tattered, 
our clothing worn, and our appearance that of men who had been 
through the most trying service. Mr. Lincoln has said 
that he staked the question of publishing his Proclamation of 
Kmancipation upon the result of this battle. Recognizing An- 
tietam as a victory, he had issued his preliminary paper of 
September 22nd, 1862, and he now visited the bloody field, where 
under the gracious lavor of God, to whom he had appealed, we 
had defeated the invasion of the North, and made it possible for 
him to proclaim the purpose of our government to emancipate 
all slaves in the territory that was in rebellion. Mr. Lincoln was 
manifestly touched at the worn appearance of our men, and he, 
himself, looked serious and careworn. He bowed low in reponse 
to the salute of our tattered flags. As I sat upon my horse in 
front of the regiment, I caught a glimpse of Mr. Lincoln s face, 
.which has remained photographed upon my memory. Compared 
with the small figure of General McClellan, who, with jaunty air 
and somewhat gaudy appearance, cantered along beside him, Mr. 
Lincoln seemed to tower as a giant. 


(Letter.) OCTOBER 5th, 1862. 

"General Abner Doubleday now commands our division, and 
General John F. Reynolds commands our corps." 

Major General John F. Reynolds continued to command the 
first army corps until July ist, 1863, when he was killed in front 
of the attacking column of our brigade, in the battle of 


"A fine new regiment has been added to our brigade. They 
are a splendid looking body of men, entirely new to the service. 
It is the twenty- fourth Michigan, commanded by Colonel Henry 
A. Morrow. Their ranks are full now, and they are, as we were, 
crazy to fight." 

(Letter.) OCTOBER 2ist, 1862. } 

"We have changed our camp and are not so pleasantly situated 
as when on the bank of the Potomac river. . There, we had a 
fine view of the river w r hich sweeps around in a beautiful bend, 
and of a broad extent of pleasant iarming land, and romantic 
mountain scenery in Virginia. The regiment is gaining strength 
by men returning every day. Colonel Cutler is still feeble from 
the effect of his wound at Gainesville. The box of fruit you 
sent me is still missing. I have great hopes of getting it to 
night. As I sent a man to Washington on some business, he 
will bring it with him if it is there. You ask me how I live 
Dr. O. F. Bartlett and I mess together, and we have a good wall 
tent w r ith a fly as a sunshade. We have a portable stove which 
keeps us comfortable. While in camp, our table is well supplied 
and our servants are good cooks. We have good bread, butter, 
and potatoes. Our mess chest is- filled at the beginning of a 
march and put in the regimental headquarters wagon. When 
separated from our wagon train, we have hard times. I have 
often been glad to share the rations of the men, who will not let 
me suffer so long as they have a hard tack." 

Later in the war, the admirable pack mule system of transpor 
tation of officers provisions relieved them of the difficulty 
here complained of, and added greatly to their comfort when in 


the field. Before the introduction of pack mules, it was quite 
common for the officers supplies to become exhausted by 
separation from the wagon trains. 

Dr. O. F. Bartlett had already been promoted to be Surgeon of 
the third Wisconsin regiment. He was a gentleman of dignity 
of manner, and a surgeon of great skill. It will be observed 
that in my mess arrangements I was partial to the doctors. 

(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BAKERSVILI/E, OCTOBER 26th, 1862. 

Since assuming command of the regiment, I have been kept 
busy. There is a great deal of work with the regiment, and a 
good deal of outside labor has been imposed upon me. Sending 
descriptive lists to our wounded men in the hospitals is no small 
job. I was ordered to assist Captain McClellan of the staff of 
General George B. McClellan, in the inspection of the regiments 
of Doubleday s division. Two regiments were assigned to me 
yesterday, the i4th Brooklyn and the 24th New York. It was a 
wearisome task to inspect them, and disagreeable, as all deficien 
cies and faults niust be reported directly to headquarters of the 

In a memorandum book of 1862, I find notes in pencil of the 
inspection of three regiments. I regret that the notes of the 
other regiments inspected by myself were not preserved. 
These notes give some insight into the condition of the troops 
after the battle of Antietam, a subject upon which there was a 
controversy.* It can safely be said that two at least of the 
regiments here noted, were in very bad condition for active 
service. I give notes of inspection of the 24th New York. 

"Regiment consolidated into a battalion of four companies. 

Field officers present, none. Captain Miller, commanding. 

Actual muster, 120 enlisted men for duty. Total enlisted men 
present in camp, 153, absence of 16 men from muster not 
satisfactorily accounted for. Condition of arms, ordinary. 
Cartridge boxes minus tin magazines, 12. Clothing and shoes, 

In the 1 4th Brooklyn regiment there were no field officers 
present and the regiment had been consolidated into a battalion 

*Volume 19, Part I, Pages 10 to 75, War Records. 


of four companies. In one company there were 74 men present, 
of whom for various reasons, 43 were non-effective. The principal 
reason was that they were without arms. The men of this regi 
ment were all satisfactorily accounted for and the arms inspected 
were in good .condition. 

The result of Captain McClellan s inspection of the sixth 
regiment of Wisconsin volunteers was noted as follows : 
"Field officers present, one. 
I<ine officers present, ten. 

Company "A," present effectives, 46; non-effectives, 5; total, 51. 
"B," " " 32; " i; " 33- 

"C," " " 44; " 3; " 47- 

"D>" 33; 3; " 36. 

"E," " " 26; " o; " 26. 

"F," " " 21; i; " 22. 

U G," " " 22; " o; ! 22. 

" "H," " " 14; i; " 15. 

"I," " " 40; " 5; " 45. 

"K," 35; 4; " 39. 

Effectives, 313; non-effectives, 23; total, 336. 

There were 8 1 defective cartridge boxes in the regiment. There 
were no men without arms. The condition of arms was "very 
good." The absent were all accounted for. The condition of 
clothing was generally *bad, and shoes very bad." The tin maga 
zines in the cartridge boxes were to keep the powder dry. In 
battle the men would often throw them away in order to more 
quickly and easily get at their cartridges ; but the cartridge box 
was thus ruined for further service. It would no longer keep the 
cartridges dry. Instruction had been given to particularly ex 
amine all cartridge boxes. The inspection was very thorough 
and rigid, and it disclosed that the army was in a destitute and 
almost disorganized condition. 


October 27th, 1862. j 
"Colonel Bragg writes that he regards his election to Congress 

*See Vol. 19, Part I, Pages 10 to 75, War Eecords. 


as probable, but since the Ohio election, I have little faith. Colonel 
Cutler writes that he hopes to be back soon. He has become 
subject to sciatica and his painful wound is not half healed. 

It is true that the army is in a suffering condition for clothing 
and shoes. Our regiment was never before nearly so destitute. 
I have used every exertion to obtain a supply of clothing, and 
only this morning succeeded in getting some underclothing for 
the men. Pants or coats I cannot get." 

To these contemporary statements of the condition of the 
troops should be added the explanation, that we had passed 
through the battles and labors of the Pope campaign as well as 
those of the Maryland campaign, since we had received supplies 
of clothing and shoes. Our brigade had entered the Pope cam 
paign overloaded with clothing and abundantly supplied with 
everything needed, but the feathers in our hats were drooping 
and the white leggings, which, as a protection to the feet and 
ankles, were now more useful than ornamental, had become 
badly soiled. 
(Letter.) CAMP IN VIRGINIA, October 3ist, 1862. 

"At last the Army of the Potomac is moving and we are once 
more upon the sacred soil. A big fight or a foot race will come 
off shortly. I mustered the regiment for pay to-day. I hope the 
money will come when we can do something with it. The con 
tinued absence of the Paymaster is becoming a serious annoyance." 

(^Letter.) NOVEMBER 2nd, 1862. ) 

"The campaign has opened again and we are pushing after the 
enemy once more. They threw a few shells from Snicker s Gap 
yesterday, indicating their presence there. If we encounter 
them, I shall have the honor of leading the regiment." 

At this time, our newly appointed Assistant Surgeon, Dr. John 
C. Hall, reported to the regiment for duty. He proved to be a 
gentleman of great intelligence and fine literary taste. We 
became congenial friends and were intimately associated in the 
most pleasant and friendly relations for all of the remaining 
time of my service. 

*Volume 19, Part I, Page 990, War Records. 


(Letter.) NOVEMBER yth, 1862. j 

"After hard marching, we are stopped by a snow storm. This 
is to us a familiar spot. It is cold, and exceedingly disagreeable 
campaigning "now. Colonel Cutler has returned and he is in 
command of the brigade. He is really unfit for duty. I still 
command the regiment. General Gibbon has been promoted to 
command Rickett s division. We are sorry to lose him, for a 
brave and true man, tested as he has been, is a jewel here." 

On November ist, 1862, my brother, with the army in the west, 
was promoted to be major of his regiment. He was an adjutant. 
He had been jumped over all the captains in the line. The 
principle I so firmly stood for in our regiment, was trampled 
under foot in his regiment, and I was glad of it. 


"We are still here waiting for provisions. To-day the regiment 
is without a cracker to eat, but our men bear it without a 
murmur. No regiment in the army endures privations more 
patiently. The new regiment, (24th Michigan) do not take it so 
easily. They have been shouting: Bread! Bread! at the top 
of their voices all day." 

While we were in this camp, on November yth, 1862, General 
George B. McClellan was relieved from the command of the 
Army of the Potomac, by President Lincoln, and General 
Ambrose E. Burnside appointed to that ill-starred responsibility. 
There was considerable expression of feeling. No acts of 
insubordination occurred. There was talk of resignations by 
officers, but in our brigade, the sturdy faithfulness of Colonel 
Lysander Cutler, then commanding, and his known determination 
of character, had an excellent restraining influence. He declared 
that he would recommend for dismissal, for tendering a resigna 
tion while in the presence of the enemy, any officer who offered 
to resign for such a reason. There were no resignations sent to 
his headquarters. 

(Letter.) NOVEMBER roth, 1862. ) 

"I am afraid that Colonel Bragg was defeated for congress. 
It is manifest that the cowardly sneaks who stay at home intend 


to sell out the country. Think of Horatio Seymour, an infamous 
peace Democrat, carrying the state of New York over General 
James S. Wadsworth. 

We have just learned that General Gibbon has been promoted 
to Major General. His honors were fairly won. He is one of 
the bravest of men. He was with us on every battle field." 

(Letter.) STAFFORD Co., VA., NOVEMBER 20th, 1862. ) 

"After a weary march of a week, we are encamped at the head 
waters of Acquia creek. We have been marching through a 
cold and driving rain storm, and to-day we are drying off. We 
are in the grand division commanded by ^General William B. 
Franklin, and, the orders say, on the left of the army . The 
men say they are willing to be left when more bloody fighting is 
to be done. The roads are in a desperately muddy condition, 
and we were all day yesterday moving the division two miles. 
Lieutenant Colonel Bragg has returned to the regiment. He 
was badly defeated in his race for congress, and all because he is 
a war man. They are for peace at any price, in his district." 

The officers were desperately straitened for provisions on 
this march. Our headquarters wagon with officers rations, was 
stuck in the mud miles away. Colonel Bragg detailed Private 
Adams, of company "C," who was a genius in that line, to forage 
for us. He gave him money to buy provisions. Adams could 
buy nothing of the spiteful rebel women, and he could find but 
little in that barren. At last he found a pig, killed and dressed, 
and hanging to the limb of a tree by a kitchen window, but there 
was a "safe guard" from corps headquarters, standing with loaded 
musket over that pig. Adams went into ambush until after dark, 
when he came safely into camp with a leg of fine young pork. 
I am safe in saying it was the sweetest and best I ever ate. 


NOVEMBER 25th, 1862. ) 

"I do not expect to be able to visit home this winter. The 
authorities are excessively strict and it would be scarcely possible 
for me, although I have not slept in a house for eight months, to 

* Volume XXI, Page 48, War Records. 


get permission to go even to Washington. Colonel Solomon 
Meredith is now a Brigadier General and he is to take command 
of our brigade." 
(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BROOKS STATION, Nov. soth, 1862. 

"HoN. W. P. CUTLER : If possible, I will procure a pass and 
come up to the city, but it is doubtful whether I can. I have not 
been off duty nor slept out of camp for eight months and have 
been in every skirmish and battle ; but owing to the practices of that 
worse than contemptible class of officers who shirk duty and hang 
around Washington, we who do our duty can get no privileges." 
(Letter.) CAMP AT BROOKS STATION, DEC. ist, 1862. 

"Our great army has once more come to a halt. There is an 
aspect of winter quarters for the army, but no one expects that 
our Commanding General will publish orders to that effect. O, 
no, Richmond must fall, Lee s army must be bagged. There 
must be another bloody battle. Nothing less will appease our 
valiant stay-at-home rangers. You are not prepared to believe 
that our army at Antietam was checked at every point. You 
think McClellan a traitor. I did not make a fool of myself at 
the time of McClellan s removal as some officers did. I do not 
yet know whether the army has suffered from the change Wait 
and see how much better Burnside does, before rejoicing over 
the removal of McClellan. 

We have fixed up very comfortabty in this camp. I am now 
tenting with Dr. A. D. Andrews, who is a pattern of neatness. 

A law of congress invests a field officer in each regiment with 
the powers and functions of a regimental court martial. I am 
the court in this regiment. A full record of proceedings and 
evidence in each case tried has to be made pro forma, which 
involves much labor. My standard of fines for misdemeanors 
ranges- from three dollars to thirteen dollars, the maximum 
allowed by law. As for example, "for killing a rabbit," ("rabbits" 
are covered with wool in this country) about four dollars; "for 
a knock down," eight dollars, and for getting drunk and kicking 
up a row generally, thirteen dollars. 


DECEMBER 5th, 1862. j 
"General Wm. B. Franklin s grand division is on the move. 


We had ourselves comfortably fixed for the winter. General 
Solomon Meredith is in command of the brigade." 

The next letter shows the temper prevailing in the army in 
regard to an attack upon the entrenched position of the enemy 
at Fredericksburgh. It was written to my sister, December icth, 
1862: "The country is clamoring for General Burnside to drive 
his army to butchery at Fredericksburgh. What we think of the 
probability of Burnside s attacking Fredericksburgh is best 
shown in the fact that we are building winter quarters. Not by 
order, oh, no ! No general would dare give such an order, as the 
country would demand his head immediately. But if General 
Burnside allows himself to be pushed into a battle here, against 
the enemy s works, the country will mourn thousands slain, and 
the Rappahannock will run red with blood expended in fruitless 

Doctor John C. Hall approached Colonel Bragg the night 
before Fredericksburgh with the inquiry : "Going to have a 
battle, Colonel?" "Yes." "We can whip them, can t we?" 
"Not by a d d sight over there. After they have killed a few 
thousand, and ruined as many more, we ll come creeping back, 
and be lucky if we get back at all." The sequel is this, says 
Bragg : "When we crept back three days afterward, Dr. Hall 
said: Colonel, I owe you an apology. For what? said I. Well, 
I must confess I thought from your talk before the battle, that 
one of our best regiments had got into the hands of a man, 
whose heart was not in the war. That s what I want to apolo 
gize for. I find you knew 7 more about this matter than I did. I 
watched you when the shells flew. I saw r you under fire at your 
post, and then I went over the bank myself, fully satisfied to 
leave the cause in your keeping. 


"Another great battle has been fought. Terrible as it was to 
some, to us it was really almost nothing compared with Antietam. 
We feel very grateful to have escaped our perils with so wonder 
fully small a loss. No man in the regiment was killed, and only 
four were wounded, all of whom we believe will live." 



"On the early morning of December i2th, 1862, in the midst 
of a dense fog, a heavy bombardment of artillery was opened on 
the town of Fredericksburgh. A crossing of the Rappahannock 
in pontoon boats was forced later in the day. Our brigade lay 
quietly on the heights opposite Fredericksburgh until about four 
o clock in the afternoon of this day, when we moved toward a 
pontoon bridge about a mile below the town. From the Stafford 
Heights we had a fine view of the broad open plain on the south 
side of the river, upon which long lines of battle were being 
formed by our troops. General Franklin s grand division was 
assigned to duty on the left flank of the army. After crossing 
the bridge, our march was directed down the south bank of the 
river for nearly two miles. Our column was in plain view of the 
rebel artillerists, posted on the hills at about the distance of one 
mile. Battery after battery opened fire upon us, as we moved 
along. Owing to the distance and their bad practice, no damage 
was inflicted. The shell whistled over us, and a panic took place 
among our colored servants, who were following the regiment. 
They were loaded down with coffee pots, frying pans and officers 
rations, and they fled hastily over the river bank, tumbling from 
top to bottom, and scattering our officers provisions. The 
brigade reached a stone house, known as Bernard s, at dark. We 
bivouacked that night in a fine grove of trees around the house. 
The night was very cold. I worked industriously with my darky 
boy, William, who had returned from under the bank, scraping 
together a great heap of leaves under a large tree for a bed. 
Colonel Lysander Cutler came limping along on his wounded 
leg, and looking wistfully at my comfortable arrangement for 
the night, requested the favor of sleeping with me. He said 
I was young and would keep him warm. The privilege was 
gladly granted. Colonel Cutler was a heroic man to be there at 

*Report General A. Doubleday, P 

ige 465, Vol 

ume 2 


ar Rec 


" Solomon Meredith, 
" Colonel L. Cutler, 

" Colonel L. Fairchild, 

Organization Burnside s Army, 

Lee s Army 

Casualties "Iron Brigade."... 


all, as he was fifty-five years old, a great sufferer from the 
effects of his wound, and much subject to sciatic rheumatism. 
On this night a private soldier whom I will call only by his 
his nick-name, "Banta," let an old sow out of her pen at 
the Bernard house, and the animal ran with a "wush" over a 
young doctor on General Wm. B. Franklin s staff, who was sleep 
ing on the ground near by. "Banta" was seized and tied to a tree, 
and released only upon the urgent intercession of Colonel Bragg. 

"Old Mat," a colored servant to the officers of company "C," 
had been bred a slave on the Bernard plantation, and when 
two of our stalwart axe-men commenced cutting down some of 
the fine old trees in front, striking alternate blows from opposite 
sides, the darky could not contain himself, his old love for his 
home and its surroundings was evidenced in this way : "Boys, 
what you doin dar! You brake dat old man s heart if you cut 
down dat tree! His grandfather planted dat tree!" 

About daylight of the i3th, the troops were formed for the 
advance upon the enemy. The battle field was covered by an 
exceedingly dense fog and nothing could be seen. The brigade 
was formed in grand column by regiments, our regiment being 
second line from the front. Thus we moved through the 
fog in four lines of battle. The artillery of the enemy was firing 
vigorously at us and the shot and shell whistled and shrieked 
around us, but, owing to the fog, none struck in our columns. 
The divisions of Generals Meade and Gibbon, belonging to 
Franklin s grand division, soon became heavily engaged. We 
heard the crash of their musketry, and braced ourselves for the 
conflict, we believed to be before us. But, after moving a 
considerable distance and no enemy having been encountered, 
the fog cleared away and we found ourselves on a great open 
plain, facing toward the Massaponax river on the extreme left 
flank of the army. We were without shelter of any kind and 
during the entire day were exposed to a fire of the rebel artillery, 
posted on a hill near Hamilton s crossing. The rebel cavalry 
under General J. B. B. Stuart, formed to charge the left flank 
of our army. Diagonal squares were formed by the regiments 
of our brigade to receive a charge of cavalry, while a heavy 
fire of artillery was directed upon us. Our squares were as 


formidable as those of Napoleon at the Pyramids. The rebel 
cavalry wisely refrained from charging upon these squares, and I 
have always felt that the "Iron Brigade" was in the right place 
at Fredericksburgh. It was the manifest purpose of General 
Lee to attack the left flank of our army with this heavy column 
of cavalry. Late in the afternoon, the enemy opened upon us 
the concentrated fire of all his artillery on Hamilton s Heights, 
forty or fifty guns. Our men lay flat upon the ground and took 
it with wonderful courage and patience. I have never known a 
more severe trial of nerve upon the battle field, than this hour 
under that infernal fire. With nothing to do but crouch close to 
the ground, our eyes were riveted upon the cannon on the hill 
firing point blank at us. They seemed endowed with life in their 
tremendous and spiteful energy. There would be a swift out 
burst of snow white smoke, out of which flashed a tongue of fire, 
and the cannon would leap backward in its recoil; then 
followed the thundering report, in the midst of which the 
missile fired at us would plow deep into the ground, scattering 
a spray of dirt and bound high over us or burst in the air, 
sending fragments with a heavy thud into the ground around us. 
L,ike fiends who stirred infernal fires, the rebel artillerymen 
could be seen working around their guns. Several times I saw 
the awful plowing of the earth in the very midst of our battle 
lines of men lying upon the ground. There was instant death 
in the track of it. We were relieved from this fire only by the 
darkness of the night, and our regiment was moved forward to 
the Bowling Green road. Hearing this movement, the enemy 
began firing upon us with canister. We could hear the sharp 
rattle of shot upon the ground. As the night was very dark, the 
firing was necessarily at random, and the danger not great, but 
the sound of the shot striking the ground was frightful. 

This night was intensely cold. We formed long lines of 
officers and men together, who would lie down on their oil cloths, 
spoon fashion to keep each other warm. We would soon get so 
cold on the side next to the ground, that we would have to turn 
over. The command, "About face," would be given, and the 
whole line of men would roll over together to lie a few moments 
on the other side. At short intervals the rebel battery would 


blaze away with its horrible shot rattling on the frozen ground. 
The shot seemed to fly about one foot above us, so that, while 
one was freezing as he lay down, he was tortured with the fear of 
being torn to pieces if he ventured to stand up or walk around. 
While the regiment was lying here on the Bowling Green road, 
General Meredith was relieved from the command of the brigade 
and Colonel Cutler again assigned to that duty.* 

Colonel Cutler moved the regiment back to its old position on 
the left, which we occupied without change until the general 
retreat of the army. The line of the brigade extended diago 
nally from the Bowling Green road to the Rappahannock and it 
constituted the extreme left flank of the army. During both day 
and night, December i4th and i5th, a sharp fire was kept up 
between our skirmishers and those of the enemy, and at intervals 
a brisk cannonade took place. At one time the enemy planted a 
Whitworth rifled cannon beyond the Massaponax in position to 
enfilade our lines of battle lying on the plain. They fired solid 
bolts down about two miles of our line. The whistle of this 
shot was shrill and peculiar. When it bounded into the air after 
striking the ground, it looked like a corn cob whirling over and 
over. One shot struck a knapsack and flung a pack of playing 
cards many feet into the air, scattering them in all directions. 
fCapt. R. A. Hardaway of the Confederate army, had charge of 
this gun. 

The twenty-fourth Michigan made a good appearance in this 
their first engagement. They were exceedingly anxious to go 
always to the front, and, resting upon our hard earned laurels, 
we were generously willing that they should do so. But there 
was little choice of place on that open plain. No soldiers ever 
faced fire more bravely, and they showed themselves of a fibre 
worthy to be woven into the woof of the "Iron Brigade." Col. 
Morrow was v equal to all requirements, enterprising, brave, and 
ambitious, he stepped at once into a circle of the best and most 
experienced regimental commanders in the Army of the Potomac. 

Lieutenant Clayton K. Rogers, of company "I," was serving 
on the staff of General Doubleday, who commanded our division. 

*See report of General Abner Doubleday, Page 465, Vol. 21, War Records. 
tVol. xxi. Pages 642 to 644, War Records. 


I give from another writer an account of Lieutenant Rogers 
ride to save the pickets on the stormy night of our retreat : 

Splendidly mounted, Lieutenant Rogers rushed down to the 
extreme left with no regard to roads but straight as a bee flies. 
The left once gained, he moderates his pace and whispers into 
the ear of each astonished officer, Order every man in your 
command to fallback steadily and silently, gradually close *up 
your ranks and move swiftly to the bridges. Whisper these 
orders into their ears man by man. So, quietly but rapidly he 
speeds down the picket line while the propitious storm howls 
with unabated fury. One by one our drenched boys are falling 
back and drawing in together. Silently as shadows the whole 
picket line steals across the plain. And now as the ranks closed 
up for rapid marching, double double quick is about the pace. 

The wild sweep of the storm sounds ever and anon terribly 
like the murmur of excited pursuit but no rebel thunder bolt 
comes darting out of the darkness. No rebel bullet strikes 
down a single man. Half an hour after the order was whispered 
into the ear of the soldiers the whole picket line is moving 
swiftly down the bank and reaches the bridge; only one bridge 
remains, for the other had been already removed, and at it s 
head stand the engineers all ready to cast off the pontoons and 
float them across the river. Another moment and the floating 
causeway trembles beneath the quiet tread of the rejoicing column 
and Lieutenant Rogers, grimly smiling, as the last files reach the 
bridge, moves over also." 

General Doubleday says in his official report : "Before daylight 
Lieutenant Rogers of the sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, acting 
aide-de-camp, drew them (the pickets) all in successfully to the 
last man. They owe their safety, in my opinion, to the judgment 
and coolness of this young officer." Lieut. Colonel Williams of 
the igth Indiana is, also, highly commended in the official reports. 
(See Reports of Doubleday and Cutler.) 

The brothers, Clayton E. and Earl M. Rogers were at this time 
Lieutenants in company "I," under Captain John A. Kellogg. 
These were three strong men, and their company had become an 
exceedingly fine body of soldiers. Many of the men of this 
company were pioneers who had gone west to subdue the wilder- 


ness known in the early history of Wisconsin as "Bad Ax" 
county. Clayton Rogers was squarely built and of a powerful 
frame. He possessed great energy and he was an indefatigable 
worker. He seemed to be absolutely fearless in battle. Karl 
Rogers was tall and slight but firmly knit. He was an especial 
favorite in the regiment, being familiarly called "Bony" from a 
fancied resemblance to Napolean Bonaparte. He had an epi 
grammatic manner of expression that gave his sayings pertinence 
and force. "Bony" Rogers was of the finest type of a gallant 
and dashing soldier, and he was a remarkably keen and quick 
witted man. 

After crossing the pontoon on the night of the i5th, our brigade 
bivouacked in the woods about two miles from the river. While 
we were here, the enemy fired upon us with their Whitworth 
rifled cannon which must have been planted three miles away. 
Colonel Bragg, Dr. John C. Hall and I were sitting at breakfast 
in a wall tent, when crash went one of these Whitworth bolts 
through the limbs of a tree directly over us. This startled us 
somewhat but we put on the appearance of paying no regard to 
it. Oh, no, we did not mind it. Another bolt came with its 
unearthly scream on the line, barely missing the ridge pole of the 
tent. We had no further appetite for breakfast in that locality, 
and we scattered without delay. 

On December i6th, 1862, Mr. Cutler in Congress at Washing 
ton noted in his memorandum book some of the results of the 
defeat: "This is a day of darkness and peril to the country. The 
great trouble is the loss of confidence in the management of the 
army. Under McClellan nothing was accomplished. Now 
Burnside fails on the first trial. McClellan s friends chuckle and 
secretly rejoice over the result. The Democrats cry peace and 
compromise, clamor for McClellan, denounce the radicals, do 
everything to embarrass the government. Judge (W. D.) Kelly 
of Pennsylvania, made a capital speech in the House to-day, in 
favor of the Proclamation, which is now being attacked by the 
Democrats, in hopes the President will not enforce it." 

The proclamation was to be in force from and after January 
ist, 1863. 



DECEMBER 25th, 1862. j 

"We are now in camp near the Potomac river, at a place called 
Belle Plaine. We have a fine view of the broad river and are 
pleasantly located. We are building substantial winter quarters, 
and hope to be permitted to remain here all winter. I have just 
returned from Washington city where I enjoyed a pleasant visit 
with Uncle William (Win. P. Cutler) and other friends there. I 
brought out to-day the canned peaches you sent me. They were 
pronounced magnificent by all of our mess at our Christmas 
dinner. (The mess referred to consisted of Dr. A. W. Preston, 
Dr. John C. Hall, Dr. A. D. Andrews, and Major R. R. Dawes. 
Upon this occasion Lieutenant Colonel E. S. Bragg was an 
honored guest.) 

This army seems to be overburdened with second rate men in 
high positions, from General Burnside down. Common place 
and whisky are too much in power for the most hopeful future. 
This winter is, indeed, the Valley Forge of the war. The Doctors 
and I have built a very substantial log-house with two rooms and 
a good floor. Dr. Andrews is ingenious in fixing up little con 
veniences and Dr. Preston likes to have things nice. Dr. Hall 
and I get the benefit of their skill. All is quiet on the Rappa- 
hannock since the battle. 

General James S. Wadsworth is now in command of our division, 
in place of Gen. Doubleday who is a gallant officer. I saw him at 
Antietam, where he commanded our division. He was remarka 
bly cool and at the very front of battle, near battery B at the 
haystacks. He was with Major Anderson at Fort Sumter. He 
urged Anderson to open fire upon the rebels to prevent their 
constructing works. But Anderson was reluctant to open fire at 
all. Doubleday sighted and fired the first gun of the war at Fort 
(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BELLE PLAINE, JANUARY loth, 1863. 

"I was agreeably astonished by an arrival. An orderly came 
to my quarters yesterday and said, Major, there is a box for you 
at brigade headquarters. I found nobody at headquarters who 
knew whence or how it came and of course nobody had any 
charges to prefer. There was a mixture of jelly and dried apples 


but I managed to save everything but a little jelly and a glass 
bottle of catsup that had been broken. The labels were smeared 
with a peculiar plaster of jelly and catsup, so that it was impossible 
for me to make out to whom I am indebted for all of the luxuries. 
I deciphered enough to learn that several of my friends con 
tributed. If they could know how good such things taste after 
a dreary routine of hard tack and ham they might appreciate the 
depth of my gratitude. We had another high old dinner at the 
Doctors quarters, as our cabin is called." 

The regiment was very comfortably quartered in this camp at 
Belle Plaine. The men had all built substantial log houses and 
provided themselves with rude but comfortable beds. By long 
association officers and then of the First Army Corps had become 
familiarly acquainted with each other. This greatly enlarged our 
social circle. A large room was constructed, the walls being of 
logs, near the camp of our regiment for public gatherings and 
merry making. Here the young officers had periodical meetings, 
and there were hilarious songs, speeches and other amusing pub 
lic performances. 


Tuesday forenoon, January 2oth, 1863, the regiment left its 
comfortable quarters near Belle Plaine and marched toward the 
Rappahannock river. Nothing worthy of note occurred until 
about four o clock in the afternoon, when it began to rain. It 
was a cold and driving storm which aided by the gale penetrated 
the clothing and cut the faces of the men as they staggered 
along. It was with the greatest difficulty that the artillery and 
wagon trains were dragged through the deep mud. As General 
Burnside floundered through the mire, a teamster whose mules 
were hopelessly stuck in the mud, respectfully raising his cap 
said: "General, the auspicious moment has arrived." (He quoted 
the expression , from the General s well-known order of march.) 
We bivouacked for that night near Stoneman s switch on the 
Acquia Creek R. R. The storm raged and howled, and the rain 
poured in torrents during the night. "Early in the morning," to 
quote another, "the troops began to wade on to glory." The 

*Volume XXI, Page 752, War Records. 


rain still poured down upon us. The column floundered on until 
about three o clock in the afternoon, advancing at the rate of one 
mile an hour. We bivouacked in lines of battle facing the 
Rappahannock, having made about five miles during the day. 
We were in the woods and not far from the river. We remained 
here during the night and all of Thursday, January, 22nd. 
Friday morning, the effort to cross the river having been aban 
doned, we started back for our old camp near Belle Plaine. The 
mud, the cold winter rain, the wild wind and smoke of camp 
fires of wet wood, had inflicted discomforts, even miseries, upon 
our men not easily described, and the ignoble "mud campaign" 
will ever hold its place in the memories of all the soldiers of the 
Army of the Potomac as firmly as the hardest fought battles. 
When we started to return, numbers of the men reported 
themselves to the Surgeons as sick, and unfit to march. There 
was but a single ambulance at command, which was soon over 
loaded. It was a hard decision for our surgeons as to who should 
ride and who march. As the column was about to move, a man 
came out of the ranks with his knapsack and accoutrements on 
and declared himself too sick to march. The Surgeon put his 
knapsack, gun, and all his load into the ambulance, but could not 
displace sick men who were already in the overloaded vehicle. 
The poor fellow succeeded in marching about half the distance 
to our camp, when he laid down in the mud in a fence corner and 
died. He had not before been even reported on the sick-list. It 
was only another form of the casualties which in a thousand 
ways destroyed human life in the war. 

When in the evening we reached our old camp at Belle Plaine, 
we found our comfortable and elaborately constructed log- 
houses occupied by the fiftj^-fifth Ohio regiment. Our men were 
angry and high words were likely to culminate in a row, when 
the matter was happily adjusted by an invitation from Colonel 
John C. Lee, commanding the Ohio regiment, to come in and . 
share the quarters with them. He said the fault was not with 
them, but with the General who had ordered them to go into our 
quarters. The greatest hilarity and good feeling prevailed 
between the two regiments after this and the men of the fifty- 
fifth, pitying our forlorn condition, gave up the best they had for 


supper. The next day the fifty-fifth was ordered away. We now 
remained settled in our winter camp at Belle Plaine. The Sur 
geons and myself resumed possession of our house. We spent 
many cheerful hours during the long winter evenings in social 
chat or deep discussion, and the days were passed in the 
monotonous routine of camp duty. 

On January 26th, W. P. Cutler noted as follows in his journal : 
"To-day it is said that Burnside has been relieved at his own 
request, and Hooker put in his place. Our Potomuc army is so 
far a failure, and seems to be demoralized by the political 
influences that have been brought to bear upon it. All is confu 
sion and doubt. The President is tripped up by his generals, 
who seem to have no heart in their work. God alone can guide 
us through this terrible time of doubt, uncertainty, treachery, 
imbecility and infidelity. Thaddeus Stevens jokingly remarked 
that he thought there was a God when he was as young as Kel 
logg of Michigan, (who said we must remember him) but he had 
given it up lately." 

The complete failure of General Burnside, in the mud cam 
paign, added to his disaster at Fredericksburgh, ended his career 
as commander of our army and ^General Joseph Hooker 
now succeeded him. General Hooker was much admired in the 
army. He was grand in his personal appearance and military 
bearing but his assignment to the command did not restore con 
fidence to the country. At this dark period of the war, grave 
apprehension existed among members of congress as to the con 
dition for service of the Army of the Potomac. It was alleged 
that it was demoralized, defective in it s discipline, and that the 
body of the soldiers was particularly hostile to the policy of 
Emancipation. It was said that the army was incensed at the 
Administration because of the removal of General McClellan, and 
that this feeling was intensified by the flat and dismal failure of 
. Burnside, the weakest army leader the war had yet developed. 
The papers of the Hon. Win. P. Cutler, now deceased, show 
that in secret caucus of members of the 37th Congress this 
supposed condition of affairs was anxiously discussed by the 

*Pages 3 to 5, Vol. xxy. Part II, War Records. 


members of the Republican, or war party. With a view of get 
ting my unbiased testimony, Mr. Cutler wrote me several letters, 
now lost, in which he made inquiry concerning these matters. 
He concealed appearance of concern on his own part. 


FEBRUARY i5th, 1863. j 

To HON. WM. P. CUTLER: "I can speak certainly only of 
the old brigade. You can depend upon it that it is not demoral 
ized. I am now and have been nearly all winter serving as a 
member of a general court martial. I see no difference between 
this winter and last winter in the character or number of offenders 
brought to trial. There is as high a tone of discipline through 
out the army as there ever was when it was under command of 
General McClellan. 

I would get a leave of absence for a few days and go home, 
but under General Hooker s orders, so long as either of the other 
field officers are away, I cannot get one. Since Col. Cutler has 
been wounded, there is little likelihood of our having three offi 
cers here or of my getting away." 


FEBRUARY loth, 1863. 

"It is easier for you to say get a furlough than it is for me 
to get a leave of absence. I think however, as you say, that I 
have earned that privilege, if any one has. I spent nine months 
of last year without a single night out of camp. I am not yet a 
Lieutenant Colonel. The Senate has not confirmed the nomina 
tion of Colonel Cutler, which is necessary to make him a Briga 
dier General. From all I can learn they will do so and I expect 
soon to be promoted. 

There is talk of organizing the old regiments into battalions 
of lour hundred men each. In that event, I would have com 
mand of one. I enclose to you to keep carefully a fragment of 
our Wisconsin State color. This flag has become much tattered 
and some of the old rags that were trimmed off I have saved. It 
was this flag that I carried to the battery at the battle of 


An expedition under command of Col. lyucius Fairchild and 
consisting of 236 men of the 2nd and 250 men of the 6th Wis 
consin regiments left Belle Plaine, February i2th, 1863, and 
embarked upon the steamer Alice Price. The steamer proceeded 
down the Potomac river. The day was fine and a sail upon the 
broad and beautiful river was much enjoyed by our men, to whom 
it was a novelty. The troops were in light marching order and 
carried six days rations. Howard J. Huntington, in a letter 
published in the Baraboo, Wisconsin, Republic says : "Just at 
dusk, we were halted by a U. S. gunboat, guarding the Potomac, 
from whom friend or foe must obtain permission ere they can 
pass." On Friday morning we turned into Cone river, a small 
inlet in Northumberland county, Virginia. Here the officers of 
the steamer caused the lead to be cast for sounding. It was 
evidently the first time many of our men had ever witnessed 
this performance and they appear to have been much impressed 
by it. When the steamer landed, Colonel Fairchild marched to 
Heathville, several miles in the interior, collecting mules, horses, 
bacon and forage of all descriptions. 

He left me with about two hundred men in command at the 
steamboat. A foraging party under command of Major John 
Mansfield of the second Wisconsin, discovered a large amount of 
bacon stored upon the premises of one Dr. Smith. I rode to the 
plantation and found a fine establishment, and convincing evi 
dence from the extraordinary amount of stores accumulated that 
there was smuggling from Maryland. Major Mansfield had very 
properly seized Dr. Smithf as a prisoner of war. He was dili 
gently transferring the bacon to the steamer. As I rode by a 
row of negro quarters, an old negro slave with his hat under his 
arm, his voice tremulous with fear and excitement, said: "Massa, 
is you the big ossifer?" I asked him what he wanted. He said : 
"We heard you uns would make us colored people free. The 
people want to go with you. Some says we can go and some 

*Report Col. L. Fairchild, Vol. xxv, Part I, Page 16, War Records. 

Letter Gen. Joseph Hooker, " " " II, " 88, " 

tMy notes say Jacob Smith. Colonel Fairchild s report has it James 


says we can t go." I told him that they could go if they chose, 
and rode off, while the old man profoundly blessed the "good 
God" who had sent us there. When I got back to the steamer, 
I found the prisoner, Dr. Smith, an intelligent and gentlemanly 
man and I had a pleasant conversation with him. Hearing a 
commotion we went to the outer guard of the boat where a strange 
scene met our eyes. There were men, women and children, 
about seventy slaves, gathered upon the beach. They were of 
every age and size from the old patriarch who had interviewed 
the "big ossifer," to babes at the breast. They had their worldly all 
with them. I gave Dr. Smith to understand that his slaves were 
free under our flag, and could go on the boat if they chose, and 
that he should not interfere with their decision. 

In the evening the troops returned from Heath ville and, Colonel 
Fairchild out-ranking me, all questions were taken out of my 
hands. Forty-three horses and mules had been captured by 
Colonel Fairchild. A part of the horses and mules (28) were 
mounted by men and sent over-land under command of Lieutenant 
D. B. Daily of the second Wisconsin. In regard to the seventy 
slaves, I quote from Howard J. Huntington s contemporary ac 
count of what took place on Saturday morning : "At this stage of 
the proceedings, something unusually interesting took place. 
Dr. Smith had been allowed to go to his house for some purpose, 
previous to his departure for Washington, and we were a little 
surprised to see the guard returning with him accompanied by a 
young lady." This lady* was a remarkably handsome and mani 
festly superior woman. Her husband was said to be a colonel in 
the army of General Lee. Huntington continues : "It was the 
Doctor s sister. She had come to make a plea for her own and 
her brother s property. They made straightway for the cabin 
where they found Colonel Fairchild, and immediately the court 
opened. The appeal was strong and skillful, but the Colonel was 
equal to the emergency and kept in view the fact that he was 
acting for the government that sent him. She seemed to under 
stand that we were going to take her slaves, whether they wished 
to go or not, but the Colonel assured her that he did not ask 

*I made no contemporary record of this lady s name. In 1870, my 
recollection was "Mrs. Brockenbrough." 


them to leave and that if she could induce them to remain, she 
might do so." The lady went among the slaves with tears in her 
eyes and implored them by every recollection and attachment of 
a life-time, and by the sacred memories of their dead, not to go 
away, and she painted in high colors the miseries that would be 
inflicted upon them when they became "free niggers" up north. 

The slaves regarded her with affection and the highest respect > 
and they were deeply moved. But there were friends of freedom 
and fair play among the men who carried muskets. They warned 
the negroes that before our steamer was out of sight the chains 
would be on them, and they would be driven south. They told 
them that their liberty was here, to take it. I remember the 
squeaking tenor voice of private Edwin C. Jones, -of company 
"E," asking, "Shall these babes be slaves ? Almighty God forbid 
it ! " The negroes all went on the boat. The lady s maid hung 
weeping upon her, but she went with her people to be free. To 
quote Huntington again : "The young lady was escorted home 
safely by the guard, and after burning some boats which had 
been used for smuggling, we started for home, where we arrived 
Sunday evening." As the steamer passed up the Potomac, the 
officers gathered in the cabin and there was a sharp discussion of 
the policy of emancipation. Some officers expressed themselves 
opposed to it, while Dr. John C. Hall, in his strong and eloquent 
support of the proclamation, was quite able to cope with them in 
the discussion. An interested listener to this debate was our 
prisoner, Dr. Smith. The impression it made upon him was 
surprising to Dr. Hall and myself. A few books had been taken 
from his premises which were gathered up and returned to him. 
Calling Dr. Hall and myself to the outer guard of the steamer, 
he presented each of us with a book. My own present was a 
small copy of Shakespeare. He said it was a token of respect 
for the "manly position" we had taken in the argument. He 
condemned in strong terms the views of the officers opposed to 
us in the discussion and said if they really believed what they 
argued, he looked upon them as "murderers without cause of his 
people, and robbers of his property." 

Sunday night, in a pouring rain, the regiment disembarked and 
marched back to our camp. The mud was very deep, and in the 


pitchy darkness, the men plunged and staggered through it with 
great difficulty and serious loss of temper. Suddenly some wag 
sung out with the peculiar intonation of the lead heaver: "Four 
fathom." Instantly from some other part of the column came 
out in drawling intonation, "Four and a half." Then another 
shouted: "Quarter less twain," but when the squeaking voice of 
orator Jones sang out "No bottom," the regiment raised a univer 
sal shout, and waded into camp without further complaint. 

(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BELLE PLAINE, FEB Y 24th, 1863. 

To W. P. Cutler: "The conscription law passed by the Senate 
gives great satisfaction to all patriots in the army. It is a move 
in the right direction to fill up the old regiments. The prime 
fault of our military system has been to continue to send new 
organizations into the field, raw and green, while the old regi 
ments, trained and tried, and their officers made fit by experience 
to lead, are allowed to dwindle down to nothing. I think the 
country has no cause to distrust the Army of the Potomac. I 
have conversed with many officers, and all express themselves 
hopefully and respectfully of our Commander. For myself, I 
see much that is encouraging in the long continuance of the 
war. The more I come in contact with Southern ideas and 
institutions, the more firmly I become convinced that there can 
be no understanding between us so long as a vestige of their 
accursed institution of slavery remains. I expect no peace until 
its destruction is accomplished. Two years of bloody and 
unsuccessful war have brought our people to a point that they 
could have reached in no other way. They are willing to give 
us the men and the money, the power, and I say, do not let us 
stop short of our destiny, the entire destruction oi slavery." 


A Visit to OhioA Public .Address Promoted General James 3. 
Wadsworth Preparations for the Campaign- General Lysan- 
der Cutler Col. Bragg s Letter with our old Flag Reviewed 
Iby the President General ^Joseph ffoolzer flow to get Ready 
for a Battle Campaign Twenty-fourth Michigan Makes a Raid 
Campaign Opens I Entrust Dr. A. W. Preston, with Letters to 
>e Mailed Only if J am Killed jPitz Ffugh s Crossing Experien 
ces at Chancellorsville Dismal Retreat Dr. Preston Mails my 
Letters Resulting Troubles and Excitements My Mother Re 
fuses to Talfe my own Word that I am Killed. 

On March roth, 1863, I started for a visit to Ohio. I had a 
leave of absence for fifteen days. It was a needed and delight 
ful relaxation from the exacting duties of the military service, 
and it was my fate to transact business of great importance, as 
will soon appear. While at Marietta, I received an invitation 
from prominent citizens to deliver a public address.* 

I quote from the published report of this address, such extracts as 
give the contemporary opinions and observations of a soldier in the 
Army of the Potomac, upon subjects of importance in its history. 

MARIETTA, OHIO, March 16th, 1863. 

MAJOR RUFUS R. DAWES. Dear Sir: "The undersigned, believing it would 
he gratifying to many of our citizens to hear from you in regard to the war, 
and the state of the country, would respectfully invite you to address the 
public of Marietta, at the Court House at such time as you may designate. 

R. E. Harte, 
Thos. W. Ewart, 

E. W. Evans, 

F. A. Wheeler, 
Chas. R. Rhodes, 
Wm. S. Ward, 
Thos. Wickes, 

S. P. Hildreth and others." 

Editorial from the Marietta, Ohio, Register. 

"Lieutenant Colonel Dawes was on a visit to his home in this city. He 
accepted an invitation by many citizens, and addressed the people on the 
evening of March 19th, at the Court House, which was crowded with an 
audience of ladies and gentlemen The address gave the highest satisfac 
tion and was listened to with almost breathless interest. It was delivered 
in a forcible and eloquent manner. At the close, the audience voted hear 
tily to request a copy for publication." 

" Is tht Army of the Potomac demoralized? 

I have belonged to the Army of the Potomac during almost 
the whole of its existence, and I have no hesitation in saying, 
that in point of discipline arid general efficiency, the standard is 
higher this winter than ever before. I think the men are in 
better spirits. There are several reasons for this opinion. They 
are now old soldiers, inured to the toils, hardships and dangers 
of the service, and skillful in making the best and most of the 
comforts with which they are provided. The paymasters have 
been around this winter and arrearage s have been paid up. 
Nothing is more disheartening and demoralizing to the soldier 
than to feel that his family is suffering at home for want of his 
small and richly earned wages. The men are better provided 
this winter with good and healthful rations, than at any time 
before in the history of our army. Fresh bread, onions, potatoes, 
and fresh beef are regularly furnished in addition to the old 
stipend of hard tack and side meat. An encouraging system of 
furloughs, as a reward of soldierly conduct, has been instituted. 
You can hardly realize with what satisfaction the soldiers hailed 
general order number three,* on the subject of furloughs. In 
short, the soldiers feel that their personal comfort and happiness, 
so far as attainable in the . army, is being looked after and they 
feel encouraged. Breaches of discipline and soldierly conduct 
have been more surely punished this winter than usual. Orders 
have been enforced against political discussions, and disrespect 
ful and treasonable language towards the government or superior 
officers. Copperhead newspapers no longer monopolize the 
circulation among the soldiers, and, by the prompt dismissal of 
disaffected and disloyal officers, the army is being purged of the 
damnable heresy, that a man can be a friend to the government, 
and yet throw every clog in the way of the administration and 
the prosecution of the war. No, the Army of the Potomac is 
not demoralized nor has it ever been. 

How does the army like General Hooker? 

The army likes General Hooker. They like him because he 
is fighting Joe Hooker. They like him because of the onions 

*Page 11, Volume XXV, Part II, War Records. 


and potatoes he has furnished them, and they like him because he is 
the commander of the Army of the Potomac, and they expect 
him to lead them to victory. Victory is what we want no 
matter whether Hooker, Burnside or McClellan leads us. The 
bones of our comrades and dear friends are bleaching all over 
the battle grounds of the east. We have marched and we have 
countermarched, toiled and suffered, without realizing the hopes 
and expectations of the country. Now we want, and we expect, 
under fighting Joe, such a triumph as will place us right upon 
the records of history, and the glory and blessings of which will 
repay us for the disasters and sufferings of the past. The fight 
ing of an army depends more upon the courage and good faith 
of subordinate commanders than seems to be understood through 
out the country. From such, or many other causes, General 
Hooker may fail, but, we feel that his heart is in the work, that 
he is a fighting man and we have great hope. 

How does the army like the Emancipation Proclamation? 
If there remains any one in the army, who does not like the 
Proclamation, he is careful to keep quiet about it. We are 
hailed everywhere by the negroes as their deliverers. They all 
know that Massa lyinkum has set them free, and I never saw 
one not disposed to take advantage of the fact. The negroes 
will run away if they get a chance, whenever they are assured of 
their freedom, and that the Proclamation places it beyond the 
power of any military commander, however disposed, to prevent. 
Slavery is the chief source of wealth in the South, and the basis 
of their aristocracy, and my observation is that a blow at slavery 
hurts more than battalion volleys. It strikes at the vitals. It is 
foolish to talk about embittering the rebels any more than they 
are already embittered. We like the Proclamation because it 
hurts the rebels. We like the Proclamation because it lets the 
world know what the real issue is. We like the Proclamation 
because it gives a test of loyalty. As Governor Andrew Johnson, 
of Tennessee, says : If you want to find a traitor North, shake 
the Emancipation Proclamation or the writ of habeas corpus at 
him and he will dodge. We like the Emancipation Proclamation 
because it is right, and because it is the edict of our Commander 
in Chief, the President of the United States. 


How does the army like the conscription law? 
They like the conscription law or any other law that promises 
to fill the shattered ranks of their battalions. As soldiers 
anxious for military glory, we want our army strengthened, so 
that we may achieve military success. As patriots, we desire 
such a force put in the field this summer as may conquer a peace. 
The old regiments, reduced by battle and disease to mere 
skeletons, are looking anxiously for recruits. Each has its own 
record, its own battles inscribed upon its banners, and each 
wishes to retain its own identity, which it can only do by being 
filled up. 

We hail the act with joy, because it indicates a determination 
on the part of the Government to meet the crisis. We feel 
encouraged and feel hopeful. Our soldiers need encouragement 
as well as reinforcement. They want to feel that they are 
sustained and sympathized with by their friends at home. 
Nothing, in my opinion, has been more demoralizing to the Army 
of the Potomac, than letters from home to soldiers, advising them 
to get out of it, if they can, that they have done their share, 
and that the war is to be hopelessly protracted. If you wish 
success, write encouraging letters to your soldiers. Tell them 
that they are engaged in a good and glorious cause, cheer them 
on as enthusiastically as you did when they entered the service 
as volunteers. Tell them that victory will be sure to crown their 
faithful efforts. Do not fill the ears of your soldiers with tales of 
troubles and privations at home, caused by their absence. Worse 
troubles would come to you should rebel arms prevail. Many a 
poor fellow is brought before the severe tribunal of a court 
martial, whose greatest crime is listening to and obeying the 
suggestions of father or mother at home. We like the conscrip 
tion law because it brings matters to a focus. If it can be 
enforced, we shall bring an army into the field that must sweep 
all before it. If it can not be enforced, the future is very 

What does the army think of the Copperheads? 
They think that any citizen of the North, who by word, deed, 
or influenee, throws a clog in the way of an earnest and vigorous 
prosecution of the war, so long as there is a rebel in arms, gives 


aid and comfort to the enemies of his country and deserves their 
fate. The army is unanimous in this opinion. The chief hope 
of traitors South, now is in the co-operation of traitors, North. 
The war is now being prosecuted on correct principles, and for a 
great purpose, the re-establishment of republican government 
throughout the land on the basis of free institutions, and the 
eternal overthrow of a inonied aristocracy based on slavery. The 
consummation of so grand an enterprise will be a step forward in 
the history of the world. The world is moving forward, and 
carrying us with it. We can not resist the progress of events. 
However prejudices of Copperheads may be galled at the policy 
of the government or the conduct of the war, all of them of 
sound judgment are realizing that they have but one salvation, 
to stand by the government in its peril. Our enemy is too strong, 
too earnest, too much determined to rule or ruin, to admit of any 
compromise or half way ground. 

The traitors at home who clog the government in its righteous 
struggle, will go down to history with infamy. If the voice from 
the army helps to open their eyes to this fact, I beg to add my 
voice again. We want to fight this war until we conquer a peace 
on terms that will be honorable, and a peace that can be lasting. 
The traitor who aids and comforts the enemy by standing in the 
way of this, has our heartiest contempt as a coward, who dares 
not maintain his true principles by an honorable appeal to arms. 

Do not expect overwhelming victories of us. The rebel army 
in our front is too skillful in maneuvering, too expert in retiring, 
too strong in bayonets, to be gobbled up or bagged. 

Your Army of the Potomac will go out this spring, purged of 
disloyalty, the men stronger in health, and better in spirits than 
ever before. Remember that the same men are there who 
charged again and again the deadly rifle pits at Fredericksburgh, 
who swept over the crest at South Mountain, and who struggled 
on the bloody fields of Antietam. The army is more anxious for 
victory than you can be, and rest assured that when it is again 
called to battle it will do its duty." 

(Letter.) WASHINGTON, D. C., MARCH 2ist, 1863. 

"I got through safely to this point in twenty-four hours. I 
have just met Frank Haskell who comes directly from Madison, 


Wisconsin. He says my commission as Lieutenant Colonel has 

been issued." 

(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BEU,K PLAINE, MARCH 25th, 1863. 

"I am safe and sound in camp. There are great preparations 
everywhere in the army for hard campaigning, and doubtless it 
will be attended by hard fighting. We are to use two pack 
mules to a regiment, and we are to carry ten days rations. Field 
officers are required to furnish their own transportation. General 
Hooker is putting his army in a thorough state of preparation. 
General Lysander Cutler has been assigned to the command of 
the second brigade, first division, first army corps. He will be a 
near neighbor. Captain John A. Kellogg will act as Adjutant 
General on his staff. The Governor has commissioned Bragg, 
Colonel; myself, Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain John F. 
Hauser, Major. The regiment is in fine trim this spring. Indeed, 
all I said in my speech about the army is strictly true. My visit 
home was pleasant indeed and I shall go into the new campaign 
with courage and hope, renewed by the sympathy and encourage 
ment I received at Marietta. I am glad to be on record in that 
speech. I don t want stock in anything better than that kind of 
doctrine just now. I have just got back from a visit of compli 
ment to General James S. Wadsworth, our division commander, 
by the officers of our regiment. Our officers went in a body 
with the brigade brass band." 

General Wadsworth was a strong character, and his command 
of our division left a deep impression upon its history. The 
amount of army supplies handled at the Belle Plaine Banding 
was enormous, and the roads to that point became terrible. In 
vain were they corduroyed with pine logs, the sharp-hoofed 
mules would go down in the mud and mire. General Wadsworth 
got oxen and he kept them "stall fed" near his own headquarters. 
It was a rare treat to our men to see the old General take a gad 
and "whisper to the calves." He took great interest in the oxen 
and was often seen at the landing giving instructions in driving 
them. He was an intensely practical commander, indefatigable 
as a worker, and looking closely after details. No commander 
could do more for the personal comfort of his men. 

"All leaves of absence are now cut off. Dr. Andrews is in 


great trouble. He was too late to get his leave of absence and 
has to go into the campaign without the privilege of the long- 
hoped for visit to his little family. He feels it very deeply. 
War is in many respects brutalizing, but the fortitude and moral 
courage to bear up cheerfully and manfully under its discipline 
is ennobling. Some men, it makes, and more, it ruins. 

There is some prospect that I may command the regiment in 
the coming battles. General Wadsworth talks of calling on 
Colonel Bragg to assist him on his staff. He has great confidence 
in Bragg s coolness, courage, and experience in battle." 
(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BELLE PLAINE, APRIL 4th, 1863. 

"The indications here of immediate movement are not so 
strong as they were a few days ago. We can only tell by the 
straws which way the wind is blowing. Leaves of absence and 
furloughs are again being granted to a limited extent, and officers 
wives are again permitted in camp, from which they had been 

General Cutler is doing finely with his new command. Our 
regiment turns out four hundred men in ranks for duty, and they 
look fat, healthy, and contented. Everything with us is 
amicable and friendly. No back-biting nor underplotting. Our 
two-year old regiment has never yet had an officer court 

A correspondent in the army at this time wrote the following 
pleasant and very correct description of General Lysander Cutler : 

"Commanding the second brigade of this division is General 
Lysander Cutler, a native of Massachusetts, formerly Colonel of 
the sixth Wisconsin volunteers, since promoted for skill and 
bravery in the field. Last evening, in company with my friend, 
Colonel Livingston, I rode over to take tea with the General. He 
is an elderly gentleman, spare of frame, with silvery hair, a beard 
nearly white, and beneath heavy eyebrows of an iron-gray color, 
are keen, penetrating dark eyes. His step is somewhat uneven, 
owing to a severe wound received at Gainesville. From behind a 
somewhat grave and severe aspect, shines out a kindly, even 
genial manner that wins you at once." 

The old blue color of the State of Wisconsin was now re 
turned to the Governor to be exchanged for a new flag which had 


been provided. That Colonel Bragg was as skillful with the pen 
as with the sword, may be evidenced by his beautiful and appro 
priate letter which accompanied our old flag : 

His Excellency the Governor of Wisconsin : 

SIR On behalf of the regiment I have the honor to command, 
I return to the State of Wisconsin the regimental color presented 
this regiment in the summer of 1861. 

We part with it reluctantly, but its condition renders it un 
serviceable for field service. When we received it, its folds, like 
our ranks, were ample and full ; still emblematical of our condi 
tion, we return it, tattered and torn in the shock of battle. Many 
who have defended it, "sleep the sleep that knows no waking ;" 
they have met a soldier s death ; may they live in their country s 

The regiment, boasting not of deeds done, or to be done, sends 
this voiceless witness to be deposited in the archives of our State. 

History will tell how Wisconsin honor has been vindicated by 
her soldiery, and what lessons in Northern courage they have 
given Southern chivalry. 

If the past gives any earnest of the future, the "Iron Brigade" 
will not be forgotten when Wisconsin makes up her jewels. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Colonel commanding sixth regiment Wisconsin Volunteers. 
(Letter.) CAMP NEAR BELLE PLAINE, APRIL 8th, 1863. 

*"Our corps is to be reviewed to-morrow by the President and 
his wife. I was invited by General Meredith 011 the, day of the 
cavalry review to go with him to call on the President and Mrs. 

*Present at this review, by President Lincoln, was a correspondent of the 
Cincinnati Gazette, who wrote to his paper as follows : 

When the fourth brigade of the first division of the corps, the Iron 
Brigade as it is sometimes called, marched up, there was a universal mani 
festation of admiration and applause. 

The proud, elastic, but firm military tread, the exact and uniform move 
ment, as if every company and every regiment were moved by one 
impulse and inspirited by one soul, demonstrated that these men had the 
spirit of the true soldier. This, remarked General Hooker to the Presi 
dent, is the famous fourth brigade. Yes, rejoined the President, it is 


Lincoln, but I did not go. Colonel Bragg and Dr. Hall went, 
and their caustic comments are highly amusing. General Joseph 
Hooker is actually the finest looking man in the Army of the 

In our Spring election, the regiment gave one hundred and 
eighty-four Republican majority and the three Wisconsin regi 
ments something over six hundred." 

The Apollo like presence of General Hooker, his self-confident, 
even vain glorious manner, his haughty criticism of others and 
his sublime courage at the battle front have combined to make 
impressions upon the public judgment that obscure his most valu 
able traits of character and his best qualities as a commander. 
Poetry has placed his glory above the clouds of Lookout Moun 
tain. But history is more likely to dwell upon the fact that he 
received the Army of the Potomac, rent by internal jealousies, 
discontented, discouraged and humiliated under the stigma of 
defeat. With indefatigable zeal he addressed himself to the task 
of its re-organization and, if I may so expresss it, re-inspiration. 
It was for Hooker to arouse the drooping spirits of the grand 
army and he accomplished the task. He had the true Napoleonic 
idea of the power of an "Esprit de Corps." It was he who first 
devised the beautiful, and to the soldiers inspiring system of 
corps badges. Forever the trefoil of the second corps, the 
crosses of the fifth and sixth corps, the arrow, the cartridge box 
with forty rounds, and the other corps badges of the war, will be 
the almost worshipped symbols of a glorious service. 

(Letter To a new correspondent.) CAMP NEAR BEU.E PLAINE, ) 

APRIL i3th, 1863. j 

"We are busy getting ready for the grand movement, which 
must begin soon. We may start to-morrow or next day. Let 

commanded by the only Quaker General I have in the army. (General 
Meredith being by birth and early education, a Quaker.") 
Captain Jatnes Stewart of battery "B," has written of this review : 
"After I had passed in review, riding Tartar, I was sent for, to allow the 
President to look at the horse s wound. As soon as Mr. Lincoln saw T it, he 
said to the general officers about him: This reminds me of a tale ! which 
he proceeded to relate to their great amusement. But his little son, Tad, 
mounted on a pony, followed me and insisted on trading horses. I told 
him I could not do" that, but he persisted in telling me that his papa was 
the President, and Would give me any horse I wanted in trade for Tartar. 
I had a hard time in getting away from the little fellow." 


me tell you how we get ready for a campaign. First ten days 
.rations must be provided for our regimental headquarters mess. 
So the darkies are posted off to the commissary s to buy two 
hams, twenty-five pounds of hard tack, one dollar s worth of 
coffee, and fifty cents worth of tea; to the sutlers for a can of 
prepared milk and five pounds of soda crackers, and rations are 
provided, except, that we load down the darkies when we start, with 
soft bread. This truck is loaded upon our transportation, which 
is a mule with an irresistible tendency to lie down when he gets 
tired of marching. Next we procure a wedge tent and four or 
five blankets, then an oil cloth and an extra pair of boots for 
each, then two skillfully packed bundles of woolen shirts, and 
finally a bag of corn. All of this, when we march, adorns the 
back of our transportation mule. The valises are neatly packed 
up to be left in the wagon. Papers are arranged, wills made, 
pistols cleaned, tourniquets* carefully stored away in a safe 
pocket, debts paid up, and the mess is ready to march. If in 
addition to this, you have to get the regiment ready, your work 
is not done. First your ten days rations for the men must be 
looked after. (General Hooker s marching orders required ten 
days rations to be carried on the persons of the men.) Next, 
your supply of ammunition, and the condition of the arms, next is 
your supply of food and clothing, and finally, your weak squad 
must be weeded out and sent off. Your officers must be remind 
ed of their duties, and the existing orders regulating a march 
refreshed in their minds. Your knapsacks must be thoroughly 
inspected and all superfluous articles, such as bibles and playing 
cards, must be thrown away. 

Our regiment goes out in fine condition this spring, as does 
the whole army. We are not so strong in bayonets, but our four 
hundred men know how to fight. Orders have been issued from 
the War Department for the consolidation of regiments. We are 
yet too large to come within the order. But, by its terms, the 
Colonel would be mustered out and I would be left in command. 
To command the old sixth with her glorious record, w r .ould fully 
satisfy the full measure of my own military ambition. 

*An instrument to stop the flow of blood. 


rebels were on higher ground and in rifle pits and their fire was 
more destructive to us than ours could be to them. The twenty- 
fourth Michigan and fourteenth Brooklyn were also sent to the 
river bank. But the three regiments were soon moved back into 
a ravine. It now seemed that the Rappahannock must be red 
dened with our blood if the crossing was to be forced. The river 
was about two hundred yards wide and very deep and the banks 
were high and steep. Pontoon boats enough to carry about four 
hundred men were lying in the water at a landing place called 
Fitz Hugh s crossing or Pollock s Mill, with one end caught upon 
the shore and oars to row the boats were lying in the bottom of 
them. Of course, they were directly under the enemy s fire. 
About nine o clock, the sixth Wisconsin and twenty-fourth 
Michigan regiments were ordered to cross the river in these boats 
and attack the rifle pits. I confess that a shrinking from the 
proffered glory came over us. To be shot like sheep in a huddle 
and drowned in the Rappahannock appeared to be the certain 
fate of all if we failed and of some if we succeeded. The 
regiment was ordered into line at once to prepare for the rush. 
Knapsacks were unslung and piled upon the ground. We se 
lected men from each company who were to row the boats and 
instructed them in their duty. Colonel Bragg briefly and plainly 
stated to the regiment what was expected of them and the plan 
for the execution of the movement. The plan was simple and 
fully comprehended by the men. A line of troops was to be 
moved forward to the edge of the river bank who would fire over 
our heads at the enemy while we crossed the river in the boats. 
Batteries of artillery were planted on the hills back of the plain, 
which would also fire upon the enemy.* These dispositions were 
soon made and we moved out upon the plain. We had to pass 
over an open field and down a sloping bank to reach the boats, 

^Official Reports of Fitz Hugh s Crossing may be found in Vol. XXV, 
Part I, War Records : 

Major General JohD F. Reynolds, Pages 253 and 256. 

Brigadier General J. S. Wadsworth, Page 262. 

Colonel E. S. Bragg, Page 271. 

Colonel W. W. Robinson, Page 273. 

Brigadier General Solomon Meredith 267. 

Losses in the sixth Wisconsin regiment at Fitz Hugh s Crossing were 3 
killed, 13 wounded ; 90 prisoners were captured. 


and during this time, we received the fire of the enemy. When 
our battle line appeared, the rebels turned their fire upon us. 
Now for it, boys. By the right of companies to the front. Run, 
march, came in sharp, jerky emphasis from Colonel Bragg. The 
evolution was performed like clock-work, and the companies 
moved for the boats at the top of their speed. 

The men plunged into the boats and threw themselves upon 
the bottom of them as they had been instructed. Here was our 
only mistake ; the men were on the oars. "Whiz" came the 
bullets. To halt or flinch in the deadly storm was disgrace if not 
death. Nervous and quick orders were given something like 
this : "Heave off your boats! Up with the oars!" Here fifteen 
of our men were shot. Once clear of the shore, the oars-men 
worked like heroes and our regiments along the river bank and 
the batteries opened fire upon the rebels. When we got across 
the river, we jumped into the mud and water, waist deep, waded 
ashore, crawled and scrambled up the bank, laying hold of the 
bushes. Very few shots were fired before the rebels were throw 
ing down their arms or running over the plain. Our men were 
greatly excited, but we gathered them together and moved in 
line of battle to a brick house." 
(Journal.) SATURDAY, MAY 2nd, 1863. 

"The enemy shelled us for two hours this morning. Nobody 
hurt in our regiment. The division was safely withdrawn from 
the south side of the river. The rebels did not interfere with 
the movement. We marched rapidly up the river. The sun 
was intensely hot. We camped in the woods at ten P. M." 

About five P. M. of this memorable day, General Stonewall 
Jackson swept down upon and stampeded the eleventh corps of 
our army. Dr. A. W. Preston of our regiment was on hospital 
duty in that part of the field. At some time during the panic, 
he says, he gave the letter I had entrusted to him to a mail 
carrier. Two days afterward, he discovered his mistake, and 
greatly chagrined, having forgotten if he ever knew, to whom the 
letter was addressed, he wrote to my sister, Miss Lucy Dawes, 
assuring her that I was alive and well. 
(Journal.) SUNDAY, MAY 3rd, 1863. 

"Marched to the battle field of Chancellorsville at two o clock in 


the morning. Crossed the river at Banks Ford and took position 
on the battle field in the second line. The musketry fire in the 
woods near our left, was for an hour to-day, as heavy and inces 
sant as I ever heard. Impossible to know how things are going. 
It seems certain that the battle is indecisive. Many rumors are 
flying around, the gravest one that Hooker is wounded and 
Couch in command of the army. Our corps is in the second 
line, supporting the fifth corps, which is in rifle pits. Not a sin 
gle shot or shell has come dangerously near us to-day." 
(Journal.) MONDAY, MAY 4th, 1863. 

"Hot firing on the picket line in the night. An attack by the 
enemy expected, and men forbidden to take off their blankets." 

This seems to have been a cruel and unnecessary order. The 
blankets were in a roll over the shoulder and it is difficult to 
imagine what harm could come from the use of them. Colonel 
Bragg and I did not use our own blankets because of this order, 
feeling that we ought to share the hardships with the men. No 
fires were allowed. Colonel Bragg and I lay down together on 
the same oil cloth. I remember distinctly that Bragg wore his 
spurs, and that he kicked in his sleep. 

(Journal.) "Ordered under arms at ten o clock this forenoon. 
Twenty-fourth Michigan has just moved to the right, and our 
regiment is to support them in case of a fight. At halt past eleven 
nothing has come of it. Just got permission to get dinner. 
Boys are all cooking coffee. Drizzling rain at intervals this 
afternoon. At five P. M. there was a very sharp fight at the 
same place on our left. At this writing, six P. M., there is a 
heavy cannonading in the direction of Fredericksburgh. (Gener 
al Sedgwick s battle at Salem Church.) Ten P. M., heavy volleys 
of musketry on our left and quite a sharp ftisilade on our right. 
Constant alarms until midnight. The last report is that the 
rebels were the attacking party last evening at five o clock and 
that they were driven back with a loss of six hundred men. 
Slept a troubled, dreamy sleep." 
(Journal.) TUESDAY, MAY 5th, 1863. 

"Foggy this morning. At this writing, eight A. M., scattering 
musketry fire, a mile away to our left. This developed into a 
heavy fight of about twenty minutes duration. The sun will be 


very hot to-day. Heavy whisky rations being dealt out to the 
men. Reports say, the rebels charging our works come out to a 
certain point unmolested, and then set up a fiendish yell and rush 
forward upon our rifle pits, as yet, only to be driven back by the 
musketry of our men, and the canister of the batteries. The 
slaughter must be terrible. Rumor says this morning, that 
General Sedgwick has been driven from the heights of Freder- 
icksburgh. There was heavy fighting somewhere down there all 
night. Whisky enough was sent here to make the whole 
regiment dead drunk. 

Eleven o clock A. M. Orders are: Be ready to move at once 
to the right. It is said that we are to lead in an attack. It is 
always so. Guess our time has come. False alarm. Some mis 
take by one of the nine-months Colonels on the right. I^ie down 
again and try to kill time. Very hot. Orders to be under arms 
at sunset. Very heavy thunder storm at five P. M. Miserable 
situation, Colonel Bragg and I and *Huntington, all crouched 
under one oil cloth in the driving rain. At dark, rumor has 
come of a general retreat. Mules are packed and sent to the 
rear. The rain continues pouring down, and our condition that 
of unmitigated discomfort. Picket firing the entire night." 
(Journal.) WEDNESDAY, MAY 6th, 1863. 

"About three o clock this morning the infantry began to move 
for the rear. Our brigadef moved the last of our corps at 3:30 
A. M. Mud very deep and a drizzling rain. At five A. M., we 
reached the pontoon bridge at United States Ford. Forty 
thousand men are not yet over. Our division formed in line of 
battle to protect the passage of the troops. Crossed at eight A. 
M., unmolested. Soaking rain and chilly. One hundred thou 
sand miserable and discouraged men are wading through this 
terrible mud and rain. We cannot understand it in any other 
way than as a great disaster. Feel sick and dispirited myself. 
We trudged along slowly through mud and rain until two P. M. 
Camped in a pine jungle. Pitched wedge tent. Found our 
blankets wet and I am sick." 

*Lieutenant Howard J. Huntington was Acting Adjutant. 
tThe "Iron Brigade" was often selected as the rear guard, upon the re 
treats of our army. 


(Journal.) THURSDAY, MAY yth, 1863. 

"Marched to-day. Camped near White Oak Church. Sick all 
day. Threatened with fever." 
(Journal.) FRIDAY, MAY 8th, 1863. 

"In camp to-day. Too sick to write a journal." 

Here it will be necessary, for a proper appreciation of our real 
experience in the war, to follow the letters mailed by Dr. Preston. 
They went directly to their destination. 

Miss Mary B. Gates, Marietta, Ohio, was the address upon 
them. This lady had completed her education at Ipswich Semi 
nary, in Massachusetts, and I had met her at her home in 
Marietta. Differences of opinion upon the merits of General 
McClellan and indeed upon all other subjects had been happily 
reconciled. She was twenty years of age, and of her charming 
qualities of mind and person it is not for my partial pen to write. 
She had received two letters from myself since the campaign had 
opened and she was anxious for further information from the 
front. On the early morning of May sixth, she hastened to the 
Post Office. She found a letter. No suspicion of harm to me 
was aroused, however, as the letter was plainly directed in my 
own hand. The first sentences she read can be given here : 

"We are advancing upon the enemy. I doubt not that we 
must have a bloody battle. I leave this package where I have 
perfect confidence it will be sent to you in case I am killed, and 
only in that event." 

The scenes that ensued are not the business of the public, and 
will not be described. My mother, who with her two sons had 
been much under fire, said she would "take Rufus word for any 
thing but the fact that he was killed." This was consoling, but 
still not until four days afterward was there a relief from painful 
apprehension, when my sister received the following epistle from 
the army: 



MAY 4th, 1863. 

My dear Madam: Your brother, Lieutenant Colonel Dawes 
of the sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, is alive and well. 

Why I send you this letter is, the Colonel left with me a letter 


addressed to you, to be sent you in case he should fall in the then 
coming engagement, and although he came out safe, and is now 
in good health, yet I have either lost the letter with some other 
papers or sent it to you by accident when mailing other letters 
for the North. In great haste. I am very respectfully your 
obedient servant, 

A. W. PRESTON, Surgeon-in-Chief, Fourth Brigade. 


Camp Near White Oalf Church Regimental CourtExpedition 
Down the Northern Neclf -Captain Charley Ford A War-Horse 
Prefers Death,^to Duty as a Paclf Mule In Command of a Post 
"The Patrol has Caught the Colonel" General Lee .Assumes 
an Offensive Attitude Major Nauser Picket Duty on the Rap- 
pahannoclf Colonel Bragg Siclf Fooled by the Balloon Lying 

. in WaitBd Brooks Pours Water in Sam s ear Flow to Execute 
a Deserter Camp Routine "We March Northward "Under a 
Scorching Sun, and Through Suffocating Clouds of Dust" At 
Cent reville Bivouac on Broad Run At South Mountain Gen 
eral Meade s Appointment a Surprise On to Gettysburg An 
Unfinished Letter The Battle as Reported to M. B. G.How the 
new Recruit Stands Fire. 


MAY 1 8th, 1863. j 

"The two years and nine months troops are by reason of the 
expiration of their enlistment, leaving us every day. Our army 
is being materially weakened, and so far as I know, is getting 
small reinforcement. We have had several alarms of an advance 
by the enemy, but I apprehend nothing of the kind. He is too 
discreet. I shall not be surprised if matters on the Rappahan- 
nock remain for a time l in statu quo? 

The reason General Hooker recrossed the river was because 
he was outgeneraled and defeated, a humiliating confession, I 
own, but I believe true. 

I have taken up my work again. I have tried twenty-three 
cases and made a finding and record in each this forenoon. Is 
not that summary justice? This is business which accumulated 
while I was sick. I fined one incorrigible little scamp for 
paddling across the Rappahannock on a slab and trading cofiee 
to the rebel pickets for whisky, with which he made half of our 
men on picket drunk. 

The weather is fine and we are beautifully located in a grove 
near the White Oak Church. The church is mythical, but it is a 
pleasant name to mark a pleasant locality. Drilling, parading, 
reviewing and court martialing go on again as usual before the 



MAY 2ist, 1863. j 

"We are under orders to march at daylight with three days 
rations and without knapsacks. It is now three o clock A. M. 
*Colonel Henry A. Morrow, of the twenty-fourth Michigan, com 
mands the expedition. The equipment of the troops indicates a 
reconnoitering affair of some kind." 

This expedition was composed of one thousand two hundred 
men, (igth Indiana, 2nd and 6th Wisconsin) and it was ordered 
to march down the Northern Neck to the relief of our cavalry, 
and for a general reconnoisance. The weather was hot, and as I 
had not fully recovered from my sickness, I was scarcely able to 
endure the march. Colonel Morrow stationed me in command of one 
hundred and sixty men at a cross roads near King George Court 
House, while the main body marched on down the Neck. The 
object in stationing this force w r as to guard the line of retreat. 
I constructed an earth work at the cross roads and remained in 
position until the return of the troops, five days afterward. 

My situation in the enemy s country made it necessary to keep 
my small force constantly in hand. The chicken-hungry boys 
were in a land replete with pigs and poultry. I established a 
guard around my post, and still the men slipped out. Captain 
Hart, of the nineteenth Indiana, had borrowed my horse and 
ridden off, probably to buy a chicken. Finally, exasperated at 
the depletion of my force, I sent out a patrol with strict orders 
to arrest every man or officer found. Soon I heard a shout: "The 
patrol has caught the Colonel!" And, there was my well known 
old mare coming in, with Captain Hart mounted on her, under 
the bayonets of the patrol-guard. Of course, the Captain had a 
pass, but my brash order to the patrol was considered to have 
countermanded it. 

Captain Charles H. Ford, recently promoted to the command 
of company "H," is highly commended by Colonel Morrow, for 
quickly putting up a bridge on this expedition. Charley Ford 
was over six feet tall, and his soldierly bearing was very fine. He 
was acting aide on the staff of General Wadsworth. General 

*See Volume XXV, Part I, Page 1112, War Records, for complete and 
interesting report of Colonel Henry A. Morrow. 


Wads worth would have none but efficient men around him. It 
is patent that he considered the sixth Wisconsin a good place to 
find such men. Two of our officers (Captain Ford and L,ieu- 
tenant C. E. Rogers) were on his staff. 

A serious loss befell our regimental headquarters mess on this 
expedition. Colonel Bragg s fiery and untamed white war-horse 
which he rode at Gainesville, had become afflicted with a hoof 
disease which was prevalent in the army. The horse had been 
reduced to the menial service of a pack mule. On his back was 
our complete and elaborate equipment of cooking utensils, table 
ware and provisions. When crossing a bridge, whether from 
fright, or a desire to commit suicide by drowning, or to get rid of 
the degrading burdens on his back, the horse deliberately jumped 
into the deep water beneath and sank at once below the surface. 
After an astonishingly long interval he reappeared, blowing water 
like a whale, but every vestige of our property was at the bottom 
of the stream. 

(L,etter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR WHITE OAK CHURCH, ) 

MAY 27th, 1863. j 

"Our corps received marching orders to-day, but we are not off 
yet, and as it is evening, I presume we shall not go. It is prob 
able that the occasion of these orders was apprehension of an 
attack by the enemy. Our army is being daily weakened by 
troops going home. 

Under such circumstances, I do not look for offensive opera 
tions by this army unless the enemy withdraws heavily to the 
assistance of Vicksburg. Indeed, an attack by the enemy upon 
this army is not wholly improbable. Our news from Vicksburg 
is cheering to-night, but our people are so sanguine and the 
habit of counting chickens before they are hatched is so firmly 
established, that we can not tell how much of it to believe. The 
paymaster has come to-day, making our boys happy. If we are 
going to march, under our orders, I do not want my pay. I^ast 
December, during the battle of Fredericksburgh, I had to leave 
a large sum of money with one of our surgeons. 

Our Major, John F. Hauser, is a character. He is a German, 
a soldier by profession, forty-five years of age and with a com 
manding figure. He has a voice like a trumpet. Over twenty 


years ago he was at Thun, in Switzerland, at a military school. 
Louis Napoleon was there, and the Major says he knew him well. 
To use the Major s own language : I spree mit him many time. 
He says he served as lieutenant on the staff of General Garibaldi. 
He seems to have entertained a high respect, almost reverence 
for Garibaldi." 


MAY 3oth, 1863. j 

"I am going this morning for two days duty as field officer of 
the day, in command of our division picket. All here now think 
that General Lee is going to attack this army. If the rebels are 
to lose Vicksburg, I do not see why it is not possible that he 
should make a desperate push here to neutralize the great disaster 
west. Well, this most unfortunate Army of the Potomac is yet a 
power, and when thrown upon its defense can not be defeated by 
the whole force of the rebellion. I am not sure that an offensive 
campaign by the enemy, is not to be hoped for by the country. 
Perhaps the Johnnies will come to my picket line. I have eight 
hundred men, and can begin a pretty good battle. I will try to 
bother them some before they get their pontoons down. 

We had a review of the first army corps yesterday. It is 
running down in numbers. We have great rumors about our 
destiny this summer. Some say we are going to Baltimore to 
relieve the eighth army corps, so long on duty in that vicinity. 
That would be grand. But my opinion is, that the veterans of 
the old first army corps, renowned on so many bloody fields for 
unflinching valor, like the old guard of Napoleon, will be con 
sidered as too good lookers on to be spared from the battle front." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) MAY 3ist, 1863. 

"I have been on picket for two days and for a wonder had good 
weather throughout my tour. This is a laborious duty. An 
officer is held oppressively responsible for the vigilance and good 
conduct of his pickets. He is required to visit his line four 
times a day and once at night to inspect it. This involves thirty- 
two miles ride. I found one poor fellow asleep on duty. What 
do you think his punishment would be if brought to trial by his 
Colonel? Shot to death with musketry. I voted that sentence 
four times last winter when serving on general court martial, but 


thanks to our kind-hearted Father Abraham, none were executed, 
for which I feel very thankful. 

Our picket line runs along the edge of the bank of the Rappa- 
hannock river. The rebels on the opposite bank are about two 
hundred yards away. There is no hostility and the men sit 
dozing and staring at each other, and when there are no officers 
about, they exchange papers and communicate with each other in 
as friendly a manner as if there was no cause for enmity. Riding 
along this bank with the red sash over my shoulder, the insignia 
of the officer of the day, the rebel pickets would sometimes aim 
their guns at me just to see how nicely they could pop me over. 
Not enjoying this harmless sport, it generally occurred to me, 
when I saw a fellow aiming at me, that I had urgent business some 
where else, and I would immediately gallop away to attend to it. 

Colonel Bragg is very sick. The Major s ugly little horse 
kicked him a few days ago on the foot, which is also now a 
serious affair. He is trying to stay here in his tent, but he will 
probably be obliged to go to the hospital. 

Our brigade is now designated as the first brigade, first 
division, first army corps ; and the sixth Wisconsin is the first 
battalion. This makes us by designation, the first regiment in 
the volunteer army of the United States. As a brigade, we are 
one of the oldest in the army, and deserve the title. There is 
great dearth of news. All is very quiet on the Rappahannock. 
I shall be in command of the regiment until the Colonel gets 
well, which may not be very soon." 

(L,etter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR WHITE OAK CHURCH, ) 

JUNE 4th, 1863. j 

"The whole corps has orders to march at daylight. This is 
something unexpected. The only guess I can give is that the 
enemy is trying to cross the river to move on our right flank. 
I have plenty of work to get my family ready to move. Reveille 
is sounding all through the corps. 

The artillery bugles sound beautifully in the morning air. 
May be in a day or two we will hear the familiar roar of the big 
guns. Of course I will write again upon the very first opportu 
nity. But remember I am a poor soldier campaigning, and make 
due allowance for short and unsatisfactory letters." 


(Letter to M. B. G.) JUNK 5th, 1863. 

"We were sold again. After turning out at midnight and 
packing our traps, and preparing for a battle which somebody 
seemed to think impending, our orders were countermanded. So 
we have rebuilt our canvas cities and settled down again. The 
fact is, somebody is very much exercised lest the terrible Lee 
may do something dangerous. Three times now of late this 
army has been turned out of house and home to lie sweltering in 
the sun, only to have its marching orders countermanded. The 
boys have long ago learned to take such things philosophically. 
They tear down and build up cheerfully with the shrewd obser 
vation, that it is only Johnny Reb fooling the balloon again. 
If we are to be all summer at the mercy of the balloon, I fear 
you will get no other letters than those written on the eve of an 
active campaign. Colonel Bragg is still quite ill. The command 
of the regiment devolves upon me. He cannot participate in 
our next campaign. He is wholly unfit for duty in the field. 

Later Our army is most of it on the march. The rebel army 
moved last night which explains it." 

The whole of the rebel army had not moved. The corps com 
manded by General A. P. Hill still remained at Fredericksburgh. 
(Letter.) FRIDAY EVENING, 10 P. M. 

"We march at daylight and it is the general belief that we will 
cross the Rappahannock and attack the enemy here. I shall 
command the regiment." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) JUNE 6th, 1863. 

"Both armies are moving. Something important is impending. 
The Sixth corps has crossed the river and occupied the plain 
below Fredericksburgh, and every few moments comes the boom 
of their cannon. This, however, may be a feint to hold the enemy 
here. All of the enemy s tents over the river have disappeared. 
We are now lying in line of battle supporting the sixth corps 
which is on the other side of the river. I think it likely, how 
ever, that we may yet take the double quick in the direction of 
Bull Run. There is considerable cannonading over the river but 
no serious engagement." 

This excessive readiness inflicted great discomfort upon the 
troops. The men would lie hour after hour on the ground in the 


hot sun with everything packed for marching. As we lay thus, 
Sam, an extraordinarily homely looking darky of broad African 
type, who worked for Colonel Bragg, fell sound asleep in the 
dust of the road under the hot sun. Ed. Brooks, our Adjutant, 
who loved practical jokes, took his canteen and poured water 
into the large cavity of Sam s ear. Sam was aroused indeed. 
He rose up, shook his head like an angry lion, and seized a 
soldier s musket from the gun stacks. Only Brooks agility saved 
him from being thrust through by a bayonet. It was with diffi 
culty and a dollar that Sam was appeased. No water was after 
ward poured in his ear. 

Extracts from a daily journal kept by Dr. John C. Hall : 
THURSDAY, JUNE 4th, 1863, 8 A. M. 

"We are sitting like Marius among the ruins, not of a splendid 
city but of our encampments, and we have been since daylight. 
Our tents are taken down and packed, our blankets are rolled, 
our valises filled, breakfast eaten, mules and darkies loaded, and 
we are ready to march. But we lack orders to fall in and 
march. The sun looks red and hot. * * * 12 M., were 
ordered to re-pitch our tents " 

FRIDAY, JUNE 5TH, 1863. 

* * * We were ordered to be packed up ready to march 
at 5^ in the morning." 

SATURDAY, JUNE 6th, 1863, io)4 A. M. 

"Played the same game we did two days ago. Nearly all night 
spent in getting ready to march at daylight, but here we still re 
main in that disagreeable state of uncertainty that a soldier so 
often experiences. Orders have just come to pitch tents if desir 
able but we may expect to move at any time. * >!< In the army 
we don t know anything but what we see. We rely on guessing. 
I will make a guess : Johnny Reb has fooled fighting Joe. Has 
Johnny hid ? Has he evacuated ? Where is he ? Joe can t say 
and the balloon is nonplused and in disgrace." 

General Hooker s reconnoitering balloon could be constantly 
seen in the air, and it was a subject of much humorous specula 



SUNDAY EVENING, JUNE yth, 1863. j 

"We are again in camp to-night after -roasting in line of battle 
for two days in the hot sun. Our movements are mysterious. 
There are three brigades of the sixth corps on the plateau below 
Fredericksburgh and they have been there for two days skirmish 
ing with the enemy. But they do not advance an inch beyond 
the old line of demarkation, the Bowling Green Road. The rebel 
army is manifestly preparing for some movement. General 
Hooker, not feeling strong enough to attack them seems to be 
trying to keep them here by shaking his fist at them. If he be 
comes satisfied that they have withdrawn heavily to reinforce 
their armies elsewhere, he may attack them, but the inevitable 
apron string will draw us back to old Bull Run if the enemy ap 
pears on our right flank. Let them go to Maryland. A small force 
can hold the entrenchments in front of Washington while the 
Army of the Potomac, threatening their communications, would 
bring them to battle or cause them to retreat with the same 
certainty that gravitation brings down a building with the under 
pinning knocked out. Let the rebel army go into Maryland, the 
farther the better, and if we can not defeat them with that ad 
vantage, we can never crush the rebellion. They cannot in my 
judgment go too far into Pennsylvania with the army of the Po 
tomac between them and their base. The rich Pennsylvania 
Dutchmen can well be allowed to suffer - for one year a loss of 
their cattle, hogs and crops to get the rebel army of Virginia, 
the right arm of the rebellion, in such a trap. When I had 
finished that sentence, my candle fell down and rolled over this 
sheet of paper which accounts for its wretchedly bad appearance 
and for my failure to complete the crushing of the rebellion. 
Colonel Bragg has gone to Washington. His foot is very sore 
and bad. He may go to Wisconsin before returning, and I ain 
likely to be in command of the regiment for some time." 


JUNE ioth, 1863. j 

"It is a continued series of alarms, orders and counter-orders 
here. Both armies are maneuvering and threatening. Our troops 
on the south side of the river are securely entrenched and can 


not be driven back without a bloody struggle. The rebels, how 
ever, show no serious disposition to attack them. Meanwhile we 
are in camp, parading and drilling again as usual. I think we 
have the cleanest and healthiest regiment in the first army corps. 
There are only two men sick, and they are marked for light duty. 

I have just had* to leave my writing to attend to an unpleasant 
duty. This was the order I received : You will detail from your 
regiment two lieutenants and twenty wholly reliable men, to 
report at once to the Provost Marshal of the first division, to 
execute the sentence of death, etc. The victim s name is John 
P. Woods of the nineteenth Indiana regiment. His crime was, 
desertion and misbehavior in presence of the enemy. He will 
be shot next Friday. The men, I assure you, dislike to be 
called upon for such duty. The miserable man is seated upon 
his coffin a few rods in front of a platoon of men. All fire at 
the dropping of a white handkerchief, each, in mercy, aiming at 
a vital part and each hoping that his is the blank cartridge with 
which one musket is charged. Lieutenant Clayton B. Rogers, 
who is the Provost Marshal of General Wadsworth s division, 
feels very badly that he is obliged to perform this duty. 

I must brag a little about our regiment. We have the 
healthiest regiment in the corps. We have a harmonious, quiet 
and satisfied set of officers. There is no intriguing, courtmar- 
tialing or backbiting, which is common in the army. The arms, 
accoutrements and clothing are kept in excellent condition. Let 
me tell you the routine of camp-life. Reveille is the first thing 
in the morning for the soldier. When it is sounded, the compa 
nies are formed in their streets and the roll is called, one 
commissioned officer to be in attendance. In one hour, comes 
the breakfast call. Next, the police call, when it is required that 
the whole camp shall be swept as clean as a floor. Next comes 
guard mounting at 8:30 A. M. A critical inspection is made by 
the adjutant of the men of the guard details, and slovenliness 
and carelessness is punished. Then comes a company inspection 
by the captains, and especial attention is paid to the personal 
cleanliness of the men, which accounts for the exceptional good 
health of our regiment. Next, I conduct a battalion drill which 
is over at ten A. M. I enjoy this drill, as our regiment is not to 


be surpassed, and I feel very proud of their splendid movements. 
We rest then during the heat of the day until four P. M., when 
Major Hauser conducts a theoretical drill of the officers of the 
line. At half-past five, I hold dress parade, and at half-past six, 
the captains conduct a company drill. At seven o clock, the 
Retreat is sounded and guard dismissed. At nine P. M., Tattoo 
is sounded and the evening roll-call is made, and at ten P. M., 
Taps are beaten, all lights are put out and the day is done. The 
most orderly, quiet, systematic community in the world is a well 
ordered regiment in camp. The rebels fired briskly quite a 
while last night on our troops who are over the river, but shot 
very wild. One or two of their shells exploded in our camp." 

The next letter, written at one o clock on the morning of June 
1 2th, 1863, inaugurates our march which culminated in the battle 
of Gettysburg. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) "We are to march this morning positively. 
I think the whole army is going, for the order is from General 
Hooker. If so, it will be your second time under fire, searching 
those dreadful lists. You are mustered into the service now and 
must endure your trials and hardships as a soldier, and I doubt 
not they will be harder to bear than mine, for you see, you are a 
raw recruit. Whether we march in advance or retreat, against 
the rifle pits beyond the river or toward the plains of Manassas, 
I will write at every opportunity. The regiment will go out 
strong in health and cheerful in spirit, and determined always to 
sustain its glorious history. It has been my ardent ambition to 
lead it through one campaign, and now the indications are that 
my opportunity has come. If I do anything glorious I shall 
expect you to be proud of me." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) BIVOUAC NEAR CENTREVIU<E, VA., \ 

JUNE i sth, 1863. j 

"Here we are again on our annual visit to Bull Run. I think, 
however, we shall miss our annual drubbing. We broke camp 
at daylight Friday morning, (the twelfth.) We marched that 
day about twenty miles under a scorching sun and through 
suffocating clouds of dust. You can hardly imagine what our 
poor loaded soldiers suffer on such marches. We camped Friday 
night at Deep Run. We marched at daylight Saturday and 


camped for the night near Bealton station. We marched Sunday 
morning and all day Sunday and all night, and until the middle 
of the afternoon to-day, when we reached this point, tired, sore, 
sleepy, hungry, dusty and dirty as pigs. I have had no wink of 
sleep for two nights. Our army is in a great hurry for something. 
I hope we can be allowed to stay here to-morrow, to recruit our 
energies. The indications now are that we will. Indeed our 
poor worn out fellows must have some rest. We have had no 
mail and no papers since leaving camp. I must go to sleep. 
My darky boy, William, has got my oil cloth fixed for a shade, 
and I am going to wrap up in my blanket and lie down on the 
ground with my haversack for a pillow, and I will have a sounder, 
sweeter, more refreshing sleep, than if I was in the softest bed. 
When 3^ou pity my deplorable condition, remember my noble 
boys who have had ten times the toil and have come through 
without a murmur." 

On this hot march our pack mule laid himself down, in spite of 
William s efforts to the contrary, in the water of Deep Run, 
seriously damaging the rations of our regimental headquarters 

(Ivetter to M. B. G.) BIVOUAC NEAR L/EESBURG, VA., ) 

JUNE i8th, 1863. } 
"fWe are still toiling along on our weary way with only such 

*This story, from the humorous pen of Loyd G. Harris, evidently refers 
to the circumstance. The mess, however, consisted of Major Hauser, Ad 
jutant Brooks, Lieutenant Colonel Dawes, and the three surgeons. 

Willyum was a quiet colored boy who waited on our Colonel and Lieu 
tenant Colonel. 

Once on a long march we had halted for the night. The camp fires were 
blazing in full glory, and the air was thick with appetizing smells from the 
coffee-pots and frying-pans. Willyum and the pack mule that carried the 
baggage and mess utensils for the field officers were both missing. Our 
gallant Colonel and the quiet Lieutenant Colonel, were getting decidedly 
hungry, when Willyum came in. 

Where is the pack mule? the Colonel asked. 

Why, sah, just as we war coming by de big pond, bout a half a mile 
back, I thought I d gib him a drink, an de ole fool just laid down wid de 
whole pack in de water, an I reckon I will want bout ten men to git him 

The mule and pack were rescued in a damaged condition, but the field 
officers had a late meal that night." 

Lieutenant Harris commanded company "C" during the Gettysburg 
campaign, Captain Thomas W. Plummer having been wounded at Fitz 
Hugh s Crossing. 

tVolume XXVII, Part I, Page 140, War Records. 


halts or rests as are absolutely essential to renew the strength of 
man and beast. We are hurrying to the rescue of Pennsylvania 
and Maryland as I never knew the Army of the Potomac to 
hurry before. And yet I suspect that we are anathematized for 
our slow motions. Where is the Army of the Potomac? is, I 
presume, the indignant exclamation of many good people in the 
land to-day. Our march yesterday was terribly severe. The sun 
was like a furnace, and the dust thick ancF suffocating. Many a 
poor fellow marched his last day yesterday. Several men fell 
dead on the road. Our boys have all come through so far, 
accepting the hardships as a matter of course, and remaining 
cheerful and obedient. I assure you I feel proud of them" 

Upon this march General James S. Wadsworth showed great 
solicitude for the suffering men. There was an ambulance loaded 
with the valises of the officers serving on his staff. These 
valises the old General ordered thrown out, and the ambulance 
filled with the knapsacks and muskets of the exhausted soldiers.. 
But the papers of the division headquarters were in these valises 
and all were diligently sought and gathered up during the night. 
It was said that the General threw out his own valise. 

"One of my greatest hardships is to get no mail. Sometimes 
a little package of headquarters letters are brought through. 
Suppose you put First Brigade, First Division, First Army Corps 
on your letters. I got a letter from my sister which was directed 
in that way. We got the newspapers to-day. Our brigade 
newsboy got them through in some way. The head-lines say : 
Rebels in Pennsylvania 1 Another battle at Antietam on the tapis 
I hope not. I never want to fight there again. The flower of 
our regiment were slaughtered in that terrible corn-field. I 
dread the thought of the place. If there is a battle, watch the 
papers to see if General John F. Reynolds and General James S. 
Wadsworth figure in it. By them you can trace me. (As it 
proved, the first flash of the telegraph from Gettysburg was, that 
General John F. Reynolds had been killed while leading a charge 
of the "Iron Brigade," and that Wadsworth s division had opened 
the great battle, suffering severely in the fight.) Colonel Wm. 
W. Robin&m of the seventh Wisconsin, has temporary command 
of the brigade. It is said that General Meredith will be Military 


Governor of Indiana. I write under continual marching orders, 
and a perpetual pressure of business. An ordnance report, 
clothing report, picket detail and other duties, stop my writing." 

FROM LEESBURG, VA., JUNE iQth, 1863. j 
"I have pitched my tent to-night in a splendid grove of grand 
old oaks on the banks of Broad Run. Nothing could be more 
pleasant or romantic than our situation to-night, but the boom of 
hostile cannon toward *Aldie Gap takes away something from 
the romance. Our march to-day was short and well conducted, 
and our men are washing themselves in the pure waters of Broad 
Run and so are feeling fresh and more cheerful. It is eight days 
to-night since we have had a regular mail, and we do not expect 
any soon. It rains through my tent on the paper which causes 
the spots. It is very dark, too, to-night, and we came near 
having to march, as orders came to that effect, and ambulances 
were sent for the sick. The impression was, when we camped 
this evening, that we would remain here a day or two and I had 
my camp systematically arranged with reference to regularity 
and cleanliness." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) BIVOUAC NEAR BROAD RUN, | 

LOUDON Co., VA., JUNE 2ist, 1863. j 

"Our long watched for mail, caught us last night. The cannon 
are sounding in the direction of Leesburg and there is quite a 
battlef being fought there this Sabbath morning. Our men 
seem to have driven the rebels, and the firing seems to have 
receded. Have had a very busy forenoon. Ordnance to 
inspect, camp to be put in condition, candidates for the invalid 
corps to be examined, and I got twelve letters in the. mail. You 
see that we are in camp again. I suppose we are waiting for the 
favorable opportunity to fall upon Lee and destroy him. Lee, 
meanwhile, ravages Pennsylvania at his leisure, but there is one 
thing, Washington is safe. 

I have a letter from Kph, (my brother). He says: Of course 
I have heard all about your troubles, or rather the tribulation of 

* Volume XXVII, Part I, Page 53, War Records. 
tVolume XXVII, Part I, Page 53, War Records. 


the folks at home through Doctor What s-his-name s mistake. 
Being relieved by a telegraphic dispatch from any apprehension 
for your safety, I could not help looking at the ludicrous side of 
the question and it was decidedly funny. To tell you the truth, I 
had an idea that you had something of a liking for the young 
lady, and thought the matter would some day come to a crisis. 
Our regiment numbers in the aggregate 595, of whom 535 are 
present for duty. The absentees are mostly detached. We 
have no sick men and have had but one man die of disease with 
the regiment in six months, though we have marched several 
hundred miles. The week s marching in the dust and heat has 
been hard on the men. One of our men in company T has become 
a lunatic from the effect of the heat. The newspapers say there 
were a thousand cases of sunstroke in our army. I stand the sun 
very well, but it has made me brown as sole leather. We are no 
holiday soldiers. I sent my boy, Billy, all over the country to-day 
to find something to eat. Nothing was forthcoming but a little 
wet flour and our biscuits w 7 ere very soggy, but it was a relief from 
hard tack. Did you ever eat a hard tack? Get one and eat it if 
you can for my sake. There are reports of a chicken of rebel pro 
clivities, and Billy has laid a campaign to capture it. So I hope 
for better things to-morrow. My boy, Billy, is a good provider, 
but this desert is too much for him. Hard tack, ham, fresh beef 
and coffee without milk is the ceaseless round of our bill of fare." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CAMP ON BROAD RUN, 

JUNE 24th, 1863. 

"General Hooker show 7 s no disposition to press the enemy so 
long as he confines his attention to the Pennsylvania Dutchmen 
and leaves Washington alone. The prospect is very dark with 
us just now. But if we open the Mississippi, and I think we 
will, and can thwart General Lee in this effort to carry the war, 
as the rebels say, into Africa, we will have accomplished for 
this summer, perhaps, all we have any right to expect. Our 
cause is just and we will get success as soon as we deserve it. 
As an Ohio man, I shall feel deeply humiliated if Vallandigham 
is elected the next Governor. 

I had a chance to do a good thing this morning and it gave me 
pleasure. One of our men of company C, a fat cheeked, sleepy 


boy, was sent to me under guard by the field officer of the day of 
Wadsworth s division, to be dealt with for sleeping on his picket 
post, for which the penalty is death when in the presence of the 
enemy. The poor fellow, who, like Joe in Pickw 7 ick, slept 
because of a big supper on rebel chicken, was sadly frightened. 
That demon, official duty, required that I should prefer charges 
and send him to a general court martial for trial. But with a 
sharp lecture and warning, I released him from arrest and sent 
him to his company. His demonstration of gratitude was quite 
affecting. He will remember the Lieutenant Colonel command 
ing the Sixth, as long as he lives. ( His life, poor fellow, was 
short. He fell dead eight days afterward in the charge on the 
railroad cutting at Gettysburg.) 

Our living has improved much within a day or two. We now 
get butter, eggs, milk, mutton, and indeed almost everything but 
fruit. I do not expect to taste a strawberry this year. When in 
camp we generally live comfortably enough. It is on the march 
that we have to suffer. Our provisions and a wedge-tent, we 
carry on a pack mule. Everything else I carry on my horse. I 
have a good horse. She knows the orders on battalion drill 
almost as well as the men do, She will follow the column on a 
night march no matter how dark. This is important, as to lose 
the road in the night is fatal to a Colonel. He leads astray all 
troops behind him." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) BIVOUAC NEAR MIDDLKTON, MD., j 

JUNE 2yth, 1863. ) 

"We are once more at the old South Mountain battle ground. 
We left our camp near Guilford station on Broad Run, early on 
the morning of the twenty-fifth. We marched all night and 
crossed the Potomac at Edwards Ferry. We proceeded via 
Poolsville and encamped for the night near Barnesville. We 
marched next morning at daylight, and through deep mud and a 
drizzling rain all day, and encamped near Jefferson, in the valley 
of Middleton. This morning we started early and reached this 
point at two o clock P. M. Our marches, except to-day, have 
been long and toilsome. What do you think of trudging along 
all day in a soaking rain, getting as w r et as a drowned rat, taking 
supper on hard tack and salt pork, and then wrapping up in a 



wet woolen blanket and lying down for a sleep, but waked up 
during the night three or four times to receive and attend to 
orders and finally turning out at three o clock in the morning to 
get the regiment ready to march ? Well that is soldiering, and 
it is a great deal more comfortable soldiering, than to march 
through suffocating clouds of dust under a hot sun. In the dust, 
men are dogged and silent. In the rain they are often even 
hilarious and jolly. 

The campaign has now been fairly inaugurated on Northern 
soil. General Meredith and I rode together this evening over 
our battle ground on South Mountain. The grass has grown 
green over the graves of our brave boys, who lie buried there. 
The inscriptions on the head boards are already scarcely legible 
and with their destruction seems to go the last poor chance that 
the sacrifice these men have made for their country shall be 
recognized and commemorated." 

We did not then suspect that all would be gathered up by our 
Government and buried in beautiful National cemeteries, to be 
forever cared for, and their memories held in perpetual honor. 

"General Meredith pointed out to me the grave of a private 
soldier of the nineteenth Indiana regiment, who had been a pro 
fessor in a western college, and a man of marked scholarship and 
refinement. What could be more unselfish and noble than the 
sacrifice this man has made for his country." 


"We left South Mountain in great haste on the 28th, and 
marched to Frederick city through a drizzling rain as usual. 
Next day we moved from Frederick to Kmmitsburg, Md., and 
to-day we came here, where we are having a muster for pay. I 
don t think I ever before saw at this time of the year such a long 
continued, misty, drizzling storm as we have been marching 
through since we crossed the Potomac. ^General Meade as 
commander of the army was a surprise." 

Meade lacked the martial bearing and presence of Hooker. 
Few of our men knew him by sight. He was sometimes seen 
riding by the marching columns of troops at a fast trot, his hat 

* Volume *XX VII, Part I, Page 61, War Records. 


brirn turned down and a poncho over his shoulders. The only 
sign of rank was a gold cord on his hat. At the muster for pay, 
I read to the regiment, General Meade s address to the troops. 

"We have marched through some beautiful country. It is 
refreshing to get out of the barren desert of Virginia into this 
land of thrift and plenty. Our reception in Maryland was hardly 
so enthusiastic as last summer, but in Pennsylvania, everybody, 
great and small, is overjoyed at the coming of our banners." 

Our regiment had the advance and first crossed the Pennsyl 
vania line. 

"The rebel stealing parties are running away ahead of us and 
I presume the whole rebel army is concentrating to give us battle." 

As we marched through Kmmitsburg, the advance of the army, 
some students in the Catholic college welcomed us with great 
enthusiasm and several of them marched along with us beyond 
the town, giving the above information. They were much in 
terested in watching the movements of our advance guard and 
flankers, the feelers of the army. They wanted to see us "flush 
the enemy." 

"I am kept full of business on such hurried marches, scarcely 
from morning to night getting a moment I can call my own." 

The unfinished letter was here placed in my pocket to await 
a convenient opportunity to complete it, and the next entry upon 
the sheet is as follows : "July ist A. M. Orders have just come, 
pack up, be ready to march immediately. I will finish this 
letter the first chance I get." 

I put the unfinished letter again in my pocket and rode on at 
the head of my regiment to Gettysburg. The letter is finished 
in a nervous scrawl written with a pencil. 

JULY 2nd, 1863, 8 A. M. j 

God has preserved me unharmed through another desperate 
bloody battle. Regiment lost *one hundred and sixty men 
killed and wounded. I ordered a charge and we captured a 
regiment. fMajor Stone, commanding the second Mississippi, 

* Actual loss one hundred and sixty eight. 

tThis, as will be seen was an error. It was Major John A. Blair. J. M. 
Stone was the Colonel, but he had been shot and disabled. 


surrendered his sword and regiment to me. There are no com 
munications now with the North, but sometime I hope you will 
get this." 


JULY 4th, 1863, 12 M. j 

"I am entirely safe through the first three of these terrible 
days of this bloody struggle. The fighting has been the most 
desperate I ever saw. On July ist, our corps was thrown in 
front, unsupported and almost annihilated. My regiment was 
detached from the brigade and we charged upon and captured 
the second Mississippi rebel regiment. Their battle flag is now 
at General Meade s headquarters, inscribed as follows : Captured 
by the sixth Wisconsin, together with the entire regiment, kept 
by Sergeant Evans for two days, while a prisoner in the hands of 
the enemy. 

This battle flag with its inscription is in the Ordnance Museum 
of the War Department at Washington, D. C. Its official num 
ber is forty-eight. 

"The Sixth has lost so far one hundred and sixty men. Since 
the first day we have lost only six. O, Mary, it is sad to look 
now at our shattered band of devoted men. Only four field 
officers* in the brigade have escaped and I am one of them. I 
have no opportunity to say more now or to write to any one else. 
Tell mother I am safe. There is no chance to telegraph. God 
has been kind to me and I think he will yet spare me." 

JULY 4th, 6 P. M. j 

f " What a solemn birthday. My little band, now only two hun 
dred men, have all been out burying the bloody corpses of friend 
and foe. No fighting to-day. Both armies need rest from the ex- 

*The field officers of the brigade fared thus in the battle : Second Wis 
consin, Colonel L. Fairchild, lost an arm ; Lieutenant Colonel G. H. Ste 
vens, killed ; Major John Mansfield, severely wounded. Seventh Wiscon 
sin, Lieutenant Colonel John B. Callis, shot through the body ; Major 
Mark Finnicuin, wounded. Nineteenth Indiana, Lieutenant Colonel W. W. 
Dudley, lost a leg while acting as color bearer ; Major Lindley wounded. 
Twenty-fourth Michigan, Colonel H. A. Morrow, wounded; Lieutenant 
Colonel Flannagin, lost a leg ; Major Wright, wounded. The four who 
escaped injury were Colonel W. W. Robinson, seventh Wisconsin Col. 
S. Williams, Nineteenth Indiana, and Major Hauser and myself. 

tl was twenty-five years old on this day. 


haustion of the desperate struggle. My boys until just now have 
had nothing to eat since yesterday morning. No regiment in this 
army or in any other army in the world ever did better service than 
ours. We were detached from the brigade early on the first day 
and we operated as an independent command. I saved my men 
all I could and we suffered terribly to be sure, but less than any 
other regiment in the brigade. We captured a regiment. I 
don t know as we will get our just credit before the country, but 
we have it with our Generals." 

I went in person taking the captured battle flag to General 
Meade, at headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. The 
object of this visit was to obtain, if possible, permission to send 
the battle flag to the Governor of Wisconsin to be retained at 
the capitol of Wisconsin as a trophy. In this effort I was un 
successful, and I brought the flag back. As I passed along from 
General Meade s headquarters to Gulps Hill, carrying the rebel 
battle flag loosely folded over my arm, I took my course over the 
ground where General Pickett made his charge. Many wounded 
Confederate soldiers were still lying on this ground. A badly 
wounded Confederate sergeant who had lain upon the ground 
during the night, called to me in a faint voice : "You have got 
our flag! " It was a sergeant of the second Mississippi regiment. 
The men of this regiment who had escaped from the railroad 
cut and other casualties on July first, had taken part in this 
attack. This man informed me that the commander of his 
regiment at the time of its surrender was Major John A. Blair, 
and he gave me many particulars in regard to the history of the 
regiment. No introductions took place at the railroad cut. I 
do not know whether this sergeant survived his wound. I did 
all in my power to secure for him aid and attention. 



JULY 4th, 1863. ) 

"Sir: I have the honor to report that the accompanying battle 
flag of the second regiment of Mississippi Confederate Volun 
teers was captured by the regiment under my command under 
the following circumstances: Shortly after the opening of the 
action on the morning of July first, my regiment was by com- 


mand of General Doubleday, detached from the brigade and 
ordered to the support of the right of the division (Wadsworth s) 
which was being forced back and outflanked by the enemy. I 
moved as rapidly as possible upon the advancing line of the 
enemy, joining with the fourteenth Brooklyn and ninety-fifth 
New York on my left. A brisk fire was opened throughout our 
line which soon checked the enemy, and forced him to take 
refuge in a railroad cut. I ordered a charge upon the cut. The 
men moved forward, well closed and on a run. When our line 
reached the edge of the cut, the rebels ceased firing and threw 
down their arms. Major Blair commanding the regiment in my 
front, the second Mississippi, surrendered his sword and regiment. 
The battle flag was taken before the surrender by Corporal F. 
Asbury Waller of company T and sent to the rear in charge of 
Sergeant Wm. Evans of company H who was badly wounded. 
The Sergeant was taken prisoner by the enemy and held for two 
days in Gettysburg. With the assistance of some ladies, whose 
names I have not learned, he successfully concealed the color and 
finally when the enemy retired, brought it safely to the regiment. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 


Lieutenant Colonel commanding sixth Wisconsin Volunteers." 
This report was directed to General Wadsworth s adjutant 

(Letter to M. B. G.) ON THE MARCH, JULY 6th, 2 P. M. 

"We have stopped for a fewrnoments near Kmmitsburg. I am 
entirely well. I telegraphed to mother day before yesterday. 
This has been a terrible ordeal. Our loss is 30 killed outright, 
116 wounded, several of whom have died since, and 25 missing, 
all from 340 men taken into battle. My horse was shot under 
me early in the fight, which perhaps saved my life. The experi 
ence of the past few days seem more like a horrible dream than 
the reality. May God save me and my men from any more such 
trials. Our bravest and best are cold in th,e ground or suffering 
on beds of anguish. I could tell a thousand stories of their 
heroism : One young man, Corporal James Kelly of company 
"B," shot through the breast, came staggering up to me before he 
fell and opening his shirt to show the wound, said Colonel, won t 


you write to my folks that I died a soldier. Every man of our 
color guard was shot and several volunteer color bearers. Inhere 
was not a man of them but would die before the honor of the 
old Sixth should be tarnished. I do not know what is in store 
for us but you know that with my earliest chance, I will write 
you fully of what has happened." 

This history would be incomplete with no glimpse of how the 
new recruit stood fire at home. As the thunders of Gettysburg 
rolled over the land, there was intense excitement on the part of 
all the people. Telegraphic bulletins were posted every few 
hours. This is from M. B. G. to R. R. Dawes : 

HOME, JULY 4th, 1863. 

"Your birthday, and I have been all the time anticipating so 
much pleasure in writing to you to-day but it is only to-night 
that I have felt that I could write at all. It has seemed utterly 
impossible for me to write to you, not knowing you were 
where my letters could ever reach you or my prayers ever avail 
you. I feel that I can now not that I think you are out of 
danger by any means but I believe you will be spared. I shall 
not undertake to tell you how slowly and sorrowfully the last 
three days have dragged along. The first news we heard of the 
battle was that the first army corps was engaged and General 
Reynolds killed. About noon to-day I began to feel more hopeful 
that you had got through safely, but this afternoon we hear that 
the first corps is engaged again. When will they ever let you 
rest? From the papers, to-night, I conclude } T OU came safely 
through Wednesday (July ist) but your corps commander killed 
and your brigade commander wounded. I shall watch, oh, so 
anxiously, for tidings this week, praying that God in His mercy 
may spare you." 

MARIETTA, OHIO, JULY yth, 1863. 

"I am beginning to feel as if I could write to you again, not 
quite sure you are safe yet but taking heart from the fact that we 

have had no bad news and we have the list of killed and wounded 


in the sixth Wisconsin up to Thursday evening. We hope you 
were not in that division of the first corps which was engaged 
Friday (July 3rd). If you are only safe how we shall rejoice! 
Of all times to think that you should have commanded the regi- 


ment in this great victory ! Don t you suppose I was proud of 
you and the sixth Wisconsin, last night, when I read of your 
regiment, the fourteenth Brooklyn and the ninety-fifth New York 
capturing a whole brigade? There has been greater rejoicing 
over your victory in Pennsylvania than I have ever known, and 
within the last half hour dispatches have come saying that Vicks- 
burg is ours. Great Babylon is fallen, is fallen. I do not know 
how as a Nation we are going to bear our success, but I know as 
an individual I can t bear much more of any thing." 



*When General James S. Wadsworth s division of the first 
army corps marched toward Gettysburg on the morning of July 
first, 1863, the sixth Wisconsin was the last regiment in the order 
of march for the day. The brigade guard, two officers and one 
hundred men, marched immediately behind us, which accounts 
for their assignment to the regiment for duty when we became 
involved in battle. The column moved on the Emmitsburg 
Road. Three hundred and forty officers and enlisted men 
marched in the ranks of the regiment. All were in the highest 
spirits. To make a show in the streets of Gettysburg, I brought 
our drum corps to the front and had the colors unfurled. The 
drum major, R. N. Smith, had begun to play "The Campbells are 
Coming," and the regiment had closed its ranks and swung into 
the step, when we first heard the cannon of the enemy, firing on 
the cavalry of General Buford. The troops ahead turned across 
the fields to the left of Gettysburg, toward the Seminary Ridge. 
We stopped our music, which had at least done something to 
arouse the martial spirit of old John Burns, and turned to engage 
in the sterner duties involved in war. When the head of the 
regimental column reached the crest of Seminary Ridge, an aide 
of General Meredith, Lieutenant Gilbert M. Woodward, came on 
a gallop with the order, "Colonel, form your line, and prepare for 
action." I turned my horse and gave the necessary orders. The 
evolution of the line was performed on the double quick, the 
men loading their muskets as they ran. Hastening forward on a 
run to get to our position on the left flank of the "Iron Brigade," 
which, regiment after regiment, en echelon, was dashing into the 
McPherson woods, another aide, Lieutenant Marten, came gal- 

*For organization Army of the Potomac, see Page 155, Volume XXVII, 
Part I, War Records. 


loping up and said, Colonel, ^General Doubleday is now in com 
mand of the first corps, and he directs that you halt your 
regiment." General John F. Reynolds had been killed, but the 
fact was not disclosed to us by Lieutenant Marten. I halted the 
men and directed them to lie down on the ground. The brigade 
guard now reported to me for duty in the impending battle, and I 
divided them into two companies of fifty men each, and placed 
them upon the right and left flanks of the regiment. 

The brigade guard comprised twenty men from each of the 
five regiments of the "Iron Brigade." The two officers, Lieu 
tenant Lloyd G. Harris, sixth Wisconsin, and Lieutenant Levi 
Showalter, second Wisconsin, were capable men and excellent 
leaders. Eighty-one men of the other regiments of the brigade 
were thus, by the emergency of sudden and unexpected battle, 
brought into the ranks of our regiment. 

The situation on the field of battle of all the troops now en 
gaged, will be made clear by a diagram. Two brigades of each 
army confronted each other. Archer s brigade opposed the 
"Iron Brigade," and Joseph R. Davis s brigade opposed Cutler s 
brigade of Wadsworth s division. Hall s battery was with Cut 
ler s brigade. 




^ 24. MICH. 



147. N.Y. 56. PA. 76. N.Y.. 


V 1 

*I deemed the extremity of the woods, which extended to the summit of 
the ridge, to be the key of the position, and urged that portion of Mere 
dith s brigade, the Western men assigned to its defense, to hold it to the 
last extremity. Full of the memory of their past achievements, they 
replied cheerfully and proudly, "If we can t hold it, where will you find 
men who can ? " Doubleday s Report. 


Excepting the sixth Wisconsin, the whole of Wadsworth s 
division was hotly engaged in battle with the enemy. Lieutenant 
Meredith Jones came with orders from General Doubleday. He 
said, "^General Doubleday directs that you move your regiment 
at once to the right." I immediately gave the order to move in 
that direction at a double quick. Captain J. D. Wood came and 
rode beside me, repeating the order from General Meredith and 
saying the rebels were "driving Cutler s men." The guns of 
Hall s battery could be seen driving to the rear, and Cutler s men 
were manifestly in full retreat. 

The following diagram illustrates the change of front made to 
throw the regiment on the flank of the victoriously advancing 
enemy. Across our track as we hurried on, passed some officers 

6TH. WIS. REG . 





carrying in a blanket the body of our corps commander, General 
John F. Reynolds. We did not then know that he had been shot. 
Suddenly my horse reared and plunged. It did not occur to 
me that she had been shot. I drew a tight rein and spurred her 
when she fell heavily on her haunches. I scrambled from the 

"*The sixth Wisconsin, together with the brigade guard, under Lieutenants 
Harris, of the sixth Wisconsin, and Showalter, of the second Wisconsin, 
had been detached by my order, to remain with me as a reserve. There 
was no time to be lost, as the enemy was already in the woods, and ad 
vancing at double quick to seize this important central position and hold 
the ridge. The "Iron Brigade," led by the second Wisconsin in line, and 
followed by the other regiments, deployed en echelon without a moment s 
hesitation, charged with the utmost steadiness and fury, hurled the enemy 
back into the run, and reformed their lines on the high ground beyond the 

The second Wisconsin, in this contest, under the gallant Colonel Fair- 
child, was particularly distinguished. It accomplished the difficult task of 
driving superior numbers of rebel infantry from the shelter of the woods, 
and to it also belongs the honor of capturing General Archer himself. He 
was brought in by Private Patiick Maloney, of company "G." It is to be 
lamented that this brave Irishman was subsequently killed in the action." 


ground, where I had been thrown sprawling, in front of the 
regiment, and the men gave a hearty cheer. The gallant old 
mare also struggled to her feet and hobbled toward the rear on 
three legs. She had been struck in the breast by a minnie ball, 
which penetrated seventeen inches. For years she carried the 
bullet, which could be felt under the skin behind the left shoul 
der blade but woe to the man who felt it, as her temper had 
been spoiled. For the rest of the battle I was on foot. The 
regiment halted at the fence along the Cashtown Turnpike, and I 
gave the order to fire. In the field, beyond the turnpike, a long 
line of yelling Confederates could be seen running forward and 
firing, and our troops ot Cutler s brigade were running back in 
disorder. The fire of our carefully aimed muskets, resting on 
the fence rails, striking their flank, soon checked the rebels in 
their headlong pursuit. The rebel line sw r ayed and bent, and 
suddenly stopped firing and the men ran into the railroad cut, 
parallel to the Cashtown Turnpike. I ordered my men to climb 
over the turnpike fences and advance. I was not aware of the 
existence of the railroad cut, and at first mistook the manuever 
of the enemy for retreat, but was undeceived by the heavy fire 
which they began at once to pour upon us from their cover in the 
cut. Captain John Ticknor, always a dashing leader, fell dead 
while climbing the second fence, and many were struck on the 
fences, but the line pushed on. When over the fences and in the 
field, and subjected to an infernal fire, I first saw the ninety-fifth 
New York regiment coming gallantly into line upon our left. I 
did not then know or care where they came from, but was re 
joiced to see them. Farther .to the left was the ^fourteenth 
Brooklyn regiment, but I was then ignorant of the fact. Major 
Edward Pye appeared to be in command of the ninety-fifth New 
York. Running to the major, I said, "We must charge." The 

*Colonel E. B. Fowler fourteenth Brooklyn, in his official report, has 
given the impression that he ordered the sixth Wisconsin regiment to make 
this charge. He gave us no orders whatever. I did not know he was on 
the field until the charge was over. I called Colonel Fowler s attention to 
the matter and he stated as an explanation that he sent an officer to give 
me such an order. Colonel Fowler was retreating his regiment when we 
arrived at the turnpike fence. He then changed front and joined our ad 
vance. The fourteenth Brooklyn and ninety-fifth New York jointly had 
not more men in action than the sixth Wisconsin. 


gallant major replied, "Charge it is." "Forward, charge !" was 
the order I gave, and Major Pye gave the same command. We 
were receiving a fearfully destructive fire from the hidden enemy. 
Men who had been shot were leaving the ranks in crowds. With the 
colors at the advance point, the regiment firmly and hurriedly 
moved forward, while the whole field behind streamed with men 
who had been shot, and who were struggling to the rear or 
sinking in death upon the ground. The only commands I gave, 
as we advanced, were, "Align on the colors ! Close up on the 
colors ! Close up on the colors ! " The regiment was being so 
broken up that this order alone could hold the body together. 
Meanwhile the colors fell upon the ground several times but were 
raised again by the heroes of the color guard. Four hundred 
and twenty men started in the regiment from the turnpike fence, 
of whom about two hundred and forty reached the railroad cut. 
Years afterward I found the distance passed over to be one 
hundred and seventy-five paces. Every officer proved brave, true, 
and heroic in encouraging the men to breast the deadly storm, 
but the real impetus was the eager and determined valor of our 
men who carried muskets in the ranks. I noticed the motions of 
our "Tall Sycamore," Captain J. H. Marston, who commanded 
company "E." His long arms were stretched out as if to gather 
his men together and push them forward. At a crisis he rose to 
his full height, and he was the tallest man in the regiment, ex 
cepting Levi Steadman of company "I," who was killed on this 
charge. How the rebels happened to miss Captain Marston I 
cannot comprehend. Second Lieutenant O. B. Chapman, com 
manding company "C," fell dead while on the charge. The 
commission of Lieutenant Thomas Kerr as captain of company 
"D," bears the proud date of July first, 1863 in recognition of 
his conduct. The rebel color was seen waving defiantly above 
the edge of the railroad cut. A heroic ambition to capture it 
took possession of several of our men. Corporal Eggleston, of 
company "H," sprang forward to seize it, and was shot and mor 
tally wounded. Private Anderson, of his company, furious at 
the killing of his brave young comrade, recked little for the rebel 
color, but he swung aloft his musket and with a terrific blow 
Split the skull of the rebel who had shot young Eggleston. This 


soldier was well known in the regiment as "Rocky Mountain 
Anderson." Lieutenant William N. Remington was shot and 
severely wounded in the shoulder, while rushing for the color. 
Into this deadly melee came Corporal Francis A. Waller, who 
seized and held the rebel battle flag. His name will forever 
remain upon the historic record, as he received from Congress a 
*medal for this deed. 

My notice that we were upon the enemy, was a general -cry 
from our men of : "Throw down your muskets! Down with 
your muskets!" Running forward through our line of men, I 
found myself face to face with hundreds of rebels, whom I looked 
down upon in the railroad cut, which was, where I stood, four feet 
deep. Adjutant Brooks, equal to the emergency, quickly placed 
about twenty men across the cut in position to fire through it. 
I have always congratulated myself upon getting the first word. 
I shouted : "Where is the colonel of this regiment ? " An officer 
in gray, with stars on his collar, who stood among the men in 
the cut, said: "Who are you?" I said: "I command this regi 
ment. Surrender, or I will fire." The officer replied not a word, 
but promptly handed me his sword, and his men, who still held 
them, threw down their muskets. The coolness, self-possession, 
and discipline which held back our men from pouring in a general 
volley saved a hundred lives of the enemy, and as my mind goes 
back to the fearful excitement of the moment, I marvel at it. 
The fighting around the rebel colors had not ceased when this 
surrender took place. I took the sword. It would have been 
the handsome thing to say, "Keep your sword, sir," but I was 
new to such occasions, and when six other officers came up and 
handed me their swords, I took them also. I held this awkward 
bundle in my arms until relieved by Adjutant Brooks. I directed 
the officer in command, fMajor John A. Blair, of the second 
Mississippi regiment, to have his men fall in without arms. He 
gave the command, and his men, (seven officers and two hundred 
and twenty-five enlisted men) obeyed. To Major John F. Hauser 
I assigned the duty of marching this body to the provost-guard. 

*See Page 282, Volume XXVII, Part II, War Records. 
tColonel J. M. Stone, since Governor of Mississippi, was in command at 
the opening of the battle, but he had been wounded and disabled. 


lieutenant William Goltermann of Company "F," volunteered to 
command a line of volunteer skirmishers, which I called for as 
soon as Major Hauser moved his prisoners away. This line of 
men took possession of the ridge toward the enemy and guarded 
against a surprise by a return of the enemy to attack. One gun 
of Hall s second Maine battery stood upon the field before the 
railroad cut and between the hostile lines. After the surrender, 
Captain Rollin P. Converse took men enough for the purpose 
and pulled this gun to the turnpike, where Captain Hall took it 
again in charge. 

Corporal Frank Asbury Waller brought me the captured battle 
flag. It was the flag of the second Mississippi Volunteers, one 
of the oldest and most distinguished regiments in the Confed 
erate army. It belonged to the brigade commanded by Joseph 
R. Davis, the nephew of Jefferson Davis. It is a rule in battle 
not to allow sound men to leave the ranks. Sergeant William 
Evans of company "H," a brave and true man, had been severely 
wounded in the thighs. He was obliged to use two muskets as 
crutches. To him I intrusted the battle-flag, and I took it from 
the staff and wrapped it around his body. 

Adjutant B. P. Brooks buckled on one of the captured swords, 
and he still retains it, but the other six were given to a wounded 
man and delivered to our chief surgeon, A. W. Preston. The 
enemy, when they took the town, captured the hospital and the 
swords. No discredit to the doctor is implied, as his hands were 
full of work with wounded men. 

*After this capture of prisoners in the railroad cut there was a 

*The line officers present at the battle of Gettysburg were as follows ; 
the first named is the company commander when the fight opened : Lieu 
tenant Howard F. Pruyn, company "A," wounded; Lieut. H. J. Huntington, 
company "A ;" Captain R. P. Converse, company "B;" Lieutenant Charles 
P. Hyatt, company "B ;" Lieutenant Loyd G. Harris, company "C," 
wounded ; Lieutenant O. D. Chapman, company "C," killed ; Lieutenant 
Thomas Kerr, company "D ;" Captain J. H. Marston, company "E;" 
Lieutenant Michael Mangan, company "E," wounded ; Lieutenant Oscar 
Graetz, company "F ;" Lieutenant William Goltermann, company "F ;" 
Lieutenant James L. Converse, company "G ;" Lieutenant John Timmons, 
company "G ;" Lieutenant ;John Beeley, company "H," wounded ; Lieu 
tenant H. B. Merchant, company "H," Wounded ; Lieutenant Earl M. 
Rogers, company "I ;" Captain John Ticknor, company "K," killed ; Lieu 
tenant William N. Remington, company "K," wounded; Lieutenant Wrn. 
S. Campbell, company "K." Captain Charles H. Ford and Lieutenant C. 


lull in the battle. Our comrades of the "Iron Brigade," who had 
charged so brilliantly into the McPherson woods, had been com 
pletely victorious. They had routed Archer s brigade, capturing 
its commander and many of its men, and then they had changed 
front to move to the relief of Cutler s brigade, but our charge 
upon the railroad cut, and its success, obviated that necessity. 
By this charge Joseph R. Davis brigade was scattered or 
captured.* We had fairly defeated, upon an open field, a supe 
rior force of the veterans of the army of General Lee. It was a 
short, sharp, and desperate fight, but the honors were easily with 
the boys in blue. 

While the regiment is being reorganized, let us follow Sergeant 
William Evans. Weak and faint from loss of blood, he painfully 
hobbled to Gettysburg, and became exhausted in the street. 
Brave and faithful friends came to his relief. Two young women 
assisted this wounded soldier into their home, and placed him 
upon a bed. The Union troops soon began to retreat in confu 
sion through the town, and the cheers of the victorious enemy 
could be plainly heard. Evans begged of his friends to hide the 
rebel flag. They cut a hole in the bed-tick beneath him, thrust 
in the flag, and sewed up the rent. The flag was thus safely 
concealed until the enemy retreated from Gettysburg, and on the 
morning of July 4th Evans brought his precious trophy to Gulp s 
Hill and gave it to me there.f 

E. Rogers were acting on the staff of General Wadsworth. Captain John 
A. Kellogg was the very efficient Chief of the Staff of General Lysander 
Cutler. His service was distinguished by his accustomed activity and 
bravery in battle. Lieutenant Levi Showalter, the second Wisconsin officer 
commanding the improvised company of the brigade guard on the right of 
the regiment, was shot and severely wounded. He was a gallant officer 
and led his men with a spirit equal to any commander in the line. 

*Vplume XXVII, Part II, Page 638, War Records. General Henry Heth 
says in his report: "Davis brigade was kept on the left of the road that it 
might collect its stragglers, and from its shattered condition it was not 
deemed advisable to bring it again into action on that day." 

The strength of General J. R. Davis brigade May 31st, 1863, for duty, 
officers and men, was 2,577 in its four regiments There were three regi 
ments in this battle, or approximately 1,933 men, three fourths of 2,577. 
War Records, Volume XVIII, Page 1086. 

tA letter just recieved from Captain Loyd G. Harris makes the following 
important statement regarding the rebel battle flag, and gives the name of 
the brave women who saved it for us : "After I was wounded, Lieut. W. N. 
Remington, Lieutenant John Beely and myself, were in a temporary ho s _ 




In his official report General Doubleday says that when Cut 
ler s regiments were overpowered and driven back, "the moment 
was a critical one, involving the defeat, perhaps the utter rout of 

pital in Gettysburg. Acting on the advice of the surgeon, we found pleasant 
quarters with the family of Mr. Hollenger, and while there were joined by 
one of our sergeants (William Evans I think) who had the rebel flag. This 
was about noon. Just after our dinner, firing began in the front. I went 
up stairs and from an upper porch could plainly see the movement of the 
eleventh corps but not the first corps. They (the eleventh corps) were 
over-lapped by the enemy and soon in full retreat. I went below and told 
Remington and Beely to hurry out and get to the rear as fast as they could. 
Mrs. Hollenger partly fainted, and assisted by her husband I helped to carry 
her to the cellar. There were two young lady daughters, (Miss Julia was 
the name of one of these young ladies). I bade them all good bye, and 
when I went out, had a narrow escape from being shot down or captured, but 
by going through houses, after I passed two cross streets, found my com 
panions in an ambulance. Once with them we lead the retreat." 

There was brought to me on Gulp s Hill, July 4th, when our wounded 
men returned, a bouquet of flowers with the compliments of Miss Sallie 
Paxton. This lady had seen our charge upon the railroad cut. 


our forces."* Later in the day we marched through the railroad 
cut, and about one thousand muskets lay in the bottom of it. 
Only one regiment surrendered as an organization, and that was 
the second Mississippi Volunteers. The ninety-fifth New York 
took prisoners, as did also the fourteenth Brooklyn. All the 
troops in the railroad cut threw down their muskets, and the men 
either surrendered themselyes, or ran away out of the other end 
of the cut. 

Seminary Ridge is in the foreground. Later in the battle, battery "B" 
was planted here and in the timber showing on the right. The regiment 
when supporting this battery was in the timber, and it was there that we 
reorganized after our charge upon the railroad cut. 

We next advanced, by order of General Wadsworth, to the 
ridgef west of the Seminary Ridge. Here we encountered a 

*The moment was a critical one, involving the defeat, perhaps the utter 
rout of our forces. I immediately sent lor one of Meredith s regiments, 
the Sixth Wisconsin, a gallant body of men, who I knew could be re 
lied upon. Forming them rapidly perpendicular to the line of battle on 
the enemy s flank, I directed them to attack immediately. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Dawes, their commander, ordered a charge, which was gallantly 
executed. The enemy made a hurried attempt to change front to meet the 
attack, and flung his troops into the railroad cut for safety. The Ninety- 
fifth New York volunteers, Colonel Biddle, and the Fourteenth Brooklyn, 
under Colonel Fowler, joined in the charge ; the cut was carried at ike 
point of the bayonet. 

tOccupied by the enemy in the picture. 


heavy line of rebel skirmishers, upon whom we opened fire, and 
drove them into Willoughby Run. But the enemy turned upon 
us the fire of six pieces of artillery in position just south of the 
Cashtown Turnpike beyond Willoughby Run, and beyond the 
houses in the picture. The shell flew over us and burst around us 
so thickly that I was obliged to order the men to lie upon the 
ground under the brow of the ridge. The "Iron Brigade" was 
in the McPherson Woods, half a mile to our left. The space between 
us and that brigade was occupied by Colonel Roy Stone s Penn 
sylvania Bucktails. General Lysander Cutler s brigade was now 
upon our right. This was our position when the general attack 
was made by the rebel army corps of Hill and Ewell combined, 
at half past one o clock in the afternoon. The first brunt of it 
struck the gallant brigade of Bucktails. They were fighting on 
Pennsylvania soil. Their conduct was more than heroic, it was 
glorious. I can not describe the charges and counter-charges 
which took place, but we all saw the banner of the one hundred 
and forty-ninth Pennsylvania planted in the ground, and waving 
between the hostile lines of battle, while the desperate fight went 
on. This color was taken by the enemy. 

Under pressure of the battle, the whole line of Union troops 
fell back to the Seminary Ridge. I could plainly see the 
entire movement. I saw Captain Hollon Richardson who acted 
as an aide to Colonel W. W. Robinson, now in command of the 
"Iron Brigade," carrying on his horse and waving aloft, the 
colors of the seventh Wisconsin, as the proud brigade slowly 
drew back from the McPherson Woods to the Seminary Ridge. 
We received no orders. Being a detached regiment it is likely 
that we were overlooked. The enemy (Hwell s corps) advanced 
so that the low ground between us and the Seminary Ridge 
in our rear was swept by their fire. It would cost many lives to 
march in line of battle through this fire. I adopted the tactics 
of the rebels earlier in the day, and ordered my men to run into 
the railroad cut. Then instructing the men to follow in single 
file, I led the way, as fast as I could run, from this cut to the cut 
in the Seminary Ridge. About a cart load of dirt was ploughed 
over us by the rebel shell, but otherwise not a man was struck. 
The ranks were promptly reformed, and we marched into the 


woods on the Seminary Ridge to the same position from which 
we had advanced. The whole first army corps was now in line 
of battle on the Seminary Ridge, and here that grand body of 
veteran soldiers made a heroic effort to stay the overwhelming 
tide that swept against them.* 

Battery "B," fourth U. S. artillery, under command of Lieu 
tenant James Stewart, came up, and General Wadsworth directed 
me to support it with my regiment. James Stewart was as brave 
and efficient a man as ever fought upon a battle field. His bat 
tery was manned by men detailed from the volunteers, many of 
them from our brigade. And now came the grand advance of 
the enemy. During this time the attack was progressing, I stood 
among the guns of battery "B." Along the Seminary Ridge, 
flat upon their bellies, lay mixed up together in one line of battle, 
the "Iron Brigade" and Roy Stone s "Bucktails." For a mile up 
and down the open fields in front, the splendid lines of the 
veterans of the army of Northern Virginia swept down upon us. 
Their bearing was magnificent. They maintained their align 
ments with great precision. In many cases the colors of 
regiments were advanced several paces in front of the line. 
fStewart fired shell until they appeared on the ridge east of 
Willoughby Run ; when on this ridge they came forward with a 
rush. The musketry burst from the Seminary Ridge, every 
shot fired with care, and Stewart s men, with the regularity 
of a machine, worked their guns upon the enemy. The rebels 
came half way down the opposite slope, wavered, began to fire, then 
to scatter and then to run, and how our men did yell, "Come on, 
Johnny! come on!" Falling back over the ridge they came on 
again more cautiously, and pouring upon us from the start a 
steady fire of deadly musketry. This killed Stewart s men and 
horses in great numbers, but did not seem to check his fire. 

*The first corps only consisted of about 8,200 men when it entered the 
battle. It was reduced at the close of the engagement to about 2,450. 
Doubleday s Report. 

tSee Report of confederate Colonel Abner Perrin, Volume XXVII, 
Page 661, Part II, War Records, and General A. M. Scales, Page 
670, and Colonel W. J. Lowrance, Page 671. These reports show the 
terrible effect of Stewart s fire upon the enemy. In 1882 I visited the 
ground with General A. M. Scales and he stated that the fire of battery "B" 
was the most destructive he had known in the war. 



Lieutenant Clayton E. Rogers, aide on General Wadsworth s 
staff, came riding rapidly to me. Leaning over from his 
horse, he said very quietly: "The orders, colonel, are to 
retreat beyond the town. Hold your men together." I was 
astonished. The cheers of defiance along the line of the first 
corps, on Seminary Ridge, had scarcely died away. But a glance 
over the field to our right and rear was sufficient. There the 
troops of the ^eleventh corps appeared in full retreat, and long 
lines of Confederates, with fluttering banners and shining steel, 
were sweeping forward in pursuit of them without let or 
hindrance. It was a close race which could reach Gettysburg 
first, ourselves, or the rebel troops of Ewell s corps, who pursued 
our eleventh corps. Facing the regiment to the rear, I marched 
in line of battle over the open fields toward the town. We were 
north of the railroad, and our direction separated us from other 
regiments of our corps. If we had desired to attack Ewell s 
twenty thousand men with our tw r o hundred, we could not have 
moved more directly toward them. We knew nothing about a 
Cemetery Hill. We could see only that the on-coming lines of 
the enemy were encircling us in a horseshoe. But with the flag 
of the Union and of Wisconsin held aloft, the little regiment 
marched firmly and steadily. As we approached the town, the 
buildings of the Pennsylvania College screened us from the view 
of the enemy. We could now see that our troops were retreating 
in a direction at right angles to our line of march. We reached 
a street extending through Gettysburg from the college to Ceme 
tery Hill, and crossed it. We were now faced by the enemy, and 
I turned the course toward the Cemetery Hill, although then 
unconscious of the fact. The first cross street was swept by the 
musketry fire of the enemy. There was a close board fence, 

*Doctor John C. Hall was on duty in a building used for a hospital near 
the railroad station in Gettysburg. From the north window he had, he 
says, a "perfect view" of the retreat of the eleventh corps. In his journal of 
July second, 1863, he wrote of it: "Away went guns and knapsacks, and 
they fled for dear life, forming a funnel shaped tail, extending to the town. 
The rebels coolly and deliberately shot them down like sheep. I did not 
see an officer attempt to rally or check them in their headlong retreat. On 
came the rebs and occupied the town, winning at that point a cheap 



inclosing a barn-yard, on the opposite side of the street. A board 
or two off from the fence made what the men called a "hog-hole." 
Instructing the regiment to follow in single file on the run, I 
took a color, ran across the street, and jumped through this 
opening in the fence. Officers and men followed rapidly. Taking 
position at the fence, when any man obstructed the passage-way 
through it, I jerked him away without ceremony or apology, the 
object being to keep the track clear for those yet to come. Two 
men were shot in this street crossing. The regiment was re 
formed in the barn-yard, and I marched back again to the street 
leading from the Pennsylvania College to the Cemetery Hill. To 
understand why the street was crossed in the manner described, 
it should be remembered that men running at full speed, scattered 
in single file, were safer from the fire of the enemy than if 
marching in a compact body. By going into the inclosure, the 
regiment came together, to be at once formed into compact order. 


It was in compliance with the order, to keep my men together. 
The weather was sultry. The sweat streamed from the faces of 
the men. There was not a drop of water in the canteens, and 
there had been none for hours. The streets were jammed with 
crowds of retreating soldiers, and with ambulances, artillery, and 
wagons. The cellars were crowded with men, sound in body, but 
craven in spirit, who had gone there to surrender. I saw no men 
wearing badges of the first army corps in this disgraceful com 
pany. In one case, these miscreants, mistaking us for the 
rebels, cried out from the cellar, "Don t fire, Johnny, we ll sur 
render." These surroundings were depressing to my hot and 
thirsty men. Finding the street blocked, I formed my men in 
two lines across it. The rebels began to fire on us from houses 
and cross-lots. Here came to us a friend in need. It was an old 
citizen with two buckets of fresh water. The inestimable value 
of this cup of cold water to those true, unyielding soldiers, I 
would that our old friend could know. 

After this drink, in response to my call, the men gave* three 
cheers for the good and glorious cause for which we stood in 
battle. The enemy fired on us sharply, and the men returned their 
fire, shooting wherever the enemy appeared. This firing had a 
good effect. It cleared the street of stragglers in short order. 
The way being open I marched again toward the Cemetery Hill. 
The enemy did not pursue ; they had found it dangerous business. 
We hurried along, not knowing certainly that we might not be 
marching into the clutches of the enemy. But the colors of the 
Union, floating over a well ordered line of men in blue, who 
were arrayed along the slope of Cemetery Hill, became visible. 
This was the seventy-third Ohio, of Steinwehr s division of the 

*The whole retreat from the commencement was most creditable to the 
troops engaged. There was no hurry and no confusion, but the regiments 
fell back calmly, turning from time to time to check the enemy s advance 
by volleys of musketry, and again retreating. From the admixture of so 
many different regiments at the seminary, it became impossible to reorgan- 
nize them in good order without a delay which would have exposed the 
men to certain destruction. I saw, however, no running or undue haste. 
All the troops passed tranquilly on, although the enemy was firing into 
them from the side streets, and all reformed promptly on their arrival at 
Cemetery Hill, and in a yery short time were again ready for service. The 
sixth Wisconsin marched through the streets in a body, stopping from time 
to time|to return the fire of the enemy, and giving hearty cheers for the good 
old cause and the sixth Wisconsin Volunteers. Doubleday s Keport. 


eleventh army corps. With swifter steps we now pressed on up 
the hill, and, passing in through the ranks open to receive us, 
officers and men threw themselves in a state of almost perfect 
exhaustion on the green grass and the graves of the cemetery. 
The condition of affairs on Cemetery Hill at this time has been a 
subject of discussion. If fresh troops had attacked us then, we 
unquestionably would have fared badly. The troops were scat 
tered over the hill in much disorder, while a stream of stragglers 
and wounded men pushed along the Baltimore Turnpike toward 
the rear. But this perilous condition of affairs was of short 
duration. There was no appearance of panic on the Cemetery 
Hill. After a short breathing spell my men again promptly 
responded to the order to "fall in." lieutenant Rogers brought 
us orders from General Wadsworth, to join our own brigade, 
which had been sent to occupy Gulp s Hill.* As we marched 
toward the hill our regimental wagon joined us. In the wagon 
were a dozen spades and shovels. Taking our place on the 
right of the line of the brigade, I ordered the regiment to in 
trench. The men worked with great energy. A man would dig 
with all his strength till out of breath, when another would seize 
the spade and push on the work. There were no orders to 
construct these breastworks, but the situation plainly dictated 
their necessity. The men now lay down to rest after the arduous 
labors of this great and terrible day. Sad and solemn reflections 
possessed, at least, the writer of these papers. Our dead lay 
unburied and beyond our sight or reach. Our wounded were in 
the hands of the enemy. Our bravest and best were numbered 
with them. Of eighteen hundred men who marched with the 
splendid brigade in the morning, but seven hundred were here. 
More than one thousand men had been shot. There was to us a 
terrible reality in the figures which represent our loss. We had 
been driven, also, by the enemy, and the shadow of defeat seemed 
to be hanging over us. But that afternoon, urider the burning 
sun and through the stifling clouds of dust, the Army of the 
Potomac had marched to the sound of our cannon. We had lost 

*Colonel W. W. Robinson, of the seventh Wisconsin regiment, was in 
command of the brigade, having succeeded General Meredith, who had 
been wounded. 


the ground on which we had fought, we had lost our commander 
and our comrades, but our fight had held the Cemetery Hill and 
forced the detision for history that the crowning battle of the 
war should be at Gettysburg.* 

It is a troubled and dreamy sleep at best that comes to the 
soldier on a battle field. About one o clock at night we had a 
great alarm. A man in the seventh Indiana regiment, next on 
right, cried so loudly in his sleep that he aroused all the troops in 
the vicinity. Springing up, half bewildered, I ordered my 
regiment to "fall in," and a heavy fire of musketry broke out 
from along the whole line of men. At three o clock in the 
morning, according to orders, the men were aroused. The 
morning of the second day found us lying quietly in our breast 
works near the summit of Gulp s Hill. We were in the shade 
of some fine oak trees, and enjoyed an excellent view of nearly 
the whole battle field. Our situation would have been 
delightful, and our rest in the cool shade would have been 
refreshing, if it had not been for the crack, crack, of the deadly 
sharpshooters on the rebel skirmish line. Owing, probably, to 
the crooked line of our army, the shots came from all directions, 
and the peculiarly mournful wail of the spent bullet was con 
stantly heard. 


Our line faced toward the town of Gettysburg. For hours I 
watched the rebel troops with a field-glass, as their heavy columns 
of infantry marched toward our right. We could see them form 
ing in the fields beyond Rock Creek, and knew that they were 
preparing to attack Gulp s Hill. Until four o clock P. M., but little 
sound was heard except the monotonous noise of the sharpshooter. 

*In the sixth Wisconsin, Adjutant Edward P. Brooks is mentioned for 
greatly aiding the successful capture of the two regiments in the railroad 
cut, by throwing a body of men into the cut so as to enfilade the rebel line. 
Corporal F. Asbury Waller, of company I, captured the colors of the sec 
ond Mississippi previous to the surrender of that regiment. Major Hauser 
was particularly brave and efficient. Captain John Ticknorand Lieutenant 
Orrin D. Chapman, who were killed in the charge, were a great loss to the 
service. Captain Rollin P. Converse and Lieutenant Charles P. Hyatt, of 
company B, and Lieutenant Goltermann, of company F, were also among 
the highly distinguished. The commander of the regiment, Lieutenant- 
Colonel R. R. Dawes, proved himself to be one of the ablest officers on the 
field. Doubleday s Report. 



At this hour, from the Cemetery Hill and from a long distance in 
that direction, the storm of battle suddenly broke out. Artillery 
and musketry thundered and crashed together. Amid the tumult 
we could plainly hear the rebel charging yell. We momentarily 
expected that the rebels in the valley of Rock Creek would 
advance upon us. But they did not come, and gradually our 
attention became absorbed by the awful combat on our left. We 
could plainly see that our troops were giving ground. Thou 
sands were streaming to the rear. Our suspense and anxiety 
were intense. We gathered in knots all over the hill, 
watching the battle. It seemed to us a long time that this 
savage, but to all appearances unfavorable, struggle went 
on. The rebel line certainly was advancing. The rebel 
yell certainly was predominant. Brigade after brigade moved in, 
but the tide was against us. As the sun was low down a fine 
sight was seen. It was two long blue lines of battle, with twenty 
or thirty regimental banners, charging forward into the smoke 
and din of battle. To all appearances they saved the field. 
But a sound came now from the woods to our right, that made us 
jump for our breastworks. It was the rebel yell, sounded by 
thousands of voices. It was almost dusk, and beginning to be 
quite dark in the woods. I ran to my post, and ordered: "Down, 
men, watch sharp, keep your eyes peeled! Shoot low, shoot 
low, the hill is steep; quiet, now; steady!" After these orders 
and cautions, the men peered sharply into the woods to "let them 
have it" as they came up the hill against us. But there is no 
attack upon us. The crash of Union muskets breaks out on our 
right, and we know that the attack is on the twelfth corps. Soon 
a staff officer came along, calling: "Where is Colonel Dawes?" 
I answered: "Here." He said: "Take your regiment, sir, and 
report to General Greene." I said: "Where is he?" "He is 
over in the woods where they are attacking." I commanded: 
"Attention, battalion, right face, forward by file right march! " 
and we started for General Greene. Who he was I did not know, 
but the musketry showed where to go. The first mounted officer 
I saw proved to be General G. S. Greene, of the twelfth army 
corps. Taking from his pocket a card, he wrote in the darkness 
his name and command, which he handed to me. He then directed 


me to form my regiment, and go into the breastworks ; to go 
as quickly as possible, and to hold the works after I got there. 
I did not then understand, nor did he, that the rebels already had 
possession of these works. Facing the regiment to the front, I 
ordered: "Forward run; march!" We received no fire until 
we neared the breastworks, when the enemy who had possession 
of them, lying on the lower side, and who were completely sur 
prised at our sudden arrival, rose up and fired a volley at us, and 
immediately retreated down the hill. This remarkable encounter 
did not last a minute. We lost two men, killed both burned 
with the powder of the guns fired at them. The darkness and 
the suddenness of our arrival caused the enemy to fire wildly. 
We recaptured the breastworks on our front, and the fourteenth 
Brooklyn, which came in on our right, also got possession of the 
works. We remained here until midnight, when we were relieved 
by troops of the twelfth corps, who had left these works to sup 
port General Sickles corps against Longstreet s attack and now 
returned. We then marched back to our own breastworks on 
Gulp s Hill. 

During the whole day of July 3rd, we occupied our intrench- 
ments on Gulp s Hill. They seemed a coign of vantage. We 
had the zip of the sharpshooter s bullet, the "where is you" of 
cannon shot, the ringing whistle of the ragged fragments of 
bursting shell, all around us. At some hours of the day, 
especially during the great cannonade preceding Pickett s charge, 
the air seemed full of missiles fired by the enemy. But no man 
was touched, and we were devoutly thankful that such immunity 
was granted us.* 

This letter from Colonel J. M. Stone, then, and at the present 
time, Governor of the State of Mississippi, was in reply to my 
letter asking for some recollections of our meeting at Gettysburg. 

JACKSON, JUNE 4th, 1876. j 

"My Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your esteemed letter of the ist inst. and I thank you for the 

*For casualties Army of Potomac see Page 112, Volume XXVII, Part I, 
War Eecords. 


complimentary mention of the officers and men composing the- 
second regiment of Mississippi Volunteers, which regiment I had 
the honor to command during the late war. I have a distinct, 
but sad recollection of the events of July ist, 1863, in the 
vicinity of Gettysburg. In consequence of a wound received a 
few minutes prior to the final issue, I did not have the pleasure of 
meeting you and your gallant men in the railroad cut. The loss 
of my regiment in that terrible conflict (if my memory serves 
me correctly) was one hundred and eighty-two killed and 
wounded. I have frequently heard Major Blair (afterward Lieu 
tenant Colonel) and other officers and soldiers of my regiment, 
speak in the highest terms of yourself and the officers and men 
of the sixth Wisconsin. I remember well the fight in the corn 
field in front of the church at Antietam, (Sharpsburg.) I 
was in command, was twice wounded, but not disabled, and 
remained and commanded until the battle ended. 

You can communicate with Colonel John A. Blair, at Tupelo, 
Lee County, Mississippi. He will doubtless be much pleased to 
hear from you. With assurances of my highest regard, and sin 
cere desire for mutual and perpetual good feeling and friendly 
relations, I am very respectfully yours, J. M. STONE. 

Official reports describing the action of the sixth Wisconsin in the battle 
of Gettysburg may be found as follows, in Volume XXV1J, Part I, War 
Records : 

General Abner Doubleday, Pages 243 to 257 

General James S. Wadsworth, Page 266 

Lieutenant Colonel Rufus R. Dawes, Pages 275 to 278 

References to the sixth Wisconsin will be found in Reports of 

General Lysander Cutler, Page 283 

Colonel Edward B. Fowler, Page 286 

Major Edward Pye, Page 287 

General John W. Geary, Page 827 

General George S. Greene, Page 856 

Captain Lewis R. Stegman, Page 865 

Confederate Reports, Volume XXVII, Part II, War Records: 

General Joseph R. Davis, Page 648 

Major General Henry Heth, page 637 

Lieutenant General A. P. Hill, Page 606 

Reports of the commanders of the other regiments of the "Iron^Brigade" 
may be found in same volume : 

Colonel Henry A. Morrow, Page 267 

Major John Mansfield, Page 273 

Colonel W. W. Robinson, Page 278 













Brig Corn Staff : 




















Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers . . 

Second. \Visconsin Volunteers 

Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers 

Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers ... 

Twenty-fourth Michigan Volunteers 



Pursuit of the Enemy The Pride of Victory William&port A. 
Little . Rest On to Virginia -Provost Duty at MiddleJburgToo 
Much \Vhislfy-To Warrenton Junction Echoes of the M organ 
Raid To Beverly Ford The One Hundred and Sixty-Seventh 
Pennsylvania Refuses to March The old and new Colors 
Letter From one of Sherman s men South of the Rappahannock 
I Command an Outpost Mini* .Argrues the Case Refused a 
Leave of Absence Conscripts and Bounty ^Jumpers "Iron 
Brigade" Flag .At Culpepper I Make a Friendly Call on the 
Enemy Ordnance Returns To the Rapidan Picket Duty. 


JULY gth, 1863. j 

"Until we get our wagon train I am reduced to the extremity of 
writing with a pencil. Our pursuit of the retreating enemy has 
been rapid. We have marched night and day and we have 
beaten the rebel army. At last the Army of the Potomac has 
done what, well-handled, it might have done long ago, out 
marched, out-maneuvered and defeated the great rebel army of 
General Lee. Our men have toiled and suffered as never before. 
Almost half of our men have marched barefooted for a week. 
Such energy as is now exhibited would have crushed the rebel 
lion long ago. Colonel Bragg came back to us last night. I do 
not think he can endure the hot sun, as he is still sick. This 
battle service has always made me sick, but I think I will get 
through this time. You can hardly know the strain of such 
days as those three at Gettysburg. We have had severe rains 
since the battle. I have not slept in a dry blanket or had on dry 
clothing since crossing the Potomac before the battle. If we can 
end this war right here, I will cheerfully abide the terrible risk 
of another battle, and certainly personal discomforts are small 
comparatively. I feel very hopeful now, and prouder than I can 
tell you that the old army has vindicated itself. I hope the 
Quartermaster will be up to-night with my valise, so I will not be 
obliged to write with a pencil." 

Owing to the great necessity for medical attendance upon the 


wounded at Gettysburg, our three surgeons, who were all expe 
rienced and skillful operators, were kept at Gettysburg. A young 
civilian doctor, whose name I have lost, was sent to attend our 
regiment upon this march. He was provided with no horse or 
equipment, and I was obliged to share mine with him. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR SOUTH MOUNTAIN, ) 

JULY 9th, 1863. j 

"I wrote you an illegible letter this morning with a pencil, and 
sent it in a rebel envelope. We are again near the rebel army, 
and unless they escape over the river, we may expect a battle. 
Last night a shell burst within half a mile of us. Our army is 
worn out with toil and suffering, and looks hopefully for a season 
of rest after the enemy is driven from our soil. General Meade 
has shown himself equal to the emergency. We have had as yet 
no opportunity to make reports of the battle, or to do anything 
but march, and I presume we will not until Lee s army is de 
stroyed or beyond the Potomac. The only paper I have seen 
since the battle is a Baltimore Clipper. The second Wisconsin 
regiment can not muster fifty muskets. Still this little represen 
tative remnant has been with the advance since the battle, and 
will probably open the next fight as it did the last. One thing 
will appear, that the Army of the Potomac saved Pennsylvania 
and the North. Not one shot was fired at Gettysburg by the 
Pennsylvania militia." 



JULY nth, 1863. 

To-day we have expected a battle, but the sun is now twenty 
degrees above the highest summit of South Mountain, and not so 
much as a musket shot has broken the stillness. Perhaps the 
rebels have crossed over the river but that is not likely." 


JULY 1 2th, 1863. j 

"We are again confronting the rebel army which is strongly 
entrenched in position near the Potomac river and another deadly 
struggle seems certain. I can not write more than that. I am 
to-night, alive and well, and have received all of your letters up 


to July fourth. This battle must end our campaign for the 


(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR HAGERSTOWN, JULY i4th, 1863. 

"*I wrote the last note in full expectation of having soon to 
charge on the enemy s entrenchments. No pleasant prospect to 
one who saw the awfully murderous repulse of the rebel 
charging columns at Gettysburg. All day yesterday, we lay 
quietly roasting in the hot sun and this morning the rebel army 
has retreated across the river. We may now reasonably hope 
for rest. The incessant and toilsome marching from Fredericks- 
burgh to Gettysburg, the terrible battle, and the hurried pursuit 
of the enemy to this point has been the most trying campaign of 
this army. Our men have become ragged and shoeless, thousands 
have marched for days barefooted over the flinty turnpikes. 
The army has shown a willingness and alacrity under its toils, 
sufferings and privations, that entitle it to the gratitude of the 
Nation and I think for once it will receive it." 

There has been discussion upon the question whether General 
Meade should have attacked the rebel army in its position near 
Williamsport, Maryland, on the thirteenth of July. It is my 
belief that our army would have been repulsed if they had at 
tacked the enemy in this entrenched position. Our later expe 
riences at Spottsylvania and at". Cold Harbor, and in many other 
unsuccessful assaults is a sufficient indication of the fact. 


JULY 1 6th, 1863. j 

"We have one day of rest. I have had to use all kinds of 
schemes to get my letters to the mail, sometimes leaving them 
with citizens or dropping them in village post offices or sending 
them by newspaper boys. The State of Wisconsin has at last 
furnished us with a beautiful stand of colors upon which our 
battles are inscribed : Rappahannock, Gainesville, Bull Run, South 
Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburgh, Fitz Hughs Crossing, Chan 
cellor sville, Gettysburg, and who can tell what more is in store 
for this shattered little fragment of veteran heroes before next 

*July 13th to 15th 1863, occurred the terrible draft riots in New York 


July, when our term of service will expire. Five hundred and 
seventy-five men have been killed or wounded in these battles and 
I have been through them all with scarcely a scratch. We are 
stopping here a few days to get new clothing and shoes and to 
refit the troops for another campaign in Virginia. The pros 
pects are brightening. The opening of the Mississippi river 
is the grand success of the war. 

We have never been so pressed for time. Accounts, returns, 
muster-rolls, correspondence, everything was given up to driving 
the enemy from Pennsylvania. I have just signed our muster- 
rolls for the muster of July ist. (This refers to the muster for 
pay made on June 3oth at Marsh Creek just before engaging in 
the battle of Gettysburg). By our losses at Gettysburg and in 
other battles, our regiment is reduced below the minimum re 
quired by law. Under the present policy of the War Depart 
ment, this regiment is not entitled to a Colonel. Encouraging, is 
it not? The more desperate the risks of the Lieutenant Colonel 
who commands in battle, and the greater the loss of his 
regiment, the less his chance for promotion. The Governor 
would commission a Colonel in case of a vacancy, but the United 
States mustering officer can not now muster in a Colonel for our 

This cutting off of the Lieutenant Colonels and Majors of the 
old battle regiments from promotion, was a gross blunder in our 
war policy. It was done on the theory of economy. 
Colonels came too high. It would have been better to 
cut off the appointment of a Major, leaving always before the 
field officer, the avenue to promotion. An honorable promotion 
as a reward and recognition of perilous service, is an inestimable 
prize to a true soldier. The right policy was pursued with line 
officers in the companies. When a company became reduced 
below the minimum, the second lieutenant was cut off and not 
the captain. This "blunder" was far-reaching in its damaging 
effect upon the spirits and efficiency of our volunteer army. 


LOUDON COUNTY, VA., JULY i8th, 1863. j 
"We crossed the Potomac river at Berlin this morning and 
came here. We may have some hard marching to end up with 

another battle, but let us hope that the glorious result to which 
events are now pointing so plainly, may be attained without the 
battle. Colonel Bragg has gone home sick. It looks as though 
the subscriber would command the Sixth regiment for some time. 
I fear we shall suffer again from heat and dust, but we are 
moving leisurely now." 


"Almost for the first time since coming into the army, I have 
my headquarters in a house. I am King of this pretty little 
village while we stay. My regiment is doing provost duty. 
Are not you glad I have the boys living on the aristocratic rebels 
of Middleburg ? The people board the men wherever they are 
sent to guard their property. The boys are living high and they 
are kindly treated. I had a talk with a lady this morning, and 
she was a refined and gentle woman. She had lost a son, and 
her nephew had been killed in the war. She had lost all she 
had to live for. You can not imagine how bitterly she expressed 
herself against the North and our army. She made no com 
plaint of our men who, she said, did their duty faithfully and 
kindly. I believe, she said, God s blessing will rest upon our 
soldiers if they take ruin and desolation to every hearthstone of 
the North, for their wickedness has merited such punishment. 
She confessed freely their own waning fortunes, but had faith 
that a just and terrible vengeance would yet come on the North. 
Poor old Virginia, she is bitterly reaping her reward. Nothing 
more plainly foreshadows the bursting of the rebel bubble, than 
this despair of the first families of Virginia." 

I regret that the name of this lady is not preserved. I had 
received a communication from corps headquarters that Mosby s 
men had been in Middleburg, and I was directed to put a stop 
to their being harbored and concealed by the people. There 
were none but women in the town. I was told to see this lady, 
as she was the most influential person in the town, and to notify her 
that if there were further causes for complaint, the guards would 
be removed from their property. She promised me she would 
try to control the young women in the matter, and put a stop to it. 

"General Cutler now commands our division and General John 
Newton commands our first corps. 


I have been sitting this morning as a member of a special 
court martial, and all the forenoon we wise doctors have been 
wrangling over the law and the testimony. I have to go back in 
a few minutes. We are selected for a dignified and able court. 
We have one Brigadier General, four Colonels, and two Lieu 
tenant Colonels. We are trying Colonel . 

L,ater I will try to finish my letter though it is quite late and 
we are to march at daylight. My head is full of hearsay evi 
dence, competency, relevancy and so forth, for we have a fear 
fully technical court. General H. S. Briggs of Massachusetts, is 
our President. Colonel Bates of the twelfth Massachusetts is 
the brightest man on the court. He occasionally makes sad 

work with technical points. The prosecution of is a silly 


The Colonel, who was on trial, was a gallant, faithful, and 
capable officer. His regiment was first in the order of march 
one morning, but the Colonel overslept, and his regiment was not 
ready to move at the designated hour. In consequence of this 
the troops were delayed for a short time. For this somewhat 
trivial offense, charges were preferred against him. He was 
punished by a nominal censure. 

At this time, whisky was too freely issued to the troops under 
the term "rations." The effect was very bad, and I published an 
order forbidding the issue of liquor to the regiment, except with 
quinine. Hence arose a song composed in imitation of the Sur 
geon s sick call on the drum, the burden of which was : "Come, 
Come, Come, Come and get your quinine ! " When some of our 
"soakers" were seen going to sick call, this chorus would break 
out. General John Newton, our corps commander, said, as I was 
alone of regimental commanders in making such an order, I 
could not sustain it. He was mistaken. It enforced itself. 

s trial grew out of an excessive ration of whisky. The 

Colonel was drunk on Government whisky, as were most of his 
men and officers. Whisky as a stimulant to wet, weary and tired 
soldiers did not compare with hot coffee. After whisky, the men 
being overstimulated, were wakeful and noisy, and lost their 
rest. After coffee they went at once to sleep. Sleep, tired na 
ture s sweet restorer, was the thing needful. 


(Better to M. B. G.) WARRENTON, VA., JULY 23rd, 1863. 

"We marched yesterday from Middleburg to White Plains, 
and to-day we came here, where I think we will remain a day or 
two for supplies." 
(Letter.) WARRENTON JUNCTION, JULY 25th, 1863. 

"Yesterday I was ordered down the Culpepper turnpike to 
support a battery, and to construct defenses with abattis, and 
to-day was spent marching to this point. We are in a terrible 
place here. The water is undrinkable, and wood is very scarce. 
I hope our sojourn will be short. What a calamity to a country 
to even have an army camp in it ! The beautiful country about 
the village of Warrenton, without fences, without crops, without 
even garden enclosures, is little better than a desert. There are 
few more pleasantly situated villages in the land. It is the home 
of Virginia aristocracy, but you see literally nothing but black 
veils and mourning dresses. We heard last night the familiar 
boom of cannon, the first since crossing the river. I do not 
know what it was. 

We have just got to-day s newspaper, which is the first one we 
have had for a week. So you have had John Morgan near you, 
if not in Marietta. (Morgan s raid in Ohio.) I shall feel anxious 
for particulars. Did you run? Did you see any of the rebels? 
It is coming home to have rebels all around Marietta. But if 
they were, as reported, at Chester, they must have gone very 
near Marietta. How did your brave men bear themselves? 
Better, I hope, than the Pennsylvania militia. I would like the 
Iron Brigade, for a short time in front of Morgan s ragamuffins." 

Of the Morgan Raid in Ohio, my correspondent, M. B. G., 
wrote me that ten thousand of the Ohio emergency Militia were 
encamped at a ford on the Ohio river, eight miles below Marietta. 
They were on the great farm of William P. Cutler. This force 
was mainly without guns. She named two very prominent 
citizens who had patriotically joined the militia to repel Morgan. 
These gentlemen had guns, and they marched arm in arm under 
the same umbrella, paying a darky to carry their muskets. After 
accomplishing the eight miles, they were so hot and tired that 
they declared they would not run if the whole Southern Con 
federacy came against them. They would contract with the 


darky to save their muskets, and themselves surrender. She 
described how Mr. Cutler found sleeping in his hay mow, the 
man who had beaten him for Congress. 
(Letter to M. B. G.) WARRENTON JUNCTION, JULY 2yth, 1863. 

"The army is now lying in this vicinity getting supplies and 
clothing, and recruiting its energies, preparatory for future cam 
paigning. We are in a bad place for water and wood. I do not 
want to fight, but I hope to get out of this desolate land. 

General Meade did wisely in not attacking General Lee in his 
entrenched position at Williamsport, and I am impudent enough 
to say my opinion is worth more on this point than any man s 
who is as far away as Marietta.* I examined the rebel fortifica 
tions at Williamsport, which were strong and well-constructed, 
and I think General Meade would have certainly failed to carry 
them by direct assault. Both flanks of the works were on the 
Potomac river. We had no other alternative than direct assault. 
I take no stock in the stuff printed in the newspapers about the 
demoralization of the rebel army after Gettysburg. They were 
worn out and tired as we were, but their cartridge boxes had 
plenty of ammunition, and they would have quietly lain in their 
rifle pits and shot us down with the same coolness and despera 
tion they showed at Gettysburg. 

So you have really had a speck of war at Marietta. I hope 
Charley f will not bivouac many nights, and that he will keep out 
of the skirmishing with the rebels. 

I think the New York riot is in some respects a fortunate 
thing. It settles Vallandigham in Ohio, and teaches more 
clearly than words the propriety of muzzling the Woods and 
Seymours. The suspension of the draft, though a cowardly 
policy, was consistent as a military necessity. The country 
would have been in a fix if General Lee had defeated our army 
at Gettysburg. That is clear now is it not? " 
(Letter to M. B. G.) WARRENTON JUNCTION, JULY 29th, 1863. 

" Morgan came nearer than you expected. I am glad he is 

*0n Page 935, Volume XXVII, Part II, War Eecords, may be found 
some of this talk by a smart aleck, who writes to Win. H. Seward. 

tCharles B. Gates, her brother, then a young student in Marietta College. 
He went out to resist Morgan. 



captured. Ohio is not a shell, as General Grierson found Missis 
sippi, and carrying desolation to northern hearthstones, is serious 

We are now clothing our men and recruiting generally, from 
the effects of our hard campaign. What absurd talk there is in 
the papers about General Lee s escape from Williarnsport." 

(Letter to M. E.G.) WARRENTON JUNCTION, JULY 3oth, 1863. 

"I do not believe there is in Virginia, any such place as 
Endorville. If there is, General Lee has certainly escaped 
from it. General H. S. Briggs, of Massachusetts, is to command 
our division. He was President of our court martial at Middle- 
burg, and I feel well acquainted with him. 

I am President of the General Court Martial, which holds its 
sessions at division headquarters. Colonel Bragg is at home 
sick. He could not endure the hot sun. No leaves of absence are 

now granted, except for sickness. made a piteous 

appeal. His hard earned property was going to ruin. His 
wife was sick. His children had the measles, and the dog was 
not well, but notwithstanding all these troubles, his application 
was unfavorably considered at army headquarters. 

Our division is now doing the picket duty for the corps. The 
two other divisions are guarding the Orange and Alexandria R. R. 
There is no appearance of any purpose on the part of Meade 
to attack the enemy. Four old regiments just passed here on 
their way to New York to enforce the draft. Many officers and 
men are being sent from the army to take charge of conscripts. 
So far as I know, no considerable re-inforcements have been sent 
to this army since crossing into Virginia, and we are still losing 
nine-months volunteers by reason ot expiration of their service." 

One day about this time, I was away attending court martial 
when our division marched, and, as I galloped after them, I was 
doubtful whether I was on the right road. I asked a woman if 
any troops had passed. Raising both hands she replied: "Yes 
sir, millions and millions of them !" 

AUGUST ist, 1863. j 

"We are near the railroad crossing. We marched to-day from 
Warrenton Junction, twelve miles. It was very hot and men 


were sun-struck in the column. *There is artillery firing and 
musketry this evening near Brandy Station, I think. The one 
hundred and sixty-seventh Pennsylvania, a regiment of men who 
were drafted for nine months service, and who claimed their time 
had expired, refused to march this morning. They are attached 
to our brigade and there are about eight hundred men in their 
ranks. The second, sixth, and seventh Wisconsin were drawn 
up in front of them with loaded muskets and the commands 
"Ready ! aim ! " were given by General Cutler before they would 
fall in. Upon that incentive however, they fell in with great 
alacrity. General Cutler himself gave these commands, and I 
should have felt badly all my life to have had him order Fire. 
But by showing the men he would order it, the necessity was 
obviated. I was directed to march my regiment behind the one 
hundred and sixty-seventh Pennsylvania, and had orders to shoot 
any man who fell out of the ranks, which I did not do, but I 
kept a company deployed behind them, who drove them up when 
they lagged."t 

"The State of Wisconsin has sent us a fine stand of colors 
which will, I understand, be here to-morrow. I wish I could 
keep our old color lance, which has three bullet holes through it, 
and two other marks. Think of that slender stick struck five 
times. It is dark, but still the sullen boom of rebel cannon goes 
on beyond the river." 

This color staff is preserved in the flag room at the Capitol of 
Wisconsin. Five distinct bullet marks can be seen. There is 
probably not another color lance in the United States that equals 
it in the number of its battle scars. It is a National color. 

*0n August first, Brigadier General John Buford, with a division of cav 
alry, advanced from Rappahannock Station, and drove the enemy s cavalry 
to the vicinity of Culpepper C. H., where he encountered infantry and 
was obliged to retire. This was the cause of the firing we heard. 

tThe question with the men of this regiment was whether they were 
legally held for nine months from the time that each individual was taken 
into the service or nine months from the date on which the regiment was 
mustered into the service as an organization. It made a difference of 
about two weeks time, upon the average. It was said that the officers of 
the regiment were themselves conscripts, who had been elected to their 
positions by the men of the regiment, and it was suspected that they en 
couraged the men in refusing to march. 


AUGUST 3rd, 1863. j 

"Yesterday morning we moved in great haste from Beverly 
Ford, and crossed the river on pontoons at the railroad station. 
We went into line of battle stretching along in front of the rail 
road crossing. I do not know but that yesterday was the hottest 
day I ever experienced. The troops suffered very much, although 
the march was not long. Thinking that we would remain at 
Beverly Ford, I took great pains in arranging the regimental 
camp, and the men were nicely fixed. Dr. Hall is still at Gettys 
burg attending the wounded of the Dattle." 


AUGUST 5th, 1863. j 

"*We got ready for battle yesterday. Pack mules were hustled 
back over the river to the rear, stretchers were brought up, and 
field hospitals established. The enemy attacked our cavalry in 
front, but were driven back. It was only a reconnoissance in 
force. Meanwhile a heavy rain came on, drenching us suffering 
heroes to the skin. I got my wedge tent up to the front before 
night, and, appropriating a stretcher for a bed, I made myself 
quite comfortable. We sent away our old flag yesterday, and 
were sorry to see it go. The new one is a very handsome silk 
color, (National color) and it has all of our engagements in 
scribed upon it, except Fitz Hugh s Crossing. I enclose a copy 
of my letter which accompanied the flag." 


AUGUST 4TH, 1863. j 
W. Y. Selleck, Military Agent for the State of Wisconsin : 

SIR I have the honor to acknowledge at the hands of Mr. 
Taylor, the receipt of the National color, with the names of our 
battles inscribed upon it, provided by the State of Wisconsin for 
this regiment. I send to you herewith for transmission to the 
Governor our old color. It can no longer be unfurled and five 
bullets have pierced the staff. Its tattered folds and splintered 
staff bear witness more eloquently than words to the conduct of 
the men who have rallied around it from Gainesville to Gettys- 

*See Page 22, Volume XXIX, Part II, War Records, for reports of this 


burg. We send it to the people of Wisconsin, knowing what 
they expect of us, and we promise that the past shall be an earnest 
of the future, under the beautiful standard they have sent us. 

Very respectfully, R. R. DAWKS, 

lieutenant Colonel commanding sixth Wisconsin volunteers. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) AUGUST 5th, 1863. 

"We are still south of the river. Our cavalry pickets in front 
were attacked by the enemy yesterday. There was not much of 
a skirmish and the rebels soon retired. We (the infantry) were 
not engaged but I formed my command for action. 

Dr. Hall came back yesterday. He has been at Gettysburg 
ever since the battle attendi ng the wounded, of whom there were 
thousands. Dr. Preston still remains at Gettysburg in this employ 
ment. General Meade is not worshiped but he is highly respected. 
His judicious and vigorous handling of the troops at Gettysburg 
and his pursuit after the battle have inspired confidence, which is 
not lessened by his proper caution at Williamsport. The army 
is not so fierce to attack the enemy in entrenchments as news 
papers represent it to be. 

I am glad Dr. Hall is back, as it has been dull with so many 
of our officers away and he is excellent company." 

In this camp I received a letter from my brother, who was in 
General William T. Sherman s corps during the Vicksburg cam 
paign. He was now in pursuit of General Joseph K. Johnston. 
It will be seen that we did not have an entire monopoly of hard 
campaigning : 


JULY 27th, 1863. j 

"A little more than a month since we marched from Snyder s 
Bluff, with three days rations. We staid at Oak Ridge a week. 
On the afternoon of the fourth of July (the day Vicksburg sur 
rendered) we started after Johnston s army. My baggage 
for the campaign was one shirt and two pocket handker 
chiefs carried in the valise on my saddle. * * * * The only 
rations issued were crackers, coffee and salt. Our mess for three 
weeks have lived on green corn, chickens and sweet potatoes. 
To-day, for the first time since leaving Snyder s Bluff, I have a 
tent over my head." 



"We are disagreeably situated on this (south) side of the river. 
They will not allow our wagon to come within five miles of us. 
I was obliged to ride ten miles last night to change my clothing. 
Whenever the rebel cavalry comes in sight, our pack mules are 
ordered back over the bridge and we are left destitute. A small 
portion of our corps is now the only body of troops south of the river. 

This army is not anxious to get at Lee until it feels victory 
reasonably certain, and such a victory as may close the war and 
crush the rebellion. Then, as always before, we will go in not 
eagerly, as ferocious stayers-at-home say, but willingly and to 
win. The Iron Brigade has a record beyond reproach, and a 
record it will always maintain, but the Iron Brigade does not 
crave a battle. A battle to veterans is an awful experience. 
There is not with our men the headlong recklessness of new men, 
who start in, acting as though they would rather be shot than 
not, and then lose their organization and scatter like sheep, but 
there is a conviction from much experience in fighting, that 
safety is best had by steadiness, persistence in firing, and most of 
all by holding together. So, with the inducement of pride, duty, 
patriotism and personal preservation, they will stand together till 
the last." 


Most of the troops of our division have gone back into camp 
north of the river, but I was placed in command of three regi 
ments, (second Wisconsin, twenty-fourth Michigan and sixth 
Wisconsin) and Huntington s battery, ( H first Ohio) and sent 
forward to hold a position covering the approaches to the rail 
road bridge. I hope we will soon be relieved from duty on this 
side of the river, so that I can get the regiment into camp and 
have the men clean up. It is hardly fair to require us to do all 
the outpost duty." 

AUGUST loth, 1863. 

"There does not seem to be any prospect of getting relieved 
from duty on the south side of the river. I am detailed to com 
mand this outpost. I have three regiments, twenty-fourth 
Michigan, sixth Wisconsin, ^fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, and Hunt- 

*This regiment had relieved the second Wisconsin. 


ington s battery. I report to General Cutler. The principal 
hardship is having our wagon two miles away at the brigade 
camp over the river. We have good water and a good shade, and 
that is more than can be found north of the river. The situation 
is assuming, the same phase as last spring, that of chronic ap 
prehension of an advance by the enemy. Their cavalry videttes 
are in sight. Since the body of our troops have crossed back 
north of the river, a dash upon us by the enemy has been feared. 
I have dug riflepits and selected a -good position, and I think we 
can hold out until reinforced from the other side of the river. I 
believe I will bring my headquarters wagon up in the night 
and hide it in the bushes." 

On August twelfth, the regiment was relieved and sent back 
into camp. 

My service in command of the important outpost, south of the 
Rappahannock seems to have commended itself to General 
Briggs, our division commander, for on August fifteenth, he sent 
me back again.* The regiment however, remained in camp 
under command of Major Hauser. An advance by the army of 
General I^ee seems to have been feared, and my instructions were 
to exercise the greatest care and vigilance, and to stubbornly 
resist an attack until supported from the north side of the river. 


AUGUST 1 6th. } 

"I have settled upon my dispositions in case of an attack and 
feel easy. I have six hundred infantry in the entrenchments and 
a battery of artillery. The troops are now all under marching 
orders and something is in the wind. I shall not be surprised if 
General L,ee assumes the offensive. I hardly dare write here 
why I think so, our communications are so much interfered 
with. I have my headquarters in a house. There are three 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 126. AUGUST 15th, 1863. _ / 

"In compliance with instructions from headquarters first division, just 
received, Lieutenant Colonel R. R. Dawes, sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, is 
hereby detailed to take charge of the troops on the south side of the Rap 
pahannock and he will report at these headquarters without delay. 

By command, W.W. ROBINSON, Col. seventh Wis. Vols. Com d g Brigade. 

J. D. WOOD, Captain and A. A. G." 


little astonished looking girls with their fingers in their mouths, 

hanging around the table watching me as I write." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) AUGUST i8th, 1863. 

"Just now I am living in a house and have good water to drink. 
My tent back at the regimental camp is in the broiling sun, but 
I am too old a soldier not to have put up a shade long ago. I 
have had the men dig a well at the camp, about twenty feet deep, 
and they now get good water. This army will not advance soon. 
Our Generals expect to be attacked. There now that is more 
than I have any business to write, to trust the mail which Mosby 
may capture. 

There* was an exodus from this neighborhood of children of 
Ham (and they took all the hams with them) last night, to the 
number of about forty. Dey s g wine ter git out dis yer place, 
fore de southern gemman come. This morning, for the first 
time in her life, I presume, the old rebel lady of this house 
cooked a very poor breakfast for herself and the Yankee Colonel, 
who boards with her. I have quite an independent command 
over the river here. There is one Maryland regiment who spend 
most of their time singing hymns. I found yesterday that some 
of these men had not a single cartridge in their boxes. The 
negligence and carelessness of some officers is marvelous. 

Did you get the Iron Brigade Quickstep which I sent you?" 

The "Iron Brigade Quickstep" was a sheet of music. It was 
not worthy of its name as it has long since been forgotten. 
(Letter to M. B. G.) AUGUST 22nd, 1863. 

"I am still in command south of the river. We had a false 
alarm night before last. Since then my garrison has been reinforced 
by three hundred men. I want to get back to the regiment, but 
I cannot get relieved. I command the only force of the army 
south of the river. I cannot appreciate the policy of holding 
the Rappahannock line, if our army does not assume the offensive. 
The country between us and Washington is barren, desolate, and 
worthless. The communications are constantly exposed, and the 
line of defense imperfect and easily flanked. We should hardly 
lose prestige by contracting our lines to Centreville, as no at 
tempt is made in our present position to occupy the attention of 
the enemy. But I suppose nulla vestigia retrorsum? is the 


motto of our commander. General Briggs left us yesterday. I 
think likely that General Cutler will have command of the 
division. I hope so. 

Later I finished my letter at home in camp, having been 
relieved from duty over the river. The old lady and little girls 
cried when I came away. They said they knew they would lose 
their chickens, and the soldiers would milk their cow, too. The 
poor people were grateful for the protection I afforded them. 
They have been plundered and robbed by both armies, until 
starvation stares them in the face. The weather continues very 
hot, and, with the bad water in this neighborhood, it is beginning 
to cause much sickness among the troops. The old lady over 
the river fed me on bread and milk." 


AUGUST 23rd, 1863. 

"Every idea is roasted out of my head by the heat. The Doctor 
(J. C. Hall) and I had a discussion to-night on the question, 
whether the negro has any love of liberty ; whether he desires 
freedom, or merely imagines more personal comfort in being free. 
We submitted the following test question to William, to Moses, 
to Reuben, to Mink, to Mat, and to Sam, all the Africans acces 
sible : Which would you prefer to be a slave with a good 
master, not much to do, plenty of hog and hominy, and a coon 
dog, or be a free man and have to scratch for your living? 
William, of course, took my side of the question, and preferred 
freedom, but Mink, a child of influence among our contrabands, 
followed the coon dog, and the rest of them followed Mink." 

Mink argued that if he could pick his master, he had rather 
be a slave than a Brigadier General. There was no better posi- 
.tion. It involved "no sponsibility." It was almost the same as 
to "jine the family." But said I, "Mink, what if your master 
died?" That would be bad he said, because he might set his 
slaves free in the will. He had heard of them made "miserable" 
that way. "They d rather died themselves." He said a free 
nigger was " spized" everywhere he had ever been. But said I, 
Mink suppose you got a bad master? "Dat s next to bein a free 
nigger, sah," was his quick response. 

General J. C. Rice of Massachusetts has been assigned to the 


command of our division in place of General Briggs, who has 

gone to Alexandria." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) AUGUST 24th, 1863. 

"William says he done never seed it hotter afore. We have 
just had a thunder gust. It swept away my letter and came near 
taking our tent along also. Our only course in such an emer 
gency is to go to bed until the wind will let the candle burn." 

"I expect Colonel Bragg back to-night. If he conies, I shall 
honor the day to-morrow, by an application for a leave of absence 
to come home. Colonel Bragg will likely get his star as a 
Brigadier General. Colonel Lucius Fairchild was nominated by 
the Republicans for Secretary of State of Wisconsin. This is 
accepted as a special compliment to the Iron Brigade. 

I am having a busy day, shifting my whole camp, shading it 
with evergreen bowers, and having the men raise their tents and 
bunks. I am having a thorough, general police. I propose to 
have the best camp in this division, and therefore supervise the 
work myself, not trusting wholly to the officer of the day. 

Our new division commander, General J. C. Rice, is especially 
anxious to have a neat camp. Our men can make a nice enough 
camp to suit him. We once had from the medical inspector of 
the army credit for having the best arranged and best policed 
regimental camp in the Army of the Potomac." 

AUGUST 29th, 1863. j 

"Colonel Bragg arrived in camp yesterday. I made application 
for ten days leave of absence. It will be pretty mean if they do 
not give it to me. There is no field officer in the Army of the 
Potomac w r ho has kept more closely at his post, or participated in 
more battles." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER 3rd, 1863. 

"My application for leave of absence was disapproved by our 
brand-new Brigadier General Rice, at division headquarters, which 
made me pretty mad, and I went up to see him. The result of 
our interview was, that he said if I would make another applica 
tion, he would approve it, and so I started another paper grind 
ing through the mill." 


SEPTEMBER 6th, 1863. 

"This time General Rice earnestly recommended that the 
application be granted a change over the spirit of his dream. 
General Rice was anxious that I should know his action, and he 
called me in to see him endorse my application. You had better 
keep on writing letters just the same. Great preparations are 
being made for an appropriate celebration upon the reception of 
the new colors of the Iron Brigade. Ex-Governor Alexander 
W. Randall will probably make the presentation address. 

Conscripts are beginning to come to this army, and a sorry look 
ing set they are. Many are substitutes, who have received large 
sums of money, and who are old soldiers discharged or deserted, 
who have come with the deliberate intention of deserting, and 
again speculating in the substitute money. They are closely 
guarded. What a contrast between such hounds and the enthu 
siastic and eager volunteers of 1861. Our men thoroughly 
despise these cattle and certainly the honor of the old army will 
not be safe in such hands. I took dinner w T ith Captain Hunting- 
ton, (commander of the Ohio battery.) He lives well, and so do 
we now." 

SEPTEMBER 8th, 1863. 

"I have been for three days on picket. They have just brought 
in one of our lieutenants badly hurt by the fall of a horse." (I 
do not remember who it was.) 

SEPTEMBER i2th, 1863. 

"General Meade refused to grant my leave of absence. Colonel 
Bragg endorsed it : Lieutenant Colonel Dawes has neither 
asked nor received indulgences to relieve him from duty. I 
earnestly recommend the granting of the application. General 
Rice, the division commander, endorsed : This appears to be 
such a case, that if the exigencies of the service will permit, I 
earnestly recommend that the application be granted. The corps 
commander, General John Newton, approved the application, but 
General Meade refused to grant the leave of absence, and 
returned the paper endorsed: The Commanding General de 
clines to grant leaves of absence at the present time, for private 

I received notice, yesterday, that Colonel Cutler s ordnance 


returns for 1861 had not been accepted, and I am obliged to go 
to making up returns for my old company "K," which is a hard 
job. Is not this system delightful as applied to officers in the 
field? Here is Colonel Cutler s account of fifty thousand dollars 
worth of property, once settled with the Government, but it is 
later discovered that it is not precisely in accord with some 
technical rule of the Ordnance Office, and now while we are in 
the field, without our books or papers, we must make up again 
two-year old accounts, and have them inspected and accepted, 
before we can receive any more pay, if they choose to enforce the 
order to stop it. 

The paymaster is here now and we will get our pay this time 
anyhow. I was just now hailed by the Adjutant General of the 
second army corps, * w 7 ho is an acquaintance. He said : We 
are going over the river. I asked him, where? He said: To 
Culpepper, I think. " 


"The sound of cannon comes to us, this morning, from the 
front. The cavalry corps and the second (infantry) corps are 
over the river on a reconnoissance. We have orders to support 
the second corps if they are pushed. Dr. Preston (who had now 
returned from Gettysburg) says three army corps moved forward 
this morning. It is surprising that we should be left behind. 
This looks like a general advance of our lines, and may possibly 
account for the disapproval of my application for a leave of 

Drinking, gambling, and horse racing, are the principal 
pursuits of many officers of the army, during such lulls in the 
active service as we are having now. 

Next Thursday, General Meade and the Johnnies permitting, 
we shall celebrate, in an appropriate manner, the presentation of 
the Iron Brigade flag. There is considerable fighting over the 
river as *I write. Judging from the sound, our men are 
advancing, and the enemy retiring. A beautifully decorated 
bower is being constructed, and preparations are being* made for 
a grand afiair when the brigade flag comes." 

*Franeis A. Walker. 


(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER i5th. 

"I have lazy times since Colonel Bragg has returned. There 
is nothing to read in the army but trash and newspapers. The 
worst thing of the service is the coarse, boorish manners, which 
grow upon one, and against W 7 hich there is little restraint. It is 
easy not to drink whisky, and not to gamble, and not to swear, but 
it is hard not to become rough, coarse and uncouth. It is easier 
to be a gentleman here in moral conduct than it is in personal 


(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER i6th, 1863. j 

"We broke camp at daylight this morning and marched ten 
miles toward the enemy, and are perhaps on the eve of more of 
the bloody fighting that usually falls to our lot. We are now in 
bivouac awaiting orders. The sun is very hot and the dust in 
tolerable. We are in a beautiful rolling country, covered with 
rich farms and fine houses, but no crops are cultivated. As far 
as I can see to the east and west stretches a broad line of glisten 
ing white tents, the line of the army of the Potomac. To the 
east, we trace it for six miles, and to the west, for four miles. 
This great white belt is the strength of the North in the cause of 
justice, freedom and humanity. It does seem that, with the 
prestige and glory of our victory at Gettysburg, and with the 
unity and determination this army has shown, its onward sweep 
should be irresistible. 

The sound of cannon has come to our ears all day from the 
front, and it comes as I write from the direction of the old Cedar 
Mountain battle field. To us who have so often felt the terrible 
meaning of this sound, it is not pleasant. The wail of a musket 
ball that has spent its flight is mournful; the hiss of one at full 
speed is spiteful. I lay on my back looking into the sky hour 
after hour on Gulp s Hill at Gettysburg, listening to the varied 
sounds of battle firing. Some of our men imitate the whistle of a 
shell to perfection. 

Our bfigade band is now playing When this cruel war is 
over. Dr. Hall, carried away by the music and by the senti 
ment, is bothering me with conundrums, When will it be over? 
What will be the result ? Will the end of this cruel war establish 


National Supremacy or destroy it ? If you think of any good 
answers you might put them in your next." 


"I lay last night on gravel stones about as big as a walnut. 
To-day I sent Billy out to provide for the case. He got a bushy 
cedar tree, from which we made a splendid bed. All the roads in 
this country are lined with cedar, and frequently with osage 
orange hedges. They are very pretty and pleasant, but we 
heathenish vandals must have something upon which to rest 
our weary limbs, and so we appropriate the trees and hedges. 
There is much grief among the old families here at seeing the 
landmarks of their childhood and days of their prosperity 
swept away, and their manifestation of sorrow is sometimes quite 
affecting. But sorry as it makes us feel, we have to stand it, and 
take the trees. At Culpepper live the families of Slaughter and 
Bradford. At Madison University, Wisconsin, I met Clayton and 
Johnny Slaughter and Hill Bradford. They were young South 
ern gentlemen. They say Clayton served as an aid-de-camp to 
General Roger A. Pryor, and Bradford went with the rebel 
artillery (Kemper s.) 

Nothing daunted by our unfortunate march, which prevented 
our celebration, the "Iron brigade" proposes this afternoon to re 
ceive its new flag with appropriate honors. This is the 
anniversary of our battle at Antietam. The victuals are here and 
the liquors, but no splendid bower nor distinguished guests." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER i8th. 

"What a time we had this morning. There came a pouring 
rain storm in the night, and in the midst ot it a gust of wind 
swept away our tents and left Dr. Hall and me in a sorry plight. 
In pouring rain and sloppy mud, with no superfluous clothing 
to speak of to protect us from the elements, we recaptured and 
raised our fallen domicile and waited in a state of perfect satura 
tion and misery for daylight. This kind of soldiering presents 
few attractions. 

The brigade flag celebration came off according to program, 
but it was an affair that conferred little honor on the brigade as 
gentlemen. I feel glad to say there were a few exceptions, but the 
fact is, the officers of this brigade and the Generals and staff 


officers within any convenient distance of us were almost unani 
mously drunk last night. You will see an account of the 
presentation in the New York Times, as I saw the graphic and 
reliable correspondent of that paper guzzling champagne and 
wine with the rest of them.* 
(Letter to M. B. G.) 


"I rode over to Culpepper Court House this morning. While 
in the village the house of Dr. Slaughter was pointed out to me. 
The house in its surroundings and appearance is very respectable 
and substantial, and I called to inquire after my old college 
friends. I was gracefully received by a young lady, who to my 
inquiry touching the health and location of John and 
Clayton Slaughter, in whom I felt the interest of an old college 
associate, replied that her brothers were at present absent in the 
army, but if I would come in she would be glad to tell me of them. 

Her mother, a very pleasant and intelligent lady, came in to 
see me and my visit seemed quite acceptable and pleasant. 
Why not? I was from Wisconsin, and there, Mrs. Slaughter told 
me, many of her relatives lived, and with Madison, Wisconsin, 
were connected many of the most pleasant associations of the 
family. Can you tell me, Colonel Dawes, where Lawson Merrill 
is? He is my nephew. He was my classmate in the University 
and he is now in the United States Navy. Can you tell me 
where tBmory, his brother, is ? I knew that he was an officer in 

*FLAG FOR THE IRON BRIGADE. There is on exhibition at the store of 
Messrs. Tiffany & Co., a beautiful flag, which has been procured for the 
celebrated "Iron Brigade," of the First army corps, Army of the Potomac. 
The flag is of regulation size, and made of heavy dark blue silk. It is 
embellished by a handsome vignette of an eagle, shield and scroll motto, 
"E Pluribus Unum" the same as on the ten dollar Treasury note. The 
names of the principal battles in which the brigade has been engaged are 
handsomely worked, each on a separate scroll. The vignette, the scroll 
work, and the name of each regiment composing the brigade the Second, 
Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin, Nineteenth Indiana and Twenty-fourth 
Michigan are all worked in the flag with silk chenille, and the shading is 
most exquisitely done. A rich and heavy border adds to and completes 
the effect. The staff is mounted with a massive silver spear head. The 
flag is the gift of a number of gentlemen from the States of Wisconsin, 
Indiana and Michigan. It is a tit and elegant tribute to the heroism of one 
of the most glorious organizations in the entire army. New York Times. 

tCol. Win. E. Merrill, U. S. Engineers. 


our army, but I did not tell her he had been on General Pope s staff. 
Where is William Vilas? John thought everything of him. 
My answer was He is Lieutenant Colonel of the twenty-third 
Wisconsin. Dick Hubbell, another classmate of John s, is a 
Lieutenant in our army. Her nephew, Burgess Slaughter, is a 
Captain, and William Slaughter, her husband s brother, is an 
officer in the Union army. On their mantel was a photograph of 
Chancellor Lathrop and Clayt s class at the University, all of 
whom, except Clayt and Bradford, are officers in the Union 

General Roger A. Pryor has resigned on account of some 
difficulty with Jeff. Davis, and now Pryor and his aid-de-camp, 
Slaughter, are privates in the third Virginia cavalry." 

This statement is from information received in Culpepper 
village, and it may be erroneous. 

"The war has carried the northern soldiers of the family up, 
and the southern, down. 

I enclose a graphic, though unpretending story, of our drum 
major s escape from the rebels, (R. N. Smith.) The boy had 
little idea he was writing for the eyes of the world. Ed Brooks 
happening to see his letter, secured its publication in a Wiscon 
sin newspaper. It is such spirit as this boy shows, that has made 
the glory of the old Sixth regiment." 

Smith was captured at Gettysburg, and escaping from the rebel 
guard, he floated down the Shenandoah river on a saw-log, 
hiding in the daytime and floating only at night. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR CULPEPPER, { 

SEPTEMBER 2ist. j 

"I have been all day at work making up ordnance returns, 
some of them for two years ago. All this work must be done 
over, or we poor ex-captains lose more than we are worth. I do 
not believe there are any errors in my original returns, but 
Colonel Cutler s return for the regiment has been rejected. Red 
tape is well enough for a peace establishment, but, as applied to 
the extraordinary exigencies of service in the field, it is severe. 
Officers in the field, who are suffering and risking everything, 
and scarcely allowed transportation for enough to eat, are 
required to make returns for the critical scrutiny of officials at 


Washington, who seem to reject them on the flimsiest informality. 
This subjects an officer to stoppage of his pay and allowances, 
no matter how impossible a loss of papers even in battle, or want 
of vouchers pro forma makes it to correct returns. The clerks 
at Washington exact the same technical accuracy of the officer 
in the field, required of the officer in the garrison." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR CULPEPPER, SEPTEMBER, 22nd, 1863. 

"I have at last got that ordnance return made up and sent off. 
It has taken three days hard work, and it is all correct. General 
Cutler has come back and is in command now of the division. 
We are all stirred up by the terrible battle at Chattanooga." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER 23rd. 

"We are greatly concerned about General Rosecrans army. 
As usual, our active and desperate foe has concentrated his 
strength on a weaker army. Chattanooga is one of the 
strategic points of the war. Its simple possession by us forces, 
ultimately, offensive operations by the enemy, and that is a great 
point gained if we only avail ourselves of the advantage. But 
to have the golden opportunity turned into a defeat of our army, 
and a loss of the point, would be a great calamity." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER 26th, 1863. j 

"Day before yesterday, very unexpectedly and very suddenly, 
we left our old camp and marched here to the fords of the Rapi- 
dan, to relieve the twelfth army corps, on general outpost duty 
for the army. I was placed in command of the first division 
picket, and night and day since, have been very busy on that 
hardest duty of the service. My line is four miles long, running 
most of the way along the bank of the Rapidan river. The 
rebel pickets are very amicably disposed. There has been no 
firing on this line. The smoke of the encampments of the rebel 
army rises from every piece of timber, and their earthworks 
appear on every hill beyond the river. My headquarters are at 
Morton s Ford. This is a rich country. The houses are fine, 
and there is evidence of wealth and refinement. The house (Mr. 


Robinson s*) where I write has been abandoned on account of 
its proximity to the lines, but it is now rilled with elegant furni 
ture and paintings. The weather is cold for the season. I can 
see a rebel general and escort riding along on the other side of 
the river as I" look out of my window from my writing. My 
letter was interfered with. One of the captains on the picket 
line came to me with the word that a rebel was trying to get 
into our line. I went out to the point at once and saw several 
bayonets glistening in the sun in a cornfield on this side of the 
river. (At this point the rebel line was on the river, and our 
line was back from the river.) I immediately turned out the 
grand guard, but discovered that one man only was really 
advancing, swinging something white over his head. When he 
saw the grand guard falling into line, he turned to run, but I 
ordered him to halt on penalty of being shot, and, supposing him 
a deserter, assured him of safety in coming into our lines. So 
he came in. His only object was to exchange newspapers, and 
one of our men had swung a paper as a signal to come over. 
He had really been enticed into our lines. But having arrested 
him thus publicly, I could not release him without instructions, 
so I sent a note to General Newton, and explained the case to 
him, and asked for instructions, He ordered me to hold the 
man, which seemed a mean advantage to take, but he was right. 
I now must go with the general officer to visit the line." 
(Better to M. B. G.) 

"I was relieved from picket duty last night. The regiment 
now lies one mile from Morton s Ford, but our wagons are all 
six miles back, and nothing but headquarters mail comes up. 
It is getting cold these nights to sleep on the ground. We 
build up a fire of logs and spreading our blankets on the ground, 
lie with our feet to it. My health is better when on this kind of 
campaigning than when in camp. On that severest of all our 
marches, from Fredericksburgh to Gettysburg, I gained several 
pounds in weight. You may hear of me on our way to Chatta 
nooga. The first corps used to serve under General Hooker, and 
he is to command a western expedition." 

*War Record has it Robertson. 


(Better to M. B. G.) BIVOUAC IN THE FIEU), ) 

SEPTEMBER 29th, 1863. j 

"This morning we moved camp a mile or two, to get out of 
range of the enemy s batteries south of the river, and avoid 
danger of surprise. There was quite an alarm ^esterday morn 
ing. What seemed to be a brisk musketry skirmish was heard 
along the pickets. Drums were rolling, bands playing, artillery 
rumbling on the roads on the other side of the narrow river. All 
was under the mantle of a heavy morning fog. L,ine of battle 
was formed, and every preparation made to repel any attempt at 
crossing by the enemy. When the fog raised, not a battalion or 
battery of the enemy was in sight and not a shot had come near 
our pickets. What do you suppose the rebels were up to, 
making all this fuss? *The eleventh and twelfth corps have left 
this army and are now in Washington. While they are gone, 
the probabilities of an advance by us are small. Nor do I think 
while lyongstreet is west, the rebels will attack us. We are 
feeling easier about Rosecrans, but fear he is not master of the 
situation, and that he has been entrapped by Bragg. Hooker is 
to command the expedition, eleventh and twelfth corps, if it is 
not recalled, which some look for now. They say this army was 
to have fallen back to Centreville, and the strongest corps sent 
west if the reports had continued unfavorable." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) SEPTEMBER 3oth, 1863. 

"It is dull here now. I take a ride on my horse occasionally 
to look at the rebel pickets and speculate on the signal flags, and 
to enjoy the beautiful weather we are now having. I play chess 
some and am champion of this division." 

*See pages 146 to 200, Vol. XXIX, Part 1, War Records for account of 
movements of llth and 12th corps by rail to Chattanooga. 


At Morton s Ford The Retreat to CentrevilleA Skirmish at 
rlaymarketBob TomlinsonTo Thoroughfare GapRoast 
Turlfey Judge Advocate of a Court Martial General Fairchild 
Col. Edward PyeTo Catlett s Station Adjutant Broolfs 
Captured General Cutler Resorts to Vigorous Measures A. 
Gentleman of the Old School To RappahannoclfA Visit to M. 
B. G. in Ohio The Mine Run Campaign. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR MORTON S FORD, OCT. 4th, 1863. 

" About two hours ago there broke out a roar of cannon. The 
rebels fired six times into our lines at Raccoon Ford, and for 
what purpose I do not know. The impression here is that the 
war has for the present been carried to the west. Here the 
prestige of victory rests with us and the advantage to be gained 
by moderate success in Virginia is small." 


"This morning I took a long ride to enjoy the bright, beautiful 
day, and I reconnoitered the enemy s position from Clark s 
Mountain to Stringfellow s Ford, the extreme left of our army. 
They are entrenched on a range of hills, completely commanding 
our approaches throughout the line, and their forts are arranged 
so as to pour a converging fire upon the principal fords. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) KEI^Y S FORD, OCTOBER i2th, 1863. 

"I know you will excuse my pencil. I forgot to put ink in my 
haversack in our hurry when we started. At daylight, Saturday, 
our first corps was massed in front of Morton s Ford on the 
Rapidan. Orders were given to cross the river and attack the 
enemy in his entrenchments and our regiment was placed 
upon the skirmish line to lead the attack as at Fitz Hugh s cross 
ing. The day was consumed in making showy demonstrations 
in sight of the enemy. *No advance at all was intended, (I was 
mistaken,) but at night we made a hurried retreat toward Culpep- 

*See Pages 272279, and 291293, Volume XXIX, Part II, War 


per Court House. We waited until yesterday at Culpepper for 
the wagon train of the army to clear the way, and then continued 
our retreat toward the Rappahannock. Our column was scarcely 
in motion when the enemy with cavalry, infantry and artillery 
attacked General Buford, (cavalry,) our rear guard. Our regi 
ment was rear guard for the infantry, so we had a good view of 
the cavalry fight at a distance of not over a mile. We continued 
our retreat in plain sight of fighting all the way, until last night 
we reached Kelly s Ford. So for thirty-six hours we have been 
on duty. The reason we escaped fighting yesterday was that 
the enemy did not pursue our column toward Kelly s Ford, but went 
in the direction of Brandy Station, where the fighting was severe. 
We fear that Buford s cavalry was badly used. From the high 
ground near Stevensburgh, we had a fine view of the cavalry 
resisting the advance of the enemy on the plains toward the 
Rapidan. The cavalry would form their lines and receive the 
attack with hot firing, and then wheel by sections and gallop to 
the rear, reform their lines again, and await another advance of 
the enemy. The cavalry was finely handled, and behaved 

(Letter to M. B. G.) KEU,Y S FORD, OCTOBER i2th, EVENING. 

"I wrote this morning, and in default of a better opportunity, 
sent the letter by a teamster. All is quiet to-day, although a 
battle may be impending. I do not think General Meade will 
force the fighting, but he may not be able to avoid battle. I 
never saw a cavalry fight upon an open plain before yesterday. 
General Buford handled his division with great skill and courage, 
and he performed excellent service in holding back the enemy. 
He resisted their infantry for twelve miles." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) HEIGHTS OF CENTREVIIXE, VA., OCT. i4th. 
"After continuous marching night and day, we have outrun 
the enemy and this afternoon our army is going into position 
along these heights. We have escaped fighting ourselves, but 
every day we have heard the thunder of the enemy s guns, pur 
suing the rear. As I write this letter, the air is full of the noise 
of battle. We think it is the second corps, and that the battle is 
near Manassas Junction." 


Battle near Bristoe Station, between second corps, commanded 
by General G. K. Warren, and the corps of General Ewell of the 
Confederate army. 

"The rebels are after our wagon train, and we are in fear for 
it. We hope our first corps train is safe. Will we have a battle 
here to-morrow ? That is the question we are all discussing. The 
battle roars and lulls as I write. From the sound I do not think 
our men are losing ground. God help them ! You should see 
our wagon train rushing along the turnpike to the rear. A panic 
among the thousand or two wagons of this army is a scene." 

Six P. M. "The fight is over down at Manassas, (Bristoe.) 
Our wagon train appears to be safe." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) CENTREVILLE,VA., OCT. i5th, 1863, 8 P. M. 

"My candle flickers in the wind so that I can hardly write. 
Think of me rejoicing to-night, in the possession of an ancient 
pig-pen, as a protection from the drizzling storm. We are in line 
of battle in rifle pits at Centreville, awaiting the enemy. They 
have been cannonading our left two miles from here all the after 
(Letter to M. B. G.) CENTREVILLE,VA., OCT. i6th, 1863, 8 P. M. 

"Not much firing to-day and no battle. I have emerged from 
my pig-pen to-night, and availed myself of the hospitality of a 
poor white for shelter to write this letter. His unpretending 
domicile has its history in being the birth place of the rebel 
General Benjamin S. Ewell, who is in our front in command of 
some twenty thousand men. I do not think the enemy will 
pursue his aggressive movement. It is too late in the season for 
a campaign north of the Potomac, and I do not think General 
Lee is strong enough to venture it. General Lee by his forward, 
and our retrograde movement, has placed our capital before the 
world as menaced, instead of his own. General Meade, sufficiently 
strengthened, as I think he has been, should turn upon Lee, and 
if possible, defeat him on the old battle field of Bull Run. There 
would be poetic justice in such a history. We have not seen our 
wagons or valises since we left the Rapidan." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) 

CENTREVILLE, VA., (OCTOBER iyth or i8th.) 

"This morning we fell in double quick at daylight to march 


to the assistance of General Sedgwick at Chantilly, but the 
rebels did not attack General Sedgwick. Every day we hear 
distant cannonading. The weather is delightful and from these 
heights we have an extended and varied landscape. You can, on 
clear days, trace the blue summits of the mountains from Harper s 
Ferry to Culpepper county, and to the south and east you over 
look the fighting ground from Bull Run to Fredericksburgh." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) OCTOBER 26th, 1863. j 

We left Centreville yesterday morning in a cold, beating rain 
storm. We marched toward Warrenton by way of the Bull Run 
and Gainesville battle-fields. The cavalry in our front skir 
mished with the enemy all day. Toward evening we bivouacked 
near Haymarket. Cannonading was still going on in front. We 
had just begun to cook supper when an officer came rushing 
in with word that our cavalry were attacked at Broad Run by 
overwhelming numbers. General Newton ordered the brigade 
out at once to their relief. We double quicked a mile when sharp 
firing and cheering broke out near the camp we had left. There 
was firing in front of us and to our left. The enemy s cavalry 
seemed to be all around us. We formed a line of battle, skirting 
an edge of timber. The rebel cavalry in our front advanced, but 
when they saw our line they immediately retreated. We re 
mained until late in the night and then marched back about a 
mile where we found the whole first corps in line of battle. The 
seventh Wisconsin lost about forty men who were on picket. We 
lost one man taken prisoner." 

A recent letter from General Bragg gives the history of the 
one man lost : 

"Do you remember Tomlinson of company B? I think they 
called him Bob. In the early camp-life days, he used to swell 
and boast of his prowess until he was marked down as a sort of 
Bombastes furioso; but he proved as good as he talked. 

At Antietam, (you told me this) when you fell back from 
beyond the corn field the first time, Bob cried out, not yet, I 
have a few more cartridges left, and he was firing away with his 

*For reports of action at Buckland Mills, October 19th, 1863, see Volume 
XXIX, Parts I and II, War Records. 

,EN. R.E. LEE 


musket in the open field, a target for hundreds to turn their guns 
on. Bob got a terrible wound in the shoulder at Gettysburg and 
was sent to hospital, but he ran away and joined us, with his 
wound all open and unhealed, when we were marching under Gen 
eral Newton as corps commander, toward Thoroughfare. You 
remember when Fitz Hugh Lee surprised Kilpatrick, near Buck- 
land s, and in hot pursuit, his men came clear on to our camp 
line, where we were killing beef, and the Sixth was ordered out at 
double quick in light marching order to repel cavalry, which by 
that time was more scared than we were, and was getting back 
on the gallop ! Now to come to Bob again, he was left at the 
commissary, to guard our meat; he had no gun, and being wounded 
could carry none, but the devil was waked up in him, he got a 
pistol and took a short cut across a neck of woods to join us, and 
he was picked up by straggling rebel cavalry. He gave his life to 
his country in a rebel prison !" 

"We have two pack mules for regimental field and staff 
transportation, upon which we carry plenty of blankets, but no 
shelter. Our provisions we carry in panniers on the mules. It 
is two weeks since we have seen our regimental headquarters 
wagon, and as no sutlers are allowed with the army, we are 
becoming quite poverty-stricken." 


OCTOBER 3ist, 1863. j 

"You can hardly know how comfortable and homelike it seems 
to-night to get up my wall tent. Since the eighth of this month, 
I have had nothing over me except the slab cover of the pig-pen at 
Centreville. To-night the regiment is in camp. It is said that a 
council of w r ar was held at Gainesville yesterday, and as a result 
we came here. Just at supper time last night we got our march 
ing orders, and it was midnight before we had accomplished our 
journey of five miles. It was a night of Egyptian darkness* 
The column of troops would hitch up two rods and stop fifteen 
minutes, and then hitch up a rod and a half and stop half an 
hour. It is always so, marching after artillery over a stony road 
and rough hills. I often fall asleep on my horse, but whenever 
the troops ahead start, she starts, and she is in no more danger of 
losing our regiment than a hound is of losing a fox. 


We have a magnificent place here. We are encamped among 
the Bull Run Mountains, west of Thoroughfare Gap. I climbed 
this morning to the top of the highest peak and enjoyed the 
scenery. You will be astonished at our dinner to-day. Roast 
turkey! Honey! Graham biscuit! It is an epoch, such a 
dinner in this day ot hard tack plain, hard tack fried, hard tack 
soaked, hard tack crumbled and stewed, or hard tack otherwise 
compounded with salt pork as the sole staff of life. Colonel 
Bragg devoted his entire attention to an oven of flat stones and 
a turnspit for the turkey. This turkey, by the way, paid to us 
good and true Union soldiers, the penalty of his life for gobbling 
at one of our men with all the venom and derision of the 
miserable rebel that he was. Colonel Bragg, to his infinite satis 
faction and pride, in two hours and a half, brought on a roast 
turkey that would have done honor to the table of a lord. He 
gave me lessons in the art of carving. The Doctor, (J. C. Hall,) 
who had conscientious scruples that the honey was realized in an 
improper manner by the man who presented it to the Colonel, 
visited the premises to investigate, and, being furiously attacked 
by the bees on account of his Union sentiments, he concluded 
that the confiscation was just and proper. We do not steal 
turkeys and honey as a rule, but when a wealthy rebel runs away, 
leaving everything because our army is coming, we sometimes con 
fiscate rebellious turkey gobblers, and the honey of traitorous bees. 

Ohio has done a grand thing in the sweeping defeat of Vallan- 
digham, and I feel proud of my native state." 


I have a disagreeable task. Lieutenant Colonel Robert B. 
Jordon, of the fourteenth Brooklyn, w r as in command of the 
picket of our division last Monday at Hay market when the 
skirmish took place. Charges have been preferred against him 
for misconduct in the presence of the enemy. A special court 
martial has been called by General Newton, commanding the first 
army corps, witn General J. C. Rice as President and your unfor 
tunate correspondent as Judge Advocate. I tried my best to get 
excused from this duty, but Old Prince, as the boys irreverently 
call General Cutler,* would not allow me to be excused at all. 

^General Cutler commanded the division. 


Colonel Jordon has employed the best legal advisers he could find 
to defend him. I spent yesterday and until late at night looking up 
the case. Never a student of law, I feel not a little nervous in 
going before so intelligent and dignified a court on behalf of the 
prosecution in one of the most important cases ever tried in our 

(Letter to M. G. B.) OCTOBER 25th, 1863, 8. a. m. j 

"We left Thoroughfare Gap yesterday in a cold rain storm. 
We marched all day, the men wading three creeks waist deep. 
We went to Brentsville and then after night, countermarched to 
this point, fording another deep creek by the way. Yesterday 
was one of the hardest days of all our service, and its effect upon 
the question of veteran enlistment was decidedly unhealthy." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) 


"I have been as busy as a man could be for two days with 
the Colonel Jordon case. To-night my work was closed, the 
final defense of the accused and the finding and sentence of the 
Court only to be had. Things are unsettled here. It is impos 
sible to tell whether we will remain in peace this fall or go into 
battle to-morrow. We hear cannonading every day but never 
know where it is or what is the cause of it. We are under 
orders to be ready to move at a moment s notice. Still we 
always regard the chances as about even of going or staying 
under such orders. 

Since our brilliant retrograde movement to Centreville every 
thing seems in the fog. I think the enemy intend to check and 
embarrass General Meade on every foot of his advance, to 
consume his time until (general Mud puts an embargo upon 
army movements. My head is full of my court record, which 
I have to overlook as my clerk makes it out. Sixty pages of 
foolscap in testimony ought to cashier a man. Another case is 
coming before our court. It is of an officer charged with shoot 
ing his toes off to keep out of the battle of Gettysburg. What 
do you think of that kind of a hero ? I think him a notorious 

Brigadier General Lucius Fairchild was here with his empty 


coat sleeve. He is pale and thin. He will be elected. He is to 
be married soon. The first words he said to me were When are 
you going to be shot ? You are the luckiest man in the army. " 


OCTOBER 29th, 1863. 

"The trial of Colonel Jordon is over. I feel as though I had 
succeeded as well as I had a right to expect. Major Pye, the 
counsel for Colonel Jordon, issued this little ration of soft soap 
in his closing address : To the Judge Advocate, whose qualities 
as a gentleman and an officer are apparent upon all occasions, 
and who has conducted this case with a fairness and ability alike 
commendable to his head and heart, I return my thanks. " 

Major Edward Pye had been a Judge of the Courts in New 
York, and it w r ould be quite ungracious to say less than that he 
was an able lawyer. But to the memory of my esteemed and 
congenial friend, and my heroic comrade at Gettysburg, who 
charged with us upon the railroad cut, and who was later killed 
in battle while leading the ninety-fifth New York in the same 
gallant manner, I here offer the sincere tribute of respect and 
admiration. He was a pure, high minded gentleman, a patriot 
who cordially sustained all the measures of his government to 
crush the enemy, and a hero who gave his life freely for his 

Colonel Jordon was convicted by the Court on a part of the 
charges and sentenced to be dismissed from the service. He was 
afterwards re-instated to his rank by the President of the United 
States. The Judge Advocate and all members of the Court 
Martial joined in recommending this action in consideration of 
his good character and gallant service before this time.* 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR CATLETT S STATION, ) 

NOVEMBER ist, 1863. j 

This is a beautiful Sabbath day. I have been riding on my 
horse. Twenty months ago we came here, the advance of the 

* Members of the Court : Brigadier General ,T C. Rice, second brigade, 
first division ; Colonel J. W. Hoffman, fifty-sixth Pennsylvania ; Colonel 
S. H. Leonard, thirteenth Massachu c etts ; Colonel P. 8 Davis, thirty-ninth 
Massachusetts; Colonel L. VVister, one hundred and fiftieth Pennsylvania; 
Lieutenant Colonel Walton Dwight, one hundred and forty-ninth Pennsyl 
vania ; Lieutenant Colonel R. R. Dawes, sixth Wisconsin, Judge Advocate. 


army, and more pleasant homes are seldom found, than we care 
fully guarded and protected then, under General McDowell. 
Now nothing but charred ruins and ghostly looking chimneys 
mark the places of those pretty cottages. Not a fence, barn, nor 
scarce a vestige of timber remains to identify the spot. In place, 
the country is covered with the bones of dead horses and mules, 
and the debris of abandoned camps. Unsightly stumps mark the 
places of the pleasant groves. It is hard for one who has not 
seen, to imagine the horrid desolation wrought by war. 

The rebel army made a complete destruction of our railroad, 
(Orange & Alexandria.) In the cuts they put first a layer of 
pine brush, and then a layer of dirt and stone and brush again. 
You can imagine the bother and trouble of picking out such a 
tangle. The cross ties and railroad iron, they built up in kind of 
cob houses and then set the ties on fire. When the iron was 
sufficiently heated they bent it around logs in fantastic knots. I 
saw one or two logs standing up, adorned with neckties of rail 
road iron, upon which the knots were quite au fait. 

I saw a pontoon train, those dismal prophets of fighting on 
the Rappahannock, moving down toward the river this morning. 
The men say we are soon to be on the march when the boats 
come. The second and third corps are in front of us. Since 
General Reynolds was killed, our corps does not seem to be 
selected for work in the advance. The second corps now does 
most of the heavy work of making the reconnoissances and 
covering the retreats. General G. K. Warren of the second 
corps is the rising young general of this army. I think General 
Meade intends to push Lee back to the Rapidan again if possible, 
and Lee, I think, will go, hoping to draw Meade into a general 
attack upon his works. We are now a kind of side play. The 
great and decisive campaign will be in the west. There, opera 
tions can be carried on through the winter. I enclose a little 
bit of Virginia cotton that I picked just as it grew."* 

*This letter from General Cutler deals as gently as possible with the sad 
truth it discloses: 


BRISTOE, VA., NOVEMBER 1st, 1863. 

Editor State Journal: Rumors have reached me, from time to time, that 
the remains of those men of the Iron Brigade, and of the fifty-sixth Penn- 


(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR CATLETT S, NOVEMBER 2nd, 1863. 

"The court martial, of which I am Judge Advocate, has been 
re-convened and I have been relieved from the one of which I 
was President. Day after to-morrow we are to try the officer 
who had charge of our corps ambulance train, for leaving 
wounded rebels on the battle field at Gettysburg over night in a 
rain storm. 

The cavalry went to the front to-day. Rumor says they are 
going to Hartwood Church, near Fredericksburgh. General 
Kilpatrick rode by to-day with his usual swagger. I hope he 
will handle his cavalry better than he did at Hay market on the 
nineteenth of last month. He was awfully thrashed there. The 
sick were all ordered away from the army to-day, which looks 
like a general advance. Our corps is now quite in the rear of the 
army, guarding the line of the railroad from raids." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NOVEMBER 5th, 1863. 

"Our Adjutant (E. P. Brooks,) was captured by the rebels 
to-day. A few days ago, a rather handsome young lady came to 
our camp and politely solicited a guard for her home, two miles 
away. The Adjutant was quite attentive, and the lady seemed 
very gracious. Brooks took out a guard for the premises. To 
day she came over to the regiment with some butter to repay the 
kindness, and Brooks was happy to see her safely home. They 
were both on horse back. Not more than a mile from camp, 
Mosby with a few other particular friends of the lady, stepped 
out of the bushes and captured our badly sold companion in 
arms. He is to-night walking along obscure bridle paths on a 
circuitous route to lyibby Prison, while a rebel cavalryman has 

sylvania and seventy-sixth New York volunteers, who fell at Gainesville in 
the bloody fight of August 28th, 1862, were carelessly buried. Upon 
examination, a few days since, while passing the battle field on our way to 
Thoroughfare Gap, it was found to be true. I have to-day had details from 
all the regiments who fought there sent to the ground, under the charge of 
Captain Richardson, of the seventh Wisconsin. They have carefully 
interred the remains. Many of them could be recognized by the positions 
where they lay, or by articles found about them. As the friends of those 
who fell will doubtless hear of the loose manner of the first burial, I write 
to assure them that all has been done that could be to give them decent 
burial. Very Respectfully, 

L. CUTLER, Brig. Gen." 


his horse. William gave me the news thus: The Adjutant dun 
got captivated. * 

The regiment is just now under a cloud. That rainy night at 
Brentsville, some men of our brigade were guilty of robbing and 
marauding. General Cutler thinks he has traced some of the 
property to the Sixth regiment. He has sent an order requiring 
this regiment to pay one hundred and fifty dollars at his head 
quarters within twelve Ijours. Colonel Bragg has replied to this 
strange demand that he will cheerfully use every exertion to bring 
the guilty to punishment. General Cutler seems to think 
Colonel Bragg is conniving to conceal the men from punishment, 
and says if such and such things are not done, he will apply to 
the Secretary of War to have all pay stopped from the regiment. 
Colonel Bragg says he will do anything to punish the guilty, if 
there are such in our regiment, but no such absurd order or wild 
threat shall intimidate him."t 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR CATI^KTT S STATION, ) 

NOVEMBER 6th, 1863. j 

"We had an interesting visitor in camp to-day. He was an old 
school Virginia gentleman, of one of their patrician families. 
The old gentleman was a pattern of method and precision in his 
manners, and there was the urbanity and consideration for others 
of the true gentlemen of the real old stock. He said that he had 
been an officer in the War of 1812 that he had General Washing 
ton s own pistols. He was well acquainted with President 
Madison and President Monroe, and edified us with anecdotes 
and illustrations of the men of his day and generation. His 
visit was much enjoyed by us all. The old gentleman was 
carried away by talking, and he said : I am eighty years of age. 
My grandfather was a Virginia gentleman ; my great grandfather 
was a Frenchman, and, begging your indulgence to an old man, 
I thank God that to-day I stand as they would in this struggle. 
Said I : My dear Sir, your enthusiasm is worthy of imitation by 

*It will be seen by this letter that we suspected treachery. The guard 
was withdrawn by Colonel Bragg. Brooks is not to be blamed for going 
put, as he had been there to place the guard. He did not himself believe 
it was treachery, which would have been .base to the last degree. 

tTo be taken "cum grano salis. It is evident I was a little out of humor 
at the writing. 


us who are younger, but your cause is no older in your family 
than ours is in mine. My ancestors came to New England when 
yours came to Virginia, and they flourished in Massachusetts, 
and I thank God I live in the day to fight for their principles. 
Said the old gentleman: I always did admire a full blown 
Yankee. " 

(Better to M. B. G.) NEAR BRANDY STATION, ) 

NOVEMBER gth, 1863. j 

^"Saturday morning we marched from Catletts to Morrison- 
ville, and Sunday found us in line of battle with the rest of the 
army at Brandy Station. Our corps has this time brought up 
the rear. We have heard continually the cannon of the sixth 
and the third corps about four or five miles in front. This 
morning the whole army seems to be at a stand still. We, as 
usual, do not know what is the reason. 

I just heard that General Kilpatrick is at Stevensburgh. If 
that is so, the enemy have retreated beyond the Rapidan. They 
would not give us possession of the Stevensburgh heights, which 
command the ground to the river, without a contest. The day is 
lowering and the smoke of the camp fires fills our eyes. Sitting 
on the ground, with my eyes full of smoke, letter writing is hard 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NOVEMBER nth, 1863. j 

"Night before last we came back from Brandy Station to the 
north side of the Rappahannock and encamped. Our first corps 
is now stretched from Manassas Junction to this point, along 
the line of the Orange & Alexandria railroad. We sent men out 
this morning with six days rations to work on the railroad, 
which is still uncompleted from Warrenton Junction to the 
river. We are busily engaged in clearing out the woods and 
making a good camp, as we think it likely that we shall remain 
here for a while. I told you about a difficulty between General 
Cutler and Colonel Bragg. It has all blown over. Not a man 
was punished, and not a cent was paid." 

Not able to call to memory the facts in this affair, I asked 
General Bragg for his recollections, and he has written me as 

*Page 614, Volume 29, War Records. 


follows : "General Cutler sent his little Orderly, from the third 
Indiana cavalry up to me with an order, fining the regiment two 
hundred and fifty dollars,* and ordering it to be paid in twelve hours 
or our pay would be suspended. The upshot of the whole thing 
was, that I laughed him out of it with virtuous indignation, 
that the Sixth should be charged with the thefts of the fourteenth 
Brooklyn, and advised him to find out the true culprit, before he 
took such action. It occurred to the General that he could find 
out himself, and he summoned Edwin O Jones of company *E. 
Jones confessed to some knowledge of the affair, and upon being 
re-assured as to secresy and condign punishment, if he didn t tell 
what become of the meat, Jones with many protestations that 
he didn t want to, and it wouldn t be right, yielded and told him 
he saw it going to his own headquarters. This was the last 
that I heard of the attempt to prove that the Sixth ate it." 

(I/etter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR BEVERLY FORD, VA., ) 

NOVEMBER i2th, 1863. j 

"Our camp is pleasantly located in a fine grove of timber. 
The nights are frosty, but when we are in camp we can provide 
against that. The Doctor (Hall) and I have built a log crib, 
eight feet long, four feet wide, and two feet deep, and packed it 
full of dry leaves, which makes us a warm and comfortable bed." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) BEVERLY FORD, NOVEMBER isth, 1863. 

"There is as I write, heavy firing in front, and we are under 
orders to be ready to move. The enemy seems to be reconnoiter- 
ing or advancing, for the firing is nearer than Cedar Mountain. 

We have not marched to-day, and I think now that we will 
not, but I am obliged to go on picket duty to-night, miserabile 
dictu? Captain Philip W. Plummer and two enlisted men from 
each company, are starting home on recruiting service and to take 
charge of conscripts for this regiment, as there is a draft going 
on. You may be sure these men are highly delighted." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) NOVEMBER i6th, ON PICKET. 

"I have had a grand gallop over the country this beautiful 
morning, reorganizing and re-adjusting the picket line of the first 
army corps. The first, night we came here some one established 

*My contemporary statement, one hundred and fifty dollars, is probably 


the line only a few rods from the camps, and it became my duty to 
correct it. Our first corps camps are now safely guarded. Every 
thing looks as if our army was soon to make another campaign." 

I here received a leave of absence for ten days and hastened to 
Marietta, Ohio. In making a third effort to secure a leave of 
absence, I went in person to corps headquarters. My application 
had the usual "urgent" endorsements which plaintively appealed 
that I should be granted the favor. General John Newton, now 
best known as the man who blew up Hell Gate, looked my paper 
over and I saw no hope in his eye. "Colonel," said he, "you 
give no reason for this application!" "What s the use of giving 
a reason !" said I, "sickness or death in the family, or business 
complications are rejected as reasons in the orders." "Yes," said 
the General. "Have you any other reason ?" "I have," said I, 
"I want very much to see my girl." "All right, Colonel, you 
have stated a reason not forbidden in the orders, and I will 
endorse that you have a good and sufficient reason. I got all 
I asked, ten days leave of absence to visit Ohio. General New 
ton made two friends by this level-headed, official action. 

This short visit is remembered as an oasis in the desert of my 
military life. The weather was delightful, and that dreamy haze, 
called Indian summer, was upon the hills and valleys of Southern 
Ohio. For four days, a young couple, oblivious to all others, 
wandered over the hills or drove on the beautiful roads. Owing 
to the exigencies of the military service, this four days was all 
the opportunity we had for meeting until our wedding. 

During my absence, the army marched from its camps to 
engage in the Mine Run campaign. 




"We are lying in mud and water in hourly expectation of 

moving forward to attack the rebel army in front, in plain view. 

I caught the regiment yesterday after a hard chase and in a half 

an hour we were in a skirmish with *Rosser s rebel cavalry. I 

*Volume XXIX, Page 689, War Records, Report of General L. Cutler. 

" 687, " " Report of General John Newton. 
- " " " 904, " " Confederate Colonel T. L. Rosser. 

- .. 

225 . 

got to the Rappahannock Thursday evening and traveled all 
night in an ambulance. I am just in time to be in the great battle. 
I am sitting on a knapsack in the pine woods, my eyes filled with 
smoke and the clouds full of rain. *We had one man shot yester 
day in the skirmish with Rosser s cavalry, lost an arm. The 
rebels are digging entrenchments as fast as they can and the 
skirmishers keep up a continual and murderous duel." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) SUNDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 29th. 

"We are still lying in smoke and chilly air waiting our sum 
mons for battle and catching with eagerness every rumor. Once 
to-day we formed a column of assault to charge upon the enemy s 
entrenchments; but the fearful task was not attempted. The 
enemy are here in great force and they have worked like beavers 
at their fortifications. Day before yesterday a bullet cut a hole in 
my hat and fairly brushed my face and I was covered with dirt by 
a shell yesterday. I wished myself again on the hill tops of 
Ohio. It is now so near night that I look for no battle to-day." 


DECEMBER 2nd, 1863. } 

"The battle did not occur, but great suffering and toil was un 
dergone by our army. We marched all night last night on our 
retreat and suffered intensely from cold. To-night we are north 
of the Rapidan. Every preparation was made by General 
Meade to charge upon the rebel entrenchments. The slaughter 
would have been great and we feel thankful to have been spared. 
I can hardly tell you how tired, sleepy and worn out we all are 
to-night. Our brigade is alone here at Mitchell s Ford. Our 
corps is at Stevensburgh." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR KELLY S FORD, ) 

DECEMBER 4th, 1863. ) 

"To-night, for the first time since leaving Marietta, I have an 
evening that I can feel is my own. Our communications have 
been interfered with or suspended, so that I fear you have not 
received my letters. I got safely to Washington Wednesday 

*Isaiah F. Kelly, company "B." 

, 226 

night and secured my pass* to the front. I left for the army on 
the last train that went down Thursday morning and that train 
they had once decided not to send, as the whole army was mov 
ing to parts unknown. We reached Rappahannock station at 
four o clock P. M., and the army was gone, nobody could tell 
certainly where. By hard work and good luck I found a mail 
ambulance belonging to the fifth army corps headquarters, and by 
dint of persuasion and a can of preserved peaches, I prevailed 
upon the men in charge to let me ride with them in their pursuit 
of the army. We had a freezing night s ride. While we were 
blundering along in the dark, asking every straggler we could 
find which road the troops had taken, we were at one time com 
pletely at a loss when a drunken straggler was overtaken who 
swore in round oaths that the fifth corps had gone to Jemima 
Ford s. He could not be shaken in this statement. After puz 
zling over it, I suggested that we try the road to Germania Ford. 
At midnight we found our own wagon train at Germania Ford. 
Here I donned my fighting armor, borrowed a horse, and at day 
light started in pursuit of the army. About ten o clock A. M., I 
overtook the column of the first corps near Chaneellorsville and 
resumed my post, my leave of absence not having expired by six 
hours when I reached the regiment. In a very few moments, 
musketry was heard in front and our regiment was ordered for 
ward double quick. We deployed the men as skirmishers in the 
woods. We had been marching on a narrow road through thick 
woods, our regiment the advance of the first corps. Ahead of us 
was a wagon train of the fifth corps. Most of the wagons were 
loaded with ammunition. The rebel cavalry under Colonel 
Rosser came in by a cross road through the woods and attacked 
this wagon train, driving away the guards. It was a bold dash 
to come in between two army corps. We hurried forward through 


WASHINGTON, D. C., NOVEMBER 25th, 1863. / 

Pass Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes to Army Potomac, for the purpose 
of joining command, via government boat and rail. 
This Pass will expire November 26th, 1863. 

. Brig. Gen. and Military Governor. 
Issued by E. BENTLY, H. C. LOCKWOOD, 

Captain and A. A. A. G. Captain and Aide-de-Camp. 


the thick woods and opened fire on the rebels as they were trying 
to hurry off the wagons. They promptly returned our fire and, 
for a few moments, the shots cracked and whizzed around our 
heads. We quickly drove them away, killing and wounding 
several of their men. Before they retreated they set fire to a 
number of ammunition wagons which blew up with loud and 
continued explosions, scattering shot, shell and wagon wheels all 
over the country. One of our men was shot. A rebel cavalry 
man took fair aim at me and his bullet cut a hole in my hat. He 
had on a blue United States overcoat and so our men had not 
fired at him. But when he shot at me, John Kilmartin of com 
pany G drew a bead on him and shot him dead. Under his 
blue overcoat we found the rebel gray. ^Friday night we reached 
Locust Grove in our advance against the enemy. Saturday 
morning, together with the second corps, we moved in line of 
battle driving the enemy before us through the woods for three 
miles when we met General Ewell s corps in line of battle at 
Mine Run. The skirmishing was very hot, but we (ourselves) 
were subjected mainly to artillery fire. On Saturday, Sunday, 
Monday and Tuesday, we grimly faced the enemy, hourly ex 
pecting to be ordered to attack his works. During all this tim, 
there was a soaking rain until the weather turned so bitterly cold 
that several men on the skirmish line are said to have frozen to 
death. As we were without shelter, we suffered much. Tuesday 
night we retreated back across the Rapidan river. Wednesday 
morning our brigade marched to Mitchell s ford to meet and re 
sist any attempt at crossing by the enemy. Thursday we marched 
to Mountain Run and to-day we came here (Kelly s Ford) and 
went into camp." 

I give extracts from General Bragg s letter, written in response 
to my request for some incidents or personal recollections of 
Mine Run. 

"Do you remember a Council of War, to determine whether 
we could carry the line in front of us, that cold December day at 
Mine Run? *Your commanding officer voted No ! I had Major 
Hauser, who was something of an engineer, make a reconnois- 

*Colonel Bragg. 


sance and report. He said the run was breast deep with water, 
covered with a thin ice, and the opposite bank was protected by a 
heavy abattis, made by trees with tops felled from the opposite 
bank into the stream, and also that beyond the abattis covering 
the slope were batteries in position. All this I explained to the 
doughty warriors who voted that the position could be carried, 
but it was no good ! They voted the way they thought would 
please the powers that were. The order in the morning was to 
charge down the slope, cross the stream, and carry the line 
beyond, the movement to commence at a signal gun on the 
right, at or about eight o clock A. M. Our line was formed and 
arms stacked, with big fires on the front to keep from freezing, 
while we waited for the order to move on to almost certain death. 

On looking along the line, I saw some yellow-headed ganders, 
in Hauser s herd of goose, (company H, ) playing poker, for 
postal currency as stakes. I said : Can t you find anything to 
do but that ? They looked up and said in pigeon English : 
Dis will be no good to us, after de charge, we want all the fun 
we can get. 

You remember Big Harry Dunn, of company K, Scotch- 
Irish. His father was a man of position in Edinburgh. Harry, 
you know, deserted at Belle Plaine, because, being so large, he 
could not get any clothes that he could get into, but he was brought 
back, sentenced to some dire punishment, and pardoned for being 
so good a soldier. He had committed a crime in a foolish pet. 
Harry that morning, when we were waiting orders to charge, 
called me to one side and said: Write a good report to the old 
Governor about me, and tell him I was a brave soldier, and 
please don t say anything about that Belle Plaine affair. Said I: 
Why, what s the matter Harry? I am as likely to be killed as 
you, why give me the message? Oh no, said he, you ain t 
half as big as I am. My chances are two to one against yours, 
and, the orders were countermanded and no charge was made 
at all." 


At Kelly s Ford "All Nail to Old Abe . "Question of Veteran Re- 
enlistment My Brother Reports From Sherman s Corps To 
Culpepper Kindness From a Rebel Living in Houses Vet 
eran ExcitementRegiment Re-enlists, and Goes to Wisconsin 
I go to Marietta A Grand Reception at Milwaukee A Quiet 
Wedding at Marietta A Wedding Trip A. Happy Accident In 
OhioIn Camp Again at Culpepper General U. S. Grant Oblit 
eration of the old First Aitmy Corps The Fifth Corps General 
G. K, Warren A New England Clergyman Colonel Bragg s 
"Religious Affiliations" General Grant on Review Major 
Philip W. Plummer Preparations Minor Faults in the Manage 
ment of Military Affairs A new Chaplain We win First 
Honors on Inspection Adjutant Broolfs Returns Chess Court 
Martial Crime Indians "We move at Midnight." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR KELLY S FORD, ) 

DECEMBER yth, 1863. j 

"Doctor Hall and I are fixing up our quarters for cold weather. 
We do not feel sure that we will stay here for the winter, but we 
hope to. Our men have built fine log cabins and the encampment of 
the brigade is very respectable. It is curious to see the inge 
nuity displayed by the men in making themselves comfortable in 
their log houses. With no tool but the little hatchet, they house 
themselves snugly and comfortably, and provide all the necessary 
furniture. To-morrow we will be fixed up in our cabin." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) KELLY S FORD, DECEMBER icth, 1863. 

"To-night we are in our cabin, and our quarters are cheerful 
and bright, and for the first time since I left home I can sit down 
comfortably to write a letter. Our fireplace is a complete success 
and our chimney is all of brick. Look at the plan of our winter 
house : W. B. is wood box. F. P., fire place. 







We have a tight board floor and are very comfortably estab 
lished for a soldier s winter. We are tormented by rumors of a 
move to a different location. 

I have no doubt that our army would have been slaughtered 
and defeated in any assault upon the enemy s entrenched line, 
(at Mine Run) after Sunday evening. The morning our corps 
and the second corps pursued the enemy from Robertson s 
Tavern, we found them in line of battle beyond Mine Run, with 
out entrenchments. Upon that day and the next, the enemy 
might have been attacked, perhaps, with advantage. All honor 
to General Meade, who at risk of personal discomfiture, and at 
sacrifice of personal pride, had the moral courage to order a 
retreat without a day of blood and National humiliation to 
demonstrate its necessity to every dissatisfied carper among the 

(Letter to M. B. G.) KELLY S FORD, DECEMBER i2th, 1863. 

"What a noble message from President Lincoln. I do not 
hesitate to say that I think him a great statesman, and what is 
better, an unselfish patriot. The high tone of this message, and 
the unflinching adherence to his great measure of Emancipation, 
must command the respect of the world and inspire confidence 
in the ultimate success of a cause so firmly planted on the right. 
If the full success we hope shall crown our struggle, and slavery 


with rebellion be swept from the land, the name of Lincoln will 
mark on history a grand epoch in the progress of civilization. 

The author of the Proclamation that gave freedom to four 
millions of people, and brought the true object and end of our 
battling before the world, that placed us upon ground consistent 
with the fearful sacrifices we have made, will have a high place in 
the respect of this age and the veneration of all succeeding ages. 
All hail to old Abe! for in the sure omens of final triumph all 
around, is the dawning glory of his name, as the world s greatest 
champion of freedom, and Republican institutions. This is not 
extravagant, for we are in the midst of grand events, and the 
men who carve their names as representatives of the triumph of 
right in a struggle of such magnitude, will have a proud distinc 
tion in history. 

We are watching anxiously the action of Congress on the 
Conscript Law. The three hundred dollars exemption clause 
will probably be repealed. The Government should rely entirely 
upon filling up its old organizations in the recruitment of its 
army. This regiment, as at present affected, will not re-enlist. 
The men want to go in cavalry, in artillery, in the navy, or in 
anything but the business of transporting Government supplies 
in a knapsack on their shoulders. We have heard from our re 
cruiting party. They are getting no recruits, and the draft in 
Wisconsin brings money, as I supposed, but very few soldiers, so 
we are not likely to be filled up with conscripts." 


DEAR SIR: "Our-elections all went off right this fall. *Bully 

for the boys in blue. They did their duty, excepting the 

I suppose that regiment would vote for Jeff. Davis, if they were 
told that he was a Democrat. Every Badger feels proud of our 
own Iron Brigade, and well they ma} 7 , for no other has such a 
reputation or such a record. 

My wounded limb is getting quite comfortable. I am however, 
badly crippled. I get around with two canes pretty well. I can 
never march on foot again. The draft is over here, and about 

The vote of the soldiers is here referred to. 

one in twenty of those drafted, will go to the war. They nearly 
all pay their regular three hundred dollars, (exemption fee.) I 
have recruited seventeen men recently, and all but one go in 
cavalry. They are bound to ride. I have tried them all for the 
Sixth, but it is no use, they must ride. If the Sixth was 
mounted, it could be filled up. / could go then* Sergeants 
Klein and Fletcher are here. I shall do all I can to assist them, 
but it is an up-hill business to recruit for infantry. 

The merchants are all getting rich. Remember me to Colonel 
Bragg and Major Hauser. 

I shall be happy to hear from you. Please accept my best 
wishes for your future success, prosperity and happiness. A glo 
rious past is sure. Very truly your friend, 

D. K. NOYES." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) NEAR KEI^Y S FORD, ) 

DECEMBER i4th, 1863. j 

"The rain is pouring down in floods, and mud unfathomable is 
the order of things. Colonel Bragg is now in Washington on a 
seven days leave of absence, fl think his star will soon rise 
above the horizon. I am fixing up tne camp for winter quarters, 
corduroying the streets, building stables and mess houses." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) KEI^Y S FORD, DECEMBER i6th, 1863. 

"These are rumors of our going back to Centreville. The 
depletion of the army by sending home veterans, and from 
various other causes, may cause such a movement. We are 
getting settled down into camp life with the usual routine of 
court martial, inspections, picket, and fatigue duty." 
(Letter to M. B. G.) KEI^Y S FORD, DECEMBER 2oth, 1863. 

"General Meade has sent orders to this brigade to report at 
once how many men will re-enlist as veterans. If three fourths 
of the members of a regiment who are within his department, 
agree to re-enlist, the regiment, he says, will be ordered home for 
furlough and to recruit. Commanding officers were directed to 
submit the question to their regiments. I called the regiment 
together, and spoke to them for half an hour, explaining fully 

*Captain Noyes foot was torn off by the shell at Antietam. 

tHis promotion as a Brigadier General, which had long been promised. 


and as fairly as I could, the inducements offered by the Govern 
ment to re-enlist as veterans, the prospect of the continuation of 
war, and the especial advantages of re-organizing as the Sixth 
regiment. I submitted an agreement for as many as chose to 
sign, pledging themselves to re-enlist in the sixth Wisconsin, as 
a veteran volunteer organization, under the various orders on the 
subject, provided the regiment should immediately upon the 
re-enlistment of three fourths of its members now within the 
department, be sent to Wisconsin for a furlough of at least thirty 
days. Something over eighty men have signed the agreement, but 
my impression is, that the requisite three fourths will not sign. 
In this camp I received a letter from my brother, Major K. 
C. Dawes, in General Sherman s corps : 


"Safe home at last; home to tents, blankets, teams, clothes, 
hard tack, coffee and pork. It was a hard campaign, that in East 
Tennessee, but I would not have missed it for anything. * * * 

I cannot now give details of our march. We drew no rations 
from November twenty-ninth, until to-day, (December nineteenth.) 
Every night we slept in the open air. Every day we marched 
from seventeen to twenty-five miles. All supplies were foraged 
from the country or brought to us by the Union people, some of 
whom walked miles to carry food to the Union soldiers. We 
cooked our meat on sticks before the fire and made corn cakes on 
flat boards. We did not have a single thing on wheels with our 
regiment, except one old ambulance that had no top. Many of 
our men were without shoes, and often marched over frozen 
ground with bleeding feet. Very few made any complaint, and 
none straggled. We have marched continuously since leaving 
Memphis, October eleventh, without halting at any one place 
over two days." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CAMP NEAR KELLY S FORD, 

DECEMBER 22nd, 1863. 

"Is the regiment going to re-enlist? Very doubtful. One 
hundred and forty-eight men have signed, up to to-night. I go 
on picket for two days in the morning." 



DECEMBER 27th, 1863. j 

"Excuse my pencil. Our wagons are loaded. We have had a 
hard time the past two days. I went on picket on Wednesday 
morning. Thursday at daylight, the coldest day this winter, our 
corps left its winter quarters. I had a very severe time gathering 
up the picket line about four miles long. About the middle of 
the afternoon we reached Culpepper, and I had to work hard 
until night to establish a new picket line. I remained on the 
line all night. This morning our regiment was ordered tempo 
rarily into empty houses in the village of Culpepper, until the 
severe storm now raging is over." 

I received an especial kindness on the cold afternoon of our 
arrival at Culpepper from a rebel citizen. There were about 
twelve hundred men in the picket details, and I had to establish 
them on a line of four or five miles according to points designa 
ted and given me. But pitying the cold and forlorn condition of 
the men, this gentleman helped me by his familiar knowledge 
of localities and roads. His only concern was lest his rebel 
neighbors might know of his kindness and misinterpret it. His 
name was Jack Pendleton, and he had served as a member of the 
Congress of the United States before the war. This assistance 
enabled my picket reserves to make their tin cups full of 
hot and refreshing coffee, before the darkness ot a cold and 
stormy night prevented them from gathering fuel for their fires. 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CULPEPPER COURT HOUSE, ) 

DECEMBER 28th, 1863. j 

"We are still in the houses in the village, but are expecting an 
order that will send us out into the winter storm and mud 
General Cutler has just called in. He says he thinks it is all 
right, and that w r e can stay in the houses. We have a pleasant 
room, with a fire place, on the second floor of a respectable house. 
The officers of the corps and division staff are scattered around 
in comfortable houses in the village. Such quarters for the 
winter would be grand. Three fourths of the men of our regi 
ment are disposed to re-enlist, but objections are raised to sending 
them home as a regiment. The men will not go in any other 


way and if this point is insisted upon, the chance of their 
re-enlistment is gone." 


DECEMBER 3oth, 1863. 
"We are still in Culpepper, and our men are very comfortable 
in houses. As I write now, the room is full of officers, talking 
and brawling over the veteran question, and I cannot think of 
anything else in this awful clatter. We have fine quarters, a 
large house, one room for an office, one for reception room and 
one for a kitchen." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) DECEMBER 3ist, 1863. 

"The veteran excitement is unabated. We have present in this 
army two hundred and ninety enlisted men, who can re-enlist as 
veterans. Of this number, three fourths must re-enlist to have 
the regiment ordered to Wisconsin. To-night, one hundred and 
ninety-five men have been sworn in. It needs twenty-three more 
men. Our detached men who have been cooks, for officers, 
hostlers, clerks, and teamsters, of whom there are sixty-eight, 
nearly all decline to re-enlist, but the men who have stood by the 
old flag through fair and foul weather, and through many bloody 
battles, almost to a man dedicate their lives and service anew to 
their country. These men who have stood day after day in the 
presence of death, who have endured every sort of privation and 
and suffering, present an example that should bring a blush of 
shame to the brows of the young men who have failed their 
country at this crisis." 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CULPEPPER COURT HOUSE, ] 

JANUARY 2nd, 1864. j 

"To-night the quota, tw r o hundred and seventeen men and five 
recruits, have been sworn in. We are busily engaged in muster 
ing the regiment as veterans. If no unforseen accident inter 
venes, the regiment will be on its way west next Thursday or 


JANUARY 4th, 1864. 

"Yesterday we unfurled our flag from the windows of head 
quarters in token of success. We have hung our banner on the 


outer wall, and the cry is still they come. There are two 
hundred and thirty-three men sworn in, and five companies 

(Letter to M. B. G.) CULPEPPER COURT HOUSE, \ 

JANUARY 6th, 1864. j 

"The regiment is paid in full, and camp and garrison equipage 
has been turned over to the Quartermaster s department, and 
everything is in readiness. I rode yesterday through snow and 
mud to army headquarters, fifteen miles there and back, to get 
the order to go to Wisconsin. General Williams (Seth Williams, 
A. A. t>. Army of the Potomac,) said the order would be made, 
but he would not give it to me, and he has since telegraphed 
that six hundred men only can be sent away from the first army 
corps. This may cut us out altogether. I represented the 
interest of the regiment at army headquarters the best I was able, 
and felt troubled not to have succeeded in getting the order, for 
the men are impatient and suspicious, after being trifled with so 
much. The seventh Wisconsin has gone, and is now far on its 
way to Wisconsin." 

The order came on a bitterly cold afternoon. The re-enlisted 
regiment took freight cars for Alexandria, on their way to Wis 
consin. The men who did not re-enlist and the recruits, 
remained in the camp of the second Wisconsin, which did not 
re-enlist as an organization. We were all night on the Orange 
and Alexandria railroad without fires, and there was great 
suffering. One man was so severely frozen that he was left in 
the hospital at Alexandria. We proceeded west via Baltimore, 
Harrisburgh, and Pittsburg. At Pittsburg I left the regiment 
and went to Marietta, Ohio, where I arrived January i4th, 1864. 

The regiment met with a splendid reception upon its arrival at 
Milwaukee. The Board oT Trade of the city provided a dinner 
at the Newhall House, and public exercises were conducted in 
the hall of the Chamber of Commerce. In an account of the 
affair, the Milwaukee Sentinel says : "The Sixth regiment pro 
ceeded from their quarters at Broadhead s Block, to the Chamber 
of Commerce, escorted by six companies of the thirtieth Wiscon 
sin under Colonel Daniel J. Dill, formerly a Captain in the 
Sixth, and the Milwaukee Light Infantry under Captain Nazro. 


At a few minutes past one o clock the cortege made its appear 
ance, headed by Christian Bach s excellent band, playing : The 
Year of Jubilee. The veterans marched into the hall and the 
escort was dismissed. As the regiment entered, they were 
greeted with salvos of cheers. They formed in the center of the 
room in close column by company, and at the command of 
Colonel Bragg, brought their pieces to an order with a thug that 
elicited rounds of applause." 

The address of welcome was made by Ex-Governor Salomon. 
General Fairchild, Secretary of State of Wisconsin, and Mayor 
O Neill of Milwaukee, made speeches of welcome, and other 
prominent citizens of Milwaukee took part in the speech making. 

My purpose in leaving the regiment at Pittsburg was to fulfill 
my engagement of marriage with my correspondent, M. B. G. 
The wedding took place Monday morning, January i8th, 1864, 
at half past five o clock, at the residence of Beman Gates, in 
Marietta, Ohio. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Thomas 
Wickes, D. D. There were few guests present beside the family 
connections residing in Marietta. My wife and I immediately 
took the train for the west to join the regiment at Milwaukee. 
A heavy snow storm set in which delayed our progress. We 
were all day getting from Cincinnati to Hamilton, Ohio, twenty- 
four miles. A day was consumed going from Hamilton to 
Valparaiso, Indiana. At this point we found a strike of locomo 
tive engineers on the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne & Chicago R. R., and 
we took a sleigh and drove across the country twelve miles, to 
the Michigan Central Railroad, where we boarded a freight train 
and arrived in Chicago on Thursday evening, in triumph in the 
caboose. Of course under such circumstances, the trip was in 
every respect delightful. We reached Milwaukee Friday evening, 
where the headquarters of the regiment during the veteran 
furlough was established. During our stay of about four weeks, 
we were at the Newhall House a part of the time, and a part of 
the time with the family of a Mr. Roddis. Here we met conge 
nial and sympathizing fellow boarders, in Mr. J. Middleton 
Arnold and wife, who, like ourselves were an extremely newly 
married couple. Mr. Arnold was a soldier in the twenty fourth 
Wisconsin, and his wife was from Ipswich, Massachusetts. 


My wife, who had followed every movement of our regiment 
through my correspondence, saw in a hall in Broadhead s Block } 
the stacks of muskets with belts and cartridge boxes hanging 
upon them, as left by the column when broken for the men to 
visit their homes. She never saw more than this of the sixth 
Wisconsin regiment. As I was riding on the icy streets in the 
city of Milwaukee on my crippled horse, which had been shot at 
Gettysburg, the animal fell in turning a corner. My left ankle 
was dislocated and badly sprained. I was unable to walk without 
crutches for several weeks, and obtained a leave of absence upon 
a surgeon s certificate of disability, and I accompanied my wife 
to Marietta, Ohio. This accident was regarded as a great piece 
of good fortune. Upon the expiration of the veteran furlough, 
the regiment returned to its camp near Culpepper, Virginia. I 
was unable to return to the field until the twenty-first of March, 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, MARCH, 22nd, 1864. j 

"I arrived safely last night. I came down with General Cutler, 
who provided me with a good dinner and gave me an ambulance 
in which to ride over to camp. (I was still lame from the effects 
of my sprain.) I found the regiment encamped two miles from 
Culpepper and quite comfortably quartered. There are one 
hundred and eleven recruits, and more are coming. William 
Jackson was delighted with the pipe you sent him. He is now 
chief steward of our mess. 

Major Hauser s resignation has been accepted, and he has 
gone. General Grant is fixing up headquarters in Culpepper 
village. He will be a near neighbor to us. He shows good 
judgment in establishing himself with the first army corps. The 
impression here is that our army, properly re-inforced and 
strengthened, will make a vigorous advance on Richmond." 


MARCH 22nd, 1864. j 

"I am on my old duty again. I received yesterday a detail as 
President of the general court martial of our division. Our court 
will sit near General Grant s headquarters and I shall see the hero 
of the day often. He is to arrive in Culpepper to-morrow. My 

ankle gets stronger every day but I am still quite lame. General 

James S. Wadsworth is to command our division." 

(To my wife.) MARCH 24th, 1864. 

I was greatly surprised yesterday to see Captain William J\ 
Dawes (eighth Wisconsin) come riding into camp. On account 
of a very severe wound in his foot, received at Corinth, he is 
going into the veteran reserve corps. This morning we are to 
ride over to Pony mountain to see the rebels beyond the Rapidan. 
The weather has been very cold and there is not less than six. 
inches of snow on the ground, but it is a fine morning and a 
pleasant day to ride. 

Seven o clock P. M. We have returned from our ride to the 
signal station on Pony mountain. We came through Culpepper 
just in time to see General Grant. He looks like a plain common 
sense man, one not to be puffed up by position nor abashed by 


(To my wife.) 

"The room in which our court martial sits is opposite General 
Grant s headquarters. We see him every day. He looks differ 
ently from what I had expected and my impressions are favorable. 
He holds the life of the Nation almost in his own hands. God 
help him and our country ! There is a desperate struggle before 
us. Both sections seem to have chosen this as the ground for the 
last grand conflict. If we gain it, in my opinion, the rebellion 
will be crushed. General Wadsworth will command our new 
division which will be in the fifth army corps, and General G. K. 
Warren will command that Corps. Direct your letters as usual 
until I advise you what the arrangement is. It will be a swallow 
ing up of the old first army corps with the fifth corps, which 
hurts our feelings very much. We think the first army corps 
has deserved something better than obliteration." 
"Dear Father: The army receives with great satisfaction 
the compliment of the personal leadership of the Lieutenant 
General, but the army can fight no more heroically under General 

240 * 

Grant than it did under General McClellan at Antietam, or Gen 
eral Meade at Gettysburg. There is a measure to human achieve 
ment. Give General Grant men enough of the tried valor and 
experience ot this fighting army of the Nation and I think he can 
go to Richmond and, with the occupation and isolation of Vir 
ginia, crush the rebellion. We believe he will not undertake 
the great work in the light of such abundant experience without 
strength adequate to the enterprise, and we feel confident that, as 
.you say, Grant will take Richmond this campaign. 


"My dear uife: We have had a complete re-organization of our 
army. Our old first corps is merged into the fifth corps under 
the command of General G. K. Warren. I like General Warren 
for a corps commander. We are, in the re-organization, the first 
brigade, fourth division, fifth army corps. General Cutler com 
mands our brigade and General Wadsworth our division. 

We have had a pleasant Sabbath. A gentleman from Massa 
chusetts, the Rev. L,ewis F. Clark, pastor of the Congregational 
church at Whittiersville, Massachusetts, (born in Southhampton, 
Massachusetts,) who is connected with the Christian Commission, 
came t& our camp and desired to hold religious service. It was a 
beautiful morning, and after inspection, the regiment was turned 
out to attend divine service. Mr. Clark preached a short and ex 
cellent sermon to the regiment, which was formed in a hollow 
square. The service was impressive, and it is an honor to our 
regiment that every man behaved with a reverence becoming the 
occasion. We all took dinner with Mr. Clark at Colonel Bragg s 
tent. He corresponds with Dr. Justin Perkins, of the Nestorian 
mission in Persia. He knows all about Mr. Shedd (my brother- 
in-law, a missionary in Persia) and has read his published letters 
with much interest, and he quoted from them. He knew more 
about the mission than I did. He regards Dr. Perkins as one of 
the benefactors of the age. He told several anecdotes of his life. 
He knew of my great grandfather, Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, 
and about my great grandfather, Colonel William Dawes, who 
rode from Boston with Paul Revere to arouse the people the night 
before Lexington. He was quite witty over my Yankee pedigree. 
He made me feel quite blue. You will perceive that we had a 


pleasant visitor. He is a graduate of Andover and an exceed 
ingly bright and intelligent gentleman. He left his church for six 
weeks to come to the army in the service of the Christian Com 

Dr. Clark was pleased with the decorous behaviour of our men, 
and he was inclined to attribute it to the moral influence of our 
"Christian commandant," as he styled Colonel Bragg, to the great 
delight of Dr. Hall and myself. Dr. Clark privately asked Dr. 
Hall to what denomination Colonel Bragg belonged. Dr. Hall 
replied that the Colonel was "so modest and reticent about his 
religious affiliations" that he had never told us. 

"Our recruits are a fine set of fellows and they take up their 
new business readily. I do not fear that the honor of the regi 
ment will ever suffer in their keeping. I inspected the regiment 
this morning and looked them all over carefully." 

(To my wife.) NKAR CULPKPPER, MARCH 29th, 1864. 

"I am going over some day, soon to Culpepper to play chess 
with a rebel gentleman, named Mr. Mosee, who says he has 
beaten the Confederate army and is anxious to beat the Union 
army. This morning we stood shivering two hours in line of 
battle to be reviewed by General Grant. An incident occurred 
upon this review, which was characteristic of General Grant. The 
troops were drawn up in line of battalions en masse doubled on 
the centre. There was a cold drizzle of rain, and as General 
Grant, at the head of his staff and escort, rode slowly along in 
front of the line, regiment after regiment gave loud cheers in 
his honor as he approached. This had become customary in our 
army when the troops were reviewed by the commanding General. 
General Grant made no recognition of the intended compliment. 
I was in command of the regiment and observing this felt pro 
voked. I turned to the regiment and said : As General Grant 
does not seem to think our cheering worth notice, I will not call 
for cheers. Maintain your position as soldiers. When General 
Grant came to the sixth Wisconsin, the military salutes required 
were performed with exact precision and the men stood motion 
less as statues. He evidently expected us to cheer him as the 
others had; but when he saw us performing only our exact and 
formal duties as soldiers, he took off his hat and made a low bow 


to us, and to our colors dipped in salute to him as commander of 
the army. It was to say, I did not come here for a personal 
ovation. It was a genuine Grantism and our men were highly 
pleased at it. They said, Grant wants soldiers, not yaupers. " 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, MARCH 3ist, 1864. 

"Major Hauser has been appointed a Consul to Switzerland 
and he will soon start with his wife for Europe. Captain Philip 
W. Plummer will be Major in place of Hauser. He is a pleasant 
gentleman and will be an agreeable member of our mess. Adju 
tant Brooks is out of Libby Prison at last and will soon return to 
to the regiment." 

(To my wife.) CAMP NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 4th, 1864. 

"General James S. Wadsworth, is now in command of 
our division, and we begin at once to feel the old fellow 
trying in his own level headed way to ferret out abuses. For in 
stance : All officers applying for leave of absence must state the 
date and length of their last leave. He is a thorough and able 

The men are drawing commutation money for the rations to 
which they were entitled while on the veteran furlough and I 
have to sign all these papers in duplicate. About all the time 
that I am not on court martial, I am writing my name. William 
Jackson, now our chief steward, provides well and serves up 
dinners that are the envy of all around us. It is impossible to 
get good cooks and competent servants now, and we should be 
badly off if it were not for William. He is anxious that 
General Grant shall succeed this spring, for an advance of our 
lines of twenty miles would enable him to find his mother, which 
he can never hope to do if the rebellion prevails." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 8th, 1864. 

"This morning the regiment is to be inspected by Colonol 
Osborne, Inspector, at General Wadsworth s headquarters, and 
every man is busy polishing his gun and brasses and blacking his 
shoes. Our men will not allow themselves to be surpassed in 
neatness of appearance. 

There was a great horse race yesterday near Stevensburgh. 
Our horse lost more than $1000 for our friends who bet their 


money on horse races. I am glad the horse got beaten. They 
have been gambling on it for a year and this I hope will put a 
stop to it. This dose was badly needed." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 9th, 1864. 

"There are increasing indications of active work. Sutlers are 
being sent to the rear, baggage reduced, and leaves of absence for 
bidden. General Warren says in his order, that sickness or death 
of near relatives will not be considered as a reason for granting 
leaves of absence. His idea of an extreme case is likely 
the same as General Newton s. We expected the ninth corps, 
General Burnside s here, but I do not know that it has come. I 
have not been very well for the last two days." 
(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL i2th, 1864. 

"There is a lively hum of preparation throughout the army for 
active operations. On the i5th of April, all sutlers or camp fol_ 
lowers of every description must be out of the army under se 
vere penalty, and all available men are being gathered up, 
armed and equipped for service in the ranks. Soon the dreaded 
rattle of musketry will be around us. The incessant rain storms 
have so raised the streams as to carry away nearly every railroad 
bridge between here and Washington. 

Our camp was enlivened last night by a decided genius. He 
spoke and sang patriotic songs to our boys for two hours. He 
kept his audience in an uproar. He was amusing, pathetic, patri 
otic, almost thrilling in his climaxes after the most approved style 
of oratory. He is doing a good work in his way. His utter 
ances were encouraging to the soldiers and his entertainment 
highly acceptable to them, wearied by the monotony of camp life. 

A report was called for from army headquarters of how many 
officers of veteran regiments had signified their intention to 
serve a new term of three years. Colonel Bragg reported none 
in this regiment. The course of our State Governors is not cal 
culated to encourage the army. The most severe criticism is 
made of Governor Brough of Ohio. He has inaugurated a sys 
tem of throwing obstacles in the way of the promotion of veteran 
officers and soldiers. The Governor of a State, free from danger 
and with little knowledge of the military service of the general 
Government, in point of propriety and good sense ought not to 


have control of the appointment or promotion of officers who are 
in the field, in the Army of the United States. One of our 
companies is now without officers and we are not able to get the 
Governor of Wisconsin to appoint them, and this while we are 
preparing for an active campaign against the enemy. Week 
after week he has delayed sending the commissions asked for by 
Colonel Bragg, making frivolous, and to us, contemptible objec 
tions. For example, you have not stated whether this man is 
first sergeant, when there is no first sergeant in the company. 
Again : This officer cannot be promoted until the Governor is 
notified by the War Department of the resigned officer s discharge, 
when the officer was not discharged by order of the War 
Department. The War Department can not know of his dis 
charge for a month to come, and then would not notify the 
Governor of Wisconsin, because tha}: is not required. Besides, 
the Governor has been notified long before by our Col 
onel, who is the proper authority. Or : The Governor has 
determined not to appoint out of the line of promotion in the 
individual s own regiment. The important places in the new 
regiments, where the experience and example of the veterans are 
of vital importance, are given too often to politically influential 
civilians, who hang around and tease for them. Shame on such a 
policy. No such foil) 7 is practiced by the rebels. Instead of 
rushing in new and green organizations, they are constantly fill 
ing up, by conscription or otherwise, their old regiments. That 
is one reason why we can t whip I^ee s army." 

The following extracts from an article by Colonel K. C. Dawes, in 
the National Tribune of August i4th, 1890, state succinctly these 
radical differences in the military policy of the contending powers : 

"In the Confederacy after 1861, all soldiers were enlisted for 
the war. There was scarcely a new regiment organized after 
1862. Recruits and conscripts were assigned to old regiments, 
whose ranks were thus kept full. Promotions were promptly 
made to fill all vacancies. Bach infantry and cavalry company 
had three lieutenants. Brigades, divisions, and army corps, 
were commanded by officers of appropriate rank. Brigades as a 
rule retained the same organization from the beginning of the 
war to the end. 


In the Union army there was perpetual change. Men were 
enlisted for all periods, from three months to three years. Under 
each call for troops, new regiments were organized. Each infan 
try and cavalry company had two Lieutenants. Promotions 
were not permitted in old regiments if the number of officers on 
the rolls was proportionately greater than the number of enlisted 
men. The chances for promotion were therefore in inverse ratio 
to the service performed. Brigades and divisions were changed 
with each campaign, and were seldom commanded by officers of 
proper rank. 

Some examples from the records will illustrate these differences : 

General Joseph K. Johnston s army by its return of June loth, 
1864, numbered for duty, 6,538 officers and 64,340 enlisted men. 

General Sherman s army by its return June 3oth, 1864, with 
100,851 enlisted men for duty, had but 5,219 officers." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRII, i5th, 1864. 

"I had the honor of an introduction to General G. K. Warren 
yesterday. He is a keen-looking fellow ot small stature, about 
my own complexion, black eyes and hair, and quite young 
looking. His address is gentlemanly and pleasing." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL iyth, 1864. 

"The enemy are evidently preparing themselves to meet the 
advance of this army, and if possible, repel it. Our army is 
being considerably augmented, not so much however, I think, as 
the country generally supposes. 

The Rev. Warren Cochran has been appointed chaplain of our 
regiment. He is a Congregationalist and said to be an able man. 
He has a son, who is a recruit to the regiment, and he wishesjio be 
with him in the service. Our regiment has been announced in 
general orders as first in excellence in the division in cleanliness 
of clothing and persons of the men, and in good condition of 
arms and accoutrements." 

General Wadsworth had announced that he would publish in 
general orders, the regiment in his division that stood first in 
soldierly qualities, discipline, cleanliness, and condition of arms, 
but the time for the inspection was not given. The order for 
inspection came to brigade headquarters and was there discovered 


by Colonel Bragg at midnight, and the inspection was to be at 
eight o clock A. M. Bragg has written of this circumstance : 
"It was a stunner, and I thought aimed to bring down our high 
pretensions." The Colonel called out all the Captains after 
midnight, and we had a preliminary inspection at daylight in the 
morning, after which the men went to bed and apparently fell 
fast asleep. At eight o clock Colonel Osborne, the inspector, 
came. Colonel Bragg writes : "He stopped at my tent and 
waked me up, and I pretended that it was the first I had heard 
of an inspection, and grumbled about their playing such tricks 
on us. As I ranked Osborne, you turned the regiment out, and 
such a regiment those fellows never saw, as Osborne himself told 
me in 1865 at a Camp-fire one night. He admitted that he 
expected to take us unawares, and wanted to know how we got 
ready. I told him they always kept themselves that way in 
camp, to which he answered Bosh. " 

"The manner in which the whole opposition party in Congress 
has shown sympathy for the traitorous sentiments of Representa 
tive Long, of Ohio, has created a profound impression in the 
arm} 7 . It is asked how many reverses to our plans and our arms 
W 7 ill bring the great political party these people represent to Mr. 
Long s conviction of the necessity of recognition. They have 
shown favor to Mr. Long s avowal upon the floor of Congress of 
his conviction of our defeat, and of the triumph of our enemy. 

I attend court martial every day. We have an important case 
pending. Judge McCunn of New York City, under provisions of 
a law of New York, enacted in pursuance of a provision of the 
Constitution of the United States, that the militia cannot be 
called into the service of the United States for a longer period 
than two years, discharged from the service, by the decree of a 
municipal court of New York city, a member of the fourteenth 
Brooklyn, which was a regiment of New York state militia, 
mustered into the United States service for three years unless 
sooner discharged. The Provost Marshal arrested the man as 
a deserter, disregarding the decree of the court, and our court is 
trying him on a charge of desertion. Important questions are 
involved in this case." 

The provision in the Constitution is that "No appropriation of 


money," to raise and support armies, shall be for a longer term 
than for two years." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 22nd, 1864. 

"Captain Philip W. Plummer has been appointed Major, vice 
Hauser. Adjutant Brooks came unexpectedly into camp last 
night. I must say he never looked better in his life, and 
imprisonment in Libby seems to have agreed with the young 
man. He tells amusing stories of life in L,ibby. General Neal 
Dow, who was a prisoner, had coffee sent to him by his friends. 
Brooks says he wanted some of that coffee, and he sent a young 
Lieutenant, who did not know Dow, to commiserate with him 
upon the burning of his fine distillery. The ludicrous explosion 
that followed, enabled Brooks to steal a tin cup of coffee from 
the hot coals. Brooks says he got ninety dollars in rebel money, 
for three dollars in gold, and that Mosby sold his (Brooks ) horse 
for two thousand dollars in rebel currency. We had a fine 
little brigade review in honor of the Governor of Wisconsin, who 
is here, (Governor Lewis.) 
(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 26th, 1864. 

"I occupied the time yesterday playing chess with old Mr. 
Mossee, the rebel gentleman in Culpepper, of whom I have 
written you. We played ten games and won five each. The old 
fellow is a strong player. He spends his time studying calculus 
and chess for want of something else to do. He has a daughter 
living with him, whom he calls Tuss, which rather disturbs my 
equanimity, as I dislike silly nicknames. But the daughter s 
tenderness for her father is beautiful. I am afraid I shall be 
short of socks before the campaign is over. The sutlers have all 
left the army and nothing of the kind can be procured here. 
Our people are building forts around Culpepper, either as a 
blind or to fortify this point as a base of supplies." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 27th, 1864. 

"Burnside s corps are arriving at Alexandria, which of course, 
is a preliminary to an immediate movement by this army." 

(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 28th, 1864. 

"The seventh Indiana regiment, under Colonel Ira B. Grover, 
has been added to our brigade. This is a large and remarkably 


fortunate regiment. They claim to have been in seventeen 
battles with less loss than we sustained at Gettysburg. General 
Wadsworth s division must be seven thousand strong. The 
seventh Wisconsin received fourteen Indians, apparently wild 
from the woods, as recruits yesterday. Some of them cannot 
speak our language. I have Reuben greatly exercised, for I tell 
him that no delicacy is so choice to an Indian as roast nigger, unless 
it be a coon. As Reuben considers himself both he sees no 
chance to escape. Mr. Mossee and I, yesterday, played seven 
games. I won four ; he won two and one was drawn. It was 
hard work to beat the old man, but I did it this time, and the 
Union army is ahead. The drawn game was a joke. This is the 
position : 



I have the white men and the move and draw the game. To 
be caught thus asleep annoyed the old gentleman greatly. He 
had a sure thing." 


(To my wife.) NEAR CULPEPPER, APRIL 29th, 1864. 

"We are to try a Major to-morrow on the charge of 
drunkenness, and other charges too disgraceful to write on paper. 
It is discouraging to find such men in respectable and responsible 
positions in the army. I saw a regular war dance in the camp of 
the seventh Wisconsin last night. The Indians are Chippewas. 
General Rice saw our returned enlisted men who had been 
prisoners at Belle Isle, in Richmond. No one, he says, who has 
not seen them, can imagine the dreadful condition of these men." 
(To my wife.) CAMP NEAR CULPEPPER, MAY ist, 1864. 

"Our new Major, Philip W. Plummer, came into camp yester 
day from Wisconsin, where he has been on recruiting service. 
He has enjoyed his stay in Wisconsin and is in high spirits at his 
promotion. He looks finely. May 2nd. You must tell me 
where Charley s regiment is to be stationed. He will not have 
an unpleasant duty in his one hundred days of soldiering." 

Charles Beman Gates, only brother of my wife, was a member 
of the Junior class in Marietta College. He was nineteen years 
of age. He had joined the one hundred and forty-eighth Ohio 
regiment under the call for men to serve one hundred days, and 
he was First lieutenant in company "A." 
(To my wife.) CAMP NEAR CULPEPPER, MAY 3rd, 1864. 

" We move at midnight. " 

When the orders to march to the Wilderness came, two culprits 
who belonged to our regiment were in confinement at Gen. Wads- 
worth s headquarters to be taken to the penitentiary at Sing Sing, 
New York. One had been sentenced to a term of five 
years and the other to a term of three years. They begged 
piteously to be allowed to join the regiment and fight in the 
coming battles. They said they had rather be killed than go to 
the penitentiary. Upon Colonel Bragg s voucher that they would 
fight if released General Wadsworth granted their request. They 
never left the skirmish line until both were shot and severely 
wounded. At Petersburg, after the campaign, I applied to the 
President of the United States for their pardon, pleading their 
bravery and their suffering in battle. Under the rule in such 
cases, all the evidence before the court was submitted together 
with the application. The pardon was granted by President 
Abraham Lincoln. 


The WWoFerness Laurel Hill The Bloody .Angrle and Spottsyl- 

On the early morning of May 4th, 1864, the grand column of 
the Army of the Potomac was on the march to cross the Rapidan, 
the fifth army corps in advance. At the head of our division 
rode General James S. Wadsworth, gray-haired and noble in his 
appearance and bearing, and grand in every element of character 
and manhood. We crossed on the pontoon at Germania Ford, 
and marched into the Wilderness. Word passed over the land 
that General Grant was moving, and with almost breathless 
anxiety our people awaited the result. For days no word came 
from beneath the dark shadow, to relieve the almost agonized 
anxiety of my young wife. It was known that there was 
desperate and incessant fighting, but it was wholly impossible to 
get particulars from the front. Her kind father, (Beman Gates) 
left his business, and putting aside all else came to Washington 
to get the first word possible from me, and to be at hand to aid 
me in case of need. My uncle, Wm. P. Cutler, almost equally 
concerned, sent the first word of encouragement that reached my 
wife. The battles in the Wilderness and near Spottsylvania, will 
first be given in the correspondence which is arranged in the 
same order that it came to my wife, as the most graphic as well as 
the most accurate manner of restoring the experiences of that 
(Telegram.) CHILUCOTHE, OHIO, MAY loth, 1864. 

"Morning papers contain lists of casualties among officers. 
Rufus name not among them. General Wadsworth killed. 
Lee retreating. W. P. CUTLER." 

This was the first list published. The telegram gained six 
hours time before delivery of the morning papers at Marietta. 


Letter from Beman Gates to my wife, his daughter : 

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., MAY i3th, 1864. 

11 My dear Mary : "I am convinced that during the first six 
days of battle, Rufus escaped injury. I have sought information 
from every possible source, and have obtained as full lists as 
practicable of all casualties. There are several wounded men 
from the sixth Wisconsin who came up on the boat last night, 
and whom I will see before closing this letter. This morning I 
went to the Georgetown hospital where the officers are mostly 
sent, to see Dr. Preston, reported as Surgeon of the sixth Wis 
consin. He could give me no information, having started here 
before the army moved. Over seven thousand men have already 
reached here, but a majority of them are slightly wounded. The 
more severely wounded are kept at Fredericksburgh. I get 
more information through the Sanitary Commission than from all 
other sources, but in the present hurry and confusion, it is very 
difficult to get any information that is reliable. The loss of men 
has been terrible, and I fear the slaughter will continue for some 
days yet. Everything is being done by the Government and by 
the Sanitary Commission to relieve the wounded, but great suffer 
ing must result from the inability to give prompt aid. I am now 
waiting to see the Wisconsin State Agent, (W. Y. Selleck) and if 
I can get any information, I will add it to this letter. If I get 
any reliable information from Rufus I will telegraph at once." 

"2% o clock P. M. I have just come from one of the hospitals 
where I found three men wounded from the sixth Wisconsin. 
They all belong to company C. * One of them was wounded in 
the first day s battle, and two in the second. They say that 
Bragg is in command of a Pennsylvania brigade, and Dawes, of 
the regiment. They speak in the very highest terms of him and 
say that in the second day s fight, when the division was driven,f 
the colors fell back, when Colonel Dawes seized them in person, 
marched forward and planted them under a heavy fire, and 
brought the men up to line. Major Plummer was killed in the 
first day s fight, and Captain Converse, company *B, was killed. 

*Norman S. Bull, Albert P. Sprague, C. H. Clary. 

tLongstreet s attack when General Wadsworth was killed and our lines 


These were all the officers killed or wounded badly up to Sunday 
night.* The Wisconsin State Agent says that officers from the 
seventh Wisconsin, who came up last night, report that when 
they left Sunday night, Rufus was all right. The Agent expects 
later news to-night, and if I hear anything unfavorable I will 
telegraph you, and go down to the front on the first boat. I have 
a pass and shall take charge of the sanitary and medical stores 
for the Ohio Relief Association. I do not know how to leave 
my business, but if I can be of service, I feel that I ought to go. 
Your husband is proving himself a brave and true man and an 
excellent officer ; indeed, he has done this long ago. But he is 
now winning fresh laurels, which for your sake, for his mother s 
and sister s sake, and for the country s good, I pray that he may 
live to wear for many years. 

Your affectionate father, 

WASHINGTON, MAY i3th, 1864. 

Extracts from a letter to Mrs. Gates. "I expect to start to 
Fredericksburgh in the morning. I shall get to Belle Plaine, eighty 
miles down the Potomac, before night, and shall then have to 
walk or ride ten miles or so to Fredericksburgh. Whether I go 
farther or not will depend upon circumstances when I get there. 
My pass will allow me to go to the front if I can get there, and I 
cannot tell now where that will be. At latest dates, Rufus was 
safe, but there has been severe and almost constant fighting and 
very heavy losses. The reports this evening continue encourag 
ing as to our general success, but the thousands of wounded who 
are arriving here from the last week s battle make a man weep, 
and their sufferings prompt me to do what I can for their relief. 
If I only had good health, I could do much, and when I am not 
sick I can do a little and can not hesitate to offer my service. 
I wrote Mary this afternoon and have not heard anything 
since. Her anxiety is of course painful, and I trust the dreadful 
suspense may soon be happily relieved. Whatever may be the 
result, she may well be thankful that she has had a husband who 
was willing to put his life at hazard in the defense of his country. 

JAn error on the part of his informants. 


Nobly has he sustained the service, and long may he live to en 
joy the blessings of the government he has served so well. I feel 
anxious about Charley (his son), but I cannot say he ought not to 
go. I do not know but I ought to go too." 

Saturday A. M., i4th. "I am off for the army. I leave my 
valise here, taking nothing but a shirt and my shawl. Rufus 
name does not appear in any list ; the latest I could get he was 
well. Captain W. N. Remington, of his regiment, was admitted 
to a hospital last night, wounded. When he left, Rufus was all 
right. The fighting is not over yet." 

P. S. " I have seen the Wisconsin State Agent. He has re 
ports from the sixth regiment as late as Wednesday, at which 
time Dawes was well. He has the report that Colonel Bragg, 
commanding a Pennsylvania brigade, was killed on Tuesday or 
Wednesday, but does not credit it." B. G. 

LINE OF BATTLE, MAY nth, 1864.* 
(To my wife.) 

"Through God s blessing I am yet alive, and beside the 
fearful tax upon my energies, mental and physical, have 
nothing to complain of and everything to be thankful for. 
For six long days we have been under the deadly musketry. 
On the morning of May 5th our brigade lost near eight hundred 
men; the same night a hundred more; the next morning two 
hundred more. We marched all night to come here (yth), and 
next day (8th), we charged the enemy and were repulsed, and the 
fnext day (zoth), we twice attacked and were driven back, and 
every moment the balls, shot and shell have whistled around us. 
Major Plummer, Captain Kellogg, Captain Converse, Lieutenant 
Pruyn and Lieutenant Graetz are in their graves. Captain Rem 
ington, Lieut. Timmons and Lieut. J. L. Converse are wounded. 
The perils of the last week have been fearful. I cannot hope to 
pass thus safely through another such. Colonel Bragg commands 
a brigade of Pennsylvania troops and I have commanded the 
regiment since the second day. Our loss in killed and wounded 
is about one hundred and forty men. The battle must soon be 

*We were confronting the enemy in a log breast work at Laurel Hill, 
near Spottsylvania Court House. 
tError, 10th is the day of the attacks referred to. 


renewed. I cannot write now. The frightful scenes of the last 
week make my heart almost like a stone." 

(To Mrs. Beman Gates.) MAY i4th, P. M., 1864. j 

"I have been hard at work for eight hours, buying stores 
and gathering sanitary supplies, and expect to leave at 
five o clock. We hope to reach Belle Plaine (six miles 
below Acquia Creek), about midnight, and to get to Fredericks- 
burgh early in the morning. If I can get to the front, I shall, 
and I hope that will be Richmond. 

The losses have been immense, but not so heavy as reported. 
The highest authorities here say that twenty thousand will cover 
all up to Thursday s battle. We are taking medicines, vegetables, 
lemons, tobacco, lint, bandages, &c., and hope to do many a poor 
fellow some service. 

The city is literally full of people seeking out their wounded 
friends, in the hospitals, and as they arrive. The hospitals are 
in nice order, and amply provided. Twenty thousand beds have 
been provided for the wounded. BEMAN GATES." 

(To Mrs. Beman Gates.) BELLE PLAINE, SUNDAY, A. M., ) 

MAY 1 5th, 1864. j 

"We were delayed in getting off last night, and did not 
get here until near morning. There will be great difficulty 
in getting forward, except by walking. I shall try to get to 
Fredericksburgh to-day, though I have a bad headache. 
The roads, since the last rain, are horrible. There are eight 
thousand rebel prisoners here. No more wounded will be brought 
here at present, as it would kill the poor fellows to ride here. 
They will be kept at Fredericksburgh. I send this to Washington 
by a mail messenger from the front, who left Grant s head 
quarters yesterday morning. There was no fighting on Friday, 
but heavy firing was heard yesterday P. M., from which it is 
inferred that the contest was renewed. There is great want of 
nurses at Fredericksburgh. BEMAN GATES." 

(To my wife.) MAY i4th, 1864, n A. M. j 

"By the blessing of God I. am still alive. We have had con- 


tinued fighting and hardship since I wrote two days ago, beyond 
what I can now describe. We charged upon the enemy s rifle 
pits again on Thursday, and were as usual driven back. ^Thurs 
day night, May 1 2th, we stood in mud over my boot tops, firing 
all night. Yesterday, i3th, we were under fire all day, and 
last night we marched all night. I am troubled very much lest 
I have been reported killed in the New York papers. The report 
was extensively circulated by one of my men. I can never tell, 
if I live through it, the sufferings of this campaign. The army 
has earned the lasting gratitude of the people. Do not give me 
up if you see me reported killed. Such things are often mistakes. 
The end is not yet, though, and I cannot avoid, my dear wife, 
saying that the probabilities of coming out safely are strongly 
against me. If we may only finish this horrible business here, 
ouf lives are of poor moment in comparison. The loss of my 
regiment now amounts to over one hundred and fifty men killed 
and wounded, many of our best and truest." 

(To my wife.) "I find this morning that I am reported killed 
in the New York papers. f The report may be verified before 
this awful struggle is over, but I may still escape, and to have 
this unnecessary burden of trouble thrown upon you, is very 
trying. I am almost prostrated with over exertion and with 
fighting, but alive and well, and feeling more hopeful. Colonel 
Bragg is alive and well. He has been published as killed, and is 
troubled lest the same shock has come to his wife. I received 
your letter of the second, (May) last night. I have had two 
letters since the first day of the battles. Our army is fearfully 
exhausted and worn out." 


(To Mrs. Beman Gates.) MAY i6th, 1864. j 

"I walked from the Potomac here yesterday, the last four miles 

*Thursday night, May 12th, we were at the point now famed in history 
as the "Bloody Angle" or "Angle of Death," where General Hancock 
had captured General Edward Johnson s division. 

tThe New York Tribune reported me in a list of killed, which the paper 
said had been carefully verified, and paragraphed the item thus : "Colonel 
Dana of the sixth Wisconsin was killed yesterday, while gallantly leading 
his men to a charge. This regiment has suffered terribly." It escaped the 
notice of my wife, because it was not published in the Cincinnati papers. 


in a very severe rain and hail storm. I am sick but hard at 
work. * * * The latest news from the front is that Rufus 
was well and safe Saturday P. M. There was a report two days 
ago, that he was killed on Wednesday, -but I have talked with 
M. Dempsey, First lieutenant of company A, twenty-fourth 
Michigan, who left the front yesterday, and he says that on 
Saturday afternoon between two and three o clock he saw 
Colonel Dawes and talked with him. The Chaplain of the 
Twenty-fourth says that Dempsey is a reliable man. 

You cannot conceive of the suffering here. Every house, barn, 
and shed is a hospital, and although everything possible is done, the 
accommodations are imperfect. The roads by the late rains are so 
cut up, that the transportation of the wounded men to the river is 
in many cases fatal. The delay in receiving sanitary and hospital 
stores is very great. It is impossible to get reliable information 
from the front. Last night it was currently reported that 
Grant was falling back, and that General Warren s corps would 
be in Fredericksburgh. This morning men from the front report, 
that our general hospital was yesterday advanced to Spottsyl- 
vania, and that General Grant had issued a congratulatory order. 
One hour we hear that Butler is in Richmond, and the next that 
he has been whipped. We know almost nothing, except that on 
every hand are thousands of brave men suffering and dying. 
The Sanitary and Christian commissions are doing a great deal, 
but their supplies cannot be got forward. The stores that I 
started with are yet at Belle Plaine, but I hope will be got 
through to-day. I send this to Washington by an Ohio man, 
who is going there with a wounded son, and he will mail it from 
there upon his arrival. BEMAN GATES." 


(To my wife.) "L,ast night we were ordered to charge the 
enemy s entrenchments, provided he attacked Burnside s corps on 
our right, but no attack was made and for the time being we 
were spared another scene of horrid butchery. We know abso 
lutely nothing of what is going on outside of our army or even 
within it. We have had no newspapers since May 3rd, and get 
only a pitiful handful of mail for cooks, orderlies and lieutenants 
of staff at the various headquarters. Put Headquarters First 


Brigade, Fourth Division, Fifth Corps, on your letters and perhaps 
some may get through." 

LINE OF BATTLE, MAY lyth, 1864, 6 A. M. 
(To my wife.) "I have to be thankful for another day of life 
and safety. There was no considerable fighting anywhere along 
the line yesterday. There was an order this morning that the 
artillery throughout the whole line should open on the enemy 
and I heard the bugles sounding at daybreak, but the fog is so 
thick now they can not do anything. The loss of the regiment 
as near as I can now arrive at it is, sixteen killed, one hundred 
and nineteen wounded, and fourteen missing. Most of our miss 
ing men are now known to be wounded and some are killed. I 
have commanded the regiment since leaving the Wilderness on 
the seventh of May. The enemy in our front are in plain view. 
Spottsylvania Court House is directly in our front. Day after 
day we stupidly and drearily wait the order that summons us to 
the fearful work." 


MAY 1 8th, 8 A. M. 1864. j 

(To my wife.) "Alive and well this morning. There has 
been sharp fighting to our right, indeed there is heavy skirmish 
ing along the whole line as I write. I have heard that your 
father is at Fredericksburg. It is impossible to communicate 
with him." 


MAY i Qth, 7 A. M., 1864. j 

(To my wife.) "We are occupying the extreme right of our 
army and we are strongly entrenched. (This seems to be an 
error ; there were other troops on our right.) The battle will be 
to our left unless the enemy attack us. (They did so the same 
evening). It is impossible to conjecture when this campaign will 
end or what will be the result. The country, as usual, has been 
unduly exultant. This campaign has been by far the most trying 
I have known. We have had eight days and nights of constant 
toil and battle. Colonel Bragg does well with his Pennsylvania 
Brigade. General Cutler commands our division since General 
Wadsworth was killed. (Fourth division, fifth corps). We hope 
to get our first regular mail to-day since May 2nd. I look for it 


very anxiously. One man says I have been reported killed in all 
the papers and another man says I have not been, and that he has 
seen all the lists." 


(To my wife.) "Who should come riding to the battle front 
but your good father. I saw him for only a few moments, but 
I was greatly rejoiced and encouraged. His visit did me more 
good than I can tell you, and for him to come to the front was an 
undertaking of no little peril, as it proved. He barely escaped 
getting into a battle, but t he is all right at Fredericksburgh. I 
sent Philip Gaubatz with him and he is back. 

Our hearts were rejoiced also this morning at receiving our 
mail. I got five letters from you. I will not try to write how 
burdens are lightened and how life comes back. I find (by the 
mail,) that the Wisconsin State Agent telegraphed to Wisconsin 
that I was killed and my body burned. I saw many bodies burn 
ing (at Laurel Hill,) in the brush between the lines, set on fire by 
burning wads from the muskets. 

I was very much alarmed about your father. The battle was 
on the road to Fredericksburgh, directly in our rear. The rebels 
attacked us. This does not look like Lee was entirely defeated, 
does it ?* (General B. S. Kwell commanded the troops of the 
enemy in this action and portions of the second and fifth corps 
and General Tyler s foot artillerists were engaged on our side). 
The) enemy are probably re-in forced, and I do not believe General 
Grant will again attack them in their entrenched position. Your 
letters came to me truly when I was sick with the horrors of wai. " 

*Mr. Gates had ridden out from Fredericksburgh to Spottsylvania Court 
House on a very poor animal, and upon his return I gave him my own horse 
and put our little drummer boy, Philip Gaubatz, of company "F." on his 
horse to bring back my own horse. Mr. Gates first saw the rebel line of battle 
approaching and he asked Philip what troops those were. He ejaculated 
"The Shonnies !" and bujying his spurs in the flanks of the old plug, started 
for Fredericksburgh on a gallop. My horse caught the spirit of the occasion 
and they barely passed the flank of the rebel army corps before the firing 

Mr. Gates was much indebted to the fact that he was an old newspaper 
man, as he fraternized with the correspondents. What that body of men 
did not know about getting around in the army was past finding out. He 
was provided with a horse by a correspondent who promptly stole another 
for his own use, and he came to the front on the pass of C. C. Coffin, 



No official report of the action of the regiment in this battle 
has been made. In 1874 I wrote some personal recollections of 
our experiences in that strange and terrible struggle called the 

On the night of May 4th, 1864, the regiment was in bivouac 
near the "Old Wilderness Tavern." On the morning of May 5th, 
when Wadsworth s division of the fifth army corps was ordered 
to advance upon the enemy, our brigade was formed in two 
lines of battle, the sixth Wisconsin on the left of the second 

Seventh Indiana. 

Sixth Wisconsin. 

After the troops had been formed, we all lay down in the 
woods to await the order to advance. There were in the ranks 
of the regiment three hundred and forty-seven men who carried 
muskets, and twenty-three commissioned officers a total of 
three hundred and seventy combatants. It was a bright and 
pleasant morning, and the woods were filled with the twitter of 
birds. Colonel Bragg and all of our officers gathered under a 
great oak tree, and were chattering and chaffering in the highest 
spirits. The first call to advance was an order for a company to 
go forward as skirmishers. Colonel Bragg designated Captain 
John A. Kellogg with his company "I," for this duty. We were 
told that our movement was to be a reconnoissance. As Kellogg 
got up to go, Major Philip Plummer said : "What word shall I 
send to your wife? " "Never mind my wife," replied Kellogg 
"Look after Converse girl ! " Captain Converse said: "Plummer 
will be shot before either of us, leave your messages with Dawes, 
he is the only man they can t kill!" 

Colonel Ira B. Grover s seventh Indiana regiment was directly 
in front of us, in the first line of battle, and it was our duty to 
follow them at a distance of one hundred paces. It was with 


the greatest difficulty that we could keep in sight of them in the 
brush. We soon lost connection on our right, but we followed 
the colors of the seventh Indiana. When tangled in a thicket 
we heard Colonel Grover order his regiment to advance at a 
double quick. Colonel Bragg directed me to hasten forward with 
our regiment as fast as practicable through the brush, while he 
ran ahead to keep in sight of the colors of the seventh Indiana. 
It is now known that Wadsworth s division had partially lost its 
direction in this march which may explain the trouble we fell into. 
Instead of facing the enemy as we should have been, we were 
more in this position : 

Rebel line advancing. 

As we httraed along there was a great outburst of musketry. 
Major Plummer shouted to me : "Look to the right !" Probably 
his last words. There came the enemy stretching as far as I 
could see through the woods, and rapidly advancing and firing 
upon us. I ordered a change of front on the color company, to 
bring the regiment to face them. Directing Major Plummer to 
attend to the left wing, I gave orders to the right wing, but the 
Major was shot and killed, and the regiment stood with reference 
to the enemy, something like this : 

Rebel line. 

6th Wis. 

Both wings opened fire. 

We here lost forty or fifty men in a very few moments, inclu 
ding Major Philip W. Plummer, Captain Rollin P. Converse, and 




Lieutenant James L. Converse of company "G." The brush now 
served us well. Our smaller body of men could move faster 
than the heavy lines of the enemy could follow. The rebels 
came on yelling and firing. The little band, as always under 
fire, clung around its colors. We rallied and formed twice or 
three times and gave the enemy a hot reception as they came on. 
When the rebels ceased pursuing us, we found ourselves alone 
as a regiment and lost in the woods, and we lay flat on the 
ground, not knowing certainly which way to go to join our 
troops. Colonel Bragg did not find the seventh Indiana, but he 
almost ran into the midst of the rebel army. He joined us as we 
fell back. Here came to us a man who had been on the line of 
skirmishers with company "I," and he said : "Captain Kellogg is 
killed, I am certain of it." We were in the woods between the 
hostile lines and W T C lelt our way cautiously back to the open 
ground around the Lacy House, where our corps was being 
formed after this repulse. We here constructed a log breast 
work and remained in it until near evening of May fifth. At 
this time, General Wadsworth s division was detached from the 
fifth corps and ordered to the support of General Hancock s 
second corps on our left. Our brigade had hot musketry fighting 
from the start, but the enemy was driven back a long distance 
through the woods. We were fighting troops of the corps of 
General A. P. Hill. At dark the firing died down to the skir 
mish line. We lay upon the ground surrounded by dead and 
dying rebel soldiers. The sufferings of these poor men, and 
their moans and cries were harrowing. We gave them water 
from our canteens and all aid that was within our power. One 
dying confederate soldier cried out again and again : "My God, 
why hast thou forsaken me!" On this night Colonel Bragg 
sent out Sergeant Lewis A. Kent, who crept around the skirmish 
line along the whole front of Wadsworth s division and -located the 
enemy. For the important information thus obtained, Colonel 
Bragg says he received no thanks from his superior officers. 

On the early morning of the sixth of May, the fighting was 
renewed. Again we drove the enemy through the woods. The 
four lines of battle of Wadsworth s division were formed thus, 

with reference to the second corps, which was also advancing in 
several lines. 

Wadsworth g lines. 

When the two came together, the men became jammed and 
crowded, and there was much confusion. *When Longstreet s 
attack upon us began, it first struck the right flank of General 
Wadsworth s division. General Wadsworth seeing his lines 
broken and scattered by the rebel onset on his flank, rode at once 
forwaid through his lines and I saw him pass through the ranks 
of the one hundred and forty-ninth Pennsylvania in the front 
line on our left, and ride in front of that regiment. He was 
instantly killed. Later on that day, I asked Lieutenant Karl M. 
Rogers who was serving on his staff, why he did so, as he rode 
to certain death. I remember the reply that "Bony" made : 
"My God, Colonel, nobody could stop him! " Our regiment fell 
back in good order in the same direction we had advanced, and 
we were not pursued by the enemy, who moved on against the 
lines of the second corps. 

In the Wilderness our loss was three officers and five men 
killed, one officer and thirty-nine men wounded, one officer 
and fourteen men missing, a total of sixty-three. 

*"At 4:30 A. M. on the 6th, we moved forward, attacked the enemy and 
drove him across the Plank Road, where a junction was made with the 
second corps. The division was then formed in four lines, the left resting 
on the Plank Road. These lines were by order of General Wadsworth 
closed in mass to avoid the artillery fire of the enemy. While in this posi 
tion it (the division) was furiously attacked by infantry and artillery, driven 
back and badly scattered." Report Brigadier General L. Cutler, command 
ing Wadswortn s division. 


On the morning of May 7th,*Colonel Bragg was placed in com 
mand of the third brigade, fourth division, fifth corps, the brigade 
referred to in my account of the battle of Gettysburg as Roy 
Stone s Pennsylvania Bucktails. The men of this brigade had squir 
rels tails in their caps. The original regiment of Pennsylvania 
Bucktails had deers tails to adorn their caps, but the demand for 
soldiers was beyond the supply of deers tails in Pennsylvania. 
The Junior Bucktails, as they were called, had all of the soldierly 
qualities ever possessed by their predecessors in the title. 
Colonel Bragg was selected for this command of Pennsylvania 
troops because he was a brave, efficient and experienced com 
mander of men in actual battle. Brigadier Generals were plenty, 
but not of this quality. His pending appointment as a Brigadier 
General still hung fire. That was more under the control of the 
members of Congress from Wisconsin than of his superior 
officers. I quote from Colonel K. C. Dawes : 

^ The Army of the Potomac, including the ninth corps at the 
opening of the Wilderness campaign, contained forty-one infantry 
brigades, twenty-six of which were commanded by Colonels. 
The Army of Northern Virginia, including Longstreet s corps, 
contained thirty-five infantry brigades, thirty-one of which were 
commanded by Brigadier Generals. Of the brigades in the Army 
of the Potomac which took part in the battle of Gettysburg but 
six in May, 1864, were composed of the same regiments as in 
July, 1863. All of the advantages of organization were clearly 
with the Confederate Army. ): 

On the seventh of May while in the presence of the enemy in the 
Wilderness I succeded to command of the regiment, in which 
duty I continued until the. expiration of my term of service in 
the army. On the afternoon of May yth, the soldiers in the 
lines of the rebel army in our front began a loud cheering, which 
continued to run along their lines for nearly half an hour. Its 
significance I have never learned. At 8 P. M., of this day the 
movement of the fifth army corps toward Spottsylvania Court 
House commenced by the Brock road. We were on the march 

; *I placed it (Stone s brigade) under command of Colonel E. S. Bragg, 
6th Wisconsin Volunteers, who retained command until the brigade was 
detached from the division, June 5th, doing good service," Repo* 
General L. Cutler. 


during the entire night, and on the eighth of May we were in 
line of battle in the vicinity of Todd s Tavern, where the cavalry 
were engaged with the enemy. We continued our march toward 
Spottsylvania and before our arrival the second division of our 
corps under General John C. Robinson had attacked and been 
repulsed. About 10 A. M. our brigade was formed to assault the 
enemy at a point called Laurel Hill, near Spottsylvania Court 
House. *"This was perhaps the most formidable point along the 
enemy s whole front. It s densely wooded crest was crowned by 
earthworks, while the approach, which was swept by artillery and 
musketry fire, was rendered more difficult and hazardous by a 
heavy growth of low cedars, the long, bayonet-like branches of 
which interlaced." 

In the formation for attack, Colonel W. W. Robinson, com 
manding the brigade, placed my regiment upon the right of the 
front line. I at once threw forward skirmishers and discovered 
that the enemy were themselves advancing upon us. I ordered 
the men to kneel upon the ground and fire upon them as soon as 
they appeared through the brush. There were no troops upon our 
right and our skirmishers came running in from that direction 
and reported the enemy moving forward without opposition. 
We had here a sharp musketry engagement, but our brigade was 
outflanked in both directions and we were obliged to retreat as 
best we could through the woods and undergrowth. f We crossed 
an open field and on the opposite side we reformed our line and 
repulsed several attempts of the enemy to advance over the field. 
Upon this retreat Lieutenant Howard F. Pruyn, commanding 
company "A" was killed. He disdained to run, and while striv 
ing to rally his men he fell. He had been promoted from 
the ranks for bravery, and he had taken part in every battle and 
had uniformly distinguished himself for efficiency and courage. 
Captain William N. Remington, of company "K," won especial 
and honorable mention for his conduct upon this occasion, as did 
also Corporal John B. Hart, of company "E," who was killed. 

*Swinton s History of the Army of the Potomac. 

t"My right being uncovered and unsupported, was attacked in flank 
from the woods and we were obliged to retire a short distance." Report 
General L. Cutler. 


Along the edge of timber skirting the open field we constructed 
a strong log breastwork, which may be called our base of opera 
tions during the five days of fighting at Laurel Hill. This 
breastwork was in the valley. The rebel line of entrench 
ments was upon the hill-top. The skirmishers of each army 
occupied the tangled brush and woods between the lines, and 
they kept up, day and night, a ceaseless and deadly fire. Our 
men in the entrenchments were constantly harassed by the fire 
of the enemy s sharpshooters, w T ho were posted in trees or upon 
higher ground. On the morning of May ninth a determined 
effort was made to drive back the enemy s skirmishers, and thirty 
men were ordered from the Sixth for this service. I called for 
volunteers, and that nervy little German, Lieutenant William 
Golterman, immediately stepped forward. Sergeant George 
Fairfield, of company "C," was his gallant and efficient assistant 
in command. The conduct of our skirmishers, who throughout 
the fighting at Spottsylvania were volunteers in every effort made 
to drive back the enemy, is worthy of the highest praise. The 
Indians of the seventh Wisconsin regiment took an active part in 
this skirmishing. They covered their bodies very ingeniously with 
pine boughs to conceal themselves in the woods. When skir 
mishers advanced from our lines, they would run across the open 
field at the top of their speed, and numbers of them were shot 
while doing so. Upon this run the Indians would give a shout or 
war whoop. 

At 1 2. 30 P. M., on the tenth of May we advanced to an assault 
upon the enemy in their entrenched position at Laurel Hill. We 
came suddenly upon their works without being aware of their 
proximity, on account of the thick brush, and we received a very 
destructive enfilading fire. Lieutenant Oscar Graetz, commanding 
company "F," was killed, and Captain William N. Remington 
and Lieutenant John Timmons were severely wounded and the 
loss of the regiment was severe. The conduct of officers and men 
under these trying circumstances was excellent. I moved by the 
right flank to get under the brow of a hill. We were not two 
hundred feet from the enemy. Here we W 7 ere mixed together 
with the twelfth Massachusetts regiment, (Colonel James L. 
Bates). The enemy poured over us a continual storm of bullets. 


We now saw the bodies of our soldiers burning in grass and 
leaves which had been ignited by the musketry. Major General 
Warren soon came running up the hill to have a look at the rebel 
works, when I seized his yellow sash and pulled him violently 
back. Colonel S. S. Carroll was with him. To have exposed 
himself above the hill was certain death. I accompanied General 
Warren *to another point where we secured a good view of the 
rebel works. As I passed along with the General I noticed 
Private Aaron Yates, of company "K," creeping up the hill to get 
a shot at the enemy, and I sharply ordered him back to his 
company. When I returned he lay on the ground dead. Captain 
Robert Hughes, of the second Wisconsin, lay dead above the 
brow of the hill, and the flames in the burning grass were coming 
toward the body. Lieutenant William H. Harries made a line of 
suspenders taken from his men, and crawling flat upon the 
ground, he endeavored to cast a lasso over the upturned foot, but 
failed in the attempt. After remaining for a time which I cannot 
estimate under the brow of this hill, clinging to the ground to 
escape the bullets, we again retreated to our breastworks. On 
the evening of this day (tenth), a grand column of assault 
was formed, but no attack was made. Until the morning of the 
twelfth of May we remained in our breastworks, subjected to the 
ceaseless fire of the enemy s sharpshooters. There was a space 
of perhaps ten feet in our works which it was almost certain 
death to go upon. Men were sent to me from Berdan s Sharp 
shooters, who had globe sights on their rifles, to dislodge the 
rebel marksman who had the range on this spot, but two of them 
were here severely wounded. 

The morning of the twelfth of May, the most terrible twenty- 
four hours of our service in the war, dawned upon us worn and 
exhausted by five days and nights of continuous service under 
fire of the enemy. In the early morning we again charged upon 
the enemy at Laurel Hill. Our brigade was in the front line and 
Colonel Bragg s brigade was in the second line. We came upon one 
of General Crawford s brigades (Pennsylvania Reserves), who lay in 
a breastwork near the rebel line. Here a halt was made. Colonel 
Bragg, for some reason, now assumed command of our two 
, brigades and ordered me to lead my. regiment forward to encour- 


age the rest to follow. I quote from my own official report : 
"Lieutenant Chas. P. Hyatt, Acting Aide on the staff of Colonel 
W. W. Robinson, communicated the following order : Colonel 
Bragg directs that the sixth Wisconsin move forward. I im 
mediately ordered the regiment forward. The men sprang 
over the breastwork with great alacrity, closely followed by 
Colonel Bragg s brigade (the Junior Bucktails), and a few of 
General Crawford s men, and they (our regiment), continued 
advancing under a heavy and destructive fire for several rods, 
when, finding no line on my right or left, so far as I could see 
through the timber, such men as were in front of the breastwork 
having thrown themselves upon the ground and commenced 
firing, I ordered my line to halt and fire until the troops on the 
right and left should move to our support. After a few minutes 
of rapid firing, suffering meanwhile severe loss, convinced of the 
futility of striving without support to advance through the abattis 
in our front, while to remain longer was wanton sacrifice of life, 
I ordered my men back behind the breastwork. * * * The fire 
of the enemy at such short range was unusually fatal, a large 
proportion of the wounds proving mortal. I can not speak too 
highly of officers and men. They advanced to this desperate 
assault readily and earnestly and stood up (upright) with heroic 
tenacity when it became evident that their effort could not 
achieve success." 

There was no disorganization or .demoralization in falling back 
under fire to the breastwork. Several of my best and truest men 
were killed. This assault was manifestly hopeless at the outset. 
Company "H" suffered terribly, owing to the fact that they stood 
where a road passed through the woods. Their First Sergeant, 
a fine soldier, Nicholas Snyder, was killed and half of the men 
present were killed or wounded. 

On the afternoon of May twelfth the brigade marched four 
miles to the left,* with orders to assist the sixth army corps, who 
were fighting over the breastworks at the "Bloody Angle." As 
we lay in reserve several of our men were wounded by scattering 

"*0n the 12th we were under arms at daylight and again assaulted the 
enemy s works without success * * I was ordered to report with my 
command to Majo** General Wright. "(sixth corps.) Report General L. 


shots from the enemy. We were in plain view of this dreadful 
struggle, one of the fiercest and most deadly of the war. The 
lines of colors of both armies stood waving within twenty feet of 
each other and there was a continual roar and crash of musketry. 
About dusk, in the midst of a driving rain storm, we marched, 
two miles perhaps, to our right, and began in the night the con 
struction of a breastwork ; then my regiment was selected for 
picket duty. Another order came, and it required that we 
should march back at once to the "Bloody Angle." The unbroken 
roar of musketry continued in the darkness of the night. We 
formed our line in rear of the troops engaged and our orders were 
to move forward to their relief. The mud was half boot top 
deep and filled with the dead of the battle, over whom we stumbled 
in the darkness. Upon reaching my position I ordered the 
regiment to open fire. 

We stood perhaps one hundred feet from the enemy s line, and 
so long as we maintained a continual fire they remained hidden 
in their entrenchments. But if an attempt to advance was made, 
an order would be given and they would all rise up together and 
fire a volley upon us. They had constructed their works by 
digging an entrenchment about four feet deep, in which at intervals 
there were traverses to protect the flanks. This had the effect of 
making a row of cellars without drainage, and in them was 
several inches of mud and water. To protect their heads, they 
had placed ?n front logs which were laid upon blocks, and it was 
intended to put their muskets through the chinks under the 
head logs, but in the darkness this became impracticable and the 
head log proved a serious obstruction to their firing. For 
eighteen hours without cessation our troops aimed their muskets 
at these head logs, some of which were destroyed, and the bullets 
passing beyond in this plane cut off the tree, the stump of which 
may now be seen in the Ordnance Museum of the War Depart 
ment at Washington. This tree stood behind the enemy s 
works. This is the true explanation of that phenomenon. 

But to return to our own experience. I soon found that the 
supply of cartridges in the boxes of the men would not hold out. 
I systematized the firing from right to left of companies and sent 
half a dozen men after cartridges. One man only returned and 


he brought a wooden box of packed cartridges weighing, I believe, 
eighty pounds. To wade through the mud on that awful night, 
.stumbling over the dead, and carrying that heavy box, was a 
labor of heroic faithfulness which merits the highest praise. 
During the early hours of the night the rain poured down in 
torrents. Sometime in the night I suspected that the enemy 
were retreating, and I cra\vled up with one man and satisfied 
myself that they had gone. I then ceased firing and my 
exhausted men lay down as best they could and some laid their 
heads upon the dead and fell asleep. In the morning the rebel 
works presented an awful spectacle. The cellars were crowded 
with dead and wounded, lying in some cases upon each other and 
in several inches of mud arid water. I saw the body of a rebel 
soldier sitting in the corner of one of these cellars in a position of 
apparent ease, with the head entirely gone, and the flesh burned 
from the bones of the neck and shoulders. This was doubtless 
caused by the explosion of a shell from some small Cohorn 
mortars within our lines. The mortar shell is thrown high in 
the air, and comes down directly from above. 

On the morning of May i3th, the men were in a deplorable 
condition of exhaustion, and I marched the regiment away from 
the horrible scenes at the "Bloody Angle," and allowed the men 
to lie down and rest in the woods near at hand. The other regi 
ments of the brigade had marched back to their old position at 
Laurel Hill. During the afternoon we marched to that point and 
rejoined the brigade. All night of May i3th, we were on the 
march. For an account of this night s march I will quote from 
Swinton s History of the Army of the Potomac : "The fifth corps, 
during the night of May i3th, marched from its position on the 
extreme right, to take position on the extreme left. * * The 
march began at 10 P. M. The wet weather, however, had badly 
broken up the roads, and the night being one of Egyptian dark 
ness, the move was made with immense difficulty. The route of 
march was past the Landrum House to the Ny river, which had 
to be waded. Across the Ny the route followed no road, but 
traversed the fields and a piece of woods, where a track had been 
cut. Here, midway of the journey, a dense fog arose and covered 
the ground so that not even the numerous fires that had been 


built to guide the column could be seen. The men, exhausted 
with wading through mud knee deep, and in the darkness, fell 
asleep all along the way." 

On May i4th we constructed an entrenchment directly in front 
of Spottsylvania Court House, where we remained until the 
movement of the army in the direction of the North Anna river. 
The casualties in the regiment from May 8th to 2ist, near Spott 
sylvania numbered eighty-three. Two officers were killed and 
three wounded. Eight men were killed, sixty-five wounded, and 
five missing. 


The following is a letter from my father to the Honorable Sal 
mon P. Chase. At the top of the sheet is a slip cut from a daily 

"Colonel Dawes of the sixth Wisconsin was killed yesterday 
while gallantly leading his men to a charge. This regiment has 
suffered terribly." 


"My dear Sir: The Colonel Dawes referred to, I greatly fear, 
is my son, Lieutenant Colonel Rufus R. Dawes, who was in com 
mand of the sixth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers, fourth division, 
fifth army corps. He was in command on Tuesday, the loth 
inst., when he is reported as having been killed. He commanded 
the regiment also at Antietam and Gettysburg. He had escaped 
unharmed through fifteen hard fought battles. He was shot 
down, as I am informed, while waving his battle flag and exerting 
himself to the uttermost to steady his ranks when wavering. I 
write to ask whether the Government cannot rescue his remains 
from the rebel woods near Spottsylvania. My esteemed friend, 
is it too much for me to ask of you, to place this letter in the 
hands of the proper authorities, coupled with such an endorse 
ment as will secure a compliance with my request? * * * * 

Very truly yours, 


P. S. There is a bare possibility that my son is living either 
as a prisoner or in hospital. Any definite and reliable information 
will be most gratefully received." 


The letter is endorsed as follows : "D 205 S. A. O. 64. H. 
Dawes, Mauston, Wisconsin, wants information of Colonel 
Dawes of the sixth Wisconsin regiment, killed at Spottsylvania. 
C 1103, May 3oth, 1864. Surg. General Report." 

This next is in the handwriting of Salmon P. Chase: "Respect 
fully commended to the Secretary of War. If it be at all possi 
ble, I earnestly desire that Judge Dawes wishes concerning his 
brave son may be gratified. S. P. CHASK. 

MAY 28th, 1864." 

"Respectfully referred to the Surgeon General, for any infor 
mation he has or can obtain, relating to Colonel Dawes. By order 
of the Secretary of War. LOUIS H. PELOUZ, Ass t Adj t Gen l. 

W. D. May 3oth, 1864." 

"Respectfully referred to Medical Director McParlin, Army of 
the Potomac, for report. These papers to be returned with 
report. By order of the Acting Surgeon General. 

C. H. CRANE, Surgeon U. S. A. 

S. G. Office, May 3ist, 1864." 

NEAR COLD HARBOR, JUNE 5th, 1864. j 

Respectfully referred to the Medical Director fifth corps for 
report. These papers to be returned. 

Surgeon U. S. A., Medical Director." 


JUNE 6th, 1864. 

Respectfully referred to Surgeon Chamberlain, Surgeon in 
Chief fourth division, for report. These papers to be returned 
promptly. JOHN J. MILHAU, Surgeon U. S. A., 

Medical Director Fifth A. C." 


JUNE yth, 1864. 
Respectfully referred to Surgeon J. H. Beech, twenty-fourth 
Michigan. Surgeon in charge of first brigade. 

U. S.V. Surgeon in Chief, fourth division, fifth army corps." 


Respectfully referred to lieutenant Colonel R. R. t)awes 
Please to return report through Medical Department. 

J. H. BEECH, Surgeon 24th Michigan, 
Surgeon in Chief ist brigade, 4th division, 5th corps A of P. 

The following is from the Mauston Star, of Juneau County, 
Wisconsin : 

"Lieutenant Colonel Dawes probably killed. The Chicago 
Tribune has a dispatch from its correspondent in the Army of 
the Potomac, in which we find this sentence : Colonel Dana of 
the sixth Wisconsin was killed yesterday, (Tuesday loth inst.) 
while gallantly leading a charge of his regiment. This regiment 
has suffered terribly." We think the name given is a misprint, 
and that the name meant is that of our neighbor Lieutenant 
Colonel Dawes of that regiment. Fearing this, we have no heart 
for comment. 

It may be a glorious fact that the old Sixth has again well 
sustained its fame as one of the best regiments in the gallant and 
ever true Iron Brigade. Yet, for all that, who can read the last 
sentence of the dispatch this regiment has suffered terribly, 
without a shudder. All here, wives, children, parents and friends, 
dread yet long for the receipt of the official returns of the killed 
and wounded, and waiting, suffer agonies unspeakable. 

Later from the sixth regiment. Just as our paper is ready for 
the press we have letters from Washington informing us that 
Colonel Bragg, Lieutenant Colonel Dawes, and Captain Kellogg 
of the sixth regiment are killed, and that Captain Remington is 
wounded. No other names are given, but we are told that the 
regiment is nearly destroyed, having been, as. usual, in the hottest 
part of the fight. This sad news with the almost certainty that 
others of our neighbors have fallen, casts a gloom over our village. 

Colonel Dawes left here as Captain of the company raised in 
this county, company K, sixth regiment. Captain Kellogg was 
his First Lieutenant. Both have written for themselves a 
glorious history, as brave, patriotic and good soldiers. A bright 
future was before them. Their memory will yet live. They 
sealed their devotion to the cause of freedom and good govern 
ment with their lives, and their mourners are our whole com 


From the Mauston Star of May 25th, 1864. 

"Lieutenant Colonel Dawes died as he had lived, doing his 
duty. He was gallantly leading his regiment, charging the rebel 
line, when, the fire being very severe, his men began to waver. 
To encourage and stimulate them he seized the colors and called 
them forward. This rendered him a conspicuous mark and a 
bullet from a rebel sharpshooter pierced his brain. He died 
covered with glory. His last word was a cheer for victory. " 

In my youth I was inclined to be angry at these publications ; 
but in my age I am growing quite proud of them. 


Forward to the North ylnrm Brittle of Jericho Ford Battle of the 
North Anna Forward Toward Richmond Battle of Bethesda 
Church The Pennsylvania Reserves "Pediculus Vestimenti" 
Battle of Cold Ff arbor Report From my Brother With Sher 
manIn the Trenches A Bullet-proof Chaplain Lawson Fen- 
ton Death of Charles B. Gates -A Little Rest My Brother Shot 
at Dallas flis ^Journey Ffome. 

General Cutler was now in permanent command of our divi 
sion. In this great and trying campaign he proved himself to be 
one of the bravest and most faithful commanders in the Army of 
the Potomac. I quote from his official report, an account of our 
movement from Spottsylvania toward the North Anna river : 

"At 10:50 A. M., on the twenty-first of May, I was ordered to 
retire my line and move to the left. I withdrew successfully, and 
moved off toward Guinea s Station. My pickets, however, were 
attacked while retiring, and about forty men were captured. I 
marched to Guinea s Station and from there crossed the Matapony 
and encamped, sending the first brigade forward about three 
miles on the road toward the North Anna." My own report says 
that our brigade (first brigade,) entrenched a line in front of the 
Po river near Thornburg. We w y ere in plain view of the Tele 
graph road, and along that road passed the rebel army corps of 
General lyongstreet. I had a line of skirmishers out and I lay on 
the ground a long time on the skirmish line and watched this 
movfng column of the enemy. We marched on after the enemy 
had passed and followed them on the Telegraph road. They fired 
upon us with artillery, w T hich retreated as we advanced. That 
night we camped near Harris store, and at five o clock, A. M. 
on May twenty-third, we marched again toward the South. At 
5 P. M. we crossed the North Anna river at Jericho Ford, and 
the division was massed on the southern bank. We were now 
directed to cook our supper, and the worn, tired, hungry soldiers 




obeyed the order with alacrity. As was my custom at every halt, 
I took out my pencil and paper and began a letter to my wife. 
(To my wife.) MAY 23rd, 1864, 6 P. M. 

"Alive, well, south of the North Anna river in the advance of 
the fifth corps. Battle to-morrow ." 

Here the crack of the rifles of the inevitable rebel skirmishers 
put an end to writing letters and making coffee. We were 
attacked in great force by the enemy. 

(To my wife.) BATTLE FIELD, MAY 24th, 8 A. M. 

"I had barely scratched off a word to you when General A. P. 
Hill s corps of the rebel army attacked the portion of our corps 
south of the North Anna river, hoping to make a Ball s Bluff 
rout of our troops. For an hour the fight raged with great fury. 
My regiment stood and fought like men, and by God s blessing 
our loss was small, only one man killed, twelve wounded. (Two 
killed and eleven wounded). We are now in line of battle await 
ing the enemy. God only knows what the day may bring forth. 
We came near being driven into the river, but the enemy has lost 
vigor in attack. Their men are getting so they will not fight 
except in rifle pits. My conclusion is that General Hill s corps 
could be defeated on an open field by half their number of 
resolute men. The very positive evidence of progress has greatly 
encouraged this army. I wonder if a man can go forever without 
being hurt in battle. It does seem as though your prayers were 
shielding me." 

I quote from my own official report the account of the com 
mencement of the action of the sixth Wisconsin in the battle of 
Jericho Ford : "About six in the evening the enemy s skirmish 
ers appeared on our right, when the brigade moved rapidly 
forward (my regiment on the left), to form on the right of the 
first division of this corps, already in position in the woods in our 
front. In compliance with directions of Colonel Robinson com 
manding the brigade, I placed my regiment in position on the 
right of a breastwork occupied by troops of the first division 
(Griffin s), and on a prolongation of their line. I experienced 
much difficulty, owing to the thick and tangled brush. I im 
mediately threw forward skirmishers to cover my front." 


On came the enemy and back came my skirmishers. I could 
hear heavy musketry and the charging yell of the rebels, but in 
the thick pine brush I could see nothing. The troops of the first 
division in the rifle pits on my left opened a fire of musketry. I 
ordered my men to kneel and fire toward the enemy on our right 
who were attacking our own brigade. I sent Adjutant Brooks 
to look out of the edge of the woods and report to me the progress 
of the battle. He came running back and reported the enemy 
driving our brigade in confusion over the open field. This out 
flanked us on the right. I had the regiment .change front to 
throw my line facing the enemy on our flank, and while doing so 
a regiment of the first division broke and ran. They ran through 
our ranks and broke the regiment. I called a rally on the colors 
just outside the woods, and every man of our regiment fell into 
his proper place.. Here in the open field was Captain Mink s 
battery firing away, and no infantry supporting it. Captain Orr 
with a portion of the nineteenth Indiana, and Captain Shippen 
with the battalion of Berdan s Sharpshooters, reported to me as 
the senior officer on the field. I put them in line on my right 
and moved my force in line of battle to the relief of that glo 
rious soldier, Captain Mink, and it was not a moment too soon. 
We met the enemy at the battery, and here came gallantly to our 
support, the eighty-third Pennsylvania of the first division. We 
drove the enemy back. Colonel Robinson had fallen back to 
the North Anna river and General Cutler ordered me to join the 
second brigade of the division with my command, which I did. 
We now advanced in a new line of battle and we swept the 
enemy before us from the field. I quote from my own official 
report : "Being separated from the brigade I was directed by 
General Cutler to report to Colonel J. W. Hoffman, commanding 
the second brigade, with my command. After dark the line was 
advanced several hundred yards and entrenched. My men were 
working during almost the entire night upon the breastworks. 
Through this affair the conduct of officers and men, with small 
exceptions, was admirable. Lieutenant John Beely was twice 
wounded. The gallantry of Lieutenant Beely throughout the 
campaign was conspicuous, but upon this occasion I esteem his 
conduct in remaining upon the field after being seriously wounded 




until struck down by a second bullet, which penetrated his lungs, 
worthy of special commendation, Corporal William Hickok, of 
company C, was killed. No braver soldier, or more worthy 
young man has given life in this struggle." 

Excepting the sixth Wisconsin and nineteenth Indiana, the 
regiments of our brigade were moved at dark across the North 
Anna, and bivouacked in the woods. Our colored servants asked 
at brigade headquarters where our regiment could be found, and 
they were told that it was with the others. But they searched in 
vain and late at night they held a council. Young William Jack 
son alone said : "Youse can say what youse a mind to, I se done 
gwine over the river!" He waded the stream waist deep and 
some hours later, one of our men heard in the darkness, the 
words: "Whar s the sixth Wisconsin?" The poor boy was 
almost exhausted, but he found us. For miles in that dark night 
he had stumbled along the lines, carrying a heavy coffee pot and 
a full supper for our mess. To him the officers of the sixth 
Wisconsin owed this comforting relief from hunger and 
exhaustion, for I shared it with them all. 

(To my wife.) LINE OF BATTLE, MAY 25th, 1864. 

"We are again closing our lines for a desperate battle. The 
bullets clip through the green leaves over my head as I lie 
behind the breastwork writing. I have had no full night s sleep 
since May yth, when I took command of the regiment. Day 
after day, and night after night we have marched, fought and 
dug entrenchments ; I have not changed my clothing since May 
third. We have not seen, and seldom communicated with our 
wagon train. I have not composure to write, as the bullets are 
coming so thickly through the limbs, and some poor wounded 
soldiers are near me." 
(To my w r ife.) LINE OF BATTLE, MAY 26th, 7 A. M. 

"The hot firing of yesterday has died down this morning to 
only about ten or twelve shots a minute. We are confronting 
the enemy precisely as at Spottsylvania, when your father visited 
me, except that our lines of battle approach each other more 
nearly. It is raining steadily. I have a little shelter tent with 
logs piled up at the end toward the enemy to stop bullets, and I 


lie on the ground as I write. I presume General Grant will not 
make an assault upon the enemy in their entrenchments. They 
get stronger in men as we get nearer Richmond, and their works 
are probably as elaborately prepared as those at Spottsylvania. 
Our battle on Monday evening, (Jericho Ford) is probably as 
severe and general as any that will be fought on this line. The 
repulse of Butler has a material bearing upon the situation here. 

The rain storm became violent. A little run near my tent 
assumed the proportions of a torrent, and drove me out into the 
storm. I hope you will get the poor pencil scrawls I have sent 
you during the campaign. For the first four days I had abso 
lutely no opportunity to write, and not until after our occupa 
tion of Fredericksburgh was there any mail sent away from the 
army. You are mistaken about that first week, being the most 
encouraging in my war experience. We were* repulsed and 
slaughtered in every attack we made. By continued, persistent, 
and generally unsuccessful assaults and charges, and by skillful 
maneuvering, General Grant worried out the enemy and forced 
him to fall back by flanking him, when too much exhausted and 
demoralized to fight us in the open field. He has forced him 
back of the North Anna. Now I conjecture the next effort will 
be to form a junction with Butler in the direction of West Point, 
by again moving around the enemy s right! flank, constantly as 
before threatening him with battle, should he leave his entrench 

It will be seen by this letter that the general plan for the move 
ment of the Army of the Potomac was quite well understood in 
the army. 

"You have me too badly wounded in your picture. I should 
stand a poor chance of getting alive to Fredericksburgh and 
Washington. But the picture is very attractive, and I shall 
endeavor to get the wound in the next battle." 

(To my wife.) SUNDAY MORNING, MAY 29th, 1864. ) 


"Two days and nights of incessant marching has placed us 
within seventeen miles of Richmond, the heart of the rebellion. 
A glorious achievement ! The thousands of this army are full of 

*This refers to our own corps. 


admiration and gratitude for the man who has pushed back the 
rebel army thirty miles without a general battle. (North Anna 
to Cold Harbor.) The nearer we get to an investment of Rich 
mond, the less we regard our danger of bloody fighting, and our 
men are intensely anxious to get forward as far as their legs 
without help of their muskets will carry them. Our advance is 
now within fourteen miles of Richmond. We are now waiting 
in line to move forward." 

This letter breathes of the inspiration of victory, and shows 
what, a tonic there is to a weary soldier in success. We crossed 
the Pamunky at 11:30 A. M., on the 28th, and on the 2gth moved 
forward to Hawes store. On the 3oth, we again moved forward 
and became engaged in battle. 

(To my wife.) MAY 3ist, 1864. 

"We were again in battle yesterday, but nobody was hurt. 
There \vas a great deal of double quicking in the dust and 
building breastworks. My force was a reserve. I am now in 
command of three regiments, the sixth Wisconsin, seventh Wis 
consin, and nineteenth Indiana. I commanded this force in the 
battle. I report to Colonel Bragg. I am feeling in much better 
spirits. We cannot help hoping the worst is over, now that our 
great leader has pushed the enemy almost to the wall, without a 
general battle since Spottsylvania. The enemy was repulsed last 
night with great loss, in their attack upon us. If w 7 e can force 
the enemy to attack us in entrenchments, we shall feel quite 
happy over the prospect. 

We have reason to hope Major Plummer may be alive, badly 
wounded, in the hands of the enemy/ Captain Thomas W. 
Plummer, his brother, commands the regiment, while I command 
the three regiments." 

Captain Thomas W. Plummer was a quiet and faithful officer. 
He was one of those men of whom little is said but much 
expected, and in his case there was never any disappointment. 

I was ordered to move my command in the battle of Bethesda 
Church, with the utmost haste in the direction of the Pennsylva 
nia Reserves, who were being attacked by the enemy, and whose 


term of service had expired. It was a supreme test of the fidelity 
of these men to thejr country, but the old Reserve never in its 
long and arduous service in the war, fought a better battle than 
they did upon this day. I ran the men through the dust and 
heat and formed them on the right of the Reserves in line of 
battle. In this movement I came upon a brass band belonging 
to one of our ^Pennsylvania regiments. They were playing the 
air to which these words were sung during the war : 

"McClellan is our leader, he is gallant and strong, 
For God and for freedom, we are marching along." 

Before we had reached them, the Pennsylvania Reserves had 
repulsed the enemy. I formed my line in the woods on the right 
of the Reserves and was ordered to construct a breastwork. The 
men had been for days in the sun and dust, and they now came 
into a shady woods. I established the regiment upon the left 
and rode toward the right, completing the establishment of the 
line. I then rode back to the left to see how the men were pro 
gressing in the construction of their breastwork. I found them 
stripped of coats and shirts, and engaged in killing "gray backs," 
pediculus vestimenti. They said it was the first shade they had 
been in for a week, and they must improve their opportunity. 
This pest was a grievous trial, and it was assuming serious pro 
portions in the army. The only effective remedy was to boil the 
shirts. These garments being woolen shrunk under this process, 
so that the men could with difficulty get into them. 

There was a law authorizing a field officer to frank letters for 
enlisted men thus: "Soldier s letter. R. R. Dawes, Lieutenant 
Colonel sixth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers." Once a man 
brought to me one of his shrunk up shirts in a package, to be 
franked by mail. He said he thought it would about fit the baby. 

(To my wife.) LINK OF BATTLE, MAY 3ist, 6 P. M. 

"Alive and well. There has been heavy fighting along most 
of the line. Of the results we know nothing. There is a hot 
fire going on on our left as I write." 

| pit was the band of the eighth Pennsylvania Reserves and I suppose 
they played to encourage the men who were fighting. 


(To my wife.) LINK. OF BATTLE, JUNE ist, 6 P. M. 

"I am alive, well, and just as dirty as I can be. Can not get 
time even to get into a creek, and there is no creek to get into. 
No fighting for us since I last wrote, of any serious account, but 
constant marching, countermarching and building breastworks." 

Extracts from letters from my brother with Sherman s army, 
received in the works at Cold Harbor : 

RESACA, GA., MAY i6th, 1864. 

"On May i2th, our regiment was transferred from the fourth 
division, fifteenth corps, to Morgan L. Smith s second division, 
fifteenth corps and we were assigned to Lightburn s f second brigade. 
We were in the battles of the i3th and i4th, and were close to 
the rebel works all day of the i5th. We lost fifty men killed and 
wounded. The charge of our division on the i4th, capturing 
the rebel rifle pits east of Camp creekj was the prettiest thing I 
ever saw. We uniformly whipped the rebels in our front. Our 
men were absolutely wild with enthusiasm. The regiment was 
highly complimented by Generals Logan, Smith, and Lightburn, 
and Colonel Jones has been especially recommended for promo 
tion by them." 


"On this campaign we have no tents. Field officers are per 
mitted to take only what they can carry on their horses. Our 
marching order has just come in. We start Monday, the 23rd. 
The order says, take tw r enty days rations of hard bread, coffee, 
and salt, and expect to be independent of the railroad for that 
time. We will meet and defeat the rebel army somewhere be 
tween here and Atlanta. 

We have a large and well appointed army, well officered and in 
better spirits than I ever saw an army in my life. The railroad 
trains from Chattanooga, ran to Kingston as soon as the army 
reached there. Next Friday is my twenty-fourth birthday; per 
haps we will have another fight by that time.* Colonel Jones 
has just sent up the official report of the regiment at Resaca. In 
it he was kind enough to say : Major Dawes, whose coolness and 

*As will be later Been Major Dawes came within one day of it in his 
guess. Friday was the 27th ; Saturday, May 28th, was fought the battle of 


courage did much to inspire the men, is worthy of particular 

mention. " 

(To my wife.) LINE OF BATTLE, JUNE 3rd, 1864, 6 P. M. 

"Yesterday afternoon and all day to-day, battle has been raging 
around us, but by a kind Providence our part has been light. One 
man killed and seven wounded are our total casualties for the two 
days. We are strongly entrenched and only artillery can harm 
us. We can not show our heads above the works without being 
immediately shot at. The men try putting hats on ramrods and 
sticking them up and sometimes get a bullet through the hat. 

Thirty-one days to-day this terrible campaign has dragged 
along. God grant it soon over. We know absolutely nothing of 
how the battle is going. We can only do our duty and hope all 
is well." 

To protect my own headquarters I piled up logs in an angle 
and threw a pile of earth in front of them. 


"We are still hiding away from bullets of rebel sharpshooters. 
The line of works where we are is very crooked and we get 
bullets and artillery shots from nearly all points of the Compass. 
But so long as our orders only require us to hold our line at all 
hazards, we are well satisfied with our part in the battle. I can 
not tell you how tedious and trying this campaign has become. 
Thirty days of toil, danger and bloodshed, and we can see yet 
small prospect of an end to it. We are nine miles from Rich 
mond, and our left, by desperate fighting, is said to have been 
pushed nearer. Our casualties in the regiment now amount to 
one hundred and seventy men killed and wounded. By general 
orders we make a daily report of killed and wounded, and we 
always have some. How long will it take to whittle us away ? 
Our new chaplain reported for duty to-day. He came directly 
to the front where the bullets were whistling. I like his looks. 
He is a graduate of Oberlin College. He brings us little news. 
If we could know something it would be a little easier to be all 
day in our holes, waiting and dreading the future. It seems as 
though my sensibilities were deadened by this constant, wearing 
pressure. I do think this army has shown itself the longest 
suffering and hardest fighting army of the war. A shell exploded 


to-day in the log breastwork I had put up for my headquarters, 
and it showered us with dirt, and one fragment came through but 
did no injury." 

The arrival of our Chaplain, as it was attended with no casualty, 
was rather an amusing affair. Ignorant of the danger attending 
such an exposure of himself, he came directly to the front. In 
approaching our line from the rear, it looked like a bee hive, but 
nothing could be seen of the enemy, except the puffs of powder 
smoke of the sharpshooters. In daylight it was almost certain 
death to come under their aim. We saw a lone man walking 
deliberately toward our headquarters. In vain the soldiers 
shouted "Lie down !" "Tree !" "Gopher !" "Grab a root, you - - old 
fool!" Blissfully unconscious that he was a target and a walking 
miracle to have escaped. injury from the enemy s fire, Mr. Cochran 
had no thought that these remarks were addressed to himself. 

By some foolish order, the drummer boys of the regiment 
had been sent out to the breastworks that day, and I took 
them in my fort. They were young and full of life, and Larry 
O Neal, of company "D," while dancing, at which he was an 
expert, got outside the works and received a bullet in his knee. 
He never danced again. The Chaplain was indeed a God-send to 
this poor suffering boy. He dressed his wound with almost the 
skill of an experienced surgeon. 

Lawson Fenton, of company "A," incautiously xaised his head 
above the breastwork. A bullet passed through his brain, a great 
portion of which protruded from the wound. He was a brave 
soldier and a favorite with his comrades and with his officers. 
Lieutenant Howard J. Huntington prepared with great care a 
head board for his grave, which was dug in the darkness of the 
night succeeding and the head board was inscribed; but on the 
next morning Fenton was still alive, and it was three days before 
life became extinct. Poor fellow ! he was wounded severely at 
Antietam ; and when I visited our boys in Smoketown hospital, 
near that field, I found him bravely enduring his suffering and 
cheering all by his hopeful spirit. 

On the evening of June fifth we moved to near Cold Harbor. 
Colonel E. S. Bragg was assigned to command of our brigade, 
relieving Colonel Robinson. 


(To my wife.) GAINES FARM, JUNK 6th, 1864. 

"I have received your father s note announcing Charley s 
$eath. How strange that so suddenly, while you have suffered 
so long in dread of harm to me, I am safe, and Charley is called to 
his grave. Truly, we can not tell what is in store for us. I am 
well. We marched all night. We had a sharp skirmish yesterday." 

Charles Beman Gates had been tenderly cherished by a devoted 
father and loving mother, and as he was only two years younger 
than my wife, they had been in life inseparable companions. 

He was not prepared for the stern hardships of war, but when 
I was at Marietta I saw that he was full of zealous ardor to act a 
part in the great historic drama. He said to me, "You belong to 
the Iron Brigade ; how do you think I will feel to take no part 
in the war, and be in the same family?" Of tall and manly 
figure, he was a splendid youth, and he was of warm and noble 
impulses, and of pure and lofty character. As I lay in the 
works at Cold Harbor, I saw William Jackson come running 
toward us. He dodged from tree to tree, and crawled upon the 
ground to escape the fire of the rebel sharpshooters. A letter 
had come from Washington directed to be delivered "quickly." 
It said : "Charley died at Harper s Ferry on Tuesday." 


JUNE 8th, 1864, 4 P. M. 

"We came down here to-day, and are located on the left flank 
of our army, and we are at last out from under the fire of the 
enemy. I have enjoyed the luxury of a good wash, a change of 
clothing, and a mess of wild strawberries. It does seem pleasant 
to get even for a few hours out of the presence of death, suffer 
ing and danger. Our spirits rise wonderfully. It is impossible 
for one who has not undergone it, to fully understand the depres 
sion of spirits caused by such long, continued, and bloody fight 
ing and work. Colonel Bragg said yesterday: Of all I have 
gone through, I can not now write an intelligent account. I can 
only tell my wife I am alive and well. I am too stupid for any 
use. We are having the first quiet day for more than a month. 
General Cutler said that this is the first day, for that length of 
time, that no man in the division has been reported killed or 




wounded. The weather is bright and sunny, and our location is 

(To my wife.) JUNE 9th, 1864. j 

"All is quiet here with us. We can plainly see the enemy 
south of the Chickahorniny. Our pickets are friendly, and we 
get the morning papers from Richmond by 10 o clock in the 
forenoon. We have heard from Captain Kellogg as alive and a 
prisoner. I at once wrote to his wife informing her of the fact. 
He has come back to her out of the grave, for we all believed 
him dead. Colonel Bragg has been assigned to command of our 
brigade. I have great trouble in getting the company business 
attended to, so many of our officers are gone." 

In this bivouac the new chaplain addressed the men in strong, 
earnest, and well adapted sermons. His talk was patriotic as 
well as religious, and highly acceptable to our men. Mr. Cochran 
was too old a man for the hard service he had undertaken, and 
he soon became very sick. 

11 My dear sister: From what Mary says, I have great hope 
that my poor brother is not so desperately hurt as your note 
would indicate. But, at best, I fear he is terribly wounded. I 
have strong faith that he will not die, but I know he must suffer 
long and acutely, and perhaps be sadly disfigured. The surgeons 
tell me that bullet wounds in the jaw seldom prove fatal, though 
always intensely painful and distressing, on account of neuralgia, 
and are liable to interfere with the voice. His sufferings he will 
bear patiently, like a true man, as he has always proved him 
self. To be severely wounded is something he has prepared 
himself to meet, and he will accept his fate, I know, bravely and 
cheerfully. It will be gratifying to hear that he is at home, 
where he will get every care and comfort, and where his chances 
for recovery are many times increased. It he gets safely home, 
I shall feel very sure he will get well. Poor Charley! How 
strange, all should be struck down and I safe through days and 
weeks of this perilous storm of battle. We have to add to the 
list on our flag, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, Jericho 
Ford, Shady Grove Church, and Cold Harbor, where fifty thou- 

sand men have fallen, and no harm has come to me. Surely a 
kind Providence has watched over and preserved me through the 
Valley of the Shadow of Death. " 

Extract from a letter from Major B. C. Dawes of June nth, 
1864, received in this camp. 

"I was shot at Dallas, Georgia, two weeks ago to-day. We 
were in rifle .pits. The rebels charged us. We gave them an 
awful licking. The bullet struck the left side of my lower jaw 
and, the surgeons say, carried away the body of the inferior 
maxilla to near the angle." It took off my lower lip, tore the 
chin so that it hangs down, took out all the lower teeth but two, 
and cut my tongue. It is a horrible looking wound and will 
disfigure me, but the doctors say they can fix up a face for 
me. It will be slow healing. A few minutes before I received 
this wound I was hit in the back of the head. It did not hurt 
much and is not at all serious, although it is not yet healed. 

Our regiment has done splendid fighting this campaign, and 
has made a reputation second to no regiment in the i5th army 

A wounded soldier s journey home. Written by my brother 
in 1864. 

"I was shot late in the afternoon of May twenty-eighth, and 
remained in the field hospitals, at and near Dallas, Georgia, until 
the night of May thirtieth.* About ten o clock at night of the 
thirtieth a wagon train was sent under strong escort to the rail 
road at Kingston, about thirty miles distant. All of the wounded 
who were able to travel in the wagons were permitted t go. 
The surgeons advised me to go in this train. They said that if 
I remained around the hospital the chances were that I would 
contract gangrene or erysipelas and die, and that I should get 
home as quickly as possible. My old friend Haydn K. Smith, 
correspondent of the Chicago Journal, volunteered to go to Nash 
ville with me. I could hardly have got along without him. He 

*Every attention possible was paid me by the surgeons, Dr. H. W. 
Nichols, who had especial charge of me, and Dr. C. P. Brent, Surgeon in 
Chief of the division, as well as our own surgeons, Dr. W. M. Cake (then 
medical director of the fourth division), and Dr. John A. Lair (who had 
charge of the regiment), who came to see me whenever they could. Colo 
nel Jones sent me twice each day a bulletin from the regiment, which was 
still in the trenches from which we had repulsed the assault on the 28th. 



had been with the army enough to know what to do and to 
whom to apply in an emergency. My colored servant, Wesley 
Benson, accompanied me. He was a faithful and competent 
young man but he could not read writing and I could not talk.* 

The wagon train unwound itself at midnight. I got into one 
of the wagons and sat on a bag of corn. The different surgeons 
bid me good bye. I sat on that bag of corn all night. The road was 
very rough, much of the way through dark woods. My wound was 
much inflamed and my tongue so swollen that it was almost im 
possible to swallow. The misery of that night s ride was inde 
scribable. Early next morning Major Patrick Flynn, of the 
ninetieth Illinois, who was commanding the train guard, saw me 
and brought up the only ambulance in the train. It was loaded 
with mail bags, but Major Flynn threw some of them in the 
wagon and put me in the ambulance and helped fix the mail bags 
so that I could rest on them. Mr. Smith got a canteen of cold 
water. I managed to swallow a little of it, but the effort was so 
painful that I almost concluded not to try again. The day was 
very hot and the road was very dusty. About noon we crossed 
the Etowah river on a bridge. Near the end of the bridge was a 
house where there were some Union soldiers and some women. 

One of the women brought out a great yellow bowl filled with 
buttermilk and handed it to me. I was weak with hunger, faint 
from loss of blood and burning with thirst. I crammed the bowl 
into my mouth with both hands, despite the awful pain, and 
drank nearly the whole of the buttermilk. It revived me at once. 
It satisfied both hunger and thirst, and settled the question of 
supplies. I could walk and I could eat, and felt that my worst 
troubles were over. 

The train reached Kingston between five and six o clock in the 
evening. There seemed to be no adequate preparation for the 
wounded. But the agents of the Sanitary Commission were 
there. They took possession of a large house with a shaded 
yard and went to work to prepare food. Mrs. Bickerdyke and 
Mrs. Johnson were in charge. I camped in a corner of the porch, 

*For a long time Major Dawes could not speak a word. His full powers 
of speech were ultimately restored by one of the most extensive and skill 
ful surgical operations of this kind performed during the war. 

surrounding the house, where there was a projecting room. I 
could not lie down, for breathing was then impossible. I could 
not rest the back of my head against anything, for the \vound 
there was very painful, and I was obliged to sit up in some place 
where I could rest the side of my head. This corner filled every 
requirement. One of the women brought me a bowl of soup. 
I took off my bandage to drink it. She looked at me, burst into 
tears, and ran away. An old gray haired surgeon came in to 
dress the wound. At sight of it he turned very white and went 
away. Mr. Smith had gone to ascertain about the railroad trains, 
and Wesley was hunting a newspaper, so I went out myself to 
find a surgeon. Fortunately my good Iriend, Dr. Kdwards of 
the fortieth Illinois, who had been attached to our regiment in 
the Hast Tennessee campaign and messed with me, met me in the 
yard. He spent an hour dressing my wound and gave Wesley 
full and careful instruction how to care for it ; that night I 
slept well. Next day, June ist, about noon, a train of empty 
freight cars backed down in front of the house. Mr. Smith came 
in with the news, that all the wounded who were able to walk, 
were to go to Chattanooga on that train. I got into a car with 
a large number of others ; so many that all had to sit up. Many 
of them were badly wounded, but all were in high spirits. At 
Resaca, as the train stopped, I was startled at the sight of Wm. 
D. Gaby, a soldier of company "K," of our regiment. At the 
battle, on May i3th, he was shot dead as we all supposed. The ball 
struck him in the forehead, but glanced and came out the top of 
his head. The train reached Dalton at dusk. I was very tired, 
and getting out of the car walked along the platform to a car 
where there was more room. It was occupied by a dying officer, 
with a surgeon and a detail of men sent to care for him, and 
endeavor to get him far enough North to meet his father and 
mother who were hurrying down in answer to a telegraphic 
summons. The officer was Lieutenant George B. Covington, 
Adjutant of the seventeenth Indiana regiment. He died before 
the train left Dalton. The surgeon seeing that I was badly 
wounded and very weak, gave me some stimulant and put me on 
Covington s cot, raising the head so I could rest. I went to sleep, 
but at Ringgold, woke with a start to find my bandages drenched 


with blood from some small arteries under the tongue, which had 
sloughed away. I stopped it by cramming a towel under my 
tongue. This weakened me very much and made me afraid to 
sleep again. About midnight the train reached Chattanooga. 
There was no one at the depot to tell us where to go. I saw the 
row of hospitals on the hill near by and started toward them. 
A guard cried : "Halt !" "Halt ! " but I did not care whether he 
shot me or not, and pushing past him, opened the door of the 
nearest building, which was the officers ward. The nurse on 
duty was a wounded soldier. He knew exactly what to do, 
dressed my wound carefully, fixed a cot so that I could rest com 
fortably, and I slept until the surgeon came around in the morning. 
Mr. Smith after some trouble, secured a pass for me to Nashville. 
The nurse fixed up a large roll of bandages and a bottle of beef 
tea and gave them to Wesley for me. The train left at three P. 
M., June 2nd. It consisted of a number of empty freight cars 
with a single second class passenger car attached. The car was 
pretty well filled. I sat on the rear seat, (the seats were plain 
boards) with my back to the other passengers, as I was obliged 
to change my bandages frequently. The train went via Steven 
son, Huntsville and Decatur, and did not reach Nashville until 
late in the afternoon of June 3rd. This railroad ride was the 
most trying experience of all. My wound \vas sloughing freely, 
my tongue was very much swollen and it was almost black. I 
suffered a great deal of pain, and to swallow was exquisite torture. 
At Nashville I was taken to the officers hospital. Under the 
efficient care of Dr. J. H. Green,* the surgeon in charge, I im 
proved rapidly* and having obtained a leave of absence, was able 
to leave for home June 6th." 


Major Dawes, fifty-third regiment, O. V. L, was admitted to this hospital 
June 3rd, on account of gunshot wound received at Dallas, Georgia, May 
28th. The body of inferior maxilla is entirely carried away to near the 
angle. He informs me thai some loose fragments of bone were taken away 
since he received the wound, and that he has had secondary hemorrhages 
several times since sloughing commenced. 

The wound % was sloughing freely when admitted and very offensive, but 
by the use of solution of chloriated soda two days, the slough has all disap 
peared, and the wound is now granulating. Have dressed it four times a 
day, syringing it out freely with cold water. Swelling and discoloration of 
tongue is abating slowly. Have not attempted to remove any of the 
spicula, on account of tendency to hemorrhages while sloughing. 

J. H. GREEN." 


A Change of Base To the James River Petersburg Repulsed 
Worn, Weary and Discouraged The Trenches Disorganiza 
tion, from Losses Colonel Bragg Promoted Out of the 
Trenches Rising Spirits Adjutant Brooks Expedition and 
its Fate Captain Kellogg in Rebel Prison Mis Escape Cap 
tain Lewis A. Kent Lieutenant Earl M. Rogers Wounded 
Mortar Shell Ice Our Chaplain Finds a Cow .Appointed to 
a Responsible Duty Cowards and Inefficients Cuyler Bab- 
coclf Commissioned Colonel The Muster Out Questions as 
to Term of Service Dr. flail Promoted Mine Explosion 
In Camp Mustered Out and Honorably Discharged Th& Ord 
nance Sergeant. 


JUNE i5th, 1864. } 

"Another change of base to the James river. It is very refresh 
ing to get to the beautiful slopes on this broad river. We left 
our camp on the Chickahominy Sunday evening. We were in 
line of battle all day. Monday night we marched to St. Mary s 
church, and yesterday we came here. Our army is crossing the 
river on steamers and on a pontoon at Fort Powhatan. General 
Grant does not hesitate to uncover Washington. We hear dis 
tant cannonading in the direction of Richmond. I think it 
probable the enemy are pushing down this way to see what we 
are doing." 

(To my wife.) SOUTH BANK, JAMES RIVER, ) 

JULY 1 6th, 12 M. j 

"We have a rumor that General Hancock has taken Peters 
burg. If he has not it will cost us a bloody battle. Dust, dust, 
dust is our special inconvenience just now. Here comes our 
corps general and staff, and we must fall in to march." 


JUNE igth, 1864, 7 A. M. 

"Yesterday afternoon in another hopeless assault there was 

enacted a horrid massacre of our corps. Our brigade charged 


half a mile over an open field, under the musketry fire of the 
enemy. We had five men killed and thirty-five wounded. (The 
actual loss was greater than here reported.) We are now lying 
in rifle pits from which it is almost certain death to raise our 
heads. Our corps must have lost very heavily yesterday. It is 
awfully disheartening to be ordered upon such hopeless assaults. 
My regiment was selected with others to make a night attack on 
the enemy s entrenchments, and we formed in line to do so, but 
the order was countermanded." 

General Cutler says in his official report: "In this affair I lost in 
killed and wounded about one third of the men I had with me, 
and among them many valuable officers." He says also that 
none of his troops got nearer than "seventy-five yards of the 
enemy s works." 


JUNE 2ist, 1864. j 

"I am sitting in a hole four feet deep, eight feet long and three 
feet wide, shaded by green boughs and quite cool and pleasant 
for a hot day. This is my regimental headquarters. Sergeant 
Major Cuyler Babcock, who is Acting Adjutant, sits at the other 
end of the hole, and we are company for each other. To raise a 
head in daylight above the surface of trie ground is almost certain 
death, for it will draw the fire of a dozen sharpshooters. Bab- 
cock knows nothing about Latin, but I taught him to-day about 
twenty lines of Cicero s first oration against Catiline, and so we 
pass our time. Few of our men are hurt and none need be. 
Sometimes a foolish fellow will imagine he wants a drink of 
water badly enough to risk his life to get it, and he generally 
loses his life trying to run for it. We have lost forty-five men 
before Petersburg, six killed. The suicidal manner in which we 
are sent against the enemy s entrenchments is discouraging. Our 
brigade was simply food for powder in the assault day before 


JUNE 2ist, 1864. j 

"We are completely holed, and ground-hogging for a steady 
living becomes very tedious. Colonel Bragg has notice of his 
nomination as a Brigadier General." 


On this day (June twenty-first), was shot and mortally wounded 
Levi Pearson, of Company "A." He was the last one of three 
brothers who had served in that company. William Pearson was 
killed in the charge upon the railroad cut at Gettysburg and 
Jesse Pearson lost his life in the bloody and fruitless charge upon 
the entrenchments of the enemy at Petersburg on June i8th, 
three days before his brother Levi fell. 


JUNE 22nd, 8 A. M. 

"Still skulking in our holes, and dirty, dusty places* they are, 
but the Johnnies leave us no alternative. William brings niy 
breakfast and enough for a cold dinner up to the works before 
daylight, and supper after dark. We can see the spires of Peters 
burg about two miles away to the northwest. There seems to be 
a severe musketry fight going on this evening to our left and 
troops have been moving that way all day and yesterday." 
(To my wife,) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JUNE 23rd, 7 P. M. 

I have lain all day in this dirty hole and am too stupid for 
any use. The Calcutta black hole was not more disagreeable and 
the constant shower of rebel bullets are the chains that keep us 
imprisoned. Things look rather blue, I must confess, about 


JUNE 25th, 1864. } 

"Imagine a hole three feet wide and four feet deep in the 
middle of the street, and a sun perfectly sweltering in its rays 
and you have our quarters, from which we can not raise our 

The seven days in the Petersburg hole closed on this evening. 
#We had a passage way out to the line of the regiment. Cuyler 
Babcock, my companion, was a most worthy young man. He 
had performed the duties of Adjutant since the battles on the 
North Anna and he continued to do so until killed in the battle 
ol the Weldon Road, August i8th, 1864. The work of preparing 
descriptive lists for our great number of wounded men in hospitals 
and of getting straightened out in our various returns and 
accounts was very difficult. The loss of company officers and of 
papers added to the general confusion. Babcock was an expert 


and he helped everybody with an impartial generosity and with 

untiring industry. 

(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JUNE 26th, 1864. 

"We hav.e been drawn back from the rifle-pits, comparatively 
out of range of the enemy s bullets, and we are in the woods. 
The weather is intensely hot, and very trying upon our poor 
men in tiie entrenchments. It is now Brigadier General Bragg. 

The long continued fighting has put us very much behind in 
our business. Many of our poor wounded men are waiting and 

This poetical and striking description of the works at Peters 
burg was published August i4th, 1864, by a member of the i88th 
Pennsylvania regiment, then in the trenches: 


You have never seen our house in the "front," 

Our house that i^ built for the battle s brunt; 

I tell you, then, tis a wonderful home, 

With its earthen floor and its starry dome. 

No mortal structure can reach so high. 

For the dome itself is the vaulted sky. 

The walls of the loamy earth are made, v 

"With trunks of the forest oaks inlaid. 

It boasts of a narrow and lengthy hall, 

Where our belted knights are seated all, * 

Keeping their vigils by night and day, 

Ready to join in the deadly fray. 

Our carpet and couch are the earthy ground, 

Our chairs are woodblocks scattered around. 

"Hard tack" boxes our tables make, 

Where daily our scanty meals we take. 

Our pantry is carried slung over the back 

A medley of coffee, pork, and "tack," 

All jumbled up in a haversack. 

We ask no fire or lamp-light here 

Whilst the moon and stars in the heavens appear. 

No urchin s prattle or infant s squall 

Is ever heard in our martial hall ; 

But morning, noon, and night as well 

Resounds the scream of the villainous shell, 

And the fatal "zip" of the minie ball. 

Death in the trenches, Death in the air, 

And grim Death rioting everywhere ; 

Thus we bear the battle s brunt 

In this, the hall of "Our House in the Front ! " 


watching in hospitals for their descriptive lists, so that they can 
draw their pay. I am doing all in my power to get them made 
and sent off. Our wagon is kept miles away from us." (Our 
papers were in this wagon.) 

General Cutler says in his official report: "The changes in the 
command have been so frequent and the losing of nearly every 
original brigade, regimental, and company commander renders it 
impossible to make anything like an accurate account as to 
details. * * * I can not close this report without saying how 
deeply I felt the loss of the many brave officers and men who 
have fallen in this campaign." 
(To my wife.) JUNK 26, 1864. 

"I have been washed, shaved and shampooed, and feel wonder 
fully revived. I have got some hams, soft bread, flour and bis 
cuit; the latter luxury comes from the Christian Commission. 
You may be sure I am feeling much better and more cheerful. 
Brooks (Adjutant K. P. Brooks,) has been sent out by General 
Grant on an expedition to cut rebel railroads. He has thirty 
picked men of his own selection from our brigade, and they are 
armed with Spencer rifles and mounted. (There were seven men 
from the sixth Wisconsin.) He aims to cut the Danville road at 

















Wilderness, Mav 5th 7th, 
























Spottsylvania May 8th 21st 

North Anna, 1 

Tolopotomy, >-Mav 22nd June 1st, 

Bethesda Church J 

Cold Harbor, June 2nd 15th, 

Petersburg, June 16th 30th 

Petersburg, July 1st 31st 


Killed, 29 ; Wounded, 167 ; Missing, 31 ; Total : 227. The regiment en 
tered the campaign with an aggregate of 370 men and received in recruits 
and returned men, 10. The loss of 227 was from an aggregate of 380. 


Roanoke station.* I have received through Mrs. Kellogg a letter 
which she received from her husband, Captain Kellogg, who is in 
the confederate prison at Macon, Georgia. Major Plummer is 
dead and I shall recommend Captain Kellogg for appointment as 


JUNE 6th, 1864. 

"My dear wife : - I have again an opportunity of writing, which 
I gladly improve. My health is as good as it ever was, the cli 
mate seems to agree with me. My treatment is, and has been, 
probably as good as the Confederate Government can afford. 
The rations are corn meal, bacon, beans and rice, just the same 
as they issue to their own troops. The weather is delightful, not 
too hot in the day time, while the nights are cool. The circum 
stances of my capture are as follows : On the morning of the 
fifth (May,) I was ordered to take my company and support a 
line of skirmishers who were ordered to advance and attack the 
enemy. Soon after the line was engaged it became necessary to 
bring up the reserve, which I did and deployed them as skir 
mishers and was hotly engaged. My loss was .severe, how many 
I can not tell. Soon after the brigade charged the enemy. I 
ordered my [line to advance as they were deployed with the 
brigade, which they did. We drove the enemy s line of battle 
and were driven in turn. I was captured in the endeavor to rally 
our troops. Am very anxious to hear from the regiment. Please 
write to Dawes and enclose this. Love to all friends, and I 
remain, dear wife, J. A. KELLOGG. " 

This is a shrewd and remarkable letter. Captain Kellogg in 
tentionally mis-states the real condition of things in that horrible 
pest hole, Macon Military Prison. His object was to make sure 
that his letter, which was to be read by the officers of the prison, 
would be sent to his wife. As a matter of fact, his published 
story of his prison experience narrates that he ate a rat while in 

"^Lieutenant Brooks had carefully prepared a plan for this undertaking, 
which met the approval of General Grant, to whom he was commended by 
the letters he had received from General Pope for his especially efficient 
service for that General in his campaign. This entire party was captured 
by the enemy. If we may credit the Confederate reports they were, owing 
to the negligence of their commander to put out the proper guards, sur 
prised and captured by a much smaller force. 


this horrible place. He shows the solicitude of the brave soldier 
for his own military honor, and fully explains the circumstan 
ces of his capture and says : "Please send this letter to Dawes," 
his nearest friend in the regiment. This brave man and heroic 
leader needed no vindication wdth any of his comrades or his 
commanders. Captain Kellogg was afterward sent to Charleston, 
S. C., and placed with other officers, under the fire of our own 
batteries, which bombarded that city. When on the way back 
from Charleston to that delightful summer resort, the Macon 
prison, he jumped at midnight from a rapidly running train of 
cars. He was chased by blood hounds, and stood for hours chin 
deep in the water to avoid them. In South Carolina, while gaunt 
with hunger and reduced almost to despair, he appealed to an 
aged negro. The old man had never before seen a Yankee 
soldier, and stood appalled at the apparition. "Will you betray 
us?" said Kellogg. "No sah," said the old man, "There s not a 
slave in South Carolina would betray you." The negroes fed Kel- 
logg s party, ferried them across rivers, and aided and piloted 
them on their way to the best of their ability. After enduring 
incredible privations, he safely passed through all perils and came 
into the Union lines in Tennessee. 
(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JUNE 28th, 1864. 

"We are to go out to the entrenchments to-night to relieve the 
second brigade, but as there is no firing on the line in our front, 
the service is not hard. I am trying to get my company business 
straightened out, but the loss of so many officers, and the confu 
sion resulting from so long an inattention to returns, makes a 
great deal of trouble. I fear our pay rolls will be defective." 

(To my wife.) JUNE 3oth, 1864. j 

"We are getting fixed up for a muster for pay, and are pretty 
well straightened out, but accounts and returns have become 
inextricably confused in this campaign." 

The constant repetition of this complaint indicates how serious 
the disorganization had become, through the grievous losses in 
the campaign. The case of Captain Lewis A. Kent, serves well 
to illustrate these conditions. When Lieutenant James Iy. Con 
verse of company "G," was killed in the battle of the Wilderness, 


that company was left under command of Second Lieutenant 
John Timmons, who was also wounded and disabled in the battle 
of Spottsylvania. Lieutenant Timmons had notified me that he 
would not accept promotion because it involved a re-muster for 
three more years of service, and he wished to hold his legal claim 
to a discharge on July i5th, the expiration of the term of service 
of the regiment. I accordingly assigned Sergeant Kent to duty 
as Captain of company "G," on the loth of May, 1864. I have 
made an error in earlier statements of this case, in fixing the 
date of this order as May 7th, which is not material. No braver, 
more efficient or more dashing company commander fought in 
our line. He carried a musket and the flash of his bayonet was 
always seen leading the line in desperate places. On the i8th of 
June at Petersburg a minie ball passed through his left shoulder, 
shattering the arm, piercing the body, breaking two of his ribs, 
lacerating the left lung, and lodging next to the spine. 

Until we settled down at Petersburg, there was literally no 
opportunity to apply to the Governor of Wisconsin for a Cap 
tain s commission for Kent. When the commission came it was 
dated subsequent to June i8th, the day he received his wound. 
Although he received this terrible wound while performing most 
gallant service* as a Captain, for fourteen years he received only 
the pension of a Sergeant. In 1878 his old commander, 
General Bragg, was in Congress and through his efforts a law 
was enacted, granting Captain Kent the pension due his rank and 
service. There is a tinge of romance about the service of this 
young officer. When the war broke out he was a student in 
Beloit College, but his home was at Blacksburg, Virginia, and 
most of the male members of his family were in the service of 
the Confederacy. 

*The 18th of June was indeed a dark day for the faithful little regiment. 
Lieutenant Earl M. Rogers, in command of company "I," was shot through 
the body and wounded almost in the same terrible manner as Acting Cap 
tain Kent Lieutenant Rogers was again on duty the next Octoher, and he 
was* in the battles of Hatcher s Run. He was brevetted as a Major. His 
wound did not close however, until 1866. He served afterward as a Lieu 
tenant in the Regular Army, and was engaged in an Indian campaign. 
Lieutenant Howard J. Huntington was also badly wounded here. 


(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, VA., j 

. } 

2nd, 1864. 

"We are again out of those hot trenches and back in the 
woods. If the army remains here, in six days we will go out 
again for a tour of duty in the trenches. There is not so much 
shooting now, although every few moments a huge mortar shell 
fired by the rebels, comes straight down from the clouds and 
bursts with a terrific explosion in our lines. The weather is very 
hot, but I get ice every day and plenty of it. There is an ice 
house on our skirmish line. I have some boys who have the 
nerve to go out and get the ice at night, in spite of the fact that 
rebel sharpshooters keep a constant fire on the ice house. There 
is one good thing, corps headquarters can t put a guard over it, 
and gobble it away from us, and appropriate it to their own use. 
William wants very much to come home with me." 

(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY 4th, 1864. 

"General Cutler is anxious to make up a Colonel s command of 
eight hundred and forty men for me, and have me muster in for 
three years, on my commission as Colonel, which will be issued 
by the Governor. 

Our chaplain was sick, and some where in the rear of the army 
he found a cow. Now that he has gone to the general hospital, 
the cow has reverted to me. I draw rations for the cow as a mule. 
Dr. Hall and I have plenty of fresh milk and we unite in grati 
tude to the Chaplain. 
We are to go up to-night for two days duty in the trenches. 

The boys who go out of the service on the fifteenth of this 
month are becoming anxious. The Pennsylvania Reserves were 
in battle the day after their time had expired. Twelve days is a 
short time, but much history can be made here within that 


JULY 5th, 1864. } 

"We have entered into a treaty of peace with the Johnnies and 
men on both sides stand up in fearless confidence in each other s 
good faith. To the right of us Burnside s negroes occupy the 
trenches. Master and slave meet on equal terms and the hostility 


is implacable. They fire night and day on both sides. A lady 
came up to our front line this morning. About a thousand 
rebels got up on their works to stare at her, and at least two 
thousand of our men. The quiet is very pleasant, and I hope 
that the continual whizzing of bullets will not again be heard." 
(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY yth, 1864, 8 P. M. 

"We are back again in the woods, where we are exposed only 
to rebel shell, which occasionally come howling over. There is 
a battery of thirty-two pounders, which fires directly over us, and 
that draws the enemy s fire. I was detailed to-day by order of 
General Meade as President of the commission to investigate the 
capacity, qualification, propriety of conduct and efficiency of 
such officers of the fifth army corps as may be brought before it. 
This is the highest honor of my military service." 


JULY 6th, 1864. J 
Special Order, No. 179, Extract. 

Under the authority of the loth Section of the Act of July 
22nd, 1 86 1, a Board to consist of 

Lieut. Col. R. R. Dawes, 6th Wisconsin Vols. 
Major M. C. Welsh, yth Indiana 
Captain A. B. Pattison, " 

will meet at such time and place as the Coni dg General, fifth 
corps may designate, to examine into the capacity, qualifications, 
propriety of conduct and efficiency of such officers of Volunteers, 
serving in the fifth army corps, as may be ordered before it. 
By command of Major General Meade. 
(Signed) S. WILLIAMS, Ass t Adj t General. 

To have been appointed by General Meade as President of the 
Examining Board of the fifth army corps was indeed an especial 
"honor of my military service." This was a position of the 
highest trust and responsibility. The object of the commission 
was to summarily weed out incompetent and cowardly officers. 
If the commission so recommended, an officer would be promptly 
dismissed from the service by order of the Secretary of War. 
Curious cases were brought before the Board. I remem 
ber a case of a Captain who had drank a decoction of powdered 
slate pencils in vinegar to render himself unfit for service. Dur- 


ing this unexampled campaign of sixty continuous days, the 
excitement, exhaustion, hard work and loss of sleep broke down 
great numbers of men who had received no wounds in battle. 
Some who began the campaign with zealous and eager bravery, 
ended it with nervous and feverish apprehension of danger in the 
ascendancy. Brave men were shielded if their records on other 
occasions justified another trial, which ordinarily resulted well, 
but cowards met no mercy. They w r ere dismissed and their 
names published throughout the land, a fate more terrible than 
death to a proud spirited soldier. 

There were among officers and men some who would even shoot 
off a finger or attempt to inflict a wound upon themselves in 
other non vital parts. Ordinarily the "damned spot" caused by 
the powder burn, remained to tell its story. 

(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY 8th, 1864. 

"General Cutler s plan is to consolidate the second, fifth and 
sixth regiments, which he wishes me to command as Colonel. 

I have recommended Sergeant Major Cuyler Babcock for ap 
pointment as Adjutant, in place of Brooks, whom I shall assign 
to a company." 

(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY loth, 1864. 

"We are in the trenches again, but the rebel infantry is very 
friendly. A villainous shell occasionally shrieks over our heads, 
but does no further harm than to create a kind of shivering sensa 
tion that the Angel of Death has spread his wings on the blast. " 

MADISON, JULY 5th, 1864. j 

"Dear Colonel : Yours of the 26th of June received, and I take 
great pleasure in informing you that I have this moment put the 
seal on your commission as Colonel, vice Bragg, promoted. If 
you have time, I would like a letter from you, giving your idea of 
the situation. Yours truly, 

Ivucius FAIRCHILD." 
(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY i3th, 1864. 

"We are busy making the papers for the muster out of our 
men, whose terms of service expire, and they are nearly wild at 


the prospect of seeing once more their long separated families 
and their homes. The men who go now were not on the veteran 
furlough, and few of them have seen their homes for more than 
three years. Some have passed through twenty battles and 
nearly all have marks of wounds received in battle. I am myself 
the only man who has passed unharmed through every battle and 
skirmish of the regiment. I have been sitting on our commission 
for examination of officers. We have to haul over the coals the 
Captain commanding the ." 

The term of service of nine commissioned officers expired on 
the 1 5th of Ju 1 y. But owing to ambiguous and conflicting orders 
on the subject of mustering commissioned officers, issued by the 
War Department, the authorities in the Army of the Potomac 
refused to discharge officers without an order from the Depart 
ment. This involved delay and action at Washington upon each 
case. All were finally mustered out excepting one Lieutenant. 
It had been the practice to receive officers into the service for the 
remaining or unexpired term of their regiments. The result of 
an order forbidding such musters was, that if an officer did not 
wish to pledge himself for a new term of three years, he refused 
to accept promotion. Second Lieutenant John Timmons had 
been offered a commission as Captain of his company "G," but 
he declined to accept it for this reason, and the appointment was 
given to Sergeant Lewis A. Kent. Pending the granting of 
his discharge by the War Department, Lieutenant Timmons was 
"mustered out forever by a minie bullet" in the battle of the 
Weldon Road. 
(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY lyth, 1864. 

"There is a prevailing impression that siege operations have so 
far progressed as to bring another attempt upon the enemy s 
works when the mine is exploded. (It appears from this letter 
that we knew about the work upon the mine, which was not 
exploded until the 3oth of July.) There is now no mortar or 
artillery firing along the line. Before to-day the enemy would 
throw a mortar shell into our lines at intervals of about fifteen 
(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, VA., JULY 22nd, 1864. 

"We are in the trenches to-day, and about once an hour a 


mortar shell is thrown by the enemy. When we hear the chug 
of the mortar firing, we all run into the bomb proofs and we 
have time to do so, but we have to be quick about it. Dr. A. W. 
Preston has been discharged for disability and I have taken great 
pleasure in recommending Dr. Hall for promotion. 

I strolled along our line of entrenchments to-day. It would 
seem that our army is impregnably entrenched. I have been ap 
pointed President of our division court martial, and as I am 
President of the fifth corps examining commission, my hands 
are full. There is an immense amount of digging in this siege 
of Petersburg." 


(To my wife.) BEFORE PETERSBURG, JULY 3oth, 1864. 

"Shortly after daylight the mine was exploded and at that signal 
every cannon and mortar on the line opened on the enemy. 
There was for some reason a long delay in setting off the mine. 
I was lying in a bomb proof taking a nap, when I felt a jar like 
an earthquake. I jumped out in time to see probably the most 
terrific explosion ever known in this country. A fort and several 
hundred feet of earthworks were literally hurled into the air. 
It is hardly possible that any man lived who was in the line. 

Our men gained the enemy s works and took their line, and 
the position held would have broken the rebel army. But victory 
stands with the enemy, who drove our men out and regained all 
they had lost. I stood on the top of our log house and saw the 
rebels charge upon our men. (General Mahone commanded this 
force.) We had three men wounded on the skirmish line. The 
pile of dead around the ruins of the fort is very large." 

(To my wife) NEAR PETERSBURG, AUGUST ist, 1864. 

"We are to-day about four miles from the enemy and upon the 
extreme left of the army. It seems comfortable to get almost 
out of hearing of the shooting. I have put the regiment mto 
camp and I have fixed up a fine and shady bower for my head 
quarters. Day before yesterday s failure will likely make summer 
bowers fashionable for this army. We hear that the paymaster 
is coming with four months pay. lieutenant John Timmons of 
company G expected to be mustered out on July i5th, and sup- 


SURGEON SIXTH wis. voi. 


posing of course that he would be, as was his legal right, I 
recommended the Governor to appoint Sergeant Lewis A. Kent 
Captain over Timmons, and now poor Tim, in addition to being 
conscripted, is jumped." 
(To my wife.) NEAR PETERSBURG, AUGUST 5th, 1864. 

"The weather is very hot and things go on with the usual stale 
monotony of a summer life in camp. Occasionally we hear a 
burst of cannon arid mortars in the distance, but we are out of 
the way of them. We have orders to get under arms at daylight 
every morning. 

We live very well. I still have the cow ; she gives all the 
milk Dr. Hall and I can drink or use, and we are very popular 
with our friends. We have plenty of vegetables. Dr. Hall has 
received his commission as Surgeon. The other officers now with 
the regiment whose terms of service have expired are Lieutenants 
John Timmons, H. B. Merchant, and William Golterman. The 
five officers absent from the regiment, whose terms have expired, 
have been mustered out and honorably discharged." 


AUGUST 9th, 1864. j 

Lieutenant Colonel Rufus R. Dawes, Commanding Sixth Wis 
consin Veteran Volunteers : 

*"Coi,ONEL : I have just received a communication from the 
War Department authorizing me to muster out yourself and 
Second Lieutenant William Golterman of your regiment. 

Very respectfully 


Capt. and A. C. M., 4th Div., 5th A. C." 
"Lieutenant Colonel R. R. Dawes, of the sixth Wisconsin 

*From the Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United 
States Army, 18611865, I take the following : 

"Mustered out on expiration of term of service: Lieutenant Colonel 
Rufus R. Dawes, August 10th, 1864, (Brevet Brigadier General, March 13th, 
1865.) Captain Thomas W. Plummer, July 25th, 1864. Captain Charles H. 
Ford, July 29th, 1864. Captain William N. Remington, October llth, 1864. 
First Lieutenant Lloyd G. Harris, July 23rd, 1864. First Lieutenant John 
Beely, July 25th, 1864. First Lieutenant William S. Campbell, October 
llth,. 1864. First Lieutenant Earl M. Rogers, March 10th, 1865, (Brevet 
Major, March 13th, 1865.) Second Lieutenant Howard J. Huntington, July 
23rd, 1864. Second Lieutenant William Golterman, August 10th, 1864. 
Second Lieutenant Hiram B. Merchant, September 6th, 1864. 


veteran volunteers, whose term of service has expired, left for 
the north two days since. The Colonel enlisted as a private, and 
was at once promoted Captain of the company. In 1862 he was 
made Major of the regiment, and in 1863 Lieutenant Colonel. 
When Colonel Bragg was promoted to brigadier general, Colonel 
Dawes received a colonel s commission, but in consequence of the 
regiment being badly cut up, he could not be mustered. Having 
been in all the fights of this army since it left the Peninsula in 
1862, his record is one of which any officer might well feel proud. 

During the late engagement I saw one of our men being 
brought from the field with a fractured thigh. By his side on the 
stretcher was his musket and equipments. When asked why he 
attempted to save his gun, and he so badly wounded, his answer 
was : Captain is a bully little fellow, and the Ordnance De 
partment isn t going to stop his pay on account of carelessness 
on my part. " 

The above is from the "Sunday Morning Chronicle," of Wash 
ington. "Cron-i-kill!" the news boys shouted as they sold the 
papers in the army. The writer, as might be suspected from the 
story about the wounded soldier, was our Ordnance Sergeant, 
Jerome A. Watrous. His was the intricate and difficult task of 
keeping track of our muskets, bayonets, shoulder belts, waist 
belts and their plates, cap boxes, primers and cartridges. He 
wore red chevrons and in that day they well accorded with 
the ruddy glow of his fresh and boyish cheeks. But he had 
enlisted in 1861, served through all and re-enlisted as a veteran. 
There was yet time to show his qualities in a wider field of action. 
He became Adjutant of the regiment and served as Adjutant 
General of Colonel John A. Kellogg s brigade of three thousand 
five hundred men in the great campaign that ended with Appo- 
mattox. He was brevetted Captain for his efficient and gallant 


From the Stand-point of a Civilian The Battle on the Weldon 
Road "Poor Murdered Timmons! "Letter Prom Captain Rem 
ingtonCaptain Chas. P. Hyatt Killed Dr. flail Writes Fully 
from the Sixth General Bragg,, Writes of our Comrades -Fallen 
My Brother Under the Surgeon s Knife The Sixth Re-organ 
ized Colonel John A. Kellogg Individual Records The 
Cheering in the Wilderness Explained by a "Johnny" The 
Story of William Jackson Captain Marston Shot at Gettysburg 
Seventeen Years Later To my Living Comrades Statistics 
From Colonel Fox and the Official Records. 

I had returned to Washington to make my finaksettlement and 
close my business account as a regimental commander when I 
wrote this letter: 


SEPTEMBER ist, 1864. j 

"I am safely here to-night, somewhat tired from the journey. 
I am fairly heart-sick at the stories of blood I hear from the old 
regiment. Captain Hutchins was killed. Full of the satisfac 
tion of his new commission, he met death in his first battle. 
But the saddest of all, Timmons was killed. Poor, murdered 
Timmons ! His legal right to be discharged was as clear as mine 
and just the same. It seems almost certain to me that I could 
never have lived through another such carnival of blood. 
Only eighty men are left in the ranks for service." 


"DEAR COLONEL:-! received your kind letter some time 
since, and I should have answered it before only that I have been 
very sick since you left us. I know that you will be surprised 
to think of my being in a hospital, but it is so, and just at a time 
of .all others that I wanted to be with the Sixth. Captain 
(Thomas) Kerr (the senior captain,) was sick at the time of the 
battle, (battle of the Weldon Road, August i8th, igth and 2ist,) 
and if I could have been there I would have been in command of 
the regiment in one of its hardest battles. The regiment never 


did better than under Captain (Charles P.) Hyatt. I came on to 
the field just as Hyatt lost his leg, and commanded the regiment 
in the rest of the fight and until I came back to hospital again. 
(It will be noted that Captain Remington got up off of a sick 
bed in the hospital to go to the regiment when he learned that it 
was in battle.) Poor Timmons is dead and out of the service. 
His application for discharge came back the other day asking if 
he had taken the veteran furlough ? General Bragg returned it 
with the endorsement : This officer has taken his long furlough. 
He was killed in the battle. 

The old division is broken up, and our brigade is in Crawford s 
division, the third brigade. The second brigade was sent to the 
first division. An effort is being made to have all of the troops 
of the old first army% corps put into one division. From what 
I hear I think -it will be done, but I do not know who will com 
mand it. I have a prospect of going home Monday morning on 
sick leave. I remain, as ever, your friend and well wisher, 

Captain Company K , Sixth Wisconsin." 

It will be remembered that this brave man and splendid soldier 
was shot in one shoulder at Gettysburg, while rushing for the 
rebel flag and he was shot in the other shoulder on the loth of 
May at Laurel Hill. So late as 1882 he had not received a pen 
sion, nor asked for one until 1879. He then apologized for 
asking a pension on the ground that his "boys were all girls." 
I was a member of the 47th Congress from Ohio. The one-legged 
veteran, Captain E. M. Truell, of Wisconsin, asked me one day, as 
I had been a Wisconsin soldier, if I knew Captain Bill Rem 
ington of the Sixth. Of course I did, and he then told me that 
Remington needed only the affidavit of his regimental com 
mander to complete his claim. Captain Remington was in 
Northern Dakota, and he had lost track of his regimental 
commander in Ohio. Truell and I made quick time for the 

Officers : killed, 2 ; wounded, 3 ; missing, ; aggregate 5 
Men 7; 23; 10; " 40 

Total, 45 


pension office, and it did not take me long to "call up that case" 
and swear it through. I soon received a letter from " Captain 
Bill" and he said: "If an Angel from Heaven had appeared to 
help me, I could not have been more surprised." Poor fellow ! 

He did not live long to enjoy the benefits. 

General Bragg has written : "You name Charley Hyatt. Cap 

tain Charles P. Hyatt was a gentleman and a soldier, with a 
manner as gentle as a woman. He was an excellent officer, and 
I was especially fond of him in command of a skirmish line. 
The hotter the fire, the cooler he grew, until, if I were telling a 
camp fire story, I would say that he froze the water in his can 
teen. I made a special Aide-de-camp of him on my staff, and in 
the battle on the Weldon Railroad, I placed him in command of 
the Sixth in my front line. He fought the regiment splendidly. 
The next day we were attacked in strong force in our works and the 
assaulting party came so close that they could not get back, and 
they threw up their hands. The firing ceased and I detailed 
Captain Hyatt to take the sword of the commanding officer. He 
did so, and while returning, a stray shot came flying across, and 
it tore off Hyatt s leg. He suflered an amputation and was sent 
to Alexandria, from where he wrote me a cheerful letter. He 
was moved again to Philadelphia, gangrene set in, and glorious 
man that he was, he died a soldier s death." 


. j 

ON WEivE DN R. R. NEAR PETERSBURG, SEP T. icth, 1864. 
" Dear Colon el \ Your favor reached me in due time, and would 
have been answered before this had it not been for my ill-health. 
I get quite sick soon after you left, and was obliged to go to 
division hospital and stay there some three weeks. I returned 
to the regiment two days ago, and think I shall be able to remain 
with it. * * * Of course you have heard all, and more than 
all about the fights here, on the i8th, iQth and 2ist of August 
by our corps, resulting in our getting and holding a piece of the 
Weldon R. R. The i8th and 2ist, we gave the Johnnies a n 
they wanted, did a good thing. On the iQth, we got the worst of 
it rather. For our regiment particularly, it was a bad day. 
Captain Hutchins and Adjutant Cuyler Babcock were killed, and 
Lieutenant John Timmons^ whose application to the Secretary of 


War to be mustered out was still pending, was mustered out of 
the service forever by a minie bullet. This seems hard, for he 
would have succeeded with his application. Lieutenant Mer 
chant was mustered out by order of Secretary Stanton three days 
ago, after risking his own life in four battles, after his term of 
service had expired. But the most unjust and meanest thing the 
Government could do, it did. It was ordered that his muster 
out should date from July itf/i, thus robbing him of six weeks 
pay for perilous service, he was compelled to perform. This may 
be just and right, and it may be the proper way to increase 
the patriotism of officers, but the obliquity of my moral percep 
tions is such that I cannot see it. 

I congratulate you on getting out when you did, and your wife 
and friends also. I often think it was almost Providential. 
These last battles might have proved that you too are mortal. 
And then, but why speak of distress so fortunately perhaps 
avoided? I trust you will have all manner of happiness and 
success in business at home, and long outlive the present disas 
trous years of the Republic. 

You desire to have yours and General Bragg s reports of the 
last engagements you were in. I will try to get copies and for 
ward them to you. 

You remind me of my promise to write the history of the 
regiment from last October, and request me not to neglect it. I 
have been in no condition to write it yet, and until a few days 
ago, it has been difficult to get access to the books and papeis 
from which to obtain the proper data. But our teams are with 
the regiment now, and I have no excuse to neglect the matter 
longer. I advise you not to put too much trust in my executing 
this labor of love even. 

Grant seems to be giving a look of permanency to our occupa 
tion .of this line. He has nearly completed a railroad from City 
Point to the Yellow Tavern, Warren s headquarters, and the 
extreme left of our line on the Weldon Road. It was close by 
this tavern that we lost in the three battles I have mentioned, 
three officers and thirty-seven men, most of the casualties occur- 
ing on the iQth, and reducing our regiment to less than one 
hundred men all told, for duty. But this is aside from my 

present subject. Our line of works makes a loop around the 
tavern, and back upon itself for six or eight miles. This, of 
course, is to protect our rear and the new railroad. A depot for 
storing supplies is to be built near the camp of our brigade, and 
we shall soon present a business and town-like appearance. We 
have our baggage, and wall tents. The new Doctor and myself 
are getting domiciled in one of the latter. We have a tolerably 
dry camping ground, but we are surrounded by marshes of 
indefinite extent, and the malarial poison begins to tell on our 
men. But the Sixth is as good at fighting fevers as fighting 
Rebs, so we are hopeful. 

Well, Colonel, how does the war look to you from the stand 
point of civil and domestic life ? Have you joined the grumblers 
who severely ask, Why does not the Army of the Potomac move? 
I think not. Have the recent successes south and west increased 
your confidence in our final triumph? Perhaps]- it was owing to 
my illness, but to tell you the truth, I have been for the last two 
months, a good deal discouraged ; have almost despaired of the 
Republic. But I feel a little better about matters now. 

What about the political aspect? The presidential question 
seems to be reduced to a choice between Old Abe and Little 
Mac. On one side is war, and stubborn, patient effort to restore 
the Union, and National honor; on the other side is inglorious 
peace and shame, the old truckling subserviency to Southern 
domination, and a base alacrity in embracing some vague, decep 
tive political subterfuge, instead of honorable and clearly defined 
principles. Truly yours, 


It will be. noticed that all were sick. The exhaustion, mental, 
as well as physical, of the long and terrible campaign which had 
lasted from May 5th until August 22nd, without cessation, did 
much to aid the marshes in producing this result. 

General Bragg has written : "John Timmons, of company G , 
Second Lieutenant, was another noble fellow. He was an Irish 
man, quiet, but full of humor and brim full of pluck. When J. 
L- Converse was killed in the Wilderness, he refused promotion 
and announced his purpose to muster out at the end of his en- 


listment. When we received orders to move to fight the battle 
of the Weldon Railroad, John s time was out and he was waiting 
the arrival of a muster out officer. I urged him to remain in 
camp, knowing all the circumstances of his intended marriage. 
But when the regiment moved he went with us, and in the battle 
of the second day he was shot and instantly killed. 

Little Hutchins, (Captain William Hutchins,) originally 
fourth Corporal of company B, reached the Captaincy of his 
company and wore his rank for the first time in that battle and 
was shot at the time Timmons fell. 

Babcock, of company C/ (Sergeant Major,) was shot, while 
lying in the trenches at the Weldou Railroad, by a ball that struck 
the limb of a tree overhead and deflected, striking him on the top 
of the head, producing instant death. He had his commission as 
Lieutenant and Adjutant in his pocket, but went to the grand 
encampment beyond the river, for muster. 

You must not think I am proposing to write your book, but I 
send you these incidents and sketches for you to reject or mould, 
as you choose, into your narrative. 

Upon the principle that I remember to have seen on a pamph 
let of Indian stories in old Brandt s time in the Susquehanna 


Gather up the fragments let nothing be lost, 
To show the next ages what liberty cost. 

Sincerely your friend, 


Upon his return from rebel prison, Captain Kellogg found his 
promotion awaiting him, and he has written : "I proceeded at 
once to my home in Wisconsin and made a short visit there. I 
went from thence to Madison and obtained an order assigning 
enough drafted men to fill the regiment to the maximum and 
proceeded with them to the regiment in the field. It was then 
lying on the Jerusalem plank road, near City Point. Here I 
found many changes. The regiment was commanded by Major 
Thomas Kerr, who was a Lieutenant when I left* Nearly every 
officer on duty when I left the regiment the previous May was 

*An error ; he was appointed Captain in 1883. 



either promoted, killed or mustered out. 

The following February, 1865, General Bragg having been 
ordered to Washington, with a portion of his command, the 
balance was re-organized by adding to the sixth and seventh 
Wisconsin and the independent battalion of .the 2nd Wisconsin, 
the ninety-first New York heavy artillery, commanded by Colonel 
Tarbell, the brigade numbering about three thousand five 
hundred men. I was assigned to its command and had the sat 
isfaction of participating in the last campaign, and of witnessing 
the final ending of the war of rebellion at Appomattox on the 
ninth of April, 1865. Among the troops who laid down their 
arms at this surrender was the i3th Georgia, the same regiment 
that had captured me on the eighth day of May 1864." 

On the nineteenth of October, 1864, Major Kellogg was pro 
moted to Lieutenant Colonel, and on December tenth to Colonel 
and Major Kerr was on the same date appointed Lieutenant 
Colonel. The veterans and recruits of the second Wisconsin 
were consolidated with the Sixth on November twenty-second, 
1864, and Captain Dennis B. Daily, of the old second, was ap 
pointed Major of the Sixth, as re-organized. Colonel Kellogg 
brought about four hundred and fifty drafted men to fill the 
ranks of the regiment, as he states, "to the maximum." For the 
history of the service of the regiment under Colonel Kellogg I 
have no data beyond the official records, and these have not yet 
been fully published. 

One more duty yet remained before I was done with my 
service in the war. It was to be with my brother while he passed 
through the ordeal of the surgical operation. This was performed 
in a building at Fairmount, near Cincinnati, Ohio, which was then 
used as an officers hospital. Dr. George C. Blackman, one of 
the most skillful surgeons in the country at that time, performed 
the operation. My aunt, Miss Julia P. Cutler, wrote to our sister 
in Persia, giving my own contemporary description of the opera 


"Mv DEAR JANE : Just before bed time Rufus and Mary 
came in, he having come up from Cincinnati to-day. Dr. Black- 
man performed the operation at the officers hospital. Rufus 


remained with him through the whole, and helped hold his hands 
while it was done. He was an hour and a half tinder the sur 
geon s knife and not under the influence of chloroform. During 
the four months which intervened since the wound was received, 
the jagged flesh had been put together and a sort of chin formed, 
so we hoped that the ujiefatioit would not be an extensive one, 
but in this we were disappointed. The flesh was all cut loose, 
then a gash cut ^^fc the cheeks on both sides to the angle of 
the jaw: slits were then cot fMm with them, in the same direc 
tion, so as to get a loose strip of flesh an inch wide, which was 
only attached to the face at the angle of the jaw. These strips 
were polled and stretched so as to meet over an artificial under 
jaw and teeth, to form an under lip. The tig1iiiMg and stretch 
ing; of these strips caused the upper lip to be pushed out of 
jlarr and protrude, so a gore had to be cut out on each side and 
sewed up. Then the flesh which had been loosened from the 
chin was pot back and !<! so as to fit in with the new under 

lip. He lay upon the table unbound, Rufus holding his left hand. 
Hi> iself possession was remarkable, obeying every direction of 
the operator, turning; Ms head as dig*****!, until the agony and 
the loss of blood exhausted him, and only a shiver ran through 
his frame. After it was over and stimulants administered he rose 
and walked upstairs to his room. Dr. ffilarimaii considers the 
U^**Amtm * great ** He invited a number of physicians to 
be present. One of them told Rufus that a man who could, 
endnrt what Major Dawes had that day would bear burning at 
the stake." 

It is a j^tlifji^ memory to me that when my brother had been 
told that the operation was over. Dr. Blackman, looking at his 
work, said : "Major, I must finish up with two more stitches." 
The Major, to whom there was left no voice, raised up one finger 
to plead for only one. I cried: "Dr. Blackman, don t touch 
him," and he then raised up both fingers and the two stitches 
were taken. During the operation he came near strangling with 
the blood in his mouth, and in a spasmodic effort to get his 
breath, threw out the lalse teeth and jaw, which were not re 
placed. It is perhaps well that they were not, but this made nee- 


essary a month later a second operation of comparatively limited 
rrtgiif. To the casual observer no trace appears under the fuH 
beard now worn by Colonel Dawes, but a glance will show the 
marks of the "gores 1 cut in bis upper lip. Captain Wm. Wilson, 
now of Cleveland, Ohio, and Captain W. R. Thomas alternated 
with me in holding my brother s hand. 

Here are a few exceptional records to which "without iuvidiuus 
discrimination/ as the official lepoiis say, I may call aUmtinHL 

Edward A. Whaley, of company "C," enlisted April y&, 1861, 
and he re-enlisted as a vdetan volunteer. He was promoted to 
Corporal. First Sergeant, Captain and Major by brevet. He was 
wounded at South Mountain, at Petersburg and at Five Forks. 
His light leg was amputated. It may be said that there is a good 
deal left of Major Whaley. who still fives, a much lespected and 
honored citizen, and as modest as be was unapproachably faith 
ful, brave and true. 

James Whitty, of company "A," was wounded at Gainesville, 
at South Mountain, at Fitz Hugh s Crossing and at flic Wilder 
ness. His left leg has been amputated. 

Sergeant Allison Fouler, of company "A," a re-enlisted vet 
eran, was wounded at South Mountain, at Gettysburg, at the 
Weldon Road and killed at Hatcher s Run. February 6th, 1865. 

Frack Hare, of company "B," a re-enlisted y^ Mi^ was 
seventy wounded at Antietam, was wounded and a ^ffHi^r at 
the battle of the Wilderness. His leg was amputated by a Con 
federate surgeon. 

eter Adrian, of company "C," was a recruit, who came to us 
February i8th, 1864. He developed a remarkable capacity for 
stopping bullets. He was wounded at Spottsylvania, at the 
Weldon Road, and at Five Forks, He was mustered out with 
the regiment. 

First Sergeant Jacob Lemans, of company "C," was wounded 
at Gettysburg, at Petersburg and at Five Forks, 

Lieutenant George D. Eggleston, of company I was 
wounded at Antietain. at Gettysburg and at Spottsylvania. 

Sergeant Leo Gotsch. of company "F." was wounded a: 
tietam, at Petersburg and at Hatchers Run. 


Henry Steinmetz, of company "F," was wounded at Antietam, 
at Gettysburg and at the Wilderness. 

Nathan Burchell, of company "I," was wounded at Antietam, 
at Laurel Hill and at Five Forks. 

William J. Revels, of company "K," was wounded at South 
Mountain, at Gettysburg and killed at the Weldon Road. 

Sergeant James P. Sullivan, of company "K," was wounded at 
South Mountain and discharged as disabled. He re-enlisted in 
the regiment and was again badly wounded at Gettysburg. 
Nothing discouraged, he re-enlisted again as a veteran at the end 
of his second term. 

Corporal Dugald Spear, of company "D," was wounded at 
Antietam, at Gettysburg and killed at the Weldon Road. 

On page 263, in the account of the battle of the Wilderness I 
say : "On the afternoon of May seventh the soldiers in the line 
of the rebel army in our front began a loud cheering, which con 
tinued to run along their lines for nearly half an hour. Its signifi 
cance I have never learned." Since this was printed I have found 
in the History of Gregg s Brigade of South Carolinians, pub 
lished by J. F. J. Caldwell, an officer of the first regiment of South 
Carolina Volunteers, a full history of the affair. I quote from 
this author : "While we were closing up here a pace at a time, 
the grandest vocal exhibition took place that I have heard. Far 
up on the right of the Confederate line, a shout was raised. 
Gradually it was taken up and passed down until it reached us. 
We lifted it as our turn came and handed it to the left, where it 
went echoing to the remotest corner of Ewell s corps. This was 
done once with powerful effect. * * * Again the shout arose 
on the right, again it rushed down upon us for a distance of per 
haps two miles. Again we caught and flung it joyfully to the 
left, where it only ceased when the last post had huzzahed. And 
yet a third time this mighty wave of sound ran along the Con 
federate lines. The effect was beyond expression." 

William Jackson came home with me as he desired. First I 
found employment for him as a waiter in a hotel and next in the 
service of a railroad company. He needed no more help. His 
sterling qualities won success. For twelve years he served as a 
station baggage master in our city. He then started in business 


for himself, and April yth, 1886, he died of consumption. He 
had accumulated a handsome property and with his brother 
owned a fine home, a store building and other property. Few 
young men do better, who enjoy the best advantages. Every 
dollar of his first two year s earnings he saved to get his mother. 
His brother was then a boot-black in the St. Charles hotel in 
Washington. The proprietor of that hotel took a kindly interest 
with me, and William s brother, Moses Jackson, a brave and 
true man, was sent to Spottsylvania County, Virginia, to find 
their mother. He was successful in the search. He found her 
in 1866 still held as a slave by a brute named Richardson. Moses 
brought his revolver to bear on Richardson, and he was obliged 
to push and drive before him his mother and a sister, while he 
held at bay this Richardson. Night and day Moses pushed them 
through on the march to Washington, and the proprietor of the 
St. Charles hotel sent me a telegram announcing the safe arrival 
of the party. I sent a card to be pinned on the woman s dress, 
giving her destination and the route. The neat, gentlemanly 
station baggage agent, who then always wore the army blue, 
awaited with a swelling heart the arrival of the train. Only by 
this card could he recognize his mother. She had been whipped 
and choked, so that her power of speech was almost gone, owing 
to injury of the throat and palate. The daughter was an idiot, 
rendered so by blows upon her head. Poor William ! he could 
not bear to take this bitterness to my wife, with whom he had so 
often talked and planned in joyous anticipation ot this event, but 
he went to my mother, and saying : "Mrs. Dawes, see what 
slavery has done! " he broke down in an agony of grief and dis 
appointment. Bravely he took up the burden. The sister soon 
died. Mrs. Jackson was an unusually bright woman and before 
the war, as her associations had been with a good family, she was 
all her son imagined her. She outlived both of her faithful sons, 
and she lived in the enjoyment of comfort and even luxury. 
The gratitude of Mrs. Jackson was amusing as well as touching. 
She put Abraham Lincoln as the first man and myself as the 
second. She could not speak to me on the subject, because her 
partly paralyzed tongue would not act, owing to her excitement, 
so she put on her best one day and came to tell my wife her tale 


of overflowing thankfulness, but she could not speak a word only 
William will done write it." 

An examination of the Adjutant General s Report of Wiscon 
sin, a most complete and admirable work, shows that I have done 
injustice to the* marksmanship of the rebels in the railroad cut at 
Gettysburg. They did hit Captain Marston. He was not 
knocked out, but kept the field as I remember. 




>N, D. C., \ 

, 1881. j 

"My dear wife: I have to-day worshipped at the shrine of 
the dead. I went over to the Arlington Cemetery. It was a 
beautiful morning and the familiar scenes so strongly impresssed 
upon me during my young manhood, were pleasant. Many times 
I went over that road, admiring the beautiful city and great white 
capitol, with its then unfinished dome, going to hear the great 
men of that day in Congress. An ambitious imagination then 
builded castles of the time when I might take my place there. 
Now at middle age, with enthusiasm sobered by hard fights and 
hard facts, I ride, not run with elastic step over the same road, 
with this ambition at least realized, and warmth enough left in 
my heart to enjoy it. My friends and comrades, poor fellows, 
who followed my enthusiastic leadership in those days, and fol 
lowed it to the death which I by a merciful Providence escaped, 
lie here, twenty-four of them, on the very spot where our winter 
camp of 1 86 1 1862, was located. I found every grave and stood 
beside it with uncovered head. I looked over nearly the full 
16,000 head-boards to find the twenty- four, but they all died alike 
and I was determined to find all. Poor little Fenton who put 
his head above the works at Cold Harbor and got a bullet 
through his temples, and lived three days with his brains out, 
came to me in memory as fresh as one of my own boys of to-day, 
and L,evi Pearson, one of the three brothers of company A, 
who died for their country in the sixth regiment, and Richard Gray, 
Paul Mulleter, Dennis Kelly, Christ Bundy, all young men, who 
fell at my side and under my command. For what they 
died, I fight a little longer. Over their graves I get inspiration 


to stand for all they won in establishing our government upon 
freedom, equality, justice, liberty and protection to the humblest." 

To my living comrades this book will be my greeting and 
farewell, for we can never again rally on our color. If I have 
brought back to you, by the printing of my contemporary papers, 
something of your own feelings and experiences in those days of 
glory, which you had lost, and if I have said aught to fan to life 
the yet smouldering spark of fiery zeal for the honor and glory 
of the "Old Sixth" regiment, I am content. It is a matter of 
sincere regret that many noble deeds and some brave men are 
overlooked. But remember I was not then a historian. I was 
then only writing to my family, friends and M. B. G., (my best 
girl), who were personally strangers to you all. I wonder that 
so much was saved. Enough is recorded, here and elsewhere, to 
show the generations yet to come that our band was of the finest 
quality of heroic mettle, and "equal," as General McClellan wrote, 
"to the best troopS in any army of the world." 

The shadows of age are rapidly stealing upon us. Our burdens 
are like the loaded knapsack on the evening of a long and weary 
march, growing heavier at every pace. The severing of the 
links to a heroic and noble young manhood, when "generous 
courage was spurred by ambitious hope, goes on, but you have 
lived to see spring up as the result of your suffering, toil and 
victory the most powerful nation of history and the most benefi 
cent government ever established. " While you are in the sear and 
yellow leaf your country is in the spring-time of the new life your 
victory gave it. This is your abundant and sufficient reward. It 
now only remains for me to lay aside my pen, as I did my sword, 
and again take up my business. 

The following statements are taken from the valuable publica 
tion of Colonel W. F. Fox, entitled "Regimental Bosses in the 
Civil War." 

"The regiment left Wisconsin July 28, 1861, proceeding to 
Washington, where it was assigned to the brigade which was 
destined to fill such a glorious place in the annals of the war. 
The Sixth had the advantage of a year s drill and discipline be 
fore it was called upon to face the enemy in a general engage 
ment, its first battle occurring at Manassas August 28th and 3oth 


where it lost 17 killed, 91 wounded, and n missing. The 
regiment lost at South Mountain, n killed, 79 wounded and 2 
missing; and at Antietam, three days after, 26 killed, and 126 
wounded. Under command of Colonel Dawes, it won merited 
distinction at Gettysburg in the battle of the first day ; all his 
tories of that field mention the manoeuver and the part taken 
in it by the Sixth by wnich a part of a Confederate brigade was 
captured in the railroad cut. The casualties at Gettysburg were 
30 killed, 1 1 6 wounded, and 22 missing. Upon the re-organiza 
tion of the army in March, 1864, Wadsworth s division was trans 
ferred to the fifth corps, and with it the Iron Brigade, under 
General Cutler. The regiment lost at the battle of the Wilderness 
8 killed, 40 wounded, and 15 missing; at Spottsylvania, 19 killed, 
69 wounded and 5 missing; at Hatcher s Run (Dabney s Mills), 
13 killed, 8 1 wounded, and 7 missing ; at Gravelly Run, 5 killed, 
34 wounded, and 32 missing. Major Philip W. Plummei was 
killed at the Wilderness." 

In his investigation of comparative losses in battles, Colonel 
Fox has included about two thousand regiments which were 
more or less engaged with the enemy. In the number of men 
killed in battle, the sixth Wisconsin regiment is tenth upon the 
list. Only nine regiments engaged in the war suffered a greater 
loss in killed. The second Wisconsin, according to Colonel Fox, 
suffered the greatest loss in killed in proportion to the whole 
number upon its rolls of any regiment in the Union army during 
the war. Col. Fox says : "The Iron Brigade suffered a greater 
proportionate loss in battle than any other brigade in the Army 
of the Union." 















^ield and Staff 



Company A 







C . 



































224 killed 12.5 per cent, of total enrollment. 

Of the 1,058 men originally enrolled, 170 were killed 16 9 per cent. 

Total of killed and wounded, 867 ; missing and captured, 112; died in 

Confederate prisons, 20. 

BATTLES. K. & M. W. 

Gainesville, Va.,Aug. 28, 62 14 

Manassas, Va., Aug. 30, 62 11 

South Mountain, Md 16 

Antietam, Md 40 

Fitz Hugh s Crossing, Va 5 

Gettysburg, Pa 41 

Wilderness, Va, May 4-6, 64 15 

Spottsylvania, Va., May 8th 3 

Spottsylvania, Va., May 10th 12 

Spottsylvania, Va., May 12th 3 

Spottsylvania, Va., May 13th 6 

BATTLES. K. & M. W. 

North Anna, Va 3 

Bethesda Church, Va 2 

Petersburg, Va. June 18th 10 

Petersburg Trenches, Va 5 

Weldon Railroad, Va 12 

Dabney s Mills, Va , Feb. 6, 65. ..24 

Gravelly Run, Va 9 

Five Forks, Va 7 

Picket Line, Vn, Aug. 31, 62 1 

Prison guard, Salisbury, N. C... 1 
Detail, Artillery Service 4 

List of battles according to the United States Army Register: Cedar 
Mountain, Rappahannock, Gainesville, Groveton and Bull Run, South 
Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Fitz Hugh s Crossing, Chancellors- 
ville, Gettysburg, Haymarket, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, 
North Anna, Tolopotomy, Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, 
Weldon Railroad, Hatcher Run, Oct. 27, 1864, Hatcher s Run, Feb. 6-7, 
1865, Gravely Run, Five Forks. 


Of persons, places and organizations mentioned. (Con.) indicates Confed 
erate, (n) reference to notes. Numbers indicate pages. 


Acquia Creek, 106 

Acquia Creek Railroad, 42, 116 

Adams, Private, 106 

Adrian, Peter, 313 

Alabama, 13th Reg. (Con.) 85 

Aldie Gap, 154 

Alexandria, 36, 37 

Allen, W. VV. 13n 

Anderson, Major, 115 

Anderson, Miss, 16 

Anderson, Private, 168 

Andrews, Dr. A. D , 107, 115, 129 

Andrews, Mrs. E. B., 10 

Angle, The Bloody, 94, 255n, 267, 

268, 269 
Antietam, Battle of, 53, 8897, 100, 

102, 107, 128, 183, 187, 205, 214, 

240, 313, 314, 318 

Babcock, Serg. Maj. Cuyler, 291, 292, 

300, 307, 310 
Bachelle, Captain Werner Von, 13, 

93, 98, 99 

Bachmau, Lieut. Col. A. F., 92 
Bailey s Cross Roads, Review at, 28, 


Bakersvffle, Md., 101, 102, 103 
Balfour, Captain, 8 
Baltimore, 16, 17, 19, 145 
Baltimore Turnpike, 179 
Ball, Edward, 3(5 
Balls Cross Roads, 34 
Banks, General, 45, 55 
Banta," 110 
Barcus, Thomas, 94 
Barnesville, 156 
Bartlett, Dr. 0. F., 13, 101, 102 
Bates, Colonel, 90, 265 
Battery B, 4th TJ. S. Artillery, 43, 

60, 66, 73, 81, 91, 95, 173, 175 
Battery, Carpenter s, (Con.), (55 
Batterv, Gerrish s, 53n 
Battery, Hall s, 165, 166, 170 


Antietam Creek, 86, 87, 153 

Antietam Turnpike, 95 

Appomattox, 304, 311 

Arlington Cemetery, 316 

Arlington Heights, 25, 29, 30, 32, 36 

Arlington House, 33, 35, 36 

Army, Lee s, (Con.) 109n, 171, 175, 
198, 244, 263 

Army of the Potomac, 24, 30, 36, 37, 
58n, 69, 76, 78, 79, 100, 104, 105, 
109n, 118, 119, 123, 124, 125, 126, 
127, 128, 132, 145, 149, 153, 160, 
185, 186, 201, 250, 263, 278, 301 

Army, Sherman s, 281 

Army of Virginia, (Pope s), 69, 78 

Archer, General, (Con.), 166n 

Arnold, J. Middleton, 237 

Atwood, Lieut. Col. J. P., 13n, 24 

Battery, Huntington s 1st Ohio, 197 
Battery, Captain Mink s, 276 
Battery, Pogue s, (Con.), 65 
Battery, Simmon s Ohio, 80, 85 
Battery, W coding s, (Con.), 65 
Battle Hymn of the Republic, 29n 
Beauregard, General, 23 
Bealton Station, 152 
Beech, Surgeon J. H., 272 
Beely, Lieut. John, 170n, 171n, 172n, 

276, 303n 
Belle Plaine, 95, 115, 116, 117, 118, 

119, 123, 129, 130, 132, 135, 228, 

254, 256 

Benson, Wesley, 287, 288, 289 
Bentley, Captain E., 226n 
Berdan s Sharpshooters, 266, 276 
Berlin, 188 
Bethesda Church, Battle of, 279, 280, 


Beverly Ford, 193, 195, 222, 223 
Bickelhaupt, William, 72 
Bickerdyke, Mrs., 287 
Biddle . Colonel, 173n 


Bird, George W., 9 

Birdeall, Samuel, 27 

Blackman, Dr. George C., 311, 312 

Blair, Major J. A., (Con.), 158n, 1GO, 
161, 169, 183 

Blenker, General, 27 

Bode, Lieutenant, 89, 98 

Boonesboro, 86, 185 

Bowling Green Eoad, 53, 111, 112, 

Bradford, Hill, 205 

Bragg, General Edward S., 13, 15, 
20, 25, 32, 39, 49, 54, 57, 61, 62, 63, 
67n, 71, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78n, 82, 83, 
84, 85n, 89, 93, 96, 98, 99, 103, 105, 
106, 108, 110, 114, 115, 129, 130, 
131, 132, 135, 136. 137, 138, 139, 
146, 147, 149, 185, 189, 193, 201, 
202, 204, 214, 216, 221, 222, 227, 
232, 237, 240, 241, 243, 244, 246, 
249, 251, 253, 255, 257, 259, 260, 
261, 263, 266, 267, 272, 279, 283, 
284, 285, 291, 293, 297, 304, 306, 
307, 309, 310, 311 

Bragg, General, (Con.), 210 

Brandy Station, 194. 212, 222 

Brent, Dr. C. P., 286n 

Brentsville, 217, 221 

Bridgeport, Alabama, 233 

Brigade, Archer s, (Con ), 165, 171 

Brigade, Augur s, 35, 40 

Brigade, Baker s, 28 

Brigade, Baylor s, (Con.), 65, 66 

Brigade, Cutler s, 165, 166, 167, 171, 
172, 174 

Brigade, J. R. Davis , (Con.), 165, 

Brigade, Doubleday s, 59, 66, 67 

Brigade, Early s, (Con.), 65, 66 

Brigade, Gibbon s, 40, 43, 45, 51, 53, 
56, 57, 59, 60, 65, 70, 78, 79, 80, 85, 
87, 92, 104, 105, 109, 146, 225 

Brigade, Gregg s, Con.), 314 

Brigade, Hatch s, 59 

Brigade, Hood s Texas, (Con.), 91n, 

Brigade, Iron, 25n, 45, 53, 96, 109n, 
110, 112, 131, 139n, 153, 164, 165, 
166n, 171, 174, 175, 179, 191, 197, 

201, 202, 203, 205, 206n, 214. 21 9n, 

227, 231, 232, 247, 253, 259, 261, 

264, 266, 267, 269, 272, 274, 275, 

276, 277, 290, 291, 306, 309, 318 
Brigade, Junior Bucktails, 174, 175, 

257, 263, 266, 267 
Brigade, King s, 35 
Brigade, Law s, (Con.), 91n, 95 
Brigade, Lawton s, (Con.) 65, 66 
Brigade, Lightburn s, (15th Corps), 


Brigade, Patrick s, 57, 59, 66, 68, 70 
Brigade, Starke s, (Con.), 65, 66 
Brigade, Second, (4th Div.), 276 
Brigade, Taliaferro s, (Con.), 59, 65, 


Brigade, Trimble s, (Con.), 65, 66 
Brigade, Wadsworth s, 35 
Briggs, General H. S., 190, 193, 198, 

200, 201 

Bristoe Station, 37, 39, 213, 217, 218 
Broad Run, 154, 155, 214 
Brockenbrough, Mrs., 121 
Brock Road, 263 
Brooklyn, 14th Regiment, 38, 60, 90, 

102, 136, 161, 163, 165, 167, 173, 

182, 216, 223, 246 
Brooks, Adjutant E. P., 54n, 58n, 61, 

84, 148, 152n, 169, 170, 180n, 207, 

220, 242, 247, 276, 294, 295n, 300 
Brooks Station, 107 
Brough, Governor, 243 
Brown, Captain E. A., 13, 31, 32, 35, 

49, 57, 88. 98, 99n 
Brown, Ralph, 32 
Buckland s Mills, 59, 21 4n, 215 
Buford, General, 164, 194n, 212 
Bull Run, 59, 69, 75, 149, 151, 214, 

Bull Run, Second Battle of, 53, 70 

75, 187, 213, 318 
Bull, Norman S., 251n 
Bundy, Christ., 317 
Burchell, Natha-u, 314 
Burns, John, 164 
Burnside, General, 94, 105, 107, 108, 

114, 115, 116, 118, 243 
Butler, General, 278 


Cake, Dr. W. M., 286n 

Callis, Lieut. Colonel John B., 78n, 

81, 85n, 96n, 159n 
Camp Atwood, 18 
Camp Cutler, 16 
Camp Lyon, 24 

Camp Randall, 11, 15 

Campbell, Lieutenant, Win. S., 170n, 


Carl s Bridge, 54 
Carroll, Colonel S. S., 266 
Carter; Lieutenant Colonel B. F., 


(Con.), 96n 

Cashtown Turnpike, 167, 174 
Catlett s Station, 39, 45, 46, 218 
Cedar Mountain, 55, 56, 204 
Cemetery Hill. (Gettysburg), 176, 

177, 178, 179, 180, 181 
Centreville, 36, 38, 58, 59, 75, 151, 

211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 217, 232 
Chain Bridge, 22, 23, 24, 25n 
Chamberlain, George E., 46n 
Chancellorsville, Battle of, 137139, 

187, 226 

Chandler, Captain, 32 
Chantilly, Battle of, 75 
Chapman, Surgeon C. B., 13n 
Chapman, Lieutenant 0. D., 168, 

170n, 180n 

Charleston, (S. C.), 296 
Chase, Salmon P., 270, 271 
Chattanooga, 208, 209, 289 
Chickahominy, 284, 285, 290 
Chickamanga, 208 

Christian Commission, 241, 256, 294 
City Point, 308, 310 
Clark, Kev. L. F., 240, 241 
Clark s Mountain, 211 
Clary C. H., 251n 
Cobb, Amasa, 21, 24 
Cochran, Kev. Warren, 245, 283, 285, 


Coffin, C. C., 258n 
Cold Harbor, Battle of, 94, 187, 279, 

280, 280-284, 285, 294 
Colquitt, Col. A. H., (Con.) 85 
Columbia College, 19 
Col well, Capt. Wilson, 81 
Company A, (6th Wis.), 12, 18, 83, 

103, 170n, 264, 283, 292, 313 
Company B, 13, 18, 27, 57, 81, 103, 

161, 170n, ISOn, 251, 310, 313 
Company C, 13, 23, 26, 63, 92, 103, 

106, 110, 152n, 155, 168, 170n, 251, 

265, 277, 310, 313 
Company D, 26, 94, 103, 168, 170n, 

283, 314 
Company E, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25, 26, 39, 

57, 63n, 88, 103, 122, 168, 170n, 

264, 313 
Company F, 13, 72, 89, 93, 103, 170, 

180n, 265, 313, 314 
Company G, 26, 103, 170n, 261, 296, 

297, 301, 302, 309 
Company H, 13, 103, 161, 168, 170n, 

228, 267 
Company I, 23, 26, 56 72, 84, 88, 94, 

103, 112, 113, 155, 161, 168, 170n, 

180n, 259, 261, 297n, 314 

Company K, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 25, 
26, 31, 32, 36, 39, 45, 71, 81, 103, 
170n, 203, 264,^266, 272, 306, 314 

Cone Riyer, 120 

Converse, Lieutenant James L., 26, 
170n, 253, 261, 296 

Converse, Captain Rollin P., 81, 93, 
98, 170, 180n, 251, 253, 259, 260 

Cooper, John, 134n 

Corps, 1st Army, 78, 87, 116, 131, 
139, 145, 146, 158, 162, 164, 172n 
175n, 176, 219, 220, 222, 225, 226, 
230, 239, 240, 306 

Corps, 2nd Army, 203, 204, 213, 219, 
227, 230, 258, 261, 262 

Corps, 3rd Army, 182, 219, 222 

Corps, 5th Army, 138, 239, 240, 250, 
256, 258, 259, 261, 263, 269, 275, 
278n, 291, 299, 318 

Corps, 6th Army, 147, 149, 222, 267 

Corps, 8th Army, 145 

Corps, 9th Army, 243, 247, 256 

Corps, llth Army, 137, 172n, 176, 
179, 210 

Corps, 12th Army, 181, 182, 208, 210 

Corps, 15th Army, 281 

Corps, EwelPs, (Con.) 174, 176, 213, 
227, 314 

Corps, Fitz John Porter s, 69 

Corps, Hill s, (Con.), 174, 261, 275 

Corps, Longstreet s, (Con.), 73, 274 

Corps, McDowell s, 37n, 45, 46n, 78 

Corps, Sherman s 233 

Corps, Stonewall Jackson s, (Con.), 
55, 58, 70, 95 

Couch, General, 138 

Covington, Lieutenant George B., 

Crane, Surgeon C. H., 271 

Crane, Lieut. John, 8, 13, 25n, 26 

Cresson, 16 

Crounse, L. L., 94 

Cub Run, 75 

Culpepper, 191 194n, 203, 205, 206, 207, 
208, 211, 212, 214, 234, 235, 236, 238, 
240, 241, 242, 243, 245, 247, 249 

Gulps Hill, (Gettysburg), 160, 171, 
179, 180, 182, 204 

Cutler, General Lysander, 12, 13, 18, 
20, 26, 27, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 43, 49, 
50, 53, 54, 55n, 58, 60, 61, 62, 77, 
98, 101, 104, 105, 109, 112, 113, 119, 
129, 130, 171n, 183n, 189, 194, 198, 
200, 202, 208, 216, 219n, 220n, 221, 
222, 223, 224n, 234. 238, 240, 257, 
262n, 263n, 267n, 274, 276, 284, 291, 
294, 298, 300, 318 


Cutler, W. P. Hon., 7n, 34, 36, 107, 114, 115, 118, 119, 123, 191, 250 


Daily, Major, D. B., 121, 311 

Dallas, Georgia, Battle of, 281n, 286 

Davies, Major H. W., 54, 55n 

Davies, Colonel J. Mansfield, 54 

Davis, General Joseph R., (Con.), 
170, 183n 

Davis, Colonel P. S., 21 8n 

Dawes, Colonel E. C., 8, 31n, 40, 105, 
154, 196, 233, 244, 263, 281, 285, 
286, 287, 288, 289, 311, 312, 313 

Dawes, Henry, 270, 271 

Dawes, Hon. H. L., 34 

Dawes, General R. R., 8, 10, 11, 13n, 
49, 54, 55n, 114, 115, 124n, 129, 140, 
152n, 159n, 161, 173n, 180n, 181, 
182, 183n, 196, 202, 218n, 226n, 250, 
251, 252, 253, 256, 259, 270, 271, 
272, 273, 299, 300, 303, 304, 311 

Dawes, Captain Wm. J., 239 

Deep Run, 151, 152 

Dernpsey, M., 256 

Dill, Colonel D. J., 13,49,236 

Division, Crawford s, 306 

Division, Doubleday s, 87 

Division, Swell s, (Con.), 59, 65, 66 

Division, 4th, (5th Corps), 240, 248, 
250, 257, 259, 260, 261 262, 274, 284, 

Division, Franklin s, (Grand), 37, 
107, 109, 110 

Division, Gibbon s, 110 

Edgell, Lieutenant, 53n, 54 
Edwards, Dr., 288 
Edwards Ferry, 156 
Eggleston, Corporal, 168 
Eggleston, Lieutenant, George D., 


Ellis, Lieutenant, Arthur C., 58n 
Ely, Captain, 92 

Division, Griffin s, 275, 276 

Division, Hatch s, 78, 80 

Division, Gen. Edward Johnson s, 

(Con.), 255n 

Division, Kearney s, 58n 
Division, King s, 37, 46n, 51, 55, 56, 

59, 70 

Division, McDowell s, 25, 28, 33, 35n 
Division, McCall s, 37 
Division, Meade s, 110 
Division, Pennsylvania Reserves, 87, 

266. 279, 280 

Division, 2nd, (5th Corps), 264 
Division, 2nd, (15th Corps), 281 
Division, Shield s, 45 
Division, Steinwehr s, 178 
Division, Stonewall Jackson s, (Con.) 

65, 66, 95 
Division, Wadsworth s, 146, 153, 161, 

164, 165, 166, 318 
Dix, General John A., 19 
Doubleday, General Abner, 51, 62, 

67, 87, 92, 93, 96n, 101, 109n, 112n, 

113, 115, 161, 165, 166, 172, 183n 
Dow, General Neal, 247 
Dudley, Lieut. Col.Wm.W., 92, 96n, 

Dunkard Church, (Antietam), 90, 


Dunn, Harry, 228 
Dwight, Lieut. Col. Walton, 218n 


Emancipation Proclamation, 126, 

230, 231 

Emmitsburg, 157, 158, 161 
Eminittsburg Road, 164 
Emmons., A. G. 32 
Evans, Sergeant William, 159, 161, 

170, 172n 
Ewell, Gen. (Con.) 66, 68, 213, 258 


Fairchild, Gen. Lucius, 48, 62, 74, 
78n, 85n, 109n, 120, 121, 159n, 
166n, 201, 217, 237, 300 

Fairfax Court House, 36, 37, 75 

Fairfax Seminary, 37 

Fairfield, Sergeant, Geo. 265 

Falmouth, 40 

Fenton, Lawson, 283, 316 

Fenton, R. C., 34 

Fine, Rudolph, 75 

Finnicum, Major Mark, 159n 

Fitch, Lieutenant, Michael H., 27 
Fitz, Hugh s Crossing, Battle of, 136, 

137, 187, 313 
Five Forks, 313, 314 
Flannagin, Lieut. Colonel, 159n 
Fletcher, Abe, 46 
Fletcher, Sergeant, 232 
Flynn, Major Patrick, 287 
Ford, Capt. Chas. H., 143, 144, 170n, 

Fowler, Colonel E. B., 167n, 173n, 



Fowler, Sergeant A., 313 
Fox, Col. W. F. (Statistics) 318, 319 
Franklin, General W. B., 106 
Frederick City, 78, 79, 157 
Frederickflburgh, 40, 44, 45, 47, 48, 

50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 106, 108, 138, 139, 

147, 149, 214, 220, 252, 254, 255, 

256, 257, 258, 278 
Fredericksburgh, Battle of, 94, 108- 

113, 128, 135, 144, 187 
Frederick s Hall Raid, 46, 53-55 
Frederick s Hall Station, 54, 55 
Funkstown, 186 


Gaby, William D., 288 

Gaines Farm. 284 

Gainesville, 59, 215 

Gainesville, Battle of, 53, 60-68, 70, 

74n, 95, 187, 214, 220n, 313 
Gary, Lieutenant Colonel, M. W., 

(Con.) 96n 
Gates, Beman, 237, 250, 251, 252, 

254, 256, 258, 277 
Gates, Charles B., 192, 249, 253, 284, 


Gates, Miss M. B., 140, 162, 237 
Gaubatz, Philip, 258 
Geary, General John W., 183 
Georgetown Hospital, 251 
Georgia, 6th Regiment, 85 
Georgia, 13th Regiment, 311 
Georgia, 23rd Regiment, 85 
Georgia, 26th Regiment. 85 
Georgia, 28th Regiment, 85 
Gettysburg, 95, 153, 158, 161, 164, 

171, 176, 180, 186, 195, 240 
Gettysburg, Battle of, 151, 158-186, 

187, 188, 192, 196, 215, 306, 313, 

314, 316, 318 

Germania Ford, 226, 250 
Gibbon, General John, 43, 44, 49, 50, 

53, 54, 60, 63, 67, 68, 71, 72, 81, 83, 

84, 91, 92, 96n, 105, 106 
Goltermann, Lieutenant Wrn., 170, 

180n, 265, 303 
Gordonsville, 52 
Gorman, General, 84 
Gotsch, Sergeant Leo, 313 
Graetz, Lieut. Oscar, 170n, 253, 265 
Grant, General U. S., 238, 239, 240 

241, 250, 256, 258, 278, 290, 294 

295n, 308 

Gravelly Run, 318 
Gray, Richard, 316 
Green, Dr. J. H., 289 
Greene, General Geo. S., 181, 183 
Griggs, Cassius, 46n 
Grover, Colonel Ira B., 247, 259, 260 
Guilford, 156 
Guinea s Station, 274 


Hagerstown, 186, 187 

Hall, Captain, 170 

Hall, Dr. John C., 104, 108, 114, 115, 

122, 132, 148, 176n, 195, 196, 200 

204, 205, 216, 229, 241, 298, 302, 

303, 309 

Hamilton, Lieutenant Colonel, 62 
Hamilton s Heights, 111 
Hancock, Gen. W. S., 24, 255n, 290 
Hanover Town, 278 
Hardaway, Capt. R. A., (Con.) 112 
Harper s Ferry, 16, 79, 214, 284 
Hare, Frank, 313 
Harries, Lieutenant Wm. H., 266 
Harris, Ira, 53n 
Harris, Lieut. L. G., 26, 152n, 165, 

166n, 170, 171n, 303n 
Harrisburg, 16 
Harris Store, 274 
Hart, Captain, 143 
Hart, Corporal J. E., 264 
Haskell, Colonel Frank A., 11, 12, 

13, 20, 21, 23, 25, 49, 50, 128 

Hatch, General J. P., 60, 67n, 76, 78, 

Hatcher s Run, 313, 314, 318 

Haupt, Herman, 43 

Hauser, Major J. F., 13, 49, 129, 144, 
151, 152n, 159n, 169, 170, 180n 198, 
227, 232, 238, 242 

Hayes, Lieutenant Colonel Ruther 
ford B., 80 

Haymarket, 214, 216, 220 

Heathville, 120, 121 

Hendrick, Ed., 34 

Heth, General Henry, (Con.) 171 n, 

Hickenlooper, General Andrew, 43 

Hickok, Corporal Wm., 277 

Hill, General A. P. (Con.) 147, 183n 

Hoffman, Colonel J. W., 218n, 276 

Hollenger Family, 172n 

Holman, Mr., 34 

Hood, General J. B., (Con.) 96u 

Hooe, Capt. A. S., 13n, 32, 35, 49, 92 

Hooker, General Joseph, 74, 78, 80, 


85, 86, 96, 118, 119, 120n, 125, 126, 
129, 132, 138, 142, 148, 149, 151, 
155, 157, 209, 210 
Howe, Mrs. Julia Ward, 29 
Hughes, Captain Robert, 266 
Huntington, Captain, 202 

Indiana, 7th Kegiment, 180, 247, 259, 

260, 261 
Indiana, 19th Regiment, 25, 48, 59, 


Huntington, Lieutenant Howard J., 
89, 90, 120, 121, 139, 170n, 283, 
297n, 303n 

Hutchins, Capt. Wm., 305, 307, 310 
Hyatt, Captain Chas. P., 57, 93, 170n, 
180n, 267, 306, 307 

Jackson, Moses, 315 

Jackson, Mrs., 315 

Jackson, General Stonewall, (Con.), 

45, 47, 51, 55, 59, 65, 66, 68, 69, 79, 

Jackson, William, 55, 109, 152, 155, 

200, 201, 221, 238, 242, 277, 284, 

292, 298, 314, 315 
"Jake," 38, 39 
James River, 290 
Jefferson, (Md.), 156 
Jericho Ford, 274 
Jericho Ford, Battle of, 275-277, 278, 


60, 63, 64, 66, 74n, 78u, 80, 81, 86, 
92, 97, 113, 143, 157, 159n, 165, 184, 
276, 277, 279 


Jerusalem Plank Road, 310 
Johnson, Governor Andrew, 126 
Johnson, Lieutenant A. J., 13n, 25n 
Johnson, Lieut. Jerome B., 63n, 98 
Johnston, General Jos. E., (Con.), 


Johnson, Mrs., 287 
Johnson, Captain Leonard, 13, 25n 
Jones, Colonel, 281, 286n 
Jones, E. C., 122, 123, 223 
Jones, General J. R., (Con.), 96n 
Jones, Lieutenant Meredith, 166 
Jordon, Lieut. Colonel, 217, 218 
Juneau, County of, 5, 272 


Kalorama, 19, 22 

Kanouse, T. D., 20 

Kearny, General Philip, 74, 75 

Keedysville, 86, 87 

Kellogg, General John A., 6, 8, 13n, 
18, 26, 32, 35, 56, 84, 88, 90, 93, 94, 
113, 129, 171n, 253, 259, 261, 272, 
285, 295, 296, 304, 310, 311 

Kelly, Dennis, 316 

Kelly, Isaiah F., 225n 

Kelly, Corporal James, 161 

Kelly, Judge W. D., 114 

Kelly s Ford, 211, 212, 225, 227, 229, 

230, 232, 233 
Kent, Captain Lewis A., 261, 296, 

297, 301, 303 
Kerr, Major Thomas, 27, 168, 170n, 

305, 310, 311 
Kilmartin, John, 227 
Kilpatrick, General Judson, 54, 55, 

215, 220, 222 
King, General Rufus, 19, 20, 27, 36, 

39, 49, 65, 67, 73 
King George Court House, 143 
Kingston, (Georgia), 281, 287 
Klein, Sergeant, 232 

Lacy House, (Wilderness), 261 
Lair, Dr. J. A , 286n 
Lampe, Charles, 72 
Landrum House, 269 
Langworthy s Hall, 6 

Laurel Hill, 253n, 258, 264, 265, 

266, 269, 285, 306, 314 
Law, Col. E. M., (Con.), 96n 
Lawrence, William, 84n 
Lee, Fitz Hugh, (Con.), 215 
Lee, Col. John C., 117 
Lee, Gen. Robert E., (Con.), 33, 56, 

69, 86, 100, 111, 145, 154, 155, 185, 

192, 193, 198, 213, 219, 258 

Leesburg, 152, 154 

Lemans, Sergeant Jacob, 313 

Lemonweir Minute Men, 6, 10 

Leonard, Col. S. H., 218n 

Lewis, Governor, 247 

Lewis, Hugh, 64n 

Lewis, Lieut. J. D., 13, 25n 

Libby Prison, 220, 247 

Lincoln, Abraham, 5, 7, 19, 30, 45, 

76, 100, 105, 118, 126, 131n, 146, 

230, 249, 309 
Lindley, Maj., 159n 
Lindwurm, Captain W. H., 13, 25n 
Linsley, Captain, 48 


Lisbon, 78 

Lockwood, Captain H. C., 216n 

Locust Grove, 227 

Long, Representative, 246 

Longstreet, Gen. (Con.), 180, 210 

251n, 202 

Lowrance, Col. W. J., (Con.), 175n 
Lyons, Lord, 37 


Macon Georgia, (Military Prison), 

295, 296 
Madison, 11 
Mahone, GeneraJ 302 
Malloy, Captain, A. G., 12, 13 
Maloney, Patrick, 166n 
Manassas, 36, 58n, 64, 65,. 67, 68, 69, 

151. 212, 222 

Mangan, Lieut. Michael, 170n 
Mansfield, Maj. John, 120, 159n, 183n 
Marietta, 7n, 9n, 10, 124, 191, 192, 

224, 236, 237, 238 

Marsh, Captain J. F., 13, 27, 64, 98 
Marsh Creek, 157, 188 
Marston, Captain J. H., 13, 168, 170n, 


Marten, Lieut., 164, 165 
Martindale, General J. H., 226n 
Mason, Isaac N., 13 
Massachusetts, 12th Reg t., 190, 265 
Massachusetts, 13th Reg t., 218n 
Massachusetts, 14th Regiment, 21 
Massachusetts, 15th Regiment, 21, 28 
Massachusetts, 39th Regiment, 21 8n 
Massaponax River, 110, 112 
Mataponv River, 274 
Mauston, 6, 7, 10 
Mauston Star, 272, 273 
M Cauley, Lieutenant P. H., 13, 25n 
M Clellan, General George B, 19, 

21, 23, 24, 28, 30, 33, 37, 76, 79, 83, 

85, 100, 105. 107, 114, 118, 119, 240, 

309, 317 

M Clellan, Captain, 102, 103 
M Cunn, Judge, 246 
M Dowell, General Irvin, 25, 27, 28, 

36, 37, 45, 46, 51, 59, 68, 69, 81, 219 
M Parlin, Surgeon Thomas A., 271 
M Pherson Woods, 164, 171, 174 
Meade, General George G , 157, 158, 

160, 186, 187, 192, 196, 202, 212, 213, 

217, 219, 225, 230, 232, 240, 299 
Merchant, Lieutenant H. B., 170n, 

303, 308 
Meredith, General Solomon, 27, 78n, 

85n, 107, 108, 109n, 112, 132n, 136n, 

153, 157, 164, 166, 179 
Meredith, Colonel S. A., 68 
Meredian Hill, 21 
Merrill, Emory, 206 
Merrill, Lawson, 206 
Messenger s Ford, 196 
Michigan, 24th Reg t., 101, 105, 112, 

134, 135, 136, 138, 159n, 165, 184, 


Middleburg, 189, 191 
Middleton, 79, 80, 156 
Milhau, Surg j on J. J., 271 
Miller, Captain, 102 
Miller, David R., SSn 
Mills, Simeon, 14 
Milwaukee, 16, 236, 237, 23S 
Milwaukee Light Infantry, 236 
Milwaukee Zouaves, 12 
Mine Explosion, 302 
Mine Run, 224, 227,230 
Mink. Captain, 276 
"Mink," 48, 200 
Mississippi, 2nd Reg t., 95. 158, 159, 

160, 161, 169, 170, 173, 180n, 183 
Mitchell s Ford, 225, 227 
Montague, Lieutenant G. L., 13, 25n 
Monteith, R , 303 
Montgomery Hall, 23 
Morgan, General John (Con.), 191, 


Morrisonville, 222 
Morrow, Colonel Henry A., 101, 112, 

134, 143, 159n, 183n 
Morton s Ford, 208, 209, 211 
Mosby, Colonel J. S., (Con.), 189, 

199, 220, 147 

Mossee, VJr., 241, 247, 248 
Mount Pleasant, 53 
Mountain Run, 227 
Mulleter, Paul, 316 
Munson s Hill, 23, 34 
Muster Roll of Company K., 17n, 



Nashville, 289 

Nazro, Captain, 236 

New Baltimore, 59 

Newton, General John, 189, 190, 202, 

209, 214, 215, 216, 224, 243 
New York, 2nd Reg t., 21, 84, 85 
New York, 24th Reg t., 102 
New York, 69th Reg t., 21 


New York, 76th Reg t., 62, 66, 68, North Anna River, 54, 270, 274, 275> 

165, 220n 276, 277, 278, 279 

New York, 79th Reg t., 21 North Anna, Battle of, 277, 278, 294 

New York, 95th Reg t., 68, 161, 168, Northern Neck, 143 

165. 167, 173, 218 Northumberland County Raid, 120- 

New York, 147th Reg t., 165 123 

New York, 91st Heavy Artillery, 311 Northrup, Captain M. A., 13, 25n 

New York Herald, 94 Noyes, Captain D. K., 13, 83, 87, 98, 

Nichols, Dr. H. W., 286n 232 

Nichol, Lieut. John, 13, 25n Ny River, 269 


Ohio, 23rd Reg t., 80 O Neill, Mayor, 237 

Ohio, 53rd Reg t., 281, 286 Orange and Alexandria Railroad, 

Ohio, 55th Reg t ,117, 118 193, 219, 222, 236 

Ohio, 73rd Reg t , 178 Orange Court House, 52 

Ohio, 148th Reg t., 249 O Rourke, Capt. John, 13, 25n 

"Old Mat," 110 Orr, Capt.. 276 

O Neal, Larry, 283 Osborne, Col., 242, 246 


Pamunky River, 279 Pittsburg Landing, Battle of, 39 

Patrick, Gen., 67 Plank Road, (Wilderness), 262n 

Patterson Park, 16, 18, 19 Ping Uglies, 17, 18 

Pattison, Capt A B., 299 Plummer, Major P. W., 13, 23, 26, 

Paxton, Miss Saliie, 172n 54. 93, 223. 242, 247, 249, 251, 253, 

Pearson, Jesse, 292 259, 260, 279, 295 

Pearson, Levi, 292, 316 Plurnrner, Captain T. W., 13, 152n, 

Pears* n , W m . , 292 279, 303n 

Pelouz, Louis H., 271 Po River, 274 

Pendieton, Col Edmund (Con)., 96n Poffenberger s House, (Antietam), 

Pendleton, Jack, 234 92, <):; 

Pennsylvania College, 176, 177 Poo sville, 156 

Pennsylvania, 8th Reg t. (Reserves), Pope, General, 51, 52, 53, 55, 58n, 66, 

280n 76 

Pennsylvania, 32nd Rog t , 21 Potomac Creek, 42, 44 

Pennsylvania, 56th Reg t , 62, 66, 68, Potomac River, 22, 115, 120, 156, 157, 

165/197, 218n, 219n 186. 188 

Pennsylvania, 83rd Reg t., 276 Port Royal, 134 

Pennsylvania, 149th Reg t., 174, 218n Preston, Dr. A. W., 13, 115, 134, 137, 

262 140, 141, 170, 196, 203, 251, 302 

Pennsylvania, 150th Reg t., 218n Pruyn, Lieutenant Howard F., 55, 

Pennsylvania, 167th Reg t., 194 93, 170n, 253, 264 

Pennsylvania, 188th Reg t, 293 Pryor, General Roger A., (Con.), 

Perrin, Colonel Abuer. (Con.), 175n 205, 207 

Petersburg, Siege of, 290-303, 313, Pye, Major Edward, 167, 168, 183n, 

314 218 
Pickett, General, (Con.), 160, 182 


Quaw, Captain David L., 16, 26, 31, 43, 71 


Racine, 16 Rappahannock River, 40, 44, 56, 58, 

Raccoon Ford, 211 108, 109, 112, 116, 117, 135, 136, 

Randall, Governor, 9, 202 142, 146, 147, 187. 195, 197, 198, 

Rapidan River, 208, 211, 213, 219, 199, 203, 212, 219, 222, 225 

222, 225, 227, 250 Rappahannock Station, 200, 201, 226 


Reader, Lieut. William A., 26, 31 
"Remington, Capt. Wm. N., 169, 170n, 

171n, 172n, 253, 264, 265, 272, 

303n, 306 
Resaca, 281 , 288 
Reynolds, General John F., 67, 101, 

136n, 153, 162, 165, 166. 219 
Revels, Wm. J., 314 
Rice, Gen. J. C M 200, 201, 202, 216, 

218n, 249 
Richardson, Captain Hollon, 51, 82, 

174., 220n 

Ricketts, General, 105 
Richmond, 41, 44, 45, 76, 238, 240, 

278, 279, 282, 290 
Riley, William, 55, 56, 57, 69 

Salem Church, 138 

Salomon, Governor Edward, 50, 237 

" Sam," 148 

Sanitary Commission, 251, 256, 287 

Scales, Gen. A. M. (Con.), 175n 

Schumacher, Lieut. F., 13n 

Sears, William, 51 

Sedgwick, General, 138, 139, 214 

Selleck, W. Y., 251, 252, 253, 258 

Seminary Ridge, (Gettysburg), 164, 
173, 174, 175, 176 

Serrill, Lieutenant H., 13, 31 

Seward, Secretary W. H., 6n, 27 

Seymour, Horatio, 106 

Sharpsburg, 86, 96, 99, 100, 101 

Sharpsburg and Hagerstown Turn 
pike, 87, 88, 94, 95 

Shenandoah Valley, 45 

Sherman, Corporal, 94 

Shiloh, Battle of, 40 

Shippen, Captain, 276 

Showalter, Lieut. Levi, 165, 166n, 

Sickles, General, 180 

Slaughter Family, 205, 206. 207 

Smith, Honorable Caleb, 27 

Smith, Dr., 120, 121. 122 

Smith, Hadyn K , 286, 287, 288, 289 

Smith, R. N., (Drum Major), 164, 

Snicker s Gap, 104 

Snyder, Sergeant Nicholas, 267 

South Mountain, 79, 80, 85, 156, 157, 

Robertson s Tavern, 230 
Robinson, General John C., 264 
Robinson, Colonel W. W., 136n, 153, 

159n, 174, 176n, 183n, 264, 267, 275, 

276, 283 

Rock Creek, (Gettysburg), 180, 181ii 
Rockville, 78 
Roddis, Mr., 237 
Rogers, Lieut. Clayton E., 26, 43, 

112, 113, 114, 135, 144, 150, 171n, 

176, 179 
Rogers, Lieut. Earl M, 113, 114, 

170n, 262, 297n, 303n 
Rosecrans, General, 208, 210 
Rosser, Colonel T. L. (Con.), 224, 

225, 226 


South Mountain, Battle of, 53, 80-84, 

85n, 97n, 128, 187, 313, 314, 318 
Spear, Corporal Dugald, 314 
Spottsylvania, Battle of, 94, 187, 250, 

256, 258, 265, 267-273, 277, 278, 

285, 294, 297, 313, 318 
Spottsylvania Court House, 53, 253n, 

254, 255, 257, 263, 264, 270, 274 
Sprague, Albert P., 251n 
Stan ton, Secretary E. M., 45, 77 
Staples, Chaplain N. A., 13 
Steadman, Levi, 168 
Stegman, Captain Lewis R , 183n 
Steinmetz, Henry, 314 
St. Stephens Chapel, 39, 40 
Stevensburgh, 212, 222, 225, 242 
Stevens, Lieut. Col G. H , 159n 
Stevens, Hon. Thaddeus, 118 
Stewart, Lieutenant James, 73, 81, 

132n, 175 
Stone, Colonel J. M., (Con.), 158, 

169n, 182, 183 
Stone, Colonel Roy, 174 
Stringfellow s Ford, 211 
Stuart, General J. E. B., (Con.), 53, 

54, 58n, 110 
Sudley Springs, 69 
Sullivan, James.P., 47, 314 
Sumner, General, 84 
Sumpter, Fort, 5, 115 
Sweet, Lieutenant Colonel B. J., 13, 

24, 37, 49, 50 


Taliaferro, General, (Con.), 66, 68 
Talty, Hugh,. 47 
Tarbell, Colonel, 311 
Taylor, Chas. M., 46n 

Telegraph Road, 53, 274 
Temple, Silas W., 46n 
Tester, Lieutenant J. T., 13n 
Thomas, Lieutenant F. C., 13n 


Thomas, Captain W. R., 313 
Thornburg, 274 

Thoroughfare Gap, 215, 216, 217 
Ticknor, Captain John, 26, 29, 81, 

89, 98, 167, 170n, 180n 
Timmons, Lieutenant John, 170n, 

253, 265, 297, 301, 302, 303, 305, 

307, 309, 310 

Todd s Tavern, 264 

Tomlinson, Bob., 214 

Towle, John K., 46n 

Trumbull, Hoel, 50 

Turner, Capt. I. N. M., (Con.), 96n 

Turner, John, 8 

Turner s Gap, 80 

Tyler, General, 258 


United States Ford, 139 
Upham, Lieut. Lyman B., 31, 93 

Vallandigham, Mr., 155, 192, 216 
Van Dor, Colonel, 25 
Vicksburg, 144, 163, 196 

Upton s Hill, 75, 76, 78 
Utley, William L., 8 


Vilas, Lieutenant Colonel William 
F., 9, 49, 50, 207 


Wadsworth, General James S., 26, 
115, 129, 130, 135, 136n, 144, 153, 
171n, 173, 175, 176, 179, 183n, 239, 
240, 242, 245, 249, 250, 251n, 257, 

Wainwright, Colonel W. P., 68 

Waller, Frank Asbury, 161,169, 170, 

Walker, Francis A., 203n 

Ward, Surgeon A. J., 63n 

Warren, General G. K., 213, 219, 
239, 240, 243, 245, 266 

Warrenton, 47, 58, 59, 105, 191, 192, 
193, 214, 222 

Warrenton Turnpike, 59, 66, 69, 70, 

Washington, 19, 30, 33, 34, 51, 75, 
77, 78, 128, 149, 154, 159, 225, 226, 
252, 290, 301, 305, 311, 316, 318 

Waterford, 188 

Watrous, Captain Jerome A., 304 

Watson, W. H., 10, 11 

Weldon Eoad, Battle of, 292, 301, 
305, 306, 307, 308, 310, 313, 314 

Welsh, Major M. C., 299 

W T est Point, 278 

Whaley, Major Edward A., 313 

Whaley, William, 30 

W 7 hite Oak Church, 140, 142, 143, 
144, 145. 146, 149 

White Plains, 191 

W bitty, James, 313 

Wickes, Rev. Thos., 237 

Wilcox Landing, 290 

Wilderness, The, 249, 250 

Wilderness, Battle of the, 250, 259- 

263, 285, 294, 313, 314, 318 
Wilderness Tavern, Old, 259 
Williams, E. S., 64n 
Williams, Major H. J., (Con.), 96n 
Williams, General Seth, 236 
Williams, Colonel S., 113, 159n 
Williamsport, 186, 187, 192, 193, 196 
Willoughby Run, (Gettysburg), 174, 


Wilson, Captain William, 313 
Wisconsin, 2nd Regiment, 21, 25n, 
48, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 74, 
78n, 80, 81, 92, 97, 120, 121, 132, 
143, 159n, 165, 166n, 184, 186, 194, 
197, 236, 266, 311 
Wisconsin, 5th Regiment, 15, 19n, 


Wisconsin, 6th Regiment, Passim 
Wisconsin, 7th Regiment, 25, 61, 62, 
63, 64, 66, 74. 78n, 80, 81, 82, 97, 
132, 135, 153, l59n, 165, 174, 179n, 
184, 194, 214, 220n, 236, 248, 249, 
252, 265, 279, 311 
Wisconsin, 30th Regiment, 236 
Wister, Colonel L.. 21 8n 
Wood, Captain J. D., 60, 166 
Woods, John P., 150 
Woodward, Lieut. Gilbert M., 164 
Woffard, Colonel W. T., (Con.), 95, 

Work, Lieutenant Colonel P. A., 

(Con.), 96n 
Wright, General, 267n 
Wright Major, 159n 


Yates, Aaron, 46n, 266 

Yellow Tavern, 308.