October 1861

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1861 October, 

The Second Wisconsin and the Nineteenth Indiana break camp, recross the Potomac, and pitch tents near the bridge called Camp Lyon, Oct. 2d. The Seventh Wisconsin Regiment joins Gen. King’s Brigade, which now consists of the Second, Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin and Nineteenth Indiana Regiments. 

October 5th the brigade, being attached to Gen. McDowell’s Division of the Army of the Potomac by orders of General McClellan, break camp and via Georgetown, crosses the river again at Aqueduct bridge and goes into camp at Fort Tillinghast or Arlington Heights, about a half mile west of Arlington House, late residency of Gen. Robert E. Lee, commanding the Confederate army.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

The Sutlers Experiments
Among the many expedients adopted by sutlers to sell contraband liquors to soldiers, one is exceedingly novel. They drop a couple of peaches into a bottle of whisky, and sell the compound for "pickled peaches" A more irreverent expedient is to have a tin made and painted like a hymn book and labeled "The Bosom Companion".

Milwaukee Sentinel, October, 1861

Ft. Tillinghast, Oct. 6th, 1861
Editors: Advocate-As you see by the above heading  "The wandering 2d" have changed their place of abode and are now encamped just outside the gates of Ft. Tillinghast on the grounds recently occupied by the 35th Regt. N.Y. Volunteers. The camp grounds are beautifully laid out. The Company streets are as level as a parlor floor and free from stumps, stubs, &c., showing that those who had once occupied it, had spent days of hard labor in putting it in its present condition. Poor boys!-How we "pitied" them as we took possession of the treasures left behind which consisted of boards for our bunks, roughly made tables, chairs &c.-Well, we can say to them as others have said to us when we were on the advance, "Go on, bully Boys, we hope soon to follow you."

Our new Captain Ruby is the pride of the company; a warm hearted gentleman and a perfect soldier, both qualities combined in one render him all we could wish or desire.

In the ranks he is very strict and the company maintains its good state of discipline while out of them, he is a boy amongst us, sharing all our sports and pastimes with as much zeal as the greatest boy in the company. A better man could not have been appointed outside of the Company. Lieut. Parsons who has been in ill health for some time, I am happy to say, is improving; the balance of the company enjoy their usual good health and a gayer, light-hearted company full and running over with fun and frolic would be hard to find and having perfect confidence in their leaders they are ready at any moment to march to the battle field and rest assured when once there they will do their part with credit to themselves and State.

We hear with feelings of pleasure that Racine intends sending still another company to the field. Good for Racine and we hope that the young men left behind will rally promptly around the old flag and should we ever meet the new company, we hope to see in their ranks many of our old friends and school-mates.

The boys no longer look like beggars with well ventilated suits of clothing but present a very neat tidy and soldier like appearance. Their new uniform consists of a handsome blue frock coat, pants of the same, a high felt hat, blue cord and black plume; now if we only had good rifles instead of sheet-iron muskets, we should be fitted out. Our company was with Smith's Division the other day when the advance to Falls Church was made: no items of interest occurred.

I send you per Thos. Lyons, a Rifle Cannon ball, picked up by one of our boys on the grounds when the late skirmish near Lewisville occurred. It was not taken from a Rebel battery nor is it stained with blood but was "dropped" by some stray Secesh. It will make a pretty play thing for the children, accept it and oblige.
Your Obt. Servant.

Patriot War Correspondence
from the Second Regiment
Fort Tillinghast, Arlington Heights, Va.,
October 6th, 1861

Nothing will make a soldier discontented quicker than inactivity and I think our officers time to pitch our tents and get our household furniture collected and arranged in a comfortable and tasteful manner, before they order another move, and then we strike our tents and depart cheered on by the hope of seeing something new.

We left Camp Advance, from which place I last wrote on the first day of October, and there was not a man in the Second but what went away with a cheerful heart for we had heard of the arrival of the Seventh Wisconsin, and were anxious to see them. It came rather hard to leave our traps behind, that we had been industriously gathering, and a good share of our every day clothes and commence house keeping, as pioneers commence, when we get to another stopping place.

We had scarcely pitched our tents, after our arrival at Camp Lyon e're the sound of fife and drum announced the arrival of the Seventh. They marched by us in the best of style and encamped between us and the Sixth. We are all in Gen. King's Brigade and I hope we will maintain the honor of Wisconsin in camp and in the field.

Camp Lyon is on the East side of the Potomac and I think in the state of Maryland. The river is narrow and rapid and goes foaming and dashing along in wild fury between two high and rocky walls that have for countless ages guarded its noisy march toward the sea.

During our stay at this romantic place we had the grandest kind of times for the Seventh and Second have been on the best of terms and as the boys say, "they will run together and stick to each other like brothers," but we were not allowed to remain long in a place so far from danger; in fact, it was no place for soldiers, so our Brigade was ordered again into Virginia and yesterday we packed up for another move as cheerfully as if we had occupied that ground for a year. We had not been at Camp Lyon long enough to gather as much extra luggage as we generally do, but we had been supplied with blue coats all around which completed our new uniforms and as the day was very hot, we were obliged to reduce the weight of our knapsacks and leave many things upon the ground that we would gladly have taken with us.

We started about noon with the sun beating down upon us with terrible heat. There was not the slightest breeze to be felt. It was the hottest day I have experienced since the 21st of July and though we had not more than ten miles to march, many were obliged to fall out of the ranks and remain behind till the cool of the day- your correspondent being one of the number. There was but one occurrence, to my knowledge, worth relating and that I will give to show the heartlessness of some men. While I was lying in the shade the Seventh passed me and my brother, seeing me, fell out also and waited for me until I had rested and was ready to march but we had not proceeded far before we came to some of our friends of both the Second and Seventh and my brother learned that one of his tentmates, who was just coming down with the measles and whom he supposed to be in the ambulance, had been compelled to walk either by the ignorance of inhumanity of the surgeon and while we were talking over the affair the sick man came up with us. He was quite sick and we determined to wait until the wagons came along and get him a chance to ride. The first and second teamsters refused to take him in, but the third, being more of a man, allowed him to ride. The wagon master, however, who was riding in the same wagon when he learned that he had the measles, swore he should not ride but as he was too much of a coward to ride with a man who had the measles, he could go afoot. He belonged to the Nineteenth Indiana and if he is a specimen of the men that compose the regiment, they will be a sorry set to go into the battle field.

We arrived at this place about sunset, but our tents did not reach us till long after dark so we did not pitch them until this morning but now our city is built and we are enjoying a rest after the fatiguing march of yesterday- It is quite cool again to-day and we know how to prize and enjoy it. I cannot tell how long we will remain here- It may be a month and it may not be twenty-four hours.

We are in McDowell's division and when there is any fighting to be done we will probably have a hand it it.

Head Quarters, 2d Reg., Wis. Vol.
Ft. Tillinghast, Oct. 10, 1861

Eds.: Advocate-In the life of a soldier on active duty there are many changes- When I last wrote to you I guess it was from Camp Advance, Chain Bridge, since then we rejoined King's Brigade and went over the other side --stayed there three days and then came where we are now. I really have nothing much to say and am only writing to keep open communication. You inflicted a very severe punishment by not sending the Advocate this week, I suppose it was because I have not been a very good correspondent of late but it is very difficult to find anything to write about.

Yesterday we had our Brigade reviewed by Gen. Mcdowell; we were marched to the field about 10:25 AM and drawn up in line of battle, the 6th Wisconsin and 10th Indiana and behind them the 2d and 7th Wisconsin.

Gen. McDowell first reviewed us in line of battle, in rear upon order; then the columns were formed and we were marched in review, passed the Staff and returned to our post where our arms were inspected by the Aides and our clothes by the General. To us such things are of little interest, we would rather be going to a fight; we do not want any unnecessary parade but I suppose it is necessary. We would rather be anywhere but in King's Brigade; we want a fighting man and then we would add another laurel to the wreath that we have already dearly won and we would show the secessionists that our defeat at Bull Run and the loss of our grave comrades has inspired us with fresh vigor; they may whip the 2d but to make them believe it is the hardest work.
We fear we shall have to remain here on the reserve though there are many who would prefer to see us behind the batteries they command.

Since we have been back from Bull Run, we have been called the "Ragged Second" a title of which we were rather proud; Regiments that came fresh to Washington were fitted out entirely and we were passed over and not only that we were pushed ahead in work on picket duty. When we went to Chain Bridge we heard that Gen. Smith had been told that we were demoralized but when we passed his head-quarters on our departure how said he would rather see all the rest of the regiments go than us. Our pickets were never driven in and we never raised a false alarm, (nor shot a cow, thinking it a cavalry man, as did the 5th) but the General thought we had one great weakness, which was foraging beyond our lines. The following  is an incident:- One of his aids was sent out to reconnoiter and when he returned the General asked what he saw, he replied that he had been as far past the outpost as he dared and in looking ahead he saw some soldiers about 1.5 mile farther; "That will do " said the General, "I know they must be the 2d Wisconsin;" the aide replied they were. And to our minds and mouths there was no doubt of it; for the next day secession geese and chickens played a conspicuous part in our rations.

Well to return to my story last week, we got our new uniforms-,blue frock coats, blue pants and the regulation hat, feather, &c. and I can assure you that the 2d was a pretty good looking regiment and one of which Wisconsin may be justly proud and for the "Ruby Tigers", of course, I can say but little as modesty demands silence, but if ever they appeared to advantage it was then. The night before, the Captain expressed a wish that every man should make the best appearance he could and every one seemed to do his best. Gen. McDowell remarked to King that it was a very good company. Capt. Ruby has served in the ranks and the boys all like him first rate; I don't mind saying I took a day in sight-seeing. It was the first time I had been over a mile from camp since our arrival in Washington and it really did me good to have a day to myself in which I could go and come as I pleased. It took some smooth talking to obtain a pass; but I was amply rewarded for my pain in the long walk I took during the day. I had been on guard the day before and got only an hour's sleep during the night so I was not in first rate trim for a ramble but for fear I might not get another chance, I concluded to improve the opportunity offered me.

Leaving our encampment on the outskirts of the grand and beautiful forest that covers Arlington Heights, I took a road leading directly to the valley of the Potomac. The morning mist had not yet cleared away and it was impossible to see any great distance through it but it was not thick enough to obscure the sun, and his bright rays falling upon the countless dew drops that hung upon the trees made the old forest sparkle.

Arlington Heights is one of the loveliest places in Virginia and probably in America and is the only place I have seen on this side of the Potomac on the line of our fortifications that has escaped to any considerable extent the ravages of war. This is the only forest that has been spared, all others, no matter how beautiful, have been cut down and this has suffered much though it still stands in its glorious majesty. In the center of the forest and on the highest point of elevation covered by it is situated the Arlington House- at present the head quarters of Major General McDowell and Brigadier General King.
After proceeding about a mile and a half I emerged from the forest and descended to the level plain or bottom that here extends along the river and turning abruptly to the right set out on a rapid walk for Alexandria, for it was yet too foggy to obtain any distant views and I could improve the cool of the day by increasing my step and see all that could be seen on my return. At Fort Albany there are two roads leading to Alexandria and as I could take but one I turned to the left leaving the right hand road for my return. From that place to Alexandria, a distance of about six miles, my road led me alternately over bluffs and through valleys and deep ravines; and to the right and left on every commanding position I could see the gaping mouths of cannon from forts and earth works there erected.
The stumps and fallen trees that cover the hill-sides alone are sufficient to obstruct the march of an army while the positions of the forts are so well chosen and so strong within themselves that a hundred men can defend any one of them against twenty times their number. This line of fortifications extends from Chain Bridge to Alexandria, a distance probable of 12 or 15 miles and I am sure that fifty thousand men can now hold Washington against two hundred thousand.- There are but few encampments now along this line of forts; only troops enough to defend them in case of an attack remain as a reserve force while the greater part of the army of the Potomac has advanced some distance into the enemy's country. Gen. McClellan seems inclined to hold every foot of ground he gets possession of and he is abundantly able to do it therefore he is ready to advance.
I arrived in Alexandria about 10 o'clock A. O. M. and as I had but little business to do, I spent a few hours in rambling through the streets of the dirty city where the brave Ellsworth met his death. I was not favorable impressed with appearance of this Southern city it being- New Orleans excepted- the filthiest I have seen North or South. It is situated in a very fine place and might be one of the fairest cities in America if the inhabitants had a little more energy, but as it now is its only redeeming qualification is the beautiful trees that line its streets.
On my return I took a somewhat different route and gathered a few chestnuts and persimmons though they are very scarce in these parts. I did not strike my old track until I reached Fort Albany, from which place I obtained a very good view of the surrounding country the Potomac and Washington.  My regiment and brigade were drilling on the plain and looked well from the point from which I beheld them.
When I arrived at camp I was tired enough and sleepy enough but I had had a very good time.

Life in Camp--A journal of Six Days
Fort Tillinghast, Arlington Heights, Va., Oct, 18, 1861

In order that our friends in Wisconsin may know something of the life we lead and the times we have here in the old Dominion, I will give you a journal of events for a few days although I find it very difficult to journalize in a manner interesting and instructive. I cannot find a better time nor a better place to commence than the present so I have stolen a few moments from my other duties, laid aside my gun and accouterments, although they might be improved in appearance by a little more labor, toil not down the things that are before me.
We had orders last night when on dress parade to be ready for brigade review at 1 o'clock pm today by Lieut. Col. Fairchild, he expressed the wish that we would come onto the parade ground with everything in perfect order and I am sure he will not have occasion to find fault with us for we have been at work ever since reveille, cleaning our guns, brightening our brass, brushing our clothes, blacking our shoes, &c., that we may look as well, to say the least, as any other regiment in King's Brigade. we took pride in the name of the "ragged Second" which was given us when we were ragged and well deserved the name but now we have good clothes and take pride in looking well although we don't deny the old name yet.
It will soon be time for us to fall in. Every one is busy. Our village looks like a collection of bee hives with the bees all busily at work.-
If it had remained fair we would not have had much work to do but as it rained all night we were compelled to give our guns another thorough cleaning for they had gathered rust both on the inside and outside and would not do at all for review- but there goes the drum, the boys are falling into ranks, I must away.
After review, -We have had a grand time- The Colonel was well pleased with our neatness and good appearance and said he only asked us to march as well as we looked when the eyes of the great ones behold us. Our uniform is of deep blue cloth with the army regulation hat and plume and when you add to that a white glove for every hand, you have our dress in full, though we wear as ornaments our knapsacks, haversacks and canteens, besides our guns and ammunition.

Thus to the sound of fife and drum we marched away through the magnificent grove that surrounds the Arlington House to the review ground on the plain near the Potomac in sight of the Capitol City of America.

There were present Gen. McDowell, Gen. King, Secretary Seward and others of the Cabinet and Prince De Joinville with his suite.

They rode along in front of our lines and expressed their satisfaction with our appearance, loud enough to be heard in the ranks and though the Prince spoke in French, his remarks were not lost for we have men among us who understand that language. After a good long review we were dismissed and marched back to camp. The day has been cool and we have enjoyed it even though we have had to work pretty hard. We have no dress parade to night.

Saturday, Oct. 19th- It has been a rainy disagreeable day. I have been on company police duty, my business being with three or four to sweep our street and remove all the filth and dirt from our grounds that had accumulated since yesterday. Our tents are kept free from dirt and our street as smooth and neat as a side walk. Each company in the regiment attends to policing its own grounds and besides, we have a general or regimental police that attends to the general grounds and the main streets of our city. These police are appointed every day and by that means we keep our encampment in a state of cleanliness far exceeding many cities that I have heretofore visited while the health of our regiment is preserved. We have but little sickness among us and have had but one death by sickness since going into camp and that was of our Sergeant Major who died a few days since.

We have not drill any today on account of the rain and as tomorrow is regimental inspection day we have spent all our spare time (those of us on police) fixing up- for in rainy weather guns will rust almost as fast as they can be cleaned, so we have our hands full.
The Second Regiment is one of the oldest now in the field and for that reason it is necessary that we put on some "style," for it would not do to be outdone by other and younger regiments.
Lieut. Col. Fairchild will do all in his power for the honor of the Second and the glorious State of Wisconsin. Sunday, Oct. 20- Regimental inspection came off at 9 o'clock, a.m. and lasted about an hour. I was so unfortunate as to be detailed on guard so when inspection was over instead of having the remainder of the day to myself I had to take my post with the other unfortunates and guard the encampment during the
next twenty-four hours. Guard duty is not unpleasant in pleasant weather, and as the day was remarkably fine we had a splendid time. The night was somewhat cool, but when we were not on post, we built up a rousing fire near the guard house and passed the time away in singing, dancing, story telling and sleeping; when on post we have but little guarding to do here as we are not the advanced guard of the Grand Army and I could find little else to do than watch the silver moon, so high and beautiful, as she glided so smoothly and majestically along the sky. If the moon could always shine at night I would be willing to stand guard every other day for I find no time for meditation so good as when the earth is made bright and glorious by her rays. I think every person in the world can well afford to spend one hour each moonlight night in gazing upon the beauties of Nature. More than half of the loveliness of the earth and sky are seldom, if ever, seen by a majority of the human race.

I came near forgetting to mention the fact that the Randall Guard Company H, of the Second regiment, this morning presented a splendid Surgeon's sword to Dr. Lewis in honor of his bravery and humanity at the battle of July 21st. It was an honor of which the Dr. is, and well may be, proud. He is a true soldier and deserves the soldier's esteem.

Monday, Oct 21:- Having been on guard yesterday and last night I was excused from duty during the forenoon of to-day and was not yet up at reveille which, beats at 6 o'clock, to answer to my name at roll call and came near losing my breakfast but as I did not go to sleep until 4, I valued two hours sleep more than my morning rations. The remainder of the forenoon I spent in mending, washing &c. Every man is his own tailor and his own washer woman in camp, in fact, we are now able turn our hands to anything.

We had a brigade drill this afternoon which lasted from 1 until near 5 o'clock. Gen King was the only high officer present and it was not necessary that we should put on as much dignity and style as on some other occasions. After returning to camp we took a breathing spell of about five minutes and then came dress parade after which we could do as we pleased until roll call came again at 8 o'clock when we must all be present. I spent the time visiting my friends in the Seventh.- roll has been called and the tap of the drum will soon announce the hour of night when every light, according to army regulations, must be put out and the soldier retire to rest. Tuesday, Oct. 22- Although it was clear and cold last night at bed time it was raining pleasantly- not storming when I awoke this morning. Sometime during the night news was received of a battle or skirmish at Leesburg, in which Col. Baker of the California regiment was killed and orders were issued for us to be all ready to march at ten minutes notice but we have no preparations to make. We received these same orders nearly two weeks ago and we are therefore all ready and when we are ordered to march can be off in a moment. We have had no drill of any kind to day, not even dress parade, on account of the rain. I was one of the regimental police but had nothing to do. We had our regular roll call at which we all had to be present and that was the extent of our duties. It is evening now and raining still. My tent mates and myself, with one or two others of our company, have been reading and discussing upon the merits of Gerrit Smith's "Religion or Reason" We all have different opinions upon every question that arises. But our argument is over and it is time for me to lay by my pen.Oct. 28, Morning- Reveille at 6 o'clock aroused every man in camp and though it was still raining slightly we all dashed out into the street to answer to our names.

I was derailed with two others to carry water for the cooks which is about the hardest day duty we have, our springs being a long way away. I have carried up two pails and am now taking a rest. Evening-It cleared away about noon so we had our regular drill and dress parade this afternoon.

All is quiet along our lines according to latest reports and though it is more than three months since the battle of Bull Run and we have been looking for and expecting a battle ever since, we seem to be as far from it as ever yet we know not how soon it may come.


From the Second Regiment
(Correspondence of the State Journal)
Camp Tillinghast, Va.,
Oct. 19, 1861

Dear Journal- It is possible that letters from the various camps of the Wisconsin Regiments are getting to be something of a bore not only to the people but to the newspapers at home. They are however a matter of a great deal of amusement to the soldiers here, who thus hear of exploits dangers and privations of which they would be entirely ignorant, did they not see them blazoned through the columns of the press. It is true that in the heat of battle or in a skirmish along a line of pickets there is some danger but one of the Wisconsin troops have been much exposed since they made their celebrated "advance on Washington" from Bull Run neither has the field for personal exploits been opened to any extent along the lines of any of our regiments and, as to privations, true we have no feather beds, no close rooms and suffocating air tight stoves, no cushioned chairs or sofas and no mothers and sisters to sew buttons on our shirts and dish out for us nice viands and delicacies and frequently no milk to drink in our coffee. It is true also that our tents often leak, that we are compelled to stand out in the rain and cold night and day on many occasions and that our marches sometimes are very fatiguing.
But if any of our friends at home could see how hearty the men are, with what alacrity and cheerfulness they spring out in the morning and respond to every call for work or drill, how they enjoy and waste Uncle Sam's ration, and the fun and music they have after retreat at night, they would undoubtedly cease to worry themselves; mothers would sleep easier and rejoice over the fact that their sons had the manhood to face a little prospective danger and with such courage, alacrity and good spirits.
Of course, we have in all our regiments a few faint hearted ones who made a mistake when they supposed they would ever make soldiers and who trouble their friends continually with the most dismal picture of affairs and a few vain ones who take pride in depicting the imaginary evils they suffer or may suffer and these few men have imposed on some of the editors and correspondents at home and have succeeded in exciting an immense amount of sympathy for the poor soldier and particularly for the "poor unfortunate Second."
Now, with your permission, I wish to say that so far as the Second is concerned, it never was in better condition than at present; there never was greater harmony among the officers and men never was discipline so well enforced; never did the men attend to their duty so well; never were their arms and clothing in such fine order, never were they braver and confident and never were they so proud of themselves and of their state as they are now.
To be sure this was not always so- Once we were hungered and now they are feeding us well, we were strangers and they took us in; we were naked and they have now magnificently clothed us.
A month ago we were such a regiment in appearance that Flagstaff would not have marched with us through occasionally now we defy even the regulars to excel us in dress appearance or drill.
I do not make these remarks in a boasting sprit for too much of this has been exhibited on too many occasions.
Reality places the Second right with the people of Wisconsin and partly to reply to an article which appeared in a late number of the Journal in which there were sundry misrepresentations and I am sorry to say unjust reflections upon the officers of the Reg't. History will probably do justice to them but it may not be until the sod has closed over them. It is my opinion that newspapers should be very careful in admitting into their columns aspersions upon the character of officers unless they are manifestly and notoriously true. An officer's character is dear to him and a disappointed or disaffected and irresponsible private should not be permitted to hold it entirely in his own hands by an abuse of the liberty of the press. On this subject the army regulations are clear.
It is easy to charge a man with cowardice and the very charge by an unknown person and with no proof might fasten an indelible stigma on the reputation of a brave man. I believe this has been done in the case of one or two of the officers of the "Second." For instance the charge against Capt. Ely of cowardice at Bull Run, is extremely unjust and untrue to my certain knowledge as he was one of the last to leave the ground. And as to his company which has been represented in so pitiable a plight, it is sufficient to say that it is in better condition morally and in discipline and good order than ever.
Since writing the above and on yesterday afternoon we had a grand Brigade Review and Drill in which all the Wisconsin regiments took part together with the 19th Indiana. The palm was unanimously awarded to the "Second " for appearance and drill. Gen.McDowell and the Prince de Joinville sent their compliments to the regiment last evening thro. Gen. King, expressing in the strongest terms their admiration surprise and pleasure. Every man came out in shining colors with brass polished, shoes blacked and with white gloves. The latter part was entirely voluntary on the part of the men among whom exists a remarkable esprit de corps.
As to news, it will be old by the time it reaches you. Gen. McClellan is the idol of the army. The 5th is near Lewisville, Col. Cobb has recovered and is in command of his regiment. Col. O'Connor is still, much to our regret, unable to use his voice. Lieut. Col. Fairchild is winning golden opinions from the men.
The 2d Regiment wants 200 men to fill vacancies. Captains Mansfield and Stevens will muster them in and send them forward. You will hear of a big fight soon unless the rebels continue to fall back.

Oct. 20th break camp at 1 P.M. March through Keedysville in a heavy rain storm. Distance 12 miles. 

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

A pleasant Affair in the Second Regiment
Camp Tillinghast
Arlington Heights, Va., Oct. 21, 1861

Dear Journal:-Two or three days ago the hearts in the Second Regiment bounded with delight at the announcement: "Dr. Lewis is in camp!" Probably there
is not a man on earth whose advent among as would produce more emotions of joy than our kind and heroic Surgeon whose skill and untiring labors for the health and comfort of the Regiment had endeared him to every man of every rank before our reverses at Bull Run and whose deeds of valor and humanity of that battle field and among the wounded patriots at Manassas and Richmond have filled so many hearts with gratitude. And the hand shakings and "God-bless-yous" that were extended him were essential proofs of our appreciation of his great worth. To any man not totally interested in our welfare and devoted to us, the attentions he received must have been tedious; but the Doctor took much pleasure in delivering all messages sent from home to our soldiers and in relating all matters of interest, etc..
Yesterday morning, the Doctor was greatly surprised to see the Randall Guards in all the brightest beauty of their uniforms, and with countenances of delighted gratitude halt in front of the Surgeon's tent, and call for "Dr. Lewis!"- The Doctor appeared, was saluted by the company and Capt. Randolph addressed him as follows:
Dr. Lewis:- Our misfortunes have made us plain-dealing men; and when we tell you that your presence now creates emotions of pain as well as pleasure you will understand us; for we think of you still as a prisoner.
You now see in us a regiment of soldiers who are envied because of their soldierly attainments and who are complimented by our greatest General and other officers who favor but few. This same regiment you and I remember as ragged, hungry and weary, sustaining a part in terrible battle that gave a proud name to Wisconsin Soldiers and taught us by its disasters on whom to depend. First of all the sad recollections of that terrible day was the fate of our dead and wounded comrades; and when the story of your absence and heroism was told us it came as a great relief to the monotony of our camp life and our misgivings in regard to the future.
As a slight token of our appreciation of your actions, then, the Randall Guards give you this sword and belt, only regretting that the conditions of your parole prevent us from presenting you a saber to be wielded by you in the defense of our country for which you have evinced so great devotion.
Hereupon Capt. Randolph handed the Doctor an elegant Surgeon's sword. The doctor received it with perfect grace and replied.
"Fellow Soldiers:-The unexpected reception of that gift so burdened and hallowed with the awful memories of that terrible field, touches my heart. I can truly say that this is the proudest moment of my life.
"A few week's ago on a beautiful Sunday morning like this, while the church bells were ringing through the clear air of our Wisconsin home, summoning our friends, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers to the house of God for worship, we were being led by the sound of the booming cannon to be butchered on that battle field; where, if all were brave, the Second Wisconsin were heroes.
"Fellow soldiers, if I have done aught to cause you to cherish toward me feelings of esteem and affection, God giving me time and opportunity, I will endeavor to prove myself to the end not undeserving; and when this war is over our cause nobly sustained and we have returned to our homes, it will be enough to say for us all, dead patriots and live heroes, that we belonged to the Second Wisconsin Regiment and that you were of the Randall Guard of that Regiment. To the officers of this company and to you Capt. Randolph, words cannot express the grateful feelings of my heart. Noble soldiers! brave companions! tried friends! as you have honored me so may you always be honored by a grateful country and your tried friends! as you have honored me, so may you always be honored by a grateful country and your tried men."
At the conclusion of the brief and comparatively unpretending ceremony, quite a crowd of officers and men had congregated who complained slightly of not being allowed to know of the affair to the end that the whole regiment might have participated. The commonest remark among the soldiers was "how I would like to go into battle with that man for a Colonel!"

"We have a full blue suit, a fine black hat nicely trimmed with bugle and plate and ostrich feathers; and you can only distinguish our boys from the regulars, by their good looks."
Letter to the Mineral Point Tribune, Oct. 22, 1861

Letters from the Army
Washington army letters are generally considered contraband so far as publishing them in newspapers is concerned. The sons, brothers and friends of all, in all parts of the country are writing from the seat of war about the same terrible account of affairs respecting the misconduct of officers, dry nurses &c. We have solicited for publication the following extracts from a private letter written by an intelligent soldier, serving in a Wisconsin regiment. He writes to a friend residing here the following among other things:-
" I am told that in one of the Wisconsin regiments there are two hundred on the sick list and others are perhaps faring as badly. Sergeant Major Griswold of the Second Wisconsin sleeps his last sleep and Capt. McKee of your place will probably follow him ere this reaches you. But where now are Gov. Randall's boasted state agents who were appointed especially to look after the sick? Drinking and loafing about the city while our men are dying without even the presence of a friend.
One captain told me today that he first intimation he had that one of his men was dangerously sick was the notice in the papers that he was dead. Gov. Randall wrote a fine article- certainly a readable one- on the sending out of State agents but where are the good Americans? I venture to say that not one of them has ever seen a single friend of yours or mine when sick. I venture to say that they have been seen one hundred times in the 

Oct. 27th pass through Pleasant Valley, crossing South Mountain at Crampton's Gap, through Burkittsville and Petersville in Middle Valley toward the Potomac. Eight miles. 

Oct. 30th cross the Potomac at Berlin and march to Lovettsville, VA. Seven miles. March to Purcellville. Eight miles. Nov. 3rd to Snickersville. Five miles.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

Headquarters, 2d Regt, Wis. Vol.,
Ft. Tillinghast, Va., Oct. 31

Capt J.W. Ruby:- Dear Sir:- Permit us, members of Company F, 2d Regiment Wis. Volunteers, lately under you command, to address you a few lines expressive of our feelings towards you for your untiring labors in your behalf.
From the first moment you became our Captain you endeared yourself to us by your evident determination to make us a superior Company and while your discipline was exceedingly strict, your conduct has ever been so gentlemanly and so excepted from anything like overbearance or partiality that, this has only been a means of winning  our high regards instead of engendering hostile and bitter feelings as is too frequently the case. Everything that you could do, consistently you have done most willingly, prompted by those higher motives that inspire only superior officers. Your career with us has been one of flattering success as our rapid improvement  so abundantly testifies. We recognize in you an experienced officer one who knows his duty thoroughly and who never fails to perform it; who is peculiarly adapted to command and who never fears to meet an enemy;  in short, one who has been tried and never been found wanting.
But our hearts are sad and we are indignant for persons unacquainted with your merits and instigated only by selfish motives have affected your removal. Most deeply do we regret that you have to leave us, but let us assure you that you have won a place our heats from which you will never be removed while there are any left beating in Company F.
May your high qualifications yet call you to positions of greater responsibility but amid all the varied duties of your life we hope to be now and then kindly remembered by our much esteemed friend.

We wish you well, but Reluctantly say farewell.
N.J. Field
M.P. Berry
George Bauman
M.L. Gorman
S. Manderson
John Hinton
E.B. Sickney
S. Seaman
Wm. White
Henry Sandford
W.J. Bradshaw
M. Coleman
H. Wormington
J. Earhart
F.D. Cole
F. Heyer
E. Packard
Thos. Welding
D. Perry
C. North
I. Martine
T. Graham
S. Judson
W. Price
J.B. Leldy
C.A. Ives
P. Coleman
M. Carlin
A.D. Barright
A. Cadwell
Peter Webber
W. Lathrop
W. Stone
M. Rodman
A.O. Rangott
F. Graham
C. Patrick
R. Crosby
Wm. Brannon
T. Malcomson
D. Smith
W. Gregory
A.B. Adams
A.F. Cole
L.D. Combs
John Huggins
H. Ginty
W. Fuller
T. Cliff
L. Ewen
C. Jewett
H.P. Christy
J.T. Christy
H. Foster
W. Sheldon
J. Yates
N. Melgs
H. Powles
I. Hughes
A. Botsford
J. Wilson
J. M. Mann
T. Kelley
A. Small

November 1861