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January, The Second Wisconsin
From the Second
Camp Tillinghast, Jan. 2, 1862
Dear Father and Mother.-I suppose you
would like to know how I spent New Year's and I thought I would improve the
present opportunity in telling you.
It is evening, and we have just come in from picket. We have to travel ten miles
to do picket duty. We started on Tuesday
morning on this business and arrived there about noon, relieving the 19th
Indiana regiment. Two companies were left as a reserve and our company took
one road and relieved the pickets that were on it, and the remainder of the
company went on other roads.
We got posted by the middle of the
afternoon-four men on a post-one man on the
lookout all the while while the other three would keep secreted a few rods off
in the woods; we relieved each other every hour.
The post to which I belonged was on
the edge of some big pine woods being the third from the last on the right
wing of our picket lines. As it happened,
I was on foot from half past eleven to
half past twelve so I watched the old year out and the new one in standing
behind a large pine tree right in the edge of the woods with my old musket
by my side looking out for secesh.
In the morning we were relieved by the reserve and we then acted as a reserve
ourselves. We remained there all New
Year's day the next night and part of next
day, when the 7th regiment came out and took our places. We had no roast
turkey, mince pies, nor any of those nice fixings for New Year's which I
suppose you had out there in Wisconsin. We don't get much of that fancy kind
of living, I can tell you. But our New Year's will come pretty soon for we
are to get our pay next week when I shall go over to Washington and will have
We have been fixing up our tents so as to be comfortable although we have
had no cold weather yet. A man is
comfortable here with his coat off while you
are freezing with all the clothes you can get on. I like Virginia on that
account but for nothing else. We have our tents logged up five feet inside
with a door in front so if cold weather comes we shall be prepared for
it. the officers all have block houses which the boys built for them. We are
all in good health and in good spirits and everything goes smoothly and nice.
There is not much drilling now but we go on picket once in three weeks.
There is not much prospect of our moving forward this winter.
At three o'clock on New Year's night we received others from Gen. McDowell
to double the pickets as he thought the
secesh would make a break that night but
did not dare to come. They fired on the pickets on the Potomac, but were driven
back. It takes twenty regiments to do picket duty; this is 20,000 men
for picket every day so large is our army
and so extended are its lines. Our pickets
extend further than they ever did and we keep advancing all the time.
"Mac" will keep crowding until the secesh will think that the Yankees,
as they call us, are imposing on them when
they will pitch into us, and try to
drive us back but that will be a job for Jeff and his gentlemen, as he styles
them, this driving back is played out. McClellan says we have made our last
retreat and we all have confidence in him. we are waiting patiently for him
to lead on for they think the more fighting they do the sooner the war will
be ended. We are pretty near
neighbors, we don't agree very well. They have heavy entrenchments
about Centerville, and when the battle does take place, it will be
the greatest one ever fought.
But I will bring my letter to a close as it is getting almost time for tattoo.
I wish you would send me a few Janesville papers and I hope you will write
From your son,
C H Cheney
From the Second
Correspondent of the Sentinel
Fort Monroe, Jan 3, 1862
The steamship George Washington left Old Point at 11o'clock this morning
and proceeded up James river, about nine miles above Newport News, when the rebel steamer
Northampton was met with Union prisoners from Richmond; then stepped on board under the
protection of the National flag.
As their names were called, such happy
looking men are seldom seen. Cheer after cheer arose from each boat as they approached,
and the band of the Fourth Artillery played "Home Sweet Home," which added to
the enthusiasm. As the boat passed Newport News, the crews of the
US FRIGATES, CUMBERLAND AND
CONGRESS MANNED THE RIGGING, AND THE TROOPS AT CAMP BUTLER
CROWDED THE BEACH AND THE WHARVES, AND SENT OVER THE WATER THEIR SHOUTS OF
George Washington arrived on her return about half past five
o'clock, and the Baltimore boat, which was detained for the purpose, took the released
prisoners to Baltimore. The prisoners left Richmond about seven o'clock this
number released is 240 nearly all of whom were taken at the battle of Bull Run.
On arriving here, all who needed clothing were
immediately supplied by the Quartermaster's Department.
Prisoners from Richmond - Rations
- Cabinet Meeting - Forward Defenses of Richmond
Correspondence of the Sentinel
Washington, Jan. 10, 1862
It is to be hoped you are having no
such weather in Wisconsin as the denizens
of this city are just now not enjoying, but enduring. The fog is so dense
as to totally obscure any object at twenty rods distance and the mud is
infinitely more dense than the fog.
Our very worst November weather is no comparison with it.
Those prisoners taken at Manassas who were
lately exchanged are not in the
city. I saw them this morning and found among them twenty-one of the Wisconsin
Second. There was thirty-two of the Second who were unwounded and taken
prisoners at that fight, and some twenty-five who were wounded. Those released
are from the ones who were unwounded with one exception. There are some
twenty-five or thirty still alive alive who are yet prisoners at Richmond.
You have already published the names and I need not repeat them.
They were tolerably well clad and seemed generally well and in good spirits.
They concur in the statement that they
were very badly treated as prisoners, being
kept in a condition of semi-starvation, and compelled to endure every possible
indignity. They had two meals a day; the one in the morning consisting
of a little strip, about three inches by one and a half of boiled beef,
(cold) with a half of a three-cent loaf with a half pint
of such a matter
of soup from the beef to be served up next morning. Mr. Holdridge of
Columbia county, one of the company,
informed me that five soldiers were shot in
the room where he was confined while looking out from the bars which covered
the windows for nothing under heaven but to gratify the wantonness
and ambition of the guard to shoot a d-d
Yankee," as the prisoners were uniformly
termed. They come back with a personal interest in this war and only
ask for the opportunity to pay off the score they feel the rebels have earned.
I found Judge Potter among them listening to their wants and what they
thought were their claims of the Government, among the chief of which was
for their rations during the five months and a half they were prisoners.
The judge got a list of the men and immediately started in the effort of accomplishing
what was desired. The War Department at once met him with a flat
refusal. It stated that we furnished our rebel prisoners with food while
the rebels furnished their prisoners (our men) and one was considered an
offset to the other. The Judge however would not take a refusal but followed
the thing up pertinaciously requisitioning for all he asked, amounting to
over $30 to each man. Being so successful with reference to the Wisconsin
men, he endeavored to have the principle
applied to the whole of them but the department
told him that it must stop where it was for the present. It cannot,
however, stop there and the success in this particular will, of course, involve
all the prisoners if some equally determined and pertinacious friend shall
take hold of it for them. The boys as may well be supposed were vastly
pleased and equally grateful. It was only justice however. We feed their
prisoners well but but there is very small propriety in trying to offset
the starvation rations which they got down there with the rations due them
here. It is a righteous precedent which has been ser; which will no doubt
he followed up. Judge Potter deserves the thanks of all interested in having
the soldiers dealt with justly and liberally. But it is only a specimen,
not only of his interest in the soldiers, but of his way of doing business
Anything of benefit to the soldiers out of the usual routine of the army
regulations may vastly better be entrusted to Judge Potter or any one of
our delegation than to any State Agent who can be sent here.
The Cabinet has had its usual Friday meeting to day. Gen McClellan was present
and there is reason for believing that the meeting was an exciting one.
An incautious remark subsequently made by a member of the Cabinet that he
feared we should not have a fight with the
rebels very speedily is thought by
some to throw light on the character or results of the deliberation. It seems
rather a dim a few days since that we shall have active operation before
a great while. The opinion seems universal that Burnside's fleet is not
to leave Chesapeake Bay but is to turn the flank of the enemy by passing up
the Rappahannock. Forney's Press of today, in the letter of its editor from
Washington, goes in strong for a forward movement. This may be considered
significant as Forney is deemed to be into the secrets of the Administrations
to some extent and would not probably speak of a forward movement
at all points as in all respects desirable and necessary unless he thought
such a movement probable.
I ought to have added in the proper place that our boys say there were not
soldiers enough in and about Richmond for
the prison guards. The city was well fortified
but few or no soldiers in the fortifications. They are probably nearer
From the Second Wisconsin
Camp Tillinghast, Va., Jan 12,
The Judge, for once, is really nonplussed for something of interest to jot
down for the benefit of the reader. The
army on the Potomac furnishes nothing
worthy of notice - quietly occupying the same routine of duty being theirs,
undisturbed by the murmuring secesh.
The weather for a week past has been rather disagreeable. Monday it rained
Tuesday it snowed, Wednesday it rained and on Thursday we were blessed with
a regular southern blow which for a time
it seemed doubtful whether the tents
would stand the pressure or not; in fact we should not have been disappointed
had we awoke in the morning and found the canopy of heaven our only
cover and us poor soldiers laying around loose.
The Rev. Mr. Richmond, the Chaplain of the Second, preached in camp to-day.
The attendance at his meetings is rather slim; why, I know not, but so it
is. The only wonder is that the man really undertakes to address the Second
at all for I am sure that his labors are of but little account; not because
the men are not willing to rally around his standard but simply because
they know not the good of a Chaplain as he generally suits his own convenience
in visiting the Camp. Other Regiments have the full benefit of their
Chaplains, but be it said of the Second that it is one of the wonders to
see the Reverend with his flag in Camp. In most of the companies prayer meeting
are held nightly and an occasional accession to the ranks is evident
by the persevering endeavors of the few steady ever ready deserving the
promised reward. It is these few men that never falter. Our company has samples
and the merciless hand will assuredly be stayed and a just and happy verdict
On Friday our boys that for so long have
been in "durance vile" at Richmond returned
to Washington and last evening they joined the company. Some sixty in
number returned to the regiment, all of whom were taken at the battle of Bull
Run. They received a hearty welcome by their comrades. The band played "Home
Again" and cheer after cheer rent the air over their return. As soon
as they are paid off they will return to
their homes on a furlough for thirty
The boys all look well considering the hardships they have undergone in the
tobacco houses of Richmond. Sergeant
Gregory had a "chum" while in Richmond
- an English "tar" and though uneducated he produced a song on the
battle of Manassas of which the following
stanza is a sample:
Come all you Yankee heroes,
Come listen for a while,
And when that you have heard it
'Twill cause you for to smile.
concerning of the Southerners
These verses are about-
They go, their legs fast in a trap,
And cannot get them out.
At the battle of Manassas,
I mean to tell you plain,
Although they gained the victory
They'd the greatest number slain.
The Yankees stood true to their guns,
And swore they'd never yield;
It it had not been for Patterson
They'd licked them off the field.
This JOHN BELL is one of those
prisoners held in custody to meet the fate of
the pirates taken by our government- Sergt. Gregory also has a flag given
him by a Union lady at Richmond, as there are in Baltimore, and that Richmond
will never be taken by our forces for the reason that it will have been
seized by her loyal citizens 'ere our army could possibly reach it.
There had been a detail of captains and Sergeants made to return to the State
to recruit for the Regiment by Gen. McDowell has recalled them and it is
presumed that this useless expedition will not be made. I should think there
were enough interested persons left in Wisconsin that could take hold of
the recruiting department without interfering with the regiments in the field.
We have no more officers than is necessary to man the gallant Second and
consider it entirely complimentary that anything higher than a private be
allowed to go on the recruiting. Right
Bower, correspondent of the Intelligencer,
is brought to account for his essay on the mitten question.
Now this whole matter arose simply by some erring friend at the Point writing
here what the chances of the company receiving any favors for the Societies
were slim indeed. But we are glad that the matter thus turned out - that Right
Bower and Judge were really wrong and that
the ladies are the dearest of angels.
They will pardon us and await reinforcements. We feel confident that we have a
number of steadfast friends in the Point and trust our labors will repay
them for their pains.
The Philadelphia Inquirer contains the intelligence that Gen. Jim Lane
has been granted the privilege of
selecting what troops he wishes for the work of
subjugation on the borders and that from Wisconsin he selects one regiment
of cavalry and two of Infantry. We are in hopes our regiment may be one
for LANE we would glory in following. That section of country is our choice
yet the general impression is that Bull Run must first be wiped out and
the man would be an assurance to us that no longer would we by permitted to
play the soldier but do a goodly share of duty.
Washington is densely crowded with visitors and shoulder-strapped gentlemen
with sash and sword. In fact, there is
scarcely a place - even the President's mansion
- that is free of these plumed gentlemen. I wonder sometimes at the difference
that the gold bars make with the man; and the number of fair damsels
that have vowed to love and obey shows plainly the impression their shoulder
bars have on the hearts of the Washington ladies. A few of them should
be imported West for our young misses to squint at.
It is growing late and having about run
out for anything to say, I close, awaiting
till something more exciting turns up which may prove more interesting
than I fear this column of jottings will be apt to.
Yours as ever, Judge
Army Correspondence letter for the Second Regiment
Correspondence of the Sentinel Arlington, Jan. 13, '1862
Dear Sentinel:-we on the Potomac are expecting
great things to transpire during the remainder of the month of January. the steps taken by
the Government to kill off rebellion certainly indicate that our expectations are not on
too grand a scale. Every hour now we are looking for a good report from Gen. Burnside's
from the Second Regiment
Correspondences to the Sentinel
Arlington, VA, Jan. 13, 1861
Dear Sentinel:- as "Our Mr. S." has seen all that is worth looking at
on the Potomac and returned home to his sanctum, I am once more left in
possession of the field and can no doubt splurge away to my heart's content.
The weather, always the first topic when strangers meet, has been variable of
late- that is varying from stormy to more so. During the past two weeks we have
had more unpleasant weather on the Potomac than I have before known for the same
length of time since we have been here.
A few days ago we had a real Virginia snowstorm which covered the ground as far
as it could. There was hardly enough to go around to all the encampments but
King's Brigade was well looked out for, receiving as its share about one bushel,
nevertheless it was enough to swear by.
The most interesting feature of the past week has been the return of the Bull
Run prisoners of the Second. Out of the seventy-six taken, twenty three were
returned. They commenced coming into camp on Saturday evening and you may
believe the re-union was a happy one. Each company as it received back its
friends sent up cheer after cheer. The band played "Sweet Home" and
"Home Again" and the poor fellows were made as happy as circumstances
That they were "right down glad" to get out of Dixie you may well
believe- Your correspondent "S" saw them and will tell you all about
them generally so what I have to say will be to particularize where he could not
reach. The boys, although they complain of the hard usage they have met at the
hands of the rebels, look much better than could be expected. Some of them look
even better than when they went south.
Your Milwaukee Company (Captain Jack Langworthy's), formerly Company K of the
Second, now First Wisconsin Independent Artillery, lost, in killed and missing
at Bull Run, fourteen men, as follows Sergeant Abram B. Gaskill, Corp. S.H.
Hagadorn, Privates T.F. Baldwin, C. G. Everson, Joseph Grace, John Hobbeck, W.
H. Hyde, Wm. H. Mardin, R. W. McKinnon, J. A. McIntosh, J.F. Oatman, John Ross,
James Taylor, Thomas A. Tucker. Of these five, Hagadorn, Everson, Hobbeck,
McKinnon, and McIntosh have returned and those returned can account for Gaskill,
Mardin, Ross and Taylor so that there are now missing, and supposed to have been
killed, four, as follows: Baldwin, Hyde, Oatman and Tucker. Grace is supposed to
have deserted before the battle.
The fatality in Company K was greater than in any other company of the regiment.
I think there is no doubt but the returned prisoners will be allowed furloughs
to visit their friends as they should. Many of the are too weak to return to
duty, and many have received wounds which, although apparently healed, will
require careful attention for some time to come.
Most of the boys wore the same clothing that was furnished them by the
State, and now it can be hardly kept together. Such as needed them most were
furnished garments by the Relief Committee in Baltimore. As soon as they arrived
in camp, they were clothed with the new U.S. harness..
For two days now the prisoners have been engaged in relating to their companions
the scenes of their imprisonment. Some are
affecting, some rich, and some racy. From time to time, I will try and give you
some of the most interesting. When they reached Richmond, those of the Wisconsin
boys who were in one building held a meeting and determined, as they considered
it best for their own good, to treat all the insults of the rebels with silent
contempt; but this they found would not answer as the more silent they were the
more they had to suffer. Then they changed their tactics and every time they
were insulted retorted back as well as they knew how and anybody who knows the
Second Boys knows they enjoy their share of the gift of gab. When the rebels
understood that their insults were no longer tamely received they gradually
closed their persecution.
The boys complain of the conduct of Todd, the brother of Mrs. Lincoln, who had
charge of them and also of the Sergeant under him. They are anxious to meet
either of these worthies when they will have a settlement to make. Of Capt
Gibbs, their new commander all speak in high terms. He used every exertion his
position would allow to make them comfortable and when the boys left he wished
them kindly a speedy voyage to "Abraham's bosom." Topp, they
assert, would come into the prison with has sword in one hand and revolver in
the other, stalk up and down the the rooms, threatening to shoot somebody, and
on one occasion he ran his sword through the leg of a poor prisoner, who,
unfortunately not seeing, stood in the fellow's way as he came in. It was a
happy day when Topp was toddled.
While the boys were suffering from persecutions most, when the citizens would
halt before their windows and about derisively at them, they organized a glee
club, and the old prison walls would shake with strains of "Hail
Columbia," "The Star Spangled Banner," and "John Brown's
Soul is a Marching On." The chivalry, erased with rage, would fairly dance
under the windows, and the boys highly delighted would keep on. Occasionally
they were asked, "Why in ____ don't you sing Dixie?" So they wrote a
Dixie to suit themselves, which served to enrage Secesh still more.
They organized a theater and many of the Southern officers preferred attending
it to the Richmond Temple of Muse. On any occasion when they held forth, numbers
of these individuals were present and during the plays Secesh received many hard
hits. On Christmas Eve they gave a grand theatrical entertainment. Many of the
Southern officers, and many of the Federal officers, (prisoners) were present.
After the entertainment was over two of the prisoners, Private Marshall, of the
La Crosse Co., and a New York Sergeant, followed them out and made their escape
from the building. Unless they have been retaken (which is doubted) or have succeeded
in escaping from Richmond, they are now quartered in the house of a Union man
who will take good care of them.
Much as the prisoners suffered and much as they desired to get away, they were
true patriots. After they had been in prison a short time and when the US
government persisted in refusing to exchange prisoners, hints were thrown out to
them that they had better petition their government for an exchange and they
were informed that any document they wished to send home would be forwarded
unopened. A meeting was held and it was decided almost unanimously that the true
policy of the government was not to exchange but to treat the Confederates as
rebels. They were willing to suffer for the furtherance of this object.
Nevertheless a few drew up a petition praying for an exchange and it was signed
by only fifteen out of all those in the building.- These secretly added
the names of many of the Wisconsin men, and the latter discovering it held an
indignation meeting, denounced the petitioners, and obtaining possession of the
petition destroyed it.- There were no more petitions gotten up.
I find but little variance in the reports of the prisoners as to the loss of the
rebels at Bull Run. With Yankee ingenuity they used every means to find out
their loss as no official report of the battle was made, the method taken was to
carefully note down the reports from each regiment as published and figure the
result. It was several month before this was accomplished, the their figures
show a list of fifty-seven regiments engaged, sustaining a loss of 12,967
(twelve thousand nine hundred and sixty seven!) Of these 5,000 were killed, the
balance wounded. The history of Bull Run has yet to be written...
I noticed all the buttons off the coats of the boys and inquiring where they
went received the answer: "Oh that's the way we got our papers!" The
newsboys soldiers and as the Second had not been paid off, and many of them were
consequently out of money ,this currency came in very opportunely.
Out of all the prisoners sent to Richmond, only 400 remained there, the rest
having been sent South. Many of the Wisconsin boys sent off had been wounded,
for instance, Gaskill of Co. K. had a ball through both lungs. Donavan of Co. B
had five balls in him. Jackson of Co. B had his arm broken. They were doing
well, however, when sent to New Orleans.
When it was announced that a number of the prisoners were to be exchanged, it
was supposed that the most feeble would be sent off first and there was
considerable "possum playing " to get on the sick list. These are now
in Richmond. Before the choice was made there was considerable bargaining and as
high as $500 was offered to lucky individuals for the chances. Market brisk but
no sales to note.
I have not seen one of the Second boys who is not anxious to have another turn
at the rebels. They insist that the rebel cause is in a hard way and say that
rebels told them their cause was hopeless with out foreign intervention and that
they were disheartened. There are few troops in Richmond and nearly all whose
time is up are returning home.
The Union feeling is strong in Richmond but is of course kept down. A secret
organization, of which many of the boys were cognizant, existed and from it they
received most valuable aid. Before they left some of the guards around the
prison had got so as to treat them kindly and a member of the association
referred to above told one of the boys that it had 2,000 men ready to join the
Federal army when it reached Richmond. Present appearances indicate they will
not have long to wait.
The Southern mode of expressing things gave the boys no little amusement. When
they first arrived, they were exhibited to the surprised crowd and the question
was "What you doing down here for?" Where you wounded at?" The
curious way of asking it always made the boys smile and no little chafing was
the result. The reply was just as the Second boys would be supposed to give it.
"Oh nothing but a ten pound rifle cannon ball through the head" or
"a twenty-four through the head" or "a twenty-four pound shot
through the heart" etc. This would be believed for a time but at length it
came to be a common expression there. Among the returned prisoners is the little
Corporal Burns of La Crosse. Everybody was pleased to see Bob, as his name has
become somewhat familiar as the author of Gen. Tyler's madness.- When we went on
to the field at Bull Run, Tyler rode at the head of the Connecticut troops and
coming in at an angle every step his horse took, he was urging the regiment to
hopeless task that of passing the Second by the order "For-w-a-rd
Connecticut!" Little Burns would repeat the order "Forward
Wisconsin" until the General got so enraged that good thing was made out of
it, a "For-w-a-rd Connecticut" is heard often as "John Waddles my
horse!" ever was at the expense of Major Lane in the First.
Another of the boys is Evenson, of K. He was wounded in the head, the ball going
in front and lodging in the brain. While he was in the Richmond hospital Dr.
Lewis was examining the wound when a rebel surgeon came along and watching him a
moment asked very innocently how he was going to extract the ball.
"Oh!" replied the Dr. very wisely "I shall take out the brain run
it through an old fashioned cullender strainer it then put it back." The
Dr. and Secesh were never friends after that but still Evenson is doing well.
I guess that will do for the prisoners this time. Next will tell you how they
got their tobacco and everything else I can pick up.
Rumor has it that Jim Lane has laid forcible hands on the Second Wisconsin and
is determined to take them off to Kansas with him. The boys are pleased at the
partiality shown the Second.
A new effort is about being made to recruit the regular army, by calling for
twenty five volunteers from each State regiment. The inducements offered are a
month's furlough to go home and three months pay to spend it in. The movement
will win and the regular regiments which are fully officered but without any
privates will be filled at once
PS- The Richmond prisoner are being paid off. Their pay amounts to $86 and they
are allowed nothing for rations. Each man was notified to attend the department
and he would receive a furlough for thirty days
Letter from the Second Regiment.
General King's Brigade
Correspondent of the Sentinel
Arlington, Va., Jan. 14th, 1862
Sunday was a magnificent specimen of a winter
day. In the evening the snow shone bright and the air was soft and balmy as mid-summer. He
who ruleth all things forgets not he thousands congregated in various parts of our
distracted country in defense of the proud old banner-the glorious Stars and Stripes. Let
us return thanks, at the same time ask for a continuance of the kindness he has bestowed
upon us in times gone by.
We find a winter in the "sunny South,"
which rather takes the shine off Wisconsin in every respect after all. Instead of the
blustering winds, the icy cold mornings, and such like inconveniences as some call them,
we have, so far, been favored with mild, pleasant weather the greater portion of the time,
and you may be assured a continuance of the same is hoped for by the men on the
"tented field." Your readers must not infer from this that should our hopes not
be gratified, any great amount of suffering and deprivation will be the consequence with
the armed hosts. Such an inference would be unnecessary and positively wrong. It is with
us in camp as it is at home. Pleasant weather is hailed with thankful hearts in both
We have become so used to get along without the
home comforts, and , as a general thing, fitted the "camp houses" up in a manner
as to be comfortable, let the weather be as it may, that fears entertained by friends at
home concerning the men here, in point of suffering, are uncalled for drive a nail there.
For the past month, and even longer, the men have been busily engaged in preparing for
wintering near the famous Potomac, and, as you have been informed, from the "big
folks," now, in almost every direction about here can be seen snug little villages,
and even cities, which have grown up in about the same length of time it takes to make a
city in Wisconsin.
They appear-well, you have been told all about
the manner the winter quarters have been constructed, and how they look, and we will only
say that many of them are better houses-more comfortable-than many of us have lived in at
home in civil life. Without much doubt, a large force of the army of the Potomac will
remain unmoved-will be kept to guard the city, so that in case of a Bull run disaster, a
greater disaster may not follow- the capture of Washington. To one who has watched closely
the actions of our gallant young chieftain, it seems to us , it can seem only that the war
is being conducted in the economical manner. He attempts nothing that he is not competent
to fulfill, and, above all, is careful of his brave men. If the men in the field are
willing to await his movements, why should not those at home, who have only to look on,
and bear expenses, be so? Excuse me for penning this paragraph.
Opinions of this scout, continual praise of
certain regiments or men, harping on slavery or tariff questions, and in fact any thing
that does not interest the general reader, should be out of the line of all correspondents
in the army. The man Corbett, of whom you spoke some time since in the Sentinel as having,
been arrested in Virginia on suspicion of furnishing important information to the enemy,
was one of President Lincoln's warmest supporters. and last spring was compelled to leave
his home in Virginia on account of his known abolition proclivities. So far is he from
being an aider of the rebels, that a stronger supporter of the Union cause cannot well be
found. It is generally known about Washington that his arrest was caused on account of his
having been a believer in the principles Gerritt Smith . If it was for that he was
arrested, we are glad of it, and sorry that the Government did not commence its operations
in this way a long time ago.- You can draw your own inferences. We will not pass an
opinion upon the effect it might have had, and which we believe it would have had. Mr.
Corbett is an old acquaintance of ours, formerly from New York.
Mr. Editor, cannot there be some means devised by
which a greater supply of reading can be supplied to the men in the army? There would be a
vast deal less of drinking and swearing among the men if a sufficiency of reading such as
news papers, historical works, and magazines, could be had. Allow us to make a few
suggestions in regard to this matter. It is but a trifling task to wrap up a paper after
you have read it, send it to a friend in the army. There are young ladies enough, who I
presume, would willingly devote two or three hours each day in gathering up, from house to
house, newspapers, books, magazines, &c., if they only knew how much it would please
their soldier friends., Now, that the young men are all gone to the war, it leaves the
ladies a good deal of time, and a portion of that cannot be more commendably passed than
engaged in furnishing reading matter for the soldiers. By the way, if the young men are
not all gone, it should make no difference, they ought to leave, and all such as have
remained at home, while older ones have left their families and taken their chances of
war, deserve to ousted by the gentler sex, or in more common terms,
We hope that in every city and town in Wisconsin,
a society, the object of which shall be to furnish reading for our soldiers in camp, will
Of all the solemn ceremonies ever witnessed, the
burial of a brother soldier is the most solemn. As we gaze upon the cold face of the
departed hero, and think of the dear friends he has left to serve his country, of the
loving wife, perhaps the darling little children, who so willingly gave up their dear
friend but a short time since, the tears cannot be hid, and low weeping is heard in the
mournful gathering. Poor fellows. they die in a noble cause, but the loss is none the less
May a just God have mercy on the widows and
orphans of our departed braves, and speedily terminate this wicked rebellion. It is
gratifying to note the improvement in health of the soldiers in the army of the Potomac.
Most of us are getting used to the climate, consequently less sickness is prevalent.
General King, from your city, is gaining the confidence of his men every day, and is among
the most popular generals this side of the river. He is a kind father to his men. Well may
Wisconsin feel proud of him.
While in this camp, the Second Regiment honored the
memory of Benjamin Franklin in a banquet given in the hospital tent. There were about a
dozen printers in the Second, many more in the Sixth and Seventh, and Geo. Otis, of the
Second was Secretary and acknowledged the receipt of many complimentary letters from Gen.
King, McDowell, McClellan, Cob and others of the army. The toastmaster was G. M. Woodward
of Co. B, LaCrosse, where he now resides. He also wrote a poem for the occasion which was
especially sweet, witty and fine. Woodward was, as he still is, a general favorite, and
one of Gods noblemen. General King, himself, was a printer and founder of the
Correspondent to the Sentinel
Jan 14, 1862
Dear Sentinel:- If you imagine that out here situated as we are I can
send you anything in the way of news, you are woefully mistaken. We are
dependent on the outer world for articles in this line; and so separate and distance
are the brigades that frequently we get the particulars of a foraging expedition
of the result of a scouting party through the New York Herald before we are
aware that such an expedition or scout was dreamed of. The Washington papers are
remarkable for their eagerness in a news way and even for local matters we
depend upon the Baltimore Clipper and New York Herald. Even our western papers
bring us news connected with our own locality that we never heard of before. I
notice that Capt.. Jack, on receiving the Sentinel, always turns and reads through
the telegraphic column and chafing him about it one day, he commenced reading and
gave me the particulars of a foraging expedition from Gen. Smith's division that I
had not heard of before. As the telegraph does all the news work, I must confine
myself to the personnel which the wires do not reach and which is, perhaps, beneath
their notice. So much for so much. As pay day is drawing near once more, we find
our worthy Chaplain Richmond at his post again. To say the least the parson is a
very erratic genius, and I cannot see that he does much good in the Second.
Whether it is on account of the stubbornness of his hearers, or for other causes,
I am unable to say but he has such a way of doing things that is difficult to
understand. You will see him flexing around camp of a Sunday morning his hands
full of original songs and he will be here there and everywhere apparently full
of business. About noon he will begin to settle down, get the band out and hard
at work. After they are tired out and perhaps twenty soldiers are gathered about
him, he will give out and have sang a hymn and as it is then time for noon roll
call, will announce afternoon services at three o'clock and then will disappear
and go off to some other camp forgetting all about his appointment. Frequently,
say two or three Sabbaths a month, he will not come at all; but once in a while
he manages to get started off and gives us a sermon. Its results are small for neither
officers or men entertain any great respect for him and think he is either out
of his province or out of his head. The parson is the subject of some jokes at
the hands of the men which is, of course, all wrong. When he starts off he raises
a small cloth hung like a chart on which is painted a cross. Some time since, he
was talking to a little crowd when one of the boys came along and, observing him,
very irreverently sung out to a companion "Bill, what the is the matter with
that fellow, can't he sell his maps?" The thing was so ludicrous notwithstanding
the serious subject that is created on little amusement. In other regiments the Chaplains
are thought considerable of as he gives them a sharp sermons telling many practical
truths. He is on intimate terms with the President, Gens. Scott, McClelland, Seward
and all the notables. Not long since he gave them a sermon in which he set off
his regiment in no very flattering terms; and among other things, said they were
great swearers. "Indeed" he said, he "never saw anything like it. They
will swear terribly and I believe they would swear the steeple off a meeting
house" The ladies of Secretary Seward's and Secretary Cameron's families
were present and as they are firm friends of the Second, the affair makes
considerable amusement in the higher circles. Say what you please about the
chaplain's deleteriousness in other matters, he is always prompt for his pay at
the end of the two month. Last pay day he went to the General Paymaster's office
and as it happened several of the officers of the Second were there. He told
the Paymaster in a very business like manner what he came after and that he was
Chaplain to the Second. "Your name is not on the muster roll" replied the
clerk and at that time he had not been mustered. He still insisted that he was
Chaplain of the Second when the clerk said "These gentlemen here belong to
the Second" "Oh" said the parson "they will identify me. You know
me" he said to one of them. "Never saw you before in my life; what is your
name?" "Captain Schoodenbeimer; you know me" he continued as he turned
to another. "Never saw you before" The parson said nothing more but
stalked out of the office, had the muster roll roll corrected and drew his pay.
Adjutant Haskell of the Sixth is recovering rapidly from the effects of the fall
from his horse which happened some days since. I hope to see him in the saddle
again shortly for the regiment must miss him sadly. Col. O'Connor of the Second
is on a short visit to New York to receive medical aid. The colonel has the
kindest sympathies of every man of the Second in his affections and all trust
that he will soon recover the full command of his voice. The successful
management of the Second is owing, in no slight degree, to the efforts of the
Colonel and all feel this. In his directions and orders he has labored that the
Regiment might enjoy all the liberties of the regular army while at the same
time it should not be a whit behind that in discipline. That he has succeeded,
the regiment will to-day speak for itself; while the fact that in brigade or
division drills under Gen. McDowell and King and when nearly every movement in
the tactics was gone through with the regiment never committed a blunder nor
ever was corrected, speaks volumes for the military knowledge of Col. O'Connor.
One of the hardest working regiments near us is the Seventh. Every effort is put
forth that the men may become soldiers and their rapid improvement can be easily
noticed. The Seventh has been particularly unfortunate in its head but no
regiment in the service, excepting perhaps the New York Seventy-Ninth, has passed
through the dangers and vicissitudes of the Second. There are few regiments that
could have done so with out a complete disorganization. Of the four Wisconsin
regiments in this vicinity, the Sixth has been most fortunate in its head.- there
has been but one change and field officers have worked together to create
harmony and perfect the regiment. The line officers are also just such men as
should command companies and the regiment to-day shows the efforts thereof. Of
the Fifth, we know but little. Yet there are rumors of jealous feelings among the
field officers, which I trust are without foundation. No regiment can prosper or
become what it should without the utmost good feeling among the directing heads.
The Wisconsin regiments are all enjoying excellent health. Notwithstanding the
changeable weather, I think the sick lists are smaller than ever before. Since
they came into service the Second has lost by disease only three men; the Sixth
and the Seventh , I think thirteen.- those who have died in camp have been
buried near us, excepting those whose bodies were sent home, and in some cases wooden
tablets have been placed at the foot and head of the graves. Three of these
graves are within sight of my quarters on a hill side below the Sixth where
every passer-by stops to take a look at the resting place of the poor fellows. It
is a melancholy sight. The Second is jubilant over the idea that Jim Lane has
selected them to go and help Old John Brown's soul in its rolling on. They like
Jim's style of fight. The two regiments which are understood to be already
selected are the Second Wisconsin and the First Ohio. All the general wants is
provisions sufficient to take him to Leavenworth, after which he will take care
of himself. It is said here that Barstow's cavalry will also go with Lane. Just
now we want a General who can infuse into their troops the spirit that Jim Lane
can and the men will be ready and willing to go anywhere.
The vexed question in Washington is what to do
for money. The troop and everybody else are being paid off in treasury notes and
the government having stopped specie payment, it takes four per cent to get these
exchanged into gold. The Washington merchants who, of course, take the notes at
par, are picking up all the bankable small bills they can reach to make change
with as they do not like to give change back in gold or silver. It is expected
that the Government will make these treasury notes, like those of the Bank of England,
legal tender when the difficulty will the obviated.
It was of little use for the Government to issue these notes as they nearly all
fell into the hands of brokers, who drew gold for them thus making it necessary
to keep a large amount on deposit at those places where the notes were
The brokers will now make a handsome thing out of it in the way of four to five
percent premium, for unless the Government makes them legal tender which, as
pay them out as such, it should do at once.
The new K company is the Second is working along gradually. It will take some to
get them fully equipped and armed. They will have the new Minnie musket, an order
for them having been issued and they are expected along every day.
The company is composed mostly of Swiss, there being also some Germans in the
ranks. It was designed as a Swiss Company however, but the difficulty in filling
rendered it necessary to recruit some Germans. The men are mostly well advanced
in years, there being several cases where both father and son are in the ranks
and many of them have seen service the the old country. After they have been
equipped and drilled and acquire a sufficiency of English to correctly and
easily distinguish the orders, they will no doubly make a valuable acquisition to
There is in the ranks of the Sixth regiment, a German who may well lay claim to
being an old soldier. He has been in ten battles in this country and bears on
his person eleven wounds all of which have left scars which he will carry to the
grave, and of which he is exceedingly proud. He was at the siege of Fort Sumter
and received a wound there and is now anxious to try his hand again.
In the way of retrenchment, the Government has make a drive at the brass bands or
regimental orchestras as they are called. No new ones are allowed and efforts are being made to disband those already in
existence. These bands are a pleasant thing to have and on
moonlight evenings their music is bewitching; yet, as it would make so great a
saving to the Government, there is no doubt they should be broken up and but very
few would feel the loss.
Under the present order, they labor under a disadvantage for any member of them
can easily get discharged and have and the other kinds of sickness have dwindled
many of them down to a half dozen performers. No new ones can be recruited so
that every day you hear bands so reduced in numbers that instead of music, they
send forth only discordant grunts. This is intolerable and the government should
either order the bands to fill up or disband them altogether. The latter would
be the better course. A well drilled martial band is all that is necessary in a
regiment. The other is a superfluity which can be dispensed with as well as not
and when it is considered that these orchestras cost the government at least
$5,000,000 per annum they should be given up.
An effort will be made, it is says, to reduce the pay of commissioned officers in
the army. Captains from $131 to $100, and lieutenants from $111 1/2 or
$106 1/2 to
$75 to $70 per month and others in proportion. This I do not believe, for the
pay is hardly sufficient now to make both ends meet, and if tried I do not
believe it could succeed as the efforts which would be brought to bear against congress
by the army of officers would prevent it. If the government desires to make a
saving in the army line, one of its first movements should be to distribute the
hundreds for regular army officers who are doing nothing among the new regiments
forming and in this way dispense with many officers. All of the new regiments
are officered and the officers are distributed through the country recruiting at
the rate of about one man a week. All of the new regiments would be glad to have
a few of the regular army officers in them and the more the better.
Letter from the Second Regiment.
Arlington, Va, Jan, 1861
Dear Sentinel: Perhaps you and your twenty thousand readers are not aware
of the important fact but so it is, nevertheless, that matters and things in this
sublunary sphere of ours are mighty uncertain. For instance, to illustrate: Life
is uncertain; hopes and expectations are uncertain. The latter is being realized
just now, I suppose, of a snow storm we were receiving the benefits of.
Well that snow storm has changed to rain and happy hearts are made sad again. The
boys had counted on that snow being the medium through which they should derive
no little pleasure. Impromptu cutters and sleds were being manufactured and any amount
to fun was in expectancy when all of a sudden the wind veered around from the
north'ard to south'ard and now it is raining just as hard or perhaps I should
say just as easy as falling off a log, and the snow is wasting away rapidly.
From all appearances we shall have to go with out our sleigh rides this winter.
One would naturally suppose that so near Washington and Georgetown as we are
there would be something of a settlement on this side of and near to Potomac but
on the contrary, covering the whole country as far as the eye can reach I do not
believe you could count up a half a dozen houses in sight of any portion of
Arlington and so it is from Chain Bridge down to Alexandria.
Of the few homes, and they are mighty scattering, are old Virginia mansions that
cover a large extent of country with any regard to convenience while the larger portion
are mere shanties which appear to have been built for the time to enable the
owner to leave at any moment without sustaining any great loss. When any of the occupants of these shanties have left, as has been the case with many, it is not a
great while before all traces of human habitation disappear for I tell you
boards are boards and bricks are bricks and nails are nails among soldiers,
especially when they want to build shanties to cover them. Within a circuit of a
mile of Arlington I should say that a dozen houses have mysteriously disappeared
within the past six months and this may be one of the reasons why they are
now so scarce, only one of these, the Hunter Mansion was of any account. I know
this; there are no saw mills around here and still every cabin and every tent has
sufficiency of boards to make them a board floor and comfortable bunks to sleep
in. Many of these have a strong resemblance to parts of doors partition walls
flooring etc., and I have no doubt that many a soldier sleeps comfortably every
night on boards that once bore the pressure of No. 3's as they were whirled
gracefully through the many waltz. However it seems not to have hurt the boards
any for the soldiers sleep as soundly on these boards as though there were no
such association connected with them. The Government is in a great degree
relieving the soldiers from the hard work of cutting his own fire wood. A large
number of contrabands have been put to work on the fallen timber and are cutting
it up into cord wood. This is piled up and the regimental teams haul it off as
wanted. The contrabands receive $1 per cord for the chopping which as the trees
are all down is considered a very good price. The Wisconsin regiments have
not to any extent availed themselves of this generosity on the part of Uncle
Sam. The men preferring to chop their own wood on the principle that the exercise
in beneficial to them. Another death has taken place in the ranks of the Second,
the victim being a Swiss whose name I cannot learn in the new Company K. He dies
of pneumonia and was buried about a mile from camp near the Nineteenth Indiana
where the brigade had a burial ground. The poor fellow was followed to his last rest by
his own company and detachment from other companies in the regiment.
In the camp of the Second are the barracks of two companies of the Twelfth New
York who are stationed at Fort Tillinghast which fronts the encampment. During
the week, three of the privates of these companies have died very suddenly from a
disease which the Surgeons have never before known. They were taken sick in the
morning and died before night. The disease commenced by a cold numbness in the
feet, gradually extending upwards when the victims commenced to turn black and
died. A past mortem examination revealed the fact that the liver and lungs were
one blotched mass and clotted with blood. Two more of the company were attacked
with the same disease but they were cured by an application to the feet of brick
heated so hot so to blister the feet and by drinking pepper tea. It is probably
the result of an inactive life and negligence.
Paymaster Morgan has made his appearance and before this reaches you the troops
of Kings brigade will probably have been paid off and what is more probable have
spent a greater portion of their money. The pay of the troops mounting to $26,
they receive $25 in treasury notes and $1 in Gold. Strong efforts have been made
to make a discount of 4 a 5 percent on these notes but I believe it has been
unsuccessful. At all events there are enough to take the notes at par and these
get the trade. The Second had just been supplied with new muskets all through.
For eight months the boys have carried the old smooth bore gas pipe and now
comes and now comes the new Austrian musket just arrived form Hamburg. They are
shorter than the old ones, the bayonet being 1 1/2 inches longer and weigh about
the same. Like the Enfield rifle they are clumsily built for service rather than
show, and look as if they would do good execution. The carry a ball like that of
the Minnie and are very pretty things to handle. If an regiment in service
deserved new arms the
Second did and now that they have them the boys are pleased. I believe it is a
generally acknowledged fact that printers as a class never lose their identification,
place them where you will. On the seventeenth I was agreeably surprised by an
invitation to attend a festival to given by the printers in the Second Regiment
Wisconsin volunteers, in commemoration of the anniversary of the birthday of
Benjamin Franklin. There are at least thirty printers in the Second one half of
whom are commissioned officers. On the morning of the 17th they held a meeting
and determined to celebrate the day. Captain Dave McKee was chosen President of
the Day and resolutions to the printers were adopted. In the evening a grand supper
was sat down to and amid speeches, toasts, songs, fact, fun and fancy the evening
The Second band furnished the music and the no better was ever listened to. It
was an impromptu affair but for good taste it is not often equalled. We are
reaping our harvest of mud and there is an abundance of it everywhere. You never
saw the like. I hear it asserted that Gov. Randall is to be a Brigadier general.
If it is so you probably have heard of it before this but I put in the item to
fill up the sheet and not in the way of news.
In November many discharges and promotions changed the
company rosters...so that the regiment was in excellent trim at the opening of the spring
campaign in 1862.
REGIMENT- A friend who has been visiting the
regiments over the river calls our attention to the Second Wisconsin a corps which came
into Washington in June last and entered at once into active service. The Second
participated at Bull Run and was particularly noticed by Gen. Sherman for its bravery in
that affair. Since that time its aim has been to excel. Co. Edgar O'Connor its commander
is a graduate of West Point Academy, an excellent officer and thorough disciplinarian and
served for some time as an officer in the regular army.
Since he took command of the Second he has
labored assiduously to bring it up to a high point of excellence and his labors have not
been in vain. In brigade or division drills it is never at fault and Gen. McDowell has
more than once complimented it in the strongest terms.
To those who think us inclined to flattery we say
go over and see the Second Wisconsin drill any you will be fully of the opinion of those
who have seen it; that is that it is an excellent corps, and will be found on hand when
wanted. It is in General McDowell's division and stationed at Arlington.
National Republican, Washington 1862
Camp Tillinghast, often the scene of
Letters from the Front, was named after Capt. O.H. Tillinghast, Asst. Quartermaster on
Gen. McDowell's staff in 1861. It's location is now part of Arlington Heights.
From the Second
Correspondent of the Sentinel
ARLINGTON Jan 16, 1862
Dear Sentinel:-Down on the Potomac we have just been having
an importation direct from Wisconsin, the shape of three tons of Badger butter, fresh from
the dairies. It was brought over by Mr. Adam Ray, one of the State Agents; and as it will
be furnished so that the regiments will get it at a low figure, when they are now paying
30 cents per pound for a very poor but very strong article of the kind, it is a perfect
God-send. Singular as it may seem, even the troops who have been so long in the field
occasionally relish a bit of good butter.
We have been having some more snow. For three
days and three nights it has been coming down with a fearful looseness, until now we have
it at least four inches deep, with a crust over the surface that would HOLD up a deer. It
is slippery and not slightly cold. The boys keep to their quarters, pity the guard. Wonder
how "them secesh fellows," who have always been used to the balmy zephyrs of the
South can stand it at all and SPEND THEIR time in wishing they could be "let to
go" out and give "those fellows the liveliest turn they ever got in the
wheel-house."-Dont for a moment imagine that on account of the snow and hail
and cold the Wisconsin regiments are suffering for they are doing that kind of business.
The only sufferers I have seen are the poor
devils who are unfortunate enough to own wood lots in, around, and about Arlington. The
way the mighty and majestic forests of old Virginia are disappearing before the axes of
out Badgers is a caution and would put some of you famous pioneers who have gone into the
frontier business for a living to the blush.
Where once were long rows of white trees now you
see log huts that are just as comfortable as any parlor. Secesh very fortunately deserted
a couple of brick yards when they left, and being found at large the contents were
appropriated. Fireplaces are at a premium above stoves, although some sticklers for
civilization cling to the latter with great tenacity. It took some time to get the hang of
the schoolhouse so as to build fire places that would not smoke, but they have it now. The
California hoes in the ground the invention of somebody who never was in the mason
business have been tried partially and impartial are found wanting. Nothing but a huge old
fashioned fire place with a tall chimney will do the business and anybody who desires to
learn how to build one that will draw a four foot log right up the chimney may come down
to Kings brigade and take lessons.
The Nineteenth Indiana are putting up log huts
for Gen. Kings staff. They will be neat and comfortable affairs, for Robinson
superintends the outside wood, Chandler the inside and Hathaway looks after the furniture,
Randall doing the extreme fine hand upholstering.
The paymaster has not yet made his appearance in
the brigade although he is looked for anxiously, eagerly and excitingly. Until he comes,
items will be scarce-then undoubtedly there will be a full supply. When we first came into
this vicinity the whole country was one grand forest, now only little belts of trees are
to be seen. The ground is covered with the fallen timber, but the boys prefer cutting down
trees for fire wood and building to using that already down. Why, I know not, nor have I
ever been able to ascertain. The timber is second growth as the old citizens can remember
when this was one vast tobacco field. The soil, if ever good is completely run out and
does not look as though it could raise anything. Most they get out of it is corn, and that
gives a very poor yield, especially when there are so many troops around.
Nearly all the prisoners from the Second
Wisconsin were confined on one floor of one of the prisons, and were consequently
together. This room was 60 x 22 and in it there were for some time no less than 178
prisoners, consisting of Wisconsin, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts soldiers and 12
sailors There was hardly room enough to lie down on the floor and the position of the boys
was truly unpleasant. As the prisoners were sent South the number in the room was
gradually reduced to 92 at which it remained until the exchange. From this room all the
prisoners were exchanged excepting the seamen. They were the crews of several prize
schooners taken in the Gulf during the early stages of the war. By the negligence of the
Lieutenant commanding the prize fleet and against the injunctions of the sailors who knew
the coast well the vessels were kept in shore until they struck the Florida coast only one
of the five escaping the sailing master of which separated from the fleet. The sailors
were taken from the vessels and since the 2nd day of July have been confined in Richmond.
Their case should be attended to at once and the poor fellows who have suffered so much
and without a murmur should be exchanged and sent home. I suppose most of your readers
have heard of the hand grenade but I will venture to say that not one in a hundred knows
anything about what they are. A large number of this deadly little missile have been
distributed though the forts along the line, and they may come directly under the head of
"incidents of the War." The grenades now in use are called "ketchums"
They are of three sizes-one, three and five pounds-and are shaped like an egg, only you
must carry the big end of the egg down to a taper just as the small end does This shell is
of cast iron, and hollow. Near one end is a gun tube which connects with the chamber and
on this tube you put a common tube which connects with the chamber and on this tube you
put a common gun tube by means of a pine stick, the cap going into a hole in the end of
the stick which is inserted; the cap sticking to the tube and the stick being withdrawn.
The shell is then filled from the other end with fine rifle power, and the orifice filled
with another long pine stick, which is driven in closely the outer end of which is split
and two pieces of cardboard inserted as boys insert them in a stick to make a dart. This
is to direct the grenade which is now loaded but which is perfectly harmless and can be
handled at will without danger. With the grenade is a small plunger which goes into the
end over the cap fitting in with a spring. This plunger is carried in the left hand the
grenade in the right and just before you want to use the latter you insert the plunger.
The grenade is thrown with the right hand and the dart assists the direction of it. Upon
striking any object it explodes like a shell bursting into many pieces and these pieces
doing great damage. I have seen pieces of the hand grenade thrown an eighth of a mile.
They are used and designed to throw into a fort on approaching to storm it and from a fort
to protect it when the enemy is approaching too near it. Thrown from a fort into the
ditches full of men, the slaughter would be terrible. The grenade now in use are a patent
of last August and differ materially from the old grenade of which we read. The single
pound ones are but little larger than an egg, the five pounders as large as man can throw
easily even a short distance. When loaded with the plunger in they must be carefully
handled, as it takes only a slight jar to make them do damage when it is not wanted.
Letter from the Second Regiment
Jan. 17, 1862
....I believe it is a generally acknowledged fact that
printers, as a class, never lose their identification, place them where you will. On the
seventeenth, I was agreeably surprised to receive an invitation to attend a festival to be
given by the printers in the Second Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, in commemoration of the
anniversary of the birthday of Benjamin Franklin. There are at least thirty printers in
the Second, one half of whom are commissioned officers. On the morning of the seventeenth
they held a meeting and determined to celebrate the day. Captain Dave McKee was chosen
President of the Day and resolutions to the point were adopted. In the evening, a grand
supper was sat down to, and amid speeches, toasts, songs, fact, fun and fancy, the evening
passed away. The Second band furnished the music, and no better was ever listened to. It
was an impromptu affair, but for good taste it is not often equalled......
Correspondence of the Sentinel
Arlington, Jan. 17, 62
Incidents connected with the prisoners of the Second at Richmond continue to
pile in upon us. A member of Oshkosh company picked up a Lieutenant's coat upon
the field and, when taken, passed himself off for an officer. All went well and he
messed with the shoulder straps until after the battle of Ball's Bluff. When the
prisoners taken in this battle came in, wearied and sour-footed, the officers gave
up their quarters to them for a few days all save the private in Question. He
refused to do so which aggravated the boys so much they blowed on him and he was
taken off to less pleasant quarters.
Shortly before the release there were two prisoners in one of the hospitals, one
from E and one from K Co. when an order came for one of them to be sent to the
prison. It was the K man and he preferring his present quarters to the tobacco
warehouse and the E man wanting to leave the hospital, they exchanged names, the
the E man went off, answering to the other's name. It was
an unfortunate change for him and a fortunate one for the others, for when K was
called shortly after, E answered and was sent south while K was sent North.
Several just such instances are reported.
From the specimen brought home, the boys must have spent a large portion of their
time in making pipes and rings the former from wood and the latter for beef
bones. Some of these specimens are very ingeniously constructed and are much
sought after by all as relics. There is a slight diversity of opinion among the
prisoners as to the living they found in Richmond. I have conversed with several
very candid men who say that the food was not as good as that furnished our
troops but still it was just as good as the rebel troops received, They were
furnished with coffee just so long as it could be had and just so long as the
rebel troops themselves got it. When the price of this article rose to 75 to a
per pound they could hardly expect to receive it.
No little amusement was created in the brigade a few days since at the expense
of Capt. Gare. Bouck, one of the most attentive and best and, at the same time, odd
officers in the Second. An order was issued for two commissioned officers and
several sergeant would naturally suppose that so near Washington and Georgetown
as we are, there would be something of a settlement on this side of and near to
the Potomac, but on the contrary covering the whole country as far as the eye
can reach. I do not believe you could count up a half a dozen housed in sight of
any portion of Arlington; and so it is from Chain Bridge down to Alexandria.
Of the few to be sent to Wisconsin and recruit for the Second in
conformity with a resolution of Congress, Capts. Bouck and Randolph were
detached. The latter mistrusting that there was something wrong about the order
started off at once paying his own fare home while the former was to wait a few
days and follow with the sergeants. After getting everything in readiness, Capt
Bouck took his sergeants, went around and bade good-bye to his brother officers
and started off. Arriving in Washington and applying at Headquarters, he found
that the order was all wrong and that the authority under which he acted was
good for nothing on the premises. Somewhat chagrined, yet putting as good a face on
the matter as possible, he took his sergeants and started for camp. As the
officers of the Second are somewhat given to joking or at least relishing a joke,
when the Captain returned there was fun alive. Innumerable were the questions
propounded as to the state of affairs in Wisconsin, the recruiting business, etc.
The Captain bore it first rate and was ready with a reply to all questions. A
dispatch to Capt. Randolph to join his company at once was forwarded but he will
at least have a chance of seeing the Badger State before it overtakes him.
It would be a matter of surprise to you in Wisconsin to know the number of pies
devoured every day by the "grand armee" I wish I could give you the
figures in round numbers and then again, I'm glad I can't, for you in your
innocence would not believe them. Every sutler's wagon which crosses the Potomac,
every wagon which they hire, their own teams being insufficient to meet the
demands, are loaded down with these pies, cakes of equally fair proportions and
"cider" manufactured from sweetened water, tartaric acid and
vitriol. So great is the demand that all the bakeries of Washington,
Georgetown and Alexandria (and their name is legion) cannot begin to supply the
demand and every train from the west brings in thousands of pies from the New
York bakeries. Those around Washington are run day and night. The pies are sold
at fifteen cents each . Several of the sutlers have endeavored by every means to
run them out of camp but it is impossible, for the men will have them. They are
the greatest curse to the army which we have and are no doubt - for several of the
surgeons have so informed me - more productive of the sickness in camp than all
other causes combined. The men know very well what they are eating and its
injurious effects; nevertheless the larger part of the sutler's bill is for pies
and all remonstrance is in vain.
I have been able to find but one benefit arising from these pies and that is the
government allowance of food for horses is insufficient to keep them in good
order and every teamster can save from the company allowance of splendid fresh
bread enough to keep his horses fat.
Col. O'Connor of the Second has returned from his visit to New York and I learn
has greatly improved in health and recovered, in a good degree, the use of his
voice. It is cheering intelligence for the Second.
The signal corps of the army is approaching daily towards a degree of
perfection. The system is excellent and so accurate that different divisions of
the army approaching each other, even in the darkest night, will be perfectly and
easily able to recognize each other and do away with every shadow of cause for
such disgraceful affairs as that which occurred some months since
at Chain Bridge, when two Philadelphia regiments fired into each other. The
present is Gen. King's week for picket. This Sunday morning the Sixth Regiment
started out in the midst of a drenching rain and with the mud knee deep and ten
miles of the roughest road you ever saw to reveal. The boys made a virtue of
necessity and went off singing a happily as though the weather was perfectly
splendid. As it has been raining over the past week and there is no present
indication of its holding up for a week to one there is any thing but a pleasant
prospect before the Sixth. Nevertheless they will bear it with the resignation
A distemper, apparently a severe cold, is prevailing to a great extent among the
horses on the Potomac. It is probably from the exposure to the weather which
many of them have had to meet
there not being stable accommodations for them.
January 19, 1862
Dear Sentinel-I send you the proceeds of a Printers
Festival, which was held at the camp of the Second, by the printers of the Regiment, of
which there are some twenty-eight, among whom are the following gentlemen: Major Allen,
Capt. LaFleische, Capt. McKee, Lieut. Otis, Lieut. Wood, Sergeants Harry and Woodward.
Capt. McKee was chosen President, and Capt. LaFleische
Secretary. Lieut. Otis was the Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements. We had the Brass
Band of the Second, and I must say it did some pretty good "blowing".
Lieut. Col. Fairchild was present, and also Dr. Ward. The
Doctor said he was no printer, but a very good eater, of which he gave ample proof
during the evening.
When Lieut. Col. Fairchild rose to make a speech, he
commenced in this way: "Gentlemen and fellow soldiers, and I wish to God I could say
The evening passed off very pleasantly. The following is
Bill of Fare
Chicken, Loin of Beef, Mutton
Oysters Stewed, Oysters Fried, Sardines,
Head Cheese, Bread and Butter
Pickles, Celery, French Mustard
Cranberry Pie, Mince Pie, Apple Pie, Fruit
Cake, Loaf Cake, Jellies, Ginger Snaps, Nuts, Raisins, Apples, Tea and Coffee
Quite a supper for soldier printers.-Dont you
Sergeant Woodward, of Co. B, was appointed Toastmaster,
and here is the result:
1. The Memory of Franklin
Responded to by Major Allen
2. The Art Preservative - the "black art"
that scatters light upon the path of progress.
Responded to by Capt. McKee
3. The Printer Volunteers - Their shooting
sticks will batter every type of treason, and knock the whole form
Responded to by Capt. La Fleische.
4. The President of the United
Responded to by Lieut. Wood.
5. The Health of the Commander-in-Chief.
Responded to by Lieut. Otis.
6. The Field and staff Officers of the Second Regiment
Responded to by Sergeant Barry.
7. The Army and Navy.
Responded to by Lieut. Col. Fairchild.
The following volunteer toasts were read:
The Confederate TreasuryA printers paradox:
Jeff Davis in a pet one day
Was talking in the bluest way;
He loudly swore the want of cash
Would settle, very soon, his hash.
Says he: "Old Abes in better case,
His treasures locked up in a Chase,
But mine is loose and open here;
It very soon will disappear
A handful every thief purloins,
For, damn it all, were out of coins."
The Ladies of Wisconsin
The charming maids that grace our State,
Have sent us forth to battle,
To bear Our Countrys Flag aloft,
Where Loudest cannon rattle.
They sent their mitten after us,
A guerdon of emprise,
And when its hold is yielded up,
a gallant soldier dies.
But, ladies dear, a warning word,
T will show our gratitude,
While we use more than asterisks,
And freely shed our blood
Pray frown on those who stay behind,
Make every coward shun you;
Keep standing forms for us
let no Home Guards impose upon you.
The following letters were received in the
Arlington, Jan. 17, 62
Sir:--An imperative business engagement in Washington,
much to my regret, prevents the acceptance of your kind invitation to meet the Printers of
your Regiment this evening. I would be a gratification to meet members of your fraternity,
with which my lot was cast for so many years whose associations were so pleasant
and whose memories are yet so fresh and so cherished. I hope that the festival will
be one of uninterrupted enjoyment. Let me offer as a sentiment:
The Memory of Warren M. Graham A gallant soldier, a
true gentleman, and a genial friend. Very respectfully, Your Obt Servt
Lieut. Geo. H. Otis,
Chairman Com., &c., 2nd Reg., W.V.
HEAD QUARTERS KINGS
BRIGADE, Arlington, Jan. 17, 1862.
Sir: A severe accident, which confines me to my
quarters, prevents me from being with the printers on the Second Wisconsin to-night, and I
regret it much, for there is no class of men whom I could meet with so much pleasure at
this gloomy time as the Fraternity of the Press. I have spent the best years of my life
within its genial, intelligent, patriotic and true hearted circle, and for better, for
worse, for richer, for poorer, I hope always to remain steadfast to it as my first
love.When this war is over, I hope that you all may answer at the roll call of
returned volunteers, and I know that the soldier printers of Wisconsin will do their share
in the work of crushing out this wicked rebellion. I propose as a sentiment:
Gen. Rufus KingAn editor, who, in fifteen years at
the head of a political newspaper, never said an ungentlemanly word, nor did an unmanly
Your obt servt,
CHAS. A. ROBINSON
(Editor of the Green Bay Advocate and a member of Gen. Kings staff.)
We sent an invitation to correspondent
"C" of the Sentinel, but he could not be present. I got these documents of
"W.R.S." the correspondent of the Northwestern. We tried to see which could
drink the most Catawba. I beat him a very little and then I took these from him Those long
promised guns have at last got here; they arrived direct from Austria and we got them
yesterday, the 18th of January. They are called the Austrian rifle, and I think will shoot
a great distance and do duty they are rather rough outside, and look clumsy enough, but we
don't care a continental for looks, if they will kill.
Fort Tillinghast, Arlington, Va., Jan. 20,
We are now having rather the most dullest and disagreeable time that I ever
experienced in camp. For the last two weeks it has rained, hailed and snowed by turns
nearly all the time; the sun but seldom showing his smiling face" between the parted
clouds and brightening and soldiers' dewy locks" We managed to keep ourselves dry and
comfortable, for we have nothing else to do and give our whole attention to the art of
It is so very muddy in the streets and on the parade ground that we have, for some time
past, dispensed with. I never saw mud in greater abundance in any part of the West, not
even in Illinois, though noted for being of all the muddy countries the muddiest. We are
all getting tired of a cloudy sky and inactivity. Time, "like a wounded snake, drags
its slow length along." When I commenced writing this there was a lull in the storm.
The rain had ceased to fall, but a thick mist still hung over the earth like a shroud.-
Now it is raining again pelting fiercely upon the roof of my canvass mansion, but true to
its trust the canvass roof keeps all beneath it dry.
Many of our boys have built them houses of logs and covered them in a variety of ways, but
my tentmates and myself stick to our dear old tent, and if we have no colder weather than
we have had so far, we will go through the winter comfortably enough. I dislike log houses
for the reason that they are too dark, damp and lonely. Light as well as heat is necessary
to promote health and vigor and of all things in the line of health producing, pure air,
though cold is the most important, the greatest, and, the best.
A few days since the Second Regiment have up their old muskets with many tears! For nearly
seven months they had been our constant companions; going with us on the march, standing
by us around at the bivouac fire, and deserting us not in the peril of battle, Is it any
wonder, then that we should weep for joy rather than for sorrow-when we exchanged them for
true and trusty rifles that will bite as well as bark and kick. We now have the best guns
in the Brigade, and I think they are in the hands of men who know how to use them.
The health of our Regiment is good. There is probably no other regiment in the service
that has less sickness, and fewer deaths that the Second.
There will probably be no advance of the army until the roads get better, notwithstanding
the impatience of the people and newspapers in general. If the soldiers can stand the
present muddy weather and inactivity confined the people ought to put up with the
inactivity and not clog the wheels of the car of war because it moves but slowly.
Arlington, Jan. 22, 1862
On Sunday one hundred and fifty men of the federal prisoners, taken at Bull Run
arrived in Washington. Out of the whole number there were only four that were
not severely wounded and the appearance of the poor fellows on Monday at the Soldiers
Retreat was one of the most shocking ever looked upon.-
There were some twenty-two belonging to the Second Wisconsin but nearly, if not
quite all of them, will have to be discharged from service being wounded too
badly to recover for a long time if ever. There were two of them belonging to
your Milwaukee Company, Capt. Langworthy, viz:, Sergeant Gaskill and Private
The whole party are now in Washington looking after their pay and making the
necessary arrangements for being discharged.
The Second having received ammunition for their new guns goes out on picket
The Sixth returned last night after a most tedious trip against the wind,
weather, mud, rain, snow and all sorts of combinations. They stood it like
The following appointments have just been commissioned in the first Wisconsin
Artillery, Captain Langworthy; First Lieutenant, Chas. C. Meservy, Second
Lieutenants, Wallace M. Spear and F. S. Graves.
The first Artillery is becoming most proficient in light and siege artillery
drills and at the late muster received any number of compliments from the
Artillery Department. In their battery they have two rifled 20 pounders that
will carry four and on-half miles.
It is now almost a month since we have seen the face of Old Sol, and have almost
forgotten how the sun looks. During that time it has rained snowed and hailed
alternately and you can form no idea of the state of the roads, which are bad
enough in the most favorable weather. Drill in the regiments has been almost entirely suspended, as
the drill grounds are in very little better condition than the roads.
Arlington., Jan 27,
Dear Sentinel: Speaking of the new muskets, the Austrian rifle, the Second had a trial of
them on Wednesday and the result proved highly satisfactory. They are a splendid piece,
rough as they look; and in the hands of the Second will do good execution when the
opportunity for their use occurs.
Gen. Jim Lane has gone off to Kansas to make
himself heard again.
Do you know how near we came to having Gen. Jim a
Wisconsin institution? I will tell you.
Just after Bull run when the Second was in
trouble over the officers, Gov. Randall came to Washington, and after a look at the state
of affairs determined to appoint Lane Col. of the Second regiment.
Gen. Sherman then in
command of the brigade, the same who after wards went to Kentucky, hearing of it waited
upon Randall and advised against the measure. "Gov. Randall" he said "you
can go to the Insane Asylum and pick out any number of men who are more capable of taking
command of the regiment than Lane is."
So Lane was not appointed Col. of the Second.
Among the marked Characters of the war are the
newsboys. Rain or shine mud or dry the camp is full of them at all hours of the day and
they are a well patronized class. As many papers as they can carry are soon disposed of
and the profits resulting there from certainly larger than are made by the newsboys of the
largest cities are at once invested. As early as four oclock in the morning you hear
the sonorous voices, "Ers your morning papers "nother great battle in
Kentucky; Gen. McClellan arrested for selling clams with out a license; Gen. Beauregard
reduced to the ranks; another great Union victory." "Did the Union troops
retreat in good order? ask one of the Second boys taking up the phraseology of the
newspaper reports of the olden time. "No, sir," replies the newsboy "they
didnt retreat at all as you did at Bull Run; they stayed and fought it out and
now-"nother great Union victory in Kentucky only three cents." So they go on
every day. Ragged fat and saucy they have a sharp reply for every attempt at wit at their
expense. The number of papers sold every day would surprise you for the troops are a
reading people and like to know what is going on in the world.
Yankees dont like an innovation upon old
established principles unless there is a show of good sense in the new finagle. One of the
things they kick against most is that of driving four horses with a single rein and a
hoarse "yep." Foreign teamsters have so abused their horses that Government is
working in all it can of a better class of men, and when teams are furnished to a regiment
the teamsters must be detailed from the ranks.
As they are paid $25 per month and enjoy more
liberty than the soldier it is no difficult matter to get a plenty of good trustworthy men
It is amusing to see new men take hold of a team and under take to manage it with one
rein. The horses evidently seen to understand that there is a green one behind and they
are provokingly stupid. Driver yells "Yep", all the "English" the
horses know, and pull and jerk on that line and the result is they get mixed up with other
It requires outside assistance, and a number of
starts before they get fairly under way. After the teamsters get used to it, (which takes
some time,) they rather like the single line business and can "Yep" it with any
of the old Government teamsters.
I have seen it stated that the government does
not furnish gloves or mittens to the troops. It is a mistake, for any officer can draw
enough woolen mittens to supply his command and furnish them at 31c per pair by simply
making a requisition for them.
They are not as good as those which are being
furnished the troops by their friends for like all goods sold to the government the grand
and single idea is to palm off something that looks like the article and will hold
together long enough to be inspected There can be no greater swindle than that perpetrated
upon the government and the troops in the article of clothing.
A box of it drawn from the government will
contain a dozen different kinds of cloth-from the meanest shoddy down and when put upon
the troops lasts them but a very short time. Of course the men are rough on clothing,
ramming about as they are, strain it no little; still it is not altogether their fault for
the cloth is unfit to make up into garments. There are few men in the Second who have not
drawn nearly up to their years clothing account, and including the two, and in many
instances three suits furnished by the State. I see it is in contemplation to establish a
clothing bureau in Washington and such an institution is needed for the inspection as it
now is nothing less than a mere farce. Furnished with suitable clothing the soldier might
save something on his allowance $42 per year while as it now stands he will overdraw it
every year if he dresses so as to pass inspection.
Dr. Irving of the Second had a narrow escape the
other day. He was riding over Chain Bridge when his horse took fright and leaped down the
high embankment on the Virginia side. The horses neck was broken but the doctor most
providentially escaped with only a slight scratch.
The Second came in off picket to day. They have
had a sorry time of it in the rain and sleet but in a few moments were laughing over their
adventures, as though all had been pleasant.
We have now a cold north wind, which is fast
drying up the roads. During the day the sun looks out, and at night the clouds have
disappeared so the stars can peep through. C.
From the Second Regiment
Fort Tillinghast, Arlington, Va,.
Jan. 28, 1861
A DAY IN WASHINGTON AND A PEEP AT CONGRESS IN SESSION
At 8 o'clock yesterday morning I started for the city in company with T. S.
Peck. The morning was clear and cold and the frost of the pervious night
having made the roads quite passable. We walked as rapidly as possible not only
for the purpose of keeping our blood in active circulation but also that we
might have a longer period in which to visit places of interest in the Capital
We crossed the Potomac on the bridge over the aqueduct and having arrived in
Georgetown we entered a buss and rode for the distance of two miles or
Soon after entering the buss, a question arose between some soldiers of the
Pennsylvania 9th and the Bucktail regiment as to which regiment did the best
fighting at Drainsville. It seemed that both
regiments were there and took an active part in the fight and if they fought as
well and bravely as they talked both regiments did their duty.
When we dismounted from the buss we found ourselves on Pennsylvania Avenue in
the very center of the great city of Washington, or rather of the overgrown
village of Washington, for aside from the Government buildings and the
Smithsonian Institute there is nothing to make it a city. The houses are low and
very many of them built of wood. The city is scattered over a large extent of
space but yet there is but one street that can be called a street the city in
the sense of that term and that is Pennsylvania Avenue. The government buildings
are splendid but entirely out of proportion with the remainder of the city. The
Capitol, like a Goliath among pigmy warriors, stands out alone; a huge pile not
without beauty and symmetry but beautiful, stately and grand; a monarch born to
rule the lesser objects that surround it.
The Smithsonian Institute is the best looking building in the city to my notion
. It is built of red sand stone in or near the Gothic style of architecture and
contains many beautiful and wonderful things in the way of fossils paintings and
rare specimens of beasts, birds, fishes and insects.
I could, with pleasure and with profit, pass away the time for a month in such a
place but as we only had a short time to spare, we could only glance at the
common curiosities and pass them by while the more curious we examined closely.
Among the most attractive fossils are a skeleton of some ancient animal with
four joints in the legs, one joint of the backbone of another are more than a
foot in diameter and an egg of some huge ancient bird nearly as large as a man's
Of the works of art the, most attractive are an ancient Roman Sarcophagus, the
Indian paintings and the Dying Gladiator the last named a stature of ancient
design being probably a pretty correct representation of the proportion of Roman
warriors was carefully surveyed and even measured by the two soldiers of the
Second Wisconsin Volunteers in the year of our lord, 1861.
From the Smithsonian, we went to the Capitol our principle object being to see
Congress in session. We did not stay to look at the fountains, the paintings,
the statues, nor any of the many things that at other times would draw us to
them but hurried up the stone steps and through the long corridors until we
reached the gallery of the Senate Chamber. Mr. Wade had the floor and was
speaking on, or rather introducing a bill, pertaining to secret sessions. Of all
the Senators present he would have been one of the very last that I would have
taken for Ben Wade, the bill called up something of a debate judging from the
men that participated in it, it being impossible for me to hear all that was
said and not knowing much about the merits of the case in question. Mr. Summer
offered an amendment to the bill, though I could not distinguish the orator in
the bent form and prematurely grey head before me, when I heard his deep yet musical
voice I could easily recognize Charlie Summer. Then came John P. Hale, then
Trumbull of Illinois and when we left they were still debating the question with
as much gravity as we conduct a county debating club in the unaristocratic west.
We then directed our steps to the Assembly Chamber. When we entered the gallery,
a member form Ohio was speaking and seemed to be straining every nerve and
muscle to the top of their bent, in order, I suppose
that every one present could hear him - had his voice reached as high as the
gallery, but for my part I could not make out half he said. His voice sounded
like the sharp sound of the blacksmith's hammer as it falls upon the anvil.
While in the Assembly gallery I found that I had lost my pass, which gave me
I could not find it however and after taking a look at a few of the most
interesting things in the Capitol we started again for Old Virginia. It was too
late in the day to get a pass from the Provost Marshal and had I not been with a
friend who had a pass, I would in all probability have passed the night in the
guard-house. As it was we arrived home in safety.
Items from Richmond
David Strong ,of this place, late a prisoner at Richmond, has related to us some incidents connected with his captivity which may be of
interest to the public. - The prisoners were not entirely released but signed a parole of
honor not to take up arms against the Southern Confederacy until exchanged or otherwise freed from their obligation.
Immediately after the retreat of our forces at the battle of Bull Run, the rebels were
drawn up in line and addressed by Davis who thanked them for the courage they displayed (in firing from under
cover of the woods!) exhorted them to redoubled efforts and concluded his harangue by
exclaiming, "Now for Washington!" They then moved forward about a half
mile and encamped, concluding not to take Washington just then. In a few days the
prisoners were taken by rail road to Richmond where the wounded were sent to the hospitals and the others to the tobacco warehouse prisons. Here they
were huddled together in close confinement and subjected to all manner of insults and indignities.- At first they did not receive a kind
word or act but, by degrees, the Union spirit developed itself and they were frequently
cheered by the present of books magazines &c. and assured that they would soon be released. They were frequently shot at through the windows by the
On one occasion, when two of the prisoners were washing themselves in a back room after dark, the outside guard watched until they came between him and
the light, took deliberate aim and fired at them, wounding one so that he dies in a short time and breaking the other's arm. The next day this assassin was
promoted to the rank of sergeant for his brave conduct. The shooting two worse them
Such is southern chivalry! Capt. Todd, Mrs. President Lincoln's brother who was captain of the
post at Richmond exercised unusual cruelty towards the prisoners- we give two
There was an order requiring the lights in the prison to extinguished by nine o'clock at a given signal. One evening, a
prisoner was sitting on the floor by a lighted candle, rubbing his feet. When the signal was given to put
out the lights, he did not instantly comply. Todd saw the faint light, rushed up stairs, broke into the room and with an oath thrust his sword through the
calf of the prisoner's leg, turning it as he drew it out, cutting a horrible gash. At another time this villain was calling the roll, as was the custom
every morning; one of the prisoners was lying on the floor when his name was called and did not get up. Todd went to him and broke out with "You d---d
Yankee son of a ---, why don't you fall into the ranks?" the soldier answered
"I can't: I'm sick" At this Todd drew his sword and struck him across
the side of the head cutting a hole in his skull. He then compelled him to stand
in the ranks until they were through and left him, not even calling the
The prisoners had various ways for passing away the time such as theaters, lyceums, courts of justice, &c. when one of their number stole or committed
any other offence against his fellows, he was arrested taken before his honor, a young lawyer of Brooklyn, N.Y., tried and if convicted sentenced to mop the
floor or something of that kind. They carved a great many rings, watch hooks, &c. out of bone which they sold to the rebel officers and
citizens taking their pay in shinplasters with which they procured what they wanted.
They could get seven dollars in shinplasters for a five dollar U.S. Treasury Note!
The rebel soldiers, when asked whether they were going to re-enlist at the expiration of their time or not, almost invariably answered, "No we are
going home to die!" They were mostly enlisted for one year. The rebels made great sport of the blockade when it was first established and
were quite confident that England would soon raise it. But the high price of tea, coffee, boots
and shoes and hundreds of other necessary articles, together with the pacific termination of the Mason and
Slidell affair have reduced them to despair. They are surrounded by a ray less gloom
and it is evident the end is drawing nigh. The only eatable they have in abundance is
beef, the main supply of which comes from Texas. General Lane's expedition will put a stop to this and they look upon the prospect
before them with dismay. The reign of terror begins to break away and the murmurs of
discontent which were drowned by the roar of the tempest of rebellion begin to be heard calling upon the leaders to stop while
they can hope for mercy at the hands of the Union. We may take fresh courage for everything points to a
speedy and glorious victory - a victory not marred by a compromise but one worth
ten times the cost and which shall stand forever.
The undersigned members of the Second Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers and for more
than five months prisoners at Richmond, Va. render out most heartfelt thanks to Hon John
F. Potter, M. D., for his zealous and successful efforts in our behalf on our arrival in Washington.
Through his labors we promptly gained our full pay and also pay for rations not furnished us by the
There was nothing that could have been done for us that Mr. Potter left undone; no man or set of men could have shown us greater kindness and
To Mr. Simeon Whitely of Racine, Wisconsin, we also express our great obligation
for his many and devoted kindnesses while we were in Washington, his favors will ever be held in grateful
And to the Union Relief Association of the City of Baltimore, we express our gratitude for the magnanimous reception given us, with the whole 250
released Federal prisoners. We were ragged and they clothed us; hungry and they fed us most bountifully; were fatigued and had been in prison and they
ministered unto us with the utmost affection and patriotic and brotherly kindness.
Sergeant D. C. Holdridge, Co. H.
Robert Burns, Co. B
S.H. Hagedon, Co. K
S.D. Piteher, Co. F
J. M. Hawkins, Co. B
John Jones, Co. D
Serg't McGregor, Co. I
P. Irvin, Co. G
N. Heath, Co. A
F. Breany, Co. I
J. Hobach, Co. K
R. W. McKinnon, co. H
A. J. Curtis, Co. C
W. P. Smith, Co. I
D. O'Brien, Co. G
H. Murray, Co. K
O. J. Iverson, Co. F
F. W. Lacy, Co. F
H. Henry, Co. F
Wm. Taylor, Co. I
Late prisoners at Richmond
It is peculiarly gratifying to this citizen of this State to know, of all Northern
States, none has shown more devotion to the good old Union than herself. At the first call from the
President men sprung with alacrity into the ranks.-
Regiment after regiment was filled with surprising rapidity, particularly so in the western portion of the State. Upon the second call of Abraham, the
ardor of our liberty loving citizens was not in the least dampened at it. They went, men enlisted fast as ever, no hanging back
except with a few cowardly sneaks and abolition howlers. Still another call comes for more
troops and now our gallant young State is brought to the test and how nobly she springs to the work, regiments again being filled rapidly, more so than
one could have expected-.
A response so prompt, so glorious, covers our young State with imperishable renown. We of this section of the State feel proud of ourselves. We are
proven to be true loyal patriotic and generous.
The Wisconsin men who have seen service are pronounced amongst the very best of volunteers. Our noble Second Regiment is the pride of the army the best
drilled, the most gentlemanly and the least cowardly of them all. We are proud of the high
position they have gained by their own merit with no influence in any way to assert their rights.
They have worked themselves up (by their own efforts) to a position that they, as well as all
Wisconsinites, may well feel proud of. They are a fair sample of the Wisconsin soldier. Of
the thousands of men from this State who have rallied, and are still rallying, around that old flag so
dear to us all, God bless them. They are worthy sons of a good - great -
glorious county - of a county that has no equal - of a county soon to by delivered from its present throes of antagonism, of a country that
will soon have established a peace as permanent as eternity.
BULL RUN Secrets- Documents found in the deserted camps at Manassas throw much light upon the disaster at Bull
Run. The rebel force actually engaged in this battle as appears from the official return, was only fourteen
regiments of infantry, five batteries of artillery and twelve companies of cavalry. It has always been a mooted point as to who commanded the rebels.
The plan of the battle was drawn by Beauregard and approved by Gen. Joseph E. Johnson on the 20th, the day before the battle, so that Johnston was first
and Beauregard was second in command. Beauregard commanded the reserve in person.
Just 1421 of our soldiers were captured by the enemy. Of this number, 871 were sent to Richmond and 550 wounded were sent to the rebel hospitals.
Our losses of cannon and ordinance stores which have never been accurately estimated by the Federal officers are summed up in an official return from
Capt. Alexander of the rebel engineer service as follows:
1 - 30-pounder Parrott gun with 300 rounds ammunition
9 - 10-pounder Parrott guns with 100 rounds each
3 - 6- pounder brass guns with 100 rounds each
3 - 12 -pounder brass guns with 100 rounds each
2 - 12-pounder brass howitzers with 100 rounds each
9 - James rifled field pieces with 100 rounds each
37 caissons; 6 traveling forges, 4 battery wagons, splendidly equipped; 64 artillery horses with harness &c.; 500,000 rounds small arms ammunition;
4500 sets of accoutrements, cartridge boxes, &c.; 4000 muskets. Total number
of cannon taken, twenty-seven; muskets, four thousands.
In the senseless panic of our troops, they threw away great quantities of tools and
equipments, the most important of which were 1650 camp cooking utensils, 2700 mess utensils, 700 blankets, 23 horses, 21 wagons and a large
quantity of miscellaneous articles.
Dark and Bright Sides
A Baltimore correspondent gives the following which he says was imparted to him by one of the Union prisoners who recently came from Richmond,
having been exchanged: The prisoners, according to these accounts, were crowded together in tobacco
warehouses with nothing to sleep on but the floor and with scanty covering.-
They had no conveniences for washing or for personal cleanliness. Their food was scanty and was of the worst possible description except the bread which
was fresh and sweet. From the time of their capture, July 12, until December 15th, they were liable to shot if seen at the windows. At the latter date,
according to the Richmond Enquirer and the Richmond Dispatch, in both of which papers the statement appears, an order was issued by the military
authorities forbidding this shooting in future. One case was related to me of exceeding
vulgarity. It was that of a young man whose self-denying kindness and attention to
his comrades had won for him the respect and attachment of all.
He was sitting at an open window smoking a pipe; but not leaning out of the window. Without the least provocation, some ruffian in the street
fired at him, the ball passed through his head killing him instantly. Dr.
Higgingbotham, mentioned, happened to be in the room at the time and witnessed the shocking scene. There was a Swiss sergeant in charge of the
prisoners whose brutality is attested by them all. It was his duty to assemble them
and call the roll every morning. If they were the least tardy in getting up he would strike them over the head with his musket. His language uniformly was
of the most vulgar and outrageous character. "Get up, you god dammed s-----s of B-------s" was his usual style.
When any of the prisoners died, their bodies were carried out to the dead house; but no one knew what became
of them or whether they were buried or not.
Some of the men state that when coffins were provided, the bodies were thrust into them without tenderness or decency and if a leg or an arm happened to
be shattered or broken, it was rudely doubled up or crushed in.
Such is the dark side of the picture.
But there is, for the honor of humanity, a brighter side also The prisoners all concur in the statement that they were occasionally visited by ladies
who never failed to leave behind some token of their angel visits They brought them cakes jellies and other delicacies and often when the stern
sentinels would refuse them admission, they would seize the presented bayonet with their little hands, turn it aside and thus eluding, the guard make their
visit. Other ladies in riding past in their carriages, threw bouquets of flowers in at the windows. One lady with two beautiful daughters is particularly
mentioned as having been kind to the prisoners. Some of the prisoners under a
guard were allowed to go to a spring for water. The guard remaining at some
distance, women would occasionally meet them at the spring. One of these told
them that she had a Union flag concealed in her house and that if the Union
troops came to Richmond she would display it from her housetop.
-Hugh Murray and Andrew Bean, late prisoners at Richmond and members of Company
D, 2d Wisconsin regiment, returned to their homes in this city on Saturday.
Murray is in a very bad state of health resulting from a cold caught at Richmond
in consequence of deficient clothing. He was without a shirt for four weeks but
was privately supplied with one by a Union man just before he left. The
clothing and money sent to them by the federal government were never received by
the prisoners. They were badly treated by the rebels the whole time they were