Return Home Page Second Wisconsin

1862 November, The Second Wisconsin

Nov 1, 1862
The following thrilling letter has been kindly furnished us, by Rec. J. H. Dudley. The writer, a lady now residing in Washington is a relative of the elder's family and her statements are perfectly reliable although they may seem incredible.
***My husband is now by  my side, once more a free man, able to breathe the pure fresh air of Heaven untainted by the loathsome atmosphere of dreaded Libby prison, in rebeldom, and with churlish guilty rebel to point the ready musket at him, if he dared look forth on the beautiful things of nature made by the same kind hand which so gloriously sent forth a flood of sunlight on the works of his hand upon all both man and beast bird and insect, and saw that all was good and not like these rebels - shutting out man the best and most noble of all his works from all the beauties of this world and by seeing the glories here from some faint conceptions of what a God is ours.- He left Libby prison on Sunday a.m. the 21st of Sept., 1862, with scarcely fifteen minutes warning, as usual. He found some kind friends there disposed to favor him but "secretly, for fear of the Jews." three times he was allowed to go out of prison during his confinement. 
In the cook room, which was below, were, most of the time, several dead bodies not allowed to be buried until there were ten. Fifteen or twenty bodies that had laid there as many days; and in the open air, of course, perfectly tainted and so swollen, putrid and black as not to render it possible to handle them.
I have very little time now to write as I have 4 immense freight wagons at the Patent office being loaded with goods from nearly every state which has troops, which I have gotten by spending the whole time yesterday in collecting for a camp seven miles off, beyond Alexandria, for convalescents, where convalescents are sent to recruit. I visited the camps two days ago and found 16,000 men in the most awful condition such as I never supposed could be found on the American continent. 
One thousand had no shirts, even, and the sick, with Typhoid fever and other complaints, lying in the sand and dirt with nothing under their heads. But I need not attempt to describe the terrible scenes. Hundreds of poor, filthy fellows, following me wherever I went so that at last I had to have a guard to clear my way. I went to the sanitary rooms, and took some 300 shirts, 200 pillows, crackers, fruit, condensed milk, blankets, &c., &., &., One poor man, from Wisconsin, the most like a living
skeleton I ever saw to whom I gave a blanket, being a little delirious kept repeating to himself and to others, "Have not got to shiver tonight" over and over again. 
I came home determined to do something for them and went to Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, to the Surgeon General and to the medical purveyor and yesterday visited most of the committees to get all I could and today I go out with a number of distributors. I gathered enough to go down this and to take four wagons besides half a boat load, and sixteen persons for distributors when there. 
I have just been out with my ambulance and bought 7 bbls. onions, 10of potatoes, 1200 shirts, 1000 sheets, 2000 drawers, 400 pants, 6 bbs. dried fruit, 12 pairs of crutches, 500 pillows and cases, 70 quilts, 100 lbs. condensed beef, 60 cans beef soup, 80 cushions for wounded limbs &c., &c., &c., &c.,
But all this among so many is but very little. I went from 8 o'clock a.m. yesterday till 10 o'clock p.m. I only mention this to show the demand here. And now a little of our trip to
Camp Misery.
We reach the camp about noon, and at once selected the most convenient place for our goods and had a guard placed over them. I took the sick wards as my field and the other ladies the tents on each side. The sick wards forming the hospital consist of several largest size tents all together like one. There the sick lie close together, some few on cots and others on the ground with every conceivable form of disease and wounds (including two insane) and from almost every State. A certain number of tents constitute a ward and each ward has a ward master with a nurse to every ten men. 
We succeeded in giving to each of the men on beds in two wards a shirt, drawers, socks, slippers, towel, handkerchief and fan and, to such as were able, some reading with a pillow and case. By the time I got through the two wards it was too dark to do much in the tents and I left them and joined the others in the single tents, and witnessed the burial of one poor fellow far away from home and friends in a soldiers lone grave; but all was done very decently and a white board with name, age, home, &c. on it.- Next morning at 7 1/2 o'clock we commenced our labor and selected guards for our things all of which were then opened and distributed. 
Sheets, shirts, pillows, cushions, &c.,  &c., Soon we had the poor fellows with good clean sheets, pillows under their aching heads and quilts and blankets over them,-and Oh! such scenes, such tears, such expressions of gratitude,- was enough to break my heart. Then followed food of various kinds which many eagerly devoured. After getting through the sick wards I took place at the center near the boxes and with a good corps of aids gave out to the multitude which so thronged around us as to almost crush me. I told them I would give all something if they would keep off. but Oh, such pleading and begging - please madam give a shirt I have not had one in two months - please give me a towel, please a pair of socks or shoes I have not had any these four months and you can see how sore and swollen my feet are. 
They stood four deep, two lines each side of me, full four rods long, just as close as possible and as I passed along from one to another twenty hands would reach out after what I gave, some over other's heads, under arms, everyway, anyway to get the desired object. I first ascertained by the aid of the officers of the day who had no shirts and gave to them first and then to others as discreetly as I could. We then opened the onions, some of them, and so many begged and plead for one raw ,we could find no place to stop till two half barrels were given out. 
It may seem to those who have never witnessed such sight an exaggerated picture but the reality in truth does beggar all description. I could think of nothing but hogs being fed. But understand, after all that we gave, three tons is but a drop in the ocean; only the sickest and a few others were supplied. The mass are without beds, without ever straw to lie on, nor even grass, the ground being trampled on by so great a crowd, 18,000. 
It is just like the open sandy road and here these poor fellows are some from nearly every State, many gentlemen of education. I saw one a former Prof. of classical literature lying on the ground and put a pillow under his head, all I could do then. The second one I spoke to in the hospital was from Wisconsin and Oh how his eye brightened as I said these things (pillows, sheets, quilts, shirts &c.,) came from your own home. We got from the Wisconsin room, 12 quilts, 25 sheets &c., -Many begged most piteously for bibles. Some said 'my wife gave me one the last thing before I left home but I lost it at such a battle.' Cannot the people in Delavan send us something - any thing - half worn clothing, socks, old flannels - all come good.


The following list comprises precisely what is wanted by the friends of soldiers of this county and is a valuable record. 
It also affords the information required for the  County Soldier Record Book, lately ordered by the County Record Book, lately ordered by the County Board of Supervisors; giving also the rank as they stood June 11th, 1861:

November 2d, 1862

Captain David McKee, promoted to Lt. Colonel, 15 Reg.
1st Lieut. C. K.  Dean, appointed Adjutant, July 14th, 1861
2d Lieut. Wm. Booth, now 1st Lieut; all right
1st Sergt. Richard Carter, discharged
2d Sergt. G W Gibson, now Captain; all right
3d Sergt Levi Showalter, now 1st Sergt; all right.
4th Sergt Frank Neaville, Killed Aug 28th, 1862, was 1st Sergt.
5th Sergt. Thomas Barnett promoted to 2d Lieut, 25th Reg't.
1st Corp'l Asa B. Griswold, Sergt Major; died of fever
2d Corp'l  Henry Neaville, killed Sept. 17th, 1862
3d Corpl Belnap Fuqua, died a prisoner of War in Richmond, Va.
4th Corp'l Geo W. Holloway, killed, Sept. 19th, 1862
5th Corp'l Geo L. Hyde, wounded and discharged.
R J Simpson, killed, Sept. 17th, 1862
H S Pittinger, killed, Aug. 28th, 1862
Wm Cunningham, all right.
Casper Godient, brigade butcher.
P B Wright, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; in general hospital doing well.
Lewis LaFont, on detached service, 5th R I Battery.
E K McCord, discharged.
F Pettygrove, wounded, Sept 17th, 1862
J W Miles, on detached service in 4th artillery.
Wm H Snodgrass, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; in general hospital.
F Buermaster, wounded Aug 28th, 1862 in general hospital
R Armstrong, all right
R Graves, wounded, Sept 17th, 1862; in general hospital.
W J Barnhisel, wounded, Aug 28th, died in Sept.
Otto W. Ludwig, all right
Geo B Hyde, promoted to Corp'l, died from wounds received Aug 28th, 1862
G W Fritz, promoted to Corp'l, all right
Newton Wilcox, supposed killed, missing since action of Aug 28th, 1862
Omar Wilcox, discharged
Daniel Eldred, wounded, Aug. 28th 1862
W J Gleason, on detached service in 1st N H battery
Geo A Stephenson, wagoner, all right
H W Northop, sick
J H Burgess, dead
J H Stubbs, all right
T B Day, wounded, Sept 17th, 1862; in hospital, Alexandria, Va.
Joseph Buck, wounded, Aug. 28th, 1862, in hospital, Alexandria, Va.
Joseph Schilling, all right
Spencer Mead, wounded, Aug. 28th 1862, doing well.
G W Nevins, wounded, Aug. 28th, 1862, doing well.
Geo Beasley, killed, Sept 19th, 1862
Henry Evans, all right
C M Bucks, all right
W T Crosley, now Corp'l, all right
P F Kinney, hospital attendant at Alexandria, Va.
Mat Baker, wounded, Sept 17th, 1862; in general hospital, Alexandria, Va.
John St John, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, since died
Ed P Kellogg, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, promoted to 2nd Lieut, died from his wounds
Joseph Fry, all right
John Schmidt, killed, Aug 28th, 1862
F M Waldorf, sick in hospital, Alexandria Va.
Albert Waldorf, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital, Alexandria Va
Orlando Waldorf, all right
Obas Manning, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital, Washington, D C
Wm F Boulding, all right
Wm M Foster, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; since discharged
Jonathan Booth, discharged
B F Hyde, sore eyes, in Washington
R S Stevenson, killed, Sept 17th, 1862
Samuel Peyton, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; in hospital, Washington
M Cook, Corp'l, wounded, Aug. 28th, 1862, since died.
James Hughes, Corp'l, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; in hospital, Washington D C
H R McKenzie, killed Sept. 17th 1862
J F Chase, all right
John Doyle, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital, Washington, D C
Geo Couilland, all right
Lewis Biedler, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital, Philadelphia, Pa
John Coonce, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital, Washington D C
Chas A Govier, Corp'l, sick in general hospital
Wm B Reed, in gen'l hospital, Washington D C, wounded Aug 28th 1862
Geo M Wilson, Corp'l, wounded, Sept 17th, 1862, in Frederick, Maryland
Samuel Sprague, all right
Wm Frawley, all right
Chas Hilgers, sick in Washington
Frank Nichols, all right
Dan'l Burton, all right
J H Branham, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; arm amputated; in Philadelphia, Pa.
Geo Buck, in general hospital, sick
John Cahill, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital, Washington
J C Dillon, Corp'l, all right
David Gudger, at Annapolis, Md; paroled.
J W  Rains, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; in hospital at Washington
Albert Speas, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, in hospital at Washington
A H Barber, wounded, Sept 17th, 1862, in hospital at Smoketown Md.
Wm Q Ewing, Corp'l, all right
John Bowers, sick, in general hospital at Washington
C M Black, discharged
E R Housley, dead
Alpheus Currant, all right
A J Curtis, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862; in hospital, Alexandria, Va
F Reckle, camp of instruction, Mo
E S Brookins, same place.
Henry Rhode, drummer, same place
J H Neaville, all right
Frank H Liscum, Corp'l, now Sergt; at Odd Fellow's Hall, Washington
Walter Hyde, wounded, Aug 28th, 1862, now at College Hospital, N Y
David Strong, wounded and taken prisone, July 21st, 1861 since paroled and discharged
Alanson Parody, all right
The above is a true statement as to the rank and whereabouts of "Co. C," 2d Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers at present date, Nov. 2d 1862
I am Yours Truly 
Levi Showalter,
Co. C, 2d Regt. W. V.

On the 4th whilst of the march I was sent for by Gen. Reynolds and on reporting to him, he informed me that Gen.-- had been relieved from duty in the army and offered his division to me.

My first feeling was one of regret at the idea of being separated from my gallant brigade and some of this was allowed to appear, upon which Reynolds said: "Well, if you don't want it I will offer it to Gen.--." But I said at once I could not decline higher command and the necessary orders were issued.

The night of Nov 4th. at Bloomfield was a sad one to me for the next morning I was to be separated, not only from my gallant little brigade but from my own battery which usually accompanied the brigade into battle. In the two united, I had the most implicit confidence, always knowing I could depend upon them.

Besides this, I was obliged to leave them under the command of a perfectly new colonel who had never been in a battle and did not as yet know how to command a regiment; for unfortunately the new colonel held a commission senior to that of Fairchild who had been with the Brigade through all its battles. Under these circumstances feeling as averse as if trusting a cherished child in the hands of a strange and inexperienced nurse, I sent for Col. Morrow and tried to prevail on him to waive his rank and allow the command to go to Fairchild, but although a young soldier I found him disposed to cling as tenaciously as an old one to rights of his rank, and he declined to yield.

An application to the division commander had no better effect so that Col. Morrow took command of my Children and the next morning, I sat on my horse by the roadside and saw my gallant little brigade move,  for the last time from my command.

John Gibbons

Nov. 4th being the day for general election in Wisconsin, polls were opened at each company's headquarters, and vote. Gen. Gibbon being assigned to command Rickert's Division, Col. Morrow, of the 24th Michigan, assumes command of the Brigade.

In the afternoon we march to Bloomfield, four miles.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

Nov. 5th march to Rectortown, twenty miles. 

Nov. 6th to Warrentown, eighteen miles. Nov. 7th remain in camp enjoying a snowstorm. 

Mine Run

Nov. 7th, march about sunrise toward Kelley's Ford, cannonading all the afternoon in the direction of Rappahannock Station and the Ford. We camp for the night at Morrisville. Distance fifteen miles. 

Nov. 8th, march at an early hour across the river at Kelley's Ford, thence up the railroad, bivouacking for the night in line of battle at Brandy Station. Distance ten miles. In yesterday's battle at Rappahannock Station and Kelley's Ford our army captured several pieces of artillery, a bridge, a train and 2000 prisoners. (Here is where Fillmore got in his work.) 

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

Camp of the Wis Vol.
Warrenton, Va, Nov, 8, 1862

Brick:- Once again are we at Warrenton; but under far superior circumstances to what we were when "imbecile" Pope commanded us.
Three months have elapsed since our first retreat from here which almost caused the demoralization of our best army! but we are re-organized! and now the finest equipped and best disciplined 300,000 troops ever known are on their way toward Gordonsville.
We (Hooker's formerly, now Reynolds's corps) arrived here two evenings since "tired out," and found that Sigel's cavalry had entered the town at 10 in the morning and driven the enemy - one brigade of cavalry and one brigade of infantry with five pieces of artillery - back toward White Sulpher Springs.
Advices from the front are that Gen. Bayard's cavalry brigade have advanced six miles beyond the Springs, (13 miles from here) and is skirmishing with the enemy. Bayard has sent in quite a number of prisoners, one Lt. Col. Blunt of the 2d Louisiana Cavalry.
Burnside is now commanding the Corps d' Armies and we support him.
It is thought a heavy engagement will ensue near Culpeper some 25 miles distant. 
the denizens of this beautiful little village are nigh to starving! Pork is worth $80 per barrel; Beef 17 cents per pound; flour $16 per barrel; Coffee $2.50 per pound; Sugar $1.25 per pound; Salt $28 per bushel; Wood $13 per cord. Such are the prices offered but seldom can be had at that. It may be that you have not heard the result of Company "B" election

For Congress
T. B. Stoddard 18
Luther Hanchett 8

For State Senator
J. M. Morrow 8
Angus Cameron 7

For Assembly
 E. Philips 17
A. P. Blakeslee 2

for clerk of the board of supervisors
A. J. Stevens 16

Had Lieut. Wood and Alf. E. Haven been present, two more voices could have been cast for T. B. Stoddard! But the former went to Washington a week ago and has not returned as yet; while the latter in attendance on the sick and wounded soldiers at Smoketown Hospital, Maryland.

Nov. 9th, Col. Cutler returns, Sixth Wisconsin, having been absent on account of wounds, assumes command by virtue of his rank. 

Nov 9th, about 4 o'clock A. M. march back, recrossing the Rappahannock River on a pontoon bridge to repair the railroad from Warrentown Junction to the river. We go into camp near Beverly's Ford. Distance seven miles. Remain here doing picket duty and fatigue duty on the railroad and earthworks until Nov. 26th. 

Nov. 10th the army is reviewed by Gens. McClellan and Burnside, the former relinquishing his command and Burnside assuming command.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

Washington, D C
November 10th, 1862
M. M. Pomnroy
Dear Sir: - I send you such election returns as I get though I presume you may have received some of them from other sources. My informant as to the 2nd and 6th regiments has just returned from the front. From him, an old friend, I got some accurate information as to the movement of their plan. The 2nd Regt. voted Stoddard, 18, Hanchett, 3, 6th Regt. Stoddard, 21, Hanchett, 49, 26th Regt, Stoddard, 13 Hanchett, 70, Langworthy's Battery, Stoddard, 2, and Hanchett, 1; total, Stoddard, 54, Hanchett, 123, from the 3d, 5th and 7th Regts, I have no particulars.
I learn from my friend who was out on a reconnaissance last Wednesday night that on that night Stonewall Jackson passed the Chester Gap and made good his escape from the Shenandoah Valley.
C.D. Clark of the La Crosse Light Guard is getting along finely, his hand will be saved. T. P. Laverty is somewhere in the city, sick. When last heard of, he was at a private house. Lt. Jas D. Wood was in the city looking finely last week.
The Soldiers Aid Society received last week from the Governor, $500 which it expends mainly in buying woolen clothing for the soldiers. Mrs. E. O. Brewster is still in the employ of the society under the direction of its Secretary and she is doing a noble work. She has a good ambulance at her disposal and she goes about from hospital to hospital hunting up our sick and wounded men and distributes clothing and other necessary among them. On Friday last, during that severe snow storm, she went from tent to tent in Hardwood hospital where the soldiers were with fires to keep them warm and many had occasion to look upon her as an angel of mercy in truth and reality.
I take this occasion to tender my thanks to the people of LaCrosse for the compliments which have been paid me by them by letter or otherwise for my endeavors to do my duty in the good work in which I am engaged. I should ,however, have been much better pleased if the good ladies of my old home had long ere this put themselves to the trouble of packing up a barrel of dried fruits, berries, and apples, jellies and wines (some of the wild grape wine which is stored away in some of their homes), some woolen stocking, shirts, drawers and some slippers. We have had have now, and are like to have in the future, La Crosse men in our hospitals. Will not the ladies of La Crosse provide for their wants?  Send your packages by railroad, the freight it will by only be about $3.00 per barrel, send the money to us by letter, or if too hard up, I will pay the charges out of my own pocket if they are sent by railroad, not by express. Certainly it seems to me that Messrs. Andrews and Coomes can afford a few slippers, Messrs. Van Valkenburg, Dunlop, Gillette and others send shirts, drawers and stockings and Messrs. Leeman, Jungen, Hinthen, Hauscome can furnish preserved fruits and pickles and sugar to sweeten the dried fruits. The Liquor dealers can add a few bottles of choice wines and brandies.
Good people of La Crosse these things are much needed, and often they are the means of saving some poor fellows life. Shall I not hear from you soon, remember that my pockets are good for $5.00 or more to pay the Freight on the first barrel, or good large box, that you may send. I would just hint to Messrs. Levy, Whehausen & Hunt that many soldiers smoke and chew tobacco. But enough.
Dr. Baxter called to see me to-day, he looks much improved in health. Mr. W H. Kimball formerly of La Crosse is now in Alexandria, I met him on the Avenue  this P. M. He is keeping hotel.

Yours truly

Nov. 11th march to Fayel, six miles. Nov. 17th to Morrisville, ten miles.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

A letter from the "Advance" dated Nov. 16th, written by one of the Light Guard, besides other things says:
"Brick," I feel bad about McClellan being removed. I fancy it was a bad operation just at his stage of the game but old Burnsy is a good man. He will fight you may bet. The government will yet be humbled for the course it has taken with McClellan. Every soldier loves him and they swear he shall be the next President if it is at the point of the bayonet. I believe, as God is my judge that he was removed only through fear of this. They waited till his plans were formed then gave another man a chance to carry them out. They thought it would quash his popularity, but they will signally fail. This is the opinion of every soldier and citizen in this part of the country. But, "Brick" we will wait and see. Burnside may close the war. If so all hail the Gallant Genera.
The boys in the company are all well, but far from cheerful. They all expect to be wiped out before the war shall close for you know that they are always in the advance. Brick just think of that - the La Crosse Light Guard at the head of the Grand Army of the Potomac! but they are there and "fighting Joe Hooker" says that Gibbon's Brigade are the men to open the gates of Richmond; and that those of them that live shall see the beauty of that fated city before New Years.

Nov. 18th to Harwood Church, 10 miles. Nov. 19th and 20th, to Stafford Court House, six miles.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. , Nov.19, 62

FRIEND-K----- the winter of our discontent has come; they have torn from our arms the Chieftain of our heart; the successful defender of our country in the past; the soul of Washington; the practical friend and savior of every tie which God maketh use of in this life amongst men, for endearing us to each other and enabling us to withstand the petty but numerous troubles of this life. Yes, my dear friend, God has through the best of his military agents saved from death thousands of men and from tears and sorrow tens of thousands of women and little children by his good management when forced by his northern enemies to retire from near Richmond.
McClellan was the man who in the hands of God, in spite of the Devil and his radicals, his traitors and his imps, saved to many woman the living object of her wedded love - the father of her children.
Why have they taken him away from us? Because they knew we loved him and because they dreaded his future popularity with citizen and soldier.- they knew that the life and progress of his popularity would by the wane and death of radical Republicanism. Who that has eyes cannot see the drift of the present administrative radicals - a drift which seems to have swept from the brain of the President the last particle of Jacksonian firmness and from his heart the last ray of conservative feelings; a feeling which, heretofore, he seemed to possess; a feeling which is so essential at this hour in the person of the President, to the successful defense of the life of our institutions.
The very moment the Democrats became victorious in the late campaign, McClellan was removed because the black republicans plainly saw that they were between two fires - the loyal conservative bullets of the army on the one side and the loyal conservative sentiments of the people on the other - with McClellan, the loyal conservative chosen chieftain of both, at their head. Thus situated, what else could they do but prepared to surrender in '65, or cut their way through by removing McClellan and by degrees place Wadsworth in his stead.
Burnside is next in popularity; or in other words he is the "first degree."
Already the radical papers tell us that Wadsworth visited Burnside on the Rappahannock and that no doubt he (Burnside ) gained much from the advice of Wadsworth. The radicals hope that Wadsworth, once having command, would soon, by deeds of bravery and words of flattery, gain the good will of the army; teach them in this dishonest way to forget McClellan as the connecting link between the army and the people - the true centre to which every conservative eye, heart, prayer and praise converged. Yes, by this unjust course they hope to keep down the Democratic party and keep in office a party of puritanical demagogues by whose incompetency the wheels of government have become clogged with an unnecessary amount of congealed but pure blood of the nation. Oh no, it would never do to have the loyal citizen crush to death the traitors of the "ballot" at the north and at the same time the loyal soldiers crush to death the traitors of the "bullet" at the South. If they can help it, they will not have a democratic General defeat the South for fear the smallest pieaninnl would be left them legally or other wise. The poor, vain, puritanical preachers who have denounced the constitution and their political mouthpieces of the stump were afraid if the Negroes were freed by a conservative party that they would lose the thanks and admiration of the hypocritical abolition religionists of deceitful England whose tools they have been for years. Thank God they have learned that it is not always safe to trust ever transatlantic cousins; not even in the cause of Negro humanity, particularly where the destruction of one's country is at the bottom of it, which has been the case with the English from first to last.-
The radicals feared that if McClellan did not whip the rebels before the first of January, that the Proclamation would be good for nothing. If the South be beaten in the field by abolition generals and radical dictates sent them, it will require the strongest despotism in the world to keep them in subjection. Not so if they were conquered by McClellan and his conservative army; because they looked upon him and his command as real patriots fighting for the Constitution, as it is, and the Union, as it was; but doing as they say, the dirty work of the abolitionists; at the same time feeling it their duty to kill "Mc" and his command as their hired enemies. But my dear friend, no matter how much truth may be in their argument, it will not weaken in the least our determination to restore the Union - and to use McClellan's words, "no matter how much it may cost in time, treasure and blood." And for the sake of our country and respect for his patriotic farewell, we will faithfully stand by Burnside as we have faithfully stood by him. At the same time I must not hide from you the fact that a deep seated indignation is felt by the soldiers, against those who are the cause of having McClellan removed.
The soldiers were satisfied to suffer anything under McClellan because they knew he had their welfare at heart and that he would not expose their lives unnecessarily. They knew that he ran no risks; that he was but consistently slow; just the man to secure success, if let alone. If Mr. Lincoln can prove at some future day, when an exhibition of the matter cannot hurt our cause, that McClellan is a traitor or a sympathizer of the rebels, then and not till then, will I say that he has acted  justly and consistent with his attempt to restore the Union.
The President's Proclamation as a war measure, I looked upon as one of the best acts of the war. I looked upon it as a conditional peace offering - granting to the rebels the power of saving all their constitutional rights by returning to their allegiance and if not deserving of condemnation like a sinner who will not repent, condemned by God. But when McClellan was removed without a positive cause being given, I lost faith in the President. Sometime ago the President told Gen. Greeley that he would dispose of slavery as he saw fit ,consistent with a restoration of the Union; but it seems he has disposed of McClellan, inconsistent with the hope of restoring the Union as it was and peace as it ought to be. Brothers may and do fight hard and earnestly and afterwards love each other as well as ever. The men of the South don't look upon the radical abolitionists as brothers.
E. C.

Nov. 22nd march to Brooks Station of the Aqua Creek and Fredericksburg Railroad, where we go into camp.

Nov. 26th. March to Culpepper Ford on the Rapidan. Twelve miles. 

Nov. 27th, cross the river on a pontoon bridge before daybreak, marching our upon the plank road leading from Chancellorsville to Germania Mills. 

Nov. 28th Gen. Sol Meredith, formerly Col. of the Nineteenth Indiana, is ordered to assume command of the brigade.

Nov. 28th, at an early hour our advance is made and soon the enemy's pickets are engaged. At Robertson's Tavern we form in line of battle and halt.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diaries


We are blessed with excellent weather for campaigning. Notwithstanding this fact, idleness seems to be the order of the day.
We are lying on the Fredericksburg & Acquia Creek R. R. - 7 miles from the former and 5 from the latter place. Six corps forming the right, left and Central Grand divisions are massed between Acquia Creek and Fredericksburg. Quite an army it is --numbering in total 175,000 men! One week ago to-day we arrived here and from present indications we are led to believe that our stay hereabouts is for sometime to come for we now have beans and rice issued to us, something not known on the march or when a march is intended.
Of the humiliation in the army, caused by the removal of Geo. B. McClellan - I know of no language sufficiently deep to illustrate. Tis enough to know that hundreds of officers have tendered their resignation for said reason and you may be assured that the bulk of the Grand American Army have but little hope of soon again (if ever) forming anew the ties that once upon time apparently linked the destiny of North and South . Alas! Abraham, too often have you succumbed to the sway of the government contractors, as well as secret affirmative amalgation workers.
A. E. Burnside we have ever admired. He is stern in  in purpose and well fitted to act a part in the huge drama that the world's mass are gazing upon but for the part he now fills, we fear a lack of experience will cause a second demoralization of our magnificent and reorganized army!
McClellan has left us! He visited every Brigade in the army of the Potomac sending word beforehand that he was coming to bid us farewell! we - Reynolds's corps, were drawn up in battle array on Warrenton Heights. McClellan passed along the vast line with uncovered head, the very picture of manhood, and such shouts as ne'r were heard before made the welkin ring; and they came from the hearts of all.
Lieut. Col. Allen is again with us although as yet unfit for active service He is one of the bravest of the brave.
Col. Fairchild has gone to Wisconsin for the purpose of obtaining volunteers from the drafted men to fill the ranks of the Second. It is hoped that he may not succeed in the object of his visit as drafted men are not looked upon as genial companions; and we would rather not, that they should number hereafter, as from the Second.
Thos. P. Laverty of the L. C. L. G. is at Washington and quite unwell. Every exertion is being made by Dr. Brunnel for Laverty's discharge. May he be successful is our wish.
G. W. Fisher of the L. C. L. G. died of the chronic Diahrrea of the 26th inst at a Hospital in Washington. His is the only death by disease occurred since our departure from friends and home, 19 months since. 


P.S.- Gen. Gibbon now commands Ricketts division; and Col. Meredith, a distant relative of President Lincoln, is promoted to Brigadier General and now commands the Iron Brigade of the West. We like him very much but regret the loss of Gibbon.
Lieut. J. M. Woodward now commands Co. B,  the Capt. being unwell. Woodward, since the death of our noble Capt Wilson Colwell - has had the hearts of the remaining La Crosse Light Guard.
Adjutant Wood is indisposed - having an attack of the flux. eEver since his departure from the Light Guard, regrets have manifested themselves daily. He is a fine fellow.
Every day the approaching pickets chat with one another across the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg. We wonder how long such shall be the case!

Mr. Cover! On Friday last a solemn funeral occurred in our town. The remains of our esteemed friend, George Holloway, who fell at the late battle of Bull Run, his body pierced with five balls, arrived in care of the brother of the deceased, Mr. John Holloway. The body had been buried two months by the side of that of his comrade, Mr. R. S. Stephenson, color bearer - both buried on the battle field, by his brother William and fellow soldiers. He belonged to Company C., 2d Wisconsin Regiment in the Iron Brigade and was one of the first to offer his youthful life, a sacrifice for his country. From the first battle at Bull Run to the second and last he fought bravely receiving not a wound till the ill fated day of his time.
The remains were placed in a metallic case and brought home for burial for the satisfaction of bereaved mother and friends, The father being absent with two younger brothers in service in a distant field.
On the arrival, the citizens called a meeting at the Alex. Hall to arrange for the interment. Eight young men, devoted friends of decease, were selected as pall bearers and to have charge of the coffin. A two horse carriage was provided and the proper orders provided for a funeral march in file. The remains were then carried to the church where a discourse was expected from Rev. M. Thearle who failed to be present. Rev. Mr. Mayne then offered a solemn prayer and was followed by J. Rockefeller Esq. with remarks appropriate to the occasion. The friends and citizens then followed the remains to their resting place.

A large and pleasant party gathered at the Hyatt House last night to pay a merited tribute of respect to an honored soldier. After the bounties of the table (they were really bounties, for a better bill of fare had never been provided in this city,) had been partaken, Mr. Ebers opened the further proceedings of the occasion by a toast complimentary to Capt. Ely, accompanying it by a timely and appropriate reference to the circumstances under which his company left the city and those under which he returned.  Capt. Ely responded at some length, modestly and fittingly acknowledging the compliment to himself, and then giving a narrative of some of the events connected with the 2d regiment and the "Iron Brigade" to which it belonged. This narrative was intensely interesting throughout and the description of some of the scenes on the battle field where the "Second Wisconsin" and the brigade were thrown into the posts of extreme danger and peril was thrilling and absorbed the deepest attention. Wisconsin has good reason to be proud of such soldiers as she has furnished the army, and the army is fortunate in an officer who has borne his part so well and can bear such a testimonial to its bravery as Capt. Ely.
A toast to the President of the United States followed to which H. N. Comstock happily responded. "the Governor of Wisconsin" was replied to by music from the Beloit brass band whose services had been engaged for the dinner. Mr. H. W. Collins had been assigned to speak to a toast to "Our Flag." and he performed the duty well. The Rev. M. P. Kinney responded pertinently, as he always does, on similar occasions, to an acknowledgment of the merits and good conduct of our citizen soldiery. A tribute to the noble efforts of our women in behalf of the soldiers in field and in hospital was given to James M. Burgess to elicit his eloquence; but James had both been previously notified, and excused himself by zealous devotions to an unusually good dinner, and personal attentions to one of the best and most useful women in the country at his side.
After the departure from the table, a large portion of the company filled the parlor of the hotel and with music and dancing ushered in the small hours of the morning.
All the arrangements for this complimentary testimonial were well made and successfully carried out. It was well designed, well bestowed and must have been peculiarly gratifying to Capt. Ely and his friends.