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1862 September, The Second Wisconsin
From a private letter written by an officer of the Second Regiment to his friends in this city we are permitted to made the following extracts:
Sept. 1, 1862
Dear friends;- You will have heard before this of the battle fought day before yesterday and the battle of the night before. The night before was fought by our brigade and two regiments of Doubleday's brigade alone. We had against us the famous Stonewall division of the rebel army. The loss on that night in this brigade was 720 killed wounded and missing. The Second went into the fight with about 430 men and lost, in killed, wounded and missing, 286. Col. O'Connor fell, wounded in the groin and arm and died soon after being taken off the field. He fought bravely and was dearly beloved by the regiment. Major Allen was wounded in the neck and arm but did not leave the field until the fighting was over.
Lt. Col. Fairchild will send a full return by name to the Governor of our loss in the several actions. It is being made out now - the Second and the whole brigade are in good heart and ready for another fight.
Day before yesterday the Second and Seventh were consolidated under the command of Lt. Col. F. and we fought together all that day and acted as the extreme rear guard during the retreat to this place. Lt. Col. Fa. applied last night to have them separated again as each have been receiving reinforcements of men who had been detached as wagon guards and a number of some sick have returned so that the Second now has over 800 men for fighting duty and the Seventh about 450.
Lt. Col. F. is in pretty good health, only worn down to almost complete exhaustion. Major Allen ought to go to the city as he is not well, but he will not leave the regiment. He is a very brave man.
I can't tell you what will turn up very soon. The secesh fight like devils.
You never saw a braver set of men than this brigade. They stood right up against a much larger force in very close range over an hour and not a man that I have heard of showed the white feather; and they are ready to go in again and do the same thing over.
Capt. Ely wrote recently, among other things to his wife, the following about Wisconsin troops. Of the 2d he says:
"The regiment behaved gloriously. It has never been broken before the enemy or failed to hold a position assigned to it till relieved or ordered off. Glorious old 2d! Its banners are torn by bullets but the tattered colors are dear to the heroic men who defended them. Wisconsin has no cause to be ashamed of the 6th and 7th; their ranks are thinned almost as badly as the 2d's. They are heroes who remain as were those who have fallen before the foe, wounded, always in the front. Thank God Sunday and Wednesday were days of victory."
Another letter from Capt. Ely.
Centerville, Sept. 1st, 1862.
I have but one moment to write. I am well and unhurt. I sent you a list of the wounded in my company on the 28th. Since then only one man has been wounded , viz: Corporal Isaac R. Huggins, on Aug. 30th, enclosed is a list giving particulars:
Sergt. William Warren, wounded very seriously in the side, and prisoner; Corporal James Peacock, killed;- Corporal Isaac R. Huggins, wounded in left hand; Corporal John McLochlin, wounded seriously in the abdomen, prisoner; Privates Alvin Z. Eager wounded badly in the face; Lucius L. Turner, prisoner; Samuel Creek, prisoner; Frederick Kruster, prisoner; Marion Alexander, wounded in thigh; Joseph Tramblie, in shoulder prisoner; David Tramblie, in hip; John McIntire, in leg, prisoner; Andrew Bean, slightly in hand; John A. Jones, in arm; Albert B. Heath, in leg and arm; Edward Killalee, in wrist; Miles D. Bresler, killed, Chauncey Callender wounded in arm; Aad Peterson, in face; Thomas H. Knill, in hand; (the name of Samuel Elliot among the killed in Capt. Ely's first letter is not mentioned in this list.) Our regimental losses are as follows:
Co. A - 2 killed, 6 wounded, 4 missing
Co. B - 2 killed, 10 wounded, 2 missing
Co. C - 8 killed, 36 wounded, 5 missing
Co. D - 3 killed, 16 wounded, 3 missing
Co. E - 3 killed, 15 wounded, 0 missing
Co. F - 7 killed, 19 wounded, 5 missing
Co. G. -11 killed, 32 wounded, 0 missing
Co. H - 8 killed, 20 wounded, 2 missing
Co. I - 3 killed, 10 wounded, 2 missing
Co. K - 8 killed, 27 wounded, 0 missing
The total casualties in the 2d Regiment are killed 58, wounded 205, missing 23, total 286. It had in action on the 28th of August, 540 muskets. August 30 has 150 muskets on duty
Geo B. Ely
Capt., Co. D
Sept 1, 1862
Our sacrifices - the terrible sacrifices of this war may be realized by reading Capt. Ely's letter. He has only 17 men with him of the one hundred noble fellows who left us some fourteen months ago in all the pride of vigorous manhood; and in the Second Wisconsin there were, on the day on which the letter was written, Friday last, only 200 effective men out of the 1000 of which it was originally composed. We mourn these losses with bitter thoughts. Many of these lives, precious to their friends and country, we verily believe might have been saved by a different military policy And yet the sacrifice brings no results. The rebellion is stronger to-day than it was one year ago while our army is back at its old position defending the fortifications of Washington. How long shall clear-eyed conservatism grope in the dark, plunging the country into further sacrifices.
The 2nd Wisconsin again in Battle
We clip from the New York Herald the following just tribute to our brave Western troops engaged in the late Bull Run battle. The 2nd Wisconsin was there and one more laurel wreath of fame has been added to the noble men, we so delight to call friends:
The citizens of Beloit were represented by the lamented Col. O'Connor of the 2nd Wisconsin and two companies, one in the 6th formerly commanded by M. A. Northrop and the other the 76th under Capt. Alex Gordon,
Bull Run, Sep. 1
Among the troops who have been engaged in the recent contests near the field of the struggle of July 1861 in one brigade the bravery of whose movements we shall endeavor to depict in the following remarks.
GIBBONS BRIGADE LEAVE CENTERVILLE
Gibbon's brigade of King's division on Thursday afternoon left their temporary camp and marched from Centerville along the main road leading to Manassas Junction. It had not marched more than three miles from the former place when the advance guard of the brigade were
SUDDENLY ATTACKED BY A SUPERIOR FORCE OF REBELS
The advance guard suddenly retired until the brigade came up and the enemy still advancing upon them. Brisk skirmishing ensued which was continued some time.
A SHARP ENGAGEMENT COMMENCED
At half past five p.m. between the brigade of Gibbon and the enemy who were in greatly superior force. The rebels advanced from the woods with terrific yell upon Gibbon's Wisconsin boys who were stationed at the edge of the field which was skirted by another wood opposite that from which the rebels came. The rebels poured a fearful fire into us as they came yelling and threatening to overwhelm us.
THE BRIGADE RECEIVED THE FIRE COOL'Y, though it was most destructive, and did not respond until they had advanced some distance into the clearing and at point blank range of musket and artillery. Then, and then only, did the word command come to commence firing.
ARTILLERY ON BOTH SIDES
Hatch's and Doubleday's batteries were with the brigade. The rebels also had a battery.
As soon as the Union brigade had received the first fire of the rebel's infantry and artillery and allowed them to come within proper range for an effective and destroying fire, the command was given to fire. Nobly did the Wisconsin brigade sustain their reputation.
A perfect sheet of flame issued from the batteries and from the line of infantry carrying death and destruction through the rebel ranks, and causing them to recoil.
The discharge was not too much, however, to prevent their being speedily rallied and brought into position to give the brigade of Gibbon another galling discharge from their artillery and infantry which literally seemed to mow down our ranks.
Not a sign of panic was visible among our men but they closed up the places occupied by the killed and wounded speedily and advanced with a will upon the enemy who were approaching from the open field apparently conscious of victory.
Our infantry fired as they went on while the batteries poured the decimating grape and canister into the rebel ranks causing them to break and take to the woods in double quick time, there to seek protection from the combined fire which our forces continued to pour into them.
For considerable time after their unceremonious skedaddle into the woods the batteries of Hatch and Doubleday continued to shell the woods in which they found shelter. Gibbons did not deem it advisable to follow them into an unknown position and contented himself with holding the fields unmolested by the rebels.
The Wisconsin Brigade consisted of the Second, Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana Regiments and numbered, when it first went into action, two thousand men. Their loss is seven hundred and eighty killed, wounded and missing, or nearly forty percent loss.
The wounded were sent forward and the dead interred before the brigade retired from the position they had so nobly held before a superior force of the enemy .
The Sixth Wisconsin Regiment, which suffered less than any other of the brigade, lost fourteen killed and sixty-four wounded.
LETTER FROM COL. FAIRCHILD
We are permitted to copy the following private letter from Colonel (Late Lieutenant Colonel) Fairchild of the 2d Wisconsin regiment conveying officially to Judge O'Connor the intelligence of the death of his son, Col. Edgar O'Connor:
Fairfax C. H. ,Va
Sept. 2d, 1862
MY DEAR FRIEND:- I am under the painful necessity of informing you that Edgar died on the night of Thursday last, August 28th, killed while in action with his regiment.
He was wounded in the arm and groin, carried off the field to the surgeon and died within an hour. He fought bravely and was dearly beloved by all of us of his old regiment.
Dr. Ward of the 2d remained when we retired to take care of the wounded and in all probability saw Edgar buried and marked in his grave. We left over 50 dead on the field and nearly 200 wounded near them from the 2d regiment alone.
Our brigade stood against a very much larger force, firing one hour and ten minutes -,repulsed the enemy and then returned to Manassas.
I have one horse belonging to Edgar, his wallet, the his little baggage, I do not know the amount of money in his wallet as it is badly matted with his blood.
Edgar's last words were to say to his wife and father and mother, "God bless them!" They were said to a young man named Harshaw of 2d. I did not see him after he left the field as Major Allen was wounded, leaving me the only well field officer present.
Edgar was a fine officer and no man can fill his place in the 2d. The men speak of him with tears in their eyes and wish they and their "little Colonel" back again.
You may well be proud of him and of his memory.
The 2d went into the fight with 430 men, and lost 56 killed, 205 wounded and 30 missing. The brigade lost over 700. They stood right up and fought until the enemy ceased firing - not a man giving way.
I have no time to write more and but little heart to do it. Write me soon.
Sept 2 1862
Friend Brick: -
I hastily write you that friends may know of the fate of the members of the La Crosse L. G.
I am easily seated at the head-quarters of 1st Lieut. Hughes - 46 Royal Street, Alexandria. He has been quite sick; but in consequence of the late battles has urged himself to the belief that he is well and is now preparing to join his company.
The army since my last to you, (the troops of Virginia) have been incessantly on the move - principally retreating. At Rappahannock Station our forces were concentrated - the east bank being our line. Jackson's advance and we prepared for a general engagement; but to our surprise he would not approach us squarely as was our wish but sent to the rear of our forces a raiding band which as you must have learned attacked the train of Major Gen. Pope and the Wisconsin Brigade; Gen McDowell's train were drawn up between the above train about midway - the two former lying 600 yards apart. Gen. Pope had eight wagons burned; ten tents burned; his private property with maps of the country captured; also some $20,000 taken; all the harness cut to prices that was left and 60 horses taken. Gen. McDowell, although unguarded, had nothing touched save the capture of one of the clerks and hospital Stewart -,Black Jake is non est. Gibbons would have lost all, save for the noble Guard.
After the above raid, our forces were obliged to fall back to Warrenton. At Rappahannock Station three men were wounded in the 2d. On arriving at White Sulphur Springs another engagement ensued and three others wounded. The army of Virginia then fell back toward Bealton Station where we were joined by a portion of Geo. B. McClellan's army and an engagement took place near the latter station causing Jackson to skedaddle towards Manassas and Washington . At Manassas the Rebs destroyed some $200,000 worth of commissary stores, likewise seventy R. R. cars, tore up the R.R. track, and took some seventy-five prisoners. The next day, the 28th. inst, our forces overtook Jackson and a terrible contest ensued. The Wisconsin Brigade opened the ball and suffered severely. It is unnecessary for me to give minute details, suffice to say more than one day have they been engaged and the following are among the causalities of Company "B"
Edwin Brewster, Killed.
Oscar M. Bradford, severely wounded in right breast
Wm. Williams, flesh wound in the leg
Jas. C. Leach, wounded in ankle, and a light scalp scratch.
Jas. Sloan, painful, but not dangerous a wound in the face.
F. J. Phelps, flesh wound in arm.
L. Lockman, missing and supposed to be wounded in hand
R. F. Ashly, slight flesh wound in the breast
Jas. P. Blakeslee, missing
Robt. Scott, missing and supposed to be wounded
E. Potter, missing
Ed E. Moore, missing
C. Knoll, right fore finger shot off
Thos Rand, missing and supposed prisoner
J. Huders, missing and supposed prisoner
Frank Chapman, missing and reported wounded ???????
Robt. Barnes, missing.
Harmon Coffin, wounded in leg
Geo. Coutiers, w. L. Gordon and J. Brackett left their posts in time of need and have not been seen since.
The 2d went into the engagement 560 strong and now number 270. Col. E. O'Connor found his final resting place, with many others, on the battle field
Yours & c.,
NOTE.-Robt. Scott and James Blakesee mentioned above, as our readers will remember from Scott's letter published on Monday, have been heard from and are alive and well. The latter writes under late of the 12th that James Leach was struck with a spent ball on his head and shin, but the injury was so slight he is with the regiment doing duty.-
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON
We have been permitted to copy the following interesting portion of a letter from Mrs. Wells, who is in Washington with her daughter Mrs. Dr. Tillapaugh in this city.
Doctor wrote you last evening on his arrival from Alexandria with a large number of wounded soldiers. He left again early this morning to do, as he says, what he can for our country and the poor brave men whose blood has flowed for it.
It makes our hearts sad for the fate of the Belle City Rifles. How I pity those friends who are so deeply affected. Indeed I feel to mourn. Doctor seemed much affected because of the death of our boys, said they were so noble and brave.
You can form no conception of the appearance of Washington since last Thursday and more particularly since last Saturday afternoon. The streets are filled continually with ambulances, carriages and coaches going to and fro.
Last Saturday evening the war department ordered every carriage to the battle field, both public and private. Union and Secessionist - the latter causing some wary faces. Over one hundred carriages passed here during the evening besides as many ambulances and coaches.
On Saturday we could hear the artillery very plainly and see the smoke rise in clouds. At one time the report came that the rebels were within two miles of Alexandria and that the Alexandrians were flowing to this city by thousands. Those stories were gotten up by rebel sympathizers to create a panic among our men. Our secession neighbors were in the highest spirits, ladies coming and looking into our windows and laughing saying Lee and Jackson would soon be in the city, &c., Gen. Wadsworth paid them a visit in the evening and we have neither heard or seen any more of them since, they keeping their doors and window, blinds closed.
Secessionists are bold in declaring that Jackson would be in Washington within three weeks. They said the army was coming en masse and could easily get into Maryland where 75,000 true men were waiting anxiously to help their glorious cause. All these secessionists said they wanted was arms and these they would obtain on their way there, then Washington was theirs, which they would destroy immediately as then the bone of contention would be broken and they could demand peace on their own terms. In view of all this, and of which people in general have no doubt, they assumed the offensive so desperately.
When the report came that Alexandria was in danger, I felt, "I have lived long enough if my country is lost, I wish to fall with it."
I do believe I would willingly have sold my life for that of one rebel!
I wish you would say to Messrs. Sandford & Tapley to mention through the Advocate if any of the ladies of Racine would like to contribute little delicacies or furnish means for me to do so, I would gladly see that they are properly administered to our brave men of Wisconsin who are in the several hospitals in this city. Many have already arrived and more are expected this evening. In regard to clothing, I have made enquires and all seem to be well supplied thus far by Government. I would say, however, handkerchiefs seem to be in great demand as I have often heard the sick remark they would like some.
This morning, accompanied by Capt. Scott, I went up to the headquarters of the contrabands. I was very glad I had not been before as some seven hundred came in last Friday and Saturday in the most destitute condition. I saw one woman who had walked thirty miles, and brought her babe, nine months old, also led a child four years old the whole distance. Some of the small children were wrapped up, not having any clothing. The agent said he would send today for the trunk which Mrs. Burnham sent by Doctor and to-morrow morning I am going up to attend to the distribution.
Sept 3, 1862
After I wrote my letters to you of yesterday, a new excitement broke out. The report was that the rebels were in vast numbers preparing to attack our city. People were going in every direction - hay, baggage and wagon loads of every kind "moving in." Now and then several "butternut coats" at a time were marched in ,between Union soldiers supposed to be rebel sympathizers from the adjacent country.
The reliable part of the community seem to have no fears for the safety of the city but say all they wish is to get the rebels in front of the fortifications. There is more fear expressed of the enemy getting away.
This morning all is more calm.
LETTER FROM LIEUT. HILL
LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED IN CO. "G," SECOND WISCONSIN
From the Portage State Register
Camp near Munson Hill, Va.,
September 3d, 1862
Friend Sam: - I feel it to by my duty to write a few lines that the citizens of Portage may know the fate of the Portage Light Guard, and I will proceed, giving the casualties as near as I am able.
The number killed wounded and missing is forty-two. Killed, 13, wounded 27, missing 2.
LIST OF KILLED
John G. Kent, Portage
Gustav Leclaire, Portage
John Lester, Lowville
Owen W. Davis, Kingston
Charles P. Bloom Wyocena
Wm. Dean, Portage
Anson Linscott, Portage
Walter L. Plumbstead, Portage
Monroe S. Phillipps, Castle Rock
John P. Schildgen, Lancaster
Guy Sherwood, Portage
James A. Snyder, Portage
Trevillian Staley, Portage
LIST OF WOUNDED
Sergeant Henry G. Clark, Kildare
Charles C. Dow, Portage
Randall C. McDonald, Lowville
Gel. W. Blanchard, Wyocena
A. F. Pardee, Pardeeville
Samuel H. Morrison, Portage
Charles P. Austin, Portage
R. O. Gatson, Wyocena
John Chapman, Wyocena
Wm. H. Church, Dekora
Thos F. owing, Friendship
James H. Grace, Portage
F. D. Helms, Madison
Geo. Hill, Ridgeway
Simon Jordan, Lewiston
Judah F. Loomer, Dekora
Gel. W. Mack, Wyocena
Samuel Nichols, Wyocena
Warren L. Pratt, Poynette
Orson Parker Portage
Ed. Rice, Wyocena
John Rowell, Lowville
John Stone, Springfield
Miles Seeeney, Madison
Homer Sweetman, Wyocena
Peter C. Irwin, Wyocena
Edwin Jackson, Moundville
LIST OF MISSING
Michael McMahon, Madison
Alonzo Tiffany, Fort Winnebago
I went into the fight of Thursday the 28th, with fifty-one men and came out with only eight!
With those I worked until we were ordered to march i,n carrying off the wounded. I think that they were all taken off the field
Alex S. Hill
Lieut., commanding Co. G, Second Regt. Wis. Vol.,- formerly "Portage Light Guards."
Camp near Munson Hill, Va., Sept. 3, 1862
Dear Father and Mother: I thought I would write you a few lines about the awful battles we have had. We have been under heavy cannon and musket fire and in battles for the last two weeks. Our regiment is about all gone, killed and wounded. There are only about 10 men left in our company. The last battle we fought was on the old Bull Run battle-field, where we were engaged more than a year ago. I will try and give you a list of the killed. Archa was shot through the neck. I was in the rear of the regiment, with the ambulances, taking care of the wounded, and saw him fall, but we could not save him; he died in a few minutes. Poor Brother, it is hard, but it is true. Snyder, Billy Dean, Stanley, Kent, Owen Davis, Plumbstead and some others fell dead, and a great number of our company are wounded. The regiment has about two hundred and fifty men left. I suppose they will put us in some place to stay awhile and recruit; if they do, I will have a better chance to write you. I have a poor chance now to write. We are marching and fighting all the time. I got out all safe, but I had many narrow escapes. All of our musicians had to go with the ambulances right up into the fight. I tell you, the bombshells and bullets whistled for miles around. Several shells hit close to us. Every time I would hear them coming I would drop flat on the grass. It was awful. Our regiment stood up and fought like tigers. Some New York troops threw down their arms and ran like sheep. Poor Archa was shot through the windpipe and lived only a few minutes. It was hard, Father, but it cannot be helped. Archa took care of me when I was sick. There have been a great many men killed in these battles. I will write to you again in a few days and give you more particulars.
Drum Major Second Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers - what there is left of them.
(Anson Linscott was a resident of Portage and went out with Co. G as a musician at the age of 15 years and afterward became Drum Major of the regiment.)
Sept. 4 a.m.
There is great excitement here in regard to McDowell. Many think him a traitor - and this last act of his, another Bull Run affair.
Sept 4, P.M.
The order came out this afternoon that Gen. McClellan is appointed Commander in-chief of the army in the vicinity of Washington. It is said that never since the war commenced has there been such manifestation of joy. A bystander said that cheer after cheer arose from every direction. Every soldier that you converse with, to a man, says McClelland is the general, and that they are willing to follow him and no other.
The talk in ranks, it was said this afternoon with the pass-word, "Brave McClellan has been out-generalled." They said Not having sufficient forces, he changed positions and that in the most scientific manner that no other man could do what he had done under the same circumstances.
These soldiers were mostly from the James River. In visiting the hospitals you always hear McClellan praised. I sincerely hope he is the man in this great emergency.
Cannons have passed more or less to-day; it is said they are intended for fortifications along the Potomac.
I heard it said to-day if the rebels do not succeed within a few days they cannot, as every preparation is being made to thwart them.
Report of casualties in the Second Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers in the several engagements in which it took part from August 21st to August 30th, inclusive.
LOSSES PRIOR TO THE BATTLE OF THURSDAY
August 21st.- Charles K. Dean, adjutant - taken prisoner while conveying orders
Philo D. Payson, Company A, wounded in hand
Alonzo P. Nettleton, A, wounded in leg
Charles Manning, C, leg
August 22d.-Harvey McDaniels, Company E, wounded in hand
Sergeant Isaac Martin, F, in arm
Thomas Malcomson, F, in head
August 26th- Solomon Cuddeback, Company A, in head
LOSSES ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 28TH
Colonel Edgar O'Connor, killed
Major T. F. Allen wounded in neck and wrist
Sergeant Major William S. Winegar, wounded in knee, seriously
COMPANY A-FOX LAKE
Killed: Corporal Silas Bennett, William Luhm
Wounded: Corp Joseph L. Minor, wounded, both legs; Fred L. Phillips, in foot; John Cavanaugh, in leg; William Kuhl, in arm; Hugh Lewis, in arm; Archibald D. Bennett, in arm and ear.
Missing: Thomas Downs, Andrew S. Hodges Richard J. Leiser, Peter Marrou, Albert T. Morgan, John W. Sharp, Eugene Cole.
COMPANY B - LA CROSSE
Killed: Edwin O. Bumster.
Wounded: Oscar W. Bradford, in breast, severely; William B. Williams, in right leg; James C. Leach, in ankle, slightly; James W. Sloan, in face, severely; F. I. Phelps, in left arm; Hasben Coffin, in leg, missing; Ludwig Lochman , in hand, missing; Richard Fabey, in breast
Missing-James P. Blakesley, Robert A. Scott, Edward Potter, Edward E. Moore.
COMPANY C - LANCASTER, GRANT COUNTY
Killed: Sergt Frank Neaville, Robt S. Pittinger, Joseph Brown, Spencer Meade, John Schmidt
Wounded: Capt. George W. Gibson, slightly; Lt. Ed P. Kellogg, arm, severely; Serg't Sam'l Booth, hip, severely, missing; Corp Frank H. Liscum, leg, severely, missing; Corp Albert Parody, leg, severely, missing; Corp. George B. Hyde, both legs, severely, missing ; Corp. Michael Cook, both legs, severely, missing; Corp James Hughes, arm, severely, missing; Philo B. Wright, ankle, slightly, missing; William Snodgrass, side, severely, missing; Francis Burmaster, side, severely, missing; Martin J. Barntisel, leg, severely, missing; John Bower, arm, amputated; Newton Wilcox, groin, severely; Joseph Beck, both hips, severely; George W. Nevins, leg and shoulder, missing; Albert Waldorf, leg; Wm M Foster, arm, severely; Samuel Peyton, hip, severely; John Coonce, leg, severely; A J Curtis, arm, severely; Walter Hyde, leg, slightly; Fred Pettigrove, breast, slightly; G. W. Fritz, leg, slightly; Daniel Eldrid, leg, slightly; John St. Johns, thigh, severely; R. H. McKingle, breast and leg; Fred Chase, breast; John Doyle, thigh; Lewis Reidler, arm, slightly; William B. Reed, arm, slightly; John Cahill, leg and breast, severely; J.C. Dillon, breast and leg; John W. Raines, leg, severely; A W Spears, hand, severely; Alphsus Currant, arm, severely J. H. Branson, arm, severely.
COMPANY D - JANESVILLE
Killed,--Corp James Peacock; Milo D. Russler
Wounded.-Corp. John McLaughlin, abdomen, seriously, missing; Sergt William P. Warren, thigh, seriously, missing; Alvin Z. Eager, face, seriously, missing; L,.L. Turner, and missing; Marion Alexander, thigh; Joseph Tramblie, hip; John McIntyre, leg, missing; Andrew Bean, hand, slightly; John A. Jones, arm; Albert B. Heath, leg and arm; Edward Killaler, wrist; Chauncey Callender; Aad Peterson, face; Thomas H. Knill, hand.
Missing: Samuel Creek, Frederick Krustel
COMPANY E - OSHKOSH
Killed: Benjamin Whitney, Warren Smith, William Dillon
Wounded: Capt Lyman H. Smith, thigh, severely; Lieut Melvin R. Baldwin (Act'g Adj't) both thighs; Sergeant Walker S. Rouse, knee, missing; Corp James C. Bartlett, since died; Corp William C. Bryant, ankle; Edward L. Billings, leg, severely; Nicholas Coslow, wrist, severely; William G. Davis, since died; John Banderob, arm; Sebastian Osterday, side, slightly; William Tillark, leg; Robert Steever, ankle, severely; Welles Steever, leg and breast, mortally; Edwin Cooper, arm and leg amputated; Julius E. Lull, leg, slightly; Abraham White, leg, slightly; Phillp Smith, slightly.
COMPANY F - RACINE
Killed: Corp George B. Lincoln, Corp Elrick B. Stickney, Corp Adam Small, Frank D. Cole, Walter Gregory, Joseph M. Mann, Hans P. Christy.
Wounded: Serg't Martin Rodman, thigh; Serg't Francis L. Graham, bowels; Serg't Samuel Manderson, thigh; Corp John Yates, hand; Corp William Price, breast; Lyman C. Ewen, head; Charles B. Hurlbut, thigh; Joseph Hughes, breast; Charles Jewett, head; Sheldon E. Judson, leg; Nathaniel Meigs, thigh and shoulder; Cornelius North, head; Henry Bowles, hand; Henry Wormington, shoulder; Samuel Seaman, bowels; Douglas C. Smith, leg; Thomas Weldon, side; Peter Webber, both legs.
Missing: Mervin Welton
COMPANY G -PORTAGE CITY
Killed: Serg't John D. Kent, Corp J. Lester, Corp O. Davis, Corp G. le Clair, Charles Bloom, W. Dean, Archa Linscott, W. L. Plumstead, M. L. Phillips, J.P. Schildgen, George Sherwood, H. A. Snyder, Trivylian Staley.
Wounded: Sergt Henry G. Clark, Chas D. Dow, Corporals R. McDonald, G. W. Blanchard, A. F. Pardee, S. H. Morrison; C. P. Austin, .....Batson, John Chapman, William Church, Thomas P. Cowing James H. Grace, F. D. Helms, George Hill, Lyman Jordan, J. Loomis, George Mack, Warren Nichols, Warren L. Pratt, Orson Parker, Edward Rice, John Rowell, John Stone, Miles Sweeney Homer Sweetman, Peter C. Irvine.
Missing: Edwin Jackson, Michael McMahon
Killed: Capt Julius F. Randolph, Corporal J. W. Young, H. C. Brayton, W. S. Catlin, B. F. Chilcote, W. E. Moon, F. L. Sutphen, J. Watkins, A. Weatherbee.
Wounded: Sergt. Paul Halverson, face, seriously; Corporal W. A. Stearns, hand; Corp T. Krutzen, leg; Wm. Black, leg, badly; Thomas Beaver, arm; A. S. Baker, arm; R. G. Brown, head; C. F. Buchan, leg and foot; J. Cook, arm; Thomas Daily, hand; J. W. Eskew, leg; E. L. Edwards, both legs; J. Everitt, in arm S. Foss, face; Jerry Graver, shoulder; L. O. Iverson, arm and side; C. W Moore, leg; A. McCollum, leg; James Plackett, shoulder; A. F. Stancliff, leg; George W. Stone, leg; W. T. Turner, head; J. Thompson, foot; J. T. Vanhausen, head; J. H. White, abdomen; J. G. Wall, thigh; Corporal E. H. Heath, wounded and missing
Missing: D. C. Edwards, W. McIntosh, V, W Carey, J. A. Weatherbee, O. M. Davis.
COMPANY I - MINERAL POINT
Killed: Corporal Henry P Curry, John F. Trega, Isaac Kay.
Wounded: Lieut Alonzo Bell, in mouth and missing; Serg't James Gregory, hip, missing; Serg't William Murser, shoulder; Corp'l Samuel Coker, foot; Luke Avery, leg; William F. Benney; Otis Evans, hand; J. G. Goldthorp, left eye; James B. Prideaux, hand; Benjamin F. Saterlee, hand.
Missing: Corp'l William Grant, Thomas Malony, Wm. H. Don, Samuel Sampson.
COMPANY K - Mazo Manie.
Killed: Serg't Fred Lensinger, Corporal John W. Blum, John U. Blasser, John Korupp, Jacob Seramore, Patrick Millins, William Meigis.
Wounded: Lieut C. G. Esslinger, leg; Serg't August Wandery, side; Serg't Adam Lula, feet; Corp'l John Pott, leg; Corp'l John Willand, leg; Corp'l Jacob Metsler, head; Corp'l Rudolph Stoll, breast; private Martin Ambruster, wounded in foot; Joseph Holmes, breast; Jacob Jenny breast; Sebastian Limbey, head; Julius Kruger, hip; John H Kubby, knee; Christian Limpke, breast; Fred Suchluger, hand; Charles Loeper, arm; Rudolf Mendllic, leg; Anton Minter, leg; Konrad Piels, leg; John Pashke, shoulder; Mathias Rathenberger, head; Anton Schmidt, breast; John Schmidt, breast; John Linn, shoulder; Fred Stuiff, leg; Dutand Thorn, breast; Peter Zeimet, leg; W Zernia, shoulder and arm.
LOSSES ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 30TH
Lieut Henry B. Converse, wounded in arm and breast
Thomas Green, Company A, wounded in head
John D. McDonald, A, in arm
D. F. Chapman, Company B, wounded in arm
Charles Knoll, B, in hand.
Thomas B. Rand, B, missing.
Ignatius Andrews, B. do
Robert Barnes, B, do
Corporal Isaac R. Huggins, wounded in hand.
Lieut. Col. Commanding 2d. Regt. Wis. Vol.
Twenty-six of the above number, reported "missing," have returned, having been paroled.
UPTON'S HILL, VIRGINIA,
Five miles back of Arlington Heights, Sept. 4.
FRIEND COVER:-I enclosed an account of causalities in the two companies which contain most of our Lancaster boys. I have worked hard on a similar report of our 7th Regiment, which as I suppose will be ordered to be published in the State Journal. It is impossible to exclude all errors even with the greatest care. The reports on which we have to depend are not always reliable.
A surgeon informs me that so far as his observation extends the wounds of the men heal very readily. The weather delightfully cool. I think the report tells its own story of the courage of our brigade. With very kind regards,
I am yours most sincerely,
Casualties in Company C, 2d Reg. Wis. Vols., in the action near Bull Run, Aug. 28th to 30th.
KILLED,-First Sergt, Frank Neaville, killed dead on field; Jo. Brown, died next day, Robt. L. Pittenger, died in hospital next day; Spencer Meade died next day; John Schmidt, died next day.
Wounded,- Capt. Gibson (fit for duty) in left shoulder, spent ball; Second Lieut. E. P. Kellogg, in left arm, very serious, said to be amputated; Sergt, Saml. Booth in left thigh, very serious; Corpl. Geo. B. Hyde, in leg, very serious; Corp Michael Cook, in both legs, serious; Corp James Hughes, in left arm, serious; Corp'l Frank Liscum, in leg, supposed to be serious; Corpl. Henry Neaville, right thigh, not serious; P. B. Wright, in leg, supposed to be serious; Fred Pettygrove, spent ball in breast, not serious. W. H. Snodgrass, in arm and leg, serious; F. Buermaster, in left side, serious; M. J. Barnhisel, in leg, serious; John Bower, left arm, amputated; G. W. Fritz, spent ball in leg, not serious, fit for duty; Newton Wilcox, in stomach, very serious; D. Eldredin, right leg by spent ball, fit for duty; Joseph Bock, in both hips, very serious; Geo. Nevins, in leg and breast, very serious; John St. John, left leg broken, very serious; A. Waldorf, in leg, very serious; Chas Manning, in left leg by piece of shell; Wm. H. Foster, arm, serious; Samuel Peyton, in thigh, very serious; H. R. McKenzie, breast, spent ball, fit for duty; J. F. Chase, in breast, spent ball, fit for duty. John Doyle, left hip, very serious; Lewis Biedler, left arm, serious; John Coonce, in thigh, supposed to be dead; W. B. Reed, in leg, serious; J. H. Branham, right arm, serious; John Cahill, in side and leg, very serious; J.C. Dillon, in right breast by spent ball, fit for duty; J. W. Rains, in left thigh, serious; A. W. Speese, in right hand and head, serious; A. J. Curtis, in shoulder and breast, serious; Alpheus Currant, in left arm, serious; Walter J. Hyde, in leg, supposed to be serious; David Gudger, missing in action on the 29th, whereabouts unknown,-since paroled.
THE WISCONSIN REGIMENTS BEFORE WASHINGTON
The bravery of the 2d, 6th and 7th regiments in the late battles is on every tongue. Says the Washington correspondent of the Chicago Times, writing September 4th:
The full and truthful history of events for the last fortnight would fill us with mingled feelings of astonishment pride and indignation. Never since the war begun, has there been a greater display of all that is manful in human nature and at the same time of those qualities that make one blush to own himself kindred to man.
Among the former let me instance King's division composed largely of Western troops - among whom were the Second, Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin. Before going into battle they drew ninety-two hundred ration; and upon coming out, they drew only twenty three hundred. They struggled against the most fearful odds for nearly an entire day and only at last doggedly consented to move from the field when satisfied that the only alternative to retreat was complete annihilation.
CAMP NEAR FALLS CHURCH, VA,.
September 5th, 1862
Editors of State Journal: As company H. of the 2d Wisconsin was mostly composed of Dane county men and organized at Madison, I know of no more direct and convenient way of informing its friends of its losses than through the columns of your paper. Fighting began on the Rappahannock on the 21st of August and continued every day until September 1st. The 2d was engaged in more or less nearly every day, but lost but little until the battle of the 28th near Gainesville,-
This battle commenced at about 6 o'clock in the evening and was bought chiefly by Gibbon's brigade on our side and the left wing of Jackson's army on the other-
The engagement lasted about one hour and a quarter, after the battle fairly opened and Co. H of the 2d lost as follows:
Killed..-.Capt. J. F Randolph, Corp. J. W. Young, C. H Brayton, W. S. Catin, B. F. Chilcote, W. E. Moon, T. L. Sutphen, J. Watkins, A. T. Weatherbee.
Wounded..-.;Serg't Paul Halverson, mouth, badly; Corp W. A. Sterns, left hand, Slightly; Corp T. Knutson, left leg; Corp E. H. Heath, leg; William Black, leg, badly; T. Beaver, arm, badly; A. S. Bater, arm; R. G. Brown, head, badly; C. Buchan, face, badly; J. H. Cook, arm; Thomas Dally, hand; T. M. Makey, leg, badly; E. L. Edmunds, both legs; J. Everestt, arm, slightly; S. Foss, face; J. Groover, shoulder; L. Olvetrson, arm and side; A. McCollum, leg, Joseph Plackett, shoulder, badly, T. M. Stancliff, leg, B. W. Stone, thigh, W. M. Turner, leg, J. Thompson, foot, J. Van Housen, leg, J. White, groin, J. G. Wall, thighm badly.
Missing -V W Carey, D. C. Edwards, W. Macintosh, F. Weatherbee, since released; C. W. Moore George Wiber, Drummer O. M. Davis.
We (Co. H) went into action that day with forty six muskets. None of those taken prisoners were in the ranks except Macintosh and Moore. On the 30th, we went into action again, but the regiment being so much reduced, it was joined with the 7th Wisc. Vol., both regiments making one battalion under command of Lt. Col. Fairchild, Col. O'Connor having been killed and Major Allen and the three field officers of the 7th having been wounded on the 28th. The Second was consolidated into four companies and the 7th into six. In this engagement Co. H had eleven men - seven in the ranks, two sergeants, one regimental marker and one color bearer. Lieut. Humphrey fought with remarkable bravery and coolness on the 28th, but was unable to participate in the action the 30th. On the 28th the color guard, which was made a part of Co. H ,were all (eight men) either killed or wounded. Their names, except Corp Young, are not included in the above list. We now number for duty, sixteen privates, five noncommissioned officers and four commissioned officers, having withdrawn nearly all our extra duty men from their posts and placed them in the ranks.
I have not time to give you anything like a complete account of the battle. In fact, a correct description of a battle is a difficult thing to write. So far I have seen no published statement of the recent battles which hits the mark at all. The battle of the 30th was a most terrific contest, throwing the battle of July 21st, '61 which was fought on the same ground so far into the shade that it is hardly worthy of mention.
FROM THE WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
A LETTER FROM THE SECOND
We are kindly permitted to copy the following interesting extracts from a private letter received in this city from a member of the 2d Wisconsin regiment. He speaks warmly of that noble Regiment but no more so that it deserves.-
UPTON'S HILL, VA., SEPT. 5, 1862
I have on previous occasions murmured that the Second were slighted. I take it all back - we have had our share lately. We have been in four fights - two regular battles. The first two I will pass over - we killed many and lost but few. I found that I possessed one faculty that I was not satisfied that I possessed - I am no coward! On the 28th of August, Gibbon's brigade had the most desperate struggle against large odds.The 2d Wisconsin was the first regiment ordered forward, and amid the yells of the enemy, grape, canister, shells and bullets, the 2d steadily advanced. It was near the old Bull Run field and desperation seized the 2d. Like lions the men fought; oh! such a time. Our Colonel was carried from the field to die; our Major was wounded in the arm and neck; our line wavered and we, for the first time, realized our situation. But look, we have one field officer left - Lieut. Col. Fairchild is still with us. He takes command and with a cheer the 2d press forward. With sleeves rolled up and his sword clutched in his right hand, he tells the men to sustain the good name they have at home. Brave men - the 2d need no urging to do their duty. No man of the regiment left the field alone if able to walk off; all felt able to fight, and when darkness closed in we had possession of the field. Let me not forget the other regiments of Gibbon's "star" brigade - the 6th and 7th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana. All fought well and desperately. When night threw her sable mantle over the bloody field, Col. Fairchild cast his eyes along our line, and with tears in his eyes he asks: Where, good God! where is the Second? Tears gush unbidden from his eyes; the Major answers him. "Colonel, they are all here - all that's left - more than half lay on the battle field!" As if a mountain's weight was lifted from his soul he says: "Thank God the Second have not deceived their friends." We fought Jackson's tried division - about ten to one - and they RAN!
The Second left the state with over one thousand men; we now number 150 muskets. The next day we marched to the old battle field. The 2d and 7th were consolidated and the two regiments numbered less than the 6th; and where other brigades could not stand this brigade was ordered. We stood we fought and many died there but no one turned his back. The rebels came - they charge our battery and with shouts they are driven back and the battery saved.
The 45th New York came running from an orchard; we could not stop them until Gen. Gibbons ordered us to charge bayonets; then they stop. He orders them back, but the frightened men dare not go.
He turns to the shattered Second and says, "Men, will you go?" three cheers was all the answer he received - we went - the tide of battle is turned - the day is ours.
The lamented Gen. Kearny commanded the retreat that night. This brigade was chosen to bring up the rear. We did so and with safety we fell back to our present position, five miles from Washington, in sight of the Capital.
Gen. McClellan is again our leader. Hopes brighten. Pope would let no letter pass from the lines, Hence we could not write you.
I came out of the fights all right, save one bullet went through my breeches and gave me a slight wound on the right ankle, just to remind me that business was going on.
The fight is going on up the river and we plainly hear the report of cannon. Jackson is endeavoring to get into Maryland.
H. B. R.
BARBAROUS TREATMENT OF OUR WOUNDED BY THE REBELS-
STATEMENT OF DR. WARD OF THE 2D WISCONSIN.
A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer dating from Washington, Sept. 7, has the following in regard to the report of Surgeon Ward of the 2d Wisconsin who was detailed by Gen. Gibbon to remain and attend to a portion of our wounded left behind with the rebels after the recent battles:
Surgeon Ward represents that our wounded were treated in the most brutal manner by the Rebels. They remained within the rebel lines some eight days, during the whole of which time our men were not only unprovided with tents but in many cases were destitute of blankets with which to shield themselves from the inclemency of the weather as they lay in the woods and along the wayside. Further than this, two ambulances containing medical stores for the use of the sick and wounded which were provided the surgeon were captured by the rebels together with six men belonging to the ambulance train.
Thus unprovoked with either food or medicine for our wounded, our surgeons made application first to the Medical director of the Rebel army and then to Gen. Lee for assistance, each of who promised relief but the relief never came. Asst Surgeon Green from the Nineteenth Indiana Regiment also detailed to take charge of the wounded was captured by the Rebels while in the neighborhood of Gainesville searching for food for our men and sent to Richmond.
A horse belonging to Surgeon Ward was also confiscated by the Rebels.
HEADQUARTERS 2D WIS. VOL.,
Camp near Leesburg, Md., Sept. 8, 1862
Messrs. Atwood & Rublee: - In the telegraphic column of your paper, I do not know of what date appeared something to the effect that "McDowell's corps retreated from the field of battle of Saturday Aug. 30, in great confusion across Bull Run, under cover of Sigel's corps."
I wish, in justice to part of McDowell's corps, to correct the error.
To Gibbon's brigade was assigned the duty of acting as near guard of the army when it moved from the field of battle.
The brigade remained on the field till long after dark and until all other troops had moved towards Centreville. As such rear guard, it marched to Centreville leaving nothing in our area, except for a very short time when part or all of Sigel's corps were in camp near Bull Run making coffee. The brigade camped soon after crossing Bull Run and remained till all the troops except stragglers had passed.
I also saw Doubleday's Brigade on the march, and know that they did not retreat in disorder. Of the balance of McDowell's corps, I cannot speak from personal knowledge but am very certain that they marched off in good order.
That a good portion of the army, too many by far, straggled, I know is true but I wish it to be known to our friends at home that Gibbon's brigade, which was a part of that corps, does not straggle, nor have they ever retreated in disorder.
Could you have seen the men of this brigade stand up in line on the night of Aug. 28, not a man skulking or wavering, breasting the terrible fire of nearly a whole division of the enemy until their ranks were fearfully thinned, and until the enemy had ceased firing you would have been as proud of they as we are.
In that engagement we lost our brave "little colonel," as the men were wont to call him, a great loss to us. He was a most excellent officer.
Capt. Randolph fell, too. I need not tell you that it was at the head of his company doing his duty noble. Major Allen, although wounded twice, refused to leave the field and has remained on duty against the advice of his friends.
I also read sometime after the battle of Cedar Mountain, in an eastern paper, that it was in consequence of the failure of Gibbon's brigade to reach there that the day was lost. The truth is the brigade was at Fredericksburg at that time and received no orders to march until the next day when King's division all marched, making the distance of forty-five miles in two days in very hot weather.
To Gibbon's brigade also belongs the credit of being the only troops who defended their wagons when they were attacked by rebel cavalry at Cattlet's Station. Our wagons were defended at that time by sick men but men who could get well when duty called. The cavalry charged three times on the train but were repulsed each time and finally driven off leaving their dead and wounded on the field and several prisoners in our men's hands. Capt. Giles, of the 7th Wisconsin, was in command of the sick men and is entitled to great credit for his behavior.
Hoping that you may soon hear of our army winning a victory, I am.
ONE OF THE SECOND.
From the Light Guard
We are permitted to publish some extracts from a private letter written by Robert Scott which will be of interest to many having friends in the La Crosse Light Guard:
Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md.
September, 8, 1862
DEAR MOTHER: - I enclosed a note to you in a letter to Dr. Blakeslee from his son the dhe came within our lines from rebeldom, and will now write of our travels from the time we left Slaughter Mountain until now, and some of the incidents connected there with.-
It being believed that our army was in a perilous position in consequence of our rear being unprotected, we commenced to fall back on Wednesday morning the 20th inst., (the principal part of our trains having gone the afternoon previous) and by 10 o'clock the subsequent day we had retreated across the Rappahannock river and placed our Artillery in position to dispute the crossing of the enemy who were following us closely. - On Friday afternoon our Adjutant was taken prisoner by the enemy's cavalry, some of which had crossed at a ford some distance above Rappahannock Station, where we were then sent to hold. - The river at this ford is about three rods wide and one bank was occupied by the enemy's sharpshooters and the other by ours, firing at each other when an opportunity afforded. Shelling was now going on and kept up at the different crossings until late in he evening of the two succeeding days during which time we were under their fire.
On Saturday afternoon we left Rappahannock Station and arrived at Warrenton the same evening. Here we encamped until Tuesday morning, when we marched to White Sulphur Springs where we had quite a lively cannonade with the enemy the shells of both sides flying over and among us occasionally, we being out as skirmishers. The enemy sustained a heavy loss and disgracefully withdrew their sharpshooters from with in our range under a flag of truce. Our side had a considerable number wounded.
While we were thus feeling our time away at the latter place, Jackson, with his main force, had made a detour around our right and got in our rear by way of Thoroughfare Gap; so of course we were obliged to take the back track on Wednesday morning and by 10 o'clock Thursday we were at Gainesville Station - a point on the Warrenton Pike and Manassas Gap railroad. It was now evident that the enemy was in force on our front and flanks and that we would be obliged to cut our way through their lines to Centerville, and the sooner the better. So late in the afternoon we started on the pike for Centerville, moving cautiously. We had gone about three miles (and it was now about 7P.M.) when the enemy opened upon us as we were marching along the road, with artillery, the second shot of which cut the throat of the horse of our brigade Adjutant, within a few feet of where I stood. Our regiment now came to a front and were ordered to lie down in a hollow by the road side behind a fence, many of the rails of which were knocked into splinters over our heads by the enemy's shells. Here we lay until our batteries got into position and had replied to the rebels, almost silencing their guns. At this change of affairs, the enemy's skirmishers were seen advancing through the woods, firing as they came and our regiment was ordered up -"forward guide centre." Company A was thrown out on the left and we were on the right as skirmishers, on the double quick, and our right ran right into the woods on the enemy's force.
When this was discovered, we were ordered to retreat double quick and while doing so, we undoubtedly would have been slaughtered by a double fire from our own and the enemy's lines, had we not thrown ourselves flat on the ground until the volleys had been fired. We then resumed our retreat until we reached the regiment, when we took our position in line and went in on our muscle - standing our ground for about 15 minutes against a whole Brigade. We were now reinforced by the balance of our Brigade and the fight raged with fury.-
Gen. Ewell's division, consisting of two La. brigades and one Ga. brigade, supported by Jackson's famous brigade, were now opposed to us. They set up a tremendous yell and were coming for the battery, (B 4th U.S.A., the best in the field) which we supported. Now was the trying time, and nobly did our boys stand as immovable as a rock. We were ordered to reserve our fire, as it was now quite dark. We received their fire and just as they gained the crest of the hill, we gave them a volley and our battery mowed them with canister sending them back crouching under cover of the hill again. And here ended the battle, after about one hour and 16 minutes fighting in which our Regiment went in with something over 400 men and come out with 150 - the rest being either killed, wounded or prisoners. Among the latter is your humble servant, who came out without a scratch, thank God, and is here with others on parole until legally exchanged which I hope will not be long.
We held the battlefield until 10 o'clock that night when our army fell back, carrying with them all the wounded who were able to be moved; and those who were so severely wounded as not to be able to endure moving - numbering about 60 - were left behind without any one to give them a drink of water or wait on them in any manner. The poor fellows begged of James P. Blakesley (Co. B) and me so piteously to remain and not desert them, as others had done, we remained and in consequence were captured in the morning by the rebels. The surgeon left in charge of the hospital had also desired us to stay to carry water and assist in dressing wounds.
The rebels are nearly destitute of food and clothing. I paid $2 in gold for two hard crackers, and $1 for four small biscuits. From the time we were taken until the following Wednesday when we came within our lines, we received but two little pieces of fresh beef, and so hungry were some of our boys that they actually picked up corn out of the dirt where the cavalry had been fed. I hope in God I never shall see such times again. Our hearts leaped with joy when again under the protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes and though the present seems cloudy, I am firm in the belief that the cause of the Union is yet sound, and has many stout arms to support it.
Robert A. Scott
Private, Co. B
SPLENDID CONDUCT OF WISCONSIN TROOPS
A GLORIOUS RECORD
Correspondence of the Milwaukee Sentinel
Washington, Sept. 11, 1862
On Saturday, August 9th, King's division, consisting of Hatch's, Doubleday's, Patrick's and Gibbon's Brigades, was at Fredericksburg, where it has been stationed some six or seven weeks, guarding the line of the Rappahannock river.
The brigades were thus composed: Hatch's - 3d regiment Berdan Sharpshooters, 14th New York militia, 22d, 24th and 13th New York volunteers. Doubleday's - 56th Pennsylvania, 76th and 95th New York volunteers. Patrick's - 20th New York militia, 21st 3d and 35 New York volunteers. Gibbon's - 2d, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Volunteers, and 19th Indiana.
Attached to the division were four batteries of artillery, viz: Company B, 4th United States Artillery; Company D, Rhode Island; Company I, New Hampshire; and Company L, 1st New York - in all 24 pieces. 12 Napoleon 12-Pounders, six 24-pounders howitzers and six rifled 3-inch ordnance guns. On the afternoon of the 9th a telegraphic order was received from Gen. Pope, directing the Division to join him at Cedar Mountain, 43 miles distant, where a severe battle was fought on the same day, between Jackson's forces and the corps of General Banks. The leading brigades were put in motion the same evening, the others followed at daylight, and the whole division effected its junction with the forces of Gen. Pope on the evening of the 11th. From the 11th to the 18th the division remained in position around the base of Cedar Mountain there being occasional skirmishing in front along the line of the Rapidan, with the outposts and pickets of the enemy.
On the 18th it was ascertained that Gens. Longstreet and Jackson with a force variously reported at from 100,000 to 150,000 men were advancing to attack Pope who had not over 50,000. It was decided that Pope's army should fall back beyond the Rappahannock and there await reinforcements known to be coming up. The movement commenced the same evening. King's division marched early Tuesday morning, August 19th, and by nightfall reached the Rappahannock.
On Wednesday they were placed in position on the north bank of the river, Very early on Thursday morning, the enemy who had followed up closely, opened fire from the south bank of the river. Our batteries promptly replied and the artillery duel continued at intervals, for three successive days.
The division was drawn up by brigades, within supporting distance of the batteries, and a small force of the enemy's cavalry and infantry who had ventured to cross the river, was driven back with loss, by the skirmishers of the 2d and 6th Wisconsin and other regiments. On Saturday came the news of the enemy's raid in our rear and the capture, or destruction of a part of our train at Catlett's. The train of King's division escaped; the guards attached to it having gallantly repulsed three separate attacks of the enemy's cavalry. In consequence of the enemy's movement, Pope's army moved from the Rappahannock to Warrenton, where they arrived on the evening of the 23d.
On the 25th, the division advanced to the Sulphur Springs, seven miles to watch the fords of the Rappahannock and the movements of Jackson's forces on the south side of the river. Here they remained until the 28th under fire much of the time and having one or two sharp skirmishes with the enemy's advance. On Thursday, the 28th, it being evident that the great body of the enemy had passed round our right and was threatening our rear, Pope's army was ordered back towards Manassas. King's division was directed to move through Warrenton to Gainesville, and thence towards Centerville. Late in the afternoon when the leading brigade (Hatch's) had for three or four miles beyond Gainesville, Gibbon's Brigade following on the same road fell in with, and was attacked by, a superior force - infantry and artillery - of the enemy forming as was afterwards ascertained the right wing of Jackson's corps. The brigade was instantly deployed in line of battle, the 6th Wisconsin on the right, next the 7th, the 2d and the 19th Indiana. Campbell's artillery, placed in position opened fire very effectively on the enemy. Doubleday's brigade was ordered up to Gibbon's support while Hatch was recalled and Patrick hurried up to position on the right and left. Meantime the fire of the enemy both artillery and infantry became exceedingly hot. The sixth Wisconsin advancing in line of battle under this fire coolly and steadily was halted by its heroic Colonel Cutler at the proper distance dressed on the centre and then deliberately opened its fire. On the left the Nineteenth Indiana and the Second Wisconsin engaged at close quarters and admirably led were making fearful havoc in the enemy's ranks.
The Seventh Wisconsin, moving up into position between the Sixth and Second and being partially masked by the latter, first obliqued to the left and then finding itself exposed to a flank as well as front fire, first silenced the last then under its gallant colonel's orders, changed front forward on its left company as coolly as if on drill and crossing its fire with that of the Second and Nineteenth, effectually checked the threatening advance of the enemy's line. In this way for an hour and a half and until it grew so dark that it was no longer possible to distinguish objects, the fierce fight continued. The enemy made repeated and desperate attempts to dislodge Gibbon's brigade but in every instance their advancing columns melting away under the withering fire of a steady front were compelled themselves to fall back. Night at length brought an end to the conflict and each side became occupied in gathering up the dead and wounded. Gibbon's brigade on whom a brunt of the action had fallen, suffered ruefully. Col. O'Connor of the Second, Major May, of the Nineteenth were mortally hurt. Col. Cutler of the Sixth ,?d. Robinson, Lieut. Col. Hamilton and Mmajor Bill of the Seventh and Major Allen of the Second, all received severe wounds. The proportion of killed and wounded among the officers was unusually large showing how gallant an example they had set to their men.
The total list of casualties in the brigade, 782 killed wounded and missing, told how bravely they had stood their ground and defied the utmost efforts of the enemy. Lieut. Col. Hamilton, shot through both thighs, his horse wounded under him and falling dead at last on the field, remained with his regiment an hour after he was hit and until, in obedience to orders, he withdrew it from the ground and posted it in line along the road by which the column had been marching. So far as is known, not an officer or man of the command flinched from his post or failed on his duty. Tried by the severe ordeal of battle, the brigade has justified its high reputation and proved worthy representative of Wisconsin and Indiana. It was nine o'clock before the firing ceased. Then came the question of what next is to be done?
The enemy, in greatly superior force, barred the way by which the division was advancing. The only alternative was to deflect to the right, to join the bulk of Pope's army in the vicinity of Manassas. This indeed involved the painful yet unavoidable necessity of leaving behind our killed and wounded. These latter were placed in charge of Dr. Ward, of the 2d and Dr. Green, of the 19th Indiana, and made as comfortable as our means permitted. Soon after midnight the division took up its silent march toward Manassas, and effected, unmolested, the desired junction. Early on Friday morning (Aug. 29) several divisions of Pope's army, including King's, were put in motion towards the battle field of Bull Run and became engaged at various intervals during the day and in various positions with different corps of the enemy. It was rather a series of conflicts between isolated divisions or of conflicts between isolated divisions of corps, than a great battle between two contending armies. Whether from imperfections of original plan, misunderstanding of order; or failure from causes unknown of some Divisions or Corps to take up, in season, the places assigned to them, the result of Friday's fight was inconclusive.
King's division bore its part and was in its place during the day though not so seriously engaged as on the day preceding. Both sides slept on their arms anticipating a renewal of the contest in the morning. With the dawn of Saturday (Aug. 30), active movements commenced. The morning was mainly occupied on both sides in shifting the positions of different corps, placing artillery in eligible points and reconnoitering each other's lines and operation. Beyond the discharge of an occasional gun, little occurred to show that two large armies lay in immediate proximity to each other, watching the opportunity to fall on. Midday, indeed had passed and the afternoon was well advanced before the battle was fairly joined; but when it did commence it was in bloody earnest. For several hours the roar of artillery and rattle of musketry was fearful and incessant without perceptible advantage on either side. At five o'clock the fire was at its height the thunder of the cannon continuous and the infantry volleys one unbroken peal. It was about this time that the left, pressed by superior numbers, began slowly to give ground.
King's division was in this part of the field and gallantly maintained the reputation they had so bravely won two days before. Gradually, regiment after regiment, brigade after brigade withdrew from the fire and pressed, some in order, some in confusion, to the rear. Gibbon's brigade formed in two lines, undismayed by the unfavorable aspect of the battle presented its steady front to the enemy, only falling back when ordered to do so as their flanks became exposed by the retiring of their supports on the right and left - They fell back, as they had advanced, in perfect order; no break in the ranks, no panic among officers or men. The 6th Wisconsin, the very last to retire, marched slowly and steadily to the rear; faced to the front again as they reached their new position, and saluted the approaching enemy with three cheers and a rattling volley. Every Wisconsin man who heard those cheers, felt his heart thrill with pride for the gallant fellows who gave them. The giving way of the left wing decided the second battle for Bull Run against us. The whole army took up its march for Centreville. But it was a retreat, not a rout. Our exhausted troops fell back slowly and sullenly. Gibbon's brigade covered the rear, not leaving the field till after nine o'clock at night; gathering up the stragglers, as they marched; preventing confusion and showing so steady a line that the enemy made no attempt to molest them.
On the 31st, the division took up ground in rear of Centreville, and two days afterwards, with the rest of the army, fell back to the lines around Washington. This brief narrative would not be complete with a statement of the loss sustained by the division during the three memorable days, August 28th, 29th and 30th. It is as follows, in killed wounded and missing there being very few of the latter:
The effective strength of the division when it went into action on the afternoon of the 28th was about 8500. The loss, therefore, was very nearly one-third of the whole force engaged and that of Gibbon's brigade, almost forty percent. These figures tell their own story. Well may Wisconsin feel proud of her gallant sons of the Second, Sixth and Seventh regiments. Their names belong to the roll of our country's heroes.
Abraham Lincoln, President 1860-1865
born Sunday, February 12, 1809 - died Saturday, April 15, 1865
"From Brawner's farm the "Black Hats" marched to Manassas. As reserves they had had little part in the Second Battle of Bull Run. But when General Pope, defeated and despairing, withdrew toward Washington, the "Black Hats" again marched down Pennsylvania Avenue and past the White House. While the head of the column cleared the street ahead, Gibbons Brigade rested and waited at the fringe of the White House lawn. Lincoln came out with a pail of water in one hand and a dipper in the other. He moved among the men, offering water to the tired and thirsty. Some Wisconsin soldiers drank from the common dipper and thanked the President for his kindness."
from Wisconsin and the Civil War
South Mountain -
September 14, 1862
Aug. 31st fall back of Centerville and camp. The weather rainy and chilly. Distance 5 miles. Sept. 2nd we march by the way of Falls Church to Upton’s Hill and camp. Distance 10 mile. We had four days’ rest. Sept. 6th we recross the Potomac at Aqueduct bridge, pass through Georgetown and Washington out on the Oakville Pike and camp near Leesboro. Distance 18 miles. Sept. 11th to New Lisbon on National Road leading from Baltimore to Harper’s Ferry. Distance 7 miles. Sept. 12th march to New Market. Nine miles. Sept. 13th march to Monocracy. Seven Miles. Early in the morning of the 14th the whole army advance over the Catoctin Ridge of mountains into the middle Valley,. The First Corps through Frederick city and Middletown to South Mountain, where the enemy was found strongly posted. The Iron Brigade was assigned the task, together with the old Battery B, Fourth U.S., of storming the pass. It was late in the afternoon, near sunset when Gen. Gibbon advanced a regiment on each side of the National Turnpike in line of battle, preceded by strong skirmish line, and followed by the two other regiments, and the old Battery B moving on the road within rang of the enemy’s guns which were firing on the advancing column from the gorges, the Iron Brigade advancing steady, driving the enemy from behind stone walls and up the pass.
Cornelius Wheeler’s diary
Lee crossed the Potomac into Maryland. Accompanying the rest of the army, the brigade took part in pursuit of the enemy , who was found in position on South Mountain, at Turner’s Gap. The National Road passes through the Gap, from Frederick to Hagerstown. Here the rebels were posted on the top of the mountain, on the right and the left, and held the Gap. General Reno proceeded to attack the enemy on the left, and General Hooker to carry the position on the right, while the Iron Brigade was ordered to attack the enemy in the Gap. The crests, on the left and the right, were successfully carried.
The Second Wisconsin was under the command of Colonel Fairchild, the Sixth under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Bragg, and the Seventh under Captain Callis.
Late in the afternoon, the Brigade advanced up the road, the Seventh Wisconsin and the Nineteenth Indiana in the advance, on the right and the left, preceded by two companies of skirmishers, from the Second and the Sixth, under Captain Colwell, of Company B, of the Second, and followed by the Second and Sixth, in double column, and a section of the battery, under Lieutenant Stewart.
The skirmishers were soon engaged, and supported by the Seventh, and the Nineteenth Indiana. The battery moved forward and opened on the rebels, who were in position at the top of the gorge. The brigade advanced, and found the enemy posted in the woods, and behind stone walls, and drove them before them until he was reinforced. In order to protect the right flank, Lieutenant Colonel Bragg entered the woods on the right, and deployed his regiment to the right of the Seventh. The Nineteenth Indiana, supported by the Second, deployed, and swung around parallel to the turnpike, and took the enemy in flank , getting a raking fire upon him, as he lay behind the stone walls. The fight continued until long after dark. With ammunition nearly exhausted, that in the boxes of the fallen being used, the brigade held its ground, and late in the night was relieved, except the Sixth, which occupied the battlefield all night. General Gibbon spoke highly of the action of the officers and men. Captain Colwell, of Company B, Second Wisconsin, in command of the skirmishers, was killed by a musket ball, while bravely leading his men in the thickest of the fight. Here the brigade acquired its designation of the "Iron Brigade of the West."
Military History of Wisconsin, Quinter, 1866
The fight continued until nine o’clock the enemy being entirely repulsed. The old Iron Brigade suffered severely , but continued to hold the ground it had so gallantly defended until 12 o’clock when it was relieved by Gen. Gorman’s brigade of Sedgwick’s Division, except the Sixth Wisconsin Regiment. Gen. Bragg remained out on the field all night. Here is where the brigade got its name Iron Brigade by Gen. McClellan. The brigade in this fight lost in killed and wounded three hundred and nine.
Cornelius Wheeler’s diary
A few prisoners were taken by us, and after the fight was over a corporal of one of the regiments, with a guard, was sent to the rear with orders to turn them over at Gen. McClellan's Headquarters.
Finding the house to which he was directed, he entered and wandering through the hall looking for someone to whom to turn over his prisoners, he came to an open door which he entered, and there found an officer seated writing, who turned on the intruder apparently somewhat annoyed at the interruption, and asked: "What do you want?"
At once the corporal recognized Gen. McClellan. "I have some prisoners. General, I am ordered to turn over to you." "Who are you and where do you come from?" The corporal mentioned his regiment, at which McClellan at once exhibited interest, saying "Ah, you belong to Gibbon's Brigade.
You had some heavy fighting up there tonight." "Yes sir, but I think we gave them as good as the sent." "Indeed you did," said McClellan, "you made a splendid fight." the corporal, green as he may have been on some military matters, must have been a youth of some considerable coolness, for with a smile, he said, "Well, General, that's the was we boys calculate to fight under a general like you."
Many officers I know would have treated such an exhibition of familiarity with coldness. McClellan got up out of his chair, took the corporal by the hand and said with feeling, "My man, if I can get that kind of feeling amongst the men of this army, I can whip Lee without any trouble at all,"
The corporal returned to his regiment, proudly told his story and in a few minutes the report was circulated all through the Brigade that McClellan had taken an enlisted man by the hand and complimented him on the way his brigade had behaved in the fight!
By such bearing as this is the confidence of soldiers won.
Sept. 15th we pursue the enemy closely through Boonsboro and Keedysville to Antietam Creek, where we skirmish some, but with no loss.
Cornelius Wheeler’s diary
Antietam - September 17, 1862
Marched in three days thirty miles. Sept. 16th, during the fore noon we lay in position a little to the right of Sharpsburg road and near Antietam River. In the afternoon Hooker’s Corps, consisting of Rickert’s, Meade’s and Doubleday’s divisions, cross to the south side of Antietam to attack and, it if possible turn the enemy’s left flank. The enemy were met and engaged by Gen. Meade’s Division and driven back, but darkness coming on we rest for the night on our arms. Distance three miles. Sept. 17 we are aroused at day break by sharp firing of the pickets on our left, and fall into line, advanced nearly parallel to the road leading into Sharpsburg in a cornfield near Dunkard Church.
Cornelius Wheeler’s diary
The enemy evacuated his position on South Mountain the night of the 14, and on the 15th, McClellan’s army started in pursuit, coming up with him on the 16th, and finding him posted in a strong position, on Antietam creek near the village of Sharpsburg
Cornelius Wheeler’s diary
We continued march down the mountain through Boonsboro and then turning to the left followed the road towards Sharpsburg, finding several small bridges to which the enemy as he retired had said fire. In the course of a few miles, we reached the banks of Antietam creek on the other side of which the enemy had posted batteries and where some few bodies of his troops could be seen. The whole day was occupied in concentrating our troops here. general: McClellan with his staff reached the position during the afternoon and took a view of the ground from a hill behind where we were, while batteries exchanged some shots with each other.
We bivouacked for the night near the Sharpsburg turnpike remaining there until the afternoon of the next day 16th. Shells from the enemies guns every now and then passing over our heads. at length orders came in hooker with our corps, crossed the Antietam at a Ford near new Newkirch's and proceeded to take position on the extreme right. Whilst this was going on, Gen. McClellan made his at appearance on the field and was received with great enthusiasm by the troops. The enemies position was not developed until late in the afternoon when some fighting place between his advanced forces and are leading division mead's but darkness came on before the hold corps was and after receiving some of the enemies shelves, we bivouacked in the opened fields in want to the a very confused and huddled up condition, considering we were within range of the enemies artillery. Some firing occurred after night and General Hooker, whose headquarters were at a barn near the Puffenberger house close to the Hagerstown turnpike, remarked that enemy firing into his own troops as none of ours were in the direction of the firing. the next morning we needed no reveille, for at the earliest done firing commenced a and our troops were rapidly formed, the shelves commenting to scream over our heads. Whilst waiting for orders to move, a considerable skirmish was taking place on our left and front when an order came to me direct from General Hooker to move my brigade to the front and report to him.
The brigade was at once would in motion in McClellan of recommends closed in mass. the movement immediately attracted the attention of the enemies guns, posted on the opposite side of the Hagerstown Pike and their fire became quite rapid. As middle of the leading regimen the sixth Wisconsin and bursting, as it struck showing and wounding 20 to 30 men. Such a calamity is the severest test of discipline. For a few moments the column was checked as the poor suffering men were removed, and then at the voice of its Lt. Col., the Sixth moved on again, followed by the rest of the brigade. Reaching a strip of open once which extended from the Hagerstown Pike eastward that connecting what palfrey calls "campaigns of the civil war" roads, I found general hooker and Mead (the two future commanders of the army of the economic Potomac) in conference and received my orders. I was to advance directly to the front and attack.
Gen. John Gibbons
The forces of General McClellan were placed in front of the enemy’s position, on the afternoon of the 16th, the First Corps, of General Hooker, upon the extreme right. The Second Wisconsin was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Allen, Colonel Fairchild being sick; the Sixth under Lieutenant Colonel Bragg, and the Seventh under Captain Callis. On the morning of the 17th of September, the Iron Brigade was detached from the division, and sent up the Sharpsburg Turnpike, into a piece of woods, on the right of the road. The brigade advanced along the turnpike until it reached an open space, when the Sixth was deployed, and advanced to a cornfield in front, the Second deploying on its left, and a section of artillery being placed in the rear, firing over the heads on the men. The Second and Sixth pushed gallantly forward , supported by the Seventh, and Nineteenth Indiana. The enemy attempted to outflank the Second and the Sixth but the movement was frustrated by sending forward a section of Stewart’s Battery, (Battery B) and deploying the Seventh, and the Nineteenth Indiana to the right of the line, into the woods. The whole line was soon engaged. The enemy, being heavily reinforced, made a dash at the battery. They were successfully repulsed by heavy discharge of canister from the guns, the fire of the few remaining men of the Second and Sixth Wisconsin, and the flank fire poured in by the Seventh, and the Nineteenth Indiana, which had been brought round to sweep the front of the battery. In this severe contest, Lieutenant Colonel Bragg, of the Sixth, and Lieutenant Colonel Allen, on the Second, were wounded and taken from the field, the former returning to the regiment after his wound was dressed. Finding the guns almost deprived of support, and of cannoneers to work them, General Gibbon ordered them to fall back, followed soon after by the infantry, much reduced in numbers and short of ammunition.
A participant in the battle describes the fighting as much more severe than at Gainesville, on the 28th of August. In all his battles he had not seen the like. The battle of Gainesville was bad enough but Antietam seemed more horrible. After Lieutenant Colonel Allen was wounded, Captain Ely took command of the Second, and conducted it off the field, scarcely fifty men being left of the command. The Second went into action with 150 men, and lost 91.
In the early part of the action, a shell fell into the ranks of the Sixth, killing or wounding thirteen men and officers, among them Captain D. K. Noyes, of Company A. Captain E. A. Brown, of Company E, was killed in the action.
Private Robert Stevenson, of Company C, Second Wisconsin, who carried off the regimental flag, on the first Bull Run battlefield, and bore it on the 29th and 30th of August, 1862, on the same bloody field, sprang from his bed at the field hospital at Antietam, when he heard the skirmishing on the morning of the 17th, and pushed on alone to find his regiment. It was under fire - he reported himself to his Captain, saying:-"Captain, I am with you to the last;" and took the colors, which he held till he was shot down, pierced with seven bullets. Corporal Holloway was mortally wounded at the same time. When found, after the battle, their bodies were lying with their heads resting on their knapsacks.
The battle of Antietam has always been considered one of the bloodiest of the war. For the bravery and endurance shown by the Iron Brigade at this battle, General McClellan pronounced them equal to the best troops in the world! This was a great compliment from one who had seen the best armies of Europe.
After the battle, the Iron Brigade, on the 18th, moved across the battle field, and camped near the Potomac, and engaged in burying the enemy’s dead, which had been left on the field. The Twenty-fourth Michigan Regiment, was added to the Iron Brigade on the 10th of October.
Military History of Wisconsin, Quinter, 1866
Note: The Third Wisconsin, not part of the Iron Brigade, fought in this battle alongside the Brigade and suffered comparable losses. Speaking to how these units kept in action, later in the war, General W. T. Sherman observed "Wisconsin kept her regiments filled with recruits, whereas other States generally filled their quotas by new regiments, and the result was we estimated a Wisconsin regiment equal to an ordinary brigade - five hundred new men added to an old experienced regiment were more valuable than a thousand in the form of a new regiment." He was, of course, specifically referring to his Wisconsin regiments in the Army of the Tennessee but the general philosophy of replacements held - until the horrendous decimation of Gettysburg. Ed.
Here the old Iron Brigade lost heavily. America’s bloodiest day. Remain on the battlefield and under arms all day Sept. 18th. Everything is quiet, thought the enemy appear in front. Details are sent out to bury the dead where it can be done without an exposure to the enemy’s pickets.
Sept. 19th, at an early hour, it is reported that the enemy have retreated across the Potomac. We march across the battlefield and camp near the Potomac a mile west of Sharpsburg. Distance 3 miles. For several days details are made to bury the enemy's dead, the work being decidedly unpleasant, the weather being very warm and decomposition had set in. September 29th we remain resting, recruiting and drilling for several weeks.
Cornelius Wheeler’s diary
The Horace Emerson Letter
Horace Emerson enlisted in Co. G of the 2nd. Wisconsin in 1861, attaining the rank of 1st Sergeant. He fought in the battles of first Bull Run Gainesville Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg and was discharged on April 27, 1863 on disability for chronic heart disease.
This is shared by Carl Emerson, a great nephew of Sgt. Emerson, and is presented in the original spellings and punctuation.
The Bell City Boys
We are indebted to Mr. North for valuable information of the Belle City Rifle boys. He has just returned from the battle grounds of the Potomac and has seen and knows all about them. He tells us that JOHN YATES, son of JAMES YATES of this city fell at the battle of Sharpsburg on the 17 inst. while leading what was left of Co. F in the battle.
Sergeant Yates was in command as the highest officer on the ground. John Yates was as brave and kind-heated a soldier as ever was mustered. He enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his commanders and fell covered with glory at the age of 27.
Captain Parsons was wounded a few days previous in the Bull Run battle by a fragment of shell which made a long and ugly wound by striking him upon the top of the shoulder and following down over the shoulder blade eight or ten inches where it was found and taken out. Mr. North conveyed him from Middletown to Washington about 150 miles and left him in the hospital under the care of Mr. Fuller, one of the company. He will recover though it will take a considerable length of time.
CHARLES IVES, CHARLES PATRICK, JOHN WRIGHT, CHARLES JEWETT, ARTHUR RANGETT and ERASTUS PACKARD, were all that answered to their names after the battle was over at Sharpsburg. CHARLEY JEWETT had been wounded half a dozen times or more but was then well and ready for duty.
The company is now under the charge of LT. SEXTON who at the time of battle was with GRAHAM, HUGGINS, NEARMAN, SANFORD and JOHN WILSON, engaged on detached service. KELLY is at Middleton. John Lyda, Wormington, North, Stone, Mead and Hinton were at Kedasville, sick or wounded.
The Belle City boys are widely scattered since they left this city. Twelve or fifteen of them are all that have died The rest of them may be found in other companies and regiments where they have been promoted, or visiting at home or on sick furlough or with the boys above numerated with the army on the Potomac, or sick in the hospitals. Shirks are to be found in every company and the Belle City Rifles had as few of them as ever disgraced any command.
They have had their share of fighting service and have now a full share of glory. Three cheers and a tiger of the Belle City Boys.
Frederick, Md, Sept 28,1862
Your kind letter was received some time ago but as I had written the same day I received it I did answer until now I have been taking care of our first-Lt who was shot through the groin The ball hit his pocket and crammed his bunch of keys into the wound it made a very bad wound and a very painful one I shall stay with him part of this week and then join the Regiment as I am the highest officer that is left our company only numbers nine besides myself which is as large as any of the companies one only has five Our Col is on to Washington to see what is to be done with us I hope we will be recruited up before we go into active service but I suppose we will go as long as we have a man left.
As for getting a Furlough as it is out of the question to think of it as man that is wounded has hard work to get one but if their is any sight at all rest assured I shall improve it for I am a fighting man no longer the last battle was enough for me I thought I had seen piled up and cut up in all kinds of shapes but never anything in comparison to that field one of our Co boys was hit five times and laid on the field 30 hours before he was taken off he died he said the Reb took his canteen and haversack telling him he may as well die one way as another He was mortally wounded being shot through the Bowels which is sure death but slow one boy named Etterman* was standing right in front of me when a ball hit him in the head and blood + brains run out on my shoes he did not know what hit him.
He was a good man and had never been hit before and had been in all the fights that the Regt had been in we went tin with 13 enlisted men and eight was killed and wounded but we have got some Hospital men have ten in all good what is left Do you know what Regiment Irvey is in or has it not been organized and sworn in I wish he would stay at home for one is enough as the most desperate fighting is yet to be done and I am willing to take my chance but Irvey I had rather not come as for Mr. Tuttle he has got a first rate chance if he is quarter master Sergeant and will not have to go on the field so he is all right Tell Irvey to get the place of Post Master for the Regiment it would be a first rate chance and would be next thing to a Suttler for making money
I hope his Regt will be well drilled before they come on as they will have to take the front as the old troops are cut up they do not average 150 men to the Regts I wish Little Mac would consolidate the old troops and have us for reserves but I don't know what he will do with us This is the most Loyal place we have been in since we have been on the war path the Ladies do all they can and as every large building is a Hospital they have lots to do the wounded is getting along first rate the weather is cold and comfortable, I do not know where the Army is but guess they are down near Harpers Ferry My health is first rate can eat all the rations I can get I will close as I have written all I can think of Give lots of love to all write soon
As ever your off Son and Brother
Direct as usual H E Emerson
*Probably Gustav Elterman, born 1843 in Germany. He was from Portage, single and a watch tinker by trade.
He is listed as killed in battle at Antietam, MD, Sept 17, 1862.
Part 2, September, and Antietam