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 1862 August (part2) The Second Wisconsin

Gainesville (Brawner's Farm) -August 28th, 1862

Battle of Gainesville, Washington Star Article, 1913

This was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and was fought by the Iron Brigade alone, only receiving aid after the heaviest of the fighting was over. The battle day of the 28th of August, is a bloody one in the calendar of many a Wisconsin homestead. While marching toward Centerville, a battery of the enemy opened on the brigade, when the Second Regiment was ordered to face the left, and march obliquely to the rear, and take the battery in flank. The left wing was advanced to bring the regiment facing the enemy, when the fire was returned, and for fifteen minutes, a tremendous storm of shot was kept up by the contending forces, a brigade of rebels being engaged by the Second Wisconsin. The Second held its ground during this time, when the Nineteenth Indiana came up on its left. The enemy were reinforced, and the Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin went into line, and the whole brigade continued its fight, till darkness put an end to the contest. General Gibbon in vain sent for aid, only two regiments making their appearance near the end of the action. At least four of General Jackson’s best brigades composed the rebel force, among them the famous "Stonewall Brigade," which claimed that it never before was compelled to fall back. The fearful list of casualties proved the desperate nature of the contest. Colonel O’Connor sat on his horse amid the shower of bullets, encouraging his men, when he was wounded. He kept on his horse until again wounded, in the groin, when he was carried from the field, and died. Major Allen, of the Second, was twice wounded, but did not leave the field. Captain Randolph, of Company H, was killed instantly. Colonel Cutler, of the Sixth, was severely wounded in the thigh. Colonel Robinson, of the Seventh, was wounded in the leg, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton through both thighs, and Major Bill was wounded in the head, thus depriving the Seventh Regiment of its field officers, leaving Captain Callis in command. Captain Brayton, of Company B, was killed. The brigade remained on the field, removing the wounded, till about midnight, when they were ordered to retreat to Manassas Junction. Wisconsin may well be proud of the heroes of Gainesville. All the regiments performed their duty admirably, and fought without flinching, and every man was a hero.

Military History of Wisconsin, Quinter, 1866

This was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, clear infantry contest , a fair stand-up fight face to face, both sides sufficiently firm to keep each other from gaining ground or position. By order of Gen. King we retreated to Manassas Junction, leaving their dead unburied, and the wounded and hospital attendants to fall into the hands of the enemy. The Second Wisconsin Regiment suffered a loss of eighty five killed , two hundred and twenty-seven wounded and missing. One hundred and sixty-two were wounded and four hundred and forty-nine engaged.
Among the killed were Col.. Edgar O’Connor and Capt. Randolph of H Co. Col. O’Connor’s loss fell upon the Second with deep sorrow, for his boys had learned to love him. No sooner was the regiment brought into action then he placed himself to the rear of his colors. There he sat on his horse, cool and collected, the personification to the Napoleonic idea of a soldier. He kept his horse until wounded a second time, carried from the field, and died soon after. Maj. Allen was wounded , but did not go off duty, but stood by Gen. Fairchild, who had assumed Command. The Seventh Regiment having suffered severely, was consolidated with for the time being, the whole under command of Col. Fairchild.

Wisconsin Killed and Wounded in the Recent Battles near Manassas as far as Known.

We give the names of the killed and wounded in the recent battles in front of Washington as far as can be ascertained. They are gathered from unofficial sources as published in the N.Y. Herald

Colonel O'Connor, 2d Wisconsin
Captain Randolph, Co. H, 2d Wisconsin
Captain Brayton, Co. b, 7th Wisconsin
Sergeant Buckman, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
F. Eversoll, Co. D, 6th Wisconsin
J. Bullock, Co. D. 7th Wisconsin
W. Emory, Co, D. 7th Wisconsin
R. King, Co, D. 7th Wisconsin
A. D. Coombs, Co, D 7th Wisconsin
J. M. Trent, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
J. Marble, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
J. Cuddy, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
H. M. Haines, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
J. Bimburger, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
Lieutenant E. Crane, 3d Wisconsin
Major Scott, 3d Wisconsin
Captain Whiteley, 3d Wisconsin
Lieutenant Egolf, Co. D, 2d Wisconsin
Lieutenant W. Hawley, Co. H, 2d Wisconsin
Major F. A. Lancaster, 2d Wisconsin (mistake).
Adam Laia, Co. K 2d Wisconsin
Corporal F. A. Boynstoers, Co. F, 7th Wisconsin
Wm. R. Ray, Co. F, 7th Wisconsin
G. Max, 3d Wisconsin
J. Larrimore, Co. B, 3d Wisconsin
Fred Eddy, 3d Wisconsin
N. T. Smith, Co. B, 3d Wisconsin
V. Schmidt, 29th Wisconsin (mistake).
J. Dean, Co. B, 3d Wisconsin

General Schenok, in the right wrist, severely.
General Hatch, King's Division.
Colonel Cutter, 6th Wisconsin
Colonel Robinson, 7th Wisconsin
Lieut. Col. Hamilton, 7th Wisconsin
Major Bill, 7th Wisconsin
Captain Walter, Co. I, 7th Wisconsin
Captain Marsh, Co. D, 6th Wisconsin
Corporal Carpenter Co. D, 6th Wisconsin
J. Fowler, Co. B, 6th Wisconsin
S. R. Faulkerner, Co. C, 6th Wisconsin
J. Tibbits, Co. D, 6th Wisconsin
H. Overt, Co. C, 6th Wisconsin
J. Riley, Co. D, 6th Wisconsin
L. Fowler, Co. D, 6th Wisconsin
W. Russell, Co. C. 6th Wisconsin
L. Sheldon, Co. C, 6th Wisconsin
C. Kelley, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
E. Marsh, Co. D, 7th Wisconsin
Albert Waldorf, Co. I, 2d Wisconsin
J. W. Leslie, Co. I, 3d Wisconsin
C. Ele, Co. D, 3d Wisconsin
C. Epler, Co. D, 2d Wisconsin

Some Accounts of Our Boys

Again has it become our duty to record an engagement in which the "Belle City Rifles" have been active participants. With hearts filled with anguish we write of some whose lives have been given to the cause of their country. What can we say? What words of sympathy can we offer to their friends except to speak of the noble heroism, the undaunted courage, and the unflinching bravery of the fallen? Their deeds of valor and devotion to their country sealed with their blood on the battle field can never be forgotten, but will live in the hearts and history of the nation forever.
Without any official notice at hand we have gathered from private letters as much of the history of the bloody struggle in which our boys were engaged as we could and lay it before our readers knowing how awful the suspense and anxiety has been, reminding our readers, however, that some reported as "probably dead," and others missing or prisoners may, ere this, be found alive or exchanged and safe among friends.
The best account we have seen of the fight is in a letter from CHARLIE  JEWETT to his friends written Sept. 2d, in which he says-

"Last Thursday, Aug. 28th, McDowell's corps was marching on the road towards Centerville from Warrenton. It was generally rumored among the "boys" that Gen. Stonewall Jackson was at or near the old Bull Run battle field and that we were going to give him battle. King's division crossed the Manassas Gap Railroad near Gainesville at noon, and marched forward nearly a mile and a half. Here they learned that McCall's division had a slight engagement with the enemy during the forenoon and that the Bucktails had captured some cannon.
We remained quiet till about 5 o'clock. McDowell and King, meanwhile, having examined the enemy's position. We, being in King's division, were then ordered forward to attack the rebels. Hatch's brigade were on the advance acting as skirmishers; Gibbon's brigade followed supporting the batteries. We marched about a mile when the artillery on both sides began firing; this was about quarter to six. We succeeded in driving the rebels along the road for a mile, it was now just dusk, when Gen. Gibbons came out of a small piece of woods in front of our regiment and ordered it forward, that is toward the left flank of our position. As soon as we had passed through the woods and up a rise of ground we moved in line of battle. We could just discover the rebels coming out of the woods, regiment after regiment en masse. Immediately both sides began firing, the rebels yelling their loudest, the battle was now terrific and awfully desperate. I cannot attempt a description now. A short time after the firing began Judson said to me, "Oh, I'm wounded!" I asked him where and he showed me a hole through pants about half way between his knee and his ankle. I told him to crawl back and have it dressed. He started off, but I have since learned that one of Co. "I" helped him into an ambulance, and this man stated he was wounded again in the side.
In less time than it takes me to write it, I saw Rodman and Price limp back from the line in which the Regiment lay. There was, by this time, no man in our company in the front rank to the right of me. Just at this instant I felt a ball graze my hip and shortly after I thought another went through the flesh near the same place. I kept on firing however and spoke to Walter Gregory who was the only man near me in the front rank, telling him I had been hit but could "keep at work". We were now ordered to close up to the right. Some of Co. "G" kept on firing so I had to pass them and thus get separated from the Company. The ground was literally covered with the dead and wounded. In moving, we had to be careful where we placed our feet to prevent stepping on them. Just after we closed up the vacant places, I was again hit by a ball on the head. The blood streamed down my face, that I could not see, and I made my way to the rear in hopes of getting my wounds dressed, telling the man nearest me my name and where I was hit. I succeeded in gaining the brow of the hill and reaching the woods but could find no surgeon. I soon reached a house but it was uninhabited, but a piece further on I came to another where I found water to bathe my head and was enabled to ascertain the extent of my other injuries. I found the second time I thought I was struck in the hip, that the ball hit the corner of my cartridge box, that had worked round in front of me and after tearing a slit in it four inches long and carrying away the brass button it glanced off. Had not my cartridge box been there the ball would have passed through my bowels.
Our regiment lost 279 killed.
Henry Sandford and Nearman wished me to say, for the information of friends, that they were well.
The following is a list of the killed and wounded of our Company, as accurate as I can now make it, and which I give to Dr. Tillapaugh:

Joseph Mann
George Lincoln
William Price
H. P. Christie
E. B. Stickney
Adam Schmal
F. D. Cole
Walter Gregory


Sergt. Martin wounded in arm at a skirmish at Catlett's Station, where the rebels attacked a company of about 100 convalescents belonging to the Wisconsin regiments and got whipped.
Sergt. Rodman, both legs, seriously
Sergt. Graham, shoulder, slight
Sergt. Manderson, hip, seriously
Corp. Yates, hand slight
Ewing, head, slight
Hurlbut, thigh, seriously, prisoner, (since exchanged.)
Hughes, shoulder, seriously
Jewett, head, arm and leg, all slight
Judson, leg, prisoner
Malcom, sabre cut on head - at Catletts
Melgs, bowels and head, serious, probably dead - if alive a prisoner
Powles, leg, slight, prisoner
Dug. Smith, legs, prisoner
Seaman, bowels, seriously, if alive a prisoner
Wormington, shoulder slight, with co.
North, head, slight
St. George, mouth and head, seriously, if alive a prisoner - probably dead
T. Weldon, side
Webber, both legs

Uninjured- Gorman, Bradshaw, S. A. Cole Bauman, Adams, Barns, Ives, Keley, Patrick, W. Miller, Stone, Leidy, S. Mead, Cadwell, Lathrop, Henry Sandford, Capt. Parsons

Mr. L. B. S. Miller, in a letter, gives the following items:

Company "F" went into the fight with 38 men and on Sunday only 12 were fit for Duty.
Capt. Parsons got off a sick bed and led the boys through the ordeal and in a manner that elicits the warmest praise.
Tell our mutual friend M. B. Mead that his son is all right and that the evidence of his comrades is that a better fighting boy never shouldered a musket.
Cole says that he was beside young Stickney during the fight and the first intimation he had that he was wounded was Stickney's remark: Here my little finger is gone, but I can shoot yet." In a few minutes he remarked: "I am shot through the arm but I can shoot yet" In perhaps five minutes more he (Cole) looked around and saw Stickney's head fall over on his shoulder and he jumped and caught him and found he was dead; just shot through the head.
The news here this morning is that the rebels have skeddaled. I don't believe it. But one thing is sure, they will be whipped, and bad too.

Col. O'Connor, of the 2d, is dead - killed on Thursday. After being wounded he talked to his men that crowded around him and advised them to "fight to the death for the good old flag." He was shot while gallantly leading his men.
I also hear that Col. Cutler, of the 7th is also killed. whether true or not I can't say.

We once the following communication from our faithful Burlington correspondent under this head as it related to our brave boys that have fallen:

EDITORS ADVOCATE: - Another name is added to the roll of honor from among the noble youths that have gone forth from our town to fight our battles. Frank D. Cole, son of A. G. Cole, Esq., and a member of company F, 2d Regt. Wis. Vol., was killed in battle in the terrible struggle at or near Bull Run on Thursday, the 28th of august. Around him were found seven or eight guns, which he had used, all of them too foul for further use, showing clearly how dearly he sold his life. He was a noble youth and among the bravest of the brave. He was but 18 years of age and yet a veteran soldier having been in the battle of Bull Run, of July 21, 1861.
The stricken parents are consoled by the knowledge of his devotion to the cause he had espoused and that he fell with his face to the foe bravely daring all. They mourn not alone. He was one of our much loved boys whose ringing laugh still sounds in our ears, who greeted us always with smiles and was ever ready to lend a hand to the needy. But his young life has gone out for our good. God help us to bear with patience these great sacrifices and fully appreciate them.
Another of our boys FRANCIS L. GRAHAM, was wounded while falling back. He was in a stooping position; a Minnie ball entered just below the shoulder blade and came out by the side of the neck. His wounds serious but not considered fatal. We hope he may live to pay off the rascals which he will do if he ever has the opportunity.
The above facts we gather from Lieut. A. S. Cole, late of Co. F, 2d Reg't., who reached home last Saturday. He was through the worst of the battles from Orange Court House to Centreville. He bears the marks of long and fast marches, and the fatigue incident to hard fought battles. He saw his brother dead upon the battle field and performed the "last sad office" of composing his limbs and covering his face. He says our brigade always advanced at the word and never retired without orders. He speaks in glowing terms of the officers and men composing the 2d Regt., and that the closing scene of Col. O'Connor's life was the most affecting that he ever witnessed. Mortally wounded he called the fragments of his glorious regiment around him and briefly addressed them charging them to do their utmost and fight to the last.
He was greatly beloved by both officers and men.
Walter Gregory named among the killed has been a resident of Racine six years. He was born at Batavia, Genesee County, New York, in November, 1841. He was a brave boy, esteemed by his comrades, and fell with his face to the foe. He has been a member of the Belle City Rifles since their organization, being among the number who, at the very beginning of this unholy rebellion, rushed to the defense of the national honor. His father has just volunteered in Captain Williamson's company determined, if the opportunity comes, to avenge the death of his son.
ELRICH BAILEY STICKNEY, whose name is in the list of the slain, was born in Alabama, 1840, his parents removed to Montgomery, Ala., but having a most intense hatred of the institution of slavery, they subsequently moved to Chicago. Becoming a widow, Mrs. Stickney came to this city a few years ago. Here her children have grown up and among them ELRICH. When the first call was made for troops he plead with his mother to be allowed to volunteer; being frail in body she hesitated, but unable to resist his earnest entreaties she consented and he became a member of the "Belle City Rifles." We can offer no better tribute to his memory than the following written to his sorrowing mother: "In the fearful conflict of Thursday night poor dear ELRICH fell fighting for his country. He was universally beloved - a more unselfish character I never knew. ELRICH suffered no pain,. his death was almost instantaneous. He was absent from the body and present with Christ."
ADAM SCHMAL; mentioned in the list as killed from this city, was a Prussian by birth, a native of Bergen on the banks of the Rhine. He was 22 years of age, 8 years a resident of the U.S., the last five years a citizen of this city. At the time of his enlistment in Co. F, he was in the employment of H. Mitchell, Esq. His comrades at the shop, as well as those in the Company speak of his noble qualities with sincere respect. He had given his life for the land of his adoption.
Of Hans P. Christy, another of our fallen boys, we have been unable to learn much except that he use to sail under Capt. Miller on the schooner Elmira.
WILLIAM PRICE, among the killed, was, we learn, an old British soldier. A man somewhat advanced in years but true, and brave as a lion. He lived with Mr. Smith in the town of Mt. Pleasant for a time.
GEORGE LINCOLN, also "reported" killed, is the son of Col. F. Lincoln in Yorkville, Racine Co. We have not ascertained his age or any particulars, hoping that he may yet be found alive and be restored to his friends whose heats are bleeding at the painful rumor of his death.
Among those of our brave boys known to have fallen on the fields in the recent fight is JOSEPH M. MANN of this city, a nephew of Lucius S. Blake, Esq. He was born in the town of Raymond in this county, in 1840. His father dying, he has for several years been in the family of Mr. Blake, under whose care he was educated and fitted for usefulness. He graduated with credit at our High School just before he entered the army. Of a generous disposition he made warm friends at home and among his comrades. Brave and obedient, his officers ever spoke of him in the highest terms of praise. Few young men exhibited more patriotism than he. The possessor of a valuable farm with good business inducements at home why should he go into the ranks as a private soldier to endure and suffer?
The answer is easily given; fired at the insult to our flag when Sumter was assaulted by rebellious hands he gave up home, friends, property; all for his country's sake. He was a patriot as well as a Christian.
In a letter to Mrs. Stickney from John E. Hinton, Co. F, 2d Wis., in speaking of Geo. Lincoln, says, "reported Killed" In a letter from HENRY SANDFORD, he says that "we hope some reported killed are yet alive. It is not our wish to raise up false hopes but experience in the Past has proven that losses on the battle fields are always exaggerated and unless a soldier is known to be killed and the proof is forthcoming, we shall hope he is yet alive. We have failed to see any letter yet where George Lincoln was seen to have been killed. So far it is only reported."
In a letter received from Henry Sanford dated Head-Quarters, 2d Wis. Regt., Upton's Hill B., Sept. 4th, he says, giving list of casualties, William Price in sound not killed. Also that the "Hospital Steward and just returned and says that JUDSON'S leg must be amputated or it will prove fatal.

Second Bull Run - 
August 29 & 30, 1862

On the 29th, the brigade was present on the battlefield of Bull Run, engaged as support to a battery. The Second and Seventh Regiments were consolidated, temporarily, the Second into four, and the Seventh into six companies, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild. The brigade took part in the battle of August 30th, and on the retreat of the army, was directed, by General Kearney, to act as rear guard, which they did, the whole army passing by them, and the Iron Brigade covered the retreat, the Second being the last to cross the Stone Bridge. Retiring with the rest of the Army, the brigade went into camp at Upton’s Hill, near Washington, on the 2nd of September.

Military History of Wisconsin, Quinter, 1866

We then fell back across a valley and up on a hill behind passing, as we did so, a great pile of knapsacks and other equipment, lying in a piece of timber where they had probably been left when their owners had gone into action. As the troops moved back I caught sight of General Hooker on a spur just behind our former position, looking on at the battle. I rode up to him to make some explanation regarding my hesitancy in obeying the order he had sent me but he interrupted me saying, "That is all right," and added some complimentary remark about the way which we had held our position, which at once excited my pride and attracted me to him. I then left him and climbing the opposite slope, encountered General McDowell. He met me with unusual cordiality and shaking hands said he was glad to see me, as General Porter had told him I was killed. I spoke with enthusiasm of the was in which my brigade , just then passing, had behaved, and shall not soon forget his reply. "If you have such troops as that," he said, "you shall act as rear guard and be the last, except myself, to pass Bull Run!" I must admit that up to this time I had not got it through my head, that there was such a thing as a retreat or that we were to have a rear guard.

My brigade was now placed in position on the ridge alongside the Pike where it climbed the hill near the Robinson House, the pieces of Battery "B" being unlimbered, were prepared for action. The sun was now just disappearing and the atmosphere so thick with smoke the eye could not reach to any great distance. We could not see any of the enemy's movements but the sound of cannon was still heard both to our right and our left.

Whilst waiting in position I heard some one inquire in a short quick tone: "Whose command is this?" and turning to look I recognized General Phil Kearny. I walked up to him and told him I was directed to act as rear guard. He was a soldierly looking figure as he sat, straight as an arrow, on his house, his empty sleeve pinned to his breast.

Turning toward me, he said in his curt was: "You must wait for my command, sir." "Yes," I replied, "I will wait for all our troops to pass to the rear. Where is your command, General?" "Off on the right, don't you hear my guns? You must wait for Reno, too," "Where is he?" "On the left-you hear his guns? He is keeping up the fight and I am doing all I can to help." Then in a short bitter tone he broke out with: "I suppose you appreciate the condition of affairs here, sir?" I did not understand the remark and only looked inquiringly at him. He repeated: "I suppose you appreciated the condition of affairs? It's another Bull run, sir, it's another Bull Run!"

"Oh!" I said, "I hope not quite as had as that, General." "Perhaps not. Reno is keeping up the fight. he is not stampeded. I am not stampeded , you are not stampeded. That is about all, sir, my God that's about all!"

It is impossible to describe the extreme bitterness and vehemence with which he uttered these words as he rode away towards his command. two days afterwards, September 1st, General Kearny was killed at Chantilly. I have seen one of the last letters he ever wrote, dated the 31st, in which he there alludes to the Battle of Bull Run:- "The army ran like sheep, all but a General Reno and a General Gibbon," and in letter dated the next day (since published) he says: "On the 30th nine-tenths of the troops disgracefully fled. I held the entire right until 10 P.M., as Reno did the left, and Gibbon the main road."

John Gibbon

During the 29th we lay at Manassas Junction near the railroad. On the afternoon we marched up the Sudley to its crossing of the Warrenton pike and took position in the rear of and in supporting distance of Gen. Siegel’s troops who have been engaged all day.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diary

Our Comrades Who Have Fallen

A letter from Lt. Hill of Co. G, 2d Wis., gives the names of the following killed at Bull Run on the 28th inst:

John G. Kent, Portage
Gustav Lecleaire, Portage
John Lester, Lowve'c
Owon W. Davis, Kingston
Charles P. Bloom, Wyocnca
Wm. Dean, Portage
Asher Linscott, Portage
Walter L. Plumbstead, Portage
Monroe S. Phillips, Castle Rock
John P. Schildgen, Lancaster
Guy Sherweed, Portage
James A. Snyder, Portage
Trevillian J. Staley, Portage

Thirty-seven of his company were wounded and two missing. Hill says "I went into the fight with fifty two men and came out with only eight!
He compliments the action of all the boys and all the officers speak in the highest terms of the whole regiment.
Lieut. Hill is one of the bravest men and best officers we ever saw-
He fought in the ranks in several battles in Mexico and at the first Bull Run he was shot through his left shoulder after which he very deliberately saved our bacon for us when we didn't know it from sole leather.
Orderly Kent, rest his great good noble soul, was one of the best friends we ever had. No words we can utter can express our love for him. In his boyhood he played on the same Vermont hills we have roamed among and after sailing the salt seas for five years entered upon the sphere of manhood with all the noble qualities characterizing the sailor with none of their vices. We don't believe he ever knowingly wronged a living being. If ever a man went to war from pure patriotism he did. He loved everything that was good and hated nothing but meanness and wrong.
The other boys were good, kind merry soldiers. What days of drill and nights of dance we have had with them! Yet how soon they fell on the same old field where they fought as they never could fight elsewhere almost over the graves of those who fell there a year before.
If we live we shall come day plant roses on their graves.

Death of Capt. J.F. Randolph

Many hearts in this city will be stricken with the intelligence that Capt. Julius F. Randolph of Co. H, in the Second Regiment has been killed in battle. We all knew him well and all had the fullest confidence in his bravery and that he would do his full duty to his country. He has fallen, a willing sacrifice to the wicked rebellion that has sprung up to destroy the government, in fighting most manfully for the protection of that government. No truer or braver man has thus fallen than Captain Randolph. We all know with what indomitable zeal he entered into the work of raising and organizing his company on the first call of the President for troops. His company was among the first to enter Camp Randall for the Second Regiment; and that company was the pride of his heart. It was thoroughly drilled and held the first rank among the companies of the excellent regiment to which it belonged. He led that gallant company in the battle of Bull Run last year and was then wounded. His conduct on that occasion commanded the admiration of all who were with him. He was active efficient and brave. Since that time Capt. Randolph has suffered both from his wound and from disease but his courage and zeal for the welfare of his country and his men never failed. Of all things, he desired most to avenge that battle by fighting the rebels upon the same ground. He lived to go into another battle at the same place but alas! he came not out of it alive!
Capt. Randolph had hosts of friends in this county who respected him for his real worth and we are not aware that he had an enemy. He was a good citizen, an excellent mechanic, a true hearted friend and a brave and gallant soldier - the whole community will deeply morn his loss and sympathize most sincerely with those who were connected with the decease by ties stronger than those of mere friendship.
Green grow the grass over the grave of the gallant and brave!

News from the Battles-- from Private Letters.

Several letters were received by persons in this city this morning from which we are kindly permitted to make a few extracts. In one from an officer in the Second Regiment from this city dated at Warrenton, Va., Aug. 25th, we find the following paragraphs:

"I only write to let you know that I am all right and very well, after being under fire for a great portion of three days. I cannot tell you anything of what will take place here but something's up soon.
Major Allen has come back and will not leave us, he says. He came back on hearing that a fight was on hand. He is "bully"
Our Adjutant, C. K. Dean is missing since last Thursday, the 21st inst. We are very sure he was taken prisoner as he was sent with an order to the front where a body of rebel cavalry was afterwards known to have been at the very point he started to go."

The following letter from a friend of Lt. Col. Fairchild of the 2d regiment we copy entire:

Washington, Aug. 30th 1862

Lt. Col. Cassuis Fairchild-

Dear Sir: - I have just returned from the battle field. You brother Lucius has escaped unhurt. Col. O'Connor was killed. Maj. Allen is wounded in the neck and arm. The regiment is all cut to pieces. The whole brigade is badly cut-up. The following are the names of some of the officers of the 2d killed and wounded:

Capt. Randolph, dead
Capt. Smith, wounded
Lieut. Baldwin, wounded
Lieut. Bell, wounded
Lieut. Belinger, wounded
Sergeant-Major Wining, wounded bad
And a few others slightly

Nearly all of the corporals and sergeants are killed and wounded. Privates and officers killed or wounded or missing number in all over 200. You may not hear from you brother in a number of days as they are not allowed to send any mail for the present.

From a friend of your brother, 

From a private letter to N.W. Dean Esq., from a gentleman of this city now in Washington, dated in that city Sept 1st, we copy the following paragraph " the star of the great McClellan seems to be waning fast. It is said at the hotels and upon the street, with how much truth I cannot say, that he has disobeyed the peremptory orders of the War Department to move forward his division to the support of Pope, in consequence of which the greater portion of his command has been taken from him and sent forward in divisions and placed under the command of Pope.
"Rumor has it that "Little Mac" is to be placed in command of the new levies, it having been satisfactorily ascertained that his forte is parading and drilling instead of fighting. You know that heretofore I have pinned my faith to McC., and had kept up my confidence in him long after many of his most enthusiastic admirers had lost theirs. I take it all back now and concede that he is a humbug -" to an alarming extent" as Artemus Ward would say.
"Sept. 2 - Since writing the foregoing I have visited one of the hospitals and seen two of the 2d Wisconsin wounded in the recent battles. One of them told me that he had Col. O' Conner dead and that the regiment was badly cut up as early as Thursday. At that time it could muster only 190 men and was drawn off from the field not having been engaged since. Lt. Col. Fairchild had passed thro' the whole fight without a scratch up to that time. Major Allen was struck twice with balls, causing simply flesh wounds not at all serious."

Incidents of the Recent Battles-Behavior of Officers and Men

The papers of the State are full of interesting incidents of the recent battles relative to our Wisconsin regiments contained in letters from those who bore a part in them. They furnish evidence how steadily coolly and bravely they bought.
A writer in the Grant County Witness speaking of the battle of Gainesville, says:

The Second was the first ordered on the hill and through the dense woods that hid the fields, our Regiment was taken. - At double quick, charge bayonets, headed by our gallant Colonel the Second advanced. I thought we should be ordered to silence a battery; but if that was the intention, it was given over. The field was reached and into the leaden hail the Second was ushered. The same old banner carried by the Second through the first Bull Run fight was there and all seemed determined to avenge the insults heaped upon it that day. Men are falling in every part of our line yet the ranks are kept closed. Our Colonel (O'Conner) falls and is carried from the field to die. Major Allen is wounded in the arm and neck and yet he cheers the men on to further deeds of daring. At this juncture our line seems to waver - but see! The line is solid - we have one field officer left - Lieut Col. Fairchild is left us; and in front of the Regiment, with sleeves rolled up and sword clutched, he gives the orders in cool distinct language and for an hour and fifteen minutes the men of the Second Wisconsin fought and fell like heroes.
The 7th Wisconsin, the 6th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana all had their share, all fought well!- The entire brigade gloriously sustained the proud name they so justly have. The Second's loss was the heaviest - over one half of our regiment was either killed or wounded. We left on the field two hundred and eighty-six and could only muster one hundred and thirty four guns next morning. When the regiment slept on their arms that night (we held the field) Colonel Fairchild could not realize the the Second had grown so small, with tears in his eyes he asked "Where is the regiment - have they scattered? He was answered, "Colonel this is all that is left of the Second - the rest lay on the field" A mountain's weight seems lifted from his soul and in broken tones he exclaims "Thank God they are worthy of their name."
A correspondent of the Mineral Point Tribune, writing of the same battle, says that a captain of the Stonewall Brigade opposed to them who was taken prisoner asserted that it was the first time it had been forced to turn its back on the enemy. After speaking warmly of Col. O'Connor's merits he says: "I cannot speak too highly of Col. Fairchild, the Second's model; and Allen cannot be beat for pluck. Gen Gibbon is without doubt the best Brigadier in the service. If he gets in a bad scrape he is not long in finding a way out. He thoroughly understands his business and is cool and collected on the fields of battle."

In the Racine Advocate a letter from the 6th regiment says the battle of the 17th was the grandest of all the many desperate struggles which the writer had witnessed since he entered the army. " Our boys, as they fell, would say "never mind me, fight! hold your position! fight boys don't give up the ground." Such men never can be made to yield and there never was more undaunted bravery than our men showed.

Another writer to the same paper from the 2d says: "during the struggle on the 17th, one of the batteries attached to our brigade suffered severely. The captain and eight men belonging to one piece had been shot by the rebels who were pressing slowly towards it. The men were about to retire when Gen. Gibbon, to whom the battery used to belong - sprung from his horse ordered the men to double shot the gun with canister, sighted it himself and gave the rebels a dose that turned them back with terrible havoc.
"Our brigade captured six stands of rebel colors during the contest. Col. Fairchild got off a sick bed to go into the battle. The general told him be ought not to be on the field but to no purpose. He would not leave till it was won. I hope he will soon regain his health for he is a splendid officer and beloved by his men."

Col. Edgar O'Connor

Beloit has to mourn the loss of another brave officer and honored citizen. Col. Edgar O'Connor, son of Hon. B. O'Connor of this city, has fallen a victim to this accursed rebellion. The news was received in this city of Saturday last which caused deep sorrow to pervade the whole community. No news as to the recovery of the body has been received.
Col. Edgar O'Connor was born in Cleveland, Ohio, August 29, 1833. In his ninth year his parents removed to Milwaukee in this State. He graduated at West Point Military Academy in June, 1853. He then served as Lieutenant in the 7th Regiment, regular army, until 1859 when he resigned. In 1856 he went with the expedition that crossed the plains to Santa Fe and Pike's Peak and suffered the greatest hardships, of which Col. Morrison made special mention. Lieut. O'Connor made a profile and survey of the route of remarkable accuracy which is now on the books of the War Department. He was stationed three years at Fort Gibson in the Indian country where he enjoyed peculiar advantages of perfecting himself in the military art and becoming acquainted with frontier life. These advantages, it is needless to say, were most faithfully improved by the young Lieutenant.
In  September, 1857, he was united in marriage with Miss Whitfield, daughter of the Hon. Wm. Whitfield of Arkansas.
The young, heart-stricken widow, a sufferer indeed from this horrid civil war, is now in this place with her father-in- law, Judge O'Connor.
After his resignation in 1859, he studied law in this city with Rockwell &Converse, and was admitted to the bar of Rock County in March, 1861.
But his desire to lead the quiet life of a civilian could not be attained. This civil war called him from his chosen retreat. It will be remembered that in the battle of Bull Run, in July, 1861, the 2d Wisconsin regiment fought most bravely and desperately and suffered most terrible. The gallant boys came out of that memorable conflict disorganized for want of competent officers. After that shameful rout, - shameful to the officers but not to the men, - military talent was in demand. Col. Coon resigned for reasons not necessary to state here. In looking about for a man of the proper qualifications to reorganize and save the brave and suffering 2d regiment, the past services and acknowledged military ability of Edgar O'Connor were brought to the notice of Gov. Randall. Fortunately for the honor of the state, the Colonelcy of the regiment was tendered to him and accepted.
Col. O'Connor, although in very poor health, immediately repaired to Washington and took personal command of the regiment. No one can tell how severely he suffered from sickness and how diligently and constantly he labored during the first few months of his command to perfect the organization and drill of his regiment. But his heart was in the work and his honor and pride were at stake and he nobly, bravely, persevered and was soon rewarded by being known and honored as the Colonel of the best drilled, most soldier like regiment of the grand army of the Potomac. Since March last he has been in perfect health and has been constantly with his regiment, doing with it every duty and sharing with it every danger.
In this connection we would call special attention to an article of the first page from the Milwaukee Wisconsin headed Wisconsin Brigades which was printed in that paper and inserted in our form before the Sad news of his death reached us. It is a deserved tribute to soldiership. His constant attention to his duties and his military abilities would have soon been reward by a brigadier general's commission.
But he had run his course and Thursday, August 28, was the last of the earthly career of Col. Edgar O' Connor, The 2d Wisconsin was in King's division of McDowell's corps which was engaged in the battle on Thursday. The gallant boys fought near their old battle ground and between Manassas and Warrenton lost their brave and much loved Colonel.

The Battles of Friday and Saturday

Special Correspondence of the New York Tribune

Centreville, V., 5 A.M. Sunday Aug. 31, 1862-the battles of yesterday and the day before on the already classic ground of Bull Run will rank with Napoleon's bloodiest and more than one general fought in them to who ere this hour he would have given a Marshal's baton, while he would have made proud a hundred privates with the ribbon of the Legion of Honor.
Let me first detail the movements by which the two day struggle was brought on.
While at Warrenton early on Wednesday, I learned that Jackson was in our rear and that we should once more try to trap him. Sigel and McDowell marched that morning up the turnpike from Warrenton forward Centreville where the enemy was supposed to be. This road passes through Bull Run battle-field five miles west of Centreville. Hooker, Porter and Reno moved from our left (now as we faced about, toward Washington becomes our right) toward the same point via Manassas Junction. Sigel, in advance of McDowell, reached Gainesville, four mile from the Bull Run field that night and came upon the enemy's cavalry and stragglers. Resting a few hours, by 3 o'clock he was moving. The enemy did not appear in front and leaving McDowell to take care of that road, Sigel turned to the right to connect with Hooker at Manassas Junction. Hooker had fought near there on Wednesday (of which I will speak in a moment), and it was possible he needed help.
When within two miles of the Junction, Sigel learned that the enemy was on the Warrenton Road and turning short to the left, he marched to the south side of the Bull Run field. It was then 6 P.M.  McDowell, who, as before stated, had remained on that road between the enemy and Warrenton, had been throwing shell some hours and now we could hear musketry. Gaining the heights where Hunter bought a year ago and approaching the turnpike, we could locate the scene of the engagement by the line of musketry flashes. It was King's division, repelling the enemy in his attempt to escape toward Warrenton. The affair lasted two hours and King held the field. We had come upon the enemy's left flank. - Schenck's division became partially engaged, gave the enemy's cavalry a few shell, then the whole corps rested for the night. At the very time King was fighting on the Warrenton Road, Ricketts was engaged fighting rebel reinforcements coming up through Thoroughfare Gap, five mile further west. He was compelled, having suffered a loss of 250, to withdraw and join King after the latter had finished his day's work. Reynolds's division (Pa. reserves), then temporarily with McDowell's corps, was in the same vicinity.
The situation then, Friday morning, was this: Sigel's corps (divisions of Schurz, Milroy, Steinwehr, and Schenck) on the Bull Run field, fronting to the West, was close against the enemy; McDowell's corps nearly connected with Sigel on the latter's left but was not within fighting distance of the enemy. Heintzelman's corps (Divisions of Hooker and Kearney, and Reno's corps) were at Centreville, coming down the turnpike, which would have made them upon Sigel's right. Porter was back-seven or eight miles - in Sigel's rear. These corps - Sigel's Reno's, Heintzelman's, McDowell's and Porter's - were all that were engaged at any time during the two day's, Friday and Saturday. They came upon the field in the order I have named them.
Fortunately I had been with Sigel during his two days march to find the enemy and was with him now that it fell to him to open the main struggle. His corps had held the advance under heavy artillery fire on the Rappahannock the four previous days and had now marched two days, a part of the time in line of battle and taking but four hours rest. They moved into a battle, not a skirmish, not an affair, not an action, not an engagement but a great battle, for such are the names given to fights in the order of their magnitude.
Long before daylight Sigel had visited every position of his line, had seen to the placing of every battery and with the daylight his artillery sounded. The "Jessie Scouts"- transferred by Fremont to Sigel - reported the enemy as massed in and beyond a stretch of woods a mile long, west of, and running nearly parallel with, the road. Their line, however, extended on their right to the road where they had guns on commanding heights on their left to Bull Run stream with a battery or two across upon the north side. Sigel's line was opposite, on the south side of the road.
The first hour it was all artillery. Sigel was advancing battery after battery to this and that eminence, supporting each with a brigade, hearing the report of scouts, sending cavalry now far to the right, now far to the left ,gradually advancing his divisions in cover of hills upon which he had placed guns- in a word, feeling for the enemy rapidly advancing but cautiously every step. The enemy disdained to make any fight -but not for long .
His artillery was compelled to answer ours and pressing on, we unearthed his infantry. There was a light rattle, then a roar of musketry. Milroy, in the advance, had come square upon rebels in masses. Our line of battle was formed, Schurz having the right, Schenck, the left, Milroy, the advance centre, Steinwehr, the reserve center.
Just at this opening of the battle I saw, from the hill from which Schurz was going into action, a column bearing down upon our right and at first supposed them to be rebels. Unaccountably, as they arrived, high over their heads were sundry white flags and they appeared to march straggling and it was soon seen they were unarmed. They proved to be 634 prisoners taken by Jackson when he appeared at Manassas three days before, now released on parole. The enemy could not feed them and would themselves starve unless reinforcements should push to them with supplies.
A little after Milroy, Schurz became engaged. They drove the enemy a mile or more and rested from outright fatigue.-
During this time Schenck had been engaged on the left but not heavily. Tough old Heintzelman arrived at this juncture from Centerville with his whole corps. - Schurz was withdrawn from action, Kearney and Hooker to take his place. Reno arrived soon after from the same direction. Steven's division of his own corps marched to the left to support Schenck and the attack was once more along the whole line.
I should have stated that some time before the cessation, Milroy, after two hours of musketry in tornadoes, was driven back much cut to pieces and replaced by Steinwehr, who was assisted by Schenck at his left.
It was now 1 o'clock. Sigel's corps only had been engaged and we had, on the whole, gained ground - at the right, nearly a mile. It was reasonable to suppose that with the assistance of Reno and Heintzelman, and most of the day before us, we should utterly demolish the enemy.
It has since appeared that simultaneously with our reinforcements, he received larger ones, Longstreet's whole command whose passage through Thoroughfare Gap Ricketts had disputed the day before, had now joined Jackson and Ewell, whom we had been fighting hitherto. Longstreet would naturally join Jackson at his right; it was upon our left and occasionally our center that we were most severely pressed the remainder of the day.
Up to this time, Sigel had command of the field. He had made the disposition before the fight and conducted it success fully six hours. Pope arrived from Centerville about noon and assumed command but wisely and generously deferred to Sigel the rest of the day as being best acquainted with the position.
At 2 o'clock the fight was raging along the whole line terrifically musketry, like Gaines's Mill and Artillery, like Malvern Hills. There was not ten minutes cessation at any one time for the next three hours. We advanced not a step, we retired not a step. The energy of War - men, guns and villainous saltpeter seemed equal, each side to the other. At 5 o'clock Schenck was ordered back from the left and the artillery of that wing fell back to the next eminence.
During the three hours scarcely a regiment of the three corps on the field that had not been into the thickest. Promptly and skillfully as a command would be come, exhausted, it would be replaced by another but only for a brief rest, then to up and at it. These splendid "passages of lines," as such movements are technically called, seem to me a feature that ought not to pass uncommented. Gaines's Mill would have been a victory had such movements been made promptly and orderly.
The withdrawal of the left was not a giving up of the battle, troops were rushed to the right and a redoubled onset made there. Again the enemy was forced back. His left was swept upon his centre - we took him "endways" in flank. - While the infantry fought those, our artillery, eleven batteries in line, played stunningly, each gun pointed well to the left that no unlucky shell might harm a friend.
We could move the rebels no further than their center. Musketry in rolls, in crashes, sounded out of the spot of woods where our advance was, stayed how tenaciously the enemy, held their ground.  I cannot hope to adequately express how Schurz fought - ask any eye-witness of the conduct of his men led by the orator fighter.
It was 6 o'clock. The enemy not only held his center but advanced upon our left. It was critical.
Opportunely, McDowell's corps appeared coming to our relief. Two brigades (Hatch's and Doubleday's) immediately met the enemy's advance upon our left and, although suffering, terribly stayed him until dark.
The day's work was ended. We held more ground than in the morning but not so much as at noon.
The day wore away until noon with a continuance of desultory shelling ("bumi'n," the butternut prisoners call it,) Gen. Pope, on horse the whole time, giving orders, rapid and imperative each, carried instantly by a galloping aid, receiving reports from all parts of the field and never detaining the messenger long for his reply, from each eminence sweeping the position with his glass- he was evidently ascertaining the position of the enemy and determined to fight if he stood or if he ran.
Porter's corps had arrived on the ground at 9 o'clock from Manassas making five corps ready for action. The number of men comprised in these, I should estimate at 60,000. Hooker's division had but 2,441 men in the ranks so terribly has it shrunk by battle and disease.
In the order of battle for the day Heintzelman commanded the right, Porter the center, McDowell the left and Sigel, whose corps had borne the brunt the day before, the reserve. At 10, Heinizelman advanced skirmishers into the wood on the right of the battle field of the day before and found it only held by a few troublesome bushwhackers. Driving them back, large numbers of wounded were got off, and passed to the rear.
At 2 o'clock, by the movements of troops from right to left, I inferred that the positions of the enemy had been found in that direction. By this time our line was different from that of the day before.
Our right was further advanced, our left withdrawn so that we fronted almost to the South. At Bull Run a year ago we faced exactly south.
At 3 o'clock, Gen. Stevens attacked at the right soon after, Gen. Butler held at the left. The enemy's shells seemed equally distributed along the whole line and at each point of attack he met us with musketry.
I was at Gen. Sigel's headquarters.- That general was certain the enemy intended to turn one or the other of our flanks and said we must ascertain which or the result was at the best doubtful for his scouts had just reported that Lee, with the entire remainder of the rebels army, had come up and assumed command. The scouts were correct. On Saturday we fought the whole rebel army.
Posting myself in the center within view of both portions of the field where infantry were engaged, I could not determine which had the best of it. Evidently but few troops were engaged and I surmised that we were fighting merely to learn where lay the enemy's main force. At length our force at the right was driven back and I thought Gen. Pope had been outgeneraled when he moved men at an earlier part of the day from right to left.
A quarter of an hour later, I wished he had moved a still greater proportion to the left. I have heard the musketry of the best contested battles fought in Virginia and I say, unhesitatingly, that the fire which broke out on the left and up to the center was by far the heaviest of any. Talk of volleys and rolls and crashes! It was all these, continually accumulating, piling upon each other in mighty swelling volume - the wrestle of a rushing tornado, such as chaos may have known. From my position it seemed that artillery played from each of the cardinal points upon the devoted center where I knew men were struggling. I could not see them struggling. The smoke of gunpowder prevented that but I knew they were there and I trembled for the result. A few minutes later, Schurz, who was in reserve, was ordered to the left. Before he could get fairly into position, McDowell and Porter were irretrievably broken. Their soldiers fought like brave men; if moments be reckoned by their intensity, they fought long as they surely did fight well. Rebel slain as Halleck sings of Moslem slain by Buzzari's band. I believe there cannot be a man who heard or participated in that awful tragedy, but counts the hour between 4.5 and 5.5 o'clock the severest fighting he ever knew. It was all at one point. Along the right half of the line, the combatants seemed to desist in amazement at the struggle there. By half after 5 it was apparent the we were being outflanked by a concentration upon the left. Wagoner's and stragglers about the hospitals scented the retreat and soon trains of the former and streams of the latter could be seen making for the Bull Run bridges and fords. McDowell's and Porter's corps retired in comparative order.
I do not think there was a brigade that could not, as it came from the field, show it's distinct regiments or rather a nucleus of each regiment to whose standard ere it had marched a mile, its scattered men gathered. Still there were several thousands hurrying pell mell in advance of them toward Centreville, crowding the stone bridge and wading the stream. A dozen long wagon trains centered there but there was little confusion among them, no desertion wagons but simply a jam where each desired and pushed to be first. They were thus cool, not withstanding a few shell burst among them all this time the, so soon as we fell back from the left, the musketry almost entirely ceased.

Another correspondent writes:

Gen. Reno said that the real cause of our defeat was want of supplies. The horses had had hardly anything to eat for from three to five days and the men had fared little better. His words were borne out by the voracity with which staff officers, who usually have the best opportunities to secure what is to be had, devoured their breakfasts today. In spite of this, however, in spite of all draw backs to some of which it is not yet time to allud,e Ben Reno and all the officers with whom my informant talked agreed that a column of ten thousand fresh troops would have changed the fortunes of the day.
"Where is Franklin?" "Where is Summer?" was the question. The answer I have given you in a previous letter. Franklin's officers said they were ready to march on Tuesday and were expecting the order. On Wednesday they were allowed a day's leave. On Thursday and Friday they were kept in camp momentarily expecting an order. That it came and kept coming from Gen. Halleck and was countermanded by Gen. McClellan you already know.


The following is an abstract of the campaign of Major General Pope, furnished by a distinguished officer upon his staff. It is written evidently with a view to defend Gen. Pope from any of the imputations cast upon him for the retreat of his army from the Rapidan. The strictures upon other generals contained in it may be referred to his partiality for the general in command.
We give it as we receive it:


To the editors of the N.Y. Herald

Gen. Pope and staff left Washington on the 27th of July and visiting the camps of McDowell in and about Warrenton; of Banks in and about little Washington; and of Sigel in and about Sperryville, put these corps in march for the Rapidan ,reached Culpepper on the 6th August where McDowell's corps had already concentrated. The activity of the cavalry from McDowell's and Sigel's corps had already alarmed Richmond and the raids of Hatch, Crawford and King on the confederate lines had brought Jackson's entire army, 35,000 strong to the Rapidan. Constantly informed by the people of the country of all the positions, strength and movements of Pope's army, the enterprise of Stonewall Jackson was stimulated with the conviction that he could cross the Rapidan fall upon McDowell at Culpepper and, in detail, cut up that corps and Sigel before they could be united. His intentions were perceived by Pope and hurrying Banks and Sigel forward by rapid night marches, Pope threw the troops of Banks over Cedar Run on the morning of the 9th, posting them for defense and moving to their support Rickett's division of McDowell's corps. But Jackson perceiving the value of time barely gave Banks time to take position before opening upon him from commanding positions, seven batteries, strongly posted. The rebels had every advantage of ground and it was clear to Banks that they had to be driven from their positions or that his lines had to fall back. He accordingly fell upon them and the memorable battle of Cedar Mountain on the 9th of August, a conflict of arms, of audacity and severity that has few parallels in any war resulting in a drawn battle, was the first of the series of bloody conflicts with the Army of Virginia. The effect of this battle is well known in the country. It compelled the entire army of Jackson to retreat toward the Rapidan and startled all Richmond with the conviction that nothing but overwhelming forces could drive Pope's invincible troops from the lines of communication of that city. Eight thousand of Banks corps had met Jackson's entire army and held them in check, untill the reinforcements of Rickett's division at sundown enabled our exhausted troops to hold the field. Sigel's army arrived within supporting distance in the night and the two armies laid before each other an entire day meeting on the field and by mutual consent removed their wounded and buried their dead. Under a truce, consented to on the field, Jackson moved his entire baggage train to the rear of the Rapidan and fell back with his forces under the cover of the night, recrossing that river.
Gen. Pope immediately moved forward taking a position beyond the field of the battle. He was here joined by Reno's forces of Burnside's corps.
The capture of a confidential letter from Gen. Robt. E. Lee to Gen. Stuart revealed to Gen. Pope the intentions of the enemy; they were to throw overwhelming forces upon him, cut off his rear, and, in fact, annihilate, if possible, his entire army.
Without delay Gen. Pope put his entire army in motion to the rear intending to hold position behind the protecting waters of the Rappahannock. In this he succeeded without loss.
Gen. Lee, having by this time assumed command and brought forward the main army of Richmond, moved rapidly upon Gen. Pope in three columns of immense strength on the three main forts of the Rappahannock before which, in such overwhelming numbers, he laid eight days fruitlessly attempting to force the passage of this river.
Having been thwarted in his attempt at the Rappahannock bridge and the fords below, it was discovered that he was passing his columns to the left in the direction of Waterloo bridge and the upper fords. Gen Pope immediately moved towards Sulphur Springs and Warrenton and at this point, under sever artillery conflicts of three days, prevented the passage of Lee's forces, and forced him to pass still further to our right in the direction of the Manassas Gap. R. R. by the Thoroughfare Gap, evidently meaning to gain our rear in the direction of Centerville and Fairfax C. H.
Pope again fell back from Warrenton and its vicinity toward Manassas. He had been reinforced ere this at Warrenton Junction by Hooker's and Kearney's divisions of the Army of the Potomac and the Pennsylvania reserve corps under General Reynolds.
The enemy succeeded in gaining his rear and cut his line of communication, destroying the bridge on the railroad rear Kettle Run.
Hooker's division had advanced meeting the main force of the rebel Gen. Ewell near this point where a desperate battle ensued resulting in the utter route of the rebels. Ewell rapidly retreated leaving his wounded on the field and his dead unburied. Hooker followed and the combat was continued by these forces for several miles on their line of retreat and only ended by the approach of darkness.
Rapidly pushing forward this success, Pope's entire army was speedily put in motion at daylight next morning, driving Jackson, who was at Manassas Junction across Bull Run towards Centreville where the forts were and where he rallied his forces. the desperate engagements of Thursday, Friday and Saturday then ensued.
ope had detached to his left in the direction of Gainesville, King's division of McDowell's corps d'arme e, interposing that force between the reinforcement under Longstreet then advancing by the Thoroughfare Gap and the armees of Ewell, Hill and Jackson, near the old field of Manassas.
FitzJohn Porter with his corps had arrived at Manassas and was immediately directed by Gen. Pope to proceed on the Manassas and Gainesville road to support King's division and attack the enemy on his right flank which rested on the Manassas Gap Railroad, while Pope advanced the balance of his army to attack them in front.
Gibbons brigade was the first to engage the enemy beyond Gainesville and towards Thoroughfare Gap. That gallant officer held in check and drove back with his single brigade the entire corps under Longstreet. This was on Thursday and the first of the series of desperate battles that made memorable the bloody fields on which they were contested.
The public are already advised of the result of their actions. It is not therefore necessary to mention in detail. They were fought with desperation and stubbornness by both armies and with a slaughter that will ever memorize them in the history of wars.
The battle of Friday was commenced by General Heintzelman's corps supported by McDowell and Sigel and resulted, after a continuous battle from eight in the morning until sunset, in our obtaining the possession the field with the enemy's Killed and wounded in our hands. Porter already in advance at Manassas received orders here to fall upon the right flank of the enemy and to commence the attack the moment Heintzelman engaged the center; but for reasons unsatisfactory to General Pope and which are a mystery to the entire army, after a feeble demonstration on the enemy, Porter retired to Manassas leaving the forces of Heintzelman, McDowell and Sigel to sustain the powerful attack of the confederate armies of Virginia commanded by Lee and Johnston who had arrived and effected a junction with Jackson's, Longstreet's, Hill's and Ewell's divisions making a combined army of two hundred thousand men that engaged the Battle of the ensuing day Saturday.
It does not seem to admit of peradventure that had Porter obeyed the orders of Gen. Pope and attacked the enemy's right flank while Pope was successfully driving their centre and forcing them back on Friday the whole of Jackson's army would have been utterly routed and the grater portion of it captured.
The conduct of General Porter gave great dissatisfaction to Gen. Pope and the army generally. General Porter sent, at night, a note to General Pope, assigning as a reason for his falling back to Manassas that he supposed General Pope to be in retreat. He was answered by an order to report immediately in person to headquarters in the field and bring his force to the front before daylight in the morning.- These orders were complied with and Porter's corps were brought upon the field and placed in position early on Saturday.
During the night of Friday the enemy had changed position advantageously by a movement on their right flank upon the high crests along the Manassas railroad from Gainesville. The reinforcements under Jackson had arrived on this line and made a position, naturally strong, yet stronger by massing overwhelming forces and pushing them upon Pope's left flank.
Pope, discovering the intention of the enemy to turn his left flank, made rapid movement to strengthen that flank, while with Porter's corps he attacked the left and centre of the enemy's lines. This attack brought on the general engagement of Saturday, in which every regiment, brigade and corps of the army, in their proper order, were brought into action. This contest was terrific and finally resulted in our holding the field till far in the night when our forces, out of ammunition and exhausted by the fatigue of four days fighting and the marches of the previous fifteen days, fell back to the stronger position of Centreville Heights.
The movement was conducted in order, not a wagon of supplies of any kind having been left on the field or on the road and with no loss of ordnance save some four pieces of field artillery so disabled as not to be removable from the field.
Centreville, a position of great strength and with field works of great capacity held by that officer the following three days, when it was discovered that the enemy was so crippled by the disasters of the previous battles as not to admit of facing this position. They, however, began again attempting to outflank the position and to cut out thr rear in the direction of Fairfax Court House on the Little River road.
Pope promptly put in motion Heintzelman's and Reno's corps in the direction of the enemy with orders to intercept them.
These forces came upon the enemy near Chantilly and the combat of Monday ensued, resulting in the rout of three army corps of the rebel army by less than one third the number of Union troops. The confederates were here driven one mile and a half from their original position and the utter destruction of this portion of their army was prevented only by a tornado which arose at this juncture of such violence as to render further pursuit impossible.
The cost of this decisive victory was great as two of our most gallant and distinguished officers sealed it with their blood, Generals Kearney and Stevens.
This success enabled Pope again to fall back and to reach without loss or disaster Fairfax Court House with his troops, trains and supplies.
Here he had resolved to establish his lines and make a final stand, convinced that he could secure and hold lines of communication with Washington and Alexandria. But in the course of the day, he was instructed from Washington to fall back in front of the lines of defense for that city.
This was accomplished in the course of the day and following night with a success unparalleled in the movements of modern armies.
It has enabled the entire army of the Peninsula to withdraw from its position of difficulty and danger there. The armies of the Potomac and Virginia have been united in front of the lines near Washington making the capital not only secure from any attempt at its capture but enabling us to reorganize in a position to fall upon the enemy's rear and flank in whatever direction his forces may move.
It is mere justice to Gen. Pope that the public should know that all of his movements have been made dependent upon reinforcements and support at fixed times and places from others; relying upon such support he has been disappointed both as to times and places of succor.-
Yet depending upon the small forces of his immediate command he has succeeded without disaster or defeat in falling back pursued by overwhelming forces holding them in check and giving them battle at different points on sixteen separate days.


St. Joseph Hospital, Phil.,
To Gen. Taylor:

Being out of humor with myself and everybody else I thought I would vent my spite on somebody by writing him a long tedious letter and I could not think of any one else to pick on but you so here goes:
I have been lying in this delectable town a little over a month in the hospital. This is what you can call being a thousand mile away from home, dead strapped, although I get plenty to eat and a bed to sleep in; which is more that many a poor devil of a soldier gets now-a-days.
When I left home, I had a kind of a striking presentiment that if ever I got shot, it would be in the back but I wasn't for after cruising around in this god forsaken land called Dixie for over a year and having one good fight where we got licked and I run like the devil for Washington on a race with old Ben Wade, the Senator from Ohio, but he beat me, for I believe he was more frightened that I was and that was useless. So much for Bull Run number One.
After that we did not do much fighting but a right smart heap of walking for we (the 2d) have done more marching than any other regiment in Virginia and I know every foot of ground between Washington and Fredericksburg as well as I do every plank between my house and Stillman's. After little Mac got drove away from Richmond, they sent us a Western General called Pope so he thought he would do a big thing on his watch, so he fooled around until old Stonewall got in his rear at Manassas; so back we had to go and we had another battle right where we had our first one. After we had been at it about an hour some careless greyback hit me in the head with a mine ball which smashed my skull and fixed me out for two or three months at least. My wound healed up once but broke out again and is about as bad as it was at first. two pieces of bone have come out and there is another one to come yet and then it will heal up and, I hope, stay healed for I am getting sick of staying in a hospital. I think we have had our full share of fighting but if I have to go back to the regiment, I shall go without growling for as yet they have not got me frightened and if I have to fight another battle I will go in game and fight like a butcher boy from the wild west. I have not changed one bit since I left home for I am the same wild grassy little devil as ever.
Maybe you think a year's soldiering has made an old man of the boy but I am as ever a bully boy with a glass eye and I am bound to blow my horn if I don't sell a fish that is me while I go I'll jump in if I don't stay a minute.
Are they getting many recruits around Racine and has George Williamson filled up his company yet?
I saw George Elmore last summer in Fredericksburg, he told me if ever I wrote to any of you, to sent his respects, he is the same old chip that he was when in Racine. He says he shall come out to Racine and see you boys when he leaves the government Road.
The last I heard of the boys they were all right. If you see a Wisconsin paper with the names of the killed and wounded and I wish you would send it to me as I don't know who is gone or who is not; but I suppose a good many of our poor fellows were laid low as they have been in several battles since last I saw them. I heard that Capt. Parsons was wounded but how true it is I don't know. I wish they would send us home until we get well as I don't like being kept in a strange place. I hear the Governor is trying to get us home and I hope he will succeed. Give my regards to all of the boys and tell them I am getting along finely. I have written quite a long letter and must now close hoping to hear from you soon.
I remain ever your friend

Lyman C. Ewen

Death of Col. O'Connor of the 2d Regiment

In the special dispatch to the Chicago Tribune under date of the 29th, we find the following:

"Col. McConnell of the 2d Wisconsin was killed during the fight yesterday."

This doubtless refers to Edgar O'Connor of Beloit in this State who commanded the 2d Regiment. Col. O'Connor received his commission as Colonel of this regiment soon after the battle of Bull Run and although a partial loss of the use of his voice has prevented him from taking active command a portion of the time, the regiment has made excellent progress in the science of military since he took charge of it. He was a graduate of West Point and had had considerable experience in the U.S. Army, so that his consul was of vast importance to the discipline of the regiment even though he could not take entire command. His regiment is understood to rank among the very best on the service. His fall in battle will be deeply lamented by a large circle of friends in this State. He was a son of the Hon. B. O'Connor of Beloit.

CRUEL TREATMENT OF COL. O'Connor by the Rebels-

The Dryden News published in Tompkins County, New York contains a letter from D. C. McGregor who was wounded in the same engagement in which Col. O'Connor was killed. Among other incidents on the battle field he relates the following:

"Col. O'Connor of the 2d Wisconsin laid on the ground almost dead from a wound in the bowels when a lieutenant of the rebel army stepped up and took hold of the colonel's feet and said:
"God damn you, Yankee Colonel, I want those boots and pulled them off. It hurt the Colonel so, he screamed that they might spare his life; but the Lieutenant paid no attention to him and pulled both his boots off. He said he would have to pay $15 for such boots in Richmond and it was clear gain to wear a dammed Yankee Colonel's Boots."


A correspondent of Milwaukee Wisconsin gives the following account of Col. O'Connor's death:
"Col. O'Connor of the 2d is dead Killed on Thursday. After being wounded, he talked to his men that crowded around him, urging them to fight to the death for the "Good old flag" He was shot while gallantly leading his men.

Yours in haste
L. B. S. Miller

September 1862