1863 January, The Second Wisconsin
La Crosse Weekly Democrat
Thanks to Fred Beseler, La Crosse
Now that the "Army of the
Potomac is again on the move it may not be
amiss to dwell for a moment upon the probable result of its earnest endeavors -
Would to Heaven the impressions that swell impetuously within the
bosoms of at least two-thirds of those composing this vast army with skin to
victory. Nay; we'll not linger on this all absorbing topic. You can judge from
the foregoing, however, that out faith is plighted? How vain it is, while we have
such a Cabinet as heralds its power unmolested and is maintained and doted on
by the most enlightened denizens that ever graced a continent.
The army of the Potomc have built excellent winter quarters, the soldiers have been allowed to labor incessantly for near two weeks and as soon as they were comfortably ensconced within their rude but comfortable log domiciles, giving ample time too for the enemy to form anew their base and fortify - they are ushered forth to lie upon mother earth in the most severe weather. If a winter campaign was intended, why did not our government embrace the golden opportunity offered during the most beautiful weather that ever greeted a lover of nature - the past six weeks? We are still enraptured with the solitary hope that McClellan is soon to be ushered among us! Should such an event fail to be recorded in history, never will we be able to proclaim to the world that our arms have succeeded in making good their only desire, a reunion of all the States!
On the 17th inst,. the Printers of the 2nd Wis
Vol. assembled to do honor to
the memory of Benjamin Franklin- the Printer, Statesman and Philosopher.
It is the Second Festival (At Fort Tillinghast a year ago) that the disciples of Faust of this Regiment has given. One year ago there were 36 printers in the 2nd and now there remains only 14. Quite a number of invited guests were present among whom were Col. Fairchild, Major Stevens, Adjutant Dean and Quartermaster Ruggles of the 2nd Reg't and the jovial Brigade Surgeon, Dr. Ward, all of whom participated in the hilarious, as well as more serene, incidents of the evening.
Everything passed off to the entire gratification of all present and the occasion will long be remembered by the participants. It would be useless to make note of more than the following, as I fear your space will not admit. This was prepared and read by Lieut G. M. Woodward ,of Co. "B", is worthy of record.
It is however, only an extract from a Poem composing twenty-five stanzas.
"T'was thus we met one year ago-
Go! follow o'er Virginia's soil
Go seek them where in van or fight,
Where up the mountain's side is borne
O, sweetly Natures mourner's keep,
Oh, glorious art which bides in one,
Oft as the sun his splendor shows
And we her children we who left
We would wish to add that your paper -- the cheerful medium comes regularly to hand and whether amid the battle's strife or in our quarters rips with comfort, it comes greeting and is indeed a welcome companion.
Jan. 20th, 1863. Up to this day we were in winter quarters at Belle Plaine. Gen. Burnside attempts a winter campaign, and today we break camp and march up the Rappahannock towards Banksford, a cold wind blowing from the northeast with rain since sunset. We are all wet, and stop for the remainder of the night, without fire or shelter on a barren ridge.
Jan. 21st, remain with the trains near Stoneman's Switch on the Aqua Creek and Fredericksburg Railroad.
Jan. 23rd, a council of war was held, campaign abandoned.
Jan 24th return to our winter quarters at Belle Plaine, but marching through mud and rain about forty miles. The campaign is termed Burnside's Stuck in the Mud.