Return to the Home Page of the Second Wisconsin
1863 June, The
THE LATE COL. O'CONNOR
The following correspondence between Col. Fairchild and Mrs. Edger O'Connor we
be read with pleasure and satisfaction . the 2d Wisconsin well never forget
their lamented colonel:
Headquarters, 2d Wis Vols Inf.,
Below Falmouth, Va. June 9th, 1863
My dear Madam:-The officers and soldiers of this regiment who served under your
late husband, our Colonel, have delegated me to ask your permission to erect over
the grave a suitable monument in token of our respect and esteem for him as our
I trust yourself and his father and mother will not object to this as we wish
sincerely to thus testify in a lasting manner our admiration for him as a
gentleman and gallant officer who fell while bravely leading us on to battle.
An early answer will enable us to move in the matter before the coming battles.
With kind regards to the Judge and Mrs. O'Connor, I am
June 12th, break camp, march to Deep Run,
June 13th, by Morrisville and Spotted Tavern to Liberty, above Bealton
Station, twelve miles. June 14th, march to Warrenton Junction, thence along the Orange
and Alexandria road to Kettle Run. About dusk, make coffee, cross Broad Run after midnight
and reach Manassas Junction about sunrise, form line and stack arms, rest about four
hours; then to Blackbird's Ford, reaching Centerville Heights about noon, where we pitch
tents. Distance marched thirty miles.
Mrs. Edgar O'Connor, Beloit, Wis.
Beloit, Rock Co., June 15th, 1863
Col. L. Fairchild::-Dear Sir:-Your
favor of the 9th inst. I have just received and I can fully appreciate your
request for a early answer.
In reply I would say that words fail to express my emotion on receiving this and
other proof of the high regard which is entertained for the memory of my dear
husband by his fellow soldiers. Believing that I understand the noble feeling
which prompted the offer, I gratefully, tearfully, yield to you and the soldiers
he loved so well, the sacred privilege of performing the last outward tribute of
respect that can be paid the dead.
I hope also that this generous act will be the means of silencing a few evil
minded persons here at home who have by base calumny sought to destroy his
reputation and which is I confess very trying to my sensitive nature, this I
trust will prove to all that his soldiers who had the best opportunity of
knowing him are willing to defend his honor.
It is a pleasure to me to know that they know him as I did, that his goodness was
never implored in vain and that if he was not always able to prevent an abuse of
power, he always inspired the sufferer's heart with hope that last consolation to
the affected. For this reason and their former association with my husband, I
will ever feel deeply interested in the welfare of the soldiers of the gallant
2d Regiment and that their wives and mothers may be spared the anguish of my
heart is the earnest prayer of her who subscribes herself.
BRAVERY OF WISCONSIN TROOPS
At the Alumni dinner last Wednesday Gen Pope, in response to a toast offered by President
Chapin, paid a glowing tribute to the bravery of the soldiers from Wisconsin.
"The highest reward of a soldier "said he "was the earnest
assurance that his fellow citizens were in earnest sympathy with him - and he
appreciated the kindly feeling manifested towards him the more as coming from a
college which had sent so many men to help to fight the battles of the country
and numbered no traitors among its students.
Wisconsin might justly be proud of the sons it had sent to the field. He has served
long with its soldiers and was indebted to them and the regiments from his
native state of Illinois for most of what military reputation he may have
attained. There was no field of battle but was stained with the blood of
Wisconsin, and their Banners were always borne in the front of the
conflict." These words coming from one who is eminently a "Fighting
General," are something more that idle praise - they mean something. A
hundred battle fields consecrated with the blood of Wisconsin attest the truth
of his remarks.
A clip from the Racine Advocate of June 17th following in reference to the
courtesies interchanged between the pickets of our armies on either side
of the Rappahannock.
Here is a note sent by rebel soldier across the Rappahannock to our boys shows
that hostile forces are not all the time seeking opportunities to kill each
other. The way the correspondence was conducted, was clever.
The boys took a piece of board or plank, and shaped out as boys do, play boats,
rig a mast and sail and set the rudder so as to directed the craft across the
river. In this was the goods sent the rebels, coffee, tea, sugar and such
luxuries as are unknown among the the rebels.
In return the rebels would load the small craft with tobacco, secesh papers
&c., and start it back again. In this way, since the battle of Chancellorsville,
the rebels have tried to increase their scanty rations by fishing in the Rappahannock
and on one occasion the Belle City Rifle boys swam across the river, helped the
rebels free a small seine they had and shared with them the fish caught.
On many occasions rebels pickets have proposed to our boys that privates on
each side would shoot their officers and then peace would immediately be
There is but little doubt but that Stonewall Jackson fell a victim to this
feeling among the rebel privates.
Gentlemen of Co. F, 2d Reg. Wis.
Hereby transmit a paper of yesterday hoping that its contents may afford you
some assurance at least if not instruction. Allow us to compliment you on the
successful and timely withdrawal of General Hooker. Earnestly desiring that peace
may come soon, I describe myself,
Private N. Fitzgerald,
2d Richmond Howitzers
P.S. Please send over, if convenient, a copy of the New York Herald or Times, or
any other paper you may happen to have we will send you some Richmond papers
tomorrow at 11"o'clock.
Private Joseph A. Yates,
2d Richmond Howitzers.
of the 2d Wis"- According to your request we will send you the old one Wall
Song book. Also the Confederate Jordan. This book has been very roughly used
though it is the best we can do at present. We will also send you a paper of yesterday
though there is not much news in it.
If we get any papers this after noon we will try and send you one; if you should
have any we hope you will do the same.
Co. I, 19 Ga. Vol.
June 20th, march up the railroad to Guilford
Station, three miles.
June 25th, by Frankville to Edward's Ferry, cross the Potomac, march
through Poolville and Barnesville, sixteen miles.
June 26th, march over Sugar Loaf
Mountain, cross the Monocacy at Greenfield, through Adamstown on the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad, over the Catoctin Mountains to Jefferson in Middle Valley, Md. Distance fifteen
June 27th, march up the valley through
Middletown, camping ten miles above. Distance eight miles.
June 28th, early in the afternoon long roll
is beat, fall in and march over the Catoctin Range to Frederick City, nine miles.
June 29th, march northward by Lewistown and
Mechanicsville to Emmittsburg, twenty-four miles. Gen. Hooker was today relieved and Gen.
Meade succeeds to command.
June 30th, march about eight o'clock to
March's Creek and bivouac in line of battle, eight miles.
The Iron Brigade, on the 31st of June, marched in the following order: First,
Second Wisconsin; second, the Seventh Wisconsin; third, the Nineteenth Indiana; fourth,
the Twenty-fourth Michigan; and fifth, the Sixth.
The Iron Brigade was,
as the rest of the army, mad clear through.