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1863 June, The Second Wisconsin

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 commanding officer.
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
Your friend, 
Lucius Fairchild

June 12th, break camp, march to Deep Run, twenty miles. 

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.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diary

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. 
J. O'Connor

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 restored. 
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. Vols:- 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.
Yours, &c.,
Private Joseph A. Yates,
2d Richmond Howitzers.

Gentlemen 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 miles.

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.

Cornelius Wheeler’s diary