July 1862

Give the Privates a Chance

The New York World has a leader under the above heading, in which it argues that the privates who have done good service and distinguished themselves have been overlooked in the reports and the promotions, to the detriment of the service. this is true. Gov. Salomon, appreciating that fact, is determined to remedies it so far as this State is concerned and for that purpose ahs addressed the following circular to the colonel of each Wisconsin Regiments

Madison, July 8th, 1862

This State being called upon for several new regiments of volunteers, it is my earnest desire to find some method by which, in their organization, I can testify my appreciation of the fidelity, gallantry and soldierly qualities of some at least of the non-commissioned officers and privates in the regiments from this State which have been longest in the field. It is difficult to do this since the companies and regiments must be raised by the efforts of men who are in the State; and the commissions will properly be expected by those who raise the men; but I shall use my best efforts to bring about the desired end.

For this purpose, I earnestly request the captain of each company to recommend, in concurrence with his Lieutenants, such of his non-commissioned officers or men as have exhibited such qualities as to fit them in remarkable degree for commissions.-these recommendations should be handed to the Colonels commanding the several regiments, and I request that the colonels, in conference with the field officers, select, from the numbers so recommended not more than ten persons for each regiment and forward their names immediately to me, preparing the list in the supposed order of merit. This should be done as speedily as possible.

While I cannot, of course promise commissions to all of the persons who shall be so named to me, I shall spare no pains to testify to as many of them as possible, my appreciation of their patriotism, bravery and soldierly attainments; and I trust that through contemplated arrangements with the War Department, I may soon be able to gratify my wishes in this respect and do justice to some at least of the gallant heroes who have left Wisconsin homes to peril their lives at the call of their country


The Colonel of the Sixth regiment, (Cutler) has responded to this, and three of the names he forwarded have been commissioned as second Lieutenants, to wit: CHAS. P. HYATT, in the Twenty Fifth; CHRISTIAN NEX in the Twenty-Fourth, JACOB A. SCHLICK, in the Twenty third. It is a matter of history, the effect promotions Medals of honor, &c., had on the privates in the armies of Bonaparte, and that much of wonderful achievements of the French Emperor were due to that cause is not to be questioned. Rewards and promotions to the privates are only justice and will work in our American armies what they have don elsewhere.

We believe Governor Salomon is the first to inaugurate this policy. It should be made universal.

The  6th Regiment.- The following general order complimentary to the Sixth Regiment was received today from E. P. Brooks, Acting Adjutant of the Regiment. It speaks for itself;


Opposite Fredericksburg, Wv. July 30, 1862

General Orders-No. 69

The general commanding the brigade takes great gratification in announcing that Med. INs. Vollum U.S.A.

after going through the camp of the brigade expressed himself as gaily pleased with its goof police and neat appearance that it was one of the best he had seen and that the camp of the 6th Wisconsin especially exceeded in these respecty any camp he had inspected in the ARMY OF THE POTOMAC. the general commanding takes pride in announcing such an opinion from a competent juice and trusts the Regiments of the brigade will vie with each other in keeping up this reputation for neatness and order

By Command of Brig. Gen. Gibbons

J. P. Wood A. A. G.


From the Sixth Regiment

In a private letter from Sergeant J. Weirich, formerly of this place, dated Fredericksburg, Va., July 20th, we find some items of interest. He says:

Our regiment is now encamped on the Rappahannock river, opposite Fredericksburg a city of about 10,000 inhabitants, where we have been for six or eight weeks. the health of the troops here is very good. Our regiment is the first in Gibbon's Brigade, ding's division, McDowell's corps, Army of Virginia. We were formerly a part of the Army of the Potomac, till General McClellan went down to Yorktown, but for some reason we were not taken.

We have not been in a fight yet. although we have been drawn up in line of battle, expecting it. several times. We have done any amount of hard marching, through mud rain and heat; have done as much work in building bridges, roads and telegraphs, and have guarded as many "secesh" houses as any other regiment in the service. we are expecting to move from here in a very few days and will probably take a position nearer Richmond.

The news of McClellan's recent battles created a good deal of anxiety among the troops at first, but when full particulars were received, we were surprised that he had saved any part of his army, which is now however reported to be in good spirits and strongly reinforced.

I attended the Presbyterian Church this morning, in the city; heard a tolerably good sermon, slightly tinctured with secession but not so much as I had expected. The church buildings in this city are all very large and costly. I have attended religious services at all of them.

After church this morning I visited the tomb of the mother of George Washington. The monument, which is about ten feet high, (not finished) of white marble, has been very much defaced by the rebel soldiers firing upon it, using it as a target. I send you a small piece of the marble, which was broken off by some of the "chivalry."

the inhabitants of Fredericksburg are bitter secessionists, but dare not express their sentiments; yet they manifest no particular aversion to the Federal troops. We find but few real Union men in Virginia and they are not of the most influential citizens.

Sword Presentation

Capt. I. N. Mason, formerly Quarter Master of the sixth Wisconsin, now Brigade Quarter Master of General Gibbon's Brigade, was recently presented with a Sword, Sash and Belt by the Employees in the Quarter Master's Department of that Brigade. The cost of the outfit was $75. The donors were formed in line and marched to General Gibbon's Head Quarters, in front of Captain M's tent, when the articles were presented by Brigade Ordnance Sergt. J. A. Watrous, formerly of this city, who made the following remarks:

Remarks of Sergt. Watrous.

Captain Mason: Upon me devolves the pleasant duty of presenting to you, in behalf of the Employees of the Quarter Master's Department of this Brigade, this Sword, Sash and Belt. the present though of no very great value, is none the less a heart felt testimonial of the regard we have found a kind and generous man, a perfect gentleman, and an efficient officer. In giving to your keeping, this Sword, we are all convinced that it is being transferred to good and worthy hands; that it will ever be worn with honor by you. Captain we earnestly hope the day is not far distant when the weapon of war may be sheathed, and you permitted to return to a peaceful home; but we as earnestly hope that it will not be until the last armed traitor to ours the freest and best Government over in existence shall be compelled to abandon his treasonable course; until HOME TRAITORS, Abolitionists, have been made to see the folly of their ways, until the glorious Stars and Stripes which we all so dearly love, have been unfurled to the breeze over every city and hamlet in our once peaceful, prosperous, and happy America.
Bully for Sergt. Watrous.

Reply of Captain Mason.

Fellow soldiers; It is with feelings of deep emotion that I accept at your hands, this beautiful gift. I have known most of you for a long time in the service, and how faithfully and well, you have discharged the duties devolving upon you; and I also know how important those duties are. I appreciate your gift most, for the source from whence it comes and the feeling of which it is the expression. Whenever I grasp this trusty blade, I shall feel that I grasp fifty friendly hands. I shall never look upon it without kindly remembrance of you. I hope that I may wear it with honor to myself, and credit to those who have presented it to me, and never disgrace it by any conduct unbecoming an officer or a gentleman. I trust the time may soon come when the Sword may be sheathed, and we be permitted to return to our peaceful homes; when this unholy rebellion, shall be put down, and when the fell spirit of Secession, with all its wrongs and evils be crushed forever, and Tight, Justice and Peace reign over the whole of our beloved country. Accept then my sincere thanks for your beautiful gift, and the expressions that have accompanied it.

After which three rousing cheers were given for the Captain a man who does not allow the shoulder straps to raise him so far above the private that he does not treat him with due courtesy at all times.