October 1862

From the Army of the Potomac

The Army Quiet but Ready to Strike-Feeling of soldiers about Leaders-How McClellan Cultivates Popularity-A Michigan Regiment added to Gibbon's Brigade-Morals of the Army-A  Review by the President

Camp on the Potomac, near Sharpsburg
October 2, 1862

EDITOR COURIER:-We are under marching orders awaiting the appearance of the Stewart cavalry, who are in retreat from their late raid in Pennsylvania; Nolan's Ferry is their probable destination, and from preparations our General has made I judge thy will regret their trip.

We that are left of company C, Prairie du Chien Volunteers, have yet a lively remembrance of our good friends at the Prairie and Crawford country; and at times when seated around the camp fire the conversation will turn to the earlier days of the company, when we used to assemble at the old fort, raw recruits, to learn our first lesson in that which now cannot be equaled by the regulars.-Then the bible presentation. the American flag and its maker, and the fair young lady who presented it -all these are mentioned and all seem to wish to do honor to our oft remembered friends.

We are yet in camp near the Potomac river and the late battle field. Our time has been spent in recruiting our strength and numbers, and we are again in condition to meet our old foe. For the benefit of some of your readers I will give the whereabouts of the Crawford County men of our company. Sergt. John w. Fonda has been very unlucky, having been sick a long time.-We have missed John very much. He is at present at Mount Pleasant Hospital, Washington.

Sergt. Ed. Whaley was wounded in the leg at south Mountain. Ed. is one of the coolest men I have yet seen in a fight, and I assure his friends that before Ed fell I saw him make two rebels bite the dust. He is well cared for at the Frederick Hospital.

Corporal George Fairfield was wounded at the same place, doing his duty nobly at the time.

corporal Norman S. Bull and Corporal Jacob Lemons have been with us in all the engagements and are with us now ready to pitch in.

Corporal 'Gottlieb Schweizer, the same Gottlieb, is one of the best soldiers in the regiment. He has improved wonderfully. He has the good opinion of all his superior officers from the Colonel down.

Alex. Boyd, Thomas Budworth, Lemuel P. Harvey, William H. Pease Henry W. Pettitt and Frank Young are absent at the hospitals having received wounds in our numerous engagements.

With us here of your county are: Christian Amman, William P. Armstrong, John Davidson, John Drysdale, Samuel R. W. Faulkner, Alonzo D. Marston, Martin Prothero, William Russell, Wm. Wallin, Alex Turk, and A. M. Young. I have said most too much o our company already, but if you had seen the men as I have seen them, you would not blame me for wishing to say a word of praise for them. One of our company, Sergeant Jasper Chestnut, carried the regimental color in the last fight. Five bullets have pierced the staff and one passed through the Sergeant's wrist, and the old flag is riddled with bullets.

Our Grant Co. boys done well in all the fights and cover of the Herald has noticed them in his able paper. By the way cover sends us a dozen copies of his paper each week, and it is very welcome. The "Courier" we seldom see and why, (The packages must be miscarried,) we do not know. Every mail that arrives the enquire is, "Has anyone got the Courier?" The answer is generally, "No". We want it bad.

Captain Hooe has gone to Washington on furlough, and has not returned; we expect him daily. Lieut Thos. Plummer is in command of the company. Lieut. Loyd G. Harris is present on duty.

You have probably seen, before this, the complimentary notice give it though. In a letter to the Governor, he wrote:

"I beg to add to this endorsement the expression of my great admiration of the conduct of three Wisconsin regiments in Gen. Gibbon's Brigade. I have seen them under fire acting in a manner that reflects the greatest possible credit upon themselves and their State. They are equal to the best troops in any army of the world."

The above coming from one whom we all esteem and admire, made us feel proud, and it let us know we had done our duty to his satisfaction.


The Reason why the Promised Aid to the Families of Wisconsin volunteers
cannot be paid to them during the Winter Months

Office of State Treasurer,
Madison, Oct. 17, 1862

To the Wisconsin volunteers and their dependent families:
The Milwaukee News of the 14th charges me with having been engaged since the adjournment of the Legislature in the disreputable business of retailing falsehoods by private letters to our soldiers in distant camps for the purpose of prejudicing our soldiery against the democratic candidates at home. "This charge is FALSE in every particular. I have made no statements to our soldiers" in distant camps" or elsewhere, that are not strictly true. I have in one or two instances possibly three at the outside, in answering business letters where inquiries have been made in relation to the matter, given the reason why the families of our volunteers will be deprived of the promised aid from the State at the time of all others when they will most need it during the severe weather of winter.

The News calls upon its readers "to write immediately to the south-west" and the Potomac. ***Let there "be no delay. Write! wife! let "every soldier know the truth." The advice is excellent. I am free to acknowledge that I have not done my duty in this respect, as I have not, with the exception above named, written a word to any one in relation to the matter. I thank the News for calling my attention to the subject. I have been grossly negligent; I will be so no more. If the News will pardon me for past negligence, I will speedily send this open letter to every soldier and every soldier's family, whose address I can ascertain. After about the middle of November the payment of the five dollars per month promised to the families of volunteers will be stopped, not to be resumed until some time in the month of February. sometime in the month of February. Somebody is responsible for this. Who is it? The Democratic members of the last Assembly! There are but two ways in which the State can raise money.-One by a direct tax, and the other by borrowing. The legislature, at its recent session, passed an act levying a direct tax of two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, the proceeds to be used in paying the promised bounty to the families of the volunteers. This tax cannot be collected so as to reach the State treasury before the middle of February.

The members of the Legislature knew that it would require something over two hundred thousand dollars to continue the payment of this bounty until the money could be realized from the tax and the only possible way in which it could be raised was by borrowing money on the bonds of the State. The Senate passed an act authorizing an issue of bonds to the amount of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and sent it to the Assembly In the Assembly the bill was deliberately defeated by the Democratic members every Democrat present with one honorable exception (Hollis, Latham of Walworth co.)  while the Republicans, with equal unanimity, voted against the amendment. The following is the vote on the question of indefinite postponement- Democrats in Italics, members elected as Union men in SMALL CAPS:

Ayes-Messrs. Abert, Barry, Bassett, Boyd, G. W. Brown, Buttler, Coles, DUTCHER. Elliot, Ellis, finger, Gage Gifford, Griffin, Hatcher, Hogan, Hoppoch, Jennings, Kircholff, LEONARD, Mccollun, McLean, Malroy, Mayer, Morrow, Platto, Rogran, Salter, Sanborn, Sencman, Schletzs, Shumway, Stowell, J. E. Thomas, TRIPP, Vanderpool, Wadsworth, wilson, and Mr. Speaker Painer-10


This vote was taken on the afternoon of the day of the final adjournment. Bear it in mind that there was no other way in which the money could be raised so as to continue the payment during the winter months, except in the manner proposed in this bill. to have voted an additional tax would have been of no avail, as the money could not have been collected in time. And even yet the democratic members of the assembly deliberately refused to authorize the money to raised in the only way in which it could be raised and not only so, but they made no proposals or attempt to raise it in any other way. such are the facts. They cannot be denied or explained away. I do not speak of the motives that influenced their action.

Possibly they may have acted from pure motives. If so let them make them known but not attempt to deny the facts. About 10 o'clock on the last day of the section a vote having been previously taken to adjourn at 11 o'clock, a message was received by both  houses of the legislature, from acting Governor Lewis calling attention to the fact that the money in the volunteer aid fund,  would last only to about the first of November, that no benefit could accrue from the tax that had been voted until February and that as a consequence no relief from this source could be had by the families of the volunteers during the winter months, at the time of all other when they most needed it. He called attention to the injustice of holding out hopes to those families which could not be realized and urged the legislature to replenish the fund in some way before they adjourned. The message was referred and a report was speedily mad, but nothing was accomplished because a portion of the Democratic members refused to allow anything to be cone. They commenced with making motions for the express purpose delay! and continued this action until with a few moments of the hour fixed for adjournment when a motion being made to extend the session for a few hours for the purpose of acting upon this matter. they finally defeated everything by enough of them retiring  from the Hall to leave the Assembly without a quorum. Soldiers, when your families are suffering for the want of the aid pledged to you by the state, remember who it was that prevented them form receiving it. Mother, when your children are suffering for want of food and comfortable clothing, remember whose action it was that deprived you of what was promised by the State when you consented that your husband should leave his family to fight the battles of our common country and see if they can give you a satisfactory reason for the course thy have pursued!

Saml. D. Hasting.

The Army Hospitals in Maryland

Interesting Letter from an Army Surgeon

The following letter from a volunteer army surgeon addressed the sub-Committee on the Supplies of the Woman's Central Association of Relief of this city, was accompanied by a receipt for twenty-two cases of hospital goods which have been forwarded from time to time to the writer.

"Locust string Hospital
Near Reedsville, Maryland
October 21, 1862

"I am living in a tent sent to me by a Sabbath-school in Boston are with me assisting in the distribution of the articles and the
care of the wounded. I have not confined my attention solely to this hospital but have located here simply because the cases here needed the most attention. This hospital is composed of a farm-house, two barns one carriage house one wood house one corn-crib and twenty-two tents. there are above one hundred and seventy-five patients, among them some of the most horribly wounded. this place is about ten miles from the battle-field of Antietam, and hither the most extreme cases were brought.

At Smoke town, two miles from here, in seventy-five tents there are five hundred and thirty-six wounded men. At Sharpsburg three miles away there are in the churches and houses about two hundred more. At Sharpsburg the Sanitary Commission have a depot, under the care of Dr. Crane, and the men there are supplied from his stores, which have been of late quite depleted.

"Situated as the hospitals in this region are far from railroad stations with two mountains to pass, the difficulties are very great in the way of bringing supplies to the wounded. Government depends very much on the Sanitary Commission, and the surgeons are constantly sending for sanitary stores. Without the commission our army would have sustained immense less and many a poor fellow owes his life to their prompt action and constant relief. As I pass from tent to tent every morning attending to the wants of the wounded, the grateful looks and words o thanks are poured upon me and blessings asked for those who sent the relief. More than half the men here have lost a limb. The wounds are frightful and yet they are borne without a murmur:

I try to see every wounded man twice a day see that he has been bathed, that he has had his proper food and stimulant as prescribed by the surgeon and that the little matters of reading and writing for them are attended to I held service last Sabbath between two rows of tents where most could see and hear.-

It was very welcome to them. The Bible and prayer-book can now be found in nearly every tents. On the hillside across the road may be seen a long row, of graves of those who have dies here.- a little board with the name, regiment and state of the occupant of each grave is at the head. Nearly every day one is carried there adding continually to the number of those who have given to their country their most precious offering-life.

"To-day I have to write to a poor mother far away on the hills of New England, and give her the information that here boy has gone to his resting-place. Like most every other soldier he had but two or three things to send her.-His little pocket Bible, with his mother's likeness sealed to the cover, his comb, three letters, the medal of his regiment. these were all the remembrances left for her.

Yesterday a man severely wounded said to me: Oh I wish I was in Heaven! In God's own good time he will take you there my boy," I replied. Yes, I know it, but it is so hard to bear." True, I replied; be ready to die, and then you are ready to live and serve Him who will do all things right for you.

There is work enough among the wounded men now in Maryland and the District of Columbia to occupy the time and attention of every Christian man who can leave his home and go among them many of our men die for want of a little care, such care and attention as hundreds would be glad to give did they but know and understand its need. Oh that they would come and devote themselves to the work. Accept my thanks for the supplies received which are exactly those most needed in this region. when I next see you I will give a more minute report of their distribution.

Very truly yours.
Wm. w. Hague."