1861 August, Seventh Wisconsin

The companies for the Seventh Wisconsin were ordered into Camp Randall during the last week in August, 1861. They were recruited at Lodi, Fall River, Platteville, Stoughton, Montello, Lancaster, Grand Rapids, Fennimore, Beloit and Dodge County. These companies were mustered in by the Unites States officers soon after they arrived in camp, by companies. Captain McIntyre and Major Brooks were the mustering officers at Madison, and Capt. J. M. Trowbridge at Milwaukee.

QUINER, Military History of Wisconsin, 1866

Departure of the Badger Rifles
A large number of people assembled at the Galena depot on Saturday morning to witness the departure of the Badger Rifles, Capt. Gordon, for Camp Randall. At about half past eight o'clock, the Company was drawn up in front of the depot when the ceremonies of a sword presentation took place. The sword was presented to Capt. Gordon by the citizens of Beloit as a token of confidence, and in testimony of his energy and perseverance in organizing his company. The presentation speech was made by Rev. Dr. Brinsmade and a model speech it was from "Alpha to Omega." And here we cannot help remarking that in this age of garrulity and interminable orations, it is infinitely gratifying to know that there is occasionally a man who has the ability and the discretion to make a speech adapted to the occasion without slopping over. Dr. Brinsmade's speech was a model in every particular. Capt. Gordon's reply was soldierly and brief and in conclusion three cheers were given for the Badger Rifles to which the Company responded and immediately went aboard the cars. The Badger Rifles are a fine company of young men and they left for their rendezvous accompanied by the best wishes and the prayers of those they left behind. About seventy of the company left here on Saturday several remaining behind intending to go into Camp this week.
If Captain Gordon continues to display the energy in the management of his men in camp and in the field that he has in their organization he cannot fail to do good service for his country and win laurels for himself.

REGIMENTAL APPOINTMENTS The Governor has commissioned Chas. A. Hamilton of Milwaukee as the Major of the 7th Regiment. Mr. Hamilton is a lawyer by profession and has been for some years a resident of Milwaukee. He is in the prime of life and will, if we mistake not, prove a brave and competent officer. He is a grandson of Alexander Hamilton.
George Robbins of Dane County is appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 8th Regiment. He is a graduate of the Vermont Military School under the charge of Capt Partridge and is pronounced by Captains McIntyre and Lammot of the U.S.A., who have examined him in regard to his military knowledge well qualified for the position.

The Racine Journal thinks the 7th and 8th Regiments ought to be stationed at Racine and speaks of Quarter-Master Gen. Tredway's efforts to secure everything for the Madison harpies.

Quarter-Master Gen. Tredway has nothing whatever to do with the subsistence of regiments. His department relates to clothing and equipments exclusively.

In regard to the expense of subsistence here, the companies are to be sworn into the U.S. service as they arrive and Capt. McIntyre of the U.S.A. provides for their subsistence at once at the expense of the United States. The State authorities have no control over the subject when the volunteers are sworn into the service of the General Government.

From a dispatch received from the Secretary of War by the Governor today we should infer that the war is to be prosecuted with greater vigor in the future; and the indication is that all of the companies or regiments that can be raised in our State will be accepted by the Government so soon as they are reported full. Such an assurance is all that is necessary to arouse our people so that almost any number of regiments can be raised in a short time. When the call was first made for troops and previous to the acceptance of but one regiment from this state companies enough were tendered to the Governor to make over ten regiments but when it became apparent that they could not be taken into service the men  scattered to their respective homes.
But let it be understood that companies will be accepted and put under pay so soon as organized and reported full and there are thousands of men in Wisconsin that will rally to support of the government. We hope assurances will at once be given by the general Government that troops will be accepted as fast as organized into regiments that men can go to work and get up companies without any doubt as to whether they will be needed or accepted. When this is done the men will be forthcoming. Our State authorities have had more difficulty in keeping companies back then in procuring them during the whole season. Now is the time for vigorous action and we trust the powers at Washington will make arrangements for raising of a sufficient force of men to crush out the rebellion at once. If the object is to save money time and life in our opinion it can be done in no other way so effectually as by raising an army of five hundred thousand men as it can be done.
Troops at Camp Randall, which of late has been so dull and quiet, will soon be a scene of bustling activity again. The Lodi Guards, Capt Bill, belonging to the 7th regiment arrived this afternoon and the Marquette Sharpshooters are expected tomorrow.

The Seventh Regiment now encamped at Camp Randall is nearly full. Nine companies had arrived up this morning and the Beloit Rifles are expected today, which will make the regiment complete. The regiment is composed of different companies from those originally designated, in consequence of the failure of several to come to time. The nine companies now in camp are:
Lodi Guards, Capt. Bill
Columbia Co. Cadets, Capt. Huntington
Platteville Guards, Capt. Nesmith
Marquette Sharpshooters, Capt. Walker
Badger State Guards, Capt. Finnegan
Grand Rapids Union Guards, Capt. Stevens
Stoughton Guards, Capt. Giles
Northern Western Tigers, Capt. Walter
Lancaster Guards, Capt. Callis

Three of the above companies are from Grant County
The Regimental officers are:
Colonel - Joseph Vandor
Lt. Colonel - W. W. Robinson
Major - C. A. Hamilton
Quarter-Master - H. P. Clinton
1st Asst. Surgeon - Dr. Kramer
2d---D. Cooper Ayers.

P.S. The Beloit company arrived on the afternoon train and marched through town on their way to camp.

The Camp is again assuming something of a military appearance. We spent a short time on the grounds this morning. Since the 5th and 6th Regiments left, the grounds have been cleaned off thoroughly and everything put in excellence order.
The Hospital quarters are in a very clean and comfortable condition. The grass upon the ground has sprung up considerably since the troops left, much more than we should have supported it would after the ground had been so densely packed. It is now quite green and fresh.
Col. Vandor has taken up his quarters in camp and we found him busily engaged in the discharge if his duties of organizing the 7th regiment. He takes hold of the work with zeal and evinces a through knowledge of what he had undertaken. He has seen much service having been engaged in nineteen different battles; and is still suffering from the effects of a wound received in one of them; not so much however as to impair his usefulness as an officer. He is very intelligent man on all subjects and brings to the discharge of the duties of his position an ability and experience that will at once render him a very efficient and popular officer. The Colonel is determined that the sale of intoxicating drinks upon the ground shall be positively prohibited and has given notice that the first person found selling such drinks either to soldiers or citizens upon the ground will be at once put in the guard house. He peremptorily refused this morning to receive as a present a keg of lager beer being determined that his own example shall be in full accordance with the requirements of the soldiers in this respect. This is adopting the right course and we are sure that Col. Vandor has the firmness to carry out this excellent rule. We feel that this regiment is peculiarly fortunate in the selection of it's Colonel.
The first company of the Seventh Regiment, the Lodi Guards, arrived yesterday and was mustered into the State service last evening by Col. Watson, the Private Secretary of the Governor. It is composed of ninety six men, rank and file, all stalwart looking fellows capable of enduring the privations and fatigues of war. They have been drilled but little but the company possesses the material for making the best of solders. The officers are as follows:
First Lieutenant - H. RICHARDSON
Second Lieutenant - M. B. MISNER
1st Sergeant - W.W. RYAN
2nd ''''''''''''''''''-LINAS BASCOM
3rd''''''''''''''''''''- JAMES JOHNSON
5th'''''''''''''''''''''-MORIS SHEAN

2nd'''''''''''''''''''''''-SAMUEL BUCHMAN
3rd'''''''''''''''''''''''-CONRAD GUNKLE
4th'''''''''''''''''''''''-ELI SAYERS
5th'''''''''''''''''''''''-FRANK RIDDLE
6th'''''''''''''''''''''''-THOMAS H. GRIST
7th'''''''''''''''''''''''-ALFRED MILLER
8th'''''''''''''''''''''''-WM. CHALFONT

This company was mustered into the service of the United States this morning, after which the company gave three cheers for Wisconsin, three for Gov. Randal, three for Col. Vandor, three for Captain Bill and three for the other officers. The colonel made a few remarks to the men, saying that he should commence drilling them himself this afternoon and he should hope as few would leave as possible. 
Several of the men are desirous of going home for a few days to complete their harvest.
Capt Bill then introduced Gov. Randall to the company who addressed them briefly and appropriately. 
He said that when he last addressed the 5th and 6th regiments upon that ground he told them that the last regiment he saw seemed to be the best; and such continued to be the case. He then referred to the proud position in which the Wisconsin soldiers were held wherever they went. That the Second Regiment stood like a wall and received the fire of the enemy at the battle of Bull's Run; that he was proud of the men that had gone from our state. The Governor's remarks were excellent and were received by the soldiers with great enthusiasm.

About forty members of another company from Columbia County arrived in camp last evening and the remaining members will be in some time next week - There are so many men busily engaged in the harvest, that it will be very difficult filling up companies for a few days yet.
Other companies are expected this afternoon.
There is considerable dissatisfaction expressed at sundry places that the 7th and 8th regiments are called into camp in this city. Milwaukee, Racine, Janesville, Portage City, and several other places desired that at least one regiment should be encamped at those places. In addition to the obvious difficulty that there were not enough regiments to gratify all these places it ought to be sufficient at this time to silence all clamor on the subject to know that it was more economical and convenient to call them here. It is desirable that they should be equipped at the earliest practicable moment and much time is saved and much expense in the way of telegraphing and traveling back and forth by stationing the regiments here where all military stores are kept and where the several offices of the military department of the state are located.
Besides this the camp here furnishes accommodations superior to any other in the State. It has been fitted up at considerable expense and there could be no justification of the expense of fitting a new camp, as would be necessary at some of the points mentioned.

UNIFORMS FOR THE 7TH AND 8TH REGIMENT.-We learn from Quarter Master General Tredway that the uniforms for the 7th and 8th regiments will soon be ready and that the cost of them will certainly be fifteen per cent less than those of any former regiment and that the quality will be at least fifteen per cent better.- this is most encouraging and shows the improvements in the management of our military matters as the result of experience. These uniforms, we understand, are manufactured in Wisconsin exclusively.- this is another excellent feature in the matter.

The recent rain has left the grounds at Camp Randall in a most admirable condition. Free from dust and smooth and almost as hard as a pavement, we could not improve them for the purposes to which they are now devoted.
The companies comprising the Seventh Regiment will be filled up the present week by ordering into camp a sufficient number of recruits from some of the partially formed companies not yet assigned to any regiment.
The strictness of discipline maintained by Co. Vendor, united with his kindness and urbanity of deportment has produced the best results. He understands the art so essential in a commander, of being familiar with his men and winning their personal friendship without diminishing the respect which they entertain for him. We are much mistaken if he does not prove one of the most capable and popular colonels in the army.
The men are kept pretty actively engaged at drill during the day, there being apparently more activity in camp in this respect than we have before witnessed. There have been no battalion drills as yet and will not be until the companies are all filled. Unlike the previous regiments, the men composing the 7th were, with few exceptions, unexercised in military evolutions before coming into camp. They were as raw as recruits could well be but are making rapid progress.
The sanitary condition of the soldiers is remarkable good. Only three men were sick in the hospital last evening and none of these seriously.
The tents are nearly all up and are of the best quality. The officers tents are superior to any we have seen before being provided with a double roof the upper canvass being several inches above the lower rendering them impervious to rain.
Dr. C. C. Ayres of Green Bay, an old and experienced surgeon who is one of the Assistants, arrived in camp yesterday. Dr. Dixon was tendered the position of 1st surgeon but it is not unlikely that he will go back into the first Regiment now organizing.
Lieutenant C. W. Cook of the Stoughton Guards, better known as Dr. Cook of this city, was yesterday designated as the Adjutant of the Regiment and will make an efficient officer.
It has been expected that the 7th would be ordered to Missouri but we learn that they will proceed as soon as they can be got in readiness to Washington. They are already uniformed and it is now anticipated that the deficient companies will be filled and all necessary outfit provided, so that they can leave by Tuesday next.

The camp is again assuming a martial appearance. The ten companies composing the 7th regiment have all arrived and the tents are mostly pitched upon the side hill, the same position that was occupied by the 5th regiment. Some of the companies are not quite full, but recruits are coming in every day. There are now over 900 men in camp, belonging to the 7th regiment. Many of the companies have over one hundred men and all are stalwart looking fellows. The companies from Grant County are full, and are composed of a remarkably intelligent and determined looking set of men. We understand that many of the best and wealthiest citizens of that county are in the ranks. This old county is among the foremost in the State in furnishing men for this war to preserve the government. Patriotism forms a prominent trait in the character of its people as is clearly shown by their noble response to the calls of their country.
We were present at the dress parade of the 7th regiment last evening and were highly pleased with the soldierly bearing of the men. They are making rapid progress in the science of war and will soon be fully prepared to move to the seat of action and occupy the same proud position of superiority in all respects that has been almost unanimously awarded to the six regiments that have gone before it from this state.
Col. Vendor is fulfilling the most sanguine expectations of his friends. He is familiar with the duties of his position  and has a happy faculty of imparting instruction to his men. He will no doubt prove a very efficient and popular commanding officer.
Lieut. Colonel Robinson is a substantial looking man, and seems perfectly at home in the discharge if his duties.
Major Jefferson was discharging his duties also with his usual energy. We predict that the officers of the Eighth Regiment will fully meet public expectation in the discharge of their duties; and if they do, the regiment will not suffer in comparison with any of its predecessors for much is expected of those young able and energetic officers.
The first company of the Eighth Regiment, the Janesville Zouaves, arrived yesterday afternoon and the balance of the regiment is expected within the next week.
It is supposed that the Seventh Regiment will leave the Camp about the 15th instant when it is presumed that the companies of the Eleventh will commence coming into its quarters

Lieut. Colonel of the 7th Regiment- W.W. Robinson, of Monroe County has been appointed Lieut. Colonel of the 7th Regiment. Col. Robinson has had considerable experience in military affairs. After a thorough training in Capt. Partridge's Military Institute he served two years under Gen. Taylor in the Mexican War as Captain of a company in one of the Ohio regiments.

CAPT. NASMITH'S COMPANY - Capt. S. Nasmith's Company of 101 Grant County volunteers, generally the largest men we have seen, principally of Platteville, but many of them from Hazel Green, Lima and Jamestown, passed through Lancaster on Tuesday on their way to Boscobel, thence for Madison. They stopped in town over an hour, our people having provided them a fine dinner.
Many of the men having acquaintances about town, the hour of time was happily spent and the parting solemn as usual for in these times of soul trial there is felt a near relationship between soldiers and people which appears but dimly in times of peace when gold in the public god. 
The company started at one o'clock and amid cheers and the firing of cannon. May each make his mark and all return safely to their homes and may they have God and plenty of ammunition close by their side for the battle!
A.R. Bushness, Esq. is along as first Lieutenant which leaves our county without a District Attorney; but of this rogues may not profit as we suppose other lawyers will see that his official duties are not neglected. Many of the Platteville citizens accompanied the company as for as Lancaster the Platteville Cornet Band accompanying them through to Boscobel.

Grant County Herald
Benefits from Military Organizations Governor's Guard
In times past a majority of the people have been in the habit of ridiculing every military movement in the country. Peace prevailed to an eminent degree and the general feeling was that the same condition of things must always exist, and whenever a body of men from patriotic motives, or otherwise, formed themselves into a military company on every parade a majority of the spectators would ridicule the entire thing and wonder that sensible men could be so foolish as to spend their time in training. And in states where the laws compelled a slight observance of military duty it was performed most grudgingly and every conceivable excuse was framed to evade the law. Having had something to do with military matters in the State of New York we know full well that this was the case in that State but our object was not so much to speak of what has been the action and feeling hereto fore as it was to show what real benefits result from military organizations in times like these. Take, for instance, the Governor's Guard of this city. About three years ago this company was organized through the persevering efforts of Lt. Col. J. P. Atwood to whom the principal credit belongs and who is himself a thoroughly educated military man and was its first Captain.
Until that time no class of men could be found of sufficient nerve to organize a company in the then state of public sentiment of the subject. This company, through never large in members, persevered in its efforts with commendable zeal and became a very creditable military company and attracted a good degree of credit and respect.
But few were found who had any military experience to commence with but by study and practice all the members became reasonable proficient in drill. On the day following the reception of the call of the President for volunteers, this company tendered its services to the Governor and was accepted and now occupies a prominent position with the First Regiment which is receiving so much praise in the East.
But let us look a little further in contemplating the benefits that have resulted from this organization. From the number who have been members of the Governor's Guard we can call to mind the following who are occupying prominent positions in the active militia at the present time. Here is the list as it now occurs to us:

Geo P. Delaplaine, Engineer in Chief, Wisconsin Militia, with rank of Brigadier General
Chas L. Harris, Lieut Col, 1st Regt., Active Militia
Julius P. Atwood                                     6th
L.D. Aldich, Adjutant                             4th
L.D. Haskell                                           6th
J.D. Ruggles, Quart,-Master                    2d
Harry Brigham Ass't Con'y                      1st
Lucius Fairchild, Capt., Governor's Guard, 1st Reg
Geo E. Bryant   Madison                        1st
J. F. Randolph   Randall                          2d
Thos. S. Allen     Miners                          2d
Wm. Hawley   Dane Co. Vol'trs,             3d
D.C. Pool, Lieutenant, Governor's Guard 1st
J.K. Proudfit                                                1st
W.H. Plunkett      Madison                         1st
W.H. Miller                                                 1st
A.S. Meredith   Randall                              2d
Nat Rollins                                                   2d
T.J. Widvey   Dane Co. Vol'trs,                 3d
C.A. Wood, Orderly, Governor's Guard    1st

There are probably others that do not occur to us who are now occupying official positions of responsibility and honor to the service of the country but the above is a proud record as the result of a three years organization for a single company and we can truly say that these men not only occupy the positions indicated but they are well qualified to fill them with honor to themselves and credit to their country. But for the few military companies organized in the State, in spite of public opinion, Wisconsin would have been totally unprepared to have met the requirements of the General government. The future we trust will show a very different condition of things with reference of military movements.