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1861 November, Seventh Wisconsin

Letter from Captain Callis
Nov. 7, 61.

Mr. Editor:- I notice in many of the Wisconsin papers that the good folks of the Badger State after furnishing so many fighting men for the war, are organizing Soldier's Aid Societies and raising money to be laid out for blankets, woolen shirts, &c. for our soldiers. 
Now this is very kind indeed, and exhibits a feeling toward soldiers and the cause for which they are laboring worthy of emulation; and I assure you it will be appreciated as such by the soldiers at large; but I am at a loss to know how it is the erroneous idea that we are suffering for want of sufficient clothing and food, becomes so prevalent among the masses at home. 
Now I am not prepared to say how other regiments outside of our brigade and the Brigades encamped near us are suffering for clothing, food, &d. We are in Gen McDowell's division of twelve thousand men or more, and among that number of men, I notice many Wisconsin boys that I was well acquainted with at home; and I must say that I never saw them uniformly well dressed at home as they now are, and I know they have plenty of bread, beef, pork, rice, beans, molasses tea, coffee and sugar to live like "fighting cocks."
In order to let you know what out wardrobe consists of I will give you an inventory, together with our facilities for transportation, after which I will leave you to judge whether we would be able to make more clothing of utility of us or not. 
We how have two heavy over coats, one heavy round about, one frock coat, two pairs of heavy pants, one pair of light cotton pants.
Two woolen shirts, two pairs drawers, two pairs socks, one towel, one heavy blanket, one rubber blanket, all of which, except what we are wearing, must be lugged in a knapsack, and besides all this we must carry a haversack with from one to three days rations and a heavy musket when we are on the march.
I must confess I am at a loss to know how we could carry more, unless each man has a pack mule furnished him. 
We however, nevertheless, fully appreciate the kind offerings of the good folks at home; and I would here say that I cannot tell what privations we are destined to undergo in the future, and can only speak of the present; but in answer to many letters, received from friends of our company inquiring what kind of clothing we stand most in need of to make us comfortable. 
At the present time I would refer them to the above inventory of our present wardrobe, and let them judge for themselves, whether or not we are suffering as has been reported. I have no doubt of "Uncle Samuel's" ability and willingness to furnish us all the clothing he will allow us to carry, and that the allowance will be sufficient to render us as comfortable as the circumstances will admit of. But if we should fall short at some future time we would be glad to avail ourselves of the opportunity of drawing on the liberality and kindness of the good folks of our native homes; but at present I think of nothing in the way of clothing that would add to our comfort.
We are getting along finely and, all except one man, able and willing to do duty.
I cannot help but flatter myself that our company gets along with less ill-feelings, one toward the other, than any company on the Potomac, and in the language of Lieut. Woodhouse "we eat together, sleep together and, if need be, we will die together."
We have not yet had a chance to "pick a fight" with the rebels; they don't seem to wish to form an acquaintance with us, but seem to avoid coming in contact with the "Mud-sills" of Wisconsin. This coolness may emanate from their aristocratic notions and it may emanate form some other cause, I can't tell which. 
Perhaps thy have met some of us before and did not like our style. We meet the whole division of Gen. McDowell to morrow at Munson's Hill, for a general review. 
I suppose we will have a fine time as the weather is very fine and our boys seem to be all up and dressed elated at the thought of seeing Gen. McClellan and old Abe.
Respectfully yours John C. Callis

Camp Arlington, 
Nov. 3, 1861

Editors Patriot:-We were reviewed by Gen. McDowell on Thursday; the whole brigade was reviewed we have got a regiment of cavalry or twelve companies. I don't know how many there are in a company. To-day the cavalry scattered over the field ,each company by itself, one company making a charge, another retreating, others moving this way and other that some walking leisurely by flank &c., altogether presenting the most splendid and picturesque scene I ever beheld with the addition of the four regiments of infantry making in all nearly 5,000 men. The review ground was just adjoining the Potomac and opposite Washington with the White House, Washington Monument; Capitol House and other conspicuous buildings, of which I do not know the name, in full view. The long bridge just below is arranged with two long boxes which meet in the center of the passage. They are well braced, no doubt but now they are worked back and forth is a mystery to me to solve yet. How each one is supported one half width of a place where a good sized steamboat can clear each side, I can't understand. When their two sides are joined together, it admits the heaviest of laded wagons. Taken altogether, I beheld the most splendid view that has net my vision since we arrived on the sacred soil of old Virginia. The next day (Saturday) we all mustered for the pay roll or something of that sort. Well, the cavalry was there, so I suppose they belong to Gen. King's Brigade. After we were all arranged on the ground I made myself scarce-went a little way off to a persimmon tree, went to eating persimmons, didn't go back till I got my fill, then went back to my company - was in good time to answer to my name, lucky thing for me too. If I had not been there to answer to my name I might have last part of my pay. But it was all right; I took the head of my company and led them back to quarters had a real good time.
Had an orful rain yesterday; didn't get anything to eat for our companies. All clubbed together, went to the Sutler, bought butter and eggs, had plenty bread; got along first rate. - Pretty cool and damp to lay right on the ground; we sleep very comfortably, though. We have lots of leaves on the ground, then a pretty good mattress on top, then an oil blanket; then a woolen blanket to top off with. We then lay two an???ro so we have two blankets over us, aside from our overcoats, &c. We get along better than a great many others, but still we sleep cold. The night are very cold and the days hot. Report is that we are to stay there all winter. If we do, we will build us log houses and a good fire place, &c.. We all think we will move before long.
Gen. Scott has resigned, and Gen. McClellan steps in his shoes. I suppose you know all about it however. All agree to one thing and that is Gen. McDowell put us through. Some regiments have got to stay there. Don't know but we will do as much good here as anywhere else. Let some older and better drilled regiments take the advance. Of course we would like to go on when we could do something. They all think it is time to do something now. That cold weather is at hand. It won't look right if we don't do something before hot weather comes again.
After Dark a Good While. - Just returned from a foraging expedition. One of our tentmates found a pile of brick, proposed we should go and get them and make an oven or furnace to warm our tent, got a good lot on a board, two of us shouldered the board started off very well. Partner took the fore end, I the hind end, pretty dark went a little way, partner stubbed his toe, fell down. My end, of course, on my shoulder, consequence, was spilt, all the brick bats. Thought I'd kill myself laughing, partner on all fours in the mud, bats scattered all over the ground, O, t'was fun. We finally got enough to make an oven all right.
Last week the boys broke into the Sutter's tent, went to kicking up a big fuss, was stopped by the Adjutant appearing on the scene of action. The trouble originated by the Sutler charging exorbitant prices. Well, as I said before, it rained all day yesterday. Toward evening the wind rose up pretty strong. Some of the boys wished to play a joke on the Sutler and partly drew some of the pins that held his tent. The ground being wet and soft, the pins were easy drawn Soon a good strong gust struck the tent and over the whole thing went. Such yelling as those got up who were there soon brought out nearly the whole regiment. - The Sutler promised a good treat to the whole crowd if they would not touch anything and help him up with it again and they concluded to help him. After all was righted, he set a barrel of apples out for the boys to play grab one day. That means he got a good joke on the boys for they all pitched in and such a muddy sorry set of boys you never see, for you must understand the mud and water was from one to three inches deep. 
Some got their brand new caps (blue) tread in the mud bad. I did not get mixed up in the fracas, lucky for me. We have some excitement every now and then. - The 2d regiment boys are good fellows to look after No. 1. 
One of them picked up a good ham when the Sutter's tent blew down, can't fool them on green cheese. They have traveled .- I took a walk over to Gen. Lee's house and gather one of the most splendid bouquets you ever see. I send you what varieties I can - Perhaps you will know what some of them are. I do not except, the roses and cedar.
Well, I did not think I could write so long a letter, but some how I deep thinking of something. 
Old man Dyke has got his discharge, and will soon return. The old codger feels pretty good over it. Haven't had much frost yet can find splendid tomato plants, nice and thrifty. I believe I told you about the green corn we have had since we have been here. I believe there are string beans now, was a week ago.
We are getting our blue uniforms now, got two pairs of drawers, good ones too, blue cap and pants. I like camp life well although unpleasant when it rains, but we must take the bitter with the sweet.
The tent is full, telling stories, getting off yarns, &c. It is almost impossible to write without making blunders. I am getting tired of sitting on the soft side of a board - would like to git out this letter.

From the Seventh Regiment
Camp Arlington, 
Nov. 10th, 61

Editors Patriot:- In perusing your sheet, I discover no correspondent from the "Hungry Seventh," and acting on that impulse, I take the liberty of addressing you; and moreover to ascertain if you would or would not desire to have one from this regiment. In case you see fit to accept me, please let me know.
I will give a description of the grand review of this division by Gen. McDowell, which took place on the 9th inst. On the morning of the 9th, according to orders, the brigade took up the line of march, as we understood it, for Munson's Hill.  At 9 o'clock a.m. all were anxious to get a view of a place where our brother-in arms fought and fell in the glorious cause of maintenance of the Union. All was hilarity. 
What with being braced by a cool breeze, an almost cloudless sky and good walking, we took up a rapid march and soon over hauled the 6th, which had got the start of us by half an hour. 
About a mile from camp they halted till we came up, the majority trying to empty their haversacks. We were also halted till the 2d Wisconsin and 19th Indiana came up when the whole brigade took up the line of march, the 6th in advance, 7th next, 2d next and the 19th Indiana in the rear. 
We passed several houses, all log. Houses, fences, farms in the face of the whole country as far as the eye can reach is one scene of wild confusion and desolation. Only those that have gazed upon a section of country where war has spread its devastation power, those and those only can realize the sad effects. 
We passed Ball's Crossroads of old note -  nothing here but one or two old log huts and they are occupied by wood-choppers. At a distance of a mile beyond is situated the review ground as we soon learned by the presence of the greatest portion of the division and Gen. McDowell and staff. Here was a great disappointment to us as we expected to go to Munson's Hill, but a soldier's life is a series of disappointments; we absorbing scenes before us. On an eminence surrounded by his staff was Gen. McDowell, two ladies and a gentleman dressed in citizens clothes, which help set off the picture amazingly (especially the ladies) and scattered all over the field were companies of soldiers and farther in the back ground loomed up a large handsome house and beautiful grove with good our buildings &c. 
The view was splendid and no mistake. We were soon on the ground, our rusty gray making a queer contrast with the blue, but our boys are just as big, just as good in looks and as regards drill but very little behind the rest.
The N.Y. 23d is the best. There could not have been more than 200 of them but it would do one good to see them order arms, all struck the ground with one thug."
After each brigade had got in position, time was given for the men to eat their dinner. 
I took occasion to enquire what regiment were in each brigade but only had time to learn but one this was Gen. Wadsworth's brigade composed of the 21st and 23d N.Y., 85th Brooklyn, 20th and 12th N.Y., in all five regiments. There is 4 companies artillery, 1 regiment cavalry, 1,200 strong and the three brigades.
About noon the sky was overcast and looked as it it would rain. 
Brigade no.1 passed around in front of the General, then ours, then the one in the rear, the artillery came next, then, lastly, the cavalry. It was a grand sight to see them ascending the raising ground in front of the General, then disappear over the hill and soon reappear. 
As the artillery came in front of the General, the rain which had been threatening commenced to drizzle, and by the time the cavalry had passed, was raining quite fast.
Oh! didn't we have a glorious time "slipping" it back to camp, for you know that the soil here is of a slippery sticky texture.
Got back safe was excused from dress parade, glad to escape to our tents.
Yours S.I.M

From the 7th Regiment
Arlington Heights, Near Washington, Nov. 11
EDITORS PATRIOT:-You remember I told you we were on the opposite side of the Potomac from Washington. There is but three places to cross over, Chain Bridge, Aqueduct and Long Bridge. 
Each is guarded by heavy guns and sentinels at both ends. 
No one would be fool hardy enough to try to pass the sentinel with only a space of few feet between the side of the bridge and the point of a bayonet.
As soon as I get my pay the Captain has promised me a pass to Washington. I intend to do some tall sight seeing when I get there.-writing material is plenty in the regiment and just as cheap as with you, but don't talk of apples being so cheap; it makes my mouth water. we have to pay pretty dear for them here:- eggs 25c per doz., butter ditto per lb, Orleans molasses, 12.5c per pint, and all eatables in proportion. Potatoes are $1.25 @1.50 per bush. I am well and hearty.
Perhaps you would like to know something of our duties. First, we get up at the beat of the drummer's call, and play the reveille which is a pretty cold job these cold mornings. That done we build up a good fire in our brick stove and get warm by the time breakfast is ready.
We have to swallow it pretty quick sometimes to get out to guard mounting. Here we are obliged to go through another torment of cold fingers and am glad when it is over. Have time to get my drum hung up and almost snoring over the fire, when rattle goes the drum.- 
"come drummer come," &c. Get up and take the drum and play till the regiment is all out then lead the way for a mile to battalion drill grounds. Here we have to stay till they are ready to march back to camp when we take our place at the head again. We get back about noon. At all events dinner is generally ready. We then have a long rest till half past one when rattle, bang goes the guard drum and we have to go it again to brigade drill.- when that is through (we go in a different direction for brigade drill about the same distance as the others) we return in time for dress parade. Sometimes it is so dark the Adjutant can barely read the orders. When through, supper is ready. After this we have a rest till nine o'clock, when we get out and play the tattoo, then we make up our bed, warm ourselves and go to bed.
It rains about every other day the soil of old Virginia is more sticky then our Wisconsin soil so you see we have a great time sliding about. Aside from our drill we have a review every few days, an inspection now and then and a regimental inspection every Sunday. Yesterday there was a grand review of the whole division composed of three regiments of infantry, one of cavalry and four companies of artillery. The review took place beyond Ball's Cross Roads on a plain.
Your imagination cannot picture the devastation and waste that meets the eye in every direction. It is terrible. We passed but two houses, all log and miserable tottering they were. Quite a distance in the background on the field of the review stood the only house worthy of notice or bearing the least semblance to the fine estate I had pictured to my mind that covered  the face of Old Virginia. This one was a large splendid brick, as near as I could judge from the distance, nearly hiding the dwelling from view was a a magnificent grove. The out buildings were large and good. Only the house and immediate surroundings were enclosed by a fence.-The broad lands were appropriated to the use of volunteers. The house appeared to be inhabited by officers of rank, no doubt. For nearly a mile after leaving camp our course lay through a fine forest, (our boys having cut this by-road through to the main road.) The trees are not large from 10 to 30 feet high. They were cut and piled up by the side of the road so it would be impossible to make any headway except along the road. After reaching the main road we were halted till the whole brigade came up. The 6th Wisconsin takes the lead, ours next, the 2d next, the 19th Indiana on the left, we're formed and marched in division until we reached the field then formed in four ranks and took our position in the field, about one mile from the cross roads. Here was the largest army I have seen yet. 13 regiments of Infantry, 1 of cavalry and 4 companies of artillery - There must have been at least 10,000. The 23d New York is the best drilled on the ground. I could not but admire their "order arms" it seemed as if but one gun struck the ground it was done so precise. While they were eating dinner, I took occasion to run over to one  of the band, and learned that it was General Wordworth's brigade composed of the 21st, 23d, 20th and 12th N.Y. and 35th Brooklyn, five in all. The other brigade I had no time to learn anything about. It began to rain before the review was through. We donned our oil blankets which were just the things for the occasion. We had a pretty slippery walk back but we managed to slip it through. Of course Gen. McDowell was there, this being his division.
Col. Van Dorn had gone to Washington. All sorts of reports are in circulation, some that he has resigned, others that he has gone on furlough for a week, one month, two months and three months. I don't know what to believe.- The Lieutenant Colonel is like and the majority are for him. All the commissioned officers but one are against Col. Van Dorn, decidedly. You wish me to write for the Patriot. I should like to do so very much but you see, there are many things against me. In the first place, time to spare. Secondly, but small chance to learn things until they are old; and lastly, but little confidence in myself.
We expect our pay Tuesday. The 2nd has been nearly paid, will finish to-morrow. Our turn comes next; I will be among the first as my name is next to the non commissioned officers and my company second on the list.
The prevailing opinion is that the war will close ere long; some say before our first blue suit is worn out. We have got all but dress coats. Some co.'s have no overcoats but ours has. When we are all rigged out I do not think we will remain here long. We want to do one thing or the other. If we are to stay, we would like to know it; we would build us log huts and make ourselves comfortable for the winter.

Messer Editors Wisconsin Patriot:-Having read the article in your paper. from O.S.H., calling for facts relative to the statements made respecting the soldiers wives of the wealthy village of L., now left under the protection of our worthy citizens, I can vouch to some of the statements as truths. 
There are also other facts that I have from the mouth of one of those loved ones of a still more aggravating nature, which ought to be brought to light that our citizens may be warned how they trifle with the virtue of the wives of our brave soldiers who have gone forth in defense of our beloved country. 
One of these facts is that the soldiers  wives ought not to be seen gadding about so much amongst the men. 
Ah, how cruel being forsaken by those who promised to be their protectors, having to sally forth themselves to look after the humble pittance that Uncle Sam allows them to support their little flocks. 
The Heaven daring opprobrious epithet falls upon their ears - gadding after the men!
Oh, shame! where is thy blush? Let these epithets rest down where they belong; let Mr. E. W., who is a dealer and manufacturer of tin ware, consider what he is about. 
But enough of this. We will give three cheers for O,S. H,. alias Orderly Sergeant Humphrey, who can not only make his mark on the battle ground but use his pen for the benefit of his townsmen at home. 
No sooner was his letter read last eve., in public when up starts Mr. B. and sends $2 to Mrs. P. (money that was owing Mr. P. before he went to the war) with a message if she was in want of anything to call on him.
God bless Orderly Sergeant Humphrey; may he keep on wielding his pen, and may God ward off the bullets aimed at him; and let the laurels and glory rest on whom they belong in the humble prayer of a sincere friend and well wisher of her country.


Arlington Heights, Nov. 15th, '61
The Seventh since my last letter have not performed anything remarkable. They continue in the beaten path, and persist, involuntarily to pursue the un-even tenor of our war; task none of your readers would think easy were they compelled to follow our drum major from our Brigade drill-ground up to camp. Our route is covered a foot deep with excellent mortar and our drum major improves the opportunity whenever it is deepest and when we march up hill to strike up a lively quick step which causes the men to wish that worthy functionary in the possession of a very warm place. But, their wishes proving unavailing, they submit with as good grace as possible and charge their toil to their country's account.
On the 5th inst. Lieut Ayres of the Berlin Light Guard visited our camp and I obtained a pass from Lieut. Rogers accompany him back to the Headquarters of the 5th regiment at Camp Griffin. It was a pleasant afternoon and we took the road running between Fort Tillinghast and Fort Cass direct to Barley's Cross Roads where Lieut. Ayres, who appeared to be very familiar with the topography of the country, pointed out the place where a party of our skirmishers had a brush with a troop of rebel cavalry Leaving this road which continues on to Fall's Church, we turned on the right in the direction of Fort Moray, till we came to the church of Olivet, (which in its present dilapidated condition resembles an old barn, the siding being almost all taken away, nothing remaining but the roof and frame work) There we left the road and made our way across lots, if the latter term can be applied to the tented field occupied by the Army of the Potomac, passing Camp Vanterwerken where the Lieut. Showed me the old camp ground of the Fifth and the Abbatis which surrounds the hill which they had built; then crossing over trees and brush, or, rather what would be a clearing in Waushara county ,which had been chopped down by the soldiers of the Fifth, we came to a hill on one side of which their was a corn field and on the other a thick pine grove. Here the Berlin Light Guard had, under cover of the corn field, attacked a body of rebels, driving them away.
A California Captain was killed in the encounter. At the end of the cornfield we came to a farm house occupied by the female portion of a secession family where we halted to rest. Last summer the Berlin light Guard ware posted as guard around this domicile to prevent the occupants from communicating with their male relatives in the enemy's ranks and an acquaintance sprang up between them and our men which the courteous bearing of the Berlin volunteers improved into positive friendship.
From the conversation of Lieut Ayres with these forlorn widows of secession, I should judge that he was engaged in the task of collecting facts for a publication on the now extinct tribe, to witness, the first families of Virginia.
Mrs. Hurst, the housekeeper, an aged lady, almost bald, whose organs of volubility, for the time being, acquired a celerity unparalled in my experience of the capacity of woman's tongue, recited the annual of these families. Commodore Jones family who's existence is a little to the right of the present camp of the Fifth who, owing service to the United States in the Navy, turned traitor, suffered some of the troubles of war. His mansion is in the possession of our troops and of all family relics handed down from the days of Jefferson are are now pretty well distributed among the venial heroes of mudsill who desecrate the sacred soil, this is the case with the majority of abandoned regal mansions within the lines of the Army of the Potomac. However, where the women are left behind, they are protected by guard detailed for the purpose by our Generals and their property is respected by the troops but when the boys advance as skirmishers or scouts and before the body of the army takes possession, disputed territory is considered fair game and unoccupied houses are thoroughly searched and bed spreads, pincushions, embroidered work, and even love letters are picked up and sent as souvenirs to the mercenary and trafficking Yankees up North. It is sad to think that soap makers, inventors of shingle machines, brick layers, schools teachers and curing workers in iron, should have opportunities to peruse these scented missives which Cupid had prompted the authors the folly to write. Such quantities of bad spelling subjected to the inspection of northern school girls must bring the blush to the cheeks of Virginia's daughters who boast an illustrious lineage down from the original settlers who priced the first cargo of black muscle from Africa imported in old pirated crafts manned by the out laws of all nations. One of these whom the old lady mentioned named, Virginia Newcomb, who has a lover in the rebel army
must have been omitted by treachery in his chronicles of the mishaps of the latter family. The ease she talks treason to our officers is a caution. Had she been a Northern school teacher in the south and presumed to be loyal there is no telling what odium and contempt the gallant and chivalrous descendents of ancient loyalty would bestow on her defiance and scorn in the very teeth of Generals, unmolested, protected by the forbearance and courtesy of an higher civilization than she had, in which she was wont to draw the inspiration of her sentiments.
But I am digressing. After a halt of a half an hour, we proceeded on our journey, passed a large body of cavalry, splendidly equipped, and an old church where a Beaver Dam company had once held a prayer meeting; the walls was covered with soldiers autographs from Minnesota to Maine; thence past Langley's, a collection of buildings now occupied as Gen McCall's Headquarters. From thence to Camp Griffin near Louisville was but a short distance at which place we arrived just at sunset and, with the Fifth, was on dress parade. Here I heard the most thrilling music from the Brass band of the Fifth, which has the reputation, acknowledged  everywhere, of being the best in the army, excelling even the Marine Band at Washington. Adjutant West's loud cry of 'parade dismissed' brought the regiment back to quarters and I was soon engaged in the vigorous exercise of shaking hand with many members of Capt. Brugh's company. Took supper with Benjamin Starkey and slept in the tent of Corporal van Norlman that night . I saw Frank Smith, Frank Merry, John Videll, Dawes Bates and Sergeant Kees, the latter said he had to go on picket the next morning. All the boys appeared to be well that I saw although Cap. Burgh said that some sickness prevailed. The arduous duties and exposure to the frequent fall rain storms affecting seriously the general turn out on parades. In the forenoon of the next day I strolled around through the various encampments of the New York and Pennsylvania regiments visiting also the celebrated Mott's Battery stationed on the top of a small hill. Neath the spreading Chestnut shade, where, also, in an abandoned secession mansion, Gen. Hancock's headquarters in situated. Before leaving I took dinner with Capt Brugh with a copy of the NY Times for a table cloth and it was the best meat I ate since I left Berlin. The captain enjoys hugely, apparently, a soldiers life. He said he could sleep any where in all sorts of storms. Pie eating with its perils develops the manhood of our troops and the position of honor now held by the brave Berlin boys is much coveted by us of the Seventh. Smith's division is on the right wing of the Grand Army; Hancock's Brigade is in the right of the latter Division and the Fifth is in the right of the brigade and as our cause is right, you may rest assure they will go right ahead.
On my return I took a different route, passing many New York and Pennsylvania regiments, also the 4th Michigan whom I found playing ball. They are encamped on a high hill near Falls Church. I believe it is called Halls Hill. From its summit, on which there is an observatory, I could distinguish the well defined outlines of the Blue Ridge mountains, their summits blending with the clouds. The scene is magnificent. I could not help thinking that with in the range of vision lay fields of contests which history will hand down as ever memorable, here shall be placed the chair of the future historian and he shall tell how Baker fell, the rout at Manassas, and the many picket encounters. Every bush has its tale of blood to utter, here poised, swings the destiny of our great Republic. May we be spared the fate of ancient empire; at least until our career ripens into a glorious exampled of national existence which shall eclipse the light of former ages, culminating in the happiness of our citizens. As the road was rough it was dark ere I reached my quarters that night.
The following soldiers in our regiment died on the 13th W. I. Compton, Company D at Columbian College Hospital; Corporal Eli P. Sayre; Company A in the Eruptive Fever Hospital. And here I have to add a more melancholy story;
Mrs. Mary Williams, wife of Orderly Sergeant Byron Williams, formerly of Barr Oak Valley town of Leon, Waushara County, died last Sunday, Nov 10th
She was buried inst Tuesday near Fort Albany, the whole Company attended the funeral. She came with us from our homes, determined to see the worst, but now rests in an alien grave, mourned by all, but more by her husband who has the sympathies of his old friends in this more than ordinarily severe bereavement. After the funeral Captain Walther asked if the men were willing to subscribe enough to place a suitable grave stone to mark the resting place of the already dead of this company and the proposition was readily agreed to. The Captain pledged, himself, to furnish more than his quota for the same purpose.
The following from the Seventh are in the hospital; at Kalorama Eruptive hospital, 15; at the General Union Hospital, Georgetown, 2d Wis, 1; at Columbia College Hospitals, Washington, 5th Wis, 1.
On the 13th and 14th, the Seventh received their pay and the boys are in the greatest stew as to how they shall spend their money, much of if will be sent home. The rest will be spent in buying stationery, postage stamps, maps, gloves, boots, leggings, butter, pies, cakes, apples, cigars &c., the balance in playing poker, euchre and some, I am sorry to say, for Rifle whiskey.
As I am very lengthy this time, your patience and that of you readers must be severely taxed but you can blame Uncle Sam for not giving work such as that at Piketoa and Port Royal for us to do when I promise to be brief and concise. We have just got our blue uniforms and I must
close up
Yours,  W. D. W.


Mr. Editor:- In all my reading of soldiers letters, I have not seen anything concerning our mode of sleeping. First we drive stakes in the ground and by placing poles upon them raise a kind of platform , on which is laid a mat of cedars boughs, taken from trees once belonging to the rebel Gen. Lee, now confiscated property. 
On this kind of bed we sleep as happy and contented as if beneath our parental roofs. Yesterday was payday and the boys are all as merry as larks and twice as full of song. There is nothing of any importance transpired of late worth of note. This not worth while speaking of the success of our naval fleet as the news has reached you ere this. Great enthusiasm exists in camp on the receipt of the news of the bombardment of Port Royal and capture of the rebel flags which arrived in Washington yesterday.
I must compliment the Lancaster boys for their fine and soldier like appearance on parade, in fact all of old Grants sons do not disgrace their county. If we should be favored with the opportunity of getting into a battle, be assured our friends will never have cause to blush for us for we have made up our minds long ago to acquit ourselves like men from Wisconsin.
J. C. Mann

Nov 16, 1861
SENATOR WILSON has determined to introduce a bill immediately on the opening of Congress to abolish the office of Sutler in the Army. He has been impelled to this by reason of the extortions and abuses practiced upon the soldiers, the profits often being from 200 to 300 per cent and the quality of the articles furnished as bad as will be tolerated.
Liquor, too, is often clandestinely furnished. The pastry and other articles of food furnished have been known to cause sickness. It is known that in very many cases the Colonels of regiments are partners of the sutlers, the profits being so large that men are often unable to get the appointments upon any other terms. The profits of a Sutler for a full regiment are from $6,000 to 12,000 a year.

Arlington Heights, Nov, 17
Friend Cover: I herewith send a package of money which the members of my company wish you to distribute to the parties whose names are inscribed out on respective packages with the amount of money each contains. You will discover the name of the person sending it and the amount in figures with the full address of the person to whom the money is sent.
I am aware that it is troubling you too much but knowing you to be ever willing to render any assistance to our soldiers, I take the liberty of sending it to you; also knowing your superior facilities for notifying the parties through your paper or otherwise, Our boys wish you to say to the friends who call for the money that they are all well and getting along finely and we all hope this will explode the idea that we are suffering for money, "grub" or clothing, we have plenty of money left to run our boats till the next pay day, providing we keep our health and if we should be so unfortunate as to get sick, which we have no guarantee against, you see, from the number of names who send money that over one half of us keep all we have. If one of us gets sick the last dollar in our camps would go if necessary to render assistance to the sick  and destitute. we are thus far favored with better health than any company in the regiment and if prudence will avail we propose to continue so yours &c., J. B. Callis
The packages showing a total of $1613 according to sums named on letters were received and have all been distributed except packages directed to the following names Geo. Atkinson, Calvin Parker, Orris McCartney, Lewis Kuntze, H. H. Ray, Catherine Gilbert, Wm. Wafer, Edith Pointer, J. E. Parker, J. N. Sayres, W. H. Garner, Leonard Bradley, Washington Ellis, Mary A. McKenzie, J. Q. Catin, James Gilbert, J. W. Kaump, Jacob Carrier, Mrs. H. Harris Jared Warner.
These will doubtless be called for in a few days.
On behalf of the receivers, we assure the senders that such certificates of good character and faithful services in the army are current in the west for all manner of things as well as curatives for every ailment in the catalogue of complaints.-
Mountains of trouble may be removed by a more copious shower of these U.S. Treasury institutions. They spread contentment and health to many broken family circles and, in a measure, splice the finances which have been broken by this rebel war; they mend all the breaks, they do, and are a pledge that day shall break, and that this rebel veil of night shall not last forever.

Our Washington Correspondence

Washington, Nov 18, 1861
The success of the expedition to South Carolina has occasioned much rejoicing among loyal citizens and created an eagerness among our troops to march southward. The general expectation, however, is that no immediate movement by land will be made here farther than a gradual pushing forward of the federal lines as the rebels shall withdraw to strengthen their southern defenses. No general engagement with the rebels in Virginia can be brought about save by attacking the enemy in their entrenchments which are known to be formidable both at Manassas and Centerville and aggressive movememtnts will, for the present, be confined to the coast and the western division of the army. Still no preparations are yet being made for winter quarters for the army on the other side of the Potomac which favors the idea that it is not decided to retain it in this vicinity for any length of time. In most of the camps, stoves have been introduced in the officers quarters and the soldiers have erected temporary fireplaces of brick to make them comfortable during the cold storms and chilling winds which assail them. Winter quarters are being provided for the regiments on this side of the river.
The army is kept in the best possible condition for immediate and effective service by daily brigade and battalion drills, and weekly reviews of divisions by the commanding general. The soldiers and officers are now becoming so accustomed to the habits and dangers of military life as almost entirely to have thrown off that nervous sensibility and keen apprehension so prolific of disaster in camp and among reconnoitering parities in the earlier part of the campaign and the business of war, its hardships and blood and carnage are now contemplated with a steadfastness of nerve and coolness of mind, in remarkable contrast with that manifested at the outset when quaking sentinels found an enemy in every bush and reconnoitering parties would meet in deadly conflict without determining whether they were friends of foes.
Coupled with this, however, there is also an increasing wantonness of character and recklessness of life among the soldiery that ill accords with habits of civil life and which bodes no good to society when the soldier shall have returned from the war. Many a young man who return unscathed by rebel bullets and unmarked by disease will find his moral sensibilities blunted and his heart calloused by the habits and association of the "tented field."
A few hours ride over the territory now occupied by the belligerent forces exhibits the realities of war as none can appreciated them from a distance. The desolate, despoiled farm houses, fenceless farms, broken hedges and barren fields stand out in melancholy contrast with the naturally beautiful face of the country, while glistening bayonets, threatening cannon and whitened tents occupy every eminence and hill side and martial airs and clanging sabers of galloping horsemen continually remind you of military array. It is interesting to behold the grand displays of the marshaled hosts which are continually occurring under the direction of the commanding General. It is seldom in the history of a civilian that he is permitted to see twenty or thirty thousand armed men marching in all the panoply of war with attending horsemen and well appointed batteries of artillery but is is painful to reflect that in this enlightened age and country those things should be rendered necessary to secure the blessings of freedom and put down the aggressions of slavery.

Nov 18, 1861

The Wisconsin regiments are now in fine condition and make a most creditable appearance having, all save a portion of the 7th, received their blue uniforms. There had been some sickness and several deaths since my last but, as a general thing, our men stand it better than those from other states, either from the better regulations of their officers, or from their better adaptation to the service. Still, there are weekly discharges  of disabled and weakened solders and many deaths by disease. Last week, three died from the 7th, and one from the 6th. One of the former died from small pox, and two from typhoid fever. The wife of Sergeant Williams of Company I, 7th regiment (from Waushara county, I believe) died in camp of typhoid fever on Sunday morning the 10th inst. She was sick but eight days. The camp of the soldier is no place for a woman either to live or to die in. Patriotism and love for her kindred may induce a woman to surrender the comforts and quiet of home for the privations and hardships of the camp but it is no place for her, and in nine cases out of ten she will be more an inconvenience than an advantage, either as a nurse or a "laundress,"
Lieut. Col. Seet, of the 6th has been confined to his quarters for some days with premonitions of typhoid fever but he is now better, and it is hoped he will soon be out again.
Col. Cutler is, as the boys say, "tough as a billed owl," and never disabled either by hardship or misfortune; he had been acting Brigadier general for a few days past in the absence of Gen. King, who has been to New York. Cr. Chapman, Brigade Surgeon has been sick for some time but has still continued the discharge of his arduous duties until to-day when he has yielded to necessity and the recommendation of his friends, and obtained leave of absence to recruit. He leaves for home to-morrow and bears with him the good wishes of the entire brigade.
Col. Vandor had not yet resigned, but does not pretend to command his Regiment or even visit them. It is the unanimous wish of the officers of the Regiment that Lieut. Col. Robinson should have command. He is a most efficient and popular officer. The Regiment has sustained a great present loss in the disability of Adjutant Cook who is still confined to his quarters from the fracture of his ankle, and who will be unable, for weeks ,to come to mount his horse.
Lieut. Bailey, of Company E., is now acting Adjutant and does the duties will. By the way, the Adjutant as interim was innocently made the subject of a practical joke one day last week. Adjutant Cook had been removed to the vacant quarters of Col. Vandor, where he was confined under the care of his Surgeon.  Acting Adjutant Bailey occupied Dr. Cook's quarters, and was temporarily indisposed and under treatment by the surgeon. The surgeon ordered some pills to be taken to the Adjutant--the steward, not discriminating, proceeded to the Adjutant's quarters and delivered the order and pills to Lieut. Galley who was already under the influence of a powerful dose but who, supposing all was right, took down the pills.-
When they had fairly begun to operate, the servant appeared with the Adjutant's dinner prepared with great care; the acting Adjutant was too far gone for the effects of his pills to be able to contemplate the dinner with the composure and peremptorily ordered the waiter to decamp with his dainties.
The mistake was discovered only when about 4 o'clock, Adjutant Cook sent to enquire why he could have no dinner. He had lost his dinner and his pills while his substitute had received a double portion! Lieut. Bailey survived the pills, and after being pretty thoroughly "cleaned out," returned to duty but he don't care to be reminded of the affair!
Col. O'Connor is not able to be in command of his regiment yet, and Lieut. Col. Fairchild is, as he has been most of the time since his appointment, the acting Col.; the Regiment wants no better, and if Col. O'Connor is compelled to resign from continued disability, they would be abundantly satisfied with Col. F.
Gov. Randall and Col. van Slyke are now here negotiating with the Department for funds to reimburse the State for expenditures for the war and I am pleased to know that there is every probability of success-- though the State Treasurer and Mr. Watson, on the same errand, were sent away empty. There is every disposition to treat our State with liberality as the manner in which Wisconsin has responded to the calls of the Government gives her an enviable position here and receives the highest commendation. I have no doubt but all the expenditures, lavish though in some respects they may appear, will be reimbursed and that time will show that no State had been more economical and judicious in their outfits. 

FROM THE SEVENTH REGIMENT-A private letter from "P" of the Seventh Regiment dated November 21st, says: "We are still at Camp Arlington with the prospect of staying or moving whither so ever the "powers that be" may list. The general desire of the boys is to do some fighting for therefore are we come. Still we are enjoying ourselves here, careless of the morrow. Yesterday I walked over to the grand review at Balley's Cross Roads, that was a sight worth going along was to see. I took my stand on Munson's Hill and had a fine view of the troops filing in all directions. Seventy thousand troops do not often get together in one field nor do we often have such an exhibition of "battle's magnificently stern array." The young commander with his staff and train rode around with shouts and cheers from the troops that must have made the rebels wince, if they were with in hearing.
"I see by the Journal that the election has gone as it should, which is most cheering. We are always glad to hear from Wisconsin, our favorite State. Our hearts are still there if we are on the "sacred soil" burning secesh timber and spoiling for a fight."

November, 22d, 1861

Friend Cover:-Since I last wrote to you we have made several moves, but at present we are encamped about four miles west, or nearly so, of Washington city, on what is termed by some "the sacred soil of Virginia." But oh! what an error. It is anything else but sacred, It is the theatre of blood and carnage when thousands of loyal and patriotic men will sacrifice their lives to suppress a rebellion that has no precedent in the annals of American History and although we have a formidable foe to contend with, one whose mode of warfare is only known by the execution of their bloody deeds, I apprehend no fears. I believe there is enough loyalty and patriotism left to preserve this Union. Our government is a good one, and must be sustained. We have all the requisite means to maintain it. Then "let us strike" until the last armed foe expiates and victory shall be our reward. We are still going through our regular routine of business, company  and battalion drill. Our drill ground is about three quarters of a mile from camp near Fort Corcoran. A strong fort mounted with nine guns (Columbians, of eight men caliber. They are usually called Barbette guns, beings erected on platforms, and are fired over the parapet thus having a free range in all outer directions. The fort is felled trees with their sharp branches placed outward, so interlaced as to present an irregular row of pointed stakes towards the enemy. The military name of this is Abatis. Our Regiment is making great proficiency in the military service and although we are young in the cause in comparison to some other regiments. I am presumptious enough to say that to place us on equal footing with the rebels we can make them run like rats from a burning barn.
But our prospect for battle is not very shattering at present. But you know these are eventual times and it is hard to tell what to-morrow may bring forth. Nothing but time develops these momentous results which must inevitably take place before this war is terminated. We are strongly fortified here,  having Fort Ramsey on our right and Fort Tillinghast on our left. They are mounted with eight guns each, sizes from twelve to twenty-four pounders and are all well garrisoned. The Sixth Wisconsin Regiment is encamped on our right and the Second on our left.
Those regiments above named and the Nineteenth Indiana regiment constitute Gen. King's Brigade. Today we have on general review between Baily's Cross-Road and Muson's Hill. The latter of which was formerly held by the rebels with an inferior fortifications mounted with basswood cannons and several field pieces having strong resemblance to stove pipe.
The fort was taken by the federal troops the latter part of September without much resistance on the part of the rebels. Their guns, it seems, did not prove very effective. Munson's Hill is a strong point and I wonder why the rebels did not secure it. - for it is higher than any other point near it, and commands the ground for a mile around it. Now in regard to the grand review which I must say language is inadequate to describe. Eight divisions were reviewed as follows: Generals McCall, McDowell, Heitzelman, FitzJohn, Porter, Franklin, Blenker, and Smith, comprising ninety regiments of infantry, one hundred and twenty-four pieces of cannon, making twenty-one batteries, and nine regiments of cavalry, forming an aggregate of seventy thousand troops. The largest armed force ever assembled together in the United States. And it was a grand and magnificent sight. At twelve o'clock, Gen. McClellan and staff accompanied by the President and Secretaries Seward and Cameron made their appearance. Every person was anxious to see the young commander and when he passed along, loud cheers went up for him. After this, the troops marched around on quite a large piece of ground thus making a circle and when each regiment would march by, McClellan would salute them by taking off his hat.-
At five o'clock the review closed and the troops went off in masses to their camps.
Our boys made their camp about seven o'clock with keen appetites ready for the regular pork and beans, &c.
Yours until secession is cleaned out.

Camp Arlington, Nov, 28, 61

Editors Patriot: Thanksgiving in camp is somewhat differently observed from what it is back in the Badger State, still, said day has its peculiarities here. We were ordered to appear in our best blue, Sat, 11 o'clock, to march over to the Arlington House to listen to the farewell. Drawn up in front of the house, on the beautiful green award which descends from a small knoll used as the speakers stand with the Potomac, Long Bridge and city of Washington in full view. 
The four regiments were drawn up describing a half circle. When all had come to "order arms" the governor made his appearance amid the cheers of drums, then the brass band of the 19th Indiana struck up the inspiring air of 'Hail Columbia'. The governor was brief in his remarks enjoining in on the soldiers to obey their officers to place implicit confidence in those at the helm of our national forces, &c. 
He enumerated the numerous wrongs we have suffered by being too lenient to the South and that now it was a question of Liberty and freedom or tyranny and despotism. Of course there were numerous cheers given in honor of the Governor, old Wisconsin &c. 
The Governor proposed three cheers for the Governor of Indiana, which was greatly responded to then the brass band played our national air, Yankee Doodle. (I came away about that time).
My tent mates and I had a luxurious meal. We had some turnips, which we drew from the field when out on the grand review, sweet potatoes, good bread, fresh beef, hominy, baked apples ginger bread, &c. 
We pronounced it the best meal we have had since we have been in "Dixie." 
Our stove is a combination of brick, sheet iron, mud &C.- brick we drew. The  oven where we bake our taters and apples is situated on the back part of the institution- said oven is formed by placing four of said bats together forming a hollow square over which makes quite a good oven.
The prevailing opinion is that we will winter here, in case we do we will build logs huts.
Rains about every day hinder slippery -to see the boys walking, guess you'd think they'd been at their old failin'.
S. I. M.

Messers. Editors:-we beg the privilege to say a few words to our friends and relatives through the medium of you valuable paper. As today is Thanksgiving, and as we are not compelled to drill, we have a little time to spare to write and feeling that our Annual fast day will be this year to many households an unusual solemn occasion - the empty chair telling a story of devotion, of courage, of determination, to shield the remaining ones in the enjoyment of the blessings they are singing praises for and tenderly will the prayer ascend of the absent one's protection and guidance. We hope the day throughout the land will be observed as it never was observed before.
A portion of the day might will be devoted to the preparation of a fitting tribute to our country's defenders.
To-day the weather is fine the sun shines bright and warm as at a June noon day. At half past eleven we, Gen. King's brigade, were assembled in front of the Lee mansion - Gen. King's headquarters - where His excellency,, Gov. Randall addressed us. He spoke at some length, paid us many compliments and bade us farewell - yes, I fear, a last farewell to many of us. 
We then retuned to our quarters to partake of our noonday meal which, I may say was almost a feast; and as there is a good deal of doubt on the part of our friends at home as to our having enough to eat, I will mention the bill of fare, which is not an uncommon thing with us: 
We seated ourselves at a pine table covered with a white muslin cloth. After returning thanks to the Giver of All good, the thought occurred to us whether our friends and loved ones at home had as good a dinner to eat--but I am digressing. We commenced with mashed potatoes, roast beef, warm biscuit, fresh butter, pickles, tea and cream, winding up with apple pie, sweet cakes and crackers, fresh peaches, plum sauce, tomato sauce, oysters, fried nut cakes, green apples and good sweet cider. Considering that we are in the midst of enemies and in a soldier's tent almost on the field of battle, you may well imagine, that as it was, all prepared by a sister's experienced hand, who was seated at the head of the table, that it had a look of homelikeness; and as I said before, having good appetites, we did ample justice to our repast.
The health of the regiment is generally very good and being as it is a holiday the time passed off pleasantly.
While on dress parade, Hon. Wm. H. Seward and Senator Wilson drove up in front of our line and halted to see the regiment maneuver. The men having all received their new uniforms felt well and performed their exercises with spirit.
The day closes with a gentle rain showering on us, and the same of our enemies a few miles beyond verifying in a singular manner the scriptural saying that it rains the same on the just and unjust.
Before another Thanksgiving  - probably before another holiday - we may have the opportunity of showering a rain of fire on their heads which we hope will annihilate them as effectually as Sodom and Gomorrah were annihilated. Let us hope and pray that when another Thanksgiving rolls around it may be such an one as will see our country rescued from its present dangers, and that we will again be a united people joining in a general Thanksgiving to Him who holds our destiny in his hands.