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1862 November, Seventh Wisconsin

Capt. J. B. Callis of the 7th Wisconsin has arrived in town on a brief visit to his family; also, Serg't G. W. Cowen of Ellenboro and Sergeant Jud. H. Holcomb of Platteville, the latter of Capt. Bushnell's company, passed through town on Sunday on a short visit to their families and friends. All appear in good health but are not very well satisfied with McClellan's removal, though all possessing full confidence in Gen. Burnside.
Capt. Callis is visiting the State for the purpose of inducing the drafted men of the several draft counties to volunteer and go into the old regiments, and thereby receive the pay, bounty, &c., of other volunteers.
 He left the army on the 16th inst., and reports all that are left of the regiment as being in excellent heath. He left his company in charge of Lieut. Henry F. Young who, by his efficiency of command at the battle of Antietam has proven himself worthy of the trust. Capt. Callis will remain but a few days. He looks well, considering the fatigues of the hard service he has been through; but appears in excellent spirits.

Camp near Perceysville, Va., Nov. 2d, 1862
Editors Patriot; - As I have a few moments of leisure, I though perhaps a few remarks with regard to our entrance into Virginia for the second time would be pursued by you many readers with some interest.
On the 26th ult., we received marching orders - we were encamped near Bakersville, Md., took up the line of march 2 p.m.; had the pleasure of packing up and marching till about 8 o'clock in the evening in a beautiful drizzling rain - marched about 10 miles; was very unpleasant, very cold. Was called into line at 8 a.m. on the 27th, but did not march till 10; marched very slow and camped 6 miles from where we started. Just before we arrived at the place destined for us to camp, our Lieut. Colonel met us, the Major rode down the line and proposed three cheers for Lieut. Colonel Hamilton which were responded to heartily, the boys all like the Lieut Colonel, think everything of him. Soon the 19th Indiana discovered him and they gave him three cheers. He merits it all; his is a brave and efficient officer. On the morning of the 28th we took up the line of march and at noon passed through Campton's Gap and Berketsville, at the foot of the mountains; marched to with in 2 miles of Berlin and camped. Laid over the next day and on the 30th we marched to Berlin crossed on the pontoon bridge, landed on the sacred soil at just a quarter of five; the band struck up Dixie to which the boys gave three cheers - three cheers not because we are once more in the enemy country but because they are marching on the enemy with confidence hoping that this is to be the last time. This portion of Virginia is rich and has not been desolated by the armies, the fences are for the most part in good condition and the crops (which are all harvested of course),  are well taken care of; it presents quite a different appearance from that portion of country lying between the Capitol and Fredericksburg.
On the 31st each regiment was mustered by the regimental officers, all except the 24th Michigan. The 24th is a new regiment, which joined us at Sharpsburg; it is a large regiment, there were nearly as many effective men in it as there were in the other four regiments. After being mustered we packed up and only went a mile to get a better camping ground where it was expected we would stay for a number of days, but it was not destined to be thus, for on the morning of the 1st November we took up the line of march, halted for dinner where I am now writing, expect to march every moment, but did not and have not this morning yet; expect marching orders all the time. Can hear the report of cannon in the distance - I should judge some five or six miles in our front. The rebels well dispute our passage of Snicker's Gap - may have a good old fight before night.
We are 12 miles from Berlin, 28 or 30 from Winchester and 30 from Centerville. I cannot imagine where our place of destination is - it may be to Gordonsville; certain it is that some gigantic move is in progress.
Co. C, and K went out on picket last night. Our advance on this road is more than a mile in advance.

I must close now or miss the Ball.
Yours in haste,
S. J. M.

A mother sends us the following interesting letter from her son a young volunteer in the 7th Regiment. Speaking of the son, the mother say -"he is young and I had rather he would not be forced to read Republican papers. He has taken Forney's for nearly a year - there is plenty of that stamp of papers in the army - Too bad, too. A Spartan mother - (The young soldier shall have the Patriot:)

Camp near Warrenton, Nov. 8th, 1862
Had a snow storm yesterday, ground is white  - pretty etc. - will be hard soldiering from this on.
As you observe we are at Warrenton again for the fourth time, camped within a few yards of where we did the 1st time. we came here on the Sulpher Springs Road; can hear guns at or in the direction of the Springs.
We are pretty hard up for breadstuffs just now, have not had any for a day or so; have plenty of meat though. I went out night before last - the same night we got here - (we had marched about 15 miles) - I went out foraging, got 10 chickens - there was three of us; I guess I traveled 6 or 7 miles; got some milk - milk froze in my canteen before I got back to camp.

The general impression is that there will be a settlement of some kind or other to this war by January next; one party or the other must fail before long from exhaustion - the North will become exhausted before many years, it cannot hold up under the accumulating debt; and now everything is going against the Rebs so had that they cannot hold out much longer - those Southern men cannot stand it to soldier here in Virginia while we can stand it very well. A close observer cannot help but see that the end is near at hand. The army have the most implicit confidence in their officers, and rapid movements are being made; we would have been off ere this if we had had our crackers, as soon as they come we will be doubt be off and the next time you hear from me I may be near Gordonsville. As near as I can learn we are on a flank move to cut the Rebs off from their supplies and make them fight; if we should have a fight now the suffering would be most intense, more than in the warm weather because they would take cold in the wounds and the loss of an arm or leg and in many cases a life would be the consequence; it will be awful yet it is bound to come and a big one too - Gordonsville will not fall without a struggle.
There were troops in route for this place on every road leading here. Once in awhile we would come in sight of another road - we could see troops centering in here; then we could see the smoke of camp fires. There are, perhaps 100,000 or 200,000 troops marching upon  Gordonville; and if that place falls, Richmond will be the next because the Reb. army, once defeated, will not make a very determined stand inside of the works around Richmond; with their capital in our hands and the flower of their army defeated and captured, the rebellion will be at a close. I have confidence in our Generals * and this I believe to be their plan; and if so I have the fullest confidence that by the opening of Spring I will, if it be the will of him who doeth all things well, be with you and then I want to go West where we can get land and where we can get other things, such as wood, water etc.
My fingers are nearly froze and I will quit.

* I presume my son had not heard of McClellan's removal.

Camp near Falmouth, Va., Nov. 24, 1862
Editors Patriot: - A few days ago, a stray copy of the Wisconsin State Journal containing Mr. Rublee's notice if his visit to the Wisconsin Regiments in this Brigade, which occurred about the time we crossed from Maryland into Virginia, or four or five days before the time of the Wisconsin November election. It was understood at the time in camp, that Mr.r's visit was a political one and his time was occupied and attention were crowded upon him by those who could gulph the largest doses of the everlasting nigger.
This fact was obvious and it was remarked at the time of his visit that it was difficult to determine which most predominated - an effort at toadyism on the part of certain "shoulder straps " or sell perpetrated upon the distinguished editor himself; nor does his notice of the visit at all aid in the solution of the problem; for his account is invidious, partial, and appears to be designed as a remuneration for attentions received, and in more instances than one is positively incorrect as to the facts of which it treats.
the encomiums bestowed by Mr. Rublee upon some of his friends were merited and timely. Other friends equally deserving he has forgotten to refer to, and in one instance, at least, he has either perpetrated or given currency to an unqualified falsehood.
I do not design to say anything in derogation to any one's well earned name or to criticize any deserved notice that Mr. Rubee has made, - and when we remember that neglect is often more invidious than direct slander we who are here in camp instinctively ask why has the editor of our leading State Paper entirely omitted to notice those whom we know to be the best of soldiers, the most efficient of officers the most ardent and devoted of patriots and men upon the battle field of the most indomitable courage?
His laudations of Gen. Gibbon are simply fulsome. Heretofore he, Gen.,G., had arrived to the position of Captain of Artillery in the Regular service. He is esteemed a good cannonier, and through the influence of Generals McDowell and Ring, he was commissioned a Brigadier in the Volunteer service. As an officer, he is arbitrary, severe, and exacting, requiring a complete subserving to his caprices as the condition of his favor. As a man he is distant, formal and reserved, standing very much upon the dignity of position pursuing with a narrow vindictiveness those whom he supposed to be crossing his path. In short he is a manufactured aristocrat, who owes all his importance to the circumstances that created him. His old Brigade consisting of the 2d, 6th, 7th regiments Wis. Vol. and the 19th Ind. Vol., has done more towards giving him his reputation as a "Fighting General" that he ever did towards giving this command the sobriquet of the "The Iron Brigade"
The reputation of this brigade and of Gen. Gibbon is owing in the first place to the indomitable courage, to the character and standing of the leading men in command in the different Regiments and in the second place to the discipline and military sprint, infused into cultivated and brought out, under the fostering care and paternal guidance of Gen. Rufus King, of Milwaukee, acting under the general supervision of Major General McDowell and it is a well known fact that in all the battles in which the Regiment has been engaged the men have been led to maneuvered and fought during the different conflicts by the field officers of the regiments and the commandants of companies - Gen. Gibbon did not lead, but he sent the different regiments into action, and should a true history of this dreadful war ever be written, the recollection of the loss of the loved ones, both from Wisconsin and Indiana will send a thrill of grief through the hearts of the bereaved where they may hear his name mentioned. In the notice he gives the officers of the different regiments, Mr. R - passes over in silence Col. Cutler and Lieut. Col. Bragg, of the 6th and Maj. Bill of the 7th who were all in the fight and the Colonel and Major were wounded at Gainesville. These as well as those whom he has mentioned and those others also who were sacrificed upon their countries alter are and were all true soldiers and men of who the state may be justly proud and of them it may be well said "where all are deserving, preferment is invidious."
It could not be supposed that Mr. R - would notice the commandants of all the companies, and he had a right to particularize whom he though proper, but it is significantly asked here who he has omitted to mention all of the same class when the number is but few. Suffice it to say that should some unwritten facts appear "gallant puff" may not be so complete a protection from offensive missiles as a substantial rock. Another fact with which our worthy editor was no doubt unintentional, those most deserving whom he has passed by in silence, are either decidedly conservative Whigs of the old school or are National Democrats and they believe that in their efforts to preserve the integrity of the Constitution and the laws they do not necessarily carry upon their backs immediate and unconstitutional Negro emancipation.
I will allude to but one thing more. Mr. R. says, "We heard that Dr. D. Cooper Ayres has had some difficulty with the regiment and is about leaving the service," and a few lines further on he inserts a notice of Dr. Arnd of Kenosha, as much as to say he (Dr. Arndt) is the man to succeed to the Surgeonship made vacant by the retirement of Dr. Ayres. Now the whole of this is gratuitous, for Dr. Ayres has never had the least difficulty with the regiment and he has been connected with it since its first organization. He has been with the regiment in every march it has ever made and in his efforts to promote and preserve the health and good condition of the men. He has been indefatigable, and few, if any, Surgeons in the army stand higher in the estimation of the commands with which they are connected than Surgeon Ayers. 
The sanitary reports of the 7the Regiment show is good if not a better balance sheet than is shown by any other regiment in the service. There has been but two deaths in the regiment from sickness in camp during the past nine month, and a smaller percentage has been sent to the General Hospital that from any other regiment.

But this communication is already much longer than I intended. We like to have friends, particularly old friends from home, visit us in camp and when they return, we liked to have them do us justice. We know, however, that political men possess the frailties in camp that they do in private life, so it would probably be lost wise to treat them with a generous forbearance, yet in justice to ourselves, fact must be stated.
Yours truly