Return Home Page Second Wisconsin

The Sutlers Experiments
Among the many expedients adopted by sutlers to sell contraband liquors to soldiers, one is exceedingly novel. They drop a couple of peaches into a bottle of whisky, and sell the compound for "pickled peaches" A more irreverent expedient is to have a tin made and painted like a hymn book and labeled "The Bosom Companion".

Milwaukee Sentinel, October, 1861

Wants Aid. - A colored woman, named Melinda Noll, is soliciting aid to purchase her son, now being held as a slave in Missouri. She states that the price originally asked for him was $1000 -which sum is still demanded by his master, although he has been offered $800 cash in hand for him. She has raised, and has in the hands of a merchant of New York city, $840 of the amount required; leaving only $160 to make up the sum. She worked for her own freedom, and intends to leave for Haiti, as soon as she can get her son to take with her. Mrs. Noll is a very intelligent woman, as is apparent by a moment’s conversation with her; and form the abundant testimonials she has, we cannot doubt her object is as she states.
The charitably disposed, we think, will do a good work in aiding her.
Milwaukee Sentinel, Oct. 4, ’61

Milwaukee Sentinel, Oct. 1861
The U.S. Mustering Officer has handed us the following for publication: War Department Adjutant General’s Office Washington, Aug. 3, 1861 General Order No. St Hereafter, when volunteers are to be mustered into U.S. service, they will be
minutely examined by the surgeon of the regiment, as to ascertain whether they have the physical qualifications necessary for the military service. And in case any individual shall be discharged within three months after entering service, for a disability that existed at that time, he shall receive neither pay nor allowances.

Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 15,1861 Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir: - I request special instructions as to what extent the "minute (Medical ) examination" by the surgeon and assistant surgeon, required by General Order A. G. 0. No.51, shall be carried.
Thus far, I have considered it my duty to require the examination to be made the same for recruits in the regular service, and with the best results. Seeing no reason why volunteer officers should not possess as substantial physical qualifications as privates, and finding no exemptions for officers in my orders, I have required all to be examined nude, in accordance with the mode prescribed in Tripler’s Manual, which is established by authority as rule and standard. The surgeons say and my own observation confirms, that three-fourths of the disqualifying causes are such as are concealed by clothing, and would pass unobserved in a casual inspection, such as may be given while mustering in, and no man has yet been rejected whom the commanding officer desires to retain. I ask for special instructions because some of the officers are not willing to submit to it, and the duty of being present as required in page 937 Army Revised Regulations, is an extremely disagreeable one, which I would gladly escape.
Very Respectively,
Your obe’d Serv’t J.M. Trowbridge
Capt. 10th Infantry Mustering Officer, Wis. Vol

The Proof of the Death of Soldiers
Many inquiries have been made of the Second Auditor in reference to the proof of death of a soldier, requisite to enable his heirs to procure his pay and the $ 1 00 bounty. Sufficient proof of the death is furnished by the company rolls, which are deposited with the Auditor. It is unnecessary for the appointment of an Administrator except where there are so many heirs so scattered as to create inconvenience in making several applications. When a claim is made by a father, mother or widow, it is unnecessary.
Milwaukee Sentinel Oct. 15, ’61

November 1861

Mittens for the Soldiers. - Our soldiers will stand as much in need of mittens as stockings this winter. A frost bitten finger will disable them for real service as much as a frostbitten foot. Now is the time, ladies, to knit mittens for the Volunteers, and have them ready against the time they are called for. The best mitten for the soldier is that which has one finger and a thumb, and the directions for knitting these is as follows. Cast twenty stitches on each needle, knit twenty-five rows of ribbing, and twenty rows plain. Then take up the twenty stitches that are upon one needle and knit sixteen rows backward and forward. This is for the beginning of the thumb. Then take these twenty stitches on three needles and knit round for sixteen rows, after which narrow gradually till thumb is finished.

Take up twenty stitches at the lower part of the thumb. There will be sixty stitches on the three needles. Knit twenty rows. Take the twenty stitches nearest the thumb, join them on three needles, and knit twenty-two rows. Then narrow gradually until the finger is finished. Take the remaining twenty stitches on three needles and knit twenty-two rows. Narrow gradually till finished.
Milwaukee Sentinel, Nov 15, 1861

Thanksgiving, 1861, Milwaukee Sentinel
The Vacant Chair

We shall meet, but we shall miss him
There will be one vacant chair
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer

When a year ago we gathered
Joy was in his mild blue eyes
But a golden cord is severed
And our hopes in ruin lie.

At our Fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell,
At remembrance of the story,
How our noble Willie fell.

How he strove to bear our banner
Through the thickest of the fight
And uphold our country’s honor
With the strength of manhood’s might.

True, they tell us, wreaths of glory,
Evermore will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only,
Sweeping o’re our heart-strings now,

Sleep today, O, early fallen!
In thy green and narrow bed;
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.

We shall meet, but we shall miss him
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer.

Read about the Second's Dinner

A Monster Turkey.- Tangle McCreaken has a mammoth turkey somewhere in the country, which is being fattened for Thanksgiving. It is to weigh by that time over twenty-five pounds, and is to be presented to the Milwaukee man who can tell the biggest lie.

Milwaukee Sentinel, November 27, 1861,

Sutlers Profits - General Wilson notes that having seen, during this year at least two hundred and fifty regiments, and having visited most of the camps in the army of the Potomac, his observation teaches him that the present system of sutlerships is demoralizing the army and degrading the men. Liquors are in almost every camp, and many of the regimental sutlers are making monthly profits from one to two thousand dollars.
The Milwaukee Sentinel, Dec. 18, 1861

Important to Foot Soldiers - How to Clothe the Feet and Keep Them Comfortable-

1. Blistering, burning, soreness and tenderness of the soles of the feet may almost invariably be prevented even when marching for days together and over a heated road, by soaping. The sole of the stocking - that is, covering it with a thin coating of the cheapest brown soap. This at the same time keeps the skin of the sole cool, hardens it and prevents inflammation. Coarse cotton socks are the best for walking.

2. don't wear woolen socks when marching, not even thin ones, no matter in what climate.

3. The boot or shoe should have a thick sole; it is not sufficient that they should be simply "doublesoled". The soles should be at least half an inch thick, if three-fourths of a inch, all the better. They are more expensive, but if well made will last a long time, and even in the warmest weather will be found easy to walk in, the feet easily becoming accustomed to their weight.

Reprinted in the Milwaukee Sentinel, 1861

December, 1861

Kerosene 60 Cents!! Kerosene 60 Cents!!
Price reduced at the Manitowoc Drug Store
Robinson and Brother are selling the best quality of kerosene oil for 
60 cents per gallon cash.
Also a splendid assortment of Kerosene lamps, shades, and chimneys at reduced prices

The Herald
Manitowoc Dec 5th, 1861

The Army Uniforms

We are pleased to see an announcement that a commission selected from discreet officers is to decide before the contracts for the six hundred thousand new uniforms are given out on such charges as shall add grace and attractiveness to the regulation suit with our materially increasing its cost.

The uniform now used is an adaptation of the Bavarian army dress. It does not answer the purpose at all, and we hope will be changed for a better. It was proved when the three months men returned that the shoddy cloth could look dirtier and meaner on short use than any other material. Some one has said that a soldier mentally reflects the color of his uniform. If that be true, it is to be hoped that the blue uniforms now used will be relieved in part by some other color.

The later regiments from all the loyal states have been supplied by the military boards of their own sovereignties with clothing as nearly as possible of the United States pattern. A few Zouave regiments are the exception-such as the Fifth New York (Duryee's) at Baltimore Baxter's Pennsylvania Zouaves, at Poolsville, &etc. To these will be added three coups, to which government has offered Capt. Godillot's 3,000 French Zouave uniforms, to wit: the eight Michigan, Twenty-Third Pennsylvania. and Forty-fourth New York. Thus at last we have in the field half a million of men clothed in dark blue coats, pants of a light blue caps to match, or felt hats, comfortable as ugly, and cocked up on the left side as if one should pin up the left ear of an elephant. Nine-tenths of the eighty odd regiments appearing at Munson's Hill review were clothed in such a dress, varied slightly by the minor idiosyncrasies of state quartermasters.

Sentinel December 20th, 1861

Christmas Fixings for Camp Washburn.- The ladies of Milwaukee propose to give our brave soldier boys a taste of Christmas cheer on Wednesday next and surely they deserve to be remembered at that "feast of fat things". For this purpose the ladies of the city are requested to send a "ration" or two of their cold meat and cakes and pie(s) or things to Camp Washburn or to Mrs. Kilbourn corner of Fourth and Spring Streets, before ten o'clock Christmas morning, who will see them sent to camp.
Milwaukee Sentinel, December 23, 1861

Patriotism at a Wedding.- A wedding recently occurred at a church in Boston, at which the bride appeared in white, and the two bridesmaids respectively in red and blue.
Milwaukee Sentinel, December 31, 1861

Light Infantry Tactics - T. B. Peterson & Co., of Philadelphia, have issued a neat little pamphlet containing the light infantry drill of the U.S. Army, and other information equally indispensable to the soldier. Every Volunteer should have a copy. It is for sale by Tunis & Co., No. 22 Wisconsin Street, Price twenty-five cents.

Ladies' Net - An exchange says that those shiftless looking aids to slovenliness - nets for ladies hair - which have been work hanging down on the neck, have been dispensed with altogether by real ladies of fashion in the East.
Madison Weekly Argus, Dec. 24, 1861