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|16th Wisconsin Color Guard , Circle of Honor, Pittsburg Landing. Shiloh Battlefield|
The Sixteenth Regiment was organized at Camp Randall, Madison, and its muster into the United States service was completed on the 31st day of January, 1862, and the regiment left the State for St. Louis on the 13th of March.
They arrived at St. Louis on the morning of March 15th, and were assigned as part of the forces of General Grant. On the 16th, they embarked on transports, and proceeded up the Tennessee River, reported to General Grant at Savannah, and disembarked on the 20th, at Pittsburg Landing, nine miles above Savannah, where General Grant was concentrating his forces.
The Sixteenth regiment was assigned to the Sixth Division, General Prentiss, "which occupied the extreme left of General Grant's army, being posted four miles out on the main road to Corinth, and some distance in advance. The First Brigade, Colonel Everett Peabody commanding, consisted of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, Sixteenth Wisconsin, and Twelfth Michigan infantry.
The camp of the Sixteenth occupied a position in the extreme front. Here they engaged in the usual camp duties and in drilling until the evening of Saturday, April 5th, when Companies A, Captain Saxe, B, Captain Fox, C, Captain Patch, and D, Captain Pease, were ordered out on picket duty, with two companies of the Missouri Twenty-first. They advanced a mile or more to the right and front, where they were posted until about five o'clock, A. M., when the rebels attacked the Missouri companies, and drove them back. They were soon rallied by Colonel Moore, of the Twenty-first Missouri, and Captain Saxe, with his company, went to their assistance. Being soon joined by the other companies of the Sixteenth, the force advanced up a slight rise of ground, where they found the rebels concealed behind a log fence, who opened on them with a volley directly in their faces. Captain Saxe and Sergeant Williams, of Company A, were instantly killed, and several were wounded. They soon became engaged in a brisk skirmish, but were forced to fall back carrying off their killed and wounded.
The division of General Prentiss was soon under arms; the Sixteenth forming in line of battle about forty rods in front of their camp, in the edge of the timber, where they were joined by the companies on picket, who were followed closely by the enemy, advancing in three lines of battle, which were extended right and left so as to envelope the wings of Prentiss' division. Fire was opened along Prentiss' line, and the advance of the enemy was checked, until the lines were broken on the right, when Colonel Allen ordered the regiment to change front on the 10th company, in order to face the enemy in his new position. The order was executed with the greatest coolness and precision, in an open field, and under a galling fire. The regiment fell back, contesting every inch of ground, and formed in front of their camp, under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Cassius Fairchild, and again held the enemy in check. Here Colonel Allen had two horses shot under him, and Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild was severely wounded in the thigh, which compelled him to leave the field. The regiment again fell back, through the camp, fighting, until they were relieved by another line. About 11 o'clock, the regiment moved back for a fresh supply of ammunition, which was obtained, and the command was reformed about 2 o'clock, P. M., near a log house, on the road to the Landing, and again went into action. Here Colonel Allen was wounded by a shot in the left arm, about 3 o'clock. Major Reynolds had been placed under arrest a day or two before, for the infraction of some petty military order, and deprived of his sword. He, however, went into the battle, and borrowed a sword, and when the Colonel was obliged to leave the field, on account of his wound, took command of the regiment, and moved it to a position on the right, where it remained until dark. For the gallantry displayed by the Major, his sword was returned to him next day. On the 7th, the regiment under Major Reynolds, occupied several different positions along the line, wherever the exigencies of the occasion seemed to require it, but were not very actively engaged. Although this was their first fight,the men of the Sixteenth fought with the coolness of veterans, often changing front under fire and rallying, if thrown into confusion, and again pouring in a deadly fire upon the advancing foe. The field officers behaved with great gallantry, the Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel encouraging their men by their coolness and deliberation, until they left the field, when Major Reynolds and Adjutant Sabin rallied the regiment, and brought it into the position it occupied until dark.
The battle of Shiloh was one of the severest of the war, and Wisconsin soldiers fought as bravely there as they have done elsewhere, although at that time they were without drill and experience. The records of the Sixteenth and Eighteenth, show that those two regiments nobly did their duty.
The Sixteenth was engaged from 5 o'clock in the morning until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, without rations, and suffered greatly for want of food, the regiment having been called into battle before the men bad been to breakfast. Colonel Allen was on duty during the entire day, until he was wounded, about 3 o'clock.
Of the line officers, Captain Saxe was killed while on picket duty, his Lieutenant, Cooley Smith, was mortally wounded, Captain Oliver Pease, of Company D, was also mortally wounded during the day, as was also Lieutenant Vail, of Company I. All of these officers fell while gallantly leading their men.
The list of killed, we find in the records of the Adjutant General; the list shows 47 killed or died of wounds and 149 wounded.
Killed in Action.
Edward Saxe, Captain, Company A.
James P. Wilson, Sergeant, Company C. Joseph L. Holcomb, Sergeant, Company E.
Timothy H. Morris, Corporal, Company B. Augustus Caldwell, Corporal, Company E.
Ephraim Cooper, Corporal, Company K. John H. Williams, Sergeant, Company A.
John P. Willis, Sergeant, Company E. Henry Babcock, Sergeant, Company H.
William M. Taylor, Corporal, Company D. James V. Walker, Corporal, Company G.
Archer, William, private, Company G. Austin, William, private, Company I.
Browning, Oliver H., private, Company G. Belknapp, Lewis R., private Company G.
Carey, Harrison E., private, Company F. Clifford, Alonzo, private, Company I.
Clark, William A., private, Company K. Francisco, Chas. H., private, Company G.
Howe, Cyrus B., private, Company A. Holton, Henry, private, Company C.
Haskins, Chester W., private, missing, Company D. Harrington, Alfonso, private, Company D.
Henegan, John L., private, Company G. Herrick, Orville, private, Company H.
Haskins, George H., private, Company H. Hodge, Charles, private, Company H.
Hennesey, John, private, Company K. Knight, Lewis E., private, Company E.
Lincoln, George, private, Company H. Morse, Anthony, private, Company F.
McNown, John, private, Company F. Manning, Thomas, private, Company K.
Post, Garret O., private, Company C. Pettis, Louis, private, missing, Company D.
Perry, Philo, private, Company E. Prevey, Franklin, private, Company F.
Rider, Erwin, private, Company E. Stilson, Lyman, private, Company F.
Thomas, Henry L., private, Company E. Tousley, Stoel A., private, Company K.
Tousley, William H., private, Company K. Wollem, August, private, Company D.
Missing in Action.
Dexter, Joseph, private, Company B, April 6, 1862. Ferguson, John A., private, Company F, April 6, 1862.
Fleischbin, Lewis, private, Company D, April 6, 1862. Hills, Jesse, private, Company B, April 6, 1862.
Rands, James, private, Company G, April 6, 1862.Parks, William B., private, Company H, April 6, 1862.
Porter, George M., private, Company H, April 6, 1862. Pettit, Lewis, private, Company E, April 6, 1862.
Redfield, Mills, private, Company H, April 6, 1862. Weigle, John, private, Company I, April 6, 1862.
Died of Wounds.
Pease, Oliver D. Captain, Company D, April 11, 1862. Smith, Cooley, First Lieutenant, Company A, May 6, 1862.
Vail, Charles H., First Lieutenant, Company I, April 7, 1862. Webster, Almon, Sergeant, Company E, April 20, 1862.
Thompson, Asa D., Sergeant, Company H, April 20, 1862. Barnum, Noah, Corporal, Company G, May 3, 1862.
Rashaw, George J., Corporal, Company H, April 16, 1862. Valentine, Orlando J., Corporal, Company K, April 18, 1862.
Bennett, Jonathan, private, Company F, May 30, 1862. Bucchill, George, private, Company I, May 12, 1862.
Blair, John, private, Company H, May 4, 1862. Camp, George M., private, Company A, April 10, 1862
Crank, John, private, Company A. Dart, Charles, private, Company B.
Eldridge, Joshua, private, Company A, April 18, 1862. Evenson, Ever S. private, Company B, April 23, 1862.
Filke, August W., private, Company C, April 23, 1862. Fuller, Harrison, private, Company D, May 16, 1862.
Farrington, Milo, private, Company D, May 31, 1862. Huggins, Hiram, private, Company F, May 7, 1862.
Howard, Harrison C., private, Company I, May 10, 1862. Kennedy, Michael, private, Company E, April 26, 1862.
Lerch, John, private, Company A, May 3, 1862. Long, Samuel, private, Company F, May 9, 1862.
Leigh, Richard, private, Company H, May 26, 1862. McMillan, Malcolm, private, Company C, May 11, 1862.
Mauck, Charles, private, Company G, April 30, 1862. Marshall, James W., private, Company A.
Murphy, John, private, Company K, May 13, 1862. Patterson, James, private, Company A, May 4, 1862.
Powers, Henry, private, Company B, May 14, 1862. Quiner, Joseph C., private, Company B, April 28, 1862.
Raymond, Livius, private, Company H, April 18, 1862. Smith, Samuel, private, Company E, June 23, 1862.
Skeels, George, private, Company H, May 6, 1862. Solomon, John, private, Company I, May 17, 1862.
Walbridge, William P., private, Company A, April 21, 1862. Wooding, Morgan F., private, Company I, April 8, 1862.
Turck, William V., private, Company I, May 15, 1862.
The regiment remained in the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing until about the lst of May, when it moved into Corinth and took part in the investment of that place. It was in the First Brigade, of which General McArthur on the 24th of May, in the Sixth Division. On the 29th, the enemy evacuated Corinth, and the forces of General Hallack entered and took possession. On the 6th of June went into camp a short distance south of the town where it remains stationed in the fortifications until the 17th of September when the division, forming part of the left wing of the Army the Tennessee, under General Ord, marched by a circuitous route to cooperate with the forces of General Rosencrans in an attack on the rebel General Price, who was then in force at Iuka. General Hamilton's division, however, encountered the rebel general on the 19th, and after a hard day's fight, completely routed him before the forces of General Ord could reach the town, which they entered the day after the battle. Here rumors were prevalent that the rebels were advancing on Corinth and the left wing was immediately put in motion, and by a forced march reached that place next day.
General Price, after the battle of Iuka, by rapid movement succeeded in forming a junction with General Van Dorn at Ripley. With a large force, these two Generals advanced to the attack on Corinth by the Chewalla road. The greater portion of General Grant's army was at Bolivar, and was greatly inferior to that of the rebels. The Fourteenth and Eighteenth Wisconsin, with Oliver's brigade, was sent out on the lst of October, to near Chewalla. The enemy was found advancing in force, and the brigade slowly retired to within four miles of Corinth. Here it formed line of battle two miles in advance of our works. On the night of the 2d, the Sixteenth, under Major Reynolds, who was in command, (Colonel Allen being, in command of the brigade,) marched out to the same line. In the morning, Companies B and C acting as skirmishers, engaged the rebel skirmishers and drove them back. The enemy advanced in line of battle, and opened a heavy fire of artillery. The enemy compelled the Union force to fall back to a position within half a mile of the works. The regiments on the left found it impossible to stand against the overwhelming force which the rebels displayed, and after holding the ground a short time, the division of General McArthur withdrew within the works, where they remained until the enemy were turning the right flank, when another line was formed still nearer the town. About five o'clock in the afternoon still another retreat was ordered, and the left wing fell back behind the new line of works, nearest the town. Here the enemy ceased to molest them for the night. On the next day, the Sixteenth, with the division, took a position near the Seminary and aided in repulsing the several charges made by the enemy, although not greatly exposed. After a terrible contest all the morning, the rebels were repulsed at all points, and at midnight, the division of General McArthur started in pursuit. A part of the Sixteenth was kept in front as skirmishers under Captain Hovey. The pursuit continued to Ripley, where it was abandoned and the troops returned to Corinth, having occupied a week in going to Ripley and returning.
The regiment was under command of Major Reynolds, assisted by the able Adjutant of the regiment, Lieutenant Sabin, and Captain Osborn, acting as Major.
The casualties in the Sixteenth, we find in the records of the Adjutant General's office and the list is as reported: killed or died of wounds, 10; wounded, 27.
There have been many books written on the subject of Shiloh; some by those who directed their men into the battle and others by the very soldiers who kept diaries in recounting the battle from their own perspective. Perhaps most of the works written about Shiloh came from those who were never in the actual battle themselves the historian.
I have always been of the opinion that if I wanted the "true" account of a battle, I would tend to believe the accounts of the soldier who fought the battle opposed to the general who staged the war. Generals have a tendency of stretching the truth in order to defend, if not boast about, their military justifications. Those closest to the actual fighting had more insight then those well back of the line of battle.
One book that I feel is quite reliable as it pertains to the Shiloh battle, was originally in the form of a report to the Governor of the State of Wisconsin. By legislation, Governor Robert La Follette appointed five individuals to form the Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission who's sole purpose was to oversee the erection of a monument in the Shiloh National Military Park.
One member of the Commission was my great grandfather, Brevetted Captain, David Goodrich James, formerly a member of Company C of the Sixteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. At the time of the battle, he held the rank of private. In post-war days, he served as historian for his regiment and at one point was state commander of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic).
Wisconsin at Shiloh gives accounts of three regiments who fought there; the Fourteenth, Sixteenth and Eighteenth. It was written and published by the Commission in 1909 and contains articles by various authors pertaining to that conflict as well as the proceedings in the dedication of the actual Wisconsin Monument. I have only selected that portion of the book dealing with the 3 regiments authored by Captain F. H. Magdeburg (Fourteenth Wisconsin), D. G. James (Sixteenth Wisconsin) and G. S. Martin (Eighteenth Wisconsin).
Their accounts give an entire new and refreshing perspective of the two day battle pitting Major General Ulysses S. Grant's Union Army to General Albert Sidney Johnston's Confederate Army. Casualties of both North and South resulted in 3,482 killed, 16,420 wounded and 3,844 missing for a total of 23,746 in the two day battle that took place on April 6th and 7th, 1862.
Fred G. Cook
Among the many regiments that marched away from the State of Wisconsin, following the "Stars and Stripes," the most beautiful flag that was ever kissed by the dews of heaven, keeping step to the weird, wild music of the fife and drum; leaving their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sweethearts, and, what was harder still, their wives and prattling babes behind, and resolutely setting their faces toward the march, the comfortless bivouac, the hospital and the field of carnage and of death, were the Fourteenth, Sixteenth and Eightieth Regiments of Infantry. They were made up of companies from all parts of the State, and of men from every walk of life, they were composed of men who had enlisted, not as mercenaries of soldiers of fortune, who fight foe fame, plunder or empire, but as volunteers in the grand army of their beloved Republic; to fight, and die if need be, for a great principle, and to preserve a priceless heritage for their posterity. They had laid aside their robes of peace and put on the habiliments of war. They had set their faces toward the foe, and you could see written upon those faces a grim determination to win the war upon which those faces a grim determination to win the war upon which they were entering. Our great captain, Grant, did but express the feeling of his men when he uttered those determined words: "We will fight it out on this line of it takes all summer."
What an ovation we received from the loyal people of our State as we marched away! How little we, in fact, knew of what was in store for us here, and of the test to which we would be subjected in a few short days!
It is said that "Coming events cast their shadows before." An incident which occurred in my company the evening before the battle of Shiloh verifies that saying. Some people say that we were surprised that Sunday morning, but such is not the fact. All day Saturday we had the instinctive feeling that a great battle was imminent. You all doubtless remember many times when just before a hard storm, and while there was yet no sign of a cloud, something in the atmosphere has told you of what was coming. You whole nervous system, like a great barometer, has warned you of the approaching danger. So it was on that Saturday. We felt that we were soon going to be arrayed in deadly conflict, and that some of us would probably pay the price of loyalty and be numbered with the slain. On Saturday evening a number of us gathered together in one of the large Sibley tents we were then using. One of the boys struck up a song in which we all joined. That song was followed by others, and the spell which seemed to be over all caused us with one accord , to sing the songs of home and bygone days, Our last song was "Brave Boys Are They." How the words come back to me today!
"Thinking no less of them,
Loving our country the more,
We sent them forth to fight for the flag
Their fathers before them bore."
We closed the evening's singing with the lines:
"Oh! The dread field of battle!
Soon to be strewn with graves!
If brothers fall, then bury them where
Our banner in triumph waves."
The Singing ended, and under the spell of its patriotic pathos, without uttering a word, we separated and each man retired to his own tent; some to dream of homes to which they would never return, and of friends they would never meet again this side of the "eternal shore." That little company never met again. On the next morning the "long roll" called them from their dreams of home to "dread field of battle," of which then had sung the night before. Some of them fell that day; but we have this great consolation: We were able to "bury them where our banner in triumph waved."
I belonged to Company I, of the Sixteenth. I was wounded about 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the 6th. The next day I was taken aboard one of the boats lying at the landings, and a few days later was taken to Savannah and ;laced in a hospital. One day soon after I was placed in the hospital, a gentleman came to my cot and inquired about my wound and how I was being treated; and his kindly words, which I felt came from a manly and sympathetic heart, cheered me more than words can describe. That evening, or the next day, I do not now remember which, that heart-hearted partiot, while passing from one boat to another, fell into the river and was drowned. That man was Louis P. Harvey, Governor of Wisconsin, who . At the prompting a of his great, loyal, loving heart, had immediately, on hearing of the battle, left the comforts of the governor's mansion and come here to see that "his boy" had everything done for them that it was possible to have done.
They remained in camp near Corinth until the 2d of November, when the division moved to Grand Junction, and encamped on the 4th, within three miles of the place.
The regiment having become reduced by the casualties of battle and sickness, a field order was issued on the 3d of November, for the consolidation of the regiment into five companies, viz: A, C, E, G and I Companies A and B, C and F, D and E, G and K, and H and I were consolidated together, and the Company officers of B, D, F, H and K, were discharged. Colonel Allen returning to Wisconsin, the regiment was under the command of Major Reynolds, Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild still being disabled from his wound. On the 28th, the movement to the southward began, the division taking part in the advance of the army of General Grant until recalled by the disaster at Holly Springs. The command then returned to Moscow, Tenn., where they engaged in railroad guard duty on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, until the 10th of January, when the division of General McArthur moved to Memphis, and embarked for Vicksburg, where they remained till the 9th of February. Then with the division, they transferred to Lake Providence, seventy-five miles above Vicksburg, on the Louisiana side, and took part in the work of cutting a canal to the Lake, in compliance with General Grant's design to open a new route below Vicksburg.
Here the regiment remained until about the lst of August. During this time, two or three skirmishes took place with the rebels, but the regiment was chiefly engaged in provost and guard duty, Major Reynolds acting as Provost Marshal. Colonel Allen returned to the regiment in April, and Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild in May.
Colonel Allen resigned on the 17th of July. About the lst of August, the Sixteenth moved down the river to Vicksburg, and on the 28th of September, marched out to Redbone Church, near Big Black River, twelve miles from Vicksburg. Here Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild was placed in command of the Sixteenth, and the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, under command of Major Eastman, and ordered to protect the Union citizens and to prevent the guerillas from coming across the Big Black, and to stop all travel to Vicksburg except such persons as he should see fit to allow to pass the lines. Frequent skirmishes were bad with detachments of Wirt Adams' rebel cavalry. Here they remained until the 5th of February, 1864, when they moved into the fortifications at Vicksburg, and acted as part of the garrison. On the 4th of March, 1864, they were joined by Companies F, H and K, which had been recruited in Wisconsin for the regiment.
The old companies reenlisted, and on the 6th, left Vicksburg for Wisconsin, on veteran furlough, arriving at Madison on the 16th, where they were publicly welcomed by the State authorities, and the members of the Legislature. Dispersing to their several homes, and after enjoying their thirty days of respite from military matters, they rendezvoused at Camp Randall, Madison, on the 18th of April, and reached Cairo on the 22d, where the non-veterans and the new companies, together with a new Company B, which had been recruited and sent from Wisconsin, rejoined the regiment, making nine companies. While at home on furlough, Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild returned to Governor Lewis, the old colors received from Governor Harvey, which had passed through the fiery ordeals of Shiloh and Corinth, and other battles. They are now deposited with the battle flags of other regiments in the State Capitol.
On the 17th of March, Lieutenant Colonel Fairchild was appointed Colonel, Major Reynolds, Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain William F. Dawes, Major. At Cairo, the regiment found the Seventeenth Army Corps on its way to join General Sherman, and was assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division, with which it left Cairo on the 4th of May, proceeding by transports up the Tennessee River to Clifton. Here they were rejoined by the remainder of the division under General Leggett. Taking up their line of march to join Sherman's army then enroute for Atlanta, they proceeded by way of Huntsville, Warrenton, Ala., and Rome, Ga., and reached Ackworth, near which General Sherman's army was operating, on the 8th of June, after a march of 320 miles. Here they took their position in the left wing of the army of the Tennessee, and on the l0th, began their advance south with the First Brigade being in the advance of the corps. The enemy were first encountered on the 15th, in the vicinity of Kenesaw Mountain. The Sixteenth relieved an Illinois regiment, when they became hotly engaged as skirmishers, and John Whipple, of Company K, was mortally wounded.
Continuing in the trenches, constantly skirmishing, until the 19th, the division moved forward and occupied Brush Mountain, and subsequently took part in a reconnaissance to the left, and on the 28th, made a demonstration on the enemy's right. It accompanied General McPhearson's movement to the right, on the 2d of July, which turned the enemy's position on Kenesaw, and compelled its evacuation. They accompanied a reconaissance to the extreme right, and ascertained the enemy's new position, when they returned and encamped on the extreme right of the army, where they remained till the l0th, when they moved to Sweetwater Creek, and remained as guard until the 16th, and on the next day, crossed the Chattahoochie, with the Seventeenth Corps, and encamped three miles south of the river. On the 20th, they passed,through Decatur, and took position in line of battle on the extreme left of the army. The Twelfth and Sixteenth Wisconsin regiments were in the same brigade in the Third Division, and on the 21st of July, were under the command of General Force. With the Twelfth Wisconsin, the Sixteenth, on that day, led the assaulting column, composed of the Third division, under General Leggett, against the rebel works on Bald Hill. The Third and Fourth divisions were engaged in this assault. The march was across a cornfield on the side hill, and for a quarter of a mile was exposed to the full force of the enemy's fire. The Fourth Division failed to hold its position in the advancing column, and fell back, which enabled the rebels to pour in a cross fire on the Third division. With fixed bayonets, the Third Division, led by the Sixteenth and Twelfth Wisconsin, charged, with a terrific yell, up the hill, and over and into the works, driving the rebel troops out of and beyond the entrenchments.
In the history of the Twelfth, we have given a description of the assault on Bald Hill, more in detail. A full description here of the doings of the Sixteenth, would be nearly a repetition. On the 22d, the Twelfth and Sixteenth were inseparably connected, and in the bloody fight of that day the two regiments showed the greatest valor and bravery. On the 21st, the enemy were driven a considerable distance beyond the works, the ground being strewn with their dead and wounded. Here it was that Captain Wheeler of Company G, was shot through both thighs. Of the return of the regiment to the captured works, Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds was wounded in the thigh by a shot from a rebel sharpshooter. Captain Hovey, of Company C, of Beaver Dam, was mortally wounded.
After the battle of the 22d, the regiment was engaged until the 26th of July, in strengthening, the works, and gradually advancing, towards the enemy's defences. On that day, they took part in the movement to the right, against the enemy's communications to the west and south of Atlanta, taking position in the center of the investing force. Here they were employed in siege and fatigue duty until the 26th of August, when they accompanied the movement of the army of the Tennessee, and struck the rail road leading from the southwest into Atlanta, on the 28th, and took part in destroying it from that point to Jonesboro, where they arrived on the 30th, and assisted in repulsing the attack of the next day. Moving forward to Lovejoy, they participated in the skirmish near that place, where Walter Divan, of Company K, was reported as killed, and Silas Lloyd, of Company E, as dying of wounds, September 15th. Returning with the rest of Sheridan's forces, they went into camp near Atlanta, on the 9th.
The following is a list of the casualties in the Sixteenth regiment, from June 9th to September 9th, 1864. The casualties of this period were 38 killed or died of wounds and 72 wounded.
They remained near Atlanta until the 3rd of October, when the regiment, with the rest of the Seventeenth Corps, marched back towards Chattanooga, in pursuit of General Hood, who had crossed the Chattahoochie and was endeavoring to destroy Sherman's communications. The forces of General Sherman, followed him to Allatoona, Resaca, and Fayette, and drove him into Central Alabama. Martin Niles, of Company C, is reported as having died at Marietta, Ga., the 20th of October.
Returning from the pursuit, Sherman began his preparation for the Savannah campaign. As his force returned toward Atlanta, they totally destroyed the railroad from Tunnel Hill to Atlanta, and on the 15th of November, destroyed, as far as possible, the city of Atlanta, and next day commenced the march to Savannah. The Sixteenth accompanied the expedition attached to the First Brigade, Third Division, doing its share toward the destruction of the railroads, and effecting the other objects of the expedition. On the march, the, Sixteenth was under the command of Major Dawes until the 21st of December, when he turned the command over to Captain Joseph Craig, of Company F.
Colonel Fairchild rejoined the army at Beaufort, S.C.,and General Force being in command of the division, Colonel Fairchild, assumed command of the brigade, which position he retained until reaching Goldsboro, and the Sixteenth was commanded Captain Craig.
We have given the general history of this movement. Nothing occurred in the operations of the Sixteenth on this march from Atlanta to Savannah, or from Savannah to Goldsboro, which would prove of interest to the general reader. The march was accomplished without casualty of any kind. Joining in pursuit of Johnston's army, they marched from Goldsboro to Raleigh, that rebel general surrendered, on the 26th of April, 1865.
The march homeward was by the way of Richmond and Washigton City, where the regiment took part in the grand review. From there, on the 7th of June, they were ordered to move to Louisville, Ky., reaching there on the 12th of June, and going into camp, until the 12th of July, when they were mustered out, and on the 14th, took cars for home, reaching Madison on the evening of July 16th, where they were publicly received by the State officers, and received permission to go home until arrangements could be made to pay them off. This was done on the 19th of August, and the regiment was disbanded.
Colonel Fairchild was brevetted Brigadier General, for meritorious services during the war.
Regimental Statistics.-Original strength, 1,066. Gain by recruits in 1863, 70, in 1864, 547, in 1865, 12; by substitutes, 88; by draft, in 1864, 155 in 1865, 19; veteran reenlistments, 243; total, 2,200.
Loss by death, 363; missing, 46; deserted, 115, transferred, 38; discharged, 386; mustered out, 1,252.
Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, 1866