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First Wisconsin Cavalry
COLONEL Edward Daniels, in the Summer of 1861, was authorized by the War
Department to recruit and organize one battalion of cavalry in Wisconsin. He
was subsequently authorized to raise two more companies. The Governor, in
October, was authorized to complete the regiment, by the organization of six
additional companies. The location of the rendezvous was changed from Ripon to
Kenosha, and the regiment took up its quarters at Camp Harvey. Here its
organization was perfected, and the muster into the United States service
completed on the 8th of March, 1862, and the regiment left the State on the 17th
for St. Louis.
Arriving at St. Louis, on the 19th of March, 1862, they were quartered at Benton Barracks. Here they completed their outfit, and on the 28th of April, the regiment moved down the Mississippi on transports to Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The Regimental Adjutant, Charles W. Burbanks, was mustered -out on the 25th of March, and Lieutenant S. V. Shipman acted as Adjutant.
Colonel Daniels was placed in command of the post, and assigned to the district of Southeast Missouri. On the 10th of May, a force of six squadrons proceeded to Bloomfield, fifty miles from Cape Girardeau, and took possession of the place. Major Pomeroy was placed in command of the post and was appointed Provost Marshal. From this time until the regiment left South Missouri, they were engaged in scouting in various directions repeatedly encountering the enemy. Ten miles south of Bloomfield, a rebel camp was broken up, and a few days after the rebel, Colonel Phelan, and about 100 of his followers were captured. An expedition was made to Chalk Bluffs, on the St. Francis River. On the 14th of May, the river was crossed and the enemy's camp was found two or three miles beyond, and a skirmish occurred in which the regiment lost three killed, and four wounded, among them Lieutenant William J. Philips, of Company A, who was mortally wounded.
On the 21st of of May, a detachment under the command of Colonel Daniels, proceeded to Kennett, in Dunklin County, here they learned that a steamer loaded with supplies was lying in Little River, at Hornersville, ten or twelve miles distant. Colonel Daniels pushed forward and succeeded in capturing the boat with about fifty prisoners, and a valuable cargo of sugar, molasses and other stores. On the 1st of June, Dr. H. N. Gregory was killed by a shot from a rebel sharpshooter at Chalk Bluff,
Not content with confining his operations to the district to which be was assigned, Colonel Daniels took the responsibility of making a raid into Arkansas. The regiment was concentrated at West Prairie, about thirty miles south of Bloomfield. About sixty men were left at Cape Girardeau., under command of Lieutenant Shipman, who bad been appointed commandant of the post by order of the Department commander. About fifty men were left at Bloomfield, under the command of Captain Hyde. A few men also remained to guard the stores left at camp on West Prairie.
On the 12th of June, Major La Grange was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Henry S. Eggleston, Major.
The regiment left West Prairie on the 9th of July, with three pieces of artillery, and reached Chalk Bluff that evening, crossed the river and encamped. While crossing, one of the boats sunk with the cannon, and one man lost his life. The cannon was recovered next day.
The route pursued by the regiment was along Crawley's Ridge, a remarkable geographical feature of the country, having its northern termination in the hilly region Northwest of Cape Girardeau, and running in a southerly direction, inclining a little easterly between the St. Francis and White rivers, for about 250 miles, and terminating in a bluff at Helena, Ark.
From Chalk Bluff, on the 10th, Captain Harridan, of Company L, was sent in advance with about one hundred men, and reached Oak Bluff, or Scatterville, about daylight of the 11th, and surprised a force of 125 rebels, killing eight, and capturing fourteen prisoners, with a large number of rifles, and several horses and mules. The march was continued by way of Scatterville, Gainesville, Greensboro, Jonesboro, Harrisburg and Wittsburg, to Madison, without meeting the rebels in any considerable force. On the 16th, the regiment reached Jonesboro, when Captain Harnden was detached with thirty men to Cache River bridge and captured ten men and a Lieutenant Colonel, Inspector General of the rebel forces in that part of Arkansas. The regiment reached Madison on the 22d, and captured the Steamer Cart with several prisoners.
From Madison, Colonel Daniels proceeded to Memphis where he found orders from the Department commander at St. Louis, inquiring by what authority lie had left the post district assigned him, ordering the immediate return of the regiment. Colonel Daniels returned to Madison, and on the 28th, took passage in the steamer Carl, for Helena, and never rejoined the The First and Second Battalions, marched to La Anguille Ferry on the 28th, and reached Marianne, eight miles beyond, on the 29th. A heavy train of baggage wagons, escorted in by the Second Battalion, under Major Eggleston, had moved several miles in the rear during the march. The train left Witts- on the 2d of August, marching to La Anguille Ferry, and camping, on the north shore of the stream, where, on the morning of the 3d of August, they were surprised about daylight by an overpowering force of the enemy, and but little resistance could be made. The Chaplain of the regiment, Rev. George W. Dunmore, was killed while dressing himself. There were 15 killed. Fifty seven were taken prisoners, and also twenty men of a Union Arkansas company, six of whom were afterwards shot by the rebels at Little Rock. Nearly 100 Negroes who were following the train were captured, many of whom were shot down in cold blood.
The train consisted of twenty wagons laden with supplies, three ambulances, and two wagons with ammunition, also all the regimental papers, which were all captured.
The regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel La Grange, moved in immediate pursuit of the enemy as far as Rough and Ready. Returning next day to Marianne, on the 5th, they marched to Helena, arrived there on the 6th, and reported to General Curtis.
When between Wittsburg and Madison, on the 29th of July, Captain Porter, of Company I, was ordered to detach twenty-two men and gather the sick who had been left on the march, and return with them to Bloomfield. When near Jonesboro, Captain Porter reports that he attacked a rebel camp drove the enemy and took several prisoners, and other spoils. Proceeding to Jonesboro on the 2d of August, he took possession of the Court House, which in the night was surrounded by about two hundred who, after a sharp fight, compelled him to surrender.
They were soon paroled, and with those able to move forward, pushed through the woods to the Mississippi River at Osceola.
The casualties in this affair as reported by Captain Porter,
were 7 killed and 2 wounded. Eight of the detachment were missing, and eight were taken prisoners and paroled.
On the 10th of August, the regiment was assigned to General Vandever's brigade, and moved out and camped on the Claren road until the 23d of September, engaged in scouting, having several men wounded.
On the 27th of' September, the First Battalion, under Lieutenant Colonel La Grange, arrived a few days after having rescued the steamer Forest Queen from a band of guerillas at the mouth of the Obion River. The Second Battalion arrived on the 29th of September, and encamped with the rest of the regiment one mile from town. On the 3d of October, the regiment moved to Greenville Mo., leaving 400 sick at Cape Girardeau.
On the 23d of July, the squad left at West Prairie, were attacked, and Corporal E. W. Houck, of Company B, was mortally wounded. The most of the stores at that point were safely moved to Bloomfield.
The latter part of July, the rebels made a spirited attack on Bloomfield, which was admirably defended by the little force under Captain Hyde. We find Job Warren, of Company E, reported killed at Bloomfield, on the 1st of August. They made another attack on the 11th of September, when Captain Hyde was compelled to evacuate the town, and retire to Greenville.
Abner J. Keller, of Company E, is reported killed. A force of' 500 men was sent from Greenville, and the place was retaken but was held only a short time, the whole force returning to Greenville.
From Greenville the regiment moved to Patterson, about thirty miles from Pilot Knob, and was brigaded in General Benton's Division of the Army of Southeast Missouri. During the winter the regiment encamped at West Plains, Pilot Knob, and St Gunevieve, and engaged in scouting duty, and in the Spring the regiment was nearly all concentrated at Cape Girardeau.
Colonel Daniels never returned to the regiment, and finally resigned. Lieutenant Colonel La Grange was commissioned Colonel, and Major Pomeroy as Lieutenant Colonel, on the 5th of February, 1863. On the 11th of December, 1862, Captain Thomas Mars was commissioned as Major, vice Major Eggleston, deceased.
In April, General Marmaduke advanced into Southeastern Missouri, and moved forward to attack Cape Girardeau. On the 24th,, Company E, under command of Captain S. V. Shipman was stationed to guard a bridge across Whitewater River, about sixteen miles from Cape Girardeau, on the Bloomfield road. One column of Marmaduke's army numbering about 3,000 men, approached. A body of about 300 men moved above the bridge, some distance, crossed the river, and took possession of the only road through the swamp in rear of Captain Shipman's position. The enemy's whole force then moved against the bridge, which Captain Shipman found it impossible to hold. He therefore attempted to retreat to Cape Girardeau under cover of the darkness. Falling into an ambuscade set by the enemy, Captain Shipman ordered his men to cut their way through himself, a Lieutenant Ogden leading the charge. In the attempt Captain Shipman was severely wounded, having his thigh bone badly shattered by a pistol ball, and was taken prisoner with several of his men. Lieutenant Ogden, with twenty-two men, succeeded in cutting their way through and escaped to the Cape. Captain Shipman was paroled and sent into Cape Girardeau, under a flag of truce, where by superior surgical aid, his life was saved without amputation of the limb.
The casualties as reported, were 4 killed.
On the 25th, Marmaduke attacked Cape Girardeau with great vigor, and after a time, demanded its surrender, which General MacNeill refused, and the fight was resumed. A second demand for its surrender was made, but it was again refused. In the mean time General Vandever was on the way to reinforce General McNeill, upon ascertaining which fact, Marmaduke fell back to Jackson, where he was attacked by General Vandever on the 27th and soon began his retreat. General McNeill endeavored to reach the bridge over the Whitewater, to intercept him, but the rebel General succeeded in reaching the bridge first and destroyed the greater part of it. On the 28th, Major Torrey, with four companies of the regiment, had the bridge repaired by 11 o'clock, A.M., when McNeill's forces crossed and resumed the pursuit. The bridge over the Castor River, was also, destroyed by the rebels. The stream was forded and General McNeill advanced towards Bloomfield, where a severe skirmish ensued lasting all day. The enemy finally retreated across the St. Francis at Chalk Bluff, upon which further pursuit was abandoned, and General McNeill's forces returned to Cape Girardeau. The First Cavalry took an active part in the defense of the town and was in the advance in the pursuit, conduct eliciting the warmest commendations from the commanding General. Sergeant Mitchell O'Neill, of Company C, and Christian Bjornson, of Company G, were reported as killed at Cape Girardeau; George P. Bates, of Company G, was killed at Castor River, and Corporal William Fenton, of Company H, at Bloomfield.
On the 26th of September, Major Mars resigned, and Captain Nathan Paine was appointed Major.
On the 1st of October, the effective force of the regiment encamped with the brigade at Jasper, Tenn. Next day, while on the march, it was ascertained that the rebel General Wheeler's command had burned a Government train near Anderson's Gap. .The First Wisconsin, then leading the brigade, was ordered forward. Moving with great rapidity the advanced guard of the regiment, under command of Captain Smith, overtook the rebel rear guard and promptly attacked it. The enemy retreated steadily skirmishing constantly with the advance guard of the regiment which pursued him closely for about two miles capturing eleven prisoners and liberating a number of our men whom the enemy had previously captured. About a mile from the, train, they encountered Martin's brigade, which the advance engaged and held until the arrival of the main body of the regiment upon which four companies were dismounted and pushed forward as skirmishers, a mounted company protecting each flank, and the remainder of the regiment held within supporting distance. Advancing in this order, the skirmishers taking advantage of the nature of the ground, and moving rapidly from cover to cover, drove the enemy, who sustained a loss of twelve killed, and a considerable number wounded, a distance of two miles. Near this point, the enemy, in attempting to form, was thrown into confusion by the fire of our skirmishers, and at the proper moment, the reserve charged and scattered his wavering ranks in the wildest disorder. Thirty-seven of the enemy were killed and wounded, and forty-two made prisoners, the latter, including a portion of the staff of General Wheeler, who himself narrowly escaped capture. In this affair, the regiment sustained a loss of Sergeant Forsyth, of Company D, wounded severely, and three others slightly wounded. The retreating rebels were pursued two miles further when the regiment went into bivouac, remain- until the 4th of October when they joined in pursuit of the rebel cavalry.
Marching by way of Dunlap across the Cumberland Mountains they reached McMinnville, from whence they proceeded by way of Rogersville and Athens, to Huntsville, Ala., and on the evening of the 13th, took part in the skirmish at Maysville, with a portion of the force of General Roddy, whom they pursued next day in the direction of Lamb's Ferry. On the 16th they marched to Salem, and next day encamped near Winchester, where they remained until the 20th of November, at which date they moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn. From this point, they moved by the way of Crab Orchard Gap into East Tennessee, and arrived on the 16th of December, at Knoxville. They continued their march by way of Strawberry Plains, to New Market, where slight skirmishing with the enemy took place on the 23d. During the night, Captain Harridan, with Company L, forced back the rebel pickets, and on the following day the regiment, under the command of Major Torrey, took part in a severe engagement in which the rebels were driven across Mossy Creek. They participated in several other engagements in this vicinity, successfully resisting the enemy's attempts to establish his line beyond the stream.
The casualties as reported, were two killed and 2 wounded.
On the 14th of January, 1864, they marched to and encamped near Dandridge, and were engaged next day with the enemy losing one man wounded. In the action of the 17th, the enemy was at first forced back, but being assailed subsequently by greatly superior numbers, our regiment was compelled to retire. Captain La Grange Company D, was mortally wounded. The casualties were 4 killed and 14 wounded. 16 missing.
Eli Braid, of Company I, died of wounds, January 17th, 1864. During the night they marched towards Knoxville, through which they passed on the 19th, encamping on the Sevierville road. On the 2d of January, Major Torrey was sent to Nashville to procure horses, and Major N. Payne was left in command regiment. From the 21st of January, 1864, to March 4, the regiment remained in East Tennessee, engaged in scouting duty being stationed at different times at Sevierville, Marysville, Motley's Ford and Madisonville.
Lieutenant Colonel Pomeroy having resigned on the 11th of February, Major William Torrey was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, on the 1st of March.
George E. Cardeman, of Company E, and Albert L. Hinman and William Slater, are reported as dying of wounds April 14th, 1864.
The regiment on the 12th of March, encamped at Cleveland, Tenn., where their numbers were augmented on the 26th, by the arrival of Lieutenant Colonel Torrey, with three hundred and fifty-four recruits, and fifty-six returned convalescents, increasing the aggregate strength of the regiment to one thousand and fifty- Lieutenant Colonel Torrey took command of the regiment. While stationed here, details from the regiment were constantly employed in scouting parties, from which small numbers were frequently captured by the enemy. On the 11th of April, a picket post was surprised, and Lieutenant Caldwell, and nineteen men of Company L, were captured.
At the commencement of the Atlanta campaign, the regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Torrey, moving with the Second Brigade, Colonel La Grange commanding, of the First Cavalry Division, left Cleveland, Tenn., on the 3d of May, and skirmishing constantly on the advance, arrived on the 7th, at Varnell's Station, Ga., on the Cleveland and Dalton Railroad, ten miles from the latter place. A. J. Keller, of Company E, was killed on the 3d of May. On the 9th of May, Colonel La Grange was ordered, with the Second Brigade, to develop the strength of the enemy on the railroad, three miles south of Varnell's. It was found that nearly the entire command of General Wheeler, supported by a division of infantry, occupied a strong position, and after a severe engagement the brigade returned to Varnell's
In this affair, our regiment lost Colonel La Grange, Captain G 0. Clinton and Lieutenant Sandon, captured by the enemy. The latter officer was also wounded. Major Paine was badly injured by a fall from his horse and Lieutenants Warren and Crocker were wounded.
At the battle of Resaca, on the 15th, the regiment occupied the extreme left and had four men severely wounded.
On the 17th, Lieutenant Colonel Torrey went to the rear sick, Major Paine assumed Command of the regiment. On the 20th Major Paine being wounded, and disabled by a fractured arm was sent to the hospital, and Captain Hamden, of Company L, took command of the regiment. On the 21st, the regiment had a heavy skirmish with the enemy losing nine men.
On the 26th of May, five companies with a portion of the Fourth Indiana, charged a brigade of rebel cavalry at Burnt Hickory capturing forty-seven prisoners. In this action Captain Harnden was badly wounded while leading the charge and Captain Seaton then took command of the regiment.
On the 1st and 2d of June, they participated, without loss, in the demonstration on Johnston's right, and on the 4th a portion of the regiment drove out a small body of rebels.
With the brigade, they dislodged the rebel force holding Big Shanty, on the 6th, and subsequently advanced with the army to Lost Mountain. On the 1st of July, they marched from Lost Mountain to Howell's Ferry, on the Sweetwater.
On the 27th, they re-crossed the river as part of General McCook's force for operations in rear of Atlanta. They again crossed the Chattahoochie next day, six miles below Campbelltown, where the regiment was detached from the main body and ordered to Campbelltown. Two miles east of the place, on the Fairbourn road, they attacked the advance of the rebel General Armstrong's division and after a severe engagement, were compelled to retire. During the raid, the regiment lost forty men and officers, reported mostly as missing.
Major Paine was mortally wounded while making a charge. He fell from his horse saying, " I am Shot- FORWARD." He fell into the hands of the enemy and was taken to a house near by where he died.
Major Paine was a brave and efficient officer, and a thorough gentleman.
Lieutenant Colonel William Torrey. who was then in command of the brigade, was killed on the 30th of July. To Colonel Torrey great credit is due for so disciplining the regiment as to make it one of the best cavalry regiments in the service. He was one of the bravest of officers, and his fall was deeply felt by the brigade which he commanded. In the regiment the deaths of Colonel Torrey and Major Paine, were greatly lamented.
Corporal J. T. Parsons and Private Ellis Brown, of company C, were reported killed.
Acting as guard to the pontoon train and battery, they returned on the 31st, to Marietta, ten miles south of which place, they were afterwards stationed to cover the return of stragglers from General McCook's command, until the 7th of August, when they received marching orders. On the 12th, they arrived at Cartersville, where they remained, employed in forage and scout duty, until the 17th of October, when they again marched, arriving on the 19th, at Calhoun. While at Calhoun, the whole available force of the regiment was constantly engaged in scouting and in foraging, losing a number of men by the guerillas. Here the escort of a wagon train, commanded by Major Harnden, whilst foraging on Pine Log Creek, was fiercely attacked by a band of guerillas, who were thoroughly routed, and the band broken up.
They left Calhoun on the 4th of November, when they were ordered to Louisville, Ky. Here the regiment lay in camp being reorganized, remounted and rearmed with improved weapons, until on the 4th of December, under the command of Major Hamden, they set out in the direction of Nashville, then besieged by the rebel forces under General Hood. Upon arriving at Bowling, Green, on the 12th, the regiment accompanied the movement of the Second and Third Brigades, which were ordered to proceed by forced march to Hopkinsville, where a force of the enemy was reported 2,000 strong, consisting of cavalry and artillery, under command of General Lyon. They arrived in front of Hopkinsville on the 15th, and next morning drove the enemy from the town, capturing two pieces of artillery and fifteen prisoners. Our regiment lost five men wounded:
They then pursued the enemy to Elizabethtown, overtaking about 400 of General Lyon's force at that point. Colonel La Grange, with twenty men of the regiment, at once charged upon the rebels, capturing eleven prisoners, when the pursuit was abandoned.
The campaign being closed, the regiment finally went into winter quarters at Waterloo, Ala., where they remained until the 10th of March, 1865, when they moved across the Tennessee River to Chickasaw, and on the 22d of March, took up their line of march for the interior of Alabama, and crossing the Black Warrior River at Jasper, on the 31st, arrived at Montavallo.
On the 6th of January, 1865, Major Harnden was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, and Captains Shipman and Howland, Majors, and on the 25th of February, Captain Newton Jones was commissioned Major.
On the 1st of April, the Second Brigade was detached from the main column, and ordered to move to the right. One battalion of the regiment, under command of Major Shipman, moved forward in advance to Centreville, where they put to flight a small force of the enemy, capturing fifteen prisoners. Upon being joined by the balance of the brigade, they crossed the Catawba River at Centreville, and bivouacked for the night at Scottsville, having marched upwards of forty miles during, that day. Early next morning they encountered Jackson's division of rebel cavalry, and after a severe engagement, lasting two hours, during which, Thomas Deming, of Company E, was killed they fell back towards Selina. They subsequently marched in various directions a distance of nearly two hundred miles, and on the 6th arrived at Selina, where they rejoined the main column and remained two days. Crossing the Alabama, on the evening of the 9th of April, the brigade leading the marching column, had advanced about five miles from the river. They met the enemy, and a running fight commenced in which the rebels were rapidly driven back over a distance of about twenty-five miles, the brigade entering Lowndesboro at dusk. On the evening of the 12th they occupied Montgomery, which was surrendered to the brigade, and continuing the march they had advanced but two miles from the capitol, when they were fired upon. The First Wisconsin and Seventh Kentucky were then detached from the brigade and attacked the rebels, who had erected barricades about two miles apart. In the running fight which occurred as the rebels withdrew in their front from one barricade to another, the First Wisconsin was the only regiment actually engaged and captured one hundred prisoners, sustaining a loss of one killed and five wounded.
Passing through Tuskegee and Auburn, they reached West Point, Ga., at noon on the 16th of April. The brigade immediately assaulted and captured Fort Tyler at this place, with its garrison of two hundred men. Our regiment, dismounted, carried one side of the fort. They were the first to cross the ditch, and for twenty minutes, lay on the embankment within ten feet of the enemy waiting for the other regiments assigned to the attack to attain position. At the appointed signal, they sprang up, when the garrison displayed the white flag. Loss, seven killed, including Lieutenant Vosburg, and fourteen wounded, including Lieutenant Colonel Harnden slightly.
The following casualties at West Point on the 16th of April, were reported by Lieutenant Waterman, Adjutant of the Regiment: 6 killed, 15 wounded.
Sergeant Farrell, of Company K, was the first male to enter the fort. On the 17th, they crossed the Chattahoochie at West Point and on the morning of the 21st, arrived at Macon, Ga., where they went into camp.
General Wilson, in his report, speaks highly of Lieutenant Colonel Harnden's management of the regiment, and recommended him for promotion.
The last active duty which this regiment was called upon to perform in the closing scenes of the rebellion, has already become historic by its association with the capture of Jefferson Davis, President of the so called Southern Confederacy.
In compliance with orders from the division commander, a detachment of 150 men of the First Wisconsin, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Harnden, left Macon on the evening of the 6th of May, and proceeding by way of Jeffersonville, in Twiggs County, where Lieutenant Hewitt with thirty men, was detached to guard the cross roads, reached Dublin, in Lawrence County, fifty-five miles from Macon, on the evening of the following day, and encamped near the ferry across the Oconee River. At Dublin, Lieutenant Colonel Harnden ascertained that a train of light wagons and ambulances, with a number of horses, had crossed the ferry during the day, taking the Jackson road, and subsequently learned that Davis and his wife were with the train. Leaving Lieutenant Lane, with forty-five men, to guard the ferry and patrol the roads, the balance of the detachment started in pursuit at daybreak on the 8th, and on reaching Turkey Creek Bridge, learned the exact course the train had taken, and pushed forward, under the direction of a guide, to the site of their camp of the previous night, between the forks of Alligator Creek. At this point they were but four hours behind the train, and after feeding the horses, the pursuit was resumed across Alligator Creek, and through a swamp, to Gum Swamp Creek, in Pulaski County, where the trail became too indistinct to follow in the darkness and the detachment bivouacked for the night. Next morning they were again in motion at three o'clock, and crossing Sugar and Cypress Creeks, proceeded to the 0cmulgee River, the bank of which they followed, in the dense swamp, to Brown's Ferry. Here an accident to the ferry boat, 'caused a delay of two hours in crossing the river, after which they pushed forward to Abbeville, which place the train had left at ten, in the morning, taking the road to Irwinville, in Irwin County. Promptly dispatching his command in that direction, Lieutenant Colonel Harnden went to meet Colonel Pritchard, of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, who was in the vicinity, and whom he informed of the proximity of the train which he had pursued for such a distance, and that his command had gone forward in pursuit. Declining his offer of additional force, on account of the difficulty of procuring forage, Lieutenant Colonel Harnden left Colonel Pritchard at Abbeville, to which place he had been ordered, and moving rapidly forward, rejoined his command, which, about ten miles from the town, discovered the camping ground of the train, so recently left that the fires had not yet been extinguished. Colonel Harnden continued the pursuit through the pine woods, until nine in the evening, when, feeling certain that the train was close at hand, and that an attack in the darkness might afford an opportunity for some of the party to escape, he halted his command, with orders to be ready for an early start. At three in the morning of the 10th of May, he again gave the order to move forward. The command had proceeded about a mile, when the advance guard, commanded by Sergeant Hussey, was ordered to halt, by a party of men partly concealed behind trees. Supposing he had run upon the rebel pickets, Sergeant Hussey attempted to retreat, when a heavy volley was fired upon the party, wounding three out of his seven men. Colonel Harnden then moved forward a squad of ten men, who were met with a similar volley, whereupon he deployed his whole force, and advanced rapidly, driving back the opposing force, one of whom was captured, proving to be a member of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry, under command of Colonel Pritchard. All firing of course ceased, and upon explanation, it was shown that Colonel Pritchard, after his interview with Lieutenant Colonel Harnden at Abbeville, had selected a number of his best mounted men, pushed rapidly forward on the run, and thence by way of House Creek, back to Irwinville, which be reached before the arrival of the train. He had then sent a small force, dismounted, around to the rear of the train, and as he moved upon it with his principal force front the Irwinville side, Lieutenant Colonel Hernden encountered his dismounted men, as above related. While this unfortunate collision was in progress, a portion of Colonel Pritchard's force, captured the train. In this affair our regiment lost three severely, and several slightly wounded.
The reward offered for the capture of Jeff Davis will probably be divided, by the War Department, between the forces of Lieutenant Colonel Hamden and Colonel Pritchard. Colonel Wilson, commander of the cavalry corps, in a letter, says:
Lieutenant Colonel Harnden is entitled to an equal share of the credit for the capture of Jeff Davis, and is in no way responsible for the unfortunate collision which occurred." Lieutenant Colonel Harnden then returned as rapidly as possible to Macon, where he reentered camp on the 13th of May.
The regiment left Macon, Ga., on the 6th of May, and marching northward, by way of Forsyth, Dalton and Ringgold, arrived on the 2d of June, at Chattanooga, Tenn., from which they resumed the march on the 7th, encamping on the 15th at Edgefield, Tenn., opposite Nashville. At this place, the First Wisconsin Cavalry was mustered out of service on the 19th of July, and shortly afterwards, paid and disbanded.
After the regiment went to Tennessee, Colonel La Grange was almost constantly in command of a brigade, and distinguished himself in several brilliant actions, and gained the reputation of being one of the very best cavalry officers in the service, and was A NEW brevetted Brigadier General on the 13th of March, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel Hamden was brevetted Colonel, and afterwards Brigadier General, and Major Shipman, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel.
Regimental Statistics.- Original strength, 1,124. Gain-by recruits in 1863, 2951 in 1864, 597, in 1865, 164; substitutes, 83; by draft in 1863, 202, in 1864, 76; veteran reenlistments, 61; total, 2,602. Loss-by death, 366; deserted, 91; transferred, 67; discharged, 634; mustered out, 1,444.