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Third Wisconsin Cavalry


The Third Cavalry was recruited and organized by Colonel William A. Barstow, by authority of the War Department, and was mustered into the United States service at Camp Barstow, Janesville, the muster of the last company being completed on the 31st of January, 1862, the regiment left the State on the 26th of March, to report at St. Louis. 

The following was the roster of the regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel-RICHARD H WHITE; Majors - First Battalion, ELIAS A. CALKINS; Second Battalion, BENJAMIN S. HENNING; Third Battalion, JOHN C. SCHROELING; Adjutant, HENRY SANDERS - Quartermaster, ASA W. FARR; Commissary -FRANCIS QUARLES - Battalion Adjutants - First Battalion, JOHN D. WELCH; Second Battalion, WILLIAM H. THOMAS; Third Battalion, CHARLES L. NOGGLE; Battalion Quartermaster - First Battalion, ISAAC WOODLE; Second Battalion, FRANCIS QUARLES; Third Battalion, AUGUSTUS 0. HALL Surgeon-BENONI 0. REYNOLDS; First Assistant  Surgeon - WILLIAM H. WARNER; Second Assistant Surgeon-JOSFPH S. LANE; Chaplain - Rev. HIRAM W. BEERS.

Co. Captains.  First Lieutenant   Second Lieutenants.
A Jeremiah D. Damon  Robert Carpenter  Leonard Moreley
B Alexander F.  David William  Wagner  Lorenzo. B. Reed
C Edward R. Stevens  Jason Daniels  James B. Pond
D Leander T. Shaw Fernando C. Kiser Byron H. Kilbourn
E  Ira Justin, Jr. Alexander M. Pratt Leonard House
F David S-Vittum Asa  Wood C. 0. Farris
G John P. Moore Hugh Calhoun Henry Goodsell,
H Nathan L. Stout,  Julius Giesler,  DeWitt C. Brown,
I  Theodore Conkey Hudson Bacon Marshall M. Ehle
K Ernest Off  John P. McDonald Charles T. Clothier
I Thomas Derry Charles A. Parry James Campbell
M Henry F. Rouse William Schmidt  Olaf Muser

The regiment took cars at Madison. -Then within three miles of Chicago, four cars were thrown from the track by the breaking of an axle, by which twelve were killed or drowned, and twenty wounded. The second car was thrown into a ditch filled with water, by which seven in the car were drowned. The following is a list of those who were killed or drowned:
Non-Commissioned Staff - Hospital Steward Elisha Sharp. Company A - Privates Wm. Davis, Lucian M. Ranger, J.F. Palmer, Caspar Stone, Charles Briggs and Charles D. Hatch. Company G - Quartermaster Sergeant  L. J. Edwards, Privates Waller Snell, Wm. Case and E..M. Bemis. Company L- Private Byron Wilcox, died of injuries - 12

Five or six of those wounded were injured seriously, and were sent to Camp Douglas Hospital. The remainder were able to go forward with the regiment.
Regiment proceeded to St. Louis, and was quartered at Benton Barracks where they remained until the 3d of May, when they embarked for Fort Leavenworth, where they were assembled on the 11th of May. Here they were furnished with horses. Soon after their arrival, Colonel Barstow was appointed Provost Marshal General of Kansas, and the regiment was distributed throughout the state, engaged in provost duty, as follows:

First Battalion, Major E. A. Calkins, Company A, Captain I Dammon, at Elwood, Donaphan County, Captain Dammon acting as Deputy Provost Marshal; Company G, Captain Moore, at Shawneetown, Johnson County; Company E, Captain Justin, at the city of Leavenworth; Company L, Captain Derry, near Aubrey and Cold Water Grove, Johnson County, Captain Derry acting as Deputy Provost Marshal. The Second Battalion, Major B. S. Henning consisting of Company C, Captain Stevens, Company I, Captain Conkey, Company F, Captain Vittum, and Company M, Captain Rouse, were sent to Fort Scott, where Major Henning was appointed Deputy Provost Marshal of the district. The Third Battalion, Major Schroeling, Company D, Captain Shaw, at Atchison, Atchison County, Captain Shaw acting as Deputy Provost Marshal Company K, Captain Off, city of Leavenworth, Company B, Captain David, and Company H, Captain Stout, at Fort Leavenworth. Major Calkins, of the First Battalion, was appointed Provost Marshal of Leavenworth city.
The Second Battalion arrived at Fort Scott on the 17th of June and Major Henning took command of the post, which was then the extreme outpost of the Union forces. Company I, Captain Conkey, occupied Carthage, Mo., sixty-five in miles from Fort Scott, to protect the Union people and disperse guerilla bands, and watch the motions of the enemy in Arkansas. The other companies were engaged in scouting around Fort Scott. Near the last of July, Colonel Barstow arrived at Fort Scott, with an escort of thirty men on a tour of inspection. Moving towards Humboldt, it
was ascertained that the rebels were concentrating a large force near Montevallo, Mo., which obliged Colonel Barstow to return to the Fort. The rendezvous of the rebels was at a place styled " Church in the Woods." The plan of attack was made and Captain Conkey was ordered to march with his command from Carthage, to cooperate with a detachment of the forces from Fort Scott to rendezvous near the "Church in the Woods" on the night of the 4th of August. Captain Conkey immediately evacuated Carthage and with his force augmented by Union citizens to about 125, set out on the 3d of August, and keeping in the enemy's rear, discovered that they were encamped at "Church in the Woods," their strength being about 2,000 men. Deeming it necessary to inform the approaching troops, Captain Conkey before daylight on the 4th, charged directly through the rebel camp without loss. He, however, missed Colonel Barstow, who had taken another road, and with his detachment of 150 men, had proceeded to Montevallo, where he had a sharp skirmish with the enemy, and soon after fell back toward Fort Scott, in doing which, he was attacked in flank by a large force, which took four men prisoners, with all the transportation. The whole force was next day assembled at the Fort, in anticipation of an attack. Shortly afterwards, General Blunt arrived at the Fort, when two expeditions were organized for the pursuit of the enemy. The first set out on the 14th of August, marching in the direction of Montevallo, companies F and I, of the Third Wisconsin forming part of the expedition. An additional force, under General Blunt, followed next day, Major Henning accompanying as volunteer aid to General Blunt. The expedition was out ten days, during which, the troops were frequently engaged. Company I acquitted themselves with great bravery in the action of Taberville, their conduct receiving special commendation in the official report of Colonel Cloud. They all participated in the action at Coon Creek, where the Union force, numbering 600, routed 1,500 of the enemy
The companies of the First and Third battalions were engaged during the summer on duty at the posts assigned them, and the companies at Leavenworth City, in addition to provost duty, engaged in various scouting expeditions through the border.

In counties of Missouri, which were then infested with Quantrell s guerillas. Josiah Davis, of Company A, was reported as killed in Kansas, August 31st, 1862.
The First and Third battalions, with the exception of companies H, Captain Stout, and B, Captain Wagner, left Fort Leavenworth for Fort Scott, on the 11th of September, where ten companies were assembled, and on the 3d of October, two battalions consisting of six companies, moved from Fort Scott, in charge of a commissary train and two paymasters, intended for the Supply and payment of the troops in the field in Southwestern Missouri, marching by way of Carthage, Granby and Sarcoxie, to Cassville. Here they were attached to General Salomon's brigade in the Army of the Frontier. The regiment was under command of Lieutenant Colonel White and Majors Calkins and Schroeling, Colonel Barstow being sick at Fort Scott. The regiment accompanied the movements of General
Blunt's forces in the pursuit of Raines, Parsons, etc., finally marching to Camp Babcock, on Lindsley's Prairie, where they awaited the approach of General Hindman. On the 27th of November, the forces of General Blunt moved to Cane Hill, and on the 29th, found the enemy in position. He was vigorously attacked, and thrown into confusion by a simultaneous charge of the cavalry. The Third Wisconsin Cavalry took part in this battle. They remained at Cane Hill during the night, and the next morning, with Salomon's brigade, moved to Rheas' Mill, nine miles from Cane Hill, under command of Major Calkins. They accompanied General Blunt's forces to the assistance of General Herron, and occupied a position on the right, during the battle of Prairie Grove, most of the time in the reserve. Robert Armstrong, Company E, died of wounds at Fayetteville, on the 10th of December, 1862.

After the battle of Prairie Grove, the regiment took part in the raid of Generals Blunt and Herron, over the Boston. Mountains, to Van Buren, on the Arkansas River. Returning, they counter-marched by way of White River, and subsequently encamped at Forsyth, Mo. During this time they were continually engaged with guerilla parties of the enemy and the men and horses suffered greatly by the lack of supplies. Martin Van Duzen, Co. I, died of wounds at Spring River, Mo,  January 13th, 1863, and Robert Goodman Company C, at Fort Scott, January 13th, 1863, and Andrew McCord, of Company M, was killed in Missouri on the 30th of March, 1863.
Leaving Forsyth, they marched by way of Yellville, Dubuque and DesPlains, to Springfield, Mo., where they remained in camp for some time, in order to allow the regiment to recuperate, having been engaged in the preceding months almost continually, in scouting and fighting guerillas, in a country nearly devoid of rations for the men or forage for the animals. From Springfield they moved to Salem, and on the 20th of June, proceeded to Fort Scott where they arrived on the 5th of July. Companies B and H, left at Fort Leavenworth in September of 1862, moved to Fort Scott, and during the month of May, 1863, together with companies G, I and M, under command of Captain Stout, marched to Fort Blunt, as escort to the post supply train. They were attacked on the 30th of May, four miles from the Fort, by 1,500 Texans and Indians, under the rebel General Cooper, whom they repulsed with great slaughter, the detachment losing five men killed and wounded. Having returned to Fort Scott, they again on the
20th of June, took the road for Fort Blunt, forming part of the escort to a large supply train. The train was attacked on the 27th, at Cabin Creek, in the Cherokee Nation, by a greatly superior force of rebels, under command of General Cooper. The enemy was totally defeated, and driven across the Verdigris River. Corporal Wm. Page and Azro Mann, of Company H, are reported as killed at Fort Gibson, May 25th, 1863.
On arriving at Fort Blunt, they were attached to the Third Brigade, Army of the Frontier, and on the 16th of July, marched southward under command of General Blunt. On the 17th, they took part in the battle of Honey Springs, in which the rebels, under Generals Cooper and Standwaite, were utterly routed, with the loss of a large number of prisoners and all their artillery. On the 19th, the regiment returned to Fort Blunt.
On the 22d of August, they accompanied the army in another forward movement, in which they were constantly in advance and actively engaged in skirmishing and scouting, following the retreating enemy, and capturing large quantities of stores, and when sixty miles from Red River, fired the last shot at the enemy as they evacuated Perryville, which was captured, and burned. John H. May, of Company A, was killed at Honey Springs, August 24th, 1863.

In the Summer of 1863, Colonel Barstow was detailed on duty at St. Louis, as President of a Court Martial, and never rejoined the regiment.
Early in September, Company I returned to Fort Scott, and acted as escort to General Blunt. The remainder of the detachment, from the 21st of August to the 6th of October, were constantly engaged in scouting, and in encounters with the guerillas in the vicinity of Shelbyville, the capitol of the Choctaw nation. Marching to Van Buren, Ark., on the Arkansas River, on the 6th of October, they were joined by companies E and K, and on the 16th, made a raid to Waldron, Ark., routing a large force of the enemy, and on the next day, moved into the Choctaw nation, and attacked and put to flight a large force of rebel Indians, captured all their stores, after which they returned to Van Buren. On the 5th of November, they moved through the Mulberry Mountains, to Clarksville. On their way, they encountered the rebel Colonel Brook, with 1,000 men, whom they drove across the Arkansas River, after a sharp fight, capturing a large number of the enemy. They returned to Van Buren on the 12th and two days afterwards, with a scouting party, accompanied by artillery, made a raid to Waldron and Dallas, Ark., where they captured the rebel Colonel Alexander, with fourteen of his men returning to Van Buren on the 22d, where they remained until February, 1864.
On the 4th of September 1863, General Blunt left Fort Scott for Fort Smith, designing to establish district Headquarters at the latter place. He was accompanied by several members of his staff, among them, Major B. S. Henning, of the Third Cavalry, Provost Marshal of the district, and Lieutenant A. W.
Farr, of the same regiment, Judge Advocate, together with the brigade band which was composed of Wisconsin men and the employees in the different departments of the district headquarters. His escort consisted of forty men of Company I, Third Wisconsin Cavalry under Lieutenant H. D. Bannister, forty-three men of Company A, Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, under Lieut. Pierce, the whole escort under command of J. G. Cavart, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and a train of eight wagons, transporting the effects of the district headquarters.
At noon, on the 6th of September, when within a short distance of a camp near Baxter's Spring in the Cherokee Nation, the command was halted, to permit the train to come up. Soon after, a column of men was seen coming out of the woods about eighty rods to the left, and forming into line. The escort was immediately formed in line of battle, and the train took up its position in the rear. A scout soon came in, informing General Blunt that the force in front, disguised in Federal uniforms, were enemies, and that an engagement was taking place at the camp of Lieutenant Pond, who was in command at Baxter's Springs. Of the men comprising the escort, twenty were acting as rear guard to the train, leaving but sixty-five to form the line of battle, and receive the charge of a force of from 300 to 500 men. The lines were not more than 200 yards distant. The enemy advanced at a walk, firing. The men of Company A, Fourteenth Kansas, began to break, which the enemy, perceiving, the charge was ordered, and the whole rebel line advanced with a shout, at which the remainder of Company A broke, and could not be rallied. In the meantime, a full volley was fired by Company I, Third Wisconsin
Cavalry. The enemy, however, continued to advance. Company I stood, firing their revolvers, till the enemy was within twenty feet of them, when they turned to escape, but before any distance could be made, the enemy were in their midst, shot down the fleeing men, and murdered such as were merely wounded. Of the forty men of Company I, who composed part of the escort, twenty-two were killed, and four were wounded and left on the field for dead.
During the attack, the band wagon attempted to escape, and had made about half a mile when one of the wheels came off, which the enemy perceived, and rushed upon its occupants and commenced indiscriminate slaughter of the whole band. Many of them were shot while in the wagon. The bodies were gathered and thrown in or under the wagon, which was set fire to, in many of them were much burned, and otherwise brutally mutilated.
About the time of the appearance of the enemy on the left, a fight, was going on, on the opposite side of the ridge a portion of the rebel band having attacked the position of Lieutenant Pond. The Lieutenant had sent off the greater portion of his force, foraging, but still made a gallant defense. The enemy, however, was drawn off to the attack of General Blunt and his party, and the Lieutenant prepared himself to meet still further demonstration from them, not dreaming that a bloody massacre was being enacted in close proximity to his camp
After plundering the wagons, and making sure that their victims were dead, Quantrell and his bloody band left the field. Major Gillis, Blunt's Assistant Adjutant General, and Lieutenant A. W. Farr were found dead, evidently murdered in cold blood. Major Curtis was the son of General Curtis, of Iowa and was a man of established character for courage and ability.

Lieutenant A. W. Farr, was a lawyer by profession, and was a resident of Geneva, Walworth County. He was a Democrat in politics, and had represented his district in the legislature. On the outbreak of the rebellion, being a Democrat of the Ben Butler stamp, he accepted a position where he thought he could be of service to his country, and in the execution of that trust he lost his life, stating, but a few days before his death, that it "was not ambition nor gain that prompted him to enter the army, but only that he might do his mite towards crushing the rebellion; that he did riot seek promotion, but was willing to serve where he could do the most good."
The list of those who were killed at the massacre of Blunt's command, we find in the Adjutant General's records:

KILLED.- Staff Officer - Quartermaster, Lieutenant A. W. Farr. Company G - Private George W. Tice. Company H - Sergeant A. A. Bennett, and Private Oman Shaver. Company I - Sergeant Joseph Burlingame, Corporals David Beam, William C. Hopper, Samuel P. Hart and Robert R. Murphy, Privates Henry Brewer, William C. Clark, Jas. Dimpsey, Stephen V. Gallea, John Ganier, Alfred Green, William M. Gifford, Frank Galvin, G. F. Mossinger, Henry A. Pond, Lincoln S. Rice, Marion Rickard, D. Smith, Francis Van Camp, Abram Woodfall, John C. Wright and John Zahner -26.
Wounded - Company I- Sergeant J. Splain, Privates A. McCune, F. Arnold and Jesse Smith - 4.
The casualties in the Brigade Band we find given as follows:
Killed: Leader, H. Pellage,  T. L Davis, H. Barlow, F. Rosmanith, F. Balaum, M. Mumser, N. Nott, T. Lusher, S. Orvis, F. Simon and J. Fritz - 11.

During the engagement which Lieutenant Pond had with the rebels, the following casualties occurred:

KILLED - Company C-Privates John Davis, William W. Lloyd, Thomas P. Leath, Dennis McNary, Abram C. Rokefellow and Philander T. Stimpson 

Lieutenant Pond, of Company C, of the Third received great praise for the manner in which he defended his position.
On the 26th of October, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel White was dismissed the service, and Major E. A. Calkins was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel on the 29th of December, and Captain Derry, on the 22d of January, 1864.
The following casualties we find recorded in the Adjutant office:

KILLED - Choctaw Nation- Company B-First Sergeant C. K. Bly, October 11th, 1863. At Carthage MO.- Company C - Private S. Howard, December 22d 1863. At Ballstown, MO. - Company E, Privates John H. Robinson, July 8th, 1863, and Geo. R. Kelley, October 10th, 1863. At Clarkesville, Ark.- Company E - Privates Fred A. Martin and J. C. Russel, November 8th, 1863. At Fort Smith. - Company L. - Sergeant D. E. Bartram, September 8th, 1863

Reenlistments commenced in January, 1864, and continued until three-fourths of the regiment had reenlisted,  and on the 30th of, March the  regiment moved from Van Buren and arrived it Little Rock on the 16th of April, the veterans were embodied in companies B, E, G, H, I, K and L, and proceeded by steamer and rail to Madison, Wis., where they spent their thirty days furlough, reassembled at Madison, and on the 19th of June, 1864, were again in camp at Duvall's Bluff from whence they subsequently moved to Huntsville near Little Rock, where they were engaged in picket and guard duty, and scouting between the Arkansas and White Rivers, frequently engaged portions of Shelby's men, and were also employed as escorts to trains between Little Rock and Duvall's Bluff. August 28th, a detachment of 104 men, under Major Derry, joined all expedition in pursuit of the rebel force, from which they returned, and resumed picket duty, in Little Rock on the 7th of September. They subsequently moved to a Camp one mile west of Little Rock.

The other five companies were stationed in Kansas and Missouri.

Company A at Ballstown, Company C, at Fort McKean, Company D at Fort Hamer, Company F at Fort Insley, all in Missouri, and Company M at Pawnee, Kansas. Here they were in scouting , picketing, forage and escort duty.
On the, 25th, Major Derry left camp with a detachment of 141 men is part of an expedition to Fort Smith; They returned to Little Rock on the, 13th of October, 1864, where companies B, E, G, H, I, K and L remained during the winter, engaged in detachments, in scouting, guarding trains, patrolling the roads in  the surrounding country, and skirmishing with guerillas and bushwhackers.
The following list is from the records of the Adjutant General, reported for 1864:
KILLED or DIED of WOUNDS - At Van Buren, May 17- Company L -Privates Saml. H.Castello and Lewis A. McClure. Missouri.- Company C,. Private Eugene Hunt, June 16, Company B - Private William Copeland, August 11. At White Oak Creek - Company L. - Private Alva Hanson, August 11. Company A - Private George W. Carr, September 1. At Clarksville, Ark. - Company H. - Private Wm. Jones, September 28. Company M,. First Lieutenant Lorenzo A. Dixon, October 20. Company K - Joseph Bohnard. At Fort Scott - Company C- Private George C. Foster, November 21. At Dardanelles, Ark.- Company I - Private Riley R. Stillman January 14, 1865 - 11.

On the l0th of March, 1865, a small detachment, under Captain Geisler, of Company A, was sent from camp at Little. Rock, to capture a band of guerillas near Clear Lake, about forty miles distant. Accompanied by the person who gave information as to the whereabouts of the band, as a guide, they moved forward, and approached a cane brake, the guide gave a signal and disappeared in a thicket. A volley of musketry assailed the head of the column, and Captain Geisler fell from his horse, mortally wounded, with five gun shot wounds in his body, from which he died next day. The force of Captain Geisler numbered about forty; the force of the enemy in ambush was estimated at 200. The detachment returned to Little Rock, and a larger force of cavalry was sent out to secure the body of Captain Geisler, and capture the guerilla by whose hand he was brought to his death. The casualties in this affair, as reported by Major Derry, were: 
KILLED OR DIED OF WOUNDS: Company A - Captain Geisler. Company D - Private Daniel H. Hooper - 2.
WOUNDED.- Company D - Corporal Steadman L. Jackson, and Private Wm. Shelton. Company E - Private Jacob C. Forty - 3.
Eleven were reported as missing.
February 24th, 1865, Lieutenant Colonel Calkins was mustered out on expiration of service.

On the 9th of March, 1865, Lieutenant Colonel Derry was commissioned as Colonel, and Captain Vittum as Lieutenant Colonel.
On the expiration of the term of service of the original organization, the regiment on the 19th of April, 1865, was reorganized by order of the General commanding the department. The companies stationed at Little Rock were consolidated into five companies A, B, C, D and E, under command of Major Derry. The designation of the other companies, stationed in Missouri and Kansas, was also changed, Company F, at Fort Mo., alone retaining its position. Company M, at Pawnee, Kansas, became Company G, Company C, at Fort McKean, Mo. became Company H, Company D, at Fort Hamer, Mo. became Company I, and Company A, at Fort Curtis, Mo., became Company K.

The battalion at Little Rock, under Colonel Derry, left that city on the 21st of April, 1865, and proceeded to Duvall's Bluff, where they remained till the 3d of June, when they proceeded down White River and up the Mississippi, to St. Louis, thence to Rolla by rail, from whence they marched to Springfield, Mo. Here they remained until the 18th of July, when they took up their line of March to Fort Leavenworth, reaching there on the 2d of August. Here the battalion was mustered out on the 8th of September, and returned home, arriving at Madison on the 14th, where they were paid and discharged.
Companies F, H, I and K were mustered out on the 29th of September, at Fort Leavenworth, and arrived at Madison on the 2d of October. Company L was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth on the 23d, and Company G on the 27th, soon after which they returned home, and were paid off and disbanded.