William De Loss Love.

Wisconsin in the war of the rebellion; a history of all regiments and batteries the state has sent to the field, and deeds of her citizens, governors and other military officers, and state and national legislators to suppress the rebellion online

. (page 100 of 122)
Online LibraryWilliam De Loss LoveWisconsin in the war of the rebellion; a history of all regiments and batteries the state has sent to the field, and deeds of her citizens, governors and other military officers, and state and national legislators to suppress the rebellion → online text (page 100 of 122)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

safety. But during the later montlis of the war he had repeatedly expressed liis
expectation that he should not outlive the rebellion. Fort Snmter fell April 14th,
1861, and on Friday, April 14lh, 1865, just four years afterward, Major ADderson
had been instructed to raise again the Ameriaan flag on the broken walls of that
fortress. But that day was destined to be memorable for a far different event.
After performing various public duties, Mr. Lincoln went with his family at even-
ing, April 14th, to attend Ford's Theater. At flfteen minutes after ten o'clock,
John Wilkes Booth, an actor, gained entrance to the vestibule of the box where
the President was seated, fastened the door after him by bracing a plank between
it and 'the wall, then with a double-edged dagger in his left hand and a small pistol
in his right, he stepped within the inner door of the box directly behind Mr.
Lincoln, and shot him through the back of the head. Major Rathbone, who was
one of the President's party, seized the assassin, who wrested himself quickly from
his grasp, and severely wounded him with the dagger upon his arm. Then he
rushed to the front of the box, shouted "Sic semper iyranms,'' leaped over the
raihng, and his spur having caught in the flag that hung there,- fell upon the stage.
He rose instantly, brandished his dagger, faced the audience, and exclaimed,
',' The South is avenged," and then made his escape at the rear of the theater.

The President was removed to a near dwelling ; the ball, it was found, had en-
tered the brain behind the left ear, and taking an oblique course, had lodged just
Vehind the right eye.' There was no hope of recovery. President Lincoln
breathed his last at twenty-two minutes past seven o'clock the next morning, and
file whole loyal nation was stricken with astonishment and the most profound



Life in Eebel Peisons, — Votes on Constitutional Amendment, —
Senators Howe and Doolittle, — Adjutant General Gaylord,
— Surgeon General "Wolcott, — War Statistics op Schools,
Colleges, and Churches, — Army Hospitals, — Mrs. C. A. P.
Haetey, — Soldiers' Home, — Soldiers' Oephans' Home,^Oe-
PHANs' Institute of Eeward, — Soldiers' Aid Society, — Fheed-
men's Aid Society, — Christian Commission, — The Dying "Wis-
consin Soldier.


Cruelty was a marked feature in the Confederacy. Its prin-
ciples inevitably bred pialignity and barbarity. Quantrell and
his gang at Lawrence, Forrest and his horde at Fort Pillow,
are noted examples. At Fort Pillow, " N'o quarter " was the

cry; "Kill the niggers; shoot them down." Fiendish

men vied with each other in the hellish work. ' They waged
an indiscriminate slaughter. They beat, hacked with their
sabres, and shot down men, women and children, sparing
neither age nor sex, neither white nor black, soldier nor civi-
lian. Children ten years of age were made to stand up and
face their murderers while they shot them; the sick and
wounded were butchered ; the drowning were shot ; some
were fired upon and thrown into the water ; no fiendish act of
massacre that their murderous imagination could invent was
left untried.

From such men Libby Prison, Belle Isle, Florence, Salis-
bury, Camp Lawton and Andersonville, might be expected.


The shocking accounts of cruelty there have not been exagge-
rated. The fall story of horrors can never be told. Too many
of the dear suffering ones are mute in' the grave. The dying
testimony of thousands just escaped from the prison pens of
the South was too solemn to be untrue. Substantially the
same account was given by all the thousands from Anderson-
ville, who landed from our ships at Annapolis in ISTovember
and December, 1864. The emaciated forms of the living, the
skeletons of the dead and dying, told the same story. "Wis-
consin men were there, who testified to the nakedness, filth,
sickness, starvation and death, that reigned in that pen of

One Wisconsin witness has written as follows : " "When we
entered the prison (Andersonville), it was so crowded, that it
was with difficulty we could find solid ground enough to lie
upon at night. We were provided with no shelter whatever;
very few of us had blankets ; myself and four comrades had
no blanket; one of us was bareheaded, three barefoot, and one
had no coat. By way of utensils we had the blade of an old
fire shovel, found on the way; a pint fruit-can, and a case
knife without a handle. Our rations consisted of a quart of
mush One day, and its equivalent in corn-bread or johnny-cake
the next, and two ounces of bacon. The mush was made by
filling a box with hot water, and then stirring in the meal (and
salt, when any was provided), with a shovel. The boxes would
hold from ten to twelve bushels, and it was dealt out, so many
pailfuls to a detachment, or mess of ninety men. This, for
want of something better, we had to draw in a filthy blanket,
which had laid upon the ground all night, and each man
received his portion in his hand, cap, or anything he could

The dead, uncoffined, were piled into wagons like dead
swine, and the same wagons were used to bring rations
to the prisoners yet living. Sometimes dead bodies would fall
off from the load on the way to the burial place, and then were
rudely tossed on again. The stockade became so crowded
that some were, obliged to lie in the swamp part of it. The
filth of the prison became so poisonous, that the slightest
bruise coming in contact with it would fester into an ulcer,


into which gangrene would generally come, and death was
almost sure to follow. Men, in going to the stream for water,
would often fall down dead. If they reached beyond the dead
line to obtain less filthy water, they were often shot dead. If
one was detected in endeavoring to " tunnel out " of the
stockade, he was " bucked " from morning till night ; and if
the offender was not known, the whole detachment were often
denied even their miserable rations, until some one reported
him. Sometimes men watched each other to keep off crawling
maggots while their comrades might sleep. Sometimes men
died, and no one around expressed regret, but rather joy that
they were gone. Many slipped away from life with scarcely any
one to take note of their departure. One who was a prisoner
writes : " In the tent just forward of mine were two French-
men, one of whom suffering had made half idiotic. One
beautiful night (for the moon and staVs shone there as else-
where), he called to the other, ' Stephen, Stephen, I am going
to die.' ' Dry up ; I want to sleep,' responded Stephen. The
fellow was silent a few minutes, and then again called,
' Stephen, I am going to die.' ' Die then,' returned Stephen,
with an oath. The fellow was again silent a few moments,
and then began to sing a plaintive song, which he continued
at intervals until he could sing no longer. The next morning
they laid him out for the dead carriers. Stephen followed in
a day or two after."

Each morning, numbers of the dead were found and borne
away, yet some corpses lay for days without burial. After a
hot sun, followed by a chilling rain, the number of dead was
frightful. In some tents or groups, nearly all would be found
dead. But, after all, G-od was not forgotten by many in An-
dersonville. The voice of prayer and song were often heard.
Those hymns so often sung in Christian congregations and at
family hearth-stones, sometimes rolled over those scenes of
woe, and cheered and comforted many a despairing heart, and
soothed the spirit of many a dying sufferer. Prayer-meetings
were held nightly, and many unused before to attend such
gatherings were regularly found there ; some of them parti-
cipants, and some' the defenders of the assembly against thieves
and murderers that were even there — men who were bounty-


jumpers, gamblers and villains, before entering the Union
army. At Belle Isle, men were exposed to rain, cold and
frosts, without any shelter. At Libby Prison the thin pea-
soup was often black with bugs. The Richmond Examiner
recommended sending the prisoners to Danville or Salisbury,
where nature would carry them off faster than in Richmond.
At Cahawba, Mississippi, where Captain "Wheelock, of the
Seventh Battery, was imprisoned, the rations were similar to
tho^e at Anderson ville. At one time the water of the river
rose so high, as to overflow the whole prison to the depth of
two and a half to four feet, and the men were compelled to
stand in it or "take turns" on stools, platforms and bunks.
William Milham, of the Twenty-ninth Regiment, and ten
others, captured at the battle of Sabine Cross Roads, were
imprisoned eight months near Houston, Texas, were fed on
corn meal, and not enough of that, and all died except one —
nine in prison, and Mr. Milham, the tenth, at New Orleans.

The Wisconsin witnesses that authorize these statements,
in part, are Sergeant John E. Warren and Captain A. B.
Wheelock, of the Seventh Battery; Professor J. Ogden,
Lieutenant of Eirst Cavalry ; Jasper Culver, of the Eirst In-
fantry, who was a witness on the Wirtz trial ; E. L. Capp,
author of " Six Months a Prisoner of War ;" Samuel Hayt,
First Battery ; Alexander Johnston, Sixth Regiment; Oscar
Pierce, and Thomas A. Conway, of Milwaukee.

Jasper Culver, of Sheboygan Ealls, captured at Chicka-
mauga, was in prison at Belle Isle, Libby, Danville ; at the last
place had the small pox ; then, with Sergeant T. D. Mason and
one other, escaped ; wandered by night toward the llforth Star;
were everywhere befriended by negroes ; came in sight of the
Blue Ridge Mountains, and by the agency of rebel women
were all recaptured near E"ewcastle,Virginia. They were taken
by way of Lynchburg and Libby Prison to Andersonville.
After months of suffering there. Mason, Culver and Lewis
Trowbridge escaped, and after a long and hazardous march,
being aided by some negroes, but justly afraid of the treachery
of others, they reached Sherman's Army at Atlanta, and Cul-
ver was kept with it until the close of the war.

Professor Ogden and a companion escaped from Camp Sorg-


hum, South Carolina, ]t!^ovember 26th, 1864, and after seventeen
days and nights were recaptured by means of bloodhounds,
and taken back to prison at Columbia. The account is full of
interest, as given by the professor in Abbott's "Prison Life in
the South." Many of the Union prisoners finally returned to
their friends as those alive from the dead. But, alas ! for many
mourning families no such surprise and comfort came. They
have been obliged to defer the reunion to the other world.
RoUin M. Freeman, of Menasha, was fitting to be a missionary
printer when the war broke out, but enlisted for his country ;
at Murfreesboro was so feeble that a discharge was offered
him, which he refused; was captured at Chickamauga; for a
year suflPered the horrors of Libby, Danville and Anderson-
ville, and at the last place died. His only brother, "William,
served full four years.

Lieutenant William M. Bristoll, of the Thirteenth "Wis-
consin Battery, at the opening of the war was found in
Charleston, first as a teacher, and then as endeavoring to
dispose of his father's property and escape to his home in
Connecticut. He was arrested, the property confiscated to the
Confederacy, and he forbidden to leave the city. By strategy
he left; was suspected, but allowed to pass as a Confederate;
went by way of Columbia, Atlanta and Chattanooga, to Nash-
ville, and there was refused permission to go North. He there-
fore first went South, and then North again, passed a variety
of dangers, until at last a boy in a cornfield told him that he
was in Kentucky, a Union State. But new troubles came ; he
fell in with an armed force of secessionists, who claimed they
had just snatched Kentucky from the "Union ; secretly left
them ; after one hundred miles more was arrested by Union
troops as a Southern spy ; but at last reached his father's house,
came to Milwaukee, and enlisted to wage war against rebels.


The Legislature of Wisconsin, as a body, during the whole
war adopted the most patriotic and energetic measures for the
suppression of the rebellion. Their action has already been
noted in various parts of this volume. The Wisconsin Mem-
bers of Congress were, in general, ecjually patriotic and


decided. The action of the two senators at the opening of
the rebellion has been considered. The vote, both of members
of Congress and of the Legislature, on the Constitutional
Amendment abolishing slavery, was the following : The ques-
tion being brought up for consideration in the United States
Senate, April 8th, 1864, Messrs. Doolittle and Howe voted in
favor of the amendment. Failing of a two-thirds vote in the
House at that time, the subject was again brought up in that
body on January 6th, 1865, and the vote of Wisconsin Repre-
sentatives stood as follows : Yeas — Ithimar C. Sloan, Amasa
Cobb, Ezra Wheeler, Walter T. Mclndoe — 4. Nays — James
S. Brown, Charles A. Eldridge— 2.

The joint resolution being approved, February 1st, 1865,
the subjectywas presented by Governor Lewis to the Legislature,
and passed by the Senate, February 21st, 1865, by the follow-
ing vote :

Yeas — Gr. S. Barnum, J. A. Bently, W. Blair, J. Bowman, J. I.
Case, W. H. Chandler, J. A. 'Chandler, S. Cole, G. D. Elwood,
J. Harris, T. Hood, W. Ketchum, W. A. Lawrence, W. L. Lincoln,
N; M. Littlejohn, C. C. Pope, G. Eeed, M. H. Sessions, W. E. Smith,
A. Van Wyck, H. G. Webb, W. S. Westcott, G.. F. Wheeler, S. S.
Wilkinson, W. K. Wilson, A. H. Young, M. K. Young— 27.

Nays—S. W. Budlong, S. Clark, F. S. Ellis, L. Morgan, H. P.
Reynolds, F. 0. Thorp— 6.

The vote in the Assembly, February 24th, 1865, was the
following :

Yeas—W. J. Abrams, 0. Babcock, L. W. Barden, J. Berry, W. T.
Bonniwell, Jr.; A. A. Boyce,. W. Brandon, L. J. Brayton, J. H;
Brinkerho£F, J. Burgess, J. N. Cadby, S. C. Carr, J. B. Cassoday,
F. R. Church, N. Cobb, W. M. Colladay, DeWitt Davis, T. Davis,
E Dewhurst, B. Dond. D. Dunwiddie, H. L. Eaton, N. H. Emmons,
R K Fay, W. P. Forsyth, H. Fowler, J. S. Frary, M. A. Fulton,
M. Gilbert, R. Glenn, B. F. Groesbeck, J. Hadley, J. F. Hand, T. N.
Horton, D. Johnson, S. Judd, E. P.-King, W. A. Knapp, F. Little,
M F Lowth, W. W. McLaughlin, 'M. J. McEaith, B. S. Miner, J. B.
Monteith, D. Mowe, J. Oberman, W. H. Officer, S. W. Osborn, W.
Owen W Palmer, A. Pike, D. A. Reed, C. Rogers, J. Ross, b.
Ryan,' Jr. : E. 0. Salisbury, J. Sawyer, W. Simmons, Z. G. Sim-
mons E. Slade, G. Spoor,A. W. Starks, A. C. Stuntz, J. M Tarr,
A Taylor H. C. Tilton, 0. B. Thomas, J. Thompson, Jr. ; H. Utt,
D.' C. Van Ostrand, J. Vaughan, P. A. Weage, C.Whipple, G. 0. Wil-
liams, H. S.'Winsor, H. S. Wooster, W. W. Field, Speaker of the
body— 77.


Nays—F. Boyd, C. B. Daggett, M. L. Delaney, D. Ford, B. Franclc-
enburg, F. Gnewuoh, E. B. Goodsell, 0. F. Jones, D. Knab, J. Large,
H. McLean, H. Mulholland, M. Murphy, B. A. Pease, P. Peters,
J. Piper,'L. Walker, T. Weaver, J. Wedig, J. W. Weiler, R. White,
- — 21. J. Harker and J. McGrath were absent.

The two senators of Wisconsin, during the whole war took
a n<ible and prominent stand upon all questions pertaining to
the rebellion. It was Mr. Howe's first speech in the Senate,
in 1861, that drew from Mr. Douglas a reply, in which he made
his first deliberate and direct attack upon secession. While
Mr. Howe was a member of the old Whig party, he protested
against every measure in that odious series by which slaveiy
had endeavored to fortify and perpetuate its power — the reso-
lutions of Mr. Atherton, the annexation of Texa^, the spolia-
tion of Mexico, the admission of slavery into the territories
of which she had been despoiled, the fugitive slave law of
1850, and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. On the
question of State Eights, Mr. Howe held before the war a
position which enabled him consistently and boldly to oppose
the principles of secession when it came. Judge Howe was
born in Livermore, Maine, February 24th, 1846. In that State
he received an academic education, and was admitted to the
bar. He settled, at G-reen Bay in 1845, was a successful law-
yer, was chosen a Judge of the Judicial Court in 1850, and
resigned in 1855; and entered the United States Senate

March 4th, 1861.

Senator Doolittle's public life is well known. He was born
in Hampton, Washington County, !N". T., January 3rd, 1815 ;
graduated at Geneva College in 1834 ; was admitted to the
Supreme Court of New York in 1837 ; removed to Wisconsin
in 1851; became Judge of the First Judicial Circuit; was
elected Senator of the United States in 1857, and re-elected in
1863 for the term ending in 1869.


Two military officers of the State, who in important posi-
tions have been identified with her action during the war, are,
Adjutant and Inspector General Augustus Gaylord, commis-
sioned January 7th, 1862, and Surgeon General E. B. Wolcott,

eommissioned April 18th, 1861. Both have the rank of
brigadier general. It is a significant testimony that three
different governors appointed the former on their staffs, and
four, the latter. On the foregoing pages reference is fre-
quently made to the authority of General Qaylord ; his reports
have been a thesaurus constantly in use in preparing this
volume. This book itself is in some sense a monument to the
value of his labors, and of those associated with him in the
same department.

During all the war, when news of a battle came where Wis-
consin troops were engaged, particularly at the "West, General
Wolcott, with a corps of assistants, generally moved at once
to the field. "Wounded and dying soldiers visited by him in
such trying scenes are numbered by thousands. When disease
was found to be prevailing among Wisconsin troops. Surgeon
Wolcott, with proper sanitary means, often visited the suffering
regiments. Hospitals at the South came often under his
inspection. The whole corps of Wisconsin surgeons were in
a measure under his infiuence, and many felt the impetus and
encouragement given by his visits.


An interesting feature in the patriotism of the people to
overthrow the rebellion, is the firm and enthusiastic hold it
took on the public schools, academies and colleges, of the
State. The statistics of a few such institutions are an index
of the rest. One hundred and forty-three of those who were
or had been scholars of the Third Ward School of Milwaukee,
enlisted in the army and navy, and were scattered among a
large number of military organizations.

The alumni of the Eacine High School, of which Colonel
J. G. McMynn was formerly Principal, have placed in the hall
of their edifice a marble tablet, bearing the names of six
heroes, formerly members of the school, who laid their lives on
their country's altar in the war of the rebellion. They were,
Sergeant Major James J. Hinds, John D. Morgan and George
M. Yout, of the Twenty-second Eegiment; Joseph M. Mann,
of the Second ; George S. Janes, of the Eighth, and John G.
Phillips, of the Tenth.


Three hundred and ten students of Milton Academy entered
the army, and forty-three died or were killed. The academy
raised one company for the Thirteenth Regiment, one for the
Fortieth, and parts of companies for the Second and Forty-
ninth. The school had representatives in forty-four Wisconsin
regiments or batteries, and in thirty-one regiments of other
States, besides in general positions — eighty-four organizations
in all. Sixty-nine students received commissions to fill posi-
tions, from that of second lieutenant up to brigadier general.

Beloit College was represented in thirty-five "Wisconsin regi-
ments or batteries, in thirty Illinois organizations, in twenty-
four of other States, in nine colored regiments, and in other
positions — more than one hundred in all. Two hundred and
seventy former teachers or students of the college were in the
loyal service — none, so far as known, in the rebel service.
One hundred and forty-five held positions of honor or trust,
of whom eighty were commissioned officers; among whom
were two chaplains, one brigadier genei-al, seven colonels, five
lieutenant colonels, five adjutants,: and twenty-six captains.
More than sixty returned to the institution, . and proved that
they were not demoralized.

Mnety-six of one hundred and sixty-nine Congregational
Churches of Wisconsin reported the following aggregate :-
There were three hundred and sixty-five members of those
churches in the army, and 1,212 male adult members not in the
army, many of whom were not liable to military duty ; from the
same congregations there were 1,176 other men in the army;
twenty-eight ofiicers of those churches, forty-three sons of
ministers, and eleven ministers, were also in the service.
Eighty-five of the three hundred and sixty-five church-
members lost their lives, and also two hundred and thirty-
five of the 1,125 other members of the congregations. Of
the church-members who had returned, most of them are
reported to have come back with untarnished character. In
the Congregational Church of Baraboo, twenty-seven sons
of the members were in the army, and ten husbands of female
members. Six families had each three members who went to
the war, two of those families lost each two of its members by
death, and each of the other four one member — eight deaths



Ismo&MSSmi&iL AioE-;,IE±vTEKTlSr,

L:!TO:,.a:/-F;D -E>T'i'^;-jSLi-F'0'f:'VVlP.OOTIS!t!raTOEV,'7.KOFTHE FtFB.ELLiON-


in the six families. In all, ten who were either members, or
husbands or sons of members, of that church, laid down their
lives in the service of their country. Truly, it was a baptism
of blood! Statistics of other churches, if made, have not
been obtained.


Three general hospitals were established in Wisconsin during
the war ; one at Madison in October, 1863, and one at Prairie
du Ohien and one at Milwaukee in 1864. The origin of
JSTorthern hospitals, particularly of the Harvey Hospital at
Madison, is worthy of notice. Various means had been tried
to secure such institutions. But the General Government was
fearful that they would draw off too many soldiers from our
armies. A providence led to a change.

Goveunor Harvey's last letter to his wife, dated at Pittsburg
Landing, April 17th, 1862, had but three sentences,, which
were as follows: " Yesterday was % cfay of my life. Thank
God for the impulse that brought me here. I am well, and
have done more good by coming than I can well tell you."
•That letter and the death of her husband became an inspiration
to Mrs. Harvey. She asked of Governor Salomon permision to
visit hospitals in the Western Department as an agent of the
State, and early in the autumn of 1862 set out for St. Louis.
She went timidly ; hospitals and the whole medical department
were as yet very imperfect ; she had a task to comprehend
even the necessities of the case. She visited many general
hospitals along the Mississippi River, and post hospitals of
Wisconsin troops. The heat was oppressive; noxious and
contagious diseases prevailed ; some surgeons were appalled ;
some attendants shrunk from the care of the sick and the
removal of the dead. But her forwardness, activity, ingenuity,
and yearning over the sick and dying, emboldened and incited
many for their proper work. Late in the spring of 1863, when
near Vicksburg, she was herself taken sick, and obliged to
return home.- She had however become convinced of the
necessity of establishing general hospitals in the K'orthern
States. She determined to see President Lincoln herself on
the subject. At the first interview, he said :


" Madam, this matter of IsTorthern hospitals has been
talked of a great deal, and I thought it was settled ; but it
seems this is not the case. What have you got to say about it ?"
" Simply this. President, that many soldiers sick in our Western
army on the Mississippi, must have Northern air or die. There
are thousands of graves along the shores of that river, for which
the Government is responsible — ignorantly, undoubtedly; but
this ignorance must not continue. If you will permit these
men to come ITorth, you will have ten men in a year where

Online LibraryWilliam De Loss LoveWisconsin in the war of the rebellion; a history of all regiments and batteries the state has sent to the field, and deeds of her citizens, governors and other military officers, and state and national legislators to suppress the rebellion → online text (page 100 of 122)