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1864 April 16: Counties to Receive Credit for Volunteers Who Enlisted in Another State

April 18, 2014

From the April 16, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  This is an important change for all of “our” counties.

Credit for Volunteers.

The Adjutant General of the State has issued an order, intended to secure credit to towns in this State for volunteers who have enlisted out of the State. This is of special interest to several towns in this county, and we sent, as soon as possible, copies of the order to these towns.

To secure credit in such cases, affidavits must be sent to the Ad. General’s office, and each affidavit must state the full name of the volunteer for whom credit is claimed ;  the town or ward in which he resided at the time of his enlistment, with the length of time he has been such resident ;  the company and regiment to which he was assigned, and the State by which such company or regiment was organized, together with the name of the officer by whom he was enlisted.

Each affidavit, so prepared, must be made out singly, upon letter paper or legal cap, which should be properly folded, and endorsed with the name of the volunteer, his company and regiment ;  and the name of the town or ward making the claim of such volunteer. Such other facts as would substantiate the residence of the volunteer might also properly form a portion of the affidavit.—For instance, the fact of his having paid poll, or other tax in the town, the residence of his family, and whether town or county bounty had been paid them.

These affidavits must be filed in the offices of the Ad. General, on or before the 1st day of May.  There is no time for delay.

1864 April 16: Forrest’s “Rampage” in Kentucky

April 17, 2014

A detailed report on the Battle of Paducah from the April 16, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

Forrest’s Rampage in Kentucky—
His Repulse at Paducah.

The telegraph has given but very imperfect accounts of FORREST’S [Nathan B. Forrest] recent movements in Western Kentucky and Tennessee, where he was plundering, burning, killing and doing whatever other damage he could to the Union cause. We make up the following account from the correspondence of the Chicago papers.

The first movement was made on Union City, just south of the Tennessee line, where Col. Hawkins¹ of the 7th Tennessee cavalry was stationed with some 400 men. he sent word to Gen. Brayman,² the commander of the District of Cairo, that Forest [sic] was advancing on him with some 7,000.  Gen. Brayman advised him to hold his position if attacked and he would bring him aid as soon as possible.  He immediately embarked the 25th Wisconsin and three other regiments on steamers at Cairo for Columbus.  There he took the cars and went within six miles of Union City, where he learned that Col. Hawkins had surrendered his entire forces, who had already been marched off as prisoners of war.  Gen. B. deeming it useless to proceed any further returned.  It subsequently appeared that it was only a detachment of Forrest’s force, numbering 1000 or 1200, under Faulkner [William Wallace Faulkner], that made the attack on Union City, and if Col. Hawkins had been made of stronger stuff he might have held out till reinforced, and then repulsed the enemy.  Except the prisoners, the rebels gained little here.

After capturing Union City, the rebels numbering in all about 6, 500 under the command of Gens. Forrest, Faulkner and Thompson [Colonel Albert P. Thompson], proceeded to Paducah reaching the place at one P. M. of the 25th. Their advance was made known to the garrison in the town by the retreat of the pickets, and by scouts.  As the rebels advanced, entering the town near the depot the Union troops retreated towards the fort.  A rebel captain and nine men rode up to the sergeant for the guard and commanded him to surrender, the sergeant relied by shooting the captain through his neck, and afterwards succeeded in making his escape to the fort.  The garrison of the place consisted of three companies of the 122d Illinois regiment, a few Kentucky cavalry, just organizing, and about 300 Negroes, in all numbering about 600 men, under command of Col. Hicks [Stephen G. Hicks].  The rebels formed a line of battle about two miles and a half in length, after which Forrest sent a flag of truce to Col. Hicks, stating that he had men enough to storm and capture the fort, but as he desired to avoid unnecessary bloodshed demanded a surrender, promising to treat his captives as prisoners of war, and threatening, in case of refusal, to give no quarter.—The gallant Colonel relied to the summons to immediate surrender, that he could not see it ;  that he had been placed there to defend the fort, and could not, as an honest soldier comply with the demand.

While the parley was going on, Forrest advanced his sharpshooters and placed them in houses where they could pick off men in the fort and on the gunboats.  The battle soon began and for several hours raged with great fury.  The gunboats poured their broadsides into the city, demolishing buildings and killing and wounding many of the enemy.  The guns from the fort thundered forth into the rebel ranks, and as the Confederates rushed up to the breastworks, mowed them down like grass.  Forrest put his best regiments in front, and, notwithstanding they exhibited great courage, some of the men marching up to the very mouths of the guns, they were repulsed four or five times.  Their Commanding General said they had never faltered before . There were about eight hundred men within the fortification, but only about on-third actively participated in the fights.  Col. Hicks calmly directed all the operations, and showed such bravery and skill as entitled him to the highest praise.  Owing to the exigencies of the case, but little time was given for the removal of the women and children, and in the fight several were killed or wounded.  A large part of them were towed across the river on the wharf-boat.  The ferry-boat returned for another load, but was fired upon by the rebels, and not allowed to land.

Finding they could not carry the fort, the rebels retreated to the town, and contented themselves with plundering and destroying the property.  The Quartermaster buildings and the commissary stores were destroyed, but fortunately the quantity of stores was not large.  They made the attempt to break into the banks, but failed to break open the vaults.  It is reported that some of the citizens went about with the rebels, and pointed out the property of the Union citizens to be destroyed.  One woman by the name of Grimes, who was afterwards killed, came through the streets, exclaiming, “let us kill the Yankee rascals.”  A large number of buildings were destroyed and one steamboat on the docks.  The houses nearest the fort were destroyed by the Union soldiers to prevent their sheltering the rebel sharpshooters.  Our guns continued their fire until about midnight, when the rebels left, though they remained about the city until 8 P. M. on Saturday, when they moved off in the direction of Columbus.

Our troops fought with the greatest bravery, the negro troops remarkably well, working the guns equal to the best men in the service.  As soon as the state of affairs was known at Cairo, a re-inforcement of 2,000 men, including the 25th Wisconsin, and a battery was sent to the relief of Col. Hicks ;  also, a supply of ammunition, of which his stock was nearly exhausted, but the rebels left before they arrived.

The rebels took about 30 prisoners, convalescents taken from the hospitals.  Among them were Cpl. Thos. S. Wakefield, Co. K., and Isaac Austin, Co. G., of the 25th Wisconsin.³  These, with the 400 taken a day or two before at Union City, Forrest offered to exchange for Confederate prisoners, man for man ;  but Col. Hicks replied that he was not authorized to make any such arrangement.  The number of White Federals killed is 14, wounded 46.  Eleven Negroes were killed and wounded, all shot in the head.

The rebels had 800 killed and about 1,300 wounded.  The later they took to Mayfield by railroad ;  the former they left unburied.  Among the Confederate officers slain was Brig. Gen. A. P. Thompson, a former resident of Paducah, whose body was recognized in the streets.

It was a piece of rare retributive justice that a considerable number of those who perished in the assault on the place were former residents of Paducah, and that much of the property destroyed belonged to them and other rabid secessionists.

1.  Isaac Roberts Hawkins (1818-1880) was a lawyer who had served in the Mexican War. He was a delegate from Tennessee to the 1861 Peace Conference in Washington, D. C. He was elected to the Federal relations board as judge of the circuit court in 1862. In support of the Union, he entered the Union Army as lieutenant colonel of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, in late 1862. Hawkins was captured with his regiment at Union City, Tennessee in June 1864 and imprisoned. He was exchanged in August 1864 and resumed active service as colonel in command of the Cavalry force in western Kentucky until the close of the Civil War. For his service duty he was brevetted Brigadier of U.S. Volunteers on March 13, 1865. After the War, Hawkins was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives from Tennessee (1865-1870).
2.  Mason Brayman (1813-1895) was a newspaperman and lawyer before the Civil War. As an Illinois special prosecutor in the 1840s, he crafted the agreement that allowed the Mormons to leave Illinois. When the War broke out, he served as a major with the 29th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was promoted to colonel of the 29th in April 1862. Brayman participated in the battle so Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of Brigadier general and was serving as head of a claims commission in New Orleans. After the War, in 1876, Brayman became the 7th governor of Idaho Territory (1876-1880), nominated by President Ulysses S. Grant.
3.  Corporal Thomas S. Wakefield, from White Creek, was taken prisoner on March 26, 1864. He died in Andersonville Prison on August 4, 1864. Private Isaac Austin, from Durand, was taken prisoner on March 25, 1864. He also died in Andersonville Prison, on August 1, 1864.

1864 April 16: News of General Forrest and a Bunch of Union Generals from Minnesota

April 16, 2014

Following is the “Latest News from the telegraphic reports” of a week ago (April 9).  The column appeared in The Polk County Press of April 16, 1864.


From the telegraphic reports, April 9th.

Gen. Sibley (Henry Hastings Sibley) has been confirmed a Brigadier General from March 20th, 1863, and Col. C. C. Andrews¹ from January 5, 1864.  Minnesota has had her full share of Generals.  She has had two Major Generals and six Brigadiers, viz :  Major General N. J. T. Dana ;  Major General Horatio P. Van Cleve ;  Brig. Gen. Willis A. Gorman ;  Brig. Gen. Alfred Sully, (appointed from First Minnesota) ;  Brig. Gen. John B. Sanborn ;  Brig. Gen. Henry H. Sibley ;  Brig. Gen. Stephen Miller (now Governor) ;  and Brig. Gen. C. C. Andrews.¹

Reports from Washington state that a plan will soon be presented to Congress for the construction of a telegraph across the continent to connect with a line through Asia and Africa.  Gen. Lee’s army has been largely augmented by conscripts, and he expects to start the spring campaign with 90,000 troops. [Robert E. Lee]  Our Government is about to weed out thirty or forty unemployed Generals.

A firm in Cincinnati has been engaged in a mammoth swindle and escaped to Canada.

Gen. Forrest [Nathan B. Forrest] says his loss in his recent operations at Union City and Paducah, was only ten killed and forty wounded, and that the federals had twenty-seven killed, and seventy or eighty wounded. It is said our loss was actually fourteen killed and two wounded.

Gen. Steele [Frederick Steele] is driving the rebels in Arkansas, but they are making serious raids in his rear.

A Louisville dispatch says several of Forrest’s officers have crossed the Ohio into Indiana and Illinois for the purpose of inciting the people to revolt.  One account says Forrest is trying to get out of Kentucky, and another that he intends to remain.

Gold fluctuated yesterday between 60 and 70.  The fact that one of $515,000 paid into the New York Customs House yesterday, 470,000 here in gold certificates, shows that Secretary Chase [Salmon P. Chase] is “Bulling” pretty heavily in the market.  At this rate the “pile” at his disposal will soon become terribly reduced.

1.  Christopher Columbus Andrews (1829-1922) enlisted as a private, but was commissioned a captain in the 3rd Minnesota Infantry. Captured by Confederates in Tennessee in July 1862, he was held as a prisoner of war until October, when he was exchanged. He returned to his regiment as lieutenant colonel and participated in the Vicksburg Campaign. In July 1863, Andrews was promoted to colonel and commanded a brigade in the operations to capture Little Rock, Arkansas, later in the year. Throughout the balance of the year and into early 1864, Andrews helped organize and foster the Unionists in Arkansas, and was influential in the reorganization of Arkansas as a free state. He was promoted to brigadier general in acknowledgement of his efforts while commanding troops near Augusta, Arkansas. Andrews was assigned to the command of the Second Division of the XIII Corps, and participated in the siege and storming of Fort Blakely in Alabama. On March 9, 1865, he was brevetted Major General and assigned command of the district of Mobile.

1864 April 9: List of Wisconsin Prisoners Exchanged, “hardy set of half-breed Chippewas” join 7th Wisconsin, and Much More

April 15, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the April 9, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

THE VETERANS RESERVE.—An order has recently been issued changing the name of the Invalid Corps to “The Veteran Reserve Corps.”

HOME.—The 11th and 12th regiments of Wisconsin veterans arrived at Madison on the 21st, and are now enjoying a furlough for 30 days within the State.  One company is now at Prescott.  [Company A, the Lyon Light Guards]

GLAD OF IT.—We see by the “Prescott Journal,” that our old friend and companion ROLLIN P. CONVERSE, Captain Co. B, 6th Wis. Vol., has recently been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.  Bully for the Governor [James T. Lewis] or the man who did it.  He is deserving of the “twinkling star” or any other position of honor and trust.  ROLLIN has got the true grit in him, having fought his way up from the ranks, and for once fortune smiles her reward on a heart brave and true.

FROM THE 4TH REGIMENT.—We have received a letter from Henry French, stating that the recruits which left here for the 4th Regiment had arrived at their regimental headquarters at Baton Rouge in safety and all well.  He says that Company G [Hudson City Guards] contains ninety-five men.  Nearly all of the old members have re-enlisted for the war.  The regiment has had frequent skirmishes with the guerillas [sic], generally coming out best.

DEPARTURE.—The volunteers enlisted by recruiting officer G. W. DAVIS, for company G, 7th Wis. Regt., took their departure for Madison on Tuesday last.  They are a hardy set of half-breed Chippewas, use to taking it “rough and ready” and will make spendid [sic] soldiers.  They all talk English, are of good size, and brave as lions.  The following is the list of names complete :

Alexes La Prairie, Charles Razor,
John Singog, J. B. La Prairie,
John Winslow, Joseph Razor,
Joseph King, George Metawos,
Joseph Cadotte, James Rice,
Alex Cadotte, John R. Day,
Thomas Hart, John Buck,
George Samuel John Moses,
Charles Hart, Joseph Morrow.

FROM MADISON.—The following bills of interest to citizens in the District have been introduced in the legislature by our member since our last summary :

A bill to authorize . . . the government to audit the accounts of the Douglas County Home Guards; to legalize the vote of a special town meeting, held in the town of Osceola, Polk county, on the 10th day of December, 1863, to raise money by tax to pay bounties to volunteers.

— The latest returns of the vote of New York on the soldiers’ suffrage show a majority of 161,000 in favor of the constitutional amendment.

— A resolution in favor of the recall of Gen. McClellan to the command of the Army of the Potomac was offered in the New York Assembly on Monday last, and laid on the table.  [George B. McClellan]

NOT SO.—The copperhead journals have recently been circulating stories that the sixty-four lady school teachers at Beaufort, South Carolina, were about to add precisely the same number of infant mulattoes to that population.  A story so preposterous, however positively stated, scarcely needed contradiction.  The New York “Word,” however, has the manliness, both editorially and by its Beaufort correspondence, to denounce the whole thing for what it is, a vile slander, without the shadow of a foundation on which to rest.

From The Prescott Journal:

WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS EXCHANGED.The following is a list of the Wisconsin soldiers who arrived at New York by steamer on the 10th inst.  They were among the 664 prisoners released from confinement at Richmond, on exchange:

O. Morton, 6th ; J. H. Ayers, F, 7th ; J. W. Matthews, I, 7th ;
R. B. Huflit, 7th ; F. Cushman, B, 2d ; H. Acker, H, 2d ;
B. Wilson, I, 7th ; J. J. Phillips, I, 2d ; J. H. Laton, B, 2d cavalry ;
D. Gilmore, 2d ; J. Brown, E, 26th ; S. G. Parson, F, 7th ;
Thos. Brown, 2d ; Nunan, F, 26th ; W. Clow, D, 2d ;
N. M. Orrick, 1st ; W. J. Gasner, F, 7th ; Peter Velger, D, 27th ;
A. W. Waterman, C, 7th.

Bounty to Veterans.

Last Tuesday the City [of Prescott] voted to pay a bounty of $100 each to the veterans whose reenlistment filled our quota under the last call.

GONE TO THE WAR.B. C. EDES, one of the proprietors and editors of the Oshkosh Northwestern, and formerly Captain of the Enterprise, in the St. Croix trade, has received a Captain’s commission in the 37th regiment. Ben is a gentleman, a scholar, and a right noble man.  Ourself, and his many friends here, warmly wish him success.

Finger002  Now that another man has been elected, and the blockade of the Pennsylvania Senate broken up, to the discomfiture of the Copperhead conspirators, the rebels have released Senator-Major White.  The news being read in the Pennsylvania Senate; the Copperheads affected much satisfaction, but the hypocrisy of their manifestation was so apparent as to disgust all honest men. —Ed.

Just so long as the rebels could play into the hands of the Copperheads by retaining Col. WHITE, they refused to exchange him.

COPPERHEADS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.The character of the New Hampshire copperhead leaders, who have just been so summarily defeated in their treasonable plans, may be inferred from the address of one J. D. MURPHY, at Newington, urgently.  MURPHY stumped the State for HARRINGTON, the Democratic candidate for Governor.  He said :

“Rather than submit four years longer to Abe Lincoln, and be overrun by the hordes of his hireling soldiery, let us ring out the cry of old, “To your tents, O, Israel !”  Democrats should arm and organize into drill clubs, companies, battalions, regiments and brigades, for these blood thirsty Abolitionists and shoddyite thieves and traitors are wind-broken, spavined, dyspeptic race, and one regiment of Democrats could whip three of of them.  Our armies have accomplished nothing; the Army of the Potomac is a grand picnic excursion, eating up the substance of the nation, and coming home to vote down the liberties of the people, and render our elections a farce and mockery to the world.”

The people of New Hampshire have responded to these treasonable appeals, and have administered such a rebuke to copperheadism as may well warn the leaders in other States.

DEMOCRATIC CONSPIRACY.The statement has been made that, out of ninety-six colonels appointed by Gov. Seymour, all but one are Democrats!  [Horatio Seymour]

NOT WHOLLY UNGRATEFUL.The rebels are not destitute of gratitude.  They recognize the services of their Northern allies.  A recent number of the Mississippian says :

Have our neighbors read the Chicago Times, New York Express, Metropolitan, Record, Cincinnati Enquirer, and various other papers of the North which are exponents of the opposition to Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln]?  Have they read the speeches of Bright [Jesse D. Bright], Voorhees [Daniel W. Voorhees], Merrick and various others?  Have they ever found in any of these papers of speeches a syllable that did not breathe the most orthodox States’ rights doctrines, and these are the men whose success will bring peace.

The Richmond Whig, of the 23d of February, says :

On moral grounds the justice of our (the rebel) cause has been vindicated  by the ablest intellects in Europe, and by the best men at the North.  England, the mother of abolitionism, has sustained us; France, as thoroughly anti-slavery as England, though not like her, a propagandist, has sustained us.  Fernando Wood, Franklin Pierce,¹ Seymour of Connecticut [Thomas H. Seymour], SUSTAIN US, in the moral issue at least.  THUS SUSTAINED, we shall indeed lack manhood if we fail to meet this last hour of trial BRAVELY AND HOPEFULLY.

1.  Former U. S. President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) was a Northerner with Southern sympathies. His reputation as an able politician and a likable man was destroyed during the Civil War when he declared support for the Confederacy. In the aftermath of Vicksburg, personal correspondence between Pierce and the Confederate President Jefferson Davis was found and leaked to the press. The letters revealed Pierce’s deep friendship with Davis and ambivalence about the goals of the war.

1864 April 9: Colonel Dahlgren’s Operations and Death

April 14, 2014

Following is a detailed account of the death of Colonel Ulrich Dahlgren, reprinted from several Southern newspapers.  It appeared in the April 9, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  The italics in the reprinted articles was added by the Journal.

K I L P A T R I C K ‘ S   E X P E D I T I O N.

Fury  of  the  Richmond  Press.



Nothing has aroused the ire of the rebels like the recent raid on Richmond, if we are to judge of their sentiments by the expressions of the Richmond papers.  It is however quite probable that the occasion is siezed [sic] on to “fire the Southern heart” anew, by startling misrepresentations of the acts and purposes of the Union troops, and that the fury and indignation exhibited by the organs of the JEFF. DAVIS [Jefferson Davis] is partially assumed.  We subjoin some extracts to show their spirit :

The first article below, as it appeared in other newspapers of the time, consisted of more paragraphs before the ones printed in the Journal. Those additional paragraphs put what follows into context, so are printed here:

[From the Richmond Examiner,¹ March 7th.]

“The column of Yankees under Dahlgren took on their route two prisoners, Captain Dement² and Mountcastle, who accompanied the force from Goochland to the debut at Walkerton.  From these gentlemen and other sources of information we gather some interesting accounts of Dahlgren’s excursion.  Dahlgren came down the Westham plank road, with eight hundred or a thousand men.  The Armory Battalion was on the enemy’s flank and appears to have been completely surprised.  But when the enemy came in contact with Henley’s Battalion the cavalry broke at the first fire.  The first volley of musketry seems to have done all the disaster that occurred.  There were eleven Yankees killed and some thirty or forty wounded.  After the affair Dahlgren seemed to be anxious for his retreat and divided his forces, so as to increase the chances of escape.  The force under his immediate command moved down the south bank of the Pamunkey and crossed the river at Dabney’s ferry.

"The Late Colonel Ulric Dahlgren," from Harper's Weekly

“The Late Colonel Ulric Dahlgren,” from Harper’s Weekly³

“Their exact number was not at first easily ascertained ;  and, as usual, the most exaggerated accounts were soon circulated throughout the county, increasing as they spread, until the miserable fugitives from the Richmond defenses were magnified into a full brigade.  From the ferry they proceeded by the most direct route to Aylett’s, on the Mattapony, watched closely at every step by scouts detached from Lieutenant James Bellard’s company of Lee’s Rangers, now on picket duty and recruiting service in King William, the residence of most of its members.  The ferry boat having been previously removed, and Pieutenant Pollard’s arrangements for disputing their passage when they reached the King and Queen side of the river being suspected, they dashed across the river as precipitately as possible, under the fire of a small squad of rangers left on the south bank for that purpose.  While passing through King William they captured one prisoner, William Edwards, and several horses, and mortally wounded a man attached  to the signal corps, whose name we could not learn.  Subsequently Colonel Dahlgren, in command of the party, ordered the release of Edwards and the restoration of his horse and of some valuables which were forcibly taken from his person when captured.

“The Yankees had no sooner reached King and Queen county than they were harassed, both front and rear, by the Rangers, showing fight as they advanced, until Lieutenant Pollard was reinforced by Magruder’s and Blake’s companies of the Forty-second Virginia Battalion, now on picket duty in King and Queen, and Fox’s company of Fifth Virginia Cavalry, on furlough in the same county.  Here the fight became general, resulting in the death of Colonel Dahlgren, and the capture of the greater number of the party, the rest having fled in disorder and panic to the nearest woods.  It is believed that few, if any, will reach Gloucester Point alive, as the Home Guard of King and Queen, whose bravery was conspicuous during the whole affair, are scouring the country and cutting off escape.

“A large body of this raiding party was pushing toward the peninsula at last accounts, preferring that route to the rather hazardous attempt to reach Gloucester Point through King William and King and Queen.  We regret this very much, as in both counties, adequate preparations were made to prevent the soil of either county from being converted into a highway, as in the earlier period of the war, for Yankee robbers, whose track is marked, wherever they are permitted to obtain a foothold, with desolation and blood.”

In The Prescott Journal, the reprint from the Richmond Examiner began here:

(From the Richmond Examiner¹ 7th.)

The publication of Dahlgren’s programme for the sack of Richmond was the occasion of constant excitement Saturday, and curiosity to know what course the authorities would pursue towards the three or four hundred land pirates put in durance at Libby.  To Dahlgren’s budget of villainy and cowardice are to be added some incidents which show, in the most striking colors, the character of this commander.

When the Yankee’s appeared at Frederick’s Hall they captured there Captain Dement,²  and this prisoner was taken in company with Dahlgren over the whole of his route.  Captain Dement reports that he witnessed the execution of the negro guide, and that Dahlgren furnished the reign from his own horse with which the unhappy victim was hung.

Captain Dement effected his escape in the fight near Walkerton.  When Dalgren found the small body of Confederate cavalry in his front, he insisted upon Captain Dement riding by his side, as he advanced to demand their surrender.  The reply of our officers to the demand of surrender, was “Give them hell, boys.”  Dahlgren fell at the first fire and the horse of Captain Dement was shot under him, the rider fortunately escaping without injury.  Dahlgren received two bullets in the head, two in the body and one in the hand.  He died instantly.

Captain Demens escaped to a skirt of woods and hearing some of the Yankee fugitives expressing a desire to find him and surrender to him, came forward and received the surrender of almost the entire party.  Dahlgren’s body has been stripped naked and was lying on the road, and it was by Captain Dement’s orders that it was interred.

Both Captain Dement and Mr. Montcastle describe Dahlgren as a most agreeable and charming villain.  He was very civil to the prisoners, shared his food with Captain Dement, and on several occasions invited him to take a nip of whiskey with him.  He was a fair haired, very young looking man, with manners as soft as a cat’s.

The Richmond Whig adds to this :

Capt. DEMENT states that DAHLGREN’S men were completely fagged out, having lost six nights sleep, and were in no condition to fight.  Although Capt. Dement was with Daldgren four days and nights, he said and heard nothing of the infernal designs against Richmond until the papers, which have been published, were found on his dead body.

"Ambuscade and Death of Colonel Dahlgren," from Harper's Weekly

“Ambuscade and Death of Colonel Dahlgren,” from Harper’s Weekly³

[From the Richmond Examiner, March 8.]

Dahlgren’s body was boxed up at Walkerton with the object, we understand, of its positive identification, and the establishment of the fact of the finding of the infamous documents upon it, all of which have been attested by witnesses.  Henceforth the name of Dahlgren is linked with eternal infamy, and in the years to come defenceless women and innocent childhood will peruse, with a sense of shrinking horror, the story of Richmond’s rescue from the midnight sack and ravage led by Dahlgren.  It would seem something of the curse he came to bestow upon others lighted upon his own carcass, when it fell riddled by avenging southern bullets.  Stripped, robbed of every valuable, the fingers cut off for the sake of the diamond rings that encircled them, when the body was found by those sent to take charge of it, it was lying in a field, stark naked, with the exceptions of the stockings.  Some humane person had lifted the corpse from the pike and thrown it over into the field, to save it from the hogs.  The artificial leg worn by Dahlgren was removed, and is now at General Elzey’s headquarters.  It is of most beautiful design and finish.

Yesterday afternoon the body was removed from the car that brought it to the York River Railroad depot and given to the spot of earth selected to receive it.  Where that spot is no one but those concerned in its burial know or care to tell.  It was a dog’s burial, without a coffin, winding sheet or service.  Friends and relatives at the North need inquire no further ;  this is all they will know—he is buried a burial that befitted the mission upon which he came.

[From the Richmond Whig, March 8.]

The body of Col. Ulric Dahlgren, killed in the swamps of King and Queen, by the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, was brought to the city Sunday night, and laid at the York River depot during the greater part of the day yesterday, where large numbers of persons went to see it.  It was in a pine box, clothed in confederate shirt and pants, and shrouded in a confederate blanket.  The wooden leg had been removed by one of the soldiers.  It was also noticeable that the little finger of the left hand had been cut off.  Dahlgren was a small man, thin, pale, and with red hair and a goatee of the same color.  His face wore and expression of agony.  About two o’clock P. M., the corpse was removed from the depot and buried—no one knows, or is to know, where.

[Col. Dahlgren used no wooden leg.  The stump had not yet become sufficiently hardened to admit it ;  when he rode, his leg was strapped to the saddle.  Col. D. had light, flaxen hair—not red.  Otherwise the description is correct.—ED. N. Y. TIMES]

[From the Richmond Whig, March 7th.]

Are these men warriors !  Are they soldiers, taken in the performance of duties taken as legitimate by the loosest construction of the code of civilized warfare ?  or are they assassins, barbarians, thugs, who have forfeited (and expect to lose) their lives ?  Are they not barbarians redolent of more hellish purposes than were ever the Goth, the Hun or the Saracen !  The consentaneous voice of all Christendom will shudderingly proclaim them monsters, whom no sentimental idea of humanity, no timorous views of expediency, no trembling terror of consequences, should have shielded from the quickest and the stearnest death.

What more have we to dread from Yankee malice of brutality than we now know awaits us, success attend them ?  What have we to hope from their clemency ?  Will justice meted out to those poor creatures stimulate either the brutality of the Yankees on the one hand, or increase their capacity and means for diabolism on the other ?  Both are no in the fullest exercise.

If these men go unpunished, according to the exceeding magnitude of their crimes, do we not invite the Yankees to a similar, and, if possible, still more shocking effort s?  If we would now what we ought to do with them, let us ask what would ere now have been their fate, if, during a war, such a body of men, with such purposes and such acts, had made an attempt on and were taken in London or Paris?  The English blow fierce and brutal Sepoys, who disregard and exceed the just limits of war, from the mouths of cannon ;  the French fusilade them.  If we are less powerful, have we less pride and self-respect than either of these nations ?  These men have put the caput lupinum,4 on themselves.  They are not victims ;  they are volunteers for remorseless death.  They have rushed upon fate, and struggled in voluntary audacity with the grim monster.  Let them die, not by court-martial, not as prisoners but as hostes humans generis [sic],5 by general order from the President, Commander-in-Chief [Jefferson Davis].

Will the Cabinet and President have the nerve do what lies palpable before them ?  This is the question in all mouths.  What concerns this people most now is not whether its public officers will come out of this war with brilliant European reputations—not whether, after leading the people out of Egypt, they shall have the reputation that Moses preserved of being very meek—but they wish protection to themselves, their wives and children and their honor.

[From the Richmond Whig, March 8th.]

Four Yankee negro soldiers, captured in James City county, were brought to this city yesterday, and delivered at the Libby, where they were distributed, as far as they would go, into the solitary cells of the Yankee officers captured during the recent raid.  This is a taste of negro equality, we fancy, the said Yankee officers will not fancy overmuch.

[From the Richmond Sentinel, March 5th.]

If the Confederate capital has been in the closest danger of massacre and conflagration, if the President and Cabinet have run a serious risk of being hanged at their own doors, do we not owe it chiefly to the milk and water spirit in which this war has hitherto been conducted !

It is time to ask, in what light are the people of the Confederate States regarded by their own government ?  As belligerents resisting by war an invasion from a foreign people—or as a gang of malefactors evading and postponing the penalty of their crimes ?

But “we are to consider,” it seems, “not what wicked enemies may deserve, but what it becomes us, as Christians and gentlemen, to inflict.”  Oh, hypocrisy; and thou forty person power which alone can sound its praise through they forty noses !  What cant is this ?  We wonder whether Mr. Davis is aware of what many very honest people begin to mutter and murmur.  They say, can this man be saving up for himself, in case of the worst, a sort of plea in mitigation of punishment ?  If the cause for which a hundred and fifty thousand of us have died, be borne down at last, is this Christian meekness of his intended to save his own life ?  They say what comfort are these fine sentiments to the houseless families who have been driven from their homes in Tennessee or Virginia, when they find that our armies, even on the enemy’s soil, are withheld from giving the invaders a taste of real war in their own quenched hearths and blazing barns ?  For what have we set over us a government at all if it be not to protect us against our enemies ;  to avenge us of our enemies when need is ;  to uphold our cause in all its fulness and grandeur, and to keep our banner flying high ?  But this is lowering the cause and dragging the banner through the dust ;  this is encouraging, inviting our invaders to ravage and pillage us at pleasure, sure that they will not be visited with the like in their turn.

1.  The Richmond Examiner During the War; or, The Writings of John M. Daniel: with a Memoir of his Life, by his Brother Frederick S. Daniel (New York: Printed for the Author, 1868) is available on the Internet Archive.
2.  Probably William Fendley Dement (1826-1907), 1st Maryland Artillery Battery (Confederate). A farmer before the War, he was the first lieutenant of the Battery on its organization in Richmond, Virginia, in July 1861. He was appointed captain in June 1862 when R. Andrews Snowden was promoted. During his service, he participated in the engagements at Seven Pines, the Seven Days Battles, the fights on the Gorkoron peninsula, Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), the battles of Cedar Run and Manchester, the capture of Harper’s Ferry, and the battles of Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, and Cold Harbor. He surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. After the War, he returned to farming and also worked for the Treasury Department.
3.  The March 26, 1864, issue of Harper’s Weekly featured Ulric Dahlgren’s story, along with these two illustrations. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Chalmer Davee Library has microfilm copies of Harper’s Weekly for 1858-1865 (UWRF online catalog).
4.  Latin, used in the English legal system to refer to a person considered to be an outlaw.
5.  Another Latin term, correctly spelled Hostis humani generis, literally meaning “enemy of mankind.”  It is a legal term originating from admiralty law, before the adoption of public international law. Maritime pirates and slavers were held to be beyond legal protection, and could be dealt with as seen fit by any nation, even if that nation had not been directly attacked.

1864 April 9: Sketch of the 12th Wisconsin’s History

April 13, 2014

The following appeared in the April 9, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  Company A of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry consisted of men primarily from Prescott and surrounding areas.

CO. A, 12th REG’T.

A Sketch of its History.

Co. A. 12th, returned here on furlough last Sunday.  This company, it will be remembered, was recruited by Capt McLEOD [Norman McLeod] and Lieut. MAXSON [Orrin T. Maxson], under the name of “Lyon Guards,” and in the character of its personnel was not surpassed by any company which has been recruited in the St. Criox Valley.

Shortly after going into service, Captain McLeod resigned, and the company has since been under command of Capt. O. T. Maxson, whose efficiency and care for his men has made him one of the most popular officers who have come from this State.

This company and the regiment to which it is attached, has done an immense amount of service, as the following record will show :

The company was organized Sept. 1861, mustered into the U. S. service in October, left the State in January 1862, quartered in Weston, Mo. and Leavenworth, Ks., until March 1st when they started for Texas a part of the Jim Lane expedition.  Marched to the Cherokee country, when ordered back to Lawrence, Ks, and ordered to New Mexico.—Marched to Fort Riley when ordered back to the Mo. River, and embarked for Columbus, Ky.  Was engaged in repairing the Mobile and Ohio R. R.  Was mounted by order of Gen. Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] in August and employed in scouting the country from the Tennessee River on the east, to near the Mississippi on [the] west.  Captured during this time, over three hundred horses, about twenty rebel soldiers, including Col. Burrows a Presbyterian clergy man, commanding a rebel regiment.  Upon one occasion, a favorite guide of the Co., Mr Silence (since Maj. Silence) was captured with fourteen of his men thirty miles from Co. A Camp.  The report reached Camp at evening.  At ten P. M. forty of the company started in a heavy rain ;  rode 30 miles by 4 next morning.  Crossed Sharron Ferry, driving in the enemies’ pickets that were posted for the protection of the ferry ;  made them a camp of 100 men of Col. Faulkner’s command [William Wallace Faulkner], brought away two rebels.  Taylor’s, as hostage for Silence, leaving word they sho’d hang it Silence was not returned ;  re-crossed the ferry at sunrise within 100 rods of Faulkner[']s camp, and reached Humbolt at 2 P. M., making 70 miles in sixteen hours.  Silence was exchanged for Taylors.  At Lamar, Miss. was attacked by Capt. Clay while being set a videtts.  The company was charged upon Clay’s men who fled into an ambushcade of Kansas Jayhawkers closely pursued by Co. A.  We captured 137 of Clay’s men, wounded 40, and killed 15 ;  Capt. Clay badly wounded.  Made the march to Yackay, in Miss ;  was at Holly Springs at the burning of the same ;  during the winter following was employed in guarding Memphis and Charleston R. R.

In April into Memphis.  April 18th marched 30 miles from Memphis, under Col. Bryant [George E. Bryant] to Hernando to attack Gen. Chalmers [James R. Chalmers].  Skirmished about twenty miles. On reaching the town, found Chalmers in line of battle ;  a warm engagement, lasting about an hour ;  drove the rebels leaving 78 prisoners in our hands besides their killed and wounded.  Next morning followed the rebels ten miles to the Coldwater ;  the stream not passable, and works on opposite bank too strong to pass in absence of pontoons.  Artillery and small arms was used freely from ten A. M. until 4 P. M. we evidently losing more than Chalmers.  We lost several valuable officers during the day.  May 10th, embarked at Memphis for Vicksburgh [sic] ;  was engaged until the surrender, July 4th, in that campaign.—Was marched to Jackson, and engaged in routing Johnson [sic: Joseph E. Johnston] from the locality, returning to Vicksburgh [sic], was sent to Natchez ;  from there went on the expedition that captured Fort Beauregard, on the Trinity River, La. ;  was twice engaged with Wirt Adams’ Cavalry, near Natchez.  Enlisted as veterans in December and January ;  came up to Vicksburgh [sic] ;  started on the Sherman raid ;  was under fire at  Baker’s Creek and received the first rebel officer’s sword surrendered on that expedition.  Was again under fire at Canton ;  marched 31 days on ten days’ rations.  Are now on furlough, which expires April 29th.—Of the original number that left with the Co. 29 are dead, 22 discharged, 47 re-enlisted.

The following are the re-enlistments in the company :

G. C. HEMPELL [sic: Hempel], S. C. ROBERTS,
A. McKEE, J. T. HEY,
H. W. LEVINGS, J. O. OLSON [sic: Oleson]
L. LAFOR [sic: Lafoe], P. B. JEWELL,
B. [sic: R.] GIBSON, N. W. [sic: N. K.] HAMMER [sic: Hammar],
J. T. CRIPPEN, A. T. [sic: A. F.] OTTMAN,
M. L. HAWLEY, W. KELSEY, since promoted to
J. N. HAGER, 2nd Lt.
FRED GARLT [sic: Garit], J. M. CULLUM,
R. CASTELLO [sic: Costello], H. BOWERS,
E. BLAISDELL, C. HENNINEGON [sic: Hanningson],

1864 April 9: The Boys of Company F “achieved a bloodless but decisive victory over an unruly crowd which greatly outnumbered them”

April 12, 2014

The following letter from the 30th Wisconsin Infantry in Dakota Territory appeared in the April 9, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  The Winnebago Indians—also called Ho-Chunk—were removed to Dakota Territory along with the Dakota (Sioux) Indians.  Through the period of forced relocations, many tribe members returned to previous homes, especially in Wisconsin, despite the U. S. Army’s efforts to prevent that and their repeated roundups and removals.

T H E   I N D I A N   W A R.

Letter from Co. F, 30th.

March 6, 1864.

ED. JOURNAL :—Believing that both yourself, and readers, are interested in Co. F, I give you an account of an occurrence which took place at this post this morning, in which our Co. and Capt. MEACHAM [Edgar A. Meacham] were conspicuous actors.

The U. S. Indian Agent left here for Washington about three weeks since, leaving the Agency in charge of one of his employees.  The Winnebago Indians have become dissatisfied with the country and their treatment here, and for some time past have been slipping away from the Post, in small bands, by night.

They were well aware that if they permitted a knowledge of their plans to reach the authorities at the Post, efforts should be made to detain them, as it is the intention of Government to keep them here, after expending so large an amount of money in fitting up the Agency ;  consequently they have until recently, chose to leave quietly in the darkness of night.  But those who had already undertaken the experiment had been so successful in the accomplishment of their designs without being molested, that a large number concluded to try it, and do it too by daylight.  About half past eight o’clock this morning the acting U. S. Indian Agent and the U. S. Winnebago Interpreter waited upon the the commander of the Post, and informed him that the Indians had about 50 canoes launched and packed, and were about starting down the river.  And he, the acting agent, demanded the assistance of the military power to prevent their departure.  A squad of soldiers from Co. F. 30th, and Co. K, 6th, were immediately called out to render the required service.  But allow me to state here the reason that matters had progressed thus far, unknown to either the Indian Agent or military command, was because the Fort in which we are quartered  is not situated exactly on the bank of the river, but at a distance of perhaps one-fourth of a mile ;  the Indians being camped in the timber, between the Fort and the river.  Consequently they had been enabled to get their preparations well under way before acknowledgement of them reached the authorities.

But a very few moments elapsed after the assistance was demanded, before a squad of fourteen men, under charge of Sargent [sic] McCarthy,¹ and headed by Capt. M. marched from the Fort to the point where the Indians were about to embark. The Captain told them they would not be permitted to leave, and ordered them to remove their traps back to their lodges.  This they flatly refused to do.  He then told them that if they persisted, he should order the men to fire, and stop as many as they could with bullets.  This seemed to have no effect on them, and they professed themselves determined to go at all hazards.  Capt. M. then told them he had done talking, but his threats would be put in execution.  The Indians said he was very foolish for coming down there to stop them, they out numbered his men a great deal, were better armed, and could kill every one of the whites on the ground.  They professed not to fear death, and again stated that they could not be stopped by all the troops at the Agency.

The Missouri at this point is quite wide.  In the center of the river is an extensive sand bar, upon the further side of which the channel is situated, while upon this side of the bar is a kind of bayou about nighty feet in width.  To be able to get down the river with their canoes the Indians would be obliged to paddle around the head of this bar, cross the river, and go down on the further side.

Serg’t McCARTY was ordered to land his squad on the bar, across the bayou, and if the Indians refused to halt, to shoot as many as they could.  A messenger was sent to the Fort for a reinforcement, which reported promptly at the [spot?].²  Meantime, the Indians who were not expecting to leave, expressed their determination to assist their friends and went to their lodges and procured their guns, bows, and arrows.

About this time the prospect looked fair for some fun, and serious fun it might have proved too, if the Indians had not yielded.  They outnumbered us ten to one, were well armed, and no doubt could have done good execution.  But things were otherwise ordered, as you will see.

Meantime the canoes had pushed out, crossed the river, and commenced moving down stream.  But as they neared our squad, the command was given—HALT!  They at first only ceased paddling, but soon commenced backing water to hold the canoes against the current and then headed them ashore.  They were then ordered to take the canoes to the point of embarkation, and seeing the bayonet lowered to a charge, they concluded that direction was the better part of valor, and slowly obeyed the order.—On their arrival at the shore the men were ordered to disburse and leave the squaws to take care of the trumpery.—This order they also obeyed, after our boys had been brought to a charge bayonet and some of them had felt a little cold steel in the vicinity of the breached at.

As soon as the squaws had packed the effects back to the camp, and the work of reconstructing the lodges fairly commenced, the boys were ordered back to the Fort, having the satisfaction of feeling that they had achieved a bloodless but decisive victory over an unruly crowd which greatly outnumbered them.

*                    *                    *                    *

Before I close, allow me to mention a little affair which took place one side as the more important movements were in progress.

Two of the Winnebago ladies, (sometimes scandalously called squaws) taking offense at each other for some real or imaginary wrong, commenced an altercation which soon brought on blows.  One of the afore mentioned ladies had an infant, (commonly called pappoose [sic],) in her arms at the commencement of the dispute, but as it became more exciting, her antagonist rushed upon her, wrenched the child out of her arms, and threw it over the bank, a distance of ten or twelve feet.  The mother’s maternal anxiety was surpassed by her desires to resend the insult, and without looking for her child, which was picked up by some other lady, sadly bruised, (it has since died,) she fell to with a will, and soon whipped her enemy beautifully.

Yours truly,          MORE ANON

1.  Augustus E. McCarty, from Prescott, enlisted August 13, 1862. He was first promoted to corporal and then to sergeant. He mustered out with the company on September 20, 1865.
2.  The printing on this issue of the newspaper was not very good and this is out best guess as to what the word should be. The “ot” at the end is plain, it is just the first two letters that are hard to make much of.


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