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1864 July 30: News from the 12th Wisconsin Infantry in Georgia

July 31, 2014

The following letter from the 12th Wisconsin Infantry appeared in The Prescott Journal of July 30, 1864.  The headlines are from nearly a page-worth of reports from various Wisconsin regiments and do not refer only to what appears in the letter from the 12th Regiment.


The Advance to the Chattahoochie [sic].

How Rebel Works are Rendered Useless.

Story of an Escaped Prisoner.

Barbarous Cruelty of Rebels.

One Hundred Day Men at Memphis.

From the 12th Regiment.

The Retreat of the Rebels—Schofield Outflanked ThemTheir Works OccupiedDesertion of Rebels Under FireA Transfer of the 12thCasualties.

July 14, 1864. }

On the evening of July 9th, the rebel force evacuated the strong works in our front, falling back across the river as rapidly as possible.  A deserter came into our lines about three o’clock in the morning of the 10th inst., and reported to Captain Maxson [Orrin T. Maxson], of Co. A, of “ours,” who, with his company, was out on the skirmish line, the fact that the rebel skirmishers had been withdrawn and the forts evacuated.  In a short time thereafter, the Captain and a part of his command had moved up and took possession of the large fort immediately in our front.  One of his men captured three rebels and took them over to headquarters, while guns and accoutrements, with all kinds of personal baggage were gathered together, forming quite a valuable capture.  Other troops were sent to the support of ours, and soon a line of skirmishers was pressing after the flying foe, following them to the edge of the river, and then taking position on its banks, kept up a sharp fire across the stream all day.

During the day a party of about twenty deserted from the rebel line, and started on a full run down to the river, with the intention, apparently, of swimming over to our side.  Suddenly the rebel line poured a volley into the fugitives, killing one instantly and wounding several of the others.  As many of them as were able, plunged into the stream and were pulled out by our boys as they came within reach.  Incidents like these do not speak very strongly in favor of the “unity of the Southern people,” or their being generally resolved to “die in the last ditch,” rather than submit to the “vandals” of the North.

We learn that the cause of this sudden retreat of the rebels from their strong position, was the fact that Gen. Schofield [John M. Schofield] had crossed the river with his (23d) Corps, (Army of Ohio,) far to the left, and was threatening to cut off the retreat of the rascals.  One thing seems very evident, that they never take up a position without making abundant provision for leaving it at the shortest notice, an event often required by the peculiarities of Gen. Sherman’s flank movements [William T. Sherman].

About noon on the 11th inst., we were ordered to prepare to march, and soon after were put in motion, that is, our regiment, and marched over to the lines of the 3d Division, to find ourselves regularly transferred to its complement ;  and on the 13th inst. we were again moved to the right, being attached to the 1st Brigade, (Gen. Force’s [Manning F. Force]) of the 3d Division, and have joined our new command.  Our brigade consists of the 20th, 30th, 31st and 45th Illinois, the 12th and 16th Wisconsin Infantry, one of the largest and best in the Corps.  The commander of the Division, Brig. Gen. Leggett [Mortimer D. Leggett], is considered a very able military man ;  at all events he abstains from swearing and strong liquors, and requires his staff to do the same.  It is presumable, therefore, that we shall not have any more charging orders from Gen. Whisky¹ for some time yet, and our losses from obeying them will, of course, be prevented.

Just after arriving at our present location one of our band was shot dead, while eating his supper, having risen to his feet behind the breastworks, the bullet entering his side, going through his heart, and out under the arm on the other side.  He was a German named William Krug, and seemed to have had no relatives in this country.²  This morning a young man named Beaulieu, of Co. H, while in the rifle-pit on the skirmish line, was shot in the mouth, the bullet coming out under his right ear, killing him instantly.³

In a letter from one of your correspondents, we are credited to Gen. Thomas’ army [George H. Thomas].  This is a mistake.  The 17th Army Corps, to which we belong, is a part of the “Army of the Tennessee,” said army being commanded by Maj. Gen. J. B. McPherson.  Gen. Thomas commands the “Army of the Cumberland,” which our army has reinforced by leaving Mississippi for Alabama and Georgia.

I send you a list of our killed, dead and wounded since June 15rh:


Wounded—Frederick Garit [from Martell], slightly in back, June 18th ;  Corp. John T. Crippen [from Prescott], severely in shoulder, July 10th.


Killed—Charles Reinifrath, shot in abdomen 27th June, died next day ;  Nathaniel Camp, shot in lungs 15th June, died on 25th.
Wounded—John Kivell, in left hip, 5th July ;  Ralph Hoyt, slightly in left shoulder, 5th July ;  Hiram Hawkins, slightly in left hip, 5th July ;  Henry Palmer, slightly in right arm, 25th June ;  Levi Seeley, slightly in head, 10th July ;  John Dugald, slightly in left arm, 10th July.


Killed—William Krug, shot through head, 18th July.
Wounded—Corp. James Slater, slightly in thigh, 7th July.


Killed—Henry A. Flunow, shot in abdomen, 5th July, died next day.


Wounded—William Cusic, severe in hip, June 15th.


Killed—Corp. Ole O. Oleson, shot through head, 8th July.
Wounded—Sergt. N. F. Rathbun, severely in face and shoulder, 6th July ;  Thomas C. Nelson, in thigh, 19th June ; Geo. H. Butler, abdomen, 5th July.


Killed—H. H. Beaulieu, shot through head, 18th July.
Wounded—Henry Miller, severely in right lung, 27th June ;  David Sherman, slightly, 26th June.


Killed—[Milton] Sample, shot through head, 1st July.


Wounded—Sergt. Frank Filbrick, slightly ;  Geo. H. Fuzard, slightly.


___ Montoney [John C. Montanye], E, typhoid fever, June 25 ;  Charles [L.]4 Gloyd, E, dysentery, June 25 ;  Geo. Shaughnessey, G, congestive chills, June 25.

You will see from this and the list of casualties to June 15th sent previously, that since June 10th, the date of our arrival at Big Shanty, we have lost about fifty men, many of whom have been killed outright, and so are a total loss.  May God pity their sorrowing relatives, and help them to bear the sad calamity which has befallen them, with resignation and hope.


1.  He is possibly referring to General Sherman.
2.  William Krug, who was from Blue Mounds, had been with Company C of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry since September 8, 1861.
3.  Harrison H. Beaulieu, from Milwaukee, had only been with Company H since February 12, 1864.
4.  There were two men named Charles Gloyd in Company E of the 12th, so the middle initial becomes important. The other one was Charles E. Gloyd.

1864 July 30: The Battle of Atlanta, the Battle of Bloody Bridge, Rousseau’s Raid, and Other News

July 30, 2014

Following is the weekly summary of war news from The Polk County Press of July 30, 1864.  Much of it is about the Battle of Atlanta, which we have heard some about in Edwin Levings’ letters.

The small two-sentence third item is about the Battle of Bloody Bridge, also known as the Battle for Burden’s Causeway, which took place July 6-9, 1864, on Johns Island off the South Carolina coast near Charleston. Union General John P. Hatch’s troops landed on Johns Island hoping to lay siege to James Island. Around 2,000 South Carolina soldiers held off a Union force of roughly 8,000 men. After three days of fighting, Hatch’s troops left the island.

The last item concerns Rousseau’s Raid, a series of attacks by Union forces, led by General Lovell H. Rousseau, on sites important to the Confederate war effort in Alabama between July 10 and 22, 1864. For greater details, see the Encyclopedia of Alabama’s article on the Raid.

The News.

— Accounts from Missouri of the guerilla [sic] warfare show that they are in considerable force and good organization.  All the intelligence, public and private, from this state, exhibits a terrible condition of affairs.

—  There has been a “Peace Conference” between HORACE GREELEY and Messrs. CLAY, THOMPSON and HOLCOMB of Dixie.  Because “Old ABE” couldn’t “see it” as they did, the “unauthorized Peace commissioners” blowed [sic] him up, much to the disgust of the Peace Democracy, and the dismay (?) of the President and his Cabinet.

— An engagement recently took place on Johnson’s Island, Charleston Harbor, between the forces of Gen. HATCH, and the rebels.  Our forces cleaned them out, killing and capturing upwards of 400.  Our loss is officially given as eighty-two.

— The Louisiana Constitutional Convention having completed its labor, the new constitution will be submitted to the vote of the people of that State on the first Monday in September.  It provides for popular education, such as was never known in the Southern States, and by it this State will be delivered of slavery.—Its adoption is predicted, with a large vote in its favor.  The Convention appears to have exercised also legislative power, and to have authorized the expenditure of considerable amounts of money for the purpose of civil government.  This has not been usual in similar bodies in Northern States.

— A severe battle occurred about four miles north of Atlanta on the 20th inst.  The rebels made the attack on HOOKER [Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker], commanding our right, in great force, but were completely defeated, and retired in disorder, leaving most of their dead and wounded on the field.  On the succeeding day (the 21st), the enemy were driven to their works immediately around the city, and on the 22d, one account says a portion of our forces entered the city.  Another report, which seems the most probably, says our forces obtained possession of elevated ground which commands the town.  It is scarcely necessary to enlarge on the importance of the capture of Atlanta.  Being in the heart of the Gulf States, it was supposed to be peculiarly safe, and therefore well adapted for armories, arsenals and supply depots.  It was moreover the centre of the railway system of that section, whence men and material could be advantageously distributed to all points.  Three main railroads diverged from it ;  the road to Chattanooga on the north ;  the Georgia road, running east to Charleston ;—and the road on the south, which forks into that leading to Montgomery and Pensacola on the southwest, and into that running through Macon to Savannah, on the Southeast.  The city is laid out in a circle, two miles in diameter.  It forms, says a recent refugee, one vast Government storehouse.  Here are located the machine ships of the principal railroads ;  the most extensive rolling mill in the South, foundries, pistol and tent factories, &c., &c.  In addition, the Government have works for casting shot and shell, making gun-carriages, cartridges, caps, shoes, clothing, &c.  Although the rebels have probably removed much of their stores and machinery, yet their loss in these must be considerable.

Battle of Atlanta

“Battle of Atlanta,” by Kurz and Allison¹

— The whole country will mourn the loss of Major General JAMES B. McPHERSON, who fell in this battle.  He was a graduate of West Point, from Ohio, was appointed Second Lieutenant of the Engineer corps July 1, 1853.  He received the appointment of Major General of Volunteers Oct. 8, 1862.  He was one of the ablest and bravest Generals in the service.

— Our losses are set down at 3,000, and the loss of the rebels is stated to be 7,000.

— According to official accounts received since HOOD [John Bell Hood] assumed command of the rebel army he has lost over 12,000 men, while SHERMAN’s [William T. Sherman] losses will not exceed 3,500.

— Dispatches have been received announcing the successful result of Gen. ROSSEAU’s [sic: Rousseau] force left Decatur a few days ago.  Recrossing the Chattahoochee his column proceeded down the railroad toward Montgomery, Ala., burning all the railroad bridges.  Arriving at Montgomery the column diverged and destroyed the railroad at different points for twenty miles south.  A column under Gen. GARRARD² which left Decatur at the same time destroyed the railroad between that place and Covington.  A large railroad crossing the Ulcofauhachy and Yellow rivers burned.  Both columns arrived safely at Marietta.  Loss trifling.

— The quota of the State of New York under the late call for 500,000 men is 89,318.

— The quota of Minnesota under the recent call is 5,561.


— Our latest news via. St. Paul, is to the effect that our forces under HUNTER [David Hunter], in the Shennandoah Valley, have been defeated with considerable loss, and obliged to fall back to Harper’s Ferry.  There is no reliable statements of situation.  It is reported that the rebels have again invaded Maryland.

— SHERMAN has not yet occupied Atlanta, but the report says he has done better than that in keeping HOOD’s army there !  We are gravely informed that “HOOD is much chagrined about the fight of the 22d.”—ROSSEAU’s [sic] raid was very successful.  He destroyed a vast amount of railroad and other property, besides capturing 2,000 rebels.

1.  “Battle of Atlanta—Death of Gen. James B. McPherson, July 22nd 1864, Army of the Tennessee Engaged.” This digital image is from an original 1888 Kurz & Allison print, available at the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. The UWRF University Archives & Area Research Center has in its Special Collections a copy of Battles of the Civil War: The Complete Kurz & Allison Prints, 1861-1865, Birmingham, Ala.: Oxmoor House, 1976 (Oversized E 468.7 .B3 1976), which includes a copy of this print.
2.  Kenner Garrard (1827-1879) graduated from West Point in 1851 and was a career military officer. In August 1862 he was appointed colonel of the 146th New York Infantry and took part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. In December 1863 he was promoted to brigadier general of Volunteers and was made chief of the Cavalry Bureau in Washington, D.C. A month later he took command of the 2nd Cavalry Division in the Army of the Cumberland. Garrard took part in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign as a cavalry division commander, but failed to impress his superiors. Returning to the infantry, he participated in the Battle of Nashville and was cited for gallant conduct and was brevetted a major general of Volunteers. He was instrumental in the capture of Montgomery, Alabama. Garrard remained in the regular army after the war ended as commander of the District of Mobile, but resigned on November 9, 1866. He returned to Cincinnati and devoted the rest of his life to civic affairs and historical studies.

1864 July 23: News of Local Area Soldiers, Including Two Deaths and an Interesting Poem

July 29, 2014

Following are the smaller news items from the July 23, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

 SOLDIERS AT HOME.—E. D. WHITNEY,¹ 7th Wisconsin regiment returned last week on furlough.  Mr. WHITNEY was wounded in the leg while charging the works at Petersburg, and still carries the rebel ball in his wound, which we learn is very painful.  He will probably soon recover in this climate.  We also notice WARREN SEAVEY, of the 8th Minnesota regiment, on our streets.  He is home on sick furlough.  Commissary Sergeant CHARLES D. EMORY, 47th regiment U. S. Corps de Afrique, gave us a call one day this week.—He is looking quite well and soldier-like.

CHARLEY says that his regiment of “shades” have done some good fighting, and that they are some on a “display of ivory.”  He has re-enlisted and is home on furlough.

JOHN FATHKE, 10th Wis. Battery, is also at home on “sick furlough.”

DRAFT FOR DEFICIENCIES.—There is a report that a draft will shortly be made in this State, to fill up the deficiencies under the old call for 700,000 men.

From The Prescott Journal:


Killed, in front of Petersburg, May 26th, GEORGE HOUSTON, Co. F, 37th Reg. Wis. Vols., aged 17 years, 3 mos, and 3 days.  He was shot in the head ;  lived but an hour, and his only words were “Oh God !  I’m killed!”

Oh, vainly we sigh for thy brotherly love,
And vainly we pity thy fate ;
Naught, naught can restore thee to life and to love,
Not e’en the sad plaint of thy mates.

Thy soft, glossy hair is spotted with gore—
The life-tide that ebbed from thy heart.
Thine eyes, dimmed by death, shall be bright nevermore,
And the chill of his touch ne’er depart.

Thy friends are chiding thy tedious delay,
And calling in vain for thy care ;
Their clamorous cries thou can’st never obey ;
Alas !  thy sad fate they must share.

They will wait for thy coming, till wary and faint,
They sink with a pitiful cry ;
But thou wilt be deaf to their mournful complaint,
And, like thee, all alone they must die.

We’ll fold thy cold hands on thy poor wounded breast,
And thine eyes, dim in death, we will close ;
With a tear for thy fate, we will lay thee to rest,
Where naught shall disturb thy repose.

J. C. JAY.

Finger002  Ambrose Stowell, Co. F, 30th, died on board boat, 150 miles above Ft. Sully, June 26th.  We believe he was from River Falls.

Finger002  St. Croix County is 58 behind on previous calls [for volunteers].

Finger002  “Brick” Pomeroy [M. M. "Brick" Pomeroy] calls the President the “widow-maker.”  We suppose if a Sheriff calls out a posse to quell a riot, and some of the rioters and of his posse are killed, he is a “widow-maker” also.  The President, in the interest of Government and Order, has called out a large posse to suppress a rebellion—that’s all.  Nobody cries “widow-maker” but those in sympathy with the rioters and rebels.

1.  Edwin Whitney, from Farmington, was in Company F of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry.


1864 July 23: A New Presidential Call for Volunteers

July 28, 2014

Following is President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation 116, calling for 500,000 more Volunteers.  It appeared in both of our local newspapers—The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal—in their July 23, 1864, issues; the headlines are from the Journal.  It is followed by editorials and articles from both newspapers concerning local sentiment.

Appeared in Both Newspapers:


A Call for 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 !

Fifty days to raise the Volunteers.

Draft for the deficiency, Sept. 5th.




WHEREAS, by the act approved July 4, 1864, entitled “an act further to regulate and provide for the enrolling, &c. of the National forces and for other purposes,” it is provided that the President of the United States may, at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call for any number of men, as volunteers for the respective terms of one, two, and three years for military service, and that in case the quota or any part thereof of any town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or of a county not so subdivided, shall not be filled within the space of fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately order a draft for one year to fill such quota or any part thereof which may be unfilled, and

WHEREAS, the enrollment heretofore ordered is so far completed as that the aforementioned act of Congress may now be put in operation for recruiting and keeping up the strength of the armies in the field, for garrisons, and such military operations as may be required for the purpose of suppressing the rebellion and restoring the authority of the United States Government in the insurgent States.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do issue this my call for FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND (500,000) volunteers for the military service.

Provided, nevertheless, That this call shall be reduced by all credits which may be established under section 8 of the aforesaid act on account of persons who have entered the naval service during the present rebellion and by credits for men furnished to the military service in excess of calls heretofore made. Volunteers will be accepted under this call for one, two, or three years, as they may elect, and will be entitled to the bounty provided by the law for the period of service for which they enlist.

I hereby proclaim, order, and direct that immediately after the 5th day of September, 1864, being fifty days from the date of this call, a draft for troops to serve for one year shall be had in every town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or county not so subdivided, to fill the quota which shall be assigned to it under this call or any part thereof which may be unfilled by volunteers on the said 5th day of September, 1864.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.  Done at the city of Washington, this 18th day of July, in the year of our Lord 1864, and of the independence of the United States the 89th.


..   .By the President :
(Signed)         .WM. H. SEWARD,
..Secretary of State.

From The Polk County Press:

The Call for Volunteers.

By a Proclamation dated the 18th of this month, the President calls for 500,000 more men.  These may be supplied by volunteering, until the 5th day of September next, immediately after which time, it is announced, a draft to make up for deficiencies will take place.  Volunteers may enlist at their option for one, two or three years.  The draft is to be for one year’s service only.  Drafted men can no longer buy exemption, as heretofore, but unless exemption on other grounds, must serve in person or by substitute.

this proclamation manifests the unflinching determination of the government to complete the work it has had in hand for upwards of three years now—the suppression of the rebellion.  It would seem also to indicate an opinion on the part of the administration, that, while the last struggle of the rebels will be obstinate and desperate, they will not be able to maintain a very formidable armed revolt, for a longer period than about a year to come.

If the time before the draft is to take place shall be properly improved it is presumed that the compliment for the great majority of the towns can be supplied by volunteering, stimulated as it should be, by bounties which the towns are authorized by law to raise.

It were well that the different towns of this county should determine at once respectively upon the course to be followed.

There may be diverse views among individuals as to the course which ought to be adopted.  The prevalent sense of community on the subject, should therefore be ascertained as soon as practicable, by public meetings held for that purpose, in order that a definite line of policy may be concluded upon and pursued.

If the people of any town shall deem it expedient to take their chances and stand the draft as it comes, then, a celiable [sic] expression accordingly, having been given, individuals will be relieved of uncertainty on that point at least, and so will be better prepared to take their own course, on their “own hook”—to shape their affairs with reference to the contingences [sic] of the “wheel.”  If on the contrary any town shall decide to make an effort to fill its quota with volunteers, then its people and authorities can go to work methodically to accomplish the object.

Street discussion and neighborhood gossip about the matter, will not be apt to effect any beneficial end, while deliberate consultation in a well attended public meeting called to consider the subject, will be likely to harmonize opinions, and to result either in definite measures, or in a definite conclusion to take no measures, so far as the municipality is concerned.  We are of the opinion that in most localities throughout the country, efforts will be made to furnish volunteers and avoid the draft, and it seems to us this is the better way.  The volunteers and avoid the draft, and it seems to us this is the better way.  The volunteer goes of course without compulsion, and generally because he can, whereas in the case of the drafted man, there are sometimes severe hardships over and above the burdens of the service.


Polk County and the Draft.

WILLIAM A. TALBOYS, Esq., hands us the following table received from Adjt. Gen. GAYLORD [Augustus Gaylord], which shows the condition and standing of each town in the county, as regards their quotas and credits under the last calls, including the credits for the number drafted in November, 1863, held for service or commutation.—We have scanned the list closely and find that it tallies with ours, except in the case of one drafted man, who failed to report, and one Indian recruit, who deserted after receiving bounty money from the town of Osceola, and being regularly sworn in by recruiting officer DAVIS [George W. Davis], of the 7th regiment.

The following is the statement referred to above :

Polk Co draft chart

From The Prescott Journal:

A V O I D   T H E   D R A F T !


A meeting of the citizens of Prescott will be held at the Council Room on Saturday eveng [sic], July 23d, to take measures to secure volunteers to fill the quota of the city under the President’s last call for 500,000 men.  Let every one who is interested attend.


Prescott, July 22, 1864.


Quotas of the Town

Under the last call for 500,000 men towns which have furnished an excess ever previous calls, are to be credited for the surplus, and those which are behind must make up the deficiency in addition to the quota under the new call.  As a matter of interest, we re-publish the statement of the account of the towns of this county on the 15th of April, as follows :

Oak Grove. . . . . . . 4
Trimbell. . . . . . . . . 2
Diamond Bluff . . .
Trenton. . . . . . . . . 3
Hartland . . . . . . . .
Pleasant Valley. . . 3
Perry. . . . . . . . . . . 4
Union . . . . . . . . . . 3
Isabelle. . . . . . . . . 1
Prescott . . . . . . . . 7
Martell . . . . . . . . . 10
River Falls. . . . . . . 3
Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4
El Passo . . . . . . . . 1
Salem . . . . . . . . . . 2

 It will be seen that the County is behind an aggregate of 25.  What the quota will be under the new call, we do not yet know.  But one thing is certain :  the men must be furnished, and it becomes every one liable to a draft to [__] consider whether it is not better to volunteer for one year, and secure the Government bounty of $100, and such local bounty as may be offered, rather than take his chances under the draft.— We do not now know whether recruiting commissions will be issued and new regiments formed, but if so, we shall soon be apprised of it.

1864 July 23: Wounded Soldiers Return to Wisconsin

July 27, 2014

The following list of wounded soldiers from the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry; the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th Batteries; and the 1st, 3rd, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 29th, 32nd, 33rd, and 35th Wisconsin Infantries; plus five Minnesota soldiers from the 1st Minnesota Battery and the 4th and 10th Minnesota Infantries.  There are a number of soldiers from Company A of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry, which is the Lyon Light Guard from Prescott; those men are indicated with bold.  There are also two men from Osceola in the 10th Battery on the list.  The list was published in the July 23, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

From the Wisconsin State Journal.

Arrival at Harvey Hospital.

The following is a list of soldiers transferred to Harvey Hospital from Jefferson Barracks, Mo.  They came up under charge of Assistant Surgeon P. V. SCHENCK, U. S. A., and reached here on the 12th.  The men are all comfortable.

WISCONSIN SOLDIERS. Hermann Opitz, A, 26th.
James M. Brackett, 1st battery. Abner C. Thompson, H, 16th.
Serg’t. Christian I. Sasse, D, 23d. Andrew Young, B, 25th.
Edward Kennedy, B, 23d. John Handy, F, 16th.
Jesse J. Fuller, K. 23d. John W. Tuckwood, C, 25th.
Charles H. Tichnor, A, 12th. Corp. Benjamin F. Huston, C, 22d.
Albert R. Simpson, H, 16th. Henry D. Bailey, F, 18th.
John Wilson, E, 14th. Francis E. Bush, B, 32d.
George D. Appel, K, 17th. Thomas Lindenwood, E, 22d.
Frank H. Paralow, K, 17th. Henry J. Williams, B, 32d.
Jonathan P. Rathbun, I, 16th. John Peters, F, 16th.
Edward L. Soper, K, 16th. Sergt. Phillip Zipp, E, 26th.
John Q. A. Soper, E, 32d. William F. Reynolds, L, 1st cav.
Ira McDonald, C, 22d. John W. Button, G,         do
Fred. W. Mace, D, 32d. Thomas J. Lynch, K,       do
Albert Wood, H, 3d. Adam Wrust, C, 26th.
William Nalley, K, 16th. Robert Voight, H, 26th.
Henry Sedgwick, A, 21st. Alexander Sherret, 16th U.S.
Corp. Frank Parso, I, 21st. Joseph Bradley, A, 14th.
Robert Turner, H, 25th. Frederick Gerbel, E, 26th.
Henry Brockman, D, 17th. Frederick Smith, K, 26th.
Henry H. Holcomb, D, 25th. George I. Smith, C, 22d.
George F. Allen, E, 1st cavalry. William Mulligan, E, 22d.
Daniel Butler, D, 24th. William Hauser, E, 24th.
Frederick Reinecker, E, 26th. Gotleib Eitel, K, 16th.
Michael Bentley, H, 1st. J. F. Skewes, H, 22d.
Ezra J. Bartlett, A, 12th. Geo. W. Crosby, 1st cav.
Andrew Stewart, E, 24th. Wm. Scranton, B, 16th.
John McMillan, A, 12th. Barton S. Bullard, I, 1st.
Elisha Wadsworth, E, 16th. David H. Elliott, I, 21st.
Joseph Robinson, B, 12th. Charles Hancock, G, 21st.
Alexander Harvey, G, 25th. Ransom Fadder, G, 1st.
Joseph Severance, A, 12th. Albert Dockstader, D, 22d.
Milton Green, F, 25th. Richard Hodge, G, 14th.
Michael Conway, B, 1st cavalry. Jedediah O. Tyler, E, 14th.
Jeremiah Plemmon, B, 1st cavalry. Curtis Crow, B, 1st cav.
Michael F. Murphy, L, 1st cav. Edward Dwyer, C, 1st cav.
Amander Hartshorn, E, 32d. John Dunningberg, I, 1st cav.
George Hill, M, 1st cav. Jasper Knowles, F, 1st cav.
Green Mayfield, B, 25th. Milton P. Dnnis, D, 1st.
John Rusford, F, 16th. Wm. Cerit, B, 26th.
Edwin B. Bly, F, 16th. Marvin Nellis, H, 1st.
David H. Hilton, F, 16th. Wend. Findra, H, 26th.
Edwin Rogers, K, 12th. Wend. Kapinas, H, 26th.
Ambrose Bennett, F, 17th. Frank Beran, H, 26th.
Moses F. Catlin, 10th Battery. Lewis D. St. John, D, 14th.
Urs Probat, K, 25th. Orth Coldren, K, 22d.
William Fry, F, 32d. Joel L. Greggs, C, 1st.
Lorenzo H. Pickard, B, 17th. Robert Roberts, I, 1st.
Louis Nayers, G, 17th. Martin Cook, A, 22d.
Charles Volgaford, F, 25th. Knud Erickson, B, 15th.
Sergt. Edward D. Menton, G, 1st cav. Gerald Fields, D, 1st cav.
Charles Stien, E, 26th. Parson C. Pierce, I, 1st cav.
John Kastenbercer, A, 11th. Samuel Sammer, E, 1st cav.
David Aylsworth, D, 11th. Alden L. Goungman, E, 1st cav.
John Ellsworth, F, 35th. Wm. Price, D, 14th.
Eugene Barrott, C, 29th. Wm. Catanch, B, 16th.
Edward Phillips, E, 21st. Edward R. Cook, E, 16th.
G. W. Lent, H, 16th. Edward W. Bradley, H, 10th.
Thomas Brag, D, 1st. Matthias Thomas, F, 12th.
Henry H. Bennett, E, 12th. Jos. W. Edwards, B, 32d.
Berkley Farrel, B, 24th. H. W. Dunning, 6th bat.
Thomas J. Ford, H, 22d. Reilly M. Crawford, H, 16th.
William M. Ormond, G, 24th. Calvin C. Smith, F, 16th.
John H. Lewis, E, 24th. Americus Jackson, B, 1st.
Edward McDonald, H, 1st. Joseph Barrabee, E, 14th.
Joseph Decraman, B, 27th. Reuben L. Buck, C, 14th.
Murray V. Charles, A, 27th. Washington Dalph, A, 1st Cav.
Ole Christenson, F, 15th. Henry O. Brannon, F, 25th.
Jacob Jacobson, B, 15th. Clark W. Fargate, 8th battery.
Charles Grafe, H, 26th. Corp. Warren Jones, K, 22d.
John H. Fatke, 10th battery. George F. Ottman, C, 12th.
Nichlas Sharp, A, 25th. Corp. James Overson, C, 15th.
Henry C. Closson, I, 17th. Hiram C. Walker, E, 1st Cav.
Charles S. O. Christenson, I, 21st. George O. Waldo, F, ”     ”
Daniel H. Moscript, B, 21st. Sanford S. Brown, K, 16th.
Torger Erickson, E, 15th. John Deffer, A, 21st.
Harmon Harmonson, K, 10th. John Delano, G, 14th.
Corp. Frederick Siebold, B, 26th. Dwight A. Kmg, H, 16th.
George Muth, H, 22d. Henry C. Weldon, G, 24th.
John P. Victor, H, 24th. Sergt. Wm. A. Foster, C, 3d.
Milo Niles, K, 16th. MINNESOTA SOLDIERS.
Rasselas R. Stillwell, 3d battery. George W. Winans, 1st battery.
John Barry, D, 29th. John Edson, E, 10th.
John Carr, A, 12th. Thomas Iverson E, 10th.
Liberty H. Jewett, K, 32d. Thomas Darling, D, 4th.
Ebenezer C. Miller, A, 33d. John Ploof, 1st battery.
  • Charles H. Tichnor, from Prescott
  • Ezra J. Bartlett [sic: Barrett], from Prescott
  • John McMillan, from Prescott
  • Joseph Severance, from River Falls
  • Moses F. [T.] Catlin, from Osceola
  • John H. Fatke [sic: Fathkie], from Osceola.

1864 July 26th: “Most every one is anxious to finish the campaign here at Atlanta”

July 26, 2014

The following letter by Homer Levings, also with Company A of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry, was written on the third and fourth pages of the stationery that Edwin Levings used to write his letter of July 26.  The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Near Atlanta Ga. Tuesday, July 26th, 1864.

Dear Father and Mother,

                                            It is with pleasure that I now seat myself behind the breast works to answer your letters.  I have not wrote [sic] much lately and you may think that I am regardless of your feelings, but my time now is not my own, for we are busy all the time night and day.  [paragraph break added]

We have fortified our position so that we feel pretty safe.  Most every one is anxious to finish the campaign here at Atlanta.  Our cavalry have cut the rail road running to Macon.  The rebels’ loss on the 22nd is reported to be 13000 and ours at 2500.  They made five distinct charges on the 16th Wis., and the left of our regt.  It was done with whiskey.  Our train wounded men, in our company are doing pretty well.  Robbert [sic] Triggs is the only man that has died from the effects of his wounds.  There has been only one amputation made in the company.  James Holman is the looser [sic] of his left arm.¹  Mr Robberts [sic]² has not been heard from yet, I think he must have been taken prisoner.  The team that he was with was taken, the teamster run and left the team and got inside the lines.  [paragraph break added]

You speak of moving to Hudson.  I think you will do better to stay where you are and give up painting.  I think if you can get that land of Pratt, that you had better get it, that is if you can get it reasonable, for you can raise all you want to eat and that is enough, if a man can get a good living he is doing well.  [paragraph break added]

You can not expect letters from us verry [sic] often now, for it is only once in a while that we can get a sheet of paper.  But it [is] getting to be supper time and I must stop.  So good by,


1.  See footnote number 1 in Edwin Levings’ July 24, 1864, letter for a list of the killed and wounded from Company A on July 21, 1864.
2.  Samuel C. Roberts, from New Richmond, was taken prisoner at Atlanta on July 16.

Homer Levings letter of July 26, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Homer Levings letter of July 26, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

1864 July 26: The Rebels “are ugly fellows, but gunpowder and whiskey, with which their canteens were filled, did not save them nor help them at all”

July 26, 2014

Another letter from Edwin Levings with the 12th Wisconsin Infantry near Atlanta.  The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Near Atlanta Ga., Tuesday, July 26th, 1864

Dear Father and Mother,

                                             Last night the mail arrived bringing us 4 letters and 2 papers — 2 letters of the 4th and 10th inst from you; the other 2 from Grandmother and Cousin Emma.  We had had none for 2 weeks, and if I ever felt grateful for letters I did last night.  You should have seen the almost wild joy of the boys when it was announced the mail had come, and a very large one too.  Can you imagine our eager joy at the receipt of letters from loved ones, especially after a battle?  How gladly each reads the cheering words, notes, the solicitude felt for him & so on, and then comes swelling up from the heart the wish that they knew now that he is safe and well.—I wrote you last sabbath, but do not suppose the mail went out.  It will go to-day, I think, and this will give you two days later intelligence for us.

We have had no fighting since the battles of the 21st and 22nd inst.  Our army has been digging and throwing up works almost constantly since, and every one believes if the rebels come on to us again we can hold our own against all odds, and about use them up.  We are fortified in front, rear and on both flanks.  Our Div. is determined to hold the horse shoe line it charged and took on the 21st.  If the rebels could not take it on the 22nd charging on the south and weaker side, I doubt they can do it now, strengthened us we are, unless they outflank us.  I have heard it asserted that the credit of saving the left wing of our army that day from a most disgraceful defeat is due to our 3rd Division.  They fought like heroes and will be termed such.  The rebels came on 4 or 5 lines deep and charged as many times.  Once some of them actually got inside our works but they never got out.  The rebels that charged our Corps are said to be Longstreet’s [James Longstreet] old Corps.  They are ugly fellows, but gunpowder and whiskey, with which their canteens were filled, did not save them nor help them at all.  They carried off many of their wounded during the night, but their dead,—we had to bury them mostly ourselves.  How many they lost I can not say—have not heard a guess.  Gens. Sherman [William T. Sherman] and Logan [John A. Logan] were riding over the grounds the following day and one remarked, so goes the story, to the other that he had never seen so many rebels dead on so small a piece of ground.  Lt. Kelsey says he counted 32 dead dead on a space of ground 40 feet square.  On the left of the Div. a whole rebel Brigade broke through when the 15th Corps reenforcing us captured them.  Here it was where our beloved McPherson [James B. McPherson] was killed.  He rode down into a ravine up which rebel soldiers were coming and knowing they were in it, 2 rebel soldiers robbed him of his effects but did not know they had killed McPherson.  I think the rebels have had reinforcements.  They are reported moving our left again.—

My boil on my knee made me so lame I could not walk.  It is getting better now.  We miss the loss of our things some, but are not bothered with a load now.  Mother, will you send me a testament, mine was gobbled as was Homer’s also.  This is all the paper I have &  Homer wishes to write some, so I close.  Write soon & believe me ever your affectionate boy.  Edwin

Sunset, July 26th, 1864 ~ I had the good fortune a few minutes ago to purchase some stationery,—enough to write half a day’s letters, so you may expect we shall write to you as usual.—There is talk of our falling back, to other works lately thrown up, our present line being exposed to our own fire too much ∼ think we shall do it tonight.  I forgot to acknowledge the receipt of those letter stamps.  They came but in the nick of time and my thanks to you for them.  No more this time & so good night to you all.

Yours as ever,
.                     .E. D. Levings
.                            .1st Brig. 3rd Div 17th Corps.

Edwin Levings letter of July 26, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Edwin Levings letter of July 26, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls


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