1862 February 28: The 12th Wisconsin Infantry is Marching to Fort Scott
This letter from Ed Levings to his parents announces the imminent departure of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry from Fort Leavenworth. It is written in pencil, perhaps because of Ed’s haste in writing it. Wish we had access to the letter Ed writes to a “Mr. Wilcox,” because he tells him the details on finally getting rid of Captain Norman McLeod.
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.
Leavenworth City, Feb 28th, 1862.
Dear Father and Mother;
We received your letter of the 15th night before last. I will now write in reply, though I have but a few moments. The order to march to Fort Scott was announced this afternoon at Dress Parade and we leave to-morrow morning with the 9th Wis and, perhaps, with the 2nd Ohio Cavalry. We are all in a bustle and are flying round at a great rate, cooking two day’s rations & packing our knapsacks which are to be carried for us in teams. Our blankets, & overcoats too, if they shall be to [sic] warm to wear, are to be worn over our shoulders, rolled up compactly in the shape of a huge rope, so that we shall carry besides, but our guns & accoutrements. Shall march from 20 to 25 miles per day. You must not worry about us.—we can do it every time and sometimes twice. We are in high spirits and are glad we are going to march, which is far better for our health than lying around doing nothing. All who can not march the above number of miles per day must stay behind for the present, of who are Dickenson, Goodwin, McMillen, McIntyre, C. Deyarmond, Johnson, Garth, Ottman, Gibbs, Hyatt, Wilson & Jay & Beebee1 besides those who are in the Hospital at Weston, whose names you will learn in a letter I have just written Mr. Wilcox. Please ask him for it as it contains some news which I have not time to write you now. The Capt has resigned.2 Hurrah. Got rid of him easier & sooner than we expected. You will learn how in the letter to Mr. Wilcox. I must stop. Direct to the Fort Leavenworth. Are glad to learn about those bandages, though don’t know as we shall ever need them. We had to laugh, of course. Write without delay, and while we are tripping towards Dixie, think of the “good time coming.” May God bless and protect you. Good bye.
Yours most affectionatly [sic],
Edwin and Homer.
1. Samuel W. Dickinson (from River Falls), George H. D. Goodwin (River Falls), John McMillan (Prescott), Dougald McIntyre (Cottage Grove), Charles Deyarmond (River Falls), John J. Johnson (New Centreville), Andrew F. Ottman (Trimbelle), James Gibbs (River Falls), Bruner D. Hyatt (Prescott; Sydney G. Hyatt did not enlist until 1863) Robert Wilson (Prescott), William S. Jay (Trimbelle), and Charles A. Beebe (New Richmond). There wasn’t a “Garth” in Company A of the 12th Wisconsin, but there was Frederick Garit (from Martell).
2. Captain McLeod will resign officially as of March 20, 1862. First Lieutenant Orrin F. Maxson will become the new captain of Company A as of March 19, 1862.