Once again we have only one newspaper for the week, no issue of The Prescott Journal being available on the microfilm for July 29, 1865.
The following article comes from the July 29, 1865, issue of The Polk County Press. Civil War-related news is getting more and more scarce as we get further away from the end of the war.
A NEW BIRTH.—The London Times which consistently sneered at and derided us while the issue of the issue of [sic] the struggle was doubtful, now, that we have conquered, frankly acknowledges the magnitude of our victory, and gives us credit for having achieved one of the most siglal [sic: signal] triumphs in history. In a recent article it confesses that our nation has successfully passed through a decisive crisis in its history—that, in fact, it has experienced a new birth, quite as important and far more brilliant than that of the first Revolution. Hear it :
The subjection of the South is as much a fait acompli as the Declaration of Independence itself, and a new chapter has thereby been opened in the history of the United States. Henceforward other battles, sieges and capitulations will take the place of Bunker’s Hill, Saratoga and Yorktown. Cornwallis and Burgoyne will be dwrafed [sic] by Johnson [sic: Johnston] and Lee, and it will not surprise us if Lincoln occupies a pedestal of equal height with that of Washington. If the importance of occurances [sic] be determined by their scale, the war of independence hardly admits of comparison with that which was just terminated. The forces collected on either side, the distanced [sic: distances] traversed, the lists of killed and wounded, and the ruin wrought in the former are nothing by the side of the records of the late civil war.
1865 July 22: Wisconsin Soldiers’ Home Fair Receipts, 7th Wisconsin Infantry Review, Population Counts for Polk and St. Croix Counties
Following are the smaller items of national interest from the July 22, 1865, issue of The Polk County Press.
— The receipts of the Wisconsin Soldiers’ Home Fair foots up $100,354.77.
— Capt. S. S. Starr, Chief Quartermaster at Savannah, Ga., has our thanks for a late file of Savannah papers. [Sidney S. Star]
— The Soldier’s Home Fair has closed. It ha been a perfect success, and its receipts will be considerable over $100,000.
— Wm. Yeo, Jr., formerly of St. Croix Falls gave us a call this week. He spent last winter in Dixie and is looking in good health. He is at present a resident of La Crosse.
— We notice the arrival home of more of our brave “boys in blue.” Since our last mention the following have arrived home:— C. F. Nason, Seth Ayers, Wm. Wright, Samuel Tukesbury, Benj. Bergin, B. F. Conner, Wm. Mitchell, and John Fathke.
— Col. Richardson,¹ in a speech at Madison, says of the returned 7th Regiment, which was under his command :
“It went out with 38 officers and 984 men, has received by enlistment 428 men and by draft 230, making a total of 1, 680 men who have been connected with it. There were 25 officers and 500 men mustered out came home with the regiment, and the remainder are sick in hospitals or otherwise scattered.—There have been 176 killed in battle, 95 died of wounds, 25 died while prisoners of war out of 57 taken prisoners, and 79 died of disease, making 375 whom the regiment has lost by death, while 41 officers and 694 men have received honorable scars, making 1,120 who had either died or been wounded in the service.”
POPULATION OF ST. CROIX CO.—Under the recent census the population of St. Croix Co.—as appears by a statement published in the Star and Times of last week—is 7,222 ; the amount of bounties paid volunteers, and soldiers families is $91,806.84. The population of the city of Hudson is 1,968, instead of 1,060, as given in this paper a short time ago.
CENSUS OF POLK COUNTY.—The census returns of the several towns in the county of Polk, are as follows :
|St. Croix Falls,||354||420|
|Increase since 1860,||279²|
Considering that the past four years have been years of war and drouth,³ this increase speaks well for our county.
— Governor Fletcher has officially announced the adoption of the Constitution of Missouri by a majority of 1860. [John C. Fletcher]
— All restrictions on internal, domestic and coastwise commerce, in the territory West of the Mississippi, has been removed.
— Gen. Grant’s monthly pay, income tax deducted, is $1062,70. This sum is exclusive of commutation of rations, &c., which amount to nearly as much more. [Ulysses S. Grant]
— Rear Admiral Dupont [sic] has bequeathed $175,000, the amount of his prize money, to establish a National Asylum, in Washington, for the orphans of soldiers and sailors. [Samuel F. Du Pont]
— The opponents of the new constitution of Missouri, estimated to the Secretary of State, before the returns in his possession were counted, that he could make $150,000 by “shutting his eyes for a short time.” He wouldn’t close his peepers for any such consideration, and they then entered his office by means of false keys, and ransacked it, hoping to steal the poll-books. These they failed to find, and the Constitution having been declared ratified, they raise the cry of fraud against an officer whose integrity they failed to corrupt by a bribe.
1. Hollon Richardson (1835-1916), from Chippewa Falls, enlisted July 10, 1861, as a private in Company A of the 7th, was promoted to 1st lieutenant and then captain of the company. On January 13, 1864, he was promoted to major of the regiment, and was brevetted lieutenant colonel on December 2, 1864. Richardson distinguished himself at Cemetery Hill (Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863), and was wounded at Petersburg and Five Forks. He was brevetted colonel on March 13, 1865, and mustered out with the regiment on July 3, 1865. Richardson was nominated and confirmed for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general in 1866, with rank from March 13, 1865. After the War Richardson moved to Washington state where he engaged in land management for the rest of his life.
2. Besides the commas being in the wrong place, there are some problems with the newspaper’s arithmetic! The total of 1860 should be 1,391, and the total for 1865 1,679; making the difference between the two year 288. It would be interesting to see the number of soldier deaths for the county taken into account, but those totals were not yet fully known.
3. Dialect or poetic form of drought.
When Confederate General M. Jeff Thompson’s¹ men had assembled at Jacksonport, Arkansas, to be paroled, he mounted a barrel and spoke to them, part of which was printed in the July 22, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.
Be warned that the “N” word is used several times.
A Speech Worth Reading.
General Jeff. Thomson [sic] made a speech to his soldiers at Jacksonport, Ark., upon surrendering them, which is reported in a St. Louis journal, and is very characteristic of the man.—There are some lively passages which are worth attention :
“Many of the 8,000 men I now see around me, very many of you, have been skulking for the last three years in the swamps, within a few miles of your homes—skulking duty—and during that time have not seen your own children. I see many faces about me that have not been seen by mortal man for the last three years ; and what have you been doing all that time ? Why, you have been lying in the swamps until the moss has grown six inches long on your backs ; and such men call themselves “chivalrous soldiers.” A few weeks ago General Reynolds sent a flag of truce to my headquarters, and I sent out to gather up a respectable force to meet those officers, and not one of you responded. A few days later, when Col. Davis and Capt. Bennett of General Dodge’s staff, bore dispatches to me from that General, I again attempted to call about me enough of you to make a respectable show, and bow many of these brave 8,000 men reported at my call ? ONE SORE-EYED MAN WITH GREEN GOGGLES ! But you rally like brave and gallant men around Uncle Sam’s commissary stores, and I now hope you will make better citizens than you did soldiers.
* * * * * *
“Those of you who had arms, with a very few exceptions, have left them at home, and those who had government horses have failed to report them here. Now let me say to you, one and all, those of you who have retained your arms, as soon as you get home take them to the nearest military post and deliver them up, or burn them, or get rid of them in some manner, for as sure as there is a God in Heaven, if they are found in your houses, just so sure will your houses be burned to the ground ; and I hope to God every one of you who keeps good arms or property of any kind in your houses will be hanged, and you will too.
“Now I want you to go home and work hard and take care of your families, work early and late, and get up at night and see if your crops are growing. Above all things avoid political discussions. If any man says NIGGER to you, swear that you never knew or saw one in your life. We have talked about the niggers for forty years and have been out-talked, we have fought four years for the nigger and been d—d badly whipped, and now it is not “your put;” the Yankees have won the nigger, and will do what they please with him ; and you have no say in the matter, if they want him they will take him, and if they *ay [sic: say] you must keep him you will have to do it and no mistake. I tell you that you have no say in the matter, and you oughtn’t to have any. Go home and stay there ; don’t go anywhere but to mill ; don’t go to church for the minister will put knots and mischief in your head, and get you into trouble. Be good citizens, and then those of you who have been good, honest, and brave soldiers have nothing to fear, but I warn those of you who have been nothing but sneaking, cowardly jawhawkers, cut-throats and thieves, that a just retribution awaits you, and I hope to God that the Federal authorities will hang you whenever and wherever they find you, and they will do it sure.
* * * * * *
Do not complain if you are not permitted to have a voice in elections and civil affairs. You have forfeited all such rights, and it now becomes you to submit to such laws and regulations as the Federal authorities may deem proper to enact, and I believe and know that they will do the best they can for you, especially if yon show henseforth [sic] that you now desire to merit their confidence by a strict obedience to the laws where you may reside. We are conquered, subjugated ; we have no rights, but must accept such privileges and favors as the Government may see proper to bestow upon us.”
1. Meriwether Jeff Thompson (1826-1876) was a brigadier general in the Missouri State Guard during the Civil War. Before the Civil War he moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where he supervised the construction of the western branch of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, served as mayor of St. Joseph (1857–60), and presided over the ceremony inaugurating the first ride of the Pony Express on April 3, 1860. Thompson gained national attention in May, 1861, when he cut down the U.S. flag at the St. Joseph post office and threw it down to an angry crowd of southern sympathizers who shredded it to pieces. During the War, he commanded the First Military District of Missouri, which covered the swampy southeastern quarter of the state from St. Louis to the Mississippi River. Thompson’s battalion became known as the “Swamp Rats” for their exploits and he gained renown as the “Swamp Fox of the Confederacy.” Thompson agreed to surrender his command at Chalk Bluff, Arkansas on May 11, 1865, and agreed to have his men assemble at Wittsburg and Jacksonport, Arkansas to lay down their arms and receive their paroles. Thompson’s command was widely dispersed throughout northeast Arkansas, more for reasons of available forage than anything else. About a third of his men refused to surrender and went to Mexico.
This week we have only articles from The Polk County Press because there is no issue for July 22, 1865, on the microfilm of The Prescott Journal.
The Press here reprints an editorial from the New York Tribune. General Joseph Hooker’s XX Corps in the Union Army of the Cumberland was a consolidation of the XI and XII Corps. The corps fought throughout the Atlanta Campaign and its troops were the first to enter Atlanta after it surrendered. The XX Corps also participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign. It took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C., and was disbanded in June 1865.
Non-payment of Soldiers.
“A Friend of Soldiers” asks us to “say a few words in behalf” of those members of the Twentieth Corps who recently broke out into riot at Washington because they were not paid. We cannot do it. Without the least desire to flatter the present rule of the War Department, we must say that the labor of preparing and perfecting all the returns for paying off and mustering out so vast an army as ours is gigantic, and not to be compressed into a few days. Returns often have to be sent back for correction—there must be duplicates and lots of signatures—and the clamor against “red tape” amounts in essence to this—“Let every one run his arm into the Treasury and take out whatever he chooses to deem his share.” We can not join in it.
The Government is paying out money. Millions per week to soldiers—is paying as fast as it safely can. It has the money and is disbursing it faithfully. But every one cannot be paid first nor at once ; there must be some later and one last of all. Naturally, those who are honorably discharged are paid before those who are retained. But no one can even invent a reason for willful delay, and there is no such delay. The paymasters are hard at work ; they have ample funds ; and all the trouble arises from forgetfulness of Dogberry’s¹ axiom that “When two ride a horse, one must ride behind.” Let us do nothing to excite or palliate mutiny, but do everything to avert it.
—NEW YORK TRIBUNE.
1. Dogberry is a character from William Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing. This quotation comes from Act III, Scene 5.
1865 July 15: 5th and 47th Wisconsin Infantries Are Home, Confederate Indian Tribes Want Peace Treaties, News from Various Governors, and Other News
Following are the smaller items from the July 15, 1865, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.bu
From The Polk County Press:
— The gallant 5th Wis. Vet. In. arrived and had a brilliant reception at Milwaukee on the 26th ult.
— The 47th regiment had a grand reception at Madison on the 22d brought back 720 men.
— The Home Fair in Milwaukee, has been very largely attended, and will prove a great success.
— J. S. Elwell, well known in the valley, through his connection with the Hudson Star, has become a partner in the La Crosse Daily Republican. Mr. Elwell is an excellent editor. He wields a racy and vigorous pen, and has good tact and judgement in the management of a paper. La Crosse has secured the service of a live man, and we trust he will find the enterprise remunerative, and he and Seymour “wax fat” together.
— Delegates from fourteen Indian tribes who fought on the side of the rebels, are on their way to Washington to secure treaties of peace and a return to the privileges and benefits they formerly enjoyed.
— There are 100,000 widows, mothers and orphans of soldiers, who are now receiving pensions.
— The President is greatly improved in health, but his physician advises him to refrain from business for several days yet. [Andrew Johnson]
— The whiskey ration in the army has been abolished.
— Gov. Andrew of Massachusetts, emphatically announces that he will not be a candidate for re-election. [John A. Andrew]
— The nine Northwestern States drained by the Ohio and Mississippi have a population of 10,500,000 and possess 36½ per cen, [sic] of the the total wealth of the nation.
— A project is on hold in Leavenworth, Kansas, under the auspices of the American Union Cattle Association, for the capture on the Plains of from 5,000 to 10,000 buffaloes, with the view of ultimately driving them to the States.
— Gov. Fletcher² has issued a proclamation announcing the adoption of the new Missouri Constitution. It went into effect on the Fourth. The total vote was 85,478, and the majority for the Constitution 1,812. On the home vote the majority against it was 955, but the soldiers saved it from defeat.
— President Johnson has issued a proclamation relative to South Carolina, similar to the ones appointing Governors in the other rebellion States. Benjamin F. Perry³ is appointed Provisional Governor. All the States are now supplied with Governors excepting Florida.
— Two hundred and six million, three hundred and eleven thousand, one hundred and eighty dollars, and ninety-eighty cents is the exact amount received from Internal revenue for the last fiscal year, exclusive of the tax on national bank circulation, which will swell the amount to about two hundred and six and one half millions.
A GOOD PLAN.—The Burlington (Iowa) Hawkeye, says that many returned soldiers have their discharges recorded at the office of the county Recorder. This is a good plan and soldiers who consult their own interest will follow suit. A discharge paper carried in a pocket, as most men carry them, or left lying around loose, first been recorded, an attested copy can be obtained, which may be valuable hereafter in collecting a bounty or a pension.
— General Granger has gone to Houston, Texas, with a force sufficient properly to hold the city and vicinity. [Gordon Granger]
From The Prescott Journal:
COMING HOME—the boys are coming home. Every day we see new faces, and welcome back those who have been “off to the wars.” From the perilous picket line—from the weary march from the deadly assault—from the gory field—from camp and hospital, they are coming home. No more for them the pomp of the magnificent review, the awful majesty of war—the murderous roar of the deep throated cannon—the beckoning wave of the battle-torn flags and the triumph of the victory won.—The country’s brave defenders. Give them warm welcome home.
— The Louisville Journal, while opposed to negro suffrage at present, said :
“The question is not whether the negro can ever be entrusted with the ballot under any given set of circumstances. That has been done even in the South, and without harm ; and it may and very probably will be done again.”
— The late Rear Admiral Dupont [sic] did a noble deed before he died in bequeathing the amount of his prize money during the year ($176,000) for a home for the orphans of sailors and soldiers. The Home is to be located at Washington. [Samuel F. Du Pont had died June 23, 1865]
— The Cincinnati colored people are raising subscriptions to present Chief Justice Chase with silver pitcher. [Salmon P. Chase]
— Capt. D. H. Bingham and J. H. Lacombe have sent to the President a protest against the appointment of Judge Parsons as provisional Governor of Alabama.
— The Nashville Union says the captured archives of the State tell many a tale of rebel villainy. Governor Harris’ papers are full of secret history of the rebellion. Among other papers on file, and endorsed by Harris, is a proposition to assassinate Governor Johnson in Nashville. [Isham G. Harris]
— In the interval from 1850 to 1860, the total free colored population of the United States increased from 434,440 to 487,070, or at the rate of 12.33 per cent in ten years, showing an annual increase of above one per cent. This result includes the number of slaves liberated and those who have escaped from their owners together with the natural increase.
— General Grant recently received a letter from an enterprising attache of a leading New York journal, calling his attention to the fact that he had written up very fully and flatteringly his journey to Chicago and the ovations received in the trip, and stating that as he (the writer) was in straitened circumstances, and found living very expensive &c., any donation that the General might see fit to make as a compensation would be very gratefully received, and he might rely upon its being considered strictly confidential. The perusal of the letter highly amused the General. [Ulysses S. Grant]
— An association is forming at Leavenworth, Kansas, to go out on the plains and catch 10,000 buffaloes to drive to Eastern markets. Lots of fun for those who join.
1. Henry Jackson Hunt (1819-1889) graduated from West Point in 1839 and was a career military officer, serving in the Mexican War and the Utah War (1857). During the Civil War, he was Chief of Artillery in the Army of the Potomac. His fellow officers considered him the greatest artillery tactician and strategist of the War. His courage and tactics affected the outcome of some of the most significant battles in the war, including Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and most notably at Gettysburg. In 1856 Hunt was a member of a three-man board that revised field artillery drill and tactics for the army. The Instructions for Field Artillery manual written by Hunt, William H. French, and William F. Barry, was published by the War Department in 1861 and was the “bible” for Northern field artillery units during the War.
2. John Clement Fletcher (1827-1899) was the 18th governor of Missouri, serving from 1864 to 1869. He issued the proclamation abolishing slavery in the state. His administration was confronted with many problems, including amnesty for former Confederate soldiers, the disposition of the railroad property the state had acquired through default by the railroad companies failure to pay interest on bonds guaranteed by the state, and the reorganization of public education.
3. Benjamin Franklin Perry (1805-1886) was the 72nd governor of South Carolina, serving from June 30 to November 29, 1865. On June 30, 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Perry as the provisional Governor of South Carolina, because of his strong unionist views prior to the war. Perry was directed by Johnson to enroll voters and to lead the state creating a new state constitution, however the constitutional convention delegates adopted black codes to prevent black suffrage.
The following address by General O. O. Howard on July 4, 1865, at Gettysburg comes from the July 15, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.
Fourth of July at Gettysburg—The American Soldier.
As I stand here to-day before a peaceful audience, composed as it is of beautiful ladies, joyous children and happy citizens, and think of my last visit to this place two years ago, and of the terrible scenes to which it was my lot to bear a part, I cannot help exclaiming, “How changed! How changed!” It was the same rich landscape, broad and beautiful, covered with every variety of natural objects to please the eye. The same wooded ridges and cultivated fields ; the same neat little town clinging to the hill side ; the same broad avenues of approach ; the same ravines and creeks—but, Thank God, the awful magnificence of hosts arrayed against each other in deadly strife, is wanting. Yonder heights, are no longer crowned with hostile cannon ; the valleys do not reverberate with their fearful roar ; the groves and the houses do not give back the indescribable peal of the musketry fire. And oh ! how like a dream to-day seems that sad spectacle of broken tombstones, prostrate fences, and the ground strewn with our own wounded and dead companions ! Then follows, after battle, the mingling of friends and enemies, with suffering depicted in all possible modes of portraiture. The surgeons, with resolute hearts and bloody hands, the pale faces of relatives searching for dear ones, the busy Sanitary and Christian workers—all pass before my mind in group after group.
My friend[s], my companions, my countrymen, suffer me to congratulate you anew to-day this 4th day of July, 1865, that this sad work is completely done, and that sweet peace has really dawned upon us. On the 19th day of November, 1864, this National Cemetery, a pious tribute to manliness and virtue, was consecrated. The Hon. Edward Everett delivered an addres [sic] in his own rich, clear, elegant style, which, having been published, has long ago become historical and affords us a complete and graphic account of the campaign and battle of Gettysburg. I am deeply grateful to this noble patriot for his indefatigable industry in securing facts, and for the clear narrative he has left us of this battle, in which every living loyal soldier who fought here is now proud to have borne a part. He, joining the patriotic band of those that are honored by his eloquence, has gone to his reward¹ ; and let his memory ever be mingled with those here, upon whose graves he so earnestly invoked your benediction. Mr. Everett was followed by the few remarkable words of President Lincoln. [Abraham Lincoln]
While Mr. Lincoln’s name is so near and dear to us, and the memory of his work and sacrifices so fresh, I deem it not inappropriate to repeat his own words : “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forward² upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task of remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The civil war is ended ; the test was complete. He, Abraham Lincoln, never forgot his own dedication till the work was finished. He did display even increased devotion if it were possible. The dead did not die in vain, and the nation has experienced already the new birth of freedom of which he spoke. Oh ! that in the last throes of darkness and crime God had seen it good to have spared us that great heart out of which proceeded such welcome works of truth and encouragement ! How very much of grateful recollection clusters around the name of Abraham Lincoln as we pronounce here among the dead who have died that our nation might not perish from the earth ! These grounds have already been consecrated and are doubly sacred from the memory of our brethren who lie here, and from the association with those remarkable men, Mr. Everett and Mr. Lincoln, who gave tone to the exercises of consecration two years ago, whose bodies are now resting beneath the sod, but whose spirit is still living and unmistakably animating every true American heart this day. We have now been called to lay the corner stone of a monument. This monument is not a mere family record, the simple memorial of individual fame, nor the silent tribute to genius. It is raised to the soldier. It embraces a patriotic brotherhood of heroes in its inscriptions, and is an unceasing herald of labor, suffering, union, liberty and sacrifice.
Let us then, as is proper on such an occasion as this, give a few thoughts to the American soldier. We have now embraced under this generic name of soldier the dutiful officer, the volunteer soldier, the regular, the colored, and the conscript ; but in my remarks, I will present you the private volunteers as the representative American soldier. In the early part of 1861, the true citizen heard that traitors at Washington had formed a conspiracy to overthrow the Government, and soon after that the stars and stripes had been fired upon and had been hauled down at the bidding of an armed enemy in South Carolina, that the Capital of the nation was threatened, and that our new President had called for help.
How quickly the citizen answered the call !
Almost like magic he sprang forth a soldier.
His farm or his bench, his desk or his counter, was left behind, and you find him marching through the then gloomy, flagless, defiant streets of Baltimore, fully equipped for service, with uniform gray, blue, red or green—it then mattered not ; with knapsack, cartridge box, musket and bayonet, this outfit was all that was required. He was a little awkward, his accouterments much awry, his will unsubdued. He did not keep step with the music, nor always lock step with his companions. He had scarcely ever fired a musket, but he had become a soldier, put on the soldier’s garb, set his face toward the enemy, and God willing, he purposed never to turn back till the soldier’s work was done.
You meet him in Washington (or Meridian Hill perhaps;) discipline and drill seize upon him, restrain his liberty, and mould his body. Colonels, captains, lieutenants, and sergeants, his former equals, order him about, and he must obey them. Oh, what days and oh, what nights ! Where is home and affection ? Where is the soft bed and loaded table ? Change of climate, change of food, want of rest, want of all kinds of old things, and an influx of all sort of new things, make him sick—yes, really sick in body and soul. But in spite of a few doses of quinine and a wholesome hospital bed and diet, (as the soldier of ’61 remembers them,) his vigorous constitution and indomitable heart prevail, so that he is soon able to cross the Long Bridge and invade the sacred red clay of Virginia, with his companions in arms. Yet, perhaps, should you now observe him very closely, you will perceive his enthusiasm increasing faster even than his strength. He is on the enemy’s side of the river ; now for the strict guard duty ; now for the lonely picket ; and the thickets where men are killed by ambushed foes. How the eye and the ear, and, may I say it, the heart, are quickened in these new and trying vigils.—Before long, however, the soldier is inured to these things ; he becomes familiar with every stump, tree and pathway of approach, and his trusty gun and stouter heart defy any secret foe.
Presently you find him on the road to battle ; the hot weather of July, the usual load, the superadded twenty extra rounds of catridges [sic] and three days’ rations, strung to his neck, and the long weary march quite exhaust his strength during the very first day. He aches to leave the ranks and rest, but no ! no ! He did not leave home for the ignominious name of “straggler” and “skulker.” Cost what it may, he toils on. The Acotink, the Cub Run, the never-to-be-forgotten Bull Run, are passed. Here, of a sudden, strange and terrible sounds strike upon his ear, and bear down upon his heart ; the booming of shotted cannon ; the screeching of bursted shell through the heated air, and the zip, zip, zip of smaller balls ; everything produces a singular effect upon him. Again, all at once he is thrown quite unprepared upon a new and trying experience ; for now he meets the groaning ambulance and the bloody stretcher. He meets limping, armless, legless, disfigured, wounded men. To the right of him and to the left of him are the lifeless forms of the slain. Suddenly a large iron missile of death strikes close beside him and explodes, sending out twenty or more jagged fragments, which remorselessly maim or kill five or six of his mates before they have had the opportunity to strike one blow for their country. His face is now very pale ; and will not the American soldier flinch and turn back ? There is a stone wall ; there is a building ; there is a stack of hay ; it is so easy to hide. But no ! He will not be a coward ! “Oh, God, support and strengthen me!” ‘Tis all his prayer. Soon he is at work. Yonder is the foe. “Load and fire ;” ” load and fire.” But the cry comes, “Our flank is turned ! Our men retreat !” With tears pouring down his cheek, he slowly yields and joins the retiring throng. Without any more nerve, and little strength, he struggles back from a lost field.
Now he drinks the dregs of suffering. Without blanket for the night, without food, without hope, it is no wonder that a panic seizes him, and he runs demoralized away. This disreputable course, however, is only temporary. The soldier before long forgets bis defeat and his sufferings, brightens up his armor, and resumes his place on the defensive line. He submits for weary days to discipline, drill and hard fare ; he wades through the snows of winter and the deep mud of a Virginia spring. He sleeps upon the ground, upon the deck of the transport steamer, and upon the floor of the platform car. He helps load and unload stores ; he makes fascines and gabions ; he corduroys quicksands, and bridges creeks and bogs. Night and day he digs or watches in the trenches. What a world of new experience ! What peculiar labor and suffering he passes through, the soldier alone can tell you. He now marches hurriedly to his second battle ; soon after be is in a series of them. Fight and fall back ! Oh, those days of hopelessness, sorrow, toil and emaciation. How vividly the living soldier remembers them, those days when he cried from the bottom of his heart, “Oh, God, how long ! how long !”
Would you have patience to follow him through the commingling of disasters from the battle of Cedar Mountain to the same old Bull Run, you would emerge with him from the chaos and behold his glistening bayonet again on the successful field of Antietam, where a glimmer of hope lighted up his heart. Would you go with him to the bloody fields of Fredericksburg, staunch his wounds in the wilderness of Chancellorville [sic], and journey on with him afterwards to this hallowed ground of Gettysburg, and could you be enabled to read and record his toils, his sufferings and all his thoughts, you might be able to appreciate the true American soldier. You might then recite the first chapter of the cost of the preservation of the American Union. In September, 1863, after the battle of Gettysburg, the Government sends two army corps to reinforce our brethren in the West. The soldier is already far from home and friends, but he is suddenly apprised that he must go yet two thousand miles. He can not visit his family to take leave of them. He has scarcely the opportunity of writing a line of farewell. The chances of death are multitudinous as they appear before his imagination, and the hope of returning is very slender.
Yet again the soldier does not falter. With forty others he crowds into the close, unventilated freight car and speeds away, night and day, without even the luxury of a decent seat. With all the peculiar discomforts of this journey, the backings and the waitings at the railroad junction ; the transfers from car to car and from train to train ; being confined for days without the solace and strength derived from his coffee, there is yet something compensative in the exhilarating influence of change, and there is added to it in passing through Ohio and Indiana, a renewed inspiration as the people turn out in masses to welcome him and to bid him God-speed ; little girls throw wreaths of flowers round his neck, kiss his bronzed cheek, and strew his car with other offerings of love and devotion.—Such impressions as were here received were never effaced. They touched the rough heart anew with tenderness, and, being a reminder of all the old home affections, only served to deepen his resolution sooner or later, by the blessing of God, to reach the goal of his ambition ; that is to say, with his compatriots, to secure to his children and to other children enduring peace with liberty and an undivided country. He passes on through Kentucky, through the battle-fields of Tennessee, already historical. The names, Nashville, Stone River, Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, reminded him of past struggles and portended future conflicts.
He is deposited at Bridgeport, Alabama, a houseless, cheerless, chilly place, on the banks of the Tennessee ; possessing no interest further than that furnished by the railroad bridge destroyed, and the yet remaining rubbish and filth of an enemy’s camp. Before many days the soldier threads his way up the valley of the great river which winds and twists amid the ragged mountains, till he finds himself beneath the rock-crowned steeps of Lookout. Flash after flash, volume after volume, of light-colored smoke, and peal on peal of cannon, the crashing sound of shot and the screaming of shell, are the ominous signs of unfriendly welcome sent forth to meet him from this rocky height. Yet on he marches, in spite of threatening danger, in spite of the ambush along his route, until he has joined hands with his Western brother, who had come from Chattanooga to greet him. This is where the valley of Lookout joins that of the Tennessee. At this place the stories of Eastern and Western hardship, suffering, battling and danger, are recapitulated and made to blend into the common history, and the common sacrifice of the American soldier.
[The following paragraph was left out by the Prescott Journal:
Were there time, I would gladly take yen, step by step, with the soldier, as” he bridges and crosses the broad and rapid river; as he ascends and storms the height of Mission Ridge ; or, as he plants his victorious feet, waves his banner, and flashes his gun on the top of Lookout Mountain. I would carry you with him across the death-bearing streams of Chickamauga. I would have you follow him in his weary, barefooted, wintry march to the relief of Knoxville, and back to Chattanooga. From his point of view, I would open up the Spring campaign, where the great General initiated his remarkable work of genius and daring. I could point you to the soldier pursuing his enemy into the strongholds of Dalton, behind the stern, impassable features of Rocky Face, Resaca, Adairsville, Cassville, Dallas, New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mill, Pine Top, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw, Culp’s Farm, Smyrna, Camp Ground, Peach-tree Creek, from so many points of view, and Jonesboro, are names of battlefields, upon each of which a soldier’s memory dwells. For upwards of a hundred days he scarcely rested from the conflict. He skirmished over rocks, hills and mountains ; through mud, streams and forests. For hundreds of miles he gave his aid to dig that endless train of intrenchments which encompassed every one of the enemy’s fortified positions. He companied with those who combatted obstinate foe on the front and on the flanks of those mountain fastnesses which the enemy had deemed impregnable, and he had a right at last to echo the sentiment of his indefatigable leader, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.” ]
Could you now have patience to turn back with him and fight these battles over again, behold his communications cut, his railroad destroyed for miles and miles ; enter the bloody fight of Alatoona, follow him through the forced march, via Rome, Georgia, away back to Resaca, and through the obstructed gaps of the mountains into Alabama, you would thank God for giving him a stout heart and an unflinching faith in a just and noble cause. Weary and worn he reposed at Atlanta on his return but one single night, when he commenced the memorable march toward Savannah. The soldier has become a veteran ; he can march all day with his musket, his knapsack, his cartridge box, his haversack and canteen upon his person ; his muscles have become large and rigid, so that what was once extremely difficult he now accomplishes with graceful ease. This fact must be borne in mind when studying the soldiers’ marches through Georgia and the Carolinas. The enemy burned every bridge across stream after stream ; the rivers, bordered with swamps—for example the Ocmulgee, the Oconee and the Ogeechee—were defended at every crossing. That they were passed at all by our forces is due to the cheerful, fearless, indomitable private soldier.
Oh, that you had seen him, as I have done, wading creeks a half a mile in width, and water waist deep, under fire, pressing on through wide swamps, without one faltering step, charging in line upon the most formidable works, which were well defended ! You could then appreciate him, and what he has accomplished, as I do. You could then feel the poignant sorrow that I always did feel when I saw him fall, bleeding to the earth. I must now leave the soldier to tell his own tale amongst the people ; of his bold, bloody work at McAllister against the torpedoes, abattis, artillery and musketry ; of his privations at Savannah ; of his struggles through the swamps, quicksands, and over the broad rivers of the Carolinas ; of the fights, fires, explosions, doubts and triumphs suggested by Griswoldville, Rivers’ and Binnaker’s bridges, Orangeburg, Congaree creek, Columbia, Cheraw, Fayetteville, Averysboro, and Bentonville. I will leave him to tell you how his hopes brightened at the reunion at Goldsboro. How his heart throbbed with gratitude and joy as the wires confirmed the rumored news of Lee’s defeat, so soon to be followed by the capture of the enemy’s Capital and of his entire army. I will leave him to tell to yourselves and your children how he felt and acted ; how proud was his bearing ; how elastic his step as he marched in review before the President of the United States at Washington ! I would do the soldier injustice not to say that there was one thing wanting to make his satisfaction complete, and that was the sight of the tall form of Abraham Lincoln, and the absence of that bitter recollection which he could not altogether exclude from his heart—that he had died by the hand of a traitor assassin.
I have given you only glimpses of the American soldier as I have seen him. To feel the full force of what he has done and suffered, you should have accompanied him for the last four years. You should have stood upon the battlefields during and after the struggle ; and you should have completed your observations in the army hospitals, and upon the countless grounds peopled with the dead. The maimed bodies, the multitude of graves, the historic fields, the monumental stones, like this we are laying today, after all are only meager memorials of the soldier’s work. God grant that what he planted, nourished, and has now preserved by his blood—I mean American Liberty—may be a plant dear to us as the apple of the eye, and that its growth may not be hindered till its roots are firmly set in every State of this Union, and till the full fruition of its blessed fruit is realized by men of every name, color and description, in this broad land. Now as I raise my eyes, and behold the place where my friend and trusted commander, General Reynolds [John F. Reynolds], fell, let me add my own testimonial to that of others, that we lost in him a true patriot, a true man, a complete General, and a thorough soldier.
Upon him and others who died here for their country, let there never cease to descend the most earnest benediction of every American heart. Let me congratulate this noble Keystone State³ that it was able to furnish such tried and able men as Reynolds who fell, and Meade [George G. Meade] who lived to guide us successfully through this wonderfully and hotly contested battle. In the midst of all conflicts, of all sorrows and triumphs, let us never for an instant forget that there is a God in Heaven whose arm is strong to help—whose balm is sweet to assuage every pain—and whose love embraces all joy. To him, then, let us look in gratitude and praise that it has been His will so greatly to bless our nation ; and may this monument ever remind us and our posterity, in view of the fact that we prevailed against our enemies, “that righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”4
1. Everett died January 15, 1865.
2. Usually the word used here is “forth.” See the 1863 November 19: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address post.
3. Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State.
4. From the Old Testament book of Proverbs, chapter 14, verse 34.
From the July 15, 1865, issue of The Polk County Press:
DIED.—In Milwaukee, Wis., June 30, 1865, CARMI P. GARLICK, of Osceola Mills, Wis., Assistant Surgeon of the 35th Regiment of Wisconsin Infantry, aged 47 years.
At a meeting of Osceola Lodge No. 134 of Free and Accepted Masons held on the evening of July 4th, A. D. 1865, A. O. 5865, on motion of Brother WM. A. TALBOYS, Brothers H. D. BARRON, GEORGE WILSON and SAM. S. FIFIELD, JR, were appointed a Committee to prepare resolutions expressive of the sense of the Lodge upon the death of our late Brother GARLICK. And said Committee at a subsequent meeting reported the following which were adopted :
WHEREAS, Death, that messenger whom all must meet has again made a solemn call up on one of the Brothers of this Lodge and taken from us one to whom we owed duties in life, we deem it fit and proper to remember him and his family by public expression of our heartfelt sympathy in the present hour. Therefore :
Resolved, That in sadly bearing to their last resting place the remains of Brother CARMI P. GARLICK, we feel that we have buried all that was mortal of a good neighbor, a kind hearted husband, an exemplary father, a faithful and trust Mason, the memory of whose ever genial and kind feelings and ways we shall cherish in the years to come.
Resolved, That in thus bidding a long good night to our decreased “Brother of the mystic tie,” we recognize the loss of one whose devotion to Masonry was earnest and proved by good works and deeds,—a Brother who as our first Junior Warden, our second Master and Past Master labored early and late to establish Osceola Lodge upon a sure and sound footing,—as one of our original seven members, three of whom have been called to the Great Lodge above since our organization three years ago.
Resolved, That the family of Brother GARLICK, in this their hour of affliction, have our sympathy and that it is good for the widow and the fatherless as well as all true Masons to know that in his death our worthy Brothers did not forget the great teachings of the Mason and Christian’s Bible so often heard at our altar where the solemnity and importance of death are not forgotten with lessons and thoughts of life.
Resolved, That our thanks are hereby tendered to Worshipful Master HAMILTON and the other Officers and Brothers of Milwaukee Lodge No. 3, of Milwaukee, for their attention and many acts of kindness to Brother GARLICK when sick and to his family after his death.
Resolved, That the jewels and room of this Lodge be properly dressed in mourning for ninety days and that a copy of these resolutions duly attested by the W. M. and Secretary with the proper seal be delivered to the widow of the deceased and communicated to Milwaukee Lodge No. 3, of F & A. M.
. .WILLIAM A. TALBOYS, W. M
ISAAC FREELAND, Secretary.