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1861 November 1 and 7: News from the Prescott Guards About Promotions and Sickness

November 1, 2011

From The Prescott Journal, November 20, 1861, comes two letters from Benjamin N. Meeds. First one from November 1 with news on Company B of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry (Prescott Guards).  Quite a few men are sick in the hospital, but a large number also received promotions in late October.  This letter is followed immediately by another one from Meeds dated November 7 reporting on a few updates to his news of the 1st.

Camp Correspondence.

Arlington Heights, “Sacred Soil” November 1, 1861

Dear Lute: —Since my last letter to you, there has been a number of changes in our regiment; these changes have been in a measure complimentary to individual members of Company B. Sergeant Major Fitch has been appointed, by Colonel Cutler [Lysander Cutler], First Lieut. of Company D; Orderly Sergeant Eills has been appointed Sergeant Major. Rollin Converse is now acting as Orderly Sergeant of Company B, and I will in all probability be commissioned as Second Lieut. in our company, as soon as a vacancy occurs.1

Privates Aaron L. Roberts and John W. Winn have been appointed Corporals.2 There is a vacant Sergeantcy now, which will probably be filled in a few days, but by whom is only known to the powers that be.

Captain Dill3 is still at Georgetown in private quarters, on leave of absence, which was necessary to restore him to health; he will probably rejoin the company some time during next week.

Yesterday the whole of Gen. King’s Brigade [Rufus King], which includes our regiment, were mustered for payment. We were marched to a large field, our arms and accoutrements inspected, the roll called, absentees accounted for, and then marched back to our encampment. Volney A. Cole and Ole Torgerson are both at the General Hospital at Annapolis, Md.;4  Samuel B. French and David F. Jones are both at the General Hospital at Georgetown, D. C.;5  Warren White, John H. McLaughlin, and William Evans, are in the Regimental Hospital here.6

These above named are all of Company B who are sick, but there is a number of the boys who are on the sick list, and repair every morning regularly to the Regimental Dispensary for their allowance of quinine.

We are still encamped on Arlington Heights, and it is possible that we may winter here.

Nothing that would interest you or your readers can be furnished this week by

Yours truly,
B. N. M.


Nov. 7, 1861

Dear Lute: —Ole Turgeson returned from the hospital at Baltimore last night, and to-day noon Ole Gunderson7 was sent from here to the General Hospital at Georgetown. Rollin P. Converse1 has been commissioned as Second Lieut. of Company B, vice Henry Serril promoted to First Lieutenancy. John F. Marsh, our efficient First Lieut., has been promoted to the Captaincy of Company D, in this regiment. James A. Smith, late corporal, is promoted to a Sergeantcy in this company.8

Yours truly,
B. N. M.

1.  Michael H. Fitch, from Prescott; Arthur C. Ellis, listed as being from Aurora, Illinois, became Sergeant Major October 31, 1861; Rollin P. Converse, from Prescott, became 2nd Lieutenant October 25, 1861.
2.  Aaron L. Roberts, from Prescott, and John W. Winn, from Clifton. No dates are listed in the official roster for either of their promotions.
3.  Daniel J. Dill, captain of Company B, from Prescott.
4.  Volney A. Cole, from Oak Grove,  and Ole Torgerson, from Dunn County.
5. Samuel B. French, from Diamond Bluff, and David F. Jones (residence not listed). French will be discharged March 28, 1862, with a disability.
6.  Warren White, listed as being from from Vernon Springs, Iowa; John H. McLaughlin, from Trimbelle; and William E. Evans, from Prescott.
7.  Ole Gunderson, from Centreville.
8.  Henry E. Serril, of Prescott, became 1st Lieutenant on October 25, 1861; John F. Marsh, 1st Lieutenant of Company B was promoted to Captain of Company D on October 25, 1861, after the resignation of John O’Rourke (Milwaukee); James A. Smith, of Prescott, promoted from Corporal to Sergeant, but no date is listed in the official roster.

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