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1862 May 14: News and Miscellaneous Items from the Hudson and Prescott Papers

May 20, 2012

Some of the small articles from The Hudson North Star and from The Prescott Journal of May 14, 1862.  New Orleans takes center stage in the North Star because that’s where the 4th Wisconsin Infantry—including the Hudson City Guards—is currently located.

From The Hudson North Star:


To G. V. Fox, Ass’t. Sec’y of Navy:                                           FT. JACKSON, April 30.

My Dear Fox—Every thing [sic] goes on gloriously, just as you said.  The official report will tell you all.  Commodore Boggs1 is going home.  He fought his ship splendidly, and is a man of determinaton [sic].  Give him a good ship.  He deserves it.  My respect to Mr. Blair. 
               Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER.

The report of Capt. Boggs, of the Verona [sic], in relation to the rebel steamer Morgan, says : “I have learned that over fifty of her crew were killed and wounded, and she was set on fire by her commander, who burned his wounded with his vessel.

A New Orleans paper of March 29th states that a company of 103 young girls, armed and equipped for the war, was to embark the next day from that place.  When they return there will be an infantry corps of 206.  [The Prescott Journal also printed this item, crediting it as coming from the St. Paul Press.]

17TH WISCONSIN REGIMENT.—Col. Doran [John L. Doran] is acting Brigadier General, and Lieut. Col. Malloy [Adam G. Malloy] is in full command of the Regiment.

General Sterling Price, of Missouri, has resigned his commission in the rebel army.  Whatever might have been said of ex-Governor Price, he was shown more sagacity in the present rebellion than any other officer in Jeff. Davis’ army.  If he had remained loyal to his country’s flag he might have been an ornament  that the Government would have felt proud of.

The three Cabinet officers of the last Administration, who, in its closing hours displayed a zelous [sic] attachment to the country are now all, at the request of Mr. Lincoln, filling high and responsible stations.  Mr. Stanton is Secretar[y] of War ;  Mr. Holt is one of the commissioners appointed to examine war claims against the Government ;  Mr. Dix is one of the Major Generals of our army.  A more striking proof of the desire of the President to ignore party dissensions in the administration of the Government, and to rally to its support the truly patriotic of all the old parties, could not have been given.

It will not have been forgotten that General W.  T. Sherman, whom General Halleck recommends for a Major Generalship on account of his conspicuous services at Pittsburg Landing, was charged with insanity a few months ago because he said an army of two hundred thousand men was needed to drive the rebels from Kentucky and Tennessee.  He was under a cloud for some time.  But, (remarks the Providence Journal) his madness had a method and a charming efficacy in it on the memorable 6th and 7th of April, and asks, cannot he bite some of our other Brigadiers, and impart his disease to them ?

The Battles of the War

In the year that the war has continued, thirty-one important battles have been fought, in all of which, except eight that occurred soon after the commencement of hostilities, the Federal arms were victories.  Our loss previous to the battle of Shiloh, were in killed 2,490 ;  wounded 4,196 ;  prisoners 1,460 ;  while the rebel loss has been in killed and wounded 15,429 ;  prisoners 53,707. 

From The Prescott Journal:

We are informed that the large flag belonging to the city is sadly in want of repair.  This affords an opportunity for the young ladies to show their patriotism.  The flag will be needed when Richmond is taken.

DANIEL MEARS of Polk County, has resigned his commission in Washburne’s [sic] Cavalry and returned home.

REV. A. GIBSON, of River Falls, member of the 12th Regiment, returned home this week.  His health would not admit of his remaining in the service.

We have several communications from the 12th Regiment, now at Fort Ripley.  The letters have been so long coming that they would not specially interest our readers.  [But they would have been of interest to us in 2012!]

On the 18th of May, 1861, the “Confederate” Congress gravely declared that New Orleans should be a “port of entry.”  It only became so, however, when the federal gunboats passed Forts Jackson and St. Phillip.

The possession of Baton Rouge ensures us the re-occupation of the great U.S. Arsenal, from which the rebels stole almost as many valuable guns as they did from Norfolk.  The rebel artillery in the battle where Gen. Lyon was killed, was obtained from Baton Rouge Arsenal.  Baton Rouge is also the capital of the State, and is, therefore, a place of importance, as it ensures us the insignia in the capital buildings, etc., of State Sovereignty.  A Military Governor of Louisiana can now date his orders from the places to which the people are accustomed to look with deference.

While the steamer Empress was on her way to Cairo with the wounded from the battle-field at Pittsburg Landing, the wife of a missing soldier who was in the fight at Pittsburg gave birth to a female infant.  The woman accompanied, or closely followed, her husband to Pittsburg, and on the second day of the fight, while the conflict was raging around her, was engaged in searching for him on the battle-field.  While thus employed, she received a gunshot wound—a flesh wound only—in the breast.  Failing at last to find her husband, in despair she took passage on the Empress.  Her child received the name of the steamer.

The Senate passed the bill recognizing Hayti [now spelled Haiti] and Liberia on the 24th ult.  It provides for the appointment of diplomatic agents to represent this government in those republics.

The House of Representatives has passed a bill prohibiting polygamy in Utah.

Coolness and Daring of Col. Allen.

In a recent letter from Sergt. Major E. L. Beckley,2 of the 16th Wis. Vols., Mr. B. gives an account of an act of daring by Col. [Benjamin] ALLEN of that regiment, which has never, I think received an insertion in any of our State papers.

“During the engagement at Pittsburg Landing, our color seageant [sic] was shot, immediately dropping the colors, when the Colonel, observing that the colors were not raised, marched deliberately up before and within a few rods of the rebel regiment, shouldered the colors and as coolly [sic] marched back again.  While this was being done, the rebels fired not a single bullet at him, but stood amazed at such a daring deed.  The Colonel of that secesh regiment was taken prisoner the next day, and on his way down the river yesterday, sent a note to Col. Allen, requesting him to accept his beautiful gray horse as a token of his regard for him as a commander.”

1.  Charles Stuart Boggs (1811-1877) was a career naval officer. He was commissioned a lieutenant in 1837, a commander in 1855, a captain in July 1862, and, following the Civil War, a rear admiral. He lost his ship, the gunboat Varuna, during the battle for New Orleans, destroying six Confederate gunboats before finally loosing his own. 
2.  Edward R. Beckley, from Madison, became the sergeant major of the 16th after Almon D. Gray of Hudson was promoted to captain of Company H. He was only the sergeant major from March 1 – April 7, 1862, when he returned to Company G and John Kelly of Eau Claire became the sergeant major on April 8.

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