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1862 May 22: The 4th Wisconsin Skirmishes at Warrenton, Mississippi

May 22, 2012

A letter from Frank Harding at Vicksburg, dated May 22, 1862.  As usual, Frank’s poor penmanship and lack of punctuation make his letter difficult to read.

The “original” letter is in the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB), University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives & Area Research Center.

Vicksburg     Miss     May 22d 1862

Dear Father,

                     I have but about five minutes to write as the boat leaves for New Orleans.  We have had but one skirmish scince [sic] we left, had but two men wounded.  We killed four of the enemy to day.  The commander at Vixburg [sic] has ordered us to either vacate the river or to suffer the consequences.  The Comodore [sic] of our fleet sent back word to him that he would show him some fun, as soon as he could get ready, and to night the attack is to commence.  The rebbels [sic] outnumber us ten to one but with our Bulldogs I think we can clean them out.  [paragraph break added]

There is but two Regiments here, the 4th [Wis.] and the 6th Michigan.  Our Boys are in rather poor health.  What they suffer from most is disentery [sic].  I have been in pretty good health.  We are very short of rations, which isn’t agreeable to most of us.  There is some talk of our going to Texas but I don’t know as there is any foundation for this report.

Give my love to mother & Diantha.  I read a bundle of papers from you to day.  Write me often.

Yours Truly

1.  In E. B. Quiner’s Military History of Wisconsin, Chapter 14 (4th Infantry), page 500, we find that on the 19th of May the 4th Wisconsin “proceeded to Vicksburg, skirmished with the enemy at Warrenton, where Sergeant Major Chittenden and Private E. R. Perry, of Company A, were wounded, being the first casualties of the regiment. Remained at Vicksburg one week, when the fleet sailed down the river, abandoning the expedition.”  Newton H. Chittenden was from Ripon. Charles Perry of Company A (from Delavan) was wounded at Warrenton, and will be discharged because of those wounds in January 1863, according to the Adjutant General’s Regimental Muster and Descriptive Rolls (Blue Books).

Frank Harding letter of May 22, 1862, from the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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