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1862 September 17: Obituary for William E. Dexter

September 19, 2012

The September 17, 1862, Hudson North Star contained this obituary for a soldier with the Hudson City Guards (Company G, 4th Wisconsin Infantry).  It is much longer than we have seen for other soldiers who died.


We have just received the sad news of the death of WILLIAM E. DEXTER, of this city.  Mr. DEXTER formerly lived in Massachusetts, came to this country in the spring of ’57, where he resided until the government called for troops.  He was among the first to respond to the President’s proclamation of April 14th,1 enlisting in the Hudson City Guards, soon after assigned to the 4th Regiment, Wis. Vols.  In organizing the company he was appointed 2d Corporal, was made 1st Corporal to fill a vacancy, and was connected as such with the company when he died.  He was taken sick July 20th with dysentery and fever, the prevailing diseases of the climate, and died August 13th,2 in the hospital at New Orleans, attended by many friends of the company.  In civil life, all who knew him were his friends.  As a soldier, his conduct was exemplary—would that the government had more like him.  For any duty assigned him he was always ready and willing, two most excellent qualifications of a good soldier.  Much of his time was employed in acquainting himself with his duties, and but few knew them better than he.  Under the most trying circumstances he was at all times cheerful and active, in a word, was a true and faithful soldier.  He was a favorite in his company with both officers and men, who will long and deeply mourn the loss of a true and honorable comrade and patriot.  During his illness, he received from all the members of his company that watchful care and tender kindness with which he was ever ready to attend on them.  It is not improbable that, from his thorough acquaintance with his duties and fitness for the position, he would have been commissioned to fill the vacancy occasioned recently by the resignation of one of the commissioned officers of his company.3  His relatives must share with many the privilege of cherishing his memory.

1.  April 15, 1861.
2.  According to the official roster, Dexter died August 15, 1862.
3.  First Lieutenant Isaac H. Wing, from Hudson, resigned as of August 20, 1862.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dan Geister permalink
    September 19, 2012 11:11 am

    That is the longest one of the entire war in the Hudson paper that still exist if memory serves.

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