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1863 April 25: Militia Meeting in Osceola

April 28, 2013

An article on a meeting of the local citizens to discuss the organization of a militia company to protect the frontier of northwestern Wisconsin from Indians.  It appeared in Sam Fifield’s Polk County Press on April 25, 1863.

The Military Meeting.

The meeting of citizens called in the PRESS of last week, was convened at at [sic] this office on Wednesday evening last.  The meeting was called to order and Hon. DANIEL MEARS chosen Chairman, and SAM. S. FIFIELD, JR., elected Secretary.

The Chairman stated the object of the meeting, and read several sections of the new militia law, in regard to forming volunteer companies, &c.

On motion of Wm. KENT, jr. [sic], the following committies [sic] were appointed by the Chair, to prepare company rolls and obtain signatures of persons desirous of becoming members of the company :




Capt. HARRIMAN [Samuel Harriman] being present stated his views in regard to forming a company, and urged that all units in the organization as it would have a tendency to make the settlers feel more secure, and cause emigrants to to [sic] come in without fears of the Indian.  He said the people of Saint Croix Falls and the people above as far up as Canute Anderson’s were to organize a company, and that companies would be formed at Hudson, Star Prairie, and Prescott.

He very truthfully remarked that in case we formed a volunteer company, and there should be trouble with the Indians, that we could call for help with a better grace than we could if we done nothing for ourselves now that we had a chance offered us.

On motion it was decided to call in all the state arms now distributed in the towns of Osceola, Alden and Farmington, and all persons having such arms in their possession are hereby requested to bring them in by Wednesday evening next.

On motion it was agreed to meet again on Wednesday evening next, for the purpose of organizing a company.  [Capt. Herriman [sic] will be here to superintend the organization.]

On motion the meeting adjourned.

SAM S. FIFIELD, jr. [sic], Secretary.


After the meeting the following persons enrolled themselves :

C. E. Mears, Joseph Furbish, E. E. Blanding, Charles H. Staples, S. S. Fifield, Wm. Kent, jr., W. A. Talboys, W. H. Bowron, Stephen Rowcliffe, Leman Johnson, P. B. Tewksbury, Henry Goodwin, James Kent, Dudley Kinyon, Daniel Mears, C. P. Garlick, and Wm. Wilson.

We trust that every man who can, will attend the next meeting.  The whole matter will be discussed, that all may understand the object and its importance.  We are required to organize under the new militia law which will be found in our paper today.  Come out and lets talk the mat[ter] over together.


THE INDIAN WAR IN MINNESOTA AGAIN COMMENCED.—On the morning of the 16th inst., at 2 o’clock a party of Indians attacked an outpost on the South Branch of the Watonwan River, about 12 miles west of Madelia and some 40 miles west of Mankato—held by a detachment of 16 or 20 men from the 7th Minnesota Regiment.  One man was killed and two wounded.  Of the settlers in the vicinity two women were wounded and one boy of eight or ten years of age was killed.  They stole one government horse and all others they could find in the neighborhood.  The troops were immediately re-inforced, and went in pursuit of the Indians, but as they had thirty hours the start they will probably escape.  Every effort is now being put forth to punish those red devils as they deserve.


Col. Marshall in pursuit of the Indians reports that two more men have been found killed by the Indians.  Their bodies were horribly mutilated and scalped.  Up to the 21st the Indians had not been seen.

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