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1863 May 16: Pierce and Polk Counties’ Militia Companies, and Other News

May 22, 2013

Following are the small items for the week from the May 16, 1863, Prescott Journal and Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  Gen. Rosecrans [William S. Rosecrans] is going into the gardening business.  He has lately secured about one hundred and fifty acres of good garden land in the neighborhood of Nashville, and has selected from the convalescent soldiers in the hospitals there some fifty men, who are more or less acquainted with gardening, and directed them to cultivate this land in such vegtables [sic] as the army, and especially the hospitals, need.  The work is now progressing, and purchases have been made amounting to fifty bushels of onion setts, forty thousand cabbages plants, a like number of tomatoe [sic] plants, and large supplies of the usual vegatable [sic] seeds.  This is not simply an economical measure, but a sanitary one, that will promote health and save life in the army.

— Two thousand loyal women recently met at St. Louis, to form a Ladies’ Union League. Several speeches were made and great enthusiasm prevailed.

Halleck in the Field–Hooker’s Plan.

Special to St. Paul Press.


Gen. Halleck [William H. Halleck] is about take the field in person, not, it is believed, for the purpose of relieving Gen. Hooker [Joseph Hooker] from his command, but that he may be nearer the presence of transpiring events, and the better able to influence, and give directions.

It is believed that Hooker did not commence his retrograde movement, until he had planned his present one, and had become satisfied of its superiority to any effort he could make at Chancellorville [sic].



The Star says it has reason to believe there is no truth in the story Halleck designs taking the field in person in the next movement of the army of the Potomac.  The Secretary of War has directed that while the army of the Potomac remain in its present position no passes shall be granted to persons to visit it with the view of obtaining the bodies of deceased friends.


May 12, 1863. }

Dr. Luckley,¹ Medical Director in charge of our wounded on the field, reports that they are all comfortable. They number about 1,200.  An ambulance train has been sent for them, and they are expected to return to Camp by tonight.


NEW YORK, May 12.

The Herald’s letter from West Point of the 9th reports Gen. Keyes [E. D. Keyes] constantly in the saddle, and says you may look for stirring news from here suddenly.

The Times’ dispatch from the army of the Potomac of the 8th says our wounded are coming over rapidly, the figures of our total loss being much diminished by the coming in of stragglers.


NEW YORK, May 13.

The Washington Chronicle of yesterday says Vallandigham [Clement L. Vallandigham] has been sentenced by General Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside] to imprisonment at the Tortugas for two years.²

Latest News.

— The President has changed the sentence of Vallandigham, and ordered him sent South.²

Hooker has not re-crossed the Rappahannock.

Stonewall Jackson is reported dead.

— Capt. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., son of the poet, was wounded for the third time in the battle at Chancellorville [sic].³

Finger002  Chancellorville [sic], now celebrated in our army history, consists, or did consist, of one large brick house, occupied by a lady of the name of Chancellor, and kept as a tavern.

Finger002  “A Democrat is a Union man.  A Copperhead is a rebel claiming to be a Democrat.  All Democrats are by no means copperheads, but who ever heard of a copperhead who did not profess to be a Democrat?  Ben Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] pithily defines a copperhead to be a cross between Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold.”


— We regret to learn that Col. DILL [Daniel J. Dill] of the 30th, has been seriously ill for some time past. He is now out of danger.

— Owing to the absense [sic] of A. H. YOUNG, the military company was not organized last Thursday evening.

— Nearly 2,000 Indians have been taken down the river within a few days past, and several hundred negroes brought up.  It is said that Minnesota is trading off two Indians for one negro.

UNION LEAGUE.—The meeting of the Union League, last Saturday, was not as fully attended as was expected [newspaper creased here] of the season, and the depressing character of the news.  Able speeches were made by I. L. USHER4, “Wisconsin’s favorite son,” and M. S. HANSCOM, Esq., formerly a clergy man in New York.  The songs by Messers. A. H. YOUNG, and G. H. NICHOLS, and Misses Frank BATHOLOMEW and HELEN REESE, added much to the interest and pleasure of the meeting.

From The Polk County Press:

PERSONAL.—Sergeant FRED. A. DRESSER, 30th Regiment, has returned home on a few day’s [sic] furlough.  He is looking as fat and hearty as ever.

Capt. HARRIMAN [Samuel Harriman] was in town Tuesday, looking after the interests of the militia organization.

— The Military meeting appointed for last Tuesday evening was postponed until one week from to-day, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, on account of the Militia Law requiring ten days notice to be given.  The notices are now posted up in the various public places in the town of Osceola and Farmington.  The company will meet at the Court House in this village on Saturday the 23d inst. [May] for the purpose of electing officers and completing the organization.  Let all be on hand.

THE MILITARY COMPANY.—About a week since steps were taken to get up a military company here under the new State Law [militia law].  The thing will be a success.  Over 80 signatures have already been obtained, and a company will be formed as soon as the neccessary [sic] steps can be gone through.  The “Banner County” [Pierce County] is not played out in military yet.  Much of the credit of getting up the company is due to Mr. Z. E. Binns.

PERSONAL.—Quartermaster York [William H. York] is in town, healthy, but pretty well bronzed in war’s service. Lieut. W. H. Howes, Co. H, 30th, recently promoted from Co. B, 6th, has been at home for a few days.  The Lieutenant feels a just pride at having won promotion, by service in the famous “Iron Brigade.”  Lieut. L. D. Gunn has also been at home for a few days.—Prescott Journal.

D I E D.

RAMSEY.—In the town of Farmington, on Friday, May 1st, of Consumption, SAMUEL RAMSEY, formerly a member of the 2d Wisconsin Cavalry, aged 28 years.

The deceased was a worthy and respected citizen, and his death is mourned by a host of friends.


1.  Dr. J. W. Luckley was the Medical Director of the 18th Army Corps.
2.  As we learned in an earlier post, on May 1, 1863, Clement Vallandigham had given a major speech charging that the war was being fought not to save the Union but to free the slaves by sacrificing the liberty of all Americans. This after General Ambrose E. Burnside issued General Order Number 38, which warned that the “habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy” would not be tolerated in the Military District of Ohio. Vallandigham was arrested on May 5 for violating General Order Number 38, and was tried by military court on May 6-7. President Lincoln overrode Burnside’s sentence, ordering Vallandigham deported and sent to the Confederacy. The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located at the end of the Florida Keys, “Tortuga” being the Spanish name for Turtle. The U.S. bastion there remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War and was used as a prison until 1874.
3.  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., will become an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from 1902 to 1932.
4. Issac Lane Usher, publisher of the La Crosse Morning Chronicle.

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