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1863 May 30: Independent Militia Company Organized at Saint Croix Falls

June 3, 2013

Following are the smaller items from the May 30, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press. We don’t hear much about the Confederate generals in our little local newspapers, but one small paragraph here introduces us to four new ones.

— An independent Militia company was organized at St. Croix Falls, on Saturday last, by election Wm. J. Vincent, Captain; Wm. M. Blanding, 1st Lieut.; Canute Anderson, 2d do [ditto, i.e. Lieut.], Philip Lipsett and John Brawn 1st and 2d Sergeants.  The company numbers over 80 men.1

— At the meeting of the Military company in this village on Saturday last, the following officers were elected: A. S. Gray, Captain; E. G. Treadwell, 1st Lieutenant; Frank Webb, 2d Lieutenant.  Meeting adjourned until this evening at 7 o’ clock, for the purpose of completing the organization.  The Company now numbers eighty-five men.2

— The Madison Journal says:— We are glad to hear that Col. Dill [Daniel J. Dill], 30th Regiment, has nearly recovered from his indisposition and is able to visit camp again.

— Gov. Salomon [Edward Salomon] and Gen. Gaylord [Augustus Gaylord] have gone South to visit the Wisconsin Regiments in Missouri and on the Mississippi River.

— The iron-clads of the Charleston fleet have all been thoroughly repaired, and the exception on changes in the armament, are again ready for work.

Stonewall Jackson is certainly dead.  He lost an arm at Chancelorsville [sic], and died from the effect of the amputation.  His loss to the rebels is greater than ten thousand men.

— Stoneman [George Stoneman], when a Lieutenant in California, some years since, on being challenged to do so by a lady friend, ascended the front steps of her residence on horseback, rode into her parlor, turned round and came out, as he said he could, “without even soiling the carpet.”

FROM THE 30th REGIMENT BOYS.— From a letter received from Charles D. Scott, of Captain Harriman’s company [Samuel Harriman, Company A], 30th regiment, we learn that the boys who went from the county are all well, and anxious to be doing something for Uncle Same.  He says ;

“We have organized a Christian Association in the regiment which numbers some 80 members.  We have besides the Chaplain, five ministers, one of who speaks the Norwegian language.  In connection with the association we have a Bible Class, which is quite well attended and interesting.  We have also a Good Templar’s Lodge, which has been in working order a few weeks and has forty-four members.  There are in all some 200 members of the order in the Regiment, and among them quite a number of shoulder straps.     *     *     *     *     *

“Sergt. Dean [James W. Dean] has been sick for some time but is now quite well again.  We have lost but one of our number since we left home, and that was poor Longfellow of company D.  A marble slab marks his place of rest.  May his spirit dwell in Heaven.”

LOSS OF REBEL OFFICERS.— The loss of rebel officers in the late fight at Chancelorsville [sic] was enormous.  The Richmond papers have already published, among their killed and wounded, Lieut. Gen. Jackson [Stonewall Jackson], Brig. Gen. Thomas,3 killed; Gen. A. P. Hill, wounded; Brig. Gen. McGowan,4 wounded; Brig. Gen. Nichols [sic],5 wounded, leg amputated; Brig. Gen Hoke,6 wounded.  Every staff officer of A. P. Hill was either killed, wounded or captured.  Half of Jackson’s staff shared the same fate.

1.  This is not the same militia company that was organized in Osceola.
2.  This is the Osceola Home Guards that we heard about last week.
3.  Edward Lloyd Thomas (1825-1898) was not killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville. When Georgia seceded from the Union in 1861, Thomas became colonel of the 35th Georgia Infantry, which became part of A. P. Hill’s famed “Light Division.” Thomas was slightly wounded at the Battle of Mechanicsville (June 26, 1862). After that he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of Joseph R. Anderson’s brigade for the rest of the war, participating in all the major battles of the Army of Northern Virgina.
4.  Samuel McGowan (1819-1897) was a lawyer before the Civil War, was involved in state politics, and was commended for his gallantry in the Mexican War. In the Civil War, Nicholls participated in the First Battle of Bull Run, the Seven Days Battles, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. After Maxcy Gregg was killed at the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 1862), McGowan was promoted to brigadier general and took command of a brigade in A.P. Hill’s famous “Light Division,” which commanded until the end of the War. McGowan was wounded four times, at Cold Harbor, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Spotsylvania. After the War, McGowan was elected to Congress but refused his seat. He became a leader in the fight against carpetbagger rule in the South Carolina legislature. McGowan was elected an associate justice on the South Carolina supreme court, serving from 1879 to1893.
5.  Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls (1834-1912) graduated from West Point and served in the third Seminole war. He resigned his commission to study law at what is now Tulane University. Nicholls joined the Confederate Army in 1861 and participated in the First Battle of Bull Run. During the Shenandoah Valley Campaign he lost his left arm. In October 1862 Nicholls was promoted to brigadier general. During the Battle of Chancellorsville a shell ripped off Nicholls’ left foot. Disabled and unfit for further field command, he directed the Volunteer and Conscript Bureau until the end of the War. After the War, Nicholls returned to his law practice in New Orleans, became the 28th governor of Louisiana  (1877-1880 and 1888-1892), and chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court (1892-1911).
6.  Robert Frederick Hoke (1837-1912) graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute in 1854 and then managed his family’s business interests. When North Carolina seceded from the Union in 1861, Hoke enlisted in the 1st North Carolina Infantry and was commissioned a second lieutenant, but promoted to captain within months. Hoke was commended for “coolness, judgment and efficiency” at the Battle of Big Bethel (June 10, 1861) by General D. H. Hill, and subsequently promoted to major. Next he was appointed as  lieutenant colonel of the 33rd North Carolina Regiment, and cited for gallantry at the Battle of New Bern (March 14, 1862). Hoke was promoted to colonel, and fought at the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862) and the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862). Hoke commanded a brigade at the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15, 1862), and was promoted to brigadier general on January 17, 1863. He was severely wounded defending Marye’s Heights in the Battle of Chancellorsville and was sent home to recuperate, missing the rest of the campaigns for that year. Hoke and his division will play a decisive role in the Confederate victory in the Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864 (May 31-June 12).

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