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1863 August 30: Prescott Guards’ Losses in Dead and Discharged

August 30, 2013

The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Natchez Miss. Aug 30th 1863

Dear Parents,

                       Your last letters of the 9th inst came a few days ago.  I had written one, but have not yet sent it off, and, perhaps you are waiting to hear from us.  Circumstances now require me to write another.

We are ordered on a 10 days scout in Louisiana and start to-morrow morning — after rebels, I presume, though in what locality, we are not apprised.  2 Brigades are going and we expect to have a fine time.  All is quiet here.  We were mustered this afternoon.  Lieut. Reynolds [Charles Reynolds] has returned from Wis.  The Capt. [Orrin T. Maxson] has not arrived yet, consequently no pay for him till next muster.  Com[pany] officers draw but half pay when on furlough.  [paragraph break added]

The sick boys do not improve much. — a hard time they have of it.  James Gibbs,¹ of the Mann Valley, died recently in St Louis.   Several deaths have occurred in the Co. within a short period.  We have lost 9 men from sickness² (except Miley³ who was killed at Vicksburg) since we left Memphis, and 21 since the organization of the Regt.,4 18 have been discharged,5 22 are absent on furloughs, sick leave, &c., some are on detactch detached service, so that as a Co. we are about played out, but what are left are composed of good stuff,—as the boys say, the “Essence of of of Co A.”  Dale and Jack6 are tough & hearty.  We think a great deal of Jack.  I would recommend him to the consideration of young ladies for a husband.  He is our best Serg’t by all odds,—a worthy fellow, true as “steel”, and always ready & agreeable to all.  [paragraph break added]

Not much to write — we await the news from Charleston with impatience.  By the way, let me not forget to say we wish you would send us some papers, for they are scarce here & 15 to 25 cts. a pieces.  Wish we had some of your nice butter, Mother, you must have some for us when we come home.  We shall soon be on the last year.  I trust by the end of that year this war will be over.  You speak of the probability of the final extinction of the Democratic party.  I do not know what to think.  The War Democrats are making strenuous efforts to rescue the leadership of that party from the Copperheads, Cox,7 Vallandigham [Clement L. Vallandigham] & Co. & place it in the hands of such men as Butler [Benjamin F. Butler], Dickinson [Daniel S. Dickinson], Johnson, &c.  I hope they will succeed.  The war will end all the quicker for it.  [paragraph break added

Homer was calculating to write, but it is so late that he chooses to defer till we return from the scout.  We are in excellent health & spirits as usual & hope you are not without the same blessing.  Write soon, how Grandmother is, and all about yourselves & all else of interest.  Our respects to those enquiring.  With love to you all, I remain,

Yours Ever
E. D. Levings
Co. A. 12 th R
W. V.
3rd Brig
4 Div

P. S. — Don’t forget to put on the Brigade & Division.

1.  James Gibbs, from River Falls, is listed in the official roster as dying on October 1, 1863
2.  9 men lost from sickness since leaving Memphis on May 11, 1863:

  1. Gordon Allen, 2nd Lieutenant, from Massachusetts, died August 4, 1863
  2. Dougald McIntyre, from Cottage Grove (Minn.), died August 25, 1863, disease
  3. James G. Nichols, from Hastings (Minn.), died August 28, 1863, disease
  4. David B. Northrop, from Hudson, died July 26, 1863, disease
  5. William L. H. Pumplin, from Trenton, died July 6, 1863, disease
  6. John Quirk, from Prescott, died August 11, 1863, disease
  7. Solomon M. Russell, from Richmond Township, died June 26, 1863, disease
  8. Robert Wilson, from Prescott, died August 29, 1863, disease
  9. James Gibbs, if Edwin Levings is correct about the date.

3.  James Miley, from Prescott, killed in action June 21, 1863, Vicksburg, Miss.
4.  12 more would have needed to die before the regiment left Memphis to come up with a total of 21 dead since the organization of the regiment, but only 10 more, for a total of 19, actually died:

  1. James M. Colgan, from River Falls, died February 24, 1863, disease
  2. Benjamin B. Comstock, listed as being from Lawrens, N.Y., died July 17, 1862, disease
  3. William T. Connolly, from River Falls, died March 19, 1862, disease
  4. Charles Deyarmond, from River Falls, died March 7, 1862, disease
  5. John J. Johnson, from New Centerville, died June 22, 1862, disease
  6. Peter Nelson, from Martell, died January 27, 1863
  7. Jacob B. Patterson, from River Falls, died April 1, 1862
  8. George W. Prescott, from New Centerville, died November 8, 1862, disease
  9. Thomas Smith, from New Richmond, died January 16, 1862
  10. Edwin C. Tubbs, from River Falls, died December 7, 1861.

5.  18 had been discharged by this point:

  1. Sven Anderson, from Rush River, discharged December 16, 1862, disability
  2. Andrew Anderson, from Rush River, discharged December 16, 1862, disability
  3. John G. Borner, from Prescott, discharged December 21, 1862, disability
  4. William S. Dennison, from Hastings (Minn.), discharged May 18, 1863, disability
  5. Samuel W. Dickinson, from River Falls, discharged June 7, 1862
  6. Arrington Gibson, from River Falls, discharged April 29, 1862, disability
  7. George H. D. Goodwin, from River Falls, discharged June 7, 1862
  8. Zachariah Griffith, from New Richmond, discharged July 1, 1862
  9. Walter M. Howes, from Prescott, discharged September 22, 1862, disability
  10. Charles F. Huntington, from New Richmond, discharged July 1, 1862
  11. Bruner D. Hyatt, from Prescott, discharged June 7, 1862, disability
  12. Eugene V. McLeod, from Prescott, discharged April 23, 1862
  13. William E. Moulton, listed as being from Calais, Maine, discharged June 7, 1862
  14. Lewis Reynolds, from River Falls, discharged April 29, 1862
  15. Abner Wonsetler, listed as being from Youngstown, Ohio, discharged December 16, 1862, disability
  16. Hart Boughton, from Prescott, was transferred to Company G, December 31, 1861 and discharged August 3, 1862, disability
  17. Josiah K. Hudson, from Centerville, was transferred to Company G, December 31, 1861 and discharged April 15, 1862, disability
  18. Albert H. Letson, from New Centerville, was transferred to Company G, December 31, 1861 and discharged July 19, 1862, disability.

6.  Wilber P. Dale, from River Falls, and Jack probably refers to John F. Crippin, from Prescott, who was the only John in the company who was a sergeant.
7.  Samuel Sullivan Cox (1824-1889) served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, and, like his fellow Ohio Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham, was a peace advocate who criticized the emancipation proclamation as unconstitutional.

Edwin Levings letter of August 30, 1863, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Edwin Levings letter of August 30, 1863, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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