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1863 October 24: Rollin Converse, Lucius Fairchild, Rufus King, John F. Newton, and the Battle of Whitestone Hill

October 30, 2013

The following small items are taken from the October 24, 1863, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  J. S. ELWELL, Union candidate for the Assembly, has been in town for a day or two.  As he has no visible opponent, his election may be regarded as a “sure thing.”

Finger002  Capt. ROLLIN P. CONVERSE, Co. B 6th, is detailed on Gen. Cutler’s staff.  [Lysander Cutler]

Finger002  Cos. D. and K. 30th [Wisconsin Infantry] are reported on their way back to Camp Randall from the Upper Missouri [Dakota Territory].

Finger002  Gen. Rufus King has been appointed minister to Rome.

Finger002  We hear from the upper counties that Mr. YOUNG [Austin H. Young] is receiving the warm support of the Union men for Senator.—There is no doubt of his election.

PROMOTION OF COL. FAIRCHILD—The telegraph announces the promotion of Col. LUCIUS FAIRCHILD,¹ of the Iron Brigade, to a Brigadier Generalship, for gallantry at Gettysburg.  This is on more than a just acknowledgement of the services of one of the most brave and competent officer that have gone from this State.— Sate Journal.

— The overwhelming defeat of Vallandigham in Ohio, nails the political coffin of H. L. Palmer [Henry L. Palmer] tighter than a drum.—Palmer staked his hopes and prospects on Vallandigham’s election.  They will both be buried in the same grave together.  The chief mourners will be found south of Mason and Dixon’s line.

HON. HORACE MAYNARD, of Tennessee, who was at first opposed to the emancipation proclamation in a speech in Butler County, Ohio, declared himself convinced that the President was right and that he was wrong.  Mr. Maynard said that he had heard only one complaint in Tennessee, and that was, “some of the people are sorry the President did not include that State also.”  The proclamation had made the negroes our “true friends, and their friendship is much better than their enmity.”


On the 17th inst., by the Rev. T. F. Thickston, of Hastings, Mr. J. F. NEWTON² and Miss HATTIE A. LANCASTER; both of that city.

None but the brave desrve [sic] the fair, and Johny after having followed the battle flag in the glorious ranks of the “Iron Brigade,” is entitled to enlist under the banner of HYMEN.  Our best wishes attend you both, and JOHNY, may you never get out of “sorts,” but always have plenty of SMALL CAPS for the heads of the “short articles.”

The Bounties Offered for Volunteers.

An amended circular has been sent out from the Provost Marshal General’s office by which it appears that for every recruit who is a veteran volunteer a bounty and premium amounting to $402 will be paid ;  to all other recruits not veterans $302.  These are for old organizations.  The object is to encourage volunteering, as those who are drafted receive only the $100 bounty.  Men enlisted under this order will be permitted to select their regiments, which however must be one of the old regiments in the field.

divider WASHINGTON, Oct. 21.

The message which the President sent to General Meade [George G. Meade] last Saturday, deserves to be recorded as part of the history of the campaign now drawing to a close.

Mr. Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] told Meade he must find and fight the enemy at once ;  that if he won a victory he should have the glory ;  that if he were defeated he, himself, would, as Commander-in-Chief, assume the responsibility.

From The Polk County Press:

The Draft.

The draft which was ordered for the 25th of this month, in this State, has been postponed till the 9th of November.  Gov. Salomon [Edward Salomon] has gone to Washington to try and make arrangements by which the various localities shall obtain credit for the volunteers sent.—Prescott Journal.


— We have the particulars of Gen. SULLY’s [Alfred Sully] expedition up the Missouri, against the Indians, and the fight at White Stone Hills [sic]³.  After three days’ fighting 800 Indians were killed, and a large number wounded, when the remainder fled, leaving everything they possessed behind even their squaws and children.  The Indians fought like demons, but the steady fire of our troops was too much for them.

Battle of White Stone Hill, from "Harper's Weekly" (see footnote 4)

Battle of White Stone Hill, from “Harper’s Weekly” (see footnote 3)

STILL A COWARD.—Roger A. Pryor, of Virginia, a General in the rebel service, has been reduced to the ranks for cowardice, in some skirmishes on the Rapidan. Those who remember Pryor’s furious speeches in Congress some years ago, and his conduct subsequently in the “affair” with Potter, will not be surprised at this announcement.

— Official reports foot up the loss in Gen. ROSECRAN’S [sic: William S. Rosecrans’] army in the battle of Chickamauga as follows :

THOMAS’ corps, 6,301 ;  McCOOK’S corps, 4,020 ;  CRITTENDEN’S corps, 3,300 ;  SHERIDAN’S4 Reserve corps, 1,732 ;  Cavalry and Artillery, 647.  Of this number 4,685 are missing, and 2,500 wounded.  The loss in artillery was 36 pieces.  And a few wagons were also captured.

Rebel papers have been received giving part of the returns of rebel losses in the same engagement, which already foot up 12,000.  Chickamauga was indeed a hotly contested battle, and as usual the result is about equal.

— The soldiers in ROSECRAN’S [sic] army polled 12,000 majority for BROUGH [John Brough].  VALLANDIGHAM [Clement L. Vallandigham] only got 252 votes.

— One who accompanied Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside], writes:  “The old flag has been hidden in mattresses and under carpets.  It now floats to the breeze at every staff in East Tennessee.  Ladies wear it—carry it—wave it.  Little children clap their hands and kiss it.”

1.  Lucius Fairchild (1831-1896) is remembered as a colonel in the Iron Brigade, as Wisconsin’s 10th governor (1866-1872), and as a U.S. diplomat during the late 19th century. For more details, see his entry in the Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
2.  John Newton, from Prescott, enlisted May 10, 1861, in the Prescott Guards (Company B of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry). He became a corporal and was discharged December 18, 1862, for a disability.
3.  The Battle of Whitestone Hill was the culmination of operations against the Dakota (Sioux) Indians in Dakota Territory in 1863. Brigadier General Alfred Sully attacked a village on September 3, 1863, as part of a military mission to punish participants of the Dakota Conflict of 1862.  During the attack, around 200 Indians were killed and wounded, including women and children, and 156 taken prisoner. The Indians also suffered the destruction of virtually all of their property, leaving them nearly destitute for the coming winter. Sully’s casualties were 22 killed and 38 wounded.
The image appeared in the October 31, 1863, issue of Harper’s Weekly. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Chalmer Davee Library has microfilm copies of Harper’s Weekly for 1858-1865 (UWRF online catalog).
4.  George H. Thomas, Alexander McDowell McCook, Thomas L. Crittenden, Philip Sheridan.

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