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1863 November 21: Tidbits on the Election, the Battle of Chickamauga, the Battle of Rappahannock Station, and a Female Soldier

November 25, 2013

Following are the smaller items from the November 21, 1863, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

— The vote of Co. A. 12th [Wisconsin Infantry], seals the election of John Winn and Mr. Thayer [Charles Thayer], tight as wax.

What a Soldier Says.

Lt. CHAS. P. HYATT, Co. B, 2nd Wis, “Iron Brigade,” in a letter to us, enclosing the vote of the Company, says:

“If our friends at home are as anxious to see this war carried on until we have conquered an honorable peace, as we have shown ourselves to be, not only at the ballot-box, but on the battle field, then the triumph of the Union party will be so complete that we shall not fear for the result of this war.”

The Vote in the State.

Official returns from fifty one counties in this State, give LEWIS [James T. Lewis] 15,252 majority, with five counties more to hear from, which gave HARVEY [Louis P. Harvey] 767 majority.  The soldiers’ vote at [sic] far as received, gives LEWIS 4,607 majority, with fourteen regiments and five batteries to hear from.—The total vote cannot fall short of 25,000 majority for the Union ticket.

ANOTHER JOAN OF ARC.—A young girl at Brooklyn, New York, was seized with the idea that like Joan of Arc, she was born to lead her country’s armies.  She enlisted as a drummer boy in a Michigan regiment, hoping to rank up to the chief command.  She was shot at Chickamauga, and telegraphed to her father, “I expected to deliver my country, but the fates would not have it so, I am contented to die.  Pray papa, forgive me.”

From The Polk County Press:

THANKSGIVING DAY.—There will be services held at the School House in this village on Thursday the 26th inst., at 11 o’clock P. M.¹ in accordance with the Governor’s Proclamation, setting aside that day as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer.  Preaching by Rev. J. S. AKERS.

OUR MAILS.—Our present Mail system is one which is to be much deplored.  As it is at present, we have but two mails a week from the East, arriving on Mondays and Fridays.—The increase of our business and population demand that we have a tri-weekly mail.  It is now time for our citizens to move in the matter and have the present system changed, so as to be beneficial to us all.  As it is now Osceola is worse off for mails than any other town in the Valley.—Let some of our enterprising citizens move in this matter immediately.

— Geographical knowledge is not one of the strong points of the London “Times,” as is evinced in its disquisition on the battle of Chickamauga, and the “Times” editor says that “the field of the engagements was one of the numerous streams that abound in the northern part of the state of Tennessee, called Chickamauga Creek.  The whole region is mountainous, thickly wooded, and intersected by rivers.  The Cumberland unites with the Tennessee, and the waters of both combined form one of the tributaries that fall into the Mississippi on its eastern bank.”²

— Since the commencement of the rebellion, the following forces have been called for by the President and Congress:

By Proclamation, April 15, 1861 75,000
By Proclamation, May 3, 1861 65,000
By Act of Congress, July 22, 1861 500,000
By Act of Congress, July 25, 1861 25,000
By Proclamation, July 1, 1862 300,000
By Order, July, 1863 300,000
By Proclamation, October 17, 1863    300,000

— BADGES OF HONORABLE DISTINCTION.— In a recent order the Secretary of War directs that for each battle in which every officer non-commissioned and private of the Invalid Corps may have been engaged and borne an honorable part, a scarlet braid, one-sixth of an inch wide, may be worn on the right arm, with a space of one-sixth of an inch between each braid.

This will become an honorable badge, showing the service the officer or soldier has performed and will be as highly prized by the brave wearers as the ribbons and crosses so proudly worn by the veterans of the European armies.

The Victory on the Rappahannock.

The fruits of the victory on the Rappahannock, are that LEE’s [Robert E. Lee] army has been constrained to retire south of the Rapidan ;  and it is further reported that Gen. LEE has gone to Chatanooga [sic]—but this is mere surmise.  The misfortune to the rebel army seems to have arisen from the over confidence of the rebel General, who transferred a small portion of his army to the north bank of the Rappahannock, which was gobbled up by two of our army corps.

1.  One wonders if this is a typographical error and should really have been 11 o’clock A. M.
2.  The Battle of Chickamauga marked the end of the Union’s “Chickamauga Campaign” in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia. Chickamauga Creek is a short tributary of the Tennessee River, which it joins near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Tennessee River then empties into the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky.
The Battle of Chickamauga was fought near Chickamauga Creek in southeastern Tennessee over control of the railroad center at nearby Chattanooga. Prior to the battle, Union General William S. Rosecrans located his headquarters near the city of Chicamauga in northwestern Georgia, which is 12 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The area of the battle was gently rolling woodlands.

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