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1864 February 20: Harrison Hobart Escapes; Jerry Flint a “true gentleman and soldier;” and Other News

February 26, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the February 20, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

— A telegram from Dalton, Jan. 20th, says several brigades of the rebel army have re-enlisted for the war.

— The rebel General Vance [Robert B. Vance] has been sent to Johnson’s Island¹ as a prisoner of war.

— The rebel Congress on the 21st inst., passed a bill for an Assistant Treasurer of the Trans-Mississippi Department.

— Gov. Clarke [sic: Charles Clark], of Mississippi, has notified all aliens that they must enter the military service before the first of March, or leave the country.

— During the last two years 6,416 prisoners have been confined at Johnson’s Island,¹ in the Ohio river and there are 1,612 still remaining there.

— 450 men have been recruited for the 2d Wisconsin Cavalry since the first of December.  The veteran 3d Wisconsin Infantry left Madison on the 4th inst. for the seat of war.  The recruits which have joined this regiment since its return home swell the number to over six hundred men.

— We had the pleasure one day this week of taking by the hand our old friend WEBB SEAVEY, 2d Lieut. of Company H, 5th Iowa Cavalry.—Lieut SEAVEY enlisted in Nebraska, in the fall of 1861, when returning from Pike’s Peak, where he had been the year previous.  His company was assigned to the above regiment.  He enlisted as a private, was promoted to 1st Sergeant, and has lately been commissioned.  He has re-enlisted for “three years or the war,” from the 1st of January last.  Success to you, WEBB.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002 A few days since about one hundred Union prisoners, mostly officers, escaped from the Richmond prison, and reached Gen. Butler’s line in safety [Benjamin F. Butler].  Among them was Col. HARRISON C. HOBART,² of this State.

Finger002 While a Union soldier was bathing in Elk River, five of Braggs’s soldiers came to the back and took aim at him, one of them shouting “Come here, you d—d Yank, out of the wet.”  The poor fellow felt quite sure he was done for, but obeyed the order.  “You, surrender our prisoner, do you?”  “Yes, of course I do.”  “That’s kind.  Now we’ll surrender to you!”  And the five stacked arms before him, their spokesman adding :  “We’ve done with them, and have bid old Bragg good bye.  Secesh is played out.  Now you surround us and take us into camp.”  [Confederate General Braxton Bragg]

Finger002 Lt. P. V. Wise has received his discharge, and returned home, and will renew the practice of his profession.  His wound does not disable his organs of speech in the least.  [see his letter to the Journal, dated February 20, 1864]]

Finger002 The Hudson Times pays the following well deserved compliment to Serg’t JERRY E. FLINT, of River Falls, who has just returned to his regiment, the 4th:

“We cannot let this occasion pass without mentioning the fact that Jerry conducted himself while here like the true gentleman and soldier.  He seemed to appreciate the fact that he was sent here to work, and not to loaf about the streets and saloons.  We hope that Jerry may receive at the hands of his superiors, a fitting reward for his services.”

REBELS PAYING TAXES.—A Memphis dispatch to the Chicago Tribune says:

On the 6th inst., Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, through his agent, paid his United States tax, on property in this city, amounting to over one hundred dollars.  This clearly indicates that, even if he has faith in the establishment of a Southern Confederacy, he has no hopes that Tennessee will constitute a portion thereof.  Over $50,000 have been paid to collectors of internal revenue during the past sixty days, in Memphis.  Such alacrity in paying taxes has never before been witnessed, and is a matter of great astonishment, especially to the city and county collectors, who assist the United State officers in the collection.  The Memphis office is crowded from 9 A. M. to 4 P. M., and when the office closes each day, a large number are turned off until the next morning.  Ostensibly the tax is paid very cheerfully, although the officers are well aware that a majority of the tax-payers are rebels, and hate the “Lincoln Government” and its “hirelings” very bitterly.

1.  During the forty months of the existence of the Depot of Prisoners of War on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay, Ohio, “approximately 10,000 men were processed into the stockade. Most were Confederate officers. Twenty-six were either generals or officers who became generals during or after their imprisonment.  Others confined there were a small number of privates, bushwhackers, guerrillas, and citizens suspected of disloyalty to the Union. The maximum number of prisoners at any one time was about 3,224 in January of 1864.” For more on Johnson’s Island, including listings of Confederate prisoners of war and Union guard garrison, and POW letters see the Depot of Prisoners of War on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, website.
2.  Harrison Carroll Hobart (1815-1902), from Chilton, was lieutenant colonel of the 21st Wisconsin Infantry and had been a prisoner of war since September 20, 1863. On March 1, 1864, he will become the colonel of the 21st and Michael H. Fitch, from Prescott, will become the lieutenant colonel.
Hobart, a lawyer, had served in the Wisconsin Territorial House of Representatives and in the Wisconsin State Senate and the Wisconsin State Assembly. He was appointed captain in the 4th Wisconsin Infantry in July 1861, and in October 1862 was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 21st Wisconsin. Hobart fought at the battles of Stones River and Hoover’s Gap. At the Battle of Chickamauga he was wounded and taken prisoner, and was sent to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. There he helped lead the escape of 109 Union prisoners through a tunnel out of the prison on February 9, 1864. For more information on Hobart, see his entry in the Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

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