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1864 April 2: Catching Deserters, Confederate Prisons, News of Soldiers Oliver Gibbs, William Cook, Edgar Treadwell, and Much More

April 8, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the April 2, 1864, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  The 12th Regiment has been in Madison for some time, waiting for their pay.  Co. A will be here in a few days, and arrangements will doubtless be made to give them the warm reception they so well deserve.

Finger002  The 12th Regiment is expected home in a few days.

Finger002  The Washington Correspondent of the Milwaukee Sentinel says:

Oliver Gibbs, Jr., of Prescott, Pierce county, Wisconsin, has been appointed to a $1400 clerkship in the Adjutant General’s Office.  He has been occupying a temporary clerkship for several months.  He is a very worthy recipient of public employment and his many friends will rejoice at his success.

A LEADING GERMAN, remarking upon the canvas [f]or the Presidency, says that while “the leading men of the Germans are for Chase or Fremont, the men who do the voting are for Lincoln.”

Finger002  We learn that WM. T. COOK of this city, bugler to the 2nd Wis. Cavalry, was taken prisoner a short time ago.¹

Finger002  We hear from Madison, that Capt. ROLLIN P. CONVERSE is made Lt. Colonel, and Lt. C. P. HYATT Captain.  If so, promotion was never better bestowed.

Finger002  On Tuesday next the citizens of Prescott will vote on the question of levying a tax to pay $100 each to the veterans who have filled our quota under the last call.  It is but justice that this bounty be paid.

UNION PRISONERS.—A. D. RICHARDSON writes from prison in Salisbury, N. C. that one hundred and fifty citizens, prisoners, are confined there ;  also a number of army hostages, including Capt. REED,² of the 3d Ohio.  The prisoners are all in good health, and tolerably well treated.

The Union prisoners at Atlanta, Ga., were detected in digging a tunnel out of the prison.  There is a similar report concerning Union prisoners confined in Columbia, N. C.

Finger002  Peace has been ratified with the North Carolina Cherokees.  Those recently captured say that they were induce to take up arms under the belief that they were fighting for the United States government.  Since the return of the Indians to loyalty the rebels have committed numerous outrages upon them.

THE NEGRO TROOPS AT OLUSTEE.—A Florida correspondent of a Charleston paper says that in the recent battle “The Yankee darkies fought like the devils.”

Finger002  A letter from Florida to the New York Evening Post says that Gen. Seymour fell into a trap from having confidence in the native citizens, who assured him that the rebel forces had left the State.  He may have had great confidence in those citizens, but nobody will ever again have any in him.  [Truman Seymour]

From The Polk County Press:

FASTING.—JEFF. DAVIS has appointed the 8th of April for a day of fasting and prayer throughout the Rebel dominions.  [Jefferson Davis]

STILL ANOTHER CAPTURE.—PROVOST Marshals SEYMOUR, of Stillwater, and C. B. WHITING, of Taylor’s Falls, arrested two men by the name of GUS. JOHNSON, of the 2d Iowa, and PEASE, of the 1st Minnesota Battery, on Friday the 25th ult.  They were captured in the lumber camps on Yellow river.  Deserters will soon think this “wooden” country is a hard road to travel.

— President Lincoln was among the contributors to the Brooklyn Fair.  He sent an autograph letter commending the enterprise, and wishing it every success.  A gentleman standing by when the letter was read, offered to give one hundred dollars for it.–The offer was accepted.  [Abraham Lincoln]

TENNESSEE.—At the recent election in Tennessee some 40,000 votes were polled, and nearly all the officers elected are believed to be staunch Union men, and in favor of immediate emancipation.

RE-ENLISTED.—The Fifth Minnesota regiment has re-enlisted for the war.  This makes five veteran regiments and two batteries from that State.  About two-thirds of the 1st Regiment have also re-enlisted.

FROM MADISON.—The 17th Regiment reached Madison on Friday morning, the 18th.

CAPTURED.—One of QUANTRELL’S [sic: William Quantrill] guerrilla villains, named VANDEVERE [sic: Vandiver], has been arrested by a Kansas detective, in St. Paul.  He is a notorious murderer, thief, and villain, and was engaged in the sack of Lawrence, Kansas.  He will swing.

DESERTER CAUGHT.—A man by the name of BURT, a deserter from the 18th Wisconsin regiment, was arrested by Deputy Provost Marshal VINCENT, at Taylors Falls, on Wednesday the 30th ult.  Mr. VINCENT started with him for La Crosse on Friday last.  [William J. Vincent]

FROM THE CAVALRY BOYS.—A letter from GEORGE CLARK, dated Rolla March 17th, 1864, says that the boys have all reached their company except E. C. TREADWELL.  They left him  behind at Memphis, Tenn., sick in hospital.  JEROME FISH  was sick in hospital at Rolla, Mo.  The rest are all well and getting along finely.³

Percy Wyndham, 1st N.J. Cavalry, from the Library of Congress

Percy Wyndham, 1st N.J. Cavalry, from the Library of Congress (see footnote 4)

— Lieut. J. R. Meigs, son of Quartermaster General Meigs [Montgomery C. Meigs], has been appointed Chief Engineer of Gen. Sigel’s department, with the rank of Captain and A.D.C.  Capt. Meigs is but twenty-two years old, graduated second in his class, and Gen Sigel [Franz Sigel] has entire confidence in his capacity.  Gen. Sigel has applied for Gen. Stahl [sic: Julius H. Stahel] and Col. Wyndham4 to be assigned to his command.  Gen. Averill [William W. Averell] has command of all the cavalry in Sigel’s department.

— Increased activity in military affairs is reported in Washington.—Troops and ambulances are ordered to the front, and it is reported that Gen. GRANT [Ulysses S. Grant] intends to place all the general officers on duty at once.

— It is said that General Grant intends to place Gen. McClellan [George B. McClellan] and Gen. Fremont [John C. Frémont] in active command.

1.   George H. Nichols, from Prescott, was the first chief bugler of the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. He was discharged with a disability on July 16, 1862. William T. Cook, also from Prescott, was promoted to chief bugler on June 1, 1863, and transferred from Company M. He was taken prisoner on March 10, 1864, at Big Black, Mississippi.
2.  Benjamin C. G. Reed, captain of Company E, 3rd Ohio Infantry.
3.  These are some of the Polk County men who joined Company D of the 2nd Cavalry in January 1864; George S. Clark,  Edgar C. Treadwill, and Jerome Fish.
4.  Sir Percy Wyndham (1833-1879) was an Englishman who had served in the French navy, the Austrian army, and Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Italian army. He was knighted by King Victor Emmanuel for his help in defeating the Neapolitans at the Battle of Milazzo (July 20, 1860). In the spring of 1861, he offered his services to the Union cause and General George B. McClellan recommended him as colonel of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry. Sir Percy, as he was called, was captured during the 1862 Valley Campaign, paroled two months later, and was given a brigade. His most memorable performance was at the Battle of Brandy Station (June 9, 1863), where he personally led his brigade’s charge up Fleetwood Hill. Although his troopers were badly outnumbered, he personally rallied a rear guard and held off two charges, beating back the Confederates both times. Sir Percy was mustered out on July 5, 1864.
This image of “Percy Wyndham, 1st N.J. Cav” is from the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division (LC-B813- 3762 A). We have slightly cropped the top of the image.

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