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1864 May 28: Some of “Our” Chippewa Indians Among the Wounded, Recruits Wanted for 37th and 38th Wisconsin, Deaths of JEB Stuart and James Rice, and Other News Items

June 3, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the May 28, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

The News.

What there is of it is glorious.—During the first part of the present week, but little was received, and that mostly relating to the battles which we have already announce.  GRANT [Ulysses S. Grant] IS MARCHING ON !  Sherman [William T. Sherman] is marching on !  The armies are in full motion, marching, we trust, their last campaign,—marching on to victory.  The horizon looks clear once more.—In the light of victory, we can read with glad hearts “The Union is saved!  God grant it!”

WISCONSIN TROOPS IN BATTLE.—The 2d, 5th, 6th, and 7th Wisconsin regiments were engaged, and lost heavily, the battles near Chancellorsville, under GRANT.

SOME OF OUR CHIPPEWAS WOUNDED.—We see by a list published in the Madison “Journal,” that three names—very similar to those of our soldiers—marked Indians, and wounded.

THE SEVENTH REGIMENT.—We have carefully looked through the lists of the killed and wounded of this regiment, but fail to discover that any of the boys from this county are hurt.  The official list, however, has not yet been published.

HUNDRED DAY MEN.—Two regiments have been organized in this State and by this time are on their way to the front.  Recruiting for the other three regiments goes on briskly, and it is confidently expected they will be raised within the next week.  The regiments organized are called the 40th and 41st.

Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa have nearly filled their quotas, which in the aggregate number 80,000 men.  The work goes bravely on.

RECRUITS WANTED FOR THE 38TH REGIMENT.—JOHN THORNTON, of Cedar Valley, has received a commission from the Governor to recruit for the 38th regiment, Col. BENTLIP, now organizing at Madison.

There has probably been another call made for 300,000 men by the President, and Polk county will have to furnish its quota.  It is stated that a draft will be made sometime in June for this number, and the deficiencies due from towns on former calls.  Persons wishing to enlist cannot do better than join one of the new regiments now being raised in this State.  Mr. THORNTON wishes to raise thirty men immediately.  Mr. WALDEN¹ also wishes to obtain men for the 37th.  Both chances are good ones for men wishing to enlist.  If active measures are taken a draft can be avoided in this county.  This is stated will be the last call.  If GRANT and SHERMAN are successful the army will soon throttle the rebellion.  If defeated the whole country will be called to arms and the struggle renewed.  Better enlist than be drafted.

J.E.B. Stuart, from the Library of Congress

J.E.B. Stuart, from the Library of Congress²

REBEL GEN. STUART KILLED SURE.—Though our papers have contradicted the reported death of Gen. Stuart [J.E.B. Stuart] the rebel cavalry officer, Richmond papers confirm it.  He was mortally wounded at the head of a charge in the battle of Yellow Tavern, between his men and Sheridan’s [Philip H. Sheridan].  His funeral took place recently, at St. James’s Church, Richmond.  Jeff. DAVIS [Jefferson Davis] was present, “with a look of grief upon his care worn face,” and Gen. Bragg [Braxton Bragg] and ex-Secretary of War Randolph were among the pall-bearers.  No military escort accompanied the procession—a striking proof that all the soldiers were needed elsewhere.  In the same fight Lt. Col. Henry Clay Pate, formerly of Kansas, and notorious for not capturing old John Brown, was also killed.

THE NEGRO TROOPS AND THE REBEL PRISONERS.—A correspondent in GRANT’S army says that about 2,000 rebel prisoners were marched past a portion of the negro troops of BURNSIDE’S corps [Ambrose E. Burnside].  It was amusing to hear the negroes inquire, jestingly, “How is you boss ?  Mighty good ting we didn’t catch you ;  we would never tuck ye prisoners.”  The prisoners became infuriated, and begged to have their will of the negroes five minutes.  “Remember Fort Pillow,” the negroes would urge.  “We’ll cut your black throats,” was the threat of the others.  Thus the two races reviled each other.  The master was prisoner ;  the bondman free, and a soldier.

From Sherman’s Army.

New York, May 25.—Extended details of Sherman’s operations in the “Tribune” show, after several days’ fighting, on the morning of the 16th, that the rebels were found to be in full retreat, their supply and ammunition trains burnt and but little artillery carried off.  We have captured 4,000 prisoners, and hundreds more are coming in.

Hooker [Joseph Hooker] has crossed the river near Resaca, and Schofield [John M. Schofield] near Pelton.—Stoneman [George Stoneman], with cavalry, was pursuing Johnston [Joseph E. Johnston], engaging them with artillery that morning.

— General Crook’s command [George R. Crook] is falling back slowly, after working an immense amount of damage to the Virginia and East Tennessee Railroad.  The rebel, General Jenkins [Albert G. Jenkins], who was wounded and taken prisoner in the fight near Newbern [Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain], has died of his injuries.

— Gen. HUNTER [David Hunter] has superseeded [sic] Gen. SIGEL [Franz Sigel] in the Department of West Virginia.

From The Prescott Journal:

Paroled Prisoners.

The following is an extract from a letter of W. Y. Selleck to the Governor relative to the transfer of paroled prisoners to hospitals at the North :

“In regard to the case of Silas Streeter of Co. B, 7th regiment Wis. Vols., I have to state that he being a paroled prisoner, under a rule or order issued by the Commissary General of paroled prisoners, cannot be transferred to the hospital in Wisconsin.—The case of James Waynes, of Co. I, 3d regiment Wis. Vols. comes under the same head.

“The government desires to keep the paroled men or soldiers together as much as possible, and in order to give satisfaction to the soldiers and their friends, a system of furloughs has been established for paroled prisoners.”

CREDIT FOR RE-ENLISTED VETERANS.Official notice has been received that the full number of re-enlisted veterans claimed by the State authorities, 5,193, has been allowed by the War Department, and instructions have been given to Assistant Provost Marshal General to given credit to different localities, according to the books of the Adjutant General’s office.

THE RECENT BATTLE GROUND.—The Po river, which is mentioned so frequently in connection with fighting in Spottsylvania county, is one of four branches of the Mattapony³ river, which itself is a branch of the York river.  These four branches are named after the main stream, in order, commencing with the south branch and running to the north branchthus, Mat-Ta-Po-Ny.

Spottsylvania Court House is 44 miles from Richmond, and is located between Ny and Po rivers, the latter flowing below it from the northwest.

THE WEST VIRGINIA MOVEMENT.The Philadelphia North American gives quite a different account of the force in Western Virginia, under Gen. CROOKS [sic], from that published by a Pittsburg [sic] paper, which we copied a few days since.  It says his force is about 23,000 strong.  It concentrated at Parkersburg, Va., on the Ohio river, marching thence up the valley of the Kanahawa [sic] river.  Gen. AVERILL [sic: William W. Averell] was in command of the cavalry, going considerably in advance.  Its destination was supposed to be Lynchburg, the junction of two important lines of railway communicating with Richmond.

From Gen. Butler’s Department—Operations in the Rear of Richmond.

We have been permitted to publish the following extract from a letter by an officer on Gen. Brooks’ staff [William T. H. Brooks], received by a gentleman in this city :

PORT WALTHAL, VA., MAY 8, 1864. }

By a well conceived and skillfully executed strategic movement, the main features of which are already familiar to you, the Army of the Peninsula under Gen. Smith [William F. Smith] has been transferred from its position at Yorktown to the south side of the James river, at the point where the Appomattox flows into that stream.  Here within ten miles of Petersburg and twenty of Richmond, as the roads run, we are now encamped, to the complete surprise of the Confederate leaders and the terror of the inhabitants of all this section of country, which has heretofore been free from the despoiling influences of an army.  An important result of this movement was developed on yesterday in an expedition under command of Gen. Brooks, who with a considerable force advanced toward the Petersburg and Richmond railroad, in from of which the enemy were prepared to defend this important line of communications.  When within a mile and a half of the railroad the skirmish line of the enemy was discovered, and almost immediately a brisk fire ensued.  Pushing forward our lines of battle through a dense woods, we drove the rebels back from one position to another until we succeeded in gaining a point on the railroad.  At once the work of tearing up the ties and bending the rails was commenced, until half a mile or more of railroad was destroyed, and an extensive saw mill near at hand with a large quantity of lumber set on fire and burned to the ground.  The object of the expedition having been successfully accomplished, we returned to camp.

Our advance lines are now within a mile and a half of the railroad and the nature of our position is such that we can repeat the operation of yesterday in spite of all opposition.  Thus one of the main channels of connection with the rebel Capitol is virtually destroyed and the rear of Lee’s army [Robert E. Lee] seriously threatened by cutting off his source of supplies.  Prisoners and deserters report the force in our front at something over 6,000, under command of Gen. Beauregard [P.G.T. Beauregard].

During the engagement yesterday reinforcements were arriving by cars until we obtained possession of the railroad.  Our loss was between two and three hundred in killed and wounded.  The 8th Connecticut lost more than any other single regiment.—The rebel loss is reported by deserters as being greater than our own.

What are to be our future movements time can alone develope [sic].  Should success attend the Army of the Potomac, the line of Federal forces will almost envelope Richmond, and then is a fair prospect we shall compel its evacuation.

With the able commanders with the forces here in the country need have no apprehensions for out gallant army.  The names of Smith, Gilmore [sic: Quincy A. Gillmore], and Brooks, among others, are a guarantee that neither ability or energy will be wanting to insure success in all its operations.

This item appeared in both newspapers:

GEN. RICE.—Brigadier General JAMES C. RICE, who was killed in the battle of Tuesday, was a native of Massachusetts.  He enlisted from the city of New York, at the commencement of the war, as a private, was promoted to a Lieutenancy, then made Captain, then Lieut. Colonel, Colonel and finally Brigadier General.  He had taken part in almost all the great battles to which the army of the Potomac has been engaged.  He was about thirty-five years of age.—His last words will be immortal “Turn me over,” said the dying hero to an attendant, “and let me die with my face toward the enemy.”

1.  Elisha H. Walden, from Hudson, had enlisted March 30, 1864, in Company F of the 37th Wisconsin Infantry.
2.  “J.E.B. Stuart,” from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (cwpb-07546).
3.  Today the river is spelled “Mattaponi,” but in the 19th century the spelling seems to have been with the “y.”

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