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1864 July 30: Draft Quotas and Substitutes, the USS Dictator, the 37th Wisconsin, the Deaths of 2 Taylors Falls Soldiers, and Other News

August 4, 2014

Following are the smaller news items from the July 30, 1864, issue of The Polk County Press.

The Quota of Wisconsin.

WAR DEPARTMENT, }
PROVOST MARSHALL GENERAL’S OFFICE, }
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 19, 1864. }

His Excellency James T. Lewis, Governor Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. :

SIR : The quota for the State of Wisconsin under the call of the President for 500,000, of date July 18th, 1864, is 19,032.  This quota will be divided among the different sub-districts, and the quota for each sub-district will be reduced by any excess it may now have over all calls heretofore made, or increased by its deficiency on such calls, as the case may be.

.    .Very respectfully,
.      .Your ob’t. servant,
.                .JAMES B. FRY,
Provost Marshal General.

AN IMPORTANT ORDER RESPECTING SUBSTITUTES.

The Milwaukee “Sentinel” says :  “Col. Bean, Provost Marshal for this District, received yesterday an order from Gen. Fry, directing him to accept colored men as substitutes.  He was also authorized to exempt persons enrolled in this district, upon the presentation of the certificate of any Board of Enrollment in this State that they had furnished substitutes in such districts.”

The Dictator.

The Dictator¹ is about to make a voyage across the Atlantic under the Command of Captain Rogers [sic: John Rodgers], on of the finest sailors in the United States Navy.  There has been some difference of opinion expressed by sea going men as to her adaptability for seagoing, but Captain Rogers [sic] has confidence in his craft.  The arrival of this new wonder in Yankee naval architecture will undoubtedly awaken fresh admiration in the minds of our cousins on the other side.  If the Dictator should weather the swell of the Atlantic she may do something towards informing Earl Russell² as to the relations between Great Britian [sic] and the “Northern” States, as well as the balance of power in Europe.

The USS Dictator

The USS Dictator¹

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THE THIRTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT.—We have omitted to notice that the last company of this regiment left for GRANT’S army last week.  Col. HARRIMAN [Samuel Harriman] has been with the other companies at the front some time.—State Journal [Madison, Wis.]

ATTENTION.—We solicit the attention of our readers to the call for a Mass meeting, to take into consideration the last call for troops, which we print in another column.

REMEMBER IT.—We trust our people will bear in mind that Thursday, August 4th, is a day set apart for fasting and prayer.  We trust it will be duly observed, in every town in the county.

OUR QUOTA.—Assuming our quota to be the same under the present call as it was under the last 500,000 call, Polk county’s quota will be thirty-nine men.  Under former calls the county is ahead three—leaving thirty-six men to raise.

THE AMENDED DRAFT ACT.—We publish in this issue the amendment by the late Congress to the conscription act.  It is scarcely necessary to call the attention of the public to it, as we doubt not it will be noticed and read with avidity.

DEATH OF SURGEON L. B. SMITH.—The St. Paul “Press” of the 24th inst., contains a letter from Col. W. R. MARSHAL of the 7th Minnesota, giving the losses of the different Minnesota regiments, in the late battles with the rebel FOREST [sic: Forrest], at Tupelo, Miss.  Among the killed in the 7th regiment, we are pained to find the name of our much respected friend, Surgeon L. B. SMITH, of Taylors Falls.  Surgeon S. is well known by almost every man residing in the Upper Valley.  He was a christian [sic] gentleman, loved by his friends, and respected by his enemies.  He entered the service in the Fall of ’62, as Assistant Surgeon of the 7th Minnesota regiment, and was promoted in the Spring of ’63 to 1st Surgeon.  He was a true patriot, a firm advocate of liberty, and undoubtedly died at his post, as becomes a brave man and true soldier.  He leaves a loving wife, two beautiful children, and a host of friends to mourn his loss.  Sadly we pen these lines, for they record the loss of a good and worthy citizen, whose vacant place in our society will hardly be filled with another so true and brave.  God take his soul to Thy keeping, for he loved and followed Thee.³

— Col. Wilkin4 of the Ninth Minnesota, was killed at Tupelo, Miss., on the 14th inst.

— The city of St. Paul has appropriated $30,000 for the purpose of raising volunteers to fill the last call for 500,000.

— The Tribune’s Washington special says :  “Gen. Lew Wallace has been relieved from his command at Baltimore, and Gen. Tyler [Erastus B. Tyler] will take his place.”

—Three other radical papers in Missouri have run up the names of Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] and Johnson [Andrew Johnson], making over rhity [sic] papers in the State which support that ticket.

— The Tribune’s Washington special says we have upward of 62,000 rebel prisoners including 4,000 officers.—This, we suppose means the whole number now in our hands.

— The Washington “Intelligencer” says that Senator Sumner [Charles Sumner] was on the train captured by the rebels at Gunpowder Bridge.  He was not recognized, and was permitted to depart with the other passengers.

— The Toronto “Globe” says of the pirate Semmes [Raphael Semmes] :  “His was a most inglorious task—the burning of more trading ships !—The first time he dared enter upon a fair stand up fight he was beaten, and his career for a time, at least, is ended.”

— The carpenter of the “Alabama,” when he saw the battle was lost with the Kearsarge, drew his revolver and shot himself in the breast.  He was a native of Massachusetts, named Robinson, and committed suicide as Iscariot did, as a partial atonement for his treachery.

—A dispatch from Pro. Mar. [Provost Marshal] Fry states that all men furnished, whether for 1, 2, or 3 years, as well as all defficiences [sic] and excesses on calls heretofore made, will count as man for man.  The equalization of the amount of military service will come hereafter.

— Kearsarge, whence our victorious ship is named, is a mountain, half a mile high, near the centre of New Hampshire, one of the sentinel outposts of the White Hills, but not connected with them.  The Unionists of the Granite State will hencefourth [sic] regard this noble eminence with a prouder affection, since its name is indissolubly blended with one of the happiest exploits of our Navy.

— Gowan [sic],5 the brave fellow who had one of his thighs badly crushed while serving one of the big guns on the Kearsarge, in the encounter with the Alabama, died in the hospital at Cherbourg, on Wednesday, June 29.  Dr. Brown [sic],6 Surgeon of the Kearsarge after speaking at a dinner in Paris of the gallantry and fortitude shown by the Yankee tar, was favored with a subscription from Americans in Paris, sufficient to errect [sic] a handsome monument to his memory.

The Sioux War.

On the 1st of July the forces of Colonel THOMAS, which marched through Minnesota joined Gen. SULLY [Alfred Sully], at Satan Lake.  [Minor T. Thomas, colonel of the 8th Minnesota Infantry]

A message has been received by Gen. SULLY, from the Sioux, demanding pay for the buffaloes killed last year, and for all damages done by Sibley [Henry Hastings Sibley] and Sully.  They insist that roads shall not be laid out or travel permitted through their territory.—“Upon these terms and no other,” they say, “can we make peace with you.  If they are rejected the war will go on, and your white officers shall be made to eat the flesh of their soldiers if captured.”

On the 28th day of June Indians in ambush shot and instantly killed Capt. FIELDING of the 2d United States Cavalry.  He was a scientific officer of the Smithsonian Institute, attached to the expedition, and was riding a short distance from the train.  It is said that the Sioux number eighteen hundred lodges at Long Lake, about 600 miles west of the Missouri.  Hot work with the red devils may be expected soon to be reported from Gen. SULLY’S Army.

1.  The USS Dictator was a single-turreted ironclad monitor, commissioned November 11, 1864, under the command of John Rodgers. The image is from the Naval History and Heritage Command website.
2.  Lord John Russell (1792-1878) was a prominent English politician who served as the English Home Secretary (1835-1839), Foreign Secretary (1852-1853 and 1859-1865), and Prime Minister (1846-1852 and 1865-1866). He was the first Earl Russell, the title being created for him on July 30, 1861. Philosopher and Nobel Prize-winner Bertrand Russell was the third Earl (1931-1970).
3.  An article about Dr. Lucius Smith appears in Life & Times in Taylors Falls: The Taylors Falls Historical Journal, vol. 14, no. 1 (spring 2014): 1-8, available in the UWRF Archives.
4.  Alexander Wilkin (1819-1864), from Saint Paul, Minn., was killed in battle July 14, 1864, during the Battle of Tupelo in Mississippi. An article about him appeared in the Spring 1865 issue of Minnesota History, available online (“The Civil War and Alexander Wilkin,” by Ronald M. Hubbs, vol. 39, issue 5: 173-190). Wilkin County, Minnesota, is named for him.
5.  William Gowin, an “ordinary seaman.” Dr. Browne wrote on July 23, 1864, “I have previously reported the death of the brave Gowin. Hopes were reasonably entertained that his recovery would occur, but, anæmic from hemorrhage and debilitated by previous attacks of malarial fevers, little vital power remained; phlebitis supervened, soon succeeded by death. Gowin was brought with a smile upon his face, although suffering acutely from his injury. He said, ‘It is all right and I am satisfied, for we are whipping the Alabama,’ adding, ‘I willingly will lose my leg or life if it is necessary.’ During the progress of the action he comforted his suffering comrades by assuring them that ‘Victory is ours!’ Whenever the guns’ crews cheered at the successful effect of their shot, Gowin would wave his hand over his head and join in the shout. In the hospital he was calmly resigned to his fate, repeating again and again his willingness to die, since his ship had won a glorious victory. His patience and cheerfulness during intense suffering and his happy resignation attracted general notice, enlisted sympathies for his recovery, and occasioned sincere regrets for his decease. To record the gallant conduct of this noble sailor is to me a gratification and my apology for mentioning these minor incidents. His shipmates will erect a proper monument to his memory at Cherbourg. I have in my possession a sum of money given by the resident Americans in Paris for a like memorial in his native town in Michigan.”
6.  John Mills Browne (1831-1894) was appointed an Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Navy on March 26, 1853, at the age of 29. He served on board the USS Warren, USS Dolphin, USS Constellation, USS Kearsarge, and USS Pensacola.  He continued in naval service after the Civil War and retired as Surgeon General in May, 1893.

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