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1864 September 17: News of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry From the “Frontier Scout”

September 22, 2014

The following article on the 30th Wisconsin Infantry comes from the September 17, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.  Companies A, D, F, I, and K of the 30th contained men from northwest Wisconsin.

From the Indian Frontier and the Thirtieth Regiment.

We have received a copy of the Frontier Scout,¹ a neat and spicy little three column, four page paper, started and owned by Co. I of the 30th Regiment, and published by WINNGAR [sic] & GOODWIN² at Fort Union, Dakota Territory.

The Sioux Indians are reported as pretty thick in that neighborhood, and very hostile.

An extra of the Scout, under date of July 29th, gives the following account of a skirmish on that day, from which it appears that our soldiers are aided by friendly Indians :

At a very early hour this morning we were aroused from our slumbers by the cry of “Indians !”  In a few moments the forces were out, but the Sioux kept at a respectful distance ;  they succeeded, however, in getting possession of two horses belonging to a small party of Assinnaboines [sic] camped near the fort.  After a few minutes skirmishing with them the big gun was brought to bear and a shrapnel shot fired at them, which killed one as it burst—tearing the bowels completely out of him.  The Assinnaboines [sic]  and three or four Mandans and Gros Ventres, with some of the soldiers, immediately gave chase.

About two miles and a half below they came up with the Sioux, who turned and gave battle.  Quite a sharp fire was kept up by both sides for a few minutes, when one of the Mandans succeeded in killing a Sioux and his horse.  After some more skirmishing it got too warm for the Sioux, and they retreated, leaving one warrior and two horses on the field.  The Assinnaboines [sic] immediately scalped their fallen enemy and cut off his hand bringing both hand and scalp to the fort as trophies.  They also recovered their two horses.  The Sioux fought bravely and made some desperate attempts to recover the body of their fallen friend, but their efforts were unaviling ;  they did succeed, however, in carrying off the body of the one killed by the shell.  Three Assinnaboines [sic] were wounded by arrows.

The Indians around the fort are having a big scalp dance—brandishing their bloody trophies aloft, singing, dancing, drumming, &c., in honor of the great victory.  We learn that at one time some of the boys were nearly surrounded by the red devils, but others coming up, they were rescued from their perilous situation, and so succeeded in driving the Sioux back.

The arrival of Chaplain GREEN³ at the Fort is mentioned in terms of warm rejoicing.  He had been seriously ill, but was better, and had visited this detached company to minister the wants of the soldiers, purposing soon to return to the other companies below.  The Scout says :

Mr. Green is truly the soldiers friend and we will venture the assertion that there are few men that have done as much for the benefit and comfort of the soldiers.  He is ever ready to assist the soldier in any manner that will conduce to his comfort to the utmost of his abilities.  In the hospital he is unremitting in his attentions to the sick, cheering and encouraging the down hearted and homesick and relieving their many wants in a thousand ways rarely thought of by the regular attendants.

Chaplain GREEN gives the following with regard to the present location of the different companies of the 30th:

Companies A, C, F and H, with Col’s Dill [Daniel J. Dill] and Bartlett,4 are on the west bank of the Missouri, five miles above Cannon Ball river, and thirty above the 46th deg. of north latitude, building Fort Rice (named after Gen. Rice [James C. Rice], the christian [sic] hero, who fell in the battle of the Wilderness.)  The boys are well and happy as possible so far from home and the struggle we enlisted for.  They have a band organized with a fine set of brass instruments.

Companies B, E, G, and K, under Major Clowney [John Clowney], left Fort Snelling, in Minnesota, about the 1st of June for James river, where they will work on a fort until the 8th Minnesota, now with Gen. Sully [Alfred Sully], relieves them in the fall, when they will join Colonel Dill at Fort Rice.  Company D remains at Fort Sully.

1.  Copies of the Frontier Scout are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Archives Division.
2.  Robert Winegar and Charles H. Goodwin, both from Eau Claire and both in Company I of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry.
3.  Asa B. Green, also from Eau Claire, was formerly a steamboat captain on the Mississippi. Rev. Green was commissioned chaplain of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry on October 25, 1862, and he mustered out September 20, 1865.
4.  Edward M. Bartlett, from Durand, was lieutenant colonel of the 30th Wisconsin.

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