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1864 October 8: Fifth Wisconsin Infantry Donates Colors; Sketch of Phil Sheridan

October 12, 2014

The following articles are from the October 8, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

The Colors of the Fifth Regiment.

CAMP RANDALL, MADISON, Sept. 24, 1864.

To His Excellency, James T. Lewis :

SIR :  I have the honor, just as we are on the point of leaving again for the field, to entrust to the care and keeping of the authorities of the State we are proud to represent, the old colors of the 5th Wisconsin Volunteers.

Allow me to say, simply, that these colors have never been hauled down in the face of the enemy, although they have had many miraculous escapes.  Many color-bearers have been killed or wounded ;  the first—now Capt. Geo. Madison of the 39th Regiment—having been wounded severely at Williamsburg, on May 5th, 1862.

They have passed successfully through the following battles and skirmishes, in all of which they have been under a heavy fire :

5th Wisconsin colors1.   Williamsburg, May 5, 1862.
2.   Lee’s Mills, May 7, 1862.
3.   Golden’s Farm, May, 1862.
4.   Savage Station, 1862.
5.   White Oak Swamp, 1862.
6.   Malvern Hills, 1862.
7.   South Mountain, Sept. 14, 1863.
8.   Antietam, Sept. 17, 1863.
9.   Fredericksburg, Dec. 20 to 23, 1863.
10. Marye’s Heights, May 5, 1863.
11. Salem Church, May 6, 1863.
12. Gettysburg, July 3 and 4, 1863.
13. Mine Run, Dec. 20, 1863.
14. Rappahannock Station, Nov. 7, 1863.

 No account is made of frequent marches and reconnoissances [sic] in which the regiment has been engaged.

These colors, now nearly all gone, have been pierced with some thirty or forty balls, and scarcely anything but the staff remains to recall their history.  They were not borne through the late fierce engagement of the Wilderness, a new stand having been presented to the regiment by its friends at home.

Hoping that the brave men who have so persistently and courageously defended these “Stars and Stripes” will be remembered by a generous people,

I have the honor to remain
.  .  .  .  . .Your obedient servant,
.  .  .  .  . . . .   .   .   .   .   .T. S. ALLEN,
.  .  .  .  . .   .   .   .   .Colonel 5th Wis. Vols.

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A Prominent Democrat Pronounces for Lincoln.

The New York World published among the list of Vice-Presidents at the McCLELLAN [George B. McClellan] ratification meeting in New York City on the 17th inst., the name of F. B. CUTTING,¹ widely known as an eminent and able lawyer and scholar.  It seems the use of his name was wholly unauthorized and he at once published the following quiet but stinging rebuke :

 NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 1864.

“To the Editors of the Evening Post :

“My attention has been called to the fact that my name appears in the World newspaper in the list of Vice Presidents (Stand No. 1) of the McClellan ratification meeting held in this city on the 17th.  The use of it was unknown to and wholly unauthorized by me.

“I had no part in the election of Mr. Lincoln, being then in favor of Mr. Douglas ;  but I intend to vote for him in November next, in opposition to the platform and candidates of the Chicago Convention, believing that by a vigorous prosecution of the war the rebellion will be overthrown sooner than by a resort to the arts of diplomacy.

“Your obd’t servant,     F. B. CUTTING.”

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Gen. Phil. Sheridan.

"General Sheridan During the War," from Sheridan's Personal Memories

“General Sheridan During the War,” from Sheridan’s Personal Memoirs²

Some time ago, before Gen. SHERIDAN [Philip H. Sheridan] took command on the Shenandoah, B. F. Taylor drew the following pen and ink sketch of him in the Chicago Journal.  It will be read with interest now :

There is no waste timber about Sheridan—not much of him, physically, but snugly put together.  A square face, a warm, black eye, a pleasant smile, a reach of under jaw showing that “when he will, he will, you may depend on’t,” black hair trimmed round like a garden border ;  no Hyperion curl about him any more than there was about Cromwell’s troopers ;  and altogether impressing you with the truth that there is just about as much energy packed away in about the smallest space that you ever saw in your life.—Men ranging down from medium size to little, with exceptions enough to prove the rule, seem to carry the day among the heroes.—Moses was something of a general, but no Falstaff ;  Alexander the Great and Peter the Great were little ;  Cromwell was no giant, and as for Napoleon—why, what was he but “the little corporal?”  Sheridan is a capital executive officer ;  perhaps he would be hardly equal to planning a great campaign, but Jehu !  wouldn’t he drive it !  With a good piece of his head behind his ears and hardly reverence enough for a Mandarin, he is not afraid of the face of clay.  As chief of cavalry, he is indeed chief among ten thousand.  Pleasant voiced, mild-mannered, not given to long yarns, you would hardly suspect he is a thunderbolt in a charge, and an emphatic human syllable all over.

Cover image from Sheridan's memoris

Cover image from Sheridan’s memoris

1.  Francis Brockholst Cutting (1804-1870) was a lawyer from New York City who served as a U.S. Representative  from 1853 to 1855 and then resumed his legal practice.
2.  “General Sheridan During the War,” from Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General United States Army (New York: Charles L. Webster & Company, 1888): vol. 1, page 345, (available in the UWRF Archives, SPL E467.1 .S54 A3 1888).

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