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1864 November 5: Local Men Promoted; Obituary for General David Birney, and Other News

November 10, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the November 5, 1864, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.  A reminder — Company B of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry was the Prescott Guards; Company A of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry was the Prescott Lyon Light Guards.

From The Prescott Journal:

MILITARY APPOINTMENTS.—Lt. HENRY B. SMYSER has been commissioned Capt. of Co. B, 6th Reg.  A deserved promotion.

In Co. A, 12th Reg. the following promotions have been made :  Charles Reynolds, Captain ;  Wallace Kelsey, 1st Lt. ;  Alva McKee, 2d Lieut.

Finger002  The Hudson Times thus speaks of the Union mass meeting here :

The Union mass meeting held at Prescott, was a magnificent success—a demonstration worthy of the cause and its supporters in the North-west.  The attendance was immense for this section, and the “Pomp and circumstance” incident to such demonstrations, all that could be desired.  Every Union man who attended the meeting at Prescott, most have went away with a strengthened purpose, to do all in his power to increase the Union majority at the coming election.

Finger002   Capt. FRANK H. PRATT, formerly connected with the Transcript, has been in town a few days.  His health, which was much impaired, has been greatly benefitted [sic], and he leaves to join his regiment in a few days.

Finger002   The President has appointed Thursday, the 24th day of November, as a day of thanksgiving, supplication and prayer.  Gov. Lewis [James T. Lewis] has also appointed the same day as the annual day of thanksgiving. See proclamation published in today’s paper.

Finger002   It is reported that Clark Mills, the celebrated sculptor, is to make a bust of McClellan [George B. McClellan].  There is to be another bust of McClellan, and greater, on the 8th of November, in which the people generally will have a hand.

Finger002   We hope none of our readers will neglect to vote for the continuance of the County bounty to the families of our soldiers.  Let us keep faith with the brave boys who uphold the Government at the peril of life.

PERSONAL.—W. H. YORK, Capt. and Post Q. M., is home on a short furlough.

— Mr. EPH. MINER,¹ who lost his arms some time since by explosion of a cannon at St. Paul, has so far recovered that he has returned to his home in Oak Grove.

— John McMILLEN, of River Falls—as good a soldier as ever left the county—has returned home, his term of service having expired.

From The Polk County Press:

A QUESTION.—Are you in favor of crushing out a wicked rebellion ?  If so vote for “HONEST OLD ABE,” and ANDY JOHNSON.  [Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson]

ENLISTED.—GEO. LAWTON enlisted for the town of Osceola on Wednesday.  He goes into company “G,” 7th Regiment.  Success to him in his patriotic course.

SURGEON GARLICK.—The friends of Dr. GARLICK [Carmine “Carmi” P. Garlick] will be pained to learn that he is sick in the Officers Hospital, at Memphis, Tenn.  He writes us under the date of the 24th ult., and at that time he was improving.

UNION MEETING.—There will be a political meeting at the School House on Monday evening next.—Hon. SOLON H. CLOUGH and S. T. CATLIN will address the meeting.—The citizens of Osceola and vicinity are respectfully invited to attend.

— Vote for JOHN G. McMYNN if you want your educational interests looked after.

DEMOCRATIC SPEECHES.—The Democrats of this country held quite a spirited meeting at the Court House in this village, on Thursday.  Judge WETHERBY addressed the meeting in the afternoon, and in the evening speeches were made by ALLAN DAWSON and Judge WETHERBY.  Owing to our having our paper made up for this issue, we have no room for remarks.  There was a delegation of 24 persons from St. Croix Falls, and seven from Alden.  Of the speeches, it is proper for us to say that they were intensely Democratic.

— Vote for JOEL F. NASON.  He has stood by you—stand by him.

— Sheridan’s Motto — fight EARLY and fight often.  [Philip H. Sheridan, Jubal A. Early]

— “We seceeded [sic] to rid ourselves of the rule of the majority.”—Jefferson Davis, the TRAITOR.

— Gen. Hovey, in a recent speech at Indianapolis, said “Gen. Grant is a physiological curiosity—all backbone from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet, and whenever you see him back down, you may bid farewell to this Government.  Grant cannot be whipped.”  [Ulysses S. Grant]

HOW IS IT.—Do you wish ardently, from the bottom of your heart, to see the Union restored, the “Old Flag” vindicated, its honor left unimpared [sic], the integrity of the nation sustained, its credit made good and a lasting PEACE brought about ?  If so, go to the ballot box on Tuesday next, and vote the Union Ticket.  Its candidates are pledged to all this—and nothing more.  “The slavery question is a mere pretext.”

Death of Gen. Birney.

We have the sad intelligence that Major Gen. Birney [David B. Birney], commander of the Tenth Army Corps, died on the 19th at his residence in Philadelphia, of fever.  General Birney has been through the fire of a hundred battles, and at last he dies, calmly and peacefully, not by sword or bullet, but by the deadly ‘virus’ of fever.  Gen. B. was a first-class officer.  He had no superior in the army of the Potomac.  He was beloved and respected as a man and officer.  He was a Kentuckian by birth, and a son of the late James E. Birney, the Abolition candidate for President in the canvass of 1844.  He has two more brothers in the service.

1.  The Ephraim Miner living in the Town of Oak Grove, Pierce County, Wisconsin in 1860 and 1870 was born in Kentucky about 1822. He was married to Leah Miner and had two children, Lucy and Emma. He was a farmer and there is no mention of a severe disability in the 1870 census.
An Ephrin/Ephran/Ephraim Minor, also born in Kentucky, also in 1822, also married to a Leah, also with daughters named Lucy and Emma, appears in the 1880 Federal census living in Centralia (Boone County), Missouri, with his wife Leah. In the 1890 Veterans census, his widow Leah is still living in Centralia, Eph. having died in 1887. But this Eph. Minor served in a Missouri cavalry regiment for 10 months from July 1864 to May 1865. His headstone reads “Ephriam Minor, born Mar. 7, 1822; died Mar. 28, 1887.”
Can this be the same man? More research is needed to say for sure, despite the similarities. How did he serve in a cavalry regiment with no arms, or at least partial arms? How could he be serving in a Missouri regiment at the same time he was in St. Paul, Minn., enlisting in a local regiment and getting his arms blown off?

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