1864 November 12: News from the 36th and 19th Wisconsin Infantries
The following reports appeared in the November 12, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal. Thick, heavy ink from the other side of the newspaper page has obliterated some of the type, indicated here by [__]. There are more reports in this issue of the Journal than we are reprinting.
DOINGS IN MOBILE HARBOR.
Vegetables needed in the Army.
AFFAIRS ON THE SHENANDOAH.
An Expedition in Arkansas.
FROM THE TENNESSEE BORDER.
AFFAIRS AT ATLANTA.
The Chase after Hood’s Army.
Wisconsin Soldiers on Duty in Illinois.
The Movement against Richmond.
From the Thirty-sixth Regiment—Its Part in Grant’s Last Movement.
Correspondence of the State Journal.
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, REGIMENTAL }
HEADQ’RS., IN FRONT OF PETERSBURG, VA. }
October 29, 1864. }
MESSRS. EDITORS : I desire through your widely circulated paper, for the benefit of the brave soldiers who constitute the 36th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, of which I am the Chaplain, to contribute occasionally, as I may have opportunity, such facts pertaining to the regiment and army as may be of general interest.
On the 25th, at 4 o’clock P. M., orders came to our camp to be ready to move at dark. All was in readiness in due time.—About 2 o’clock A. M., amid the thick darkness, the army moved, and before daylight encamped again. On the 26th, at 2 o’clock, the march commenced for the rear, south of Petersburg. After marching all night, with an occasional rest, about 10 o’clock A. M. of the 27th we came to the advanced line of the rebels, and after a short but sharp engagement they fled in great haste, leaving their provisions, bacon, beef, flour, &c., all on the ground. Our army, under Gen. Hancock [Winfield S. Hancock], pressed on, skirmishing through a dense forest of pines and thick underbrush for some three miles, when it came to the scene of general action—between cross fires from the rebel batteries, placed on opposite hills not more than 1½ or 2 miles apart, with deep ravines at their base and an open plain between. Here on this plain our brave army received its first salutation, about 11 o’clock, and fought with desperation until dark.
Our noble 36th were in the extreme advance line, under the continued fire of the enemy, with Gen. Hancock near at hand, who complimented them finely the next morning for their coolness and bravery, and gave them credit for capturing a rebel flag. At one time they drove the enemy across the entire field of action, to their fortifications, and thus gained the day at that point. The 36th in this engagement wa led by the highly popular, greatly beloved and truly brave Senior Captain, George A. Fisk, whose conduct on this occasion is worthy of honorable mention, as also is that of Lieutenants Wm. A. Lane and A. S. Ripley, and Surgeon E. A. Woodward, not to mention other names of officers and privates, who without exception, honored themselves, the army and their country.
The casualties are small for so long and fearful conflict. None were killed in the regiment ; the wounded are J. D. Welden, Co. G, in thigh ; M. Hoffman, Co. G, in knee. Some are reported missing, whether they are prisoners or simply scattered, is not yet determined.
The battle was fought on what is known as the Raney farm, in Dinwiddie County, some seven miles South of Petersburg. Very many prisoners were taken by us, and doubtless many brave men have fallen, for such are the fortunes of war. In about fifty hours the army marched some 30 or more miles and fought one of the severest and most important battles of the war. A Chaplain who had been in the service three years, remarked to me that he had never seen anything to comare with this in fearfulness and determination. As the rebel lines were so near together it brought our advance lines very close to theirs.
Respectfully, P. S. VAN NEST.
From the Nineteenth Regiment—Heavy Loss in Butler’s Last Movement.
Correspondence of the State Journal.
NORFOLK, VA., Oct. 29, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS : Ere this reaches you, the telegraph will have informed you of a general movement upon the rebel lines in front of Petersburg and Richmond on Thursday last. Scarcely any information has yet reached here concerning the result of that movement.
The Nineteenth participated in the movement in front of Richmond, and few only of the regiment have returned from the fight at Chapin’s Farm to tell haw desperately it contended against overwhelming numbers. It is impossible to furnish full particulars at this writing, but I send the following list of casualties—a partial list only, as will be seen in the fact that of the brave men of the Ninteenth who went into the fight, only thirty-five or forty came back, and those not all unharmed :
Lieut. Col. Strong, severely wounded, and a prisoner.
Lieut. Holley, Adjutant, severely wounded, and a prisoner.
Capt. Scherff, Co. F, severely wounded, and a prisoner.
Cap. Bennett, E, killed.
Lieut. Wright, H, killed.
Lieut. Spridelberg, F, wounded and in hospital.
Serg’t Dwinelle, A, wounded and a prisoner.
Serg’t Palmer, A, wounded and a prisoner.
Corp. Ratbborne, A, wounded and a prisoner.
Privates, Henery-Gosto, Richard Thorne, and John Hollinsliead, wounded and prisoners.
I will send a full list as soon as it can be obtained.
Col. Sanders was attacked a few days since with hemorrhage of the lungs, which still confines him to his room.
Yours, &c., A. C. BARRY.