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1865 February 4: Wisconsin Veteran Re-enlistments and One Hundred Day Men

February 6, 2015

The following is a portion of the Wisconsin Adjutant General Report that appeared in the February 4, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.

ADJUTANT GENERAL’S REPORT

What Wisconsin has Done for the War.
How Many Troops She has Sent.
How Many are Sill in the Field.

VOLUNTEERING AND DRAFTING.

Relief for the Sick and Wounded.

THE STATE MILITIA.

Very Interesting Document.

VETERAN RE-ENLISTMENTS

Under orders of the War Department, dated June 25, 1863, authority was given for Veteran re-enlistments of “all able bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, who have heretofore been enlisted and have served not less than nine months,” with payment of bounty and premiums amounting to four hundred and two dollars, and credit of such re-enlistment as three years’ men in the quota of their respective States.  Proper blanks were forwarded from this office to the commanding officers of Wisconsin regiments to secure such re-enlistments. Returns were not received in time to give the result in my last report.  They were subsequently received, and give a most gratifying evidence of the unwearied patriotism of our soldiers.

The following tables exhibits [sic] the number of re-enlistments in each organization up to November 1st of the present year, and for which number the several sub-districts of the State entitled, have received credit under the calls of the present year, to-wit :

. Organization. Number.       Date.
1st Infantry . . . . . . . . . 15 . . . . . . . . .
2nd do . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Feb. 1864
3d do . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Dec. 1863
5th do . . . . . . . . . . . 204 . . . . . . . . .
6th do . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Feb. 1864
7th do . . . . . . . . . . . 218 Dec. 1863
8th do . . . . . . . . . . . 301 Jan. 1864
9th do . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Dec. 1863
10th do . . . . . . . . . . . 13 . . . . . . . . .
11th do . . . . . . . . . . . 343 Jan. 1864
12th do . . . . . . . . . . . 519 Jan. 1864
13th do . . . . . . . . . . . 301 Dec. 1863
14th do . . . . . . . . . . . 272 Dec. 1863
15th do . . . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . . . .
16th do . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Dec. 1863
17th do . . . . . . . . . . . 287 . . . . . . . . .
18th do . . . . . . . . . . . 178 . . . . . . . . .
19th do . . . . . . . . . . . 270 . . . . . . . . .
1st Cavalry  . . . . . . . . . 61 . . . . . . . . .
2nd do . . . . . . . . . . . 385 . . . . . . . . .
3d do . . . . . . . . . . . 367 . . . . . . . . .
4th do . . . . . . . . . . . 260 . . . . . . . . .
LIGHT ARTILLERY.
. 1st Battery . . . . . . . . . . 34 . . . . . . . . .
2nd do . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Dec. 1863
3d do . . . . . . . . . . . 33 . . . . . . . . .
4th do . . . . . . . . . . . 43 . . . . . . . . .
5th do . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Dec. 1863
6th do . . . . . . . . . . . 34 . . . . . . . . .
7th do . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Mar. 1864
8th do . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Jan’y 1864
9th do . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Jan’y 1864
10th do . . . . . . . . . . . 11 . . . . . . . . .
11th do . . . . . . . . . . . 39 . . . . . . . . .
12th do . . . . . . . . . . . 31 . . . . . . . . .
1st Heavy Artillery—Co. A. 82 . . . . . . . . .
Berdan’s S. S.—Co. G.  . . . 9 . . . . . . . . .
Milwaukee Cavalry . . . . . . 9 . . . . . . . . .
23d Illinois Infantry . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .
42d do      do . . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . . . .
Vol. Res. Corps  . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .
15th Reg. V. R. C.  . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .
1st U. S. Vet. Engineers. . . 4 . . . . . . . . .
3d Battery U. S. Artillery. . 3 . . . . . . . . .
Co. M. 6th Iowa Cavalry . . 9 . . . . . . . . .
9th Iowa Cavalry . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .
Battery I, 1st Illinois Art . . 4 . . . . . . . . .
9th Illinois Cavalry . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .
1st Minnesota Battery  . . .         5 . . . . . . . . .
Giving a total of . . . . . . . . . 5,647
Less sixtyfive not credited
by the War Department,
having been credited to
localities outside the State
     65
To’l for which State receives credit  . . . . . . . . . . 5,752

 The above table includes all the organizations from this State whose term of service permitted re-enlistment, and it will be seen that all responded in greater or less numbers.  All entitled have returned to the State during the year to enjoy a veteran furlough—the 18th being the last, and just arrived after a patient waiting of some eight months, during which time it has taken active part in the “one hundred days” from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and in the heroic defence of Allatoona, on the memorable 5th of October.

It should be borne in mind that the voluntary action of these men in re-enlisting, lessened the number by just so many in the State who would have been volunteered or drafted to fill their quota under the calls of February 1st and March 14th, and that if any are entitled to special consideration these are the men.  After the sharp experiences of the hardships and the perils of war, and the lengthened absence from the comforts of home, no ordinary degree of patriotism or luke-warm devotion will prompt men voluntarily to enlist for a second term, nothing but a love of the cause they fight to uphold, can animate them, or induce such personal sacrifice.

It is probable that most of these veterans received substantial tokens of recognition from the localities to which they were credited.  This should be so, and if any sub-districts have availed themselves of such credits without proper recognition, they should make haste to show it.

ONE HUNDRED DAY SERVICE.

On the 21st of April the following proposition was submitted to the President of the United States, tendering the extra service of troops from the States therein represented, for the term of one hundred days.

(Here the Adjutant General quotes the proposition of the Governors of the Northwestern States in April last to furnish 85,000 troops for one hundred days, of which number Wisconsin was to raise 5,000.)

The proposition having been accepted, General Orders number 11 was issued from this office directing the State militia organizations to be made the basis of four regiments should they tender their services.  So few companies were found to contain a sufficient number of men fitted for active service, that the former plan of recruiting by appointments was adopted.  The limited time in which to complete the organization compelled the consolidation of companies and squads early in June, into two regiments and one battalion.

To prevent numerical confusion in the regiments from the State they were designated as the 39th, 40th and 41st regiments Wisconsin volunteer infantry, those being next in numerical order at the time of their organization.

So far as possible, the field officers of the State militia were assigned to the command of these regiments, those officers having exerted themselves successfully in recruiting these troops.

Col. E. L. Buttrick, of the First W. S. M., was appointed Colonel of the Thirty-ninth ;  Col. W. A. Ray, of the Third W. S. M., Colonel of the Fortieth, and Lieut. Col. Geo. B. Goodwin, of the Second W. S. M., Lieut. Colonel commanding the Forty-first.

The regiments left the State on the 18th, 14th and 15th of June, for Memphis, Tenn., where, upon their arrival, the 89th and 41st were brigaded with similar troops from Iowa—under the command of Col. Buttrick—the 41st being assigned to a similar brigade in the same vicinity.

This term and manner of service was designed to furnish an opportunity to those whose duties prevented enlistment for long terms of service, but who through this means, and thus relieving veteran troops from posts and fortifications, might thereby take active part in suppressing the rebellion, and share in the glory of a successful campaign.  The character of the regiments was in some degree peculiar.  Five Wisconsin colleges and universities were largely represented in these regiments, at least two companies of the Fortieth being made up almost wholly from the State University, Beloit and Appleton Colleges.  Clerks and professional men were freely interspersed with representatives of ever calling.  The terms of service expired, and the regiments returned to the State Sept. 15th to 17th for muster out.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Doug permalink
    January 25, 2016 10:51 am

    I am the great grandson of Col. W.A. Ray. I am interested in finding out if he served prior to being appointed Col. of the 40th Regiment. As I was wondering how he earned the rank of Colonel?

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