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1865 April 15: News is Slow Getting to Northwest Wisconsin

April 21, 2015

The smaller news items, including many local items, from both The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal of April 15, 1865, show how slowly news gets to the frontier of northwestern Wisconsin.

From The Polk County Press:

DESERTED.—The Taylor’s Falls “Reporter” says that Wm. Cox, who was drafted at that place, has deserted.

DRAFTED.—The draft for Stillwater took place at St. Paul on the 3d inst.  Among the first drafted was our friend A. B. EASTON, editor of the “Messenger.”

dividerHEADQT’RS PRO. MAR. }
LA CROSSE, March 16, ’65. }

I hereby certify that Worthy A. Prentice, Wm. H. Kent, Abram L. Gillispie, John H. Baker, Joseph S. Corey, and Andrew Fee have been duly enlisted and mustered into the service of the United States, for the period of one year, and the town of Osceola, county of Polk, and State of Wisconsin.

.                         .B. F. COOPER,
Capt. and Pro. Mar., 6th Dist., Wis.

SANITARY.—The ladies in this vicinity, we understand, have concluded to send a box of goods to the Sanitary Fair at Chicago.  The box will be sent to the Union stall, and ladies of all denominations are invited to contribute whatever they think acceptable.  All contributions must be handed in by the 15th of May.—Persons having cornelians and cones to donate, will oblige the Committee by leaving them at the PRESS office.

— Six hundred cords of wood were furnished to soldiers’ families at Terre Haute, Ind., last winter.

— Charleston papers say that the work of recruiting goes on finely among the colored people of that city.

— The Louisville “Journal” states that Gov. Bramlette [Thomas E. Bramlette], of Kentucky, has furnished all his slaves with freedom papers.

— In the churches at Geneva, the Swiss pray every Sunday for the success of the North and the good health of President Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln].

— The price paid by the government for horses been advanced to $165 for cavalry horses, $175 for artillery horses, and $180 for mules.

— General Hartsuff¹ has been brevetted Maj. General, on the recommendation of General Grant [Ulysses S. Grant], for gallant conduct in recapturing Fort Steadman [sic] from the enemy.

— The 6th Corps of the army of the Potomac are going to raise $10,000 for a monument to their beloved Gen. Sedgwick [John Sedgwick].  The privates are to give from fifty to seventy-five cents and the officers from two to ten dollars.

— The Union forces entered Petersburg on Monday morning and before night a Union newspaper was issued set up, edited and printed by Western boys, called “Grant’s Petersburg Progress.”  It is about twelve by 20 inches in size and printed on one side only.

The Commercial’s special says :  “the colored troops, headed by Gen. Draper of Mass., were the first to enter Richmond.  The city was formally surrendered by Mayor Joseph Mayo, who merely pleaded for protection to life and property.  All the principal buildings had been fired by the rebel authorities before leaving.  Several banks and the Enquirer and Dispatch printing offices were burned.  Gen. Weitzel [Godfrey Weitzel] took Jeff. Davis’ house for headquarters.  Gen. Shepley was appointed Military Governor.  Gov. Pierpont [Francis H. Pierpont] is to transfer the loyal state government of Virginia to Richmond from Alexandria immediately.

A Herald correspondent gives an account of the conflagration of Petersburg.  When Gen. Weitzel entered the city, the negroes flocked about him thanking the Lord that the Yankees had come.  He found a bridge burning and sent the negroes for a fire engine, which they brought, and he set them at work extinguishing the flames, and finally turned his superintendency over to a white man.  Most of the railroad property had been destroyed and large quantities of tobacco burned.  Immense amounts of commissary stores were piled in storehouses in the heart of the city, and if fired would have destroyed it.  This was not done.  Our shells fired into the city had done but very little damage.  Here and there a chimney was ruined and a hole punctured in a house but the people continued to live in exposed parts of the city.  By 6 o’clock the town was awake, troops pressing in from all quarters, cheering, singing, &c.  Citizens showed themselves in such large numbers that it seemed but very few had left.  They all appeared hungry, provisions having been hoarded for the army.  The business streets looked thrifty and the stores had considerable stocks of goods.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  In less than a year after General Grant took command of the Army of Virginia, the rebel capital was in his hands.  This may be called a good year’s work.

GOV. LEWIS.—Gov. Lewis [James T. Lewis] has published a letter in which he positively declines being a candidate for re election.

Finger002  This would be a nice time for Brick Pomeroy to reprint his campaign cut of the cotton stealing, negro thieving, tyrant and murderous old “widow-maker,” ABRAHAM LINCOLN.  It would please the people very much.  [M. M. “Brick” Pomeroy]

Finger002  It is not generally thought proper to write business letters on the Sabbath, but the business correspondence between GRANT and LEE, last Sunday, has been very favorably regarded.  [Robert E. Lee]

Finger002  Our forces took possession of Petersburg in the morning, and before night a Union paper—Grant’s Petersburg Progress, was issued.  It was edited by Maj. “BOB” EDEN [Robert C. Eden], and sparkles with witty paragraphs from his facile pen.  The “Family Paper” will X. BOB.

— We are under obligations to Lieut. L. D. GUNN, of the 30th, for Louisville papers.

Finger002  Milwaukee, Madison, and La Crosse were carried by the Republicans at the charter election.  In Milwaukee the Union ticket bore the significant heading, “Richmond is Ours.”

Finger002  A few days ago, we heard one of our citizens predict that Gen. LEE would yet be a Democratic candidate for the Presidency.  We thought he was overdoing the thing, but we ask his pardon.  The St. Paul Pioneer of the 11th, the same issue in which it announces the surrender of LEE’S army, advises the President to counsel with Gen. LEE as to the best course to pursue.  It probably wants to have LEE taken into LINCOLN”S cabinet as Secretary of War.

Gen. LEE is a man of great abilities and amiable in his private life, but he is a perjured traitor.  He has fought fiercely against the Government which had highly honored and trusted him, and the strength which he has given to this damned Rebellion, has been the means of protracting the war—of heaping up taxation—of taking hundreds of thousands of Northern men from their homes—of thousands of deaths in the shock of battle—and of prolonging the dreadful tortures of thousands more amid the untold horrors of the accursed prison-pens of the South.  LEE has done this, and the Pioneer, before he has put off his rebel uniform, names him as one of the President’s trusted counselors.  Oh, shame, where is thy blush !

1.  George Lucas Hartsuff (1830-1874) graduated from West Point in 1852 and was a career military officer serving in the Seminole Wars, where he received a wound that eventually caused his death. During the Civil War he served in many staff positions. He became a brigadier general in April 1862, and served in the III Corps, Army of Virginia, and then in the Army of the Potomac. Hartsuff was severely wounded in the hip at Antietam. He was promoted to major general in November 1863. As mentioned here, was brevetted major general in the regular army in March of 1865, and from March 19 to April 16 of the same year was in command of Bermuda Hundred in the Army of the James. Then he commanded the District of Nottoway in the Department of Virginia from May 22 to August 24. Hartsuff mustered out of Volunteer service on August 24, 1865, and returned to the regular army as a lieutenant colonel. Hartsuff resigned from the regular army on June 29, 1871, because of disability resulting from wounds received in battle.

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