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1865 June 24: Alphabetical Record of the Rebellion

June 25, 2015

The following—taken from an unnamed exchange newspaper—was published in The Prescott Journal of June 24, 1865.

Alphabethical [sic] Record of the Rebellion.

An exchange publishes the following :

A — Stands for Andersonville—the ghastly monument of the most revolting outrage of the century.

B — Stands for Booth—let his memory be swallowed up in oblivion.  [John Wilkes Booth]

C — Stands for Canada—the asylum of skedadlers [sic], and the nest in which foul traitors have hatched their eggs of treason.

D — Stands for Davis—the most eminent low comedian, in the female character, of the age.  [Jefferson Davis]

E — Stands for England—an enemy in our adversity ;  a sycophant in our prosperity — (Music by the band ;  air Yankee Doodle)

F — Stands for Freedom—the bulwark of the nation.

G — Stands for Grant—the undertaker who officiated at the burial of the rebellion.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

H — Stands for Hardee—his tactics couldn’t save him.  [William J. Hardee]

I — Stands for Infamy—the spirit of treason.

J — Stands for Justice—give it to the traitors.

K — Stands for Kearsarge—for further particulars see Winslow’s Soothing Syrup.  [USS Kearsarge]

L — Stands for Lincoln—we mourn his loss.  [Abraham Lincoln]

M — Stands for Mason—(more music by the band ;  air, “There came to the beach a poor exile,”¹ etc., etc.)

N — Stand for nowhere the present location of the C. S. A.

O — Stands for “O dear, what can the matter be?”  For answer to this question, apply to Kirby Smith.

P — Stands for peace—nobly won by the gallant soldiers of the Union.

Q — Stands for Quantell [sic]—one of the gorrillas [sic] in the rebel menagerie.  [William Clarke Quantrill]

R — Stands for Rebellion—which is no longer able to stand for itself.

S — Stands for Sherman—he has a friend and vindicator in Grant.  [William T. Sherman]

T — Stands for Treason—with a halter around its neck.

U — Stands for Union—“Now and forever, one and inseperable [sic].”

V — Stands for Victory—Further explanation is unnecessary.

W — Stands for Washington—The nation is true to his memory.

X — Stands for Xtradition—English papers please copy.

Y — Stands for Young America—who stands by the Union.

Z — Stands for Zodiac—the stars are all there.  (Music by the band —

“The Star Spangled Banner, o long may it wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home  of the brave.”

1.  The first line of a poem by Thomas Campbell entitled The Exile of Erin. The full line is, “There came to the beach a poor Exile of Erin.”

1865 June 24: A Building for the Milwaukee Soldiers Home Fair

June 24, 2015

The following on the building for the Soldiers’ Home Fair in Milwaukee comes from the June 24, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.  It was reprinted by the Journal from the Daily Wisconsin.

The Fair Building

We herewith present out readers with a very neatly executed and accurate cut of the building now in process of erection for the Soldiers’ Home Fair.  From this cut and the description which we shall give, a very perfect idea of the building and its internal arrangements may be obtained.

From the Prescott Journal, June 24, 1865

From the Prescott Journal, June 24, 1865

The building occupies the lot on the northwest corner of Main and Huron Streets, and extends across the latter to the sidewalk on the South side.  It is three hundred feet long by one hundred and thirty-five feet deep.

The main entrance is on Main Street, and is twelve feet wide, with ticket offices on each side.  Passing in at this entrance you enter the main hall which extends entirely across the building, and which is directly beneath the great arch, the height of which is fifty feet.  In the centre of this hall will be the Floral Temple, where it is designed to have an exhibition, arranged in the most beautiful manner, all the flowers of the Season, from which will exhale all sweet perfumes–odors such as surpass the perfumers’ art—and which will be a very palace of beauty.  All around the sides of the hall are arranged tables for the display and sale of goods, and which we presume will be filled with such specimens of handiwork as the ladies only know to make.  Running entirely around this hall, at a height of twelve feet, is a gallery sixteen feet wide, around the sides of which will be arranged a row of tables similar to those below.  This gallery is reached by two spacious stairways at the further end of the hall and will be one of the most pleasant parts of the whole building.  The arch as well as the entire building will be most beautifully trimmed with evergreens, flags and flowers.  The manner of lighting it will be seen by the cut.  As a promenade both the hall and gallery will be superb, and will,doubtless, be the favorite resort of the youth and beauty of the crowds that are to be.

 The wings are sixteen feet in height, and are lighted as seen in the cut.  Through the centre of each of these wings in a hall, sixteen feet wide, running at right angles to the main hall.  Turning to the right as you enter the great hall, you enter the dining room which occupies the whole of the east half of the north wing— a room sixty by eighty feet.  Here the ladies propose to serve up to the hungry the substantials and delicacies of the season.  On the opposite side of the hall and at the north end of the wing are the kitchens which are connected with the dining room by a spacious passage way or room across the hall.  Over the passage way is a smoking room, where all those who delight in the “weed” can retire and enjoy a smoke without offending those who can discover no consolation in the meerschaum or cigar.  Next to the kitchen mentioned is the Holland Kitchen where are to be performed, in all their native neatness and simplicity, the culinary operations of the people who live in the land of green meadows.  Next south of the Holland Kitchen is the German Coffee Room, where that richest of all beverages, coffee, will be served up in that exquisite style which our Teutonic friends so well understand.

In the southwest corner of the main building is a commodious committee room.  Passing down the hall in the South wing, the first room to the right is one thirty-five by fifty-five feet, with a skylight.  This room was originally designed for the Fine Arts Department, but we learn that it is now in contemplation to put this department in a room outside of the Fair Building—perhaps the Chamber of Commerce.  Opposite the room above mentioned, on the other side of the hall, is another of the same size, devoted to the Department of Arms and Trophies.  Here will be gathered all manner of curious things in the way of trophies, military arms of every description, many of which will have strange stories connected with them—arms which have done good service against the rebels, and flags whose smoked and tattered folds will speak in most potent words of the fierce storms of battle.

Next to the last named room is another, about twenty by fifty-five feet in size, which is yest unappropriated.  The next rooms are the corner ones, and are fifty-five feet square ;  the one on the right, or southwest corner, is devoted to the Machinery Department ;  the one on the left, or southeast corner, will be occupied by the Public School Department.

As will be seen by the cut, there is a large entrance from Huron Street to the hall of the south wing.  There is also a small entrance to the dining room from the north.

The material of the building is undressed, pine lumber, nevertheless there is much taste and beauty in the structure.  It is strongly built, and is covered with the patent tar roofing.  Gas pipes have been laid allover the building and in the evening it will be brilliantly lighted with gas.

Had we space we might add to the interest of our description by making it more minute, but the reader must let this description surface until he can see the building completed and filled.  It may be necessary to a better understanding of our description to state that the building fronts the east.

When the building is filled to overflowing, as it will be, with the myriad articles of use, beauty and interest that are coming from all quarters, and when the presiding genii are all in their places, a walk through it will be worth a journey from the most distant part of the State.  In conclusion, we will advise all our readers to visit the Fair, and to come plentifully stocked with currency, for there will be so many desirable things for sale, and their merits will be next to impossible to refrain from purchasing.

The rates of admission decided upon at the last meeting of the Executive Committee, are as follows:

Season tickets to the main hall . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.50
     ”           ”        for children under 12 years . .  1.00
Single admission tickets on opening day . . . . 50
     ”           ”              ”       after opening day . . . 25
     ”           ”              ”       for children under 12 15
Aids’ tickets for season, giving admission
     to all parts of Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00
Schools, in a body, accompanied by teachers,
     admitted to main hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

It will be well to remember that a single admission ticket admits the holder to the Fair once, only, and that he can not leave the building for any purpose whatever and come in again, without again paying the price of admission, whereas, a season ticket will entitle the holder to admission at any and all times, and as often as the holder may desire.  This is one of the chief advantages of buying a season ticket.—Daily Wisconsin.

1865 June 17: New Governments in Confederate States, Assassination Conspiracy News, Government Helping Soldiers Get Artificial Limbs, and More

June 23, 2015

Following are the smaller items from the June 17, 1865, newspapers, The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

— A Letter from Edwin Booth, in reply to a “fraternal and consoling letter” from a committee of Masons in New York, has been published.  Mr. Booth says :

“It has pleased God to afflict my family as none other was ever afflicted.

“The nature, manner and extent of the crime, which has been laid at our door have crushed me to the very earth.  My detestation and abhorence [sic] of the act, in all its attributes, are inexpressable [sic] ;  my grief is unnterable [sic], and were it not for the sympathy of friends such as you, would be intolerable.”

THE LAST KICK EXTINGUISHED.—The last spad of earth has fallen on the coffin of the “Southern Confederacy.”  The redoubtable Wade Hampton, the South Carolina Cavalry chief who continued in the saddle long after Johnson’s surrender [sic: Joseph E. Johnston], has issued an address to the people of that State, telling them the war is over, and that is their duty to recognize the fact and submit to the authority of the Federal Government.

FREE STATE CONSTITUTION RATIFIED IN MISSOURI.—We are rejoiced to learn that, contrary to the general impression based on the unfavorable result in St. Louis, the new constitution in Missouri has been ratified by a decided majority.

We are not conversant with the details of the new constitution, but from the fact that it was framed by loyal men, and was bitterly opposed by the secessionists, we may safely infer that it is based upon sound principles.  For one thing it declares immediate emancipation; it also bases the right of suffrage upon intelligence and not color.  It also taxes all church property.

OLD SHELL.—The Petersburg (Va.) Express says :  “For years to come old iron will be plentiful enough in this section to supply several large foundries.  No one will be able to stick a spade in the ground  east or south of the city without striking against a piece, and the plough, in nearly every furrow, will turn up a “lamp post,” or a mortar, or some kind of missle [sic].  Now and then we shall probaly [sic] hear of man, horse, and plough flying towards the clouds.  When they explode, these shells are no respecters of flesh.  They strike a man harder than Heenan or Sayers.²

Kirby Smith is said to have made fifteen million dollars during the war.

— A Provincial Government will be shortly adopted for Alabama.

— Gov. McGarth [sic: Andrew G. Magrath] of S. C. is a prisoner at Washington.

— A Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home has recently been established in St. Louis.

— Fifty thousand discharged troops have left Washington for their homes.

— The New Yorkers are rejoicing over nice new potatoes received from New Orleans.

— The Provost Marshal system is to be retained in all the States except Rhode Island, for the present.

— It is rumored in Macon that Breckenridge [sic: John C. Breckinridge] has escaped in a vessel from the coast of Florida.

— Ex. Gov. Brown, of Georgia, goes home on parole to try to organize and bring back the State to its first love.  [Joseph E. Brown]

— Gen. Scott is reported to have said of Jeff. Davis, “I hope he will be hung by the neck, sir, I hope he will hang by the neck.”  [Winfield Scott]; Jefferson Davis]

— Gen. Hood, the last revel of note, and staff, surrendered to Gen. Davidson, on the 31st inst.  He is said to be a warm admirer of Sheridan.  [John Bell Hood; John W. Davidson; Philip H. Sheridan]

— Gov. Watts, of Alabama, was arrested in Montgomery a few days ago, but has been discharged from custody without being brought north.  [Thomas H. Watts]

— The new trade regulations for Savannah are working most satisfactorily.  Silver is plenty in Augusta for change, and greenbacks are at par.

— Where soldiers have lost legs, feet or arms in the war, the Government helps them to this extent in getting artificial ones:  $75 for legs, $50 for arms and $50 for feet.

— The citizens of Northern Georgia are reported to be strongly Union.  They defeated a gang of guerrillas a few days since and hung ten of them.

— Gen. Grant avows his purpose of retaining his residence at Galena and of voting there at the next election.  He says he wants to be Mayor of that city, so he can fix the side-walks.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

— The party in Kentucky which favors the anti-slavery amendment to the Constitution is daily gaining ground.  Ex-Gov. McGoffen [sic: Beriah Magoffin] is out for the amendment.

— Beverly Tucker¹ announces that if God spares his life, Pres. Johnson shall go down to a dishonored grave.  Such an announcement was hardly needed to prove the infamous wretch capable of attempting secret murder.  [Andrew Johnson]

From The Prescott Journal:

— Says the Louisville Journal:  “We understand that the negro population of Louisville and vicinity propose to celebrate the approaching Fourth of July in grand style.  The celebrated colored orator, Fred. Douglas [sic], has been invited, and will be present to address the assembled multitude.

COMING TO IT.—The New Orleans Delta relates that a social party was given in Mobile, a few evenings since, to which were invited a number of both Union and Confederate officers.  In the early part of the evening, an evident restraint hung over the assemblage, and anything but a pleasant time was in prospect.  At last the brave rebel Colonel—of the—Alabama, proposed a song, and upon being pressed to start one, he broke forth in that stirring national air, “The Star Spangled Banner.”  After a few moments of blank astonishment, the whole party, Union and rebel, joined in, and the utmost good feeling and jovialty [sic] prevailed from that time forth until the breaking day warned the merry company to disperse to their separate abodes.  The good fruits that may spring from the little incident are incalculable.

Finger002  During the conspiracy trial, an intelligent witness, a genial son of the Emerald Isle, was called on to the stand, and asked if he knew anything about the assassinations.  He replied that he knew all about it and accordingly the court-room was cleared.  The following testimony as it appears of record:  “What do you know about the tragedy!”  “I know all about it, yer honor.” “Where did you sit in the theatre!” “Right under the President’s box.” “Well, what did you see of the murder!” “I saw a might fine dressed man jump from the stage of the President’s box; then I heard a shot, and saw the same man jump back on the stage and bow before the American flag, and shout out :  ‘He’s sick ;  send for McManuies.’ ” (Sic semper tyrannis.³)

— VALLANDIGHAM [Clement L. Vallandigham] says in his late letter, that the Chicago platform is no longer binding upon the party, as it (the platform) “survived but eight days—dying of circumcision.”  This is rather an unkind fling at George B. McClellan’s  letter accepting the Chicago nomination and repudiating the platform.

— It is said that the only joke General Sherman ever perpetrated was upon eutering [sic] the capital of North Carolina.  Turning to a regiment of veterans who were marching by the State House he called out:  “Don’t you think this is a good place to sing “Raleigh” round the flag boys!”  [This item also appeared in this week’s Polk County Press.]

— Gen. Beauregard, of whom we have heard very little for the past two months, was in New Orleans on the 22d, and registered his name at Gen. Banks’ headquarters as a paroled officer.  [P.G.T. Beauregard, Nathaniel P. Banks]

1.  Beverly Tucker was a former circuit court judge in Virginia, a member of the so-called “Confederate Canadian Cabinet,”* and quite possibly complicit with the Lincoln assassination conspiracy.
* The inner circle of Canadian-based Confederates, which, besides Tucker, included at least Jacob Thompson, George N. Sanders, and Clement C. Clay. These four, along with Confederate agents William C. Cleary, George Harper, and George Young, were indicted and tried as part of the plot to kill Lincoln.
2.  American boxer John C. Heenan fought English boxer Tom Sayers in the first international boxing championship in 1860.
3.  A Latin phrase meaning “thus always to tyrants.”

1865 June 22: “The remnant of the 10th Battery, composed almost wholly of Polk co. boys, has arrived at Madison”

June 23, 2015

Following are the smaller items of local news from the June 17, 1865, newspapers, The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

THE 10TH BATTERY BOYS.—We learn that the 12th Battery, which contains the remnant of the 10th Battery, composed almost wholly of Polk co. boys, has arrived at Madison, and are there awaiting to be paid off and mustered out.  The boys will soon be home.

OUR DEAD AT ANDERSONVILLE.—The State journal publishes a complete list of Wisconsin’s dead heroes who perished from starvation and cruelty in the prison pen at Andersonville.  In the list we find the names of two Polk Co. boys, members of Co. F, 1st Wis. Vol. :

Thomas B. Pickett, died July 18, 1864.  Duncan McKenzie, July 7th, 1864.  They were both made prisoners at the battle of Chickamauga.

CHARLEY SCOTT, Co. A, 30th Wis., is at home on furlough.

We are glad to learn that the health of our old friend MOSES PEASLEE who returned very sick from the 42d regiment some time ago, is gradually improving.

ROB’T. KENT, Esq., returned home from a six month sojourn at the South, last week Friday.

CAPT. M. M. SAMUEL.—We see by the Knoxville Whig, that Capt. M. M. SAMUEL, formerly of this County, has entered into partnership with Messers. JOSEPH & SMITH, of that city, in the auction and commission business.

— Letters have been received from the boys in the “Scouts.”  They are all safe at New Orleans, under orders for Texas.

— The papers are full of notices of returning troops.

— Asistant [sic] Surgeon MURDOCK, of the 8th Wis. Vet. In.  sends us a copy of the Daily Montgomery Mail, for which he has our thanks.  The firey [sic] editor’s “back down” on the chivalry is refreshing to peruse.  [Henry M. Murdock]

— The very tender-hearted and magnanimous editors of the Milwaukee Sentinel and Dubque [sic] Times, raise their voices in protest against the use of bloodhounds in hunting Indian murderers.  In their perfect security they write their little sermons, and shed their crocodile tears over the barbarous treatment of the “poor Indian.”

We think a very short residence on the Minnesota border would soon cure them of such magnanimous views.  Perhaps if they had seen their wives and children shot down and scalped before them, and they themselves made homeless wanderers in the wilderness, seeking safety in a military post, perhaps, then, they might, on a pinch, kill a “poor Indian.”  Yes indeed, we think the good little boys would so far forget their Sabbath School lessons as to use bloodhounds.

— The Third Illinois Cavalry, nine hundred strong, arrived at St. Paul on the 13th.  They are to help clean out the Indians.

— CAPT. FISK is about fitting out another expedition to the North Western territories.   He intends to make Saint Paul his rendezvous from which he will start by the 15th of July.  We trust that he will take plenty of strychnine with him for the Indians.

— An expedition under Gen. Sully, organized for Indian warfare, started from Sioux City on the 6th inst.  [Alfred Sully]

— Gov. Miller [Stephen Miller], of Minn, announces that he will not accept renomination.

THE SOLDIERS’ HOME BOX.—The ladies of this village shipped their box of articles to the Milwaukee Soldiers’ Home Fair last Friday.  They have prepared a number of articles which we think hard to beat.  Most of the articles are made of carnelians and agates, which are found in large numbers on the shores of the beautiful spring lakes which abound in this county, many of which are splendid specimens of the agate family.

The following is a list of the articles, with the names of the donors :

One shell shield, by Mrs. E. Seavey ;  1 card basket, by Miss Jennie Kidder ;  1 bead watch case, by Miss Hattie Wilson ;  1 agate picture frame and 1 bead bracelet, Mrs. H. C. Goodwin ;  1 agate picture frame and bead bracelet, by Mrs. W. C. Guild ;  2 cone card receivers, by Mrs. Ashael Kimball ;  1 embroidered bead pin cushion, by Mrs. Almena Clough ;  1 pair woolen sticking, by Mrs. C. Kimball ;  5 crochet collar, by Mrs. Mary Foster ;  2 agate picture frames, by Mrs. S. T. Caitlin ;  1 agate church, by Mrs. S. S. Fifield ;  1 pair stockings and 1 undershirt, by Mrs. L. Walker ;  1 baby’s waist, and specimen of petrified moss, by Mrs. W. A. Talboys.

The following articles were made by a committee of ladies from cones and agates contributed by various persons :

Two agate candle sticks, 2 agate vases, 2 agate work boxes, 4 agate monuments, 2 cone brackets, 2 cone picture frames.  Several beautiful specimens of agates have also been contributed.

In addition to this box of articles several contributions of money has been made.  Miss ELLA WALKER and Co. Supt. CLARK, have, we understand made up liberal contributions for the School Department of the Fair.  Quite a number of the Home Fair Journals are also taken in this village.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  Now that the war is over and Jeff. Davis is captured, it is high time that steps were taken to celebrate the coming fourth [of July] here in the old fashioned style.  What say our citizens in regard to the matter!  [Jefferson Davis]

— The census of this city is completed, and shows a population of 1065 ;  143 foreign birth, 1 blind, and 13 colored.  [1865 Wisconsin state census]

1865 June 17: Uncle Sam’s Purse

June 22, 2015

This article on the War, gold, and the government’s finances comes from The Polk County Press of June 17, 1865.


The contest that has been so long waged between “gold” and “green-backs” has been settled by the complete triumph of the latter. It was a glorious conception when Secretary Chase proposed the plan of embodying the credit and the resources of the nation into the form of a circulating medium to give to the people to maintain our vast armies in the field, bind together as one man and by a new tie of interest the loyal masses to maintain the Union and government of their choice. the present generation will never give Salmon P. Chase the credit and honor he has earned; and it will be  only by the statesmen of future generations that this quiet unostentatious [sic] labor will be fully appreciated.

All will admit that money is the “sinews of war.”  At the breaking out of the rebellion, this means of crushing it had to be created and supplied by the new Secretary of the Treasury, as the Buchanan Administration had robbed the nation of its last dollar and thrown the Treasury Department into disgrace.  Thus Chase found it.  The nation was rich in resources, but its credit was rapidly sinking to nothing.  Something must be done, and that quickly, and Chase did it.  Suppose that such a stupid ass as Buchanan’s Secretary, Cobb [Howell Cobb], had been placed at the head of the National Treasury, would not national bankruptcy, ruin, and the success of the Southern Confederacy have been long since accomplished facts?  Most assuredly.  But Mr. Chase as with an inspiration of the desperate and stupendous contest into which the traitors had plunged the nation, and immense future demands for money, grasped the whole great question and solved the problem, by proposing to take from the people the worthless wild cat issues of fifteen hundred independent and State banks and bankers, and substituting in their place the “Legal Tender Notes” of the U.S. Treasury, with all the nation’s boundless wealth in lands, houses, cities, farms, railroads, canals, ships, steamboats, merchandise, machinery, grain and agricultural produce, mines, manufactures and everything else bought or sold, as the security for their faithful redemption.  The “greenbacks” were issued by millions, and became the proper representation of the nation’s credit and wealth.  They were circulated throughout the length and breadth of the nation, taken by all classes or [of?] people and entered into all kinds of business ;  and it is a remarkable fact, that, although circulated secretly, and when found regarded as a badge of treason to Jeff Davis [Jefferson Davis], yet they have been circulated and sold in all the strongholds of the Southern rebellion, and in Richmond they have always commanded a higher premium than did gold in New York.

Thus it will be seen that the “United States Treasury Notes” were the tangible evidence of the rescources [sic] of the nation, the bond of the Union, the affection of the people for their flag, the authority and power of the government, and the wealth, happiness and prosperity of its people.  It will be observed also, that the stability of the national currency and the credit of the nation’s obligations was not only the most vital point around loyal men rallied to sustain the government, but it was also the most vulnerable point at which the government could be assailed by the enemy, and most industriously has he improved his opportunities in this respect.  While Sherman, Grant and Sheridan were invulnerable in the field, the enemy could establish his little gold broker’s gambling shops in Wall street, and his dirt dealing, treason reeking newspapers throughout the North, and from day to day, and week to week, perfect and misrepresent the army news, and manufacture lies to advance the price of gold and decrease the value and circulation of the Treasury Notes.  Not only this, but the enemy of all grades, from the highfalutin orator, making a “candid” appeal from the stump, down to the bummer who could never raise even “greenbacks” to pay his whiskey bills with, never lost an opportunity on the streets, in the stores, in business transactions and everywhere, to denounce the Treasury Notes of the United States as “worthless rags,” or to express their profound (!) opinions that they were “unconstitutional.”  While Lee waged open, manly ware against his government on the James, Lee’s sympathizers and abettors in the loyal States made sneaking, insidnous [sic] war on their government by decrying the national currency, and by pretended felicitous, false and fraudulent sales of the precious metals.  [William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, Philip H. Sheridan, Robert E. Lee]

By such despicable means, the national currency has been depreciated, but the depreciation has done no damage except to the brave soldiers in the field, whose wages could not be advanced with any sliding scale to the price of gold, and the embarrassment it has given the government.  As the prices of labor and property advanced, it was found that the currency was sufficient to meet it, and money has ever been even more plentiful during the war than at any former period of the war.

But the tables are now being turned.  The Treasury Notes having passed through one of the most fearful ordeals ever applied to the financial system of any nation, we now see the “greenback” rapidly, and we trust securely, ascending the scale of credit to an equal position with the “glittering slave of the mine.”  The enemy’s agents in Wall street are beginning to find out that Uncle Sam’s purse is a little too long for the combined efforts of treason and “British gold.”


1865 June 17: Grant—“Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purposes of your patriotic hearts”

June 21, 2015

General Ulysses S. Grant’s order comes from the June 17, 1865, issue of The Polk County Press.

Congratulatory Order — The Lieut. General to the United States Armies.

WASHINGTON June 4.“Gen. Grant has issued the following congratulatory address to the armies :

Washington, D. C., June 2. }

General Orders No. 108.

Soldiers of the armies of the United States, by your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm, your magnificent fighting, bravery and endurance, you have attained the supremacy of the Union and Constitution, overthrown armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws and of the proclamations forever abolishing slavery, the cause and pretext of the rebellion, and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil.  Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution and brilliancy of results, dim the luster of the world’s past military achievements and will be the patriot[’]s precedent in defense of liberty and right, in all time to come.

In obedience to your country’s call you left your homes and firesides, and volunteered in its defense.  Victory has crowned your valor and secured the purposes of your patriotic hearts, and with the gratitude of your countrymen and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, conscious of having discharged the highest duty of the American citizen.

To achieve these glorious triumphs and secure to ourselves, your fellow countrymen, and posterity, the blessing of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their lives.  Their graves a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.

[Signed] .                        .U. S. GRANT,
.                                              .Lieut. General.

1865 June 20: “You seemed to think the soldiers were all coming home, I am sorry to say they are not”

June 20, 2015

Edwin Levings with the 12th Wisconsin Infantry writes to one of his cousins.  The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Hd. Qrs. 3rd Div, 17th A. C.
Near Louisville Ky, June 20th 1865.

Dear Cousin Emma;¹

                                       Your letter of the 6th May was rec’d near Washington, and read by me with much pleasure.  Like one awaiting the return of some long absent friend, it seemed to have been in waiting there to greet me at the end of a long, toilsome march.  Coming back from the war, my mind filled with bright visions of home and friends, the arrival of your letter was a most pleasing — incident — a compliment — an honor, as are all your letters.

And now while you are looking for “another army letter”, I gladly pen these lines, hoping they may confer as much pleasure and interest as felt by me when tracing yours.

Now that an armed foe no longer assails the Old Flag, I must write of other things than the scenes and incidents of war, and what shall they be?  My purpose was to write a short sketch of our march from Raleigh N.C. to Washington; but the thought occurs that from previous letters you must be quite familiar with the features of interest in a march, for though varied, they are much alike in each instance, and therefor I will not invite you to a perusal of what might be but little better than an old story.  I will say it was the most pleasant and agreeable march ever performed by us.  We had been detailed for Provost duty at Division Head Quarters, and being mounted on horses, with the privilege of going where we wished, had an excellent chance to see the country and the people, remaining as safeguards at the houses during the passing of the troops, and sometimes stopping over night.  Every body was  seemingly glad the war was ended.  Numerous questions were asked about the North and the Yankees, and more than once I tired with talking.  By the way would you believe itsome of the fair ones asserted their liking for the Yankees, and said they would marry the first favorable chance.  Further, some of Raleigh’s daughters actually made peace with some of Uncle Sam’s boys by marrying them.  This demonstrates conclusively that there is yet in Dixie a real love for the union.  Now who says the war was a failure, when it ended by making lovers of enemies?  A different turn of the wheel of Fortune some of the northern girls may think, and what do you suppose they will say?  The trip I shall always remember with satisfaction.  I would give some of the conversation but for the fear of spinning this out to too great a length.—While in Washington we visited all the sights.  The Patent Office, Capitol Buildings and Smithsonian Institute are the principal places of interest and are well worth going to see.  I must not attempt to say what we saw, as my letter would be too long, so you must excuse me.

You seemed to think the soldiers were all coming home, I am sorry to say they are not, that the veteran portion must remain awhile longer.  The Government determined to retain us till such time as it should be deemed prudent to disband us.  We hardly knew how to endure the disappointment, but are now somewhat resigned to the decree, hoping the “good time coming” is not far distant.  I presume we shall be held till the different States can reorganize their government and assume the control now exercised by the military authority.  So you see our going home soon is all illusion.  But I can not but think our services will not be required more than six or eight months longer.

At Washington we saw cousin Ellsworth [Ellsworth Burnett].  He looks well, and has a high reputation in his Co. and Regt.  Dwight, who lives in Alexandria, we did not see.  Myron [Myron W. Packard], in the 3oth Wis., is here on duty at the military prison as Commissary Serg’t.²—The Div. is now being paid, and a liberal percentage of furloughs granted.  We drew lots for them here, but neither of us got one.  I never was lucky at that business and don’t suppose I ever will be.  Our duty here at Hd. Qrs. is mostly pacing to and fro before the officers’ tents, saluting when necessary, or I should say, whenever you can not avoid it.  All style.  Like unto the contraband’s³ duty —”brushing the flies off from missus”.  You can guess whether that suits a Levings.  The time we must remain in the army will be long to us, and I shall have to call into exercise more than usual patience to stand it.  Now, Dear Cousin, as I have before told you, letters are the life of a soldier, in an important sense &, I hope you will let your and Cousin Louisa’s letters will come faster.  I have no idea that mine will be worthy your attention, but I shall ever be grateful for your correspondence, as having made many an otherwise lonely hour in my soldier-life happy.  I am a poor hand to ask questions where I have never been, and you will have to anticipate then for what I would say.  My letter is a sorry looking thing, and can you make out what I have said, I can not, therefore will stop writing.  May we hope to hear from you soon.  Direct via Louisville.  With my well-wishes to you, I am

 Your Cousin
.                     .Edwin

1.  Cousin Emma Eliza Levings (b. 1842), along with sisters Lottie (Charlotte Amelia, b. 1845), Hattie (Harriet Lucinda, b. 1849), and Lucy Louisa (b. 1840), were the daughters of Edwin’s and Homer’s Uncle Alpheus Hall Levings.
2.  Here are some of the male cousins.  Ellsworth Burnett was the son of Edwin’s and Homer’s Aunt Mary Levings Burnett (married Benedict R. Burnett). Myron W. Packard was the son of Edwin’s and Homer’s Aunt Amanda Levings Packard (married Daniel Packard). Dwight was probably Dwight Cornelius Packard (1829-1910), Myron’s brother and also Edwin’s and Homer’s first cousin.
3.  During the War, escaped slaves were considered contraband.


Edwin Levings letter of June 20, 1865, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Edwin Levings letter of June 20, 1865, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls


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