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Beloit, June 3rd
Mr. Editor:- C.C. has backed out- His patriotism- pluck- courage or whatever you call it
has "gin out"
Thus, I imagine, some think if they don't say so in so many words. Now I don't
propose to enter into a discussion to prove that the facts, the case does not warrant such
a statement or charge though.
I am quite sure that a battle of words and pens is a very safe method of warfare compared
with a real battle with Powder and Ball. No! I don't propose to engage in such a useless
battle for though such an one might be safer than a real one. I think I should get soundly
whipped or traitors, as they ought always to be called on the field of battle. I propose
simply to give no explanation- a vindication of my conduct in not enlisting since our
company broke up. This, in my private opinion, is sufficient- yes is the same as "owning
up" the coin that I am a little afraid of getting hurt.
Well it will have to be so then. Can't help it.
After our company disbanded several of the College Boys and myself visited other companies
and even went to Camp Scott at Milwaukee for we had heard that, besides there being vacant
places, they were to leave for the south the next day. When we arrived in M. we learned
from prominent citizens that the First Regiment would not probably leave the state until
their term of service (3 months) expired; when they would be discharged or kept at the
expense of the State till there should be another call. This was enough.
We did not enlist to fool away time- When we enlisted we expected to be in a
situation to do justice to our southern brethren before this time. (When I say 'we' so
bravely I mean my comrades, not I, the coward). We all concluded that under the
circumstances we had better come back to College for the present. After Commencement if
there is prospect of seeing any fighting we are ready to go. With sorrow for leaving the
camp and exhibiting cowardice in fight I shall remain a warm friend and champion of the
American idea of Liberty and free government.
Yours in vindiofon. C.C.-
Return of the
Beloit Cadet Rifles
We announced a short time since the departure of the Beloit Rifles for Camp Randall and we
the seek announce their return from that famous rendezvous. The fact of the company's
return is already a matter of general information but the causes which led to their
return, we regret to say, are not so generally known as they should be and opinions were
hastily formed here and elsewhere with regard to the matter which as now appears were not
warranted by the facts in the case.
We publish herewith a statement from Capt. Slaymaker which thoroughly unfolds the
particulars of the affair and places the matter in such a light as in our opinion fully
justified him in his refusal to serve under Col. Coon who, as appears from the statement,
was manifestly guilty of the grossest
double-dealing and perfidiousness of conduct towards the Beloit Company with a view of
covertly ousting them from the Regiment in order for reasons political or personal or both
to give their place to another company.
As a matter of course our citizens deeply regretted the return of the company. But we have
the most implicit confidence in Capt. Slaymaker's integrity and are far from believing
that he would do anything that would in the least compromise his own honor or that of the
city with which he was entrusted.
His action was unqualifiedly endorsed by a majority
of the company and also by several disinterested individuals at Madison and elsewhere from
whom we have heard. In view of the interests involved, Capt. Slaymaker felt that it was
due to himself and to the public that the particulars of the affair should be published,
the statement to which we have referred.
To Editor Beloit
Journal & Courier:
Dear Sir:- I wish to submit, through your columns, a statement of the
causes and circumstances which led to the sudden withdrawal from Camp Randall and the
ultimate disbanding of the Beloit Cadet Rifles.
The first difficulty which beset our path was the change of the term of enlistment from
three months to that of the war, or three years. This, however, was quickly and definitely
settled by taking the sense of the company on the evening of Saturday, 11th inst. which
resulted in the withdrawal of about one-half of our number against those withdrawing there
was no demonstration of displeasure on the part of those remaining.
Their right to withdraw, and for an honorable discharge, seemed to be conceded - This I
did at the request of the Colonel of the Regiment and the proceedings were reported by me
to him the following prevailing or day; and he was assured that the company would be full
within the required time - I took my stand with those agreeing to enlist for the war and
never altered my determination until the occurrence which I am about to relate took place.
I did not ask them to to make that determination until I found I could not be transferred
to another regiment, which I asked only after I could no longer have confidence in the
commanding officer of the 2d Regiment in which we once held a place.
Up to that time I had used every effort to keep the company together, was anxiously
desirous of recruiting for the places left vacant by the recent withdrawals; so I had set
about making arrangements for a prolonged absence from home.
But now, for the real cause, which being fairly related will show where the blame should
rest - who it was had the "ax" to grind.
On the morning of Thursday last about one half hour before the morning parade, which had
been ordered the evening previous, being at the regimental headquarters I was called aside
by the Colonel who, approaching me in a friendly manner, mentioned the object of that
parade which was not known to me before nor was it generally known, if known at all, by
the men in the company - that it was preparatory to taking the oath to service three
years, or the term of the war,- that he intended to address the men who should assemble at
that parade in such terms as were intended and he calculated would stir their military
ardor and awaken enthusiasm. He went on to say that some of my men being young might get
hasty in assuming the obligation and perhaps if would be well not to bring them forward
then as time enough would be afforded but concluded his remarks by saying that this was
merely a suggestion to be acted upon or not, as I thought proper. If I thought fit to act
upon, it he would excuse us from that parade.
As this seemed to me to come in such
unquestionable shape and I could see no motive beyond the actual welfare of the men, I at
once assembled the other officers of the company and having laid the matter before them,
they all agreed that acting upon the suggestion would be proper.
This commander led me to believe also that we could have until 2 o'clock of the next day
in which to take the oath and in any event we should have a place another regiment. In the
afternoon I called at the office of Adjutant General to obtain passes home for those
unwilling to take the oath for three years. Upon presenting the list of names, he inquired
if that included all the men. I informed him that it did not. He wished to know what I was
about to do with those who remained. I told him that active steps were being taken to
recruit the company to the required number and, suspecting nothing, said that they would
remain in their present quarters as heretofore. Whereupon he informed me that he had
ordered to rendezvous immediately a company from Milwaukee, which had not previously been
assigned a place in any other regiment adding to my amazement that we no longer held a
place in the 2d Regiment and that he had been informed that I fully understood the whole
thing and that all this matter had been fully prearranged between the Colonel and myself.
This I here emphatically deny. I had
entered into no arrangement with that officer or any one else relative to the company. But
I may here say that I committed an error in not setting myself right at once with the
Adjutant General by exposing, in round terms, that duplicity which belongs to the Colonel
of the 2d Regiment but which is now fastened upon me. Let it be borne in mind, however,
that the facts were not fully unfolded to me nor understood in their true light. I still
had faith in his honesty of purpose.
Soon after this interview with the Adjutant General, I again met him in the presence of
the Colonel at regimental head quarters, where he informed me he would be for the purpose
of sifting the matter and ascertaining who was in the wrong. Upon confronting us, the
Colonel in polite terms, expressing high consideration for me, trusted that there was no
misunderstanding and could be none. We fully understood each other &c. - I was utterly
The Adjutant General then proposed that I
should prepare a paper setting forth the facts but, as I said before, it not being clear
to my mind, told him that he might prepare such a document as he thought proper and as he
expressed an aversion to having the thing go back to Beloit that a wrong had been
perpetrated against her favorite volunteer company and deprecated the effect which such a
report would be likely to have, I assured him that I was willing to assume all the blame
if it belonged to me. He prepared the following letter to which being far, very far, from
the facts, I declined affixing my signature, though I may add that he thought it was what
it should be and as he understood the matter;
To Hon. W.L. Utley,
Adjutant General of the State of Wisconsin
Dear Sir: - My company, having enlisted but for three months and most of them
being young and inexperienced, I after due deliberation judged it to be for the best not
to urge them to enlist for the period of three years but, on the contrary, rather to
dissuade them from doing so. This I have done with entertaining the highest respect and
esteem for the officers of the regiment as I am aware my men also do.
Under the circumstances I have deemed it my duty to act as I have in this matter and I
respectfully request that you will grant passes over railroads to them to their respective
It was then that I began to realize my
situation and I at once determined to make no further efforts to regain my place in that
(Here, I may mention, I have learned that it has been said, and used as a weapon against
me, that I put that letter in my pocket and never again produced it or spoke of the
matter. I did produce it in his presence and assured the Adjutant General that it would
never be signed. I took care, however, to retain possession. From this time, until the
close of the day, I was called upon by several members of the Legislature and others who
urged me to insist upon retaining my place in the 2d Regiment.
Kindly promising to sustain me in my efforts, which they were sure would be
successful, many freely admitting that they believed I had been adroitly over-reached.
However, as I could have no positive assurance of a subsequent transfer of the company to
another regimen, a matter which now began to be demanded by most of the men, I was
unwilling to act on the advice.
That evening, the company assembled together and resolved not to serve under any
circumstances in the 2d Regiment, endorsed my action and appointed a committee, myself
among the number, to call the Commander in Chief and respectfully request him, if
possible, to assign us to another regiment. The result of the interview was that it might
be done for us but gave no positive answer as the 3d or 4th regiments and indeed, all were
full, that our former position could again be taken but he seemed to think that there
would be no chance for a future transfer.
At a late hour that night, and after I had retired, I was called upon by two of the
non-commissioned officers just returned from an interview with the Adjutant
informed me that he said there were two alternatives left to me - the first of which was
to come forward with my company and with it retake my place on the 2d Regiment by taking
the oath to serve in it for the war or submit to having my commission taken from me and
the company and myself discharged. These men had deeply at heart, I am sure, my honor and
fair name and whilst they assured me that a different course would involve not only myself
but them, I agreed to be guided by them, unwilling to do anything which would not save the
honor of the company.
After reflecting over this matter and beginning to see in such a course some relation to
the letter above Printed and that I would then be in the same position as though I had
signed that document. I determined not to change my first propose, advising these men to
do as they saw fit--to take the oath and thus save themselves.
Accordingly, on Friday morning last, I assembled
the Company and, by instructions,
marched them to headquarters where they were addressed by Col. S. Park Coon, the burden of
which was that they should have nothing to fear from him should they remain in his
regiment; should be well taken care of under all circumstances &c.. Those declining to
take the oath to serve under Col. Coon, although willing to go for the war if an honorable
place could be secured in another regiment, stepped to the rear leaving twenty-five men or
thereabouts in a line.
Now the end was accomplished. No organization was left and to clinch the thing and make it
very sure, he added lest those men should rally and fill up a company and thus leave no
chance for his ultimate object, that he could not be held accountable for the disposal of
them in the event of war's disasters by which their numbers might be decimated, and it
became necessary to separate them by drafting into other companies under strange captains.
I wish to say that had Col. Park Coon kept to himself his friendly disinterested advice, fifty of the Beloit Cadet Rifles would have marched up to the parade ground last
Wednesday at 9 o'clock: listened to him, have become no more honestly fixed in their
determination, by his eloquent appeals and returned at 10.5 o'clock of the same day and
unflinchingly taken the oath to serve their country on the battle field any length of time
she might need their service. By disregarding that advice I might not have had my present
position rendered equivocal by the thus far successful efforts of him who had an subject
For myself, I had passed my word to serve with the company during their term of enlistment
which was determined to be for the war. I had no thoughts of doing otherwise. I had set
about making arrangements for a longer absence from home. My oath would have been uttered
and registered with those of the 50 men. I think, with very few exceptions, that none will
be found unwilling to bear me out in saying that I adhered to one course in relation to
the decision of matters immediately touching the feelings and interests of the whole
company. Such I considered this question of enlistment.
I attempted to interfere with the exercise of no man's judgment
in that matter. I
certainly did not dissuade, either by word or example, any one from enlisting, nor didn't
attempt, nor would I allow, any man to be bullied or forced into doing so. If, by my
management of the affairs of the company during our stay in camp, I did anything which was
calculated to defeat the purpose on which we started out, it was done unwittingly, an
error of the head not of the heart. I did not know that the qualities of a politician were
requested as a Captain when I left home. I was not aware that politics were to be learned
where only the "school of the soldier" should be known.
For what am I condemned? Was it for heeding the suggestion of a senior, the chief officer
of the regiment - my superior officer?
Was it because I had declined to say more against that officer than that I misunderstood
him? That the whole was a result of a misunderstanding? So it was, I admit now, not of the
facts but of the man. Had I known him and, scorning his feigned friendly advice, marched
the men forward to take the oath then and now, would I be right? Why was I put off from
undoing what I had done when I offered a few hours afterwards to bring forward 40 or more
men to his quarters to take the obligation? Surely he might have stepped aside a little
from form to get back into his regiment individuals who were then out by acting according
to his suggestion, whom, but a day before, he expressed his unwillingness to lose for the
sum of $1,000. It is true. he told me. of the necessity of getting in another company in
our place for the purpose of drilling - that was obvious - but I did not suppose that
anything would by done before the expiration of the time for us to act.
Yours truly, S.H. Slaymaker
The soldiers are enjoying themselves
very well at
The exercise of drilling, however, keeps the blood in motion.
This morning at 11 o'clock both the companies were hard at work marching and counter
marching - the Guards at the barracks paced up and down with gun and bayonet on shoulder
in warlike style. Their sleeping quarters, if not elegant, are warm and comfortable and
superior to those which usually fall to a soldier's lot. McGonigal gives them abundance of
wholesome and well-cooked food. The tables with the new tin plates and cups look neat and
inviting. The boys have all the beef, bread, potatoes, beans and coffee they wish and
these sauced with a soldier's appetite are more delicious than is the most luxurious fare
to the sedentary dyspeptic.
This morning at 11 o'clock both the companies were hard at work marching and counter
marching - the Guards at the barracks paced up and down with gun and bayonet on shoulder
in warlike style. Their sleeping quarters, if not elegant, are warm and comfortable and
superior to those which usually fall to a soldier's lot. McGonigal gives them abundance of
wholesome and well-cooked food. The tables with the new tin plates and cups look neat and
inviting. The boys have all the beef, bread, potatoes, beans and coffee they wish and
these sauced with a soldier's appetite are more delicious than is the most luxurious fare
to the sedentary dyspeptic.
We were present last night at the evening parade of the Second Regiment - Drawn up in
double line with the beams of the setting sun glancing from their muskets they made quite an
The drum and fife corps, as they marched up and down in front of the line, showed that
under the training of Drum Major Dyke, they had made good proficiency in music.
Every company is now filled up beyond the minimum number of men under the new regulations
and about half have the maximum number or within one or two of it. There were reported
last night, 963 men present or accounted for as follows, giving the companies in the order
which they occupied:
La Crosse Light Guards...86
Portage City Light Guard...101
Belle City Rifles Racine...100
Randall Guards Madison...96
Grant County Grays...99
Miner's Guard Mineral Pt....84
Wisconsin Rifles Milwaukee...102
Though the line was so long that it was a little difficult to hear the word of command at
its extremes, the companies went through the manual with a good degree of accuracy and
promptness. About half the men are provided with something in way of arms to use for
drilling. The proficiency made by the men, as shown in the regiments parade and company
drill, when occupied about five hours a day, is very much greater than that of ordinary
recruits and is an indication of the earnestness and zeal of those who have enlisted to
defend their flag and crush out rebellion and are assiduous in their endeavors to qualify
themselves to act in the most effective manner.
Some 15 or 20 carriages with a considerable number of ladies and citizens were out at
parade last evening.
The behavior of the men gathered here as soldiers has been, on the whole,
commendable but among so many men it could hardly fail that there should be some some of
the "baser sort". A few rowdies have been cutting up some rascal pranks -
condemned as severely by their comrades as by anyone else - which had necessitated greater
strictness with reference to leaving the camp.
Men are allowed to leave the camp only in charge of a officer who is responsible for
their good behavior.
A Lodge of Good Templars has been organized in the regiment, numbering now over 100
including an addition of 24 last night.
There are no cases of serious sickness in camp.
Ladies - The material for 500 flannel shirts for the soldiers
has been sent to Watertown to be made up, the ladies of that city having kindly
volunteered to do the work.
The ladies are as patriotic as the men and are now proving that they are made up with the
same spirit that was evinced by the women of the Revolution.
In times of peace, with nothing to arouse them, they have been blamed for knitting
lace and doing other fancy work - but now when dangers threatens their country their
fingers are found to be equally nimble in making shirts for the patriotic soldiers who go
forth to defend their country's honor.
The war is just what is needed to prove that our people have not degenerated. We
rejoice to find the heroic spirit that animated our grandmothers has descended to the
women of the present day. The Ladies everywhere - God bless them!
Band-The Band of the Second Regiment were on parade last night
for the first time and considering the circumstances performed admirably. The Band is made
up of musicians mostly taken from the companies of the Regiment and came together with
their instruments yesterday morning for the first time and after a brief
practice together in the grove back of the camp grounds took their place at the head of
the Regiment last evening and performed their part to very great satisfaction. Many of the musicians had not been in practice
for some years, but we are satisfied from what we witnessed last evening that, with a
brief practice together, this will become a very superior band.
The leader of the Band is H.S. Chandler of Oshkosh.
The sum that will be required for the Government purposes this year is estimated at
Camp Randall-A couple of pleasant days have put everything
right again at Camp Randall. At 11 o'clock this morning the soldiers, having for the most
part concluded drilling for the forenoon, were enjoying a quite bit of camp life.
A few squads were still persevering in the exercises. Many had turned into their
berths and were reading newspapers; others sauntered about the grounds, or collected in
groups while making the most of the warm bright spring day, were engaged in social chat.
The young trees in the vicinity of the barracks were extensively ornamented with blankets,
red shirts, socks, handkerchiefs, and other garments of various hues hung there to air or
An eager and somewhat excited crowd were collected about a booth just opened by N.L.
Andrews, by permission, where lager beer, pop, cakes, and pies were dispensed.
But one man remains in the hospital - one of the La Crosse Volunteers. He has been
threatened with typhoid pneumonia but his symptoms were more favorable this morning.
In addition to the companies given yesterday which have volunteered for three years or
during the war are the Miners Guard of Mineral Point commanded by Cpt. Thos. S. Allen.
Camp Randall Items
The heavy rain of last night gave a good many of the boys at the Camp a soaking and to-day
beds, blankets and clothing were laid out and hung up in all directions to dry.
Now that other pressing matters are attended to and it is found that prepared canvass will
not make the roofs tight, the barracks are to be re-roofed with better lumber wherever
they are defective. The Hospital is now ready to receive patients. It has
for ten, the floor is carpeted, the roof shingled and the sides whitewashed. Those who
have been seriously sick are will getting along well. There are eight or ten unfit for
duty. Colds and diarrhea are the principal complaints. One man is ill of a fever caused by
getting rained on last night. The medical store room is complete and occupied. A building
is begun for the Surgeon's quarters.
The National Flag floats from a pole on the west of the camp. A
"nine-pounder" was taken down the other night and is fired morning and evening.
Blankets have now been received and the quarters so prepared that all companies will
hereafter stay on the grounds. The camp has been provided with a lot of excellent wood
procured of Darwin from some point west on the railroad. The boys frequently
receive tokens of remembrance from home in the way of supplies for the inner man or
comforts for the outer body.
All seem to be in good spirits.
The proposition to enlist for three years is a good deal discussed. Some companies have
already agreed to accept it almost unanimously; in others, there is more difference of
opinion but there is not a company in camp the majority of whose numbers are not ready to
enlist for the war and who do not maintain that the places of those who are unable or
unwilling to do so can be filled up "at home" very shortly.
THE SECOND REGIMENT-
The last report as to
the route of the second regiment is that it will pass through this city. The
Madison Patriot of last evening says-"It is now decided that the second regiment
will proceed east ward on Wednesday morning , at 9 o'clock.
Brig. Gen. King is
here, and they will doubtless be directed as to route by him. a plan to send
them by the roundabout way of Milwaukee and to show off in other cities is
likely to be abandoned. They will proceed by the most direct route, avoiding
long marches between depots with their camp equipage and so as to be at their
post of duty fresh, and not unnecessarily fatigued."
The Journal says-"we
are authorized to state that the second regiment will leave this city for the
seat of war at 9 o'clock on Wednesday morning next."
It seems probable
there fore that the regiment will pass through this city to-morrow about noon
unless there is a change of arrangements.
P.S. The following
dispatch was received this after noon:
In consequence of the non-arrival of some of the uniforms, the departure of the
2d regiment is again postponed. It is now said positively that they will leave
here on Thursday morning at 10 o'clock
June 18, 1861
The Daily Gazette
OF THE LIGHT GUARD
Last evening, the
firemen of the city held a meeting to decide whether thy would parade as a body
to escort the Light Guard on their departure from the city. Committees were
appointed to ascertain what member of members in each company would turn out and
in the event of a specified number agreeing to appear the Chief Engineer was
instructed to call out the department. A sufficient number having been reported
the Chief Engineer has issued his call.
We have made repeated
inquires as to the precise time when the Light Guard will leave, but have
been unable to learn anything more definite that that the company are under
orders to depart whenever transporting is provided it.
It is not probable
that its departure will be delayed beyond Friday, and it may possibly leave
Thursday. the expectation among the officers of the company is that they will be
called away as soon as the regiment now in camp in Madison leaves there."
We regard this
movement on the part of the firemen as a very proper and commendable one and
should be glad to see it participated in by our citizens generally. The Light
Guard deserve well at the hands of the Janesville. Probably there is not and
will not be a company in the state which will excel it in all the requisites of
good citizenship and good service. during the long period in which they have
awaited the call now made their conduct has ever been marked by sobriety and
good order; quietly pursuing their duties thy have thoroughly commended
themselves to the good will of their friends, neighbors and associates and have
well earned such a testimonial as will fitly express the feeling of the
community in which they have resided.
We do not know that
any specific arrangements have been commenced other than the action of the
firemen; but it does seem to us that the Light Guard are eminently entitled to
such a demonstration of good will as marked the departure of their predecessors
to the field of toil and danger to which they are hastening.
June 18, 1861
The Daily Gazette
FOR THE VOLUNTEERS.--
The ladies of the
Baptist society in this city have completed a sufficient number of Havelocks for
Capt. Ely's company of volunteers, which will be presented upon the arrival of
the company in this city on their way east, on Thursday.
We also learn that the
ladies of the Congregational society of this city have raised a sufficient
amount of money for the purchase of cloth of Havelocks for Captain Wheeler's
company, and will have them ready before that company departs for the wars.
The patriotic ladies
of these two societies deserve and doubtless will receive the grateful
acknowledgment s of our citizen soldiers for this timely present.
June 18, 1861
The Daily Gazette
Commissions have been issued as follows:
Duncan McDonald, as Major of the Second Regiment of Wisconsin Active
Militia. T.P. Russell of Winnebago Co. as Surgeon's Mate of the Second
Charles D. Gage Captain, Wm. T. Lyon Lieut,. and Paul
Kritos Ensign of the Hamilton Guards, Fond du Lac.
John C. Lynch Captain Michael Lunch Lient and Wm
Eddy Ensign of Montgomery Guards, Janesville which company is reported full and
Ernest F. Pletschke Captain, Thomas Richard Hudd Lieut,
and Joseph H. Marston Ensign of the Appleton
-The following companies have volunteered for three years, or during the war:
Bragg's Rifles, Fond du Lac.
Janesville Light Guard
Waupun Light Guard
Dane County Guard
Prairie du Chien Volunteers
Montgomery Guards, Janesville
Wisconsin Rifles, Milwaukee
Lemonweir Minute Men
Sauk County Riflemen, Baraboo
Randall Guards, Madison
Scott's Greys, Racine
Appleton Light Infantry
Eau Claire Badgers
Items-There was quite an impressive scene at Camp Randall
yesterday afternoon when the regiment was drawn up in line and the death of Senator
Col. Coon spoke
briefly substantially as follows;
We have just received intelligence of the death of Hon. Stephen A. Douglas of
All party feeling is lost in this calamity as in the great calamity which has fallen
upon the nation in the attempt to divide it. A great sorrow fills the public heart. Yet
all is not lost though one of the great ones of the land has fallen. No man can talk - no
words can express the feelings which now fill every breast.
General orders were read directing the commissioned
officers to wear crape on the left arm for ten days and the flag to be displayed at half
mast and draped in mourning till the remains of Senator Douglas are laid in the tomb. The
Band marched up and down in front of the line to slow time playing the Sicilian Hymn.
Battalion drill is about to be inaugurated at the camp.
The regiment is now filled up to about 1000 and the barracks proving insufficient to
accommodate all the men some thirty tents have been pitched along the trees they make a
very picturesque appearance.
We understand that plain crash towels, an article not regularly provided for, are needed
at the camp.
Here is an opportunity for patriotic merchants and ladies to do something.
There are one or two nuisances in connection with the camp which ought to be speedily
One is the roaming of drunken soldiers about the streets at night howling and
smashing things generally another is the practice by members of the some companies, from
the air and escape holes on the outside of their quarters, of insulting men and women who
happen to be passing.
Feast Saturday evening--Its incidents--Items: The giving on the part of the ladies of
Madison and the receiving by the soldiers of the collation Saturday evening was one of the
pleasantest affairs we ever witnessed. The first movements toward what was there carried
out were made on Wednesday after the speedy departure of the 2d Regiment had been
determined on and there was little noise about it.
The short time of preparation however was well improved as was shown by the long
tables adorned with flowers and amply supplied with bread, cheese, sandwiches, pies and
cakes in endless variety
for 1000 men-- When they had everything in readiness, the ladies
took positions in the unoccupied space in the western part of the eating hall and the Band
took places in front of them. After the several companies had taken their places, they
rose and the Rev. Mr. Taylor
invoked the blessing of God on them and the food provided.
Seats being taken, the men "fell to" as if they relished their change of
rations. Eating finished, Col. Coon, in very fitting terms, on behalf of the solders,
thanked the ladies for their kindness, assuring them that it was fully appreciated by his
men not so much because what had been so generously provided was different from and better
than their ordinary food - for those whom he commanded did not grumble or complain but
were content with soldiers fare - but because it evinced an interest and
sympathy with them and their cause. Though soldiers were often men of rough exterior, they
had large hearts as well as strong hands and while they might remain in camp and when they
went forth to their country's service - for which they had left behind much that was
beautiful and pleasant - on the march and on the battle field this scene would be
remembered as a cheering beam of sunshine, as an inspiring incentive to do their duty.
Expressing confidence that they would never have occasion to regard this generous
manifestation or have reason to be ashamed of the 2d Regiment, the Col. closed by
proposing three times three for the ladies of Madison who had provided this entertainment
which were given when a refreshing heartiness.
Rev. Mr. Taylor, on behalf of the ladies who had already spoken by their deeds, responded
briefly assuring the soldiers that their prayers were offered for their efforts in the
righteous cause to which they had devoted themselves which would be watched with eager
He requested that men might be appointed to take
charge of what was left.
Three more cheers were given for the ladies: The playing of the "Star Spangled
Banner" was then called for and three cheers given for Col. Coon followed by various
"tigers" and peculiar cheers by different companies. The Col. expressed his
thanks for these and other evidences of devoted hearts and referred to the greater joy
with which he should listen to the cheers after their first victory.
The "Start Spangled Banner" was then sung by the Regiment and spectators and a
flag brought in when "At once there rose so Wild a yell" as clearly showed the
loyalty of the crowd. Most of the companies then marched out but the La Crosse and Racine
companies remained while a patriotic song was finely rendered by Mr. Bunner, of the
former, which was loudly applauded.
The band played several lively airs during the proceedings. There were some 30 or 40
carriages on the ground and a large crowd of spectators of both sexes, most of whom
remained to the evening parade. The reports showed that all but two or three of the
companies had their full complement of men making an aggregate of over 1,000. The La
Crosse Guard wore some brown linen harmonized with with the uniform and seemed to us
preferable to white as less trying to the eyes of those marching behind. The Randall
Guards made a fine appearance in their new uniforms which, after all are not quite
uniform in color. We were glad to learn that this excellent company has never yet had
a man in the Guard House nor a man found drunk.
The boys had evidently been making some preparations to receive their friends.
They were all neatly dressed had their Quarters in
tip-top order and the Mineral Point, Janesville, Racine, Fox Lake, Oshkosh, Madison and
Grant Co. Companies had their barracks more or less garnished with green branches and row
of trees planted in front of them.
There are about fifty tents now pitched on the grounds. As the report has spread that the
regiment is soon to go into active service, many of the men have had visits from friends.
Father and mothers have come to say good bye to "our boy," brothers and
companions to see their friends once more and wives and sweethearts to bid adieu to those
whom they love best.
Divine service was held at the Camp yesterday morning, Rev. Mr. Britton officiating.
There was no drill during the day. Capt. McIntyre is in town and commenced mustering
the men into the U.S. service to day.
Mustering in the
Capt. McIntyre completed
the mustering in of the
Second Regiment yesterday There was not a recreant found in the Regiment. None had
repented their enlistment; none shrank back because "the track is growing
fresh." Only five men were ruled out and these were excluded solely on account of
exceeding the age prescribed by the army regulations Or for physical defects.
The old man in the Portage company who gave his age at forty one was among the rejected,
Capt. McIntyre refusing to take his word. Afterwards he admitted that his age was
sixty-two but declared he could do as good a day's work as he ever could and that he
believed himself fully competent to bear the fatigue and hardships of active service.
Change of Positions in the Second Regiment- After retaining thus far
positions corresponding with the order in which they reached Camp, the companies of the
Second Regiment have, we learn, been re-arranged, the honors being assigned according to
the date of captain's commissions as follows:
Company A on the right of the line - Fox Lake
Capt. Stevens; Company B on the left - La Crosse Light Guards
Capt. Colwell; Company C in the centre, with the colors - Grant County Greys,
Capt. McGee; Company D, Janesville
Capt. Bouck; Company F, Belle City Rifles,
Capt. Strong; Company G, Portage Light Guards,
Capt. Mansfield; Company H, Randall Guards,
Capt. Randolph; Company I, Miners' Guards
Capt. Allen; Company K, Wisconsin Rifles,
The companies on parade are arranged in the following order,
Beginning at the right:
A, F, D, I, C, H, E, K, G, B.
When the Regiment is thrown into five divisions, the first is commanded by Capt. Stevens,
the second by Capt. Ely, the Third by Capt. Colwell.
We hear that there is some dissatisfaction about this arrangement, which, of course, does
not at all depend on the relative merits of the companies.
following companies in the 5th and 6th regiments, having failed to muster full
for three years, have been erased from the lists of the regiments:
5th Regiment - Carrol Guards, Fond du Lac; National Guards, Kenosha.
6th Regiment - Union Guards, Fond du Lac; National Guards, Janesville;
Scott Guards, Racine; Lodi Guards, Lodi.
The Appleton Light Infantry being the first company in the 7th Regiment
as originally reported is assigned to fill vacancy in the 5th and will be immediately
mustered into service.
- Orders have been received by the Secretary of War that if the Second Regiment does not
receive arms prior to leaving, it will be supplied at Washington.
From the north land - Several hundred Norwegians, fresh from their native mountains
arrived here on Saturday. All but about three hundred stopped here and were warmly
welcomed by their countrymen, who had preceded
them in other years and have been
distributed through the country hereabouts.
They were a hardy looking and a goodly attired company.
the Second Regiment
We are authorized to state that the Second regiment will leave this city for the seat of
war at 9 o'clock on Wednesday morning next.
Guards The Second regiment is expected to leave the State for
the wars to morrow -
We have frequently spoken of this Regiment as a whole as being composed of unusually
stout, hearty, and superior men, physically. As the Randall Guards hail from this city, it
may not be amiss to make special mention of this excellent company. It is full in
having one hundred and three upon its roll - Much pains were taken in the organization of
this company, in picking men in the full vigor of health and physical proportions capable
of endurance and in this respect eminent success has been attained.
It is very rare that a company of men can be found
whose average height and weight is so nearly equal.
It is perceivable in the Randall Guards. The men are nearly all above the medium
height and well proportioned. They are also intelligent, well-informed men who go into the
army from a sincere love of country and with a patriotic devotion to its free and
enlightened institutions. In military discipline, it would be difficult to find a body of
men that will excel this company with the same experience.
Although most of the members were ignorant of military matters when they were called
together, they fully appreciated the necessity of preparation before being called into
actual service and have devoted themselves with energy and success to this work. Their
appearance on parade is more like that of a company of regulars than that of volunteers -
the general bearing of each man being that of a thorough soldier. As citizens
of Madison we feel proud that so fine a company hails from our locality and shall, in the
future, expect to be able to make record of many bold and noble deeds of the Randall
Guards in defense of the country's honor.
Much of the credit for the excellence of this company is due to its energetic competent
and enterprising officers. The enlistments were mostly made under the personal direction
of Capt. J. F. Randolph who has devoted himself to the organization and discipline of the
company with a skill and a zeal worthy of all praise. He is well know to our citizens as a very
and energetic man
in whatever he undertakes: Having had considerable experience in military matters in
former times and being well adapted to the imparting of his knowledge to his men, he has
brought his company to a remarkable proficiency
in a short time. While he insists upon
perfect obedience from his men, he retains their respect and confidence to such a degree
that obedience is a pleasure.
Not only has the company been fortunate in the selection
of its captain but in all of its
The First, Lieut A. A. Meredith
is well known to our people as a well educated
military man whose exertions have been indefatigable in advancing the interests of the
company. He has fulfilled will his part in all things and
is entitled to his full share of credit for the general good appearance of this
The Second Lieut. Nat. Rolline is also a man who never lacks energy in what ever he
undertakes. He, too, was well informed in his duties previous to entering upon them and
has devoted himself to the promoting of the interests of the company with an energy worthy
of the noble cause in which the country is engaged. The non-commissioned officers have
also been well chosen; and all, both officers and soldiers, have done, and will continue
to do, their full duty in the maintenance of our glorious Union.
Madison has great reason to be proud of the four companies that have hailed from our
midst. The two in the First Regiment maintain an honorable position among their fellows
and the one in the Third (Capt. Hawley's) will no doubt do the same. Of the Randall
Guards, there is no fear that they will ever cause our people to blush on account of their
"God speed, and bless them."
on a "Lark"---
Row at Voigt's Brewery---Several Shots Exchanged.
We regret to have to record a disgraceful affair which occurred in this city last night.
Last evening, as we are informed, Col. Coon granted leave of absence to a number of the
members of the Second regiment to visit their friends before their departure for active
service. Some of these volunteers remained in the city and a party of nine went
to Voigt's, the brewer in the first ward and attempted to get into his saloon at two or
three o'clock this morning. The saloon is in the basement of a two story brick building
the upper portion of which is occupied by Mr. Voigt's as a residence. He refused to open
his saloon for them.
They then broke open or let down a window opening
into the bar of the saloon and got out several bottles of liquor. Mr. Voight, from a
window above, fired a shot-gun over their heads with a view of driving them off not
intending to injure any one. Upon this they fired upon the house with revolvers
and threw stones into the windows breaking glass, sash and blinds. Mr. Voight fired
several times over their heads with a revolver and finally discharged his shot gun aiming
at their legs as nearly as he could upon which they decamped.
Nearly a wheel-barrow load of stones we are told were thrown into the house and the
walls, in several places, are chipped with bullets. Blood was found upon the
leading towards the camp and we understand that a member of the Belle City (Racine) Rifles
has a wounded hand and leg this morning.
A soldier was found near the Brewery dead drunk, lying upon the ground; a member of
the Randall Guards is in the Guard House, the first instance ,we
believe, where any member of that company has been found guilty of ill-conduct.
In the Third Ward also we hear that some handsome shade trees in front of Mr. Hinrich's
residence were cut down or mutilated.
This is attributed to the soldiers, but without any satisfactory evidence as we learn that
they are the guilty parties.
We have been disposed to allow a good deal for exaggerations in regard to the conduct of
the soldiers of the Second Regiment but it is evident that there are some hard cases
among them. The great mass of them we believe to be sterling men who feel as keenly as any
one how much the regiment is disgraced by the few insubordinates and who have no sympathy
with them in their riotous conduct.
These wild fellows who disturb the peace of the city are but few in numbers and ought
not, by their unseemly acts, to be permitted to involve the whole regiment in disgrace.
They should be sharply looked after by the officers.
The Argus of this morning contains an article
commenting in severe terms upon the want of proper discipline in the Second regiment and
the abuses and annoyances which have been the consequences to our citizens.
We regret that there should be so much cause for these strictures for it is undeniable
that the soldiers have not appeared to be under that restraint which a wholesome
At the same time, great care ought to be taken not to
bring false and unjust charges against the volunteers. A great many exaggerated rumors
prevail which, if strictly investigated, will be found to be wholly without foundation in
fact. Such is, we believe, the report of the violation of a German woman and her
subsequent death mentioned by the Argus as a
"notorious fact". From the best information we can obtain it is not a
"notorious fact" but a notorious falsehood. It has been widely circulated and we
supposed for some time that it was true; but a number of persons and among others
Judge Vilas, the Mayor, have assured us that after much inquiry they were satisfied that
it is a fiction out of whole cloth.
It is due to the soldiers
that they should be relieved from the stain of such an
infamous calumny though we have no doubt our neighbors of the Argus
made the statement in good faith supposing it to be true.
On Wednesday last, a small advance guard of the
Second regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers from Camp Randall at Madison started
for Harrisburg. On Thursday, the balance of the regiment left for the same place with
sealed orders not to be opened until after their arrival - Their passage through our state
and Illinois was a continual ovation.
Before leaving the camp the Governor, on behalf of
the people of the State, enjoined upon them to guard sacredly the honor of the State, to
do their whole duty in defending the principles of the government against anarchy and
barbarism and after reminding them that the prayers of the 800,000 people of the State of
Wisconsin would continually ascend to heaven in their behalf he bid them farewell.
At Janesville a collation had been prepared
and thousands of citizens greeted them.
At Chicago they were escorted through the city by a number of the volunteer companies of
the city and the streets through which they passed were crowded with people.
The following is the list of regimental officers:
Colonel - S. Park Coon
Lieut. Colonel - Henry W. Peck
Major - Duncan McDonald
Adjutant - E. M. Hunter
Colonel's Aide - Henry Sanders
Quarter Master - James D. Ruggles
Sergeant Major - P. McAdams
Surgeon - J. M. Lewis
1st Ass't - T. P. Russell
2d - P.S. Arndt.
Quarter Master Sergeant
- Wallace M. Spear
Commissary Sergeant - E.R. Chase
Hospital Steward - G.H. Irwn
Drum Major - F.A. Dyke
The companies composing the regiment are as follows:
Fox Lake Citizen' Guard, Company A
LaCrosse Light Guard, Company B
Grant County Greys, Company C
Janesville Volunteers, Company D
Oshkosh Volunteers, Company E
Belle City Rifles, Company F
Portage light Guard, Company G
Randall Guard, Company H
Miner's Guards, Company I
Wisconsin Rifles, Company K
The Departure of
the Second Regiment
Speech of Governor Randall
The Boy's delighted at the prospect of active service.
The Second Wisconsin Regiment struck their tents this morning at Camp Randall and left on
special trains at eleven o'clock for Chicago whence it is supposed they will proceed to
At that point they will be furnished with arms and
detailed to some field of active service.
At a little before nine o'clock when we first visited the camp the several companies
composing the Regiment were irregularly disposed under the command of their respective
officers near the northern portion of the grounds. Some were resting on the grounds. Some
were resting on the ground while others were calling the roll to ascertain if all were
present. Every man had on his knapsack with a couple of good blankets each was furnished
with a tin canteen enclosed in green flannel.
In their knapsacks were two rations each. Every face was animated and the most careless
observer could not fail to perceive in the elastic movements of the soldiers their prompt
and hearty responses to their names and their glad looks that it was with no forced or
assumed appearance of joy but the genuine exhilaration of pleasurable feeling that they
were preparing to join the grand army of the Union and to "Drink delight of battle with their peers" "This
said Corporal Chandler, ye Shanghai of the Adams Co. Independent, as he passed us "is
better than two editorial conventions"
A large concourse of people from the city were present to witness the spectacle.
At about half-past nine the regiment was drawn up in line. Nobody was sick this morning.
Every company was full and the line reached almost
across the grounds - Col. Coon then directed the captain to proceed with their men to the
pumps and see that every canteen was filled with water. The regiment was then dismissed
and some time was spent in obeying the orders of the Colonel.
At about ten the regiment was again formed under command of Lt. Col. Peck and drawn up in
a solid battalion in front of the speaker's stand erected by the State Agricultural
They were then addressed by Gov. Randall in a brief and appropriate speech in substance
Soldiers of the Second Regiment:-
It remains to give you a parting word as you go forth on you great mission-Out of great
conflicts and often through severe trials nations have grown strong. By the shedding of
blood. You go forth not on any holiday errand not on any Fourth of July excursion but as
men to perform great and urgent duties. You go not as forced conscripts, not for the eleven dollars a
month or for the higher pay which officers receive, but because you will go to aid with
you own right arms in maintaining the integrity of your Government and my Government.
You go not to hold up lands of Abraham
Lincoln, but of the President of the United States not to fight for one section or one
State, but for the rights and liberties of the people of all sections and all the states.
You will not fail to do your whole duty as soldiers. Let it never be said there were
cowards from Wisconsin. Let no man be wounded in the back.
Be sure that Wisconsin will not forget you, let no man fear that the wife and
children he leaves behind him will be allowed to suffer want. But you go forth as citizens
as well as soldiers. It will be your duty to maintain good order wherever you go and
worthily to represent the State of Wisconsin. While no rebel or traitor is entitled to
mercy at your hands every defenseless woman and feeble child should be saved. There is but
one foe you have to
fear and that I need not name. You need nave no fear of traitors. Let no man among
you from this day forth until your warfare in accomplished use that which will unman him
in the camp or on the field. (Loud and prolonged applause) You go hence supported by the
hearty good will of a great people. May you so demean yourselves as to merit the
acclamation, well done good and faithful. I bid you fare well, invoking the blessing of
the great and good God upon you now and always.
Lt. Col. Peck-"Soldiers, let us give three cheers for Gov. Randall"
the three cheers were not only given with the heartiest will. The regiment was then
marched under command of Lt. Col. Peck out of the grounds to the cars which were in
waiting near the camp. There were two trains each containing eleven passenger cars besides
several baggage cars.
With some harried farewells to friends in the crowd of people assembled the soldiers went
on board the trains, the
iron horse shrieked, the bell rang and the cars moved off with over one thousand of the
sturdiest and bravest of our Wisconsin boys on board many of whom have doubtless looked
upon its pleasant fields for the last time.
They left waving caps and handkerchiefs from every window and from the platforms and
making the air ring with jubilant hurrahs. The ladies of this city furnished the regiment
with a beautiful silk flag which was only ready this morning. There was accordingly no
formal presentation here.
It is much regretted that the Second Regiment were
not furnished with arms before leaving as it would have added so much to their appearance.
In other respects they are more thoroughly and comfortably equipped than the First. But in
the absence of arms and the flash of bristling bayonets they will not be likely to produce
as favorable an impression upon casual and inexperienced observers as the First Regiment.
As a body of men, however, we think them decidedly superior in stamina and muscle. They
are nearly all from the rural districts of the State accustomed to active out-door labor
and inured to fatigue. They are men who can go into the harvest field and swing the cradle
through the sultriest day of July nor lose their elasticity much less succumb to fatigue.
They go hence to an unaccustomed harvest but we will warrant them to mow down traitors
under the hottest suns of Virginia with no more wincing than they would exhibit in a
Wisconsin wheat field.
The Oshkosh Volunteers, Capt. Botick, will probably average the
tallest and most powerful men many of them being from the Pineries of Wolf River. The
Randall Guard, Capt. Randolph, are the most even and uniform in size and appearance. The
Grant County Grays, Capt. McKee, the Fox Lake Guards are excellent companies - we might as
well include the whole regiment. For the rough uses of war, Wisconsin nor any other State
can hope to send our a more stalwart able bodies determined set of men. We regret to say
what it would be useless to conceal that with regard to the Regiment officers in one or two instances their is not that full measure of
confidence in their military experience felt either among the commissioned officers of the
companies or the rank and file which should exist.
If this want of confidence does
injustice to the officers in question doubtless a little experience in the more active
service upon which the regiment now enters and the opportunities which will be afforded
for observing the conduct and drill of officers of other regiments will speedily dissipate
it. If it be founded upon just grounds the war Department possesses and will doubtless
exercise the power to correct the evil. It would be cruel indeed to march a regiment of
brave gallant and patriotic soldiers into action and the hazards of battle under the command of officers either incompetent in fact or wanting
the confidence of their men. Our brave volunteers must not and will not be exposed to such
unnecessary peril to the unjust suspicion of cowardice which might result from the one
case or the fruitless sacrifice of life involved in the other. They go to lay down their
lives if need be for the maintenance of the government. Their lives and their honor must
be looked after with tenderness and care.
We trust however that events will soon
demonstrate that all the officers of the Regiment are as competent as we have no doubt they are brave and patriotic.
Their Trip To
(From Echoes from the Marches
of the Famous Iron Brigade, prepared for The Evening Wisconsin.
The following descriptions
draw heavily from Cornelius Wheelers diaries )
The Second Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
rendezvoused at Camp Randall, Madison, in May, 1861, to serve for a term of three months.
Before it was fairly organized and mustered in the quota for the term was filled and this
regiment mustered in on the 11th of June, Under President Lincolns call for three
years or during the war. (It was issued the state militia uniform of gray ) Capt. McIntyre
of the regular army was the mustering officer.
The regiment remained at Camp Randall and
kept in almost constant drill until June 20th, when orders from the war department
assigned it to the Army of the Potomac, and on the morning of that day it took the cars
for Washington D. C.
At Janesville, Wisconsin, a sumptuous dinner was served; at Chicago
we were escorted to the Eastern Depot by a military organization.
The regiment came into Toledo on the morning of the
21st, where a fine breakfast was served by the citizens, the boys being waited upon by the
fair sex. About the same greeted them at Cleveland, the Mayor making an address, which was
responded to by Col. Coon. At 10 oclock we reached Harrisburg, Pa., and pitched
tents, going into camp for the first time at Camp Brady. On the journey, when near
Perryville, Pa., one of the men of Company D was knocked from the car on which he was
standing , while passing under a bridge. On the 24th, camp was struck, cars taken for
Washington, passing through Baltimore with pieces loaded and ready for action in case of
molestation from rioters, arriving in Washington at daybreak of the 25th; quartered in
Woodward Block on Pennsylvania Avenue. Later in the day moving to Seventh Street Park,
where we go into Camp Randall, remain here about a week.
The Second Regiment - It is still in doubt whether the Second Regiment will leave Tuesday or
Wednesday. General King has written from Washington to have them sent on without delay,
and stating that they will be furnished with arms at Harrisburg.
The Madison Journal, June 17, 1861
Their Departure For Washington
The Second Regiment of Wisconsin volunteers left Camp Randall, Madison on Thursday last
via Chicago and N. W. R. R. for the East with sealed orders, their destination however
being, no doubt, Harrisburg to join the gathering hosts of the U.S. Grand Army that will
ere crush out the rebellious followers of Jeff, Davis and their slave propaganda schemes.
The Badger State has reason to feel proud of her noble hearted sons who are gone forth to
do battle for the sacred cause for freedom.
They are splendid fellows! not hirelings of poor "white trash" whose souls
have been degraded by the curse of human slavery until their natures are scarcely elevated
above the brute.
The troops of Wisconsin are volunteers gone forth at
the call of their country in an hour of peril; intelligent, active, honest, sturdy
patriots, honored at home and will win credit abroad.
One thousand and thirty-nine Badger boys, rank and file, compose the 2d Regiment and is
made up as follows:
Colonel - S. Park Coon
Lieut Col. - Henry W. Peck
Major- Duncan McDonald
Adjutant - E.M. Hunter
Colonel's Aid - Henry Sanders
Quarter Master - James D. Ruggles
Sergeant Major - R. McAdams
Surgeon - J.M. Lewis
1st Asst. - T.P. Russell
2d Asst. - P.S. Arndt
Commissary Sergeant - E.R.Chase
Hospital Steward - G.H. Irwin
Leader of regimental Brass Band - H.S. Chandler
Drum Major - F. A. Dyke
Belle City Rifles
Captain - William E. Strong
1st. Lieut - A.O. Doolittle
2d " W.L.Parsons - 104 rank and file
Fox Lake Citizen's Guard
Captain - George A. Stevens
1st Lieut - Edward B. Marsh
2d " W.W.Jones - 101 rank and file
Captain - Wilson Colwell
1st Lieut. - Frank Hatch
2d " Robt. Hughes - 107 rank and file
Grant County Greys
Captain - David McKee
1st Lieut. - Chas. K. Dean
2d " Wm. Booth - 99 rank and file
Captain - George B. Ely
1st. Lieut - Archibald B. McLean
2d " Dana D. Dodge - 106 rank and file
Captain - Gabriel Bouck
1st Lieut. - John Hancock
2d " H.B. Jackson - 106 rank and file
Portage Light Guard
Captain - John Mansfield
1st Lieut - Alex S. Hill
2d " Sam K. Vaughan - 101 rank and file
Randall Guards-of Madison
Captain - S.F. Randolph
1st Lieut - A.A. Meredith
2d " Nat Rollins - 101 rank and file
Miner's Guards of Mineral Point
Capt. - T.S. Allen
1st Lieut - Wm. W. Lefieiche
2d " Thomas W. Bishop - 96 rank and file
Wisconsin Rifles of Milwaukee
Capt. - A.J. Langworthy
1st Lieut - Caleb Hunt
2d " W.A. Hopkins - 104 rank and file
The news of a call for active service gave the
Regiment unbounded delight and we learn that when the day of departure came not a man
could be found in the hospital sick enough to stay behind.
The entire Regiment was uniformed and equipped, excepting fire arms which will be supplied
at Pittsburgh. The muskets used in drill being of the old date and by no means such as the
The tents are good and divided 8 to a company.
The chaplain of the Regiment is a talented but eccentric Episcopal clergyman, Rev. J. O.
Richmond of Milwaukee of who a contemporary tells the following story:
In a difficulty with a former congregation in Milwaukee, the vestry barred out the
rector from his church. He was equal to the emergency; shouldered a stout plank and
marching up to the door began an attack instantly.
"In the name of the Father (thump) the Son (bang) and Holy Ghost" (crash) and
then the Rector entered amid a halo of glory and splinters.
At Janesville the train stopped long enough to allow
of refreshments which were liberally provided by the citizens. At Chicago the whole city
turned out to escort them to the depot of the Michigan Southern R.R. With bands of music
and home companies, all honor was paid to our brave fellows and amid cheers of, "God
help you" the 2d Regiment from the Badger State whirled away to the scene of duty.
Janesville - The Second Regiment of
Wisconsin Volunteers left Madison to-day at 11:45 AM and arrived here at 1 o'clock P.M..
There were over 1,100 men, occupying 21 cars. When they arrived at the depot in this city
there was a large crowd of people, estimated at 3,000 or 4,000, who received the
volunteers with hearty and reiterated cheers, to which the soldiers as enthusiastically
responded. As the cars stopped, the different companies marched to the tables near by
which had been spread by our citizens with ample provisions for the whole regiment. As the
time of stay in our city was limited, there was little ceremony used upon the occasion.
After the men had partaken of the collation, they immediately repaired to the cars,
preparing for departure. Col. Coon thanked the people of this city for their generous
hospitality and patriotic devotion to the cause of their country; to which Judge Armstrong
made a short but appropriate reply.
While the troops were occupying the cars and the trains were preparing to depart, there
was much cheering on the part of the people, waving of handkerchiefs by the ladies and
shaking of hands between friends about to part, perhaps forever. As Capt. Ely's company
belonged in this city, there were crowds about them bidding them farewell. It was in some
respects a sad scene, the separation of near and dear relatives, with the certainty almost
that with some it would be final. The boys, however, appeared in good spirits and anxious
for active service. The regiment is a fine body of men, strong and healthy and able to
bear their part bravely in the rough duties of war. We have no doubt they will do so and
that in active service we shall hear a good account of them. They appeared to be well
provided with every necessary to make them comfortable. Their arms will be furnished them
at their point of destination which is probably Washington, although nothing is known
certainly about it. The regiment remained here about one hour, and departed at 2 o'clock
for Chicago, amid the cheers and hearty good wishes of thousands of Janesville and Rock
County people. If there had been a day's notice that the regiment would certainly arrive
here at a specified time we have not a doubt that ten thousand of the hardy sons and
daughters of Rock County would have greeted them.
Janesville Gazette, June 20, 1861
Gazette is evidently out of humor. After an article
involving the program of the movements of the second regiment, it adds a P.S. "Word
has been sent us from Madison by Capt. Ely that the train will not stop here long enough
to allow the entertainment provided for the soldiers and the train will not arrive until
between one and two o'clock. We have to come to the conclusion that we nor anybody else
knows anything about the matter and let the whole thing take it's own course. Probably if
the regiment could have been hauled around by way of Milwaukee, the officers in command would find abundance of time to partake of the hospitalities of that city. It
is likely that some-thing definite will be heard in time for the meeting this
Milwaukee Sentinel, June 21, 1861
CHICAGO, June 20
The 2d Wisconsin regiment arrived this evening.
They were most enthusiastically received by our citizens, who turned out in
large numbers to meet them. They leave for the east to-night via. Michigan
The Daily Gazette
June 21, 1861
THE SECOND REGIMENT AT CHICAGO
From the Chicago papers, we learn that the Second regiment of Wisconsin
volunteers arrived at that city at 6 o'clock P.M.
They were met at the railroad depot by five companies of the Chicago
military and a very large concourse of people of foot and in carriages, who
accompanied them thro' the city to the Michigan Southern railroad depot.
The Times says:-"The sidewalks along the entire line of march were crowed
with ladies and gentlemen who cheered the soldiers as they passed. The cross
streets were all blocked up with carriages filled with both sexes of all ages
from the infant to the gray-haired grandfathers and grandmothers. This regiment
is composed of the most soldierly looking fighting material of any we have ever
seen. The most of the men look like sturdy farmers and frontier men. they are
deserving of the highest honor and our citizens did their best to render them
their due in this respect."
The Tribune says "the regiment took the cars for the east leaving at half
past nine o'clock last evening. All along their route through the city,
thousands of spectators lined both sides of the streets. The enthusiasm was
great. Much praise was elicited by the appearance of this troops to who our
whole community wish a safe journey.
Wisconsin has need to be proud of her regiments. They will do honor to the
The Daily Gazette
the Regiment at Chicago - The Regiment was met sixteen miles from Chicago by a
special escort and committee and attended to the depot where the troops debarked about 6
PM. Their march across the city was a continued ovation. The escort was admirably managed
by Col. J.H. Tuckers and Lieut. Col.'s J.R. Scott and Booth and the following companies
made up the stage.
The Light Guard Band leading was followed by
Co. A Zouaves, Capt. Hayden
Co. B Zouaves, Capt. Clyborne
Co. D Zouaves, Capt. Colby
Co. F Highlanders, Capt. Kuffen
Light Guards, 60th Reg. Lieut. G.W. Gage
Anderson Rifles, Capt. Raymond
Several officer of the Irish Brigade were also in the procession which moved from the
depot through Lake Street, Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street to the Michigan Southern
depot where the regiment took the cars for the east leaving at half past nine o'clock last
evening. All along their route through the city thousands of spectators lined both sides
of the streets. The enthusiasm was great. Much praise was elicited by the appearance of
the troops to whom the whole community wished a safe journey.
Janesville Gazette, June 1861
THE SECOND REGIMENT
The Chicago Journal thus speaks of the second
"the regiment comprised a splendid body of men, ten hundred and fifty in
number and not a man under five feet seven inches, They are all young stalwart,
vigorous, splendid looking fellows, capable of enduring any amount of fatigue,
hard work and hard fighting. There are in the regiment 250 men who have
graduated from some classical institution of learning. Nearly all of them of
course are in the ranks. there are 200 lumbermen , hardy, cast-iron fellows from
the north, who have not probably slept in a civilized bed in half a dozen
One company, Capt. Bouck-is composed entirely of these sons of the forest.
There is not a man in his company under five feet ten inches in height. There is
another company composed entirely of foundry-men and mechanics, men who can turn
their hands with skill to labor of any kind. the remainder of the regiment is
composed of young farmers and mechanics.
There are some items of information in the above entirely new to us in
this state, and the Journal must have an enterprising news collector to
have obtained them all, in so short a time.
Janesville Gazette, June 1861
Regiment on their Way
The Chicago Tribune of this morning gives a full
account of the departure of the Second Regiment from Camp Randall.
We copy below what is given of them after they left this place:
The trains reached Janesville about 1 P.M. and there they disembarked to partake of
an elegant collection furnished by the citizens. The ladies were out in force. The feast
was a rich one and the welcome most genial. Strawberries and cream in abundance, followed
the substantials of the repast and every volunteer was fed and filled, knapsack and
canteen not forgotten.
Thoughout the whole journey, gallant Wisconsin sent out her welcome and farewell to her
At stations crossings and cross-roads flags were flying, cannon fired and cheers sent
after the swift trains. The regiment was met sixteen miles from this city by a special
escort and committee and attended to the depot where the troops debarked about 6 P.M.
Their march across the city was a continued donation.
The escort was admirably managed by Col. J.H. Tucker and Lieut. Col's J.R. Scott and Booth
and the following companies made make up the same:
The Light Guard Band leading was followed by-
Co. A. Zouaves, Captain Hayden
Co. B Zouaves, Captain Clyborne
Co. D Zouaves, Captain Colby
Co. F Highlanders, Captain Kuffen
Light Guards, 6th Reg't Lieut. G. W. Gage
Anderson Rifles, Captain Raymand.
Several officers of the Irish Brigade were also in the procession which moved from the
depot through Lake Street, Michigan Avenue and Van Buren street to the Michigan
Southern depot where the regiment took the cars for the east, leaving at half past 9
o'clock last evening. All along their route through the city thousands of spectators lined both sides of the streets. The enthusiasm was
great. Much praise was elicited by the appearance of these troops to whom our whole
community wish a safe journey.
Wisconsin has need to be proud of her regiments. They will do honor to the Northwest.
More About The
The Chicago Post sets up the Wisconsin Second
regiment as follows:
The regiment comprised a splendid body of men, ten hundred and fifty in number, and not a
man under five feet seven inches. They are all young, stalwart, vigorous, splendid
looking fellows capable of enduring any amount of fatigue, hard work and hard fighting.
There are in the regiment 250 men who have graduated from some classical institution of
learning. Nearly all of them, of course, are in the ranks.
There are 200 lumbermen, hardy, cast iron fellows from the North, who have not
probably slept in a civilized bed in half a dozen years. One company - Capt. Boucks' - is
composed entirely of these sons of the forest. There is not a man in his company under
five feet ten inches in height. There is another company composed entirely of foundry men
and mechanics, men who can turn their hands
with skill to labor of any kind. The remainder of the regiment is composed of young
farmers and mechanics.
Wisconsin Regiment on the Route
The Daily Wisconsin says that a party of ladies and
gentlemen, who accompanied the Second Wisconsin regiment on its route through Cleveland to
Harrisburg, last arrived at the Angier Monday night on their return, says the Cleveland
Herald. The party consisted of Mrs. S. Park Coon, wife of the Col.,
Mrs. Frishy, sister of the above; Mrs. Langworthy, wife of Capt. L., of Milwaukee Rifles;
Mrs Ely, wife of Capt. E, of the Janesville company; Messrs J. E. Cook and J. Thomas of
Milwaukee. Mr. T. reported that the regiment arrived safely in Harrisburg with but a
single circumstance to damper the spirits of the men.
At a small place on the Pennsylvania Central railroad, a man named Stickney, one of
Capt. Ely's Janesville company, climbed out of a car window on the roof to return the
salutes of the crowd at the station. While standing on the top of the car swinging his
hat, Stickney was struck by the beams of a bridge under which the train passed and knocked
He was shaken up considerably but not fatally injured and is now doing well. The
Wisconsin boys were wild with delight when they received their arms at Harrisburg. One of
the companies seized their guns and drilled for two hours before dropping them,
though they were much fatigued before receiving the guns. All the men retain a lively
remembrance of their visit to Cleveland.
Regiment at Harrisburg
The war correspondent of the Chicago Journal writes
from Harrisburg on the 22d inst.: As I am about to conclude this epistle, the 2d Regiment
of Wisconsin troops, under command of Col. S. Park Coon of Milwaukee, has arrived,
numbering 1,050 men, rank and file.
This is a fine appointed corps, consisting of picked men mostly from the mining and
lumber districts of the "Badger State" and passengers tell me in the cars that
they behaved like gentlemen during the whole route from Madison to Harrisburg. They are
encamped about thirty rods west of the railroad round-house and will receive their arms
and equipments to-morrow, to be in readiness to depart for Washington on the evening
LETTER FROM THE A MEMBER OF THE
HARRISBURG, June 23, 1861
The second regiment arrived here last night at 11 o'clock in good health and
spirits, with the exception of Albert Stickney.
He was on the top of the cars and got under a bridge that was too low
which hurt him badly. He is in a bad condition and I have no hopes of his
the reception of our regiment in Ohio was highly gratifying. We were well
received in Janesville-that was our home and was to be expected; but about all
and more than all, the state of Ohio deserves our highest praise and gratitude,
especially Cleveland, for the many favors shown to our regiment. THE RECEPTION I
HAVE NOT TIME TO DESCRIBE; BUT GOD BLESS THE STATE OF OHIO, HER OLD MEN AND
YOUNG MEN, HER WOMEN AND FAIR DAMSELS, WHO FED US , AND CHEERED US ON OUR WAY.
This is Sunday, and I have been on guard all night with Sanders, in
command of a party of men to keep all right.
Orders have been received to take arms and leave to-night, for what
quarter I have not learned. Two regiments and a company of flying artillery left
here last night for Washington.
P.S. I have just seen Stickney. He is some better; and may live. William
H. Parker is on our train and well.
A note from B. E. Hutchinson, Esq., who, by direction
of the Governor, followed the 2d Regiment to provide against accidents, and see to any
soldiers who might be sick or injured, was received by the Governor yesterday, dated
Harrisburg, 23d June, where the Regiment then was. One of the men had been taken very sick
and was very seriously injured and unable to go forward with the Regiment
Mr. Hutchinson attended to providing surgical care and comfort for these men and his
efforts were warmly appreciated. Another note dated on the evening of the same day, says
that the sick man would be taken forward with the Regiment while the injured one would be
left in the care of the surgeon at Camp Curtis, Harrisburg. The Regiment had just received
it's arms and goes forward to Washington that night.
June 28, 1861
A Washington correspondent telegraph to the N. Y. Tribune,
on the 26th, as to flows:
"The Second Wisconsin Regiment that arrived here last night is
compose of splendid fighting material.
The regiment consists mostly of hard fisted lumbermen from the pineries of the Badger
State. They say they will fight if ordered and, if not ordered, will fight any way"
-A. W. Bishop Esq., of LaCrosse, was the 4th of July Orator at Salem. The LaCrosse
Republican, in commenting on the Prescott Guards, says "It is a
fine looking company and if thoroughly drilled will compare favorably with any we have yet
Look out for fun if the Prescott boys get among the rebels.
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE JANESVILLE GAZETTE.
FROM THE JANESVILLE VOLUNTEERS
WASHINGTON, JUNE 25TH; 1861
The 2d Wisconsin regiment left Harrisburg for Washington on Monday at men,
fully equipped, with new guns, and forty rounds of ball and cartridge to each
We were delayed for want of cars, and at last were obliged to go on
cattle-cars, which was a fatiguing mode of traveling. We all all loaded our guns
before leaving Harrisburg, so as to be ready at a monument's notice.-
Saw nothing worth noticing until we got into Maryland, where we found
federal troops guarding every bridge: passed the wrecks of a number of bridges
which the rebels burned sometime ago.
We arrived in Baltimore at sundown, and stood in the street until
midnight, when the last of our regiment came up. We were hungry and thirsty, but
were not permitted to receive water of food from the citizens; and were guarded
by the police the whole time. while passing down the street, about a mile and a
half, the people groaned at us and cheered for Jeff Davis. The hour was
favorable for traitors to be out: had we passed through Baltimore in the day
time, we doubt not we should have seen a different set of people.
Our regiment arrived in Washington at sunrise this morning. I went to the
white House this forenoon to see the president, he he was absent. Passing
through the "East Room" of the president mansion, I had a good opportunity to
view myself in one of the large mirrors, and was so soiled form our long
journey, that I left with out further ceremony.
We are quartered to-day near the president's house waiting further orders.
The drum beats, and we leave the city in haste.
June 28, 1861
Washington, June 22, 1861
Here we are in Washington, safe and sound. It has been a hard tedious journey and the boys
were all exhausted when we arrived, but we are all satisfied with the result. Our journey
from Chicago to Pittsburgh was one perfect ovation - no language of mine can
Every city, every village along the route turned out entire population to greet us.
Bands of music were playing at the stations, cannon were fired, flags waved and bouquets
showered upon us by thousands.
At La Porte Indiana, where the train stopped for wood and water the people from the city
and surrounding country had turned out by the thousands and such a reception I never
witnessed. Every bay was filled with the most beautiful flowers - three or four bands of
music were playing and two cannons
stationed on an elevation a short distance from the train were kept in active
service.- Here I came to a realizing sense of the difference between wearing epaulets and
being minus that ornament.
One of the handsomest young ladies I ever put my eyes on came into our car and
inquired for the Captain of the "Belle City Rifles" and presented him with a
magnificent bouquet as large as a modern lady's hoops, and then to draped the whole put
her arms round his neck and gave him a good hearty kiss and a "God speed
on our way" which was very pleasant to him we doubt but as to ourselves
you can imagine our feelings.
We reached Toledo Friday morning at 7.5 o'clock where we were furnished with coffee and
every thing good to eat. Our whole company then took a bath in the river and were ready
for our departure which took place at 9 A.M. in an immense special train for Cleveland.
Our accommodations on this road were all we could desire large cars and plenty of
them - 20 passenger cars and 10 baggage cars will drawn by two powerful engines.
We reached Cleveland at 4.5 P.M. and were welcomed with the grandest entertainment of all:
You have doubtless seen the accounts in the papers so I will not go into particulars. Our
regiment received many compliments from the Cleveland people whether they were all merit
or not you can judge better than I.
At 8.5 o'clock we again started on our journey to Pittsburg. Our ride though Ohio and
I never can forget, nor will it be possible for any one of our boys to do so; to be
sure our reception had been grand glorious before - music, the deep mouthed
cannon, lovely flowers and still more lovely angels had cheered us on our way: though all
these were excelled by that night's journey.
Our train was two hours behind time all through Ohio, and yet they waited for us at the
depots, young and old, gray headed men, mothers whose sons had already preceded us in
flying to the rescue of their country, and fair maidens proud of their absent brothers and
lovers, eager to testify by their presence that their hearts were true in the flag of the
It mattered not what the hour of the night or morning they were there to shake hands with
us and invoke the protection of heaven for us when we should meet the rebels on the field
of battle. I never saw more flowers in all my life than were bestowed upon us thro' that
We reached Pittsburgh at 8.5 o'clock Saturday morning and started again at 10.5 for
Harrisburg by the Pennsylvania Central R.R. I shall not attempt a description of the
scenery in crossing the mountains but our Captain and Lieutenant doubtless will, when they
return to Racine, give you a vivid sketch of it all as seen from the head lights of a
We reached Harrisburg at 10 P.M.
Our camping ground had been selected for us by Lieut. Hatch of the LaCrosse Light
Guards who went on ahead for that purpose and the train ran directly to the spot. We all
took hold and unloaded our baggage and commenced pitching our tents.
It was a beautiful moonlight night and we had the tents all up by 2 o'clock. The boys
were tied out and slept soundly until 10 o'clock Sunday morning. About noon, Col. Coon
received a telegram from the Secretary of War containing an order on the Harrisburg
Arsenal for our muskets and 40 rounds of ball and buck shot cartridges, and directing the
Regiment to proceed to Washington immediately.
It was a busy time for us the balance of the day and, in fact, nearly all night it is
not a small job to distribute arms accoutrements and ammunition to 1,000 and we did not
leave for Baltimore till 1 o'clock.
We had nothing but cattle cars, rather small ones at that, and poorly ventilated. The
road is operated at the present time by the U. S. government and is the one as you will
remember which had so much trouble with the rebels.
After we crossed the line and passed into Maryland almost every bridge was a
temporary structure, the original ones having been burned by the secessionists. We
anticipated trouble in Baltimore as we should be obliged to pass through that city in the
night and the boys were accordingly ordered to load and cap their muskets before starting.
We left Harrisburg in four trains at intervals of half an hour. Companies A, D and F
(our boys) were in the first train and reached Baltimore just at twilight - got out of the
cars and formed in line to wait for the other 7 companies to come up; and there we had to
wait till nearly 12 o'clock owing to some slight accident to the engine of the train next
It was rather exciting, I can assure you, as well as fatiguing standing there with
our knapsacks on our backs, 40 rounds of ammunition in our cartridge boxes, cap box,
bayonet, scabbard, two days rations in our haversacks besides knife, fork, spoon and
But there we stood, not daring to sit down or be off our guard for a moment
surrounded by thousands of the roughs of Baltimore who were armed to the teeth with
pistols and knives - these rascals would cheer Jeff Davis and then groan for the Wisconsin
It looked many times as though we were bound to have a fight, but they dared not
commence the cotillion. The boys stood in double file with their muskets on the half cock
and always at a support of carry arms, ready and eager for the word. It was evident that
some accident had happened to the other trains and of course we could form no idea of how
long a time we should have to stand there.
Between 11 and 12 o'clock, the other trains came in and were soon on the
ground with us. Lieut. Col. Peck broke us into sections, closed columns by sections, and
thus we march through Baltimore at midnight.
We all expected to have a brush and once I really thought the ball had opened. As we
were passing through the street in which the 7th Mass. Regiment was fired into some six
weeks ago, a huge ruffian stepped out on the right flank of our company with a revolver in
his hand and proposed three cheers for Jeff Davis and three groans for Col. Coon and the
Wisconsin Volunteers, which were repeated by the crowd; not satisfied with this he raised
his pistol and fired one barrel.
Capt. Strong was carrying his fancy drogue when prairie chickens were to be found in
the heat stubble; and there is no reason to doubt that he would have reached the scamp's
heart with a blue pill had any injury been done; as it was the ball rolled between two of
our platoons and instantly brought every musket to a full cock - the click, click, going
down the line and dying away in the distance.
In many of the streets we were received with great enthusiasm: the side walks were
lined and the house tops covered with people. Bouquets were showered upon us by the ladies
and the stars and stripes were waved over us.
In other streets we were hissed and insulted. It was 2.5 miles from one depot to the
other but we finally got seated in the cars ready for our journey to Washington which
place we reached this morning at 5 o'clock.
Our Regiment went into encampment this afternoon on "Capitol Hill" one mile out.
The grounds are handsome and convenient
and our boys will not discredit the place - We
expect to be on the "sacred soil" of Virginia before many suns have risen over
Capt. Strong has been slightly indisposed owing to over exertion on the journey and want
of sleep but he is all right again.
Your as ever
"The Wisconsin" is speaking of the payment of the Second
Regiment says: The average amount paid to each company is $2,200, making
something like $24,000 for the regiment, the companies having been in service on
an average of 52 days. Of this amount, each company gets $1400 in gold, the
balance in specie. We presume The Wisconsin means that the balance was
paid in "species" of the genus cat.
Madison Weekly Argus, June 25, 1861
Letters from the Second Regiment
Washington, June 27th, 1861
This has been a day of unusual interest to the Citizens Guard.
Having pitched our tents and make great preparation for a good old time in camp at
Camp Randall, all had retired to rest and were passing the night in comparative quiet save
the occasional shout of the guard for a Corporal and the quick hurried tread of men to the
place of alarm with his file of men when perhaps the call had been occasioned by the
appearance of a hog and dog who, not making them self known and not of course having the
countersign, Mr. Sentinel upon challenging said swine to halt and not able to discern
whether the noise in the bushes proceeds from man or beast, the Corporal of
the guard is called and the matter investigated.
When it proves to be a straggler from some other camp who has sloped down town and
stayed too long and has lost his way, Mr. Man is marched to the guard house to await trial
and if he is not proved to be a secession spy or one of the secession scouts he is let
loose to return to camp.
And here let me add that occasionally a spy is taken in the same way when a
court martial is called and spy if found guilty is locked up, but last night
was an unusually quiet night until the loud report of musketry at a neighboring
camp (which was the N.Y. 31st) awakened us from our sleep and at the same
moment a cry of alarm was heard when our drums immediately sounded to arms.
The alarm was followed by others and the noise and bustle thereby occasioned
will be long remembered. In just eight minutes from the call "to arms" Co. A
was on the ground followed by all the other companies-the line of battle being formed in just eight minutes when we were commanded to load which was executed in good
order and quick time. Soon a scouting party was sent out to reconnoiter; they returned in
about in about twenty minutes bringing the news that a secession spy had been shot and was
then under guard at the camp of the N.Y.31st. After which, the order was given to return
But sleep was no longer a welcome guest to the boys of the 2d Regiment though
ordered to return to camp it was but to lie down and conjecture as to the
probability of a fight for which we are all anxious and waiting patiently for
a chance to cope with those who have been the means of calling us into the
field and may Your readers be assured that Company A will never return
willingly until the war is forever settled.
Washington, June 28th
I commence thus soon again because I made the mistake in the name of our Camp or rather the name has been changed and because I thought I would give you my communication in the form of a Journal. We are getting quite
recovered from the effects of our journey here and begin to have our regular drills again so that things begin to look a little after the style of Camp Randall, Madison.
We had quite an excitement last night. We heard volleys of musketry and ringing of bells about twelve o'clock P.M. The drums were beat and the regiment formed in the order of battle. Men were sent one to the Camp of the Massachusetts 2d to find out the cause of the disturbance which proved to be this: The guard challenged a man who did not answer or halt and the guard fired
the ball hitting him in the head and glancing off and he still coming on, was bayoneted forthwith but finding it impossible to keep him still the guard tied him hand and foot and placed him under guard.
This morning they found a large quantity of poison and four revolvers on his
person which made him look very much like a spy; and I assure you we have
plenty of them around here. Our guard fired three shots at one of them and at
the last shot he fell but the ground being very uneven and bushy they could
find nothing of him and had to give it up. I would say that the regiment was
formed in order of battle in just eight minutes from the time that the drums
beat and Co. A was the first on the ground. All the boys appeared to be of the
true blue and no flinch about them and all spoiling for a fight.
July 3d, yesterday, we pulled up our tents and being furnished with baggage
wagons by U.S., started for nobody knows "where" and arrived at camping ground
seven miles west of Washington about 8P.M., and pitched our tents in
Virginia for the first time at a spot where the rebels had a camp and it seems
they were out of tents and had made them out of Cedar boughs and nice ones
too. We slept on the ground, with naught but the Heavens and a blanket over
us, and arose in the morning feeling as fresh and hungry as a set of men could
well be. We shall probably move again in a day or two in the direction of
Fairfax Court House or Manassas Gap, and then you may expect to hear of some
fighting unless the enemy haul down their colors which, sooner or later, they
have got to do. The people of Washington have an idea that we are a very hard
set and have got the story started and and give it full credence that there
are eight or ten scalps in every tent in the Reg't and it is a fact,
but the scalps
are fast to craniums and are likely to stay on the caputs of their owners for some time to come.
We are now about three miles from the enemy and all wish we were nearer as it
is rather dull laying around camp and all the boys are getting sick of it; but
I am thinking they will have a chance to show their punch soon if ever. All
are in a hurry to "clean them out" (as the expression is with us) and return
to their homes and I need not say that I am among the number. There is one
thing certain-the longer they keep us waiting to pitch into them the worse we
shall "Lick Em!"
No more for the present.
Our Army Correspondence.
Camp Randall, near Washington, D.C.
June 28th, 1861.
Editors State Journal:-It may be that some of the incidents of our journey from Madison to this famous city where so much has been expected that never
came to pass and so many events have occurred that never were expected will be of interest to your readers.
After leaving Madison until we reached Washington we were greeted at every
city, village, mansion and cottage most enthusiastically.
We reached Chicago at about 6 P.M. From the N.W.R.R. depot to the depot
of the M.S.&N.I.R.R., three and one half miles, the street was crowded on
both sides. Thousands and thousands of all ages and all classes had gathered
to greet and cheer the regiment as it passed.
All along the line from the windows, doors, balconies, house-tops, and from
the dense crowd, handkerchiefs and flags were waved incessantly.
This I noticed more particularly as the R. G. passed
being with that company. From the time we started until we halted the cheering never ceased and was at
times almost deafening.
We left Chicago at 9 P.M. The people along the road had anticipated our coming not only on this road but all the way to Baltimore. At many stations between
Chicago and Toledo we were greeted by the firing of cannon and by bands of music.
The ladies seemed to have all left their homes and gathered near the depots
to welcome the Regiment on its way. When the train stopped they crowded around the cars and shook hands with the men and bade them good bye and God
speed. In the morning we arrived at Toledo where we were delayed until nearly noon by reason of some misunderstanding with the Railroad Company.
Through Ohio to Cleveland we were most heartily
welcomed. The people and especially the ladies seemed to have become personal friends to every man in
But I must leave these good people to speak of Cleveland. And as to Cleveland.
I am in almost the same fix as the swearing man who had spilled his cart load of potatoes going up a hill. I can't do the subject justice.
The beauty of its scenery both natural and artificial which has made it famous wherever Ohio has been heard of sinks into absolute insignificance when
compared the magnanimity of its people.-
Had every member of the 2nd Regiment been a personal friend to every lady of Cleveland returning after years of absence and danger they could not have
expected a more cordial welcome. The time was not taken up in formal
speeches such as make men sleepy. The ladies had provided for the Regiment
a splendid dinner in the public Park which they served to the men with their
After dinner an hour or two was spent in talking of the war, its prospects and its dangers. Many of them had brothers in the army, some had friends at that
unfortunate affair at Vienna.
We left Cleveland and hosts of little girls dressed in white with blue and red ribbons in their hair and ornamenting their dresses came through the
depot and shook hands with the men and over again wished them good bye
and a safe return.
After leaving Cleveland I coiled myself up in a seat and fell asleep. At about twelve or one o'clock at night I was awakened. The cars had stopped. Our car
was nearly deserted. I raised the window and looked out where I saw about
two hundred ladies on the platform and about fifty of the regiment actively
engaged in kissing them in such a business like way, that at first I thought the regiment had got into active service in fact.- Every man appeared to have
taken a contract to kiss every woman in the crowd and vice versa and degree of good faith and promptness rarely exhibited in public contracts; they
were doing the work with thoroughness and dispatch.
In the morning we arrived in Pittsburgh. The city looked as smoky as ever.
The cars pass through the poorest part of the town. The people seen
by us generally looked poor, thin and haggard but they cheered us most lustily.
Women waved dirty handkerchiefs, night-caps (maybe they were Havelocks)
aprons &c, at us. Half naked children climbed the fences and yelled and
hurrahed at us.
At nine P.M. we left for Harrisburg. The mountain scenery was grand but the people at the villages were not so liberal or so enthusiastic as in Ohio. At
11 P.M. we arrived at Harrisburg where we pitched our tents and at 2 A.M.
were ready to retire. The people here began to talk more war-like.
The regiment was provided at this place with 780
muskets and forty rounds of ball cartridges each. On Monday morning the muskets were loaded for
action and at noon we started for Baltimore. After leaving Harrisburg, we
proceeded with much more caution, the cars at no time going more than
fifteen miles an hour and most of the way not more than six or eight.
On passing the line into Maryland we found the Twelfth Pennsylvania regiment
guarding the road. They were stationed a half a mile apart in squads of from four to eight and at
the bridges in larger force frequently as high as twenty at a bridge.-The sky was unclouded and the rays of the full moon rested quietly upon this
beautiful city. As I looked over it, festering in every pore with the rankest treason but such is the fact. The same spirit is there to-day that actuated that
disgraceful mob on the 17th of May. A cowardly fear is all that keeps Baltimore in check now. Our regiment was prepared for fight and they knew it.
With the exception of cheers for Jeff Davis, sneers and some swearing at us, we passed through unmolested. But do not think that Baltimore is all treason.
There are thousands of as true patriots in this city as can be found in the Union. While here and there a club of rebels cheered for Jeff Davis, their
voices would be drowned with cheers for the Wisconsin Regiment.
P.S. Persons sending letters to friends in
the regiment should be careful in the direction. Direct them to Washington D.C., 2d
Regiment Wis. Volunteers, giving the letter of the company.
Much more enthusiasm was exhibited here than we had expected to see. The streets through which we passed were crowded with people.
We marched under the command of Lt. Col. Peck who exhibited a degree of coolness and presence of mind that did him great credit. At 4 o'clock A.M.
we arrived in Washington and were quartered in Woodward's building.
At night we went into camp near Seventh Street about one and a half miles west of the Capital. Last night we had an alarm. A straggler was shot in
attempting to poison a spring near us at the camp of the New Hampshire regiment.
A quantity of strychnine was found with him. Immediately after the firing - it being at about 11 o'clock at
night - the long roll commenced beating at their camp. In two or three minutes it was ordered at ours and the regiment
went into line of battle in front of the camp on the parade ground.
The line was formed at once and the guns loaded with ball cartridges. While waiting for orders a firing was heard at a company (N.Y. 31st)
in the rear of us. Several shots being fired in quick succession.
A patrol was immediately sent by Lt. Col. Peck in command to learn the cause of the firing. On the return of the patrol we learned that a straggler being
challenged refused to respond and was thereupon shot. At a little past 12 three mounted officers rode up and saying there was no further cause for
alarm and ordered us to be dismissed. The coolness and soldier like bearing of Lt. Col. Peck on this occasion raised him very much in take estimation of
the Regiment. Col. Coon had been in the city on business during the afternoon and evening and was not present to take command.
The soldiers are in good spirits and waiting anxiously for the time when they will be introduced to some of the chivalry.
The following letter from one so well known, serving in McKee's
Company, it will be interesting. It shows camp life among other things:
Washington. D.C., June 29, 1861
Dear brother Joe: - I think it necessary to give you advice of our whereabouts often as we are subject always to be removed any minute yet we may remain here
three months. I hope you have heard from us here as I see that the Western papers have it that while we were going through Baltimore 16 of us were killed,
75 wounded and the rest taken prisoners. Contrary I can say we were well received save by 30-40 prowling
pug uglies who hurrahed for Jeff Davis. It is almost an impossibility to get the truth in camp.
Last night, midnight, guns were fired at apprehensions of close approach of the enemy; at one o'clock at night drums beat for alarm and in two minutes we were
marching in double-quick time to form in Battalion; horsemen flying in
post-haste ascertained that a spy was shot and we retired. I was ignorant of facts of course and was told by several that it was our own Regiment shot the
spy; the spy was shot by N.Y. 28th regiment. (So much for report.) Hardly a night
passes without capturing a spy in the vicinity. Our regiment are all alive I think. There was one knocked off the cars in Pennsylvania and reported killed
then brought on to Harrisburg where he died again; I hear that he is improving since. Last night one of Company B was poisoned by drinking lemonade
sold by a wench. He is comfortable this morning. To guess, I suppose, we will masse and sweep it clean. There is a town of soldiers here 20 miles square and
from 4 to 5 regiments come in every day. I will send you the Revolution (paper) of Baltimore with this. We get franked envelopes
and I shall certainly write often. My chances for writing are just such as you can
imagine when sitting under a shade tree on the ground and a portfolio on your knee. Our grub is tough yet enough rations are dealt but poorly cooked. God
knows that I would give $5.00 for one meal at home; such coffee that Ma makes and one cool drink of water; yet I must get used to it. I have been sick as a
horse since I left Harrisburg where I took the sick headache. I was not able
to go on duty till this morning and yet I am weak and have a very sore mouth. I did not sleep any the night before leaving Madison and none till I reached
here; very warm here. We can not leave the camp to go into the city-sorry.
Expect we will have a big time the 4th.
Camp Randall near Washington
30th June, 1861
Messrs. Atwood & Rubler;-for the first time since our regiment left Madison do I find
time to give you a history of our trip but to do so in detail would be impossible for it
was a perfect ovation for us from Madison to Washington - Baltimore excepted.
I will therefore give you a few outlines. After leaving Madison we had scarcely time to
think of the pleasant home we had just left before we were ordered out to partake of the
hospitalities of the good people of Janesville, where a dinner had been prepared for the
Six o'clock found us in Chicago, when after the usual amount of confusion and long marches
we embarked for Toledo via N.I.& S.M.R.R. Our ride over this road was the quickest and
the agents took more pains to make it pleasant for the soldiers than on any other road
that we passed over. At sunrise we were in Toledo where the citizens furnished us with
coffee. One train of 32 cars carried us to Cleveland; doubtless you have heard of our
reception there; such a time as we little expected.
Refreshments of the nicest kind and in abundance where furnished us in the park, which was
filled with ten thousand handsome ladies each trying to outdo every one else in showing
the Wisconsin boys how well Cleveland "could do it" and only those who were
guests can tell how admirably they succeeded.
We did not leave until 9 o'clock in the evening and at every station the Buckeye girls
showered us with bouquets and the second night from home I slept on a bed of roses.
We arrived at Pittsburg Saturday morning where four trains of eight cars each were in
waiting for us.
Our ride through Pennsylvania was marked by no particular incident; and after our arrival
at Harrisburg at 12 o'clock Saturday night we were soon encamped near the railroad in our
own tents. The arms which we had expected to find here had not arrived; but an order from
the Secretary of War procured us 780 stand of the percussion musket and 30,000 buck and
On Monday noon we started for Washington with our guns loaded preparatory to going through Baltimore. At midnight we had a march of one and a half
miles through that ugly city. No general hostile demonstration was made but many
indignities were offered by small squads: cheering for Jeff Davis and telling us that we
should never see Baltimore again. We hope we never shall; for if it is not razed before
our return our expectations
will not be realized. But one gun was fired - that into Capt.
Strong's company; but it did no harm.
The men were really disappointed in not having a brush with the Pug Uglies.
At sunrise Tuesday morning we arrived at Washington, tired and hungry and were quartered
in Woodward's block on Pennsylvania Avenue until night when we were ordered into camp in
what is called the Park about 1.5 miles from the Capitol on 7th street.
Everything in Washington looks lively. Under the Capitol is a bakery where 30,000 loaves
of bread are baked daily. Federal troops seem to be everywhere;
in the basement of the Treasury building is a regiment. In and within fifteen miles
of the city are 72,000 soldiers and varied are the rumors of expected fights. Rebel spies are daily arrested and shot.
On Thursday night last we were aroused by the long roll and firing of guns in every
direction in neighboring camps. We could plainly see blazing rockets across the Potomac in
Virginia but after forming in line of battle and going through our drill at midnight we