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Captain C.S. Hamilton
It is commendable in Governor Randall that he has thought best to appoint to important positions in the military of this state, such officers as have had the benefit of a through Military education, thus giving proof of their capabilities and fitness for trust. It was announced some time ago, through the Milwaukee papers, that the list of such was exhausted; but since them some more modest, and meritorious men have come to light and exhibit the same old fire that led them on at the head of their advancing columns and among the rest our quiet and much respected fellow citizen, Captain C.S. Hamilton has been pointed out to the Governor.
The fact of his having received a thorough military education at West Point, that for ten years he was in active service in the army, part of the time during the Mexican War, and that he served with distinction received the thanks of the Government through its high officials are all matters of governmental record.
The Captain has led so quiet a life among us since casting off the soldier's uniform, that the Governor was not aware we had so good material among us for a prominent position. He was led to the state library and shown Government documents that contained the following facts: That Charles S. Hamilton of New York, entered as a Cadet the Military School at West Point in 1839; was Brevet 2d Lieutenant of 2d Infantry, July 1st, 1843; 2d Lieutenant of 5th Infantry, November, 1845; 1st Lieutenant, June, 1847; Brevet Captain, for "gallant and meritorious conduct" in the battles of Contreras and Cherubusco, August 20th, 1847; commanded his company, was distinguished and severely wounded in the battle of El Molino del Ray, in 1847; and was regimental Quarter Master from March, 1848, to January 1849.
Whereupon, the Governor saw his duty was plain, and immediately made him first officer of the 3d Regiment. He will rank as Colonel. We know of no man whom the companies from Fond du Lac County would more gladly follow to the field or one in whose counsels, in military matters, they would more implicitly trust.
Fond du Lac Commonwealth, 1861
The Third Infantry Regiment of Wisconsin was organized at Camp Hamilton, Fond du Lac, in June, 1861, and mustered into the United States service on the 29th of that month.
The Third Regiment - July 1861
We learn from Capt. McDonough, who has just returned from Fond du Lac, that the 3d Regiment, in Camp Hamilton, is making excellent progress. The officers are very popular and capable and every thing is passing off in a highly satisfactory manner. - This regiment will no doubt be soon prepared to proceed to the seat of war where it will do good service if occasion offers.
The 3d and 4th called for-last Saturday night
Gov. Randall received a dispatch directing the 3d and 4th Regiments to proceed
immediately to Williamsport, by way of Elmira and Chambersburg, and report to
Maj. Gen. Patterson.
The regiment left the State on the 12th of July for Hagerstown, Md., thence they proceeded to Harper's Ferry, and from there to Hagerstown, Md., on the 20th of August. Colonel Hamilton having been appointed Brigadier General, Lieutenant Colonel Ruger was appointed Colonel, August 10th, Major Pickney, Lieutenant Colonel, and Adjutant Crane, Major. On the 12th of September, they were sent to Frederick, Md., to capture the "bogus" legislature about to convene there, for the purpose of passing an ordinance to carry the State out of the Union. This was satisfactorily accomplished, and the regiment remained here until spring, with the exception of about a month, when they were on guard at Muddy Branch, on the Potomac. Colonel Ruger was appointed Provost Marshal, and the regiment provost guard at Frederick. Three companies, A, C and H, having been sent out to seize a quantity of corn stored at Harper's Ferry, were attacked on the 16th of October, at Bolivar, near the Ferry, by a force of the enemy, consisting of infantry, cavalry and artillery, about sixteen hundred in number. Our troops succeeded in repulsing the rebels, and after severe fighting, routed them, capturing a thirty-two pounder. In this skirmish, the Wisconsin boys did most of the fighting.
There were two killed, four that died of wounds, and three wounded.
Quinter, Military History of Wisconsin, 1866
February 19/62 Distant Friend it is my desire to answer your letter that I received
last night it was a pleasing one and I was glad to hear from you. Glad to hear that you
was not sick was discouraged of writing an return but the way things are going at the
present this war will not last long. Thomas* is well and sends his best respects to you
and the rest of the folks Tom has given up respects to you and the rest of the folks Tom
has given up getting married in this country he thought it would not pay Tom says save him
an angel for a wife if you pleas Tom is as fat as a pig I wish you could see him you would
laugh at him the fever has taken the hair most all off of his head but it is growing again
Tom is liked by all the boys in the company....A man by the name of Galep** died in our
company the other day with the small pox but it is the 2 case of small pox in this in this
part of the country. I thing you knowed him We called him Brandy when we was in Boscobel
he used to drink whiskey at CD Smiths like thunder he had a fight with Hank Allen*** in
Baseball but he is don being a soldier in this world and it is the case with a great many
men it is the second death in our company And I hope it is the last but god only knows. We
are still in the City of Frederick guarding the city this regiment has all the guarding to
do in this part of the country but our Col says that he will bet $100 dollars that we will
be home by next July and I think so my self. But I hope not until we Conkor (sic) and that
we are bound to do and the sooner the better But Dear frankly you are far away from me But
you must try and take good care of your self until I see you again and then we will try
and take care of one another without communicating so far a part as we are at Present then
we will talk our old times over again frank I have not much news to wright at Present So I
will bring these lines to a close for this time but still remain yours until Death
Charles C. Charles Stone to Miss Frances C. Barton
Boscobel Lieut Co Wisconsin
Dont fail to wright wright soon and I will answer.
Direct as before to Frederick City, MD 3rd Reg Wis Vol Co F.
*Tom Barton - Brother of Frances Barton, taken prisoner May 25th, 1862, Winchester, Va. Killed July 3rd, 1863 at Gettysburg, while in reserve by overshot of artillery. ** Henry Gallop (Grant Co.) Co. F, died 2/16/62 of disease in Frederick, MD ***Hank Allen, Co. F, Mustered out, July 1, 1864 Charles Stone survived the war and was honorably discharged.
(Greg Rupnow of Co. K. transcribed this letter from Charles Stone, Co. F., Boscobel Guard, 3rd WI, from Frederick City, MD in February of 1862.)
In the spring, the regiment was attached to the Second Brigade, Williams' division, of General Banks' army corps, and joined in the march up the Shenandoah Valley, occupying Charleston, and entering Winchester on the 12th of March. On the 22d, the regiment except Company A, took part in the advance on General Williams' division towards Manassas, but, was recalled by General Banks soon after the battle of Winchester, and joined in the pursuit of the enemy up the Valley.
Company A, having been left at Winchester on provost guard duty, had one man wounded during the battle.
On the 23d of May, Company G, Captain Hubbard, and an Indiana company, which had been stationed to guard a bridge at Buckton Station, on the Strasburg, and Manassas Railroad, were attacked by a regiment of rebel cavalry, which they repulsed, and held in check till the Third arrived in the evening, losing One killed and two wounded and several prisoners.
The regiment joined the brigade at Strasburg next day, and took part in the retreat down the valley. When near Winchester, they gallantly assisted in holding the enemy in check till the trains had passed, retiring through the place, subject to the fire of the enemy and of the inhabitants of the town. The retreat continued to Martinsburg, where the rebels were checked, and the pursuit ended. The retreat continued to the Potomac, which was crossed on the 6th, the Third bringing up the rear.
The report shows that the regiment lost in this retreat four killed and fourteen wounded.
Several of the regiment were taken prisoners, and spent some time in rebel dungeons, among them Captain Hammer, of Company E, who was captured near Winchester.
On the 1st of June, Major Crane was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in place of Lieutenant Colonel Pinckney, promoted to Colonel of the Twentieth Regiment, and Captain J. W. Scott appointed Major, July 1. On the 10th, the army of General Banks left Williamsport, and returned up the valley, camping near Front Royal on the 18th. From thence, on the 6th of July, they moved to Little Washington, and on the 5th of August, proceeded to Culpepper Court House, and took part in the battle of Cedar Mountain. On the morning of the 9th, the Third Brigade, General Gordon, in General Williams' division, was ordered to the front to the assistance of General Crawford, of the First Brigade, who had been attacked. Six companies from the right of the regiment were ordered forward as skirmishers, while the rest of the brigade was held in reserve.
Crawford's brigade moved forward through a wood, in front of the enemy's position, whose batteries were masked in the woods beyond. The six companies, under Colonel Ruger, formed on the right of Crawford's brigade. Before these movements could be perfected a terrible musketry fire, at short range, was opened upon them The enemy was in two lines of battle, the rear line on higher ground,pouring in a double stream of fire upon the ranks of the brigade and regiment. At this time, General Crawford ordered a charge on the enemy's battery. Notwithstanding it was felt to be madness to obey the order, Crawford's brigade and the six companies advanced boldly. The Third went forward to a little knoll, where it was particularly exposed to a direct fire from the two lines of battle and an enfilading fire on the right. A perfect sheet of flame and torrent of lead poured into the ranks of the little band. Their right being turned, it was folly to attempt to make the charge, and the six companies of the Third fell back. Crawford's Brigade pushed forward a little further, where it was soon cut to pieces by the terrible fire, and forced to retire. At this time, Gordon's brigade went forward at a double quick. The six companies rejoined the remaining companies of the regiment, and went forward with the brigade, and again engaged the enemy, under the same fierce fire which they had first met. The fire was returned with spirit, and the ground held firmly for a short time, when the rebels, in great force, burst upon the flank, compelling the brigade to retire to its first position, where they were relieved after dark.
Lieutenant Colonel Crane fell dead from his horse at the first fire.
Major Scott was shot through the shoulder, Captain Hawley in the ankle, and Captain O'Brien in the leg. O'Brien, binding his handkerchief over his wound, rushed again into the fight, and was mortally wounded, lying two days on the field before he could be recovered,and died at Culpepper. Lieutenant Widvey, of Company K, was taken prisoner while leading the other companies of the regiment into action.
Casualties in the Third Regiment were 27 killed or died of wounds, and 65 wounded.
Banks' corps accompanied the retreat of General Pope, but, though frequently under fire, the regiment took no part in the Bull Run battles, and suffered little loss reaching Alexandria on the 2d of September. In the organization Of the army by General McClellan, for resisting the advance of General Lee into Maryland, General Banks' troops were transferred to the Twelfth Corps, and took part in the battle of Antietam. Leaving Alexandria on the 4th of September, General Williams' division in which the regiment was located, in Gordon's brigade, reached the vicinity of the enemy on the night of the 16th, and took position on the left of General Hooker, who occupied the extreme right of the lines.
The fight next morning was opened by Hooker's corps. The division of General Williams was ordered forward to their support. The regiment, with Gordon's brigade, marched through a piece of woods, and filed into a field in line of battle, and advanced about fifty rods, to a rise of ground in front of the enemy. At once they were met by a terrible fire, which they could not return, by reason of the nature of the ground, and disposition of our troops. They stood a short time without firing a gun, under the tremendous storm of grape and canister, the men falling in heaps. Like heroes, they endured this terrific ordeal without flinching. At length the order to fire was received, which was obeyed, and followed up with great good will. Thus the battle raged, the regiment standing firm and undaunted, pouring in its deadly fire, until the enemy retired. When the regiment opened firing,it numbered less than fifty men. It commenced the action with 345.
Casualties we find officially reported are: 35 killed or died of wounds and 163 wounded.
Everything now seemed to have settled down into comparative quiet, and I rode over to that part of the field lying to the left and behind the cornfield in which such a desperate struggle had taken place. near the edge of the cornfield at its S.E. corner I met Gen. Geo. H. Gordon, with the remnant of his brigade formed there, I suppose, after he came out of action. My attention was attracted to him and to his command first because he was a class-mate and second because in talking with him, I learned that he had in his brigade a Wisconsin regiment (the 3rd) of whose conduct in battle he seemed as proud as I was of my three regiments from the same state (2d, 6th, and 7th)
Commander Iron Brigade
After the battle of Antietam, the regiment was engaged in various duties on the upper Potomac, until December, when it joined the army at Falmouth, and in January, 1863, encamped at Stafford Court House. Colonel Ruger having been appointed Brigadier General, Lieutenant Colonel Hawley was promoted to the command of the regiment, in March, Major Scott was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Flood, Major.
On the 27th of April, the regiment moved forward with the division, to take part in the operations of General Hooker, at Chancellorville, crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, driving the enemy from that point, and taking position in line of battle, in the woods near Chancellorville. On the lst of May, while on picket in front of the brigade, the regiment was attacked by the enemy in force, when it took position behind a fence, which it retained during the day. Lieutenant Colonel Scott was killed just before dark. In the afternoon of the next day, Williams' division was ordered to another part of the field. On attempting to return, late in the day, the regiment found the ground in possession of the enemy, who had captured all their blankets, knapsacks and camp equipage. Forming in line of battle, they resisted the further advance of the enemy, and retained their position. Early on the 3d, the enemy made a furious attack, opening with a heavy fire of musketry, which was vigorously returned, our troops advancing, and gaining a third of a mile of hotly contested ground, the regiment keeping up a constant fire until, their muskets becoming unserviceable, they were relieved by the division of General Whipple, and moved to the rear. On the withdrawal of General Hooker's forces, the regiment was with the rear guard in covering the retreat. Crossing at United States Ford on the 6th, they returned to camp at Stafford Court House.
Casualties, in the battles from April 27th to May 6th, were officially reported: 19 killed or died of wounds, and 74 wounded.
The Third was detached, June 6th, to accompany a cavalry expedition up the Rappahannock. Colonel Hawley was ill, and the regiment was under command of Lieutenant Colonel Flood, who had been appointed after the death of Lieutenant Colonel Scott. By forced marches they reached Beverly Ford on the 9th, and as skirmishers and sharpshooters, contributed much to the victory gained by our troops. Lieutenant Colonel Flood, with about 150 men, deployed in front of the cavalry, into which the rebels were pouring a murderous:fire, and soon put the enemy to flight. Meanwhile, a detachment of the regiment,under Captain Stevenson, was ordered to dislodge a force of the rebels, concealed behind a stone fence. This they did gallantly, getting on their flank, and pouring in a series of enfilading volleys, before they could recover from their astonishment.
The killed and wounded in this engagement were 2 killed, 14 wounded.
On the promotion of Major Flood as Lieutenant Colonel, Captain Hubbard, of Company B, was appointed Major.
The regiment rejoined the Twelfth Corps at Fairfax Court House, on the 16th, and took part in the advance to meet the enemy in Pennsylvania, reaching Gettysburg on the evening of the 1st day of July, and, with the division, took position on the right of the First Corps, and to the rear of our general line of battle. During the 2d, they were employed in skirmishing, and throwing up breastworks along the bank of Rock Creek, making their position one of the strongest, until evening, when the division was sent to the aid of the Third Corps, on the left of the line, of battle, which had been fighting the enemy in great force during the day. At night, returning to their original position on the right, they found General Ewell's corps of rebels occupying a portion of it. Forming a line outside their works, they bivouacked for the night. At daybreak, they commenced a battle to regain their old camp. The regiment was placed in a favorable position, so that they were protected by the rocky ledges and temporary breastworks, and therefore suffered but little loss. After ten hours steady fighting, the enemy were driven from their works, which the division took possession of. The Twelfth Corps took no part in the battle on the left, although exposed to the overshot of the tremendous artillery fire of the enemy, on the 3d.
The loss of the regiment at Gettysburg, was two killed and 11 wounded.
Following in pursuit of the enemy, they left Gettysburg on the 5th of July, and marched to Sandy Hook, on the Potomac, thence, by way of White Plains and Warrenton, to Kelly's Ford, on the Rappahannock, where they encamped on the lst of August, and on the 16th, embarked for New York, to aid in enforcing the draft in that city. On the 8th of September, they returned, to Alexandria, and on the 20th, reached Bealton Station.
The Twelfth Corps having been transferred to t~he army of the Cumberland, the Third left Bealton Station on the 27th, and proceeded, by the way of Columbus, Ohio, to Stevenson, Ala., where they arrived on the 3d of October. They were employed in railroad guard duty, at various points in Tennessee, until the 21st of December, when, a sufficient number of the regiment having reenlisted as veterans, under general orders from the War Department, the Veteran Third, on the 25th, left for Wisconsin, on veteran furlough.
On the discharge of Major Hubbard, in November, Capt. George W. Stevenson was appointed Major, and on the discharge of Lieutenant Colonel Flood, in December, he was further promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Warham Parks, appointed Major.
On the 9th of February, 1864, the regiment was again in Tennessee, and on the 13th, encamped at Fayetteville, engaged in guard duty. During the winter they were joined by recruits, increasing their number to five hundred and seventy-five. When the army of the Cumberland was reorganized, in April, the Eleventh and Twelfth corps were consolidated, forming the Twentieth, in which the Third was placed in the Second Brigade of the First Division, under command of General Ruger, their former Colonel. The regiment joined its brigade in Georgia, May 8th, and on the 13th, took position in front of the enemy's works at Resaca, and the next day supported the Fourth Corps, engaged in skirmishing, but sustaining no loss. On the 15th, it participated in the battle of Resaca. Skirmishers were thrown out, and Colonel Hawley directed slight breastworks to be erected before the most exposed portions of his line. Before they were made defensible, the rebels charged in strong force, drove in the skirmishers, and advanced within one hundred and fifty yards of the Third. Our men reserved their fire till the rebels were within easy range, and then opened so hotly that they soon wavered and retired in disorder, our men following them up, and taking about forty prisoners.
The casualties in this action 10 killed and 19 wounded.
The rebels retired during the night, and on the 16tb, our troops moved forward upon the line of their retreat, and on the 25th, after a long march, found them, strongly entrenched, at the crossing of the Marietta, Dallas and Ackworth roads. Here the brigade formed in line of battle, the Third in the centre, its left resting on the Marietta road. A severe struggle ensued,in which the officers and men of the Third displayed a heroism never excelled by any troops, though half were new recruits, who had never been under fire until the battle of Resaca.
The casualties in the action near Dallas, Ga. were: 18 killed or died of wounds and 92 wounded.
The Third remained in position near the battle field, till June 1st, when the division moved a few miles to the left, where it remained three days, when, being ordered still further to the left, they moved on, the Third in the advance, skirmishing some, and losing one man wounded on the 6th. On the 11th, they moved one mile further, near Pine Knob, and on the 15th, advancing, found the rebels in force, and strongly entrenched. Our troops took position here, and threw up entrenchment's. The Third had seven men wounded here. The rebels left during the night, and on the 21st the regiment was ordered to advance to the Powder Spring road, but had only proceeded a mile and a half, when they encountered the enemy, and sharp skirmishing followed.' Colonel Hawley found the opposing force so strong, that he fell back and sent for reinforcements, on receiving which, he advanced again,and drove the enemy from his position, which he held till the corps came up,next day. In this affair the Third lost one killed and seven wounded.
Retaining this position until the 3d of July, the enemy having abandoned Kenesaw Mountain, the division followed his retreat to the Chattahoochie River.
The casualties, from May 26th to July 17th, were 3 killed and 16 wounded.
On the 17th, following the line of retreat of the rebels, they crossed the Chattahoochie River, and on the 20th, reached Peach Tree Creek, where they took position on the right of the brigade behind unfinished breastworks, which were completed and strengthened. They were not engaged in the battle of that day, but had two men killed by random shots, and five wounded.
On the 22d the regiment advanced, with the army, two miles, and took position in front, and in sight of Atlanta, where it remained, under fire, till August 25th, when, with the brigade and division, it fell back to the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochie, and constructed earthworks, which they occupied till the 28th, when Colonel Hawley was ordered, with a small force, consisting of five companies of the Third Wisconsin, and one company of the One Hundred and Seventh New York, to make a reconnaissance toward Atlanta, which was effected. The enemy evacuated Atlanta during the night of September lst, and our forces marched through the city and encamped near the Augusta railroad on the 2d.
The casualties in the regiment during the investment of Atlanta,were: 4 killed, 17 wounded.
The regiment remained near Atlanta until November 15th, when it accompanied the Twentieth Corps, in its march under General Sherman, towards Savannah. After assisting in the destruction of the railroad near Atlanta, the regiment began its march, proceeding without any occurrence of historical importance, till it arrived at Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia, which
Colonel Hawley was ordered to occupy with his regiment, and the One Hundred and Seventh New York, which he did until the 24th. From this time until the 30th, the regiment was occupied in destroying railroad track, bridges, etc., while on the match. On the 9th of December, the enemy was encountered,and a skirmish ensued, in which Captain Buck, of Company B, was wounded. On the 10th of December, the enemy's works in front of Savannah were reached, and the brigade took position in line of battle, about three-fourths of a mile from the outer line of works. On the 12th, the Third crossed to Argyle Island, in the Savannah river, with orders to secure the rice and other public stores, and to make a reconnaissance to the South Carolina shore. Here the regiment succeeded in capturing the rebel armed tender Resolute, with its entire crew. A large quantity of stores were captured on the island. On the 15th, five companies crossed to the South Carolina shore, driving the enemy before them, penetrating inland two miles, where the enemy was met in strong force, and the five companies withdrew to the island returning to the South Carolina shore on the 19th,skirmishing with the enemy on the 20th, recrossing with the Brigade to the island on the 21st, and next day crossed to the Georgia shore, where it went into camp. The casualties during the march to Savannah,were two killed, and four men wounded.
The Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson, with the brigade, under command of Colonel Hawley, left Savannah on the 17th of January, in continuation of the march towards Goldsboro. The march was without any historical interest until the 29th of January, when the regiment, in advance of the division entered Robertsville, South Carolina, encountering the enemy about a mile from the village. Two companies went forward as skirmishers, and the firing soon became sharp, but the enemy were sent flying through the town. The regiment had three wounded. March was resumed on the 2d of February, which was continued, the regiment engaged in guarding trains and destroying railroad track, passing Columbia, and proceeding to Winnsboro, and on the 5th of March, camped at a place, eleven miles from Chesterfield, where the regiment was inspected, and found to be in rough condition, clothing in shreds, and shoes worn out. From thence they proceeded to Cheraw, S. C., building corduroy road, and guarding trains, and reached Fayetteville, N. C., on the llth of March, and on the 15th and 16th, when near Bluff Church, the regiment, with the brigade, marched to the support of the cavalry division, forming line of battle to attack the enemy, who was found strongly posted. The skirmishers became hotly engaged and held the position several hours, until relieved. The casualties of the regiment were twenty-seven killed and wounded. During the remainder of the day, the regiment was held in reserve without further casualties, and was relieved at dark, by a brigade from the Fourteenth Army Corps.
On the 18th and 19th, the brigade marched, and arrived near the Fourteenth Army Corps, who were then engaged with the enemy. After some changes of position, the regiment occupied with the brigade a position on the left of the Fourteenth Army Corps, facing the west. Breastworks were soon completed, and the brigade remained without anything worthy of note occurring until the 22d, when the enemy having retreated, march was resumed, and on the 24th, the brigade, with the rest of the army, went into camp near Goldsboro. These affairs are known as the battles of Averysboro and Bentonville.
Casualties in the regiment from January 17th to April 6th, 1865:were four killed and twenty-six wounded.
Moving with the rest of the army in pursuit of the rebels, under Johnston, the regiment reached Raleigh, where it remained until the 27th, being present at the surrender of the rebel army. On that day it moved on its homeward march,passing through Richmond, and reaching Alexandria on the 16th of May. It participated in the grand review of Sherman's army at the National Capitol, and camped a few miles from Washington, from whence that portion of the Third, whose term of service expired before the lst of October, was sent to Madison, and mustered out. The balance of the regiment, to which was added several hundred members of other regiments, whose terms did not expire with their respective organizations, was sent to Louisville, Ky. Here they remained until the 21st of July, when they moved by rail to Madison, arriving on Sunday evening, July 23d. Here they were mustered out of service, and paid off.
For meritorious services during the war, Colonel Hawley was brevetted Brigadier General, and Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson, as Colonel.
Original Strength, 979; gain by recruits in 1863, 70; in 1864,
284; in 1865, 7; by substitutes, 290; by draft in 1864, 179; in 1865, 110; veteran
Losses, deaths, 240; missing, 7; desertions 51; transfers, 98; discharged, 945; mustered out, 810.
Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, 1866