«MAJ. GEN. CHARLES S. HAMILTON HISTORY of THE THIRD REGIMENT of WISCONSIN VETERAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY 1861 — 1865. BY EDWIN E. BRYANT Late Adjutant. ...»
Booth. Company D. — Privates A. Buskirk, Alex Besat, Marshal Dille, Hezk. L. Kilby, Jacob Snyder, Edwin Thompson. Company E — Privates Frederick Pankow, Nicholas Holthausen, Corp. David Clark, privates Edward Parrett, John Cannan, Herman Lueschen, John Van Ert, Joseph Dilger, Michael Sess, Ludwig Wirth, William I. Colby, Wm. Heller, Charles Matte, August Rasine. Company F — Sergt. Jasper Woodford, privates G. H.
Meissner, Robt. Thorp, E. R. Streeter, Thos. Barton, Harvey Sinnett, Brainard Hopkins, Wm. H. Pride, Christ. Onsen, Gottlieb Geisenheimer, Thos. Farnesworth, R. F. McGonigle, W. F. Greenman, Z. L. Dowd. Company G — Corp. G. W. Dodge, private Cyrus B. Van Doozer, Corp. Andrew Jagerson, privates Chas. Bushey, Haskel Coates, Martin Carr, Geo.
Howe, John J. Kitto, J. B. Gerris, Albert Bomier, Gilbert Ferris, Albert Post, Peter Scritsmeier, Edward Hamilton, Charles Shibeley, James H. Scott, John Elliott, Henry Parker. Company H — Privates Volney D. Nixon, Andrew J. Smith, Joshua A. Shriver.
Company I — Privates George Bennett, August Ruter, Thomas Harper, Was. Million, John Dougherty, Frank Kitto, Mortimer V. Beeman. Company K — Privates Henry Boland, John W. Dunne, Andrew Johnson, John Swenson. Company G — Alfred Booker, Lorenzo Thompson.
The official compilation from nominal lists, published in the Official Records of the Rebellion (vol. XII., pt. 1, p. 553),28 gives the losses in the Department of the Shenandoah, at Buckton, Front Royal, on retreat to Winchester and at Winchester, at a total of 2 officers and 60 min killed, 16 officers and 227 men wounded, 51 officers and 1,633 men captured or mission, a total of 2,019. Jackson in his report claims that he captured 2,300 prisoners, besides 750 sick and wounded in hospitals. He gives his own loss at 68 killed, 329 wounded and 3 missing; total 400. Our loss in wagons was reported at 55, out of a train of 500. The enemy claim larger captures. Most of our abandoned wagons were burned.
The Third got some praise for its behavior in this campaign. A correspondent of the New York Evening Post, who witnessed the battle of Winchester said: “The Third Wisconsin, as cool as if on parade, faced about and marched toward the town,” and speaking of the Second Massachusetts, in terms of praise, he says: “So also the Third Wisconsin moved in excellent order through the town, though exposed to a galling fire.” This was from one who was a stranger to all the members of the regiment. A regular army officer ED. NOTE: the full title of this resource is Official records of the Union and Confederate armies. Published under the direction of the Secretary of War by Robert N. Scott — Washington D.C., Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.
-59writing to Capt. N. B. Van Slyke, of Madison, said soon after the retreat: “The regular army officers unite in saying that the Third Wisconsin, under Col.
Ruger, did splendidly throughout the retreat, and while other troops (in a measure abandoned to themselves), were raising the devil to get across (the river at Williamsport) anyhow the Third formed as on parade, crossed in detachments under proper officers, and were then reformed for duty on the other side. Other regiments behaved well, but the Third took the palm.” The regiment would hardly claim the palm, but we can safely affirm that at all stages of the dismal retreat it was ready for duty.
Jackson’s exploit made a great excitement. The North feared invasion.
He came down to the shores of the Potomac, menacing Maryland, and accomplished the greater object of preventing McDowell from going to McClellan. A plan was devised to bag Jackson. Shields was to move with 20,000 men on Front Royal. Fremont was to cross the Alleghenies to Harrisonburg and join Shields. The wily Jackson was too quick for them; and met them before they had joined, giving each a battle in which he had the advantage. He then went to the reinforcement of Lee against McClellan.
Although Jackson left the lower valley on the 30th of May, and by June 1st had moved his entire command with his prisoners beyond Strasburg, yet Banks did not recross and push on in pursuit until June 10th, after the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic had been fought. To cope with a man like Jackson, a general must know the value of time, must move men rapidly, start them promptly and push them to their utmost. At this stage in the war, our generals had not all learned this secret of the success of all great captains.
On the 10th of June, Banks’ command was again put in motion. The Third, with its brigade, crossed the Potomac at Falling Waters. Thence on the 11th to Newtown, and on the 12th to near Front Royal, where the duty was to guard the passages of the Shenandoah.
HURSDAY, June 26th, 1862, Gen. John Pope assumed command of a T force designated the Army of Virginia. Of this Fremont’s29 force was the First corps, Banks’ the Second and McDowell’s the Third, all told on paper about 43,000 men; of efficient men about 25,000. The cavalry, about 5,000 was poorly mounted and armed. At this time Banks and Fremont were in the valley between Winchester and Front Royal. One division of McDowell’s command was near Fredericksburg and one at Catlett’s Station.
No enemy, save small bodies of cavalry, was within a week’s march of any of these scattered commands.
Pope set vigorously to reorganizing his command, and to co-operate with McClellan he planned a movement on Gordonsville, northwest of Richmond, there to destroy a railroad from Lynchburg to Richmond. The situation of McClellan soon became critical; and Pope changed his plan, intending to make a descent on Gordonsville and Charlottesville, as opportunity might invite. He at once began the concentration of his troops.
Sigel,30 who had relieved Fremont in command of the First corps, was ordered to move from Middletown, near Winchester, up the valley to Front Royal, there to cross the Shenandoah, proceed along the west side of the Blue Ridge, thence through Luray Gap to Sperryville, which lies east of the Blue Ridge and about tweny [sic] miles northwest of Culpepper. McDowell was to push out Rickett’s division from Manassas Junction to Waterloo bridge, the point where the Warrenton turnpike to Sperryville crosses the upper Rappahannock.
Banks was to cross the Shenandoah at Front Royal — thus forming a line facing south extending across the valley between the Blue Ridge and Bull Run mountains.
Accordingly, Williams’ division broke camp near Front Royal, July 9th, crossed “the forks” at that place, turned to the left, marched through Manassas Gap to Markham, arriving there the 7th. The road through the gap was along a ravine overhung on either side for some distance by high, bare rocks. The livid rays of the sun descended upon the sweltering column, and numerous cases of sunstroke occurred. At Markham the command remained some ten days. Pope was feeling the enemy as well as he could with hatch’s cavalry, and baiting Hatch with promised promotion to be active. Two ED. NOTE: John Charles Frémont, Union General, 21 Jan 1813 - 13 Jul 1890.
ED. NOTE: Franz Sigel, Union General, born in Baden 18 Nov 1824, died in New York City 21 Aug 1902.
-61expeditions failed; and Pope put Buford31 at the head.
While Buford was moving on Gordonsville, Gen. Ewell suddenly appeared at that place. Pope’s movement into the region of the upper Rappahannock had arrested Lee’s attention. He prepared to checkmate it.
July 13th, he dispatched Stonewall Jackson, with his own and Ewell’s divisions to Gordonsville. On the 16th, his head of column, under Ewell, was there.
Jackson was to watch Pope and attack as chance offered. Aid was promised him if he got in a tight place.
Banks’ column moved July 17th, to Washington, a little hamlet, west of Warrenton, about midway between Sperryville and Gaines’ Cross Roads, and northward of the former town. Here we went into camp in a little mountainrimmed basin, on a hillside, from which we could see far to the south toward Richmond. The white tents of Shurz’s32 division dotted a hillside a few miles to the southwest; and his men had taken all the lately-harvested wheat for miles about for bedding. Here we waited and drilled. The intense heat of summer made much sickness in all the regiments. The mournful music of the funeral dirge was heard every evening in the neighboring camps. Cause: too much green fruit and too many dead animals polluting the air. Here Banks assembled and reviewed his corps. He had a splendid voice for command, at least. Pope took the field about this time and visited his army. His famous orderr was here promulgated, which gave offense to eastern generals. It contained many phrases, which in the light of subsequent disasters, became the subject of ridicule. For some days we awaited developments. Lee, finding McClellan inactive on the James, sent A. P. Hill’s33 division to join Jackson in his movements against Pope. Meantime, one brigade of Williams’ division under Crawford,34 was stationed at Culpepper.
Learning that only a part of Pope’s army was at Culpepper Court House, Stonewall Jackson with his wonted promptness resolved to swoop down upon it before reinforcements could arrive. Jackson was wily, vigilant, and he possessed the advantage of knowing every foot of ground and the exact position of every part of our force. Accordingly, August 7th, he moved from Gordonsville northward toward Culpepper.
Pope was then at Sperryville inspecting Sigel’s corps. He there learned ED. NOTE: John Buford, 4 Mar 1826 - 16 Dec 1863 [typhoid], 16/38 in West Point class of 1848.
ED. NOTE: Carl Schurz, 2 Mar 1829 - 14 May 1906, Prussian born journalist, statesman, and soldier.
ED. NOTE: Ambrose Powell Hill, 9 Nov 1825 - 2 Apr 1865, 15th in West Point class of 1847, shot and killed by VI Corps soldiers.
Samuel Wylie Crawford, 8 Nov 1829 - 3 Nov 1892, achieved rank of MajGen.
-62of Jackson’s movement, and prepared to meet it. Banks and Rickett’s division were at once started for Culpepper. Pope, now at Culpepper, was unable to determine whether Jackson was heading for that place or Madison Court House farther west. Early on the morning of the 8th, he sent Crawford’s brigade in the direction of Cedar, or Slaughter’s mountain, some eight miles southwest of Culpepper. Sigel was ordered to move at once to Sperryville, but strangely enough, instead of starting promptly, he sent back twenty-two miles to inquire by what road he should come. There was but one direct road, a broad turnpike. This, of course, delayed his start many hours. Banks’ corps, when ordered, had started at the word, and had been halted at Hazel Run.
THE BATTLE OF CEDAR MOUNTAIN.brigade was ordered to march at 3 A.M., but Augur36 ORDON’S G had the lead and did not start until eight. The sun was then raging, the air breathless, and the marching troops soon enveloped in a cloud of dust. The wagon trains in front delayed us, so that we made but six miles that day. On the 8th [8 Aug 1862] at 2 P.M., we were ordered to Culpepper. Geary’s37 brigade was in front, and he got on so slowly that we started at 5 P.M. Then it was a halt every few minutes — the most wearisome of marching. At 11 o’clock we reached Culpepper — eight miles in six hours! Here we bivouacked. The movement of Jackson38 was by the morning of the 9th understood. Pope39 sent Banks40 to join Crawford41 at Cedar Run. He says that he directed Banks to take up a strong position at or near Crawford’s brigade, to check the advance of the enemy, to determine his force, and the character of his movement as far as practicable.
His orders seem to have been misunderstood. They were verbal and Bank’s
adjutant took them down in these words:
“Culpepper, August 9th, 9:30 A. M. From Col. Lewis Marshall Gen.
Banks will move to the front immediately, assume command of all the forces in the front, deploy his skirmishers, if the enemy approaches, and attack him immediately as soon as he approaches, and be reinforced from here.” General Banks called on Pope as he passed through Culpepper and asked whether there were further orders. Pope referred him to Gen.
Roberts42, the chief of cavalry, who was to go with Banks to the front and point out the line to be occupied. On the way Roberts repeatedly said to Banks, “There must be no backing out this day.” These words stung Banks, as he says, and in connection with his orders, left no doubt in his mind, as he ED. NOTE: George Henry Gordon, 1825? - 1886.
ED. NOTE: Christopher Columbus Augur, USA, 10 Jul 1821 - 16 Jan 1898.
ED. NOTE: John White Geary, USA, 30 Dec 1819 - 8 Feb 1873.
ED. NOTE: Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, CSA, 21 Jan 1824 - 10 May 1863.
ED. NOTE: John Pope, USA, 16 Mar 1822 - 23 Sep 1892.
ED. NOTE: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, USA, 30 Jan 1816 - 1 Sep 1894.
ED. NOTE: Samuel Wylie Crawford, USA, 8 Nov 1829 - 3 Nov 1892.
ED. NOTE: Benjamin Stone Roberts, USA, 18 Nov 1810 - 29 Jan 1875.
-64testifies, that he was to invite and bring on the battle. This understanding was all the more natural, since Pope had in his order taking command of his army announced his purpose of taking the offensive in terms that so plainly reflected on the eastern generals as to excite no little criticism at the time[.] He had on the same day that he assumed command in the field, July 14, written to Banks “to dismiss any idea that there is any purpose whatever to retreat from the position you are instructed to take, or that there is any design whatever to await any attack from the enemy.” Banks read his orders in the light of these previous declarations, as is claimed by himself and his friends.
The needless and unaccountable delay of Sigel43 rendered it impracticable for his corps to be pushed to the front, as Pope had intended on the afternoon of the next day. The head of his column began to arrive in Culpepper at about half-past four, on the 9th, just as the battle was opening eight miles to the southward. They had come, in disregard of orders, unprovided with subsistence and had to borrow rations for supper, before they could move to the front.