«MAJ. GEN. CHARLES S. HAMILTON HISTORY of THE THIRD REGIMENT of WISCONSIN VETERAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY 1861 — 1865. BY EDWIN E. BRYANT Late Adjutant. ...»
-xviiabsence — The division sent back — Runs into Rebel line — Positions arranged — Battle at dawn — Charge of the Second Massachusetts and Twenty-seventh Indiana — Brave men fall — The general charge — Rebels dislodged from Culp’s Hill — The great cannonade — The advance of Picket’s men — A magnificent sight — Repulse and great captures — Joy on the Union line — The bivouac among the wounded and dead — Ghastly scenes — Movements next day — Casualties — Lee’s
great wagon train of wounded — We leave the gory field..........
-xviiiSherman to knock Jo. Johnston — Concentration and advance — March from Fayetteville to Tullahoma — Thence to Bridgeport — Through Nickajack Gap by “candle light” — Thence the Snake Creek Gap to Resaca — Battle of Resaca — Casualties — The two chaplains fall — Catching the itch.......
-xixbattle of the 22d — Third in the line of investment — Breast works thrown up — Trenches how constructed — Death of Captain Orton — The Thirteenth New Jersey’s gallant exploit — Battle of Ezra Church — Hooker relieved — Capture of rebel picket line — Truces on line — Duty of videttes — Life in the trenches — Tormented with flies — Hawley’s vigilance — Music at night — Shells and dangers — Officers running the gauntlet for meals — The change comes — Twentieth Corps to the Chattahoochee — Others to the right — Withdrawing the picket — The Third has good time on the river — Reconnoisances — Slocum’s return — Explosions heard — Atlanta found evacuated — Twentieth corps enters city — Close of campaign — Twentieth corps losses and achievements — Losses in Third — Glory of the campaign..................................
CHAPTER XXXI.Pages THE MARCH TO THE SEA — The march out from Atlanta — Strange scene — Camp at Stone Mountain — Foraging begins — Booty on bayonets — Captures of foragers — Rains set in — Lifting wagons out of mud — Blankets frozen stiff — Cross the Oconee — The details for foraging — Bravery of the foragers — Sherman shows the boys how to issue sorghum — Game cocks — The negroes follow — Queer scenes — The entry into Milledgeville — The Third as provost guard — A day’s occupation — The legislature flee — Their places taken by the Union men — A haul of tobacco — The march resumed — Bridges built — A skirmish with cavalry through Sandersville — On to the railroad — Destroying track — “Doughnuts” made of rails — Destruction of bridge timber and lumber yards — Crossing the Ogeechee — Hard roads and poor fare — Night marches and torch lighted camps — Bummers mourning horses and cursing Asmussen — March bears toward Savannah — Enemy found at Monteith swamp — Flank movements in deep water — Haughawout’s charge
CHAPTER XXXII.Pages ARGYLE ISLAND — The Third Wisconsin ordered across the channel to Argyle Island — Crossing in skiffs — Capture of the Ida by the One Hundred and Fiftieth New York — Gunboats come down — A short battle — Gunboats retire — An armed tender disabled and captured — The Third boys wade out and board her — Capture in South Carolina — Wheeler’s cavalry on hand — An expedition across — Company E shivering and shooting — Marksmanship under difficulties — Shelled by gunboats — Rice threshing for a living — A barge captured — Picket duty under water — Ugly negroes — A movement into South Carolina — Strong forces oppose — Stevenson wounded — Part of Third in a tight place — “Old Second” come to rescue — Savannah evacuated — Back into Georgia — Camp in the city.........................................
CHAPTER XXXIII.Pages THROUGH THE CAROLINAS — Rest at Savannah — A grand review — Making a parson pray for Pres. Lincoln — Preparing for a move — Readjusting commands — Hawley has the brigade — Bridge built — Into South Carolina — A cold, damp reception — The “tars” bid them good-bye — To Purysburg — Buried in a flood — On to Sister’s Ferry — Obstructed roads — Skirmishing — Corduroying — The cheerfulness of the men — Building bridges neck deep — Over the Salkehatchie — A bet on railroad destroying — Marching to the westward — Then over the icy coated swamps and forks of the Edisto — Over the Saluda and Broad rivers — Among the “high hills of Santee” — Coffee ration suspended — Anecdotes of Sherman — His camp — His style of smoking — Geary at Winnsboro — The town saved from burning — Foragers busy — Wanton destruction of property — A hard remedy for causing civil war — Crossing the broad Wateree — Passing Hanging Rock — Marching through pine forests — Camp scenes — To the front as skirmishers — Heading for Cheraw — Over the Great Pedee — Into the pitch and turpentine region — Marching
CHAPTER XXVI.Pages MARCHING HOME — Rest at Goldsboro — Full rations again — Army reorganized — Convalescents up — March to Raleigh — The news of Lee’s surrender — “We must push Jo.
Johnston now” — March to Richmond — Scenes on the way — Feeding the Confederates — March through Richmond — Through old battle fields at Spottsylvania and Chancellorsville — Skeletons and other ghastly sights — The Blue Ridge once more — Old landmarks — At Washington — The Grand Review — Red Star division bears off the palm — Eager to be mustered out — The Mexican scare — Farewell words with the “Old Second” Massachusetts — Parting with other regiments — Lonesome camp — Move to Louisville — Promotions — Camp in Crittenden place — Paid off — Mustered out — Started for home — Break ranks forever — Flag of the division without a bearer.................................................
ADDENDA — Notes — Biographical Sketches — Incidents — Statistics of regiment — Rosters, etc.........................
FTER the election in November, 1860, the action of the southern states in passing A ordinances of secession caused intense feeling in all parts of the Union. Thoughtful men saw that events were fast drifting to a collision of arms. The “war spirit” ran high. In both sections the young men, inflamed by the popular feeling of their communities, were eager to be called to arms; and all felt that the striking blow would be the signal for summoning armies to the field.
The blow soon came. On the 12th of April, 1861, the insurgent forces collected at Charleston, South Carolina, under General Beauregard, opened upon Fort Sumter, a government fortress in the harbor, with fifty breaching cannon. As the tidings flashed over the north that the walls were crumbling under the fierce cannonade, that defense was hopeless, and the surrender only a question of a few hours, the patriotic indignation of the people know no bounds. The uprising of the north, now thoroughly aroused, was a sublime spectacle.
On the 15th of April, President Lincoln issued his proclamation calling forth the militia of the several states to the aggregate number of 75,000, to suppress combinations “too powerful to be suppressed by the course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the marshals by law.” Under this call Wisconsin was assigned to furnish as her quota one regiment of infantry or riflemen of 780 men.
Governor Alexander W. Randall on the same day received a telegram calling for one regiment. A letter received a few days later gave further details as to rendezvous and muster. The Governor was a man well suited for such an emergency. He foresaw, as the authorities at Washington did not seem to foresee, that more troops than the number called for would soon be wanted. He had the moral courage and the confidence in the people to act in advance of direct authority in preparing for anticipated further calls. He issued his proclamation, on the 16th day of April, announcing the President’s call, that the demand on Wisconsin was one regiment, required for immediate service, “and further service would be required as the exigencies of the service might demand.” The far-seeing executive further announced that opportunities would be “immediately offered to all existing military companies, under the direction of the proper authorities of the state, for enlistment to fill the demand of the Federal government;” and he invited patriotic citizens of the state to enroll themselves into companies of 78 men each and to advise the executive of their readiness to be mustered into service immediately.
This was enough. The organization of companies throughout the state immediately began. The companies for the First regiment were enrolled and had reported within six days after the issue of the Governor’s proclamation. On the 22d he announced the
-1enrollment of the regiment called for, expressed his regret that Wisconsin was permitted to send but one, and urged “the formation of companies of able-bodied men, 77 men in each, in every locality where it could be done without expense for subsistence; men would pledge themselves to be minute men, standing ready at short notice to answer call of government. When full, such companies were to elect officers and report to the adjutant general for commissions and orders; but the men were not to be taken from peaceful avocations to be drilled for active service.” The Governor’s first proclamation met a prompt response. While but one regiment was called for, yet in seven days thirty-six companies had tendered their services.
Everywhere the fife and drum were heard, war meetings were held, enthusiastic speeches made, patriotic songs sung; everywhere the people spoke, as with one voice, for vigorous military preparation and the putting down of the rebellion at whatever cost of blood and treasure. Cities, towns and villages raised large funds for the support of the families of soldiers who might enlist. The clergy in the pulpit, the orators from the forum, the mothers and fathers, the wives and daughters exhorted the young and strong to rise up and save the Union from the threatened destruction.
Among the first thirty-six companies which tendered their services in response to the Governor’s proclamation, the following nine were afterwards assigned to the Third
Regiment of Wisconsin infantry:
The “Watertown Rifles,” organized at Watertown, Capt. Darius S. Gibbs, accepted April 18, 1861.
“Scott’s Volunteers,” Capt. John W. Scott, organized at Oshkosh, and accepted April 23, 1861.
“Green County Volunteers,” organized at Monroe, by Capt. Martin Flood, accepted April 22, 1861.
“Waupun Light Guard,” organized at Waupun, by Capt. Andrew Clark, accepted April 22, 1861.
“Williamstown Union Rifles,” organized at Williamstown, by Capt. Gustave Hammer, accepted April 22, 1861.
“Grant County Union Guards,” organized at Boscobel, by Capt. George W. Limbocker, accepted April 23, 1861.
“Neenah Guards,” organized at Neenah, by Captain Edwin L. Hubbard, accepted April 23, 1861.
“Lafayette Rifles,” organized at Darlington, by Capt. George T. Whitman, accepted April 24, 1861.
“Shullsburg Light Guard,” organized at Shullsburg, by Capt. Howard Vandagrift, accepted April 25, 1861.
The “Dane County Guards,” were a new company, organized at Madison by Capt. William Hawley, and were accepted on the 24th of April, 1861.
Of these companies the following had been organized in peaceful times, as militia companies under the former system. They were independent of the organized militia, so designated to distinguish them from the enrolled militia, a body existing chiefly on paper, consisting of the entire population capable of bearing arms and between the ages of 18 and 45 years, viz.: Watertown Riflemen, Waupun Light Guard, Williamstown Union Rifles, Neenah Guards. The other companies of the regiment were newly organized for the purpose of entering into the service.
When the several companies constituting the regiment were first accepted, it was upon the understanding that they were to be enlisted only for three months. The First regiment was mustered for that period only. But on the 7th of May the secretary of war notified the Governor that all volunteers should enlist for three years, or during the war. All the companies which afterwards composed the Third regiment promptly accepted the change of terms of enlistment and cheerfully, nay, eagerly, enlisted for the longer period.