A RECORD OF THE
Civil and Military Patriotism of the State
WAR FOR THE UNION,
HSTORY OF THE CAMPAIGNS IN WHICH WISCONSIN SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN
CONSPICUOUS-REGIMENTAL HISTORIES-SKETCHES OF DISTINGUISHED
OFFICERS - THE ROLL OF THE in USTRIOUS DEAD - MOVEMENTS OF
THE LEGISLATURE AND STATE OFFICERS, ETC.
BY E. B. QIUINER, ESQ.,
OF MADISON, Wis.
ILLUSTRATED WITH STEEL ENGRAVINGS OF EMINENT MEN
IN ONE VOLUME.
CLARKE & CO., PUBLISHERS.
Pg. 574, 589.
REGIMENTAL HISTORY-TWELFTH INFANTRY.
REGIMENTAL ROSTER - LEAVENWORTH CITY - MARCH TO FORT SCOTT - TO FORT RILIFY -RETURN TO LEAVENWORTH -EMBARK FOR WEST TENNESSEE -JOIN GRANT'S SOUTHWARD MOVEMENT - MARCH TO MEMPHIS -EXPEDITION TO COLDWATER - MOVE TO VICKSBURG -
THE SIEGE - BATTLE OF JACKSON - NATCHEZ - RETURN TO VICKSBURG - VETERAN REENLISTMENTS - THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION - SKIRMISH AT BAKER'S CREEK - ON VETERAN FURLOUGH - JOINS GENERAL SHERMAN IN GEORGIA - BATTLE AT KENFSAW MOUNTAIN -
NICKAJACK CREEK - BALD HILL, JULY 21-22 - BATTLE OF THE 28TH OF JULY - SIEGE OF ATLANTA - JONESBORO - LOVEJOY STATION - JOIN SHERMAN'S GRAND MARCH - SAVANNAH -POCOTALIGO -ORANGEBURG - GOLDSBORO - JOHNSTON'S SURRENDER - MARCH TO WASHINGTON - GRAND REVIEW - MOVE TO LOUISVILLE - RETURN TO WISCONSIN - DISBANDED - STATISTICS
THE Twelfth Regiment was organized in October, 1861, at Camp Randall, Madison, and left the State on the 11th of January, 1862, with orders to report at Weston, Missouri. The following was the roster:
COLONEL-GEORGE E. BRYANT.
Lieutenant Colonel - DEWITT C. POOLE; Major - WILLIAM E. STRONG; Adjutant - JAS. K. P.ROUDFIT; Quartermaster - ANDREW SEXTON; Surgeon - LUTHER CARY; First Assistant Surgeon - ELIJAH A. WOODWARD; Second Assistant Surgeon - A. F. ST. S. LINDSFELDT; Chaplain -Rev. LEMUEL B. MASON.
C0. Captains. First Lieutenants. Second Lieutenants.
A - Norman McLeod, Orrin T. Maxon, Francis Hoyt,
B - Giles Stevens, Benjamin F. Blackman, James W. Lusk,
C - Charles G. Loeber, Francis Wilson, Michael Cantwell,
D - J. Martin Price, Thomas Farmer, William J. Norton,
E - Abram Vanderpool, John Gillespie, Lewis T. Linnell,
F - George C. Norton, Levi Odell, Henry Turtilott,
G - Daniel Howell, Charles M. Webb, W. Wallace Botkin,
H - Milo E. Palmer, Nathan A. C. Smith, Charles C. Lovitt,
I - H. L. Turner, Van S. Bennett, Jerome S. Tinker,
K - Daniel R. Sylvester. Almon N. Chandler. Isaac Walker.
Proceeding by way of Chicago
to Quincy, in ., and finding the river impassable and the railroad track
to Palmyra destroyed, Colonel Bryant marched his command to a point twenty-two
miles below Quincy, in order to cross the river, arriving opposite Hannibal
at 4 P. M. Spending the night in the best manner they could, with the thermometer
twenty degrees below zero, an without tents and but little shelter, the
regiment crossed on the morning of the 15th to Hannibal, where they were
furnished with open freight cars, without any means of keeping warm, and
rode 236 miles to Weston, where they arrived next day, having suffered
much from the severity of the weather, and the want of rations, those ,which
the carried being frozen. Remaining at Weston until the 15th of February,
they moved to Leavenworth City, and went into camp. Here the regiment was
assigned to form part of General Lane's "Southwest Expedition," the troops
for which were to concentrate at Fort Scott. The Twelfth took up its line
of march, and arrived there on the 7th of March, where it remained until
the 27th, when, owing to difficulties connected with the command of the
expedition, the War Department abandoned the project, and the Twelfth and
Thirteenth Wisconsin regiments were ordered to march to Lawrence, Kans.,
thence, they proceeded to Fort Riley in Western Kansas, Where they remained
with the expectation of being sent to New Mexico. This project was also
abandoned and the regiment, with the Thirteenth, returned to Leavenworth
City on the 27th of May. Here they received orders to embark for Tennessee.
With the rest of General Mitchell's brigade, to which the Twelfth had been assigned, they proceeded by steamers down the Missouri to St. Louis, thence they continued their journey to Columbus, Ky., where they landed on the 2d of June. Events having transpired near Corinth, which rendered the presence of more troops unnecessary, the destination of General Mitchell's brigade was changed. The rebels, on their retreat from Columbus, had destroyed the railroad. The Twelfth Regiment was set to work to repair the road, rebuild bridges, and at the same time send out scouting parties after guerillas. The road was put in running order and the regiment moved on the 9th of June, to Humbolt, Tenn., where a junction, was effected with the forces of General Halleck. Colonel Bryant assumed command of the post. Here the regiment was employed until the 1st of October in railroad guard duty, and in scouting, and preventing the depredations of the guerillas. Moving to Bolivar, on the 1st of October, the regiment was attached to the Third Brigade, Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps. Here they were ordered to reinforce General Hurlbut, near Pocahontas - made a forced march of thirty miles in ten hours, but were too late to take part in the pursuit of the rebels to the Hatchie river, after the battle of Corinth. Returning to Bolivar, they remained until General Grant began his southward movement, having for its ultimate object the capture of Vicksburg. His army was to penetrate south from West Tennessee, to Canton and Jackson, in Mississippi while General Sherman attacked the city from the river side. The Twelfth camped at La Grange on the 4th, of November, and on the 8th, engaged in a reconnaissance towards Holly Springs. The enemy retreated without fighting, and the regiment returned to La Grange next day. With the general advance of the army the Twelfth left La Grange on the 28th of November, and proceeded to Lumpkin's Mills, Holly Springs, and thence to Yocona Creek, and Springdale Station still further south on the Mississippi Central railroad. On the 20th of December, Holly Springs was surprised by the enemy, and surrendered, which compelled General Grant to retrace his steps. A countermarch was ordered and the regiment returned and went into camp at Lumpkin's Mills, where it engaged in railroad guard duty.
Major Strong, who bad held the position of Division Inspector General, was on the 13th of December, promoted to the position of Acting Inspector General of the Seventeenth Army Corps.
With the division, the regiment in January, 1863, marched first to Holly Springs, thence by way of Moscow and Lafayette, to Collierville, and in February, moved to near Neville Station on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, where they engaged in guarding the railroad until the 14th of March, when the division marched to Memphis. During much of this time, Colonel Bryant was in command of the Third Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Poole commanding the regiment.
On the 18th of April, Colonel Bryant was placed in command of a force of infantry, cavalry, and a battery, to cooperate with a force under General Smith, from La Grange, against the rebel General Chalmers, on the Coldwater River, to divert his attention from the celebrated raid of Colonel Grierson, which that officer undertook in the Spring of 1863, penetrating through the center of Mississippi, and arriving at Baton Rouge La. Colonel Bryant encountered the rebels in strong force at the river, and drove them from their position, and waited some time for the appearance of General Smith's force to attack in the rear. General Smith failed to appear, and Colonel Bryant returned towards Memphis, where he was met by an additional force, and returned to Hernando, and there waited for signals of attack by General Smith. Not hearing from that officer, he returned to Memphis with his command. The Twelfth formed part of the expedition but suffered no loss.
On the 11th of May, the Fourth Division of General Lauman moved down the river to take part in the operations against Vicksburg. Disembarking at Sherman's Landing, they marched across the peninsula, and embarked on a transport and landed at Grand Gulf on the 18th. Here Colonel Bryant was placed in command of the post, and the Brigade engaged in guard and fatigue duty and, labor on the fortifications, until the return of Colonel Johnson, the Brigade commander, who assumed command, and the Twelfth was sent up the river to Warrenton and took position with the division, on the extreme left of the forces investing Vicksburg, and immediately engaged on duty in the trenches, which was continued until the capitulation. Here James Wiley, of Company A, and James Simons, of Company B, are reported as having been killed.
Lieutenant Colonel Poole, resigned on the 3d of July, and Adjutant Jas. K. Proudfit, was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel on the 30th.
On the day after the surrender of the city, the division which was attached to the Thirteenth Army Corps, General Ord, joined the force of General Sherman, intended for an attack on the enemy at Jackson. They arrived before that place on the 10th, and immediately took position, Colonel Bryant being in command of the Third Brigade. On the 12th, General Lauman ordered the First Brigade to charge upon the enemy's works. They were repulsed with terrible slaughter. For this mistake, General Lauman was relieved and the division placed under the command of General Crocker. Three companies of the Twelfth were deployed to protect the flank of the assaulting column, but suffered no loss. The rebels evacuated their works on the 16th. Owing to the scarcity of rations and water, the enemy were not pursued, and the division, with the regiment, returned to Vicksburg.
On the 15th of August, the Third Brigade embarked for Natchez, to rejoin the division at that place, and reached there next day, and went into camp. The regiment remained at Natchez until the latter part of November without anything, occurring of historical importance, except an expedition to Harrisonburg La., where they found an abandoned fort, when they returned to Vicksburg, going into camp ten miles east of the city. On the 4th of December, they again embarked for Natchez on a fruitless expedition after Wirt Adams' cavalry, from which they returned to Vicksburg on the 23d of January, 1864, and went into camp at Hebron, northeast of the city, which the regiment was reorganized as a veteran regiment, 520 men have reenlisted.
The Twelfth took part in Shaman's Meridain Expedition in February, 1864. Leaving camp at Hebron on the 3rd of February and they crossed Black River, and on the 4th, found the rebels in position at Bolton Station, who opened fire on the Second Brigade. One wing of the Twelfth was ordered to support an in Illinois Regiment, who were acting as skirmishers. As they advanced in line, the rebels opened with artillery. A shell exploded in the ranks of Company I, killing Eugene Baldwin and W. H. Murray, wounding O. Lind, J. W. Dean, John Thorp and George Everett, the first mortally. One wing of the Twelfth was deployed as skirmishers, and advanced through a piece of timber full of ravines and knolls. On emerging from this wood, the rebels withdrew with their artillery, pursued by the Twelfth to another bridge on Baker's Creek. Here the other wing of the regiment came up. Lieutenant Jones, of Company C, volunteered to cross the bridge and picket the road, which was done. The planks which had been thrown from the bridge were brought up and relaid by the rest of the regiment, not withstanding the severe fire of the enemy's skirmishers. Charging across the bridge, the Twelfth drove everything before it, and held the bridge, in spite of the rebels, until relieved next morning by the Third Division. For their gallantry on this occasion, the regiment was highly complimented by their division commander.
Proceeding through Jackson, which they assisted in destroying, they reached Brandon, where they destroyed the depots, bridges, etc., and burnt most of the town. They continued on to Decatur where their foraging party was attacked, and Thos. McDonald, of Company D, and Lewis Murray, of Company I, were wounded, and George Myers, of Company D, was killed. Proceeding to Meridian, the division was sent twenty miles south on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, where they captured the town of Enterprise, and destroyed it, with its depots, machine shops, etc. Next day, February 17th, the brigade marched eighteen miles further, to Quitman, where they destroyed a long bridge depots, etc., and most of the town, returning to Meridian on the 19th, tearing up the railroad track as they returned. General Sherman promoted a complimentary order thanking the officers, and men for the effective manner in which they had carried out his orders. The expedition returned to Vicksburg, leaving the country behind them a ruin and desolation. When near Canton, the regiment had a skirmish with the rebels and drove them about three miles without any loss. On the 4th of March, they retained their camp. On this trip, they marched 416 miles in 31 days.
The veterans of the regiment, on the 13th of March, left for Wisconsin on veteran furlough, arriving at Madison on the 21st, where they were publicly received by the State authorities and the members of the legislature, and on the 31st dispersed to their homes on furlough.
In April, General Sherman promulgated an order for all belongings to the Armies veteran regiments of the Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee, on furlough, to join him in Tennessee. Accordingly, on the gathering of the regiment at Camp Randall, from veteran furlough, on the 30th of April, they proceeded to Cairo, where they were joined by the non-veterans from camp near Vicksburg. Accompanying the forces of Tennessee River, and landed at Clifton, Tenn., on the 14th, thence they marched by Huntsville and Decatur, Ala., to Rome, Ga., nearly 300 miles, and joined the "Army of the Tennessee" at Ackworth, Ga., on the 8th of June. Here they became identified with the Atlanta campaign, under General Sherman.
On the 10th, the regiment, with the division, took its place in the advance, and on the night of the 11th, arrived within two miles of the enemy's position, at the base of Kennesaw Mountain. Here they began to throw up entrenchments, working most of the night. The next two days they lay in camp. On the 14th, another line of breastworks were thrown up a quarter of a mile nearer the enemy, on the crest of a hill, and about 1000 yards from the enemy's rifle pits. On the 15th, large masses of rebels were noticed in piece f pine woods in front of the position, who kept up a gallant fire. General Blair, expressing a desire to know the condition of, things behind this rebel cover, twenty-five men from each of six companies of the Twelfth were detached, under Captain Maxon, who volunteered to lead the desperate enterprise. Crossing the open space at a double quick, they endeavored, in pain to penetrate the matted copse of briars, vines and young pines. Captain Maxon at last found and opening, through which he pressed with his command, and came upon the rifle pits of the enemy filled with men. Crossing them, with part of his little force, he opened an enfilading fire, which soon emptied the rifle pits, the rebels fleeing for life to their reserves. For forty rods, the pits were emptied be, the little band of Captain Maxon, when a rebel brigade made their appearance, and opened on the detachment. Captain Maxon's men took shelter, behind the captured rifle pits, and volley after volley was poured into them, and the fire was gallantly returned. At length, the enemy charged bayonets, when Captain Maxon ordered his men to fall back, which they did in good order, halting as soon as they were clear of the thicket, and preparing to dispute the around, with the assistance of the skirmishers in the rifle pits. General McPherson, and the division and brigade commanders, complimented Captain Maxon and his little band for their indomitable bravery in thus bearding, the foe in his den and driving a brigade out of their rifle pits, and holding the ground in face of all opposition for twenty minutes with a force of only 150 men.
The casualties, as officially reported, were
KILLED or DIED OF WOUNDS. - Company B - Private Nathaniel Camp. Company F - Frank Coverts - 2.
WOUNDED. - Company A -Private Josiah B. Rogers. Company B - Privates Harrison 0. Field, Albert E. Higbee and Albert J. Sprague. Company C - Privates Lewis Paul, Morgan D. Kinney, M. Maissort and E. Paul, missing. Company D - Private Moses Scott. Company E - Privates H. D. Vaughn and Silas B. Allen. Company F - Corporal Fred Byers, Privates Edward Leak, Gabriel Cook, Albert A. Lyon and Wm. Cusic. Company G - Private Andrew Olson. Company H - Privates Leroy Mack and Joseph Smith. Company I- Lieutenant Hoyt - 20.
During the balance of
the month, the regiment was employed in picket and fatigue duty, with frequent
engagements with the enemy. Taking part in the movement of the Seventeenth
Corps to the right of Kennesaw Mountain, on the 2d of July, the regiment
took position near the Chattahoochie, at the month of Nickajack Creek.
On the 5th, it charged with the division upon the enemy's works, near the
creek and forced him to retire, across the stream to his main works. Fortifying
the position thus gained, they advanced the picket line to the bank of
the creek, and occupied the ground until the 8th, when they crossed the
stream, and established themselves in rifle pits on the opposite bank.
On the right of the 9th the enemy abandoned his position on the north side
of the Chattahoochie, crossing to the South side and burning the bridge.
A rebel deserter reported the fact about 3 o'clock in the morning to Captain
Maxon, who was out on the skirmish line with his company, when he immediately
moved up and took possession of the largest work. Here arms, accoutrements
and a large amount of personal baggage were gathered up. A line of skirmishers
was soon pressing after the flying foe, following them to the river and
taking position on the banks, they kept up a sharp fire all day. Several
deserters swam the river and came into our lines.
On the 12th, the regiment was transferred to the Third Division, General Leggett, of the Seventeenth Corps, and on the 13th, was assigned to the First Brigade, General Force. In this brigade was the Sixteenth Wisconsin.
The casualties in the regiment, from June 15th to July 14th, are reported as follows
KILLED OR DIED OF WOUNDS. - Company B - Private Chas. Reinfraith, 27th June. Company C - Private William King, 13th July. Company E - Private Henry A. Flunow, 5th July. Company G - Corporal Ole Oleson, 8th July. Company H - Private H. H. Beauleau, 13th July. Company I - Private Milton Sample, 1st July - 6.
WOUDNDED.- Company A -Corporal John T. Crippen, 10th July, Private Fredk. Gault, 18th June. Company B - Privates John Kivell, 5th July, Ralph Hoyt, 5th July, Hirain Hawkins, 5th July, Henry Palmer, 26th June, Levi Seely, 10th July, and John Dugald, 10th. Company C - Corporal James Slater, 7th July. Company G - Sergeant N. F. Rathburn, 8th July, Privates Thomas C. Nelson, 19th June, and George H. Butler, 5th July. Company H - Privates Henry Miller, Path June, and David Sherman, 26th June. Company K - Sergeant Frank Filbrick, Private George H. Fuzard - 16.
Accompanying the movements
of the army of the Tennessee to the left, the Third Division, General Leggett,
crossed the Chattahoochie at Roswell, passing through Decatur on the morning
of the 20th of July, and took up position near the extreme left of the
line, on the south side of the Augusta Railroad, about eighty rods from
the rebel intrenchments, where it halted for the night, and threw up rifle
pits in its front. In front of the division was a cornfield, covering the
side of a hill on the summit of which was a road, and the rebel earthworks,
which were filled with the choice troops of the confederacy, from Alabama
and Texas. Another cornfield stretched behind these works beyond which
were other lines of works, covering those in front. This proved to be the
key of the enemy's position, and the rebels considered it impossible for
the Union forces to take it. Both sides spent the night in strengthening
their position, to prevent surprise and repel attack.
Early next morning, orders were received for the division to change the works, and hold Bald Hill, in its front. The Twelfth and Sixteenth Wisconsin formed the advance of the charging column, supported by the Twentieth, Thirtieth and Thirty-first in Illinois. At the word of command, the several regiments rushed forward up the hill, crossing the cornfield, exposed to the most terrible fire from the entrenchments but the charging column never wavered. Side by side the Twelfth and Sixteenth rushed up to the rebel works and over them with a cheer, engaging in a hand to hand fight, using bayonets and clubbing their muskets till the stubborn defenders were forced out of their works in utter confusion, the brigade charging after them for sixty rods, and strewing the ground with dead and wounded rebels. The impetus of the charge carried them clear beyond the enemy's works, until they became exposed to the scathing fire of the rebels from their other works in the vicinity. The rebel troops belonged to the celebrated Cleburn's division, which was considered the crack fighting corps of the rebel army.
The command was recalled from following the rebels, and fell back to the captured works, which were at once strengthened, so as to repel any attempt the enemy might make to retake them. A terrible cross fire, from three directions, was kept up by the rebels and several charges made to regain their lost ground.
The Twelfth in fifteen minutes, out of less than 600 men engaged, lost one hundred and thirty-four, killed or wounded, and captured more small arms than it had men engaged, many of them loaded and capped. Five color bearers were shot, and the two flag staffs were shot off.
Earthworks, for the further preservation of the captured position, and the protection of the, Union troops, were erected during the afternoon and night of the 21st, at times, under a severe fire of the enemy. The Sixteenth Corps, towards night, moved to a position to protect the left flank of the Seventeenth Corps.
The casualties on the 21st, as officially reported were:
KILLED OR DIED OF WOUNDS. - Company A - Privates H. Bowers, D. S. Dresser, W. H. Hoges, T. W. Hope, Robert Triggs, J. A. Holman and Julius O. Olson. Company B - First Sergeant S. A. Miles, Privates Luther B. Cornwall, John E. Wickersham, AmosFord and R. Hoyt. Company C - Sergeant E. P. Wood, Corporals J. Hinkle and Gilbert Baker, died in rebel prison; Privates John Hudson, Plympton Rawdon, Stanley Ralston and Andrew Swenson. Company D - Coporal Emery P. Smith, Privates Edwin B. Frisbie, William Hockman, Mathias Lampert, John Lampert, Wellington Stannard, Christopher Smith, Nicholas Harris, David M. Waller, died at Andersonville; Moses Whalen, died at Andersonville. Company E- Corporal John Stoltze, Privates Charles W. Fields, W. Stowell and C. A. Boughton. Company F - Sergeant Isaac Libbey, Corporal F. Bennett, Privates George Bruette, Edgar W. Hall, William Murray, David Thomas, Reuben Haggett and David Plush. Company G - Privates Benjamin B. Newton. Company H - Privates Peter Askenath, Henry A. Keller and John Pung. Company I - Privates Thomas Dean, Lafayette Moon, Henry Muesner, A. W. West and H. H. Dupree. Company K - Private H. K. Munn - 51
WOUNDED.- Company A - Sergeant A. McKee, Privates J. Caniff, M. Denham, J. Caruthers. M. E. Lyness, A. F. Ottman, Francis Barrett, J. M. Collum, W. A. Burnett, N. K. Hammer and A. N. Olin. Company B - First Sergeant J. Miles, Privates J. Stuttieburg, L. L. Townsend, G. Feight, H. P. Ballard, Hiram Hawkins, S. G. Davis, J. Dodge, J. Carstetter, C. Carnes, L. Seeley and W. F. Sanborn. Company C - Captain F. Wilson, Privates J. Slater, P. Clemmens, M. Rawdon, M. Oleson, Ole Oleson, J. Laird, W, B. Pine, and Thomas M. Goldsworthy. Company D - Corporal G. R. Holt, Privates E. Callahan, J. Holt, W. Ebert, P. B. Gibson, W. W. Myers, C. C. Smith, J. M. Wheeler, D. J. Sullivan B. F. Marsden. Company E - Captain J. Gillespie, Sergeants H. W. Stutson and M. Griffin, Privates M. Clement, J. Camp, E. M. Terrell, W. L. Mosher, 0. Wright, H. Rood and J. Lawsha. Company F - Sergeant L. Turner and J. Pease, Privates D. Brunette, W. P. Jones, D. P. Nason, J. Dish, R. Arsens, J. Ward, B. B. Barker, A. F. Buck, D. D. Richardson, C. Heidenworth, M. Oliver and W. Luck. Company G - Sergeant G. L. Lang. Company H - Privates M. Jones, J. Cox, R. Roe, M. Jarvey, J. A. Jackson, D. J. Hubbard, J. Dunlap, G. M. Dickenson and J. Warren. Company I - Corp. D. B. Summers, Privates H. A. Schaffer, J. B. Summers, A. McVey, G. Churchill, C. Dugann, S. Rakey and W. B. Pugh. Company K - Privates A. J. Bolson, T. Torgenson and C. Carver - 87.
Next day the rebels moved
round and occupied the position from which the Third and Fourth divisions
charged up the hill the day before, and came on, yelling like demons, pouring,
in a deadly fire, and determined to retake their lost works. Simultaneously
with this movement on the rear, another column advanced on the front of
the captured works, thus placing our Wisconsin boys and their comrades,
under two fires. Here the pluck of Northwestern men showed them to be equal
to any emergency. The attacking column in the rear were nearest the works.
Crossing to the opposite side of their breastworks, the boys of Leggett's
Third Division, received the column in the rear so warmly that they fell
back in confusion. By this time, the column in front were within range.
Recrossing their works, Leggett's men poured another deadly fire into this
fresh column, as it approached. After repulsing them, the column in the
rear again advanced, and were again met in the same manner as before, and
our men again recrossed their works to meet the another attack in front.
Early in the fight, General Force was wounded and Colonel Bryant took command
of the brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Proudfit assumed command of the
regiment. The rebels swarmed around the works, keeping up their unearthly
the air was filled with smoke, and deadly missiles flew in every conceivable
Finding their efforts to retake their works were fruitless, the rebels called their tactics. They massed several regiments in a column of attack, and marched down the line of works, capturing battery after battery and turning the guns on our flying, men, enfilading with grape and canister, the whole line, as they advanced. On they came, seeming to gather numbers and compactness as they advanced, to within a few rods of where Colonel Bryant's brigade lay behind the works, awaiting them. They held the angle of the works the very crest of the hill, the key of the whole line, the prize of the gallant charge of yesterday. The last obstacle to the onward sweep of that concentrated mass of human ferocity, was the mere handful of men which composed that gallant First Brigade, lying behind those banks of earth. This point gained, and the rebels would be able to control the other works. On the hill a line of fire springs from those breastworks, another and another and at every discharge, the front ranks of that concentrated force go down in heaps. But they were not idle; closing up, they advanced and delivered their, fire, charging and recharging, filling their ditches with their dead some dashing clear over the works, only to die inside, and the rest falling back before that terrible fire. While this fight was going on, the Sixteenth Corps had moved up on the rebel flank and another force appeared in another part of the field, which compelled the enemy to fall back, and relinquish future attempts to retake the captured works. They had taken the small fort which had been constructed on the summit of the hill, and during the night they kept up a heavy enfilading fire on both lines, which was vigorously returned. During the night traverses, or short flank breastworks were built between the companies on each line, to protect them from flank and cross fires, and every preparation was made for maintaining their ground and holding the position. The brigade changed front many times, fighting from both sides of the same breastwork, and at times had to fight on two fronts and one flank. During a portion of the time the Twelfth was fighting, the two wings were back to back, with the enemy on both fronts and on the flank, and a portion of the regiment fought all night, a squad of the enemy, who were under the works, but who left about daylight. Colonel Bryant speaks in terms of the action of his brigade throughout these two days of battle.
Daylight revealed the fact that the rebels bad fallen back to their lines, giving up further attempt to retake their works.
The casualties on the 22d, were reported as follows:
KILLED OR DIED OF WOUNDS. - Company A - Sergeant Frank W. Henry, Privates E. H. Hegerman and G. Ford. Company B -Corporal W. H. Richards, Privates G. W. Bell and A. Dowden. Company G - Private Gerard Baker. Company H - Privates Andrew J. Watts and Caleb B. Clark - 9.
WOUNDED Company A- Private S. Huddlestone. Company B - Captain G. Stevens, Sergeant W. H. Inman, Privates J. W. Root, C. Carnes, L. Seeley, 0. Morrill, E. A. Robinson, T. Featherstone, E. Masson and E. Gorman. Company C - Privates S. -Hocking and H. Knudson. Company D - Captain J. M. Price. Company G - Private J. Grignon, T. B. McClaughney and A. A. Johnson. Company H -Private M. Hogarty. Company K- Private J. Milison - 19.
On the 23d, the dead of
both sides were buried under a flag of truce and op the 24th fatigue parties
were engaged in tearing up and destroying the Augusta Railroad, and on
the night of the 25th, movement from left to right was commenced,
as we have described in a previous chapter. In this movement, the Fifteenth
Corps, in the army of the Tennessee, occupied the extreme right. Before
it could close up on the Seventieth Corps, the rebels, under Stuart, Cleburn
and Cheatham, in immense force, fell upon their right, determined to turn
it if possible. Colonel Bryant received orders from General Howard to send
the two reserve regiments of his brigade to the support of the Fifteenth
Corps. The Twelfth Wisconsin, under Lieutenant Colonel Proudfit, and the
Thirty-first Illinois, immediately started on the double quick, the Twelfth
in the advance, proceeding for over a mile in the scorching sun. Forming
quickly, in a ravine on the extreme right of the army, they cleared up
a hill, from which our men had just been dislodged, and succeeded in routing
the enemy from it. Barricades were thrown up, it once, formed of rails,
&c., other troops closed in on the right, and the attack of the enemy
which continued until after sundown when the rebels returned to their interior
The casualties on the 28th of July, were:
KILLED. - Company B- Private J. W. Elliott. Company E - Private. D. A. Titus - 2.
WOUNDED. - Company A - Private, E. Tubman and F. Van Warner. Company B - Private L. Kelly. Company E - Private W. S. H. Cotton. Company F - Private H. J. Leonard. Company H - Private P. Peterson. Company I - Private Jacob Burr. Company K- Private G. W. Bigsbee - 8.
The regiment and its Lieutenant
Colonel were highly complimented as superior officers, for their promptness
and activity in moving to the place of need, and thus the right flank of
the army. The regiment entrenched itself on this line afterwards, moving,
nearer to the enemy's defenses twice, each time throwing up heavy works,
being under fire constantly, and remained there during the siege of the
city, until the 26th of August, when General Sherman made another movement
to the west and south, and on the 28th of August, struck the Montgomery
Railroad, about sixteen miles south of Atlanta, where they immediately
commenced the work of tearing up the track, continuing next day, and on
the 30th, pressed forward to the Macon Railroad.
On the 31st of August, Colonel Bryant was ordered, by his division General, to report to General Logan, of the Fifteenth Corps, with three regiments, the Twelfth and Sixteenth Wisconsin and Thirty-first Illinois. Reporting to Brigadier General Logan, Colonel Bryant was ordered to place the Thirty-first Illinois to cover a gap in the line, fronting an orchard towards Jonesboro, - the Twelfth and Sixteenth were moved to the left, with an interval of two regiments of the Fifteenth Corps between them, refusing their lines to protect the flank. Works were hastily thrown up, to cover themselves from the bullets and shells of the enemy. The charge made by the enemy on the 31st of August, at Jonesboro, extended along the front of the Thirty-first Illinois, and seven companies of the Twelfth Wisconsin, and was successfully resisted at all points. On the 1st of September, the Twelfth changed from the left to the right of the army of the Tennessee, and was under fire, most of the time, repulsing the enemy several times, without losing very heavily. On the 2d, they pursued the enemy to Lovejoy, where he, was found strongly fortified. The Twelfth drove the rebel skirmishers from a wooded hill, to the main force, when line of battle was formed, and the position retained until the 5th, when they marched with the Army of the Tennessee, towards Atlanta, and encamped near Eastpoint on the 8th of September.
The casualties, from July 28th to September 10th, were:
KILLED or DIED OF WOUNDS.- Company A - Private Benjamin J. Humphrey, August 11th. Company B- Privates M. B. Long, August 31st Company D - Private Henry Goldner, August 12th. Company F - Privates H. Bartels, September 3rd, Octave Pleasure. Company G - Private Jos. Robarg, August 12th. Company H - Privates C. Shadacker, September, 4th, and J.J. Gunen, September 2d. Company I - Private Benj. Foster, August l7th - 9.
WOUNDED. - Company A - Privates Alonzo Miller August 31st, A. S. Beardsley, September 5th, and G. S. Miles, September 5th. Company B - Lieutenant C.G. Higbee, August 20th, Privates J. Hornbeck, August 31st, and Albert Selden, August 20th. Company C - Privates Thomas Wilson, August 11th, and H. Jones, August l7th. Company D - Private Byron Fairbanks, Aug. 26th. Company E - Lieut. J. H. Thayer, August 14th, Private Anson Wright, Sept. 3d. Company F - Privates J. Alberg, Aug. 4th, W. E. Hurst, August 2d, E. R. Wilson, Sept. 2d, and J. Bundy, September 3d. Company G -Privates R. Streeter, August 31st, and N. P. Philips, Sept. 3d. Company H - Sergeant M. T. Brown, Privates C. Peterson, August 12th, W. Clark, August 12th, J. Roe, August 31st, M. Hagerty, September 4th, and R. M. Wright, September 5th. Company I- Privates. Mallett, August 16th, Isaac Munger, August 18th, H. Strong, August 31st, G. Churchill, September 2d, and S. P. Bon, September 2d. Company K - Privates H. Schofield, August 16th, J. Racks, August 2d, O. T. Nash, August 23d, and G.H. Marston, September 2d - 30.
The regiment remained
in camp at Eastpoint, until the 4th of October, when it marched with the
Seventeenth Army Corps in search of Hood, who had passed the Chattahoochie,
and was destroying the railroad to Chattanooga. The pursuit was continued
until the 21st of October, when the division went into camp at Little River,
Ala. Here orders were received that non-veterans of the Army of the Tennessee,
whose term of service expired before the 7th of November, should return
to Chattanooga, and be mustered out. Colonel Bryant, Captains Stevens and
Bennett, Lieutenant Blackman, and 83 men of the old Twelfth, responded
to this order.
Lieutenant James H. Thayer, of Company E, is reported as having died of wounds at Marietta, on the 7th of October, and John M. Holt, of Company D, on the 11th of October.
From camp on Little River, the Twelfth moved on the 29th of October, to Marietta, by way of Van Wert, arriving on the, fifth of November. Left there on the 13th, and arrived at Atlanta, on the same day, and on the 15th, commenced the Grand March to Savannah.
On the muster out of Colonel Bryant, Lieutenant Colonel Proudfit promoted to Colonel, Major William E. Strong Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain John Al. Price,
The Twelfth Regiment, accompanied the Seventeenth Corps, with in the right wing under General Howard. In the march to Savannah, but little pertaining to the regiment occurred different from that of the organizations. They performed their share of guard, fatigue, and forage duty. They assisted in destroying the railroads, that being one of Sherman's objects in the march. At the Oconee, on the 26th of November, the rebels made a slight resistance. They camped at Millen, on the 2d of December, having destroyed the railroad track, and Herndon Station, and done a general for foraging business over the intervening country. They crossed the Ogeechee, on the 4th and marched, skirmished and fought, among, the swamps and rice fields, until they reached the neighborhood of Savannah on the 13th of December. Here Major Price was unfortunately shot on the 19th of December, by a Union soldier, as he was walking near the lines between the pickets. With the rest of the army, they entered Savannah on the 21st of December.
Leaving that city on the 4th of January, the regiment proceeded by water with the rest of the Seventeenth Corps, to Beaufort, S. C., and went into camp on the 13th. The regiment marched out six or seven miles and engaged the enemy next day, driving them back to their works near the Pocotaligo River, pressing close up to the forts whose guns opened with grape and canister. Lieutenant Chandler, of Company K, was killed by a rebel sharpshooter, and Alva S. Beardsley and Torbjon Halverson, of Company A, were reported as wounded.
On the 20th the regiment moved to the Salkehatchie, where they had a heavy skirmish with the enemy. They proceeded on the march without anything of historical importance until the 11th of February, when the rebels made a stand at Orangeburg and engaged our troops. The Twelfth was ferried across the Edisto River, about a mile below the town, formed line of battle in a swamp, marched thorough it, where in many places it was up to the men's armpits, turned the enemy's works, charged upon the rebels, and drove them out of the town. The large garrison flag was captured by Private Warren, of Company H, and the regimental colors soon took their place. The regiment was appointed provost guard in the town, a considerable portion of which was burned by fire set by the rebels. Proceeding on their way they passed Cheraw, near which John Ducey, of Company A, was mortally wounded, and at Fayetteville, James Silbaugh, of Company I, was killed on the 11th of March. The Twelfth was present in line at the battle of Bentonville, but was not actively engaged, and arrived with the army at Goldsboro on the 4th of March. They remained in camp recruiting their strength and outfit, till the 10th of April, when they joined in the advance towards Raleigh in pursuit of General Johnston's army. It is needless for us to reiterate the particulars of this rebel general's surrender or the subsequent action of the heroes of the "Grand March," further than to say that after the surrender, the Seventeenth Corps proceeded to Washington by way of Richmond, and was present at the Grand Review at the National Capital, soon after which the regiment was ordered, with other western organizations, to Louisville, where it was mustered out and came home about the 20th of July, 1865, where it was disbanded and paid off.
For meritorious service during the war Colonel Proudfit was brevetted Brigadier General.
Regimental Statistics - Original strength, 1,045. Gain by recruits in 1863, 84, in 1864, 314, in 1865, 22; by substitutes, 177; by draft in 1864, 24, in 1865, 1; veteran recruits, 519; total, 2,186. Loss-by death, 294; deserted, 26; transferred, 64; discharged, 336; mustered out, 1,466.