Private Frank Olive, Company F.



From The Soldier's and Citizen's Album, pg. 176, 177.

Frank Olive, Menomonee, Mich., member of G. A. R. Post No. 266, was born at Van Keck Hill, Province of Ontario, April 3,1840, and is the son of Antonie and Esther (Couqjura) Olive. His father was born in France, emigrated at an early age to Canada and, in latter life, was mail messenger between the Provinces and States. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and enlisted under the name of Antonie Rubroir, the latter being the paternal name of his mother. The family removed to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where the son grew to manhood. He came to Wisconsin in 1960 and operated as a painter at Oconto. He enlisted October 8, 1861, at Oconto, in Company F, 12th Wisconsin Infantry for three years and received honorable discharge in 1863. From the date of his enlistment, Mr. Olive experienced the varieties of camp life at Madison, joining the forces on their way to the front, marching under stress of weather, eating frozen rations or without food, sleeping on the ground with the mercury 20 degrees below zero without protection, and finally reaching Leavenworth, Kansas, in the middle of February to be assigned to the "Southwest Expedition" and to marched a long distance to Fort Scott. The plan being abandoned, more marching was in order and the l2th went to Lawrence, Kansas, and thence to Fort Riley, expecting to be sent to New Mexico. Another change was made and the command went to Leavenworth. The programme of movement was continued and the regiment went to St. Louis and events again changed the route of the command. The rebels bad destroyed a railroad in their retreat from Columbus and the regiment was sent to its repair, and also to tend to the guerrillas. In June, Mr. Olive when to Humboldt, Tenn., and guarded railroad and watched and hunted guerrillas until October. Thence he went to Bolivar, next to Pocahontas and back to LaGrange, to Lumpkin's Mills, Holly Springs, Yocona Creek and Sprindale Station. In April, he was in a Coldwater River, where the regiment was on special duty and afterwards, to Memphis. May he proceeded to take part in the operations against Vicksburg, crossed the peninsula, skirmished all the way and fought in the left wing under General Crocker during the siege. At the date of the surrender Mr. 0live was sick with fever and ague, but he went to Jackson to find his command, and was met by his commanding officer who inquired how he got there knowing him to be unfit for the journey. He was violently in after it, being delirious unconscious until September, when he was send to Memphis. He was so ill that his comrades were summoned several times to see him die. At Memphis he was exempted from duty in December, veteranized and received veteran's furlough, which was extended to 43 days. In May he returned to the army, marching 300 miles to connect with the Army of the Tennessee near Snake Gap, Ga., and he was in the several actions known as Kennesaw Mountain." He was in the fight at Lookout and Snake Gap and moved with the command to Atlanta. The service performed by the 12th in the action of the day on which McPherson was killed, saved the Federal army from defeat and they remained in the trenches there a month. In the action of the 22nd of July, Mr. Olive was in the thickest of the fight where the rebels and Federals were often commingled and could not distinguish friends from foes. His clothes were cut to pieces by bullets and his canteen and haversack ruined. He was in the movement back to Nashville to the assistance of Thomas but was just too late to be in the fight. Mr.0live went with his command to Savannah skirmish along the line of movement and was in the action at Fort McAllister. Thence he proceeded through the Carolinas, going to Beaufort, S. C. by sea and went to Bentonville and later to Goldsboro, joining in the pursuit of Johnston to the surrender. He participated in the Grand Review at Washington, where he was mustered out of service.

He returned to Oconto and engaged as a carpenter. He went, soon after, to Peshtigo where he remained until 1871 and passed with his family through the horrors of the fire. All the possessions of his family were lost and with his wife and three children, on the night of October 8th, he remained in the Peshtigo River. One of the little ones was a babe and died afterwards. Mr. Olive states that the terrors and, suffering he endured in the fire ranked those of the war by all odds. From Peshtigo, Mr. Olive went to Green Bay, destitute of everything, blinded and expecting to lose his sight permanently from burns and exposure to the glaring light of the fire. Captain Reynolds of Company A, 12th Wisconsin infantry, saw and recognized him as a soldier of his former command, took him in charge and took care of him as he required, like a man and a soldier of the Union he went to Symco, Waupaca county, where he remained with his brother until he was well and then he went to Marinette for a short stay. In 1872 he went to Menomonee and five years later he returned to the scene of his former troubles - at Peshtigo. Two and a half years later he made a final return to Menomonee. He is employed by the Luddington, Wells & Van Schaick Lumber Company for whom he has served nine years, (1888). Two of his brothers fought ln the war. Michael was in the 12th and Joseph was a member of New York Heavy Artillery. He was a boiler inspector and was killed by the explosion of a boiler he was examining.

Sept. 12, 1865, the marriage of Mr. Olive and Amelia Grandau took place and their children are Frank J. William Henry, Mary, Lizzie, Edward, John D., Robert and Lillie May, as mentioned. Mrs. Oliver is of French origin and is born in Canada. David Plush, a brother-in-law of Mr. Olive, was killed in front of Atlanta, in 1864.