MONDAY, MARCH 21, 1864
THE OFFICIAL STATE PAPER
The Twelfth Wisconsin Veterans,
The Arrival of the Regiment.
An Account of their Service.
The veteran regiments from this state, re-enlisting for the war, are returning home in rapid secession to enjoy the 30 days furlough given them. The ceremony of their reception upon their arrival in this state is both a pleasant and profitable one. These men have been absent for a long time from their families and friends; they have confronted peril and endured hardships in the service of the country; and they have a right to expect a warm and hearty greeting from the state authorities. We are glad to observe that Governor Lewis and his staff are omitting no pains in this behalf, and trust there will be no diminution of their efforts. As regiment after regiment of these brave man come back, something of the novelty and thrill of feeling with which the spectacle of their bronzed faces and soils uniforms and tendered battle flags was first attendance may pass away, but the occasion is holding you to each regiment in its turn. It is their first return as an organization from the scenes and privations of war to the peace and abundance with which the state continues to be blessed, and it has all the charm and zest for them that belongs to a new and joyful experience.
Today we have to chronicle the return of the veteran 12th Wisconsin. It arrived here at about 5:00 this morning, and numbers between 600 and 700 men. After a bountiful supper provided at the Railroad Restaurant, by direction of Quartermaster General Lund, who was up all night weeping their arrival, the regiment marched to quarters at Camp Randall. Their formal reception by the governor is postponed till tomorrow.
The following is the roster of the Regiment:
Colonel - George Bryant.
Lt. Colonel -Jas. K. Proudfit
Major - Wm. E. Strong
Adutant - Levi M. Breese
Quartermaster - Andrew Sexton
Surgeon - E. M. Rogers.
1st Asst. Surgeon Sam'l L. Marston.
Company A - Capt. O. T. Maxon; 1st Lieut. Chas. Reynolds; 2d Lieut. Wailoco Kelsy.
Company B - Capt. Giles Stevens; 1st Lieut. Benj. F. Blackman; 2d Lieut. Charles G. Higbee.
Company C - Capt. Francis Wilson; 1st Lieut. M. J. Cantwell; 2d Lieut. Daniel G. Jones.
Company D - Capt. J. M. Price; 1st Lieut. Wm. J. Norton; 2d Lieut. Hariam M. Waller.
Company E - Capt. John Gillespie; 1st Lieut. Lewis T. Linnell, 2d Lieut. James H. Thayer.
Company F - Capt. Geo. C. Norton; 1st Lieut. Levi Odell; 2d Lieut. David Jones.
Company G - Capt. W. W. Botkin; 1st Lieut. W. P. Langswoerthy; 2d Lieut. Harian P. Bird.
Company H - Capt. Carilton B. Wheelock; 1st Lieut. Ephraim Blakesice; 2d Lieut. Wm. R. Boughton.
Company I - Capt. Van S. Bennette. 1st Lieut. Francia Hoyt; 2d Lieut. Salma Rogers.
Company K - Capt. Daniel R. Sylvester; 1st Lieut. A. N. Chandler; 2d Lieut. Geo. D. Clark.
The history of the 12th is a little peculiar. It has been in the service for two years. During that time it has been almost constantly within the theatre of some of the most stirring events of the war. Nevertheless, it has suffered less in battle in any of the veteran regiments. It has shirked no duty. It has done more hard marching, and gone farther into the bowel of the land of Dixie then almost any other Wisconsin Regiment, but it has not happen to be engaged in any of the great battles of the war. Thus it has lost but few men at the hands of the enemy, while, in consequence of the excellent discipline of men and the care bestowed upon their sanctuary condition by its officers, it has suffered less from sickness and the strain of long and fatiguing marches, then any other regiment from this state. Its ranks are still nearly full and for a year past it has been mistaken for a brigade instead of a regiment, when marching through the country.
The 12th was organized at Camp Randall in October 1861. By the 11th of January following, it left camp and route to Weston, Missouri. It was during the coldest weather of the season. Unable to cross the river at Hannibal, the regiment in order to reach a point of crossing performed a march of 22 miles down the river with the thermometer below zero, and suffered severely. From Weston it proceeded to Leavenworth, Kansas, on the 15th of February. On the first of March it sent out for Fort Scott, and marched 160 miles in six days. Twenty days later, it was ordered to Lawrence, involving another march of 115 miles. About this time, Jim Lane conceived the idea of an expedition to New Mexico. About two weeks later, the 12th was ordered with other troops to Fort Riley, and performed another march of 120 miles. On reaching there, the expedition was abandoned, and they marched 125 miles back to Leavenworth, reaching their that 27th May, 1862. Thence they embarked, and went down the river to St. Louis, and from there were sent to Columbus, Kentucky, reaching the place on the 2d of June. They were engaged in that vicinity and repairing the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and removed to Humboldt early in July. There, a part of the regiment was mounted in employed in scouting the adjacent country, and fighting guerrillas until October, when it moved to Bolivar and was attached to the 17th Army corps. After the battle off Corinth, it marched in pursuit of the rebels, making thirty miles in ten hours, and arriving at the Hatchee just too late to participate in the battle. It joined in the movement of the Army South which was frustrated by the surrender of Holly Springs, and in the following February was stationed on the Memphis and Charleston road doing guard duty. On the 14th of March, 1863, it went to Memphis. Soon after, Col. Bryant, with the 12th and some other troops, started on the expedition for the Coldwater, cooperating with Smith against the rebels under Chambers. Encountering the enemy at Hernando, a sharp skirmish occurred, and which the rebels were routed with the loss of seven officers and sixty men left prisoners in our hands, besides their killed and wounded, who were carried off. There was sharp skirmishing the following day with the enemy, who were diverted by this expedition while General Garrison made his famous raid.
The 12th embarked at Memphis on the 11th of May, enjoying Grants army, arriving at Grand Gulf on the 18th. Here they were left to garrison and fortified opposed until the 9th of June, doing a heavy work meantime in running off the slave population of the vicinity. They then proceeded to Vicksburg, and served in the trenches until its surrender. One man was killed and five wounded during this siege.
The next day, it marched with Sherman against Jackson, acting as skirmishers in the engagement on the 12th, but sustaining no loss. The place was subsequently evacuated by the rebels, and that 12th returned to Vicksburg, proceeding to Natchez on the 15th. The regiment was then employed in Natchez and vicinity, and more recently about Vicksburg, in guarding the river and hunting guerrillas, until the late expedition of General Sherman. Its experiences in this expedition were detailed by our correspondent "W," and Saturday's paper. The regiment was in the advance, and destroyed the 19th mile post on the railroad from mobile. In the fight at Jackson it lost three men killed and three wounded. From this sketch it will be seen that within the last two years the 12th has marched on foot nearly, if not quite, two thousand miles, and has fairly earned the title by which it is known by the Army - "The marching 12th."
The formal reception of the 12th has been postponed until tomorrow. It will occur in the park in case the weather is pleasant. The hour is not fixed, but a salute will be fired up on the arrival of the regiment at the park.