Books and Magazines Concerning the 26th Wisconsin

The Sigel Regiment

Author Jim Pula.

… Overlapping the Federal line by more than a quarter mile, rebel infantry had no difficult moving under cover of the dense woods around the right flank of the 26th, catching the regiment in a deadly crossfire…
… The silence of death mingled everywhere with the cries of the wounded as the Confederates regrouped to press home their attack. Colonels Krzyzanowski and Jacobs rushed about amid the debris of battle issuing orders, cheering their men, and looking nervously over their shoulders for the help that never came…

… Riddled by enemy fire in their exposed positions, the men stuck to heir work grimly, animated as much by their determination. Sweating form the day's travail, the men appeared to their brigade commander to be possessed by some animal-like thirst for blood. Blackened by the gunpowder from their cartridges and the billowing smoke, their bloodshot eyes painted a horribly grotesque picture Krzyzanowski likened to "a portrait of hell"…

[Peach Tree Creek]
… On they went, up the hill, scattering the Mississippians before them. Led by Capt. Fuchs, Company C surged forward, its leader seizing to coveted Confederate regimental flag. Others captured six officers swords and some forty prisoners…

The Sigel Regiment: 504pp. cloth, full color dust jacket of original oil painting by a member of the 26th Wisconsin of the capture of the 33rd Mississippi's flag at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek in May 1864; ten original maps, scores of photos and illustrations; full biographical roster; appendices of officers, losses, engagements, etc.; index. The price is $29.95 plus $4.00 postage to obtain an authgraphed copy Send a check to Jim Pula (Author) at 334 Pangborn Hall, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, 20064

For additional information on this book, contact Theodore P. Savas, from the Savas Publishing Company.

Splendid Gallantry

Author Richard Hafeman Haviland

By mid-1862, the war was going badly for the Union.  President Lincoln's back was against the wall as tens of thousands of ninety-day enlistments were about to expire and far too few able-bodied replacements were signing up. Any more defeats and a demoralized Union Army would be precariously close to disintegration.

The President sent the Union's ranking German-American general, Franz Sigel, on a recruiting mission into states with Germanic populations in an effort to induce them to join the war effort. So far, relatively few had volunteered, hardly surprising since so many of them had left their homeland in order to avoid conscription into one of the feuding German state's war machines. If native-born Americans were not enlisting, why should they?

Recruiting far exceeded expectations. In just one month, a 1,000-man "All-German" regiment was recruited in Wisconsin.  It was much the same in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, all of them eager to defend their honor and their new homeland. The Sigel Regiment, later designated as the Twenty-Sixth Wisconsin, was formed along the state's Lake Michigan lakeshore; seven rifle companies in Milwaukee and one each in Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and West Bend.

To a man, the enlistees were motivated as much by Teutonic pride as patriotism. They had been assured that they would be officered by fellow Germans, often graduates of Prussian military academies. Esprit was such that it seemed likely that this new Wisconsin regiment would become one of the Union Army's finest.

It did not happen. How they became unjustly derided as "Flying Dutchmen", even by a hometown newspaper, and came back from the war as members of what was perhaps the most scorned corps in the entire Union Army is what this book, now in its third  printing is about; it is "the rest of the story."

Order by title from -- $25 plus shipping -- or an autographed copy can be obtained directly from the author. Also available as a voice recording on CD.


Cogswell's Brigade

Another compositional accomplishment from author Jim Pula for his accurate depiction of the harsh battles of the Civil War. This article presents the Cogswell Brigade during the last two hard-fought battles of the Carolina Campaign in early 1865.

… Slogging through the wet terrain, the Northern infantry immediately came under fire from concealed Confederate skirmishers. "A very hot skirmish" followed, recalled the 26th Wisconsin's Lt. Col. Winkler, which developed for about an hour. With the advance, reported Hartwell Osborn of the 55th Ohio, the enemy were "provoked to use artillery, having a battery placed to command the road." Some shells fell among the skirmishers, but many also carried to the main line of battle which made a more appealing target for the Southern gunners.

… Cogswell's skirmishers edged their way forward against an enemy often unseen amid the swampy underbrush and thickening woods. Lead balls zipped through the damp air on missions of destruction, occasionally slashing through the flesh or shattering the bone of an unlucky victim. Under constant fire, with any semblance of lines impossible to maintain, the fight rapidly degenerated into innumerable contests of small groups and individuals, personal contests with death and mutilation the lot of the vanquished.

… Gradually, one tree or bush at a time, the Federals began to move perceptibly forward. Their left resting roughly along the Raleigh Road, skirmishers of the 55th Ohio eventually gained a footing in a pine forest to their front, while those of the 26th Wisconsin waded their way through underbrush and mire. Skirmishers from the other regiments struggled through knee-deep water to keep the pressure on the Confederate defenders.

Along with the 26th Wisconsin, this article also contains small regimental histories of the 20th Connecticut, 33rd Massachusetts, 55th and 73rd Ohio Infantries. A map, pictures, and a loss count completes these historical accounts.

Civil War Regiments: A Journal of the American Civil War, is published by Savas Publishing, 1475 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 204, Campbell, CA 95008. Individual issues are $12.00 and available through our distributor, Stackpole Books (800-732-3669). 

Author Jim Pula's THE 26TH WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY AT GETTYSBURG is printed in the June issue of 'Gettysburg' Magizine'

… Shrill Rebel yells pierced the roar of bursting shells as Gordon's and Doles' Georgians, joined by some of Edward O'Neal's Alabamians closed on the blue defenders. In the Sigel Regiment, Colonel Boebel hastened his men into line as Confederate minie balls added new dangers to the fragments of bursting artillery shells. A ball struck the colonel in the right leg, but he gallantly refused to leave the field. Soon a shell fragment caught Boebel in the same leg, slashing the flesh, crushing the bone, and putting him out of action.

… As death and destruction grew, Early's Confederates pressed forward against the Union right flank, now held by the Sigel Regiment. Two of Gordon's regiments rushed headlong into the 26th Wisconsin and the next regiment to its left, the 119th New York. To their left, Doles' Georgia regiments pressed against the 82nd Ohio and 75th Pennsylvania, outflanking the Federal regiments there and forcing them back much as a gate pivots on a hinge.

… To Karl Wickesberg in Company H, the "bullets came as thick as hail." First Lt. Joseph Maschauer was wounded and a ball tore into William Ehrinann's leg leaving in its path a bloody mess. In the ranks, twelve more were wounded and four killed, but Captain Domschcke kept the survivors in line, firing as fast as they could. Harder hit was Company G, where Confederate fire wounded Captain Fuerstenberg, the only officer present. Of thirty-two men who entered the field, only seven survived unhurt.

… the fierce Union resistance impressed some Confederates as heroic. "[T]he Yankees stopped and made a desperate stand," recalled G. W. Nichols of the 61st Georgia in Gordon's brigade. "Their officers were cheering their men and behaving like heroes and commanders of the 'first water.'”

by Morningside House, Inc