TRANSCRIBED BY RUSS SCOTT, WOODBURY, MN.
June 29, 1914
Recall Famous Fight
Survivors of 26th Wisconsin Recall Battle of Peach Tree Creek Before Atlanta.
C. F. Stemm, Peter Wirshem,
George C. Lampert and Charles Vollmer Were All With The Union Army in Famous
Fight Against Confederates.
This was a day of memories for the handful of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry as just fifty years ago at sunset this day these men took part in the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, one of the heaviest battles of the campaign for Atlanta. The fight with the Confederates at Peach Tree Creek was one of the most horrible engagements of the troops from Kenosha were engaged. Some survivors of the famous skirmish were D. F. Stemm, former Major of this City, Charles Vollmer, George C. Lampert and Peter Wirshem. The 26th Wisconsin Regiment enlisted a large number of German Immigrants were in the very hottest of the fighting. The regiment was under the command of Colonel F. C. Winkler now live in Milwaukee.
In the fight which lasted less than a quarter of an hour the 26th lost fifty men. Opposing the Union in this fight were the members of the fighting 33rd Mississippi Regiment of the Confederate Army. In the fight this regiment was cut to pieces, all of its officers were killed and the two flags of the regiment including the state flag and the flag of the Confederacy, were captured. These flags were brought back to Wisconsin and placed in the capitol at Madison and they were among the battle flags destroyed in the fire which burned the state house a decade ago.
Former Mayor Stemm talked of the battle today. " I remember it just as if it was yesterday," said Mr. Stemm. "We had been on the march most of the day when we came to an old dead corn field and had stacked our arms with a view of getting some supper. The Kenosha members of the regiment had made it a custom to stick together and when we stacked arms Limpert went out and got some wood to make a fire. Charley Vollmer scouted out to get some water for the coffee and I was out gathering blackberries. I had picked a quart of the berries when I heard the firing of the skirmish lines. We could see the men of the 33rd Mississippi were coming nearly three-quarters of a mile away and we hurried to arms and went to meet them. I remember that the first time I attempted to shoot my old muzzle loading musket the cartage missed fire and I threw it down and reach to pick up a musket from one of the men who had fallen. I got hold of the sword of Captain Miller of Milwaukee, who had been one of the first of our men to fall in the struggle. I went on and managed to get a musket and the four Kenosha boys were right in the fighting until the flags of the enemy had been captured and the survivors scattered. Other regiments at the fight were the 73rd Ohio, 33rd Massachusetts, 55th Indiana, and one other regiment. *** Later on in the war we found a few of the members of the 33rd Mississippi after they had been mustered into other regiments of the Confederate army. In this fight the mettle of the German volunteers was fully tried and the victory attained was one of the most brilliant of the campaign before Atlanta. At that time Vollmer and I were just about seventeen years of age while Limpert and Wirshem were well up in the twenties. We members of the 26th regard the battle of Peach Tree Creek as one of the real notable engagements of the war."
***NOTE: Mr. Stemm may have been referring to the 136th New York.