Headquarters, 26th Wis. Volunteer Infantry,
South Carolina, January 5th, 1865.
We left our camp in Savannah on Monday morning and crossed the river on a steamer, the Planter. We landed in the rice fields. The first trip brought over three regiments, including mine. I was put in command, and our brigade commander went back. We had to repair, or rather rebuild, a bridge on the dike, and that took us until late in the afternoon; then we marched forward four miles, where our first brigade was camped. Here I found General Ward, who told me to camp there for the present.
I was interrupted this
morning by an order to go out reconnoitering. Tuesday I sent out a party
early and they had not been gone long before we heard quite heavy firing,
so I concluded to go out and see what it was myself. Our horses had not
then come across the river and I had to go on foot. I found that our party
had met a rebel cavalry force, who had fallen back to an entrenchment commanding
the road, on each side of which there was an impassable swamp. I sent parties
to the right and left to try to get through the swamp, but they could not
accomplish it and I finally found, on personal examination, it was just
about impracticable. I was bound to get them out, so I took a few of my
men and made a wide detour. We went over a rice field dike as far as we
could and then worked our way inch by inch through a canebrake on very
swampy bottom, and finally came out on a road which would lead me to their
rear. Here I came upon a cavalry picket post, who gave the alarm, and they
all ran off. To-day I went over the same road and met no enemy, but found
immense quantities of rice and sent a scow load down the river.
We moved forward about a mile and went into camp on good dry ground yesterday. To-day our wagon came up and brought us a few boards. I have a floor in my tent, but no chimney. There are no bricks here, the soil is all sandy. It is reported that a portion of the 17th Corps has embarked on board of transports, bound for some more northerly port. I hinted to a staff officer of the division that I wanted to resign, a few days ago; he thought I could not possibly get my resignation approved.
January 7th, 1865.
The wind is blowing very
hard; it is chilly without a fire. About a mile from here, where we stopped
the first two nights after coming into South Carolina, there is a very
fine large mansion, surrounded by a garden that must once have been very
beautiful. It belonged to the Hon. Langdon Cheves. He left the place several
years ago, but in one room upstairs there are still left many old books,
pamphlets, etc. One of the latter is a speech made by Mr. Cheves at a Southern
Conventlon in Nashville in 1850; it is very interesting, to show how mature
and determined the tendencies were in their breasts even at that day, and
how they had counted up the chances of war. Mr. Cheves was evidently a
man of fine ability and literary accomplishments. He was killed on Morris
Island, quite early in the war.
I see that the President has called for three hundred thousand men; I was in hopes Congress would amend the law and authorize a draft for a longer period of service before another call would be made. If we could get these three hundred thousand men for a term of two years, I should feel very confident that it would prove the last call required to end the war. Our hospitals are crowded with recruits who have never seen a rebel. Our wise men in Congress somehow cannot see-or will not see-that from the very beginning they have been and still persistently continue to be the Infatuated dupes of the fallacious hope that the war won't last, can't last, much longer.
January 8th, 1865.
I have shivered and my
teeth have chattered a good deal this last week, but now that disagreeable
feature of camp life has for a time at least been removed. We sent our
wagon out in search of brick this morning and it returned at noon with
a full load. This afternoon a couple of my good boys put up a charming
fireplace and chimney. Now I have a good wall tent with a floor and chimney,
a bed, table and arm chair, all to myself. What more does one want in the
field? This genial warmth is very comfortable. The mail to-day treated
me niggardly; it only brought me officials, not even a newspaper. I have
read the annual report of the Secretary of the Navy. It is a highly interesting
and well written document, and sets forth the enormous work of the department
and its great success with great force. It seems to be popular, both among
the friends and opponents of the administration, to heap abuse upon the
Secretary of the Navy, and to indulge in sarcastic witticism at his expense,
but I think the doings of the department show that it has been administered,
since the beginning of the war, with the zeal of true patriotism, eminent
ability and signal success. If the weather is pleasant, I shall go to Savannah
to-morrow. I must try to get a pair of new boots. Prices are exorbitant
here; it is very expensive to live. Provisions are still coming in scantily.
If it were not for the abundance of rice, our men would actually suffer
want. Our animals live on rice in the sheaf exclusively; forage, they have
none at all.
Mr. Doesticks is going to lecture on Pluck every evening this week at the theatre; what a hashing and re-hashing of trash that will be.
Hardee's Farm, S.C., January 11th, 1865.
We are rather isolated here. Recent rains have made the narrow dike road to Savannah unfathomable, and the pontoon bridge across the river is broken half the time. I did not go to the city, as I intended, as I found that I can get my old boots tapped here in the regiment, and that will answer as well as a new pair for the present. The 17th Corps has been shipped to Pocotaglio Bridge, which is about half way between Savannah and Charleston on the railroad. The 15th Corps was also embarked on Monday, and probably the 14th and 20th will follow the same way. General Butterfield it seems has got back; it is said he has already arrived if he returns to our corps he will have command of it, as it is now commanded by a brigadier general. It is very lonesome and monotonous here. Yesterday it rained all day, but my tent and fire-place and some books I brought from the Georgia State Library made it comparatively comfortable. It has been hard work, but we have a pretty good camp up again. All the men have comfortable houses and most of them chimneys, however we are not likely to enjoy them long. Indications seem to be that our next move will be against Charleston.
January 13th, 1865.
The latest papers we have had in the regiment are of the middle of December. Our new chaplain, whom we elected on Winfield Smith's recommendation, arrived last night. He seems to be a very plain, unsophisticated little man from North Greenfield, knowing little of the world beyond the limit of his flock, but he is energetic and devoted to his cause and to his duty; he held service to-day. There is a good deal of commotion and working and pulling and figuring in military quarters just now. Colonel Wood has returned, that is he is in Savannah; he has not come over here at all. Of course, he would like to get his old brigade again, and does not seem to care to assume command of his regiment under Colonel Ross, who is his senior. Ross too has been in town almost constantly lately. They are all trying and working to arrange things and organizations, each for his own benefit. It is the brevets which are brewing mischief. Both General Williams and General Geary, and in both the 1st and 2nd Divisions, Colonels have been brevetted Brigadiers, while General Ward and his division have received no such badge of distinction. General Ward is in high dudgeon and will not stand it. He rests his claim on the achievements of his division; if that is the true standard, it certainly would credit him with great merit, but it can unfortunately not be denied that our successes were gained in spite of our General, rather than with his aid. While there is not a better division in the army, there has been perhaps not a more indolent, Incompetent division commander, but I think some of our Colonels have deserved brevetting fully as much as any in the 1st or 2nd Division. In the mean time, General Ward won't submit to it. file writes lo Washington and threatens to withdraw his valuable services wholly if they are not duly recognized. Our camps are rife with rumors of all kinds, affecting the organization of troops in the corps.
January 17th, 1865.
Colonel Ross went away this afternoon on leave, and left Lieutenant Colonel Buckingham, of the 20th Connecticut, in command of the brigade. He is a very manly, gentlemanly officer. Our brigade is to move tomorrow to Hardeeville, but my regiment and the 73rd Ohio will stay a day or two to wait for the train to get ready which we are to escort. Colonel Buckingham did not remain in command of the brigade long. One of the new brevet Brigadier Generals, Cogswell, Colonel of the 2nd Massachusetts, of the 1st Division, has been assigned to the command of the brigade and appeared last night and took command. I saw him early this morning just before the brigade started.
Hardeeville, January 21st, 1865.
We moved from our last
camping place and a ten mile march brought us to a few houses and railroad
station on the Charleston and Savannah Railroad. Here we went into camp
and the next day it commenced to rain, and yesterday it rained and to-day
it rains. The Savannah River is swollen immensely; the dikes along the
rice fields are said only just to loom out of the water. Our corduroy went
off with the tide and the roads are unfathomable. It is manifest that this
weather will seriously interfere with the projective campaign. The swamps
about here are about enough in dry weather, but in such times as these
there is no way of moving.
Shortly after we came here, we heard the cheering news that Fort Fisher had been taken by a gallant assault by General Terry, and that the City of Wilmington also was in our hands; that is a great triumph indeed, thus blockade running from Wilmington will stop and the most important city on the Wilmington Railroad is ours. I have an idea that, if Lee continues to hold Richmond and Petersburg, Sherman's Army will find itself at Wilmington in the spring and operating thence against the Danville Railroad. Lee cannot remain in Richmond, and yet he cannot get out, for there is no strategy point south of that city where he can retreat to and will not find himself in the same inevitable net that he now beholds slowly and at a distance closing around him. I think we have reason to hope that this year will see the end of the war. It is said that fifteen commissioners have been sent by the Rebel Congress to Washington with overtures of peace, and among them is said to be Mr. Boyce. This gentleman was very severely and bitterly denounced at a meeting in Columbia, S.C., a few months ago for his timid craving for peace in a public meeting.
January 24th, 1865.
Major Lackner has gone out on a reconnaissance with one hundred and twenty men mounted on pack mules. I learn from officers returned from the North, that the whole north is wild with a spirit of speculation and money making. In New York it is said to be a perfect frenzy. Luxury and gayety seem also to revel in spite of war and high prices. A number of the New York Herald I have here contains a brilliant description of a fancy dress skating Party on the Fifth Avenue Pond; it must have been a magnificent affair.
January 26th, 1865.
We have received orders that the troops are to make themselves comfortable in their present encampment, which means, of course, that we will stay here some little time. Major Lackner returned from his expedition yesterday, and provided our dinner to-day with a duck, a goose and some sweet potatoes. It is very cold and windy, but there is nothing like our pitch pine to make a good hot fire in a fire-place.
Robertsville, January 31st, 1865.
It is very early in the
morning. The sun is scarce up, and it is so very cold you must excuse my
crooked letters, but we are to march several miles this morning and our
mail will leave at eleven o'clock. We started from Hardeeville day before
yesterday, arriving at noon, a distance of almost twenty-four miles. We
are fairly started on the campaign it will not do for me to take my leave
now. It will be an easy campaign. The weather is pleasant and the enemy
here is not formidable. I can hardly be with you on the 2nd of March this
year, but I shall try to come on leave as soon as this campaign is over.
The Inhabitants have all left the country here, except the negroes, and
it is the general practice of most of the troops to set every unoccupied
house on fire.
Our new brigade commander is very attentive and strictly forbids all wanton destruction of private property. I think he is by far the best officer we have had at the head of this brigade. Our last one was a gambling and worthless officer. Every officer here is glad that we have got rid of Colonel Ross he went home offended because he had not been promoted at least by brevet. I hope, for the good of the service, he will never return.
White Pond, S.C., February 10th, 1865.
Since the last of January, when I wrote at Robertsville, we have been out of communication. We started on the 2nd inst., and since that time have been marching and working every day, yet we are very well off, marching through the enemy's country in pleasant weather, living on the best of fare, and tearing up the most vital railroads in the south far and wide, without the slightest opposition. We struck the railroad about two miles east of Graham and two divisions of our corps have destroyed every bit of the road, taken up and heated, bent and twisted every rail, and burned every tie to a mile west of this place, which is just twenty miles from Graham.
February 15th, 1865.
We shall be wholly cut off from communication for a long time; we are now in front of Columbia, the river only separates us from the city. The whole army is concentrated here. General Howard's wing, which is nearest the river, is putting a bridge across.
February 20th, 1865.
We crossed the Saluda River day before yesterday and are now in front of the Broad River waiting to cross. The 14th Corps is ahead and crossing by the same bridge; we shall probably cross this afternoon. We have traveled very slowly lately, but we have crossed the Saluda, the Broad, the Catawba and Wateree Rivers, and when the roads dry up a little we can get on faster. At any rate, we have plenty to eat and are filling our wagons besides, and no enemy has the temerity to show his face. All the talk of Southern Papers about our fighting is false. They claim to have fought us at the crossing of the river at Columbia; they did fire across and we fired a few shells, and there it ended. General Sherman himself told one of my captains that he had not lost a man. When we arrived at the Catawba River, near Rocky Mount, about dark, one of my foragers came in and reported to me that a white woman and a negro, about two miles to our left, had told him that they had two Union officers who had escaped from a rebel prison in concealment on an island in the river. He was alone and there was a rebel cavalry then in sight, so that he had to leave. I reported the matter to General Cogswell, who gave me permission to leave thirty men, when we should cross the river that night, to go out and try and rescue those officers in the morning. We crossed the river at midnight, but I left Companies K and B behind under command of Captain H.; they went to the plantation early and Moses, the negro, soon brought the two prisoners from their place of concealment. They were Lieutenants Smith, 14th New York Cavalry and Spaulding, 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Three of them had escaped together from the cars on being conveyed from Columbia; one of them had tried to cross the Catawba in a canoe and was swept down the stream. These two lived on the island and were there found by Moses, who told them his mistress was Union, and who then brought his mistress and a good supply of provisions over for them. The lady had heard that our army was coming that way and, with the greatest danger to herself, kept these officers under her care for five days, having them brought to her house every night and returning them to their hiding place every morning before daylight. Captain H. met General Williamson his way back, who sent him to General Sherman. The latter received them very kindly, bade them sit down, got out some wine which he told them was foraged, told the escaped prisoners there was plenty to eat and good clothes also to be got in South Carolina, and finally sent them on to General Kilpatrick.
March 2nd, 1865.
I had always hoped that I might be at home to-day instead of that you don't even know where I am You are troubled and anxious about me. This campaign has already outlasted the Georgia campaign, and it is over a month since I could send you a letter. We are about ten miles from Chesterfield and moving toward it. I cannot write well, because I have no light except a fire in front of the tent. My old horse is wholly giving out; I will probably have to abandon her.
March 5th, 1865
This is a quiet Sunday, and we are quietly lying in camp near the boundary line of North and South Carolina and west of the Great Pee Dee River waiting for the 14th Corps to put a pontoon bridge across that stream and cross, then to follow after it. The country around here is poor and it may be hard to subsist the army, but I have almost a wagon-load of salted hams and shoulders and had a corn mill running part of yesterday. My foragers have taken possession of another mill about seven miles away. Two weeks ago, an order came prohibiting the use of wall tents, except for brigade and superior commanders. The object was to clear the wagons for the accommodation of provisions. Simple people, therefore, thought that to carry such a tent upon a mule could be no offense, but when we were at Hanging Rock, the 14th Corps was still far behind, owing to the broken bridge across the Catawba. This put General Slocum into a very bad humor, so he rode through the camps and charged with violence upon every wall tent and harshly ordered every luckless owner of one to destroy it. It was in vain to mention a mule as a tent bearer; his anger had got the better of his reason. Well, we cut the walls of ours and the Major and I now live under the top, or as one might say, the attic let down to the ground. We hear reports of successes gained by General Grant before Petersburg, but know nothing definite, but Charleston is ours and Wilmington too. It would seem, with such forces closing around him, that Lee must feel that his last hour has come. It is said that there are thirty thousand rebels on the other side of the river. They may give us a little trouble in crossing, but cross we will, and they will have to retire, they dare not fight us. A prisoner has afforded the boys a great deal of amusement by telling us that these forces were intended to cutoff and capture General Howard's command. Many of the prisoners and deserters that came into our line were mere boys. Last Sunday, the men at the mills were surprised and attacked by a large body of cavalry wearing blue uniforms, but turning out to be rebels. It has been reported for several days past that General Schofield was already in possession of Fayetteville. Our advance drove the rebel's rear guard out yesterday morning.
Near Fayetteville, March 13th, 1865.
We are to cross the river this afternoon. Fayetteville all describe as a fine place, as large as Savannah. The arsenal was broken down, as it was apprehended that burning it might endanger adjacent buildings. Orders have said that the people of North Carolina are not to be treated like enemies, nothing but necessary stores are to be taken, and no ruthless burning, etc. will be tolerated. I fear it will not be found easy to enforce this order. Some extracts I find I have from a Fayetteville paper, also a synopsis of the Negro Soldier Bill, which has passed the rebel blouse of Representatives. It does not emancipate them. When we reflect that the very aim and object of the fight is to forbid their slavery, it does seem monstrous. Military discipline will make them fight, but it will also show them their power. If they put negroes in the field, we will increase our negro force, and the next grand march through the southern states may be by a column of negro soldiers and that will be terrible indeed. We had an order from General Sherman yesterday, announcing that a steam tug had come up from Wilmington and that a mail would be sent out, but that we had another march to make before reaching our proper destination. It is probably Goldsborough. I see that northern papers predict a great battle there; I doubt it. Our numbers will be so imposing that prudence will advise the Confederates to retreat. It would be a good place for us to fight.
March 21st, 1865.
Our attic leaks so that my paper gets wet. We have had hard work. We crossed the Cape Fear River, marching through the city. The next day our brigade made a reconnaissance, marching twenty miles. On the 15th, we marched out on the Raleigh Plank Road, and on the 16th we marched about five miles and came upon the enemy and engaged in sharp skirmishing, which lasted until night. We drove then back steadily; took two lines of light breastworks, three pieces of artillery and two hundred prisoners, but we did not do this without loss. I lost two officers, five enlisted men killed and ten wounded. The next day we only marched a few miles; the enemy had left during the night. We started again early on the 18th, and were in rear of a wagon train going over very bad roads. We were all that day, and until almost five the next morning, moving twelve miles. We had four hours' rest and started again and had marched eleven miles, on a fair road, when we heard cannonading ahead, and we moved forward. We marched four miles, when we came to an open field, where I am now writing. Our troops, infantry and artillery, were all in position, and down in the woods beyond there was musketry firing going on. Two divisions of the 14th Corps came upon the enemy in force suddenly and had been flanked, I believe surprised and driven in confusion. Our 1st Division arrived just in time to check the enemy, so that the 14th could rally. We were first formed here In the field as a reserve, but two brigades of the 14th had become disconnected and our brigade was sent down to set things right. We marched down into the woods and formed a line, so as to cover the gap, and then moved forward. We soon met the enemy, who were advancing evidently with the design to cut off those two brigades, but were somewhat disconcerted at finding us there. A portion of their forces had already gone through the gap, and were now cut off and mostly taken prisoner. Our brigade soon became very hotly engaged and the engagement lasted until dark, each party holding his own. The enemy seems then to have retired to his works, which were at a distance, wholly out of sight. Our pickets saw small parties of them by night, going about with torches and taking away their wounded. All their dead, we found there the next morning In large numbers. It was Hood's old army that fought us. A wounded lieutenant left on the field belonged to the 33rd Mississippi. Our regiment was in the second line during the engagement and our loss was comparatively little, one man killed and four wounded. Yesterday as the 14th Corps took its proper position, we went back to our first one; later we marched around a swamp to the left and threw up works there. This morning we made a reconnaissance in front of our lines and soon developed the rebel pickets. General Johnston is said to have forty thousand men concentrated here, but we have communications open with Kinston, and Goldsborough is also said to be in our possession. Our trains are to go to Kinston for supplies. As to whether the army will go too or stay here to fight Johnston, is a question. I hope we will go to a base and rest a while, that I may have a chance to go home. If I can only do that, I will cheerfully bear the hardships of another Atlanta campaign, but to go right on campaigning now is rather hard.
March 24th, 1865.
We finished our campaign at ten this morning, near Goldsborough, after passing through that town. This move was intended to take place independent of the move of the enemy, but General Johnston retreated before we reached his point. On the morning of the 22nd his works were found abandoned. Now at last our campaign is over. It has been a long and toilsome one, but it is accomplished. We will now be in full communication with home; the railroad communication is just opened. We found General Schofield in possession of Goldsborough with the 23rd Corps, and passed General Terry's headquarters and some of his black troops near the bridge; taking it altogether, there must be a large force concentrated here now.
March 28th, 1865.
No mail yet. If the authorities at Division and Corps Headquarters would take a little pains, I think they could find an opportunity to send the soldiers' letters off. I have spoken to General Cogswell about my leave of absence, and he was very willing to support my application. I shall go to District and Corps Headquarters myself and urge it. General Cogswell has been very kind, unsolicited he has urged the matter for me, and it is possible I may succeed. I think it is very kind in him, and know that he has done it from most friendly motives. I went over to the hospital this forenoon and visited our wounded. They are all as well taken care of as they can be under the circumstances. I promised to write some letters for them and to send them by this mail. To judge of preparations, the next campaign will be without a base again. It will probably be against the Danville Railroad. I don't think we can be cut off from our depots very long though, as it will be impossible to subsist on the country and our wagons only carry twenty days' supplies. We never dare to exhaust them at a great distance from a depot. I doubt that we will have another rest of any length during our term of service. The report that our troops were fired upon from houses in Columbia, is not true. If the South Carollnians did have the disposition to do so, they certainly had not the courage. This report was got up to excuse the conduct of the 15th Corps, for it was that corps, and none of Slocum's wing, that went into the city. The truth is the whiskey found in Columbia made nearly the whole corps drunk, and thence all the rioting and confusion, which resulted in cruelty and violence to citizens and the destruction by fire of at least three-fourths of the city.
Kinston, N.C., April 3rd, 1865
I had to come down here to Kinston with my regiment on the first to escort a wagon train, and am now waiting for it to load. I will probably not get back to Goldsborough soon, and therefore send letter from here. When I return, my leave of absence will be settled. From indications, I think we won't stay at Goldsborough long; it seems to be the intention to fill our wagons and then move towards the northern boundary and establish a base by way of Portsmouth. This would be a comparatively short campaign and they can very well get along without me, but I do not like to be away when my regiment is moving.
Norfolk, Va., April 29th,1865.
We have had delays on the road and I have to wait for a boat. It is very provoking to be obliged to wait here. I have bought Victor Hugo's LesMiserables to help me spend these three days. A despatch has been received here that Johnston has surrendered on the same terms granted Lee. I think it is probable. I wish I could get through to the regiment. We won't make these long campaigns without communication any more; perhaps we may even get home before our time is out.
April 30th, 1865.
Papers received here to-day confirm the report of Johnston's surrender, and from an order of the War Department it would almost appear as if it were intended to muster out a good portion of the army after June 1st. An officer arriving here to-day says the army is marching northward to Alexandria.
New Berne, N.C., April 31st, 1865.
I arrived here this morning too late to overtake the army on this line. The whole army it seems, with the exception of the 23rd and 10th Corps, is to be marched to Alexandria. The nearest point where I can now hope to join them is Petersburg, and to get there I shall have to go back to Fortress Monroe. It will probably be ten days before the army can reach Petersburg.
New Berne, N.C., May 4th, 1865.
I am going to start for City Point on the steamer Louisburgh this afternoon. There are six officers of the 20th and 14th Corps going together. We intend to go to Petersburgh and thence to Nottoway C. H. through which, according to General Sherman's order, our army is to march. I hope I will get to the army soon; I am heartily sick of this lying about.
May 7th, 1865.
We are just arrived off Fortress Monroe. I am going to Richmond now.
May 9th, 1865.
We arrived at City Point and there heard that the advance of the 14th Corps had already reached Manchester. It seems almost incredible. We started from Petersburgh yesterday and found a Richmond paper which told us that part of the 14th was already there and the 20th Corps expected the same day. I, therefore, went on to Manchester and here found General Slocum's headquarters, and was told that our corps was about eight miles out, and they gave me an ambulance to take me and my baggage to the regiment, where they received me most cordially. Next to being at home, I know of no place where I would rather be than with my regiment. We marched about three miles towards Richmond, and tomorrow we are to march through the city and pass in review before General Halleck. I should not wonder if we would continue our march right along to Alexandria and be there in ten days. We will go through the old familiar country, the vicinity of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Stafford C. H., Fairfax C. H., and it will be an interesting march if they do not rush us too fast, as they did from Raleigh up here, for the amusement of general officers and at the expense of all comfort and the health of the enlisted men.
Near Alexandria, May 20th, 1865.
We do not know how long we will stay here. We came into camp last night, and this will finish our marching. We are to be reviewed on Wednesday. Shall probably be at home early in June. Governor Lewis was here in my absence and made a short speech to the regiment. This preparing for muster out is a big job. I see from Milwaukee papers that extensive arrangements are being made to give the 26th a grand reception.
May 23rd, 1865.
We shall probably move out of this camp to-day to get near Washington, for the review to-morrow. After that we are to have a new camp on the other side of the river, near Washington. The order is out that all troops whose time will expire before the 1st of October next are to be mustered out at once. We had a short visit from General Fairchild and Adjutant General Gaylord yesterday. President Johnson is practically reminding the people of pristine Republican virtue. General Sherman is blotting his fair fame by vindictive denunciation of the Secretary of War, which cannot but lead to personal animosity, and bids fair to result in a political schism.
Washington, June 7th, 1865.
Our papers are all done, but the mustering officer says he will not get to them for a week, so it is quite uncertain when we will get off. Last Sunday afternoon we received a very sudden notice that Ex Governor Randolph would pay a visit to the Wisconsin regiments of this army, and we were ordered to meet him near General Division Headquarters. After a three mile march, five regiments were formed in line and "Alec", accompanied by General Slocum and Moore, walked down the front. Then we closed up in long columns by divisions and the General made us a patriotic speech, then three cheers and we went home again.
June 10th, 1865.
General Slocum gave us a supper night before last. Corps, division, brigade and regimental commanders were invited. General Howard was also present. Everything passed off very pleasantly; the toasts and speeches were very good. It is no small job to make out all the papers and comply with all the red tape necessary to get a regiment out of the service, I assure you, but think it will be a week before we start. I shall telegraph to Mr. Schlosser, formerly Adjutant of this regiment, of the Committee of Festivities. We have a few relics that we will bring along for the Fair.
RECORD OF FORBEARS AND DESCENDANTS OF THE FAMILY OF Frederick Carl Winkler and Frances Maria Wightman OF MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN Family of Frederick Carl Winkler: Carl Helnrich Winkler b. June 4, 1798 in Saxe Weimar, Germany d. Sept. 28, 1879 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Elizabeth Overbeck b. in Bremen, Germany d. Christmas week, 1861 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Children: Carolina b. January 22, 1837 d. 1849 Frederick Carl b. March 15, 1838 in Bremen Germany d. March 27, 1921 in Los Angeles, California August Gottlieb b. April 14, 1839 d. December 5. 1912 in Greenville, Alabama John b. March 21, 1841 d. August 31, 1841 Anna Carolina Dorothea b. August 26, 1842 d. January 21, 1843 Emma b. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin d. In Infancy Rosalia b. January 3, 1852 d. May 20, 1939 Wilhelmina is mentioned but no dates recorded. Carl Winkler came from Bremen Forst in 1843. He went back in 1844 to get his wife and three children. Settled in Milwaukee and established the first drug store there.-----------------------------------------------------------------
FAMILY OF: Frederick Carl Winkler and Frances Maria Wightman Married on March 2, 1864 at West Bend, Wisconsin b. March 15, 1838 b. June 20, 1840 Bremen, Germany Lima, Michigan d. March 22, 1921 d. January 8, 1916 Los Angeles, Calif. Milwaukee, Wisconsin CHILDREN Martha Elizabeth b. January 18, 1866 d. July 15, 1899 Katherine b. May 12, 1868 Carl August b. April 25, 1870 d. August in 1870 Louise Dorothea b. September 25, 1871 Rosalia b. October 3, 1873 Frederick Wightman b. September 22, 1875 d. September in 1946 Marion Wolcott b. October 26, 1877 d. March in 1942 Frances Harriet b. September 18, 1879 Henry Overbeck b. May 1, 1881 William Kneeland b. June 22, 1883
MEMOIRS OF MILWAUKEE COUNTY BIOGRAPHICAL FREDERICK C. WINKLER
FREDERICK C. WINKLER,
son of Carl and Elizabeth (Oberbeck) Winkler, was born in Bremen, Germany,
March 15, 1838, his parents then residing in that city. The father came
to the United States in 1842, locating in Milwaukee, where he opened a
drug-store. Two years later he was joined by his wife and children, and
Frederick C. was reared in that city, obtaining his education in the public
schools, which although greatly inferior to those of the present day offered
advantages superior to those to be obtained elsewhere in Wisconsin in the
territorial and early statehood days.
He began his legal studies at the age of eighteen in the office of H. L. Palmer, and at the age of twenty he removed to Madison and continued his studies in the office of Abbott, Gregory & Pinney, being admitted to the bar at Madison on April 19, 1859. Returning to Milwaukee he began the practice of his profession in his home city and had entered upon a most promising career when the breaking out of the Civil war changed his plans for a time.
The Twenty-sixth Wisconsin infantry, a German regiment, was organized in Milwaukee and vicinity, and F. C. Winkler became captain of Company B. It was mustered in, Sept. 17, 1862, left the state October 6, following, and joined the movement toward the Rappahannock, spending the winter in drill, guard and picket duty. It participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863, the men fighting like veterans, and was at Gettysburg, July 1 to 3, Captain Winkler being attached to the staff of General Schurz. In a report of this battle one authority says that the Twenty-sixth "fought like demons," and in this engagement both lieutenant-colonel and major of the regiment were wounded. Captain Winkler then became acting field officer. After the battle of Chickamaugua, Sept. 20 and 21, the regiment was sent with General Hooker's forces from the Army of the Potomac to the relief of General Rosecrans at Chattanooga. In November following the Colonel left the organization, and from that time until the close of the war Captain Winkler was in command and was advanced to the rank of colonel. The regiment under his command, took part in the battle of Missionary Ridge in November, 1863, and the campaign into East Tennessee for the relief of Knoxville which followed it. In the spring of 1864, when General Sherman organized his army f or the invasion of Georgia, it became part of the Third brigade, Third division of the Twentieth corps, of which the command was given to General Hooker. It thenceforth took part in all of General Sherman's campaigns, fought many skirmishes and took part in nearly every battle. Perhaps its severest struggle was at Peachtree Creek, July 20, 1864. Of that action the official report of Colonel Wood, then commander of the Brigade, contains the following: "Where all behaved well it may be regarded as invidious to call attention to individuals, yet it seems to me that I cannot discharge my whole duty in this report without pointing out for especial commendation the conduct of the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin volunteer infantry and its brave and able commander. The position of this regiment in the line was such that the brunt of the attack on this brigade fell upon it. The brave, skillful and remarkable manner in which it met the attack, rolled back the onset and pressed forward in a counter-charge and drove back the enemy, could not be excelled by the troops in this or any other army, and is worthy of the highest commendation and praise. It is to be hoped that such conduct will be held up as an example for others, and will meet its appropriate reward." (Annual report of Wis. Adjt. Gen. for 1864, p. 80.) The regiment marched with Sherman to the sea, and from Savannah through the Carolinas to Richmond, participating in hot fighting at Averasboro and Bentonville. It took part in the Grand Review in Washington, then preceded to Milwaukee, where it was mustered out on June 28, 1865, Colonel Winkler being brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers "for meritorious service."
Gen. William Cogswell, of Massachusetts, then in command of the brigade, in his final report to the War Department, mentioned the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin as "one of the finest military organizations in the service."
Before the command of the regiment fell to his hands, Captain Winkler gave a large measure of his time to duties as judge advocate of many court marshals, charged at times with the trial of the most weighty offenses. In five or six cases it became his duty to certify to headquarters sentences of death; all but two of these were commuted.
In the court of inquiry to investigate certain reflections on Maj.-Gen. Carl Schurz and a part of his command, contained in General Hooker's official report of the night battle at Wauhatchie in Lookout Valley, Colonel Winkler was at the request of General Schurz, appointed his counsel, and as a result of the inquiry General Schurz and his subordinate, Col. F. Hecker, were "fully exonerated from the strictures contained in General Hooker's report."
After leaving the military service General Winkler resumed the practice of his profession, and has been for the past forty years one of the leading attorneys of the city, Messrs. A. R. R. Butler, James G. Jenkins, T. B. Elliott, A. A. L. Smith, John T. Fish, Edward P. Vilas, James G. Flanders, E. H. Bottum and C. F. Fawcett having been at different times associated with him as partners. During the last ten years or more he has given a large portion of his time to the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, being a trustee and member of the Finance and Executive Committee of that body.
In politics he has always supported the Republican party.
His marriage to Miss Frances M. Wightman occurred in 1864, and six daughters and three sons have been born to the union.
In character General Winkler is a man who commands the widest respect and admiration. His devotion to duty as a soldier exhibits the same qualities of courage, firmness, energy and faithfulness to the trusts reposed in him that have marked his life as a citizen and a professional man. lie is an able jurist and has won in his profession the large success commensurate with his ability. In social life he is a refined and cultured gentleman.