TRANSCRIBED BY Fred Turk and Russ Scott, ST. PAUL, MN.
Monday, October 6, 1862 . Page 1, Col. 1
Departure of the 26th Regiment
The 26th (Sigel) Regiment have orders to leave the city to-day for Washington. At the present writing they have not yet taken their departure but are expected to leave camp about 10 o'clock. Their roster is as follows:
Colonel- Wm. H. Jacobs
Lieut. Colonel- Charles Lehmann.
Major- Ph. Horwitz.
Adjutant- P.J. Schlosser.
Quartermaster- F. W. Hundhausen
Surgeon- Dr. Huebschmann.
1st Ass't Surgeon- Dr. Fricke
2nd Ass't Surgeon- Dr. Van Vaart
COMPANY A FLYING RANGERS
Wm. George, Captain; Christian Sarnow, 1st Lt.; Aug. E. Mueller, 2nd Lt.
COMPANY B GERMAN AMERICANS
Fred. C. Winkler, Capt; William Huttman, 1st Lt.; F. Lackner, 2nd Lt.
COMPANY C MILWAUKEE GUARDS
S.P. Seemann, Captain; W.J. Fuchs, First Lieut; B. Domschke, Second Lieut.
COMPANY D SALOMON RIFLES
A, Ligousky, Capt; Aug. Schueler, First Lieut.; Chas. Ottilie, Second Lieut.
COMPANY E- FOND DU LAC TURNER COMPANY
Anton Kettler, Captain; Chas. W. Neukirch, First Lieut.; John F, Hagen, Second Lieut.
COMPANY F- LAKE SHORE RIFLES
H. Baetz, Capt.; Chas. Pizzala, First Lieut., A. Walber, Second Lieut.
COMPANY G- WASHINGTON RIFLES
J.F. Mann, Capt.; Wm. Smith, First Lieut.; J. Meisswinkel, Second Lieut.
COMPANY H- SECOND WARD GUARD
H. Boebel, Capt.; J. Wedig, First Lieut.; Chas. Vocke, Second Lieut.
COMPANY I- WENZE GUARD
F. Landa, Capt.; H. Berninger, First Lieut.; J. Orth, Second Lieut.
COMPANY K- SIGEL GUARD
L. Pelosi, Capt.; S. Heipp, First Lieut., Ed. Carl, Second Lieut.
A better regiment or a
more thoroughly drilled and possessing finer material for war purposes
has never been sent from the state. We give them this credit in the usual
stereotyped form, but they deserve it. Their appearance as they marched
through this city on Saturday took everybody by surprise. They marched
admirably and xxxx their muskets bore an appearance generally as if they
had been in the service ever since the war began.
The regiment consists of Germans with the exception of Captain Mann, from West Bend, and 20 others who were born in this country.
The regiment numbers 1,001 men, rank and file, most of the men being very stout and high statured, so that some of the company could in deed be mustered into the Prussian Guard. Among the officers are 13 who have been in service, 11 of whom have been in war either in this country or in Europe. One half, if not more, of the non-commissioned officers and one fifth of the quivates have been in military service before. Though the regiment has been but a few weeks in camp, it really excels in drill a great many others.
Col. Jacobs, though lacking military experience, develops such zeal and energy that officers and men are getting more and more confident that he will soon become a first-rate Colonel. The whole corps of officers show a military address which is very seldom seen in new regiments.
They leave here with the best wishes and the fraternal sympathies of all of our citizens. Many a family in the city is connected by the ties of kinship with hundreds in the regiment. Some of the members and some of the officers having gone from the very best families among our German citizens. The interest felt in the regiment is therefore of universal extent in the city, and is as great as at the departure of almost any regiment since the war began. Many brave-hearted young men go with it and we all hope and trust that the God of battles may be with them and shelter them even until the end of the bloody drama.
Later, since the above was written, the regiment have passed through the city, on their way to the depot. It will probably be soon, or later, before the trains bear them off.. They go to Chicago on the Lake Shore road, and thence to Washington to join the xxxx of Gen. Sigel. Thousands thronged the streets as they passed through the city, and cheers, the waving of handkerchiefs, the smiles of fair ones, and "God bless you's" from the people generally greeted them all along the route. The Milwaukee Light Infantry, Capt. Wage, escorted them to the depot.
Saturday afternoon the regiment, in their street parade, repaired to the front of the Newhall House, where they were presented with a magnificent set of regimental colors by the Chamber of Commerce. George W. Allen was chosen to address the regiment, on presenting the colors, and he spoke at some length in a suitable and eloquent strain. S. T. Hooker, President of the Board, invoked Heavenly blessings on handing them the flag.
Col. Jacobs replied in a very neat and becoming address, after which three hearty cheers were given for the Chamber of Commerce and for Franz Sigel, when the regiment formed into line and marched back to camp.
Wednesday, October 8, 1862 . Page 1, Col. 2
The Trip of the 26th Wisconsin to Chicago--Notes by the Way Special Correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin Metropolitan, Chicago, Oct. 6, 1862.
Accompanying the 26th
, the 3d Milwaukee regiment on its way to cheer the heart of the noble
Lee, we reached this place at about 6 o'clock p.m. It was the earnest hope
of all that one of our regiments at last should march through this enthusiastic
town in the light of day, that the manly bearing of the noble men we are
sending to face rebellion might be seen by the citizens here who have not
formerly exhibited so much enthusiasm towards each Wisconsin regiment as
it makes its transit . But it is a formidable undertaking to thus move
a thousand men with all their paraphernalia, and the shades of eve were
falling fast as the right wing of the regiment formed at the depot here,
and nearly an hour thus elapsed before the left wing also took its place
in line of march for the depot of the Southern Michigan R. R.
The time between Milwaukee and this place was passed most merrily by officers and men. The first gloom at parting with the gentle and dear ones at home at once dissipated and hilarious glee ruled the tour. Canteens filled by anxious friends with exhilarating beverages could be seen occasionally tilting among social squads while we knew by the smoke which so gracefully curled that good Havanas had not been forgotten.
Each village and settlement was all aflutter as we passed, with waving cambric or cotton and every solitary laborer in the fields would uniformly pause in their toil to raise the soiled hat from the sun-browned brows in homage to the glorious pageant of patriotism passing their path.
At Racine a salute of cannon was improvised by the citizens. The arrangements carried out by the Mil. & Lake Shore Road were admirable. There was but one complaint, a want of water. The company should see that an abundant supply of this element is on hand on such occasions.
One can hardly realize the fact surrounded by so many familiar countenances, that they are all bound toward a region where Death, riots, and the graveyards already gorged with victims still yawns for more. Tell me not then that the age of chivalry is dead. The age of a finer chivalry than the world ever saw is now at mid-noon- a chivalry that leads its notaries to encounter all the internal enginery of human hate, not for the selfish glory of winning a lady's plume or even her hand, but to save the unborn generations the heirloom bequeathed to us by our sires.
Here is Col. Jacobs, as courteous still in all his magnificently stern array, as when he filed the budgets of lawyers, or swore in furies in the old Court House. He has a fury now sworn in that we hope will not only render a verdict on the rebels but assist in executing the sentence, before they are discharged.
Then there is another- Lieut. Domschcke- erst the amiable but trenchant editor of the Herold. He has concluded that at last the sword is more powerful than the pen, and we have no doubt but that he will make the former tell as well as he has the latter.
But we cannot specify half the names of those here who are familiar to most of our citizens, on Change or in the haunts of our professional men.
The regiment received at the Michigan Southern depot hot coffee , which was passed through the cars. The officers were regaled with an abundant and royal meal at the Tremont House. The boys were received with great attention here, and elicited general admiration. They leave here at 9 P. M. on the Michigan Southern road. H.
Thursday, October 9, 1862 . Page 1, Col. 2
Progress of the 26th Wisconsin. Special Correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin
Toledo, O. Oct 7, 9 A.
M. We arrived here at 7 1/2 o'clock this morning, all in fine spirits.
The 26th was taken the best care of by the Southern Michigan company. The
boys had hot coffee furnished them here this morning of as good quality
as ever was put on a breakfast table.
The road from Chicago to this place is one of the best in the country. It is well ballasted and the cars slide along as if running in grooves. To show the care exercised by the company, I must mention that the Superintendent of the road, Mr. John J. Campbell, rode on the engine all night last night, keeping vigilance over the lives of those under his care.
A fine sleeping car was furnished the officers, and your correspondent being embraced in the invitation, enjoyed therein as good a sleep as if under the cover of home. Both officers and men are under the greatest obligations to Mr. S. S. Cooke, Troop Agent of the Michigan Southern R. R. Co. who accompanied the regiment through, and by his energy, good spirits, and unremitting care, shows himself to be the right man in the right place.
The supper furnished the officers at Chicago by the railroad company was a magnificent affair. The bill of fare was epicurean and champagne and catawba were at every other elbow in lavish abundance.
We leave in a few minutes. We go via Cleveland, Dunkirk, and Baltimore. We shall soon be among the mustering squadrons and grine iron dice of war. More anon. H.
Monday, October 13, 1862 . Page 2, Col. 1
Progress of the 26th Wisconsin (Special Correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin)
Dunkirk, N. Y. Oct 8th.
We write on the wing. A glorious day it has been for our men from Toledo
to this place. We arrived here at precisely midnight. A Elmira which place
we expect to reach about hungry time in the morning. The day has passed
without incident of particular note unless we mention the constant display
of enthusiasm by the people of Ohio in the region thro' which we passed.
It does one's heart good to see the God speed waved to our noble soldiers
from every threshhold and casement used to witness the countless simple
but earnest tokens of heart-born patriotism showered upon this troop of
Wherever our drinking steed pauses to take breath, from hillside and lawn stream men, women, and children with many offerings, baskets of fruit, piles of sandwhiches, and bouquets of flowers.
Drafting is going on in Ohio and several hundred conscripts from the vicinity of Toledo were on a train preceeding us destined to catnap at Cleveland.
Time is too limited here to particularize, and we must defer details. A bountiful supper regales the others here and William R. Barr, the general agent of the Michigan Southern and Lake Shore road complimented the regiment by a special salvo of that peculiar kind where the report is followed by a peculiar gurgling recognized by the older. Mr. Hart is one of the leading managers of the road and though apparently a young man is relied upon as one of the men by whom this road is energised.
I must close with a word for two of the officers of the 26th. Col. Jacobs already shows points of character which predict to me success as a commander. He is perfectly cool and collected in all emergencies and fast but full of energy and deceded. At Toledo a second class car was found on the train and all the managers there assured that no other car could be furnished. The Col. however put his foot down not to stir a step til a first-class car was forthcoming, and soon it came.
But the engine whistles. We are off. H.
Tuesday, October 14, 1862, 2/1
Special Correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin
Elmira, N. Y. Oct. 9th,
1862.-We left Dunkirk about 3 o'clock this morning, the whole regiment
comprising one train, and an imposing sight it was-twenty eight cars at
the heels of a colossan engine which walked away with us on the upgrade
toward the northern spurs of the Alleghanies, as though towing a string
The night was superb and the yellow beams streaming from the full moon glittered aloong the crests of the now multiplying hills touched with a silver sheen, the running waters that ramble among them, revealing in a soft, suggestive light many a hamlet nestling in the sheltered nooks. The scene was so enchanting that many could hardly resign themselves to sleep till the jocund day stood tip-toe on the mountain tops.
The grade is very heavy, and when we had made a hundred miles, we had reached the elevation of thirteen hundred feet above Kunkirk. The road is of the broad gauge and seems to be admirably constructed and carefully and efficiently managed.
Our train is run entirely by telegraph, that is our conductor feels his way along avoiding other trains by constant communication by telegraph at the stations, with all the other trains in motion and in advance of us.
Extensive curves are abundant, and they give us an opportunity to see the imposing length of the train. At Cuba the track winds in a half-circle around the village. The country seems quite thickly settled and the land thoroughly cultivated wherever it is not absolutely perpendicular.
The whole regiment is in the best of spirits. The officers of the road say that it is the best-behaved regiment by far they have as yet transported.
I began in my last to say something about some of the others but was cut off by the warning whistle in the midst of my say. The regiment has a jewel of a Quartermaster in Dr. Hundhausen, known by our citizens as the late Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. His exhaustless good nature and jovial spirits keep everybody near him in good humor, while his energetic attentions to the duties of his office give unqualified satisfaction thus far at any rate. The boys won't suffer to want of the good things for the inner man with the Dr. is then patefer, with a warrant.
We reached this place about 3 o'clock p.m. At the village of Corning the regiment was received with great enthusiasm, salvos of cannons, and rousing cheering in the populace, and lager was passed in by the citizens and there found Maj. Field formerly of Milwaukee ready to greet old acquaintances and tendering the hospitality of his splendid hotel to all who would give him a call.
At this place from which I write the regiment changes cars for Harrisburg. The regiment was marched a little way along the street and then ordered through a little of the manual and then stacked arms and received their hot coffee.
The citizens were evidently surprised at the promptness of the boys in their drill, and freely expressed their opinions that nothing like it had been seen here before. This being a military depot it spoke well for the 26th.
Having dispatched a comfortable meal at the Brainard House we are once more on the wing. To-morrow we go through Baltimore and shall for the first time have a chance to see secesh eye to eye. H.
The 26th Wisconsin en Route to Washington.
Special Correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin.
Baltimore, Friday, Oct
10, 1862.--We left Elmira about 6 o'clock Wednesday evening, the regiment
enjoying almost an ovation as we passed out of the town--.The demonstrations
of enthusiasm made by the citizens, especially the ladies, surpassed everything
we had yet seen. The beauties of Elmira are quite celebrated, and I know
not when female loveliness is displayed to great advantage than when it
is aglow with patriotic ardor, and the excitement of waving welcomes and
God-speeds to the defenders of our land.
There were prospects of a little trouble about rations for the men before we started. The cooked meat distributed to one battalion was a little touched by father Time, as it had been exceedingly warm ever since we left Milwaukee. It was generally rejected and at first it seemed as though the men must start supperless, as the citizens said that no meat could be had in the town. The Colonel, however, managed to secure fifty hams, which were given out to the Companies at the first station.
Again as night advanced, we plunged with one clanking train into the defiles of the Alleghenies, and now, among mountains that deserve the name, the full-orbed moon revealed all the more striking features of that wild and rugged scenery as we threaded the gorges of mountain streams and climbed along the forest-hung ravines which penetrate these rocky fortresses.
High above us on either side, as we shake off a nap and peer out into the sombre light, rise almost perpendicularly pine-clad solitudes, whose lofty altitudes the sound of the engine's whistle would hardly reach. Then again, as the hollow roar of a bridge fills our ears with almost stunning sound, we cast our eyes downward, and what profound depths of gloom there thwart our vision as they muffle the song of the gathering waters that far down ther are hurrying almost with the speed of our own ardent wheels.
Williamsport, in the heart of these hills, is reached among the wee small hours. We here come into the hands of another railroad company. The conductor and agent invade the Colonel's ear, lantern in hand, and rouse everybody in their search for the commanding officer. At last the poor Colonel is found, and remorselessly dragged out of his first nap to sign records of transportation over this new road. The Colonel yawns and rubs his eyes and asks if his command has received the transportation! Oh, no-- but the orders are to have the receipts in advance. Colonel thinks he won't sign a receipt for anything he hasn't yet had. Conductor says he can't move the train till the receipt is signed. Colonel tells him if conductor don't move the train in five minutes, Colonel will. Conductor and agent retire hastily- whispered consultation outside- and in about four minutes engineer whistles "up breaks!" and we are again humming along.
Morning dawns, and what a vision of loveliness is trailed before our eyes. We are shooting along the banks of the Susquehanna, which seems to have garnered everything of beauty that she has met in her banks in her more gentle lowland home. We still find towering cliffs, clad in greenery, crowding to the very margin of her blue waters, but these again recede, leaving far vistas of rolling field and forest, amid which now and then gleam the church spire, or the cupola of a country seat.
Our Teutonic friends are many of them in transports of admiration. It reminds them of the Rhine-their own glorious river, and the memory of the Faderland with many comes back again with surging associations that stir the fountains of deep emotion. All praise and glory to these sons of the vine-clad Rhine-land, who are here going forth to face the grim destroyer of our native-their adopted country. What marble shall be white enough on which to write the epitaph of those of these who are to be the "unreturning brave."
There is one thing that strikes all observers after reaching the Southern region of Pennsylvania, and thence to Baltimore, and that is the almost entire absence of men from the fields. The whole country seems to be stripped of its male population: so near the great maelstrom of war is this region that its productions, man included, seem to be drawn by suction into the fearful vortex.
And now we near the line of "Maryland, my Maryland." Suddenly a few tents by the road side flash on the view, and a score or more soldiers greet us with a stentorian cheer. All hands are now stirring on our train. The sleepiest heads are now thoroughly aroused as the fact looms up that we are approaching Secessia. There are troops guarding the bridges from the kind intentions of our Southern brethren. Soon another and larger encampment, and then another, is seen, and squads of soldiers stationed at intervals along the road are evidently sentinels and pickets. Most of these belonged to the 146th Pennsylvania.
At last on Maryland's slave-tilled soil we mark with interest everything that presents itself. Flags and cambrics are waved from almost every casement that we pass, and apparently as much enthusiasm greets us all through this State as in those deemed most loyal. Now and then we pass a house where the inmates stand sullen and show no response to the cheers and show no response to the cheers and hat wavings of our soldier lads, but the instances were so few as to be a matter of surprise to all.
By and by a genuine contraband is seen, a regular Topsy cutting high with the white children under her charge on a balcony of a fine mansion. The sight calls forth cheer upon cheer along the whole length of the train, and Miss Ebony shows her ivory and ducks her woolly head in pure African style again and again in acknowledgment of the compliment. Soon however these bronze specimens grow more numerous, and we ere long have seen an assortment from which we could select all the colored population of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
We arrived at Baltimore at 3 o'clock p. m. yesterday. The regiment formed fixed bayonets and with the drums of the full corps beating at the head of the column marched about a mile and a half through the centre of Baltimore and stacked arms at the Cameron Depot.
The progress of the regiment through the city called along the line of march a large concourse of spectators and in every doorway and casement were clustered eager gazers.
Baltimore, also renowned for the beauty of its women, and it being the hour for full toilet, we had an opportunity of beholding their sparkling and voluptuous graces aided by all the omnipotence of dress to please.
There were altogether far more demonstrations of loyalty and cordiality than any of us expected. From nearly every house, and we passed many of the homes of the gentry flags or handkerchiefs were waved and hands beckoned welcome. Now and then a jeweled damsel would peer out of her window a moment, and jerk spitefully away, or throw up her alabaster nose in response to the gaze of some other, but these instances were rare. The city seems outwardly as loyal as Milwaukee. Much of this is put on some through fear and some through the hope of fat contracts from Government. There is a great change here in the relative position of Unionist and Secessionist since the vain foray of Lee into Maryland. It is now considered settled here that Baltimore and Maryland are forever united with the North whatever may happen with the people of the rebel States, and people of every sentiment are now adapting their actions and feelings to that state of things.
We are delayed here yet, it being now 3 o'clock P.M. on account of deficiency of transportation on to Washington. An immense number of troops have just been sent from Washington to McClellan, of the cars which have not yet been returned here. There are six or seven regiments that came here yesterday and today waiting as we are. H.
Wednesday, Oct 15, 1862. Page 1 Col 3
Arrival of the 26th Wisconsin at Washington-More Notes of the Trip.
(Special Correspondence of the Daily Wisconsin)
Washington, D. C., Oct.
11, 1862.- The 26th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers arrived here last evening,
and today at noon marched down Pennsylvania avenue and Long Bridge to Camp
Seward, about four miles from Washington. It is expected that they will
remain there under drill for a number of weeks.
At the date of my last we were still at Baltimore, waiting for transportation. The troops are all fed at Baltimore, in a building prepared for the purpose and the men expressed general satisfaction with their fare. The lodging, however, was for the first time a decided change for the habits of most of the men. One battalion slept on their blankets and knapsacks on the floor of the depot, and the other battalion on the ground in the open air. All the officers, to their credit be it said, did the same.
There was a ball at the Turner Hall, whether given in honor of this Regiment or not, I cannot say. The proprietors of the hall were victims of the rebel excitement of April, 1861, and their place was sacked at that time on account of their Union sentiments.
Owing to the uncertainty as to when the regiment would move, we all had to keep in constant communication with the depot, and I had little opportunity to inspect the lions of the city. I rambled, however, to Federal Hill and to Monument Square.
Federal Hill is fortified only with an earthwork, but it needs but a glance to assure any one that it commands the place. Those huge Columbiads, whose iron lips open toward every section of the city, lay like crouching lions, only awaiting the signal of their keeper to utter the wild roar, when shall shake into ruins the palatial homes of the disloyal aristocracy who have heretofore ruled the place.
At Monument Square towers the column which has given a name to the city. Upon its summit the statue of the immortal Washington stands in godlike majesty, holding out in his appealing hand the Constitution of our country, as if he had just alighted there at this juncture of our history, to remind the sons of his favorite Maryland of their duties if their homage to his memory is not a mockery.
Baltimore is growing immensely rich through the war. The crowded stores, the thronged streets, the horse cars and drays that block up constantly the crossings, tell the story. Change, however, is very scarce. Postage stamps are refused in toto, and all sales refused for sums less than fifty cents, unless silver is produced. The brokers charge 20 per cent on U. S. notes for silver. The soldiers have been much annoyed that postage stamps are so generally rejected. In fact, only three cent stamps could be found this side of Toledo, and these not generally. The higher denominations are rejected at the East universally.
At about 3 o'clock in the afternoon the regiment was stowed into a train of freight cars, and swarming all over them, moved off for this place. We were on extra trains and had to stand on switches often for a half hour at a time, for cars laden with passengers or munitions of war to shoot by. At one of these stoppages, the Colonel discovered that a fille de regiment was aboard, smuggled from Milwaukee and concluding that she had not been included in the bill of transportation, summarily ejected her. Her strategy, however, was at a superior cast for when the cars reached Washington she was one of the first to spring for the platform.
The ride between the two cities was mostly made after dark, and the camps with fires and pickets met constantly along the way, made food for constant excitement. The Relay House and the Thomas viaduct were objects of great interest to all who remember their part in the history of the last year. The hour for closing the mail however arrives and I must abruptly close, promising more tomorrow. H.
Friday, October 17, 1862
Our Army Correspondence.-The letter which we publish to-day from our special correspondent with the 26th Regiment is very interesting and merits a careful perusal. It graphically describes matters in and around Washington.
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON
Operations of the 26th Wisconsin - Officers of the Regiment -- Lieutenant Colonel Lehman -- Governor Randall turns up. -- Ditto "Bob" Chandler -- Jack Langworthy -- Shoulder straps everywhere -- Sick and wounded soldiers -- Meet curious Smith and Charlie Meservy, and find them hearty -- Quarters of 26th.
Special correspondence of the daily Wisconsin.
Washington D. C., Oct.
12 - The Railroad depot here and the barracks, for the temporary accommodate
of the troops constantly arriving, are in the rear of the capital, and
almost under the shadow its mighty dome. The barracks are quite extensive,
but are kept constantly filled, though each regiment is detained here but
one night. The 26th Regiment stacked arms all together under one mighty
roof, but the stacks with the knapsacks covered almost entirely the whole
floor, and when the men stretched themselves for sleep, it required the
most careful adjustment and dovetailing to accomplish it. - the Col. and
several of the other officers took lodgings at Willard’s.
Lieut. Col. Lehman however, took his rest like a soldier, with knapsack for a pillow, and his blank for his coach.
A WORD ABOUT LIEUT. COL. LEHMAN.
And here I must speak
of this certainly one of the best offices we have sent from Wisconsin.
His soldier like bearing -- his strict attention to his duties, and his
rigid discipline, tracks the notice of all who have observed the regiment,
and draws from all, expressions the highest approval. This too, is the
secret of his popularity with the men. It is due to Lt. Col. Lehman to
say, that he has repeatedly expressed in the presence of many of his officers,
and myself, the most sincere regret at the part he took in the unfortunate
emote at the Sentinel office, and was only held back by some punctilios
in regard to his position as an officer, from tendering personality a full
apology to the gentle man injured. He has had the entire management in
marching the regiment thus far through the streets of the various cities,
as Col. Jacob has always either had to much business of other kind to attend
to, or else is to diffident of his powers to command.
When Col. Lehman formed the regiment in front of the Capital, preparatory to their march down Pennsylvania Avenue, it was absolutely startling to the spectators to see him spur his gray steed at full speed, close along the lines - so close that if a man stood four inches out of place, it seemed as though he must be knocked. A sluggard, or a careless man, was sure to be spotted, and a swinging blow of the saber reminded him that he was there to obey.
CAPT. JOHN UPHAM.
The regiment here had
the pleasure of greeting Captain John Upham, of Milwaukee, who, with several
other officers of the regular army, had pause to look on. He inquired what
regiment it was? He was possibly surprised to learn that it was the 26th
Wisconsin, and said they were stopped in passing, by the splendid appearance
of the men, and the discovery of a genuine officer with a volunteer regiment.
The regiment did show off handsomely as they moved down the Avenue, the palatial path of this city. The throngs on the sidewalks universally stopped to gaze till it passed, though the interest in seeing troops here had long since departed, as from two to eight thousand march through each day.
Leaving the 26th filing over Long Bridge for the "sacred soil," I turned to look up acquaintances in the city and view the "Lions". The tiger and the elephant, to be sure, are the chief zoological curiosities here, but I thought I would content myself with descriptions of them.
The first familiar face
I met was the genial one of Ex-Governor Randall. He had just been to the
barracks to visit the regiment. He seemed hale and hearty as usual, and
had many inquiries to make about Milwaukee and his friends there. At the
National, we found a cordial greeting from A. A. Gen. Chandler, better
known among his friends at Milwaukee, and he has as yet laid a desecrating
finger on his handsome, manly face, though nearly every other member of
General King's staff has become disabled. He tells me that General King
is sick at New York, but is convalescing rapidly.
Another Milwaukee favorite then looms upon my vision-no less than Captain Jack Langworthy, who is spending the day in town. He, it will be recollected, is in command of Fort Cass, the highest fort on the Potomac. He, it was, who raised quite a sensation around the timid Washingtonians a short time ago, by firing from his big guns a salute to Governor Solomon. But more of him and his command anon.
Many of our citizens will recollect Mr. Von Schlem, who was 1st Lieut. in the German battery enlisted in Milwaukee. I met him also at Washington, and he informs me that being restive at the delay of the battery in going into active service, he managed to get transferred to the 10th Indiana battery, of which he became Captain, and which battery, after lively service at Harper's Ferry, was surrendered with the rest by Colonel Miles.
Capt. Von Schlem is still a prisoner on parole, and is here summoned as witness in the investigation in regard to that mortifying event. From my conversation with the Captain, my convictions in regard to the treachery of Miles are very much strengthened.
Washington City is of
course thronged with vast and endless processions of man and beast. Shoulder
straps, shoulder straps, shoulder straps, march along every avenue, fairly
in shoals, like schools of fish, till one gets so tired of seeing them
that he feels like thanking the first gentleman he meets in citizen's dress
for the pleasing vision: They are very quiet, however, as no liquor can
be sold publicly in the city, by order of the Provost Marshal.
The noble dome of the Capitol Hill stands unfinished, and the material lies in scattered debris around all, as it were a symbol of the condition of our native and.
The breeze that comes some day from beyond the Potomac, laden with the joyful tidings of utter and final victory, will warm these cold blocks with a new life, such as the lyre of Orpheus unfused into the stones of the ancient cities.
The inside of the building is devoted at present to use as a bakery, and also a part as a hospital. The Patent Office also is through all its vast corridors filled with neat cots, with showy bedding in many of which languish the wounded and the sick.
OUR SICK SOLDIERS.
I spent an hour here and
was pleased to find such care given and so much comparative comfort afforded
our unfortunate soldiers. The lofty ceilings and vast windows ensure plenty
of pure air and light, and also hush the noise which would disturb a patient
where so many are together. Around them the suffering fellows can see in
the great glass cases the models and inventios of generations of their
countrymen, which productions have done so much to advance the scale of
civilization, and were due for their existence to the genius of our free
institutions, to defend which all this suffering is voluntarily endured.
I found several soldiers here from Wisconsin regiments, mostly from the Sixth. They however, were getting along well and seemed to have no relatives or friends in their State that would take any interest in them.
I tried to get a peep at the Monitor, but the flaming sword of Governor Secrecy waves before the entrance to the navy yard where she is undergoing repairs.
A WALK IN VIRGINIA.
To-day I took a long walk in the sacred soil of Virginia. We could get no conveyance as drivers are reluctant to drive over Long Bridge, as the transportation cars are constantly passing and repassing over it, and a team caught in the middle of the bridge by an approaching engine and train would be in great danger from the terror which seizes horses. Several severe accidents have thus happened there recently. So with friend Cooke I started with the tandem with which I entered this sublunary sphere, and having secured a magic scroll from the Provost Marshal to wave back the impertinent sentinels, I plodded along by the ospitals, by the Smithsonian Institute and over Long Bridge-name already classic. Feeing a Sutler we got a good lift in his wagon along up the declivities of the Virginia shore. Mr. Suttler was at first groaning over the confiscation at the bridge of several cans of brandy peaches, alias peach brandy, but as we progressed he became more communicative and showed us a sack of coffee in which a dozen bottles of brandy had passed the ordeal.
THE TWENTY-SIXTH AGAIN.
About two miles from the
bridge we found the baggage corps of the 26th cooking their dinner, with
the baggage piled around them. I learned from them that the rest of the
regiment had the night before marched on several miles toward Fort Corcoran.
So on we tripped, some of the train at the double quick, as engagements
required our early return to Washington.
And now we come to the forts whose huge Columbiads bristle all over this range of upland. The names of character of them are too familiar to all to be here detailed. To our right, is we travel on over this trampled and desolate land, stream the stars and stripes from Arlington house, and we pluck a green persimmon from a solidarity tree, as a momento of the spot.
OLD MILWAUKEE BOYS.
Climbing in and out of ditches and struggling through abattis, we make our way on till we reach the crest of the heights, and a fortification par excellence confronts us with the frowning teeth of the black monsters that seem to be sleeping along the battlements. We make a flank movement for the rear, and here in the door of a neat little tenement stand no one else but Mr. Julius Smith of Milwaukee, who, after explanations have calmed his surprise at our sudden advent, informs us that this is Fort Cass, and directs our attention to another festive youth, pretty well known in the city of bricks, to wit, Lieut. Chas. Meservey.
THE QUARTERS IN FORT CASS.
The Lieutenant seemed
at first rather suspicious of our party, and not till he had dragged us
into the Captain's headquarters and administered the oath to us all around
exide "Orpheus, Keg's Papers," would he indulge in much conversation. Capt.
Langworthy soon coming in, we made quite a Milwaukee party. But oh! talk
about a soldier's life: why here were rooms as comfortable as most people's
parlors, handsomely carpeted, with cottage furniture, parlor, stove, &c,
&c. I felt like enlisting on the spot. The fort is kept in a model
style, sodded, and graveled, and swept till it looks like some ornamental
structure in a pleasure ground. The men are all in comfortable huts. The
Lieutenant also showed us his own vine and fig tree, and it was pleasant
enough for the most fastidious.
Tempus fugited, however, and we plunged on in search of the 26th. At last we found them, with arms stacked, under the guns of Fort Corcoran. Their tense had not yet come and they had slept in the open air. With many a hand shake, and bearing many a message to the home ones, we bade a hurried good- bye, and I we of theAqueduct bridge and George-town, reached our hotel.
ORDERED TO REPORT TO GEN. SIGEL.
On the way, however, we
met Quartermaster Hundhausen, with a train of wagons, bearing the much
needed tents to the boys. Also, met Col. Jacobs, who informed me that he
had orders to march to Gen. Sigel.
So much for today. You will hear from me once more-till then au revoir.
A Visit to Sigel's Corps.
Washington, Oct. 30,' 62.
If one would obtain a
vivid conception of the desolation which war prince upon a land, let him
cross the Potomac at Washington and ride out in the direction of Mannassas.
I have just returned from a visit to Sigel's corps, now at Fairfax Court
House. the whole country between that point and Washington is a scene of
devastation. Here as been the point of contest between great armies. Here
they have wrestled and pushed beach other this way and that as fickle fortune
and feeble generalship as chanced to give one or the other the advantage.
Two years ago all was peace and established prosperity. Comfortable farm-houses
sheltered happy inmates. Along the roads were smiling fields join the husbandman's
care, and gardens andorchards dotted the wayside. The little hamlets nestled
about the cross-roads, in the valleys, where the scenes of quiet industry
or rural gossup. The houses are tenantless in most instances. There isscarcely
a vestige a since to be seen anywhere. Many of the orchard trees been cut
down; have their bark gnawed by famished horses. The fields know no tillage
but the pressure of the soldiers foot or the hoof of the cavalry horse.
Batteries frown from every commanding eminecnce. The roads are croweded
with army wagons, drawn by mules with negro drivers. Dead horses and mules
that have succombed to overwork and starvation putrify by the wayside and
load the air with stench. The whole country swarms with the blue-coated
soldiers of the Union. One is hardly ever out of sight of an encampment
of Federal soldiers all the way to Fairfax Court House, which is seventeen
miles. At intervals, the progress of the traveler is arrested by guards,
and passed have to be displayed before he can proceed. Such is the state
of things which old Virginia has brought upon ghis secton of her domain
as the resul fo her wicked and wanton treason.
The roads are now very good, although deadly cut up by the baggage trains that continually move over them. They will be much worse probably before they are better, and everybody is impatient to see army pressing forward.
At Fairfax Court House, which is a village about the size of Sun Prairie, in the midst coffee pleasant open country, gently undulating, and not unlike some parts of southern Wisconsin in appearance, we found Gen. Schurz very comfortably established, his headquarters in in a vacant else, with a fine yard filled with trees in front. A half dozen camp stools and a table been the center of the dining room, constituted the furniture. Military has not changed the appearance of Gen. Schurz, accept to bronze is face democrat give him a more hardy appearance. He wears nothing to indicate his break, retaining his slouched hat and civilian dress, switch the exception of a huge pair of military boots, which in their vastitude go far to make up for the defficiency in other military apparel. His wife and children are here and present, and board at an adjoining house. Gen. S. Commands a division of Sigel's corps, and his headquarters are constantly thronged with coming and going. These, almost without exception, spoke in the German language. The site of these bearded warriors, and their sonorous Teutonic accents, were almost enough to make one think himself in Wallenstein's camp, rather than in an American army. But in battle they strike sturdy American blows for the old flag. In the battles about Manassas, Sigel's corps stood in the imminent deadly breach of peril for suchcessive days, and gallantly with stood the rebel advance. Had the whole army manifested the same zeal and patriotism, I solemnly bevieve the stars and stripes might today have been floating over Richmond.
Gen. Sigel's headquarters were near my, I did not see him, as he was ill and had taken to his bed. I regret to hear that his health is quite delicate, so much so as to rendor it very doubtful letter he will be long to continue in the service. The excitement of an active champion might buoy him up, but his malady threatens to master him if inaction continues.
The 26th Wisconsin, Col. Jacobs, were just removing their equipment to a pleasant slow in the shelter of a grove of trees to the west of Fairfax Court House. The men were in the best of health and spirits. This regiment is here pronounced to be, in material, one of the very finest in the army, and when it has become thoroughly schooled in the manual of arms, it will have no superior in any equal in the corps. Here I saw Lt. Domschke, plate enter of the Milwaukee Atlas, who had laid down the pen which hevigorously wielded in behalf of free institutions, and taken up the sword to do actual battle for the maintenance of the Government.
The corps Gen. Sigel is by no means what it should be in respect to numbers, considering the important position which it hopes, constituting the left win of the Army of the Potomac, and covering the defenses of Washington. Many Regiments destined for it have been placed under other commands, but it is a fighting corps, led by a fighting general; and though small in numbers compared with some other corps, its services in the future, as in the past, may be far beyond its relative strength.
The 26 Wisconsin Vindicated - letter from Gen. Sigel to Gov. Salomon.
Gov. Salomon has received the following letter from Gen. Sigel, correcting a foul slander upon the 26th Wisconsin, which appeared in the New York papers:
HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH CORPS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC
Fairfax C. H., Va., Nov. 27, 1862
To His Excellency Gov. Salomon, Madison Wis:
Probably you've will have
read in one of our acres that "a Wisconsin Regiment" did not behave well
on the withdrawal of our forces from Thoroughfare Gap, by throwing away
their arms in burning their tents. Although I am sure that more confidence
in the valor and discipline of the noble 26th (the only regiment of Wisconsin
soldiers attached to this corps), that to believe such a scandalous report,
I think it nevertheless my duty to say, that the 26th Wisconsin was not
at Thoroughfare Gap, when we marched from their to Centerville, and that
the whole story about throwing away arms and bring tens is a most malicious
and infamous miss ticket misrepresentation and lie, brought up by some
treacherous scoundrel, who should be regarded and held up before the public
as an official rebel agent in sensationist.
It affords me pleasure to say, that the 26th Wisconsin is in the best spirits, and, by constant exercise and drill, in excellent health.
With the greatest respect,
F. SIGEL, Maj. Gen.
Friday January 2, 1863
Camp Sigel Barracks Burned.
Three Privates Lose their Lives.
Great Loss of Property.
About 12 1/2 o'clock last
night a fire caught in the extensive barracks at Camp Sigel on North Point,
resulting before it was extinguished in the entire destruction of all the
old barracks, and the loss of three lives, privates in the regiment. One
other soldier was badly burned, but is expected to recover. The barracks
consisted of four or five very large frame structures, all standing close
by each other, and occupied as mess and sleeping quarters, and by some
of the offices that are connected with the regiment. Close to the barracks
on the east were four or five small structures, occupied by the commissioned
officers, which were all saved. There was also a small building on the
south, occupied by the field and staff officers, which was also saved.
The barracks were occupied by the 27th regiment, Col. Kurz, who have since
removed to Camp Washburn, and will remain there till they leave the State.
The value of the structures that were burned was not very great, perhaps
not over $2,000, but the loss of life was of course of more consideration
than any amount of material loss.
It is unknown how the fire came lit. It first started in the sleep in quarters occupied by Capt. Marschner's company. It spread so suddenly that it was but a few moments before the entire Barracks were wrapped in a general sheet of flame. The men who were waked had not time, generally, to save anything more that themselves and the cloth they had on them, and the muskets in a great many cases. There was a large number of muskets lost, however, and this morning the ground was thickly strewn with gun barrels, everything belonging to the guns having been consumed. The men were almost universally sleeping in their uniforms, or else there would unquestionably have been a great destruction of uniforms. Several of the soldiers had trunks and valises with them which were mostly lost. The poor fellows who were burned were probably in a deep sleep, from which they were not waken until it was too late to escape that other sleep which knows no waking.
There was great confusion among the soldiers as they came running, jumping, and tumbling out of the buildings. Some rushed out half dressed, others crawled out on all fours, and there was the wildest kind of a scene for a few moments. They soon rallied, however, and began to exert themselves in an attempt to save the officer's quarters. There were a few on the sick list in the hospital, but they were not in a serious condition, and were all saved. The regiment numbers about 800 men. They are now in comfortable quarters at Camp Washburn.
One of those who lost their lives lived quite a length of time after the fire, but was shockingly burned. His hair was all burned off, he could not see, and his skin fairly dropped off from him. He begged of his comrades, as they were rescuing him, for them to kill him and put him out of his misery. It was a heart-rending spectacle.
Monday June 19, 1865 Page 1, Col 3
Arrival and Reception of the Twenty-sixth Wisconsin Regiment
The Twenty-sixth Regiment arrived here on one of the Grand Haven steamers, about three o’clock p.m., on Saturday. This regiment, being made up mostly from this city, our German fellow citizens determined to give them a grand reception. Accordingly the German civic societies and citizens generally, in large numbers, were present at the dock when the boat arrived, and upon the landing of the Regiment a procession was formed in the following order:
Led by Drum-Major John Spoerl.
The Marshal of the Day,
And his Assistants on horse back.
The Milwaukee Turn-Verein.
The Milwaukee Sharpshooters’Union.
The Milwaukee Liederkranz,
And other Societies.
The Mayor and City Officers.
Civil and Military Officers and the Orators,
Two Companies U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps.
Second Music Band.
The Citizens’ Committee of Reception.
Former Members of the Regiment.
The 26th Regiment,
Commanded be Colonel Fred. C. Winkler.
Citizens and Relatives of the Soldiers.
The procession moved up
Main street to the Fair building, where the Regiment was provided with
dinner, and where they were welcomed to the city in a brief speech by Gen.
H.E. Paine. At the conclusion of the speech the procession was again formed
in the same order, and marched up to Turner Hall, where a bouquet had been
prepared for the returning soldiers. Across the street in front of the
hall was erected a triumphal arch, beautifully trimmed with evergreens,
and surmounted with flags. On each side, upon platforms, stood companies
of little girls dressed in white, waving white handkerchiefs in token of
welcome. The hall was beautifully decorated with flags, evergreens and
flowers, and tables were tastefully spread. After this second feast, Ex-Governor
Salomon was introduced, and spoke an eloquent welcome in German, as did
also M. Schoeffler and B. Domschcke, Col. Winkler, in behalf of the Regiment
made an appropriate response. The reception ended here, the Regiment went
into quarters at Camp Washburne, where the men will be paid off.
The reception was very enthusiastic throughout, the friends of the men in large numbers crowded the streets along which they passed, decking decking (sic) with flowers, or presenting them with bouquets. We noticed that many of the men of this Regiment, as well as of those who have preceded it, had beautiful bouquets stuck into the muzzles of their guns. It struck us as one of the most beautiful emblems of peace that could be presented-rare and beautiful flowers protruding from those muzzles from which, so late, went forth the deadly missiles, was both a poetical and truthful illustration of the happy change that has come over the country. As flowers have always been tokens of friendship and amity, so may their