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"History of Northern Wisconsin, 1881"

War Incidents

(-as transcribed from page 311)

During the War, when recruiting was going on, in September, 1863, a citizen of Eau Claire, J. Peter Bellinger, was down at New Lisbon, and got into an altercation with some soldiers there; they took exception to his expressed sentiments, and finding the soldiers getting exasperated, he undertook to escape their threatened vengeance by running, but he was hunted down and shot to death.

There was a flag and testament presentation to companies of the Eighth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth regiments, on the 22d of September, 1862. Miss Anna Wells presented the flags, and a gentleman presented the testaments. Capt. Geer and Lieuts. Buckman and Reed received them in behalf of their commands, and Alex. Meggett responded in his usual felicitous manner.

When the war was nearly over, a great sanitary fair was held in Chicago, for the benefit of the crippled defenders of their country. Old Abe, the war eagle, was kindly loaned for the occasion, and his pictures sold for ten cents each, in sufficient numbers to realize $10,000 toward the object of the fair.

In August, 1862, a rousing meeting to encourage recruiting raised $3,000, and $2,000 more was raised in the county towns.

The company from Eau Claire in the Eighth Regiment had eleven killed in the battle of Corinth.

After the Seven Days' Fight, Gov. Solomons tendered a colonel's commission to J. G. Thorp.

A Soldier's Aid Society was formed by the ladies in 1862. Mrs. J. T. Wilson was president, Mrs. S. Brown, secretary. It did a large amount of work, while the necessity remained.

Up to September, 1863, Eau Claire County had sent to the front 337 men. This was thirty-six more than her quota under all previous calls for troops.

Old Abe. - The famous Wisconsin war eagle, which was kept in Madison so long after the war, having been presented to the Governor by Capt. Victor Wolf, of Company C, Eighth Regiment Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, on the 27th of September, 1874, was, while Company C was being recruited in Eau Claire, brought down from the Falls by Steve McCann, who had procured him of an Indian, who took him from his nest somewhere up the river. He was purchased for $2.50, by a Frenchman by the name of Milch Cheveraux, who kept a saloon, and by him presented to the company. The ladies procured a perch, and he was carried with the colors wherever the regiment went, on the march, into camp, or in battle.

This history would not be complete without an authentic account of this famous bird. He died 1881.

The soldiers' families were cared for by the County Board, as appears from the minutes of the Board on the thirtieth day of November, 1861, when a committee was appointed to enquire into the condition of the families of the defenders of our flag, and the County Clerk was authorized to draw his order on the Treasurer for such sums as seemed necessary to make them comfortable.

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