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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"


Chapter 11 - Eau Claire County in the Civil War

by W. W. Bartlett


Part 3

(-as transcribed from pages 77 - 82)

Departure of the Badgers

(Eau Claire Free Press, 19 Sept. 1861)

The Eau Claire Badgers took their departure from this place for Madison, preparatory to a campaign in "Secessia," last Friday morning on board the steamboat "Stella Whipple."  Nearly every community in this county and Chippewa has its representative -- a volunteer offering in the cause of patriotism -- int he ranks of the company, and this, with the fact that the company is to go off into active service almost immediately, combined to make the occasion one of more than ordinary interest to people of the upper Chippewa Valley.  The company formed in front of the Eau Claire House about 10 o'clock, and after a little preliminary marching, proceeded to the boat, greeted on the way by cheers and good-byes innumerable.  At the boat a large concourse was gathered, and the next half-hour was spent in leave-taking. The scene was truly an effective one.  Everybody was busy with the "parting offices" to relatives or friends.

"Shout, sob and greeting,
Love's deep devotion constantly meeting,"

marked the passing moments. Hand were shaken time and again, "good-byes" repeated over and over, words of blessing, encouragement, cheer and advice passed reciprocally many times.  At last, after repeated impatient importunities from the whistle of the boat, and call after call from the officers, the company was all gotten aboard and the boat slowly left the shore, amid mutliplied cheers and parting calls and adjurations, succeeded by waving of hats and handkerchiefs, till the boat rounded the bend and was out of view.

The company, we understand, reached Prairie du Chien on Sunday and probably reached Madison the next day.  The passage to Prairie du Chien was attended by many demonstrations and enthusiasm along the river.

"ANOTHER COMPANY

    "We hear it rumored that another company will be gotten up here forthwith.  The noble response from every direction to fill the Badger ranks demonstrated that another company could be immediately raised. The present company numbers about 100 men, and within six weeks that number can be doubled with the right kind of timely effort.  We have fine military ability left yet, and we hope it will come voluntarily into service.  Who will come forward and take the initiative?"
    In the Free Press of October 10 we find a notice of a war meeting to organize the second company, and in the following issue a statement that the meeting had been held and a good start made.  John R. Wheeler, John Kelly, M. E. O'Connell and Malcolmn Reed are named as prime movers in the project.

THE CHIPPEWA VALLEY GUARDS

(The Eau Claire Free Press, 31 Oct. 1861)

What an eulogium upon the patriotism of the valley is the fact that such numbers have gone to the wars; and yet the number is rapidly increasing.  The Chippewa Valley Guards are daily adding to their numbers, and at the present rate their ranks will soon be complete.  The work of recruiting goes on nobly.  M. E. O'Connell is drilling the company and is making good headway.

(The Eau Claire Free Press, 5 Dec. 1861)

The members of the Chippewa Valley Guards met on Monday evening and elected, without a dissenting vote, John R. Wheeler as their captain.  This is a high and well deserved compliment.  Mr. Wheeler has won the confidence of all the members of the company, and by his energy in getting it up, the admiration of our citizens.

(The Eau Claire Free Press, 19 Dec. 1861)

On Monday evening a grand ball was given at Reed's hall to the Chippewa Valley Guards, at which time a beautiful flag, a gift from the patriotic ladies of Eau Claire, was presented to the company.  The hall was crowded to its utmost capacity.  At about half past nine o'clock the members of the guards were formed in line by M. E. O'Connell, and after a short exhibition showing what proficiency they had obtained in drilling, were addressed by H. W. Barnes, Esq., in a neat and appropriate presentation speech.
    Mr. Porter was called upon to respond for the guards.
    The company here gave three rousing cheers for the ladies of Eau Claire.  The next morning an immense throng of people gathered to witness the departure of the guards.  They marched up to the front of the public building to the tune of "The Girl I Left Behind Me," where blankets were furnished and vehicles were provided for their conveyance to Sparta.
    A noticeable feature in the procession was a live eagle.  This is the second bird of this kind that has gone to the war from Eau Claire; and his imperial highness seemed to enjoy it hugely.
   NOTE -- I find no further mention of this eagle, and it is unknown what his fate was.  He certainly never attained the fame of Old Abe of the Eighth Wisconsin.  - W. W. B.

Below we give the names of the men who answered the roll call and took their departure:

ALLEN, W. W. FORDICE, Charles C. MOON, Abijah B.
AMES, H. L. HATCH, James O. MOWER, Jacob S.
ARCHER, William HICKS, John A. MOWER, William H.
BARNUM, Noah HINES, James O'CONNELL, M. E. (1st Sgt.)
BARTLETT, W. W. JENNINGS, S. W. PERRY, Phillip
BEEBE, Harrison JONES, Isab POND, William H. (1st Lt.)
BEERS, John C. JONES, John M. REDMOND, Patrick
BELKNAP, Louis R. KELLEY, John RICHARDSON, Charles
BISS, William KILGORE, T. S. RILEY, Zachariah C.
BROWNING, O. H. LAKE, William ROBINSON, Lucius P.
CHAMBERS, Andrew LONG, Jackson P. ROUNDS, John
CLEMENS, J. W. MARKS, William SAWLEY, William
COCHRAN, Sanders McCAULEY, Thomas W. SMITH, Horace W.
CORBETT, John McCLOUD, Alex SMITH, James
CORBETT, Robert McCOURTIE, David B. STEVENS, Daniel E.
CORWIN, James McGINNETY, Owen STEWART, Charles
CRAWFORD, James McKERNON, John TAYLOR, John
CULBERTSON, H. M. McVICAR, J. D. VANVIECK, J. B.
DAILY, Edwin MEEGAN, Michael WALKER, James V.
DENNY, Thomas MEGILLEN, Michael WALL, R. B.
DREW, James B. MEGILLEN, Thomas WESTCOTT, Russell
DREW, P. S. MILEY, Martin WHEELER, John R. (Capt.)
FINCH, Horace A. MONTEITH, Joseph WILCOX, W. A.

As was always the case in the recruiting of companies, there are some names to be found on this original list which do not appear in the official roster of the company, showing that these persons were not mustered into service in the company, although some or all of them may have gone out in other companies later on.

Of those enumerated above the follower are not found in the official roster of the company:

ALLEN, W. W. JONES, Isab McGINNIS, Owen
CLEMENS, J. W. KILGORE, T. S. MOON, Abijah
CORWIN, James MARKS, William PERRY, Phillip
DREW, James B. McCAULEY, T. W. TAYLOR, John

On the other hand, the names given constitue but a small part of those who were in this company during its service, as the state roster contains no less than 267 names of members of Company G, Sixteenth Wisconsin Volunteers.

The offices of first and second lieutenant were not filled until the company reached Madison, where, on the 4th of January, 1862, William H. POND, of Eau Claire was chosen first lieutenant, and Cyrus A. ALLEN, of North Pepin, second lieutenant.  M. E. O'CONNELL, who went out as first sergeant, became second lieutenant in September, 1862.  Before the close of the war Captain Wheeler was promoted to the rank of major.

THE EAU CLAIRE RANGERS

Scarcely was the recruiting of the company known as the Chippewa Valley Guards well begun before a move was mde to organize still a third company.  Mr. Porter did not consider it a wise move and his feelings are expressed in an editorial under date of Nov. 14, 1861.  It may be explained here that the third company was being recruited by A. M. Sherman, and as infantry.  It was not until some weeks later that the decision was made to change it to a cavalry company.  Although at this time Mr. Porter did not think it possible to recruit two companies, and favored the Wheeler company only, still, later when it was demonstrated that both companies couldbe made up, Mr. Porter heartily complimented Sherman on his energy, perseverance and success.

(Free Press, Nov. 28, 1861)

The Eau Claire Rangers, Captain A. M. Sherman, have enlisted forty men at Patch Grove, near Prairie du Chien, and are now accepted in Colonel Washburn's regiment of cavalry, and will proceed at once to winter quarters at Milwaukee, where they are to be furnished with horses, uniforms and equipment.  Their quarters are said to be comfortable, and attached to them are parade grounds for cavalry drill and a hall for fencing and gymnastic exercises.  If the men who have enlisted here come promptly to the scratch the company will leave this place the first week in December.  A few more are needed, and as this is the only chance to join cavalry in the northwest, the ranks will undoubtedly be filled at once.  We can certainly commend the energy of Captain Sherman in succeeding with the company and the fact is a high and well deserved compliment.

(Free Press, Dec. 1, 1861)

Captain Sherman's company of cavalry, the Eau Claire Rangers, left this place for Milwaukee Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.  Including those that went yesterday it numbered seventy men, and without disparagement to any other we may safely say that in point of size and muscular development they were the finest body of men that will probably leave this state.

The following is a list of officers and enlisted men of the Rangers:

NAME RANK

NAME RANK
SHERMAN, A. M. Captain

BURBANKS, Israel H. 1st Lieutenant
NARY, Thomas J. 2nd Lieutenant

MEYERS, E. J. Orderly Sergeant
WELLS, Byron Camp Quartermaster Sgt.

BUCK, Benjamin T. Sergeant
HARTMAN, Pierre Sergeant

LeROY, James Sergeant
McNAUGHTON, Alex Sergeant

HAUG, Phillip 1st Corporal
REED, Malcomb 2nd Corporal

LANCASTER, L. L. 3rd Corporal
LOCKWOOD, B. F. 4th Corporal

HOLSTEAD, A. H. 5th Corporal
HYDE, George W. S. 6th Corporal

WYMAN, Milo B. 7th Corporal
MURPHY, George 8th Corporal




PRIVATES
ANDREWS, Edwin L.
ELLIS, Daniel D.
OLUR, Orin O.
ARMSTRONG, Henry
EVANS, Jerome B.
PERSONS, M. M.
BAIRD, Charles
FIDDLER, G. A.
POLLER, Andrew
BANNISTER, G. F.
FITZPATRICK, Hugh
POWELL, Thomas
BATEMAN, J. B.
FOX, August J.
PRIDE, Elbridge C.
BEEMAN, Harrison
GATES, John O.
REDDLE, John
BLACK, Joseph Z.
GILLINORE, Daniel
RICHTMAN, Jacob
BLOOM, John
GROOM, George W.
ROBBINS, Daniel
BONELL, George E.
HALL, W. F.
ROBINSON, George
BOSTWICK, Romeo
HARTMAN, Henry
ROOT, Joseph W.
BURPEE, George
HASTINGS, J. S.
RUMRIIL, Pliny D.
CARTWRIGHT, H. W.
HOLSTEAD, George W.
SEAVER, John
CHAMBERLIN, Hiram
HOUCK, Davis
SEBALD, Martin
CHASE, Joy H.
HULBERT, Alphonso
STEPHENS, Isaac O.
CHATWOOD, William
HUTCHINS, Phil.
STEVENS, M. F.
COLE, Otis N.
JOHANNIS, Michael
STOWE, William H.
COON, Marquis L.
KNIGHT, Isaac K.
SWAN, Charles
CRAIG, Darius
KNIGHT, W. E.
SWAN, George
CUTTING, Chapin
LANG, John
THOMPSON, Josh T.
DAVENPORT, J. L.
LARRABEE, Hiram
TOFFELMIRE, Milton
DECKER, Levi F.
LIVERMORE, James T.
TORGENSON, Claus
DUNBAR, Albert
LOOMIS, Charles
VASEY, William H.
DUNBAR, Oscar A.
MANCHESTER, George
VAUGH, John
EDWARDS, Truman
McDONALD, Christ
WHIPPLE, Edwin L.
EGAN, Michael
MOON, Abijah
WILKES, Ransom


MOSES, George P.
WYMAN, Asigal


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