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

Chapter  15 - Spanish-American War

by Marshall Cousins

The Volunteer Organization

(-as transcribed from page 226)

The organization in the Wisconsin regiments differed in a few respects from the organization under the United States laws.  The Wisconsin regiments had regularly appointed Quartermasters with rank of Captain, and also had regularly appointed Battalion Adjutants with rank of First Lieutenant, mounted, and Battalion Sergeants Major. In the regular service these positions were filled by detail of line officers.

General Charles King, some years previous to the war, had recommended to the Governor and Legislature the passage of a law making these positions permanent ones, and Marshall Cousins, when a member of the Legislature, had prepared and secured the passage of such a law.  On the reorganization of the army, following the Spanish-American War, the Federal laws were amended and now closely follow the Wisconsin regulations of that day.

As previously stated, the Battalion Adjutants and Battalion Sergeants Major were not included in the first call, but a few days after the call Congress enacted a law accepting the organizations as they had existed in the states, and those affected were ordered into camp.  In the Wisconsin establishments the Regimental Adjutant and Regimental Quartermaster held the rank of Captain.  Assistant Surgeons also held rank of Captain.  When these officers were mustered into the United States service, however, their rank was reduced to First Lieutenant.

When the call was made, Marshall Cousins, of Eau Claire, went into the camp as Regimental Sergeant Major, which position he had held for several years.  On the rejection of Lieutenant Farr by the Surgeons, the Sergeant Major was commissioned Battalion Adjutant with rank of First Lieutenant, and assigned to the First Battalion, commanded by Major Thomas Jefferson George, of Menomonie.  Samuel E. Grout, of Eau Claire, was the Battalion Sergeant Major.

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