THE WAUPACA REPUBLICAN
June 19, 1891
THEY TALK OVER OLD TIMES.
Fourth Annual Reunion of the 14h Wis. Vol. Infantry at Waupaca.
A Pleasant Gathering With Over One Hundred Present.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Waupaca city was honored with the presence of surviving members of the gallant old 14th Wis. Vet. Vol. Inf., in their fourth annual reunion, to the number of about 110. They come from various parts of the state and Iowa; Indiana, Minnesota and Dakota were represented. Most every state in the northwest has members of the old 14gh within their borders but all could not be present.
Headquarters were established at Woodnorth’s building south of the Vosburg House, and the old brass field gun which the 14th captured from the Rebels on the famous April 7, 1862, was hauled up in front of the building, it having been tendered the regiment by the state authorities at Madison, in whose care and keeping the gun is reposed.
There is a bit of interesting history connected with this old gun, of special interest to Wisconsin. The gun is an ordinary brass field piece and constituted part of a rebel battery that did its work of destruction in a number of battles and ended its career for the Confederacy at the terrible battle of Pittsburg Landing, April 7, 1862. The sun rose bright and clear on that morning and looked calmly down upon the scene of the previous day’s engagement, as if, in obedience to an unheard command, pouring out a requiem for slain and casting a parting blessing upon the thousands of brave men upon whom it would rise no more, and whose life blood was to be shed on that day in the cause of justice, right and liberty.
The battery occupied a commanding position. The battle opened about 9 o’clock in the morning, the Confederate forces making the assault and meeting with a sharp repulse, but the battery was well manned and mowed great swaths through the columns of brave Union troops. The Fourteenth Wisconsin regiment, temporarily attached to Smith’s brigade, Gen. Crittenden’s division of Gen. Buell’s command, occupied a position on the right of the brigade and held the main road leading from Pittsburg Landing to Corinth. Gen Grant ordered Col. Smith to take the battery. Col. Smith ordered the Twenty-sixth Kentucky to capture it. The regiment made a gallant charge and were repulsed with terrible slaughter in their ranks. Gen. Grant and staff had ridden up in the rear of the Fourteenth Wisconsin and witnessed the charge. Turning to Gen. Buell and pointing with his sword to the Fourteenth, he said: “General, that regiment can take that battery.”
The charge was made, the horses killed and Lieutenant Staley spiked this gun, but reinforcements not being brought to the support of the regiment they were driven back with a loss of eighty-five men killed and disabled, Colonel Wood and Lieutenant Colonel Messmore were both disabled and carried from the field. Major Hancock took command of the regiment, rallied its broken lines, made a second charge, capturing the battery, driving a strong infantry force of Texas troops who were supporting it from the field up the road towards Shiloh church, and captured many prisoners.
The Fourteenth were then ordered to hold the field, guard the road, and see that the enemy did not recapture the battery. The enemy made but one more attempt to retake it. This was at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The attack was met by the Fourteenth and the enemy promptly repulsed.
After the battle Gen. Halleck sent a member of his staff to learn what regiment had captured the battery, and the result was the presentation of this gun to the Fourteenth Wisconsin in recognition of its valor in capturing the battery. The regiment afterward presented it to the State, whose property it now is.
Years after the war when Gen. Grant visited the West and was coming up the Mississippi to his old home at Galena, a delegation from LaCrosse went down the river to escort him up. While coming up the river the conversation drifted to the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and Gen. Washburn mentioned the capture of this gun, which was then at Madison. Gen. Grant remembered the incident distinctly and highly complimented the work of the regiment on that occasion. He said: “I personally witnessed the charge, and noted it carefully, for I felt when I made the suggestion that the regiment could capture the battery that they were just the men to do it. It was a most gallant charge, and was the hottest place in the line of battle that day.”
By Tuesday noon the town was fairly well decorated with red, white and blue and National flags were flying from many public and private buildings. It was a touching sight to see the meetings of the old comrades as the trains brought in new reinforcements. In some cases the greetings were supplemented with a little beer, but among the members of the old Fourteenth the best of decorum and gentlemanly bearing was noticeable throughout the reunion. The veterans all went in a body to the afternoon train followed by their “rebel pet,” the above mentioned cannon, to meet Capt. Magdeburg, wife and daughter and other members of the Reg’t. Capt. Magdeburg owns big milling interests in Milwaukee, which he conducts with as much enthusiasm and interest as he commanded Company G on the famous march from Atlanta to the Sea, with Gen. Sherman. He is president of the Regiment Association and his Grace(ful) seventeen year-old daughter was voted the “Daughter of the regiment” at the reunion in DePere, last summer.
The Regiment Association held their business meeting at which time the following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
President – Capt. Magdeburg, Milwaukee
1st Vice-President – Capt. M. A. Watson, LaCrosse.
2nd Vice-President – Capt. C. R. Johnson, Black River Falls.
3rd Vice-President – W. H. Tucker, Indianapolis, Ind.
Secretary – R. A. Spink, Oshkosh
Treasurer – H. W. Durand, Fond du Lac.
After taking up a collection of about twenty dollars to make up local expenses the veterans held a grand parade headed by the Waupaca Brass Band and followed by the cannon and casson drawn by four horses, each horse with a little boy rider dressed in artilleryman’s uniform. After the parade they intended to go to visit the Veterans’ Home and have a picnic dinner, but the weather looked so much like rain that they waited in town for dinner, after which they went out in carriages and wagons to the Home, accompanied by the Waupaca band who played some excellent pieces on the balconies of dining hall and headquarters’ building, while the visitors inspected the surroundings, which event, however, was marred somewhat by the rain, but all were pleased with the appearance of things and were warmly welcomed by the Home people.
In the evening an entertainment was arranged at the Opera House. The band opened the exercises and were loudly applauded. The Mayor being sick, Senator J. H. Woodnorth gave a short but appropriate address of welcome which was responded to by Capt. Magdeburg in which he said: “It is an honor to hold a reunion in a city that had sent so many brave soldiers to the front. There were perhaps just as good soldiers, but there were not better men that went to war than Company B commanded by your old townsman, the brave and gallant Major Worden. It is an honor to come to a city that has contributed so much toward the State Veterans’ Home, an institution that affords shelter and relief to many worthy and deserving old soldiers, their wives and widows of soldiers. We have seen with our own eyes the evidences of the worthiness of this grand Home. The speaker hoped that the 14th might have the pleasure of some time holding another reunion here.
The male quartet, Messrs. Oborn, Shearer, Fowlie and McAllaster, and Mrs. Sperry gave several fine selections, Miss Belle Smith presided at the piano. Miss Smith’s little band of “shakers” rendered a cut selection which was encored.
Comrade Osborn of LaCrosse, gave a short talk in which he scored the “powers that be” in Madison for keeping the regimental flags “boxed up” when they ought to be opened out and placed so the present and future generations of Wisconsin people could see them, and let them teach their lessons of patriotism. Every old war-tattered banner has a history red with the blood of our soldiers who fought who save the Union. Mr. Osborn said: “All over the south they are raising monuments to perpetuate the memory of some general who sought to destroy the Union. No other Nation under the sun would allow it, and why do we have so few monuments?” The speaker said there was a good deal of sentiment about the blue and the gray; one represents loyalty, the other treason and he had not been educated up to that point yet, where he could put the gray on an quality with the blue.
Comrade Sergeant W. H. Tucker of Indianapolis, was called forward and read the following resolutions:
RESOLVED. That it is the sense of the comrades of the 14th Wis. Vet. Vol. Inf. That hearty vote of thanks be tendered the local committee for the hard work done by them, which has made it possible for this Veteran Association to have a grand, goodtime at this reunion,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That to the citizens of Waupaca we feel indebted for the welcome shown us and for their loyalty displayed in their liberal decorations shown throughout their pleasant and beautiful little city; That we will leave with the kindest remembrances of this our first visit and trust that we may, at some time in the future years be permitted to return again.
Very respectfully submitted,
CAPT. C. R. JOHNSON}
R. O. OBSORN } Com.
W. H. TUCKER }
The resolutions were enthusiastically adopted. Then Mr. Tucker gave a brief history of the Reg’t.
The regiment was organized at Fond du Lac, Wis., in the fall of 1861, under Col. D. E. Wood. In Sibley tents that cold, bleak winter was passed. The regiment was well officered, and when ordered South in March, was well disciplined and one of the finest regiments that left the state. They were ordered to St. Louis, and went into camp for a few days at Benton Barracks. From this place were ordered to report to Gen. Grant at Savannah. Grant was so well pleased with the regiment that he ordered the Col. To disembark and go into camp. Nothing of any importance took place until the morning of Sunday, April 6, when all were awakened by the booming of cannon from the field of Shiloh. The regiment was ordered that night to take transport for Pittsburg Landing, arriving there at 8 p.m. Climbing up the high bluff overlooking the river the boys passed the night amid the wreck of the straggling part of Grant’s army. All was confusion, during the entire night the scene was one long to be remembered. At early light the regiment was formed into line and was addressed by Gen.Crittenden, then marched to the extreme front line, when the regiment took part in the hotly contested fight of the 7th forming the right of Buell’s army and the left of Grant’s, during this engagement the regiment showed such coolness, that they were for the rest of the war called the 14th regulars. The regiment here charged and captured the New Orleans battery of six pieces. One gun was afterwards presented to the regiment and now takes part in each reunion. At this battle, and from exposures, afterwards, being encamped at Pittsburg Landing on the battlefield, the regiment suffered heavy losses, disease creating sad havoc. The regiment took an active part in all of the engagements in the southwest.
In the fall of 1863, returned home on a veteran furlough and recruited their ranks; soon returned and participated in many grand engagements and were mustered out in Oct. 1865. The following is the list of engagements participated in by the 14th: Shiloh, Iuka, Corinth, Vicksburg, Fort do Rusey, Pleasant Hill Landing, Tupelo, Ezera Chapel, Old Town Creek, Fort Blakely, Spanish Fort, Rivers Bridge, Cloutierville, Cane River, Marksville, Yellow Bayou, Ackworth, Kenesaw Mountain, Nashville, Augusta, Camago Cross Roads, Lovejoy’s Station, Jonesboro, Atlanta.
Sergeant W. H. Tucker gives a compilation of losses as follows:
Total loss of recruits 123
Loss of original regiment 628
No. original regiment mustered out Oct.’ 65 368
Of this, received wounds 117
Leaving without injury 252
Loss of Field and Staff Officers by death and disability 7
Sergeant Tucker was a hotel boy in LaCrosse when he enlisted, now he is at the head of the large manufacturing firm of Tucker & Dorsey, Indianapolis. He is the inventor of the famous patent alarm money drawer in use all over the world. He takes great pride in meeting with his old regimental comrades, and is interested in the Indiana Loyal Legion Vet. Association.
Capt. Magdeburg closed the evening’s exercises by a truthful and well-written article on the life and services of Gen. W. T. Sherman. The Capt. being a warm personal friend of Gen. Sherman during and since the war felt that the reading of this paper was a duty he owed to his old commander.
Thursday morning the association met and the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, It has come to the notice of the society of the 14th Wis. Vet. Vol. Inf. In reunion in Waupaca, June 16, 17, and 18, 1891, that a governor of this state issued an executive order prohibiting the use at regimental reunions of the flags carried during the rebellion by said regiments. Therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the governor of this state be and he is hereby earnestly requested to rescind said order and hereafter permit such things to be brought to regimental reunions. And be it further
RESOLVED, That it is the sense of this society in case of refusal on the part of the governor of this state to accede to the above request that the legislature of state shall be asked by the president of this society to pass a joint resolution directing the executives of this state hereafter to furnish the flags referred to for the uses and purposes herein named. Be it further
RESOLVED, That the secretary of this society furnish a copy of these resolutions to all known regimental organizations with a request that they take action thereon. Be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of these resolutions be furnished each G.A.R. Post, each Sons of Veterans Camp and Woman’s Relief Corps in this state, with a view to action being taken thereon.
RESOLVED, That a copy of these resolutions be furnished to one comrade of each company whose duty it shall be to have these resolutions published in one or more papers at his place of residence with a view to create public sentiment in favor thereof.
The meeting closed with a vote to hold the fifth annual reunion at Omro next year.
The following is the roster of those present:
FIELD AND STAFF.
Major Asa Wordon Medina, Wis.
Surgeon D. LaCount Chilton, Wis.
S. D. Barker Marinette, Wis.
Wm. Hope Waupaca, Wis.
R. A. Spink Oshkosh, Wis.
George Crosby Fond du Lac, Wis.
George C. Denniston Burlington, Wis.
George VanHeuklum Appleton, Wis.
Charles Beers, Wauwatosa County Hospital, Wis.
Wellington Abbey South Byron, Wis.
Platt Durand Fond du Lac, Wis.
Edward G. Mascraft Fond du Lac, Wis.
Henry G. Decker Berlin, Wis.
H. W. Durand Fond du Lac, Wis.
John D. Coon Fond du Lac, Wis.
Dan Brown the Col’s old cook Fond du Lac, Wis.
N. C. Rideout Veterans’ Home, Wis.
Moses C. Quimby Little River, Wis.
Albert Smith, wife & daughter Weyauwega, Wis.
Martin V. Day, and wife Waupaca, Wis.
George W. Teal Weyauwega, Wis.
Edward Vincent Weyauwega, Wis.
Maj. Asa Wordon Medina, Wis.
Jacob A. Burke Weyauwega, Wis.
S. S. Whitney Waupaca, Wis.
W. W. Wells, and wife Manawa, Wis.
R. C. Davis Rural, Wis.
O. F. Harkness Marshfield, Wis.
H. C. Warner Lind, Wis.
George Olson Alban, Wis.
Jas. D. Beach Plover, Wis.
W. A. Sweet LaCrosse, Wis.
Louis Young Plainfield, Wis.
Jas. M. Cornwell Ruthven, Iowa
Elesium Derusea Arnot, Wis.
J. D. O’Shea Eldorado, Wis.
John McGown Plover, Wis.
Theo. Myers, wife & daughter Madely, Wis.
Robert Blair Sheridan, Wis.
John F. Beach Keene, Wis.
F. H. Boyden Ogdensburg, Wis.
L. H. Stark Amherst, Wis.
A. A. Jeffers, and daughter Sheridan, Wis.
Henry Smith Marshfield, Wis.
W. H. Wordon Stevens Point, Wis.
R. L Potter Mapleton, Minn.
W. F. Williams, and daughter White, South Dakota
Wm. H. Barker Stevens Point, Wis.
John Everling Lamartine, Wis.
Capt. S. B. Carpenter Stevens Point, Wis.
Simon W. Baker Weyauwega, Wis.
Volney K. Shelley, and wife Weyauwega, Wis.
Wm. Kemp Badger, Wis.
Patrick Feheley Stockton, Wis.
T. R. Taylor Omro, Wis.
Amos Garter Omro, Wis.
T. C. Miller Winneconne, Wis.
J. L. Johnson Omro, Wis.
Daniel Buck Weyauwega, Wis.
Albert Taylor Blaine, Wis.
E. W. Romaine Loyal, Clark County, Wis.
W. H. Tompkins Springfield, Minn.
Arthur O. Stevens and wife Milwaukee, Wis.
George Herswell Black River Falls, Wis.
Wm. Taylor LaCrosse, Wis.
B. M. Dunham Cataract, Wis.
R. E. Osborne LaCrosse, Wis.
A. M. Watson LaCrosse, Wis.
E. Elkins Trempeleau, Wis.
W. H. Tucker Indianapolis, Ind.
D. A. Ramsdell Marion, Wis.
Jacob A. Williams Manitowoc, Wis.
H. P. Johnson Niles Wis.
James M. Tyler Niles Wis.
Oresemas Dill Fond du Lac, Wis.
Robert E. Lee Withee, Wis.
J. H. Dunn Traer, Iowa
J. O. Tyler Northville Center, Minn.
C. M. Beatty Antigo, Wis.
Thomas Steele, wife & daughter DePere, Wis.
Thomas Turiff DePere, Wis.
Robert Turiff DePere, Wis.
G. R. Woodward, and wife Little Rapids, Wis.
Capt. F. H. Magdeburg, and wife Milwaukee, Wis.
Grace E. Magdeburg (daughter of the regiment)
Edward Daskam Antigo, Wis.
Wm. D. Emmons Rural, Wis.
O. R. Potter Potter, Wis.
Peter Brennan New Cassel, Wis.
G. P. Westcott Chilton, Wis.
Lucius Crawford Hilbert, Wis.
L. Miller Waupaca, Wis.
J. H. Jones Waupaca, Wis.
C. G. Dreutzer, and wife Milwaukee, Wis.
Capt. John Kenealy, and wife Milwaukee, Wis.
M. Nelson Rathbun, Wis.
Theodore Orphal, and wife Hilbert, Wis.
H. Hamblin Sugar Bush, Wis.
Capt. C. M. G. Mansfield, and wife Green Bush, Wis.
A. M. Fish Merrill, Wis.
S. C. Gallagin, and wife Armstrong Corners Fond du LacCo Wis.
E. Conger, and wife Rathbun, Wis.
C. A. Councilman, and wife Stevens Point, Wis.
Capt. C. R. Johnson Black River Falls, Wis.
E. H. Markey Neilsville, Wis.
Wm. Neverman Neilsville, Wis.
L. D. Shoemaker LaCrosse, Wis.
Frederick Stichtman New London, Wis.
Charles F. Bone “Curley” Rice Lake, Wis.