As the Federal Campaigner Battalion approaches the Hillsman Farm battlefield of Sayler's Creek, a quick change of impression will be required to bring ourselves into compliance with event guidelines. From the 20th Indiana, 1st Brigade, 3d Division, of the 2d Army Corps, we will have to transform into a unit of the 1st Div., Sixth Army Corps. For this purpose, the 5th Wisconsin of the 3d Brigade has been chosen. These "Badgers" were another group of hardfighting Westerners serving in the Army of Potomac, and would have been a part of the Iron Brigade when originally formed, but their place was taken by another unit. Nevertheless, this is a fine unit with a notable history, and one we do well to honor in our portrayal of the soldiers who served at the Battle of Little Sailor's Creek as their line of skirmishers captured Lt. General Ewell and his staff. Coincidentaly, both the 20th Indiana and 5th Wisconsin served in the New York draft riots in summer of 1863 after Gettysburg.
Impression guidelines must remain the same as for 20th Indiana from a practical standpoint, except for the hasty removal of Second and/or Third Army Corps badges and substitute a quickly placed VI red cross. Again, as these folks were in the lead elements of the VI AC, please, no smoothbores. . 58 cal Rifle muskets are the only historically supportable weapons impression at this point of the war for these units.
The 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
This regiment was organized at Camp Randall, Madison and was mustered into the United States service on July 13, 1861. It left the state on July 26th for Washington. The following was the roster of the regiment:
Colonel - Amasa Cobb
Lieutenant Colonel - H. W. Emery
Major - Charles H. Larrabee
Adjutant - Theodore S. West
Quartermaster - John G. Clark
Surgeon - A. L. Castleman
First Assistant Surgeon - George D. Wilbur
Second Assistant Surgeon - C. E. Crane
Chaplain - Rev. Robert Langley
Company Captains First Lieutenants Second Lieutenants
A) Temple Clark Horace; Walker Peter Sherfius
B) E.C. Hibbard; J.B. Oliver; Robert Ross
C) William Behrens; J.C. Schroeling; Hans Boebel
D) Theodore B. Catlin; D. E. Tilden; T.R. Stafford
E) H.M. Wheeler; H. R. Clum; James Mills
F) Irving M. Bean; Enoch Totten; A. S. Bennett
G) William A. Bugh; L. G. Strong; H.K.W. Ayers
H) R.C. Hawkins; George D. Lybrand; Jeremiah J. Turner
I) Richard H. Emerson; William Berry; George S. Davis
K) William Evans; C.A. Bayard; Theodore S. West
They arrived at Washington on August 8th, were assigned to General King's Brigade, and went into camp on Meridian Hill. With the brigade, the regiment, on September 3rd, marched to Chain Bridge, where the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and 19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry crossed to the Virginia side. The regiments were temporarily placed under the command of General Smith. They were employed in the construction of fortifications, on outpost duty, and the usual camp duties. During the month, the regiment was transferred from King's Brigade to General Winfield Scott Hancock's Brigade, in General Smith's Division. They went into winter quarters at "Camp Griffin," near Lewinsville. They remained engaged in picket and outpost duty until March 10, 1862, when the brigade and division took part in the advance of McClellan against Manassas. They proceeded as far as Fairfax Court House. On the news of the evacuation of the rebel position, they marched to Alexandria. There they embarked on the famous Peninsula campaign of General McClellan. They were now part of the IV Corps, under the command of Major General Keyes. They disembarked at Hampton, opposite Fortress Monroe. On the 27th, the brigade made a reconnaissance in force. They drove out the enemy and camped within their lines. On April 4th, they advanced to Young's Mills, driving the rebels before them. On the 6th, Company F, under the command of Captain Irving M. Bean, had a brush with the enemy. The company routed them and Private Henry Vreeland was wounded.
The command advanced opposite the enemy's fortifications, on the Warwick River near Lee's Mills, which was the center of the enemy's line of works. An attack was made on a strong fort of the rebels on the 16th, in which the regiment took no part, but afterwards took a position in the rear of a battery which had been posted opposite the fort. On the 24th, Private Charles L. Fourt, of Company K, was wounded while on picket. On the 30th, Commissary Sergeant Burton Millard was mortally wounded and died that same day.
On May 3rd, the rebels evacuated their works around Yorktown and retreated towards Williamsburg. With the rest of the Army, the regiment marched in pursuit of the enemy. The roads were almost impassable, from the swampy character of the ground. At night, they bivouacked near Whittaker's plantation, three miles from Williamsburg. At 8 AM the next day, General Hooker commenced the Battle of Williamsburg, on the left. At 10 AM, the brigade was sent to the right to make an attack on the enemy's left. With the regiment in the advance, the brigade reached Queen's Creek and found an earthwork on the opposite side. The regiment was ordered to cross and occupy the work, which was done. A second earthwork about 800 yards from the first was also found to be abandoned. These works proved to be within range of three similar works, which were filled with the enemy's infantry and sharpshooters. The Confederates opened a galling fire on the skirmishers thrown out by Colonel Cobb, which consisted of Companies A, E, and G, under the command of Captain Bugh. Pursuant to orders, Colonel Cobb advanced four hundred yards from the main line and sent forward Companies D and K as support for his skirmish line, under Lieutenant Colonel Emery. A Federal battery took position near some farm buildings and opened on the Confederate works. Colonel Cobb, with the rest of the regiment, acted as support. They were covered by a slight elevation and his men lied down to avoid the enemy's shots. At about 4:30 PM, the enemy opened fire on his skirmish line and soon advanced, the skirmishers slowly retiring. The battery immediately limbered up and passed to the rear. The skirmishers checked the cavalry advance and Colonel Cobb formed a line of battle with his five companies and opened fire on the advancing infantry. Colonel Cobb received orders of "fall back fighting," so he gradually withdrew from the shelter of the buildings and became fully exposed to the enemy's fire. The skirmishers rejoined the regiment and they fell back slowly and deliberately, fighting all the while, with as much coolness as if on ordinary duty. Having joined the main line of the brigade, General Hancock gave the order to fire and charge, which was followed by such a volley and rush that the enemy were checked and fled from the field in the wildest confusion, leaving one of their battle flags. For the coolness and bravery displayed, Colonel Cobb and the regiment were complimented by their superior officers. On the 7th, General McClellan addressed the regiment as follows:
"My lads, I have come to thank you for the bravery and discipline which you displayed the other day. On that day, you won laurels of which you may be proud - not only you, but the army, the State and the country to which you belong. Though you we won the day, and 'Williamsburg' shall be inscribed upon your banner. I cannot thank you too much, and I am sure the reputation your gallantry has already achieved, will always be maintained."
Captain Bugh, of Company G, was dangerously wounded in the thigh, and lay on the field till the enemy was driven back. His wound disabled him from further military service. The rebel force engaged was Ewell's crack brigade, of which the 5th North Carolina Volunteer Infantry was nearly annihilated.
The casualties were reported as follows:
Killed or died or wounds: Company A - Corporal Jacob Cotherns, Privates David C. Eddy and David Woodcock. Company B - Private James W. Allen. Company C - Corporal Philip Ziegler and Private Adolph A. Sherwin. Company E - First Sergeant Hartwell C. Hern. Company F - Privates Charles J. Cole and Lucius Hall. Company H - Privates Edwin Austin, Henry M. Johnson, George W. Moore and Henry E. Walker. Company I - Corporal W. A. Read and Private Thomas H. Wheelock. - 15 total.
Wounded: Company A - First Lieutenant Horace Walker, Privates Joseph Allen and Goetlib C. Hennan. Company B - Color Sergeant G. W. Madison, Privates George W. Adams, George H. Cooper, James Conlon William H. Decker, Malcolm McNie, Marshall W. Patton, T. B. Riddle, L. Taylor and James Young. Company C - Sergeant Charles Baumbach, Privates Charles Harting, John Michael and Joseph Trubner. Company D - Privates Peter Anderson, Benjamin Farringer and Brainard Worthington. Company E - Sergeant A. W. Hathaway, Corporals George Thorngate and R. W. Walker, Privates Jesse Anson, Rodway S. Johnson, Thomas H. Richardson, S. F. Smith, W. C. Stevens and Bush B. Webster. Company F - Corporal Willard Ward, Privates Luke Chaplain, Samuel Gower, Gustus F. Heath, Thomas Parkinson and George A. Smith. Company G - Captain William A. Burg, Privates George W. Baldwin, G. M. Chamberlain, A. Dawes, Stewart J. Fray, T. C. Ryan and James R. Strong. Company H - Captain R. C. Hawkins, Sergeant G. Laws, Privates J. D. Jones, William Sandmyer, William Smith and Jonathan Spray. Company I - Sergeant Butler Talmadge, Privates Dallas Casey, John J. Daniels, William Dolan, Benjamin Ellis, Dwight Haywood, Edward R. Shoemaker, John Simons, James Wait and George Whiteman. Company K - Corporal John Nolan and Private A. B. Moore. - 60 total.
The rebels evacuated Williamsburg on the night of May 5th. General Smith's division marched to Cumberland Landing on the 9th, and was assigned to General Franklin's VI Corps. They then marched to the Chickahominy and encamped on May 24th, near Gaines' Mill. Here the regiment was engaged in building roads, bridges, etc. until the end of June. On the 26th, Porter was driven back by the enemy. The next evening, the pickets of the 5th Wisconsin were driven in. Hancock's brigade held a strong position, very annoying to the enemy. This was an attempt to drive him from it. The brigade soon formed a line of battle, just below the crest of a hill, on which they lay down. When the enemy appeared on the hill, they poured in a staggering fire at the same time that the artillery opened. the fight lasted about an hour, when the rebels were routed. This is known as the Battle of Golden's Farm. Here Captain William Evans, of Company K, was mortally wounded.
The casualties were reported as follows:
Wounded: Company A - Captain Horace Walker, Sergeant Morris Mullens, Privates James Anderson, John Thoreau, and William Turpin. Company D - Privates Lewis Coty and James Watson. Company E - Corporals Daniel O. Ripley and Reese Walker. Company G - Corporal R. S. Vanorman. Company H - Privates Henry J. Lawton and William McPheeters. Company I - Private Henry A. Sanders. - 13 total.
The next day, McClellan began his famous "change of base," in which General Smith's division formed the rear guard of the grand army. They came under fire at Savage Station and the regiment, with Hancock's Brigade, was among the last to cross the White Oak Swamp bridge, where five of Company F were taken prisoner. The brigade was also under fire at the battle of Malvern Hill, but suffered no loss. They then went into camp near Harrison's Landing, where they remained until the final evacuation of the Peninsula on August 16th. The regiment arrived at Alexandria on the 29th, and the Corps marched toward Manassas, but did not reach General Pope in time to afford any assistance. They then returned to Alexandria, where they remained until September 6th. Major Larrabee resigned on July 25th, and Captain Behrens was appointed Major.
In the movement to check the progress of General Lee in Maryland, the regiment was in the reserve when Slocum's division drove the enemy from Crampton's Gap on the 14th. They were present at the Battle of Antietam, Franklin's Corps reinforcing Generals Hooker and Sumner. General Smith's Division being in support of artillery, the regiment lay on the ground nearly all day, under the terrible fire of the enemy, with little loss. Colonel Cobb was in command of the brigade. After a fruitless attempt to intercept Stewart's cavalry on his celebrated raid around McClellan's army, they rejoined the army at Falmouth. The participated in the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 12-15, 1862, though not much exposed. Here Corporal H. Pigg, of Company B, and Corporals Amos W. Miller and John Duncam, of Company H were wounded. Private William Lyon, of Company D, was killed. The regiment went into winter quarters at White Oak Church, near Belle Plain. Colonel Cobb being elected to Congress, resigned his position and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas S. Allen of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry was appointed Colonel of the 5th Wisconsin. On the death of Lieutenant Colonel Emery in October, Captain Theodore B. Catlin, of Company D, was appointed Lieutenant Colonel. Major Behrens resigned on December 26th, and Captain H. M. Wheeler was appointed Major. Colonel Allen reported for duty on January 26, 1863.
The "Light Division" was organized from the VI Corps in February by General Pratt. The regiment was included in this division, which was intended to march and be ready to undertake reconnaissance's and movements which required great activity, unencumbered by the usual impediments. This "Light Division" remained in camp at Belle Plain until April 28th, when it moved to the Rappahannock River, crossed on pontoons, and took position before the enemy below Fredericksburg. On May 2nd, First Lieutenant John McMurtry, of Company H, was mortally wounded by rebel sharpshooters, while skirmishing. Moving up to the city, the VI Corps took position in front of the enemy's fortifications on the heights.
On May 3rd, the Light Division was ordered to storm the enemy's position on Marye's Heights, where General Burnside lost 5,000 men in a similar attempt in December. That attempt gave the place the name of "the Slaughter Pen." The Light Division, commanded by Colonel Burnham, of the 6th Maine Volunteer Infantry, moved to obey orders. The right wing of the 5th Wisconsin, Companies A, B, F, H, and I were to lead the storming party under Colonel Allen. The 6th Maine Volunteer Infantry and the 31st New York Volunteer Infantry were placed in the rear of the right wing of the 5th Wisconsin and the left wing of the 5th Wisconsin was placed in the rear of the 31st New York. The plan of the charge and arrangement of the troops was made by Colonel Allen. The enemy's works consisted of a battery in front on the heights above, with a battery on the left and two other batteries on the right, which could pour a terrible cross fire into the attacking force. In front of the right wing was a gentle slope, on ascending which, the force became fully exposed to the fire of the enemy. At about 450 yards in front of their starting point was a stone wall or fence forming one side of a cross road, behind which the enemy had placed a regiment or two of sharpshooters. Beyond the wall, the hill rose very steep, on top of which was the battery and rifle-pits which the Light Division was ordered to take. Two regiments were to advance up a road to the right, in order to draw the fire of the enemy while the charge was being made.
Forming in line, as arranged, the right wing of the regiment lay for three hours, protected by the slope of the ground, before orders were received to charge. The men were rather serious, for they felt it to be an almost hopeless task, where so many had failed before. Colonel Allen, to change the current of feeling, addressed his men, saying, "Boys! You see those heights? You have to take them! You think you cannot do it, but you can! You will do it! When the order 'Forward" is given, you will start at the double quick - you will not fire a gun - you will not stop until you are ordered to halt! You will never get that order!" At last came the command "Forward," and every man advanced with undaunted bravery up that sheltering slope and into the deadly fire which met them about 100 yards from the stone wall or fence. Then it came with terrible fury and effect from musketry behind the wall and rifle-pits above, in front, from the batteries on all the crests of the hills, and from the rifles in houses and rifle-pits on the right flank. Shot, shell and canister tore through the ranks of the gallant storming party, but without stopping to return a shot, the band of heroes rushed on. They surmounted the stone wall, where they bayoneted some of the foe and scattered the others like chaff. They clambered up the steep pitch and into the enemy's works at the top. They were soon in possession of the famous Washington Artillery of New Orleans, whose commander surrendered his sword to Colonel Allen, while complimenting him for his daring and the bravery of his men. The column which was to charge the batteries on the right failed to reach them and the Light Division proceeded to secure them. They captured nine cannons, several hundred prisoners and many small arms. The battery on the left was taken by a Vermont brigade.
The casualties were reported as follows:
Killed or died or wounds: Company A - Privates Aubert Boiddsrt, James Bride, Robert Bride, Francis Harlich, Thomas Olcott, Abraham Riley, Frederick Salsman, Albert Sommer, Henry Stick and Samuel H. Whaling. Company B - Sergeant Charles J. Kavanaugh, Corporal Dodge Prevo, Privates George W. Adams, William M. Kelly, Thomas McKittrick, James McLaughlin, John J. Parkinson and John Smith.. Company E - Privates Royal R. Pitts and John D. Vatentine. Company F - Corporal Volney B. Gee and Private William Ackert. Company G - Captain Lewis G. Strong, Privates Robert Irving, George E. Raymond and William Smith. Company H - Captain Jeremiah J. Turner, Second Lieutenant A. H. Robinson, First Sergeant E. C. Hungerford, Sergeant William F. Hoyt, Privates John Frowley and Byron Tripp. Company I - Sergeant William Norton, Corporals George R. Bennett and Austin T. Rains, Privates Andrew P. Barstead, Bidwell Pedley, Edward R. Shoemaker, Elijah B. Shoemaker, George B. Thomas, Aaron Vasey and William T. White. Company K - Privates Andrew McRae and August Pelengo. - 44 total.
Wounded: Field Officer - Major H. M. Wheeler. Company A - First Lieutenant Horace Walker, Second Lieutenant A. B. Gibson, Sergeant Maurice Mullens, Corporals Albert Burbick, J. K. Lycom, Francis Sturn and William Turpin, Privates Joseph Cox, William C. Crocker, Samuel E. Dexter, Gotlab Herman, Lewis Lacount, Ole Nelson, Michael Pelcher and Peter Perrauld. Company B - Sergeants Washington I. Carver, Oscar H. Pierce and Henry Pigg, Corporals Leander L. Hatch, Rollin R. Wheeler and James Young, Privates M. M. Bailey, William Byrne, William George, Joseph McDonald, Malcolm McHie, Jeremiah Merrils, Edward O'Brien, J. S. Parker, John L. Parkinson and Jeremiah Shelden. Company C - Captain C. W. Kempf, First Lieutenant L. F. Muller, Second Lieutenant C. H. Meyer, Privates Joseph Bob, Dietrick Dierolf, Franz Kurtzner, Joseph Lesaulmier, Hugo Richter, Christon Rudarer and Joseph Thiefault. Company D - Corporals E. Charnock, L. A. Hovey, C. P. Jones and Holland Smith. Company E - First Lieutenant Asa W. Hathaway, Sergeant James Huggins, Corporals H. S. Ames, C. T. Hackard and W. W. Wiggins, Privates R. D. Coon and George Pederson. Company F - Sergeant F. L. Ladue, Corporal George Klock, Privates John Ross and A. J. Smith. Company G - Sergeant Robert Berry, Corporals James F. Elliott, Charles Knudson, Reuben H. Shumway and Henry V. Strong. Company H - Corporals A. Y. Robb and W. B. Walker, Privates A. C. Bell, John Berland, John Douglas, D. W. McCarty, John McGregor, Martin Morrison and T. J. Shannon. Company I - Second Lieutenant Richard Carter, Privates Abraham Adkins, Thomas Adkins, John Anderson, Charles Bartlett, A. P. Brown, William Duriff, Edward F. Flynn, Alfred Kelly, T. J. Keys, J. Henry Osborn, Peter Sable, John Simons, George Thomas and James Wait. Company K - Corporal J. B. Kendall, Privates John H. Bolton, Frederick Britenather, Francis Lee and Frederick Messner. - 92 total.
Without rest, refreshments, or going back to care for the killed and wounded, the Light Division was ordered to march with the VI Corps at once to Chancellorsville. During the evening, the enemy retook possession of the Heights so dearly won, and followed up the VI Corps which, at Salem Church, had Lee's army in their front and Jackson and Longstreet on their flank and rear. The enemy's fire slackened against Hooker, during the 3rd and 4th, his attention being devoted to Sedgwick's VI Corps, who were fighting three times their number. No relief came, and nothing was left but to cross the river. In order to do this, the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel Allen, moved to the right and went to the assistance of Brooks' and Howe's divisions, who were fighting to open a way to Banks' Ford. They succeeded, the regiment losing several men in a few minutes. Arriving at the Ford, the regiment was detailed as a rear guard and the VI Corps crossed in safety on the 5th. The Light Division returned to their old camp and was soon after broken up, the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and the 6th Maine Volunteer Infantry being assigned to the Third Brigade under Brigadier General David A. Russell, of the First Division, VI Army Corps.
The causalities on May 4th were officially reported as follows:
Wounded: Company A - Corporal A. Burbridge. Company B - Private James Young. Company C - Corporal Peter Spies and Private Adam Muhlenbein. Company F - Corporals Charles O. Brown and Richard M. Welsh, and Private James Bogue. Company G - Corporal Oscar H. Beal. Company H - Private Jarrett Spencer. Company I - Corporal William Dolan and Private Charles Clapp. Company K - Private Robert Philips. - 12 total.
Missing: Company B - Private William H. McFarland. Company D - Private Frank Brown. Company F - Sergeant Henry B. Lowe, Privates Russel Brown, J. W. Ewing, Ferdinand Kussner, Alfred Lugan and Leonard Sherman. Company I - Private Samuel Dyer. - 9 total.
It having been ascertained that General Lee was moving towards Pennsylvania, the VI Corps was again put in motion, and marched rapidly through Virginia, reaching Gettysburg on July 2nd, having marched all the previous night. Here they were placed as a reserve in the rear of the left of General Meade's line of battle, where they remained without becoming actually engaged, although exposed to the artillery fire on the 3rd. The regiment sustained not loss. The corps went in pursuit of the enemy and skirmished with his rear guard, but he escaped. The regiment proceeded with the army to Warrenton.
A few days later the regiment was ordered to New York City to aid the United States Provost Marshal in executing the draft. They were quartered at Governor's Island and performed duty in the city for four days. They were then stationed in detached companies at Albany and other places up the river. On October 17th, the regiment was reunited at Governor's Island. They left New York and arrived at Fairfax Station on the 20th, where they rejoined their brigade.
On November 7th, they took a prominent part in the charge on the enemy's works at Rappahannock Station. When General Lee returned from the pursuit of Meade in October, he left a strong outpost at Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford. On the morning of the 7th, the VI Corps marched to Rappahannock Station, and one examination of the enemy's works, General Russell remarked that he "had two regiments in his brigade that could take those works!" He received permission to make the attempt. At once ordering up the 5th Wisconsin and the 6th Maine, he deployed the whole of the latter regiment as skirmishers at short intervals and ordered the 5th Wisconsin to support the line closely and take the works in front. They advanced at the double quick, with orders to rely entirely on the bayonet until the works were reached. With a yell they rushed forward over smooth rolling ground and then across a low flat in front of the works, covered with stumps and crossed by deep ravines and ditches filled with water.Onward they went, while the rebel shell, canister and musketry cut through their ranks. When the 5th Wisconsin arrived at the works it was about dark and very difficult to distinguish between friend and foe. The right of the line was driven back, but soon regained the lost ground. Getting possession of the center redoubt, the regiments turned their fire towards the flanks, which cleared the way for the whole line to take possession. The first man in the redoubt was Sergeant Goodwin, of Company A, who with assistance turned a gun upon the enemy and when he was about to fire was shot through the heart. Just as the men were going over into the center redoubt and taking possession, Colonel Allen was struck by a bullet which shattered his left hand so badly as to render him unfit for duty. The enemy attempted to escape by a pontoon bridge, but they were met by such a concentrated fire that they gladly surrendered. Eight regiments were captured, with their colors and arms, and seven pieces of artillery. The day was won, but at a severe loss to the regiment.
The casualties at Rappahannock Station on November 7th, were reported as follows:
Killed or died or wounds: Field Officer - Major Horace M. Wheeler. Company A - Captain Horace Walker, Sergeant Joseph Goodwin, and Private Joseph Barth. Company B - Private Marcus Bailey. Company D - Captain James Ordway. Company E - Privates Roswell Beach, John B. Russell and W. C. Stuck. Company F - Private John Rattery. Company G - Privates James Bates and Kearn Cantwell. Company I - Private Isaac Johnson. Company K - Corporal John Green and Private William Phillips. - 16 total.
Wounded: Field Officer - Colonel Thomas S. Allen. Company A - Privates A. J. Burbridge, James H. Leonard, Fred Merrier and John Schwaker. Company B - First Lieutenant Calvin T. Hutchinson and Private W. B. White. Company C - Privates Henry Duster and Anton Intel. Company D - Privates John D. Buckley, George Burr and John Gustaveson. Company E - Privates Jamers McDaniels, George Montgomery, J. B. Newkirk and T. B. Weed. Company F - Privates William Foley, W. W. Harrington and Willard B. Ward. Company H - Privates James Austin and Charles W. Hickox. Company I - Privates Adelbert Norton and Elliot Shadfelt. Company K - First Lieutenant Henry C. Farwell, Privates Edmund Angeland, John Malcom, Harvey S. Root and John H. Seewy. -32 total.
On the death of Major Wheeler, Captain Enoch Totten, of Company F, was appointed Major.
The enemy was pursued as far as Brandy Station, where the regiment went into camp until November 24th, when they took part in the fruitless expedition to Mine Run, being in the engagement at Locust Grove, where they had two men wounded. they then returned to winter quarters at Brandy Station and engaged in camp and drill duty. They also participated in a few reconnaissance's and short expeditions, but mostly they waited for the opening of the 1864 campaign season.
During the winter, 204 veterans reenlisted. this was not a sufficient number to make the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry a veteran regiment. The reenlisted veterans came home on furlough and returned in time for the spring campaign.
On May 4th, the regiment left camp, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Catlin, to take part in the Wilderness campaign. Colonel Allen was on detached duty at Washington at this time. The regiment crossed the Rapidan at Germania Ford and marched 18 miles to the bivouac site. The correspondence in regard to the operations of the regiment in the Battles of the Wilderness is very meager, and we avail ourselves to the report of the Adjutant General as affording the best information of its movements. The regiment followed the movements of the VI Corps. On the morning of the 5th, the regiment formed into a line of battle, with the rest of the division. The right wing was deployed as skirmishers, under Major Totten, to the right of the line, and the engagement soon became general. A heavy force of the enemy forced back a portion of the line on the left of the regiment. In doing so, the rebel flank was exposed. This was taken advantage of by Companies D and G, who attacked and captured the entire 25th Virginia Volunteer Infantry regiment, with its colors. The right was heavily engaged in skirmishing all day, while the left wing fought in the brigade line, the whole regiment losing heavily. The fight was continued the next day, with a loss of 38 causalities. At one time during the night, the enemy turned the right flank of the VI Corps and was forcing back a portion of the Third Brigade, when the 5th Wisconsin, now under Major Totten, came to the rescue. In a gallant manner, they checked the rebels and held a position until the division came up. On the 7th, a new line of battle was formed to the left, about four miles from Chancellorsville, and awaited an enemy attack that never came. On the 8th, the regiment advanced to Spottsylvania Court House and fought in rifle pits all afternoon. This continued until the next day. On the 10th, the regiment was engaged on the skirmish line and in the rifle pits, but were unsupported by the rear line. They were compelled to fall back under a flank fire, and the regiment suffered heavy causalities. On the 11th, the regiment was under the command of Captain Kempf, of Company C, because Lieutenant Colonel Catlin was disabled and off duty, and Major Totten was wounded.
Accompanying the movements of the VI Corps, the regiment took an active part in the operations of the campaign. After leaving the vicinity of Spottsylvania, they engaged in destroying the Virginia Central Railroad, with occasional skirmishing as they advanced, and arrived at Cold Harbor about June 1st. They were somewhat exhausted from the hardships of the campaign and suffered for clothing and other supplies. This did not deter them from joining in a charge on the enemy works at Cold Harbor, and capturing the entrenchment's with a number of prisoners. They remained at this place, constantly exposed to the enemy's fire, until June 12th, when the Corps marched to their position in the trenches of Petersburg. They participated in the charge of the 22nd, where they captured a portion of the enemy's works. On the 29th, they moved to Reams' Station, on the Welden Railroad, ten miles south of Petersburg. Here they were in fatigue and picket duty until July 11th.
The casualties for the months of May and June were reported as follows:
Killed or died or wounds: Sergeant Major James R. Strong. Company A - Private Michael Pelcha. Company B - Sergeant Henry H. Mosher and Private Hugh Hubbard. Company C - First Lieutenant Lewis F. Muller, Sergeant Jacob Wissman, Privates Lewis Bilg and Henry Meyer. Company D - Captain Samuel White, Sergeants S. W. Honey and Chas. Verbeck, Privates Louis Coty, W. Foster, Charles Ketsenger, Paul Pumville, H. Thielke and Harry White. Company E - First Lieutenant Edwin P. Mills, Sergeant R. W. Walker, Privates John Coley, S. C. Glover, John Lehn, Edward Morgan, George Peterson, John Pierson and P. G. Raymond. Company F - Sergeant William Wright, Privates Chauncy Frost and Fred Klusser. Company G - Captain George E. Hilton, Sergeant R. S. Van Norman, Corporal J. R. Williams, Privates Todd Grimm, O. P. Hinson, Newell D. Jordon, Henry Smoley and Marshal Wright. Company I - Sergeant Adelbert Norton, Privates James M Brewster, John C. C. Day, William Gray, Benjamin Harvey and Milton Hays. Company K - Second Lieutenant Henry H. Stout, Corporal James Miller, Privates John Crasley, Frederick Noelte and Thomas Robinson. - 48 total.
Wounded: Field Officer - Major Enoch Totten. Company A - First Lieutenant A. B. Gibson, Sergeant Jule Enert, Corporal Julius Jackson, Privates Jeremiah Bomysa, Anthony Cadwell, Joseph Cox, Levi Croissant, William Davidson, Gottlieb Herman, George Holbrook, Guido Linderman, Jacob Meistness, John Stahle, John Valentine and Chas. Weidner. Company B - First Lieutenant L. Rossiter, Sergeants Spencer G. Wait and James Young, Corporal L. L. Hatch, Privates Charles H. Allen, August Brocker, William Bryon, William Decker, William George, Isaac Haggerty, Samuel Harshman, J. S. Hebberligg, D. W. Howie, Henry Johnson, Edwin O'Brien, Myron Perrig, Henry Pigg and DeWitt C. Smith. Company C - Privates August Aherndt, Gustave Blech, William Boldt, Charles Dehring, Henry Deuster, William Gutchmacher, F. Kestner, Joseph Nick, William Schumacher, Peter Speiz and Matthew Wahl. Company D - First Lieutenant A. Turnbull, Sergeants Lewis A. Bacon, H. H. Hickox and ----- Kirby, Privates Shalon W. Ellis, A. B. Evans, John Evans, Benjamin Farringer, Conrad Groller, George Hall, Albion Pratt Howe, James Innenly, Peter Lindquest, James McInley, S. E. Miller, James Powers, Charles Rohan, Isaac Sloaver and Elijah White. Company E - Sergeants Charles O. Harrington and James McDonals, Corporals Ira Newkirk, Chas. Packard and William Wiggins, Privates Charles C. Ames, H. S. Ames, Leslie Anderson, N. Baker, Henry Carran, R. D. Coonan, Willard Hastings, John Huggins, Joseph P. Lincoln, W. Magden, E. C. Small, W. H. Stewart, William Story, Whitney Tibbetts and Charles Valentine. Company F - Sergeant Cameron J. Wait, Corporal William Hall, Privates Henry Angle, J. R. Botsford, John Blundell, Daniel C. Corbett, Edward Heath, Henry Hudson, George Joyval, C. McFarland, W. McNorton, S. E. Orvis, J. Ross, J. Taylor and Henry Vreeland. Company G - Sergeants Charles Moore and P. H. Soper, Corporal Foss Elliott, Privates Alexander Carbeman, J. M. Chamberland, B. F. Congden, Don A. Kendall, Frank Merry, John Orr, D. J. Spencer, C. P. Taplin and J. H. Wait. Company H - Captain George Bissell, Sergeant John Scanlon, Corporal George McPheters, Privates Adam C. Bell, John Borland, William Fazel, Joseph Harken, Daniel McCart, F. Moody, J. Rosewarm, G. L. Smith, William Smith and Abel Spohn. Company I - Sergeant William Dolan, Corporals A. Adkins and S. McConnell, Privates John Anderson, S. S. Bell, A. Bovee, John Calk, Thomas C. Garrity, Charles Halsted, Oscar Johnson, C. Pfeifer and James Wait. Company K - Sergeants L. Beauman and Thomas Blair, Corporal C. Rossing, Privates Henry Deary, John H. Harris, David Hurley, Thomas Kearnan, Ole Olson and George Ream. - 144 total.
The regiment accompanied the movement of the VI Corps to Washington, to assist in the defense of that city. They arrived on the 12th, the same that that the three years term of the non-veterans expired. Even though their enlistment's were up, they still volunteered for the defense of the Capitol. Once the danger passed, they left Washington on the 16th for Wisconsin. They arrived at Madison on the 22nd. They received a hearty welcome from the State authorities and were finally mustered out on August 3rd. Thus ended the service of the original regiment.
The reenlisted veterans and recruits were organized into an "Independent Battalion" of three companies, under the command of Captain Charles W. Kempf, of Company A. Company B was commanded by Captain Jacob H. Cook and Company C was commanded by Captain M. L. Butterfield. On July 13th they moved with the VI Corps to the Shenandoah Valley. The battalion participated in the engagement at Snicker's Gap on the 18th and returned to Washington on the 26th. The battalion then proceeded to Harper's Ferry and rejoined the VI Corps. One man was wounded when the battalion participated in the action at Charleston. They remained in Charleston and performed picket and guard duty until September 19th, when they moved forward. They took part in the battle of Cedar Creek, losing four killed and 11 wounded. Afterwards, their brigade moved to Winchester and performed garrison duty.
The casualties in September and October were reported as follows:
Killed: Company A - Privates Dupassey Kent and Henry Poehl. Company B - Privates Elias H. Nicholas and Alfred T. Potter. Company C - Private John Weimsin. - 5 total.
The 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (Reorganized)
On the muster out of service of the "Old Fifth," Governor Lewis authorized its reorganization, and recommissioned Colonel Allen to lead it. Under his supervision, seven companies were rapidly recruited, organized, and mustered into the United States service. They left the state on October 2, 1864 to join the rest of the regiment at Winchester. The following is the roster of the reorganized regiment:
Colonel - Thomas S. Allen
Lieutenant Colonel - James M. Bull
Major - Charles W. Kempf
Adjutant - William B. Sturges
Quartermaster - Alexander Samuels
Surgeon - George D. Wilbur
First Assistant Surgeon - Ambrose Jones
Second Assistant Surgeon - William W. Allen
Chaplain - Rev. B. C. Hammond
Company Captains First Lieutenants Second Lieutenants
A) John B. Doughty; Charles Mayer; Henry Curran
B) Charles D. Moore; Theodore Marcoi; Benjamin Smith
C) Miles L. Butterfield; Henry H. Linnell; Evan R. Jones
D) John W. Van Myers; James LaCount; John S. Cooper
E) Charles R. Nevitt; John McCabe; Percy B. Smith
F) William Bremmer; John Jolley; Calvin D. Richmomd
G) Henry L. Walker; Ransom D. Squires; Charles J. Bracken
H) Charles T. Wyman; Harmon S. Kribb; H. L. Farr
I) Thomas Flint; Lars E. Johnson; Nelson E. Allen
K) S.A. Hall; Lewis A. Day; Alfred T. Fleetwood
The seven companies arrived at Washington, received arms, and were sent to Alexandria, where they remained, doing provost guard duty. On October 20th, they proceeded by way of Martinsburg and Winchester to Cedar Creek, where they joined the battalion and the forces under General Sheridan. The regiment remained at that place until December 1st and Colonel Allen was placed in command of the brigade. With the VI Corps, they rejoined the forces of General Grant in the trenches of Petersburg on December 4th. They remained there until February 5, 1865, when they took part in the extension of the lines at Dabney's Mills, on Hatcher's Run. The regiment suffered little loss in that engagement, because they were held in reserve. Charles Berringer of Company C and Riley C. Tryon of Company G were wounded
On March 25th, the regiment participated in the general skirmish along the whole line and succeeded in driving in the rebel outpost then in front. Here Sergeant William Hall of Company C and Private Edward Martin of Company G were killed. Also, Privates John Morrison and H.S. Otis of Company D, Corporal James D. Splain of Company G, and Charles O. Foot of Company K were wounded.
In the charge on the enemy's works at Petersburg on April 2nd, the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and the 37th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, both lead by Colonel Allen, were in the extreme front. They were supported by two lines in the rear. At 4 AM, the signal for the charge was given and the colors of the 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry were the first planted on the enemy's works. The 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry was the first regiment to enter the captured works of Petersburg. Colonel Allen led a portion of the regiment two miles through the abandoned lines of the enemy to the South Side Railroad. By 8 AM, the troops were reassembled and marched six miles to the left inside the late rebel works. They captured many prisoners. The regiment returned to the right, where they were engaged in skirmishing until night.
The losses were reported as follows:
Killed or died or wounds: Company A - Captain John B. Doughty and First Lieutenant Charles H. Mayer. Company B - Sergeant P. W. Lord. Company C - Private Hirman Brown. Company D - Corporal William L. Moffatt. Company E - Privates William H. Arnet and Ira Gilman. Company F - Privates E. L Aber, Albert A. Beggs, Joseph Echman, H. Lysner, Elias Marlatt and William M. Phelps. Company G - Privates Hiram Billington and William Flynn. Company H - Private Allen Graham. Company I - Privates John Bragg and Frank Gilbert. - 18 total.
Wounded: Company A - Privates August Ahrendt, Benjamin Mitchell and Ferdinand Werhle. Company B - Second Lieutenant Benjamin Smith and Private L. Bishop. Company C - Second Lieutenant Evan R. Jones, Sergeant Thomas Larkin and Private Fred Mercier. Company D - Sergeant J. G. Troy, Privates Calvin Blood, P. H. Blodgett and Herbert Ward. Company E - Sergeant Thomas E. Chubbuck, Corporal Gilbert S.Main, Privates George W. Barton, Daniel S. Edson, Gustavus Hirsch, William H. Hoskins, George H. Hutzell, George Knowles, Stephan Meridam, M. Muetsh, John H. Park, A. C. Phelps, and J. M. Ruibank. Company F - Captain William Bremer, Sergeant Edward A. Allen, Privates Jasper Bower, A. D. Cory, A. Dorman, S. M. Manly and Peter Reuther. Company G - First Lieutenant Ransom D. Squires, Sergeant Samuel T. Daggett, Privates N. J. Barker, R. C. Barker, F. A. Bovee, Thomas Roach and E. Running. Company H - Corporal H. P. Cady, Privates A. W. Baswell, F. W. Beshel, August Leony, John Rehome, and Luther Shooner. Company I - Corporals William Smith and George West, Privates James Dunn, E. M. Fessenden, Theophilus George, Spencer Hurlbut, John Lemuel, Henry Tipp, B. Tully, Thomas Underwood, George Vanderbloom and James Witlie. Company K -Sergeant John S. Barger, Privates D. R. Babcock, Seymour Beaman, Joseph Leistz and Fred Ringling. - 71 total.
The loss of the regiment was about one-tenth of that suffered by the whole corps, consisting of 50 regiments.
On the afternoon of April 3rd, the regiment joined in the pursuit of Lee, marching with great rapidity by day and night. The VI Corps encountered General Ewell's forces at Little Sailors' Creek on the [6th]. The lines were hurriedly formed and they pushed forward at a double quick. The regiment marched with an unbroken line through a swamp waist deep and under the fire of the enemy's musketry. They moved to the brow of a hill, where the enemy was discovered but a few paces distant, admirably posted, and fighting with the energy of despair. The regiment was in an extremely hazardous position, being subjected to a severe flank and cross fire. Colonel Allen rode in advance of the line as calmly as through danger was unknown. Companies C and G were deployed as skirmishers. Lieutenant General Ewell and staff surrendered to six men of the skirmishers, under command of Sergeant Cameron, of Company A, who was promoted to Second Lieutenant on the field for his gallantry. The action of the regiment elicited high encomiums from the corps, division, and brigade commanders.
The following were the casualities in the action of April [6th], as officially reported:
Killed or died or wounds: Company A - Private Gustave Loeffler. Company B - Private John Rierdon. Company C - Color Corporal Alexander Johnson and Corporal John L. Heberlies. Company D - Sergeant John Purdy, Privates George Buffan, John Gallager and Lysander M. Muzzy. Company E - Privates Allen K. Augur, J. D. Gurney and George Mills. Company F - Corporal George L. Welty, Privates C. Truax and George Truax. Company G - Privates James Conlin, Stephan Smith and Charles C. Vanalstine. Company H - Private Edmund Bigford. Company K - Private M. H. Parcel. - 19 total.
Wounded: Company A - Sergeant William H. Landott, Color Corporal August Franz, Privates Christian Erickson, Duncan McLenan, Robert Miller, Charles Sheffnet and C. Spinner. Company B - Corporals Johnson and William Meade. Company C - Privates Cornelius M. Bonnell and Ephraim Purdy. Company D - Privates John Banker, William Conniff, Freedom Cromwell, Francis Goodness, John Nelson, George Ross, Lynman Smith, James Tooney and Milo Wells. Company E - Corporal E. W. Mellon, Privates Theodore Bandow, Adram Casslar, W. Lansing, Thomas Leet and John Polar. Company F - Captain William Bremer, Privates Orson Foucher, C. H. Gee, O. Geese, August Gessel, Fred Gross, John Hanson, Theodore Lzeskleba, Andrew McFadden, F. Ott, Andrew Rowe and Ruben Stock. Company G - Corporal John W. Curran, Privates Simon Anderson, Alexander Hamilton, Adelbert E. Lane, Thomas Marshall, Lewis A. Nelson, Smith Owen, Torger Peterson, John W. Stafford, John Stetzner, John Stichner, L. W. Stoner, Edward Tierney and Samuel Vasnow. Company H - Sergeant Charles E. Woodridge, Privates John L. Nelson and Peter Peterson. Company I - Privates T. Czeskleba, Henry Goodman, Jacob Peterson and Daniel Smith. Company K - Color Corporal John O. Hoisington, Corporal George C. Lefever, Privates J. D. Crasper, C. O. Foote, Nelson Gillett, Nicholas Hammond, Albertus Hoffman, D. P. Howell, L. Parsons, H. D. Warden, M. Ware, J. R. Whitney, J. W. Wiggins and Cordon Wyman. - 79 total.
The pursuit was continued until April 9th, when General Lee surrendered. On the 10th, the regiment commenced its return, and reached Burke's Station on the evening of the 13th. Here they encamped until the 23rd, and marched to Danville, arriving there on the 27th. They left Danville on May 3rd, and arrived at Wilson's Station by rain on the 4th. On May 18th, they marched for Richmond. They arrived on the 20th and left four days later for Washington, where they arrived on June 2nd, after a long and tedious march. The regiment left Washington on June 16th, and arrived at Madison four days later. The regiment was soon mustered out, thus closing the record of the "Fighting Fifth."
Colonel Allen was brevetted Brigadier General for gallant and meritorious services during the war.
Regimental Statistics - Original strength, 1,058. Gain - by recruits in 1863, 210, in 1864, 684, in 1865, 25; by substitutes, 50; by draft in 1865, 25; by veteran reenlistments, 204; total, 2,256. Loss - by death, 285; missing, 4; deserted, 105; transferred, 33; discharged, 405; mustered out, 1,424.
All the information on this page was taken from The Military History of Wisconsin: A Record of the Civil and Military Patriotism of the State in the War for the Union, by E. B. Quiner, Esq.
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