Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War
We’re rediscovering the Civil War through our blog: http://thecivilwarandnor thwestwisconsin.wordpress.com
The War of ficially star tedApril 12, 1861 – this is the“headline” from theHudson Nor th Star.Only 3 newspapers in NorthwestWisconsin in 1861 – 2 in Hudsonand 1 in Prescott. The River FallsJournal had folded in February of1861, but starts up again in May of1861 as the Prescott Journal anddrives the Prescott Transcript out ofbusiness! The Transcript editor thenends up enlisting.
Those three local papers carried the national news copied from Easternnewspapers Newspapers didn’t use illustrations back then Many of our illustrations come from books in the ARC’s collections – like Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War, published in 1866
The local newspapers also carried local news related to the war Much of the local news has been about raising companies of volunteers
Nor thwest Wisconsin sent a lot of soldiers right away -- ever yonewanted to go • Hudson City Guards, Co. G, 4th Wisconsin Infantry – 115 men • Prescott Guards, Co. B, 6th Wisconsin Infantry – 101 men • St. Croix Rifles, Co. F, 1st Wisconsin Infantry – 98 men • Lyon Light Guards (from Prescott), Co. A, 12th Wisconsin Infantry – 116 • St. Croix Lancers/Rangers, Co. D, 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry – 49 • Scandinavian Regiment, 15th Wisconsin Infantry – 25 men • Plus about 100 men in various Minnesota regimentsAnd in 1862: • 30th Wisconsin Infantry, primarily in Companies A & F, but some also in Companies I & K1863 & later are replacement recruits • Full companies were not raised locally • Unlike some states, Wisconsin adds new recruits to existing companies
River Falls tried to raise a full company of its own – the River FallsRifles Below - Constitution and by-laws Also have minutes, election of officers of the company, and muster rollsMost of these men eventually endup in the Hudson City Guards orthe Prescott Guards River Falls Mss BN – Jerry E. Flint Papers
Letters written by local soldiers – Jerr y Flint and Frank Harding in Company G of the 4th (Hudson City Guards) Brothers Edwin and Homer Levings in Company A of the 12 th (Prescott’s LyonLight Guards) Cursive handwriting and old-fashioned letter writing conventions River Falls Mss BN – Jerry E. Flint Papers
Some of the early stationer y is quite interesting
We type the entire letter into the blog, but just scan the first page ofthe original • So students can read the cursive—and often poor— handwriting • So search engines can find the entries
There also are letters written by local soldiers that were printed in thelocal papers There has recently been a little controversy started by a letter written by “Private D” and published in the Prescott Journal. The story was confirmed—as was Private D’s identify—in one of Ed Levings’ letters.
Some soldiers had time to do sightseeing – in Madison, Washington, orBaltimore Neither the Washington Monument nor the U.S. Capitol were finished in 1861 Photographs from the Library of Congress
We have dif ferent types of material from other soldiers Like this commission of Dr. A. D. Andrews, who ser ved as asurgeon Andrews will come back and become mayor of River Falls River Falls SC 357 – A. D. Andrews Papers
In coming years we will be using Michael Fitch’s diar y Fitch started out in the Prescott Guards, and kept this “Roll” of the company at the time they left Prescott, with pencil annotations of what happened to each of them. In October 1861, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company D (the Prescott Guards were Company B) of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry. In December 1862, he was promoted to major in the 21st Wisconsin Infantry, and lieutenant colonel in March 1864. His diary is from 1864 to the close of the war when the 21st Wisconsin Infantry was in Georgia, the Carolinas, and finally Washington, D.C. Wis Mss 27s – Michael Hendrick Fitch Papers
Who were the Soldiers from Nor thwest Wisconsin?
Who were the Soldiers from Nor thwest Wisconsin? The public can submit information on their ancestors – it doesn’t have to be much We are creating entries on some of the area’s pioneers who servedWe’ll soon be addingphotos of some of thesoldiers, that the PierceCounty HistoricalAssociation is letting ususe
How you can find a Civil War soldier – whether he was from Nor thwestWisconsin or not• The UWRF Area Research Center is planning to purchase—on microfilm—the “Red” and “Blue” books from the Wisconsin Historical Society so that we can find ALL of the soldiers from this area, or you can find from somewhere else in Wisconsin• The Wisconsin Historical Society has lots more information – much of it can be borrowed and used here in River Falls at the ARC• The Veterans Museum in Madison also has information• The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War run a national database to help you locate a Civil War veteran’s grave, and the Wisconsin Department runs a “Last Soldier” program trying to identify the last Civil War soldier in each county in Wisconsin• The National Park Service has a national database of both Union and Confederate soldiers, in case you don’t know where your ancestor served from• About all that’s left of the 1890 federal census is the census of Civil War veterans• Wisconsin also did a Civil War veterans census in 1885, 1895, & 1905• The blog has “Research Tips” on how to find information, including how to find your ancestor(s) http://thecivilwarandnorthwestwisconsin.wordpress.com OR http://www.uwrf.edu/AreaResearchCenter, & click on the