Monday, 15 December 2014 19:14 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
The children, teachers and parents connected with the Astor Street Church, celebrated their Christmas yesterday afternoon. The church was full, as many as two hundred and fifty children being present. Of course there were plenty of grown people who found pleasure in seeing the children enjoy themselves. For an hour before the doors were opened, the yard and steps were full of expectant children, while more were continually coming, girls with younger ones with them, little sisters with littler ones; brothers carrying those too young to walk the distance, all eager for the good things provided for them, and the nice time they were to have. For many of them it was, in all probability, their only Christmas this year. Upon entering the church, the first thing that struck the eye was a large Christmas tree, where the desk usually stands. This was laden with small bags containing candy, nuts, &c. Wreaths of popped corn were festooned among the branches, and the whole tree was decked with American flags. To the left of the tree the word ":Welcome" was formed with evergreens. The children took their places in their classes, as usual and after the singing of a National Hymn and a short prayer they were allowed to talk, laugh and move around as much as they wished without leaving their seats. Then followed the distribution of the refreshments. Biscuits, sandwiches, cakes of all kinds, apples, &c., were handed around among the children, until all had all they could eat, carry, or hold in their hands. One little girl, and I presume there were many others, had not eaten anything all day in anticipation of her supper at the church. A little boy could not resist calling my attention to his pockets, he wanted me to see how full he had stuffed them. As soon as it was dark enough the tree was lighted, and after it had been Sufficiently admired, was darkened again to allow full effect to a magic lantern. This exhibited the principal events in the life of "Robinson Crusoe," and was the close of the entertainment. All the children were delighted and many of the boys we heard pronouncing It "grand" and "bully." We presume there were many Christmas gatherings last evening, but we venture to say that from no one of them did the children return home with happier hearts or pleasanter memories to carry with them into the New Year.
Monday, 15 December 2014 19:02 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
That this day will be the occasion of much social enjoyment, among all classes no one doubts. It is everywhere regarded as the most happy period of the year, and like '-the good wine," is reserved till the last, and brings with it pleasures and associations peculiar to no other. To all our readers we extend the wish that they may realize to the fullest extent, as much happiness as can possibly be comprehended in the common and popular salutation — "A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL" The Milwaukee News, Sunday, December 25, 1864
Monday, 15 December 2014 18:48 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
The praiseworthy efforts of the women of Wisconsin for the relief of sick and wounded soldiers, and the care of their families at home, through organized societies, and private munificence are entitled to more than passing mention.
The encouragement given to it by the general government, and the systematic manner in which it is now conducted, has recommended and made the Sanitary Commission an acceptable mode of sending to our armies the needed hospital comforts.
The Soldiers Aid Society at Milwaukee, under the very efficient management of the ladies of that city, and in the fact of its being the center of a larger population than any other locality of the State, has been made the depot and channel for distribution of Sanitary stores from a large area of the State.
A very interesting report of their labors for the past six months, has just been issued, giving statistical results, and making an appeal, which should have thorough circulation in the State. This Society does not however by any means represent the labors of the women of Wisconsin.
Nearly every city, town, and village has its weekly gathering where busy hands prepare comforts, sending them direct by private hands, or through other channels to swell the tribute of gratitude for our suffering soldiers in hospitals.
An English gentleman, now in our army, in writing me says: "There is no one thing in the whole course of the war that has impressed me more strongly than the unselfish and noble manner in which the wives, mothers and daughters of America have taken up their share of the burden, and the brave and uncomplaining way in which they have sustained it. God bless them for it."
The beneficient influence of their action has mitigated the sufferings and cheered the heart of many a one "ready to perish," giving encouragement for still continued and needed labor.
Hospital accommodations for sick and wounded soldiers are now provided by the General Government at Madison, Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien, under the immediate Superintendence of Surgeon Eben Swift, U. S. A., Medical Director of the Department. That at Milwaukee is designed mainly as an officers' hospital, with beds for from one hundred and fifty to two hundred persons ; A. A. Surgeon A. Kelly,. U. S. A., in charge. That at Prairie du Chien is but lately established, and is designed for accommodation of four hundred persons ; A. A. Surgeon F. W. Kelly, U. S. A., in charge. The Harvey General Hospital at Madison, including the Branch hospital at Camp Randall, is of larger capacity than either of the other—it is most admirably constructed and conducted under the supervision of Surgeon I. Culbertson, U, S. A., and assistants Favill, Brown and Henderson, and will accommodate five hundred and eighty patients. Those at Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien having been lately opened, I have not visited them, but presume that in common with the one estabished here there is careful attention to the wants and full supplies of stores for the necessities and comforts of the inmates. Bythe courtesy of Major Culbertson, I am enabled to give the following statement of the number received and discharged from the later named hospital since its opening for the reception of patients: HARVEY U. S. A. -GENERAL HOSPITAL, Madison, Dec. 31st, 1864 GENERAL. : I have the honor to transmit herewith, in compliance with your request, a statement showing the number of soldiers admited into this hospital and its branch, from its organization, Oct. 27th, 1863, to the 1st of December, 1864, inclusive; also the number returned to duty, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, transferred to other hospitals,. furloughed, deserted, discharged the service and died during the same time : Number admitted sick and wounded, 2,337. Number transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, 218 Number transferred to other Hospitals, 143. Ninnbor furloughed, 954 Number deserted, 101. Number discharged, 283. Number died, 48. Number returned to duty, 982. Number re-admitted from furlough and desertion, 926 Number remaining, 687 "Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, H. Culbertson
from report of Brig. Gen. A Gaylord, Adj. Gen. of Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin State Journal January 25, 1865
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 19:21 | Written by Complied by James Johnson
A moment to reflect that for many in King's Brigade that would come to be known in the next year as the Iron Brigade of the West, this would be their last Thanksgiving. . .
From the Second Regiment
THANKSGIVING DAY IN CAMP Fort Tillinghast, Arlington Va. Thursday, Nov, 28, 1861
It has been one of the loveliest days possible for this season of the year, although it is raining delightfully now and earth and sky are overcast with clouds and darkness. We have had cold, bleak days, and stinging, frosty nights already here in old Virginia since we pitched our tents between Fort Tillinghast and Arlington Grove and once the fleecy flakes of snow made the whole earth white and beautiful for the earth is always beautiful when robed in spotless white - but this day seemed as one made on purpose and set apart for Thanksgiving. There was not a breeze to shake the few remaining dry brown leaves upon the old forest trees, nor a cloud to obscure the bright face of the sun. It was such a day as we often have in dear Wisconsin, in the months of September and October when Indian Summer makes her welcome visit to brighten the face of Nature and gladden the hearts of the people. What a lovely delightful day we have had for a holiday -the first holiday we have had for the six long months we have been in the service. Governor Randall was here and made a short speech to King's brigade. This is probably the last visit he will make us and therefore the last time we shall see him in the capacity of governor of the State of Wisconsin.
We have had our Thanksgiving, and though far away from our State we have had our Governor with us. He will probably return to Wisconsin in a few days but he will never be forgotten by the soldiers for whom he has so diligently labored. May the man who shall be entrusted with the responsibilities of the office that he has filled with such honor to himself and glory to his State be as faithful in the discharge of his duties, as faithful to the government and the people, as he has been and his reward will be great, for he shall live long in the hearts of those whose confidence he has not betrayed. We have had a pleasant jovial time. Those of us who were not content with the plain ration furnished us by Uncle Samuel, purchased from the Sutler such other things as we wanted and prepared a Thanksgiving dinner good enough for a King, therefore, good enough for a soldier. I hope our friends in Wisconsin enjoyed their Thanksgiving as well as we did. R.K.B.
Thanksgiving Dinner of the Second Regiment An officer in the Second Wisconsin Regiment in a private letter dated Washington Nov. 29, gives an enthusiastic account of the Thanksgiving Dinner of his regiment. He says: "Perhaps you think, because we are away from home, living in tents with nothing but tin cups and plates that we suffer for the want of the necessaries of Life. Now that you may not grieve away your life and flesh, I enclose you a Bill of Fare which we had to select from on Thanksgiving - yesterday. GOV. Randall was present at our table in our tent and ate off our tin dishes, drank champagne from our borrowed glasses and coffee from our tin cups. So was Gov. Seward, so was Senator Wilson, so was Gen. King and staff some of Gen. McDowell's staff and sundry other distinguished officers and individuals too numerous to mention beside some who were not. The President intended to come but was interrupted just at the time of starting. Golly! weren't we proud of the day and the occasion and the dinner and company? So we ate and drank and talked and talked and drank and ate and sung and toasted and joked and joked and toasted and sung until the flesh which was weak gave out while the spirit was still willing . But the best of it was we adjourned in good season and departed in quietness and peace leaving the largest share of the eatables to the men and music and others who had assisted us. The were about fifty and officers and guests at the table and as the Apostle says it was "A feast of reason and a flow of soul"
The bill of fare was as follows:
Second Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers At Arlington, Va. Thanksgiving, November 28, 1861
Roast Turkey with Jelly, Ducks, Spring Chickens, Lamb with Mint sauce, Sirloin Beef Pig, Wild Goose, Baked Beans, Boiled Ham, Corned Beef with Cabbage Vegetables Sweet Potatoes, Irish Potatoes, Onions, Celery Entrees Pork Chops with Fried Apple, Chicken Pie Yankee style, Fried Liver, Mutton Chops, Beefsteak, Ham and Eggs Chicken Pie, Lobster Salad Scalloped Oysters
FROM THE SEVENTH REGIMENT Camp Arlington, Nov, 28, 61 Editors Patriot: Thanksgiving in camp is somewhat differently observed from what it is back in the Badger State, still, said day has its peculiarities here. We were ordered to appear in our best blue, Sat, 11 o'clock, to march over to the Arlington House to listen to the farewell. Drawn up in front of the house, on the beautiful green award which descends from a small knoll used as the speakers stand with the Potomac, Long Bridge and city of Washington in full view. The four regiments were drawn up describing a half circle. When all had come to "order arms" the governor made his appearance amid the cheers of drums, then the brass band of the 19th Indiana struck up the inspiring air of 'Hail Columbia'. The governor was brief in his remarks enjoining in on the soldiers to obey their officers to place implicit confidence in those at the helm of our national forces, &c. He enumerated the numerous wrongs we have suffered by being too lenient to the South and that now it was a question of Liberty and freedom or tyranny and despotism. Of course there were numerous cheers given in honor of the Governor, old Wisconsin &c. The Governor proposed three cheers for the Governor of Indiana, which was greatly responded to then the brass band played our national air, Yankee Doodle. (I came away about that time). My tent mates and I had a luxurious meal. We had some turnips, which we drew from the field when out on the grand review, sweet potatoes, good bread, fresh beef, hominy, baked apples ginger bread, &c. We pronounced it the best meal we have had since we have been in "Dixie." Our stove is a combination of brick, sheet iron, mud &C.- brick we drew. The oven where we bake our taters and apples is situated on the back part of the institution- said oven is formed by placing four of said bats together forming a hollow square over which makes quite a good oven. The prevailing opinion is that we will winter here, in case we do we will build logs huts. Rains about every day hinder slippery -to see the boys walking, guess you'd think they'd been at their old failin'. S. I. M.
CAMP ARLINGTON, VA., 28, 1861 Messers. Editors:-we beg the privilege to say a few words to our friends and relatives through the medium of you valuable paper. As today is Thanksgiving, and as we are not compelled to drill, we have a little time to spare to write and feeling that our Annual fast day will be this year to many households an unusual solemn occasion - the empty chair telling a story of devotion, of courage, of determination, to shield the remaining ones in the enjoyment of the blessings they are singing praises for and tenderly will the prayer ascend of the absentone's protection and guidance. We hope the day throughout the land will be observed as it never was observed before. A portion of the day might will be devoted to the preparation of a fitting tribute to our country's defenders. To-day the weather is fine the sun shines bright and warm as at a June noon day. At half past eleven we, Gen. King's brigade, were assembled in front of the Lee mansion - Gen. King's headquarters - where His excellency, Gov. Randall addressed us. He spoke at some length, paid us many compliments and bade us farewell - yes, I fear, a last farewell to many of us. We then retuned to our quarters to partake of our noonday meal which, I may say was almost a feast; and as there is a good deal of doubt on the part of our friends at home as to our having enough to eat, I will mention the bill of fare, which is not an uncommon thing with us: We seated ourselves at a pine table covered with a white muslin cloth. After returning thanks to the Giver of All good, the thought occurred to us whether our friends and loved ones at home had as good a dinner to eat--but I am digressing. We commenced with mashed potatoes, roast beef, warm biscuit, fresh butter, pickles, tea and cream, winding up with apple pie, sweet cakes and crackers, fresh peaches, plum sauce, tomato sauce, oysters, fried nut cakes, green apples and good sweet cider. Considering that we are in the midst of enemies and in a soldier's tent almost on the field of battle, you may well imagine, that as it was, all prepared by a sister's experienced hand, who was seated at the head of the table, that it had a look of homelikeness; and as I said before, having good appetites, we did ample justice to our repast. The health of the regiment is generally very good and being as it is a holiday the time passed off pleasantly. While on dress parade, Hon. Wm. H. Seward and Senator Wilson drove up in front of our line and halted to see the regiment maneuver. The men having all received their new uniforms felt well and performed their exercises with spirit. The day closes with a gentle rain showering on us, and the same of our enemies a few miles beyond verifying in a singular manner the scriptural saying that it rains the same on the just and unjust. Before another Thanksgiving - probably before another holiday - we may have the opportunity of showering a rain of fire on their heads which we hope will annihilate them as effectually as Sodom and Gomorrah were annihilated. Let us hope and pray that when another Thanksgiving rolls around it may be such an one as will see our country rescued from its present dangers, and that we will again be a united people joining in a general Thanksgiving to Him who holds our destiny in his hands.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:35 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
New York, Nov. 3
The Hamption Roads correspondent of the Herald gives the following account of the destruction of the rebel ram Albermarle: Along the deck where the Albermarle was tied were a large number of soldiers, evidently stationed there to guard against a landing of our force, and in front of their lines blazed a number of camp fires, lighting up the rebel vessel and river. By the aid of this Lt. Cushing discovered their pier of floating timbers which surrounded the Ram on the accessible sides to guard against the approach of rams and torpedoes, and by the aid of the same light he plainly saw the large body of soldiers thronging to the wharf and blazing away at his boat. To quiet these fellows, he brought the bow of his boat around a little, and discharged a heavy stand of cannister into them from his 12-pounder howitzer mounted at the bow, and sent them flying. Making a complete circle, under a scorching musketry fire at less than thirty yards, he came around, bow on, at full steam, and struck the floating guard of timbers, pressing them in towards the hull of the ram. His boat soon lost headway and came to a stand still, refusing to back off or move ahead. The moment for decisive action had now arrived. The enemy fired muskets and pistols almost in his face from the ports of the ram, and from the hundred small arms on shore. Several of his men were wounded, and paymaster Swain had fallen severely wounded. The officers and crew of the Albermarle cried out, "Now we'got him." "Surrender or we will blow you to pieces." The case looked desperate, but Lieut. Cushing was cool and determined. He seized the lanyard to the torpedo and the line of the spar, and crowding the spar until he brought the torpedo under the over hang of the Albermarle , he attached itby an effort, and then pulled the lanyard of the torpedo and exploded it fair under the vessel on her port side, just below the port hole of the 200 pounder Brook's rifle, which at that moment was discharged at the boat. An immense volume of water was thrown out by the explosion of the torpedo, almost drowning all in the boat, and to add to the peril of the moment, the heavy shell from the enemy's gun had gone crushing through the bottom of the boat, knocking the splinters about in terrible style. She at once began to sink in a most rapid manner and Lieut. Cushing ordered all hands to save themselves. He divested himself of coat and shoes and plunged into the river, followed by those of his men who were able to do so. All struck for the middle of the river under a hot fire of musketry, the balls striking all about them, and in two or three instances, it is feared, so badly wounding swimmers that they sunk before boats from shore could reach them. Lt. Cushing heard the rebels ordered to take boats and push after the surivors, claiming their surrender. Many gave up, but two of his seamen were drowned near by his, whther owing to wounds received or exhaustion he could not state. Paymaster Sean was wounded and is a prisoner, but how may others fell into rebel hands is not ascertained. Lt. Cushing swam down the river half a mile, until he became exhausted, but he reached the shore about daylight. He crawled through a swamp until he reached a position with in a speaking distance of the enemy's fort. While lying there rebel officers walked by, and from their conversation he learned the Ram was destroyed. After a while, deeming his situation unsafe, he managed to push himself along on his back about sixty yards and gota better position. Before midnight he secured the services of a negro to go back and look after the Albermarle. The negro returned and reported her sunk. Lt. Cushing then struck throuht the swamp in his stocking feet over briers, &c. until he reached a point six miles below the town when he took a boat and with a paddle put off for the squadron, twele miles distant, reaching it in safety. (Lt. Cushing was the brother of Alonzo Cushing who received a Metal of Honor (2014) for his action in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863)