O'Neill and the Band, Part Two
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O'NEILL AND THE BAND: The Baxter Springs Massacre
On Oct. 6, 1863, in the far southeastern corner of Kansas, a column
of Union soldiers, fewer than a hundred cavalry troopers escorting
Major Gen. James G. Blunt and his headquarters personnel on a
move from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Smith, Arkansas, was ambushed
by 600 to 800 "take-no-prisoners" irregulars commanded by the
notorious William "Bloody Bill" Quantrill.
At the enemy's first charge, the Wisconsin and Kansas cavalrymen
broke and fled before the vastly superior guerrilla force. Only Blunt
and a handful of his men escaped. The rest were hunted down, captured,
then summarily executed.
Among them was James R. O'Neill, actor, comedian, landscape painter
and, at the moment, special combat artist for Frank Leslie's Illustrated
weekly, embedded with the command. Also slain after surrendering
were the unarmed musicians of Blunt's military band, most of them,
like O'Neill, from Wisconsin, and their leader, Madison's Henry Pellage.
The action, though little known today, has gone down in Civil War history
as the Baxter Springs Massacre. O'Neill's life, and death, was recounted
in Part 1. Part 2 continues with the story of Pellage and his band.
The massacre at Baxter Springs stunned the Kansas communities that knew the victims best, the military towns of Leavenworth and Fort Scott where the band had been garrisoned, playing regular concerts for the civilian population and parading down their main streets.
Elsewhere, it was a one-day story, buried midway in the telegraphed accounts of yesterday's war news. In Madison, the Wisconsin Daily Patriot, three days later, did reprint a more detailed Chicago Tribune account that named Pellage, but the local paper failed to note the band leader's local connection. The State Journal, oddly, never mentioned his name at all, though he was widely known in the community.
Madisonians knew Henry Pellage as the keeper of a popular downtown saloon. They also knew him as the owner of the tented Concert Garden, about four blocks northeast of the Capitol, where they gathered on summer nights to enjoy a lager or lemonade and ice cream, listening to stirring tunes by Pellage's band.
Henry was known as a band leader, choral director and an accomplished violinist who often played at local churches and civic events. He was the fife major of the Governor's Guards, a local company of the state militia's 18th Regiment. He founded the unit's military band and staged the fundraiser that uniformed it. People remembered that at that event, Pellage had introduced a thrilling French quadrille, "The Lancers," which had been the rage in Washington the previous season. In May 1860, the State Journal noted that he had opened a shop selling sheet music in a corner of a downtown jewelry store.
But his death went unnoticed by the Madison newspapers, and, for the next century and a half, he and his band were forgotten.1
Henry Pellage was born in 1832 in Fohren, Province of Hanover, Prussia, a son of Johann Heinrich and Elise Pellage. He had an older brother, Johann Herman; three younger brothers, Georg, Wilhelm and August, and two sisters, Augusta and Elsie. The father and all the sons were musicians.
Henry immigrated to the U.S. when he was about 21. George – each of the brothers Americanized his name upon arriving in this country – came next in July 1855. The rest of the family followed in October 1856. The 1860 federal census showed the Pellage family living on a farm near Cottage Grove in Dane County.
Henry's name first appears in a Madison city directory in 1855. Records show that in June 1857, he was arrested for selling liquor without a license. He soon rectified that problem and became the licensed owner of the Harmonic, a tavern on the west side of South Pinckney Street, where, according to legend, there was "all the music, night and day." Later, with a partner, Fritz Knoefel, he operated a saloon and restaurant at Webster and King Streets.2
When the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry began recruiting in the autumn of 1861, there was no band. And it had none during training at Camp Barstow in Janesville, or, later, at Benton Barracks in St. Louis. It wasn't until April 1862, when the 1,200 cavalry men were finishing training and getting ready for their first military posting that Colonel William Barstow, former Wisconsin governor and the regiment's commander, began thinking about a military band to make his arrival at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, suitably impressive.
As other regimental commanders had done before him, he decided to hire a civilian band to accompany his troops. And so, when the Missouri River steamboat, Sioux City, arrived at Leavenworth on Sunday, May 11, 1862, with the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, the local newspaper, the Daily Times, recorded that "they were accompanied by a fine brass band," Henry Pellage's band from Madison.
The band attracted all the attention that Barstow could have wanted. His regiment was encamped on a wooded bluff – called the Esplanade -- overlooking the river. The Daily Times reported that "the band of the 3rd Wisconsin discourseth sweet music to our citizens living in the vicinity of the Esplanade."
On June 3, the Leavenworth newspaper reported that the Wisconsin cavalrymen would, at 4 p.m., "parade on main street and the inspiring music of the band will add attraction to the occasion." The band also "played suitable airs" at a June 14 ceremony in the city at which a hand-sewn Stars and Stripes was presented to the military hospital by the Ladies' Volunteer Aid Society.
But it was only a short-term arrangement. By the end of June, the hired band – the Pellage brothers and, perhaps, their father – was headed back to Wisconsin. Henry, though, at Barstow's urging, stayed on to fashion a new military band from a collection of troopers, mostly ex-buglers, drawn from the cavalry companies. And in surprisingly short order, by the end of July, he had.3
Then Congress intervened. Concerned that the federal government was paying for too many musicians – there was one horn-tooter, it was estimated, for every 40 rifle-toting soldiers -- the lawmakers banned regimental bands. Henceforth, there would be only brigade bands. Since, typically, a brigade was comprised of 4 to 10 regiments, far fewer military bands were authorized.
The Army's much disliked -- for bands were widely popular – General Order 92 (July 1862) enforced the new law, and over the next several months, many a former bandsman found himself back in a combat company. Such was not the case with the 3rd Cavalry band. They had caught the attention of the division commander, Major General James G. Blunt, who decided they should become his new brigade band.4
Beginning Nov. 1, 1862, while Blunt's forces, and the band, were campaigning in Arkansas, the musicians officially were sworn in as members of the band of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Frontier.
In January 1863, they were back on garrison duty at Fort Leavenworth, and by May, they were posted a hundred or more miles to the south at Fort Scott, Kansas. There the band played regularly for military ceremonies, and the occasional public concerts in the town's plaza.
For a time, in July, the band returned to Fort Leavenworth, where it performed in the town on Independence Day.
In the fall, Blunt got word of a new Confederate thrust into Arkansas, and he decided to move his headquarters south to Fort Smith. The Army's records and headquarters staff were loaded into wagons. On October 4, accompanied by a small cavalry escort, the band and war correspondent O'Neill, Blunt headed down the military road.
About 65 miles from Fort Scott, as the Union column was nearing a small, unfinished and lightly garrisoned fort near today's Baxter Springs, it was ambushed by Quantrill's force, which had been diverted from an attack on the earthen fortification by the prospect of an easier victory.
In a matter of minutes, Blunt's small force had been routed. He and a handful of men escaped, but most of his command did not, shot down in cold blood after surrendering.
The band wagon made a dash for it, but a wheel came off and it ground to a halt. Quantrill's guerrillas ruthlessly killed all its occupants, even as they waived white handkerchiefs in surrender.
When it was over, and the enemy withdrew, heading for winter quarters in Texas, the survivors of the battle buried the 14 dead bandsmen where they fell. Later, when the war was over, the fallen were reburied beneath a granite monument in a specially dedicated section of the Baxter Springs cemetery, where they rest today.5
Beside Henry Pellage, they were:
HEINRICH "HENRY" BULOW, who was the most senior of the Brigade Band's three sergeants, both in age and rank. He was a 30-year-old married father of two small children, who had left them and his wife, Augusta at home on the family farm when he enlisted.
Born in Gross Poplow, Prussia, in 1834, he came to the U.S. with his wife and baby daughter, Emma in the late 1850s. With his widowed father, Gottfried and several siblings, Henry farmed a tract of land near Reedsburg. Shortly before he joined the Army, his second child, Henry was born in mid-November, 1861.
On Dec. 2, 1861, he went to Baraboo, where he enlisted as a bugler in Company F in the newly forming 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry regiment. He was mustered into service at Camp Barstow in Janesville in early January. In March, he went south with his regiment, to St. Louis, and then to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
When Col. Barstow decided to form a regimental band in July 1862, Bulow, with experience as a bugler, was one of the first to volunteer. He was detached from his cavalry company and assigned temporarily to the new band. In November, he was formally transferred to the new Brigade Band while in camp at Spurman Creek, Arkansas. He remained with the band in 1863 when it returned to Fort Leavenworth, then, from late Spring, at Fort Scott, where he was promoted to sergeant. .
His widow applied and received his pension, but she died in December 1866, and her father-in-law, Gottfried M. Bulow became legal guardian of the two young children.
THOMAS L. DAVIS, 24, also was a sergeant. He'd enlisted on Dec. 6, 1861 in his hometown of Platteville, and while training at Camp Barstow was appointed bugler in Company G.
He was short, 5 feet, 5 inches, with blonde hair, blue eyes and fair complexion, and was single. He'd been an engineer – meaning he worked with machinery but probably not on the railroad – before enlisting.
He seems to have been a bright young man and advanced through the ranks quickly, making corporal before he was formally transferred to the Brigade Band at Rhea's Mills, Arkansas, in November 1862. The following July he was promoted to sergeant. Nothing is known about his family or his years before he joined the Army.
JAMES P. MARTIN MADISON was one of a number of band members who had been born in the Old World and Americanized his name upon reaching the U.S. His birth name seems to have been Jens Peter Martin Madsen, and he was born in Denmark in about 1845. We do know he was known to his fellow musicians as Martin, not Jim.
He seems to have immigrated to the United States in the very late 1850s, and with his sister, Tina, four years older, he arrived in Appleton. There, in the 1860 census, he is shown as 15-years-old, along with his sister, 19, working as servants in the household of Porter J. Gates, a barrel maker.
On March 20, 1862, Martin was one of the last troopers to enlist in the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry before the regiment left for Missouri. He was mustered into service at Camp Barstow five days later and the following day boarded the train with the rest of Company I en route to St. Louis.
He joined the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry's regimental band in early July, and was transferred to the Brigade Band at the end of November 1862. Martin was promoted to sergeant in July 1863. He was only 18, and less than three months later, he was dead.
Three sergeants in a 16-member band was excessive, and, in fact, contrary to regulations. But until the summer of 1863, there was another sergeant in the band.
FRANZ "FRANK" BALLIEN appears in military records as Ballow or Ballaun, but according to census data, it probably was Ballien. He probably was the oldest member of the band, 39 at his death.
He was born in Austria but emigrated to the U.S., and worked as a shoemaker in Milwaukee's Second Ward. He was married to Magdalena, who was two years his junior, and they had two children, Joseph, 9, and Mathilde, 7.
Whether it was out of patriotism for his new homeland or just economic need, he joined the Army in Milwaukee on Jan. 7, 1862, enlisting as a private in Company M of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry. He became a band musician in July and that fall, with the rank of sergeant first class, he was transferred to the Brigade Band encamped at Spurman Creek. In June 1863, at Fort Scott, he was hospitalized for an undetermined illness.
On July 1, however, by Special Order 45, District of the Frontier, he was reduced in rank from sergeant to private. We don't know whether this was for some misconduct or, more likely, because the band had too many sergeants.
NATHAN A. NOTT was one of the band's three corporals. He was born in Michigan in 1840, and moved with his parents and four siblings to a farm in Fitchburg, just south of Madison. There his father was a Dane County deputy sheriff.
Nathan enlisted in Company M, Nov. 3, 1861, not long after recruiting for the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry began in Madison. At Camp Barstow, two months later, the commanding officer appointed him a bugler.
In July 1862, at Fort Leavenworth, he was attached to the new regimental band. He held the rank of corporal second class in November when he was formally transferred to the Brigade Band. In 1863, he served with the band in garrison duty, first at Leavenworth, then at Fort Scott, until General Blunt's headquarters left for Fort Smith, Arkansas. As with the rest of the band, Nathan never made it. He was 23 when he died.
FREDERICK K. SIMON was another corporal, having been promoted July 1, 1863, at Fort Scott. He was born in 1839 in Bohemia, and came to the United States probably in the 1850s. He was married to Mary and they had one child when he enlisted as a private in Company K at Ironton, Sauk County, on Sept. 15, 1862.
He was a replacement for his cavalry troop, which already had seen combat action along the Kansas border and in Missouri when he joined them. The 5-foot-8, auburn-haired trooper was supposed to receive a $100 enlistment bonus, but only received the first $25 installment.
Frederic, as he usually signed his name, didn't join the Brigade Band until November that year, while General Blunt's army was in the field at Rhea's Mills, Arkansas. He was promoted the next summer at Fort Scott, and died with the rest of the band at Baxter Springs. He was 24.
THEODORE LUSCHER was the third corporal in the band. We know very little about him. He was born about 1841. He was living in Milwaukee when he enlisted in Company M for three years. He was mustered in at Janesville's Camp Barstow in January 1862, and was appointed a bugler.
In July 1863, at Fort Leavenworth, he was among the first group of troopers assigned on temporary duty with the new regimental band. Permanent transfer to the Brigade Band occurred at Rhea's Mills, Arkansas, Nov. 1. After garrison duty with the band at Ft. Leavenworth and Fort Scott, the 22-year-old was killed with the rest of the musicians at Baxter Springs.
The rest of the band members were all privates. Most, though not all, had been buglers. Some had been on temporary duty with the regiment starting in July 1862. With few exceptions, they joined the Brigade Band on or shortly after November 1 that year.
FRANZ "FRANK" ROSMANITH was born June 5, 1831, in Sichelsdorf, near Landskron in Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was the village school teacher and made little money to support the family. To help his parents, and to better his life, he immigrated to the United States, probably in the 1850s, and worked as a clerk in Jefferson, Wisconsin, when the Civil War began.
He was older than many of the other recruits when he enlisted at Jefferson, January 27, 1862, as a bugler in Company K. After his death at 32, Frank's mother, Barbara Rosmanith, on behalf of herself and her then 82-year-old husband, and with the help of the U.S. Consul in Prague, filed for and received their soldier-son's pension.
FRANK M. LARUE, in many ways, probably was the typical Union soldier. Fortunately, because letters he wrote to his parents survive, we know more about him than we do about any of the other members of the band.
Larue's father, Medard Larue was born in Canada, moved to the U.S., then returned to Montreal, where he married Margaret. Their first and only child, Frank was born there Oct. 23, 1845. But not happy in Canada, Medard took his family back to the U.S. in 1852, where they settled on a 40-acre farm in the Town of Weare, near Pentwater, Michigan, a Lake Michigan port.
As a farmer, Frank's father was not successful. Margaret had to go to work in town as a servant in a Pentwater boarding house. At 15, Frank went to work as a clerk in a saw mill owned by Charles Mears. It was Mears' brother, Edwin, a 47-year-old musician who taught young Frank how to play a horn.
Larue worked at the mill until late in 1860, when, at age 17, he took a lake schooner to Chicago, looking for a better paying job to help support his parents. There, along with others seeking employment, he was hired to work in a lumber camp near Grand Rapids, Wood County, Wisconsin. He worked the winter season hauling logs from the northern forest to the Wisconsin River.
In May 1861, with a friend, another young drifter from Massachusetts, Lewis McClure, he rode one of the log rafts down river, intending to return to Chicago. Instead, they wound up in Madison. There, in the fall, unemployed but with a patriotic zeal to "fight for the Union or die in its cause," he and McClure enlisted on Nov. 12, in Company L of the new 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry.
Knowing his father would be unhappy with his enlistment, he wrote home to explain.
"Dear Father, look at this in the right light. You know that you went to Canada and you would not live there so you came back to America to make it your home. So for this reason I have enlisted. It is not because I could not get work. No, Father, it is because this country needs me!"
And so the 5-foot-7 dark haired, dark eyed 18-year-old – he claimed he was 19 in his enlistment papers – became a cavalry trooper until the following July, when he was assigned to the band at Fort Leavenworth. In November 1862, he was made a permanent member of the Brigade Band.
He was proud of his assignment, apologizing to his parents in a letter for not being able to send home more of his pay.
"Being as I am in a band, I am looked on by my officers to have more pride about my dress than a private in the ranks, and therefore it nearly takes up all my wages…"
Frank was 17 days short of his 20th birthday when he was killed at Baxter Springs. McClure, his best buddy, who he had invited to return with him to Michigan when the war was over, was killed the following Spring by a bushwhacker's ball.
JOHN FRITZ was different from the other musicians. He did not transfer into the Brigade Band from the cavalry. He had enlisted in Company H, 9th Wisconsin Infantry in Racine, Sept. 7, 1861, shortly before his 16th birthday. And he was a drummer, not a brass hornsman.
He had been born in Prussia in 1845, and came to the U.S. when he was only several years old. He was living with his widowed father, Michael Fritz and three siblings on a farm in the Racine County Town of Yorkville when he enlisted, although a Chicago Tribune reporter, later writing about the Baxter Springs massacre, seemed to believe Fritz had Chicago connections.
The 9th Wisconsin Infantry was operating as part of General Blunt's command at Spurman Creek, Arkansas, in November 1862, when Fritz formally became part of the Brigade Band.
SWADEK "SWATT" QUIS found his Bohemian name too difficult for his Army friends to pronounce, so he changed it to a more American-sounding nickname. He was born in Neinburg in Lower Saxony, Germany, in 1843, the son of Wenzel and Ludmilla Quis, whose origins were in nearby Bohemia.
With his family, which included a number of siblings, he came to the U.S. in September 1850, aboard the schooner Hudson, out of the port of Bremen. The Quis family settled in Watertown, Wisconsin, where his father worked as a grocer and part-time surveyor.
On October 22, 1861, in his hometown, the short – 5-feet-4 – dark haired 18-year-old enlisted as a bugler in Company K of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry. His enlistment came one day after his father Wenzel joined the same unit with the rank of sergeant. The father gave his age as 45, quite old for an enlisted recruit. He was, in fact, an astonishing 52, having been born Oct. 10, 1809.
Father and son went off to war together. Swatt became a musician, His father remained a cavalry sergeant , but was transferred to the Veterans Reserve Corps after being seriously wounded in the ankle in while on a scouting expedition at Spring Creek, Arkansas, in September 1862. Wenzel Quis survived the war and returned to Wisconsin. Though partly crippled by his wound, he became a saloonkeeper and lived a long, long life, dying in 1913, at the age of 102. Swatt, his son, died at 20.
GEORGE GEMUNDER was the unluckiest of the unfortunate 13 enlisted bandsmen killed at Baxter Springs. He had been a soldier longer than any of them, since 1858, two and a half years before the war began. Like all of them, he rode the bandwagon to death at Baxter Springs, but he'd only been with the band for a few weeks.
Gemunder was born in 1834 in Ingelfingen, Wertemburg, Germany, the son of Adam and Catherine Gemunder. He was 16 when his father died in 1850. Shortly after that, George and his mother immigrated to the U.S., and settled in Yorkville, N.Y., where he got a job as a shoemaker.
Mother and son struggled financially, since he wasn't able to earn a consistent income. So on the day after Christmas, 1857, at the age of 23, George got a steady job. He joined the Regular Army's 5th Infantry in New York City. He was sent to join his regiment, already in Utah, where it had been sent to face down rebellious Mormons challenging the federal government for control of the territory.
He remained at Camp Winfield, 40 miles from Salt Lake City, for two years before the 5th Infantry was transferred to New Mexico Territory in 1860. There, in February 1862, he saw action against the Confederates at the battle of Valverde. Later, after enemy abandoned the territory, he was stationed at Fort Marcy at Santa Fe, where in December 1862, having completed his five-year enlistment, he was discharged.
George kicked around the west for a number of months until July 1863, when, out of work and money, he reenlisted, this time in an Army band, a seemingly safe assignment out of harm's way. Nine weeks later he was dead.
Back in New York, his destitute mother, assisted by her attorney, a Doctor Wieczorch, applied for her son's pension, which she received regularly, every month, until early 1873, when, in poor health, she returned to Germany where she promptly died..
At that point, the crooked lawyer Wieczorch and an accomplice, attorney Alexander Hoch, filed forged papers to have the pension payments continued, giving a new and phony New York address. Three years later, federal pension investigators got wise. The pair had been running a number of similar pension scams. They were arrested and prosecuted for forgery, fraud and theft.
M. MUMSER was the 14th and last of the band killed at Baxter Springs, or so it was claimed in some reports. The Veteran's Administration archives, Baxter Springs historical records and the monument that stands over the graves, all list an M. Mumser among the slain band members. However, an extensive search of Civil War era Army personnel records fail to show anyone with that or a similar name as having served in the Brigade Band, 1st Division, Army of the Frontier. In fact, no M. Mumser served anywhere in the Union Army during the Civil War. Several soldiers with slightly different, but similar names all survived the war.
So who was M. Mumser? There was only one other person riding the bandwagon that day besides the 20-year-old teamster, Pvt. Thomas P. Leach of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, and Leslie's special artist, James O'Neill, both among the dead.
That other person, described in surviving Major Benjamin Henning's battle report, was a young black boy, about 12, referred to as Henry Pellage's servant. The lad, the report says, was mortally wounded and with the others, his body was thrown on the blazing wagon. Somehow, the boy managed to crawl from the flames for a distance of about 30 feet, before he died, most of his clothing burned off.
It seems likely that this murdered child, no soldier at all, was the mysterious M. Mumser.
And, finally, there were two other Brigade Band musicians who were left behind when Blunt's headquarters column left Fort Scott and thus escaped the massacre at Baxter Springs. They were August Sheel, a 33-year-old married tailor from Milwaukee, and James M Colton, 19, an ex-farmer from Baraboo.6
Sheel was suffering from what seems to have been the early stages of tuberculosis. He'd been sent home on a lengthy convalescent and seemingly had improved. He returned to Fort Scott from Wisconsin three days after the action at Baxter Springs. Though frequently ill, he continued with the cavalry regiment until his discharge in early 1865. Within several years, he was dead of "consumption."
Colton was sick in the Fort Scott hospital when Blunt's moved south on Oct. 4. He soon returned to duty but by that time there no longer was a band. He was reassigned to his old cavalry company, then stationed at Fort Smith, Arkansas.
However, early in 1864, his division commander, General Blunt ordered him to return to Fort Leavenworth for a special assignment. On March 4, he was sent back to Wisconsin to establish a recruiting station at Stoughton. His assignment? Recruit a replacement band for the general.
Colton returned to duty in Kansas a month or so later, having done his job. But he did not join the new Brigade band, but rather continued to serve with the 3rd cavalry until his discharge in March 1865.7
The new leader of the band was Eben J. Leavitt from Palmyra, Wisconsin, who enlisted at Janesville, March 19, 1864. He was a Veteran Volunteer who had previously served as principal musician in the 11th Wisconsin Infantry in 1861 and 1862, until Congress did away with regimental level bands.
Other former 11rth Wisconsin band members who were re-enlisted as Veteran Volunteers were Joseph A. Young of Waukesha; James C. Brown from the small community of Oregon, near Madison; John Dodge of Stoughton; William Gillett of Black Earth; John H. Nichols of Madison and Rufus Prichard of Berry.
Rufus's brother, Hahnemann Prichard and their friends, Volney J. Babcock, Samuel H. Downie, Clarence L. Montague and John Moss, similarly all from the Town of Berry iin Dane County, also enlisted in the new Brigade Band in March 1864, as did James M. Dawes and his brother, Edward, both from Milwaukee.
Theodore F. Rice enlisted for service in the band some months earlier, and not as a result of Colton's efforts. Rice signed up in Madison on October 6, 1863, coincidentally the same day his predecessors met their deaths at Baxter Springs.
There would be two others, both Kansans, who enlisted later in the Brigade Band, Gustavus Deacon, in December 1864, and Henry Stein, who signed up a month later, both at Fort Leavenworth.
As for General Blunt, he was relieved of his command after the massacre, but after languishing in military limbo for some months, he was given a new command of troops at Paola, Kansas, in the fall of 1864. Never one to be without his own musical ensemble, he almost immediately established a new Blunt's band, this one made up entirely of westerners transferred from the 11th and 12th Kansas Cavalry.8
1 Wisconsin State Journal, 29 April 1858, 6 May 1858, 24 June 1858; Wisconsin Daily Patriot, 10 October 1863;
2 William N. Seymour's Madison Directory and Business Advisor (Madison, Atwater & Rublee, 1855); The Madison City Directory and Business Mirror (Milwaukee, Smith, Du Moulin & Co., 1858); Wisconsin State Journal, 22 June 1857;
3 Except for Henry, the male members of his family lived long and musically filled lives. His father, John H. (Johann Heinrich) Pellage continued to farm near Cottage Grove until his death, May 25, 1874, at the age of 80. Herman (Johann Herman) lived in Madison, worked as a cigarmaker and often accompanied his church organist on his "bull fiddle" (bass). He never married and died Nov. 24, 1887. George (Georg) married and for decades gave music lessons to Madison children and adults, teaching double bass, cello, viola, violin, guitar and alto horn. He died March 3, 1897. William (Wilhelm) moved to Chicago, as did his two sisters. He worked for many years as a piano tuner and musical instrument salesman. August, the youngest of the musical Pellages, first lived in Madison with his brother, Herman, then, after a few years, followed William and his sisters to Chicago. The most musically accomplished of the family, in 1900 he was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Wisconsin State Journal, 26 February 1874, 3 January 1894, 4 March 1897, 24 and 29 November 1897, 28 November 1900, 26 February, 1933.
4 Robert Garofalo and Mark Elrod. A Pictorial History of Civil War Era Musical Instruments & Military Bands, (Charleston WV, Pictorial Histories Publishing Co, 1985). The authors quote the Rev. Alonzo Quint, chaplain of the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, who defended the bands, saying, "Those who advocate (the Congressional action to end regimental bands) cannot have an idea of their value among soldiers. I do not know anything particular of the science or practice of music ... but I see the effects of a good band, like ours, continually. It scatters the dismal part of camp life; gives new spirit to the men jaded by or on a march; wakes up their enthusiasm. Could you see our men, when, of an evening, our band comes out and plays its sweet stirring music, you would say, if retrenchment must come, let it be somewhere else… let the men have their music." see also, Margaret and Robert Hazen, The Music Men (1987 Washingon, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1987); John Newsom, "The Civil War Bands: The American Brass Band Movement, available from http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwmhtml/cwmpres01.html Accessed 10 March 2007. David Poulin, Field Music of the Civil War, available from
Accessed 10 March 2007.
5 William E. Connelley, "The Baxter Springs Massacre," Quantrill and the Border Wars (New York, Pageant Books, 1956) 421-434; Leavenworth Daily Times, 11 October 1863; Chicago Tribune, 14 October 1863; New York Times, 11 and 18 October 1863; Benjamin S. Henning, Major, 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, Official Report, No. 3, Oct. 6, 1863, Action at Baxter Springs; 7 October, 1863; J.B. Pond, Lieutenant, 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, Official Report, No. 4, Oct. 6, 1863, Action at Baxter Springs; 7 October 1863; Lt. J.B. Pond, letter to the Janesville (WI) Gazette, 28 October 1863.
6 Another probable survivor of the massacre is a musical instrument believed to have belonged to one of the band members. The brass EEb bass horn reportedly was found on the Baxter Springs battlefield shortly after the engagement and was returned to Wisconsin. It has been acquired by the 1st Brigade Band, a present-day reenactment organization using period instruments and based on another Wisconsin Civil War band that originated in Brodhead, WI. When first recovered, the horn, familiarly dubbed the "Kansas tuba," was incomplete, fire-blackened, with a bell dented, it is believed, by a horse's hoof. According to the 1st Brigade Band's Dan Woolpert, the bass horn, with top-mounted European-style rotary valves and mechanical action, is believed to have been manufactured in Neukirchen, Germany, circa 1860, and sold by Klemm & Bro., Philadelphia, PA. It has since been restored and is regularly played.
7 Biographical sketches compiled from U.S. Census, 1860, and individual Combined Military Service Records (CMRS) and Army pension application files at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
8 Phil Reaka, "To Be Blunt," America's Civil War, Primedia History Group, Jan. 2006: 8.