Gov. Harvey addressed the 16th WI Inf.
The 16th Wisconsin Infantry was camped next to us, and I learned one afternoon that Gov. Harvey was to make them a speech that evening, after dress parade, and I went over to hear him. The Wisconsin regiment did not turn out in military formation, just gathered around him in a dense group under a grove of trees. The Governor sat on a horse while making his speech. He wore a large, broad-brimmed hat, his coat was buttoned to the chin, and he had big buckskin gauntlets on his hands. He was a fine looking man, heavy set, and about forty-two years old. His remarks were not lengthy, but were patriotic and eloquent. I remember especially how he complimented the Wisconsin soldiers for their good conduct in battle, that their state was proud of them, and that he, as Governor, intended to look after them, and care for them to the very best of his ability, as long as he was in office, and that when the time came for him to relinquish that trust, he would still remember them with interest and the deepest affection. His massive frame heaved with the intensity of his feelings as he spoke, and he impressed me as being absolutely sincere in all that he said. But he little knew nor apprehended the sad and lamentable fate then pending over him. Only a few evenings later, as he was crossing the gang-plank between two steamboats at the landing, in some manner he fell from the plank, and was sucked under the boats by the current, and drowned. Some days later a negro found his body, lodged against some drift near our side of the river, and he brought it in his old cart inside our lines. From papers on the body, and other evidence, it was conclusively identified as that of Gov. Harvey. The remains were shipped back to wisconsin where they were given a largely attended and impressive funeral.
The story of a common soldier of army life in the civil war, 1861-1865
61st Illinois Infantry