Waukesha, Wisconsin Civil War Regiments


Source: Waukesha Freeman, The | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, May 30, 1895

An even fifty men from Waukesha county went out with the first regiment ever recruited in this state.  a dozen or so joined the Second Wisconsin Infantry; a handful went out with the third, including Col. then Major, Warham Parks, then of Summit; and among them the lamented Sidney A. Bean, one of the  most precious sacrifices ever laid on the altar of country.  He left his state as Lieut. Colonel of his regiment, and succeeded to the command by the death of his superior officer.

Ex-Governor Wm. A. Barstow, one of the most eminent of Waukesha citizens was commanding officer of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry.


The first full company to be recruited in Waukesha was Company F. Fifth Wisconsin Infantry, known as the "Waukesha Union Guards."  the boys enlisted for three years or the war and after several weeks of drilling and impatience at home left for Camp Randall at Madison June 20.  The company elected the following officers:
Captain-J.M. Bean
1st Lieutenant-Enoch Tutten
Ensign-Andrew S. Bennett
1st Sergeant-Mike L. Butterfeld
2d Sergeant-Thomas Devereaux
3d Sergeant-Art Holbrook
1st Corporal-Andrew J. Smith
2d Corporal-F.A. Canright
3rd Corporal-N. Stein
4th Corporal-George Watkice (hard to read)
5th Corporal-E.L. Ladue
6th Corporal-E.F. Davidson
7th Corporal-Orlando Culver
8th Corporal-William Hall
Drummer-George B. Babcok
Flier-Robert Powrie
Wagoner-John Bartray
Servant-Thos Metice, Jr.

It may be interesting to the rising generation to learn the nature of the oath administered to soldiers.  Here it is:
"I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America; that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all enemies or opposers whatsoever; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and of the other officers appointed over me, according to the rules of the armies of the United States, so help me God."


Local enthusiasm was only stimulated by the departure of the Waukesha Guards.  The recruiting business became general, and if all the companies which were named and partially filled had actually gone into service this country would have had a regiment then and there.

Conspicuous among these ephemeral companies were the Oconomowoc Guards, A.S. Peck captain; cavalry, captain, Chas. Whittaker; the Waukesha Zouaves, captain, Fred Ring; and later the Green Yaegers captain, Leon Uhr.

The Waukesha Constitutional Guards was a company recruited in this village, numbering over a hundred men; a captain, Wm. S. Hawkins, 1st lieutenant, David Turner; 2d lieutenant, Martin Schaffer.  Two Constitutionalis offered their services to the state but were refused a commission by the Governor on the ground that the company was not organized in good faith, and that many of its members were not physically capable of making good soldiers.  They were generally middle-aged men of family.

The second full company to enter service from this county was known as the Oconomowoc Rifles which went into camp as part of the 16th Infantry in November, 1861, and left for St. Louis the following March.  Its captain was George H. Fox, a Methodist minister who gave up his church in Oconomowoc to take service for his country.


Very soon after the first Waukesha soldiers left their homes letters from them began appearing in the local papers and they kept appearing continuously until the end of the war.  Few issues of The Freeman were printed without at least one of these communications from camp or field, and often there were two or three.  The interest with which these articles were read can be imagined when one remembers the situation of the inexperienced boy trying the awful hazard of war and the fearfully anxious mother and sister at home.

Some of these letters are very readable even now, showing brisk powers of observation and criticism and a brave and cheery philosophy.  C.K Davis, Capt. Elihu Enos, Col. Sidney a. Bean, Irving M. Bean, C.C. White, C.B. Slawson, B.F. Cram, H.F. Potter (who wrote under the pseudonym of "Eagle"), Col. Frank H. Putney were among the contributors whose letters were printed oftenest in the local papers.  

In July John Hinton sends a lively account of the battle of Bull Run in which he was wounded, suffered a sunstroke and was reported at the end of the fight as missing.  He got to Washington however, where a little later he was very ill and was nursed back to health by Hon. A. Scott Sloan and his wife who game him the kindest attention and cure.  A few months later young Hinton died in hospital from wounds received in battle.

During the summer of '61 Prof. S. A. Bean was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Fourth Regiment.  W. D. Bacon and Col. Cutler were appointed to visit New York to contract for soldiers' supplies and made their first purchase.  An assessment of 5 1/2 percent upon the subscriptions for the families was made.  Hon. Isaac Lain was appointed a commissioner to purchase arms for the state.

In September another strong appeal was made for troops.  Up to that time Waukesha county had furnished 132 men, which seemed a small number viewed in light of the population of the county and the needs of the government.  A war meeting was held in Robinson's Hall, the principal speaker being Rev. Mr. Walker.


There was already talk of a Waukesha regiment and it was thought the fair grounds would be an excellent place for a camp, Capt. Henry Shears of Merton, who had been in the regular army, opened a recruiting office here. A company was also being recruited at Waterville, and Capt. Fox was having good success in enlisting men at Oconomowoc. Leander J. Shaw, the Mukwonago teacher, threw down the ferule, published an impassioned appeal to patriots to support the old flag, secured a commission as captain, and in a very few weeks-such was the effect of the eloquence and the enthusiasm-he left for Janesville at the head of his company,, there to go into camp as Co. D. of the Third. Colonel Barstow's Cavalry, Fernando C. Klaser was first Lieutenant and B.K, Kilbourn second. The company numbered ninety men, and with the regiment the next spring started for the south.

After the filling of Capt. Shaw's and Capt. Fox's companies, recruiting in this county languished for several months. A few Waukesha men went out with nearly every regiment that left the state, but no conspicuous effort was made to raise men here and no Waukesha company was formed. The winter of '61 was very cold. There was some complaint that the subscribers to the volunteer's family fund were slow in paying. Further there was intense interest in affairs at the south, an occasional soldier came home ill or on a furlough,, and always the soldiers' letters filled the papers. News of the gallant action of the Fifth at Williamsburg and General McClellan's address of compliment and thanks thrilled the hearts of those friends and kin made up Capt. Bean's company, which had nobly performed its share in the glorious work.


The first of July, 1862, President Lincoln called for 300,000 more men. This meant five additional regiments from Wisconsin. already the draft was talked of but the government vastly preferred to secure its men by enlistment. Recruiting offices were opened and strong inducements were offered to volunteers. William L. Utley of Racine was appointed Colonel of the 22d Wisconsin infantry and his district for recruiting included Waukesha county. Again patriotism stirred the hearts of our citizens with a mighty impulse. There was no talk but of the war and no thought but of how to secure the means of bearing our fair share of the burden. John Hodgson of Pewaukee, so vigorous a champion of war measures that Governor Salomen was urged to appoint him Colonel of an English regiment, offered $20 each to the first five men who should enlist from Pewaukee, and found prompt takers. Other citizens followed his example.

But Waukesha was not satisfied to have place in col. Utley's regiment, she wanted a regiment of her own. A number of her prominent citizens George c. Pratt, W.D. Bacon, C.K. Davis, Isaac Lain-visited Madison and obtained leave of the Governor to organize a Waukesha regiment. Then the torch was kindled and soon the whole county was aflame. Meetings were held in this village every night in the week, and at all the hamlets and cross-roads in the county. The war committees issued bulletins, urging, imploring, commanding able-bodied men to enter the lists. The local papers seconded with zeal their every effort. The ministers preached war sermons. Rev. George C. Haddock, a fiery orator, whose unmodified expression of opinion on temperance matters some years later cost him his life, then in charge of the Methodist church here, being especial vigorous in his appeals for freedom and the right. and the recruiting officers and all loyal citizens labored unceasingly.

The following bulletins in large type are quoted from The Freeman of August 19:

That's what;s the matter.  And we must end it speedily.  Our country calls on every man who is able to shoulder a musket.  We propose to raise a company for service and we have but one week's time to work in
Forward is the word!
Fall in and report to
C.C. White, Waukesha
D. G. Snover, Eagle


Rally! Rally! Rally! in the name of God and our country! M.G. Townsend and C.K. Davis propose to raise a company before to morrow night at 12 o'clock. Let all capable young men come forward and enlist and escape the odium of a draft.

If any man stays back let him be buried downward with his face looking to H-----
M.G. Townsend,
C.K. Davis

The vigor of this last appeal was effective, as it is reported these two young main raised a full company in 24 hours.

Capt. M. G. Townsend.

The subject of this sketch was born in the city of New York. January 15, 1838. With his parents (Edwin and Ann Eliza Townsend) he came to Wisconsin in the fall of the year 1840, locating in Milwaukee. He attended the schools of his adopted city and later graduated with honors from Racine College. After finishing his college course he entered the Forest City Bank, Waukesha and became cashier of that institution. In the year 1860 he married Mary Ella, sister of Col. Sidney A. Bean (who lost his life in the late rebellion) and Capt. Irving M. Bean. now a resident of Milwaukee. Capt. Townsend enlisted and was very active in raising the 28th Wisconsin Volunteers was elected Captain of Company B and went into active service in that capacity: his Lieutenants were Cushman K. Davis (now United States Senator from Minnesota) and Charles B. Slawson. His active duties were performed in the state of Arkansas where he met his untimely death, while carrying important dispatches for his government, April 25th, 1864. His remains are at rest in the beautiful National Cemetery at Little Rock, Arkansas.

Waukesha Freeman, The | Waukesha, Wisconsin | Thursday, May 30, 1895 | Page 4

From Irving M. Bean
Captain of the First Company Recruited in This County

Dear Mr. Editor:

You ask me to say a word for your Memorial Day edition to be devoted to local war history.  If I had leisure to tell you all I knew of that history you will cry "stop" long before I had finished, for at the mere suggestion a flood of reminiscences comes into my mind and I should hardly know where to begin or to stop.

Waukesha was the Waukesha was the home of my boyhood and a happier one I doubt if any boy ever had. It was there that I went to school and learned, or tried to learn, from teacher and book the way to conduct my bark when it should be
launched upon the sea of serious life.  No lesson was more strongly impressed
upon me than tho one that taught unselfish devotion to my country and so when the dread toxin of civil war sounded its sad alarm throughout the land, just at the time when my school days had closed, I naturally joined the blue-coated ranks and went off to the great war. My lot was cast with the 5th Regiment of Volunteers from our state. Company F of this regiment was recruited in Waukesha county, and as the regiment became a famous one in the army of the Potomac and as no company in it was a better one than the "Waukesha Union Guards." I have always been glad and proud that I was instrumental in raising it.  Many of the gallant young fellows compromising the company never came back from the war and many of the survivors have since joined their comrades on "the other side" where there is no war, but eternal peace.  There is not one of them, dead or alive, for whom I do not cherish the sincerest affection.
Irving M. Bean


The Hero Honored in the Local Post Name

A Man For Whom This County, His Birthplace is Honored For All Time

Wm. B. Cushing was born in Section 18, Town of Delafield, this county, Nov. 4, 1842.  His father, Milton B. Cushing was one of the earliest settlers of that town.  Young Cushing served one year in the Naval Academy, three years prior to the breaking out of the war, in which he was one of the first loyalists.  It has been said of him that if no other man had entered the war of the rebellion from this county, Waukesha would have still been honored through all time as the birthplace of Wm. B. Cushing.

In May, 1861, he sailed in the frigato Minnesota from Boston as a midshipman, a lad scarcely 17 years of age, yet within the five years embracing the civil war he made his name illustrious and secured an imperishable fame.  Among all the great soldiers of the war of the rebellion there were none more youthfully heroic, more enamored of the war, more contemptuous of danger and death, more daring in effort, more brilliant in persona achievement, then Cushing.  He was constantly undertaking, generally to successful conclusion, the most amazing and the most perilous projects. Time and again with a handful of men he made secret invasions into the enemy's strongholds, burnings, destroying, capturing, and slipping away to his ship before the surprised confederates could rally their forces to oppose him.  The mere recital of his heroic deeds is far beyond the compass of this article.  The most conspicuous of them perhaps and that with which most people associate his name was the destruction of the hitherto invincible rebel ram Albemarle.  Cushing, it will be remembered, with a few picked men, each as brave as Leonidas, ran his little
launch directly under the Albemarle's quarter, and exploded a torpedo, blowing iron-clad and launch into eternity together. Nearly every man engaged in the expedition perished, but Cushing, through incredible perils and hardships, finally managed to reach his ship, where he was received as one returned from the dead.

After the close of the war Commander Cushing continued his services in the navy until sickness overcame him and at' last, worn out in mind and body, he was released from his ceaseless labors in behalf of the country he loved, by death, on December 17, 1874.  The National Republican of Washington, speaking of his death, said:
  "At 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon Commander William B. Cushing, one of the bravest officers who ever trod the deck of a vessel, breathed his last. This announcement will cast a shade of sorrow throughout the land, for where is the American who has not heard of the valiant deeds of him whose corpse is now lying at the ??? residence in the navy yard?  There was no officer who ever entered the navy whose record was brighter-not even that of Decatur-than that of the deceased hero."

Some years before his death Commander Cushing received large sums from the government in reward for his valuable services, and he left his family with a competence.  The disease from which he died was contracted while on duty in the Gulf of Mexico.  It caused him to become insane.  On his person after death was found an autograph letter in which the str?? pen of Gideon Wells returned the fullest thanks for the wonderful services which the brave of Waukesha had performed for his country.


Minnesota's Distinguished Senator Sends Greeting

A Former Resident Here, He Writes Interestingly of People and Things of Old Days.
ST. PAUL. MINN., May 6, 1895.
H. M. YOUMANS, Esq.,

Waukesha, Wis.:
I shall expect with the greatest interest the Memorial number of The Freeman and contribute most willingly to it. I think that I have a right to do so. My father and mother came to Waukesha in 1838, and I call myself one of the pioneers. They are living here with me, aged respectively 84 and 81. with all of their faculties, physical and mental, surprisingly well preserved.

I remember well the men of the early days. Waukesha was then noted as the home of some of the, leading spirits, of the territory. The limitations of this letter do not admit of extended reminiscences even on this point. But I will mention two citizens who afterwards became governors of the state.  William A. Barstow was a man of remarkable personal attractions. He was a noble looking man. affable, cordial, sympathetic. His public spirit entered with controlling  force into the early enterprises of the village. I saw him last in 1863 in St.
Louis. He was then the Colonel of one of the Cavalry regiments of Wisconsin.

Alexander, W. Randall! At the mention of this name what memories crowd the minds of those who knew him. He had wit that never wounded, humor that made his very presence like sunshine. The cares of life never scented to trouble him. And yet this easy-going village lawyer was a man of vast ability destined to be demonstrated as war governor of the state, as foreign minister and as postmaster general.

There was another of a little later period. Sidney A. Bean was the most gifted man I have ever known. His face was that of Antinous. It was as clearly cut and regular as a Grecian cameo. It was also most expressive.  This "marvelous boy" was a marvelous scholar, and was recognized as such by men, such as Antinous, of world wide renown.  He was a profound mathematician, a finished linguist and was deeply learned in the sciences generally.  His lectures were models of style and were full of suggestive originality. He fell, to rise no more, at the head of his regiment at Port Hudson. Wisconsin, of all her sons, never laid upon the alter of our country such a costly sacrifice.

I was educated at Carroll College, and that fact makes me ask why Waukesha and the church which founded that institution do not undertake to make it what it was originally designed to be?  The present management is most praiseworthy, but it can do no more than its means permit.

And this brings up the recollection of President Savage. Doctor Savage was a gentleman of the old school.  He was a ripe scholar and he knew the world and human nature well.  He understood boy-nature better than any one I ever knew.  He brought great business ability to the foundation of Carroll College. He all but succeeded. The war arrested his success and he died with his heart's greatest desire unaccomplished.

Of the 28th Regiment. Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, six companies were raised in Waukesha county.  This was done in two weeks. I was First Lieutenant of Company B.  More than one half of the members of that company had been my schoolmates.  I do not believe that a better regiment ever stood under the stars and stripes. It contained, to a marked degree, representatives from every craft, trade, calling and profession.  The farmer, the lawyer, the railroad operator, the carpenter, the blacksmith, the painter, the printer, the doctor-all were there enrolled.  Its dead sleep in glory until the last reveille shall awaken the generations.  Its living survive in the enjoyment of honor-secure and untarnished.
Cushman K. Davis

The name of R.L. Gove was omitted by mistake from the roster of W.B.Cushing Post G.A.R. on the third page.  He was one of the first officers and a charter member.

Commander J.K. Smith in behalf of Wm. B. Cushing Post, wishes to thank Rev. Webster Millar for the patriotic and inspiring words of his address last Sunday.


M.G. Townsend Post of Pewaukee will join with W.B. Cushing Post of this village in the observance of Memorial Day.  Line of march will be formed at 10:30 a.m. the column being escorted by a drum corps.

Arrived at the cemetery the veterans will decorate all soldiers graves.  The formal exercises at the cemetery will consist of prayer by Rev Webster Millar, chaplain of the day, singing by the Presbyterian church choir and addresses by the Rev. Webster Millar and C.F. Armin.  Dinner for the veterans of both Posts will be served in the G.A.R. Hall by the ladies of the Relief Corps.  A committee will decorate the soldiers' graves in the Catholic Cemetery and in the Pewaukee Cemetery near this village.

Rev. J.G. Blue was ill last Sunday and unable to preach the Memorial sermon.  Memorial services were therefore, held in the M.E. church and Rev. Webster preached an excellent sermon to a very large congregation, including Post and Corps.


H P. Christman of Menomonee Writes of Old War Times and Associates.

With the exception of three, Lieut. Rob. Nichols, of Company C, from
Delafield; S. Elliot and "Big" Wallace, both Brookfield boys in Company
D, our Company G, of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry contained the Waukesha county men. On the 27th of October, 1861, the day we left Milwaukee for the South we had in our company:

Capt. Henry Bloodgood, Henry Ashby, Wm. M. Jacques, Louis Brummer, Delafield; James Greengo, Amos Greengo, Lisbon; Rollin Johnson, Harry Baker, Joclyn Baker, Frank Pellon, Genesee; Andrew B. Dent, Jas. G. Minor, Henry Johnson, Nick Zimmer, Edwin Oliver, Abe Lewis, H.P. Christman, Menomonee; C.C. Kaney, Fred La Mark, Henry Gritlin, J.R. Laine, Joseph Laine, Sam Hemming, Pewaukee.

We arrived in Dixie in good shape and went into winter quarters about the middle of December, at Mumfordville.  Here our ranks were first broken on the 24th of January, 1862 by the death of Joclyn Baker, followed on the 28th by the death of Henry Ashby and on February 3d by Harry Baker.  Joseph Laine was disabled while unloading artillery ammunition, sent to the hospital and discharged, and Henry Johnson was sent home on sick furlough, failed to return, and afterwards enlisted in the 4th Michigan Cavalry, and was present when "Old Jeff" was captured.

About the 12th of February we left the mud of Mumfordsville and started south, and after considerable marching and counter-marching brought up at Nashville, March 1st. 1862. Leaving Nashville the last of March we spent the following summer doing guard duty along the several lines of railroad running south from Nashville, chasing Gen. Morgan from place to place, and making the long and tiresome marches from Mt. Pleasant, East Tennessee, to Florence, Alabama,
and from Culiska to Chattanooga.

We returned from Chattanooga by way of the Sequatchie Valley to Stevenson.
Alabama, built a large hospital camp at that place, starting north with Buell in his famous race with Bragg in the latter part of August.  At Moreville station our number was reduced by the death of Frank Pelton. August 18 found us back at Nashville again and the latter part of September, at Louisville, very near the place we had started from a year before. October 2 we started out from Louisville to hunt up Bragg and we found him, to our sorrow, at Perryville.  October 8, Dent, Minor and La Mark were killed, Oliver and Brummer crippled for life. Rollin Johnson was transferred to the pioneer corps about this time and remained with that organization until the regiment was mustered out. On the 30th of December we again found Bragg's men and in a skirmish with Wheeler's Cavalry, Amos Greengo was taken prisoner. December 31 found us at Stone River and on New Years morning January 1, 1863, we moved up to the front, taking our places in the trenches dug during the night before.  In this and the following lights of Hoover's Gap and Bailey's Crossroad we escaped unharmed.

At Dug Cap. September 12, 1863, First Lieutenant Rob Nichols, of Company C was killed.  Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, took Lewis and Elliot, killed, and Zimmer crippled for life.  Griflin and Jacques were wounded and J.R. Laine and myself taken prisoners.  After recovering Griflin and Jacques returned to the regiment while Laine and Myself were went south and enjoyed the hospitality of the "rebs" for fourteen months at Belle Isle, Richmond, Danville, Andersonville, Millin and Savannah, returning home in December, 1864.  After Chickanaumaga the boys still with the regiment passed the memorable winter of '63 to '64 at Chattanooga, going south the following spring with Sherman in his move on Atlanta.  They met with no further loss and started home after the battle of Jonesborough arriving at Milwaukee October 1864.

But two have died since the war, Amos Greengo and Joseph Laine. At present as far as I know the following are yet living, respected and honored citizens of the respective localities where they reside.

Henry Griflin, Minn.
Wm. M. Jacques, West Olive, Michigan
Rollin Johnson, Genesee, Wisconsin
Jas. Greengo, Menomonee, Wisconsin
Ed. Oliver, Fall River, Wisconsin
J.R. Laine, Sacramento, California
Sam Hemming, Weston, Ohio
Louis Brumer, Wausau, Wisconsin
Nick Zimmer, Soldiers Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
C.C. Kuney.

Capt, Bloodgood after commanding he company some months was promoted
to Lieutenant Colonel of the 22nd Wisconsin Infantry. He is in the United States mail department and resides in Milwaukee.