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Goc, Michael J. / From past to present : the history of Adams County

The military,   pp. 78-81 PDF (3.0 MB)

Page 78

Civil War veterans of the Ennis Reed Post of the Grand Army of the Republic,
White Creek, about 1890 
My health is good, but I feel rather old. I do not like to hear 
bullets whistling around my head, or see my comrades fall 
dead by my side. But when one sees men from his own state 
who were bayoneted after being wounded I tell you it is 
enough to make him delight in drawing a fine sight at the 
butternut [Confederate] villians...1 am thankful that I have 
come out alive. Poor John [Keyes], I am afraid we shall 
never see him again, he was a good boy and a brave soldier. 
(Charles H. Bassett, 16th Wisconsin Infantry, at Corinth 
Mississippi, October 1862) 
Men from Adams County answered Abraham Lincoln's 
call for volunteers in the spring of 1861. Adams men served 
throughout the Union army and navy, but the units with the 
strongest links to the county were the 4th, 12th, 16th, 18th and 
38th Regiments of Wisconsin Infantry. 
Company E of the 4th Wisconsin was made up of men from 
Dell Prairie and Springville, including Isaac Earl and Joseph 
Bailey. It was one of the first Wisconsin regiments recruited 
and the longest to serve, remaining under the colors from June 
1861 to June 1866. The Fourth was initially an infantry 
regiment, but was converted to cavalry in September 1863. It 
served in Louisiana and in Arkansas, where Bailey's 
engineering exploits on the Red River won him a Congressional 
commendation. Earl was a scout who was captured and 
executed by the Confederates but decorated for heroism by the 
The largest contingent of Adams County men to the 12th 
and 18th Wisconsin came from the southern half of the county, 
especially New Haven, Dell Prairie, Jackson, Springville and 
Company E of the 16th Wisconsin, whose men called 
themselves the "Adams County Rifles" came from Strong's 
Prairie, Quincy, Monroe, Rome, Richfield, Lincoln and 
Adams. They were recruited by William Dawes, Monroe, and 
William Niles, Quincy, and they marched off to war bearing a 
flag hand-made by wives, mothers and sweethearts. 
The 12th, 16th and 18th Wisconsin were organized in 
1861 and early 1862 and took part in the western campaigns 
commanded by Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. 
Sherman. They fought in the bloody battle at Shiloh, 
Tennessee, and were among the 24,000 casualties there. 
Losing one-quarter of its men, the 16th had the longest 
casualty list of any regiment at Shiloh. 
After fighting at Corinth and other battles in northern 
Mississippi, they manned the trenches at the siege of 
Vicksburg. The fall of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 was one of 
the most important victories of the war and gave the Union 
command of the Mississippi River. The Adams men then 
soldiered on with Sherman at Bald Hill and Atlanta, Georgia, 
and took part in his famous "march to the sea." 
The 38th Wisconsin was organized for one of the war's 
last musters in 1864. Company K of the 38th was recruited by 
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The military 

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