University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin
(1925)

Chapter II: early lumbering operations,   pp. 7-19


Page 14

HISTORY OF DUNN COUNTY
ciplinarian and believed in flogging a soldier for an accident. He ordered the man
to strip and prepare to receive a few lashes. It was brutal, to scourge a man who
was already suffering with pain, so I told the man to keep his coat on. The Ser-
geant glared at me, but perhaps he discovered something in the expression of the
men's faces, for he kept silent, and the man was put on the sick list. The men were
divided into three gangs, two of thirty men each, one gang commanded by Melvin,
another by me; and the third gang of ten men, remained in camp. It was my first
duty to build a large flat boat, and having selected a piece of timber suitable for
the gunwales, we erected scaffolds and prepared pullies and ropes to raise the log
upon them. This preparation attracted the attention of Melvin, and he supposed
the men were about to hang him. Fear had previously caused him to have built a
small block-house in which he had placed all the arms and ammunition, and where
he now unnecessarily shut himself up. He gave me orders through a loop hole,
but would never come out to see if they were faithfully executed.
"The work progressed steadily until the river opened. Trees had been felled,
timber hewn, stuff for the flat-boat got out, and we had divided the log with whip-
saws, and the parts were being hewed into the proper shape for gunwales, when one
of the men laid his thigh open to the bone with a broad-axe. It was necessary that
the man should have medical aid, so Melvin made out his report of the work done,
also a charge against me for creating mutiny, and appointed me to carry the docu-
ments and two wounded men-the man who broke his jaw was unfit for duty-in
a dugout down to headquarters. I paddled down the river without accident, and
entered the slough north of fort one evening after dusk, and was surprised to hear
the bugles playing the "Dead March." I had the men put in the hospital as soon
as I landed, and then repaired to Maj. Garland's office, where I found Taylor and
his officers, holding a council. They were deliberating on the removal of Lieut.
MacKinzie's body from the old burying ground near the mound, where Col. Dous-
man's dwelling stands, to the officers' graveyard north of the new fort. It was to
be done with the honors of war, and the musicians were practicing for the occasion,
which accounts for the music I heard. I delivered the papers to Quarter Master
Garland, and after perusing them in silence, he began to read Melvin's charge
against me in his droll tone, that convulsed all present with laughter. Garland
asked me if we intended to hang the sergeant. I told him we hadn't thought of
such a thing, and then gave a straight-forward account of all that had transpired
from the departure of the seven boats, up to my leaving the camp on the Menomonee
in the dug-out. I was not court-martialed.
"Lieut. Gardenier, Boiseley, myself and seven men, returned to the pineries to
bring down the rafts. We found on our arrival, that the men had worked well,
and had got out a large quantity of square timber, with any amount of shingles, and
the flat boat was put together and nearly finished. Two rafts were soon formed of
the timber, and I was put in command of one, and Lieut. Gardenier took the other.
My raft was the largest, but it drew less water, and therefore all the provisions for
the men of both rafts, were placed on it, except a barrel of whiskey. Melvin was
left with some of the men, to bring down the shingles in the flat boat, as soon as it
was launched."
The account of Fonda.of the location of this force on the Menomonee is pro-
vokingly meagre, but from what is stated it would seem that the camps were estab-
lished and the cutting done near the mouth of the river, and not far from Dunville.
First he makes the statement that the stop on the Chippewa for repairs was made
within fifteen miles of the mouth of the Menomonee River," and then he says that
when the start was made again the journey was "fifteen miles up to the point on
the Menomonee River where we were to cut the timber."
The description of the wanderings of Lieutenant Gale on the Chippewa flats,
over which was an extensive view from the high point occupied by the lookout,
also fixes the place at the mouth of the river in the vicinity of Dunnville, as no other
place on the Menomonee can be made to fit this description.
There is a tradition also that one camp of this expedition was located on the west
bank of the Menominee as far up as one mile below Irvine Creek.
14


Go up to Top of Page