History of the Fourth Regiment of Minnesota infantry Volunteers
During the Great Rebellion: 1861-1865 by Alonzo Leighton Brown, 1892
Transcribed by AFOFG TK
IN THE REGIMENT.
June 14th - Wednesday. - Orders were issued for the regiment to drill four hours a day. A part of the regiment refused to fall in and the drilling ceased. It will be seen by the official record which follows that the "home guards" were not all dead, and that a long course of impositions practiced upon heroes like these would tell in the end. The war had ended and the men of our regiment knew it. They also knew that they were entitled to their discharges from the army, but they were retained, and the object of their retention was said to be for the purpose of sending them to Mexico to drive out the French army and terminate the kingdom of "Mister" Maximilian. They had not been paid for nine months. The weather was broiling hot. They were being fed on old, rusty army mess-pork and stale army rations. Our men threw the hog-feed into the Ohio river. Smarting under their unjust treatment, they concluded that it was about time for abuse and impositions to cease. The order was undoubtedly intended for the best interests of the men, to keep them employed and in camp. But our boys were cross and did not look upon it in that light. They were not pleased at the manner in which promotions had just been made. All of the officers in the regiment knew of the feeling that existed, and it was testing human nature a good deal to issue such an order. Eighteen non-commissioned officers declined to parade their companies for drill and about fifty men refused to take their arms. This was mutiny, the penalty for which was death, or such other punishment as might be inflicted by the sentence of a court martial. The non-commissioned officers were marched off to the guardhouse and kept there until they apologized. Tourtellotte was present, though still confined to his tent by the injuries received at Washington, and many of the men blamed him as much as they did Edson, because they thought he was still aiding to run the machine, although not in command.
It is our opinion that these heroes did just right, precisely right, and they should be commended for their noble and heroic conduct, and we believe that they will be by all whose commendation is worth having. Impositions similar to those mentioned in this volume were undoubtedly practiced upon the enlisted men in other regiments from this state, but we think that the honor of resisting by open rebellion belongs exclusively to our boys, and we know that they are not ashamed, but are proud of it, and they look back to that day with as much pride and pleasure as they do to any other one spent in the service of their country. They were patriots, every one of them, in the broadest sense of the word, and the State of Minnesota ought to erect a monument to their memories.
The reader will please notice that the mutiny is called an error and fault.
Some of those in the guardhouse having expressed a desire to be released, this apology was written at regimental headquarters and sent to the non-commissioned officers to sign. They signed it and were released.
NEAR LOUISVILLE, KY., June 16, 1865. We, the undersigned non-commissioned officers of the Fourth Regiment, Minnesota Infantry Volunteer Veterans, deeply regretting our hasty and unsoldierly conduct of the fourteenth instant, in joining in and inciting mutinous conduct in our several companies, desire to publicly acknowledge our fault, and offer to our several company commanders and the commanding officer of the regiment this apology for our error. We do respectfully ask that we may be permitted to return to duty in our several positions, and that the severe (though just) punishment which should follow so grave a breach of discipline be averted from us, promising faithfully to neglect in future no duties which as soldiers we have sworn to perform, to promptly and cheerfully obey all orders of our superior officers. Should this our request be granted we desire to assure our commanding officer that he shall never have occasion to regret his clemency, and in future the honor and reputation of the regiment shall, as in the days when its record was unsullied by a single stain of dishonor, be our first object of care and solicitude.
D. W. Phillips, First Sergeant of Company C.
T. H. Reeves, Sergeant of Company C.
George W. Keeler, Corporal of Company C.
E. D. McGillis, Corporal of Company C.
Oscar Tiffany, Sergeant of Company E.
George W. Thomas, Sergeant of Company E.
J. A. Towne, Corporal of Company E.
William Bradley, Corporal of Company E.
Bejamin Siers, Corporal of Company E.
George Hansen, First Sergeant of Company G.
Allen W. Clark, Sergeant of Company G.
Gustus Grepe, Sergeant of Company G.
Joseph (his X mark) Reeder, Corporal of Company G.
William Hansen, Sergeant of Company F.
John D. Hockstrasser, Sergeant of Company F.
George C. Snyder, Sergeant of Company F.
Phineas R. Taylor, Corporal of Company F.
Francis E. Drake, Corporal of Company F.
LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED OF THE FOURTH REGIMENT, MINNESOTA VOLUNTEERS, AT THE BATTLE OF IUKA, MISS., SEPT 19, 1862.
ENLISTED MEN KILLED
NAME RANK CO. REMARKS
Benj, Pool Private C
John Casey Private C Attached to 11th Ohio Battery
Thomas Smith Private C
ENLISTED MEN WOUNDED
Thor Olsen Private A Wounded in arm and leg.
J. W. Dunn 1st Sergt. B Wounded in leg.
O. Graham Sergt B Wounded in thumb: slight
C. G. Mickel Corporal B Wounded in back and shoulder.
James Nell Private B Wounded in head: slightly.
Ed. A. Zelbarth Private B Wounded in left thigh.
Charles M. Perkins Private C Not stated where.
Thomas H. Reeves Private C Wounded in finger: slightly.
George G. Kimball 1st Sergt. D Wounded in shoulder and back: severely.
George A. Clark Private D Wounded in left thigh.
J. E. Sampson Private D Not stated where.
S. M. Momeny Private D Wounded in leg: severely.
Jas. A. Goodwin 2d Lieut. E Thigh broken: severely.
Addison Phelps Sergt E Wounded in groin: slightly.
John Boss Private E Wounded in leg.
O. Lindersmith Private E Wounded in leg.
G. W. Thomas Corporal E Wounded in leg: slightly.
Enos A. Bunker Private E Wounded in leg.
Benj. Shraum Private E Wounded: slightly.
Joseph Tairo Private E Wounded: slightly
Ira O. Russell Private F Wounded: slightly
William F. Wheeler 1st Lieut, F On General Hamilton's staff: wounded slightly
J. W. Burdick Corporal F Wounded in head: slightly.
George Winchell Private F Wounded in shoulder
Hollis E. Sergent Private F Not stated where.
Goe. K. Campbell Private G Not stated where.
John Elke Private G Wounded in leg.
John Tobbe Private G Wounded in ankle.
Patrick Loftus Private G Wounded in hand.
Autoine Montrail Private G Wounded in hand.
George Bleder Private G Wounded in both ankles.
Bernard Westman Private G Not stated where.
Charles Olsen Private H Wounded in both legs.
N. S. Howland Private H Wounded: slightly.
Peter Lentz Private H Wounded: slightly.
Andrew Anderson Private H Wounded: slightly.
Sam'l T. Isaac Sergt I Wounded in hand: slightly.
Geo. S. Hutchinson Private K Wound in thigh and breast: severely.
Aaron B. Morse Private K Wounded in back and breast.
S. M. Milhollin Private K Wounded in back.
John G. McCann Private K Wounded in hand and thigh.
Martin Keifer Private K Wounded in left arm just below shoulder: slightly.
Isaac Dezotelle Private K Attached to 11th Ohio Battery; wounded arm and leg: died Oct 23.
THE QUARTERMASTER'S DEPARTMENT.
As the efficiency of a regiment in active service depends in a great measure upon the quartermaster's department, and as we have sufficient information for a partial history of it, we devote a few lines to ours. Lieut. Thomas B. Hunt, our first regimental quartermaster, drew one hundred and twenty mules on requisition at St. Louis., Mo., when the regiment was at Benton Barracks, being enough, with what we already had, to make a train of twenty-two six-mule teams. These animals had never before been harnessed and were very wild. They were small in size, of the jack-rabbit variety and the most of them had to be thrown down and held while the harness was fastened on, and for many days our mule caravan paraded the grounds of the barracks with all of the wheels of the wagons locked and a soldier leading each animal to break it in. We had not been South long before our jack-rabbits began to be promoted. As fast as larger animals could be procured the small ones were turned loose, and in a few months the wheelers became the leaders. Quartermaster Sergt. Francis K Collins and Commissary Sergt. Thomas P. Wilson were very efficient aids to our quartermaster, not only during the equipment of the regiment for active field operations but as long as they remained with it. Lieutenant Hunt was an officer of good executive ability, and we were soon well provided with all the necessary supplies, and as long as he remained with us it affords us pleasure to say that he was at all times kind and gentlemanly to his subordinates and affable and courteous to his brother officers. He left us at Jacinto, Miss., was afterward detailed to act as brigade quartermaster on the staff of Colonel Sanborn and did not afterwards act as our regimental quartermaster. He bid us good-by from the deck of a steamboat when we were on a sandbar below Helena, April 13, 1863, and having been promoted went North to assume the duties of captain and assistant quartermaster.
Lieut. James H. Donaldson of Company C was detailed to act as our quartermaster at Jacinto, and continued to act as such until we were in the rear of Vicksburg. While at Benton Barracks Frederick Parsons of Company E was serving as a detailed clerk for Lieutenant Hunt, and continued to do so as long as Hunt remained with us. Fred E. Du Toit of Company A was detailed at those barracks to also clerk for the quartermaster and remained on that duty until May 28th, before Corinth, when he went to his company. A. L. Brown of Company B was assigned to duty at St. Louis as clerk to Commissary Sergeant Wilson, and remained with him until after the battle of Iuka. Mr. Edw. G. Covington of Belle Plaine was appointed at Fort Snelling as wagonmaster. He was a citizen employee and remained as such until after the battle of Iuka at Jacinto, when he was employed to take charge of the supply train of the brigade. When Covington left A. L. Brown was relieved as clerk and detailed as wagonmaster, and continued to perform those duties until we were at White's Station, in February, 1862, when at his request Colonel Tourtellotte relieved him and he went to his company. John H. Thurston of Company C was at about the same time at White's Station detailed as clerk to assist Lieutenant Donaldson. Charles B Smith of Company D was detailed after the battle of Corinth to assist Commissary Sergeant Wilson, and served with him until about the time we started on the Yazoo Pass expedition, when he was taken sick with diphtheria and went to a hospital in Memphis. He joined the regiment in rear of Vicksburg and went into the trenches. At White's Station Daniel Foster of Company A was assigned to duty as wagonmaster. Foster was detailed at Jacinto as Brown's assistant, and he served as wagonmaster until the expiration of his term of service.
The regimental blacksmith was Daniel Nevins of Company E, who acted as such, we believe, as long as we remained with the regiment. We had a portable forge and all of the necessary tools for shoeing horses and doing other light work. We had not been in the field long before Dan made a U-S branding iron, which we afterwards found to be a very useful appendage to our outfit, for with it and a pair of shears our boys would in a few minutes so effectually change the appearance of the converted mules and horses that their former owners never afterwards recognized one; but such acts were all done for the benefit of the train and the United States Government received the benefit. A laughable incident occurred to us while we were at Oxford. We had been out with the train to the "Mandy Robinson plantation" at Oak Grove for forage, and on the way back some of the teamsters got a strawberry colored mule, and on arrival in camp tied it to Joe Montoure's wagon. Before Dan could heat his iron and shear the mule's mane and tail, a native from the country came up, looked at "Old Strawberry" carefully and then started off to the provost marshal's office. As soon as he departed the animal was led into the brush and barbered and another one resembling it some in appearance tied in its place. The man soon returned with the provost marshal, and was considerably nonplussed when he failed to recognize his animal, and turning to the officer said, "Now, I declare if that ain't the beetenist thing yet. I left my mule standen thar not a half-hour ago, sure. This beast does look some like it, but I reckon, mister, that ain't my mule." "Well, sir!" said the officer, "if you cannot recognize your animal, I cannot put you in possession of it."
Among those who were regimental teamsters we remember the names of
John N. Bradford of Company B.
Marvin Pond of Company B.
John B. Grover of Company B.
Valentine Cloherty of Company E.
Wm. W. Getchell of Company B.
John Eichler of Company F.
John Drever of Company A.
Allen W. Clark of Company G.
Daniel Foster of Company A.
William Rardin of Company I.
B. F. Covington of Company A.
Andrew Gish of Company I.
Thos. Scale of Company C.
Joseph Montoure of Company K.
Thedro Fish of Company C.
James A. Williams of Company B.
William McCrory of Company C.
John Maxwell of Company H.
Thaddeus I. Robinson of Company D.
Pearl Otis of Company H.
Thomas Darling of Company D.
John Cottrell of Company F.
Harvey Ftetcher of Company E.
Amos Hursh of Company K.
Seth Nichols of Company H.
A. C. Smith of Company K.
A. H. Smith of Company A.
Peter Columbus of Company G.
Sergeants Wilson and Collins, having been promoted to commissioned officers in the Eleventh Louisiana Infantry Volunteers of African Descent, left our regiment at Smith's plantation, Louisiana, on April 28,1863, and reported for duty at Richmond, La. Lieutenant Collins resigned from the service at Vicksburg. We learn that he performed a very brave act when the captured ammunition and arsenal supplies were piled upon the levee at Vicksburg and about to take fire. He ran and carried, at great personal risk to himself, enough of it beyond the reach of the flames, to prevent its explosion. Frank was a generous, brave, whole-souled man, and always occupied a warm place in the hearts of his old comrades. He died, we were informed, since the war, in Kansas. He had a son, H. C. Collins, who was second lieutenant of Company A, Forty-ninth United States Colored Infantry.
After Wilson and Collins left the Fourth Regiment A. L. Brown was detailed as commissary sergeant and J. H. Thurston added the duties of quartermaster sergeant to those he had before performed assisting Lieutenant Donaldson, who was still acting as regimental quartermaster in supplying the wants of the regiment, by such foraging as could be procured from the surrounding country. In this campaign the duties of forager were performed in the highest known science of the art. We would get a mule in one place and a horse in another, putting them together with string harness, and, hitched to vehicles of all kinds, bring the produce to camp. The family carriage would perhaps be filled with poultry, pigs and a varied assortment of such plunder as the country afforded. Our wagou train and camp equipage were left behind at Smith's plantation, and some of it joined us when we were at Hankinson's Ferry, on the Big Black river. A. L. Brown left the regiment in the rear of Vicksburg, about the eighth of June, to assist in organizing the Twelfth Louisiana or Fiftieth United States Colored Infantry. Joseph A. Goding of Company B was assigned to duty as quartermaster sergeant in the rear of Vicksburg about the sixteenth of June. During that campaign Lieut. J. H. Donaldson was relieved of duty as acting regimental quartermaster by Lieut. D. M. G. Murphy of Company G. We have no personal knowledge of this department after that time, hut these officers and those who succeeded them were all men of good ability.
The names of the ten wagoners on the muster roll are all that are a matter of record accessible to us.
While I was with the quartermaster's department, and in fact up to the surrender of Vicksburg, I do not remember of drawing whisky in bulk, as rations for the regiment, except on one occasion, and that was while we were at Farmington. A short time after we arrived there Commissary Sergeant Wilson thought that a little whisky would be a very good thing for our men who were not as yet used to the exposures of camp life and the duties we were then engaged in, and proposed to make out a requisition. Lieutenant Hunt approved of the experiment, but without expecting to get the supplies. To our surprise, however, the requisition received the necessary approval, and we drew two-sevenths rations, or two days' rations out of seven, aud went to Hamburgh Landing and got five or seven barrels, which lasted us, if my memory serves me correctly, until May 28th, when the last of it was issued to the men while we were out in front of the enemy in the trenches before Corinth.
The persons who had charge of the supply train of the brigade or division were under the direct orders of the quartermaster of the brigade or division and subject to his removal at pleasure. They were called the brigade or division wagonmasters, but had no authority whatever over regimental wagonmasters or their trains. These were under the orders of the regimental quartermaster. Each regimental train remained with the regiment, and on the line of march, as a general rule, followed immediately behind it or the brigade. There are those who believe that the brigade and division wagonmasters managed the various trains on the same principle that commanders of brigades and divisions did the troops, and that all orders for the moving of teams or trains had to emanate from or pass through their hands. In Covington's case, he was employed as regimental wagonmaster, at a salary of sixty dollars a month, was never sworn into the army and could quit at any time. I do not know who employed him, nor by what authority. The army regulations and orders did not provide for the employment of a civilian for these duties and no provision was made in them for his payment. He informed me several years ago that he never received any pay for his services. He was a kind and obliging man, performed his duty in a creditable manner, and was father to B. F. Covington of Company A.
HISTORY OF THE REGIMENTAL BRASS BAND.
The band had three different sets of instruments. It was composed of enlisted men detailed from the different companies of the regiment. It was brigade band, First Brigade, Third Division, for nine months, was in all engagements with the regiment and in many instances with guns in ranks, etc. Our band was the one that led in the grand review in Washington, before President Johnson, Generals Grant, Sherman and other dignitaries. And it was one of only a few which kept its organization from the time of going out until returning to the state. It received special mention from Generals Logan and Sherman for gallant service performed at Allatoona.
MEMBERS OF THE BRASS BAND.
James K. Hubbard of Company F.
Charles P. Hubbard of Company F.
James Davis of Company K.
H. R. Marcyes of Company I.
W. S. Kimball of Company K.
W. W. Milhollln of Company K.
F. Brackelsberg of Company H.
Charles Scofield of Company F.
George Scofield of Company F.
L. Siebert of Company I.
W. P. Woolson of Company I.
O. H. Wiley of Company K.
John H. Thurston of Company C.
John C. Maag of Company H.
John Bursley of Company G.
G. W. Reinoehl of Company I.
F. L. Cutlar of Company F.
R. B. Laugdon of Company F.
T. Frank Sturtevant of Company F.
J. Niebles of Company E.
C. E. Rogers of Company I.
James S. Thomas of Company K.
W. Muziy of Company H.
John Frank of Companies K and B.
Charles F. Hellberg of Company A.
John W. Morse of Company C.
E. A. Whitcomb of Company K.
A. W. Clark of Company G.
J. H. Cronkhite of Company I.
Truman Booth of Company H.
Members Died, Discharge, Etc. before Final Muster-Out.
Charles F. Hellberg of Company A, died of wounds received at Allatoona.
John H. Thurston of Company C, transfered for promotion to Forty-ninth United States Colored Infantry.
James 8. Thomas of Company K, transferred to Invalid Corps.
James N. Hubbard of Company F, discharged May 6,1863.
Charles P. Hubbard of Company F, discharged Aug. 10,1863; died since war.
George Scofield of Company F, died at Paducah, Ky.
J. H. Cronkhite of Company I, discharged Dec. 21, 1862.
F. L. Cutlar of Company F, discharged Feb. 13, 1863.
C. E. Rogers of Company I, discharged Feb. 9, 1863.
W. W. Milhollin of Company K, discharged Jan. 20, 1862.
W. P. Woolson of Company I, discharged Jan. 19, 1864.
T. Frank Sturtevant of Company F, discharged Feb. 6, 1861, transferred for promotion as first lieutenant Forty-ninth United Slates Colored Infantry.
Leonard Siebert of Company I, discharged, three years service Dec. 26, 1864.
F. Brackelsberg of Company H, wounded at Allatoona, Ga.
Members Who Started Out And Returned With The Band To The State
H. R. Marcyes. W. Muzzy. John Frank.
W. 8. Kimball. J. Niebles. Oscar H. Wiley.
The Hubbard brothers were the first leaders and instructors of the band, and although they were enlisted men and detailed from their company, they received the same amount of pay as lieutenants, the regimental fund being used, I believe, for that purpose.