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Databases:  MilitaryDeceased Civil War Soldiers of Trempealeau County

- Transcribed from the Galesville Transcript, July 31, 1863, Page 4

                                                          Donated by Joan Benner

The glory and pomp of war attracts the young man from the peaceful scenes of private life, and he thinks only of the gay display of marching armies, and the sweet strains of martial music; but when he has once entered the field of strife he glories in deeds of valor, in the enemy slain in deadly conflict, and in scenes of plunder and rapine that shock the sensibilities of the peaceful citizen.

But when this glory and pomp of war is hallowed to the defense of one's country, either from foes without or foes within, it becomes as a sacred fire burning upon the altar of patriotism, and is hailed with emotion as well by the devoted Christian as by the Monarch on his exalted throne. The war of our revolution was as necessary to the establishment of religious freedom as for maintaining the true principles of civil government; that of 1812 was declared for the purpose of settling our rights to the great highway of nations, while the present civil strife, which now rages with terrible fury, will finally calm the waves of our country's ocean, which have for years roared with anger, and beat with violence upon the pedestals of our Constitution.

I purpose to speak today of the deceased soldiers of Trempealeau County, who have fallen in the defense of our Constitutional rights in the present conflict. The first to volunteer and the first to fall in the defense of his country was Myron B. GARDNER of Arcadia. He was a native of Indiana, born 1843 and settled in Trempealeau County in the spring of 1857. Although of moderate education, he took delight in reading the history of his country, and when the present civil war broke out, his zeal was fired up to defend the constitution. He first enlisted in the Black River Falls company of militia but when they determined to only act as "home guards", he left them for La Crosse, where he obtained a pass for the La Crosse Light
Guards, then in camp at Madison, and enlisted in the 2nd regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers.  That regiment soon left for Washington and was stationed at Arlington Heights. At the Battle of Bull Run this regiment was in the 3rd Brigade including the 13, 69 and 79 New York regiments, and was under the command of Col. Sherman.

Mr. GARDNER was wounded on Friday the 19 of July, 1861 at about 10 a.m. preceding the great battle on Sunday. His company was occupying a hollow near the enemy's batteries, and a rifle cannon ball struck a tree in front, glanced down in the earth and rose again, passing through the left leg of Myron, above the knee. His leg was amputated, but he died about 4 o'clock the next morning. His last words to his comrades were "Boys take care of my gun." His battles were over, and he no longer needed his cherished weapon for he was leaving the scenes of war for his Elysian Fields of eternity.

Charles H. KING was born in 1839, at Berlin, Erie County, Ohio, and came to this county the last day of May 1855. He enlisted in the La Crosse 1st Wisconsin Battery, in the fall of the year 1861, and at the time of his decease the Battery was in camp at Racine. He came home on furlough in January 1862, and was taken sick with the measles and Typhoid Fever, and died the 18th of the same month. He was a young man of promise, but was cut down by the ruthless hand of death, before he had an opportunity of serving his country in the field. His company on hearing of his death adopted resolutions of sympathy.

Charles L. CRAM was born in Nox, Maine, the 8th of January 1842. He came to Wisconsin with his parents in 1850 and first settled in the town of Winnebago, but about the middle of November 1853, removed with his father to La Crosse County, to a farm now occupied by Mr. OLDS in the town of Caledonia, Trempealeau county. He was a student in Galesville University in 1860 and 1861. He enlisted February 27 1862 in Captain POLLEY's company at La Crosse, which was assigned to the 14th regiment. He was in the desperate battle of Pittsburgh Landing, and in that brilliant charge, when the cannon that Lieutenant Staly spiked, was captured. He escpaed unhurt, except a slight blister on the neck made by the proximity of a mini ball. He escaped from the casualties of battle only to fall a victim to the malaria of the battle field, and the general unhealthiness of climate. He died in the hospital June 7th 1862 of fever.

Reverend Thomas MASON was born in 1820 in Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois. His early advantages for an education were very poor, but being a man of considerable talent, he finally became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He came to Wisconsin in 1856, and among other places, was on the circuit at Lewis Valley, in La Crosse County. He was a man of energy and knowing his educational deficiency he became an industrious student at Galesville University a part of the years 1861 and 1862. In August 1862 he assisted in enlisting Company C, now in the 30th regiment and at his own request was transferred from that company to Captain POLLEY's company in the 14th regiment, where he then had two sons. He was killed in the battle near Corinth on the 3rd of October, 1862, by a rifle ball and was buried at Corinth.

Nelson N. SANDERS was born February 1st, 1839 at Mount Pleasant, Racine County Wisconsin, and removed with his parents to Arcadia, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin the 17th of May, 1858. He enlisted in the 8th Wisconsin regiment, Company I the 8th day of September 1861 and died in the hospital at New Madrid Missouri the 13th of April, 1862, with a fever after a sickness of 10 days.

Lora HOLBROOK was born May 10, 1840 at St. Charles, Illinois, and came with his parents to Trempealeau County in July 1853, and settled on the Tamarack Creek, near the Trempealeau River. His parents were pioneers in that locality and Mr. H had not the benefits of a common school in that region for several years. On the 8th September, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, 8th Wisconsin regiment, under Captain BAKER, passed through the marching and skirmishings of the 8th regiment and was finally killed at the battle near Corinth, the 3rd of October, 1862. During his stay in the army he kept up correspondence with his parents and friends. His companion in arms, including his Captain, represents him to be the "bravest of the brave in battle."

Alva WOOD was about 38 years of age when he enlisted in Company I, 8th Wisconsin regiment on the 8th of September 1861. He served faithfully until the 8th of May 1862, when he was shot through the body and left upon the battlefield near Corinth. He was never heard of afterward. Mr. SACIA was near Mr. WOOD when he was wounded, and the rebels took prisoner the former. Mr. WOOD leaves a wife and family at Trempealeau.

Abram NASH was born in Du Page County, Illinois in October 1838, came with his parents to Trempealeau County in the fall of 1854 and settled near Mr. HOLBROOK. He enlisted with Mr. HOLBROOK in Company I, 8th Wisconsin Regiment; was taken sick at Cairo, Illinois, removed to a hospital at Cincinnati where he died the last of March or the first of April 1862. He was a cousin to Lora HOLBROOK.

Jonathon NASH was born at Perrysburgh, Cataragus County, New York, in June 1828, and came to Trempealeau County 7 years since. He enlisted in Company I, 8th Wisconsin regiment September 1861, fought in the battle near Corinth, was taken sick immediately after the battle and died in hospital June 8th, 1862. He was an uncle of Lora HOLBROOK.

Benjamin P. BEARDSLY was born at Burlington, Racine County, Wisconsin December 17, 1843 and came to Trempealeau County June 20th, 1854. He enlisted the 8th of September in Company I, 8th Wisconsin regiment, fought bravely through the first battle of Corinth, and at the battle of Farmington, and died in the hospital at Iuka the 25th of September 1862.

James I. THOMPSON was born at Lock, Cayuga County, New York August 10, 1839, and came to this County with his parents in 1856. He enlisted in Captain Otis's Company, 8th Missouri Regiment, August 9th, 1861. After Captain Otis's Company of Sharpshooters was dissolved, he re-enlisted in Company D of the same regiment under Captain Smith. He was within one mile of Fort Henry at the time of its capture, and fought bravely at Fort Donaldson. He fell a victim from exposure to the rains and snows of the battlefield, was taken sick soon after the victory and died in hospital boat near Evansville, Indiana March 5th, 1862.

Joseph BEBO was born in Canada in 1843 and came to this County when young. He enlisted in the 8th Missouri Regiment, Company D, in August 1861, and died of fever at Pittsburgh Landing March 18th, 1862, soon after the battle at that place. He fought bravely at the battles of Fort Donaldson and Shiloh.

Chester BIDWELL died, of army fever, at Fort Federal Hill, Baltimore, October 31, 1862, aged 23 years. He attended school at the University one term. While on a visit East, he enlisted in Company C, 129th Regiment, New York Volunteers.

Daniel A. CHAPPELL, the last of the Trempealeau County boys, except James SIMPKINS, in the 8th Missouri Regiment, was born at Pine Grove, Warren County, Pennsylvania, in August 1838. In September 1864 he removed to La Grange, Walworth County, Wisconsin and to Trempealeau County the last of October 1859. He with others from Trempealeau County enlisted under Captain OTIS, who had been appointed by General Fremont at St. Louis to raise a company of Sharpshooters to be attached to the 8th Missouri Regiment. When the Company reached St. Louis, Fremont had been removed, the appointment of Captain Otis vacated, and the only alternative was to either go home or re-enlist in the different Company's of the Regiment. The boys from Trempealeau were too brave to go home and re-enlisted in Company D, Captain SMITH. Mr. CHAPPELL was in the battle of Fort Donaldson, Arkansas Post, the first and last battles of Vicksburg, and was finally cut in two by a cannon ball, at the terrible charge on the enemy's work 22 of May 1863. At the time of the battle of Shiloh he was confined by lameness and was not able to be in that battle.

Company C of 30th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers has also to mourn the loss of two of their companions by disease, at Camp Randall. William SHAW died the 16th of January 1863 aged about 22. His father lives on the upper Tamarack Creek. Oscar BETTS, a native of Delaware New York, died  the 26th of January 1863, in the hospital, aged about 24 years. He came to Trempealeau County October 2nd, 1859, and lived with his Uncle Bostwick BEARDSLEY Esq. of Caledonia to the time of his enlistment.

We have given you brief notices of the brave boys who have already have become martyrs in the defense of our Constitution. Many a house in our quiet valley is shrouded in mourning for the loss of brave sons and brothers, and we fear their numbers will be increased before this terrible war shall cease.  Our hope is in the God of the Armies. Let Him be invoked that our hearts may remain strong until our enemies are subdued and we are again wrapped in the white robe of peace, and enjoying its blessings with the returned war worn heroes, fresh from the smoke of the battlefield.

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