Yates T. Lacy
Co. I, 5th Wisconsin Infantry
FIFTH WISCONSIN REGIMENT.
The 5th Wisconsin was called into camp at Madison from the 21st to the 25th of June 1861, and placed under the command of Col. Amasa Cobb. The officers under him were H. W. Emery, lieutenant-colonel; Charles H. Larrabee, major; Theodore S. West, adjutant; J. G. Clark, quartermaster; A. L. Castleman, surgeon; George D. Wilbur and C. E. Crane, assistants; Rev. R. Langley, chaplain. The companies were two from Milwaukee, and one each from Manitowoc, Beaver Dam, Janesville, Waukesha, Berlin, Richland, Taycheedah and Monomonee. The numerical strength of the regiment was 1,057 men. It was mustered into the United States service, July 13, 1861. On the 22d of that month orders were received to move forward to Washington. On the 24th, they were on their way, and on arriving at their destination were attached to Gen. Rufus King’s brigade. The regiment was detailed for advance duty most of the time after its arrival most of the time after its arrival .
The 5th left their winter quarters at Camp Griffin, near Lewisville, Va., where they had
been stationed during the winter, and marched on the 9th of March, 1862, to Flint Hill, two miles from Fairfax court house, whence they marched to the Potomac, within four miles of Alexandria. There they embarked, on the 23d of that month, to take part in the great expedition against Richmond, under the command .of Gen. McClellan. From their arrival at Hampton, Va., on the 26th of March to the day of the final retreat, their history is thoroughly identified with that of the Army of the Peninsula. Their conduct in the battle of Williamsburg, on the 5th of May, was such as to elicit a flattering encomium from Gen. McClellan. The regiment bore its full share in the series of great battles from June 29 to July 4. They went into winter quarters at White Oak Church, near Belle Plain. Col. Amasa Cobb, being elected to Congress, resigned, and Thomas S. Allen was made colonel.
The 5th regiment performed some daring deeds under Col. Allen,-taking the Washington battery, of New Orleans. They also participated in the charge on the enemy’s works at Rappahannock station. They returned to winter quarters at Brandy station, where they remained until the opening of the campaign of 1864.
During the winter of 1863-64 over 200 of the men re-enlisted. After. a visit to Wisconsin,
they returned in time for the spring campaign. The regiment left its camp May 4, 1864, and took part in the Wilderness campaign. They crossed the Rapidan at Germania Ford, marched eighteen miles and bivouacked. They followed the movements of the 6th corps, and were engaged in the various actions from the 7th to the 11th of May. After leaving Spottsylvania, they engaged in destroying the Virginia Central railroad, and advanced to Cold Harbor, arriving June 1. They took part in the charge on the enetmy’s works at Cold Harbor, capturing the intrenchments with a number of prisoners. They remained here until the 12th, constantly exposed to the enemy’s fire, when they marched to and crossed James river, and took their position in the trenches before Petersburg. In the charge of the 22d, they participated, proceeding on the 29th to Reams station, where they engaged in fatigue and picket duty until July 11.
The casualties for May and June were forty-eight killed or died of their wounds, and 144
wounded. The 5th accompanied the movement of the 6th corps to Washington to assist in the defense of that city, arriving on the 12th; on which day, the three-years’ term of non-veterans having expired, they volunteered for the defense of the capital. The danger having passed, they left, on the 16th, from Washington, and arrived at Madison on the 22d, where they received a hearty welcome from the State authorities, and were finally mustered out on the 3d of August. Thus ended the service of the original 5th regiment. The re-enlisted veterans and recruits were organized into an independent battalion of three companies, under the command of C. W. Kemp, of company A, Capt. J. H. Cook, company B, and Capt. M. L. Butterfield, company C. On the 13th of July, they moved, with the 6th corps to the Shenandoah valley, in pursuit of the enemy, participating in the engagement at Snicker’s Gap. On the 18th they returned to Washington; and on the 26th they proceeded to Harper’s Ferry, and united with the movements of the 6th corps, participating in the action at Charleston. They remained at Charleston performing picket and guard duty until the 18th of September, when they moved forward and took part in the battle of Cedar Creek. Afterward, with the brigade, they went to Winchester in the performance of garrison duty. On the muster out of service of the "Old Fifth," Gov. Lewis authorized its re-organization, and re-commissioned Thomas S. Allen as colonel. Under his supeivision, seven companies were rapidly recruited, organized and mustered into the United States service, and left the State on the 2d of October, 1864. They arrived at Washington, received arms, and were sent to Alexandria, where they remained doing provost duty, until October 20, when they proceeded, by way of Martinsburg and Winchester, to Cedar Creek, where they joined the battalion and the forces under Gen. Sheridan, and remained at that place until December 2. They rejoined the forces under Gen. Grant, in the trenches before Petersburg, on the 4th of December, where they remained until the 5th of February, 1865, when they took part in the extension of the lines at Dabney’s Mills, on Hatcher’s Run, suffering little loss, as they were held in reserve. In the charge on the enemy’s works at Petersburg, April 2, 1865, the 5th regiment, with the 37th Massachusetts, led by Col. Allen, were in the extreme front, supported by two lines in the rear. At 4 a. m., the signal for the charge was given, and the colors of the 5th were the first planted on the enemy’s works. Col. Allen led a portion of his men two miles through the abandoned lines of the enemy to the left, capturing many prisoners; then back to the right, where the regiment was engaged in skirmishing till night. On the afternoon of April 3, they joined in the pursuit of Lee-the 6th corps encountering Gen. Ewell’s forces at Little Sailor’s Creek on the 7th. The lines were hurriedly formed and pushed forward at double-quick; the regiment marching with unbroken line through a swamp waist-deep, under fire of the enemy’s musketry. They moved to the brow of a hill, where the enemy was discovered but a few paces distant, admirably posted, and fighting with the energy of despair. The regiment was in an extremely hazardous position, being subjected to a severe flank and cross fire. Col. Allen rode in advance of the line as calmly as though danger were unknown. Company G, (Capt. Henry Curran) and company C, (Lieut. Evan R. Jones) were deployed as skirmishers. Lieut.-Gen. Ewell and staff surrendered to six men of the skirmishers, under command of Sergt. Cameron, company A, who was promoted lieutenant on the field for gallantry. The action of the regiment elicited high encomiums from the corps, division and brigade commanders. In the action of April 7, the regiment had sixteen killed, seventy-nine wounded, and three died of wounds. The pursuit was continued until the 9th, when Lee surrendered. On the 10th the regiment commenced its return, and reached Burke’s station on the evening of the 13th. They encamped until the 23d of April, and marched to Danville, arriving on the 27th, and reaching Richmond on the 20th of May. Leaving Richmond on the 24th for Washington, they arrived there June 2, after a long and tedious march. On the 16th of June they left for Madison, Wis., arriving on the 20th, and were soon after mustered out of the service.
Men in the Fifth Regiment from Green County.
Volney L. Johnson, Eugene L. Wright, Aaron M. Burdick, James D. Dysent, Rooney
K. Johnson, William D. Masterston, Frederick W. Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Alvin Walrath,
Pliny Wilson, Brant C. Hammond. Thomas Flint, Yates T. Lacy, Henry B. Mason, Timothy
Wright, Forest H. Carnwell, George W. Baker, Benjamin Burnheim, Chauncey BJartholomew, David Bluebaugh, John J. Cosat James Dunn, Albert A. Fayette, Elliott N. Fessenden, William Gange, Franklin Gilbert, Jr., August F. Girkee, Menzo Hone, William T. Hopkins, Spencer W. Hurlbut, Isaiah Jewell, Samuel Lamoroux, Lewis La Rose, John Lemuel, Jacob Martin, Ezra Milks, John C. McFarland, Burdet E. McKinney, Chauncey Moore, Alonzo C. Purington, William H. Roberts, Lewis C. Robertson, Thomas A. Ross, Jacob L. Scroggins Francis Seymour, David Slothower, Thomas L. Stettson, Charles I. Tibbits, Allen Whipple, Jacob L. Wilson and James Witter.
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