Sgt. William Lochern, Co. E. 1st Minnesota Infantry, On the Battle

16 11 2022

On July 3d the regiment embarked on steamers at the navy yard, and, landing on the “sacred soil” at Alexandria, went into camp something less than a mile west of that ancient and decaying town. Here, besides constant drilling, there were daily details of companies for picket duty, and frequent reconnaissances to the west and south. We were here brigaded with some other regiments, under the command of Col. W. B. Franklin, forming part of the division of Col. S. P. Heintzelman. Strict orders against meddling with private property of the inhabitants were promulgated; but as the rations were poor, and the people about us all secessionists, a few of the boys foraged a little, but with such address that other regiments, usually the New York Fire Zouaves, bore the suspicion and the blame. In a few days Oscar King, our enterprising sutler, appeared with a full stock of sutler’s goods, which he opened in a large hospital tent, and at once had a thriving trade with our men and those of other regiments. It was soon known that he had liquors, though none were sold to enlisted men ; and some of the men, by furtively feeling the packages through the tent cloth, located a barrel of whisky against the side of the tent ; and soon after dark one cloudy night they quietly drew a couple of the tent pins and rolled the barrel out and to an adjoining field that had been dug in places for various purposes, where it was tapped, and a dozen canteens and a couple of camp kettles filled, after which the barrel, still more than half full, was buried. The raiders were all from one Sibley tent, which contained fourteen men, in charge of a sergeant, and they had filled their own and most of their comrades’ canteens. Though the night was very dark, some one about the sutler’s tent soon observed the loosened pins, and the loss was discovered, complaint made to the colonel, and the lieutenant of the guard sent with a squad to detect the culprits. The delinquents had been on the watch, and, seeing this movement, at once confessed to their sergeant, and besought his aid in enabling them to escape detection. While disapproving their act, he was inclined to stand by his men, and even risk his chevrons to shield them from exposure and punishment. He therefore watched the proceeding of the lieutenant, observing that he stopped at the entrance of each tent, ascertained the number of its inmates, and called for and examined their canteens. Returning to his own tent, he found that but two canteens besides his own were empty, and getting these where they could be reached, and instructing a couple of men how to aid him, he awaited the officer, who soon approached and called, for him. ” Sergeant, how many men have you?” “Fourteen.” “Pass out their canteens.” With a peremptory order from the sergeant to the men to pass up their canteens rapidly, an empty canteen was handed to the officer, smelled of, and dropped at his feet as a second one was handed him, while a man, lying down where he could reach safely in the darkness, passed the dropped canteen back to the sergeant, to be presented to the officer again, and thus the three canteens were each examined five times and nothing found in the fifteen canteens supposed to have been searched. The camp kettles stood quietly at the rear of the tent and escaped suspicion; and as the search frightened the boys, and made them careful in the use of the liquor, they were never discovered.


For some time a general movement against the enemy had been expected, and on July 16th, leaving ten men of each company, mostly sick or ailing, in charge of the camp, the regiment joined in the advance of the army toward Manassas Junction, where the enemy was known to be in large force. The movement was slow, and we bivouacked that night near Fairfax Court House, on a ridge densely covered with young pine. The next day we reached Sangster’s Station, on the Orange & Alexandria railroad, where we halted early in the afternoon. Blackberries were plentiful, and eagerly gathered. The men had not yet come to relish hardtack and salt pork; and, although strictest orders against foraging had been issued, a squad of our men, bringing the dressed quarters of a young beef into camp, were accidentally met by Col. Franklin, the brigade commander, and his staff. Col. Gorman, who chanced to be mounted, rode up while Franklin was questioning the delinquents, and, in his magnificent, stentorian voice, overwhelmed the men with such denunciation and invective as no one but he was capable of, ending with an entreaty to Franklin to leave the men to him for such punishment as would be an effective example to the regiment. Franklin acceded to the request, and rode away, and Gorman, turning to the trembling culprits, said: “Now, you, take up that beef and goto your regiment, and don’t disgrace it by ever getting caught in any such scrape again.” The men were gleeful at escaping the punishment which seemed certain, and determined to profit by the colonel’s rather equivocal advice, at least to the extent of being more wary in the future.

On July 18th Capt. Bromley of Company B resigned, and Lieut. Mark W. Downie assumed command of that company, receiving soon after his commission as captain. Lieut. Geo. H. Woods of Company D succeeded Downie as regimental quartermaster. Companies A and B, with Lieut. Col. Miller in command, made a reconnaissance some five miles in advance, and till the rebel line was reached. During the same time the advance division of the army, under Col. Tyler, had a brisk engagement with the enemy near Bull Run. On July 19th our division (Heintzelman’s) marched to Centreville, where the entire army was concentrated, and remained the next day, while the enemy’s position along Bull Run was examined, and considerable skirmishing took place. On Sunday morning, July 21st, we were called up at one o’clock, and, an hour later, marched to the top of the hill at Centreville, where we were kept under arms until about six o’clock, while other troops, batteries and wagons were passing us. Congress men and other sight-seers, from Washington, began to throng the high ground near us, armed with field glasses. About six o’clock we moved through Centreville, and, on reaching Bull Run, turned to the right, and marched by a circuitous route, that seemed many miles in the sweltering heat, to the vicinity of Sudley Church, where we got the first extensive view of the battlefield, from which the continued roar of musketry and artillery had hastened our march. This view was obtained from Buck Hill, from which the Confederates had retired before our arrival. I have received from Gen. William Colvill, who was captain of Company F, a narrative of the battle, going into details more than I had purposed, but so interesting that I give it substantially entire:

Buck Hill was held by two Confederate brigades, Bee’s and Evans’, and the attack there was made by Hunter’s Division in front along the Bull Run slope. There was a series of attacks and repulses, and the end was long delayed, until a regiment of our (Heintzelman’s) division struck the enemy’s flank by way of the Sudley road, and, getting in a cross-fire, demoralized and broke
the Confederates, who fell back to Stonewall Jackson’s position, about a half mile to the rear. This position was almost the counterpart of the first, the right resting on the bluffs of Bull Run, and the left on the Sudley road, occupying the top of a long slope, screened all the way across by thickets of pine and oak. The distance across was about half a mile. In the thickets, and ex
tending across from valley to road, Beauregard says he had 6,500 men and fourteen guns about the time we reached Buck Hill. A study of his force in detail shows at least 8,000 men, and more guns, at the time we went in with Rickett’s Battery. Imboden says he counted twenty-six guns, saw them properly sighted and the fuses cut. These were in addition to his own battery, which had been retired from action. By order of Gen. Bee this battery had been placed at the Henry House, covering the Sudley road flank of the Buck Hill position, where it had done good service and exhausted its ammunition. Sherman’s Brigade came by the right flank of Buck Hill, from his crossing of Bull Run, about forty rods above Stone Bridge, just after the brush was over, and he assisted in the pursuit across Young’s creek. We arrived at Buck Hill soon after Sherman, and then saw his brigade, the Second Wisconsin, the Sixty-ninth New York (Irish) and the Seventy-ninth New York (Highlanders) drawn up across Young’s creek, close under the hill and out of fire, his line extending from the Warrenton pike nearly to the Henry House. At that time Griffin’s Battery of Porter’s Brigade, and Rickett’s Battery of our (Franklin’s) brigade, were pounding vigorously at a battery near the right of Stonewall’s position, the former from the northwest, and the latter from the northeast, angle of the cross-roads, and the enemy made but feeble reply. Stonewall had his trap set, and did not choose to disclose it. He was the strong man of that day. We drew up at Buck Hill, with eight other regiments, all screened from the enemy. There was our commanding general, and every division and brigade commander who had crossed Bull Run except Hunter, who was wounded, and Howard, who was held back at Sudley Ford. The commanders were all in consultation. The result was that Rickett’s Battery, supported by the First Minnesota, and Griffin’s Battery, supported by the Fourteenth New York of Porter’s Brigade, were sent to take position at the Henry House hill, within eighty rods of the enemy’s position. Near the Henry House a wood came down from the thicket, extending sixty rods along the left (east) of the Sudley road. This wood was surrounded by a rail fence, grown up on our side with scrub pine, so thick as to be impenetrable to the sight. We led off, marching by the flank, and followed by the batteries, coming under fire the first time, to the Warrenton pike, and then, on low ground, out of range, to the Sudley road again, which we followed across the creek (Young’s), and to the foot of the hill on the other side, when we filed left into the field, and then up the hill, coming by company into line, and then forward into line, with intent to form on the brink of the hill, the batteries to pass through the line at the centre, taking position a short distance in front.

When the first two companies on the right of the regiment came into line on the brink, we found ourselves about two rods from the Henry wood, the left of my company, the Second, about on a line with its northeast angle ; and, at the same time, Gen. Heintzelman, who had led our regiment to the foot of the hill, where it filed left, and then rode on by the road to the top, and across along the brink, gave our two companies the order, “Feel in the woods for the enemy,” to which we responded by volleys, and then by a continued fire. It would have been more sensible to have pushed a few skirmishers into the wood, who, in two minutes, would have notified us of the near approach of the enemy, although I suppose that within two, or at most three, minutes the regiment was in line at the brink, and the batteries in position, and the fate of the batteries determined. For they had barely unlimbered, and got in altogether but two or three shots, when the concentrated fire of all the enemy’s guns had killed all their horses and many of their men, practically disabling both the batteries. Griffin ascribes all his loss to the enemy in the woods, but the position of the dead horses close around the guns, and some barely detached from them, proves my account. There was, in fact, coming down the wood to meet us, at the time we opened our musketry fire, a brigade of the enemy, — that part of Stonewall’s masked line that had been stationed in the rear of this wood, — and which, on discovering the batteries, had pushed the Fourth Alabama Regiment to our front to cover that flank, and formed the other three regiments in close column, and advanced on the guns. Their advance from the woods was deliberate and quiet, and though perceived from the batteries, they were senselessly held by Griffin and Maj. Barry, the chief of artillery, as friends ; and so, coming close up, our regiment withholding its fire on account of the Griffin-Barry statement, delivered the first volley, which took effect in the centre of our regiment as well as the batteries, killing our color sergeant, and wounding three corporals of the color guard, and killing and wounding thirty men in the color company. Capt. Lewis McKune of Company G was killed, other companies suffered severely, and the colors were riddled with bullets.

The men of our regiment, at the centre and on the left, dropped on the slope and returned the fire, and we on the right, engaged in front, now for the first time discovering this enemy, turned our fire on his left rear at close range. But they pushed over the batteries, pretty well jammed up, and finally faced about toward us, and we expected their volley. Instead came a frantic waving of arms and fearful yells, of which we could not distinguish the words because of our-fire, which was kept up till the enemy faced to the rear, and after awhile gained distance enough to step out, and then to run, when we broke through the fence to follow alongside. We found the woods full of fleeing Alabamians, and picked up half a dozen too badly demoralized to run. I should have stated that before we crossed the fence, and at the height of our fire, we captured a mounted officer of the Second Mississippi, who had come around to us by the woods and Sudley road to “remonstrate against firing on our friends.” He was astonished on learning who we were. The Alabamians wore home-made clothing, — mostly red shirts ; and our red shirts, dim through the smoke, and in the supposed direction of the Alabamians, had misled the enemy’s charging column, and they got a taste of their own medicine. Beauregard says this charge was made by part of the Thirty-third Virginia. We saw distinctly three sets of colors — stars and bars — at the guns. We sent our prisoners to the Fourteenth New York, then drawn up very comfortably at ordered arms at the foot of the hill, with its right on the road. I never saw that regiment again, nor heard of the prisoners. Is it not strange that during all the while that our regiment was hotly engaged but a few rods in front, this regiment was held out of fire, to be stampeded (Griffin says), a few minutes later, by a few rebel horsemen? Generals of the regular army were there. The way was open, by the Sudley road and the thicket, to the enemy’s rear by a ten minutes’ march; and Beauregard’s charge or advance with his whole force, ten minutes after the repulse from our guns, above shown, left all his guns uncovered and unprotected for at least half an hour. After Griffin’s and Barry’s blunder in going into the concentrated fire of twenty-six guns at close range, and not un seen, and by the side of a wood filled with the enemy, their batteries were disabled in a minute. Yet they claim the guns were lost for lack of support. Were they not well supported when such an overwhelming and sudden attack was repulsed effectually by our regiment? Kirby of Rickett’s Battery was able to, and did, get off some of his guns. Could not Griffin have done the same? Beauregard says that just prior to the charge the Second Mississippi and Sixth North Carolina had been put in these woods, and engaged a large force, upon which they had inflicted severe loss on account of their superior marksmanship. Our two companies were the only men in the woods on our side who fired a shot above the brink of the hill prior to that charge. As for loss, one man in Company A was slightly wounded. The Eleventh Mississippi was brigaded with the Second Mississippi and Sixth North Carolina, and was probably with them in this charge: and the Thirty-third Virginia was in Stonewall’s Brigade. Gen. Bee and Col. Jones, Fourth Alabama, and Col. Fisher, Sixth North Carolina, were all killed about this time. Bee’s Brigade had rallied on Stonewall, which accounts for these regiments being together. To return: We followed the enemy to the thicket, where they disappeared. Our two companies then extended to a skirmish line, penetrating the thicket by cattle paths, and keeping up a lively skirmish fire as any of the enemy were seen dodging about. Then came the real rebel yell, as from their cover, down through the fields outside the woods, charged Beauregard’s whole command (except one brigade, still going the other way) to the guns. Now came the struggle between this force and Heintzelman, Sherman, Wilcox and Franklin for their possession. Beauregard says that from that time on he held our two batteries, as well as the plateau. The fact is not a man could stay on that plateau after the fight was over. It was covered effectually by the guns of both armies. I had forgotten to mention the Black Horse Cavalry, which passed and returned along the Sudley road, and were noticed as we penetrated the thicket. After the struggle for the guns, came Lieut. Col. Miller with reinforcements from the right companies of our regiment, which extended our skirmish line for some distance to the right across the road. Two or three regiments of the enemy appeared, but were held off by the skirmish fire, and disappeared. . After this came a charge of Howard’s Brigade into this wood, making a great racket, and firing, fortunately for us, overhead. Before they reached the front their fire subsided, and they were gone. The firing was heavier and more prolonged to the right. Beauregard says he sent then a brigade that cleared out Howard and Sykes’ regulars. I have no evidence of this. Long after this firing, and all sounds of battle, had ceased, being restive and anxious for news, I left my command and came back to the guns, which stood, powder-stained and grim, in the midst of slain men and horses. They looked forsaken; not a living creature was in sight in any direction. Soon, up the hill from behind the guns, came Gen. Wilcox, taking in the scene with sorrowful gaze. On inquiry I found he knew nothing of our troops or of the enemy. He then rode along the fence for the front. Hearing firing from my men, I left him at the southeast angle of the wood, at the edge of the thicket, and hastened toward them. They were watching the cattle paths, and now and then getting a shot. I explored for some distance, finally striking a field hospital, nurses and surgeons busy, and withdrew. Directly there was sharp firing in the wood across our rear, and, avoiding it, we drifted out to the road. Col. Miller, with the same feeling which had induced my visit to the guns, had moved toward them with his men, and met Preston’s Virginia regiment, and exchanged fire. Capt. Wilkin had joined him, and with my company I joined him as he came to the road, in a cut, where we made a good fight, and the enemy fell back toward our guns. We were now in some disorder, and got Company I’s flag (it is still preserved in Wabasha), borne by a gallant fellow, who, the next day, succeeded to the regimental colors, and formed upon it, counting off into two fair companies. We advanced along the fence toward the guns, driving the enemy into the thicket. Soon we got no reply, and, peering through the brush, found that the enemy had again relinquished the fight for the guns. Soon a lonesome feeling came over us — no other men in sight, and most of us suffering greatly from thirst. The men began to fall off, and Miller, with a reluctant glance toward the guns, gave the order to retire. Even then some lingered for a parting shot. The last, perched on a fence, and there himself a good mark, stayed till I insisted on his leaving. This poor fellow, Fred Miller of my company, had advanced furthest to the front of any man that day, and was at one time cut off from us by the enemy. On leaving the field he came across three of his comrades carrying a fourth to hospital, and, helping, was captured before the hospital was reached. He spent a long time in Southern prisons, and never rejoined the regiment. I had intended to omit some passages of my own adventure, but thinking one of them may shed some light on the general subject, I will give it. Gen. Beauregard mentions the last fight of the day, save some artillery firing from the Chinn house, as having occurred in the southwest angle of the cross-roads, where, as he says, Kershaw’s command attacked and drove off Sykes’ and Howard’s commands, who still lingered there. I suppose I was the force driven off. As I was about to start from the scene of the last action near the guns, I heard a man crying, and saw, about thirty rods to the right of the wood toward Chinn’s house, a soldier sitting on the ground, and went to him. He had dragged himself from the wood and was crying at seeing us leave, thinking himself abandoned. His leg was broken, the bone protruding. I quieted him, and, seeing a troop of our cavalry, hurried back. As I reached them I saw also what appeared to be a great force of our men advancing by the front of Buck Hill right about Dogan’s house. Just then one of the cavalry exclaimed, “The devils are coming,” and every horse whisked about, and the cavalry was off like a streak. I turned to see what was the matter, as a platoon of the enemy was making a left wheel out of the woods to the right into the road. Their sweep would have taken me in. Instinctively I broke for the ravine, putting into Chinn’s brook, the ravine being four or five rods from the angle of the woods. As I reached it I heard the chuck of the muskets, as they fell forward into the left hands, and dropped on my back on the slope, as the bullets buzzed like a nest of hornets past my head. I sprang up and, glancing back, saw a row of blank faces, astonished at seeing me break down the ravine, soon out of their fire. When I reached the brook three or four of our men were drinking. A Wisconsin man dropped dead in the brook as we started. A Fire Zouave jumped the brook at my side, and ran up the hill. He also dropped, but with my help reached the top and the shelter of a tree. The battery from Chinn’s house at this time threw shells down the brook, which is in line with the course of Young’s creek below their junction. My eye took in the course of the valley for half a mile, and there was not half a dozen men in the entire distance — boys lingering along the stream for water, whose retreat the shells expedited, and made ludicrous by their ducking to avoid them. This is the shelling which Beauregard describes as playing through, mangling and dispersing vast crowds of men. The platoon that routed myself was of Kershaw’s command, and was the only force of the enemy that, up to that time, had reached that angle. I soon reached the head of the column, near Dogan’s house, at the Warrenton pike. Gen. McDowell was there, his face turning alternately red and white with every pulsation, with Arnold’s Battery directed to the wood on the right of Chinn’s house, and its gunners ready to fire. Now, advancing in fine order down the plateau toward our abandoned guns, were two of the enemy’s brigades in line of battle, with cadenced step and bright uniforms, and arms glittering in the evening sun. Our own column, made up of men of all commands, was fast melting away, four men disappearing where one was put in line; and Gen. McDowell, on a suggestion that it was of no use to try to hold the place, with great staff officer dignity directed his aid “to please request Capt. Arnold to recede in this direction,” pointing to the Sudley road. Capt. Arnold was within six feet, heard the direction, and was ready, and had his horses on the gallop almost as soon as the message was transmitted, the general and staff following close after. Looking back, our column had disappeared, breaking across lots for Sudley Ford. As I passed along a fence a glance showed the enemy making a final charge on, and leaping with huzzas upon, our abandoned guns, from which they had been thrice driven, twice by our regiment alone. I will close by the observation, impressed on me at the time, that, except at the guns, on their first two advances, the enemy behaved timidly, and advanced with hesitation and seeming dread. This was apparent when they were held so long in the woods by a thin line of skirmishers, and when a whole regiment, making the third attack on the guns, was repulsed by not more than two companies. Company A brought in one captured officer, a Col. Coon of a Georgia regiment.

There is little to add to Gen. Colvill’s narrative, save some further account of the left companies of the regiment, which were separated from the right companies when Rickett’s guns were taken back through the centre of the regiment, and by the movements of the right companies, described by Colvill, which took them away from the left. In moving by company into line, in the brush, as we neared the top of the hill, the left companies were the last to get into line at the edge of a narrow clearing, into which the batteries had just passed. There was already firing at the right of the regiment, but the occasion was not understood. In a few minutes a strong body of infantry appeared in the edge of the wood just opposite us, and fifteen or twenty rods away, dressed in gray, but without showing colors. Many called out that this was the enemy, and prepared to fire. But from the batteries came the word that these were friends, and Col. Gorman forbade firing. Our Massachusetts volunteers and some others wore gray uniforms, which probably was the cause of the mistake. Almost at the moment of Gorman’s order we received the fire of this line, which extended far beyond, opposite us, on the left; and, at the same time, the enemy’s batteries, less than eighty rods away to our left, and in plain view, opened a heavy enfilading fire, and, between the two, the regiment and batteries with us suffered as detailed by Gen. Colvill. Kirby’s men got off a part of Rickett’s Battery, but all other guns were deserted by the surviving gunners, all the horses, and many of the men, being killed or disabled. The left companies dropped on their knees, and, as the enemy made a rush for the guns, poured in an effective fire, which, aided by the fire from, the right, described by Gen. Colvill, caused them to retire after the guns were reached. Getting again in the shelter of the wood, they returned our fire, which was steadily kept up, and their batteries again opened on our line. As this enfilading fire from the artillery was effective and well directed, and the enemy had mostly disappeared from our immediate front, we were ordered back, and retired in good order to the foot of the hill, where we remained for a considerable time, and were then ordered back to Buck Hill, where our knapsacks had been left. We were thence conducted across the Sudley Ford, and found the remains of several regiments which had been engaged. Here we were joined by a considerable part of the right companies of our regiment; and, as it grew late in the afternoon, Gov. Sprague, then commanding a Rhode Island regiment, rode up with information, confirming our fears, that the general result of the battle was disaster, and proposed retreat to Centreville. Gen. Gorman offered the First Minnesota as rear guard, but as Sprague insisted on taking that position, our regiment moved off next to the rear, in perfect order, in column by platoons. After awhile a large body of our cavalry came, in a disordered rush from the rear, along the road, and our men had to break to the right and left to let them pass, and did not afterward try to keep in regular order. All the way was found, in broken wagons and abandoned material, confirmation of the disaster; and at one place, not far from Centreville, the enemy was shelling the road over which we passed. Going through Centreville, we halted near our bivouac of the night before about dark, so much fatigued that most of the men dropped upon the ground, and were asleep at once, expecting a renewal of the battle the next day. In about half an hour the cooks called us up for coffee, and to receive the order to inarch at once for Alexandria. This was the hardest of all. We knew we had met with a repulse, but had not realized that it was to be accepted as defeat, and the prospect of a march of twenty-five miles, after such a day of phenomenal heat, long marches and hard fighting, seemed an impossible undertaking. How it was accomplished cannot be told. The writer, carrying knapsack, haversack, musket, and complete soldier’s outfit, was, on this march, several times awakened from deep sleep by stumbling against some obstruction. In the forenoon of the next day we were back in our tents at Alexandria, thoroughly exhausted and soon asleep, but in the afternoon were called up and marched to Washington, six miles or more, by way of Long Bridge. This was done in a heavy rain, and we were compelled to stand on the street more than an hour, in torrents of rain, when churches and halls were assigned for temporary shelter. Some, assigned to Bishop Mcllvaine’s church, were immediately supplied by the good bishop with coffee and plenty to eat, and, in other places, our constant friend, Col. Aldrich, appeared promptly with a troop of colored servants, bearing pails of hot coffee, baskets of eatables, and other comforts, most acceptable in our drenched and exhausted condition. The regiment never had a warmer or more efficient friend than Col. Aldrich. Generous and open-handed, he was always ready and alert to do everything in his power for the regiment, or for any man belonging to it, while his cheery voice and genial humor brought jollity and good-feeling whenever he appeared.

An obvious fault on the federal side in the battle of Bull Run consisted in putting the troops into action in small detached bodies, without properly ascertaining the position or strength of the opposing force, or even properly regarding what was in plain view. The result was that in almost every attack our force there was too small, and was beaten in detail. When we came upon Buck Hill we saw the New York Fire Zouaves, which had been sent from that position, alone go up to the attack of the enemy’s line, and it was of course defeated in brief time. There was no reason why several regiments there idle were not sent with it, or with us, when we were sent just after. Even the Fourteenth New York, which followed us, was not put into action with us, but left idle at the foot of the hill. And it is hard to understand why we and the two batteries were put on that plateau at all, swept as it was by so many Confederate batteries, so near and plainly in sight. Untenable as the position was, the men of the First Regiment fought like veterans, and it received special commendation in the reports of both Franklin and Heintzelman. The character of its fighting appears from its losses, which were forty-two killed, one hundred and eight wounded, and thirty missing, one hundred and eighty in all, being more than twenty percent of the men engaged, and the heaviest loss, in proportion to men engaged, of any regiment in that battle. The missing were nearly all wounded prisoners in the hands of the enemy. The surgeon and assistant surgeon remained in attendance upon the wounded on the field, when they might have escaped with the retreating troops, and were detained as prisoners. Their skillful care of our wounded doubtless saved many lives, and as they were treated with marked consideration by the Confederates during their captivity, and allowed to look after the welfare of their men to some extent, they attended to the cures, and alleviated, in many ways, the condition of their wounded comrades. They never returned to the regiment, as their places had to be filled before they were released, and for the time being they were nominally transferred to other organizations. Both were gentlemen of highest professional standing and skill, and of most genial, companionable traits. Surg. Stewart had been mayor of St. Paul, and, being a man of untiring energy, had, aside from his professional duties, always taken an active, intelligent part in all public affairs, in which his sagacity, disinterestedness and personal magnetism gave him great influence. After being exchanged he remained at St. Paul on duty connected with the mastering in of troops. After the war he was elected member of Congress, and afterward appointed United States surveyor general of Minnesota. He died at St. Paul, Aug. 25, 1884. Asst. Surg. C. W. Le Boutillier became surgeon of the Ninth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, and died in the service, April 3, 1863.

William Lochren, “Narrative of the First Regiment,” in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-1865, Minnesota. Board of Commissioners (Minneapolis: Pioneer Press Company, 1892), pp. 7-13.

Contributed by John Hennessy

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