"Starkweather, John Converse (May 11, 1830-Nov. 15, 1890), lawyer, soldier, b. Cooperstown, N.Y. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., and in 1849 moved to Wisconsin, settling in Milwaukee, where he studied law and set up a practice about 1851. In 1855 he helped organize the Milwaukee Light Guard, and from 1857 to 1861 served as its captain. During the Civil War, Starkweather served as colonel, 1st Wisconsin Volunteers. He campaigned with the Army of the Cumberland in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia (1861-1863). Wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, Starkweather was ordered to duty on general court martial in Washington D.C., serving in this capacity from 1864 until mustered out of the service in May, 1865, was post commander at various points in Tennesee and Alabama. In Nov., 1862, while on leave in Milwaukee, Starkweather was ordered by Governor Edward Salomon to take charge of local troops and guard the city during the drawing numbers for the draft. After leaving the army in 1865, Starkweather resided in Oconomowoc, where for a number of years, he engaged in stock farming and served by appointment from President U.S. Grant as postmaster. About 1876 he moved to Washington D.C., where he conducted a general law and pension claims office until his death." (State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, 1960, p. 336-337.)
John C. Starkweather's widow and daughter (Mrs. H.V. Wurdemann) donated the painting and other personal mementos of his to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Historical Society) in 1911. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/museum/collections/online/Detlobjps.cfm?ObjectID=25052
Inscribed in ink on the back of the canvas is: "Presented to the/ "Milwaukee Light Guard"/ by the Artist,/ private C.V. Bond./ Milwaukee, Oct. 21st, 1858".