Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Wisconsin in the Civil War

A Good Samaritan is Taken Prisoner

Private Robert Scott of Company B, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, writes to his mother in La Crosse about being captured after the Battle of Gainesville, Virginia, August 28, 1862.

We had the battlefield until 10 o'clock that night [Aug. 28, 1862], when our army fell back carrying with them all the wounded who were able to be moved; and those who were so severely wounded as not to be able to endure moving — numbering about 60 — were left behind, without anyone to give them a drink of water, or wait on them in any manner. The poor fellows begged of James Blakeslee and me so piteously to remain and not desert them as others had done, we remained, and in consequence were captured in the morning by the rebels. The surgeon left in charge of the hospital had also desired us to stay to carry water and assist in dressing wounds.

The rebels are nearly destitute of food and clothing. I paid $2 to gold for two hard crackers, and $1 for four small biscuits. From the time we were taken until the following Wednesday, when we came within our lines, we received but two little pieces of fresh beef, and so hungry were some of our boys that they actually picked up corn out of the dirt, where the cavalry had been fed. I hope in God I never shall see such times again. Our hearts leaped with joy when again under the protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes, and though the present seems cloudy, I am firm in the belief that the cause of the Union is yet sound, and has many stout arms to support it.

Source: E.B. Quiner Scrapbooks: "Correspondence of the Wisconsin Volunteers, 1861-1865," Volume 2, page 300.

View the full document

Wilson Colwell, Captain of Company B of the 2nd Infantry.
Wilson Colwell, Captain of Company B of the 2nd Infantry.

WHI 69931
New Site!


These collection items are now on our new website.

Click the "View Collection" button below to view the new website in a new window or tab.

View Collection

Browse all Civil War stories by category:

View all stories

select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text