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Wisconsin in the Civil War

Doubt and Despair Plague a Recovering Soldier

An anonymous soldier wounded at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8, 1862, writes about the low morale of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry while at a Louisville hospital.

Our reg. has not slept under tents but 3 nights since we left Wis., and has been kept on the tilt, not stopping on the same camping ground over two days at any one time, so you can imagine we have had very little time for drill. The exposure of troops kills off more men than are killed in battle, but soldiers are mules in the government service, are supposed not to have any souls; remonstrance would be considered presumptuous. Until they make a distinction between men and mules no man should ever enlist, or go into service unless he has a constitution equal to a mule and likes to be treated like a Dog. I do not grumble that I have not, or our regt., received as good treatment as the rest. Desertions are becoming numerous throughout our army, and the opinion is becoming very prevalent (although we of course do not have a chance to keep posted as those at home where they have the daily papers) that the difficulty never can be settled by fighting, or at least will not be until there is a great change in the programme. Last Saturday it snowed about 3 inches here…

Source: E.B. Quiner Scrapbooks: "Correspondence of the Wisconsin Volunteers, 1861-1865," Volume 2, page 198.

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Soldiers in the 1st Infantry.
Soldiers in the 1st Infantry.

WHI 33518
Map of the battlefield at Perryville.
Map of the battlefield at Perryville.

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