Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

A Colonel Tricks His Confederate Captors

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

A Colonel Tricks His Confederate Captors | Wisconsin Historical Society

A veteran of the 19th Wisconsin Infantry recalls how Lieutenant Colonel Rollin M. Strong of Reedsburg outwitted Confederate soldiers after he was captured in the fog near Petersburg, Virginia, on May 16, 1864. All lost in the fog, he tricked them into walking back to where the colonel's regiment stood.

Enlarge Portait of Rollin Strong in his civil war uniform.

Colonel Rollin M. Strong

Civil War colonel with the 19th Wisconsin Volunteers. View the original source document: WHI 33497

From Original Text: Col. Strong went out in front of his lines to investigate the situation and while lost in the fog was captured by three Confederates.

His captors asked him which direction he had come from and the colonel, who was very sharp and witty and suspected that the Johnnies were also lost in the fog, so he told them that he had come from the direction in which the Confederate lines lay.

The rebels, thinking that they were advancing to their own lines, walked into the midst of Colonel Strong's regiment and were taken prisoners and the colonel released.

One of the rebs remarked as he saw how they had been fooled, "Another one of your damned Yankee tricks."

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How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

"Newspaper clippings, 1861-1930, Vol. 3" (Clipped from the Reedsburg Times, October 6, 1916.)