Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Saturday May 11, 1861

William went to town and Lizzie Cutler and Lucy Dawes came home with him.  Lucy has just received a letter from her brother Rufus in Wisconsin.  He has raised a company of seventy-eight men and received every vote for captain.  They are called the "Lemonweir Minute Men", and hope soon to be mustered into the United States service.  He says:  "The men are most of them tough and hardy as pine knots.  We hope to get the Zouave drill.  The men expect and earnestly desire to go, and wait impatiently their turn.  I have no rowdies, no drunkards, no off-scourings of society, but the very flower of Juneau, Adams and Badaxe counties.  I shall esteem it an honor worthy a better life than mine to be permitted to lead them in this glorious struggle."  He expresses a great deal of solicitude for his friends upon the border.  He says:  "If the thing is possible there is not a man in my company who would not take as much pleasure in following us to the assistance of Marietta as I would in leading them to the rescue of my nearest and dearest friends on earth."  If called into the active service Rufus will prove himself a true soldier and a true man.
Today's paper, Cincinnati Gazette, says that 800 secessionists were surrounded by a body of United States soldiers in St. Louis and given fifteen minutes to decide whether they would fight or surrender.  The concluded wisely to do the latter and were disarmed and marched prisoners of war to the arsenal.  Quite a number of arms lately sent them from the south were taken.  The mob assailed the soldiers who in turn fired on them.  The government also captured the Winan steam gun, which was being transported from Baltimore to Harpers Ferry, which place is still in the hands of secessionists.  Mr. and Mrs. B. C. Bailey called.

Editor's comments:

Rufus Dawes, 1861

  • Rufus R. Dawes, a nephew of Julia Cutler, and a brother to Lucy, Kate, Jennie and Ephraim Dawes, was in Wisconsin working for his father when Lincoln's call for volunteers went out.  He recruited volunteers and his Lemonweir Minute Men (named after a peaceful river in a familiar valley in Wisconsin) became part of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, later part of the Iron Brigade with the Army of the Potomac.  Union companies of volunteers choose their own names and elected their own captains.  The Zouave drill refers to one of several companies that adopted the name and uniform of well-respected North African inspired fighting units. 

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