"Among our fellow citizens we have not a few who have served their native or adopted country in a war which it had to wage with domestic enemies. When, after the firing on Fort Sumpter by the Rebels, and the formal secession of most of the Southern states, it became apparent to every citizen that the Union could only be preserved by the force of arms, and when President Lincoln issued his call for 75,000 volunteers, patriotic enthusiasm rose to the highest pitch, and four times as many men were actually enrolled within a few days. After the disaster of the first Bull Run fight, the enthusiasm, which had been somewhat subdued by the slow preparations for the campaign, rose higher than ever, and the determination to put down the rebellion assumed the practical form of heavy enlistments in all parts of the loyal states."
Excerpted from "History of Buffalo County, Wisconsin, by L Kessinger, 1888, Alma, Wisconsin
The volumes reproduced list all the soldiers known to have participated in Wisconsin's Civil War regiments. Known as the Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, these two volumes were compiled in 1886 from original archival records, and their alphabetical index was published in 1914.
LETTERS & JOURNALS
Two compilations of letters from Civil War soldiers have been published from Buffalo County soldiers volunteering during the Civil War. It's a great perspective of two soldiers in the same unit, fighting the same battles, writing back to home at the same time.
THE IRON BRIGADE, THE EASTERN ARMY
6th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, Company G
BUFFALO COUNTY RIFLES
A group of the men who volunteered to join the Union Army from Buffalo County, Wisconsin were known as The Buffalo County Rifles.
They were part of the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry which became known as The Iron Brigade ... the only all-Western brigade in the Eastern armies of the Union. Under the command of Ulysses S Grant for most of the war, they were the First Brigade of the First Division of the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac and proud of the distinction.
Originally they were called "The Black Hat Brigade" because the soldiers wore the regular army's dress black tall hat instead of the more typical blue cap. Later they became known as The Iron Brigadebecause they "stood like iron" in the face of withering enemy fire at the battle of Stone Mountain.
John MOY of Gilmanton, Wisconsin ... 6th Wisconsin Infantry, Company H ... The Iron Brigade
John MOY of Gilmington, Buffalo County, Wisconsin Civil War photograph of John MOY of Gilmanton, Buffalo County, Wisconsin who served in Company H of the 6th Regiment of the Wisconsin Infantry, part of the famous Iron Brigade.
MOY was born in Switzerland in 1838, emigrated with his family in the summer of 1854 to the United States, arrived in New York, moved to Ohio where his parents died, and then finally settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin with his four brothers.
Along with his brother Jacob, John MOY enlisted in May of 1861 and served as one of Captain John HAUSER's "Blond Geese." He served for three more years fighting in the battles of Groveton, Virginia, Fredricksburg, Maryland, Chancellorsville, Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His final fight was Wilderness, Virginia where he was mortally wounded at Spottsylvania and died May 12, 1864.
The photograph above, taken just weeks after the battle of Gettsyburg, shows John MOY in full military attire posed with one hand on his hip and another on his rifle. The photographer's backdrop depicts a military encampment and an American flag is draped over the backdrop.
THE WESTERN ARMY
25th Infantry Regiment, Company G
The 25th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Salomon in La Crosse and mustered into service on September 14, 1862. The regiment was then ordered to St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 19, and assigned to duty on the Northwestern frontier briefly during the Sioux Uprising. It then moved to Camp Randall in Madison, where it remained until February, 1863.
The regiment departed Wisconsin again on February 17, 1863, for Cairo, Illinois, and then traveled to Columbus, Kentucky. During the war the regiment moved through Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Virginia, and finally to Washington D.C., where it was mustered out on June 7, 1865. It participated in the sieges of Vicksburg, Atlanta, and Savannah, the battles of Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta, and Jonesboro, Sherman's March to the Sea, and the campaign of the Carolinas which included the Battle of Bentonville and the surrender of the Confederate army.
The regiment lost 460 men during service. Three officers and 46 enlisted men were killed. Seven officers and 402 enlisted men died from disease.