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Reminiscences of Pioneer Days in St. Paul by Frank Moore

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one of the landmarks of the city for a good many years. It was built
in 1849, and the territorial politicians generally selected this hotel
as their headquarters. Although it was of very peculiar architecture,
the interior fittings were of a modern character. On a stormy night in
the month of December, 1863, an alarm of fire was sent in from this
hotel, but before the fire department reached the locality the fire
was beyond their control. The weather was bitter cold, and the water
would be frozen almost as soon as it left the hose. Finding their
efforts fruitless to save the building, the firemen turned their
attention to saving the guests. There were some very narrow escapes,
but no accidents of a very serious nature. As usual, thieves were
present and succeeded in carrying off a large amount of jewelry and
wearing apparel belonging to the guests.

* * * * *

In the year of 1856 Mackubin & Edgerton erected a fine three-story
brick building on the corner of Third and Franklin streets. It was
occupied by them as a banking house for a long time. The business
center having been moved further down the street, they were compelled
to seek quarters on Bridge Square. After the bank moved out of
this building it was leased to Bechtner & Kottman, and was by them
remodeled into a hotel on the European plan at an expense of about
$20,000. It was named the Cosmopolitan hotel, and was well patronized.
When the alarm of fire was given it was full of lodgers, many of whom
lost all they possessed. The Linden theatrical company, which was
playing at the Athenaeum, was among the heavy sufferers. At this fire
a large number of frame buildings on the opposite side of the street
were destroyed.

When the Cosmopolitan hotel burned the walls of the old building were
left standing, and although they were pronounced dangerous by the city
authorities, had not been demolished. Dr. Schell, one of the best
known physicians of the city, occupied a little frame building near
the hotel, and he severely denounced the city authorities for their
lax enforcement of the law. One night at 10 o'clock the city was
visited by a terrific windstorm, and suddenly a loud crash was heard
in the vicinity of the doctor's office. A portion of the walls of the
hotel had fallen and the little building occupied by the doctor had
been crushed in. The fire alarm was turned on and the fire laddies
were soon on the spot. No one supposed the doctor was alive, but after
the firemen had been at work a short time they could hear the voice
of the doctor from underneath the rubbish. In very vigorous English,
which the doctor knew so well how to use, he roundly upbraided the
fire department for not being more expeditious in extricating him from
his perilous position. After the doctor had been taken out of the
ruins It was found that he had not been seriously injured, and in the
course of a few weeks was able to resume practice.

* * * * *

During the winter of 1868 the Emmert house, situated on Bench street
near Wabasha, was destroyed by fire. The Emmert house was built in
territorial times by Fred Emmert, who for some time kept a hotel and
boarding house at that place. It had not been used for hotel purposes
for some time, but was occupied by a colored family and used as a
boarding-house for colored people. While the flames were rapidly
consuming the old building the discovery was made that a man and
his wife were sick in one of the rooms with smallpox. The crowd of
onlookers fled in terror, and they would have been burned alive had
not two courageous firemen carried them out of the building. It was
an unusually cold night and the colored people were dumped into the
middle of the street and there allowed to remain. They were provided
with clothing and some of the more venturesome even built a fire for
them, but no one would volunteer to take them to a place of shelter.
About 10 o'clock on the following day the late W.L. Wilson learned
of the unfortunate situation of the two colored people, and he
immediately procured a vehicle and took them to a place of safety, and
also saw that they were thereafter properly cared for.

* * * * *

On the site of the old postoffice on the corner of Wabasha and Fifth
streets stood the Mansion house, a three-story frame building erected
by Nicholas Pottgieser in early days at an expense of $12,000. It was
a very popular resort and for many years the weary traveler there
received a hearty welcome.

A very exciting event occurred at this house during the summer of
1866. A man by the name of Hawkes, a guest at the hotel, accidentally
shot and instantly killed his young and beautiful wife. He was
arrested and tried for murder, but after a long and sensational trial
was acquited.

* * * * *

The greatest hotel fire in the history of St. Paul occurred on the
night of Feb. 3, 1869. The International hotel (formerly the Fuller
house) was situated on the northeast corner of Seventh and Jackson
streets, and was erected by A.G. Fuller in 1856. It was built of brick
and was five stories high. It cost when completed, about $110,000. For
years it had been the best hotel in the West. William H. Seward and
the distinguished party that accompanied him made this hotel their
headquarters during their famous trip to the West in 1860. Gen. Pope
and Gen. Sibley had their headquarters in this building, and from here
emanated all the orders relating to the war against the rebellious
Sioux. In 1861 the property came into the possession of Samuel Mayall,
and he changed the name of it from Fuller house to International
hotel. Col. E.C. Belote, who had formerly been the landlord of the
Merchants, was the manager of the hotel. The fire broke out in the
basement, it was supposed from a lamp in the laundry. The night was
intensely cold, a strong gale blowing from the northwest. Not a soul
could be seen upon the street. Within this great structure more than
two hundred guests were wrapped in silent slumber. To rescue them from
their perilous position was the problem that required instant action
on the part of the firemen and the hotel authorities. The legislature
was then in session, and many of the members were among the guests who
crowded the hotel. A porter was the first to notice the blaze, and
he threw a pail water upon it, but with the result that it made no
impression upon the flames. The fire continued to extend, and the
smoke became very dense and spread into the halls, filling them
completely, rendering breathing almost an impossibility. In the
meantime the alarm had been given throughout the house, and the
guests, both male and female, came rushing out of the rooms in their
night Clothes. The broad halls of the hotel were soon filled with a
crowd of people who hardly knew which way to go in order to find their
way to the street. The servant girls succeeded in getting out first,
and made their way to the snow-covered streets without sufficient
clothing to protect their persons, and most of them were without
shoes. While the people were escaping from the building the fire was
making furious and rapid progress. From the laundry the smoke issued
into every portion of the building. There was no nook or corner that
the flames did not penetrate. The interior of the building burned with
great rapidity until the fire had eaten out the eastern and southern
rooms, when the walls began to give indications of falling. The upper
portion of them waved back and forth in response to a strong wind,
which filled the night air with cinders. At last different portions of
the walls fell, thus giving the flames an opportunity to sweep from
the lower portions of the building. Great gusts, which seemed to
almost lift the upper floors, swept through the broken walls. High up
over the building the flames climbed, carrying with them sparks and
cinders, and in come instances large pieces of timber. All that saved
the lower part of the city from fiery destruction was the fact that a
solid bed of snow a foot deep lay upon the roofs of all the buildings.
During all this time there was comparative quiet, notwithstanding the
fact that the fire gradually extended across Jackson street and also
across Seventh street. Besides the hotel, six or eight other buildings
were also on fire, four of which were destroyed. Women and men were to
be seen hurrying out of the burning buildings in their night
clothes, furniture was thrown into the street, costly pianos, richly
upholstered furniture, valuable pictures and a great many other
expensive articles were dropped in the snow in a helter-skelter
manner. Although nearly every room in the hotel was occupied and
rumors flew thick and fast that many of the guests were still in their
rooms, fortunately no lives were lost and no one was injured. The
coolest person in the building was a young man by the name of Pete
O'Brien, the night watchman. When he heard of the fire he comprehended
in a moment the danger of a panic among over two hundred people who
were locked in sleep, unconscious of danger. He went from room to room
and from floor to floor, telling them of the danger, but assuring them
all that they had plenty of time to escape. He apparently took command
of the excited guests and issued orders like a general on the field of
battle. To his presence of mind and coolness many of the guests were
indebted for their escape from a frightful death. The fire department
worked hard and did good service. The city had no waterworks at that
time, but relied for water entirely upon cisterns located in different
parts of the city. When the cisterns became dry it was necessary
to place the steamer at the river and pump water through over two
thousand feet of hose.

Among the guests at the hotel at the time of the fire were Gen. C.C.
Andrews, Judge Lochren, Capt. H.A. Castle, Gen. W.G. Le Duc, Selah
Chamberlain, Gov. Armstrong and wife, Charles A. Gilman and wife,
Dr. W.W. Mayo, I.W. Webb, Dr. Charles N. Hewitt, M.H. Dunnell, Judge
Thomas Wilson and more than two hundred others.

* * * * *

The Park Place hotel on the corner of Summit avenue and St. Peter
street, was at one time one of of the swell hotels of the city. It
was a frame building, four stories high and nicely situated. The
proprietors of it intended it should be a family hotel, but it did not
meet with the success anticipated, and when, on the 19th of May, 1878,
it was burned to the ground it was unoccupied. The fire was thought
to be the work of incendiaries. The loss was about $20,000, partially
insured. Four firemen were quite seriously injured at this fire, but
all recovered.

* * * * *

The Carpenter house, on the corner of Summit avenue and Ramsey street,
was built by Warren Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter was a man of colossal
ideas, and from the picturesque location of his hotel, overlooking the
city, he could see millions of tourists flocking to his hostelry. The
panic of 1857, soon followed by the great Civil war, put a quietus on
immigration, and left him stranded high on the beach. Mr. Carpenter's
dream of millions were far from being realized, and when on the 26th
of January, 1879, the hotel was burned to the ground, it had for some
time previous passed beyond his control.

* * * * *

At one time there were three flourishing hotels on Bench street.
The average citizen of to-day does not know that such a street ever
existed. The Central house, on the corner of Bench and Minnesota
streets, was the first hotel of any pretension built in the city,
and it was one of the last to be burned. The first session of the
territorial legislature of Minnesota was held in the dining room of
this old hotel building, and for a number of years the hotel did a
thriving business. As the city grew it was made over into a large
boarding house, and before the war Mrs. Corbett was manager of the
place. It was afterward kept by Mrs. Ferguson, George Pulford and Ben
Ferris, the latter being in possession of it when it was destroyed by
fire. The building was burned In August, 1873.

* * * * *

A hotel that was very popular for some time was the Greenman house,
situated on the corner of Fifth and St. Peter streets, the site of the
Windsor hotel. It was a three-story frame structure and was built in
the early seventies. Mr. Greenman kept the hotel for some time, and
then sold it to John Summers, who was the owner of it when it was

* * * * *

The Merchants is the only one of the old hotels still existing, and
that only in name, as the original structure was torn down to make
room for the present building many years ago.

* * * * *

Aside from the hotel fires one of the most appalling calamities that
ever occurred at a fire in St. Paul took place in May, 1870, when the
old Concert Hall building on Third street, near Market, was destroyed.
Concert Hall was built by the late J.W. McClung in 1857, and the hall
in the basement was one of the largest in the city. The building was
three stories high in front and six or seven on the river side. It
was located about twenty-five feet back from the sidewalk. Under the
sidewalk all kinds of inflamable material was stored and it was from
here that the fire was first noticed. In an incredibly short time
flames reached the top of the building, thus making escape almost
impossible. On the river side of the building on the top floor two
brothers, Charles and August Mueller, had a tailor shop. The fire
spread so rapidly that the building was completely enveloped in flames
before they even thought their lives were endangered. In front of them
was a seething mass of flames and the distance to the ground on the
river side was so great that a leap from the window meant almost
certain death. They could be plainly seen frantically calling for
help. There was no possible way to reach them. Finally Charles Mueller
jumped out on the window sill and made a leap for life, and an instant
later he was followed by his brother. The bewildered spectators did
not suppose for a moment that either could live. They were too much
horrified to speak, but when it was over and they were lifted into
beds provided for them doctors were called and recovery was pronounced
possible. After months of suffering both recovered. August Mueller is
still living in the city. A lady by the name of McClellan, who had a
dressmaking establishment in the building, was burned to death and it
was several days before her body was recovered.

The following named men have been chiefs of the St. Paul fire

Wash M. Stees,
Chas. H. Williams,
J.C.A. Pickett,
W.T. Donaldson,
J.B. Irvine,
J.E. Missen,
Luther H. Eddy,
B. Rodick,
M.B. Farrell,
J.C. Prendergast,
Bartlett Presley,
Frank Brewer,
R.O. Strong,
John T. Black,
Hart N. Cook,
John Jackson.



Very few of the 200,000 inhabitants of St. Paul are aware that the
three-story, three-cornered building on Third street at Seven Corners
once contained one of the most popular amusement halls in the city. It
was called Irvine hall, and at one time Melodeon hall. Dan Emmet had a
minstrel company at this hall during the years 1857 and 1858, and an
excellent company it was, too. There was Frank Lombard, the great
baritone; Max Irwin, bones, and one of the funniest men who ever sat
on the stage; Johnny Ritter, female impersonator and clog dancer, and
a large number of others. Frank Lombard afterward achieved a national
reputation as one of the best baritone singers in the country. He
was much sought after for patriotic entertainments and political
conventions. His masterpiece was the Star-Spangled Banner, and his
great baritone voice, which could be heard for blocks, always brought
enthusiastic applause. Some time during the summer of 1858 the
Hutchinson family arranged to have the hall for a one-night
entertainment. By some means or other the troupe got separated and one
of the brothers got stalled on Pig's Eye bar. When their performance
was about half over the belated brother reached the hall and rushed
frantically down the aisle, with carpetbag in hand, leaped upon the
stage, and in full view of the audience proceeded to kiss the entire
tribe. The audience was under the impression they had been separated
for years instead of only twenty-four hours. The next evening Max
Irwin was missing from his accustomed place as one of the end men, and
when the performance had been in progress for about fifteen minutes
Max came rushing down the aisle with carpetbag in hand and went
through the same performance as did the lost brother of the Hutchinson
family. The effect was electrical, and for some time Max's innovation
was the talk of the town. Dan Emmet, though a wondering minstrel, was
a very superior man and was his own worst enemy. He was a brother of
Lafayette S. Emmett, chief justice of the supreme court of the State
of Minnesota. The judge, dignified and aristocratic, did not take
kindly to the idea of his brother being a minstrel. Dan was not
particularly elated because his brother was on the supreme bench. They
were wholly indifferent as to each other's welfare. They did not even
spell their names the same way. Dan had only one "t" at the end of his
name, while the judge used two. Whether the judge used two because
he was ashamed of Dan, or whether Dan used only one because he was
ashamed of the judge, no one seemed to know. Dan Emmet left a legacy
that will be remembered by the lovers of melody for many years. What
left the judge? When Emmet's company left St. Paul they got stranded
and many of them found engagements in other organizations. Dan turned
his attention to writing negro melodies. He wrote several popular
airs, one of them being "Dixie," which afterward became the national
air of the Confederate States. When "Dixie" was written Emmet was
connected with Bryant's Minstrels in New York city, and he sent a copy
to his friend in St. Paul, the late R.C. Munger, and asked his opinion
as to its merits and whether he thought it advisable to place it
in the hands of a publisher. Mr. Munger assured his friend that he
thought it would make a great hit, and he financially assisted Mr.
Emmet in placing it before the public. One of the first copies printed
was sent to Mr. Munger, and the first time this celebrated composition
was ever sung in the West was in the music store of Munger Bros, in
the old concert hall building on Third street. "Dixie" at once became
very popular, and was soon on the program of every minstrel troupe in
the country. Dan Emmet devoted his whole life to minstrelsy and he
organized the first traveling minstrel troupe in the United States,
starting from some point in Ohio in 1843.

The father of the Emmets was a gallant soldier of the War of 1812, and
at one time lived in the old brown frame house at the intersection of
Ramsey and West Seventh streets, recently demolished. A correspondent
of one of the magazines gives the following account of how "Dixie"
happened to become the national air of the Confederate States:

"Early in the war a spectacular performance was being given in New
Orleans. Every part had been filled, and all that was lacking was a
march and war song for the grand chorus. A great many marches and
songs were tried, but none could be decided upon until 'Dixie' was
suggested and tried, and all were so enthusiastic over it that it
was at once adopted and given in the performance. It was taken up
immediately by the populace and was sung in the streets and in homes
and concert halls daily. It was taken to the battlefields, and there
became the great song of the South, and made many battles harder
for the Northerner, many easier for the Southerner. Though it has
particularly endeared itself to the South, the reunion of American
hearts has made it a national song. Mr. Lincoln ever regarded it as a
national property by capture."

* * * * *

The Hutchinson family often visited St. Paul, the enterprising town of
Hutchinson, McLeod county, being named after them. They were a very
patriotic family and generally sang their own music. How deliberate
the leader of the tribe would announce the title of the song about to
be produced. Asa Hutchinson would stand up behind the melodeon,
and with a pause between each word inform the audience that
Shoes.'" And sister Abby would sing it, too. During the early
part of the war the Hutchinson family was ordered out of the Army of
the Potomac by Gen. McClellan on account of the abolition sentiments
expressed in its songs. The general was apparently unable to interpret
the handwriting on the wall, as long before the war was ended the
entire army was enthusiastically chanting that beautiful melody to the
king of abolitionists--

"John Brown's body lies moldering in the grave
And his soul is marching on."

Gen. McClellan was at one time the idol of the army, as well as of the
entire American people. Before the war he was chief engineer of the
Illinois Central railroad and made frequent trips to St. Paul to see
the future Mrs. McClellan, a Miss Marcy, daughter of Maj. R.B. Marcy
of the regular army, who lived in the old Henry M. Rice homestead on
Summit avenue. When Gen. McClellan was in command of the Army of the
Potomac Maj. Marcy was his chief of staff.

One of the original Hutchinsons is still living, as indicated by the
following dispatch, published since the above was written:

"Chicago, Ill., Jan. 4, 1902.--John W. Hutchinson, the last survivor
of the famous old concert-giving Hutchinson family, which
was especially prominent in anti-bellum times, received many
congratulations to-day on the occasion of his eighty-first birthday,
Mr. Hutchinson enjoys good health and is about to start on a new
singing and speaking crusade through the South, this time against the
sale and us of cigarettes. Mr. Hutchinson made a few remarks to the
friends who had called upon him, in the course of which he said: 'I
never spent a more enjoyable birthday than this, except upon the
occasion of my seventy-fifth, which I spent in New York and was
tendered a reception by the American Temperance union, of which I was
the organizer. Of course you will want me to sing to you, and I
think I will sing my favorite song, which I wrote myself. It is "The
Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man." I have written a great
many songs, among them "The Blue and the Gray," "Good old Days of
Yore," and some others that I cannot remember now. I sang the "Blue
and the Gray" in Atlanta six years ago, at the time of the exposition
there, and McKinley was there. I had the pleasure of saying a few
words at that time about woman's suffrage. I wrote the first song
about woman's suffrage and called it "Good Times for Women." This is
the 11,667th concert which I have taken part in.'"

The venerable singer is reputed to be quite wealthy. A few years ago
one of the children thought the old man was becoming entirely too
liberal in the distribution of his wealth, and brought an action in
the New York courts requesting the appointment of a guardian to
his estate. The white-haired musician appeared in court without an
attorney, and when the case was about to be disposed of made a request
of the judge, which was granted, that he might be sworn. After Mr.
Hutchinson had made his statement to the court the judge asked a few
questions. "How is your memory?" said the judge. "Memory," replied the
old man. "I remember the flavor of the milk at the maternal fountain."
The judge concluded that Mr. Hutchinson was fully capable of managing
his own affairs.

* * * * *

Concert hall, built in 1857 by J.W. McClung, had room for 400 or 500
people, but it was somewhat inaccessible on account of its being in
the basement of the building and was not very much in demand. Horatio
Seymour made a great speech to the Douglas wing of the Democracy in
the hall during the campaign of 1880, and Tom Marshall, the great
Kentucky orator, delivered a lecture on Napoleon to a large audience
In the same place. On the night of the presidential election in 1860 a
number of musicians who had been practicing on "Dixie" and other music
in Munger's music store came down to the hall and entertained the
Republicans who had gathered there for the purpose of hearing the
election returns. There was a great deal more singing than there was
election returns, as about all the news they were able to get was from
the four precincts of St. Paul, New Canada, Rose and Reserve townships
and West St. Paul. We had a telegraph line, to be sure, but Mr.
Winslow, who owned the line, would not permit the newspapers, or any
one else, to obtain the faintest hint of how the election had gone in
other localities. After singing until 11 or 12 o'clock, and abusing
Mr. Winslow in language that the linotype is wholly unable to
reproduce, the crowd dispersed. Nothing could be heard of how the
election had gone until the following afternoon, when Gov. Ramsey
received a dispatch from New York announcing that that state had
given Mr. Lincoln 50,000 majority. As that was the pivotal state the
Republicans immediately held a jollification meeting.

* * * * *

Tom Marshall was one of the most eloquent orators America ever
produced. He was spending the summer in Minnesota endeavoring to
recover from the effects of an over-indulgence of Kentucky's great
staple product, but the glorious climate of Minnesota did not seem to
have the desired effect, as he seldom appeared on the street without
presenting the appearance of having discovered in the North Star State
an elixer fully as invigorating as any produced in the land where
colonels, orators and moonshiners comprise the major portion of the
population. One day as Marshall came sauntering down Third street he
met a club of Little Giants marching to a Democratic gathering.
They thought they would have a little sport at the expense of the
distinguished orator from Kentucky, and they haulted immediately in
front of him and demanded a speech. They knew that Mr. Marshall was a
pronounced Whig and supported the candidacy of Bell and Everett, but
as he was from a slave state they did not think he would say anything
reflecting on the character of their cherished leader. Mr. Marshall
stepped to the front of the sidewalk and held up his hand and said:
"Do you think Douglas will ever be president? He will not, as no man
of his peculiar physique ever entered the sacred portals of the White
House." He then proceeded to denounce Douglas and the Democratic party
in language that was very edifying to the few Republicans who chanced
to be present. The Little Giants concluded that it was not the proper
caper to select a casual passer-by for speaker, and were afterward
more particular in their choice of an orator.

* * * * *

One night there was a Democratic meeting in the hall and after a
number of speakers had been called upon for an address, De Witt C.
Cooley, who was a great wag, went around in the back part of the hall
and called upon the unterrified to "Holler for Cooley." The request
was complied with and Mr. Cooley's name was soon on the lips of nearly
the whole audience. When Mr. Cooley mounted the platform an Irishman
in the back part of the hall inquired in a voice loud enough to be
heard by the entire audience, "Is that Cooley?" Upon being assured
that it was, he replied in a still louder voice: "Be jabers, that's
the man that told me to holler for Cooley." The laugh was decidedly on
Cooley, and his attempted flight of oratory did not materialize.

Cooley was at one time governor of the third house and if his message
to that body could be reproduced it would make very interesting

* * * * *

The Athenaeum was constructed in 1859 by the German Reading society,
and for a number of years was the only amusement hall in St. Paul with
a stage and drop curtain. In 1861 Peter and Caroline Richings spent
a part of the summer in St. Paul, and local amusement lovers were
delightfully entertained by these celebrities during their sojourn.
During the war a number of dramatic and musical performances were
given at the Athenaeum for the boys in blue. The cantata of "The
Haymakers," for the benefit of the sanitary commission made quite a
hit, and old residents will recollect Mrs. Winne, Mrs. Blakeley and
Prof. Perkins, who took the leading parts. Prof. Phil Roher and Otto
Dreher gave dramatic performances both in German and English for some
time after the close of the war. Plunkett's Dramatic company, with
Susan Denin as the star, filled the boards at this hall a short time
before the little old opera house was constructed on Wabasha street.
During the Sioux massacre a large number of maimed refugees were
brought to the city and found temporary shelter in this place.

* * * * *

In 1853 Market hall, on the corner of Wabasha and Seventh streets, was
built, and it was one of the principal places of amusement. The Hough
Dramatic company, with Bernard, C.W. Couldock, Sallie St. Clair and
others were among the notable performers who entertained theatergoers.
In 1860 the Wide Awakes used this place for a drill hall, and so
proficient did the members become that many of them were enabled to
take charge of squads, companies and even regiments in the great
struggle that was soon to follow.

* * * * *

In 1860 the Ingersoll block on Bridge Square was constructed, and as
that was near the center of the city the hall on the third floor
was liberally patronized for a number of years. Many distinguished
speakers have entertained large and enthusiastic audiences from the
platform of this popular hall. Edward Everett, Ralph Waldo Emerson and
John B. Gough are among the great orators who have electrified and
instructed the older inhabitants, and the musical notes of the Black
Swan, Mlle. Whiting and Madame Varian will ever be remembered by
those whose pleasure it was to listen to them. Mrs. Scott Siddons, an
elocutionist of great ability and a descendant of the famous English
family of actors of that name, gave several dramatic readings to her
numerous admirers. When Sumter was fired on, Capt. W.H. Acker used
this hall as a rendezvous and drill hall for Company C, First regiment
of Minnesota volunteers, and many rousing war meetings for the purpose
of devising ways and means for the furtherance of enlistments took
place in this building.

In February, 1861, the ladies of the different Protestant churches of
St. Paul, with the aid of the Young Men's Christian association, gave
a social and supper in this building for the purpose of raising funds
for the establishment of a library. It was a sort of dedicatory
opening of the building and hall, and was attended by large
delegations from the different churches. Quite a large sum was
realized. A room was fitted up on the second story and the beginning
of what is now the St. Paul library soon opened up to the public.
About 350 books were purchased with the funds raised by the social,
and the patrons of the library were required to pay one dollar per
year for permission to read them. Dr. T.D. Simonton was the first
librarian. Subsequently this library was consolidated with the St.
Paul Mercantile Library association and the number of books more than
doubled. A regular librarian was then installed with the privilege of
reading the library's books raised to two dollars per annum.

* * * * *

The People's theater, an old frame building on the corner of Fourth
and St. Peter streets, was the only real theatrical building in
the city. H. Van Liew was the lessee and manager of this place of
entertainment, and he was provided with a very good stock company.
Emily Dow and her brother, Harry Gossan and Azelene Allen were among
the members. During the summer of 1858 Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wallack came
to St. Paul and played a two weeks' engagement. They were the most
prominent actors who had yet appeared in this part of the country.

"The Man in the Iron Mask" and "Macbeth" were on their repertoire.
Probably "Macbeth" was never played to better advantage or to more
appreciative audiences than it was during the stay of the Wallacks.
Mrs. Wallack's Lady Macbeth was a piece of acting that few of the
present generation can equal. Col. R.E.J. Miles was one of the stars
at this theater, and it was at this place that he first produced the
play of "Mazeppa," which afterward made him famous. A.M. Carver,
foreman of the job department of the St. Paul Times, often assisted in
theatrical productions. Mr. Carver was not only a first-class printer,
but he was also a very clever actor. His portrayal of the character of
Uncle Tom in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which had quite a run, and was fully
equal to any later production by full fledged members of the dramatic
profession. Mr. Carver was one of the first presidents of the
International Typographical union, and died in Cincinnati many years
ago, leaving a memory that will ever be cherished by all members of
the art preservative.

This theater had a colored gallery, and the shaded gentry were
required to pay as much for admission to the gallery at the far end of
the building as did the nabobs in the parquet. Joe Rolette, the member
from "Pembina" county, occasionally entertained the audience at this
theater by having epileptic fits, but Joe's friends always promptly
removed him from the building and the performance would go on

* * * * *

On the second story of an old frame building on the southeast corner
of Third and Exchange streets there was a hall that was at one time
the principal amusement hall of the city. The building was constructed
in 1850 by the Elfelt brothers and the ground floor was occupied by
them as a dry goods store. It is one of the very oldest buildings in
the city. The name of Elfelt brothers until quite recently could be
seen on the Exchange street side of the building. The hall was named
Mazurka hall, and all of the swell entertainments of the early '50s
took place in this old building. At a ball given in the hall during
one of the winter months more than forty years ago, J.Q.A. Ward,
bookkeeper for the Minnesotian, met a Miss Pratt, who was a daughter
of one of the proprietors of the same paper, and after an acquaintance
of about twenty minutes mysteriously disappeared from the hall and got
married. They intended to keep it a secret for a while, but it was
known all over the town the next day and produced great commotion.
Miss Pratt's parents would not permit her to see her husband, and they
were finally divorced without having lived together.

For a number of years Napoleon Heitz kept a saloon and restaurant in
this building. Heitz had participated in a number of battles under
the great Napoleon, and the patrons of his place well recollect the
graphic descriptions of the battle of Waterloo which he would often
relate while the guest was partaking of a Tom and Jerry or an oyster

* * * * *

During the summer of 1860 Charles N. Mackubin erected two large
buildings on the site of the Metropolitan hotel. Mozart hall was on
the Third street end and Masonic hall on the Fourth street corner. At
a sanitary fair held during the winter of 1864 both of these halls
were thrown together and an entertainment on a large scale was
held for the benefit of the almost depleted fundes of the sanitary
commission. Fairs had been given for this fund in nearly all the
principal cities of the North, and it was customary to vote a sword
to the most popular volunteer officer whom the state had sent to the
front. A large amount of money had been raised in the different cities
on this plan, and the name of Col. Marshall of the Seventh regiment
and Col. Uline of the Second were selected as two officers in whom it
was thought the people would take sufficient interest to bring out a
large vote. The friends of both candidates were numerous and each side
had some one stationed at the voting booth keeping tab on the number
of votes cast and the probable number it would require at the close
to carry off the prize. Col. Uline had been a fireman and was very
popular with the young men of the city. Col. Marshall was backed by
friends in the different newspaper offices. The contest was very
spirited and resulted in Col. Uline capturing the sword, he having
received more than two thousand votes in one bundle during the last
five minutes the polls were open. This fair was very successful,
the patriotic citizens of St. Paul having enriched the funds of the
sanitary commission by several thousand dollars.

* * * * *

One of the first free concert halls in the city was located on Bridge
Square, and it bore the agonizing name of Agony hall. Whether it
was named for its agonizing music or the agonizing effects of its
beverages was a question that its patrons were not able to determine.

* * * * *

In anti-bellum times Washington's birthday was celebrated with more
pomp and glory than any holiday during the year. The Pioneer Guards,
the City Guards, the St. Paul Light Artillery, the St. Paul fire
department and numerous secret organizations would form in
procession and march to the capitol, and in the hall of the house of
representatives elaborate exercises commemorative of the birth of the
nation's first great hero would take place. Business was generally
suspended and none of the daily papers would be issued on the
following day.

In 1857 Adalina Patti appeared in St. Paul for the first time. She was
about sixteen years old and was with the Ole Bull Concert company.
They traveled on a small steamboat and gave concerts in the river
towns. Their concert took place in the hall of the house of
representatives of the old capitol, that being the only available
place at the time. Patti's concert came near being nipped in the bud
by an incident that has never been printed. Two boys employed as
messengers at the capitol, both of whom are now prominent business
men in the city, procured a key to the house, and, in company with a
number of other kids, proceeded to representative hall, where they
were frequently in the habit of congregating for the purpose of
playing cards, smoking cigars, and committing such other depradations
as it was possible for kids to conceive. After an hour or so of
revelry the boys returned the key to its proper place and separated.
In a few minutes smoke was seen issuing from the windows of the hall
and an alarm of fire was sounded. The door leading to the house was
forced open and it was discovered that the fire had nearly burned
through the floor. The boys knew at once that it was their
carelessness that had caused the alarm, and two more frightened kids
never got together. They could see visions of policemen, prison bars,
and even Stillwater, day and night for many years. They would often
get together on a back street and in whispered tones wonder if they
had yet been suspected. For more than a quarter of a century these two
kids kept this secret in the innermost recesses of their hearts,
and it is only recently that they dared to reveal their terrible

* * * * *

A few days after Maj. Anderson was compelled to lower the Stars and
Stripes on Sumter's walls a mass meeting of citizens, irrespective of
party, was called to meet at the hall of the house of representatives
for the purpose of expressing the indignation of the community at the
dastardly attempt of the Cotton States to disrupt the government.
Long before the time for the commencement of the meeting the hall was
packed and it was found necessary to adjourn to the front steps of
the building in order that all who desired might take part in the
proceedings. Hon. John S. Prince, mayor of the city, presided,
assisted by half a dozen prominent citizens as vice presidents. Hon.
John M. Gilman, an honored resident of the city, was one of the
principal speakers. Mr. Gilman had been the Democratic candidate for
congress the fall previous, and considerable interest was manifested
to hear what position he would take regarding the impending conflict.
It was very soon apparent that Mr. Gilman was in hearty sympathy with
the object of the meeting and his remarks were received with great
demonstrations of approbation. Hon. J.W. Taylor followed Mr. Gilman
and made a strong speech in favor of sustaining Mr. Lincoln. There
were a number of other addresses, after which resolutions were adopted
pledging the government the earnest support of the citizens, calling
on the young men to enroll their names on the roster of the rapidly
forming companies and declaring that they would furnish financial aid
when necessary to the dependant families of those left behind. Similar
meetings were held in different parts of the city a great many times
before the Rebellion was subdued.

* * * * *

The first Republican state convention after the state was admitted
into the Union was held in the hall of the house of representatives.
The state was not divided into congressional districts at that time
and Col. Aldrich and William Windom were named as the candidates for
representatives in congress. Col. Aldrich did not pretend to be much
of an orator, and in his speech of acceptance he stated that while
he was not endowed with as much oratorical ability as some of his
associates on the ticket, yet he could work as hard as any one, and
he promised that he would sweat at least a barrel in his efforts to
promote the success of the ticket.

* * * * *

Aromory hall, on Third street, between Cedar and Minnesota, was built
in 1859, and was used by the Pioneer Guards up to the breaking out of
the war. The annual ball of the Pioneer Guards was the swell affair of
the social whirl, and it was anticipated with as much interest by
the Four Hundred as the charity ball is to-day. The Pioneer Guards
disbanded shortly after the war broke out, and many of its members
were officers in the Union army, although two or three of them stole
away and joined the Confederate forces, one of them serving on Lee's
staff during the entire war. Col. Wilkin Col. King, Col. Farrell,
Capt. Coates, Capt. Van Slyke, Capt. Western, Lieut. Zernberg and
Lieut. Tuttle were early in the fray, while a number of others
followed as the war progressed.

* * * * *

It was not until the winter of 1866-67 that St. Paul could boast of a
genuine opera house. The old opera house fronting on Wabasha street,
on the ground that is now occupied by the Grand block, was finished
that winter and opened with a grand entertainment given by local
talent. The boxes and a number of seats in the parquet were sold at
auction, the highest bidder being a man by the name of Philbrick, who
paid $72 for a seat in the parquet. This man Philbrick was a visitor
in St. Paul, and had a retinue of seven or eight people with him. It
was whispered around that he was some kind of a royal personage, and
when he paid $72 for a seat at the opening of the opera house people
were sure that he was at least a duke. He disappeared as mysteriously
as he had appeared. It was learned afterward that this mysterious
person was Coal Oil Johnny out on a lark. The first regular company to
occupy this theater was the Macfarland Dramatic company, with Emily
Melville as the chief attraction. This little theater could seat about
1,000 people, and its seating capacity was taxed many a time long
before the Grand opera house in the rear was constructed. Wendell
Philips, Henry Ward Beecher, Theodore Tilton, Frederick Douglass and
many others have addressed large audiences from the stage of this old
opera house. An amusing incident occurred while Frederick Douglass was
in St. Paul. Nearly every seat in the house had been sold long before
the lecture was to commence, and when Mr. Douglass commenced speaking
there was standing room only. A couple of enthusiastic Republicans
found standing room in one of the small upper boxes, and directly in
front of them was a well-known Democratic politician by the name of
W.H. Shelley. Mr. Shelley had at one time been quite prominent in
local Republican circles, but when Andrew Johnson made his famous
swing around the circle Shelley got an idea that the proper thing to
do was to swing around with him. Consequently the Republicans who
stood up behind Mr. Shelley thought they would have a little amusement
at his expense. Every time Mr. Douglass made a point worthy
of applause these ungenerous Republicans would make a great
demonstration, and as the audience could not see them and could
only see the huge outline of Mr. Shelley they concluded that he was
thoroughly enjoying the lecture and had probably come back to the
Republican fold. Mr. Shelley stood it until the lecture was about
half over, when he left the opera house in disgust. Mr. Shelley was a
candidate for the position of collector of customs of the port of St.
Paul and his name had been sent to the senate by President Johnson,
but as that body was largely Republican his nomination lacked

* * * * *

About the time of the great Heenan and Sayers prize fight in England
a number of local sports arranged to have a mock engagement at the
Athenaeum. There was no kneitoscopic method of reproducing a fight at
that time, but it was planned to imitate the great fight as closely as
possible. James J. Hill was to imitate Sayers and Theodore Borup the
Benecia boy. They were provided with seconds, surgeons and all
the attendants necessary for properly staging the melee. It was
prearranged that Theodore, in the sixth or seventh round, was to knock
Hill out, but as the battle progressed, Theodore made a false pass and
Hill could not desist from taking advantage of it, and the prearranged
plan was reversed by Hill knocking Theodore out. And Hill has kept
right on taking advantage of the false movements of his adversaries,
and is now knocking them out with more adroitness than he did forty
years ago.




* * * * *

E.Y. Shelly,
George W. Moore,
John C. Devereux,
Martin Williams,
H.O. Bassford,
Geo. W. Benedict,
Louis E. Fisher,
Geo. W. Armstrong,
J.J. Noah,
M.J. Clum,
Samuel J. Albright,
David Brock,
D.S. Merret,
Richard Bradley,
A.C. Crowell,
Sol Teverbaugh,
Edwin Clark,
Harry Bingham,
William Wilford,
Ole Kelson,
C.R. Conway,
Isaac H. Conway,
David Ramaley,
M.R. Prendergast,
Edward Richards,
Francis P. McNamee,
E.S. Lightbourn,
William Creek,
Alex Creek,
Marshall Robinson,
Jacob T. McCoy,
A.J. Underwood,
J.B. Chaney,
James M. Culver,
Frank H. Pratt,
A.S. Diamond,
Frank Daggett,
R.V. Hesselgrave,
A.D. Martin,
W.G. Jebb,
R.F. Slaughter,
Thos. Slaughter,
William A. Hill,
H.P. Coates,
A.J. Sterrett,
Richard McLagan,
Ed. McLagan,
Robert Bryan,
Jas. Wright,
O.G. Miller,
J.B.H. Mitchell,
Chas. R. Stuart,
Wm. F. Russell,
D.L. Paine,
Benj. Drake,
J.C. Terry,
Thomas Jebb,
Francis P. Troxill,
J.Q.A. Ward,
A.J. Morgan,
M.V.B. Young,
H.L. Vance,
A.M. Carver,
W.H. Wheeler,
J.M. Dugan,
Luke Mulrean,
H.H. Young,
W.G. Allen,
Barrett Smith,
Thos. C. Schenck.

Of the above long list of territorial printers the following are the
only known survivors: H.O. Bassford, George W. Benedict, David Brock,
John C. Devereux, Barrett Smith, J.B.H. Mitchell, David Ramaley, M.R.
Prendergast, Jacob T. McCoy, A.S. Diamond, R.V. Hesselgrave, H.P.
Coates, J.R. Chaney, M.J. Clum.


Much has been written of the trials and tribulations of the pioneer
editors of Minnesota and what they have accomplished in bringing to
the attention of the outside world the numerous advantages possessed
by this state as a place of permanent location for all classes of
people, but seldom, if ever, has the nomadic printer, "the man behind
the gun," received even partial recognition from the chroniclers of
our early history. In the spring of 1849 James M. Goodhue arrived in
St. Paul from Lancaster, Wis., with a Washington hand press and a few
fonts of type, and he prepared to start a paper at the capital of the
new territory of Minnesota. Accompanying him were two young printers,
named Ditmarth and Dempsey, they being the first printers to set foot
on the site of what was soon destined to be the metropolis of the
great Northwest. These two young men quickly tired of their isolation
and returned to their former home. They were soon followed by another
young man, who had only recently returned from the sunny plains
of far-off Mexico, where he had been heroically battling for his
country's honor. Capt. E.Y. Shelly was born in Bucks county, Pa.,
on the 25th of September, 1827. When a mere lad he removed to
Philadelphia, where he was instructed in the art preservative, and, on
the breaking out of the Mexican war, he laid aside the stick and rule
and placed his name on the roster of a company that was forming to
take part in the campaign against the Mexicans. He was assigned to
the Third United States dragoons and started at once for the scene of
hostilities. On arriving at New Orleans the Third dragoons was ordered
to report to Gen. Taylor, who was then in the vicinity of Matamoras.
As soon as Gen. Taylor was in readiness he drove the Mexicans across
the Rio Grande, and the battles of Palo Alto, Monterey and Buena Vista
followed in quick succession, in all of which the American forces
were successful against an overwhelming force of Mexicans, the Third
dragoons being in all the engagements, and they received special
mention for their conspicuous gallantry in defending their position
against the terrible onslaught of the Mexican forces under the
leadership of Santa Ana. Soon after the battle of Buena Vista, Santa
Ana withdrew from Gen. Taylor's front and retreated toward the City
of Mexico, in order to assist in the defense of that city against the
American forces under the command of Gen. Scott. Peace was declared in
1848 and the Third dragoons were ordered to Jefferson barracks, St.
Louis, where they were mustered out of the service. Capt. Shelly took
passage in a steamer for St. Paul, where he arrived in July, 1849,
being the first printer to permanently locate in Minnesota. The
Pioneer was the first paper printed in St. Paul, but the Register and
Chronicle soon followed. Capt. Shelly's first engagement was in the
office of the Register, but he soon changed to the Pioneer, and was
employed by Mr. Goodhue at the time of his tragic death. When Col.
Robertson Started the Daily Democrat Capt. Shelly was connected
with that office, and remained there until the Pioneer and Democrat
consolidated. Capt. Shelly was a member of the old Pioneer guards, and
when President Lincoln called for men to suppress the rebellion the
old patriotism was aroused in him, and he organized, in company with
Major Brackett, a company for what was afterward known as Brackett's

Brackett's battalion consisted of three Minnesota companies, and they
were mustered into service in September, 1861. They were ordered to
report at Benton barracks, Mo., and were assigned to a regiment known
as Curtis horse, but afterward changed to Fifth Iowa cavalry. In
February, 1862, the regiment was ordered to Fort Henry, Tenn., and
arrived just in time to take an important part in the attack and
surrender of Fort Donelson. Brackett's battalion was the only
Minnesota force engaged at Fort Donelson, and, although they were
not in the thickest of the fight, yet they performed tremendous and
exhaustive service in preventing the rebel Gen. Buckner from receiving
reinforcements. After the surrender the regiment was kept on continual
scout duty, as the country was overrun with bands of guerrillas and
the inhabitants nearly all sympathized with them. From Fort Donelson
three companies of the regiment went to Savannah, (one of them being
Capt. Shelly's) where preparations were being made to meet Gen.
Beauregard, who was only a short distance away. Brackett's company was
sent out in the direction of Louisville with orders to see that the
roads and bridges were not molested, so that the forces under Gen.
Buell would not be obstructed on the march to reinforce Gen. Grant.
This timely precaution enabled Gen. Buell to arrive at Pittsburg
Landing just in time to save Gen. Grant from probable defeat. For
three months after this battle Capt. Shelly's company was engaged in
protecting the long line of railroad from Columbus, Ky., to Corinth,
Miss. On the 25th of August, 1862, Fort Donalson was attacked by the
rebels and this regiment was ordered to its relief. This attack of the
rebels did not prove to be very serious, but on the 5th of February,
1863, the rebels under Forrest and Wheeler made a third attack on Fort
Donelson. They were forced to retire, leaving a large number of their
dead on the field, but fortunately none of the men under Capt. Shelly
were injured. Nearly the entire spring and summer of 1863 was spent in
scouring the country in the vicinity of the Tennessee river, sometimes
on guard duty, sometimes on the picket line and often in battle. They
were frequently days and nights without food or sleep, but ever kept
themselves in readiness for an attack from the wily foes. Opposed to
them were the commands of Forest and Wheeler, the very best cavalry
officers in the Confederate service. A number of severe actions ended
in the battle of Chickamauga, in which the First cavalry took a
prominent part. After the battle of Chickamauga the regiment was kept
on duty on the dividing line between the two forces. About the 1st
of January, 1864, most of Capt. Shelly's company reinlisted and they
returned home on a thirty days' furlough. After receiving a number
of recruits at Fort Snelling, the command, on the 14th of May, 1864,
received orders to report to Gen. Sully at Sioux City, who was
preparing to make a final campaign against the rebellious Sioux. On
the 28th of June the expedition started on its long and weary march
over the plains of the Dakotas toward Montana. It encountered the
Indians a number of times, routing them, and continued on its way.
About the middle of August the expedition entered the Bad Lands, and
the members were the first white men to traverse that unexplored
region. In the fall the battalion returned to Fort Ridgley, where
they went into winter quarters, having marched over 3,000 miles since
leaving Fort Snelling. Capt. Shelly was mustered out of the service in
the spring of 1865, and since that time, until within a few years, has
been engaged at his old profession.

Capt. Shelly was almost painfully modest, seldom alluding to the many
stirring events with which he had been an active participant, and it
could well be said of him, as Cardinal Wolsey said of himself, that
"had he served his God with half the zeal he has served his country,
he would not in his old age have forsaken him." Political preferment
and self-assurance keep some men constantly before the public eye,
while others, the men of real merit, who have spent the best part of
their lives in the service of their country, are often permitted by an
ungrateful community to go down to their graves unhonored and unsung.

* * * * *


Capt. Henry C. Coates was foreman of the job department of the Pioneer
office. He was an officer in the Pioneer Guards, and when the war
broke out was made a lieutenant in the First regiment, was in all the
battles of that famous organization up to and including Gettysburg;
was commander of the regiment for some time after the battle. After
the war he settled in Philadelphia, where he now resides.

Jacob J. Noah at one time set type, with Robert Bonner. He was elected
clerk of the supreme court at the first election of state officers;
was captain of Company K Second Minnesota regiment, but resigned early
in the war and moved to New York City, his former home.

Frank H. Pratt was an officer in the Seventh regiment and served
through the war. He published a paper at Taylor's Falls at one time.
After the war he was engaged in the mercantile business in St. Paul.

John C. Devereux was foreman of the old Pioneer and was an officer in
the Third regiment, and still resides in the city.

Jacob T. McCoy was an old-time typo and worked in all the St. Paul
offices before and after the rebellion. Mr. McCoy was a fine singer
and his voice was always heard at typographical gatherings. He
enlisted as private in the Second Minnesota and served more than four
years, returning as first lieutenant. He now resides in Meadeville,

Martin Williams was printer, editor, reporter and publisher, both
before and after the war. He was quartermaster of the Second Minnesota

Robert P. Slaughter and his brother, Thomas Slaughter, were both
officers in the volunteer service and just previous to the rebellion
were engaged in the real estate business.

Edward Richards was foreman of the Pioneer and Minnesotian before the
war and foreman of the old St. Paul Press after the war. He enlisted
during the darkest days of the rebellion in the Eighth regiment and
served in the dual capacity of correspondent and soldier. No better
soldier ever left the state. He was collector of customs of the port
of St. Paul under the administration of Presidents Garfield and
Arthur, and later was on the editorial staff of the Pioneer Press.

The most remarkable compositor ever in the Northwest, if not in the
United States, was the late Charles R. Stuart. He claimed to be a
lineal descendant of the royal house of Stuart. For two years in
succession he won the silver cup in New York city for setting more
type than any of his competitors. At an endurance test in New York he
is reported to have set and distributed 26,000 ems solid brevier in
twenty-four hours. He was originally from Detroit. In the spring of
1858 he wandered into the Minnesotian office and applied for work. The
Minnesotian was city printer and was very much in need of some one
that day to help them out. Mr. Stuart was put to work and soon
distributed two cases of type, and the other comps wondered what he
was going to do with it. After he had been at work a short time
they discovered that he would be able to set up all the type he had
distributed and probably more, too. When he pasted up the next morning
the foreman measured his string and remeasured it, and then went over
and took a survey of Mr. Stuart, and then went back and measured it
again. He then called up the comps, and they looked it over, but no
one could discover anything wrong with it. The string measured 23,000
ems, and was the most remarkable feat of composition ever heard of in
this section of the country. It was no uncommon occurrence for Mr.
Stuart to set 2,000 ems of solid bourgeois an hour, and keep it up for
the entire day. Mr. Stuart's reputation as a rapid compositor spread
all over the city in a short time and people used to come to the
office to see him set type, with as much curiosity as they do now to
see the typesetting machine. In 1862 Mr. Stuart enlisted in the Eighth
regiment and served for three years, returning home a lieutenant. For
a number of years he published a paper at Sault Ste Marie, in which
place he died about five years ago. He was not only a good printer,
but a very forceful writer, in fact he was an expert in everything
connected with the printing business.

E.S. Lightbourn was one of the old-time printers. He served three
years in the Seventh Minnesota and after the war was foreman of the

M.J. Clum is one of the oldest printers in St. Paul. He was born in
Rensselar county, New York, in 1832, and came to St. Paul in 1853.
He learned his trade in Troy, and worked with John M. Francis, late
minister to Greece, and also with C.L. McArthur, editor of the
Northern Budget. Mr. Clum was a member of Company D, Second Minnesota,
and took part in several battles in the early part of the rebellion.

J.B. Chancy came to Minnesota before the state was admitted to the
Union. At one time he was foreman of a daily paper at St. Anthony
Falls. During the war he was a member of Berdan's sharpshooters, who
were attached to the First regiment.

S J. Albright worked on the Pioneer in territorial days. In 1859 he
went to Yankton, Dak., and started the first paper in that territory.
He was an officer in a Michigan regiment during the rebellion. For
many years was a publisher of a paper in Michigan, and under the last
administration of Grover Cleveland was governor of Alaska.

M.R. Prendergast, though not connected with the printing business
for some time, yet he is an old time printer, and was in the Tenth
Minnesota during the rebellion.

A.J. Underwood was a member of Berdan's Sharp-shooters, and was
connected with a paper at Fergus Falls for a number of years.

Robert V. Hesselgrave was employed in nearly all the St. Paul offices
at various times. He was lieutenant in the First Minnesota Heavy
Artillery, and is now engaged in farming in the Minnesota valley.

William A. Hill came to St. Paul during the early '50s. He was a
member of the Seventh Minnesota.

Ole Johnson was a member of the First Minnesota regiment, and died in
a hospital in Virginia.

William F. Russel, a compositor on the Pioneer, organized a company of
sharpshooters in St. Paul, and they served throughout the war in the
army of the Potomac.

S. Teverbaugh and H.I. Vance were territorial printers, and were both
in the army, but served in regiments outside the state.

There were a large number of other printers in the military service
during the civil war, but they were not territorial printers and their
names are not included in the above list.


One of the brightest of the many bright young men who came to
Minnesota at an early day was Mr. James Mills. For a time he worked on
the case at the old Pioneer office, but was soon transferred to the
editorial department, where he remained for a number of years. After
the war he returned to Pittsburgh, his former home, and is now and for
a number of years has been editor-in-chief of the Pittsburgh Post.

Among the numerous printers of St. Paul who were musically inclined
no one was better known than the late O.G. Miller. He belonged to the
Great Western band, and was tenor singer in several churches in the
city for a number of years. Mr. Miller was a 33d Degree Mason, and
when he died a midnight funeral service was held for him in Masonic
hall, the first instance on record of a similar service in the city.

George W. Moore came to St. Paul in 1850, and for a short time was
foreman for Mr. Goodhue. In 1852 he formed a partnership with John P.
Owens in the publication of the Minnesotian. He sold his interest
in that paper to Dr. Foster in 1860, and in 1861 was appointed by
President Lincoln collector of the port of St. Paul, a position he
held for more than twenty years.

Louis E. Fisher was one of God's noblemen. When he first came to St.
Paul he was foreman of the Commercial Advertiser. For a long time he
was one of the editors of the Pioneer, and also the Pioneer Press. He
was a staunch democrat and a firm believer in Jeffersonian simplicity.
At one time he was a candidate for governor on the democratic ticket.
Had it not been for a little political chicanery he would have been
nominated, and had he been elected would have made a model governor.

George W. Armstrong was the Beau Brummel of the early printers. He
wore kid gloves when he made up the forms of the old Pioneer, and he
always appeared as if he devoted more attention to his toilet than
most of his co-laborers. He was elected state treasurer on the
democratic ticket in 1857, and at the expiration of his term of office
devoted his attention to the real estate business.

Another old printer that was somewhat fastidious was James M.
Culver. He was the first delegate from St. Paul to the International
Typographical Union. Old members of the Sons of Malta will recollect
how strenuously he resisted the canine portion of the ceremony when
taking the third degree of that noble order.

Who has not heard of David Ramaley? He is one of the best as well as
one of the best known printers in the Northwest. He has been printer,
reporter, editor, publisher and type founder. Although he has been
constantly in the harness for nearly fifty years, he is still active
and energetic and looks as if it might be an easy matter to round out
the century mark.

H.O. Bassford, now of the Austin Register, was one of the fleetest and
cleanest compositers among the territorial printers. He was employed
on the Minnesotian.

Francis P. McNamee occupied most all positions connected with the
printing business--printer, reporter, editor. He was a most estimable
man, but of very delicate constitution, and he has long since gone to
his reward.

The genial, jovial face of George W. Benedict was for many years
familiar to most old-time residents. At one time he was foreman of the
old St. Paul Press. He is now editor and publisher of the Sauk Rapids

The old St. Paul Times had no more reliable man than the late Richard
Bradley. He was foreman of the job department of that paper, and held
the same position on the Press and Pioneer Press for many years.

D.L. Paine was the author of the famous poem entitled "Who Stole Ben
Johnson's Spaces." He was employed in several of the St. Paul offices
previous to the rebellion.

The late John O. Terry was the first hand pressman in St. Paul.
He formed a partnership with Col. Owens in the publication of the
Minnesotian. For a long time he was assistant postmaster of St. Paul,
and held several other positions of trust.

J.B.H. Mitchell was a, member of the firm of Newson, Mitchell & Clum,
publishers of the Daily Times. For several years after the war he was
engaged as compositor in the St. Paul offices, and is now farming in
Northern Minnesota.

Among the freaks connected with the printing business was a poet
printer by the name of Wentworth. He was called "Long Haired

Early in the war he enlisted in the First Minnesota regiment. When
Col. Gorman caught sight of him he ordered his hair cut. Wentworth
would not permit his flowing locks to be taken off, and he was
summarly dismissed from the service. After being ordered out of the
regiment he wrote several letters of doubtful loyalty and Secretary
Stanton had him arrested and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette with other
political prisoners. He never returned to Minnesota.

Marshall Robinson was a partner of the late John H. Stevens in the
publication of the first paper at Glencoe. At one time he was a
compositor on the Pioneer, and the last heard from him he was state
printer for Nevada.

Andrew Jackson Morgan was brought to St. Paul by the late Col.
D.A. Robertson and made foreman of the Democrat. He was a
printer-politician and possessed considerable ability. At one time he
was one of the editors of the Democrat. He was said to bear a striking
resemblance to the late Stephen A. Douglas, and seldom conversed with
any one without informing them of the fact. He was one of the original
Jacksonian Democrats, and always carried with him a silver dollar,
which he claimed was given him by Andrew Jackson when he was
christened. No matter how much Democratic principle Jack would consume
on one of his electioneering tours he always clung to the silver
dollar. He died in Ohio more than forty years ago, and it is said that
the immediate occasion of his demise was an overdose of hilarity.

Another old timer entitled to a good position in the hilarity column
was J.Q.A. Ward, commonly known as Jack Ward. He was business manager
of the Minnesotian during the prosperous days of that paper. The first
immigration pamphlet ever gotten out in the territory was the product
of Jack's ingenuity. Jack created quite a sensation at one time by
marrying the daughter of his employer on half an hour's ball room
acquaintance. He was a very bright man and should have been one of the
foremost business men of the city, but, like many other men, he was
his own worst enemy.

Another Jack that should not be overlooked was Jack Barbour. His
theory was that in case the fiery king interfered with your business
it was always better to give up the business.

A.M. Carver was one of the best job printers in the country, and he
was also one of the best amateur actors among the fraternity. It was
no uncommon thing for the old time printers to be actors and actors to
be printers. Lawrence Barrett, Stuart Robson and many other eminent
actors were knights of the stick and rule. Frequently during the happy
distribution hour printers could be heard quoting from the dramatist
and the poet, and occasionally the affairs of church and state would
receive serious consideration, and often the subject would be handled
in a manner that would do credit to the theologian or the diplomat,
but modern ingenuity has made it probable that no more statesmen will
receive their diplomas from the composing room. Since the introduction
of the iron printer all these pleasantries have passed away, and the
sociability that once existed in the composing room will be known
hereafter only to tradition.

The late William Jebb was one of the readiest debaters in the old
Pioneer composing room. He was well posted on all topics and was
always ready to take either side of a question for the sake of
argument. Possessing a command of language and fluency of speech that
would have been creditable to some of the foremost orators, he would
talk by the hour, and his occasional outbursts of eloquence often
surprised and always entertained the weary distributors. At one time
Jebb was reporter on the St. Paul Times. Raising blooded chickens
was one of his hobbies. One night some one entered his premises and
appropriated, a number of his pet fowls. The next day the Times had a
long account of his misfortune, and at the conclusion of his article
he hurled the pope's bull of excommunication at the miscreant. It was
a fatal bull and was Mr. Jebb's reportorial finish.

A fresh graduate from the case at one time wrote a scurrilous
biography of Washington. The editor of the paper on which he was
employed was compelled to make editorial apology for its unfortunate
appearance. To make the matter more offensive the author on several
different occasions reproduced the article and credited its authorship
to the editor who was compelled to apologize for it.

In two different articles on nationalities by two different young
printer reporters, one referred to the Germans as "the beer-guzzling
Dutch," and the other, speaking of the English said "thank the Lord we
have but few of them in our midst," caused the writers to be promptly
relegated back to the case.

Bishop Willoughby was a well-known character of the early times. A
short conversation with him would readily make patent the fact that he
wasn't really a bishop. In an account of confirming a number of people
at Christ church a very conscientious printer-reporter said "Bishop
Willoughby administered the rite of confirmation," when he should have
said Bishop Whipple. He was so mortified at his unfortunate blunder
that he at once tendered his resignation. Of course it was not

Editors and printers of territorial times were more closely affiliated
than they are to-day. Meager hotel accommodations and necessity for
economical habits compelled many of them to work and sleep in the same
room. All the offices contained blankets and cots, and as morning
newspapers were only morning newspapers in name, the tired and weary
printer could sleep the sleep of the just without fear of disturbance.

Nearly all the early editors were also printers. Earle S. Goodrich,
editor-in-chief of the Pioneer: Thomas Foster, editor of the
Minnesotian; T.M. Newson, editor of the Times, and John P. Owens,
first editor of the Minnesotian, were all printers. When the old Press
removed from Bridge Square in 1869 to the new building on the corner
of Third and Minnesota streets, Earle S. Goodrich came up into the
composing room and requested the privilege of setting the first type
in the new building. He was provided with a stick and rule and set
up about half a column of editorial without copy. The editor of the
Press, in commenting on his article, said it was set up as "clean as
the blotless pages of Shakespeare." In looking over the article the
next morning some of the typos discovered an error in the first line.



Every Minnesotian's heart swells with pride whenever mention is made
of the grand record of the volunteers from the North Star State in the
great struggle for the suppression of the rebellion. At the outbreak
of the war Minnesota was required to furnish one regiment, but so
intensely patriotic were its citizens that nearly two regiments
volunteered at the first call of the president. As only ten companies
could go in the first regiment the surplus was held in readiness for
a second call, which it was thought would be soon forthcoming. On the
16th of June, 1861, Gov. Ramsey received notice that a second regiment
would be acceptable, and accordingly the companies already organized
with two or three additions made up the famous Second Minnesota. H.P.
Van Cleve was appointed colonel, with headquarters at Fort Snelling.
Several of the companies were sent to the frontier to relieve
detachments of regulars stationed at various posts, but on the 16th of
October, 1861, the full regiment started for Washington. On reaching
Pittsburgh, however, their destination was changed to Louisville, at
which place they were ordered to report to Gen. W.T. Sherman, then in
command of the Department of the Cumberland, and they at once received
orders to proceed to Lebanon Junction, about thirty miles south of
Louisville. The regiment remained at this camp about six weeks before
anything occurred to relieve the monotony of camp life, although there
were numerous rumors of night attacks by large bodies of Confederates.
On the 15th of November, 1861, Gen. Buell assumed command of all the
volunteers in the vicinity of Louisville, and he at once organized
them into divisions and brigades. Early in December the Second
regiment moved to Lebanon, Ky., and, en route, the train was fired at.
At Lebanon the Second Minnesota, Eighteenth United States infantry,
Ninth and Thirty-fifth Ohio regiments were organized into a brigade,
and formed part of Gen. George H. Thomas' First division. On Jan. 1,
1862, Gen. Thomas started his troops on the Mill Springs campaign
and from the 1st to the 17th day of January, spent most of its time
marching under rain, sleet and through mud, and on the latter date
went into camp near Logan's Cross Roads, eight miles north of
Zollicoffer's intrenched rebel camp at Beech Grove. On the night of
Jan. 18, Company A was on picket duty. It had been raining incessantly
and was so dark that it was with difficulty that pickets could be
relieved. Just at daybreak the rebel advance struck the pickets of
the Union lines, and several musket shots rang out with great
distinctness, and in quick succession, it being the first rebel shot
that the boys had ever heard. Then all was quiet for a time. The
firing soon commenced again, nearer and more distinct than at first,
and thicker and faster as the rebel advance encountered the Union
pickets. The Second Minnesota had entered the woods and passing
through the Tenth Indiana, then out of ammunition and retiring and no
longer firing. The enemy, emboldened by the cessation and mistaking
its cause, assumed they had the Yanks on the run, advanced to the rail
fence separating the woods from the field just as the Second Minnesota
was doing the same, and while the rebels got there first, they were
also first to get away and make a run to their rear. But before
they ran their firing was resumed and Minnesotians got busy and the
Fifteenth Mississippi and the Sixteenth Alabama regiments were made
to feel that they had run up against something. To the right of the
Second were two of Kinney's cannon and to their right was the Ninth
Ohio. The mist and smoke which hung closely was too thick to see
through, but by lying down it was possible to look under the smoke and
to see the first rebel line, and that it was in bad shape, and back of
it and down on the low ground a second line, with their third line
on the high ground on the further side of the field. That the Second
Minnesota was in close contact with the enemy was evident all along
its line, blasts of fire and belching smoke coming across the fence
from Mississippi muskets. The contest was at times hand to hand--the
Second Minnesota and the rebels running their guns through the fence,
firing and using the bayonet when opportunity offered. The firing was
very brisk for some time when it was suddenly discovered that
the enemy had disappeared. The battle was over, the Johnnies had
"skedaddled," leaving their dead and dying on the bloody field. Many
of the enemy were killed and wounded, and some few surrendered. After
the firing had ceased one rebel lieutenant bravely stood in front
of the Second and calmly faced his fate. After being called on to
surrender he made no reply, but deliberately raised his hand and shot
Lieut. Stout through the body. He was instantly shot. His name proved
to be Bailie Peyton, son of one of the most prominent Union men in
Tennessee. Gen. Zollicoffer, commander of the Confederate forces, was
also killed in this battle. This battle, although a mere skirmish when
compared to many other engagements in which the Second participated
before the close of the war, was watched with great interest by the
people of St. Paul. Two full companies had been recruited in the city
and there was quite a number of St. Paulites in other companies of
this regiment. When it became known that a battle had been fought
in which the Second had been active participants, the relatives and
friends of the men engaged in the struggle thronged the newspaper
offices in quest of information regarding their safety. The casualties
in the Second Minnesota, amounted to twelve killed and thirty-five
wounded. Two or three days after the battle letters were received from
different members of the Second, claiming that they had shot Bailie
Payton and Zollicoffer. It afterward was learned that no one ever
knew who shot Peyton, and that Col. Fry of the Fourth Kentucky shot
Zollicoffer. Lieut. Tuttle captured Peyton's sword and still has it in
his possession. This sword has a historic record. It was presented to
Bailie Peyton by the citizens of New Orleans at the outbreak of the
Mexican war, and was carried by Col. Peyton during the entire war.
Col. Peyton was on Gen. Scott's staff at the close of the war, and
when Santa Anna surrendered the City of Mexico to Gen. Scott, Col.
Peyton was the staff officer designated by Scott to receive the
surrender of the city, carrying this sword by his side. It bears
this inscription: "Presented to Col. Bailie Peyton, Fifth Regiment
Louisiana Volunteer National Guards, by his friends of New Orleans.
His country required his services. His deeds will add glory to
her arms." There has been considerable correspondence between the
government and state, officials and the descendants of Col. Peyton
relative to returning this trophy to Col. Peyton's relatives, but so
far no arrangements to that effect have been concluded.

It was reported by Tennesseeans at the time of the battle that young
Peyton was what was known as a "hoop-skirt" convert to the Confederate
cause. Southern ladies were decidedly more pronounced secessionists
than were the sterner sex, and whenever they discovered that one of
their chivalric brethren was a little lukewarm toward the cause of the
South they sent him a hoop skirt, which indicated that the recipient
was lacking in bravery. For telling of his loyalty to the Union he
was insulted and hissed at on the streets of Nashville, and when he
received a hoop skirt from his lady friends he reluctantly concluded
to take up arms against the country he loved so well. He paid the
penalty of foolhardy recklessness in the first battle in which he

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, who was an eye-witness
of the battle, gave a glowing description of the heroic conduct of the
Second Minnesota during the engagement. He said: "The success of the
battle was when the Second Minnesota and the Ninth Ohio appeared in
good order sweeping through the field. The Second Minnesota, from its
position in the column, was almost in the center of the fight, and in
the heaviest of the enemy's fire. They were the first troops that used
the bayonet, and the style with which they went into the fight is the
theme of enthusiastic comment throughout the army."

It was the boast of Confederate leaders at the outbreak of the
rebellion that one regiment of Johnnies was equal to two or more
regiments of Yankees. After the battle of Mill Springs they had
occasion to revise their ideas regarding the fighting qualities of the
detested Yankees. From official reports of both sides, gathered after
the engagement was over, it was shown that the Confederate forces
outnumbered their Northern adversaries nearly three to one.

The victory proved a dominant factor in breaking up the Confederate
right flank, and opened a way into East Tennessee, and by transferring
the Union troops to a point from which to menace Nashville made the
withdrawal of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's troops from Bowling Green,
Ky., to Nashville necessary.

Confederate loss, 600 in killed, wounded and prisoners. Union loss,
248 in killed and wounded. Twelve rebel cannon and caissons complete
were captured. Two hundred wagons with horses in harness were
captured, as were large quantities of ammunition, store and camp
equipments--in fact, the Union troops took all there was.

Col. Fry's version of the killing of Zollicoffer is as follows: While
on the border of "old fields" a stranger in citizen clothes rode up by
his side, so near that he could have put his hand upon his shoulder,
and said: "Don't let us be firing on our own men. Those are our men,"
pointing at the same time toward our forces. Col. Fry looked upon him
inquiringly a moment, supposing him to be one of his own men, after
which he rode forward not more than fifteen paces, when an officer
came dashing up, first recognizing the stranger and almost the same
instant firing upon Col. Fry. At the same moment the stranger wheeled
his horse, facing Col. Fry, when the colonel shot him in the breast.

Gen. Zollicoffer was a prominent and influential citizen of Nashville
previous to the war, and stumped the state with Col. Peyton in
opposition to the ordinance of secession, but when Tennessee seceded
he determined to follow the fortunes of his state. The day before the
battle Gen. Zollicoffer made a speech to his troops in which he said
he would take them to Indiana or go to hell himself. He didn't go to

The poet of the Fourth Kentucky perpetrated the following shortly
after the battle:

"Old Zollicoffer is dead
And the last word he said:
I see a wild cat coming.
Up steps Col. Fry.
And he hit him in the eye
And he sent him to the happy land of Canaan.
Ho! boys, ho!
For the Union go!
Hip hurrah for the happy land of freedom."

The loyal Kentuckians were in great glee and rejoiced over the
victory. It was their battle against rebel invaders from Tennessee,
Mississippi and Alabama, who were first met by their own troops of
Wolford's First cavalry and the Fourth Kentucky infantry, whose blood
was the first to be shed in defense of the Stars and Stripes; and
their gratitude went out to their neighbors from Minnesota, Indiana
and Ohio who came to their support and drove the invaders out of their
state. On Feb. 24, 1862, the Second Minnesota was again in Louisville,
where the regiment had admirers and warm friends in the loyal ladies,
who as evidence of their high appreciation, though the mayor of the
city, Hon. J.M. Dolph, presented to the Second regiment a silk flag.
The mayor said. "Each regiment is equally entitled to like honor, but
the gallant conduct of those who came from a distant state to unite
in subduing our rebel invaders excites the warmest emotions of our

On Jan. 25 President Lincoln's congratulations were read to the
regiment, and on Feb. 9, at Waitsboro, Ky., the following joint
resolution of the Minnesota legislature was read before the regiment:

Whereas, the noble part borne by the First regiment, Minnesota
infantry, in the battles of Bull Run and Ball's Bluff, Va., is
yet fresh in our minds; and, whereas, we have heard with equal
satisfaction the intelligence of the heroism displayed by the Second
Minnesota infantry in the late brilliant action at Mill Springs, Ky.:

Therefore be it resolved by the legislature of Minnesota, That while
it was the fortune of the veteran First regiment to shed luster upon
defeat, it was reserved for the glorious Second regiment to add
victory to glory.

Resolved, that the bravery of our noble sons, heroes whether in defeat
or victory, is a source of pride to the state that sent them forth,
and will never fail to secure to them the honor and the homage of the
government and the people.

Resolved, That we sympathize with the friends of our slain soldiers,
claiming as well to share their grief as to participate in the renown
which the virtues and valor of the dead have conferred on our arms.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions, having the signature
of the executive and the great seal of the state, be immediately
forwarded by the governor to the colonels severally in command of
the regiments, to be by them communicated to their soldiers at dress

The battle at Mill Springs was the first important victory achieved by
the Union army in the Southwest after the outbreak of the rebellion,
and the result of that engagement occasioned great rejoicing
throughout the loyal North. Although the battle was fought forty-five
years ago, quite a number of men engaged in that historic event
are still living in St. Paul, a number of them actively engaged in
business. Among the number are J.W. Bishop, J.C. Donahower, M.C.
Tuttle, R.A. Lanpher, M.J. Clum, William Bircher, Robert G. Rhodes,
John H. Gibbons, William Wagner, Joseph Burger, Jacob J. Miller,
Christian Dehn, William Kemper, Jacob Bernard, Charles F. Myer,
Phillip Potts and Fred Dohm.



The battle of Pittsburg Landing on the 6th and 7th of April, 1862, was
one of the most terrific of the many great battles of the great Civil
war. It has been likened to the battle of Waterloo. Napoleon sought to
destroy the army of Wellington before a junction could be made with
Blucher. Johnston and Beauregard undertook to annihilate the Army of
the Tennessee, under Gen. Grant, before the Army of the Cumberland,
under Buell, could come to his assistance. At the second battle of
Bull Run Gen. Pope claimed that Porter was within sound of his guns,
yet he remained inactive. At Pittsburg Landing it was claimed by
military men that Gen. Buell could have made a junction with Grant
twenty-four hours sooner and thereby saved a terrible loss of life had
he chosen to do so. Both generals were subsequently suspended from
their commands and charges of disloyalty were made against them by
many newspapers in the North. Gen. Porter was tried by court-martial
and dismissed from the service. Many years after this decision was
revoked by congress and the stigma of disloyalty removed from his
name. Gen. Buell was tried by court-martial, but the findings of the
court were never made public. Gen. Grant did not think Gen. Buell
was guilty of the charges against him, and when he became
commander-in-chief of the army in 1864 endeavored to have him restored
to his command, but the war department did not seem inclined to do so.
About two weeks before the battle of Pittsburg Landing Gen. Grant
was suspended from the command of the Army of the Tennessee by Gen.
Halleck, but owing to some delay in the transmission of the order, an
order came from headquarters restoring him to his command before he
knew that he had been suspended. Gen. Grant's success at Fort Henry
and Fort Donelson made his superiors jealous of his popularity. He was
ordered arrested by Gen. McClellan, but the order was held up by the
war department until Gen. Grant could be heard from. The reason for
his arrest was that he went to Nashville to consult with Buell without
permission of the commanding general. Dispatches sent to Grant for
information concerning his command was never delivered to him, but
were delivered over to the rebel authorities by a rebel telegraph
operator, who shortly afterward joined the Confederate forces.

Many years after the war Gen. Badeau, one of Grant's staff officers,
was in search of information for his "History of Grant's Military
Campaigns," and he unearthed in the archives of the war department the
full correspondence between Halleck, McClellan and the secretary of
war, and it was not until then that Gen. Grant learned the full extent
of the absurd accusations made against him.

After the battle of Pittsburg Landing Gen. Halleck assumed personal
command of all the forces at that point and Gen. Grant was placed
second in command, which meant that he had no command at all. This
was very distasteful to Gen. Grant and he would have resigned his
commission and returned to St. Louis but for the interposition of his
friend, Gen. W.T. Sherman. Gen. Grant had packed up his belongings
and was about to depart when Gen. Sherman met him at his tent and
persuaded him to refrain. In a short time Halleck was ordered to
Washington and Grant was made commander of the Department of West
Tennessee, with headquarters at Memphis. Gen. Grant's subsequent
career proved the wisdom of Sherman's entreaty.

When Gen. Halleck assumed command he constructed magnificent
fortifications, and they were a splendid monument to his engineering
skill, but they were never occupied. He was like the celebrated king
of France, who "with one hundred thousand men, marched up the hill and
then down again." Gen. Halleck had under his immediate command more
than one hundred thousand well equipped men, and the people of
the North looked to him to administer a crushing blow to the then
retreating enemy. The hour had arrived--the man had not.

"Flushed with the victory of Forts Henry and Donelson," said the
envious Halleck in a dispatch to the war department, previous to
the battle, "the army under Grant at Pittsburg Landing was more
demoralized than the Army of the Potomac after the disastrous defeat
of Bull Run."

Soon after the battle the venerable Gen. Scott predicted that the
war would soon be ended--that thereafter there would be nothing but
guerrilla warfare at interior points. Gen. Grant himself in his
memoirs says that had the victory at Pittsburg Landing been followed
up and the army been kept intact the battles at Stone River,
Chattanooga and Chickamauga would not have been necessary.

Probably the battle of Pittsburg Landing was the most misunderstood
and most misrepresented of any battle occurring during the war. It
was charged that Grant was drunk; that he was far away from the
battleground when the attack was made, and was wholly unprepared to
meet the terrible onslaught of the enemy in the earlier stages of the
encounter. Gen. Beauregard is said to have stated on the morning
of the battle that before sundown he would water his horses in the
Tennessee river or in hell. That the rebels did not succeed in
reaching the Tennessee was not from lack of dash and daring on their
part, but was on account of the sturdy resistance and heroism of their
adversaries. According to Gen. Grant's own account of the battle,
though suffering intense pain from a sprained ankle, he was in the
saddle from early morning till late at night, riding from division to
division, giving directions to their commanding officers regarding the
many changes in the disposition of their forces rendered necessary
by the progress of the battle. The firm resistance made by the force
under his command is sufficient refutation of the falsity of the
charges made against him. Misunderstanding of orders, want of
co-operation of subordinates as well as superiors, and rawness of
recruits were said to have been responsible for the terrible slaughter
of the Union forces on the first day of the battle.

* * * * *

The battle of Pittsburg Landing is sometimes called the battle of
Shiloh, some of the hardest lighting having been done in the vicinity
of an old log church called the Church of Shiloh, about three miles
from the landing.

The battle ground traversed by the opposing forces occupied a
semi-circle of about three and a half miles from the town of
Pittsburg, the Union forces being stationed in the form of a
semi-circle, the right resting on a point north of Crump's Landing,
the center being directly in front of the road to Corinth, and the
left extending to the river in the direction of Harrisburg--a small
place north of Pittsburg Landing. At about 2 o'clock on Sunday
morning, Col. Peabody of Prentiss' division, fearing that everything
was not right, dispatched a body of 400 men beyond the camp for the
purpose of looking after any body of men which might be lurking in
that direction. This step was wisely taken, for a half a mile advance
showed a heavy force approaching, who fired upon them with great
slaughter. This force taken by surprise, was compelled to retreat,
which they did in good order under a galling fire. At 6 o'clock the
fire had become general along the entire front, the enemy having
driven in the pickets of Gen. Sherman's division and had fallen with
vengeance upon three Ohio regiments of raw recruits, who knew nothing
of the approach of the enemy until they were within their midst. The
slaughter on the first approach of the enemy was very severe, scores
falling at every discharge of rebel guns. It soon became apparent that
the rebel forces were approaching in overwhelming numbers and there
was nothing left for them to do but retreat, which was done with
considerable disorder, both officers and men losing every particle of
their baggage, which fell into rebel hands.

At 8:30 o'clock the fight had become general, the second line of
divisions having received the advance in good order and made every
preparation for a suitable reception of the foe. At this time many
thousand stragglers, many of whom had never before heard the sound
of musketry, turned their backs to the enemy, and neither threats or
persuasion could induce them to turn back. The timely arrival of Gen.
Grant, who had hastened up from Savannah, led to the adoption of
measures that put a stop to this uncalled-for flight from the battle
ground. A strong guard was placed across the thoroughfare, with orders
to hault every soldier whose face was turned toward the river, and
thus a general stampede was prevented. At 10 o'clock the entire line
on both sides was engaged in one of the most terrible battles ever
known in this country. The roar of the cannon and musketry was without
intermission from the main center to a point extending halfway down
the left wing. The great struggle was most upon the forces which had
fallen back on Sherman's position. By 11 o'clock quite a number of the
commanders of regiments had fallen, and in some instances not a single
field officer remained; yet the fighting continued with an earnestness
that plainly showed that the contest on both sides was for death or
victory. The almost deafening sound of artillery and the rattle of
musketry was all that could be heard as the men stood silently and
delivered their fire, evidently bent on the work of destruction which
knew no bounds. Foot by foot the ground was contested, a single narrow
strip of open land dividing the opponents. Many who were maimed fell
back without help, while others still fought in the ranks until they
were actually forced back by their company officers. Finding it
impossible to drive back the center of our column, at 12 o'clock the
enemy slackened fire upon it and made a most vigorous effort on our
left wing, endeavoring to drive it to the river bank at a point about
a mile and a half above Pittsburg Landing. With the demonstration of
the enemy upon the left wing it was soon seen that all their fury was
being poured out upon it, with a determination that it should give
way. For about two hours a sheet of fire blazed both columns, the
rattle of musketry making a most deafening noise. For about an hour it
was feared that the enemy would succeed in driving our forces to the
river bank, the rebels at times being plainly seen by those on the
main landing below. While the conflict raged the hottest in this
quarter the gunboat Tyler passed slowly up the river to a point
directly opposite the enemy and poured in a broadside from her immense
guns. The shells went tearing and crashing through the woods, felling
trees in their course and spreading havoc wherever they fell. The
explosions were fearful, the shells falling far inland, and they
struck terror to the rebel force. Foiled in this attempt, they now
made another attack on the center and fought like tigers. They found
our lines well prepared and in full expectation of their coming. Every
man was at his post and all willing to bring the contest to a definite
conclusion. In hourly expectation of the arrival of reinforcements,
under Generals Nelson and Thomas of Buell's army, they made every
effort to rout our forces before the reinforcements could reach the
battle ground. They were, however, fighting against a wall of steel.
Volley answered volley and for a time the battle of the morning was
re-enacted on the same ground and with the same vigor on both sides.
At 5 o'clock there was a short cessation in the firing of the enemy,
their lines falling back on the center for about half a mile. They
again wheeled and suddenly threw their entire force upon the left
wing, determined to make the final struggle of the day in that
quarter. The gunboat Lexington in the meantime had arrived from
Savannah, and after sending a message to Gen. Grant to ascertain in
which direction the enemy was from the river, the Lexington and Tyler
took a position about half a mile above the river landing, and poured
their shells up a deep ravine reaching to the river on the right.
Their shots were thick and fast and told with telling effect. In the
meantime Gen. Lew Wallace, who had taken a circuitous route from
Crump's Landing, appeared suddenly on the left wing of the rebels. In
face of this combination the enemy felt that their bold effort was for
the day a failure and as night was about at hand, they slowly fell
back, fighting as they went, until they reached an advantageous
position, somewhat in the rear, yet occupying the main road to
Corinth. The gunboats continued to send their shells after them until
they were far beyond reach. This ended the engagement for the day.
Throughout the day the rebels evidently had fought with the Napoleonic
idea of massing their entire force on weak points of the enemy, with
the intention of braking through their lines, creating a panic and
cutting off retreat.

The first day's battle, though resulting in a terrible loss of Union
troops, was in reality a severe disappointment to the rebel leaders.
They fully expected, with their overwhelming force to annihilate
Grant's army, cross the Tennessee river and administer the same
punishment to Buell, and then march on through Tennessee, Kentucky and
into Ohio. They had conceived a very bold movement, but utterly failed
to execute it.

Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Confederate forces,
was killed in the first day's battle, being shot while attempting to
induce a brigade of unwilling Confederates to make a charge on the

Gen. Buell was at Columbia, Tenn., on the 19th of March with a veteran
force of 40,000 men, and it required nineteen days for him to reach
the Tennessee river, eighty-five miles distant, marching less than
five miles a day, notwithstanding the fact that he had been ordered to
make a junction with Grant's forces as soon as possible, and was well
informed of the urgency of the situation.

During the night steamers were engaged in carrying the troops of
Nelson's division across the river. As soon as the boats reached the
shore the troops immediately left, and, without music, took their way
to the advance of the left wing of the Union forces. They had come up
double quick from Savannah, and as they were regarded as veterans, the
greatest confidence was soon manifest as to the successful termination
of the battle. With the first hours of daylight it was evident that
the enemy had also been strongly reinforced, for, notwithstanding they
must have known of the arrival of new Union troops, they were first to
open the ball, which they did with considerable alacrity. The attacks
that began came from the main Corinth road, a point to which they
seemed strongly attached, and which at no time did they leave
unprotected. Within half an hour from the first firing in the morning
the contest then again spread in either direction, and both the main
and left wings were not so anxious to fight their way to the river
bank as on the previous day, having a slight experience of what they
might expect if again brought under the powerful guns of the Tyler and
Lexington. They were not, however, lacking in activity, and they
were met by our reinforced troops with an energy that they did not
anticipate. At 9 o'clock the sound of the artillery and musketry fully
equaled that of the day before. It now became evident that the rebels
were avoiding our extreme left wing, and were endeavoring to find a
weak point in our line by which they could turn our force and thus
create a panic. They left one point but to return to it immediately,
and then as suddenly would direct an assault upon a division where
they imagined they would not be expected. The fire of the united
forces was as steady as clockwork, and it soon became evident that
the enemy considered the task they had undertaken a hopeless one.
Notwithstanding continued repulses, the rebels up to 11 o'clock had
given no evidence of retiring from the field. Their firing had been as
rapid and vigorous at times as during the most terrible hours of
the previous day. Generals Grant, Buell, Nelson and Crittenden were
present everywhere directing the movements on our part for a new
strike against the foe. Gen. Lew Wallace's division on the right had
been strongly reinforced, and suddenly both wings of our army were
turned upon the enemy, with the intention of driving the immense body
into an extensive ravine. At the same time a powerful battery had been
stationed upon an open field, and they poured volley after volley into
the rebel ranks and with the most telling effect. At 11:30 o'clock the
roar of battle almost shook the earth, as the Union guns were being
fired with all the energy that the prospect of ultimate victory
inspired. The fire from the enemy was not so vigorous and they began
to evince a desire to withdraw. They fought as they slowly moved back,
keeping up their fire from their artillery and musketry, apparently
disclaiming any notion that they thought of retreating. As they
retreated they went in excellent order, halting at every advantageous
point and delivering their fire with considerable effect. At noon it
was settled beyond dispute that the rebels were retreating. They were
making but little fire, and were heading their center column for
Corinth. From all divisions of our lines they were closely pursued,
a galling fire being kept up on their rear, which they returned at
intervals with little or no effect. From Sunday morning until Monday
noon not less than three thousand cavalry had remained seated In their
saddles on the hilltop overlooking the river, patiently awaiting the
time when an order should come for them to pursue the flying enemy.
That time had now arrived and a courier from Gen. Grant had scarcely
delivered his message before the entire body was in motion. The wild
tumult of the excited riders presented a picture seldom witnessed on a
battlefield. Gen. Grant himself led the charge.

* * * * *

Gen. Grant, in his memoirs, summarizes the results of the two days'
fighting as follows: "I rode forward several miles the day of the
battle and found that the enemy had dropped nearly all of their
provisions and other luggage in order to enable them to get off with
their guns. An immediate pursuit would have resulted in the capture
of a considerable number of prisoners and probably some guns...." The
effective strength of the Union forces on the morning of the 6th was
33,000 men. Lew Wallace brought 5,000 more after nightfall. Beauregard
reported the rebel strength at 40,955. Excluding the troops who fled,
there was not with us at any time during the day more than 25,000 men
in line. Our loss in the two days' fighting was 1,754 killed, 8,408
wounded and 2,885 missing. Beauregard reported a total loss of 10,699,
of whom 1,728 were killed, 8,012 wounded and 957 missing.

On the first day of the battle Gen. Prentiss, during a change of
position of the Union forces, became detached from the rest of the
troops, and was taken prisoner, together with 2,200 of his men. Gen.
W.H.L. Wallace, division commander, was killed in the early part of
the struggle.

The hardest fighting during the first day was done in front of the
divisions of Sherman and McClernand. "A casualty to Sherman," says
Gen. Grant, "that would have taken him from the field that day would
have been a sad one for the Union troops engaged at Shiloh. And how
near we came to this! On the 6th Sherman was shot twice, once in the
hand, once in the shoulder, the ball cutting his coat and making a
slight wound, and a third ball passed through his hat. In addition to
this he had several horses shot during the day."

During the second day of the battle Gen. Grant, Col. McPherson and
Maj. Hawkins got beyond the left of our troops. There did not appear
to be an enemy in sight, but suddenly a battery opened on them from
the edge of the woods. They made a hasty retreat and when they were
at a safe distance halted to take an account of the damage. In a few
moments Col. McPherson's horse dropped dead, having been shot just
back of the saddle. A ball had passed through Maj. Hawkins' hat and a
ball had struck the metal of Gen. Grant's sword, breaking it nearly

On the first day of the battle about 6,000 fresh recruits who had
never before heard the sound of musketry, fled on the approach of the
enemy. They hid themselves on the river bank behind the bluff, and
neither command nor persuasion could induce them to move. When Gen.
Buell discovered them on his arrival he threatened to fire on them,
but it had no effect. Gen. Grant says that afterward those same men
proved to be some of the best soldiers in the service.

Gen. Grant, in his report, says he was prepared with the
reinforcements of Gen. Lew Wallace's division of 5,000 men to assume
the offensive on the second day of the battle, and thought he could
have driven the rebels back to their fortified position at Corinth
without the aid of Buell's army.

* * * * *

At banquet hall, regimental reunion or campfire, whenever mention is
made of the glorious record of Minnesota volunteers in the great Civil
war, seldom, if ever, is the First Minnesota battery given credit
for its share in the long struggle. Probably very few of the present
residents of Minnesota are aware that such an organization existed.
This battery was one of the finest organizations that left the state
during the great crisis. It was in the terrible battle of Pittsburg
Landing, the siege of Vicksburg, in front of Atlanta and in the great
march from Atlanta to the sea, and in every position in which they
were placed they not only covered themselves with glory, but they were
an honor and credit to the state that sent them. The First Minnesota
battery, light artillery, was organized at Fort Snelling in the fall
of 1861, and Emil Munch was made its first captain. Shortly after
being mustered in they were ordered to St. Louis, where they received
their accoutrements, and from there they were ordered to Pittsburg
Landing, arriving at the latter place late in February, 1862. The day
before the battle, they were transferred to Prentiss' division of
Grant's army. On Sunday morning, April 6, the battery was brought out
bright and early, preparing for inspection. About 7 o'clock great
commotion was heard at headquarters, and the battery was ordered to be
ready to march at a moment's notice. In about ten minutes they were
ordered to the front, the rebels having opened fire on the Union
forces. In a very short time rebel bullets commenced to come thick and
fast, and one of their number was killed and three others wounded. It
soon became evident that the rebels were in great force in front
of the battery, and orders were issued for them to choose another
position. At about 11 o'clock the battery formed in a new position
on an elevated piece of ground, and whenever the rebels undertook to
cross the field in front of them the artillery raked them down with
frightful slaughter. Several times the rebels placed batteries In the
timber at the farther end of the field, but in each instance the
guns of the First battery dislodged them before they could get into
position. For hours the rebels vainly endeavored to break the lines
of the Union forces, but in every instance they were repulsed with
frightful loss, the canister mowing them down at close range. About 5
o'clock the rebels succeeded in flanking Gen. Prentiss and took part
of his force prisoners. The battery was immediately withdrawn to an
elevation near the Tennessee river, and it was not long before firing
again commenced and kept up for half an hour, the ground fairly
shaking from the continuous firing on both sides of the line. At
about 6 o'clock the firing ceased, and the rebels withdrew to a safe
distance from the landing. The casualties of the day were three killed
and six wounded, two of the latter dying shortly afterward. The fight
at what was known as the "hornet's nest" was most terrific, and had
not the First battery held out so heroically and valiantly the rebels
would have succeeded in forcing a retreat of the Union lines to a
point dangerously near the Tennessee river. Capt. Munch's horse
received a bullet In his head and fell, and the captain himself

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