Friday, March 27, 2009

Camp Bragg

My grandmother lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Over the years I have stopped at the three Civil War monuments many times. But this time I wanted to stop at one to see how my son would react. This wasn't the same as wandering Shiloh for a whole day but if cannons in a park wouldn't interest him then I'd know nothing would. But as you can see he did like the cannons. He especially liked to hear that this was part of the Lincoln and John Brown thing we talk about all the time. He could finally touch something connected to the stories.

Camp Bragg was where the 21st and 32nd Wisconsin infantries got their first taste of military life. The 32nd had the good luck to miss most combat, serving some garrison duty then finishing up the war with Sherman in the Carolinas. The 21st got into quite a bit of combat, first at Perryville, through Chickamauga, Chattanooga and then with Sherman to the end. The 21st Wisconsin lost 112 men through battle and 183 by disease, while the 32nd Wisconsin lost 27 in battle and 254 by disease. By those numbers alone you can get a sense of the different type of service each saw.
Camp Bragg was behind this monument, this monument marks the northeast corner of the camp. It was named for Edward Bragg who was the lieutenant colonel of the 6th Wisconsin in the fall of 1862. He would become a brigadier general in June 1864.

The guns on the right used to be a matched pair. One was inscribed Stones River and the other was inscribed Chickamauga. The Stones River gun was sent to the battlefield and traded for another gun. The Chickamauga gun is still there, it is the one on the far right. In an odd twist of chance I am friends with the man whose great grandfather (Confederate General Alfred Vaughn) led the brigade that captured the Stones River gun. I've seen that gun at the battlefield but was too late to see it in Oshkosh.
All of the guns (except the one received in the Stones River trade) are marked "M. Greenwood Cincinati O[hio] 1862"


Anonymous said...


Any chance you could send me a couple of pics just of the Chickamauga gun, something I could email the park?

Over the years we have come across a number of "Chickamauga" items - usually guns or iron-riddled stumps. I like to forward them on to the park to kind of tie in all this stuff as a kind of extended record.

Very cool. How much do you know about Harrison Hobart, the 21st's commander at Chickamauga? He was quite the humourist, fun at parties, and in great demand. He had a bit of an accent, and liked to pretend that Wisconsin was a foreign country and that he and the boys of the 21st were just down south helping the "Americans" win their war...

Dave Powell

Anonymous said...

Great story on the Camp Bragg Memorial! I have visited many times because my great-great grandfather served with the regiment. The memorial is on the northeast corner of where the camp was located. I'd like to hear more from Dave Powell and where he learned about Hobart (see previous posting). Thanks! Ted.