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BIOGRAPHY OF COL. GREUSEL.
In the march upon the city of Mexico the Michigan Volunteers were attached to the Division of General Bank head, which marched through Cordova and Orizaba some distance south of the National Road to the Mexican Capitol. Their progress through the country was almost a continuous battle with bands of “guerillas” and bodies of Mexican soldiery who swarmed from the mountain fastnesses. In their encounters with the enemy the Michigan Volunteers acquitted themselves nobly, performing successfully and well every duty assigned them.
The war having been brought to a close in the summer of 1847, the regiment returned home, arriving at Detroit July 12th. At the outset Captain Greusel's Company numbered one hundred and five men, and he returned with eighty-five, having been better cared for and in better health than any of the other companies in the Regiment. Under his economical inanagement about $300 Company money was saved, with which he purchased new shirts, shoes, blacking, and such articles of clothing and accoutrements as were lacking, and when within a few hours' ride from Detroit, directed his men to shave, wash, and dress in the new outfit provided for them. The other officers were astontonished and somewhat chagrined to find that his company were clean and well dressed while theirs were walking bundles of dirty rags. On landing, Col. Williams placed Company D. in the advance in marching through the city; while the newspapers were filled with articles eulogistic of Captain Greusel and the fine appearance of his veteran company. The day succeeding his discharge and muster out of the service, found him back in his old position in the lumber yard of Rice, Coffin & Co., attending to business as of yore.
Subsequently he was elected Captain of the City Guards and then Lieut. Colonel of the first battalion ; was appointed Superintendent of the City Water Works in 1847, and Inspector Gen eral of lumber for the State of Michigan in 1848, which office he held two years.
An unfortunate investment stripped him of the hard earnings of a life time, and he again commenced at the lowest round of the ladder of life to win his way to a competency and to fame. He next turned his attention to railroading and found continuous employment, first upon the Michigan Central and then the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, in whose employ the Rebellion found him. A company recruited by him at Aurora was among the first to respond to the President's call for troops, and on the organization of the 7th Regiment he was appointed its Major, where the opening chapter of our story finds him. His whole career is replete with incidents of indomitable perseverance, and triumphs over discouragements, indicating a determination to accomplish whatever he should undertake. It was quite generally conceded that in the appointment of a leader, the right man was found for the place.
EDWARD S. JOSLYN, the Lieut. Colonel of the regiment, at this time was about thirty-four years of age. He was born in Nunda, Alleghany County, N. Y., but for the last twenty-five years had been a resident of Kane and McHenry counties. A lawyer by profession, his brilliant talents had won for him a high position at the bar. He was among the first who sprang to arms ere the thunders from Sumpter had ceased to reverberate through the land. He was appointed Captain of Company A of the first regiment formed in the State. Fearless and outspoken, none who knew him doubted his patriotism or courage. The whole regiment was devoted in their attachment to him, and confident that in the trials which awaited them he would acquit himself with honor and distinction.
CHAPTER I I.
T FIRST the point selected for the place of rendez
vous was on the east side of Fox River, in a grov opposite the village of Montgomery ; but the owner of the land, with more selfishness than patriotism, would not allow the location of a camp on his prem
ises without an exorbitant consideration. Another site was selected on the west side of the river, a half mile above Montgomery and two miles from Aurora, on high ground overlooking and aıljoining the track of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. A fine spring of clear, cold water near at hand burst out from the foot of the bluff, and, with the exception of a forest shade, this location was fully as pleasant and far more dry and healthful than the proposed camp in the woods, and possessed the additional advantage of easy access to the railroad.
Col. Hammond, the efficient Superintendent of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, took a warm interest in the organization and welfare of the regiment from its first inception, as was attested by the presentation of a fine flag-staff, from which gracefully waved the stars and stripes, doubly consecrated in the affections of the men since the attempt of traitors to trample it in the dust. For this, as well as many other favors, were both officers and men under obligation to Col. Hammond, and it was in his honor that this first encampment was called “Camp Hammond,” which for many days was a point of absorbing interest to the good people of Kane and Kendall counties and of the surrounding region.
The Young America Guards arrived upon the ground Saturday, August 18th, 1861, being the first company in camp. They were a fine body of athletic men, as ready to grapple with the hardships of campaigning as to go to their accustomed duties in field or shop. They were commanded by Capt. E. B. Baldwin, and their quarters were selected, their tents arranged, and were apparently well settled for housekeeping on the arrival of the other companies.
The Bristol Company, from Kendall County, composed of recruits from the towns of Bristol and Little Rock, was next in the order of its arrival, and went into camp August 20th, Captain Baldwin and the Guards forming in line and according the men from Kendall County as gallant a reception as the circumstances would allow. This Company, composed almost exclusively of farmers' sons, was made up of as sterling material as ever wielded musket or sabre. The citizens of Bristol and neighborhood with commendable zeal turned out as to a political mass meeting to escort their boys to camp. Later in the day, Captain Pierce's Company from Lisbon, the “Wayne Rifles," the “ Oswego Rifles," and the “Elgin Guards" put in an appearance, each preceded by the squeaking of fifes, the clangor of drums, the shout and hurrah of citizens, and accompanied by little less than a brigade of anxious mothers, staid and sober fathers, devoted wives, fidgety sisters and forlorn looking sweethearts.
FIRST NIGHT IN CAMP.
But this, like all days, had an end, and as the declining sun began to throw a halo of glory over camp and field, painful good byes were said, and many a mother's heart throbbed with sorrowing yet tender thoughts as she wended her way homeward. The men set to work with a will : tents went up as if by magic; a limited number of blankets were distributed ; a meagre supply of straw procured for bedding; and rations, consisting of bread, beef, bacon and coffee, were issued to the men, who essayed, man fashion, to cook and eat their first meal in camp. The way some of the poor fellows went at it was a sight so supremely ludicrous as to excite the laughter of anything capable of appreciating superlative awkwardness. Some of the beef passed through the trying ordeal of cooking, much after the manner and as safely as those Israelitish worthies, Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego, passed through the fiery furnace, with little of the smell of fire about it, while the huge slices of others were shriveled and burned to a crisp ; but whether raw or roasted, it finally went the way of all victuals, seasoned with some honest growls, but with few expressions of entire satisfaction.
This first night in camp will doubtless long be remembered by many. But few of the men had ever before experienced the luxury of a couch of straw, or the thrilling pleasure of reclining upon the bare bosom of Mother Earth, with a coat, a carpet sack or block of wood to serve as a pillow. To some, with whom the experiment was wholly new, the long hours of the night wore away dull and melancholy. Notwithstanding the scores of people in close proximity to them, it seemed lonely with but a thin sheet of cotton cloth between them and the great blue sky, flecked with stars, arching around and over them. Some were thinking of the homes they had just left, and many were the