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Moses Wisner

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ir you ever visitPontiac drive out on the old BatctaaWg nnd to the Win-r homcstt-ad. It is on a hill whichoverlooks the The houw h nlrl and old-nuhlonea. riiere is a long, porch looking goutn and east, when; in days gone by people ud tiilked, and probably made love and smokud. Rut no onc siu there now. If the house is oecupied at all it 8 by more practica] people viho work all day and sleep all nigut. The grounds are Jarge and overgrown with evergreens. There has been no tritnming tor years. The dead limos show their brown bark amuug the green branche?. The cones lie wherethey have fallen on theground. Decay and growth, lifeand death, have been dwelliug tojjethcr. There are little elevatious and depressions where flower beds and furrows once were. Now and tben the retnnant of a rose bush epeaks to the eye of the time when there was 6ue ta.-te it tlieold ruin. The torest inore tlian aiiythiug else deinonstrates the principie of the survival of the lïttest. The slow-jtrowingpinegainsa little every year. It hides behind the poplar in lts fcrowth, but as it advances shoots far above it and flnally covers it with shadows whicli in the end kill it. Tiiis old hoinestead was once very neatlv kt-pt. The trees planted by Mosei when he was vet on the" sunny -ide of 40. He rrew öld thtm. Ie trimiued them and watered them aud spaiL-d no pains to aid their growth. But left them more tlian twenty years afro. Since tlien ouly the hand of time has oocbed them. ON ANOTHKR ROAD. There is a nother road frnm Pontiac eading to the northeast. Upon a hill a i lliurt distance out is the cemeterj'. Nenr he center a plain monument tells one liat Muses WUner sleeps beneath. Ti e rrouuda are negli-cteii Iban at the old loinestead. Every year adds new inhablants to the city of the dead, and the ¦i-arly tribute front bereaved heai ta keeps he pN.ce in order. The freh flowers on nuiy graves inake us forget the iürjjotteu ones near by. Betweeii 1840 and 1860 Moses Wisner MMWrf the prominent men in Michifau. He was a grcat lawyer, making up or early disudvautajres by rugged coiiimon RM, Juiies laughed and wept with him. Judies treated him wilh istinction. Polilical meetings cheeied urn. He was a republican when the paity vas bom. He hated slavery and never eitatcd to denounce it. He became jroveriior Jan. 1, 1S.9, and served two years. He did not let his office interfere with bis business, and although severely eiïticised for so doing kept on trying cases after election just tlie same as before. He lejjaided the war as a trifle at first. bilt by tbe time Lincoln called for 300,000 men tor thiee years changed hls mind. ili' tendered his services to Gov. Blair, aiid was diieetedto raise a regiment. The fair grounds at routine became Camp Richaidfon, In honor of Figtitiug Dick, who had been killed in the East. Men carne in swarms. In a few days a regiment was formed. Oakland county contributed two companies, Maconib three, St. Clair two, Sanilac one and Livingston two. OFF FOR THE SOUTH. Sept. 4th, 1862, the regiment started south. It marched through Detroit in the evening Hnd about midnight took the sti-amer lof Cleveland. Detroit was iiluininated and the people seemed to be out en maase. The friends of tliesoldiers f rom all over the state were thore. Their mothers trudged along beside them. ürave men forgot their dignity and followed the proce&sion as boys would an ordinary one. I can recall as among the crowd .lude II U heil of Port Huron, and Judge Walker of Detroit. Xeither hada relativa in the regiment, but both telt the gravity of the situation and the necessity of prompt action. Both wcre intensely patriotic. Less than two years before Judge Walker had been a candidate upon a platform vvhich denied the rightof the general govemment to coerce a state. Judge Mitchell maintained the same doctrine. Uut all 8ucü theories were fogotten when the rebels in their madness uiadc war upon the Union. It seeins hard now to believe that the üituation was so serious. Klrby Smith had m irched through Kt-ulucky and thieatened Cincinnati. The South had halt a mili ion of men in the field. The Union Unes were falling back east and west. It seems stranger still to reflect on time's chances, aml tothink thatalthough we tiiumplied, any member of Kirby amito1! rmy would have more influence ut Washington to-day than as if hu tiail bren on tUe right side then. The mainicil and wounded of our army mu-t recei ve their pensions through a mun who was then Hg.iinst us. The regiment paseed throuoh Ohio nest d:iy. At every station peoiile received it with cheers. Tables weiesetand covered with everything thiit could tempt the appeiite. It crossed the Ohio river at 2 in the morning. There were no welcoming crowds on the olher slde. It was like KMlog ti om sui8hine into night. All elt that every step from thls point would e coutested. The tr.en slept for the lirst time out doors. 'The regiment had never ürllled and was as ignorant of war as liildren. The next morning it marched ut three miles on the Lexlngton pike and lalted in a beautiful grove. The sun was iot, the du-t stiflmg. The men threw hemselves on the ground and were soon sleep. THE BATTLE OF CABBA.GE HILL. A liltle later there wasacry, "To arms, lie cni-my supon you 1" The colonel as upon Maj. Sanborn's fimou horse Kenneeck, wliicli he had ridden trom Covingon at full speed. lie had been told at le.idquarters tlmt ti ia posltion was about 0 be uttucked and liad rushed out to 8a ve hu day. ''Men of the twenty-second, .lie eyes of Michigan are upon yon !" l'hat is the way he addressed hls solíiiers. ,'hey gol luto line and the colonel in hig hirt sleeves moved up and down in front ot tin-in. The line etretched across the 1 il and through a cahbftge tield. In his xcitement he 8lashed the innocent vcgeable rijfht and lett with hia sword. The vent was afterwards knowii as the Battle f Cabbage HUI. After standing in line n hour 80inu one sutrgctted to liini tliat lie regiment had received no aramunilon. lie seutto thecighteenth Michigan Dd borrowed two boxea, but thcy were wo sizes too large for the guns. The idir wan giren to whittle thera down and vas obeyed by all who happened to have ack kniveí. The enemy didn't como, but if lie liad- some one would have beei hurt. i It seems nstonlshing to think liow mucl our loiifr ppace liad unfitted ua for war The military spirit liad been dead t'oi years. Tiie tlurry caused by the Mexican war wil orjjotten. f.A '„„,, .iiusi have been nean no. His liead wasbald and bis wliiskers asbeii gray. He was very vigoróos and vury ambitious. Knowing nothlngof military lile he regarded all rules as useless. Iu some unexplainable way he got bis regiment detaclied and started to find John Morgan. He seemeil to tbink bis mission was to capture the great raMer. Luckily he never fouiid hiin, for Morgan at the time had four times aa many men and was a tíne and experieuccd soldier. INCIDENT3 Olí THK MARCH. Some queer thlngs occured on the march. Tbe negroes flocked to our standard, and of ten impeded us by their nninbers. They ate up our rations. But the eolonel would not turn a man away. He would stand any inconvenience rathtr Iban send one back to bondage. When we joiued Gen Gilmore at Levington the latter ordered several 6laves reimaed to tbtir maater. Tbe eolonel wrote a note ot reíusal. He wrote a worse hand than Horace Greeley Whether Gen. Gilmore failed to read it or determined upon some fun I never knew, but he eent it back wlth this endorseraent : "Papers orwarded to headquarterg by Col. Wisner shonld be endorsed, 'Wisner Col. M."' 'Qreat God r he exclaimed, "am I to be subjected to this red tape?" Tbis treatment of bis insubordination completely unnerved him. Instead of being trrwted and made a martyr of he was simply invited to study the regulations. On the march one night he said to me : "I tbink we'll find Moigan in the morniiiff." "What will you do with him?" I asked. "Do you know," said he, " thought has boihered me for an hourf But I think I'll send Capt. Hattan over to him ind have bim talk till wu can get reiníoicemtnt.-." Thoíe who knew Cit. Hattan'8 talkin power never doubted the aiiccess of the plan if Morgan would only stop to listen. "Captain," said he one morulng, "you are a lawyer and bave read Bleckstone. Does the lmv raise any presumplion as to libeity." "I ihink," said I, "tbe luw presumes all meh to be free." 'Not in this curfedftate," he answered. "A drop of b.ack blood raket the .re¦umptlun that h ni ni is a slave añil makes him bear the burthen of paving hiinself tree.'1 HE LOVED A JOKE. He was fond of a joke even on hiinself. We stopped at a farm house one day and ordered dinner. The old lady didn't Hke hs, but she cooked some corn bread and bacon, and hunger made the meal delicious. She asked the colonel how he enjoyed Kentueky. "I baven't had a square meul since I carne here six weeks ago,'1 he mm. "O, tlien,'' saiil she. "that accounts for the way jou eat." The lauh that followed was enjoyed as much by him as unr one. The iUHrches and countermarches through Kentueky occupied the aiitumn and early part of the winter. It was snowlng heavlly as we marched intoLeiington. The colonel was anxions to shuve the hardships of his men. He was attacked with a severe cold which turned to pneumonía and ended in death. His mlud wandered for many days before he died. The officer9 usually set up with him and assisted Mr. Wlsner, wlio had come on from Michigan, In taking eire of him. The brain - naturally active- fought its old fight over agaln. Now he WH8 addressing a jury, now thunderiug againet slavery to some great political irathering, now shouting to his regiment to advance upon the nation's foes and save its life. As he lay there dying we all feit tnatagreat man was passing away. Body and soul sremed to reslst death. There was work umlone whlch they were loth to leave. But soon forgetfulnesg coverd it all. The body ceased to burn aml rest 6cttled over the disturbed face. With mufllfd drums and reversed arms we followed the body to the curs that were to take it to our mother Michigan, where it lias becomea part of her hallowed dust.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News