THE CIVIL WAR
Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Collection

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Admin/Biog History This collection contains official paperwork of Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Infanrty. The 2nd Regiment was organized at Camp Randall, Madison, in May 1861. Company E was recruired from Oshkosh. They were mustered into federal service on June 11, 1861; they were sent east and became a part of the famous Iron Brigade, in the Army of the Potomac. They participated in the battles of Bull Run; Gainesville; 2nd Bull Run; South Mountain; Antietam; Gettysburg; and Wilderness. The regiment returned to Madison on June 18, 1864 and was mustered-out of federal service. Of the original 1,051 men they lost 256 to death, 11 missing, 51 desertions, 134 transfers, and 466 discharged, one of the highest casualty rates of any northern regiment during the Civil War.
ASH, Reuben - 2nd Lt., Company E, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Reuben was born on Oct. 26, 1833 at Pennsylvania. He listed his age as 28 and his occupation as a clerk residing at Oshkosh, Winnebago County when he enlisted on Apr. 21, 1861. Standing over 5'10" tall, he had blue eyes, auburn hair and a florid complexion. He was assigned as above and was promoted to Corporal, Ser-geant on Sept. 21, 1861 and then 1st Sergeant of that company. Reuben was wounded in the first battle at Bull Run, Virginia. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of that company on Jan. 1, 1863 and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on Mar. 31, 1863. Reuben was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was mustered out on June 28, 1864 at the end of his term of enlistment. Reuben was listed in 1866 as a clerk. He was then boarding at the Adams House in Oshkosh. He was listed in 1868 as a clerk residing at the Seymour House in Oshkosh. He was listed in 1870 as a grocery clerk residing in the second ward of Oshkosh. Reuben was married in Winnebago County on Dec. 15, 1870 to Grace Lawrence. Reuben owned a grocery busi-ness that was destroyed in the great Oshkosh fire of Apr. 28, 1875. As of June 1879, he was awarded a pension of $4 per month for a wound to his right shoulder. Prior to 1880 he had rebuilt his grocery at 12 Washington Street in Oshkosh. He was listed in the veteran section of the 1885 Wisconsin State census at P.O. Osh-kosh. He was not found in the index to the veteran schedule of the 1890 federal census of Wisconsin. In an 1899 article by Col. Harshaw, Reuben was said to have died at Chicago, Illinois. He died on Mar. 25, 1891 and is buried in Oshkosh at Riverside Cemetery, Masonic Section, block F, lot 5. His next of kin was listed as a brother-in-law, R. Lawrence of Oshkosh. Grace, the widow of Reuben, was listed in 1905 as residing at 421 Washington St. in Oshkosh.
{US 1870, 1890; WC-V 1885, 1905; LOP-1883; S-1866; T-1868; Harney p.154, 323; ROV}
{ODN 07 May 1899; GRI; MR-Red; B-1905Cemetery Records; WCMR v.1 p.480 #3137}
HARSHAW, Henry B. - 2nd Lt., Company E, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Henry was born on June 13, 1842 at Washington County, New York. He was a son of George and Reliance Harshaw. George was born circa 1795 in Ireland and Reliance was born circa 1801 at New York. Henry came to Wisconsin with his father in 1849 and settled at Oconomowoc, Waukesha County. In 1854 the family removed to Oshkosh, Winnebago County, where Henry attended school until 1859. He then attended a one year course in Beaver Dam, Dodge County at Wayland University. In 1860 he taught at a country school near Ripon, Green Lake County. George, his father, was listed in the 1860 federal census as residing in the fourth ward of the city of Oshkosh. Residing with him was his wife and sons Henry and Albert Harshaw. Albert was born circa 1844 at New York. Residing next door at that time was another son, William, who is the subject of a following sketch. Reliance died at Oshkosh on Feb. 7, 1868 at the age of 66 years and 6 months. Henry enlisted at Oshkosh on Apr. 21, 1861 and was assigned as above. He was then promoted to Sergeant Major in that regiment on Sept. 8, 1862. Henry was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of that company on Mar. 3, 1863 and was an Assistant Aide de Camp from Oct. 9, 1863 through Apr. 15, 1864. He was wounded at Laurel Hill, Maryland on May 8, 1864. Henry's left arm was amputated near the shoulder due to his wound while he was a patient at Seminary Hospital in Washington, DC and he rejoined Company E on June 19, 1864. He was mustered out on June 28, 1864 at the end of his term of enlistment. Henry was married on Dec. 21, 1864 to Georgia M. Finney. She was born in 1839 at Sackett's Harbor, New York. Her parents removed with their family to Wisconsin in 1842 and settled at Oshkosh. Georgia was a sister of Edwin E. Finney from a pre-vious sketch. Henry was listed in 1868 as the clerk of circuit court and residing at 80 High Street in the city of Oshkosh. He held that elected position from 1866 through 1878 and resigned only to accept the appointment as postmaster for the city of Oshkosh and to practice law. Henry had a daughter, not yet named when the birth was registered, who was born in Oshkosh on Nov. 23, 1880/1. He formed a law partnership with A.W. Weisbrod in 1879. He was listed in 1883 as residing at P.O. Oshkosh and receiving a pension of $24 per month for the loss of his arm. When Gen. Lucius Fairchild was elected Governor of Wisconsin in 1886 he appointed Henry to his staff with the rank of Colonel. In November of that same year, Henry was elected as a republican to the position of State Treasurer. He was listed in the veteran section of the 1885 and 1895 Wisconsin State census at P.O. Oshkosh. Henry was listed in 1888 as a member of GAR Post #241 at Oshkosh. He was listed in the 1890 federal census as residing in the town of Oshkosh at P.O. Oshkosh. He was involved in many business, service and charitable organizations at Oshkosh. Georgia died at Milwaukee in Feb. 1893 while visiting her daughter and seeking treatment for a heart disease. Henry died at the home of his only child, Mrs. T.H. Hay, in Milwaukee on Dec. 25, 1900. He had been taken there three months earlier while suffering the effects of a throat cancer.
Classification Archives
Collection Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Collection
Dates of Accumulation 1861 - 1864
Abstract Archival Collection of company records containing 1 oversize box of official papers of Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Materials were probably kept by lieutenants Rueben Ash and Henry B. Harshaw of Oshkosh. The collection contains: Descriptive Book; Monthly Return of Clothing, Camp & Garrison Equipage; Invoices, Clothing Lists; Monthly Returns; Receipts; Muster rolls; and Muster-Out Rolls.
Event Civil War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Object ID RG34
Object Name Record Group
People Harshaw, Henry B.
Ash, Reuben
Subjects Civil War
2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Iron Brigade
Title Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Collection
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009