Wisconsin Civil War Soldier Biographies

This is where we hope to honor all our Civil War Soldiers from Waukesha County.


Waukesha Democrat June 16, 1863


Death of Col. Sidney A. Bean Fourth Wisconsin Regiment

It was with an unusual degree of emotion that we read of the telegraphic announcement at the death of Col. Sidney A.. Bean of the Fourth Wisconsin Infantry. Of the particulars of his death we now know nothing, save that his gallant regiment suffered severely in the recent assault on the outworks of Port Hudson, but we feel certain that where the fight was thickest, there Col. Bean was to be found, until he paid the penalty of his daring with his life. It was such a death as we anticipated for him, and as he himself desired, if he was at all to die in the service - yet, as having long enjoyed his personal friendship and having known his rare personal and intellectual qualities, we can but feel the bitterest regret that so young, so able, and so promising an officer should have met so untimely a fate. Col. Bean was about thirty years of age, but intellectually was far more mature than his years would indicate. He received a thorough classical education at Michigan University, graduating with a brilliant reputation for literary talent at an age when most young men begin their collegiate course. A strong inclination for literary pursuit, and the possession of the means for their ratification, led him to spend several years of study at his beautiful home in Waukesha, where for a portion of the time he was Profossor in Carroll College, also edited a republican paper, afterwards being engaged in banking. When the war broke out, Governor Randall, who had long known Col. Bean as a townsman, recognized his fitness for an honorable command, and appointed him Lieutenant Colonel of the Fourth Regiment, a position for which he soon showed himself highly competent. Applying hinself to the text book of the military art with an unusual devotion, his quickness of perception soon ennabled(sic) him to achieve a mastery of technical details, which, with slower minds, is the work of years. Last Summer, while Lieut. Colonel Bean was with his regiment below Vicksburg, we asked cue of his Captains, on a visit here, as to his military ability. He replied, "if all the books on tactics were burned up, Bean could re-write them out of his own head.

He was with his regiment nearly all the time from its departure two years ago, until his death with the exception of a visit home which he was obliged to make last Fall.

During a large portion of the time Col. Paine was acting Brigadier, so that the command of the regiment derolved upon him, until about three months ago he was appointed Colonel, Col. Paine's merits having met with a tardy recognition, mainly on account of his location among eastern troops, where eastern officers controlled promotions.

Col. Bean's residence was at Waukesha,where his widowed mother double bereaved by the loss of her two eldest sons in the war, now resides. Our sympathies and those of thousands throughout the State, will be with her in this hour of crushing affliction but they will avail little, for they cannot, restore her gallant, and accomplished son. The above tribute to the late Col. Bean, we copy from the Milwaukee Sentinel and even in that handsome notice half has not been said. The intelligence of Col. Bean's death caused the deepest sorrow in this community, where he was universally loved and honored. The deepest public sympathies tendered to the afflicted mother and other relatives of the lamented dead Tho body of Col. Bean is momentarily expected to arrive at his late residence, and will be buried with all these attestations of respect and sorrow that the public can offer to the memory of one who fell so nobly, and left a, name above suspicion and reproach.


Corporal Edmund West Bixby, was born January 10, 1835 in Susquehanna Co., Pa. He died January 31, 1916 in Wheaton, DuPage Co., IL.

He enlisted in the Civil War August 20, 1862 from Mukwonago, Waukesha County, Wisconsin in the 28th WI Infantry Co. F and was discharged May 6, 1863 for disability.

Contributed by his Great Great Grandaughter Julie. 28th WI. Infantry Regiment - This is a marvelous site with information on this Regiment.


7th WI Infantry, Company B

Peter Kearney was the oldest child of Michael and Mary Ann (Logan) Kearney, immigrants from Ireland who settled in the Mapleton area of Oconomowoc Township, Waukesha County in 1849. Peter was born "somewhere" in Wisconsin in 1848 according to the 1850 and 1860 Federal Census listings. Peter's father was a farmer, the same occupation Peter claimed upon enlistment. His mother gave birth to five more children; Margaret - b. 1850, Thomas - b. 1853, Ellen - b. 1857, Hugh - b. 1860, and John - b. 1865.

Peter apparently lied about his age when he enlisted, claiming to be 19 years old, perhaps counting on his 5'8" height to give an older appearance. On October 25, 1864 at Milwaukee, Peter Carney was mustered into service as a Private with the 7th Regiment of the Wisconsin Infantry, Company B for a one year period. Peter enlisted as a substitute for Henry Helts (somewhat illegible)( of Menomonee, Waukesha Co., 1st Dis. WI during draft rounds.

Little is known about Peter's 7 month service while in the War. His Regiment took part in the difficult march from Richmond to Alexandria on or about May 10, 1865. Peter lost a number of "Ordinance Stores" at this time valued at $2.84 (items lost included a cast box, bayonet scabbard, Cap. Pouch, waist belt and plate). The greater loss was Peter's health. On May 26, 1865, Peter died from "Inflammation of the Spinal Cord" at the 3rd Division, 5th A.C. Hospital near Balls Cross Roads, Virginia, near Washington DC. Ironically, the Civil War had ended at this point. Family lore tells of Peter's burial at a Washington Cemetery but his mother wanted him closer to home. His body was exhumed and now lies at St. Catherine's Catholic Church Cemetery, Mapleton, WI. Records list him as "Kearney, son of Michael and Mary Ann, b. 1848, d. May 26, 1865, age 17 years, 1 month, 2 days, Civil War".

Peter's sister, Margaret, married Civil War soldier, John Hicks, 6th WI Infantry, Co. H. on May 6, 1869 at St. Catherine's Catholic church, Mapleton. Contributed by Kathy Swenson.


Richard Leonidas Gove, known to many as R. L., was born 18 June 1833 in Ludlow, Vermont.  When he was eight or 10 years old, he came to the territory of Wisconsin and settled in Waukesha with his parents, Elijah GOVE III and Emeline Elizabeth WRIGHT.  His education included Prairieville Academy, later called Carroll College, and graduation from Gregory's Commercial College in Detroit.  For eight years, he was editor and publisher of the "Ozaukee County Advertiser" newspaper and Postmaster in Port Washington.

On 31 December 1861, he joined the Union Army as a Lieutenant and enlisted men for the First Wisconsin Calvary.  He was later appointed Adjutant.  His field of operation was chiefly in Missouri with headquarters at Cape Girardeau where he took possession of the confederate's printing press and published the Eagle newspaper for a time.  Upon leaving the service at the end of his enlistment, he engaged in the mercantile business in Waukesha.  He owned and operated a boot and shoe store, and was also a hat and cap dealer. He also dealt in real estate and raised the Gove block of 20 houses.  His activities were many.  He was president of the village in 1865, 1867 and 1877, served as a member of the old school board, supervisor and village trustee, was twice elected mayor and at the time of his death was alderman from the Sixth ward and president of the council.

On 2 May 1859, he married Jennie Ann STONE at Chicago, Illinois.  She was the daughter of Hiram Hoyt and Elisabeth STONE.  Richard and Jennie were the parents of five children, Ione born in 1860, Richard Arthur born in 1865, Jennie May born in 1868, Fra Belle born in 1870, Jay born in 1877 and Francis Edward born in 1884.  R. L. died died 8 May 1907 in Waukesha and was buried at Prairie Home Cemetery.

Submitted by his Great-great granddaughter Gloria J. Gove Barnes.(see contributors page)


Frederick Pellmann was born in 1841 in Germany and came to the United States at the age of 5 with his parents, Carl Lubrecht and Johanna Ludwig Pellmann. He grew up on the family farm in Muskego and at the age of 23 enlisted in the Union Army. He was assigned to the 48th Wisconsin Infantry, Company C. It was late in the war, and his regiment did not see active duty but was instead sent to Colorado to escort trains and mail through hostile Indian country. Contributed by Blanche Schulz.


Captain James L. Sprague who enlisted November 10, 1861 from Mukwonago (he listed his occupation as muledriver) with the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, Company H. He was first stationed at Cape Girardeau, MO where the company split up. He later served with the Army of the Cumberland, in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia. They were present at the battle of Chickamauga, TN in Sept. 1863. And pursued and helped to capture Jefferson Davis in Southern George in May of 1865. The regiment was then transferred to Nashville, TN and mustered out in July 19, 1865. He rose through the ranks to Captain by March 7, 1865. James Sprague returned to Vernon, Waukesha County, WI where he married Sarah cNaughton. They moved to Minneapolis, MN by 1872 and James Sprague died there in Oct. 18, 1895. Respectfully submitted by: Roberta Sprague Schaefer


    My great-grandfather, WILLIAM WALLACE was in the Third Wisconsin Regiment, Company E, serving in the Virginia and Atlanta Campaigns of the Civil War.  He was born in Donegal Ireland,  came to America in 1851.  His letters to his wife Sarah Jane, whom he married in Pennsylvania before moving to Waukesha, are considered some of the best Civil War letters ever seen and are housed at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.  He and Sarah had six children, one of whom was my grandmother, Margaret Jane.  Later in life he moved on to Kansas where he farmed wheat, he is buried in Stafford KS. Helen Starkey Fayetteville AR