8th WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 9/13/61 Camp Randall Madison, WI
Mustered In: 9/13/61 Camp Randall Madison, WI
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 Demopolis, WI
Known as the “Eagle Regiment,” this three year unit left Wisconsin and traveled to the lower Mississippi where it was subsequently in actions at Greenville, Island No. 10, Farmington, Corinth, Bayou Lamourie Atchafaya River, Lake Chicot, Jackson, Haynes’ Bluff, Vicksburg, Richmond, LA and Nashville, TN.
The commanding general at Farmington, MS noted “The Badger State may feel proud to have the honor of being represented by so gallant a regiment.” Union Gen. W.T. Sherman highly complimented the 8th for doing “Its whole duty in the camp, on the march, and in battle,” and “for pecular courage and gallantry at Jackson and throughout the siege of Vicksburg.” Regimental losses: 255 killed or died, 3 missing, 60 deserted, 41 transferred and 320 discharged.
Residence: Auburn, WI Age: 17.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 8/24/61 Wauhaca, WI Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 9/7/61
Mustered Out: 9/15/65 Demopolis, AL
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Samuel D. Childs was born in Washington County, New York on 1/7/44. He was the oldest of six children. His sibling were: Flora (b. ca. 1849 IL), Arthur (b. 1873 MN), Else (b. ca. 1879 MN), Leha (b. ca. 1862 MN), Malvena (b. ca. 1869 MN) and Mathea (b. ca. 1875 MN). Parental names are not available. Nor is information pertaining to Samuel’s childhood or formative years.
As a teenaged military enlistee he listed his occupation as “farmer.” Despite the actively combative nature of his regiment, the only wounding received by private Childs occurred away from the battlefield as he explained in May, 1892 when he applied for a government disability pension based on his years of Civil War soldiering.
The following incident occurred in December, 1862 near Germantown, TN. “I had just come in from picket duty and taken off my accoutrements and stepped out of my tent door and was watching my comrades play. There was a light covering of snow on the ground which made it slippery. One of the “boys” slipped up behind me and jumped on my back with arms around my neck; another one of them jumped on his back (and) when I slipped and fell on my hands and knees with my arms spread out, third person…. Then jumped on the second one’s back and then rolled off onto my arm and smashed the left elbow joint. The surgeon did not get the bones all in place when he set them, so when the injury healed my arm was half bent. It has straightened out some since, but hurts me to lift much weight.” The youthful horseplay wounding did not deter private Childs from completing his enlistment or reenlisting for the duration of the war, but it, plus a laundry list of later years debilities-rheumatism, kidney disease, etc. - helped garner him a disability stipend which amounted to $50 per month at the time of his death.
Following the war Samuel settled in Dodge County, MN and likely returned to farming. During this period, on 5/27/66, at Wayioja he married Laura Matilda Sherwood (b. 1849 IL). The union produced at least children: Leah (b. 4/12/67), Melvin (b.7/31/68), Arthur J. (b.3/18/74), Martha (Mattie) (b.10/16/1876), Elsie (Eloise) (b.5/19/80) and Earl T. (b.7/4/88). In 1868 Samuel and family moved to Renville, MN. They remained there until 1902. During this period, on 1/2/99, Laura died.
Records are silent as to the impact on Samuel, now a widower, having to care for a two and one half year old daughter. In 1902 Samuel moved to Everett, WA. Available documents do not indicate why the move was made, but perhaps it was to be near the families of adult children living in the area. In 1906, in Everett, Samuel remarried to Ella C. Hubbard (b. 9/23/73).
According to the Everett Herald, “Mr. Childes (sic) was down town Saturday morning attending to some errands. He went home and was about the house but in the evening complained of a pain and shortness of breath. Efforts were made to revive him but of no avail.” Samuel D. Childs was 78.2 years of age. On 9/5/25, also in Everett, Ella remarried to George Edward Sanders. Details of her subsequent life and passing are not known.
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery Everett
Granite Falls, WA
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