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three miles above Washington. Its brigadier was General Winfield Scott Hancock, then unknown to fame. Captain Rufus R. Dawes of the Sixth Wisconsin, stationed near the District end of the bridge, thus describes Hancock drilling his troops:
The General had a voice like a trumpet and we could hear him drilling his brigade. He would give some such order as "On first division, third battalion, deploy column, quick, march!" And the regiments would proceed. Colonel Cobb of the Fifth Wisconsin, a civilian appointee, would sometimes blunder, and we would hear in the same ringing tones, "Colonel Cobb, where the -nation are you going with that battalion?" Amasa Cobb was a distinguished citizen at home and this was a source of amusement to our men, some of whom would go down among the willows under the bank of the river, and shout across in fine imitation of General Hancock, "Colonel Cobb, where the nation are you going with that battalion?" The men called the performance, "Hancock whispering to his brigade."
Early in October the Second, Sixth, and Seventh Wisconsin regiments crossed the Potomac at Georgetown and encamped opposite Washington on Arlington Heights, on the line of fortifications extending from Chain Bridge to Alexandria. Here they remained throughout the winter of 1861-62. It was a monotonous life, with its repeated drills, reviews, and inspections. General McClellan, with his headquarters in Washington, was in command. A rigid disciplinarian, he was busily occupied converting the raw recruits into trained soldiers. On November 20 the new army marched out to Bailey's Cross Roads, some five miles from Washington, where the largest review of troops ever held in America up to that time took place. President Lincoln, the members of the Cabinet, and many foreign and domestic celebrities were present. An amusing incident of the review is thus described in a letter of Captain Dawes:5
I must not write about what the papers are so full of . . . but perhaps you have not seen that General McClellan was so overcome by the lofty pomposity of drum major William Whaley of this regiment [Sixth Wisconsin], that he took off his hat when Whaley passed. But, sad to relate, Whaley was so overcome by this recognition, which took place while he was indulging in a top-loftical gyration of the baton, that
Rufus R. Dawes, Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers (Marietta, O., 1890), 24.
he dropped the baton. From the topmost height of glory he was plunged into the deepest gulf of despair. This drum major of ours we regard with pride and affection as the finest adornment of the regiment. He can hold his head higher, and whirl his baton faster than any drum major in the Army of the Potomac. It is enough to make one sad, to see the stately Whaley leading that execrable brass band on dress parade, eternally playing the "Village Quickstep," but when his own drum corps is behind him, "Richard is himself again," and he snuffs the air and spurns the ground like a war horse.
Dawes gives the following interesting account of the origin of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and the share in it of the Sixth Wisconsin:6
One of the reviews referred to in the foregoing letters was held at Bailey's Cross Roads. The troops were dismissed in the midst of the review, owing to some reported movement of the enemy, and McDowell's division marched back, taking the road toward Washington to our camp on Arlington Heights. With our column rode a lady visitor; my authority is her own account. Our regiment marched at the head of the column, because we stood on the extreme right of the line. As we marched, the "evening dews and damps" gathered, and our leading singer, Sergeant John Ticknor, as he was wont to do on such occasions, led out with his strong, clear, and beautiful tenor voice-"Hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree.' The whole regiment joined the grand chorus, "Glory, glory, hallelujah, as we go marching on." We often sang this, the John Brown song. To our visitor appeared the "Glory of the coming of the Lord" in our "burnished rows of steel" and in the "hundred circling camps" on Arlington, which were before her. Julia Ward Howe, our visitor, has said that the singing of the John Brown song by the soldiers on that march and the scenes of that day and evening inspired her to the composition of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
For amusement the officers played whist, chess, and other games. In the log dining-hall they often gathered and ventilated jokes, made speeches, and sang hilarious songs. One favorite sport was tossing men in the blanket. On Thanksgiving Day Colonel Cutler gave each company of the Sixth Wisconsin twenty mince-pies. It was an extraordinarily muddy winter and the troops welcomed the return of spring and a more adventurous life. In March the camps in the defenses of Washington were broken up and the Wisconsin troops, 'spoiling for a fight,' moved southward to take part in the Virginia campaign of 1862.
Dawes, Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, 28-29.
HISTORIC SPOTS IN WISCONSIN
WILLIAM A. TITUS
A MONUMENT TO ABORIGINAL EFFORT
Few places in Wisconsin's historic or prehistoric period have been described so fully, and in many instances so erroneously, as has the interesting group of earthworks situated on the west bank of the Crawfish River in Jefferson County, and known since 1836 as Aztalan. Archeological sketches, magazine articles, and newspaper stories have for almost a century described these major antiquities as almost everything from ruined temples of wandering Aztec tribes to plain earthworks of Siouan or Winnebago origin; and while it is somewhat heartless to strip the old monument of its acquired romance, it is only fair to say that the more commonplace view is the one now generally accepted by students of archeology and ethnology. All suspicion of embellishment or exaggeration eliminated, these extensive remains. are of sufficient interest to justify the intensive study of them that has been made during the past eighty or ninety years. The present article is designed to be descriptive rather than technical, and it is not the intent of the writer to advance any dogmatic opinions as to the origin or aboriginal use of the structure.
These earthworks, by far the most extensive within the borders of Wisconsin, were first noted by N. F. Hyer in October, 1836, and briefly described by him in the early part of 1837 in the Milwaukie Advertiser. Judge Hyer named the ruins Aztalan because of a tradition among the Aztecs of ancient Mexico (recorded by Humboldt) that their ancestors came from a region called Aztalan near the great waters many leagues to the northeast. Hyer's description of the great enclosure was copied widely, and though fiction and fact were sadly interwoven, it was practically the
only source of information available until in 1850 Increase A. Lapham made a general survey of the ruins.
In 1838 William T. Sterling visited the Aztalan region in company with Judge David Irwin and John Catlin. They remained on the site a week and made a number of excavations, cross-cuts through the walls, etc., all of which were recorded in a manuscript report now in the files of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Some of his observations are of sufficient interest to be considered in this descriptive article. He states that they found the walls as hard as common brick, the dried clay indicating an incorporation of marsh hay, sedge, or other vegetable fiber. The crosssections of the walls or embankments showed distinct layers of clay mixed with grass, each layer about four inches thick and apparently sun-dried before the succeeding layer was added. He admits that there was no evidence that any of the clay had been burned, except as burning superstructures or grass fires might have produced this result in an accidental way. He mentions the large number of arm bones excavated by his party. All these human bones had been fractured or split as if to obtain the marrow. He thus adduces definite evidence of cannibalism among the aboriginal inhabitants a fact apparently established by later and more scientific investigators.
In Lapham's Wisconsin, published in 1844, the author devotes a page to a rather superficial description of the Aztalan earthworks. In his "Antiquities of Wisconsin," published in 1855 by the Smithsonian Institution, Lapham gives an exhaustive, technical, and scientific description of the antiquities of the region, together with maps showing the results of his survey. Lapham's map of the Aztalan ruin is still standard and must ever remain so, as many of the mounds and embankments have been almost entirely obliterated by years of cultivation. His measurements show a rudely designed parallelogram enclosing about seventeen and two-thirds acres, the east side being the river
bank and the other three sides consisting of earthen embankments twenty to twenty-five feet in width and varying in height from five feet down to less than one foot. The length of the west wall (roughly parallel with the river) is given as 1419 feet, the north wall or embankment 631 feet, and the south embankment 700 feet. The entire distance around the enclosure is not far from four-fifths of a mile. Lapham disproved the earlier statement that there was also an embankment on the fourth side of the enclosure along the river, but he notes two long embankments directly across on the opposite side of the river, one of which was 660 feet in length.
Along the outside of the embankment that defines the enclosure are numerous enlargements of the earth wall, as if circular mounds had been merged into the embankment. These are located at fairly regular intervals, probably as near an approach to uniformity in distance as savages were capable of making. Earlier writers referred to these accretions to the outer walls as buttresses or bastions, a theory that was utterly discredited by Lapham. He found within the enclosure one truncated and terraced pyramid of considerable area and about sixteen feet in height, and another truncated mound of lesser height. These are the so-called temple mounds, that have been the occasion of so much speculation among writers on the subject, Burial mounds are numerous, either within the enclosure or in the immediate vicinity, and a few effigy mounds have been featured by investigators since Lapham's time.
The author of "Antiquities of Wisconsin" argued at considerable length that Aztalan could not have been a fortified Indian village because its location left it open to attack from higher ground in the vicinity. It must be remembered that the Indian always considered proximity to an ample water supply far more important than a commanding eminence where the all-precious water was scanty or absent. It is more than probable that the Aztalan en