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A Wisconsin Artilleryman Earns a Field Promotion to Sergeant
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[CIVIL WAR]. Partially Printed Document Signed. Commission of Thomas Croft as Sergeant in the 12th Battery of Wisconsin Light Artillery. “Camp near Chattanooga,” December 2, 1863. 1 p. 15 x 10 in.

Inventory #21264.08       Price: $250


Know Ye, That reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity, and abilities of Thomas Croft, I do hearby appoint him Sergeant in the 12th Battery of Wisconsin Vol Lt Arty in the service of the United States....

Historical Background

Organized at St. Louis, Missouri, in February and March 1862, as a company for the 1st Missouri Light Artillery, the 12th Wisconsin Battery participated in the siege of Corinth in May 1862. It fought at the Battles of Iuka and Corinth in the fall of 1862. The 12th Wisconsin Battery helped assault Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1863, the moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, in October and November 1863. After service near Chattanooga late in 1863, it saw service in northern Alabama until June 1864. From June to November, the battery served in northern Georgia, then accompanied General William T. Sherman’s march to the sea in November and December 1864. After the siege of Savannah in December, the 12th Wisconsin Battery participated in the campaign of the Carolinas from January through April 1865. Present at the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s army, the battery was part of the Grand Review in Washington before mustering out in June 1865.

Thomas T. Croft (1842-1904) was born in England and was a drug clerk in Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1860. He enlisted as a corporal in the 12th Independent Battery of the Wisconsin Light Artillery, on August 16, 1862. By this commission, he was promoted to a sergeant on December 2, 1863. In 1880, he was a druggist in Janesville and lived in his mother’s household.

Edward G. Harlow (1832-1914) was born in New York, and in 1854, he married Fannie Canfield Howe, with whom he had seven children. After unsuccessfully requesting permission to recruit an artillery company, Harlow received a commission as a 1st lieutenant in August 1862, and permission to enlist fifty men for the 12th Independent Wisconsin Battery, then in the field at Corinth, Mississippi. He successfully recruited more than the quota within forty-eight hours. He was promoted to captain for meritorious services and was discharged in June 1865. In 1870, he was a foreman on the railroad and lived in Janesville with his wife and five children.

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