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Beaver Dam Guards, Company K

(involved in Spanish-American War)

from Beaver Dam Argus, page 3, April 28, 1898


Though not listed in the Argus, Adam Polsin was also a member of Company K. He was in this unit from April 28, 1898 to November 16, 1898 before being transfered to Co. D 16th Inf. This information has been provided by a descendent.

Photo of Company K in 1916

History of the The Beaver Dam Guards

The following information is taken from the "Souvenir Program and Centennial History Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, July 2,3,4,5 and 6 1941" Published by the HISTORICAL COMMITTEE, Beaver Dam Centennial, Inc. Dedicated to the Dodge County Historical Society 1941

Compiled by Terry Bilke

Company E, 128th Infantry - Beaver Dam Guards The first meeting called to organize the Burchard Guards, Beaver Dam's first military unit and forerunner of the present Company E, 128th Infantry, was called in August 1880. On September 27, 1880 seventy men were mustered into service. On May 26, 1881, it was assigned to the Fourth Battalion, Infantry as Company E, and on March 26, 1884, it was assigned as Company K, Second Regiment Infantry.

Company K volunteered for service in the Spanish-American War and was mustered into Federal service May 12, 1898. At the time of the mobilization, April 12, 1898, exactly 112 minutes elapsed after the order was received before the entire company was on board train, bound for camp. This outstanding record was established during the command of Captain Philip J. Zink, later lieutenant colonel of the 127th Infantry. The unit was mustered out November 19, 1898.

The unit was reorganized December 26, 1898, and became Company K, Second Regiment, June 10, 1898. In 1908, the organization moved into the present armory for its permanent quarters. On June 30, 1916, Company K received Federal recognition and on the same day was mustered into United States service for duty on the Mexican Border. It was mustered out February 28, 1917.

Back to civil life for a few months, the unit responded to the call of the President on July 15, 1917, and was drafted into Federal service August 5, 1917. It was transferred as Company K, 127th Infantry, September 24, 1917. Later, while in training at Camp McArthur, Texas, the unit was divided between Companies D and M of the 127th Regiment.

The unit was reorganized as the Fourth Separate Company and was Federally recognized February 12, 1920. On April 1, 1921, the unit was assigned as Company E, 128th Regiment Infantry. In August 1936, Company E took part in the Second Army maneuvers at Camp Custer, Michigan. On October 21, 1940 the Company was mustered into the United States Army and are at the present time training at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana.

Company K in the Spanish-American War At nine o'clock on the morning of April 28th, 1918, Captain Philip J. Zink commanding Company K, 2nd Regt., W.N.G., received orders to assemble his company and report with it at Camp Harvey (State Fair Park, Milwaukee). It had been previously arranged to ring the City Hall bell and for several factories to take up the alarm and blow their whistles. At the first tap of the bell the men, most of whom were at their various places of employment, dropped their work, rushed to the armory (then the third floor of the city hall), changed into their uniforms, packed their knap-sacks, and in just one hour and twenty minutes were on the train and pulling out of Beaver Dam.

Not all of the men that left with the company that morning saw service, some being rejected on account of physical disability, while a few others had a change of heart and returned home. The National Guard at that time was not federalized and it was necessary that the men be discharged from the national guard before they volunteered for federal service.

Company K arrived at Camp Harvey around the noon hour where they were met by Gen. C.R. Boardman and his staff, and were assigned to quarters in the cattle barns.

On May 13th, the company was mustered into the federal service, for two years or duration of the war, as Company K, Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and on the 15th entrained for the south, arriving at Chickamauga Park, Georgia, on the 17th, where the regiment was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Army Corp, and immediately went into training.

On the 6th of July they left for Charleston, S.C., arriving there the following day. On the 16th and 18th they, in heavy marching order, over cobblestone pavements, with the thermometer at 110, took part in those two "Famous Forced Marches". Many of the men had had no breakfast, some none at all. The result was that the city hospitals were filled to overflowing.

On the 20th the 2nd Wisconsin embarked on the transport Grand Duchess for Puerto Rico, landing at Ponse on the 28th, and went in camp a few miles out of the city where they guarded the San Juan military road until the 6th of August. All this time they had been armed with the old, obsolete 45 calibre Springfield rifle.

After breakfast on the morning of August 6th the men were issued the new Krag-Jorgenson rifle and started toward San Juan in pursuit of the enemy.

The first and only battle that Company K participated in was outside of Coamo on August 9th. On the 13th the company was ordered to outpost duty in front of the Spanish stronghold at Aibonita Pass, where they remained for seven days.

On the 24th of August the 2nd Wisconsin was ordered home. Four days later Company K was selected as one of two companies to go aboard the transport Obdam as honor guard to Gen. Nelson A. Miles. The transport sailed on Sept. 1st from Port Ponce arriving at Weehawken, N .J. on the morning of the 7th. Here they entrained for home, reaching Beaver Dam the evening of the 9th, being met at the station by the Fire Department, Harder's Military Band and almost all the folks in the city and surrounding country, and escorted to the armory.

The men of Company K were on furlough until the 17th of November when they were mustered out and again donned their civies.

Typhoid and malaria fever played havoc with the troops and very few men escaped having one or the other. However, Company K lost only three men while in the service Private George Leland Edgerton of Beaver Dam, died at sea of typhoid fever on the hospital ship Lampassa on August 6th, and was buried at sea. Private Oscar L. Shannon of Rolling Prairie, died at Ponce, P.R., August 30th of typhoid fever and was buried at Ponce, but later reburied at Burnett Corners. Private Fred L. Cutler of Rolling Prairie died at Milwaukee, Sept. 26th of typhoid fever and was buried at Hyland Corners.

Following is a roster of the local members of Company K. Captain - Philip J. Zink.
1st Lieut. - William Bearder.
2nd Lieut. - Arthur S. Tibbits.
1st Sergt. - Wilfred H. Edgerton.
Q.M. Sergt. - August J. Miller.
Sergeants-Charles Hammer; Frank W. Jillson; Lawrence H. Gocker and Frank W. Stelz.
Coporals-Joseph F. Veling; Joseph B. Schweiger; Frank H. Crane; Allen J. Stoltz; Rae Weaver; Carl Nicolaus; Charles H. Hopf; Anton A. Fischer and Philip J. Hausner.
Musicians-William E. Patten; Frank J. Zink; John J. Caspary. Wagoner-Peter Bauer.
Artificer-Andrew P. Schweiger.
Privates-Abler, Louis; Abler, Peter; Behan, Andrew; Borgardus, Benner; Bushka, John; Brose, Charles; Calkins, Walter; Clark, Clayton; Corbett, Thomas; Draheim, Albert; Draheim, Otto; Draheim, Paul; Drown, Marshall; Edgerton, Ernest; Fox, Albert; Frank, Edward; Gauerka, Arthur; Germain, Bertram; Grace, John; Grace, George; Hammer, Herman; Hampton, Harry; Hampton, Joseph; Hartl, Lucas; Hartl, Michael; Hartl, William; Kittman, August; Kraeger, Henry; Lillis, Patrick; Lochinski, Frank; Manson, Lester; Maroney, Thomas; McGill, William (spot); McGlashan, Lee; Naylon, John; Noyes, Ray; Plagemann, William; Polsin, Adam; Polzin, Frank; Rowell, Joseph; Schingo, John; Smith, Daniel; Sromalski, Frank; Suck, August; Sullivan, David; Tobin, Edward; Veling, John; Veling, Peter J.; Vorpahl, Otto; Washtock, Herman; Woodrow, James; Zemlo, Anton; Zieske, Edward; and Zinke, August.

The rest of the men were recruited from various places throughout the State.

The Spanish-American war was of short duration, but sufficiently long enough to give the men in it an experience that they had never had before and hoped to never have again. Sanitation very poor, likewise the food most of the time. Water supply inadequate.

Beaver Dam Guardsmen in the World War
1917-1919 (Compiled by former officers)

The following is a complete list of local Guardsmen at the time of the call-to-arms

Roster-Co. K 2nd Wis. Inf., N.G. July 15th 1917

Captain William Bearder
1st Lt. Theo. J. Parker
2nd Lt. Geo. E. Draheim
Sergeants-John C. Storm, George R. Storm, Hugo F. Draheim, Joseph J. Bartol, Max E. Draheim
Corporals - Anton A. Bartol, Walter Miller, Hector P. Vilvock, Edward R. Bilke, William D. Morgan, George C. Marthaler, Herbert Schweiger, John Yagodzinski, George A. Goodwin, Vernon F. Lane
Cooks - M ichael J. Zemlo, Herbert A. Duzinski
Buglers-Emil A. Fink, Harold F. Bump
First Class Privates-Harry Earle, Edward Fischer, Mike Michalski, Edward Washtock, Frank Zweck
Privates-Joseph L. Bartell, Frank Baszynske, Tom Baszynske, Frank W. Bonau, Joseph Botz, Arthur Boushon, Edward A. Breitkreutz, Frank Bromberek, Erwin Brown, Roland A. Bruder, Earl W. Bryant, Frank Brzesinski, Bruno Burinski, Arthur W. Carle, Lawrence A. Chivers, Ceasur Cretton, Fred W. Crinion, Frederick P. Dalton, Arthur Draheim, Walter P. Erdmann
Privates-William A. Ferries, Warren H. Gallenbeck, Steve J. Glodoski, Alvin F. Guenther, Marvin M. Gunderson, Paul F. Gurney, Frank Hahn, Conrad Hefeli, Hohn H. Heleniak, Joseph W. Hobkirk, Arthur C. Hollander, Harry D. Jarred, Arthur O. Jesse, Charles W. Johnson, Llile F. Jones, Albert F. Kachelski, Spiros A. Kanelopoulos, Joseph F. Kasmierski
Privates-Clarence H. Keske, William Koerner, Martin Kawalchk, Max E. Krobert, Tony Kruschinski, George W. Kuehl, Henry A. Landry, Harry L. Lange, Dudley Lathrop, William Lehmann, Edward E. Lesczynski, Fred J. Lenning, William F. Luehring, Lee H. Lynch, Reinhart Macheel, Chester A. Manzer, William J. Marsh, Otis C. Marthaler, Adolph Miller, Frank W. Miller
Privates-William E. Neider, Harry J. Neumann, Albert Otto, Henry H. Prest, Clarence E. Peters, John Pfeister, Anton Paluki, John J. Parazinski, Clarence Pierce, Richard A. Pilsner, Anton Poloski, Edward G. Pritchard, Carl Raticheck, Arnold Rutz, George R. Sage, Arthur W. Sauer, Henry Schack, Benjamin Scherschel, Walter Schilling, Oscar R. Semple, Elmer Shadduck, George J. Spittel, Jr.
Privates-John Sobczak, Michael X. Sterr, Peter J. Straseski, Charles E. Swain, Sten Szmanski, John H. Tiffany, Sylvester Tischer, Arthur Turnbell, Nicholas Ulrich, Henry C. Voelker, Arthur F. Voss, Harold Washburn, William E. Weber, Herbert L. White, George L. Williams, John Wisniewski, William Wright, Edward Wrzesinski, Tom Xigogasrepolos, Albert Zeimet, Matt Zeltinger, Walter C. Zimmerman, Matt Zweck

Members of the Wisconsin National Guard Reserve (also called on July 15, 1917)
Corporal Henry Miller, Corporal Carl Schliewert, First Class Privates Maurice Burgess, Franklin Miller, Henry Kirchofer, and Private Albert Pritchard.

Other enlistments in the company between July 15th 1917 and the time that the unit left for Camp Douglas on Aug. 6, 1917-

Eleard Lewis, Edward Oestreich, Harry Nadolski, Frank Wrzesinski, Emil C. Buschkopf, Carl F. Wiese, Reuben R. Maaske, John J. Krezinski, Russel D. Oathout, William C. Rhode, Daniel Kutasach, George A. Evans Jr., Alfred C. B reu, Robert H. Sprotte, Georgie Knudson, Andrew Knudson.

Because of physical diqualifications, five members of the company-Captain William Bearder, Supply Sergeant A.H. Smith, Cook Michael Zelmo, and Privates Chester Manzer and Elmer Shadduck were eliminated in the medical examinations.

Members of the company who were killed in action or died of wounds or disease included Edward G. Fischer, Clarence Keske, Reuben Maaske, Otis C. Marthaler, John Miller, Clarence E. Peters, Peter J. Straseskie, Edward Wrzesinski, Brank W. Bonau, Harry Lange, Arthur F. Voss.

Besides the members of Company K, Beaver Dam was the home of Lieutenant-Colonel Philip J. Zink, second-in-command of the Second Wisconsin Infantry, and Captain Frank H. Crane, commanding officer of the Second Wisconsin Infantry Supply Company.

In addition to the death list, approximately two-thirds of the local Guardsmen were wounded in action.

The following statistics covered the 32nd Division, Les Terribles, of which the local Guardsmen were a part, graphically tells the story of their war-time activities

Six months under fire-May to November, 1918-with but ten days in rest areas.

Fought on five fronts, in three major offensives-Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Meuse-Argonne.

Losses-14,000 men killed, wounded and missing in action.

Met and vanquished 23 German divisions from which 2,153 prisoners were captured.

Captured 2,000 rifles, 200 machine guns, 100 pieces of artillery, and thousands of rounds of ammunition of all kinds.

Gained 38 kilometers in four attacks and repulsed, without loss of ground, every counter-attack by the enemy.

First American troops to set foot on German soil, in Alsace; captured Fismes in Aisne-Marne offensive; fought as only American unit in Gen. Mangin's famous 10th French Army in Oise-Aisne offensive; twice in the line in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, fighting continuously for 20 days and penetrating the Kriemhilse Stellung.

In action when Armistice was signed. Marched with Third Army to the Rhine, and occupied a sector in the Coblenz Bridgehead; left station in Germany, April 18, 1919; arrived New York, May 5, 1919; mustered out at Camp Grant, Ill., May 19, 1919.

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