.Robert Alexander Spice.
Contributed by: Daniel J. Scott
(Copied verbatim from an article of an unknown author)
Robert Alexander Spice, of Oconto, Wisconsin, belonging to G.A.R. Post No. 74, was born in Quebec, Canada, October 7, 1844. He is the son of Thomas and Ann/Jane (Logan) spice. He came to Wisconsin and obtained employ in a saw mill and as a lumberman near Oconto, where he enlisted when he was 17, June 19, 1861, in Company H, 4th Wisconsin Infantry for three years. The company was first known as the Oconto "River Drivers" and on its organization, Joseph F. Loy was made Captain. The regiment left the state July 15th, going to Baltimore, where they arrived on the second day after Bull Run and while the excitement was still at it's height.
They camped at the Relay
House and guarded the railroad
communications for a time
and were detailed
for a brief service on the eastern
shore of Virginia. They returned to Baltimore
and in February,
1862, joined Butler's command and
in the spring went to Ship Island,
from confinement on the transports,
and went thence to participate in the
bombardment of Forts
St. Phillip and Jackson, and
afterwards went up the river and were
engaged in the
destruction of the Jackson railroad.
They went next to Vicksburg where they
were employed in the
construction of the famous "cut
off." The regiment went next to Baton
Rouge to fight in that action and remained there some time, performing military duty. They were next assigned to the Teche expedition and went to Berwick City, and were in camp Bisland, when Mr. Spice was taken sick, passed about six weeks in the hospital at New Orleans and rejoined his regiment at Baton Rouge. The reconstruction of the regiment into cavaly had taken place and afterwards the command was engaged in scouting, picketing and other military duty.
In May, 1864, Mr. Spice re-enlisted and took his veteran's furlough. He went to Morganzia and afterwards to Clinton, where he was in action, went back to Baton Rouge and in October and November was again in skirmishes at Clinton. In November he went to West Pascagoula, Miss., and returned to Baton Rouge. He was in the cavalry movement to the vicinity of Mobile and went thence through Alabama to Eufaula, where information was received that the rebellion was at an end; they returned to Vicksburg after 70 days in the saddle. During that time they were on short rations most of the time, receiving about a pound of meal daily and sometimes only parched corn.
They expected to be discharged at Vicksburg, but were sent to Texas where they were stationed at San Antonio and Mr. Spice was sent with an expedition against the Indians and remained in Texas until the Spring of 1866 when he returned to Wisconsin and received honorable discharge. While at Olive Branch, La., he was on picket. The rebels decoyed a squad into an ambush and Mr. Spice received a severe fall. The locality was a mud hole and when his horse fell, the reserve of mounted men tumbled on top of him and he was severely injured in his back, from which he still suffers.
On returning to Wisconsin he
located on a farm on which
he built a house which was afterwards
burned. He is till a
resident on the place and was
one of the charter members of the Grand Army
Post at Oconto. He
was married October 17, 1866 to
Emma Collins, of Oshkosh. Their children
are named Adelbert
E., Ollie, Clara, Ernie, Mary,
Nellie and Laura.
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