Stephen O. Himoe, Civil War Physician
By E. Biddle Heg (Volume XI: Page 30)
The part played by the Norwegians in the Civil War is typified by the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, the history of which has been interpreted in terms of democratic loyalty to the North in the conflict between the states. This history has found its collective fame, for the most part, in its first leader; but it must extend this fame to include the activities of three men --- a chaplain, a soldier, a physician --- each of whom represents a distinct facet of the ideals of their adopted country. Pastor Claus L. Clausen, a Dane and the first chaplain of the regiment, symbolizes the spiritual ideals of mankind; Hans Christian Heg, the first colonel of the regiment, the persistence of human endeavor in translating social and political ideals into achievement; and Dr. Stephen Oliver Himoe, surgeon of the regiment, the humanitarian ideals.
The history of the Wisconsin Fifteenth has been written many times in the life of its commander. It must be written again and yet again, however, in terms of the many others of its members- its lieutenants, captains, privates, and physicians -- for in the services of all these lies the true significance of the Norwegian contribution to the Civil War. Any complete picture of the achievements of the regiment would hardly be possible without a consideration of the life and activities of Surgeon Himoe. What he did was not expressed in the iconoclasm of strife. His duty led him quietly among the ranks, mending the devastations of war, healing the bodies of men.
The first twenty-nine years of the life that prepared Stephen Oliver Himoe for his duties in the Civil War are the record of a Norwegian boy growing from childhood to youth
in his native land, emigrating to America at the impressionable age of fourteen, and developing into manhood in study for the medical profession. Himoe has written the autobiography of these years briefly:
I was born in Norway March 10th 1832. The family emigrated to the United States in the Spring of 1846 reaching Milwaukee Wisconsin about July 1st of that year. We settled in Norway township Racine Co.
In the fall of 1849 I went to Platteville Grant Co. and became a student in "Platteville Academy" until the summer of 1851. During the winter of 1851 and 52 I taught school at Norway and returned to Platteville May 19th 1852. During the year 1853 I was employed in Post Office at Platteville Dr. G. W. Eastman being Postmaster. I decided to study Medicine with Dr. E. and had my first experience in dissecting in January of that year.
My 2lst birthday occurred on March 10th.
R. A. Rice deputy P.M. retired and I took full charge of the P. O. April 1st.
The new Academy building was dedicated Oct 3d and my brother became a student therein this fall. In the winter and spring of 1854 while working in the P.O. I recited Latin and Chemistry at the Academy.
Mr. Havebut succeeding Eastman as P.M. I turned the office over to him and started for home Aug 3d reaching there the 5th. Remained at home until Oct 19th and returned to Platteville.
Left Platteville Oct 24th for Washington D.C. arriving there the 28th and where I attended the National Medical College until the Spring of 1855. Spent the summer of 1855 in Platteville and went to St. Louis in October becoming a student of St Louis Medical College from which I graduated March 1st 1856.
I practiced medicine one year in Randolph Co. Arkansas and removed to Mapleton Bourbon Co Kansas in the Spring of 1857.
Remained at Mapleton until I entered the army in September 1861.
From this memoir, the only chronicle of those years of his life that is known to exist, something may be implied of the early life of Stephen Himoe. His development as a youth was apparently uninhibited by the change to a new national environment. There was much of a familiar way of life in the community with which he became identified upon his arrival in America. Norway Township, in Wisconsin, one of the foremost Scandinavian-American settlements in the Middle West, was the nucleus of much of the cultural and social progress made by the Norwegians in pre-Civil War America. In the short space of a decade this immigrant village grew into an American town. The Territory of Wisconsin became a state only two years after the arrival of Himoe. Consequently he had few of the more rigorous hardships of the pioneer to contend with; and was able to take his place normally in a town whose community life had been organized for the most part by members of his own race, and where he spent two years orientating himself to his new environment. There he began the eight years of a schooling that was to be completed at the age of
twenty-three, and there he cultivated the inclination to pursue the education that eventually led him into the medical profession.
Himoe's initiative and persistence, combined with an intellectual curiosity, soon led him to seek advanced study. This took him far afield --- East as well as South --- and undoubtedly deepened his social consciousness. He had varied experiences, which somehow pointed the path that he was to follow. His years in the Platteville Academy, interrupted by a teaching position in Norway Township, led him to further employment and to further study, and, once he had discovered his interest in medicine through the inspiration of Dr. Eastman, he followed his study while working in the post office, and finally was graduated from St. Louis Medical College in 1856 with a degree in medicine. Such is the early record of a Norwegian pioneer on a frontier, the wilderness of which was then singularly vast.
Having practiced a year in Arkansas, Stephen Himoe at the age of twenty-five married Andrea, sister of Hans Christian Heg, on July 3, 1857. She, a Norwegian immigrant like himself, was three years his junior and not a very robust person. It is probable that the two had met in Norway Township, possibly through their mutual connection with the common school at which Andrea had taught in the winter of 1855-56. Their married life of twenty-three years terminated by the death of Andrea, June 13, 1880, seems to have been a happy one. The devotion of a fond husband, reflected in an almost daily correspondence with his wife during a two-year service in the war,
is also expressed in the Civil War
diary of Himoe. On July 3, 1863, he wrote, "I took a solitary and pleasant stroll over the hills indulging in pleasant reveries called forth by the sacred anniversary of to day. Six happy years have flown, yet I fondly hope that other years yet far more happy will be added to complete the fullness and joy of perfect Love. That those I so dearly love may never see sorrow, is my only care and prayer."
The first three of these "six happy years" were spent in Mapleton, Kansas, where two children were born to the young couple.
Here on the Missouri-Kansas border, the tension of civil conflict was growing in the first years of that second half of the century. The settlement of the territory aroused keen rivalry between the proslavery and the antislavery parties, and much lawlessness took place in the environs of Fort Scott. In the midst of the increasing turmoil of Bourbon County, Stephen could hardly help finding ways of expressing his ideals, "and from that time until the outbreak of the Civil War Dr. Himoe stood fast for everything that represented civil liberty, good government and the welfare of every class of the community in the young state."
It is natural, in this atmosphere of sturm und drang that came so perilously close to his new home and his young family, that he should have expressed his partisanship professionally. In Kansas he was identified with one of the earliest active phases of the Civil War. At Fort Scott, a place to which he was destined to return in the last days of 1863, Stephen entered the voluntary service. It is fairly
certain that he was a physician with the Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. There were numerous opportunities for him to see active service before the original companies of the Sixth Cavalry were large enough to be formally organized into a Kansas regiment under General Lane on September 10, and, as dissension increased, the service of Surgeon Himoe became more regular. It is probable that he accompanied the "Frontier Battalion" under Colonel Judson in the late summer of 1861 on some of its numerous excursions "to protect and facilitate the transportation of supplies" to the Missouri base camp of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon. It is possible, too, that he was on duty in the September skirmishes in the vicinity of Fort Scott, and that he was in service on the scene of the Battle of Dry Wood. It is fairly certain that he was a member of the Humboldt expedition sent against the marauding secesh in the middle of October, 1861.
Such initiation into the service of his country in the Civil War was the prelude to a more intense participation in the conflict of the succeeding two years. In the latter part of October, 1861, apparently at the request of his
brother-in-law, who at the time was forming a Scandinavian regiment in Wisconsin, and upon the petition of his wife, Himoe decided to join the Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. The decision must have been made in a comparatively short time, for by November 11, 1861, Governor Randall had signed the appointment of Dr. Himoe as surgeon in field and staff of the regiment. Stephen thereupon moved his family to Wisconsin that they might be among their old friends and close relatives and further from the dangers of active warfare. They settled in Waterford, where throughout the war Andrea and her two children were under the informal care of Mrs. Hans Heg.
Stephen Oliver Himoe was mustered into the service of the United States on February 13, 1862, by R. S. Lammot, captain of the Thirteenth Infantry, and his duties began from February 28. Once he had established his family in Waterford, it is probable that Himoe spent much time
making the necessary preparations for his department with others of his staff. By the middle of January, the ranks of the regiment were full enough to demand the constant attention of their commander, and it is likely that routine duties of organization such as physical examinations and the accumulation of medical supplies --- surgical materials and hospital stores --- required the frequent attendance of Himoe at Camp Randall in Madison. The first orders for movement sent the regiment to Bird's Point, Missouri, by way of Chicago and St. Louis, on March 2. Surgeon Himoe followed the troops from Madison a day later, arriving at the encampment opposite the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers on March 7, three days before his thirtieth birthday.
From that time until the fall of 1863, Stephen Himoe identified himself patriotically with the cause of the North. The activities of those days as recounted in his diary and letters provide a chronicle of his official and personal life. The record is significant for its presentation of a day-by-day journal of the operations of an army as reflected in the duties of one of its surgeons. Many of the accounts are concerned with the routine matters that are the inevitable accompaniment of such a regimented existence --- troop movements, assignments for duty, and the vicissitudes of camp life. Many of the entries in the diary are but observations recording dates, places, and weather. However, in the midst of these facts of professional work, the formalities of disciplined life often fall away momentarily, revealing not so much the soldier-physician as the man.
In great part, this record of the war that he has left is an outline of the movements of the regiment and brigade to which he belonged. The more intense the conflict, the more rigorous become the duties of the army physician. The
soldier is able to pause after combat in victory or in defeat, and to settle more quickly into the leisure of less strenuous routine. The surgeon must rally to duty after the smoke and fire have cleared from the lines. His are obligations that increase in the aftermath of battle.
Throughout his two years of active service Himoe met his responsibilities on the fields of four conflicts --- Island No. 10, Perryville, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga. These successive encounters, each some months apart, resolved themselves into a campaign of growing intensity culminating in the fall of 1863. At Island No. 10 the Fifteenth Wisconsin, to which Himoe was attached as chief surgeon, saw but little close fighting. Most of the campaign, the activity of which was directed by Commodore Foote's fleet of gunboats in an attempt to make passage down the Mississippi River to General Pope at New Madrid, was forwarded by means of cannonading from steamers on the river and from mortars in the batteries stationed on the banks. Himoe arrived there with part of the regiment from Bird's Point on March 14, and three days later he was stationed with Colonel Heg, Claus Clausen, and members of his staff on the steamer "G. W. Graham," where he remained until he took up quarters on the captured rebel transport "Mars," May 7.
These were not the busiest of times for Himoe. The responsibilities that he had towards the several companies that remained at Bird's Point were assumed by his second assistant, Dr. G. F. Newell; the expedition to Union City under the direction of Colonel Buford demanded no more of him
than his presence; the quiet occupation of the main shore at evacuated Island No. 10 on April 8 brought no incessant flood of wounded from contested fields; and duties at the regimental hospital were few enough to be completely attended to by Assistant Surgeon Hansen. Throughout these three months, Himoe experienced few of the personal discomforts of warfare. He supervised the hospital tents on the shore, dealt with the sickness prevalent during inactivity on the damp river banks about Island No. 10, and cared for the very few wounded. These duties were accompanied by none of the privations of forced marches, field camping, and close combat; yet in them Himoe accustomed himself gradually to hardships that were to come.
The summer of 1862 brought but little more activity to the ranks that had lain by so quietly for three spring months. Immediately after the return of Colonel Heg from a leave of absence, Himoe visited Waterford and Milwaukee, and by the time that he returned, the regiment had been on the march for six days. From June 14 to August 22, the troops moved leisurely from the Mississippi River, through western Tennessee to Iuka, Mississippi. These midsummer months of southward march through the valley of the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers passed as quietly for Himoe as for others of the brigade. What fighting there was, was confined to an occasional skirmish, for, on the whole, the country through which they traveled was sympathetic to the Union forces. It was more or less of an aimless progress, directed to a great extent by the vacillation that characterized Buell's
simultaneous march east from Corinth to Battle Creek. In one of his letters of that summer, Himoe voiced the general lack of understanding of their moves when he wrote to his wife, "Of course there is no enemy now in this part of Tennessee and what they want of us here, except to guard and protect Secessionists we do not know." Throughout this march there was even less sickness among the ranks to demand his attentions than there had been at Island No. 10. The lack of nervous strain and the physical exertion that comes with rigorous activity, the comparatively simple routine, the comfortable living, and the leisurely change of environment kept the men in healthy condition and gave Himoe more time to himself. So it was that the soldiers were in "the highest spirits possible."
The days between the encounters at Perryville, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga were tempered with much the same freedom that marked the summer of 1862. It was a life of "holiday soldiering" accompanied by many of the luxuries of less trying times. The evident leisure of Himoe's personal routine during such tranquil days is reflected in a letter written to his wife on August 8, 1862:
Dearest Wife: I will give you a description of my daily life and occupation. I rise at 5 o'clock, and after the necessary attention to toilet, I consult your dear bible, and invoke God's blessing upon the precious objects of my love in Wisconsin. I then write your regular daily letter, and go to breakfast which consists of good coffee and white sugar, sometimes milk, hot cakes, generally of rice or barley, butter and syrup, cold bread, cold ham, or cold beef. We also now have green cucumbers, peaches, apple sauce, etc., on the table. After breakfast I attend to surgeon's call, that is prescribing for the sick in quarters and
designating what duties they are fit for. There are generally about six to a company, or about fifty a day. It is then generally 11 o'clock, and I spend the intervening hour reading a tract, magazine or newspaper. Our dinner is always good, consisting of soup, two or three kinds of vegetables, often chicken, apple sauce, pudding, or pie and some jelly. After dinner I devote myself to my books, reading medicine and tactics. We have tea in corresponding style. Thus you see we live with a great deal more style than you do, poor, dear one. After tea I attend dress parade, and devote myself to gymnastic and sword exercise for two hours. When tattoo beats at 9 o'clock I strip and with a big sponge and a bucket of cold water, I wash myself lively and then go to bed.
Such was a typical day, but even in times of much leisure Himoe regulated his living with methodical efficiency. Official duties were dispatched quickly with the aid of his subordinate physicians and the colored servant who worked for the hospital, and the rest of the day was given to certain social and cultural activities. Reading became a significant part of each day's relaxation, and besides his correspondence and the newspapers, Himoe read the Bible and Shakespeare. He took frequent baths and numerous walks.
Many social hours were spent by Himoe in the company of Colonel Heg, with whom he had much in common, and with others of the officers in the regiment and brigade. Often he sought the intimacy of various surgeons in the service. At Humboldt, Tennessee, he found many of his old Kansas friends, and with them he undoubtedly passed much of the space of five days in reminiscence and in accounting for the time that had elapsed since they had last met.
These many hours of companionship were welcomed, as was every occasion for celebration. There was the Union rally at Etheridge, Tennessee, on June 21, 1862, where the audience was made up chiefly of ladies, to whose feminine charms Himoe was not insensible; there was the celebration of the Fourth of July, 1862, at Humboldt when Governor Ramsey
of Minnesota and others offered speeches and toasts; and there was the jolly Christmas Eve of 1862 when, a few days before a great battle, Himoe and Heg amused the officers at dinner by playfully escorting "one of the boys" disguised as a woman. At Winchester, Tennessee, when Himoe was with the Third Brigade in the summer of 1863, there was time for "lots of music and all sorts of amusements"; and on August 6 of that same summer "a lively time" was spent at the president's Thanksgiving Day celebration.
Such occasions grew from the same leisure that gave Himoe a chance to look objectively on the organization of the army. In his anticipation of the criticisms of the Buell Commission of 1863, in his sensing of the general unpopularity of the "slow and cautious" leader of the Army of the Ohio, in his estimates of the personal temperament, the professional qualifications, and the shortcomings of General Buell, as well as in his recognition of the internal dissension in the brigade of General R. K. Mitchell, Himoe showed himself very astute. With a prophetic sense of the Union conquest of the south seaboard states, he wrote to his wife about the draft:
Better and better. How huge that will make the great Anaconda. How it will strengthen his back and when he begins to move and contract his gigantic coils, how it will knock the breath out of the rebellion. March a strong column from here to Mobile and another from East Tennessee to Charleston; thrust the Confederacy through and through, severing the lines of communication and where would they be. Won't there be fun though soon? We'll coral Secesh like the Indians do grasshoppers in California.
Himoe was assured that "the regeneration of our great country is a just and holy cause and those only who have aided it will be honored by prosperity." From such a conviction stemmed his scorn of "copperheads" and his denunciation of war profiteering. From the same assurance grew his criticism of the pseudo-heroism of those "reports from captains who want . . . you to believe that they are fronting a terrible
enemy." He wrote of the bill that legalized "jayhawking," "It inspires me with an enthusiasm never felt before. Our country is sure to get rid speedily of its greatest curse, slavery and war, and a prosperous and happy future is before us." This was the optimism of those quiet times from Union City to Iuka. The great trials in the contest for Kentucky and Tennessee were still to be met, and the ebb of Union fortunes was yet to run its course.
On August 24, 1862, when Bragg crossed the Tennessee River at Walden's Ridge on his campaign to regain central Kentucky, the Fifteenth Wisconsin, then under the division command of J.C. Davis in the Army of the Tennessee, was at Florence on the Tennessee River in northwestern Alabama, having been ordered on August 22 to meet General Buell. Marching more than a hundred miles by way of Laurenceburg, Columbia, and Franklin, the division joined forces with Buell at Murfreesboro on September 2. The race for Louisville began on September 7, and the troops, having waited at Nashville until the twelfth, marched some four hundred miles to rejoin Buell. Dirty and ragged, the Scandinavian regiment entered Louisville on September 26, lustily singing Norwegian songs. These were strenuous days of forced marches, coming as they did upon the heels of midsummer leisure. It was a prelude to conflict that was "hard on the boys," but "Doc Himoe is all right" wrote Colonel Heg, to whom the doctor was a great comfort in the many hours of marching. There were no wounded to justify the continual expectation of combat during the pursuit of Bragg, for the only encounters were occasional brushes with guerrilla bands. Too, there was little sickness, for the marching kept the men in healthy condition.
On October 1, Buell, making his first offensive move in the campaign, marched from Louisville to chase Bragg and Smith from Kentucky. By the seventh they were "before the enemy," by the eighth they were "on the battlefield," and by the tenth they were "burying the dead" on Chaplin Hills. This was Perryville, and behind these terse entries in the surgeon's diary, lies the story of the first major conflict in which the Fifteenth Wisconsin participated. They were the first of Carlin's brigade together with the Twenty-first Illinois to reach Perryville in the late afternoon of the seventh, having driven Gilbert through the town to make the only real advance of the day. Stephen Himoe accompanied the regiment at two o'clock in the afternoon over the broken country a few miles south of the town. From the top of a promontory overlooking the battlefields to the left, they paused momentarily in the smoke and dust to view the progress of battle in the distance. Descending the hill, they passed through woods and open cornfields, with the right of Gilbert's corps but half a mile in front of them. Pushing forward in vigorous pursuit through heavy cannon from a rebel battery, they came to a high hill a mile from the town. Then they crossed the Lebanon Pike to Chaplin River before Perryville.
Himoe writes his impressions of the action of those two days of battle:
Camp of the Fifteenth Wisconsin, October 10, 1862. --- Dearest Wife: You have doubtless heard about the terrible battle fought here day before yesterday, without learning anything about our fate, and I wish I had the means to let you know at once that we are all safe. I write this not knowing when I will have a chance to send it. The heaviest battle was fought on the left, and as our position was on the right, I had only a distant, though good view of the struggle from a high hill. The rebels drove us at first, but finally we held our ground and repulsed them. The slaughter was heavy on both sides, amounting in killed and wounded to 2,000
on each side. Our loss was fully as great as that of the enemy. I am talking now of the battle on the left. On the right, held by Mitchell's division (except one brigade ordered to the left and dreadfully cut up) and Wood's division, it was wholly different. One of Wood's batteries opened about 4 p.m., and soon a rebel brigade advanced as if to storm it. After receiving the fire of Wood's infantry that supported the battery, our brigade was ordered forward, when the rebels broke and ran and were pursued by our men two miles to the village of Perryville, occupied by us at dusk and held until we advanced again yesterday afternoon, the enemy having fled everywhere. We had only five men wounded in the brigade, all from the Twenty-first Illinois, while the rebels left 300 men killed wounded, and prisoners. We captured fifteen wagons loaded with ammunition and 150 prisoners. Glory enough for the Thirty-first brigade. We shall probably continue the pursuit today. There are bloodier battles yet to be fought ere the rebels are expelled from Kentucky, but it is difficult to see how they can get out of the state without being utterly routed, if not utterly destroyed. Lincoln's emancipation proclamation makes them perfectly desperate and if crushed now will never rise again here. Be of good cheer, my love, God speed the cause, and the army of the Ohio will achieve immortal reknown.
Though none of the regiment was wounded, Himoe saw death and the suffering of men all about him. It was his duty to search the battlefield, find the wounded, and bury the dead. There could be no more exacting experience to impress upon him the stern reality of the war. The optimism that had seen him through the sunny days of the summer just gone was tempered on Chaplin Hills; here there came to Himoe the realization that "there are bloodier battles yet to be fought."
The remaining days of 1862 passed quickly during the pursuit of the enemy south through Kentucky into Tennessee-days of marching under the strain of intermittent reconnoiters and alarms. There were occasional skirmishes with guerrilla bands, and more stubborn engagements at Lancaster and Nolandsville. As there were not many wounded in the
regiment, Himoe's duties would have been few as usual, had it not been that his regimental assistants severally resigned from service, so that by November 26 he was the only one left of a staff of four. On November 5, Himoe was promoted to the position of acting surgeon in the brigade of Colonel William P. Carlin, but he was prevented from taking residence in his new quarters until after the appointment of two surgeons to fill the breach in the regiment. From the time that he finally assumed his duties as acting brigade surgeon in December, 1862, until January 7, 1863, when he joined the regiment in camp on Shelbyville Pike, Stephen Himoe was under the pressure of increased responsibilities. The greater detail in the organization of a larger army unit demanded much of his professional ability and all the personal time he previously might have called his own. He discharged his obligations with his characteristic sense of duty.
The year 1862 ended with the brigade on the battlefield at Murfreesboro. In less than three short months the forces had moved from Chaplin River in Kentucky south to the west fork of Stone's River in Tennessee, and in the gray light of the next to the last day of the year "heavy skirmishing" initiated the first great struggle in the drive for Chattanooga. The stubborn resistance of that first day brought to the brigade, as it brought to every soldier upon the Union field, the realization that they were facing a desperate battle. On the thirty-first, Carlin's brigade on the right withstood four heavy assaults from the rebels before it was forced to retire across the open cornfields through a cedar wood to the Murfreesboro Turnpike, forfeiting the temporary field hospital that had been established the night before in "a house nearby." The losses were heavy this day on the unprotected flank of the brigade, and, retiring from the field in the afternoon to gather strength, they remained quiet for
a tense day and two long nights in the frost and rain of a fireless camp. The suspense of waiting was relieved when, in midafternoon of the second day of the new year, Davis' division under Hazen was ordered to cross Stone's River that it might help preserve Miller's advantage over Breckinridge but a mile and a half from the town of Murfreesboro. The field was won that day, but the victory brought only the possession of a battleground and the obligation to bury the innumerable dead.
Himoe was with the brigade throughout the four days of battle, and he spent much of his time ministering to the Fifteenth Wisconsin. On January 6 he wrote to his wife from the field near Murfreesboro: "Since writing to you on Sunday last, I have been busy day and night with our wounded until late this evening. I have made all of our own regiment comfortable and operated when necessary. I shall rejoin the regiment tomorrow and remain with it." On January 7 Himoe was back with the regiment on Franklin Pike where, as the only surgeon in attendance, he had an inordinate amount of work.
However, because of the lack of assistance, many of the wounded of the regiment had to be sent to the hospital at Nashville some thirty miles distant. On the ninth he again wrote to his wife:
I might fill many sheets with an account of the great battle, the appearance of the battlefield. But you know I have promised to defer that until I come home, until I eau sit by you. Murfreesboro is deserted of its inhabitants, every house being either a hospital or a soldiers' barracks. I have been in town several times since its occupation and have seen only one woman and child in it. This is a terrible reality to the southern people at
least, and it is impossible to give you the faintest idea of the horrors it inflicts upon them. This regiment fought with distinguished bravery in the late battle, which the official report of Colonel Heg, as well as that of the brigade commander, will fully show. They will both no doubt be published in the state papers, and I will send you a copy by the next post. Our loss in killed, in wounded and missing foots up 119, being more than one-third of the number that went into the fight. Only fifteen were killed in the field, but several of the wounded have died since, and many more in all possibility will do so. Three of those whose limbs I amputated have died, two this morning. The Fifteenth regiment, while suffering thus severely, has earned a reputation for patriotism and bravery of the highest order, and it is a glorious honor to belong to it.
During these days following the battle Himoe's time was spent between the regiment camp near Murfreesboro and the field hospital. When he was not on duty at the hospital, there were other obligations to occupy his time. Official reports were to be written for the surgeon general's office, and sanitary goods and medical supplies had to be obtained from the town. It was not until the nineteenth that he could write "nothing to do," for the new surgeons had arrived at the regiment six days before and by that time were able to relieve him of numerous details.
Stephen Himoe now applied for change of duty. On February 21, scarcely a year after he had been mustered into the service, he received orders to report in Murfreesboro, and two days later he moved from the regiment into the town where on the twenty-fifth he was ordered to take charge of Hospital No. 2 on the Woodbury Pike. In this position, which he filled for more than a month, Himoe served in the capacity of supervising surgeon, and though it demanded of
him less attention to such details as might be handled by "lady nurses," it involved responsibilities toward a more complex organization--a greater number of assistants were subject to his supervision and to his orders and more detailed reports had to be made to his superiors. With such exacting obligations, it is fortunate that Himoe was able to live somewhat less strenuously than he had when he was with the regiment. His quarters in Murfreesboro were in" a good house" where he had "plenty to eat," and no lack of domestic comfort.
By the end of March many of the less seriously wounded from the battle of Stone's River had recovered sufficiently to be discharged, and the duty of supervising the recuperation of the long-term convalescents was left to the consolidated hospital staffs in Murfreesboro and Nashville. Consequently, on March 29, Stephen Himoe closed his hospital "by distributing patients to other hospitals," and, on the first of the following month, he reported to Hospital No. 1 in the City Hotel in town, where he remained until the eleventh. From April 24, when he was once again with the regiment in its camp on the outskirts of the town, until May 1, Himoe remained on duty as physician to the regiment. Upon the reorganization of the Army of the Ohio, he became surgeon of the Third Brigade, First Division, Twentieth Army Corps, Department of the Cumberland, which was under the leadership of his brother-in-law. The last two months of the relatively quiet camp life at Murfreesboro were spent by Himoe with his brigade. As the greatest activity of these days was the outpost duty on Shelbyville Road from May 17 to 21, he had but little to occupy him, aside from the details of reorganizing his medical staff and the routine of attending to the
sick and to the occasional wounded who might come in from picket or scouting duties. On the twentieth he received a grant for the leave of absence that he had applied for on the seventh, and within three days he was on his way to Waterford.
Upon the return of Himoe from this spring furlough, the Union forces in the East and West, having checked the triple Confederate drive upon both fronts, were arousing themselves from the lethargy of two years of discouragement. The summer days of 1863 witnessed the turning point of the war --- in the East at Gettysburg and in the West at Vicksburg --- and the way was pointed to Richmond and Chattanooga. The Army of the Cumberland started south from Stone's River, and with it the Twentieth Army Corps. In the opening days of the Tullahoma campaign, the First Division moved laboriously down the Shelbyville Pike in the rain from Murfreesboro to Millersburg with the Third Brigade acting as rear guard to the baggage wagon train. By June 28 they had joined the concentration at Manchester, Tennessee, having marched two days through the mud and rain. From here they went forward through Tullahoma on the heels of Sheridan's occupation. Finally, on July 3, the sixth anniversary of the marriage of Stephen Himoe, the brigade arrived in Winchester and the next move of the campaign became obvious, for that same fateful first week in July, 1863, Bragg crossed the Tennessee River to become ensconced in Chattanooga. The great hardships of these eleven days to Winchester lay in the difficulty of advance in bad weather. Marching was unusually arduous and bivouacking most unpleasant. The fact that Himoe traveled with the supply wagons and had with him "all the tents and baggage" that he needed, provided but meager comfort in such inclement days of cramped quarters and crowded living.
Between July 4 and August 17, the brigade spent a comparatively inactive and a somewhat restless time in Winchester while Rosecrans planned his approach to Chattanooga. Here on the Fourth of July came news of the battle of Gettysburg and on the seventh of the surrender of Vicksburg. Himoe shared in the jubilant spirits awakened at the news of these Union victories, and he must have anticipated, as did so many others upon this occasion, an early end to the war. He knew, however, that the Richmond of the West lay but a few miles before them and that Bragg was still to be met. These weeks in Winchester were filled with the strain that had come from a constant anticipation of battle throughout the ten days of close pursuit of the enemy. In the air there was a tension--the men were keyed to a crisis. From the eighteenth to the twenty-eighth, the army moved across the precipitous Cumberland Mountains, "a fearful and perilous task," to Stevenson, Alabama, and by the twenty-eighth the brigade was before the Tennessee River in sight of the rebel outposts. The following day Himoe wrote of the memorable advance crossing of his brigade:
We move down to the river at sunrise and by 7 o'clock the brigade is in the boats which are immediately launched and rapidly rowed across the river. The rebel pickets fled without firing a shot, leaving their half cooked breakfast behind them. Our pontoon bridge is completed by noon; we cross over our horses and proceed to the summit of Sand Mountain where we bivouac about six miles from the river, among the pines.
In the "dry and warm" days that followed, Davis' division moved north from Valley Head to Steven's Gap along the ridge of Lookout Mountain from which they obtained "Magnificant views of the hills and vallies of Georgia." At dusk on the cool evening of September 18, the Third Brigade bivouacked south of Crawfish Spring, some nineteen miles from Chattanooga where the First Division Hospital was established. By two o'clock in the afternoon of the following day, the brigade was engaged in heavy fighting on the Lafayette
Road. It was a serious struggle that day of September 19, when the opposing armies met to sound each other's strength; yet it was but a prelude to the fiercest battle of the war in the West.
Dr. Himoe was on constant duty behind the lines from the first day of battle until November 5, when he returned to the brigade and regiment. On September 19 he was at Crawfish Spring and two days later he was "On duty at Division hospital near town." The battle had come so suddenly and was so intense that the medical staff found itself unprepared for the number of wounded that were brought in from the field, and it was some time before the numerous widely scattered hospitals could be consolidated and the forces in attendance combined into more efficient units. The facilities at the division hospital were hardly complete enough to give adequate attention to the wounded that were sent from the front, and of the many that had arrived by the twenty-first, those that were able to walk were sent "across the river to the field hospital." On the following day the Union forces were victorious at Chickamauga, and the battleground about Chattanooga thereupon became clearly defined. Immediately the hospital units were organized at a few strategic positions. "Our lines are drawn in closer to town and our hospitals are vacated the wounded being sent down to and across the river. I assisted Major Wilson across the river and afterwards went on duty at the Sanitary Rooms whence the wounded from our division had been removed." Himoe remained here but one day, and on the twenty-third, after a visit to the lines, he was at the general field hospital two miles across the river where all the surgeons except one from each brigade had been assigned for service and where he remained for five days. To this place which proved "a favorable location for a hospital," all the sick and the wounded were sent. However, Bragg's impregnable siege of Chattanooga left the hospital suffering with a "great lack of tents,
surgical material and hospital stores," and Himoe wrote in his diary on the twenty-fourth," Our Wounded are being cared for as rapidly and completely as our very limited resources will allow." On the twenty-fifth, he wrote, "We are getting our hospital into some shape having been able to procure an ample supply of straw. The want of tents, cots, blankets and clothing is however greatly felt." They were not even permitted to send patients from these poorly equipped and overcrowded quarters to Bridgeport. The difficulties under which he worked must have made arduous hours for Surgeon Himoe. He wrote:
Darling Wife: Our sorrow is very great, this no time for tears. Our brave army crushed and bleeding, our best and noblest men torn and dying require the most careful and devoted attention that the surgeon has in his power to render. Our army is terribly broken by vastly overwhelming numbers, but concentrated around Chattanooga, will never surrender the place to the enemy while a single battalion remains to die in its defence. The country must and shall be saved. The regiment today numbers 130 men, and works in the trenches in front. Colonel Johnson and Captain Hansen are missing and probably killed. My duty is here for the present and I am content. God bless and console you.
On September 28 he was "ordered back to Chattanooga to open a division hospital with three assistants." Here he remained until October 6, living in a private house busily providing necessities for his hospital and caring for the almost constant stream of disabled. On one day alone some two hundred ambulances "loaded with wounded men arrive from the battlefield." "We receive about 70 and do all in our power to render them comfortable." On the following day he wrote, "Another train with wounded men came in from the battle field and I work till midnight receiving them." So many wounded had arrived by October 1 that Himoe found it necessary to open the Episcopal church that there might be room for them to be properly cared for, and in two days he was forced to transfer "nearly 70 of our wounded in ambulances to Bridgeport." However, in spite of the
continually increasing press of duty, he was able to feel satisfied with the way that he had met the responsibility of organizing his hospital in Chattanooga, and on October 6 General Davis, the leader of his division, who visited the hospital, complimented Surgeon Himoe upon its efficiency.
Once again the need for consolidation became imperative, and on October 5 orders arrived from the medical corps for the discontinuance of the division hospitals. The wounded were to be collected into three general hospitals and the sick were to be cared for by the regimental staffs. On the following day, Himoe was permitted "by request" to report for duty to Surgeon Irish who was in charge of Hospital No. 2 in Chattanooga, and he remained at this post until November 2, when he applied for permission to be relieved. His duties here involved continued responsibilities, for the twenty-four men that were assigned to his care had been so neglected that at first he found it difficult "to bestow proper attention upon them." Furthermore, this number was augmented when heavy fighting brought more wounded from the field and when he was ordered to assume charge of the patients of one of the physicians who was relieved from duty. While he was stationed in town at Hospital No. 2 Himoe lived with two other physicians in private quarters where together they organized a "mess." The few moments of leisure that were his amidst the routine of medical attendance and of writing reports, Stephen Himoe spent in visiting other surgeons, in occasional walks to the lines, the forts, and the signal station, and in frequent trips to his old regiment stationed across the river. Finally, on November 5, he returned to the regiment where he had always felt at home and where he passed the last ten days of his service in the war.
Himoe's affection for the Fifteenth Wisconsin found expression in close friendships, and, of these, the one that meant most to him was that of Colonel Heg, its leader.
The two young men, both in their early thirties, were inseparable companions in their many days of army life. Their common background --- both of them having spent a part of their youth in the same Wisconsin town, each of them familiar with many of the same people and the same places --- drew them closely together. Often they tented together and often shared with one another any meager luxuries that either of them might have acquired. The sudden and premature termination of this friendship was the great tragedy in the war experience of Stephen Himoe --- an irreparable blow. Himoe's diary for September 20 records his emotions:
It was agonizing to stand beside the Col and see him suffer and die --- Col La Grange of the 1st Wis Cay, and other friends who called to see him, wept like children. Everybody who knew him loved him. He was not only a noble patriot, but a true christian and died peacefully and calmly, fully persuaded of a glorious immortality thro' Jesus.
This tragedy left Stephen Himoe with a longing for old familiar far-off things. Though the regiment showed its
esteem for him in the many times that it honored him as officer of the day, on the day after he rejoined it across the river, he drafted his resignation from the army, and two days later he received a "favorable endorsement" from the medical directors of division, corps, and department. He left the regiment with a sense of regret. He was weary, and had a restless desire "to be cheered by the sight of wife, home & friends," the things that he had forfeited through his service.
Eighteen months had passed since Himoe had joined the regiment. On November 15, 1863, he left the remaining few of its number in the works before Chattanooga and returned to Waterford. In December he went to Fort Scott in Kansas where he resumed his practice and where his family rejoined him in the early spring of 1864. He lived at Fort Scott until October, 1865, at which time he and his family moved to Laurence, Kansas. Twin sons were born at Fort Scott, August 27, 1864.
A fourth child was born on July 20, 1867, at Laurence.
In 1885 he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he practiced medicine until his death, April 19, 1904. His years in the Civil War were but a small part of a long life, in which Dr. Himoe, "quiet and unobtrusive in manner and character," met his responsibilities competently and contributed to the greater destiny of his adopted land.
<1> The Diary of Stephen O. Himoe, two small notebook volumes written in longhand, covering the period from March 14, 1862, to December 25, 1865, are in the possession of Miss Maude F. Himoe of Kansas City, Missouri. Microfilm and typewritten copies are on file in the archives of the Norwegian-American Historical Association at Northfield, Minnesota. Himoe's autobiographical sketch appears in the final entry of his diary.
<2> Little is known of Stephen Himoe's immediate family. His father, Matthias Himoe, was born May 3, 1794, and died April 29, 1870. His mother, whose name is not known, died April 9, 1888, and his only brother, John, died in the latter part of March, 1864. He also had a sister, Louisa Himoe Jacobson. Matthias Himoe's certificate of naturalization, in the possession of Mrs. Annetta Himoe Booth of Glendale, California, a daughter of Stephen O. Himoe; Himoe Diary, March 31, 1864, December 25, 1865; letter from Mrs. Booth to the author, July 5, 1939.
<3> Platteville Academy, in existence from 1842 to 1866, subsequently became the Pioneer Normal School of the state and later developed into the State Teacher's College. The catalogue of the academy for the year 1853-54 records the names of Stephen O. Himoe and John E. Himoe, with residence designated as Norway Township, Wisconsin. The two are listed as being in the classical department, in which there were three "classes " --- junior, middle, and senior. In the catalogue for the year 1854-55, John E. Himoe is listed as a junior. Mr. J. A. Wilgus of Platteville is compiling a history of the academy. George W. Eastman was surgeon of the Sixteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and served until November, 1864. He was commended for his service in the war as acting division surgeon. Newton A. Strait, comp., Roster of All Regimental Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons, 280 (Washington, D.C., 1882); War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, series 1, vol. 17, part 1, p. 341.
<4> The National Medical College came into existence as a department of Columbian College, Washington, D.C. Columbian College, chartered February 9, 1821, was incorporated as a university in 1873. The medical department was completed in October, 1824. The St. Louis Medical School opened in 1836 as part of St. Louis University. It was separated from the university and became St. Louis Medical College in 1854-55. W.W. Hill, Historical Sketch of the St. Louis University (St. Louis, 1879). In 1891 it became the medical department of Washington University, St. Louis.
<5> Knut Gjerset and Ludvig Hektoen, "Health Conditions and the Practice of Medicine among the Early Norwegian Settlers, 1825-1865," in Norwegian-American Historical Association, Studies and Records, 1: 1-59 (Northfield, 1926).
<6> Himoe family Bible, in the possession of Mrs. Booth; Theodore C. Blegen, ed., The Civil War Letters of Colonel Hans Christian Heg, 49n (Northfield, 1936); Himoe Diary. Some two hundred Civil War letters written by Himoe to his wife, covering the entire period of his service with the Fifteenth Wisconsin, were extant at one time. Unfortunately these were destroyed. The only remaining traces of the correspondence are to be found in three printed sources --- Luther M. Kuhns, "An Army Surgeon's Letters to His Wife," in Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings, 1913-14, p. 306-320; Waldemar Ager, Oberst Heg og hans gutter, 150-154 (Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1916); "Letters from Surgeon at the Front Give Near View of the Great Struggle of '61," an undated clipping from an unidentified Omaha newspaper in the possession of Miss Himoe. A microfilm copy is in the Norwegian-American Historical Association archives. These three sources supply fifteen letters, some complete and some in extract. Fourteen are dated.
<7> Evangeline S. Himoe was born November 28, 1858; Stephen Ernest Himoe, September 14, 1861. Himoe family Bible.
<8> E. W. Schauffler, In Memoriam, Stephen. Oliver Himoe (Headquarters Commandery of the State of Missouri, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, series of 1904, circular no. 16, whole no. 282 --- St. Louis); Kuhns, in Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings, 1913-14, p. 306n.
<9> Himoe Diary, January-February, 1864. Following the erroneous suggestion of Schauffler in In Memoriam, many have assumed that he was commissioned to the Fifth Kansas Cavalry. However, records seem to have identified him with the Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. The name Himoe does not appear on the rolls of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry in the adjutant general's office in Washington, D.C. Likewise, there is no record in the adjutant general's department of Kansas to show that S. O. Himoe was in any of the Kansas volunteer regiments that were in service during the Civil War. From this it would seem that Himoe was not identified with either the Fifth or the Sixth Volunteer Cavalry units. However, in the records of the war department in Washington, D.C., there is preserved the resignation of Dr. S. O. Himoe as assistant surgeon of the Sixth Kansas Volunteers, dated January 15, 1862. This fact is further verified by a letter from Andrea Heg Himoe to Hans C. Heg, her brother, in which she mentions her husband's active association with the "6th Reg. from Ft. Scott." This letter appears post, 36n. Still this does not answer for the lack of evidence that Himoe was mustered into the military service of the United States as a member of the Sixth Kansas Volunteers. Perhaps the record was never submitted because Himoe was identified with the three companies before they were formally organized into a regiment. It is interesting to note the record of one John Himoe, surgeon, age 27, who was "Transferred to Wis. Vols. November, '61," in the printed roster of the Sixth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. Kansas Adjutant General, Report, 1864, p. 163. See page 225 of the Report for the organization and early activities of the regiment. In War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 3, p. 1-3, 162-165, vol. 53, p. 435, there is an account of the skirmish near Fort Scott and the Battle of Dry Wood. In series 2, vol. 1, p. 185, is the following from headquarters at Fort Scott, October 19, 1861, to Brigadier General James H. Lane, commanding the Kansas brigade:
On Thursday, the 17th instant, the secesh army under Rains, Price and Hunter were seven miles beyond Greenfield on the Springfield road. Humboldt was burned last Monday evening by 331 secesh troops under Talbert, Irwin and Livingstone. I received the news on Tuesday morning and made a movement to cut them og but they were twenty-four hours ahead and crossed on the south side of Neosho River in the direction of Sherwood.
<10> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 20-23. The original of the following letter which Andrea Heg Himoe wrote to Hans C. Heg, from Mapleton, October, 1861, is in the possession of Mrs. A. R. Van Doren, Stamford, Connecticut.
Yours to Stephen of Oct 3d is just at hand. He is absent at the present time with a portion of the 6th Reg. from Ft. Scott who have gone to Humboldt in pursuit of a gang of Secesh who have been committing some awful outrages up there lately. I expect him home in a couple of days and then you will hear from him. I shall coax him hard to resign here and go with you, how much rather I would have him in your Reg. than any other. Be sure to wait till you hear from him.
We are well and happy and our little boy grows so finely. Maybe you will see us all there this fall.
We have everything pleasant and comfortable where we are a nice home and if S. remains here we will till spring so as to be near him but next spring will surely see us in good old Wis.
I am writing these few lines while the P. M. is waiting for me so I must be brief I owe you a long letter and will write it soon. Give love to all of the little ones and Gunil from me Tell Sop if she is there that I wrote her a long letter to Portage and she must try and have it sent to her. Good bye
Your own Affec.
Miss Himoe has a certificate of appointment. See also records in the office of the adjutant general of Wisconsin. On September 26, 1862, Hans Heg wrote to Gunild Heg, "Doc Himoe is all right I hope you will do the best you can to make his family comfortable. You must remember she has no home up in Wisconsin." Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 139.
<11> Himoe's first letter to his wife shows that he was in Camp Randall by February 25, 1862. Kuhns, in Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings, 1913-14, p. 308.
<12> The diary often not only gives the dates and the days of various occurrences, but the precise hours of certain events.
<13> Himoe was chief surgeon of the Fifteenth Wisconsin, Brigade Three, Division Three, Army of the Mississippi, from February 13 to November 5, 1862. Himoe Diary, November 5, 1862; Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 155. In War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 8, p. 85-95, is recorded that at Island No. 10, the regiment was in the flotilla brigade commanded by Colonel N. B. Buford. There were 2,251 soldiers present for duty in this brigade. The official report of the campaign at New Madrid and Island No. 10 is also given. The drawing by Himoe of the river and batteries at Island No. 10, reproduced in Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 62, is to be found in the Himoe Diary in somewhat more detail. See also the Confederate map of Island No. 10 in War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 8, p. 137.
<14> Himoe Diary, April 3, May 16, 1862. G. F. Newell of Waterford, second assistant surgeon of the Fifteenth Wisconsin, resigned from the service on June 10, 1862. Strait, comp., Roster of Surgeons, 280. He was replaced by Dr. Alfred H. Whipple who resigned November 26, 1862. Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 125; J. A. Johnson, Der skandinaviske regiments historie, 27 (La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1869). The official account of the Union City expedition is given in War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 8, p. 116-118, vol. 52, part 2, p. 294. In his report on the activities at Island No. 10, Colonel Buford mentions the dampness and the unhealthy conditions thereabouts. War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 8, p. 115. In his letters to his wife Colonel Heg mentions several times the sickness in the regiment. On March 29 he could boast that but two of his men had died. Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 52, 57, 62, 69, 77, 82.
<15> Himoe left Island No. 10 on June 7 and returned to the regiment at Union City on June 20. Himoe Diary, June 5-20, 1862. On June 26, 1862, he wrote, "The regiment is well, not a single one sick in the hospital here." Kuhns, in Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings, 1913-14, p. 310, 311, 312, 314. In Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 94, 100, 104, 108, 110, 116, 121, 123 are references made by the colonel to the lack of sickness in the regiment. Pages 86-123 give an excellent picture of the life of the regiment during these months. On June 27 Heg wrote to his wife, "I have very little to do to day. We are laying idly in our apple orchard doing nothing but eat and drink." Himoe wrote in his diary, July 3, 1862, "We bivouacked in a pleasant grove at noon."
<16> "Letters from Surgeon at the Front."
<17> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 106, 140; Himoe Diary, February 8, 1862, June 29, July 3, November 1, 1863.
<18> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 94, 113, 139, 149, 155.
<19> Kuhns, in Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings, 1913-14, p. 310; Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 101, 158, 234, 238; Himoe Diary, July 4, 1863.
<20> Kuhns, in Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Proceedings, 1913--14, p. 311-320. Himoe's estimate of General Buell is given on page 315. See also "Letters from Surgeon at the Front."
<21> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 130, 132, 134, 136 138. For an account of Buell's defense movements in this campaign, see Henry M. Cist, The Army of the Cumberland, 48-60 (Army in the Civil War, vol. 7--New York, 1885).
<22> For details of the Battle of Perryville see Ager, Oberst Heg, 181-184; H. Stone, "The Operations of General Buell in Kentucky and Tennessee in 1862," in Campaigns in. Kentucky and Tennessee, 1862-1866, 280-288 (Boston, Massachusetts, 1908); and the report of Brigadier General R. B. Mitchell, in War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 16, part 1, p. 1076-1079.
<23> "Letters from Surgeon at the Front." Official records show that the Thirty-first Brigade, Ninth Division, Third Army Corps, had ten wounded in the battle. War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 16, part 1, p. 1077.
<24> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 147.
<25> Himoe Diary, October 15, November 5, 17, December 26, 1862; Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 147, 155, 160-162; ante, 39n. First Assistant Surgeon Søren J. Hansen resigned from the service October 20. Johnson, Skandinaviske regiments historie, 27.
<26> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 165. For details of the move south to Murfreesboro and preparations for the battle there, see Cist, Army of the Cumberland, 61-101. The official report copied by Himoe and sent to his wife, in "Letters from Surgeon at the Front," gives an account of the action of the brigade and regiment in the Battle of Murfreesboro.
<27> "Letters from Surgeon at the Front "; Himoe Diary, January 5, 6, 1863. On January 6 Colonel Heg wrote: "Dr. Himoe has had his hands full for some time now. Our new doctors have none of them arrived. It is very curious that men can be so negligent when it is well known that we need them so badly." Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 172.
<28> "Letters from Surgeon at the Front."
<29> Himoe Diary, January 9-14, 17, 23, 1863. The new surgeons were Dr. Oscar Trenkler, appointed first assistant surgeon of the regiment on December 15, 1862, and Dr. Daniel P. Wooster, who was made second assistant surgeon on December 10, 1862. Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 176n. On January 19, 1864, Colonel Heg wrote, "Many of our wounded men have died since the Battle. The weather and everything else has been unfavorable for sick and wounded persons." Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 177. For an account of the field hospital at Murfreesboro, see John Fitch, Annals of the Army of the Cumberland, 289-292 (Philadelphia, 1864).
<30> Himoe Diary, January 27, February 21, 25, 1863; Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 192, 198. The original of the military order to Himoe is in the possession of Miss Himoe. It reads:
Medl Directors Office Dept of the Cumbd. Murfreesboro Feby. 25, 1868. Surgeon Himoe detailed for Hospital duty in this place by order of General Rosecrans and temporarily assigned to duty in Hospital No. 1, is hereby relieved from duty there and will immediately relieve Asst. Surg Craig in Charge of Hospital No. 2, in this place --- He will take charge of Medical & Hospital Stores and receipt to Asst Surg Craig for the same. By order of G. Perrin Surg U S U Med Dir.
<31> Himoe Diary; Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 212. Himoe's leave of absence, granted for fifteen days, extended from May 25 to June 8, 1863.
<32> Blegen, ed., Colonel Heg, 225. For the report of the march to Winchester see War of the Rebellion, series 1, vol. 23, part 1, p. 482.
<33> Himoe Diary, July 4, 7, August 17-19, 29, September 2, 10, 1863.
<34> Himoe Diary, September 10-October 4, November 5, 1868; "Letters from Surgeon at the Front."
<35> Himoe Diary, October 6, 7, 24, 29, 1863. See also "Record of Cases under Charge of S. O. Himoe at General Hospital No. 2," a detailed account, in the handwriting of Himoe, of the character of the operation upon, and the treatment of the injuries of seven of the twenty-four patients. This document is in the possession of Miss Himoe. The notes show that Himoe was conversant with the many details of the symptoms of improvement and corruption of gunshot wounds, also that he had an acute sense of observation and a distinct ability to diagnose the condition of his patients.
<36> Christen Hattlestad, a sutler, who married the sister of Himoe's wife, was one of the more especially close friends of Himoe.
<37> A letter from Himoe contained in "Letters from Surgeon at the Front" reads:
What a precious sacrifice we have offered on the altar of our country. A braver nobler and better beloved officer never drew sword in defense of our country than our brother [demons]trated the fortitude of the patriot, the patience and peace of the Christian. It is a consolation to know that he was surrounded during his last hours by sympathizing anti weeping friends. You have no idea how he was idolized, and how many, but a short time since strangers, shed bitter tears. It is a greater consolation still that he died a Christian and fully persuaded that heaven would be his happy home. He was willing to die, and a more peaceful death scene I never witnessed. He regretted his fate only for the sake of his family, and he bade me kiss you, Sophia, and our little ones for him, I will not speak of our sorrow, but we mourn not as those who have [not] hope. We meet him in heaven, let us thank God for that.
Is it not consoling that he was not left within the lines of the enemy to suffer and die alone and uncared for, on the battle field as has been the fate of so many of them. No one but a great and good man could live and act as he did, and how much better to die in defense of our liberties, and our country, than to shirk his duty and basely leave all to the polluted grasp of traitors.
General Rosecrans said after the battle, "Are those Colonel Heg's men?" Being answered "yes" he said, "The Colonel was one of the bravest of men, and I am sorry he did not live to be made a general."
<38> Himoe Diary, October 15, 22, 26, November 6, 8, 14, 1863, April 13, 1864. In his diary, Himoe gives no specific reasons for his resignation. The record of his war service, preserved in the office of the adjutant general of Wisconsin, gives the cause of his resignation as disability. The order accepting his resignation is designated "Special Field Order No 804 Head Quarters Department of the Cumberland Chattanooga Tenn Nov 13th 1863."
<39> John Elmer and Hans Clarence Himoe, the later named for Hans C. Heg. The entries in the diary become more intermittent until December 25, 1865, when they cease altogether.
<40> Mrs. Booth. Stephen O. Himoe and his first wife are buried in Oakhill Cemetery, Laurence, Kansas.
<41> Schauffler, In Memoriam.