Database Record Change Request
|Name at Enlist|
ca. 1832 – 23 Sep 1864
|Resident of Muster-In|
Waupun, Dodge County, WI
|Company at Enlistment|
|Rank at Enlistment|
8 Dec 1861
Briggsville, Portage County, WI
Andrew Clement was enlisted by Captain Charles Campbell as a Private in Company D of the 15th WI. He enlisted on October 5, 1861 at Waupun, WI for a 3-year term of service. He mustered at Madison, WI on December 8, 1861. At the time he was 29 years old and not married. He listed his residence as Waupun, WI. The men of Company D called themselves the “Norway Wolf Hunters.” They were also known as the “Waupun Company” because a number of them were residents of that WI town. On January 1, 1862, Private (Menig) Clement was appointed to the rank of 2nd Sergeant (Second Sersjant). However, he was reduced to ranks on May 1, 1862 and assigned as musician on May 10, 1862.
On January 14, 1862, the 15th’s soldiers were issued Belgian rifled muskets. After several months at Camp Randall learning to be a soldier, Sergeant Clement left there in early March 1862 with his company and regiment to join the war. He participated in the successful siege of Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River in TN, and the surprise raid on Union City, TN, in March and April 1862.
That summer, Sergeant Clement was with the 15th on campaign through TN, MS, and AL. In August and September he participated in the grueling 400-mile retreat with General Buell up to Louisville, KY, with the last 2 weeks being on half rations and short of water. Sergeant Clement was present at the October 8, 1862 Battle of Perryville, KY which is also called the Battle of Chaplin Hills. While this was the first big battle the 15th was in, it emerged without any fatalities.
At the recommendation of Colonel Hans C. Heg the 15th’s commander, the Governor of WI commissioned Sergeant Clement to be the 1st Lieutenant (Løytnant, second-in-command) of Company K on November 8, 1862, with rank from October 10, 1862. He filled the vacancy created when 1st Lieutenant Ole Peterson resigned August 31, 1862. The commander of Company K was Captain Mons Grinager and its soon to be third-in-command was 2nd Lieutenant John P. Strommer. The men of Company K called themselves”Clausen’s Guards” in honor of the regiment’s first Chaplain, Claus Clausen.
On December 26, 1862, Lieutenant Clement would have participated in the 15th’s desperate charge upon a Confederate artillery battery at Knob Gap, TN, just south of Nashville. There the 15th captured a brass cannon. He would have also fought at the long, cold, wet, and bloody Battle of Stone River, TN, also called the Battle of Murfreesboro, on December 30-31, 1862. It is there that the 15th first suffered serious battle casualties, and was cited for bravery.
The 15th camped in the Murfreesboro area for the next 6 months, except for 2 weeks in February when it was sent to Franklin, TN. There on March 18, 1863, Clement was finally mustered into the Federal Army as a 1st Lieutenant, with his rank to officially date from November 17, 1862. In May 1863, Lieutenant Strommer was tricked into resigning his commission and was replaced when Sergeant Ellend Errickson was commissioned as the new 2nd Lieutenant. Starting June 23, 1863, the regiment took part in General Rosecrans’ Tullahoma campaign. On July 3, 1863, it went into camp at Winchester, Franklin County, TN for 6 weeks. He was taken prisoner while on a picket line near Chattanooga, TN on August 8, 1863. However, he came back on parole the same month.
On August 17, 1863, the 15th left Winchester to participate in General Rosecrans’ Chickamauga campaign. Lieutenant Clement is believed to have been present at the daring early morning crossing of the Tennessee River on August 28th, which the 15th led. He was present at the September 19-20, 1863, fighting at Chickamauga, GA — the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War. He survived the vicious fighting around Viniard’s Farm on the first afternoon, as well as the near capture of the regiment around midday on the 20th during Longstreet’s Breakthrough. Some 63% of the 15th’s soldiers who were at Chickamauga were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, including all of the regiment’s Field Officers. For his actions at Chickamauga, Lieutenant Clement was cited in the regiment’s official after action report as an officer,
“…who showed more than ordinary courage and bravery during the battle”
After the battle, Captain Grinager took command of the regiment, leaving Lieutenant Clement in command of Company K. He led the company during the early phase of the Confederate siege of Chattanooga, TN, which began right after the battle. The siege caused severe shortages of medicine, food, and firewood. On October 8, 1863, Lieutenant Clement was captured near Chattanooga, while on picket (guard) duty. Captain Grinager recounted this incident in Buslett’s 1895 history of the 15th WI.
“On 8 October the Regiment was on guard duty; everything was quiet because the picket lines had been in agreement for a week not to shoot at each other. The outposts in some places were no more than 30 yards apart. The officers had permission to exchange newspapers; they only needed to give a signal with a paper, and it was immediately answered with a similar signal from the Rebels, whereupon both laid down their weapons and met each other half way. Several conversations were conducted with the Rebels in the course of the day, and a peaceful situation prevailed between the two armies, but this trust ended in the afternoon with the following catastrophe. A Rebel made a signal with a newspaper and Lieutenant Clement of Company K went to swap. He walked into a grove of trees so he couldn’t be seen by the Regiment. There the Rebels, treacherously enough, had hidden three or four armed men who took him prisoner. This treacherous course of action awakened great resentment amongst us and ended any meetings between us for a long time. After this incident the Rebels stayed behind their fortifications, which was [the] best plan for them because otherwise pieces of lead would have been sent toward them as payment for their villainy.”
Lieutenant Clement was held less than a month before being “unconditionally released” by the Confederates at City Point, VA on November 6, 1863. He then spent a month recuperating at Camp Parole, near Annapolis, MD. On December 6, 1863, he was ordered to deliver a group of exchanged Union soldiers to General Hooker and then to report back to his regiment. When he reached the 15th, it was engaged in almost non-stop marching and counter-marching all over Eastern TN. By many original accounts, this was the worst period of the regiment’s 3-year term of service. Poor rations, inadequate clothing and shelter, and unseasonably cold weather made this period nearly unbearable.
In January 1864, Lieutenant Clement applied for a 30-day medical leave of absence. His request was favorably endorsed by Major George Wilson, then commanding the 15th, who wrote that Clement had been “suffering chronic diarrhea last 4 months.” The leave was approved in late January, and he returned to Portage County, WI, to recover. Despite being back home, Lieutenant Clement’s health did not improve. He continued to apply for extensions to his leave, submitting doctor’s reports February through July in support of his applications. Each report stated that he was still suffering from chronic diarrhea. Lieutenant Clement died of its cumulative effects that September at the home of Peder E. Pederson in Briggsville, Portage County, WI on September 23, 1864. On October 12, 1864, he was honorably discharged from the Army, retroactive to March 1, 1864, for reasons of disability.
Sources: Civil War Compiled Military Service Records, Office of Adjutant General of the United States (Washington, DC); Det Femtende Regiment, Wisconsin Frivillige [The Fifteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers], Ole A. Buslett (Decorah, Iowa, 1894); Regimental Descriptive Rolls, Volume 20, Office of the Adjutant General State of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin, 1885).