Andrew S. Parsons papers  1864-1865
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Parsons, Andrew S.

Rank : Corporal

Regiment : 33rd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Co. F (1862-1865)11th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment (transferred July 22, 1865)

Service : 1864 February-1865 September

In February, 1864, Andrew S. Parsons left his farm to become a recruit in a veteran regiment, the 33rd Wisconsin Infantry, agreeing to serve for the duration of the war. Older than the average soldier, when he departed for the south, Parsons left behind a wife, Louisa, and three children, Minnie, Hubert, and Elmar, the last of whom was still in his infancy.

A corporal, Parsons seems to have commanded the respect of his fellow soldiers easily, possibly due to his age and possibly to his exceptionally upright and moral bearing. He joined the regiment shortly after it had been placed under the command of A.J. Smith, and took part in the Red River Campaign of 1864 and other Union attempts to destroy Confederate resistance in the southwestern theatre. Smith would later complain, half in jest, of the hardships imposed on the troops under his command by being ordered to run back and forth across the west, and Parson's experiences would seem to sustain Smith's claims. Following the close of the Red River Campaign, the regiment was ordered into duty in southern Tennessee and northern Mississippi, taking part in the Battle of Tupelo, before being order back into Missouri to contend with Price's second invasion. After only a few weeks, however, the 33rd were ordered back to Tennessee, where they were assigned to picket and fatigue duty in the trenches protecting Nashville. They took part in the Battle of Nashville, and then moved once again into northern Mississippi, where they remained for the duration of the winter. Throughout these ordeals, Parsons maintained a strict adherence to his religious principles, abstaining from drink and attending prayer meetings and religious gatherings whenever possible.

In February, 1865, the regiment continued its wandering ways, as it was ordered to report in New Orleans (via Cairo, Ill.), to become a part of the western wing of the assault force on Mobile. The 33rd took part in the capture of Spanish Fort, and after the fall of Mobile, pursued the evacuating Confederate forces into the northern part of the state. Company F was posted in Tuskegee in June, 1865, where they eagerly awaited orders to muster out and be sent home.

Because of the late date of his enlistment, Parsons, like other late recruits, was forced to continue in the service long after his regiment had disbanded. When the 33rd Wisconsin was mustered out in August, 1865, Parsons was ordered into the ranks of the 11th Wisconsin, and was not mustered out until early September. Following the war, he most probably returned to his farm in Oregon, Wisc., and presumably continued to raise corn. He was also an active member of the local lodge of the International Order of Grand Templars. Parsons died in 1924.