The History of the 3rd Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry

Richard C. Notting

notting_01Corporal, Company F, 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.

Taken from the 3rd Wisconsin Reunion Booklets

Richard Notting, using the name Richard Notten, enlisted in Company F, Third Wisconsin on July 10, 1861. After surviving the battles of Winchester, Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford and Gettysburg and the siege of Atlanta, he died as a result of a freak accident at sea. Richard was a native of England and his parents, John and Mary Notting, resided in Benton Bradstock, Dorset County, England, the father dying there in June of 1856 at the age of fifty-nine. Prior to his enlistment, Richard worked as a farm laborer in Wingville and lived with samuel Harrison, also an English native.

At Antietam, the Third Wisconsin marched through the East Woods and halted upon a knoll overlooking the famous Cornfield. Forced to hold its fire as broken fragments of Union regiments retreated through the corn, the Third was subject to five minutes of intense artillery fire. One of the Badgers remembered:

"Soon, however, the way was clear, and just as a number of rebel flags appeared in sight, the welcome order to fire came, and the first volley from the 3d brought down two of the rebel banners. The rebels, however, poured a destructive fire into our ranks and our brave men fell by scores. In this storm of lead the old third stood firm and undaunted, and gave the rebels volley for volley, until they fled before us. When our Colonel gave the order to cease firing, we numbered less than fifty men in the ranks."

The Third Wisconsin went into action on September 17, 1862 with 345 officers and men and lost 197 killed and wounded. Richard Notting was among the latter, having been severely wounded in the neck.

Following hospitalization at Frederick, Maryland, Richard returned to Company F where he was promoted to corporal on February 4, 1863. After the Third Wisconsin was transferred to the Tennessee theater, he was sent to a hospital at Tullahoma on October 5. Returning in time to re-enlist as a veteran volunteer on December 21, 1863, Notting spent a month back in Grant County before participating in the Georgia campaign. Sick several times during 1864, Richard was finally sent to the rear with a severe case of hemorrhoids. He was admitted to the general hospital at Jeffersonville, Indiana on November 24th and returned to duty on December 28th. Corporal Notting was ordered to New York, where he embarked on a steamer to rejoin the Third Wisconsin at Savannah, Georgia.

Chaplain Jeremiah Porter furnished William Notting with an account of his brother's accident and consequent suffering in a letter written at the Marshal House Hospital in Savannah and dated January 23, 1865:

"Your dear Brother Richard wishes me to write you and tell you about himself now suffering from severe bruises of one of his legs injured in his passage from N. York to Savannah."

"He arrived here three days since. From him and those who came to our Hospital with him I learn that in a terrific storm at sea by some heavy lurches of their vessel he was thrown down with violence and a heavy pork barrel upset by the same blow of the waves on the ship, rolled on to his leg and bruised it dreadfully. Landing here and suffering terribly I found him in a basement of a store and after carrying food to him and his companions, a half dozen of them sick with measles, I got an order for their removal to this hospital and in the rain got an ambulance and brought them here. As soon as we could we had him changed and put into a clean bed, continuing to dress his leg with cold water. The leg is swelled very much almost to hiq body; I think no bones broken; but the inflamation is so great that I fear it will not be stopped short of death."

"Sabbath morning I conversed and prayed in his ward with him and others. He told me of his parents and yourself; that you were all members of the M.E. church but that he was not a member of any church. He said he enjoy[ed] the prayer and would try to follow my advice and give his heart to Christ."
He said: "I lie here and think and think and think." O that he would so think on his ways as to turn his feet into the testimonies of the Lord. I hope and pray that he may. I have conversed with one of his Reg't who came with him, who says your brother was very highly esteemed in his Reg't by officers and men and that he was one of the best of hem. That he was very modest and retiring, but truly worthy. Such testimony is very gratifying to me as it must be also to you. I fear he will never do duty again as a soldier in the field, in fact the probabilities are that he will lay down his life for his country. If he embraces Christ and dies in the Lord all will be well."

Chaplain Porter's diagnosis of Richard's injuries was wrong, but fears for his recovery were well founded. Richard Notting was admitted to the General Field Hospital of the Fifteenth Corps at Savannah on January 20, 1865. A close examination of his crushed leg disclosed that both the tibia and fibula had been fractured. Death from his injuries occurred on January 20, 1865. he was buried under the name "Richard Nolton" in Beaufort National Cemetery, although the gravesite was not marked. Richard's effects were taken up by Surgeon Frederick Lloyd and turned over to a Council of Administration composed of Captain Pillsbury, Twelfth Maine; Captain Farrow, Eighth Indiana; and Lieutenant Lawler, Ninth Connecticut. The council received the following sums for Notting's clothing at auction on March 30, 1865:

  • 1 Cap — 15¢
  • 1 Great Coat — $1.00
  • 1 Frock Coat — 00¢
  • 1 Pair Trousers — 10¢
  • 2 Pairs Drawers — 30¢
  • 1 Shirt — 30¢
  • 1 Pair Shoes — 60¢
  • 2 Pairs Socks — 20¢
    TOTAL — $2.65