5th Minnesota Battle Flag Ezekiel Rose

Name: Ezekiel Rose
Company: B, Field & Staff
Veteran; enlisted in Company B; wounded at Redwood August 18, 1862;
appointed Principal Musician July 1, 1863.
  • Date: March 20, 1839
  • Place: New Castle, Henry County, Indiana
Mustered In
  • Date: January 17, 1862
  • Rank: Private
  • Age: 23
  • Residence prior to military service: Indiana; Chatfield Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota
  • Vocation prior to military service: farmer
  • Date: February 26, 1898
  • Place: Hersey, St. Croix County, Wisconsin
  • Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Hersey, St. Croix County, Wisconsin (middle section)
Mustered Out
  • Date: September 6, 1865
  • Rank: Principal Musician
  • Age: about 26
  • Residence following military service: Chatfield, Fillmore County, Minnesota (1870); Cady, St. Croix County, Wisconsin (1880)
  • Vocation following military service: Farmer

Ezekiel Rose Biography and Civil War Narrative

Ezekiel Rose was born in New Castle, Henry County, Indiana, on March 20, 1839, the son of George W. and Anna (Emmet) Rose. George had been born on Feb. 3, 1813, in Hunterton County, New Jersey, and Anna had been born in 1814 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Ezekiel Rose was the great-grandson of Ezekiel Rose, an American Revolutionary War veteran. The elder Ezekiel Rose was born about 1746 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and died June 24, 1811, in Hunterdon County; his wife was Mary Field, born about 1750.

In 1860, the family lived and farmed in Chatfield Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota. Ezekiel lived with his parents and siblings: Jacob (age 13), Mary Ann (age 12), John (age 8), and Ellen (age 5), all born in Indiana. Next door lived A. J. (Andrew Jackson) Rose (Ezekiel's 26-year-old brother, also born in New Castle, Indiana, a farmer), his wife, Ovanda (age 23, born in Indiana, maiden name: Hathaway), and their two sons: Jesse (age 4) and Melvin (age 5 months), both born in Minnesota. On December 25, 1860, Ezekiel Rose married Margaret Elizabeth Smith, born on September 4, 1844, in Whitehall, New York.

On June 26, 1861, Ezekiel's brother, Jacob, enlisted in Company A of the 2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Military records recorded his age as 18.

Ezekiel Rose (L) and Charles Culver (R)Ezekiel Rose enlisted in the 5th Minnesota Regiment on January 17, 1862, at the age of 23. The first order of duty for Company B was to report to Fort Ridgely, near the Minnesota River. They left Fort Snelling at noon on March 22, 1862, under the command of First Sergeant Thomas P. Gere. Through the snow they traveled up the Minnesota Valley, stopping at the Scott County cour house at Shakopee the evening of the 22nd, and passing through Belle Plaine, and Le Sueur, Minnesota on the 23rd. They crossed the Minnesota River on the ice at Traverse de Sioux after dark and spent the night of the 23rd at the Nicollet County court house at St. Peter. That evening the company reached La Fayette, Minnesota -- 18 miles from their destination. They arrived at Fort Ridgely at noon on March 25th, serving garrison duty and continuing their military instruction and drills. The company was especially well-trained in skirmishing and received additional training in artillery.

Meanwhile, Ezekiel's brother Jacob had gone to Kentucky with the 2nd Minnesota. There they fought in the Battle of Mill Springs on January 19 under General Thomas. Although the 2nd Minnesota experienced some casualties from the battle, illness and disease took a greater toll. The sick and wounded were hospitalized around nearby Somerset, Kentucky. Private Rose was likely one of those who succumbed to illness. While the regiment began a return to Louisville on February 10, Jacob Rose apparently remained hospitalized. He died on March 12, 1862, at Somerset, Kentucky. The April 5 edition of the Chatfield Democrat reported Jacob's death to the citizens back in Minnesota.

On Monday, August 18th, word was received at Fort Ridgely that a massacre of whites was taking place at the Lower Sioux Agency. Company B's Captain John S. Marsh, who had joined the Company on April 16, immediately led a rescue party of 46 soldiers, including fifer Ezekiel Rose, and an interpreter to the Lower Sioux Agency. About three miles out of Fort Ridgely, the party was overtaken by wagon teams who followed them, carrying extra ammunition and otherwise empty wagons. Picking up the marching rescue party, the wagons continued on toward their destination, passing fleeing citizens, burning houses, and mutilated corpses. About six miles out of Fort Ridgely, the rescue team continued on by foot.

When the rescue party neared the Redwood ferry crossing on the Minnesota River shortly after noon, they found the ferryman's beheaded and disemboweled body with the ferry on their side of the river. As two of the soldiers carefully went to the riverbank for a drink, they noticed Indians concealed on the opposite side. Captain Marsh nevertheless ordered his soldiers to prepare for crossing. As preparations were being made, Sergeant John F. Bishop also went to the riverbank for a drink and noticed that the water was muddy--evidence that Indians may be crossing upstream to surround them. Within moments the Indian warriors across the river opened fire on the men from Company B. Soon after, the Indians who had crossed the river joined in the attack. The battle continued until about 4:00 pm with many of Rose's comrades killed.

According to fellow soldier, Oscar Wall, author of Recollections of the Sioux Massacre, "Ezekiel Rose made his escape, wounded, from the ferry disaster by night, and fearing the Fort had fallen, made his way through the country to Henderson
[p. 62]." In his report on the Redwood Massacre, Sergeant Bishop stated, "E. Rose of Chatfield, shot through the arm, cut his way through alone and started for the fort in the night, got lost, and was picked up on the prairie between Fort Ridgley and Henderson, nearly dead from loss of blood [Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, Vol. 2, pp. 169-170]." Another fellow soldier, William Blodgett recounted, "I heard a racket in front. I dropped down and began crawling into the grass. My feet were still in the path, when Ezekiel Rose, our fifer, ran over my feet with two Indians in hot pursuit, but by some means Rose escaped [Recollections of the Sioux Massacre, footnote on page 68]."

Company B marched for Fort Snelling on November 9 as an escort to captured Indians. They rejoined the 5th Minnesota Regiment near Oxford, Mississippi, on December 12, 1862.

Ezekiel Rose continued to serve in the 5th Minnesota Regiment until the close of the war. Recovering from his arm wound, Private Rose returned to active duty in Company B by the time they reached Jackson, Mississippi, in mid-May 1863. They participated in the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 18 - July 4, 1863. Rose was appointed Principal Musician just before the end of the Siege of Vicksburg, on July 1, 1863; he served in that position as a member of the non-commissioned staff alongside bugler Henry Ley and Musician Jacob Metzger.

Ezekiel Rose Military GravestoneFurther action subsequent to Rose's promotion included the Meridian Campaign, February 3-March 2, 1864; the Red River Campaign, March 10-May 22, 1864, including the Battle of Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864; action at Old River Lake, June 6, 1864; the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi, July 17, 1864; an arduous march through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Price, September 17-November 15, 1864; the Battle of Nashville, Tennessee, December 15-16, 1864; and the assault and capture of Fort Blakely, April 9, 1865.

Ezekiel Rose GravestoneAt the time of the 1870 U.S. census, Ezekiel and Elizabeth lived and farmed at Chatfield, Fillmore County, Minnesota. Four children were in the household: two daughters, Ida M. (7) and Cory E. (5), and two sons, Victor (2), and Sidney W. (3 months). By 1880, the Ezekiel Rose household had moved to Cady, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Ezekiel continued to work as a farmer. Children at home were Cora (15), Victor (12), Sidney (10), Lula (7), George (5), Samuel (3), and Clara (8 months).

Ezekiel Rose died February 26, 1898, at Hersey, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. He was buried in the middle section of Oakwood Cemetery, Hersey, Wisconsin. At the time of the 1900 Census Elizabeth Rose lived in Springfield, St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Living with her were daughter Clara (born September 1879 in Wisconsin) and son Sydney (born April 1870 in Minnesota; divorced). In all, 7 of her 10 children were still living. Nearby lived son George M. Rose (born February 1875 in Minnesota), his wife Mable A. (born February 1882 in Wisconsin), and their two children: son Marion E. (born August 1897 in Wisconsin) and daughter Vera May (born May 1899 in Wisconsin). George and Mable had been married 4 years, and George worked as a laborer. Son Victor lived in Orion Township, Olmsted County, Minnesota. He had been born January 1868 in Minnesota, while his wife, Mary L(?). was born February 1872 in Scotland. Their two daughters were Mary E. (born January 1893 in Minnesota) and Bessie A. (born July 1895 in Minnesota). Victor worked as a farm laborer.

One of Ezekiel's living descendants and researchers is D. Richard "Rick" Rose.

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This page is maintained by Tim Bode (timbode@juno.com). Page created 10/24/2008. Last modified on 2/16/2011.

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