A New Kind of Treason.
Some of our republican contemporaries have discovered a new kind of treason, which they insist shall be dully punished. As this crime is not mentioned in the laws of the land, they insist that a person accused of the crime shall be tried without law, and as the statute provides no punishment, they invoke the mercies of a mob to deal with the offender. This new crime is Treason to the Chicago Platform. It is true that this platform has not yet been made a part of the Constitution of the United States; but have not some of its friends asserted that “better let fifty Unions perish than violate the platform?” And did not their members of Congress prefer the doctrines of this platform to the friendship and assistance of the millions of people of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky – to say nothing of the cotton States? Having so settled the sacred infallibility of this platform, they are not now so foolish as to permit any man to doubt its virtue and propriety. Although a man may heartily desire to see this unnatural rebellion crushed out speedily, and use all his influence to sustain the government in its constitutional and praiseworthy efforts toward the accomplishment of that object; yet if he ever asserts that the war might have been honorably avoided by making a justifiable compromise, these republicans declare him guilty of treason to the Chicago platform. If he questions the fitness of any appointment made by the President, or exercises the right to print and publish his opinions of public acts, they shout out, Treason to the Chicago platform, and invoke the “government to look after him.” These well-informed republicans seem to be infected with the idea that the president is the government and that the Chicago platform is the constitution, and like the constable in Pennsylvania they warn all persons that “whoever shakes me shakes the Commonwealth.” This is the republican idea of “freedom” – of “free speech” – of a “free press” – as elucidated by some of their organs. – Their denunciations of treason are not intended for Democrats only, but they seek to intimidate all other men who may desire to see a Union preserved by peace and friendship, rather than by the terror of arms.
- The cord of the Union has puzzled a good many political schemers and tricksters; but we hope that before Jeff D. goes through with his present experiments he may be able to get the hang of it.
Distressing Affair. – A very deplorable affair occurred at Colchester on Tuesday morning. It seems there has for some time been a difficulty between Wm. A. Little and J. Holmes, notwithstanding the latter is the father-in-law of the former. On Tuesday morning Haines approached Little with a shot gun, and when almost touching him with it, discharged the piece. The gun was loaded with No. 4 shot, the greater portion of which lodged in Mr. Little’s arm which was close by his side, and broke the bone; part of the shot entered the body and lodged near the backbone. Mr. Haines was arrested, and after examination before justices Walker and Bailey, he was committed for trial at the circuit court. He has been laboring under insanity at different times for a year or two past, and it is supposed that he was deranged at the time of committing this horrid crime. Mr. Little, although severely wounded, will probably recover.
Trial of Reapers and Mowers. We understand that a trial of reaping and mowing machines will be had at Doddsville, during coming harvest. Several machines are already entered for the competition, and it is believed that the affair will be worth attending. The farmers are certainly interested in determining the best machine for their harvest work.
Letters from the Camp. – No. 3.
Correspondence of The Macomb Eagle
Camp Hays, Hannibal, Mo.
June 13, 1861.
I send this merely as a note of apology for not writing last week, and this is, I was up home on furlough. I had just seated myself yesterday morning for the purpose of writing, when one of the boys came bolting into the tent, out of breath, and blowing like a locomotive, with the news that forty men from each company had been ordered to Missouri.
For a while the scene in camp was indescribable. Men were running in all directions, after guns, their uniforms, and some were after the officers to get the privilege of going. But it was not long till everything assumed a military look – the drums beating, squads of troops marching, flags waving in the cheery breeze, and the loud commands of the officers. Proceeding to the river, we went aboard the steamer Blackhawk, and arrived at Hannibal about noon.
The detachment (400 strong) were encamped in two divisions – one quartered in the railroad buildings, and the other on the bluff south of the town. This bluff rises almost perpendicularly from the water’s edge, and it said to be some two hundred feet in hight. It goes by the romantic name of Lover’s Leap.
I write this note sitting on the edge of the bluff, and have for my desk a pine board, one end on the ground and the other braced against a tree, for my seat I have a niche in the edge of the cliff and my feet planted against the aforesaid tree. You can judge of my writing facilities.
While I write, the Jennie Deans is at the wharf unloading a regiment of troops from Keokuk.
W. S. P.
Letter No. 4.
Hannibal, June 17.
The 16th regiment is all now on “slave soil,” to quote an expression from our republican friends whom we “have left behind us.” The said soil does not differ materially, so far as I can discover, from “free soil.” I believe the same kind of trees cover its hills, the same grass beautifies its prairies, while equally good water trickles from its springs or dashes along its water-courses; even the Mississippi river does not think it necessary to “dry up,” nor do any unusually outrageous act when its floods roll against the Missouri shore. The people, too, look pretty much like other folks, and are probably as liable to excitement and prejudice, and as unprepared for the millennial era of good feeling and universal brotherhood, as the rest of mankind.
Last week while at Quincy the boys had a half hour’s good sport in frightening a secessionist. The fellow claimed to be a Missourian, and sought to dignify himself with the title of a “spy.” But when the boys intimated that a rope and a sassafras limb might prevent him from ever having the ague, he traveled at a 2.40 rate for the gate and the ferry boat. I wouldn’t have you understand that we intended to do anything more than give the cowardly braggart “a big scare,” and enjoy the fun of seeing his legs do their duty. The articles of war determine how a spy is to be treated, and of course we would not seriously entertain any project in violation of military law.
We are here in Missouri for the peace and loyalty of the State – to afford protection to the Union citizens, many of whom have been already driven away, while others live in terror of secession mobs, — and also to prevent, if possible,, the State authorities from precipitating the people into the vortex of rebellion. Missouri ought to have been free from these troubles – she was out of the line of march of the armies, and if the Governor had been an honest and patriotic man, no troops would have marched into her territory and no blood would have stained her soil. One of the papers published in this city gives the following statement of facts:
“The Union men of Missouri sought to preserve the existing relations with the Union. Gov. Jackson and his partisans sought for secession. The Union men sought for peace in the State and were content with neutrality. Gov. Jackson and his partisans sought for war and were eager to draw the sword for the south. The Union men were anxious to secure the peace of the State through the ballot-box, and the convention, and desired no aid from the General Government, if peace could be secured without it. Governor Jackson and his partisans sought to nullify the actions of the convention through the acts of the called session of the legislature. The military bill, all candid men must admit, had no other design than war and revolution. – The preparations under that bill, the process of procuring arms from the south, the unchecked persecution of Union men, the unreasonable hostility against the presence of U. S. troops in the arsenal belonging to the government, and at a point indispensable to the operations of the government in the conduct of the war, all indicated eager preparations for war. The conduct of Jackson and his partisans alone have forced the Union men from the position they desired to maintain, of inactive neutrality, and driven them to arms as Home Guards, and to seek the protection of the Government troops. If the Governor has been quiescent in his treason as they in their loyalty, the peace of the State could have been preserved, and without the presence of one soldier in the interior.”
A good thing was done the other day in Linn county. Information having been obtained that a wagon load of arms had left this city for Chillicothe, deputy marshal Strachan, with a squad of twenty men under Liut. Crandall, started in pursuit of them. The wagons were watched by Union men along the road, but not interrupted until the night of the 12th, when a few miles east of Linneus, Lieut. Crandall overhauled them. The persons in charge of the plunder were soon convinced of the propriety of taking it to the railroad, for transportation back to Hannibal. The most potent arguments used were suspicious looking articles about four feet long, with bayonets on the end of them. Serious fault was found with these proceedings, but it couldn’t be helped, and the secessionists at Chillicothe will grin and bear it. The spoils consisted of two heavy iron 6-pounders and two hundred balls, all of Hannibal manufacture. What important weapons for keeping the peace!
We shall probably not stay here; but when or where we shall go is of course unknown to a