Editorial Note: There will be no column next week. I have been unable to find a copy of the July 6, 1861, Macomb Eagle. However, when this column returns on July 13, it will feature the addition of the Macomb Journal, the Republican Party-affiliated newspaper in McDonough County. And now, the news.
Evil Practices. – We are informed that quite a number of bys in this town are in the habit of spending their evenings in gambling, and other evil practices. These boys are from twelve to eighteen years of age, and manifest an adeptness in profanity and other vices that is shocking to contemplate. Do these boys reflect that they may be educating themselves for the penitentiary – that they are taking steps that almost certainly lead to the commission of heinous crimes? The rascals and scoundrels who disgrace the name of man, and who are filling our prisons and expiating their offenses on the gallows, have commenced their career by just such practices as some of the boys of Macomb are engaged in. The names of some of these boys have been given to us, but we shall refrain from publishing them. Some have parents living, who ought to know where their children spend their evenings, and others have become “too big” to obey the commands of their widowed mothers. Boys, we beseech you to refrain, not only from your wicked practices, but also from all appearance of evil.
- Whether Fort Pickens can be taken by Gen. Bragg, or Beauregard be defeated at Manassas Junction by Gen. Scott, are questions that are yet to be determined. But it is a settled fact that our young friend Wm. Martin has a good stock of school books, wall paper, stationery, and furniture, for sale at his store north side of the square. Those who call for anything in his trade will find the best quality of goods and will obtain them at the lowest prices. He will also furnish the Chicago and Quincy dailies, the illustrated papers, and the leading magazines, at publishers’ prices. Give him a call.
- We have received a copy of the “Illinois Sixteenth,” a paper published at Chillicothe, Mo., by the boys of the 16th Illinois regiment. It is a well got up paper, filled with entertaining items, and we have no doubt is quite a source of amusement and recreation to the volunteers. It strikes us, however, that the “roller boy” is the only modest person connected with the concern, as every one else seems to have his name prominently “sticking out,” like the bayonets on their muskets. We wish the boys all manner of good times and that we may have many a cheerful visit from the Sixteenth.
- The locusts have run their race – only occasionally a solitary “singer” can be heard. They have done no damage to any kind of timber, except the boring into the young twigs for the purpose of depositing eggs, and fruit trees, in consequence of the wood being soft, have in some instances been slightly injured in this respect.
- Dr. Perry of Tennessee has been in jail a week or two for running off with the dry goods on another man’s wife. Probably he has had sufficient time for reflection on the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife.”
- We believe that there will be no celebration of the Fourth in Macomb. Our citizens are very patriotic – some of them – but it does not vent itself in that kind of demonstration.
- The fare on the railroad on the Fourth of July is reduced one half.
- Thomas Zeigler was shot at a house of bad repute near Rushville last week and died in a few hours. The woman and John Gammon were arrested and lodged in jail.
- Rev. S. E. Wishard, for several years pastor of the Presbyterian church at Rushville, has determined to remove to Tecumseh, Mich.
Letters from the Camp. – No. 5
Correspondence of The Macomb Eagle,
Camp Wilson, Livingston Co. Mo.,
June 22nd, 1861
I presume that a short recital of our precedings since leaving Camp Wood will be interesting to your numerous readers. On the morning of the 12th of the present month, Col. R.F. Smith received orders to send a detachment of 400 men to the city of Hannibal in this State, to protect the Union men of that city. In fifteen minutes after the order was received, the detachment was on its way to Hannibal, where we arrived at 12 o’clock m. of the same day. We remained in Hannibal over night, and started for our present camp at 2 o’clock p.m. of the 13th, accompanied by 3 companies of the 2nd Iowa Regiment under the command of Col. Curtis of Iowa. The remainder of Col. Curtis’s regiment remained in Hannibal. Your readers can well imagine our gratification as well as surprise, at our reception along the line of the railroad. – We expected to be received with sneers and jeers, with grape shot and canister balls, with musket balls and bayonets; but instead of these deadly and unwelcome misseles, we received cheer after cheer, accompanied with the waving of flags and handkerchiefs. The people everywhere hailed us as friends and deliverers, and not as enemies. Occasionally a secessionist would show himself, but he would be immediately nabbed and held as a prisoner. We passed through the following towns: Palmyra, Honeywell (we got one prisoner at this place); Shelbina (at this place the boys cut down a secession pole, the rope and tin balls that graced the top were carried along as mementoes of the journey); Hudson City was the next town, at this place we cut down a pole, captured a flag, and took possession of a secession printing office. The Iowa companies remained at Hudson. Brookfield was the next town – this is a strong Union town and the Star Spangled banner was waving from nearly every house in town. Chilicothe came next. It was reported that the secessionists intended to make a stand at this place; their force was variously estimated at from 150 to 1,500 men. Chilicothe was the dread of every one, the officers passed through the cars telling the men to keep cool, etc. But our expectations of receiving a sound thrashing were disappointed. We arrived at the town about midnight, but no enemy was there. From Chilicothe we ran out to Grand river bridge and stopped; we slept in the cars. On the morning of the 14th we ran down to the town of Utica; there we made several arrests and captured a regular palmetto flag, rattle snake and all. We returned to Grand river bridge at 10 o’clock a.m. and formed our present camp, which has been called Camp Wilson in honor of our Lieut. Colonel. Grand river at this point runs in a southeast direction; the stream is very swift and muddy, the bottoms on either side low and swampy; the bottom on the east side is heavily timbered and extends out about three miles from the river. On the west side it is not as heavily timbered and does not extend as far back from the river as the east bottom. Out encampment is on the west bank of the river on a prairie, which prairie extends off to the south and west. – The camp is about one hundred yards from the river. The space between the camp and the river is wooded, on our north is a heavy grove of timber. The railroad runs north of camp and the embankment forms a good breastwork. With the river on the east and the railroad on the north by a little work our position could be strongly fortified. The town of Chilicothe is three and a half miles east of our camp and is beautifully situated on a high and rolling prairie. The country around is well improved. As a general thing the people are intelligent, sociable, friendly, and well disposed toward the Union.
The town of Utica is one and a half miles west of the camp and in full view; it is beautifully situated at the commencement of the Grand river bluffs, or rather hills. The best of feeling exists between the citizens of these places and the soldiers. This is partly attributable to the salutary restraint imposed upon the men by the officers; but more to the good conduct of the men and their gentlemanly bearing in all their dealings with the citizens. That these good feelings may not only continue, but grow stronger and spread to the north, the east, the south, and the west, until it shall pervade the whole American Union, and once more bind her now divided people together as one People and one Nation, is the wish and prayer of every true Patriot in the land.
We were visited on the 17th by a large delegation of ladies and gentlemen from Chilicothe. The came to bid us welcome to their county. We were addressed in a handsome speech by Mr. King of Chilicothe, and was responded to on behalf of the officers and soldiers by Major Hays. There was a Union meeting in Chilicothe yesterday, speeches were made by Judge J. Smith, Mr. Woolford, and others. The crowd in attendance was estimated at 1,500. There are forming a home guard in Chilicothe – also at Utica.
We are beginning to learn what it is to be soldiers. We have had three alarms since we have been encamped here. One of the guards fired his gun and ran into camp with the report that the enemy was upon us. In five minutes after the gun was fired we were in line of battle ready to receive them; but they did not make their appearance. The men were remarkably cool for raw soldiers. Old soldiers say that they never saw regulars form any better or appear any cooler, when surrounded by similar circumstances. There was no alarm on the night of the 17th and one on the 18th. We have to sleep with our cartridge and cap boxes on and our guns at our side, so that we may be ready in a moments warning.
It would amuse our friends at home, if they could see us cooking and eating. Each company has two cooks appointed; they have to draw the provisions, cook them, and then give them out to the men. Our camp always presents a lively scene, but it is increased about meal time, when every one is looking out for No. 1 and letting No. 2 do the best he can. We have to do our own washing for the present, and every day numbers may be seen on the river back busily engaged in washing their shirts, and some just as busily engaged in swearing about it.
The health of the men is very good.
There is one thing that I wish to mention before I close. Everything that has been done on the line of the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad has been ascribed to the Iowa troops by the St. Joe and other papers. Now we ask why is this? Why have not the boys of the 16th Illinois regiment received their share of credit for what has been done? We were twenty-four hours ahead of the Iowa men into Missouri – three companies of the Iowa men came with us as far as Hudson and stopped – we were at Grand river twenty-four hours before they came up. Now we ask are these papers ignorant of our movements, or are they unwilling to give us due credit for what we do? We would like to know.
W. S. P.