July 19, 1861
Every succeeding day is developing the fact that there is an element in the Democratic party, not alone confined to this State, which is in sympathy with treason and opposed to all measures calculated to suppress rebellion and preserve the Union. In this section of the State the evidences are apparent, that such an element exists. We do not suppose that this sympathy with rebellion is prompted by any hostility to our form of government, but it seems to grow out of a violent partizan feeling which cannot brook submission to the Administration of a Republican President. Hence these violent partizans, while professing a love for the Union, harbor the wish that the government may be broken up, and with it the Republican Administration. They convince themselves that they love our Union, its constitution, and its laws, and perhaps they do, but they undoubtedly prefer dissolution to the reign of a Republican Administration, and are thus in fact traitors at heart.
It is this class of traitors that we find just now bellowing at the top of their lungs for peace or compromise. They declaim in saintly tones against the war as though “fifty-four forty, or fight” had never been a part of their creed. – And in order to create as much mischief as possible, the characterize it as “Lincoln’s War,” “a Black Republican War,” &c., and they draw dark pictures of the evils of war, and portray the ruin of our trade, commerce, &c., in consequence of the war, and then in derision exclaim, “Hoora for Lincoln.”
Now all such manifestations and expressions unmistakably show those engaged in them to be tainted with treason. We don’t believe there is a Democrat in the State fool enough to believe that Lincoln is waging a war merely to bring afflictions upon the country. They know full well it is a war to suppress rebellion, and to talk of peace while there is an armed force in the country determined to resist the lawful authority of the government, is something more than folly – it is a desire to see rebellion triumph. If they honestly and sincerely desire to see this Union preserved – the constitution and the laws respected and obeyed in every one of the thirty-four states, they would be in favor of using the means to accomplish that end. Will a suspension of hostilities on the part of the government accomplish it? Suppose Congress should follow the lead of these peace brawlers and refuse to vote a dollar for the war, and should call in and disperse the army, would such a proceeding preserve the Union? It might be called peace, but would it bring the rebels to their allegiance? Would it preserve the Union? Of course not. These treason sympathizers know very well that if such a policy should be pursued the government is virtually at an end – it is surrendered to Jeff Davis and his cohorts.
It is a matter to be deplored that we should have in our own county so many of these peace brawlers who sympathize with treason. The Eagle of last week contains two communications, the writers of which we have no doubt would rather see the government crumble to pieces, and Illinois annexed to the Southern Confederacy, than that President Lincoln should serve his official term of four years. Like the tories of the Revolution, they may cry “peace, peace,” but we all know their treasonable desires. The evidences are thickening, that these traitors are now busy plotting schemes to control the Democratic organization, and thus to make a formidable opposition to the prosecution of the war. But we believe the mass of the Democratic party to be true to the Union, and actuated by principles of pure patriotism. If they are only upon the alert they can easily thwart a scheme of those pernicious workers of iniquity.
The Fight in Missouri
Our brave soldiers, under Col. Smith, have won for themselves honor and glory. Without the loss of a single man, as far as we can learn, and with a force less than half that of the enemy, they succeeded in whipping out a troop of rebels numbering nearly 2,000, killing some 20 or 30 of them, and taking a number of prisoners.
We have seen a number of newspaper accounts of the affair, but we prefer to publish the following from Rev. Rich. Haney, who is well known by our readers, and who is Chaplain of Col. Smith’s Regiment. The letter was written to a relative in this city, with no thought of its publication, but at our request a copy was furnished us:
Monroe City, July 12, 1861.
Dear ——: When I wrote you on Monday last, our Regiment was at Palmyra. On last Monday Col. Smith with six hundred men came to this place, left the railroad and struck out into the country about fifteen miles, to break up a rebel camp. When out about nine miles, he came up with about one thousand men, all on horseback. Our men formed into line and advanced to the charge – the rebels being in a point of timber. They opened fire upon our men and then ran off, or rather galloped off. Our boys returned the fire and shot five rebels. Capt. McAllister, who commands the Rushville company, was shot and fell from his saddle, having been hit with three balls. Adjutant Woodall, from Bushnell, had his horse shot dead under him on the first fire, and one man was shot in the back, who was very sick and riding on a baggage wagon. Several of our men had their clothes shot through. Capt. McAllister is doing well and will recover. Our men then returned to this place, but found the town deserted, and the R. R. depot and cars all burned. By this time about 2,000 rebels had surrounded them on all sides. Our men took possession of the college, a large brick building, threw up entrenchments, and prepared to sell their life as dear as possible. We had 300 men at Palmyra, fifteen miles away. A runner from our Col. came with a message for every man that could carry a musket to hasten to his relief. This, of course, included the chaplain. Lieut. Broaddus laid aside his sword and shouldered a musket. So three hundred strong, each man good for forty rounds, we left on a train to reach our brave fellows or die in the attempt. When about four miles west of Palmyra, we found the track torn up and all the culverts burned. We laid track, built bridges, and felt our way mile after mile. While repairing a bridge the rebels fired upon us. One of them shot Lieut. Pinkley through the hat, close by his head. This was a very long day. We could hear the cannon, but how things were going we knew not. Finally, after performing prodigies, we came in sight, having seen the smoke for several miles. The rebels here came around us, as though we were unwelcome guests. At this point they had torn up the rails, and we had to make the road. While laying the track our gunner limbered up our gun, and we paid them the compliments of the afternoon. This was the first intimation our boys had that we were coming. They replied by a six pounder, and sent up such a shout as had never been heard in Missouri. We moved on, and on reaching a little elevation we saw the stars and stripes proudly waving on the college, our brave fellows holding back 2,000 rebels. We took off our hats and cheered. When within half a mile our train ran off the track, the spikes having been taken out by the rebels. I was in the front car with some thirty others. Providentially we were going slow. Our car turned over and broke all to pieces. Thank God, no one of us seriously injured. Capt. Wells was thrown over my head, and struck his temple against the side of the car which knocked him senseless for about one hour, but he is soon on his feet this morning and merry as a cricket. Lieut. Pinkley was bruised some. Here our boys on finding no one was killed, cheered and formed into line. In a few minutes we were with our boys. Such cheering – and brave men wept as they rushed to take each other by the hand. “God bless you, God bless you.” Thus it was for a moment, and then our line was formed and on we went to charge the rebels. They were all mounted on horseback, and showed their good sense by falling back and keeping out of our way, and in half an hour not one could be seen. Last night about 12 o’clock, the 3rd Iowa Regiment came up. We are now over 2,000 strong.
July 20, 1861
What are we Fighting for?
Are we fighting for the Constitution and the Union, or for the abolition of slavery? This question is asked rather frequently of late, and many persons insist that there are numerous evidences going to show that the battle for the Constitution is a myth and a cheat while that for the abolition of slavery is a reality. We should be sorry to admit of such a state of affairs. We have defended this government against its assailants in the South, when it was proclaimed that their battle was for the Constitution. We sustain them yet in this behalf. But it evident that new theories of war are to be attempted in this contest. The negro question suddenly assumed a new and peculiar importance. The officers of the army, without an exception, recognized slaves as property, and either returned them to their owners or held them as contraband. So far correct enough, and in accordance with the Constitution. But the abolitionists, which are to a great extent a controling element in the republican and in the legislative branch of the government, took umbrage at this honest dealing with individual rights. The papers in that interest, which are also leaders in the republican party, became rampantly mad at this conduct of the army officers, and successively Butler, McDowell, and McClellan, have been roundly abused for protecting and restoring private property to individuals. It was hoped by all the friends of the Constitution, that the President in his message to Congress would “put his foot down firmly” in support of an honest disposition of this question, and that then there would be no drawbacks in support of the government. But the President, if he cherishes a determination to observe the Constitution, effectively befogs the that intention so as to render it undiscoverable to ordinary [perception?]. On the contrary he says from all shoulders, “to satisfy these abolitionists that he will sooner or later come into their policy. In another place the President takes pains to say that “after the rebellion shall have been suppressed” he will “be guided by the Constitution and laws.” As much as to say that during the war he will be controlled by circumstances, or something else. This view is strengthened by the fact that before the Congress is in session a week, sixty-two of the republican members vote to (in effect repeal the fugitive slave law, and on the next day all but four or five of them solemnly resolve that in their judgement the slaves which escape to the army should not be returned to their owners. They do this, with the oath to support a Constitution which declares such fugitives “shall be delivered up on claim,” fresh upon their lips! These resolutions came from Owen Lovejoy, a bosom friend and counselor of President Lincoln. We have it also from good authority that O. H. Browning, the newly appointed Senator from Illinois, is in favor of abolishing slavery and setting apart one or more of the cotton States for their free use and possession. Now these may be small straws, but do they not give some indications of the current? Is it out of place to inquire whether we are fighting for the Constitution, or for abolitionism? If the former, we go as far as any one; if the latter, we stop as suddenly as any one. The volunteers who have answered the call of the government – who have left their business and occupations to save with their blood, if need be, the Constitution from ruthless violation and the Union from ignominious destruction, will little fancy to be turned into tools for accomplishing the vile schemes of the abolitionists. The teaching of abolitionism is, to discard all the rules of civilized warfare, and to regard nether laws, Constitutions, nor the dictates of common justice – to leave poverty and desolation in the track of the army – to “spare neither age nor sex” in their fury, and to exterminate the white race rather than let a slave remain in the hands of his legal owner. This is what abolitionism impudently and infamously demands, and this abolitionism has a place in the cabinet and in the Congress, and is defended or silently acquiesced in by nearly all the republican papers in the country. Is this the entertainment to which our soldiers are invited? Is this to be the end of our devotion to the Union and the flag of our country? In the name of humanity and common honesty, we hope not. – We believe the great mass of the republican voters are opposed to this abolitionism, but the misfortune with them is that their voice can not now be heard. This conduct of the Lovejoy abolitionists must have the effect to demoralize the army and make enemies of the remaining friends of the Union in the slave States, unless it is speedily discountenanced by patriotic Union men on all occasions.
Letters from the Camp. – No. 6.
Correspondence of The Macomb Eagle.
Monroe Station, Monroe Co., Mo.}
July 14th 1861 }
Dear Eagle. – We have had some stirring times since my last, and a short account of our proceedings may be of interest to some of your numerous readers. Col. Smith left Palmyra on the afternoon of Monday the 8th inst., with a force of between 700 and 800 men. He went to Monroe station on the cars; at this place he left the cars on the morning of the 9th to march across the country to Paris. Soon after he left Monroe, a company of secessionists entered it and burnt the train and depot buildings. It is supposed that this company was commanded by one Capt. Owen who is a notorious secessionists. Col. Smith proceeded without interruption until about three miles the other side of a small town called Swinkey where he had a skirmish with the enemy. He then [text illegible] about five or six miles of Paris, when, learning that the secession camp at that place had been removed, he started to return. When about half a mile from Swinkey he was attacked, but succeeded in repulsing the enemy. At this place, Capt. McAllister was wounded, and adjutants Woodall had his horse shot from under him. After this Col. Smith proceeded until about half way between Swinkey and Monroe, when he was again attacked, and again the enemy were repulsed. Upon his arrival here he was surrounded by a force of between 1200 and 1500 men, mostly on horseback. The Colonel, being without cavalry, thought it best to make a stand until he could procure relief. He marched his men into a large brick building built for a seminary, and proceeded to immediately to throw up entrenchments. In a very short space of time a breastwork was built sufficient to shield the men from the fire of small arms, and as the Colonel had cannon the enemy did not approach very close. The news of the Colonel’s position reached Major Hays, at Palmyra, about 10 o’clock p.m. of the 10th inst. and he immediately made preparations for his relief; he sent to Quincy for the 14th Illinois regiment and the cavalry stationed at that place. The Major did not get off till the morning of the 11th, when he proceeded without waiting for reinforcements from Quincy, with 250 men under his command and one cannon. The railroad track was torn up in numerous places and had to be repaired as we proceeded. We left Palmyra at 9 o’clock a.m. and did not reach this place until 3 o’clock p.m. a distance of 14 miles. Everything belonging to the road between Monroe and Palmyra was either burnt or burning, among which were over 500 cords of wood and a water tank.
The enemy had procured cannon and commenced firing on Col. Smith on the morning of the 11th, but without effect, as only three shot struck out of 22 shots fired. The Colonel did not reply to their fire for want of ammunition. The enemys cannon consisted of one six and one nine pounder. As soon as the Col. saw the train coming with relief, and plenty of powder and ball, he commenced to reply to their fire. As luck would have it the first shot from his gun struck their six pounder and knocked it into a cocked hat, and at every succeeding shot the enemy could be seen to scatter in every direction. Upon the approach of the train they left as fast as their ponies could take them. On leaving Palmyra we expected to have to fight our way through to Col. Smith; we had no fighting to do, however, and were shouting and cheering over our safe arrival when a crash was heard toward the head of the train and upon looking out we perceived the two front cars off the track. At this time we were within two hundred yards of the depot. Luckily for us the train was running very slow; several were hurt in the upset, but no one seriously. Nothing has been seen of the enemy since our arrival. The 3rd Iowa regiment arrived here about midnight on the night of the 11th and the 14th and part of the 21st Illinois arrived on the 12th, with a company of cavalry. The Iowa regiment and the 14th and 21st Illinois have returned to their camps.
It may be proper to state that Col. Smith’s force on leaving Palmyra consisted of companies, F and H, of his regiment with four Iowa companies belonging to the 3rd Iowa regiment. Col. Smith’s loss was only three wounded. It is supposed that the enemy’s loss was about 14 or 20.
Monroe Station is situated in a high prairie 14 miles south of Palmyra and 7 miles east of the town of Honeywell. It is a small place, consisting of some half dozen dwelling houses, two or three stores, a hotel, and the seminary building. In the latter we are now quartered, and Col. Smith defended himself. This is a splendid place for defense. The enemy cannot approach from any quarter without exposing themselves to our fire. We do not know what the future has in store for us, but our friends at home may rest assured that we will ever maintain ourselves before the enemy when anyway near equal in force. The boys are all in good health and spirits. W. S. P.
- Poor Fellows! – There are some poor fellows around here who are still talking about mobbing the Eagle office and destroying its type and fixtures. They are beautiful specimens of law and order gentlemen. The Eagle is guilty of the crime of advocating Democratic principles, of standing by the Constitution and the Union, as it always has heretofore done, and of doubting the infallibility of Abe Lincoln. We expect to print the Eagle a good many years, and intend to do our duty in serving God, our country, and the Democratic party, without regard to the whining or blathering of drunken abolitionists. It is but proper to say that ninety-nine out of every hundred republicans in the county would condemn any such violence as we allude to. The influence of those wretches who would silence the press on account of its independence, don’t amount to more than “two bits on the dollar,” even in their own party.
- Lieut. Pinckly. – This gentleman met with serious accident on the 11th inst., while proceeding on the cars from Palmyra to Monroe Station, Mo. He was on the platform of the forward car, and through a sudden motion of the engine he fell in front of the train. He caught hold of the framework of the breaks, and by clinging to it saved his life, although he was dragged some distance before the train could be stopped. His injuries consist of bruises about the hips, and although severe will not prove fatal. He was brought to his home at Bushnell, on Sunday night. We trust he may soon recover, and be able to do further service in behalf of the Constitution and the Union.
- The “Ogmithorial Court” – We have received decree No. 1 emanating from the “Ogmithorial Court of the State of Colchester and county of Illinois.” The decree adjudges various penalties – ranging from ten gallons of lager down to five bushels of meal – on any one who shall repeat “any conversation or argument, or any part thereof,” that may occur between certain named persons of that jurisdiction – which persons are well known there and not worth knowing outside of that bailiwick – and any other persons. The joke has answered its purpose, and it might give obscure individuals too much notoriety to publish it.
- Wheat. – The wheat crop of this county will be nearly all in the shock by to-day. – The fall wheat does not cover a large number of acres, comparatively speaking; but it has matured well and the yield of most of the fields will be good, as regards quantity and quality. Spring wheat is light, and we fear but few fields will yield a remunerative crop. The price of new wheat will open very low.
- Several volunteer companies are being got up in this town and county, and, we are told, the efforts are meeting with good success. There is still room, however, for a few more in the ranks, an opportunity that should not be neglected by any one who is “so full of fight that he can scarcely hold himself.” Let us have these companies filled up.
- S. J. Clarke has Harper’s Monthly, Godey’s, Waverly, and other magazines for August, as well as the illustrated weeklies and all the late daily papers. Call on “Jim” when you want anything to read.
- Mr. Driskell, a deaf mute, is showing in our town for a very ingenious and extensive chart, designed to show any day in the year, past or future, as well as much other useful information.
- Those who are impatient about the march of our army southward, should remember that this is not the proper season for sleighing in the southern States.