August 9, 1861
Who Should Pay the Bill.
We perceive in the proceedings of the City Council, which is published in this paper, that the city is being called on to pay certain bills which have been made by volunteers for the war, who have had occasion to stop in the city. In May last the city paid quite a large bill for the board of some of the volunteers in Captains Ralston’s and Wells’ companies. We should certainly deem it discreditable to our patriotism, humanity and generosity to refuse a night’s lodging or a meal of victuals to the brave men who have volunteered in our country’s cause, but we think the city is not properly taxable with the expense. The Legislature of the State at the extra session, made express provision for such bills, and gave authority to the Board of Supervisors to provide all that might be necessary for the comfort of volunteers and their families. We notice that many counties have been very liberal in their appropriations for this object. Peoria county appropriated $10,000, and other counties we have noticed which have appropriated from $1,000 to $5,000. – But to the shame of McDonough county our Board of Supervisors at their last session utterly refused to appropriate a single farthing for this praiseworthy object. Every Republican favored an appropriation, but it was voted down by the Democracy. Our city is but illy able to bear these expenses at this time, and every rule of justice, equity, and common sense would require their payment from the treasury of the county. But fortunately we have a majority of true Union men in the city council, and unfortunately we have a majority in the Board of Supervisors who manifest no sympathy for the volunteers or the cause in which they are engaged.
The Trip to St. Louis.
The military companies which left this place on Saturday morning last for St. Louis, were accompanied thither by the Macomb Brass Band, which did much to enliven the journey of the volunteers, and to make them the observed of many thousands. The Band, as all our citizens know, is not excelled in the excellence and skill of its performances, by any other band in the State. At every station hundreds were attracted to the train by the stirring music of the band, and as the train sped away cheers upon cheers would be given by the crowds assembled, which were responded to by the volunteers.
The volunteers remained at Quincy until Sunday morning, when they took their departure for St. Louis on board the Hannibal City. In the meantime, the members of the Band were the guests of the gentlemanly proprietors of the Metropolitan Hotel.
During the trip down the river the volunteers were hailed with cheers of welcome at every landing place, and the Band responded with their excellent music.
The boat arrived at St. Louis at 3 o’clock on Monday morning. The various companies in the course of the day were received by the proper officers and sworn into service.
The band returned in the evening on board the same boat, and arrived in Macomb Tuesday evening. All the members of the band unite in bestowing upon Capt. Lee, the gentlemanly commander of the Hannibal City, every meed of praise for the many kind and gentlemanly attentions they received at his hands. They also speak of the proprietors of the Metropolitan Hotel in terms of grateful praise. In short, their trip throughout was marked with many events which will ever be remembered with pleasing emotions.
A Treasonable Organization in Hancock County.
We have reliable intelligence that there is an organized band of traitors in Hancock County, in this state, whose object it is to aid rebellion in every way in their power. The citizens of Plymouth and other towns in that county have organized Home Guards to protect themselves against the depredations of this lawless band. The traitorous organization is said to be chiefly under the control of a pettifogging lawyer in Augusta, a cousin of the notorious Jim Green, of Missouri. The names of the leaders of this rebel crew are in the possession of our State authorities and measures will be at once taken to bring the offenders to justice. The leaders and members of that organization will soon find Hancock county too hot to hold them. There is a law to reach them, and in addition to the law there is an aroused spirit of loyalty in Illinois, that will not brook the presence of traitors in the State. Our people have long given traitors in our midst a wide latitude in the expression of treasonable sentiments and the utterance of treasonable threats, but this forbearance will no longer be exercised. Traitors in Illinois must keep still, break up their organizations, or leave the State. If they are seeking to break –up this government they have no right to live here, and if they want to aid rebellion, they should be compelled to go where they will share its dangers. Illinois cannot afford to tolerate in her borders the presence of men who seek to compass the defeat and death of nearly fifty thousand of her sons who are in the field in the support of the Union. Treason in Illinois must be dug up root and branch and now it the time to do it.
“We have assurances that the treasonable organization in Hancock will be speedily broken up, and its members made to feel the penalty of a violated law.” – State Journal.
We have reason to believe that the same or a similar organization extends into this county. It is well known that recently there have been several ominous gatherings at private houses of those who are known to be in sympathy with secessionists. They are being closely watched.
A Soldier’s Opinion of the Macomb Eagle.
We have received a copy of the “Camp Register,” a small paper published by the Illinois 16th Regiment, at Macon City, Mo., from which we clip the article published below. We think Capt. Patrick is a little fast in taking it for granted that the offensive paragraphs of which he complains, were written by some member of his company. They were undoubtedly the invention of the “friend” who furnished them for the Eagle. We believe with Capt. Patrick that a sympathy with secession prompted the publication of the article.
The following is taken from that incendiary sheet, the Macomb Eagle:
“A friend in this county sends us the following extracts from letters received by him from a member of Captain Patrick’s company, 16th Illinois regiment:
“We have been out on a little scout to-day, and have taken 8 men, 8 horses and wagons, 2 sacks of flour, etc.”
“We have taken two prisoners today, have shot one of them, and ordered out a platoon to shoot the other. If this don’t make rebels out of good citizens, what will? We steal their provisions, horses, and slaves, and let their wives and children starve. A good way to make peace.”
No paper that did not sympathise with secession would publish such an article. Mr. Abbott certainly had every reason to believe this was false, when he published it, for he had certainly nothing reliable to substantiate it, nor did I know that there was a member of any company so base as to write such infernal lies; whoever he may be he is a slanderer and a liar; and he wrote that which he knew to be literally false in every particular. And I hope he may be found and the punishment he so richly deserves, visited upon him.
Not one prisoner has ever been shot by my company or any other company in the 16th regiment.
These sensation writers ought to be ferrited out of every company in the Regiment and sent home where they properly belong. They are a nuisance to the regiment. Our enemies at home devour such news with a gust that is truly wonderful. They give circulation to such reports, when they must know them to be false, and without foundation in fact. To our many esteemed friends whom we have left behind let us assure them that such stories are totally untrue, and they can safely give them a flat contradiction, wherever they hear of such transactions. Friends, fathers, mothers, wives, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, we have gone forth to battle for our country, to fight under and for the old Stars and Stripes, and we will defend that dear old emblem of liberty so long as a tatter of it remains. We have not yet forgotten that we are men. We have not yet learned to rob and plunder citizens. – We have yet to learn to shoot prisoners in cold blood. The 16th knows nothing about this mode of warfare.
Once again let me assure our friends one and all, that if the 16th only gets a fair chance it will give a good account of itself, despite the sneaking underhanded attempts of its enemies to demoralize it.
Three cheers of the gallant 16th. – Long may it wave.
G. W. Patrick, Captain,
Company C., Ill. 16th.
A Fight with Secessionists.
On Saturday last a number of secessionists who live about Colchester came into the town bent upon getting into a row. They swore they could whip all the Union men in the place, and made threats that they would clean out the town. As a matter of course, a fight ensued in which the secessionists got an awful beating. One John White, a savage secessionist, belonging to the family of Whites that write for the Eagle, was severely beaten. Several others were more or less bruised, and would probably have been killed, but for the interference of some citizens who insisted that if the secessionists were to be killed they should be taken outside of the town. Hostilities were then suspended, but the defeated party still breathe threatening of vengeance against the Union men of the place. It is a matter to be deplored that any secessionist should find a home in this county. They are naturally a troublesome set of people.
Since writing the above, we learn that after the fight was over the secessionists fell upon a Union man outside of the town and beat him in a terrible manner, breaking two of his ribs and otherwise injuring him.
The Weather. – The hot weather still continues. On Monday and Tuesday last there were showers in various parts of the county, but in Macomb there has not been enough rain to lay the dust for over three weeks. Vegetation begins to suffer, but we feel thankful that the drouth is not extensive. At present writing no immediate prospect of rain.
August 9, 1861
Rejection of a Peace Commission.
During the war with Mexico, a peace commissioner was sent out by the government to make or receive proposals for peace. This commissioner accompanied the army of Gen. Scott and was, upon all occasions, ready to suspend hostilities and tender or receive propositions for the termination of the war and the restoration of friendship. This action of the administration was regarded by all parties and persons as in the highest degree commendable, and it no doubt served to shorten the war and curtail its expenses. A precedent so noble, so magnanimous, so humane, so eminently becoming an enlightened and Christianized nation, it was certainly thought would not be lost sight of in the prosecution of any future war which the government might become engaged in. Accordingly we were not surprised to see resolutions introduced at the late special session of Congress, providing for the appointment of seven commissioners to accompany our army, for the purpose of tendering or receiving proposals for a cessation of hostilities and a final restoration of peace and friendship between the belligerents. – The country would look to such a commission with great hope, and humanity would rejoice at the prospect of no more blood-shed. But this was not to be. Different persons comprise the administration and direct the course of the government now; men who are howling for “blood-letting,” for [African-American] freedom, for the revenge of fanatical hatred against the South, now rule the Congress and the administration. – Following the lead of abolitionism, and obeying almost its every command, the the republicans in the house voted down this proposition for the appointment of a peace commission. They have not had enough blood – the people are not burdened enough with taxes – business is not sufficiently prostrated – the disgrace of our army under incompetent political officers is not great enough – to induce those republicans even to take the least step that might possibly lead to the restoration of peace and friendship. Our nation must be revengeful, not magnanimous, say these abolitionists, and the republican members of Congress say amen. We must not show the South even the consideration that marked our war with the half-civilized Mexicans.