February 28, 1862
Bird’s Point, Mo., Feb. 19.
Messrs. Editors: After a lapse of some weeks since my promise to inform your readers in regard to matters and things in this vicinity – I will now redeem it.
We have been here nearly three weeks, and during the time have had a variety of weather sufficient to suit us all. At first it was freeze, then thaw, then snow, then rain, then dry, &c., until the ground has been through a series of transmogrifications wonderful to behold, and convincing us of the cause of so much sickness among the soldiers. Of the serious cases in the 16th’s Hospital, Henry Bailey, (son of Col. Bailey, of Macomb,) has been the worst, with the exception of a man from company E who died yesterday afternoon, of cholera morbus; we cannot pass this case without a word of comment upon the Hospital and its attendants. During the three weeks we have been here the patients have been removed two or three times with a view of bettering their condition, and are now in a building formerly used for a railroad warehouse, and to-day while it is raining, is leaking in a number of places; the room in which are the sick measures about 25 by 40 feet, and in this room are some 20 or 25 sick persons. Enough for the building; this we could we could put up with were the attendants worthy the name. I shall mention but one instance, and assure the reader that it is not alone. On Monday night two men, (one from company C and the other from company E), were at the Hospital sick with cholera morbus; in the case of company E’s patient the surgeon ordered the attendant to give him medicine every half hour, instead of the attendant performing his duties he went to bed and left the medicine for all the patients to be given by the watchers from company B, who were attending upon Bailey, which they did not object to; at half past 3 o’clock in the morning the cholera morbus patient was worse and the watchers thought it necessary to call the surgeon; not knowing where to find him, he awoke one of the attendants and requested him to call him, which he refused to do, giving excuses, and the watcher had to get one of the patients to attend to Henry Bailey, while he went and hunted up the surgeon. – The watcher wishing to come away at half past 3 o’clock, he awoke the attendant, and he still refused to get up, and when the watcher left the Hospital at half past six, the patient had not had his medicine for over three hours. The man died during the next day. Had the medicine been given him regularly during the previous night he might have recovered, at least this was calculated to be the result when the surgeons prescribed for him. Just before the man died a search was made for the surgeons, but neither of them could be found – they were both in Cairo. After the spirit of the poor man had taken its flight, these attendants took the body, rolled it up in a tent, and were about to lay it out of doors, but were prevented by an officer of company E, who had him cared for as a humane man would. These are facts – the comments we leave for the reader.
The boys received the news of the capture of Fort Donelson and the evacuation of Bowling Green with the wildest joy, and when the salute was fired at Cairo and this place, they ran down to the Ferry landing whooping and cheering wildly and every man expressed an eagerness for a fight – they want to go to Columbus, and Memphis, and New Orleans – in fact they would be willing to wade any place for this without boots. Yesterday a number of boat loads of prisoners passed this place on their way up the Mississippi, destination not know to us. One boat load of, I should think, fifteen hundred, stopped here on their way, and you can imagine, perhaps, the character of the sentiments which passed backward and forward from the landing to the boat, and I was sorry to hear the boys taunt them in the manner they did. Washington said, when the British laid down their arms and marched out at Yorktown, “My boys, let there be no insults over a conquered foe. When they lay down their arms, don’t huzza; posterity will do that for you!” They were a motley crowd, and reminded me of the lines –
“Some in rags, and some in tags, and some in velvet gowns.”
Some appeared cheerful, others the reverse. They were under a guard of Infantry, and on the bow of the boat were two 24 pounders ready to belch forth hall, should they undertake to escape.
Yesterday afternoon the officers of all the Illinois Regiments on the Point went to Cairo to pay their respects to Governor Yates and other officials, who had come down to attend to the wounded soldiers from Fort Donelson.
As the Regiment has a better opportunity here for drill than at St. Joseph, it is out nearly everyday, and we notice a degree of improvement at each turnout. More anon,
March 1, 1862
We cannot conceive how any man having a claim to Christianity or patriotism can object to assuring the South, in the most satisfactory manner it can be done, that we seek not the destruction of any of their rights under the Constitution, but only our own protection as well as theirs.
The Journal applies this word to the calm and dispassionate articles of the The Eagle. The word means “furious with delirium; mad; distracted.” The editor of that paper knows that no writings of ours can be so characterized. What calls forth the “ravings” of the Journal is, we have shown that on all occasions of great trouble in our country, previous to the present, the great men have sacrificed something of their opinions for the sake of arriving at a peaceable solution of the difficulties. For so doing we are charged with being “furious with delirium.” Because we advise the republicans now to emulate the patriotism of the fathers, we are “mad,” and because we say that the combined efforts of secessionists and abolitionists cannot permanently separate the States of this Union, we are “distracted,” forsooth. That will do.
Mr. Barge’s School.
We call the attention of our citizens to the advertisement of Mr. Barge. This gentleman has been teaching in this city for several years, and has maintained a reputation for all the qualities of a successful teacher which would be desired in that profession. Young men and women from the country, who wish to engage in teaching, could learn a great deal of the art of disciplining a school by attending Mr. Barge’s term this summer. He has heretofore been engaged in teaching teachers, and is well qualified to impart instruction to any one who is not satisfied that he “knows it all.”
Butter is good, sometimes – and sometimes the stuff sold under that name isn’t fit to grease a mule’s harness, much less to butter a white man’s biscuit. It may be some trouble to make good butter, but we think every farmer and his wife ought to have pride enough to undertake it. We print this week directions how to prepare and pack butter, so that it will sell in any market. Those who want to keep up the price of this product, and so obtain a reward for their labor, will do well to follow the instructions given.
The attempt of the Journal to injure the reputation of gentlemen in this town, by attributing to them language that they never uttered, is a disgraceful exhibition of petty malignity. It is below the scope of dignified journalism, and must stamp the conductors of this paper with a lack of all idea of propriety, decency, or truth. The cause of abolition-republicanism in this country must indeed by very desperate, when resort is had to such meanness to bolster up its falling fortunes.
The evening train to Chicago and the morning train to Quincy have been taken off of the railroad. The decrease of business which this indicates is probably owing to the fact that the editors along the line have received no passes for this year.
The 16th regiment, it appears, was not at the Fort Donelson fight.
The amount of sorghum molasses made in this county last year must amount to 40,000 to 45,000 gallons. Another year or two and we need not bring “sweetening” of any kind from out the state.
A Cairo letter-writer says the western officers don’t feel proud of their epaulettes, but laugh and joke with common soldiers as if they meant to run for office when the war was over.
There was a fine little skating pond at the northwest corner of the public square on Thursday morning. The boys made good use of it.
Answers to correspondents are unavoidably crowded out this week.