April 4, 1862
Crushing out Abolitionism.
It is amusing to rend the labored editorials of such small fry Democratic prints as the Rushville Times, Macomb Eagle, &c., on the subject of crushing out abolitionism. These papers seem to have a lurking idea that the people regard them as having more sympathy with the rebellion than with the efforts of the government to suppress it, hence we hear them frequently reiterating the expression that this rebellion must be put down, but they always include with it abolitionism. Thus we hear them say – “it is the duty of the Democracy to crush out secessionism and abolitionism.” “It is our determination to put down rebellion, crush out abolitionism, &c.” “We must maintain the constitution by suppressing the rebellion, and destroying abolitionism.” And so they go; it is a slip of the pen if they ever write anything against the rebellion without making their words bear equally strong against abolitionism. While they fear to be classed as rank secessionists, they at the same time manifest much anxiety lest somebody will understand them to be true and loyal patriots, opposed to the rebellion, without any ifs or buts about it.
These astute prints which prate so much about putting down abolitionism never stop to tell us just how they expect to do that little thing. We all know the means which are being used to put down the rebellion – it is powder and ball, and Yankee bayonets that is doing the work. And now we would like to know if these benighted Democratic editors have any idea that these Yankee bayonets are to be turned upon northern abolitionists as soon as they shall have succeeded in squelching the rebellion. Their incessant howl about crushing out abolitionism and the rebellion would lead us to infer that such was their notion. Poor fools! We haven’t the remotest doubt that they will some day find themselves grievously disappointed. As long as abolitionists obey the laws and support the constitution, and form no conspiracies to overthrow the government, it is our opinion that they won’t be “crushed out” just yet. But if abolitionism should ever set about to overthrow the government we think it more than probable that they would then get crushed out, and that speedily. All this can’t, then, in Democratic prints about crushing out abolitionism is but the shallow vaporings of disloyal hearts. There is nothing practical or sensible in their suggestions. William Lloyd Garrison has just as good a right to be in favor of the abolition of slavery as Nelson Abbott has to be opposed to it [illegible] a rebellious arm against the government, it is then time he should be “crushed out.” But it is a pretty safe rule whenever you see Democratic prints prating of the crushing system as applied to abolitionism to set them down as having a decided leaning in favor of secessionism.
Letter from a McDonough Volunteer.
Camp on the Field Near New Madrid, Mo., March 23.
Messrs. Editors: Constant application to duty and the uncertainty of sending mail matter must be my excuse for not writing sooner. As intimated to you in a note from Bertrand, Mo., we proceeded directly from that place to New Madrid. We went by way of the C. & F. R. R., to Sikeston, from which place we marched to New Madrid, a distance of 18 miles, arriving about sundown of the same day. Just as we were entering the main encampment we were met by the 10th Illinois, and 6 companies of the 16th Illinois, under Col. Morgan, with blankets strung on their shoulders, en-route for the field of action. We had marched 18 miles, through the hot broiling sun, and were too much fatigued to join them, so we remained in camp till the next morning, at which time we were attached to Gen. Paine’s division and assigned to a position on the left.
The six companies of the 16th and 10th Illinois, were engaged during the night of March 12th, in constructing breastworks, planting our large seige guns, and making their own preparations for the fight on the following morning. This was one of the most daring movements of the occasion. In the very face of the enemy and almost under their batteries, our forces drove in their pickets, erected their fortifications, planted their batteries, and laid in the entrenchments during the latter part of the night, and in the morning opened fire upon them. This bold movement had a tendency to throw a damper upon their maneuvers, and I doubt not, won to us the victory. The principal part of the firing from the rebel batteries was directed to this point. Their shots, however, were directed too high and as a general thing went over our men, doing little or no damage to them. Occasionally a stray shot would plough into the entrenchments almost covering those behind them with dirt. One of their shots struck one of our seige guns on the muzzle, entirely disabling it and injuring several of the gunners.
On the morning of the 13th Gen. Paine’s Division, composed of the 51st Illinois, the Yates Sharp Shooters, with 4 companies of the 16th Illinois, and a Regiment of Cavalry, formed in an open piece of ground immediately north of the town and were marched down within range of the enemies guns. – They commenced throwing shot and shell at us from one of their gunboats, [illegible] of which exploded near us, [illegible] us that as we had no batteries to cope with them, we had best retire. Thus we did by order of Gen. Paine, through his aid, Lieut. Woodall, of our Regiment. We were then ordered to quarters. The next morning we could hear the boys cheering from the different brigades, which told us that something good had happened. We were puzzled to know what it meant. Soon, however, the word reached us that New Madrid had been evacuated, and that our forces had possession of it.
In a day or two after its evacuation we marched through the town to view the work. It was indeed a doleful sight to look upon. The principal part of the dwellings were hewn to the ground, the shade trees and evergreens grubbed up and thrown in one huge pile to resist our advance, beautiful yards and lawns lying out to the mercy of prowling stock, and everything presenting the appearance of a disastrous conflagration. They destroyed everything before them. What was once a proud, beautiful, thriving village was now almost reduced to ashes and entirely obliterated from the face of the earth.
They were strongly fortified both by nature and art, and great surprise was expressed by our officers at its early evacuation by them. It is the general opinion that it could have been held by them for at least a week against all our forces, with a fearful loss of life on our part in taking it. But their cause is unjust – their hearts failed them, and they fled precipitately. We took with the fort a large amount of rebel stores, of which you have already had an accurate account, and of which I will not now speak. Our loss in killed and wounded, I don’t think will exceed fifteen. Gen. Pope sets it down at 50, but we are puzzled to know from what source he obtains this number of killed and wounded.
We have permanent encampments here now, and indications are that we will remain settled for a while at least. Our quarters are situated in a cornfield, and we have had orders recently to cleanse them thoroughly, which is now being done. We are not faring as sumptuously as we did at the Point, from the fact that all our provisions have to be waggoned about 20 miles, and the country has been thoroughly drained of everything excepting corn, by the rebels, affording but little forage for our own men.
Of the forces now here I cannot accurately speak. I name the following: The 16th, 10th, 51st, 22d, Illinois Infantry, and the 1st Battalion Yates Sharp Shooters; the 27th, 26th, 59th, and 43d Indiana; the 27th, 39th, 43d and 63d Ohio; the 2d and 9th Illinois Cavalry; the 2d Michigan Cavalry, and a number of Batteries of Illinois. Besides these there are a number of Regiments which I cannot now name. The Generals are as follows: Gen. John Pope, Illinois, commanding the division; Brigadier General E. A. Paine, of Monmouth, Ill., Generals Stanley and Hamilton, of Ohio; Gen. Palmer, of Illinois. The 16th and 10th Illinois are constituted a Brigade with Col. J. D. Morgan, of the latter Regiment, commanding. Lieut. B. F. Woodall, of Bushnell, has been promoted temporally to Gen. Paine’s staff.
Capt. V. Y. Ralston, of company A, tendered his resignation of that office some weeks ago, and upon yesterday it was announced that it had been accepted and the office declared vacant. Another will be chosen soon in his stead. Some look to 2d Lieut. B. F. Pinckley, of our company, as a proper person to fill the vacancy, while others declare in favor of Lieut. Woodall, of company K, or assistant quartermaster Eben White, of Bushnell. And not unlikely an effort will be made to re-elect the former captain. The boys hate to part with him, and if possible, he will be prevailed upon to accept again. The matter will be settled to-morrow.
Sickness prevails in camp just now to a considerable extent. Since I last wrote to you I have to record the death of private E. H. Lester, of Pennington’s Point, in your county. He was a member of company B, and had not been in the service more than two weeks before his demise. He is said to have been a man of good character and well liked by his comrades. His effects, I believe, were handed over to Mr. Russell, of your county, now on a visit here, for safe delivery to his friends or relations. His remains were decently interred, by the members of the company, on a spot of ground near our camp quarters.
The weather is unsettled and disagreeable. At times it is warm and suffocating, then cold, raw, and wet. Though not so cold here as with you, we evidently suffer more. Some of the boys have been packing up and sending home some of their surplus winter clothing, but I rather guess they are “pressing the season” and will suffer some with the cold.
We have had sojourning with for [illegible] New Salem, and Dr. R. G. Scroggs, of Bushnell.
Yesterday we received news of the death of Henry Bailey, of company B. We were somewhat surprised on hearing it as we had been told that he was recovering and that he would soon be restored to his company. But it was decreed otherwise. He has gone to join a company above where he will receive a just reward for the sacrifices made upon earth. His company has lost a valuable member as every one acquainted with him will testify. May he rest in peace. But I must close – you may expect another letter soon.
In a Few Days. – If the people of Macomb in the next few days should observe the dark-featured editor of this paper sleeked up a little and adorned with a new pair of pants, we trust they will not mistake him for Abbott, of the Eagle, who some how always manages to wear good clothes, even if he don’t keep his face clean. The fact of it is we have met with a streak of luck. Our friend Venable, proprietor of the Woolen store in this city, by a judicious system of advertising, has enhanced his trade to such an extent that he felt it his duty to present us with the material for a pair of new pants, which are in course of construction, and will be ready for occupation in the course of a few days.
HOAXED. – The people of this city on Wednesday afternoon were blanched with terror by the startling announcement, which it was said had come directly from Chicago by railroad, that the rebel steamer Merrimac had had a brief cannonade with the Monitor, and fastened on to her with grappling irons, and towed her into Norfolk. The whole matter was discussed with gloomy forebodings, and many remained at the news depot until the train arrived at half-past 10 in the evening, when it was ascertained that the whole story was concocted and displayed upon a bulletin board in Chicago for the amusement of April fools.
April 5, 1862
The Chicago Times reflects the patriotic sentiment of this county when it says there is uneasiness throughout the country lest the rampant manifestations of abolitionism in Congress shall obtain the ascendency. Abolitionism is noisy and unceasing in its assaults upon the constitution. It is to be beaten back, however. It will be beaten back if all the conservative elements of the country shall make their voice heard. Northern traitors are making their last assault upon the constitution. They must overthrow it now, or sink forever in eternal infamy. The time for the election of their successors is approaching, and the people begin to see that the only organization which can preserve the government and administer it successfully is the Democratic party.
Deny it if you dare.
The border slave States, in the winter of 1861, asked for a Convention to settle our difficulties. This proposition was favorably entertained by all true friends of the Union in all parts of the country. The project failed on account of the hostility of the abolitionists and the ultra republicans. On them, and on the southern opposite extreme, rests the moral responsibility of this war, with its consequences of slaughtered thousands, besides the disastrous pecuniary losses and the heavy taxes in prospective.
The portion of the population of Galesburg known as free [African-Americans] is said to be rapidly on the increase. They will, however, permit a white man to walk on the opposite side of the street if he behaves himself. Republicanism flourishes in that locality.
- A large amount of spring wheat was sown by our farmers last week.
- “Roch” Bartleson wants the man who borrowed his iron pot to bring it home.
- We have a few papers of tobacco seed which we will distribute among those who will first call for it.
- Dr. Warren has returned from his visit to various camps on the Mississippi. He thinks that few people have more than a faint idea of what war is, and that all Christians should earnestly pray for the speedy restoration of peace.
To the Farmers of McDonough County.
The hospitals near the battle fields are in urgent need of supplies for the wounded and sick soldiers, who require a very different diet from the army rations. Therefore anything you can spare in the way of eggs, butter, dried and canned fruit, jellies, etc., will be very thankfully received by them. A matron who has been many months in attendance on the hospitals will personally distribute your contributions. She will start on the 10th of April, and at suitable intervals during the summer. Mrs. M. A. Bartleson will receive and forward contributions.