May 30, 1862
The Soldiers on the New Constitution.
The Democratic papers announced a few weeks ago that the soldiers were voting almost unanimously in favor of the new constitution. We were not much disposed to doubt it from the fact that the commissioners appointed to take the vote were all in favor of the proposed constitution, and of course would bring to bear every influence to produce such a result. We did not suppose that the soldiers could be as well informed as to the merits or demerits of the constitution, and also as to the intense partisan character of the convention which framed it, as those at home, and hence we feared that improper influences might be successfully brought to bear by the commissioners to obtain votes favorable to the proposed constitution. We have no doubt the commissioners have done all they could to influence a favorable vote on the constitution, but the soldiers, it appears, are better posted on the objectionable features of the constitution than we thought them to be. It appears from a statement in the Chicago Tribune that the constitution commissioners visited Paducah, where there were about 1,000 Illinois soldiers stationed. They commenced taking the vote of the 6th Illinois cavalry – an Egyptian regiment. After 300 had voted they shut down on the remainder, and left 400 votes of the regiment unpolled. The cause of this outrage is found in the fact that the regiment was going solid against the secession constitution. Out of 300 votes taken, only two were for the thing to 298 against it.
And since it is found the soldiers are disposed generally to vote against the constitution, the commissioners have shut down on the thing, and have reported that they could not be admitted into the lines of Halleck’s army; but a writer there says that it is false; that they could have gained admission easily enough if they had really desired it, but the truth of the matter was, they had ascertained pretty conclusively that a very large majority of the soldiers there would vote against their pet constitution, and they, therefore, seized upon any little frivolous circumstance to excuse themselves for not entering the lines and taking the soldiers’ votes.
In view of these matters the Canton Register justly remarks that the course [obscured] object in view in the appointment of that commission, and the manner ordained for taking the votes, and shows most clearly that the great object had in view was to secure the adoption of the new constitution at all hazards. – The more we see of the thing, the more we are convinced that fraud was intended from the first; and it seems to us that every unprejudiced mind cannot fail to see it in the same light. We hope to see it utterly defeated.
From the Sixteenth.
Camp on the Field near Corinth,
May 14, 1862.
Messrs. Editors: The great and bloody battle so long pending at this place and so imminent at times, is not yet fought; nor is it likely to be during the present week. On the contrary, it is the settled belief of all newspaper correspondents writing from this place, and is shared in by both officers and men, that the rebels will not stand us a fight at Corinth, but that they will evacuate and fall back to Grand Junction. While this is the prevailing opinion in camp I must confess there is something of a mystery in the recent moves of the enemy. Situated as we are in the very face of the enemies intrenchments and almost within speaking distance of their pickets, it would naturally be supposed that nothing of interest could transpire at Corinth, in the way of evacuation, without us knowing something concerning it. But so it is. The people of Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis seem to know more of the situation of affairs at Corinth than we do ourselves. How they obtain this “reliable information” is more than we can conjecture. For almost two weeks the dailies of these cities have persisted in forcing upon the public mind the belief that Corinth was being evacuated, when, if we except the reports of prisoners and deserters, and the constant running to and fro of ponderous trains, there is nothing whatever to force any such conclusion. As we advance slowly but surely upon them, their picket lines are made stronger, and they present to us a bolder front than before; and not unfrequently they are emboldened to make a demonstration on our own lines, but with little or no success. One thing is certain, however, that if we have a fight here at all it will be a regular seige, such as was had at Yorktown. Already our large guns are being put in position, and I believe, with the exception of those belonging to Gen. Pope’s division, are about completed. They are mostly of the Parrott pattern, and are of a large calibre. Gen. Pope’s division has not made any advance during the past week on account of a heavy swamp lying before them. It is being rapidly repaired, however, and will soon be made passible. Friday of last week, the enemy in large force, supposed to have been commanded by Price, made a powerful onset on the 27th, 26th, 22d, 47th and 27th Illinois, while they were moving their encampment from the rear to the front. – For a while they succeeded in driving our men back, but were soon repulsed and driven from the field. Quite a number were killed and wounded on both sides. Their shot and shell fell thick and fast near our encampments and bursted over our heads, but did no damage.
I send you herewith a list of deaths caused by sickness and otherwise, out of the companies from McDonough now in Gen. Pope’s division, to-wit: Andrew Kellough, of co. D, 1st Battalion Yates Sharp-shooters, was killed May 8th, while out on a reconnoitering expedition. He was shot through the breast and killed almost instantly. His body was not recovered, it being too close to the fire of a battery to obtain it. He has a respectable circle of friends and relatives residing near Macomb, including a loving father and mother, brothers and sisters, who will deeply mourn his untimely death. He also has a brother in the same company to which he himself belonged. He is spoken of by all who knew him as a highly respectable and esteemed young man.
Sylvester Yocum, nephew of Stephen Yocum, of Pennington’s Point, died at our regimental hospital some days ago, of dysentery. He was a member of co. B, of our regiment. His effects were taken charge of by Mr. John Wooley, a fellow companion, who will return them safe to his friends and relatives. His death is deeply deplored by his company.
James Lyon, of Bardolph, had his shoulder dislocated by a violent fall upon the ground while scouting through some thick underbrush. He is, however, recovering fast, and will soon be able for duty.
William L. Broaddus, of your city, formerly 1st Lieutenant of co. B, has been promoted to the captaincy of said company in place of David P. Wells, deceased. Other promotions have also been made in the company as follows; E. K. Westfall from 2d to 1st Lieutenant, Orderly Sergeant Alexander Chapman, 2d Lieutenant, and Geo. McAllister, Orderly Sergeant. John E. Lane is now acting Orderly Sergeant of co. A.
The following citizens from Bushnell are now here: Dr. A. Clark, F. B. Andrews and James Miner. The first comes on professional business, the two latter in the capacity of hucksters. – They bring with them a quantity of eggs and butter. We have also had the pleasure of seeing our old friend Alexander Simpson, formerly of Macomb. He holds the position of Brigade Quartermaster in Gen. Buell’s division, and ranks as captain. Also the Rev. J. R. Palmer, and other acquaintances from Macomb, now in the 10th Regiment of Mo. Volunteers.
The weather is extremely warm and sultry, but the nights cool and pleasant. The health of the troops is improving materially.
More anon. Yours truly, &c.,
May 31, 1862
The editor has gone a-court-ing and the editorship devolves upon the traitor. We have many things to say, which would in all probability, raise a howl of indignation from the very patriotic cowards that make it their business to denounce every man as a secessionist and traitor who will not sing praises to king Abraham the I, but they are crowded out. When the boss goes away again, we will stir up the monkeys.