August 1 and 2, 1862

Macomb Journal
August 1, 1862

That Jayhawker. – Our county has lately received a visit from an individual who registers himself as “Major Carpenter, of the Jessie Scouts.”  He represents himself as being in the United States service, and his peculiar mission is to look after rebels, traitors, and all who sympathize with them, and to deal with them according to their deserts.  Our neighbor of the Eagle has heard of the Major, and of his mission, and hence is wonderfully alarmed, no doubt fearing a visit from his Majorship to his sanctum.  No true loyal man will be at all disturbed by this visit of the Major, but the “wicked flee when no man pursueth.”  We learn that certain Democrats of secesh order, residing about Tennessee, knowing themselves to be guilty of disloyalty and deserving punishment, are afflicted with the same fear that so disturbs our neighbor, and hence have been holding secret meetings for mutual protection.  We have seen this wonderful “Major Carpenter,” and had the pleasure of a half-hour’s conversation with him, and our opinion is that he is a big humbug, but, Lord – how he has frightened the secesh Democrats hereabouts.  According to some accounts we hear he has been the hero of some wonderful adventures, hair breadth escapes, &c., and has performed some service for our army in obtaining information from the enemy.  But in our opinion he lacks the cunning and discretion of a detective, and his wonderful yarns are only calculated to frighten those kind of Democrats who believe that “Mr. Lincoln ought to recognize the independence of the Southern Confederacy.”


Sam Houston Again Dead. – The Boston Post says: “A gentleman who arrived in this city on Saturday, from Texas, states Gen. Sam Houston is positively dead, and that before he died he requested the old flag to be brought, that he might die as he had lived under the stars and stripes.”


For the Journal.

From Jefferson Barracks, July 27, 1862.

Messrs Editors: I wrote you from the General Hospital at Hamburg, informing you that we were awaiting the arrival at this place of a hospital boat to convey us to the north.  I also promised you that as I proceeded northward, I would favor you with an occasional letter, which promise I will now endeavor to fulfill.

On the evening of the 18th of July, we embarked on board the U.S. Hospital steamer Decatur, and at 2 o’clock p.m. of the next day we were underway for the north.  The river was in good stage, having been swollen by recent rains, and our boat glided along with ease and gracefulness.  We had soldiers aboard from the following States: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio, in all about 270.

As the most of your readers are probably unfamiliar with the arrangements and facilities of those boats for carrying sick and disabled soldiers, I will endeavor to give them, as near as possible, a correct idea of it.  A person could not ask for bedding more comfortable than is furnished him on board the Decatur.  He is furnished with a good roomy bedstead, on which is placed a nice clean husk mat, with white cotton sheets, linen overspreads, blanket and pillow.  The bedsteads are placed in rows on the boiler deck and on the guards, and are so arranged as to leave a passage-way between every two tiers.  The sickest of the soldiers are furnished with beds in in the cabin – the convalesants, as they are called, are placed on boiler deck.

An entire change of clothing is made as soon as the soldier is placed upon the boat.  He is in the first place made to wash himself thoroughly, after which he is furnished with clean drawers, shirt, sock and dasting gowns.  These indispensible articles are furnished thro’ the benevolent efforts of the Western Sanitary Commission and Ladies Union Aid Society.

Nothing is allowed the soldiers in the way of eatables except what is brought to him at meal times by the nurses. – The grub consists of the best of light bread, dried fruits, boiled beef – but lightly seasoned, and coffee or tea. – But enough on this subject.

We were from Saturday 2 o’clock p.m., to Tuesday morning making the trip from Hamburg to Jefferson Barracks.  We lost only one man on the trip whose body was put off the boat at Cairo.

Jefferson Barracks is indeed a delightful place as every person acquainted with it will attest.  It is located 10 miles below St. Louis, on the bank of the river.  The buildings are all stone and of the most improved style.  The grounds and shade trees are picturesque in the extreme.  But as I shall occasion to refer to this again I drop the subject for the present.

At present the chances for getting furloughs of leave of absence is next thing to an impossibility.  An order has been issued from Dr. Fish, the surgeon in command, stating that after the 25th of the present month, no furloughs or leave of absence will be granted on any condition whatever.  So unless a soldier be discharged there is no hope for him to get to see his folks at home.  He will have to remain here until he is able to return to his regiment.  Discharges, however, are being granted to a great many.

Mr. Thos. Beavens, of Prairie City, of whom mention was made in my last, has obtained a discharge, and will start for home on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  Mr. C.E. Sackett, of Co. A, 16th Illinois, has also obtained a discharged, and will leave for his home at Bushnell on Tuesday or Wednesday next.  The balance of us from that Co. and reg. will await the general examination some time during the coming week.

But I have written quite as much at present as my exhausted energies will permit, so I bring my letter to a close.  I will write to you again in a short time.

Respectfully, &c.,


P.S. – While I write a boat load of sick soldiers is just landing from Hamburg.  Our hospital will soon be full.



  • Capt. Ervin’s company, we learn, is now nearly full.  The company have been ordered to rendezvous at Quincy.  The captain went down on Tuesday with some fifteen more recruits, and there are a few more who will join as soon as harvest is over.
  • It is now blackberry time, and we are informed that the bushes never afforded a more abundant yield than they have this year.  We notice every morning small armies of boys and girls equipped with baskets, cups, and pails, on their way to the fields.  We trust that some of them will remember the printer.
  • A Case of Shooting. – We learn that a few days since a young man named Rush residing near Colchester, had the thumb of his right hand shot off by some person unknown.  He was taking a walk in a piece of woods, and had stopped to rest against a tree, and was leaning upon his arm with his hand placed against the body of the tree, when a ball came whizzing past his head and struck his thumb, with the result mentioned.  He saw no person near him, but heard retreating footsteps.  The case is a very singular one, as it is not easy to account for the shooting.  It can scarcely be deemed an accident, and if it was design, the motive which prompted it is wholly shrouded in doubt.  Mr. Rush, we learn, had recently enlisted in Capt. Ervin’s company.


Macomb Eagle
August 2, 1862

Death of Major Hays.

            We learn from individuals that this accomplished officer died last week.  He had been suffering from chronic diarrhea for some time, and was returning to his home in Pike county.  On arriving at Monticello he was unable to travel farther, and soon after died there.  The 16th regiment has lost an excellent officer and a thorough gentleman.


The Road to Poor Farming.

            As the road to poor farming is not generally understood, though it is crowded with travelers, we throw up the following landmarks, from the Springfield Republican, for the common benefit:

  1. Invest all your capital in land, and run in debt for more.
  2. Hire money to stock your farm.
  3. Have no faith in your own business, and be always read to sell out.
  4. Buy mean cows, spavined horses, poor oxen, cheap tools.
  5. Feed bog hay and mouldy corn stalks exclusively, in order to keep your stock tame; fiery cattle are terribly hard on old rickety wagons and plows.
  6. Use the oil of hickory freely whenever your oxen need strength; it is cheaper than hay or meal, keeps the hair lively and pounds out all the grubs.
  7. Select such calves for stock as the butchers shun; beauties of runts, thin in the hams, and pot bellied; but be sure and keep their blood thin by scanty herbage; animals are safest to breed from that haven’t strength to herb.
  8. Be cautious about manufacturing manure, it makes the fields look black and mournful about planting time; besides it is a deal of work to haul it.
  9. Never waste time by setting out fruit and shade trees; fruit and leaves rotting around a place make it unhealthy.



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