August 22, 1862
Letter from Jefferson Barracks.
Jefferson Barracks, Mo.
August 6, 1862.
Messrs. Editors: I have a letter from a member of our Regiment, dated July 30th, which locates it at that time at Tuscumbia, Ala., 60 miles east of Corinth, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. The health and spirits of the troops, the writer says, is much better now than for some time past. He represents the country as being exceedingly picturesque and beautiful, and as abounding with an abundance of fruit of all kinds. The town is well watered, being supplied with two large springs whose waters contribute to the running of a large grist mill, located in the vicinity. The town, however, as well as the surrounding country, like all other places in rebeldom, is secesh to the man, the inhabitants having all fled on the approach of the Union army. The negroes, who were left behind by their masters, are said to be flocking to lines in great numbers.
From this letter I have the particulars of our late company election for captain of said company, occasioned by the resignation of B. F. Pinckly. The contending parties for captaincy were, Eben White, of Bushnell, and Lieut. Henry W. Cash, of Macomb, and Lieut. H. M. Bartholomew, also of the latter place. Mr. White was elected by a majority of 7 votes over Lieut. Cash; the former polling 27 votes, the latter 20, and H. M. Bartholomew 5.
Heretofore, in my writings to the Journal, I have entirely ignored the existence of an organization in our regiment for the spread and perpetuation of the cause of Temperance. Such is now a fixed fact beyond all peradventure or dispute. We now have an organization in the regiment known as “Dixie Lodge,” Independent order of Good Templars. The organization was effected about the last of June, and up to the time of my departure from the regiment, numbered something like 30 members, with a still better prospect of augmenting in the future. The following were the officers at the time of my departure: William H. Hainline, of Spring Creek, W.G.T., James L. Hainline, of the same place, W.S.E., L. Currier, of Prairie City, Lodge Deputy, and James H. Forrest, of Spring Creek, Chaplain. The Lodge, I may say, is in the highest state of prosperity, and will ere long exert a healthful influence over other regiments of the same brigade. Glee Books and Templars have ordered in no small numbers, and every appliance for social and religious improvements adopted. – Gen. Morgan too, himself a temperance man, has become interested in our welfare of late, and has promised to do what he could for our advancement.
But I come now to speak to you of matters connected with the hospital at this place. During the past week a number of the sick have been discharged and sent home. But as matters now stand I presume no more discharges will be granted from this Hospital until the expiration of 30 days, the length of time fixed by the Medical board for a patient to be under treatment before he can receive a final discharge. In the majority of cases, however, where the parent or parents of the patient exert themselves for his discharge, they are generally successful, and the patient is sent home. Furloughs and leaves of absence are entirely done away with – there is no such thing no on record. – There is no chances now of getting to go home except upon a final discharge. The mortality list of this Hospital is by no means a large one. The few that die are mostly those stricken with age and broken down in the service.
During the past week I have heard a good deal of complaint from the soldiers of the quantity and quality of grub furnished them by the quartermaster. My own experience teaches me that they are not ill founded, and that the soldiers have sufficient cause to find fault and complain. It appears that the quartermaster himself, or some one connected in the department, is intent on making a little money off the rations of the sick soldier and with that view have withheld from us, for more than a week past, the rations of bread due us, furnished in lieu thereof crackers, and those that were full of worms at that. Fault is to be found with the quartermaster too, for not procuring a change of diet, with the cooking department for not serving up what we do draw in some more palatable shape. If matters are not changed for the better soon, Gov. Yates will surely be appealed to, as I have already heard serious talk of such a course being adopted. To confine a sick soldier continually on boiled beef, hard wormy crackers, and tea of the poorest quality, is an act of injustice too intolerable to be borne. We expect better things of “Uncle Sam,” and if he would only employ the right kind of officials, I am sure we would have nothing to complain of. These things must be righted.
We have been watching of late, with anxious hearts, the efforts of our gallant State to raise, by volunteer aid, the quota of troops assigned her under the last call. We hope for the honor and bravery of her sons that the stigma of drafting shall never apply to her. – In McDonough, at least, we are led to hope, from her previous history, that no such odium shall ever apply to her. – Most nobly has she responded to every call and sent forth her brave sons in battle array to avenge the wrongs and indignities offered by a rebellious foe. And shall it be said that you are now found wanting?
“Even then there a man with soul so dead,
Who never as himself hath said —
This is my own, my native land.”
I come now to notice, Messrs. Editors, the proud emblem of American liberty, which floats daily from the flag pole inside of our enclosure. It is accredited to be one of the most costly, superb and beautiful flags that floats anywhere in the whole country. It is about 40 feet long by 20 feet wide – and as it ascends in the mornings to the top of the pole and casts its proud [unclear] to a Heaven-born breeze is almost involuntarily led to sing: [poem is blurred].
Very Truly, &c.,
P.S. – I had the pleasure last week of meeting at this place Mr. Edward Hobart, who resides in the vicinity of Colchester, in your county. He came to visit a sick man in the Hospital here and returned to McDonough during the last of the week. It is quite cheering; indeed, for us to meet any of our old friends from McDonough. H.
The Bushnell Company.
We learn that this company now only lacks a few men of being full. A portion of the officers were elected on Thursday last, as follows: Captain – Samuel McConnell; 1st Lieutenant – Mullen; 2nd Lieut. – J. Wells; Orderly Sergeant – W. B. McGrew.
A grand pic-nic is held today (Friday) at Bushnell, under the auspices of this company, at which there will be some good speaking. An opportunity will be given at the same time to those desiring to enlist in this company. Volunteering ceases after to-day, except for old regiments. Therefore those who have any notion of enlisting in this Bushnell company must do so before 12 o’clock to-night, or they will be shut out.
Draft Him. – There is a great burly, hearty, robust, Irishman loafing about Macomb who came here about two weeks ago, to escape the troubles in Missouri. His excuse for not volunteering is that he has a wife and child. It is certainly not the fair thing that such persons should seek the peaceful protections of this community, while our citizens leave their wives and children to go and restore order to the communities they have fled from. By the late order of Secretary Stanton he should be taken into the service at once.
Fight. – The public square in our city on Saturday evening last was the scene of a regular Irish knock down. – The fight seems to have been conducted upon the principles of fair play, each party agreeing not to use clubs or stones and to desist whenever the other should cry enough. Four rounds were fought, when all parties being pretty badly used up the fight was adjourned. On Monday morning, however, Tim Flynn, — Brown and Kelly Doolan, were invited to appear before W. S. Hail, Police Justice, and given an account of their nocturnal fight. Brown and Doolan were each fined $5 and cost. Flynn being the worst handled was only fined $3 and cost.
Better Stop It. – There is a certain establishment not far from the depot in this city, from which cheers have occasionally been heard for Jeff. Davis. – Our people are in no temper to bear with such jokes, especially when the proprietors of said establishment are known to sympathize with the rebellion.
August 23, 1862
On Sunday night last, between 11 and 12 o’clock, four citizens of this county were arrested by the military authority of the country. Their names are J.A. Graves, James Brown, Ed. Powell, and Thos. Syrus, and they resided in the vicinity of Colmar. There was no civil warrant nor “due process of law,” as provided in the Constitution, used in the arrest of these men; neither were they permitted to have an examination of the charges against them, but they were hurried off on a special train and taken beyond the limits of the State of Illinois. They are all honorable and upright men, and two of them have for some time been peace officers of Lamoine township. The precise charge upon which they were arrested is not known, but the general opinion is that it is the convenient one of “discouraging voluntary enlistments.” If this is the accusation upon which they have been arrested, we venture the assertion that it will prove entirely unfounded as regards most if not all of them, if an investigation of the matter is ever granted to the accused. But an investigation of the matter is what will probably never be granted to them – especially will it not be granted where the offense is alleged to have been committed – for that would subvert the ends of oppression. They will probably be kept in some military prison until after the November election, when they may be turned loose.
The party who arrested these men were guided to their residence by a man named Coil. This Coil was arrested in April 1861, for stealing a saddle, and broke away from Mr. Syrus, the officer that had him in charge. Since then he has not been heard from until he accompanied this midnight gang to point out the residence of honest men. It is a little remarkable that the four men above named, Graves, Syrus, Brown, and Powell, were all engaged, either as officers or witnesses, to bring Coil to a deserved punishment, for his crime. We doubt not that these men have been arrested upon the testimony of this thief, who, if he had his deserts, would be doing the State service at Joliet. Yet upon the accusation of such a fellow, the peaceable and honest citizens of this county are arrested on the Sabbath midnight, hurried beyond the limits of the State; confined in a military prison, and all investigation of the charges denied them. Let us all sing –
“My country! ‘Tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing!”
Mr. Lincoln’s speech to a committee of colored men commits the Executive more strongly than ever to the policy of colonization, as the surest solution of the negro complication. The speech also plainly indicates that the President has no though of yielding to the clamor of those who seek to change the social status of the negro race by placing them upon the same political and military platform as the white race. The President truly says to the negroes, “it is better for us both to be separated.” He proposed to set them up in the coal mining business in Central America.
From the 11th Cavalry.
Correspondence of The Macomb Eagle.
Bethel, Tenn., Aug. 15, 1863.
Pardon me if I should intrude with these few lines, coming as they do from an entire stranger; but as I am a member of Company I, 11th Illinois cavalry, — a company which was mostly made up in McDonough county – I have thought a few words in regard to our welfare would not come amiss to your numerous readers.
It is perhaps known all over the county, that when the company was organized, John J. Worden was elected captain, H.T. Gregg 1st lieutenant, and Wm. R. Hays 2nd lieutenant. The inglorious history of Mr. Worden during his administration, I shall not attempt to write; suffice it to say that we hailed his resignation, after the battle of Shiloh, with joy. Since that time Col. Ingersoll appointed Capt. Ellwood as our leader. But as it was contrary to Gov. Yates’ order he had to withdraw, and Lieut. Harvey T. Gregg has been promoted to the captaincy. We all like Capt. Gregg.
The health of our boys is very good. We have a fine camping place, with excellent water. Since we arrived at Bethel, ten Mississippians have joined our company, thereby making it the biggest and best company in the regiment.
A very serious accident happened to two of our McDonough boys, R. S. Brooking and N. Wilder. The company was invited to a barbecue given in honor of the organization of a company of home guards. Everything passed off right until about 2 o’clock, when Capt. Gregg divided the company into two squads, to have a sham charge. In making the charge these two men came in contact with each other, dismounting them instantly. Brooking was injured pretty severely – his collar-bone was broken, besides other injuries. Wilder was more fortunate, as he received only some slight bruises on his body, and rendering him unfit for duty for a few days only. Brooking is getting along very well and is well taken care of.
By the way we have heard there is a report at Macomb that Capt. Gregg has turned republican. I am requested by him, and also by his friends here, to deny the truth of this report. He is a firm Democrat yet, and a Union man of course. It is true that he voted against the new Constitution, as did also the entire company, on the ground that there is no time now to meddle with politics, and that it is the duty of every loyal man to help save this glorious Union.
Lieut. Hays is rather unwell at present, to the great regret of the boys. He is beloved by everybody, and has won, by his integrity and bravery, the esteem of his superiors.
The news about the new levy of troops has been received with the greatest satisfaction. Cheer upon cheer followed its announcement. Now we know that the government is in earnest to put this rebellion down and bring the war to a speedy close. Guarding rebel property is done away, and henceforth the traitors will be dealt with properly.
There is nothing very interesting here. – We have considerable scouting to do. Six men and one sergeant have to arrest some secesh or confiscate some rebel cotton, etc.
Any papers that the friends at home may send would be thankfully received.
Yours truly, F. A. Luthy.