September 19, 1862
The Board of Supervisors of this county held a session in this city last week, and among other things, discussed the propriety of making an appropriation for the purpose of assisting the families of our brave volunteers who have gone forth to peril their lives in defence of the flag of the Union, and strange to say our Patriotic Board refused to do an act so eminetly just and proper without first taking a vote of the people upon it. Why did not the members of the Board come up like men and vote a liberal appropriation? Is there a loyal tax payer in the county that would utter a single word of complaint if they had done so? Not one. Why then must the matter be delayed, at a time when many families in our midst are actually in need? These are questions that the members of the Board may possibly answer to the entire satisfaction of their constituents, but we don’t believe it. That the Board had a perfect right to make such an appropriation none will deny – that it is in accordance with the wishes of a majority of the voters of the county, there can be no question. Then what stood in the way? They certainly were not in want of a precedent, for nearly every county in the State has long since made appropriations for the same purpose. Why then must McDonough, a county that has thus far been behind no other county in the State, in answering the claims of the country, stand back and practically refuse to do anything for the support of the families who have been left by their protectors to fight for the liberties and the rights of the very men who thus turns the cold shoulder upon them. We can imagine no good reason that could influence a truly patriotic and loyal man thus to act. We fear that too many of the members of the Board belong to that class who believe that the war is a “Black Republican War,” and that those engaged in it have no claims upon the county for assistance. We cannot but remember that some of the members of this Board are the very men that one year ago voted for a resolution declaring this an unholy, unconstitutional and unjust war, and that those engaged in it were as guilty as those who take life contrary to civil law – men who belong to the fire-in-the-rear party, and who hope in this way to discourage others from leaving their families to defend their country. While this shirk the responsibility Board would not make an appropriation, they had not the courage to absolutely refuse, so they throw the responsibility upon the people, and thus seek to escape the condemnation that rightfully belongs to them. Well go ahead, gentlemen supervisors, you are making a record that will come up in judgment against you when this war shall come to an end, and our volunteers return to their homes – a record that you will gladly hide from in that day. As might be expected, the Eagle endorses the act, and says it is all right. By the way, we would like to ask the Eagle editor if he is really in favor of the county making an appropriation. Perhaps an answer in the affirmative may help some of his friends and admirers to make up their minds to vote upon the question.
Camp Near Quincy,
Sept. 15, 1862
I remember my obligation to write something in the shape of a letter for the columns of the Journal, but I must confess that the noise and confusion and excitement of camp life, have some tendency to draw me away from my duty, for here is Tuesday morning, and no letter written, and the Journal, I suppose, will go to press on Thursday, as usual. But if this should reach you in time for this week’s paper it will have this advantage – the latest news from Camp Quincy – but I cannot say that the news from this quarter is of any special importance or significance.
We are all here yet, that is the three regiments which have been camped here under the late call. It has been thought for the last two weeks that Col. Waters’ regiment might leave us at any hour. That regiment is under marching orders, while the other two are awaiting orders. Col. Waters’ regiment has received its arms. They are the Enfield rifles, and the boys are very much pleased with them. They received also plenty of cartridges with them, and we now fell in some degree safe, for previous to the arrival of these arms and ammunition, 300 well armed secesh could have taken us all prisoners.
There is just now a more than usual amount of sickness with us. Orderly J. E. James, of Capt. Hume’s company, has been dangerously ill for a week past, with the prevailing complaint, diarrhea, but I learn this morning that his symptoms are more favorable. His father has been with him the last three days, but returned home last evening. I learn of no other very serious cases of sickness, at least there are no others in Capt. Hume’s and Capt. Reynolds’ companies. We have, however, in the two companies, some eight or ten on the sick list, the most of them able to walk about the camp. I learn this moment that Henry Warner, of Blandinville, one of our sick men, is not so well, and that he is about to be taken to the hospital in the city. His complaint is the intermittent fever. Wm. H. Duffield, of company C, is also sick of fever, and has secured quarters at a private house in Quincy.
For a number of days past the carpenters of each company have been detailed to work upon the barracks, which are being erected about three quarters of a mile to the south-east of camp, and just upon the east side of the city. As soon as these barracks are completed, it is understood that we strike tents and will occupy the barracks. The present indications are that our regiment (the 78) will remain here two months, at least such is the opinion of our field officers. No doubt a number of troops will be required here all winter, but there is some talk that the State militia in the course of the winter will be called upon to guard the frontiers, which are considered in danger of rebel raids.
There has been some rather severe criticism in the McDonough companies respecting the conduct of the Undertakers of Macomb, on the occasion of the death of the only child of Karr McClintock, a volunteer in Capt. Reynolds’ company. It is said that the child died while its father was here in camp, and a relative of the family called upon the undertakers to procure a coffin for the remains, but that all of them stubbernly refused to furnish the coffin unless the cash was paid down, or good security given. The relative then went to a poor crippled carpenter who made the coffin without asking any questions about the pay for it, knowing that it was for the child of a soldier, absent in the service of his country. For the credit of the undertakers I trust that a different version may be given to this affair. I know that it is not to be expected that the undertakers should take upon themselves the necessary funeral expenses of all those absent in the army, but then if they have the patriotic zeal they profess in the cause of the Union, they will never turn away the family of an absent volunteer on account of their poverty, but rather constitute themselves a committee to see that the necessary funds are raised, and that everything necessary for the family is furnished.
We have heard with some regret that the Board of Supervisors, at their recent session, refused to make any appropriation for the volunteers or their families, but that they referred the matter to the people at the next election. The policy which dictated this course, we regard as meaner than an unconditional refusal to make any appropriation. The election does not come off until November, and then perhaps the Board will not meet again. It is very evident that the Board does not intend to make any appropriation; and even if they should, when it is evidently so reluctantly given the Board will receive no credit for their loyalty, or thanks for their liberality.
Our friend and neighbor, Mr. George Painter, of Capt. Reynolds’ company, has been detailed to act as Postmaster for the 78th regiment. This is the fourth man from that company that has been honored with a regimental position. The Blandinville company has received no honors in that line, so they say. “Bully for company I.”
Ever thine, J. K. M.
County Fair. – Don’t forget the annual fair and cattle show to be held in this city on the 7th and 8th days of October next. The war excitement may induce some to neglect this, but it should not. If there ever was a time when the Agricultural interest of our county should be fostered and guarded, now is the time. Then farmers bring along your big cattle, hogs, poultry, pumpkins, corn, potatoes, &c., &c., and let us have an exhibition that will be a credit to the county.
September 20, 1862
Frost. – On Friday morning last there was quite a frost visible. It was not heavy enough to do any damage.
Relief for the Families of Soldiers.
The following resolutions were adopted by the board of supervisors at their late meeting:
Whereas, Divers persons of this county have petitioned this board to make an appropriation for the support and maintenance of the families of the volunteers of this county that have enlisted in the United States service; and whereas, this board is not advised as to the number that have volunteered from this county, nor have they any knowledge of the condition of those families that it is proposed to assist; therefore
Resolved, That the Supervisor of each township be appointed a committee to ascertain the number and condition of the families of volunteers in each of the townships in the county, and report to this board at its next meeting.
Resolved, That the Supervisor of each town be requested to call the attention of the voters of their several townships to the propriety of calling town meetings, for an expression of the wishes of the tax payers in regard to the proposed appropriation, and report such expression so expressed at the next meeting of this board.
We understand the town meetings referred to in the above resolutions will be held on Saturday the 4th day of October.
The Cause of the Indian Atrocities.
The La Crosse Democrat gives us the only intelligible reason for the Indian outbreak in Minnesota and Iowa, that we have yet seen. It is the swindling and thieving of Government Indian Agents, who, not content with the salary they are paid, seek by all manner of chicanery to defraud them of the miserable pittance doled out to them in the shape of annuities.
The tale that Sterling Price had clandestinely forwarded arms up the Missouri river, is a tale to scare children with. The true reason, we repeat, is given below:
“The excitement in northern Minnesota over the horrible Indian atrocities, is becoming more intense each hour. At least one thousand whites have been already killed. Men have been tortured – women ravished and then minced to pieces – children had their brains dashed out – houses, barns, out-buildings, wheat in stacks and yet uncut, have been burned. The Sioux Indians, are noted for their blood-thirsty disposition, and have gathered on the Yellow Medicine to the number of 5,000 warriors. The trouble is indeed most serious.
“The blame of this rests on the government or its agents, who, on a salary of twelve hundred dollars a year, in four years manage to save from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars! In some instances they pay an Indian five dollars – the ignorant redskin signs by making his X mark, a receipt for fifty. – Goods are sold to them at a thousand per cent profit, and provisions at the shortest kind of weight. The last swindle on them was when gold was at a premium, the attempt to pay them $71,000 annuity money in paper. They would receive it. Heretofore, nothing but gold and silver had been paid them. The exchange this paper for gold took some time. Meanwhile they were suffering for provisions.
“There is no excuse for murdering in cold blood innocent ones. Had they cut the throats of the dishonest agents, and hung their bodies on the corner of some outhouse, the people would have said AMEN. The gold they were to receive did not reach them the day it was promised, and their work of vengeance commenced immediately. Where the end will be, God only knows. The days of revolution never saw such butchery; even the Wyoming Massacre sinks into insignificance when compared to the Minnesota Massacre of 1862. Unless they are exterminated at once, there will not be a town or city left in this section. This they swear. Here is a new and startling danger – it must be promptly met.