October 10, 1862
The news this week is of the most cheering character. The rebels under Price, Van Dorn and Lovell, have been completely thrashed. All the reports agree that a great victory has been won by our side at Corinth. The loss on the Union side in the Corinth battle was about 300 killed and 1000 wounded. – The rebel loss was much larger. We have taken 1500 prisoners at Corinth, and 800 on the Hatchie. We have taken several thousand stand of small arms and several batteries.
The battle at Hatchie was also a complete victory. The enemy were routed and are now flying before our victorious troops. The loss of officers was large on both sides.
The unflinching bravery of Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin troops was again gloriously demonstrated in the late battles. Some of our best veteran troops, those of Fort Donelson and Shiloh, were engaged and flinched not a particle.
On Saturday last, Gen. Schofield attacked the rebels 15,000 strong, at Newtonia, Missouri. After a short fight the rebels were routed.
In another column we give General Grant’s official dispatches in regard to the late battles.
An Appropriation Unnecessary.
The Eagle thinks that it is not necessary for the county to make an appropriation for the support of the families of volunteers, but says: “The obligation of a man to support his family is no less binding upon him after he becomes a soldier than it was before. If the soldiers will promptly send home their wages, there will be sufficient for the support of their families, in most cases.”
Now does not the editor of the Eagle know that a family cannot be supported in these times upon the small wages paid by the Government, particularly if it is a large one? And again, does he not know that in most cases the soldiers are in camp for weeks, and often months before they receive anything from the government? For instance, Col. Menneson’s regiment has not yet received its bounty, and many of the men in it depended on that to support their families until the next pay day. We are willing to admit that a soldier’s obligations to his family remains unchanged, but that his ability is the same we deny. Let the editor of the Eagle try and support his family on a soldier’s pay and how long would it be before the “Young Eagles” would begin to grow thin. The fact of the business is, there are many families that will need assistance before next spring. In this connection we publish a letter received by Wm. H. Randolph from the wife of a soldier, and we ask a perusal of it and then ask if there is no necessity of an appropriation?
Oct. 4th 1862.
Dear Sir. – Forgive me for my apparent temerity in addressing one who is a stranger to me, except by a reputation that has been unequalled for justice and benevolence, but being a confirmed invalid, I deem it but just to myself and children under the circumstances, to call on some friendly hand for aid as I see stern winter and pinching poverty approaching, and knowing as I do that my chances for life are few at the best, I shudder at the thought of hardships I see before me. My husband left me in my weak state, to answer his country’s call, hoping and believing there was patriotism enough felt at home to prevent his family from suffering, which they are now doing, for want of his strong and willing arm. – Our crop is going to waste on account of his absence; our buckwheat is rotting on the ground, while we are in want of bread. We have tried for help, but could get none; my son has been busy with our cane, but a part of that is spoiled also. My husband began preparations for covering our house which leaks very badly, but I find myself without means to complete it, and I feel that it would be suicidal to attempt to winter in [unclear] for that I should be robbing my children, (three of whom are as helpless as myself,) of necessary clothing. If you doubt the above, come and see and you will believe I am yours in trouble,
Mrs. M. D. Cord.
We are happy to announce that a subscription was at once started and about sixty dollars raised in a few hours for Mrs. Cord.
Who Oppose the Proclamation.
The Chicago Times, the Richmond Enquirer, the Macomb Eagle, and the Charleston Mercury, all oppose the recent proclamation of the President, declaring the slaves of rebels free after the 1st of January next. Well, why not? The Chicago Times and the Eagle are all along agreed with the Richmond Enquirer and the Charleston Mercury much nearer than they have with loyal papers of the North. There seems to be a unity of feeling and a unity of interest between them that would be entirely out of place between bitter enemies.
Camp Butler, Springfield
Sir: Presuming that you and your readers would be pleased to hear from the boys in camp who formerly resided in McDonough county. I prepare to give you a few items of news so that the friends of those who are now in camp may know something of our movements.
[First line obscured by fold] and equipped with a few minor exceptions, and in all probability a few weeks hence will see us moving southwards towards the land of Dixie.
The boys are all in excellent spirits, and the regiment to which we belong, the 124th, Col. Sloan’s, has as little sickness as any regiment on the ground. All of which I am led to attribute to the temperate and moral character of the officers and men. Among the many excellent officers of this regiment, Capt. Stephen Brink, of McDonough county, stands conspicuous for his efficiency and tender, and fatherly care of his men, and no man in the regiment is more popular with his men.
To-day the members of his company presented him a very beautiful sword and belt in testimony of his kindness and attention to their many wants.
The presentation was made by B. W. Goodhue, of Chicago, a member of Capt. Brink’s company, in behalf of his fellow soldiers and companions in arms.
Capt. Brink replied in an affecting and able manner for the testimony which they had given to substantiate their appreciation for his arduous care.
Harmony and good feeling exist throughout the regiment, and no doubt in the future the regiment will make its mark.
B. W. Goodhue.
Lousiville, Ky. Sept. 29.
The 78th regiment has at length experienced something of the hardships and fatigues which are the too common lot of the soldier. Although they have not yet been called upon to face the cannon’s mouth, and to show their grit in battle, their physical endurance has been called to the severest test. For my own part I have brought up at a hospital, and I am sorry to say that I have lots of company. There are with me 65 patients from the 78th regiment alone, and Capt. Reynolds’ company is more largely represented than any other. I have been very ill with a fever, but am now rapidly recovering, and hope to be able to join my regiment in a day or two.
In order, that my letter may not appear too disconnected, and that you may have a faithful record of the progress of the regiment, I will commence where my last letter broke off, and sketch the doings and the movement of the regiment to the present time.
On the day of our arrival at Jeffersonville, we laid around the depot buildings until 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, not knowing what disposition would be made of us. We heard many extravagant rumors respecting the threatened attack upon Louisville, and expected to be participants if a fight came off. But at the time alluded to we were called upon to unload from the cars our camp equipage, &c., and prepare for camping. Our camping ground was selected upon a steady piece of ground about one mile east of Jeffersonville and not far from the banks of the Ohio river. This ground, with some adjoining buildings, I was informed upon good authority, did belong to Ex-Senator Jesse D. Bright, the traitor, but that it had been duly confiscated, and now was held by the U.S. Government. It was nearly dark before our tents were erected, and then we began to think of supper, when we were informed that our Quartermaster had exercised due diligence, but could furnish nothing but coffee and hard crackers – and these crackers are not of the common kind. They are about as hard to bite as an old dry shingle, and about as tasteless. By soaking them a long time in hot coffee, or frying them in grease, they can be made somewhat palatable for a very hungry man.
The next morning we breakfasted on coffee and crackers. In the course of the forenoon we received our arms, and were grievously disappointed to find they were the same we rejected at Quincy. They are old revolutionary flintlocks, altered to percussion. – We are glad to know they have been rejected by the inspector of arms, and that we will probably receive better guns in a few days.
In the afternoon, Col. Benneson received a dispatch ordering the regiment to prepare for a march forthwith. The men were beginning to feel the effects of the fatigues of the preceding days, and especially of the short rations. – The air was now dry, and excessively hot, and so full of dust as to render an object invisible a few rods distant. – All around us regiments were encamped, some were just arriving, and some were moving off to cross the river. We now began to see army wagons – more than we could count. The constant movement of wagons and the tramp of soldiers filled the roads with a fine dust to the depth of several inches. It was about ten o’clock, p.m., before our regiment got on the move. We were obliged to leave about 60 sick men behind. We crossed the river about 12 o’clock, and marched in a south-easterly course through the city of Louisville. – Occasionally the men would be halted for a rest, when the most of them would drop in their tracks, dust overshoe, and lean back on their knapsacks and endeavor to catch a little sleep. It was just before daylight that we were halted upon some vacant lots in the extreme south-western part of the city. Here we were ordered to rest, and each man rolled himself in his blanket and made up his bed upon the ground. We laid here until about noon, when we were ordered into line and marched only a few rods further, and orders given to prepare for dinner. In the meantime our cooking utensils, &c., had arrived upon the ground, but no tents for the men. A board side-walk in the vicinity was soon appropriated for firewood. Hard crackers and coffee for dinner. After dinner some board fences in the vicinity were torn down, and a rude shelter erected by the men in lieu of tents. The next morning before daylight the men were called up and formed in line of battle, and after being put through a portion of the tactics by Lieut. Col. Van Vleck, were dismissed for breakfast. The day was occupied with the usual drill, interspersed with coffee and crackers. It was about this time that I began to feel the weakness of human nature, and an especial repugnance to coffee and crackers. – That evening I laid upon a soft board, about 14 inches wide, burning with a hot fever. The next morning (Friday,) the regiment was ordered up at 3 o’clock, and the men were not dismissed, except for meals, until that night about 10 o’clock. In the meantime they were obliged to wear their knapsacks, and carry their guns. The sun was intensely hot. They were kept the most of the time standing in line of battle, although there was no battle or danger of any, that anybody could see. About 10 o’clock our regiment with two others, the 80tth and 86th Indiana, which now form a brigade, were marched out on Broadway for a review, before some General, I know not who. – When they were marched back again, they were obliged to still keep their position in the broiling hot sun. The sense or utility of this order nobody but the General commanding could see. A little after dark the regiment was marched to another camping place, about a mile and a half eastward where it is still located.
And now I come to notice the sick ones. When the regiment got notice to march to its present quarters, preparations were made to remove the sick to an old grist mill, a few rods distant. – The floor was swept, and some of the rubbish removed, when the sick were assisted in, and they found a resting place upon the floor. There were about 300 sick, (or who professed to be sick) who passed the night in the mill. – These 300 came out of the three regiments which form our brigade. The next morning all who were able to march to the regiment did so, leaving us only about half the number. Out of Company C, (Capt. Hume’s) there are at present in the hospital (or mill) only Edward Clark and myself. Clark was ruptured by a man stepping upon him, while on our way from Quincy. He will probably be discharged and sent home in a few days.
Capt. Reynolds’ company is represented here as follows:
Thomas Edmondson, flux; rather feeble, but able to walk a little.
J. E. Withrow, chills; getting well.
Thomas Plotts, aggravated form of phthisic.
J. J. Clark, congestive chills; improving fast.
John Hammer, fever and sprained back; keeps to his blanket and don’t appear to be improving much.
Henry G. Reed, chills; getting better; will join the regiment to-morrow.
[Obscured]; improving slowly.
James H. Smith, diarrhea; almost well.
George P. Hogue, pleurisy; improving.
These sick have very good and careful attention, and only lack decent beds to lie upon. Dr. Creel, the hospital steward, is very kind and faithful in his attendance. Fletcher Cowgill has been detailed to look after the sick of company I, and he proves to be a very efficient and attentive nurse. There are several kind ladies in the vicinity who bring to us every day the choicest delicacies, and Mr. Cowgill sees to it that his patients receive a fair share.
Since my last letter I have been honored with the appointment of private secretary to the Colonel of our regiment. I shall enter upon my new duties upon my return to camp, which I think I shall be able to do to-morrow.
The readers of the Journal must not expect me to give all the news which happens to reach me. That Buell’s army has reached this city, that Gen. Nelson was shot this morning by Gen. J. C. Davis, that Bragg appears to be skedaddling to parts unknown, are all matters of newspaper notoriety, which most of the readers of the Journal will probably learn all about before this letter is put in type. In my letters I shall confine myself to such matters only as pertain to our regiment, and especially to the members of Capt. Hume’s and Capt. Reynolds’ companies.
Ever thine, J.K.M.
The County Fair came off on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The prospects on Tuesday night were bright for a good display, but the heavy rain on Wednesday prevented the farmers from coming in, and so far as the pleasure or profit of the Fair is concerned made it a failure. We understand that the lists of entries on Tuesday were large. The display of stock was good, also a fine display of fruit. Had it been pleasant on Wednesday the Fair would have been a success.
From the 84th. – Charles E. Waters leaves this city on Monday next, to join his Regiment, the 84th. Persons desiring to send letters to the regiment can do so by him.
October 11, 1862
The Western Pioneer Farmer.
Anthony Trollope, an intelligent young Englishman, has lately published a couple of volumes upon his travels in America. Here is what he says of the pioneer Farmers of the West. ‘But yet this man has his romance, his high poetic feeling, and above all, his manly dignity. Visit him, and you will find him without coat, or waist coat, unshorn, in ragged blue trousers, and flannel shirt, too often bearing on his lantern jaws the signs of ague and sickness; but he will stand upright before you and speak to you with all the ease of a lettered gentleman in his own library. All the odious incivility of the republican servant has been banished. He is his own master, standing on his own threshold, and finds no need to assert his equality by rudeness. He is delighted to see you, and bids you sit down on his battered bench without dreaming of any such apology as an English cottage offers to a Lady Bountiful when she calls.
‘He has worked out his independence, and shows it in every easy movement of his body. He tells you of it unconsciously in every tone of his voice. You will always find in his cabin some newspaper, some book, some token of advance in education. When he questions you about the old country, he astonishes you with the extent of his knowledge. I defy you not to feel that he is superior to the race from which he has sprung in England or Ireland. To me I confess that the manliness of such a man is very charming. He is dirty and perhaps squalid. His children are sick, and he is without comforts. His wife is pale, and you think you see shortness of life written in the faces of all the family. But over and above it all, there is an independence which sits gracefully upon their shoulders, and teaches you at the first glance that the man has a right to assume himself to be your equal.’
Assaults upon the Life of the Nation.
The Constitution is the life of the nation, the depository of the people’s rights, and the guardian of their liberties. To violate the Constitution – to destroy the least of its provisions – is to wound the nation in a vital part. Our reverence for the Constitution should far exceed our regard for any other human instrument, because our liberties are endangered whenever it is disregarded, and the nation’s life is weakened whenever disobedience to it is taught or received as a duty. In opposition to the teachings of history and the plainest dictates of common sense, the party in power hold that the Constitution may be trampled upon in order to save the Union, and the liberties of the people destroyed in order to preserve the national life. It is now announced by a member of the cabinet at Washington that the administration cannot preserve the liberties of the people and the national existence at the same time – that we must prepare to sacrifice one or the other. And we are also told by a candidate on the republican State ticket in Illinois, that “the President has a right to suspend the Constitution itself during the rebellion.” These avowals are not less worthy of intense reprobation than they are alarming. “It is true that the same thing has been foreshadowed by administrative acts in violation of liberty, but we have been all along assured that these, at the worst, were only temporary deprivations of ancient privilege, to subserve a temporary necessity. Now we are told by competent authority that the weak hands of the administration can grasp but half the measure of its duty, and that the nation must suffer in consequence the loss of one-half its greatness! If this does not have the effect to startle everybody, it is because the American people have recently been involved in a maelstrom of such great events that sensation to a new calamity is dulled; or that, blinded by partizan feelings, the majority can complacently contemplate the loss of liberty, receiving partizan gratifications in exchange.
The republicans evidently regard the records of 1776 as a grand blot, the makers of the Declaration of Independence as demagogues, and the authors of the Constitution as anarchists, against whom a counter revolution should be directed. The argument of this party virtually is that the people are incapable of self-government; that they are unworthy of privileges, or of a Constitution which cannot be arbitrarily stretched at the pleasure of their rulers. These theorists, who are trying to reduce their theories to practice, are willing to allow the people some such constitution as prevails among the despotisms of continental Europe – one which may be taken away at the moment when it becomes of any value. The republican leaders, like Francis Joseph, Bomba and other European despots, want a strong government.” They hold the contrary of the Jeffersonian maxim, that “the best government is that which governs least.” Government, if it follow in their path, must always be meddling and oppressing. Individual and State rights are alike incompatible with their model. They prefer that of Louis XIV, himself the State, his whim the law – the people his minions, trodden upon and oppressed. This is the beau ideal of those who are willing to sacrifice Liberty to what they term National Life! The distinction they attempt to make is false and fatal. We can have no National Life after our Liberty is dead.
White and Black.
Last week we published Lincoln’s proclamation which virtually abolishes white freedom. Singularly enough, it followed close upon the heels of that other proclamation which gave liberty to negroes, or undertook to give it. – If in the days of Seventy-six, says the New York Argus, our patriot ancestors had foreseen that the day would come when such a proclamation as this would be signed and issued by an American President, the declaration of human rights for which they fought would have awakened small enthusiasm in their breasts in behalf of their posterity. The hardships they underwent, the blood they shed or left in the snow in the prints of their bare feet, were not merely aimed at the overthrow of George the Third’s tyranny, but to secure themselves and their posterity from like future oppression. The plea of the President is necessity – a plea so odious, so suggestive of tyranny or oppression, that it condemns itself. It never appears but in the train of what is illegal and destructive of liberty. – As the Habeas Corpus is the great writ of Right, so Necessity is always the character and excuse of Wrong. But the plea is false as well as odious. No such necessity exists. Such measures actually give aid and comfort to the rebellion. If there remains a loyal man at the South, he will be shown this proclamation, and asked if he recognizes in that picture the old Union of his early love, and if he can still love it after it has degenerated thus! The proclamation will crush out the lingering Union sentiment at the South, and unite them as one man in desperate resistance. The suspension of our liberties may be necessary to accomplish the abolition of slavery according to Mr. Lincoln’s plan. But it is now for the first time proposed in any responsible quarter to exchange white freedom for black – to liberate the millions of negroes, and put the millions of white men in their places. We do not like the plan. We may be arrested as a “disloyal” person for saying so, but we loathe and detest it.
The Lincoln colonization plan offers the negroes a free farm in a country suited to their tastes, free passage thither, free farming tools, and a year’s provisions free. The people, already heavily burdened with the war debt, are to be taxed still more to pay for all this. We should like to know whether the government will do as much for poor white men who wish to emigrate and escape the burdens of taxation.
The Vote on the Appropriation.
The vote on the question of an indiscriminate appropriation for the benefit of the families of volunteers, taken last week, is as follows:
Against the appropriation ………………………….. 918
For appropriation ……………………………………131
Majority against ……………………………………..787
The vote is very light, but the expression of the will of the people is unmistakeable. – We are gratified that the position of The Eagle – that no necessity exists for such appropriation – has been endorsed in so decided a manner – disposed of beyond the caviling of any but sneaking demagogues. There we are content to let it rest.
The County Fair.
The county fair on Tuesday and Wednesday was well attended; and the show of stock and agricultural products was very large – some say better than at any former fair. The weather on Wednesday was wet, decidedly wet, and hundreds were thus kept at home, who otherwise would have attended the fair. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, we think the managers may congratulate themselves on succeeding as well as they have.
We received a jug – and a large jug – of sorghum syrup, from the manufactory of Mr. John Hampton, of Macomb. This is the first syrup of the new crop that we have seen, and after testing it with biscuit, “slapjacks,” etc., we are bound to pronounce the syrup a No. 1 article. Mr. Hampton is working up a large quantity of cane, and is prepared to work all that may be brought to him. Our readers may be certain of getting good syrup from his manufactory, our word for it. If you want a clear, luscious article, give him a call.
McDonough county can boast of as large and as good apples as any other county around. We have lately received some samples of what our farmers are doing in this line – from Mr. Osborn of Emmet, and Judge Calvin and the “Horrell boys” of Bethel – which are hard to beat. The apples belong to the numerous family of pippins, and weigh one pound and a quarter to one pound and a half each.
The Journal seems to think that our glorification over the President’s proclamation was only “senseless jabbering” and “balderdash.” What of it? Are we bound to apply to a “senseless” proclamation anything else than “balderdash” terms, or to consider that a document which will “do no more good than the Pope’s bull against the comet,” should consign its author to “a mad-house,” as a “blabbering lunatic?”
Our friend Marshall Rogers brought us a gallon of sorghum syrup the other day, hot from the evaporator. When cooled off it was nice and rich as could be desired. Mr. R. is a judge of a good thing and has a heart as large as an ox.
We are indebted to John P. Clark of Bethel for a lot of pumpkins – the only luxury in which our Puritan ancestors indulged on Sundays. They are good, of course.
Letter from the 84th Regiment.
Camp near Louisville, Ky., Sept. 28.
Ed. Macomb Eagle: I have time to send you a few items this morning, which may be of interest to your readers. The 84th Illinois regiment left Quincy on Tuesday evening, 23rd last, and arrived at Jeffersonville, opposite Louisville, on the 28th last. The trip was tedious – the railroad contractors not furnishing very comfortable transportation. We remained in the cars over night, and on Friday crossed into Louisville. After marching two hours through the streets (lined with niggers), we were halted toward the south east part of the city. We were without tents or provisions; and before either came, about 5 o’clock p.m., we were called into line and set out for a march. On going down into the city we found everything in commotion. – Squadrons of artillery thundering along – squads of cavalry galloping to and fro – and regiment after regiment of infantry moving, it was hard to tell where. After a march of two or three hours, in which were a dozen halts, we were thrown into line of battle, on an open space toward the eastern part of the city, to rest on our arms through the night. It seems a report had come in that General Bragg was ten miles distant marching on the city. But he didn’t come.
We remained as above posted until Saturday afternoon, when we were marched to camp east of the city, near the river. There was a heavy rain during the day, and we were without tents, and had had no rations since we crossed the river. The boys thought it a pretty tough introduction to actual service; but before dark the tents came, provisions were drawn, and soon we had a very good supper in readiness. This morning the boys are all in good spirits, and expecting orders to march – which they may get in an hour or a month.
I enclose a list of the sick of Company A, Capt. Higgings; Com. C, Capt. Erwin; Com. F, Capt. Cox, Com. B, Capt. Grewell: left in hospital at Quincy, Ill. These companies were raised in McDonough and Fulton counties, and those left would no doubt be glad to hear from their friends at home.
The 84th regiment is in Gen .Craft’s division (3rd) in Gen. Woodruff’s brigade (2nd). Letters directed to ‘84th Ill. Vol. Louisville, Ky.’ will reach us, as they will follow the regiment wherever we may go. The weather is hot, but this is what we expected, ‘down in Dixie.’
The following is the list of the sick referred to in the above letter.
Com. A – Edward Case, T.J. Shepherd, Wm. Jones, Frank Cadd, R.A. Wood, Lorenzo Slyter.
Com. B – Edwin Knock, R.H. McClintock, Dan. Knock, J.M. Hughes, W.A. Kinsey, G.W. Robinson, S. Holiday, D.G. Harland, Mark Easley, G.W. Hickle, A.E. Miller, R.H. Nance.
Com. C – Henry Hall, M.L. Harlan, Allen Herndon, C.J. Kelsey.
Com. F – Joseph M. Moore, G.W. McConnell, Jacob Boyer, R.J. Nebergall, Lemuel M. Swearingen.