November 21, 1862
I write this brief notice at my own home. I left the 78th Regiment in Kentucky on Tuesday of last week, summoned hither by a severe and dangerous illness in my family. I arrived on Thursday evening. At the present writing (Wednesday noon) my youngest son is very low with the scarlet fever, without a favorable symptom to give hope of recovery. Another son has been severely ill with the same disease for three weeks, but there is now prospect that he may be restored to health. My wife, worn down by the constant care and attention of her children, was at length taken with a severe fever which confined her to her bed for several days, but from which she is now happily recovering.
I desire to express my heartfelt thanks to those kind neighbors who have rendered and still are rendering my family all the aid and assistance in their power in this our severe affliction. That reward which always redounds to the doers of kind and generous deeds is surely theirs.
I design to return to my regiment just as soon as the condition of my family will permit – indeed, I may say sooner, as I cannot postpone my departure more than three days. My own health is not good at present, I was taken down on Saturday last with a chill and a fever, but I am now able to be about. I shall resume correspondence with the Journal upon my arrival.
J. K. Magie.
Macomb, Nov. 19.
Three o’clock, p.m. – The expected messenger of Death has at last reached our home. Our little Albro, the joy of our hearts, the pride of our house, has at length yielded to the grim monster and his cold and lifeless body now lies before me. Our grief finds but little relief in tears; but our conviction that his innocent spirit has gone to join the happy throng around the throne of God is unto us full of joy and consolation.
→ It will no doubt surprise the reader to hear that a religious revival has broken out, if we may so say, in the rebel army. There must be some truth in this, as the Examiner itself has become suddenly devout and actually expresses the conviction that with praying generals, God-fearing subordinates, aided by a just cause our troops must prove invincible. This is certainly a pious sentiment for a journal that has hitherto been the consistent organ of Southern duelists and the champion of secession thieves.
En Passant, ILL., Nov. –
Mr. Edatur: I told yew in mi last corryspondence at I wood send yew Editurz letter from the army. Itz az folloze, to wit, namely, viz: in these words
ARMY IN THE FEELD, Octowber 30.
Deer Daddy: In the fore part uv the seezun this army waz a movin into the Sunny South an a bein mity keerful uv the rites uv the peepel along the rodze, an we had a mity summary sojurn down that to, but we soon begun to advance backwerdz, an we kep a doin it til we woz most back to the ablishness line agin, an then we begun to moov forwerdz agin, an now we’re a takin a strate course fur the Gulph Staitz agin, an I tell yew Daddy the army iz a makin a mity ugly mark akrost the kuntry az it goze along, fur itz jist like sweepin the hole Land with a “beegum uv destrukshun.” I tell yew Daddy I’m a gittin so awlphired mad I kant haedly hold in no longer fur the ablishnuss iz havin thingz awl there own wa down hear now. They art akin the property uv privit sittyzenz fur supplin the army, an not a payin nuthin fur it neethur, an what iz a mity site wuss they are a gittin most awl by the niggerz to run awa an cum into the army az it goze along, an a purswadin them at they have a rite to life, liberty an the persoot uv happynuss jist like humin beinz haz. Now these doinz iz awl agin dimmykrat prinsupullz, an agin the Konstitooshun an itz a coward ack to, for most awl uv the men at theze niggerz an uther propurty belongs tu iz in the rebel army a phitin for the Suthern Confabulacy, an aint at home tu defend there propurty an keep their niggerz an the ablishnuss from breakin the Konstitooshun awl to splinterz. – The niggerz iz so yust to workin at when they run awa an cum into the army to gow rite to workin fur it just like it wuz there natur. Sum uv them cookz, an sum suz the diggin about the campz, an sum drivz the teemz, an sum won thing an sum a nuther, an they ar awl the time a whislin an a singin around jist az happy as birdz – But Daddy theze doinz is awl agin dimmykrat prinsepullz an agin the Konstitooshun. The big farmz down hear awl haz overseer on em, an when the overseer thinkz a nigger iz a goin to run awa to the army he shootz him an keepz the Konstitooshun frum bein broke. Sum uv us boyz woz owt a a skowtin today an we found a old nigger a lyin in the rode where hiz overseer had shot him down, the blood woz a runnin owt uv hiz side, an a standin in puddelz in the dust uv the road, an when we cum to him hiz eyez looked kinder glassy, an he sed, “Lord Jesus have mersy on mi pore sinful soul,” an jist then he dide an we went on. Now sum pesky ablishness had bin a talkin to this niggar an a purswadin him to phaney at he woz a humin bein, an had a soul to be saved or lost jist like humin beinz haz, an I reckon he got the pore old fool to think it woz so fur he seemed in mity good yernest when he wuz a prayin. Now theze things iz awl the doinz uf ablishness in the Guverment an in the army. Daddy it wood grieve yore old hart tu deth if yew woz down hear a seein dimmykrat prinserpullz an the Konstitooshun a bein broke awl tu everlasting smash evry day uv yore life. Yew kno the real jennywine dimmykrat prinsepullz iz at the unadulterated an pure stained rozum uv the Konstitooshun iz at the niggerz is propurty, an allerz wuz propurty, an allerz will be propurty, an kant be nuthin else but property, an in the essenshul natur uv things ort tu be propurty. But the ablishnuss hairysay iz at the niggerz iz humin beinz, an haz immortal souls like humin beinz, an haz fuelinz, an lovez their wivez an babyz, jus like humin beinz, an at in the essenshul natur uv things, they ar as good as the generality uv humane beinz iz, an at they ort tu be made free like humin beinz whenever it kan be dun akordin to law. Now if theze ablishnuss doctrines woz the trooth, wy then the Dimmykrat Party as now orgynized, an carryd on, wood be inside up uv a set uv villainous hypocritical knaves for Laeders, an a hole lot uv pore delewded prejudiced ignoramuses az followerz but it aidt so fur the ablishnuss doctrine is awl wrong, fur the dimmykrat prinserpulz iz agin it, an the Konstitooshun iz agin it, an the Skripterz iz agin it clean threw an threw. Haint I allerz hearin yew a kwotin frum the Skripterz Daddy abowt the Lord a makin a black mark awl over Kain fur killin Abel, an abowt Noah a cussin old Ham an sayin he’d have to be a nigger az long az he lived, an hiz children after him til the end uv time, an haint awl uv these niggerz the ancestorz uv them same old raskelz. I rekon the black niggerz comz frum Kain, an the yaller niggerz from Ham, an if that iz so, wy then the Ham niggerz iz a heap the most breedin sort by stock fur there is a mity site more yaller niggerz down hear than there iz uv the black wonz.
Well Daddy if the yunyon armyz aint awl killed off, or sumthin else dun with em purty soon, wy then they will be the everlasting rewinaslion uv the Kuntry yit, fur they ar most awl ablishnuss an a gittin wuss evry day. Yew know the army wuz mostly ablishnuss from the first, at now them soldierz az wuz good dimmykratz when they first jined the army iz most awl turned ablishnuss to, an I want yew to tell the dimmykratz tu awl keep owt from the army an stay at home an vote the ablishnuss owt uv offis, an git the Government in their own handz, an then do whatever the Suthern Confabulary wantz em tu, an then we kan have Peace agin, an then we’ll turn an hang the cussed ablishnuss fur bringin on this infunal nigger war.
from yore luvin Son,
Now Mr. Edatur thatz Efrumz lettur an themz mi sentymentz to an I think he sites in a wa tu soot the timze.
P.S. Posekript. Little Karl woz awful tickled when he read hiz conundrum in the Jurnal, an he wantz me tu send yew sum uv hiz Highfalootin, as folloze, instead uv “drinkin a glass of Clabber,” he sez “Imbibing from a crystal goblet, a quantity of the lacteal secretion of domesticated individuals of the bovine species, in a state of acidulous congulation,” an “dodging the kwestyon,” he sez “A circumlocutory evasion of the proposed interrogatory,” an a “pot uv bilin water” he sez iz “A metallic receptacle containing a quantity of aqueous fluid in a state of violent calorific abolition,” insted uv sayin “a tallow candle” he sez “An antiquated though ingenious contrivance for the gradual ignition of the oleaginous substance of the bovine species inducing luminous emanations which render circumadjacent objects optically apparent to the visual organs of human bipeds,” insted uv sayin “A constant drop will wear a hole in a rock” he sez “A persistent recurrence of the frequent precipitation of diminutive globular portions of aqueous fluid on the surface of dense concretion of earthy matter will eventually abrade an excavation in the same.” Now them iz what little Karl callz Highfalootin but I don’t never kno what he meanz by sich talk til after he explainz it tu me. K.B.
→ A Wisconsin paper records the good luck of a citizen of Niles village, who while bathing in the river, discovered, after an industrious “scrub” of his person of about five minutes, a pair of drawers which he had lost two years before.
→ Navigation on the Upper Mississippi will soon be closed for the season. The ice is so plenty that boats have already ceased running farther up than Prairie du Chien.
→ There is said to be a great scarcity of steamboat hands on the Missouri River. The steamboats are now paying fifty dollars per month for such deck hands as they can get, and they are scarce at that.
At Brown’s Hotel, Oct. 23d, by Rev. J. B. Metcalf, Mr. Oscar W. Warren and Miss Minerva O. Dunbar, both of Fulton county.
On Sabbath afternoon, Nov. 9th, in this city, by the same, Mr. William Henry and Miss Nancy Jane Casto, of this county.
In this city on the 5th inst., Emma M. Provins, wife of W. W. Provins, in the 22d year of her age.
In this city on the 13th inst., Dr. James D. Walker, in the 35th year of his age.
In this city on the 16th inst., Mrs. Eveline W., wife of J. R. Cummings, Esq., in the 34th year of her age.
In Scotland township on the 16th inst., Mr. Allen Tungate, in the 50th year of his age.
In this city on the 19th inst., Albro Kinglsey, youngest son of James K. and Mary R. Magie, aged 3 years, 9 months and 13 days.
November 22, 1862
U. S. Senator.
One of the most important matters before the next Legislature will be the election of a member of the United States Senate. As the Democrats have a majority, we know that a true friend of the Constitution and Union will be elected – one who will not calmly and silently see the White House despot violating the Constitution and destroying one after another the rights of American citizens. Our contemporaries are already suggesting the names of gentlemen whom they prefer for the station. Among these we hear of Judge Higbee, W. A. Richardson, S. S. Marshall, Col. T. L. Dickey, and probably there are others yet to be mentioned. Either of these gentlemen would ably and efficiently represent our State in the councils of the nation. As a choice, we have no hesitation in saying that the people of McDonough county would select Judge Higbee. An able judge, a firm Democrat, a talented gentleman, a stanch defender of the constitutional rights of the citizen, and a bold advocate of the right in all cases, his election to the Senate would redound to the credit of the State.
When Texas was annexed to the United States, the Legislature of Massachusetts passed a resolution of secession, declaring that State absolved from its allegiance to the Constitution and out of the Union. Mr. Lincoln being a member of Congress shortly after this action of Massachusetts, made the following declaration in the course of a speech. We think it settles the question as to who, of our public men, is the original secessionist:
“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have a right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable and most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, putting down a minority, intermingled with or near about them, who may oppose their movements. Such minority was precisely the case of the tories of our own revolution. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines or old laws; but to break up both and make new ones.”
→ Government is about to order better paper for currency, that in use being utterly worthless – we mean of course the paper.
The Railroad Mail. – The distance from Macomb to Chicago is 208 miles and the running time on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad is usually about 10 hours. – The mail carried over the same road is about 24 hours in getting from Chicago to Macomb. This is greatly to the annoyance of business men on that part of the line between Galesburg and Quincy. Why the mail cannot be brought through in the same time that is made by regular trains, is more than we can understand. We are told that the mail lies over at Galesburg some 12 or 14 hours. – There is certainly no good reason why this should be done. We do not know whether the fault is with the railroad managers, the route agents, or some other man. But we do know that the business people along the line want it corrected.
Cows Killed. – A cow belonging to Mr. G. W. Curtis was killed on the railroad one night last week, and another belonging to Mr. Jos. Burton was killed on Wednesday last, by trains running faster than the corporation ordinances prescribe. There has been for some time a disposition manifested by the railroad authorities to disregard the municipal regulation of their running time through town, and even ordinary care seems to be no longer exercised to prevent the killing of stock. We advise the managers to require their subordinates to exercise common caution in running through town. Especially is this the more incumbent upon them, while there is no redress for the damage they may commit. – Wanton violations of ordinances which were made to protect our citizens from unnecessary loss will not always be tolerated with impunity.
We have received a note from an inmate of the hospital at Quincy, stating that a lady would visit the people of this county next week, to solicit contributions for the sick and wounded in that hospital. We have mislaid the note and cannot give the names, but we trust our citizens will be liberal in their donations to the afflicted.
Just Received. – John Venable has just received direct from the manufactory, where he has them made to his order, annother lot of those superior “Hoosier Jeans,” which he says will be sold at a reasonable price. Give him a call.
→ Hugh Ervin, Esq., has been appointed assistant assessor of national taxes for McDonough County.
D. A. Mahony, editor of the Dubuque Herald, and David Sheward, editor of the Fairfield (Iowa) Constitution and Union, have been released from imprisonment and have returned home. The dispatch says they were “honorably discharged.” They were in prison at Washington, hundreds of miles from the State where they live and to whose laws and courts they were amenable, three months. They were never informed of the cause of their arrest. They were never tried by a jury of their peers. They never had a trial or examination at all. The writ of habeas corpus was refused them. They were arrested and imprisoned in violation of the Constitution and laws, and they were “thrust our privily, being American citizens.” Who says this is not a free county? Who says this administration is not the best the sun ever shone upon?
From the 84th Regiment.
Camp near Columbus, Ky., Nov. [?]
Again I find opportunity to drop you a line. On the 1st of October the 84th regiment was placed in the 1st brigade (Col. Gross, commanding), in the 4th division (Gen. Smith, commanding), and on the same day set out as a part of the grand army to drive Bragg out of Kentucky. After two or three days march we heard the cannon booming ahead, and the boys expected soon to try their hand at fighting. Before reaching Mt. Washington the regiment was thrown into line of battle, but enemy was gone. Only a rear guard of a few hundred cavalry checked the march of the whole army, or at least that portion on the road to Bardstown. The next day it was nearly the same – skirmishing ahead nearly every day, until within a few miles of Perryville, when we heard cannon again, and pushed forward for a fight. Gen. Cook’s division and some others were approaching Perryville on the Bloomfield road, and near Perryville encountered a heavy force of the enemy. On the road we were on there was scarcely any force, only enough to hold the right of our army in check. We heard heavy firing on the left from 10 or 11 o’clock in the morning, and before noon Gen. Buell and staff were on a hill in plain view of us. Being on the right wing, we had only slight skirmishing, in which not a man was injured. The battle was fought some three miles to our left. Had the right been thrown forward and a general engagement been brought on, the campaign of Kentucky, it seems probable, would have ended here. But Buell would not risk a battle.
Near Danville we were halted two or three days, and then marched forward and back, until Bragg could get a good start. Then we came through town, with music playing, colors flying, and no enemy near. Now we made some long marches; were called up at midnight and marched until daylight, rested an hour, and marched nearly all day. The enemy, it was said, had made a stand at Crab Orchard, but a slight skirmish was the finale. Here we come to a rough country indeed; we thought that we had seen hills before, but from Crab Orchard to Wild Cat, where a battle was fought a year ago, we found them higher and steeper and longer than before. In this trip there was an almost continual skirmish in front, and day by day a battle expected, at least expected by the soldiers. Wild Cat is a high range of hills, ten miles from Rockcastle river in Laurel county; the position is strong, and was fortified by our troops a year ago. Here we had heavy skirmishing and halted. Laid by a couple of days, to give Bragg a good start; then took the crookedest road east from Wild Cat that a white man ever traveled, some seven miles to the cross roads, on the main turnpike from Crab Orchard to Cumberland Gap. Here the regiment left knapsacks and marched out 16 or 17 miles and back again, entirely without provisions, the same day; it nearly used them up, and there are many in the regiment that have not yet recovered from the effect of that day’s march. After a day’s rest, back we went to Wild Cat; thence on the same road we came to Mount Vernon; here we took the road to Somerset, 25 miles distant. It was on the 25th ult. that we set out, and the same night were overtaken by a heavy snow storm. Our tents, and more, all our camp equipage was left at Louisville, and we had thought it rather rough to lie out on the ground with a single blanket, when the nights were chill and frosty, but when the snow fell six or eight inches the boys thought it was awful. The next day we reached Somerset, many suffering severely with cold, the roads being very snowy at first, then muddy and slushy; many had worn out their shoes, and I saw blood on the snow along the road from the feet of soldiers. Is this the way Uncle Sam treats his soldiers? Rested one day and then set out for Columbia, 45 miles distant; marched three miles the first day, seven miles the second, twenty miles the third, and the balance by 1 o’clock the fourth, and this was done on two days rations; in fact we have been on half rations nearly half the time for the past ten days – is this the war Uncle Sam treats his soldiers? There is much complaint of the treatment of the treatment the Eighty-fourth regiment is and has been receiving, and well there may be, for since we entered Kentucky more than three hundred men have become unable to do duty; exposure, hard marching and short rations have thus thinned the ranks. Many of the above number are left at hospitals and will eventually rejoin the regiment, and many too have their health so injured that will never recover. The worst phase of the campaign is that nothing has been accomplished; Bragg has escaped through Cumberland Gap, with nearly all the army stores collected during the summer in the richest part of Kentucky. The soldiers here cursed Gen. Buell continually, but what does this amount to? The General controls the army, the Cabinet the General. We were informed at Mt. Vernon that we should go into winter quarters at Somerset; at Somerset were informed that tents, overcoats, shoes, blankets, &c., were at Columbia, and we should rest at least a week there. We came yesterday, and are to march to Glasgow tomorrow morning, and have got only a few shoes for those actually barefooted – no tents, overcoats or blankets, and these November nights are rather chilly. Is this the way Uncle Sam uses his soldiers? For myself I do not complain, my health has improved constantly, and I enjoy the rough hard life I am leading, and take some rich notes by the wayside. Received the Eagle up to the 18th ult. Much obliged. Yours, &c.,
L. A. Simmons.