December 5, 1862
It seems now impossible to issue a paper and not allude to the ever pressing inquiry, what news from the seat of war? The fact is that the war now has so many seats that we can scarce keep the run of military matters. The old enemy of the army of the Potomac – the interminable Virginia mud – is again holding the splendid army of Burnside as in a vice. Whoever is to blame it now seems not unlikely that this magnificent body of men with all their military ardor and accouterments must again be locked up by winter on the banks of the Rappahanock, and do no further fighting at present. This is not only mortifying to all true patriots, but is cruel and horrible to the poor fellows who have so long panted for a fight further south. How many of our soldiers will languish with fevers, rheumatisms and lung diseases, more fatal even than battle itself, before another summer? And yet it looks like madness to attempt a champaign in the dead of winter with an army of 200,000 to 300,000 men in front to dispute every pass. The rebels would be in close proximity to their supplies and each partial defeat would only make them fall back the nearer to Richmond the centre of their military stores and armories, whilst we would be lengthening out the distance to ours at each onward march. The commissary and quartermaster supplies for such an army as that now encamped on the Rappahanock, far exceeds any estimates of those not familiar with the subject, and would be in the rains and snows of winter literally impracticable.
Still we see extraordinary preparations are making to organize and send out an expedition under Gen. Banks to make a descent some where on the coast of Secessia. This mode of warfare is practicable during the winter months and seems now likely to be undertaken as the main move of the army in the East.
Gen. Rosecrans, full of the energies of a resolute nature, and a burning patriotism, is penetrating deeply the heart of the confederacy – into the very center of the corrupt districts that headed the rebellion. They are now tasting the bitter fruits of their perilous teachings, and we trust South Carolina and Georgia will soon be made to participate deeply in this chastisement. Should Banks and Rosecrans be acting in concert, and the rebellious States cut in two by way of Chattanooga and Mobile or Chattanooga and Charleston, it would certainly weaken greatly the energies of the rebels.
Gen. Grant ever active and daring, also boards the lion in his den, and has now progressed so far south that winter best suits his advance. Acting in concert with powerful demonstrations along the lower Mississippi, we confidently look for a speedy opening of that noble National stream to the use of the entire valley washed by its waters. This is as it should be. We may look for decided benefits to Western trade from this move before the opening of upper navigation in the spring.
This will leave to the columns advancing from Missouri into Arkansas, and that advancing from Helena on the Mississippi, in the same direction, little to do before finishing up the rebellion west of the Mississippi. Soon the extensive districts of Texas, West Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, will be permanently reclaimed.
In view of this aspect of this south of Richmond, it becomes a question whether an advance against their labored fortifications there, will pay the cost of money and men necessary to conquer it. If the cotton States and the extreme West are cut off from Richmond, the work of subduing the rebels is done.
En Passant, ILL., Dec. 1.
Mr. Edatur: The uther day I woz a reedin the nuzepaperz and smokin mi pipe, an little Karl woz eatin sum gingerbread, and when I got threw reeding, I commenst denownsin the Ablishnuss, fur bein sich phanatichul agitators, an I sed if it hadent a bin fur the Ablishnuss, an Agitaterz, an their everlasting talkin, an riten, abowt the nigger kwestyon, there woodent a bin no war, but we’d allerz a had peace, an the South cood a spread slavery into the free Terrytoryz, an Southern Staitzmen and Northern Dowphasez with dimmykrat prinserpulz, wood still a rooled the Nashon, jus like they allerz did before, and then this wood soon a bin the greatest Kuntrey on the hole face uv the yearth, an then Uncle Sam wood a reached owt wan uv his handz, an a took Cuba into hiz fosterin boozum, an a stretched owt hiz uther arm, an drawed Mexico into hiz ardent embracez, an then after gittin a good long breath, he’d a swallered Central Ameriky, on South Ameriky at a single gulp, an not a winked at it neether, an he’d a took the Troppick uv Kanser for a necktie, an the Equyaschshul Line fur a belt, an the Troppick of Koprykorn fur shoestringz, an then he’d a put the Sandwich Islandz in won uv hiz pocketz, an the West Injeez in the uther, an then a shouldered up Novyskoshy an Kanady to make him walk steddy, an abowt that time the American Eagle wood a giv sich a dkysplittin scream uv triumph, that the uther Nashunz wood a trimbled in their bootz, an a cum rite in, an took shelter under itz protecktin wingz.
An I sed that we’d then a had so much rich landz an hot clymit, that we’d a reopened the Affraken Slave Trade agin, an a kidnapped awl uv the wild heethunz in Affryka, an a fotch em over the Oshun, an a harnessed em intu the Peculyer Institooshun, an a give m the Krischun Religion, by havin laws aginst learnin em how to reed the Bible, an a made em wait on us, an work fur us, an raise cotton an rice, an sugar, an tobacker, an cinnamon, an spices, an myrrh, an frankincense, ets., &c., fur us an all “the rest uv mankind,” an then the white folkz woodent have to work enny, but evry man cood have az many niggerz az he wanted, an work em, an buy em, an sell em, an whip em, an breed em, az much az he pleezed, jist the way the Skripterz layz it down, an abowt them dayz the millennium wood a cum quicker than yew cood snap yore fingerz.
But the Ablishnuss, by their phanatekul agitashun, haz rewinated all theze phine prospecks, an nockt the millennium into a cockt hat, by their everlasting talkin, an ritin, abowt the nigger kwestyon, an by opposing the spread uv slavery into the free Terrytoryz, an by kwotin frum the Decklyrashun uv Independence abowt all men bein created equal, and havin a right tu life liberty an the persoot uv happynuss, an by sayin that the Krischun Religion iz furnenst the Peculyer Institooshun, an that the Bible recognizez the Universal Brotherhood of man, etc., &c., an all sich blasted lies az these. An I told Karl that I woz in favor uv havin sum laws made, that wood put the Agitatorz in the Penitentiary for life, an hang evry Ablishnuss that dares to say a word aginst the Divine Right uv Slavery.
When I sed this little Karl kinder spunkt up on a suddint, an sez he, Grandaddy, yew are an old man, an your gray hairz demandz uv me the most respeckful deference in addressing yew, but allow me to as to your wonst fur all, that I am a Ablishnuss, an a Agitator, an I shall remain an Ablishnuss, an continue to be an Agitator uv the outrageous wrongs, and damning iniquities uv human bondage, jist az long az there iz an honest man, or woman, or child, wearing the galling chainz uv slavery on the face uv God’s green earth.
I know the slaveholderz, an their dowphase friendz, iz always a kwotin frum the Bible, an tryin to pervert the Skripterz, in their attemptz tu justyphy slavery, but let me tell yew where they learnt that trick. When the Son of God woz a bein tempted by the Evil One, the Devil had the impudence tu kwote frum the Skripterz in favor uv hiz rascality, an ever since then, whenever there iz a scheme uv iniquity, or a vile system uv oppression set on foot, wy then wicked men, an compromizers with the wrong, always follerz the Devil, an goze in knwotin frum the Bible, an tryin tu pervert the Skripterz tu justyphy their infernal raskality.
And now while this withering cause, this damning blight, this foul blot, this perpetual shame, this burning disgrace, this astounding aggregation of wickedness, this vast hotbed of concubinage, this enormous den of lewdness, this stupendous cage of foul birds, this blood-stained relic of barbarians, human slavery is tottering on its sulphur-fuming throne, there are men to be found in the free and christian North, who are so lost to all sense of shame, so besotted in ignorance and prejudice, and so abandoned to the evil imaginations of their own wicked hearts, that they resort to the Bible, and invoke the name of Christ and his Gospel, in their mad and fruitless search for props with which to prolong the life of their monstrous, and furry-crowned Idol, human slavery. The Eternal One is most assuredly in the act of expelling this Devil of Slavery out of our Nation, but it is casting us down, and rending us sadly before it goes out.
Men of America, will you still look quietly on, will you yet hold your peace, while this essence of all iniquities, this sum of all villainies, this vast conglomeration of all the evil that wicked men and devils ever imagined, this hell-begotten leprosy of human chattelism, remains to curse Society, outrage Humanity, defy Heaven, and disgrace the very name of men.
Well, Mr. Edatur, when little Karl woz dun making that speech, I felt so awful mean that I coodent sa a word to him, an I sneaked off owt uv the house, an I haint sed nuthin tu him abowt the Ablishnuss, an the nigger kwestyon since.
Our Public Schools.
We are now so much engaged with matters relating to the war that domestic duties escape our attention. We alluded last week to the noiseless influence for good, that was constantly being excited by these institutions, and yet we fear that the blessing of free schools is not appreciated. Let our settlers who themselves have never enjoyed a youthful training in the elements of a good English education compare the present opportunities afforded by our excellenet institutions with the facilities they enjoyed when young, and some approximation may be made towards estimating their value. Four or five hundred of our youths are being daily trained at the public expense, to be good citizens, independent thinkers, fond of information and qualified to assume the responsibilities of society to which they are so soon to succeed. Is this a small matter?
It becomes the duty of all citizens to contribute by their example, their countenance and their co-operation, to sustain our schools, until they become the pride of our community. General education is the cheapest security against vice and crime, to which a nation or community can resort. And yet there are, we fear, many of our citizens who think but little of the elevating and softening influence of our city schools.
Whilst on this subject, can we not correct the habit of street-running which seems to possess quite a number of our boys? These tyroes are often seen around the doors of night schools, exhibitions, and even churches, at late hours, unbeknown to parents, or uncared for by them. The remedy for the wrong is that every family take care of their own brood, and not turn them loose to prey on the rights and peace of others. Make them work or study, or furnish them amusements at home, and do not indolently shirk the responsibility of caring for your own offspring. – Night is the season of crime, and no well regulated family can safely see their children roving the streets in quest of sport and excitement.
Ladies Sociable. – There will be a Sociable at the Randolph House, next Tuesday evening, for the benefit of the poor of the city. Each person attending will be expected to make a small contribution. All are invited to attend.
December 6, 1862
From the 84th Regiment.
Camp in Field at Silver Springs, Tenn.
Nov. 16th, 1862.
Editor Macomb Eagle: On the 1st inst., I wrote you from Columbia, Ky., and to-day again find time to drop you a line. We remained at Columbia only two days. Saw Dr. T. Q. Walker, formerly of Macomb, who kindly invited me to take supper with him – had not time for the pleasure. From Columbia we took the road to Glasgow, and the first day marched to Edmonton, some 24 or 25 miles, the second to Glasgow, 15 or 16 miles, where we found Adjutant Chas. E. Waters, with some forty or fifty of the regiment who had been at the hospitals in Louisville. Here, too, we were glad to find our wagons, one for each company, with our tents and camp equipage, but it was not until the next night that we again had the pleasure of sleeping under cover – quite a luxury these frosty nights. The country from Columbia to Glasgow is much more level than we had seen for some time, and the farms looked more like yielding a living than those we had seen in Laurel and Ruckcastle counties. Glasgow is a place of 600 or 800 inhabitants, most of whom, I learn, are strong “secesh.” At this place we got new pants, shoes, and another blanket each, so that we were prepared to live quite comfortably. We remained at G. until the 8th inst., when we set out for Scottsville, on the turnpike from Louisville to Nashville, marched about 22 or 23 miles and camped – a little tired you may guess. On the following morning passed through Scottville, a small but rather pretty place, and very unexpectedly were ordered to go into camp. The country from Glasgow to Scottville is the finest I’ve seen in Kentucky. There were some splendid farms along the road. Scottville is the county seat of Allen county, which is, and ever has been, strongly Union; the last test vote of the county was for Union 1143, for separation 265. – This county has furnished a good many volunteers, now in the Federal army. About noon on the 10th inst., set out on the road to Gallatin, Tenn. The turnpike on which we marched is the best I have ever seen, the grading almost equal to that of a railroad. – Crossed the State line and camped about mile this side. On the 11th marched some 17 or 18 miles through the finest country I’ve seen since I left Illinois. A large majority of the people in this vicinity are “secesh,” and about every camp the hogs, turkeys, geese, chickens, &c., are, in army language, “confiscated” – that is, they come into camp to help out the hard rations of the soldiers. Some of the citizens about here refused to take a greenback, or any northern State paper for provisions which the boys had bought of them; this being the case, who could blame the boys for bringing off the eatables without paying for them?
On the morning of the 12th inst. we passed through Gallatin, a place of some 1,800 or [obscured] well built, and has, from appearances, been a place of considerable business. Some of the residences in the vicinity were large and costly, and the shrubbery surrounding them the finest I ever saw. At Gallatin we turned south, and crossed the Cumberland river near Gallatin Landing, three miles from the town. The river was very low, only about three feet deep in the channel, the water as clear as crystal. Some eight miles after crossing the river we struck the turnpike from Nashville to Lebanon, and here camped, 6 miles from Lebanon, and about 22 miles from Nashville. The next day marched on the road to Nashville to this place, where Gen. Crittenden’s army corps is encamped.
There are now about 30,000 men encamped about these springs, which supply them and their horses. I never saw such springs before, but hope we may find the like often here in Dixie. We are now only about six miles from Hermitage, and if I could possibly leave camp I would like to visit the place where “Old Hickory” lived and died, but we are supposed to be in the immediate vicinity of the enemy, and there’s no getting outside the pickets. To-day we heard cannon west, or a little south of west of us, some six or eight miles distant, but have not yet heard what was going on – suppose it was a short skirmish with some of Bragg’s or Breckinridge’s scouts. We understand that the Confederate army of Tennessee is at Murfreesborough under the command of Bragg, some say Breckinridge; that said town is fortified, and that a stand will be made there. An attack has been anticipated here ever since we arrived, but I guess there is no danger at present.
The health of the regiment has improved slightly since I wrote you last. There are probably about six hundred men here, of which one hundred are unfit for duty, so that we could not go into battle with over 450 or 500 men out of 957 men who were members of the 84th when it entered Kentucky. At Glasgow, Abel P. Miller of Co. A, was slightly wounded in the thigh by the accidental shot of a revolver. Jack Kensey, of Co. F, crippled himself for life while chopping wood – he accidentally cut off three of his toes. These are the only late casualties in the regiment. Most of the boys who have “stood the pressure: this far, are in fine health and spirits. We are in a fine country, where game, i.e. hogs, turkeys, chickens, &c., is quite plenty. The boys contrive to get such articles into camp, notwithstanding the orders to the contrary; in fact we have one of the best Colonels in the service. He is never able to see any of his regiment catching game. The boys sometimes think he is rather strict, but when it comes to the test the Colonel is found to be “all right on the coon, pheasant or whatever it may be. The regiment is proud of its Colonel, for he will stand up for his regiment and see that they have their rights on all occasions.
Since I commenced writing this letter we have received a mail, which was most thankfully received. I received the Eagle of the 7th inst., containing the welcome election news. Old McDonough’s Democratic majority on the increase – “long may she wave.”
I don’t know whether we are doing any good or not down here, but we are now in hopes, since our transfer from the command of Gen. Buell to that of Gen. Rosecrans, that we can do something towards ending the war speedily. I believe I’ve written all the news, so will close, by wishing well all my friends in old McDonough.
Yours truly, L.A. Simmons.
→ By the letter we publish this week it will be seen that the 84th regiment have been furnished with clothing suitable for a winter campaign. Two companies of that regiment are from this county, and their friends at home will be glad to know that the absent ones are comfortably clad. We who remain at the old homes have no excuse for being pinched with the winter’s cold, for we have only to step into the old established clothing house of Adler & August, and purchase whatever our fancy chooses. Mr. Wm. Manning, the attentive and gentlemanly clerk, will show goods with the greatest pleasure.
Game Depot. – Mr. B. F. Goodrich, one door south of Adler & August’s seems to almost monopolize the trade in prairie chickens, turkeys, chickens, fish, ducks, etc. Those who have game to see can dispose of it there, and those want to buy can always find a stock, in good condition, at his store. Mr. G’s stock of general groceries is of the best quality and offered at the lowest figures. – Give him a call.
→ G. W. Kruse wishes the people to understand that he still “runs the machine,” and is able to supply any demand for articles in the line of groceries and confectionaries. He also furnishes lunch to the hungry, got up in good style, and at low figures. Look at his big advertisement and give him a call.