December 12 and 13, 1862

*Due to lack of resources, there is no material from the Macomb Journal this week.

Macomb Eagle
December 13, 1862

Our Terms for 1863

            As previously intimated, we are compelled to make an increase in our subscription terms for the next year.  The increase of paper in price has been fifty per cent. within two months, ink thirty per cent., and other articles consumed in proportion.  We must therefore increase the price of The Eagle, or quit publishing it.  We prefer the former, and are satisfied the Democrats of this county will cordially sustain us, and freely give us a price that will enable us to live.  The terms hereafter will be $1.50 a year.  This will be charged upon all subscriptions accruing from this date.

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The President’s Message.

            Last week we published an abstract of the President’s message, which pretty accurately reflects the tone and spirit of the document.  We do not think it necessary to bore our readers with more of it.  As an evidence of the purposes of the administration, and of the principles of the predominant faction, it is not the less dangerous for being clumsy and imperfect.  It proposes a series of measures which, if adopted, must wholly subvert our system of government, and erect upon its ruins a great centralizing and absorbing despotism.  The weak note of complaint uttered against foreign powers, because they have not yet receded from their recognition of the seceding States as belligerents, would have been entitled to more consideration, if the administration itself had not in every way thus recognized them – by negotiations, cartels of exchange, by releasing parties convicted of piracy, and treating alleged traitors as prisoners of war.  The refusal of foreign governments on the Continent to adopt into citizenship the free negroes whom the President proposes to colonize, seems to give him great pain.  Hayti and Liberia are exceptions; but the negroes refuse to go to either of these places, much, as the President thinks, against their own interest.  The coolness with which the proposition is put forth to organize a general banking system, upon the basis of general stocks, by a sweeping act of Congress, is another indication of the obtuseness of views and the apathy of conscience, which characterize all the discussions of the President of questions of Federal authority and constitutional limitation.  It is intended to bring about an extinction of the State banks, and the substitution of an inferior system under the direction of the Federal government.  Its main design is to keep up the credit of the United States stocks, but this will be at the sacrifice of hundreds of millions of State securities, in which the people are already directly interested.  The President proposed no alteration of the Constitution to effect this revolution.  In regard to his favorite project of emancipation and colonization, he proposes such a change, and offers his crude amendments to Congress.  It is one that no State will ever assent to; and which no class affected by it – the whites who are to pay the expense, or the blacks who are to be the subjects of the experiment, will ever tolerate.  The arguments which are addressed to Congress to justify these serious changes, would excite mirth, if the sense of impending calamity did not repress the sense of the ludicrous.  Never before was such reasoning addressed to an intelligent people.  We are asked to abandon our government, and submit to usurpations and revolution, by appeals which only prove the imbecility of the author.  Unable to cite any precedent for his propositions he quotes himself as authority, and tells us he can no where else find his views so well expressed as in his own inaugural.  No where else indeed, for in crudity of ideas, “none but himself could be his ‘parallel.’” – Republics in other ages have been overthrown by artful conspirators or armed aggressions; and the knife of the assassin has struck down Liberty in the dark, or the sword of a military chief cleaved it on the battlefield.  No such dignified fate is offered to us by the Lincoln administration; but we see in its success, only the body of Liberty hacked and mangled by the dull knife of a miserable bungler.  But he will not succeed.  It is impossible for so much incapacity to successful in folly.

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The Alabama.

            The captain of the Tonawanda gives the following description of the rebel cruiser:

The Alabama is a splendid vessel, and the fastest under canvas that I have ever had my foot on board of, and I have no doubt she is the same under steam, as she has powerful machinery.  She is 375 feet long, entirely built, they say, of teak wood.  She is calculated to remain at sea as they like, as they condense all the water used.  They have now three hundred tons of coal on board, and the instance before is the only time they have raised steam since she has been out.  I do not think there is a ship in our navy can catch her. – Her armament is six 32 broadside guns, one 68 amidships, and one 100 pound rifled cannon amidships, forward of the mainmast.  I judge there were one hundred persons on board, mostly English men-of-war’s men.  I do not think there is an American born seaman on board.  There are two Charleston, two Savannah pilots on board.  They are trying to ship all the men they can out of every ship’s company taken on board, except our own ship, from which they took the black boy.

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Save Your Rags. – There is a tremendous excitement just now among printers, editors, and publishers, about the increase in the price of paper.  There is good cause for it.  One half the newspapers in this country must stop if the present high prices continue.  The whole difficulty might be avoided if more care was taken to save and collect cotton rags. – More rags are wasted annually than are sold to the paper markets.  It now becomes a patriotic duty upon the part of every housekeeper to economise in this matter – to save and sell everything about the house out of which printing paper can be manufactured.

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Pictures of the Rebellion. – An exhibition of pictures of incidents and battles of the war will be made at Campbell’s Hall on Saturday evening next.  There are some seventy pictures in all, which will be shown by means of the calcium light and made very distinct.  The exhibitor has lost a leg in the war, and appeals to the public to assist him in making a livelihood.

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From the 84th Regiment.

3 Miles Southeast of Nashville, Tenn.
Nov. 28th, 1862.

Dear Sir: I do not wish to intrude upon you, nor to occupy so much space in your paper as to exclude more interesting matter; yet I know it is the desire of many of the men in the 84th from McDonough county that I should write to you frequently, and I presume those who have friends in the regiment may find my dry letters passably interesting, hence, when time and opportunity permit, I shall continue to sketch our progress.

We remained in camp at Silver Springs, where my last was dated until the morning of the 19th inst., when we took the road to Nashville.  After marching some two and a half hours, in the rain, we came in sight of the “Hermitage,” where “old Hickory” the patriot hero and statesman passed his declining years.  We had not a very fair view of the place, as it is some sixty rods from the turnpike, and is almost completely surrounded by trees and shrubbery.  The rain prevented the bands of the brigade from playing, but the flags were spread to the breeze while passing, and not a few shouts were heard, as the several regiments came in sight of the place.  I should have been glad to have visited a place so much celebrated, but of course there was no opportunity.  A couple of miles further on we met some members of the 16th Ill., going out with a foraging train (of wagons) and were surprised to learn that said regiment was in camp on the west side of Stony River, two miles further on.  We crossed the river about noon; halted for dinner, and a few minutes afterward Captain Chapman came over to see us.  He appears to be in fine health, and in appearance has improved vastly since he left Macomb.  After halting an hour, we marched by the camp of the 16th, about a mile, and then turned southeast a mile or two and went into camp, only about a mile from them.  As soon as our tents were set, Joe. Waters, Thos. Whitehead and myself went over to make our old friends a visit.  We found them enjoying the the best of health, and living in better style than we are accustomed to in the 84th – the result of experience in camp life, no doubt.  Took supper with Capt. White and Lieut. Bartholomew, and breakfast Lieut. Cash, Orderly Lane and Marsh Burr.  Had the pleasure of spending the evening and talking over old times with the above named, Will Campbell, Tip Benham, Harry Gordon, Hainline, and others from Macomb and old McDonough.  The next day the 16th boys returned the visit, and as long as we remained so near each other the visiting went on.  The 16th, for some reason, got an ugly name soon after they went to Missouri, but I am now strongly inclined to doubt the truth of the charges against them, for their conduct and appearance, in every respect shows them to be gentlemen, and true, patriotic, wholesome soldiers.  Out stay in their vicinity was particularly pleasant, and you may guess we talked Macomb all over, and “tattled” about everybody left there.  We were encamped on a portion of the Jackson estate, and the boys spent no little of their spare time in digging green-brier roots, and making pipes.  You’ll some huge “Hermitage” pipes when they get home, some of singular shapes, some covered with singular devices.  When we first came here there was abundance of persimens all about our camp, sweet as honey, and delicious almost beyond description, but the army soon devoured them.  We had so pleasant a camp, that we were almost sorry when the order came to march on the evening of the 25th inst.  Again on the morning of the 26th we took the road towards Nashville, and supposed we were to pass through the city, but when within two or three miles of it, in sight of the State House, we turned off to the left, until we came to the Murfreesboro pike, when we again set our tents, and where we still remain.  Although we are only three miles from the famous city, the probability is that but few of the regiment will have the pleasure of visiting it, for only two commissioned officers from the regiment and one private from each company can go each day under the present orders.  If we stay here three days longer my turn will come to go, and if so fortunate, I may get to see the “elephant.”

Since we have been in the vicinity of Nashville we have had full rations, and as we have had no hard marching the health of the regiment has been improving.  There are many however, who have not yet recovered from the effects of the exposure to the weather before we got our tents and blankets.  If we had our overcoats and a few pair of socks and shirts to each company, we should be in a very comfortable condition.

We are in the midst of a great army; I have no definite idea of the number of men hereabouts, but only know that the country is covered with camps for miles around.  We hear today that Murfreesboro was evacuated yesterday, or rather taken by our troops after a sharp skirmish.  I doubt the correctness of the report, yet it may be true.  Some 18 or 20 pieces of artillery, and two brigades of troops have gone out in that direction today, which would indicate that if it has not, something will soon be done in that direction.  My impression is, that in course of a month we shall move in force in the direction of Chattanooga.

The regiment is very glad to get out from under the command of Gen. Buell, and are in much better spirits since under the control of Gen. Rosecrans.  They want no more such soldiering as they had in Kentucky.  Since we have been in the neighborhood of Nashville we have been able to obtain the daily papers, and have got posted up a little on the news of the day.  The news of the fall elections took many by surprise; they were not aware of the great change which for months has been going on in public opinion the country over.  The result in Illinois is particularly gratifying to me, as it gives the legislature an opportunity to place Judge Higbee, or some other good man, in the seat lately occupied by the lamented Douglas.

Yours Truly,                                                    L. A. Simmons.

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