Macomb Weekly Journal
February 6, 1863
Headquarters, 59th Ill. Vols.
Near Murfreesboro, Jan. 6, 1863
Col. Sidney Port:
Sir: In compliance with an order from brigade headquarters, I respectfully submit the following report.
The regiment which I have the honor to command, broke up camp 7 miles south of Nashville early on the morning of Dec. 26th, the men carrying three days rations in their haversacks, all of our camp equipage and transportation having been ordered within the fortifications at Nashville.
As we approached Nolensville, my whole regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and did efficient service in feeling for the enemy and driving in his pickets, who took refuge in the houses in the out skirts of the town, [obscured] until they were finally driven out and [obscured].
The regiment was then assembled, and formed the left of the line of battle of the 1st brigade, as it moved up on the enemy’s batteries and cavalry south of the town, driving him from his position, with a loss of one or more of his guns.
We lay on our arms that night, and next day moved forward and went into camp near Triune, where we remained all the day following; and on the morning of the 29th took up our line of march for Murfreesboro. The continued heavy fighting in front gave evidence of the near proximity of the enemy.
Bivouaced that night, and at an early dawn next morning, (30th) we were on the march, moving by the front in line of battle.
By noon it became evident the enemy were in force in our front, at that time I was ordered with my regiment to support Capt. Pinney’s (5th Wis.) battery. During the p.m. Capt. Pinney opened fire upon the enemy’s battery, where my men were exposed to the shot and shell of the enemy’s fire. After Capt. Pinney had either silenced or driven his battery from the field, we [obscured] and bivouacked until morning. That night was very cold, and the men suffered very much from its effects.
At daylight on the morning of the 31st, we were in line of battle, in full view of the enemy, who appeared to be moving to our right in strong force.
I was then ordered, together with Capt. Pinney’s battery, to hold ourselves as a reserve, and were moved a short distance to the rear, at the same time the line of battle was formed in our front, and the firing became heavy both on our right and left.
It soon became evident that the enemy was closely pressing our right, and our lines [blurred] extended rapidly in that direction, and my regiment and Capt. Pinney’s battery were ordered to the front, to engage the enemy across an open field. I immediately faced my command in the direction indicated and moved forward, in good order; at the same time the large lines of the enemy appeared on the opposite side of the field, moving directly to our front. – When we approached within a short musket range I ordered my men to fire and lay down and load, which order was promptly responded to, at the same instant the enemy’s balls came whistling over us in awful proximity to our heads.
I do not know how long we remained in that position, but my men poured in a deadly and destructive fire upon the enemy, who had to lay down to avoid its terrible effects, until regiment after regiment on our right gave way, and I reluctantly received the order to fall back. At the same instant Capt. Penney was severely wounded and the horses from two of his guns, were either killed or wounded, and my men gallantly took hold and assisted to haul the guns from the field by hand, exposed all the while to a deadly fire of the enemy’s musketry, grape, and canister shot.
We continued to move to the rear in reasonable good order, forming twice and firing upon the pursuing enemy, until we were out of the range of his fire, when we formed and awaited orders from our brigade commander.
When the brigade was reformed and moved to the front and took position in line of battle, where we remained during the mainder of the day and the succeeding night.
My regiment took part in all the subsequent movements made by our brigade as the present time.
I cannot speak too highly in praise of the bravery displayed by the officers and men of my command, they all nobly done their duty.
To Captains M. B. Veach and J. M. Slookey, acting field officers, I would return my especial thanks for the very efficient aid they rendered me, and the promptness with which they executed my orders during the series of battles and skirmishes in which we have been engaged during this campaign.
I can but admire and commend the patience and fortitude exhibited by the officers and men under my command, during the present campaign. Part of the time on short rations, and all the time exposed to the inclemency of the weather, without tents or blankets, and [obscured] to bivouac in presence of the enemy, without fire, yet no complaints uttered, all were willing and anxious to do their duty.
H. E. Paine,
Capt. Com’d’g, 59th Ill.
The News of the Week.
This has been an exciting week in the history of the country. The dogs of war have been let loose in the West, and echoed back in the East, disaster in the South but victory in the North; close on the heels of the intelligence of our defeat at Galveston, comes the more cheering information of a decided victory at the already historic Fort Donaldson. The rebel Forrest attacked our troops with a force some 3,000 or more strong. The repulse was complete and thorough. Again we have been successful at Island No. 10. Our forces under General Ashboth repulsed the enemy at all points; but while rejoicing over it, we are startled by the astounding news from Charleston, the hotbed of rebeldom, that our blockading fleet had been entirely destroyed by the rebel iron-clads. However, before we have become reconciled to the disaster, dispatch No. 3 arrives, and the defeat has become beautifully less, and turns out to be the loss of only two of our celebrated “wood wars” vessels, and this is still to be entertained with some degree of allowance, as the only information we are in possession of is obtained through rebel sources.
The Secesh are Coming.
The Democratic Central Committee have called a grand secesh pow-wow in this city on Saturday next. We presume the traitors will all be on hand, and we presume that resolutions will be adopted and condemning the war and the Government – in favor of exterminating the abolitionists, and opposed to hurting the traitors. We by no means expect to see all the Democrats out on that day, for we believe the majority of the party would be ashamed to engage in any such movement, but we do expect to see a crows of whisky drinking, secesh loving, Union hating scamps on hand, ready to engage in any work that their master Jeff. Davis may require of them. Ross and Harris, a couple of political demagogues, are advertised to talk to the crowd.
Treason in Fulton County.
The Chicago Times of a late date, contains a set of resolutions passed by a Democratic peace meeting in Fulton county. These resolutions are of the most treasonable character. After going on in the usual manner of these peece meetings, and condemning every measure of the Government for putting down the rebellion, and declaring that the right of their “southern brethren” have been trampled upon by the tyrannical Lincoln, they declare that it is their intention to resist a draft or any attempt to arrest traitors in that county by force of arms. And yet these men call themselves peace men – Union-loving and law-abiding Democrats. And in the same resolutions in which they declare their unalterable determination to stand by the “Constitution as it is and the Union as it was,” they resolve that they are in favor of the northwest joining the fortunes of the Southern Confederacy. If such conduct is not treason, then we confess that we are at a loss for a true definition of the term. The resolutions go on to laud Gen. Jackson, and intimate that they are following in his footsteps, when the miserable scamps know that if Gen. Jackson was to-day in the Presidential chair he would strangle every mother’s son of them. If ever men deserved to hang these dirty tools of Jeff. Davis richly deserve such a fate, and if we are not much mistaken, they are pursuing the very course to bring about that to loyal men very desirable end.
Busy Times. – The past week has been a pretty busy time in this city. – The improved condition of the roads and the improvement in the price of grain, is the cause of the unusual bustle. On Saturday last, we counted at one time nineteen loads of corn and grain coming in on one street. A very large amount of grain must have been sold here in the past week.
What do they Want.
The rebels are continually declaring through their papers, that they are determined not to listen to any terms of peace or compromise short of an absolute recognition of their independence. They declare that under no circumstances can they be induced to come back into the Union, or in any manner connect themselves with the hated Yankees of the North. They even declare that they will not allow any of the free States to come into their free Government – that they are determined to fight until they secure their independence or are exterminated. That they will not consent to an armistice unless with the understanding that it is a preliminary step to their recognition as an independent nation by the United States.
They declare that all the schemes of the Vallandingham’s, Wood’s and Seymnour’s to bring about a reconstruction of the Union, are in vain – in short that there is a wide and impassable gulf between the free and slave States that no compromise or political scheme can possibly bridge over. Certainly these are the declarations of the rebels, and to all appearances they are in earnest and mean just what they say. We believe they are. We believe that they will fight until they accomplish their object, or until they are thoroughly whipped. Consequently we are opposed to all compromises on this ground if no other – that all such attempts will only excite the ridicule of the rebels without accomplishing any thing. We are in favor of whipping them into the terms that they will not be coaxed into. But we would like to know what the peace Democracy want. All their efforts thus far to consiliate the rebels have failed to meet one word of encouragement from them. They have been down upon their knees before Jeff. Davis and entreated him to make terms with them, but he has treated their proffered friendship with scorn and contempt at conciliation has only had the effect of increasing that contempt. Then what under the Heavens do these men want. They know that they cannot compromise, they know that the only way to preserve the Union as it was and the Constitution as it is, is to fight the traitors that have assailed them both.
What other conclusion can a man come to than that these men do not desire to see the National flag wave to triumph over a land unsevered by treason. All of their protestations to the contrary are false. They are not Union men. If they were they would not oppose the only course that can secure the perpetuity of the Union. They are traitors to their Government and want to see it destroyed. They are no less malignant in their hatred of free institutions than is Jeff. Davis, but they lack the courage and manliness to attack it in the same way and with the same weapons.
Robbery. – We understand that the dwelling of Wm. Fair was entered on Tuesday last while the family were absent, and about one hundred dollars stolen therefrom. Mr. Fair had been saving the money a little at a time in order to pay off a claim on some land, and being a poor man the loss will fall heavily upon him. It’s a pity that such scamps as this robber must have been, could not accidentally run against a bullet just as it leaves the muzzle of a pistol.
Louisville, Ky., Jan. 27.
The 78th Regiment finds itself once more in the city of Louisville. For nearly four months our regiment has been divided and doing duty as bridge guards from on the railroads running south from Louisville. About a week since we received notice that we were to take the field for more active service, and on Sunday evening about 9 o’clock the remaining eight companies of our regiment arrived by railroad in this city. We occupied the cars until morning. – During the night it rained heavily, and it continued to rain through the next day. During the day we moved with all our equippage, &c., to a camping ground in the eastern suburbs of the city. The rain and mud made the work of erecting tents, &c., very disagreeable. Several of the companies found quarters for the night in adjacent buildings. Our sick have been brought on and placed in the hospitals at this place. Those who have been sick or disabled for a considerable length of time, with no prospect of immediate recovery, will be discharged without delay. J. L. Pennington, of Industry, was discharged last week. He has been sick a long time with fever, and now has but little use of his limbs. J. Nichols, of co. H is in a similar condition, and will receive a discharge in a day or two. Dr. D. M. Creel and B. Pittman, of Industry, remained at New Haven. The Doctor was very sick the day we left, with symptoms of typhoid fever. The following, of co. I. went to the hospital on their arrival in this city:
Z. M. Garrison, has been quite sick but is now much better.
C. Carndham, sick with fever, but improving.
W. Wilhelm, getting better.
G. S. Decamp, mumps.
John Gibson, taken sick yesterday.
James C. Buchanan, fever.
We shall probably remain here not more than two or three days. Our destination is supposed to be up the Cumberland. J. K. M.
Wednesday 28 – We have just received orders to prepare to board the transports. Our destination is Nashville. The paymaster informs us that he will pay us on board the boats. We have received new arms – the new Springfield rifle. The boys are all in good spirits. Weather – raw winds, cold and cloudy. J. K. M.
Child Burned. – A sad accident occurred in this city on Wednesday last, which resulted in the death of Ida Hovey, daughter of Lieut. Hovey. It appears that the child’s mother left the house for a few moments, and the child a little girl six years of age, commenced playing around the stove, when her clothing caught fire. She rushed out into the street and by her cries attracted the attention of some persons by, who tore her clothing off as soon as possible, but the child was so badly burned that she only lived about three hours. This should be a warning to mothers not to leave their children alone in the house for a moment, when they can get to the fire.
St. Valentine’s Day. – February 14th is St. Valentine’s day, and we presume that as old, Cupids darts will fly thick and fast. The little archer has made his headquarters at Clarke’s News Depot, where can be found Valentines pretty, Valentines loving, and Valentines sentimental. – All who want to improve St. Valentine’s Day will do well to call at the News Depot.