February 21, 1863

Macomb Eagle
February 21, 1863.

Wholesale Swindling.

            The most disgraceful attempt at fraud and corruption, that has been exposed for many a day, was developed at the adjournment of the Legislature last Saturday.  The facts are briefly these: An appropriation bill was introduced into the Senate near two weeks ago, by Senator Mack, providing for $50,000 to be placed in the hands of the Governor ostensibly “for the relief of sick and wounded soldiers,” $2,500 for the Governor’s gardener, and about $8,000 in the way of extra compensation to the State officers. – The bill passed the Senate on Saturday and was reported to the House.  This bill was numbered 203.  A bill was before the House making the usual general appropriations for the next two years, but those large sums to the Governor and other State officers were not included in it.  This was House bill 202.  While the clerk was calling the ayes and noes on this bill, it was abstracted from the clerk’s desk and the Senate bill 203 was put in its place.  Both bills were in the same handwriting, and outwardly looked precisely alike.  When the vote was announced, the Senate bill with its glaring and enormous appropriations, was in the clerk’s hands and was certified to by him as having passed the House, when the fact was it had not even been read, much less voted upon.  The Senate bill was immediately enrolled and taken to the Governor and approved.  A member of the House accidentally saw the provisions of the bill in the hands of the enrolling clerk and immediately denounced the fraud.  The greatest excitement prevailed among the members.  In the meantime the House had adjourned, so that official action could not be taken to arrest the swindle.  A protest was drawn up, setting forth the facts, as we have detailed them, and it was signed by thirty-nine members of the House.

The republicans were in great glee and rejoiced hugely over their outrageous swindle.  Chief among them was Senator Mack, whose hand is traceable in all this villainy.  The Governor’s clerks, and aids, and loafers, and impudent black snakes generally were holding high carnival over the prospect of two years more sucking at the public teat.  They had the Democracy tight – and had secured money enough to carry the next election.  But there was a lion in the way, which they had not counted.  The ink was scarcely dry with which the Governor approved this iniquitous transaction, when with guilty haste he procured from the auditor a warrant for the $50,000.  The warrant was presented to the Treasurer, and it was not paid!  Imagine the blank astonishment of the corruptionists at this blasting of the hopes, this death-blow to their infamy.  The Governor swore to be revenged – he would neglect his duty – he would violate the constitution – he would do many terrible things, to show the representatives of the people that he could not be thwarted.  He would have his terms, or he would inaugurate rebellion against the peace and good order of the people.

Thus affairs were when we left Springfield.  Mr. Starne, the State Treasurer, will stand firm.  Let the people sustain the right.

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DISLOYALTY. – It is perfectly sickening and disgusting to read the diatribes of the republican papers on “disloyalty,” “disloyal men,” “disloyal practices,” &c.  Persons who have sanctioned every executive usurpation, every infraction of the Constitution, and every act of outrage on the people’s rights, talking about “disloyalty” as glibly as if they were the purest patriots in the universe!  Republicans and abolitionists prating about their “loyalty,” when there is not a line of the Constitution they have not deliberately repudiated! – Verily this world is turned topsey turvey.  The insufferable arrogance of such pretended patriots is the only equaled by their bitter toryism, which demands free, intelligent Americans that they should give up the right of private judgement and prostrate their minds and souls in abject submission to a one-man power.

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The Duty of Democrats.

            Outrage upon outrage upon the constitutional liberties of a law abiding and obedient people, by an unscrupulous and partisan administration, public opinion has worked up to a feverish, unhealthy condition, ready to explode and spread the dire destruction in every direction at any moment.  Then, we hold in such perilous times all acts of Democrats should be calm, firm, and determined.  A high position on all all the questions agitating the country should be taken, and nothing should be said or done, but what can and should be honorably maintained at all hazards.  The well being of the public peace should be studiously and calmly considered by all good citizens, and everything tending toward collision avoided as long as possible.

We do not wish to be understood as advocating a total silence on questions in which the people have a vital interest at stake; on the contrary, let all the acts and flagrant violations of those in power (and God knows they are many), be thoroughly discussed and ventilated before the people, so that he who runs may read and see the jeopardy in which we are placed by faithless public servants; but let it be done in such a manner as to accomplish the desired results – a healthy reaction in public sentiment, at the same time preserving the peace and social existence of our people.

So far our beautiful State has been spared the destroying and desolating effect of armies.  So far too, the Democracy have kept their skirts clear of the awful responsibilities of this terrible war.  Then as a law abiding, constitutional sustaining organization, is it not a prime duty of the Democracy to thus continue?  PEACE is our mission to day!  Justice and humanity of both the North and South are looking with anxious eyes to the Democratic and conservative element of the country for salvation.  And we would ask is it not a solemn obligation that this element throughout the land, should preserve and make peace?  Fellow citizens, the eyes of foreign nations, horrified at the terrible and useless carnage which has been rampant in once peaceful and happy America are now turned upon you as the only means of succor to our dying country.  In view of all these facts, shall the conduct of the Democracy be that of patriots and statesmen, or truculent factions like that of the miserable partisans governing us to-day?  If the shedding of blood in the North, is to be inaugurated as the legitimate results of the violations of the present corrupt administration, let every Democrat consider it a duty as sacred as from God to keep the fearful responsibility off his shoulders.  Avoid unnecessary violence; be determined and calm in your conduct and say nothing but what you are ready and willing to sustain if the sacrifice of your life be necessary.  These are indeed critical times and men should now act and act with judgment, firmness, and coolness.  Let the people, now the only salvation of our distracted country, keep to the old land marks and all will be well.  Heed not the howlings of abolition hirelings, stand firm by the Constitution and when the proper time arrives this usurpation and violence that is ruling with a rod of iron, will be hurled with a crash, such as this country never witnessed before, from power, by a justly indignant and wronged people into ignominious oblivion, by the ballot box.  The time is speedily coming when through a National Convention, which the people are bound to have, you will be called upon to give your verdict upon the present administration!  Then let that just retribution fall where it deservedly belongs, and of the Democracy and conservative men of the present day, future generations yet unborn will say BLESSED!

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Horrible Neglect of Sick and Wounded Soldiers.

            Below will be found a statement copied from the St. Louis Democrat which is enough to chill the blood of one’s veins.  Such a tale of neglect, exposure, starvation and death has had no equal during the war.  Here, within our lines, and among friends (?) on a hospital boat carrying the stars and stripes they had fought to save, these brave boys, the flower of the northwest; fathers, husbands, sons, brothers of ours, are left to sicken, starve and die like brutes!  Who is to blame we know not, but upon the skirts of some one rests the stain of precious blood.  At such a time it is a consolation to believe in a hell, in another world, for the especial benefit of those who escape their deserts in this.

The hospital steamer J. C. Swon arrived at the wharf at 12 M., Monday, having left Young’s Point on the 27th ult.  She came in charge of Dr. Elmer Nichols, Second Assistant Surgeon of the 118th Illinois regiment, to whose sole medical care were committed three hundred and twenty-eight patients, of whom seventy-five have died on the passage to this city.  Dr. Nichols’ statement in explanation of this extraordinary mortality is substantially as follows:

On the 24th of January, at Young’s Point, he was instructed by Dr. McMillen, Medical Director of the Army of the Mississippi, to take charge of the steamer J. C. Swon, with a load of sick soldiers, to be left at Memphis.  The instructions were by order of Gen. McClernand.  Dr. Nichols went on board and found the boat only partially cleaned and prepared for the reception of patients.  On the 25th the regimental surgeons commenced hurrying on board their sick without furnishing lists of their names, regiments or diseases of the sufferers.  Dr. Nichols reported the fact, but could get no relief.  Finding himself to be the only medical man on board, he applied for assistants, and two were detailed to accompany him, but one of them was found too unwell for service, and the other was arrested and detained for charges preferred by his Colonel.  Dr. Nichols again applied for help, but could get none.  Three hundred and twenty sick were piled on board, some of them dying.  Two expired within twenty minutes after being placed on deck.  No provisions were put on board till the night of the 25th, when some of the patients had been without nourishment for twenty-four hours, and some twenty-eight hours!  No fresh meat was furnished till the boat reached Memphis, on the 30th.

No medicines were received till the night of the 26th, and then only a very inadequate supply, and fourteen patients expired between 3 P.M. of the 25th, and 7 A.M. of the 26th.

The delay in getting medicines seem to have been caused by ‘red tape.’  The Medical Purveyor was with difficulty found, and then, when found, had to cut down the Doctor’s requisition before it could be regularly approved.

The boat left on the 29th with 328 sick on board.  Only a few medical assistants could be found to aid the Doctor in getting the necessary list of the patients.  Before this work could be done, one man died whose name or regiment could not be learned.

At Memphis the unexpected order was received to proceed to St. Louis.  Further provisions and medicines were got, and the boat started.  The change of climate, and the severe cold, proved fatal to many who might have lived had they been left at Memphis.

Immediately upon her arrival at the wharf, the J. C. Swon was ordered to Jefferson Barracks, and at once proceeded thither to put off her patients there.  She returned yesterday morning, bringing up eighteen corpses for interment.

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A Card from Col. Berry.

Macomb, Feb. 17th, 1863.

            Mr. Editor: — In consequence of the great delay on the part of the State printers to furnish the legislature with the Governor’s Message, and the reports of various State officers, and other documents in time to have them forwarded, arrangements have been made with the Secretary of State to send them by express, or otherwise, to the County Clerks of the different counties for distribution, where they can be obtained in a few days by any person desirous of reading them.  The delay in printing is said to be in consequence of the difficulty in obtaining paper.

Very respectfully,                                           William Berry.

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[For the Macomb Eagle.]

To Those Who Have Friends in the Army.

            When you write to your friends in the army direct your letters to the company and regiment, in care of the Captain – as “A.B., company C, 84th Reg. Ill. Vols., care Capt. Ervin.”  But when you write to friends in any hospital, direct only to the hospital, giving the number if you know it, and the name of the place where the hospital is situated, thus “J.G.W., Hospital No. 3, Nashville, Tenn.”

Hundreds of letters intended for soldiers in the hospital have the company and regiment as part of the superscription, and in consequence go directly to the regiment, instead of the hospital.  When sent from the regiment to the hospital, unless the number of the regiment is erased, in a few days back they come, and when the number of the regiment is erased they frequently circulate in the mails for a season and return to the regiment again.  Those who are in hospitals are generally desirous of hearing from home speedily, and their friends who write will greatly facilitate their communications by observing the foregoing directions.

Please give this a place in your paper, and oblige many friends, and your obedient servant,                                                                                                            L. A. Simmons.

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[For the Macomb Eagle.]

Plurality of Worlds.

            There are two methods of reasoning, one called demonstrative the other analogical; there are two branches arising from said methods, the first is positive the second negative.  Every philosopher, geometrician, astronomer or chemist admits that these forms of ratiocination are equally potent, consistent and conclusive.  Many of the most profound theorems in Euclid are proven to be true by showing that any other supposition would lead to an absurdity.  It is by means of negative reasoning that the doctrines of a plurality of worlds are maintained.  The fact that unnumbered worlds of immense magnitude are rolling in glittering granduer above us, and that the vast prairies of space are every where peopled with stupendous collections of matter, is too well known to be denied.  Within the range of the planetary system (the sun not included) there is an amount of matter equivalent to two thousand five hundred such worlds as ours; the sun himself is equal to 1,300,000 globes the size of earth, and is 520 times larger than all the planets and satellites combined; Jupiter is 1,400 times greater than earth, Saturn 900 times, many of the other planets are 80 and a hundred times the size of earth.  Now it is worthy of remark that there is scarcely an atom of matter on earth’s surface but what is peopled with living beings; millions of beings endowed with delicate and wonderful organisms; exquisite and polished mechanisms people the leaves of every forest, the flowers of every garden, and the waters of every rivulet.  By aid of the microscope we come to the astounding conclusion that there is life everywhere; that could we draw aside the mysterious veil that shrouds them from our senses we might behold a universe within the compass of a point.

“The invisible in things are scarce seen revealed,
To whom an atom is ample field.”

Astonishing as it may be to the uneducated, there are organised bodies thousands of times smaller than a visible point.  But turning our contemplations from the worlds of infinity beneath to the over-arching heavens above, what a grand glorious and indescribable is presented in the panorama of the universe.  What stupendous collections of matter: what glorious displays of power, what indescribable scenes of grandeur rise before the astonished vision.  Unnumbered worlds sparkling in the radiant ocean of liquid ether, circling in their printless course through the wide province of omnipotence.  As we behold these orbs of beauty moving in rapid grandeur; as we demonstrate the time of their aphelion or perihelion, as we calculate the eclipses and occultations, or weight these mighty globes, the question arises in the minds of the Christian philosopher, are all these displays of omnipotence one vast, boundless, and illimitable desert?  Is this vast province of Jehovah a boundless Saharah?  As these questions press upon our minds we find no means of answering them except by the analogies if the universe, “wherever air expands there must be beings to breathe it; wherever heat vivifies there must be life to be revived; everywhere there is matter; everywhere there is light, and everywhere there must be life – life animal, to enjoy God’s bounty; life intellectual, to expound his wisdom; life moral, to love and adore his perfections.

E. M.

Naples, Jan. 25th, 1863.

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