Macomb Weekly Journal
February 27, 1863
Epitome of News.
A rumor comes to us that the Iron clad gunboat Queen of the West, has been taken by the Rebels below Vicksburg. If true, it is a sad blow to our Navy, who have heretofore been uniformly successful. It comes through rebel sources and must be received with a degree of allowance.
The conscription bill is now before the House, and bids fair to pass, although considerable fillibustering will be done to keep it from a vote.
Lexington, Ky., has another scare on it, rumors of another raid under Le Ray Clark, with some 800 cavalry. – Reliable information, however, is that it is but a small body of guerillas roaming over the country in search of food, &c.
The Charleston blockade raising turns out to an unmitigated hoax.
The United States Currency Bill has now become a law. Banks are to be established on United States Bonds, and their issues to limited to 90 per cent of deposits made at Washington with a commissioner appointed for that purpose. Financial men think the law a good one.
The condition of the roads is such that business is at a standstill in town.
A Word to the Friends of the Journal.
Union men of McDonough County, do you desire to have a Union paper published in this county? If so you must do something to sustain it. We are now publishing the Journal at a loss and we have not the capital to continue it long at that rate. The great advance in the price of paper, ink, &c., has fully doubled the cost of publishing the paper, while the falling off in advertising and job work has largely diminished the receipts of the office. Under these circumstances all will at once see the impossibility of keeping up the paper unless the Union men of the county take hold and help to sustain it. There are one thousand men in this county who ought to take the Journal – who are perfectly able to take the Journal – and who would rather pay double its price than to have no Union paper published in the county. Money is now plenty among the farmers, and hundreds could pay $1 50 for the paper without feeling it. It would be a small sum from each Union man, but in the aggregate would be sufficient to place the Journal upon a firm basis. Will some friend of the Journal take hold of this matter and urge upon his neighbors the importance of sustaining the paper? We are willing to continue the publication of the paper as long as it will pay expenses, but to continue it at a dead loss, we cannot and will not. Friends of the Union it is for you to decide whether the Journal goes on or not. – One day spent by some friend of the paper in each township would add hundreds to our list, thus sustaining the paper, and at the same time, [obscured] it’s usefulness. Let us hear from our friends. Do you want the Journal continued or not?
From the 78th Regiment.
Three Miles South Nashville,
On the Franklin Pike,
February 11, 1863.
My last letter informed you that we arrived at Nashville late on Saturday afternoon, 7th inst. As we steamed up the river we passed the encampment of the 16th Illinois, and were heartily cheered and welcomed by the gallant boys of that regiment. Our boat tied up to shore not far from their encampment, and upon the same side of the river, which is the opposite side from the city. There was soon an interchange of friendly salutations. Notwithstanding the mud was several inches deep the boys waded around to grasp old acquaintances by the hand. I saw our old correspondent, “Harry,” W. H. Head, but only for a moment, as I thought I should have another opportunity of having a social chat with him. All the McDonough and Hancock county boys of that regiment, so far as I could learn, were all well and hearty. The 16th has been indeed a favored regiment, having lost comparatively few by disease and death. I had the pleasure of seeing at Nashville my old friends and neighbors, Jos. P. Updegraff and George Eyre. They started for home yesterday morning. I also saw a number from the 84th regiment, some of whom were wounded at the Murfreesboro battle. I saw Corporal Edson who was wounded at that battle by a ball through the shoulder. Some weeks since a report was current in our regiment that Edson had died of fever, and we were glad to learn that his case was not so serious as that. Dr. Kyle and T. B. Maury, of the 84th, visited us on Sunday and passed a pleasant hour with us. I was not able to visit the hospitals, but many from our regiment did so. Jos. G. Waters, of the 84th, I learned, was still at one of the hospitals, and his wound getting better. He was wounded in a foot, and it is thought the foot will be permanently stiffened at the instep.
Although we arrived at Nashville on Saturday it was not until Tuesday morning that we received orders to leave the boat. The accommodations upon the boat were most uncomfortable and unwholesome. We left the boat with a larger proportionate sick list than we have ever before had. John Pate, of co. H, died a few hours after I despatched my last letter. James Ward, of the same company, was carried to a hospital very [obscured] David Reiman, and Joseph Cox, also co. H, were taken to a hospital in Nashville. They were getting better, and will probably soon be with us again. Wm. Dusenbury, Sayles Thompson and David Higgins, of co. H, were left behind at Louisville. J. Gabbart, of the same company, left us at Smithland, Ky., and we have not heard from him since.
The following comprise the sick list of co. I, who were left at the hospitals in Nashville; Wm. Stewart, John F. Stewart, John R. Carroll, George Pittman, Thomas Broaddus, and Thomas Downan. Broaddus was very sick, but was improving at last accounts. The [obscured] believe are all [obscured].
When we moved off the boat our orders were to march to [obscured] about 18 miles south [obscured] had proceeded about three miles when we were ordered to camp in a beautiful grove a few rods from the pike, where we are at the present writing. – We shall, however, proceed on our journey tomorrow morning. I do not know how long we shall remain at Franklin, but probably not many days.
Nashville and its surroundings has one had the reputation of being a beautiful and magnificent place, but it is now sadly marred and defaced. Rifle pits, breastworks, entrenchments, forts, &c., have been built all about the city, and magnificent door yards, and splendid parks, have been utterly devastated by them. I noticed between Nashville and this place many large and costly residences, which bore evidence of having once been snugly ensconced under large and beautiful shade trees, surrounded by splendid gravel walks, and magnificent shrubbery, but now they bare a wild and desolate appearance. The shade trees were cut down, perhaps to use for fuel, or perhaps or perhaps to clean the grounds so that could not be used as a shelter for the enemy in case of a battle. The fences about these premises in some places were totally gone, while in other places remnants were left, giving evidence of their costly and ornamental character. Some of these lordly palaces were entirely deserted, some were without doors and windows, while at others only the faces of a few superannuated old darkies were visible. Alas, what a terrible visitation is that of war.
The weather yesterday was rainy and disagreeable – to-day it is clear, warm and spring like. Winter is about over with us, and we shall now look for the singing birds, and the budding of the trees, and the music of the frogs. There are none who hail the coming of spring time with a heartier welcome than does the soldiers.
We have received word that our two absent companies, B and C, have been exchanged. They will probably soon rejoin us.
Col. Benneson was placed under arrest just before we left Louisville, by order of Gen. Gilbert, for refusing to search the boat for niggers. The order to do so was informal and unofficial, and Col. Benneson refused to recognize it, and he took occasion to give the individual who brought it to him, a little pro-slavery Captain on Gilbert’s staff, a piece of his mind respecting nigger-catches, at which the dapper Captain waxed exceedingly wroth, and accordingly preferred charges against our Colonel. I suppose that extraordinary exertions will be made by Gilbert to have Col. Benneson dismissed, but I believe it would have been a good thing for the Union cause if Gilbert had been dismissed months ago. A petition has been presented to Gen. Granger, in whose division we now are, signed by every commissioned officer in the regiment, to have our regiment assigned in Gen. Crook’s brigade, instead of Gilbert’s.
I would suggest to those writing to friends in the 78th regiment, to address their letters via. Nashville, Tenn.
J. K. M