Shooting Affair at Carthage
[From the Carthage Republican, July 2.]
On Saturday, June 27th, Isaac B. Ritter came to Carthage on a furlough from his regiment, the 2nd Illinois cavalry. When met by his former acquaintances he would refuse to shake hands with them until he had asked them if they were copperheads, stating that if they were he would rather shoot such persons. This was continued through the day, and he made so many threats that many of his friends and respectable republicans told him that he was making a fool of himself, and that his course was calculated to get himself and his friends into trouble; and we have been informed by them that he refused their well meant advice and declared that he was in the employ of the government, and would rather shoot a copperhead in the north than a rebel over the breast works. – He also stated publicly that he came back to shoot copperheads and would not return until he had. Many treated his threats as idle braggadocio and none thought he was so reckless as to come back and carry such threats into execution among his former friends and neighbors. So matters went on till on last Monday morning when in the post office he met Mr. John Sample, formerly one of his friends, at the door who reached his hand to him and said ‘Ritter how are you?’ He replied ‘I understand you have got to be a copperhead, I’ll be God d – d if I will shake hands with one, I’m not in that business – my business is to shoot copperheads.’ Mr. Sample said, ‘Well Ritter it is right, I suppose, but you are the best specimen of a fool I ever saw.’ Ritter replied, ‘He didn’t care, I’ll be God d – d if I don’t do it.’ – Sample said, ‘I think you are a pretty specimen to come here to manufacture public opinion.’ On this Ritter kicked Sample, which staggered him back on the sidewalk. He then stepped in and told him he was sick, but if he was well he could whip him, when he struck Sample in the face and drew a revolver, a large six shooter, about a ten inch barrel. Sample left and made complaint before Judge Smith, and had a warrant issued and placed in the hands of the sheriff for Ritter to answer for an assault and battery. When he learned that a writ was being issued he got into a buggy and started on the Warsaw and Keokuk road. Mr. Ingraham summoned Mr. A. M. Ossman to assist him in the arrest and followed and overtook him about a half mile beyond the railroad depot. The sheriff stopped him and told him he had a warrant for him. Ritter said he would not be arrested – that he was a military man. The sheriff told him he had to perform his duty, and began reading the writ, and while he was reading Ritter drew his revolver and shot Ossman, and before the sheriff could put up the paper or draw his revolver, Ritter also shot him and then turned and fired again at Ossman, who was reeling in his saddle. Ossman then tried to shoot at him but he could not get his arm up and shot twice in the ground, and fell back from his horse to the ground, and was for a time senseless. The sheriff fainted and was taken from his horse as he was about falling. Ritter put whip to his horse and was soon out of sight. This was about 9 o’clock in the morning. Mr. Ingraham was by the side of Ritter’s buggy and only a few feet from it. Ossman was a little farther off and rather behind the buggy and Ingraham. The first shot struck Ossman in the left breast, was turned partially by the bone or rib and passed through a portion of the lungs and lodged behind against the shoulder-blade, a portion of which was broken. He was supposed at first during his swoon to be dead or dying. The second shot struck Ingraham on the left thigh several inches below the hip, — was turned by the bone and went upward and behind and lodged, after passing about ten inches in the flesh. Both balls have been cut out.
The news was brought to town that Ossman was killed and the sheriff baly wounded; and as soon as possible some six or eight men started in pursuit, but were from one half to an hour behind Ritter. He put his whip to his horse and continued till he came to Wythe township. Here he was so closely pursued that he got out of the buggy and unhitched the traces and broke for the woods, called the Oak Grove. Here the neighborhood was aroused and generally turned out in pursuit. The woods were surrounded and after the neighbors collected, the woods were searched, commencing at the north part and going south. At about four o’clock in the afternoon he was found on the lands of Mr. Huse in a very dense undergroth, just expiring from the effect of two balls, one of which entered his breast just below the collar bone and extended downwards, and another in the left shoulder. From the position in which he was found and the direction of the balls, he is supposed to have been partly lying down resting upon his arm, watching the only opening to the place of his concealment with his pistol in his hand. A large knife was found lying beside him. His coat was off, and when shot he had thrown his revolver several feet from him. He is supposed to have lived about ten to fifteen minutes after being shot. No one heard him speak, as he was expiring when reached. An inquest was held over the body and verdict returned that he came to his death by a ball shot by the hands of some person unknown to the jury. – His body was then brought to Carthage, where, on the day following, it was decently and properly buried.
And so ended this strange tragedy. We will add that there is no division of sentiment in regard to the affair or its termination. All citizens here without regard to party condemn Ritter’s reckless conduct and agree that he met with a just punishment. The excitement at first was great when it was feared he would escape, and the whole community would have turned out en masse if it would have done any good. The same may be said of the citizens of Wythe who turned out without regard to party. Since he has met with the punishment he so justly merited while resisting an officer, all persons are satisfied and everything is quiet. All regret that the necessity for his death ever should have occured.
The news of the past week has been of the most cheering character. Vicksburg, the stronghold of the rebellion in the Southwest, has surrendered. Gen. Meade has whipped the rebel army in Pennsylvania, and Gen. Prentiss at Helena, Arkansas, has repulsed the enemy, and taken a large number of prisoners. The following summary we copy from the Chicago dailies:
It is quite evident that Gen. Meade’s forces have achieved a great victory. This is apparent from the fact that Lee’s forces on Saturday night retired from the scene of recent battles, in which they had been heavily repulsed. Whether Lee has merely fallen back to a new position, or is actually beating a general retreat, is yet to be ascertained. In the latter event, it is hoped that the report of his retreat across the Potomac being cut of, by the destruction of his pontoons and a sudden rise in the river, will turn out correct, inasmuch as Meade could then force him to another battle and render our victory complete.
It is sufficient for us to know, at present, that so far the rebels have been worsted. In their first battle on Northern soil, they have been beaten, and convinced by ponderous arguments, that their wild dream of gaining a foothold in a loyal State is one of folly and madness. We await the sequel with anxiety and hopefulness.
The events of the past week, in Southern Pennsylvania, will comprise one of the most exciting chapters in the history of this war. It has been a test of generalship and prowess between two mighty armies, and the rebels have received much the worst of it. The conflicts of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were terrific and bloody in the extreme. The losses on both sides must be very heavy, both in officers and men.
The casualties, no doubt, reach many thousands.
Our forces under General Rosecrans failed to cut off any portion of the retreating army of Bragg, after leaving Tullahoma, and the enemy has evidently fallen back to Chattanooga, and Rosecrans will have to follow him up to that stronghold.
If Bragg succeeds in getting to Chattanooga without a battle, he can fight to better advantage than at Tullahoma, it being a stronger place for defense, and further from our base. In retreating he has abandoned a very productive portion of Tennessee; and he would not, we presume, have made this sacrifice had he been confident of his ability to cope with the Army of the Cumberland.
It is apparent from Chattanooga papers of a recent date that considerable alarm was felt for the safety of that country; and that great reliance was placed upon the militia recently called out of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. It also appears that Burnside was believed to be advancing from Kentucky with thirty thousand men. Altogether, the rebel position in Tennessee, according to their own showing, is an uneasy one.
The Washington Star says: “It is estimated at Gettysburg that Lee had lost up to Saturday morning, by desertion, since the crossing of the Potomac, an aggregate of 6000 men. He is already cut off from taking either of the lower and short routes leading to Virginia, and must be endeavoring to make for the Potomac at Hancock. We have strong hopes he will be able to get back into Virginia neither his artillery nor transportation, and the men with which he may himself escape will not number one fourth of his boastful and over-confident army.”
It is reported that the rebels under Price, Marmaduke and Holmes moved against Helena, with 18,000 men, and attacked Gen. Prentiss, with his force of 5,000, on the 4th inst. They were repulsed and driven off. About 1,000 prisoners were taken, among whom are quite a number of rebel officers.
The latest news confirms the fall of Vicksburg.
A bearer of dispatches from General Grant arrived this morning. One division of the army had marched in and taken possession of Vicksburg before he left. Grant will not rest on his laurels. Look out for more interesting news from that quarter soon.
There were four divisions of rebel troops in Vicksburg, commanded by the following named officers:
Maj. Gen. C. L. Stevens, of Virginia; Maj. Gen. Forney, of Alabama; Maj. Gen. M. L. Smith, formerly of N. Y, but late of Florida, and Brig. Gen. Bowen, of Missouri. The number of prisoners taken is between 23,000 and 25,000. They were all paroled. The reasons for this are many and satisfactory, though it does not give a favorable impression at first.
We have possession of every man and gun in the city. It is said that nearly one-third of the rebels are sick.
The victory at Helena is larger than reported yesterday. We have 1,200 prisoners. I have not yet been able to get the exact losses yet. They do not vary much from the estimates of yesterday.
All our dispatches from the East breathe encouragement and cheer. The rebel army of Lee had at last accounts taken itself entirely out of Pennsylvania, but is still on this side of the Potomac. It is believed to have concentrated in the vicinity of Williamsport, on the Potomac, where another great battle is anticipated. Meade’s and Couch’s forces are active to intercept, harass and destroy the enemy’s beaten army. We trust they will succeed. A few hours, at the farthest, will reveal to us the grand finale of this momentous campaign at the East.
A dispatch from Harrisburg, dated July 8th, says: Telegrams received today, via Loudon and Bedford, show that Lee is between South Mountain and Hagerstown, and will select a place between Hagerstown and the Potomac to give Meade battle, as it is considered impossible for him to reach Virginia. – Imboden has a force of about 10,600 at Williamsport, protecting the rebel trains, which are getting across as fast as the limited means admit.
It is raining in torrents, and the present flood could destroy any pontoon.
Meade and Couch are moving as rapidly as the roads will allow.
A battle will probably occur on Friday or Saturday.
It is estimated that Lee’s loss during the battles in Pennsylvania, and since, in prisoners and killed and wounded, amount to 35,000 which is fully one-third of the men he crossed the Potomac with. Add to this, 25,000 at Vicksburg and 1,500 at Helena, and the whole amounts to over 60,000 men. A pretty good week’s work. Verily the work goes bravely on.
The Declaration of Independence.
Last week we published in the Journal the Declaration of Independence – that glorious document that pronounced our separation from, and independence of, the British Crown – that great Magna Charta of American rights, to the maintenance of which our fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors, and in the establishment of which, the heroes of the Revolution shed their blood – that Declaration, conceived by the most profound wisdom, and the principles of which struck terror to the hearts of despots and tyrants, and carried joy and gladness in the hearts of the oppressed and down-trodden of every nation and clime – a document that has been enshrined in the hearts of the American people as a sacred thing. But sacred as it is, and as thoroughly as its divine principles are imbedded in the hearts of the loyal, patriotic people of this nation it is not too sacred to be perverted by traitors, and its great truths quoted to justify treason to the very government founded upon it.
The Declaration, as we published it, was put in type in the Eagle office, and as every reader probably noticed, was so capitalized and italicised, as to make it, to the casual observer, a justifier of the present unholy rebellion. We say to the casual observer – for it is impossible, taking the document as a whole, to convince thinking patriotic men that one word or one sylable can be so perverted as to make it justify treason. Yet by italicising certain portions of it, Abbott endeavors to make the impression that the traitors of 1863 are justified in in their course by the sublime truths enunciated by the patriots of 1776.
But let us examine this thing in the light of Truth and Reason. To make the Declaration apply to the present rebellion, you must suppose the Revolution of 1776 and the Rebellion of 1863 as parallel cases. Why did the Colonies of America rise up in rebellion against the mother country? It was because the King of Great Britain subverted this great principle, and refused to the Colonies the right of representation – refused them a voice and a vote in the passage of the laws that were to govern them, that they resolved to throw off the yoke of British despotism. The petitions of the people – the appeals and memorials of the Continental Congress were all made upon this basis: that taxation without Representation was in direct violation of those rights that were inherent in man. They did not object to or deny the right of the British Parliament levying taxes upon them, but as subjects of the British Crown, they demanded to be represented in that Parliament, and to have a voice in the passage of the laws, and it was the denial of this right that cost Great Britain a long and costly war, and finally resulted in the loss of her Colonies. All the other evils complained of in the Declaration were but the necessary results of this refusal upon the part of the British Crown. “No Taxation without Representation” was the rallying cry of our forefathers, and they made it the great underlying principle of the Government that they instituted. In this respect, then, there is certainly no parallel between the Revolution and the Rebellion. The people of the revolted States have never been denied the rights of representation. – They have never been compelled to submit to laws in the passage of which they had no voice. They have never been compelled to pay taxes without their consent. But, on the contrary, at the very time that this rebellion was inaugurated, they held the power in their own hands of passing whatever laws they might desire, and to prevent the passage of those laws that they conceived to be injurious to their interests. No right of the South had been trampled upon. No efforts had been made to reduce them to the position of slaves. Then, certainly, they can find no justification in the Declaration for attempting to ALTER OR ABOLISH their form of government. Again, the Colonists complained of the British Crown because
“He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for established judiciary powers.
“He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of salaries.
“He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our people and eat out their subsistence.
“He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power.
“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitutions, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.
“For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.
“For protecting them by a mock trial from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these State.
“For cutting off our trade with all part of the world.
“For imposing taxes on us, without our consent.
“For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefit of trial by jury.”
All of these complaints Abbott italicises as applicable to the present rebellion. But how does the case stand? It must be remembered that all these acts complained of, were performed while the Colonies were loyal to the British Crown – while peace reigned in the land. But how is it in the present case? Did the Government keep standing armies in the South? Did the government “render the military independent of and superior to the civil power?” Did the Government deprive the people of the South “of the benefits of trial by Jury?” or was one single act complained of by the Colonists ever perpetrated by the Government upon the people of the South until after they had turned traitors to the Government and attempted its overthrow. Certainly not. Then is there no parallel between the two cases whatever, and Abbott’s attempted justification of treason by the Declaration falls to the ground. But what shall we think of the man who will thus endeavor to subvert the meaning of that glorious instrument. Even Jeff Davis, with all his hatred of the Government, and with all his treason has never yet attempted to wrest the Declaration of Independence to a support of his infamous principles. No. He comes out and boldly denounces the principles that document as wrong, and declares the originators of it fools, but he has too much manhood to claim that they could, under any circumstances, justify treason. He leaves that for his miserable satellites in the North to do. But some may ask why we published it in that shape. We did so that the loyal men of this county might see the low depths to which the Copperhead editor of the Eagle is willing to descend in his advocacy of secession and treason.
The News in Macomb.
The news of the fall of Vicksburg reached this city on the Chicago train on Tuesday night, but only coming as a rumor produced no great excitement. But on the arrival of the Quincy train, which brought the confirmation of the report, the scene beggared all description. Boys, girls, old men and women, all seemed to be seized with a desire to yell as loud as possible. At once bonfires were kindled, sky rockets sent up, church bells rung, and, in fact, every thing that could make a noise, or a light, was brought into requisition. Had a person who knew nothing of the circumstances dropped down in the public square, he would have thought that every one was crazy, and that Bedlam itself had broken loose. After all had yelled themselves hoarse, a dry goods box was brought out, and speeches were made by W. H. Franklin, A. McLean, G. Tunnecliff, C. F. Wheat, and J. Reynolds. The Ladies’ Aid Society took up a collection amounting to $42, during the speaking.
Never before did we witness such an outburst of enthusiasm as greeted the news. All, excepting a few of the Copperhead leaders, seemed overjoyed, and the rejoicing was kept up until late at night. The Copperheads hunted their holes and disappeared from view, as soon as the news was announced that their friends at Vicksburg had surrendered.
Where were They?
This question has been asked many times, since Tuesday night. Yes, where were they (the Copperheads, we mean.) Well, one thing is certain, they were not on the street rejoicing over the great Union victory. A flock of young partridges could not have disappeared sooner than did the Copperheads. They all had business at home that required immediate attention, or they were suddenly seized with the “Tennessee Quickstep.”
Some of the them, we presume, have not gone to bed so early for years past. Why is it, if there men are loyal, that they always seem to grieve over Union victories? Why is it that their faces assume the shape of a yard stick, whenever the rebels get whipped? Or why is it that they are as jubilant and cheerful as you please, whenever the Union cause looks gloomy? We leave others to place their own construction on these facts. We do not desire to be understood that there were no Democrats rejoicing over the event, for we saw many of them who seemed as much pleased as any other man. We refer only to Copperheads, and no man saw one of them out taking part in the jollification. Again we ask where were they? Will Abbott answer?
Henry Clay Dean, the Iowa Copperhead, is announced to speak in this city on Monday next. We suppose the burden of his speech will be “Peace,” but just now the species of Peace men that he belongs to are not very popular. The news from Vicksburg and Pennsylvania has played smash with the Copperhead programme. Let the miserable traitor come, and spout his treason. Let the Copperheads place themselves on the record, for the day of reckoning is at hand. Before six months shall have passed away, the very men who are applauding such traitors as Dean will deny that they ever opposed the war.
Deputy Provost Marshal. – Wm. H. Randolph, Esq., of this city, has been appointed Deputy Provost Marshal for this county. Mr. Randolph is an old citizen of the county, and is a man of firmness and decision, and if occasion should arise (which we hope may not) will act with promptness and energy.
→ Vicksburg has fallen!
The 4th in Macomb.
The Celebration of the 4th in this city passed off very pleasantly. The crowd was large, but as a general thing, very orderly. The procession formed on the Public Square composed of Citizens, Masons, Odd Fellows and Good Templars, and made a lengthy and imposing one. The address by Dr. Window, was all that could be desired, and the immense audience were seemingly well pleased with it. On the whole, the Celebration was a perfect success. Although the crowd was very large, there was very little disturbance and very few breaches of the peace – in fact, we never saw so large a crowd together before, and so little trouble.
A Fantastic Company. – Among the amusements of the day, on Saturday last, nothing had a better effect than the parade of a Fantastic company improvised for the occasion by a number of young gentlemen. Their advent upon the Fair Grounds was the signal for a general rush. After the exercises were over, this company took possession of the stand, and went through with a variety of amusing maneuvers.
The Music. – We have heard but one opinion in regard to the music furnished on the 4th by the Bushnell Band and the Macomb Glee Club, and that was, that it could not be excelled. The Glee Club, in particular, was highly complimented for its part of the performances.
A Fine Banner. – The Macomb Lodge of Good Templars appeared in the procession on the 4th with one of the finest Banners we ever saw. It was a splendid silk Flag trimmed with silk fringe. The cost of this flag was $65, and it attracted the attention of all beholders. Many thought it a strange banner for a Temperance Society, but what more appropriate banner could be invented then the Stars and Stripes, particularly at a time like the present.
High School. – J. C. Reynonds announces that he will open a High School in this city, on Monday, the 3d day of August next, and we learn that it is his intention to get up a School that will be a credit to the city. Mr. Reynolds is well known as a competent and popular educator, and we trust that the citizens of Macomb and vicinity will give him all the assistances that may be necessary to make the project successful. A good High School has been very much needed here, and we have no doubt that the effort will meet with a hearty support.
→ Vicksburg has fallen at last, and there is universal rejoicing all over the country; and well there might be, for with the fall of their great stronghold, (one, it is said, more extensively fortified than Sebastopol,) perishes all their hope of control of the Father of Waters, and we may say all hope of ever establishing their confederacy; but notwithstanding all, S. J. Clarke, at his Book Store, on the north side of the public square, still continues to have on hand a full stock of everything in his line of trade, including School and Miscellaneous Books, Photographic Albums, War Maps, Yankee Notions, Periodicals, etc., etc. Also all the Chicago dailies received morning and evening. Give him a call.
→ Our account of the Carthage shooting affair, last week, was much exaggerated. It appears that neither the Sheriff or Deputy are dead. The soldier, whose name was Ritter, was shot by the citizens. It appears that the quarrel originated between Ritter and some of the Copperheads of Carthage.
→ “Have you any consecrated lye here?” inquired a little girl at one of our grocery stores the other day. “No,” was the reply, “but we can refer you to Blackburn’s church for a pure article.”
We noticed the above in the last Eagle, and at once made inquiries in regard to the matter, and was informed that a few weeks ago the Presbyterian Church had a large supply of the article, but in getting rid of the editor of the eagle, they entirely exhausted their stock.
→ The Eagle says that the editor of the Quincy Whig has been more than once thrashed in the streets of Quincy. Well, then, the Eagle man knows how to sympathize with the Whig man, for he has experienced the same treatment twice.
→ The editor of the Eagle says that an idiotic countenance and capacity has secured immunity to the editor of the Journal. We are more lucky than the editor of the Eagle, for the same qualities have entirely failed to secure him from being publicly thrashed on the streets.
Improvements. – We notice that G. F. Clark has put a new front in his Grocery establishment on the west side of the Square. Clark has a good assortment of Family Groceries, which he will sell at the lowest prices. See advertisement.
Meat Market. – Those who desire a fine tender steak for breakfast, or a good roast for dinner, will consult their interest by calling at Ervin’s Meat Market, on the south side of the Square. We have tried the virtues of his steaks, and know whereof we speak. Ervin has recently reduced the price of meat, and can now furnish a good No. 1 article at very low figures. Try it and see if we have not told the truth.
Fast Driving. – On Saturday last, Mr. Schenk, Proprietor of the City Omnibus line, was arrested for violating the city ordinance in relation to fast driving, and on Monday was tried and fined twenty-five dollars, the case being an aggravated one.
Not True. – The rumors that are afloat through the country that a lady and a boy were killed in this city on Saturday last are not true. A lady was thrown from a wagon, and slightly injured; and a boy was run against (not over) and slightly injured, on that day. That’s all.
Political Preaching. – Let a minister of the gospel, in his sermons, condemn slavery and express a desire for the speedy overthrow of the rebellion, and at once the Copperheads raise a terrible hue and cry about preaching politics. But let a renegade and traitor, like H. Clay Dean, preach treason to his hearts content and the same miserable hypocrites applaud him to the skies. It makes a grand difference which side of the question the preacher advocates.
The Fourth at Hickory Grove.
The Fourth was appropriately celebrated by the citizens of Hickory Grove. B. R. Hampton and C. F. Wheat delivered the addresses. We learn that everything passed off harmoniously.
The Fourth at Pennington’s Point.
The citizens of Pennington’s Point celebrated the Fourth in an appropriate manner. J. C. Reynolds, of this city, and F. M. Chaffee, of Industry, made the addresses. The crowd was large and the day passed off quietly. Over a hundred dollars was raised for the relief of the soldiers.
Serious Accident. – We learn that a son of Jos. Arnold, of Bushnell, was very severely injured one day last week, by the cars, running over him. We have not been able to learn the extent of his injuries.
Generals Grant and Meade are Peace men of the right stamp. The kind of arguments and persuasions that they have been employing for the past week or two on the rebels has had more effect than all the Peace Resolutions that have been passed since the war began. Under General Grant’s ‘inexorable logic’ Pemberton has become as docile as a lamb, and Meade has placed Lee in a position that has at least crippled his fighting capacities, if not his disposition. While the Copperheads of the North have been down on their knees imploring the rebels to accept terms of peace. Grant and his men have been dictating terms of peace and owing to the peculiar circumstances under which these terms were offered, the rebels at Vicksburg thought best to accept them. Let our Generals and Soldiers continue to ply the rebels with the same kind of arguments, and in less than thirty days we will have Peace, upon terms that will be an honor to the Government, and only objectionable to Jefferson Davis and his sympathizers.
For the Journal.
False Alarm, gotten up by a few individuals to make capital of. There was no lady or boy killed nor nobody hurt as was reported to be by Mr. Schanck’s teams on the 4th of July. – Mr. Schank has Liveried in the town of Canton, for the last 14 years and kept Livery Stable all the time till he came to Macomb, and that is not a very bad mark for a man to be in business that length of time in one town. Mr. Schank lays up nothing against the citizens of Macomb, takes all the blame on himself for what was said and done. Thankful for the kind patronage bestowed on him for their short acquaintance here, hoping they may still continue their liberality.