From the 124th Reg’t Ill. Vols.
Camp near Vicksburg, Miss.
July 20, 1863.
Mr. Editor: — I improve this moment of leisure by writing you a short sketch of the seige of Vicksburg, and our subsequent sojourn here.
As you have, doubtless, learned, we were beseiging the place forty-eight days. All this time our brave boys were exposed to the terrific fire of the enemy. But while they were pouring their death-dealing missels out upon us, you must remember that our bullets and shells were paying them terribly for their treason.
It is beyond the power of my pen to give you a full description of the investments of this strong-hold of rebellion. You may rest assured that we spent many a weary hour lying in our rifle-pits, and throwing up earth-works. But notwithstanding all the hardships thro’ which our noble boys have passed, they have done so without a murmur. Such patriotism, such love of country, such bravery and patient endurance, has never been equaled in the known world. And I thank God that they have been amply rewarded for all their suffering.
Doubtless you have heard of the blowing up of a rebel fort by Gen. Logan. I feel proud to say that six of my company helped to dig the drift and place the powder, which gave to many of the rebels their only rights, which is to die.
As these men were residents of Colchester, I will give their names: Wm. Hickman, Job Gartside, John Terrill, John W. Ennis, Wm. S. Wilson and Joseph Jackson.
After the first explosion, our General ordered the Infantry into the fort, which caused a desperate fight and a terrible slaughter. Nine men of my Co. were wounded, one of which has died since, (Jacob Raper, of Doddsville.) The rest are doing well. After the second explosion, we were not ordered into the fort, and consequently did not loose many men.
On the third of July, the white flag was hoisted; we did think at first that it was a surrender. But at the same time we hoped that it might be so, as we were very anxious to see how it looked inside of Vicksburg. On the morning of the Fourth we learned of truth that the strong-hold of rebellion, for which we had suffered so much, had indeed surrendered to us; and of a truth we can say that it is ours. It is a memorable Fourth of July to us, such an one as was never before spent by soldiers. We shall return to it with pleasure in after years; and in future the day will be held doubly dear to us.
At ten o’clock, A. M., our brigade (which is the first of Logan’s division, and being in advance) marched into the city with shouts and huzzahs. As we passed the Court house, upon which the old flag was floating, we gave three rousing cheers for “the old Flag, the President and the Union.” We found the rebels perfectly starved out. For two weeks they had been subsisting on pea bread and mule beef. Our boys divided their “hard tack” with them, which they ate after the manner of half-famished wolves.
Vicksburg is a dirty, filthy place.
Hoping soon to return home on a visit, at which time I will give you the particulars by word of mouth, I close.
CAPT. S. BRINK,
Co. D, 124th Ill. V. I.
The latest news from the Army of the Potomac are conflicting. One statement is, that the army has crossed the Rappahannock, and another contradicts this. The army is probable still on this side of the river. A force of rebel cavalry made a dash into our lines on Wednesday, but were promptly driven back. We expect nothing very exciting from that quarter for some time to come.
The news from Charleston continue to be cheering, and promises success. – Fort Sumter shows signs of apprehensions, and our guns will in time, no doubt, reduce that stronghold, as well as Fort Wagner.
The most important news from New Orleans is the confirmation of the report received up the Mississippi, that Brashear City is again in our possession – it having surrendered, on the 22d ult.,to the gunboat Sachem.
How Peace is to be Obtained.
The Richmond Enquirer of July 16, in speaking of the John Morgan raid in Indiana and Ohio, says: “It is the only real movement we are making towards a restoration of peace; for we repeat, peace must be conquered on the enemy’s ground, or it will not come at all.” This, then, is the only way in which the rebels expect to reach peace. They expect to carry the war into the Northern States, and there, by force of arms, dictate the terms of peace to a subjugated people. Of course this is something that cannot be done. But that it is the rebel programme, none can doubt. Well then, how foolish and insane are these men in the North who are talking about compromising with these same rebels, and thus obtain terms of peace. How many more invasions of the North will it take to convince the masses of the peace Democracy that these Southern traitors are not a harmless set of fellows. We believe that the great mass of the Democratic party, if they would break loose from their corrupt party readers and follow the dictates of reason, would be in favor of putting down the rebellion. But the leaders of the party are in league with Jeff. Davis to overthrow the Government, and we fear that their supporters will allow themselves to be led into the support of the unholy alliance. They are taught by such men as Vallandigham and Seymour, that the rebels are ready and willing to compromise and come back into the Union – that the war is being prosecuted by the Government for the purpose of overthrowing slavery – that Lincoln is a tyrant, and is aiming at the establishment of a military despotism – that the rebels are a much abused people – in fact, everything that tends to weaken the confidence of the people in the Government, and to excite sympathy for the rebels. If these men would read the Southern papers and Southern speeches, they would soon find that all these fine stories, fabricated by their leaders, have no foundation in truth. They would find that the rebels are not in favor of compromising – that they are fighting for the complete overthrow of the Federal Government. The dream of the South has for years been a Southern Confederacy, with slavery as the chief cornerstone – a Confederacy in which there shall be no such thing as freedom of press and freedom of speech – a Confederacy where capital shall own its labor, in short a Confederacy in which the crack of the slave driver’s whip shall be the only governing power, [?] in order to secure these ends it was necessary to break up the old Government. For this purpose has the war been prosecuted upon the part of the South. This was the stake upon which they hazarded all, and they are determined to gain it or lose all.
Then how foolish is it to talk about offering terms of compromise to such men. No, there is but one way to peace, and that is by the course marked out by the Richmond Enquirer, to conquer it on the enemy’s ground. This war must go on until one or the other of the parties are willing to acknowledge themselves whipped, and every man who is in favor of the Federal Government must make up his mind to whip the rebels, or see the government of the United States overthrown. General’s Grant, Meade and Rosecrans have done more towards bringing about peace in the last six months, than could all the Vallandigham’s and Wood’s in a life time.
Let the blows that have been struck at the rebellion by our brave soldiers in the field, be repeated in the six weeks to come, and all obstacles to our honorable, enduring peace will be removed.
A Difference of Opinion.
The outbreak, with all its attendant calamities and crimes, is clearly attributable to the teachings of lawlessness and contempt of order which have characterized the Lincoln party and the Lincoln administration.
The above is from an article in the Macomb Eagle speaking of the late copperhead riots in New York. There seems to be quite a difference of opinion even among papers of the same political stripe, in regard to the cause of these riots. For instance, the Mobile Tribune, a journal that has a great deal more ability than the Eagle, although no more earnest in the advocacy of treason to the Government, in speaking of the same occurrences says: — “These riots are the result of the doctrine taught of late by the Democratic party, which in New York city has strength enough to defy the Government.” The leading papers of the South all seem to have the same ideas in regard to the matter, and that they are the most competent to judge there can be no doubt. The leaders of the rebellion and the leaders of the secesh Democracy are in constant communication, and Fernando Wood and Gov. Seymour, undoubtedly receive their orders direct from Richmond. The Southern papers know that these mobs are engineered by men who are favorable to the success of the rebellion, and they are honest enough to give the true cause of the late difficulties in New York.
Two weeks ago we asked the editor of the Eagle a few questions, and supposed he would have honesty and fairness enough to give an answer to them. But, perhaps in the hurry of business he has overlooked them, therefore we renew them. It will be remembered that the Eagle charged that the appropriation bills failed during the last legislature, on account of the adjournment of that body by Gov. Yates. The questions asked were as follows:
1st. Did not the Legislature have ample time and opportunity to pass all the necessary appropriation bills?
2nd. Did not the Republican members of the Legislature endeavor, by all means in their power, to get a vote upon the appropriation bills?
3rd. Did not the Democratic members just as persistently refuse to pass the bills?
Did not your party have a majority in both houses and have the power at all times to pass the appropriation bills?
Did not the Republicans on the very day that the Legislature was prorogued try to get these bills through?
Now, Nelson, will you answer these questions, or will you, by your silence, acknowledge that you have wilfully misrepresented the facts in the case. – We pause for a reply.
→ Our republican neighbors are hard to please. They call us copperheads, by way of nickname, and if we take it in good humor they say it is because we are “traitors.” If we resent it and show indignation, they say it is because we are traitors any how. – What shall we do to please them? – Macomb Eagle.
We can tell the editor of the Eagle how he can please his Republican neighbors. It is just as easy as rolling off a leg. Let him cease his opposition to the Government. Let him quit preaching treason. Let him act like a true loyal man. Let him show more sympathy for his struggling country than he does for the traitor Jeff. Davis. Let him come out openly in the Eagle in favor of suppressing the rebellion. Let him cease urging resistance to the draft by constantly misrepresenting the conscription act, and slandering the Administration. A course of this kind will not only please his Republican neighbors, but it will secure him the approbation of all true patriots. It will make him honored while he lives and his memory blessed after he dies. A strict application of the above rules will secure him immunity against all the evils he complains of. But a continuance in the course that he has hitherto followed will, just as surely, lead to ignominy and contempt while living, and it will place his name above that of Benedict Arnold, as exceeding him in treason and meanness, through all coming time. But we believe that Abbott is becoming repentant. When the hardened sinner, convicted of the error of his ways, is led to exclaim, “What shall I do to be saved,” there is hope for him. So in Abbott’s case, he pathetically asks, “What shall we do to please them?” Above we have given the penitent all necessary directions for his political salvation, and hope and trust that he may have the moral strength in the future to walk in the pathway of loyalty and patriotism.
The editor of the Eagle announces himself as an agent for the sale of Vallandigham’s Record. And what is this Record? It is the record of as vile a traitor as ever polluted the soil of any country. Below we give a few of the striking points in this record:
Vallandigham introduced into Congress a proposition to divide the Union into four sovereignties. Was this fidelity to “the Union as it was and the Constitution as it is?”
He voted in Congress against a resolution approving of Major Anderson’s withdrawal from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter.
He declared, upon the uprising produced by the assault on Fort Sumter, that “the troops of Ohio, before they could move through his District to coerce the South, would have to pass over his dead body.
He boasted that in Congress he refused to vote for the appropriation of a single dollar, or the raising of a single man, to put down the rebellion.
He voted against a bill to legalize the act of the President calling out the militia previous to the meeting of Congress in July, 1861, to protect the Government when it had been deprived of all means of successful defense by artful traitors in office under the treacherous and imbecile Buchanan. What a record!
A Collision Between Copperheads
and Loyalists, at South English,
Muscatine, Iowa, August 4. – The Journal of this city this morning has the following:
“A collision occurred between copperheads and Union men at South English, Keokuk county, Iowa, last Saturday. About fifty shots were fired. A man named Talley, a leader of the copperheads, who commenced the firing was killed instantly, and two others died of their wounds shortly after. The copperheads were driven out of the place.
“Later. – The Sheriff of Keokuk county reached this place this morning at daybreak, on a hand-car, en route to the military headquarters of the State, at Davenport, for military assistance. He reports that the insurgents have gathered to the number of 1,500, and were hourly increasing in number. They claim to be 4,000 strong in the county all armed and full of fight.
“The citizens of Washington, about 15 miles from the scene of the difficulties, are much alarmed for the safety of their town.”
Proceedings of the City Council.
Macomb, July 27, 1863.
The Council met pursuant to a call of the Mayor.
Present, Mayor Floyd, presiding, and Aldermen Cochran, McLean, Lancy, Withrow, Clisby, Goodwin, Piper and Baker.
The President stated the object of the meeting to be the receiving of a report from the Board of School Inspectors.
The Board of School Inspectors presented the following report, to-wit:
The Board of Inspectors, for the city of Macomb, submit the following recommendations to your favorable notice. They find the number of children in attendance on the schools of the city, last term, to have been about 550, which taxes the capacity of our school accommodations to the utmost. Of course the number will not be less this year. – It is the testimony of some of our best teachers that the difficulties arising from the crowded state of the schools was greatly increased by the want of proper classification of the pupils in respect to age and acquirements. We therefore propose, with the consent of your honorable body, to classify the schools, so far as may be done with the accommodations at our command, as follows: We would send the children of the 1st and 2nd wards up the age of eight years, and also the very backward ones of a more advanced age, to 2nd ward house; and those of the 3rd and 4th, of a like age, to the 4th ward house. These we would put under the care of a Female Principal and Assistant to each school, whose salary shall be 25 and 20 dollars per month, respectively. We would then select the more advanced of the remaining children and youths, to the number of 70 or 80, and place them in some building, to be hired for the purpose, under a Male Principal and Female Assistant, at a salary of 40 and 30 dollars, respectively. The remaining pupils would occupy the 1st and 3rd houses, under a Male Principal and Female Assistant, at salaries of 40 and 25 dollars, respectively.
The expense of this arrangement will fall within the usual cost of our schools, viz:
Salaries of 2 principals and 2 Assistants of primary schools, $540.00
do. intermediate “ 780.00
1 Principal and Ass’t for high school, 420.00
Incidental expenses, 300.00
Rent of building for high school, 50.00
Expenses last year, 2300.00
Balance in favor of present plan, 210.00
In the opinion of the Board the saving of the money by this plan, though considerable, is among the least of its recommendations. It cannot have escaped the observation of gentlemen of your body, that in regard to its educational advantages, Macomb is behind other cities and towns of its size and importance, and it is a fact, that while it possesses some attraction to emigration, which might operate strongly in its favor, yet the low condition of its schools has turned aside some whose residence among us would have been a gain to the city, and such considerations will possess greater importance, as the tide of emigration sets stronger by us, filling up places, naturally of less advantages, but whose citizens have been large-minded enough to offer the great inducement of a well arranged school system. In looking to those places which have a reputation for good schools, we find without exception, so far as is known to the Board, this fundamental principle: Their schools are classified, and arranged carefully, with reference to bringing together those of similar age and acquirements, and thus so simplifying the labors of the teacher, that he can devote far more time to each pupil than is possible in a mixed school. Also, the temptation which is presented to the teacher of considerable attainments, to spend his time on the older pupils, to the neglect of the younger, is removed. Another advantage, and a great one is this. It has come to be a well ascertained fact, that young children ought not to be subjected to the confinement of regular school hours; they can not bear it without injury to the physical system. Hence a system of education has been adopted in more advanced communities by which the advantages of schooling are secured, and the evils resulting from the old plan of cramping young children into school forms, for 6 hours a day be avoided. This is done by combining a course of “object lessons,” appealing to the eye and ear with those which tax only the memory, and also by various bodly exercises which, while they rest the muscles teach useful facts. It is at once seen that this system, though of vital importance, to those for whom it is intended, is totally inadmissible in a mixed school. The Board are well aware that the above plan is not without objections, one obvious one is, the distance which some of the little ones must travel to reach school, but as this is at most but 1-2 mile, and all on the sidewalk, it is not insurmountable. A more practical difficulty is found in the classification of the pupils; some at eight years being more advanced than others at ten. But this difficulty has always to be met and overcome in the work of grafting a new system on to an old one, and with due diligence on the part of the Board, and a little patience and candor on the part of the public, it may be overcome, and by the end of the first month of the term, we believe the plan would be smoothly at work, and be found greatly to the advantage of all concerned. In regard to the fifth school, the Board would recommend to hire the College as the only building at all suitable for our purpose, which can be had. We are aware that it is not conveniently situated, but the pupils, who would attend, are old enough to endure the walk from the most remote part of the city.
We have also heard some fears pressed that the house was not safe, and if we believed those fears to be well grounded, we would be the last to consent that our children should endure it. But is has been examined by competent judges, and the weak points strengthened, and we believe it to be perfectly secure.
Edward A. Floyd,}
J. W. Matthews,}
Joseph Burton,} Inspectors.
J. B. Cummings,}
On motion, the above report was received and filed, and its recommendations concurred in.
On motion, the Supervisor was directed to have the public wells repaired and put in good order, the work to be done under the direction of the [?] and Aldermen Baker.
On motion, adjourned.
Geo. Wells, City Clerk.
High School in Macomb.
I will open a HIGH SCHOOL in Macomb on Monday, the 3d day of August next.
Terms and all necessary particulars will be announced in due time.
J. C. Reynolds.
Macomb, July 10, 1863 – 405tf.
A few days since, probably on North Lafayette street, a GOLD CHAIN, with a small cross attached to it. The finder will be suitably rewarded by leaving it at Johnson’s store.
County Poor House.
Overseers of the Poor in the several Townships of this county are hereby notified that the County Poor House will be ready for the reception of paupers on the 10th and 11th days of the present month, upon which days all persons claiming to be paupers must be delivered at said Poor House.
JAS. W. MATTHEWS,
Macomb, Aug. 3, 1863.
All persons are hereby notified not to purchase a note given by me to a man, name unknown, on the 29th day July, 1863, as said note being obtained by fraud, and I will not pay it.
Bardolph, Aug. 3, 1863.
Telegraph through Macomb. – The C. B. & Q. R. R. has at last thrown off some of its old fogy nature and commenced the work of laying the the wire for telegraph from Galesburg to Quincy, or at least they have the post holes dug as far as this place. “Bully for them.”
→ The soldiers who return to us from the armies, crippled and disabled for life, should be the objects of our tender regard and care. Their scars are evidences alike of their manly heroism and their earnest patriotism. – They went forth to risk their lives in the defense of our country, our liberties and our dearest interests, and the sufferings they endured and the injuries they received and survived, are as debts incurred for services in our behalf, and for us to pay and every impulse of humanity, patriotism and gratitude appeals to the American people to pay those honorable debts with large interests. Let us care for, and treat tenderly and gratefully the scarred and crippled veterans of this war for the Union.
→ There is some talk of Jeff Davis organizing an army of slaves to fight for the South. We hope he will try the experiment. It would save our Government the trouble and expense of doing it, and would be just as deadly a blow to the rebellion as could be dealt.
→ Adjutant General Baker, of Iowa, has been called to New Hampshire in consequence of the serious illness of his father.