August 21, 1863

Macomb Weekly Journal

The News.

            The news of the past week has been rather dull, but the indications are that great events are at hand, that will result in splendid achievements for the Union army.  Charleston is now the great centre of attraction, and all the dispatches are favorable to its early fall.

Since Monday events at Charleston have been rather monotonous.  They have been exchanging shell and shot with the rebels night and day, probably with but little damage to either side.  The enemy’s object was to retard Gen. Gillmore’s siege works, but they have all been perfected for several days.

The intention to open on the 13th was abandoned on account of some difficulty as to the quality of the army ammunition and owing to the serious indisposition of Gen. Gillmore.  He is, however, much better, and the opening of the heavy siege work has commenced are this.  The shore batteries got range of the guns and knocked three holes in the walls of Sumter.

A general impression prevails that the rebels are evacuating Sumter, and will blow it up as soon as the assault commences.  Out of nearly thirty guns on the parapets ten days ago, but six now remain, and most of those in the casements had previously disappeared.

The rebels have erected a line of earthworks a mile long on James Island, from Fort Johnson to Secessionville, although they have but few guns mounted as yet.  This is supposed to be the destination of Sumter’s guns. – Our picket boats around Sumter report great activity every night with schooners, steamers, &c.

The weather is fine, with a very calm sea, and most favorable for operations.  The sun is hot, but there is a good sea breeze and occasional thundershowers.

Everything is now in readiness on sea and shore, and all are looking forward to the work for certain success.

Reinforcements continue to arrive to them daily, and quite a large army is now on the islands.

On Wednesday night the rebels fired on our works with grape and canister, on information received from the sutlers who deserted to the enemy.  We lost two killed and two wounded.  The Monitors [obscured] opened on Wagner.  The rebel guns were soon silenced.  The Admiral went on board the Potapsco, joining her under the guns of Wagner, and came near being taken off by a ten-inch shot.

The indications are that the rebels will depend principally on the obstructions and the interior line of defenses.

In the next attack the Ironsides will engage Wagner and keep her silent, whilst the Monitors and shore batteries engage Sumter.  The wooden fleet and mortar-schooners will engage Moultrie.  It will be a grand affair.

The rebels work on James Island indicates an attempt on the part of the rebels to drive Gillmore off James Island, or to annoy him as to interfere with the siege of Sumter.

The rebels have piled sand bags on the wharf against the rear of the wall of Sumter, forty feet high, completely protecting the magazines from Gillmore’s shore batteries.  But few shots were fired during Sunday.  It was understood that the assault would be made on Monday.

The weather promises favorably for operations and Gen. Gillmore’s health is much better.

The news from the army of the Potomac is of an interesting character, and indicate some general movement soon.  The time not having arrived for an advance on Richmond, the army of the Potomac will probably retire to points nearer Washington, to defend that and the line of the Potomac, and after the operations at the South have been successful, will renew its march on the rebel capital, in conjunction with troops approaching from other directions.

The draft in the Sixth district, New York City, is progressing.  There is no trouble anywhere, nor is any apprehended.  All kinds of business is progressing as usual.


            → Gen. Rosecrans’ army is reported to be nearing Chattanooga, and Gen. Burnside’s forces are reported to be on the move for East Tennessee.


What do they Mean?

            For some time we have been satisfied that the copperheads of this State have been preparing for resistance to the laws, and from time to time we have called attention to the fact that these men were arming themselves.  We think now, that none will deny that we were right, and the excitement that has existed for a few days past, is not without some reason.  When gangs of scalawags are drilling day after day, and riding around the country in broad daylight, armed with rifles, shot guns, and revolvers, it is time for loyal men to begin to defend themselves.  On Tuesday last, squads of these men were seen in different parts of the county, and quite a number of them came into Macomb, and swaggered around the streets with guns on their shoulders, and breathing out threats of mischief against the property of loyal citizens.  The probable cause of all this hurrying to and fro, and active preparations for bushwhacking is the fact that a squad of cavalry passed through this county on their way to whip the copperheads of Fulton.  This squad of cavalry stopped at the residence of Sam Gibson, near Middletown, and as they always do, levied on him for forage for their horses, and paid him for what they took.

This, however, did not satisfy him, and the copperheads at once rallied to follow and capture the soldiers.  But after they got together, they concluded that discretion was the better part of valor, and did not follow.  Now, all we have got to say about such demonstrations as that of Tuesday last is, that they are wrong, and that those who are engaged in them are the enemies of all law-abiding men.  We are now at peace, life and property are perfectly safe, and it is manifestly the duty of all parties to maintain the peace.  No Union men have been seen drilling – no Union men have been seen riding about the country with arms in their hands.  Then why need these men commence any such proceedings.  We tell them plainly, that their course is calculated to breed disturbance and difficulty. – But they say that they are fearful that soldiers will come into this county. – Well supposing they do?  If there is no resistance to the laws of the country, Uncle Sam’s soldiers will hurt no one.  They make no war upon peaceful, law-abiding men, and it is only when men place themselves in the position of traitors that they need fear the soldiers.  But the copperheads are taking just the course that will bring soldiers into this [obscured] bands are coursing through the county means will be taken to defend life and property against them.  We hope and trust that no occasion will arise for sending soldiers into this county, but we tell copperheads that they must quietly submit to the laws or they will have to put up with the presence of soldiers.  The best course for all to pursue is to abide by the laws of the country, then there will be no occasion for trouble.  If it does come, upon the heads of law-breakers will rest the responsibility.


The Telegraph. – At last Macomb has a telegraph connection with the outside world.  Of course it does us no good yet, as no office has been opened in this city, but the wires are up from Quincy to this point, and we learn will be completed through to Galesburg in a few days.


→ The weather continues warm.


The Trouble in Fulton County.

            Exciting rumors of an outbreak among the copperheads of Fulton county have prevailed here for the past week.  As near as we can learn the case, it is about as follows: A short time since the copperheads of Isabella township took forcible possession of the papers of the enrolling officer of that township.  A few soldiers were sent in to arrest the perpetrators of the outrage.  This invasion of the “sacred sile” of Fulton, the copperheads determined to resist, and about two hundred of the popgun rangers assembled to prevent arrests.  The rumors of a big fight and of the killing of several is probably much exaggerated.  Several arrests were made by the soldiers and the prisoners sent to Springfield.  The copperheads showing a design to make further trouble, reinforcements were sent for, and we learn that there are now soldiers enough in that county to clean out the whole butternut crowd.  It is certainly to be hoped by every local man that nothing will occur in this State to mar its peace but all should prepare to meet the trouble if it must come.  One thing is certain, the laws must be executed in every county in this State, and if the copperheads are foolish enough to place themselves in the way of its execution they must take the result. – According to the latest reports, the copperheads had disbanded and returned to their homes.  If so there will probably be no further trouble.

LATER. – The latest reports from Fulton is that the copperheads, several hundred strong, had given the soldiers until Thursday noon to leave the county.  On the other hand, the Provost Marshal had given the traitors until the same time to return to their homes. – We bet the copperheads will “skedaddle.”


Free Speech and Free Press.

            Judging from the columns of the Eagle, that paper is a champion of the utmost freedom of speech and freedom of press, and this is the rallying cry of the party to which he belongs.  But from his actions, and the actions of his party, this freedom of speech and of press only means freedom to spout and print treason.  As a case in point: A few days since Abbott and Hungate made copperhead speeches at Industry.  A good Union man of that place taking it for granted that these men meant what they said in regard to every man’s right to write and print what he might desire, prepared himself with pencil and paper to take notes of Abbott’s speech.  But no sooner did the ranting disciple of free speech learn what he was doing than a rush was made upon him, and fearing that his life would be taken, he desisted.  Now this is a fair exemplification of the kind of freedom that these men desire.  It is freedom for traitors to break up the Government, and freedom to mob all who endeavor to show up their treason.  Pretty champion of free discussion.


Spurring Them On.

            While we believe that the majority of the leaders of the Democratic party are opposed to commencing a geurilla warfare in this section, there is no doubt that there is a portion, who, by their traitorous utterances, have been raised to the position of leaders, are doing all in their power to stir up strife and discord.  Such men as Nelson Abbott, and others we might name, who have always stood in the back ground, are now the acknowledged leaders of the most radical portion of the party. – These men have been as busy as bees for the past month or two, making incendiary speeches, and attending secret conclaves of the K. G. C.’s.  We notice in the Schuyler Citizen, an account of a meeting near Brooklyn, in that county, at which a large number of armed men were present, and where cheers for Vallandigham and Jeff Davis, were freely given.  The meeting was addressed by Thompson of this city.  Now we would like to know if it is necessary for men to arm themselves to attend a public meeting, and also whether a loyal, law abiding man, would be instrumental in calling together such a crowd of mercenaries, at a time like this, when everything ought to be done to allay excitement, instead of creating it.  The men who have taken the lead in arousing all this excitement, and in raising these geurilla bands in our midst, must know the inevitable result of such a course.  They may think that they can set the ball in motion, and then quietly withdraw and see the fun.  But, gentlemen, you are mistaken.  Such men as Dan [?]atch, though they may do as cats paws in the hands of abler men, do not pull the wires and lay the plans that will precipitate the State into war.  They are but tools.  Such men as Abbott are at the bottom of the difficulty, and they are the men that will be held responsible for the trouble that may spring from their teachings.


Can’t Control Them.

            Some of the leading Democrats in this section are getting scared, and freely confess that the rabble have been so fixed in their determination that they cannot control them.  This is the danger that we have feared all the time.  The leaders of the party, for political ends, have been engaged in stirring up party strife and arousing a spirit of opposition to the Government for months past, and now we are all, Democrats and Republicans, likely to suffer the consequences.  These men who are now riding about the country, threaten- [obscured] have been taught by the Eagle, and by the speeches of their leaders, that the Government was intending to destroy their liberties, and that resistance to laws of Congress would be right and justifiable.  They have believed what they have been told, and are now organized to carry out the advice that has been given them; and the leaders seeing that they have carried the thing too far, are now fearing destruction from the very spirit they have incited.  One thing is certain, if a guerilla war is to be carried on this State, all must suffer, and it is the duty of every man to lay aside party feeling and join in the effort to prevent trouble in our midst.  If leading Democrats cannot control their tools, some other power will have to be applied and that speedily too.  It will be the same as in Fulton county.  United States soldiers will be put in and they will use arguments that the vilest copperhead of Missouri renegade can understand.


More Copperheadism.

            We learn from a gentleman who came from Rushville on Wednesday last, that the barn of N. G. Slack, the Provost Marshal of Schuyler county, was fired by an incendiary on Tuesday night and burned to the ground.  His house was also fired into, but luckily the bullet hit no one.  A store was also set on fire the same night, but the fire went out without doing any damage.  The Provost Marshal’s barn was set on fire before the house was fired into, and the supposition is, that the barn was fired in hopes that Mr. Slack would rush out to save his horse when he could be shot down.  But others saw the light of the burning building first, and the rascally perpetrators fired into the house and took to their heels.  This is carrying out the plan adopted in Indiana, and which Abbott relished so highly.


            → Abbott says that “we freely confess our inability to answer why copperhead pins are worn.”  Well we can tell what class of persons wear them. – If you come across a real blatant copperhead, one that is always cursing the Government, the war for the preservation of the Union, and always studiously avoids saying anything against Jeff. Davis, you will generally find him wearing a copperhead breast pin.  On the other hand, a good loyal man would as soon be caught stealing sheep as wearing one of the disloyal badges.  Well, then, if none but disloyal men wear the copperhead pin, is it not pretty good evidence that it is a badge of disloyalty.



            On Tuesday, July 28th, a check of Chas. Chandler & Co., for one hundred and sixty dollars, No. 2707, payable to myself or bearer, dated July 25, 1863.  All persons are cautioned from purchasing or negotiating for said check, as payment has been stopped.



Another Brave Boy Gone.

            We learn that Geo. Jellison, son of Wm. Jellison, of this city, died on the [?]th inst., at Lexington, Ky.  Just a week previous to his death, he was with his regiment passing over the railroad from Covington to Lexington.  He was riding on top of the cars, and when within six miles of Lexington, and about 10 o’clock p. m., he accidentally fell between the cars, the wheels passing over one of his legs, mangling it terribly.  No one saw him fall, and he lay by the side of the track until morning, when he was found and conveyed to the hospital at Lexington.  On Friday his leg was amputated, and a day or two later, mortification set in, and he died on Wednesday, just one week from the day he was hurt.  He had the best surgical care up to the time of his death, and was decently interred by his comrades at Lexington.  George was [?] years of age, and was highly respected by his companions in arms. – He belonged to the 65th Illinois volunteers.


Pic Nic.

            The Good Templars of Tennessee, Colchester, Argyle, Blandinville and Macomb held a Pic Nic on Saturday last in a grove near Tennessee. – Speeches were made by Capt. Roach, J. C. Reynolds and Rev. Mr. Canady.  The affair would have passed off pleasantly had it not been for the presence of a few copperheads wearing the insignia of treason.  Several little fights and the tearing off of the copperhead pins were the result.  On the whole the occasion passed off pleasantly.


Crop Prospects.

            We have just returned from a trip through Adams, Pike and Brown counties.  The prospects for a corn crop are much better in these counties than it is with us.  The corn even before the late rains had suffered much less than in this section, and in Pike county particularly, the prospects for a full crop look well.  Even in this county the crop will be much better than was hoped for two weeks ago.  The corn fields on the line of the rail road look pretty hard, but back in the country the prospect is much better.


            Home Again. – Ex-Sheriff Hopper, who has been to California, returned home on Wednesday morning last.  He looks hale and hearty, as though roughing it agreed with him.  His son also returned home with him.


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