August 29, 1863

Macomb Eagle

When and How the War Should Cease.

            The New York Argus has an article on this subject which so fully expresses our own views, that we adopt it in lieu of any argument that we could make, as follows:

In July, 1861, Congress adopted, by an almost unanimous vote, a resolution offered by the venerable John J. Crittenden, which declared:

That this war is not to be waged, on their part, in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of these states, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired and as soon as these objects are accomplished, THE WAR OUGHT TO CEASE.

Here was a distinct and formal declaration by the National Legislature, at an early stage of the war, of its objects:

1. It was not waged for oppression, conquest or subjugation, or to overthrow or interfere with the rights or institutions of the States;

2. It was waged to maintain the Constitution – to preserve the Union – with the “dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired.”

3. “As soon as these objects (the maintenance of the Constitution, preservation of the Union and protection of the rights of the States) are accomplished, THE WAR OUGHT TO CEASE.”

The country accepted the war, as thus authoritatively defined, and has freely poured out its treasure and its blood to accomplish the “objects.”  The [obscured] State Convention, formally adopted this resolution of Congress as its platform, in relation to the war, and pledged itself to its energetic and cordial support.  Wives, mothers and sisters in all the loyal States – relying upon this Congressional pledge as to the purpose of the war – have freely sent forth husbands, sons and brothers, to risk their lives on the battle field to attain “these objects.”

The war has been prosecuted with varying fortune for more than two years since this Congressional declaration was put on record.  Two thousand millions of money have been expended, and hundreds of thousands of lives have been sacrificed upon the altar of our country.  At last light dawns.  There are unmistakable indications, that “these objects” for which the war is prosecuted, are about to be accomplished, and the glad pean can soon be sounded through every valley and over every hill-top in the land – “THE WAR OUGHT TO CEASE.”

The recent successes of the Federal troops have broken the rebel military power.  The affairs of the Confederacy are in such a critical condition that the people of the several States composing it are likely – on being assured that the Crittenden resolution will be adhered to by us, and that, on the subsidence of armed rebellion in their respective States, they can resume their place in the Union – to repudiate the leaders of the insurrection and return to the government of their fathers.  Peace and a restoration of the Union are within our grasp, and it requires but wise action on the part of the President to close the war and bring back every star into the Union constellation.  Will he do it?

Alas! just here is the painful doubt!  We fear he will not – we believe he will not – unless constrained by an over-whelming pressure of public opinion.  Our reason for this fear and belief is – that the radical Republican leaders are distinctly opposed to closing the war on the basis of the Crittenden Congressional resolution, and demand negro emancipation as a condition precedent of peace – and the President, thus far, has, on every question yielded at last to the views of the radicals.  We think he will do so now – unless held back by a rising swelling tide of popular indignation.

The fears which we express are not idle and groundless.  We have enlarged upon this subject in former articles, which have been the subject of comment in the Republican press.  We will only refer now to an additional significant indication of a perverse purpose at Washington.  Hon. William Whiting, Solicitor of the War Department a man of considerable ability, and who seems to have the confidence of the Administration, has published a letter, the purpose of which is to show that by the rebellion the States in insurrection have been extinguished, and have ceased to be States, and that they must be subjugated and held as conquered territory.  He takes ground that this “conquered territory” can only be formed into States and admitted into the Union as follows:

Allow the inhabitants of conquered territory to form themselves into States, only by adopting constitutions such as will forever remove all cause of collision with the United States, by excluding slavery therefrom, or continue military government over the conquered district until there shall appear therein a sufficient number of loyal inhabitants to form a Republican government, which, by guaranteeing freedom to all, shall be in accordance with the true spirit of the Constitution of the United States.

If this is to be the doctrine of the Administration – if the war is not to cease in the consummation of the “objects” named in the Crittenden Congressional resolution – if the seceded States are not only not in the Union, but have ceased to exist as States – then, indeed, peace is far from our borders, and we are just entering upon a negro war – a crusade for African emancipation.

We say to our readers – without reference to their political associations – to Republicans as well as Democrats – that there is danger of losing the golden moment for peace and a full restoration of the Union – that all depends upon the action of the President and the chances are that he will go wrong.  In every possible mode, he should be made aware of the feeling of the country and not left to the control of the radicals who attempt to keep possession of him.

Let the public speak in [obscured] tones, which will shake the White House, and proclaim that they are in favor of receiving back the Southern States as fast as they lay down the weapons of rebellion, and are opposed to inaugurating an endless negro war.

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The Grand Scare.

            The grand scare of the union leaguers is the theme of many a remark.  We think it was got up purposely by the principal men of that guerrilla organization.  The leading leaguers for sometime have wanted a lot of soldiers brought here, ostensibly to keep the peace, but really to provoke disturbance and strife; but some of the more respectable and honorable republicans opposed it.  The chief leaguers then hit upon the plan of getting up a grand scare for the purpose of convincing their doubting brethren that their lives and property were in danger. – A more detestable and reprehensible scheme has never been concocted in Macomb.  The alarm of the leading leaguers was only pretended, but they were corrupt enought to make their followers believe it was genuine, and that some foundation existed for it aside from the schemes of their own wicked conclaves.  They did not scruple to spread consternation among their families, but inflicted a like fear on their friends and those who placed confidence in them.  We do not of course know whether they will succeed in their purpose of bringing soldiers into this county, but we do know that their shameless conduct has aroused a feeling of indignation among the deceived and frightened republicans who do not like to be made the sport of such unprincipled demagogues.  All men in Macomb now know, what the leading leaguers knew at the time, that the danger was a pure fabrication – that it was “an artificial excitement – there was nothing going wrong, and nobody hurt.”

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Democratic Meeting.

            At Alvah Clark’s grove, New Salem township, on Saturday, Aug. 29th, at 2 o’clock p. m.  Speeches by T. E. Morgan and Nelson Abbott.

At the school house near John Price’s, in Eldorado township, on Saturday, Aug. 29th, at 7 o’clock p. m.  Speeches by Morgan and Abbott.

At Raritan, Henderson county, on Saturday, Aug. 29th, at 1 o’clock p. m.  Speeches by J. C. Thompson and J. H. Hungate.

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Middletown.

            There will be a Democratic rally at Middletown on Saturday, September 5th.  Speaking will begin at 2 o’clock.  Let everybody come.

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Illinoisans Lost in Idaho Territory.

            We are indebted to Miss Rachel Thompson of Mound township, for a slip cut from the Daily Oregonian (published at Portland, Oregon), of July 21, 1863.  The slip was forwarded by Miss T’s brother, now residing in Oregon, and gives an account of the findings of five dead bodies in Idaho Territory.  It will be seen that one of the men, William A. Smith, was formerly a resident of this county, and probably the others were from this State.  We copy the Oregonian’s account, as follows:

We publish below extracts from a number of papers found on the bodies of five persons (four men and a woman), lately discovered by a prospecting party on the waters of South Salmon.  The first appears to be a letter written at Salt Lake City, with the intention of forwarding the same to his friend Bennett, who doubtless resides in one of the western States:

“Salt Lake City, March 18, 1863.

            “Friend Bennett – I write you these few lines to inform you that I am well, and expect to be in Bannock City by the 1st May.  John, if your house is for rent I should like you to keep it for me.  I will pay you good fair rent for it, or buy it from you.  Please do so, and you will oblige me.  Your friend,              Amadie Prairie.”

The second paper is, we presume, taken from the body of the unfortunate gentleman whose name is mentioned therein.  From a family record also found on the body, it appears that the deceased was thirty-seven years old; that he was married in 1847 to Phebe J. Luier, since dead, and that he had four children:

            “McDonough Co., Ill., April 8, 1854.

            “We, the United Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, at Independence, do hereby certify that our beloved brother, Wm. A. Smith, is a member in good standing and fellowship in our church, and we dismiss him as such when joined to any other church of the same faith and order.  Done by order of the church in session.                  J. M. Wallin, church clerk.”

A letter dated “Virden, Nov. 9, 1862” was found in another of the bodies, who was no doubt a former resident of that place, as the writer mentions a number of friends of the deceased who had left for the seat of war in the “Virden company.”  Among those mentioned are Chedister, Bird, English, Inels, and B. Cowen.  The write addresses the letter to his “dear friend Peter” (the deceased), and signs himself J. R. Stuart.  From these documents we should infer that the bodies were those of an emigrant party from Illinois, and we have no doubt that the identification of one of the unfortunates would lead to the speedy recognition of the others.

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            → The statement in the Journal that a republican was compelled to desist from taking notes of the speeches of Abbott and Hungate at Industry, is untrue.  There was no “rush” made upon Mr. Downen, the man alluded to, and not a word was said to him till after the speeches were over, and then he was only called upon to report correctly, and not falsely, as he had been doing, what had been said by the speakers.  The largest liberty is freely accorded to any man to report and print whatever any Democratic speaker may say.  The “sixteen editors of the Journal” should not be so quick to re-lie on the falsehoods told by the leaguers.  If they want to learn the truth they must enquire of Democrats.

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            → In every speech made by the editor of this paper he has counseled obedience to the Constitution, the enforcement of the laws, and the preservation of peace and order at any sacrifice short of a total deprivation of our constitutional rights and legal privileges.  Those who represent that we have done the opposite of this are guilty of bearing false witness.

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            → Jefferson Burton, formerly a resident of this city, and for upwards of a year an officer of the 16th regiment, died at Springfield, Tenn., on the 21st of this month.  His remains reached this city on Tuesday, and were taken the next day to Mt. Sterling for burial.  Mr. B. was a young man of fine abilities, of warm attachments, and unswerving fidelity.

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            → The weather this August is as variable and the changes as sudden as the most capricious person could ask for.  After a heated term of some ten days the thermometer markes 92° at 6 o’clock on Sunday evening last.  The next morning at 6 o’clock the same instrument marked 50°.  Fires have been “comfortable” since then.

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            → Persons having legal business to attended to in Prairie City will find Morse & Keith prepared to render them any assistance they may stand in need of.  See their card.

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            → Wash. Goodwin is still on hand, ready to do all kinds of blacksmithing.  See advertisement.

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Preserving the Peace.

To the Editor of The Macomb Eagle:

In view of the serious difficulties that now threaten us, when there is a moral obligation resting upon every good citizen of whatever party in this community to exercise all the prudence, coolness, and caution at their command; when, as some believe, there is danger of bloodshed even upon our streets, or that the flames of our homes my illumine the heavens at any hour of the night; when the conservative men of different political parties are trying to allay the excitement that has reached such a pitch that but one spark more seems necessary to throw the whole community into a flame, inaugurating the demon of civil war in our town and county, with its track black with desolation: I say, when the country was big with these impending evils, I was led to believe that the epithets with which Democrats and men who love their country had been branded, such as “copperhead,” “secessionist,” and “traitor,” would cease.  I thought we were all awakened to the necessity of dropping the bitter animosities and vulgar slang of party, if we expected to succeed in staying civil war.  I thought so because republicans, whom I believed, told me so: Yet on yesterday, when I the writer of this was doing what he believed to be his duty as a good citizen – when was using any influence he might have in urging upon Democrats that they ought to obey the laws and constituted authorities – at that very hour he was being denounced in this city as a copperhead, a secessionist, and a traitor.  This denunciation was made by one of a class of persons whose acts are sanctified with pretending to be imbued with the doctrine and divine teaching of the Prince of Peace – who visit the house of God on the Sabbath day, shed crocodile tears over the story of the agonies of the Saviour on the Cross, receive with hypocritical expression and bowed form the emblems of His death and resurrection, then arise, shake the dust of the sacred altar from their shoes, drop the cloak of Christianity from their morally putrescent bodies, and stalk forth into the world to emit slanders and backbitings upon their fellow citizens, who never did them even in thought any injury.

Now, Mr. Editor, I do not state this to bring my private griefs before the public (for I have been slandered and lied on so often in this town within two years as to become used to it), but to show how far the wicked prejudices of a portion of this community will carry them, and better to illustrate what I want to say to republicans, which is this: I have seen enough in the last two days to satisfy me that many of you (to your credit be it said) have a terror of civil war – that you are anxious for the march of anarchy to be stayed; but I tell you, and God knows I do it more in sorrow than in anger, that before you and I and this whole community combined can drive back this dark shadow, you will have to stop showering such epithets as “secessionist,” “copperhead,” “traitor,” etc., on Democrats and men who never had a pulsation but in love for their country and in sympathy for its troubles.  You will have to quit it on the streets, at your homes, before your wives and children, and from the press and pulpit.  If any of you really think a man is a traitor, and you are so big with it that it will out, have the courage and manliness to go and charge it upon him to his face, or have him indicted and brought to trial in the courts, and not pretend to be his friend while you sneak off and tell it to your wife, that she with lying tongue may repeat what you have said and a great deal more to the women at the next sewing circle or soldiers’ aid society.  I tell you, republicans, that this has been done, and is being done now and every day, upon innocent men in this city, and I know it.  Some of you have taught it to your children, and we all hear it from them on the streets.

Now I want to ask you in all sincerity, do we want peace?  If you answer in the affirmative, how are we going to reach it through slanders heaped upon men already excited by what they honestly believe to be the abuses of the last two years?  If this should claim any republican’s attention for a moment, I would ask him whether he would be for peace or war, if called and denounced as an enemy of his country? and are such denunciations calculated to put down trouble?  You will agree with me, I think, that it will drive many good men to acts which they now abhor. – Advise your wives and children not to be so glib with the words “copperhead,” “secessionist,” and “traitor,” and of all other vices and crimes known in the calendar, tell them none is worse morally than to fabricate and repeat slanders upon their neighbors.

If you will do this, there will be no uneasiness in the public mind of this city.  We can have peace on that surest of all foundations, good feeling and neighborly affection for one another.  I am a Democrat, and have ever been, although I believe now I number among republicans as good friends as I have on earth – men who would scorn to be guilty of letting their prejudices carry them beyond the bounds of truth and reason.  I mention this to show that I do not allow my political prejudices to interfere with my estimate of a man, and to show that this is written in good faith, intending it to hurt the feelings of no one, — but only intended for those whom the shoe will fit.

That Democrats and republicans will allay their party prejudices at least far enough to insure our living, as we have heretofore done, in peace, is the sincere wish of one who is trying to discharge the duties of a good

CITIZEN.

Macomb, Aug. 20.

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            → The troubles in Fulton county are ended.  The soldiers have left the county, and of course no apprehension of further trouble is now felt by any law-abiding citizen of the county.  No disturbances would ever have occurred had not the guerrilla leaguers put on an extra amount of bluster and swagger.

 ——————–

            → A Baptist church near Middletown was burned to the ground a week or two ago.  Men living in the neighborhood have a suspicion that the building was destroyed because it could not be prostituted to the purposes of abolitionism.

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            “Cry fire! fire! and then rob your neighbors.” – Journal.

→ We defy anybody to give a better definition of the objects and purposes of the union leaguers than the above.

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