October 9, 1863

Macomb Weekly Journal

Latest News.

            The latest news from Rosecrans states that the position he occupies is impregnable against all efforts of the enemy.

Considerable excitement exists in Nashville, owing to Forrest’s raid between Chattanooga and that city.  But it is not thought that much damage will be done, as no supplied are being sent for the present.

Reinforcements in large numbers have, within the past week, reached Rosecrans from various sources, and it is probable that he will soon take the offensive.

A Fort Monroe letter says that a large expedition, consisting of infantry, cavalry and artillery, with several gunboats, have left that point, destination unknown.

The latest news from Charleston indicates that Gen. Gilmore is about ready to renew operations on that city.

An expedition of three Union regiments in North Carolina have destroyed the rebel salt works at Nag’s Head.

Gen. Franklin’s corps recently attacked the rebels at Brashear City, and was repulsed, but the 13th army corps coming up, the rebels were routed.


Don’t Forget.

            We trust that Union men in each township in the county will see to it that delegates are elected to attend the Convention on the 12th of October. – Let these primary meetings be held on Saturday, the 10th of October, and let men be elected who will attend to this duty.


The K. G. C.’s Again.

            It seems that our notice of the meeting of the K. G. C.’s of this county, stirred up quite an excitement among the participants in that treasonable gathering, and for want of courage or something else, they pitched into Mr. Brattle, an old resident of this city, and for years a constant boarder at the Brown House.  It appears that these valiant Knights supposed that Mr. Brattle had revealed their midnight conspiracies, and at once a committee was appointed to wait on the old gentleman and secure his removal from the house.  They couldn’t, they supposed, carry on their nefarious business at the Brown House while he remained there, without having it leak out.  But Mr. Brattle, having made that house his home for the last fifteen or twenty years and always having paid his board and conducted himself like a gentleman, concluded that he had as good a right to stay there, as had the elected committee of the K. G. C.’s, and so informed the chairman thereof.  Finding that Mr. Brattle could not be coaxed out of the house, they next tried to scare him out, but the old gentleman didn’t scare worth a continental.  In pursuance of their plan, Mr. Brown, the proprietor of the house, a day or two after, waited on Mr. Brattle in his room and informed him that it would be dangerous for him to go to the teatable, as there was some fifteen or twenty who had threatened to take him out by force, if he did.  But the cowardly scamps (we could publish some their names if proper) concluded they had gone about far enough, and let the matter drop, so far as he was concerned.  Now so far as we are concerned, we can exhonorate Mr. Brattle from any responsibility in reporting the matter.  We got our information from parties who were much nearer the room in which the meeting was held, than was Mr. Brattle.  And we also had much more information in regard to who attended the meeting, and object of it, than we published.  It seems that the men who are engaged in this business, desire to make the Brown House a sort of rendezvous for the K. G. C.’s, and have proposed to do the [?] thing in supporting the house if all abolitionists can be kept away. – We do not charge that Mr. Brown is a party to this scheme, or that he desires to do any such thing, but of one thing we are quite certain, that the entertaining of such crews as met there on the night alluded to will not give his house a very good reputation among loyal men.  The Eagle of last week has an article in relation to this meeting, in which it is very careful not to deny that such a meeting was held.  One of the men engaged in it has been telling around that it was only a caucus to elect delegates to the county convention, but as the last Eagle gives official notice of the caucus to elect delegates to be held on the 10th of October, in daylight, and at the court house, we suppose that this man didn’t tell the truth.  Has it come to pass in the peaceful city of Macomb, that the democrats of Macomb township have to hold their caucuses in secret places – at the dead hour of night – and then sneak in and out of the back kitchen doors and windows to get to and from their meetings?  We think not, indeed we know that this was not the object of that meeting.  That it was a meeting to elect delegates, we have good reasons to believe, but the delegates to be elected were not to attend the county convention, but to go to Ohio, to “prevent frauds in the election” and to help inaugurate the traitor Vallandigham, if elected, by force.  It is understood that a certain district in this section of the State has promised to raise 250 of the delegates whose expenses are to be paid, and whose business it is to help elect Vallandigham on Tuesday next.  This is not the only meeting of the kind that has been held in this county within the last three months, nor is the [?] in Macomb the only one that has an existence, as the doorkeeper of the late meeting well knows.  Abbott may make fun of the idea of there being K. G. C.’s in this county as much as he pleases, but there is evidence of the fact that is conclusive, as the midnight conspirators in the county may some day learn.  We have no desire to injure the reputation of the Brown House, but we tell its proprietor that such things cannot be hid under a bushel, and that his best course (if he desires to get the custom of loyal men), is to give these clean shirt democrats’ who have a ‘little private business to attend to’ at an house when all honest men should be in bed, a wide berth.


            → A Boys’ Undertaking. – Two bright and ambitious lads under the firm of C. H. Smith & Brother, are publishing a neat little semi-weekly paper at Elgin, Ill., called The Union.  The ages of these enterprising young newspaper publishers are 14 and 11, respectively.  They fill their little sheet with wit, stories and poetry and they and their enterprise deserve encouragement.  “Large oaks from little acorns grow,” you know.


            → Our patriot ancestors shed their blood freely for the principles that support the habeas corpus which Lincoln has abolished!  Their shades appeal to us at least to cast our votes for those consecrated principles! – Eagle.

What an idea!  The shades of such men as Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson appealing to men to cast their votes for such men as Vallandigham, the Woods, and the Seymours. – If those men were now living, and had the reins of Government in their hands Vallandigham would long since have been a dead traitor, instead of the candidate of a treasonable party.  These men never had sympathy for traitors, nor never designed that the writ of habeas corpus should protect them, and this is the very reason why the suspension of the writ was provided for in the Constitution.  They saw that it might be perverted in the hands of treasonable Judges, and made to screen those who were endeavoring to destroy the Constitution; and the fact that it is now necessary, shows that they were possessed of almost prophetic wisdom.


            → Abbott is still chattering over the “opportunities lost” in which Lincoln might have obtained peace.  We know of one or two opportunities that Lincoln has lost also, one of them was when he allowed the traitor Vallandigham to slip through his fingers without slipping a noose around his neck.  Another was when he revoked Burnside’s order suppressing the Chicago Times.


From the 16th Regiment.

Bridgeport, Ala.,
Sept. 26, 1863.

            Dear Parents: — The week just ended has been one fraught with unusual interest to the United States Government.  The great battle, which has just been fought, to the Southern Confederacy, has been one of great moment.  To them it was either a life or death struggle; and to us a mere prolongation of the war – which means a great deal – an enormous expense of money, and the loss of thousands of gallant men.  Right well has the Army of the Cumberland done its duty under the leadership of its noble commander and the expectations of the country, during the week past, have certainly not been disappointed, for they have accomplished as much, if not more, than could be reasonably looked for from them. – The gallant sons of the West have certainly added new lustre to her already untarnished fame, and have covered her arms with glory, which might well be envied by other sections of Uncle Sam’s “fair domains,” and well may she be called the “great west.”  It is not a defeat to our arms notwithstanding the army has fallen back; nor is it a victory to the enemy, for they have been foiled in their attempts to overwhelm and defeat our small army – small in comparison with theirs.  It is reported that Gen. Rosecrans dispatched to Gen. Morgan (J. D., our division commander) that “I am fighting the whole Southern Confederacy;” and he might well say so – for arrayed against the army of the Cumberland was a great portion of Lee’s army; a portion of the army from Charleston, and Gen. Joe Johnston’s army.  I presume that we may calculate and very accurately, too, that two-thirds of the eastern army had reinforced Bragg.  I have seen prisoners representing three Corps – Gens. A. P. Hill’s, Longstreet’s and Ewell’s; opposed to these alone was the army of the Cumberland, consisting of not over fifty thousand men at the front – yet for an entire week have the rebels been held at bay; and being now well fortified, they can still hold them in check until Gen. Rosecrans receives sufficient reinforcements to warrant an advance.  The battle commenced last Saturday morning.  Upon the left – extreme left – which being thrown into confusion (the right of the left) they were compelled to fall back, when Gen. Thomas reinforced the left from his Corps; it was also reinforced by Gen. Granger’s reserve corps.  This considerably weakened the center, which was commanded by Gen. Thomas and no sooner had the rebels perceived this than they took advantage of the portion thus weakened, and pushed them hard, throwing them for a few moments into confusion.  A division was instantly thrown forward to support this portion of the line, and it was only after the most desperate fighting that they succeeded in bringing “order,” or regaining lost ground – which they did with great loss to the enemy.  A great deal is owing to the reserve corps for the part if performed in this day’s work.  The whole corps was present upon the “scene of action,” except out brigade and one or two regiments of another brigade. – The whole of the first division, the whole of the third division, and the 2nd and 3rd brigades of our division, and our brigade, “according to custom,” was behind protecting communications and guarding supply, ammunition and other trains to and from the army.  The greater part of our regiment were out guarding trains, and from Lookout Mountain they plainly traced the relative positions of the two armies from the smoke of the firearms.  They who saw it say it was the grandest of sights; and I presume that those who were engaged in it thought it was most too grand to make a custom of it.  The reserve corps was badly cut up, as you have, undoubtedly, heard ere this time.  Gen. Granger handled it superbly and his praise is in the mouths of all; and by his Saturday’s and Sunday’s work he established a [?] reputation.  The boys all have a great deal of confidence in him.  The hardest of the fight came off on last Sabbath – and I doubt whether in the annals of history there can be found an engagement maintained upon both sides with such fierceness – such invincible determination and such slaughter.  Volley after volley bearing brave men down to an honorable grave – charge after charge, this side now moving, then that.  The Federals, inspired by the holiness and justice of their cause; the confederates throwing their all into the struggle – and fighting for sweet existence.  Soldiers who passed safely thro’ Shiloh, Perryville and Stone River, all concur in saying that they were mere skirmishes as compared with last Sunday’s fighting.  Out troops, a great many of them having exhausted their ammunition, fought the greater part of the battle with the bayonet; and many brilliant charges were made by both confederates and Federals, and generally as bravely received.  Several times were bayonets locked in the death struggle.  The engagement commenced about nine o’clock, A. M.; and last Sabbath, while many mothers and sisters were gathered together to worship the God of battles – He who preside over the destinies of nations – did they think of and offer silent prayers for the gallant sons and brothers who were shedding their life’s blood as freely as water in order that such privileges might be perpetuated to them?  Oh, how nobly our boys at the front stood up to the work of blood and carnage.  Not a man in the whole line flinching or quailing before the terrific leaden hail poured into their already thinned ranks; not a regiment wavering, but all doing their duty nobly and manfully – from Maj. Gen. Rosecrans down to the private – not only receiving death shots from the guns of the enemy but also returning them with double compound interest.  Longstreet’s men are reported to be perfectly satisfied with what they received from the ‘Western Yankees.’  When they first came South, to reinforce Gen. Bragg, they made a great deal of sport and fun of Bragg’s men for not standing and fighting; telling them that they had to come and clean out their department for them, after having cleaned out their own.  Bragg’s men replied to them that they would get their fill of cleaning out this department for them about the time they tried it once or twice.  And when, last Sunday, they made several bayonet charges, they were considerably surprised to find that they did not want to receive them, but were so accommodating as to meet them half way and lock bayonets with them.  Bayonets were locked several times.  As an instance of this, and of the desperate fighting, let me mention the case of one Captain of our army. – His regiment had been ordered to charge upon the rebels, which they did with great gallantry and heavy loss. – The Captain himself came in contact with a great burly fellow gun in hand ready to receive him.  When he came in striking distance, the rebel thrust at the Captain, the bayonet striking at rib and glancing off; the Captain then seized the rebel by the hand, and commenced cutting and whacking with his ‘frog-sticker,’ and very nicely took the rebel’s hand off and coolly put it in his blouse pocket.  He related this incident as coolly as you please, and taking the hand from his pocket, showed it to us all, remarking that he intended to preserve it in spirits.  There are many other similar instances of desperate fighting, which, for want of time and space, I defer relating, and will give you some of the names of the boys wounded and killed: Major Broaddus naturally claims first mention, as he was formerly our Captain.  He was killed about half-past three o’clock Sunday evening; Lieut. Col. Van Vleck was wounded severely through the arm; — Frank Lane, of Macomb, was killed. – This is all of the Macomb boys that I know of being killed.  Sergeant Hamilton was wounded in the hand – I do not know which one; Vilasco Chandler was also wounded in the fleshy part of the thigh; Douglas Chapman was wounded in the right hand, the forefinger of his right hand shot away; Alex Blackburn was also wounded; John Provine is reported wounded.  I have not heard of any others being wounded.  Gen. Rosecrans has not received any reinforcements yet, but Gen. Burnside is constantly expected.

A. D. Hail.


            Illinois State Fair. – We learn from I. P. Monfort, Esq., who was present at the State Fair at Decatur, that everything passed off pleasantly – in fact that the Fair was a perfect success.  The grounds were arranged in the most convenient manner, and the supply of fine spring water was abundant.  The crowd in attendance was very large, and the display, particularly in the mechanical department, was of the most creditable character.


It Is a Fact.

            We have often heard within a few days past that Johnson has the largest stock of Goods ever brought to Macomb, but on Wednesday last we became fully convinced of the fact.  His large and commodious store is literally crammed full from top to bottom with Goods of every style, pattern, quality and price.  Boots, shoes, hats, caps, clothing, knives, prints, sheetings, Yankee notions, and in fact almost every article of a useful or ornamental character that you can name, are piled up in heaps.  These Goods have just been purchased in New York and Boston, and they will be sold at prices that will astonish the good people of McDonough county.  Look out for new advertisement next week.


            → W. M. Ervin, at the “Meat Market,” on the south side of the square, is furnishing beef of the best quality, by the quarter or side, and he cuts it up and delivers it without cost.  His prices are certainly low.  Ye hungry men and women of Macomb, go to Ervin’s and supply your wants.


            Macomb Advertiser. – We have received No. 1, Vol. 3, of the Macomb Advertiser, published by Luther Johnson.  The paper is finely gotten up and contains much interesting matter.  His circulation is 3000 copies.  We understand that Mr. Johnson intends to apply for the Post Office printing, having the largest circulation of any paper in Macomb.


6 responses

  1. Thank you so much for publishing the letter describing the Battle of Chickamauga that was penned by my First Cousin (Three times removed,) the Reverend Alexander Durham Hail of Company C, 16th Illinois Infantry Regiment. Your sharing of these newspaper excerpts truly bring History to life.

    1. I’m so glad that I was able to publish something from a relative of yours. Had you known that this letter existed? One thing I’ve found interesting is how some regiments are well represented with letters in the paper, only to fall off and be replaced by others.

      Thank you for following the blog. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

  2. I did not; the Reverend was a very interesting gentleman. Of course all my ancestors from Macomb are interesting to me. Alexander Hail led a very fruitful life. Ordained as a Cumberland Presbyterian Minister in 1866 and married in 1869, he, his wife and son journeyed to Japan in 1878 as a Missionary family. A daughter was born there in 1880. He preached the Gospel in Japan for 44 years, passing away in June 1923 and is buried there in Osaka.

    1. That’s an amazing story of a life, and a wonderful connection with the history I’m trying to preserve and make known with this project. Thank you for sharing Reverend Hail’s story.

  3. David L. Gordon | Reply

    You are more than welcome. If any of your readers are interested in the History of the 16th Illinois Infantry Regiment or have information they would like to share about its’ members and service during the War, I would like to hear from them.

  4. Mr. Welch; I made an error in my first response to your posting on October the ninth. Corporal Alexander Hail was actually a member of Company B, 16th Illinois Infantry and at the battle of Chickamauga was under the command of his First Cousin, Captain Alexander Chapman. Captain Chapman was the elder brother of my Great Great Grandfather, Private Thomas Baxter Chapman, who was a member of Company A, 16th Illinois Infantry.

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