December 11, 1863

Macomb Weekly Journal

Organization of the House.

            The House of Representatives was organized on Monday last by the election of Hon. Schuylar Colfax as Speaker.  The copperheads had fixed up a nice little scheme to secure the election of Sunset Cox, but it didn’t work.  The plan was this, that the clerk should refuse to place on the roll a sufficient number of Union members to give Cox a majority.  The Clerk did his part, but the Union strength was greater than the copperheads had calculated on, and the House ordered the Clerk to place the names on the roll and he was too cowardly to refuse.  The result shows that the the Administration will have a clear majority in the present Congress.  On Tuesday, McPherson, of Pa., was elected Clerk.

The Senate was called to order at noon on Monday, and appointed a committee to wait on the President and inform him that the Senate was ready to receive his message.

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East Tennessee Redeemed.

            The recent movements in the departments of the Cumberland and Tennessee have resulted in glorious victories for the Union arms.  The Chicago Evening Journal says: — At last we have the definite and positive assurance that the rebel Longstreet has been compelled to abandon his operations in East Tennessee, and that he is retreating, with our forces in hot pursuit.  The rebel seige of Knoxville has proved an inglorious failure, and the last desperate effort that the rebels can make to regain possession of that much coveted region, has been effectually foiled.  The arrival of General Sherman, with heavy reinforcements, settles the matter finally, and if Longstreet succeeds in eluding capture, he must thank his fleet-footedness.

The boundary line between Tennessee and North Carolina now forms the new line of demarkation between the rebellion and our undisputed military occupation.  Take a look at any map of the United States, and you will see into what narrow limits this circumscribes the territorial domain of the “Southern Confederacy.”  It cannot bear much more pressure, before it will have to collapse.

In view of this result of our military operations – the whole of Tennessee reclaimed, and the Gulf States menaced – the general military situation assumes a most flattering aspect.  Gen. Halleck has a purpose in ordering so large a force of Grant’s troops, under Sherman, to Knoxville, and we conjecture that a new programme has been adopted, looking to a movement into Virginia from the West, to co-operate with the armies of Meade and Butler for the occupation of Virginia and North Carolina.  Gen. Grant still has troops enough at Chatanooga to hold Bragg in check in Georgia, and Bragg cannot reinforce Longstreet or Lee for fear of Grant, and Lee and Longstreet cannot reinforce Bragg for fear of Meade, Foster, Sherman and Butler.  If we hear, by and by, that Sherman and Foster are moving into North Carolina and penetrating Virginia towards Lynchbburg, we shall be prepared for the good news.  The force that Sherman brought up from Chattanooga is larger than is generally supposed, and it means something.  If, in the event of this movement towards Richmond, Bragg should send reinforcements northward, Grant will not be slow in taking advantage of the opportunity to move into Georgia and Alabama, and plant the old flag over the Gulf States.

As we said, this is all mere conjecture on our part; but, in view of the new military aspects, and Sherman’s movement, does it not look reasonable?  We do not pretend to know to what extent such a plan of operations, if adopted, can be carried into execution, at this season of unfavorable weather and bad roads.  It may not be practicable, at present, but that it, or something like it is in contemplation by our war authorities, as soon as practicable, may, in our opinion, be safely counted on.

The recent victory of Grant over Bragg at Chattanooga, it will thus be seen, is of inestimable value to us, and incalculable disadvantage to the rebels.  It enables us to enter upon a new campaign, or a series of new campaigns, by which the arms of the Union will, in all human probability, be rendered irresistible against the military power of the rebellion.  The sky looks bright, and we have every reason for hope and encouragement.

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            Found. – Near the depot, a C. B. & Q. baggage check, which the owner can have by calling at the Journal office, giving the number of the check, and paying for this notice.

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Not All Dead Yet.

            The course pursued by the copperhead papers shows that the fools are not all dead yet.  Here we are almost upon the third year of this war, with the enemy almost conquered – his territory daily becoming more contracted, as our loyal soldiers close in upon the very heart of the rebellion, and yet the copperheads are still whining about compromising with the rebels.  The editor of the Eagle, following in the wake of some larger bird of treason, pathetically calls upon Congress to spend its time in passing amendments to the Constitution, with a view to conciliating the rebels, and asks “why should not the plan proposed by Crittenden or Douglas, or something equivalent, be adopted by Congress and offered to the people?”  Does Abbott suppose that the people of the North, after suffering and enduring all the sacrifices and burdens imposed upon them by the traitors of the South, now, that the rebellion is tottering to its fall, will be willing to fritter away the advantages gained, and give to the rebels the very thing that they have failed to obtain – in a two years war against the Government – greater guarantees for the accursed institution of slavery?  If so, he is doomed to disappointment.  When the first gun was fired at Sumter, and the banner of the Republic was trampled in the dust by traitors, the day of compromise passed away forever.  So long as the rebels confined themselves to threats and bluster, the door of reconciliation was open; but the moment they appealed to the sword, that moment all chance of compromise was at an end, and those only who sympathise with the rebellion will be found advocating any such course by the Government.  No, Mr. Abbott, as long as there is a rebel in arms against the Government, this war must go on.  No compromise with traitors is the language of every loyal man in the country.  They must be conquered or annihilated.  The day was when slavery, the cause of the rebellion, was protected and sustained by the Government, but in an hour of madness it turned upon its protector and sought its overthrow.  For this act it must die, and all the efforts of rebels and rebel sympathizers in its behalf will be unavailing.

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            → “The Constitution as it is and the Union as it was” has been the great rallying cry of the conservative-rebel-sympathizing-copperheads ever since the war broke out.  The editor of the Eagle has fairly split his windpipe in shouting “the Constitution as it is, but in the last number of his paper he comes out in favor of congress passing certain pro-slavery amendments for the purpose of conciliating the rebels.  Yes, Abbott is in favor of the Constitution as it is, and also in favor of changing it to suit the rebels. – There’s consistency for you.  The Union men are in favor of the Constitution just as it is.  They don’t intend that any change shall be made in it – at least not in favor of the rebels.  That’s the difference between Union men and copperheads.

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The 84th Regiment.

            The 84th Regiment, under the command of its gallant Colonel, L. H. Waters, was among the regiments that made the gallant assault upon Lookout Mountain during the late battle at Chattanooga, and, it is said, conducted [?] with its accustomed bravery. – [?], Illinois has no occasion to be ashamed of its troops and has reason to be proud of the 84th.  No regiment of the same age has done more hard fighting or conducted itself more bravely, than the 84th.  Col. Waters ought to [?] the stars.

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            Home Again – Capt. G. L. Farwell, of the 28th Regiment, arrived home a day or two ago.  We are glad to learn that the Capt. has nearly recovered from the effects of his wound.  Captain Farwell has returned for the purpose of [?]sing recruits for the 28th Regiment.  All who desire to enlist in this [?] regiment will find the Capt. at the law office of Wells & Wheat, ready to receive recruits.

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            Killed. – We learn that Sergeant [?] McCandless, of Co. I, 78th Regiment, was killed on the 26th of November near Chattanooga.  It appears that his company was out skirmishing, when he was struck by a canister in the right temple and killed instantly. – His body was recovered and buried at Chattanooga.  He leaves three orphan children to mourn his loss.  We understand his remains will be brought home.

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            Furniture. – T. & J. McElrath are this week receiving a very large stock of Furniture of every variety.  Anything that you want in the cabinet line you will find at their establishment. – They have furniture plain and cheap, [?] furniture rich and costly.  In fact they are prepared to furnish the plain and unpretending cottage, or the palatial mansion with furniture appropriate and neat.  They are also prepared to manufacture to order anything in their line, or repair old furniture.  Persons who need house fixings will do well to give them a call.

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A Card to Our Country Friends.

            We are making arrangements for a grand entertainment at Campbell’s Hall, in this city, on Christmas eve, 24th inst., for the benefit of our sick and wounded soldiers, and, desiring to accomplish this object without expending money already accumulated in our treasury for the same purpose, we take the liberty of making this earnest appeal to you, our friends, and the friends of the soldiers, in the country, asking your hearty co-operation, as well by contributions of provisions, &c., as also by your presence on that occasion.  The entertainment will consist, in part, of refreshments, and a Christmas tree on Christmas eve, together with other sources of amusement and pleasure as will render the occasion one of interest and enjoyment to all present, as well as to cheer and gladden the hearts of the brave defenders of our country who are absent in the hospital or the camp.  A dinner will also be served in the hall at noon on Christmas day.  Contributions of provisions for the table, and articles useful and ornamental, for the Christmas tree, are solicited.  It is desirable that articles of contribution for the “tree” should be sent in at as early a day as possible, and may be left at the residence of Thomas Gilmore or George W. Baily, or at the store of Chambers & Randolph or George W. Baily.  Contributions of provisions should be left at the Hall, on the 24th at as early an hour as possible.

Ladies of the Loyal League.

Macomb, Ill., Dec. 11th.

We call the special attention of our country readers to the foregoing card of the Ladies of the Loyal League of Macomb, and bespeak for them a prompt and cheerful response to the request therein contained.  The object is a praiseworthy one, and must commend itself to every loyal, patriotic heart.  Anything that pertains to the comfort interest and well being of our Nation’s defenders, must be regarded with the most intense solicitude by all true patriots; but more especially will any effort made in the direction of contributing to the comfort, relieving the wants and assuaging the sorrows of our sick and wounded soldiers in the hospital and in the camp, enlist the tenderest sympathies of all patriotic hearts.  Remember that they are your fathers, sons, husbands and brothers, and that they have sacrificed the comforts of home and friends, and have gone forth to endure the hardships, privations and fatigues of the camp and battle field, in defense of our common country – that they are now languishing and suffering in the hospital from wounds inflicted by the deadly missiles of the enemy, or from disease contracted while on the weary march, away from home and its endearing associations, with no loving hand of a mother, wife, sister or daughter to smoothe their pillow or minister to their wants as only those loved ones can. – remember that you are at home, surrounded with all its comforts – in the midst of plenty, and that no hostile army treads your soil.  Remember all these things, and then come in response to the call of your loyal sisters of Macomb, and aid them in this noble enterprise.  You are equally interested with them.  Again we say, come on with your contributions, and let us have on that occasion, a grand social gathering, and may we all be animated by the same noble, self-sacrificing spirit that existed in the earlier and better days of our Republic.

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