February 26, 1864

Macomb Weekly Journal

Our Cotemporary and the Late Copperhead Meeting.

            The Peace organ of this city came out last week with quite a flaming article, in its notice of the copperhead demonstration of the 13th inst.  If our neighbor was not so conscientious a person as to be able to see even a mote in other people’s morality, we would think that, comparing his narrative of the meeting with the facts, we would accuse him of composing a romance. – But so pure a man as he, who cannot look upon the chief executive of his own country, even in time of war, without abhorrence, can only be accused of mental hallucination or hysterical tergiversation.  Hear him:

“Saturday last witnessed one of the most extraordinary and patriotic spectacles that has ever occurred in the history of McDonough county.  It was an uprising of the people, almost en masse, who had heard with alarm of the repeated assaults upon the life and the liberty of various citizens of the county; and they came,  as by one impulse, determined to set the seal of their condemnation upon all lawless characters, and to warn those who have incited and encouraged these violations of law and order, that a fearful retribution may overtake their guilty souls, unless they speedily mend their practices.  The people of the country had become excited and indignant, and justly so; for many of them could not come to town without being in danger of personal assault or life, at the instigation of certain business men in Macomb.”

Now this is so near fiction, that we can only repress our impulse to characterize it by a sharp little epithet from the reflection that our neighbor is afflicted with a chronic diarrhea of hateful words and misrepresentation.

This “uprising of the people almost en masse,” amounted, when seated in Campbell’s Hall, (democrats only counted,) to not more than two hundred persons all told.  In addition to which were perhaps one hundred citizens and soldiers whose curiosity led them to go in and see what asses people sometimes did make of themselves in a free country.  Instead of its being a “spontaneous meeting of the people,” it was a sneaking assemblage, brought about by stealthy machinations of politicians to obtain a temporary ascendancy in the city on a public occasion, and to [fold] whom he magnifies into a host, and perhaps a half dozen half-grown boys and foolish men who were inconsiderate enough to laugh at the drunken soldiers.  It is on the souls of these last we suppose the fearful retribution is to be visited.  Common sins, such as rebellion and secession, may be punished in this world and by bodily visitations, but friend Abbott has an inkling that the souls of these men are to be given over to the arch-destroyer for hunting up copperheads for the soldiers.  The “God given right” to wear a copperhead breast pin and hurrah for Vallandigham and Jeff. Davis, he supposes to be of the order of mortal sins, i. e., forgiven neither in this world not that which is to come; whereas, the other offense is venial; for it is noticeable that in his remarks he only accuses them of “pointing out copperheads and Vallandighamers.”

Every one knows, too, that whatever error the soldiers may have committed, it was only ultra men whom they intended to molest.

In one respect, however, we think our neighbor has learned of the “citizen scoundrels” whom he anathematizes so fiercely for skulking on the day of the great citizens’ meeting.  Whilst he is very denunciatory of the soldiers’ acts, he don’t say that the soldiers committed them.  During the weeks the soldiers were at home he restrained his weekly balderdash about the army, and such was his disposition in his own classic language “to keep in the darkest corner of his hole,” that even in this long editorial, he does not say soldier once.  Somebody did this violence – some “lawless characters” – he leaves the reader to guess who are the guilty ones.


–                      Union Prisoners sent to Georgia. – The Newbern Times announces that several thousand prisoners were sent from Richmond to Georgia a few days ago.



From the 78th Regiment.

Tiner’s Station, Tenn.
Feb, 16, 1864.

            Last Saturday afternoon the company commanders in this regiment ordered their respective commands to be prepared to march the next morning at day light.  Various were the conjectures as to our destination and the object of our move.  Before the hour of “taps,” it was pretty definitely ascertained that our Brigade only would move, and that our destination was a point on the Knoxville and Chattanooga Railroad, about ten miles from Chattanooga.  It was with some reluctance that our boys bid farewell to the snug and comfortable cabins they had been so careful in building, to rough it again on the open prairie until new quarters could be built.  It was near nine o’clock before the Brigade moved, and about one o’clock we reached the station, and proceeded to occupy the ground selected for our new camp.  It is on a rising piece of ground or ridge that gently descends to the North and South, and is about twenty rods from the depot.  As soon as the camp was staked out, each company proceeded to the work of clearing up their respective grounds, and a lively time they had of it all the afternoon.  All the trees, bushes and shrubs were cut down and cleared smoothe with the ground.  Large bonfires soon reduced to ashes all the rubbish, and before night we had a clean, smooth ground, where but two or three hours before stood tall timber, with a heavy undergrowth of bushes, dead leaves, &c.  In the course of the afternoon a little scene was witnessed which was the source of much fun for the boys.  A large, tall and hollow oak by some means caught fire, and soon after a large opossum was seen to emerge from a hole in the body of the tree, pretty well up towards the top. – He was beautifully singed, and seemed to be in much perplexity at the aspect of affairs.  He ran about the top of the tree, up one limb and down another, but the fire which was now issuing from the body of the tree near the top, seemed to admonish him to keep his distance and so, selecting the longest limb, he ran out to the extreme end, and grasping the small twigs with his feet and tail, there he swung.  Now commenced a vigorous pelting with sticks, stones, and other missiles.  At length he fell to the groud, and fifty or a hundred of our brave soldier boys rushed to seize [obscured] savory smell of roasted meat pervading the camp, but I am unable to say in what company they had animal food for supper.

Military matters are very quiet with us just now.  We have heard no extravagant rumors of late.  Deserters continue to come in as usual.  Last Saturday about seventy passed this station on their way to Chattanooga. – They expect that many more will follow soon.

Col. Van Vleck this morning assum[ed] command of this Brigade, which is known as the 2nd Brigade; 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps.  It has for the last three months been under the command of Gen. John Beatty, of Ohio, who, I understand, has resigned on account of private affairs at home.

There is just now some discussion among the troops here as to the probability of our being paid in money the difference between short and full rations.  When we were first put on short rations in October last, it was reported that Gen. Rosecrans declared that we should be paid the difference in money; and our Regimental Commissary was careful to keep an exact account of our dues in that respect.  I learn that a portion at least of these dues has been paid to certain officers, and it appears to be retained by them for reasons best known to themselves.  We are now, however, on full rations, and are drawing a few extras to which we have been strangers for a long time; such as soft bread, potatoes, molasses, &c.

A few days ago a detail of one commissioned officer, two non-commissioned officers, and two privates was ordered to be made from this regiment for the purpose of proceeding to Illinois to take charge of the new recruits assigned to this regiment.  The persons selected were Lt. Punteny, of Hancock county, Orderly Summers, of Adams county, Surg. McKim, of Henderson county, Private Hunley of Adams county, and Private Demoss, of Schuyler county. – They start to-morrow morning on their mission.  It is supposed they will bring back with them a sufficient number to bring our regiment up to the minimum number which will entitle us to another field officer, and render some promotions necessary.

Everybody about Macomb knows our old friend and neighbor, Alexander Blackburn.  This man is one of nature’s noblemen.  I have been cognizant for a long time of his noble deeds of charity among his poorer neighbors, but I recently hear of his kindness and benevolence among the sick and wounded soldiers at Nashville, which I am constrained to mention, although I know the generous old man will not thank me for it.  He had a son seriously wounded in the bloody battle of Chickamauga, and upon receipt of the intelligence he hastened to Nashville where he found his son in one of the hospitals at that city.  He remained with him for several days, and while there he was called to sympathize with many lying sick and wounded about him.  True to his noble nature, he administered to their wants  in various ways; assisting one to more easy position in his bed, handing another one a glass of water, and feeding those that were helpless. – In the course of his ministrations among these poor, sick and wounded soldiers he parted with a considerable amount of money, making no stipulation for its return; but the soldiers determined not to abuse the kindness of Mr. Blackburn obtained his name and address, and the most of them, as soon as they were paid off, sent to him the respective amounts he had so kindly furnished them.  He is indeed the soldiers’ friend.  His praises are sung by many soldiers in this regiment, whose families at home have been the recipients of his generous bounty.

There has of late been much irregularity in the mails between this point and Illinois, and there is a large leak hole somewhere through which many a dollar has slipped away, probably never to be seen again by their owners.  Philo Ogden, of Co. H, about two months ago, sent a letter to his father at Durham, Hancock county, containing $5.00  The letter was received in about twenty days minus the five dollars, the letter bearing traces of having been opened and sealed up again.  John Gulbraith, of Co. C. several weeks since, sent five dollars to Cincinnati, which has not been heard from.  Daniel Mudge, of Co. H, with one or two others are losers to the amount of $18.00.  I might enumerate many other instances of money lost in the mails.  I think the leakage is somewhere between here and Nashville.  This matter should receive the serious attention of the Post Office authorities, and while they are about it they might ascertain wherein is the necessity of consuming from ten to twenty days in carrying a letter from here to Macomb, when the journey can be performed by a passenger in four or five days.

I must no close this communication as my messmate is desirous that I shall perform my part of the work in the building of our shanty, and I fly to the task rather than to incur his serious displeasure.                                                                                                                        J. K. M.



Washington, Feb. 17, 1864.

            There is quite a stir this evening at the National Hotel over the arrival of the escaped Union officers from Libby prison.  They were furnished with new clothing at Fortress Monroe, by General Butler, and they were looking as well as could be expected when we consider the privations and hardships they have endured.  I had quite a lengthy conversation with two of them, Lieut. Jas. M. Wells, of the 8th Michigan Cavalry, and Capt. Terrence Clark, of the 79th Ill., from Edgar County.

Both of these officers knew Lieut. Elisha Morse, of Macomb.  Captain Clark was in the same room with him, and they both said that he was well at the time of their escape, (Feb. 6th), but do not think he attempted to escape.

Lieut. Wells gave me the names of parties who were room mates with Lieut. Morse, told me who slept next to him, and other particulars; and he said that in spit of the miserable fare and barbarous treatments, he was in good spirits, and like all the rest did not want our Government to flinch on account of their situation.  The recital of these brave men was intensely interesting, as they gave in detail an account of their sufferings and of their efforts to escape.  Their first plan was to rise and overpower the guard, seize the arsenal, arm themselves, and cut their way through.

This plan by some means became known, then they tried two attempts at digging out, but found they could not succeed in the direction they were working, which was towards the canal, as between the prison and the canal the ground was made, and consisted of timbers and stone so firmly packed that they could not dig through it and if they dug under, it would fill with water.

Capt. Clark was the third man who came out of the tunnel, which was dug across the street, and opened out on the inside of a tobacco house.  He said that they resolved not to be taken alive, so great was their horror of imprisonment, they cut cudgels and determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible and die, if die they must, in the open air.  Their imprisonment has increased their desire to hurt rebels and their friends, and added new fire to their patriotism.

Capt. Clark said that the heaviest blow that had been struck at the rebellion [obscured] of the war was the overthrow of the Copperheads at the last fall elections.  He was premitted to purchase rebel newspapers and could see the effect it had by their disheartened tone, and also by the acts and words of Rebel officers that visited the prison.

The Presidential Question.

            The Presidential question is the all absorbing theme here and the universal verdict, so far as I have heard it, that Old Abe will be nominated almost without opposition.

This admission I have heard from some leading men who at the same time expressed themselves as opposed to it, but said that it would be done by the people and no opposition of leaders could prevent it.

Some noise is made by the radicals rather ultra-radicals about Fremont, Butler and Chase, but when you come to sift the matter down and investigate it, you will find that the talk comes monthly from Copperhead journals who are making misrepresentation and perverting facts in order if possible to divide the Union Party.  Mr. Lincoln stands up as the representative of the will of the people, he moves just as fast in his course towards the suppression of the rebellion and its attracting consequence, the extinction of slavery, as he is warranted by the sustaining voice of the people, and no further.  He has sworn to support the Constitution and the Laws, and in his efforts to put down rebellion so that the Constitution and Laws can be enforced, he moves forward steadily without swerving in his cause, alike uninfluenced on the one hand by the Proslavery conservatives, or by the radicals of the Wendell Phillips school on the other.

He has thus far been, and will be sustained by the majority of the people of the United States.

What Will Be Done with the Negroes?

            This cry which has been the reply to all the arguments in favor of liberty for years has at last received a positive answer, and now the question is not “what will become of the negroes?” but “what will become of the masters.”

The experiments that have been tried with the Freedmen both in Virginia and in the West, show that the negroes can take care of himself.  Your readers may not be aware of the fact that the Government has, just across the river from here, established a Freedmens village.  Into this village has been collected the poor and destitute Africans who have escaped from bondage.  Buildings have been erected suitable for their accommodation, the abandoned farms in the neighborhood have been cultivated by them, a regular rate of compensation being allowed.

Those who are competent go out to service under the supervision of the superintendent, and although a majority of the able bodied men have not been employed on these farms, they have prospered so well that they have paid for all the improvements from the results of contraband labor, and have money in the bank.  Schools are kept up in these villages, and the colored children are compelled to attend school.  Educating the negroes!  Think of it!  What a blow to slavery and its allies – the copperheads.

This scheme, and the success of Genera Thomas’ plan in the West, of leasing plantations, show that there is no need of providing for colonization.  The negroes are needed where they are as laborers, both for themselves and for those who employ them, from the fact of their being freemen instead of slaves.

Let the copperheads whine and howl about “nigger equality;” that kind of talk is “played out.”  They can do nothing; the great car of human progress is moving forward, and if they get in its way it will crush them.


            The ladies have been holding a fair for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission, in a spacious pavilion erected for the purpose, at the intersection of Seventh Street with Pennsylvania and Louisiana Avenues.

The Great Fair of the season commences on the 22nd.  It is held in the model rooms and north wing of the attic story of the Patent Office.  From the great preparation which is being made, it will most probably be a great success.  The proceeds go to the Christian Commission.

Military Ball.

            The Army of the Potomac, or rather the 2nd Corps, gives a ball on the 22nd, which will be a grand affair, and is intended to surpass the one lately given by the 3rd Corps.  Washington will be largely represented there, and as we promise ourselves a little amusement on that occasion, we may give you some account of it in our next letter.



Soldiers after the War.

            Macaulay, in the portion of his history relating to the state of English society at the close of the great Revolution, touches upon a subject curiously paralleled in our own times.  Speaking of the fears that were then entertained as to the result of disbanding Cromwell’s army and throwing its unruly elements back into society, he says:

“The troops were now to be disbanded.  Fifty thousand men, accustomed to the profession of arms, were at once thrown on the world, and experience seemed to warrant the belief that this change would produce much misery and crime – that the discharged veterans would be seen begging in every street, or would be driven by hunger to pillage.  But no such result followed.  In a few months there remained not a trace indicating that the most formidable army in the world had just been absorbed into the mass of the community.  The royalists themselves confessed that in every department of industry, the discarded warriors prospered beyond other men; that none was charged with any theft or robbery; that none was heard to ask alms, and that, if a baker, a mason, or a wagoner attracted notice by his diligence and sobriety, he was in all probability, one of Oliver’s old soldiers.


For the Macomb Journal.


By J. Ella Rollins.

“Great victory at F –, Tennessee. – Our loss only five killed and five wounded.

            We are very apt to speak lightly of these words “Only five men killed, and five wounded.”  But to some they bring great sorrow, mourning and affliction.

One of the killed is a darling son, the light and joy of his home.  Only a few days before they have received a letter from him; he is in good health and high spirits.  But in looking over the paper they find his name – killed.  What anguish!  What tearing asunder even life itself!  How soon is he who is so promising, so full of life and hope, shot down and hurried into eternity.  O, the suffering, the anguish which this cruel and unholy rebellion has caused.

Another is a husband and father. – He has a delicate wife and a family of children all dependent upon him for support.  His letters always bear some message of love and tenderness for each member of the family.  His fond wife weeps, and watches, and prays for him in vain, for he, too, is gone.  Long, long years will roll by, and their vision will never be gladdened by the presence of him whose absence makes their hearth-stone desolate.  God bless the orphans and widows everywhere.

Another is the father of a little girl at the tender age of nine years, whose mother is dead.  She is full of hope and bright anticipations for the future.  She talks a great deal of what she will do when father comes home.  But, alas! how soon are her bright hopes vanished.  She will never more in this world see the father whom she loves so well.  Some traitor hand has shot him down, and she is left an orphan in the cold and unfriendly world.

Another is the only son of his mother, and she is a widow.  She has hoped and prayed to see him once more in this world.  But this can never be. – Her bright hopes will never be realized.  Her son will never more return to comfort and cheer her heart.  She is a widow, and childless.  She is entirely alone in the world.  She has no strong arm to lean upon for support, no friend to sympathize with her in all her afflictions and sorrows and to rejoice with her in her joys.

Another is the eldest son of parents who most tenderly love and dote upon him.  His younger brothers and sisters thought there was no boy like “dear brother John.”  All loved him for a friend and companion.  He was universally loved and respected by all who knew him.  He was a favorite with everybody.  He always wrote such encouraging and interesting letters to each member of the family.  No matter how hard the times or how poor the fare he never murmured.  He always looked on the bright side of everything.  But they are never to receive a letter from him again.  The hand that wrote them is now cold and still in death.  The clear, ringing voice that made music everywhere it went, is hushed and silent forever.  The fair, noble face is now cold and pale in the tomb.

Of the wounded, there is one young husband.  But a few days before, he had written his young and beautiful wife an affectionate letter full of hope and love.  He said a great deal of what he intended doing when he came home.  He laid many plans for the future, but, alas, he never lived to carry them out.  In looking over the paper she finds his name – fell mortally wounded, was conveyed to the hospital and died in twenty-four hours.  How young is she left a widow.

The rest of the wounded lived, but they are cripples for life.

O, never speak lightly of so few killed, for to some they are worth more than all the wealth of the Indies.



Corrected Weekly by G. K. Hall.

Flour…………………………………2 50a3 62
Buck wheat flour…………….6 ¼
WHEAT – Winter…………………….90a1 10
do       Spring……………………………85a1 00
Corn – old………………………75
do        new………………………….55a 60
OATS………………………………..50a 55
POTATOES…………………………50a 75
PORK – gross………………………4 1/2a 6
BEEF…………………………………2a 3 ½
LARD…………………………………9a 10
BUTTER……………………………..16a 18
EGGS………………………………10a 12 ½
TURKIES – dressed per lb. ……………5a 6
CHICKENS – live per dozen. ……1 25a 1 50
HIDES – green …………………………5a 7
do        green, salted …………………….7a 9
do        dry ……………………………15a 16
do        grubby …………………………..4a 5
APPLES – green ……………………..45a 75
do        dried per lb. …………………….5a 6
ONIONS …………………………1 25a 1 25
BEANS – white ………………….1 75a 2 00
TURNIPS – English per bu ……………… 20
COAL ………………………………..12a 13




And FARM TOOLS generally, for sale by

S. F. Lancy.


            County Fair. – There will be a meeting of the Executive Committee of the McDonough County Agricultural Society, in Macomb, on Saturday, the [?] day of March, 1864, for the purpose of making arrangements for the annual fair.

It is earnestly requested that there be a general attendance, and every man in the county is invited to attend, who holds an interest in the success of Agricultural societies.  The meeting will be held in the office of Judge Chandler, or the Bank.

JOS. BURTON, Pres’t.


            Advance in Medicines. – In consequence of the great advance of the risk of patent medicines, the Druggists of this city have unanimously agreed to [?]ance the retail price of such articles on and after the first of March, 1864.


            Dave Crissman and his Friends Again. – A few days after the notice of this worthy, the veritable Dave Crissman again made his appearance in the custody of the sheriff and [?] of the faithful.  We wondered what new phase this case had assumed.  The party leaders so readily endorsed his cognizance before the justice in his behest for shooting at Brooking, that we do not suppose they would now refuse to see him through.  Dave has surely [?] no character, since then.  Indeed we suppose he had been more decent of [?].  At that time the strife seemed to be not who could get off, but who [?] get on the recognizance.  The [?] seemed all backers; nor do we risk they had any fear of having the deed to pay, if the recognizance was unveiled.  A jury selected by the present Supervisor’s Court would never see to find Dave guilty as long as he could do the fighting for the party. – We supposed among other guesses that perhaps there was a plan to swap off the outlaw against the Marshal, who, in the attempt to arrest him, was so unfortunate as to break Dave’s head, and the party have manifested all through determination to have the officer and the outlaw subject to the same punishment.  This with the peace party would be about a quid pro quo.  We are told that the plan is probably different.  It is understood that some of his backers in the Brooking case would rather be rid of it, from appearances at least – time have changed some – and that Dave’s sons and sons-in-law now go the [?]; and by the time court comes on [?] there is another forfeiture, there is no telling where the property will be, but it is all Dave’s anyhow.

We intend to post ourself on this case.  This seems to be a time of holding officers up to public criticism.  Perhaps give and take is a fair game.  We will air some things at least.

Since writing the above we learn that Crissman is loose again, having taken his friends on his bond.  We have no idea that the integrity of the party will be sacrificed.


            Hardware. – We would call the attention of the farming community who [?] Bushnell, to the advertisement of [?] Hess, tin and hardware dealer.  His stock is complete, and he will sell as cheap as you can find anywhere in the [?]  The best notice we can give him is, go and see for yourselves, and you will be satisfied that you can get good bargains.


            Marble Works. – We were in the pretty city of Prairie City a few days ago, and while there we had the pleasure of visiting the Marble Works of Mr. John P. Sparks, successor to Benedict & Co.  To simply say that Mr. Sparks is a good workman is not enough; he is a No. 1 marble cutter, and any one wishing to purchase a nice Tomb Stone or Monument, cut in superior style, would do well to call on him at Prairie City.


            Bushnell. – We paid this village a short visit on Friday last, and were agreeably surprised at the amount of business done there.  The weather was very cold, but notwithstanding this, the streets were crowded with wagons loaded with grain, principally wheat.  We had often heard that Bushnell shipped more grain than Macomb, but could hardly believe it till we were up there, when we became convinced that it was about so.  We found the merchants all prospering, and everything around betokens thrift, and go-aheadativeness. – Bushnell is beautifully situated, on a gentle, rolling prairie in the midst of a rich agricultural country, and her energetic business men to keep the ball rolling, is bound to be a “right smart chance of a place” yet.  While there we had the pleasure of adding several names to our already large list of subscribers in that place, and were promised several more.


            Farm for Sale. – Do not fail to read the advertisement of Esquire Oglesbee, who wishes to dispose of one of the best Farms in the Military Tract.  This Farm is beautifully situated on the dividing line between this county and Fulton, in easy distance to a good grain market, and is well calculated to make a man enjoy all the comforts of life, having, as it has, rich soil, good, living water, and – the most important item of them all in this country – plenty of fuel, both wood and stone coal.  Any one wishing to purchase such a farm will secure a good bargain by calling on the advertiser.


            Caught at Last. – The notorious Dave Crissman has at last been arrested.  On Thursday night, 18th inst., the Sheriff, accompanied by Constable Barrett, went out to Crissman’s house, and made the arrest quietly.  A thing that might have been done months ago.


            Pardoned. – We understand that James O’Brien, who was sent to the penitentiary last fall for stabbing Tom. Troy, has been pardoned by Gov. Yates.


            The Festival. – We neglected last week to notice the Festival held by the Good Templars of this city at Campbell’s Hall, on the evening of the 12th inst.  We will only say now that the supper was excellent, and the tableauxs and burlesques were well performed.  Everything passed off pleasantly and to the satisfaction of all.


            → We shall have a few words to say about Prairie City next week.


            Personal. – Dr. J. B. Kyle, Surgeon of the 84th, has been home for a few days past, on a short leave of absence.  He returns to his regiment this (Thursday) evening.  The Doctor looks as jolly as in days of old, and appears to enjoy army life to perfection.

Lieut. Chandler, of Co. I, 78th, who was severely wounded at the battle of Chickamauga last September, and has since been home, starts on his return to the regiment on Friday, 26th inst.

Capt. Reynolds, of Co. I, 78th, has been home for some time past on sick leave, has recovered and starts to rejoin the regiment in a few days.


            Army Bulletin. – We have received a number of the Chattanooga Army Bulletin, a spicy little paper published at Chattanooga, Tenn.  It is small, but it contains a variety of interesting items of the doings of the Army of the Cumberland.


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