April 9, 1864

Macomb Eagle

Heavy Loads for Bad Roads.

            The more difficult the task before the people, the more the administration burdens them and enlarges the difficulties. The Louisville Democrat elucidates this truth in the clearest language: “We are certainly a brisk people, if not very wise. It used to be that one thing at a time was considered enough; and if we had stuck to the one thing of restoring the union it was certainly enough to occupy the attention of the country. It would not, however, satisfy those who thought they might not profit by the accomplishment of that single design. Here there has been tried to it abolition, pure and simple; then came a change in relationship between the states and the Federal government. To this was hitched tampering with the elections, then the dismissal of officers who did not walk just in the path of the administration; confiscation, etc., were piled on top of it. Now we may be able to drag through with all of these, but it is not exactly the best plan to pack over too much though a very miry place. If we had left them on the other side until this rebellion has ‘dried up,’ it would have been wiser – still wiser to leave them on the other side as some of the cause of the mud hole, and rather be thankful when when we had got on the safe side, like Christian, in Pilgrim’s Progress, that the burden had been dropped.”


            → The New Nation (radical republican) says: “A fact ascertained by a close examination of official documents, that Vicksburg was defended by only fourteen thousand men instead of thirty-one thousand; and that the list of prisoners exchanged revealed the fact that the difference (namely, seventeen thousand,) was added in order to mitigate in the eyes of the public the disgrace of having expended so much time, men and money, against so weak an enemy.”


            → It is now three years since the war commenced – half a million of men have been killed or maimed, five thousands millions of debt have been fastened upon the country, one third of its area has been desolated, yet Abraham asks for “200,000 more,” the “green back” mill continues to pour out its stream of promises to pay and the nation’s imbecile head intrigues, lies and plunders for a continuance of his misused power.


            → The amalgamators are at work. At Owen Lovejoy’s funeral in Brooklyn, on Monday, a negro named Davis, was one of the pall bearers, along with William Cullen Bryant, editor of the Evening Post, and others.


            → Eastern capitalists have lately advanced the rents of property about thirty per cent. This will reimburse them for what they have given to the negro cause. What they give to the negroes they take away from poor white men.


An Awful Rebuke to the Clergy.

            Under the head of “Dead Faith and an Apostate Church,” the True Presbyterian deals some terrible blows at the head of the bloody infidel ministers of the United States, who have literally turned our churches into dens of thieves. It says:

We fondly thought that, poised upon the truth, animated by the grace, and obliged by the commands of her glorious Head, the church would have proved a bulwark against the rushing tide of evil. We thought she would be an oasis in the desert, where weary travelers might refresh themselves; we thought she would be an island in the stormy sea, where shipwrecked mariners might find safety and shelter. – We did not expect to hear in her solemn Assemblies the voice of human anger, much less of satanic malice. – We believed that in the hour of civil commotion, when States were sundered, she would lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting, and implore her Master to drop from heaven the olive branch of peace; that she would gather her sons and her daughters about her and say to them, “My children love one another,” that she would lay one hand upon Ephraim and the other upon Manasseh, and bless them both. We need not say how sadly we have been disappointed. In spite of her boasted conservation and fidelity to principle, this once venerated body, at one bound, broke every pound of truth and charity, in effect renounced her allegiance to her great Head, and allied herself with his arch enemy. – She has turned aside from her Master’s work, and through her highest courts, and through hundreds of her pulpits, is engaged in propagating political ideas and in sounding the dread tocsin of war. Her ancient schools of the prophets – where linger the memories and repose the ashes of the illustrious dead – have been perverted to the advocacy of a cruel war, and of a godless and unhuman abolitionism. Her most widely circulated newspaper, that used to howl so frantically whenever an Episcopalian was appointed to a chaplaincy in the army or navy, is now the whining slave of the secular power that lords it over God’s heritage, and is rejected in disgust by Christian and even loyal men, on the ground that it is no longer a religious paper. Her oldest Quarterly Review now receives inspiration from disappointed military commanders, who failing of success in the field, have become “the communicating intelligence” of absurd politics and impracticable campaigns. Her clergy in many instances vie with each other, not in fidelity to God and the souls of men, but in devotion to party and in zeal for the carnage of battle.

Amid this furious babble of politics and war, we look in vain for the Magna Carta of the Annunciation, “Glory to God in the highest: On earth, peace, good will to men.” It is appalling to see the Church of God spue from her mouth the Gospel of peace, and bawl herself hoarse in stimulating the ferocious passions of men, and in cononizing the red-handed fiend of the battle-field! Where is her former hatred of abolitionism, now that she is causing her own children to pass through the fire of Moloch, and is gloating over the the prospect of servile insurrection? What shall we say of the distinguished clergymen who so loudly applauded Mr. Van Dyke sermon on that subject, and who now lift up their hands and roll their eyes in pious horror at the sin of slavery? – Shall we say as the world says of them, that they have either been practicing a gross deception all their lives, or are now basely yelding to unmanly fear? Shall we adopt the humiliating charge so freely made, that as a body, the clergy of this country have been less reliable, more unwilling to sacrifice their positions to principle, more shuffling and cowardly and blood-thirsty, than any other class of men in it? Shall we repeat the sneer, that rather than give up their places and their salaries, they will preach and pray under the dictation of a turbulent faction in their churches; or the bitter taunt of the soldier, who on being reproved by one of them for swearing, replied, “I will not be rebuked by you sir! I have exposed my life for three years in this war, and but for the preachers there would have been no war, We desire to bring no railing accusations, neither to judge any man; but by their fruits ye shall know them, and the fruits of all their labors is that they, the Church, and religion itself, are brought into contempt among men. The Lord Jesus seems to have averted his face, and the Spirit of Grace to have departed from the scene of strife and fanaticism, and bound in the toils of the devil, and exposed to the hootings of the world, nothing is left to us but a “Dead Faith and an Apostate Church.”


            → A republican paper wants congress to pass a “vagabond act” to disperse all the lobbyers from Washington. If all the vagabonds were dispersed from Washington, what would become of Congress and the administration?


The Coles County Affair.

            The detailed account of the present lamentable affair in Coles county, furnished by our special reporter and printed elsewhere in this sheet exhibits abolitionism in two of its most marked characteristics, viz: [?] brutality when the power is [?]own to inflict injury, and the most abject cowardice when it is in danger of punishment for its atrocities. In Coles county, it has for months needed the returned soldiers the instrument of every sort of partisan insult and outrage upon democrats, and the instant it was threatened with retaliatory measures, it dug holes in the ground for its own security. Such is abolitionism in Coles county, and as it is there so it is everywhere.

Deplorable as the event at Charleston is, it may have its salutary uses. It may teach abolitionism that there is a limit to its atrocities, and admonish the superior military authorities that soldiers, stimulated by common malevolence and rum, must not be turned loose upon quiet, peaceful and unoffending people. It may awaken those who most need to be [?] to the condition of things which is growing up under the reign of lawless violence in the land, and bring all parties to a realizing sense of the great fact that there is no safety but in the law. If these shall be its uses, lamentable as the event is, its occurrence may avert impending dangers compared with which its consequence is diminutive indeed. – Chicago Times.


            Tornado in Central Illinois. – A furious gale, almost equaling the terrible prairie tornadoes that occur almost every year in the west, swept over a portion of Bureau county on Monday morning last. Fences over a large area of territory were leveled with the ground. In Knoxville several buildings were blown down, and the tall steeple of one of the churches was dashed to the ground. The gale was also felt in all its force about Galesburg, and much damage was suffered.


            → What calls itself “unconditional Unionism,” is unmitigated scoundrelism, for it calls the restoration of the Union, under the Constitution, “neither desirable nor possible,” while it wages a murderous war for the ostensible purpose of restoring it. It adds murder to hyprocrisy, and destroys the Union while professing to be saving it.


            – How are the laboring people with greenback for money and greenback prices for goods? Were they ever troubled with such under a democratic administration? And does any man believe that we would be thus cursed to-day, had Douglas been elected president in 1860 instead of Lincoln? As things under republican management are going rapidly from bad to worse, had we not better try a season of democratic policies awhile?


            The Town Election – McDonough County All Right. – The annual town election in this this county, last Tuesday, has resulted in the usual triumph of the Democracy. We have elected eleven out of the sixteen supervisors, and lose one by only two votes. This is indeed a triumph, when we consider the boasts of the traitors that they “had a sure thing of getting a majority of the board.” The towns of Sciota and Chalmers, where the amalgamators expected to make large gains, have done nobly. The democrats of Walnut Grove are also entitled to credit for electing the most important officers on the ticket. The following is the result:

Democrats – Eldorado, L. Cassidy; Industy, Simon Smith; Walnut Grove, John McSperitt; Bethel, Wm. Twaddle; Chalmers, Jeremiah Sullivan; Emmet, W. C. [?]; Sciota, G. T. Green; Lamoine, L. [?]; Tennessee, S. A. White; Hire, S. K. [?]; Blandinville, H. Williams.

Amalgamators – New Salem, Mound, Prairie City, unknown; Scotland, G. W. [?]; Macomb, B. R. Hampton.


            The Whisky Traffic. – We once thought that the licensing of houses to retail whisky was better than to prohibit its sale altogether, and we acted in accordance with the conviction. But what we have seen in the past three years has been sufficient to change our opinion. The increase of disorder, [?], and crime in our midst, which can be [?] traced to the selling of whisky, should certainly be sufficient to arouse our citizens to the necessity of making some effort to [?] this gigantic evil. We know of no [?] so well calculated to effect this desirable result as the election of officers who will prohibit the sale of whisky and break up the selling shops in Macomb. We believe this can be done – and we call upon all men who would like to see our city obtain a reputation for good order and good morals, then take steps without delay for the accomplishment of this desirable object.


            Gratuitous Printing. – An exchange has the following sensible remarks, which we approve and adopt, and those sending such notices of limited interest will accompany their requests with a liberal amount to pay for the space they occupy, or we shall give them no attention: “It has been the custom of all associations and individuals to impose upon country editors the publication of resolutions, obituary notices, and statements of benevolent enterprises, and other various articles of limited or private individual interest, without charge. We have done quite our share of that kind of thing. If associations consider it due to deceased members to pass resolutions testifying to their virtues and condoling with their wives, they must henceforth consider it due to publishers to pay for them; and if literary, school, and other associations cannot exist without gratuitous printing, they must be too slightly prized to promise substantial benefit to their members. Until we find teachers who teach gratis; butchers who furnish steaks and roasts without charge; lawyers who counsel without fee; farmers who donate their wood and produce &c., we must decline being in the list of printers who print without compensation.”


            → There was a combat with a “dorg” in the west end of town, last Tuesday. The dog, from lack of better feeding, [?] his teeth in the pantaloons of a man pacing by, and was thereupon ferociously assaulted with revolvers and other direful weapons. About a dozen shots were fired into or at the enemy when he retired “badly demoralized.”


            → S. H. Martin, Esq., has presented us one of those fine, large hams, which he so well knows how to cure in good order. May his shadow never be less, and his larder be always abundantly filled.


            → Hawkins & Philpot, south east corner of the square, are taking pictures in the best style of the photographic art.


            → We are indebted to our old friend, Davis Hardin, for a sack of apples, as good as any other man’s raising.


A Truthful Account of the Coles County Troubles.

Special Dispatch to The Chicago Times.

Mattoon, Ill. March 31.

            Great effort are being made to give the recent troubles at Charleston in this county a political significance to which they are not entitled, and to this end the wildest exaggerations and grossest misstatements are industriously circulated and telegraphed all over the country. From a visit to Charleston this afternoon, and a conversation with many who participated in or were witness of the unfortunate affray, I have been enabled to arrive at the correct facts of the case. For some time past there have been affrays at Charleston and in different parts of Coles county between the citizens and the soldiers, to which liquor contributed quite as much, if not more from politics. Some citizens from O’Hair’s settlement had been quite roughly handled by the soldiers, several of whom, it is reported on one or two occasions assisted each other in beating citizens. The people of this neighborhood became much incensed, and determined upon revenge, which they designed inflicting by the same means they claimed the soldiers had resorted to, that is, in superior numbers.

Last Monday was the commencement of the spring term court in Coles county, a day on which many citizens are accustomed to visit the county seat. Hon. John R. Eden, the democratic member of Congress from this district was also advertised to addressed his constituents. The two events would necessarily bring a large number of people together on that day, and Mr. Eden’s promised address made the assemblage largely democratic. – The people of O’Hair’s settlement were aware of the advantage they would have on that day, above all others, in an affray with the soldiers. They believed all the democrats present would participate and give the soldiers a sound drubbing. The conceived that some interference would be made with Mr. Eden when he attempted to speak, and accordingly, about thirty of them prepared themselves for the defensive or offensive, as circumstances should require. Some of them pistols, and others had guns concealed in their wagons under the straw. Mr. Eden arrived about 2 o’clock. He quickly saw that both soldiers and citizens had been drinking quite freely, (as they were using intemperate language and laboring under quite a degree of excitement,) and that a speech would necessarily result in a disturbance. He accordingly revoked his appointment. The excitement was not to be allayed, and the leading democrats of the county induced many of the people to return to their homes, and over two-thirds of those who came out to hear Mr. Eden left town before 3 o’clock, and some hopes were entertained of preventing any disturbance. About 4 o’clock, however a soldier named Olive Salee, in passing a citizen named Arlson Wells, ran against him, asked if there were any copperheads in the county, said he could whip any copperhead in the county, &c., &c., and finally asked Wells if he was a copperhead? Wells replied in the affirmative. Salee put his hand on Well’s shoulder, who stepped back said, “if you lay your hands on me I will shoot you.” Salee said he would “shoot back.” A minute after, if is said, Wells fired his pistol, whether at Salee or not, is not known. Revolvers were drawn at once and used with terrible effect, as was also the shot guns with which the people from O’Hair’s neighborhood were provided. Some of the soldiers were armed with revolvers, and some had their muskets where they soon got hold of them. In two or three minutes Major York, Surgeon of the 54th Illinois, and Alfred Swain, James Goodrich, and Wm. G. hart, of the same regiment, and Nelson Wells, were mortally wounded and have since died. Col. Mitchell, Oliver Salee, John Neer, Wm. Decker, George Ross, I. J. Brooks, solders, were wounded, as were also William Gilman, John Trimble, and Sanford Noyes, republicans, and Geo. J. Collins, John W. Herndon, democrats. the men from O’Hair’s settlement then left town. About half an hour afterwards a prisoner named John Cooper attempted to escape by running into the store of John Jenkins, a very estimable citizen and a republican. A volley was fired, which killed both Cooper and Jenkins, making the total number of killed seven, and of wounded eleven.

Col. Mitchell telegraphed to Mattoon, and 250 of his regiment came up to Charleston, and squads were sent out, and many persons arrested.

John R. eden left town as soon as the affray commenced, which, with others democrats, he had been endeavoring to prevent.

Rumors were prevalent that some 300 men were congregated at Goliday Mills, seven miles from Charleston. Col. Mitchell visited that place, where, he was informed, the camp was located at Nenniken Point, some twelve miles further, and which he deemed so mythical he did not visit. Rumors fixed another camp near Windsor, seven or eight miles west of this place, but the 74th Indiana 51st Illinois visited the place before daylight this morning and failed to discover traces of there having been a camp in that vicinity. – Rumors of democrats marching on Mattoon and Charleston originated either in the fears of some people or circulated by others for effect. No danger is apprehended and the 47th Indiana has already left, as has also a detachment of the Missouri, commanded by Lieut. Galva. The 41st Illinois will probably leave in the morning and with the withdrawal of troops, the excitement will subside, fears will gradually die out, and the usual quiet be restored.

Democrats and republicans deplore the matter equally, and hold that the conduct of those from O’Hair’s settlement was highly reprehensible.

Too much credit cannot be given Col John True of the 52d Illinois, and Col. G. M. Mitchell, of the 54th, for the manner in which they have acted. Both of them sought to allay the excitement, and have prevented a still greater effusion of blood. The 54th Illinois is under orders to remain on duty in this vicinity.


[By request.]

On the Death of Vatchel Benson.

            Among the pines that overlook,
Stone River’s rocky bed,
Illinois knows full many a son
There numbered with the dead.

‘Tis hard to die mid scenes of strife,
No friend or kindred near
To wipe the death damp from the brow,
Or shed affection’s tear.

That day when all along our lines,
Rained showers of shot and shell,
There many a brave young soldier died,
There many a hero fell.

When night closed o’er the bloody scene,
Returning o’er the ground,
I heard Vatchel’s piteous moan,
Laid low by mortal wound.

It was by the ford we fought that day,
The ground so dearly bought;
Where Waters led his valiant men,
And gallant Moody fought.

Then Vatchel’s cheek was wan,
And lusterless was his eye;
I knew, before another morn
The wounded man must die.

I built a fire of cedar falls,
(The air was cold and damp,)
And filled his canteen from the spring
Below the river bank.

And then I sat me down to ask
If he would wish to send
A last request, or parting word,
To mother, sister, friend.

“I have some word,” poor Vatchel said,
“My friends would like to hear —
Would fill my sister’s soul with joy,
My mother’s heart would cheer.

“Tell them I died a soldier’s death
Upon the battle field,
But lived to know the day was ours
And see the rebels yield.

“But most of all I’ll have them know,
That with my latest breath
I spoke of him I loved in life,
‘Twas joy and peace in death.

“Tell sister I have read with care,
From holy ties endeared,
The Bible mother gave to me
Before I volunteered.”

In silent converse with his God,
The wounded hero lay —
It seemed to him communion sweet,
No agony to pray.

He smiled as does the gentle child
When angels whisper near;
No anguish marked up his brow,
Nor blanched his cheek with fear.

And thus he died that stormy night,
No friend or kindred near
To wipe the death damp from his brow,
Or shed affection’s tear.

And should you wander o’er the ground
Where fell so many brave,
Among the cedars on the hill
You’ll find his lonely grave.

The flowers will soon light with smiles
Stone River’s rocky shore;
But his spirit knows a brighter clime,
Where flowers bloom ever more.

Mild-eyed Pence may visit soon
Stone River’s rocky shore,
But Murfreesboro’s Sabbath bells
Shall never wake Vatchel Benson more.


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