From the 78th Regiment.
Camp near Rossville, Ga.,
April 16, 1864.
I wrote you a brief note on the evening of the 10th instant announcing that we were under orders to march the next morning at daylight, but to what point I was not able at that time to state. – Before the hour of departure, however, I learned that our projected move would be toward Lafayette, the county town of Walker county, situated about twenty miles almost due south of this camp, and twenty-four miles west of Dalton, and that our force would consist only of the 78th regiment and a detachment of cavalry, all under command of Col. Carter Van Vleck. The object of the move was merely a reconnaissance on a scout through that part of the country to learn if possible the movement of the enemy, and to ascertain if it were true, as had been reported by some citizens in that section, that the rebels had a courier line or signal stations from Dalton to the Tennessee river running through that section of the country. – We made the trip and returned in three days without any loss or accident. The morning on which we started was exceedingly bright and pleasant. Our course lay immediately through what is called Rossville, situated about two miles distant, but the place does not rise to the dignity of a town, as there is but one house visible, and one or two log stables in rather a dilapidated condition. But this place will ever be memorable in history. It is the junction of two main roads leading to Chattanooga, one from Ringgold and the other from Lafayette. I had not seen the place since that awful and never to be forgotten night of the 20th of September last, when so many of our brave comrades were lying there writhing and groaning with pains from wounds received on the bloody field of Chickamauga. I could see as I passed along the graves of many of whose lives become a sacrifice to their country on that sad and terrible night.
We marched along quite merrily that forenoon, halting occasionally for rest or water. The road was hard and gravelly on either side and was skirted the most of the way by heavy timber, thickly interspersed with tall pitch pine trees. We passed over a portion of the Chickamauga battle ground, where still remains the countless marks of contending armies in bloody strife. The little wounds indicating the resting place of the dead, the stray hats and shoes and bloody garments that lay in profusion about, the shot and shell which were kicked about under our feet, and the broken and mangled trees and bushes every where visible, were all sad reminders of the terrible conflict which had been waged upon that ground.
We reached Crawfish Springs a little before noon where we halted for dinner. These springs are a great natural curiosity. A large volume of water, nearly equal in extent to Crooked Creek in McDonough county, when bank full, rushes out from some caverns in a ledge of rocks by the road side, and then glides along smoothly through the meadows and pastures until it empties into the Chickamauga. The water is clear as crystal, and how far it runs through the bowels of the earth before it emerges into the light of day I am not able to say.
After dinner we shouldered our guns, and other fixins, and formed again in line, and continued on our journey. The country through which we marched that afternoon was hilly, and rather heavily wooded, and had never been much cultivated or improved. We would occasionally pass an old dilapidated building, in the vicinity of which might be seen some cleared ground, but in our whole three days’ march we saw only three or four men engaged in agricultural pursuits. We saw a few farms and dwellings that appeared to be entirely deserted. At nearly every house that was occupied could be seen as we passed some ten or a dozen squallid looking children, varying in ages from two to twelve years, with a large sprinkle of darkies of variegated hues, and perhaps two or three matronly looking women, with quids of tobacco in their cheeks or pipes in their mouths. Whenever we passed a habitation at which there were any fowls, cattle or hogs I could hear our boys comment on the plentiful provision which might still be found in the Southern Confederacy. We have been so long strangers to the sight of fat porkers and blooming pullets, and witnessed so many desolated farms, that when we see a few chickens, a half dozen hogs, or two or three cow kine roaming about some antiquated farm house we are disposed to look upon the fortunate owner as a happy individual, surrounded by peace and plenty.
In the latter part of the afternoon we passed through what is known as “Catling’s Gap” in Pigeon Mountain. This gap is some two or three miles in length. By the time we had got well through the gap it was approaching six o’clock, and the men began to exhibit signs of extreme weariness. We now found that we were only three or four miles from Lafayette, and in a portion of the country over which the rebels usually roamed at their pleasure. A few minutes past six we halted for the night in a large field near the main road, and about one and a half miles from Lafayette, having travelled in the course of the day about 21 miles. After stacking arms nearly every man threw himself upon the ground and enjoyed the luxury of a refreshing rest; but there were some few, a little waggish in their dispositions, as if in mockery of their own feelings as well as of others, got up a few foot races and jumping matches, but that soon played out. Supper, consisting of the usual variety – hard tack and sow-belly – was soon over. The usual guard was stationed, and soon after eight o’clock, — speaking only for myself – as nearly as I can recollect, I was wandering in the land of dreams.
The blast of Maynard’s bugle called us up to answer roll-call the next morning a little before day-light. I soon discovered that we were likely to have a wet day, which proved to be the case. Breakfast was over and we were again on the march before seven o’clock. – We passed on directly through the town of Lafayette, which appeared to be a very neat and handsome village of probably, in ordinary times, one thousand inhabitants. As we left Lafayette we turned to the right, travelling in a westerly direction. The road leading from Lafayette to Dalton is held by the rebels, and I learn they had some four or five thousand cavalry encamped only five miles from Lafayette at the time we passed through there. Our Colonel of course gathered all the information he could respecting rebel movements as we passed along. We reached Pigeon Mountain once more, and instead of finding a road through a Gap – as we as we did the day before, we found an awful rough and rocky road winding along over the mountain. We had with us two ambulances, and two six mule teams loaded with rations. This road over the mountain was blockaded by the rebels sometime last year, with fallen trees, and had been only partially cleared out. Our Quartermaster thinks that the feat of Napoleon crossing the Alps was nothing to be compared with the crossing of those ambulances and teams over the mountain. We reached the base upon the other side a little before noon, and then we marched in a northernly direction toward Chattanooga. – The country was similar in appearance to that we had travelled through the day before. In the course of the afternoon, we passed a seedy, butternut looking individual seated by the road side, who was soon gathered up by our Provost Guard and asked to give an account of himself. He said he was a rebel soldier, home on furlough, but was about to start back to the rebel army. He was marched under guard the rest of the afternoon, and when we halted for the night Col. Van Vleck made some investigation into his case, when the fact was developed that he had been a rebel soldier, but deserted from the rebel army several months since and had been living somewhere in Middle Tennessee, and was now in this section of the country for the purpose of aiding his father to remove his family farther away from rebellion. – The old man and family was upon the road with an old ox team containing their goods and chattles, and he carried with him the papers belonging to the son which showed that he had taken the President’s amnesty oath, and had least been forgiven by Old Abe if not by his Maker. The son explained that when he saw our troops approaching him he thought they were rebels wearing the Federal uniform, as they sometimes do, especially as we were approaching from the south, and as it was too late for him to attempt to escape he thought it the best policy to play the part of a rebel. He was released upon this explanation.
I must hasten to a conclusion of this letter as I find I have exceeded my usual limits. Suffice it to say that nothing occurred on the third day of our march of more than ordinary interest. We reached our old camp about four o’clock in the afternoon, although much wearied and fatigued, still very well pleased with the additional stock of experience in soldiering we had gained by our trip through Walker county.
J. K. M.
The Coles County Rebels.
Our Springfield dispatches, a few days ago, stated that the Coles county rebels had taken an oath of allegiance and discharged. We stated at the time we had little faith in the efficacy of an oath of allegiance administered to a Coles county traitor. We since learn that only those were discharged against whom proof of guilt has not established; thirteen of the twenty-nine were sworn and let go for the reason named. It did not appear by the testimony before Gen. Oakes that they had taken an active part in committing the murders. They were undoubtedly part of the gang who assembled on the summons of the O’Hairs, but they had not engaged in the riot. Fifteen of the twenty-nine still remain in custody, and one has died. Gen. Oakes will try these prisoners by court martial if Gen. Heintzleman so orders, and if found guilty of the alleged crimes, they will be punished by military law. There will be no farce performed of swearing them and turning them loose – providing always they are proven to be guilty.
The Late Call.
Illinois is responding with alacrity to the late call for 20,000 men, and from all parts of the State we are hearing the news that companies and regiments are filling up with the rapidity of ’61. We cannot say so much, and especially of the city of Macomb. There appears to be an apathy, a don’t-care-ativeness among our citizens that is truly mortifying. It is true that Macomb, and the county at large have heretofore been foremost in offering men to the Government, but that should not detract anything from our obligations to fill our quota under the present call. There are enough young men in this city, who are out of employment, and others who could leave their situations, to fill a company to the maximum number – then in the name of all that is sacred let it be done.
P. S. – Since the above was in type we have learned that McDonough is up and doing. Capt. T. K. Reach came into our office and informed us that a company was being formed in Tennessee and Colchester, also one in Bushnell and another in Prairie City. The one in Prairie City is being raised by Capt. J. B. Johnson, and numbered, on Tuesday evening, fifty-four men, with a good prospect of being filled to the maximum by the last of the week. Capt. W. H. Oglesbee is at the head of the Bushnell company, and, we learn, is rapidly filling up his company. He will do to tie to. Capt. B. M. Veatch of Tennessee, a gentleman who has seen service, and is thoroughly competent to take charge of a company, is raising the Tennessee and Colchester company.
And while all this has been taking place in the county, we are happy to state that Macomb has not been idle. – Lieut. J. E. Fleming, formerly of the 10th Missouri regiment, a gentleman well known in this community, is raising a company, and he informs us that he is having first-rate success, and that the boys have caught the spirit of ’61. We are glad of this, for it would have been a burning disgrace to the city, not [fold] this city answer the call.
Delegates to County Convention.
At a public meeting held at Court House pursuant to notice the following named gentlemen were elected to represent the township in the County Convention to be held at Macomb on Saturday May 7th, 1864, at 1 o’clock P. M. viz:
Farman Casto, Wm. Hamilton, Charles Dallam, Wm. H. Randolph, Benj. Amos, O. F. Piper, A. E. Hoskinson, Henry Morris, Henry McIlvane, C. F. Wheat, Benj. R. Hampton, Jno. B. Cummings, W. E. Withrow.
The Chicago Journal, in speaking of the massacre at Fort Pillow; says it is all too true. The frightful and ghastly calamity that befell our black troops at Fort Pillow, is confirmed to its smallest and most develish detail.
The Committee of Congress appointed to investigate the facts have reported, and after a careful and patient and impartial investigation, they are of the opinion that the newspaper reports have not exaggerated the affair at all. Indeed, they are of the opinion that it could not be exaggerated.
So, therefore, the Fort Pillow infamy of the rebels is before the country, and the Government in all its naked enormity and deformity. We shall await, and the people will await, with deep feeling and resolute expectation the action of Congress and the determination of the Government. Fort Pillow must be avenged.
The “Democratic” Candidate for Congress in the 5th District.
The “Democracy” of the 5th District met in Convention at Princeton on Thursday last, and on the first ballot nominated H. M. Wead, of Peoria, as Lovejoy’s successor. The ballot stood; H. M. Wead, 39, W. Loucks, 14, G. W. Stipps, 11.
Wead is a Copperhead of the first water, and if elected will of course support the disunion peace proposition.
Hom. E. C. Ingersoll, the Union Republican candidate, is an unconditional supporter of the Government and the war against the rebels, and the loyal people of that district will see to it that he is elected.
→ We have received a list of the wounded of Co. H, 2nd Ill. Cav., in the late fight in Louisiana. The following are the names:
Edward Curtis, supposed to be mortally, left on the field.
John Bowlin, slightly in leg and arm.
E. B. Hill, seriously, in leg.
George Lee, seriously, in side.
Gab’l Jones, seriously, in hip.
Hen. Kidder, seriously, in leg.
Benj. Kidder, seriously, in neck.
John Quinlin, seriously, in head.
Patton Stern, dangerously in leg, left on the field.
Robert Vail, seriously, in hand.
Hudson, slightly in leg.
Oscar Yaple, seriously in shoulder.
Something of a Family. – On Saturday week there was a family reunion at the residence of David and Adelaide [fold] children and gran-children were gathered under the roof of the old homestead on the fiftieth anniversary of the wedding of the “old folks,” still “at home.” Mr. Knollenberg is 76 and his wife 74 years of age – both still hearty and strong. He yet performs a man’ day’s work, and she walks to town twice a week with butter and eggs, etc., and doubtless she never obtained such encouraging prices before. It must be enough to renew her youth and stimulate her faith in the excellence of this lower world!
Six Miles a Minute. – By a new method of locomotion, a speed of six miles a minute is obtained and capitalists are besieging the British Government to allow them to construct lines for passengers and traffic through all parts of London. The London Examiner exclaims on this: Happy, although unconsious posterity! We envy you – we must crawl through life at the snail’s pace of only a mile in two minutes oftentimes less, while for you await the ecstatic bliss of being shot through space at the rate of 360 miles an hour.”
– There were twenty-four deaths among the rebel prisoners at Rock Island last week, only three of which were from small pox. Sickness and mortality are decreasing.
The rebels themselves are not more savage against the loyal men of the south, and the colored troops who are fighting the battles of the country, than the copperheads of the north.
→ J. M. Johnson, of Tennessee, requests us to state that he will be at the Randolph House for a few days for the purpose of receiving recruits for the 100 day’s service. Fall in, boys, fall in.
Mortality on Rock Island. – The total number of deaths among the rebel prisoners on Rock Island since they removed there, have been 1,069.
The above reward will be paid for the return to me in Macomb, of a large New Foundland dog, black hair, with the exception of white on his breast and on the end of his tail. Answers to the name “Carlow.” Lost last Monday, April 25th.
S. G. WADSWORTH.
Charter Election. – The election for Mayor and Aldermen in this city passed off very quietly. There was not [?] a full vote polled, as politics did not enter into the contest. The election turned entirely on the license question, and the anti-license men carried the day by a large majority. We do not claim the victory as a Republican victory, nor a Democratic victory, but temperance against intemperance. – The Democrats did not bring out a candidate for Mayor, and several of them voted for Dr. Jordan. The Council is almost a unit against issuing any more licenses for the retail sale of intoxicating drinks. The Board is composed, we are correctly informed, of seven anti-license men to one license man. – So far so good, but we would respectfully suggest to the new Mayor and Board of Aldermen that the refusal to grant license will be a dead letter if [?] properly backed up by a fearless and independent Marshal; one who can do his whole duty without fear or [?]. There have been such men and there can be again, and we [?] the new Board will be fortunate enough to secure one of the right stamp. We do not apprehend any difficulty or resistance to the enforcement [?] law that may be made upon the subject, but still it will be well to be prepared for any emergency.
→ Persons wishing to enlist in the 100 days’ service, are requested to call on J. E. Fleming or W. J. Lee.
Recruits Wanted. – We are authorized to say that Lieut. J. E. Fleming, formerly of the 10th Missouri regiment, is endeavoring to recruit a company for the one hundred days’ service. We have often heard men say they did not regard the danger of the service is the country demanded their help, but the term of three years was too long to be separated from one’s business. In some cases this may be true, but here is a corps got up intentionally to suit just such cases. The design is to occupy forts and posts in our own lines, whilst the more experienced soldiers advance on the enemy. Many of these men will no doubt be used too on our southern lines, to guard against raids from the enemy. This is a loud appeal to the patriotism of our citizens. The present summer campaign will, doubtless, be the last. – Great dangers must be met by our boys in front, great self denials and some risks ought to be assumed by those of us in the rear. McDonough has already a proud record, shall we do something worthy of our good name in this enterprise? Mr. Fleming has experience in camp life, is a drilled man, sober and attentive to his men. Shall he be encouraged?
Who Shall Decide, &c. – The question, “who shall decide when doctors disagree?” is now agitating the public mind in this city. There is a young man in this city who is sick with some kind of eruptive disease, and the doctors cannot agree as to the nature of it. One says it is small pox, another the chicken pox, while the rest pronounce it from Typhoid fever down through the various diseases known to the medical fraternity, to Spring fever and pure laziness. We move that the doctors get together, and, after a strict examination of their late “Medical Fee Bill,” take a vote on the disease and decide on it that way. After coming to such decission they can doctor him for that particular disease.
“They can puke hi, purge him and sweat him,
And then, if he dies, why, they can let him.”
Hard on the Postmasters. – The following pointed remarks to the Post Master and mail messengers at Nashville and Post Masters in this State, were written on the outside of an envelope by a soldier belonging to the 50th Ill. V. V., and, though a little profane, are decidedly cool:
“If any d – d fool P. M. in Illinois don’t know where Macomb is, let them look on the map and find the county seat of McDonough county.
If Ed. is not there, advertise, and be sure not to dispose of the letter without making a point any way, and oblige
I. Mail Messengers: — D – n you, I want this letter to go through is such a thing is possible; and I do not want the P. M. at Nashville let those d – n cusses loose it by throwing it and other letters at one another as they are in the habit of doing.
II. I will put the stamp on tight as h – l with mucilage, and none of you need try to get it off. If you are out, and require one let me know and I will give you one or more.
III. If I get an answer to this I will think it is partly through the liberality of
Wall Paper. – S. J. Clarke has just received another large invoice of wall paper which he is selling at very low rates. If people do not have neat rooms it will not be the fault of Mr. Clarke, as he has by far the largest and best stock of paper ever brought to Macomb, and all new a beautiful patterns.
He is also in receipt of all the new and popular books and sheet music. – Give him a call.
Our Army Letter. – We place Mr. Magie’s letter on the outside of this weeks paper, expecting to have two, but were disappointed. These letters are a valuable feature to our paper, and are eagerly read by every one. – We are frequently asked is Mr. Magie will continue to write while in the army? We will answer now, if no unforeseen event occurs, we will have a letter every week from his pen. We attribute a large share of the increase to our subscription list to having his letters in the paper, consequently they are too valuable to be thrown lightly aside without publication.
Counterfeiters Arrested. – Our usually quiet city was thrown into quite an excitement on last Sunday by the arrest of two men who were endeavoring to pass counterfeit $100 Treasury notes. We have no doubt but that they belong to the gang of whom the newspapers have been speaking so much of late. We understand that one of them had in his possession eight of those bills and the other one. They stand a very good chance to make the acquaintance of Capt. Pitman, of Joliet. They will find it quite a serious business this counterfeiting Uncle Sams, promises to pay.
Malicious. – Some person or persons went last Sunday to the farm of B. R. Hampton, Esq., three miles northeast of this place, while himself and family were in town attending church, and tore down a number of pannels of a new fence he had lately built, and pitched the rails into the creek which ran close by. Such actions may be amusing to some people, but can’t “see it.” If found out, they should be severely punished.
Good Flour. – Messrs. Clisby & Trull are out with a new advertisement in this paper to which we would respectfully invite the attention of the public generally. That they make good flour is acknowledged by all who have tried it, and we would say to those who have not tried it, go and do so.
Accident. – Mr. Joseph Burton, of this city, while out riding on Tuesday last, met with a misfortune which came near being serious. It seems while going at a very fast rate his buggy struck a stump, throwing him out, and bruising him considerably.
Col. Wilson. – We understand that Lieut. Col. Sam. Wilson has been commissioned as Col. of one of the new regiments now being raised under the late call. Bully for Sam., we hope his regiment will be entirely composed of McDonough men.
To the Rescue. – In view of the great scarcity of butter, ‘am and heggs in this market, and to furnish a suitable substitute therefor, Mr. Jas. F. Wadham has received a large stock of groceries, crockery ware, &c., besides a great many other articles that come handy in all well regulated families, and desires everybody and his wife to come and see him at his grocery rooms north west corner of the square.
Nigger in the Pit. – Last Monday, during the election, some miscegenist in the 1st Ward deposited a vote for Schanck’s “nigger.” We have no doubt but that the man who voted that ticket was sincere, and wished the darkey elected – at least his vote shows that to be the case. These cops love to mouth the word miscegenation; and as a general thing, love to practice it in secret – vide their secession brethren in the South.