June 24, 1864

Macomb Journal

Latest News.

            There has been considerable fighting during the last week in front of Petersburg. There was a rumor a few days since that Petersburg was taken by our forces, but it turns out to be premature. We have met with severe loss there, but still our troops are steadily gaining ground. It is stated that Burnside has gained decided advantages on Saturday, and that Petersburg would soon be ours.

Gen. Sherman has been resting for a few days at Ackworth, Ga., awaiting supplies preparatory to the onward movement. We may expect to hear favorable news from Sherman’s Department any day.

On Wednesday gold jumped up, in New York to 225 to 235, but before night it fell to 206. The speculators are running wild. Produce of all kinds is advancing enormously.

Gen. Grant demanded the surrender of Petersburg which was refused. Our artillery has shelled the place, which is nearly deserted by the inhabitants.

The general news from the scene of conflict in front of Petersburg consists in attacks and repulses.

Hunter has effected a junction with Grant’s forces at White House. He destroyed two miles of railroad between Charlotteville and Lynchburg.

Sheridan has started on another raid.

There was no serious fighting south of Richmond during Sunday and Monday. It is reported that the surrender of Petersburg has been demanded, but having been refused, its bombardment has commenced. The capture of Petersburg will, it is believed, be virtually equal to the capture of Richmond. General Hunter has destroyed two miles of railroad between Charlotteville and Lynchburg, and Hunter’s and Sheridan’s forces are reported to have marched around to the northeast of Richmond.

The rebel Forrest is reported to be moving in the direction of Nashville. On Friday last he made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Tennessee river at Florence. He then moved to Eastport, and the indications were that he would succeed in crossing at that place. General Rousseau, commanding the Nashville district, has made preparations to receive him.


Why is It?

            We frequently hear the copperheads boast that they are the only true Union men, and that the country can only be saved by them getting into power again. But if that is so, why is it that they always appear so gloomy when they hear of a Federal victory? Why is it that they are always denouncing those Generals in our army who believe in giving the rebels hard knocks?

Why is it that they always welcome with open arms those rebels, who, getting tired of fighting, come here to enjoy the blessings of a free government and yet are continually abusing that government, and heaping contumely on its defenders?

Morgan raiders, bushwackers, and all other scum of the South, are received, feasted and petted by the copperheads of this city, and in fact all over the North, as though they were “little gods.”

Why is it that these same raiders, bushwhackers, &c., are such loudmouthed McClellan men? Why is it that the copperheads call Vallandigham a patriot and a “slaughtered innocent?”

If these questions can be answered satisfactorily by some of our copperhead friends, we will propound a few more that we have in reserve. Come, out with the answers, and let people know why it is.


Who are for Fremont?

            In looking over copperhead papers for the last two or three weeks, we find that they are filled with glowing accounts of the prospects of Fremont for the Presidency. They speak as though everybody, except those in their own immediate neighborhood, were strong for Fremont. We have taken some pains to inquire into the truth of the assertion, but fail to find anyone for him but copperheads, and the reason they go for him is too transparent to to deceive any but the very silliest of cops. The cops would like very well to believe there is a big split in the Union party, and go on the principle that a lie well stuck to is as good as truths; and by spanking the story over and over again, they will get to believe it themselves. Work away, gentlemen[ and you will succeed in placing Fremont along side of Birney and Gerritt Smith, Abolition candidates for the Presidency in 1844 and 1852.


Negro Troops.

            In all of Grant’s Virginia campaign the negro troops have never been brought in cannon shot of the rebel lines. Neither were they in Banks’ late unfortunate expedition. What is the matter? Has experience taught that the negroes cannot be trusted in battle, or is it the programme to kill off the white soldiers first? Perhaps Lincoln hates to slaughter his “pet lambs.” – Eagle.

The editor of the Eagle has not read an account of the encomiums passed upon the negro troops by Gen. “Baldy” Smith, a McClellanite. He is so anxious to have white soldiers killed that all his sympathies are with the negroe. It is natural they should run in that channel, for black troops can’t vote, and every white soldier killed is a vote less for “Old Abe.”



From the 78th Regiment.

In Camp near Ackworth, Ga.,
June 8, 1864.

            It has been now some ten days since I have had an opportunity of writing but I improve a few moments leisure that is now afforded me, that the readers of the Journal may know that the 78th is still all right, and in good fighting condition. We are just now located about two miles south of the town of Ackworth, on the railroad, and about 28 miles from Atlanta. We have orders to march to-morrow morning at sunrise, and I suppose that our destination is that “last ditch” about Atlanta. We may still have some hard fighting, but if the rebs could not make a stand at the strong natural, as well as artificial fortifications that we have driven them from, I do not understand how they will be able to do it on the banks of the Chattahoochee river, to which point I learn they have now retreated to.

We have been resting in camp at this place for two days. We have improved the opportunity in washing up and getting our persons and clothing in decent order once more. For a month past we have lived more like the beasts of the field, than like human beings. – We have traversed over fields and thro’ forests, and when the command for “rest” was given we have been ready to throw ourselves upon the ground in our tracks, and there remain until we could gain some rest to our wearied limbs. Our march from Resaca to Rome was quite rapid, and many were overcome with heat and fatigue. After leaving Rome we had one day’s severe marching, but at night I think the 78th was reported all right except Francis Malone, of Co. F, who is reported wounded by bushwhackers. From Dallas to this place we have had no severe marching, but nevertheless a large portion of our duties bas been very fatiguing. When we get rigged out with our accoutrements, containing fifty or sixty rounds of ammunition, our blankets, tent, cooking utensils, &c., and then with all the rest, our musket upon our shoulder, if may be readily imagined we have some load to carry. From Dallas to this place we traveled over some 15 or 20 miles, consuming some twelve days, but we were all the time within rifle shot of the enemy. A portion of our time in this those twelve days was consumed in skirmishing with the enemy, and the balance of our time consumed either in marching, or building breastworks and lying behind them in line of battle, ready to meet the foe at a moment’s warning. We have slept upon our arms several nights, and many times have been roused up by the heavy musket firing of our skirmishers and pickets. With all the rest, we have endured the heat, the mud and the rain, but it is gratifying to the pride of every true and loyal American to note the alacrity, the willingness, and the cheerfulness with which almost every man stands up to his duty. I am taking some notes and observations in this particular, and when “this cruel war is over” I hope to be afforded the opportunity of paying a just tribute to many gallant and noble soldiers in this regiment. It is too often the case in reports of battles, marches, &c., that all the bravery, the heroism, the gallantry, &c., center in those who hold commissions. I can find bravery, heroism and gallantry amply displayed by those who hold the proud position of privates in the rear rank. But I have more to write on that subject some other time.

Our friends at home, who are strangers to the camp, to the smoke of battle, and to the heavy tread of troops, can scarcely form an adequate idea of the magnitude of an army of 100,000 men, or of the devastation and desolation which follows in their track. In our march from Ringgold to this place our army has traversed over an extent of country at least twenty-five miles in width, and many of the planters and farmers who skedaddled on our approach would scarcely know their farms if they should return to them now. When we build breastworks we take all the fence rails we want, and don’t hesitate to pull down a house if it is in our way, or we we wish to use the lumber in it. The wheat fields just at this time makes very good pastures for our horses, and I notice that our cavalry and artillery companies have made this discovery. –

I have noticed a great many acres of corn in our journey hither, and I have seen a great many acres utterly destroyed by the heavy tread of passing armies, for it must be understood that we do not always travel upon highways and turnpikes, but ofttimes take a short cut across lots. We thus scour over pretty much the whole country, pick up a few skulking rebs, and occasionally find a stock of provisions concealed in the brush or buried in the ground. While our regiment was lying for a day or two near Dallas a member of Co. C, found a large box buried containing several hundred pounds of the choicest bacon. It was of course appropriated. Some boys of the 16th regiment in the same vicinity found flour, and other provisions concealed. – In this vicinity a day or two ago some boys took a notion to explore a very large pile of wheat straw, and in the course of their explorations they came upon a man and a woman snugly ensconced in a little vacanum made in the straw, and well supplied with several days provisions. They were politely requested to go home and behave themselves as honest people should do, and the soldiers took possession of the provisions as contraband of war.

It may appear to some that so much destruction, destitution and waste is not in accordance with the wisest policy. – I have considered this matter somewhat and have reached the conclusion that it is the wisest policy our army can pursue, to sieze upon and take all provisions they need, and not hesitate to destroy any other property that comes in our way. My observations for the past eighteen months convinces me that this policy will make more Union men out of rebels than any other course that can be pursued. When Buell marched an army through Tennessee he was careful to guard and protect the property of noted rebels but I never heard that he ever won to the Union cause one rebel by such a course. But when Rosecrans came with an army, pursuing a different policy, cutting and slashing into rebel property ne converted in a few short weeks thousands of rebels into good Union citizens. When men begin to understand that the safety of their property and all their interests lie in the suppression of the rebellion, and in the supremacy of Federal laws, then will those men pursue a course dictated by their interests. Let us give fair notice to all south of us, and indeed to rebels everywhere that if they continue this war against the Union, destruction surely awaits them – that we will overrun their country, lay waste their farms, and destroy their habitations.

                Thursday, June 9. – The bugle sounded an hour before sunrise this morning and we got up with the expectation of marching at an early hour, but before breakfast was over it was announced that the order for marching was countermanded, and so here we remain in camp.

We got a pretty large mail a day or two ago, and to-day I notice many lying in their tents reading the papers containing the war news of last month. – We certainly are much encouraged at the important results attained, but we have no idea that the fighting is yet over with. But every body says that this is the last year of the war, and I acquiesce in the opinion.

The papers announce that Gen. Oglesby has been nominated for Governor. The Illinois soldiers heartily endorse the nomination. We expect to hear in a day or two of the nomination of Old Abe for re-election to the Presidency. I cannot believe that the 78th will be home in time to vote, but we look to the loyal men of Illinois to do their duty, and to give him a majority that shall only be counted by the thousands.

J. K. M.


The Copperhead Convention at Springfield.

            Last week the Copperheads of this State, by their delegates, assembled in Springfield for the purpose of nominating delegates to attend the “National Convention” to be held at Chicago on the 4th next month. They succeeded, after a stormy time, in nominating their delegates to the Convention, and then, contrary to all established usages, adjourned without making a platform or saying anything that would indicate their policy in the coming campaign. It is true we can infer what their policy in the coming campaign. It is true we can infer what their policy will be by the wording of the telegram sent to Vallandigham on hearing of his return to Ohio. They are determined to be against the Government at all hazards, no matter what may turn up. They claim to be the great party on which the salvation of the Union depends – the great expounders, and confounders of the Constitution – and yet are afraid to let the people know what their principles are! Perhaps they are like Artemas Ward’s showmen, haven’t got nary principle. They claim to be peace men, but what kind of peace do they want. No one can tell with any degree of certainty, as they have failed, not only in this State, but in every other to state what kind of peace they are after. We opine that it should be spelled p-i-e-c-e.


            → A Nashville paper describes “debauchery” as an “epidemic” in that city. Before Nashville was possessed by the devil of Lincolnism, it was one of the most refined and moral cities in America. Now it is a pest house of vice and indecency. – Eagle.

We should like to see the Nashville paper that describes “debauchery” as an “epidemic” in that city since the Union army took possession. The refinement and morality found there in ’62 was forwarded by boat loads north of the Ohio river. Since then “peace and quietness reigns supreme.”


            A Worthy Association. – C. F. Wheat, Esq., of this city, informs us that he has received a letter from Gen. B. M. Prentiss, in which he writes that he will be here in a few days for the purpose of soliciting funds to erect a home for the children of deceased and disabled soldiers in Quincy. An Association has been formed in that city for the purpose named, with Directors in different counties appointed. Charles Chandler, Esq., has been appointed for McDonough county, Gen. Prentiss has been appointed General Agent, and he recommends the formation of societies similar to soldiers’ aid societies. Our citizens should immediately organize, as the object is one every way worthy. There are thousands of orphans in this country, made so by this cruel war, and they should be educated at the expense of the public.

We will have further to say on the subject soon. In the meantime, let our citizens get together and see what can be done in the way of organizing a society, and what probable amount of funds can be raised.


            → A new lot of boots & shoes just received at Browne’s, south side of the square. If you want to save money buy of him.


            Man Killed. – A brakeman on the C. B. & Q. R. R., by the name of Bennet was killed on Saturday last by falling off a freight car at Abingdon, Knox county, while attempting to put on the brake. The brake broke, and threw him off, his head striking the platform, and then he rolled under the wheels. His right arm was taken off by the passing wheels close to the shoulder, also all the fingers of his right hand were cut off. It is believed the fall broke his neck.


            Minnehaha. – Try again!


            Musical Convention. – A musical convention is in progress in this city, composed of some of the best singers in the city and led by Profs. Fargo & Palmer. We understand that they design giving a public concert in the course of a week or two. The convention meets at the Universalist church every afternoon, at 5 o’clock and at night.


            Cow Killed. – Scarcely a week passes without one of more cows being killed in this city by railroad cars. On Monday morning, the down train ran full tilt against a young cow, picked her up on the cow-catcher and carried her a distance of one block, when she was thrown off at the crossing at Lafayette street with several bones broken, but not dead. She dies in a few minutes afterwards. This wholesale slaughter of cattle in this city is certainly the result of carelessness on the part of engineers of the road. They frequently pass through the city without whistling or ringing.


            Rome Tri-Weekly Union. – Our old friend, Jas. K. Magie, in company with other “Yankee printers,” has started a paper at Rome, Georgia, with the above title. Of course it is ably edited, and withal, full of spice. We have received the first No. in which there are several items of interest, which we shall occasionally, transfer to our columns. They took possession of the Rome Courier office after the valiant editor too unto himself wings and “flewed” away. The quality of ink that is used on the paper indicates that the rebs were hard up for good ink.


            At Home. – The non-vets of the 16th arrived home on Monday morning last. Those of the boys whom we have seen look well and hearty, albeit a little tanned by exposure. Their advent was so quiet, that we knew not they were here till several hours after their arrival. We would like to publish a list of their names. Cannot some of the boys furnish us a list of them?


            Ice Cream. – G. K. Hall, on the east side of the square makes a superb article of ice cream, flavored with strawberry. Those who have not tried his ice cream miss a rich treat sure. He not only has the strawberry flavored cream, but has vanilla and lemon cream, the very best of lemonade, cream cakes, confectionery, &c., &c. This warm weather is just the time to enjoy a good dish of ice cream, and G. K.’s is the place to get it.


            The Rome Weekly Courier. – By politeness of Mr. Harry Hampton, one of the returned 16th boys, we received a copy of the above named paper sent to us by Mr. Magie. It is printed only on one side, as the employees of the office concluded to take a trip to the South for the benefit of their health just before our boys took possession of the city. The outside, the part that was printed, is filled with bombast about Lee’s great victories in Virginia, and Grant retreat back to Washington.


            The Small Pox Patient. – We are happy to inform our readers that the man who was sick with the small pox in this city has entirely recovered. By timely precautions of our city authorities, this dreadful disease was prevented from spreading, and now that the only one that had it has recovered, some of our citizens will breathe easier.


            A Curiousity. – We received, a short time since, from our old friend, Col. Charles A. Gilchrist, a blank muster-roll of the Confederate army. It is printed on brown paper, and altogether presents a very rough appeared. It can be seen at this office. He also sent us a copy of the Daily Mississippian, printed at Selma, Alabama. It is printed on a half sheet, very coarse paper, type badly worn, pale ink, and taken altogether, presents a sorry appearance.


            Rain. – This city and the surrounding country were blessed with an abundance of rain on last Thursday night, 16th, and Friday morning. It did not come any too soon, as the crops were beginning to suffer from the protracted drouth.


            Tax List. – Our readers must bear with us for a few weeks while the tax list is being is being published. It only comes once in two years.


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