January 7, 1865

Macomb Eagle

The Impending Draft.

            The people of this county know that there is a call for 300,000 men for the army, and that if these are not forthcoming by the fifteenth of February a draft will be ordered and they will be taken nolens volens. In the absence of the assignment of quotas by the war department the number to be furnished by any State or county can only be guessed at; but it is estimated, and perhaps it will prove nearly correct, that Illinois will be called upon for 18,000 men. On this estimate McDonough county will be called on to furnish about 180 or 200 men. How are these men to be raised? We put aside our opinion about this war and all questions connected with it, and take it for granted that the men must be had. There is no getting around it. The Government wants – it has the power to take them – and it will have them. There is no dodging the fact or pretending to ignore it. It will be a terrible reality to the most indifferent in five short weeks.

How shall we furnish these 200 men? If not sent as volunteers, the number will be drafted and taken. When a man volunteers there is no hardship or suffering forced upon others by the act. When a man is drafted, it not unfrequently happens that much suffering and distress is caused to his family in consequence of his forcible abduction. We have had volunteering and we have had drafting, and looking at the effects of each method upon the community, we do not believe there are a dozen men in the county who will not prefer the former. But some effort is needed to arouse and fix attention to this subject. To encourage volunteering we believe is now the duty of every citizen in the county. The encouragement must not stop with words; it must extend to acts. It must reach the pockets and forward the work of volunteering by the placing of substantial bounties in the hands of all who enlist. Public meetings should be held in every township, and men who have greenbacks should shell them out by fifties and hundreds. There are numbers of men in every township who would rather give fifty dollars than run the risk of being drafted. Let these, and others who may give more or less, make up what they can and send as many volunteers as they can.

In addition to this we favor an appropriation by the board of supervisors of a sum, say $500, to each volunteer from the county. This, in addition to the Government bounty, would, we believe, procure enough volunteers to exempt the county from the unfairness and suffering inevitable from a forced conscription. We are in favor of this appropriation by the county, because it will be collected from the taxpayers in proportion to the amount of their property, and the burden will fall heaviest on the wealthier portion of the community. It may be said that the board of supervisors possess no authority to make such appropriation. It may be true this week, but the authority to do so, we are confident, will not be delayed many weeks. In the meantime, as this is a matter of importance, the authority might be anticipated for a very few days. The urgency of the case will be sufficient apology for prompt action.

In the meantime citizens should not wait for the contemplated action of the county authorities; but they should hold their meetings, raise their bounties, and lead off in the effort to secure exemption from the draft.

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            → Our republican friends used to say, when urged to volunteer, that they were staying at home to take care of the copperheads. As they have performed that job pretty effectually, we would suggest that they now assist the Government to take care of the rebels. They can go for one, two, or three years, and then get back in time for the next election. No excuse, gentlemen.

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            → The Government collectors are coming around to collect five per cent. on every man’s gross receipts for the year 1863. What is the use of having a Government unless you are made to feel its power? So prepare to shell out!

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            Drifitng. – A “freedmen’s fair,” for the benefit of that superior class of humanity designated “American citizens of African descent,” was held in Chicago last week, at which tableaux gotten up in the most impressive manner were exhibited. The first of these highly interesting entertainments was entitled “The negro in 1860,” and represented a negro cowering under the lash of a white man. The second depicted “The negro in 1864,” under the humane and benevolent reign of Abraham I, Rex, etc. This represented a white man lying on the ground and guarded by a negro in the full glory of a blue uniform and white gloves. We are drifting – that’s a fact. – Pittsfield Dem.

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            ‒ One of the correspondents with General Sherman, gives a rather vivacious and free and easy description of the march through Georgia. – He says the two main columns swept over an area of territory at least sixty miles in breadth, foraged extensively on the country over which they passed, and lived in the most sumptuous manner. Not a hungry man could be found in the command. They lived on poultry almost entirely, and, as Gen. Sherman observed, “They had turkey even for breakfast, and would not look at pork; but,” he added, “I can’t speak so well of those whom I leave in the rear.” This don’t tally very well with the reports that have been dinned in our ears for about three years respecting “starvation at the South.”

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            ‒ The mail brought by the Arago, recently from Sherman’s army, contained over 200,000 letters, the largest single mail ever received at the New York post office.

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            ‒ Mr. Amos Busby succeeded in killing a large gray wolf in the neighborhood of Rob’t McCreery, on last Saturday. Mr. Busby received $8, the bounty paid by the county, and $1.50 for the hide. – Rushville Times.

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            ‒ Next year there will be four eclipses – two of the sun and two of the moon. The eclipses of the sun occur on the 25th of April and the 15th of October; those of the moon on the 11th of April and the 2nd of October.

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            Terrible Suicide. – A stranger by the name of Morris committed suicide in this town on Wednesday afternoon. He had been in town but two or three days, and his conduct at times indicated that he was laboring under a slight mental derangement. On Tuesday evening he went to the house of Mr. Tinsley, whose housekeeper (Mrs. Priest) was once his wife. They had been separated for some time, and Morris wanted to make up and live together again, which Mrs. P. declined to do. The next day he called again, and made the same overtures, which were again declined. Morris went out of the house and standing on the portico fired once shot from a revolver through the side light of the door. He then placed the weapon against his left breast and discharged it again. With the report he fell and instantly expired, the ball having pierced his heart. Morris was probably fifty years of age, and formerly lived in Schuyler county, and more lately in Ripley, Brown county. Some $300 or $400 were found on his body.

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            The Excess in Macomb Township. – The township of Macomb has been credited with an excess of 96 men over the quota heretofore assigned to it. There can be little doubt that this excess properly belongs to other townships, fully as much as to Macomb, and its distribution over the county would therefore be only an act of sheer justice. We are willing to admit that Macomb has done its full share of furnishing the volunteers, but the idea that it has so far outstripped the other townships as the excess of 96 would indicate is preposterous. The distribution of this excess can be readily accomplished, and if the leading republicans in Macomb will ask for it we are satisfied it will be done. Will they, or will they not?

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            Difficulty Adjusted. – The difficulty between the county authorities and the Chicago and Quincy Railroad Company, in regard to the assessment of the property of the latter, has been amicably adjusted. The terms of settlement will be learned by reading the proceedings of the last session of the board of supervisors, on the first page of this paper. This adjustment is certainly better than to maintain an expensive and uncertain lawsuit, or to have the ill will of the company which might result in attachment of special tariffs on all freight carried into or out of the county, and the withholding of common accommodations from our citizens.

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            → The county clerk’s office is becoming quite a place for the solemnization of matrimony, and Judge Chandler has become very popular for this business, on account of his ready ceremony and his insistence on having no improper conduct on the occasion. We would suggest, however, to the clerk, that inasmuch as the young people will go to his office to get married, that he kick the “purps” out of the room in time to spare their blushes.

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            Another Abolition Paper in this County. – We understand that the abolitionists in Bushnell have made arrangements for the establishment of a newspaper in that town. The paper will be under the management of Mr. D. G. Swan, late of Havana, Vermont, Macomb, and other places, and will be intensely “loyal” in politics. We hope it will prosper – amazingly.

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            Home Again. – Capt. G. H. Reynolds, late of the 78th regiment, passed through town on Saturday last, on his way to his home in Industry township. He was with Sherman’s army in the march through Georgia, and resigned his commission at Savannah. His resignation was accepted, and he is therefore once more a citizen among us. We wish him good health and much prosperity.

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            → Messrs. Wadham & Stowell, grocers, know how to do a clever thing as well as sell their goods at the lowest notch. A can of fine oysters found its way from their store to our table this week. They have more of the same sort, as well as every thing else to be found in a first class grocery house. They are not undersold by any house in town.

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            → John Abell has purchased the restaurant one door south of Wolf’s meat shop, and invites the hungry to give him a call. Oysters, steaks, coffee, and all kinds of warm dishes served up at all hours of the day. Also fruits, candies, nuts, etc., in fine condition.

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            → Col. L. H. Waters returned home this week. He still suffers much from his wound, but he is slowly improving. We trust he may soon be restored to perfect health.

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            → A child of Charles McKenzie, of Tennessee township, was so severely burned on Sunday last as to cause its death.

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            Extract Lard from Cracklings. – The following will be important information at this season for many of our readers:

In rendering out lard or tallow, that portion which remains in the cracklings after dripping or pressing, may be secured in the following manner. While the cracklings are yet warm mash them fine as you would potatoes for the table and then pour water over them to the depth of three or four inches; bring the whole to a boil and set away to get cool. The cellular tissue will sink to the bottom, while the lard or tallow will rise to the top in a pure cake. Cracklings must be fried hard enough to crumble easily.

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            ‒ It is stated that rebel money is so plentiful in Sherman’s camp that the men light their pipes with $50 bills and kindle their fires with $5,000 Georgia State bonds.

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            ‒ The Davenport Gazette tells about a hog just slaughtered in that city that weighed 850 pounds. The sum paid for it was $93.50.

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Free Negro Labor at the South.

            In reading (says the Buffalo Courier) the recent report of the Auditor of Louisiana, a strong anti-slavery document, we were struck with the fact that an official entertaining his views should lay so little stress on the value of free negro labor as an agency of agricultural production in that State, and in the further development of its natural resources. He asks if something cannot be done to attract to that State a “large population of skillful and industrious cultivators,” and advises that the Legislature shall establish a bureau emigration to assist and encourage the immigration to this State of skillful and industrious agricultural laborers, farmers and mechanics from European countries, from the northern States and from Canada. The New York Times has a New Orleans correspondent whose representations present a rather discouraging picture of the working of the free negro system there. He says:

The crying evil which may be heard on every plantation down the Mississippi, is the incorrigible indolence of the negroes, and with it the lack of power to make the negroes work. The “freedmen” will work only as they feel disposed. The planter has no means to compel him to labor, and consequently the negroes on most plantations are under a poor condition of discipline. Not one in fifty will raise a finger to help themselves so long as they can get enough to eat by stealing, and possess a rag to cover their nakedness. Independent of the ravages of the army worm, the crops of a majority of the plantations would have resulted in small returns the present season. I heard a dozen planters assert this fact, and attribute it to no other cause than the universal indisposition of the negroes to do the necessary work, and the utter inability of the superintendents to get the work out of them. The negroes are paid, clothed and fed, yet they will steal sugar and either eat it or sell it. They steal the cotton under cover of the night, and dispose of it to the numberless petty speculators many of whom put them up to it. They steal the corn and feed their pigs with it, and save their own for market. They feign sickness, and will lie in the hospital for weeks, when nothing on earth is the matter with them. The negro idea of freedom is that of unrestrained license to do as they please and go where they choose.

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