February 4, 1865

Macomb Eagle

An Important Embassy.

            All our accounts from Washington, says the Chicago Times, concur that three distinguished gentlemen of the rebel confederacy have entered General Grant’s lines from Richmond, on their way to Washington. They are Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the confederacy, R. M. T. Hunter, formerly United States Senator from Virginia and now a member of the confederate senate, and William B. Campbell, ex-judge of the United States supreme court and now assistant secretary of war in the confederacy. This can be none other than a peace movement, and it is probable that the embassy comes to Washington under other conditions than those of President Lincoln’s Niagara Falls manifesto. But though it be a peace movement, the public will do well not to indulge in lively expectations of immediate peaceful results from it. It is enough to hope that it will prove to be the entering wedge to ultimate peace. It is a great step in the right direction that such an embassy should be sent from Richmond and received in Washington. It is a great step in the right direction that the rebel leaders and the administration at Washington can come together and consider the question of peace. The event is the opening of a door that has been heretofore closed and barred. Let us pray that the door may not be again closed; that, whatever may be the result of the present negotiations, it will remain open for future negotiations if they be necessary.

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The Anti-Bounty Meeting.

            The meeting on Saturday last, to oppose the giving of bounties to soldiers under the present call, was, so far as numbers were concerned, a most inglorious failure. It was called for a county meeting, and was expected to be a tremendous affair. It was supposed the advocates of the bounty would be overwhelmed by the numbers of the get-my-dollar-if-you-can men who would pour into Macomb on that day. But alas, for their expectations! There were not so many people in town as are usually to be seen on Saturday, and when the hour for the meeting arrived, the immense hall was “densely packed and filled to over-flowing” with twenty-five or thirty men! The leaders in the movement looked blank – they were dumb-founded at the “beggarly row of empty benches” which met their eyes. The scene was too ridiculous even for the sober face of old Blackburn, who raised his head long enough to wink at Col. Waters, as much as to say, “What a set of asses we are!” But having commenced the work they whistled up their courage and went through the farce of organizing, and speech-making, and appointing committees, and adopting resolutions. How cheap it is to go on paper! But we do admire the impudence of the leaders of these two dozen and a half, and we appreciate the coolness of their attempting to instruct members of the Legislature and Governor in the performance of their duty. Only think of twenty-five or thirty men coming to Macomb, on their own account merely, and without the least authority from any other person or persons, assuming to speak for and in the name of the twenty thousand people of McDonough county! Verily there will be a prodigious rise in the brass market.

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          → No drafted man, it is safe to say, will serve his year in the army, if he is able to procure a substitute or has friends enough to procure one for him. The draft last year established this fact. It is therefore idle to talk about the duty, and the patriotism, and glory of a conscript’s life. People don’t see it. The draft will fall with crushing weight upon many men who are unable to buy out and unable to leave enough to support their families in their absence. It is right and proper that those upon whom the lot does not fall should contribute to lighten the burden of those upon whom it does fall. Do we live for ourselves alone, or do we owe nothing to our neighbors?

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            → The board of supervisors of Knox county have already made an appropriation of $300 to each volunteer or conscript under the present call, and the “Union” paper in that county calls upon the board to double the amount, for the reason that it would be entirely consistent with “their duty and patriotism.” We should like to be informed why it is that an act which is patriotism in Knox county becomes “copperheadism” in McDonough county. Will the “sage of Harvard” answer?

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“Foreign Jail-Birds.”

            At the anti-bounty meeting last Saturday one of the speakers eased himself of his pent up feelings, to the effect that “wanted all drafted men to serve out their time; that if substitutes were purchased they would be foreign jailbirds; that he didn’t want the army filled up with such soldiers, and if it were he would advise his son to desert,” etc. The man who gave utterance to these sentiments is a leading republican in this county and controls the action of their party as much, if not more, than any other one individual in the party. He no doubt spoke his honest sentiments, and his allusion to the foreign born people of our county as “jail birds” is no doubt shared by his political associates. The man was a candidate on the Lincoln ticket for representative last fall, and his name is Alexander Blackburn. – His right to speak for the republican party, and his acquaintance with their opinions, will not be impugned.

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Anti-Soldiers Meeting.

            At a meeting held at Campbell’s Hall, on the 28th, instant to consider the question of the tax proposed to be laid on the people of McDonough county, by the Board of Supervisors, to procure substitutes in the coming draft, D. R. Hamilton was called to the chair, William E. Withrow, was appointed secretary.

Col. L. H. Waters, addressed the meeting in his usual felicetous style, on the inequalities of the proposed measure. Whereupon a committee consisting of Alexander Blackburn, L. H. Waters and Frank Smith were appointed to draft resolutions expressing of the sense of the meeting.

During the absence of the committee, James M. Campbell, Esq., addressed the meeting in opposition to the tax.

The committee having returned, reported the following resolutions:

Resolved, That as citizens at home acknowledge our obligations to promote, protect ad preserve, the rights, interest and honor of the citizen soldiers in the service or have been in the service, and of their families; and that we are opposed to taxing them to aid those remaining at home to meet the requisition of their country upon them; that we therefore respectfully remonstrate against the passage of an act by our Legislature conferring the power on the board of Supervisors of McDonough county, to levy such tax; or if such law has already been passed, that we earnestly remonstrate with said Board against the exercise of the power conferred, and that the levying of such tax, as it would be a discrimination against the soldier and his family, against the widows and orphans of our lamented fellow braves, and against all that have either volunteered or by drat, or by substitute, met the calls made upon them, and in favor of those who have yet not met such calls – therefor, offensive, unjust and oppressive.

2nd, That we recommend to the citizens of each township to form volunteering associations and to give liberally to procure volunteers to fill their respective quotas; and should this fail to procure the requisite number, then to aid the drafted men with an equal liberality, not to procure substitutes but to go themselves at the call of their country.

2d, That we do not view being drafted as a calamity befalling a citizen, but as an honorable call upon him by his government, to which in all ordinary cases he should in person, cheerfully respond, notwithstanding it may subject him to many hardships and inconveniences, and that we do most heartily recommend a liberal patriotic and brotherly aid to all such from them that are permitted to remain at home in society and prosperity, procured for them by the government and the soldier.

4th, That a copy of these proceedings signed by the President and Secretary be furnished by said secretary, to each of the newspapers in this county for publications, in their next issues. That Alexander Blackburn, John Cummings, W. E. Witherow, be a committee to provide a like copy to our representative and senator in the State Legisature, and that James M. Campbell, L. H. Waters and Frank Smith, be a committee to represent this meeting before the Board of Supervisors of McDonough county, at their called meeting for Feb.6th, 1865, next ensuing.

On motion the resolutions were unanimously adopted, with the power in the committees to fill vacancies.

On motion adjourned.

W. E. Withrow, Secretary,
D. R. Hamilton, Chairman.

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            Out Again. – The county birdcage, called by courtesy a jail, was perforated again on Monday night last, and two of the birds therein confined escaped. One of these was Owen Manion, held to answer an indictment for murder, ad the other was Erastus Hart, alias George Smith, imprisoned for horse stealing. The latter escaped in November last, but he was caught and committed again. A hole was cut through the iron lining of the jail and then the brick wall offered but little resistance.

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“There was a tall young oysterman,
Who dwelt down by the river side,”

and he was very successful in his business, fishing up an immense quantity of the best oysters that ever tickled a hungry palate. – He was kept busy and prospered exceedingly, for his oysters were sent to the Farmers’ Aid Society in Macomb, where John Abell superintends the serving them out to hungry customers. Call on him when you are hungry.

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            Read the Advertisements. – Before you go to make purchases, read the advertisements of the newspapers. The man who advertises liberally is a liberal dealer, and can afford to sell cheaper than those who do not advertise, from the fact those who advertise freely have done and are doing a larger amount of business than any others in this place; consequently, they are able to sell cheaper than the old fogies who hide their light under a bushel.

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            → Postmasters are obliged to receive all Treasury notes for stamps and postage, if clearly genuine, no matter how torn or defaced they may be, providing one-twentieth part thereof be not missing, and fractional currency, if not one-tenth part be missing. These mutilated or defaced notes, they are to send to Washington to be retired from circulation.

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A Card from Mr. Smith.

Macomb, Jan. 31, ’65.

            Mr. Editor: I have been informed that at the meeting held on Saturday last, composed of persons opposed to levying a tax for bounties for volunteers and drafted men, that “Frank Smith” was appointed one of the committee on resolutions and also to present a copy of the same to the board of supervisors. Now, if I am the person alluded to, I wish to say that my name was used without my knowledge or consent, and respectfully decline the honor of acting in the position assigned me. On the contrary I believe it is nothing but just and right that the board should make such appropriation as is necessary to procure volunteers to fill the quota of out county, or aid drafted men in procuring substitutes.

Yours with respect,                                                                             L. F. SMITH.

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Agricultural Meeting.

            There will be a meeting held in Macomb, on Monday, February 6th, for the purpose of making arrangements for holding the next annual county fair. It is hoped that there will be a large attendance from the country, of all who are interested in the welfare of the McDonough County Agricultural Society.

Jos. Burton, Pres.

F. B. Kyle, Sec’y.

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MARRIED.

            At the residence of the bride’s father, on the 1st inst., by the Rev. J. H. Nesbit, Mr. C. F. Wheat and Miss M. A. Chandler.

The printers’ blessing attend this most happy match! May the sunshine be ever bright and golden on their heads and their pathway garlanded with all the joyous realizations which bless the dreams of love’s young hope.

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