August 25, 1865

Macomb Journal


Being the Observations and Experiences
of a Private Soldier.




            It was about noon, on the 15th of October that our regiment reached Beech Fork. Here we turned from the road into a large meadow where we made preparations for camping. The men were not very tired, but many of them were exceedingly hungry. The country hereabouts looked more promising and better improved than any we had seen since leaving Louisville, and the boys looked with longing eyes at the fat porkers and blooming pullets which roamed at pleasure over the neighboring farms. There were numerous negroes hanging around the camp very eager to give any information that the soldiers might ask for respecting the location on their master’s premises of flour, hams, butter, molasses, &c. But the men were always particular to enquire respecting the Union principles of their master’s, as they had no disposition to disturb the larder of any genuine Union citizen. It was soon ascertained that in the immediate vicinity of our camp lived a noted and wealthy secessionist named Gardner. He was the owner of a large flouring mill near his residence and had numerous negroes about him. His negroes reported him as a violent secessionist who had but recently entertained rebels at his house, and who had kept his mill running night and day to furnish flour for the rebel army. Although it was against the positive instructions of the colonel and higher officers, the men concluded it was but just and right to levy a contribution on old Gardner, and accordingly there commenced a general chicken chase. The 91st Ill. was camped in the same field with us, and there appeared to be a rivalry between the two regiments as to which should secure the larger share of chickens, turkeys, &c. Before night there was not a hen or a fowl of any kind left on Gardner’s place. – That same night, or early next morning, the boys entered his smoke house, his cellar and his mill, and they supplied themselves with meat, potatoes, molasses, flour, honey, &c. The officers in the meantime appeared to be conveniently absent, or asleep in their tents, but one thing I noticed, they had the same for breakfast about that time that the men enjoyed, and plenty of it.

We remained at camp on Beech Fork two days. In the meantime we recruited our health and strength in a remarkable degree. On Friday morning we pulled up stakes and took up our line of march for New Haven, a little town eight miles distant in a southerly direction. We reached that place about three o’clock in the afternoon and camped in a meadow on the banks of a stream called the Rolling Fork. A railroad bridge at this point was gone, having been burned by the rebels a few days previous. I found New Haven to be rather a pleasant village of about 600 inhabitants. It contained a number of staunch Union citizens. Among these I made the acquaintance of one Dr. Elliott, who had stood out boldly and unflinchingly from the first as an uncompromising Union man. The rebels had had him under arrest during their occupation of that part of the country, and had taken from him nearly a thousand dollars worth of property, for which they paid him in their worthless confederate currency. The Doctor related to me many of the trials and annoyances which the Union men of that section had been subject to since the breaking out of the war, but the loyalists had maintained their supremacy throughout, and treason was at a discount in that locality. When Bragg passed through New Haven with his army he left a detachment of 400 rebel cavalry to guard the town. These were camped on the Doctor’s premises only a few rods from his house. The secessionists were just then jubilant. They appeared to think the country was theirs forever. They arrested a number of Union citizens and after keeping them under guard a day or two would let them depart. Among these was one Dr. Wilson, who lived about three miles from New Haven. He was brought into the camp of this detachment of cavalry where he was kept about twenty-four hours. The Doctor was vigilant in thought and observation while a prisoner, and as soon as he was released he rode with all haste to Elizabethtown, about twenty miles distant, which place was then occupied by a Federal regiment of cavalry. He reached there just at night and laid before the Col. of the regiment a plan of the rebel camp, and the approaches to it, and desired the Colonel to let him have a sufficient number of men and he would lead them himself and take the whole camp prisoners before morning. His request was complied with, and just about daylight the next morning at the head of 600 Union cavalry he surrounded the rebel camp and took every man of them prisoner without the firing of a gun. These rebels were under the command of one Col. Crawford of Georgia, who formerly represented a district in that State in Congress. He appeared very much mortified and chagrined at the capture, while the men appeared to be very indifferent about it. The prisoners were marched off forthwith to Elizabethtown, from whence they were forwarded to Louisville.

On Sunday morning, Oct. 19th, our regiment again received marching orders, but it was about noon before it got started. – Our destination was understood to be Lebanon, a point some twenty-five miles distant in a south-east direction. We had made about three miles when our advance guard met a bearer of dispatches with information that the notorious Morgan with about 2,000 mounted men was marching toward us. We were ordered back to New Haven, where we had left the 91st regiment, and where we expected to make a stand and fight if we were attacked. A good position was selected, pickets thrown out, and the fighting spirit aroused. About 9 o’clock in the evening we received another dispatch ordering us to proceed forthwith to a railroad bridge on Rolling Fork, about four miles distant, between New Haven and Boston, which the rebels in their general destruction of briges, by some unaccountable freak had spared, and which it was thought Morgan would destroy if not prevented. The two regiments reached the bridge in the course of the night. The dispatch which ordered us to this place was brought us by Lieut. Blandin of Co. C, and had been received by telegraph at the Beech Fork crossing, where companies A and C of our regiment were still located. – It was understood that Morgan was marching westward, and it was not known at just what point on the Railroad he would strike. Early the next morning we received word that the telegraph wires had been cut at Boston. Of course there was much excitement in camp. The companies at Beech Fork had commenced the day before to fortify and had about completed a strong fort built of logs and dirt. Our forces at Rolling Fork bridge also commenced fortifying. About two o’clock we got word that the rebels were marching into Boston. It appears that Morgan made no halt at Boston, but proceeded on about three miles where he camped for the night. In the course of the evening the main body of our forces reached Beech Fork, upon hearing which Morgan broke camp and tied toward Elizabethtown, which place he reached in the course of the next day, where his men broke open the post-office, robbed the letters, and committed other depredations. – A Union cavalry force of two or three thousand passed along next day in pursuit of Morgan, but he succeeded in giving them the slip.

Our regiment now went into regular camp at Beech Fork. The 91st regiment started a day or two afterward for the Louisville and Nashville railroad, and the different companies were stationed along the line of the road to guard bridges. After a few days our regiment was disposed of in like manner along the line of the Lebanon Branch railroad.



Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing – Beware of Them.

            Those who have watched the course of the Democratic party for the last four years well know that that party has been the fierce, bold and outspoken enemy of all those who were in favor of subduing the rebellion by armed force. From the commencement of the war to the day of the surrender of Lee’s army they did not hesitate to heap the vilest slanders upon every supporter of the Government. In this county it will be remembered that the Democratic organ advised Democrats to stay at home, and to let the abolitionists do the fighting. And not only did the organ spit its venom upon the soldiers and all who claimed to be the soldiers friends, but it went so far in its hate to attack the reputation and character of the soldiers’ wives, by uttering the meanest and vilest insinuations against their chastity. And, not only this, the party held public meetings at which they denounced all upholders of the war, and passed resolutions in substance declaring all soldiers to be common murderers. – They refused, where they had the power, to bestow the elective franchise upon the soldier, and they went before the people last fall with the declaration emblazoned upon their banners that the WAS WAS A FAILURE. But now since the war has proved a SUCCESS, and the Union army has returned home in triumph, these same men who denounced soldiers as murders, who discouraged their enlistment, and who slandered their families in their absence, are claiming extraordinary friendship for soldiers. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They would deny to-day the soldier his vote, the same as they did while he was away fighting the battles of his country, if they had the power. Their only object is to secure the soldier’s vote. They have reason – and very good reason too – to believe that the soldier has no sympathy with them or their party, and hence it behooves them to make some efforts to conciliate them, and this they do by making great pretensions to friendship, and giving them much notice. This would be all well enough if that party had given some signs of repentance. If they should come out manfully and honestly, and say to the soldier – “We were wrong in the course we pursued in reference to the war, and you were right. We now see our mistake, and are ready to make all atonement for the errors of the past.” If they should do this in a spirit of honesty they would be entitled to some consideration and respect, but they won’t acknowledge a mistake; they are in fact the same enemy to the soldiers they always were. Look at their course in this county. It is still fresh in recollection how the Democratic Board of Supervisors spurned the application of a poor, maimed soldier, and then appointed John O. C. Wilson to take the census of this county – a man whose sympathies have been with the South all through the war. Hungate was elected by the Democrats last fall as Circuit Clerk, but he is careful to employ no soldier as clerk in his office. The same can be said of the other wing of the court house. Indeed, wherever they have the power they show no disposition to bestow their favors upon returned soldiers. All they want of the soldier is his vote, to boost themselves into office.


Look Out for Them.

            The Chicago Times, the editor of which sheet suggested and approved the raising of an army in the North to slay and kill Union soldiers, is out with a circular addressed to its confidential friends in which it lays down a policy to be pursued by Democrats in order to attain “the reascendancy of the Democratic party.” This circular says that the “President should be powerfully supported” in his policy, and it then adds – “it is not precisely such a policy as you or we would propose.” Not by any means. They only propose to seem to approve what they really are opposed to until they can get the reins of power into their own hands, and then of course they will do as they please. But the sublimest piece of impudence is in the closing paragraph of this remarkable circular. Read it:

“Every soldier in our army to-day has been BOUGHT. We employ no longer ardent, enthusiastic volunteers, but MERCENARIES WHO HAVE BEEN PURCHASED at prices ranging from three hundred to one thousand dollars per capita. Will not this fact go far towards explaining why we now get so few victories – why every breeze from the battle-fields comes laden with disaster.”

Can any soldier read the above paragraph and have any other feeling for the writer of it than scorn and contempt? And yet, without making any apology for such insults, they now propose to become the political teachers of returned soldiers.

That same sheet, the Chicago Times, has been, and still is, the recognized organ of the Democratic party. The friends of that party in this city always buy the Chicago Times. It is their political Bible. In order that “returned soldiers” may know how that organ talked about our commander-in-chief, the great and good Abraham Lincoln, while they were away fighting the battles of our country, we publish one extract from the columns of that paper, bearing date, July 18th, 1864:


And yet the writers and endorsers of such language as the above now claim to be the “friends of the soldiers.”


Was the War a Failure,

            “But the man who writes for the Eagle, and who claims to be the friend and champion of soldiers, insist that it was, for he objected to the first sentence which was printed on our Fourth of July bills which declared that the war was NO FAILURE.” – Journal.

Not quite so fast. “The man who writes for the Eagle” never made any such objection; but we will say that after he money was raised for the dinner to the soldiers then a few persons conceived the idea of inserting that clause for the purpose of insulting Democrats, and by this means induce them to withdraw from any participation in the matter, and then you would howl because they would not take part in it. If the Journal man will take the trouble to examine the list of contributions to the dinner he will find that the exclusive friends of the soldiers could only be induced to give from 25 cents to $5, while Democrats gave from $10 to $25. – You poor canting hypocrites, do you think you can deceive soldiers by such tricks? And while we are on this subject we would ask if the Journal man did not charge the executive committee $28 for doing TWELVE DOLLARS worth of work. – [Eagle.]

The Eagle says “after the money was raised for the dinner,” &c. Here is another specimen of the usual disregard of truth of that sheet. The same copy from which the handbill was printed, which was so objectionable to our fastidious copperhead neighbors, was furnished us by the executive committee and published in this paper, before a dollar scarcely was raised for the dinner. The Eagle says the clause “The War was No Failure” was inserted on purpose to inhibit democrats. What a confession! A Democrat, then, is insulted if you tell him the war was no failure. Listen to that “ye sun-browned heroes,” and don’t you ever dare to insinuate that the war was anything else but a failure, or perchance you might insult some patriotic Democrat, who is very anxious now to be your friend. What a commentary it is on the loyalty of Democrats when they openly confess that they don’t like those words, “The War was No Failure,” and even declare themselves insulted if the obnoxious sentence is paraded before their eyes.

The Eagle is moved to say something about the liberal contributions of Democrats, and thereby hangs a tale. It is a fact that the Democrats were unusually liberal in their fourth of July donations this year. It was about time that they should be. During the progress of the war they didn’t believe in the fourth of July, and hence were very economical of their dimes about the fourth of July. But they now begin to realize that the fourth of July is not played out, and they wished this year to make an impression, that they, too, respect that day. A prominent Republican told us that he expected this year to contribute ten dollars, but when he came to see the list, and found that certain Democrats who had hitherto contributed little or nothing to the fourth of July fund, had now put down their ten, fifteen and twenty dollars, he thought that the demand on him was not so great, and hence he contributed but five dollars. Just so with many other Republicans. They were surprised to see the liberal donations of Democrats, and hence felt that the call upon them was not so great.

But that last paragraph respecting the printing bill of the Journal could only have emanated from a wicked, malicious and unprincipled liar. The Eagle has a dozen or more editors, and it is difficult to decide which of them is the biggest liar. – But it was undoubtedly the head liar of the establishment that wrote that paragraph. – We made out a bill against the executive committee for advertising and printing amounting to $28, and then contributed $13 of the amount, and received in cash $15, which was all that we asked. The Eagle a few months since published a schedule of prices for advertising and printing, and if we had made out our bill according to that schedule it would have amounted to over $50. They advertised to do half-sheet posters at $6 per hundred. We printed 300 full-sheet posters for the executive committee for $18, much less than their advertised rates, and then threw off nearly 50 per cent. of that amount, and then the Eagle has the unparalleled meanness and audacity to say that we charged $28 for $12 worth of work. Verily, the Eagle is the devil’s own organ.


            Those who have been readers of the Eagle for the last month or two have noticed in that paper a studied attempt to disparage our record as a soldier. They get up numerous little paragraphs in which they indulge in some vulgar allusion to that common disease in the army, the diarrhea, and speak as though we had been afflicted with it. It would have been nothing strange, or to our discredit, if such has been the fact. We have seen many a good soldier carried to his grave by that wasting disease. Our family mourns the loss of a beloved brother who was stricken down by that disease, while in the service of his country, and was buried by his comrades. While those who have a drop of loyal blood in their viens, or a spark of honorable, manly feeling about them, would scorn to make any ungenerous allusion to a sick and suffering soldier, the numerous editors who write for the Eagle seem to delight in throwing odium upon them and turning their misfortunes into ridicule. – All their allusions to us, particularly, are false, but their flings apply with equal force against all soldiers who have suffered with diarrhea. For the first two years we were in the service we never lost but three days by sickness, and then we were sick with a fever. We never lost a day or an hour in the service by diarrhea. We were in more than twenty fights and skirmishes, and if our conduct upon those occasions lacked the merits of a true soldier let our comrades so testify, and let the poor, miserable, cowardly, copperhead, stay at home sneaks, hold their peace.


Corn Husks.

            A market is opening for corn husks. The new discovery for making paper from corn husks, so far as printing paper is concerned, is under the control of newspaper men, who propose to thoroughly test the discovery as soon as possible. They invite proposals from every farmer in the land for supplying them with clean, dry, sound husks, packed in bales weighing even hundred pounds, and delivered at railroad stations. If the experiment succeeds, as there is every reason to expect it will, a prompt and remunerative market will be opened for all the corn husks that are raised. They have never been accounted of any particular value for farmers for fodder, and a chance to dispose of them will open a field for agricultural enterprise. Mr. D. H. Craig, the agent of the associated press at New York, is the man to whom all proposals should be addressed.



Ye Hungry!

            The attention of the HUNGRY, who visit this City on business or pleasure, is directed to G. K. HALL & CO’S


East side of the Square. Everything in the eating line, such as Fresh and Cove OYSTERS, Beefsteak, Hot Coffee, Game, &c, &c., served up in the best style and at all business hours. Also, for sale, Confectionary of all kinds, Sweetmeats, Oysters by the Can, Jellies, Pies, Cakes, &c, &c.

Parties supplied with Ice-cream, Cakes, and Pies, on short notice.



Those who receive their paper this week marked with a cross X at the end of their names are notified that their subscription has expired and that no more papers will be sent unless the subscription is renewed. We are sorry to part with any of our subscribers, but we must observe the advance system.


The Income List.

We publish upon our first page a partial list of those who pay income taxes in this county. We will complete the list next week. This list makes some curious developments. There are some who appear to have a very respectable income, who have hitherto been supposed to posse limited means, while others who are able to keep fast horses, and employ man-servants and maid-servants, testify that their income rises scarcely above $600 per annum. – Luther Johnson, our popular dry goods merchant, pays the largest income tax of all others in the county.


Death of a Soldier.

A letter received by Mr. Wm. Hunter, of Chalmers township, from his son in Texas, mentions the death of John Pollock, late of Co. F, 84th Ill., and more recently transferred to the 21st Ill. We understand his friends live near Vermont, in Fulton county.


A Fracas.

On Wednesday afternoon last some excitement was created in this city, near Brown’s Hotel, by a drunken copperhead named Webb, who we are told was once a soldier in the rebel army. He was loud in his denunciations of all soldiers, calling them a nigger-thieving set of abolitionists, and expressed a hope that the South would yet triumph. There were a few soldiers in the vicinity who gave him notice to keep his copperhead opinions to himself, but it appears that he did not heed their advice. His language and his conduct became at length so unbearable that a returned soldier named Wilfred Mitchell, who had the misfortune to lose an arm in the service, reached for the old sinner, and dealt him a blow that he will be likely to remember. He was finally carried off to some whisky shop by his sympathizing friends.


            → The shows during the past week attracted to the city quite a large crowd. The weather was fine, and the performances about up to the average. The “police” were vigilant in preserving order, and there was only one fight at the show that we heard of. Some enterprising youths of the city borrowed a rather singular looking colt belonging to Dr. Blaisdell, and exhibited him as the Wooley Horse, from the Rocky Mountains, captured after a five days chase by the Comanche Indians. The Wooley Horse drew crowds of people, and the greenbacks rolled in upon the exhibitors in hand fulls.


Sharp Practice.

One day last week a red-faced, portly looking man appeared on our streets in a buggy driven by two horses, having a driver seated beside him in a true aristocratic style. The team was stopped on the busiest side of our public square, and the aforesaid gentleman rose from his seat and in sonorous tones began to auction off a ten-dollar greenback. It was sold at length for about nine dollars. Then he proceeded to fling among the crowd which had began to assemble a lot of dimes and half dimes, saying he had more money than he wanted. At length he offered a lot of jewelry for sale, and proposed to give the purchaser back his money. A few persons bought some lockets or rings, at twenty-five or fifty cents a piece, and would them receive their money back, and at the same time retain the article purchased. This mode of buying and selling goods began to take with the crowd, and they all began to feel for their purses. At length the jewelry peddler rose to five dollars for his lockets, and rings, but what difference did that make when they got their money back. – By the time his price had risen to five dollars there were more than a dozen each with a five dollar bill in his hand, crowding and jostling against each other, anxious to be the first to hand over their money and receive a three-penny ring or a six-penny locket, for the same. The crazy pedlar coolly took all five dollar bills that were handed him, and gave to each a ring, or a locket, and then whipped us his horses and was out of sight in a short time, leaving about a dozen of the worst sold individuals that have been seen in this city in a long time. A careful estimate of his operations foot up about as follows;

Gave away to pressure crowd,                      $2,00
Value of brass trinkets sold,                            3,00
Received from verdant youth,                                  $50,00
Less money and trinkets                                                5,00

Leaving a net profit of                                                 45,00

This same game has been exposed and worn out in eastern cities, but we suppose there are a few in the West who don’t take the papers, anxiously waiting to be made victims.


            → Dernham & Jehlinger are now receiving their fall stock of fashionable and serviceable clothing, and will appear next week with a new advertisement.


            → The Bushnell Union Press comes to us now enlarged to a seven column paper, with an unusual amount of fresh reading matter. This new enterprise on the part of neighbor Swan will no doubt prove a profitable experiment.


Get the Best.

It is now pretty well understood that in the purchase of boots and shoes, the best is always the cheapest. Ray, on the east side, is careful in the selection of his stock to get the best. He sells at the lowest possible figures, and is bound to please all customers. His stock of hats, and caps embrace all styles, and are sold low.


Dry Goods and Carpets.

Wetherfold appears this week with a new advertisement. His sale room on the east side of the square is one of the largest and most commodious in the city, and is always filled with a large variety of the latest style of goods. The carpet trade at this establishment is becoming a very important feature, and the sales are increasing daily.


Something New.

            We call attention to the advertisement of the Duplex Elliptic or double Spring Skirt. Though a recent invention, it has become very popular, and is rapidly obtaining the preference over other kinds in use. The rods in it are composed each of two delicate and well-tempered steel springs, which are ingeniously braided together edge to edge, the lower rods heavier, and having a double covering. This peculiarity of construction makes this skirt very strong and durable, and also so exceedingly flexible that it readily adapts itself to the form of the wearer, and allows of any amount of doubling and crushing without injury to its shape. These skirts are unquestionably the lightest, most desirable, comfortable and economical ever made. These are advantages which ladies, who have experienced the discomfort and inconvenience of single springs, will duly appreciate.


            J. M. Browne, on South side of Public Square, has just returned from New York and Boston with the largest, cheapest and best stock of Boots and Shoes ever offered for sale here. He has also just received a large stock of Hats and Caps, which he is selling lower than any other house here. – Do not buy any goods in his line until you call and look over his stock. They you will be convinced that Browne is still ahead in the Boot, Shoe and Hat and Cap business.


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