LIFE IN THE ARMY.
Being the Observations and Experi-
ences of a Private Soldier.
BY J. K. MAGIE.
About the first of November our regiment received a batch of orders from Captain Gilbert, acting Major General, whose headquarters were located at Lebanon, Ky., directing the Colonel to station certain companies along the line of the Lebanon branch of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Companies I, K and H were stationed at New Haven; G at a small bridge about four miles south-east of New Haven; F at a bridge three miles north of New Haven; and the remaining companies at bridges in the vicinity of Boston. The Headquarters of the regiment were located at New Haven.
Before the regiment broke camp at Beech Fort a regimental court-martial was called to try a member of Co. C for alleged unbecoming conduct. His name was Clinton Morgan. He was strongly addicted to whisky, and would scruple at nothing to gratify his desire in that respect, and when under the full influence of liquor was surly, impudent and insubordinate. His influence upon the other members of the company was bad, and the officers of the regiment as well as of the company, thought it best to get rid of him. He was put through the court-martial, found guilty, and sentenced to have half of his head shaved, and to be drummed out of camp, which was all carried into execution on the morning of the fourth of November.
After the different companies had reached the respective locations to which they were assigned they immediately proceeded to the erection of stockades for protection in case of attack. These stockades were built of heavy logs set in an upright position in the ground, and enclosed about a hundred feet square of ground. After the stockades were built the time was passed with company drill, base ball and other pleasant exercises.
Matters passed with all the companies as pleasantly as could be expected until about the 26th of December, when we began to hear rumors of the approach of John Morgan with an army said to be ten thousand strong. Of course our companies, separated as they were, and without artillery, could not expect to resist successfully so large a force. At New Haven, where the headquarters of the regiment was still located, there was not but one company. – The other two companies, I and K, had been ordered to Rolling Fork bridge, under the command of Major Broaddus. The remaining company was H, under command of Capt. Allen. I was there on duty as clerk at headquarters, and my company, under Capt. Hume, was somewhere on the railroad north of Boston. On the morning of the 28th, at New Haven, we heard the report of action north of us, and concluded that our companies in that direction would either be sacrificed or taken prisoners. The firing was heard at intervals throughout the day, but we could get no information whatever of the situation of things in that quarter. We strengthened our defenses and awaited coming events. On the morning of the 29th we were saluted with cannon much nearer than the day before. We were hourly expecting a visit from them, but the day passed along, and the sun was just hiding behind the distant trees when two neighboring citizens came rushing into camp upon horseback with the information that the rebels were not a mile distant in large force. – In a few minutes they made their appearance crossing the railroad north of us, about three-quarters of a mile distant. We had no means at that time of knowing their number, but supposed that Morgan’s whole command of several thousand was present. They proved, however, to be only a detachment of about four hundred cavalry under command of one Kit Ousley, who was formerly a merchant in New Haven. They went into camp behind a hill about a mile from us.
That evening was one of some suspense and excitement in our little camp. It seemed to be the opinion of most of the officers that we were entirely surrounded and cut off from all escape. We had six valuable horses in a log stable close by the stockade, and it was suggested that they had better be shot than that Morgan should get them. Our worthy Mayor of this city, Dr. Jordan, who was then principal Surgeon of the regiment, determined that his horse, which he valued at over five hundred dollars, should be shot before John Morgan should have him. For my own part, I had not yet see the evidences that we were entirely surrounded or cut off by the rebels, and I was of opinion that the horses could be taken out to a place of safety. At the suggestion of Dr. Jordan the matter was entrusted to me of taking the horses out that night to some hiding place in the mountains. I procured a butternut suit, and divesting myself all army clothing, I was soon rigged out in true guerrilla style. My first plan was to go out by myself and reconnoitre. Having made all necessary explanations to our pickets I passed out and went on a tour of inspection into the town of New Haven. There were a number of strangers in the town, whom none of the citizens knew; but they were supposed to be spies from the rebel camp. I called upon a Union citizen in the town and spent half an hour with him in preparing a map of the surrounding country, with the public roads, by roads, cow paths, &c. While in the town I called at our regimental hospital, which was then under charge of Dr. Creel, of Industry, and contained about twenty patients. I found them in ignorance of the close proximity of the rebels. They had just received a day or two before three large boxes of medicines, &c. These were soon buried, and a straw bed emptied over the place. A large number of blankets, knapsacks, &c., were disposed of in like manner. After looking about as much as I thought necessary I went back to camp, and procuring the aid of two worthy and trusty soldiers I proceeded to carry into execution my plan of getting the horses out to some place of safety. Karr McClintock and Harmon Hook were the two soldiers who volunteered to assist me. The enterprise was thought to be extremely hazardous but we were willing to make the venture. Hook and McClintock each took charge of three horses, and I proceeded on foot a certain distance in advance. We had arranged a system of signals by which in case of alarm or attack we could communicate with each other without letting others know our meaning. It was aim to reach a certain lane on the Bardstown pike almost a mile north of New Haven, which led off into a wilderness of hills and pine knobs. I had approached within about ten rods of the mouth of the lane when I hear the stepping as of cattle or horses. – I halted and signaled to my companions the situation of things. In another moment the firing of a gun from our front admonished us that it was unsafe to proceed. We then let down fences and made our way through thickets and brier bushes, and over fences and ditches until at length we reached the wilderness that we had set out for by another route. Here we remained during the night, listening to the barking of foxes and the screeching of night-owls. It rained some during the night, but that didn’t hurt us much. The next morning at daylight I started out to seek the house of Dr. Elliott, the good and true Union man of whom I spoke in one of my chapters a week or two since. I reached this house about breakfast time, and of course I enjoyed his hospitality. His good wife then filled an eight quart pail with meat, bread, butter, &c., for my companions in the wilderness. From the house of Dr. Elliott we had a good view of the rebel camp, and I could see them marshaling their forces preparatory to an attack upon our little band of soldiers in the stockade. After gathering from the Doctor some information respecting the names and locations of some good loyal citizens of whom I might purchase corn for our horses, I started back by a circuitous route to our little camp in the pines. My companions, McClintock and Hook, greeted me with eager satisfaction on my return, and were particularly pleased with the choice delicacies which had been sent to them by Mrs. Elliott. Before I reached my companions, the enemy had opened upon the stockade with cannon. About eight o’clock in the morning, under a flag of truce, they sent in a written demand for a surrender of the Fort, as follows:
Headquarters, New Haven,
December 30, 1862.
To the commander of the stockade at New Haven,
I demand an unconditional surrender of the forces under your command. I am prompted by no other motive save that of humanity and a desire to save the shedding of blood. You are entirely cut off by my artillery and cavalry. – Due respect shall be paid to private property.
JOHN MORGAN, Com’g. C.S.A. Forces.
This polite request was promptly refused by Col. Wm. Benneson, and in about an hour they were saluted with a shell which went whizzing over the stockade about fifteen feet above their heads. Our boys had nothing but the same old Springfield muskets which they drew at Quincy. They reserved their fire until the rebels came within about four hundred yards when they opened. The rebels turned their backs and run for dear life, not looking behind them. They did all their shooting after that from a safe distance. The conflict from first to last continued about two hours. No one was hurt upon our side, but it was thought that several were wounded among the rebels, although this was never satisfactorily ascertained. The rebs finding it not so easy to take the stockade, gave up the effort and took up a line of march for the stockade which was held by Co. F, about three miles north of New Haven. – Here they made the same demand on Capt. Hawkins that was made on Col. Benneson. Hawkins told them to blaze away, he was ready for them. They never fired a gun, but skulked off into the woods, and that night they retreated, taking for their route the very lane which I had attempted to reach with our horses. The fact was developed that that very lane was guarded by rebel pickets, and if I had not heard the stepping of their horses I should probably have met with an adventure not much to my liking.
Before our return to camp we met with some adventures which will form the subject our next chapter.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
To the Citizens of McDonough
The undersigned were a few days since at a public meeting in this county, selected as a committee to address you on the subject of organizing a Soldiers’ Monument Association, and erecting a Soldiers’ Monument in this county. The design is to organize an association by the election of a President and Trustees, a Secretary and Treasurer; to proceed to procure a site for a Monument, and to collect by subscription sufficient funds to erect in this county a Monument sacred to the Memory of the brave Soldiers who went out from this county during the late civil war, and sacrificed their lives for the good, the honor, glory and integrity of the country. It is proposed that upon this Monument shall be inscribed the name, Company and Regiments of all the soldiers from this county, who have been killed in battle, or have died of wounds received or disease contracted in the United States service during the War.
This county sent many noble martyrs into the field. Some of our noblest and bravest friends and comrades perished on the field of battle. Many more were severely wounded and lingered but a few weeks or months, and a larger number were stricken down by disease. For their priceless courage and unflinching devotion, for their great sacrifice, we should be sincerely grateful; and it now becomes one of our first duties to ourselves and to posterity, to commemorate their unshrinking, patriotic devotion, and self-sacrificing zeal for the integrity and salvation of our Government, by the erection of a suitable Monument. – It will serve to remind us, while we live, and generations that succeed us on the stage of action, not only of the awful guilt of those who occasioned the great and terrible loss of life, who had brought untold grief, suffering and wretchedness upon hundreds of thousands of their countrymen, and draped in mourning nearly every household in a great and mighty nation; but also of the pure and fervent patriotism which dwelt in the breasts of the masses of the North of the immediate response by thousands and hundreds of thousands, when the very existence of our Government was, by the rebellion, placed in jeopardy, and the call was made for volunteers to defend it; of the zeal, energy and devotion of the loyal people in this county, and the whole North to cherish, protect, preserve and sustain the free institutions which were bought with the blood of our ancestors, and which are the pillars of our glorious Temple of Liberty. More than this, it will refresh the memory of each beholder, and cause him to reflect upon the great peril and imminent danger in which our Government was placed; of its threatened overthrow, dissolution and destruction; and he will learn to read the names of the lamented dead thereon inscribed, with profound, if not religious veneration. Yea, all who approach this Monument and read the names inscribed thereon, will realize the condition of our country in her hour of greatest peril, and will sacredly cherish the memory of the noble unrelenting heroes, stricken down in the flower of youth, in the strength and glory of manhood, while striving and battling for preserving and sustaining the best Government the world has ever known.
All returned soldiers will earnestly favor the undertaking. It comes home to the heart of every one, who, mindful of his own trials, hardships, privations and sufferings, cannot fail to cherish with fraternal affection the memory of his fallen comrades, who perished in the glorious struggle and determined defense of the right. – We doubt not that every true soldier who has survived the carnage and slaughter of the battle-field, and run the gauntlet when the death-dealing minnie and shell, grape and canister were upon one side, and frightful disease upon the other, will now come forward and do his part toward commemorating the services, devotion and sacrifices of those whose patriotism led them into the tented field, who bravely fought and gloriously fell, and will be with us no more on earth forever. Can you who have remained at home, who have been enjoying all the comforts of life, who have been accumulating property, while your friends in the army were barely gaining a subsistence for themselves and their families, venture to be found dilatory and careless in this matter? Have not all those who have returned as well as those who have fallen, taken part in the great struggle, performed a great task, achieved a grand and glorious victory as well for you as for themselves? Did they not leave home, friends, kindred, and all the dearest objects of the purest and truest affection that can exist in the human heart, and stake property, health, honor, even life itself upon this issue? And are you not benefitted by their effort? Do you not share equally with them the blessings of a good government, sustained and secured only by their sacrifices and exertions? How can you now permit them to go forward in this undertaking alone, without your co-operation and assistance? We trust not. We believe you realize the magnitude of the benefits secured by their timely devotion to the cause of our common country, and realizing what the cause was in which the noble and brave, who have fallen were engaged, we are confident you will join with their surviving comrades and build a monument which will be a credit to the citizens of the county, as well as a justly deserved honor to the brave men to whose memory it is erected. Then, come, citizens of McDonough, come to the Mass Meeting and hear what may then and there be said in regard to this project. Advise with your friends from all parts of the county, counsel with them how this noble work shall be undertaken, how carried forward, how completed. It is worthy of your closest attention, and we trust will receive your cordial support. But at the beginning do not forget that to carry forward to completion such an undertaking as this, there must be a concentrated, united, persevering effort. We hope you will take hold of it with spirit and feeling, and freely contribute the necessary means for the erection of a Monument sacred to the memory of deceased soldiers. To insure a united effort we have proposed the organization of a “Soldiers’ Monument Association,’ and on Saturday, the 16th day of September, 1865, at the Court House, in Macomb, we hope to see assembled all, without regard to party, age, or sex, who are interested in this matter, that the work may be properly and zealously commenced. Come resolved and prepared to do something worthy of yourselves, and which will prove that you really honor the memory of those who have died for our Country. Again we say, come one, come all.
T. K. Roach,
B. A. Griffith, Committee.
O. R. Harper, Unionville Centre, Ohio, is informed that the Journal has been regularly mailed to him since the 30th of June last.
Chandler, Barry, Ill. – We have no record of your name upon our books. Please write to us and tell us when, where and to whom you subscribed for the Journal. It may possibly be our mistake. If so we will rectify it.
S. T. Morgan, Sterling, Ill. – We have received notice from the P. M. at Sterling that the Journal to the above address is not taken out of the office. Mr. Morgan has paid in advance for the Journal, and we wish to send it to him. Will some of his old friends in the 34th Ill. inform us of his whereabouts.
The communication from “E,” New York, arrived too late for insertion this week. It will appear in our next.
Soldiers’ Discharge Papers.
The fact has been published that in certain parts of the country individuals have been buying up soldiers’ discharges, paying apparently very liberal prices for them. It has been a matter of some mystery to know the object of the speculators or brokers who buy these discharges. It is thought by some that they are being bought up for the benefit of those copperheads who staid at home, and did all they could against the government, and who are now professedly the best friends the soldiers ever had. They, or their children, at some future day will swear that they were on the Union side, and fought for it, and will produce these discharges as a proof of it. – Soldiers, beware of copperheads, who refused you their countenance and support when you needed it. They are false friends.
Watch for Them.
As the fall elections will soon be coming on, it should be borne in mind that by virtue of a proclamation of the President, of March 10, issued in conformity to a law of Congress dated March 3, 1863, all persons duly enrolled, who departed from the jurisdiction of the district in which they were enrolled, to avoid the draft, are prohibited from exercising the elective franchise. – The Eagle man run away to Idaho, and according to the proclamation is debarred from voting. It will be the duty of the authorities to enforce this penalty in all cases, at the coming election.
→ But when Magie says that any such thing as the above has appeared in the Eagle at any time, he asserts what he knows to be a low, mean, contemptible lie. But if the editor of the Journal wishes to enter into that kind of discussion we are ready for him. – Eagle.
So then you are ready “for that kind of discussion.” You can beat us at lying for you have had longer practice at it.
Arrived. – The Springfield Journal says that the 119th Regiment arrived at Camp Butler on Monday last, and would be mustered out of the service at an early day. – About fifty of the regiment were mustered out and remained in Mobile.
A Pair of Extracts.
To illustrate the beautiful consistency of the Democratic organ in this county we publish below two extracts taken from their last week’s paper:
“At the late Republican convention in Warren county, the soldiers claims were entirely ignored, every office of any importance was given to the stay at home patriots, instead of soldiers.
In 1865, the same republicans propose to BUY solider’s votes by placing soldiers on their tickets for county officers. Verily, they think soldiers are easily bought.”
The Circuit Court.
Commenced on Monday last. We learn that the docket is not very large, and the session will not be a long one.
The negro who was charged with entering the premises of Mrs. Updegraff with evil intent, was found guilty and sentenced to the State prison for five years.
That affair about the copperhead breastpin which happened two years since in the vicinity of Tennessee in this county, came to trial on Wednesday, and resulted in the conviction of four persons, viz:
Sidney M. Johnson, fined $50 and costs.
James Stephens, fine $25 and costs.
Lauretta Chapin, $20 and costs.
Clara E. Mourning, $20 and costs.
The circumstances were these: At the pic nic above mentioned a young lady named Mary A. Cochrane appeared wearing a copperhead breast-pin. This created great offense among the loyal portion of those present, as that mark was understood as a token of sympathy with rebels. There were soldiers, present who were indignant at this manifestation of rebel sympathy. – Miss Mourning then volunteered to remove the offensive emblem, and Mr. Johnson, who was then a soldier home on furlough, agreed to stand by her and see that she suffered no harm. The rebel emblem was removed, and something of a scuffle or a row was the result, but nobody as we understood was seriously hurt. The copperheads have prosecuted this matter with all the energy they possessed, and the result is seen in the heavy fines assessed upon the parties. One man may knock another down, and then give him a kick in the ribs and he is fined three dollars; but a young girl, animated by no other feeling than a love of country and a hatred of rebellion, tears down and removes from sight an insignia of treason, and she is fined twenty dollars and costs, and the soldier who was her companion is fined fifty dollars. We regard the act of Miss Mourning, and the others who were fined, as commendable, and we are in favor of raising for them the amount of fines assessed against them.
Editor Eagle: – The editor of the Journal, one “Maggy,” lately distinguished in battle scenes, is wont to “take on” because some of our good citizens are so unfortunate as to have in the year 1864 but small incomes subject to taxation. Now I believe the list is correct, and it is far from my purpose to reflect upon any one of those who have been fortunate enough to have an income subject to taxation, be it ever so small; and while it may be a matter of surprise that our “popular merchant’s” income is larger than anybodys and that the shoe merchant Mr. Browne’s income is larger than G. W. Bailey’s and several other merchants, and that Andrew H. Allison’s is only fifty dollars, and that Tom Gilfrey confesses to more than Joe Anderson, (this latter though not so much a matter of surprise as I am told the stock business was very poor up to the first of last January), still I hold that to say the least, it is in very bad taste for a man to grumble because other people do not have large incomes, while he himself dose not pay a cent. If the intrest on our public debt was not collected until Magie paid a part of it, “Gabriel” would blow his trump before Bill Bailey would get a cent of interest on the $25,000 of 5-20 bonds he is so as to hold.
We find the above in the Macomb Eagle, and we publish it just for the fun of it. – Somebody has had his toes trod on, and he “takes on” after the above style. He says he believes the list is correct. Who has said it was not correct? We rather guess that “poor man’s” conscience is troubled, or he never would have presumed so hastily that somebody was accusing him. He says that we “grumble because other people do not have large incomes.” Well, that is a serious charge to make against us. Will somebody get mad about it. And then “Magie” didn’t pay any income tax. How mean it was of him not to swear that his income was over $600 a year when he was receiving $13 a month in the army.
They have no love for the soldiers. – Journal.
You are a pretty man to talk about love for the soldiers. Did you not buy old papers at a cent a piece, “and sell them to the soldiers for ten cents” in violation of orders, and for this swindle was sent back to the regiment. – Eagle.
We answer emphatically: NO.
And we have a question to ask. – Did not the editor of the Eagle just before he was scared off to Idaho by the symptoms of a coming draft, go down to old mother Dickinson’s and there get jolly drunk, and don’t he yet owe the Irishman fifty cents who wheeled him home in a wheel-barrow, and did he ever pay that woman the twenty-five cents for – he knows what for?
‒ The Illinois infantry brigade, composed of the 14th, 15th and 32d infantry regiments, that only a few weeks since marched out to Fort Larmie, have reached Leavenworth on their return home to be mustered.
→ In a conversation among some of our citizens the other day, intention was made of the assertions of the Macomb Eagle that the soldiers were hostile to the negroes. A soldier standing near by, remarked that “the soldiers think more of the niggers than they do of the Macomb Eagle.” – Bushnell Press.
The highest market price paid at all times for GOOD Country Spun Stocking Yarn. N. B. Which will be sold as low as the lowest by JOHN VENABLE.
The citizens of McDonough County are requested to meet in Macomb on Saturday the 16th day of September, 1865, for the purpose of forming a Soldiers’ Monument Association. Let everybody attend.
J. K. ROACH,
B. A. GRIFFITH.
→ There will be a Sociable and Re-Union at the Methodist Church and Parsonage, on Monday evening, September 11th. All the congregation and friends generally are invited to be present.
Barton & Hall,
Among the enterprising merchants of this city there are none who study more carefully the wants and interests of their customers than Burton & Hall at the north-west corner of the square. They have recently made large purchases in the eastern markets and are constantly receiving every variety of goods in their line, which they are selling at Chicago prices.
“Justice to All.”
Geo. W. Bailey, on the east side of the Square, is receiving a new stock of goods. George has bought largely, and says he has bought a great many goods at old prices. He has some merinos at 45 cts per yard, that are really cheap – the same goods were 75 cts last winter. He has hickory Stripes from 25 cts to 40 cts; Hoops and Balmoral Skirts cheaper than we have seen anywhere. Hoop skirts for $1,00, Balmoral from 3 to $4,50. George has a larger stock than ever before, and says he will not be undersold by anybody, and to make his customers safe, he says he will take back and return the money to any one for gods that can be bought cheaper elsewhere, on the same day they are sold. – Give him a call and satisfy yourselves.
→ At a meeting of spiritualists in this county, the spirit of Nich Biddle, the great financier, was called upon, and was interrogated as to the best place in this city to buy lumber, when the received for an answer – “At Bartleson’s lumber yard.”
Died. – At Macomb, Ill., Sept. 2nd, 865, DAVID WILBERFORCE MONFORT, in the eighteenth year of his age.
We cannot see this worthy young man pass into the grave without paying a feeble tribute to his memory. His kind and affectionate bearing made him beloved by all who knew him. He was quiet, sensitive, and unostentatious, yet resolute, energetic, and firm. From his love of right, and his high sense of honor, he was not easily led into paths of vice, which are often so tempting to youth, but guarded his moral integrity with a jealousy, and care, worthy of emulation. Of pious parents and Christian education, he was made to feel some months before his death something better than his own morality and upright life. – Though his disease was violent, and quick in its fatal works he appeared to be ready, and trusting in a Mighty arm was not afraid to die. The bereaved family deeply feel the loss they have sustained, but with their tears are mingled thoughts of gladness; that he rests from all his toils; that he is beyond the reach of all disease, in a land of hallowed stillness and peace,
By guardian angels led,
Free from temptation,
Free from sorrow,
Alive whom we call Dead.
Not Complete without One.
No household is complete without one of those superior all-wool Coverlets, such as are only sold at the store of John Venable. Every man, woman and child attending Court should procure one before they leave town. Call and see them.