The following articles come from The Prescott Journal and the The Polk County Press of March 5, 1864. They relate, either directly or indirectly, to the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln.
Note: We see several words in these articles that are not spelled the way we would spell them today, such as defence instead of defense, and partizan instead of partisan. These are not typographical errors but rather evidence that spellings were not totally codified yet in the 1860s.
From The Polk County Press:
A Look at Political Matters.
It is always more pleasant to be occupied in one’s own affairs than to be looking upon the affairs of others. But sometimes for reasons connected with our own self-defence we must look in upon the affairs of our neighbors.
The Democratic party, during the present Administration, has held itself in the attitude of an opposition party. It is very natural, then, that we should inquire on what ground this opposition rests. And here we are troubled to find out what their creed, platform or purpose of action really is. There is scarcely anything the Union man or Republicans have done, which a portion of the Democrats have not favored or approved, either before or after its commission, and certainly no important act has been performed or public measure adopted which they have not repudiated or condemned. Formerly the Democrats had a well defined platform embracing various principles both of domestic and of practical economy, of foreign policy and also of National, State and Individual rights. But under the new emergencies and complications which have arisen, we find no clear and fixed principles adopted by the whole party, and proclaimed to the world in resolutions and addresses, maintained by the press, or made universally practical at the ballot box. In our State they advocate one set of principles, and in another, something very different or opposite. Now they are opposed to the plans of the President of the United States, (or as one of their leading journals, the “La Crosse Democrat” styles him, “the President of half of the United States,”) and where they are successfully carried out, and the Nation approves them, they attempt to steal the Administration’s thunder and declare that these are just what they have been hoping and striving for.
The Administration has moved so nearly in a line of discretion and patriotism, that the opposition have had a “hard road to travel,” unless they were willing to fall into the line and tread essentially the same path with the President. Whenever they have tried to differ from the policy of the government on any of the great questions connected with the rebellion, they have truly shown their weakness and subjected themselves to public abuse. This has been eminently true in the case of SEYMOUR and WOOD in New York, and VOORHEES and VALLANDIGHAM in the West, to say nothing of divers State politicians like RYAN, PALMER , & Co., and the long list of Border State men of a worse stamp. [Horatio Seymour, Fernando Wood, Daniel W. Voorhees, Clement L. Vallandigham, Edward G. Ryan, Henry L. Palmer.]
But when the people went to the ballot box, they would not follow the lead of such inconsistent, unpatriotic men. The masses of the Democrats are loyal men. With only loyal leaders they would never have been suspected of anything else than loyalty. But the pilots of the Old Democratic ship have well nigh wrecked her. Multitudes are aware of this, and are leaving the sinking craft. We do not see any safe refuge but in the Union boat. There is room enough in the good old Union boat, come in and be safe with Uncle SAM and Father ABRAHAM [Abraham Lincoln].
The unreliable demagogues who have called themselves the Democratic party for the past three years, have been received with so little favor by the people of the North generally, that there can be but little doubt that they will be “left alone in their glory,” and the voters will go where their convictions of patriotism and duty carry them. How apparent then, that there is room in this country at the present time, for but one party—that which supports the Administration and the war, which aims at the restoration of peace by putting down the rebellion and by the reconstruction of the rebel State governments on the basis of Freedom. Our military and political affairs all seem to be shaping for such a result. There are no political issues among loyal men which will warrant any separate organization while our natural interests are in their present condition.
But let the people re-elect President LINCOLN to the Presidency, as they did Mr. MADISON, as patriots and not as partizans, and the nation will be consolidated, strengthened and made more secure and really prosperous than ever before. Hereafter our statesmen can judge whether there are radical and essential differences of opinion or diversities of interest, sufficient to warrant new party organizations. At present, let us only recognize patriots and mere partizans, lovers of Freedom and a free country and the advocates of rebellion and slavery. We cannot afford to stop to contend on minor or nonessential points while this great issue remains.
From The Prescott Journal:
Union State Convention.
A Union State Convention will be held at Madison, March 30th, for the purpose of electing delegates to the Union National Convention to be held at Baltimore, June 7th. Each Assembly and Senatorial District is entitled to two delegates.
A Convention for the Assembly District, comprising the counties of Pierce and St. Croix, will be held at River Falls on Saturday, the 19th day of March, 1864, at one o’clock P. M. for the purpose of electing three delegates to the Union State Convention, to be held at Madison, March 30, 1864. Each county will be entitled to six delegates.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By order of Committee.
A County Convention for the county of Pierce, will be held at the Council Room, in the city of Prescott, on Wednesday, the 16th day of March, 1864, at one o’clock P. M., for the purpose of electing six delegates to the Assembly District Convention to be held at River Falls on Saturday, the 19th day of March, 1864. Each town will be entitled to the usual number of [d]elegates.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By order of Committee.
The National Union Convention for the nomination of President and Vice President, is called to meet at Baltimore on the 7th of June next. The call is liberal and comprehensive, inviting the cooperation of all who are in favor of subduing the rebellion by force of arms.
We are exceedingly pleased that the committee formally adopted the name UNION PARTY. In this sign we shall conquer. The name “Republican” has no particular significance now. The Chicago platform is a matter of history. The issues on which it was framed have passed away. Nobody now talks of Slavery in the Territories. New issues have arisen. New and grave problems present themselves for solution. The feeling and sentiment of the North has been revolutionized in the past three years and it would be foolish in a great party to cling to a name suggestive of obsolete issues—a name which would prejudice against it thousands who agree with that party on the vital questions at issue. The committee have done wisely, and Union men can stand shoulder to shoulder in the coming campaign.
The N. Y. Tribune has published a singular article on the re-nomination of Mr. Lincoln.
Speaking of Mr. Lincoln, it says :
“He is the first choice for the next Presidential term, by a large majority of those who have thus far supported his Administration and the War.”
Again it says :
“No doubt, a great majority of those who together triumphed as Unionists in the State elections of 1868, if required to vote for President tomorrow, would vote for Mr. Lincoln.”
But these admitted facts do not, according to the Tribune, show the wisdom of re-nominating Mr. Lincoln. It says :
“But we dissent altogether from the deduction that Mr. Lincoln ought to be re-nominated because the loyal masses—not having begun seriously to think of the prospective Presidential contest—have not yet fixed upon some one else to succeed him in his high position.”
This is strange talk for the Tribune. It is at variance with its life-long teachings. The Tribune has always been the most democratic of all our leading papers. It has always trusted in the people and believed that their conviction fairly expressed, should be fully obeyed. But now it gravely tells us that the people do not know what they want.
It is not true that the people have not “begun seriously to think of the prospective Presidential contest.” They have been thinking seriously of it for twelve months, and the almost unanimous conviction of the loyal masses is, that Mr. Lincoln should be retained in the place he has filled so well. Honest, careful, unswerving, he has thus far successfully brought the ship of State through the storm of war—let us trust him to moor her in the secure haven of lasting peace.
The following summary of the week’s war news comes from the March 5, 1864, issue of The Polk County Press. 1864 was a leap year, so our week now starts on Wednesday instead of Thursday—still Saturday in 1864. We have so many articles from the February 27th issues, plus the Edwin Leavings letter of March 5, that this “week” will start on Thursday as usual. But next week look for the new newspapers articles on March 12.
The second item below refers to the Battle of Meridian, which was fought February 14-20, 1864. Union General William T. Sherman captured Meridian, Mississippi, inflicting heavy damage to it and to most of central Mississippi as he marched across the state and back again.
GRANT [Ulysses S. Grant] has advanced from Chattanooga towards Dalton, capturing Tunnell [sic] Hill after a severe fight. Our loss is said to be light. Our forces were within three miles of Dalton on the 26th ult., and severe fighting had taken place in which our forces were uniformly victorious.
SHERMAN has captured Selma, Ala., and at latest accounts was advancing on Montgomery, spreading consternation and terror throughout that State. He defeated Polk [Leonidas Polk] at Meridian, cuting [sic] the rebel army in two and driving it before him. He quarters his soldiers on the country he passes thro’. He has probably captured Montgomery ere this.
The Army of the Potomac is said to be on the move, and will make a serious attempt to dislodge Lee [Robert E. Lee] from his position.
The rebel steamer Tuscaloosa has been seized by the British authorities, on the ground that she formerly belonged to the United States ; had not condemned, and had been brought into an English port in violation of the neutrality laws.
The Congressional committee to whom was referred a bill to prevent military interference in elections, reported that the evil complained of was mostly imaginary, and legislation on the subject was not needed.
The long-heralded Freedom National Convention has met at Louisville, and adjourned after passing a series of radical resolutions. The Kentucky delegation have called a convention of that State to appoint delegates to the Baltimore convention.
The supreme court have decided that they will not interfere in the Vallandigham [Clement L. Vallandigham] case. Pugh¹ had better turn his attention to increasing the dime contrabutions [sic] for poor old Clement.
Very near one hundred and ten thousand new recruits have been formally mustered into the service since the 1st of November last, and many more thousands are known to be enlisted, although not mustered in. For the past few weeks the enlistments have averaged 2,000 a day. Of the number formally mustered in to the service, New York has furnished about 16,000 Ohio 16,000, Indiana and Illinois 12,000 each, Missouri about 7,000 and Pennsylvania only the same number.
Governor Stone [William M. Stone], of Iowa, has issued a proclamation hrohibiting [sic: prohibiting] persons liable to draft from leaving the State for Idaho.
A dispatch from Arkansas says, that while Col. Wood’s² 1st Arkansas were on the march to Mechanicsville a colored soldier straggled and was captured by the rebels and inhumanly butchered. Col. Wood captured a rebel Lieutenant and two men, one of whom confessed to complicity in the murder of Col. Wood took them to the very spot where the colored soldier had been killed, and had them blindfolded and shot.
The President has received a dispatch from Conneticut [sic] announcing that the Union Convention had elected delegates to the National Convention, and instructed them to vote for Lincoln.
Returns received at the general land office show that 3,475 acres of public land were taken up in Minnesota in the month of January.
The Democrats in Connecticut have re-nominated Seymour,³ for Gov. The Union men have re-nominated Gov. Buckingham,4 who beat him so bad last year.
1. George Ellis Pugh (1822-1876) was a Democratic politician in Ohio, serving in the Ohio House of Representatives (1848-1850), as the 3rd Ohio attorney general (1852-1854), and as a U.S. senator from Ohio (1855-1861). Pugh lost his bid for re-election in 1860 to Salmon P. Chase, who became Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury. He is best known as a member of the counsel for the defense of Clement L. Vallandigham in 1863. During the Civil War, he fell into disfavor with the citizens of Ohio because he was a Democrat and for defending Vallandigham. Pugh ran in 1863 for lieutenant governor and in 1864 for the U.S. House of Representatives, losing both races.
2. William F. Wood was colonel of the 1st Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African descent), an organization of African-American troops that was also known as the 46th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops.
3. Thomas Hart Seymour (1807-1868) was a lawyer and a Democratic politician who served as the 36th governor of Connecticut from 1850 to 1853, and as Minister to Russian from 1853 to 1858. Seymour made two unsuccessful attempts to return to the governorship, in 1860 and 1863. Then in 1864 he was unsuccessful in gaining the Democratic nomination for President, losing to General George B. McClellan.
4. William Alfred Buckingham (1804-1875), a Republican politician, was the 41st governor of Connecticut from 1858 to 1866, and after the Civil War served as one of Connecticut’s U.S. senators from 1869 until his death in 1875. During the Civil War he was a strong supporter of Lincoln and the war effort.
1864 March 5: “The perfection of instruction discovered in the Picket Line and Guards of the 11th Wisconsin volunteers”
The following letter, reprinted from the Madison (Wis.) State Journal, appeared in the March 5, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.
The only person from our area that we have been able to find in the 11th Wisconsin Infantry is Joseph Green, from Hudson, who was a 1st assistant surgeon. If you know of any others, please let us know.
From the 11th Wisconsin.
Correspondence of the State Journal.
OLD INDIANOLA, TEXAS, }
January 28th, 1864. }
Editors State Journal :—An event has just transpired of which as soldiers we feel so proud, that I communicate it through your columns, in order that our friends may participate in our fortune. It is the publication of the following order :
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES, TEXAS, }
Pass Cavallo, Jan. 28th, 1864. }
General Orders No. 12.
The field officers of this day, for January 23rd, 1864 has called the attention of the Maj-General commanding, to the perfection of instruction discovered in the Picket Line and Guards of the 11th Wisconsin volunteers. The Commanding General acknowledges the great pleasure he feels at recognizing in the soldiers the qualities which he has heretofore heard, they possessed. Such proficiency reflects honor on the officers and proves the existence of an “Esprit du [sic: de] Corps” which not only makes their States, but the Northwest, feel proud.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By order of Maj-General
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N. J. T. DANA,
. . . Official . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HUGH H. [sic: G.] BROWN,
. . . . B. WILSON [Bluford Wilson]¹. . . . . . . Capt. Asst. Adjt. General
. . . . . . Capt. A. A. G.
You cannot imagine how highly we esteem this notice under the circumstances that have surrounded us since our connection with this department, not that we are not vain enough to think that we deserve praise, but this distinction is so marked that a regiment might go through a series of hard campaigns without being fortunate enough to obtain such notice, however well it might have deserved it. Major Crooks, of the 21st Iowa, was the officer of the day who made the report. We shall ever remember him as an officer who was not prevented by sectional jealousy from awarding praise where he deemed it due, as is to [sic] often the case.
It has taken many weary months of steady perseverance on the part of both officers and men to become prominent in such an army as this, but the receipt of such a tribute will be esteemed by every soldier a full recompense for all he has endured. I know of but one thing that would give us more sincere gratification ; that is, that our excellent colonel, Harris [Charles L. Harris], to whose skill and perseverance [sic] we are mainly indebted for whatever superiority we may possess, should be rewarded by promotion to a position we know he is eminently qualified to fill. True, we should all regret to lose him, but this feeling would be overcome by the knowledge that justice had been done to an officer whom, through all the vicisitudes [sic] of a soldier’s life, we have learned to appreciate and esteem.
It is now certain that we are going into the veteran service, a sufficient number have already re-enlisted, and Lieut. Col. Whittlesey [Luther H. Whittlesey] is now at New Orleans to make arrangements for our return home. As only two regiments are allowed out of a corps within one month, we may have to wait a few weeks, but we all anticipate spending the summer with you.—Our visit may be a short one, but I am sure it will be a happy one. We are now so personally interested in this struggle that I do not think we could rest satisfied until the final victory is won, and we have been present to swell the shout of triumph. But after having once again visited those whom we hold most dear, I hope we may return to duty with as much pride as the people of a State can feel in one regiment out of so many as have been sent out by Wisconsin.
The winter is said to be almost over. We have not had a “norther” for some time, and the weather lately has been so fine that it has been common to see a nude bather on the shore in no hurry to dress after his bath. This place is a decided improvement on Decrow’s Point.² Some one has lived here some time ; indeed, there are a few inhabitants still left, who live among us quite peaceably. The entire first division is now here. The first and third brigades are stationed about three miles down the coast, at a place commonly called “Powder Horn.”
The rebels often come within sight of us, on the prairie, but seldom within range. When the 11th first came here, and before the balance of the brigade arrived, an attempt was made to cut them off, but I suppose that they thought taking Lieut. Col. Whittlesey, with his boys, would so much resemble the catching of a “Tartar” that they withdrew. The only evidences of a fight were a few dead and wounded of the enemy that were found. We had not any casualties. The health of the entire army is very good. Our surgeons have had easy times this winter. Our brigade looks finely ; every man is well clad, every non-commissioned officer wears his appropriate cheverone [sic]. I do not remember at any time before to have seen the brigade looking so well. I hope in my next [letter] to be able to tell when we may be expected home.
1. Bluford Wilson (1841-1924) served in the 112th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and soon received an officer’s commission and appointment as regimental adjutant. He later served on several other staffs, including that of the XIII Corps. He took part in numerous battles and campaigns, including Champion Hill, Black River and the siege of Vicksburg, and the Red River Campaign. He was discharged with the rank of Major at the end of the War. After the War he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1867. Wilson was appoint United State Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in 1869, and then Solicitor of the U.S. Treasury (1874-1876). Bluford Wilson’s brother was Major General James H. Wilson.
2. “DeCros Point, also known as DeCrow’s Point, Decros or DeCrow’s Landing, Port Cavallo, Port Cabello, and Paso Cavallo, was an early coastal community on the western end of Matagorda Peninsula at Cavallo Pass in extreme southern Matagorda County, Texas. It was one of several settlements established on the peninsula before the region’s recurring hurricanes persuaded the residents to leave.” For more information, see the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas.
1864 March 5: “I shall fill out the notes I made of the daily occurrences of our march for preservation”
Unfortunately, the half of the sheet with pages 3 and 4—where Edwin Levings finally gets to the business of talking about the Meridian Expedition—is missing. We know this is a letter from Ed, though, because of his handwriting, and because Homer mentioned it two days ago. The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Camp at Clear Creek, Miss.
March 5th, 1864
My Dear Parents,
The great raid is over; and I am safely back in camp. I have laid down my gun and am now endeavoring to pen you a pretty good account of what transpired and I shall not enter into details much now. I find but one letter here from you, that of Jan. 28th in which you mention Mr. Wilcox’s loss of his store. We have two letters also, from Dwight and Cousin Emma and Louisa. I shall fill out the notes I made of the daily occurrences of our march for preservation so you can have them for perusal when I get home.
We returned yesterday finding the new recruits & some butter from you brought by George Miles.¹ We think you much & him too, & he shall share with us but am sorry to tell you the rust had worked through injuring the butter somewhat. Was too long coming to keep well & you would not have sent it had you thought George would not get to us sooned [sic]² than he did, but it is as welcome as if in prime condition & answers well enough. But that little pail, — I remember it well. I used to carry my dinner in it to school in old Madrid. I also recollect a little incident of its history & I feel somewhat ashamed of it. So you recollect how that big dent was made in it? How you sent Homer back after the pail because he kicked it & neither of us would carry it? I was to blame. Who would have thought that pail, after 9 long years, would appear to rebuke me for my unkindly act to my brother? God forgive me & may my other sins not rise up likewise to condemn me. We both had a hearty laugh over the pail, but I could not but remember the incident.
But to the news. We have made a long hard march & given the rebels a terrible blow. We have marched nearly 400 miles, traveling every day for 30 days, driven the rebels at every point, cut their communications, destroyed an immense amount of C. S. property, taken many prisoners, lost but few men. Have been to Jackson, Brandon, Morton, Hillsboro, Decatur, Meridian, Enterprise, & [here is where it ends, the next page having been ripped off along the fold].
1. George F. Miles was from Prescott and enlisted December 26, 1863.
2. No doubt Ed meant “sooner.”
Following are the small articles from the February 27, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.
From The Polk County Press:
— In the South letters are fifteen days in going 200 miles, and the rebel soldiers are down on the mail arrangements.
— Samuel P. Ivins,¹ editor of the (Tenn.,) “Post,” having been taken prisoner, Gen. Howard [Oliver O. Howard] proposes to exchange him for Mr. A. D. Richardson, of the New York “Tribune,” now confined in “Libby” [Prison].
— William Yorkum, for returning a contraband to slavery from Cairo, Illinois, has been found guilty by court martial, and sentenced to five years imprisonment in the Albany Penitentiary.
— Three hundred rebel prisoners are said to have taken the oath of allegiance and joined the navy in Boston. We hope they will be distributed in half dozens among our ships. They should not be put all on board the same vessel.
— The Provost Marshal General has issued an order prohibiting excessive telegraphing by Deputy Marshals, and requiring dispatches sent without sufficient necessity to be charged to the Marshals sending them.
— The telegraph operators in the principal cities South formed a secret league, and recently struck for higher wages. The strike caused serious inconvenience to the Government, and the result was that all the operators were picked up and put into the army. It is expected the lines will be running again before a great while.
— A young lady from Pennsylvania enlisted at Oswego, New York, a few days since. Her sex was discovered by a fellow soldier, who gave information to the authorities, and she was arrested and placed in confinement. The “Times” says that she is “only sixteen years of age, pretty, intelligent and modest, and determined to go to the wars.”
— We noticed C. D. SCOTT,² of the 30th Regiment, in town the other day. Can’t you give us a call, CHARLIE?
— RECRUITS WANTED.—G. W. Davis,³ who enlisted sometime ago in the gallant 7th Regiment, we see is home on recruiting service. To men who are desirous of going into a fighting Regiment, and a fighting Brigade, we recommend the 7th of the Iron Brigade. For particulars see Mr. Davis at the Osceola House.
From The Prescott Journal:
Capt. MAXSON [Orrin T. Maxson] has enlisted over sixty men since he returned here, and still keeps gathering them in.
1. Samuel P. Ivins was the editor and publisher of the Athens (Tenn.) Post. Ivins followed his state when Tennessee left the Union. The Post was suspended from September 1863 to December 1867 due to occupation by the Union Army. In 1864, Ivins was taken prisoner by General Sherman’s troops and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, and not released until 1865. For more, see About The Athens Post on Chronicling America.
2. Charles D. Scott, from Farmington, was in Company A of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry.
3. Sergeant George W. Davis, from Farmington, was in Company C of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry.
4. Frank Young, from Blue Earth, Minnesota, was in Company C of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry.
5. A pun on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.
The following letter from Selden Bartholomew, originally from Prescott, appeared in the February 27, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal. Company F of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry was known as the Salomon Tigers, named for Wisconsin Governor Edward Salomon.
From Co. F, 30th Regiment.
HEADQUARTERS 30TH, CROW CREEK }
AGENCY, Dacotah, Jan. 22, 1864. }
ED. JOURNAL :—Having little or nothing to do for a few moments, I thought I might as well pen you a few lines in regard to matters and things in general respecting the Saloman [sic] Tigers, etc.
You are probably aware before this that we left Fort Sully, the last of October, as we supposed to rejoin our regiment, marching the first day eight miles, and just as we were pitching tents for the night, two messengers appeared, bearing dispatches from Gen. Sulley [sic: Alfred Sully], to the effect that we would remain up here, for the winter,—one company at Fort Sulley [sic], the other at this agency. Imagine our disappointment upon receiving this bit of intelligence, as we left the Fort buoyant with the hope that we would soon be with our regiment—once more in America—and out of this, one of God’s rural districts not a fit place even for Indians. Lieut. Colonel Bartlett,¹ I believe, gave Capt. Meacham [Edgar A. Meacham] his choice to return to the Fort or proceed to the Agency. He chose the latter, and the next morning, before day, we bid adieu to Co. D, (Capt. Fulton [David C. Fulton]) and started on our journey for winter quarters, arriving here after a march of three days from the Fort. We went to work immediately to prepare suitable quarters, and are, at present, as pleasantly and comfortably located as the country permits.
The health of the company is excellent—never better since we have been in the service, only one man on the sick list. This, I think, is far better than most companies can say after a summer’s campaign.
Stationed here with us is part of a company belonging to the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, who are acting as mail carriers and messengers from this place to Sulley [sic].
Capt. Meacham has the honor of being Post Commander ; consequently our duties are light ; while Lieut. Strong is Quarter-master [Ezra B. Strong], and with their wise judgment and discretion, we have thus far fared much better than could be expected from the limited means at our disposal, for we would have you understand that our supplies have been limited since our advent here, but we are expecting a fresh supply in a few days from Sioux City ; then the loud cry “hard tack in abundance,” will be raised by us.
Crow Creek Agency is about one hundred miles above Fort Randall, and sixty below Fort Sully, on the right bank of the Missouri, located on the reservation belonging to the Sioux and Winnebagoes that were removed from Minnesota last summer, under the supervision of Clark W. Thompson,² of St. Paul. Since then quite a little village has sprung up, numbering, in all, fifteen frame houses ; built of cottonwood lumber, and neatly whitewashed, the whole surrounded by a substantial stockade four hundred feet square, fifteen feet high, with bastions at opposite corners, all of this is well loopholed for musketry. With this protection we think we could successfully wipe out all the Indians of Dacotah. The Sioux and Winnebagoes here number about fifteen hundred. They are encamped in a narrow strip of woods between us and the river. Owing to the non-arrival of sufficient quantity of supplies for them, I am sorry to say they are in a suffering condition, and many have died from utter starvation and want, by the neglect of “somebody.” If the Indian and his interests are indeed to be guarded, if the government really desires to throw its protecting arm around and shield him from the malign influence of those who seek his utter ruin as the only sure way of promising his little income, Congress should at once pass such a law as to utterly exclude all swindling agents and traders. When this is done, we may expect to see the efforts which the government is making to raise the Indian from his low condition to a higher and more useful sphere successful. An Indian will listen to good precepts and pronounce them good, but he does not stop here. He will watch and see if the acts of the individual compare with his precepts. If they do, he will pronounce them very good ; if not, he loses confidence in his teacher.
We have had but little snow this winter—not enough to make good sleighing—and but a few days of very cold weather. For the last week it has been quite pleasant, reminding us of the fast approach of spring.
Rumor says that we may prepare for an extensive campaign against the hostile Sioux early this spring. Such may be the case, for surely very little was accomplished the past season.
Fearing that I have already written more than will prove interesting, I will close by asking the friends of the Salomon Tigers to accept my kind regards.
. . . . . . . .S. BARTHOLOMEW.
1. Edward M. Bartlett, from Durand, was Colonel Daniel J. Dill’s lieutenant colonel.
2. Clark W. Thompson (1825-1885) was originally from Canada and moved to Hokah, Minnesota, in 1853. He was a miller before becoming a representative to the Minnesota Territorial Legislature, and participated in the Territorial Republican Constitutional Convention in 1857. He also served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson administrations, from 1861–1865. He supervised the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Winnebago agencies in Minnesota, and Ojibwe agency at La Pointe in Wisconsin. The Dakota Conflict and the subsequent removal of Minnesota’s Dakota and Winnebago Indians to Daktoa Territory occurred during his term of office.
From The Polk County Press of February 27, 1864, reprinted from the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette.
The Soldier’s Grave.
The correspondent of the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette says:
I send you a theme for one of your poets. The scene is Newport News, Va., and the subject : The Soldier’s Grave. The author will have the melody of the moaning sea for inspiration, and his imagination can take in the tragedy of the Cumberland and the Congress. I have striven in vain to ascertain the name of the sleeper ; and a corresponding curiosity compelled me in vain, also—to seek the name of the unconscious genius, who possesses such power of condensation, poetic feeling and pathos, as constitute this simple epitaph on this lonely grave of an unknown hero. Here it is, in word and figure :
I think you might travel over all the grave-yards and fields of the dead in all Virgina, and yet find nothing more touching in the lapidaric offering.