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1863 February 11 and 14: Congress Considering a National Draft, and Other Small Articles

February 17, 2013

From the February 11, 1863, Prescott Journal and the February 14, 1863, Polk County Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

From Madison.

Special Dispatch to St Paul Press.
MADISON, Feb. 9.

Mr. Sharpatien of Milwaukee, a democrat, to-day introduced a bill to repeal the law allowing soldiers to vote.

The 25th and 30th regiments paraded this city to-day, in honor of Gen. Elliott [Washington Lafayette Elliott], who leaves for the East this evening.

The headquarters of the department of the Northwest will be removed to Milwaukee on Monday, where Gen. Pope [John Pope] tades [sic: takes] command in person.

The following quip also appeared in the February 14 issue of The Polk County Press.

Finger Let those who talk of conciliating the South, read Jeff. Davis’s message [Jefferson Davis].  They might march toward the South with olive branches enough to be mistaken, like the branches borne by the troops of Macduff,¹ for Birnam forest, and still they would be met only by bullet and bayonet.—Louisville Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

OUR QUOTA NOT FULL.—Wisconsin is over 3,000 behind under the last calls of the President.  Governor SALOMON states in his message, that our full quota is _4,551.²  To fill this we must raise 951 men, beside 2,279 drafted militia, either not reported or deserted or discharged.

Letters from the 10th Battery boys, at Nashville, Tenn., state that all hands are well and in good spirits.

The Good Templar Lodge in this village [Osceola] donated $5,00³ to the Chicago Sanitary Commission, for the aid of our sick and wounded soldiers.

DIED.—At Nashville, January 20, 1863, OLIVER G. COLTRIN, aged 33 years 5 months.  The deceased was a member of the 10th Wisconsin Battery.  Hudson and Chippewa Falls papers please copy.  M. T. C.

KILLED.—At the battle of Murfreesboro, HENRY H. THORNTON, a member of Company H, 73d Indiana regiment Volunteers, aged 22 years.  The deceased was a brother of JOHN M. THORNTON, esq., of Cedar Valley in this county.

LECTURE.—PROF. E. E. EDWARDS, of Hudson, will lecture before the Osceola Lyceum on Friday evening, February 21st, subject:  “The Poetry of the War.”  An admittance fee of 10 cents will be charged at the door, which will be used to pay the expenses of the lecturer.  If any of the funds remain in the hands of the lecture committee after paying such expenses, it will be donated to the Chicago Sanitary Commission.

The U. S. Senate has now under consideration, and with a strong probability of its becoming a law, one of the most important and rigorous measures submitted to Congress since the outbreak of the rebellion.  It subjects every white male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45 years of age to military duty ;  directs their speedy enrollment by officers appointed by the federal government, and authorizes the President, whenever the public necessities demand, to order a draft.  The bill contains humane and just provisions in regard to exemptions, by which those required to support the aged and helpless, or orphan children, are relieved from the operations of the law.  The bill is framed to a considerable extent, in imitation of the French conscript law.

1.  Macduff, the Thane of Fife, is the main character in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.
2.  Unfortunately there was a small crease in the newspaper when it was microfilmed and the first numeral is missing.
3.  $5,000 would have been an enormous sum of money in those days; even $500 was a lot. $5 is more likely, and commas have been seen used in a dollar amount, in some newspaper articles, where we today would put a period.

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