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1863 May 2: An Editorial on the War, and Another Indian Raid

May 8, 2013

From the May 2, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press comes this editorial on The War from the St. Croix Monitor.  The second article on Indians near Norway Lake in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, is from the St. Cloud Democrat.  Saint Cloud is northeast of Norway Lake and Paynesville is about half way between the two.  Articles like this one kept the Indian scare alive and the settlers in western Wisconsin anxious to have their militia companies.

The War.

We think we have reason to believe that the strength of the south [sic] is and has been vastly overestimated.  The fact that they maintain strong positions, and that our unceasing efforts have been to take those positions, has deceived the public in regard to their real resource.  We have just commenced operating under a new policy, a policy that is telling fearfully upon the vitals of the Confederacy.  We see our armies invading the South in every direction and the rebels unable to resist them.  No doubt by telling them where we intend making an attack and giving them time and means they could successfully cope with our forces.  The policy pursued in the commencement, that of being so scrupulously zealous is guarding rebel property and paying exorbitant prices for whatever we bought of them, had a tendency to augment to, rather than detract from their power.

The emancipation policy is being carried out to the letter and people who opposed,  are now applauding it.  The whole superstructure of rebel power rest upon the negro ;  all its labor resources are in the negro.  To detach this vast underlying muscular power from the service of the rebellion, was the object of the President’s first of January proclamation.  The rebel press has changed its take wonderfully of late, and we begin to feel sanguine that we have attained the tapering off place.— St.  Croix Monitor.

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From the St. Cloud Democrat.

Indians Near Norway Lake.

To Dr. J. V. Wren, who returned yesterday from Paynesville, we are indebted for the following item :  “On Tuesday last, Capt. Wilson, commanding cavalry at Paynesville, was out on a scouting party with twenty men, and camped at the Lutenberg settlement, twelve miles west of Norway Lake.  The horses were put in stables a short distance from camp.  At a little after midnight, Sargent [sic] Wigle heard one of the horses snort, and this drew his attention to the stables.  He then saw an Indian crawling off towards the woods near by and immediately fired, principally for the purpose of alarming the camp.  Two other Indians immediately joined the first.  Search was at once made and the woods scoured, but none of the marauders discovered.  In the morning, moccasin tracks were found in different directions, and Capt. Wilson started in pursuit.–Sergeant Wigle returned to Paynesville, and it was from him that Dr. Wren derived this information.  These are supposed to be scouts from the bands of Sioux about Big Stone Lake, and their object seemed to be plunder alone.  We hope Capt. W. may be successful in tracking them out.

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