1863 April 18: John L. Dale
A comic article about John Dale, sutler with the 30th Wisconsin Infantry now stationed at Camp Randall in Madison. It is from The Prescott Journal of April 18, 1863.
To Whom it May Concern :
Nevertheless, heretofore, previously, whereas, butt, Sutler JOHN, surnamed DALE, did on or about same time recently in Anno Domini nux vomica,¹ in the year of our Lord 1863, without just cause or provocation, with nealle’s prepare and foreskin, undeniabley and incontrovertibly vi et armis,² quare clausum fregit,³ pe-unk, skedaddle, mizzle and go fornenst4 this Military Post.
Now, Therefore, Know all men by these presents, that the said John alias Dale, was, and is, (unless curtailed by unforeseen circumstances,) of the perpendicular elevation of 9 inches and 5 feet on a dead level barefoot, (he never wears socks,) eyes of a heavenly red, and locks of a raven blue, and measures three chains and four links around his mess-chest, and has an unbounded stomach, and immense capacity for liquids. Plays seven-up by note, and euchre in “four four time,” loves his enemies with an affection past finding out, and hates his friends with sublime fortitude. He is a man, “take him all in all,” whose like never you saw behind, and his otium cum dignitate5 is wonderful. He prides himself on moving the County Seat, of having sent Mclndoe [Walter D. McIndoe] to Congress, Cox to the Senate, and Dr. Beardsley [Joseph W. Beardsley] to ——. John has some few amiable weaknesses among which is a fondness for “cat-fish,” peanuts and “Copperheads.”
Hear ye ! Hear ye ! Hear ye ! a
REWARD OF TEN CENTS,
payable in Sutler’s Checks, is offered for the apprehension and safe delivery of the said John, Dale either at these headquarters, or at any point where it can be properly attended to.
By order of Major A. C. VANWIE,
Camp Randall, April 10, 1863.
1. Anno Domini is Latin, used in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, to number the years after Christ. It is usually abbreviated A.D.
2. A Latin term for the poison strychnine.
3. Quare clausum fregit is another Latin term that literally means “wherefore he broke the close.” This legal phrase refers to trespassing upon another person’s land, or “close.” Close in this usage being the old English term for an estate (land).
4. Skedaddle – To retreat quickly
Mizzle – To disappear
Fornenst – Against, in front of
5. Another Latin term meaning to spend time in activities one prefers. It is how the Roman philosopher Cicero advised the honest man to live.