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1863 August 22: The End of the Indian War, and an Anti-Draft Speech in Illinois

August 27, 2013

The following two articles are from the August 22, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press.

The Indian War.

The Campaign against the Sioux Nation has ended.  The expedition is now on the return march.

On the 24th of July Gen. SIBLEY [Henry Hastings Sibley] had a spirited engagement with the Indians 1,000 strong at a place called Big Mound, and defeated them with considerable loss.  On the 26th he again met them at Dead Buffalo Lake, and again defeated them with slaughter, and following them up he met them again on the 28th, completely routing them and driving the whole tribe, women, children, and all, across the Missouri River.  The Indians in the last battle numbered 2,500 strong.  All their provisions they were forced to abandon, and together with a large number of skins designed for their winter’s clothing, were destroyed by our troops.  The loss of the Indians in killed was 150, our loss 7 killed and 3 wounded.  Gen. SIBLEY having fought three successive battles and driven the red devils across the Missouri, has evidently ended the Indian campaign.  Our troops are much fatigued and the horses of the expedition needing rest and recruiting, they will stop at Fort Abercrombie.  Gen. SULLY [Alfred Sully], it is thought, will intercept the retreating foe, and cut off their retreat, and it is hoped will succeed in totally annihilating the whole tribe.

Disloyal Speech at Peoria.

CAIRO, Aug. 10.—There was a meeting at Peoria, Ill., on the 5th, at which there were about 800 persons present.  It was addressed by one Robert Davis, a lawyer of Hillsboro, in which he used language of the following import :  You should resist the conscription with your rifles, your shot guns, or whatever weapons you can get hold of.

If you young men don’t resist the conscription, you are unworthy to be called American citizens.  Will you permit Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] and his shoulder strapped hirelings any longer to make laws and put them in force at the point of the bayonet ?  It was only last Monday that the election came of in Kentucky.

On the Friday previous Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside] issued an order that no democrats should be allowed to vote.  The conscription is unconstitutional.  It is no use to leave to Lincoln’s courts to decide such a question, and much other stuff of the same kind.  He would undoubtedly like to be arrested, in order to become in the eyes of some a martyr.

1.  Robert W. Davis.  On September 1, 1863, Davis will counsel five men to resist the draft, and will be indicted by a grand jury for the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of Illinois. In July of 1864, Davis will be sent out to try to persuade the Clingman gang of Confederate desperadoes to go away and leave Hillsboro alone.

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