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1863 September 5: News from the Homefront in Pierce County

September 9, 2013

Following is some local news related to the homefront in Pierce County, from the September 5, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal.

DESERTER ARRESTED.—On Monday last, Dep. Pro. Marshal DALE arrested Charles Collbeth, a deserter from Co. A. 30th, and on Tuesday left here with his prisoner for Camp Randall.  Some time since Mr. DALE arrested the same person but he was released on a writ of habeus corpus, but this time JOHN will deliver him to the proper authorities.  We understand that the Copperheads of Hudson are very indignant that white men should be kidnapped in this way. — It is a pity.¹

THE DRAFTED MEN.—Orders have been received at Camp Randall to prepare barracks for 2,000 drafted men, and the work is going on vigorously.  It is also rumored that GEO. NEWTON² is to have a contract to make each of them a pair of boots, but whether this is true or not, it will not interfere with his regular business of supplying his customers with a tip top article.  The highest market price paid in cash for hides.

To the Families of Volunteers.

Last fall, while large bounties were being offered to volunteers in the effort to fill up the last company here, after paying about all we could stand, we offered to send the JOURNAL free to the families of married men, who volunteered in that company.  Our offer was generally misunderstood, and it was supposed that the paper was offered free to the families of all married volunteers from this county, and applications were made for it accordingly.

As distinction seemed invidious where all were equally deserving, we filled all the orders.

The unexpectedly large number which we were thus called on to supply, together with the unprecedented high price to which paper and all printing material rose—a price so high as compelled most papers to increase their price, or diminish their size, made a very heavy tax on this office.  We have already supplied the company to which the offer was made for three years, and although we dislike to do anything which seems like “going back” on the soldiers, we are compelled to discontinue our free list.  In the future, however, we will furnish the JOURNAL, during the war, to the family of any married volunteer from this county, for one dollar per annum,³ in advance—half the regular price.

1.  John L. Dale was the Deputy Provost Marshal for Pierce County. Company A of the 30th Wisconsin Infantry was Samuel Harriman’s company, and Dale had been the sutler while they were training in Madison. There is no record that Charles Collbeth (or Colbeth) served in this company or any other volunteer unit from Wisconsin or any other state. He must have deserted the first time early enough to not get officially mustered in.
2.  George C. Newton, from Prescott, did make boots for soldiers, and specifically we know for the men in Company A of the 12th Wisconsin Infantry.
3.  “Per annum” is a Latin phrase meaning annually. It is frequently used for subscriptions to newspapers and other periodicals.

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