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1863 October 31: Death of W.W. Williams, Col. Stephen Miller, Col. Lucius Fairchild, and Other News

November 4, 2013

Following are the smaller items for the week of October 31, 1863, from both The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

The News.

Again there is a lull in the War scenes, and nothing worthy of recording to lay before our readers.  The armies of the Republic are not idle however, and the seeming calm is liable to be broken at any moment by the thunders of artillery and the lightning flash of the bayonet.  There has been no battles reported by telegraph during the week.

— Mr. W. W. WILLIAMS [William W. Williams], who enlisted in the 10th Wisconsin Battery, from this county, died at his residence in Alden, on the 28th inst.  Mr. WILLIAMS was taken sick at Nashville, and was home on furlough to recover his health.  Thus another patriot has given up his life for the Nation, and now sleeps the long last sleep that knows no waking.  May he rest in peace forever.

— Col. MILLER¹ of the 7th Minnesota Regiment, formerly of the Veteran First, and Governor that is to be of our sister State of Minnesota, has been promoted to a Brigadier General.

Promotion of Col. Fairchild.—The telegraph announces the promotion of Col. LUCIUS FAIRCHILD, of the Iron Brigade, to a Brigadier Generalship, for gallantry at Gettysburg.  This is no more than a just acknowledgement of the services of one of the most brave and competent officers that have gone from this State.

— Lucius Fairchild, candidate for Secretary of State, has resigned his commission as Brigadier General of volunteers and Captain in the regular army.

— A correspondent of the Columbus (Ga.) Inquirer, gives official reports of the rebel killed, wounded, and missing at Chickamauga, at 17,900.

— The official returns from Pennsylvania place Gov. Curtin’s majority at 15,258.  [Andrew C. Curtin]

— Gov. CURTIN is lying quite ill at his residence in Harrisburg.

— No draft is to take place in Ohio.  Governor Tod [David Tod] announces that the quota under the conscription call has been filled by volunteers.

— Our friends will greatly oblige us by sending us the election returns from the several towns in the county, as soon as possible after election, that we may publish them in our next issue.

— A telegram from Nashville of October 25th says that Hooker’s force had crossed the Tennessee and that fighting was reported yesterday.  [Joseph Hooker]

THE FISK TRAGEDY.—It is now believed by many that the reported massacre of Capt. Fisk and his party is a piece of sensational news without foundation in fact.  God grant that the horrible account which was published recently may prove false.—News—we do not know how trust-worthy,—has been received in St. Paul, that the expedition had reached Fort Benton in safety.²

MONSTER WAR VESSEL TO BE BUILT.—The keel has been prepared at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a monster steamship, which is to be built in the large shiphouse.  She is over 4,000 tons burthen.³  As she is intended for speed, her machinery is to be of the most powerful kind, and she will have eight boilers.  The Navy Department has given orders for her completion in the shortest possible time, and a large force is to be put to work upon her at once.

From The Prescott Journal:

WAR AND NOT PEACE.—The blindest of men must now see that until the rebels submit to the constitutional authorities, the war will be continued.  The unity of the nation must and shall be preserved.  This is the sentiment of the army and of the loyal people in all the States.  The rebels would scorn all proffers of peace not based upon dissolution, and the people at the North are determined that no such terms shall be offered to them.  The only way to stop the war, therefore, is by a most vigorous prosecution of it.  The only way to insure peace is to make war.  The shortest, surest, any [and?] only road to, peace, is for all men to unite in crushing the rebellion as speedily as possible.  Then, in the language of Mr. Lincoln, “peace will come to stay.”

Finger002  Armies, bayonets, swords, cannon, and all the resistless enginry of force, wielded with valor and skill, are the proper arguments to convince these armed architects of ruin of their guilt and folly, and bring them back to their senses, duty and allegiance.  If either them or us must be left without a government, we intend it shall be those who have madly undertaken to deprive us of that blessing.

Finger002  We believe it is universally coneded [sic: conceded?] that a dog waggles his tail because the dog is stronger than the tail, otherwise the tail would waggle him.—Mr. Hatch is the tail of the Copperhead Palmer Ticket, and so we suppose it “waggles” him.

YOU CAN’T DO IT.—Democrats tell us that they can vote for H. L. Palmer without eddorsing [sic] the traitor Vallandigham [Clement L. Vallandigham] !  Gentlemen, you can’t do it; and nobody but a fool or a knave would venture such an assertion.  Why ?  Because the platform adopted by your convention contains a resolution endorsing Vallandigham, and Palmer says he endorses “every line and every letter of that platform.”  That is why.—Hudson Star, (Dem.)

1.  Stephen Miller (1816-1881) was middle-aged when he joined the 1st Minnesota Infantry as a private. He quickly advanced to colonel of the regiment. In 1862 Miller returned from the War and replaced General Henry Hastings Sibley as commander of Camp Lincoln, where 303 Dakota men who had been convicted of participating in the Dakota War of 1862 were being held. By order of President Lincoln, Miller supervised the mass execution of 38 of those Dakota men condemned for their part in the war. In the fall of 1863, with the support of former Governor Alexander Ramsey and on the strength of his military career, Miller was elected the 4th governor of Minnesota. He served from 1864 to 1866. The one-time war hero and popular governor died an impoverished widower, in Worthington, Minnesota, in 1881.
2.  James Liberty Fisk (1835-1902) led four expeditions from Minnesota to Montana between 1862 and 1866 to promote settlement in the West. Fisk had been a private in the 3rd Minnesota Infantry, but in May 1862 he was commissioned a captain and appointed to escort emigrants and gold-seekers through the Dakota Territory between Fort Abercrombie, Dakota, and Fort Walla Walla, Washington. Because of Indian unrest, Fisk’s second expedition in 1863 had only around 60 people. The group departed from Fort Ripley, Minnesota, on June 25 and reached the vicinity of Fort Benton, Montana Territory, on September 7. Fisk took a route further north of his previous route due to widespread drought.
3.  Builder’s Old Measurement (BOM or bm) was the method used in England from approximately 1650 to 1849 for calculating the cargo capacity of a ship.  It was expressed in tons burden or burthen.

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