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1864 May 14: A Supper for the Hudson Guards, Battle of Poison Springs, 100-Day Men in the Saint Croix Valley, and Other News

May 14, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the May 14, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

One item refers to the Battle of Poison Springs, which was fought April 18, 1864, in Ouachita County, Arkansas.  Union General  Frederick Steele sent out a foraging party to gather corn.  After loading the corn into over 200 wagons and proceeding about 5 miles on April 18, Colonel James M. Williams’ party was savagely attacked by Confederate General John S. Marmaduke’s forces.  Williams was forced to retreat into a marsh, where his men finally regrouped and fell back to Camden, minus 198 of the wagons of corn.  During the fight, Williams positioned the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry between the wagons and the Confederate lines.  The black troops repelled the first two offenses, but ran low on ammunition and were beaten back by the third. The Confederates refused to take the wounded black soldiers as prisoners, and instead brutally killed, scalped, and stripped them, something that is not mentioned in the short report found here.

From The Polk County Press:

The Soldier’s Supper.

We are seldom called upon to record a more pleasant entertainment, than that which came off on Tuesday evening last, at the Osceola House Hall.  We speak of the Soldier’s Supper, given to the veterans of the Hudson City Guards, by the ladies of Osceola.  About eight o’clock in the evening, the Enterprise landed a gay part of the “boys” from Hudson, who were received with cheers from our citizens and their comrades who had gathered on the levee to receive them.  All quickly repaired to the Osceola House, and soon a bounteous supper was spread upon the tables in the Hall.  All seated, Rev. S. T. CATLIN asked the blessing, and the “boys” and citizens “went in.”  Supper despatched, toasts were introduced, which were responded to by A. D. GRAY [Almon D. Gray], of Hudson, WM. A. TALBOYS, C. H. STAPLES, C. E. MEARS, AMOS S. GRAY, Rev. J. S. AKERS, and Rev. S. T. CATLIN.  The toasts were appropriate, and the responses spirited.  After the toasts had been read, and the speech-making over, Rev. S. T. CATLIN introduced to the company


Mrs. Col. ALEXANDER M. MITCHELL, formerly of St. Joseph, Mo., agent for the sale of President LINCOLN’s Proclamation of Emancipation, for the benefit of the Soldier’s Home, Chicago, Ill., being on a visit to our village, was invited to attend the entertainment and introduce the subject of her mission.  She addressed the crowded house for upwards of half an hour, her eloquence bringing out thunders of applause.

When secession first raised its banner in Missouri, she was residing at her home in St. Joseph, and upon the occasion of the rebels raising a secession flag in that city, she boldly called down the curses of Almighty God upon them, and called upon Him to blast and wither their traitor hands for trailing and trampling the Star Spangled Banner in the dust.  For this she was ordered to leave the city within twenty-four hours, and did so in order that her life, and the life of her child, might be saved.

During the course of her remarks, so vividly did she paint the picture of war’s desolation, the hardships and trials, the bitterness of treason, and the heart sacrifices of the Nation’s noble patriots, that many an eye grew moist, for the waters from the heart’s fountain could not be kept down.

Mrs. MITCHELL closed her remarks by stating her business and offering for sale the facsimile of the Proclamation.  She met with excellent success in disposing of them.

This closed the entertainment at the Hall, and so “the boys in blue” “broke ranks” and retired to the Court Hose, where soon all were engaged in


Here the boys enjoyed themselves to their heart’s content.  The music was excellent, the girls looked sweet, and happiness was for once trumps.  At broad daylight the “ball broke” the company dispersed, and thus one more pleasant memory has been planted in our brave soldier’s breasts.

MILITIA.—The Osceola Home Guards will meet at the Court House this afternoon.  A prompt attendance requested.

From The Prescott Journal:

GEN. RANSOM.— We learn from a private letter from New Orleans of the 17th ult. that although painful doubts were for a time entertained in regard to the condition of Gen. RANSOM [Thomas E. G. Ransom], who was severely wounded at the battle of Sabine Cross Roads ;  he was at the date of the letter rapidly recovering.  All pain and inflamation [sic] had subsided, and the wound was rapidly healing.

Finger002   The Fort Pillow investigation by a committee of Congress, yields fifty-seven depositions, each stuffed with harrowing details, in support of newspaper accounts, and even exceeding them precisely as the camera gives a more faithful picture than the pencil sketch.

Finger002  The New York Tribune says the slander in regard to Mrs. WHITE, the sister of Mrs. LINCOLN, and her being passed through our lines with contraband goods, did not appear in its columns.  It calls on Copperhead papers to retract their statements to that effect.  These, however, have the “moral courage” to persist in a lie when they have once uttered it.

Finger002  The New York Times suggests that the proper method of retaliating for the massacre at Fort Pillow is to hang an equal number of FORREST’s men [Nathan B. Forrest].  GRIERSON [Benjamin H. Grierson] has already captured several parties of stragglers belonging to that command.  They were the participators in the horrid atrocity, and they should pay the penalty.

THE REBEL PRESS ON THE FORT PILLOW MASSACRES.—The Richmond Enquirer has a lengthy article on the Fort Pillow massacre, sneering at the indignation of the Northern press and saying, if Confederate prisoners are executed, double the number of Federals will be immediately put to death.

The Examiner says that FORREST’s atrocities diffused a warm and soothing glow through the veins of every good Confederate.  The whole country will approve and applaud his action, so it is hoped will the Confederate GOVERNMENT.

GEN. WASHBURNE [sic].—A Memphis dispatch says Gen. WASHBURNE [sic: C. C. Washburn] is very active preparing his force for active duty in the field.

Finger002  Gen. H. PRINCE [Henry Prince] succeeds General M. BRAYMAN, in command of the District of Columbus, with headquarters at Cairo.

GEN. GRANT AND THE PRESIDENT.—The Cincinnati Commercial says that the President [Abraham Lincoln] has lately assured Gen. GRANT [Ulysses S. Grant], not only that he is absolute master of all the forces in the field, but that he (the President) does not even desire to know what are his plans in any field of operations.  We have no doubt of the truth of this statement, and, under such circumstances, we think that popular curiosity can very well afford to restrain itself.

A REBEL REPULSE.—When Gen. BANKS [Nathaniel P. Banks] was retiring from Grand Ecore to Alexandria, the enemy followed and attacked his rear a short distance from Cane River.  They were repulsed by FRANKLIN [William B. Franklin], with the loss of 1,000 men and nine pieces of artillery.

BAD FOR STEELE.—It is reported that on the 25th ult., a train of 240 empty wagons, guarded by a portion of the 6th Missouri, 18th Illinois, 18th and 5th Indiana Cavalry, returning from Camden, whence they had been sent for supplies by Gen. STEELE, was attacked within thirty miles of Pine Bluff, by a large force of rebels under MARMADUKE and captured.  It is said that 1,000 men and seven pieces of artillery fell into the enemy’s hands.

The 100 Day Men.

Recruiting commissions have been issued to parties in the St. Croix Valley, to raise a company of 100 day men.  H. A. JAY, Esq., of this city, and A. D. GRAY, of Hudson are recruiting.  Several of our most substantial citizens here are talking of going.  A company could be filled in this county in two days, were it not that the term of service, will not expire until after the men are wanted for harvest.  As it is, Mr. JAY will push the matter vigorously, and no doubt a fair number will be raised.

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