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1864 July 16: News of Local Soldiers; Drowned Conscript Found Near Prescott

July 22, 2014

Following are the smaller items from the July 16, 1864, issues of The Polk County Press and The Prescott Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

PROMOTIONS IN CO. D, 2D CAVALRY.—1st Lieut. CHARLES S. BENTLY as Capt. Co. D, vice BURNELL dismissed ;  2d Lieut. ROBERT C. BARROWS as 1st Lieut. Co. D, vice BENTLY promoted ;  1st Sergt. LONGLEY D. DRUMMOND as 2d Lieut. Co. D, vice Barrows promoted.¹

PROMOTED.—FRANK DAGGETT,² formerly of the Hudson “Chronicle,” has recently been commissioned a 2d Lieut. in the 72d regiment A. D.—”Bully for him.”

DROWNED.—While the “Gray” was taking down a load of conscripts from St. Paul last week, a substitute by the name of SMITH was knocked off her barge, opposite Prescott, and drowned.  His body had not been recovered up to last Monday morning.

DEATH OF A HERO.—Lieut. Colonel JOHN A. SAVAGE, of the 36th Wis. Regt., died at Washington on the evening of the 4th inst., of wounds received while gallantly leading a charge before Petersburg.  He was a true patriot and gallant soldier.

NEW CALL FOR TROOPS.—It is reported that a call under the new law will soon appear for at least half a million, and that not more than two hundred thousand will be required to be drafted, the ballance [sic] being supplied by volunteers within the fifty days allowed.

GUN BURST.—While firing a salute on the Fourth, the iron cannon “Major Anderson,” belonging to WM. KENT, ESQ., was blown to atoms.—At the time of the explosion there was upwards of twenty-five persons standing near by the gun, and it seems almost miraculous that no one was killed or injured.  PETER MOORE, a returned veteran of the 4th cavalry fired the piece, and stood within four feet of it, the pieces flying about him in all directions.  A sliver of iron cut his finger slightly, which was the only blood drawn.  The old “Major” has spoken his last piece.

SERGT. PETER MOORE, of the 4th regiment, left for Baton Rouge on Thursday.

“SIBLEY’S RACES,”—the Minnesota Indian War—which is costing our venerable Uncle Samuel a mint of money and—filling the pockets of a “private circle.”  This “Indian humbug” is one of the greatest on record, and we trust the Government will “see it” ere many days.

“Shoulder straps” are still plenty at the hotels and on the streets, although we had been led to believe by newspaper reports, that they had all been “hurried to the front.”  But such is not the case.  There are a few on detached service, driving fine turnouts and airing fine ladies, which is evidently more to their taste than “cruel war” and bloody fields of battle.


— Roger A. Pryor is a private in a Virginia rebel regiment.³

— Pittsburg [sic], by its fair, gives $200,000 to the Sanitary Commission.

— It is said that Fremont [John C. Frémont] has already spent $2,000,000 in printing copies of his organ, the “New Nation,” for gratuitous circulation.  So says the St. Louis “Democrat.”

— The new militia bill abolishes the commutation principle ;  allows recruiting in Southern States ;  and provides for fifty days’ notice before drafting.

— Rebel forces have recently made unsuccessful demonstrations against Pine Bluff and Brownsville, Ark.—A force of 800 rebels was attacked on the 26th, south of Fort Smith, and all who were not killed or wounded were taken prisoners.

From The Prescott Journal:

— Serg’t. JOHN BUTCHER, of Pleasant Valley, died in hospital in Washington, June 25th, 1864, of wounds received at Petersburg.  He enlisted about the first of April, was a worthy citizen and a brave soldier.  He leaves a family of six children.

— OLIVER GIBBS, Jr., is home for a short season to recruit his health, which was impaired by his confinement to office duties at Washington.  He is filling a responsible station there, at a salary of $$1,800 a year.

— CHAS. F. BROWN, of Hartland, is in “the 37th Regiment.”  He represents that there is a confident state of feeling among the soldiers in Grant’s army.

DROWNED.—Last Friday evening, a soldier fell overboard from the G. H. GRAY, near this levee, and owing to the storm and darkness, could not be saved.  His body was found near Diamond Bluff, and taken charge of by Coroner WETHEREN.  He was a substitute for a drafted man, and had something over $400 on his person.  His friends, we understand, reside in Canada, and his effects will be forwarded to them.

Finger002  Little GEORGE HOUSTON, well known here, is dead.  Capt. BURNETT [Ellsworth Burnett], under date of June 28, writes :

“Day before yesterday, little George Houston was shot by a rebel sharpshooter in the head.  He lived only one hour.  Tell his folks as soon as possible.  Poor little fellow !  he was brave as a lion, and stood by me in every emergency.”

Finger002  The Wisconsin, says that Lt. Col. Savage was 33 years of age.  He leaves a wife and two children.

Finger002  The President has issued a proclamation for the observance of the first Thursday in August, as a day of national fasting and prayer, in accordance with a joint resolution of Congress.

Finger002  Some of the English papers heartily rejoice over the destruction of the Alabama.

The London Star says :  “The Alabama has at last met her well-deserved fate.[“]  The Manchester Examiner says :  “Thus ends the career of one of the most notorious ships of modern times.—Costly as has been her career to Federal commerce, she has been hardly less costly to this country.  She has sown a legacy of distrust and of future apprehension on both sides of the Atlantic ;  and happy will it be both for England and America if with her, beneath the waters of the channel, may be buried the memory of her career and of the mischief she has done.”

The Raid.

The news of the week past has been mostly of the Rebel Raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania.  The dispatches are extremely “chaffy,” and it is difficult to tell what is true and what is not, but it is safe to conclude that a good many cattle and horses have been stolen ;  that Baltimore and Washington have been in no danger ;  and that the raid will not retard or disturb the operations of Grant in the least.

In the advertisements section:

Body Found !

Found.  July 11th, the body of a drowned man about 2 1/2 miles above Diamond Bluff ;  light sandy hair, no whiskers, 5 feet 9 inches in height, dressed in soldiers uniform, with light boots, half soled.  There was on his person one silver watch two likenesses, one calf skin wallet with U. S. currency, a chap purse with a quantity of English sixpences, also two combs and one pipe.  A haversack and canteen were hanging around his neck ;  in the haversack one spoon with E. F. S. on the handle ;  knife and fork.  S. A. on handle of knife.  A. J. P. on handle of fork ;  a tine plate with J. A. Pillsbury on it.

.Acting Coroner.

Diamond Bluff, July 12, 1864.

1.  Charles S. Bentley was from La Crosse; Joseph H. Burnell of Milwaukee had been honorary discharged on June 6, 1864; Robert C. Barrows and Longley D. Drummond were both from Hudson.
2.  Francis E. Daggett had been a corporal in Company I of the 6th Minnesota Infantry and was appointed 2nd lieutenant in the 72nd Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored Troops.
3.  Roger Atkinson Pryor (1828-1919) was a journalist (Daily Richmond Enquirer) and a politician (U.S. House of Representatives) before the Civil War. During his term in Congress, Pryor got into a fierce argument with John F. Potter, a representative from Wisconsin, and challenged him to a duel. He entered the Confederate States Army as colonel of the 3rd Virginia Infantry in May 1861 and was promoted to brigadier general in April 1862. He proved to be an inept division commander at the Battle of Antietam and in 1863 he resigned his commission. In August of 1863 he enlisted as a private and scout in the 3rd Virginia Cavalry. Pryor was captured on November 28, 1864, and confined in Fort Lafayette in New York as a suspected spy. After several months he was paroled and returned to Virginia. After the War, he moved to New York City and established a law firm with former Union General Benjamin F. Butler.




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