1865 February 25: Quotas, Bounties, Draft News; 50th Wisconsin Infantry Organized; Grant’s Army the “the riff-raff of Creation”; Harry Gilmor Captured
Following are the smaller items from the February 25, 1865, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.
From The Prescott Journal:
Volunteering is quite brisk in this county. Most of the towns will probably fill their quotas. The quotas of the towns will be published as soon as received at this office.
THE TERRITORIES FOR THE AMENDMENT.—The seven Delegates in the House of Representatives, though from Territories deprived of the privilege of voting, have joined in a statement which has been entered upon the Journal of the House, saying that the proposed anti-slavery amendment to the constitution of the United States, meets with their unqualified approbation.
SHARP PASSAGE BETWEEN SENATORS DOOLITTLE AND WADE.—There were some sharp words in Senate on the 8th, between Senators DOOLITTLE [James R. Doolittle], of this State and WADE [Benjamin F. Wade], of Ohio. The question was the adoption of Mr. SUMNER’s [Charles Sumner] resolution calling on the President for the details of the recent negotiations at Hampton Roads. Mr. DOOLITTLE opposed the resolution, declaring that the Senate ought to presume the President had done his duty without putting questions to him in regard to his conduct, and referred to the recent attacks upon the President by Senators WADE and POWELL [Lazarus W. Powell]. WADE replied in his bitterest vein. The Herald‘s Washington correspondent says :
“The manner and language of Mr. WADE, one of the oldest members of the Senate, were disgraceful. The retort of Senator DOOLITTLE, to the effect that the chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of the War seemed to think his position superior to that of the President, and made the latter accountable to the former for all his executive acts, was considered both apt and timely.”
In his recent speech at the war meeting in Richmond, JEFF. DAVIS [Jefferson Davis] called attention to the fact that in their recent letters concerning the proposed peace negotiations, Mr. LINCOLN [Abraham Lincoln] spoke of the North and South as one country, while he (JEFF.) spoke always of two countries. He added that he “could have no common country with the Yankees. His life was bound up with the Confederacy, and if any man supposed that under any circumstances he could be an agent of the reconstruction of the Union, he mistook every element of his nature.” This establishes conclusively the fact that in the recent proposed negotiations the rebels were not prepared to treat upon any basis except that of separation.
GEN. SCHOFIELD’S NEW DEPARTMENT.—It is stated Gen. SCHOFIELD [John M. Schofield] has been appointed to command the Department of North Carolina. This is significant as to the destination of the 23d army corps. While Sherman [William T. Sherman] is advancing in South Carolina, the invasion of North Carolina by a strong force will add very materially to the perils of the situation of the rebels.
From The Polk County Press:
From the Milwaukee Wisconsin :
The Draft to Come.
The following dispatch has just been received by Pro. Mar. General Lovell [Charles S. Lovell], and a copy furnished to the Governor, and sent to this office for publication :
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 1865.
To Lieut. Col. C. S. LOVELL :
See that all the boards of enrollment in your jurisdiction, which are not busily employed in examining and mustering recruits, prepare at once to commence drafting.
Report as soon as possible what districts are not rapidly filling their quotas, and the day on which the Board in each will be prepared to draft, so that the order for draft may issue from this office. J. B. FRY [James B. Fry].
— Pro. Mar. Gen. Fry has, in answer to the petition of the members of the legislature, asking for a reduction of the quota in this district, which we published last week, caused an answer to be forwarded to the petitioners. He says :
“You will please inform the gentlemen signing the petition that every effort has been made by this bureau to have a correct enrollment made, and had the inhabitants of the district in question exerted themselves in the matter, it could have been done long since.”
He refuses to make the reduction and the above is his reason. A delegation from the district has gone to Washington to urge the reduction, but the chances are against their success. We will probably have to stand it !
TOO LATE.—The delegation sent to Washington from this district to try and get our quota reduced, left La Crosse before the delegation from this part of the district arrived there. Mr. Comstock will therefore avoid the neccessity [sic] of going further.—Hudson Star and Times.
TOWN MEETING. —The Town Meeting held last Monday voted to raise $1,000 for bounty to volunteers. The vote stood 33 yeas, four nays, and two scattering. The meeting authorized the Town Clerk to issue seven per cent interest bearing orders. Capt. H. H. HERRICK was elected recruiting officer.
BOUNTY FUND NOTICE.— Subscribers to the bounty fund are requested to call upon Geo. Wilson, at his store, and pay up their subscriptions. All persons liable to draft who have not subscribed to the fund are invited to do so immediately, as more money must be raised before the town can raise her men. Be prompt gentlemen !
To fill the quota of Osceola Polk County Wisconsin.
The above bounty ($300.) will be paid to fill the quota of Osceola, upon the recruit being mustered into the U. S. Service.
Apply soon in person to,
. .Capt. H. H. HERRICK.
. .Recruiting Officer.
APPOINTED.— J. S. ELWELL, formerly of the Hudson Star, well known to our readers, has been appointed A. Q. M. with the rank of Captain. JOE has done the Union cause good service, and the appointment was well bestowed.
THE PRO. MAR. OFFICE.— There has been a strong effort made to remove the Headquarters of the Provost Marshal of this District from La Crosse to Sparta. An order to that effect was received, but has been countermanded. The office will remain at La Crosse, and all communications should be sent to that Post office.
ST. CROIX FALLS.—Our neighbors at the Falls held an exciting meeting on the 16th inst., to determine the question of bounties by ballot, and decided by two majority to raise a bounty of two hundred dollars for volunteers, and the same for families of drafted men, which with the amount due that town from the county will make three hundred dollars per man. JOHN WETMOUTH was Chairman, and P. B. LACY and WM. J. VINCENT, Clerks. On motion of H. D. BARRON it was decided to divide, or levy the tax for same, in two separate years—1866 and 1867—and to issue bonds for the amount payable in one and two years, with semi-annual seven per cent. interest. On motion of WM. M. BLANDING, the meeting selected HENRY D. BARRON, WM. AMERY, and P. B. LACY finance Committee to negotiate the bonds for cash.
The principal School District of this town has some eight hundred dollars in its treasury. Town orders in St. Croix Falls are now upon presentation, and for more than a year past have been current for their face. Bonds of this town ought to bring a fair price.
— Gov. Lewis [James T. Lewis] has organized the 50th regiment.
— The Legislature of this State has memoralized [sic] Congress to make all men liable to draft between 18 and 59 years of age.
— The Assembly has made the question of the ratification of the constitutional amendment the special order for the 23rd of February, 11:15 o’clock A. M.
— Iowa is the first State to fill her quota under the last call of the President.
— Gen. Wool [John E. Wool] has written a letter in which he says : “The rebellion appears to be tottering. To give the finishing blow, the National and State governments should put forth all their energies to procure recruits, to fill the ranks of the only trustworthy peacemakers, viz : Generals Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Admiral Farragut and others, equally brave and gallant.” [Ulysses S. Grant, George H. Thomas, Philip H. Sheridan, David G. Farragut]
— The rebel Congress has passed a bill conscripting slaves into the rebel service, without limitation as to numbers.
— Volunteers for Hancock’s new corps of veterans, the 1st corps, will be pleased to hear that that new corps will be armed with the new breech-loading rifles, and wear a new style of equipment ; and that each man will have his name marked on his gun, and will retain it as his own on the expiration of his term of service. [Winfield S. Hancock]
— A petition is in circulation in Albany, N. Y., for the removal of Provost Marshal General Fry. Every member of the State Senate signed it.
— The quota assigned to New York is over 21,000. That assigned to Philadelphia is something over 6,000.
— The quota of Cook County, Illinois, is 5,202. The quota of the State is about 30,000, and the Chicago journals are saying very unpleasant things of the authorities at Springfield, because their county has to furnish about one-sixth of the whole quota of the State. We can’t see, however, that 5,202 is a very large quota for a city that ‘rivals New York.’
— Illinois has repealed her Black laws.
— Delaware has refused to ratify the Constitutional Amendment.
— Jeff Davis says that if he had a thousand lives he would sacrifice them all sooner than forego the effort for the independence of the South.— The people of the loyal States will respond if he had ten thousand lives he should sacrifice them rather than be permitted to succeed in his infamous enterprise.
— The construction of the Government Arsenal at Rock Island, Ill., will be commenced immediately. It will cost $1,500,000 and will be one of the largest structures of the kind in the world.
— A Richmond editor says Grant’s army is so largely made up of “the riff-raff of Creation” that it is no honor for the rebels to defeat it. That is probably the reason they don’t do it!
— The soul of old John Brown, which has been “marching on” for some time, is said to have commenced moving at the double quick, on the passage of the Constitutional amendment.—Chicago Journal.
— Gov. Boreman, of West Virginia, has received the following telegram, dated Cumberland, Feb. 6 :
“A cavalry scout of Gen. Sheridan’s encountered the force of Harry Gilmore [sic]¹ yesterday near Moorefield, whipped it handsomely, capturing upwards of twenty officers and men.—Amongst the officers captured was the noted guerrilla chief and robber Harry Gilmore [sic] himself.
. .B. F. KELLEY,²
Brevet Major General.
1. Harry W. Gilmor (1838-1883) lead the partisan “Gilmor’s Raiders.” As part of the third major Confederate invasion of the North, Colonel Gilmor’s command made a series of raids around Baltimore. On July 10, 1864, now-Major Harry Gilmor was given 135 men of the 1st and 2nd Maryland, and directed to destroy the railroad bridge of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad at Magnolia Station. Early on the morning of July 11, Gilmor’s cavalrymen reached the station and proceeded to wreck two trains. After evacuating the passengers and looting the cars, the troopers set fire to one of the trains and backed it over the trestle, thus partially destroying the bridge. Aboard the northbound train was an unexpected prize—convalescing Union General William B. Franklin. This raid is regarded by some as one of the most daring during the war by detached cavalry on either side. Gilmor was eventually ordered to take his command to Hardy County, West Virginia, and attack the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He was captured there on February 4, 1865, and remained a prisoner-of-war until July 24, 1865. After the War, Gilmor served as the Baltimore City Police Commissioner in the 1870s.
2. Interesting note—General Kelley, along with his immediate superior General George Crook, was in turn captured by Confederate partisans on February 21, 1865. Kelley was sent to a prison in Richmond, Virginia, but he and Crook were released on March 20 by a special exchange.