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G. T. M. Davis, A. D. C., for their assistance and their promptness in the discharge of their duties.
His loss was: 4th regiment, 6 officers, (2 being killed-Lieuts. Murphy and Cowordin), and 42 von-commissioned officers and privates ; 3d, 1 officer and 15 non-commissioned officers and privates; the New York regiment, 1 officer and 5 privates—total of 70 in the brigade. The loss of our army was 417–killed, 64, and wounded, 353. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded is not known; but we took 3,000 prisoners, 5,000 stands of arms and 43 pieces of artillery,
Gen. Twiggs in his report speaks in glowing and enthusiastic terms of the conduct of the Illinois regiments, both in the storming of Santa Anna's battery and in the pursuit of the flying enemy, under his immediate command. The battle of Cerro Gordo, as it was one of unsurpassed difficulty, proved also one of the most bril. liant and important in the war. Its results were to lay open the road to the capital, and place the empire of Mexico under the feet of the conqueror. The gallant troops of Illinois shared to no inconsiderable extent in the dangers, toils and hardships, as their large ratio of losses attests; and their heroic deeds have reflected imperishable honor and glory upon our State.
The battle of Cerro Gordo was the last in the war with Mexico in which any Illinois troops participated. At Jalapa, the year's time for which they had been enlisted baving nearly expired, and it being ascertained that the 3d and 4th regiments would not reenlist, Gen. Scott disbanded them; the campaign on the Rio Grande having been virtually ended by the battle of Buena Vista, the 1st and 2d regiments were disbanded at Comargo, and all our troops of the first four Illinois regiments returned home about the same time, Lieut. Col. Moore with companies B, G and K, of the 4th, reaching Springfield June 4th, and 300 men of the 1st arriving at St. Louis May 31st, 1847. The latter brought home the remains of their beloved colonel, Hardin ; and the people of Morgan county invited the entire regiment to accompany them to their final resting place at Jacksonville. The funeral (July 12th,) was one of the largest and most imposing ever held in the State.*
The soldiers generally on their return home were received with marks of affection, and tendered, as they well deserved, the enthu. siastic welcomes of the people. Public dinners, complimentary toasts, flattering addresses and fulsome speeches were profusely showered upon them; the newspaper press vied with the orators of the period in praises of the heroic deeds of our volunteer soldiery, while, as aspirants for office, all mere civilians had to stand aside and leave the track for the proud patrons of Mars, or be crushed in the result. Mere civil accomplishments or services will ever as nothing be in the average popular mind compared with the deeds heralded by the pomp and circumstance of glorious war. Tho Mexican war was such a wonderful lerer to office and political preferment that some envious Whigs, whose party had opposed it, took early occasion, it was said, to declare themselves in favor of the next war, whatever it might be for!
*Col. Forman brought home and presented to the State a 6-pound gun, now in the arsenal at Springfield, as a trophy from the Mexican battery in the battle of Cerro Gordo,stationed near Santa Anna's headquarters, which was taken by the Illinois troops shortly after the fall of Gen. Shields.
More Volunteers. In the meantime, the government having determined to raise 6,000 more troops, a call upon Illinois had been made for ten additional companies of infantry, or one regiment more, and one company of cavalry, by the secretary of war, W. L. Marcy, under date of April 19th, 1847. The enlistments were to be during the war; the other terms were the same as under previous calls; Alton was again designated as the place of rendezVOUS. Under date of April 27th, the commander-in-chief (Gov. French), by M. K. Anderson, adjutant general of the Illinois militia, issued his general orders calling for volunteers. In less than two weeks had not only the 11 companies reported and been accepted, but 8 more were tendered, which had to be rejected. Emulation never ran higher; expresses hurried to Springfield with the utmost dispatch to secure places on the list before it should be filled. The disappointment to those who were too late was most bitter.
The following were the accepted companies, which, under date of May 10th, were ordered to march to the place of rendezvous :
Company A, Clinton county, Thomas Bond, captain,
Company K, Pike county, W. Kipman, captain. The cavalry company was from Schuyler county, Adams Dun. lap being the captain.
The 5th Regiment of Illinois volunteers was organized of the foregoing companies, at Alton, June 8th, 1847. E. W. B. Newby of Brown county, was elected colonel; Henderson Boyakin, of Marion, lieutenant-colonel; and J. B. Donaldson, of Pike, major, excellent selections. The regiment took its departure by steam. boat 6 days later for Fort Leavenworth. Its destination was Santa Fe, whither it marched across the plains from Fort Leaven worth in the hottest part of the summer, the consequence being an unusual amount of sickness, traceable in great part to this exhaustive marzh. While the days were extremely warm, the nights were frequently very cold ; the troops greatly fatigued, would lie down of nights with their blood heated beyond a healthy standard; ere morning they would be chilled by the transition of the atmosphere; besides several times on the journey they were overtaken by severe storms, against which there was no shelter; thus the seeds of disease were sown and its virulence intensified. The measles had already appeared among them at Fort Leavenworth. By the first of December the loss of the battalion stationed at Santa Fe was reported at 68, of which 42 were by death.
In October, at Santa Fe, the regiment was divided into two battalious, the first, together with a battalion from a Missouri regiment, under Col. Newby, the senior officer, being ordered to move in an expedition south to El Paso. The 2á battalion, under Lient. Col. Boyakin, remained as a garrison at Santa Fe. The regiment saw no service in conflict with the enemy, the war by that time being virtually over. We will note, however, that these Illinois
ans were the first to organize a lodge of the Masonic order at the remote post of Santa Fe.
6th Regiment of Illinois volunteers. We have noted the fact that when in April a new call upon Illinois for ten companies of infantry and one of cavalry was made, that in less than two weeks time 19 offered, and still more continued to offer, not knowing that the 5th regiment was full. Much disappointment was felt at their rejection ; but their hope was speedily revived. Under date of May 20th, the secretary of war wrote to Gov. French: “Yielding to the earnest solicitations of the patriotic citizens of your State, the President has instructed me to request that your excellency will cause to be raised and rendezvoused at Alton another regi. ment of volunteer infantry.” The enlistments were to be for the same period and have the same organization as those of the 5th regiment, but its destination was Vera Cruz.
The organization of the surplus companies had been held intact until the President's pleasure in the premises could be ascertained Accordingly, when the requisition came to hand, Gov. French, on the very same day (May 29), notified the expectant companies of their acceptance; ordered them to the place of rendezvous to be mustered in, and the war department, two days later, that the companies were all organized and ready to march. The following are the companies of the 6th regiment:
Company A, of Madison county, Franklin Niles, captain Company B, Madison county, Edward W. Dill, captain. Company C, Fayette county, Harvey Lee, jr., captain. Company D, Greene county, John Bristow, captain. Company E, Macoupin county, Burrell Tetrick, captain. Company F, Cook county, James R. Hugupin, captain. Company G, Boone county, William Shepherd, captain. Company H. Will and Iroquois counties, G. Jenkins, captain. Company I, Jefferson county, James Bowman, captain. Company K, Jo Daviess county, C. L. Wright, captain. Company A, Captain Niles, was ordered into the 5th regiment, and Capt. Collins' company from Jo Daviess, took its place in the 6th.*
For colonel of the 6th regiment, Capt. Collins, of Jo Daviess, was elected, receiving 472 votes, to Capt. Wright of the same county 334; lieutenant-colonel, Capt. Hicks of Jefferson, received 448, to Lieut. Omlveny of Monroe, 379; for major, Lieut. Livington, of Jeffer. son, received 340; Capt. Shepherd, of Boone, 220; Capt. Lee, of Fayette, 142, and H. Hunter, 102.' Lieut. Fitch, of Greene, was appointed adjutant, W. G. Taylor quartermaster, and J. B. Hines sergeant-major. At New Orleans the 6th regiment was divided, the first battalion, companies A, D, E, F, H, being sent to Vera Cruz under the Col. Collins, and the ed in command of Lieut. Col. Hicks, to Tampico. The division caused no little dissatisfaction among the men. The 2d battalion saw no service other than garrison duty. The 1st arrived at Vera Cruz, August 31st, and after remaining in camp Bergara awhile, was ordered out on the national road and stationed at the San Juan Bridge. Here a skirmish with guerrillas was had, in which one private was killed and NOTE. Captains David C. Berry, James Burns, Ed. E. Harney and John Ewing also served in this regiment. The Roster in the Adjutant-General's Office, in giving the regim ents which served in the Mexican War is very imperfect and inaccurate. It gives the 5th regiment as the 1st. We have collated our facts from the press of the period.
two wounded. Col. Collins was very sick nearly all the time; indeed, more than the usual amount of sickness attended the wbole regiment. Reports were current in the press that one-fifth of its force, in five months after leaving camp at Alton, found a grave in Mexico, not from the foe, but by sickness. The 1st battalion lost 7 out of its 20 officers; and the battalion at Tampico, while it suffered as greatly in men, lost but one officer.
Under date of June 30, 1847, the Hon. R. W. Young, commissioner of the General Land Office at Washington, wrote that the Secretary of War consented to accept two more companies of cavalry from Illinois, which had been raised. Capt. William Prentice's to rendezvous as Gov. French direct, and Capt. W. B. Stapp's of Warren county, to rendezvous at Quincy, on horseback, and proceed thence to St. Louis by steam boat.*
The destination of these cavalry companies was Vera Cruz, to operate against the enemy's guerrilla parties, and keep open the roads from the gulf to the City of Mexico. Captain Lawler of Shawneetown, also raised a cavalry company; and to show the troublesomeness of this arm of the service, we will state that, owing to delays on the river-near 2 weeks being occupied in going to Baton Rouge-he was compelled at that point to land, rest and recruit his exhausted horses.
After his return, Col. E. D. Baker, in pursuance of his request, was authorized to raise a battalion of five companies from the veteran volunteers, recently returned. The battalion was not raised; the fall of the City of Mexico speedily followed, virtually ending the war, although the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was not made till February 2, 1848.
* See Mlinois State Register, July 8, 1847. Josiah Little also raised a cavalry company. He was commissioned Sept. 24, 1887.
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1847, AND SOME
THING OF THE ORGANIC LAW FRAMED BY IT.
After the violent political struggle of 1824 concerning the admission of slavery into the State, the question of calling a convention to revise or amend the first constitution was not again revived for a period of 18 years. At this time such was the hight of partisan feeling aroused against the supreme court in deciding the McClerpand-Field case against the wishes of the dominant party, and the unnecessary apprehension that the Galena alien case would also be decided against the wishes and interests of the democracy, involving a possible loss of its political supremacy in the State, that the legislature, at its session of 1840–1, passed a resolution recommending to the electors at the general election of 1842 to vote for or against the calling of a constitutional convention. But in the meantime the judiciary was reorganized by the addition of five judges to the supreme court, all democrats, to overbalance the whig judges. The democracy having by this act secured their political supremacy in every branch of the government, had no further use for a convention to remodel the constitution, and at the August election the resolution failed to carry, though the whig party, against whom it was originally aimed, ardently supported the call.
Still the insufficient limitations of the old constitution became more apparent from year to year, and in 1845 the legislature again passed a resolution recommending to the electors to vote for or against a constitutional convention at the ensuing general election of August, 1846. The democratic press this time urged the people to vote for the call of the convention, publishing the resolution to be voted for as a standing advertisement and part of the regular democratic ticket; but the whig press, if not opposed to the call, deeming, perhaps, that its espousal of the question might tend to defeat it, was totally silent upon the subject, and did not once direct the attention of the people to the importance of the measure. Being thus a democratic measure, the call prevailed.
In the passage of the act to provide for the meeting of the convention, the main question over which there was any considerable contest, was whether it should consist of as many members of the then general assembly, apportioned upon the population of 1840 (476,183), or whether the number should correspond to the new apportionment act of that session, based upon the census of 1845 (662,125). The contest was between the north and south parts of the State; the former, which had been benefited most by the immi