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POPULAR ARDOR. 115
Of course recruiting was suspended, but already the State had made a record. Pressing her claims to replenish the armies of the country upon a slow War Department over discouragements and rebuffs, she had sent to the field, not merely enlisted, more than 43,000 men besides the six months' regiments, and had, at the close of the year, in camps of instruction, 17,000 more. "During the month of December," says the Adjutant-General, "4160 more recruits were enlisted; all squads and parts of regiments were consolidated, and the 45th, 46th? 49th and 57th, were organized and mustered into service. The only incomplete regiments of infantry in the State, December 31st, were the 51st, Col. Cummings, at Camp Douglas; the 53d, Col. Cushman, at Ottawa; the 58th, Col. Lynch, at Camp Douglas; the 23d, Col. Mulligan, at Camp Douglas, reorganizing, and four regiments at Jonesboro', viz., 54th, 60th, 62d and 63d."
The people would have placed one hundred thousand men in the field between the surrender of Fort Sumter and the 31st of December, if the general government would have received them.
It is not claimed that Illinois was in advance of her sister states of the West in devotion to the country, but that she was their worthy compeer, yielding to none in patriotic regard and attesting her faith by her works, by the freely shed blood of her sons.
THE STATE AND THE ARMY.—61 TO 64.
The New Year—The Situation—Sober Views—The "Cause" To Perish—Carpet Knights—Ahead Op All Calls—Other Regiments—To Fill Old Regiments— Special Service—"washington In Danger"—A Time Of Gloom—Tender-footed Commanders—The Inevitable Negro—Fremont And Hunter—War In EarnEst—New Call—Governor's Proclamation—Letter To The President—The Old Score—No Draft—A Credit Declined—Two Years' Work—A Shock To State Pride—The Legislature Of 1863-4—Its Responsibilities—Governor's Recommendations—Neglect Of Grave Business—A Sudden Prorogation—" ProFane History "—A Better Record—Governor's Proclamation Feb. 5, 1864— Adjutant-general's Report Of Feb. 1, 1864.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE came, and peace was not restored, but seemed farther off than ever. Among the mountains of Virginia, along the Potomac, and the Southern seaboard, the bloody gage of battle had been tendered and accepted. In the West, the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers had been ablaze with camp fires, and their banks had echoed with the reverberations of musketry and artillery. The campaigns of 1861-2 had furnished enough of march, and battle, and incident to swell bulky octavos, but they were only introductory chapters to the real history. With the opening of the New Year the public mind began more clearly to understand that the Rebellion was a thing of gigantic dimensions, and almost infinite resources; that it could not be easily exhausted of men; that to starve it was not practicable; that it could command arms and munitions of war from neutral England; that the blockade could not yet prevent the exporting of cotton, and that a protracted and sanguinary war was upon the country. With this revelation there was the strengthened purpose to relax no effort, to spare no expenditure, to shun no sacrifice to maintain the perpetuity and integrity of the National Union, and to uphold the majesty THE PEOPLE VS. CARPET KNIGHTS. 117
of law. The temporary blockade of the Mississippi river had given the people a conception of the consequences to flow from its permanent occupancy by an unfriendly power. Steadily, too, was strengthening the public conviction that the war, commenced for the restoration of the Union, could only be made successful by the overthrow of its cause; that the real contest was between Freedom and Slavery; that after years of angry peace, they had entered the lists, sword in hand, visor down, with no master of ceremonies empowered to stay the combat, and that their strife was unto the death.
There had been, and at the opening of 1863 there still were, in the Union service, carpet knights, who acted as though their high commission was to keep watch lest slavery should receive damage in the fray, but the voice of an indignant people, and a gallant army, was demanding their displacement, and the employment of men sternly, terribly earnest in this work.
Illinois had, in 1861, placed at the service of the Government 15,000 more men than had been asked at her hands, and there was, at the beginning of January, 1862, but little prospect that others would be required, or, at the farthest, more than sufficient to keep full the decimated regiments already formed. But thousands were eoming forward, demanding to be admitted to the honors and dangers of the war for the Union.
"In January the 32d regiment, Col. John Logan; the 45th, Col. John V. Smith; the 64th, Lt. Col. D. Williams, infantry, and the 10th cavalry, Col. J. A. Barrett, were ordered to the field. In February, the 46th, Col. John A. Doris; 49th, Col. Wm, R. Morrison; 57th, Col. Silas D. Baldwin; 58th, Col. Wm. F. Lynch, and 61st, Col. Jacob Fry, infantry; 5th cavalry, Col. Wilson; 9th cavalry, Col. Brackett, and 13th cavalry, Col. Bell, and seven splendid batteries of light artillery followed, commanded by Captains Sparstrow, Stienbeck, Keith, Rogers, Waterhouse,Silversparre and Bouton. The most of these troops reached the field in time to join our old regiments, and with them to participate in the battle of Ft. Donelson on the 15th and 16th of February."—Adjutant-General*$ Report.
On the 16th of February Ft. Donelson was surrendered to the Federal troops, and ten thousand prisoners of war sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago, and Camp Butler, Springfield. To guard those at the former place were detailed the 23d, 53d and 65th infantry, and two or three artillery companies, and for the latter the 12tn cavalry, then at Camp Douglas, was ordered to Camp Butler, with two companies of artillery.
In March the 53d, 56th and 60th infantry, and the batteries of Captains Bouton, Cheeney and Coggswell, took the field, and were followed in April by the 62d and 63d infantry, leaving in the State for guard duty only the 65th, now fully organized, the 23d, now completely reorganized, the 12th cavalry and Phillips' battery.
Recruiting was virtually suspended on the 3d of April, 1862, but on the 1st of May the Adjutant-General, at Washington, announced that "upon requisitions made by commanders in the field, authority will be given by the War Department, to the Governors of the respective States, to recruit for regiments now in the service." The ensuing day General Halleck made the following requisition:
"head-quarters Department Of The Mississippi,)
"His Excellency, Richard Yates, Governor of Illinois, Springfield:
"Governor—I am authorized to call upon you for recruits to fill up the volunteer regiments from your State in this army.
"Many of these have been reduced, by disease and recent battles, very far below the minimum standard. A detail from such regiments will soon be sent to you for recruiting service, and it is to be hoped that you will give the matter your immediate attention.
"Very respectfully, your ob't serv't,
"H. W. Halleck, "Major-Gen'l Commanding."
Enlisting for old regiments was always difficult compared with the formation of new ones, and the aggregate of such troops from January 1st to December 22, 1862, was only 3,121.
On the 17th of May the State was called upon to furnish one regiment of infantry for special service. On the 25th Governor Yates received a dispatch from Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War, stating thai, the enemy, in great force, was marching upon Washington, and desiring him to organize and send forward all the volunteer and militia force of the State. Two days subsequently the call was revoked, but under it the following three months' regiments were organized and in camp in two weeks: The 67th, Col. Hough; the 68th, Col. Stuart; the 69th, Col. Tucker; the 70th, Col. Reeves; the 71st,Ool.
THE NEGRO. 119
Gilbert, with Phillips' battery. With the exception of the 71st, these remained on guard duty in the State.
The 23d, Col. Mulligan, and Rourke's Battery, left for Annapolis, June 12th; the 65th, Col. Cameron, June 21st; the 12th cavalry, June 27th; the 68th, July 6th; Phillips' Battery, July 12th, and the 71st, for Columbus, July 27th.
The military situation of the country was far from encouraging. There had been magnificent victories in the West, but the Grand Army of the Potomac, after sitting down before Yorktown until the enemy saw fit to evacuate it, had made the memorable James-RiverChickahominy campaign, and fought indomitably at Mechanicsyille, Gaines' Hill, Savage Station and Malvern Hill, and had seemed to open the way into Richmond, but to the grief and disappointment of the American people, had fallen back until resting at Harrison's Landing, leaving thousands in their graves, and for what?
Before Corinth the victors of Donelson and Shiloh had waited and waited, until their foemen had evacuated and left them a barren success, and the disappointed people chafed under the vexation.
The course of not a few commanders in our army had added to this feeling. Our soldiers felt all the privations of war, but it appeared to be the purpose of some in high authority that none of its horrors should fall upon rebels. The property of notorious secessionists was carefully guarded; their property was safe. Their slaves were restored by men in the uniform of the country. The slaves, who alone could be depended upon in the enemy's country, and who have never betrayed Union soldiers, were forbidden to come within our lines, and for want of the information they could have given, disaster came. The status of the slave confronted each Department commander, and forced itself upon the attention of each victorious General. Here they were cultivating the estates of notorious rebels in arms; there they were captured with their masters. What shall be done with the negro? was the perplexing question, which found various answers. For a time the country floundered on without a manifest policy; meanwhile our brave men were dying in trenches, over-worked, doing what might have been done by freedmen wrested from traitors. This was not to last forever. In spite of passion and party and prejudice, a change was to come.