« AnteriorContinuar »
officers, or in their absence, the three ranking officers of each regi ment of infantry or cavalry, and three highest commissioned officers, or those acting in their places, of each battery of artillery, or each company or squadron of infantry or cavalry on detached service, might be made the inspectors of the election, with power to appoint the proper person clerk of the election, so that the vote may be taken on the day fixed by the Constitution."
The message also asked the attention of the Legislature to the Sanitary Bureau; to the erection of a hospital or soldiers' home; to the question of liberal bounties to volunteers, especially that some measures be adopted "to refund to the counties the bounties which they so generously paid to their soldiers, or in some equitable mode to relieve them, pro tanto, of the amount^ required to be raised towards this object," and that the General assembly should, to quote from the message, "send its potent voice to Congress, demanding an increase of pay to the private soldier. His present pay is only $13 per month, or $156 per year, a sum totally insufficient to support him and his family at the present high rate of every article of fam^ ily consumption, at least fifty per cent, higher now than when the war commenced. Thirteen dollars per month is no better pay now than seven dollars would have been two years since. It will be economy to the Government to increase the pay, or desertions, already numerous, will become still more so. No soldier can bear the thought that his wife and children are in destitution and suffering. I recommend a strong appeal by this General Assembly to Congress, for this important and humane object"
Bui other topics engrossed the majority. There were other objects to be secured. Extreme parliamentary stratagems were required to prevent the adoption of legislation which, had it been formerly enacted, would have blasted the fair fame of the State forever.
In June, 1863, a disagreement having occurred between the two Houses, as to the time of final adjournment, the Governor availed himself of a power, lodged in his hands by the Constitution, and prorogued the General Assembly to the 31st day of December, 1864, the day when its legal existence would terminate bylaw. The blow fell like a thunderbolt, and the startled representatives found them
PROCLAMATION OF FEB. THE FOXJETH. 131
selves adrift. We sadly fear that the army in Flanders was completely outdone in the use of explosives. To write literally the remarks of some of the honorables, were to render this a very "profane history."
But there is a State record for 1863-4 of honor, namely that of the people and the gallantry of the citizen soldiery. We present the Governor's Proclamation of February 5, 1864, with copious extracts from the report of Adjutant-General Fuller of February 1, 1864, bringing down the history of the State responses to the calls of Government, to October 1, 1863, and it will be seen that all that was asked had been freely given:
"executive Department, ) "Springfield, Iii., February 4,1864. J
"To the People of Illinois:
"It is with feelings of the profoundest satisfaction that I announce to you the number of men which Illinois has contributed to the armies of the Union from the commencement of the rebellion to the present time.
"Our contingent of volunteers under the calls of the President:
"In 1861 was 47,785
"In 1862 was 32,685
"In 1863 was 64,680
"Total quotas tinder all calls 145,100
"The last call was made October 17,1863, and the State had furnished and been credited one hundred and twenty-five thousand three hundred and twenty-one (125,321) men—a surplus of eight thousand one hundred and fifty-one (8,151), over all other calls to be credited to our contingent for that call, and which reduced it to 19,779 men, with still other credits claimed, but not fully adjusted because of imperfect record in case of citizens, and in some instances whole companies of Illinoisans, who had entered the regiments of other States at times when our quotas under given calls were entirely full, and because of which, their services I was reluctantly compelled to
decline. "In the volunteer regiments from the State of Missouri 6,032 citizens of Illinois, were enrolled and mustered, and in Illinois regiments there have been 1,659 residents of the State of Missouri enlisted; which leaves, as between the States, a credit of 4,273 in favor of Illinois.
"After an adjustment of credit of 125,321 atandpriorto October last, from more careful examination of the rolls and returns from the field, it was ascertained that we were entitled to an additional credit of 10,947, which increased the number enrolled in our own regiments, and for which we were entitled to credit prior to last call, to 136,238, leaving the whole account thus:
''Quotas under all calls 145,100
"Credits for enlistments in Illinois regiments 136,268
"Balance in Missouri regiments ,. * 4,373—140,641
"Total Balance due the Government under last call 4,459
"Besides the foregoing, the State claims an unadjusted balance of 3,264 for volunteers furnished prior to October 1, 1863, which I doubt not will soon be credited by the War Department.
"Independent of the last mentioned figures, and exclusive of old regiments re-enlisting as veterans, our quota on the first day of Jan uary was more than filled, as evidenced by rolls returned since the last call.
"In other words, the State of Illinois, having under every call exceeded her quota by the voluntarily demonstrated patriotism of her people, was not, on the first day of January last, or at any other time, liable to Draft.
"That this information has not been communicated to the public sooner is fully explained in the uncertainty which has existed as to the credits, which would be allowed by the War Department, the unadjusted account between our own and neighboring States of the volunteers of the one enlisted in the regiments of the other, and the incomplete returns of the new recruits enlisted just prior to and about the first day of January, 1864.
"Thus it will be seen that Illinois alone, of all the loyal States of the Union, furnishes the proud record of not only having escaped the draft, without credit for her old regiments, but of starting under the new call with her quota largely diminished, by the credit to which she is entitled by thousands of veterans already re-enlisted.
PROCLAMATION OF FEB. THE FOURTH. 133
"This is only an additional chapter to the fame of our noble State, promptly and patriotically responding to every call of the Government for men—and men, too, whose valor, endurance, prompt obedience, noble daring and brilliant achievements are unsurpassed by those of any State in the Union.
"I cannot forbear to refer specially to the cheerful re-enlistment of our old regiments. Those so designated are the regiments of infantry numbered the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th—organized under the call of the President, of April 15, 1861, for 75,000 three months' volunteers, and were the first in the field—and reorganized in July and August, 1861, for three years' service—the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th regiments, which were first organized under provisions of an act passed by an extraordinary session of the General Assembly of Illinois, convened April 23, 1861, in anticipation of future calls of the Government for troops, and which organizations were preserved intact in State camps until the latter part of that month, and mustered into the United States service as organized under the law referred to. All the other mentioned regiments „ were organized in pursuance of the calls of the President and orders of the War Department, based on the laws of Congress of that year.
"The infantry regiments at the the time of organization, and since, have contained 38,173, and the cavalry 7,477; aggregate 45,650 men, and now comprise:
"THE VETERAN ROLL OF HONOR OF ILLINOIS.
"The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th; 26th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32d, 33d, 34th, 36th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 43d, 44th, 45th, 46th, 48th, 49th, 50th, 52d, 53d, 54th, 57th, 58th, 62d, 64th and 66th infantry; 2d, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th cavalry.
"The old regiments not yet reported as having re-enlisted are the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d, 23d, 24th, 25th, 27th, 35th, 37th, 38th, 42d, 47th, 51st, 55th, 56th, 59th, 60th, 61st, 63d, 65th regiments of infantry, and the 3d, 5th, 6th, 7th and 11th regiments of cavalry, and the 1st and 2d regiments of artillery.
"Total number of old regiments organized for three years' service:
"Aggregate * 71 "Number of regiments re-enlisted as veterans:
"The order for re-enlistment of veteran volunteers, issued on the 11th day of September, 1863, and the rapidity with which they have responded, is a striking evidence of the attachment to the service, and the esteem and respect which our general, field, staff and line officers have inspired in the ranks of our invincible armies, and above all, the appreciation they have of the magnitude of the issue at stake. The most cheering intelligence is also received from the regiments not officially reported as re-enlisted. They are all made of the same invincible material, and I doubt not, that every regiment will retain its number, and soon wheel gloriously into the veteran line.
"Though absent for years from their homes and everything held most sacred and dear, and exposed to untried, rigid discipline, and dangers of every kind, decimated by disease and death on the battle field, these veterans return with their old banners, which they have borne aloft amid shot and shell, and the cloud and smoke of many victorious battle fields, to receive the welcome and congratulations of their loyal countrymen, and for only a brief furlough to enjoy the sweets of home and friends, again to return to meet the foe and fight on until the last rebel shall have laid down his arms, and the rightful authority of the Government shall be restored over every inch of American soil. They have come in contact with the enemy, and know better than the philosopher at home that the rights of man and the power of the Government can now only be secured by sword and cannon. Their devotion to country is full of sublimity, not surpassed by that of the veterans of the ancient Republics, whose patriotism and deeds of valor have been the themes for song and eloquence for over a thousand years. Can the proudest page of history point to a nation whose army has participated in more battle fields than the veteran soldiers of Illinois? At Boonville, Carthage, Wilson's Creek, Fredericktown, Lexington, Belmont, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, New Madrid, Island No. 10, Shiloh, Farmington, Britton's Lane, Iuka, Corinth, Hatchie, Parker's Cross Roads, Prairie Grove, Coffeeville, Chicksaw Bayou, Arl^an