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Reminiscences of Chicago 
During the Civil War 


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of Chicago During the 

Civil War 






" ATAHIS year's volume of The Lakeside 
Classics continues the printing of mate- 
rial bearing upon Chicago's history. It 
has not been the purpose to publish in serial 
form a complete history of Chicago, but rather 
to give to the reader brief, intimate glimpses 
of life in Chicago during its various stages 
of development, leaving the consecutive and 
complete relation to the serious historian. 
JVThis year the subject matter has been drawn 
from the days immediately preceding, and 
during the early part of the Civil War. To-day 
the minds of all of us are filled with the terrible 
cataclysm of the European War; the years of 
plotting and counterplotting of diplomats, so 
-t$ that none of us can say with authority what 
v\ are its real causes, except that they are sordid; 
and the cruel preparedness that resulted in a 
great battle within a week of the declaration 
of war. The following pages will bring to our 
minds, by contrast, how clearly the Civil War 
was the spontaneous uprising of a people to a 
great moral issue, and why, through the abso- 
S lute lack of a military spirit or preparedness it 
-? . took four years to weld clerks and workingmen 
""* and farmers and school boys into a victorious 
army. Nor do many of us of the present gen- 



eration realize how large a party of outspoken 
opposition the President had to fight through- 
out the North. The fact that in spite of it 
the war was carried through to a conclusion, 
which all now admit was to the advancement 
of human rights, ought to be a lesson (if 
anyone will ever learn wisdom from others' ex- 
perience) that free speech even in times of 
national peril never crushes, but often advances 
and makes more readily accepted the truth. 

The publishers are under great obligation to 
Mr. Ogden T. McClurg for allowing them to 
print that portion of the unpublished memoirs 
of his father, General Alexander C. McClurg, 
of the Civil War, which bears upon the recruit- 
ing of his company in Chicago. 

The balance of the articles have all appeared 
in print before, either in books, pamphlets, or 
newspapers, but have been collected and sifted 
out by the intelligent and diligent efforts of 
the editor, Miss Mabel Mcllvaine. 

It hardly seems necessary to mention once 
more that, as in past years, the book is the 
product of the boys in the School for Appren- 
tices of The Lakeside Press, which is now in 
its seventh year. The little volume goes forth 
as a messenger of Christmas good wishes to 
the friends and patrons of 






A Bird's-eye View of Chicago in the Civil 
War, by Frederick Francis Cook; re- 
printed from "Bygone Days in Chicago," 
by courtesy of A. C. McClurg & Co. 


Paper read at a meeting of the Survivors 
of the United States Zouave Cadets, by 
Henry H. Miller, at the residence of 
Colonel Edwin L. Brand, 1918 Michigan ' 


Report of the Republican Convention, of 
1860 by Dr. Humphrey H. Hood, in 
The Free Press of Hillsboro, Illinois. 
From the Transactions of the Illinois 
Historical Society. 


The Cairo Expedition, and the obtaining of 
arms for the Illinois troops. Paper read 
before the Chicago Historical Society, 
by Augustus Harris Burley, at its annual 
meeting, 1890. 

Extract from "The Story of My Life," by 
Mary A. Livermore. 



Extract from The Chicago Tribune, Tues- 
day, April 23, 1 86 1. 


An Untold Chapter in Evanston's History, 
as related by General John A. Page, who 
at .the outbreak of the Civil War was a 
student in Northwestern University. 

Extract from the unpublished memoir of 
General Alexander C. McClurg. 


Reprinted from"Bygone Days in Chicago," 
by Frederick Francis Cook, by courtesy 
of A. C. McClurg & Co. 


Paper read before the Chicago Historical 
Society by William Bross, June 18, 1878. 




If we were compiling a book on the Civil 
War in Chicago, we should have to begin with 
the Underground Railroad, the passage of John 
Brown through the city under safe conduct of 
Allen Pinkerton, and the like, with a full roll- 
call of all the splendid array of troops that 
went forth from the city. But since we are 
not thinking so much about war as about the 
life in Chicago during the war, we have taken 
the liberty of speaking of things warlike and 
un warlike. 

"This war," said The London Times, of 
November 3, 1863, "has brought the levity 
of the American character out in bold relief. 
There is something saddening, indeed revolting, 
in the high glee, real or affected, with which 
the people here look upon what ought to be, 
at any rate, a grievous national calamity." 
With unfeeling "levity" The Chicago Tribune 
on October 8th of the same year had remarked 
that: "On every street and avenue one sees 
new buildings going up, immense stone, brick, 
and iron business blocks, marble palaces, and 
new residences everywhere; the grading of 
streets, the building of sewers, and laying of 
water and gas pipes are all in progress at the 
same time. The unmistakable signs of active, 


thriving trade are everywhere manifest, not at 
any particular point, but everywhere throughout 
the city, where the enterprise of man can gain 
a foothold. ' ' The population of Chicago went 
up from 109,000 to 178,000 during the four 
years of the war, and other signs of "levity" 
were the popularity of grand opera, of such 
actors as Booth, Forrest, Hackett, and Laura 
Keene, not to say Tom Thumb and Wood's 
Museum. In private life tableaux vivants 
were much in vogue, together with photograph 
albums, flower shows, croquet, ice-skating, New 
Year's calls, and other frivolities. 

Before engaging in battle, we are told, it is 
customary to take an observation from some 
elevated point, and this is afforded in the 
"Bird's Eye View of Chicago," extracted 
from Mr. Frederick Francis Cook's Bygone 
Days in Chicago. Mr. Cook enjoyed the 
triple advantage, during war time, of living 
in Chicago, of being a newspaper reporter, and 
of working first on The Journal, then on The 
Times, and then on The Tribune. He gained 
an all-round grasp of feeling and facts, and 
when, some years since, he came back to 
Chicago, and, with the help of the Chicago 
Historical Society, reviewed the period, he was 
able to make a book which the native Chica- 
goan, even of a later generation, recognizes as 
true to the "hard facts," and something more. 

Chicago, as we have seen, was not at all a 
militant city at the time the war began, and yet 


she has the credit of contributing the most 
highly drilled corps of men in the country, as 
tested by actual competition the Ellsworth 
Zouaves to the resources of the army. 
Elmer E. Ellsworth, although of good family 
connections in New York, was rather an 
obscure young man until a few years before 
the war, when, without any knowledge of what 
was coming, he set to work to bring to a higher 
state of perfection the manual and accoutre- 
ments of a small militia company in Chicago. 
To Major Henry H. Miller, of Steamboat 
Springs, Colo., late of the 7/th Illinois, 
Company A, we are indebted for what seems to 
be the most complete account of the Ellsworth 
Zouaves and their great "tour" of the country 
available. The Chicago Historical Society pos- 
sesses the blue and gold banner which they were 
awarded on their return, the "Manual of Arms' ' 
which Ellsworth devised, and many pictures 
and letters connected with him. Shortly before 
the war Ellsworth had gone to study law in 
Lincoln's office, accompanied him to Wash- 
ington, drilled the New York Fire Zouaves, 
and, at the outbreak of the war, was the first 
officer to be killed, literally for the flag. It 
would seem that his life was thrown away, 
that he really had no part in the war. But in 
Chicago he had established a standard of 
rectitude coupled with athletics which the 
succeeding generations have felt to be unique, 
and his men, dispersed throughout the army, 


had an influence as drill-masters which was 

"Our government rests in public opinion. 
Whoever can change public opinion can change 
the government practically so much. Public 
opinion on any subject always has a 'central 
idea' from which all its minor thoughts radiate. 
That 'central idea' in our political opinion at 
the beginning was, and until recently has con- 
tinued to be, 'the equality of man.' Let 
bygones be bygones; let party differences as 
nothing be; and with a steady eye on the real 
issue, let us reinaugurate the good old 'central 
idea' of the republic. We can do it. The 
human heart is with us; God is with us." No 
need to tell the reader whose voice it is that 
speaks in these words. Five years before the 
war, at the Republican banquet in Chicago 
following the presidential campaign, December 
10, 1856, Abraham Lincoln thus expressed the 
political creed from which he never departed. 
Had his fellow countrymen all been able to 
reach the same opinion at that time there had 
been no Civil War. By the debates with 
Douglas, Lincoln further sought to educate 
public opinion, and by the time of his election 
had succeeded at least in converting his bitterest 
opponent, the "Little Giant" of Chicago, and 
in gaining the franchise of the majority. The 
classic account of the Chicago Republican 
Convention of i860, by which Abraham Lincoln 
was nominated to the presidency, is that of his 

friend and law associate, Isaac N. Arnold of 
Chicago, but for our purposes we have chosen 
that of Dr. Humphrey H. Hood, a down-state 
abolitionist, as Lincoln was, and through whose 
honest countryman's eyes we see with 
wondering delight all the glories of the 
"Wigwam." Dr. Hood was afterward surgeon 
in the n/th Illinois Volunteers, and in the 3rd 
U. S. Heavy Artillery. His convention story 
was published in The Hillsboro Free Press, now 
known as The News Monitor, of Litchfield, 
where Dr. Hood lived until his death in 1903. 
Lincoln, although residing at Springfield, was 
a frequent visitor in Chicago, and only a 
month before his nomination came up as one 
of the counsel in the "Sandbar Case," involv- 
ing the ownership of accretions of land on the 
Lake Front. Again, before starting for Wash- 
ington as President-elect, he met by appoint- 
ment in Chicago, the Vice-President-elect 
Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, with whom he had 
never before spoken, and, with his help, 
selected the Cabinet for the momentous 

The first move on the chessboard of the 
war in the West was the expedition to Cairo, 
the first armed force going from Chicago, and 
firing the first shot. The purpose of the ex- 
pedition was to gain control of the junction of 
the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, which con- 
verge at Cairo, and prevent the cutting off 
of communication with the Northwest, as well 


as to avert an invasion from the Confederate 
States. Mr. Augustus Harris Burley of Chi- 
cago, author of The Cairo Expedition, which, 
with the permission* of the Chicago Historical 
Society, we are reprinting, was the head of 
the war committee appointed to raise and 
administer funds for the expedition. He was 
afterwards a member of the Union Defence 
Committee. Treasurer and a trustee of the 
Historical Society almost from its organization 
in 1856, his paper, read before the Society in 
1890, is of the utmost authority. Gen. John 
A. Page of Evanston, one of the "boys" 
who went from the campus of Northwestern 
University to the mud-banks of "Darkest 
Egypt," and who ended by becoming an officer 
in the 3rd U. S. Army Corps, recently con- 
tributed to The Evanston Daily News an 
account of his experiences, and we are giving 
them here, with regret that we cannot also 
include those of Dr. Allen W. Gray of 
Chicago, who also went from Northwestern, 
so precipitately as to forget to say good-bye to 
his sweetheart. Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, in 
her Story of My Life, has given a graphic 
picture of the pulling out of the first train of 
troops, and we all know what she did after- 
ward in the work of the Sanitary Commission 
of the Northwest. 

Time and space would fail us to tell of all 
the other brave bands, such as the Highland 
Guards, the Mulligan Guards, the Lincoln 


Rifles, the Sturges Rifles, Taylor's Battery, 
the Hecker Regiment, etc.; but a glimpse, as 
in a moving picture, is afforded by an account 
in The Chicago Tribune of April 23, 1 86 1, of 
Chicago during mobilization. 

In one of the niches of the Chicago Histori- 
cal Society's ," Hall of Fame" repose a blue 
broadcloth coat, a sword, and a book, together 
with the portrait of a slender, erect man, with 
a glance like a flash of steel. The coat, white- 
vested, and rather elegant in outline, is accom- 
panied with the statement that it was worn by 
Alexander C. McClurg when colonel of a 
regiment at the battle of Chickamauga. On 
the sword is the inscription: "Presented to 
Capt. A. C. McClurg of Co. H., 88. Regt. 111. 
Vol., by Friends in Chicago, Aug. 27, 1862," 
followed by a formidable list of battles, begin- 
ning with Perry ville, Missionary Ridge, Chatta- 
nooga, etc., and ending with the March to the 
Sea, Savannah, and Bentonville. The book 
is a copy of Palgrave's Golden Treasury of 
Song, bound with all the magnificence of which 
Cobden-Sanderson is capable, and accompanied 
with a statement of Gen. McClurg's own, 
that " For three years this little book was con- 
stantantly 'at the front.'" These objects tell 
the tale of the poetry-loving lad, snatched 
away from a Chicago bookstore as captain of 
a regiment, and later rising through the ranks 
of the army to that of brigadier-general, to 
emerge, not a military man, but a book lover, 


as before with an added alertness to be- 
come head of one of the largest book stores 
and publishing houses in the country. For 
the benefit of his family he faithfully kept a 
diary throughout the war, and subsequently 
prepared a manuscript memoir, from which we 
have published that portion which deals with 
his enlistment and the organization of his 
company. A member of the original company 
when it stood guard over the remains of 
Douglas, Commander Horatio L. Wait in 
his Diary concerning his experiences in the 
U. S. Navy, has a list showing that a large 
proportion of this company became officers in 
other corps, and several, General McClurg and 
himself among them, President of the Chicago 
Literary Club. 

Finally, following the article on The Sup- 
pression of the Times, already alluded to, we 
have the History of Camp Douglas, first read 
before the Chicago Historical Society on June 
1 8, 1878, by our old friend, "Deacon Bross," 
ex-Lieutenant-Governor of Illinois, patriot, 
public-minded citizen, but unmitigated hater 
of "Copperheads." If it were consistent 
with truth, we should like to omit the history 
of any prison from our annals. But since 
Camp Douglas was an important recruiting 
station, as well as probably the largest of the 
Northern prison camps, and since it was an 
integral part of Chicago life in the sixties, we 
include it, with apologies to the gentler sensi- 


bilities of the present generation, which may 
be shocked at the expressions of the good 
deacon, such as "venomous copperheads," 
"malignant reptiles," etc. all a part of the 
free speech of his time, though not indulged 
in by all Northerners. If by such means as 
this we of this generation may gain a glimpse 
of what we have escaped, we shall have learned 
something from this little volume. But at this 
Christmas season and in the present state of 
the world's history making, it were well if we 
might also learn the larger lesson that Lincoln 
tried to teach of "Malice toward none, with 
charity for all." 



Reminiscences of Chicago 
' During the Civil War 

Chicago in ti&e Ctoil 

[A Bird's-eye View of Chicago in the Civil War, 
by Frederick Francis Cook; reprinted from his 
"Bygone Days in Chicago," by courtesy of 
A. C. McClurg & Co.] 

IN 1862, the year of my arrival, Chicago 
had an estimated population of 120,000, 
distributed among its three divisions, both 
as to character and numbers, in about the same 
proportion as are to-day its approximately 
2,500,000 inhabitants. The south division 
remains what it was then, the business center; 
but where now are several distinct foci in the 
general maelstrom, each comparable to the 
original nucleus, and sufficiently specialized to 
admit of geographical demarcation, the Court 
House in those days brooked no rivals. With 
its aspiring cupola, it so dominated the town 
that none could help looking up to it as some- 
thing superior and apart being, in fact, the 
only really tall object in sight, except when 
"Long John" happened to be taking an airing. 
If you wanted a hack you went to the Court 
House Square for it; and it was nearly the 
same if you were looking for a policeman, for 
several could generally be found hanging about 
there to prevent rival hackmen from murdering 
each other, or a combination of the pestiferous 

$eminicente of Chicago 

crew from doing a stranger to death, both 
\ being not infrequent happenings. Anywhere 
else a policeman was seldom seen outside of 
saloons. But, frankly, what better could one 
expect of men content to wear leather shields 
as insignia of authority? In those days the 
force was under a marshal, and that function- 
ary was a mere satrap of the Mayor. Accord- 
ingly, in 1857, when "Long John" came to 
the head of affairs, being determined that the 
"copper" should not get above his business, 
he put the adage, "there is nothing like 
leather," to a practical test. Most people 
are aware that both "bobby" and "peeler," 
as slang for "policeman," date from Sir Robert 
Peel's ministry. But it is not so generally 
known that "copper," as another apithet of 
derision, is claimed to date from the mayor- 
alty of John C. Haines, once somewhat widely 
known as "Copper-stock" Haines (because of 
some transaction in that metal), and hence its 
variants ' 'cop, ' ' ' 'fly-cop, ' 'and ' 'sparrow-cop. ' ' 
In a way, also, the Court House was every- 
body's monitor and guide. It told you when 
to rise, when to eat your dinner, when to 
knock off work, when to jubilate, when to 
mourn, and, above all, it helped you to locate 
fires; for the clang of its great bell could be 
heard in almost every part of the town. Aye, 
how it rang paeans of victory for Donelson, for 
Vicksburg, and Gettysburg, and finally for 
Richmond, when that stronghold fell! And 

Chicago in tljc Ml War 

how its slow, solemn monotone voiced the 
anguish of all hearts, when the body of the 
slain Lincoln was borne through the shrouded 
streets of the mourning city, to rest for a day 
and a night beneath the dome of the city's 
capitol, that a stricken people might once more 
look upon the transfigured face of their be- 
loved dead! And, finally, how it clanged, and 
clanged, and clanged again, on that fearful 
night of fire, each stroke heightening the terror 
that possessed the fleeing multitude, while the 
"fiend" that lashed the elements to such 
boundless fury, compelled it to sound its own 
death knell. 

In 1862, the Court House Square was sur- 
rounded by an oddly assorted architectural 
hodgepodge, strikingly typical of the various 
stages of the city's development, from the primi- 
tive "frame" of the thirties, to the new, six- 
storied marble Sherman House, at this time the 
finest building in the city, as well as one of the 
best appointed hotels in the country. Because 
of the panic of 1857, and the subsequent war, 
the Chicago of this period represents a status 
quo of nearly a full decade. Thereafter, from 
1865, down to the time of the fire, the city 
was in an exceptional state of flux, and so 
much of the dilapidation of former days dis- 
appeared, that it was in quite a large way a 
comparatively new downtown Chicago that 
was destroyed on October 9, 1871. 

Where Washington Street bounds the Court 

itcmmiscencciJ of Chicago 

House Square (then enclosed by a high iron 
fence), there remained down to 1864 nearly a 
a block of original prairie, a dozen feet below 
the plank sidewalk; and when, in 1863, the 
plot was tenanted by a winter circus, its patrons 
descended to their seats as into a cellar. 
When, in the middle sixties, the building boom 
set in, Smith & Nixon erected on the site 
now occupied by the Chicago Opera House, 
a fine Music Hall, which was opened, if I am 
not mistaken, with a concert by Gottschalk. 
Among other events I recall as taking place 
therein was a state billiard tournament, wherein 
Tom Foley, the veritable stand-by of to-day, 
won the State championship, a circumstance 
which throws a calcium light on the status of 
the game at that period; a concert by "Blind 
Tom"; and a lecture by William Lloyd Garri- 
son, on "Reconstruction." 

In marked contrast to the vacant plot, and 
neighboring it on the corner of La Salle Street, 
stood one of the tallest steepled churches in 
the city, the First Baptist. This, in 1864, 
was taken down bit by bit and reconstructed 
on its present site, Morgan and Monroe streets, 
there becoming the Second Baptist. In its 
place rose Chicago's first fine Chamber of 
Commerce, to be followed after the fire by a 
second trade-temple of similar dimensions, only 
the outer walls of which now remain, as the 
substructure to a skyscraper. 

The southwest corner, across La Salle 

Chicago in tfje Citoil 

Street from the Baptist Church, calls for special 
mention. It was at this time occupied by a 
brick building of two stories and basement, 
among the first dwellings of that material 
erected in Chicago. It was originally the home 
of P. F. W. Peck, and before it was demol- 
ished, about 1867, after a somewhat checkered 
existence, it had been some years the head- 
quarters of the police department, with a 
calaboose in the basement. 

The old landmark was succeeded by one of 
the finest buildings in the city, with the Union 
National Bank for its chief tenant. After the 
fire the bank was temporarily domiciled at the 
northwest corner of Market and Madison 
streets, which one-sided locality with Field, 
Leiter & Co.'s establishment, both wholesale 
and retail, on the northeast corner, and the 
Board of Trade opposite became for a time 
the business focus of the city. Within a year 
or so, the old Peck residence site was rehabili- 
tated with an even more substantial building 
than the one destroyed; and so this intersection, 
when the Chamber of Commerce had been 
rebuilt, became once again the city's chief 
business center. In addition to the Union 
National Bank, then the leading financial insti- 
tution in the West, the new building accommo- 
dated the Western Union Telegraph Company, 
the Associated Press, the Western Army Head- 
quarters (in charge of General Philip Sheridan), 
another bank, and many important interests 



besides. Nevertheless, though of goodly size, 
this structure was in 1893 ruthlessly razed to 
give place to the present Stock Exchange 
building. Thus, in its various stages, this 
corner has been pre-eminently typical of the 
city's vicissitudes and progress; while the fre- 
quent changes in its physical aspect emphasize 
the difficulties of the chronicler in undertaking 
to reproduce with certitude any particular 
epoch in the city's physical history. 

Besides the Sherman House and the Baptist 
Church, almost the only other salient feature 
on the four fronts facing the Square was the 
Larmon Block of four stories, on the northeast 
corner of Washington and Clark streets, hav- 
ing for its tenant on the upper floor Bryant 
& Stratton's Business College, a fact that 
was announced to the wayfarer by a sign so 
conspicuous as almost to belittle the Court 
House dome as an object of attention. The 
ground floor was occupied by J. T. & E. M. 
Edwards, jewelers; Julius Bauer, pianos; 
J. M. Loomis, hatter; Root & Cady's music 
store, and Buck & Raynor's drug store. Others 
on Clark Street facing the Square, and run- 
ning north in the order noted, were: Ambrose 
& Jackson (colored), caterers; Bryan Hall 
entrance; George Tolle, surgical instruments; 
E. J. Hopson, millinery; "Anderson's" (a 
restaurant presided over by John Wright, who 
a few years later opened in Crosby's Opera 
House the first really "swell" resort in the 

Chicago in rlic Citoil 

city); "Campbell's," hair jewelry; J. Gray, 
wigs; E. A. Jessell, auctioneer (a "Peter 
Funk," if ever there was one); while on the 
corner of Randolph there lingered a senile 
frame construction, in color a dirty yellow, on 
the second floor of which Carter H. Harrison, 
Sr., along with other luminaries, devoted him- 
self to the acquisition and exudation of lore 
more or less legal. 

On Randolph Street, corner of La Salle, 
stood a four-story brick, and all the rest of the 
block between that and the Sherman House 
presented a depressed line of two-story tumble- 
down frames, dating from the thirties, the 
street floors devoted to free-lunch resorts, 
while the second stories were polluted by so- 
called "justice" offices, and their "shyster" 

In general it may be said that only the Clark 
Street frontage of the four sides of the Square 
was in touch with business all the rest being 
as much out of it as the unsettled prairie. 
The La Salle Street side was made up largely 
of forsaken residences; and it was not until 
several years later, when the Chamber of Com- 
merce was established at Washington and 
La Salle, that the region thereabout came into 
demand for business purposes though when 
it did, it jumped at one bound into the front 

The Metropolitan Block, on the northwest 
corner of La Salle and Randolph streets, was 

of Chicago 

a somewhat notable landmark. Metropolitan 
Hall on its third or upper floor, was prior to 
the building of Bryan Hall (about 1860) for 
many years the most capacious place of 
assembly in the city, and many notabilities, 
not only of national but international fame, had 
attracted crowds within its walls. Often it 
was decked and garlanded for fairs and balls; 
and it was here (not so very long before the big 
fire in which he lost his life) that John McDevitt, 
he of the velvet touch, played the famous 
game of billiards, 1,500 points up against 
Joseph Dion, which he finished while his 
opponent had hardly a button to his credit, 
with a run of 1,457 a f at tnat forced the 
"sharps" to put their heads together, led to 
the barring of the push shot and other helps 
to big records, and so put the game for cham- 
pionship honors on an entirely new basis. 
And in the basement of the block there was 
then, and had been for many years, as there is 
still, a "Quincy No. 9," a relic of the days 
when the boys "ran wid de masheen, " and 
which, during its more than half a century of 
existence, had scored an unexampled record 
of continuous performance. 

Let us now ascend the dome of the Court 
House. The climb is not so wearisome in 
fancy as in the olden days it was in fact, when 
it was a favorite youthful diversion. Near 
the top we shall find a circular balcony, specially 
designed for sight-seeing, and let that be our 

Chicago in tlje Ml Wat 

place of observation. In an atmosphere as yet 
undefiled by the soot of ten thousand factories, 
a pleasing panorama unfolds itself. Naturally 
you are amazed to note how clearly the 
sand hills of Michigan, beyond the shimmer- 
ing waters of the lake, thirty miles away, glint 
in the sunlight. Truly it would take a miracle 
to catch a glimpse of them now, even from 
the top of the Auditorium Tower, except per- 
chance for a moment after some phenomenally 
clearing storm from the east. 

As you gaze about, you may realize why 
Chicago was once generally known as the 
"Garden City." First note those broad 
stretches of lovely green, due to tree-lined 
Wabash and Michigan avenues, and observe 
how richly the neighborhood of Cottage Grove 
Avenue is wooded, and the area of verdure 
widens as you follow it southward to Hyde 
Park. The building in the midst of a forest 
of uncommonly large oaks, at about Thirty- 
fifth Street (then outside of the city limits), is 
the old Chicago university, founded by Stephen 
A. Douglas, who at the time of his death (1861) 
owned much of the land in its vicinage. 

Although the foreground, westward, is fairly 
inviting (for not only are most of the streets tree- 
bordered, but here and there large, unoccupied 
spaces refresh the eye with their rich green), 
it is really not until you turn fully to the north, 
and a bit to the east, that a climax of verdure 
is revealed. What we now behold is a magnif- 

&eminitence of Chicago 

icent natural forest in the midst of a city, 
or is it not better to say that the city here plays 
hide and seek in the forest? Either way, it is 
a dream. The noble, lake-bordered expanse 
is divided into lordly domains, embellished with 
lovely gardens. From this height the north 
division, east of Clark Street, and to the farthest 
limits, presents an unbroken stretch of wood- 
land, as if the Lincoln Park of to-day (then in 
part a cemetery, and for the rest primeval 
forest) came down to North Water Street. 
Not only is every street shaded, but entire 
wooded squares contain each only a single 
habitation, usually near its center, thus ena- 
bling their fortunate owners to live in park-like 

These spacious domains exhibit a native 
growth remarkable for its variety. The Hon. 
Isaac N. Arnold is at this period the proud 
owner of one of these preserves, acquired in 
the thirties when this region was first platted, 
and when entire squares, at opportune times, 
were bought for less than the present value of 
a single lot, with fifty or more to the square. 
Mr. Arnold's plot retained much of its original 
aspect up to the fire, and he could point out 
among other varieties of timber (as he loved 
to do) fine specimens of oak, ash, maple, cherry, 
elm, birch, hickory and cotton wood. And to 
think that in a single night all this wealth of 
nature disappeared as if it had never been. 

Others who occupied entire squares in prox- 


Chicago in rue Ml Wat 

imity to Mr. Arnold, with say Rush and 
Ontario streets as an approximate center, were 
such well-known old-timers as ex-Mayor Wil- 
liam B. Ogden, Walter L. Newberry, Mark 
Skinner, H. H. Magie, and a little farther north, 
E. B. McCagg and Mahlon D. Ogden; while the 
detached mansion of many another stood in 
grounds of approximate dimensions. 

Once again let us sweep the horizon and 
make a note of salient features. South of 
Twenty-second Street (then known as Ring- 
gold Place) scattered buildings mark the course 
of Cottage Grove Avenue. Between Thirty- 
second and Thirty-fifth streets, and running 
about an equal distance westward from the 
avenue, is a high-boarded enclosure, filled with 
temporary barracks. In the early days of the 
war this served as a recruiting camp, but now 
it holds in durance ten thousand or more 
' 'Johnny Rebs, ' ' corralled at Forts Henry and 
Donelson, and Island No. 10. 

Half a mile or more west of the camp is a 
clearing, for the most part owned by "Long 
John." In a few years a part will become the 
Chicago Driving Park, with an incidental base- 
ball field. And later still a larger part will be 
occupied by the Union Stock Yards, with the 
Dexter Trotting Park just south of them. 
When this happens, in the later sixties, much 
of the territory between the Stock Yards and 
Twenty-second Street is still unoccupied prairie, 
but shortly the great "Long John tract" is 

of Chicago 

opened to settlement, and Wentworth Avenue 
is extended through to the west of it. 

From its beginning for nearly a mile, the 
Archer Road is thinly settled. Then come 
clusters of large, low constructions. These 
are either slaughter or packing houses, with a 
glue factory and some rendering establishments 
thrown in to heighten the malodorous effect. 
You are now gazing on Bridgeport, a settle- 
ment beyond the corporate limits. It is a place 
with a reputation. Both morally and physi- 
cally it is a cesspool, a stench in everybody's 
nostrils, especially when there is a breeze from 
the southwest. 

Except for a fringe of structures along the 
South Branch, the entire section that lies 
between Archer and Blue Island avenues is 
largely unsettled marshland, in part known to 
old settlers as "Hardscrabble." The present 
great lumber district, with its teeming fac- 
tories, is little better than a bog. At this 
time the lumber yards are strung along the 
South Branch, north of Eighteenth Street, with 
a bunch at the mouth of the river, while grain 
elevators (though by no means the leviathans 
of to-day) break the skyline at different points 
along both the South and North Branches. 
Our sweep has taken in the source of Chicago's 
early greatness the "Big Three"; for already 
it is able to announce to an amazed world that 
it is the foremost grain mart, lumber market, 
and packing center of the world. And the 


in the Citoil War 

pride, that thereat swelled the collective Chicago 
bosom, crops out occasionally in individual exhi- 
bitions of "chestiness" even to-day. 

West of Aberdeen, and south of Adams 
Street, land is still in the market by the acre. 
Peter Schuttler has just domiciled himself on 
the outskirts in what is the most pretentious 
residence in the city and, following the ex- 
ample of the North Side gentry, has placed 
his mansion in the centre of extensive grounds. 
The region between Adams and Lake streets, 
to Union Park, is fairly built up; but beyond 
that point (best known as Bull's Head) the 
habitations are few and far between; yet the 
horse cars are pushing to Western Avenue, in 
the hope that population will follow, for at 
this period their revenue is largely derived 
from Sunday pleasure-seekers, bound for vari- 
ous outlying groves. The northwestern part 
of the town is still practically unsettled, and 
from about Centre Avenue and Lake Street 
one can cut across to Milwaukee Avenue 
(better known as the Milwaukee or North- 
western Plank Road) without other obstruction 
than the old Galena Railroad track. On the 
North Branch are some tanneries, and a tall 
chimney marks the site of Ward's Rolling 
Mill, later to become the nucleus of the huge 
collection to be known as the North Chicago 
Rolling Mills. O. W. Potter is at this time 
Captain Ward's superintendent. In the north 
division the building line halts at North Avenue. 

llnmmsrnircs of Chicago 

The site of Lincoln Park is to remain for some 
time a most forbidding locality, for ghosts 
walk there. Beyond lies thickly wooded Lake 
View. And it is an off summer's day when 
some German society does not hold a picnic 

Before closing with the general view, let us 
note the fact that expansion from the main 
nucleus proceeds in narrow lines (somewhat 
like the spokes of a wheel), showing large 
acres of unsettled prairie between. These 
settled lines mark the whereabouts of plank 
roads, known as Archer, Blue Island, South 
Western (now Ogden Avenue), Northwestern 
(now Milwaukee Avenue), Clybourne, etc. 
Fortunately these exits from the early settle- 
ment were retained in this subsequent platting, 
and now constitute most convenient avenues 
to facilitate rapid transit. The first settlers in 
the outlying lowlands were wise in sticking 
close to what then most resembled solid ground, 
for away from planked roads danger lurked in 
every rood of ground, and during rainy seasons 
wading was a frequent alternative for walking. 

[Paper read at a meeting of the Survivors of the 
United States Zouave Cadets by Henry H. Miller, 
at the residence of Colonel Edwin L. Brand, 
1918 Michigan Avenue.] 

Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth 
was born April n, 1837, at Malta, 
Saratoga County, New York. He was 
the eldest son of Captain Ephraim D. Ellsworth, 
who in 1860 was living at Mechanicsville, 
Saratoga County, New York. To distinguish 
himself from his father he wrote his name 
Elmer E. Ellsworth. He received a good 
common school education, and at 1 8, in 1855, 
he came to Chicago. He was employed as a 
clerk in the office of Devereaux of Salem, 
Massachusetts, a solicitor of patents. Mr. 
Devereaux gave up his business shortly after- 
wards, and young Ellsworth commenced reading 
law, in the meantime earning a scanty support 
by what copying he could find to do in lawyers' 

He was a young man of fine appearance, of 
medium height, slim, but strong and compactly 
built, with black, curling hair, which he always 
wore rather long, and keen hazel eyes. He 
always had quite a martial turn, and among 
his early boyhood dreams was a West Point 


ilcminitfrcnrcs of Chicago 

education and an army career. As he could 
not obtain a cadetship at West Point, his 
thoughts naturally turned to the militia, as it 
was then found in all cities of any size. He 
did not connect himself with any company, but 
turned his attention to physical culture in the 

At this time he was exceedingly poor, and 
his struggle to maintain a respectable appear- 
ance and not go too hungry was severe, but he 
always considered that the privileges of a well- 
appointed gymnasium were more desirable than 
the luxury of a hotel or a fashionable boarding- 
house table. The fact that he could not afford 
the expense of a membership with any of the 
militia companies, perhaps, caused him to be 
critical of these organizations, as they then 
existed, and some memoranda of his plans for 
better and more effective militia organization 
are still preserved by an old friend in Chicago. 
They show that he had given the subject much 
careful thought, and was dreaming of the time 
when he might have enough influence to have 
these plans carried out for the good of the 
entire country. 

The Crimean War in Europe was but just 
over, and the tales of the efficiency and valor 
of the French Zouaves caused him to make 
comparisons with the heavy infantry of the 
British, which was accoutred in the traditional 
close-fitting clothes, high stocks, cumbersome 
belts, and heavy equipments. He saw the pic- 

tures in the illustrated papers of the Zouaves 
loosely clad, with unconfined limbs, and in 
every respect in "light marching order" scal- 
ing walls, swarming over parapets, nimble, 
active, irresistible. How much better and 
effective than the old style. The Zouaves were 
small, but their rapid movements made them 
more than a match for greater numbers of tall, 
stately grenadiers of the old school. 

At about this time he became acquainted 
with a Frenchman Dr. Chas. A. DeVillers 
from Algiers, who had seen service in the 
Crimea with the "Chasseurs D'Afrique," and 
with him no doubt discussed the advantages of 
this light infantry. Dr. Villers was an expert 
swordsman, and Ellsworth was one of his 
best pupils. 

With a musket and a copy of Scott's and 
Hardee's "Tactics" in his room he studied out 
improvements in the "Manual of Arms" as 
given in these authorities. He was always 
trying to shorten and quicken all movements, 
sometimes using Scott and sometimes Hardee, 
sometimes a combination of both, but always 
striving to get something more rapid and better 
than either. He practiced until he was pro- 
ficient. The same course of revision and 
change was made in bayonet and skirmish 
drills as taught by old authorities. And now 
all that was lacking was a company on which 
to try these improvements. 

For several years there had existed in the city 

eminiccnce0 of Chicago 

a military company of the old school con- 
tinental or at least semi-continental uniforms 
broad crossbelts, bearskin hats, ponderous, slow 
and heavy a company of drum majors with 
muskets. They drilled according to Scott, 
and shouldered arms with hand under the butt 
plate. They had learned all there was in the 
"Tactics," and having nothing new to learn 
the interest of their members died out. Their 
debts increased, and they went into bankruptcy 
in April, 1859. 

Ellsworth's great opportunity was at hand. 
With the assistance of some of the old mem- 
bers who had seen him fence with Villers and 
"sling a musket" in his new "lightning drill," 
a new company was organized on the ruins of 
the old "National Guard Cadets" and called the 
United States Zouave Cadets, with Ellsworth 
commandant. Their armory was changed to the 
Garrett Block, where Central Music Hall now 
stands. Interest and members increased from 
the start, and July 4, 1859, tne Zouaves gave 
their first exhibition drill in front of the Tremont 
House. Their new and startling uniforms, 
rapid movements, and brilliant and showy 
manual of arms and bayonet drill, captured 
the spectators, and their popularity as a com- 
pany was assured. 

At the National Agricultural Fair held in 

Chicago September 14, 15 and 16, 1859, the 

company drilled for a stand of colors and the 

championship of militia. This drill was on 


September 15, 1859. They carried off the 
colors, but as only one company came in com- 
petition with them there was some complaint 
from militia companies in other cities at the 
award of the championship under the circum- 
stances. This complaint and the Zouaves' 
method of meeting it furnished the cause of 
all tneir future efforts, which led to the national 
fame of Ellsworth and his Zouaves. 

Following is the gauntlet that was thrown 

"Chicago, Sept. 2O, 1859. The National 
Agricultural Society at their seventh annual 
fair awarded to the United States Zouave 
Cadets of Chicago a stand of champion colors, 
which any company of militia or of the regular 
army of the United States or Canada are wel- 
come to if they can win them in fair contest. 
For terms of drill, etc., apply to 

Col. Comdg. U. S. Zouave Cadets." 

The company was much criticised by the 
press of the entire country for its audacity and 
presumption in issuing such a challenge to 
older and presumably better drilled companies. 
Regular <-rmy officers and officers of companies 
in old Eastern cities and especially of New 
York were particularly sneering in their wide- 
ly published remarks, and as for Southern 
cities, it was to them almost a declaration of 
war, and was answered in their usual fire- 
eating style. 


fteminigccnceg of Chicago 

The Zouaves met at their armory, and re- 
solved not only to stand by their challenge, but to 
make it still stronger, and a supplementary one 
was issued, which was in substance as follows: 

They would bind themselves to pay the entire 
expenses, including railroad fares to and from 
the contest, of any company in the United 
States or Canada that would come to Chicago 
and win the colors at any time most convenient 
between then and June 2O, 1860, 'at which 
time they proposed to start on a tour to all the 
principal cities of the country, where they 
would meet and drill with any company that, 
for any reason, could not come to Chicago in 
acceptance of the former terms and challenge. 

"Further, if the colors are retained by us we 
shall claim for the City of Chicago and the 
State of Illinois the honor of military champion- 
ship of the United States and Canada." 

It was now agreed by all the company that 
no efforts in the way of hard and continuous 
drill, and strictest and most exacting discipline, 
should be spared to carry out their resolve to 
defend their colors and save them from cap- 
ture. The rules which each member was 
required to subscribe to and keep on pain of 
instant expulsion from the company show this 
and are here given. They are as much a "new 
departure" in rules for military companies as 
were their uniforms and style of drill. They 
were drawn up by Ellsworth, and adopted by 
the company as follows: 

"Whereas, we are desirous of uniting 
together as an organization, which will give us 
an opportunity of gaining that exercise and 
relaxation necessary to all, and at the same 
time be a source of improvement, not only 
physically, but morally free from all the objec- 
tions usually urged against military companies; 

' ' Whereas, we are convinced that organiza- 
tions of this kind, as at present constituted, 
cannot be made to answer these ends, 

"Resolved, that from the date of these 
resolutions the following shall be, and are 
declared, offenses against our organization, 
punishable by expulsion, publication in the 
Chicago papers of the offender's name and 
forfeiture of his uniform and equipments to 
the company: 

" I . Entering a drinking saloon at any hour, 
day or night, except when compelled by im- 
perative business which cannot be transacted 
by proxy, in which case a statement of the 
facts must be made to the company immedi- 
ately after its occurrence. 

"2. Entering a house of ill-fame under any 
circumstances or pretext whatever. 

"3. Entering a gambling saloon, or gam- 
bling for any sum of money or article, under 
any circumstances or pretext. 

"4. Playing billiards in any public hall or 
saloon. This is interdicted, not because of 
any objection to the game as an elegant 


of Chicago 

amusement to those who can afford it, but 
because for a young man it is a step towards 
the other offenses named, and the excitement 
and associations of the billiard saloon naturally 
lead to drinking. 

"Resolved, that as it is the first duty of 
every cadet to avoid any temptation to break 
the rules, so it is his second, when any infrac- 
tion of them comes to his knowledge, to report 
the same to the company in the manner de- 
scribed in Sec. 12, company regulations, and 
that they may take such action as will guard 
against repetition of the offense. Therefore, 
when it is proved that any cadet has been 
cognizant of any infraction of these rules and 
has not communicated the same to the com- 
pany, he shall receive the same penalty as the 

"Resolved, that as the want of occupation 
and amusement is the chief cause of dissipation, 
we will at once complete our reading and chess 
rooms, and add by every means in our power 
to the attractions of our armory. 

"Resolved, that hereafter, in the event of 
sickness of one of our members, we will, if 
circumstances require it, take care of him and 
afford him all the assistance in our power. 

' ' Resolved, that each member provide him- 
self, as soon as possible, with a badge, consisting 
of a gold star shield, with a tiger's head in the 
center and name of corps engraved on the 
star, which will be worn conspicuously on the 

breast or watch chain, so that the public may 
know them as cadets and judge for themselves 
of the manner in which the foregoing resolu- 
tions are observed. 

"Resolved, that in case of any of our mem- 
bers losing his situation, each member of the 
corps shall be bound to make all reasonable 
effort to procure him employment, and if his 
necessities require it he shall, as long as he 
remains in good standing and out of employ- 
ment, receive from the company an allowance 
weekly, sufficient for his subsistence. 

"In adopting these rules we are aware of 
the responsibility we assume and that we run 
the risk of diminishing to some extent the 
strength of our company, but we are convinced 
that any of our members who has not the 
moral courage and self respect to live up to 
these principles, has not stamina sufficient to 
be a credit to our corps, and while we will use 
all reasonable efforts to induce all the men 
to remain with us and others to join in the 
hope of extending the benefits of these princi- 
ples, yet rather than depart in the slightest 
degree from these rules we will part from 
them, although it reduces our company to a 
dozen men." 

February 2, 1860, the final preparations to 
get the company in perfect readiness for their 
tour among the large cities of the country com- 
menced. The following is on the records of 
the company: 


ftemmigcenceg of Chicago 

"Colonel Ellsworth addressed the company 
at length on the subject of program for the 
ensuing six months. He said in substance: 
Having decided to make the tour they must 
give up everything, except business and the 
company. All visits to the theaters, calls 
on friends, parties, etc., must be sacrificed. 
Every evening, Sundays excepted, must be 
devoted to drill from seven to eleven, from 
now until the 20th of June, besides several 
days must be spent in field practice and skir- 
mish drill. A vote sustained Colonel Ells- 
worth's views." 

Requirements of the drill were exceedingly 
strict, and short work was made of those who 
failed to comply with all the rules. From the 
time of organization until the start on the tour 
over two hundred musters were on the rolls of 
the company and only forty-seven of them 
"carrying a knapsack" remained faithful to 
the end and stood an ordeal of drill and 
discipline that it is safe to say has never been 
paralleled by any similar organization. Those 
whose courage failed withdrew; others were 
expelled. There is a record of the expulsion 
at one time of twelve of some of the best drilled 
men in the company for drinking. 

Drill commenced at 7:15. At 8:45 coffee 
and sandwiches were served. Drill continued 
from 9 to 10:30. If any member urged any 
excuse, such as indisposition or fatigue, the 
Colonel would order him to take a seat on the 

bench and "watch the other boys do it." The 
men on the bench were called "the sore toes" 
by their comrades and in a short time the 
bench was little used. 

The drill was never without knapsacks. 
The weight of a properly packed knapsack 
was ascertained and that weight had to be car- 
ried. For uniformity all had hair cut alike. 
A mustache and goatee was only allowed to 
be worn, and some half a dozen who could not 
comply with this requirement were placed as 
"rear rank men" and subjected to many jokes 
from the "bearded pards." Part of the drill 
was with gymnasium appliances horizontal 
bars, ladders, etc. Preparatory to this arms 
would be stacked and then at "double quick" 
each man would jump on the bars and climb 
over the ladders, using the hands only. It 
seemed like a treadmill, but it developed 
athletes. In a month of such work all the 
weaker ones dropped out and only the "stayers" 
remained. It was the "survival of the fittest." 
On account of the death of Colonel Ellsworth's 
brother a member of the company the 
starting date was put off from June 2Oth until 
July 2d. During the entire month of June the 
men slept in the armory "tattoo," 10:45; 
"taps," 11; and "reveille," at 6 a.m., the 
men to be in line for roll call before the last 
note sounded. They were then dismissed in 
time for their breakfast and their daily business 
in their stores and offices. Colonel Ellsworth 

Hcmimsrcnrcs of Chicago 

had a most pleasant and persuasive way of 
talking to his men and all his suggestions were 
listened to and obeyed, but he appeared to be 
a perfect tyrant "on duty." 

The start was made July 2d, with knapsacks 
weighing twenty-three pounds, which were 
worn on drill during the entire trip. 

The- Colonel in his concluding address to 
the company, said: "By the Eternal, the first 
man who violates his pledge shall be stripped 
of his uniform and sent back to Chicago in 
disgrace, so help me God." 

From Detroit a man was sent back. A 
cheap suit of citizen's clothing was bought for 
him and a railroad ticket provided. He was 
the only one, but there is an amusing incident 
related of an exhibition drill in the fair grounds 
at Syracuse. Ellsworth was drilling in the 
skirmish drill, and owing to the distance at 
which he stood two of the men failed to hear 
his usually clear and distinct voice in one of 
the orders given. As a result a blunder was 
made in the, until then, absolutely perfect drill. 
The Colonel was disappointed and angry, and 
his reprimand, given the two delinquents in 
the presence of the company and vast audience, 
contained some words to the effect that the men 
should be "stripped and sent home." After 
the drill was over, and at the armory, where 
the Colonel was in a crowd of enthusiastic 
admirers receiving compliments as to his finely 
drilled company, these two reprimanded men 

appeared before him with no clothes save their 
underwear. They "took the position of a 
soldier" and gravely saluted. 

The Colonel looked at them with surprise 
and said: 

"What does this mean? " 

' ' We report for clothes and transportation. ' ' 

"Clothes and transportation? " 

"Yes, sir." 

"O yes, now I remember. Well, boys, put 
on your uniforms. You need not go back to 
Chicago to-day." 

One of these two men was Lieutenant George 
H. Fergus of Chicago. He was with Ellsworth 
in the Fire Zouaves and with him at his death 
in Alexandria. Lieutenant Fergus laughs 
heartily over the incident now, though it was 
serious enough then. 

The march east was one continued series of 
triumphs. The country was electrified by their 
wonderful drill. The press accounts of the 
day were most enthusiastic, and the militia 
well, the militia companies of the cities 
through which they passed would not drill with 
them, but most cordially acknowledged their 
superiority and were loud in their praises. 
Such "alignments," "correct distances," 
"wheels," "perfect time," "musket slinging," 
"bayonet practice," "ground and lofty tumb- 
ling," were "most wonderful." 

And this from men and companies who had 
a short time before laughed at the presumption 

of Chicago 

of a. lot of green boys " in wanting to drill in 
competition with companies that had ' revolu- 
tionary ancestry ' as organizations." It was, 
indeed, complimentary. Their march was con- 
tinued in triumph, and only one old company 
ever faced them in uniform for drill, and that 
company, a picked one of the Seventh New 
York, under command of Captain, afterward 
General, Alexander Shaler, was their escort 
to West Point. This drill was, by "special 
request," only an exhibition, and not in any 
sense competitive, as they acknowledged the 
superiority of the Zouaves and voluntarily 
yielded them the palm. 

New York City was reached by boat and 
the landing was thronged with eager crowds 
to see the now famous Zouaves. They were 
received by a detachment of the Sixth New 
York, Colonel Pinkey commanding, at Cortlandt 
Street dock. The arrival of their boat, the 
Isaac Newton, was hailed by a salute of nine 
guns fired by a detachment of Company F, 
Fourth New York. The march to the Astor 
House, where they breakfasted, was greeted 
by deafening cheers and the cordiality of their 
reception was assured. 

Breakfast over the line of march was up 
Broadway to Union Square, down Fourth 
Avenue to the bowery and Grand Street, 
thence to the Sixth Regiment Armory, corner 
of Center Street where they were received 
with loud cheers of "Welcome Zouaves," by 


the thousands collected about the Armory. 
The New York Eighth, drawn up at the entrance 
of the Armory, to receive the Chicago "Red 
Breeches," gave them "nine and a tig-a-r" 
as they marched into the Armory. When guns 
were stacked Colonel Ellsworth ordered the 
men to acknowledge the welcome of the Sixth 
and Eighth regiments with their- own cheer: 
' ' One-two-three-four-five-six-seven tig-a-r 
Zouave" repeated three times with as much 
precision as appeared in their movements when 
the order "Load in nine times" was given. 
The men were then dismissed, but requested 
by the Colonel to "keep limbered up" for the 
great competition drill in front of the City Hall 
in the afternoon, when they supposed they 
would meet a company of the finest picked 
"experts" of all the old veteran militia reg- 
iments of New York City. 

They were disappointed . They drilled at the 
appointed time to a large audience, but with- 
out any competitors. This drill is described in 
"Frank Leslie's" of June 28, 1860, as follows, 
and their artist was "on the spot," as almost 
the entire pictorial space of the paper testifies: 

It having been announced that the Chicago Zouaves 
would drill in the Park at half-past two o'clock, over 
ten thousand people assembled in front of the City 
Hall long before that time. The drums were heard 
in the distance and shortly the front of the Sixth Reg- 
iment escort under Captain D. Schwartz was seen 
wheeling into the Park at the west entrance. In the 
meantime Major-General Sanford and Major Wood, 

of Chicago 

arm in arm, followed by several of the Board of 
Common Councilmen and a number of casually 
invited citizens, descended the steps and took posi- 
tions on a covered platform in front. The escort of 
the Sixth marched, headed by the Eighth Regiment, 
in good step and dress and came into line on the 
east side of the Park. The Zouaves followed, headed 
by their young commander, Colonel E. E. Ellsworth, 
and immediately clapping of hands and plaudits were 
heard. To those of the spectators near the steps of 
the City Hall they came into view before the head of 
the Sixth had marched to the front of the hall. 
After the eye rapidly passed over the familiar blue 
coat and white pants of our own regiments the strik- 
ing gay uniforms of the cadets with their flowing red 
pants, their jaunty crimson caps, their peculiar drab 
gaiters and leggings, and the loose, open bluejacket 
with rows of small thickly set, sparkling buttons, 
and the light blue shirt beneath exposing the neck, 
all in the midst of the sober broadcloth of the crowd, 
entirely riveted the gaze of the spectators. As they 
came steadily into view they moved with the same 
unity of step and regard for distance and dress, 
but also with an ease of motion, a kind of dashing 
confidence and elasticity which we do not see in any 
of our own companies. They flanked to the right 
and filed to the left; at the word " front " like a flash 
each man was in his place and almost jumped there, 
not abruptly, but most easily, and there was no after 
motion, no closing in, or moving up to the center 
or on to the flanks. They came to a "shoulder" 
and then to an "order." The effect was electric, 
and one felt at once after noting the confidence in 
each man's eye, and the faultless positions through- 
out the ranks, that a body of men stood there that 
would do as much as had been promised for them. 
Both the escort and the Zouaves passed in review 
before the Major and General Sanford, as usual, the 
first in "common time" and then in " quick time." 
As the Zouaves marched around the cheers were 

vociferous. The step and dress were faultless and 
so was the wheeling, which was comparatively an 
easy matter, as there were only eight fronts of men 
in each platoon. One thing was especially notice- 
able in the ranks; not a hand was swinging, the 
Captain and Lieutenants, of course, moving with less 
uniformity through the tactics. 

The account goes on to quite a length, most 
accurately and minutely describing all of the 
drill, and from the language used and the very 
particular descriptions of the most difficult 
although not always the most showy parts of 
both company drill, manual of arms, bayonet 
exercise, skirmish and open order drills, it is 
evident the reporter was a well trained militia 
man, and was up in Scott and Hardee, and, 
though a New Yorker and with every induce- 
ment in his pride of his city and its splendid 
militia to find all fault possible, he had only 
praise and commendation to give the Zouaves 
for their "unparalleled" and "unequaled" 

At this time in the tour of the Zouaves their 
treasury was absolutely empty. They did not 
start from Chicago with much of a fund for 
expenses, and since starting, an appeal to friends 
there had brought them $500, but this was now 
exhausted, as well as the funds that the mem- 
bers had individually. They proudly kept their 
own council, however, and though they could 
count on about two invitations for meals daily, 
the third meal was sadly missed, as the rigor 
of their drills required it. 

of Chicago 

Now help came from an unexpected quarter. 
A request signed by a number of ' ' prominent 
citizens" came to Colonel Ellsworth to allow 
his Company to drill in the Academy of Music, 
admission to be charged, and the net receipts 
to go to the Company. Ellsworth was not in 
favor of this from notions of pride. Some ot 
the men, however, forced him to yield to the 
demands of their empty stomachs, and an 
acceptance was sent. In the history of the 
Company he had ruled it absolutely, and now 
positions were for the first time reversed. 

The Academy of Music drill was in every 
way a grand success a crowded house (and 
crowds turned away) at one dollar per head, 
a wildly enthusiastic audience, and over $2,000 
as net receipts. In speaking of this drill, and 
to show how entirely Ellsworth and his Zouaves 
had captured New York, one of the great 
daily papers said in an editorial: 

The military furore has reached its climax. The 
gentle muses are dethroned. Mars is now cele- 
brated ! I ! No company in the world could compete 
with the Chicago Zouaves. 

Their campaign at Boston was but a repeti- 
tion of that at New York, and their reception 
was most gratifying and enthusiastic. Beside 
a number of public outdoor drills in the presence 
of vast crowds, another "special request" 
drill was given in one of the theaters which put 
over $1,000 in the treasury. One of the boys 

remarked: "It is a great pity they do not 
build larger theaters here in Boston." 

They returned to New York and by special 
request and with an escort of a company of the 
finest drilled and best appearing men that 
could be found in the regiment, then considered 
the most "crack" of any regiment in the 
country, the New York Seventh, they went 
to West Point. Lieutenant General Scott, 
Commander-in-Chief of the army, and General 
Hardee, "Old Tactics Himself," saw the drill, 
which was at first the "Ellsworth Zouave 

Some friend of Colonel Ellsworth reported 
to him that General Hardee was somewhat 
critical in his remarks, saying, "It was only 
showy and not at all practical." 

Colonel Ellsworth now ordered, "According 
to Hardee," and the drill was continued in a 
way that completely astonished its author. 
He became very much interested, indeed, and 
of the loading and firing drill said it was 
"perfect," but that he noticed that the men 
turned their heads slightly and by the watch 
that they kept on each other were enabled to 
keep perfect time. 

Colonel Ellsworth then ordered the men to 
shut their eyes, and with closed eyes the drill 
was equally well performed, and General 
Hardee said : "Most wonderful . ' ' 

As a compliment to the venerable "Hero 
of Lundy 's Lane ' ' the cadets then went through 

llcmmisrcncrs of 

the manual "according to Scott," and in the 
most satisfactory manner. The company of 
the Seventh New York now had an inning, 
and all returned to New York. 

Philadelphia and Baltimore were captured, 
in drill room parlance, "in one time and two 
motions." Washington was reached August 
5th, and the cadets were invited to drill in 
the White House grounds before President 
Buchanan and a select company of Wash- 
ington notables. 

At Pittsburg, August 8th, a drill was given and 
a beautiful and valuable sword was presented 
to Colonel Ellsworth by the Duquesne Grays. 
(At the death of Colonel Ellsworth this sword 
was sent by the members of his old, Company 
then with him in the Fire Zouaves, to a most 
estimable young lady of Rockford, Illinois, to 
whom he was engaged to be married.) 

At Cincinnati generous hospitality was ex- 
tended to the Zouaves,; and drills were given 
to admiring audiences, and at St. Louis this 
was repeated. 

All this and much more in praises and com- 
pliments had been heralded through the land in 
the newspapers of the day, and the "March 
of Triumph of the Ellsworth Zouaves" was 
the leading news item. 

When the Company arrived at Springfield, 
their own state capital, they were received with 
open arms. During the tour the members of 
the Company had been presented with all sorts 


of souvenirs, and Colonel Ellsworth for the 
first time allowed discipline to be relaxed in 
that the boys were allowed to decorate their 
uniforms and knapsacks with these "trophies 
of war," consisting of fatigue caps, epaulets, 
swords, pistols, plumes, cartridge boxes, 
badges, medals, ladies' gloves, lace handker- 
chiefs, dried and faded flowers, etc., so their 
app'earance on arriving at Chicago was unique 
and mirth-provoking. 

Their train was delayed somewhat by an 
accident, but "all Chicago" patiently waited 
for them at the Alton Depot. When the train 
came in sight, salutes were fired, cannons 
boomed, bands played, torches were waved by 
both the "Wide- Awakes" and the "Ever- 
Readys," as in this event the party spirit of the 
great political campaign, then in progress, was 
laid aside . Everybody welcomed ' ' Our Boys . ' ' 

The Company returned to Chicago on Tues- 
day, August 14, i860. They were escorted by 
all the city military companies, a large torch- 
light procession of both political parties, and 
a large body of citizens, to the "Wigwam 
Building" on the southeast corner of Lake and 
Market streets, where Mr. Lincoln had been 
nominated for President of the United States. 
The immense building was crowded to over- 
flowing with enthusiastic admirers. After the 
reception ceremonies were concluded they were 
escorted to the Briggs House, where a magnifi- 
cent banquet was spread. 


ftrmimsrcnres of Chicago 

Following are the members of Colonel 
Ellsworth's Company who went on the tour: 

Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, commanding, 
f First Lieutenant Joseph R. Scott. 

Second Lieutenant D wight H. Laflin. 
Surgeon Charles A. DeVillers. 

Paymaster James B. Taylor, 
f First Sergeant James Rudolph Hayden. 
*Second Sergeant Edward Bergen Knox. * 

Quartermaster Sergt. Robert W. Wetherell. 

Color Sergeant Benet B. Botsford. 

Frederick J. Abbey. 

George V. S. Aiken. 

John Albert Baldwin. 

Joseph C. Burclay. 

Merritt P. Batchelor. 

William Berherand. 

Augustus A. Bice, 
f Samuel S. Boone. 

Edwin L. Brand, 
f James A. Clybourn. 
*Edwin M. Coates. 
*Freeman Canned. 

William H. Cutler. 

William N. Banks. 

James M. DeWitt. 
*George H. Fergus. 

George W. Friend. 

Henry H. Hall. 

Louis B. Hand. 
JCharles H. Hosmer. 

*Frank E. Yates. 

William Innis. 
Louis L. James. 
Ransom Kennicott. 
Lucius S. Larrabee. 
John Conant Long. 
Waters McChesney. 
Samuel J. Nathan. 
William M. Olcott. 
Charles C. Phillips. 
Robert D. Ross. 
B. Frank Rogers. 
Charles Scott, Jr. 
(Charles H. Shipley. 
Charles C. Smith. 
Charles W. Smith. 
Clement Sutterly. 
Ira Goodie True. 
Smith B. Van Buren. 
Henry S. Wade. 
Sidney P. Walker. 

*Went into service in the army with Ellsworth in 
the Fire Zouaves as a Lieutenant. 

fWent into service in the army with Nineteenth 
Illinois as a commissioned officer. 

{Died in Andersonville prison. 

Shot while swimming James River in escaping 
from Libby prison. 

Of this company of fifty men it can be said: 
Forty-seven entered the army and served with 
distinction during the war. Many rose to high 
rank, both in volunteers and the regular army. 
Some are now on the active and others on the 
retired list of the army. Several were appointed 
to drill new regiments at the camps of ren- 
dezvous for such troops in the north, and one, 
Captain John Conant Long, who was appointed 
by General Grant as instructor at Camp Douglas, 
is said to have drilled as many as fifty regiments. 
They served in the different arms of the service 
as follows: 

In three battalions light artillery. 

In three regiments cavalry. 

In twenty-six regiments infantry. 

In the signal service. 

The influence of men drilled and disciplined 
as these were under Colonel Ellsworth and scat- 
tered through the entire army must certainly 
have been very great. 

Shortly after the triumphant home-coming of 
the Zouaves, Colonel Ellsworth went to Spring- 
field, Illinois, and entered the law office of 
Lincoln and Herndon as a student. He was 
quite effective as a campaign orator in Illinois 


itcmimgrrnrrg of Chicago 

during the autumn of 1860. In February, 
1 86 1, he accompanied Mr. Lincoln to Washing- 
ton for his inauguration as President on March 
4th. The President obtained for him a com- 
mission as Lieutenant in the regular army and 
a detail for special duty in Washington. When 
Sumter was fired upon and the war began he 
was anxious to go at once into active service 
in the field, and to do this he resigned his com- 
mission as Lieutenant, went to New York City 
and obtained permission of the Chief of the 
Fire Department to recruit a regiment from 
among the firemen. He sent to Chicago for 
for some of the men of his old Zouave company, 
and they joined him at once. The rapidity 
with which this regiment the Eleventh New 
York, usually called the "New York Fire 
Zouaves" was recruited is shown by the 
fact that he arrived in New York April i/th, 
and on April 29th, over 1,100 strong, they 
embarked on the steamer Baltic for Washington, 
via Annapolis. They were mustered into 
service by General Irwin McDowell in the 
presence of President Lincoln in front of the 
Capitol, May /th ; the first regiment mustered 
in "for three years or during the war," 
others having enlisted for three months. 

The morning of May 24th, about 3:30 
o'clock, the regiment was transferred by three 
steamers Baltimore, Mt. Vernon, and James 
Gray to Alexandria, Virginia. On approach- 
ing the long walk at daybreak the rebel sentries 

discharged their pieces and ran up town. The 
regiment landed, marched up the street, and 
halted, the right resting on Pitt Street. 

Colonel Ellsworth, leaving Lieutenant- 
Colonel Noah F. Fernham in command, took 
from the right of Company A a squad of men 
and Sergeant Frank B. Marshall, and proceeded 
to the next street south, cut the telegraph 
wires, and passed on the opposite side of King 
Street, on the southeast corner of Pitt Street, 
to the Marshall House, to which his attention 
was called by seeing a large rebel flag flying from 
its top. After sending Sergeant Marshall 
back to the regiment for Company A, First 
Lieutenant E. B. Knox, commanding, he went 
inside the hotel, posting one of his escorts at 
the door, another on the first floor, another at 
the foot of the stairs, and Corporal Frank E. 
Brownell on the third floor. He ascended to 
the house top where he went to obtain a view 
of the surroundings. He secured the rebel 
flag, and in descending the stairs, which 
occupied three sides of a stairway hall, he 
heard a noise, immediately followed by a shot. 
Hastening down to ascertain the cause, he 
came around a turn just in time to receive the 
second charge of a double-barreled shot gun in 
the hands of James W. Jackson, the landlord. 
It was aimed at Brownell, who had knocked 
the gun up. The first charge, also intended 
for Brownell, entered the casing of the door at 
the foot of the stairs. Brownell then shot 

ftemmigcenccg of Chicago 

Jackson, who was crazed with drink, having 
been on a spree for several days. 1 

Of Colonel Ellsworth many hostile criticisms 
have been published. He has been called 
tyrannical, vain, proud, and in connection 
with accounts of his death foolhardy. But 
these have all had their source, either from 
those who suffered from a necessary discipline 
agreed to by themselves and afterwards violated, 
or from friends of these men. Not one sur- 
viving member of the Chicago Zouaves who 
remained faithful to the end can be found who 
will agree with such criticisms. On the con- 
trary they accord to him unparalleled fixedness 
of purpose, industry and clear-headedness in 
all matters pertaining to military affairs. When 
speculating on what "might have been" had 
he been spared to the army, they will say that 
the military history of the Fire Zouaves and 
that of the Army of the Potomac with this 
leaven in its midst might have been very 
different. They believe that on the roll-call 
of great captains, when this greatest of all 
wars closed, his name might have stood second 
to none. 

x This account of the exact circumstances of the 
death of Colonel Ellsworth is from the late Lieuten- 
ant George H. Fergus, a member of Colonel Ells- 
worth's old Chicago Zouaves, and an officer in the 
Fire Zouaves, who was present at the time with the 
regiment outside the hotel. It is as he heard it 
many times from Corporal Brownell (now dead) who 
was the only witness. 


CJje Chicago Contention 

[Report of the Republican Convention of 1860, by 
Dr. Humphrey H. Hood, in the Free Press of 
Hillsboro, Illinois, now known as The News Mon- 
itor, and published in Litchfield. From the Trans- 
actions of the Illinois State Historical Society. 

LITCHFIELD, ILL., May 24, 1860. 

MR. EDITOR: On the eve of my 
departure for Chicago, I made you a 
promise to write you from that city, 
regarding the proceedings of the National 
Republican Convention. Upon my arrival, 
however, I found it altogether useless to do 
so, as it was quite impossible for my com- 
munication to reach you in time for the Press 
of last week. I propose now to give some 
account of my visit and my impressions of the 
convention, and the facts connected therewith 
as understood by me. We left the Litchfield 
station on the morning train on Tuesday, the 
1 5th inst. Our company was not numerous 
at this point, but it received constant accession 
at each succeeding station, so that when we 
arrived at Mattoon, we were comfortably 
crowded. Here we changed cars, taking the 
Illinois Central. Our old friend, John Kitchell, 
found us at this point. After a short interval 
of waiting for the northern train, we again 
moved forward with a long train loaded with 

ftcmmtgcenceg of Chicago 

' ' black Republicans, ' ' and at each station the 
cry was "still they come." At the crossing 
of the Great Western, a fresh inundation poured 
in upon us, but few of whom found better 
accommodations than the aisles afforded; but 
at Urbana, two additional cars were attached, 
which furnished seats for all. At the crossing 
we were joined by the future Governor of the 
State, Hon. Richard Yates. We arrived at 
Chicago at nine o'clock and at once hurried 
to the Metropolitan Hotel, where we were for- 
tunate in securing a room with a cot for each 
of our company. After refreshing our inner 
man at the table, we proceeded to the famed 
Wigwam, and found a large audience assem- 
bled, listening to the Hon. Anson Burlingame. 
When I entered he was speaking of the cer- 
tainty of a Republican triumph next fall, no 
matter who the standard-bearer might be. Of 
all possible candidates he spoke in terms of 
appropriate eulogy, paying just tribute to the 
talents and virtues of each. Of Lincoln he 
spoke as "the gallant son of Illinois, who 
fought that wonderful battle of 1858, the like 
of which had not been known since the time 
when Michael encountered and subdued the 
arch fiend." 

To view the Wigwam alone, when crowded 
with its immense audience, was worth a visit 
to the Garden City. We hear of the meanness 
of Yankeetown, and the liberality of the south- 
erner, but I think Chicago will lose nothing 

Chicago Contention 

in comparison with Charlestown. Let it be 
remembered that the Wigwam was built solely 
for the use of the Republican Convention, 
whereas the Democratic convention paid $500 
per day for a hall in which to meet. The 
Wigwam is a substantial wooden building, 
admirably adapted to the purpose for which it 
was constructed; well ventilated, well lighted, 
and for speaking and hearing as well arranged 
as such a building could be. Its dimensions 
are 180 feet by 100. One-third of this space 
was assigned for the use of the convention, 
and was divided into a platform and two 
spacious committee rooms, one at either end. 
The platform was seated with settees and the 
space assigned to each delegation designated 
by placards on each of which was the name of 
the state represented. These were elevated 
so as to be seen from all parts of the building. 
The speaker's chair was at the rear of the 
platform and toward it all seats looked. On 
the wall immediately behind the chair were 
painted United States flags and the chair was 
canopied with flags. There were four other 
larger paintings on the wall representing 
"Justice," "Ceres," etc. 

A portion of the floor in front of the plat- 
form was railed off and seated for the use of 
alternate delegates, members of the press, and 
the telegraph operators. Outside of this rail- 
ing were found excellent standing accommoda- 
tions for gentlemen not fortunate in holding 

ftcmimsccnrrs of Chicago 

tickets and not accompanied by ladies. In this 
unfortunate category was your correspondent. 

Extending round three sides were spacious 
galleries appropriated to the use of ladies and 
their escorts; these were always filled to over- 
flowing. On the front of the galleries were 
painted the coats of arms of all the states. 
The roof was arched and well supported by 
posts and braces, as were also the galleries, 
and around all these twined evergreens inter- 
mingled with flowers. The whole space over 
the platform was festooned with evergreens 
and the tri-colors, the red, white and blue, and 
there were states enough to represent a whole 
firmament of stars. 

It was announced in the morning papers of 
the 1 6th, that the doors would be open at 
eleven o'clock. Two hours before that time 
the crowd was sufficient to fill the vast building, 
assembled on Lake and Market streets, and 
when the doors were opened, the rush and 
pressure were terrific. I was in the center of 
the crowd and thought myself fortunate in 
escaping with whole bones. Nevertheless, I 
tried the experiment again in the afternoon, 
but that sufficed me. And, indeed, my subse- 
quent experience proved that the better way 
to obtain an eligible position was to wait till 
the rush was over, and then quietly insinuate 
one's self through the crowd. In this way I 
never failed to obtain a position where the whole 
proceedings of the convention were open to me. 


The first day but little of interest to out- 
siders occurred. Nothing was done beyond 
organizing and appointing the necessary com- 
mittees. The morning of the second day was 
mostly taken up with the report of the com- 
mittee on credentials, which was finally re- 
committed, some doubts arising as to the rights 
of the Texas delegates to cast a vote of that 
state. The report of the committee on busi- 
ness in regard to the rules that should govern 
the convention also excited some discussion. 
The committee recommended that on the vote 
for the president and vice-president, a number 
equal to the majority of 606 (of which number 
the convention would consist were all the states 
represented) should be required to nominate. 
A minority of the committee recommended 
that only a majority of all the delegates present 
should be required. This question was not 
disposed of when the convention adjourned. 
In the afternoon the minority report was 
adopted by a large majority. In regard to 
Texas the committee reported again in favor 
of the delegates from that state; the report 
was adopted amid enthusiastic cheering. 

The committee on platform and resolutions 
also reported during this session. The plat- 
form appeared satisfactory to almost everybody 
in particular. Its reading elicited thunders of 
applause; particularly the sections in which 
freedom is affirmed to be the normal condition 
of the territories and in which protection to 

of Chicago 

home industry is recommended. With these 
and other sections the people could not be 
satisfied with one reading; but after shouting 
till one might suppose their lungs, if not their 
enthusiasm, were exhausted, they would de- 
mand the reading of them again, when they 
would again applaud with all the vehemence of 
the first demonstration. 

On the motion to adopt the platform, Mr. 
Carter, of Ohio, demanded the previous ques- 
tion, which was not sustained. Mr. Giddings 
moved an amendment, which consisted in 
appending to the platform a quotation from 
the Declaration of Independence. This was 
deemed unnecessary, the truths of the Declara- 
tion being affirmed in the second section, and 
it was voted down. At this point, the Mis- 
souri Republican says, that Giddings left the 
convention, "shaking off the dust of his feet," 
etc. This is a pure fabrication on the part of 
that truthful journal. I had my eyes on Mr. 
Giddings during nearly the whole of the session, 
and he could not have left without my seeing 
him, and he did not leave. Mr. Wilmot pro- 
posed to amend the I4th section, by striking 
out the words, "or any state legislation," etc., 
regarding them as derogating from state sov- 
ereignty; but upon being assured by Carl 
Schurz that they were not intended to recom- 
mend any course of national legislation, but 
merely to express an opinion, he withdrew the 



Mr. Curtis, of New York, offered an amend- 
ment similar to that presented by Mr. Giddings. 
It being objected that it had already been 
voted down, and was therefore out of order, 
the chair so ruled; whereupon Mr. Blair, of 
Missouri, protested against the ruling and 
avowed his willingness to go before the con- 
vention on an appeal from the decision. He 
then explained that this motion proposed to 
amend the second section, whereas the amend- 
ment offered by Mr. Giddings was to be 
appended to the platform. The chair reversed 
his decision and the amendment was adopted, 
and then the platform was adopted unani- 
mously. Pending a motion to go to a ballot 
for president the convention adjourned. 

On the third day of the convention, it was 
called to order at ten o'clock. The New York 
delegation, and the Young Men's Republican 
Club of New York and many others in favor 
of the nomination of William H. Seward pro- 
ceeded in procession from the Richmond House 
to the Wigwam. Many of them wore badges 
indicating their choice for the candidate, and 
they were all hopeful, and, indeed, confident 
that their favorite would be the favorite of the 
convention; but they were doomed to dis- 
appointment. The first ballot revealed the 
fact that Seward had more friends in the con- 
vention than any other man, but it also re- 
vealed the fact that he would not be nom- 
inated. On the first ballot the most determined 

of i)tcago 

opponents of his nomination scattered their 
votes, and it was well known that Lincoln 
was their second choice. On the second bal- 
lot Seward gained II, and Lincoln 79 votes; 
the former still having a majority. On the 
final vote when all the states had been called, 
Lincoln still lacked two votes of the required 
number. Then Carter, of Ohio, rose and amid 
breathless silence, announced that Ohio changed 
four votes from Chase to Lincoln. This was 
enough and for ten minutes nothing was heard 
but the roar of human voices and then came 
booming through the open doors and windows 
the voice of the first gun of the campaign. In 
five minutes from that time the dispatch from 
New York, 1,000 miles distant, announcing, 
' ' One hundred guns are now being fired in the 
park in honor of the nomination," was read 
in the convention. 

Before the vote was counted State after 
State rose and changed its vote to Lincoln. 
Mr. Evarts, of New York, demanded: "Can 
New York have the silence of the convention?" 
Instantly every voice was hushed. He stated 
that he desired to make a motion and would 
inquire if the result of the ballot was announced. 
It was not; he would await that announcement. 
When the result was declared he took the floor, 
or rather a table, and in a speech which won 
the admiration of all that heard it, which was 
characterized alike by dignity, earnestness and 
deep devotion to the great statesman of New 

Che Chicago Contention 

York, he pronounced a most glowing eulogy 
upon William H. Seward. It might be deemed 
honor enough to be accounted worthy of such 
devoted friendship. At the close he moved 
that the nomination of Abraham Lincoln be 
declared unanimous, at the same time elevating 
high above him a life sized portrait of " Honest 
Old Abe." 

The motion was first seconded by Blair, of 
Michigan. He said, "We give up William 
Henry Seward with some beating of the heart, 
with some quivering of the nerves, but the 
choice of the convention is the choice of Michi- 
gan." He was followed by Anderson, of 
Massachusetts, and Carl Schurz, of Wisconsin. 
This closed the morning session. 

The convention reassembled at five o'clock 
and at once proceeded to vote for vice-president. 
Hannibal Hamlin was chosen on the second 
ballot. It may seem somewhat remarkable 
that Texas should vote steadily in the morning 
for Seward and in the afternoon cast six votes 
for Sam Houston. After appointing the com- 
mittee the convention adjourned sine die. 

In the evening a grand ratification meeting 
was he'd in the Wigwam. Pomeroy, Giddings, 
Yates and many others spoke. The banner of 
the "Young Men's Republican Club," of New 
York, attracted much attention, (they brought 
it with them) inscribed: 

"For President " 

the blank to be filled, as they hoped, with the 


of Chicago 

name of William H. Seward, but, instead, it 
bore the name of Abraham Lincoln, thus: 


Thus ended the Chicago National Conven- 
tion. May we not congratulate ourselves on 
the happy results of its labors? Those results 
have satisfied all Republicans. 


[The Cairo Expedition, and the obtaining of arms 
for the Illinois troops. Paper read before the 
Chicago Historical Society by Augustus Harris 
Burley, at its annual meeting, 1890.] 

AS the years go by, and one by one the 
actors in and spectators of the scenes 
of the War of the Rebellion pass away, 
it seems necessary and proper that all of us 
should make some record of what we saw or 
knew of the anxious and trying times in the 
spring of 1861. 

The general history of the war has been 
written by a number of able authors; I wish, 
only, to add what came within my own knowl- 
edge, as to the part taken by Chicago at the 
beginning of the war. 

From the time when the steamer Star of 
the West was fired upon, January 9, 1861, 
and driven to sea from the entrance to Charles- 
ton harbor, the people throughout the North 
were uneasy and excited, but no one could 
believe that a serious attempt would be made 
to disrupt the Union of the States or destroy 
a government that had existed for nearly a 
century, and which had been consecrated by 
the deeds and lives of so many noble men. 

April 12, 1861, when the citizens of Charles- 

of Chicago 

ton, South Carolina, opened fire on Fort Sum- 
ter, and the gallant Major Robert Anderson, 
to save the lives of his soldiers, struck the Flag 
of our Country, the news went through the 
North like an electric shock. Quickly recover- 
ing from the stunning blow, the people felt 
that war had actually come, and though cheeks 
paled, lips were firmly set and eyes flashed, 
showing the determination by all patriots to 
stand shoulder to shoulder and preserve the 
Union and the government at any cost of life 
and treasure. 

Friday evening, April iQth, a mass-meeting 
of citizens was held in Bryan Hall (now 
the Grand Opera House) at which patriotic 
speeches were made and resolutions were 
adopted to sustain the government, suppress 
the rebellion, and maintain the Union. 

A subscription of thirty thousand dollars was 
immediately made, and a committee appointed 
to carry out the wishes of the people, as 
expressed, and to use the money in assisting 
the government. 

The following named citizens were appointed 
as such committee: 

Edward H. Hadduck. Julian Sidney Rumsey. 
Laurin P. Hilliard. Orrington Lunt. 
Benj. F. Carver. Phillip Conley. 

Fred. K. Letz. P. L. Underwood. 

George Armour. John James Richards. 

Hiram E. Mather. F. Granger Adams. 
John L. Hancock. Horatio Gates Loomis. 

Cairo <jqpetiition 

Robert Law. George W. Gage. 

Alexander White. Charles G. Wicker. 

Redmond Prindiville. Gurdon S. Hubbard. 

Edward I. Tinkham. Thomas J. Kinsella. 
Roselle Marvin Hough. Eliphalet Wood. 

Nelson Tuttle. Homer E. Sargent. 

John Gage. U. H. Crosby. 

(These names were obtained from The Chicago 

Mr. Hadduck declining to act as chairman, 
I was requested to take his place. Samuel 
Hoard was secretary. 

The Hon. Julian S. Rumsey gave the use 
of his building, 44 and 46 La Salle Street, 
without charge, and the committee was in 
session daily from early morning until late at 

Reports were constantly made to the commit- 
tee of traitors and treason, of threats to burn 
elevators, to blow up the powder-magazines, 
and to do other mischief, and thus aid the 
so-called confederacy. The committee had 
guards placed to watch all important and threat- 
ened buildings. 

Not a keg of powder was permitted to be 
taken from any of the magazines, without the 
consent of the committee, who, before issuing 
a permit, had to be satisfied that it went into 
loyal hands for a legitimate purpose. 

The arbitrary powers assumed by the com- 
mittee could only be justified by such an 


&tmmi$ttntt$ of Chicago 

exigency, but all loyal citizens united in sub- 
mitting to their restrictions and sustaining 
their acts. 

April 1 9th the following dispatch was sent 
by Governor Richard Yates to General Rich- 
ard Kellogg Swift, then commander of the 
militia of this military district: 

As quick as possible, have as strong a force as 
you can raise, armed and equipped with ammunition 
and accoutrements, and a company of artillery, ready 
to march at a moment's warning. A messenger will 
start to Chicago to-night. 

RICHARD YATES, Commander-in-Chief. 

The morning of April 2Oth, Mr. John W. 
Bunn appeared, as the governor's messenger, 
and announced to General Swift and the com- 
mittee, that all diligence should be used in 
raising and equipping the force, and that its 
destination must be kept a profound secret. 

General Swift issued his orders for the 
militia to muster, but with the exception of a 
few independent companies, small in numbers, 
his force was composed of volunteers, all told 
to the number of 400, as per General Swift's 
telegram to Governer Yates, dated April 2 1st 
the adjutant-general's report says 595, but he 
included some companies that did not arrive 
in time. The force included four cannon and 
forty- four horses. 

The war-committee borrowed from a Mil- 
waukee company fifty muskets, but the force 
was largely armed with squirrel-rifles, shot- 

f)e Cairo <jqpefciti0n 

guns, single-barreled pistols, antique revolvers, 
and anything that looked as if it would shoot, 
that could be obtained from the gunstores, 
second-hand stores and pawnshops. 

The State having neither money nor arms, 
our commjttee borrowed or bought the arms 
and commissary stores, and advanced from its 
funds the money necessary for the purchase of 
everything required that could be obtained on 
such short notice. 

At eleven o'clock at night, April 2 1st, the 
expedition started from the Illinois Central 
Railroad Station, amid the cheers of the people 
and the screaming of the steam-whistles. 

An expedition starting, as this did, for an 
unknown destination, you may conceive was a 
source of anxiety to all and especially to those 
whose sons, brothers, and husbands had gone. 
General Swift was without military training or 
knowledge, but he had with him the late General 
Joseph Dana Webster, then Captain, as aide, 
and to whom the governor gave the authority 
to supersede General Swift at any time should it 
become necessary. 

After providing the force, the next thing was 
to get it to its destination before any advice could 
be given of it to the people of the southern part 
of the State. Some of our excited citizens 
wished the committee to take possession of the 
railroad and telegraph, but cooler counsel pre- 
vailed, and the railroad and telegraph companies' 
officers patriotically aided the authorities in 


every way, thus preventing any knowledge 
of the expedition being sent in advance. 

To this end, no telegrams were permitted to 
go over the lines, and the regular train on the 
Illinois Central Railroad was started at the 
usual hour, 7 p.m., but with orders to stop at 
a certain place until the military train had 
passed, giving to passengers, as an excuse for 
such .delay, that some unavoidable accident, or 
other cause, prevented their going on. With 
this arrangement, the military train passed 
unheralded the length of the State, and rolled 
into Cairo to the astonishment of all, and rage 
of many of its citizens. 

It seems strange that such secrecy should 
have been necessary in any northern state, but 
we were surrounded by traitors in Chicago, 
and a large proportion of the people of Southern 
Illinois sympathized with the South, and to the 
late Hon. Stephen A. Douglas and the noble 
General John A. Logan, we owe the salvation 
of our State from civil war within its borders. 

Knowing the sentiment of the people, the 
fear was that they would destroy the long, 
wooden trestle-work across the Big Muddy River, 
which they could have rendered impassable in 
an hour, by burning it. There was also fear 
that the rebels would seize Cairo, as being a 
point of great strategic importance. It was 
afterward learned that Cairo would have been 
seized in forty-eight hours, had its occupation 
been delayed. 


Cairo <jqpefcition 

Preparing the expedition to Cairo brought 
us face to face with the fact that the State of 
Illinois had not, within its control, guns enough 
for one regiment. Indiana, Wisconsin, and 
Iowa sent agents here asking for arms. 
Michigan, in reply to the committee's request 
for a loan of arms, said they had none that 
could be spared, not having enough for their 
own men. 

The committee, in view of the condition, 
decided to send East for arms, and gladly 
accepted the offer of Stephen Francis Gale to 
go in search of. guns, and I have the pleasure 
of giving you his own account of the mission: 

A. H. BURLEY, ESQ., President of the Citizens' 
Committee of the City of Chicago : 

On the 20th of April, 1861, you informed me that 
I had been selected by your committee to proceed 
East for the purpose of procuring arms and ammuni- 
tion for the troops of the State of Illinois. 

Arrangements were quickly made for my departure, 
by obtaining , through R . N . Rice , Esq . , superintendent 
of the Michigan Central Railroad, a free and unob- 
structed track to Detroit, and in one hour was on my 

Wired the governor of Michigan to meet me at 
the station at Jackson for the purpose of obtaining, if 
possible, a temporary supply from the arsenal at 
Dearborn. His answer was: "We can not let you 
have a single musket, our State has called for more 
men than we can arm." 

Reached Detroit in six hours and thirty minutes; 
wiring on my way to Mr. Rice to meet me on my 
arrival at the station, and meantime to make arrange- 
ments with the Great Western Railway for an engine 


ftemimgcenceg of Chicago 

to take me to Niagara Falls; also to put me in com- 
munication with some one in high authority in Canada. 

Mr. Rice at once prepared a letter to Hon. 
H. C. R. Beecher, the queen's counsel at London, 
who said he would lay my request before the 
government without delay and make answer to my 
request as soon as he could get a reply. On the 22d 
instant, I received a despatch, care of Erastus Corn- 
ing, Albany, as follows: 

"Application unsuccessful," and evidently to 
explain delay adds: "Government does not take 
the telegraph as a means of communication. Why 
not try Lord Lyons?" 

In my brief conversation with Mr. Beecher, I 
inferred that, however well disposed the government 
might feel, a want of precedent or want of authority 
might prevent the granting of my request. 

My time through Canada was five hours and forty 
minutes. Mr. Rice, at my request, wired New York 
Central Railroad to ' 'hold' ' east-bound express as long 
as possible, for special on its way. 

The regular express was held for one hour; arriv- 
ing forty minutes after its departure, I took a hot 
engine and overtook the express at Rochester. 

On my arrival at Albany, called at once upon 
Mr. Corning, who promised every assistance in his 
power. He introduced me to Governor Morgan, 
who said, "There is an abundance of arms in the 
arsenals; every State can get them, and you can get 
all you want. If Governor Yates will send a special 
to Washington it might expedite matters. The 
Springfield Arsenal sent us eight thousand yesterday." 

Tried to communicate with Washington, but found 
it impossible, as the wires were all cut, and the only 
means left was by special messenger to accompany 
troops, either from New York or Philadelphia. 

Left a telegram for the secretary of war to be sent 
as soon as the line was in order. 

The saving of time seemed so important, I hastened 
to Springfield, and after an interview with the super- 

Cairo Cjqpe&ition 

intendent of the arsenal, he said : "I see your neces- 
sities and will gladly do anything in my power to 
aid you in your efforts, but I have no authority to 
deliver arms except by an order of the secretary-of- 
war." To this I answered: "I understand your posi- 
tion fully, and will give you a guarantee from the 
best men in your city that such an order shall be 
forthcoming within a reasonable time." At this 
point friends came forward, and it was arranged 
that I should have five thousand stand of arms for 
the State of Illinois, a .temporary receipt to be 
given, and proper vouchers to be furnished to the 
superintendent in the near future. The arms were 
boxed at once and delivered at the railway- station. 

While in superintendent's office for the purpose 
of obtaining special time table to run west to Albany, 
I received despatch from A. H. Burley, Chicago, 
saying: "Our State has twenty-one thousand arms 
from' St. Louis this morning," also a second one 
from the same, saying: "We are supplied, do 
nothing more." Both of these despatches were 
under date of April 26th, and on same date received 
answer to my despatch to the secretary of war, 

"An order has been issued and sent to the gov- 
ernor of Illinois for the required arms. 

"SIMON CAMERON, Secretary-of-War." 

My application to the commanding officer of the 
Watertown arsenal was successful, and on the 26th 
wired him as follows: "Send the ammunition, caps, 
etc., as soon as possible, by Boston & Albany Rail- 
road, arrangements are made with the company to 
forward with dispatch. Mark O Chicago, 111." 

S. F. GALE. 

My application was for two hundred thousand 
rounds for smooth-bore muskets of the Springfield 
pattern. Advises from Chicago under date of May 
2d, informed me that the ammunition was received. 


of Chicago 

While our committee's messenger was scour- 
ing the east for guns, Governor Yates was 
trying to get the United States arms from 
Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, but as the 
barracks were surrounded by rebels, who were 
determined to take the arms for their own use, 
several gentlemen, some in high military posi- 
tions, declined to undertake it; but General, 
then Captain, James H-. Stokes offered to try 
and was successful, and I here give you his 
own account of his expedition, which he kindly 
prepared, at my request: 

CHICAGO, ILL., May 7, 1889. 

AUGUSTUS H. BURLEY, No. 618 Opera House Block, 

My dear Sir, In answer to your kind letter of the 
4th inst., I take much pleasure in making the follow- 
ing statement : 

Immediately following the fall of Fort Sumter, in 
April, 1861, I was called to Springfield by letter 
from Governor Yates of Illinois, as his military 
adviser. A few days after my arrival there, Gov- 
ernor Yates stated that he had received a warrant 
from the war department at Washington, directing 
the ordnance officer at the St. Louis arsenal, to 
turn over to the governor of Illinois, eight thousand 
muskets (8,000) and ammunition. Governor Yates 
stating at the same time that he had in camp three 
thousand volunteers without arms that he had 
offered the warrant to an officer of the regular army, 
who declined serving it, stating that it was impossible 
to execute it, as the arsenal grounds were surrounded 
by rebel troops. So strong was the apprehension 
that the rebels would frustrate this effort to relieve 
the arsenal, that I was sent from Springfield by 

j)e Cairo 

special railroad train, no one being permitted on the 
train but the conductor and the necessary employes. 

Before leaving Springfield, I made arrangements 
with Mr. Mitchell, one of the owners of the Alton 
& St. Louis Steamboat Company, to meet me on 
the outskirts of St. Louis, on the evening of the 
second day thereafter. On reaching St. Louis, I 
walked down to the arsenal unobserved. Finding 
the outer gate choked by a great crowd of people, 
principally rebels, 1 met a picket guard and induced 
the sergeant to force an opening through the crowd, 
landing me inside of the arsenal gates. 

Directed by the inside guard to the ordnance-offi- 
cer's quarters, I gave him the warrant. After read- 
ing it, we went to Captain (Nathaniel) Lyon's quarters, 
commanding post, who, after reading the warrant 
expressed a decided opinion that it was impossible 
to move the arms in the face of the large rebel force 
then surrounding the arsenal, which was said to be 
about eight thousand strong, expecting daily to cap- 
ture the arsenal and war-material. Captain Lyon was 
strong in his opposition. Captain Olcutt, of the ord- 
nance corps, U. S. army, urged and assisted me in 
my efforts to convince the commanding officer that 
the arsenal and its contents would be surely captured 
by the rebel troops, therefore, it would be better to 
make the effort to remove, if possible, the ordnance 
stores. After along and urgentappeal, CaptainLyon 
consented to comply with the demands of the warrant. 
Thereupon I started back to St. Louis to meet Mr. 
Mitchell by appointment, and settled upon the plan, 
and tht time for sending his steamer to the arsenal, 
which was to be at 2 a.m., the following night, 
returning to the arsenal under cover of the night, 
and thereby escaping all notice. Our time was 
employed in trying to mislead the rebels. To this 
end Captain Olcutt the next day sent several boxes 
of old flint-lock muskets to the railroad depot, in 
St. Louis, as if for shipment. The boxes were 
greedily seized by the rebels with great exultation, 

of Chicago 

and much glorification was made on account of so 
important a capture. 

While preparing the guns for shipment, as ordered 
by warrant from the war department, with the aid of 
Captain Olcutt, we were much occupied in trying to 
convince Captain Lyon that the call for only eight 
thousand guns would not relieve the arsenal from 
the intended attack of the rebels, and that it would 
be better for the country to remove all the guns in 
the arsenal to a safe place in Illinois, and leave the 
rebels nothing to fight for. Before the end of the 
day Captain Lyon accepted our view of the case, 
and consented that I should remove the larger por- 
tion of the arms, retaining only what was necessary 
to arm and equip the volunteers under his command. 

The same night the steamer, City of Alton, from 
Alton, quietly floated down to the arsenal dock, 
reaching it about 2 a.m. 

With a force of about four or five hundred vol- 
unteers, two thousand boxes of muskets, with the 
necessary ammunition, a complete light-artillery bat- 
tery, with its ammunition were quietly placed on 
board the steamer. In all there were about twenty- 
three thousand (23,000) stand of arms. 

During the evening and night of the shipment, 
seven or eight of the rebel spies were captured inside 
of the lines. After a satisfactory loading of the arms 
on the steamer was made, orders were given by the 
captain to cast off, and an attempt was made to start 
the steamer, but it was found to be hard upon a rock, 
and all efforts failed to move her by steam. It was 
then that Captain Lyon under the pressure of great 
excitement, backed by his expressed unwillingness 
to permit the arms to be taken away, accused me of 
treachery, with the intention of delivering the arms 
to the rebels. He knew that I was a Southerner by 
birth and education, and supposed me to be liable to 
any of his suspicions. 

I bore his apprehensions as well as I could, and 
employed my efforts in having boxes and guns moved 

Cairo <jqpe&ition 

from the bow, where the pressure was the greatest. 
In the course of an hour of hard work by the soldiers, 
the steamer was relieved. It again floated, and we 
started for Alton, without noise from escaping steam, 
the captain directing the steam to be discharged in 
the coal-hole. 

About two miles up the river, after leaving 
St. Louis, the channel of the river made a turn close 
up to its west bank, where there was stationed a rebel 
battery, with their camp-fires burning, apparently all 
asleep, so that the steamer passed unnoticed, reaching 
Alton about 6 a.m. finding Mr. Mitchell on the 
dock awaiting our arrival. 

So soon as he learned that we had on board twenty- 
three thousand stand of arms, he started for the fire- 
alarm bell and rang it heartily, raising all the town, 
under the apprehension of a fire. The mayor of the 
city with a large crowd of citizens collected around 
him, and when he related to them the cause of his 
ringing the bell, and calling for volunteers to help in 
unloading the steamer, the citizens, headed by the 
mayor, went to the steamer, each four taking a box 
of guns, and soon transferred all to a freight train 
already standing on the track near the wharf. 

In the course of an hour, everything was moved 
to the cars, and in safety we escaped to Springfield, 
reaching there about 2 p.m. where we were met by 
Governor Yates, and a large portion of the legislature. 

The end of this little effort to obtain the twenty- 
three thousand stand of arms to arm the volunteers 
already in camp in the State of Illinois, as well as a 
portion of the volunteers in Wisconsin and Indiana, 
was received and acknowledged by a vote of thanks 
to myself, passed by the legislature of the State of 
Illinois, and approved by the Governor of this State. 1 

It may not be out of place to repeat a remark 

l See official account of the expedition of Captain 
Stokes in the "Report of the Adjutant-General of 
the State of Illinois," Vol. I, page 241. 


of Chicago 

made by a citizen of the State of Missouri, that by 
the early removal of these arms from the arsenal at 
St. Louis, it destroyed the supremacy of the rebel 
forces, and smothered their intended invasion of the 
State of Illinois, also keeping the rebels from taking 
the State of Missouri out of the Union, by a vote of 
secession then contemplated. 

Very respectfully, 

The arms obtained by Mr. Gale, after being 
placed on the cars at Springfield, Mass., were 
stopped and returned to the United States 
arsenal as soon as the success of Captain Stokes' 
expedition was known. The ammunition from 
Watertown for the arms from Springfield came 
through in due time, and was forwarded to 
Springfield, Illinois. 

Much credit was due to the officers of the 
Michigan Central and the Great Western rail- 
roads for the assistance and dispatch given to 
Mr. Gale, and for the service so rendered no 
bill was ever presented to the committee. 

In order to correct history and the statement 
of the adjutant-general of the State, who says 
in his report: "That the batteries were unpro- 
vided with shot, shell or cannister, but slugs 
hurriedly prepared," I wish to state, that our 
esteemed citizen, the late Philetus Woodworth 
Gates, started the fires in his foundry at eleven 
o'clock Sunday morning for the purpose of 
casting cannon-balls, and the artillery started 
that evening with four hundred rounds of fixed 
ammunition for its four guns. 

jje Cairo 

The first shot of the war fired in the West, was 
a shot cast in Mr. Gates' foundry on that Sunday 
morning, and fired by a gun trained by Lieuten- 
ant John Rudolph Botsford, of Captain James 
Smith's company, of Chicago Light Artillery. 

The shot was fired across the bow of a 
steamboat passing down the river, bearing 
ammunition from St. Louis for the rebels. 
The whizzing of the shot was too pointed an 
invitation to come to shore to be declined, and 
the steamer's stock of munitions of war was 
taken for use in our own army. 

To show the great prudence of the general 
commanding the expedition, and his consider- 
ation for the safety of his soldiers, I will men- 
tion what was stated by those near to him; 
"that when approaching the Big Muddy River 
he proposed that the platform cars, on which 
the cannon were, should be placed in front and 
the locomotive in the rear of the train, so that 
in case of being attacked, they could use the 
guns at long range and retreat if found neces- 
sary, " but as the other officers of the command 
did not agree with him, the train proceeded in 
the usual way. 

When the Milwaukee muskets were being 
cleaned and put into order for returning, Mr. 
George T. Abbey found many of them with 
more than one cartridge in the barrel and some 
had five or six; showing how little the boys 
knew of fire-arms or their use, having reloaded 
without discharging the guns. 

ttfmims'crncfs of Chicago 

To General Joseph Stockton thanks were due 
for his valuable assistance in obtaining horses 
for the artillery he furnished several from his 
own stock; also to Colonel Roselle Marvin 
Hough, who was very earnest at that time as 
he was subsequently all through the war. 

The Cairo expedition was hastily prepared 
and, as before stated, furnished with such arms 
as could be obtained the men, mostly in 
their every-day clothes, some with overcoats, 
but more without, a few blankets, fewer tents, 
and comparatively without camp-equipage of 
any kind. The starting for an unknown des- 
tination, ostensibly for Springfield; the tears 
of mothers, wives and sisters; the fervent bless- 
ings of friends; the screech of steam-whistles 
at ii o'clock that dark Sunday night made an 
impression ineffaceable from the memory of 
all those who were present. 

The money expended for the Cairo expedi- 
tion and for fitting out two regiments, was 
mostly refunded by the government, and then 
used in assisting the families of those in the 

Cook County, by its board of supervisors, 
appropriated $30,000 to assist the government, 
and the speaker was chairman of the war-com- 
mittee, but as of the first committee, all the 
records were destroyed in the fire of 1871. 

The first citizens' committee continued to 
serve through 1861 and 1862, and was suc- 
ceeded by a new and larger committee, but as 

Cairo <jqpe&ition 

I resigned from it, I can only say that it devoted 
its energies mostly to the assisting of General 
John Charles Fremont in his Missouri campaign. 
Of the doings of the last committee all records 
were burned. 

It must seem strange to the young people of 
to-day, that a war came upon the United States 
twenty-nine years ago, and that neither the 
Federal nor State government had money to 
pay men or to buy arms. The general govern- 
ment had but few arms, and the states still less. 

Secretary-of-War John B. Floyd, had grad- 
ually depleted the northern arsenals, removing 
the arms to southern points, from which they 
were taken by the rebels. 

It should be remembered and made a matter 
of history that the first money raised in Illinois 
for the war was subscribed by citizens of 

The first armed force sent out in the West 
was that sent to Cairo, and it was sent from 

The first general in command in the State of 
Illinois was Richard Kellogg Swift, a citizen of 

The first shot fired in the West for the Union 
was a Chicago shot, from a Chicago cannon, 
trained by a Chicago boy, of the Chicago 
Light Artillery. 

Thanks are also due to our esteemed citizen, 
E. W. Blatchford, for the assistance he ren- 
dered to Mr. Gates on that memorable Sunday. 


of Chicago 

Let us hope that the horrors of war may 
never be brought upon our country, and that 
peace and harmony may henceforth be the 
results of the treasure expended and the sacri- 
fices made in the name of Liberty and Union. 


[Extract from "The Story of My Life" by Mary 
A. Livermore.] 

In Chicago, there was even more stir and 
excitement than I had seen elsewhere. Every- 
body was engrossed with the war news and 
the war preparations. The day was full of 
din and bustle, and the night was hardly more 
quiet. On the evening of the very day that 
Fort Sumter capitulated to the secessionists, 
an immense meeting of Chicago's citizens was 
held in the great republican Wigwam, where 
Abraham Lincoln had been nominated for 
the presidency, and ten thousand men of all 
religious creeds and party affiliations came 
together to deliberate on the crisis of the hour. 
There was no talking for effect. All the 
speeches were short and to the point. The 
time for harangue was over, the time for 
action had come. Before the vast assemblage 
separated, Judge Manierre, one of the most 
eminent and popular men of the city, admin- 
istered to this great body of people, the oath 
of loyalty to the government. The multitude 

f)e Cairo jqpe&ition 

rose, and with uncovered heads and upraised 
right hands, repeated the words of the follow- 
ing oath : 

"I do solemnly swear in the presence of 
Almighty God, that I will faithfully support 
the constitution of the United States, and of 
the State of Illinois. So help me God!" 

Eight days after the fall of Sumter, troops 
were dispatched from Chicago to Cairo, a 
point of great strategic importance. It is 
situated at the confluence of the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers, and is the key to navigation 
of both. It is also the southern terminus of 
several railroads, of which the northern termini 
are in the very heart of the great grain-bearing 
region of the Northwest. Its importance as a 
military post at that time could not be over- 
estimated. If the South had seized it, it could 
have controlled the railway combinations of 
the Northwest, and closed the navigation of 
the two great rivers. Southern leaders were 
well aware of the value of Cairo as a railway 
and river center, and were hurrying their 
preparations to take possession of the town. 
But their plans were checkmated by Chicago. 
In less than forty-eight hours a body of 
infantry and a company of artillery, composed 
entirely of young men from the best families 
in the state, were ready to start for Cairo. 

A long train of twenty-six cars, with two 
powerful engines attached, waited at the 
station, panting, puffing and shrieking, as if 


eager to be gone. As it moved slowly out 
along the pier, tens of thousands of people, 
who lined the lake shore, bade the soldiers 
farewell with deafening cheers. Round after 
round of hurrahs rang out from the Prairie 
City, and were seconded by the long, shrill 
shrieks of all the locomotives employed in the 
neighborhood, and waiting at the different rail- 
way stations. They were none too soon in 
their occupation of Cairo, for many of the 
inhabitants were credited with a heavy leaning 
toward secession, and would have been glad 
to welcome Southern instead of Northern 
troops. The South was in earnest, and the 
North now began to believe it. 

War Spirit in Chicago 

[Extract from The Chicago Tribune Tuesday, 
April 23, 1861.] 

"V7ESTERDAY was but a continuation 
of the military bustle and preparation 
of several days preceding. The streets 
were alive all day with the movement of vol- 
unteers. Everything gives way to the war and 
to its demands. Workmen from their shops, 
printers from their cases, lawyers from their 
offices, clerks and bookkeepers from counter 
and counting-room, are busily drilling, and the 
enlistments are marvelously rapid. But one 
sentiment prevails, and that is for war on 
traitors. Incidents of loyalty and sacrifice 
press upon us in such numbers that we do 
not attempt their narration. 

Our courts have all adjourned on account 
of war times and incident excitement. In the 
superior court, Judge John M. Wilson called 
the attention of the bar to the state of the 
nation. He said just now there were more 
important things than lawsuits to attend to. 
The perpetuity and safety of our nation were 
imperiled, and it was the duty of every man to 
devote himself to its service. He appealed 
to the bar to know if they did not concur in 
these sentiments, and sustain him in an adjourn- 

fteminigcemeg of Chicago 

ment of the court sine die in order that judges, 
lawyers, clients, jurymen, and bailiffs might 
devote themselves to the cause of their country. 
The bar with one voice replied that the Judge 
had exactly expressed their sentiments, and 
accordingly the court was adjourned. 

The loyalty and munificence of Solomon 
Sturges, Esq., is abundantly shown by the 
circumstance that he has offered to arm and 
equip at his own expense a company of eighty 
sharpshooters. These are to be made up of 
some of the best shots in the city, many of 
them members of the Audubon Club, to be 
armed with the Maynard rifle, sword, bayonet, 
and a pair of eight-inch revolvers; Mr. Stur- 
ges to bear the entire expense of their outfit 
and drill, and to land them, a crack company, 
at whatever point they may be ordered. The 
committee of the corps are James Stell, N. E. 
Sheldon, M. P. Forster, and Norton Spencer. 
Their rendezvous has been located in Dole's 

A. D. Titsworth & Company, clothiers of 
this city, are getting up 1400 uniforms for our 
Chicago troops. They are to be the army 
fatigue dress in "cadet gray" cloth, a full 
suit, with long surtout and heavy cape. Each 
soldier is to be supplied with two flannel shirts. 
This house has arrangements to make up 1000 
suits per week. In a short time our Illinois 
troops will be well uniformed. 

In our reference to George Smith as having 

Spirit in Chicago 

donated $1000 to the war fund, we uninten- 
tionally conveyed the impression that he stood 
alone in such munificence, whereas a like sum 
has been donated by Henry Farnam, Esq., 
J. Y. Scammon, Esq., and The Chicago Gas 
Light Company. 

Captain George A. Fuller, who is enrolling 
a new company of dragoons, has his head- 
quarters at the Armory Building, has fifty or 
sixty already enlisted, and the ranks will be 
full by Wednesday evening. 

The Engineer Sapper and Miner Corps, 
recruiting at the city surveyor's office in the 
courthouse, is fast filling up with first-class 
mechanics. They are noble-looking men, and 
will do splendid service. Twenty- five were 
accepted yesterday afternoon, the first day. 

The German residents, married men, of the 
ages of 25 to 45 years, organized a reserve 
corps yesterday, a battalion of four companies, 
electing officers who have served in European 

Yesterday a fine company of volunteers 
from Waukegan, ninety strong, came here to 
attach themselves as Company C of the Zouave 
regiment. They left for Springfield last even- 

A fine company of artillery, one hundred and 
one strong, Captain Charles Houghteling com- 
manding, came here yesterday and left last 
evening for Camp Yates. 

A company of volunteers from Aurora, 


ftemmigcenccg of Chicago 

Kane County, numbering over one hundred 
men, came into this city yesterday, commanded 
by Captain Graesel, who led a volunteer com- 
pany from Detroit during the Mexican War. 
Colonel C. G. Hammond, superintendent of 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 
in reply to a telegraphic despatch inquiring 
whether the company should be passed free to 
Chicago, wrote, "Yes, pass them free, and 
God bless them!" 

At 7:30 p.m. the second detachment of 
our military, comprising Captain Barker's 
Dragoons, Company C Zouaves (from 
Waukegan), Captain Kellogg's Rumsey 
Guards, the Aurora Artillery, and a fine-look- 
ing company from Lockport, Captain Hawley 
commander, left in a special train for the 
capital, comprising in all nearly six hundred 

The Highland Guard have formed Companies 
A and B. Captain Raff en commands the 
former. They are to leave this morning. The 
Guards are the color company of the 
Washington regiment, and the Stars and Stripes 
are worthily borne by Ensign Duncan McLean 
for six years in the employ of the G. &C.U.R.R. 
The company, on this occasion of his leaving, 
presented him with a fine military outfit. 

Commissary-General Fowler has opened his 
headquarters at No. 60 Wells Street, where a 
force of clerks and assistants are kept exceed- 
ingly busy. 


Spirit in Chicago 

The "Union Rifles," a corps of German 
sharpshooters, armed with the Enfield rifle, 
are to leave for Springfield this morning. 

All over the city new military organizations 
are springing up. 

The Irish citizens are vying with all other 
classes in pressing forward into the ranks. 
At the North Market Hall meeting on Saturday 
evening, in an hour and a half after the roll 
list was opened, it received the large number of 
three hundred and twenty-five names. An 
executive committee was appointed, consisting 
of Messrs. T. J. Kinsella, P. Conley, Alderman 
Cominsky, D. Quirk and P. Carragher, to pro- 
cure the necessary equipments for the regiment. 

A committee was also appointed, consisting 
of three from each division of the city, to 
solicit donations for the benefit of the families 
of those who enlist. 

The recruiting offices were announced as 
follows : Captain Gleason at the City Armory ; 
Alderman Cominsky at the Rock Island Freight 
House; Captains C. Walsh and O. Stuart at 
the Matteson House; Captain P. Casey at 
129 Canal Street; and the North Market Hall 
will be for Captains McMurray, Phillips, Quirk, 
and Moore. A muster roll will also be at 
Mr. Mulligan's office, corner Randolph and 
Dearborn streets. Other offices will hereafter 
be announced. A subscription book will be 
opened at the store of J. J. Kearney, No. 167 
South Clark Street, where will also be received 


of Chicago 

for the regiment whatever articles, such as 
guns, pistols, swords, etc., that the friends of 
the cause may donate. Contribute freely to 
defend the old flag, and let the cry be "Death 
to traitors." 

It is now permitted to transpire that the 
first detachment of Chicago troops were 
destined for Cairo, and reported as near there 
last evening. They have a battery of eight 
pieces, and are well supplied with ammunition 
and camp equipage, and the detachment is 
under the command of army officers of high 
reputation. These troops, seven hundred strong, 
are located at a most important position, and 
are worthy of the trust. 

A strong detachment was left to guard the 
railroad bridge at Muddy Creek, which has 
been threatened, and which, if destroyed, could 
not soon be rebuilt. 


[From The Chicago Tribune, April 23, 1 86 1.] 

Numbers 44 and 46 La Salle Street, April 22, 1861 

At a meeting of the Committee the following 
gentlemen were added to its members : Messrs. 
A. H. Burley, E. I. Tinkham, James Long. 

E. H. Hadduck, Esq., owing to his many 
duties, tendered his resignation, which was 


Spirit in Chicago 

On motion, Mr. A. H. Burley was elected 
president, and Messrs. E. I. Tinkham and 
James Long, vice-presidents. 

The following now constitute the committee : 

A. H. Burley, President. 

E. I. Tinkham, Vice-President. 

James Long, Vice-President. 

Samuel Hoard, Secretary and Treasurer. 

E. H. Hadduck. 

W. T. Mather. 

Julian S. Rumsey. 

Thos. B. Bryan. 

L. P. Milliard. 

Orrington Lunt. 

Per order, 
SAM'L HOARD, Sec'y. 


at anfoergft Volunteer 

[An Untold Chapter in Evanston's History as Re- 
lated by General John A. Page, who at the Outbreak 
of the Civil War was a Student in Northwestern 
University. From The Evanston Daily News, 
May 29, 1914.] 

ENERAL JOHN A. PAGE is a name 
f TT which was well known to early Evans- 
tonians. Even many of the more 
modern ones know him, for he comes back to 
Evanston from time to time to renew old 
friendships and visit old scenes. His career 
in the army has been an enviable one and 
Evanston can take especial pride in it; for he 
was one of the students at Northwestern when 
the civil war began. His picture of Evanston 
at that time is one which has never been pub- 
lished before and is an important contribution 
to our local history. Equally so is the story 
of the enlistment of the first men in Chicago 
for the greatest struggle in the history of the 

This is the first publication of these recollec- 
tions. I have written this introduction at the 
request of the editor, but the story itself is 
filled with such a vivid interest that it would 
be a bold man who would think he could add 
anything to it. 


$eminicence of Chicago 

"Recollections of 1861 as Seen Through a 
Boy's Eyes" is the title General Page wrote 
for his sketch, which is as follows: 

In 1 86 1 I was a boy in my teens. My 
father being an army officer, I was born in the 
service, and as we say in the army, "in the 

My earliest recollections of boyhood days 
were of New Castle, Delaware, the home of 
my mother. The members of my family were 
slave owners. Nigger Bill, a boy of my own 
age, was given to me as a birthday present. 
He was no common darky, was intelligent, 
handsome, powerful of limb. We were in- 
separable companions, and I dared knock the 
chip off the shoulder of any boy in town, as 
Bill did the fighting for me. He could pick 
up and carry between his toes, without being 
detected, more marbles than any darky on the 
village green, but being high toned, never 
bothered himself with anything but twenty- 
five cent alleys. Of course, as Bill belonged 
to me, the alleys went into my bag. 

One day we wandered down to the wharf to 
meet the steamboat that carried peaches from 
the Rie Bold farms to Philadelphia. They 
landed the quota of baskets belonging to the 
town, and as they cast off, some one reached 
down, grappled Bill by the collar of his coat 
and landed him on the deck of the boat. That 
was the last of Bill. It was my first sorrow, 
and although the navigation company paid 


eight hundred dollars for him, what was gold 
to a boy in place of a negro companion? 

With the loss of my possessions I lost caste, 
and was reduced from a first-class power to a 
fifth- rate one. I relate this incident of my 
early life to show that I was conversant with 
the institution that in future years made a 
soldier of me. 

Seven years of my school days were spent 
abroad, where among foreigners I learned to 
revere, to adore, the flag of my country; 
and I would advise any one who does not 
appreciate the thrill that pervades our hearts 
at the sight of our flag to go to strange lands, 
where in a short time his eyes will seek the 
emblem of his home, its sight will warm his 
soul, and he will return to his native land a 
wiser and better American. 

At the pension in Paris where I attended 
school, there were from three to four hundred 
students. On our national holidays we would 
gather around the Stars and Stripes and sing 
' 'The Home of the Brave and the Land of the 
Free." The foreigners, especially the English, 
admitted the "brave" part of our song, but 
taunted us about the land of the free. It was 
a hard knot for us to wrestle with, and it set us 
to thinking. 

On my return home the political campaign 

of 1860 soon engrossed the attention of my 

countrymen. I became a Wide-awake, donned 

the oil-cloth cape, and carried my coal-oil torch. 


&eminicence of CInrngo 

At this period I was a student at the 
Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. 
They were generally Lincoln men, with the 
exception of some Southern members. We 
debated in our societies the issues of the day, 
and thrashed over the old straw that had not 
even dust remaining in it; while our political 
giants were arousing our people to a fever heat 
over the question of slavery, that was fast 
driving our country to the terrible war that 
finally untied the knotty question that bothered 
us Americans when singing "The Home of the 
Brave and the Land of the Free." 

The November election was over; Abraham 
Lincoln was to be the next president. 

Then began the machinations of the dis- 
affected to destroy the republic. The papers 
of the day were filled with inflammatory ar- 
ticles. Secession was advocated openly and 
boldly. We students became restless. There 
was a feeling that the tenor of our lives would 
be changed, and that the event was not far off. 
Inauguration day had passed and hopes were 
expressed that the storm that was brewing 
would pass away; but on the ninth day of 
April that fatal gun at Charleston boomed 
over the land. The die was cast; it was for 

The time had come to show your colors. 

Fort Sumter had been bombarded and forced 

to surrender. We cast about to procure a 

flag to raise over the university building, but 



none could be found. Bunting could not be 
purchased; the loyal people had exhausted the 
supply, so the girl students set their nimble 
fingers to work and presented us one made 
from calico; and in the presence of the whole 
population of the surrounding country, we 
hauled it to the peak of the flagstaff and then 
and there raising our right hands swore to 
protect the honor of that flag with our lives. 

It was a solemn, sad, and impressive scene: 
boys in their teens dedicating their young lives 
to their country. And well they kept their 
oaths; the village, the city, and the national 
cemeteries bear witness to their devotion to 
the Union. In every army of our land, east and 
west, the Northwestern students, the brawny 
lads of the West, shared with their countrymen 
the dangers of the battle field, the privations 
and hardships of the camp and the march. 
The prisons of the South and the lonely 
unknown grave claimed their quota of my 

The excitement became so intense that 
books were abandoned, many began to pack 
their trunks, all were waiting for something to 
turn up, when the news came that the Presi- 
dent had called for 75,000 militia for three 
months' service. It being late Saturday and 
no Sunday trains in those days, many of us 
walked to Chicago where we found everybody 
on the streets, flags flying from every house. 
It was said that they were waiting to hear 


of Chicago 

from the Governor of the State; that on Mon- 
day enlisting would certainly begin. We 
returned home on a freight train late that 
night and early Sunday morning disseminated 
the news. Monday we marched to the morn- 
ing train; there was standing room only, the 
cars being packed with country boys on 
the same mission as ourselves. Arriving in 
Chicago, we struck out for State Street, where, 
before the armory of the Ellsworth Zouaves, 
the crowd was so dense we could not get near 
it. We tried several other places where we 
heard they were enlisting men, but were too 
late. ' ' No more men wanted, ' ' was placarded 
on the buildings, and the guard stationed so 
no one could enter. 

The Military Battery of Chicago was an old 
organization. A number of us had friends in 
the command, and they had given us a tip and 
list of students they desired in the company; 
so we quit the crowd and went to their armory, 
where the same placard stared us in the face, 
"No more men wanted." But we found a 
number of the battery who quietly led us in 
the back way; they had kept places for us, but 
we must get recommendation from some prom- 
inent person, as the clamor was so great 
outside to get into the battery they desired to 
fortify their refusal with our recommendations. 
These were easily procured. The complement 
of men being secured, the books were closed 
and the fact announced, from a second-story 


window, to the crowd below, who received it 
with a howl of disappointment. 

We were informed, as they only had four 
guns (they were six-pounders), the old mem- 
bers would go to the front first, and as soon as 
they could get two more guns we would be 
notified. The citizens of Chicago presented 
the battery with horses, and we followed the 
fortunate ones to the depot to see them off for 
Cairo, where they had been ordered. Thou- 
sands of young men were clamoring to enlist, 
but the quota of Illinois had been filled; they, 
however, kept to work forming companies on 
their own account, drilling and preparing them- 
selves for the future. 

We received letters from Cairo saying they 
expected two more guns soon, but we were 
impatient and wrote back that we could not 
wait any Jpnger; so in a few days a sergeant 
was sent for us, our detachment was assembled 
and put en route to join our companies. We 
found them encamped in the bottom in the 
rear of the levee, and very glad to see us. 

One gun detachment was up the Mississippi, 
and one up the Ohio. They had cut embra- 
sures through the gypsum weeds on the levees 
to be able to get a view of the rivers. 

Their duty was to hail every boat that came 
down stream make them blow their whistle 
so that the fort at the junction of the rivers 
could be ready for them in case they tried to 
run by with contraband goods for the South. 


ncmnuarcnrcs" of Chicago 

Cairo was a busy beehive: camps were 
everywhere; steamboats, gunboats, were com- 
ing and going; from morning till night it was 
drill, drill, drill. When it rained the mud was 
deep and sticky, pools of water soon formed, 
and mounted drills had to be suspended; when 
it dried up, the ground caked, cracked, and 
pulverized into an impalpable and suffocating 

There was no poetry in our lives; rations 
were good, cooking indifferent, work hard. 
As a new regiment arrived, the men flocked to 
our camp to see battery drill; few of them had 
ever seen a gun, so we generally had an appre- 
ciative and enthusiastic audience. 

Having but four six-pounders, our detach- 
ment was attached to these gun squads. In 
time we found out that we were having the 
largest share of work put upon us; so soon 
will men become old soldiers and learn the 
tricks of the trade. 

We late comers were looked upon as fresh 
fish, and were treated accordingly; we were so 
green it took us some time to discover we 
were being imposed upon. 

Our ideas of discipline were very vague; 
articles of war or regulations were a myth to 
us. We were obedient, and performed our 
allotted tasks because we had been brought up 
to do so. We did not have any reverence for 
rank, nor did we appreciate the difference 
between a general, colonel, or captain. 

Untocris'irp Volunteer 

We looked upon them as men much older 
than ourselves, therefore paid deference to 

One day a number of us youngsters were at 
the St. Charles Hotel. We dropped into the 
wineroom, but could not get near the buffet. 
General Grant, Colonel Oglevie, and a number 
of other officers who became renowned during 
the war, with glasses in hand and facing each 
other, were talking about steamboats, rations, 
wagons, pontoons, a conversation that was not 
at all interesting to us. We waited patiently, 
but they took no notice of us. So we squeezed 
in between them and by gentle pressure moved 
them back from the coveted walnut boards; 
and while our chiefs sipped their lemonade and 
discussed grand tactics and strategy, we, the 
youthful tools that made their combinations pos- 
sible, sucked our sweetened water through 
straws and talked of home, with its good things 
to eat. There was no intention on our part 
of being disrespectful, nor did we realize that 
we were rude. We were boys and acted like 
boys; the old gentlemen treated us as such 
and did not bother themselves about us. 
En pa* writ, I will say I never tried to elbow 
General Grant again. 

By the time the news of Bull Run reached 
us, the boys had had time to get their wind in 
the intrenchments of Washington; and some 
few did not recognize their old camp grounds, 
and passed on, and strengthened themselves 


of Chicago 

with fresh oysters at Fulton Market, New York 
City. We did not feel downcast, nor do I 
remember of any of us being paralyzed by the 
defeat. Was not our Battery '/A" and 
Battery "B" at Bird's Point still on deck? 
Where was Payne's Ninth and Me Arthur's 
Twelfth Illinois, Wallace's Indianians, Smith's 
Eighth Missouri wharf-rats, and a host of other 
regiments spoiling for a fight? We were 
indignant at the report that a three-months' 
regiment's time having expired, they refused 
to enter the fight. Our time had expired, 
too, but we were not going to leave any 
loophole open to keep us out of battle, and 
there being no mustering officer at Cairo, we 
passed around the hat, chipped in and paid the 
expenses of a sergeant to go to St. Louis and 
bring one down. This is the way we got in 
"for three years or the war." 

Bird's Point, just across from Cairo, in 
Missouri, was an intrenched camp. This is 
where I first met Private J. Q. White of 
Taylor's Battery, our late and lamented 
recorder, who was then just as vivacious, 
patriotic, and full of vim as when you knew 
him as a member of our commandery. 

Our camp duties became very monotonous; 
sickness was telling on the command; and the 
younger boys began to long for home. 

They were furloughed by squads; but as 
soon as they changed climate, malarial fever 
broke out, so it was deemed unwise to grant 


any more . We were longing for a chang e, when, 
on the fifth of September, orders came for us 
to be ready to strike tents and move at once. 
New life was infused into us, limber chests 
were put in order, everything was ready for 
action. At sundown we marched to the landing. 
There we found Payne's Ninth and McArthur's 
Twelfth Illinois regiments embarking in steam- 
boats. Our battery was soon stowed away, 
and with the gunboats Tyler and Conestaga 
leading, we started up the Ohio. 

None of us knew where we were going, but 
we felt we were on important business. At 
daylight we were all awake; Paducah was our 
destination. I expected to be one of the gun 
squads, but received an order to report as 
orderly to Colonel Wagner of the artillery in 
the cabin above, where General Grant, Captain 
Foote of the navy, and staff officers were 
assembled. As soon as the boats landed, the 
infantry skirmishers at a run disappeared in the 
town, our battery soon rattling after them. I 
heard General Grant complimenting the battery 
and saying he would make a special application 
for two more guns for us. We had anticipated 
the enemy, who were reported not far away; 
the few in town skipped out, so we did not 
have a chance to distinguish or extinguish 

Earthworks were thrown up, re-enforcements 
began to arrive, and General Charles F. Smith 
was placed in command. 

&eminicente of Chicago 

I was a sentinel at Battery No. 2 one day, 
when the General, followed by an orderly, 
approached my post. To me he was the 
handsomest man I had ever seen. His long 
white mustache, erect figure, soldierly appear- 
ance and dignity combined, left an ineffaceable 
imprint on my memory. His orderly was a 
bugler boy from the regular cavalry. While 
the General was listening to my recital of my 
order, the orderly, with his horse pawing the air, 
was winking and making faces at me. As they 
rode off I hardly knew whether to wish I was 
the General or the orderly. At breakfast one 
morning our sergeant-major handed me an 
official letter, and from its numerous re-direc- 
tions it had followed me for some time. It 
was a commission, duly signed by the President, 
appointing me a second lieutenant in the Third 
United States Infantry, with orders to report 
for duty with my regiment at Washington city. 
I did not want it. My brother, seventeen 
months younger, had enlisted with me; I did not 
want to leave him or my companions, but was 
told to obey orders. My squad groomed me 
down nicely and I reported at General Smith's 
headquarters for discharge. 

The front office was occupied by a youngster 
of my own age ; he was dressed in shiny-topped 
boots, spurs, feet on table, smoking a huge 
cigar and reading the morning paper. I 
inquired if the General was in. "He is not," 
was the reply. I asked, ' 'When will he be in? " 


The answer was, "I am not his keeper, and he 
does not get up with the chickens. " Realizing 
that I was a rather early caller, I returned later 
and was ushered into his presence . The General 
looked at my communication, told me to take 
a seat, and congratulated me on being an officer 
of the Third United States Infantry. He said 
it was one of the oldest and best regiments in 
the service and trusted I would be an honor to 
it. Tapping a bell, my flip young officer, to 
whom I had taken an intense dislike, appeared, 
and orders were given for my discharge. The 
General looked over a pamphlet on his desk, 
informed me tha"t the officer who had just left 
was a regular, a fifth of August appointee, the 
same batch to which I belonged, but that I 
ranked him. 

General Smith was at this time colonel of 
the Third Infantry, my regiment, but he did 
not so inform me. On leaving the General, 
my youngster, to whom I had taken an intense 
dislike, met me with extended hand, smiling 
face, and one of his huge cigars. He said if 
I would wait a few minutes until the adjutant- 
general relieved him, he would wet my com- 
mission in true Kentucky style, which he did. 

The dislikes of youth are not very deep- 
rooted. On returning to camp, I found my 
brother had received an order to report for 
duty to General Fremont. We took the boat 
for Cairo and went at once to General Grant's 
office to get transportation to St. Louis. 

ftemhtigcenceg of Chicago 

I recognized the General, sitting behind a 
wire screen, and handed him my papers. He 
looked at my commission and seemed to be 
buried in deep thought; then he looked at me 
intently, and repeated several times, "John 
Page." Just then an old gray-headed officer 
tapped him on the shoulder and called, "Time." 
The General awoke from his reverie and turned 
my papers over to some one else. General 
Grant on graduating from West Point was 
assigned to the Fourth Infantry, then stationed 
at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. 
My father, John Page, was a captain of the 
regiment, and took a fancy to the young 
lieutenant. The friendship was reciprocated. 
My father was mortally wounded at Palo Alto 
by having his jaw carried away by a cannon 
ball; it was the first blood Grant saw shed on 
a battle-field. No doubt his thoughts, when 
looking at my commission, were wandering 
back to early days. Going to the St. Charles 
Hotel, I registered my name for the first time 
with "U. S. Army" as a handle to it. My 
brother and I were dressed in private uniforms, 
gray in color and piped with red. The clerk 
sized us up and gave us quarters according to 
our ranks an attic room as near heaven as 
he could get us. We paid our board in advance 
and left word to be wakened at six next morn- 
ing. During the evening, when the lobby was 
crowded with officers, a patrol appeared. We 
were the only privates visible, so the officer in 


charge made for us and demanded our passes. 
I showed him my commission, but he said it 
was no good and for us to "fall in." Just 
then an officer interfered, looked at my orders, 
and told the guard we were all right. I asked 
a bellboy who it was that had saved us from 
the lock-up. "Colonel McPherson, one of 
those regulars that musters the boys in," was 
his reply. This officer was promoted to major- 
general and was the James B. McPherson who 
was killed July 22, 1864, near Atlanta. 

It was almost eight o'clock when we woke 
up; they had failed to call us; our train had left. 
We were very angry but it did no good. The 
clerk said if we wanted to remain for the next 
train, we would have to plank down the where- 
withal to secure our heavenly attic. Having 
but fifty cents between us, we could not do it, 
but we took our revenge out by eating a break- 
fast that lasted us for twenty-four hours. That 
night, curled up in our blankets among the cot- 
ton bales on the levee, with the stars above 
blinking at us, we slept as only soldier boys can 
sleep. We took the train for Odin, and the 
conductor honored our transportation request, 
but failed to give us transfers for St. Louis; we 
boarded the train, however, which was filled 
with Mulligan's paroled men. They took a 
fancy to us and insisted upon our taking a wee 
drop from their canteens. The conductor 
called for our tickets; I explained the circum- 
stances. He said he guessed we would have 


&emmicence of Chicago 

to get off at the next station; Mulligan's men 
said they guessed not. The Mulligan guess 
was the best. 

On reaching St. Louis we went to General 
Fremont's headquarters; they occupied a fine 
private residence. The house was on an eleva- 
tion from the street, the lot being surrounded 
by a retaining wall. The entrance to the 
grounds was guarded by two cavalrymen, their 
sabres crossed; the wall was lined with them, 
their feet dangling over it. They were jeering 
at everybody that passed. When we stated 
we desired to see General Fremont it produced 
a howl, and we were invited in not very choice 
or polite language to go to the lower regions. 

My uncle, Major J. H. Eaton, who had 
resigned his commission as a captain of the 
Third Infantry in 1858, had re-entered the 
service as major and paymaster of volunteers, 
and was military secretary to General Fremont. 
We could see him at his desk in the conserv- 
atory, and in time we attracted his attention. 
He sent an orderly for us. 

Entering the building, a strange sight greeted 
us. It was a motley crew of officers dressed in 
all kinds of uniforms, some with leather hip 
riding boots with a thousand wrinkles in them; 
others with leather breeches with a strip of 
cloth reaching to the knee; their headgear were 
Garibaldi and other piratical-looking hats; their 
sabres were clanking on the floor and at every 
step their spurs jingled; they were smoking and 


all talking at once in every language except plain 
American. The scene was so novel and outre 
that I forgot to follow the orderly until he 
aroused me from my reverie. I asked my 
uncle what it meant. He evaded my question, 
but said the noise was so great in there that he 
had been compelled to move his desk into the 
conservatory; that the cavalrymen were Zagonis 
men; that there were 500 cavalry and 500 
infantry constituting General Fremont's body- 
guard ; that he had secured a second lieutenancy 
for my brother in the infantry contingent. A 
bodyguard to me was a new revelation. I had 
never run across one in the regions where I had 
been serving. 

At my home in Evanston they had been 
anticipating my arrival; my sash, sword and 
revolver were awaiting me; the younger portion 
of the family presented me with a poignard 
about eight inches long, the letters "X. C. L." 
etched on its bright blade; the scabbard was 
of red leather. No doubt some of you remem- 
ber that redoubtable weapon of our early day 
warriors. My uniform was made on a rush 
order. The shoulder strap was the typical 
strap of the second lieutenant of those days; 
it was ample in size, of double row of heavy 
bullion, worked on light blue velvet. 

[After an illness of two months, Lieut. Page left 
to join the Third U.S. Infantry at Washington under 
Gen. McClellan, and was thereafter with the Army 
of the Potomac. ED.] 


metfcan Volunteer 

[Extract from the unpublished memoir of General 
Alexander C. McClurg.] 

TO the citizen soldier who took active part 
in the marches, campaigns and battles 
of the Civil War, no other part of his 
life, no matter how active and enterprising it 
may have been, or how successful, can rival 
in interest the years passed as a volunteer in 
his country's service. Then, if ever, he was 
acting under unselfish and generous impulses 
following and seeking not his own interest and 
advancement, but what he believed to be beyond 
price or valuation, his country's safety, in- 
tegrity and prosperity, the interests and happi- 
ness of the men, women and children of 
America, and, as it seemed to many of us, the 
future welfare of the world and mankind. 

There is no doubt that the great majority of 
those who in the earlier days of the war 
devoted themselves to their country's service 
did so in opposition to their personal inclina- 
tion, and with the conviction that they were 
sacrificing, temporarily at least, their personal 
best interests for a more sacred cause. Some 
doubtless enlisted from a love of adventure, 
and, later, others were tempted by liberal cash 

of Chicago 

bounties but this was not the case in the 
early years of the war. Those who enlisted 
were of course nearly all young men, just 
entering upon, or just about to enter upon, the 
activities of life. Hope and ambition were 
urging them forward in some chosen career 
which should bring competence and ease in 
later life. They longed to stay at home and 
to enter upon their life work; but something 
higher and nobler than their own self-interest 
beckoned them to the field where the life and 
integrity of their beloved country must be 
fought for in bloody battles. They could not 
be deaf to the calls which were sounding all 
around them. The periodical press was full 
of patriotic appeals . Every rostrum resounded 
with the fervid eloquence of anxious lovers of 
their country. Orators, like Wendell Phillips 
and Henry Ward Beecher, and statesmen, like 
Lincoln and Seward, poured forth the most 
soul-stirring pleas t"o save the Union. 

To the young and enthusiastic, all the familiar 
patriotic words of the poets not only echoed 
and re-echoed through heart and brain, but 
took a new and practical meaning. 

"Breathes there the man with soul so dead 
Who never to himself hath said 
This is my own, my native land!" 

"Sail on, O ship of state! 
Sail on, O Union, strong and great! 
Humanity with all its fears, 
With all the hopes of future years, 
Is hanging breathless on thy fate! 

American Volunteer loftier 

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee, 
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, 
Our hopes triumphant o'er our fears, 
Are all with thee, are all with thee." 

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." 

These and hundreds of similar passages conned 
in boyhood were in all minds, and burned our 
hearts with an intensity of meaning never felt 
before. Music inspired every heart to patriotic 
service and sacrifice; woman looked and spoke 
the same high appeal. Never before had been 
felt such a fervor of apprehension and high 
patriotic resolve. American manhood was ex- 
horted as never before. The American Re- 
public must not perish. No theories of States 
Rights must be allowed to destroy it. The 
Union must and shall be preserved! It was 
evident to all that unless the American youth 
of the North rose to the occasion all the bright 
hopes of ideal republicanism were lost, and 
forever. It was almost impossible for any 
generous and manly spirit among the young to 
resist the appeal ; no matter what the repug- 
nance to war and battle, to the rough manners 
and severe hardships of a soldier's life, no 
matter how strong the mere selfish temptation 
to the tasks and ambitions of civil life. The 
country's peril and her cry to her sons to save 
her drowned all other voices. Every youth 
and young man felt the struggle between in- 
clination and duty in his own breast. Each 
must settle the mighty question alone and for 

of Chicago 

himself. Some who had wives, mothers, or 
sisters dependent upon them, or who were 
fettered by other circumstances, must remain 
at home, and this only increased the urgency 
upon others who were not so fettered. For 
myself, the struggle was severe and long; but 
the conclusion was irresistible; I did not want 
to go; but I must. 

I had only recently come to Chicago from 
my home at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and had 
entered enthusiastically upon what I felt would 
be a congenial business for life. I had become 
a junior clerk in the wholesale and retail book- 
store of S. C. Griggs & Go. Although always 
fond of outdoor life and sports, my spare hours 
had been largely devoted to books and reading; 
and a life devoted to books, even commercially, 
had the strongest attraction for me. I could 
look only with abhorrence upon war and or- 
ganized brute force, for I had been deeply 
moved by the common sense and eloquence of 
Charles Sumner's splendid peace orations. I 
had never taken any interest in volunteer or 
militia soldiering, and, indeed, had rather 
looked with contempt upon the showy uniforms 
and pompous paradings of those who seemed 
to play at soldiering in times of peace. But 
the decision was made; I must go into this 
war, and do what little one individual could to 
save the imperiled country. 

I was only one of many, for I found most of 
my companions and acquaintances in Chicago 

American Volunteer 

had been going through the same struggles as 
myself; and a large number of them had reached 
the same conclusion. How we should go was 
now the question. Many of us had had college 
educations, had been somewhat delicately 
reared, and had been accustomed to the lives 
and manners of refined family circles. We 
naturally shrunk from the idea of entering the 
rank and file and becoming private soldiers; 
and we would generally have liked to secure 
commissions as lieutenants or subaltern officers. 
Without political influence, however, this was 
not easy, and, despairing of such opportunities, 
we finally determined to form a company among 
ourselves, in which all the men might be of 
somewhat the same condition in life, and more 
or less congenial, that so we might tone down 
some of the asperities of the private soldier's 
life. It was at last quietly and quickly made 
known that on a certain Saturday evening all 
those who were notified, and who desired to 
join such a company, would assemble together 
at eight o'clock in a designated office on Dear- 
born Street, where muster-rolls would be ready 
for signature. At the appointed hour I re- 
paired to the rendezvous, and found there 
already assembled a large number of young 
men, mainly personal friends and acquaint- 
ances. It was a curious assemblage and 
although the naturally high spirits and jollity 
of youth would occasionally assert themselves, 
a very decided feeling of seriousness and 

of Chicago 

solemnity pervaded all. The muster-roll was 
soon numerously signed, and a company of 
about one hundred picked men (for so we con- 
sidered ourselves) was enlisted. An organiza- 
tion was at once effected, and a member, who 
had previously served as captain of a militia 
company in New England, Mr. L. P. Bradley, 
was elected Captain, and a prominent young 
lawyer of Chicago, Mr. Norman Williams, who 
had had some tactical training in an eastern 
militia company, was made First Lieutenant. 
It happened that on that very evening an 
immense ' 'war meeting' ' was being held in the 
old "Wigwam" in which Abraham Lincoln 
had been nominated for president. The rapid 
mustering of this company had been heard of 
at the meeting, and a request was sent down 
that the company should present itself. We 
were accordingly marshaled into column, and, 
with drum and fife, marched through the quiet 
and dark streets to the Wigwam, where after 
a moment of waiting we were ushered upon 
the platform on which Hon. Thomas Drum- 
mond, the highly revered United States District 
Judge, was presiding, and Hon. George C. 
Bates, a noted lawyer of that day, was making 
an impassioned and eloquent war speech. The 
announcement was made to an already excited 
and enthusiastic audience that this was a new 
company of somewhat well-known Chicago 
young men just enlisted for the war. The 
audience was a mixed one of ladies and gentle- 

American Volunteer 

men, and as many of them recognized with 
surprise many of those in ranks, the shouts 
and cheering which, in unison with the strains 
of the band, greeted the company can be 
imagined, not described, for the audience was 
immense, and was wrought up to the most in- 
tense patriotic feeling. This company was 
formed at the time when President Lincoln 
had called for the first levy of seventy-five 
thousand men, and this gallant company was 
at once tendered by telegraph to the Governor 
as a contribution to Illinois' quota. Most of 
the young men in it spent the next day or two 
in making emotional farewell visits to their 
friends, especially their young lady friends, as 
they expected to leave for the field immediately. 
It became known, however, a day or two 
later, that the state's quota was already full, 
and that the services of this company must be 
declined. The feelings with which this an- 
nouncement was received by the men were 
probably very varied. Many were loud in 
their expressions of disappointment, but for 
myself, I confess I was conscious of release 
from an intense strain, and a feeling of joy 
that my services were not needed in the field, 
and that now I was at liberty, without self- 
condemnation, to return to my chosen civil 
pursuits. It is a proof, however, of their 
earnestness of purpose that over eighty of the 
privates in the company afterwards bore com- 
missions in the volunteer army. 

of Chicago 

Though denied admission to the army at 
that time, however, it was by no means certain 
that many more troops would not speedily be 
equired, and it was unanimously decided to 
keep up the company organization, and to go 
on drilling assiduously, mainly in the evening, 
in order to be ready for service when a further 
urgent call should come. I attended all drills, 
and studied the school of the soldier and the 
ordinary company tactics industriously in all 
my spare moments, determined, if possible, to 
fit myself for future probable emergencies. 
Under Captain Bradley the company became 
before long a very creditably drilled military 
organization, and was known as Company D, 
6oth Regiment Illinois Militia. This removed 
all probability that it would be called into the 
national service as an organization. We still, 
however, felt ourselves more than half way 
soldiers, and undoubtedly rejoiced in the con- 
sciousness that we had shown our willingness 
to serve our country in the field. The company 
was in an efficient state of drill and discipline 
when the Hon. Stephen A. Douglas died. The 
body of Mr. Douglas lay in state in Chicago, 
in Bryan Hall, opposite the court house, on 
Clark Street, and Company D was detailed as 
a guard of honor over the remains. The hall 
was kept open day and night to allow the in- 
numerable crowds of citizens who desired to 
look upon his remains to do so. It happened, 
that as a private soldier, I was a member of the 

American Volunteer 

relief which stood over the coffin after mid- 
night, and I shall never forget the solemnity 
of the scene in the dimly lighted hall at 
that time. The next day the guard of honor 
marched as an escort to the grave on the lake 
shore where his monument now stands, and 
my unaccustomed muscles received a very vivid 
impression of what a private soldier endures in 
a long march on a hot day, under the weight 
of heavy musket and accoutrements. 

It was not long, however, before the country 
was felt to be again in sore straits, and more 
men were called for. Very quickly the officers 
and men of this home company began to enlist 
in other regiments which were forming for 
active service in the field. Captain Bradley 
and Sergeant C. W. Davis were among the 
first to leave for the front, having been com- 
missioned, respectively, as Lieutenant-Colonel 
and Adjutant of the 5 1st Illinois Volunteer 
Infantry, the former becoming ultimately Brig- 
adier-General of Volunteers and the latter 
Lieutenant-Colonel commanding his regiment. 
Thus one after another the men of this original 
company drifted away into active service in 
the field, having been generally found fitted to 
be commissioned as officers in regiments which 
were forming for the front. For myself, in 
August, 1862, I joined with two other gentle- 
men, who were already engaged in an attempt 
to raise a company which was intended to be 
one of the companies to compose two new 

ftmunigccnceg of Chicago 

regiments organizing under the auspices of the 
Board of Trade of Chicago. 

The patriotic citizens generally, and espe- 
cially those composing the Board, although 
usually too old to go themselves, were anxious 
to do all in their power to contribute, pecu- 
niarily, and in other ways, toward filling up the 
ranks of the armies in the field. The various 
companies forming for the regiments were 
each of them raised under the patronage, as it 
were, of some patriotic citizen, and for the time 
being were called by the citizen's name. The 
company which I joined was being liberally 
aided by Mr. U. H. Crosby, a personal friend, 
who, though but a young man, had recently 
erected a noble building which was then Chi- 
cago's pride, the beautiful and commodious 
Crosby's Opera House. After him the com- 
pany was at first known as "The Crosby 
Guards . ' ' We had a tent erected on the meager 
plat of grass then surrounding the Court House 
Square. Above the tent floated the beloved 
national flag, and within it a small wooden 
table, with a fresh muster-roll spread upon it, 
flanked with two or three chairs, composed the 

Here the three persons who were trying to 
raise the company spent the long hours of the 
day, sitting or standing at the door, trying, 
like spiders, to lure into their web any promis- 
ing looking youth or man who came within 
sight. Long and earnest were the unsophisti- 

American Doluntccr 

cated appeals to patriotism, but we suffered 
greatly from our inability to show any military 
competence or experience on the part of those 
who were organizing the company, and who 
hoped to be its officers. The Chicago Court 
House Square then presented a busy and a 
stirring scene, for it was occupied by perhaps 
half a dozen other similar tents, where other 
men were engaged in raising rival companies, 
and keen was the competition when eligible 
recruits appeared in view. Each group was 
anxious to swell its own muster-roll. It was 
curious as we afterwards looked back to this 
time to remember how anxious we all were to 
secure the large, stalwart, strong-looking men. 
Physical prowess cut much figure in our con- 
ception of the efficient soldier and we were 
possessed with the idea that the large and 
vigorous looking men were the ones who would 
best stand the hardships of service and exposure 
in the field. These ideas were very decidedly 
changed by after experience. It was soon 
found in actual service that the large and 
heavy men were apt to be the first to yield to 
exhaustion and disease and to go to the hospi- 
tals, while the small and slight men went 
safely through the severest duties and expo- 
sures, and reported constantly for active duty. 
As a rule, too, men reared in the country and 
accustomed to hard work and active life upon 
the farm gave out more quickly than the 
lighter and more wiry men from the city. I 

of Chicago 

remember distinctly when one day a tall, dark- 
complexioned and fine-looking man from south- 
ern Illinois came into the tent, and how 
anxious and excited we were until he had 
finally signed the muster-roll. There was 
more joy over him than over many smaller and 
less heroic-looking men, for was he not also 
dashing and daring in his manner, and loud- 
mouthed withal in his declarations of what he 
would do if he only once got a chance at 
"them Rebs"? As he is still living, I do not 
give his name. He deserted in almost our 
first battle, and proved to be a typical example 
of a numerous class of large-bodied, loud- 
mouthed, blustering braggarts, whose great 
professions of valor and prowess came to an 
ignominious end on the battle-field. He was 
afterwards very indignant with me when I 
refused to sign his application for a pension, 
reminding me that he deserved a pension as 
much as many of those who were already on 
the pension rolls. I do not doubt he has 
finally succeeded in getting a compliant con- 
gress to place him there. 

We spent many days at this monotonous 
work, and long and weary were the hours, 
especially when recruits were few; but we 
were constantly encouraged by the visits of 
prominent patriotic citizens who came in to 
cheer and aid us in our work, for the whole 
community was burning with zeal, and desired 
to hurry troops into the field. 

&mmcan Volunteer 

Finally our efforts were rewarded by seeing 
a little over eighty names upon our muster- 
roll, enough to form an undersized company, 
though considerably short of the maximum 
number (101) permitted to a company. Men 
were urgently needed in the field, and we were 
therefore directed to appear before Captain 
Christopher, the United States mustering offi- 
cer, to be mustered into the national service 
for three years, or during the war. We accord- 
ingly marched around to the mustering office 
on Dearborn Street, and each individual who 
answered to his name was mustered into the 
United States service for three years as a 
private soldier. It was a solemn moment for 
many of us; but we had already counted the 
cost. All had appeared who had signed the 
roll except the gentleman who had first begun 
to raise the company, and who expected to be 
made its captain. He was more advanced in 
years than most of us, was not of American 
birth, was comfortably settled in the banking 
business, and it was not surprising that when 
he found that the choice of officers must be 
left to the men, all strangers to him, after 
muster he did not care to risk the possibility 
of having to carry a musket for three years as 
private soldier. The patriotism of many a 
man, though pure and ardent, might well quail 
at this. He had perhaps even less knowledge 
of tactics, or any of the duties of the soldier, 
than either of his campanions, Mr. Charles T. 

ftcmmisrcnrcs of Chicago 

Boal or myself, who had hoped to be elected, 
respectively, to the offices of first and second 
lieutenant. Having been mustered, we were 
directed to report at once to Camp Douglas, 
about five miles south of the city, which was 
then the rendezvous and training camp for 
Chicago troops. Mr. Boal and I, with our 
slight knowledge of company drill, managed to 
get the men into properly ordered ranks, and 
the company began its first military march. 
Arrived at the camp, a piece of ground was 
assigned by the post commander, Colonel 
Tucker, upon which we were to encamp. "We 
were no longer free men, and were ordered 
to sleep in camp that night; but first we were 
to be provided with tents, tent-poles, tent- 
pins, tin cups, tin plates, kettles, knives and 
forks, and the innumerable paraphernalia which 
is necessary to complete the equipment of a 
company in the field. In some haphazard 
way, I do not remember how, we learned that 
the post quartermaster, whose quarters were 
perhaps a half a mile distant, would furnish 
these requisites for the company if some seem- 
ingly responsible person would receipt for 
them. No one else volunteering for this duty, 
I concluded to visit the quartermaster myself in 
behalf of the band of innocents whom I had 
aided to get into what at the time seemed to 
be rather a forsaken and helpless situation. 
In a very few minutes I was conferring with 
the quartermaster and receipting for innumer- 

American Volunteer 

able articles which I knew as little about as an 
infant. The counting and becoming responsi- 
ble for camp kettles, tin plates, tin cups, pewter 
spoons, knives and forks, etc., was all very 
prosaic, and seemed almost humiliating to an 
ambitious young soldier; but I had enlisted for 
the war, and was nerved up for anything and 
everything which that might imply; the practi- 
cal, common-place side of camp life must 
certainly be looked after. 

I had been engaged in this way but a short 
time when I was suddenly confronted by two 
men of the company, who came as a committee 
to tell me that "the boys "had determined that 
they must have some officers; that they had 
gone into an election; that I had been nom- 
inated for captain, and "the boys" wanted to 
hear from me. I could not have been more 
surprised, for never till that moment had the 
idea of becoming captain of the company 
entered my head. It had been supposed all 
along that the man of whom I have just spoken, 
who had been most active in raising the com- 
pany, would be the captain of it. He had 
suddenly failed to be mustered, and the situa- 
tion was changed; some other member of the 
company must become captain. As I walked 
back with the "committee " I learned that the 
men had been prompted to go into an election 
of officers by two officers (captains I think), 
who had for some time been serving in the field 
with one of the older Illinois regiments. They 

ftcmmigccnceg of Chicago 

were at home on leave of absence, and hap- 
pened that afternoon to be visitors at Camp 
Douglas. They assured the men that the 
election of officers was an immediate requisite; 
that they knew all about the formula necessary 
for such an election. They told the men that 
they would superintend the election, keep the 
necessary records, and forward these records, 
duly certified, to the governor of the state 
through the Adjutant-General; and that upon 
this evidence commissions would at once be 
issued by the governor to the men elected as 
officers. I saw nothing wrong with this plan, 
for I knew nothing about it, and I supposed 
that these superior beings, these (to me) 
veteran officers, knew all about it. 

I saw at once that a crisis of much import- 
ance to me and to the company had arisen. 
As I thought it over one thing was at once 
clear to my mind: I was not fit to be captain; 
but the second thought immediately followed 
it, granted that I am not fit, who in the com- 
pany is? Some of the men were considerably 
older than I. There were men with families, 
men who had been independent farmers, well- 
to-do country storekeepers and skilled me- 
chanics, but they knew little or nothing about 
drill or tactics or military affairs, not even as 
much as I did. There was, it is true, in the 
company one large, fine-looking, stalwart man, 
seemingly competent and very intelligent, who 
had served two terms of enlistment as a private 

American Oohuitccr 

soldier in the regular army; but when spoken 
to about being elected an officer he had posi- 
tively declined for what reason we could not 
understand, though subsequent events made it 
very apparent. Looking at the question as 
candidly and as nearly without bias as I could, 
I concluded that if the men were in earnest in 
their desire to make me captain, I had perhaps 
best be as willing to trust myself to fill the 
position as any one else in the company. I 
need not of course pretend that there were no 
whisperings of ambition. I felt at once that 
it would be a high and very gratifying honor if 
the men should voluntarily select me to be 
captain of the company, provided of course I 
could afterward by my conduct justify my 
election to what at the time seemed to me 
a very high and exalted position. 

Reaching the company ground I at once 
sought out Mr. Boal, who I thought, if he 
desired it, had a better right to be captain than 
I, for he had joined the company earlier than 
I, and had done more toward enlisting it. I 
told him that if he wished to be captain I 
would not be a candidate. He, however, pro- 
tested that while he did hope to be made first 
lieutenant, he would not consent to become 

The situation now being clear, I entered the 
circle about which the men were grouped and 
asked what they wanted with me. They said 
I had been nominated for captain, and they 

Reminiscences of Chicago 

wanted to hear from me. I recognized the 
crisis. It was to be decided at once whether 
for the next three years I should bear a com- 
mission as captain or carry a musket as a pri- 
vate soldier. I took off my cap, and collected 
my thoughts as well as I could, being utterly 
unaccustomed to speaking to a crowd of men. 
I made no attempt at oratory, but I told them 
in a very few and simple, but earnest words 
that I had had practically no military training 
or experience, and was therefore not fit to 
become captain of a company in active field 
service; but that we were perhaps all alike in 
that respect, all uninformed and inexperienced. 
We only knew that we had entered upon a 
service which would prove no child's play, and 
was likely to cost one of us very dearly; that 
we were moved by a common desire to serve 
our country against her foes, and that we must 
all do our best and help one another toward 
that end. That while, as I then was, I knew 
I was not fit for captain of the company, yet 
if they chose to make me captain I should do 
the very best I could to qualify myself; I 
should work hard and I should expect them to 
work hard; I should insist upon constant and 
arduous drills; and, knowing that discipline 
was the most important thing, I should enforce 
as rigid discipline as I could. I said we per- 
haps could not gain much glory as soldiers, 
but we could at least do our duty and serve 
our country. I was frankly in earnest, and 

American Volunteer ofiuer 

spoke with much feeling. The men were 
pleased, and I was unanimously elected. Mr. 
Boal was also unanimously elected first lieu- 
tenant and Mr. D. B. Rice second lieutenant. 
Mr. Rice was well known to many of the men, 
and had already served a few weeks in the field 
as a member of a cavalry company. 

We now believed that the first and import- 
ant steps toward the organization of the com- 
pany were taken, and it devolved upon me to 
take measures to finally reduce this motley 
mass of men to a disciplined company of 
soldiers. Other companies were encamped 
around about us which were in the same 
chaotic condition as our own, and their officers 
had their duties still to learn, just as I had. 
I believed that what they could do I could do, 
and I set about with enthusiasm to do it. To 
house the company we had five "Sibley" tents 
(large bell-shaped tents, capable of holding 
fifteen to twenty men each), and two small 
wall tents. The five Sibley tents were pitched 
in line facing the company street, the two wall 
tents, or officer tents, upon the right of the 
line. The first of these I occupied; the second 
was occupied by the two lieutenants. Squad 
drill was immediately instituted and practiced 
assiduously, in spite of some discontent which 
began to appear among the men at the con- 
stant work. The "setting up" of the men, 
"the position of the soldier," "the align- 
ment, " " the facings, ' ' the ' ' manual of arms, ' ' 


of Chicago 

I found all full of interest when studied care- 
fully. The drilling of the company as a whole 
I soon became very much interested in. I 
studied the tactics incessantly and carefully, 
and the promptness and accuracy of movement 
which I was soon able to secure greatly interest- 
ed me. There was a mathematical precision 
about the movements which was unexpectedly 
interesting, and then, too, I soon began to see 
that by conscientious effort on my own part I 
was securing the confidence and prompt obedi- 
ence of my men. They began to feel that they 
really were becoming what they wanted to be, 
soldiers. Meanwhile, kind friends in Chicago, 
whom I had become acquainted with during my 
short residence in the city, learning that I had 
become captain of a company, presented me 
with a complete set of captain's uniform, includ- 
ing epaulets, sword, and (though contrary to 
regulations for an infantry captain) a pair of 
pistols. I should like to dwell upon this pres- 
entation, which was very interesting and grati- 
fying to me, and upon the eloquent speech made 
by Mr. Henry M. Shepard, a young attorney, 
well known since in Chicago as an ornament 
to the legal bench; but this is not necessary to 
my narrative. 

The brilliant new uniform was quickly 
donned, and I began to feel myself already 
every inch a captain, as I could see it had a 
marked effect upon my raw recruits. Very 
soon they too had their military clothing dealt out 

American IMuntccr 

to them by Uncle Sam's quartermaster, and it 
was evident that their own and their officers' 
uniforms and bright buttons had much to do 
with promoting a soldierly spirit, and making 
them feel that they had ceased to be civilians, 
and had entered in earnest upon serious duties 
as soldiers enlisted for service in the field. 

By this time the company has been assigned 
to its final position as Company H of the 88th 
Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry pop- 
ularly called the 2nd Chicago Board of Trade 
Regiment. It was a regiment in the raising 
of which the citizens of Chicago, and especially 
the members of the Board of Trade, took a 
great interest, and there was much desire to 
get just the right man for colonel. The line 
officers of the regiment were mainly personal 
friends of Mr. Norman Williams, Jr., a prom- 
inent young lawyer of the city, who, as has been 
said before, had had some experience in a New 
England militia regiment, and they almost 
unanimously desired Mr. Williams for colonel. 
However, Governor Yates, then governor of 
Illinois, had already written to Major Francis 
T. Sherman, then major of an Illinois cavalry 
regiment in the field, that if he would resign 
and come home, he, the governor, would 
appoint him colonel of one of the two Board of 
Trade Regiments then being formed. Major 
Sherman had resigned, and the governor had 
at once appointed him colonel of our regiment, 
the Second Board of Trade. The line officers 

ftmunigcenceg of fjicago 

remonstrated; and the Chicago Board of Trade 
appointed a committee of their most prominent 
and influential members to visit Springfield, 
and endeavor to get the governor to recall the 
appointment. The governor demurred, saying 
that as Major Sherman had resigned at his 
request he must have the promised appoint- 
ment. Both the citizens and the officers of 
the regiment were much dissappointed, and the 
latter received their new colonel with very 
little cordiality; indeed they were inclined to 
be almost insubordinate, and for a time held 
very little intercourse with the colonel except 
officially. However, Colonel Sherman was 
evidently a man of iron nerve and much firm- 
ness of purpose; he cared little for the prefer- 
ences of the line officers, and showed by his 
air and manner that he proposed to show these 
young men that he could command them. 
The remainder of the field and staff were 
appointed and the organization of the regiment 
completed. Regimental guards were estab- 
lished, and the men were confined to regi- 
mental limits. None could leave the camp 
without a furlough from his captain. This 
led, before long, to at least one incident per- 
sonal to me which was at the time decidedly 
more interesting than agreeable. There was 
in the company, as I have said before, one 
man who was something of a mystery to us 
all. He was named Dorman, and had served 
as a private soldier for ten years in the regular 

American Volunteer loftier 

army on the plains and in the west. He was 
a large, fine-looking man, strongly built, and 
seemed not only a man of considerable char- 
acter, but of more than ordinary intelligence. 
He knew far more about the general duties of 
the soldier in camp than any of us, and yet, 
notwithstanding, he had steadily declined to 
allow himself to be thought of in the election 
of officers, and had even refused appointment 
as a non-commissioned officer, either sergeant 
or corporal. One morning he, Dorman, came 
to me and asked me for a furlough to go to the 
city to make a few necessary purchases. I 
gave him the furlough, and urged him to be 
sure to be back not later than the time speci- 
fied in the furlough, eight o'clock in the even- 
ing, as I more than half suspected that he 
might be too found of whiskey. The day 
passed away, and eight o'clock came but 
brought no Dorman. Nine o'clock, ten o'clock 
and eleven o'clock, and still no Dorman. I 
retired to my tent and lay down upon my cot. 
I fell sound asleep, and knew nothing more 
until between one and two o'clock the next 
morning, when I was awakened by someone 
rapping on my tent door. I shouted, "Come 
in," and Sergeant Andrews entered. He was 
evidently in a state of some excitement, and I 
could hear a confused noise of many of my 
men and many voices outside the tent. Ser- 
geant Andrews told me in a few rapid words 
and with evident agitation that Dorman had 

itcnumsrrnrctf of Chicago 

returned savagely drunk; that he had gone to 
the tent where he was quartered and raised a 
disturbance among the men; that Sergeant 
Rice, who had charge of that tent, had at- 
tempted to control and quiet him, when he 
had suddenly, and with the adroitness learned 
in his previous service in the army, wrenched 
a bayonet from a musket standing nearby and 
with uncontrollable fury had stabbed Sergeant 
Rice, the bayonet passing through his arm and 
into his body; that he had then cleared the 
tent of all the men in it, and was still in the 
tent defying any one to come near him. Nat- 
urally my mind worked rapidly during this 
recital. I had known for days before that the 
men were wondering what sort of a quiet 
young fellow they had elected for their captain, 
and how he would act in emergencies. I 
knew my measure had yet to be taken, and I 
saw at once that the hour had come. Ser- 
geant Andrews' visit was evidently for the 
purpose of seeing what the little captain 
would do about it. The crisis was unpleasant, 
but I could not shirk it. I sprang out of my 
cot and drew on my pantaloons and boots. I 
remember distinctly drawing my suspenders 
over my shoulders and buttoning them over 
my flannel shirt as I walked out with the 
sergeant. I did not stop for my coat. The 
company street was full of men, not only of 
my own company but from all the neighboring 
companies round about, and excitement ran 

American IDoluntccr oltucr 

high. The wounded sergeant, Rice, was lying 
under a neighboring tree with two surgeons 
bending over him dressing his wounds. The 
tent where Dorman was, was some distance up 
the company street, and as I walked toward it 
the crowd of men fell back on either side 
making a lane for me. When I got within ten 
feet of the tent, however, the ground was 
clear, the men naturally giving the tent and its 
opening a wide berth. The door of the tent 
was opposite to me, and a single candle burning 
within showed the stalwart fellow, Dorman, 
standing with his left hand clutching the center 
pole for support, while he drunkenly swayed 
backward and forward, brandishing the still 
bloody bayonet, cursing and swearing viciously, 
and defying any of the "d d militia" to come 
near him. It occurred to me at once that it 
was fortunate for me that I had to deal with an 
old soldier of the army, rather than with one of 
the green recruits, as the former had long been 
under the influence of discipline, and would 
have a respect for the position of an officer 
which the other would not feel, and that I 
should be safer with the disciplined soldier 
than with a man who had known nothing of 
discipline and nothing of an officer's authority. 
I therefore continued to walk slowly across 
the open space toward the door of the tent 
until two of my men rushed after me and 
caught hold of me, trying to stop me, exclaim- 
ing, "For God's sake, Captain, don't go near 

of Chicago 

him. He is crazy drunk, and will kill any 
man who tries to touch him." I put their 
hands off of me, however, telling them I knew 
what I was doing. They fell back, and I 
slowly walked forward, keeping my eye steadily 
upon the man. When I saw that his eye 
caught mine, I kept mine fixed upon him, and 
said quietly, "Dorman, do you know who I 
am?" He replied with profanity, "Yes, you're 
the d d little militia captain. If you come 
in here I'll make mincemeat of you." I replied, 
"That's all I want. If you know who I am, 
stop this nonsense and be quiet." I walked 
confidently up to him. As I approached him 
he drew back his hand with the bayonet as if 
he would make a savage lunge at my breast. 
I steadily approached him, however, keeping 
my eye fixed upon his. He evidently did not 
expect this, and quailed for a moment, draw- 
ing back. Still keeping my eye fixed upon 
his, I followed him up and took hold of his 
left arm. As I did so, he again drew back 
his weapon savagely, exclaiming with profan- 
ity, " I'll kill you." Again he was unprepared 
for my confident manner and voice, and his 
resolution failed him; he did not strike. With 
my other hand I drew down his right hand, 
which held the bayonet. He allowed me to 
take it out of his hand without further resist- 
ance. I then took him by the arm and marched 
him out of the tent and through the crowd, 
which readily fell back, to what we called the 

American Boiunteet 

"regimental guard-house," which was nothing 
else but a square piece of ground, staked out 
to represent the guard -house which we had not. 
I handed over the prisoner to the regimental 
guard and turned to walk back to my tent. I 
had not gone more than ten yards, however, 
before I heard a commotion and struggle be- 
hind me. Turning back, I found two guards 
and Dorman rolling in a heap on the ground. 
The sergeant of the guard informed me that 
Dorman had a canteen of whiskey suspended 
from his neck under his blouse and refused to 
give it up. I went up to him, and under cover 
of a few quiet words cut the cord with my pen- 
knife and drew away the canteen. Handing 
it to the sergeant, I went back to my quarters, 
and there was no more trouble. I knew of 
course that it was not my duty as an officer to 
act as I had done, but I felt that, all things 
considered, this was the best course. I felt 
sure I could succeed in controlling him by 
force of will, and that if I did so it would have 
a good moral effect upon the men. Besides 
this, our regimental guards were at that time 
so imperfectly organized that it would be diffi- 
cult to resort to any other course. The 
incident evidently had a marked effect upon 
the men, and rendered the enforcement of 
discipline afterward more easy. 

One afternoon, not many days after this 
incident, I was in my tent when I heard a 

of Chicago 

knock, and saying, "Come in," one of the 
sergeants entered. "Have you heard the news, 
Captain?" said he. "No," I replied, "what 
is it?" "The boys say that news has come 
to regimental headquarters that the elections 
in this company were not valid, and that the 
Adjutant-General of the state will be here him- 
self to-morrow to hold elections for captain 
and lieutenants." This was most astounding 
news, and certainly not agreeable to those who 
thought themselves firmly established as officers 
for three years to come. After wearing our 
officers' uniforms, and being greeted by our 
friends and acquaintances as officers, it would 
be by no means pleasant to go back into the 
ranks and carry muskets as private soldiers for 
three years. For myself, I felt very doubtful 
whether I should be re-elected. I was conscious 
that I was not, and had not sought to be, what 
would be called "popular" with my men. I 
had regarded discipline as all important, and 
had aimed to be something of a martinet. I 
was enforcing a stricter discipline than was 
observed in many of the companies around us. 
For instance, it was quite the custom of the 
men generally to address their captains famil- 
iarly as "Cap," and to wear their own hats 
when they came into their officers' tents. Both 
these things I absolutely forbade, thinking 
them prejudicial to discipline, and was there- 
fore thought to be making invidious distinctions 
between myself and my men. I had, however, 

American TDoluntccr JtolDirr 

more trouble with the men of other companies 
than with my own. I had also felt it necessary 
to arrest and punish some of my men for what 
the men generally thought rather trivial offenses, 
and many signs convinced me that while I was 
perhaps respected by the men, I was not 

Soon after the sergeant left the tent Lieu- 
tenant Boal came in and confirmed the report, 
saying that he had been to the Colonel's 
quarters, and the rumor was true. He asked 
me what I should do in the matter. Having 
had a little time to think it over, I said that I 
would do nothing, but would remain captain 
of the company until the Adjutant-General 
appeared; I should not say a word to the men 
about it; they had had some experience with 
me now, and could judge whether I was the 
kind of man they wanted for captain or no; I 
should not try to influence them, but should 
leave the matter entirely to them. 

I went on with my duties as usual, but I 
confess I spent a very anxious night. In the 
morning an order came for the company to be 
presented before the Adjutant-General for an 
election. I formed the company, marched it 
to the parade ground, drew it up in line before 
the Adjutant-General, and then stepped back 
into the ranks myself. He made a speech 
explaining the misunderstanding which had 
occurred; telling the men very plainly (rather 
insistently and unnecessarily so, it seemed to 

&emini$tmtt$ of Chicago 

me) that they were in no way bound by their 
previous action, and that they were now about 
to make a serious selection of men who were 
to command them during three years of actual 
service, probably in the face of the enemy; 
that it was a serious business, and they must 
so regard it, remembering that they had an 
entire right to elect any of their comrades 
whom they thought best fitted. I inferred 
that he had made a hasty estimate of me, and 
had concluded from my rather juvenile, deli- 
cate, and not very impressive looks that the 
men had originally made a mistake. He called 
his clerk beside him to keep a record of the 
election, and called for nominations for cap- 
tain. My heart beat fast. To my surprise 
several of the men called out my name. It 
was entered by the clerk, and the men were 
promptly and impressively reminded that they 
could make as many nominations as they 
desired. There was a pause, but in spite of 
further promptings from the Adjutant-General, 
no other nomination was made, and I heard 
myself re-elected captain without a dissenting 
voice. I think there is no doubt that the 
Dorman incident, and that alone, secured my 
re-election. The lieutenants, who had so far 
incurred no responsibility and had given no 
reason for offense, were then both of them re- 
elected, and we all breathed freely again. 
This re-election, after it was past, gave me 
much gratification. I was glad to know that 

American Volunteer 

after some little chance to test me the men did 
not repent of their choice, and that I now had 
their endorsement. I felt proud of my posi- 
tion, and much more confident of being able to 
fill it creditably. I realized that the position 
was an important one much more important 
than I had ever hoped to fill in military life 
and I felt that to fill it honorably and creditably 
for three years, or during the war, was all, or 
more than all, my ambition need aspire to. I 
resolved rather to seek to be a competent and 
efficient captain than to seek higher promotion. 
The later weeks of August, 1862, were spent 
in camp at Camp Douglas, Chicago, and the 
busy days were all too short for our arduous 
efforts to learn the routine duties and drills of 
the soldier. To change our ideas and habits 
from those of the civilian to those of the 
soldier was no easy task. To change home 
and comfortable rooms for life in a tent was 
perhaps more novel than agreeable; but we 
applied ourselves to our new life with zest, in 
order to be prepared for efficient service later, 
when we should be brought face to face with 
the enemy in the field; for so far as I could 
see, every man in the company was fully 
possessed with the idea that there was no 
child's play before us, but serious, hard, and 
tragic work. The early reveille, the roll call, 
the details for guard duty, the fatigue duties 
about the camp, the guard mounts, the restric- 
tions to the limits of the camp, the men's 

fteminigcenceg of Chicago 

monotonous meals at the military mess, all 
were novelties which soon became more ardu- 
ous than pleasing. 

But the great occupation and the great 
labor was drill first squad drill, then com- 
pany drill, and finally a little battalion drill. 
I soon developed a strong liking for conduct- 
ing drills, and drilling my company became to 
me a real recreation. The mere practice in 
"setting up" the men that is, teaching them 
the attitude and carriage of the soldier was 
deeply interesting, and I soon found it as 
necessary to apply all this training to myself 
as to the men. To drill my company efficiently 
I must first drill myself, and this became a 
pleasure. Indeed I found myself inclined to 
become exacting in my demands upon myself 
as well as upon my men. To my surprise I 
discovered I was beginning not only to take an 
interest in active study of military duties but 
to like them. Soldiering was not at all lacking 
in interest, as I had supposed. All the other 
companies of the new regiment were engaged 
in the same earnest efforts to become soldierly 
and to fit themselves for the field, and soon a 
strong esprit du corps and friendly rivalry 
sprang up among the various companies of the 
regiment, which were generally commanded by 
young men of character and education from 
Chicago. Each captain of a company very 
soon began to betray characteristics of his own 
in managing and drilling his company, and the 

American Volunteer 

companies naturally began to show the effects 
of these varying methods. There seemed to 
prevail generally among the new officers, not 
only of our own regiment, but of all the regiments 
encamped round about us, a sort of traditional 
belief that rough and boisterous language and 
much swearing were absolutely necessary in 
the efficient disciplining and drilling of soldiers. 
I did not believe this, and as I had never up 
to this time permitted myself to swear, I 
determined that my army life should not lead 
me to do so. Leaving out of consideration 
all thought of the moral or religious aspect of 
the habit, it seemed to me altogether disgust- 
ing, and the natural resource rather of the 
incompetent bully than of the gentleman, or 
even of the man of good common sense. The 
announcement that I proposed to drill and 
discipline my men without ever swearing at 
them produced much levity and amusement 
among certain of my fellow officers, and bets 
were freely offered that if I really persisted in 
this attempt I would soon find its futility, and 
that "in less than a month McClurg would be 
swearing worse than any man in the regiment." 
If the^e bets were taken they were not won by 
those who offered them. I kept my temper 
under control, and very soon the men began to 
respond handsomely to temperate language and 
decent treatment, and I had ultimately the 
satisfaction of knowing my company (Com- 
pany H) was considered one of the two best 

ftmunigcenceg of Chicago 

drilled and best disciplined companies in a first- 
rate regiment, its chief rival being the right 
company (Company A), commanded by Captain 
George W. Smith, and managed, I think, upon 
very much the same principles. Very early in 
boyhood I had been impressed with the strong 
common sense of the Latin motto Suaviter in 
modo, fortiter in re. "Gentle in manner, firm 
in purpose," and it was my aim to carry this 
out as far as possible in my military life, as 
well as in my civilian life. 

There was at this time much demand for 
new regiments in the field, to close up deple- 
tions caused in the ranks by battle and disease, 
and we knew that our life at Camp Douglas 
would be very brief, as we must soon be 
ordered to the front. At last this order came, 
and we who had entered Camp Douglas on 
August 1 5th an unorganized mob of miscel- 
laneous civilians, as unsoldierly as Falstaff's 
band of tatterdemalions, were ordered to the 
field as soldiers on September 4th. We had 
had three whole weeks in which to learn to be 

The morning of that day was bright and fine, 
and, headed by its drum corps, the regiment 
marched from camp at about nine o'clock, with 
drums beating and flags flying, for, contrary 
to regulations, through the patriotic ardor of 
the citizens, and particularly of the ladies, 
every company in the regiment had its flag and 
its color-bearer. We marched down Michigan 

American Volunteer 

Avenue to the Illinois Central station. We 
were sure we made a fine show, and were fully 
conscious of the soldierly appearance we 
presented to the admiring thousands gathered 
to see "another Chicago regiment off for the 
front." The sidewalks and windows were 
crowded; the ladies waved their handkerchiefs 
and clapped their hands, while the men and 
children cheered. The day was very warm, 
and at frequent points along Michigan Avenue, 
when we halted for brief rests, women and 
girls circulated among us with lemonade and 
ice water. At one short rest at Twelfth Street 
I remember a blooming and enthusiastic maiden, 
who was really very pretty, poured ice water 
upon her dainty handkerchief and made me 
put it on my head inside of my cap to prevent 
sunstroke. Often afterward in camp I looked 
at that dainty handkerchief and wove many 
fancies about it, and wondered when I should 
meet that pretty and patriotic girl again. All 
the romances I had read taught me that I 
should meet her, but I never did. Her name 
was on the handkerchief, but not her address. 
Altogether ouf leaving for the front was an 
enthusiastic and an emotional experience, and 
many a one, like myself, found strange ques- 
tionings rising within him; shall I ever again 
see these scenes, these streets, these homes, 
these evidences of peace and civilization? 
And we could make no confident reply. 

Arrived at the station the men were much 

ilcmims'rcnrcs of Chicago 

surprised and indignant to find not a train of 
passenger coaches for our transportation, but 
a train mainly made of flat cars, and of cars 
which had recently been used for the trans- 
portation of coal and cattle, and which had not 
since been cleaned. Cars were scarce, and 
soldiers must be hurried to the field. 

Soldiers, and especially new soldiers, may 
be brave and gallant, but they are, I think, 
naturally disposed to grumble; and there was 
quick and serious murmuring against the 
authorities for such treatment of patriotic 
soldiers leaving for the field. However, we 
were now under military command, and in 
spite of all dissatisfaction, men and officers 
were finally all aboard the train, and making 
themselves as comfortable as possible; the 
locomotive whistled, and amid the cheers of 
friends we were off for the front. Behind us 
were friends, quiet and peaceful homes, and all 
the refinements of peace and civilization ; before 
us the mystery of the battle and the march, the 
hazard of life and of death. A light-hearted 
host of eight hundred young men were off to the 
field to meet the enemies of their country the 
enemies, as we thought, of civilization and prog- 
ress; how many, and which ones, of the eight 
hundred would come back, none of us knew, nor 
did we give much time to the question. 

The marches day after day were very long 
for green troops, and very wearisome. The 

American Volunteer 

sun was intensely hot, and beat down upon us 
without obstruction, while the yellow clay roads, 
for weeks without rain, were baked and parched 
to such a degree that when the regiments in 
front of us had passed over them the dust 
which rose into the air was simply suffocating, 
and there was no wind to carry it aside. The 
men with their muskets and heavy knapsacks 
and the necessary rations suffered much. They 
were overcome by the intense heat, the suffo- 
cating dust, and the lack of water, for all the 
springs were dry. If, perchance, a mud puddle 
were found in the road through which wagon 
wheels and horses had recently passed, it was 
no uncommon thing to see the men throw them- 
selves upon their faces and eagerly drink the 
hot and turbid water; and more than once I 
found myself doing the same thing, for the thirst 
was intolerable. Although the regiment was 
marching by the flank in column of fours, it was 
impossible to keep the men in compact ranks, 
as they straggled to the sides of the road seek- 
ing the easiest walking, and constantly, one after 
another, overcome with weariness, would strag- 
gle to the fence corners and lie down to rest. 
To have the men under my eye and prevent 
this, so far as possible, I frequently marched at 
the rear of my company instead of at the head. 
One afternoon, at perhaps three or four o'clock, 
when I had had unusually hard work trying to 
keep the men in their ranks, I was surprised to 
see one of the best and most faithful men in 

&eminicence of Chicago 

the company, Corporal Ford, deliberately leave 
the company, walk off to the side of the road, 
and throw himself at full length upon the sod, 
face downward. Indignant at this example of 
one of my best soldiers before the less reliable 
men, I walked over rapidly to where he lay 
and touched him with my foot, saying, ' ' Cor- 
poral Ford, I did not expect this of you; get 
up." He moved, and turned upward toward 
me one of the most pitiful faces I ever saw, 
covered with tears. "Captain," he said, "I 
have got the last straw that breaks the camel's 
back. You may kill me or do what you please 
with me, but I cannot march a step further 
now. Leave me here, and I shall get into 
camp by nine o'clock to-night." He was a 
faithful soldier and an entirely trustworthy 
man, who would never willingly shirk his duty; 
and there was nothing to do but to go on and 
leave him to rest and regain a little strength. 
We went into camp two or three hours later 
and five or six miles further on, and true to his 
word, Corporal Ford was in camp before nine 
o'clock that night. Afterward a sergeant, 
Ford is now in one of the numerous Soldiers' 
Homes which the government has erected as 
a refuge for the men who were broken down 
by the hardships and exposures of those 
trying days. 

While the enlisted men were weighed down 
by musket, knapsack, and other impediments, 
the company officers generally, and myself 

American Volunteer 

among the number, found a sword and the 
other light articles which we had to carry 
ponderously heavy before the end of the day's 
march; but in spite of this, the sufferings of 
the men frequently so appealed to me, as they 
did to other officers, that hour after hour I 
relieved one or another of my exhausted men 
by shouldering his musket for him. The suf- 
ferings of the enlisted man on the march were 
often appalling. His food was rough, and 
little varied, day after day bringing only the 
regular army ration of hard bread or "hard- 
tack," salt pork, and coffee, always without 
milk, and often without sugar. His clothes, 
dealt out by the government, were of coarse 
and harsh material, and often so ill-fitting 
that they caused the most painful abrasion of 
the skin, especially where the pantaloons chafed 
the legs, and sores from this cause often made 
marching a prolonged agony. The ill-fitting 
government shoes supplemented this evil, and- 
with the little opportunity the men sometimes 
had for bathing, their feet were often covered 
with raw sores. Their piteous appeals to the 
surgeons for relief from these minor but serious 
afflictions were almost futile, and their 
ingenuity in self-treatment and bandaging be- 
came very admirable. Rags smeared with 
soap were looked upon with much favor as 
bandages for the feet, and when they could 
get a little whiskey, the men would even pour 
it into their shoes rather than drink it. 


of Chicago 

One afternoon one of the numerous unac- 
countable stoppages of the column halted our 
regiment in front of a neat-looking farmhouse 
which stood a short distance back on the left- 
hand side of the road. The heat was, as usual, 
oppressive, and the men, breaking ranks, began 
looking for water. The well, near the farm- 
house door, was quickly exhausted, as the 
water in it was low. The white inhabitants 
had deserted the house, and none but negroes 
were left about it. Somehow, whether from 
a hint from the negroes or not I do not know, 
the men removed a pile of old lumber between 
the house and the road and revealed beneath it 
an old abandoned well, which proved to have 
at the bottom of it five or six feet of clear and 
sparkling water. Procuring the bucket and 
rope from the other well, they had hauled up 
a bucketful of the sparkling and cool fluid. 
The looks of the well, however, when uncovered, 
beneath this pile of old lumber, was suspicious 
and uncanny. Inquiring of the negroes whether 
the water was all right, or whether it might 
not have been poisoned by the rebel family 
before they ran away, the men were assured 
by the negroes that it was poisoned. The 
men's inquiries had been prompted by the fact 
that, for a day or two previous to this, rumors 
had been widely circulated and believed among 
our troops that various wells in the vicinity 
had been poisoned, and that several deaths 
among our soldiers had resulted from drinking 

American Volunteer 

the poisoned water. This announcement from 
the negroes was a terrible disappointment, as 
hundreds of soldiers, suffering from the most 
acute thirst, now sat about the well, with their 
famished eyes riveted upon the clear and 
sparkling water in the bucket . The disappoint- 
ment was cruel. The idea that the water had 
been treacherously poisoned by civilized people 
seemed hardly probable. These Kentuckians 
undoubtedly sympathized with our enemies, 
but it did not seem reasonable to suspect them 
of resorting to the methods of barbarians in 
dealing even with enemies such as they thought 
'us. After thinking the matter over I finally 
said to another officer, " I do not believe that 
water is poisoned; if you will take a cup of 
that water and drink it, I will do the same." 
He agreed. We sat down nearby accord- 
ingly, each with his cup of water, and began 
to drink it, while the men stood around us 
watching us with the utmost curiosity and 
interest,' evidently uncertain whether they 
would not quickly see us turn pale and writhe 
in agony. Instead, however, we found the 
water most delicious, and each of us held out 
his empty cup for another draught. The 
thirsty crowds could hold back no longer, but 
drank the water as greedily as if it had been 
the long-sought-for fountain of eternal youth, 
so that before the regiment moved on the well 
was dry, and the regiment marched on happily 


itennmscnircs of Chicago 

During these wearisome and exhausting 
marches the wonderfully reviving and exhilarat- 
ing effect of music was singularly shown. Con- 
trary to popular belief, an army on the march 
moves ordinarily without music of any kind. 
The "cadenced step" observed by troops mov- 
ing on parade or marching through a city is 
entirely abandoned, and "route step" only is 
used that is, every individual man takes his 
own step and his own gait, carrying his musket 
in any way least irksome to him. Late in the 
afternoon, when a march of anywhere from 
fifteen to twenty-five miles had been made, 
under the severe conditions which I have de- 
scribed, a regiment presented a very sorry and 
unmilitary appearance. Probably one-half of 
the men, and often many more than one-half, 
had dropped out at various points along the 
way, and were lying, exhausted and foot-sore, 
in groves, under bushes, hedges, or fence rows, 
or anywhere where they could find shade and 
physical repose. The remainder, who still 
struggled on with the skeleton of the regiment, 
were scattered out from one side of the road 
to the other, often in the fields on each side of 
the road, for the fences had generally been 
burned, and presented the appearance of merely 
a rabble trying to keep up with the column. 
Sometimes under these circumstances the 
brigade band, a mile or two before the spot 
for going into camp was reached, would be 
ordered to strike up an inspiring and exhilarat- 

American Volunteer 

ing march. The effect was always marvelous, 
and even without effort on the part of the 
officers, the men individually at once assumed 
a military carriage and bearing, and, striking 
the "cadenced step," straightened up their 
ranks and strode along with vigor and lightness 
of step, the signs of weariness and intolerable 
languor having all disappeared. The strains 
of the music seemed to make the blood course 
with vigor through the veins, the step became 
light and springy, and it seemed again almost 
a pleasure to stride on as trained soldiers. 
The sense of weariness was, to a great extent, 
gone. I remember too that on this march, 
one evening as late perhaps as six o'clock, 
when we were all utterly fagged out as usual, 
a lively cannonading sprang up ahead, and an 
order came back for our regiment to double- 
quick two or three miles to the front, where 
the rear guard of the enemy was making a 
stand. It must be remembered that we were 
new troops, and had never had a brush with 
the enemy. The effect of the anticipated 
going into action was quite as marvelous and 
stimulating as the strains of the band, and the 
men who before were so overcome with the 
weariness of long marching, stifling dust, and 
intense heat, that they could hardly drag one 
foot after another, now swung along on the 
light trot of the double-time step, to the sound 
of heavy firing just in front of them, with a 
lightness and vigor that seemed marvelous. 

of Chicago 

The unwonted excitement had had as invigorat- 
ing an effect as music. At the end of our 
rapid advance, however, no foe was found ; and 
when we were obliged to go into camp without 
the expected skirmish, the wearied and dispir- 
ited feeling returned with double force. The 
going into camp after these exhausting days 
was a wearisome business, for as a rule we 
were fortunate if we could get enough water 
to make coffee for our evening meal. There 
was seldom any that could be used even to 
wash off the caked mud, formed from the dust 
and perspiration, which covered our faces like 
masks. Sometimes my colored servant man- 
aged to procure for me somewhere a canteen 
full of water which I could use for this pur- 
pose, and I enjoyed the unwonted luxury of 
having him pour it into my hands, while I 
stood and hurriedly dashed it over my face. 
Verily the trials of the march were often more 
exhausting and more detrimental to health and 
strength than were those of battle. 

During these days of toilsome marches Gen- 
eral Buell's army was pressing upon and haras- 
sing the retreating army of Bragg, and finally 
on the seventh of October, Buell's forces so 
constantly pressed upon and threatened his 
enemy that the latter found it necessary to turn 
upon his foe and prepare for battle in the neigh- 
borhood of Perryville or Chaplin Hills. At 
the foot of these hills ran a small river or creek, 
and knowing the galling scarcity of water in 

American Volunteer 

the region occupied by BuelPs army, Bragg so 
disposed his forces as to prevent access to the 
stream. There was considerable heavy skir- 
mishing between the two armies on the after- 
noon and evening of the seventh, and it was 
evident that both were preparing for a severe 
struggle on the next day. The troops with 
which our regiment was marching were well 
toward the rear of the column, and as we toiled 
on near nightfall, it became evident that our 
troops were concentrating and occupying posi- 
tions favorable for forming line of battle in the 
morning. The anticipated battle was looked 
forward to with eagerness by the troops, who 
did not doubt the result. Although they did 
not like General Buell, their commander-in- 
chief, they had confidence in his ability as a 
soldier. The almost unknown corps com- 
mander, General C. C. Gilbert, they neither 
loved, respected, nor trusted; but already they 
had discovered the high soldierly abilities of 
their division commander, Philip H. Sheridan, 
and with him at their head they believed all 
would be right. 

It was toward nine o'clock in the evening, 
I should think, when our regiment received 
instructions to take position on the summit of 
a hill supposed to be directly in front and parallel 
to Bragg's line of battle. We were instructed 
in approaching and taking this position, in the 
dark, to move with the utmost secrecy and 
silence. All clashing of arms, and even the 

ftrmimscrnrcjs? of Chicago 

rattling of tin cups and canteens, was absolutely 
forbidden, lest the enemy should discover our 
movements. That day we had had the usual 
experience of a long, hot, and dusty march, 
and there was no prospect of any water for 
the night. As our regiment toiled in the 
silence and darkness, through the stifling atmos- 
phere, up the dusty road which led to the top 
of the hill we were to occupy, my own com- 
pany being near the center of the regiment, I 
heard a voice at the side of the road inquire, 
as each successive company filed by, "Is this 
Captain McClurg's company?" The question 
was repeated by a solitary figure in the dark- 
ness as my own company came up, and upon 
my replying in the affirmative, a tall and stal- 
wart young officer in the uniform of a colonel 
of cavalry stepped quickly forward, grasped 
my hand, and drew me into a fence corner. 
At the same time he took from his neck and 
threw over my head the cord of a canteen 
filled with deliciously cold spring water, saying, 
"I have been waiting here, Alec, for half an 
hour, knowing your regiment would pass this 
way. You and your men have no chance to 
get water to-night. I have access to a fine 
spring at General Gilbert's headquarters, and 
I have brought this to you, knowing how much 
you will need it. Don't let too many of the 
officers or men know you have it, for a canteen 
full will not last long." The speaker was my 
favorite college companion and friend, then an 

&mmcan Boiuntecr 

Ohio lad named Minor Millikin, and now 
"Colonel Minor Millikin, commanding the 
First Ohio Cavalry." I did not then know 
that he and his command were in that part of 
the army, but somehow he had learned that 
the Eighty-eighth Illinois Volunteers belonged 
to that particular division and brigade, and 
would pass along the road. He had become 
a successful and gallant soldier, but his old, 
tender, and affectionate friendship remained 
unchanged. He had been my ideal hero dur- 
ing my college days. He was highly educated 
and intellectual, magnificent in physique, six 
feet in height, but slender and active. He 
was a trained expert in all athletic exercises, 
particularly in boxing, running, and jumping, 
and was the most expert horseman I had ever 
known. He was an ardent Republican in 
politics and a devoted lover of his country, so 
he had enlisted at the very first call for troops, 
and had thus early risen to the command of a 
fine cavalry regiment. His dashing manner 
and brilliant conversation made him everywhere 
a marked man and a favorite. His fondness 
for athletic exercises led him to devote himself 
with ardor to the study and practice of fencing, 
and he was soon considered one of the best, 
if not the best, of the swordsmen in the Army 
of the Cumberland. Such was the man who 
waited that night by the roadside, in the heat 
and dust, to give his college friend a can- 
teen of water. He was one of the noblest of 

ftcmimsrcnrcs of Chicago 

those who soon after fell in the battle of Stone 

I was very grateful, and had much to say to 
him; but my regiment was filing on past me 
rapidly, and I was obliged to break away and 
run to regain the head of my company. The 
regiment was soon halted along the crest of 
the ridge, the same mysterious silence being 
preserved, and in the darkness we lay down 
upon our arms in line of battle, not knowing 
what the dawning daylight would reveal in 
front of us. Tired and weary as we were, we 
soon fell asleep, only to be rudely awakened 
about midnight by a battery of artillery trotting 
into position upon the very ground on which 
we were sleeping. There had been some con- 
fusion of orders, and the battery had been 
ordered into position there, in ignorance that 
the ground was already occupied by infantry. 
We knew nothing of our danger until we were 
awakened by the sound of horses' hoofs and 
by the rumbling of the guns and caissons. We 
were quickly withdrawn a short distance to the 
rear, and again lying down upon our arms, 
were soon sound asleep. This was our first 
"Night before the Battle." 

In the morning we were very early withdrawn 
to another position in a little valley toward the 
rear, while to the front our artillery very soon 
began to roar, evidently hotly replied to, by the 
enemy. Soon, too, we began to hear the 
volley firing of infantry. These were novel 

American Volunteer 

sounds at such short distance to men who had 
left their homes in Chicago only one month 
and four days before; but, naturally enough, 
as green soldiers, we were anxious to partici- 
pate, and when the morning passed away and 
the early hours of the afternoon found us still 
in the reserve, and behind a line of low hills 
which entirely shut out all view of the battle- 
field, we bitterly bewailed the fate that kept us 
in the rear; for did it not then seem possible, 
and even probable, that we should never again 
have the opportunity to participate in or even 
to witness a great battle? While we were still 
in this position I was again happily surprised 
by a visit from my friend, Colonel Millikin. 
He said, "I have just come from that hill, 
where with 'a portion of my regiment I am 
stationed with General Gilbert and his staff, 
and I want you to go up there with me. It 
commands a magnificent view of the battle- 
field, and you may never have an opportunity 
to see such a sight again." I was at once 
fired with a strong desire to go with him, but 
I could not, without a sad breach of discipline, 
leave my command then, unless by permission 
of the colonel of my regiment. It happened 
that at that time there was a great deal of 
friction and animosity between most of the line 
officers of the regiment and our colonel, and, 
like many others of the officers, I did not 
speak with him, except officially. I therefore 
told Millikin that I could not go with him, as I 


of Chicago 

would not ask the colonel's permission, and I 
did not believe he would grant the permission 
if I did. Whereupon he at once exclaimed, 
"I will go and ask the permission for you. 
Your colonel will not refuse the request of 
another colonel." In a few moments he was 
at my side again with the desired permission, 
and we quickly ascended the hill together. 
Arrived at the top, amid the incessant roar of 
artillery and musketry, I had my first view of 
a battle-field from a safe distance. I must 
confess to a feeling at first of great disappoint- 
ment, for it was not at all like what I had expected. 
Scattered over several miles of rolling fields 
and low hills, one could see, here and there, 
great puffs of smoke, which revealed the posi- 
tions of belching batteries, and occasionally a 
battery of guns would be seen in motion 
wheeling into a new position and unlimbering 
its guns. Here and there, too, would be seen 
stretched out long, thin lines of blue-coated 
infantry, with long, thin lines perhaps of infan- 
try clad in gray uniforms opposite to them, 
with a rapid interchange of musketry fire 
between them. Here and there, too, there 
were groups of mounted officers on both sides; 
but there were not anywhere the great masses 
of men that descriptions of battles had led me 
to expect. Nowhere were there massed any 
solid columns charging similar masses of* the 
enemy; only here and there one of these thin, 
attenuated lines moving forward to dislodge 

1 American Volunteer Jbofoier 

their enemy, perhaps from some post of van- 
tage behind a fence row. It looked almost 
tame. It became exciting enough, however, 
when I realized that in reality poor fellows 
were dying and being maimed all over that 
vast field, while the fortunes of an unhappy 
country hung in the balance. I soon became 
very uneasy, and insisted on hastening back to 
my regiment, as I could not tell at what 
moment it might be ordered into action, and 
in such case I could not afford to be absent 
from my company even with permission. It 
was well I hurried back, for I had scarcely 
rejoined the command when the order to 
advance was delivered to our colonel. It 
seemed that one of our batteries was advan- 
tageously posted on a hill a little in advance of 
our general line, and was doing such execution 
upon the enemy that a confederate brigade had 
been put in motion to assault and capture it. 
Our regiment, with the remainder of our 
brigade, was ordered to the support of the 
battery and to meet and repel the attack. We 
were marched by the flank, along the crest of 
the hill, a little to the rear of the guns of 
Hescock's battery, were faced to the front, 
and ordered forward. We advanced, passed 
the guns, and started down the slope *which 
the enemy's line, still concealed from us, was 
ascending. Neither we nor they had thrown 
out skirmishers, a thing which would scarcely 
have occurred later in the war, and as they 

itcmimsccnrcs of Chicago 

came up the rounding swell of the hill and we 
advanced down it, the two lines of battle con- 
fronted each other suddenly, at, I should think, 
not more than thirty yards' distance. With 
rare presence of mind and good judgment our 
colonel, knowing his troops to be untried, 
immediately commanded, "Battalion, halt! lie 
down!" and followed this with the command, 
"Fire at will." There commenced at once a 
fearful exchange of volleys, but we had the 
advantage. It was our duty only to hold our 
ground. It was theirs to advance, and our 
volleys caused much more execution in their 
erect ranks than theirs could in our prostrate 
line. It happened that when our regiment was 
ordered forward more than half of my company 
was absent on detached duty, escorting and 
guarding a supply train, so that I had not more 
than from thirty to forty men in the ranks when 
we met the enemy. As this was the first time 
the regiment had been under fire, when the 
order to lie down was given by the colonel 
most of the company officers, knowing they 
were on trial before their men, remained upon 
their feet. I did so among the others, but not 
wishing to stand still, and so present an 
attractive target, I kept moving up and down 
behind my short company line, anxious that 
they should do their duty, and determined to 
check the first sign of panic or running away. 
The men fired steadily, rolling over upon their 
backs to load (for it must be remembered we 

American Volunteer 

were armed with the old muzzle-loading guns), 
and, when they had loaded, each man again 
turning upon his stomach and rising upon his 
elbow to aim and fire. Just as one of the men, 
whom I happened to be looking at, rose thus 
to fire, a minie ball struck him in the breast, 
and he sank forward, limp and lifeless. Next 
to him lay a young stripling of a boy only 
about eighteen years of age. Seeing the blood 
gush from his companion's breast and his form 
sink limp and lifeless, the boy in a panic 
suddenly rose to his feet and started for the 
rear. I called to a sergeant, who was lying a 
few feet behind him, to stop him, but either 
not wishing to expose himself by rising to his 
feet or for some other reason, the sergeant 
allowed the boy to pass and run up the hill to 
the rear. Dreading the demoralization of the 
men by such an example, I started after him, 
and quickly overtaking him, caught him by the 
collar of his coat, swung him round to the 
front, and I am afraid my too willing foot 
helped to emphasize my order to return to his 
post. He had his musket in his hand, and 
running promptly down the hill again, he fell 
into his place beside his dead comrade and did 
his duty steadily through the remainder of the 
engagement. The exposed confederate force 
could not advance against our steady and 
effective fire, and soon retired down the hill, 
foiled in their purpose. The whole affair did 
not, I suppose, occupy over forty minutes, and 

nemimsccnrcg of Chicago 

the regiment felt highly elated over the success 
of their first collision with the enemy. The 
execution in our own ranks was not severe, the 
regiment losing four killed and about thirty- 
five wounded. My own company, being Com- 
pany H, was posted upon the flank of "C," 
the color company, so that it directly joined 
the colors of the regiment, and besides this the 
mounted officers of the regiment, the Colonel 
and the field officers, sat upon their horses 
almost directly in our rear, and these circum- 
stances I suppose caused a concentration of the 
enemy's fire in our direction. Considering 
the small number of men in the ranks of the 
company at the time, we suffered somewhat 
out of proportion with the rest of the regiment, 
having two men killed outright and three 
wounded. When this brush was over the sun 
had set, and the enemy generally fell back 
from the front of our army. We felt that we 
had had the best of the struggle, and the troops 
generally, although many of the regiments had 
suffered very severely, were confident and 
exhilarated. We supposed that with returning 
daylight we should advance, and either com- 
pletely rout or capture our enemy. In my 
company we gave immediate attention to the 
dead and wounded, burying two of our com- 
rades upon the field where they fell, and seeing 
that the wounded were cared for by the sur- 


g>uppre$$fon of ti&e Cfmeg 

[Reprinted from "Bygone Days in Chicago," by 
Frederick Francis Cook, by courtesy of A. C. 
McClurg & Co.] 

ONE of the most exciting events in the 
annals of Chicago was the suppression 
of the Times, on June 2, 1863, by 
military edict. General Ambrose E. Burnside, 
chiefly distinguished for a magnificent pair of 
side- whiskers, had command of the department 
which included Chicago, with headquarters at 
Cincinnati; and from thence, on June I, 1863, 
there issued a mandate, excluding the New 
York World from the mails within his military 
jurisdiction; and an order to General Sweet, 
commander at Camp Douglas, to take charge 
of the Times office and prevent any further 
issues of that notorious Copperhead sheet. 

To call this order a blunder is the mildest 
characterization that can be applied to it. The 
unthinking mass of Republicans hailed it with 
delight, and gave it stout support. But the 
more sober-minded leaders of the party fully 
appreciated its menace, not only to civil liberty, 
but to law and order. Perhaps the one per- 
sonally least concerned in this crisis was the 
owner and editor of the Times, Wilbur F. 
Storey. It required no prophet to predict 
that the order would not stand; and in the 

ftcniinisccnrctf of Chicago 

meantime it gave the paper a country-wide 
notoriety, while the act served only to give 
color to the often reiterated charge 1 (that for 
which the paper was suppressed), namely, that 
' ' the war, as waged by military satraps of the 
administration, was a subversion of the Consti- 
tution and the people's rights under the law." 

To the Copperhead leaders the order came 
as a godsend. Through an irresponsible mili- 
tary zealot they had at one bound been fixed 
in the saddle, booted and spurred, with the 
hated "abolition" enemy divided, distracted, 
and on the run. Let it be remembered that 
Chicago was in fact a Democratic city; that 
it had a Democratic mayor and council; and 
that the Times was the municipality's official 

The order was in effect a declaration of 
martial law. Only by a military force could 
it be carried out and maintained, for the entire 
civil machinery, including the United States 
court, was opposed to it. Another step, and 
the city, the State, and wide areas beyond 
might be in the throes of a civil war within a 
civil war. As soon as the news of what was 
to happen spread among the people, the strain 
between the opposing sides became threaten- 
ingly tense, and with "Copperheadism" most 
resolutely to the fore; while on every side one 
heard the threat, which grew with each hour, 
"If the Times is not allowed to publish, there 
will be no Tribune." 


of tfjc i 

As soon as the news of the intended sup- 
pression reached the Times office, every de- 
partment received a rush order, and the press 
(this was before the days of stereotyping, and 
the duplication of "forms") was set in motion 
at the earliest possible hour; while the issue as 
fast as printed was bundled out of the building 
into safe quarters for distribution. A horse- 
man was sent to Camp Douglas, with orders to 
speed to the office as soon as a detachment 
of the garrison was seen to leave the camp. 
He arrived shortly after two o'clock with 
the report that the "Lincoln hirelings" had 
started; and within an hour a file of soldiers 
broke into the office and formally took posses- 
sion. When everything had been brought to 
a standstill, and the place put in charge of a 
caretaker, the troops departed; but word was 
left that at the first sign of activity they would 
return. They did return shortly, on an un- 
founded report that an attempt was being made 
to issue a supplementary edition. 

All through the day great crowds were 
gathered about the Randolph Street entrance 
of the publication office; and by evening the 
thoroughfare from State Street to Dearborn 
Street was a solid pack of humanity. Mean- 
time the city had been flooded with handbills 
calling upon the people to resent this military 
interference with the freedom of the press, and 
making announcement that a mass meeting in 
protest of the order would be held on the 

ncminijsrcnccs" of Chicago 

north side of the Courthouse Square in the 
evening. When the time for this meeting 
came, and a thousand oft-repeated cries of 
"Storey!" "Storey!" had met with no re- 
sponse, the crowd spontaneously moved two 
blocks west to the Square, where by eight 
o'clock an estimated crowd of twenty thousand 
people was gathered, which was to the full 
the city's total voting population. 

The situation certainly called for serious, 
deliberate, and concerted action on the part of 
all law and order loving citizens. While the 
rank and file of the opposing currents stood 
face to face in sullen, menacing opposition, 
the conservative leaders of both sides were in 
council to avert threatening trouble. At a 
mob demonstration the Copperhead faction 
would undoubtedly have had a numerical ad- 
vantage, besides having the partisan police on 
its side. But this was at least partly offset by 
the fact that the militia had been placed under 
arms, and could be depended on to side with 
the war party; and, moreover, in any protracted 
struggle, there was the Camp Douglas garrison 
to fall back upon, though any considerable 
withdrawal from that Rebel stronghold might 
in the circumstances have been a hazardous 

The greatest concern was lest the meeting 
fall into the hands of irresponsible Copperhead 
demagogues who might inflame it to action. 
A favorite speaker with the Democratic masses 


of tfje 

was E. W. McComas, an ex-Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, and editor of the Times under 
a former regime. He called the meeting to 
order, and devoted his introductory remarks 
to a counsel of prudence. Then he introduced 
Samuel W. Fuller as chairman, who spoke at 
considerable length in the same strain. After 
Fuller came General Singleton, a fiery Demo- 
cratic war horse from the central part of the 
State, under whose lashings of the administra- 
tion the meeting was brought close to the 
danger line. He was followed by E. G. Asay, 
another Democrat, in a more conciliatory vein. 
Then came Wirt Dexter, a prominent Repub- 
lican lawyer, with the message that steps were 
being taken by leading men from both sides to 
have the Burnside order rescinded. He voiced 
in no uncertain tones the opposition of the 
conservative element of his party to this mili- 
tary interference with the freedom of the press, 
and assured the crowd that the measures to be 
taken would surely result in the President's 
rescinding the order. This speech had an 
excellent effect on the assemblage, and the 
danger point was passed. 

While the mass meeting was in progress 
outside, another was taking place in one of the 
courtrooms. Judge Van H. Higgins was at 
this time a stockholder in the Tribune, and its 
property was in danger. Largely through his 
efforts prominent men from both sides had 
been brought together, and Mayor Sherman 

of Chicago 

was called to the chair. The meeting was 
addressed among others by Judge Van H. 
Higgins, Senator Lyman Trumbull, Congress- 
man I. N. Arnold, and Wirt Dexter for the 
Republicans; and by William B. Ogden, S. S. 
Hayes, A. W. Arrington, and M. F. Tuley for 
the Democrats. 

On motion of William B. Ogden, Chicago's 
first mayor, the following preamble and reso- 
lution were adopted: 

"Whereas, in the opinion of this meeting of 
citizens of all parties, the peace of this city 
and State, if not also the general welfare of 
the country, are likely to be promoted by the 
suspension or rescinding of the recent order of 
General Burnside for the suppression of The 
Chicago Times; therefore 

"Resolved, that upon the ground of expedi- 
ency alone, such of our citizens as concur in 
this opinion, without regard to party, are 
hereby recommended to unite in a petition to 
the President, respectfully asking the suspen- 
sion or rescinding of the order." 

When one contrasts this negative and color- 
less declaration with any word pro or con that 
might have been sent to the President as 
expressive of the sentiments of the passion- 
blown crowd outside, one feels instinctively 
that all the elements that entered into the 
problem before the meeting of leaders were 
weighed with the utmost care, and the equation 
reduced to its dynamic minimum. 

of tfje i 

On motion, Messrs. William B. Ogden, Van 
H. Higgins, A. C. Coventry, Hugh T. Dickey, 
and C. Beckwith were appointed a committee 
to promote the circulation of the petition among 
the people. The resolutions were at once for- 
warded to the President, with an additional 
telegram signed jointly by Senator Trumbull 
and Congressman Arnold, praying him to give 
the voice of the meeting immediate and serious 

And still further action was taken to restore 
the balance between the civil and military 
powers so rudely disturbed. The courts were 
appealed to, and shortly after midnight Judge 
Thomas Drummond of the United States court, 
issued a writ directing the military authorities 
to take no further steps to carry into effect the 
Burnside order. 

No man stood higher in the community than 
Judge Drummond. In issuing the order his 
honor spoke these pregnant words: 

"I may be pardoned for saying that, per- 
sonally and officially, I desire to give every aid 
and assistance in my power to the Government 
and to the administration in restoring the Union. 
But I have always wished to treat the Govern- 
ment as a government of law and a govern- 
ment of the Constitution, and not as a 
government of mere physical force. I per- 
sonally have contended, and shall always con- 
tend, for the right of free discussion, and the 
right of commenting under the law, and under 

ftnmmsccuccs of Chicago 

the Constitution, upon the acts of officers of 
the Government." 

How serious the menace to the Tribune was 
regarded may be judged from the fact that the 
correspondent of the New York Herald closed 
his dispatch for the night, "At this hour the 
Tribune still stands. ' ' None were more alive 
to the danger threatening their property than 
the owners of this resolute war paper. Accord- 
ing to reports the old Clark Street rookery 
opposite the Sherman House, and within sound 
of the clamor of the great assemblage, had 
been transformed into an arsenal, with Colonel 
Jennison, of "jayhawking" notoriety, in com- 
mand. This whilom lieutenant of "Osawat- 
omie" Brown, during the trying "Bloody 
Kansas" days, was endowed by the mass 
of Republicans with an almost superhuman 
prowess; and at the same time was a veritable 
red rag to the Copperhead bull. He was 
togged in quite the present cowboy fashion; 
and whenever seen on the street was followed 
by a crowd of gaping admirers. Armed men, 
according to rumor, had been quietly smuggled 
to the lofts of various buildings about the 
Tribune; and, in case the journalistic strong- 
hold was attacked, on a word from this leader 
they would strew Clark Street with Copper- 
head corpses. These reports, however small 
their foundation, had no doubt a salutary effect 
on the more timid. 

That Colonel Jennison was en rapport with 

of the i 

the denizens of a number of upper floors in 
the neighborhood, there is no manner of doubt. 
There were human wild beasts to subdue in 
that vicinage; and, as a hunter who could 
track the "tiger" to his lair, the Colonel had 
few equals. 

The Democrats having had their inning, 
there was a gathering in force of Republicans 
on the following evening, their obvious object 
being to call to account those members of the 
party who had memorialized the President to 
undo the work of Burnside. When Senator 
Trumbull undertook to address the meeting he 
found the crowd in a very ugly mood. He 
was frequently interrupted, again and again 
charged with consorting with "traitors," with 
aiding and abetting the enemy, while over and 
over again there were cries, "We want 
Jennison," "Jennison is the man for us." 
On the same evening a meeting, at which prac- 
tically all the newspapers of the city were 
represented, was held in New York, with 
Horace Greeley in the chair, and the Burnside 
order was denounced in no uncertain terms. 

On the following day, June 4th, General 
Burnside announced that the President had 
rescinded both the World and Times military 
order. The result was that the circulation of 
the Times was largely increased. 


"f. IFor- 






South Tark 










i r~~ 



CAMP DOUGLAS, 1864-5. 

of Camp 

[Paper read before The Chicago Historical Society, 
by William Bross, June 18, 1878.] 

^~AHICAGO, with the exception of San 
I Francisco the youngest of the leading 
^~^ cities of the republic, has abundant 
reason to be satisfied with her patriotic record 
made* during the Rebellion. From that quiet 
sabbath morning, when the news flashed 
through the streets that the rebels had fired 
upon Fort Sumter at 4 o'clock on Friday 
afternoon, April 12, 1861, and the people left 
their churches, with the organ pealing out the 
"Star Spangled Banner," till treason was 
stamped out by the capture of Jeff. Davis, on 
the lOth of May, 1865, a very large majority 
of them seemed deeply imbued with the same 
spirit that inspired their fathers when "they 
pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their 
sacred honor," to preserve the integrity, and to 
establish the. liberty of their country. The 
Board of Trade, though purely a commercial 
organization, was accorded the leadership in 
raising regiments and batteries, and they, 
and our merchants and citizens generally, 
poured out their money without stint for this 
purpose, and to send hospital stores to the 
front; the ladies got up sanitary fairs, and 

iicmmiscntrc of Chicago 

generally, from the beginning to the end of the 
war, all the energies, the wealth, and the power 
of the city were at the service of the govern- 
ment. The treason and malignity of the few 
slimy Copperheads, that crawled about the dens 
of the city, seemed only to render the patriotism 
of the people the more conspicuous and inspir- 
ing. But though few in number, the traitors 
were ever active, and if Chicago escaped the 
bloody riots, the murders, and the incendiaries' 
torch that were rife in New York and Baltimore, 
it was simply because she had a small force of 
"the bravest of the brave" at Camp Douglas, 
commanded by an able general, whose energy 
never faltered, and whose vigilance never slept. 

The State has recorded, too briefly, it is true, 
the deeds of our brave boys on the battle-fields 
of the republic. The National Sanitary Com- 
mission has preserved the benevolent acts of 
our people; but the complete history of Camp 
Douglas, and the means by which Chicago was 
saved from destruction, remains to be written. 

Professor Elias Colbert in his "History of 
the Garden City," published in 1868, gives 
much valuable information and very important 
facts and figures, for many of which I am 
greatly indebted, but I shall confine myself, in 
this paper, mainly to what I know personally 
about these matters, to statements of men now 
living in our midst, and accurate sources of 
information now in my possession. 


t)i*toni of 

Late in May, 1864, General Sweet was 
ordered to take command of Camp Douglas. 
As only thirteen years have passed since it was 
abandoned, its property removed, and its build- 
ings were sold, it may seem strange that the 
most difficult part of my task has been to find 
what were its exact boundaries. I could say, 
with scores of our old citizens of whom 
I asked the question, "Where was Camp 
Douglas?" that it was located directly north 
of the University, fronting east, on Cottage 
Grove Avenue; but what were its exact limits 
east and west, north and south, it seemed, for 
a time, about impossible for me to determine. 
After devoting leisure half-hours among my 
friends for a couple of weeks, with no satis- 
factory results, I fortunately made the acquaint- 
ance of Captain E. R. P. Shurley, General 
Sweet's assistant adjutant-general, Captain 
Charles Goodman, for most of the time chief 
quartermaster, from October 23, 1862, till 
the camp was closed; and his chief assistant, 
Captain E. V. Roddin. It is the highest pos- 
sible compliment to Captain Goodman that 
about $40,000,000 worth of Government prop- 
erty passed through his hands, and not a single 
mistake of any kind was found in his accounts. 
These gentlemen, on Tuesday, June 4th, spent 
half a day with me going all around and over 
the grounds once occupied by Camp Douglas, 
and it was one of the richest treats I ever enjoyed 
to hear them locate the different parts of it, and 

&tmini$ttntt$ of Chicago 

talk over the incidents of these memorable 
years. "Here were the ovens, there the hos- 
pitals; here was the dead-line, and there the 
officers' quarters; here were the rebel barracks, 
and in this corner, those that escaped usually 
dug out." 

The sewer at the foot of Thirty-third Street, 
costing $9,000, though the digging was done 
by the rebels, half a dozen of whom came near 
losing their lives by the caving of the banks, 
still does excellent duty, and discharges a large 
stream into the lake ; it was built of plank, and 
hence it may be doubted whether it will last as 
long as the Cloaca Maxima, which still per- 
forms the same service for which it was built 
by Tarquin, 2,500 years ago. 

In 1 86 1, when the camp was located by 
General A. C. Fuller, then adjutant-general 
of the State, and until after it was abandoned 
in 1865, the ground it occupied, and all around 
it, was open prairie. For this reason the 
Government took possession of it for that 
purpose. Now there are several streets cut 
through it, and single houses, and even blocks 
are scattered over it in all directions. Hence, 
it is no disparagement to the excellent military 
gentlemen who so kindly accompanied me, 
that they were not a little confused, as to 
where the fence around Camp Douglas was, 
and it was not till they compared their impres- 
sions with the positive knowledge of the owner 
of the grounds, Henry Graves, Esq., whom 

of Camp 

we fortunately met, that I was able to settle, 
as I hope, definitely, where the enclosure of 
the camp was located. None of the streets 
are named on the latest lithograph of Captain 
Goodman, as also that of Captain Shurley, 
both of which I have the pleasure, in their 
behalf, to present to the Society, though it is 
not at all difficult to locate Cottage Grove 
Avenue. A map kindly furnished me by 
W. B. H. Gray, Esq., conceded to be the best 
informed man in the city in regard to its 
topography, was valuable to us; but I am sorry 
to say it is incorrect in several particulars. 

After all these preliminaries, I can now say 
that the boundaries of Camp Douglas were as 
follows: The south east corner was at the 
intersection of Cottage Grove Avenue and 
College Place, the northern boundary of the 
University grounds; thence the line ran west 
on College Place to its intersection with Rhodes 
Avenue; thence diagonally in a northwesterly 
direction to the corner of South Park Avenue 
and Thirty-third Street; thence west on Thirty- 
third Street to its intersection with Forest 
Avenue; thence north on Forest Avenue to 
Thirty-first Street; thence east along Thirty- 
first Street to South Park Avenue; thence 
south along South Park Avenue about one 
hundred and sixty feet; thence east to Cottage 
Grove Avenue; thence along that avenue to the 
place of beginning, except the residence of 
Henry Graves, Esq., around which the fence 

ftemimgcenceg of Chicago 

was built as shown upon the lithograph. l 
It was, perhaps, two hundred feet south of 
the main entrance, three hundred feet front on 
Cottage Grove Avenue by two hundred feet 
deep. Since the camp was abandoned, Thirty- 
second Street has been cut through east and 
west; and Graves and Dexter Place, Rhodes, 
Vernon, South Park, and Calumet avenues, 
with sundry alleys north and south, so that its 
location might well confuse any one who had 
not been constantly on the ground as Mr. Graves 
has, to take note of the changes that have been 
so constantly going on from year to year. 
And besides, as above stated, many blocks of 
residences, single dwellings, and several grocery 
houses are now scattered all over it. The 
south gate was at Rhodes Avenue; the main 
entrance, the posts of which are still to be seen 
just above the ground, was a little north and 
nearly in front of B. F. Ransom's livery stable. 
It, with the building next south of it, and the 
building south of the United States Hotel, on 
the southeast corner of Cottage Grove Avenue 

^ince the text was written, Mr. Charles Cook, 
who, as boss-carpenter, erected the buildings at 
Camp Douglas, has brought me a survey of the 
camp, on which the west line is Calumet Avenue. 
But as Messrs. Shurley, Goodman, Roddin, and 
Colonel Pierce all agree that Forest Avenue was the 
west line, I prefer to let the description stand; and, 
as the survey has no date attached, it may be in- 
ferred that the camp was afterward extended to 
Forest Avenue to afford more room for the barracks 
of the rebel prisoners. 

1 66 

of Camp Douglas 

and Thirty-first Street, are a part of the build- 
ings once located within the camp. The fence 
was a substantial wood structure, some twelve 
feet high, with a walk around it on the inside, 
some four feet below the top, for the sentinels 
to go their rounds. This walk or parapet 
commenced at the entrance on Cottage Grove 
Avenue, and extended all around the camp. 
The northeast part of the camp was occupied 
by the barracks of the troops and officers' 

Camp Douglas was named for Senator 
Douglas, who gave the grounds for the 
University, and whose dust reposes on the lake 
shore near it. In your behalf and that of the 
people of the State, I had the honor to sign 
the bill that appropriated the money from the 
State Treasury to purchase that acre from his 
widow, and on which an appropriate monument 
is soon to perpetuate his memory. Camp 
Douglas was built in the latter part of the 
summer of 1 86 1, by Colonel Joseph H. Tucker, 
who had been ordered by Governor Yates to 
take command of the northern district of the 
State. It was at first intended to use it for the 
troops raised in this part of the State, as a 
camp of instruction and rendezvous, but 
Captain Christopher, United States recruiting 
officer then stationed in the city, assumed the cost 
of its construction, and it was turned over to 
the general government. Immediately after 
the capture of Fort Donelson, in February, 1 862 

itniiinisr rncf s of Chicago 

Colonel Tucker was ordered to prepare for the 
reception of the rebels taken there and in some 
other engagements, and in a few days between 
eight and nine thousand prisoners arrived in 
camp. Near the close of the month Colonel 
Tucker was superseded by Colonel Mulligan, 
who there organized his Irish brigade . In June, 
Colonel Tucker was ordered to take command 
of the Sixty-ninth Regiment, and again took 
charge of the camp. During the summer and 
fall a large number of our own paroled men, 
captured at Harper's Ferry and other places, 
among them Captain Goodman, arrived in 
camp, and on the last day of September, 
General Tyler was placed in command. His 
rule was severe and unpopular and the cause 
of much trouble and ill feeling. In the fall of 
1862, General Tyler was superseded by General 
Ammon; our troops that had been paroled at 
Harper's Ferry were exchanged, and nearly all 
of them left for the front, and their place was 
supplied by a camp full of rebel prisoners. 
Coming, many of them, from the far South, 
they suffered severely from the inclem- 
ency of our winter. Of course, in spite of all 
that the officers of the camp, and a self- 
appointed detachment of our benevolent ladies, 
could do, large numbers died, and what was due 
to the rigor of the climate was charged, by the 
malignant Copperheads, to the neglect and the 
cruelty of our people. But it is a fact, for the 
truth of which I appeal to thousands of living 
1 68 

of Camp 

men, North and South, that the prisoners, all 
through the history of Camp Douglas, were 
treated precisely as our own soldiers. They 
had full rations of the best of food, and the 
sick had all that the most skillful physicians 
and the most careful nursing could do for them. 
Captain Shurley relates that, while on duty at 
Richmond, after the war, he was recognized by 
some of his former prisoners, and so grateful 
were they fortheir kind treatment while here,that 
they gave him a splendid dinner, and treated 
him with all possible attention and politeness. 
I forbear to draw a parallel between the treat- 
ment the rebels received and the systematic 
cruelty and starvation, even to death, which 
our brave boys were forced to suffer in the 
prison pens of the South. Those who saw, 
as I did, scores of mere ghostly skeletons 
returning from Salisbury and Andersonville, in 
1864, will recoil from the horrible memory. 

The winter of 1862-63 was an eventful one, 
and many were the men who passed to their 
long homes in Camp Douglas. By March, 
1863, the prisoners had nearly all been 
exchanged, and only a few of our own troops 
remained as a guard for them. Up to this 
time at least 30,000 troops had been recruited, 
drilled, organized, and equipped at Camp 
Douglas. Professor Colbert enumerates them 
as follows: Rock Island Regiment, Nineteenth, 
Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, Forty-second, 
Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth, Fifty-first, Fifty- 

$emmicence of Chicago 

third, Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, 
Fifty-eighth, Sixtieth, Sixty-fifth, or Scotch 
Regiment; Sixty-seventh, Sixty-ninth, Seventy- 
first, Seventy-second, or First Board of Trade; 
Eighty-eighth, or Second Board of Trade; 
Eighty-ninth, or Railroad Regiment; Ninetieth, 
or Irish Legion; Ninety-third, One Hundred 
and Fifth, One Hundred and Thirteenth, Van 
Arman's Regiment, and the Third Board of 
Trade Regiment. Of infantry companies, 
the German Guides and the Lyman Color 
Guard. Cavalry: Ninth, Twelfth, and Thir- 
teenth Illinois. Artillery: First Illinois, Bou- 
ton's, Bolton's, Silversparre's, Phillips', 
Ottawa, Merchantile, Elgin, and Board of 
Trade batteries. Besides this immense work 
as a camp of rendezvous and instruction, some 
17,000 rebel prisoners and 8,OOO of our own 
paroled troops had all been cared for in and 
about Camp Douglas in the short space of 
about eighteen months. This shows what the 
sternly loyal city of Chicago and the great 
Northwest were ready and willing to do to 
rescue the republic from treason and rebellion. 
I said these troops were cared for in and about 
Camp Douglas, for it will be remembered at 
times the section west of the camp and nearly 
to State Street and south, far away toward 
Hyde Park, were covered with camps and open 
spaces for drilling the troops. 

Activity again was the order of the day during 
the last half of the year 1863, for some 5,000 

of Camp 

rebel soldiers arrived in camp; General Ammon 
was ordered to Springfield, and Colonel De 
Land, of the First Michigan Sharpshooters, 
was made post commandant under General 
Orme. During the winter of 1863-64, the usual 
incidents of camp life occurred. Colonel De 
Land ordered a substantial fence built, the one 
heretofore described, several new buildings 
were erected, and the camp was improved in 
all respects. These important improvements 
were made under Captain Charles Goodman, his 
assistant, Captain E. V. Roddin, having the 
immediate charge of the work. On the 2d 
of May, 1864, General Orme resigned, and 
General B. J. Sweet assumed the command, 
his headquarters being on Washington Street, 
in the city. Colonel James Strong had the 
immediate command for a time, under General 
Sweet, but about the middle of July, General 
Sweet removed to camp and took personal 
command, as the exigencies seemed to require 
his constant presence. He ordered the pris- 
oners' barracks to be raised several feet, so as 
to render it impossible for them to dig tunnels 
and thus escape; their quarters were enlarged; 
additional hospitals and buildings for stores 
and equipments were erected, and in all respects 
the accommodations for troops and prisoners 
were greatly enlarged and improved. Two 
regiments, the Eighth and Fifteenth, of the 
Veteran Reserves only about 1,000 men, 
were all the troops General Sweet had to guard 

ilcmintsrcntcs of Chicago 

his prisoners every available man had been 
sent to the front; but just before the assem- 
bling of the Democratic Convention, on Mon- 
day, July 29th, he was reinforced by the One 
Hundredth Pennsylvania Regiment, ninety day 
troops, and the Twenty-fourth Ohio Battery. 
They were supplied with the best of Parrott 
guns, and were kept as a reserve in case of 

At the commencement of 1864, there were 
some 5,000 rebel prisoners in camp, and about 
7,500 were received during the year, and there 
were probably from ten to twelve thousand 
there during the incidents I am about to de- 
scribe. With this very inadequate force, had 
it not been for the marked ability of General 
Sweet and his sleepless vigilance, your humble 
servant and hundreds of other citizens would 
probably have lost their lives in the burning 
and massacres that would have followed the 
breaking out of the prisoners from Camp 

In the spring and early summer of 1864 the 
whole country was shrouded in gloom. For 
more than three years the war had been raging, 
and yet the rebellion seemed still strong and 
vigorous and likely to require years of hard 
fighting before it could be put down, if in fact 
so desirable a result could ever be achieved. 
Even brave hearts quailed when thinking upon 
the tens of thousands of noble patriots who 
had fallen before the serried hosts of the 

of Camp 2Dou0te 

rebellion, or were wasting slowly away amid 
tortures worse than death, in rebel prison dens. 
On every street could be seen strong men, 
known to all of us, with an empty sleeve, or 
hobbling along on crutches; and orphans and 
woe-stricken women in sable garments met us 
at every turn. Foreign nations were losing 
confidence in our cause. Lord Bulwer had 
declared in the English Parliament that it was 
for the interest of humanity that America 
should be divided into at least four separate 
States, for if the country remained united, "in 
a century hence it would contain two hundred 
millions of people hanging like a dark cloud 
upon the civilization of the world." The 
credit of the nation was about gone, for in 
July, gold rose to 285, making the greenback, 
and therefore the credit of the government, 
worth only thirty-five cents on the dollar. 
Some enthusiasm followed the renomination of 
Mr. Lincoln, in June, at Baltimore, but our 
armies were not generally successful, and a 
darker pall of gloom settled down upon the 
country. On the 3Oth of July, the mine at 
Petersburg was exploded, and in it Chicago 
lost Colonel John A. Bross, and most of his 
officers, who were selected from the noblest 
and best young men of the city. Washington 
did not escape the general despondency. On 
my way to the front to seek the body of my 
lost brother, early in the morning before any 
one else, I called on Mr. Lincoln. His table 

ftcminiB fences of Chicago 

was covered with reports and bundles of docu- 
ments over which he was poring; but he 
received me most cordially and asked anxiously 
for news from the West. I told him the 
people were patriotic and determined as ever; 
but it could not be denied that they were 
anxious and earnest for a more vigorous prose- 
cution of the war. "Well," said Mr. Lincoln, 
sadly, "they want success and they haven't 
got it; but we are all doing the best we can. 
For my part I shall stay right here and do my 
duty. Traitors will find me at my table. 
They can come and hang me to that tree if 
they like," pointing with his long skinny finger 
to the maple at his window. 

Such was the condition of the country when 
the Democratic convention assembled in this 
city on Monday, August 29th, 1864. It had 
been postponed from July 4th, in order that 
the plottings of the Copperhead portion of it 
might be the better matured. The gloom that 
pervaded the whole country was especially thick 
and murky in Chicago. The Knights of the 
Golden Circle and the Copperheads of every 
stripe and hue were decidedly active and 
venomous. Whisperings of blood running 
through the streets ankle deep, and lamp 
posts bearing black Republican fruit, were in 
the air. Canada was swarming with rebel 
officers who in twenty-four hours could be 
in the city, and it was believed that many 
were here ready to take command of the 

of Camp 

rebel prisoners at Camp Douglas at any 
moment. 1 

It is in times like these that strong men and 
patriots step forward to save their countrymen 

1 In confirmation of this, Captain Shurley, in a 
note to me, dated June 3d, says: 

"At one time we had 22,000 prisoners there, and 
only a few hundred men for duty at the time the 
conspiracy was brewing. It was impossible to get 
reinforcements, notwithstanding General Sweet's 
urgent appeals. I must say at this time, and after 
these years have elapsed, that the city of Chicago 
does not know what she owes to General Sweet. 

"I released the remaining prisoners of war, and 
after General Sweet, I was the last commanding 
officer of that camp thirteen years ago. After I 
had paroled some of the most intelligent, I questioned 
them in reference to the "conspiracy"; they told 
me that they were divided into companies, regiments, 
and brigades, and confidently expected officers from 
the South to command them, and the intention was 
to destroy Chicago after securing all the arms, 
horses, and whatever would be useful in the prose- 
cution of their war. There is no question that but for 
the energy, forethought, and ability of General Sweet, 
and the manner in which he was sustained by General 
Hooker, serious consequences might have ensued. 
The question is often asked me, Was there really a 
conspiracy for that purpose to burn Chicago and 
other western towns? All the papers passed through 
my hands. The reports of the spies out, what tran- 
spired at the sessions held by the Knights of the 
Golden Circle and other kindred organizations in 
this city, all make me sure there was such a con- 
spiracy. But history should do justice to one who 
was arrested at that time; I refer to Judge Buckner 
S. Morris. He was entirely innocent of any such 
attempt, although arrested and held in camp. 


ftcmmitfrcnrctf of Chicago 

from pillage and massacre. General Sweet 
proved himself the man for the hour. Perhaps 
two weeks before the Convention assembled, 
I was standing near the Journal office, then 
in front of the Tremont House, when a friend 
said to me, "Do you know there are ten thou- 
sand stands of arms secreted in cellars and 
basements within four blocks of us?" I said, 
"I presume the rebels have that many hid in 
different parts of the city." During the after- 
noon several similar stories were told me by 
others, and in the morning, thinking General 
Sweet should know them, I called on him at 
Camp Douglas. He listened to the facts and 
suspicions I narrated, with great attention; said 
he would investigate them and call at my office 
the next day at eleven o'clock. I had previ- 
ously, if any, a mere casual acquaintance with 
General Sweet, but his close attention and 
careful analysis of the facts I had given him 
gave me great confidence in his ability and 
fitness for the important post he occupied. 
He called promptly as appointed and I found 
his entire detective force had been busy all 
night searching the city through; that he had 
verified some of our suspicions, and got track 
of many more. He had, subsequently, trusty 
men in every Golden Circle of the Knights, and 
by ten o'clock next day he knew what had 
occurred, and the plans that were made all 
over the city. Almost every leading rebel that 
arrived from the South or from Canada was 

pi.storp of Camp 2Dougiag 

spotted and tracked to his den and could not 
move, even for the most trivial purpose if a 
leading man, but sharp loyal eyes were upon 
him. For a week or more I saw General 
Sweet frequently, and I found that his detec- 
tives tracked like sleuth-hounds every scent and 
rumor to its source, and his plans and the way 
he carried them out filled my highest ideal of 
the ability needed to cope with his adversaries, 
and I therefore soon gave the matter little 
further care and attention. On Saturday, 
August 26th, the Democratic politicians, many 
of them very respectable gentlemen, with their 
blowers and strikers, began to arrive. As day 
after day passed, the crowd increased till the 
whole city seemed alive with a motley crew 
of big-shouldered, blear-eyed, bottle-nosed, 
whisky-blotched vagabonds the very excres- 
cence and sweepings of the slums and sinks of 
all the cities in the nation. I sat often at my 
window on Michigan Avenue, and saw the filthy 
stream of degraded humanity swagger along to 
the wigwam on the lake shore and wondered how 
the city could be saved from burning and 
plunder, and our wives and daughters from a 
far more dreadful fate. Many besides myself 
would have been in despair had we not trusted 
in the good providence of God, General Sweet, 
and the brave boys under him. We knew 
that he had small squads of men with signs 
and passwords in all the alleys in the central 
portions of the city ready to concentrate at the 

of Chicago 

point of danger at any moment. But the city 
had another and an efficient source of safety 
of which many of our people even at this day 
have not the slightest knowledge. It was a 
matter of wonder then, and perhaps has been 
ever since, how such a horde of cut-throats 
and bloated, beastly vagabonds, spoiling for 
free whisky and a free fight, could have been 
kept in perfect order; for our streets under 
presence of so many people were never more 
orderly, and in its doings and surroundings the 
Democratic convention of 1864 was as quiet and 
respectable as any other political body that 
ever assembled in the city. This fact can be 
best understood by relating an incident. 

On my way to my office early on Monday, 
calling in a store on Clark Street, a friend said 
to me, "Do you know the danger we have 
escaped?" Feigning ignorance, I asked what. 
He said, "A young gentleman from Kentucky, 
a warm friend of mine, came in on Friday 
morning, and in a whisper, inquired anxiously 
if my family were in the city; for if they are," 
said he, "by all means as you love them, send 
them to the country this afternoon. Look for 
horrid times within the next three days the 
Devil will be to pay." He was greatly re- 
lieved when I told him they were already in 
the country, and would stay for several days. 
As he left he said, "For my sake, keep mum 
and take good care of yourself." This morn- 
ing he came in, every feature beaming with 

piston; of Camp Douglas 

pleasure, and said: "We're all safe; the New 
York politicians, Dean Richmond, Seymour, 
Tilden, and the rest, arri r ed Saturday and yes- 
terday morning; they caucused all day yester- 
day, and last night they put down their foot 
and declared if there wer any riots or disturb- 
ance it would ruin the Democratic party; they 
might as well go home, fo the cause would be 
lost and they would be btaten out of sight at 
the polls, and orders were accordingly given to 
the clans and messes." And said he, "In 
spite of the hordes of brutal wretches you see 
everywhere, this will be the most orderly con- 
vention you ever saw." So it was, and that 
the orders were imperative and well understood 
is well illustrated by another pertinent incident. 
Henry M. Smith was at the time in the edito- 
rial department of the Tribune. He was 
standing at the entrance, 45 Clark Street, on 
Monday afternoon, I think it was, when he 
noticed two big bullies watching him and the 
boys who every few minutes darted out with a 
package of documents which they distributed 
freely to all who would take them. Glancing 
over the pamphlet, they saw it contained a 
sharp, searching war record of their party, and 
came across the street and asked Smith if he 
belonged to the Tribune office. Answering that 
he did, they ordered him, with words and 
adjectives far more expressive and profane 
than polite, to stop sending out such lying 
stuff. Quick as lightning the plucky little 

of Chicago 

editor struck the brute with all his might 
square on his nose, and the rebel blood spurted 
in all directions. E'ther of the men might 
have crushed the Lfe out of Smith in a 
moment, but they did not. They knew they 
must obey their orders, and that there must 
be no rows, and quietly pocketing the insult 
they walked toward the Sherman House. In 
a few moments after, they were arrested and 
lodged in jail, and tnen I expected an attempt 
to rescue them every hour by the abominable 
rabble in the city, but they obeyed orders, and 
left their friends to their fate. In the evening 
or early morning they were let out on their own 
recognizance and that was the end of the 
matter. In the light of what followed, it is 
a fair inference that, in commanding and 
keeping the peace, the wily New York politi- 
cians had not only an eye upon the election 
to be held in November, but a wholesome 
regard for their own safety; for it is not 
unlikely their friends and detectives had pretty 
accurate knowledge of the arrangements Gen- 
eral Sweet had made to give their crowd of 
bloated wretches a very lively time of it; and 
in this sternly loyal city, should an emute 
occur, their own precious skins might be very 
uncomfortably punctured. Their villainous 
schemes took a wider range, and likely to do 
the rebellion far better service, for from their 
wigwam on the lake shore they planned and 
got up a tremendous fire in the rear. 

of Camp 2DougIa 

By resolving "that after four years of 
failure to restore the Union by the experiment 
of war, during which, under the pretense of a 
military necessity, or war power, higher than 
the Constitution, the Constitution itself has 
been disregarded in every part, and public 
liberty and private right alike trodden down, 
and the material prosperity of the country 
essentially impaired, justice, humanity, and the 
public welfare demand that immediate efforts 
be made for the cessation of hostilities"; and 
this "fire in the rear" they knew they could 
keep up among the people with perfect safety 
to each party hack, with great advantage to 
the rebels till after the November election. 
Thus they insulted the patriotism of the nation, 
polluted the breezes and defiled the pure waters 
of Lake Michigan, by blurting out their blatant 
treason in the face of high Heaven. The 
loyal men of the nation accepted the gauge of 
battle, and the election of Mr. Lincoln and the 
indorsement of his policy to put down the 
rebellion is one of the most important and 
glorious events in the history of this republic. 

During the months of September and Octo- 
ber the nation trembled as by an earthquake 
from the center to circumference. The war 
of words in the rail cars, on the streets, from 
the stump in fact, everywhere in the loyal 
states was loud, bitter, relentless, and unceas- 
ing. Sherman was fighting his way, inch by 
inch, toward Atlanta; Grant was pounding 

of Chicago 

away in the wilderness, and it required all the 
energy of Secretary Stanton, a war minister 
whose place in history has scarcely ever been 
equaled, to fill up the ranks, decimated before 
the rebel intrenchments. In its desperation, 
the Genius of the rebellion seemed more 
active, malignant, and fiendish than ever. 
Plans to burn all the leading cities of the 
North and to scatter infectious and deadly 
diseases throughout the loyal States were care- 
fully and earnestly discussed among the chiefs 
of the Confederacy. 1 

RICHMOND, February n, 1865. 

President C. S. A. 

Sir: When Senator Johnson, of Missouri, and 
myself waited on you a few days since in relation to 
the prospect of annoying and harassing the enemy 
by means of burning their shipping, towns, etc. , there 
were several remarks made by you upon the subject 
that I was not fully prepared to answer, but which, 
upon subsequent conference with parties proposing 
the enterprise, I find cannot apply as objections to 
the scheme. The combustible materials consist of 
several preparations, and not one alone,- and can be 
used without exposing the party using them to the 
least danger of detection whatever. The preparations 
are not in the hands of McDaniel, but are in the 
hands of Professor McCullough, and are known but 
to him and one other party, as I understand. 

'This discussion was kept up through the winter 
of 1864-65, as the following letter will show. I am 
indebted to Captain Shurley for the privilege of 
publishing it. He saw the original before it was sent 
to Washington, and vouches for its accuracy. 

of Camp 2DougIa 

There is no necessity for sending persons in the 
military service into the enemy's country, but the 
work may be done by agents, and in most cases by 
persons ignorant of the facts, and therefore innocent 

I have seen enough of the effects that can be 
produced to satisfy me that in most cases, without 
any danger to the parties engaged, and in others but 
very slight, we can (l) burn every vessel that 
leaves a foreign port for the United States. (2) We 
can burn every transport that leaves the harbor of 
New York, or other Northern port, with supplies for 
the armies of the enemy in the South. (3) Burn 
every transport and gunboat on the Mississippi River, 
as well as devastate the country of the enemy, and 
fill his people with terror and consternation. I am 
not alone of the opinion, but many other gentlemen 
are as fully and thoroughly impressed with the con- 
viction as I am. I believe we have the means at our 
command, if promptly appropriated and energetically 
applied, to demoralize the Northern people in a very 
short time. For the purpose of satisfying your mind 
upon the subject, I respectfully but earnestly request 
that you will have an interview with General Harris, 
formerly a member of Congress from Missouri, who, 
I think, is able by conclusive proof to convince you 
th at what I have suggested is perfectly feasible and 

The deep interest I feel for our cause in this 
struggle, and the convictions of the importance of 
availing ourselves of every element of defense, must 
be my excuse for writing you and requesting to 
invite General Harris to see you. If you should see 
proper to do so, please signify to him when it will 
be convenient for you to see him. 

I am, very respectfully, your ob'dt serv't, 

[Signed] W. S. OLDHAM. 

It has the following indorsement: 

Secretary of State, at his earliest convenience, 
will please see General Harris, and learn what plan 


llrmimsrcnrcs of Chicago 

he has for overcoming the difficulty heretofore 
experienced. [Signed] J. D. 

February 20, 1865. 

Rec'd Feb. 19, 1865. 

In the loyal states, and in our own city 
especially, venomous Copperheads kept up 
their warfare to the very last week of the 
canvass. They were bent on letting loose the 
ten thousand prisoners in Camp Douglas, that 
they might burn and destroy the city, and thus 
prevent an election here. 1 And besides, they 

J An attempt was actually made to break out. In 
a note to me, Captain Shurley says: 

"In October. 1864, one of the prisoners requested 
an interview with the commandant of the post, 
General Sweet. The message was sent to head- 
quarters. In the absence of General Sweet, I ordered 
the prisoner sent to my office. He told me that for 
some time there had been an organization amongst 
the prisoners of war to break out of the prison 
square and that one hundred men had taken an 
obligation to lead the way, to break the fence, attack 
the guard in rear of camp, and in the confusion that 
would ensue, the 11,000 prisoners then in charge 
would escape. He said that at eight that evening 
was the time appointed this was about 6 p.m. 
that the interview mentioned took place. It was a 
cloudy evening, and dark looking like rain. After 
dismissing the prisoner, I started for the prison 
square. The officer in charge told me there seemed 
to be an unusual activity among the prisoners 
advised me not to go round without a guard. This, 
I knew, would attract attention, if not suspicion. 
At this time the barracks occupied by the prisoners 
were in rows raised on posts, and each barrack con- 
tained from one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
men. I noticed there was an unusual stir among the 

of mnp 

had lists of scores of our leading citizens whose 
property and lives could alone atone for the 
loyal part they had acted throughout the war. 
General Sweet and his brave officers at Camp 
Douglas were equally active and vigilant. The 
appointments at the post were strengthened 
by every means in his power, so that as small a 
force as possible might safely guard the 
prisoners, and that a large detail might be 

prisoners in the barracks. After completing the 
tour, I returned to headquarters satisfied that there 
might be truth in the statement of my "spy." I at 
once sent an order to the commanding officer of the 
Eighth regiment to take post on the south and west 
of the camp. I ordered the Pennsylvania regiment 
on the rear of that, and around it. I had notified the 
officer in command of the guard of what might be 
expected, at the same time had strengthened the 
guard by turning out the other two reliefs. The rain 
began to fall, and it seemed to me that the camp was 
unusually quiet. The disposition of the troops had 
been made so quietly that the prisoners had not sus- 
pected it. I greatly regretted the absence of General 
Sweet; he had been summoned to Wisconsin, but I 
carried out his plan to the best of my ability. Eight 
o'clock had scarcely sounded, when crash! went some 
of the planks from the rear fence, and the one 
hundred men rushed for the opening. One volley 
from f he guard, who were prepared for them, and 
the prisoners recoiled, gave up, and retreated to their 
barracks. Eighteen of the most determined got out, 
but in less time than I can relate it, quiet was 
restored. I had the Pennsylvania' regiment gradually 
close in from the outer circle of the race course to 
the camp, and recaptured all of those that had 
escaped. I think eight or ten were wounded, but 
they gradually recovered." 



spared to station in the city at the time of 
election. Detectives were kept intensely busy 
to watch every suspicious character that 
arrived by the cars, and some were sent to 
Canada to learn from officers there what 
villainous schemes they were plotting for the 
destruction of Chicago. 1 Others went to the 
virulent Copperhead districts in central and 
southern Illinois and found that large detach- 
ments were to be sent here, ready for carnage 
and plunder, should the prisoners break out, 
and in any event to vote early and often in the 
infected sections of the city. Hence, on the 
Saturday before the election Tuesday, the 
8th of November General Sweet knew where 

1 In a note to me dated June 3d, Captain Shurley 

"One thing history will bear out: that during the 
the administration of General Sweet the prisoners of 
war were treated as well as it was possible to treat men 
in their situation. Of course, the very fact of con- 
finement is a hardship but the Government furnished 
good clothing and provisions, and allowed a sufficient 
quantity. I have read extracts from Southern 
papers citing the number that died at Camp Douglas. 
I account for this by the fact that many of the 
prisoners received at that camp were wounded and 
sick run down by hard service and the change of 
climate may have had some effect. We had a most 
admirable hospital, and busy, competent surgeons. 
Dr. Emmons, of this city, was one of them. I know 
that General Sweet left that command poorer than 
when he entered it, and of all the millions he 
disbursed, not one cent entered his pocket or those 
around him." 

1 86 

of Camp 2Dougia 

all the dens of the Knights of the Golden 
Circle were, and what was going on in them; 
what rebel gangs were expected from our own 
State, and what officers were expected from 
Canada to lead them and the rebel hordes in 
Camp Douglas in their bloody raid upon the 
city. To know them was to know how to pro- 
vide against and defeat them. 

But to be more specific: At first it was 
proposed to let loose the prisoners two weeks 
earlier, but for various reasons the thing was 
postponed till the night before the election. 
During the previous week, delegations began 
to arrive from Fayette and Christian counties, 
in this State. Bushwhackers journeyed north 
from Missouri and Kentucky. Some came 
from Indiana, and rebel officers from Canada. 
But so perfectly had General Sweet made him- 
self master of their movements that, in the 
early morning of Monday, he arrested Colonel 
G. St. Leger Grenfell, Morgan's adjutant- 
general, in company with J. T. Shanks, an 
escaped prisoner of war, at the Richmond 
House; Colonel Vincent Marmaduke, brother 
of the rebel general of that name; Brigadier- 
General Charles Walsh, of the Sons of Liberty; 
Captain Cantrall, of Morgan's command, and 
others. In Walsh's house, General Sweet's 
officers captured two cartloads of large-sized 
revolvers, loaded and capped, and two hundred 
muskets and a large quantity of ammunition. 
In his official report, General Sweet says most 

ft cmmi rentes of Chicago 

of these rebel officers were in the city in 
August, on the same bloody errand that brought 
them here when arrested. When the officers 
were secured, General Sweet's boys turned 
their attention to certain parties of a baser 
sort. Twenty-seven were arrested at the "Fort 
Donaldson House," a base misnomer, of 
course, all well armed; another lot was cap- 
tured on North Water Street, and by evening 
Camp Douglas had an accession of at least a 
hundred of these wretches. During the day 
the "secesh" sympathizers telegraphed their 
friends in the central and southern parts of the 
State that the trap had been sprung; parties 
on the way were notified of the fate that 
awaited them here, and they got off at Wil- 
mington and Joliet; but some fifty who had 
missed the notice arrived on Monday evening, 
and were at once duly honored with an escort 
to Camp Douglas. Some of these visitors had 
boasted in Vandalia, on their way here, to 
intimate friends, that "they would hear of hell 
in a few days, " and generally they were of the 
most desperate class of bushwhacking vaga- 

The plan, as derived from confessions of 
the rebel officers and other sources, was to 
attack Camp Douglas, to release the prisoners 
there, with them to seize the polls, allowing 
none but the Copperhead ticket to be voted, 
and to stuff the boxes sufficiently to secure the 
city, county, and State for McClellan and 
1 88 

of Camp 

Pendleton, then to utterly sack the city, burn- 
ing and destroying every description of property 
except what they could appropriate to their 
own use and that of their Southern brethren 
to lay the city waste and carry off its money 
and stores to Jeff Davis's dominions. 

Thanks to a kind Providence, all this was 
averted, and the day after the arrests were 
made, November 8th, the leading loyal journal 
of the city had the following deserved compli- 
ment to General Sweet: 

The praises of this vigilant, untiring officer are 
on every tongue. Those whose homes have been 
saved from midnight pillage and conflagration, whose 
families have been rescued from a perfect carnival 
of horrors, by his promptness and energy, will hold 
the name of General B. J. Sweet in everlasting 
gratitude. When the story of this hideous con- 
spiracy to let loose ten thousand cut-throats upon a 
defenseless city comes to be written, people will not 
only appreciate the magnitude of the danger which 
has been averted from them by the cool head and 
steady nerve of one man comparatively unknown to 
them, but they will be astonished at the persever- 
ance and skill with which the plot has been ferreted 
out and the ringleaders tracked to their cover. 

In a general order, dated November 25th, 
Geneial Sweet gives the number of men under 
his command during the previous eventful 
weeks at seven hundred and ninety-six, all told, 
and adds: 

On the 6th of November this garrison and the 
immense interests committed to its care in this camp, 
and in the city of Chicago, were threatened by 

&tmrni$tmtt$ of Chicago 

Southern and Northern traitors from within and 
without. Added duty was demanded of men already 
worn. Detachments from the garrison, and heavy 
and repeated details were made, with scarcely an 
interval of rest allowed, which, if not done from 
absolute necessity, would have been cruel. Officers 
and enlisted men of the command answered each 
new call with a cheerful alacrity and earnest zeal 
which commands the warmest admiration. Seldom 
have so few men been charged with the protection 
of interests so great never have such interests been 
more faithfully guarded. 

Of course the modest, brave man who di- 
rected all these movements gives no hint of his 
own exhaustive labors in all these weeks of 
danger. He not only attended sharply to all 
his duties as commander of the post, but he 
organized and sent out scores of detectives in 
all directions; he scanned their reports with an 
eagle's eye and, from a great mass of isolated 
facts, traced out the plans of his wily enemies, 
their location, and their expected part in the 
breaking out of the rebels from the camp and 
the sacking of the city knowledge of all 
these and much more was wrought out by his 
sharp, incisive judgment and ceaseless energy. 
As I had given him the lead of important facts 
at the inception of the conspiracy in August, 
he did me the honor to give me the substance 
of what I have above written, except, of 
course, as to himself, from his own lips; and 
all that I have said of this villainous rebel plot 
is more than confirmed by the records of the 
subsequent trials, and by articles and docu- 

of Camp 2D0ugfog 

ments published during the progress of the 
events which I have but too briefly described. 
May it not, therefore, safely be said that 
Chicago can never fully appreciate, certainly 
can never repay to his family, the debt of 
gratitude she owes to the services of General 
Sweet? Other brave men fought and fell in 
the forefront of the battle; General Sweet 
was there, and ever after his right arm hung 
useless at his side. Other generals rushed 
into the thickest of the fight when towns and 
cities were burning around them; General 
Sweet stood firmly and quietly at his post and 
saved Chicago from a fate equally terrible and 
destructive. They knew that the lurid glare 
would flash out their names on all the pages of 
their country's history; he was content to do 
his duty, to save his fellow citizens from death 
and their city from plunder and burning. 
Their adversaries were in the front, fighting 
openly "man to man and brand to brand"; 
his were venomous reptiles, crawling about in 
dark lanes and filthy dens, till with one fell 
spring the loyal city should be laid in ashes, 
and its people fleeing in terror before the 
bulleti and the swords of the destroyer. They 
fought the rebellion with all the, weapons of 
legitimate warfare; he had to fight secret 
treason with such strategy and the best means 
that his own genius and restless energy could 
invent. Before their serried ranks the rebel- 
lion was consumed in a blaze of glory; General 

of Chicago 

Sweet's wisdom and untiring efforts saved 
Chicago to rejoice with brave men and sterling 
patriots everywhere over a country saved, a 
free, united, enduring republic. 

The subsequent history of Camp Douglas 
can be told in a brief space. With the excep- 
tion of Fortress Monroe, it was said to be the 
largest and best appointed camp in the United 
States. More than 30,000 prisoners had been 
housed there, and large numbers were confined 
there during the winter of 1864-65. The 
spring after the collapse of the rebellion, they 
were gradually discharged and furnished with 
transportation to their homes, one even being 
sent by Captain Shurley to San Francisco. 
General Sweet resigned at the commencement 
of the year, and Captain Shurley succeeded as 
post adjutant. He remained in charge till 
October, discharging the prisoners and attend- 
ing to the other duties incident to his position. 
During the fall of 1865 the camp was disman- 
tled, and the property sold under the direction 
of Colonel L. H. Pierce. 

During the winter previous a court martial 
convened at Cincinnati, and the officers cap- 
tured in November were duly tried for their 
crimes. Walsh, general of the Sons of Lib- 
erty, was sentenced to state's prison with 
hard labor for three years; Marmaduke and 
Morris were acquitted; Grenfell was found 
guilty of conspiracy to release the prisoners 
from Camp Douglas and to lay waste and 

of Cam)) Douglas 

destroy Chicago, and was sentenced to death; 
Semmes was sentenced to a year in the peni- 
tentiary, and Anderson shot himself, thus sav- 
ing the authorities all further trouble on his 
account. Fortunately for the others, the rebel- 
lion was crushed out, and their sentences were 
in due time remitted. 

A few words more in relation to General 
Sweet: After he was mustered out of the 
service he bought a small farm at Wheaton, 
and opened a law office in this city. In 1869, 
he was appointed United States pension agent 
for the northern district of Illinois, office at 
Chicago, and he held that position until April, 
1870, when he received the appointment of 
supervisor of internal revenue for the state 
of Illinois. In January, 1872, he was called 
to Washington and offered the position of 
first deputy commissioner of internal revenue. 
He accepted, and held that place until his 
death. General Sweet died on the 1st day of 
January, 1874, at Washington, D. C., aged 
forty-one years, eight months, and eight days. 
The cause of his death was acute pneumonia. 
He was ill only a few days, and his death was 
a cruelly sudden and unexpected blow to his 
family and his many devoted friends. General 
Sweet's family were all living at the time of 
his death, except his eldest son, Lawrence, 
who died August loth, 1872. The death of 
this son was a terrible affliction to the General, 
and his spirit never recovered from the weight 

focmmigccnceg of Chicago 

of this sorrow. On the last day of the Gen- 
eral's life, when all hope of recovery was 
over, he spoke many times of his family in 
words of anxiety and affection. Throughout 
his sickness he was calm, courageous, and 
cheerful. He died as he had lived, like a man 
whose soul no terrors, no suffering, no sorrow, 
could shake. He lived through struggles, 
sorrow, wounds, poverty, and discourage- 
ment, bravely, resolutely, calmly, and undis- 
mayed; and as he lived, so he died. Chicago 
will not fail to hold his inestimable service in 
grateful and honored remembrance. When 
monuments are built to perpetuate the memory 
of her preservers and heroes, let none rise 
higher than that on which stands the statue of 
General B. J. Sweet. 

As an evidence that republics are not always 
ungrateful, I beg to add that his accomplished 
daughter, Miss Ada, was her father's chief 
clerk while pension agent, and also served in the 
same capacity under Mr. Blakeslee. In April, 
1874, President Grant appointed her pension 
agent in this city, and it is the highest possible 
compliment to her that no office in the country 
is conducted with more accuracy and success. 
While the last vestige of Camp Douglas must 
soon be swept away, and its place and history 
will only be known to the historian and the 
curious antiquary, the memory of her patriotic, 
noble father will become brighter and more 
highly honored as the ages roll onward. 

T **,