News, obituaries, birth, marriage and death notices, by date.
Items from The Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,
Thursday, August 28, 1862
Our Army Correspondence.
MESSRS. EDITORS: - At this late day I take up my pen to comply with your request, and fulfil my promise, made before we left our peaceful homes. This should have been attended to sooner, but circumstances were not favorable, and this is all the apology I have to offer.
It is, perhaps, needless for me to describe to you our trip from Altoona to Harrisburg; suffice it to say, we were greeted at every station along the road with vociferous cheers and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. The ladies (God bless them) turned out en masse and encouraged our hearts by their sweet smiles and pleasant words. Many were the blessings invoked upon us by our aged matrons and young maidens, and many were the tears of sympathy shed by those who knew us only as volunteers for the defence of the Constitution and the Union. Some of our men think we were treated rather shabbily by the P. R. R. Co., in being shipped off in dirty coal-cars, and without any previous intimation of the hour of starting - but what right has a soldier to expect decent treatment? Is he not Government stock? Of course. Well, then, I shall say no more, but merely express the hope that other human stock may fare better - or, at least, no worse.
We sojourned in Camp Curtin eight days, and were not sorry when we received "marching orders." Water was scarce and dust was plenty; besides, there was no room for men to drill, and we could do little else than loiter around and waste our precious time. On Saturday last we were armed with Springfield muskets, and fully equipped for active service. In the evening we struck our tents, packed up and took passage on board a train of freight cars, with the engine headed towards "Dixie." About daylight on Sunday morning we arrived at Baltimore. Leaving the cars, the whole regiment formed in line (our company bearing the colors) and marched through the city to the other depot where we were to embark for Washington. Here we were provided with breakfast by the Union Relief Association. What we had for breakfast I won't say, but it was considered good enough for soldiers, and we felt better after it was down, for many of us had no supper on the evening previous. After resting for a time we got on board another train of freight cars and were soon on the road to Washington, at which place we arrived about noon. Forming in line again, we marched up near the Capitol and stacked arms in the street. After resting a short time we were marched down to the "Soldiers' Retreat," where we were provided with dinner. Returning again to our arms, we spent the afternoon in the street, wondering what the next move would be. Towards evening our minds were relieved by an order to return to the "Retreat," take supper and spend the night as comfortable as possible. - Each man (excepting the General) made his bed by wrapping his blanket around him and lying down upon the floor, where I believe all slept soundly (at least your humble servant did) until morning. After breakfast, we took up the line of march for the "sacred soil" of the old "Dominion," upon which we had the pleasure of setting our unhallowed Yankee feet as soon as we had crossed the long bridge over the Potomac. The morning was very warm, and we were all more or less impressed with the importance of light knapsacks. I believe only one man in the whole regiment gave out, although several entertained serious thoughts of "caving in." After marching five or six miles, we reached the site of our present camp, where we pitched our tents and commenced making ourselves "at home." The only inconvenience we experience here is scarcity of water, and what we do get is not what a Pennsylvanian would call good. It is all obtained from wells by means of a rope and windlass. The ground upon which we are encamped was once a splendid farm. Alas! what a change! There are no fences to be seen, even around the little patches of sickly looking corn which some families have planted. The celebrated "peach orchard" has disappeared, and all looks desolate. The once beautiful fields are now splendid drill grounds for Union troops, and they have been and still are being faithfully used for that purpose. Almost every day some new regiment pitches its tents near us, remains a day or two and then packs up and moves Southward. Sometimes several regiments pass us in one day, while others halt and occupy the ground but recently evacuated by their brothers in arms.
Our regiment is already becoming slightly affected with soldierly pride - and why shouldn't it? We know our officers, we know one another, and we have reason to believe that we are making as rapid progress in military efficiency as any other regiment under the same circumstances. It has been decided to drill five companies of this regiment two hours each day, in the use of artillery, in the different forts surrounding our present camp. In order to determine which companies should handle the big guns, and in which fort each company should receive instruction, it was found necessary to cast lots. Ten tickets, five of which were blank and five of which were numbered, were placed in a box, and each Captain then proceeded to draw one ticket. This was a fair way of deciding the matter, and Company D, Captain Hostetter, drew No. 1, which entitles is to the use of the big guns in the nearest fort about a mile from camp. No. 2 entitles the drawer of that number to the next nearest fort, and so on, while those companies who drew blanks will have to content themselves with field duty; Company H, Capt. McKeage, is one of these, I have been unable, up to this time, to ascertain any further particulars in regard to the "drawing," but you shall be informed in due season of this, as well as any other items of interest which may transpire in the "course of events."
Company A, Capt. Bell, left us on Saturday night last, having been detailed to guard the Long Bridge.
"With many thanks for a late copy of our old friend, the Tribune, I will close by subscribing myself - Your humble serv't, BREVIER.
HAMPTON RHODES, Aug. 19th, 1862.
While visiting company M, the day before their departure, I saw our gallant Col. Sweitzer, who had been a prisoner at Richmond. He looks hale and hearty, apparently in possession of his usual light-hearted and happy disposition. When with the boys I used to think that Col. Black and Major (now Col.) Sweitzer were the only two men I knew capable of successfully leading or commanding the 62nd, and I have no cause to change my opinion. With Col. Sweitzer in command, and the memory of the lamented Black to inspire them with energy, the 62nd will never falter or waver in the discharge of their duty, but like the "Old Guard" of Napoleon, who cared for naught but the safety of their beloved commander and the glory of France, so will the 62nd feel and fearlessly meet the enemy, heeding nothing save the presence of their brave Colonel and the inward promptings of revenge for the murder of Colonel Black. Sergt. Kress, Tom Green and a little fellow they call "Reddy," returned with Col. Sweitzer from Richmond. They all enjoy good health.
Our steamer has been anchored out in the Rhodes for several days, anxiously awaiting orders, and from the number of boats I see moving about, I suppose our stay here will be short. Since we have been here the weather has been more to my liking, slightly windy however, but not so excessively hot as along the James. The only objection to the wind is that it makes the sea very rough and is productive of sea sickness, vessels are almost as numerous here as soldiers in the army. From above Fortress Monroe, in the bay, around to where we lie, opposite Hampton, for about three miles, and as far back as the eye can reach, you see nothing but bare poles and ropes, presenting the appearance of a forest of dead trees. It would be quite as difficult to sail through here without a skillful pilot as for one to pass through the woods blindfolded. At night the sight is really beautiful. The signal-lights suspended from the masts and guard-arms of the vessels causes the bay to present the appearance of a very large city.
We are suffering very much from confinement here, with nothing to amuse us but reading and fishing. Many kinds of fish of fine dimensions are caught by the men, and also large sea crabs in abundance. We throw out a small scoop net, having a piece of meat and a weight fastened to the bottom. The crab goes in for the bait and is easily secured. They are boiled in water as potatoes, and dressed with a little salt, making an excellent dish.
I was told to-day that the mills and other works, at Hollidaysburg, were fast becoming deserted by the workmen enlisting in order to avoid being drafted. At this stage of the game I think there is little difference between volunteering and drafting. The one volunteers through fear of being drafted and the other prefers to take his chance in the draft. One may be as brave as the other, and no doubt they will all make as good soldiers as any in the field.
Correspondents should address their letters as usual. This movement will not affect their reaching the army but will delay their arrival.
Yours Respectfully, W. I. BLAIN.
Regulations for the Draft.
On the 9th of August the following regulations for making the draft were telegraphed from Washington to Gov. Pierpoint, of Virginia. We give a full abstract of the provisions:
First. The Governors of the State will proceed to furnish their quotas of the militia, under the call for 300,000 such troops. (Under both requisitions the State is called upon to furnish 92,841 men.)
Second. The Governors are forthwith to designate the plan of rendezvous, as few in number as possible, and name the commandants of such posts.
Third. The Governors will cause an immediate enrolment of all able-bodied male citizens (including of course in several New England States the colored citizens) between the ages of eighteen and forty- five years, giving the name, age and occupation of each, together with such facts as may determine his exemption. The expenses of this enrolment will be paid by the United States.
Fourth. Where the law exists in any State for carrying out this draft, or where the laws are defective, the following regulations will be observed:
1. As soon as the enrolment is completed the lists are to be filed in the office of the Sheriffs of the respective counties.
2. A commissioner is to be appointed by the Governor in each county, at $4 per diem, to superintend the drafting and to determine the claims for exemption.
The enrolling officers shall immediately, upon the filing of the enrolment lists, notify said Commissioner that said lists have been so filed, and the Commissioners shall therefore give notice by handbills posted in each township of his county, at the time and place of which claims of exemption will be received and determined by him, and shall fix the time to be specified in the order aforesaid within ten days of the filing of the enrolment at which the draft shall be made, and all persons claiming to be exempt from Military duty, shall, before the said days fixed for the draft, make proof of such exemption before said Commissioner, and if found sufficient, his name shall be stricken from the list by a red line drawn through it leaving it still legible. The commissioner shall in like manner strike from the list the names of all persons now in the military service of the United States - all Telegraph operators and contractors actually engaged on the 5th day of August 1862, engineers of locomotives on Railroads, the Vice President of the United States, the officers, judicial and executive, of the Government of the United States, the members of both Houses of Congress and their respective officers. All custom house officers and their clerks, all Postofficers and stage drivers who are employed in the care and conveyance of the mails of the post offices of the United States, all ferrymen who are employed at any ferry on the post roads, all pilots, all mariners actually employed in the sea service of any citizens or merchants within the United States, all engineers and pilots of registered or licensed steamboats and steamships, and all persons exempt by the laws of the respective States from military duty, on sufficient evidence, or his personal knowledge that said persons belong to any of the aforesaid classes, whether the exemption is claimed by them or not. Exemption will not be made for disability unless it be of such prominent character as to render the person unfit for service for a period of more than thirty days, to be certified by a surgeon appointed by the Governor in each county for that purpose.
5. At the time fixed by the commissioner, the Sheriff, or in his absence, some one appointed by the Commissioner, shall in his presence publicly place in a wheel, or in a box similar to those used for drawing jurors, the names of all persons not stricken from the enrolment list, and a proper person, appointed by the commissioner, and blindfolded, shall thereupon draw from the box or wheel, a number of ballots equal to the number of men to be drafted as the quota of the county.
6. A printed notice of his being drafted, and of the place of rendezvous, must be served upon each person so drafted.
7. Any person so drafted nay offer a substitute at the time of rendezvous. The substitute must have all the proper requirements, and bind himself in writing.
8. The drafted men must assemble at the county seats of their
respective counties within four days after the drafting, whence
transportation will be furnished them to the place of rendezvous.
10. At the expiration of the time allowed the drafted men for reaching the rendezvous, the commandant shall proclaim the names of regimental commissioned officers. In case the laws of the State (as in Pennsylvania) provide for the election of such officers, the election will take place under the direction of the commandant. Non- commissioned officers are appointed.
11. As soon as organized the troops are to be mustered into the United States service.
Fifth. Marshals will be appointed to secure the attendance of men that are drafted.
Sixth. In case the volunteer quotas are not filled by August 22, all incomplete regiments shall be consolidated by the Governors, and the number that are required to fill the volunteer quota drafted.
Seventh. After August 22 no new regiments of volunteers may be organized, but the bounty and advance pay will still be paid to those volunteering in old regiments.
NATURALIZATION OF ALIEN SOLDIERS. - We publish for the benefit of such as are not aware of the existence of such a law, the following which is entitled:
"An Act to define the pay and emoluments of certain officers of the army, and for other purposes," approved July 17, 1862:
Section 21. And be it further enacted, That any alien, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, who has enlisted or shall enlist in the armies of the United States, either the regular or the volunteer forces and has been or shall be hereafter honorably discharged may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States, upon his petition, without any previous declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States and that he shall not be required to prove more than one Year's residence within the United States previous to his application; and that the court admitting such alien shall, in addition to such proof of residence and good moral character as is now provided by law, be satisfied, by competent proof, of such person having been honorably discharged from the service of the United States. as aforesaid.
Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, August 28, 1862, page 2
THE DRAFT. - The enrollment of the militia of this county will be finished in a few days and it will then be seen whether Blair has furnished her quota. We learn that the quota of this county, under all the calls, excepting that for three months men, is 1852 men. Whether the enrollment will show that we have exceeded or fell short of this amount, we have as yet no means of ascertaining. It can only be known after the Deputy Marshals have made their returns and the lists have been compared. The manner in which the enrollment is taken prevents one county from imposing upon or claiming the men who have gone from another county and enlisted in companies raised in the first. The Marshals take the name of every man who has gone to war from his district, with the letter of the company and the regiment in which he enlisted, no matter whether the company is from another county or State. Thus every county, and district in the county, receives credit for its own. This county will receive no credit for men from Huntingdon county who enlisted in companies from this county, although they may have received the bounty given by Blair. This is right, so far as exhibiting the patriotism of a county is concerned, but wrong in reference to the bounty.
When it is known exactly how many men are lacking in a district, to make up the quotas, we think it would be an easy matter to raise volunteers sufficient to fill it. It is done in the following manner in other places. A meeting of the citizens of a district is called and the announcement made that so many men are wanted to fill up the quota. A bounty fund is immediately raised by those whose business will not admit of their leaving and this bounty is offered for volunteers. In every case it is accepted and the districts relieved from a draft. In this way the burden falls equally upon all who will pay, and at the same time enables those who volunteer to leave enough behind them for the support of those who are dependent upon them. It is better for those who do not wish to leave their business to contribute liberally to this fund for volunteers and not run the risk of being drafted, and it is also better for those who can leave home to take the bounty, and go as volunteers than to stand their chance in a draft and have to go without bounty. It may he said that this would shield the rich, and compel the poor to volunteer. We do not so consider it. At this stage of the game, when a draft is to be made, all are equal, and if a man who stands a fair chance to be drafted can, by volunteering, save himself from being drafted, and receive a compensation of $50 or $100 dollars, it is certainly to his advantage to take it. Besides, it is not paying for a substitute. The man who pays toward this bounty, no matter how liberally, might not be drafted, and therefore have no substitute to furnish, but he pays the money directly for the benefit of those who volunteer, and in order to save the district from a draft. We do not know how others may view this, or what action may be taken on it. We note it as the manner of procedure in other places where it is found to work to the advantage of all. There are many men in this place who wish to go into the army and would gladly do so it such inducements be offered, provided it shall be found that Altoona has not furnished her quota.
LOCAL BAGGAGE AGENT. - We learn that the Rail Road Company is about to erect a baggage room at the depot, in this place, and that J. Mazzaree, formerly a brakeman on the Mail Train between this place and Harrisburg, has been appointed baggage agent. This will prove a great convenience to persons departing or arriving. When departing they can take their baggage to the depot, place it under the care of the baggage agent, have it checked to their destination and have no further trouble in looking after it. So, also, the baggage of those arriving will be taken in charge by the agent, and passengers will be saved the trouble of pushing and crowding around the baggage car to get hold of their trunks, &c.
CAPT. GARDNER'S COMPANY. - Below we give the muster roll of Capt. Gardner's company:
COMMISSIONED OFFICERS: Captain - J. M. Gardner.*
1st Sergeant - H. B. Hutt.
Those marked with a star (*) are married men. The letter accompanying the above states that the boys are all in fine spirits, and fancy that they are making rapid progress in the acquirement of military knowledge. They are encamped on Arlington Heights, about five miles from Washington city, on Gen. Lee's farm. We have the promise of a letter from the company occasionally, which we will publish with pleasure and we know it will be anxiously looked for by our readers. The company is known as company K, 125th Regiment P. V. Persons writing to friends in that company will direct as follows: "Co. K, 125th Regt. P. V. camp Welles, near Washington city, D. C."
Capt. Hostetter's (formerly Szinks) company is Co. D, same regiment.
THE BASE BALL MATCH. - According to previous arrangement, the match between nine members of the Base Ball Club, of this place, and the same number of the Keystone Club, of Harrisburg, came off at the latter place, on Wednesday of last week. From the Harrisburg Telegraph of Thursday last we copy the following account of the game. For the information of those unacquainted with the game we may state that nine innings constitute a single game:
The ninth inning being a tie a tenth was played for the championship, which resulted in the Keystone making 8 runs and the Mountain 5 runs, or on 10 innings a side, the Keystone made 41 runs, and Mountain 38 runs. The prize ball was handed over to the Keystone, by the Captain of the Mountain Club. The umpire, Col. D. W. C. Moore of Philadelphia, complimented the players of both clubs for their good playing, considering the short time they have practiced. All parties separated with the best of feelings. The following will show the batting, hands lost and runs, of the respective players:
* Hands Lost.
In justice to the members of Mountain Club we must state that during the entire game they never changed the position of a man, while the Keystone Club changed the position of nearly every man. - It will be observed that the playing of the Mountain Club was regular and rather the best, up to the eighth inning, at which time the Keystone Club changed their pitcher. The new pitcher gave balls to which Mountain Club was unaccustomed, and which they could not bat; and although they made a fair show of runs on the ninth and tenth innings, it was more on "misses" than "strikes." Considering that the Mountain Club was on a new field, they did exceedingly well, and on their own ground would likely to lead the Keystone more than three runs in ten innings.
The Patriot & Union says the only casualty during the game was borne by McCargo, of the "Keystone," who, on the sixth inning, in trying to catch a bounding ball, caught it on his nose, causing a bountiful supply of claret to flow, and a suspension of the playing for about ten minutes.
Our correspondent, "Brevier," is inclined to complain of the accommodations furnished by the Penna R. R. Co. for carrying soldiers. He should remember that the cars for transportation were not of the Company's chosing. Doubtless the Company would much rather have sent all recruits forward on passenger cars, had that been possible, than to have cut up and seated freight cars in the manner they did. The Government would admit of no delay, consequently the Company did the best they could.
VISITOR. - On Saturday last we had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Henry Eckel, Esq., editor and proprietor of the Delaware State Journal and Statesman, published semi-weekly in Wilmington, Del. We found him a perfect gentleman, as most editors are, a good practical printer, as all editors should be, and from the reading of his paper we know him to be what is better than all else, a sound Union man, doing good service for the Union cause in the Diamond State. May he and the cause he favors flourish together.
The Marshals' returns from this place will show that we have a large proportion of fighting men, that is, men fit to do military duty; undoubtedly more, in proportion to the number who have gone out, than almost any other town in the State. The reason of this is obvious to every one acquainted with the place. In the first place almost every man is a laborer, and there are fewer old men than in older towns; and in the second place the population is kept up by the constant influx of workmen to take the places of those who have gone away. The work in the shops must be executed, and men are brought from other places to do it. For these reasons the returns will doubtless show a less per centage from Altoona than | from other places which have not done as well.
TEST OF LOYALTY. - The Board of Directors of the Penn's Rail Road Company recently passed a resolution requiring that all persons in the employ of the company should take the oath of allegiance or be summarily discharged. Suspicion as to the loyalty of some of those in connection with the Road induced the passage of this resolution. Opponents of the general government must now perjure themselves or be dismissed from the service, and loyal men will be relieved from unjust suspicion. The oath can not be administered any too soon.
THE BRIDGE. - We observe that the Rail Road company is about to commence the erection of a bridge across the railroad tracks at the crossing on Annie street. This will prove a great convenience to our citizens and fully demonstrate the accommodating disposition of the company, as the bridge will be for the benefit of the public at the expense of the company.
HEARD FROM. - Lieut. John S. Campbell, whom we noticed last week as being among the missing since the battle of Slaughter's Mountain, has been heard from. An officer of the Federal army, who knows Lieut. C., was recently released from imprisonment in one of the tobacco warehouses in Richmond, and he informs Mrs. Campbell that her husband arrived among the prisoners taken in the above battle, just as he left his prison.
CORRECTION. - Some time since we published the death of Mr. Samuel M'Dowell, of Logan township, and made a mistake of 60 years in his age. Instead of 10 years, it should have been 70 years, 3 months and 25 days.
We, the undersigned, commissioned officers, commanding companies composed entirely of men from Blair county, submit to the citizens of the county the following, for our own information: - Having noticed, lately, the bounties offered and paid to men enlisting under the recent requisitions of the Government, to wit: $25 for nine month men, $30 for twelve month men and $50 for three year, or the war, men, we desire to know whether the $50 paid to men enlisting for three years, or the war, applies to those who enlisted for that term, prior to the recent call, or only to those who have enlisted since the call? If the latter, we desire to know it, representing, as we do, two companies of loyal men from Blair county, enlisted for the war. We also notice that the County Commissioners have negotiated a loan of $22,000 to be applied to that purpose. If so, are our men entitled to the bounty? and if not, why? Our men enlisted before there was a probability of a draft, with no bounty offered them except that provided by an Act of Congress, approved July 22d, 1861. No other inducement was held out than that our country needed our services every one of us - in crushing this unnatural rebellion; and with true and patriotic hearts they responded, and have proved themselves worthy of the name of SOLDIER. No stigma rests on them. "If you will not volunteer to-day and take the bounties offered, you will be drafted to-morrow and be excluded from all benefits." Twelve hundred of Blair county's sons did not ask " what bounty do you give?" Satisfied were they to know that they and theirs should be taken care of, and with the spirit of patriots left their pleasant and comfortable homes, to experience the hardships of a soldier's life, the risk of a deadly missile, or worse - disease. If this loan is to be paid by taxation on the citizens, we ask for our enlisted men the benefits of the same. They are entitled to the same bounty paid to other men on the same term of enlistment. We ask that justice be done - 'tis all we ask. As to sums donated by private citizens we know nor care nothing about, but in regard to the former we desire to be enlightened.
Patriotism is a fine thing, but finer is the "almighty dollar," in some peoples estimation, and it has proven correct doctrine, judging from the response to the late calls; and remember if there is any pickings, we want our men to have a chance. We did not come for paltry dollars and cents, but as there is a superabundance, apparently, of that article, we repeat, our "boys" are in for a share.
Hoping you will give this matter your consideration, and give us
the desired information as soon as convenient, we will then, if
necessary, have something more to say about it. We have the honor to
be Your most obedient servants,
The late hour at which we received the above prevents our giving a definite answer to the inquiry. We hope, ere our next issue, to have something official on the subject.
We think the reference to "almighty dollar," as stimulating the recent enlistments, very uncharitable. We know a greater portion of those who enlisted in this place, and we know that it was patriotism and not gain that induced them to do so. Their bounty was small, only $25 from the county and $25, in advance from the Government, with no bounty at the end of their term; and almost every one of them left situations worth from $30 to $50 per month.
On the 14th inst., by the Rev. C. L. Ehrenfeld, Mr. Robert Peck, of Pleasant Valley, Blair Co., to Miss Margaret E. Davis, of Altoona.
In Birmingham, Huntingdon Co., on the 18th inst., by the Rev. Mr. Houch, Mr. David G. Owens, of the above place, to Miss Hannah Irvin, of Duncansville, Blair County.
In this place, on the 22d inst., Christina, daughter of Stephanus and Barbara Lehner, aged 3 years.
In this place, on the 24th inst., Maria, daughter of Mr. C. Schlemmer, aged 4 years and 10 months.
On the 24th inst., in this place, Maria J., daughter of Jacob and Maria Gerhardt, aged 3 years and 5 months.
In Logan township, on Tuesday morning, after a lingering illness, Mr. James Elway, in the 58th year of his age.
Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, August 28, 1862, page 3
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