Blair County PAGenWeb


Blair County PAGenWeb





Blair County Newspaper Articles

News, obituaries, birth, marriage and death notices, by date.


Items from The Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa.,

Thursday, October 16, 1862


THURSDAY, OCT. 16, 1862.
The Election.


Up to the time we go to press, (Wednesday evening) we are without the official returns of the county. Sufficient has been received, however, to indicate that Mr. Hall's majority in the county will exceed 1700. Mr. Blair's majority will not be over 400. The returns reported indicate a considerable mixing up of candidates and parties, and former returns cannot be taken as a criterion. R. A. McMurtrie, Union candidate, is elected to the legislature, and Hugh A. Caldwell, Union, is elected Register and Recorder. Jas. H. Cramer, Independent, is undoubtedly elected Treasurer.


The following is the official vote of this borough:


Thomas E. Cochran+ 66 102 76 244
Isaac Slenker 71 159 99 329
William S. Ross+ 67 100 77 244
Jas. P. Barr 73 161 101 333
S. S. Blair 60 92 70 222
Archibald McAllister 84 181 100 375
L. W. Hall+ 107 131 131 369
W. A. Wallace 40 148 48 236
R. A McMurtrie+ 60 94 69 223
Jno. R. McFarlane* 76 150 95 321
Jno. A. Crawford+ 45 70 60 175
James H. Cramer,* 96 204 119 419
Hugh A. Caldwell+ 66 115 83 264
H. Williams* 55 127 62 244
Daniel Shock+ 60 98 72 230
Jacob Zeth* 64 127 82 273
J. S. Nicodemus+ 56 96 62 214
Thomas Buchanan* 71 154 91 316
H. C. Nicodemus+ 59 97 70 226
David Henshey+ 59 94 69 202
_____ Horrell 63 149 86 298


People's Union candidates marked with a plus (+) , Democrats unmarked, Independents marked with a star (*.)


We have the report that McAllister's majority in Cambria county is 1100 and that Wallace's majority will reach 900. Mifflin county is reported to have given Blair 150 majority. Huntingdon county gives Blair about 300 majority. If the reported majorities prove correct, Mr. Blair is undoubtedly defeated. Should Clearfield county give Mr. Wallace 1000 majority, as is claimed, Mr. Hall is also defeated by from 200 to 300.


From the State our returns are very meagre. Philadelphia city is reported to have given the Union ticket 5,000 Majority, and elected all the Union candidates for Congress but one. The indications are that the general result will be but little changed from what it was two years since.


Rebel Raid on Chambersburg.


A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer furnishes the following account of the rebel raid on Chambersburg:


The cavalry, about three thousand in number, (although accounts differ as to their strength, some parties insisting there were not more than seven hundred of them,) and six pieces of artillery, crossed the Potomac at Hancock or Clear Spring, on Friday morning, and proceeded at once to Mercersburg, without committing any depredations, or in the least degree interfering with the inhabitants along the route, it evidently being their intention at the outset, to spare the persons and property of private citizens, horses excepted. In fact, this was communicated by some of them to parties in Chambersburg. They entered Mercersburg about noon, to the great astonishment of the citizens, who at first thought it was a body of Union troops. No damage was done at Mercersburg, with the exception of pressing a number of horses, there being no railroad depot, public workshops or Government stores in the town. They passed through the town and took the Pittsburgh pike for Chambersburg, arriving near the town just before dark. One of their first acts was to plant three pieces of artillery on a hill back of the town; after which a detachment of fifteen men were sent into the town bearing a flag of truce, and requesting to see the chief personages or authorities, stating that they had an ample force at hand, and that the town must be surrendered or shelled, at the same time stating that guns were in position for that purpose. Hon. A. K. McClure and Provost Marshal Stimmel then accompanied them to the officer in command, and all resistance being impossible, the town was surrendered and soon afterwards fully occupied. Previous to their entrance, however, a number of the militia of Chambersburg proceeded to arm themselves and make a show of resistance but the project was abandoned as entirely futile. One of their first acts, on entering, was to plant two pieces of artillery in the square of the town commanding the principal thoroughfares, and placing guards at different points.




The town was fairly occupied about seven o'clock in the evening. Shortly afterwards, a large portion of them made directly for the warehouse and cars, in which were stored a great quantity of Government goods, consisting principally of uniforms and a small quantity of boots. Not long afterwards, the whole town was converted into one vast dressing room. On every hotel porch, at every corner, on the greater portion of the street door steps, in fact, all over town might be seen rebel cavalry donning Yankee uniforms, and throwing their own worn out and faded garments into the street. In many instances, one man would ensconce his pedestals in two or three new pair of pants, as many coats and the same number of caps hanging about him. The streets became full of dirty rebel clothing. It is a noticeable fact that many of them had on Union uniforms when they entered the town, and a number of their horses were marked "U. S."




During the night until daybreak, a portion of them scoured the country around in quest of horses, and captured about six hundred. Ten of the number belonged to the Hon. A. K. McClure, and were fine animals. Among the horses taken was a celebrated black stallion, owned by some gentlemen in Chambersburg and valued at $1200. It is a remarkably large and fine animal, and had quite a reputation in the surrounding country. The rebels fed their own horses at the corn- fields around Chambersburg. The road for five or six miles towards Harrisburg is strewn with cornstalks that were gathered in the fields and brought to the road for the horses.




The horses of those that remained in the town were ranged along the streets, facing the sidewalks, and remained there for the night, the riders lying around in different directions. It is not known that they made an attempt to enter a single private house. The taverns were all visited directly after they arrived, and a considerable quantity of whisky was punished, for which payment was generally proffered in Confederate script. The men were, as a general thing, friendly, and even socially disposed towards the inhabitants, entering into conversation with the citizens in the taverns barber shops &c. In one instance one of them entered a tavern in which were several citizens, and slightly hesitated at the door. Some one remarked - "Come in, we won't hurt you." Whereupon he entered, remarking, "Well, perhaps not, but some of you Yankees lie so."




With the exception of the occurrences above related, the night was quietly spent. Preparations for leaving the town were commenced about daylight. Combustibles were placed in the railroad depot, the warehouse in which Government stores were kept, the machine shop and a train laid to the powder magazine at the warehouse. The stolen horses were got together, a large Government wagon with four horses and two or three ambulances, found in the town, were well filled with military clothing, &c., and each cavalryman had a quantity of clothing piled up before and behind him, on his horse, in many instances the pile reaching up to his chin.




Three locomotives and the same number of passenger cars belonging to the Cumberland Valley Railroad were then utterly destroyed, the buildings stated above were fired and totally consumed. They waited long enough to see that the destruction would be complete, and at eight o'clock in the morning the whole party left the town, each man and horse a small sized clothing establishment.




The noise occasioned by the explosion of the powder magazine was so great that it was heard at the distance of several miles down the Valley, and gave rise to a report that spread in that direction, that cannonading was going on at Chambersburg. The walls of the warehouse being very strong did not fall down after the explosion, which fortunate circumstance prevented much damage to surrounding private property. None of the private dwellings were destroyed by the fire. The buildings were fired about half-past seven o'clock. The citizens of the town were gathered together at different points, and, of course, had to endure the mortification of being passive spectators of the scene. Some few straggling soldiers were in the town at the time the rebels entered, but either remained concealed or made good their escape towards Hagerstown or Harrisburg.


Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, October 16, 1862, page 2




PROCEEDINGS OF COUNCIL. - Regular meeting held October 6, 1862.


Present. - A. A. Smyth, N. J. Mervine, D. Laughman, Jacob Hesser and Chief Burgess John Allison.


Minutes of previous meeting read and approved.


Ithamar Moore presented a bill for lumber and hauling amounting to $13.70.


On motion of D. Laughman, an order was granted for the amount of bill.


Ithamar Moore presented a bill for raising street crossing.
On motion of Daniel Laughman a committee of two was appointed to investigate the claim and decide thereon, and report to the next meeting. - The president appointed Messrs. J. Louden and J. Hesser said committee.


The Altoona Gas & Water Co. presented a bill for two quarters' rent of water plugs, amounting to $42.


On motion of J. Hesser an order was granted for the amount of bill.


Mr. James Hooper presented a bill for blacksmithing amounting to $7.72.


On motion of D. Laughman an order was granted for the amount of bill.


W. W. Snyder, Supervisor, presented his report of labor on streets, amounting to $57.50.


On motion of Jacob Hesser orders were granted the following persons:


W. W. Snyder an order for $22.50.


Benj. Devine an order for $16.00.


Bernard O'Conner an order for $19.00.


Mr. John W. Humes presented a bill for sundries for use of borough amounting to $1.37.


On motion of D. Laughman an order was granted for the amount of bill.


Citizens residing on Main street presented a petition, praying the removal of an obstruction on the side-walk of said street, stating it to be a nuisance.


On motion the petition was laid on the table.


On motion Council adjourned.


W. B. KETLER Secy.


A number of our citizens were unceremoniously thrown from their equilibrium, on Sunday afternoon last, by the report of artillery in the centre or the town. Not knowing the cause of it, and taking into consideration the sudden appearance of the rebels at Chambersburg, on Friday evening, doubtless many supposed that Altoona had been invaded, and pious meditations and peaceful slumbers were hastily broken up. A crowd soon assembled at the depot, when it was discovered that little "Union" had made the noise, for the purpose of informing the people that the Altoona militia, sent down to Mount Union on Saturday, were about to return, their services being no longer required. This explanation given, the excitement subsided but the crowd at the depot continued to swell until the militia arrived. It is a question whether the firing of cannon on the Sabbath day, no matter what the cause of exultation may be, is proper. Certainly it is not, and cannot be justified by any argument. There are but few who approve of it, consequently, whatever may be the feelings of the majority of our citizens in reference to the news exulted over, they can take no part in what to them is a desecration of the Sabbath, and besides it is very annoying. We know of but few other places where it is practiced.


ALTOONA MILITIA IN SERVICE. - On receipt of the news, on Friday night last, that the rebels had entered Pennsylvania and occupied Chambersburg, considerable excitement was created, and a raid upon the Penn'a Rail Road, in the vicinity of Mount Union was feared. Accordingly, at an early hour on Saturday morning the different militia companies of Altoona were on the street all ready to proceed to the scene of danger. We suppose that 500 men, at least, would have been ready to march in less than three hours. It was thought advisable, however, not to send more than 100 men from this point, and detachments were taken from the companies of Capts. Street, Boyden and Eberly, to make up the number. They proceeded to Mount Union in a special train, leaving this place about noon. At Mt. Union they were joined by a company of 60 men from Patterson, under Capt. Givler. The men were disposed in the most advantageous manner and remained on guard until some time on the day following, when they were ordered home, the danger having passed. The boys enjoyed their trip, but exceedingly regret that they did not have a bout with the rebels.


Verily, rowdyism is on the increase in this place. There was a time when Altoona boasted the most orderly community, considering its number, of any town in the State, but alas! her boast is now vain. The demoniacal yells of young bloods, staggering their way home from midnight bacchanalian rebels, frequently break upon the ear of restless sleepers, and tell but too unmistakably that some young man, (or more than one) the hope and pride of parents and friends, has forsaken the path which leads to respectability and honor, and is traveling in the broad road that ends in oblivion and disgrace. Who are responsible for this destruction of the young?




MESSRS. EDITORS: - Permit me through the columns of your valuable paper, to return to Mr. Wm. Marriott, of your place, a soldier's thanks for the kind and acceptable manner in which he has remembered an absent friend. On Friday last I received from him a box, containing articles for the inner man, which it is impossible to procure here at any price, and which were better relished on account of their being sent from home, and prepared by friends. He may rest assured he will be remembered by us, and our prayer is that success may crown his every undertaking.


We have no news here at present. I was out on picket yesterday and returned this morning. I think there must have been a fight at or near Edward's Ferry, (Sunday) morning. I heard firing in that direction. The men of the regiment, generally, are in good health. I will write you again at an early period. Yours truly,
Lieut. Col. 125th Reg't. Pa. Vols.


A "SELL." - Our readers will remember that in our issue of two weeks since we published a letter from a gentlemen in Ohio, making inquiry in relation to a lady who recently traveled east from Lithopolis, in that State. The published letter stated that a letter accompanying it would inform the lady of the whereabouts of a valuable dropped in the cars. The lady was supposed to be single, and to reside in this place. The latter supposition proved to be correct, but the former, alas, to the detriment of the hopes of the Ohio gentleman, proved be erroneous. The lady for whom the letter was intended does reside in this place, and is married. The letter did not show that the lady had lost anything, but on the contrary, it was the Ohio gentlemen who had been the loser, to the enormous extent of his entire heart, and he was anxious to make an exchange with the lady referred to. The lady not desiring such an exchange, will of course return the unconsciously stolen property, and the gentleman will have another opportunity of losing that valuable article, unless he buttons his vest tighter and keeps his mouth and eyes shut while travelling in the cars with ladies.


DEAD. - We are sorry to learn that A. C. Edwards, of Blair Furnace, a member of Capt. Bell's company, 125th regiment, who was wounded in the leg, near the knee joint, at the battle of Antietam, died of his wound, in Chambersburg, last week. He had been removed to a private house in that place, where he received all necessary attention, but being a man of delicate constitution he was not able to bear up under his wound. It must be a consolation to his friends to know that he was fully prepared for death, and that he had no desire, so far as his own feelings were concerned, to get well. He lived a christian and died triumphing over his last enemy.


On Monday last, ere the excitement in reference to the rebel raid had died away, Mr. Lewis, Supt. of P. R. R., received a letter from Hollidaysburg, stating that three suspicious characters, representing themselves to be from Western Maryland and on the hunt of stolen horses, had been about that place for a few days, and had come over to Altoona that morning. From the description given the men were readily recognized, and were separately questioned by a number of our citizens. They proved to be what they represented and offered to take the oath of allegiance, if that was required.


THE NONPAREIL. - To save our readers the trouble of hunting up their dictionaries to find out the meaning of the caption to this article, we will tell them that it means unequalled; and we will tell them, also, that John Leeser has christened his new place of business, under Work's new house, on Main street, a few doors above Kessler's Drug Store, the "Nonpareil Restaurant and Eating Saloon." Of course, that means that Jack keeps an unequalled saloon. Jack will do the agreeable to all who call with him.


A young man, lately married, fears being drafted, and advocates the passage of a law, similar to that in force among the Israelites, as is recorded in Deuteronomy, 24th chap., 5th verse -


"When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business; but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he has taken."


Foolish Benedick! Were such a law passed it would cause a greater rush to arms than ever.


Although elections are generally quietly conducted in this place, the election on Tuesday last was unusually so. There was less pulling and tugging at voters than on former occasions, as nearly every man came to the polls with his mind made up, deposited his ballot and went on his way.


It will be seen by the following, which we copy from the 12th instant, that the recent Rebel raid into Maryland, and the vigorous campaign inaugurated in Kentucky, is more to procure provisions than for conquest:


The grass growing and provision raising country which stretches from the Potomac at Harper's Ferry to Memphis on the Tennessee, is now exhausted of its provisions. The armies of the South have consumed everything in the central portion of it, and the joint armies of the two belligerent powers have consumed the supplies of the extremes. Much of the productive portions of North Carolina and the Gulf States have been also exhausted, and the general scarcity of all sorts of supplies is attested by the high prices of everything eatible. Wheat is worth two dollars and a half at Bristol, in the heart of a fine wheat country, and cattle are bringing seven cents gross in South Western Virginia, the chief cattle raising region for the whole South. Pork is not to be engaged now of the pork raisers of East Tennessee at twenty-five cents, though one-fourth of that figure has always been thought a good price after it had reached the market of consumption. Hay which used to be difficult of sale at 50 cents a hundred in the interior, now cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities to supply the demand at two dollars. Every article of farm produce has gone up to these fabulous prices, and the ready payment of these tempting rates has exhausted the farming region of the South of their supplies. High prices now no longer command, in requisite quantities, the farm staples of the country.


Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pa., Thursday, October 16, 1862, page 3




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