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From our archives: Honoring 'severe service' of 'Old 13th'

What we thought: 150 years ago

Published: Monday, June 23, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 12:12 p.m. CST
Caption
Gen. John A. McClernand 1812-1900 McClernand, of Springfield, commanded the 13th Illinois regiment for a time. The regiment was mustered out after 3 years of "severe service," according to the June 25, 1864, issue of the Gazette.
Caption
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant 1822-1885 Grant's 1864 Union offensive against Confederate forces near Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, included a series of flanking maneuvers, as mentioned in a story in the Gazette on June 25, 1864.

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials and articles from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following items appeared in the Gazette on June 25, 1864.

The old 13th Illinois

The Springfield correspondent of the Chicago Journal, of June 14th, says: 

The 13th Illinois regiment, formerly commanded by the lamented Col. Wyman, is here, to be mustered out of service, having served out their term of three years.

Probably Illinois can boast of no regiment that has seen more severe service than the "Old 13th." It was with Sherman in the first assault on Vicksburg, at Chickasaw Bayou, December 28th and 29th, 1862, where they lost 277 men; at Arkansas Post, under General McClernand; at Raymond, Champion Hill and Jackson; at the siege of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge and Ringgold [Gap].

In all these battles they suffered severely, particularly at Ringgold, where Generals Hooker and Osterhaus paid them a high compliment in their official reports.

Back home

Several of our brave boys of the 13th arrived home this week, looking hearty and tough. They are welcome, thrice welcome.

Sanitary letter

Mr. Editor: Permit us to say a few words to our friends through the columns of your paper in relation to our coming Fourth of July Celebration and Dinner in honor of our returned soldiers.

We are asked this question: Do you expect us to furnish our share and pay for our dinners, too?

We answer you frankly, we do; and when we explain the case, we think you will agree with us.

In the first place, the profits which we hope to realize will be religiously applied to the relief of our sick and wounded soldiers.

Secondly, we consider their claim a just debt and not charity, and we know that what has been entrusted to us has reached those for whom it was intended; we have never lost a dime's worth; all has been sent to the North Western Sanitary Commission branch of the U.S. [Sanitary Commission] at Chicago, which is all the assurance we wish for to know that it has gone into our hospitals to our brave soldier boys, for their comfort and benefit, and now we ask you to give us your aid to make this effort a success.

To our lady friends, we would say, come join our ranks, we shall have need of all the help we can obtain. Meet with us on next Saturday, at two o'clock P.M. when work will be assigned to each, or at 6 o'clock A.M. July 4th, on the grounds.

– Sanitary Committee

The Big Show

G.F. Bailey & Co.'s Big Show, as will be seen by their advertisement, will exhibit at Sterling on the 7th July. It is altogether the largest and best show traveling, possessing many interesting features not found in any other establishment. It was in Sterling last year, and gave great satisfaction.

Ali, the Egyptian, is still with the show, with breeches as large as ever; as is also his pet, the hippopotamus, with a countenance as lovely as that of a copperhead on receipt of a Union victory.

Ragged concern

A concern called Bell's Monitor Circus spread its ragged canvass in this place on Thursday, but met with no countenance.

Not having patronized the printer, the people did not know of their advent, and of course did not patronize them.

An ordinance in relation to sheep

Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Sterling:

That no sheep of any kind whatever shall be allowed to run at large, or be herded within the limits of said city; and all sheep being found running at large or being herded within or upon any street, alley, square or public ground, or any unenclosed place in said city, are considered and are hereby declared to be a nuisance;

[A]nd any sheep which may be found running at large or being herded as aforesaid shall be taken up by or under the direction of the City Pound Master and placed in the City Pound from which they shall not be released until the owner or owners, or some person for him or them, shall pay to the said Pound Master the sum of fifty cents as a penalty for allowing every such animal to run at large or be herded as aforesaid. ...

'Fighting it out on this line'

A correspondent of the N.Y. Tribune writes from the army of the Potomac:

This is the twenty-ninth day of this campaign; every day has seen more or less marching, more or less fighting. Thirty thousand wounded have been sent back on honorable furlough, five thousand dead have been buried in honorable though obscure graves. Sedgwick and Wadsworth, and many another whose memory we cannot afford to let die, have fallen. Still the army is "fighting it out on the same line."

The roads are strewn with the carcasses of 6,000 horses. Actual marching has worn out 50,000 pairs of shoes. Two-thirds of the men – more than 100,000 – have not changed a garment since they started, have marched and fought and slept thirty days and thirty nights in heat and dust and rain, and have not changed a garment. "They are fighting it out on this line."

On the march there are fewer stragglers, and fewer grumblers, than thirty days ago. Rising from the bivouac at all hours, resting when they may, perhaps countermarched over the same ground without halt or approved purpose, they endure all things, with a patience and a pluck and a certain easy nonchalance, as astonishing as it is commendable.

They propose, with [Gen. Ulysses S.] Grant, "to fight it out on this line."

The rank and file have a pretty good appreciation of the strategy of the campaign. They understand that it has been a series of splendid flank movements, and "flanking" has become the current joke with which to account for everything from a night march to the capture of a sheep or a pig.

A poor fellow, terribly wounded, yesterday, said he saw the shell coming, "but hadn't time to flank it." And he enjoyed his joke with a smile and a chuckle, when his quick eye had sought and found appreciation among the bystanders.

The shell had "flanked" him, by taking off the arm.

Patience

Patience is a great and estimable virtue, and we hope our patrons will exercise it in respect to the shortcomings of the Gazette.

We are short of help. In a couple of weeks, we expect to have more assistance, when our paper will be improved, and job work disposed of with more dispatch. Until then, we'll do the best we can, and invoke the patience of our patrons.

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