Monday, July 5, 2010

From The 11th Iowa Regiment

FULTON, Mo., Feb. 4.

EDITOR OF GAZETTE. – Dear Sir: The portion of the 11th Iowa stationed here, are finally quartered in the deaf and dumb asylum – the hospital, commissary department, and prisoners’ room being all under the same roof. This building is large enough to accommodate comfortably a regiment of soldiers with their officers. The insane hospital near by, and standing empty, is large enough to hold four or five regiments. – These buildings were erected by the State, at an expense of perhaps three-fourths of a million dollars, and were occupied as designed until Claib Jackson undertook to fight Uncle Sam, and wanted money. The funds of these institutions being of more easy access than those in the pockets of the people, the unfortunate patients and pupils were left without support, and soon hurried off – some to comfortable homes and others to hovels or jail. These fine buildings standing empty and desolate, perhaps for years to come, will silently utter long and loud curses on the heads of those who dared to prostitute these sacred funds to purposes of rebellion. The hundreds of suffering ones who recently peopled these costly structures, now scattered all over the State, will follow the rebel governor with their maledictions wherever he may wonder, or attempt to hide.

The duties of the 11th Iowa at this post consist in holding the place, protecting the property and lives of Union families, taking and guarding the persons and property of rebels, &ct. The four companies of the Iowa 3d Cavalry – also stationed here have late done most of the scouting, and right earnest and hard working men are they. Scarcely a day passes in which they do not bag more or less game. I am happy to say, however, that these fearless men from Iowa do not steal, burn and kill as they go. So far as I can learn, they abuse nobody, but under the able direction of their commander – Maj. Caldwell – require all of suspected treason to take the oath or accompany them to headquarters. It speaks well for the forbearance and self control of these daring horsemen, that during all the excitement of their scouting and taking prisoners, they have shot but one man, and he a prisoner making his third attempt to escape from his captors.

There are, or were, in this county, many noted secession sympathizers and bridge burners. One of these – Henry Larimore – known to have been a ringleader at the recent destruction of property on the North Missouri railroad, deserted his home not long since, and his splendid property is now in possession of one company of the 11th Iowa, in behalf of Uncle Sam. His farms, stock, &c., are thought to be worth from sixty to one hundred thousand dollars. It is quite possible, however, that he has creditors enough among good Union men to require a large portion of this property to liquidate their claims.

How long the 11th will remain here is very uncertain. It seems to be the plan, so far as we can discover, to leave this State to the care of the Home Guards or State Militia, while troops from other States are moved farther South. It is thought by Union men here, that this plan will be disastrous for such localities as Calloway Co., inasmuch as it would revive domestic quarrels and embolden the rebels to new and desperate acts of aggression. I am told that the citizens of this place, through Maj. Caldwell, have petitioned to have the Iowa troops remain; but whether Gen. Halleck will heed the petition is not certain.

We have still considerable sickness, but have had no death since my last, and so far as I know, only one in the regiment for nearly two weeks. The whole number now dead is 26. At one time we were greatly in want of comforts and delicacies for the hospital. We are now well supplied by the kindness of friends and Aid Societies in Iowa. And from what we hear of boxes and packages on the way, the presumption is that we shall soon have more than enough, while possibly other Iowa regiments may be suffering, as we were at one time, for want of many good things found at home, but not found among Uncle Sam’s allowances to his soldiers. It is a pity that from the first a more perfect system was not devised for providing and distributing these good things. But, as in all things else, wisdom must be learned by experience, and experience requires time. – The benevolence and good sense of the soldiers friend will soon rectify all mistakes. Let me, however, correct one mistake, wherever your paper can reach it, i.e., that of sending fruit from Iowa to Missouri. We can buy apples – green and dried – and dried peaches here, and send them to Iowa for about the money that such things cost there; perhaps for less. Jellies, preserves, cordials and the like, so far as they are needed, will pay for sending. For our present good supply of these delicacies for the sick, as also for bedding, socks, &c. Our hospital inmates are under great obligations to the many donors in Iowa.

Enough for this time. I send you a picture of Fulton and of several public buildings in this vicinity.


– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Wednesday Morning, February 12, 1862, p. 2

No comments: