Sunday, August 21, 2011

Des Moines Correspondence

DES MOINES, March 11, 1862.

Good news has to-day reached us from Arkansas.  Many brave boys have doubtless fallen, but the victory is complete.  Our city has certainly one company in that battle, and we shall perhaps be called upon again to mourn the loss of friends and acquaintances.  But who would not rather die in active service than with the diseases of camp?  Who would not rather have a friend die, when his death tells upon the destiny of the war, than to see him waste away in a hospital, where his death can be of no service, and where it possesses none of the glory of the death upon the battle-field?

This day we have consigned to their last resting place the bodies of two of Des Moines’ noblest, bravest sons.  They fell in the charge of the Iowa Second at Fort Donelson.  Sergeant N. W. Doty and Theodore Weeks were both noble young men, and our city has testified its respect for them, and its approbation of bravery manifested by them, by a public funeral such as has never before been witnessed in our young city.  The ceremony took place at noon, and both Houses of the Legislature adjourned over and attended in a body.  D. O. Fitch delivered the oration.

The Senate has passed a good many local bills since last I wrote.  It has also been engaged one half day on a township collector bill.  A bill creating that office will probably pass the Legislature; though it may be defeated.  There is considerable opposition.

Yesterday both houses met in joint convention, for the purpose of electing a warden of the penitentiary, three bank commissioners and three bank directors.  The present incumbents were all re-elected.

In the afternoon the House took up the revenue bill, agreed upon by the joint committee of ways and means.  It is an important bill, and lies over for further consideration.  It provides for the levying of the Federal tax, as well as of the State and county tax; reduces the compensation of the assessor to $1.50; makes it obligatory upon Boards of Supervisors, at their regular meeting to classify the several descriptions of property for the purpose of equalizing assessment, and to take copes of such classified lists home with them for the use of the respective assessors, thus saving the expense of fending these officers up to the county seat after them; makes it the duty of the clerk of the Board of Supervisors to furnish to the State Auditor, in addition to what the law now requires, an abstract of the aggregate value and number of cattle, horses, mules, sheep, and swine.  In addition to this, it provides that the State Auditor shall prepare for the use of clerks, collectors and treasurers, directions and forms according to which they shall keep their revenue accounts; increases the penalties where property is allowed to be sold for taxes; and provides for the taxing of railroad property in each county through which a road may pass.  This last provision was originally in Stanton’s railroad bill, but was transferred to this bill as its appropriate place.  This section may not pass.  It is hard telling yet what will be done with the various railroad companies of the State.  The railroad interest is will represented here, and its influence will be tested in a few days.

The House has not acted on the liquor question yet.  To-morrow evening is fixed upon for a discussion of the question.  There are three parties – license men, those in favor of striking out the lager beer clause of the present law; and those who desire a more efficient prohibitory law, but who think the German should enjoy his lager unmolested. – A pretty warm discussion will take place but the result is uncertain.  A license law cannot be had.  The next move will be for the Democrats to join with those Republicans who favor the repeal of the lager beer clause of the law, repeal it if possible and then make as much political capital as possible out of this act of a Republican Legislature.

To-day the House passed a joint resolution in favor of adjourning on the first day of April.  A good deal of business is yet on hand.  They must work hard if they make time.

The income tax bill passed the House to-day; the same in its essential features as when it was under the consideration a few days since.

J. R. C.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Friday Morning, March 14, 1862, p. 1

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