CAMP NEW MADRID,
Mo., March 26, 1862.
ED. GAZETTE.– Though time is swiftly passing, we remain quietly encamped here, Island No. 10, has put a temporary embargo on our movements for the present. It is a formidable point, and as the retreat of the rebels is entirely cut off by our occupation of this point, they are making a desperate stand there. There had been no firing at the Island for a few days past until yesterday. A movement has been and now is in progress, that when completed will show them a “Yankee trick.” * * *
Jeff. Thomson [sic] yet lingers around in a swamp south-west of here. Last week he carried off from Bloomfield (between here and Cape Girardeau,) the wife of Jos. Mitchell, formerly of Muscatine, who is now a Lieut. in Powell’s Illinois Artillery.
The regular expeditions sent out from time to time to capture “Jeff.” Don’t amount to anything; about the time they get where “Jeff.” Was, they are ordered to return. If some squad were sent out to take time it would be done.
A mail is run from here to Cairo. I receive the GAZETTE regularly; sometimes the next day after issued, which is quick considering we are sixty miles from Cairo. Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati dailies are abundant at one dime each. Yesterday the telegraph was completed from Cairo here.
The weather is fine and warm and spring fever has broken out and is beginning to assume an “epidemic” form. Corn is plenty, but hay or fodder very scarce. Forage trains have to go fifteen or twenty miles down the river to obtain any.
The remaining inhabitants through the country, say they were told when the “Yankees” came they would overrun the country, rob, murder, burn, steal, ravish and destroy. Many were induced to flee the country on our approach to avoid these horrors. They are being very agreeably undeceived, finding that from rebels only they had to fear – while from the first approach of Union troops into a section, a feeling of peace and security is experienced. Could all parts of the ignorant, deceived South witness the presence of Union troops to disprove the lies of their rebellious leaders.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, April 1, 1862, p. 2