Sunday, May 26, 2013

Imposition Upon Soldiers

The Davenport Gazette of the 27th, calls attention to certain gross outrages inflicted upon soldiers by some of the steamboats on the river and particularly by the St. Louis and Keokuk line.  The Gazette relates the following facts:  A private of the 14th regiment named William Harvey, from Jones county arrived in town on the Kate Cassell Sunday, from Keokuk.  Mr. Harvey when at St. Louis, was directed to the Die Vernon as a through boat to Dubuque, and did not discover his mistake till too late for the Canada, which was just leaving.  He accordingly came up to Keokuk on the Vernon, and in payment for his passage handed his through pass onto the Clerk, who returned him a ticket entitling him to a passage on the Kate Cassell. – This ticket, brought him only to Davenport, leaving him to make his way to Dubuque the best way he could.  The officers of the Bill Henderson kindly took him to Dubuque yesterday, running the risk of getting their pay.  The Die Vernon will charge Government for passage to Dubuque, of course, and thus make the price of the trip from Davenport to Dubuque clear.  This would be a mere trifle if it were the first occasion of the kind, but the Gazette is assured that the St. Louis and Keokuk boats frequently serve soldiers in that way and in some cases give them no pass beyond Keokuk.  Whether this be true or not soldiers complain very much of the treatment they received from that line of boats when coming home wounded.  If the owners of these or other boats cannot afford to treat soldiers decently, disabled in the cause of their country, they should be made to do it.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, June 7, 1862, p. 1

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