Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 29 of 56)
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for the meeting that organized this company. In September, i860,
the officers of the Dubuque regiment of militia were as follows:
J. F. Bates, colonel ; F. B. Wilke, lieutenant-colonel ; N. G. Will-
iams, major; George W. Waldron, adjutant. In October this was
announced to be the only organized militia regiment in the state;
they began to meet regularly and drill in November. In October
a company called the "Douglas Rangers" was organized, its captain
being Newton Mills. Captain Gottschalk commaufled the Jackson
Guards in November. A company called the "Blues" was organ-
ized at Dyersville at this date.

On January 11, 1861, the First regiment of Iowa militia. Colonel
Bates commanding, fired 200 gims from the heights above the
town with two pieces of artillery in honor of Major Anderson.
The colonel with his entire staff was out, and the Washington
Guards, Governor's Greys and Jackson Guards were represented
by their officers. Each company planted its flag on the height.
"The demonstration was received with lively satisfaction by all
the citizens — Democrats, Republicans and all classes, irrespective
of political affiliations. Hurrah for Major Anderson! and hurrah
for the First regiment of Iowa militia!" — (Herald, January 12,
1861.) There were here in January, 1861 : Washington Guards,
Governor's Greys, Jackson Guards, Turner Rifles, Dubuque Light
Horse and City Guards.

Of these the City Guards were nearly defunct : the Light Horse
were unequipped ; the Turner Rifles were an independent organi-
zation ; so that there were really only three companies here that
could be depended upon for military service. Neither of these
turned out more than an average of about thirty men each — in all
about ninety men, or one full company. "A certain number of
our companies should be broken up, for the reason that they are
weak and inefficient for all military ends and purposes. Their
members attend drills when it suits their convenience — act as best
suits their convenience when they do attend, and disgrace them-
selves and evers^bodv else when on parade." — (Herald. January
23, 1861.)

On January 14, 1861, the Governor's Greys passed a resolution
tendering their services to the state or the government for the
suppression of the rebellion: this was probably the first actual
tender of men in the state.

The Herald, in issue after issue, having both intimated and


stated what the RepubHcans ought to do, was answered by the
Times of January 21, 1861 : "We hope our Disunion neighbor of
the Herald will not permit himself to suffer much mental torture
in his solicitude for the Republicans of Iowa. On reflection it
will occur to him that they have heretofore not only managed to
get along rather comfortably without his fostering care, but in
spite of his bitterest warfare. They are in condition to do the
same thing for a good while to come. The Herald says there are
tens of thousands of Republicans in Iowa who favor the adop-
tion of the Crittenden proposition. Does that paper know what it
is talking about?" The Herald replied at length, saying among
ther things : "We hereby reiterate the belief that there are tens
of thousands of Republicans in Iowa who would save this Union
if the adoption of the Crittenden proposition would do it; we trust
we do but simple justice to the patriotism of a portion of the
Republican party. The Times knows we are not Disunionists. We
favor a settlement of the difficulties between the North and South
on terms fair and honorable to both." — {Herald, January 23,

On February 26, 1861, twenty .sets of sabers and Colt's pistols
arrived here for Captain Dillon, of the Horse Guards. A great
carnival of three days' duration was held here at the anniversar}^
of Washington's birthday, 1861. The two companies. Greys and
Guards, paraded in splendid style and the famous Germania band
was present at all functions. The event closed with a grand ball"
at City Hall. "All the captains in Dubuque have received letters
from Adjutant-General Bowen requiring them to report their con-
dition." — (Herald. February 3, 1861.) In February, 1861, Capt.
M. M. Hayden applied to Governor Kirkwood for a piece of ord-
nance in exchange for the arms in its possession, but was answered
that there was no authority to make such an exchange. Captain
Hayden had previously sent a portion of his muskets to the Dyers-
ville Blues.

The Herald took the position in January and February, 1861,
that the South was acting under the Constitution and should not be-
coerced. It said: "It is to be hoped that there will be no conflict
between Fort Sumter and the South Carolinians: for if a con-
flict ensues and blood be shed and lives lost, it will not be in the
power of the federal government to restrain the fanaticism of the
North from indulging itself in the commission of such acts of hos-
tility against the South as it has long sought for a pretext to justify
it in doing. The South commits the greatest folly in giving its
northern enemies a justification for the course which will un-
doubtedly be taken by the North, should the South become the
aggressor as apprehended." — (Herald, February i, 1861.)

The Herald could see no hope for the Union in President Lin-
coln's inaugural. "The President's inaugural address pronounces


the dissolution of the Union, and it will be heard ominously as its
death knell," it said.

A call signed by about lOO citizens appeared about the middle
of January, 1861, for a meeting of "all persons who are impressed
with the imminent perils of dissolution now threatening the Union
and are willing in a spirit of conciliation and compromise to agree
to an adjustinent of the questions which now unhappily distract the
country, upon the basis of the Crittenden Compromise proposi-
tions." The date of the meeting was set at 7 p. m. on January
18. This Union meeting assembled at the court house, and War-
ner Lewis was called to the chair and William W. Mills made
secretary. A committee of five was appointed to draft resolu-
tions — T. M. Monroe, Dr. James C. Lay, Thomas Faherty, James
H. Williams and J. H. Emerson. W'hile they were consulting the
secretary read the Crittenden resolutions and the meeting was
addressed in a strong Union appeal by John D. Jennings. The
resolutions declared that the people were unalterably attached to
the Union ; that there was no natural conflict between the two
sections; and that the Crittenden Compromise or some other prac-
tical proposition based upon a like spirit of material concession
should be adopted. After debate the resolutions were unani-
mously adopted. Among the speakers were Thomas M. Monroe,
Dr. T. O. Edwards, L. H. Langworthy, George McHenry, M. B.
Mulkern and others. The meeting adjourned after appointing a
committee to prepare a memorial and procure signatures and for-
ward the same to Congress praying for the passage of the Crit-
tenden resolutions or others of the same spirit.

"The agitation and exciting news of the last few days, contra-
dictory as it is, is ne\ertheless evidence enough of the intention
of the administration to carry out the principles of the 'irrepressi-
ble conflict,' come of it what will. Civil war, of course, will be
the result." — (Herald, April 9, 1861.) "War has probably been
commenced between the North and the South, consequent upon the
persistency of the administration to hold Fort Sumter and to
carry into effect the doctrine of the 'irrepressible conflict.' We
have but little heart today for comment. In a day or two at
farthest we shall probably have the result of the conflict in Charles-
ton harbor. We anticipate it will be a bloody one — destructive
of life and property, and the beginning of a revolution which will
end in the destruction of the government and of course of the
Union." — (Herald, April 10, 1861.) The Herald argued that
while in the abstract the government had a right to reinforce Fort
Sumter, other circumstances overshadowed such right and a dif-
ferent cou,rse should be taken — remedial measures should be

"A parental government would have tried remedial measures
first before resorting to the exercise of its vengeance; but the




a I-




go\ernment as administered by Mr. Lincoln seems to know of
but one course to pursue, and that is to provoke a conflict between
the government and its disaffected people, for the purpose of coerc-
ing them to obey its own behests and to submit to the infliction
of intolerable grievances from a fanatical faction which have ob-
tained control of the government." — {Herald, April 10, 1861.)

"What deep lethargy has fallen on the American people? The
government is tumbling into ruins. The nation is on the verge
of a plunge into civil war. Imbecility of rulers at the federal capi-
tal is governed by a military dictator. Hostile fleets and armies
are dispatched to begin hostilities upon our brethren of the South,
when that act shall become the death knell of the Union. Men of
all parties can be found who deprecate the hostile operations of
the military dictator at Washington. Let us all who are opposed
to the code of coercion meet in one vast body in Dubuque and
protest with our loudest voice against civil war and the military
terrorism inaugurated at Wasihngton. Our motto should be, 'No
fraternal bloodshed — no civil war; but peace and conciliation.'"
- (America, in Herald, April 11, 1861.)

On Saturday, April 13, came the telegraphic news that Fort
Sumter had been attacked by the South Carolinians. Much excite-
ment was kindled in Dubuque. The Herald said : "The govern-
ment, as we have said already, possesses the undoubted right to
cliastise rebellious people even unto death, but is it always the
best policy to exercise this right? The precipitation of the country
into civil war brings upon us all the solemn duty of rallying our
physical energies and mental powers in the sacred cause of our
country. Nothing will do now, it seems, but to goad our erring
and, if it must be so, rebellious brethren of the South into the
comnnssion of such acts of violence as must be repelled and
chastised. Nothing will do witli the administration but to irri-
tate their already excited temper ; nothing will satisfy the fanatics
of the North but a provocation to civil war, in which they may
accomplish their darling object — that which they have long hoped
for, (hat for which they have toiled for many years — the incite-
ment of the slaves to insurrection against their masters, and as
ihey hope the consequent emancipation of those slaves, the abolition
of sla\'ery and the ruin and subjugation of the South to the
political thraldom of northern fanaticism." — {Herald, April ix,

The call for \olunteers by President Lincoln met the approval of
all Republicans here and also that of many Democrats, particularly
of the Herald, which had recommended that course some time
before, tliough in a modified way. There was much excitement,
which induced the Herald to say: "Some have suffered themselves
to be carried away by this excitement so far as to indulge in ex-
pressions, the result of emotions which are well calculated to pro-


tluce disastrous consequences even away here far distant from
the scene of conflict. This is not the time for men to give way to
their passions; this not the time to indulge in harshness of ex-
pression, nor in the language of provocation, nor crimination and
recrimination." — {Herald, April i6, 1861.) "People gathered in
groups at the street corners and around the printing offices to hear
and discuss the news, and in some instances the discussion was
carried on in a spirit very illy calculated to allay the excitement
which was on the point of explosion into violence for some time."
— (Same.)

In all the churches on Sunday the pastors endeavored to quiet
the people. Rev. Father Donelan in the morning of Sunday, April
14, 1861. and Rev. Father Durnin in the evening, at the Cathedral,
referred in an impressive manner to the unfortunate condition of
the country. The former was almost overpowered by his emotions,
and many of his congregation were affected to tears as he pictured
the horrors of a fratricidal war.

A public meeting was called by hand bills on Monday evening,
April 15, at the corner of Main and Eighth street, for the purpose
of securing an expression of opinion in favor of supporting the
government against the secession movement. A large crowd gath-
ered and were addressed bv L. H. Langworthv, O. P. Shiras,
H. T. Utley, T. M. Monroe and William Mills' The following
resolutions offered by C. P. Redmond were adopted :

Whereas, A portion of the people living under the government
of the United States have seen fit to set at naught the authority
of the national government, to take possession of the public and
other property not rightfully in their possession, and have opposed
by arms the legally constituted authority, and have by unmis-
takable acts declared an aggressive war against our beloved insti-
tutions, therefore.

Resolved, That the people of Dubuque, as good citizens of the
United States should and do, regret with sincere feelings the rash-
ness which has driven our southern brethren into arms against
the government and the terrible necessity of civil war which has
thus been forced upon us.

Resolved, That as good citizens it is our solemn and unavoid-
able duty to sustain and uphold the government and the execution
of its laws and the vindication of its authority.

Resolved, That we will give our devoted attachment, our un-
wavering confidence and our unconditional support to the govern-
ment of the United States.

Resolved, That our hearts are still loyal to the great principle
of constitutional liberty and free government upon wliich the
wisdom of our forefathers erected the temple of the Constitution
under the shade of which we have enjoyed so many and so great
blessings, and that the ruthless hands and traitorous hearts that


would destroy this beautiful temple merit from us the severest
reprobation and the most undaunted opposition.

Resolved, That if we cannot have union we will preserve liberty
and the Constitution.

After the adoption of the resolutions the meeting continued to
grow in size and loyalty. Speeches were made by D. N. Cooley,
Ben M. Samuels, F. W. Palmer, D. S. Wilson, S. P. Adams and
James Burt. The stars and stripes were displayed from Root's
gallery and during the speaking any remarks not in harmony
with tlie resolutions, and there were a number, were interrupted by
pungent cpiestions and hisses.

"Dr. C. B. Smith said he knew there was a small squad of
secessionists here, 'but,' said he, 'their leader, thank God, is not a
native of the soil and if he had his deserts he would be swinging
from the nearest lamp post.' So intense was the sympathy of the
audience witli the patriotic utterances of the speaker that at the con-
clusion of one of his sentences they could not restrain a marked dem-
onstration of applause." — {Times, April 16, 1861.)

"The Times yesterday contained not less than three articles hav-
ing for their object the incitement of violence towards this office
and tlie editor of this paper. If the destruction of the property
of this office and the hanging to a lamp post of ourselves, as the
Rev. Dr. Billings Smith amiably and charitably as became his
calling of minister of the gospel would have done, should be the
onl}' consequence of the efforts of the Times, Dr. Smith and others
to create a riot and destroy life and property in this com-
munity, it might not be so serious an affair. But there are other
property and other lives besides ours." — {Herald, April 17, 1861.)

On April 17 the Washington Guards formally offered their
services to the governor. Mr. Vandever had already tendered the
Greys. Upon the fall of Fort Sumter the Herald displayed a large
spread eagle, which the Times construed as showing the joy of that
paper at the surrender of tlie fort to the rebels.

"It is rumored that the Herald has lost over two hundred sub-
scribers within the last forty-eight hours, on account of the spirit
.shown and position taken in relation to our troubles with the re-
belling states. Never has tliere been such an exhibition of feeling
towards any paper in this city before as there was to our con-
temporary yesterday and the day before. We are sorry to see
this, as it is better to have the Herald running here alone, as the
organ of Democracy, than to have some good paper started that
would represent the sentiments of the voung Democrats." — {Times,
.\pril 16, 1 86 1.)

"The foregoing appeared in the local columns of the Times
yesterday. It implies what is false when it intimates that this
paper has ever uttered other than Union sentiments, and we dare


the Times to show tlie contrary by word or act. Whatever feehng
may have been manifested toward this office and towards us
personally is the result of the malignant partisanship of which the
Times is the echo, the organ and the advocate." — (Herald, April
17, 1861.)

No sooner had the citizens here recovered their equilibrium
than they began effective operations. The Governor's Greys and
Jackson Guards quickly recruited to the maximum for each com-
pany. The Herald continued to find fault with the administra-
tion and deal in moral and constitutional platitudes and was sup-
ported by a large following throughout the county.

"Jackson Guards. — We understood last night that the Jack.son
Guards company was nearly full. This city will probably offer
three companies, and as but two can be accepted, it will be a strife
among them as Ut which shall go." — (Herald, April 19, 1861.)

"Washington Guards. — This company is filling up rapidly with
recruits. Last night a meeting was held, at which quite a number
were enrolled. The company meets tonight for drill and to re-
ceive recruits. Parties who joined the company last evening are
requested to meet for drill tonight." — (Herald, April 19, 1861.)

"The Sinews of War. — The State Bank of Dubuque has made
a tender of a loan to Governor Kirkwood to aid in putting the
Iowa regiments in the field, in compliance with the requisition of
the president. This branch of the bank oft'ers all the money that
may be needed for this purpose." — (Herald, April 19, 1861.)

"The Stars and Stripes waved from many a building yesterday.
There was one suspended across the street from tlie Herald office,
also from the TiDies office and numerous other places — loiva Stoats
Zeitimg, Tremont House, Julien House, G. R. West's warehouse
and from many stores and saloons. Flags are on the rise." —
(Herald, April 19, 1861.)

On April 19 the Governor's Greys passed a formal resolution
holding themselves in readiness to obey a requisition from Gov-
ernor Kirkwood. They at once opened a recruiting office for the
purpose of raising their number to the required limits. It was
proposed to hold a public meeting for the jnupose of forming a
home guard that under all cireiiinstanees would support the flag
and the Constitution. It was also proposed to raise a subscription
to care for the families of volunteers in their absence.

On April 19, 1861, Col. J. F. Bates addressed the following
order to Capt. R. G. Herron, of the Washington Guards, Lieut.
W. H. Clark, Governor's Greys, and Ca])t. l'~. Gottschalk, Jackson
Guards: "Sir: A requisition having been made by Governor Kirk-
wood for two or more companies from this section to form a part
of the regiment required of this state by the President, you are
h.ereby ordered to fill up your com])any to seventy-eight men and
be ])repared to match at a nKmient's warning at the call of the


proper authority. The companies of the First regiment in this
section, the Governor's Grej's, Washington Guards and Jackson
Guards, will, unless otherwise ordered by the governor, meet at
Davenport, the place of general rendezvous, with other companies
of the state, by the 20th of May, but are liable to be called into
service at any moment. When the companies composing the regi-
ment meet at the rendezvous, they will elect their regimental offi-
cers. You are hereby ordered to open the armory of your com-
pany for the purpose of receiving recruits and appoint a recruiting
officer to be daily in attendance. The companies will act upon all
applications and none but able-bodied men between the ages of
18 and 45 will be accepted. Drills are hereby ordered for every
night in each company until further order. When your company
is full you will report to me without delay."

William Vandever was appointed an aid to Governor Kirkwood.
The war absorbed all other topics at this time. Eight young men
arrived by rail on April 20 to enlist in companies here ; six were
from the college of Hopkinton, Delaware county, and were
named Westlake, Morgan, Webb, Hussey, Spears and Metsler.
By the evening of April 20 the three recruiting offices were in full
blast. The Greys had then sixty-eight names enrolled, the Wash-
ington Guards about sixty-five and the Jackson Guards over sixty.
Tne Washington Guards had an offer of six men and a drummer
from Epworth.

A large Union meeting was held at the Julien Theater April 20.
Colonel McHenry called the meeting to order. Mayor Stout was
elected chairman and C. Childs secretary. The following vice-
presidents were chosen : Colonel McHenry, W. A. Jordan, P. A.
Lorimier, F. V. Goodrich. T. Davis, L. Clark, Z. Streeter, J. P.
Colter, J. C. Cummings, Benjamin Rupert and W. B. Allison.
Judge Clark was called out and delivered an eloquent speech on
the necessity of maintaining the Constitution. Other speakers were
McHenry, Vande\er, Trumbull, Adams and Ross. The object
of the meeting was to organize a home guard, which was done, and
the following officers were elected, their duties under the resolu-
tions adopted being to receive and disburse funds for the benefit
of families of volunteers: H. L. Stout, president; W. A. Jordan
and F. V. Goodrich, vice-presidents ; J. K. Graves, treasurer ; Will-
iam W. Mills, secretary ; H. W. Pettit, corresponding secretary.
Subscriptions to the amount of nearly $1,200 were received.

Many men came from all parts of Dubuque county and from
adjoining counties, hoping to get into the companies organizing
here. One man from Jackson county walked twenty-five miles
without stopping and was accepted by the Greys. The companies
were almost constantly on the drill. The volunteers were mostly
young men, twenty-one years or under.

There was a misunderstanding as to the duties and character of


the home guard — whetlier it should be an organization to care for
famihes of vokinteers or a body of miHtia ready to take the field
if necessary. Later it was shown that the home guard was a
different organization from the one that had been formed. The
one formed was a vokinteer fund board. The committee to organ-
ize the home gtiard was Samuel Ross, S. D. Brodtbeck and L. \V.
Jackson. The volunteer fund board put everything in systematic
and working order with investigations and regular reports. Still
many of the wealthiest citizens apparently took no interest in the

On April 20 the boats from St. Louis had on board several hun-
dred free negroes who had been notified to leave St. Louis. A
few of them landed at Dubuque. Boats were required to show
their colors at all landings and all flung out the Stars and Stripes.
Several boats reported seeing the secession flag flying at Hannibal
and other Missouri ports.

Several members of the Washington Guards appeared before
the volunteer fund board on April 22 and stated that they were
not prepared for immediate service unless they were assured that
their families would be taken care of in their absence. The follow-
ing guaranty was immediately given : "We, the undersigned com-
mittee appointed by the Union meeting held on Saturday evening,
the 20th of April, 1861, for the purpose of providing funds for
the support of the families of such of our citizens as may vol-
unteer in the service of their country, hereby pledge ourselves to see
that the purpose for which we were appointed is fully carried out
and that the families of all such are fully supported during the

Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 29 of 56)