History of Buchanan County, Iowa 1842 to 1881
Transcribed by Tommy Joe Fulton and Peggy Hoehne
LETTER NO. CXIV.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
CAMP REED, JACKSON, TENNESSEE, March 23, 1863.
FRIEND RICH: - I clipped the following from the Chicago Tribune of the 17th instant:
"Political Movements. - It is said that a caucus of leading Democrats was held in the executive chamber on Monday - Governor Seymour in the chair. It is also said that resolutions were adopted in favor of cutting loose from Fernando Wood & Co., and making the Democratic party the 'out-and-out' war party of the country. It is said that Governor Seymour talked warmly in favor of the new platform, and talked gunpowder and artillery in a manner which cannot fail to produce reflection at Richmond. It is also said that John Van Buren, in his late speech in New York, represented the views of Governor Seymour - Albany Statesman."
If that rumor is true, and the Democrats of New York will do what it is rumored the leaders of the party in that State are talking of doing, they will earn for themselves an enviable reputation.
True, it is now rather late to commence talking about making the Democratic party the "out-and-out" war party; and this is no time to talk of any parties, except patriots and traitors; but the old maxim is, "While the lamp holds out to burn," etc., etc.
What the men now in the field want to see is a united north on the question of crushing out this rebellion. They care not what name those take who are for prosecuting this war to a successful termination, but they want it prosecuted until the rebels cry "hold, enough." They want no peace propositions except such as come from the rebels by their laying down their arms and returning to their usual avocations. They want no armistice except that which follows a permanent peace. They have been from home long enough, and are desirous to return. But they started to accomplish a great object, and have no idea of returning until their labor is accomplished. Nor have they any idea of resting quietly on their oars for six months, to afford their opponents a chance to gather new strength and concert new plans for resistance.
With a united north the army of the Union will, in less than six months, have so far penetrated into the interior of Rebeldom that to be an open and avowed secessionist will be very unsafe, even in Mississippi or Georgia. There is but one sentiment in the army, so far as I know, and that is: "Down with the rebellion at whatever cost of men and money."
If Governor Seymour, of New York, means what he is reported to have said, let him immediately put into the field the thirty-five thousand that that State lacks of her quota of the six hundred thousand called for last August; and let him show his good intentions by tendering to the President his sympathy and hearty cooperation in the war. Such an act, coming from such a source, will do much to arouse the enthusiasm of the men now in the field, and would be equal to the addition of an hundred thousand men to our army.
Many of the soldiers that hail from the west, are natives of the State of New York, and they dislike to hear it said that their native State is behind in making up her quota of men for this war. Therefore let Seymour say in public, and in an authoritative manner, what he is reported to have said in a quasi-secret political caucus, and he will wonder that so much depends on the opinion of one man.
Then let all the Democrats in the loyal States follow in his wake, and there will be no need of a call for men by the President under the conscript act.
The authorities at Richmond have been so frequently snubbed abroad, that they have given up all hope of assistance from foreign sympathizers. Now let the Democrats of the north make the copperheads hunt their hole, if they have one, and the rebels will yield without another struggle.
Thus it is in the power of the Democrats to make that name once more honored and revered as the great beacon word of liberty and union, now and forever.
Will they do it?
The soldiers of the Union army, now in the field, wait to see.