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If there is any one thing more than another of which the people of the Northern States have reason to be proud, it is of the record they made during the dark and bloody days of the war of the rebellion. When the war was forced upon the country, the people were quietly pursuing the even tenor of their ways, doing whatever their hands found to do-making farms or cultivating those already made, erecting homes, founding cities and towns, building shops and manufactories-in short, the country was alive with industry and hopes for the future. The people were just recovering from the depressions and losses incident to the financial panic of 1857. The future looked bright and promising, and the industrious and patriotic sons and daughters of the Free States were buoyant with hope-looking forward to the perfecting of new plans for the securement of comfort and competence in the declining years of life; they little heeded the mutterings and threatenings of treason's children in the Slave States of the South. True sons and descendants of the heroes of the "times that tried men's souls"-the struggle for American independence-they never dreamed that there was even one so base as to dare attempt the destruction of the Union of their fathers-a government baptized with the best blood the world ever knew. While immediately surrounded with peace and tranquility, they paid but little attention to the rumored plots and plans of those who lived and grew rich from the sweat and toil, blood and flesh of others; aye, even trafficked in the offspring of their own loins. Nevertheless, the war came, with all its attendant horrors.
April 12, 1861, Fort Sumter, at Charleston, South Carolina, Maj. Anderson, U. S. A., Commandant, was fired upon by rebel arms. Although basest treason, this first act in the bloody reality that followed, was looked upon as the mere bravado of a few hot-heads, the act of a few fire-eaters whose sectional bias and freedom hatred and crazed by excessive indulgence in intoxicating potions. When, a day later, the news was borne along the telegraphic wires that Maj. Anderson had been forced to surrender to what had at first been regarded as a drunken mob, the patriotic people of the North were startled from the dreams of the future, from undertakings half completed, and made to realize that behind that mob there was a dark, deep and well-organized purpose to destroy the Government, rend the Union in twain, and out of its ruins erect a slave oligarchy, wherein no one would dare question their right to hold in bondage the sons and daughters of men whose skins were black, or who, perchance, through practices of lustful nature, were half or quarter removed from the color that God, for His own purposes, had given them. But "they reckoned without their host." Their dreams of the future, their plans for the establishment of an independent confederacy, were doomed from their inception to sad and bitter disappointment.
Immediately upon the surrender of Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln-America's martyr President-who, but a few short weeks before, had taken the oath of office as the nation's chief Executive, issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers for three months. The last word of that proclamation had scarcely been taken from the electric wires before the call was filled. Men and money were counted out by the thousands. The people who loved their whole Government could not give enough. Patriotism thrilled and vibrated and pulsated through every heart. The farm, the workshops, the office, the pulpit, the bar, the bench, the college, the schoolhouse-every calling offered its best men, their lives and their fortunes in defense of the Government's honor and unity. Party lines were for the time ignored. Bitter words, spoken in moments of political heat, were forgotten and forgiven, and, joining hands in a common cause, they repeated the oath of America's soldier-statesman, "BY THE GREAT ETERNAL, THE UNION MUST AND SHALL BE PRESERVED!"
Seventy-five thousand men were not enough to subdue the rebellion. Nor were ten times that number. The war went on, and call followed call, until it began to look as if there would not be men enough in all the Free States to crush out and subdue the monstrous war traitors had inaugurated. But to every call for either men or money, there was a willing and ready response. And it is a boast of the people that, had the supply of men fallen short, there were women brave enough, daring enough, patriotic enough, to have offered themselves as sacrifices on their country's alter. Such were the impulses, motives and actions of the patriotic men of the North, among whom the loyal sons of Jones County, Iowa, made a conspicuous and praiseworthy record.
The compiler has sought to secure a continuous record all the patriotic meetings of the people of the county in the order in which they took place, but as many meetings were held of which no record was kept, except in the faithful breasts of loyal men and liberty-loving women, the war history must be more or less fragmentary, and, in a great measure, not as satisfactory as he had hoped to have made it. He has searched all the files of newspapers published in the county at the time, and the result of his research is given below. He feels gratified to state that enough has been secured to testify most emphatically to the unbounded heroism and lofty patriotism of the loyal citizens of Jones County during the days of the nation's darkest forebodings. No county in the State sent out braver men, and no State in the Union can boast of a more glorious record.
Pursuant to notice, the citizens of Jones County, irrespective of party, assembled in mass convention at the Court House, in Anamosa, on Saturday, the 19th day of January, 1861, at 11 o'clock A. M.
On motion of Dr. N. G. Sales, Messrs. Davis McCarn and E. V. Miller were appointed Temporary Chairmen, and Matt Parrott and J. L. Sheean, Secretaries.
On motion of W. G. Hammond, Esq., the Chair was empowered to appoint a committee of five on Permanent Organization, and appointed as such Committee Messrs. W. G. Hammond, N. G. Sales, George W. Field, C. Chapman and C. T. Lamson.
E. Cutler, Esq., moved that the convention adjourn for one week-the late storm having prevented an attendance from the other parts of the county. Lost.
On motion of O. Burke, Esq., the Chair appointed O. Burke, J. J. Dickinson, S. T. Pierce, E. Cutler and J. Mann as a Committee of Resolutions. The Committee assembled at the time designated.
The Committee on Permanent Organization reported as follows: President, G. W. Field; Vice Presidents, Messrs. J. Mann, W. H. Holmes and F. S. McKean; Secretaries, Messrs. John S. Stacy and J. L. Sheean-which report was received and adopted.
The Committee on Resolution, not being ready to report, the convention was addressed by N. G. Sales, W. G. Hammond and others. The Committee on Resolutions appeared, and, through S. T. Pierce, Esq., reported the following preamble and resolutions:
On motion of N. G. Sales, the report of the Committee was received and the Committee discharged. Moved that the resolutions be voted on separately. Lost.
|THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS' RESOLUTIONS OF LOYALTY, JUNE 6, 1861
The Supervisors of Jones County closed their labors Thursday, June 6, 1861, by passing the following:
Thus it is seen that the Board of Supervisors of Jones County, in 1861, were decidedly loyal and eminently patriotic.
|PATRIOTIC MEETING IN ROME
A Union meeting was held in the grove near the village of Rome, on the 24th of May, 1861. The citizens of the town and vicinity turned out en masse. The meeting came to order by electing Ezra Carpenter, Esq., Chairman.
A patriotic and soul-stirring address was delivered by the Rev. O. E. Aldrich, which was received with frequent demonstrations of applause by the people. After the address, three cheers were given for the Union, with a vim that spoke love for our country and death to traitors. A company of Home Guards at this time was nearly full. E. C. Rigby was the Secretary at the above meeting.
|THE COUNTY FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
A grand county celebration of the Fourth of July, took place in pursuance of the resolutions and suggestions of the Board of Supervisors, made at their June meeting in 1861. The celebration was on Thursday, the 4th of July, 1861.
The perilous condition of the country brought men of all parties together to observe the anniversary of our national birth, and to repeat anew their vows to freedom. Early in the morning, teams, singly and in companies, began to throng from all parts of the county toward the point which had been designated by the Board of Supervisors, near the center of the county. At 10 o'clock, A. M., the scene was the strangest of the kind ever encountered in the West. The road ran along a high ridge, and on both sides of it and on each of the wide and gently sloping spurs, shooting out every few rods, were horses, wagons, buggies, carriages, men, women, children and babies by the thousands; and, in every direction, the American flag floated in the light and refreshing breeze, which, with the shade of the sufficiently abundant oaks, tempered the heat of a warm summer day. Such an assembly in a city is common enough, but this was an assembly in the wilderness. Not a house, not a sign that man had touched nature here was visible, save in the few brief days' labor of the Committee of Preparation. It was a fitting place wherein to assemble on such a day and for such a purpose, when the nation was in its life and death struggle for existence.
The Committee of Arrangements had done as well as could be hoped for in the short time allowed them, and better than could have been expected. On the rather steep slope of a spur, north of the road, a staging had been erected facing up the slope, and, in front of this, seats sufficient to accommodate, perhaps, one thousand persons. Back of the stage, and at the bottom of the ravine, a well had been dug some ten or more feet deep, and, at the bottom, a barrel fixed. It was a comical sort of a well, but it served the purpose, in a measure, for some hours.
On another ridge and back of the wall, stood the six-pounder, manned by the Wyoming Artillery Company, in gray shirts, under Capt. Walker. The other military companies were the Canton Company, Capt. Hanna; they wore red military coats, were armed with rifles and were fine looking; the Rough and Readys, of Rome, Capt. L. A. Roberts, with blue military coats, white pants and glazed caps, sixty-five men, also fine looking; Carpenter's Company, Rome, Capt. Carpenter, eighty men, with gray coats, likewise made a fine appearance; the Greenfield Company, mounting eighty men, John Secrist, Commander; these were in frock coats and wore white plumes; they, too, showed well, and still more in drill and fitness for the most desperate fighting; the Scotch Grove Guards, from Scotch Grove, Capt. Magee, formed a large company; these wore no uniforms, but their appearance indicated they were the right men for fighting. There were six companies of young men, all formed and drilled, in the space of three months. It appears that all these entered the army in due time and did good service.
The proceedings at the stand were patriotic and entertaining. During the reading of the Declaration of Independence, the general attention was close, and the responsibilities of the hour seemed to impress all minds. The singing, with the Marshal waving the star-spangled banner to the words, was very effective. The address was by Mr. UtleyŚa good Union speech, and was very generally approved. Music by the various military bands was abundant and lively. The picnic that followed was much enjoyed by all who partook of the dainties provided for the occasion. The military went through with some of their exercises and then the proceedings of the afternoon began, which consisted of speeches from different persons, when, owing to a want of an abundant supply of water, the vast assembly was disbursed at a much earlier hour it otherwise would have been.
It was evident that the loyalty of Jones County could be relied upon, and that her citizens were ready to do their full duty in crushing out treason.
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