The Iowa State Register
Des Moines, Iowa
November 27, 1862
From the Twenty-Third, Camp Patterson, MO
Nov. 18, 1862
We are still resting quietly here. Five Companies of the 23d, viz. B, D, E, F, and G, went out a few days ago on a Rebel hunt. They were under command of Maj. Glasgow, who, by the way, is a splendid fellow and an excellent officer. The expedition in which these companies went comprized quite a force of cavalry, artillery and infantry, all under the command of a Missouri Militia Colonel, named Jackson. Of couse he did not reach the enemy. When we arrived within a short distance of him he halted, held a council of war, and sent back for reinforcements, and thus gave Jeffries and his mounted "Gorillas" an opportunity to escape. Maj. Glasgow insisted on marching at once against the rebels, but Jackson would not allow it. Had the Major been allowed to move on Jeffries with his 23d, he would have surprised the Rebel camp and won a victory that wuld result in a great benefit to this region. The movements of the army in this part of Missouri are greatly embarrassed by those Militia officers being allowed to rank officers in the regular volunteer army of the United States. I would not give a pinch of snuff for the best Missouri State Militia Colonel in the state. They seem to dread the Rebel bands that
infest the swamps and brush in southeast Missouri. There is no reason for such fear. One hundred good infantry can rout four hundred of the best butternut cavalry in the State.
A large body of troops, which was encamped about Pilot Knob, marched toward the Mississippi River. We suppose their ultimate destination is Vicksburg. Some eight thousand troops are now encamped in this vicinity. From here they can move directly on Little Rock or Cape Girardeau. It is about 80 miles to the latter place. Whether we are to be moved soon or not we cannot tell. Some think we will go into winter quarters here, but I don't think we will.-- That a few troops will remain at this post I have no doubt, but it can't be possible that as fine a Regiment as the 23d and one so well drilled, will be kept here while there are so many raw Regiments in the service.
A Fort is in the course of construction a little to the right of our camp; and one Regiment is employed in building bridges and making a good road between here and Pilot Knob, the terminus of the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad. From this, many infer that a considerable force is to be kept there during the winter. All the troops desire an active campaign. That is their only source of hope for peace. The military power of the South must be broken, and their supplies destroyed before war will cease. In the aftermath, man of all parties are practical confiscationists. Those who at home wrote long articles for newspapers and made flaming speeches from the stump against confiscation can here beat the most violent northern Abolitionists in practically carrying out the confiscation doctrine. You will find these gentlemen well supplied with contrabands.-- Ask them where they got them, and they have no conscientious or political scruples in admitting that they got them from some "old secesh." As a Democrat, at home, I was often denounced by the Mahonyites for advocating confiscation, but I find men of that very class the most ardent "Jayhawkers" in the army. I don't make these remarks in a spirit of censure, I respect them for yielding to the inexorable logic of circumstances. A single incident often teaches more that a volume of rhetoric. How many long speeches have we heard on the subject of "negro equality," in the State of Iowa! Many thought the freedom of the blacks would at once raise the negro to a position of equality with the whites or lower the whites to the level of the blacks. But my short experience in Dixie teaches me a different lesson. Even those who are Abolitionists at home, have become decidedly opposed to the admission of the blacks into the Northern States, in the event of their emancipation. Real negro equality exists in the slave, not in the free States.-- While on the Pittman's Ferry Expedition, I got into a conversation with an Arkansas "peacable man." I asked him if he would be satisfied to return to the Union and live under the Government and laws against which the South was in Rebellion. He replied,- "I would be glad to see the old Union restored, but I don't want to have all the negroes freed and put on an equality us." That man's children slept in the same cradle and suckled at the same breast with the little negro slave children. At the very moment he was speaking against "negro equality," two of his own children were playing in the yard before his eyes with two little mulatoes, on terms of perfect equality and childish affection. Such is the "secesh" consistency.
There are many Union people in Arkansas, who, had they the protection, would boldly proclaim their principles. I found several families who had been robbed of nearly all they possessed, by the rebels, but still they adhere to the faith of their fathers. It is a burning shame to the powerful North that protection is not offered to such noble people. I am sorry to say that in many cases the Union Men suffer more even from the Union troops that the secessionists. The language of the Alabama Judge applies well to this part of the world. There is no excuse for allowing the rebels to hold Arkansas so long under their tyranny. The North have the power to pluck that State from the grasp of Rebeldom and hold it. I hope the press of the entire North will unceasingly urge those in power to push on the war. Let neither party nor favorites stand in the way, but move on the Union hosts and let them inflict such blows upon the Traitors as will compel them to call for peace.