Bygones of Monroe:
Departure of Col. Oliver, and the 15th Regiment
Mr. Editor—We cannot in justice to ourselves, allow an event of so much interest to pass by unmentioned. The 15th Regiment has from the day that Col. Oliver took command, been a perfect success. We are sure that Gov. Blair, and the State will be proud of this Regiment; all they ask is a fair chance to distinguish themselves. When the news came that they were to go to St. Louis, there went up such a shout as to make assurance doubly sure, that both officers and men were ready to obey orders and march, whether they were paid off or not. Nothing occurred on the trip from Monroe to St. Louis to mar the pleasure of the journey. The Col. has confidence in the boys, and the boys in him. A few miles west of Bloomington, just at sunset the men were allowed a half hour to run in the woods and amuse themselves as they pleased. At the sound of the whistle they all came tumbling in and in a few moments were all on board, happy and contented.
It was with real pride that we listened to a remark of a distinguished military man at St. Louis as the regiment passed headquarters on its way to Camp Benton. He said that out of forty-five regiments that had passed headquarters none had made a better appearance. This certainly is praise from the right quarter.
Our entire party visited Camp Benton, just at this time the most attractive place in St. Louis. As our carriages passed the quarters of the 15th Regiment, cheer after cheer went up with a hearty good will.
We are happy to say to parties who have friends or relatives in the regiment that everything pertaining to a regiment is as well arranged for the comfort of the soldiers as it can be and that Col. Oliver looks well to the comfort of his men.
It is astonishing how much one man can accomplish to make a pleasure excursion what it was designed to be—a real pleasure. In this connection we are happy to mention the gentlemanly conductor, Mr. E.S. Simmons, who was indefatigable in his efforts to make our journey a thing to be remembered. Our every want was not only met but anticipated. He made good use of the telegraph and we should judge from the results that the telegraph made no blunders. Elegant repasts were always ready on our arrival, a table for ourselves, and everything as it should be. Our party was amply provided for with elegant sleeping cars and every other convenience that was in the power of the Company to furnish. If Mr. Campbell, the worthy superintendent of the MS&NIRR, could find a few more such conductors as Mr. Simmons he would prove to the traveling public that he is the right man in the right place. Conductor E.P. Linnell also merits our earnest gratitude as he left nothing undone to render our trip a real pleasure.
On our return to Chicago we met Col. Mulligan at the Tremont House. He regretted exceedingly that he did not know the hour of the arrival of the 15th Regiment at Chicago. He had made arrangements to escort them through the city; sent his delegation to the cars but found that he was behind time. He with his accomplished lady accompanied us to camp Douglas and showed us everything but the prisoners—an order from the President forbidding that. He then took us to the grave of Douglas, that beautiful spot on the shore of Lake Michigan. As the Colonel leaned over the paling which surrounds the grave he said, “The last letter that Douglas ever wrote was for me to have my regiment admitted.” Douglas said to him “Col. I cannot write but you write the warmest letter possible and I will sign it.” He did so and then held up his palsied arm while he inscribed his name.
Our arrival home, so pleased with our trip and all that we had seen and heard, we were invited by his Honor Mayor O’Conner to convene at his office, where the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Resolved—That our thanks be tendered to Col. Oliver for his invitation to accompany his regiment to St. Louis.
Resolved—That to Col. Mulligan and his accomplished lady our thanks are tendered for their kind attention while in Chicago.
Resolved—That our thanks are due Supt. Campbell and his gentlemanly and able conductors for their exercise of their untiring energy which made our trip all that could be desired, and an event never to be forgotten.
R. O’Conner, Mayor; Lady and Daughter
Miss Eva Smith
O. Stoddard, and Lady
E.L. Clarke, and Lady
Frank Clark, and Lady
(Monroe Commercial, April 3, 1862, Page 2, Column 4)