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Not a Traitor to be Found!




On Friday evening last, a large number of patriotic Vintonians, as well as some from the country, assembled at the Court House to consider the crisis now so deeply agitating the country. ‘Squire Shane was called to the chair, and W.W. Hanford appointed Secretary. Mr. Shane made some very appropriate and sensible remarks before taking his seat.

S. P. Vanatta moved the appointment of a committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. Chair appointed S. P. Vanatta, J. S. Hunt, and Jacob Wetz.

Mr. Russell Jones was then called to the stand and very clearly and forcibly stated the position we now occupy, and strongly urged the necessity of all doing their duty as true American citizens.

Col. G. W. Sells, was called upon and entertained the audience with a short and pertinent speech which tended to inspire patriotism in the hearts of all present-- said that if there was a man in the house who would not support A. Lincoln, if he carries out the policy he has indicated, such a man is a traitor to his country. Made some very appropriate remarks in regard to the proper mode of forming a company. Would be found at all times in support of the constitution and the Union.

W.F. Pickerell made some very practical remarks in regard to the formation of a company. Wished those talking of going to enlist at Cedar Rapids, would wait and see if a company could not be formed here.

J.S. Hunt said he felt more like fighting than speaking, and if necessary would go to defend the national flag.

Committee on resolutions reported the following:

Whereas a portion of the people living under the government of the United States has seen fit to set at naught the authority of the National government, to take possession of the public and other property not rightly in their possession, and has opposed by arms the legally constituted authority, and has by unmistakable acts declared an aggressive war against our beloved institutions therefore,

Resolved, That the people of Vinton as good citizens of the United States, should, and do regret, with sincere feelings the rashness which has driven the southern people 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 unavoidable 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 unwavering confidence, and our unconditional support to the government of the United States.

Resolved, That our hearts are still loyal to the great principle of constitutional liberty and free government, upon which the wisdom of our forefathers erected the temple of the constitution, under the shade of which we have enjoyed so great and so many blessings, and that the ruthless hand and traitorous heart that would destroy this beautiful temple, merits from us the severest [reprobation] and the most undaunted opposition.

Resolved, That if we can not have union we will preserve liberty and the constitution.

Resolved, That, as citizens of Vinton we hereby pledge ourselves to defray the expenses necessary in procuring uniforms and an out-fit for a volunteer company to be raised in Benton County, to protect the government of the United States, the constitution, and enforce the laws.

S. P. Vanatta spoke in support of resolutions, in a very able manner. His speech very much increased the enthusiasm.

John McCartney declared himself loyal to the Union and the American Flag.

W. C. Connell would do all he could to put down the traitorous rebellion of Southern mobs. Would head a list for a company in Benton County.

Resolutions were unanimously adopted.

Voted that the resolutions and proceedings of the meeting be published in the Eagle.

Pickerell moved that a committee of three be appointed to receive applicant’s names for the formation of a military company in Vinton, to report Tuesday night. Chair appointed J. S. Hunt, W. C. Connell W.A. Walker.

Adjourned to meet again on Tuesday night.

On Saturday a recruiting office was opened at Connell & Vanatta’s Law office, and quite a number walked up and enrolled in the service of their country, determined to defend the stars and stripes to the last.

On Tuesday evening the meeting was again called to order by placing W. C. Connell in the chair and J. W. Traer acting as Secretary. The Court House was crowded to overflowing. Many were in from the townships and the most intense enthusiasm in favor of the Union and against all traitors, pervaded the audience and speakers during the meeting, which continued until a late hour.

Short, but able and well-timed speeches were made by Messrs. S. P. Vanatta, C. H. Conklin, W. C. Gaston, S. Douglass, Rev. J. M. Rankin and W. C. Smith, of Homer township, all to the point, and calculated to inspire a determination that Southern aristocratic traitors shall not successfully rebel against the laws and the Constitution of this glorious Union, founded by the blood of our forefathers.

But one sentiment seemed to prevail, -- that all would stand shoulder to shoulder in support of the Administration, and in crushing out rebellion.

S. P. Vanatta offered the following resolution which was unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That we as citizens of Benton County Iowa, hereby agree, and pledge ourselves to support and maintain in a decent and respectable manner --such as is suitable to their condition-- the families of all those who may volunteer their services as soldiers in the present war to assist to subdue and put down all traitors and rebels to our government, and that the families of none such shall want for any of the necessaries of life so long as we are able to support them therewith.

After which W. C. Gaston proposed three cheers for the gallant troops at Pensacola, which were given with a will. [This was upon the reported news that they had killed several hundred of the rebels at a late engagement at Fort Pickens.]

An opportunity was then offered for any who wished to join the company now forming in this county, and several more names were added to the list.

The meeting then adjourned, to meet again on Saturday evening.

The Company will meet at Connell & Vanetta’s office, at one o’clock on Saturday afternoon, for a drill.

It is hoped that all in this county who wish to enlist, will join the Vinton Company, instead of going to other towns.

Transcribed by Traci Thiessen
The Vinton Eagle, Thursday, April 25, 1861

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