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Dubuque County
August 1863
 ~ Contributed by Julia Krapfl ~


"The Parade of Armed Union Leaguers.--The offensive exhibition of about fifty Union Leaguers, Thursday, armed with government muskets, has created no small amount of talk and indignation. The reports are rife--reports, too, spread by themselves, that in joining this organization they are released from the operations of the draft by pledging themselves to the service at home against the Democracy. If the madmen at the head of affairs do not consider the feeling of opposition to the draft already of sufficient magnitude, they are taking the very steps to augment it. People do not look upon the impudent display of a force ostensibly for their own subjection with much charity or complacency. That it is not equal to the design matters nothing. While we may not fear the fifty or sixty members of the Union League, who paraded the streets on Thursday with their government muskets, bayoneted and shotted, it does not follow that they are (not) viewed with contempt. The intention is plain. It is asserted that all the members of this company are by their so associating exempted from the draft; and it is also asserted that still another company is being raised for the same purpose. If this be so the provost marshal is aware of it and the people should demand that his knowledge be made public."

--(Herald, August 8, 1863)


They paraded on the special Thanksgiving day proclaimed by the President.
In July several associations were formed to provide against the draft; one was for each member to put up $50, which was to serve as a fund to hire a substitute for any member of the association who might be drafted. Pope Pius IX in a letter to Archbishop Hughes, of New York, urged the latter to use his influence, personal and episcopal, to put an end to the war in America. Mr. Mahony withdrew permanently from the Dubuque Herald in August, 1863, and Stilson Hutchins assumed editorial management. The Union Leaguers at Cascade were mostly Irish Orangemen and Englishmen. About August 25, 1863, the enrollment was completed, it was announced; the rolls were open to inspection. Those of the first class in Dubuque county numbered 3117.

Frank McLain, a farmer residing on the North Cascade road, seven miles from Dubuque, was arrested as a deserter, brought to town, put aboard the James Means and sent down to Davenport. He had deserted, it was said, from the Thirty-seventh Wisconsin regiment two years before.

About 8 o'clock August 12, 1863, two officers, D. E. Lyon and Marshal Hungerford, tried to arrest Wendel and Adam Jacobi, brothers, at their home in Peru township on the charge of desertion and other offenses. They were resisted, whereupon in the struggle the former was shot and mortally wounded and the latter was seriously wounded. A third brother assisted, but was not harmed. The coroner returned a verdict that he came to his death by being shot with a pistol in the hands of an unknown person willfully. The Dubuque Herald said: "No cause was given for such extraordinary proceedings and the act can only be characterized as it is by the jury, a most willful murder. This horrible affair added to the harsh manner in which young McLain was treated lately has stirred up a feeling in the community which is fast becoming determined. Certainly if something is not done to bring the offenders to justice there is cause for alarm and independent action. It will never do to let this affair settle into a result of military necessity."

"The Jacobi Investigation.--We learn that the grand jury failed to find a bill against Lyon and Hungerford for the Jacobi affair. Dubuque will not see such a jury for many a year hereafter. As the evidence is to be published, we make no further comment."

--(Dubuque Herald, August 20, 1863)




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