In May, 1863, John Hodnett, who
was connected with the Herald, while at a private house
in Cedar Falls, was waited upon by Lieutenant Sessions
and a crowd of his friends and told to leave town in ten minutes
or suffer the consequences, and that if he returned he would be
tarred and feathered. He was followed across the river by a howling
mob and remained there all night and in the morning went to Independence.
S. P. Adams became provost Marshal in May. Marshal Conger
collected the government revenue here. In May, 1863, Bishop
Smyth disapproved of all secret societies and his remarks
went the round of the press. The enrollment for the draft was
commenced June 1, 1863.
The Ladies' Aid Society gave a strawberry festival at the Lorimier
House, June 11, 1863, for the benefit of sick and wounded
soldiers. There were urgent appeals at this time from the fields
and hospitals. The net proceeds were $412.20; the Dubuque Herald
said, "The soldiers will probably never see a dollar of it."
''The conscription act, as will be seen by
telegraphic dispatches, has caused an insurrection in the city
of New York. This was no more than was expected and anticipated.
The popular belief is that besides being unconstitutional, the
conscription act is unjust in its discriminations. It is also
regarded with disfavor by the large portion of the citizens, who
do not believe that the war is waged for but against this Union.
How can anyone who in his heart believes that the war is only
widening the breach between the North and South give his services
to fight in this war? If there were no question about the objects
of the war there would be no more need of conscription to raise
an army now than there was when it was supposed that the war was
for the Union."
--(Herald, July 14, 1863)
The Federal successes in July greatly encouraged
Union sentiment here and cast a damper on the outspoken opposition
of the Copperheads. The victories were duly celebrated by a large
crowd at Washington Square. The river was soon to be opened to
New Orleans, it was said. Two men arrested in Clayton county under
the conscription act and brought here to be confined were released
on a writ of habeas corpus by Judge Hempstead. The
men then sued the sheriff for kidnapping them, but nothing came
of this suit.
"Thus at the outset of the contest under the conscription
act have the rights of the people been vindicated in Dubuque from
the attempt of provost marshals, a deputy United States marshal,
the sheriff of Dubuque county and leading members of the S. B.
Society to trample under foot the power given by the people to
maintain the laws inviolate. * * * Was it not a brave act of Marshal
Conger, assisted by a crowd of S. B.'s, to march these
shackled victims of arbitrary power through the streets of Dubuque
on a Sunday afternoon. * * * We congratulate this community that
the majesty of the law is still respected in the city of Dubuque
and that there are some judicial officers left who have the courage
to enforce the laws even against United States officers."
--(Herald, July 21, 1863
The Times denounced the action of the
county court in the conscription cases and Governor Kirkwood
directed the adjutant general to call out volunteer companies
to aid the provost marshals and serve as a posse comitatus, or
bands of loyal citizens to do the same. Generally over the state
the act of Judge Hempstead was declared to be an outrage
and a direct affront to the draft and state authorities.
"The governor of Iowa has directed the adjutant-general of
the state to issue an order which, if carried into practical effect,
will result in producing civil war. * * * We have no words which
will adequately express our condemnation of this order from Governor
Kirkwood. * * * The governor invites his partisan friends
to take up arms ostensibly to aid in the enforcement of the laws--for
the purpose of overawing Democrats and preventing them from exercising
their political rights. There can be no doubt whatever that a
secret understanding existed between the governor and the organizations
known as Union Leagues to furnish those organizations with public
arms and to pay them for services they might render as partisans
in support of the administration. We call the attention of the
people to the infamous designs of the order, and we undertake
to tell those partisans who are expected to comply with it that
civil war will be the result should this order of Governor
Kirkwood be carried into practical effect."
--(Herald, July 23, 1863)