"Cleaning Out" of the Keokuk "Constitution."
Yesterday afternoon a large number of soldiers from the Hospital marched down to the Constitution office, and taking possession of it, broke up the presses and threw, with the cases of type and all other contents of the building, into the street. A couple of drays were pressed into the service, which carried a load of each to the river. This movement took everybody by surprise, but the numbers were so formidadble that no opposition was made (except the personal efforts of Lieut. Ball, commandant of the post, and perhaps some others,) until the contents of the office were in ruins. Lieut. Ball at length got together the Provost Guard, when the work of destruction was brught to a close. We are told that the cause of the outbreak was the indignation of the soldiers at the comments in the constitution of the 18th and 19ht inst., upon the speech of Gov. Wright. No one, so far as we are aware, excepting the soldiers engaged in it, knew anything of the movement, until it was consummated.
We publish below, at the request of the soldiers, the pledge which they made, setting forth the reasons for destroying the Constitution Office. It will not be deemed by any inappropriate to allow an expression from the soldiers engaged in this act, that public opinion may be fully informed in regard to all the circumstances of the case. This paper was signed by 150 soldiers of the hospital, most of whom, we understand, are awaiting transportation to return to service.
We, the undersigned soldiers of the U.S. army being fully convinced that the influence of a paper published in this city called "The Constitution," edited by Thos. Clagget, has exerted and is exerting a treasonable influence, (inexcusable by us soldiers) against the Government for which we have staked our all in the present crisis. We, therefore, consider it a duty we owe ourselves, our brethren in the field, our families at home, our Government and our God, to demolish and cast into the Mississippi river, the press and machinery used for the publication of the aforesaid paper, and any person or persons that interfere, so help us God.