From Governor Yates and Party.
PITTSBURG LANDING, Tenn., May 9, 1862.
Editors Missouri Democrat:
Corporations have souls, I care not what is said to the contrary. One of them is the great State of Illinois. You will remember that some two weeks ago Gov. Yates left Springfield and came to this point for the sake of affording proper care and attention to the sick and wounded of our State. Nobly has that duty been performed. Up to this date three large steamers have been loaded, and it is safe to estimate that at least twelve hundred of the sick and wounded children of our State are now on their way back to the home they love so well. Every care and attention that can be shown them is rendered. Good surgeons, faithful nurses, and an abundance of medical stores of every kind, ice water, (a luxury that our poor boys prize above gold,) lemons, oranges, and all that the sick could desire, is here to cheer them on their homeward way. The forethought and energy of Governor Yates in providing for the emergencies of the forthcoming battle of Corinth is beyond all praise.
Before this letter is before your readers, thousands of hearts will be made glad by the return of the loved ones whom Illinois, acting through her Governor, has snatched from the very jaws of death. This is no fancy sketch, but a grand reality that thrills every Illinoisan's heart with pride; and wherever he is, in camp or field, in other States, on sea, or in foreign lands, the Illinoisan proudly points to his home and fervently calls for God's blessing on his State and the Governor who has the will and the power to carry out her sacred purposes towards her suffering sons.
The Governor's suite are as follows: Governor Richard Yates; Hon. O. M. Hatch, Secretary of State; Judge John Moses. Governor's Aid-de-Camps: Col. R. B. Hatch; Major C. J. Sellon; Dr. Grainard, of Chicago; Col. Allen; Major Allen of Springfield, and others whose names I cannot now recall.
Nothing particularly worthy of note occurred until we reached this point, when the Governor, Hon. O. M. Hatch, Col. Hatch, and others, your correspondent among the number, headed by the gallant Major J. J. Mudd, visited the camps in the vicinity of Corinth. After a long ride over desperate roads and through innumerable small camps, we reached the headquarters of Gen. McClernand. Here the Governor and Hon. O. M. Hatch, as representatives of the State were received with the warmest enthusiasm. All the party were made warmly welcome, and all the soldiers could do to make us at ease, was done. At Gen. McClernand's quarters we tarried for the night. About nine o'clock in the evening, the Governor and suite were serenaded by the band of the Eleventh Illinois infantry, and after playing a short time, a call from a thousand voices went up for a speech from Yates. He came forward, was introduced by Gen. McClernand, and made a short and happy speech. He paid a handsome tribute to the gallantly of the Eleventh Regiment, and referred in touching terms to the death of Gen. W. H. Wallace, formerly Colonel of that regiment. He spoke in fitting terms of the brave McClernand, and others engaged at the battle of Shiloh.
At the close the Governor was greeted with three cheers, that made the welkin ring. McClernand followed, and paid a well merited compliment to Governor Yates, for his untiring efforts to promote the soldiers' welfare.
Col. Ransom was next called out, who made a speech, brief but to the point.
Our young friend Clark E. Carr, Esq., of Galesburg, was then called upon.
He came forward and said he was standing on sacred soil; around him was a nation of heroes; that the illustrious dead of his beloved State of Illinois were reposing near. He hoped that with all the suffering and misery entailed upon the country by this terrible war, it would result in lasting benefits. He gracefully alluded to Governor Yates, and to the officers present. Belmont, and Donelson, and Shiloh, and their heroes, would never be forgotten. He closed with an eloquent tribute to the American Union. During the speech of Mr. Carr he was frequently applauded.
In the morning our party proceeded to the camps of Gen. Hurlbut, still nearer Corinth. — Hurlbut, on our arrival, had just received orders to advance, and his whole division was on the move. The first regiment we met was the Seventh Iowa, commanded by Gen. Lauman, and here occurred a scene to stir the heart of every Illinoisan. The gallant Colonel rushed from his line, in joyful surprise at meeting us, welcomed Governor Yates, and gave us a cordial greeting. Then turning to his regiment, he said, as near as I can remember: "Soldiers, I have the honor to introduce to you Gov. Yates, of Illinois. We are citizens of Iowa, and we love her, but yet to Gov. Yates, through my friend R. B. Hatch, of Illinois, now present, we owe a debt of gratitude for furnishing us clothing and other supplies at a time of sore need, when our government, through inability or carelessness, failed to supply us. I propose three cheers for Gov. Yates." These were given with a will. Gov. Yates then addressed the regiment appropriately, and with a degree of fervid, stirring eloquence I have never heard surpassed. Many other regiments were met the number of which I cannot remember, all of which exhibited great joy at seeing him, and gave unmistakable evidence that our Illinois army is proud of him. To all of them he made brief but truly eloquent speeches, and each soldier moved forward with a prouder step and a firmer determination.
After meeting in this way all of the Illinois portion of Hurlbut's division, the Governor and party, with one or two exceptions, started back for Pittsburg Landing, but owing to the ignorance of their guides, they lost their way and did not reach the landing until three o'clock in the morning. The night's ride and its incidents will long be remembered by them. Maj. Sellon remained with Gen. Hurlbut, and on the next morning proceeded with a small body of soldiers to within a short distance of Corinth, where meeting the enemy's picket, eh and his party through it prudent to return. On the return of the party to Pittsburg we found that Judge Moses, who was left in charge to superintend the removal of the sick and wounded, had filled up the Champion, sent her on her way home, and had chartered the splendid steamer City of Alton to take their homes still others of our unfortunate boys. The Judge has proved himself worthy of all the confidence reposed in him. He is a man of rare business attainments, and the State is fortunate in the possession of his services.
Before I close this, let me mention a fact that will be pleasing to most of your readers. Capt. R. B. Hatch is no longer a Captain, but a Colonel of volunteers, Illinois thus showing her appreciation of a faithful officer.
Yours, AN ILLINOISAN.