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Attempt to Murder a Union Officer.

The Peoria Transcript says that Capt. Geo. Smith, of the 86th Illinois, while on his way address a meeting of his fellow citizens at Lawn Ridge, in that vicinity, on Tuesday evening last, was waylaid, and a most cowardly and brutal attempt made to murder him. The Transcript gives the following account of the affair:

While on his way to the place of meeting, when less than a half mile from the house, the Captain was overtaken by a man who asked him if he was a soldier. Upon replying in the affirmative, he was asked if he was the one announced to speak that evening. He said he was, when he was further asked for whom he intended to vote for President. Captain Smith replied that if he was allowed the privilege of voting he should most certainly vote for Abraham Lincoln. "Then," said the ruffian, "I will save you the trouble," at the same time dealing him a heavy blow with a club, felling him senseless to the earth. It seems that he then stabbed the Captain with a knife, inflicting a pretty dangerous wound in the thigh, then tied a handkerchief about his neck, drawing it as tight as possible, with the evident intention of choking out what little life that remained. He then dragged the inanimate body through an opening in the hedge and left it.

The would-be assassin, however, failed to complete his work. After a time the Captain returned to consciousness and crawled to an adjoining house, from whence word was passed to the meeting. The most intense excitement was caused, but all attempts to certainly discover the wretch who perpetrated the deed proved unavailing, although a notorious Copperhead ruffian in the vicinity has been arrested on suspicion. We understand that although severely wounded, Capt. Smith is likely to recover.

This is a pretty pass when the adherents of a party who make such loud professions of regard for free speech waylay and attempt the assassination of a soldier in the Union army on his way to address his fellow citizens, whose liberties and Government he has been exposing his life to defend. We sincerely trust that the wretch will be hunted down, and the severest vengeance of the law visited upon his traitorous and murderous carcass. No expense or time should be spared in discovering him.