Letter From Sergeant Jobe.
Cairo, Ill., June 25, 1861.
Dear Col. — This is the first time I have had the pleasure of writing to you since I have been in Cairo, circumstances being such that I could not posibly do so until the present time.
There has been quite an exciting time in our camp for the last day or two, owing to the reported taking of about 1,200 of our troops, who were sent out on a scout through Missouri, but they all arrived safely in camp last evening, bringing with them twelve prisoners, having captured thirty, twelve of whom refused to take the oath of allegiance, in consequence of which they were brought to this place, where they will be safely kept hard at work on fortifications until they come to the conclusion that they had better take the oath of allegiance, and take up arms in defence of their country, than to remain traitors to the flag which has protected them ever since they have had an existence. The boys had a good long march of about sixty miles through an almost entire wilderness, and several times during the march were forced through on double quick time, in one instance traveling eight miles at the rapid rate of six miles an hour, their object being to surprise a secession camp, which was supposed to contain from twelve to fifteen hundred secession troops; but to the great chagrin of our boys, when they arrived at the camp they ascertained that the enemy had vamosed. Twelve of our Rock Island boys accompanied the scout and stood the march nobly, looking as fresh and hearty on their return as though they had just awakened from a pleasant night's slumber.
The members of company D. tender their heartfelt thanks to the ladies of Rock Island for furnishing them with Havelocks, which are an excellent protection from the hot air of this region. Also the citizens of Rock Island in donating a considerable sum of money, which proves very beneficial to us in procuring many useful articles of which they would otherwise be deprived. The proprietors of the Argus also have the thanks to Company [unknown] for sundry kindnesses.
The [unknown] of Cairo, usually very considerable, but now almost totally suspended not one boat visiting its wharf where there were formerly twenty.
As I have not written to you since the death of the distinguished statesman. STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS, I cannot refrain from expressing my sincere regret at the sad event. Quickly the sad news spread over our camp, and the glorious old stars and stripes which but an hour before were proudly floating as national emblems, were lowered to half-mast and seemed to droop mournfully, as if beneath a weight of conscious grief. Personal and political enmities were buried, and all seemed to show how keenly they felt that a great man had fallen, and forever.
Everything has been done that could be done to refer the troops in this camp comfortable. It was essential that Cairo should be occupied as soon as possible, and there was no time to wait for the erection of barracks and the transportation of commissary and quartermaster stores in advance, so that it was expected that the men would encounter some inconveniences till these things were provided, which has been done very quickly under the circumstances.
Upon arriving in Cairo, I was much pleased to meet my young friend, Johnny Burgh, brother of Mr. Henry Burgh, of Rock Island, Johnny looked well and hearty, and is trumpeter of Capt. Barker's Chicago Dragoons, who were ordered to Virginia several days ago.
Having nothing more of importance to communicate, I will close, hoping to be in Rock Island shortly.
WM. F. JOBE.