Letter From Sergeant Jobe.
SPRINGFIELD, May 5th, 1861.
COL. DANFORTH: Dear Sir — Please excuse my apparent negligence in writing to you, for I have been waiting for a settlement of affairs in our company, caused by the promotion of Capt. W.D. Williams to the position of major of the 12th regiment. Lieut D. Denson has been elected captain; L. Dimick first lieutenant, D.H. Hakes, second lieutenant, and so on in the order of promotion.
Since my last letter, the legislature has passed an act requiring 97 men including officers, musicians and privates to constitute a company, and our company is now full, and with the exception of uniform and arms (which we will receive in a few days), ready for action. We were mustered into the 12th regiment on the 2d inst., and elected our officers for the regiment on the 3d, as follows:
Colonel, Capt. McArthur, of Chicago; lieutenant colonel, Capt. Chetlain, of Galena; major, Capt. W.D. Williams, of Rock Island. The 11th regiment was formed several days ago, but are still in the camp, not having, as yet, elected their officers.
The officers and members of both Rock Island companies join in tendering their sincere thanks to the citizens and ladies of Rock Island for their kindness in sending us blankets, which are much needed during these cold and damp nights; and can only say that they will exert themselves to their utmost capacity in defense of that liberty for the promotion of which they and we are alike concerned.
To the proprietors and boys of the Argus, I, individually, am under many obligations for their kindness in furnishing me a pair of excellent blankets, and whilst my heart continues to beat, I shall ever remember them. I am also much obliged to some unknown individual
Perhaps it would be interesting to the citiizens of Rock Island to know what kind of a place Camp Yates is, how we are quartered, &c. Well, Camp Yates, or Camp No. 2, (the brick yard being known as Camp No.1,) is what has heretofore been used as the state fair grounds, and contains about sixty acres. It is really a beautiful piece of land, and when the weather is dry, is as smooth and pleasant to walk upon as a carpeted floor. — The volunteers are quartered in the stalls on the outer edge of the ground, formerly occupied by cattle, hogs, sheep, &c.
The stalls are about ten feet long by eight wide, each containing from eight to ten men, who constitute a mess. Although we are quartered up as closely as bees in a hive, the boys all seem to enjoy themselves admirably, and a brotherly feeling reigns throughout. — Our food consists of beef, pork and beans, rice, potatoes, coffee, bread and molasses, and with proper cooks, we have no reason to complain for want of good living.
I shall have to bring my letter to a close as soon as possible, as Sergeant Hartley and myself have to cook dinner for our mess today. It would be amusing, no doubt, to our Rock Island friends to see us making preparations for cooking, but we perhaps do it up more scientifically than they would imagine.
The boys are all well and hearty.
There was quite an exciting time here last Sunday, caused by the presence of Hon. S. A. Douglas, who rode around the camp in a carriage. I had no idea there were so many soldiers in the camp until then. They rushed from all quarters, and in one immense body followed the carriage Companies which were drilling at the time broke ranks and joined the crowd. Numbers of men took hold of the wheels on each side of the carriage, and endeavored to stop it, their object being to hear a word of comfort from that distinguished personage, but to their disappointment were unsuccessful, the Judge, from some cause, declining to make any remarks.
Capt. Benson sends his sincere regards, and says he will write as soon as possible.
I thank you for your kindness in sending me papers, — they are eagerly sought after by the men. I shall write to you oftener hereafter, as I shall have more time.
If it will not take up too much space in your columns, I will furnish you another complete list of the officers and members of both companies of Rock Island volunteers, as there has been considerable change since my last letter.
All letters sent to this camp hereafter, should be directed thus: "Camp Yates, Springfield, Ill. Care of Capt. D. Benson, company A, Rock Island volunteers, 12th regiment," and then, in case we should leave here before letters addressed to this camp arrive, they will be forwarded by the adjutant.
W. F. JOBE.
P. S. — Since writing my letter, I have learned that the 11th regiment, under command of Major Wallace, will leave for Mound City at 4 o'clock this afternoon.
We will leave here, it is thought, sometime this week. W. F. J.