A military force had also to be sent into Fayette, Clark, Coles, Morgan, Fulton, and some other counties, and a few men were killed and wounded on both sides before the disturbances were quelled. The most serious outbreaks occurred near Manchester, Scott County, Tenth District, and at Charleston, Coles County, Seventh District, to both of which places I was obliged to send a strong force, and many prisoners were taken and variously disposed of, as provided by regulations and laws. In each case the insurgents dispersed upon the appearance of the military. Full reports of my action in those affairs have been forwarded to the office of the Provost-Marshal-General.
The difficulties above mentioned nearly all occurred in connection with the enrollment. The only serious opposition after the draft was connected with the service of notices upon drafted men, and occurred chiefly in Fulton, Clark, and Fayette Counties. But the presence of troops held the leaders in check, and the notices were finally served in every instance.
Although but few actual collisions have occurred in the State, a bitter and dangerous temper has frequently been manifested, and formidable combinations have existed in various localities, with the avowed purpose of armed resistance to the enforcement of the laws; and I am entirely satisfied that the presence in the State of the requisite military force was all that prevented the bloody culmination of their threats in many localities, if not a general and formidable insurrection, especially toward the close of the year 1864.
My experience has demonstrated the comparative uselessness of infantry in dealing with roving bands of deserters, assassins, and desperadoes, such as have infested portions of this State the past two years. These gangs are usually well mounted, familiar with all the woods and swamps and byroads of the country, and can of course successfully elude the infantry and defy their pursuit. I would therefore recommend, should occasion require the resumption of operations under the enrollment act, that a sufficient force of cavalry be placed at the disposal of the acting assistant provost-marshal-general to meet all emergencies likely to arise in connection with the enforcement of the enrollment and draft.
It is not needful to look for the causes of nearly all the opposition which I have encountered in this State. It is due mainly to the [as I think] mistaken clemency of the Government in dealing with deserters, upon which I have elsewhere remarked, and the machinations of a few disloyal political leaders, aided by the treasonable utterances of corrupt and profligate newspapers. The swarms of deserters whom assured impunity brought to the State exerted a most baleful and contaminating influence both in preventing enlistments and also in giving head and venom to the lawless gangs that attempted to resist and defy the authorities.
But the grand cause-the only really guilty and formidable source of the dangers through which Illinois has passed-is to be found in the steady streams of political poison and arrant treason which have been permitted to flow from the wicked, reckless, and debauched newspaper press of the State. But for this the enrollment and draft would have passed off with scarcely a ripple of disturbance. The terrible effect of such daily teachings upon the ignorant and deluded masses can well be imagined. The Government, with all its officers, aims, and purposes, has been maligned, calumniated, aspersed, and defied with a persistent fiendishness and a truculent hatred that would have seemed incredible and impossible. And chief among