September 4, 1863, The
“Spirit of the German Press”
The editors of our Saint Louis radical papers having blessed the Jefferson City convention with their presence for the past few days, thus placing us sadly in want of radical editorials, we gain time to get a look again at the ultra rabidly radical Quincy Tribune, one of the few thoroughly outspoken radical papers not ashamed to speak what it thinks at heart. The Quincy Tribune holds President Lincoln responsible for our Missouri troubles, and wants the radicals to tell Mr. Lincoln so, and not to cheat him and themselves by professing friendship for him. The Tribune is a foe to all dissimulation and hypocrisy, and thinks "honesty is the best policy.” Hence it opposes the President quite as bitterly as the "Copperheads," a position in which it is supported by Carl Heinzen's Pioneer, and one or two other ultra-radical journals. Speaking about the Springfield and Jefferson City meetings, the Tribune remarks:
In the interior, the German radical papers are violently agitating against Governor Gamble. The Hermann Volksblatt has the following article:
Mr. Gamble is just now busy to create a standing army for his own use, to carry out his commands and drive the radicals away from Missouri; but he has made his calculation this time without considering the people, and though he would like to play emperor well enough, the submissive subjects are wanting. The whole militia, as it now consists, is based on an ordinance of October 17,1861. The first paragraph says:
"All able-bodied free white male inhabitants of this State between the age or eighteen and forty-five years shall be liable to military duty under this ordinance, and, when enrolled, shall constitute and be known and designated as the 'Missouri State Militia.'"
From this we see that the enrollment is authorized, and that it extends to all. Hence we also advise everybody to be enrolled. But to be enrolled means merely to be inscribed on the lists, just as is now done by the United States Government. Enrolling means on no account to enter into active service. Paragraph III says:
The commander-in-chief shall have power to call troops into actual service by volunteer enlistments, according to such regulations as he may prescribe.
We ask our readers to read this clause once again. Voluntary enlistments! Say, who of you is voluntarily ready to carry a gun for Gamble and slavery? We do not speak of the time when Poindexter, Cobb, and Porter devastated the country. At that time, July 22, 1862, when General Schofield issued his Orders, No. 19, and requested us to enlist for the extermination of the guerrillas, we did so cheerfully. Duty demanded it of every citizen. And in Orders, No. 22, of July 27, 1862, he repeated that this order contemplated only voluntary organizations. Now, attention citizens! This ordinance as specified above is the only authority for the calling out of the militia. But is it called a voluntary enlistment when Colonel, Captain, and State Senator Sitton overruns the country with 20 men, and tears away the victims of his Gamble despotism from their beds? We maintain that nobody, positively nobody, can be forced to do active service in the Enrolled Militia, or in the newly invented provisional regiments. We repeat, nobody. And yet these gentlemen do it, as if they were Prussian gensdarmes or Russian Cossacks. What can be done in this case? Two things: First, to submit and cry hurrah for the new Emperor Gamble; or, secondly, to call upon the laws for protection, and to destroy the arbitrary rule of the Gamble's soldiers by the power of the law. Attention therefore! We appeal to the law, so that none of the miserable creatures of last May will send a lying translation again to the cotton general. Every one who is forced, or who is to be forced, to enter the militia or the provisional regiments against his free will, is deprived of his liberty without authority of law, and in violation of the law. Every Judge has the power to prohibit this. Let people get up a petition, by a lawyer, if possible, directed to the judge (in our district to Judge James W. Owens), in which petition the name of the officer must be given who deprives the party concerned of his liberty and imprisons him against the law. The judge will thereupon issue a writ of habeas corpus. He must do so, for the law commands him to do it. This command must be obeyed immediately without excuse, and whoever refuses is liable to one year's imprisonment or a fine of $500. Next, the judge must investigate whether the law permits or whether there is a legal reason for such infringement of personal liberty; and if he finds none, he orders the party concerned to be released, We know that Judge Owens knows the law, and does not fear to execute it against violators of high or low position--against despots a la Gamble and Sitton quite as well as against the burglar who breaks into a house.
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