Saturday, October 3, 2009

Today I learned about the Union occupation of Jacksonport. In May of 1862, The Union army moved down from Batesville and set up Camp Tucker on the west bank of the mouth of the Black River. At one time there were 5,429 Union soldiers in camp here. Having control of the White river would proved an advantage for both Confederate and Union armies. The Union army camped a little above Jacksonport where the black river meets the White.

Having the Union army so close to a town with strong Confederate support would be viewed as negative by the local Citizens. Part of this negative view stem from a lack of money. Besides the fact that many of the citizens saw the Union as the enemy, having them there proved stressful on their money. This was because many people were using Confederate money as shown in the picture below. This type of script would be completely useless with the Union control over Jacksonport.

Dr. Charles Brackett a Union solider wrote his experiences during this time in his Journal. Dr. Brackett explains that a local resident Mary Todd Caldwell, the one who presented the Jackson Guards with their Confederate regimental flag, “glorifies in being a rebel”. He went on to explain “Mrs. Caldwell wished she had the power to kill every Officer in the Union army, and ole Abe especially.”
Mrs. Caldwell has her own account of Union occupation in 1862. She says that the Dutch Yankees who occupied her house,” went into her room and dangled her cloths and made fun of them. She further explains that they took all we had and insulted our women folk.
Even with the tension between the Union solders and the local citizens, the Union occupied Jacksonport until June, when the Confederates recaptured Jacksonport. The only paper to be printed in Jacksonport was printed when the Union occupied Jacksonport. Paper became very difficult to come by during the Civil War, which caused for a lack of newspapers being printed. The Union printed the newspaper “stars and Stripes” on December 8, 1862. Due to the shortage of paper, this newspaper was printed on wall paper. Jacksonport is the second location that the” Stars and Stripes “was printed at. It was first printed in Bloomfield, Missouri on November 9, 1861. The “Stars and Stripes continues to be published today. Soldiers today in Iraq and Afghanistan still read the “Stars and Stripes”.
I really enjoyed learning about what life was like for the citizens of Jacksonport during the Union’s occupation. It is surprising to learn that a newspaper that was written in Jacksonport during the Civil War is still being published today.

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