Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- July 09, 1861Home Guard (Editorial)
The President's message gives assurance that the War against the Southern Rebels will be carried on vigorously. A call for four hundred thousand men has been issued, and they will be enrolled by fall.
However, war takes its toll of human lives, and soon the ranks of our brave Union soldiers will be thinned. Therefore, the training of a general reserve, or home guard is of the utmost importance. It is well known that the reserves of Missouri have already rendered excellent services.
Everyone whose financial condition does not permit him to go to battle should endeavor to acquire at least some military training at home. And the home guard should be composed not only of married men and elderly men, but also of young unmarried men who have remained at home.2
We know that every army needs reserves from time to time, and we are aware of how very important it is that the replacement troops have a knowledge of at least the rudiments of military tactics. This is a fact which needs no further proof or explanation. We shall very likely receive pertinent military orders soon, since Senator Wilson's proposal for the establishment of a general national guard is now before the senior legislative body.
Here in Chicago it appeared that the citizens, particularly those of German extraction, were to begin training a reserve or home guard when hostilities began; several companies were organized, and we hoped that a number sufficient to establish a regiment would soon enroll. But the ardor quickly waned, and now only a small remnant of a formerly large body remains. Still it is gratifying that even a small group desires to continue its activity, and to obtain further military knowledge. Although a full company exists no more, on the West Side a comparatively large part of Company Three still drills very diligently and conscientiously; and though Company One, on the North Side, was reduced from one hundred ten to about half that number, the Company will 3undoubtedly compensate, with increased efficiency for what it lost in numerical strength.
Thus we see that many men take training seriously--in addition to exercising two evenings a week, they answer the call of the drum every Sunday, and it is only fair to say that they make good use of the little time that is at their disposal.
Captain Eshenburg, an officer who received a thorough education at a Prussian military school, deserves credit for the splendid progress made by Company One. He has succeeded in instilling a liking for military matters in his men, as each and every one of them will testify. They presented him with a sword, July 4, in recognition of his honest and conscientious efforts. Mr. E. Pruessing, Second Officer of the Company, made the presentation and addressed a few well chosen words to the leader. The spirit of this Company and the fine relation existing between the men and their officers is highly pleasing, indeed.
Finally, we most urgently request that all German men of Chicago who do not 4intend to or cannot enlist in the fighting forces immediately, join the reserves, at least, and devote a few hours of every week to military training. Men who live on the North Side may report at the headquarters of Company One in the German House, and residents of the West Side at West Market Hall.
I G, I J, III D, IV
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