Friday, April 19, 2013

April 18, 1863

April 18, 1863

---Already looking forward to the next elections, the New York Times prints this editorial about the need to make sure soldiers at the front have the privilege of casting votes in the national elections.  There is a move to vote on this matter in the New York State legislature, but Governor Seymour has sworn to veto any such bill:

The Soldier’s Right to Vote.

We trust our State Legislature will lose no time in taking steps so to amend the Constitution as to permit citizens of the State, while absent in the military service of the nation, to [v]ote by proxy. The required amendment can be passed by this Legislature, — and also by the next; and can then be submitted to the popular vote soon enough to secure to our soldiers in the field the exercise of their right of suffrage in the Presidential canvass of November, 1864. It is due to them and to the country, that they should have this right: and the Union men of our Legislature should see to it that nothing is left undone which they can do to secure it to them.

Gov. SEYMOUR, in his recent Message to the Legislature, gives that body distinctly to understand that he shall veto a law conferring upon soldiers the right to vote except in person, in the election district where they reside. He regards such a law as unconstitutional. . . .

But the measure itself ought not to be defeated by the conflict of opinion between the Governor and the Legislature. The soldier should not be deprived of his right to vote in consequence of such a collision. If it can be secured to him by a simple law, very well; but if not, then let it be secured by an amendment of the Constitution. . . .

---At the same time Col. Benjamin Grierson’s cavalry brigade has set out for Mississippi, Gen. William Sooy Smith and a brigade of infantry leaves La Grange and marches southwest, another column of 5,000 leaves Corinth and marches east towards Tuscumbia, Alabama, and another column of troops leaves Memphis and marches eastward.  Col. Abel Streight, from Ft. Henry, rides out with a brigade of cavalry also, heading down toward northern Alabama.  All of these expeditions are to serve as smoke screens and diversions for Grierson’s Raid.

--- Grierson’s Raid:  Grierson, in command of three regiments---the 2nd Iowa Cavalry, under Col. Edward Hatch, the 6th Illinois Cavalry, under Col. Reuben Loomis, and the 7th Illinois Cavalry, under Col. Blackburn---arrive early today at Ripley, Mississippi, thirty miles into the state.  They proceed south to the Tallahatchie River, and skirmish with Rebel troops at the New Albany bridge.  Crossing at three points along the river, the blue horsemen compel the Rebels to fall back.  The Yankees ride on through the night.

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