From the First Iowa Battery - 1867
MASON, MERRILL, DEAN
Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 9/13/2017 at 23:14:10
Thursday, September 26, 1867
Paper: Anamosa Eureka (Anamosa, Iowa)
From the First Iowa Battery
A member of the First Iowa Battery has written a letter to the Register, which we publish below, giving the maligners of Col. Merrill a severe scoring. The writer was stating that he served a short time in “the same command as Colonel Merrill,” goes on to say:
There was in the same regiment a pot-bellied Major who strove very hard in April, 1866, to make me believe that Merrill was a coward and a fool; but the said pot-bellied Major only succeeded in causing me to think that he-said pot-bellied Major–was the coward, and that Merrill was a brave soldier as well as an accomplished and truthful gentlemen.
I joined said command on April 13, 1863, and among the first acquaintances I made was said pot-bellied Major, who introduced himself, drank all my whiskey, and sponged on my bunk, eat all my lunch, loafed and sponged on my bunk, and left so drunk that he required help to mount his horse. During this call, said pot-bellied Major stated repeatedly the same assortment of slang and vilification that has going on the rounds of the Democratic press ever since the nomination of Co. Merrill for Governor. At the battle of Port Gibson I saw Col. Merrill several times, and on all occasions doing his duty like a man; and at that same battle, during the whole struggle lasting from 1 o’clock at night to 5 o’clock the next afternoon, I have no recollection of seeing pot-bellied Major, and I made up my mind that said that pot-bellied Major was a coward, and he has to my knowledge done nothing since to cause me to change my opinion of him. The secret of all this is, that said pot-bellied Major wanted to be Colonel of this regiment, and basely thought that he could prejudge persons against Col. Merrill, and thus finally driving him from regiment, and thus give him (said pot-bellied Major) a step of promotion, that he could not possibly hope to get in any other way; but events have proved that the slander is a failure, while the man thus slandered has the respect and esteem of every fair minded man, and will in a few weeks, receive at the hands of the people the highest honor that this state can bestow.
Let it be understood then that the vilification of men from base and ignoble motives can only recoil under the villifier and surely crush hum down, while the good man thus slandered will outlive it, and rise higher in the estimation of all fair minded men.
During my knowledge of the regiment April and May, 1863, I know of but two men who said unkind things about Col. Merrill – these two were the Lieutenant-Colonel and the Major – the first is dead, and the second lives to suffer the contempt of all who knew him as the prolific author of all the villifications and abuse of Col. Merrill, and as the willing candidate of the Opossum, Kangaroo, hermaphrodite sliding scale, self-adjusting, mutual admiration association, consisting of Henry Clay Dean, Charles Mason, and the pot-bellied Major.
Yours, &c., FIRST IOWA BATTERY
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