Wednesday morning, March 30, 1864

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Eds. Prairie Farmer:---"But sew farmers are sensible of the value of a good brush harrow.  I had sooner be without the common harrow or field roller by far than do without this simple implement.  My mode of making it is to take a pole five inches in diameter and about six feet long, and bore four two inch holes at an equal distance from each other, in such a manner that when the brush is inserted that it will spread out like a turkey's tail; this done, take four crab-apple trees at least 2 1/2 inches at the but--those grown in a thicket, tall and brushy, are the best---fit the but ends to the holes in the pole and wedge them; now fit on a clovis in the middle and your harrow is done.  The whole can easily be done in two hour's time by one man.  There is no "patent" on it, and everybody has a right to make and use it; but no farmer has a right to be without it.  That's so!  I use it on almost all the ground I cultivate.  Wherever I spread manure, I always go over once or twice to pulverize the lumps."

---An Old Settler.
---"To get rid of your corns rub them over with toasted cheese, and let your feet hang out of the bed for a night or two, that the mice may nibble at them.  If the mice do their duty the cure will be sufficient."


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--"Contracts to furnish five hundred cavalry horses were let at Fort Leavenworth the other day.  The prices varied from $143 to $154."

--"The correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial telegraphs that the rebels of Longstreet's command are evidently making preparations for a great raid.  They are impressing all the horses within reach, and are reported to be mounting McLaw's division.  Kentucky is supposed to be their destination.  They may prove very troublesome to the people of Kentucky, and destroy large amounts of property, but they can not get out of the State with much plunder, and are not likely to effect any considerable delay in our material military operations.  If they advance far into Kentucky, they will find themselves in an extensive bag, with a large chance of repeating the experience of John Morgan, in Ohio.  As they cannot be ignorant of these things, it seems reasonable to conclude that their purposes in increasing their mounted force are defensive rather than offensive."

--"Dr. Franklin Bache, the oldest great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, and a distinguished member of the medical profession, died at his residence in New York, on Saturday afternoon, after a short illness.  Dr. Bache was born in Philadelphia on the 25th of October, 1792, and was the oldest son of the oldest grandchild of Benjamin Franklin.  In 1810 he graduated as Bachelor of Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, and four years later graduated in the Medical Department of the same institution.  The year previous he entered the army as Surgeon's Mate, and the following year was appointed a full Surgeon, a position he occupied for two years, when he resigned and commenced a private practice in New York.  From 1824 to 1836 he was physician to the Walnut street prison; from 1826 to 1832 a Professor of Chemistry in the Franklin Institute; from 1829 to 1839 Physician to the Eastern Penitentiary; from 1831 to 1841 Professor of Chemistry in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, and in 1841 he was appointed a Professor of Chemistry in the Jefferson Medical College, the duties of which office he ably and faithfully performed up to the day that he was taken sick with the disease which resulted in his death."

--"While the rebel Colonel Winston was in jail at St. Joseph, Missouri, he received a severe drubbing from some of his fellow prisoners.  It appears he insisted there could be no peace till the Federals laid down arms, and that thereupon the loyal prisoners pitched into both him and his brother, so badly bruising them that a surgeon had to be called in."

---"A recent traveler in South America, speaking of the noise of insects in its woods, says, that of the grasshoppers is like a steam whistle, and the hum of the insects generally like a 'machine at full work sharpening razors.'"

---"A short but remarkable spirited description of a secession town in Tennessee is given by a correspondent of the Chicago Tribune.  He says that before the occupation of the place by our forces, 'Larkinsville was disloyal; with few exceptions its men, women and children chewed tobacco, drank whiskey, became sallow in complexion and rebellious."

---"A letter from Florida to the New York Evening Post says that Gen. Seymour fell into a trap from having confidence in the native citizens, who assured him that the rebel forces had left the State.  He may have had great confidence in those citizens but nobody will ever again have any in him."

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"I'm only Net's maiden-aunt; but for all that I couldn't help noticing how beautiful she appeared on a certain evening not long ago, when George Holmes and Henry Kirtland sat talking with her by the library window.  Both of the young men were evidently of my opinion; but George Holmes, if I may say it, seemed to take in the idea rather differently from Henry Kirtland.  The clear haughty eye and softly modulated voice of the latter seemed to say, 'You're very pretty, Miss Netty, pretty enough to suit even my fastidious taste, and I can well appreciate your satisfaction in having a fine young fellow like me among your admirers.'  But George Holmes seemed to just sit and drink in her loveliness until it choked him.  I liked George by far the best, and it provoked me enough to see him looking almost gawky in his self-forgetfulness, while Henry Kirtland poised himself elegantly upon the sofa, holding his hat like a prince of the blood, and sending forth a flow of rippling small talk that caused Net's eye to sparkle with merriment.  If she chanced to shyly look up at either of the, I (sitting nearly behind her in my corner) could readily tell at which one she was looking.  If at Henry, I knew it by a peculiar brightness in his glance, and a placid elevation of his eyebrows.  If at George, the stupid fellow looked instantly as red as a beet and as expressionless as a pumpkin.  I had no patience with him and I could not help thinking to myself, as I sat there knitting, that if he lost Netty altogether it was just his own fault.  Pretty soon Henry, after covertly consulting his watch, arose with a listless and at the same time reluctant air.  'Are you going?' asked Netty, with mock sorrowfulness.  'Indeed I must go,' responded Henry, in the same style, 'sorry to distress you, but' (with the air of intense security) 'I leave you in such good company that I doubt not your tears will soon be as mist.'  'Oh, oh!' interrupted Netty, laughing, 'almost a pun, I declare.  I really thought better than that of you, Mr. Kirtland.  But before you leave us do tell me one thing.  Is it true that you are going to the war? Some one at Mrs. Watkins's soiree told me that you had been drafted.'  'Not I, indeed! I believe this goodly town did do me the honor of drawing my poor name from one of its autocratic wheels, but I have already cancelled the obligation.   A better soldier than I would care to be in this fraternal brawl will do that share of my work for me, while I shall remain here attending to my own affairs, which he would be quite incompetent to manage.  Our social scheme, you see, balances all these things beautifully,' and Henry Kirtland, with a graceful bow which somehow included George and myself, thought he didn't look at either of us, took his departure without waiting to discuss the matter further.  A puzzled expression gleamed in Net's blue eyes as she bade him 'good evening,' and then turning toward George she said rather abstractedly, "I suppose I must congratulate you upon a better fortune, for I have not yet heard of your name being among those drawn.'  'You are right,' returned George, quietly. 'I have taken care that mine shall never be upon their lists.'  'Why,' exclaimed Netty, opening her eyes wider yet, 'have you really such a horror of being drafted?'  'I have indeed,' was the candid response.  Poor Netty! Those three words from George's lips evidently stung her far more than she would have confessed.  I saw that plainly enough, though I hardly raised my eyes from my knitting.  Meantime my own opinion of the young gentleman fell down nearly to zero.  'Oh, if I were but a man! burst almost unconsciously from Net's lips.  He looked at her inquiringly, while, strange to say, a pleased expression played about his face.  'And if?' he suggested.&nb sp; 'Why, I'd act like a man,' was the indignant rejoinder.  And if Netty had looked pretty an hour ago I am sure she was doubly beautiful now,with her flushed cheek and flashing eye, and her head, with its rich waves of golden hair, thrown proudly back.  Just then the door-bell rang, and in an instant two insipid specimens of 'Young America' were ushered into the room.  Thanking my lucky stars that my time for being attractive to their particular species had passed away, I busily plied my needles, weaving in with the coarse blue yarn many a tender, yearning thought of 'the brave soldier-boys' for whom I had been steadily knitting and working for months.  Presently George came to my quiet corner, and, seating himself beside me, talked so manfully and cheerfully of the war, of our duties, both men and women, and of the many things that he seemed instinctively to feel would interest a busy, happy old woman like me, that I quite forgot his paltry confession about the draft.  It may seem foolish in me to say so; but I have always notices that when a young gentleman can enjoy an hour's quiet talk with a woman neither young, beautiful, nor fascinating in any way, but simply hopeful and in earnest, there's sure to be something good and genuine in him.  He even told me of a lotion which his mother had used very successfully for her rheumatism (and, by-the-way, I mean to try it myself when I get time).  Then he hinted so gently that he thought I was making my sock a little too big (as if you could get a hospital thing too big!), and every thing just as natural and easy in his manner as if he'd been an old bachelor brother instead of the handsome youngster that he was.  It struck me that George wanted to outstay the other visitors; but they were so much delighted with with Netty of themselves (thought she looked weary enough of their chit-chat, poor girl) that he unwillingly took his departure late in the evening, leaving them still in possession of the field, or, rather, the sofa.  All the next day I had such a trouble with Netty.  It was almost impossible to get on with the child.  She was neither cross nor ill-natured (my darling was too sweet-tempered naturally for that); but she was so fitful, so feverish, and so inclined to sigh every five minutes, that when I found she couldn't be coaxed into taking a little magnesia, or going to bed and having warm bricks to her feet, I began to be really worried.  At last about four o'clock in the afternoon, as we sat working together, just as I had turned the heel of the last one of my half dozen pair, out came the real trouble.  'Did you ever see two such stupids, Aunty?'  Thinking, of course, that she alluded to last night's committee from 'Young America,' I replied, promptly: 'They certainly were very insipid, my dear. I wondered that you could endure them for an instant.'  'Ma'am!' ejaculated Netty, in real astonishment.  'Oh, if you mean George Holmes and Henry Kirtland,' I laughed, 'I'll retract.  I consider them both very fine young men, though George is my favorite.'  'He isn't my favorite,' said Netty, tossing her head.   'In times like these true men would never shrink from their duty.  They're cowards, both of them; but I must say Geo. Holmes's fear of being drafted is perfectly amusing.'  And she burst into tears by way of illustration.  She didn't intend that I should know it, but I saw the bright drops falling one by one upon her sewing.  'Don't think of them, dearie,' I said, soothingly. 'There are plenty of brave young fellows in the world, and better worthy my girl's thoughts.  Henry Kirtland, if I am not mistaken, is a---' 'So he is,' interrupted Netty, excitedly.  'I really am tired and sick of his nonsense; and last night his shameless avowal of unpatriotic sentiments made me fairly despise him.  He is agre eable and amusing enough; but I hate these agreeable men,' she added, biting off her thread with a shap, as though it were the 'one neck' of all mankind so longed for by that old tyrant in Plutarch's Lives.  'Then you must hate George Holmes too,' I said, as a sort of left-handed plea for my protégé; 'for he is certainly very agreeable at time.'  'I do hate him, and he isn't one bit agreeable,' pouted Netty, as she made a vigorous stitch, drawing her thread through with a jerk.  'He was a little gawky last night, I own,' was my amiable response; 'but---'  'Gawky!' cried Netty; 'well, if that isn't a strange charge to make against George Holmes.  I'm sure I never saw anything in the least way gawky about him.  It's his principles that I object to.'  'Ah, his principles!' I echoed, remembering his anti-draft notions;  'Yes, they're not what they ought to be, that's certain.'  'Why, Aunt Hester?' exclaimed Netty, laying her work upon her lap and looking me full in the face; 'what in the world has Mr. Holmes ever done to you that you should talk so dreadfully about him?'  In sheer despair of suiting the poor, distracted child, I explained  'Oh, it's only about not wanting to go to the war, my dear; in other respects I consider him to be one of the finest young men I ever knew.'  'Umph!' she answered; 'I don't see any thing particularly fine about him for my part. One thing is certain, he's a coward, though he professes to be such a stanch Union man.   I'll have nothing more to say to him;' and Net's sewing caught one tear after another, smothering their fall in its soft folds as though it pitied her.  I was just thinking what I should say next when the door-bell rang.  In an instant our new colored boy handed in a letter.  'For Miss Netty,' said he, looking no little curiosity around the room as he spoke, for it was all novel to him yet.---  'The man's a waitin' fur an answer.'  Netty read her letter. It contained something very important; I knew that by her manner.  Then she got out her little desk and sat writing for a few minutes.  Her lips were pale, and I could see that her hand trembled a good deal.  ---After the messenger had gone away with her reply, I took an old aunty's privilege and asked who her letter was from.  'From Henry Kirtland, Aunt Hester,' she replied, quite sobered down.  'He---he won't come here any more, I think.'  And this was all she ever said to me about it, though I knew very well that his letter contained an offer of marriage, and that she refused him.  It is a strange circumstance (but I am writing about just what happened), in less than an hour the bell rang again, and waiter-boy soon after bolted into the room with a quizzical,  'Here's anudder note for Miss Netty.'  'Is---is the person waiting?' stammered Netty, holding the still unopened letter in her hand.  'No marm.'  You may go, then.'  I wouldn't have been human if I hadn't looked up from my knitting a few times while the child was reading it---any how I couldn't help doing so.  At last after seeing her blush and start, and finally bury her face in her hands with a quick sob, I walked straight up to her and wound my arms about her neck.  'What is it dearie?' I whispered, kissing her.  She handed me the letter to read, and I held it up with one hand while with the other I stroked her soft beautiful hair.  Surely the men must have been possessed after my Netty that day.  This letter, too, contained an offer of marriage; but it was from George.  Oh! how beautifully he told the old, old story.   I can't remember half the letter contained, but I know it said that he had loved her a long time but had not been in a position to offer a fitting home; that he had at last gained, what for her sake he had steadily labored for---a competence; but he felt that he had no right to linger by her side now that his country was in danger, and that he had lately entered the army.  He had intended the night before to tell her about it, and all he felt, and so on.  In the evening he would call 'to learn his fate,' he said, and bid her farewell for a time, unless, indeed, she should banish him forever.  There was much more in it that I can't recall new, but I remember the letter made me fairly cry with joy; for Netty was the orphan child of my only sister, and the young man was one after my own heart.  Netty looked up at me when I had finished reading.  'You see,' she said, smiling brightly through her tears, 'we were mistaken about his courage after all.  God grant that mine may not falter.  It is right for him to go.  ''So it is,' I responded, heartily.  'We might have known, bless his hear! what he meant by saying that his name should never be upon the draft list.  Netty was looking dreamily before her, but with such a happy light in her eye that I thought it wasn't best to talk much, so I sat down again and narrowed off my toe.  I wasn't in the room that evening, so I cannot, of course, be expected to tell what happened.   only know that I am very busy now, for Netty and the Captain are to be married when he comes home on his first furlough, and there are lots of things to be made."

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Almost a Fire
"Mr. A. M. Haines' house on the Hill, caught fire around the chimney last Monday night and came near being burned to the ground.  Mr. Haines happened luckily to be at home, and extinguished the flames before much damage had been done."

The Weather
"All the adjectives given in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary which qualify the noun weather, might, with propriety, be brought into requisition in speaking of the weather of the last three days.  It has been, freezing, cold, cool temperate and warm; dark, cloudy, hazy, bright, clear and sunny; rainy snowy, drizzling and showery.  Not so with the going, which has all the time been muddy and sloppy.  Scarcely anybody has been in town from the country excepting those who were obliged to attend court.  But this damp weather is not with its advantages.  The frost is rapidly coming out of the ground and seed time is near at hand."   'Spring time's come gentle Annie.'

River News
"The River is gradually rising and active preparations are being made all along the river for starting out all the boats which are not already running.  The steamer James Means arrived at Galena early yesterday morning from St. Louis, and later in the day the Bill Henderson came into port.  Both boats discharged their freight and left yesterday.  The steamer Pearl left Dubuque yesterday for up the river, certainly as far as McGregor, there being no doubt that the river is open to the foot of the lake."

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Washington, March 27.

"Advice's from Richmond state that rebel plans have been formed for the reclamation of Tennessee and Kentucky to the rebels.  Jeff Davis believes Richmond to be almost impregnable and the great bulk of the rebel force will be concentrated at the West, when they intend recapturing Chattanooga, to reach the Ohio, and again close the Mississippi."