One of the saddest things in the papers was the lists of tax sales of property in town and out in the county. The papers contained one whole page advertising tax sales from 1861. Taxes and penalties were required to purchase the properties.
Despite the mild weather and rain in late December, a blizzard hit Indiana mid-month. The New Albany train took 3 days to get to Lafayette due to the 1’to 2’ snow throughout the state. Oddly enough, New England had no snow, nor had it through much of the winter.
Store ads emphasized merchandise purchased before the war tax was levied on goods. Items purchased by dealers after August had a war tax levied on them, which was passed on to the customer. Carnahans’ advertised a large inventory purchased in the summer of 1862 and therefore not subject to the tax.
Gov. Morton called for female nurses to tend wounded soldiers being brought to Indiana from both sides. Such a request freed up nurses, usually male, to go to the battle sites. At the same time, here in Lafayette, a rebel prison hospital downtown was eliminating female nurses. It was believed that they had been part of an escape. The theory was that they felt sorry for the boys so far from home.
The city council reviewed some of the year end reports. The fire brigades reported a total of 14 fire runs in 1862. Most of the runs prevented serious damage.
The paper noted a marked decrease in January 8 parties. Popular since the end of the War of 1812, parties celebrating the Battle of New Orleans had seen a decrease in the 1860’s. Factors could have been the economy or a decrease of people who remembered that war. Fighting for the city between Union and Secessionists forces for several months might have been the biggest factor.
Soldier’s families were relieved that Congress finally passed a bill to actually pay Union troops.