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SUNDAY
DECEMBER 14
, 1862
THE DAILY PICAYUNE (LA)

Length of Our Expenses.—It requires four millions per day to carry on our expenses. Four million dollar bills placed lengthwise will extend 441 miles. In fifty-four days they would extend round the globe. In one year they would form a belt of dollar bills, about twenty inches wide, which would extend round the entire globe of 24,000 miles. It would require a railroad train to run twelve hours per day and at a rate of thirty-six miles per hour, to keep up with the line of one dollar bills issued daily to meet the expenses of the war.—N. Y. World.

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POLITICAL PREACHERS.

In the economics of our social institutions each man finds or may find his appropriate place. If nature and education have endowed him with the requisite qualifications to assume the office of a public teacher, let him by all means discharge faithfully the duties of his elevated vocation. The obligations of fidelity are not less binding upon any member of the community in any humbler and narrower sphere. These reach alike, so far as the principles involved are concerned, the lowest menial and the most exalted minister of State. Duty flashes along the path in which each should trend, however obscure the one or shining and conspicuous the other. The merchant, the advocate, the judge, the physician, the artist, the mechanic—every worker in the great hive of human industry that occupies any niche in the great temple of human aspirations, that confers any benefit upon any other one, or receives any in return in the struggling and jostling ranks of society, has his appropriate part assigned him by the very adjustments of his position, and he cannot depart from it without injury to himself and without jarring more or less the basis upon which the whole superstructure and well-being of the State rests. If the judge assumes the advocate and acts the partisan, God help the victims of his oppression. If the physician plays the merchant, his patients lose by so much as his skill is lessened and his experience remains stationary. In the machinery of a community as civilization and natural demands have arranged it, a good degree of harmony is actually attained, and this is kept in order only by observing the laws of its existence. A cog out of place sends disorder and confusion through the whole. We do not mean to say that there are no differences in the amount of injury that may be sustained through the departure from the law of its normal existence and activity on the part of a profession. The very reverse of this is evidently the truth, because the functions of some professions affect comprehensively, and even vitally, great interests, and reach every class. They are the strong pillars and mighty sills and beams upon which the social edifice rests. If by some mishap or some sudden gust of passion, these are made to jostle and to come tumbling down with a crash, everything else is pulled down with them.

Among the elements of power in American society are the clergy. We say in American society because we wish to discuss matters that concern ourselves; but the clergy have exercised immense influence for good or evil in all lands, both in ancient and modern times. The fact cannot be disputed. Every page of history confirms it, and current events but add to the confirmation. We may not stop to inquire into the reasons of this. It is sufficient for our present purpose to know that the fact is as we state it. The priesthood [appears] to us panoplied with imposing assumptions and awful solemnities. It approaches us as the vice-regent of the Almighty. It demands our attention, that we receive and obey its messages. It professes to be robed in the splendors and to speak the dialect of heaven. It calls, therefore, upon the earth to hear! We do not exaggerate its pretensions or misrepresent its character. These were the lofty prerogatives assumed by the Apostles, and the mightiest empire known to ancient times, which opposed them with heathen rage and Neroic horrors, succumbed at last to their moral power. >

The modern clergy profess to be the successors of the Apostles, in a sense at least, and to speak to us therefore under the power of the same high sanction. Under these circumstances, what have we, the people, a right to demand and expect of them? What do the conditions they have imposed upon themselves require? Their commission, they tell us, is from the Most High. They are His ambassadors, and their business with us is spiritual. Is it not so? We receive them as men of peculiar holiness. We confide to them our secret anxieties, hopes and fears. Our minds become an open book before them, and frequently they write upon them what they please. The popular preacher is often the pivot around which his whole congregation revolves. He stands in the midst of it upon an elevated pedestal. To him his people look up. He becomes their oracle. He thinks for them, or at least they think as he does. He has their entire confidence, and whatever he says comes to them with a power and an authority wanting in another man. It is the attribute of his position, of his mission, his character, the prerogative of his office. We find no fault with this. We are perfectly willing he should enjoy the full power of his appropriate position. But here we have a right to demand that he shall stop. In things spiritual he is at home. It is our duty to listen to him with respect and to ponder what he says. It is his vocation. He has made it a life-long study. A blockhead he if he does not understand his business. But when he takes advantage of his sacred calling and character, when he descends from his high place to mingle in political squabbles, when he leaves his God and our souls for the purpose of engaging in a party triumph for the sake of the applause of the world—which he has renounced—why, then, he has not only lost alike our respect and our confidence, but we have a clear right to class him with other demagogues and to treat his spiritual assumptions as so many impositions. We then disrobe him. We treat his pretensions with contempt. If he has all along been acting the fair thing by his people, then he has not devoted his attention to politics; and yet he undertakes to enlighten them upon subjects beyond his province, and about which many of them know ten times as much as he does! Not content with appropriating heaven as especially his, he grasps the earth likewise, and leaves us no sphere at all in which we can act independently and free from his authority! Modest man! High-toned messenger from the skies!

The Hon. Joel Parker, formerly Chief Justice of New Hampshire, while alluding to political preachers on a late occasion, uses the following very plain language, which w heartily endorse:

“I need hardly say that I respect and reverence the clergyman who gives evidence that he duly appreciates the high and holy nature of his mission. And I do not deny to him the right, at the proper time and in the proper manner, of discussing important political principles. But when a clergyman assumes to know more of constitutional law than those who have spent their lives in the investigation of its principles, he is apt to exhibit himself as an unmitigated ass.”

We believe that clerical demagogues are responsible for much of the suffering that is now afflicting this unhappy country. This conviction, if we mistake not, has taken pretty firm hold of the public mind. The people ought to apply a remedy. Let the reverend recreants be stripped of their pretentious robes and take their proper places among the herd of ordinary politicians. Then their proper character will be understood at least. Unless the people will do this, and indignantly frown upon political preachers, they will deserve all the evils that never fail to flow from the meretricious union of Church and State and the spiritual bastards who “steal the livery of heaven” for ends of their own.

MONDAY
DECEMBER 15, 1862
THE DAILY RICHMOND ENQUIRER (VA)

FROM FREDERICKSBURG.
Special Correspondence of the Richmond Enquirer.

Camp Near Fredericksburg,
December 13, 1862.

We are here near the great line of battle, and will briefly recapitulate what we have seen and heard. The enemy attempted the passage of the Rappahannock by laying down their pontoons at 1 o’clock of Thursday morning. They were permitted to get their bridges half finished before our men fired upon them. About dawn, however, the 17th and 18th Mississippi, a part of Barksdale’s Brigade, opened fire upon them, killing and wounding a large number. These regiments were armed with Springfield rifles, and for a while drove the pontooners from their work. Then it was that the Yankees upon the town with shot, shell and grape, to the destruction of the houses and the terror of its panic-stricken and flying inhabitants, two-thirds of which were women, but doing little or no harm to the gallant band of Mississippians who were there to dispute their entrance. The firing upon the town was not responded to by our batteries. And then the magnificent spectacle was witnessed of the Yankees firing for four mortal hours upon the town of Fredericksburg with batteries placed close together over a space of nearly two miles, and ranged in three tiers. As a result of their fiendish work, the two squares on the North side of Main street, on which are situated the Virginia Bank and the Post Office were entirely destroyed—the enemy throwing what is called “liquid fire.” The sight is represented by those who witnessed it as one of surpassing yet terrible grandeur. The inhabitants who were caught under this fire had many hairbreadth escapes. In one instance a well-known servant man, named John Rollins, had his hat knocked off and his hair singed. In another instance twenty-seven shells went through a frame house in which were some eight persons without killing any of them. Some who sought shelter from the shells in their cellars were compelled to vacate because of the houses catching fire over their heads.

Your correspondent has been within a mile of the town, and has just conversed with a citizen from the extreme edge of the town, where the turnpike and telegraph roads fork. Our pickets extend to this point. The Yankees hold the town, and have their pickets out as far as the run which flows just behind the town.

In the town they are holding high carnival, breaking, destroying and plundering all that lies in their way. It is reported that they have sacked and burned the elegant dwelling of J. Warren Slaughter, before known as Hazel Hill, in the lower part of the town. All of the beautiful square in the lower end of the town near the wharf, recently built up on a part of the Hazel Hill tract, has been seriously injured. Our men burnt the Hazel Hill bridge on Thursday night.

[The] Yankees have as many as five pontoon bridges—three just opposite the town and two just below it. The gallant Mississippians under Barksdale kept back the pontooners for nearly 24 hours, notwithstanding their exposure during the entire time to shot and shell.

The firing began on the part of the enemy about 9½ this morning, and they have kept up the shelling very consistently ever since. At this hour, 1 p.m., the indications of a general engagement are multiplying. Our troops in every direction are hurrying forward to the field. The battle may commence this evening. Tomorrow, however, must certainly result in a general engagement. >

The fighting will evidently be on the right wing and in the vicinity of Hamilton’s Heights, where the shelling has been going on all day. The Yankees are making for the railroad. Burnside has a very heavy force. It is reported that the enemy have been three times repulsed this morning. Only our artillery thus far have been engaged.

Friday Evening.

The whole face of the country is enshrouded in a thick atmosphere of smoke, proceeding partly from the smoldering ruins in the city, partly from the cannonading to-day, and in part from the camp fires of the armies. The sun goes down through the thickening gloom “with disk like battle target red,” glaring fiercely for a moment, and then disappearing. The camp fires now gleam on every hill and hillside, and along the horizon flare up in broad sheets of pale light that indicate the presence of “ample forces.” Our men joke and laugh around their camp fires as they prepare for the morrow in careless confidence, for they know we have the men and the generals equal to the coming trial. Everybody expects the great battle will take place within the next twenty-four hours. Long trains of wagons are wending rearward, laden with baggage, surgical tents are being pitched, and ambulances ranged in convenient position, and the “decks” generally “cleared for action.”

Near Battle Ground at Hamilton’s Crossing,
December 14, 1862.

Since the close of my letter on yesterday the battle has been raging fiercely and furiously along a line of six miles, reckoning from a point just about Falmouth along the river as far down as Pratt’s. The ball opened on our left with artillery about 5½ a.m., and was carried on with heavy guns until about half past one, when the infantry first went into action on our right. Then it was that, for hours, the combat raged with an intensity at least equal to, if not greater, than anything that has occurred during the war.

Your correspondents were on the right, and of course can speak with more accuracy in regard to the fighting on that wing, than on the left. Jackson, sustained by A. P. Hill, bore the brunt of the battle, and nobly did they sustain themselves. The Yankees fought well, but were repeatedly forced back to the extent of one and a half miles. Our line of battle extended along the railroad track, whilst that of the enemy was formed on the country road running parallel with the river. Here they have the benefit, in case of being forced back, of the natural fortifications which the ditching, for the purpose of drainage on either side of the road, will give them. It may be asked why they were allowed this advantage? The answer must be that the enemy’s guns from the north side of the river commanded this position, and that the position chosen by our Generals was for defensive operations far superior, being all along on the rise of gentle slopes skirted by woods. The troops of the enemy on this wing were mostly old ones, Meade’s Pennsylvania Reserves and Stoneman’s corps, under the immediate command of General Reynolds. The prisoners captured by our men, some 250 in number, said that Burnside commanded on the field in person. The prisoners seemed by no means dissatisfied at being taken.

TUESDAY
DECEMBER 16
, 1862
THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

The Battle of Fredericksburg.
Gallant Fighting and Severe Losses.

The battle at Fredericksburg on Saturday was severe, but indecisive. Our troops made several attempts to drive the rebels from their entrenchments upon the first line of hills in the rear of the city, but were repulsed with great loss, probably much larger than that of the enemy, as they held strong positions and were well protected. We quote the account given by the Tribune’s correspondent of the fighting on Saturday:

In the council of war held on Friday evening, some of Burnside’s generals expressed doubts about carrying the enemy’s positions by assault, but were ready for any movement he should order. It was determined to assault the enemy’s position at daylight on Saturday, but a fog prevented until 11 o’clock, when the movement commenced. Orders were to  move from the streets of Fredericksburg next to the river to the outskirts of the town, forma  line of battle by brigades, and, preceded by a cloud of skirmishers, move at a double-quick upon the first line of the enemy’s works. Gen. French was necessarily obliged to march his troops in solid columns in parallel streets. As soon as the head of the columns had emerged from the lower into the higher portions of the streets, the enemy’s batteries opened upon them from several points. Upon reaching the outskirts of the town, the order was given to deploy, but stone and other fences prevented its ready execution. During the delay thus caused, the troops were exposed to an enfilading fire which taxed the endurance of the troops most severely. The line being formed at last, about noon the order to advance was given. The line moved up and over a low range of elevations and down towards the foot of the hills on which the enemy’s breastworks were situated. The rebel sharpshooters now opened from all sides with fearful effect. The vigor of the fire of the rebel artillery also steadily increased, ad when the line reached the foot of the second range of hills, a perfect hail of lead fell upon it. The advance, however, was continued until within a few hundred yards of the crest of the hills, when a rapid succession of terrific volleys from long lines of rebel infantry, suddenly rising in front of their works, checked it. From the position they had gained our troops now exchanged round after round with the enemy until their ammunition became exhausted, and the line fell back some distance, leaving nearly one-half of its number on the field, to make room for Gen. Hancock’s division.

Hancock’s division moved forward steadfastly up to the point where French’s had received its check, when it was also stopped by the murderous fire of the rebel infantry and artillery. For two hours it alternately replied to the enemy’s musketry, and attempted to make its way up the second range of hills. Although unable to advance, and continuously losing numbers, it fought until its ammunition gave out, when it was relieved by Howard’s division, and retired nearer to town.

General News Summary.

The Cincinnati Enquirer is very wormy because the chairmanship of all the important committees in Congress is given to New England men. It says “the abolition policy makes the 15,000,000 of people who live in the middle states and in the West a tail to the New England kite.” Just so. And if the kite had had a decent tail, it would have gone further and soared higher in schemes of progress.

Laborers are very scarce in Illinois and other parts of the West, and farmers cannot procure help even by the offer of extravagant wages. The cause is the large number of young men who have gone to the war, and who were mostly from the farming population.

While we are overrun in this country with shinplasters, and gold and silver have entirely disappeared from circulation, the people of Canada are sorely troubled at the excess silver change in all departments of trade. The Canadian banks refuse to take it on deposit, and dealers will not accept it except at a discount of two and a half to three per cent. The strange anomaly is therefore presented of a paper dollar on the south bank of the St. Lawrence at thirty-three per cent discount as compared with gold, while on the north bank the paper dollar is three per cent premium as compared with silver.

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A Deserted Town in War Time.—Rev. Mr. Woodworth of Amherst, chaplain of the 27th regiment, thus pictures a North Carolina town, deserted by its inhabitants on the approach of the federal troops lately:

“There is something indescribably strange and oppressive in marching into a large town, its houses and places of business all shut, its population all gone, and everything standing as if the owners had suddenly sunk into their graves. You go from house to house, perhaps the furniture has been partly removed, perhaps it is all there, but in that kind of confusion which indicates a hurried leave-taking. In one house I saw the breakfast dishes unwashed upon the table, the fragments of the morning meal still remaining as if waiting for the careful hand of the servant to gather them up and put things in order. But the sight that brought tears to my eyes, and to the eyes of others, was a play-room, at the head of the stairs, in that delightful confusion which indicates that the children had been called away in the midst of their play. There were the patch-work, the dolls in every stage of the toilet, the tiny bedsteads and cradles, and all the little mysteries by which the little ones mimic the life of the elders. It was such a picture of innocence of home, that warlike men stood as if enchanted before it, and tears started to eyes that had wandered calmly over the horrors of the battle field. Where are the pattering feet that made such music along these halls, the soft, dimpled hands that tended these dolls with such busy care? Has our coming made these young hearts sad, and fallen like a shadow and a blight upon their sunny life? Who can tell?”

WEDNESDAY
DECEMBER 17
, 1862
NEW HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & STATE GAZETTE

How Richmond was not Taken.

When Gen. McClellan went to Yorktown last spring, he had the promise of certain forces for the capture of Richmond. Upon his arrival before the rebel works at Yorktown he was informed by the Washington authorities that a large portion of those forces (McDowell’s corps and Franklin’s division, some 60,000) would not be allowed to join him; but afterwards, Franklin’s division was sent him; but McDowell’s 40,000 were sent to him in idleness at Fredericksburg. This interference with his plans and diminution of his forces not only prevented him from “bagging” the rebel army at Yorktown and thus securing the capture of Richmond, but caused all the terrible losses and sufferings of the subsequent campaign.

Afterwards, in May, when Gen. Porter’s corps marched to Hanover Court House, 20 miles north of Richmond towards Fredericksburg, if McDowell then had been permitted to join him there, Richmond would have been taken, and all the losses and sufferings of Pope’s retreat and the Maryland campaign would have been avoided.

These are now facts of history, substantiated as conclusively as such facts can ever be proved. Such is the testimony of Gen. McClellan recently given in a Court Martial at Washington in the case of Gen. McDowell.

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Another Grand Haul.—Our Government is very liberal in supplying the rebels with what they most need. We have furnished them with immense quantities of arms, ammunition, and every variety of supplies. To say nothing of the great amount left to them in Pope’s retreat and at Harper’s Ferry, they have since been generously permitted to help themselves to a liberal share of those things designed for our own troops. It has been stated by a letter written that in Sigel’s retreat towards Washington, soon after Gen. McClellan’s removal, to which we recently referred, supplies to the amount of a million of dollars were abandoned to the rebels. And now we have a dispatch from Washington which says: “It is regarded as certain at the ordnance bureau, that an advance train of 130 to 145 wagons, hence for the Rappahannock, has fallen into the hands of the rebels.” This seizure, consisting of ordnance stores so much needed by the rebels, was probably made by Jackson, whose forces have occupied the country between Washington and the Rappahannock ever since Burnside’s retreat to Fredericksburg. Why are they permitted to do so is a mystery to ordinary minds. The Providence Post, remarking upon this matter, says: “At this moment we have in front of Washington, and outside of the fortifications, which are well manned, an army of twenty thousand men under Sigel, and an army of about one hundred thousand, under Casey. The last named have never smelt gunpowder. They have gone into winter quarters within ten or fifteen miles of the Potomac, and will take no part in any offensive movement. Stanton gets frightened the moment any one hints that they ought to be doing something, and insists that Washington is in greater danger than it was ever in before. While they lie here in idleness, Stonewall Jackson scours the country beyond them, and captures every wagon train or train of cars that comes within his reach. Why is he not driven off? Why are no raids made upon his trains, or camps, or scattered regiments? His whole force probably does not reach forty thousand men, while we have, in front of Washington, under Casey, Sigel and Heintzelman, at least two hundred thousand. Yet we hug Washington as closely as a sick cat hugs the fire-place, while Stonewall Jackson is monarch of all he surveys, from Fairfax Station to the Rappahannock”

The Next Decapitation.—A wounded officer of one of our regiments, who went through the Peninsula campaign and fought bravely in many of its fiercest conflicts, asks us to re-publish the following from the N. Y. World:

The guillotine already begins to creak for another gallant victim. When Gen. Burnside was compelled to assume the command of the Army of the Potomac, we ventured to predict that the political campaigners who have for the present taken command of our destinies, would not hesitate to sacrifice him in his turn to their partisan purposes.

A letter from Washington now brings us the following confirmation of our anticipations:

“Gen. Halleck urged a prompt advance, and in reply to some difficulties that Burnside urged as to an immediate and rapid advance, Gen. H. said there was a political necessity for it. Gen. B. immediately interrupted him, and said he did not take command of the army with the view of having its movements governed by political necessity; that he had not solicited the command, nor expected it; and that if its operations were to be conducted on that basis, he must request some one else should be appointed, and he would cheerfully serve under him; but that while it was under his command its movements would be directed solely under military, and not political, movements.”

Simultaneously with this intimation, we find the Republican organs in Washington exclaiming:

“We go for changes till we get the right man, if it has to be done every month.”

Who the “right man” thus designated is to be, the public, perhaps, will have no great difficulty in deciding. He will certainly be a commander whose views of his duty will exactly contrast with those of the brave and patriotic Burnside; a General who will direct the movements of the army “solely under political and not military motives.” Meanwhile, the veins of the people are opened; the hearts of the loyal grow sick, and beyond the Blue Ridge the grasp of the Southern soldier grows firmer upon his sword, and the eye of the Southern leader brightens to see the great army of the Union tossed from hand to hand like a gambler’s dice.

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What the People Think.—Dr. Olds of Ohio was arrested at midnight some four or five months ago, and hurried off to Washington and incarcerated in the Government Bastille there. No charges were preferred, so cause assigned, no trial granted; and there he remained for four long months. In the meantime an election took place in his district for a member of the Legislature, and Dr. Olds was chosen by 2500 majority! People of all parties united in this withering rebuke of the administration, as they will do everywhere if its policy is not changed.

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The Privateer Alabama.—The rebel privateer Alabama is still engaged in depredations upon our commerce. On the 20th of November she captured and destroyed the ship Levi Starbreck of New Bedford, bound for the Pacific on a whaling voyage, only five days out from New Bedford; and on the 8th of November she captured and destroyed the ship T. B. Wales of Boston from Calcutta, with a cargo valued at $200,000. The Alabama then proceeded to Martinique and landed the crews of the captured ships. While she was at that port, the U.S. ship San Jacinto, which was in pursuit of her, arrived there and took position outside the harbor to await the departure of the Alabama; and the next day the Alabama sailed out and escaped! The Alabama has captured 23 ships thus far, and is likely to take as many more before she gets “nabbed.”

THURSDAY
DECEMBER 18,
1862
THE ST. ALBANS DAILY MESSENGER (VT)

Latest from Fredericksburg.
EVACUATION OF THE CITY.
the movement made without loss.

Headquarters, Falmouth, Dec. 16.

During last night the army of the Potomac evacuated their position on the opposite side of the river. The movement was a perilous one, but it was conducted in safety. The artillery was the first to cross the river. The last of the infantry brought up the rear shortly after daylight.

The enemy never discovered the movement until it was too late to do us any harm.

As soon as the last man had got safely across the river the pontoon bridges were removed, thus cutting off communication between the two shores.

Our wounded are all safe, and on this side of the river.

There was a heavy wind all last night, accompanied with considerable rain, which assisted us in our movements, as it prevented the rebels from learning our intentions.

Washington, Dec. 16.

The following, dated Falmouth at 8:45 this morning: “It is raining very fast and the river is rising rapidly. Our troops are all on this side of the river. The pontoons are taken up.”

The Herald states that the whole number of killed, wounded and missing in Franklin’s division is 5,932.

Gen. Burnside was reinforced in the course of the day by Gen. Sigel’s corps.

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Portable Mills.—The Government proposes to employ portable mills for grinding wheat and corn on the march southward. Models and samples are invited. Weight to be not over 25 pounds, grinding surface of Burr stone; must grind 500 pounds an hour, and be made in two equal parts, so as to be carried by two men. We hope this proposal will bring out the right thing for ordinary family use. It would be quite a convenience to be able to grind out a little corn meal for a fresh cake when one is wanted, without the necessity of posting over to the mill.

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John S. Rarey, the horse tamer, has been sent to the army of the Potomac by Gen. Halleck, to enquire into the sanitary condition of its horses and to suggest some system to check the mortality rate among them.

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The Indians in Minnesota.—At a public meeting in New Ulm, Minnesota a few days ago, a resolution was adopted threatening a war of extermination upon the Sioux Indians if the government re-establish them upon their old reservation in Minnesota. They declare that they will not spare “either man, woman or child of that infernal tribe, until Minnesota is either clear from every Indian or reduced to an Indian territory.” The outrages perpetrated by these Indians have excited the people to desperation.

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A Congressional Joke.—In the House of Representative on Monday, Mr. Morris of Ohio, offered resolutions, which were adopted amid laughter, instructing the Committee on Ways and Means to inquire into the expediency of amending the tax law so as to require every member of Congress offering a resolution to affix a ten cent stamp.

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Confederate bonds have been sold at Washington lately, in considerable quantities, for fifty cents on the dollar. Do the brokers begin to credit the peace rumors and think we are going to assume the rebel debt?

Bogus Passes.—A sharper was detected at one of the hotels in Washington last week attempting to palm off a bogus pass to cross the river to Alexandria upon a Vermont farmer who desired to visit his son in one of the Vermont regiments. The scamp asked eight dollars for his worthless “pass,” but a bystander advised the farmer not to buy, and, some policemen being at hand, the rogue was arrested, when, from some papers found on his person, it was discovered that he had been doing quite a business with sham passes.

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Rebel Barbarities.—A correspondent of the Boston Journal writing from Falmouth, Va., says:

When Capt. Dahlgren made his dash into Fredericksburg a few days ago, one of his wounded soldiers was left behind. I am informed by the citizens of Falmouth that the greatest indignities possible were meted out to him. He was stripped by the soldiers of his clothes. The boys were allowed to kick him and pelt him with stones, and the women [to] spit in his face! Recollect that my authority is not a Yankee, but a citizen residing here. It seems that the people of the South are becoming savages. What a record!

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Admission of Western Virginia.—On Wednesday the bill for admission of Western Virginia, which had previously passed the Senate, passed the House by a vote of ninety-six to fifty0five. There were only two democrats among the yeas, Haight and Lehmon, while a few of the Republicans and Union men—Ashley, Roscoe, Conkling, Conway, Delano, Diven, Gooch, Rice, Thomas, Train, &c., voted against admission. Blair and Brown of Virginia, Casey of Kentucky, Fisher of Delaware, Maynard of Tennessee and Noel of Missouri, voted in the affirmative. The bill provides for the gradual abolition of slavery.

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Fredericksburg, the position of so much interest just now, is a small place of about 4000 inhabitants in 1850, on the south bank of the Rappahannock, and in Spotsylvania County, Va. It is at the head of tide water navigation and has been a place of considerable trade. Before the rebellion it contained five churches, one orphan asylum, two seminaries, four newspaper offices and two banks. The hills in the neighborhood of Fredericksburg vary in height from forty to one hundred feet. Falmouth is a little village of about 500 inhabitants on the other side of the Rappahannock opposite Fredericksburg.

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The king of the Sandwich Islands is engaged in translating the Episcopal Prayer Book into the native tongue, and the work will be printed as soon as it is completed. His knowledge of both languages is said to be equal to that of any foreigner.

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From the Southern Papers.

The Lynchburg, Va., Daily Republican of Dec. 11th, says: Gov. Vance of North Carolina has issued a proclamation forbidding, for the space of thirty days, the transportation from the State [of] the following articles: Salt, bacon, pork, bacon, cornmeal, flour, potatoes, shoes, leather, hides, cotton cloth, yarn and woolen cloth.

 

FRIDAY
DECEMBER 19
, 1862
THE LIBERATOR (MA)

Views of an Intelligent Negro.

Samuel Wilkeson, Esq., of the New York Tribune, in a letter from the Peninsula, relates the following remarkable conversation held with an intelligent Negro on the subject of the slave policy of the Government:

I have talked with many intelligent men of color on this subject. The superior man of all is known as “Tom.” I one day drew him out of his guarded silence in this theme by saying, “I am surprised, Tom, that the Negroes in this Peninsula don’t fight for us.”

“I reckon you ain’t, Mr. W; you know too much.”

“Why don’t they fight for us, Tom?”

“They expected to, sir, and all the colored men, from here to Texas, expected to.”

“Why didn’t they?”

“You know as well as I. We were driven from your lines and camps, and pretty plainly told that you didn’t want anything to do with us, that you meant to carry on the war, and leave us in slavery at the end of the war. So we left you to carry on the war as you could, and a pretty poor fist you are making of it, too, Mr. W.,” said Tom, warming into earnestness. “The North can’t conquer the South without the help of the slaves. We men of color, who have communication with each other through all the States, (the leading men, I mean,) know that. We know, too, that if eh war lasts, one party or the other party will give us our freedom.”

“What is that you say—the slaveholders free their slaves?”

“They certainly will do it, if they can’t whip you otherwise. You may depend on that. My friends in the South all tell me so. Our position, Mr. W., is like that of the San Domingo blacks. They put their ad in the market between the white and mulattoes—put it for sale. The price was their freedom. We mean to sell ourselves for freedom—we hope to you Northern men. If your politicians and Generals kick us away, we will try to make our market with the rebels. But you had better bargain with us—had better free us, and arm us. How long would this war last, if we were freed by act of Congress and the President’s Proclamation—both of them ratified in General Orders by the Commanders of all the Union armies in the South? Why, the rebel armies would melt away in a week. Every officer and every private who had any interest of any kind in a plantation, or village even, would run home to protect it against imagined injury. Consider us armed; there’s no use talking, Mr. W. The revolution at the South is accomplished, and the Union is saved; and you can’t save it without the social revolution. And, mark my words, Mr. W., the attempt to save it without doing us justice will end in your own political slavery, and your ruin, and in this England will be the principal agent.

“There are colored men in Washington who know the value of the dinner-table talk of great men, and Jeff Davis, and Keitt, and Floyd, have always made much of the jealousy in England of the manufactures of your North. You have got to have us, Mr. W. Our climate will kill your troops, save in December, January, February and March. The South is a wilderness. You are ignorant of it, and can be ambushed every day. And it is so big that, if with half a million men you overrun it, it would take a million men to occupy it. And then, what sort of Union will you have saved, in which the people of the thirteen States refuse to take political action, and have but to raise their fingers to their slaves to set them loose upon you, and drive you northward? You had better take us, Mr. W.  >

Indeed, you have got to take us. For if you wish to back out of this war, you won’t be permitted to do it. You have got to conquer of be conquered. I know the slaveholders. They went into this war for power; and if you don’t whip them in Virginia and South Carolina, they will whip you in Pennsylvania and New York, and then reconstruct the Union, with themselves at the top and you at the bottom. You white men of the North will go into slavery, unless you take us black men of the South out of slavery; and Mr. W., you have not a great deal of time left in which to decide what you will do!

Tom speaks the sentiments of his race. Statesmen and soldiers will heed them. –S. W.

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Selling Indian Children.—The Alta California of the 5th of October says: “Mr. August Hess, who has returned to this city from a prospecting tour through the lower part of Lake county, informs us that he saw a number of men driving Indian children before them to sell in Napa, Solano, Yolo, and other counties of the Sacramento basin. In one instance, he saw two men driving nine children; in another, two men with four children; in another, one man with two girls, one of them apparently about fourteen years of age.

The age of these children varies from six to fifteen years. Rumor says that about one hundred children have been taken through Lake county this summer for sale. They do not follow the main road, but usually take by-paths. Rumor says, further, that hunters catch them in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, after killing their parents. If the children try to escape, and are likely to succeed, the hunters shoot them. One boy, in Berreyesa Valley, left a farmer to whom he had been sold and went to another farmer; the purchaser took the boy, and swore he would hang him if he ran away again.

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Citizenship of Persons of African Descent.— Attorney-General Bates is preparing, and has nearly completed, a most important and elaborate opinion affirming the citizenship of persons of African descent under the Constitution and laws of the United States, the Dred Scott decision to the contrary notwithstanding. The question, to which this opinion is to be the answer, arose out of an application by a Negro, as master of a vessel, for a clearance, which was referred to the Attorney-General by the Secretary of the Treasury. It is also said that the same general question was raised by the Secretary of State in referring an application for a passport by a Negro to the Attorney-General.

SATURDAY
DECEMBER 20, 1862

THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

Friendly Sentiments of Russia.—Among the published diplomatic correspondence is a letter from Bayard Taylor, charge d’affaires at St. Petersburg, giving an account of an interview with Prince Gortschakoff, Russian minister of foreign affairs, on the 20th of October. The prince expressed throughout he most friendly interest in our success against the rebellion. Mr. Taylor writes:

“You know the sentiments of Russia,” the prince explained with great earnestness. “We desire, above all things, the maintenance of the American Union as one indivisible nation. We cannot take any part more than we have done. We have no hostility to the southern people. Russia has declared her position and will maintain it.  There will be proposals for intervention. We believe that intervention could do no good at present. Proposals will be made to Russia to join in some plan of interference. She will refuse any intervention of the kind. Russia will occupy the same ground as at the beginning of the struggle. You may rely upon it. She will not change. But we entreat you to settle the difficulty. I cannot express to you how profound are the anxieties we feel, how serious are our fears.” We were standing face to face during the conversation, and the earnest, impassioned manner of the prince impressed me with the fact that he was speaking from his heart. At the close of the interview, he seized my hand, gave it a short pressure, and exclaimed, “God bless you!”

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The Reconstruction Puzzle.—The true way to settle the question as to how the South shall be got back into the Union is to destroy the rebel armies. When the rebellion is “crushed out,” the theoretical difficulties of the problem will disappear. But the theoretical difficulties have very little reality to them. They are chiefly got up by those ingenious amateurs in state craft who think in some way to circumvent the stubborn facts of the situation, and get rid of the hard necessity of fighting down the rebellion. There are some points in the case that should be reasonably clear to honest common sense. The territorial lines, the constitutions and laws of the states in rebellion still exist. South Carolina is a state, and her state officers elected legally are her rightful state authorities. The act of secession is null and void, and all the acts connected with it—if we can make it so by success in the war; and if the governor and other state officers have committed treason against the United States they are liable to arrest and punishment for that crime—when we can catch them. If the entire local government skedaddles when our armies occupy the state, a military government is the natural and proper thing till a legitimate state government is in some way re-established. That is really the whole problem, and the difficulties of its solution will disappear with the rebel armies. South Carolina has neither destroyed her own constitution nor that of the United States by declaring herself out of the Union. The South Carolinians legitimately entitled to hanging must be hung, unless we choose to pardon them on promise of better behavior. For the rest, whip out the rebel armies, and leave reconstruction to take care of itself.

Ten Secessionists Taken Prisoner by a Woman.—Capt. Bright, of the Kentucky 23d, vouches for the truth of this good story:

“During the retreat of the army of Kirby Smith from Cumberland Gap, the regiment to which he belonged was in the van of the army. One morning, when the regiment was about twenty-six miles east of the Wild Cat mountains, they were surprised to see a file of ten men, all of them secesh, marching toward their lines, and woman marching in their rear with a musket in her hands; on their coming within the federal lines, she coolly gave them up to the officer commanding as prisoners. In accounting for their captures, she said that her husband had joined a military company in the federal service, and had left her alone to take care of the house, which lay between the two armies. Eleven secessionists had come into the house that morning, first killing all her chickens, and setting them to roast by the fire. They then proceeded to dispose of the things around the house, taking up the carpets and constructing horse blankets out of them. They next perpetrated other atrocities of a destructive and objectionable character, which had the effect of making the lady of the house ‘furiously wild,’ as the captain expresses it, and she determined that such outrageous conduct should not go unpunished. She accordingly carried away their muskets to a place of safety, reserving two for her own use, and then going to the room in which they were regaling themselves on her defunct chickens, she informed them that they were her prisoners. One of them jumped up to seize her, when she levelled her gun at him and fired, causing him to bite the dust, which lay thickly strewed on the carpetless floor. Throwing away the now useless gun, she took the other in her hand and ordered the remaining ten to march toward the Union camp, threatening to shoot the first who attempted to run away. Having a wholesome fear of sharing a similar fate to that of their companion, they went quietly along, and were accordingly handed over to the military authorities. On being laughed at for being taken prisoners by a woman, they said they had been wanting to get captured for some time past, and were heartily sick of the war, and did not care how they got out of it.”

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General News Summary.

The cotton seed sent by a gentleman of Boston to Honolulu was planted, and has brought forth a good many fold. A bale of cotton was raised on one of the small islands in the vicinity.

Some papers are advocating a repeal of the import duty of 35 per cent on foreign paper. They seem to lose sight of the fact that rags and material of which paper are made are now admitted free of duty, and if this does not ease the paper market it cannot be expected the admitting of foreign paper free of duty would do it. It is surely better to import the material and stimulate our own manufacturers than it would be to import the manufactured articles.

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