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SUNDAY
APRIL 12
, 1863
THE DAILY PICAYUNE (LA)

Anti-Blockade Rumor.–“Personne,” the racy war correspondent of the Charleston Courier, writing from Savannah on the 14th ult., in discussing the probable duration of the war, incidentally gives the following:

Again, it has been stated that Mercier, the French Minister at Washington, has expressed the following that the blockade would be opened before the first of May. Be that as it may; I attach no credit to the remark. We have been deceived too often by [announcements] of this nature. But there is a singular fact which coincides with the observation worthy of notice.

If I have been correctly informed, a certain law firm in Charleston has recently drawn up a contract with certain French agents for the delivery of several millions of dollars’ worth of cotton, rice and tobacco. The first installment is to be paid, or the first delivery made, I am not certain which, within a few weeks. How? If officially, the riddle is solved. Otherwise the transaction politically amounts to nothing. A considerable quantity of Sea Island cotton, such as is mostly used in the manufacture of French fabrics, has already been bought by parties in your market, whose character favors the idea that the purchase has been made for that Government.

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France and Mexico.–Those who imagined that the Emperor wearied of the expedition and was about to withdraw from Mexico, are doomed to disappointment. By our latest foreign advice (March 14th) we hear that preparations for carrying on the war with renewed energy are being made. Gen. Forey has received imperative orders to march on Puebla without seeking or making any more excuses, and the Minister of Marine has just concluded a contract in South America for the purchase of 2000 more mules for the French troops in Mexico.

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A Polite Lieutenant Misappreciated.–A Camp Bliss ( Mo.) correspondent of the St. Louis Democrat relates the following amusing incident:

Quite an amusing incident happened to a lieutenant of the division a few days ago. The said lieutenant is well educated and of immense politeness, especially to ladies; and in his present banished situation, not having many opportunities of paying his devoirs to the fair sex, is, of course, the more attentive when an opportunity does occur.

This much by way of preface, now to the story:

An officer stopped at a house where the lieutenant referred to had taken dinner the day before, and the lady of the house inquired if he knew Lieutenant T.

“Yes, madam; why do you ask?”

“What kind of man is he?” asked the woman.

“One of the politest men in the army, madam–a perfect gentleman,” was the answer.

“Well, I think he puts on a heap of style.”

“Madam, I am surprised to hear that you don’t like Lieutenant T.; he is very popular with the ladies–a general favorite, in fact.”

“Well, I don’t like the way he talked to me.”

“There must be a mistake somewhere, madam, what did he say?”

“Why, I believe he tried to blackguard me.”

“Impossible! Madam, I can’t believe for a moment that Lieutenant T. would do anything of that kind; he is the pink of politeness.”

“I don’t care if he is; he tried to blackguard me.”

“What did he say?”

Here a pert miss of sixteen, mostly feet and ankles, put in:

“Maw, tell him what the man said; I don’t b’lieve he was tryin’ to blackguard, but usn’s sich a fool.”

“Well, if I must tell, after goin’ over all the big words he could think of, he asked me, what was the State of my nativity? And if that ain’t blackguardin’, I don’t know it when I hear it.”

It will be a long time before the lieutenant forgets the state of his nativity.

Washington City.–The Washington correspondent of the New York Herald, under date of 19th ult., says:

A reign of terror exists in Washington. Murders, assaults, garroting and robberies are of daily occurrence. Yesterday Gen. Buford had his pocket picked of nineteen hundred dollars while in an oyster saloon, the thief escaping with his booty. Early this morning Lieut. Graham, of the 2d Vermont cavalry, was found in his bed in a hotel with his throat cut. Before a physician could be procured, he expired. It is thought he was murdered.

In consequence of the insufficiency of the police force, and the consequent insecurity of the streets, those who are obliged to be out after dark go armed. A lady was badly wounded by the accidental discharge of a pistol dropped in a public saloon last night. Unless some immediate steps are taken by the authorities to put a stop to this state of affairs, the citizens will, in self defense, take the matter up. A vigilance committee is already talked of.

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New York Harbor Defences.–Several special committees appointed for the purpose, inspected the New York harbor defences on the 26th ult. The condition of the fortifications visited is thus stated by the New York Commercial:

The new fortification now being erected at Sandy Hook was first examined. The work is exceedingly massive, the walls being formed of granite six and eight feet in thickness. The embrasures are faced with wrought iron, and arranged in such a manner as to render it impossible for a shot or the fragments of a shell to pass into the fort. A large number of 8 and 10 inch columbiads have recently been mounted here and manned by a company of United States soldiers. It is thought that within a year, with sufficient means and men, this fort could be rendered exceedingly efficient.

The works on Staten Island are very formidable. There will be 315 guns, distributed as follows: Fort Richmond, 146; Fort Tomkins, 90; redoubt of Fort Tomkins, 26; Battery Hudson, 50; Battery Morton, 9. During the past year these batteries have been completed, and Fort Richmond needs but little more work to finish it. All of these defences are garrisoned, and everything was found by the company in excellent order. Fort Hamilton mounts 45 heavy guns, and 73 of smaller size, besides a field battery on the terrace in front of the fort opposite the main entrance. The redoubt mounts 26 guns, some of which are now mounted.

Fort Lafayette mounts 2o guns; Fort Gibson mounts 15 guns, 12 of which are heavy. Fort Wood, located on Bedloe’s Island, mounts 77 guns of heavy calibre; Fort Columbus, on Governor’s Island, mounts 105 guns, 87 of which are of heavy calibre; Castle William mounts 78 guns, large and small; South Battery mounts 13 guns, and guards the narrow channel between the Southern extremity of the island and Brooklyn.

MONDAY
APRIL 13, 1863
THE DAILY RICHMOND EXAMINER (VA)

THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG.
The Enemy Baffled in All His Attempts.

A dispatch from Helena, the 3d instant, says that Quimby’s expedition had been heard from, and it is stated that no progress had been made in the reduction of Fort Greenwood.

“Our forces were still in front of the enemy, and there had been considerable skirmishing between the pickets on the shore.”

“The rebels were improving the time by greatly increasing the strength of their works. They have received and mounted more heavy guns, and are well supplied with ammunition.

“It is the opinion of the well informed officers that our gunboats will not succeed in taking the place.

“The country along the Tallahatchie is occupied by two regiments of rebel cavalry and swarms with guerrillas.”

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The Latest from Vicksburg.

Cincinnati, April 9.–A formidable battery is about completed behind the extreme point of the levee opposite Vicksburg. It has been wholly constructed by night, and will mount the heaviest Parrott guns, and have range of the entire city.

All reports of the attack on Haines’ Bluff are pure fabrications. Captain Osband has just returned from the vicinity of Greenville with 3,000 bales of cotton, 1,000 head of cattle, and 100 mules.

St. Louis, April 9.–The Democrat’s special dispatch from Young’s Point says that several transports laden with troops, and General Ellet’s marine brigade, with one iron-clad, started upstream this morning.

There is no prospect for active operations before Vicksburg for some time.

The new canal being cut three miles above here will be eight miles long and empty into the Mississippi below Warrenton. Three dredges and the African brigade are hard at work day and night. Farragut still holds the river between Vicksburg and Port Hudson.

Telegraphic News.

Jackson, April 10.–Fifty-three Yankee gun-boats have gone up the Coldwater. A three-gun iron-clad was abandoned and destroyed by the Yankees at the mouth of the Amite.

Jackson, April 11.–The enemy in Black Bayou are retreating towards the river, laying waste the whole country.

A special to the Appeal from Senatobia says: “Thirty boats and twelve gunboats have gone up from Memphis to operate on the Cumberland. Heavy shipments are being made on the Mobile and Ohio railroad. The Corinth merchants are shipping their goods North, and the sutlers are selling their wagons. A great strategic movement is afoot.”

Mobile, April 11.–An officer from the British ship of war off the bar last night reports the capture of the city of Mexico by the French.

The papers of Nashville acknowledge the sinking of transports and the disabling of gunboats by our artillery.

Farragut is again blockading Red River.

Chattanooga, April 10.–Nothing additional from the front today. Parties through the lines report that Confederate prisoners were liberated from their guard by the citizens of Mount Sterling, Indiana.

Charleston, April 10.–No change in the position of affairs. All quiet.

The reader will perceive in the summary of intelligence from the United States that the story of the chaufferie of the criminal population of this city, commonly known as the riot, was carried North by the paroled prisoners who went off the next day, with every exaggeration and addition which their malice and invention could suggest.1 This fact is of no real consequence, however disagreeable it may be to those weak persons who are rendered unhappy by “what people will say!” It is of little importance what enemies say to our disadvantage so long as it is a falsehood. We know the truth ourselves, and the country is able to abide it.

At the same time it is impossible not to entertain a sentiment of fresh indignation against the wretches who have taken advantage of their country’s embarrassed situation to bring this scandal upon it. They are now in the hands of the law. It would be improper to prejudge the evidence. But while we shall carefully refrain from doing so, it is perfectly legitimate to express the hope, if the evidence supports the accusation on which they are imprisoned, that the heaviest penalties of the law will be enforced without distinction, and without false mercy, on every one of them.

Those who have examined the sketches of these examinations before the Mayor will have seen that so far from being in starvation, the males and females engaged in this villainy were rioters because of their riotous living; children of Belial, “flown with insolence and wine;” that many of them were not only above want, but possessed of ample means to engage, by large fees, the carrion crows of the bar to claw them from the clutch of justice. Indeed, some of the accused have been able to produce certificates of high character, &c., elsewhere. Let us hope that the judges and juries by whom they must be tried will fix their eyes only on the law and the testimony to their acts in the streets of Richmond on the day of its disturbance. What the courts have to decide is the credibility of the witnesses, the nature of the acts which they witnessed, and the penalty, if any, affixed by the law of the land to those acts.

If they have been guilty of crimes, their punishment must follow, or this community and the whole country will suffer for the crime of their impunity. Their offense is new in the Southern States, and could not have been committed here at all but for the general disorder attendant on a war. Hence the community is not yet fully certain as to the proper means of dealing with it. But it is a common crime in other countries; and experience has proven that there are two ways of repressing it. One if to seize the first opportunity to punish the criminals in the act, by an unhesitating application of the public force. The other is to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice in all its severity, without the least indulgence or distinction, so that the example may deter others. In Richmond the first method was not chosen. But the second means of repression is still within reach. It is highly important to the public safety that it should be sternly employed.

 

TUESDAY
APRIL 14,
1863
THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

The Assault Upon Fort Sumter.
Further Particulars.

The affair off Charleston is looked upon at Washington as a repulse, but not a disaster. It is believed the fleet will hold the position it occupies within the bar, and renew the attack until Sumter and the side batteries are silenced, and some means is found for removing the obstructions in the channel so that the fleet can pass up to attack the city. The substantial invulnerability of the Ericsson monitors is considered established. They were exposed for hours to the concentrated fire of the strongest batteries of English Whitworth and Blakely guns, and were not damaged in any serious degree. The Keokuk’s armor was thin, and she was considered the weakest of the iron-clads, and her sides were five feet above the surface of the water, while the monitors exposed as many inches, and the Keokuk ventured nearer Fort Sumter than any other vessel of the fleet. From the various newspaper correspondence we glean a few additional particulars of the affair:

The Plan of Attack.

The official order was to pass the batteries on Morris island without returning their fire, and pass inside of Fort Sumter, and devote themselves to bombarding Fort Sumter at a distance of from six to eight hundred yards. The line of battle was formed in the following order: The Weehawken, Capt. J. Rodgers; the Passaic, Capt. Percival Drayton; the Montauk, Commander J. L. Worden; the Patapsco, Commander D. Ammon; the Ironsides, Commander T. Turner, Com. Dupont’s flagship; the Catskill, Commander G. W. Rodgers; the Nantucket, Commander D. McN. Fairfax; the Nahant, Commander J. Downs; the Keokuk, Commander A. C. Rhind. A squadron of reserve, consisting of the Canandaigua, Housatonic, Huron, Unadilla, and Wissahickon, was to form outside of the bar prepared to come, if necessary, to the support of the ironclads.

The Engagement.

At 2 o’clock the head of the line was in motion, the rest following. The batteries on Morris Island did not open fire on the fleet at all, and the enemy made no fire until the fleet had reached a position between Forts Sumter and Moultrie, when a terrific broadside came from the barbette guns of Sumter. At the same time the batteries on Cumming’s Point and Sullivan’s Island opened, and the iron ships were exposed to a concentric fire from five different points, unparalleled in the history of warfare. The fleet found it impossible to pass up beyond Fort Sumter and assume to appointed place, owing to obstructions which extended across the entire channel from Sumter to Moultrie, while above these, near the middle ground, were three other rows of piles, and above these three rebel iron-clads. The fleet was thus compelled to sustain this terrific fire, and nobly it did so, for thirty minutes. During that time not less than thirty-five hundred shots were fired by the enemy, one hundred and sixty being counted in a single minute. At the end of this time five of the nine iron clads were found to be more or less disabled, and at 4 o’clock the flagship signaled to retire.

The iron clads received each from twenty to ninety shots. The Keokuk was the worst used up, receiving several shots below and above the water line. The other four, though in reality but slightly injured, were yet rendered temporarily unfit for use. The obstructions encountered consisted of floating logs with torpedoes attached, and networks of cables held perpendicularly in eh water by weights. The Patapsco got foul of one of them, and could not make her screw work for some fifteen minutes, but finally got clear. A torpedo exploded close to the bow of the Weehawken, without, however, doing any damage. The vessels all steering heavily, the narrow passages through the line of obstructions could not be breached.

The Patapsco had her 200-pounder Parrott gun disabled by its own recoil early in the action. The turret of the Passaic was bent in and cramped her 11-inch gun so as to prevent its working. Shortly afterward, her turret stopped revolving, and she lost all offensive power. The Ironsides had, meantime, vainly struggled to come closer to Fort Sumter. The rebel gunners finding her a fixed mark, plied her freely with shot and shell. Her position was such that she could not bring her broadsides to bear until about four o’clock, when she got an opportunity to deliver her fire at Fort Moultrie. This was the only offensive demonstration made by her during the action.

Results.

The Monitors fired altogether 150 rounds. Eleven large holes, apparently running through the walls, some of which were about three feet wide, were made on the east face of Fort Sumter, showing that our fire was not altogether ineffectual.

It was the intention of the admiral to renew the attack on the next day, but when the reports of the commanders of the iron-clads were received, showing that two, the Keokuk and Passaic, were fully, and three, the Patapsco, Nantucket and Nahant, were partially, disabled, the admiral determined to desist from a continuance. In this decision he was sustained by the unanimous opinion of the commanders of all the iron-clads.

Casualties.

Com. J. Downs of the Nahant had a slight contusion of the foot; pilot Isaac Schofield, a severe contusion of the neck and shoulders; Quartermaster Edward Cobb, compound fracture of the skull, of which he died; John McAllister, seaman, concussion of brain; several other seamen slightly hurt. On the Keokuk, Com. A. C. Rhind, contusion of leg; Acting Ensign A. McIntosh, dangerously wounded; C. McLaughlin, J. Ryan, W. McDonald, seamen, seriously wounded; R. Nicholson, quartermaster, and seven others slightly wounded.

The Land Forces Near By.

While the fight was going on, on the 7th, a brigade of Gen. Ferry’s division worked its way up Folly Island, established itself closely to the beach and opened communication with the fleet. No portion of the land force got nearer to the point of attack, and all were obliged to play the part of ear-witnesses.2 A rumor was in circulation, both at Port Royal and at Charleston bar, that our troops were rapidly gaining the rear of the city of Charleston.

WEDNESDAY
APRIL 15, 1863

THE CONSTITUTION (CT)

British Aid Solicited.

The fact is established beyond controversy that the leaders of the democratic party in the northern states have been in secret communication with the British Government for the purpose of inducing that Government to interfere in favor of the rebellion. Lord Lyons himself is the witness against them. Without mentioning names he avers that leading politicians of that party were constantly approaching him with representations of the readiness of the people to accept the mediation of England, and with urgent entreaties that he would use his influence in favor of interference. They had been plotting in secret, and hoped that their traitorous endeavors would remain a profound secret until their plans should be accomplished. But Lord Lyons was under no obligation to keep their secret or hide their treachery. In his published correspondence with Lord Russell he has revealed the fact that we have men among us who are base enough to copy the conduct of Benedict Arnold, and betray the Government into the hands of England!

The exposure of the plot has fallen like a bomb shell among the democratic leaders. They see that an indignant people will [view] the authors of it with undying contempt. Even Fernando Wood was so much disturbed that he hastened to deny having himself had any “collusion” with the British minister. As his reputation for truth and veracity is none of the best, his denial will only go to show that he is ashamed of the transactions and afraid of the consequences. But whatever denials he and other leaders of that party may make, the fact is established by the official statements of Lord Lyons, and they cannot controvert it.

The men who tried to give this State over to Thomas H. Seymour at the late election were acting, as it now appears, in the interest of England. The leaders of the democratic party were humbling themselves at the feet of the British Minister, and hoping to procure the aid of British influence and perhaps of British bayonets! And it is a remarkable and startling fact that these minions of England succeeded in enlisting on their side the almost unanimous vote of the Irishmen of Connecticut!

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Rev. John Orcutt acknowledges the authorship of the pro-slavery tract entitled “Three Grand Mistakes.” That tract was circulated as an election document in the interest of Thomas H. Seymour. In this city it was placed in the church pews for Sunday reading. Now that Seymour has been defeated, and the copperheads defunct, Mr. Orcutt finds himself in an unpleasant position. He sees what everybody else sees, that hereafter his appeals in behalf of the Colonization Society must be made to those who believe with him that southern slavery is a Christian institution.

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Greenbacks.–The copperheads say that the splendid result of the 5th of April was produced through the plentiful use of greenbacks in the state. The charge is any thing but complimentary to their own party, for it implies that democrats sold their votes!

“Slavery Not a Divine Institution.”–This is the title of a pamphlet lately published in this city, the object of which is to prove precisely what the title asserts. It is written by a gentleman whose opinions on this or any other question to be decided by the precepts of the Bible are not easily set aside. He demonstrates in a clear and logical manner the barbarism of southern slavery, and shows that it can have no affinity whatever with the spirit of the Christian religion. The pamphlet is for general distribution.

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Recently, Secretary Chase of the Treasury Department, found upon a desk in his office what at first appeared to be a picture of an “infernal machine,” but which on further examination proved to be a drawing of an ingenious invention for turning gold eagles into “greenbacks,” with the Secretary himself operating it, and slowly feeding it  with “yellow boys” at one end, while government currency came out at the other end, flying about like the leaves of autumn. While he was examining it, the President came in, as he daily does for consultation. Mr. Chase handed him the drawing, and as the roguish eye of our Chief Magistrate recognized the likeness of the Secretary, he exclaimed–

“Capital joke, isn’t it, Mr. Chase?”

“A joke,” said the irate financier, “I’d give a thousand dollars to know who left it here.”

“Oh, no,” responded Mr. Lincoln, “you would hardly do that.”

“Yes, I would,” asserted the Secretary.

“Would you, though?” inquired the President with that deliberate manner that characterizes him when he is really in earnest, “Well, which end would you pay from?

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Miscellaneous.

“You’ve destroyed my peace of mind, Betsy,” said a desponding lover to a truant lass. “It can’t do you much harm, John, for ‘twas an amazing small piece you had any way,” was the quick reply.

 “Remember, madam, that you are the weaker vessel,” said an irate husband. “Exactly!” said the lady,” but do not forget that the weaker vessel may have the strongest spirit in it.”

When George Stephenson, the celebrated Scotch engineer, had completed his mode of a locomotive, he presented himself before the British Parliament, and asked for the attention and support of that body. The grave M.P.’s looked sneeringly at his invention, said: “So you have made a carriage to run only on steam, have you?” “Yes, my lords.” “And you expect your carriage to run on parallel rails, so that it cannot get off, do you?” “Yes, my lords.” “Well, now, Mr. Stephenson, let us show you how absurd your claim is. Suppose that when your carriage is running upon these rails at a rate of twenty or thirty miles an hour–if you are extravagant enough to suppose such a thing–a cow should get in the way? You can’t turn out for her–what then?” “Then ‘twill be bad for the cow, my lords!”

A very intelligent definition of transcendentalism is given by one who is, we think, a transcendentalist. He says: “Transcendentalism is two holes in a sand-bank–a storm washes away the sand-bank and leaves the holes.”

THURSDAY
APRIL 16,
1863
THE ST. ALBANS DAILY MESSENGER (VT)

A Genuine White Slave.

The following account of a genuine white man being held as a slave, I have from the most authentic sources: A certain planter’s daughter in Mississippi was seduced. To hide her shame she gave her child, a girl, at its birth to a slave woman, along with money, to bring up as her own. The child lived and became the mistress of the planter’s son, who succeeded to the estate. She had by him five children, and among them the man I refer to, Charles Grayson. This was in Calhoun county, Mississippi, three miles from Paris. The father was at one time clerk of the court. At six years [of] age Charles was sold to William Steen in the neighborhood, and about this time his parentage was told to him by his mother. He ran away, was captured, and treated with great harshness. He was made to do more work than the other slaves. The object was to break him down. He proved to be strong and able to bear all the burdens put upon him.

On Dec. 17, 1862, the 3d Michigan cavalry came upon into the vicinity. Grayson then took a horse and rode into their lines. He took a good horse, so as to ride faster. He was then employed as a cook for the non-commissioned officers of company F, Capt. Theodore Reese. Becoming anxious about his future condition, he proposed to go North. The above named officer, the lieutenant-colonel G. Rogers, and several substantial citizens of Jackson, Tenn., as well as a general high in command, assisted him to carry out his plan; and a few days ago he passed through this place on his way to Cass county, Michigan. He has been a slave for 17 years, is now 28 years of age. Has straight, light hair, fair blue eyes, a sandy beard, and evidently is a white man, with no drop of black blood in his veins. He has a singular appearance. He is totally ignorant. He scarcely knows what freedom is. He knows little more than that he is a white man. A Negro slave has a subdued, and yet, at times, a gay air. On the contrary, Charles Grayson is continually abject and gloomy. He hardly knew how to thank the friends who helped him to get his tickets; he seemed almost cold to the friend, a native of Boston, who had done most. This the result of long oppression, which has made him suspicious of every human being. In many respects his case resembles that of Casper Hauser.–Cairo correspondence of N. Y. Tribune.3

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Peace makes plenty, plenty makes pride, pride breeds quarrel, and quarrel brings war; war brings spoil, spoil poverty, poverty begets patience, and patience peace. So peace brings war and war brings peace.

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The citizens of Vicksburg have, in many places, dug holes into which they can retreat during a bombardment. The high cliffs render it an easy matter.

One of Daniel Webster’s Best.–The late Kendall O. Peabody of Franklin was accustomed to tell the following, which we have never seen in print. Mr. Webster and Henry Clay were standing on the steps of one of the hotels in Washington, and Mr. Peabody was close by and heard what was said. A drove of jack asses was passing by, and Mr. Clay thought it a good opportunity to get a joke upon Mr. Webster. He patted Mr. Webster on the shoulder, pointed to the long-eared donkeys, and said: “Mr. Webster, there are some of your Northern constituents.” “Yes,” replied the great statesman, “ going South to teach school.”–Worcester Transcript.

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Col. Frederick Hecker, the distinguished German patriot, was urged for a Brigadier Generalship by some Illinois members of Congress, but when Hecker learned of it he withdrew his name, saying he did not want the epaulettes till he had earned them.

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The Herald’s special dispatch from head quarters Army of the Potomac, April 12th, says “a refugee who left Richmond last Thursday, has arrived here. The bread riot in that city was witnessed by him and caused the greatest consternation among the authorities. The women were heads of families of the working classes, and were actually starving. A repetition of the demonstration is feared and every precaution is being taken to avert it. The effect on the troops is very demoralizing, the men being very clamorous, and demanding that their families should be fed.

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An officer of one of our steamers in pursuit of Alabama writes from Nassau, N. P., that plenty of supplies from that port reach the rebels; ten or twelve steamers run constantly, and will run till we have some vessel that has speed. The Tioga chased three steamers whose cargoes were worth a million dollars, but they were too near land to catch. The Tioga has bagged five or six of the blockade runners. Hard coal is sent to Nassau from the United States to supply the rebel steamers. Without it they could not make as great speed and would be caught.4

 

FRIDAY
APRIL 1
7, 1863
THE HARTFORD DAILY COURANT (CT)

A Melancholy Record.–The Portland Advertiser says that the steamer North American which arrived at that port last Sunday evening from Liverpool, brings seventeen American captains of merchantmen. Eleven of these captains sold their ships abroad, on account of the immense war risks, and no demand for freights under the hazard of shipments in American bottom; four of these captains had their ships captured and burnt by the confederate cruiser Alabama; two remaining captains lost their ships at sea. The Advertiser also learns that another steamer of like capabilities with the Alabama is already prepared to leave an English port in the same manner as the Alabama did, and for the same service of depredating upon American commerce, and that two more “of the same sort” are about ready to be launched, destined for the same service.

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The New York correspondent of the Boston Journal says:

“Quite a violent opposition has lately sprung up at Five Points and other similar localities about the sending of vagrant and poor children from the city to homes in the country. The Catholic Priest has taken quite an active part. Some legal proceedings have been had to put a stop to sending these little ones away. Mr. Van Meter’s Home for Little Wanderers has been the object of especial opposition. His Home has been attacked–violence offered to children on their way to the Home–and rude men have been stationed at the corner of the street to turn them aside. He had been wantonly attacked himself, and a threatened lawsuit is now hanging over his head. While these children to the number of  1000 were in want, ragged, degraded, in hovels and dens of crime, running loose, running into sin, thievery and swearing, no one was alarmed and no one interfered. But as soon as someone cared for them–took them from degradation–cleaned, fed, clothed, educated them, and put them on the way to be useful, then an outcry is raised and an attempt is made to break up the institution. Merchants and others who have no special interest in the school and home have united to protect Mr. Van Meter, and the General Superintendent has detached a special police force to protect the Mission in its work.”

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Later advices, received by the Arago from the iron-clad fleet, more than confirm the faith of Government officials in the merits of the Monitors. It is understood that the most serious injuries were repaired by noon of the day following the fight, and that the real defects of the boats can be easily remedied.

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Jefferson Davis has issued an address to the people of the Southern confederacy, urging them to devote their agricultural labor to the production of food. He says that although the soldiers are on half rations of meat there is plenty of it in the confederacy, but that a difficulty exists in its transportation, which is now about to be remedied.

How Fortunes are Made and Lost in War.–The New York Journal of Commerce gives the following instances of the hazard of mercantile transaction during war times. An invoice of 600 bales of cotton was consigned to this market on English account. It was sold at 93 cents per pound, and the seller at once engaged his exchange for remittance. Before the transactions were concluded, the turn came, and both cotton and exchange came down. The buyer of the cotton was not able to take it, but the buyer of the exchange was compelled to fulfill his agreement, so that he was compelled to pay $102,000 on his part of the transaction while the cotton still remained unsold! Take another instance: A celebrated manufacturer bought of a very clever speculator 800 bales of cotton for forward delivery at a high price, say 88 cents. Cotton went down, down, down every day, and the manufacturer warms into a panic. So he settles his contract by paying over to his fortunate operator a check for $84,000.

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Valuable Aid from the Contrabands.–The Sunflower River expedition was greatly helped and perhaps saved from destruction by the intelligent services of the Negro slaves in that region, who in every instance did everything they could to promote its success. Admiral Porter’s guide was a contraband. He took dispatches through the rebel lines to Gen. Sherman, which enabled that officer to avert the capture of the fleet by the enemy–a disaster that was at one time imminent. When the expedition first arrived in their midst, a scouting party came suddenly upon a house which belonged to the Sheriff of the country. He ordered his old servant to get his horse, as the Yankees were coming. “Couldn’t think of it, wouldn’t do it for a thousand dollars. I’m a Union man now, massa.” The horse was not got, but the Sheriff was. The first knowledge that the enemy had come down Deer Creek in a steamer was from a contraband.

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The way honest and intelligent merchants in England look at the new confederate loan, is clearly shown in the following letter from a member of an eminent mercantile house in Liverpool to his correspondent in this country. Some people are making money out of the loan abroad, and a good many more are getting very badly bitten:

Liverpool, March 25, 1863.

The confederate loan is down to nearly par to-day. Many look upon it as the greatest swindle the world has seen since the South Sea Bubble.5 I hope it will go to its deserts. It is not worth sixpence. It is likely that the knowing ones, having loaned to the confederates, are taking this means to get out before the grand smash comes. I am told on good authority that the French house had already loaned largely to the confederates, and that they got the loan at fifty-three per cent. They put it down before others at seventy-five per cent, and then it was brought out at ninety, and hurried through in a few days, until outsiders thought it a good catch, and took the bait.”

SATURDAY
APRIL 18, 1863

PORTLAND DAILY ADVERTISER (ME)

The Quality of Our Soldiers.
Comparison Between Native and Foreign, City and Country Born.

From a paper recently read before the Geographical and Statistical Society, by Dr. Thomson, late State Examining Surgeon at the New York Recruiting Depot, on the “Physique of Different Nationalities, as ascertained by Inspection of Government Recruits,” we take the following interesting statements:

From the middle of July to the 1st of October, 8,700 recruits presented themselves to me to be inspected. Of this whole number 4,538 were Americans, 1694 were Irish, 1453 were Germans, 345 English or Scotch, 135 French, and 545 belonged to twenty-six other nations. From this it will be seen that the native Americans exceed by about a hundred the sum total of all other nationalities. The proportion of foreigners is naturally greater in recruits from New York than from any other city perhaps in the country; and these figures, therefore, confirm the estimates already made, which show that a great majority of the army is composed of American-born recruits. Of the Americans, 2038 were from the country districts directly, and 2,500 were recruited from the city and Brooklyn.

The first subject which naturally presented itself was the bodily status and general physical appearance of the various recruits. In stature, the American-born ranked the highest, the English next, the Irish next, the Germans, and the French last. But I could not fail to be forcibly impressed by the marked alteration which has taken place in both the great branches of the population of Europe, the Celt and the German, from the descriptions given us by the ancient historians of the appearance of their barbarian forefathers. This is a subject of great importance as an evidence of the dependence of bodily conformation, not so much on race as on the modes and conditions of life. So powerful has been this influence, that it is almost impossible to recognize the Celt of Caesar, of Strabo, and of Diodorus, or the Teuton of Tacitus and Amnianus, as they appeared in battle array against the Roman legions, with recruits of the same stock enlisting for the American army.

Dr. Thomson then remarked upon the changes which have occurred in the modern races of men as compared with the same races sixteen centuries ago, contending that the altered characteristics are simply illustrations of the adaptability of the human physique to human habits and wants. He continued:

We now come to the actual physical conformation of the various nationalities, as deduced from my observations. I found it at first somewhat difficult to lay down merely different rules of classification, and I therefore adopted a very general division into four classes, which were termed prime, good, indifferent and bad. Under the head prime, I included, first, those who had a well-proportioned osseous system, (the groundwork of the personal figure,) as shown by the shape of the skull, the bones of the thorax and of the joints, the shape of feet and hands, and the condition of the ligaments were especially noted. Secondly came a good development of the muscular system, especially those of the lower extremities, as the most reliable indication of the vigor of spinal nutrition. Under the term good were classed those who were then apparently healthy and strong, with more especially a good muscular development, but who did not equal the prime in the development of the osseous system, from lack of lateral symmetry, bow legs, large joints, flat feet, &c. Under the head of indifferent might be found good forms and tolerable muscular development, but who had tendencies to constitutional diseases, as well as a good many who may have had good constitutions originally, but had become deteriorated from various causes. Under the head of bad were such as never had been good, nor ever would be so, from an originally vicious conformation.

The result of these observations are the following:

Of American-born recruits 47.5 per cent had a prime physique; the Irish 35 per cent, and the Germans 40.,75 per cent.

The percentage of good physique was Americans 36, Irish 38, Germans 38.5

The percentage of indifferent was Americans 13.5, Irish 19.5, Germans 19.

The percentage of bad, Americans 3, Irish 7.5, Germans 3.

From this it will be perceived that the Americans show the highest rate of prime physique, the Germans next, and the Irish last. Of good, the Irish and Germans are nearly equal, and four per cent more than the Americans, but this is owing to the excess of the latter in prime.

Of indifferent the Irish are one-half higher than the Germans, which last are 5½ per cent higher than the Americans. Of the bad, the Irish are more than double the Americans and Germans, who in this respect stand alike.

So far, therefore, these seem favorable to the American born; but there are several considerations to be taken into account, which will, to a certain extent, modify the inferences to be drawn from them. In the first place, the Americans were largely from classes of society who from youth have been able to command better facilities in food, clothing and shelter than the classes from which the immigrant population is derived. What an influence this must exert on physical development is sadly illustrated by the mortality returns o this city, which show that though the American population is not exceeded by the foreign, yet that seven children of foreign-born parents die in a year to one American child.

Besides, more than half the Americans were born and reared in country districts, and the difference which this fact causes may be shown by comparing among them the city and country recruits. Thus the proportion of prime among city Americans was 42 per cent, country 58 per cent; of good, city 40 per cent, country 29 per cent; of indifferent, city 14 per cent, country 12 per cent; of bad, city 4 per cent, country 1 per cent. Another reason why the Irish are double the Americans in bad physique seemed to be that they were often recruited, for several Irish regiments, almost exclusively from the Sixth ward, one of the most active recruiting stations being the Tombs prison itself, and such specimens as occasionally presented themselves to our eyes and noses from those regions could scarcely be surpassed by Macbeth's witches themselves.

Still, these considerations do not affect the actual standing of the American recruits, for whatever the causes may be that have aided them, I feel safe in voting their physical development as of the highest order, and have seen specimens of the armies of nearly all European, as well as eastern nations. With the exception of a general loss of fat, I do not believe that there is another race that can show a larger proportion in the average population of excellent osseous and muscular development. This I would ascribe almost wholly to the widely diffused blessings of meat and drink, and to the comforts of life possessed by nearly all. Least of all would I set down to the score of race, for it is doubtful if there is such a thing as an unmixed race in America. No sooner does one nationality reach this shore, where all the political, social and religious separations of the Old World fail to survive the sea voyage, than it rapidly merges into another, and all the race elements of Europe soon become utterly dissolved in a well stirred mixture of Anglo-Saxons, Hollanders, Celts, Germans and Norwegians.

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The taking of a fortified city is the most difficult of all the achievements of war. The greatest Conquerors in history have been compelled to spend months and years in reducing a town of a few thousand inhabitants. Gibraltar is a proverb of impregnability. It took the Allies sixteen months to reduce Sebastopol. The fleets and armies of Victor Emanuel battered the walls of Gaeta for five months before they found admission. An English fleet set out to capture Kronstadt and found the obstacles so insuperable that it returned without firing a gun. But Sebastopol, Gaeta and Kronstadt never had such artillery as Charleston; and yet we are indignant because Com. Dupont did not capture it in an afternoon! Let us try to be reasonable.–Albany Journal.

 

The poor typography of the italicized foreign word makes it appear to be echauferie, which does not seem to mean anything in French. Assuming an incorrect spelling or type, chaufferie “boiler room,” seems the word that was intended.

2 Yes, that’s what it says: “ear-witnesses.” Why not?

3 The story of Kaspar Hauser is similar only in that he appeared suddenly in Germany in 1828 from unknown origins. Until his death in 1833, his identity was much in dispute, with people claiming he was simply an ignorant waif and others believing he was a lost crown prince. See www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/137/kaspar_hauser.html. Unlike Kaspar, Charles Grayson’s background and ancestry were well-known.

4 The article suggests that coal is being sent from the North to facilitate blockade running (and turn a profit for investors). The reference to “hard coal” means anthracite coal from Pennsylvania. Anthracite is harder in that it is a metamorphic rock rather than sedimentary, which describes all other types of coal. It therefore burns hotter, and a hotter fire means more energy with which to boil water and make steam to power the ship’s engines. Another advantage is that anthracite burns without producing smoke. The more common coal available in the South is bituminous, which, because bitumen is akin to tar, burns with a brown smoke.

5 See www.thesouthseabubble.com for an explanation of this reference to an early stock market swindle.

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