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SUNDAY
MAY 3
, 1863
THE DAILY PICAYUNE (LA)

Riots in Indiana.–A serious riot occurred at a Union meeting, in Brown county, Ind., on Saturday, by which one man lost his life. It appears that a few members of the Knights of the Golden Circle made a raid upon the meeting, armed with guns and revolvers, and had a melee. They were arrested by the police, one of them, a Mr. Louis Prosser, being severely wounded. Another affair of the same kind occurred at Danville, Indiana, the same day, in which one man was mortally wounded and several others less seriously.

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Activity at the Charlestown Navy Yard.–The amount of business at this navy yard is shown by the large number of men employed, upwards of 3500, 600 of whom are engaged in the machine and blacksmith’s shops. In these two departments of the yard, the capacious building devoted to them contains as many workmen as can labor to advantage. Iron, in nearly all shapes, and in shapeless masses, having been fashioned or awaiting the touch of intelligence or skill, attracts the attention of the observer. The foundry, adjacent, for the manufacture of shot and shell, the moulding of propellers, &c., has three furnaces, in which nine tons of iron can be melted at a time. From these buildings to that in which occurs the preparation of canister shot, and the finishing touches to immense shells are given, is a natural gradation. There 15-ich canister are filled with several hundred iron grape, and ugly looking projectiles, of different descriptions, abound. The entire building is marked by an air of scrupulous neatness, and the death-dealing missiles are, many of them, as highly polished as the surgeon’s scalpel.

The process of testing shot is simple, yet effective. It is done in the shot parks of the yard. The projectiles are hoisted in the air some twenty feet, and are then made to fall upon a piece of iron about a foot in thickness. If the balls are not affected in any way, they are pronounced serviceable.

The principle cannon park of the yard, at this time, has twelve Parrott 100 pounders, rifled, weighing 9677 pounds each. Near the park is a fifteen inch gun, cast at Pittsburgh, and of 42,000 pounds weight.

The vessels now in the course of construction and repair at the yard are as follows:

The Seco–wooden propeller–will be ready to be launched in about two months.1

Gunboat Montgomery has been repairing for two months, and will require five or six weeks longer to finish repairs. She will carry four 8-inch guns, one 10-inch, and one 130-pound rifle. The vessel is about 900 tons burthen. She is a very fast steamer, having frequently made 13 or 14 miles an hour. Formerly plied between New York and Savannah.

The Pequot (propeller) will be launched in a week.

Winooski (double-bowed side wheeler) is a fine vessel, and will soon be off the stocks.

The old Niagara–one of the finest vessels in the navy–has been razeed five feet.2 Five hundred men are to work upon her, and it is thought she will leave the dry dock in three weeks. She is rated at over 3000 tons, and will carry 28 guns of the heaviest calibre.

The ship Macedonian is in progress of being fitted up as a cruising ship for midshipmen.

Monitor Monadnock–2 turrets–is 260 feet long–has 50 foot breadth of beam. The five inch plating of the wooden hull will have over forty inches of timber to support it, and is regarded fully as strong as the iron monitors. The machinery for this vessel is making at Philadelphia.–Boston Transcript.

Good Politicians, but Sorry Officers.–A correspondent of the New York Times, on the Mississippi, gives a curious inside view of a portion of the army under Gen. Grant. He says:

I noticed this democratical element in an expedition of which the Times has already been advised. On the boat, during our progress up, no line officers could be found who would associate with each other, but, on the contrary, each individual with a shoulder strap hunted up their privates and at once commenced a game of euchre or old sledge, and to electioneer in a small way for the next vacancy in office and popularity at home. In the rush to the table for meals, officers uncomplainingly submitted to be crowded into waiting for the second or third meal in order that their prospective constituency might at once satisfy their hunger, and not obtain cause of offence against their superiors. In a conversation with the colonel, he assured me, in a tone not meant to reach the ears of a crowd of dirty, lounging blue coats close by, that discipline degraded men by making mere machines of them, and that, in this country, where one man is as intelligent, moral and sensitive as any other, we have no right to tame men by drill and break their spirit by restraint.

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Later from Europe.

The annexed summary is from the New York World of the 22d:

The Times alludes to the California preparations for defensive and offensive war, and thinks there can be no doubt that these demonstrations are in view of a collision with England. A Queenstown dispatch states that, notwithstanding official efforts to prevent, a new rebel privateer, called the Japan or Virginia, had sailed from Greenock. Particulars of the escape are furnished by the telegraphic report from the Jura at Portland. A meeting had been held in Manchester, under the auspices of the “Union Emancipation Society,” to protest against the building of war ships for the Confederacy. A memorial to that effect was drawn up. The Times says that every word of it is repugnant to the feelings of the great mass of the people.

Later.

The Herald of the 23d says:

The steamship Persia, from Queenstown on the 12th inst., arrived at this port yesterday morning. Her news is two days later than the advices by the Jura, and is of an important character.

The English Government was still engaged in efforts ostensibly directed against the fitting out of rebel war vessels in the ports of the kingdom. Although the Alexandra was seized by the officers of customs at Liverpool, previous to the sailing of the Jura, a number of men still continued at work on her, making her ready for sea. We learn by the Persia that these men had been turned off the vessel by the Government officials, who had taken full possession of her, previous to a rigid investigation as to her history and destination.

It is said that the Cabinet had also ordered a commission at Liverpool to report on all the circumstances connected with the case of the Alabama.

The Japan, or Virginia, it is now stated, was built at Dumbarton–not Greenock–Scotland, and ran out from the Clyde on the 3d of April. The order for her arrest arrived from London on the 4th–the day after her departure.

The rebel loan had rallied in England, and was again at a premium, with an “enormous business” done in Liverpool on the 10th inst. The loan was regularly dealt in on the Paris Bourse at a premium.

SUNDAY
MAY 4
, 1863
THE MACON DAILY TELEGRAPH (GA)

Trading Negroes for Cotton.

The charge that some of the Yankee Generals were more intent on making money than whipping the rebels, though made frequently and as often substantiated, is proven more conclusively than ever by facts that have come before the McDowell investigation in St. Louis. The grossest charge is that made against Col. Hovey, of Illinois, of trading Negroes for cotton. The following is the testimony on the subject:

Brice Suffield being called and sworn, testified:

Q.–State whether you ever made an expedition for cotton on the steamer Istan, in September, 1862, and if so, what occurred at that time?

A.–I did. Our company commanded by Capt. Twining, was ordered out of camp near Helena, to go down on the steamer Istan. The captain of the boat told us the intention was to take us down to get some wood for fuel. We loaded on the Mississippi side of the river, opposite the cut-off [at] White River. There was aboard the boat one Brown, an overseer of Col. McGee’s plantation; he was on the boat when we went aboard. After the boat was tied up, Brown went ashore; this was after dark. Sometime afterwards a man wearing a Government overcoat and spurs came aboard the boat. Some of the company, supposing him to be a rebel soldier, asked him where he got his clothes. He told them he got them in the Mexican war. He went to the captain of the boat and told him it was all right–that the cotton would be in in the course of a few hours. In due time Brown returned, bringing with him twenty-six bales of cotton. After the cotton was delivered the boatman, by order of the captain, put on shore fifteen Negroes who had been used as boat hands. After getting them on shore they tied them, after considerable struggling on the part of the Negroes. In the tying operation one of the Negroes escaped. After they were tied Brown took them away. I was on the picket post, and Brown, with the Negroes, stopped at the post and bid me good evening, and then went on. Some time after taking the Negroes away, Brown came back and went aboard the boat and stayed till daylight. A member of my company (don’t recollect his name) told me he saw Capt. Weaver pay Brown some money–we supposed for the cotton.

Q.–What part did Captain Twining or soldiers present take in this transaction of putting off the Negroes?

A.–Merely acting under orders. They put us out on shore to guard against surprise. We guarded the boat. That was our duty. We had nothing to do with the Negroes at all.

Q.–On what date was this?

A.–It was about the 24th of September.

Q.–Was any military officer on board the boat besides the officers of your company?

A.–I think not. There was a man on board but I don’t think he was a commissioned officer; he was acting as aid to Colonel Hovey. His name is Washburne.

Q.–How many Negroes, acting as deck hands, were on board the boat when you went aboard with your company?

A.–Fifteen.

Q.–After these fifteen Negroes were put ashore, did any other Negroes come back with you as deck hands in the service of the boat?

A.–No sir. These Negroes were taken on an expedition to the same place some weeks before, from the same plantation.

Q.–Under whose charge was the expedition?

A.–Colonel Hovey.

Foreign Miscellany.

Fredericksburg Plunder.–Some days since Gen. Hooker issued an order reducing the amount of baggage for each officer and soldier to the minimum standard. The result of the order has been the reception of a large amount of baggage in this city, sent up here on Government boats. An examination of this baggage has devolved the fact that it consists in a great proportion of articles taken from private residences in Fredericksburg after the battle. It has been made the duty of Captain Todd, Provost Marshal, to take possession of all such property and render an exhibit of the same to the War Department for instructions.–Washington Chronicle.

Turpentine in France.–Before the war, France and other countries drew their supplies of turpentine, rosin and tar mostly from North and South Carolina and Georgia. The war having stopped the exportation of this article, it appears that the French have gone into the turpentine business “on their own hook.” The sandy region of Bordeaux, known as the Lands, inhabited by a rather destitute class of people (as all poor sections of country usually are) abounds with the pine tree, which is now being worked by the French, and large quantities of turpentine are produced. The owners of the land have suddenly risen from poverty to affluence, in consequence of the high price which turpentine now commands in Europe. Heretofore they could not compete with the exportations from the Southern States, but now they are realizing immense fortunes from tar, pitch and turpentine. It is an ill wind which blows no one good.

The Lancashire Sufferers.–A correspondent of the Quebec Morning Chronicle, who signs himself “Dixie,” asserts–and his assertion is guaranteed by the editor of that paper–that our government has been solicited by the South to guarantee the safe transit from the ports of Charleston, Mobile and Savannah, of three vessels loaded with cotton, as a free offering to the Lancashire operatives. The writer asserts that the proposal was treated with silence, but that shortly after the movement for a Southern subscription was inaugurated.–New York World.

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Running the Blockade.–The impression prevails that there is a system of collusion practised between the blockading fleet off Charleston harbor and those blockade runners who bring the Yankee goods, embracing such merchandise, gewgaws, &c., as give neither aid nor comfort to our army nor strengthen our means of defence in any manner. It is inferred that the system is practised because all the vessels captured by the enemy are freighted either with Government stores or things intended for the supply of the army. No list of the vessels seized or destroyed by the blockaders has been published. Such a list would throw much light on the subject. It would show whether the impression generally entertained is correct or not.

Anotehr alleged fact which adds strength to the suspicion of this collusion is that the vessels laden with cotton and naval stores, which the Yankees need so much, are seldom, if ever, obstructed in their outward voyage to the West Indies.

If there is enough in the facts to justify this impression–if the wealth of the country is going out to benefit Yankee manufacturers and the blockade speculators and running in only useless gewgaws and goods that may be dispensed with, while the things necessary for the army are intercepted–the matter is worthy of the especial notice of the Government. A little investigation will easily disprove the suspicion or confirm it, and the subject is of sufficient importance to demand it.–Richmond Dispatch.

TUESDAY
MAY 5,
1863
THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

Divorces–Their Frequency and Freedom.

The fact that the sole business of our supreme court at its annual term in this county was to hear divorce cases, is one that ought to excite attention and reflection. Ten divorces were granted, and several applications were refused. This is a great change. Not longer ago than a dozen or fifteen years, there were but one or two applications in a year, and sometimes none. The change from that time to the present has vastly outgrown our population. But Hampden county is not singular in this respect. In early all the counties in the state, the court has more divorce cases than all other cases together. Some of the dockets have fifty or more cases upon them at once. It becomes us to reflect upon the causes which are thus destructive of the marriage relation.

After making due allowance for increase of population, and other minor causes, there is left one great cause, which many observing men regard as the source of a large part of the permanent separations of families. It is the increased facilities which the legislature has given to obtaining divorces. In the course of married life, there are many occasions for irritation. Neither party is perfect, and ill health often comes to aggravate, and sometimes to create, difficulties. When adultery and extreme cruelty were the only legal causes of divorce, these difficulties were generally temporary. The influence of friends was generally in favor of adjustment. But now that a divorce can be obtained for separation or desertion for five years, many final separations are determined on in an hour of excitement; friends often interfere to promote them; pride and willfulness prevent reconciliation, and a divorce is the result. There is very seldom any contest about it; and the divorce is granted on a one-sided hearing, and not unfrequently by collusion. It is the law, then, that gives its influence to the breaking up of so many families. If the time were lengthened to eight to ten years, it would probably decrease these divorces greatly.

But the legislature has not stopped here. The guilty party, for whose conduct the divorce is granted to the other, is now authorized to apply to the supreme court for leave to marry again, in all cases except where the divorce is for adultery. And the court is beginning to be thronged with this class of applicants. A wife gets a divorce from her husband for desertion or cruel treatment, and he comes to the next court with an application for leave to take another wife. And in cases where the divorce was by collusion, the applicant can easily show that there was no reason why the wife should have been divorced. No one ever appears to oppose him, because no one is interested in the question, and thus only one side is heard; so that it is becoming quite easy for both parties to separate and marry again.

A great effort is also being made to extend this law to cases of divorce from adultery. The law would then stand thus: If a husband and wife shall desire to be divorced and marry again, one of them has only to go out of the state, so as to be beyond our criminal jurisdiction, and commit adultery; or place him or herself in such a position as to create circumstantial evidence enough to make a case on a one-sided hearing, and then remain out of the state a year or so, till the other party has obtained a divorce. The only notice given in such cases is by publication in some newspaper. It will thus be easy for the party to come back, prove that he or she has received no actual notice of the suit, and perhaps prove his or her innocence of the crime, and get leave to marry again. The law would thus make it perfectly easy to exchange husbands or wives as often as the parties choose.->

But our legislature has gone still further. Parties may now come in from other states and remain five years, and obtain divorce against a husband or wife who never lived here, and over whom our courts never had jurisdiction, and for alleged offences not committed here. A wife may come from the state of New York, or Ohio, or California, reside here five years, and obtain a divorce from her husband, who always lived there. The courts of New York have always held such divorces to be void as against their citizens. Yet Massachusetts has thus set herself at work to interfere with the rights of citizens of a sister state. Vermont formerly had such a law, and it was regarded as disgraceful.

It is not generally known that these changes of the marriage law, with a view to weaken and even destroy the permanence of the relation, originate very largely in an active clique of self-styled progressives and reformers living mostly in and about Boston. One of its active and influential members avowed, a few years ago, in private conversation, while he was engaged in endeavoring to get one of these laws passed, that in his opinion the true philosophy of marriage is that it may be terminated at the will of the parties, but it would not do to avow this sentiment openly, because the public are not ripe for it. These people are shrewd, and they are trying to ripen the public by degrees.

But the views of these people reach still further. They are deists, or rather pantheists; and they are especially hostile to the bible as a system of divine revelation and government. The bible is the ultimate object of their hostility. Every success they can gain in breaking down the sanctity of Christian marriage, and making it a temporary connexion, promotes their ultimate object. In proportion as the community loses its respect for the sacredness of Christian marriage, as a covenant for life, it is prepared to receive their other philosophical notions, and to reject the whole bible. So much progress have they made already that our legislature is compelled to hear the bold avowal of doctrines which regard marriage rather as the legalized method for indulging lust, than as a permanent provision for the welfare of women and children.

In the meantime the professional guardians of the purity of the Christian religion have slumbered and slept over this subject, and left the enemy to sow tares3 in domestic life without interruption. It is high time for them to awake. We need a collection of statistics on the subject of divorces from the courts and elsewhere; and the public will be startled by them. Somebody besides this clique of reformers ought to have some voice in determining what shall be the policy of the state on a subject so vital to the happiness and purity of domestic life, the honor of the state, and the interests of Christianity itself.

WEDNESDAY
MAY 6, 1863

NEW HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & STATE GAZETTE

The War.

The Army of the Potomac has moved at last, and it looks like a movement in earnest. The particulars, as far as we have them, are as follows: On Monday morning of last week, three corps, the 5th, 11th and 12th, marched up the Rappahannock to Kelley’s Ford, about 25 miles west of Fredericksburg, and on Tuesday morning they crossed the river without opposition. Gen. Stoneman’s heavy cavalry force also crossed there; and on Wednesday these corps, marching south some six or eight miles, crossed the Rapidan at and near Germania, and turning east proceeded in the direction of the rear of Fredericksburg. They met but with little opposition, and captured some three or four hundred of the enemy’s pickets. On Tuesday, three other corps, the 1st, 3d and 6th, marched down the river from Fredericksburg, and threw over bridges in the night at points four and six miles below and crossed over force sufficient to hold the positions. The crossing at these points was resisted by strong pickets, who were overcome and nearly a hundred of them captured. This movement down the river was simply a feint; on Wednesday the 1st and 3d corps marched back up the river to Banks’ Ford, six miles above Fredericksburg, where they joined the 2d corps, which had gone there before. The six corps above Fredericksburg were in communication, and in a position to move upon eh rear of the enemy at that place and force him to fight or retreat. The 6th corps remained below, threatening the enemy’s right flank.

On Friday there was considerable heavy skirmishing in the vicinity of Chancellorsville, which is said to have resulted in our favor. During Friday night reports say both sides built earthworks and other defences. We have no reliable information later than this concerning operations in the rear or southwest of Fredericksburg, where the bulk of our forces are now assembled. We have rumors of a great battle on Saturday, and of important successes by our forces, but they are rumors merely. There has probably been heavy fighting, but the telegraph is not permitted to give the facts, and our readers must wait for them until the Government authorities permit them to be made public.

Vicksburg.–It is reported that nearly the whole of Gen. Grant’s army had marched down below Vicksburg, on the west side of the river, leaving tents and baggage and taking six days’ rations. It is also reported that Gen. Osterhaus had occupied Grand Gulf, which is on the east side of the river (some 30 miles by land and 60 by the river) below Vicksburg. Two tugs with four hay barges ran past Vicksburg in the night, without being fired upon.

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Our The Republican papers persist in declaring that one-half of the people of the North are “hostile to the Government and the Union.” Such representations are as mischievous and criminal as they are false. As the Albany Argus truly says, “they sow the seeds of dissension and ill-feeling at home; they afford hope to the enemy and infuse additional vigor into the rebellion; they create the impression abroad that the the people of the North are divided in sentiment, and that a large proportion of them are willing that the rebellion should triumph. It is this policy of the Abolitionists that, more than anything else, has paralyzed the North, and prevented the success of our arms and the restoration of the Union.”

The “Starvation” Story.–Our people have been made to believe that the people of the South are bordering upon starvation. “Intelligent contrabands,” “reliable refugees,” deserters, scouts and various other authorities are quoted to prove that the rebels have but little to eat and that their resources are nearly exhausted. Yet the same papers and telegrams which give these reports, also tell us of the immense quantities of provisions captured by our forces in their “raids” upon the enemy’s territory. For instance, the accounts of Gen. Banks’ operations in Western Louisiana say supplies were found in great abundance. A body of troops made a raid into Mississippi to the north of Vicksburg, and bought off 400 beef cattle, 70,000 lbs. of sugar, 4000 lbs. of bacon, &c., &c., and destroyed 1,000,000 bushels of corn, large quantities of bacon, 500 hogs and much other food. An expedition to Celina, Tenn., destroyed 100,000 lbs. bacon, 10,000 bushels wheat, 10,000 bushels corn, 100 barrels flour, and large quantities of sugar, tea, coffee and other stores. N expedition to McMinnville, Tenn., destroyed 30,000 lbs. bacon and quantities of rice, sugar, &c. And so of other expeditions–all find large quantities of eatables. Now these reports are false, or else the “starvation” stories are false, and the papers which publish the latter ought to be ashamed to record the former. To believe both is to believe that starvation exists in the midst of plenty. The Southern people undoubtedly suffer for want of what are termed luxuries, but there is no good reason to believe that there I any great scarcity of the necessaries of life among them.

•••••

Very Fair.–Our authorities are exceedingly fair with the rebels. Whenever they propose to make any movement, the rebels re duly notified so that they may be “ready to receive company”–and they generally are ready. The intention to renew the attack upon Charleston has been proclaimed in various forms, and the rebels are busily employed in getting ready to welcome our forces; and our authorities are very generously delaying the attack until their preparations are complete. The rebels seem unwilling to cause our people any unnecessary delay, and are therefore displaying great energy in completing their arrangements. It is said they are strengthening their defences against a land attack, bringing up reinforcements from Savannah, and making every possible effort to “welcome” our soldiers, as prominent abolition leaders advised the Mexicans to do–“with bloody hands to hospitable graves.” Our “chivalric” rulers evidently think it would not be fair to make the attack before the enemy are ready for it!

•••••

Return of Soldiers.–The New York two years’ men are beginning to return home, their terms of enlistment having expired. There are thirty-eight regiments from that State whose terms expire this month.

THURSDAY
MAY 7,
1863
THE PITTSFIELD SUN (MA)

Rumors of Hard Fighting on Sunday.

New York, May 4, 3:30 p.m.Various rumors are afloat in the streets to-day, probably to influence stocks, that Hooker’s right wing suffered severely on Sunday. In the absence of anything official from Washington, and owing to the rigid exclusion of all dispatches from that point by the censorship, considerable credence is gained for sensational stories, but no reports of disaster are credited.

It is stated that the President received dispatches from Hooker, that he has severed rebel communications between Bowling Green and Hanover Court House; that Slocum captured 1500 rebels after crossing above Falmouth; that our communication with Gen. Stoneman had been cut off by rebel guerrillas, but will soon be re-established; that Hooker hopes to capture all the rebel force north of the Pamunkey river.

All news thus far is encouraging. There is a report here that 8000 rebels have been captured, but it is not from a reliable source.

•••••

From Charleston.

The Toronto Leader publishes a letter from a correspondent in Charleston, from which we extract the following:

Charleston, April 2.–The trip from Richmond to Charleston is made in about forty-two hours, distance four hundred and twenty miles–just ten miles an hour, including stoppages for mails, &c.

The city of Charleston is quite lively. Merchants from all parts of the South flock hither to attend the auction sales of cargoes which have “run the blockade.”

During the past few days I have visited Fort Sumter and other forts and batteries in and around Charleston. From what I have seen I do not wonder at the security felt by the Charlestonians. They have rendered their city impregnable to any force the federal government can send against it. Since my visit to Charleston, in June last, vast additions and improvements have been added and made to the defences. Yet still the work goes bravely on, and Charleston stands now the Gibraltar of the South.

One word before closing in regard to the condition of the South, so far as means of subsistence is concerned. There is no suffering for the common necessities of life. True, the prices of provisions are high, but Confederate money is plentiful, and the price of labor has advanced proportionately. All the luxuries of life are beyond the reach of even the middle classes, and are seldom indulged in by the wealthy, the money and means of the latter in many instances being freely given to the government, and especially to the support of the families of those who are in the army. But little cotton and less tobacco will be planted this year, hence the price of these staples has advanced rapidly. With anything like a favorable season, the South this fall will have ample resources within herself for subsistence, whilst the cotton and tobacco which run the blockade will purchase sufficient supplies of clothing, &c., from abroad.

We found railroad travelling from Wilmington to Richmond very tiresome, especially after the neat cabin and sumptuous fare of the Giraffe. The “dining saloons” are as a rule uncleanly, and the food miserably cooked. No one in the South now expects luxuries or dainties; in fact, none are to be had for love or money. A sufficiency of bread, meat and vegetables is all one can expect or obtain. Coffee, tea and sugar are held at exorbitant prices, and scarce even then. But the great difficulty the South is now laboring under is want of transportation. In some sections provisions are cheap and plenty, and although the farmers are willing to part with their surplus at reasonable rates, they cannot get it to market. All the roads are constantly employed in transporting troops, government stores and passengers. The rolling stock on most of the roads is in bad condition, and in a year or so will be almost useless. In order to save it as long as possible, the rate of speed has been decreased to ten or twelve miles an hour for passenger trains, and less with freight.

From Hooker’s Army.

New York, May 4.The Times has a very full report from three of its army correspondents, who arrived from the field of the great battles on Saturday and Sunday. They were among the hottest and most important battles of the war.

On Friday we suffered considerably, the 11th Army Corp, under General Howard, behaving badly and losing an important part of our position.

The battle did not close until near midnight. During the night Gen. Hooker changed his lines, reformed his army, and was ready for battle the next day. The fight began at five o’clock and lasted some six hours. At the end of that time Gen. Hooker held a very strong position and felt perfectly safe. His right rests on the Rapidan near Ely’s Ford, and his left on the Rappahannock. The losses have been heavy on both sides. The result thus far is not decisive, but it is believed the rebels can only save themselves by retreating.

•••••

Our National Speculators.

The cares and responsibilities of the Government do not prevent the “insiders” at Washington from prudently looking after the profits that are always to be made by shrewd operators in a time of war. The Rochester Union thus accounts for the refusal of the Administration to allow any news to be sent beyond the army lines–no matter whether it be of defeat or victory–until a sufficient time has elapsed to make the results of our army movements materially beneficial:

“The Government of course allows nothing to come from the Rappahannock. If war bulletins should be issued and the loyal public be made aware of the army’s progress and operations, then everybody could buy and sell stocks with the same profit as gentlemen inside the administration ring; and that would be very improper.”

It is well known that the stock operations in New York, secretly controlled by telegraphic advices from Washington, are enormous in amount, and have direct reference to the events transpiring in our armies, which are kept concealed from the public. The great misfortune of the country has been, from first to last, that everything connected with the war has been used as a means of enriching the partisans of the Administration, from stock-jobbing on Wall street down to the unwholesome rations and shoddy uniforms of the suffering soldiers. It is this “greed of gain” that has protracted the war, and that, we fear, would keep the government “pegging away” without desiring to accomplish any result, until greenbacks became worthless, and nothing more is left in the impoverished nation for these active speculators to steal.–Albany Atlas and Argus.

FRIDAY
MAY 8
, 1863
THE HARTFORD DAILY COURANT (CT)

Gen. Hooker’s Movements.

The New York Herald issued an extra yesterday morning, containing a letter dated United States Ford, May 6th, 8 a.m., which states that on Tuesday morning the trains were ordered back, and by night were all at Falmouth. A severe rain storm caused the river to rise rapidly, carrying off the bridges, and threatening the pontoons. The stream became so swollen that it was necessary to use one pontoon to lengthen the other. At midnight the troops commenced falling back over the pontoons, which had been strewn with pine boughs to deaden the noise. When the messenger left the first corps had nearly crossed, while the third were entrenching to cover the retreat. Cannonading was heard in front, rendering it not improbable that the battle had been renewed. The roads were in horrible condition. The same letter states that there was no fighting on Tuesday of any consequence. It also speculates about the possible and probable movements of the enemy–matters whereof our readers are equally competent to judge. Many of our wounded have fallen into the hands of the enemy. Gen. Hooker was reported to have held a consultation with his Generals, at which it was decided to be unsafe for the army to remain longer on the lower side of the stream. The river had risen ten feet at Falmouth, and was still rising.

The Tribune’s extra of yesterday morning says that the Army of the Potomac recrossed the Rappahannock at United States and Banks’ Fords, and are returning to their old position. Gen. Sedgwick, attacked by greatly superior numbers, escaped with great difficulty, having lost about five thousand men. His artillery and trains were saved. Gen. Hooker’s army re-crossed at United States Ford on Tuesday without loss. The passage of the stream commenced at ten o’clock Tuesday night, and at three the next morning the trains and artillery were over, and the infantry were crossing on two bridges. Gen. Meade’s corps covered the retreat. Lee’s sharpshooters were busy. The rebel batteries occupied all advantageous positions, but disappeared when our batteries opened on them.

A council of war prevailed on Hooker to evacuate his strong position and retreat. Though not panic-stricken, the army was much demoralized by this retrograde movement. The Tribune says “there was no time, from Friday morning to Monday night, but what Hooker could have attacked and defeated Lee’s army. He lacked ability to give the order.”

The National Intelligencer, of the 7th, says:

“Official information, received at the War Department last evening, authorizes us to state that Gen. Hooker, after waiting in vain near Chancellorsville, on Tuesday last, for a renewal of the battle by the enemy, re-crossed the Rappahannock on the evening of that day, influenced by prudential motives, doubtless springing in part from the great and sudden rise in the Virginia rivers, in consequence of the recent heavy rains threatening our supplies. We do not learn that Gen. Hooker was apprised before making this retrograde movement of the success which is alleged to have attended the operations of General Stoneman in breaking the enemy’s connections with Richmond. If this last fact had been known to him, assuming it to be a fact, it may be doubted whether Gen. Hooker would have deemed it necessary to take a step which must lead to deprive him of some, at least, of the advantages resulting from Gen. Stoneman’s co-operation in his expedition.”

The World’s extra learns, from Richmond papers of the 5th, that Stoneman’s cavalry have destroyed all the bridges between Richmond and the Rappahannock, torn up the railroad, and cut the telegraph. After venturing within a few miles of Richmond, he secured the country for many miles to detect the approach of rebel reinforcements.

Richmond papers say that the rebel General Paxton is killed, and that Generals Jackson, A. P. Hill, and Heath, are wounded. The enemy acknowledge that their losses have been tremendous.

European Complications.

The probabilities that a terrific war is about to burst upon the Great Powers of Europe, daily grow more threatening. The Polish insurrection, which seemed an insignificant matter at first, is the spark which is kindling into flames the combustibles of the Continent. Russia snuffs the danger from afar, and is preparing to throw all the strength of that mighty empire into the contest. A general levy of troops in the provinces contiguous to Poland has been ordered. Ere long we shall unquestionably hear that all of Russia has been summoned to arms, not to put down a few troublesome Poles, but to defend the empire against the nations of Western Europe.

The insurgents, animated by victories, are increasing both in numbers and courage. Thus far they have been successful in repulsing the attacks of the Russians. Where the revolt a short time since was thought to be effectually suppressed, it is breaking out afresh and with greater fury. Even unaided they could probably hold out for several months more.

But they will hardly be left much longer to fight the battle alone. France and Austria are strongly predisposed to espouse the cause of the Poles. The sympathies of England flow strongly in the same direction. It is said that the cabinets both at Paris and London, through their respective ambassadors, have urged the Czar for an immediate response to their demands in behalf of the Poles. It is also rumored that in reply the Czar takes the ground that his first duty requires him to restore peace to his dominions. If such be the case, the differences between Russia and the Western Powers are probably irreconcilable, and cannot be settled by diplomacy. Minor States also show no disposition to shrink from the fight. Sweden sends to the Poles guns and munitions. The Pope cordially approves the stand taken by catholic States in behalf of catholic Poland. For Russia no sympathy is expressed in any quarter. If war grows out of these numerous complications, as now seems more than probable, it will embrace nearly every European nation, and will prove the most terrific conflict the world has ever seen.

•••••

Insulting Soldiers.–Some miserable ignorant copperheads, under the training they obtain from their leaders, have come to regard it commendable and meritorious to insult and abuse soldiers from our army. An instance of this character which transpired near the City Hotel last Tuesday evening, came near raising a riot. Some thirty copperheads attacked some soldiers belonging to the 14th regiment, at home on furlough. One soldier was knocked down, and had not the copperheads become alarmed at the appearance of numerous Union men, there would have been a disgraceful street fight. The soldiers conducted themselves with great forbearance, and seemed to have been taken completely by surprise, probably had not been at home long enough to learn that we have a few cowardly traitors here who deserve the halter, as richly as any in rebeldom. The police arrested three of these miscreants, but one or two were rescued by their friends. These men were not drunk–it is a cool and preconcerted arrangement to maltreat and abuse those who have patriotically volunteered to risk their lives to save our liberties.

SATURDAY
MAY 9, 1863

THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

Foreign Affairs: War and Rumors of War.

The news from England is exciting and important. Numerous questions have arisen lately, which have added to the irritation that has long existed between that country and the United States, and the prospect of open hostilities between the two countries is openly and freely mentioned. The American protests against the fitting out of vessels like the Alabama, to prey upon our commerce, and the consequent seizure of the Alexandria preparing for the same service; the irritating questions which have arisen in respect to the capture of certain English vessels for attempting to run the blockade, like the Peterhoff, and more lately the Dolphin; and last but most annoying of all, to England, the fact that Minister Adams gave a letter to a vessel bound to Matamoras, certifying to her neutral and legitimate character, have all conduced to this increased feeling of hostility, and to the belligerent tone of that portion of the press hostile to us, and the warning notes uttered by those sheets which have hitherto been friendly to the North. All these subjects have been fully discussed in parliament, and the tone of some of the speeches was very hostile, some going as far as to demand the unconditional release of eh vessel Alexandria. The government, however, shows no disposition to act rashly or one-sidedly, and we cannot believe that a rupture of the friendly feelings existing between the two countries is probable, or hardly possible, at present. The matter of the Alexandria is to be fully investigated, and the ministry at length show a disposition to stop the fitting out of privateers for the rebels. Our government, too, in the future–as well as in the past–will conduct the seizure of blockade runners with all due regard to the rights of neutrals; and if any mistakes are made, will no doubt be ready to make all reparation consistent with honor. So that, unless the recent defeat we sustained in Virginia shall make England additionally insolent and unreasonable, we have faith that the amicable relations between the two countries will not be disturbed. It is rumored also that there is an increased irritation of feeling in France, because the vessel to which Minister Adams gave the certificate was to carry arms and supplies to the Mexicans, to be used against the French; but if there is any truth in this report it is not confirmed by later advices. The Polish insurrection is spreading, and the Poles have gained some successes in recent engagements, the Russian commanders have called for an increase of their forces, and the question seemed more likely than ever to stir up a general European war. It is impossible to learn any details of the condition of affairs, as everything we have yet received is the most general nature. We have no intelligence as yet of the fall of Puebla. The advices from Vera Cruz are to the 22d ult., and though there have been several arrivals between the 6th and that date, the French kept a studied silence on the condition of affairs. From what leaks out by private sources, however, it seems the French are progressing very slowly with their attack, and are meeting with very heavy losses. The lack of official intelligence is generally construed to mean that the French are getting the worst of the encounter, though at this distance, and the slight information at hand, it is impossible to predicate the final result.

Larkspur Leagues.–After Union Leagues came Onion Leagues, where women undertake to raise that homely and unfragrant but healthful vegetable for the soldier. Now let us have Larkspur Leagues. Send larkspur seeds to soldiers and to hospitals. When men come into hospitals, and get plenty of water and clean clothes, then the next thing is, the “larkspur bottle.” The seeds of the common garden larkspur, either in boiling water or spirit, cause great destruction of life–in some quarters. The Bible uses plain language when it speaks of one of the plagues of Egypt. So did a poor German, when he described his sufferings. “When I went into battle, I left my knapsack behind, and when I was wounded and taken away, I lost it, and when I was put in the hospital, I had no clean clothes, and then, lice, lady, lice,” with a sort of half whisper, almost a terror in his face at the idea. Let us all sow larkspur and give away all the seeds we do not want. For use, the proportions are not material, perhaps a table spoon full of seed to a quart of liquor. Pour boiling water to them, and if convenient add a little spirit, to preserve it. There is no danger in its use except to the vermin who are to be attacked. It is very much to be feared that the war will last till another crop of seeds shall be gathered. Who knows how many? At all events so long as we have camps and hospitals, so long we shall need all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive, against these insidious enemies.

•••••

A bill is before the confederate congress limiting naturalization to the foreigners who volunteer in the rebel service. The Richmond News says the bill is likely to pass, and argues for it thus: “Ethnologists have decided that the admixture of an inferior with a superior race of the human species degrades the latter to the level of the former, and it is very certain that unless we restrain immigration by the most stringent laws, we shall in a very few years after peace is declared, be overrun by Yankees and other foreigners, and that the next generation of southerners will be the vilest mongrels.”

•••••

A corporal in the 20th New York regiment lately gave birth to an infant. It was not until quite recently that the sex of the corporal was discovered. Her husband is a sergeant in the regiment. She enlisted as a private, and was promoted for good conduct.

•••••

In 1791 the national debt was, in round numbers, $75,000,000; and for the year ending July, 1862, it was $514,000,000. Our lightest year was 1838, when the debt only reached the sum of $291,000. In 1812 it was $45,000,000, in 1813 $56,000,000, and in 1814 $81,000,000. The only years when it went above one hundred millions, were in 1816 and the two following years, the highest mark before 1862 having been $127,000,000, and that was in 1861. At the time the rebellion broke out, the national debt was about $91,000,000.

No, the Seco does not have a “wooden propeller.” The phrase means she is a propeller-driven vessel (as opposed to sails or paddlewheels) built of wood (as opposed to being iron clad).

2 To razee a ship means to remove her upper deck.

3 A tare is one of a number of weedy plants (usually vetch) or, as here, “An unwelcome or objectionable element.”

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