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SUNDAY
SEPTEMBER
20, 1863
THE DAILY PICAYUNE (LA)

Interesting Foreign News.

Maximillian’s Acceptance.—The Vienna Presse of August 26 says:

With regard to the acceptance by Archduke Maximillian of the throne of Mexico, we are informed, on good authority, that the Archduke is personally inclined to accept the crown, and that he confidently believes the negotiations on foot will lead to practical results. It seems that he is already occupied in making arrangements in regard to the persons who are to accompany him, and that he has confidentially spoken to several persons on this subject. But we are informed from the same source that the Emperor is less favorable to the acceptance, and that he has distinctly notified to his brother that he must not calculate on the support of Austria in case of any difficulty arising out of the affair. Notwithstanding this declaration on the part of the Emperor, the Archduke has resolved to accept the crown.

[Vienna (August 24) correspondence of the Boersenhalle of Hamburg]

We have been informed that the Mexican question will especially occupy the attention of the Austrian diplomatists assembled at Frankfurt. Prince Metternich and Count d’Apponyl, the Austrian Ambassadors at Paris and London, are already there, and it appears that Lord Clarendon’s arrival is connected with the same question. We have reason to believe that the English Government has recommended extreme prudence in coming to a decision on the acceptance of the Mexican crown by the Archduke Maximillian. It would seem that this advice has been followed, and we can affirm that, for some days past, the chances of the Archduke’s acceptance have rather diminished than increased.

The Paris correspondent of the London Herald says that there is a report that well-known shipbuilding firms at Havre and Bordeaux are building cruisers for the Confederate States; but it is probably a canard.

[Paris (August 27) correspondence of the London Post]

Mexico and the United States.—For some days past the Americans of the Northern Union have been loud in their assertions that President Lincoln had made a communication to the Emperor of the French that would make him repent his march upon Mexico. By most persons conversant with the state of American affairs this was treated as “bunkum.” The Patrie, however, last night seemed to be authorized to tell the world that a protest relating to the late political events in Mexico had been forwarded by the last American packet boat, the City of Cork, and that it was to be presented this week by the American Ambassador to the Court of the Tulleries. The government of Mr. Lincoln, it was asserted by that journal, invoked the Monroe doctrine, and broadly state that the possession of Mexico was a menace to American independence and an encouragement given to the secessionists.

La France and La Temps affirm that the rumor of any protest is unfounded.

The Patrie, with its usual demonstration of hostility towards England, says that its private letters from New York attribute the decision of Mr. Lincoln to take this step towards France to the representations made by the Ministers of England and Russia to the Cabinet of Washington.->

[Paris (August 27) correspondence of the London Times]

The Silver Mines of Real del Monte Seized by the French.—A letter from Pachuca, dated June 20, tells of a successful expedition sent from Mexico [City] by Marshal Forey, under the command of Col. Aymard, of the 62d regiment. The force consisted of 2000 infantry, 400 horses and a section of mountain artillery. The object of the expedition was to obtain possession of Pachuca and the silver mines of Real del Monte. Pachuca, which is sixty miles from Mexico [City], is reached by a well paved road through a highly cultivated country. It was known at Mexico that Pachuca had been fortified, and that it was defended by 4000 Mexicans, under command of Gen. Orellano. A stout resistance was consequently expected. It was known, further, that the population were ill disposed towards the French, and that they had given a most flattering reception to the fugitive Gen. Ortega.

When the French troops arrived before the gates of Pachuca, they were agreeably surprised to find that gen. Orellano had decamped with his small army, and that the authorities of the town were waiting to give up possession to Col. Aymard. An hour later the French officers ate the breakfast which had been intended for Gen. Orellano and his staff. The population of Pachuca, which is estimated at nine thousand, is described as being composed of adventurers from England, France, Germany and America. The same class is to be found at Real del Monte and the other mining districts. The Juarists left behind them at Pachuca a sum of 200,000 francs, which they had not had time to carry off. The French will probably remain at Pachuca to protect the mining at Real del Monte, from which they expect to derive large sums.

•••••

All Sorts.

In Paris lately a very singular kind of carriage has been noticed driving about the Boulevards. Through some peculiar machinery, the body of the carriage, which consists of four seats, is so constructed as to go round and round incessantly, very much in the same way as one sees the merry-go-round at fairs. This enables those seated to see everything that they pass, or that passes them, when driving; but the amusement will probably be stopped, as it is no doubt of a revolutionary tendency.

Canadians who have passed themselves off in Vermont three different times as substitutes, are riding about Montreal with fast horses and cigars in their mouths.

A malicious doctor says that if a lawyer is in danger of starving in a small village, he invites another, and both thrive.

Our Plaquemines correspondent writes us that the present dry weather is very favorable to planters and farmers. Cotton picking is now general in that section. The rice crop has been secured, and grain has a clean and healthy appearance. The cane fields promise a fair yield. The public health is good for the  season of the year. Flocks of wild ducks are coming to the marshes, and mosquitoes are more numerous than ever.

Ohio and Illinois exchanges give a very discouraging picture of eh injury inflicted upon the crops in all that region by the recent frosts. In Central Illinois the corn and tobacco were swept down by the thousand acres, and there was ice an eighth of an inch thick.

MONDAY
SEPTEMBER 21, 1863
THE DAILY RICHMOND EXAMINER (VA)

The great dorsal ridge separating the basin of the Mississippi from the Atlantic region, which constitutes so prominent a feature in the physical geography of the continent, has been scarcely less marked in the present wars as the dividing line of the good and evil fortunes of the Confederacy. While, on this side of the Alleghanies, our arms have been illustrated by a series of victories brilliant beyond what could have been reasonably expected from a comparison of the resources of the belligerents, and the territory of the enemy subjected to the humiliation of invasion by a people of a third of their numbers, to the west of that chain we have met with almost uninterrupted disaster. The tide of war has borne us steadily backwards from the commanding position we occupied in the heart of Kentucky, with complete control of the Mississippi, until our train of misfortune seems to have reached a climax in the abandonment of the whole State of Tennessee, and worst of all, the ignominious surrender of so strong a position as Cumberland Gap, which was held last year by a Yankee garrison against our advancing forces with a pertinacity that our generals have not emulated, and, at length, successfully evacuated. So unbroken have been our reverses in that quarter, and so delusive the few gleams of transitory success which have occasionally cheated the hopes of the country, that the report of a western victory is now received by the public with a quiet skepticism, and an uneasy expectation of further intelligence, which rarely fails to justify our slowness in believing what our hearts desire. If the electric current bears to us the glad tidings of a brilliant victory gained by our troops, of the routed adversary and captured guns and prisoners on one day, an ominous silence succeeds, then follow vague and sinister rumors of reverses, and at length the halting truth comes forward, telling of victory snatched from our grasp or turned to bloody defeat. Such is the history of Shiloh, Murfreesboro’, and Corinth.

The contrast between the two theatres of the war has been marked and striking. True, the picture is not entirely free from lights and shadows on either side. Roanoke Island has somewhat marred the one, while the first day of Shiloh, the brilliant forays of Morgan, Wheeler and Forrest, and the unexpected success with which for more than a year Vicksburg defied three successive expeditions, until an evil star shed its malignant influence over her, light up the sombre tints of the other. The steady tendency and actual result on each side is, however clear and unmistakable. Two years ago our army was encamped at Bowling Green, and our batteries, on the beetling cliff of Columbus, scowled defiance to Cairo; now we hold a position on the borders of Georgia, and await the enemy’s advance in the interior of Mississippi. Chattanooga is in the enemy’s hands, and the line of the Tennessee, fortified by the hand of nature, and, as we are told, susceptible of defense by a small body of troops against a numerous army, has been yielded without an attempt at resistance.

If these continual retreats are a necessary part of a general defensive policy, and links in the chain of great strategic combinations, however mistaken may be the policy, or however great the losses unavoidably entailed, not only upon the abandoned districts, but upon the country at large. It is impossible, however, to put this construction upon retreats preceded by an evident effort to avoid the necessity for such a resort, nor where such obvious advantages are presented by a line of defense as to make it clearly desirable to adhere to it, both for strictly military reasons, as well as for those connected with the question of supply, and the political state of affairs. The country has been accustomed to regard the defensive positions assumed by General Bragg, as especially ->

connected by considerations of that nature. Unless superior numbers have overbalanced strength of situation, or a temporary retreat is part of a net-work of manœuvres destined to entrap the enemy and result in decisive military victory, retreat without a battle must be regarded as eminently injudicious. Both moral and material losses unavoidably wait upon retreat. “In a battle,” says Marshal Saxe, “the loss is about equal on both sides; in retreat it falls upon the retiring army.” The wily and cautious Rosencranz will not fight unless supported by a superiority of numbers. He risks nothing in the hope of brilliant victory and rapid triumph. His strategy is an epitome of the war, immense concentration of numbers, cautious advance, and slow encroachment upon our territory, such is the character of the war, and the unenterprising nature of Yankee generals. If Rosencranz is to be defeated, he must be attacked in positions where he has lost no time in fortifying himself. If no movements are made by our armies, he will rest contented with his gains, firmly establish a new base of operations, and, in the next campaign, the question will recur, whether we are to retreat again, or to accept battle in a new defensive position.

The supreme authority of Napoleon has decided that rivers present no insuperable obstacle to an army. A feint, a rapid march, will always elude the vigilance of the defenders, and the passage be effected. Mountainous positions are more effectual barriers, yet they may in general be flanked, and the army which occupies them forced to retire. The most rocky defiles and frowning gorges have proved insufficient to arrest the march of invading armies. Force or stratagem have overcome all obstacles. The pass of Thermopylæ, though defended by the Spartan and assailed by the Persian, served but to retard the advance of Xerxes. The Cilician Gates were passed by Alexander and Heraclius. The narrow pass of Somosierra was carried by a charge of Polish lancers, directed by the sudden inspiration of Napoleon’s genius. It may be said that treachery, accident or misconduct, have been to blame in those cases. It may be fairly replied that a contingency which is found to take place in a majority of instances has legitimate claims to be considered the rule, and that we are justified by experience in relying with more confidence on victory in the open field than in the vaunted strength of impregnable positions. . .

The defensive system has been much strengthened by the example of Napoleon’s Russian campaign. . . The conditions of defensive warfare are essentially different in Russia and the Confederacy. Immense extent of territory is almost the only resemblance. The line of Napoleon’s march was not thoroughly intersected by a system of navigable rivers, nor had he the means of availing himself of them had they existed. The command of the sea was not his. The vicinity of water was almost as hateful to him as to Confederate generals. The Confederacy, on the other hand, is interpenetrated by capacious rivers, on which we formerly regarded with pride the commerce of a fruitful country, but which are now treacherous highways for the hostile gunboats and transport. In a country of this character, an enemy possessed of naval superiority enjoys the advantage of being able to make his base at a point far beyond the frontier, and is able to avoid the danger and inconveniences usually attendant upon invasion.

TUESDAY
SEPTEMBER 22,
1863
THE BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER

A New Rebel Idea.

A letter from “one of the ablest citizens of Louisiana” is printed in the Columbia South Carolinian. He makes the following suggestion as to the means of conducting the war in future:

“The war, if continued, can no longer be conducted as it has been. Our currency is so depreciated that it will soon cease to be available. I see but one remedy. Let no more paper money be issued. Let the whole Confederacy be divided into two classes–the combatants and the producers. As long as this war shall last, every one of us must be satisfied with shelter, food, and clothing, and nothing else. The soldiers and officers, from the highest to the lowest, must fight without pay. Why should they need money when provided with necessaries and their families taken care of? Let all the resources and productions of every farmer or planter be put at the disposal of the government, without pay. Let every woman and every child old enough for the purpose be made to work without pay. Let the President and every civil officer of employé have no pay. In fact, let it be a penal offence to buy or sell anything; but let food, raiment, shelter, and medicine be secured to every one under a parish or county organization, controlled or supervised by the General Government. In this way there would be no further increase of our national debt; in fact, no currency would be necessary for the time being, but every one who should have Confederate notes in his pocket would then feel that they are good, and that he would have something to fall back upon when peace is declared.

“It is on this principle that Frederick the Great, when the existence of Prussia was at stake, carried on successfully his famous seven years’ war against such odds as the world had never seen before and never seen since. Berlin, his capital, was taken and sacked five or six times, and his whole territory turned almost into a wilderness, but he came out of that war without a cent of debt. Why? Because he seized upon the whole of Prussia, and forced every human being in it to contribute to its deliverance. He did not issue bonds, but parted with his silver spoons, and expected the same sacrifice from all his subjects. He took everything in the name of Prussia, and paid for nothing; we know with what glorious results. Should we adopt such a policy, which would instantly put a stop to the increase of our national debt and give the world the sublime assurance of our determination not to fail–together with the undeniable proof of the impossibility of our failing, because of the very adoption of such a policy–the eight per cent bonds would rise to 120 or 130 in Europe. The faith of so heroic a nation would no longer be doubted. Those bonds would then be more eagerly sought after than gold, and with them we would procure everything in the European market. The North itself, which relies on our fast approaching bankruptcy, would despair of triumphing over the South when transformed into a vast camp and a vast national work shop.”

•••••

The New York World says editorially that private advices from New Orleans represent that considerable feeling exists in New Orleans on the intervention question, especially among the French and Creole population. This feeling had been much stimulated by the latest mail from the North. It was known to the French Consul at New Orleans and others that the French had occupied Matamoras with 4000 or 5000 men within a few days. A collision was anticipated between the French and Federal gunboats at the mouth of the Rio Grande, on some matter connected with cotton and rebel supplies there. The feeling in regard to intervention was recently indicated by an advance of five per cent in rebel funds. Ex-Gov. Morehead, who is now in Paris, it is positively alleged has written to friends in New York that Napoleon and Jeff Davis have formed a secret treaty of recognition through the agency of Slidell.

•••••

The grave intelligence which comes to us from General Rosecrans gives a rude shock to the universal confidence as to the swift and certain progress of our arms in that section. It also justifies, we apprehend, the doubts which have been expressed, particularly in the new Army and Navy Journal, as to the correctness and safety of the plan on which our operations in that quarter have been conducted. Rosecrans and Burnside, while acting for the same general purpose, have been moving at a great distance from each other, with no power of concentration at this stage of the work. At the same time our other forces farther west, have not only been too far removed to cooperate with Rosecrans, but have themselves been divided and dispatched on various missions. Thus at the critical moment and at the critical point our army has had its usual fortune of being unable to use more than a fraction of its force, although, we must add, that fraction was so large as to seem to insure easy victory against anything that the enemy could oppose to it.

The enemy, however, had no intention of abandoning the field. It now seems that having resolved to make a desperate effort to free himself from the deadly and tightening embrace of our armies, he selected General Rosecrans’s department as that in which a blow might be struck with the best advantage. He retreated from Tullahoma and from Chattanooga rather than accept an unequal battle, but concentrated rapidly as he fell back, and thus he has at last been able to contest the field with our forces, which were weakened as they advanced and which, as have seen, could as yet obtain nothing by concentration–and this at the very moment when half the country seemed to doubt whether the fighting was not pretty well finished!

WEDNESDAY
SEPTEMBER 23, 1863

THE PORTLAND ADVERTISER (ME)

Bragg’s Army–
Army of the Potomac.

New York, Sept. 22.–A person who was with Bragg’s army some three weeks estimates his force as follows: Bragg’s army 11,000, Forest’s cavalry 14,000, Buckner’s corps 12,000, Johnston’s reinforcements 5,000, total 41,000. If to this be added Longstreet’s or Ewell’s corps of 25,000 men, the whole force will net to 96,000 men.1 It is not by any means certain that any portion of Lee’s army has been sent to Bragg.

The Times’ Washington dispatch says a movement of the Army of Potomac has commenced so far as to send forward Buford’s cavalry across the Rapidan. The crossing was effected without opposition.

It is thought that but a feeble force of rebels intervene between Meade and Richmond. Commanders who have doubted the accumulated evidence of many detachments sent from Lee’s army southward, none seem inclined to admit the fact, since the news of the Chattanooga battle has begun to arrive, that Gen. Rosecrans is fighting the whole Southern Confederacy.

A gentleman who left Falmouth a few days ago reported that there was no rebel force in or near Fredericksburg to be seen. He also says that there is only one brigade as low down as Germania, on the Rapidan. There is only one squad of rebel troops now north of the Rappahannock and east of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.

The Herald’s Washington dispatch says the authorities have come to the conclusion that the draft will not pay; under its process they obtain more money than ever, and the character of the substitutes prevents worthy men from serving. It is probable that the draft will be abandoned for a plan of volunteer enlistment. One singular feature has been developed by the draft. Numerous letters have been received from Senators and Representatives who voted for the conscription, but not one of them has asked for a construction of the law that would take a drafted man into the army, but all have requested such a construction as would let a constituent escape the draft.

•••••

In the battle of Sunday near Chattanooga, the telegraph says, in one line, “the number of killed and wounded will probably not fall short of 30,000.” It is a short but sad comment on the devastations of this war, which in destructiveness has never been equalled. Yet we are enjoined that to talk of peace or arrangement, or reunion by any measure short of subjugation, is rank treason. There are three classes who join in [this] cry: 1st, those who don’t go to the war, but get rich from from its bloody products, and care for nothing but its continuance; 2d, a complacent class, like some of our military, stump orators, who urged that these hecatombs of killed men, were not missed; and 3d, a class of Benthamite philosophers, who, like Beecher, declare that blood letting is good for the health of the nation, and who don’t want the soldiers ever to return. That is the way it stands. Only 30,000 killed and wounded–a mere trifle! And Rosecrans undoubtedly defeated. Nothing! Suspension of the habeas corpus and a new draft. Nothing! Greenbacks are prevalent, and the printing presses that make them hold out.

Shelling, and How the Missiles are Dodged.—A correspondent, writing from Morris Island to the Christian Advocate and Journal says:

At night we can see the path of a shell through all its journey, lighted as it is by the burning fuse. When the range is two miles, the track of a shell from a mortar describes very near half the arc of a circle. On leaving the mortar it gracefully moves on, climbing up and up into the heavens, till it is nearly or quite a mile above the earth, and then it glides along for a moment, apparently in a horizontal line; but quickly you can see that the little fiery orb is on the home stretch, describing the other segment of the circle.

A shell from a Parrott rifled gun in going two and a half miles, deviates from a straight line not quite as much as a shell from a mortar. But in passing over this space considerable time is required. The report travels much faster than the shot. A shell from a mortar will make a distance of two miles in about thirty seconds, and from a Parrott gun in about half that time. The flash of a gun at night, and the white smoke by day, indicate the moment of the discharge, and fifteen or twenty seconds give an abundance of time to find cover in a splinter proof, behind a trench, or something else. It is wise and soldierly to do so, but many pay no attention to these hissing, screaming, flying in the daytime, if shot from a gun, invisible devils, except to crack jokes at their expense; or occasionally one pays his life for his fool-hardiness.

•••••

Substitute Swindler.—The sale of white men and boys is becoming an ordinary traffic. It seems two or more police have been engaged in it. The High Sheriff and jailor of a neighboring county speculated in it. That honest men may not employ themselves in procuring substitutes we do not say; but men should understand who they apply to. Here is an incident; yesterday a substitute broker, one Israel Clark, of Boston, arrived in this city with a young Irish lad named John McDonald, who he disposed of to a conscript named John Wentworth, of Lebanon, for the sum of $335. Of this amount the lad received $200. On receiving the money he paid Clark $100 for taking care of him while sick at his house. Clark asked him if he wanted some small bills, when the innocent lad received in exchange for $30 the same amount in counterfeit fives on the New England Bank of Boston. Clark was arrested near the Post Office, and is now in the lock-up, but under the President’s habeas corpus suspension, what rights has the boy? We do not see that he has any–he is a “prisoner” if the officer in charge of the conscripts says so.

THURSDAY
SEPTEMBER 24,
1863
THE SALEM REGISTER (MA)

Prentice on Rebel Women.

A lady, signing herself “Mary Ann,” writes a very abusive letter to George D. Prentice, from Bloomfield, Ky. Mr. Prentice publishes it in the Louisville Journal, and after some pleasant gossip about the document, breaks out as follows:

“Seriously, we have published the letter of our female correspondent at Bloomfield just to show what sort of a thing the spirit of this rebellion can transform a woman into, who probably was once a fair enough specimen of human nature. If the rebellion were to accomplish all the good that its craziest supporters ever hoped from it, it could never compensate for a tithe of the evil it has done in the single item of the Satanization of the feelings, the passions, the whole natures of a portion of the portion of the American women.

“The women of this country have been favored from childhood above those of all other countries of the earth; they have enjoyed every blessing and every privilege that the female heart in other quarters of the globe ever dreamed of; they have grown up under the noblest flag that shone as a star of heaven to them and a terrible bale-fire to their country’s enemies, a flag to which the oppressed of all the world’s monarchies and despotisms knelt as they might have knelt to the fiery cross seen by Constantine in the sky; and yet, when this old flag, this honored and battle-worn flag, in a season of the mightiest prosperity, without the shadow of cause, without even a pretext that the utmost human ingenuity could make plausible, was assailed by disappointed and maddened politicians, thousands and tens of thousands of our women, not stopping a moment to inquire into the right or the wrong, became fiercer than the fiercest men against the glorious emblem of our nationality, and in favor of rebellion with its whole long and dreadful train of infernal horrors!

“We do not speak now of all the rebel women, but we do speak of very many of them. They jeered at the old banner of stars given us by our gray fathers whenever they beheld it. They mocked it, they spit upon it, they trampled it under foot, and were not ashamed! They seemed actuated by nothing but an insane rage for change, novelty, innovation, revolution, anarchy, tragedy, ruin, desolation. They hurled their words of fury around them as a maniac would hurl coals of fire. They seemed to transcend, in their taste for blood, even those female monsters, born of the French revolution, who sat daily around the guillotine, laughing and scoffing as the gleaming steel descended and the bloody heads rolled gasping upon the ground. They literally compelled innumerable men and boys, their own husbands, cousins, lovers, brothers, sons, who would most gladly have remained at home, to take up arms and go into the rebel armies. They are responsible for the deaths of thousands who have perished of sickness, toil, hunger, sword, bullet, and bayonet.

“Thousands of poor dead tongues, mute in all things else, are continually bearing evil testimony against them from far and unknown and undistinguishable gravers, and from plains and thickets and hills and swamps where where unburied skeletons gleam with ghastly whiteness upon the earth’s surface. We are sometimes unable to gaze upon the female inciters of the terrible rebellion, however comely they may be in form or feature, and realize at the moment that they are human. Their eyes look at us like tomb fires, their mouths like trenches for the dead, their noses like heaps of bones, their bosoms like tumuli over mortal dust, and the rose hues upon their cheeks like the foul blood stains of battle and massacre. The whole atmosphere around them seems surcharged with visible death and horror.->

“There are at this day in the rebel armies great numbers of young men who would gladly return home but dare not. They are afraid, not of male relatives and friends at home, but female. They understand that, if they were to leave the service to which in an evil hour they devoted themselves, they would be under the ban of the bitter indignation and scorn of rebel women. These women, we mean only the portion of them we have been referring to, incapable of remorse or regret for all the ruin they have wrought, are keeping up their unnatural and most accursed work. But for them the prospect of speedy peace would be far better than it is. We believe that the men North and South could come together if rebel women did not hold them apart. These builders of pyramids of skulls do whatever they can, by all the arts of provocation and encouragement and blandishment, to keep up the strife. We will not say that in this they unsex themselves; we will do no such injustice to the male sex.”

•••••

Rebel Barbarism at Wagner.—Men are busy around Wagner digging up torpedoes. Thirty-five have been brought to light since evacuation. A number of rebel prisoners were taken to the fort the other day, and made to point out the spot where every torpedo was buried, under penalty of being shot if they practised any deception. It seems that quite a large space in front of Wagner is completely filled with them. Inside the bomb proof, a large door opening into a magazine is regarded with suspicion. It is thought that a fuse has been so placed that it will become ignited when the door opens, and so cause an explosion. Prisoners state that the magazine is filled with ammunition. One of the most inhuman acts that has perpetrated since the war commenced was attempted to be carried out by the rebels on the night of the evacuation. According to the statement of a wounded man discovered in the bomb-proof, he had been lying in dying condition for four days.

The rebels refused to give him even a swallow of water to quench his thirst, and told him when they left that he could not possibly live, and had better, before dying, do as much for the cause as lay in his power. That he might benefit from this advice, they placed in his hand a string attached to a fuse communicating with the magazine before alluded to, with instructions to pull it when the fort was well filled with Yankees, and so send them all, himself included, into eternity. But the wounded rebel, although almost dead when our men entered the fort, had a faint hope that perhaps he might live if properly attended, and gave that as a reason for not pulling the string. He was taken to an ambulance, and died while being conveyed to the hospital.

FRIDAY
SEPTEMBER 25
, 1863
THE LIBERATOR (MA)

Too Late.

The self-evident lie, that Jeff Davis was about to free and arm a host of slaves to fight for the Confederacy, has crossed the water in its travels, and is now coming home to roost. The English press, of course, was divided between accepting and rejecting the absurd report. They lent it no credit who had sense to read suicide in an act of emancipation by a State of which slavery was at once the corner-stone and normal social condition; or who failed to recognize the connection between the means of freedom and the end of political supremacy founded on a system of bondage. The Tory journals, on the contrary, with a credulity which is the offspring of their ardor in behalf of men-stealers, swallowed the bait without a question; and whereas President Lincoln’s Proclamation of January 1st, and his subsequent policy of risking Negro regiments, they had found only the grossest inhumanity and barbarism, they now applauded the intention of the arch-rebel as a master-stroke of policy, whose moral effect on Europe would be incalculable. They will learn quickly enough how vain is their exultation–how dull they are of comprehension. The hour has passed when was possible the mockery of a slave taking arms to rivet his own chains more tightly. That hour sounded one year ago this week, and almost day. Then, between the President’s warning of Sept. 22d and the imperishable act of New Year’s day, we did have fears that the rebel leaders might content themselves with separation instead of conquest; might, for the sake of a disrupted Union, throw away, or pretend to throw away, their hopes of empire over a slave ridden land. By summoning their hapless bondmen to freedom and to battle, they could have rendered impossible the military subjugation of the South, and would in all probability have secured at once the recognition and moral and material support of foreign nations. The time was favorable. The Federal Government had not yet appeared to the straining eyes in the Southern prison-house as savior and deliverer. Its treatment of the fugitive was marked with cruel uncertainty and inconsistency; and the policy of each General or his underlings passed for law in his department. Cases of shocking outrage were of common occurrence, and the numerous victims returned to the vengeance of their masters were the couriers of distrust in our advancing armies, and in the flag which covered them. The time was favorable and ample, but it was unimproved; and it is now too late.

Yes, all too late are the efforts, North or South, to preserve the patriarchal institution in America. Slavery, of all social systems, cannot afford to be disturbed; and yet, in no single State of the old Union does it remain as it was before the outbreak of the rebellion. Wherever our armies have penetrated, the relation of master and slave has either been completely annihilated or fundamentally altered; our armies are still marching on! Of the Border States, Missouri is united upon the necessity of emancipation–divided upon the means. Maryland is agitating the same question, urged to it by the awakening sense of her best citizens, and by her uncomfortable position between the free District of Columbia and the free State of Pennsylvania. Already a black regiment, raised ->

from her midst, has paraded the streets of her chief city, hardly yet dry from the blood of Northern soldiery. Already her fugitives, who escape en masse, begin to arm themselves with muskets, and to use them in case of hindrance. Delaware has as emancipationist for her Governor. So has Tennessee, at whose capital is encamped, (if it be not already with Rosecrans,) a newly formed Negro regiment, pioneer of many to spring up shortly under the auspices of the War Department as embodied in Major Stearns. Black troops are the ministers of retributive justice in destroying Charleston, the focus of rebellion and slavery. Black troops preserved to us the city of New Orleans, and now stand guard at Vicksburg, Port Hudson and Baton Rouge. Slavery is doomed. Come struggle, come quiet, the sum of all villainies is crumbling into the mould of the past.

No promise of freedom to the ear–no bribe to foreign sympathy–no success in the field, even–can disappoint, however much postpone, this consummation, which is the prayer of all good men, and the just demand of the present age.

•••••

Better News from England.—The Washington correspondent of the N. Y. Tribune says:

“A private letter from an American gentleman now in Great Britain, where he enjoys excellent opportunities of information, was received yesterday.

“The writer says that a remarkable change has come over the public opinion of England within the last few weeks. It now favors the North as strongly as it has heretofore favored the South. Among the distinguished converts is Mr. Gladstone, who will take an early opportunity of declaring himself the friend of the Union. The writer is assured upon high authority that the rebel rams will not be permitted to sail, or that if they do sail they will each be escorted by an English ironclad, instructed to prevent them from violating the neutrality of Britain. It is added that large amount of capital is awaiting settlement of the ram question, in order to seek investment in American securities. Our recent victories are regarded as the cause of this change of front by England.”

•••••

Colored Seamen in the Navy.—An unofficial estimate of the number of colored seamen in the Navy shows that there are now about 5,000 in that branch of the public service. They were originally introduced as cooks and stewards, and for years were not seen on deck. Long before the war, however, they were allowed in the “after guard,” and got along so well with the sailors and marines that the propriety of putting them in “the top” soon became apparent. At present they are seamen, ordinary seamen, landsmen, and boys–the marine corps and the ward-room being the only portions of a man-of-war from which they are excluded.

SATURDAY
SEPTEMBER 26, 1863

THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

Review of the Week.

In Virginia.

The report is received every few days that our army in Virginia is advancing. It is now said it has crossed the Rapidan and will march upon Gordonsville. There can be no doubt that Gen. Lee has sent some portion of his army to Bragg and Johnston in Georgia. It is doubted, however, that the numbers of his troops have been seriously diminished, as his and all the rebel armies have been rapidly filling up with conscripts. The conscription is universal and remorseless in rebeldom, and every man and boy that can hold a gun is considered able bodied and forced into the ranks, and there can be no doubt that the rebel armies are now as strong in numbers as they have been at any previous time. If Gen. Meade’s advance is a real one he will not find the road to Richmond clear, unless indeed, Gen. Lee shall adopt the strategy employed by Bragg, and retreat for the purpose of compelling Meade to fight at a distance from his base of supply and reinforcement. If that is Lee’s policy it ends the campaign in Virginia for the season, for Gen. Meade is too prudent to take the obvious risks of an overland march to Richmond. Gen. Meade was in Washington a few hours on Wednesday, in consultation with the president, Gen. Halleck and Secretary Stanton, when the plan of the campaign in Virginia was probably agreed upon. Guerrillas are less troublesome than they have been within or lines, and our cavalry are able to keep the country pretty clear. The sutlers are the chief sufferers at present, and they are combining for mutual protection.

As to Charleston.

Hope is still deferred as to the fall of Charleston. The equinoctial storm suspended the operations of the fleet for about a week, and it was all they could do to care for their own safety against the assailing elements. The monitors rode out the storm, however, and so disappointed the hopes of the rebels that the equinoctial would come to their relief. There seems to be nothing that the fleet can do at present but pound away again upon obstinate Sumter, which has been reinforced and its ruins strengthened, and refuses to be taken. The obstructions in the harbor have not been removed, nor do any available means for their removal yet present themselves, and Beauregard has established some new and heavy guns just received from England in batteries commanding the harbor, and relies upon them to blow our fleet out of the water, if they venture up beyond Sumter. About the only thing to be done at present is to rain Greek fire on the city and destroy it, and that Gen. Gilmore is nearly ready to do, having received a fresh and full supply of the destructive missiles. The enemy keep up an incessant fire upon our works on Morris Island, doing very little damage. It is suggested that the fleet may go up and take Wilmington, N. C., while Gen. Gilmore is preparing for the final assault. It would be a good thing to do, as the blockade of that port amounts to nothing, and the rebels are receiving large supplies through it. The rebels made signs of an attempt one night last week to drive our troops from Folly Island, but precautions for defense were taken, and they did not appear. Gen. Gilmore cannot be dislodged from Morris Island, and Charleston must therefore ultimately fall and its defenses be abandoned. How soon it is impossible to say, and we may as well be patient.

•••••

Bad State of Things in Washington.—The Washington correspondent of the Boston Traveller paints an unpleasant picture of life in Washington:

“It is useless to deny that the war has, in a measure, polluted the tastes of the people, bringing, as it has unmistakably, a train of evils to the doors of Washington previously but little known, until it is saddening to behold the utter degeneracy of the people, particularly the middle classes, to-day. The stranger cannot fail to observe the large number of jabbering foreign rowdies who congregate at the corners of the different streets. Many of these fellows are exiled vagabonds, who are here on the lookout for the first dishonest government official who has something to sell. It makes no difference whether the property be confiscated furniture, captured horses or quartermaster’s or commissary stores, the purchaser has no principles to lose, and why should he be scrupulous in making a bargain. There are scores of professional gamblers here from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston, plying their arts most dexterously to inveigle as many unsuspecting officers and soldiers as possible into their meshes, after the paymaster has been round, and in which, I am sorry to say, they often succeed, robbing the foolish men of every cent of their hard earnings. Brazen-faced harlots promenade the avenue, and dash through the streets in open barouches, dressed in the most dashy costume, their faded features covered with chalk and rouge. Half intoxicated rowdies roll the streets in open carriages, smoking their cigars and shouting indecent language. In fact, gambling, licentiousness, drunkenness, and every species of evil, run riot throughout the city, until now profligacy reigns supreme. I would like to tell you a few facts in relation to the ‘intelligent hotels’ of this dusty place, and of the recherché style in which nothing is saved. But enough of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

1 Could no one manage simple addition in the 19th century? Yes, the total is actually 42,000–which, if 50,000 is added thereto, comes to 92,000, not 96,000.

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