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SUNDAY
FEBRUARY 7, 1864
THE DAILY PICAYUNE (LA)

The Drain of War.—We published yesterday some trade returns showing how seriously the few steamers in the employ of the Confederate Government have damaged the foreign trade of the port of New York. In 1860 the second quarter’s trade, imports and exports together, amounted to $62,000,000 under the American flag and $30,000,000 under the flags of foreign nations, but in 1863 (so great has been the fear of capture) the second quarter’s trade is $65,000,000 under foreign flags and only $23,000,000 under the stars and stripes. To-day we publish an abstract of agricultural returns, showing how much the produce of the grain-growing West has been diminished by the lack of hands to till the soil. More oats and wheat have been sown, less corn and potatoes planted. It was difficult to get labor for the two former crops, impossible for the two latter. The increase of the former was less than 2,500,000 bushels, even if there had not been exaggeration; the decrease of the latter over 152,000,000 bushels. Failing to procure tobacco from the South, the more Northern States have increased its growth by 50,000,000 pounds. But the decrease in the great staple cereals is very marked, and the more distressing from the fact that if this bloody war is continued for another year the decrease must inevitably be much greater in 1864 than in 1863.

According to a statement republished by us yesterday from the New York World, 1,775,000 men have been called out to serve in the war. To this a Detroit paper adds 500,000 men, because it urges that for the conscription or two drafts, making 600,000 men together, the enrolling officers were ordered to add 50 per cent for the disabled, etc. This raises the number called out, or rejected and so disposed of, to 2,075,000. In the Army and Navy Journal, however, it is alleged that only 1,276,246 men were actually brought out exclusive of the quotas of the border States and California, from which no returns were procurable. That these States suffered to the extent of another 225,000 men is hardly questionable, and the drain of the war would be upon all, therefore, at least a million and a half–more than that if skedaddlers are counted.–Montreal Gazette.

•••••

What Becomes of the Dead Horses.—An Army correspondent of a New York Journal writes:

Some people will no doubt be astonished to learn that some fortunes have been made every year since the commencement of the war, out of the dead horses of the Army of the Potomac. The popular idea is that when Rocinante yields up the ghost, he is buried in some field, or left to molder into mother earth in the woods, somewhere. Not so. He has made his last charge, and gnawed his last fence rail, but there is from $20 to $40 in the old fellow yet. A contract for the purchase of the purchase of eh dead horses in the Army of the Potomac, for the remaining year, was let a few days ago, to the highest bidder, at $1.76 per head, delivered at the factory of the contractor. Last year, $60,000 was cleared on the contract, and this year it is thought $100,000 can be made on it. The animals die at the rate of fifty per day, at the lowest calculation. At the contractor’s establishment, they are thoroughly dissected. First, the shoes are pulled off; they are usually worth fifty cents a set. Then the hooves are cut off; they bring about two dollars a set. Then comes the caudal appendage, worth half a dollar.1 Then the hide–I don’t know what that sells for. Then the tallow, if it be possible to extract tallow from the army horses, which I think extremely doubtful, unless he dies immediately after entering the service. And last, but not least, the shin bones are valuable, being convertible into a variety of articles that many believe to be composed of pure ivory, such as cane heads, knife-handles, etc. By the time the contractor gets through with the “late lamented” steed, there is hardly enough of him left to feed a bull-pup on. Hereafter, kind reader, when you see a dead “hoss,” don’t turn up your nose at him, but regard him thoughtfully as a foundation for a large fortune in a single year. He may, individually, be a nuisance, but “there is that within which passeth show”–$100,000 a year.

Condition of Chattanooga.—A correspondent writing from Chattanooga Jan 10th says:

“The Hawk’s Nest,” as Chattanooga means in the Indian tongue, daily grows more and more like old times. The running of railway trains regularly to and from the North, and the arrival at our landing every day of steamers heavily laden, gives it an air of business and civilization similar to other times. The depot of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railway, especially, presents a live appearance, and reminds one of a Cincinnati freight depot–with this difference, that here we see no bales of costly dry goods, and all the et cetera common to commercial transactions North, but instead . . . sacks of forage, boxes of “hard tack,” barrels of bacon, etc.

The seeds of disease and death are being scattered broadcast in the town, and on the return of warm weather you may expect to hear that an epidemic has broken out. During the severe weather in the early part of the month, hundreds of horses and mules died in their corrals and in the streets. They are being gathered up slowly and buried; but so slight a burial is it that the first heavy spring rain will wash the soil from the carcasses and expose them to view. Had they been buried outside of town, it would not be so bad; but, strange to say, they find burial within portions of the town where they will be sure to make their presence felt next summer. It is to be hoped that the present commandant, who has not yet familiarized himself with all the duties of his responsible position, will see the necessity of ordering another graveyard for the animals outside of the limits of the town and distant from the hospitals. The effluvia arising from the carrion mixing with the air is not conducive to the health of sick men in crowded hospitals.

•••••

A young man presented himself for examination as assistant engineer in the navy. Among other questions, the following was asked of him: “Suppose you had built an engine yourself, performed every part of the work without assistance, and knew that it was in complete order, but when put into a vessel the pump would not draw water, what would you do?” The young man promptly replied: “I should go to the side of the vessel and ascertain if there was any water in the river.”

•••••

Feminine Perseverance.—At President Lincoln’s New Year’s reception, a lady unattended by any one, being anxious to gain admittance to the White House, and finding herself unable to edge through the immense crowds, struck upon a novel idea, and threw open one of the large windows leading from the portico to the ante-room, and crawled in upon all fours, greatly to the amusement of the crowd. She was soon followed by a large crowd of men and boys, but the police finding out the “leak,” soon “shut down” on them.

 

MONDAY
FEBRUARY 8, 1864
THE MACON DAILY TELEGRAPH (GA)

“Federal Protection.”

The Federal commanders at Suffolk, in North Carolina, and in Vicksburg, have given notice that they will withdraw all Federal protection to Confederate citizens in their lines, if within a given time the parties do not take the oath of allegiance to Lincoln. This is equivalent to abandoning these unhappy people to the license of the Northern soldiery, black and white, and at the same time directly inciting the soldiery to every species of outrage, by promising them immunity in advance. Already in a case of complaint of insult to defenseless women, these chivalrous officers have replied to the victims, “Since you renounce your allegiance, our duty to protect you ceases.” This personal outrage and violence is to be recognized and established law of Northern occupation, and the man or woman who has not sworn allegiance to Lincoln, who lifts his hand against the ruffian, will be punished for a trespass upon the rights of Northern soldiers to plunder, insult and outrage “rebels.”

The obligations imposed by the laws of civilized warfare to respect the persons and property of non-combatants are not only disregarded by Lincoln’s military officers, but they are repudiated in cold blood, and the non-combatant held up to the soldier as an outlaw, and the proper and defenseless subject of maltreatment, plunder and murder.

Nor, on the whole, does the case of those willing to take the oath seem to us much better. We know that universal spoliation has been the rule in East Tennessee, and it was only the other day that the Yankee General at Knoxville replied to a Unionist who complained that his house had been fired and his farm laid waste: “We come here, sir, for no other purpose than to devastate your country so completely that not a rebel regiment could subsist on it.” This is the federal protection now impending over Georgia, and what we are to have as sure as the sun shines, if the people do not rise in the majesty of their strength and courage and repel the invaders on the battlefield.

But, after all, as dreadful as such “protection” might be, we do verily believe it not so much to be dreaded as involvement by subjugation or otherwise in the common fate and destiny of the United States. The thunderbolts of heaven hang red with retributive vengeance over that country, and no mortal arm can avert the stroke. Cut loose from every constitutional restraint or limitation–recognizing no law, human or civil–no principal of government, or rule of right, but the mad passions of the hour–going headlong to bankruptcy, where bankruptcy will represent a starving majority–torn by the rage of fierce factions, every day embittering to intense and deadly animosity–a vessel in a storm without compass or rudder–a huge machine in frantic velocity of motion without check or balance–a steam boiler without safety valve–these or any other simile, drawn from mechanics or physics, to represent the mad impulsion of an irresistible agency, it seems to us will not exaggerate the impulses with which Lincolndom is driving down headlong into the abyss of anarchy, where there will be no protection for anybody.

Some say that order will be maintained there by military despotism. It will eventually, no doubt, be restored by despotism; but it will first be lost by anarchy, compared with which the terrors of revolutionary France will fade into insignificance. The North say they are now engaged in “civil war,” but the time, we believe, is not at best many years distant, when they will comprehend the meaning of the term and see their own people aroused against each other, and like a pack of perished wolves, tearing at each other’s’ throats.

And this will be the final solution of their gigantic and turbulent “democracy”–where the will of the majority is the only law–where government has already sunk to the reflex of the passions of the mob–without conscience or responsibility–without prudence–without moderation. ->

Where already several successive national elections have been made to turn upon questions of mere interest and prejudice, and the whole seething fountain of political power is poisoned to the bottom with all the frantic fanaticisms of German and French red republicanism, in addition to the worse fanaticism and agrarianism indigenous to the soil.

Now, from this fate, may Heaven deliver us! And yet, in it, you see all the “protection” the United States, as best disposed, can guarantee to any man, “loyal,” or in rebellion.” If the South maintains her independence, the storm of Northern anarchy will not effect us, should it come. Indeed, if defeated in her purpose of Southern subjugation, that defeat may possibly save the North, by a resulting disintegration. But it needs no sagacity or prophetic ken to see that, as a consolidated republic, nothing else will avert the terrible catastrophe.

•••••

To the Women of Georgia.

State of Georgia,
Quartermaster General’s Office,
Atlanta, Feb. 5th, 1864.

A report has been put in circulation in various portions of the State that the socks knit by the Ladies of Georgia for this Department, have been sold by me to the troops in the field. Without entering further into the details of this vile and malicious report, I hereby pronounce the whole tale to be a malicious falsehood. I deny, and challenge the world for proof to the contrary, that there has ever been a sock sold by this department to a soldier of the Confederate army since my first appeal to the women of Georgia to knit for their destitute defenders. I hereby bind myself to present One Thousand Dollars to any person, either citizen or soldier, who will come forward and prove that he ever bought a sock from this Department, that was either knit by the lades or purchased for issue to said troops.

This report has been invented on the one hand by the enemies of our noble boys, who rejoice in their sufferings, and are delighted when they suspend the efforts of the noble women in their behalf. On the other hand, by servile opponents of this department, who forget that in venting their unprovoked spite upon us, they are causing the troops of their State to march over frozen ground and the drifting snow with uncovered and bleeding feet.

Women of Georgia! again I appeal to you. This time I call upon you to frown down these vile falsehoods. I demand of him who peddles the tale the evidence I call for above. Until that testimony is produced, I implore you to stay not your efforts. I assure you in the name of all that is holy and noble–on the honor of a man and an officer–that myself or any of my assistants have never sold a pair of Socks th\at are knit by you. Every pair has been issued to the destitute troops as a gift, as about 17,000 gallant sons of the Empire State will gladly bear testimony.

Daughters of Georgia, I still need socks. Requisitions for them are daily pouring in upon me. I still have yarn to furnish you. I earnestly desire to secure a pair of socks foe every barefooted soldier from Georgia. You are my only reliance. Past experience teaches me I will not appeal to you in vain.

Ira R. Foster,
Quartermaster General of Ga.

All the Daily papers in the South will copy three times and Weeklies twice, and send bills to this office. The editors will confer a favor by calling attention.

TUESDAY
FEBRUARY 9,
1864
THE BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER

From the Army of the Potomac.
IMPORTANT RECONNOISSANCE.
[Correspondence of the New York Herald.]

Culpepper, Va., Feb. 7.–Yesterday commenced another epoch in the history of the war. The Army of the Potomac moved. Let the nation rejoice.

The order came the night before, although nearly one thousand wives of the officers and men were in camp. Notwithstanding that, after two or three weeks of remarkably pleasant weather for the season, the morning was foggy and cloudy, portending rain, never did troops make ready for a march with greater alacrity or trudge off through the mud in higher spirits than did the officers and men of the invincible Army of the Potomac. The whole movement was under the command of that gallant and popular soldiers, Major-General John Sedgwick. Whether the movement was devised or planned or advised by him, it is not in the power of your correspondent to state. Whether it was well or ill-advised at the present time it is not within his province to state. Time will determine and history will record the verdict on these points.

In the morning the road in the open country were tolerably dry and good; but in the woods they were so wet that the artillery cut them up into mud a foot deep at least. Of course, in moving so large a force, all the routes had to be taken advantage of, and consequently some portions of it had very heavy marching. In addition to this, about noon a drizzling rain set in, which soon made the best of the roads anything but favorable to locomotion.

One division crossed the river with but little opposition. Batteries were planted on the heights, which opened furiously to cover the crossing. This, however, elicited no response from the “Johnnies” until near night. As darkness and rain and a heavy fog enveloped the scene a sharp artillery and musketry fire commenced, and continued for an hour or more.

Second Dispatch.

Feb. 7, 9 p.m.–The army of the Potomac is again back at winter quarters. Gen. Kilpatrick crossed at Culpepper Ford and scoured the country from Jacobs’ to near Fredericksburg, finding nothing but cavalry pickets of Hampton’s division, nearly all of whom were captured. A detachment of the 2d New York cavalry went up to Jacobs’ Ford, where they learned there was a sergeant and nine men. They captured three of them. Gen. Kilpatrick’s command returned to camp at noon today.

Gen. Warren crossed the 3d division of the 2d corps yesterday with little or no opposition. Last evening the 2d division of the same corps crossed, and attempted to join the 3d in a piece of woods at the left of the ford. The rebels then opened on them from the right of the ford with musketry, where they had been concealed in another piece of woods. The night was dark, rainy and foggy, and the firing of each party was directed by the flash of the guns. During the night, after firing had ceased, our men were ordered to return across the river, which they did without molestation. The loss in killed, wounded and missing is reported at between one and two hundred, but this cannot be relied on. Our troops have lain just this side all day. Our pickets were on the bank, this side of the river, and the rebels just on the other side of Morton’s ford.

Gen. Humphries went down this evening and ordered all our troops back into their quarters, as the whole object of the reconnoissance had been accomplished. The 2d division was the only one that met with any loss.

From Washington.
The Exchange of Prisoners.

It appears from official documents that the commission of Gen. Hitchcock of Dec. 16 authorized him to confer with Gen. Butler, and designated him as agent to procure an exchange of soldiers and officers upon terms not conflicting with the position of the department relative to colored soldiers, nor surrendering men without a just equivalent, man for man, officer for officer. Subsequently he was directed to exchange first those who had been longest confined, and to waive for the time the consideration of the question of parole and excess of rebel prisoners in our hands. He was allowed, also, to exchange colored men in civil employment for men in civil employment captured by our forces. On the 25th of December Gen. Butler sent forward by Assistant Commissioner Mulford 502 prisoners from Point Lookout, asking an exchange for a similar number, and leaving in abeyance  all existing differences, with assurances that their prisoners in our hands were well cared for, and suggestions looking to the immediate exchange of convalescent and disabled prisoners. In a communication of the same date he asks for the exchange of Alfred F. Bougle, of the Sanitary Commission, confined in Castle Thunder, the whereabouts and condition of Lieut. E. H. Mason and private John Wallam, of Ohio regiments, and inquires into the proposition covering the cases of the officers and crews of the steamers Emily and Arrow, captured by the rebels last May.

Commissioner Ould reiterates in a note to Major Mulford a willingness to exchange all prisoners, the excess on either side to be on parole. He says: “This is the provision of the cartel, and we can accept nothing less. Unless this is the distinct understanding, no equivalent will be delivered to you for any confederate officers and soldiers whom you may hereafter bring to City Point. In the hope that such is the understanding, I have directed that a greater number than the total of your delivery shall be sent to you.”

In another communication, Gen. Hitchcock is reminded that by Davis’s proclamation, Gen. Butler is under the ban of outlawry, and that while he cannot prescribe what agents the United States shall employ, self respect requires that the confederate government refuse to treat with a person so obnoxious, and that Gen. Butler’s agency cannot therefore be recognized or his person protected by a flag of truce.

Gen. Butler returned the note, and said in reply: “No right of declaration of outlawry by those authorities of any officer or soldier of the United States can be admitted or for a moment regarded by the government of the United States, as it certainly will not be by the person upon whom such intimidation is attempted.” He informs Robert Ould that unless his flag of truce is respected, all further communication by flag of truce between those authorities and ours must cease. On the 12th of January Gen. Butler writes again, asking for an exchange of the lists of prisoners and of deaths, and proposing the making up of monthly lists.

WEDNESDAY
FEBRUARY 10, 1864

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & GAZETTE

How Shall Our Quota be Raised?

A meeting of town officers from about twenty towns in the vicinity of Manchester, including the Mayors of Manchester, Concord, Nashua and Dover, was held at Manchester on Saturday, to consider the subject of raising the troops called fro from this State. The result of their deliberations was the adoption of a resolution recommending the Governor and Council to “assume the entire responsibility of filling the quota of the State.”

Last fall, when we were called upon for over 3,700 men, the Democrats urged the calling together of the Legislature to provide for filling the quota by State action. It could thus have been done much cheaper, as all competition between towns would have been avoided and a much less number of agents required. But the Republican politicians, for party purposes, opposed that course and defeated the proposition to that end made by one of the Democratic members of the council.

Now, for the same party purposes, they propose, not a meeting of the Legislature to act upon the matter, but that the Governor and Council shall assume the whole power without the least shadow of authority!

In the first place, this course is impracticable, for the amount of money required cannot legally be raised by the Governor and Council without Legislative action, and moneyed men will not loan so large an amount when its security will depend entirely upon the ratification of the loan by the subsequent action of the Legislature. And it if were not so, there is a still more serious objection. It will require at least a million of dollars to raise even the number of men which the Governor now says we are to raise. Every prudent man will object to the Governor and Council assuming the power to create such a debt for the people of this State to pay. If they may do so now, they may assume the same power to raise even greater sums whenever, for any purpose, they may desire to do so. The result would be to place all the resources and credit of the State, and thereby the whole property of every inhabitant of the State, at the complete disposal of the Governor and Council. And further, if they assume to raise the money, they will have the unlimited control of its expenditure. If, as is well known, the Republican politicians, for party purposes, last fall defeated the proposition for a meeting of the Legislature to take action upon this matter, is there not ground for suspicion that the object of this proposition for the Governor and Council to assume the whole control of the raising and expending this large sum, is to subserve the same party purposes in the coming election?

Let the Legislature be called together, and thus give the people, through their representatives, the opportunity to determine this matter for themselves. Such a course will facilitate the raising of the money by giving legal authority therefore, and will enable the representatives to provide safeguards for its honest expenditure.

Rebel Deserters.—If we credit all the stories we hear of desertions from the rebel army, we should conclude that there could be no rebels left in arms. For the aggregate number of prisoners taken and deserters reported within the last year is absolutely larger than Republicans estimate the whole rebel strength to have been. This deliberate work of exaggerating the number of rebel deserters seems to have been pushed too far to suit the purposes of the Administration. For if these reports are true, every intelligent man will see that there is no need of more troops to put down the rebellion; it will fail of itself. Hence it has become necessary, in order to justify the call for 500,000 more troops, to contradict these stores; and accordingly we have the following authorized contradiction from Washington:

“Greatly exaggerated reports have been published as to the number of rebel deserters received by the Army of the Potomac. They averaged last month from 5 to 12 per day, but the arrivals have been more frequent thus far in the present month, not, however, at any time exceeding the latter estimate.”

Supposing this statement to be literally true, it is apparent that the desertions from the rebel army do not begin to equal those from our own ranks. The former average eight or nine a day, which would amount to some 4500 or 5000 in a year, while probably more than that number of our men have deserted within the last three months.2

This matter well illustrates the system of deception and trickery pursued by the Administration. When they desire to humbug the people into the belief that the war is about over and rebellion nearly “played out,” they send abroad these stories of desertions by companies and regiments, by hundreds and thousands, from the rebel armies. But when they find it necessary to call for half a million more men, they coolly tell the country that they have been deceiving and lying to it in regard to the desertions from the rebel ranks–that but few desert, and that the rebellion is stronger than ever!

So in regard to the lack of food, arms, clothing, &c., in the South. One day we are told that starvation stares the whole South in the face, and that they have “nothing to wear,” no arms, no munitions, &c.; and then all these stories are contradicted. And so they go on lying and deceiving people, while they rob and destroy them. How much longer can this system of fraud and deception prevail? Who can believe anything coming from such men?

•••••

Mobile Captured–By Telegraph!—On Monday the telegraph reported all over the country that Gen. Banks had captured Mobile, with 8000 prisoners, 400,000 bales of cotton, &c., &c. It was a hoax, said to have been started in New York for stock speculating purposes. We have had many similar lying reports in regard to Richmond, Charleston, &c., and we shall have many more. This is the age of lying, and the administration and its telegraph censorship are the chief liars. The public should make it a rule to believe nothing coming from and through them.

THURSDAY
FEBRUARY 11,
1864
THE FARMERS’ CABINET (NH)

The Recent Disaster on James River.

A recent dispatch from Fortress Monroe has given a brief account of a Federal expedition up James River, and a disaster which befell it at the town of Smithfield. We find full and interesting particulars of the affair in a Norfolk letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer, from which it appears that the expedition was composed of the army gunboats Smith Briggs, Flora Temple, Gen. Jessup, and the transport Long Branch, having on board one hundred and fifty men from various regiments . . . under command of Gen. Graham:

The expedition proceeded up the James River to Logan Creek, to the small village of Smithfield. Here Capt. Lee, of the Norfolk Harbor Police, landed about 1 o’clock on Sunday noon, with ninety men from the Long Branch. He took command of the party, and the boats then left to go up the Nansemond River to reconnoitre, it being understood that after Capt. Lee and his command had accomplished what they intended, they would march down to the northwestern bank of the Nansemond, and there again join the boats.

Taking a direct road for Suffolk, he penetrated the country to the distance of about four miles and a half, where, in a dense wood, he met a force of the enemy numbering two hundred strong, with two 12-pound guns. Notwithstanding the inferiority of our numbers, the rebels were completely surprised, their advance guard captured, the main body driven back, and so great was the consternation that they finally retreated in the greatest confusion.

Information was then received from prisoners . . . that there was a strong force of the enemy posted a short distance beyond, at a place called “The Mill.” Their position was such that our men could not pass them on either flank, and consequently they were compelled to fall slowly back to Smithfield, which was reached about a half an hour after dark. Capt. Lee then entrenched his force on the main street of the town. Previous to this, however, as he was marching into the place, he was fired on from both sides of the road, and his advance guard of five cavalrymen . . . was captured.

About half past seven o’clock yesterday morning, the rebels made a fierce attack with their cavalry and infantry. The fight continued with great vigor until nearly 11 o’clock, when a communication came, under flag of truce, from Col. Gordon, commander of the attacking forces, for an immediate and unconditional surrender.

In order to gain as much time as possible, and thinking that in the meanwhile some assistance might come to hand, Col. Lee sent a reply to the rebel Colonel, asking for a personal interview to be granted. This was denied, and a peremptory demand was made for a surrender within five minutes. The second reply of Capt. Lee was that he would not surrender; if the rebel commander wanted him, he would have to come and take him.

In less than a quarter of an hour he opened with four guns, besides the infantry and cavalry fire. A reply was made with a howitzer as rapidly as possible, which was kept up with great spirit until about 12 o’clock, when Capt. Lee was so hard pressed on all sides that it became evident that he would soon have to yield.

But in the meantime the gunboat Smith Briggs hauled in sight. The position becoming untenable, the howitzer was rolled into the stream, and the men then followed along its line to reach the protection of the gunboat. They were followed by nearly a regiment of rebel cavalry and infantry, which harassed them in their flight. A stand was made opposite the Smith Briggs, and a desperate engagement continued until our men were completely over powered by the superior numbers of the enemy, which was continually augmented by the arrivals of reinforcements.

While fighting so bravely, our men were shot down without the least mercy being shown them. This these brave, patriotic men seemed to prefer rather than surrender to the rebel foe. All this time the gunboat kept up a continual fire, but so great were the numbers that they had to contend with, that at last our men had to give up fighting and take to the boat. To reach it, however, the poor fellows had to swim from the shore to where she lay in the stream, and in doing this many yielded up their lives to a merciless foe, who shot them as they were really drowning.

Upon reaching the boat, Capt. Lee found its commander, Capt. Rowe, severely wounded in the throat. The engineer was also severely wounded, and out of a crew of about fifty there were hardly a half dozen men who were not disabled. At the request of Capt. Rowe, Capt. Lee took command of the boat.

He found her to be greatly damaged from the fire of the enemy. The wheel could not be worked, and it was with much difficulty that the engine could be gotten to move sufficiently to propel her further out into the stream from the range of the rebel guns.

Firing was continued, and about 3 o’clock a shell from the enemy entered the boiler of the boat, and a great explosion followed. Resistance could no longer be continued, as the boat was now a mere wreck. She then surrendered, and all on board of her were prisoners. Some, to make their escape from captivity, jumped overboard, and no doubt the most of those who were not captured sealed their fate with a watery grave. ->

Captain Lee, a Pamunkey Indian pilot, and George Smith, a volunteer pilot, with two other men, are the only ones out of the whole party, which in the aggregate amounted to nearly one hundred and fifty, that escaped, except two others who were sent out the night before in a small boat to report the perilous situation of the force under Captain Lee. These men were picked up near the mouth of the James river and taken on board the flag-ship of the navy that is stationed there. Their mission was to go up the Nansemond river to report to Gen. Graham for reinforcement, but being detained, word did not reach him as soon as the exigency of the case required.

Captain Lee, and those who escaped with him, five in all, walked about seven miles, when they fell in with the gunboats of Gen. Graham going to their relief.

The gunboat Smith Briggs is a total wreck, and what remains of her is in the possession of the rebels. Nearly all of our brave men who had fought so valiantly are now prisoners. The most of them are supposed to be badly wounded. The number killed is not known, but must be very large. The rebels, too, must have suffered severely, as our men fought long, persistently, and to much effect.

•••••

Mechanics Masters of the World.

A fine field for speculation, and sober reflection as well, is afforded in the adoption of machinery in doing the work of the world. Paragraphists never tire in recounting the wonders of steam; essayists exhaust their rhetoric in recounting the wonderful deeds performed by iron and steel arms; and statisticians enumerate and detail at length the saving obtained by the quick working and powerful tools, instead of the slower methods of hand labor.

But each and all of these fail in conveying that vivid and intense appreciation of the indispensability of machinery to the existence of the world, as exhibited in the daily economy of society. No more striking proof can be found of the rapid innovations mentioned, than the vessels of war now in use, compared with the bluff-bowed, dull-sailing, heavily armed frigates of old. We do not claim it as an original assertion, but it is none the less true, that naval battles of the world will soon be performed by engineers and machinists; and the brave captains and admirals will find their occupation gone.

In place of the gallant frigate bearing down upon its adversary, turning heavily in her course, and full of shot holes, we have a long, low, lithe vessel, unsightly to the eye, deadly to the foe. She draws near with incredible swiftness, delivering a crushing fire from one or two guns, every shot of which tells upon her adversary; and instead of fighting for hours, either demolishes her antagonist in a few minutes or is disabled herself. In proof of which, witness the conflict of the rebel craft Atlanta, and the monitors in Warsaw Sound. No exhibition of steamship avails against twin screws, which allow a vessel to turn upon her keel, and maneuver with the celerity of a dancing master; and it is not too much to say, in view of the continual improvement going forward, that in a short time our artillery will be so perfected that it will be impossible to render a vessel shot-proof and at the same time seaworthy.

It is therefore true, that the art of successfully resisting the encroachment of foreign powers, or for prosecuting aggressive measures, rests in great degrees upon the skill, energy, intelligence and inventive talent of the engineering and mechanical professions. Of what use is it for the mariner to safely navigate an iron-clad ship through perils by shoals and storms, if he falls into an enemy’s hands at last through weakness or faults of construction?

Great guns are peace-makers. If they disturb public quiet, they also aid in restoring it; the long arm of the 300 pound Parrott gun at Charleston reached over all forts and struck heavily at in the very citadel of the enemy. Here, again, are the science and skill of the engineer and mechanic made manifest. The enemy, in fancied security, lurked behind the protections his science taught him were secure; when lo! a stronger and greater than he reached over his guard and destroyed the illusion. So engineering science progresses. Possibly in turn the aggressor may learn from the assailed and be driven out; but now the engineer and the mechanic are masters of the world: and, in either event, the result will be due to a more perfect and thorough knowledge of the true principles of science and art.

•••••

The Scarcity of Girls for our mills and for families continues unabated here. Never was anything like it. Our mills are all starting up, and the demand for female operatives is on the increase, not enough coming in to fill up the increased demand. Five hundred more could find employment in Manchester now, at great pay in comparison with former times.–Manchester Mirror.

FRIDAY
FEBRUARY
12, 1864
THE BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER

The Reviewer Reviewed.

An orderly dashes into camp covered with mud and importance. What a charm there is in orders! The bugle calls the drummers. The “Assembly” rolls down the camp streets. “Fall in!” shout the sergeants–cards are discarded–pipes are extinguished–corporals are distinguished by the frenzy of their excitement–guns are taken up–half read letters are crammed down to bottom of the coat pocket–boots wet with mounting guard in the dews are urged, cursed, cut and pulled. So the regiment falls into line.

The news promises a “Grand Review.” Headquarters are deserted. Clerks, nurses and servants, between a desire to escape the guards and get a ride, suddenly remember the horses, which have been watered at the brook just by the hill, only three times in as many hours! The mules wag their tails, and remonstrate in answer to the bugles. The wagon horses pluck up spirit which cannot come from their grain, but the heels of their riders, and strike into a square, round, perpendicular trot. Away they go over the brook, over walls, through wheat fields, until the “ya! ya!” of the contrabands dies away in the distance.

Here is the review ground. The gently undulating fields surrounded by woods are filled with troops. Artillery waits on the right, masses of blue coats, regiment by regiment, stand with the colors waving in graceful folds above the glittering bayonets, and on the left are the solid squadrons of horse with guidons and flags. The Virginians look on “reckoning” for Gen. Lee’s benefit. The camp followers admire the motionless troops.

Here are the Generals–coming from a ravine on the right. The group of splendid horses–showy uniforms–flashing swords and shining epaulettes–is brilliant as day itself, the sun of attraction to all that blue field. Now the artillery opens the salute. The troops answer with cheer upon cheer. The bands play “Hail to the Chief.” The drums beat. The colors move back and forth. The soldiers swing their caps on their bayonets–and many an eye grows moist that did not shed a tear at Bull Run. What for? Are we all mad?

At the head of that group of generals and their staffs, rides a plain gentleman, dressed in black. His horse is a long-necked wreck of some plantation. His shuffling gait and nose thrust out to smell the sweet fields betrays the plough service. Under him dangle the legs of the rider and far above him towers a giant body inclined forward, the thin arms rising and falling at the elbows hold the reins. The figure is surmounted by a black silk hat, wonder of wonders! which gradually drops down behind the ears, opening to broad sunlight a plain sharp, careworn face. This is the inspirer of enthusiasm. This man answers the shouts with a smile that flashes and fades like summer lightning in a clear sky, and the men shout again. The colors wave and his long arm is lifted up to his hat. Hearty, honest, cordial, intelligent enthusiasm such as Francis Joseph and Napoleon II never saw, is lavished upon him as he rides down the lines. ->

The man could not win the graces, but he has earned the grandeur an American only can appreciate, of true manhood lifted and supported by the confidence of a great people. When we faint and think ourselves weary–let us see this horseman sad and yet confident reviewing our resources–looking into our faces, and taking heart from our faith.

Homely, honest Commander-in-Chief, lead us on to peace and true liberty. With a pure heart the noblest work of God–ride on to victory–hope of the 19th Century–Abraham Lincoln!

•••••

The general and thorough change of opinion as to the employment of black troops is a subject of daily remark. There is probably no point as to which the progress of opinion has been more remarkable [than] among the people of the loyal States. The rebels, however, have also made some changes in this particular, which is not unworthy of comparison of comparison with that among the supporters of the Union. The rebel Congress has just passed a bill for impressing all free Negroes of the military age, who are not specially exempted, and, in default of the necessary number of free Negroes, for impressing slaves to the number of twenty thousand, for use in the army. These Negroes are to receive regular pay and rations, and are to be employed as teamsters, or for labor upon military works or in government shops, or wherever they can be used to replace the able-bodied men now detailed from the ranks on special service.

The bill for this purpose is called “an act to increase the efficiency of the army by the employment of free Negroes and slaves in certain capacities.” The logical distinction drawn by those who have adopted it, between making a Negro fight and making him take the place of a white man who will fight, is one which we do not believe could be long maintained in the presence of any stringent necessity. The rebels have been long in coming to this point. They have waited until they were on the very brink of ruin, before they would admit the Negro formally, even as a military laborer. But having come to this, it is an easy and a natural step to make one more advance and say that the man who is used to enable another man to fight might as well be set to fighting himself. That is to say the logical step is easy, as some millions of our people can testify from their own mental experience.

But for the rebels the practical step is much more difficult than the logical. To trust arms in the hands of any great number of their black population, bond or free, is something which they are not ready to do. Indeed there was no little objection in their Congress to the employment of the free Negroes at all, on the ground that from their superior intelligence their treachery would be more dangerous than that of the slaves–reasoning which recognized the insecurity of the position as regards either. . .

SATURDAY
FEBRUARY 13, 1864

VERMONT JOURNAL

An Interesting War Story.

In a letter entitled “Chattanooga Chat,” in the Chicago Journal, Benjamin F. Taylor relates the following interesting story of the recent campaign in Tennessee:

Now and then, a little human smile brightens war’s grim visage, like a flash of sunshine in an angry day. I remember one that I wish I could daguerreotype. The amenities of battle are so few, how precious they become! Let me give you a little “touch of nature that makes the whole world kin.” A few months ago the 3d Ohio, belonging to Streight’s command, entered a town en route for Richmond, prisoners of war. Worn down, famished, hearts heavy and haversacks light, they were herded “like dumb driven cattle,” to wear out the night. A rebel regiment, the 54th Virginia, being encamped near by, many of its men came strolling about to see the sorry show of poor supperless Yankees.

They did not stare long, but hastened away to camp, and came streaming back with coffee kettles, corn bread and bacon–the best they had, and all they had–and straightway little fires began to twinkle, bacon was suffering the martyrdom of the Saint of the Gridiron, and the aroma of coffee rose like the fragrant cloud of a thank offering. Loyal guests and rebel hosts were mingled; our hungry boys ate and were satisfied; and for that one night our common humanity stood acquitted of the heavy charge of total depravity with which it is blackened. Night and our boys departed together. The prisoners in due time were exchanged, and are now encamped within rifle shot of Kelly’s Ford, on the bank of the Tennessee. But often, around the camp-fires, I have heard them talk of the 54th Virginia, that proved themselves so immeasurably better “than a brother afar off,” heard them wonder where they were, and discuss the chance that they might ever meet.

When they denounce the “damnable Johnny Rebs,” the name of one regiment, you may be sure, was tucked away in a snug place, quite out of the range of hard words.

And now comes the sequel that makes a beautiful poem of the whole of it. On the morning of the storming of Missionary Ridge, among the prisoners was the 54th Virginia, and on Friday it trailed away across the pontoon bridge and along the mountain road, nine miles to Kelly’s Ford. Arrived there, it settled upon the bank, like wasps, awaiting the boat. A week elapsed and your correspondent followed suit. A Major of the Third Ohio welcomed me to the warm hospitalities of his quarters, and almost the first thing he said was, “You should have been here last Friday; you missed the denouement of the beautiful little drama of yours, whose first act I have told you. Will you believe that the 54th Virginia has been here? ->

Some of our boys were on duty at the landing when it arrived. ‘What regiment is this?’ they asked; and when the reply was given, they started for camp like quarter-horses, and shouted, as they rushed in and out among the smoky cones of the Sibleys–The 54th Virginia is at the Ferry! The camp swarmed in three minutes. Treasures of coffee, bacon, sugar, beef, preserved peaches, everything were turned out in force, and you may believe they went laden with plenty, at the double quick to the Ferry.”

The same old scene, and yet how strangely changed. The twinkling fires, the grateful incense, the hungry captives; but guests and hosts had changed places; the star-lit folds floated aloft for “the bonny blue flag;” a debt of honor was paid to the uttermost farthing. If they had a triumph of arms at Chattanooga, hearts were trumps at Kelly’s Ferry. And there it was that horrid war smiled a human smile, and grateful, gentle light flickered for a moment on the point of the bayonet. And yet, should the 54th Virginia return to-morrow, with arms in their hands to the Tennessee, the 3d Ohio would meet them on the bank, fight them foot to foot, and beat them back with rain so pitiless the river would run red.

•••••

Scientific Paradoxes.—The water which drowns us–a fluent stream–can be walked upon as ice. The bullet which, fired from a musket, carries death, will be harmless if ground to dust before being fired. The crystallized part of the oil of roses–so graceful, in its fragrance–a solid at ordinary temperatures, though readily volatile–is a compound substance, containing exactly the same elements, and in exactly the same proportions, as the gas with which we light our streets. The tea which we daily drink, with benefit and pleasure, produces palpitations, nervous tremblings, and even paralysis, if taken in excess; yet the peculiar organic agent called theine, to which tea owes its qualities, may be taken by itself (as theine, not as tea) without any appreciable effect. The water which will allay our burning thirst, augments it, when congealed into snow; so that Capt. Ross declares the natives of the Arctic regions prefer enduring the utmost extremity of thirst, rather than attempt to remove it by eating snow. Yet if the snow be melted, it becomes drinkable water. Nevertheless, although, if melted before entering the, mouth it assuages thirst like other water, when melted in the mouth it has the opposite effect. To render this paradox more striking, we have only to remember that ice, which melts more slowly in the mouth, is very efficient in allaying thirst.

1 Caudal appendage = the tail.

2 Yet another example of the seeming  inability of newspaper reporters to manage the simplest of math in the nineteenth century. At “eight or nine a day,” the total for the year would be between 2,920 and 3,285. Evidently, exaggeration was not the sole province of the Administration.

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