THE DAILY PICAYUNE
and His Generals.
New York Tribune has a special
Washington correspondent who seems to have as high an opinion of the
capacity of Mr. Davis and his general as if he belonged within the
“so-called” himself. He thus writes under date of the 17th ult.:
the advices received lately from Richmond agree in stating that the
rebels are making energetic efforts for the next spring campaign. They
are now organizing their finances, so as not to be troubled hereafter by
a depreciated currency; their granaries are filling up rapidly by means
of tax in kind; their equipment by means of voluntary donations; and
their armies by means of a sweeping conscription, embracing both old and
young. Of course, these extraordinary levies are not executed without
difficulties. People who have hitherto escaped conscription grumble, and
have ever resisted by force the recruiting sergeant; violence has been
used against the reluctant recruit; newspapers have carried their voices
against these high handed measures; public speakers in and out of
Congress have opposed the Government; mothers have protested against the
enlistment of their boys; planters against the impressment of their
slaves; farmers against a law which deprives the soil of the hands
necessary to its cultivation. But notwithstanding all this, I am yet to
discover a single fact which can lead me to doubt the ability of the
rebel Government to carry all these high handed measures to a successful
measure. People will resist, but resistance will be partial. At all
events it will yield to the inexorable law of public necessity, now the ultimo
ratio of the leaders of the rebellion. When a rebellion is reduced
to so intricate straits as the Confederacy now is, what can its leaders
do but to demand implicit obedience and the surrender of all the rights
of the people into the hands of a single man? That is what the South has
done. You may then rest assured that whatever Jeff Davis chooses to
require, the Confederates will either willingly or by force grant.
may be illustrated in different ways: by the rapidity with which the
rebel armies have been filling up their ranks; by the Legislature in
executing the biddings of the Executive; by the initiative which the
army has recently assumed in all military matters; and by the close
intimacy which exists between the chief of the rebellion and his
generals in the field. Long before the conscription bill was discussed,
Jeff Davis had taken measures to secure the consent of the Governors of
States and of the majority of the Legislature on the subject of
enlistments, so that his agents would ac in various parts of the country
as if the bill had already passed. This accounts for the large number of
recruits which have recently been added to Lee’s and Johnston’s
armies, and for the immense preparations made for the spring campaign;
preparations which do not consist in an increasing of the continent, but
which includes also vast military works, the opening of routes, the
building up of bridges, the erection of fortifications, etc. Had not
Jeff Davis been the uncontrolled master of the Confederacy, all these
things would not have been accomplished in the same length of time
without creating a strong opposition in the South, if not a revolution.
But knowing as he did the temper of the population he had to deal with,
he succeed in flattering the favorite passions of the multitude, in
crushing all serious resistance, and in obtaining what he wanted. In
this he was powerfully assisted by circumstances which, forcing every
citizen to be a soldier, soon reduced them to a state of passive
obedience eminently favorable to the conquest of absolute power and to
the government of a single man.
the three armies formed by the arts of the rebel leader, that which, at
the present moment, excites the greatest interest is Longstreet’s.
This is attributable to several causes: to the ability he has shown
since his repulse from Knoxville in making his army live upon plunder;
to the formidable position he has succeeded in securing–a position
which gives him access to the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, to
Cumberland Gap, to Kentucky and North Carolina in the north, and to six
of the richest valleys of this country in the south; but principally to
the prospective advantages which such a position promises to the South.
These advantages, as you will soon see, have not been lost sight of. The
question with the rebel Government is to make Longstreet’s army fully
equal to any of the great armies of the Confederacy, and quite as
the thing has not been done yet, it is not the wish, but the means,
which have been wanting. In the first place, Lee, on whom he relied for
reinforcements, having himself no more men than he needed, could be of
no assistance to him. Now things have changed. Lee having received
nearly thirty thousand recruits, whose numbers are increasing every day,
Longstreet can be easily strengthened. For the second plan, it is yet
doubtful whether the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, injured at Carter
Station by Union troops, is in running order. The latest news says that
the Watauga bridge, although progressing very fast, had not yet been
completed. This bridge, although not absolutely indispensable to the
increase of the Tennessee army, is essential to the transportation of
guns and materials of war, without which Longstreet can neither lay
siege to Knoxville, nor fortify the position he has selected as the
basis of his future operations. As long as it remains unfinished, he
will probably confine his operations to cavalry raids and to the
exploration of the ground on which he intends to operate next spring. He
is now in possession of the six fertile valleys which run between the
Kentucky and North Carolina line, and of nearly all the avenues leading
into these two States. These valleys are scoured nights and days by
parties of horsemen, who take all they can lay their hands upon, and
push their predatory excursions even as far south as Knoxville, in the
vicinity of which skirmishes are of daily occurrence.
of all the forces Longstreet has received, the most important
undoubtedly is that of Breckinridge, who was detached not long since
from Johnston’s army and sent to Southwest Virginia, in order to
support him. At first the importance of that movement was not
appreciated. It was thought that Breckinridge’s men were an isolated
and independent command. But when it became known that his and
Longstreet’s were in reality but the two wings of the same army, and
that a force of about 45,000 men had been, in fact, gathered on the East
Tennessee line, and could at any moment move in a western direction,
then the policy of the War Department began to be better understood. The
name of Breckinridge was immediately associated with the idea of an
invasion in Kentucky. What other reasons would be assigned for his
removal from Dalton? Was it not clear that Breckinridge’s advance in
the direction of his own State could mean nothing but an expedition in
the interior of Kentucky? This supposition was strengthened by the
presence in Longstreet’s corps of Buckner, a Kentuckian by birth, and
formerly commander of the State Guard under Magoflin. Buckner, it is
rumored, for the purpose of taking command of the army which is to
invade Kentucky, and for no other object. He and Breckinridge had been
appointed as the leaders of the expedition, leaving Longstreet on the
other side of the Cumberland Gap, for the purpose of protecting their
rear and of preventing, at the same time, Gen. Schofield from injuring
the Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, upon which they intended to fall
back in case of reverses.
are the plans of the rebel leaders as they are currently reported in
Richmond among military men. The aim of the expedition is obvious. The
rebel armies are becoming less effective every day on account of the
scarcity of the recruiting element, and they want to glean in a
comparatively fresh field. Kentucky, they think, is admirably situated
for such an operation. They assert that it has more able-bodied men
attached to the South than any other border State, Tennessee
excepted–more people inclined to countenance an invasion than either
Maryland or Missouri, and far more provisions and cattle in store than
those two States. They say that all the Kentuckians are now wanting is a
nucleus around which Southern sympathizers may congregate with the
certainty that they will not be abandoned afterward. Breckinridge and
Buckner’s army will be strong enough to give the sympathizing
Kentuckians all the protection they require. They will not enter
Kentucky without being provided with the means of attack and resistance
adequate to the dangers they have to encounter and to the highly
probably result which they expect from their audacious undertaking.
HARTFORD DAILY COURANT (CT)
Destruction of Rebel Property.
March 4th, 1864.
the President–I forward the annexed account of Gen. Kilpatrick:
March 4.–Col. Dahlgren was directed to make a diversion with 500
men on the James river. He attacked at 4 p.m. Tuesday and drove the
enemy in on Richmond. The main attack having failed, Col. Dahlgren
attempted to rejoin me near the meadow bridge. He and Col. Cook were in
the advance guard. Some of his men became separated from his main force,
since which nothing has been heard from him. The main force reached me
with slight loss. I have hopes that he may yet come in.
Kilpatrick, Brig. Gen. Com’g.
addition, a rebel deserter informed one of my aides that a one-legged
colonel and about a hundred men were taken prisoner.1
I shall hear by flag-of-truce on Sunday night, and I will telegraph
F. Butler, Major Gen. Com’g.
York, March 6.–A Times
special gives the following additional statements as to the results of
of railroad track on the two principal roads over which Lee transports
his supplies for the northern army of Virginia, have been so thoroughly
destroyed that some time must elapse before the roads can be put in
running order again. Depots of commissary, ordnance, and
quartermaster’s stores were burnt or destroyed. No less than six
grist-mills and one saw-mill, principally at work for the rebel army,
were burnt. Six canal boats loaded with grain, several locks on the
James river canal, and the almost invaluable coal-pits at Maniken’s
Bend, were destroyed.
300 prisoners were captured. Several hundred horses were pressed into
service, and hundreds of Negroes availed themselves of this opportunity
to come into our lines.”
following account, from the same source, of the expedition after leaving
Richmond, is of interest:
night the command went into camp at a place six miles from the
Chickahominy. At about 10:30, just as the command was fairly asleep,
except those on duty, the rebels opened a two-gun battery upon the camp
of Gen. Davis’s brigade, and immediately after charged the camp of the
7th Michigan. The men, though taken entirely by surprise, seized their
carbines, and under Col. Litchfield, supported by the 1st Vermont,
handsomely repulsed the enemy. Several men were wounded, and Col.
Litchfield, who is missing, it is feared is also wounded. Gen.
Kilpatrick decided to move across the White House railroad and down the
Peninsula. During the day Capt. Mitchell, of the 2d New York, with the
bulk of Col. Dahlgren’s command, rejoined the main column.
enemy Tuesday night, and all day Wednesday and night, hovered all about
the command, and picket skirmishing was almost constantly going on in
different directions. Wednesday morning, at about nine o’clock, a
large force of cavalry came upon the rear of the column. Gen. Kilpatrick
was not unprepared for this, and decided to give them battle. The 1st
Vermont, under Lt. Col. Preston, assisted by Capts. Grant and Cummings,
and the 1st Maine, bore the brunt of this fight, which lasted over an
hour, while the 6th Michigan and other regiments of Gen. Davis’s
brigade, were in position to render whatever assistance might be
necessary. Only one charge was made, and that was made by Co. A, 1st
Maine, led on by Capt. Estes, A. A. G., and Capt. Cole, when five of the
enemy were captured. The enemy retired, but when the command moved
forward, were harassed the rear and flanks. On this day (Wednesday)
several refugees from Richmond came into camp and reported the presence
of Capt. Wilson, of the 2d Ohio, who had escaped from the Richmond
prison. For some reason, however, best known to himself, he did not join
the command. Wednesday, also, Lt. Whittaker was sent to destroy
Tunstall’s station on the White House railroad, but on arriving there,
much to his astonishment, he found the place in flames. From Negroes in
the vicinity he ascertained that a company of Union cavalry from Gen.
Butler’s department had just left there. This was the first intimation
of assistance being so near at hand.
morning Gen. Kilpatrick moved toward New Kent Court House, and on the
way met Col. Spear, in command of a cavalry force, looking after Gen.
N. C., March 1.–Jeff Davis has suppressed the Raleigh Standard. Its editor, Hon. W. W. Holden, the great leader of the
opposition party, will doubtless be the next Governor of North Carolina,
the people having thus expressed themselves at the various public
meetings which have been held in all parts of the State. This act
creates great excitement, and makes Mr. Holden’s election more certain
rebel ram Atkinson, on the
Neuse river, 35 miles above Newbern, is almost complete, and is a very
formidable affair. It is plated ten inches thick and carries four heavy
guns. The rebels are now removing the river obstructions this side of
Kinston, and are making every preparation to renew the attack on
Newbern, Washington and Plymouth.
rebel ram on the Roanoke river, of the same size, is reported ready to
move on Plymouth, and the ram on Tar river is also reported ready to
move on Washington.
Raleigh Confederate says the
demonstrations on these points have been only diversions, but as soon as
it becomes a necessity, they will be at their disposal, any hour the
confederate government desires to possess them, as they are garrisoned
by only a handful of men, and two or three small gunboats at each point,
the citizens and firemen constituting the majority of the force.
Gen. Wessel, commanding our forces at Plymouth, is reported dangerously
ill with fever. His kindness to the citizens has made him very popular
with the people in this section of the State, who are greatly exercised
necessity of making North Carolina the battle-ground is apparent, day by
day, says the Raleigh Confederate.
convention movement in this State, which is of a formidable character,
has hastened the enemy’s movement in this direction, as indicated by
the prompt action in regard to the suppression of the Standard.
information has been received here confirming the report that Jeff Davis
has issued an order for the immediate seizure of all these important
points, now in our possession. If this be true that they are to make the
attempt, then the abandonment of Virginia by the enemy is decided upon,
for if we receive reinforcements and more gunboats, the enemy cannot
expect to take this point in time to save themselves from Gen. Meade.
have confidence in General Peck, who will make the best possible use of
the means at his command to receive the enemy. He has made earnest
efforts to obtain more gunboats and more men. Should these be lacking at
the proper time, the country will not hold him responsible.
garden of North Carolina, with all its extensive water communication, is
in our possession, and has cost us many millions and much precious
blood. Our presence here is morally equivalent to the possession of the
State. It gives encouragement to our friends in the interior, who have
loudly remonstrated through some of their papers against the propriety
of reducing our forces in this section.
fact that we are under the necessity of calling out our citizens and
firemen whenever threatened, is a matter of public notoriety to the
enemy, and a mockery of our military pretensions. This state of things
it is hoped will not exist long.
23 soldiers hung recently in Kinston by the enemy, whose names were
published in the Richmond papers, were all members of Col. Foster’s
regiment, the 2d North Carolina. At this unheard-of barbarity, our
native troops are exasperated beyond all bounds. They have resolved to
take no more prisoners, the difficulties experienced heretofore by their
officers to restrain them is, by this barbarous butchery, made
Conscription Battle with Women.—At Brownstown, a few days
ago, an attack was made on a nest of delinquents. The deserters got wind
of it and escaped to the swamp; but the attacking party were gallantly
met by a garrison of women, and after a short and sharp engagement, were
compelled to retire. They have often passed through showers of shot and
shell unmoved, but who in thunder can
stand before a perfect avalanche of axes, hot water, and hotter epithets
from female batteries?–Sumter
(S. C.) Watchman.
MARCH 8, 1864
SHIPPING LIST AND MERCHANTS' TRANSCRIPT (MA)
largest blockading fleet ever stationed off Mobile is at present
rendezvoused there. The Richmond,
a first-class screw sloop of twenty-five guns, carries the flag of the
second division. The remainder of the fleet consists of the second-class
screw sloops Monongahela, 13
guns, Oneida, 10 guns, Genesee, 8 guns, screw gunboats Kennebec,
5 guns, Pinola, 5 guns, Penguin,
7 guns, Gertrude, 5 guns, and Albatross,
7 guns; and the double-enders Port
Royal, 9 guns, Octarora,
10 guns, and Sebago, 10 guns.
A considerable addition will shortly be made to the squadron, so that
there will be a large fleet there either for offensive or defensive
operations. It has been
rumored that the rebels intend to make a raid out of Mobile Bay with
their iron and cotton-clads, and probably this increase of force has
been made to prevent it, and at the same time to render the blockade of
the port more effective. It
is stated that the confederates have recently purchased the full
equipments for an army of three hundred thousand men in England, and a
large portion of this supply has already been shipped for Southern
ports. Some of it was
captured in the Cumberland,
and some destroyed in the Dee,
Emily, Nutfield, and Fanny and Jenny.
Last Resort.—General Howell Cobb is making speeches through
Georgia, endeavouring to revive the waning spirits of the people, to
whom he says:
all other means to fail to win our independence–should the men refuse
to fight longer our battles–I will, as a last resort, assemble the
women of our land and marched them forth for duty in the field."
for Paying the National Debt.—A farmer addresses his fellow
farmers through the Cincinnati Gazette,
and proposes the following the scheme, which, he says, will ultimately
pay the public debt, namely:
us remember that whilst ‘trade wields the sword, agriculture supplies
the power.’ It is then that our duty to cultivate our land so as to
increase that power. At
least one-half of those employed in agriculture have been withdrawn from
it within the last three years, but with increased industry and
effective machinery we can make up this loss.
Let us plant this spring so as to increase food for man and
beast, leaving off tobacco, cotton, &c.
Our crops should be oats, peas, onions, cabbages, potatoes, corn,
beans, and grass. Whilst we are planting let us look carefully to our
stock, increasing the number and quality.
Poultry should be well attended to, and the stock increased four
fold. Prices will rule
higher for some years to come, and whilst man is greatly benefited by
our increased productions, our country will be strengthened, as an
increase of food will certainly be followed by an increase of
is my scheme for paying the public debt.”
from Richmond.— The following extracts are from an
intercepted letter, dated Richmond, Va., February 10th, and written by a
lady to her sister:
is impossible to describe the gloom that pervades all society, and with
all the afflictions and doubts that oppress us, there is not one
comforting gleam, except the hope of a speedy end of the war.
I must confess that we have lost much of that assurance of
success which once buoyed us up and pictured such bright visions of the
future; but our determination to hold out to the last is unabated, and
we comfort ourselves with the faith that the Providence will eventually
reward our sacrifices and bring us safely out of the furnace that is
here is utterly broken up. All
fondness for fashion and pleasure seems to have been lost, and day after
day passes with nothing to relieve the prevailing dullness.
We see nothing but soldiers and the paraphernalia of war.
The whole city is converted into hospitals, prisons and barracks,
and our eyes have grown weary with the signs of strife.
President Davis seems discouraged, and, I fear, it is failing
responsibilities, disappointments and fault findings of his friends have
broken him down, and it is hardly probable that he will live to see end
of the war.
gunboats here, of which so much was expected, amount to nothing.
Only one is completed, and that is as slow as a tortoise.
Two others are nearly done; but their guns have to be in the sent
to Charleston, and I don't believe they intend to finish them.
The city is full of disloyal people, and we can only trust our
most intimate friends. What
could we do if the Yankees should suddenly come down upon us?
I tremble when I think what may happen.
All the old soldiers have been sent to North Carolina.
General Pickett's division, which had been here so long, was
hurried off, it was said, for the purpose of capturing Newbern; but the
real object was to prevent a disturbance among the people.
We never had much confidence in North Carolina, and I believe one
half the State would welcome the Yankees to-day.
reports of destitution are too true.
Our soldiers do not get full rations half the time, and once they
have been without meat ten days. These
hardships are daily growing worse, and what shall be done to relieve us
we cannot imagine. Our
supply of provisions is almost exhausted, and no one knows where more is
to come from. It is true we
have enough among the people to live on; but supplies for the army are
says the government does not intend to wait for the Yankees to advance,
but will concentrate our armies, and strike where least expected in
overwhelming numbers. This
seems the only hope of success. If
we should be defeated this is spring, I know not what will become of us.
So many have become discouraged that I believe another disaster
would almost break us up. All
we can do is to aid in the noble army by our example and contributions,
and hope for better things.”
MARCH 9, 1864
PROVIDENCE DAILY PRESS (RI)
Letter from Vicksburg.
Miss., Feb. 23d, 1864.
war has given to Vicksburg a celebrity wholly disproportionate to the
merits of the place. In
fact, the place at present has no merits, except such as nature
displayed in piling up here are the ridge of hills so steep that a small
army skillfully managed could never be dislodged.
I have conversed with old residents who remained during the
siege, and they are very severe upon Gen. Pemberton for having
surrendered to Grant, alleging that he acted traitorously in all his
operations here. The
surrender on the 4th of July was very galling, and I am told that the
soldiers were very much disposed to mutiny when ordered to stack their
arms. A member of an
Illinois regiment has given me a piece of the wood of the tree under
which the terms of surrender were arranged.
Not a vestige of the tree or its roots now remains where it grew,
all having been carried off as trophies.
town did not suffer as much from the bombardment as might be supposed it
would, considering the number of shot and shell thrown into it.
Nearly every house in the town was hit one or more times, but the
displacement of a few bricks is about the only outward sign visible.
The shell came through the ceiling of the room I occupy, breaking
one of the floor joists, and knocking down the plastering four or five
feet square. I counted in a
small wood building, exposed to the fire from the army in the rear of
the town, fourteen shot holes, and yet not one of them would admit the
passage of your hand.
town at present, is celebrated for military rule, dust, contrabands,
soldiers, poor living, high prices and squalor.
If the reader requires comfort and peace of mind, give Vicksburg
a wide berth. But if
compelled to come here, get into a private boarding house just as soon
as possible. There is but
one hotel in the town, the Washington house, and I much doubt if there
is a worst kept one in the whole United States.
I am not very particular, but I do object to being served with a
piece of so-called "beef steak" which has in turn served half
a dozen others at the same meal. I
never could digest a piece of sole leather, and I never could arrest
well upon a baggy cot bed, with my head and feet elevated to an angle of
forty-five degrees. Rye is a poor substitute for coffee–chicory is
preferable, but that costs more. With
such fare, and sleepers crowded into rooms as close as cots can stand,
but three dollars a day is charged.
town is full of rumors of the movements of Gen. Sherman, but nothing can
be relied on. I saw a young man this afternoon, a deserter from the
rebel army, who made his escape in the confusion created at Meridian as
Gen. Sherman approached there twelve days ago. He was in the hospital,
but instead of going to the cars, as ordered, in the rebel retreat, he
made his escape. He says the confeds ran like frightened sheep on the
approach of Sherman.
was up the river last week about a hundred miles, on this side, opposite
the upper boundary of Louisiana. The guerrillas came on our right while
I was there, shot at two men and ran off some fifty mules. They came
within twenty rods of the house I was at, but did not stop. They are
doing a great deal of mischief on both sides of the river Aborn, and say
that no one shall make a crop. They will not interfere with the planters
making a few bales, but are very severe on the Yankees. There probably
will not be as much cotton grown this year as was anticipated.
Republican of this evening has
the following: In our first edition yesterday we doubted the statement
that Col. Dahlgren reached our lines in safety.
did so because we knew at the time that the Richmond Sentinel of Saturday morning, a copy of which reached Gen. Meade’s
headquarters on Sunday evening, announced that Col. Dahlgren was killed
in a skirmish at King and Queen’s Court House on Mattapony river on
fact was telegraphed to the President late Sunday night, eight or nine
hours after Gen. Butler’s dispatch of Sunday was received, announcing
satisfactorily of Col. Dahlgren, which was communicated by the President
to the Colonel’s father, Admiral Dahlgren.
news of the death of the Colonel was not made known to the father until
this morning, because there was a lingering hope that there might be
some mistake about the report in the Sentinel,
consequently we suppressed the publication of the fact yesterday.
the meantime Gen. Butler was requested by the President to make such
investigations relative to his Sunday report that Col. Dahlgren was
safe, as would positively settle the question. Gen. Kilpatrick was also
requested to fix the time when Col. Dahlgren was last heard from.
last night Gen. Butler telegraphed that he had received information
confirming the announcement in the Sentinel that Col. Dahlgren was
killed at King and Queen’s Court House, and Gen. Kilpatrick
telegraphed that the last positive information he had received of
Dahlgren’s whereabouts was that he was seen on Thursday. The skirmish
took place the day after, in which Col. Dahlgren was killed.
President became fully satisfied that there was no longer any good
reason to doubt the report of young Dahlgren’s death, deemed it his
duty this morning to communicate the fact to Admiral Dahlgren.2
The latter has left for Fortress Monroe to take such steps in the matter
as may be deemed proper under the circumstances.
Running at Charleston.—The Tribune
learns that the business of blockade running has been resumed at
Charleston, and that hardly a week elapses without a couple of blockade
runner running over the pass and entering the harbor. The vessels which
have succeeded in baffling the squadron during the last month came from
Nassau with full assorted cargoes of muskets of English manufacture,
shoes, blankets and medicines.
Charlestonians have established a joint-stock company for the purpose of
blockade running, and have already secured a couple of swift steamers
now employed in the trade between Nassau and Charleston. These steamers,
it is reported, have made two successful trips between the two cities
during the last month.
Dahlgren’s Order to His
York, March 9.
Richmond papers contain the following order of Col. Dahlgren:
and Men: You have been selected from brigades and regiments as a
picked command to attempt a desperate undertaking–an undertaking,
which, if successful, will write your names on the hearts of your
countrymen in letters that can never be erased, and which will cause the
prayers of our fellow-soldiers, now confined in loathsome prisons, to
follow you and yours wherever you go. We hope to release the prisoners
from Belle Isle first, and having seen them fairly started, we will
cross the James River into Richmond, destroy the bridges after us, and
exhort the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful city. We
will not allow the rebel leader (Davis) and his traitorous crew to
prisoners must render great assistance, as you cannot leave your ranks
too far, or become too scattered, or you will be lost. Do not allow any
personal gain to lead you off, which would only bring you to an
ignominious death at the hands of the citizens. Keep well together and
obey orders strictly, and all will be well. But on no account scatter
too far, for in union there is strength. With strict obedience to
orders, and fearlessness in their execution, you will be sure to
succeed. We will join the main force on the other side of the city, or
perhaps meet them inside.
of you may fall, but if there is any man here not willing to sacrifice
his life in such a great and glorious undertaking, or who does not feel
capable of meeting the enemy in such a desperate fight as will follow,
let him step out and he may go home to the arms of his sweetheart and
read of the braves who swept through the city of Richmond. We want no
man who cannot feel sure of success in such a holy cause. We will have a
desperate fight, but stand up to it when it does come and all will be
well. Ask the blessing of the Almighty and do not fear the enemy.
Dahlgren, Col. Com’dg.
following special orders were also found on Dahlgren’s person:
mills must be burned and the canal destroyed, and also everything which
can be used by the rebels must be destroyed, including the boats on the
river. Should a ferry boat be seized, which can be worked, have it moved
down. Keep the force on the south side posted of any important movement
of the enemy, and in case of danger, some of the scouts must swim the
river and bring us information. As we approach the city, the party must
take great care they do not get ahead of the other party on the south
side, and must conceal themselves and watch our movements.
men must be kept together and well in hand, and once in the city it must
be destroyed and Jeff Davis and his Cabinet killed. The pioneers must go
along with combustible material. The officer must use his discretion
about the time of assisting us.
and cattle that we do not need immediately must be shot rather than be
in the canal and elsewhere, of service to the rebels, must be
pioneers must be prepared to construct a bridge or to destroy one. They must
have plenty of oakum and turpentine for burning, which will be soaked and
rolled into balls and be given to the men to burn when we get into the city.
Torpedoes will only be used by the pioneers for burning the main bridges,
&c. They must be prepared to destroy railroads.
will try and secure the bridge to the city one mile below Belle Isle and
release the prisoners at the same time. If we do not succeed we must then
dash down and carry the bridge by storm.
necessary the men must be filed through the woods and along the river bank.
The bridge once secured and the prisoners loose and over the river, the
bridges will be burned and the city destroyed.
men will branch off to the right with a few pioneers and destroy the bridges
and roads south of Richmond, and then join us at the city. They must be well
prepared with torpedoes, &c. The line of Falling Creek is probably the
best to march along, or, as they approach the city, Goods Creek, so that no
reinforcements can come up on the cars. No one must be allowed to pass
ahead, for fear of communicating news. Rejoin the command with all haste,
and if cut off, cross the river above Richmond and rejoin us. The men will
stop at Bellona Arsenal, and totally destroy it, and everything else but
hospitals; then follow on and rejoin the command at Richmond with all haste.
Gen. Custer may follow me, be careful and [do] not give false alarm.”
March 9.–It is understood in well informed quarters that Gen. Sherman’s
expedition was not intended to operate against Mobile or Atlanta, as was so
repeatedly asserted, but that it was for the express purpose of cutting off
rebel supplies and impoverishing the section of the country in which he
operates, a work which the rebel papers attest he has successfully
President has prescribed the necessary regulations for enlisting seamen from
the army into the navy, and the Secretary of War has designated the entire
number, not exceeding 12,000, which it is desirable to have at each of the
naval stations fixed upon him as follows:
At Cairo 1000; Boston 2000; New York 5000; Philadelphia 2000. The
following quotas are assigned: To the Department of the East 3000; Middle
Department 1500; Department of Virginia and North Carolina 1500; Department
of Washington 2500; Department of the Susquehanna 2000; Department of the
Monongahela 500; Northern Department 1000. Commanding Generals of
Departments are required to communicate with the Navy Department, and cause
the men selected for transfer to be sent to the designated station in such
numbers as may be fixed by the Secretary of the Navy.
Commanding General of an army or department which has been required to
furnish a quota for the Navy is required at once to designate one or more
officers, as may be required, to examine the applications and determine from
them, according to the qualifications of the applicants and number to be
furnished, what men shall be transferred to the Navy, care being taken that
transfer enlistments shall be so apportioned among the companies of each
command that no regiment shall be reduced below the minimum organization.
Rebel Treatment of Union Prisoners.
Narrative of Colonel Streight.
In a letter to the Military
Committee of Congress, Col. Streight gives the following account of the
treatment of Union prisoners in the rebel prisons at Richmond:
“My officers, together with
something near one thousand other United States officers, are confined
in a large warehouse building, with an average space of about
twenty-five square feet to each man. This includes all room for washing,
cooking, eating, sleeping and exercising. They have no bunks, chairs or
seats of any kind furnished them, consequently they both sit and sleep
on the floor. The windows of the building were entirely open until about
the middle of December last, when pieces of canvas were furnished for
the purpose of closing them to keep the cold out; but as this would
leave us in the dark, we were compelled to leave a portion of them open,
and endure the cold. Many of the officers were entirely destitute until
our government sent a supply to us in the forepart of the winter. The
supply of blankets is now exhausted, and officers who have been captured
during the last six weeks have none furnished them. The ration furnished
both officers and men by the rebels consists of about one pound of corn
bread made from unbolted meal, and one-fourth of a pound of poor fresh
meat per day. The meat has been issued to the prisoners but about half
of the time since the 1st of December last. In addition to the ration of
bread and meat, as above stated, the prisoners draw about two quarts of
rice to one hundred men. There is a sufficient quantity of salt
furnished, and a very small quantity of vinegar. I will here remark,
that in a few instances, say six or eight times at most, a small
quantity of sweet potatoes has been issued instead of the rations of
meat. The above is the sum total of the rations issued to our officers
and men now prisoners of war. The condition of our unfortunate enlisted
men now in the hands of the enemy is much worse than that of the
officers. From early in May last, when I arrived at Richmond, in about
the 1st of December, all the enlisted men were taken to what is called
Belle Isle, and turned into an enclosure like so many cattle into a
slaughter pen. Very few of them had tents or shelter of any kind, and
the few tents furnished were so poor and leaky as to render them but
little better than none.
“All the prisoners are
taken to Libby when they first arrive in Richmond, for the purpose of
counting them and enrolling their names, consequently I had a fair
chance to see their condition when they arrived. Fully one-half of the
prisoners taken since May last were robbed by their captors of their
shoes, and nearly all were robbed of their overcoats, blankets and
haversacks. At least one-third of them had been compelled to trade their
pants ad blouses for mere rags that would scarcely hide their nakedness;
very many of them were entirely bareheaded, and not a few, as late as
the middle of December, were brought in who had nothing on but an old
pair of ragged pants and a shirt, being bareheaded, barefooted, and
without a blouse, overcoat or blanket. ->
I have seen hundreds of our
men taken to the hospital thus clad, and in a dying condition. I have
frequently visited the hospital, and have conversed with large numbers
of dying men brought there from the island, who assured me that they had
been compelled to lie out in the open air without any medical
attendance, though for several days they had been unable to walk. Though
destitute of anything like quarters, and nearly naked during the cold,
stormy and chilly fall season, the first and chief complaint of all
those I saw and talked with was on account of an insufficient quantity
of food. I will here remark, that in no instance have the rebel
authorities furnished clothing or blankets to our men.
“During the winter, large
numbers of our men were frozen. I heard one of the rebel surgeons in
charge say that there were over twenty of our men who would have to
suffer amputation from the effects of the frost. This was before the
coldest weather commenced. Some time in the fore part of December, a
portion of our men were removed from the island to some large buildings,
where they were more comfortably quartered, but there has been no time
since May last but that more or less of our men have been kept in the
open air, and without blankets or overcoats. It is a common thing for
the rebels to keep our men for several days entirely without food. This
was particularly the case with a portion of the Gettysburg prisoners.
Some went as long as six days without food, and were compelled to march
during the time. The officers captured at Chickamauga assure me that
they and their men were robbed of everything. Many of them lost their
coats, hats and boots as soon as captured, and then were nearly starved
and frozen. . .
I have before remarked, it is
impossible for me to enumerate, in this communication, but a few of the
many acts of barbarity which have come under my notice, though I have
endeavored to give you a sample of such as will enable you to form a
correct conclusion relative to the treatment our unfortunate men are
receiving at the hands of the inhuman people with whom we are at war.
They seem lost to every principle of humanity, and it is my candid
conviction that their brutality to our prisoners is only measured by
It is slavery that has
demonized the rebels, and no mercy is to be expected at their hands. It
is manifestly their purpose to break down and kill off as many of our
unfortunate Northern officers and soldiers, captives in their hands, as
they can by starvation, exposure and other murderous devices.
MARCH 12, 1864
WEEKLY REGISTER (CT)
Attack on Mobile!
of Fort Morgan Corroborated.
Beauregard Reported in Command of the City.
Orleans, Feb. 24.–To this moment our news is quite in a
nutshell. Admiral Farragut, it is reported, opened fire on Tuesday last
with mortar-boats and gunboats, it is said on Mobile, but most likely on
Forts Morgan and Gaines, its outer defenses. . . .
troops in this department, so far as known, have no novelties to report.
Toward Brashear and the Teche the report is that the rebels are in
force, but in what force is not known. A few prisoners were brought in
yesterday, and a few Texas refugees came in to-day. The former look fat
and hearty, and so do the latter, but declare themselves lean and
hungry. Thirty-five prisoners escaped yesterday from a new prison just
instituted here in some of the confiscated stores on Carondelet street,
and as yet but two of them have been recaptured.
have various rumors about Sherman. One makes him master of the situation
ad driving his foes before him; another says that he “has captured
20,000 conscripts,” and others declare his defeat and annihilation.
All that we reliably know is that his communication with the Mississippi
river has not been kept open, whether by his own design or that of his
foe is not known, and the cavalry of the confederates is devoting itself
wholly to him.
West, Fla., Feb. 27.–News has been received here that Admiral
Farragut had commenced the proposed attack on Mobile. About a week
since, the admiral arrived at Pensacola, and left orders for several
vessels to be sent at once to Mobile Harbor, and they have since sailed.
The Tuscarora and ten mortar boats were among the vessels which joined
the fleet. It is reported to-day that the admiral opened fire on Fort
Morgan, as the works gave promise of earlier destruction than the other
fortifications; and there is also a rumor that Gen. Beauregard has been
transferred from Charleston to take charge of the defenses of Mobile,
which include a network of cables, chains, sunken logs, and other
hindrances in the port near the city and opposite the rebel batteries.
The obstructions are similar to those which have prevented the approach
of Admiral Dahlgren’s fleet into Charleston. No result of the
bombardment has yet been made known; but it is believed that Fort Morgan
will be ultimately destroyed or captured. Of course, this belief is
based less on the strength of the fort than the successes for which
Admiral Farragut has been distinguished.
have been creditably informed by soldiers from the army of the Potomac,
and other departments, that there is a universal complaint all through
the army in regard to the sizes of stockings furnished the soldiers. Our
regiments contain only a few “six-footers,” compared to all other
heights. Then why are such a quantity of mammoth sizes manufactured?
There are many slight young men; others are only mere boys–who are to
be supplied from military sources, with feet only numbering five, six or
seven, who are often compelled to wear Nos. 10 or 12, to their great
annoyance, in consequence of the folds that form in getting on a show.
Such plaits are intolerable in camp, but still more so on the battle
field or the long fatiguing marches, which inflame the part thus
incommoded by constant irritation, until the victim is unfit for duty,
and often suffers a long series of tortures in consequence of such
discrepancies. If this is a “military necessity,” it is a most
disagreeable one. A moment’s reflection would convince any one of the
propriety of furnishing graduated sizes of stockings, as well as other
sizes of apparel. Although the last are not the least of a soldier’s
equipment. It would be a matter of economy as well as comfort, saving
one-fifth of the raw material to every manufacturer. If ladies on
Sanitary Committees would direct in this matter, the result would be
hailed as the harbinger of brighter days, and greater military
camels imported for the government six years ago, and since kept near
the Tejon reservation on the plains, have increased from fifteen to
thirty-seven. This is the only increase, except of debt and taxation,
that has been reported under government management. We hope the camels
will continue to increase, so that the administration can have something
to boast of. It would not be surprising if it should some day wake up to
the fact that it has also an elephant on its hands.–N.
News and Gossip.
Wilkinson’s Attack on Gens. M’Clellan and Meade.
Wilkinson, in a “personal explanation” to-day, endeavored to show
that the eastern troops were not as inefficient and useless as he had
represented them to be on several occasions in the Senate; but that
Gens. Meade and McClellan were responsible for all the blunders of the
Army of the Potomac. His abuse of Gen. Meade was severe, and is part of
the radical programme to get him out of the way. He stated that Gen.
Meade gave an order for the retreat of the entire army at Gettysburg,
but one corps had got so far into the fight that the retreat could not
well known major general, it is understood, gave this in evidence
yesterday before the Committee on the Conduct of the War.
Meade arrived here to-day, having been summoned to appear before the
Committee on the Conduct of the War, to answer charges preferred against
him by Generals Sickles and Doubleday, alleged to be ordering a retreat
at Gettysburg. A full opportunity will be given to him to disprove them,
and if he fails it may lose him the command of the Army of the Potomac.
A number of the officers who participated in the fight at Gettysburg
have been subpoenaed. The matter is assuming a rather serious aspect.
War on Meade.
fact which transpired before the War Committee, that Gen. Meade, on the
night of the first day’s fight at Gettysburg, gave an order to
retreat, which was rendered impossible by one of his Corps commanders
getting into a fight (some of the newspaper correspondents knew that the
commander had a copy of the order in his pocket at the time,) was made
the subject of a speech in the Senate yesterday, in which it was
lamented that Meade had none of the “blundering audacity” of Grant,
as the Richmond Sentinel calls
it. It was also made the opportunity last Sunday of a demand upon the
President, by an eminent Senator, for the removal of Gen. Meade. It was
said that the War Committee called upon the President to-day and renewed
this demand. Gen. Sickles and Gen. Doubleday have been examined before
the Committee upon the management of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Ulric Dahlgren had lost his right leg during the Gettysburg campaign.
several places that Lincoln visited when he had a rare free moment, the
most frequented was the Washington Navy Yard, which was under the
command of his friend Dahlgren. They would enjoy a cigar and some brandy
while fishing on the Potomac. That Lincoln made it is his personal duty
to verify and then share this painful news with his friend speaks
volumes for his humanity.
procedure during the Civil War, not specific to this raid. This is not
an “extraordinary” order; horses and cattle are resources.
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