DECEMBER 11, 1864
TRUE DELTA (LA)
Attempt of Union Men to Destroy Hood’s Pontoons.
the Columbus Enquirer, Nov. 28.]
Nov. 9.–A bold and daring attempt was made a few nights ago to
cut loose the pontoon bridge which spans the Tennessee river at this
place. Eight Yankees procured a skiff several miles above us, and at
nightfall descended the river for the purpose of severing the bridge. On
their way down they pressed Mr. Pedan, a good and substantial secesh,
into the service as a guide. At this place the river is very wide, and
we did not have pontoons sufficient to reach from bank to bank. We were
therefore forced to to the necessity of resting the north end of the
bridge upon an island, and from thence built a trestle work to the
opposite shore. Mr. Pedan, knowing that between the island and the north
bank of the river the trestle work existed, when nearing Florence turned
the party in the cut off. They were surprised to find this bridge, but
Mr. Pedan assured them that the pontoons were below the piers of the
railroad bridge. They floated on down until they struck the piers. Here
they were soon discovered by our pickets, and were immediately fired
upon. The party abandoned the boat, but Mr. Pedan jumped in the river
and made to the shore. By aid of the dense undergrowth every one of them
escaped. Mr. Pedan paddled ashore and gave himself up. His explanation
as to how he became connected with the party was perfectly satisfactory
to Gen. Hood, and he was immediately released. His statement was that
the object of the expedition was to cut the pontoons loose, so as to cut
off all communication with the south bank of the river, thereby
isolating one corps of our army, and consequently its capture. The
scheme was a bold one, and would have been completely successful but for
the presence of mind and coolness of Mr. Pedan.
same correspondent, writing from the same place on the 10th inst. says:
bold attempt was made last night to destroy our pontoon bridge. The
night was intensely dark, and a good deal of rain was falling. The
guards on duty at the bridge could scarcely see each other more than
five steps apart. The Yankees made one lick with a hatchet upon the
cable to which the boats were attached; the blow severed all the strands
but one. The guards heard the blow, and darted to the cable before they
could repeat the lick. There were three of them engaged in the
undertaking. The guard captured them before they could get away.
Hatred of America.—It is a custom in England to celebrate
the 5th November, “Guy Fawkes’ Day,” by bonfires and burning the
Pope in effigy, besides resorting to other modes of expressing joy at
the escape of king, lords and commons from destruction by gunpowder. At
the celebration on the 5th of November last, instead of the Pope, the
President of the United States was burned in effigy. The figure,
according to a late London letter to a New York journal, is represented
to have been hideously grotesque.
restaurant has been opened in London for fat people, where nothing will
be served up but viands which check obesity.
Intolerance the Characteristic of New England?
frequently hear, from those too, who should know better, the accusation
of intolerance brought against New England, and that of inconsistency
against the Pilgrim Fathers. The assertion that they left their own
country to establish religious freedom, and then refused it to those who
believed differently from themselves, has been so often repeated, that
to the uninquiring it is as good as proved. That the Puritans denied
religious liberty to others is unquestionably true; but that they
claimed it for themselves on the ground of the inherent right of man to
regulate his own spiritual concerns, or that they ever assigned as a
reason for settling in this country an intention to to establish
universal toleration in matters of religion, is as unquestionably false.
Such a doctrine was far in advance of the spirit of the age. A religious
sect believing, as every sect of that day did and many of the present
day do, that its religious views were the only ones in accordance with
God’s will as taught in His word, would have considered it a gross
dereliction of duty not to enforce those views on all subject to its
influence. That the chief duty of the sovereign was to regulate the
religion of the subject, was a principle to deny which would have been
considered a political as well as a religious heresy. When Roger
Williams gave utterance to the startling dogma that every man had a
complete and perfect right to enjoy freedom of opinion on the subject of
religion, he was regarded as a disturber of the public peace, the
dangerous tendency of whose principles demanded his banishment from the
about the same time Lord Baltimore established his colony of Maryland on
a basis of religious toleration, is no evidence that toleration was in
accordance with the spirit of the age. Lord Baltimore, be it remembered,
was a Roman Catholic, a member of a proscribed church, the clergymen of
which according to the laws of England at that time were liable to
criminal prosecution if convicted of exercising their sacerdotal
functions. Lord Baltimore was also a courtier, in high favor with the
King, who was himself not ill-disposed toward eh ancient church.
Desiring to establish a colony where members of his faith might enjoy
the practice of their religion unmolested, the founder of Maryland used
his influence at court to obtain from Charles such a patent as would
enable him to carry out his favorite plan. Undoubtedly he was a man of
large views and generous nature. Far in advance of his age, the
religious freedom which he sought for himself he was willing to extend
to others. For this let him have full credit; but let it be remembered
at the same time that, in order to obtain toleration for his own creed,
he was obliged to extend the same to all. For a colony founded under the
English Government at that time to establish the Catholic religion as
the ruling one, to the exclusion of the Church of England, would not
have been tolerated; and even Charles, foolhardy as he was, would not
have dared to countenance such an outrage on the English nation. The
religious toleration, therefore, which distinguished Maryland from her
sister colonies was as necessary and politic as it was literal. The
English Roman Catholic, oppressed and almost outlawed since the reign of
Elizabeth, was glad enough to obtain toleration for his own religion,
and did not dream of attempting to force his infallible church on
heretics over whom he had no control.
these two exceptions, Roger Williams and Lord Baltimore, both of whom
were in advance of their age, it will be difficult to point out many
prominent men of that day, religious, yet champions of universal
toleration in religion. The Pilgrims, as we have already said, never
professes anything so heterodox, so revolutionary. They braved the
rigors of the bleak New England clime not to encourage eh spread of
latitudinarianism, as they would have characterized religious tolerance,
but to free themselves from the odious yoke of what they considered a
corrupt and ungodly hierarchy, and to enjoy the freedom of worshipping
God in accordance with their own views of pure Christianity. To
disseminate these views and enforce the observances in accordance
therewith, they believed a sacred duty; to permit the spread of false
doctrine in matters so vital would have been condemned by their stern
and judaical minds as culpable in the extreme. It cannot be denied that
their actions were consistent with their belief.
view of these facts, it is rather surprising to read in a journal so
ably conducted as the World,
statements like the following: “In religion, the great American idea
is universal toleration, for which we are more indebted to
Jefferson than any other one man; but universal toleration is the very
opposite of the spirit of the New England Puritans.” If Thomas
Jefferson had been a religious man and contemporary with the early
settlers of New England, whose tolerance still reflects on their
descendants, such a comparison would have been fair; but when we
remember that he was a free thinker living a century and a half
afterwards, the unfairness of the comparison is striking. Moreover, even
in his day, the principle of religious toleration was far from being
generally received as correct in unpuritanic Virginia. That a man who
did not believe in any church should be willing to tolerate all, in
order that he might be tolerated in rejecting all, is not peculiarly
meritorious. It is, nevertheless, fortunate for the cause of human
progress that such men should rise, and should possess the genius to win
to their own liberal views their fellow men. Feeling grateful to
Jefferson for the noble work he did in favor of religious as well as
civil liberty, we cannot but think it unjust to make him a criterion by
which to judge men who lived one hundred and fifty years before his
time, and amid circumstances so different.
maintain then that intolerance never has been a distinguishing
characteristic of New England; that when she was intolerant, the whole
world was the same; and that the great doctrine of “soul liberty”
was first preached in this country upon her shores. She rejected it
then; but the leaven so unwelcomely introduced into her theology by
Roger Williams has, in the course of time, leavened the whole mass; and
at this day there is no part of the world where more liberal views on
the subject of religion are entertained than in New England.
MACON DAILY TELEGRAPH AND CONFEDERATE (GA)
Atlanta as Left by the Enemy.
Report of Gen. Howard.
Ga., Dec. 7, 1864.
His Excellency Joseph E. Brown,
Governor of Georgia:
obedience to orders of November 25, to inspect the State property in
Atlanta, and the city itself, I have the honor to make the following
report. With it, I beg leave to present your Excellency with a penciled
map of the city, showing the position of every house left unburned.
property of the State was destroyed by fire, but a vast deal of valuable
material remains in the ruins, Three-fourths of the bricks are good, and
will be suitable for rebuilding if placed under shelter before freezing
weather. There is a quantity of brass in the journals of burned curs and
in the ruins of various machinery of the extensive railroad shops; also
a valuable amount of copper from the guttering of the State depot, the
flue-pipes of destroyed engines, stop-cocks of machinery, &c. The
car wheels that were injured by fire were rendered useless by breaking
the flanges. In short, every species of machinery that was not destroyed
by fire was most ingeniously broken and made worthless in its original
form ---the large steam-boilers, the switches, the frogs. etc. Nothing
has escaped. The fire engines, except Tallulah No. 3, was sent North.
Tallulah has been overhauled and a new company organized. Nos. 1 and 2
fire engine-houses were saved. All the city pumps were destroyed, except
one on Marietta-street. The car-sheds, the depots, machine-shops,
foundries, rolling-mills, merchant mills, arsenals. laboratory, armory,
etc., were all burned.
the angle between Hunter-street, commencing at the City Hall, running;
east, and McDonough-street, running south, all houses were destroyed.
The jail and calaboose were burned. All business houses, except on
Alabama-street, commencing with the Gate City Hotel, running east to
Lloyd-street, were burned. All the hotels, except the Gate City, were
burned. By reference to my map, you will find about four hundred houses
standing. The scale of the map is four hundred feet to the inch. Taking
the car-shed for the centre, describe a circle, the diameter of which is
twelve inches, and you will perceive that the circle contains about
three hundred squares, Then, at a low estimate, allow three houses to
every four hundred feet, and we will have thirty-six hundred homes in
the circle. Subtract the number of houses indicated on the map, as
standing. and you will see be this estimate the enemy have destroyed
thirty-two hundred houses. Refer to the exterior of the circle, and you
will discover that it is more than half a mile to the city limits in
every direction, which was thickly populated, to say nothing of the
houses beyond, and you will see that the enemy have destroyed from four
to five thousand houses. Two-thirds of the shade trees in the park and
the city and of the timber in the suburbs have been destroyed. The
suburbs present to the eye one vast naked, ruined, deserted camp. The
Masonic Hall is not burned, though the corner-stone is badly scarred by
some thief, who would have robbed it of its treasure, but for the timely
interference of some mystic brothers.
City Hall is damaged, but not burned. The Second Baptist. Second
Presbyterian, Trinity and Catholic churches and all the residences
adjacent between Mitchell and Peter streets, running south of east, and
Lloyd and Washington streets, funding north of west, are safe, all
attributable to Father O’Riley,
who refused to give up his parsonage to Federal officers, who were
looking out for fine houses for quarters, and there being a large number
of Catholics in the Federal army, who volunteered to protect their
church and parsonage, and would not allow any house adjacent to be fired
that would endanger them. ->
a poor of their attachment to their church and love of Father
O’Riley, a soldier who attempted to fire Col. Calhoun's house, the burning of which would have endangered
the whole block, was shot and killed, and his grave is marked. So to
Father O’Riley the
country is indebted for the protection of the City Hall, the churches,
Methodist, the Christian and African Churches were destroyed. The
Medical College was saved by Dr. D. Alvvigny,
who was left in charge of our wounded. The Female College was torn down
for the purpose of obtaining the bricks with which to construct winter
quarters. All Institutions of learning were destroyed. The African
Church was used as an academy for educating negroes. Roderick
Badger, a Negro dentist, and his brother Bob
Badger, a train-hand on the West Point and La Grange Railroad,
both well known to the citizens of Atlanta, were assistant professors to
the philanthropic Northmen in this institution. Very few Negroes
remained in the city. Thirteen 32-pounder rifle cannon, with cascabels
and trunnions broken off and jammed in the muzzles, remain near the
Georgia Railroad shop. One well is reported to be filled with
ammunition. Fragments of wagons, wheels, axles, bodies, etc., fire
strewn over the city.
I have arrived ten days earlier with a guard of one hundred men, I could
have saved the State and city a million dollars.
were about 250 wagons in the city on my arrival, loading with pilfered
plunder–pianos, mirrors, furniture of all kinds, iron, hides without
numbers, and an incalculable amount of other things, very valuable at
the present time. This exportation of stolen property had been going on
ever since the place had been abandoned by the enemy. Bushwhackers,
robbers and deserters, and citizens from the surrounding country for a
distance of fifty miles have been engaged in this dirty work.
of the finest houses, mysteriously left unburned, are filled with the
finest furniture, carpets, pianos, mirrors, etc., and occupied by
parties who, six months ago, lived in humble style. About fifty families
remained during the occupancy of the city by the enemy, and about the
same number have returned since its abandonment. From two to three
thousand dead carcasses of animals remain in the city limits.
were turned loose in the cemetery to graze upon the grass and shrubbery.
The ornaments of graves, such as marble lambs, miniature, statuary,
souvenirs of departed little ones, are broken and scattered abroad. The
crowning act of all their wickedness and villainy was committed by our
ungodly foe in removing the dead from the vaults in the cemetery and
robbing the coffins of the silver name plates and tippings, and
depositing their own dead in the vaults.
have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
DECEMBER 13, 1864
DAILY COURANT (CT)
Movements in North Carolina.
Peace Party Ready for Peace on
N. C., Dec. 8.–Gen. Wilde, of the African brigade, has arrived
here with dispatches, and to look out for the interests of families
connected with his command.
departure of rebel troops to the assistance of Georgia leaves North
Carolina nearly destitute of arms.
opposition papers in North Carolina speak of Sherman’s undertaking as
unparalleled in the history of war, and intimate that he will doubtless
sweep everything before him, and plant his victorious standard upon the
re-election of Lincoln, accompanied with Sherman’s prospect of
success, is a new incentive to the peace party, who all advocate
immediate steps for a cessation of hostilities, and the
acceptance of such terms as the federal government may feel disposed to
grant. The recent bold steps taken to this end by her delegation in the
rebel congress are sustained by a large majority of the people, who,
from all parts of the State, are sending letters of approval to those
representatives, who are all urged to withdraw in a body from Richmond
and return to North Carolina and assist in a movement of separate State
action for peace.
Carolina papers state that Sherman’s cavalry captured Millen, and
doubtless liberated Yankee prisoners, and are moving on to a place still
March.—The Richmond papers of Friday last report Gen.
Sherman half way between Millen and Savannah, moving in the direction of
the latter town, but do not give the date when he was at that point.
This would leave him about forty miles from Savannah.
Charleston Mercury of December
5th says: “Sherman is evidently marching for Savannah, or some other
point in its neighborhood. On Friday morning, 2d inst., his main body
broke up its camp at Louisville, Ga., and marched down the Central
railroad, the 14th and 20th army corps, which form his left wing, being
in advance. Before night all the greater portion of the Yankee column
had passed through Millen, in the direction of Savannah. We have no
later news of its whereabouts.”
Richmond Dispatch of the 9th
says: “We hear nothing from Sherman. Whether he is crossing the
Savannah on pontoons or sailing down the Oconee in rafts and flatboats,
is equally unknown to us. We only know, and we rejoice much in the fact,
that central Georgia is relieved of his presence, and that our railroad
and lines of communication are being rapidly reconstructed in his wake.
As regards their railroads, the Georgians are, to a man,
Charleston papers of the 6th state that Sherman was at Station No. 6, on
the 5th, sixty miles from Savannah. He was marching in the direction of
Savannah. It is ciphered up near the Executive Chamber that he was in
Savannah on Sunday.
dispatch from City Point, dated December 11th, says the latest news in
Richmond papers yesterday, the 10th, state that on the 7th Sherman was
east of the Ogeechee river, 25 miles from Savannah, moving on that city.
Sherman had marched his army on the 6th 18 miles.
Case of the Florida.
mails of the Hansa, which left
Southampton November 23d, bring the late discussions of the French
papers in the case of the Florida. For a while after the seizure was
announced, the secession press were bitter in their denunciation of the
act, and several papers friendly to the Union cause took the ground that
the officers of the Wachusett were plainly in the wrong. Lately the Opinion
Nationale in a leading article ably reviewed all the facts, and
vindicated the seizure. It points out the cases where the rebels have
violated Brazilian neutrality, and shows that the Brazilian government
admits its inability to compel belligerents to observe neutrality in its
waters. Hence the American Government notified Brazil of its intention
to redress its own wrongs. The Opinion
cites the case of the General
Armstrong, an American ship seized by England in Portuguese waters,
for which satisfaction was demanded from Portugal. The case was referred
to the Emperor Napoleon, who, in 1852, decided against the United
States. The article in the Opinion
produced a great change in public feeling. Since its appearance papers
in the rebel interest have hardly alluded to the subject.
Goldwin Smith has written a letter in reply to Mr. Sumner’s citations
from British naval history, in which he endeavors to mitigate the
injustice of the decisions by referring them to an earlier and darker
period. England once suffered from the domination of a class not unlike
the oligarchy of American slaveholders. He contends, however, that the
England of to-day should not be held accountable for acts which her
people heartily repudiate.
Butler wants teachers for his free schools in Eastern Virginia, which
commence on the first of January. Wages for men $45 and $60 per month;
for women $20 and $30–preference given to disabled soldiers and
soldiers’ wives and widows.
Louisville Journal gives
enthusiastic praise to the women of Franklin, Tenn., who exposed
themselves to danger on the field, before the recent battle was over, in
their haste to minister to the wounded.
E. Waters, another of the Baltimore blockade runners, and reputed to be
a bitter secessionist, was up before Gen. Doubleday’s court martial on
Saturday, charged with selling hardware, percussion caps, and a machine
for the manufacture of cotton cards to the rebels.
the statements in the report of the Secretary of the Navy is one, says
the Washington Chronicle,
which is not to the credit of American industry. “The bunting under
which our soldiers fight and citizens hurrah is not the product of
American hands. We rely upon foreign factories for the principal
material of which the thousand flags of the Republic are composed. How
long shall this reproach last? Manufacturers of America, see to it that
foreign looms shall no longer have the monopoly of producing the bunting
which floats from mast-heads and flag-staffs, as the emblem of our
assailed yet surely triumphant nationality.”
DECEMBER 14, 1864
Progress in the Arts of War.
the commencement of the American contest to suppress rebellion, the art
of war has made gigantic strides. Railways for military purposes are but
the most common affairs, and excite no special surprise or notice. The
constant use of the telegraph system, an American invention, not only
brings the whole wide country into the War Department, but follows the
armies on their marches, and extends its wires from post to post on the
battle-field, even under fire and in the midst of the fiercest frays.
The telegraphic corps attached to the various armies does not receive a
tithe of praise to which it is entitled for its efficiency, bravery and
usefulness. The damming up of a great river so as to float a fleet of
gunboats is an event which, had its counterpart occurred in ancient
days, would have furnished material for historians and epic poets for a
construction of iron vessels is still an experiment, but the lavish
expenditure and the great successes which have in some instances
attended them are among the marked incidents of the period. The battle
of the Monitor and Merrimac is among the titanic occurrences of the age.
The great gun of Gilmore, in the swamps of James Island, sending its
huge death-dealing instruments miles through the air, to fall and do the
work of war in the streets of a distant city, is one of the marvels of
this great contest, which a few years ago would have been deemed so
little short of miraculous as to be at least incredible. The digging of
a canal to turn aside the waters of a river and make a new channel for
the passage of ships is not without precedent in ancient days, but it is
many centuries since the boldness of man has been equal to undertaking
such works as have been tried at Vicksburg and Dutch Gap.
are a few of the prominent illustrations, which all have observed, of
the progress of the art of war in our day. But in this, as in nearly all
other subjects, the visible and notorious facts are not the surest
indications of real advance. The improvements, in the minutest
particulars, in the equipment of men, the organization of armies, the
character of small arms, the methods of preparing gunpowder for
transportation and use, and in all the countless departments which go to
make up the art of war, have been more decided and noteworthy in four
years of war in America than in forty years before this in the whole
world. The fact that we are fast changing into a military nation seems
now beyond contradiction. We have undoubtedly developed a new phase of
character. Who can prophesy the results to proceed from the development?
on the Lakes.—The prohibition which England and the United
States mutually imposed upon themselves at the close of the last war, to
keep each not more than one revenue cutter on each of the lakes, is
about to expire. In the month of October last, the Federal Government
gave the requisite six months’ notice of their intention to
discontinue the arrangement. There will, therefore, be an end to the
prohibition next April. Both parties to the agreement will then be at
liberty to place a naval marine on the lakes. The Toronto Leader
expresses an opinion, upon examination of all the bearings in the case,
that there is no cause for England to regret the annulment of the
arrangement, adding that:
some time past–for three full years–the obligation had been
operating unequally. The Americans have been building a suspicious class
of vessels on the lakes, during the last two or three seasons; vessels
of a strength altogether beyond anything that the necessities of
commerce require; vessels which might, without any great difficulty, be
converted into ships of war, and which appear to have been built with
direct reference to that contingency. In this way, our neighbors have
been getting an undue advantage over us, and one which they would not
have obtained, if the prohibition against war vessels being placed on
the lakes had not existed. And if, in this way, the spirit of the treaty
has been encroached upon, its letter has latterly, we believe, not been
fully respected. Under these circumstances, the best thing for us that
could be done, and the fairest to both parties, is to put an end to the
in Richmond.—A letter written in the city of Richmond on
the 8th inst., gives a most gloomy account of the condition of affairs
in the rebel capital. The pending cold weather pinches the denizens of
the doomed city in the extreme. Calico is held at twenty-one dollars a
yard, coal seventy-five dollars a load, and twenty-five dollars for
hauling; flour three hundred dollars a barrel, and wood one hundred
dollars a cord. The letter states that plenty reigns in the market at
these prices. One dollar in gold is valued at forty in rebel notes.
Arming of Slaves by the Rebels.—Governor Smith of Virginia,
in his recent message to the Legislature of that State, recommends the
arming of slaves to be ready for the spring campaign of the rebel
armies. As to the policy of putting Negroes in the army, he says:
only question is, has the time arrived? Are we able beyond a question to
wage successful war against a Power three times our own in numbers, with
all Europe from which to recruit, and who unhesitatingly put arms in the
hands of our Negroes for our destruction? I will not say that under the
providence of God we may not be able to triumph; but I do say that we
should not, from any mawkish sensibility, refuse any means within our
reach, which will tend to enable us to work our own deliverance. For my
part, standing before God and my country, I do not hesitate to say that
I would arm such portion of our able-bodied slave population as may be
necessary, and put them in the field, so as to have them ready for the
spring campaign, even if it resulted in the freedom of those thus
organized. Will I not employ them to fight the Negro force of the
enemy–aye, the Yankees themselves, who already boast that they have
two hundred thousand of our slaves in arms against us. Can we hesitate,
can we doubt, when the question is whether our enemy shall use our
slaves against or we use them against him?–when the question may be
between liberty and independence on the one hand or subjugation and
utter ruin on the other? I know it is the opinion of some of the highest
military authorities that the time has come when we should call our
slaves to our assistance, and I hold it to be clearly the duty of every
citizen, however much he may doubt the wisdom and necessity of the
policy, to co-operate in strengthening by every means our armies.
PITTSFIELD SUN (MA)
Proposed Changes in Our Form of
abolitionists are congratulating themselves on the fact that they have
secured a two-thirds vote in the next Congress. This majority will
enable them to propose, in a legal way, amendments to the Constitution,
by which means they hope to abolish slavery and make radical changes in
the fundamental law.
administration papers are already out in favor of propositions amending
the Constitution so as to abolish State rights and give us a centralized
power–“a strong government,” as these revolutionists call are in
the habit of terming it.
also want all doubt removed as to the power of the government to
establish a national banking system and a rag currency. Here is a
virtual confession that the pernicious sprig grafted upon our financial
system by Mr. Chase, is of doubtful legitimacy.
also advocate, in imitation of Jeff Davis’ Confederate Constitution,
an extension of the Presidential term to six years.
are but a few of the changes which the party in power contemplate
making, and hence their jubilation over their two-thirds vote. It will
be seen that the great object aimed at is centralization–the very evil
which the framers of the Constitution struggled so zealously and
faithfully to avoid. It is not improbable that upon these questions the
next great political battle will be fought.
yet there is one ray of hope for the American people! Fortunately for
the free government given us, the Constitution has more than one
safeguard thrown around it. A partisan two-thirds in Congress may
propose amendments, but they will have no validity unless ratified by three-fourths
of the States! Here is where the fanatics will find their checkmate
if they undertake, by Constitutional amendments, to change the character
of the government and interpose lasting obstacles to a reunited and
prosperous country. They cannot now, and will not within the lifetime of
their party, be able to control the legislatures and executives of three-fourths of the States, without which they cannot succeed in
their nefarious schemes to break up the government.
it be remembered, further, that their new Congress will not meet until
December, 1865, so that it would be impossible to get their amendments
submitted to an acted upon b enough of the States before some time in
1866. Before that period, the people, disappointed and deceived by the
flattering promises just made by the administration, and disgusted with
its continued failures and want of practical wisdom, will have recalled
the Democracy to power in many of the free States. It will be for them
to say whether these schemes of the agitators and fanatics shall be
crowned with success.–Hudson
Dinner for the Soldiers.—Our citizens are again called upon
to contribute to the comfort of the soldiers. It is proposed to provide
a Christmas Dinner for Co. A, 61st Regiment, now stationed at City
Point, Va., and those who are desirous of contributing, are requested to
do so immediately, as packages must be forwarded as early as Monday
next, in order to reach the Company by Christmas. This Company, it will
be remembered, is made up almost entirely of Pittsfield men, and let us
demonstrate to them on this occasion, that amid the comforts of home we
do not forget the noble sacrifice they have made in leaving all they
held most dear, to defend our country and our institutions. All
contributions of money may be sent to Mrs. Fenn, at the Sanitary Rooms.
Those who will contribute turkeys, or anything that will help to make a
“Merry Christmas,” may send to Mr. J. S. Brown, at the meat market
in Burbank’s North Block. Let the response be a generous one.
correspondent at Vidalia, La., has the following to say in regard to the
leased Government plantations and their management:
hundred plantations were leased in this Natchez district for the season. As
has been said, of this whole number but about twenty five have gathered
crops–one in five. The eighty have been broken up by guerrillas. My last
letter gives you an idea of the process. The blacks put upon them have been
driven back to slavery, or in considerable numbers and with every
circumstance of brutality killed, or have escaped as they could fight and
returned to the points from which they were taken. On some of these deserted
places, however, the rebels have allowed a number of blacks to remain on
condition that they would not work or gather cotton. They make a living from
the corn and potatoes and gardens which had been planned by the lessees or
themselves previously to the breaking up of the plantation.
twenty plantations now occupied, are all within a semi-circle of about seven
miles, described from Vidalia as a centre. A small force at Bullet’s
Bayou, with another between the foot of the lake and the bend of the river
below Vidalia, make these farms comparatively safe, twelve of them very
comfortably so. Of the other six, the York and Fletcher and the Sycamore
places (scenes of the atrocities mentioned in my last) are two. Four others
of the twenty are subject to the constant visitation of guerrillas, and owe
their crops to the fact that the old hands and overseers remain upon them,
or to other and less honorable arrangements.
these twelve, one firm has part or full control of nine. At the head of this
firm stood Burnet, the treasury agent who had the leasing of plantations,
and with him was Judge Field, who was the commissioner for the leasing last
year. The military authorities have once tried and convicted Field, and
Burnet is now under arrest. Of the plantations on which crops are being
gathered, which are outside of this safe twelve, Judge Field had at least
three. In how many more he had a covert interest it is impossible to say.
The out-lying eighty farms were leased by such persons as could be allured,
in their ignorance of the indefensible positions of their land, to the
perilous undertaking, either by the promise of enormous profit, or by the
humane purpose of aiding in the elevation of the black, or the patriotic
motive of lightening the burden of the government in the care of these
freedmen. They have been broken up, many lives lost, a vast amount of
property not only lost, but thrown directly into rebel hands, very many
thrown back into the hands of the government for support. The disasters to
these many are but poorly compensated by the partial success of the
fortunate few who were able to locate themselves within safe lines.
relief which these plantations have furnished to the government in this
district is just of this importance. Five of them (of the safe ones) have
furnished labor to refugee blacks. They have paid the government, in rents,
possibly $5,000, while the defence of the tract of land in which they were
situated has cost a regiment or two of soldiers and a quarter of a million
of money. This is to say nothing of the loss of life, the loss of liberty,
the loss of property and the gain to rebel resources of the eighty
plantations which have been broken up.
military situation has not been so interesting for a long time as at
this moment. The climax of Sherman’s great movement is at hand. By
this time he must be near the Atlantic coast, but whether he must first
engage in a desperate struggle, and whether its scene, if any occurs, is
to be at Savannah, or the railroad between that city and Charleston, or
the vicinity of Darien, Georgia, remains to be seen. The recent rebel
intelligence throws but little light on the matter, for while it points
Sherman’s course toward Savannah, the gentlemen who supply the
comments coincide in the belief that he is really aiming for Beaufort.
The advices brought by steamer from the latter place are but little more
definite, and are important only from their statement that Foster’s
forces still hold Pocotaglio bridge, which cuts off all further
reinforcements from the north. Every day now may solve for us the
problem of Sherman’s achievements.
the army of the Potomac a very important movement has been commenced.
Nearly a week ago, Gen. Warren, with three infantry divisions and
Gregg’s cavalry, broke camp and marched down the Weldon railroad.
Reaching the Nottoway river, twenty miles below Petersburg, he crossed
on pontoons, which he pulled up behind him and continued to march.
Except that the rebel papers have since reported him at Jarrett’s,
thirty-two miles south of Petersburg, we know nothing further about him.
The rebels manifest the liveliest interest in this movement,
conjecturing that Warren has gone to North Carolina, to Weldon and
toward the South Side Railroad. No satisfactory explanation has yet
appeared in loyal quarters. In the meantime, the Richmond papers and
other signs indicate an impending movement on our right, in the
neighborhood of the Dutch Gap canal. If any such has been delayed by the
bad weather, we may be sure that it will be put in force before long,
and that a certain connection between Grant’s and Sherman’s armies
will appear in due season.
situation around Nashville has not changed materially the last week.
Gen. Thomas has been strengthening his position daily, and though
Hood’s invasion is too strong to be an object of ridicule or neglect,
it is confidently believed that serious danger is past, and that the
attempt will prove another of Hood’s bad mistakes.–Boston
information has been received that a large number of evil disposed
persons, consisting of rebel sympathizers, secessionists, marauders and
other outlaws, who have collected in Canada with the view to enter the
commercial cities of the North, and particularly those on the Canadian
frontier, with the ostensible purpose of seeking employment, but who are
really intent upon the destruction of life and property, will shortly
arrive in the United States, all officers of this bureau are instructed
to place all persons suspected to be of this class under strict
surveillance, and to arrest such as evidently belong to it. Provost
marshals will confer with the municipal authorities, with the view of
preventing the mischief contemplated, and will aid the civil authorities
in discovering these persons and causing their arrest.
Provost Marshal General.
this Gen. Meigs issues an order respecting the employment of strangers
about railroad or other depots, on steamboats, etc. The plots by which
some months since many steamboats on the western rivers were fired and
destroyed by rebel agents have now been extended with the intent to
attempt the destruction by fire of military stores, shipping,
manufactories and public and private property at various points
throughout the loyal states.
Fitly Spoken by Mr. Seward.
time since, Lord Wharncliff informed Minister Adams that the Liverpool
bazaar had raised about £1700 and asked permission for an accredited
agent to visit the military prisons in the northern states, and
distribute this money among their rebel inmates. He disclaimed all idea
of any political aid, or any imputation as to the improper treatment of
the confederate prisoners, and based his request upon grounds of
humanity. Mr. Adams replied that the government had no delight in
individual suffering, and said he should greatly rejoice if the effects
of such sympathy could be extended to the ministering to their mental
ailments as well as their bodily sufferings, thus contributing to put an
end to a struggle which otherwise is too likely to be only
procrastinated by English sympathizers.
Seward replied to Lord Wharncliff’s application, received through Mr.
Adams under date of December 5, in a very pithy letter, saying that the
North has ample means to take care of its prisoners, as well as meet all
other demands upon them. The secretary says: “The American people will
be likely to reflect that the sum thus insidiously tendered in the name
of humanity constitutes no large portion of the profits which its
contributors may be justly supposed to have derived from the insurgents
by exchanging with them arms and munitions of war for the coveted
productions of immoral and enervating slave labor. Nor will any portion
of the American people be disposed to regard the sum thus ostentatiously
offered for the relief of the captured insurgents as a generous
equivalent for the devastation and dissolution which a civil war,
promoted and protracted by British subjects, have spread throughout the
states which before were eminently prosperous and happy. Finally, in
view of this last officious intervention in our domestic affairs, the
American people can hardly fail to recall the warning of the father of
our country against the two great and intimately connected public
dangers–namely: ‘sectional faction’ and ‘foreign intrigue.’ I
do not think the insurgents have become debased, although they have
sadly wandered from the ways of loyalty and patriotism. I think, in
common with all our countrymen, that they will rejoice in being saved by
their considerate and loyal government from the grave insult which Lord
Wharncliff and his associates, in their zeal for the overthrow of the
United States, have prepared for the victims of this unnatural and
Gen. Grant has gone to the front.
ten hours between Washington and New York.
Ohio dogs have killed $146,000 worth of sheep the past year. The dogs
are not to blame, but their owners are. They should cure them the German
way–take their heads off.
effort will be made in the N. Y. legislature for leave to tunnel
Broadway for a street railway, a
DECEMBER 17, 1864
gentleman of character in Fairfield County, who went down to the army on
the James river, gives a shocking revelation of the perversion of
“good things” sent to the soldiers for their Thanksgiving dinner by
the benevolent people of the North. There are a set of swindlers who
enrich themselves by stealing half of everything that is sent to the
army; and it is a pity they cannot be caught and punished. Hear what
this gentleman writes to the Farmer, from City Point:
I have witness the great “Thanksgiving Day among the soldiers,” and
may God grant that I may never witness another like it.
propose to mention a few of the incidents of that Thanksgiving Day, that
came within my personal observation. When I state that I saw soldiers of
“The Army of the Potomac,” standing around a barrel filled with the sweepings of the wharf, and turning up the refuse stuff with their
hands in search of bits of “hard tack” with which to appease their hunger, you perhaps will be astonished; but I saw even
more than that. I saw a party of Negroes loading boxes of pilot bread,
or what the soldiers term “hard tack,” into a freight car, and white
men–soldiers in the United States service–were underneath the car,
busy at work picking up from the mud and eating the bits that dropped
through the seams in the boxes during the process of loading.
night of Thanksgiving Day I spent with a regiment in the highest branch
of the service, and one that stands as high as any regiment in the
service. Soon after I arrived, the camp was thrown into quite a state of
excitement by the announcement that “our turkeys” had come.
barrels were unloaded, each marked “18 turkeys” and “48 pies.”
But alas, for human expectation, what a shock! On opening said barrels,
they contained, each, a few miserable looking half-cooked fowls, which,
on being equally divided, gave one chicken and a half to each four men.
There was not a single turkey or anything that resembled a pie in the
fowls were taken into the tents, cut up into pieces and placed in piles,
and were then divided among the men, by one of their number turning his
back, while another put his finger first on one pile and then on
another, and the man with his back turned calling the name of the person
to whom it was to belong.
it was divided, I saw one man offer to exchange his Thanksgiving dinner
for ten hard tack, but found no takers. The best offer he got was five,
if he would wait until the man who made the offer could draw them.
near as I can learn, the Soldiers’ Thanksgiving dinner, in this part
of the country at least, was a perfect farce.
coopers of Troy are on strike. They want two cents more per barrel–and
have been idle about eight weeks. The bosses continue to stave off the
matter, in order to bring it to a head–hooping that the jours will
soon see that, whilst they are “saving at the spigot, they are wasting
at the bunghole.”
has obtained between 1100 and 1200 recruits in insurgent States, at a
cost of $125 per man. These are the chaps who were to “swarm the
highways” when the Emancipation policy should prevail. ->
noticeable feature of the Convention of tobacconists at the Cooper
Institute a few days since, was that nearly all present, some two
thousand, were smoking, doubtless from a patriotic desire to increase
the revenues. A suggestion that gentlemen had better not smoke, as it
might prove “offensive to somebody,” brought down the house.
Worcester Spy says Mr.
Sargent, of Southboro, Mass., has raised this year four pounds of
genuine coffee from the real Java coffee seed. He planted and raised it
in a manner similar to peas, the coffee growing in pods in the same
manner. Mr. Sargent intends to plant the whole four pounds of his
raising next year. It is reported that coffee was successfully
cultivated in Methuen the past year.” The Worcester Spy ought to know
better than this: “Real Java Coffee,” and all other “real”
coffee, grows upon a tree of considerable size, not in pods, but as the
kernel of a fruit, somewhat similar to a cherry. We are painfully
satisfied, however, that much “genuine” coffee now sold does “grow
in a manner similar to peas” and beans.–Boston
in a Southern Prison.—The Philadelphia Inquirer
relates that among the 30,000 Union prisoners in Andersonville, there
was a band of about two hundred of the most dangerous and vicious
characters, who seized any man who came into the camp, if they had a
chance, and robbed him of everything he had. If he made an outcry they
murdered him. This state of things finally became so notorious that the
prisoners determined to put a stop to it, and the rebel authorities gave
them permission. A court was formed, lawyers and a jury procured, and
six of the ringleaders found guilty, sentenced to be hung, and finally
executed. The above facts are corroborated by Lieut. Edward T. Abbott of
the 20th C. V., who has just returned from Andersonville prison.
Speaking of t, however, he says:
each other used to be very frequent among the prisoners, and some men
had been murdered for their money
and watches, and there was no chance of the perpetrators being
punished. This was carried to so great an extent, that the prisoners for
self-defence formed a large police force among themselves. The rebel
authorities allowed them to do this, and paid policemen by giving them
double rations. At one time two thousand were thus employed. They soon arrested and convicted
several murderers, finding the
dead bodies under their bunks. These murderers were turned over to
the rebel officers and were hung. After this there was but little
robbery comparatively. While the executions were going on the guns at
the forts were all manned ready to fire into the crowd should there be
any outbreak, but all passed off quietly. Punishments for stealing are
various, such as buck and gagging, whipping with the cat, or shaving
part of the head. A correct police report is kept, which the chief of
police intends to have published in the States, as additional punishment
to those who are so wicked as to rob or murder their comrades in
an extensive exchange of emails with an ancient guild of coopers in
England, which developed into a conversation with a linguist
specializing in Mediaeval English, the best that can be ascertained is
that “jours” in this case relates to the French for “day,” and
would have been understood by a 19th century population far more versed
in Classical, Shakespearean and French references than we today are, to
mean “day laborers”–the obvious target of any machination
undertaken by “the bosses.”
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