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SUNDAY
DECEMBER 18, 1864
THE DAILY TRUE DELTA (LA)

Rebel Press Opinions.
The Sinking of the Florida.
[From the Richmond Sentinel, Dec. 2.]

Whatever Lincoln may resolve in the case of the Florida, he has already disgraced the Government. The outcry against the late detestable proceeding in the Bay of Bahia is universal in Europe. Even the hired apologists of the Washington usurpation have quailed before the general indignation, and united in the hope that a cordial disavowal and full reparation would be promptly made. The hope of the friends of the Washington Government has failed. The prophecies of its enemies have been verified. Lincoln has suffered the weeks to pass by, and no sign of reparation has appeared. The prisoners treacherously taken on the Florida have been meanwhile paraded around the country. They were carried to Fortress Monroe. They were taken to Point Lookout. From the latter place they were afterwards removed to the old Capitol Prison, where the dignitaries of the metropolis might feast their eyes with a sight of them. Duly exhibited there, they were next returned to Point Lookout, where they were placed again o the Wachusett to be conveyed to Boston, for confinement in Fort Warren. The exhibition ended, to the vessel and crew that committed the outrage of their capture was assigned the honor of bearing them to their final prison.

While the captives have been thus chased around the country, their noble vessel, the Florida, has been sunk. Accidentally, we are told, and of course the innocent men who did it did not know, perhaps, that it would sink a steamer to run into it under favorable circumstances. Besides, if it would sink under that delicate operation, the answer would be so ready, if Brazil should demand its restoration. Hence it was a master stroke to get rid of the already crippled Florida by accidental design, executed unwittingly by non-official agents, acting under instructions. The Florida has been sunk forever, and the voracious jaws of Fort Warren have closed upon the brave tars that manned her. The exhibition is now over, but amid it all there has not been displayed a single evidence of honest purpose or of virtuous sensibility. There has not been a single intimation that the crime of Capt. Collins and the violated pledge of honor of the United States Consul are not to be the crimes and the perfidy of the United States Government, by endorsement and adoption. If endorsement be not intended, the delay of a disavowal is itself a deep disgrace, but the reason of the delay is more disgraceful still, because both base and cowardly.

The world is given to know, through the official intimation of the Secretary of the Navy, that the Washington Cabinet has not so much as discussed what it ought to do in the case of the Florida. It is informed of the facts through the report of its own subordinates, and through public fame. It sees the world indignant, and perceives that its honor among the nations is compromised and imperiled. It has found time for the final sinking of the Florida, and the triumphal exhibitions of her crew, but it has not decided–nay, has not considered–its duty to Brazil and to civilization. Why this delay? It is because Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward have not yet learned what they will be forced to do in the matter. Duty, honor, right, these are sickly sentimentalities which Washington holds in derision. Lincoln is waiting to hear with what voice he may be commanded to be honest, and how much he may retain of the fruits of knavery with security. There is not the honorable haste which virtue exhibits to renounce an unlawful advantage. On the contrary, there is the reserve and the calculating knavery with which the conscious receiver of stolen goods awaits the quest of the search officer, and the executions of the law morally, and in the eye of honor Lincoln and Seward are the criminals of Bahia. ->

What they may yield hereafter to their fears will be as a tribute to prudence that may save them from punishment, but cannot relieve their shame.

It is not yet known what form the world will give to its indignation. If Brazil is left to her unsupported protestations and demands, Seward will laugh at her and Lincoln will tell a little joke. It is rumored, however, in the foreign papers, that England will call upon the maritime powers to unite with her in a joint representation. The careful silence of her Ministers means something, and may mean that. In the presence of such a demand, Seward will submit as cheerfully as he did in the mason and Slidell case; Lincoln will dance to the music with the grin of gaiety of the man at the end of a wagon-whip–he will remember “the little circumstance.”

•••••

A Copperhead Civilian on Sherman’s March.

As we have laid before our readers the speculations of military heads on the probabilities which surround Sherman’s march to the Georgia seaboard, it is but fair that a civilian’s notions should be put forward by way of contrast. The civilian availed himself of the New York World, in the first instance, for conveying his opinions to the public. His letter we find copied in the Western papers, and transcribe two paragraphs. Our man of wisdom writes:

Sherman is retreating out of Georgia, and hopes are entertained that he will be able to get out. But his troubles are now only commencing. The rebels have been acting on a plan, and re carrying it out. They fortified Macon and Augusta, their two important points for supplies, machinery, &c. They defended them while Sherman was advancing. Hence, the rebels could not combine to oppose him. When Sherman passes Macon, then the Macon troops are free. When Sherman leaves Augusta in his rear, or far on his left flank, then the Augusta troops are free to move off. In front of Sherman no serious resistance was made. He was only felt as he advanced. But all the preparations to meet him are made beyond the Augusta and Millen Railroad. Here are the pine barrens along the road, and the marshes near the rivers. Here you will find that his difficulties commence. I never thought he would be vigorously opposed until he was east or southeast of the Augusta-Millen road.

A stream of rebels is pouring through Augusta to the southeast, and each day supplying Augusta with a new garrison. From Macon another stream is passing south in a similar manner. Look out for the swamps and the rebels in them as Sherman approaches the sea. Going to Brunswick is out of the question. The longer the route the greater the obstacles. Please do not view Sherman’s march couleur de rose, but couleur de mud. The rain have made a bog of the Oconee. A bog always flourishes lower down in Georgia. Here the rebels will make a stand; and now comes the tug, without any steam-tugs. Depend upon it, Sherman is in a critical position. The rebel papers do not understand what Beauregard is preparing, nor where. Until Sherman joins his forces, the rebels could not throw themselves across his route. Sherman had to decide upon his “objective point” when he reached Waynesboro, and then the rebels would know where were his front and flanks. In Tennessee it is the intention of Breckinridge to cross Cumberland Gap and form a junction with Hood near Gallatin. Tennessee is now a rebel State and Kentucky almost the same.

 

MONDAY
DECEMBER 19, 1864
THE DAILY RICHMOND EXAMINER (VA)

The News from Savannah.

Through our Southern papers we gather some meagre information concerning the movements in the vicinity of Savannah, now threatened by Sherman’s army. Any later news, if received, will be found elsewhere or in the telegraphic column. Our latest advices by mail from Savannah are to the 12th instant. The Republican of that date says:

“Saturday and Sunday artillery firing on both sides was actively kept up, with more or less skirmishing.

“There is no change in the aspect of affairs at either of our points since our last issue. Everything goes on well, and all are in the best of spirits. The brightest prospects continue to present themselves.

“Among the casualties we are pained to learn that Major Cook, of Cook’s Athens battalion, received a mortal wound in the head. He was brought to the city in the afternoon still alive, though in a perfectly unconscious state.

“During the artillery duel yesterday a horse which was tied to a tree became frightened at the noise of a passing shell from one of the enemy’s guns, broke loose and ran over Assistant Surgeons C. P. Brown and A. F. Dickinson, causing a contusion of the brain of the former and the fracture of the collar bone of the latter.

“The present difficulties which surround us cannot last long, and everything indicates a propitious future. The citizens of Savannah have only to discharge their duty, and acting in concert with the brave and gallant veterans in defending our homes and firesides from the pollution of a hostile foe, the enemy will be driven back in dismay and confusion, and our city rendered secure from future trouble.

“We see nothing in the present situation of affairs to discourage us. Everything works well, and with the strong arms of our able commanders enlisted in our defence, we have every reason to believe that the enemy will be driven back and signally defeated.”

A disabled soldier, who was on a visit to Savannah and has reached Charleston, communicates the following statements to the Courier:

“On Saturday, 10th instant, three severe charges were made against our lines between the Central and Gulf railroads, and about five miles from the city, beginning at 1 p.m. These assaults were repulsed in good style and with good spirit and determination on our side.

“On Friday there was something of a panic in portions of Savannah, and some croakers were ready and willing to give up. Some of the warehouses and depositories of provisions were opened and all persons were told to help themselves–a very questionable mode of defending a city, but a good example to be followed in good time and in good order by any who prefer to give or sell provisions to Confederate soldiers and their families, rather than to hoard them up for raiders and Yankee invaders and plunderers.

“As to the fact or extent of the destruction of the railroad bridge and trestling over and near the Savannah river, accounts are variant and contradictory.

“The shelling of the railroad at certain points on the passing of cars is continued, but so far without notable results.” ->

The Charleston Mercury says:

“We have no very full budget of intelligence from Savannah. Sherman seems, for the present, to have abandoned the direct attack on the city, and appears to be turning his attention to the reduction of the outworks.

“We regret to announce the fall of Fort McAlister. That post was carried early yesterday morning by assault, in which a heavy column of Sherman’s best troops participated. It is believed that the enemy will next make a desperate effort to gain possession of Genesis Point.

“The news above is perfectly authentic, but we have heard no details of the assault or of the casualties.

“Along the line of the Charleston and Savannah railroad all continued quiet.”

•••••

An Escaped Prisoner.—J. M. Womack, company D, Fifth South Carolina cavalry, captured at White House in June last, escaped from the Elmira (New York) prison on the 26th of October, arriving in Richmond on Saturday. The manner of his escape is as novel as it is rare. He had borrowed a book from one of the officers of the prison, and looking over it found the blank form of the pass. One of the prisoners who had been practicing the signature of the commanding officer until he had it almost perfect, filled out a pass for Womack, and with it he passed the guard at the entrance. He remained in New York city several weeks, receiving much “aid and comfort” from Southern sympathizers, and came South via Baltimore and Cumberland, Maryland. Five miles from Cumberland he pressed a Yankee horse, which he found saddled and bridled, and crossed the river, bringing the animal with him.

•••••

Runaway Negroes.—An unusual number of Negroes absconded in the direction of the Yankee lines on Saturday night. Yesterday over a dozen cases were reported to the police. In one instance a whole family of Negroes left, taking with them their owner’s horse and wagon.

It is not improbable that some undue influence has been brought to bear upon the Negroes, and that their running away may be the result of the machinations of secret Yankee agents in our midst.

•••••

Important to Blockade Runners.—Blockade runners and all importers of merchandise into Richmond will find in another column a notice issued by the Collector of customs, compliance with the directions of which will be necessary to insure the safety of their goods, wares and chattels, and all connected therewith.

The Collector designs important changes in the operations of the Department, and hereafter all who seek to evade the requirements of law affixed to the introduction of blockade goods will be brought up suddenly when they least expect it. The profits on blockade goods are certainly great enough to justify the payment by blockade runners of the small tithe required of them in the way of duty.

TUESDAY
DECEMBER 20, 1864
THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

The Rebels Give up Savannah.
Letter from Admiral Dahlgren.

Richmond papers of Saturday concede that Savannah must be taken by Sherman. Telegraph communication with Savannah was cut off, which indicates the complete investment of the city.

Warsaw Sound, December 14, 1864.

Hon. Gideon Welles: I write this in the same cabin with Gen. Sherman. He came around here with Gen. Foster to meet me. I was engaged in buoying Savannah river to push up an iron-clad to assist in attacking Savannah by water, and left this morning to visit this place, where I have the Passaic and Pawnee, then to Ossabaw, where is the flagship and Sonoma, in the hope of communicating with Gen. Sherman. Meanwhile he had just walked over the fort, McAlister, that guards the Ogeechee, and descended to the flagship. Gen. Foster came in afterwards, and brought him here.

John A. Dahlgren.

•••••

Several of our offices recently released from rebel prisons have called on the president to urge him to adopt retaliatory measures for the cruel treatment of our men by the rebels. They say that the rebels do not starve the prisoners on account of any scarcity of supplies, but that it is done systematically, in order to kill them off or force them into the rebel army, and in both objects they have had large success. They urge the president to give Davis notice that unless our prisoners are properly fed, sheltered and treated with humanity, rebel prisoners in our hands will be dealt with precisely as our prisoners are. They think that retaliation will bring the rebel leaders to decent behavior. The course suggested is just, and might possibly be effective; but before it is tried let us exchange man for man till we get back all we can of our men now in rebel hands. They have already suffered too much to wait patiently for any doubtful experiments to be tried upon the sensibilities of the rebel leaders.

•••••

Important Rebel Orders.
Ammunition and Forage Scarce.

Gen. Thomas sends the following copies of a general order and circular which were found in John C. Breckinridge’s camp, and show that the rebels have to practice some economy in ammunition and forage:

Headquarters, Department of West Virginia ad East Tennessee,
Wytheville, Va., December 2.

In accordance with instructions received from the ordnance department at Richmond, that it has become of vital importance to husband small arms, ammunition and lead, the following order is published: All lead which can be gleaned from the battle fields, or otherwise obtained, will be collected by the brigade ordnance officers and sent to the nearest arsenal. All arms are to be relieved of their loads for cleaning. The balls should be drawn if practicable, otherwise the loads should be discharged into boxes of sand or dust, so that the lead may be recovered, and turned into the ordnance department. The attention of the commanding officers is called to the necessity giving rise to this order and the rigid enforcement is strictly enforced by commanding officers.

Maj. Gen. Breckinridge.

Headquarters, Department of West Virginia and East Tennessee,
Wytheville, Va., December 2.

The attention of commanding officers is called to the scarcity of forage in this department and the absolute necessity of economy in its consumption. Evidences of waste have been observed heretofore. The proper officers must in all cases superintend the issue of forage, and commanding officers and every company officer must give immediate personal attention.

T. H. Mykes, Assistant Adjutant-General.

All Soldiers Wanted in the Field.
An Order from the War Department.

A general order was issued by the war department on Monday, stating that every officer and soldier capable of duty is wanted in the field, and, if not on duty, they are ordered to report to their respective organizations. All provost marshals and boards of enrollment are instructed to employ most diligent exertions in forwarding soldiers to the front, and in arresting deserters, shirkers and all soldiers fit for duty who are absent without proper authority. Surgeons in charge of hospitals are directed to send forward all who are fit for service, taking care, however, not to expose any who are unfit. Recruiting officers are enjoined to diligence, and those who are found guilty of neglect or useless the adjutant general is directed to recall immediately and send to their commands. Every effort must be put forth to fill up the ranks and strengthen our armies and aid our patriotic and gallant troops now smiting the receding enemy with victorious blows.

•••••

Miscellaneous War News.

The quiet on the James river was slightly disturbed on Friday evening by a picket skirmish. On the same evening five rebel gunboats and two rams were observed lying under the guns of Fort Darling. The Petersburg Express says Grant has nearly four corps south of the Appomattox, besides cavalry, but the roads are too bad to use them.

In the attempt of the rebel prisoners at Johnson’s Island to get away, on Wednesday last, Lieut. John R. Bowles, son of the president of the Louisville bank, was killed, and four men who escaped were all recaptured.

Gen. Grant recently informed Senator Wilson that, for a change, he regarded Negro troops as unsurpassed, and Gen. Meade has also expressed himself warmly in their praise.

Gen. Rosecrans has been provoked by the attacks of some newspaper correspondents into a denial that he uses opium, that his campaign against Price was a failure, and that he was removed from command in Missouri on account of any fault found by the president with his military management. Gen. Rosecrans says he does not feel at liberty to submit to detraction in silence, because our country has a double interest in taking care of the good name of its generals. Their honor is a part of its glory; their capacity for usefulness a part of its wealth; and he who detracts from either filches a portion of the nation’s goods.

The New York committee of the Union league club, to send a Thanksgiving dinner to the soldiers, collected over $50,000 in money, and had an immense amount of contributions in kind besides. Most of the provisions reached the soldiers in time to be eaten on Thanksgiving day, and the men who had to wait a day or two said it tasted just as good when it did come. But of all the letters of acknowledgment written by the soldiers, only one finds any fault. He says the stuffing of his turkey was not seasoned right. We know how to pity him. The stuffing that most people put into turkeys is a trial.

WEDNESDAY
DECEMBER 21, 1864
NEW HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & STATE GAZETTE

Hard Times Ahead.—The latest official reports of the Agricultural Bureau in the Department of the Interior at Washington show an alarming decrease in the supply of staple articles of food throughout the country. During the last two years the wheat crop has fallen off about one-eighth, corn and hay one-tenth, barley one-seventh, beef more than one-fifth, and pork more than one-fourth. The present high prices of food are not due solely to the depreciation of the currency, but also to the growing scarcity of the commodities themselves. The material resources of the country are now, in fact, undergoing a rapid process of exhaustion, whose future progress will be measured by the steady enhancement of the prices of all the necessaries of life. The pressure of the war has hardly been felt in the North until within the last year; henceforth we are to feel it growing every day closer and heavier.–Newark Journal.

•••••

According to the report of the Postmaster General, three million five hundred and eight thousand three hundred and twenty-five dead letters were received during the past year–over nine thousand a day. Many of these letters contained money, deeds, bills of exchange, drafts, checks, jewelry and other valuables. Some of them were misdirected, others not directed at all, others unstamped and others only partially directed. Thousands of these dead letters were returned to the writers, but the great majority had to be destroyed. This statement, says the N. Y. Times, ought to teach the public to be more careful in their correspondence, for the amount of suffering caused by these lost letters is incalculable.

•••••

The Philadelphia Frauds.—It is stated that William E. Chandler, Esq., of this city, Speaker of our House of Representatives, has been appointed by the Secretary of the Navy to investigate the enormous frauds and thefts at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The amount of public property of various kinds “appropriated” by the officials and employees there, is stated to be reckoned by hundreds of thousands, and some even estimate it at two millions; and this stealing has been going on for three years. Splendid residences have been built out of the proceeds, and the thieves are stated to have lived in the most sumptuous style therefrom. The Springfield, Mass., Republican very truly remarks that “there could have been no such constant stealing of such large amounts without either the connivance of the officials or a criminal lack of vigilance on their part. There should be a most searching investigation of the matter, and prompt and severe punishment of the offenders. The Navy Department will not be held guiltless by the people if it allows dishonest officials and employees to go unpunished.” We hope Mr. Chandler has not been chosen to cover up these nefarious transactions–to whitewash these official plunderers and screen them from deserved punishment. On the contrary, we hope he will act upon the questionable morality of the paper above quoted, if he cannot adopt a sounder policy, viz, “that, now the election is over, it is sound policy as well as duty to expose and denounce the public thieves, and drive them away from the treasury.” We suppose it would be too much to hope even from Mr. Chandler that he would labor to do this before an election, as the services of these thieves were too highly appreciated in the election to warrant such just treatment of them.

Where is the Second Corps?—The following significant remark was recently made by the gallant Gen. Hancock: “I have left the Second Corps dead on the fields between the Rapidan and Petersburg.”

Could there be any more crushing commentary on the overland route policy?

The Second Corps numbered 29,000 men on the 1st day of May last. A few weeks ago it had lost over 30 brigade commanders, over 2,000 commissioned officers, and within a fraction of 29,000 men! What survive of this gallant corps are but a few hundreds more than the recruits which from time to time joined it while on its bloody march. When Gen. Hancock said, “I have left the Second Corps dead on the fields between the Rapidan and Petersburg,” he did not exaggerate. It was extinguished in that dreadful campaign, and is no more! It was sacrificed to the Moloch of fantastic egotism that presides over the White House. It is dead and gone, and the men who are now called upon to fill up the vacant ranks, will not recruit but replace its veteran soldiers.

•••••

Rare Sport.—Gen. Butler is as happy in the choice of means to amuse his visitors as in anything else. He recently had a number of English visitors, and to gratify them he caused several of his soldiers to be killed and wounded! This is literally true. There had been great quiet for many days along the lines, and it was very monotonous for visitors, who went there to witness the dread havoc of war. So to gratify them Butler ordered the enemy to be “stirred up,” and thereupon Fort Hell (by order of the Devil) opened upon them. The enemy replied with spirit, and the result was a number of our men were killed and more wounded–all to amuse Butler’s visitors! The Army and Navy Journal very properly rebukes this wicked and reckless disregard of the lives and comfort of the soldiers, and says:

Let us hope that these English visitors, for whose entertainment our gallant, battle-worn men left a little well-earned repose for constrained positions, hard duty, danger and death, were sufficiently amused to pay for the powder. If the wives and mothers at the hearthstones of those patriotic soldiers who “unfortunately just at that moment were being relieved,” do not derive as much entertainment therefrom as the English visitors, let us hope that this failure to appreciate the merits of firing will not interfere with any pleasant remembrances which the visitors may hereafter have. How long the firing continued before the visitors felt bored and sought out other entertainments is not stated; but, unfortunately for our men, the cannonading went on till night, and the musketry till next morning.

•••••

Of 800 substitutes from Columbus, Ohio, on their way to the front, one hundred deserted before reaching Louisville, Ky.

THURSDAY
DECEMBER 22,
1864
THE PITTSFIELD SUN (MA)

Danger of Using Tobacco.

One of our most distinguished city physicians, (says the N. Y. Observer,) a calm, judicious and very candid discerning man, speaking of the death of two great men among the clergy of New York city, said that he considered them both victims to the use of tobacco. The London Lancet says that a summary by Dr. B. W. Richardson of his researches into the physiological effects of tobacco, in a paper read by him at the British Association, enables it to lay before its readers, at an opportune moment for many of the younger amongst them, the conclusions arrived at by the author:

Dr. Richardson is anything but a confirmed or violent opponent of the habit of smoking, but these are amongst the effects of smoking which he affirms. He states that all the evils of smoking are functional in character, and no confirmed smoker can ever be said, so long as he indulges in the habit, to be well. It does not follow, however, that he is becoming the subject of organic and fatal disease because he smokes. Smoking produces disturbances—(a) in the blood, causing undue fluidity, and change in the red corpuscles; (b) on the stomach, giving rise to debility, nausea, and, in extreme cases, sickness; (c) on the heart, producing debility of that organ, and irregular action; ((1) on the organs of sense, causing in the extreme degree dilatation of the pupils of the eye, confusion of vision, bright lines, luminous or cobweb specks, and long retention of images on the retina; with other and analogous symptoms affecting the ear-viz" inability clearly to define sounds, and the annoyance of a sharp ringing sound, like a whistle or a bell; (e) on the brain, suspending the waste of that organ, and oppressing it if it be duly nourished, but soothing it if it be exhausted; (f) on the nervous filaments and sympathetic or organic nerves, leading to deficient power in them, and to over-secretion in those surfaces—glands—over which the nerves exert a controlling force; (g) on the mucous membrane of the mouth, causing enlargement and soreness of the tonsils-smoker’s sore-throatedness, dryness, and occasional peeling 0d‘ of the membrane, and either unnatural firmness and contraction, or sponginess of the gums; (h) on the bronchial surface of the lungs when that is already irritable, sustaining the irritation, and increasing the cough. Dr. Richardson further points out, that as the human body is maintained alive and in full vigor by its capacity, within well-defined limits, to absorb and apply oxygen; as the process of oxidation is most active and most required in those periods of life when the structures of the body are attaining their full development, and as tobacco-smoke possesses the power of arresting such oxidation, the habit of smoking is most deleterious in youth, producing impairment of growth, deficient development, and premature aging.

•••••

A bill is before the “reconstructed” Legislature of Louisiana to “permit the marrying of white and colored persons.”

National Expenditures.—The administration and its more thoughtful supporters are evidently becoming frightened in regard to the enormous expenses of the war. And well they may be. Thus far they have gone on as if there was no limit to the financial resources of the country; but they begin to see the bottom. The N. Y. Times, the leading administration organ in New York, says “it is certain that the time has arrived for a strict national retrenchment. We are spending at a frightful rate. Our taxes are stretched almost to the extremity. The gold-bearing loans will soon come to an end, from the limit fixed by the gold returned in duties. New loans will be placed and readily taken, but they cannot meet probably one half of our daily expenditure. Production itself–the measure of our wealth–is already feeling the effect of the loss of labor, and has diminished in the most important cereals about seven per cent during the last year, instead of increasing, as we had hoped it would do. It is true that the most remarkable and fortunate development of our mineral resources during the last three years, in the produce of the mines of Colorado and Nevada, and the sudden discovery of petroleum in immense quantities, give us much hope for the future. Still we are spending on a gigantic scale. There is a limit even to the power of this nation in bearing a public debt. It should always be borne in mind that national bankruptcy is among the things possible. Of the crushing of the rebellion there can be no doubt, but it may be gained through the destruction of the public credit. Bankruptcy in the Free States would be a calamity, of which all the material evils of this war we have never yet experienced even the resemblance.”

•••••

Unbonneting the Ladies.—At a Paris theatre all ladies are required to take off their bonnets. This proviso has been found necessary since, owing to the present fashion prevailing in that article of female attire, it is almost impossible for a person sitting behind a lady with her bonnet on to see what is going forward on the stage. The end has been attained by placing printed bills about the theatre containing the following announcement: “All young and handsome ladies are politely requested to take off their bonnets. All others may keep them on.”

•••••

The Chicago Post suggests the abolition of the present system of collecting United States taxes, and says: “The best, plainest, wisest and most economical mode for the collection of this revenue, is for the State to pay it. Let each State this winter add to its own tax levy the sum required to meet this federal tax. The repayment of this direct tax by the States would save to the General Government an expenditure of at least two millions of dollars, and would save to the people perhaps an equal sum in the shape of penalties, expenses, redemptions, &.”

FRIDAY
DECEMBER 23, 1864
THE LIBERATOR (MA)

Gen. Sherman at Savannah–Defeat of Hood’s Army!

New York, Dec. 20.–The Herald’s Fort McAllister correspondence says when Gen. Sherman arrived in front of Savannah, he had a drove of 1200 head of cattle, though he started with only 200, and had fed his army on full rations on a march of over 200 miles. He also gathered on the way over 7000 able-bodied Negroes, and so many horses, mules and wagons as to embarrass him. His army, during a considerable portion of the march, extended over a breadth of country 60 miles wide–40 miles at times intervening between the right and left wings. The whole loss of men from wounds, sickness, captures, straggling and all other causes came up to the time of arriving in front of Savannah was only about 1000. The average daily march was 12 miles.

When Savannah was invested, the city was unprepared for a siege, and could not hold out more than a few days. Gen. Slocum’s corps hold all the approaches on the north side of the city, including all the railroads leading out of the town. Gen. Howard’s corps connect with his right, and swings around to the Ogeechee River at Fort McAllister.

The total number of rebel officers captured yesterday was 3 colonels, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 7 majors, 46 captains, 157 lieutenants, and 2 surgeons; also 3 brigadier generals, viz, Johnson, Smith, and Buckner. All the prisoners were corralled in a stone quarry some few hundred yards from the capital; the Penitentiary and all the public buildings are full. Half of the prisoners are barefooted.

New York, Dec. 20.–The Time’s Nashville dispatch says Gen. Thomas is pursuing the enemy to Duck River. We have nearly all of Hood’s artillery. All the rivers are high, and the bridges in front of Hood are destroyed. We have captured 9000 prisoners, including 3000 wounded at Franklin. We have also taken four Major Generals. Hood had 65 guns, 54 of which we have. The rebel killed and wounded is a little less than our own. Our loss is not much less than 3500. Forrest gave Murfreesboro another trial, and was repulsed by Rousseau and Mulroy.

The rebel Gen. Johnston says their loss at the battle of Franklin was 5000, while ours was 1900.

Gen. Stoneman has given Breckinridge a clearing out in East Tennessee near the Virginia line, killing, wounding and capturing a large number, and capturing most of his artillery.

The New York Herald says, “Hood’s army has been crushed as a pyramid of confectionary might be by the blow of a sledge hammer.”

•••••

War with England.

One would think that Uncle Sam had about as much fighting on his hands as he could take care of, and pay all the expenses of, but it is evident that certain politicians desire to get up a war with England. It is very true that Her Majesty’s Ministers have behaved very badly since the rebellion commenced, and that our Canadian cousins are not doing what they should do to prevent piratical raids across the border. But that is no reason why the two great nations should be involved in a third war. I remember a beautiful incident narrated by Daniel Webster:

“When Lord Ashburton and myself,” said the Farmer of Marshfield, “sat down at opposite sides of the table, entirely alone, as both had desired to consider the Northwestern boundary difficulty, I said to his lordship at the outset, ‘My lord, I wish to propose to you at the commencement of this discussion this simple resolution, to be adopted before we go any further, namely, that the question at issue between your country and mine shall be settled amicably, and that the enemies of the institutions and religion of both shall not be allowed the delight of seeing both doing their utmost to destroy each other.’ With the deepest emotion, Lord Ashburton replied, ‘I heartily accept the resolution,’ and at the same time grasped my hand across the table.”

Now could we have a Secretary of State again who would act as Daniel Webster then acted, and could such a spirit pervade the hearts of those in authority on both sides of the Atlantic and of the Lakes, we should not hear of another war with Great Britain.–Washington Corr. of Boston Journal.

•••••

[Miscellaneous.]

Gold was twenty four times as valuable as Confederacy currency in Richmond at the beginning of November. It is now forty times as valuable. Gen. McClellan’s defeat is the cause of the fall in that currency. When the General was defeated by the rebels in the field, it improved their prospects; when by the federals at the polls, it obscures their prospects.

The Augusta (Ga.) papers assert that with the exception of the Richmond Enquirer and Sentinel, the press and people of the rebel States are unanimously opposed to putting arms in the hands of the slaves to fight against the North.

The total amount paid by the city of New York on account of claims arising out of the riot in June, 1863, up to Nov. 29th ultimo, was $1,444,788.22. The outstanding claims will probably amount to $400,000.

Egypt raised one hundred million of dollars worth of cotton last year.

Official documents on file at Washington, it is said, show that during the rebellion 40,000 more Southern whites than blacks have received assistance from the Government.

The population of Boston, according to the census just taken, is 164,788, exclusive of the persons in the army and navy. This falls short of the last census.

Gov. Pierpont of Virginia, says a Washington dispatch, in his message delivered at Alexandria on Tuesday, took high ground in favor of emancipation, and advised that Negro testimony be received in Courts.

The resolutions in the South Carolina Legislature, objecting to the usurpations of Jeff Davis, were presented by Mr. R. Barnwell Rhett, whose extreme State’s Rights doctrine received no more honor in the Confederacy than in the Union he has labored so hard to destroy.

SATURDAY
DECEMBER 24, 1864

THE NEWPORT MERCURY (RI)

Admiral Porter’s and Gen. Butler’s Expedition.–On the 13th inst., an expedition numbering one hundred and fifty vessels of all grades–sixty-five of which are naval–left Hampton Roads, destined South. Wilmington Harbor is the supposed destination of the fleet. The vessels doubtless arrived there on Friday of last week, and it was intended that operations should be immediately commenced.

The plan of Admiral Porter will probably be to effect first the reduction of Fort Fisher by bombardment. For this purpose the heavy frigates and those vessels of too great draft of water to permit their crossing the bar will lay off and shell at long range. As soon as the fire of the fort slackens, so as to admit it, the remainder of the naval fleet–the light draft gun boats and monitors–will run in, pass the fort, and encounter the obstructions in the river above.

To aid in the reduction of Fort Fisher he will probably have recourse to quite a novel means of offence. It has been fully demonstrated by experiment that powder exploded close under a wall will almost as effectually demolish it by concussion as if the powder had been placed beneath the foundation of the wall. The naval and military officers on this expedition have doubtless ere this had a brilliant demonstration of the effect of powder exploded under the walls of Fort Fisher, even at the loss of the old transport which conveyed it to its destination.

The obstructions removed to the navigation of Cape Fear River, the fleet can pass up to Wilmington and assist Gen. Butler in the capture of that place. If success is achieved, Wilmington will undoubtedly be made a base for future operations.

In this connection we cannot refrain from mapping out what is plainly apparent respecting the plans of the Government in its conduct of the Winter campaign. There are to be no Winter quarters for any of the armies except that portion of Grant’s which will continue the siege of Petersburg and Richmond. Before the first of May the armies and navies of the United States will hold and possess every portion of the Atlantic coast from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the Keys of Florida, and every strategic point upon the line of railroad communication in the South–including Augusta, Branchville, Columbia, Florence, Wilmington, Goldsboro’, Raleigh and Weldon.

Lee will be powerless to prevent this. He will be sufficiently employed in defending the capital of the South, and when the first of May arrives, will find Gen. Grant ready to dispute with him the possession of Richmond.–N. Y. Com. Adv.

•••••

A Succession of Victories.–The grand military combinations, planned by the Lieutenant General weeks since, are now maturing, and the standards of the Republic are borne victoriously forward upon land and sea. Sherman, Thomas, Canby, Stoneman, Foster, Porter, Dahlgren and Lee are moving in unison upon the foe, while subordinate commanders fill up the intervening gaps in the huge military cordon which Gen. Grant is drawing around the expiring Confederacy.

While Beauregard and Hardee have waited behind the Savannah fortifications for an assault, Sherman has pushed a column rapidly coastward, and taking Fort McAllister by storm, established a secure base of supplies on Ossabaw Sound. This success likewise opens up a water communication by the Ogeechee River to the immediate rear of Savannah, and only sixteen miles from the city.

From the Ogeechee, Sherman can use the canal running to the city for the purpose of conveying supplies to his troops as they move forward upon the enemy’s works. Porter and Butler are, in the meanwhile, indirectly reinforcing him by proceeding either to Wilmington or to the support of Foster and Dahlgren. Other expeditions are also moving inland from the coast to distract the enemy’s attention. ->

Gen. Thomas has fulfilled his promise by again assailing the enemy and “pressing him with great vigor, frequently capturing guns and men.” Stoneman and Burbridge, uniting their forces in East Tennessee, have at the same time advanced along the line of the Lynchburg railroad, capturing Bristol, Abingdon and several places of importance. This movement will undoubtedly draw back Breckinridge if he has, as reported, pushed Westward to join forces with Hood.

The cavalry expedition against Hood’s communications has met with success, and while the Mississippi Road has been thoroughly destroyed for some distance, the Mobile and Ohio is doubtless now controlled by Davidson’s troopers and Mobile is thus completely isolated. A few more such sturdy blows and the rebellion will be ended.

•••••

Relatives of Rebels.–The Registration of Southerners in this Department has developed the fact, previously well understood, however, that there are many relatives of rebels in the field residing in New York. Among these are the wives of Generals Gustavus W. Smith and Mansfield Lovell, three sisters of General Cheatham, and many others. Steps are being taken to place them under due surveillance.

•••••

A letter from Vicksburg says that the appropriation of Jeff Davis’s farm for the use of freedmen will relieve the government of the support of some ten thousand Negroes.

•••••

There are now only five revolutionary pensioners alive, three of whom enlisted in New England, and one of whom still lives in Maine. His name is William Hutchings.

•••••

A man by the name of Merritt, yeoman on the ship Macedonian, stabbed Capt. Joshua Billings, of the schooner Juliet, of Maine, on Sunday night last at a house on Caleb Earl st., where they got into a political discussion. The Captain was very seriously cut in the arm, and Merritt is in jail to take his trial at the February term of the Supreme Court.

•••••

The President has called for three hundred thousand more men, to make up the deficiency of the call of July last. The number desired was five hundred thousand, but in consequence of the allowance made for those previously furnished, the number actually received was about two hundred and forty thousand. Until the 15th of February is allowed for filling the quotas, after that all deficiencies must be made up by the draft. We are not aware how much is required of this State, allowing for those already furnished, but we should think that by a little effort we might escape a draft. This is probably the last call that will be made, providing the number asked for is actually furnished. And previous to that time all should interest themselves in regard to the enrollment, that no difficulty may be experienced in case we are obliged to submit to a draft. This city, Middletown and Portsmouth have moved in the matter, but the Town Councils of the other towns in the county seem to have forgotten the subject. It is a duty they owe the people, and the people should assist in making the enrollment correct.

 

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