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SUNDAY
MARCH 19, 1865
THE TIMES PICAYUNE (LA)

The American Union.
[From the London Times of Feb. 17.]

After one wistful glance at eh peace which, it would almost seem, is not to be in our time, the Americans have flung themselves once [more] into that ghastly duel of which we can only find the like in a nightmare or in the personal encounters one hears of in their own half-settled borders. We have to recall the not uncommon case of two combatants, without either the power or the wish to escape, inflicting the most horrid injuries upon the other, and indifferent to their own wounds so long as they had a chance of striking the last fatal blow. From the two ships lashed together as if in mockery of the old forced and ill-sorted Union, the American eye now passes to many a point of presumed weakness in the enemy’s defences, to open port, and deep inlet, and rapid river, and mountain range, and broad valley, wherever the vast continent may haply be penetrated. Every day it hopes to read the sweet tidings of devastation and massacre in places whose very names were sacred but the other day, and whose flourishing statistics were taught to children in the State schools. So utterly is the instinct of a whole race changed, we may say in a day, and the very spirit of self immolation infused into the vast multitude, just before plethoric with wealth, sated with enjoyment, and intoxicated with vanity. Thus far there is not the least sign of any real movement in the direction of peace in two successive and protracted interviews. So long as one side insists upon a Union as thorough as that which the sword has divided, and the other insists upon thorough independence–sweetened, possibly, though we do not yet know this, by promises of political cooperation–there can be no peace. According to the old superstition, the rust of the spear alone can heal the wound which the point has made. Neither of the belligerents is now master of his actions. He is the victim of a terrible though self-imposed necessity, which shows how a man may be a slave without the excuse, the honor and the comfort of a master–a slave to a base passion, a slave to a horrid purpose, a slave to a fearful movement that can never be arrested, however wantonly set going.

To be the slave of an idea is more or less the fate of individuals and communities. Men cannot indulge themselves in golden anticipation as to the future without finding themselves before very long occupying the place of the captive than of the charioteer in their own triumphal car. The dream of a world-wide confederation, united only for convenience, defence, and endless aggression, had taken, as it is now found, too strong a hold on the American mind. It had grown up into the intensity and scarcely recognizable form of monomania. It had become a new law of justice and truth, that all nations were to bow to, although ever so harshly propagated. We may now afford to pity a mental possession than which none had more excuse, but which surpassed all example.

The natural secession of new colonies and dependencies from the parent State, and the natural rejection of Old World trammels, which has produced the independent communities of America, is only the first steps, so it seems, to their confederation. Everything favors the presumption that America has a destiny beyond the ken of worn-out loyalties and exploded bigotries. We cannot wonder, we ought rather to admire, that this new family of mankind, passing over the flood, and resting on its own sacred mount, high and dry from Old World violences and corruptions, should indulge in such a dream, so comprehensive, and so glorious and so large, We admire, but envy not. It is dream-land, and no more. The dreamers walk as in a trance–political somnambulists–bound by their own spell, serving a tyrant of their own invention, and running the course of inevitable ruin. The great machine tears along, and, though the work of their own hands, they cannot stop it or even mitigate its fearful speed. It was made to distance all, and crash all, besides themselves; but mankind looks on aghast, and sees its makers the victims.

It is the immense scale of this fatal prepossession that cuts off remedy and escape. The idol of American worship embraces a continent–nay, a world; it includes all the future, it claims to subjugate the entire realm of human thought. It is treason and heresy to stop short of the whole visible and speculative sphere. The world is to be regenerated on this new model–the New World, then the Old. Accordingly, the present holders of this august destiny can give up nothing.

•••••

More Rumors about the Confederate Iron-clads.–Mortimer M. Johnson, our Consul at Halifax, has forwarded to the Government at Washington some interesting statements in regard to one of the iron rams constructed in France and said to have fallen into the hands of the rebels.

The Consul says he has information that this ram is now at one of the West India Islands, preparing for a cruise. He has information also to the effect that some rebel steamers have guns and supplies, and are awaiting orders.

The old rumor that these vessels are coming to this port are repeated.

Mr. Johnson expresses no confidence in the correctness of this information; neither does he discredit it, but gives it on authority upon which he seems to rely.

A copy of the dispatch was forwarded to this department by the consul.–New York Evening Post.

MONDAY
MARCH 20, 1865
THE MACON DAILY TELEGRAM (GA)

Special Message of President Davis.

Richmond, March 14.–The President addressed an important message to Congress yesterday, which was read in session. He says the country is now environed with perils which it is our duty to calmly contemplate. The recent military successes of the enemy have had the natural effect of encouraging our foes and dispiriting many of our people. The Confederate States is threatened with greater peril than hitherto during the war, which fact is stated without reserve as due the people in whose constancy and courage entire trust is reposed. Congress, in whose wisdom and resolute spirit the people have confided, advise measures to guard them from threatening perils.

The President states that it is within our power to avoid the calamities which threaten us, and secure triumph to our sacred cause. This result is to be obtained only by the prompt and resolute devotion of the whole resources of men and money in the Confederacy to the achievement of our liberties and independence. We need for carrying on this war successfully, men and supplies for the army. We have both within the country sufficient to obtain our success. For the purchase of supplies necessary, he must be provided means. He recommends, for reasons stated, that Congress devise means of making available coin within the Confederacy for the purpose of supplying the army with $2,000,000 in coin.

The armies of Virginia and North Carolina can be amply supplied for the remainder of the year. The impressment law should be amended so as to authorize impressment of supplies without making payment of valuation at the time of impressment. This power is admitted to be objectionable, but objections must yield to absolute necessity. He also the suggests the valuation of supplies impressed at specie rates, and that the obligations of the Government be given in payment of the same in coin with interest, or, at the opinion of the creditor, to be returned in kind.

The President says the measures passed during the present session for recruiting the army are insufficient, and he is impelled by a profound conviction of duty, stimulated by the perils which surround the country, to urge additional legislation on the subject. The bill employing Negroes as  soldiers has not yet reached him, though the public journals inform him of its passage. Much benefit is anticipated from this measure, though far less than would have resulted from its adoption at an earlier time.

The President recommends the repeal of all class of exemptions, so as to strengthen the forces in the field and abate discontent in the army. The measure most needed, however, for affording an effective increase of our military strength is in a general law prescribing not only how and from what persons the militia is to be organized, but providing the mode for calling out the same, reserving the right of appointing officers.

The President strongly urges the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. He says the time has arrived when it is not only advisable and expedient, but almost indispensable to the successful conduct of the war. That the above measures may be promptly adopted, and with the hearty co-operation of Congress and the people, and the execution of the laws, we may then enter upon the present campaign with cheerful confidence and an unconquerable resolve to be free. We must continue this struggle to a successful issue or make an abject and unconditional submission.->

To the Senators and Representatives especially do the people look for encouragement. Rising above the selfish considerations, let us struggle on, but in case of failure bow submissively to the will of our Heavenly Father.

•••••

Employment of Negroes as Soldiers.–It is now palpable that the North has become thoroughly consolidated by the supposed exhaustion of the South. Fernando Wood takes the war path. The successes of Sherman have induced him to believe that the rebellion would be speedily crushed. Like nearly all his Democratic peers, except Pierce, he would be on the winning side. He had hoped for the defeat of Lincoln’s party and a new distribution of the spoils of office. This hope disappearing, Wood joins the howling pack and the South is doomed. Not yet awhile, if we are true to ourselves. We may meet the Negro with the Negro–make the Negro a soldier. Military men all tell us that a soldier, a thorough soldier, is a machine. Let us make the experiment. Constitutional difficulties intervene, so Governor Brown tells us. Is not the Negro invested with two sets of rights? Under our Constitution Negroes are represented in Congress, as they are in many of our State Legislatures. Three fifths of our slave population have representatives on the floor of Congress. May they not be conscribed as citizens, if not impressed as property? They may, in either capacity, be used a soldiers. If Congress have no right to manumit them for faithful services, the State may do so.–Columbus Clarion, Extra.

•••••

Pluck to the Back Bone.–We met upon the streets yesterday a soldier whose left arm had been cut square from the shoulder, and whose left leg had been amputated above the knee. He was getting about on crutches, the one upon his left side being strapped to him. On being asked if he was still in the service, he replied, “Course I am; I can’t use a musket, but I can do a heap of things–stand guard with a pistol, write in books, and what there is left of me belongs to Uncle Jeff all the time.” With determination like that, can the South ever be conquered?–Mail.

•••••

An Important Discovery.–It is very certain that, if the war continues a few years longer, the Confederate States will be left to their own resources, not only to carry it on, but to supply the people with most of the necessaries of life. It is therefore highly important that our resources be developed in every practicable way. In this connection, we take the liberty of stating that we have been shown a specimen of very rich copperas ore, taken from Judge E. A. Nisbet’s plantation in Houston county, near the Ocmulgee river, twenty-five miles from Macon. We are told that it is imbedded there in large quantities, some twelve or fifteen feet from the surface. This article, we are also told, is worth thirty to forty dollars a pound in this market. If such a mine were worked, both the Government and the people would be greatly benefitted.

TUESDAY
MARCH 21
, 1865
THE HARTFORD DAILY COURANT 

Message of Jeff Davis.

According to the showing of Mr. Davis himself, the confederacy is in its death struggle. Having been informed on the 9th inst., that congress was to adjourn sine die on the 11th, he requested a postponement, in order to lay before that body certain grave matters for its consideration.

The tone of his message differs entirely from that which has heretofore characterized his pub­lished communications. Starting at Montgomery with a boastful inaugural, in which he promised to lead the Southern legions in person, and defied the North to an encounter with confeder­ate steel, he has always till now maintained an air of haughty superiority. The harangues of the rebel president were addressed not so much to the hearts of his constituents as to the ears of Europe. But foreign nations having refused to heed his supplications, and the doom of the con­federacy hastening on apace, he makes at last a confession of impotency. The imminency of the danger allows no time for sugary words. De­nunciations have been heaped upon him without stint. In his own experience he has realized what it is to fall from the heights of popularity, whither the incense of immediate followers, of Northern admirers and of foreign states rose con­tinually, to depths of deepest gloom. The feroci­ty of those discontented associates who are now hunting him down, leave him in no humor to flatter the pride of the confederacy.

He acknowledges that Sherman's triumphs have encouraged the North and dispirited many at the South; that Richmond is in greater danger now than ever before during the war; and that deliverance can only come through “the de­votion of the whole resources of men and money in the confederacy.” People who have sacrificed nearly all their treasures of blood and money for a chimera, will be slow to accept a proposition to cast the residue into the same remorseless and bottomless vortex.

Davis specifies to congress plainly the dictato­rial powers with which they are expected to in­vest him. He proposes to seize all the coin in the country; to abolish the right of property, so far as government is concerned, in articles of consumption, by an enactment authorizing the officials to appropriate commodities, and pay when­ever it way be convenient; to remove exemp­tions, dragging the whole male population, white and black, indiscriminately, into military service; to abolish the privilege of the writ of habeas cor­pus; and in short, to be invested with the pre­rogatives of an absolute and irresponsible in mon­arch.

It matters little whether the rebel congress accedes to Davis’ requests or not. Law cannot cre­ate men or resources. More than nine-tenths of the Negroes of the South are beyond the control of the Richmond authorities. None will fight to perpetuate their own enslavement. Refugees from rebel prisons, who, in seeking to escape have traversed the South in all directions, say that the blacks invariably received them with overflowing kindness, and in no instance  showed the least inclination to betray them.

No enactment of congress can save Davis of his wicked cause.

•••••

FROM NORTH CAROLINA.
Heavy Desertions from the Enemy.
Their Excessive Losses in Battle.
LEE COMMANDING IN NORTH CAROLINA.

Newbern, N. C., March 16.–10 a.m.–Our forces now occupy Kinston, and are repairing the railroad bridge across the Neuse river, which will be finished in a few days.

The enemy were much demoralized on leaving Kinston for Goldsboro. Most of the North Carolina troops belonging in the eastern portion of the State took “French leave” of Gen. Bragg and returned to their homes.->

There has been no fighting since Friday last. The result of the battles in front of Kinston last week will not be far from 2,000 killed, wounded and prisoners on our side, and all of 3,000 on the enemy’s side, whose dead outnumber ours five to one owing to their reckless assaults upon our works.

Refugees report that Gen. Robert E. Lee is in command of the enemy’s forces in this State, whose headquarters are at Raleigh. He has brought quite a strong force with him from Richmond. These refugees and deserters state that Johnston and Beauregard are in command at Richmond, and that the fortifications there are being manned by the new Negro troops, who relieve the forces which accompany Gen. Lee to this State.

The Goldsboro Journal of the 7th inst. states that a council of war was held not over three hundred miles from that city on the 4th, consisting of their leading Generals, among whom was Gen. Lee.

The weather is warm and showery. The mercury stands at 70 in the shade.

A colonel belonging to Gen. Sherman’s army has just arrived here from Wilmington. He says that Sherman will be at Goldsboro on the 20th. The enemy send in no rumors or reports from Sherman, which is conclusive evidence that he is all right.

The treasury and military authorities are in favor of having Newbern and Morehead City declared ports of entry, which will save the people nearly 200 per cent on their imports and exports, and relieve much distress now existing among them on account of this blockade, the necessity of which has long since passed.

Parties from the front state that guns were heard yesterday in the direction of Goldsboro, a distance of twenty-two miles from Kinston.

•••••

Report of Admiral Lee.
Expedition up the Tennessee River.
Loyal Sentiment in Alabama.

Washington, March 20.–The Navy Department to-day received the following dispatch from Admiral Lee:

Flag-ship General Burnside,
Off Bridgeport, Ala., March 4.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I took advantage of the rise in the Tennessee river, and crossed Elk river shoals with the flag-ship and General Thomas, and went down to Muscle shoals. I came across Gen. Roddy’s camp and drove them off, capturing some of their horses with equipments, and some bales of cotton. I destroyed the rebel communications at Lamb’s Ferry. A large number of flats, pontoons, scows and canoes that I found there I also destroyed. I then penetrated Elk river and found a rich and prosperous country.

A great deal of loyal sentiment is displayed. I am meeting with a great deal of success in endeavoring to encourage loyal feelings on the south side of the river. The citizens are constantly coming in and taking the oath.

From interviews I have had with prominent men, I think there is no doubt that Alabama will soon return to her allegiance to the government. Mr. Clemens, I have understood, is endeavoring to become military governor, and I think will be very popular with the people of the State.

Very respectfully, your ob’t serv’t,

N. C. Forrest, Lt. Com., 11th Mississippi Squadron.

WEDNESDAY
MARCH
22, 1865
THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)

Improvement of Our Pauper System.

The first annual report of the board of state charities is a document that should be thoroughly studied by all who are connected with our state institutions, and especially by those whose duty it is to legislate for them. It contains a great many important suggestions, as well as an instructive digest of statistics. This new board has entered upon its work intelligently and earnestly, and if properly seconded by the legislature and the executive, its efforts cannot fail to produce valuable improvements in our charitable and reformatory institutions.

The statistics show that the cost of maintaining the towns’ poor is much greater than it should be. There are in the state 216 town almshouses that are occupied, the total value of which is over a million and a half dollars. The expense of supporting 2866 paupers in these almshouses for a year was $253, 682, and the total expense of supporting the poor of all towns was upwards of $550,000. There are connected with the town almshouses 21,846 acres of land. The average cost of sustaining each pauper in these almshouse sis $2.39 per week, including interest on the property. Mr. F. B. Sanborn, secretary of the board, has visited many of the town almshouses, and finds them inferior to the state almshouses in comfort and security, and he concludes that wherever the poor are more comfortable and properly cared for in the town almshouses than in those of the state, it is at a much greater expense, and wherever the expense is the same, the difference in point of comfort is greatly in favor of the state almshouses.

He town farms are not generally profitable. Mr. Sanborn found one extraordinary exception in the Connecticut valley. Mr. Oakman, for six years superintendent of the town farm of Montague, not only made the paupers support themselves, but yield a revenue to the town. Mr. Sanborn gives a full account of the Montague experiment as showing what may be done by a good farm and a good farmer to lighten the burden of pauperism in the towns. In 1864, Deerfield, Westford, Quincy, Petersham and Warren reported a small profit on their almshouse farms, but in no case was it equal to the interest of the money invested. Of the Montague experiment, the following extracts of a letter from Mr. Oakman give an intelligible account:

“It was originally, and for many years, the practice in our town to put up the keeping of the poor, one by one, at the annual meeting, at auction, to the lowest bidder. This practice at length became repugnant to the voters in town meeting assembled; perhaps reminding them too sensibly of the ‘southern auction block,’ and for many years, and at the commencement of my term of service, it was customary to vote that ‘the poor be left in the hands of the selectmen,’ who are also overseers of poor, and they would let them out much in the same way–that is, to the lowest bidder, though not in so public a way as heretofore. After a few years’ experience, I became dissatisfied with this method of supporting our poor. It made much trouble between overseers and citizens, especially if the overseers, faithful to their trust, sought a comfortable home for the paupers, regardless of a few cents extra per week.->

But the chief objection was that the overseers and town were frequently imposed upon by idle and shiftless persons. It is not always easy to detect the honest and deserving poor from the idle imposter, and so long as there was an opportunity for a private, if not fashionable, boarding place, most frequently with the applicant’s own friends–who would offer better terms than others–there would be no lack of those who would make out an apparently reasonable case of want, and be thrown upon the town by their friends and others.

“At length, through the persistent efforts of a few men, the town voted to purchase a farm for an almshouse establishment, and chose a committee therefor. The committee purchased the best farm in town, investing in farm and outfits $9000, to the utter amazement of the more cautious inhabitants. I was induced to sell my farm and take the superintendence of the town farm, at a salary of $500 per year and self and family boarded. This capped the climax. We were certainly going to ruin, as a town. I remained in charge of the farm for six years. You have the general result in our printed reports–satisfactory to all of us. We insisted on calling our establishment The Montague Workhouse. Industry and economy were our watchwords. While we furnished our inmates with good substantial food and raiment, nothing could be wasted, and every one, old and young, was required to do something, if able. We frequently received inmates who would stubbornly fold their hands and declare they were not going to stay in the poorhouse and work for a living. I had been a teacher in the public schools of Massachusetts for full twenty years, and my experience in managing refractory children may have assisted me. Suffice it to say, that several, in a few months, graduated abundantly qualified to support themselves by their own industry, and others were undoubtedly deterred, by their reports, from entering the Montague Workhouse. Do not understand that by excessive labor they were driven away; of this we were never accused. It was only constant and consistent labor that was required of tem. Then very little was paid for the support of poor out of the almshouse, except for bills out of town, and in case of sickness, which could not possibly be avoided. We took pains to have it generally understood that the latch-string of our house was always out, night and day, for the needy, and that no one, except in very rare cases, could receive assistance elsewhere. This method soon reduced our paupers to about one-third their usual number, and I verily believe no one was wronged thereby. This reduction, with the income of an excellent farm, thus reduced our expenses.”

Mr. Oakman has since repurchased his farm from the town, and the town now has a cheaper farm, and the support of the paupers costs the town$1.70 per head each.

THURSDAY
MARCH 23,
1865
PROVIDENCE EVENING PRESS (RI)

Incidents of Sherman’s March.

We make the following extracts from the letters of the N. Y. Evening Post’s correspondent with Sherman’s army:

Un-Cleanly People.

To-day is the first instance within a week that I have seen a household where the women were neatly dressed and the children cleanly. The people who have inhabited the houses along the roads for fifty miles behind us are amongst the most degraded specimens of humanity I have ever seen. Many of the families I now refer to do not belong to the class known as the “poor whites of the South,” for these are large land-owners, and holders of from ten to forty slaves.

The peasantry of France are uneducated, but they are usually cleanly in their habits, and the serfs of Russia are ignorant, but they are semi-barbarous and have, until lately, been slaves. The working classes (many of them) in England are debased, but they work; the people I have seen and talked to for several days past are not only disgustingly filthy in their houses and their persons, but they are so provokingly lazy, or “shiftless,” as Mrs. Stowe has it, that they appear more like corpses recalled to a momentary existence, and I have felt like applying a galvanic battery to see if they could not be made to move. Even the inroads of our foragers do not start them into life; they loll about like sloths, and barely find energy enough to utter a whining lament that they will starve.

Horrors of Slavery.

During this campaign, I have seen terrible instances of the horrors of slavery. I have seen men and women as white as the purest type of the Anglo-Saxon race in our army, who had been bought and sold like animals, who were slaves. I have looked upon the mutilated forms of black men who had suffered torture at the caprice of their cruel masters, and I have heard tales of woe too horrible for belief; but in all these cases I have never been so impressed with the degrading, demoralizing influence of this curse of slavery as in the presence of these South Carolinians. The higher classes represent the scum, and the lower classes the dregs of civilization. South Carolinians they are, not Americans.

A Lady’s Sentiments.

The clean people whom I met this afternoon were refreshing to look at. Several of the ladies–for the men ran away at our approach–were attending school at this place, where a seminary has been situated for many years. One of these ladies, in reply to my question why she had not gone to her home, forty miles down the river, answered:

“What is the use? Your people go everywhere; you overrun the State, and I am as well off here as at my father’s house.”

I at once acknowledged the wisdom of her action, for there is no doubting the fact that our presence is quite sensibly felt in this State.

General Sherman and the Negroes.

I happened to be present this afternoon at one of those interviews which so often occur between General Sherman and the Negroes. The conversation was piquant and interesting, not only as being characteristic of both parties, but it was the more significant because, on the part of the General, I believe it a fair expression of his feelings on the slavery question.

A party of ten or fifteen Negroes had just found their way through the lines from Cheraw. Their owners had carried them from the vicinity of Columbia to the other side of the Pedee, with their mules and horses, which they were running away from our army.->

 The Negroes had escaped, and were on their way back to find their families. A more ragged set of human beings would not have been found out of the slave States, or perhaps Italy. These Negroes were of all ages, and had stopped in front of the General’s tent, which was pitched a few feet back from the sidewalk of the main street.

Several officers of the army, among them Gen. Slocum, were gathered round, interested in the scene. The general asked them:

“Well, men, what can I do for you? Where are you from?”

“We’s jus come from Cheraw. Massa took us with him to carry mules and horses away from youins.”

“You thought we would get them. Did you wish us to get the mules?”

Oh, yes, massa! Dat’s what I wanted. We knowed youins cumin’, and I wanted you to hav dem mules; but no use: dey heard dat youins on de road, and nuthin’ would stop dem. Why, as we cum along, de cavalry run away from the Yanks as if they fright to deth. Dey jumped into de river, and some of dem lost dere hosses. Dey frightened at the very name ob Sherman.”

Some one at this point said, "”That is Gen. Sherman who is talking to you.”

“God bress me, is you Mr. Sherman?”

“Yes: I am Mr. Sherman.”

“Dats him, su' nuff,” said one.

“Is dat de great Mr. Sherman that we's heard ob so long?” said another.

“Why, dey so frightened at your berry name, dat dey run right away,” shouted a third.

“It is not me that they are afraid of,” said the General; “the name of another man would have the same effect with them if he had this army. It is these soldiers that they run away from.”

“Oh, no!” they all exclaimed. “It’s de name of Sherman, su’; and we hab wanted to see you so long while you trabbel all roun jis whar you like to go. Dey said dat dey wanted to git you a little furder on, and den dey whip all your soldiers; but, God bress me, you keep cumin’ and a cumin’ and dey allers git out.”

“Dey mighty ‘fraid ob you, sar; day say you kill de colored men, too,” said an old man, who had not heretofore taken part in the conversation.

With much earnestness, Gen. Sherman replied:

“Old man, and all of you, understand me. I desire that bad men should fear me, and the enemies of the Government which we are all fighting for. Now we are your friends; you are now free.” (“Tank you, Massa Sherman,” was ejaculated by the group.) “You can go where you please; you can come with us, or go home to your children. Wherever you go, you are no longer slaves. You ought to be able to take care of yourselves. (“We is; we will.”)

“You must earn your freedom, then you will be entitled to it, sure; you have a right to be all that you can be, but you must be industrious, and earn the right to be men. If you go back to your families, and I tell you again you can go with us if you wish, you must do the best you can. When you get a chance, go to Beaufort or Charleston, where you will have a little farm to work for yourselves.”

The poor Negroes were filled with gratitude and hope by these kind words, uttered in the kindest manner, and they went away with thanks and blessings on their lips. 

FRIDAY
MARCH 24
, 1865
THE CALEDONIAN (VT)

Will the Negro Fight Against Us?

Now that the rebel  Congress has decided to put Negroes into their army, the above question is important. We are not so sanguine as some that the blacks will not fight for the rebels, for the despotism that the traitorous leaders have held over all the Confederacy has been well nigh complete; yet the inclination of the entire black race is for the Union cause. Every account we have read for the past two years of escaped prisoners, or of our advancing and victorious armies–wherever the Negro has been found, he has proved himself loyal to the Union. The following letter from one who was formerly a slave is of interest as touching this point:

Fort Pickens, Fla.,
Dec. 16, 1864, and Jan. 21, 1865.

Dear Friend: When our regiment arrived at Fort Pickens, after leaving Philadelphia, I cannot tell the joy I felt at seeing my brother there, who had escaped from slavery in South Carolina like myself. I knew him at once, but he did not know me, as we had not seen each other for seven years. We had both become men in that time, and both are now serving our country against the rebels, who held us wrongfully in slavery. Our mother was not born a slave, but our father was, and so they held all of us as slaves. I have not as yet been in any regular battle, but have been on scouting parties a number of times. The last scout we were on we met the rebs, who had six companies of colored soldiers with them, all armed with guns. As soon as the colored soldiers among the rebels saw our colored troops, they threw down their arms and ran over to us, crying out, “We are free, we are free!” This comes of putting arms in the hands of slaves to secure their own bondage. It will always be so, for they all know who are their friends! What will the proposed 200,000 do when armed by their masters We shall speedily know.

•••••

The Danger, and How to Meet It.

The increase of intemperance in the last four years has been most rapid and alarming. We are fast becoming a nation of drunkards. The fact that this and all the other social vices inevitably attend a state of war should not make us indifferent to the evil or hopeless of its removal. The public disgrace of inauguration day ought to arouse the people to the true state of affairs and the perils it involves.1 Drunkenness prevails to a fearful extent in the army, among the officers much more than the rank and file; and if the disasters and losses occasioned by this one thing during the war could be picked out and set by themselves, the array would be most startling. The increase of drunkenness in Congress has of late been very painfully evident. And the license of the camp and the capital have come up like a wave of dissolution sweeping over the whole land. The generation just coming to the age of manhood are exposed to fearful temptations on every side, and the current sets so strongly downward that all efforts to arrest it seem nearly hopeless.

It is time to make a stand against the evils that threaten our destruction. Let us throw up entrenchments and hold what ground is left to us, or we shall soon be hopelessly in “the last ditch.” Social corruption will do us more injury than the war. If there is any vital force in our morality, any saving power in our religion, any real efficiency in our Christian and reformatory institutions, now is the time to make it manifest. ->

Unless we can stay the progress of drunkenness, licentiousness, gambling, and general social debauchery that is setting upon us, the war will give us a Union saved by the destruction of its people. It will be a thousand times more costly in loss of morals than of men and money.

There can be a reform. Let the disgrace of the 4th of March be the signal and the provocation to effort. The Senate has done well to expel liquors from its wing of the capitol. Let the people make such a demand for public decency and morality at Washington that the House shall be compelled to follow the example of the Senate. Let the vice president be given to understand that he can save himself from deserved impeachment only by leading a sober life for so long a time as he shall represent the nation before the world. And let the people make it understood that hereafter, whoever may be nominated by caucus or conventions, no drunkard or debauchee can have their votes. We must go back to first principles, and begin the reform at the sources of power, with the people themselves. They have been too tolerant of vice and dishonesty in their representatives; they have been loyal to the caucus at the expense of loyalty to virtue and the public welfare. Henceforth we must have honest and sober men at the helm, or we go down.–Springfield Republican.

•••••

Secretary Seward has issued a circular directing that all non-resident foreigners who have, or shall have been, engaged in blockade-running, shall leave the country within twelve days, or be arrested and detained in custody until the end of the war. This will hit the blockade-running desperadoes who are flocking into our Northern cities from Nassau and other places, since their occupation is gone by the capture of Wilmington, Charleston, etc.

•••••

The Rebel Negro Soldier Bill.–An Army of the Potomac correspondent says:

“The climax of madness is to be found in section 5, which says that ‘nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation of said slaves,’ Only think of it–300,000 slaves, and to have implements of death and self-protection put into their hands and driven to meet all the hardships and dangers of war, for what? Freedom? No. For the boon of remaining slaves, they and their wives and children! And these poor wretches are expected to fight, under such circumstances when, by merely joining their free brethren within gunshot of them, they can not only escape mutilation and death altogether, but obtain a freedom, forever, as inalienable as that of their former masters! Can the recklessness of despair go any further? But let us patiently watch the result. Unless human nature has ceased to be human nature, I foretell such a stampede of the whole black population into our lines, even before arms can be put into their hands, as all the united armies of the rebels will be unable to prevent.”

 

SATURDAY
MARCH 25, 1865

THE SALEM OBSERVER (MA)

One of the President’s Last Jokes.2–A few days ago, Bishop Ames called to pay his respects to the President, and arrived about the time for the throwing open [of] the doors for the crowd in the ante-room. He stood an interested spectator of the patience with which the Chief Magistrate heard complaints which never should have been brought to him, and listened to all sorts of impossible petitions. At last the Bishop felt that some rebuke should be given, and looked about him for a Bible. At that moment the President espied him, and coming forward, greeted him warmly. Said Bishop A., “But, Mr. President, I have something against you. I find no bible in this room, and I wished to read what the father-in-law of Moses told him when he was doing what you are. Hearing what should go to subordinates, you know he advised him to choose out good men who should hear and decide all except the cases that were too hard for them, which, alone, they should report to him. I suggest to you, Mr. President, to follow the advice.” “The suggestion is good; and it reminds me, Bishop, that I was reading the other day how Moses was up in the mountain praying for Israel, and providing for Aaron the best place in the system, at the same Aaron was down with the people, at the foot of the mountain, making a golden calf to supersede Moses!”

•••••

The Rebels Want a Dictator.–The Richmond Dispatch has an editorial, in which it says: “From the moment the gift of universal suffrage was bestowed upon the American people, things took a downward turn, and the popular madness ended at last in such a tragedy as the world had hardly ever seen. We have yet to realize that men are not so infallible in wisdom and so immaculate in nature, as to be safely endowed with that great boon.”

•••••

Jamestown.–This first settlement of Virginia–one of the most celebrated spots in American history–is now an abandoned plantation, about half way  between City point and Fortress Monroe, on the north side of the river. Only two or three old brick chimneys and the ruins of a little old brick church mark the spot where the ancient village once stood. The brick constituting these were imported from England at a very early day, and are yet in a good state of preservation. Many of them have been taken away as relics, since the commencement of the war, and not a few of them even now enter into the construction of the comfortable winter quarters in the Armies of the Potomac and the James, and at General Headquarters at City Point.

•••••

Kearsarge Testimonial.–The sum of $25,000 has been raised in New York as a testimonial of the officers and crew of the Kearsarge, for sinking the Alabama, and the committee are now making the distribution. Commodore Winslow receives $10,000; the lieutenant commander $1200; the chief engineer and surgeon each $800; the paymaster $600; the other officers various sums from $750 to $45 each; seamen, landsmen, firemen, &c., $40 to $25 each. The number of officers and crew is one hundred and sixty-one.

•••••

Ex-Gov. Aiken, one of the largest slave-holders in the South, remained in Charleston after the evacuation by the rebel forces. He has taken no part in the Secession movement. He was  member of Congress when Banks was elected Speaker, and the latter’s competitor for the Chair, but acted honorably and nobly on the occasion, and promptly conducted his successful rival to his seat. A letter from Charleston in the Washington Republican says ex-Governor Aiken has reported the names of all his slaves, seven hundred and fifty in number, to the Commandant of the post, and given each family a farm on one of the most fertile and productive islands on the coast, placed them on it; and all are well started in life.

•••••

[Miscellaneous.]

A letter passed through Washington the other day in the army mail from General Sherman to his wife. On the corner was endorsed, “Fayetteville, N. C. No postage stamps.” The letter was forwarded.

A gentleman of Hartford, who was some years ago engaged in quarrying on the upper Delaware river, remembered that while drilling a rock a disagreeable fluid flowed from the hole, and they had to plug it up. He is now of the opinion that he then “struck ile,” and he has gone out with a party to “pull out the plug.”

Immense damage has recently been done by freshets. In Central New York and in Pennsylvania, especially in the oil region, the inundations have been almost unprecedented, and millions of property have been destroyed. The loss in Syracuse County, N. Y., is estimated at $500,000. Railroad travel has been interrupted in many cases all through eh Middle States. The losses of many oil concerns in Pennsylvania are immense. Acres are flooded with oil barrels and lumber, and many towns  of lowlands are badly submerged. In cases, not a few houses are gone, and families are camping out.

Maj. Gen. Robert Anderson has been directed by the President to raise the stars and stripes on the battlements of Fort Sumter on the 13th of April, 1865, the fourth anniversary of the day he consented to evacuate the place.

Lieut. Com. Cushing, who has been on a short visit to his relatives in this city, left town on Monday. He is to have command of one of the vessels of the large naval fleet which the Government is now preparing for the purpose of cruising in European waters. Wherever he goes, he will ever be found both willing and able to uphold the honor and vindicate the nationality of the “Stars and Stripes.”

The Philadelphians are taking measures to furnish employment for rebel deserters, who say that if it were known in the rebel army that any man deserting from that army would be well treated, desertions would be much more numerous. It is hope to stimulate desertion in this way.

1 See “A Great Shame” in the Caledonian of 10 March 1865.

2 “last” here means “latest.”

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