MARCH 19, 1865
THE TIMES PICAYUNE (LA)
the London Times of Feb. 17.]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
old rumor that these vessels are coming to this port are repeated.
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.
copy of the dispatch was forwarded to this department by the consul.–New
York Evening Post.
MARCH 20, 1865
THE MACON DAILY TELEGRAM (GA)
Message of President Davis.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.->
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
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
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
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.
MARCH 21, 1865
THE HARTFORD DAILY COURANT
of Jeff Davis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
enactment of congress can save Davis of his wicked cause.
Heavy Desertions from the Enemy.
Their Excessive Losses in Battle.
LEE COMMANDING IN NORTH CAROLINA.
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.
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.->
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
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.
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.
weather is warm and showery. The mercury stands at 70 in the shade.
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.
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.
from the front state that guns were heard yesterday in the direction of
Goldsboro, a distance of twenty-two miles from Kinston.
of Admiral Lee.
Expedition up the Tennessee
Loyal Sentiment in
March 20.–The Navy Department to-day received the following dispatch
from Admiral Lee:
Off Bridgeport, Ala., March 4.
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.
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
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.
respectfully, your ob’t serv’t,
C. Forrest, Lt. Com., 11th
MARCH 22, 1865
THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN (MA)
of Our Pauper System.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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.
PROVIDENCE EVENING PRESS (RI)
of Sherman’s March.
make the following extracts from the letters of the N. Y. Evening
Post’s correspondent with Sherman’s army:
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.
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.
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.
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:
is the use? Your people go everywhere; you overrun the State, and I am
as well off here as at my father’s house.”
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.
Sherman and the Negroes.
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
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.->
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.
officers of the army, among them Gen. Slocum, were gathered round,
interested in the scene. The general asked them:
men, what can I do for you? Where are you from?”
jus come from Cheraw. Massa took us with him to carry mules and horses away
thought we would get them. Did you wish us to get the mules?”
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.”
one at this point said, "”That is Gen. Sherman who is talking to
bress me, is you Mr. Sherman?”
I am Mr. Sherman.”
him, su' nuff,” said one.
dat de great Mr. Sherman that we's heard ob so long?” said another.
dey so frightened at your berry name, dat dey run right away,” shouted a
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.”
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.”
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.
much earnestness, Gen. Sherman replied:
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.”)
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.”
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.
THE CALEDONIAN (VT)
the Negro Fight Against Us?
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:
Dec. 16, 1864, and Jan. 21, 1865.
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.
Danger, and How to Meet It.
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
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
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.
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
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,
Rebel Negro Soldier Bill.–An Army of the Potomac
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.”
MARCH 25, 1865
THE SALEM OBSERVER (MA)
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!”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“A Great Shame” in the Caledonian
of 10 March 1865.
here means “latest.”
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