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SUNDAY
MARCH 26, 1865
THE DAILY PICAYUNE (LA)

British Brag.

The boast of Britain that she is mistress of the ocean, that her

“–– flag has braved, a thousand years,
The battle and the breeze;”

that

“Britannia needs no bulwark,
No towers along the steep,
Her march is o’er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.”

and so on, is, with all her boastings, perhaps her biggest boast. When, on the ocean and on the lakes, in the war of 1812-15, her “meteor flag,” flying from her “native oak” was lowered by our Lawrences, our Perrys, and our Hulls, our ships improvised for the occasion and manned by Yankee sailors, she at first tried to make it out that our armament was stronger, and that her men were outnumbered in every single encounter; but that pretense has long ago been exposed, and even her own chronicles have been successfully resorted to in disproof of the assertion. But a lie never dies.

“The History of the British Navy, from the earliest period to the present time,” is the title of a book that has lately been published in London, and in review of which three elaborate articles have just appeared in the columns of the London Times. Not having access to the book, we have had to content ourselves with so much of its contents as are incorporated in the articles of “the Thunderer” in our endeavor to obtain what new light has been thrown upon so much of the history of the British navy as has reference to its connection with that of the American. But while columns are expended upon the recital of the glorious deeds, (and glorious they certainly were,) performed by the Nelsons, the Hoods, the Collinwoods, and the other brave admirals of England, a single paragraph only is devoted, and that quite incidentally, to the naval engagements of the last war with the United States, and that paragraph is a curiosity.

“For nearly two years before the conclusion of our long warfare with Napoleon,” says the Times, “we had also been carrying on hostilities against the United States of America, which, on the 18th of June, 1812, issued a formal proclamation of war against us. Till the subsequent spring, the naval operations on both sides were confined to two or three actions between single frigates, in which the vast superiority of size on the American side gave them a generally irresistible advantage.”

The writer does not state here whit, if the above statement were accurate, would materially qualify the remark, that the British navy was composed of veterans in the service, while that of the United States was made up of sailors taken from merchant vessels, the majority of whom had never fired a gun. Nor does the Times reviewer allude to the fact that this pretext of “a vast superiority” in the matter of size and armament, so rife at the close of the war, has been over and over again confuted by a reference to British official reports.

But the reviewer goes on to say that those “irresistible” exploits of our navy were their last triumphs of the kind which the Americans reaped, and cites the engagements of the Shannon and the Chesapeake, the President and the Endymion, the Essex and Phœbe, as going “to the English account;” and when he comes to “the contests on the lakes,” he says, “we at last secured a decisive predominance on Lake Ontario.” But mark the next sentence: “But this was more than counterbalanced by our disasters on the other lakes, Erie and Champlain.” We should think so.

But now comes a rich sentence in this extraordinary paragraph:

“The restoration of peace in Europe, which set our soldiers at liberty for operations in America, enabled us also to add to our naval forces on that station. Sir Alexander Cochrane replaced Sir John Warren; Sir Thomas Hardy (Nelson’s Hardy) came in a line-of-battle ship, the Ramilies, 74; Capt. Gordon and Capt. Napier came in the frigates Sanborne and Euryalus; and these two latter achieved one of the most brilliant and difficult exploits that were ever attempted by ships of their size, and in which they greatly distinguished themselves, on the Potomac River.”

And what were these “brilliant and difficult exploits?” The capture of the as-good-as utterly undefended City of Washington, and a series of raids on the defenceless towns lying on the shores of Chesapeake Bay and the James River. A fine theme for boasts like these.

“Washington was the first metropolis of Christendom that we had entered as conquerors for at least four centuries!” The only glory attained at Washington, as far as we have ever heard, was the partial burning of the then-unfinished Capitol, the gutting of the National Intelligencer office of its old files, and the wanton destruction of a marble monument at the Navy Yard, erected to commemorate some American naval officers who had fallen at Tripoli.

“The only failure,” complacently concludes the Times, “with the exception of our disasters on the lakes, which we met with in the latter part of the war, was at New Orleans; but even there the fleet performed brilliant service.” “That’s sufficient!” as the man said when he saw the elephant for the first time. The British fleet did “brilliant service” at New Orleans!

•••••

Prisoners at Wilmington.–A correspondent of the New York Herald relates the following circumstances:

When our forces were being marshalled for the final blow at the immediate defences of the town, and when the enemy had evacuated his troops and material, a flag of truce was sent out to Gen. Terry’s lines proposing an exchange of twenty-five hundred prisoners and a suspension of hostilities for that purpose. At this time we had no knowledge of the possession of any Union prisoners by the rebels at Wilmington, nor had information been received of the agreement entered into between Gens. Grant and Lee, by which prisoners may be delivered at the most convenient point to the party holding them; but, considering the whole affair a ruse to gain time, the proposition was promptly rejected. It now turns out that the rebels did have here seven or eight thousand prisoners who had been brought from the prison pens further South in the route of Sherman’s advance. Arriving here they were sent to Goldsboro, then immediately brought back here, either for exchange, under the Grant-Lee arrangement, or to avoid some fancied danger at Goldsboro, and on our advance were again sent North. Transportation being scarce, the bulk of them were required to walk, many, foot sore and sick, being pressed on at the point of the bayonet, while about three hundred, too sick and emaciated to move, were left here in a hospital in a most pitiable condition of squalor, filth and misery. Many more were concealed by citizens in private houses. Of these, two or three hundred have been found and cared for. One gentleman presented forty thousand dollars rebel money to the prisoners to relieve their pressing wants.

MONDAY
MARCH 27, 1865
THE MACON DAILY TELEGRAPH (GA)

Prostitution.

Female virtue is the crowning grace of every age. Like a diamond whose brilliancy no darkness can obscure, it shines out from the ruins of the past, a memorial of women, and a testimony of Heaven. Among all people, whether savage, barbarian or civilized, a degree of reverence is attached to the sanctity of woman. Her moral purity commands the respect of the most degraded of the opposite sex. As man disregards virtue, and as woman ceases to cherish it as sacred and holy, both individuals and nations retrograde in civilization. The brightest eras of the past–the age of Pericles, in Greece; of Augustus, in Rome; of Elizabeth, in England–were those in which woman, ascending the heights of moral sublimity, shone in the beautiful habiliments of virtue and grace. The glory of the two former has grown dim, and their eclipse was preceded by a decline of virtue in their women. Vice stealthily besieged the precincts of virtue–corruption grew rank as an exotic I the hearts of the people, and under the sword of Alexander the bloom of Grecian civilization dropped from its parent stem, to moulder on the soil and in the light that had given it birth and sustenance. The purity of government, the justice of law, the brilliancy of literature, the perfection of art, declined beneath waves of social corruption, which swept like a raging sea over the progress and improvement of the world. The brightest periods of history are illumined by the light of female purity shining abroad like the brilliant hues of the sunset.

Because of the defilement of Dinah by Shechem, as though she were a harlot, the sons of Jacob, to avenge the wrong, slew him and his people with the sword. So scrupulous were the Pagans in respect to the inviolability of the marital rite, that we read of the ten years’ war of Ilium waged in its vindication. In the violation of this law reposed the weakness of the Trojan cause, and Troy fell victim to its outraged sacredness ad truth. With the Roman, the very fact that vestal virgins guarded the light in the Palladium of his liberty, augured its perpetuity, and rendered his spirit unconquerable in battle. Such are but individual instances of the multitude slumbering beneath the dust of ages. Like the stars peering through the midnight cloud, their example litters in the darkness of the past.

Our own time–our own lives–are replete with the evidence of woman’s influence in the affairs of man, so long as she remains steadfast to the rock of virtue. Once wavering from her high and heavenly pinnacle, she falls headlong into the abyss below. Indeed, the true mission of woman is to go forth into the world, with virtue as her shield, and with a high moral purpose and a noble destiny in view. True to the impulses of a regenerated nature, instead of falling by the way-side, it is her office to stretch forth a reclaiming hand and rescue man from the pitfalls of destruction that beset him. Her sympathies should be with him in the struggle of life, drawing forth his latent manhood by the power of her virtues–a consort with him in the sweet companionship of life. Seen in this view, she stands a light house to the world, beaconing it over rocks that threaten to destroy, and gulfs that yawn to overwhelm.

There is no heaven so beautifully illuminated as the heart of woman encircled in the corona of virtue, in which each gem rivals the luster of the brightest star. There is no hell so dark as the heart of woman girdled by the serpent of vice, with the dark passions of nature made darker by the sinful gloom in which they are enveloped.->

 Prostitution is the worst fate that ever yet befell woman. Like the sins of Babylon, its stains deepen with the vengeance of outraged heaven. It is as a chasm between two precipitous heights, from which there is rarely suspended a ladder of ascension. Once fallen, and there is little hope of regaining the coveted height. The wailings of despair ring in the ear like the shrieking voice of doom;  and the beautiful flowers which bloomed upon the summit, and along the precipice, wither, to blossom not again. “The Mother of Harlots” is written across the brow, the cheek glows with the fire of consuming lust, and the heart burns with a baleful flame, inextinguishable as Hell. And yet there is hope of redemption, if the transgressor but hearken to the harrowing consciousness of the first sin. The woman taken in adultery by Christ was released, and enjoined to go and “sin no more.”

In these times of demoralization, when the corner-stones of society are shaken, and the vile passions of nature are stirred to their remotest depths, we fear that prostitution is alarmingly on the increase. Social restraints are more or less withdrawn–more evil than good is cast up to the surface, and the fortunes of war have made thousands penniless who were affluent before. Under this state of affairs some may have yielded to the allurements of vice, and others may be pursuing the path of folly to ruin. Others may be trembling on the verge of destruction, ready to cast themselves into the maelstrom below. Let such reflect upon the fatality of the step ere it is too late. The misgivings of a weak nature may be braced by a timely warning, the step retraced, and the Hell but late threatening to consume the virgin flame of the soul, transformed into a Paradise of roses, from which there is no expulsion.

•••••

Plant Liberally and Save Seed Plentifully.–In view of the extreme difficulty of procuring provisions of almost every kind, it is suggested to all who have gardens, to plant liberally–plant to sell or give–plant more than you want, that you may relieve suffering–for as sure as the present artificial scarcity continues to exist–and there is no reason why it should not–there will be suffering for the commonest necessities of life this spring. We also admonish all gardeners to save seed plentifully of all kinds, that they may be able to furnish their neighbors. The present scarcity of good seed should be incentive enough.–Clarion.

•••••

As petroleum has been found in the coal region of Tennessee (near the Kentucky line) why should it not also exist in Alabama? What say our geologists?–if, indeed, the species has not become extinct, for we have not heard of a specimen since the war commenced. If they can discover any probable indications of its existence, boring should be instituted at once to settle the question.–Mobile Advertiser.

Yes; and why not Georgia, also?

TUESDAY
MARCH 28
, 1865
THE BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER 

City Point and How to Get There.

City Point, Va., March 23, 1865.

The issue of passes to civilians to go to the front was suspended on Tuesday by order of the War Department. The rule, like all others, has its exceptions, of which the correspondent of the Daily Advertiser was graciously permitted to be one. Presuming that there may be other exceptions, and knowing that the order is not to be a perpetual restriction, I have ventured to note down such of the features and incidents of the voyage seem worthy of remembrance, and may prove useful to those whose business or inclination leads them also in future to undertake the journey.

The mail and passenger boat for City Point leaves Washington daily at three in the afternoon, from the foot of Sixth street–horse cars from the Avenue taking passengers to the wharf. Before going on board, the traveller is obliged to show  his pass in order to purchase a ticket–and three paces further on he has to exhibit it again to receive an official stamp from the provost authorities. Immediately after stepping on board the boat, the passenger is confronted by a sentry, who requests him to get his baggage, which may be nothing more than a blanket, checked at the porter’s room. He is informed that he can take his impediments up stair with him if he has a ticket for a state-room, but not otherwise–and as that such ticket cannot be procured until the boat has passed Alexandria. This intricate arrangement is worthy of a resident of Niagara, being simply a device to extort from every traveller a fee for checking his luggage, which he would prefer to carry with him, and which may not be an hour out of his hands.

As the boat touches at Alexandria, the passengers crowd about the little office window to engage their quarters for the night. And now appears what is perhaps the most novel and remarkable feature of the voyage. It is nothing less than the foundation-stone in the structure of a new aristocracy in republican America. We have repudiated the aristocracy of lineage, and the right of wealth to assert its superiority is combated with easy success; but here on the Potomac steamer James T. Brady is recognized the aristocracy of arms, in the most complete and practical manner. A sentinel with bayonet fixed is stationed before the ticket-office, with instructions to allow no civilian to approach until all the officers on board have secured their rooms. This rule is one apparently without exceptions; and the score or so of passengers in plain clothes, whether agents of the Sanitary Commission, attachés of the commissary department, sutlers or newspaper correspondents, have to patiently wait their turn until the eager crowd whose shoulder-straps are their badges of nobility, have selected and purchased their state-rooms. This distinction is by no means an empty one, as the number of state-rooms on the boat is only about sixty, and by the time the last officer is provided with a ticket and the first individual of the lower class is permitted to come up to the window, the aperture is closed with the words, “All full.” The civilian is therefore given the delightful choice of a stool, (if he is quick enough to seize one,) or the free use of the cabin floor. Later in the evening the office is opened again for the sale of a few berths in the dining-room, but these are not recommended by those who have tried them in previous trips and a quiet corner on the floor of the saloon is commonly considered preferable to bunks which are tersely described as hot, inaccessible, noisy, hard and swarming with vermin.->

Still greater emphasis is giving to this classification of humanity a few hours later in the day, when the gong rings for supper. All the passengers have bought their tickets, and with appetites sharpened by the keen river breeze, hasten together to the dining room. Here again at the door interposes a gleaming bayonet, and its bearer sternly informs you that “no citizen,” as he phrases it, “is admitted till the officers are all seated.” Of course, if there are officers enough on board to fill the tables, the unlucky “citizen” must wait until they have all finished their repast before he can exercise the privilege he has paid for by looking vainly for something eatable among the remnants of supper.

Furloughs are just expiring, and the boats from Washington and Baltimore for City Point are all crowded with officers and men hastening, commonly from one to four days behind their time, to rejoin their commands. If they are in season for the great spring struggle, there is no harm done, and a little tardiness in returning from a brief furlough is easily forgiven. On eh lower deck the soldiers are packed as tightly as sardines in a box, each making his neighbor his pillow, many smoking, and all breathing an air foul enough for one’s conception of the Black Hole of Calcutta. Up stairs the saloons are not so crowded, and a passenger who carries on his shoulders the passports to privilege may make the voyage as comfortably as those from New York to Albany. The fare in the dining room is simple and soldierly, quite plentiful, and on the whole very satisfactory to customers who are not dainty in their tastes or habits. The water is of a dark color, and so nauseating even in smell that few men can bring themselves to taste of it.

If I have said nothing of the incidents of the voyage, it is because there are none worth mentioning. The flat, monotonous shores of Maryland and Virginia present no features worth braving the breezes of the deck to look at. The first halt after Alexandria is off point Lookout, at about 11 p.m., where the passengers for the camp there are transferred to a tug sent out from the shore to receive them. Soon after sunrise, if the weather favors, Fortress Monroe heaves in sight, looking like any thing but the important post it is. Here the boat pauses a half hour at the wharf, the passengers for Sherman’s army are put ashore, and one may buy the New York Herald of the previous morning. I saw no signs of the small pox quarantine reported by a recent paragraph to exist at Old Point, and no restrictions were placed upon communication with the shore or the fortress. The steamer then puffs along up the somewhat tortuous course of the historic James, arriving at the headquarters of the armies operating against Richmond, for the present located at City Point, early in the afternoon.

It may be of use to some proposing to make the journey that I should add that the price of a ticket from Washington to City Point, for officers and “citizens” is $7.50. Enlisted men of course travel free. Every thing imaginable is charged extra, and the entire expense of the trip may be expected to be about $12. The time occupied is from twenty-three to twenty-five hours.

WEDNESDAY
MARCH
29, 1865
THE PROVIDENCE EVENING PRESS (RI)

What Shall We Do with Charleston?

is a question asked by “Berwick,” the intelligent correspond of the New York Tribune, and which he answers as follows: then

“What is to be done with Charleston?” is a problem that excites a good deal of public interest here. Had Sherman’s soldiers taken it by storm, it would, of course, have been levelled to the earth, and there would have been few Northern men to lament its downfall. But it surrendered, and has a large loyal population–the Negroes–and a considerable proportion of persons who are peaceable and as loyal as their ignorance permits them to be.

Notwithstanding the ruin wrought by the Greek fire and the shells, Charleston is still a large and beautiful city. Northern enterprise could rebuild and repair the ruins in less than ten years, so that no trace of them would exist, and it would then increase more rapidly every decade than it would have grown each century, had the Union as it was not been blown away by the breath of an offended Heaven.

Charleston now is almost in the condition of Mary Magdalene after the seven devils had been driven out of her, and it will be our own blame if they return and make her tenfold the child of hell than before. We have t in our power to keep them out by throwing the port and State wide open to the Northern enterprise, intelligence and virtues which will flock here if the needed encouragement were given. Let it be understood that the State cannot return to the Union until her loyalty is not only undoubted, but beyond suspicion; let the ruins be sold for taxes, and the abandoned residences be confiscated; let thoroughly anti-slavery men alone be put or retained in command here, and South Carolina, in a very few years, will be as true and as national in her opinions and deeds as Kansas and Massachusetts. But if the opposite policy prevails, the coffin of the Republican party will have one more plank made out of the Palmetto.

I repeat (and will prove my assertion at any length when the right time comes) that, as a class, the best of the white Unionists here would be regarded as the worst of Copperheads in the Northern States and that unless we encourage and invite a large emigration, and enfranchise the Negro, we will have trouble with this State again. Now, to hasten the regeneration of South Carolina, this port should be opened as soon as it can be done under existing treaty regulations. I leave merchants to urge their own views–their very selfishness will dictate a variety of sound arguments; but having no interest, direct or indirect, present or prospective, in any branch of trade, and looking solely from a political standpoint, I regard the speedy opening of the port of Charleston as a result to be earnestly desired by every patriot.

As a question of economy ad humanity, it deserves further thought. There is extreme poverty existing here; everything is high-priced. There is but a limited amount of provisions in the city. The country from which supplies were formerly drawn is deserted and desolated. Every hour that we delay in opening these vacant lands to emigrants will increase our expenses in feeding the impoverished people. We must choose, therefore, between giving them work or–the workhouse; and we cannot employ them unless we open the port.

Despondent Feeling of the Confederate Prisoners.–In reference to the late battle at Fort Steadman, “Carleton” telegraphs to the Boston Journal the following:

The rebel prisoners are very despondent, and say that hundreds would desert if it were not for the name of doing so. Major Miller of our army (taken prisoner in the first fight), while the second fight was going on, talked with his guard and told them they had better let him capture them. They assented, and he came in with six rebel prisoners, who sold their guns to the Quartermaster, took their pay in greenbacks, and will be allowed to go North when they please.

A rebel officer said yesterday, “I would die before I would desert, but am glad I am a prisoner.”

•••••

Unfulfilled Prophecies.

The Washington correspondent of the N. Y. Commercial writes the following:

Mr. Brown, the United States Navy Agent here, who was one of the party just returned from Charleston, S. C., has brought a clump of grass, which he found growing between the paving stones of King street in that now desolate city. Yet it was a Senator from that rebellious State who predicted ruin and woe for the North if the South withdrew her trade. “Have you heard,” said he, “that the ghosts of Mendoza and Torquemada are stalking already in the streets of your great cities–that the inquisition is at hand? The South have sustained you in a great measure. You are our factors. You bring and carry for us. One hundred and fifty millions of our money passes annually through your hands. Much of it sticks–all of it assists to keep your machinery together and in motion. Suppose we were to discharge you–suppose we were to take our business out of your hands? We should consign you to anarchy and poverty.” The South did discharge the North. Grass grows in King street–can it be seen on Broadway?

True Men in Charleston.

There could not be found ten righteous men found in Sodom, but we have convincing proof that there were more than a score of true citizens of the Union in Charleston during the reign of secession. Whenever news came of a Union victory, they would meet at the house of that true Free Mason, Albert G. McKay, and, locking themselves in an upper room, display the “Stars and Stripes” over the round table when they drank libations in honor of its triumph. Mr. McKay did more than this. He aided Union prisoners, ministered to their wants while living, and performed the last sad rites at the graves of those who died, carefully “marking the spot.” Should Dr. McKay come North, every member of that “mystic tie,” which he has so adorned, should remember the admonition of Rev. Brother Dr. Smith, in that discourse which he delivered at Philadelphia before Brother George Washington and others of the fraternity in 1778. He said: “Keep an open heart to every suffering brother, to receive him a a tempest-driven voyager into a port of safety; seeking among you that relief and shelter which he sought in vain while tossed on the restless ocean of common life.” Dr. McKay merits the gratitude and esteem of all Union craftsmen.

THURSDAY
MARCH 30,
1865
THE SALEM REGISTER (MA)

The Opposing Forces, Their Condition and Position.

The Army and Navy Journal, which is conducted by military experts who are capable of comprehending the military situation and prospects better, perhaps, than any other men not actually in high command, has an article contrasting and comparing the Federal and Confederate forces, which is quite instructive and encouraging. “The critical moment approaches,” it remarks. “All our great Eastern armies are within communicating distance; all the enemy’s are in direct co-operation and, by means of railroads, within actual supporting distance in case of battle. We possess the advantage of men. Our effective armies are more than 200,000 strong. The enemy can hardly be reckoned above 130,000, and probably falls below that estimate. He has once more, and unavoidably, secured the advantage of interior lines and facile communications. In one sense, therefore, he may be said to have the advantage of position. In another, and an important sense, he has not, because we rest upon impregnable sea bases, with heavy fleets of gunboats and transport, while he has none. For a single battle, he is in good position; for a series, we are in better. The gradual narrowing of the field of conflict increases this temporary advantage of the enemy, but it relatively increases our own superiority, provided the first shock of arms be in our favor. In direct communication between his two columns, the enemy is more fortunate than we are. But his railroad lines are slender, and the rails and rolling stock in such condition as to limit materially their capacity in the transportation of men or material.

“In supplies we are immeasurably his superior–so much so that the question of food and forage would decide the contest, if it were not that the arbitrament of arms must intervene. In the fighting condition of the two opposing armies, the advantage is with us, because our men are equally brave, and better disciplined, more vigorous, better fed, better clothed and shod, better armed and equipped. In morale, we have the prestige of the whole year on our side, and carry banners covered all over with fresh inscriptions of victory’ but the enemy has a dwindling army and an unprosperous cause to drag upon his spirits. In generalship, we can safely trust our cavalryman Sheridan against the enemy’s Hampton, and our Grant and Sherman against his Johnston, or even his favorite Lee.

“The contrast between the armies, however, is not yet complete. Although the enemy has an apparent advantage of interior lines, that is entirely overmatched by two very important considerations. The first is, that any movement of Lee towards Johnston can be, and doubtless will be, followed by an instantaneous attack in flank from Grant, with an army almost double the size of his antagonist’s. A severe battle and the fall of Richmond might be expected to ensue. On the other band, should Johnston be recalled to Lee, the two combined would have to assault in elaborate entrenchments, resting on a base protected by gunboats, an army almost as large as the allied attacking columns. Meanwhile, Sherman follows with such rapidity as can be obtained from an- army whose forced marches are proverbial and famous. He is, in any event, pressing on Johnston’s rear, or can carry Weldon on the right, or Danville on the left.

“The second important consideration is our vast superiority in cavalry. Sheridan’s powerful column—two full divisions and a brigade—will soon connect with the division of Gases. Sherman has all Kilpatrick’s column with him, which has everywhere ridden down the Confederate cavalry in a march of more than a thousand miles. The enemy has dismounted a great part of his cavalry for the want of horses, and the remnant is in bad condition. We venture the statement that our efficient cavalry now outnumbers threefold that of the enemy. What splendid advantage, even in spite of the impracticable country, this surplus will give us in the cutting off of communications and in the annoying of the enemy’s flanks, and finally, in rendering a battle lost to the enemy a decisive rout, it is easy to predict.

“Under such auspices, the Great Campaign proceeds. Schofield has rejoined Sherman. Sherman has rejoined Grant. Each has accomplished invaluable results in the movement for junction, the one at Wilmington and Kinston, the other on the James River Canal. Grant watches LEE at Richmond, and threatens to detail Sheridan by a wide detour to cut the Southside Railroad. Sherman marches on Raleigh, threatening, on his , left flank, Danville, and, on his right, Weldon. Both cities are or vital importance. Johnston, lying on the headwaters of the Neuse, doubtless holds Hillsboro’ as the point of retreat from Raleigh, covering Danville with his right flank. His left not improbably he stretches over to the Tar River, in the region of Rocky Mount, to protect the city of Weldon. Decisive battle or disastrous retreat must soon follow these dispositions”

•••••

North Carolina advices show that the work of conscripting the Negroes had been commenced by the rebel authorities without shadow of law, and many of the slaveholders had armed their people to aid them in resisting the conscription. They advised many of them to flee to Sherman, who would protect them. That General was within forty miles of Raleigh and a large number of western North Carolinians were on their way with well-loaded wagons to entertain their friends in his army. The rebel soldiers were deserting by companies and retiring to their homes, and the people paid no regard to the appeal of Governor Vance for aid for the rebel army.

•••••

The President at the Front.–The Washington dispatch of the Associated Press says:

While on Saturday morning Gen. Grant and the President and his party were on their way from City Point to witness a review in the Army of the Potomac, and when about twenty miles from the place, Gen. Parke, just from the battle-field, approached and gave a circumstantial account of the fight at Fort Steadman. Lieut. Gen. Grant thanked him for his skill and bravery. The President also complimented him highly for the manner in which he and the officers and men under his command had conducted themselves in that conflict. The party then resumed their journey, and stopped at a fort within a mile and a half of the subsequent action, from the parapet of which they had a good view of the contending forces. They afterward continued their trip, visiting many points of interest, their extreme stopping place being within six miles of Richmond On this excursion Gen. Grant and several members of his staff, together with Gen. Sheridan, accompanied the President’s party. On their return they witnessed the crossing of Sheridan’s cavalry  from the north to the south side of the James.

The President has been indulging in riding on horseback, and his health has been considerably improved since he left Washington. He may return in a day or two. The best possible spirit animates our troops, and prominent military men seem to be well satisfied with the present aspect of the situation.

The Republican says that in the President’s visit to the front he was accompanied by Gen. Grant and staff, and was greeted all along the lines with the wildest enthusiasm. He occupied an eminence overlooking the field as the victors marched off with their prisoners.  Their Commander-in-Chief was recognized and the guard flanking the column of the captured rebels began to cheer, and like electricity the welcome shout ran down the lines to the utter amazement of the prisoners, who soon learned the cause. The whole of the Presidential party passed over the field of battle and witnessed the scene.

FRIDAY
MARCH 31
, 1865
THE CALEDONIAN (VT)

The Decay of the Rebellion.
Its Friends Falling Off.

An evidence of the rapid decline of the rebellion, noteworthy, if not of the highest importance, is seen in the sudden conversion of “Druid,” the secesh Baltimore correspondent of the New York World, to a belief in the speedy and complete triumph of the Union cause. Within a week he has prophesied the defeat of Sherman and Grant in detail, the invasion of the North by Lee, and the general sweeping success of the rebels. In a letter of the 25th he changes his tone completely. Now he says the rebel armies are falling to pieces; more than half their soldiers have deserted; the material resources of the South are no longer available; their munitions of war are giving out since the loss of their ports and the destruction wrought by Sherman; and the bubble of foreign intervention has completely exploded. Druid says Lee still maintains an unconquerable spirit, and the people of the South are unsubdued, but they are convinced of the futility of further resistance to the North.

Richmond papers of Friday last furnish additional evidence of the fact that the rebel leaders have little hope left. They hold now only to the vague possibility that something may turn up to improve their prospects. The Examiner admits that there is no chance of confederate independence unless France shall make war on the United States. The Sentinel begs earnestly for more earnest efforts to obtain Negro recruits; it sees no other resource. The Enquirer says dismally that Gen. Lee will do all that man can do, “but his means are small,” and the Negroes do not come forward freely; “they need encouragement and persuasion.” The Dispatch pathetically entreats deserters from the confederate army to come back. Mr. Trenholm, secretary of the rebel treasury, issued an appeal on the 22d to the banks and private capitalists, for three million dollars In coin which the congress authorized him to borrow, for which 50,000 bales of cotton is to be hypothecated as collateral security at twenty cents per pound, with the privilege of exportation. This would be a tempting offer if there were any chance to export the cotton. Such are some of the embarrassments and shifts under which the confederacy is kept along towards final exhaustion.–Springfield Republican.

•••••

Gen. Lee’s Bull.–In reporting an imagined victory of rebel Hampton over Kilpatrick, Gen. Lee says Hampton took K’s “guns, wagons, many horses, &c.,” but “the guns and wagons could not be brought off for want of horses!” Why didn’t he hitch on this bull;? Surely it was big enough.

•••••

[Miscellaneous.]

Parisian society has been saddened by the death of a young lady of rank and fashion. On a post mortem examination it was found that her decease was owing to tight lacing. Her stays had forced three of her ribs into her liver.

Hereafter all our national coins are to have the motto “In God we trust.”

While the Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers was stationed at Russellville, in Southwestern Kentucky, the inhabitants of the surrounding counties were frequently annoyed by the incursions of guerrilla bands from Tennessee. News coming in one morning that a band of these outlaws had plundered one of the neighboring villages, Lieutenant-Colonel P., our active and efficient commander, immediately dispatched a small detachment of the regiment, commanded by Major Q., in pursuit of them. ->

On arriving at the village of Middleton, it was discovered that we were too late to intercept the marauders, and the Major ordered the horses unsaddled and fed. Now, the Major’s hostler was a son of Emerald, entirely ignorant of every thing pertaining to the equestrian art, and, coming in from half an hour’s scout through the village in a state closely bordering on intoxication, he put the Major’s saddle on facing to the rear. When the horses were brought up for a fresh start, the Major, instantly discovering the mistake, demanded with a scowl why the saddle was put on in that manner. “An, sure,” said Pat, a little terrified, “an’ sure, Major, an’ I didn’t know which way you was going!” An explosion followed and Pat escaped without further rebuke.

•••••

Execution of a Rebel Spy and Incendiary.

Robert Cobb Kennedy, convicted as a rebel spy and as the incendiary who fired Barnum’s Museum in November last, was hanged at Fort Lafayette Saturday afternoon, in presence of about one hundred spectators, besides the garrison of the fort ad the bounty jumpers. Chaplain Burke of Fort Hamilton, since Kennedy’s condemnation, has been assiduous in trying to bring the unfortunate man’s mind to a sense of his unhappy situation, but without the smallest hope of success. He seems to have been utterly destitute of all religious feeling. Indeed, he declared himself an atheist–that he had no belief in a future state, scoffed at every idea of religious duties and derided the efforts of the the reverend gentleman who attended him, saying he had no objection to the person talking, for it did him (the clergyman) good and did not hurt anybody. This spirit of impiety he demonstrated to the last. While being prepared for execution, he behaved himself in a very unseemly manner, swearing against the Yankees and declaring that his execution was a cowardly murder. About five minutes to one o’clock, he was taken to the gallows, accompanied by the rebel Gen. Beale and others. The first act under the gallows was the reading of the finding s and sentence of the court martial which convicted Kennedy, with the order of Gen. Dix confirming the sentence. During this ceremony, the prisoner preserved his composure, occasionally smiling or breaking out into such expressions as these: “A d----d lie!” (referring to the charge of being a spy); “That isn’t a crime, is it?” (referring to the charge of being in the rebel army). The reading of the death sentence having been concluded, Kennedy said in a loud voice: “Gentlemen, this is murder!”

While the service for the condemned was read, and during the prayer, Kennedy said nothing, and, having been bidden farewell by Chaplain Burke, he called for a drink before he died, declaring his execution a judicial, brutal, cowardly murder, and thereafter broke out with an Irish song, a verse of which he had hardly finished when the signal was given and he was suspended in air. He died instantly. It is stated that his gait and manner of speech prior to his execution indicated that he was laboring under over-indulgence in stimulants. Kennedy was a Georgian by birth, and was a West Pointer, and always known as a wild, reckless fellow.

 

SATURDAY
APRIL 1, 1865

THE COLUMBIAN WEEKLY REGISTER (CT)

A Queer Exposition.

The Utica Herald (Republican) makes a revelation of the Legislative expenses of the nation, as follows:

“The correspondence of the Senate must be very large, to use one-half more stationery than the House, with almost four times as many members. Sherry cobblers must have abounded in it in the days of the Summer session, to have used more ice than the House did. It is generous to pay their Secretary a half a million dollars more than the clerks of the House receive for their services. If the other employees of the Senate are paid with proportional liberality, it was miserable grudging to refuse to pay those of the House the advance which was asked in their behalf. Each Senator receives about sixteen times as many Globes as members of the House do. They estimate–or most of the do– their mileage by the same liberal scale. Sherman, the economist, takes ninety dollars more mileage than the member of the House from the same district, who lives in the same town. Jim Lane asks $2160 for coming the same distance that his Representative does for $1273.60. It costs Grimes $6115.84 to come from Iowa; Harlan comes farther for $1600.40. Doolittle asks $500 more than Harlan, who travels across the whole State of Wisconsin farther than Doolittle. It is a curious arithmetic which these Senators have. By it they do not cipher out the same results for the expenses of the House that they do for those of the Senate. It needs revision very much.”

•••••

Rich men can afford to live in a corrupt state, poor men cannot.”

The Providence Post, commenting on the world of political truth contained in the above remark, says:

“What are the inevitable steps which follow a general corruption of the electors of a State? First, wealth alone is found to be the qualification for office; then as the legislature will be composed of the wealthy, the legislation will be class legislation, tending ever and ever more directly to relieve from the burdens of taxation the few, and place them upon the many. But if further ends are looked for or desired, then, as in the case of the rotten boroughs in England, the few nominate their men, and buy them in. The people lose all their interest in public affairs, and look to the day of election only to see how much money their vote will bring. From this point, the arrogance of the wealthy, the degradation of the bought, and the corruption of both, is entire, unblushing and fatal to every interest of the people, every principle of liberty. Then, after a sufficient time, comes the reaction, the revolution, the destruction of property, the insecurity of life, and the utter ruin of the dominant class, until time shall again have brought it to the surface, again to intrigue, to debauch the people, again to succeed, and again to be destroyed.”

To the laboring classes, the above should be as words of wisdom deeply to be pondered. In all national convulsions, it is labor that suffers–poverty that is the hardest taxed–and compulsory industry that is the poorest paid. And when we see a mechanic, especially one whose hands furnish all that he carries to the support of his family, voting to sustain a party whose policy is bringing his nose closer to the grind-stone, and cheering at the success of men at the polls whose burdens are placed on his shoulders, we feel an extreme of pity for his delusion! The poor never thrive under heavy taxation and an expansive government; nor do their liberties find protection among men who amass large fortunes from public calamities.

The Confederate Steamer Owl.

New York, March 27.–Steamer Havana, from Havana, 22d, has arrived.

The pirate steamer Owl, which cleared for Matamoras, sailed on the 21st, preceded by half an hour by the gunboat Cherokee, and followed by a Spanish man-of-war. Before coming to Havana from Nassau, the Owl landed at Little River, North Carolina, an Irish member of the British Parliament.

The rebel Gen. Preston was brought to Havana by the Owl, and is said to have been sent to circulate a report that Maximilian is to recognize the Confederacy, open Tampico as a port to adjudicate maritime captures, and a grand simultaneous sortie by a swarm of pirates is to be made, etc.

The Owl is known to have cannon and ammunition in her hold, and will probably fit out as a pirate.

•••••

The Louisville Journal of Friday says:

Uncle Sam is a pretty hard old customer  to deal with. For instance, if he wants your horses, he will send one of his officers to take them from your stable summarily and unceremoniously, fixing his own price on them without consulting you. Then you must follow the impressing officer to his headquarters, generally somewhere in the street, and get his certificate that your horses have been taken. Then you must go with the certificate to the quartermaster and procure the prescribed vouchers from him. Then you must go to the Provost Marshal and take a stringent oath of loyalty and bring two witnesses to swear that you have always been loyal in word and deed, and are and have been a citizen of the place, and then you must sign three copies of their sworn testimony as to your loyalty and citizenship. Then you must go to the clerk of the County Court and obtain his signature and half a dozen stamps to the triple certificate of citizenship you present him. Then you must take the documents back to the provost Marshal’s office to get a final certificate from one of the functionaries there, and everything put in proper shape. Then you must go to the Quartermaster General, and if he happens to be in funds, you will, after signing a double receipt, get your money. And at most of the points named, a fee is due from you.

There’s no sort of difficulty or delay in the taking of your property, but a great deal of both in getting pay for it. But probably it is all right.

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