SEPTEMBER 29, 1861



The leading journals of the entire south are all denouncing the shin-plaster abomination, and the wholesale robbery of the poor which underlies it, in language still less considerate for the wrong-doers than we have thought proper to employ. Conspicuous among our contemporaries in the good and wholesale work is our contemporary, the Richmond Dispatch, from whose columns we have already taken several pungent extracts upon the subject. In a late number of that journal, its editor thus discourses of the nuisance swindle:

“The seven plagues of Egypt are upon us. Locusts and lice, frogs and grasshoppers—all conceivable pests and reptiles—are infesting our houses and persons, at one and the same time, in the form of the vile shin-plasters, which every gutter and sink in the city is spewing forth. In an evil hour the rump convention of Virginia allowed the banks to pay and receive small notes. In an hour, still more evil, the corporation of Richmond set the example of violating the law, by putting out contraband notes of petty denominations. Naturally enough, individuals soon imitated the illicit conduct of the city, and put out their own promises to pay small sums. A legion of small banks, having their offices in the cellars, garrets and back lanes of the city, have followed the example of the greater banks, and like the fish and flies, the frogs and spiders of the spring, are infesting society with a loathsome spawn of shin-plasters. Six months ago the currency was sound and healthy. One single act of the convention has changed all this, and the Yankees wounded at Manassas were not more full of maggots than the financial corpus politic is full of these loathsome shin-plasters. We are dying a living death. We are eaten by vermin, while yet the body politic retains its vitality in all but a single rotten part.

“Is there no remedy for an evil which, bad enough now, will increase and become more and more aggravated every additional day that it is tolerated? Is there no fidelity in the officers of government charged with the execution of the laws? A grand jury of the city of Richmond has just adjourned. That jury was solemnly sworn to make presentation of all infractions of the law. Every member of it knew of the gross infractions that are every day unblushingly perpetrated by the issuers of shin-plasters. That jury took an oath before heaven and earth that they would present all legal delinquencies and transgressions; and yet, that jury has adjourned, although the community bloats, gangrenes and rankles with shin-plasters. What must be the condition of public morals when such things as this can be said of the grand witenagemot,2 the mirror of the laws?

“There never was less excuse for the signing of shin-plasters than at present. There is plenty of silver and gold in the community for change. Even notes of less than five dollars ought never to have been allowed by the convention; much less ought notes to be tolerated sounding in the pitiful name of cents.

“And again?

“There is but one remedy for the intolerable evil and nuisance. The grand juries will not protect the people; for their oaths are as brittle as pie-crust. Legislatures and conventions will not protect the people; for it is from them that the example of transgressions is learned. The only remedy is with people themselves; their only protection is in their own hands.

“And yet once more?

“There is as much specie in the south, of the denominations required for change at this time, as there ever was in the most flourishing periods of peace. But we consented to receive shin-plasters, and it has gone away as mysteriously as the sora bird after the sharp frost of October. We ourselves have banished it by consenting to receive in its stead the vilest and most disgraceful currency that ever a community consented to tolerate.

“What is to be the end of this thing? By-and-by we shall hear of this and that shin-plaster manufactory being compelled to “yield to the pressure of the times.” Explosion after explosion will follow in quick and mysterious succession like the guns of those “masked batteries” which terrify the Yankees. Te community will suddenly awaken to the fact that half the dirty paper they hold as money is worthless. They will abruptly lose faith in good money and bad alike; and, whereas, yesterday a million of shin-plaster dollars were current in everybody’s hands as so much money, to-day it will be rejected by everybody as so much waste and worthless paper. Is there not wisdom, virtue and resolution enough in the community to rid itself of this nuisance and abomination?”

Our Richmond brother hits the nail of shin-plaster rascality trenchant blows directly on the head; but he has to deal with an emergency in some respects more favorable to the development of the hideous nuisance he labors to abate than any which existed here when the banks, with audacious defiance of honesty and disregard of every dictate of integrity, procured the issuance of an executive invitation to them to defraud the public and give a finishing touch to the embarrassments which at this moment so fearfully envelope the community. The banks of this city, with a blind ignorance, lent themselves to the penetration of a fraud without parallel or precedent, and with a stupidity characteristic of criminality, have laid broad and inevitable the foundation of their own ruin, while idiotically imagining their bill-holders and depositors, and the public generally, would be the only sufferers from their unpardonable proceedings. They agreed to suspend specie payments that they might make fabulous profits from their exchange and specie funds, entirely regardless of the future, and that retribution which sooner or later never fails to overtake the evil-doer. Under the pretext of patriotism, too often the cloak of knavery, the banks announced their purpose to defraud those who had through deceitful reliance upon laws which seem to be interpreted as ignorance tutored by venality prescribes or prompts, put faith in them, and no sooner had this been done than they conspired to depreciate the Confederate paper by refusing to sell exchange or demanding for it an extravagant price.  They have now contrived, we are told, to have the governor illegally, if not treasonably, dispense them from weekly statements of their condition, so that they may the better dispose of the gold in their vaults and depress the value of government securities so as to obtain an enhanced price for it.

All this appears to them very adroit and very profitable; but the people may as well remember that the free banks can only retire their circulation by redemption in a legal manner, for they have pledged bonds for its redemption, and cannot obtain them unless on cancellation of the paper. The old banks are equally although less directly amenable to the public, and it requires no prophet in finance to see where in the end the whole combination will finally land.


The Richmond Dispatch states that the war has developed many resources of Virginia before comparatively unknown, but nothing more gratifying than the capacity of the states to produce hay for home consumption. Say that journal:

“Hitherto we have been almost entirely dependent upon the north, our people preferring to patronize the Yankee rather than looking to Virginia for an article so necessary for the raising of stock. We saw yesterday, at the hay depot of the quartermaster’s department, on the basin, a vast quantity of long forage well baled up, and more arriving by the boats. The mountain country penetrated by the Central and Danville railroads produces hay of good quality and in vast quantity. We predict that the north will be deprived of that profitable branch of its trade henceforth and forever.”

SEPTEMBER 30, 1861


Smelling Powder—It seems to be understood that general McClellan is pursuing the plan of meeting the rebels with small bodies of troops in frequent reconnoissances and foraging expeditions, for the sake of getting his men accustomed to being under fire. They are taking their turns in being shot at, as a part of their elementary discipline. “All the drilling in the world will not make them soldiers without the frequent ‘smell of powder,’ and this they are now enjoying [it] every few days.”

Surgeons for the Army—In Ohio a board of examiners has been appointed to ascertain the fitness of applicants for the grades of regimental surgeons and assistant surgeons. By a State regulation it is provided that no person shall be examined by this board for assistant-surgeon who has not practiced medicine five years; and to come before this board for surgeon the candidate must have practiced ten years.

It is well suggested by the New York Evening Post, that this absurd regulation seems to be especially intended to secure the appointment only of doctors, who after five or ten years’ effort have not been able by their own merit to establish themselves in good practice.


The privateer business seems to have got a death-blow by the taking of Hatteras. It is rare now to hear anything of it.

A movement is on foot in Cincinnati for the formation of an independent Union Home Guard solely for the defence of the city. It is to be composed of such citizens as do not already belong to some of the Union military organizations, and it is to  be armed in such a manner as best suits the means of the individual members.

The population of Portsmouth, N. H., is 9344. This is about 350 less than the population in 1850. There was at that time a flourishing population equal to the deficit, consequent upon railroad business, employees in the ship-yards, etc., which were not here in 1860. If the census were not taken, it would not fall much short of 10,000.

The Buffalo Courier relates that among the subscribers to the national Loan, in that city, was a woman, a Swede  by birth, who peddles stockings in the streets. Her husband had withdrawn $1000 from a Savings Bank, and invested it for his own benefit and that of our beloved Uncle Samuel. Not to be outdone in patriotism, the good woman counted out $1000 of her own honest earnings, and ordered it transmitted to the Government Treasury. The men who figure in the newspapers as politicians and military officers, have no monopoly of patriotism. The patient, unobtrusive delvers in the common walks of life, find ways to contribute to the aid of the Government in suppressing this wicked rebellion.

The Charleston Mercury says that, among the numerous manufactures which are springing into existence to supply the different wants of the Southern Confederacy, is a type and stereotype foundry, which is now nearly ready to commence operations.

Quartermaster-General Meigs is admirably managing the thieves and plunder-mongers who infest Washington. They find it impossible to move him. Not even the written request of a Cabinet member will move him a hair in the matter of a contract.


Quartermaster’s Office U.S. Marine Corps
Washington, September 25, 1861

Sealed proposals will be received at this office, until the 30th day of October next, as 12 o’clock M.,3 for furnishing rations to the U.S. Marines, at the following stations, during the year 1862, viz,

     Portsmouth, New Hampshire;

     Charlestown, Massachusetts;

     Brooklyn, Long Island, New York;

     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

     Washington, District of Columbia.

Each ration to consist of three-quarters of a pound of mess port or bacon; or one and a fourth pounds of fresh or salt beef; twenty-two ounces of bread, made of extra superfine flour, or in lieu thereof twenty-ounces of extra superfine flour; or one pound of hard bread, at the option of the Government; and at the rate of eight quarts of best white beans, or in lieu thereof ten pounds of  rice; ten pounds of good coffee, or in lieu thereof one and a half pounds of tea; fifteen pounds of good New Orleans sugar; four quarts of vinegar; one pound of sperm candles, or one and a fourth pounds of adamantine candles or one and a half pounds good hard dipped tallow candles; four pounds good, hard, brown soap; two quarts of salt; and one hundred and fifty-six pounds of potatoes, to each hundred rations.

The increased allowance of four ounces of flour or bread, and the allowance of potatoes, as above provided, will cease, at the termination of the present insurrection, and the rations be as provided by law and regulations, on the 1st of July, 1861.

The beef shall be delivered on the order of the commanding officer of each station, either in bulk or by the single ration; and shall consist of the best and most choice pieces of the carcass, the pork to be No. 1 prime mess pork; and the groceries to be of the best quality of kinds named.

All subject to inspection.

All bids must be accompanied by the following guarantee:

Form of Guarantee

The undersigned _____, of _____, in the State of _____, and _____, of _____, in the State of _____, hereby guaranty that in case the foregoing bid of _____ for rations, as above described, be accepted, he or they will, within ten days after the receipt of the contract at the Post Office named, execute the contract for the same, with good and sufficient sureties, and in case said _____ shall fail to enter into contract as aforesaid, we guaranty to make good the difference between the offer of the said _____ and that which may be accepted.

A.  B., Guarantor
C.  D., Guarantor

E. F.

I hereby certify that the above named _____ are known to me as men of property and able to make good their guarantee.

(To be signed by the United States District Judge, United States District Attorney or Collector.)

No proposal will be considered unless accompanied by the above guarantee.

(Newspapers authorized to publish the above will send the paper containing the  first insertion to this office for examination.)

Proposals to be endorsed “Proposals for Rations for 1862,” and addressed to the undersigned.

W. B. Black
Major and Quartermaster

1, 1861

(Correspondence of the N. Y. Tribune)

Washington, Sept. 25, 1861—I have just learned the particulars of two interviews which took place on Sunday last between some members of Col. Hayes’ 8th Pennsylvania Regiment and the Virginia 43d (rebel) stationed on opposite banks of the Potomac at Great Falls. The river here is not more than a hundred yards wide, and the pickets on both sides have occasionally hailed each other. On Sunday the rebels invited some of our men across, stating that if they would leave their arms behind them, they would receive hospitable treatment and be allowed to return.

One of the Pennsylvania boys stripped, plunged in, and swam over. He was helped up the rocks by a Virginia captain, who gave him his overcoat to wear, and proposed that he should take a drink of whisky. “If I drink,” Said the soldier, “it must be to Our Country!” “Very good,” said the rebel officer, “I will join you: Here’s to our country!” And the men on both sides of the river joined in a hearty cheer. The man remained an hour or two, and then swam back, a little nebulous from the many healths he had been obliged to drink.

In the afternoon several of the rebels returned the visit. They were courteously entertained, and exchanged buttons with our men, as souvenirs of the interview. “We don’t care anything about the war,” said they, “and don’t want to fight, but we can’t help it. You Pennsylvanians are like friends and brothers, and we wish we had those d----d South Carolinians against us instead of you.” One of the Virginia officers took off his gold sleeve buttons, having no other disposable gift at hand, and received a quarter-eagle in return. “Good Lord!” said he, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a piece of money.” They were all anxious to know the popular sentiment of Pennsylvania and the other Border States in relation to the war, and seemed a good deal depressed at learning the truth. They appeared to be tolerably well clothed and fed, and did not complain of their condition.

Two of the soldiers exchanged letters from their sweethearts. Various exchanges of newspapers, etc., were also made, and in the act our men received a letter from a sister of one of the rebels, without the owner’s knowledge. I had an opportunity of reading the letter this morning, and give you an interesting extract therefrom: “Take care of your clothes [the writer says], for I don’t believe there is a yard of stuff for shirts or clothing in the whole county. There is not, in the whole county, a pound of coffee, or a pound of sugar. Mrs. --- uses honey in her teas. Send some of your money home when you get it.”

It appears from other parts of the letter, that the country has been entirely stripped of cloth, shoes, coffee and sugar, in order that the army may be supplied. With the present enormous prices of all those articles in the South, it is difficult to see how these supplies can be kept up much longer.


Philadelphia North American--In a secluded spot in the Twenty-third ward, within range of the whirl of cotton machinery, is an acre of cotton, large, luxuriant, and well matured for the season. It was planted as an experiment. Were the season about thirty days longer, it would be an entire success. We have examined the field, and with great interest. The pant per se is very beautiful. Its blossoms closely resemble that of the althea. The first day they are snow white, the second a pale Solferino. Upon a single plant we counted forty boils or pods in which the cotton is contained. We have often seen it growing in single plants, but an acre of cotton in these parts is a rare sight. Should it mature, the planter will spin it for the uses of his family. Some of the individual plants in this little field are equal in dimensions to any ever grown in Georgia.


William O. Donohue, orderly sergeant of Thomas Francis Meagher’s Company in the 69th, escaped from Richmond, and arrived at Washington Saturday night.

The reported seizure of Mississippi City by the blockading fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, is not believed in official quarters. The “reliable” gentleman from New Orleans is again mistaken, though such a rumor might have been current in the Crescent City. It would be manifestly premature to take the place in question, unless everything was in readiness to march either on Mobile or New Orleans, and that cannot be thought of until the confederate army West is defeated.

The news from Kentucky is not reassuring. Should a reverse attend our arms in Missouri the state is lost to us for the present. Kentucky has as true Union men as any in the country, but vast numbers of those who voted for the Union for peace sake are for the rebels if any fighting is to be done. There is to be a fearful struggle in this fine state, and the inhabitants will be much more evenly divided than the vote in the Legislature would seem to indicate. It has been proposed to make Mr. Holt a major-general and put him in charge of his native state; every confidence is felt in Gen. Anderson, but his health is such that he may at any moment be disabled.

There have been no naval expeditions sent from Fortress Monroe as yet, but will sail soon.

Munson’s Hill will hereafter be the expression and measure of military false pretension. There are no entrenchments there; there have been no cannon there. In the terrible batteries behind the hill there is but a derisive log, painted black, frowning upon the Federal army.

The better opinion among the Regular officers is, that the retreat of the Rebel forces has at last commenced; that the movement southward of the army of the Potomac, long foreseen to be a military necessity, was precipitated Saturday morning. Our lines are now four miles ahead of Saturday’s positions.

An officer, who witnessed the disaster on Sunday morning, states that Barr’s battery was immediately in the rear of Watts’ battery when the first firing commenced, the balls coming from the declivity of a hill with dense woods on each side of the road. They failed of their purpose, and as a consequence these batteries escaped injury. About half an hour afterwards, another panic happening, Barr’s battery were ordered to fire on their rear. They had already loaded their pieces, but being aware that their friends were in that position, refused to fire. Had they thoughtlessly obeyed the orders the havoc would have been frightful. There is still a mystery concerning the first firing on the advancing column, many believing it came from a body of cavalry.


The Philadelphia Press states that the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company have made the following proposition to their employés, which is being generally acted  upon: It is, that each person in the employ of the company contribute one day’s pay in every month to a common fund, to be loaned to the government of the United States by the purchase of the national 7 3-10 per cent. loan at par, with the understanding that the interest of the loan be again invested for the benefit of the holders, until peace is re-established, when the whole sum, principal and interest, is to be divided among the holders, in exact proportion to the sum originally contributed by each. The number of men employed by this company is sufficiently large to make the aggregate amount of their contributions per annum more than $100,000.

2, 1861


Hillyer’s American Railroad Magazine, a New York monthly, thus sums up some of the smaller inventions which the war has brought out. We omit the steam guns, batteries, rifled cannon, howitzers, breach-loading cannon, and larger war material to which it devotes part of an article:

A Massachusetts inventor has offered to the Government a shell which he represents to be worse, or better, than any infernal machine. A New York inventor presents a grenade intended to protect merchant ships from being boarded by privateers. It varies in weight from one to six pounds, and is to be thrown by hand. Two or three exploded in a boat approaching a vessel will blow her to pieces. Another proposes to encase cannon balls in a thick jacket of India rubber to render them fit for use in rifled cannon, while another suggests covering of our forts with thick platea of the same material. Thus while one mind is bent on destroying, another is anxious to save. A patent has been taken out for cleaning musket barrels, by attaching a piece of gum hose to the nipple, on which it is secured by a metal sleeve fastened to the end of the hose. The hammer being let down, holds the apparatus fast. The other end of the hose being inserted in a basin of water, the ramrod is wrapped with a rag and used as a piston in the barrel. This simple contrivance makes a musket barrel perfectly clean in a few minutes without smearing the gun. A single hose will serve the purposes of a whole company. The railroad battery, built at Philadelphia, is another remarkable invention of the day. But perhaps the application of the telegraph to a stationery balloon, raised within sight of an enemy, overlooking all his movements, and faithfully reporting them to the commander on the field, may be regarded as the crowning triumph of this military era. The balloon has long been in use to note the movement of an army. Napoleon had them constantly at work at Magenta and Solferino; but it was reserved for American genius to suggest and apply the telegraph. This application makes the balloon a new power on the battlefield, and gives to ballooning the only real practical value it ever possessed. The discovery will create a profound sensation in the military and scientific circles of Europe; and as it has been proved to be a perfect success, a corps of telegraphic cloud scrapers will henceforth be as indispensable to an army as a park of artillery.

But invention has not been devoted entirely to the construction of engines for destroying life. Mr. E. H. Hill of Massachusetts is patenting a camp cooking apparatus, which, wherever introduced, must banish the numerous complaints made by the army of being compelled to eat raw food. It moves on four wheels, has a large furnace which heats ovens and boilers, contains a table and kneading trough, and is so light an affair that two men can easily draw it. It will do the cooking for a whole regiment. Dr. Derrom of New Jersey is patenting a camp hut, made of thin pine boards, formed into panels, and fitting together by dovetail joints. It is intended

more for permanent than for flying camps. For the sick it must be superior to the common tent, which is intensely hot, and a poor protection against cold and dampness. It is in fact a portable house, applicable to many temporary uses. Another Jerseyman has invented a portable tent designed for a single soldier, which weighs only three pounds, can be carried in his knapsack, and put up on the field in two minutes, where it will keep dry in a rain. Other tents have been patented, adopted largely in the army, where they greatly improve the health and comfort of the troops. Some of these inventions will make immense fortunes out of the demand for tents created by the war. A humbler, but equally valuable device has been presented by a Bostonian, being a flexible drinking tube, with a mouth-piece at one end and a filter at the other, by means of which the soldier may drink conveniently and safely from any shallow stream or spring, without turning heels uppermost.4 The tube folds up and fills but a small space in the pocket.

Canadian Impudence—A gentleman who passed through Upper and Lower Canada, last week, informs us that both newspapers and people, in both sections, are generally exultant at our difficulties with the Southern States. They make themselves facetious over our reverses, and say they expect eventually to have to take New England, and, perhaps, the northern sections of the Middle States, under the patronage of Queen Victoria! It is anything but pleasant, our informant says, for a New England man to travel in the Canadas just now and stand all that badgering. It was manifested particularly at Clifton House, on the Canada side of Niagara Falls. This place has been largely patronized the past summer by Southerners, who have not shown their heads at any of the hotels on the American side. Even the free Negro hackmen on the Canada side impudently ask New Englanders if they wouldn’t like to ride to Bull Run? Last week these impudent Canadians were chuckling excessively over the reported capture of the gallant Mulligan, at Lexington, Missouri.

The Potomac Safe—The N. Y. Tribune of Monday says that “every week or so, the loyal States are alarmed by an outcry that ‘the navigation of the Potomac is closed.’ “ It thinks there is no danger of it. We think so, also. But the same report, as before, will probably be telegraphed here again, next Saturday, to make the Tribune and other New York sensation newspapers sell well on Sunday.

A Timely Hint—Any of our friends visiting Boston can find the Old State House easy enough, and at No. 1 they will find the well known merchant tailoring establishment of Chas. A. Smith, which offers such inducements this season in the way of elegant goods and low prices that any man who wants a good article of clothing can’t help availing himself of them.

OCTOBER 3, 1861


Pennsylvania Soldiers to Vote in Camp

A number of politicians are electioneering among the Pennsylvania troops relative to the State election, which takes place next Tuesday, when the troops will vote in their respective camps, Captains and Lieutenants acting as judges of election, the returns being as valid as if  voted in the precincts at home. The presence of active politicians in camps is considered by disciplinarians as not enhancing the morale of the army.

Navigation of the Potomac Undisturbed

A tug, which arrived this evening, reports 5 or 6 vessels of the Potomac flotilla lying near the Maryland shore within view of the rebel battery at Freestone Point. The remainder of the flotilla is off Aquia Creek, where the pirate George Page has recently made repeated unsuccessful attempts to emerge. Numerous small craft, laden with supplies, have passed by the tug bound to Washington. There has been no firing by the rebels since Thursday, nor can any signs of life be seen at Freestone Point. The Potomac is certainly not now closed by the enemy, and our merchants are daily receiving goods by way of the river.

From Cairo and Vicinity

Cairo, Ill., Oct. 2—The gunboat Conestoga went down the river last night within 3 miles of Columbus. She chased the rebel gunboat Jeff Davis, obliging her to take shelter under cover of the rebel batteries on shore. It was ascertained that the Jeff Davis had an armament of four 6-pounders. The Conestoga found rebel signal fires burning several miles this side of Columbus.

Charleston bridge has been repaired, and trains were running today. The woods back of Bird’s Point are said to be alive with rebels. Continued skirmishing by the pickets is reported.

The latest reports from the South say that a large portion of Gen. Pillow’s army have crossed the river at Belmont on the way to Cape Girardeau.

Col. Logan with 45 men went up the Mississippi on Monday to capture a company of rebels nears Charleston, Mo. Another party left Bird’s Point for the same purpose. The expeditions have not yet returned. Logan was reported at Charleston last night. He had seized a large quantity of corn belonging to the rebels.

Blankets Wanted

The New York Tribune prints the following notice, issued by the Quartermaster General:

“The troops in the field need Blankets. The supply in the country is exhausted. Men spring to arms faster than the mills can manufacture, and large quantities ordered from abroad have not yet arrived.

“To relieve pressing necessities, contributions are invited  from the surplus store of families.

“The regulation army Blanket weighs five pounds, but good, sound woollen Blankets weighing not less than four pounds, will be gladly received at the offices of the United States Quartermasters in the principal town sof the loyal States, and applied to the use of the troops.

“To such as have Blankets which they can spare, but cannot afford to give, the full market value of suitable Blankets, delivered as above, will be paid.”

M. C. Meigs,
Quartermaster-General United States

New York, Oct. 1, 1861.

Not Ready to Arm Against Invasion—The New Orleans Crescent is apprehensive that a visit from federal troops will find that city unprepared. It says:

“In our humble opinion the time has come when every resident of this city should come forward and give evidence that he is willing to take up arms in its defence. The day is past when excuses of business, dislike to empty show and Sunday soldiering, should be held as valid. Those who really intend standing up in the boat of need and not shirking their duty should show their hands. They should be preparing themselves by earnest training to do good service.”

It seems to us that in this appeal there is an implication that a considerable part of our citizens of New Orleans do not show that alacrity for the rebel service which the confederates wish.

Two Days Later


The iron-plated steamer Warrior made her first trip to sea on the 19th, proceeding from the Thames to Portsmouth. The trip is regarded as highly satisfactory.


A letter from Paris says several superior and subaltern officers of the French army have been offered great advantages if they will serve in the federal army. Some have been offered as much as 6000 francs for outfit and the pay of 20,000 francs guaranteed for several years to come. At first, it is said, the French Government did not appear inclined to refuse these officers the permission demanded, but on the 14th the Minister of War, by order of the Emperor, made known to applicants that he would not grant anyone permission to serve in the Federal army.


It is reported that a Spanish expedition against Mexico was being organized at Havana. Six thousand infantry will disembark in October at Vera Cruz, and thence march direct to Mexico [City]. Six screw frigates, two steamers and numerous transports are to be employed.


A student fired at the Queen in the public square at Athens, but missed his aim. The would-be assassin was arrested.


Musical Locomotive—The splendid locomotive “Dispatch” gaily decorated in patriotic colors, with the new and improved “Calliope” attachment, or steam musical engine, made a highly satisfactory trial trip upon the Brookline train of the Boston & Worcester Railroad yesterday afternoon. This locomotive will be used, together with another, next Tuesday in hauling the special train with Capt. Wilson’s regiment on its way to the seat of war. It plays “John Brown” admirably, and we wish the secessionists could see and hear this enormous monster, freighted with the brave 22d rushing across the country, screeching aloud at the top of its iron lungs the cheering words of that Hallelujah chorus. We think they would follow the example of the bull who tried to race with a locomotive and concluded to give it up and be run over.


The Cherokee Annuity Confiscated

St. Louis, Oct. 2—In consequence of the secession of the Cherokee nation and its alliance with the rebels, Col. McNeil, Assistant Provost Marshall, has issued a proclamation, notifying the ST. Louis Building and Savings Institution that the sum of $33,000, being part of the annuity paid the Cherokee by the Government of the United States, now on deposit in the State Institution, is, under the act of Congress, forfeited to the United States, and confiscated to their use and  benefit.

OCTOBER 4, 1861

Invitation to a “Brush” Refused
(Correspondence of the New York Tribune)

Fortress Monroe, Sept. 30—There are indications, all the more noticeable because not intended to be, that Flag Officer Goldsborough has the right sort of metal in him. Yesterday the Young America too the frigate Congress (50)5 in tow for Newport News. Everybody knows that in going from abreast the fortress to Newport News the rote lies angular from one to three miles, as the navigator wills it to be, from Sewall’s point, whereon the rebels have their much-talked-of battery, beside one or two others not laid down on the maps. It was observed that the route of the Congress  was considerably nearer than the accustomed path; indeed, somewhat out of the usual route, in order that it might be near enough for the rebels, without glasses, to count her port-holes and take notice that they were open and her decks cleared for action, should the rebels see fit to fire a single shot. In short, the Congress, in passing, tried to draw their fire, and was ready to reply in the most vigorous manner. At the same time, the steam of the Minnesota was up (indeed, it is seldom suffered to go entirely down), and the entire fleet in the Roads were ready to slip their cables on the first fire, while every deck was cleared for action, a fact which, however, was known to but a few only on shore. But the rebels suffered themselves to be rubbed against without so much as firing a single shot. Had they done so, it is probable that matters would stand a little different today on Sewall’s Point. The Congress anchored alongside the Cumberland, abreast of Newport News and in returning, the Young America ran saucily over to Pig Point and took a look at the rebel battery there, which, like that on Sewall’s Point, kept its silence.


The Richmond Dispatch of recent date, under the head of its correspondent from Lynchburg, contain s the following reference to the monetary currency of that once-flourishing city: “The amount of trash in the shape of currency thrown out on the public in this community is truly alarming. For some time past the notes of numberless defunct Southern Banks have been imposed on the ignorant and unsuspecting; but the latest abomination out is in the shape of individual notes of denominations of ten, twenty-five and fifty cents, which made their appearance in our city last Thursday.”


It is said that in a house on Munson’s Hill the three principal New York journals of Saturday morning were found on Sunday afternoon—hours before they had been read in any of our camps in Virginia. Of course they could have reached there only by being conveyed through our lines—so that with all the surveillance of the authorities, intelligence has gone to the rebels through our outposts.


Certain persons are endeavoring to revive in Paris the use of the funeral pyre and the preservation of the ashes of the dead in runs, instead of the system of inhumation.


The Cold Weather in the Camp—The Washington correspondent of the New York Evening Post says:

“The nights of late have been very cold for the season. On Saturday night there was a frost in the low grounds. Our troops generally suffered from the cold. It is found that the blankets are not thick enough, and new regiments now equipping should bear this in mind. A thick blanket and a very heavy woollen undershirt are necessary to the comfort of the soldier. Several of the regiments that came her thinly clothed have already made application to the War Department for the regulation outfit, and they will doubtless succeed, as the government desires to make the troops comfortable, and the pressure from the contractors for jobs is terrible. There are thousands of men in Washington today besieging the War and Navy Departments for contracts.”

No Electioneering in Camp—We hope that short work will be made of the electioneering agents who are said to be busy among the Pennsylvania troops. The rule adopted by the State of collecting the votes of soldiers absent on military service is a most pernicious one and should be discouraged, and as for those who undertake to introduce political discussion in the camp, they should be shown the outside of the lines before they have made any mischief, as they easily may do, among the soldiers.

Do Not Change Too Much—We should be sorry to believe the report which comes by telegraph, that in case Gen. Fremont is court-martialled or otherwise suspended from his command, Gen. Wool will be transferred from Fortress Monroe to the Western department. Aside from the fact that general Wool is very well placed now, we are unable to see the advantage of making changes in two departments when only one change is necessary. It would apparently be much better to leave General Wool where he is, in a post with which he is now thoroughly acquainted, than to have two of our departments at once half paralyzed by the lack of acquaintance on the part of the commander with the position of the affairs placed under his control.

It is of course no easy thing to arrange the succession of a vast military command like Fremont’s, and this in connection with the state to which affairs have been brought in the last few days, will probably cause some hesitation in making any change at all. If any is made, however, we question if the government could dobetter than to advance General Pope, who appears to have displayed great military activity and comprehensiveness of judgment, together with admirable  civil tact, and who is on the spot and acquainted with the ground.

Another Prize, New Bedford Mercury, Oct. 3—A letter received in this city yesterday from Henry J. Trapp, a seaman on board U.S. steamer Cambridge, dated off Beaufort, Sept. 22, says: “While I was at the mast head this morning, I discovered a sail on the starboard bow, and we made all sail to get her. After I came down, they could not see her for nearly an hour, and thought I was mistaken, but I told them I was sure I saw a sail. So one of our officers went up, and said I was right; and in half an hour more we had her and put a prize crew, a master’s mate and three men, on board of her. She proved to be the Julia of St. John, N. B., loaded with ammunition and medicines. We took the captain and 5 men on board the steamer, and sent the schooner to Boston.” Trapp, who has been a-whaling and was in the Ohio of this port on her last voyage, says further: “I don’t expect to go in any of the prizes, for they say my eyes are too good.”

OCTOBER 5, 1861


Emancipation by War

Those who hold that the present war should be avowedly one of emancipation are delighted to find that John Quincy Adams and other eminent men have claimed that in time of war such an act is within the limits of constitutional right. Well, suppose we assume that is so, and that events may yet justify the soldier’s sword in cutting the knot which the wisest and best of our statesmen have hitherto failed to untie. Admitting the possible right, is there no question as to what is the actual right at the present time? Have our good friends reflected that the masses in slaveholding communities, whether Unionists or secessionists, are well-meaning but mistaken people? There is no southern state or county so rotten at the heart that the majority are prepared to sustain what they clearly perceive to be wrong: They believe in slavery, and they know it is guaranteed to them by the constitution. The secessionists among them sincerely believe that the government at Washington designs to put down their pet institution, in defiance of enacted laws and constitutional pledges.

Now, to all these good but mistaken people the government holds a paternal relation. It should seek not to exasperate but to convince them. While making strenuous efforts to conquer rebellion, it should leave the door widely open for the rebels’ return to their allegiance. Thousands of those now in arms against us would not hold those arms another hour if they could be made to see how true the Lincoln administration has been and is tote strictest letter of the national compact. Words cannot make them see it, but actions can. Shall we throw hopeless dust in their eyes, by seizing upon their breach of contract while blinded with error, to justify a breach of ours with clear and open eyes? Shall we not rather show our misguided brothers that we will not rashly do what they have accused us of the deliberate design to do, even when circumstances give us the power and their own conduct brings it within the pale of right? Is it not policy and duty alike, to say: We will take no sweeping measures with regard to slavery, till the now silenced voice of loyal slaveholders has again a chance to be heard?

There is another view of the subject which we would do well to take. What is to become of the slaves, supposing they are freed? Would it promote the welfare of the now struggling border states, if they were filled with roving bands of ignorant, untrained, partially responsible blacks? Who is to feed and clothe them, and educate their sluggish powers, and employ their reluctant services, and fit them gradually for self-dependence? It is easy for the northern philanthropists to say, “Be ye warmed and filled,” but will he bear his portion of the burden? It is easy for citizens of Springfield, sitting in safe and prosperous homes, to  insist that national rashness should atone for national sin. But will they meet the results of such rashness? Will they each receive to the amenities of the fireside only one of these homeless, untrained, inefficient blacks? Will they take to their homes, not a well-taught servant, but a corrupted, brutalized laborer from the field? Somebody must take him, unless he remains where he is. Let us not “bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them upon other people’s shoulders.”



Washington, Tuesday, October 1—These are exciting days—the glorious first days of October—when we look for battles and the report of battles as regularly as we do the sun each morning over the eastern hill-tops. There is a sudden change from the quiet of the last two months, and the armies are in motion. But it is the fact that it is Johnston and not McClellan who began it. The Star of last evening stated the fact exactly, when it said:

“The truth is, for two days previous it had been evident that the considerable force that Beauregard had for weeks kept on his extreme front from opposite the Chain Bridge to Endsall’s Hill, below Alexandria, had retired at last out of sight from the Union army’s point of observation; leaving a very meager blind in the way of pickets. It therefore became necessary to determine how far back Beauregard’s main force had gone, and Gen. McClellan sent out a few brigades to that end. They found no enemy in their works at Upton’s, Munson’s, Mason’s or Edsall’s hills, their straggling pickets leaving there before our advance. This proved that the previous change of position on the part of the disunion army had been a general one, for some purpose which continues to be a matter of surmise on the part of the public.”

The Sunday Chronicle had to get off a gaseous blast Sunday morning because our troops were in possession of Munson’s Hill. It was the beginning of the end—it was already a victory! For one, “I can’t see it.” So far our troops deserve no credit for the advance. They advanced when Beauregard fell back, and in doing so fell afoul of each other, shooting nearly thirty men, and burned down quite a number of private dwellings. Do let us try—we newspaper men—to eschew the boyish propensity of bragging over nothing. It was just so before Bull Run. When our troops occupied Fairfax Court-House the papers were jubilant with joy. The Herald published five or six solid columns of telegraphic matter describing the triumphant occupation of the Court-House. Yet our troops were steadily marching on to the most singular defeat the world ever saw. For decency’s sake let us this time leave our crowing until after the battle is fought.

Although in no boastful mood, your correspondent feels quite confident of the future of the army of the Potomac. All is so far well. The blunders and the insubordination of the three mile advance are really not matters worth serious consideration. It is to be hoped that the fresh troops, the regiments which have lately come in, will not be ordered to take part in the coming battle unless the necessity is great. For it is not to be denied that the fresh troops, though excellent material for soldiers, are very raw and undisciplined. They need another month of active service and then they will surpass any troops in the field. They are made of the right stuff—sober, steady young men who are not overflowing with frothy enthusiasm, but who come here to fight, and they will fight when they are so drilled that they can go upon the field with a fair chance to distinguish themselves and inflict damage upon the enemy. I have just been out to see the 6th and 7th Connecticut regiments. It is singular that they do not yet obtain their rations. They have not yet tasted of soft bread, and get fresh meat but twice a week. They do not suffer, however, having plenty of meat, hard bread, and salt junk, and drill-exercise enough to give a dyspeptic an appetite.

1 Originally, a plaster or poultice placed over a sore shin--a form of early bandage. Used as a derisive name for worthless money--such as our Continental dollar during the Revolutionary War--meaning that it might as well be used as a plaster since the paper otherwise had no value. This currency also gave rise to the expression, "Not worth a Continental."

2 The Witenagemot (“meeting of wise men”) was a political institution in Anglo-Saxon England from about the 7th through the 11th century, comprised of the most important noblemen and clergy, assembled to advise the king. The word is pronounced wittenna-yemote.”

3 “12M” describes high noon, and stands for “12 meridiem”—neither the second before (which would be “ante meridiem” of “before noon”) nor the second after (which would be “post meridiem” or “after noon”)

4 “Without turning heels uppermost,” meaning face down dead.

5 A number following a warship’s name indicates the number of guns she carried.

  Having trouble with a word or phrase? Email the transcriptionist.