DECEMBER 8, 1861


Captain and Mail Agent of British Steamer Trent Enter Protest
Against the Seizure of Ministers Mason and Slidell.

Charleston, Nov. 1.--The Courier of this morning has Havana dates to the 24th to November, which state that the captain and mail agent of the British steamer Trent had entered their protest before the proper authorities at St. Thomas, and sent a special messenger on the steamer Laplatte to England to report the Mason and Slidell affair to the home government.

Adjourned for Ten Days.--The legislature has adjourned for ten days.  Here is twenty days of the sessions spent, and what is the practical result of the labor?  The first ten days were used up in the consideration of a question to adjourn to New Orleans, on the standing proposition from the council of that city, to give the assembly a room free of rent, as though the state were paying rent for the building erected here at an expense of over a million dollars to the people.  The new and simple minded members of the assembly have been, as before said, amused the past ten days with that kind of legislative logic, which has been so profusely and heretofore, to make them believe that the language of the constitution does not mean what it says, but something else, better suiting the purpose of a handful of gentlemen in New Orleans, who fancy that the state is in their custody, body and soul. Twenty days gone.  The daily expense of the two branches of the assembly may be sat down at $700, a low figure. Twenty days lost is only $14,000, which is a small matter in flush times.  Some of the members fought when they came back, that fifteen or twenty days would suffice to do all needful to be done, but this illusion was dispelled by the discovery of an ordinance of the convention fixing the limits of the session to sixty days, and because of this the legislature perforce must sit sixty days.  Profound logic!  Wise and patriotic legislation!  Verily, we might ask, if there be, in fact, the necessity of a convention to make another constitution, if for nothing more than to get rid of annual sessions of the legislature; what you see use of constitution's when opened, flagrant violations of it are proposed and consummated.  There must be a change from the internal evils, by which the forbearing citizens of Louisiana are now surrounded.  What will be the summing up of the twenty days' session?  Firstly, a proposition to return to New Orleans.  Secondly, the election of senators to the Confederate Congress, and thirdly, the election of a state printer.  The excuse for traveling committees is lame and impotent.  That on banks and banking institutions has all the information here, in reports of the board of currency, and a trip to the city to examine such things only fuddles the committee and makes dark to light within.--Gazette and Comet.

Reported Arrival of the Rebel Steamer Nashville.--Washington, Nov. 28, 1861.  There is a report here to-day that the rebel steamer Nashville has run the blockade off Charleston, and injured that port with a valuable cargo, consisting of woolens, arms, wires for telegraphic use, percussion, salt, &c., &c.  Well this report comes only through rebel channels, there is reason for believing it, as one of our consuls notified the government sometimes since that the Nashville was loaded in a certain foreign port, and was intending to run the blockade.

From the Cincinnati Commercial.--Our special telegraphic Washington correspondent says the secretary of war and secretary of the interior, who attended the complimentary dinner given to George D. Prentice by Colonel Forney, indulged in a discussion of the Negro question as involved in the war.  Secretary Cameron reiterated the views expressed in the late endorsement of John Cochrane's speech, and Secretary Smith took ground in opposition to the arming of Negroes, saying such was not the policy of the administration.  The people, would ever maybe their views to the merits of the case argued by the distinguished secretaries, will probably be agreed that proper occasion for members of the cabinet to discuss matters of public policy of the highest importance, would be found in cabinet council.  It is rather unseemly for secretaries to hold after dinner debates on the Negro question, to be reported by telegraph.  Besides, Mr. Cameron might as well be notified that his sudden conversion to radical views of war policy, and his readiness to deal in worthy demonstrations, will not cause the country to forget his part in the persecution of General Fremont, and that the sincerity of his fresh anti-slavery zeal will as likely not be questioned by the incredulous.

The country would be agreeably surprised if speech-making in Washington were left to the congressmen, who will soon appear with a full supply a war literature, adapted to all tastes.

Scene in a Pittsburg Theater.--A Federal Captain After a Secesh Lady.--the following account of a "scene" in a Pittsburgh theater is from the Dispatch of that city:

A disgraceful scene, not put down in the bills, was enacted at the theater on Monday evening.  It appears that Miss Maggie Mitchell has been charged with having, while at the south, exhibited some secession proclivity used, which we believed consistent in singing the Marseilles southern hymn, and a presenting or receiving a secession flag.  This, it appears, aroused the ire of an exceedingly patriotic lieutenant or captain, G.  L.  Braun, and he accordingly visited the theater on Monday evening, in company with some friends, and commenced his proceedings by grossly insulting the gentleman present, whom he alleged, was formerly a member of a southern theater.  He succeeded in disturbing the audience, frightening the female portion of it, and disconcerting the performers.  He was remonstrated with by the officers on his conduct, and finally ejected by them from the house and taken to the mayor's office.

How he was released we did not inquire, but in a few moments he returned to the theater, and was particularly noisy in asserting his determination to have an explanation, and attracted the attention of the audience by the singular exhibition of an American officer in uniform in governing to incite a riot in a place of public amusement.

When the curtain fell, the chivalric captain, or lieutenant, was boisterous and his calls for Miss Mitchell, who had linked appeared before the curtain, escorted by manager Henderson.  Our hero demanded an exclamation, whereupon the manager stated briefly that the lady was too much agitated to speak, but that he was authorized by her to state that she had never trampled upon the American flag.  This denial of the charge never publicly made against the lady, mollified Capt. or Lieut. Braun, and he testified his satisfaction in an emphatic manner.

DECEMBER 9, 1861


New York, Dec. 8.—Schooner Emeline, from Fort Royal, Martinique, Nov. 18, reports that she left the pirate Sumter, which would begin coaling on the 12th. She had taken two prizes, viz: the brig Daniel Trowbridge of New Haven, and brig Joseph Park of Boston. Capt. Lyon of the Daniel Trowbridge came passenger in the Emeline. The Daniel Trowbridge left New York Oct. 8, for Demarara, with a cargo of provisions, and was captured Oct. 27, in lat. 17.33, lon. 56 34. The captain and crew were taken on board the Sumter, with all the provisions she wanted, when the brig was set on fire and destroyed. The captain and crew were landed at Fort Royal Nov. 6.

The brig Joseph Park was from Pernambuco for New York, in ballast, and was captured Sept. 24, and set on fire. Captain Briggs and crew were landed at Fort Royal. The mate and crew of the Daniel Trowbridge will be sent home the first opportunity.

The Sumter was allowed to refit without objection.


The Journal undertakes to raise a false issue, by saying that the Mayor has only been "charged with humanity" and sending the stores from the Evans House to rebel prisoners at Fort Warren.  Humanity, however, has in our view nothing to do with the case.  We blame nobody for wishing to relieve actual necessities--although it would have been pleasant and Mayor not made his zeal so offensive that the United States were forced to warn him and his subordinates off premises.  We should have thought it highly praiseworthy had His Honor and his aldermen contributed from their Home Stores for any such necessary purpose, and we did at the time take pleasure in notifying our readers that the contributions from private sources could be left at the Mayor's office.

But the use of the Evans House stores is quite another matter.  Those supplies were contributed for a specific object, under circumstances which make the trust a sacred one.  The Mayor had no more right to divert them from their original object without the consent of the donors than the editors of this paper have.  If the industrious and patriotic ladies of Massachusetts had sent those articles in, not to submit them to Mr. Wightman's discretion for distribution, but to meet a particular one, in which many of the givers have the deepest and tenderest interest.  A gentleman said in our hearing three days ago, that he had caused articles to be sent in from his own family, because he had two sons in the army and knew not how soon they might need this very aid--he had undertaken to provide for their wants and not for those of the rebels.  But the breach of trust in this case is too plain to need much argument.  We will guarantee that Mr. Wightman show find within half a mile of the City Hall today if he chooses, cases where assistance is needed just as urgently as that Fort Warren, and assistance of the same sort.  But has he a right to rush to the Evans House and take thence the means of relieving this destitution?  Not at all, for this charity was not intended for that class of cases, and neither was it intended for the class to which he perverted it.

Mr. Wightman's friends may treat this as a small matter, but it does not seem thus to a large part of the contributors to the Evans House.  We happen to know that a very deep indignation is felt at what is deemed a gross betrayal of confidence, and that the determination has been expressed by not the few, to have the question settled, whether their gifts are placed at the disposal of Mr. Wightman or not, before going any farther.

Junketing.--The friends of Mr. Wightman do not pretend to deny the fact of the prodigal waste of the city's money in junketing by committees of the city government.  They confess that outrageous abuses is of this sort do exist.  But they undertake to defend the Mayor in one of four ways--

1.  They declare that all the figure is brought up as to this waste of money belonged to Mayor Lincoln's administration.  This is because there has been as yet no complete financial year under Mr. Wightman.  But it is notorious that as far as he is gone, the expenditure of money for purely convivial purposes has been greater than ever before.

2.  They assert that the Mayor has no control over expenses of this sort.  But the city ordinances require that every expenditure should pass before the Mayor and received his signature and approval in some form.  Even if he had no personal influence therefore, he has at least an official discretion which might prevail for the protection of the public funds.

3. The Post says that as to the reçherche entertainment at the Revere House on the Fourth of July, there was a public desire to have "more than usual display" on that day.  But in fact the city council had been forced to forgo the usual dinner by outside indignation at the use of public money at such a time; and after this decision the Mayor had no right to set up his private judgment against that of the representative body of the city government; besides which the "collation" at the Revere House was no "display," but the private feast in a select number of bacchanalians.

4. Mr. Wightman's friends are pleased to pronounce the charges against him in this respect to be "mean an unscrupulous." That it is never "mean" to expose the mean arts by which an unscrupulous official ingratiate himself with the view of reelection.

How it is to be Done.--As a sample of the influences brought to bear in Mr. Wightman's behalf, we give the following extract from a handbill which was distributed by his friends yesterday in the bar-rooms and oysters saloons:--

"The contest is not a political one.  It is simply a trial of strength between Liberal Men of Boston who are in favor of good sound laws carefully executed, and the illiberal portion of our citizens, who regard men with liberal ideas as unfit for any office, and disqualified almost for any social position.  They are men who aspire to high places that they may carry out their impracticable theories and reduce Boston to the level of Connecticut Blue-Law village.  They see vice and corruption where others see only recreation and harmless amusement, and they deny to their fellow men that liberty of private judgment which in this country is their birthright."

"Recreation and harmless amusement" probably refer to the purchase of the yacht Una and expense of $2500, for that purpose and no other--and to drunken feasts at the city institutions and in Mount Hope Cemetery.


DECEMBER 10, 1861


We are interested to see that the Lynchburg (Virginia) Republican answers with some precision that question when the South can make peace.  It cannot do so now--on that point the Lynchburg paper is clear--and for a good reason.  The South has drawn its shoes, its hats, clothes, furniture, powder, firearms, ice, and even its small supply of soap from the North; its commercial operations have been carried on here, and in short says the Virginia writer, "the Yankees have been our factors and bankers in all things." This must be set right before peace can be declared. "Were peace declared tomorrow, our merchants would go North the next day for new purchases of goods!  This is so, and cannot be denied, and they would go because they cannot replenish their shelves from any other quarter at this time." And therefore the war must continue until the South can manufacture for itself.  Another object is to be gained too.  The North and foreign powers must be convinced of their dependence on southern staples for national well-being, and the channels of trade must be changed.

These objects, the Lynchburg paper accurately estimates, " will be accomplished in less than twelve months from this time." In twelve months the South will be able to manufacture, and Europe will have found out that it is dependent upon southern cotton.  The Virginia writer certainly reckons without his host in these matters.  National manufactures are not to be forced into existence in one or two years of war, nor does it now appear as though the conviction of dependence on the South would ever be forced upon Europe.  We may take suggestion, however, as a tolerably strong indication that the Lynchburg paper does not like to depress the courage of its readers by holding out the prospect of a very long struggle.


According to the Edinburgh Scotsman, the English government has been misled into deciding the Mason and Slidell case, under an entire mistake as to the circumstances and before it could have been known that the case had actually occurred.

It is well known that in England it was commonly supposed that the errand of the James Adger was to intercept the West India mail packet year the British coast and to seize the rebel envoys.  The Edinburgh Paper says that this report led to communications between the British government and Mr. Adams, in which the latter disclaimed all knowledge of any such intention on the part of the commander of the steamer.  But, and here comes the remarkable part of the story, in the words of the Scotsman--

"At the same time it was ascertained to be the opinion of the law officers of the Crown that, according to the interpretation of the law, as laid down in former decisions, the relations of Britain to the American belligerents are perhaps such that there might have been fair legal grounds for the American cruiser seizing the mail steamer as a prize, even in British authors, if it could have been shown that she knowingly harbored the persons and property of the enemies of the United States, in the shape of the delegates and their dispatches."

This story strikes the mind and wants as being somewhat apocryphal, and it is not helped out at all by the fact that it comes to us, not on the authority of any London journal, but from the other end of the kingdom.  At the same time it must be observed that the common belief, to which we have referred, as to the business on which the Adger came, renders it not improbable that the attention of the crown officers may thus have been called to this point, in advance of all news of the exploit actually performed by Captain Wilkes.


Frederick, Md., Dec. 9.-- Col. Leonard of the 13th Massachusetts Regiment arrived here this afternoon from Williamsport, with important advices from the upper Potomac.  On Saturday afternoon the rebel force, consisting of a battery of 6 pieces and about 400 infantry and 200 cavalry, made their appearance at Dam No. 5, on the Virginia side, and commenced throwing shot and shell at the dam and houses on the Maryland shore, burning a barn and riddling all the houses within range, continuing the fire until dusk.  The only union forces here to oppose the enemy or a company of the 13th Massachusetts regiment on picket duty, and an unarmed Illinois regiment.  As the Massachusetts Company were armed with smooth bore muskets their fire was not effective at that distance.  Early on Sunday morning the rebels resumed the fire with artillery and small arms, and emboldened by the slight resistance met with on Saturday came down to the very brink of the river and exposed themselves without fear.  During the night Col. Leonard dispatched a canal boat from Williamsport, with another company of his regiment, armed with Enfield rifles, who were concealed as skirmishers along the Maryland Shore.  On the renewal of the attack the riflemen opened fire from their concealment, and in a short time the rebel artillery were compelled to abandoned their battery in hot haste, their infantry and cavalry leaving the ground about the same time.  The rebel loss is believed to be about 15 or 20 killed and many wounded.  For the want of a sufficient infantry force and a battery to protect our movements, Col. Leonard was compelled to let the rebel guns remain in position, and after nightfall the rebels returned and took them off.

The rebel battery consisted of 3 Parrott 10-pounders, one 12-pounder carrying the Sawyer shell, and two smoothbore 6-pounders.  Some of their infantry were armed with the improved long-range rifles.  This force came from Bath.  The cavalry and infantry came by the country roads, that the battery came by railroad from Martinsburg.  They are probably en route to Winchester and Harper's Ferry, and stopped at that point to destroy the dam and thus impede canal transportation.

This morning the rebels were in considerable force and kept up a scattering fire upon our men whenever visible.  One Union soldier was struck twice and severely wounded, that this was the only casualty of our side during the whole affair.

At 10 o'clock last night a portion of the 1st brigade here was put in readiness to start to Williamsport, but at a later hour the quarter was countermanded.

This noon eight battery of Parrott guns was forwarded to Harper's Ferry by train, to be in readiness should the rebels again wish to test their skill and projectiles.


DECEMBER 11, 1861


The duties of the navy during the past summer than threefold; to guard the insurgent ports and a coastline of nearly three thousand miles; to protect our maritime commerce and cruise in pursuit of a piratical vessels sent out by the confederates; and to take part in combined naval and military expedition against North and South Carolina, and the ports of the infected districts.  The report of the Secretary of the Navy gives detailed information of the manner in which these arduous duties that have been performed.

Vessels have been sunk in Ocracoke Inlet, on the North Carolina Coast, and others are about to be sunk in the harbor's of Charleston and Savannah.

One hundred and fifty-three vessels, of various sizes, had been captured since the institution of the blockade, most of them in attempting to run the blockade.

The naval expeditions were, it seems, planned after receiving the reports of a board of officers, who deliberated on the best points to be attacked and seized.  This board consisted of Captains J.  F. .Dupont and Charles H. Davis of the navy, Major John G. Barnard of the army, and Professor Alexander Bache of the coast survey.

The Secretary reports that Flag Officer A.  H. Foote, of the navy, has organized an efficient naval force and the Mississippi, auxiliary to the army.

If of private years, the report states that "such of these cruisers as eluded the blockade and capture were soon wrecked, beached or sunk, with the exception of one, the steamer Sumter, which, by some fatality, was permitted to pass the Brooklyn, then blockading one of the passes of the Mississippi, and after a brief and feeble chase by the latter, was allowed to proceed on her piratical voyage.  An investigation of this whole occurrence has been ordered by the department."

The Secretary fully sustains the act of Capt. Wilkes in capturing Mason and Slidell.  He says admirably:

"The prompt and decisive action of Capt and Wilkes on this occasion merited and received the emphatic approval of the department, and if a too generous forbearance was exhibited by him in not capturing the vessel which had these rebel emissaries on board, it may, in view of the special circumstances, and of its patriotic motives, be excused; but it must by no means be permitted to constitute a precedent hereafter for the treatment of any case of similar infraction of neutral obligations by foreign vessels engage in commerce or the carrying trade."

There were, on the 4th of March last, in commission and at the service of the Secretary of the Navy, only 42 vessels, carrying 555 guns, and 7600 men.  There are to-day in commission 254 vessels, carrying 2357 guns, and over 22,000 men.  This is an immense work to do with little more than eight months.  Besides this, there will be ready very shortly, 52 new steamers, "peculiarly adapted to coast guard duty," three of which are iron-clad.

The Secretary advises the creation of more grades in the naval service, as likely to add to the efficiency of the work, by with making the rewards more frequent.  Also, he recommends a rule that officers be retired with a sufficient to allowance, after forty-five years' service.  Twenty-five acting

lieutenants, four hundred and thirty-three acting masters, and two hundred and nine masters' mates, have been appointed, in order to have officers enough for this largely increased navy.  There have also been acting engineers and surveyors appointed. The Secretary asks Congress to foster the Naval School to such a degree that at least double the usual number of cadets may be instructed.

On the slavery question the Secretary says nothing, but the following, "on the employment of fugitives," will show that he proposes to protect loyal men, and arrest insurgents, without asking if they'd be white or black.  He says:

"In the coastwise and blockading duties of the navy, is has been not unfrequent that fugitives from insurrectionary places have sought our ships for refuge and protection, and our naval commanders have applied to me for instruction as to the proper disposition which should be made of such refugees.  My answer has been that, if insurgents, they should be handed over to the custody of the government; but if, on the contrary, they were free from any voluntary participation in the rebellion and sought the shelter and protection of our flag, then they should be cared for and employed in some useful manner, and might be enlisted to serve on our public vessels or in navy yards, receiving wages for their labor.  If such employment could not be furnished to all by the navy, they might be referred to the army, and if no employment could be found for them in the public service, they should be allowed to proceed freely and peaceably, without restraint, to seek a livelihood in any loyal portion of the country.  This I have considered to be the whole required duty, in the premises, of our naval officers."

The naval estimates for the year ending June 30, 1863, amount to $44,623,665; and besides this, the Secretary reports the deficit of $16,530,000, needed for current expenses to pay for vessels purchased, and for necessary alterations incurred in fitting them for naval purposes, for the purchase of additional vessels, and for the construction and completion a twenty iron-clad vessels.

The Message in Washington.--A letter from Washington says: "The universal topic of conversation in this city is the President's Message.  Opinions about it differ as widely as do the partisan preferences of the people.  The ultra Abolition element in Congress is sorely disappointed by the utter failure of the efforts to engraft their principles either on the President's Message or in any of the Secretaries' reports.  This class of politicians to clear the message to be tame and ineffective.  On the other hand, the moderate men of all parties are highly pleased.  The absence of all passion, boasting and threats in the Message, and the kind and catholic spirits exhibited towards the deluded people of the insurgent States, are regarded as the highest evidence of a lofty statesmanship.  As the moderate men compose nine-tenths of the population of the country, the Message will doubtless meet with popularity."

DECEMBER 12, 1861


A sharp engagement took place Wednesday, some of five miles above Newport News, between four U. S . gunboats and the rebel steamer Patrick Henry, which lasted two hours.  The rebels claimed that no damage was done to them.

It is reported that some Federal troops who were encamped near Somerville, on the Cumberland river, Ky., were attacked on Sunday week by the rebels, who had planted artillery on the opposite side of the river.  A rebel officer was killed.  There are no further particulars.

Bands of men from 50 to 75, representing themselves from Price's army, are reported in the country west of Sedalia, Mo., robbing and plundering everything belonging to Union man they can lay hands on.

Information has been received at the Aspinwall, that the privateer Sumter was at Martinique on Nov. 9th, and that the U.S. gunboat Iroquois was within three hours' sail of her.  The news from St. Thomas confirms the report of the presence of the Sumter at Martinique on the 9th, and states that the Iroquois left St. Thomas on the 12th, probably too late to overtake her.

The Royal W.I.M.S. Co.  are said to have given orders to their agents at the different stations to furnish no coal to U.S. war vessels, in consequence of the boarding of the Trent by the San Jacinto.

Another fleet of old whalers is being prepared at New London, to be sunk in southern channels.

The U.S. ship Hartford, from the East India Squadron, arrived at Philadelphia Wednesday, from China.

A battle, according to Memphis papers, took place at Morristown, East Tennessee, on Dec. 1st, in which 600 rebels were entirely routed by 3000 men under Parson Brownlow.

Regulations have been issued, directing the cotton, rice, &c., of the disloyal States found in places taken in held by our troops, to be secured in prepared for market.  The slaves in such places are to be employed and paid as laborers.  The property of loyal citizens is not to be interfered with.

Gen. Halleck has issued regulations that all persons in the service of the Confederates who shall commit hostilities, will be treated as criminals and not as prisoners of war; also that all property belonging to them or to such as give aid and encouragement to the rebels, is to be confiscated.  Persons within our lines giving information or communicating with the enemy are to be treated as spies.  Union families who have been robbed by the rebels and are destitute, are to be quartered on secessionists and fed and clothed at their expense.

According to Southern reports, Montgomery has been defeated and taken prisoner, and Gen. Siegel is surrounded at Sedalia by Gen. McCulloch's force.

If Secretary Seward has written a letter to Gen. McClellan, suggesting the military arrest of any person who shall, in future, cause the imprisonment of slaves escaping from hostile service.

The Secretary of War has issued an order, that all our prisoners taken by the enemy, and men that missing, are to be transferred two skeleton regiments, to be formed, and the Governors of the different States are to supply the vacancies thus made in the original regiments.

Southern papers say that an attack on Fort Pulaski may be hourly expected, and that 16 of the Federal ships are inside the bar.  From the same source, we learn that Gen. Floyd's command has been ordered to another important post for duty, and it is also said hat Gen. Floyd has fallen back to within 30 miles of the Virginia and East Tennessee R.R.

Some 300 rebels visited Independence, Mo., on Monday week, and plundered the property of Union citizens.  They also seized all the horses of the Pacific Stage Co.

A gang of returned rebels from Price's army were attacked on the 4th, by exasperated citizens, about 20 miles from the Dunksburg, Mo.  Seven were killed and 10 wounded; three of whom have since died.  None of the citizens were killed.

All communication between Kansas City and Independence is cut off.

Four transports, loaded with horses, ordnance and stores for Gen. Butler's expedition, will sail from Boston in a day or two.

Great Expedition.--Our readers will perceive by the new railroad schedules published to-day that, actuated by a public spirit which gives them fresh claims to the grateful consideration of the entire community, the several railroad companies on the seaboard line the united in adopting a rate of speed on their respective roads which actually reduces the time of travel between Washington and Boston within twenty hours!  Thus a person leaving Boston at two P.  M.  Arrives at Washington at 9 1-2 o'clock next morning.  We have heard of an ancient personage who, in the fervor of faith, said he believed a certain dogma because it was impossible; but here is an achievement in transportation which we can scarcely believe, although it is proved to be possible.  We remember hearing a gentleman of this city, many years ago, before the happy introduction of railways, relates how, on entering the hall of the Exchange Hotel in Boston, one evening, and stating that he had left Washington five days before--traveling by stage and steamboat--he was listen to what some incredulity.  Was it possible; only five days from Washington to Boston!  What was the world coming to?  And now . . .  Has any man ever tried seriously to estimate the debt of gratitude which the world owes to the public spirit which has blessed it with railroads?  Not in comfort alone to the traveler, or even in their incalculable benefits to commerce, but in the saving of precious time.  It is only those who are aged enough to have been trundled and jolted along at three miles an hour, in the former older vehicles of travel, that can begin to appreciate the blessings of railroads.--National Intelligencer.


The War Report.--The report of the Secretary of War affords us a clear insight into the operations of the army.  It appears that since the outbreak of the rebellion, 713,512 men have been in the service of the country.  This large number includes of the regular army of 16,000 men; also the three months' enlistments, which amounted to 77,875.  The several arms of the service are an estimated two comprise 660,971 men, a force, it would seem, equal to the great emergencies of the country.  "We have here," says of the Secretary, "an evidence of the wonderful strength of our Institutions.  Without conscriptions, levies, drafts, or other extraordinary expedients, we have raised a greater force than that which, gathered by Napoleon with the aid of all these appliances, was considered an evidence of his wonderful genius and energy, and of the military's spirit of the French Nation.  Here every man has an interest in the Government, in rushes to its defense when dangers beset it."


Our most distinguished critics admit that Gen. McClellan is the greatest reviewer this country ever produced.

DECEMBER 13, 1861

The News of Mason and Slidell's Capture, in England.

We printed, yesterday, under the supposition that it was authentic, and extract from the Scotsman, professing to give the opinions of the law officers of the British crown in a case of the James Adger, laying down the principles which would be applicable to the case of the Trent, when they should come to hear of it.  There are reasons, however, to doubt the authenticity of the information purporting to come from the law officers.  The Scotch paper published in Edinburgh on the 21st Nov., made the statement; but the London journals of the 23d contained no such news; and it is not probable that the English cabinet would allow such an important item of information to leak out through a Scotch paper, when the principle conceded bore so harshly on the doctrine which England has always contended for so stoutly--her supremacy in English waters.  The matter is exceedingly delicate, and any law officer who allowed such a cabinet secret to leak out would be in danger of summary dismissal from his station and it's a very considerable emoluments.  On the whole, we doubt whether the Scotsman had good authority for this statement is made.

By the Hansa, we have information of the way the news of Mason and Slidell's capture was received in Liverpool. The La Plata brought the news from St. Thomas to Southampton on the 27th to November.  Forthwith, on that same 27th of Nov., an indignation a meeting of merchants was held at Liverpool, denouncing the gross insult to the majesty of the British flag, and calling on government to take action!  Of course; that's just what we expected to hear from the merchants; but the merchants of Britain by no means constitute the government.  Wait, until we hear from the cabinet after consultation with the law officers.  In England, the government, in matters of great importance, does not hesitate to treat commercial and manufacturing outcries very cavalierly.  It will take much time for all the particulars of the case to be learned, sufficient to enabled the law officers to give a legal opinion, and it may take months before all the matters of fact, such as the lawyers are likely to demand information upon before they speak to the merits of the case, can be officially ascertained.  After that is done, the diplomacy of Britain is not renowned for promptness of action, and any correspondence between Lord John Russell on the one hand, and our Mr. Seward on the other, will inevitably be of fearful length, displaying consummate ability on both sides and blocking an enormous number of quires of State stationery.  Trust to red-tape for that, and take the growls of the merchants and manufacturers, interested to break the blockade, and at a very smart discount.  We shall see a vast amount of bluster, but the fact that British consuls declined only one-half of one per cent., shows that the British themselves have little expectation that a war will grow out of Mason and Slidell's capture.

P.S.--We are in receipt of an article a column long from the London Times of Nov. 26th.  It concedes the whole case to the American side, while putting on just enough of John Bull bluster and arrogance to make its article palatable to the British public.  It concedes that it is a right of belligerents to search neutral vessels at sea, and that English precedents and usage is are too clear to admit of a doubt that Captain Wilkes was exercising only his strict rights, although it is claimed that he acted in an unnecessarily harsh manner.  It is said, "The legal course would have been to take the ship itself into port, and to ask for her condemnation or the condemnation of the passengers, in a court of Admiralty.  The result might no doubt have been the same; but if the proceeding was irregular we have surely a right to demand that these prisoners shall be restored." The tenor of the article is such that if it reflects, as it probably does, the opinions of the British ministry, the trouble will soon blow over.  As for "restoring the prisoners," the keel is not yet grown in the forests, of the vessel that would do it.  All England is wrathy, but English law books, and the decisions of the greatest admiralty-judge England ever had if, are too clear in positive to permit John Bull to do anything more than fume.  Now, watch the stock-list for a rise!  

Movements at Port Royal.

There has been much impatience on the part of the people at the failure of Gen. Sherman to make any use of his victory at Port Royal.  A correspondent of the Tribune writing from there states that the opinion is expressed in high quarters there that an immediate advance into the interior to the line of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad would beyond all doubt have broken up the rebel communication between that city and Charleston, by destruction of the railway at the nearest accessible point, and even placed the old flag in Savannah itself. He opines that Gen. Sherman was waiting to see the effect of his proclamation.  If such is the case the General must be pretty full really throughly satisfied on this point.  This same correspondent also says that on Wednesday night, Dec. 4th, the rebels made a simultaneous movement in that vicinity to destroy the crops of cotton and corn.  It seems as if they had early intelligence of the expedition to Beaufort, and as if they were determined to injure us as much as possible.  It is thought that they million dollars' worth of property was destroyed in a single night.


The Effect of Secession on Good Manners.--Rev.  Dr. Butler, of Washington, in the lecture at Cincinnati a few evenings ago, gave his audience a few instances of the amiable disposition of young ladies of secession persuasion.  In Alexandria a gallon to young artillery officer was spit upon by two young ladies, a few days before the battle of Bull Run.  He immediately inquired their names and ascertained their residences, and on that same evening, with a number of his comrades, serenaded of them for three hours, singing in the most sentimental songs in praise of the loveliness and gentleness of women.

The second "illustration" given by Dr. Butler, was as follows: In Baltimore a young lady dropped her handkerchief one day.  A Federal officer was sufficiently overcharged with etiquette to pick it up and handed it to her.  The dear creature--type of the graces that she was--gave him a side glance, and in dulcet tones inquired: " do you think that I would accept of anything from an Abolition hireling?"

The third is as good as any of the above.  Well a young lady of Baltimore was walking with an "air of impunity" along the streets, and officer rubbed against her dress.  Displaying a flexibility of nose worthy the the attention of a physiologist, the Dixianic beauty muttered the monosyllable "wretch," and shook her expansive skirts as if to remove something Northernly offensive.  The officer quietly followed her to her elegant house, rang the door-bell, and called for the gentleman of the house.  To this gentleman he presented the alternative of an apology from term or a flight from her husband, if she had such an appendage, if not, her beloved paternal relative must choose the weapons.  Angelina was called and remonstrated with, and being so advised, made the requisite apology.


The financial editor of the N.Y. Times says: "There was some doubt in some quarters of the truth of the statements in the Edinburgh Scotsman, and some parties preferred to defer operating until definite news was received.  A gentleman, however who came by the Africa, measurably confirms the statements of the Scotsman.  He had an interview with our minister, Mr. Adams, before leaving London, who informed him that he had a correspondence with Lord John Russell up on the subject of the sailing of the Adger for the purpose of arresting Mason and Slidell, and stated that the law officers of the Crown admitted to the right of the Adger to make such an arrest.  Mr. Adams looked upon the Nashville matter as much of the more serious of the two.  The person making these statements is the London resident partner of the banking house in this city, and is entirely trustworthy.


DECEMBER 14, 1861

The proceedings in Congress relative to General Halleck's order excluding fugitive slaves from his lines, are a strong case of criticism without knowledge.  General Halleck's order was declared at the outset to be inhuman and impolitic.  The general was denounced as undertaking to make a law for his department, and as being meanly subservient to the interests of slaveholders.  It was even hinted that he was scarcely to be trusted, on account of an alleged disposition to deal too tenderly with rebels.  Steps were therefore taken in Congress to set the seal of repudiation upon his conduct, and to compel him to rescind his order--the whole being done in a manner which could not fail to touch his sense of honor.  It now proves that the angry swarm of critics were all on the wrong track. General Halleck gave his order is a military precaution, finding it absolutely necessary to exclude unauthorized persons from his lines.  He has sound reasons to give for his course, and sound reasons for regarding the step which he took as fully disconnected with any general policy of the government, and as a simple matter of camp police, properly coming within the discretion of the commanding general.  The resolution which was introduced his therefore been laid up on the table, and Mr. Owen Lovejoy himself seems disposed to allow that General Halleck may have known what he was about.

We get some light also on the heavier charges against the general, of having an unreasonable tenderness towards rebels and their property of all descriptions.  He declares, like the true soldier, that he obeys orders.  He has his own opinion as to the policy of confiscating the slave property of rebels, but what that opinion is he does not say.  He merely declares that he shall execute the laws which Congress may pass.  Here's certainly is no military dictation, nor officious advice.  The general modestly defers to the legislative power all questions of policy, confining his own action to that which is immediately and unavoidably before him.  It is the very last case for either jealousy or censure.  Nor is he so mild in his dealings with ascertained rebels as to furnish occasion for any criticism.  His general orders as to the spies and marauders who infest Missouri are peremptory and severe enough to satisfy the most exacting, while the wealthy secessionists who still profess peace are beginning to tremble at what he holds in prospect before them.

In one respect, we believe, General Halleck has now gone farther than any other officer in the field.  Others have talked about forcing the rebels to bear some of the burdens of the war.  He has actually set on foot measures for accomplishing this desirable end.  He has warned the avowed secessionists that the suffering families of Union men, driven from their homes by the rebellion, must be supported at their charge; and he is actually constituted a board of assessors to levy the necessary contributions upon all who have in any way given aid, information or encouragement to the rebels.  The course of doing which he proposes to adopt is severe, but it is just; it practically introduces a discrimination between suffering loyalty and well supplied treachery, which will commend itself to the good sense of the nation; and it also gives the final proof of the unreasonable and absurd nature of the charges, so ignorantly brought against the commanding general in Missouri.

Sickness at Nashville.--All accounts represent the rebels in Tennessee and suffering greatly from sickness.  The hospitals are said to be crowded, small pox being one of the most prevalent disorders.  That is a graphic picture of the state of things--indeed too graphic, which an alleged refugee gives, when he says that in Nashville " the deaths were so frequent that they supplied the draymen of the city with their principal business."

Governor Andrew and the Fugitives.--From what we can learn we are disposed to think that the statements as to an alleged remonstrance by Governor Andrew " against the employment of Massachusetts volunteers by Gen. Stone to restore fugitive slaves" has been so framed as to convey an incorrect impression of the purpose of the Governor's representations.  It is understood that an exceedingly loose practice had obtained some footing in General Stone's camps if of allowing men, even when suspected or known to be secessionists, to take away Negroes found by them within the lines, although with no proof and with scarcely any presumptions of ownership.  It was to stop this practice, as we understood, that Governor Andrew successfully exerted his influence.

The Intention of the Federal Government.--We observe that the London Times says of the seizure of Mason and Slidell, that "the intention of the Federal Government evidently was to act upon their strict right, and to do so in as little ceremonious a manner as might be." And elsewhere the Times remarks that it " cannot yet believe, although the evidence is strong, that it is the fixed determination of the Government of the Northern States to force a quarrel upon the Powers of Europe."

It may set our English friends right as to the "intentions" of the government, when they learn that although it ratified the act of Captain Wilkes, it did not order nor anticipate that act.  It is due to the truth of history and due to the gallant officer himself, that it should be understood that he acted entirely upon his own responsibility.  The following extract from Captain Wilkes's report to the Secretary of the Navy discloses the true state of the case:

"When I heard at Cienfuegos, on the south side of Cuba, of these commissioners having landed on the island of Cuba, and that they were at Havana, and would depart in the English steamer of the 7th of November, I determined to intercept them, and carefully examined all the authorities on international law to which I had access, viz Kent, Wheaton, Vattell, besides various decisions of Sir Wm Scott, and other Judges of the Admiralty Court of Great Britain, which bore upon the rights of neutrals and their responsibilities.

"The governments of Great Britain, France, and Spain, having issued proclamations that the Confederate States were viewed, considered, and treated as belligerents, and knowing that the ports of Great Britain, France, Spain, and Holland, in the West Indies, were open to their vessels, and that they were admitted to all the courtesies and protection which vessels of the United States received, every aid and attention being given them, proved clearly that they acted upon this view and decision, and brought them within the international law of search and under the responsibilities.  I therefore felt no hesitation in boarding and searching all vessels of what every nation I fell in with, and have done so."

"I may add that, having assumed responsibility, I am willing to abide the result."

This extract, besides disclosing the singular spectacle of a naval officer studying his Vattell, Kent and Wheaton, together with "various decisions of Sir William Scott and other Judges of the Admiralty Court of Great Britain," shows that he acted without previous instructions. A knowledge of this fact materially changes the bearing of the caser, as it is presented by some of the London papers.


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