DECEMBER 15, 1861


Accepting the presidential policy of standing immovably upon the defensive, never taking the initiative nor offering battle when it is possible to avoid it, as the settled programme of this year, and perhaps of all future time while the revolution lasts, we naturally come to the conclusion that there will be no fighting soon in Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas or Virginia.  Missouri being, fortunately or unfortunately, differently circumstanced, may, under the enterprising, spirited and daring Price, startle the country by some new and glorious deed of arms; but elsewhere inland we despair of seeing anything attempted, unless the Lincoln men take it into their unmilitary heads to make a dash at some point, where artillery can be dispensed with, or moved otherwise than over broken country roads, choked with snow or impracticable in other respects.  We are disposed, therefore, to conclude that our troops will be allowed to hibernate where now encamped, and Lincoln left at liberty to try experiments upon our seacoast gulf line.  We see that troops from various points are being dispatched by steamers for Pensacola, and that additions to their naval strength in that quarter are being energetically pushed forward by the Federals; therefore it is, in our opinion, it's safe to conclude that the enemies entire attention will be given to us and our exposed points, rather than to our interior and exterior frontiers simultaneously.  Need we commend this view to the serious attention of every man of ordinary sense or prudence?  Can it be necessary still more to urge upon all planters residing upon the seacoast, whose places are exposed to raids from the boats of the enemy's cruisers, the absolute urgency of immediate preparation to be able to put their working force out of reach of capture, at a moment's notice, and to have as little property that is edible or portable within reach of such visitations as in the nature of things they can.  Nothing is lost by being vigilant and circumspect; preparing for a possible painful emergency neither invites nor hastens it.  Why then should we wait until the last moment to do those things hurriedly, which we can do leisurely and well at the present time?  It will not do to confide in others, or to call upon Jove, who may be absent, drunk or incapable to help us, when, by putting forth our own independent strength and exercising ordinary prudence we may be able to dispense with the aid of the heathen god.  Our readers have had abundant evidence since the war commenced of the unreliability of even stone walls, and the insufficiency of fortifications stated to be impregnable.  Here at home we have seen the expensive folly at Ship Island, and our neighbors at Galveston have just had a second chapter of the Ship Island business presented for their perusal in the announcement of the indefensible character of that place against a bombardment.  There are significant warnings, and every wise person will give them his earnest attention, steadily bearing in mind, meantime that perfect reliance upon those on whom the military responsibility of defending the state rests is the true, and indeed the only way to render the defense effectual in their hands.  Our lower river defense's are wisely placed in good hands, and the best assurances of their efficiency are given; at other exposed points within reach of the enemy's gunboats, if you said, equal preparation has been made; nothing, then, is necessary for the people to do further than each to have his own affairs arranged as he best many, to guard them from evil, and to cooperate with the movement of the authorities for the common duties which devolve upon all.  As we have often before informed our readers, we have no very serious apprehensions for our safety here until the Lincolnites have captured Pensacola;

and as a Gen. Bragg expresses the greatest confidence in his ability to prevent that, beyond the evils forays can inflict we do not then think anything more serious can happen.  Nor indeed can they be fall us, if the vigilance we recommend be generally practiced; but if planters, living at expose places, will wait until the enemy is upon them, and their chattel property captured or destroyed and their Negroes carried off, it is needless to say the fault and its consequences will be their own; for it is not the security of one, but of all, which our military preparations are contemplated to secure.  Whether it might not be judicious to have a portion of our volunteer force now in Virginia sent back to us for the winter, is a question worth entertaining, and it is one which the legislature might very properly take into consideration for reference to Richmond.  Whether, however, this be done or not, let there be no faltering here, nor hesitancy in doing all in our power to prevent evils great beyond the power of exaggeration.

Arrest of a Mail RobberSenator Ely’s Cousin in a Tight Place.—We copy the following from the Mobile Tribune of Friday:

We learn that Mr. D. P. Blair, special agent of the post office department of the Confederate States, who has been endeavoring for some time past to find out the parties who have been robbing the mails, has, through his indefatigable energy and perseverance, succeeded in arresting the guilty person.

The name of the felon is J. P. Ely of Rochester, N.Y., who was captured by our gallant troops at Manassas, and is now a prisoner at Richmond.

This fellow Ely was a stage-driver of the mails, and from suspicion on him, Mr. Blair put several decoy letters into the mail, which, not being accounted for, he arrested him at Oxford, Miss., and found the missing letters in his pocket. Mr. B. immediately put him in irons, placed him inside of the stage and drove it himself to Okalona, a distance of 63 miles, where he delivered him to the proper authorities, who sent him to jail to await his trial.

The Mississippi Sound Blockaded.--The enemy appear to have the sound pretty effectually blockaded just now, as the subjoined from the Mobile Tribune of a Friday shows:

The fine gunboat Florida, of five guns, Lieut. Hayes commanding, which left here last Monday evening for the purpose of acting as convoy to any steamboat which had a permit to go through, returned to the city last evening, having found the sound of blockaded and full possession of the Lincolnites, who had three steamers, supposed to be the R.R. Cuyler, of ten guns; the Massachusetts, of six guns, and the New London, of four guns.

The latter vessel had chased the steamer Grey Cloud (which left here on Tuesday evening), into Biloxi, where she blockaded her.  The Florida left Horn Island at one o'clock P.M., yesterday, and met in the Confederate schooner Alert at Horn Island Pass, which she informed of the condition of affairs in the sound.

Landing of Lincolnites.--A private letter from Apalachicola, dated the 4th inst., says: "Fifty of the Lincolnites have landed on Saint Vincent's Island." This island is some ten or a dozen miles from Apalachicola. The Vandals who have landed will make little by their operations, unless it be a loss.  General Floyd, in command at Apalachicola, will keep a sleepless eye on their movements.--Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, 7th.

DECEMBER 16, 1861


The British steamer Europa arrived at Halifax, yesterday, with further warlike reports from England.  The tone of the English press is belligerent enough, and the reported action of the government, at first blush, hasn't irritating aspect.  It looks as though England was preparing to treat the Mason and Slidell question not as one open the to diplomatic discussion, but rather as one requiring an imperative demand, coupled with a menace of war.  The London Post says:

"It has been decided by the law officers of the crown, that the action of Captain Wilkes was unjustifiable; that he had no right to arrest peaceful passengers sailing under the British flag, and indeed he has committed amounts to a flagrant violation of the code of nations, and is a direct insult to this country.  Under the circumstances we need hardly point out that the government will lose no time in seeking for the prompt and complete reparation which it is its duty to require in the case.  It will assuredly receive the unanimous approbation of public opinion.  We are unwilling to place the worst construction on the outrage committed by Captain Wilkes, and look on it as an intentional affront on the part of the government of the United States.  We hope the American government will at once disavow the act of their officer, make a suitable apologies, and restore the persons of the gentlemen arrested, and, in fact, make every compensation in their power.  Wild as the words written and spoken by Seward, and reckless as American policy not unfrequently is, we can hardly suppose that the northern states are seriously disposed to accept war with England.  We have in American waters, including the Mexican expedition and ships already there, a forced a mounting to not far short of one thousand guns, which we could largely increase with the greatest ease and rapidity.  In one month we could sweep all the San Jacintos from the seas, blockade the northern ports, and turn to a speedy issue the tide of war now raging.  This is so obvious that we find it almost impossible to suppose that the cabinet of Washington can commit an act so madly suicidal as to reject our earnest and positive demands."

The Europa's News does not appear to have disturbed the government at Washington overmuch.  Our rulers, we are assured, look with confidence on events as they occur.  It need not be disguised that the grave crisis has come, which will require both firmness and calm judgment on the part of the government and the people.  These, we feel assured, will not be wanting.  Let us stand, "without division or hesitation, in support of the flag, which, lifting itself now amidst heavy clouds, is still the one rallying-point for the nation--a flag consecrated in self-sacrifice and bitter hardship, to which we must now renew our devotion in the old spirit, and with the old fortitude, secure in the protection of that Providence which in past generations has carried our standard safely through all its perils."

The Supplies of Cotton in India.--The report of the commissioner appointed by the government of India to report on the cultivation of cotton is a thoroughly practical business-like document.  It is confined to the cotton districts of the Doab, the districts line between the Jumna and the Ganges, from the junction of the two rivers at Allahabad to the base of the Sewalic range of hills.  This district contains all the elements of a good cotton field.  It is extensive, embracing twenty-five thousand nine hundred and one square British statute miles, three-fourths of which are under cultivation.  It is populous, having read that more than the three hundred and fifty persons to the mile, possessing, therefore, labor in abundance.  It is generally of a light, sandy soil of considerable depth, and of great fertility when irrigated, thus being well adapted to the growth of cotton.  It possesses irrigation canals, with numerous branches running nearly the whole length of the Doab, and traversing it in many directions; it is, therefore, in every respect a good cotton field. Thirty, forty, and fifty years ago it witnessed a considerable trade in cotton.  Merchants and planters had caught and factories and cotton screws at Futtigbur, Calpce, Mizapore.  The trade gradually died away for want of a market for the cotton.  The factories went to ruin, and the screws rotted away.  The trade at present is in the hands of native merchants, and confined to home (Indian) consumption.  The commissioner observes--" I have it on evidence from several native merchants that there are more than fifty thousand bales of cotton at this moment at Mizapore and Ghazeepore for which they cannot find purchasers.  While, then, they hear on all sides that supplies of content to England from America have failed, while they are told that a great trade will spring up, and that hundreds of thousands of bales are wanted, well they see cotton seed distributed in all directions, and pamphlets teaching them how to cultivate by the astonishing facts that there's not one single purchaser among them, that their stocks of cotton are lying rotting at the marts of Mizapore and Ghazeepore, and that the crying from Lancashire is merely a voice, and nothing more--under these circumstances it will surprise no one to know that the breadth of cotton sown this year has been influenced only by their own probable home demands, and has been no wise been stimulated by the accounts from America or elsewhere." The commissioner states that when a real demand for cotton comes from England a large and immediate supply could be sent from these provinces.  Fully to develop the cotton producing resources of the district, European superintendents and European capitalists are indispensable.--Times of India.


Arrested.  The notorious counterfeiter, Henry Cole, alias Johnson, a notorious counterfeiter, was arrested in New York, Friday, on the charge of issuing in Albany and other cities about $500 in counterfeit bills, purporting to be on the bank of Lowell, the counterfeits are described as well executed.

DECEMBER 17, 1861


The late news from England has occasioned no marked excitement among public men, the indignation of the British press having been anticipated.  Hence the absence of expressions of surprise.  As in pending disputes between the United States and Great Britain heretofore the angry public voice has subsided to await the result of diplomatic formalities, so will it be again.  The particular alarm of the British government growing out of the removal of Messrs. Slidell and Mason from the Trent having yet to be presented the arguments in support must become the question of controversy, and it is not unreasonable to assume that our own government will have at least equal advantage and skill and the discussion.  When the British government shall have made a formal demand for the restitution of the rebel Ministers, the time will have arrived for such a response as will show that although we are engaged with the insurgents, there is still integrity in the government to furnish such a reply as will not be at variance with our heretofore amply sustained character of national independence.  Questions are generally asked, what will be the results of the controversy, rather than the expression of individual opinion upon the subject.  As to the Administration there is reason to believe that neither the President nor any members of the cabinet will be diverted in the least degree from the present course of conducting the war.



Franklin Chase, U.S. Consul at Tampico, informs the Secretary of State that that city is thronged with loyal United States citizens, fugitives from Texas, in great distress, some of whom he has relieved so far as his limited private means would allow.  As Congress, however, makes no provision for the relief of destitute citizens in foreign countries, unless they are [severe?], the cases of the fugitive mentioned by Mr. Chase appeals strongly to the sympathies of the charitable at home.


Saltpetre.- The saltpetre used in this country is for the most part brought from India.  It was manufactured in this country to some extent, however, both in the revolutionary war and in the last war with England, by preparing nitre beds, and by leaching the earth taken from beneath old buildings.  It was also manufactured in the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky during the war of 1812, the earth in the cave being thoroughly impregnated with it.  The quantities obtained by these methods were, however, comparatively small.

Large orders have lately been sent to England for saltpetre, which cannot now be filled.  The stock in importers' and speculators' hands in this country November 30 was 8831 bags, a bag containing, we believe, about 170 pounds.  The number of bags to arrive was 22,833.  The deliveries for consumption in November or 7016 bags.  The proportion of saltpetre in the gunpowder manufactured in this country is seventy-five per cent.

The Chance for Scrap Books.--Henry A. Brown of 35 Winter street offers a novel and excellent opportunity for preparing scrap books for children in a satisfactory manner and at a slight cost.  He has arranged some assorted packages, each containing twenty-five numbers of the Illustrated News of the World.  Thus in a package costing fifty cents, the purchaser has over a 400 wood engravings, with every variety of subjects, all attractive and entertaining.

A War upon Speculators.--The Southern orators were certainly wrong when they held the Yankees responsible for all the sharp dealing in the South.  They have found it necessary to begin a regular war upon speculators.  They complain that every necessary of life is forestalled . . .  and that shrewd speculators are taking the most heartless advantage of the scarcity caused by the blockade.  The following joint resolution of the legislature of Tennessee, which we find in the Louisville Journal, is an example of this contest with money making patriots:--

"Whereas, It is believed that there are persons in the State of Tennessee who are so lost to patriotism as to engage in speculation in articles necessary for the maintenance and comfort of the army of the South,

"In many instances, assuming the character of agents to the military authorities, they have, it is believed, purchased many articles from the honest and patriotic masses at extremely low prices, which they have and will turn over to the army at immense profits, thus robbing the patriotic masses of their substance, the soldier of articles necessary to smooth his rugged pathway, placing the prices of necessaries of life out of reach of his family and increasing the cost of everything purchased by the war department.--Therefore,

"Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That we, the Representatives of the people, do solemnly declare the action of such people as wholly unworthy the name of Tennesseeans, unpatriotic, selfish and contemptible, and recommend the producing classes of Tennessee to give no sustenance to such as speculators, sell them nothing, avoid them as you would a leper or Judas Iscariot."


The Charleston Courier publishes the following extract of a letter from Secretary Memminger:--"We cannot prevent the possession of any minor point on the seacoast by the feet of the enemy, but I trust that, whenever they may leave their ships, our countrymen will give them a Carolina reception.  I hope that every planter will burn before them every blade of grass."


The Rhode Island Boundary.--A dispatch from Washington says that the long vexed question of the Rhode Island boundary was finally settled yesterday in the Supreme Court of the United States.  Governor Clifford appeared for Massachusetts and Messrs. Jencks and Bradley for Rhode Island.  After the hearing it is reported that the Court ordered a decree to be entered, establishing the conventional boundary wisely agreed upon by the parties.

The controversy which has thus been closed began several years before 1740 and has been maintained at intervals ever since.  Indeed there are traces of it as far back as 1654.  Commissioners have been appointed to run the line over and over again since the year 1741, but without bringing the matter to a settlement, and for thirty years it has been litigated in the Supreme Court of the United States.  We tender our congratulations to our little neighbor that this long standing dispute is settled.  Although confident in the might of the Commonwealth, we have been led to think within the last nine months that Rhode Island is a very tough customer; it is therefore as well do have the matter out of the way.  But this venerable topic of education being removed, we shall next expect some final disposition to be made of the herring fisheries in Taunton Great River.

DECEMBER 18, 1861


A dispatch from Fortress Monroe 16th inst. says:

Capt. Millward went to Craney Island to date with a flag of truce, and was met by Lieut.  Smith of the Island.  No passengers came over from Norfolk.  Norfolk and Richmond papers give full particulars of the extensive conflagration in Charleston.

The fire broke out at about 9 o'clock on the evening of the 11th in Russell & Olde Sash and Blind factory at the foot of Hazel street, extending to the machine shop of Cameron & Co.  Before midnight the fire had assumed an appalling magnitude, and Meeting street from Market to Queen, was one mass of flames.  As tenement after tenement was enveloped in fire, the panic became awful, and thousands of families evacuated the houses in filled the streets.  The buildings in the lower part of the city where the fire broke out were principally wood an extremely inflammable, which accounts for the remarkable rapid progress of the fire.  At midnight the Circular Church and Institute were burning, and the proximity of the flames to the Charleston Hotel and Mills House caused them to be evacuated by their inmates.

At one o'clock the fire attended more southward course the corner of Archdale and Queen streets, to the rear of the Charleston Hotel into the end of Hayne street; crossing Market street, the fire spread down East Bay to Cumberland street, and across to the Mills House, including in its destruction the Circular Church, Institute Hall and Charleston Hotel, and all the buildings in King street from Clifford nearly to Broad street, were destroyed before 3 o'clock.

Gen. Ripley, who superintended the troops, who arrived at the scene about this time, ordered several buildings to be blown up.  After some delay the order was executed, but not before the theatre, Lloyd's coach factory, opposite the Express office, and all the houses from this point to Queen street caught fire and were destroyed.  At about 3 o'clock the wind changed the direction of the flames or to Broad street.  Soon after, St.  Andrews Hall took fire, and subsequently the Cathedral, the spire falling over after five o'clock.

The fire made a clean sweep through the city, making its track from East Bay to King street.  The Charleston Courier of the 13th gives a list of between 200 and 300 sufferers, and says the loss is estimated at from $5,000,000 to $7,000,000.  Mr. Russell, at whose factory the fire originated, thinks it must have been an incendiary, or by the negligence of Negroes employed there.

A dispatch from Charleston dated 13th, says that the Mills House, although threatened and several times on fire, eventually escaped and is only slightly damaged.

A message was sent to Congress on Friday by Jeff. Davis in relation to the conflagration at Charleston, recommending an appropriation in aid of the sufferers.  The resolution was accordingly unanimously adopted by Congress appropriating $250,000 as an advance on account of the claims of South Carolina upon the Confederate States.

The latest particulars in regard to the fire are as follows--Five churches were destroyed, viz, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, St. Peter's, Episcopal Church, the Cumberland Street Church and the Circular Church.

The Charleston Mercury says 576 buildings were destroyed by the fire.

It is unquestionably a point of great importance that in the Slidell and Mason case England is proceeding upon an entirely incorrect if view of the actual occurrences.  Smarting under the mistaken notion that the James Adger had been ordered to lie in wait near the English Coast for the La Plata, the English government have been led to believe that our government had ordered the San Jacinto to the duty which she performed.  They have acted upon accounts which represented the proceedings of Captain Wilkes as harsh and insulting.  The clamors of secessionist agents have filled the public mind of England with the idea that a studied insult was intended to the British flag, and upon this the government is acting.  It will unquestionably occasion a certain degree of reaction, when full intelligence sets the English mind right on these and other points to which we have before preferred, and we cannot help indulge in the hope, that England will then see that the occasion is one that calls for proceedings of an entirely different nature from those for which her own press gets her credit.

Still it must be borne in mind that none of the changes, which will thus be made in the position of the question, go in fact to its merits.  Assuming, as we think we are justified in doing, that the London Press is correctly informed as to the views of the English government, it will still remain true that the seizure complained of was made, and that capped and Wilkes did not obtain the decision of a Court of Admiralty upon the facts.  All the rest is matter of aggravation, not of substance.  The great points in the case are not touched by the corrections which full intelligence will make in the received version--and less indeed England is moved to recognize the claim upon her consideration, founded on the motives of Captain Wilkes's forbearance, to which we referred yesterday.

It is speculating entirely without grounds then, we are forced to conclude, to anticipate any essential change in the course of England, although that is a result which may still be hoped for.  We saying the anticipation is without grounds, not only for the above reasons, but for others.  We know not how far England may find herself committed, by acting in the spirit of the false impression which she has received, if we only know that it is difficult to exaggerate the danger of such hasty action.  And beyond this, there is the alarming doubt, which we find it impossible to shake off, as to the purpose with which England acts, the spirit of willingness or unwillingness in which she takes up this difficulty, or the strength of her desire to hold herself aloof from our domestic contest.  With satisfactory assurances of the latter point especially, there is no reason for supposing that trouble needs to grow out of this affair; without such assurances, we apprehend that it is difficult to see how troubles can well fail to grow out of it.

In case the English government does not push its demands so offensively as to render adjustment difficult, and in case it proves that England does not now gladly seize upon an occasion on which to exercise that influence which, and as she idly hopes, might end our war, it may perhaps be found that arbitration will settle the whole dispute, without loss of honor on either side.  It is then the old story of friends who fall out in a matter where each believes himself to be in the right.  Shall they waste their substance in litigation, or refer the dispute to a common friend?  We confess, however, that we should look with no little suspicion upon any arbitration by France, the power whose interest in the original cause of controversy is identical with that of England, and which acts in concert with the latter.  To an arbitrator like Russia, however, a power which acts upon the English policy of neutrality, and is yet friendly to the United States, there might be fewer objections.

DECEMBER 19, 1861


Cincinnati, Dec. 14.—A special dispatch from Cheat Mountain to the Commercial says:--Yesterday one of the hardest and best fought battles of the war was fought at Alleghany Camp, Pocahontas, Va., between Gen. H. R. Milroy, commanding the Union troops, and Gen. Johnson of Georgia, commanding the rebels. The fight lasted from daylight until 3 o’clock, P.M.

The Union loss is about thirty and the rebel loss over two hundred, including a Major and many other officers, and thirty prisoners. Gen. Johnson was shot in the mouth, but not fatally.

The 12th Georgia regiment suffered the most. Gen. Milroy’s force numbered 1000 men from the 9th and 13th Indiana, and the 25th and 32d Ohio and the 2d Virginia. Gen. Johnson’s force numbered over 2000 men.

The 9th Indiana regiment fought bravely to the last. After driving the enemy into their barracks, no less than five times, our forces retreated in good order. The rebels set fire to their camp and retreated to Stanton. Gen. Milroy has driven the last army out of Western Virginia.



The government has received dispatches from Fort Pickens, confirming the previous statements that Gen. Brown has silenced Fort McRae, destroyed the navy-yard, and burned the town of Warrenton, and the bombardment was a complete success. Our loss in the engagement was one man killed and five wounded.

A letter from an officer of Fort Pickens, giving an account of the affair, explains the motive which induced Col. Brown to open fire upon the rebel forts and batteries. It seems that the engagement was opened for the purpose of creating a diversion in favor of Gen. Sherman, at Beaufort, and to prevent the withdrawal of more rebels from Bragg’s command to strengthen the rebels at other points likely to be assaulted by our expeditions. The plan succeeded perfectly, and forced Bragg not only to stop the transfer of his troops to other places, but to ask for reinforcements for himself. The fire of Fort Pickens is represented to have been most effective, and only the lack of a sufficient number of national troops prevented the entire discomfiture of the rebels.



The New York Times of last Friday, says: Extensive preparations have been going on for some time at the various ship yards and iron-works in this city, in altering, repairing and fitting out vessels which are to form a part of Gen. Burnside's expedition.  These vessels consist of steamers, barks, schooners, ferry-boats and barges, many of which are finished, and are now receiving their stores and ammunition.  A large number of rifled and smooth-bore cannon, of heavy caliber, will be used in this fix petition.  Thus far, about fifty vessels have been attached to the fleet, and others are to be added.  It is expected that the expedition will leave his port in a few days.  It will proceed to Fortress Monroe and there be reinforced.

Three hundred floats, each thirty-two feet long by five and a half feet beam, are now being shipped in government transports from Pier No. 9 North River, for the expedition.


The following vessels, comprising the second Rat-Hole Expedition, are now at anchor in the roads, and awaiting a fair wind to sail South.

Bark Peri, 265 tons register, Capt. D.P. Nickerson, with 225 tons stone.

Bark Jubilee, 239 tons register, Capt. Erastus Fish, with 210 tons stone.

Bark Newburyport, 341 tons register, Capt. E. Kendall, with 300 tons stone.

Bark Messenger, 216 tons register, Capt. James E. Carbury, with 220 tons stone.

Bark Stephen Young, 200 tons register, Capt. Alexander Banter, with 175 tons stone.

The bark Marcia, 343 tons, will also sail in a few days, as also ship Timor, 289 tons, with as much stone on board as prudent for them to take. The last named vessel belonged to the first stone fleet, and sailed from New London, Nov. 20, but was obliged by stress of weather and loss of sails to put in here for repairs.

Seven vessels sailed from New Bedford on Monday; five are to sail from New London and two from New York to-day, making, including those from here, the twenty vessels comprising the second fleet.  We understand that these vessels have cost the Government about $12.50 per ton, and as they are all good staunch and stronghold of vessels, we doubt not that they will safely arrived at their destination, which they can only get at by exercising our Yankee privilege of guessing, as they sail under seal orders.  If judiciously placed, we consider this mode of blockade as most efficient, and as also most economical, as it enables the commander of the blockading fleet to dispense with several of our vessels of war now employed for that purpose, and use them at other points much more advantageously.--Boston Traveller.



William H. Johnson, a member of the Lincoln cavalry, convicted of desertion, was shot Friday afternoon, in the presence of about seven thousand soldiers belonging to Gen. Franklin's division.  The detachment of twelve men were detailed for the purpose.  Eight of them fired first, when Johnson fell in his coffin, but life not being extinct, the other four in reserve fired with the required effect.  This is the first execution in the army of the Potomac since the commencement of the rebellion.


Winter-Quarters for the Army.--Curious primitive-looking little villages are those which the soldiers are erecting along the military lines in Virginia.  Log-cabins, generally diminutive in size, built of poles and thatched with corn-stalks and spruce boughs, are the habitation news of the volunteers.  The cracks between the poles in the walls are closed up with clay.  Where large wood can be conveniently obtained, it is a hewn or split into planks, and the walls are built of these.  These preparations are made entirely voluntary on the part of the soldiers, and not according to any orders from headquarters.  Wherever of the army winters every man can be his own architect, without incurring of the expense of government contracts for barracks.

DECEMBER 20, 1861


A War with England Probable!

Halifax, 15th.--The royal mail steamship Europa, from Liverpool 8:30 A.M. Nov. 30, and Queenstown Dec. 1, arrived at this port at 12:30 P.M. today.

The Europa sailed for Boston at about 2 P.M.; She was detained at Queenstown twelve hours by order of the British government.  She has the Queen's messenger on board with dispatches for Lord Lyons.

By Telegraph to Queenstown.

Queenstown, Dec. 1.--The Observer states that the Government demands from President Lincoln and his cabinet the restoration of the persons of the Southern envoys to the British Government.

Yesterday afternoon, after 5 o'clock, Her Majesty held a privy council at Windsor Castle.  Three of the ministers, including the first Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretaries of State and of War, traveled from London to Windsor by special train to be present.  Previous to leaving town, the three ministers had attended a cabinet council at Lord Palmerston's official residence.

The Observer says that a special messenger of the Foreign Office has been ordered to carry our demands and Lord Lyons, and will proceed by the packet from Queenstown today.  The public will be satisfied to know that these demands are for an apology, and the restitution to the protection of the British flag of those who were violently and illegally torn from that sacred asylum.

The Observer adds that there is no reason why they should not be restored to the quarter deck of a British Admiral at New York or Washington itself, in the face of some ten or twelve British men-of-war, whose presence in the Potomac would render the blustering Cabinet at Washington as helpless as the Trent before the guns and cutlasses of the San Jacinto.  If it is no fault of ours if it should come even to this.

On Friday the Cabinet directed Lord Russell to prepare his dispatch to Lord Lyons; on Saturday the Ministers met again to revise and finally settle its terms, and it was sent off the same evening.  The Times understood that this communication, though couched in the firmest language, presumes that the Federal government will not refuse to make a favorable reparation for the illegal act.  The Times says, however, that it has but a small hope of a disavowal, as at the date of last dispatches the act of the Captain of the San Jacinto had been accepted by the Northern public.  The New York journals were urging his promotion.  That a naval officer had the spirit to board a British vessel and carry off the rebels is enough to ensure a storm of popularity.  By the time the Earl of Russell's dispatches shall arrive the multitude may already have declared to the Government the treatment Capt. Wilkes is to receive.

The export of saltpetre and warlike goods is formally prohibited.  If it was stated that one ship with a large cargo of saltpetre for America had been stopped, and that relanding of the warlike stores already shipped had been required.

The naval volunteers were offering to come forward to protect the honor of the British flag.

The Australasian has been chartered to convey troops and a battery of artillery to Canada, and would sail about the 12th.

The Morning Post says the acknowledgement of its error and the surrender of its prisoners would be received with great joy, but if the Federal government fails to do so, no man in England will blind his eyes to the alternative that England must do her duty.  Her rights and duties were never more completely blended then in the present case.

The Times continues to assert that it has been Mr. Seward's policy to force the quarrel with England, and both it and the Post call for energetic military preparations.

A serious decline is daily taking place in Canadian securities, amounting to fully 12 per cent.

The Times says it may reasonably expect that the three things will immediately follow the out break, viz, the destruction of the Southern blockade, a complete blockade of the Northern ports, and a recognition of the Southern Confederacy by France and England.

The Daily News rejoices that the American Congress meets before the English demands can get out, in hopes that it will act with honor and dignity without foreign pressure.  It hopes the golden opportunity will not be lost.

The London Post says—“It has been decided by the law officers of the crown that the action of Captain Wilkes was unjustifiable; that he had no right to arrest peaceful citizens sailing under the British flag, and the deed he has committed amounts to a flagrant violation of the code of nations, and is a direct insult to this country.  Under the circumstances we need hardly point out that the government will lose no time in seeking for the prompt and complete reparation which it is its duty to require in this case.  It will assuredly receive the unanimous approbation of public opinion.  We are unwilling to place the worst construction on the outrage committed by Captain Wilkes, and look on it as an intentional affront on the part of the Government of the United States.  We hope the American government will at once disavow the act of their officer, make suitable apologies, and restore the persons of the gentlemen arrested, and, in fact, make every compensation in their power.”


A Union Newspaper to be Started at Port Royal.--The transport Atlantic, on her return to Port Royal, will take out a printing press, cases, type, &c., with a view of starting a newspaper, to be conducted under the supervision of Gen. Sherman.  A proper person will be selected as editor, and it is contemplated to issue a weekly sheet, which shall express the sentiments of the government, and at the same time aid in suppressing rebellion on the soil of the Palmetto State.


A Noteworthy Incident.--A little incident occurred in the Senate on Thursday last, which is worthy of note.  Mr. Grimes, in reviewing the findings of the court of inquiry in the case of Col. Milles, intimated that he could put no trust in any public man addicted to intemperance.  This sentiment called down such a round of applause from the galleries that the Vice President had promptly to rebuke it.  There were present at the time quite a number of our brave volunteers, from whom this outburst of feeling spontaneously preceded.  We learn that there [are] a number of temperance societies in the various regiments, while there are whole regiments that refuse to touch a drop of ardent spirits, enhance it was that the remark was so signally responded to.--National Intelligencer .

DECEMBER 21, 1861

The Late Battle and Missouri.

Sedalia, Mo., Dec. 20.--Col. Palmer's brigade arrived here last night, and Gen. Pope is expected to-day.

All information from the west and south is to the effect that no efforts have been spared to send Gen. Price and ample supply of clothing for the winter.  All or nearly all of this has fallen or will fall into our hands.  Nearly two hundred heavy wagons are already in our possession, together with a large quantity of ammunition and arms, 1000 horses, tents, camp equipage.  Between 1,800 and 2,000 recruits have been taking prisoners.

Maj. Hubbart, of the 1st Missouri Cavalry, has captured over sixty rebel recruits within the past few days, and killed several others.  He has also taken a considerable number of tents, several wagons, a quantity of baggage and arms.

Altogether the rebellion has received a terrible shock in this section within the present week, and it is thought by many that Gen. Price will cross the Osage to [meet] his Generals, Stein and Black.

Early yesterday morning our source brought in information that the large rebel train and reinforcements which we had marched south to intercept, had divided, and the larger portion was marching south towards Waverly, intending to camp at night near Milford. Gen. Pope brought the main body of his army in position a few miles south of Waverly, and send a scouting force under Col. Jeff Davis a few miles south of Warrensburgh and Knob Noster to come on the left and rear of the enemy, at the same time sending Merril's cavalry to march from Warrensburgh and come from the right.

Col. Davis pushed rapidly forward, and came up with the enemy in the afternoon, drove in his pickets, carried a strongly defended bridge by an assault, and drove the enemy into a timber, who finding themselves surrounded, surrendered 1,800 mne, including two Colonels, one Lieut. Colonel, one Major, and seventeen Captains. Sixty wagons heavily laden with supplies and clothing, and a large number of horses and mules, fell into our hands.  Our loss was two killed and fourteen wounded.  That of the enemy is considerably greater.

This was the best planned and executed action of the war, and reflects great credit on the General commanding, and the officers and men who so faithfully carried out his plans.


Frail Tenure of English Dominion in Canada.--The Washington correspondent of the New York Journal of Commerce remarks that in case England should force us into a war, the French population of Canada, almost to a man, “would side with Jonathan, and we all know that the hearts and interests of Canada West have, for a long time, been identified with the ‘States.’ Where to place the Irish population no one could hesitate.  And the fact is significant, that the wealthiest man in all Canada, Harrison Stephens, Esq., of Montreal, is a native of Vermont, and owns property in New York city in an immense amount.  Indeed, those who would cling to the cause of England, in the event of a rupture, would be reduced to a few hundred and composed chiefly of government officers, and of the veritable machines who constitute the provincial soldiery.  Unless my personal experience deceives me, the annexation of Canada would be a very easy matter to accomplish, so England had better beware.”

Important News.

Two important items of news were received a day or since by telegraph: first, that Humphrey Marshall, of Kentucky, swears he will eat his Christmas dinner in Lexington; second, that the soldiers under the rebel General Jackson, are ready to "go to the devil" with their leader.  We're not surprised at Humphrey Marshall's swearing, for swearing is an accomplishment in which the Kentucky Marshalls excel all other men; they are in constant practice, and have arrived at that pitch of perfection which excites the envy of flat boatmen and ruffians generally.  If Humphrey Marshall keeps his oath, whiskey and "chicken fixins" will suffer; it requires a liberal commissariat to supply the provender for Humphrey's elephantine bulk.  But why should a Gen. Jackson's men be so ready to profess a willingness to make the acquaintance of "the party" of the cloven foot, in company with their gallant leader?  Do they see already the end of their journey at the end of a rope?  The rangers and their redoubtable general must not be too hasty in professing their willingness to go to the Devil, for they may get snubbed; it is rumored that the potentate referred to, declines entertaining secessionists in his dominions; it would be a pity, should the rebel professors, after inviting themselves to an entertainment be left out in the cold after all, and we hope the leaders of the Federal forces will give them all the aid in their power towards arriving at their chosen destination.


The Saltpetre Supply.--It seems that England does not enjoy a monopoly of saltpetre production, and she imagines.  The Newark Mercury says:

“Large quantities of nitrate of soda, or South American saltpetre, as it is called, are obtained in Chile and Peru, and this may be easily converted into the purest of saltpetre, as it was during the Russian war, when the markets of that country were supplied with saltpetre thus manufactured in this country, and shipped to Russia by way of Hamburg.

Saltpetre can also be obtained in the United States from the limestone caves that abound in Kentucky and other sections.  This was almost hour only source of supply during our last war with England, which cut us off from our dependence upon her Indian possessions.  Earth Yielding fifteen per cent. of nitre is said to be found near Nashville, Tenn., in quantities sufficient to supply the entire country.”


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