DECEMBER 29, 1861


At twelve o'clock last night one of the state powder mills, that at the old United States Marine Hospital at Gretna, due up with a report that shook the whole city to its foundation stones.

A pillar of flames shot up to the sky, for an instant illuminating the whole heavens, and then came the noise and shock--too great, too sudden, too overpowering to be mistaken for anything about what it really was.

At first it was difficult to know, in what direction the explosion had been, so diffuse were its effects, but as the building became wrapped in flames its location showed itself, and assured our people that was not the arsenal, which many had feared.

The explosion, at that hour of the night, could not have been the result of accident.  It must have been the diabolical work of some incarnate fiend.  It behooves the men of New Orleans to look well about them for traitors in our midst.  Let them be hunted and placed out of the reach of doing mischief.


Next to arms and ammunition, we believe it is universally conceded that provisions are the real sinews of war.  Troops may have clothing, muskets of most approved make and finish, ammunition in a lavish abundance, but if the stomach of the soldier is unplenished, in vain will all the other appliances to make him truly efficient be found.  Can the people themselves, then, outside of governmental red-tapeism, contribute efficiently towards a more equal and speedy distribution of important descriptions of food, and with great advantage to their armies and much profit to themselves, locally and generally?  We think they can.  Let us examine the matter.  The sugar crop of Louisiana is admittedly large, but its removal and dissemination, although prices are lower, indeed scarcely one-sixth the amount of that [which] every other description of human nutriment now command, is slow and unsatisfactory.  While sugar and molasses are to be had here for a song; and while no other description of human food is more acceptable, palatable or nutritious, pound for pound; and while we are all conscious that this will be the sorest year of trial to us in the important matter of food for the sustenance of our people, free and bond, no adequate exertions or co-operation appears to be made or contemplated for the reciprocation of that which we have in such unusual surplus, for other things and edible and unedible, processed by our friends in contiguous states to the eastward of us.  The constant clamor is, that it is impossible to forward sugar and molasses over the railroads east of Tennessee, because of their occupation for military purposes; but this we are assured could be easily remedied if the different railroad companies cordially and patriotically unite in plans to systematize the transportation business, always, of course, securing to the government the preference, but depriving its officers of the arbitrary power of interrupting the operation of the roads at their discretion--a discretion often, hitherto, very indiscreetly and unwisely exercised, if not abused.  To do this, committees of conference, composed of merchants, officers of the railroad companies and other well informed and experienced parties should be appointed; and by them such arrangements could easily be made as would ensure to the people of distant Virginia, and other remote places, at a small advance, the great supporter of life and health, of which our state is now the processor in abundance.


The Experiments with Military Bridges.—A dispatch states that the New York Fifteenth regiment engineer corps threw a pontoon bridge, 350 feet long, across the eastern branch of the Potomac, above the navy-yard, a few days since, and crossed it successfully with men, horses and heavy wagons. A number of the floats or pontoons were then plied over by the soldiers, using shovels as paddles. The corps also experimented with the new flying bridge of ropes, which has been improved so that men can cross over it with great facility. Many ladies crossed and returned, without danger, over a ravine four hundred feet wide and fifty feet deep.

Canada War Movements.--The Montreal Advertiser states that the commander of the forces has proceeded west to take the necessary steps for placing that portion of the province in a state of defense.  It has been resolved to call out the provincial militia for drill during the winter, and steps have been taken to erect some fortifications at weak points, for which purpose the sappers and miners at Halifax have been ordered to Montreal.  The government steamers will not winter at Quebec, but proceed to the lakes, so that they can be employed, in case of emergency, before the opening of the river navigation.  Arms and ammunition are being forwarded from Quebec to the inland magazines.  The erection of new batteries has been commenced near the old fort at Toronto.  Two batteries will be erected, each to mount six great guns. 


Salt.--The Richmond Whig is informed that the water at the salt works in Smythe county, Va., is abundant for the production of salt enough to supply the world, and at a cost not exceeding twenty-five or thirty cents per bushel.  This is a matter of too vital importance to the whole Southern Confederacy to be neglected, and if private capitalists do not take hold of the matter at once, the state of Virginia or the Confederate States should give such encouragement as will ensure the material increase in the production of salt at that place.  By prompt and vigorous action the capacity of the works may be increased in a very short time to supply all our wants.


A Strike Against a Northern Man.--The following paragraph take from the Petersburg (Va.) Express, a 17th inst.:

A large force of workmen at the Petersburg car and locomotive foundry on Old street, were on strike for about two hours yesterday morning, because of the appointment of James Myers, a native of Delaware, as foreman of the foundry.  It was the opinion of the hands, that as the south is now fighting to be independent of the north, it is due to southern citizens that the northern man should not be placed in high position over us.  Matters took such a serious turn at the foundry, that it became necessary for Mr. Myers to resign or be removed, which was done, and after some little delay, everything resumed its wonted serenity.  There was no strike for money--nor did money have anything to do with the disturbance.  The workmen were not satisfied to have a northern superintendent, and openly expressed their discontent and refused to work under him.


Destructive Fire.--The machine shop of the Tallahassee and Pensacola and Georgia railroads, says be Tallahassee News of the 19th, was discovered to be on fire about half past nine o'clock yesterday morning, having caught in the roof, from the smoke-stack.  Not having been prepared with buckets, &c., and there be no persons, except the operatives, nearer than up-town, before the fire could be arrested it consumed the entire machine shop, foundry attached, and one of the large cotton sheds, together with nearly all the tools and machinery in the machine shop and foundry, and one locomotive (the Rutgers) which had been divested of its wheels for repairs.  The other locomotives were run out and saved.  The loss must be very great in amount of machinery, &c., and when we consider that a great portion of it is of that character that cannot be replaced at this time, the loss is hard to estimate.


The Virginia Chemical Works.—A number of gentlemen in Richmond have formed an association for the purpose of manufacturing such chemical articles, indispensable at all times, and especially so at present, as have hitherto been difficult to obtain. The works will be established in or near Richmond, and will go into operation without unnecessary delay.

DECEMBER 30, 1861

The settlement of the Trent affair, even before the nature of England's demand, if any she had made, could be known, takes the people as much by surprise as did the seizure of the rebel ministers. . .  If we could for the time put out of mind all recollection off what has happened since the seizure--the speeches of our statesmen, the comments of the press, the studied opinions of erudite men, fortified by citations from the books--we should be better prepared to judge rightfully of the result now reached and of the motives which have controlled our government in its action.  The seizure of Mason and Slidell, and is officially stated, is made to appear the individual act of Capt. Wilkes and not the act of our government; and while the administration award to that officer the most patriotic motives, they do not sanction a procedure which sets aside the proper authority of prize courts and at the same time places us in the unpleasant attitude of ignoring maritime rights for which we have earnestly contended.

We confess it would look better in history if our government had reached its conclusion in this case at an earlier date, before the angry growl of the lion had been heard across the Atlantic.  It would not be strange if captious people abroad should interpret the action of our authorities, after the capture, has being, in some sort, an endorsement of the arrest.  The imprisonment of the captives at Fort Warren was, it is presumed, by order of the secretary of state, acting under the president's direction.  The reasons now given for their release would have been equally valid against their imprisonment at all.  The present phase of the matter, at the best, leaves us in an ungracious, not to say humiliating position.  We have had our chuckle over the capture of two noted rebels; the captain has been complemented by one house of Congress; he has been offered the freedom of cities and made the subject of ovations; numberless speeches have been made in justification of the capture; but a flaw in the indictment is now discovered in all these things go for nothing. Mason, Slidell and their scribes are to be delivered up.  After being treated to thanksgiving turkies and Scotch ale by their Boston sympathizers, they are to be allowed to depart in such manner is may have been agreed between Mr. Seward and Lord Lyons.  Their rebel character, in other words, is merged in that of passengers having rights of which they cannot be deprived except in pursuance of law.  The captain of the Trent is presumed to know nothing of the mission of these men, nor of the proclamation of neutrality issued by the British government.

Assuming that John Bull will be pacified by the terms of Mr. Seward's missive, this is the end of the quarrel, which but yesterday threatening to involve us in a foreign war of untold horrors, and, it is not too much to say, of doubtful issue.  The people would be in a better mood to acquiesce in the upshot of the affair, if we had any insurance of the pacific intentions of England in the future.  She is restive under the blockade and if our domestic war is to be prolonged for many months without decisive results, we shall hear more growls  which it will not be easy for diplomacy to silence.

Physical Training in Our Schools.--At the meeting of the school committee on Saturday, a very interesting report was presented and read by Dr. Huntington, chairman of the special committee on physical training.  This system has been in use in all our schools for three months, under the direction of Mr. Scott, who has been assisted by Mrs. S., and has been attended by reasonable success.  By the following extract from the report, it is inferred that some of the teachers do not carry out the wishes of the committee:

"We exercise the functions of our office through a corps of teachers, not an independent body of men and women, but the appointees of the committee, whose manifest duty it is to second and carry out, in good faith, the wishes of the committee.  We should be unwilling to charge upon any teacher and open or secret design to evade or disregard a service required of him.  If there be reasons satisfactory to his own mind, to restrain him from carrying out the wishes of the committee, the best he can do as an honorable man, is to resign his position.  Great respect should ever, on all subjects, be had for the opinions of an intelligent, experienced teacher, and no committee man should regard it in derogation of his dignity to be advised by such; nevertheless, all questions touching the interests of the schools, nearly or remotely, must come to the final arbitrament of the committee."


Gymnastic Exercises.--It may not be generally known to our young men that there exists in that this city a gymnasium club, and they have an excellent and spacious room, fitted up with all the necessary apparatus.  At a meeting of the club last week it was voted to reduce the terms of admission to three dollars per year or two dollars for six months, with a chance to use the room and apparatus every day.  In these days, when so much attention is devoted to the physical training of our children, it is hoped that the young and middle-aged men--especially those engaged in sedentary occupations--will avail themselves of the advantages offered by this club.  If a sufficient number can be obtained, a drill-club will be formed, and all who desire can learn to handle the musket.  Mr. O. E. Cushing, in the savings bank building, Middle street, has keys for the room, and will be happy to show all who may be desirous of joining.


Shakespearean Recitations.--Miss Jenny Kendall, a young lady of this city, will give an entertainment Mechanics' Hall on Wednesday evening next, in which she will read Hamlet in an abridged form, and also recite the comic piece, in which she will sustain five different characters.  Let her be greeted by a full house.



DECEMBER 31, 1861

In the U.S. Senate yesterday, petitions for the abolition of slavery, in whole or in part, were presented, as usual.  A bill was introduced to acquire a title to the District of Columbia.  In the House, resolutions calling on the heads of the different departments to furnish information to the investigating Committee, were passed.  A bill repealing laws creating ports of entry was reported from the Committee on Ways and Means.  The object of the bill is to avoid an implied recognition of the Confederacy, by blockading her ports.  Both houses adjourned until Thursday.

The official report of the expedition up the Edisto River, is received this morning.  On the 17th inst., Com'r Drayton of the Pawnee, accompanied by steamers Seneca and Vixen, the latter a Coast Survey steamer, commanded by Capt. Boutelle.  Soon after crossing the bar, they saw the fortifications on Edisto Island, upon which they fired, but without receiving any answer.  They then landed and found the works deserted.  In the meantime, the Seneca had been sent forward, her course being stabilized by the burning of cotton sheds and outhouses, and she approached.  At night some Negroes came on board, and said that a body of 500 soldiers was encamped at Rockville; and accordingly the next day at daylight Com'r Drayton went on board the Vixen, taking with him the boats and the marines from the Pawnee and Seneca.  In consequence of running aground they did not reach the town until 8 o'clock in the morning.  Near the town they found a small sloop laden with cotton and provisions, of which they took possession.  Upon reconnaissance, they found that the troops had fled from the camp, leaving everything at the mercy of the Negroes, who had plundered everything worth plundering.  Our men, however, brought away 40 Sibley tents and 4 common ones, besides other articles of no particular value.  Going further up the river, they found the Seneca ashore, and she could not be pulled off until the next morning tide.  A sloop which had met with a similar mishap in trying to escape from the Seneca, was burned by our boats. At night the expedition returned to Edisto Island, but went up the river in the morning to get off the Seneca, which they succeeded in doing.  On the way down, a small cotton sloop was captured, with her crew.  In the meantime, a large number of Negroes had collected on board the different vessels, who were put on shore at the point.  The Penguin, Lieutenant Budd, was left in charge of the river.  The next morning the fortifications on South Edisto Island were examined and found to be deserted, the guns having been carried off.  Our fortifications on Otter Island were being put in a state of defense.  They returned to North Edisto that night, and in the morning were informed by the Negroes that the rebels had returned with reinforcements to occupy the camp at Rockville.  As the weather was too threatening to permit of a satisfactory reconnaissance, the expedition returned to report progress.

Com'r Davis's report of the operations of the stone fleet at Charleston has been received.  It does not differ materially from the accounts already published.

A battle is going on at Paducah, says the Cairo telegraph operator, but he is not allowed to give particulars.

The Legislature of New Mexico has repealed along protecting slavery, almost unanimously.

The Europa passed Cape Race on Sunday afternoon, but there was such a sea running that it would have been madness to try to reach her in a boat, although she passed within half a mile of the shore, therefore no dispatches were conveyed to the steamer.

Their Flank Turned.--the London Saturday Review, stimulated in part by what it calls "the dinner in the Riviere House at Boston," has much to say about " the insane and furious insolence of Mr. Seward," and the madness of an unbridled democracy which selects as judges, "such men as Mr. Justice Bigelow."

It is one of the chief compensations for the surrender of the rebel envoys, that it is destined to defeat exactly such sanguine predictions as those of the Saturday Review, and show the English public that they are totally at fault as regards our affairs. In fact, what can be more uncomfortable than the position of a thoroughgoing "John Bull," who, having worked himself into such a genuine war fever, finds himself forced to take the very cool dose administered by Mr. Seward? That document leaves England before the world very much in the attitude of a bully in the street, who having taken off his coat and rolled up his sleeves, finds that the object of his wrath has quietly walked away without noticing him, to the great glee of the crowd of newsboys.

But the solid compensation for the present is to be found in the fact that England has been entrapped into a defence of neutral rights which nothing but blind passion could ever have induced her to walk into. The trap is now sprung, and she is committed to a complete negative of all her antecedents.1


The Press on the Surrender

It is certainly more for our interest in the long run than for that of England to have the largest privileges accorded to neutrals. If, by the present decision of our government, England can be brought to a full recognition of the doctrines for which we have for half a century striven to incorporate into the law of nations, not only for our interests, but those of humanity and civilization at large will be subserved.—Providence Journal.

If the problem which has caused such continued and angry discussion for the last fifty years, can be settled at so easy a rate as the sending off of Mason and Slidell, both sides will have reason to be thankful to Captain Wilkes for having reopened the controversy . . . –Portland Advertiser.

The matter is now wisely settled, and the damaged goods at Fort Warren are consigned to the order of Lord Lyons for transshipment to a more congenial atmosphere.—N.Y. Herald.

Laus Deo—We are not to have a war with England waged by Americans arrayed on the anti-American side of the maritime search question! Our government has recognized and acted upon the fact that our true national honor and our highest national interests alike call for the restitution of the rebel diplomats taken from a British steamer by force and without authority.—Providence Press.

The doctrines of international law thus enforced—doctrines which this nation has ever cherished—we shall now hold England to, and when this rebellion is ended, then the day of reckoning will come.—Worcester Transcript.


JANUARY 1, 1862

The Soldier’s Death.—I was buying a newspaper, in front of Willard’s, to keep me company over breakfast, when the boy who was giving me change sang out, in ragamuffin blurt, over his shoulder: “There comes an ambulance, Bob! Another feller dead!” And, as my eye followed the toss of the varlet’s ragged cap, I saw a squad of eight or ten soldiers approaching, on the road from Alexandria, with reversed arms, followed by one of the two-wheeled vehicles which answer for both litter and hearse, and the polite name of which has now become universal. The moment after came the sound of the muffled drum, the single tap marking the prolonged measure of the funeral march, and slowly and thoughtfully the little phalanx of mourners came along. And so went the dead soldier past the crowded hotel, on his way to the cemetery beyond—his feasting and fighting all over—and, of the hundreds lounging upon that thronged thoroughfare, scarce one lifted his eye to observe a street spectacle now so common. The nearest approach to even a passing identification of the dead was the number of his regiment, painted on the side of the ambulance which bore his body, and the little newsboy’s “another feller dead!” was probably his whole epitaph and biography!

I repeat, that these regiment-marked funerals—the drum muffled and arms reversed for but the number of the laid-off knapsack—are, tome, very touching! I never take a walk in Washington without seeing from two to a half-dozen of them. Of course, to every one, there is mother who should be there—a sweetheart who should have had a look at the pale face before it was covered up forever—perhaps a father or brother, a sister or friend, whose tears might have kept time to that drum beat. Should there not be a chronicler, at least, who would make, for these far-away mourners, some record of the burial—treasure up, perhaps, some hearsay of the last look or word? Liable, as all soldiering is, to this death upon unwatched pillows and nameless burial by unsympathizing hands—the boy most beloved at home, and most reluctantly sent to the wars, being as liable to it as the most worthless of his comrades—should there not be some regard paid to the distant heart-followers of their far-away march—some diary kept, by chaplain or hospital nurse, which could be consulted, afterward, by the mourners of the un-returning? With the colors of every regiment might there not be a regularly-provided blank book for these records of sickness and burial—a place in which should be preserved, faithfully and sacredly, the trifles on which grief loves to linger?—N.P. Willis.


The New Year opens with some dark portents, naturally calculated to modify the joyous feelings with which the greetings of the season have been marked. The thought possesses all minds that before another twelvemonth the issue of this war will probably have been decided. In the past, we have laid the ground-work of success. With the smiles of Providence, wise counsels, steady perseverance and determined action, the result must be auspicious. But whatever may be in the unrevealed future, America expects every man to do his duty. Thus only may we hope for speedy deliverance from our troubles, and thus may we hope to realize the wish of one and all, of A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

From the South.—By the courtesy of a friend we have several numbers of Richmond and Charleston papers, the first to Dec. 12th, the latter to the 16th ult. They contain little matter of general interest. The Charleston Mercury of the 9th is occupied with details of the great fire which was then raging. With regard to its origin the Mercury gives a report that it appeared in three places at the same time, a circumstance, if true, going to show that the city was fired by design. The same number of the Mercury contains a proclamation of Governor Pickens. The document opens by saying, “Our state is invaded and Charleston is threatened by land and by sea, with large forces.” The governor calls for twelve thousand volunteers, to serve for a term not less than two months, unless sooner discharged, and he adds, “unless this call is promptly responded to a draft will be executed,” &c. A correspondent suggests a project for destroying the blockade on a plan which certainly has the merit of intense originality. The project is, to prepare a number of large iron shells, loaded with one hundred pounds of powder and a due proportion of destructive missiles; the shells to be the heaviest on one side, and that side to be fitted with nipples for percussion caps, communicating with the charge. Then what? Why, “then take these sells up in balloons, and when at a convenient altitude above the blockading squadron allow them to descend upon the enemy’s decks.”


Vermont. The dwelling-house of Lucius Wright, at Rockingham, was burnt on the 21st ult., only a part of the furniture and provisions being saved. Insured for $400.

At Ferrisburg, on the 17th ult., a son of Ephron Allen, aged 13 years, arose at five o’clock, a.m., and went to the barn to milk, carrying a lantern with him. Accidentally upsetting it, the light set fire to some straw, and three barns, with their whole contents, were consumed.

Paul Dillingham of Waterbury, a recent democratic candidate for governor of Vermont, has taken in charge a contraband, recently the chattel of Lady Scott, of “secesh” notoriety, and is sending him to school, where the lad is making good progress.

The powder-manufacturing company of Bennington have obtained a second government contract for 1000 barrels of gunpowder, amounting in value to $18,000. An article of good report is required.

The annual meeting of the Vermont State Agricultural Society will be held at Bellows Falls on the 3d inst.

The rascal and swindler Tifft has been doing a large business along half the length of the state, say from Thetford to Bellows Falls. He starts a writing school at “half price for twelve lessons,” collects the pay in advance on the second evening, and then departs secretly, leaving his bills unpaid, together with borrowed money in some instances. Bus his course is nearly run, for the newspapers are exposing him and the sheriffs are after him.


Feeling in Canada.—The news of the release of the rebel ministers was received in Montreal on Saturday evening. The journals of that city describe the people as overjoyed. An immense crowd gathered at the exchange, where the news was read amid loud cheers. The Gazette has a congratulatory article expressed in handsome terms, and concludes by saying, “We heartily thank God that our coming annual festival of New Year brings with it no immediate indications of bloodshed and confusion during the twelve months which it will inaugurate.”

JANUARY 2, 1862


Fortress Monroe, Dec. 29, via Baltimore, Dec. 30.—As the steamboat Express, which runs between Old Point and Newport News, was leaving the latter place this morning, a rebel tug boat was seen off Sewell’s Point. She wore a commodore’s blue pennant, which was mistaken at first for a flag of truce, but on the Express arriving within range, the rebel boat fired a shot across the bow of the Express, which was quickly followed by several shells.

The greatest consternation prevailed for a short time on board the Express, which was unarmed, and the schooner Sherwood, employed to bring water from Newport News, which was in tow, was cut adrift. The Sherwood was immediately deserted by her crew, consisting of four men, who escaped by a small boat to Newport News, and the schooner, drifting down with the tide, was taken possession of by the Rebel gunboat and towed to Craney Island. Her captain stuck to her and was taken prisoner.

The rebel tugboat subsequently made her appearance, a second time, but the Express had crowded on all steam, and had reported the circumstances to the flagship. After a long delay, about half a dozen gunboats got started, and steamed towards the scene and threw a few shells into Sewall’s Point and Pig Point Batteries, without producing any effect, however, so far as is known.

Had it not been for the inexcusable delay in our gunboats getting to the spot, the rebels might have been intercepted and the schooner saved. The Sherwood had been lined with zinc and fitted out with a valuable force pump for a water boat. The loss is estimated at about $2,000. The schooner belonged to Assistant Quartermaster Noyes.

A flag of truce has been sent down to Norfolk this afternoon, but it brought no news. A note from Gen. Huger to Gen. Wool announces that he is ready to send 240 prisoners of war down the James river from Richmond by a flag of truce, whenever they will be received. Gen. Wool will send a flag of truce on Thursday or Friday next in answer thereto. No list of those to be released has yet been received by him.


An Earthquake in the Camp.—A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, at Camp Leslie, Arlington Heights, Va., writing under date of the 24th ult., says:

“About one o’clock we were startled by  a terrific noise, as if a whole regiment of cavalry were charging through the camp at full speed. The ground trembled and the whole camp was aroused—Col. Chormann among the first. It proved to be an earthquake--its usual rumbling sound being aided by the frantic pawing and jumping of every horse in camp. Many of the horses broke loose, and all were severely shocked; some of them fell to the ground, and altogether there was the wildest confusion I have as yet seen in camp life. After the cause of the commotion was ascertained we turned in again, and most of us were sound asleep in less than five minutes.”


Messrs. Mason and Slidell and Messrs. McFarland and Eustis, who have been surrendered by our Government on the claim of Gt. Britain, sail from Boston on Wednesday next for England in the regular mail steamer Niagara, of the Cunard line.

The Effect of It.

It is  but fair to presume that the advocates of emancipation policy and the arming of the slaves understood well what the certain consequences would be; and is it not therefore just to ascertain that they desire those results? What those results may be, is thus described by the New York Times, a leading and able Republican paper:

“If Congress should decree the emancipation of the slaves, and incorporate the blacks of the South with the army that is fighting against the rebellion, we should probably witness the following events in substantially the following order:

1. The annihilation of the Union party and of the Union armies in Missouri, Kentucky, Western Virginia and Maryland, and the secession of those States from the Union.

2. The resignation of a very large proportion of the Union Generals, and the disbandment of more than half the existing Union armies now in the field, with the cessation of enlistments, and the impossibility of supplying fresh troops.

3. The formation of a Peace party in the Northern States which would resist and defeat the collection of war taxes, paralyze the prosecution of hostilities, throw everything into turmoil and confusion at home, and secure either the recognized independence of the South or the reconstruction of the Union, by giving slavery all the guarantees it has never dreamed of asking.

The Constitution now, and the “worship” of it which prevails both with the Government and the people, averts these disasters and holds the country firm and steady to the prosecution of the war against the rebellion.”

The Louisville (Ky.) Democrat, in publishing the Report of the Secretary of War in its original atrocious form, pronounces it “the wickedest document that ever emanated from the pen of man,” and concludes its comments by saying:

“Arm the slaves of the rebels, and the act will do as much harm to the Unionist as the rebel. It changes, as we have said before, the whole contest from a sacred cause of religion and patriotism to a John Brown raid. It loses, if carried into effect, all the border slave States, and, we firmly believe, some of the conservative border free States. It concludes the war as effectually as if a hundred battles had been gained by the Southern Confederacy.”


The Charleston Fire.—Nearly 600 buildings were destroyed by the great fire in Charleston, S.C. The loss is estimated at from $5,000,000 to $7,000,000. Hundreds of people were rendered houseless, and great suffering ensues.


Cotton at the South.—Col. Peyton, a rebel Commissioner from North Carolina, who went to Europe in the rebel steamer Nashville, is reported to have made the following statement: He says that there are now in the Cotton States 750,000 bales of cotton of the old crop, over 4,000,000 bales of the new crop, and $50,000,000 worth of tobacco in the naval stores ready for shipment. If the blockade is raised, all this produce will go to England and France within three months.

JANUARY 3, 1862

Unionism in North Carolina.--It is sometimes since we have heard from the Union men in North Carolina, who have as yet failed to make any demonstration of their alleged attachment to the Union.  But the Washington correspondent of the New York Journal of Commerce writes:

"I sent you a scrap a few days since, in which I told you there was a strong Union feeling developing in the central part of North Carolina.  This news was brought by a young man just from there whom I personally knew.  He said there was a constant expectation that it would break out in a counter revolution, and from the names mentioned there is every reason to have confidence that if a sufficient force could be landed at Beaufort and Wilmington to take those places, and advance upon the railroads leading from thence into the interior, with a preceding the proclamation that if North Carolina with lay down her arms she would be received with fraternal regard and a sufficient force furnished to sustain her from side attacks, in thirty days she would be back in the Union, and the weight of the confederacy on either side would break the backbone of the insurrection--which is most devoutly to be wished."


Strike at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The workmen at the Brooklyn navy yard, numbering nearly three thousand, have struck, in consequence of the recent order of the secretary of the navy, requiring them to work from sunrise to sunset, at the same rate of wages as has paid outside.


General News Summary.

John Hill of the firm of Hughes, Fuller & Co., of Philadelphia, has secured a contract for furnishing the government with $1,000,000 bushels of corn, at 77 cents per bushel, and 750,000 tons of hay, at $22.50 per ton.  This is one of the heaviest contracts yet made by the government for forage.

James J. Wall, clerk on a North river steamboat, fatally shot Owen Phelan, during a quarrel in a New York drinking saloon, late Monday night.

The Troy university has suspended for a vacation off at least four months, the question of reopening to be decided by the state of the funds at the end of that time.

The treasure brought from California by steamers in 1860 was $33,499,409; that brought in 1861 was $34,379,547, showing an increase of $880, 138.

The newspaper reporters continue to haunt Gen. Scott, much to the old hero's annoyance.  He could not go to the Church of the Ascension, in New York, last Sunday, without being glowered at by the press gang, pencil in hand, two record everything he said were did, and to make an impertinent "personal" of it for the morning and journals.  If a man will be great, he must be content to be bored.

Business in New York and the other large cities is quiet, as it usually is at the beginning of a new year.  People generally are closing out old matters, and we can, before the commands new transactions, to see what is to be the condition of our foreign relations, it also what is to be the established basis of the currency.


Good-Bye to Mason and Slidell.

The British steam gunboat Rinaldo left Provincetown at 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, with the rebel commissioners, Mason and Slidell, and their secretaries on board.

First Experience in Battle.--A federal soldiers who was in the battle of Pikeville, in Kentucky, writes to his friends in Cincinnati this graphic description of his sensations during the fight:--

"And now for my share in the battle.  I was riding along somewhat carelessly, when crack! crack! crack! went their rifles, and down fell our men. Crack! crack! crack! they came.  Off I jumped from my horse, when along came the major and gave me his horse to hold; but I soon hitched them both to a tree down by the river and sprung again up the bank, when whiz! went a bullet passed my face, about three inches from it, and made me draw my head back in a hurry, I can assure you.  I looked up the hill, but could see no one for the smoke, which was plenty, so I levelled in the direction of the enemy and fired--loaded again and fired.  I got my rifle in readiness again. Ah! that ball was pretty close.  Here comes another--buzz--buzz--(you can hear the whiz for fully a hundred yards as they come)--get out of the way.  But where is it to go to? Whew! that was close.  But, great God! it has gone through a man's shoulder within a few yards of me! He falls!--some of his comrades pick him up.

"Now a horseman comes past in a hurry.  He is right opposite me--when whiz, crack! a ball strikes his horse in the foreshoulder.  Off tumbles the man; down falls the horse, stiffened out and dead.  If the bullet had gone through the animal, it would doubtless have struck me."

Here comes a dozen or more.  How they whiz as they go past! 'Load and fire!' 'Load and fire!' is the order--and load and fire it is.  My notice was especially drawn to a very fine-looking man, who stood close to me, and he truly acting like a hero--loading and firing just as if he was on parade, when whiz! whiz! comes a bullet. My God! how close.  It almost stunned me!  When I looked towards my soldier, I saw his comrades lifting him up.  He was shot through the breast, and died in less than half an hour. Oh! the horrors of war!  Vengeance on the heads of those who initiate it!

"I directed my attention up the hill; a little puff of smoke was dying away. 'Boys,' says I to the squad of his fellows, 'you see that smoke? aim for it, any rebel's in its rear." I raised my Enfield and glanced through its sights, went I for a moment caught sight of a man through the bushes and smoke there.  Crack went our gun[s], and all was over.

"We crossed to the place afterward and found the man's body.  He had four out of twelve  musket balls, and one Enfield rifle ball--mine, as mine was the only rifle ball fired.  They all went through him; either of which would have killed him--mine through his breast. Thank God!  I had done my duty for the poor fellow who fell beside me." --Evening Post.


Trial of a New Bomb.

A trial of the McIntyre Hart repeating bomb, was given Thursday afternoon at Providence, in presence of Gov. Sprague and staff. Seventy-nine explosions were obtained from ten of the nine-inch shells, in the regularity, certainty and terrible efficiency of the projectile, was fully demonstrated. Gov. Sprague expressed unqualified admiration at the successful issue of the exhibition.  The next trial will be made in Washington soon.

JANUARY 4, 1862

On What is it Founded?
What is its Strength and its Weakness?

It is a curious fact to start with, that the Southern Confederacy is founded upon the principle that it is a Corporation, based on the rights of each State as an independent sovereign nation to leave it, at pleasure.  It is a league or company that each individual member may repudiate whenever the humor takes him.  It is really worse than the German league or confederation, because its members can withdraw without the consent of any other member.

Nothing holds the Southern Confederation together but the war pressure.  Let peace be made to-day, and to-morrow, South Carolina would secede, and the next day Georgia and Alabama.

The people there firmly believe that the success of the North will be the abolition of slavery.  They do not believe that the people of the North of all parties are prosecuting this war to preserve the union, and execute the laws, even to the return of fugitives from labor; but that "President Lincoln" is doing it to "destroy their domestic institutions."

The reverse of their belief is the truth.  A dissolution of the Union would soon certainly be followed by the abolition of slavery.  It could not be otherwise.  Garrison and his followers saw this from the first; and hence they denounced the Constitution as "a league with hell and a covenant with death."

As it is now, the slave has to run the gauntlet hundreds of miles on an "under-ground railroad" to get out of the Union into Canada.  But in case the rebellion should prove a success, and the independence of the States that are parties to it should be established, so far as they would be concerned, the Constitution and laws, providing for the return of fugitives from labor, would be null and void, and have no effect; and the now border free States would compose a part of a foreign nation, that would not return one of the escaped, but protect them in all their resumed natural rights of life and liberty.  To subdue the rebellion is therefore conservative, and to acknowledge and recognize its success is the abolition of slavery.  About this fact, there is no doubt, and never was.

When the revolution broke out in South Carolina, the Senate and House of Representatives were both conservative, and so was the Supreme Court.  The President elect was disposed to enforce the fugitive slave law; but had it been otherwise, both Houses of Congress and the Supreme Court would have been against him.  It was plain, therefore, that with the leaders, the election was not the cause but the occasion of the rebellion.  It was a pretext that had been patiently waited for, since the days of nullification.  And some of the pioneers in it were candid enough to say so.

But the Confederation, besides its looseness--besides being a mere rope of sand held together by the war pressure--besides being a league of little independent nations, like the states of ancient Greece held together by the war pressure from without, is like them in its elements of dissatisfaction and disruption.

After the separation of the two tribes from the ten, until the carrying a way of the ten tribes into everlasting captivity, the children of Israel, boss divided, working in almost perpetual war.  The Italian States, the States of Greece, and the little South American Republics, and the Mexican States are fears specimens of the internecine wars that would devastate the North and the South, should the revolution prove a success, in the right of secession be established.

While the South presents a bold front on the Potomac, in Kentucky, Western Virginia and Missouri; behind this front is nothing but weakness.  Its armies and fortifications may be compared to a shop where all the goods are skillfully prepared on shelves and in shoe cases.  The eye sees all at a glance.  Nothing is left in reserve behind this outward appearance.  A single decisive battle against the South, like Manassas against the North, would decide this question, and blot out forever the rebellion, which has nothing to fall back upon.  Not so with the North.  A dozen defeats like Manassas only prolongs the contest.  It does not and cannot decide it.

This contest is one that must decide whether we have the Government or not--whether the Southern leaders shall establish anarchy, or the Government to preserve liberty and law--the Union and Constitution.  This is its purpose and nothing else.


The Toronto Leader is quite satisfied that, in the briefest possible time, we will be compelled to acknowledge the Confederacy through the forces of our national bankruptcy. Moreover, it holds that there is no sympathy with us anywhere but in Russia and Austria, and they cannot help the degrading poverty which is so soon to overtake and humble us.

It appears that there is great apprehension of a Yankee attempt to burn the Victoria Bridge. The Montreal Herald says that heavy gates are prepared to close the tube, and a strong picket guard will be stationed at each entrance. When the gates are hung, they will only be opened to allow the passage of trains, and immediately closed; and the doors of all passenger cars will be locked to prevent any person leaving them while passing through the tube.

We are complimented in the following plain fashion:

“The war for the Union is popular only so long as money can be made out of it; but northern patriotism will fade into thin air the moment that the patriots have to pay the cost of the war.”


The N.Y. Commercial thinks it is safe to say that Charleston can never recover from the blows she has received.  Wasted by raging flames within and isolated from the world of foreign commerce, the war has sealed her condemnation forever.  When South Carolina returns to her reason, a new emporium, founded on different auspices, will rise fifty miles lower down the coast.  Some site near Hilton Head will be selected on which to found the commercial metropolis of the Carolinas.  The spot where treason hatched its pestiferous brood of crimes against the country and against mankind, will be left to mourn in desolation.

1 The War of 1812 was less than fifty years in the past in 1861—closer then than we are today to the Second World War—and readers would remember the actions of the Royal Navy in illegally removing Americans from our merchant ships and forcing them into service as one of the main reasons for our entry into that war.

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