JANUARY 12, 1862

Late News from Up the River.

The Federal Gunboats Reconnoitering—The Columbus correspondent (Dec. 8) of the Memphis Appeal writes as follows:

Yesterday considerable excitement pervaded the whole army, in consequence of the sudden appearance in the river above of three gunboats and two smaller craft. At first it was suppose the time for the long looked for descent had arrived, and the impending conflict was at hand, as appearances would seem to indicate the remainder of the great armada was coming up in the rear. In an instant almost all our batteries were manned and ready for that trial of strength which must, sooner or later, decide the fate of the Mississippi valley, and put at rest for ever, I hope, the apprehensions of our citizens along the “great river” below. It was soon apparent, however, that the object of the expedition was merely to reconnoiter, if possible, the position of our submarine batteries, infernal machines, etc., etc., preparatory, perhaps, to a descent to be made hereafter. The little Grampus was immediately dispatched up the river to keep a sharp look-out upon their movements, and ascertain the real object of their visit. She soon returned, and reported that no demonstrations had been made towards landing troops on the Missouri side, consequently our hopes of a brush with the Yankee rascals considerably diminished; and when, at length, they turned their bows towards Cairo and slowly passed out of sight, we gave it up entirely for the present, and disappointedly returned to our quarters, to find in the varied amusements of the camp some respite from the ennui and apathy of our inactive life.

When they will pay us another visit, we, of course, cannot tell, but it is the opinion of our commanders that such an interesting event may occur at any time, hence, all leaves of absence and furloughs are entirely interdicted, except in the most urgent cases, and then a written petition has to be made to the commander-in-chief in person.

Our defenses are about completed, save case-mating the river batteries, which I learn is in progress—and wholly considered, present an array of strength truly formidable. Columbus may be taken, but there is no Yankee army now in the field formidable enough to do it, so the good people of Memphis may rest assured that the only Yankee they will have an opportunity of seeing in that fair city soon, will consist in the prisoners and wounded sent down to them by their friends from here, should they come on and give us the chance.


From Mexico.

The Evacuation of Vera Cruz.—The Spanish squadron (says a New York dispatch of the 7th) took possession of San Juan d’Ulloa on the 16th of December. Vera Cruz was evacuated by the Mexican troops next day. They retired without firing a gun. Letters received from Havana say that Santa Anna and Miramon are both to go to Mexico. Gen. Prim was at Havana, and was about to leave for Mexico with reinforcements.

The Havana Diaro states that the Governor of Vera Cruz was willing to evacuate the city, but demanded and received a respite of twenty-four hours. The Spanish general, on landing, issued a proclamation to the troops, and another to the people, the latter to the effect that the troops had come hither only to demand satisfaction for the failure of treaties and violence committed against their compatriots, and to obtain guarantees against similar outrages. The greatest satisfaction of the army would be, after fulfilling its mission from the queen, to return to its own country with the certainty of having merited the affections of the Mexicans. Nearly one hundred rifled cannon of the latest pattern were found in San Juan.

Savannah Harbor Spared.—Our Richmond exchanges have the subjoined paragraph, taken from the Port Royal correspondent of a northern paper:

“It has been definitely settled that the stone fleet is not to be sunk in the Savannah harbor, Our possession of Tybee island and Cockspur harbor gives us perfect control of the main entrance to Savannah, and hermetically seals it. One object in sinking the hulks has, therefore, passed away, and that, together with other reasons equally as cogent, brought about an entire change in the disposition of the fleet. Some of them will, doubtless, be sunk in some of the small rivers leading into the Savannah river navigable to small craft—such as carry on the illicit commerce between Nassau and the south, and thus blockade that pretty English game; and some, the more worthless, have already been beached on Tybee island, to form a breakwater, and hereafter a wharf; but the greater portion will go north of Tybee, and perform their part in the wiping out of the port of Charleston. This work will be commenced in less than ten days, if the weather is propitious, and then we shall see what we shall see.”


Departure of a Distinguished Yankee.—We learn that Dr. King, the Rhode Island great man, after having so bountifully partaken of the hospitalities of our home toadies and traitors, and after having patrolled Richmond and sneaked into all the offices of the government, took his departure yesterday for the north, under a flag of truce from Norfolk. The doctor was accompanied by his family, including, we believe, his “interesting” son, who was taken prisoner at Manassas. No doubt the doctor caries an interesting budget of information. His departure, we fear, will prove an inconsiderable loss to the many male and female friends he made in Richmond, who have proved their social value in the community by their fondness for the dirt and abolitionism of “the best New England society.”—Richmond Examiner, 4th.


From the Savannah Republican of the 7th we copy the annexed paragraphs:

The impression is becoming very general in our community that the Federals withdrew from Port Royal Ferry with the view of attacking the defences of Savannah in force. It was a singular movement, to say the least. After so bold a venture on the main-land, everybody expected them to make an energetic effort for the railroad, which they, perhaps, could have reached after hard fighting.

Gens. Lee and Lawton visited Fort Pulaski yesterday, to inspect the new interior works just completed. Everything, we learn, is in perfect order and prepared to resist the entire Lincoln navy, should it be brought to bear against it.

The Federals are busily employed in erecting heavy guns on Tybee; four, we hear, have been placed in position on the Martello tower, and perhaps others erected on the earthworks that were abandoned by our troops.

The Federal gunboat that went ashore in Calibogue sound, a few days ago, has been got off.

The Republican of the 6th states that the enemy were preparing to sink the stone fleet at the entrance of Savannah harbor.


13, 1862

The Canadian Reciprocity Act.

It seems especially undesirable that there should be a disturbance of the relations between us and our nearest neighbors. If heretofore it has been important that intimate and friendly intercourse should be encouraged, it is not now the time to change our policy, while our success in suppressing the rebellion depends upon the ability of the north to supply the needful means, we cannot afford to lose a trade which has contributed so much to our prosperity as that of the Canadas and Provinces.

The business which has grown up in consequence of the reciprocity act, is of great importance to our whole community. Since its adoption, the Canadian and Provincial merchants have relied upon us for a supply of various articles which can be had from us cheaper than from England. This business has grown larger every year as our mutual acquaintance has increased, until it has become a simple question of “cost when delivered,” which has decided whether orders should go to England or the States. As a result, our manufacturers have made more goods, our merchants have had more business, and our railroads carried more freight. Thus, a large amount of money has been circulated among various classes of our people, which formerly was circulated in Great Britain. The Canadian and Provincial merchants require large quantities of goods and they are obtained from us or from England. We can continue to cultivate the business or we can drive it entirely away. If, however, by any legislation, we should destroy the friendly relations already existing and ruin the business which it has cost time and money to establish, we should thereby only increase the gains of Great Britain and afford her manufacturers the greatest satisfaction at our own expense.

In the provinces almost every country trader owns or controls his coasting vessel. Several times a year these are laden with fish, lumber, wood, potatoes, coal, &c, and are sent to us. The proceeds of the cargoes are expended in purchasing a return freight, and our dealers in hardware, dry goods, medicines, boots and shoes, groceries, &c., fill the vessel. Such operations are not few or occasional, but constantly, frequently ten or fifteen such vessels clear in one day, and carry the results of our labor to every eastern port. Of course we do not wish to discourage this traffic; every individual in the community has a share in its benefits.

Aside from the pecuniary advantages of this treaty, it is no small thing that it tends to bind together those that are in so many respects as one people. By it we invite friendship and good feeling, and our institution are becoming both understood and appreciated through its workings. A more severe blow to the business and laboring interests of the North could not well be given than the repeal of this act. While deprived of the friendship and business intercourse of our former Southern friends, we should certainly avoid causing unkind feelings with our neighbors on the north and east.

Regulars and Volunteers.—Russell, in a recent letter to the London Times, makes the following remarks on a body of regulars which he witnessed at Washington:

“It is true, as compared with the average volunteer reviews, there was reason to place the regulars in high position, and the jealousy which exists on the part of the people towards a regular force had its exponent in the way in which some journals spoke of the occasion and its incidents. But, after all, volunteer regiments here would march as well if not better; the men were not so fine personally, their movements were loose without being active. Nevertheless, any one accustomed to soldiering, while finding fault with many things, judged by a European standard, would infinitely prefer risking an engagement with such a force opposed to equal numbers to taking three times as many volunteers into the field against the same enemy. The difference lay in the officers, in the readiness of the men, and the air and serviceable look of the troops as they marched past. As they took ground to the left or right there was no noise in the ranks of the advancing sections. The artillery were clean and neat; the cavalry had no wild abandon of hair and open collars, though deficient in straps and setting up; the infantry wore gloves and buttoned their coats.”


An Advance.—If we were to undertake to count the Monday mornings on which it has seemed that Saturday might bring some important news, we should soon get into higher numbers than we care to venture among.  With all this warning experience, we must still say, that it does not seem possible for this week to pass without bringing us to some decisive event. Burnside's expedition has begun to move, and appears to be organized on the scale far superior to what was at first expected.  The Mississippi flotilla has also begun to move, and appears to promise success, so far as ample provision in the way of iron-clad boats and heavy rifled guns can be depended upon.  General Buell is reported to have finished his bridge across the Green River in the Kentucky, and is now threatening an advance.

It is beginning to be felt that these great movements have been timed with reference to each other, but their plan is not yet understood.  The destination of Burnside's expedition is in fact, a well-kept secret yet.  It is generally supposed to be destined for one of the Virginia rivers, where it can no doubt plant and effective blow.  Some mysterious hints have been dropped, however, which seemed to intimate that it may be destined for Wilmington.  But the hints come from correspondents, who are probably as wise as the rest of the world, and no wiser.  As for the Mississippi expedition, Columbus is supposed to be its immediate a destination, although the boats are up "for Memphis and New Orleans." Taking these matters in connection with Buell's position, it would appear that the rebels are likely to have their hands full in every quarter before many days, and very likely before this week ends.

We must now wait therefore for what the fortune of war may send.  That the result will be a crushing defeat of the rebellion we cannot doubt; the preparation appears to be complete, the force ample, and the plan, so far as it can be guessed that, well laid.  But let no one forgets that in war chance effects as much as strength or skill, and that we must not be disheartened, if the general success is checquered by losses and minor reverses, which may at times cast a fleeting shadow upon our hopes.

, 1862

Cameron Appointed Minister to Russia.

Washington, Jan. 13.--A report is circulating around the capitol and believed, that Cameron has resigned as Secretary of War, and that Edward M. Stanton will take his place, and Cameron will be appointed Minister to Russia.


Our present relations with Europe are deemed highly important and interesting, and as Russia seems to be a strong friendly power, the president was anxious that some one should act is Minister to the Court of St. Petersburg in whom he has entire confidence, who can ably and fairly represent his views and aid our cause in Europe.

Gen. Cameron accepted the office of Secretary of War with great reluctance, preferring to retain his seat in the Senate, and has always made clear his intention to vacate the place when the interests of the country should allow, and he could have a proper successor.

The gentleman selected, Edward M. Stanton, is a warm personal friend, is from his own State, and has accepted the position at the latter's solicitation.  Mr. Stanton, it will be recollected, was Attorney General for the conclusion of Mr. Buchanan's administration.  In taking the position he sacrifices an immense private business to serve his country.  The appointment is popular, as it is generally conceded that he is a man of sterling integrity, without any political affiliations to trammel his actions in any case which may come under his supervision, while he will prove an able counselor in the Cabinet, and the most valuable officer in his department.

The friends of the Gen. Cameron claimed that he can well afford to lay aside his exhausting labors, having accomplished so much in the organization and equipment of the largest army ever assembled on the American continent.

The nominations were sent to the Senate to-day by the President.  They were, as is customary, referred to the appropriate committee, and will be acted upon in the executive session to-morrow.  The change in the Cabinet creates much sensation.


The Burnside Expedition.
Departure from Fortress Monroe.

Fortress Monroe, Jan. 12.--Most of the vessels composing the Burnside Expedition left very quietly at intervals during last night.  Others left during teh forenoon, to-day, including a large fleet of schooners which have been here for some time.  The transport New York did not leave till 11, to-day, and the transport Louisiana and New Brunswick are still here this P.M.  A number of schooners and several gunboats, said to form part of the expedition, are still in port.


The aggregate of Union soldiers, and of the estimated number of rebels, enlisted in the war, shows that the loyal states have furnished one soldier on the average to every thirty-seven inhabitants, and the rebel states one to every thirty-three, nearly.  The disparity will be lessened when the navy of the North is taking into account in as having drawn 25,000 sailors from the loyal states.  This computation does not include the States that are divided in sentiment.  For them the result is as follows: Virginia has one and 1 in 125 for the government, and one and nineteen for the rebels; Maryland one in 105 for the government, and one in 243 for the rebels; Kentucky one in seventy-seven for the government, and one in 115 for the rebels; Missouri one in thirty-eight for the government, and one in 235 for the rebels.  This makes an average of the divided states of one in every eighty-six inhabitants for the government, and one in 152 for the rebels, or we might draw the conclusion that in the states about two-thirds of the population are loyal, not including those who are lukewarmly in favor of the Union, but do not wish to fight against the South.

Hints to the Ladies.--Such monstrosities, intended for shirts, drawers, stockings and mittens for soldiers, occasionally come before the Sanitary Commission, as make the judicious laugh till the tears come.  Miss Hannah Stephenson has been months in attendance upon the soldiers, and she ought to know what is wanted.  To her we are indebted for the following:

I.  First, last, and always, let me ask you not to make any peculiar shirt.  Such a shirt as your father, brother, husband or son daily wears is the shirt for the soldier.  Men are not so fond of the change of cuts in their garments as women, and are annoyed by being obliged to wear something to which they are unaccustomed.  We all know the recognized, normal shirt; with its plain, buttoned collar, sleeves gathered into a buttoned wristband; length proportioned to the wearer, but not too long to wear under the trousers; the hospital patient, in alternately lying in the bed and moving about, cannot have the variety of shirts which home comfort allows. “Please let me have a short shirt,” is the most frequent request I have heard during the five months I have spent in the army hospitals. It has been painful to open boxes and bundles, and take out such supplies of nicely made shirts and drawers, where the heart went in to every stitch, but which could fit no living mortal, so gigantically had the good cloth been wasted in length and breadth.

II. Every open sleeve with its rows of tape strings is needless; for the moment’s exigency, the moment’s cut or tear is made, and must be. I have seen the fevered patients distressed with trying to keep near the hand the long, loose sleeve which would slip above the elbow, while they searched in vain for the accustomed button.

III. A human-shaped leg, instead of those enormous unshaplinesses, which the boys rather go without than wear, are desirable. “Please let me have a short shirt and  common shaped drawers,” I repeat to you as the sick boys’ petition. Woolen shirts and woolen drawers, the latter especially, are much needed, even now, in the hospitals.

IV. Bed sackings, whether made of ticking or stout cotton, should always be open in the middle, instead of the end, and with two pair of strings, thus securing the straw, and allowing a daily shaking about. Those open at one end are a nuisance in the ward.

V. Home-made pickles—that is the water in the desert—every New England boy relishes a pickle, and for the convalescent it is sometimes the one thing needful. But whatever you send of the fluid kind, jelly or pickles, calculate that the package will be turned upside down, and like as not, be used as a foot-ball, before it reaches the sick.

VI. Woolen undershirts, buttoning close to the throat, protecting the chest, are wanted, and will continue to be wanted.

VII. Be not afraid to overstock the wants of the army; if some regiments and hospitals are well supplied, there are others still destitute.


Capture of Schooners.

Washington, Jan. 13.--The Navy Department has received a report from Com. Dupont has to the running ashore and burning of the British schooner Prince of Wales by the bark Gem of the Seas, and the capture of the Island Belle by the Augusta.  The latter, formerly the Gen. Ripley of Charleston, was sent to New York.  The boat's crew of the gunboat attempted to save the [former] from the fire set by her crew, but a fire of musketry on the shore obliged them to leave her after kindling good fires aboard.  None of our men were injured.  There is no doubt that that she and her cargo are hopelessly ruined.


Bad Roads in Virginia.--The weather which has been remarkably disagreeable for the last few days, has seriously affected travel, both in the city and over the river.  I am told that it is impossible to do anything in the way of moving the army at present, owing to the miserable condition of the roads on the other side of the Potomac.

JANUARY 15, 1862

Butler’s Expedition.—The troops which we dispatched last week from Boston to reinforce Butler’s expedition at Ship Island, did not sail. After they were on board the ship and all ready to start, orders came from Washington to delay their departure; and after remaining nearly a week on board, in the harbor, they were landed and have gone into camp, again. It is supposed the Government is waiting for news from England, which will determine whether these troops go South or remain to defend our own soil.

P.S. The troops re-embarked on Sunday, under orders from Washington, and sailed on Monday in the big steamer Constitution.


$50,000,000 Squandered.—The following is an extract from a recent speech of Mr. Fessenden of Maine, a Republican Senator. When such a man as Mr. F. talks thus and exposes such a wicked waste of public money, honest men will think there must be something very wrong and very rotten in the management of the War Department. Mr. F. said:

“From the beginning of this contest, the spirit manifested by Congress and by the Executive appears to have been to see who could talk loudest about the largest amount of money to be spent, as if that would accomplish the purpose.  I warn Senators that we must begin somewhere in the work of retrenchment, and begin speedily; and for my part, I mean to begin at the very first point that presents itself to economize the public money, or we shall soon be in a position where we shall have no money to economize upon.

Look, for instance, at one example of the manner in which things are managed.  The government of the army started with the idea that we wanted to know cavalry.  Pretty soon they came to the conclusion that we did want cavalry, and they gave notice of that fact; and without counting what was to be the end of it, and what it was to come to, they allowed every man who offered to do so to raise a regiment of cavalry.  A regiment of cavalry costs something.  It costs about double what a regiment of infantry costs, and perhaps more than double.  I presume it costs $1,500,000 a year.  I was informed by a man who knew all about it--because he is one of the very highest military man--that ten thousand cavalry were all we could use, or twenty thousand at the outside; and how many have we to-day?  We have 60 regiments of cavalry either raised or in process of being raised, and most of them, as my friend from Iowa suggests, are regiments of 1200 men each.  There is very little use for them.  The Government can do nothing with them.  They are not even armed, and we have no arms for a very large proportion of them; and yet they are raised, and the men are paid, and the horses are bought and supported by the Government.  Many of these regiments are coming here, and others are on their way here.  There is no provision for them; no service to be required of them when they come here.  There is at least $50,000,000 to be spent four cavalry, for which the men who control the army say they have no use, and all because nobody inquired in the first place, how many were necessary."

As a further illustration of the reckless and criminal waste of public money, we have the fact upon Republican authority that the Regimental Bands of the army are costing at the rate of six million dollars per year. "That's the way the money goes."


Small Pox in Washington.--The N.Y. World of the 9th, learns from one of its most trustworthy correspondence that there are over four hundred cases of small pox among the civilians in Washington.  Also the best physicians of the city make the same statement.

The Slaves.--The Port Royal correspondent of the Manchester Mirror rights that Mr. D. M. Robinson has a large number of slaves under his charge, near Beaufort, ginning cotton. "They are to be paid," he says, "eight dollars per month for their work, and have the same rations furnish them as are given to all our troops.  Some of these fellows were very well, but generally they are on the watch to escape the eye of the overseer, and be off out the way of all work.  Paid seems to be no inducement.  They are born slaves, are ignorant and indolent, and the philanthropist will have a broad field to work in to bring them to a proper state of industry."


Great Union Victory.

Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, has been driven from office, and sent into exile as Minister to Russia! This is a great Union victory, far more important to the Union cause than would be the defeat of the rebel army at Manassas. Edward M. Stanton of Pennsylvania has been appointed to succeed Cameron. He was Attorney General during the latter days of the Buchanan administration. Cassius M. Clay, the present Minister to Russia, is to be appointed to a command in the army.


Freedom of the Press.--The U.S. Constitution declares that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press; but military officers are above the constitution.  The Provost Marshal of St. Louis has issued an order requiring all publishers of newspapers in the state of Missouri, St. Louis papers excepted, to furnish him a copy of each issue for inspection, a failure with which order will render the paper libel to suppression.


Censorship of the Press.--The committee on the Judiciary have requested of the House of Representatives permission and authority to send for persons and papers in order to probe to the bottom the subject of the censorship to which the Press of the country has been subjected at Washington, and which has reached such a pitch that comments in the nature of adverse criticism upon acts of Departments have been suppressed.


Corruption in High Stations.—Speaking of the debate in the Senate in regard to the alleged corrupt doings of the Secretary of the Navy, the correspondent of the Boston Traveller says, “the disclosure and the imputations were most painful to all who admire and expect integrity in men who occupy official stations.” And he adds that, “as yet the country has hardly appreciated the alphabet of the great volume of fraud and iniquity which must shortly be opened and read by the world. Each day furnishes a new development, and it seems as though nobody could have anything to do with Government matters without becoming demoralized and yielding to the temptation to steal something.”


Public Thieves.—There is no censure too strong, and no punishment too severe, for men who take advantage of the sufferings of their country in order to enrich themselves. Napoleon shot every dishonest contractor on the spot, and a similar fate should be awarded to those who look upon this war as an opportunity for making money.

JANUARY 16, 1862


The combined naval and land expedition which has started from Cairo, for the South, is a stupendous affair, and from the means taken to make it irresistible, we may confidently look for the most important and glorious results to the Federal cause.  The land force, if you said, who number from 60,000 to 75,000.  The naval arm of the expedition is of prodigious force, and we are inclined to think will prove the right arm of its power.  The total number of boats is seventy-eight, of which twelve are gunboats, thirty-eight mortar boats, and twenty-eight are tugs in steamboats.  The gunboats carry fifteen guns of heavy caliber each, except the flag-ship of the expedition, the Benton, which has been armament of eighteen guns.  Seven of these boats cost $89,000 each to build.  They are one hundred and seventy-five feet in length, fifty-one feet six inches in breadth, and draw five feet when loaded.  The bows and bow bulwarks consist of about three feet of oak timber, bolted together and sheathed with the best quality of wrought iron plates two and a half inches thick.  The sides have the same sheathing, with less bulk of timber.  The sides of the boats, both above and below the knee, incline at an angle of forty-five degrees, and nothing but a plunging shot from a high bluff can strike the surface at right angles.  The boilers and machinery are so situated as to be considered quite out of danger.  The iron plating has been severely tested by shots from rifled cannon at different distances, and has shown itself to be utterly impervious to any shots that have been sent against it, even at a range of three hundred yards.

The Benton is somewhat larger than the rest of the fleet, and has a double hull with wheels working in the recess near the stern.  The whole is divided by five fore and aft bulkheads, and thirteen cross bulkheads, making forty-five watertight compartments. Casements extend around the whole boat, and are made of twelve-inch timber.  At the knuckle on the main deck, the timber is from three to four feet in thickness, solid.  The pilot and wheel houses are amply protected by timber and iron sheathing.  The magazines, two in number, are each capable of carrying one hundred rounds of ammunition for every gun, and afford ample room for the necessary evolutions within them.  The magazines can be flooded with water in a moment from the main deck.  The mortar boats are built of heavy timbers, the sides of boiler iron, loop-holed for musketry, and are so arranged that they can be used for bridges.  They will each carry one fifteen-inch mortar.  The mortar boats will be towed into position but tugs.

From trial the jar caused by firing on the different boats is so slight as to be hardly perceptible, while the craft can be moved in position easier than was anticipated.  This fleet will no doubt meet with a formidable resistance, but the chances are decidedly in its favor.  On this point the Cairo correspondent of the St. Louis Republican remarks:

"To show the difficulty of getting vessels on the river, the case of the Lexington and Conestoga, which occurred when I first came to Cairo some months since, will demonstrate.  These boats were engaged for over three hours with several batteries, in all twenty guns, just above Columbus and although the cannonading was kept up vigorously by the Confederates, not a single shot took effect.  A gunboat, went into action, lies with the bow up stream, in which position it is more motionless and does not sway with the current's action, only the stern's breadth affords an object for its 

opponent's aim, and at a mile and a half, or even less, this appears small.  At peaceful practice it would be hard to hit a similar target, and in the heat of battle it is much more difficult.  So, with all the bragging and taunts of another Manassas, the most prudent military men stoutly affirm that Columbus can and will be taken."

In a reconnaissance of the gunboats down the Mississippi, they found the rebels had a small steamer, six miles above the Columbus, which, as soon as she discovered the flotilla, steamed off for Columbus, in hot haste.

It was found that the chain stretched across the river at Columbus, is controlled by a steam engine on the Kentucky shore, which tightens or loosens it at pleasure.  To the bottom of the chain is attached three large torpedoes, intended to explode on concussion with the wheel of a boat.  All of the rubble vessels, with the exception of the Water Witch, are below the chain, the latter vessel being light draught, can pass over it, and consequently remains above to reconnoiter.

When the Federal gunboats approached Columbus day could plainly see the batteries at that place.  While the artillerists stood at the guns ready to fire, and the whole Confederate force were under arms.

With this formidable armament, and a force of 75,000 men, the onward march must be comparatively resistless.  The progress of the flotilla will probably be by the Mississippi to Columbus and Memphis; by the Tennessee to the mouth of Sandy river, and by the Cumberland river to Nashville.  Within a few days we shall make history fast.


Our Bed Rooms.--Our bed rooms are too often fit only to die in.  The best are those of the intelligent and affluent, which are carefully ventilated; next to these, those of the cabins and farm houses, with an inch or two of vacancy between the chimney and the roof, and with cracks on every side through which the stars may be seen. The ceiled and plastered bed rooms, where too many of the middle classes are lodged, with no apertures for the egress or ingress of air but the doors and windows, are horrible.  Nine tenths of their occupants rarely open a window, and less compelled by excessive heat, and very few are careful to leave the door ajar.  To sleep in the tight 6-by-10 bed room, with no aperture admitting air, is to court the ravages of pestilence, and invoke the speedy advent of death.


Productiveness of California.--California is a wonderfully productive State.  Cattle have got to be so numerous as to be almost worthless, and every kind of fruit and farm produce is abundant and cheap.  During the autumn, full grown fat cattle have been sold for $3 to $5 per cwt.; horses from $10 to $50; hogs at all prices; sheep from 75 cents to $1.50.  Contracts for good fat beef with the necks and legs cut off, had been made for the army at $1.50 per 100 pounds; and still, such are the facilities for raising stock in that climate, money can be made at the above prices.  Good, clean barley, and 100 pound sacks, is selling at $15 per ton.  Wheat at $30 to $35 per ton.  Excellent grapes, at $20 to $30 per ton.  Potatoes this year are unusually high, and their having been but a short supply planted.  They sell at 2½ cents per pound, twice as high as grapes.


JANUARY 17, 1862


Cairo, Jan. 10.--The greater portion of the troops are already embarked.  The expedition is not expected to leave before to-morrow.  It is understood that Generals Paine and McClernand will be in command of the forces from here and Bird's point, and Generals Smith and Wallace of those from Paducah.

Chicago, Jan. 10.--A special dispatch to the Evening Journal from Cairo says that the expedition has commenced moving, and a large portion of the force had already gone down the river.  It is under the convoy of the gunboats Essex and Lexington.  The expedition will probably land at Jefferson, five miles below Bird's Point.  The remainder of the expedition is being rapidly embarked and will sail to-morrow.

The special dispatch to the Times, dated 9th, says the advance of the expedition, composed of McClernand's brigade, and landed eight miles down the river, at the mouth of Mayfield Creek, on the Kentucky side, where their tents were pitched for the night. Gen. Grant and staff went down during this afternoon and returned at dark.  The remainder of the force moved in the morning.

St. Louis, Jan. 10.--the Cairo correspondent of the Republican telegraphs that the great expedition is ready to start.  All the soldiers and most of their wagons had embarked on the steamers, which will leave as soon as the dense fog which now things over the river is dispelled.  The troops are in highest spirits, and impatient to be off.  The fleet will ascend the Tennessee River some distance, but the final destination is not known.  A considerable body of cavalry will start at the same time from Bird’s Point, and proceed through Kentucky joining our army at the point of debarkation on the Tennessee river.


Reporters in a Fix.--The following an extract from the Traveller, will explain the cause of so little information touching the Burnside expedition before the public:

Gen. Burnside has quartered in the reporters who are to accompany the expedition on board the Cossack.  They have been on board several days, and being interdicted from sending any information for publication, the chafe at the delay they have been subjected much to.  These knights of the pencil have formed "a mess" on board, and purchase their own grub, the rations of the ship not being to their taste.  If they should be killed they would probably die "game," for they live like "fighting cocks" upon luxuries that cost them a dollar a day apiece.  By the way want an "item" it would make for the press if a shell should one day explode on their dinner table, and send them all to kingdom come!


From the Lower Potomac.--The Times dispatch says that Wednesday morning several hours before daylight the Freeborn, Island Belle, and Satellite, under direction of Lieut. Magaw, commanding the lower department of the Potomac flotilla, shielded the encampment of a rebel regiment, near Fookes landing, about daybreak.  On the return to Liverpool Point the rain within about three-quarters of a mile from the Aquia Creek batteries, and threw in some thirty of forty-five second shells, with what effect is not known.  The rebels made no reply.

From South Carolina.--A Colonel of a regiment stationed at Hilton Head, now here, says he is no doubt of his ability to take Charleston, with his single regiment.  So great is the Southern panic that houses ten miles in the interior are known to have been abandoned by their owners in the same condition as Beaufort was found.


Facts About the Volunteers.--The relative proportion of foreigners and native born in the volunteer army, at present, cannot be stated with accuracy; but there certainly is no foundation for the loose statement that a majority of the army is a foreign birth.  From the returns of two hundred regiments, it appears that in 76 1/2 per cent of the regiments native Americans were found to constitute the majority, and 6 1/2 per cent there was a majority of Germans, and 5 1/2 the number of native and foreign born was about equal.  It is probably about the exact truth to state that about two-thirds of our volunteer soldiers are American born and nine-tenths citizens, educated under the laws of the Union and in the English tongue.

The time occupied in recruiting the two hundred regiments averaged six weeks--the shortest period being ten days and the longest about three months.

From incomplete returns, the average age of the volunteers is judged to be a little below twenty-five years, and the average age of the officers is about thirty-four.

Of the two hundred regiments, in fifty-eight per cent there had been no pretense of a thorough inspection of recruits on enlistment, and in only nine per cent had there been a thorough inspection when or after they were mustered in.  The necessity for a vigorous inspection of recruits, the shown by the fact that of the 1620 men discharged from the army of the Potomac during the month of October, fully 53 per cent of the whole number or thus discharged on account of disabilities that existed at or before their enlistment, and which an honest and intelligent surgeon should have detected.  These men had cost of the government at least one hundred dollars each, in the aggregate over eight thousand dollars.

The soldiers of the 57 per cent of the regiments have sent home to their families a considerable portion of their pay.  The men are generally disposed to send home from half to three-fourths of their pay, if satisfied they can do so safely.

The above statements are gleaned from a report of the Sanitary Commission, and refer to 37 regiments from New England, 101 from the Middle States and 62 from the Western States.


Taxes.--Among the schemes said to be before the Congressional committee on Ways and Means are mentioned one for laying a tax of five cents on every telegraphic message, and one for taxing railroad passengers one fourth of a cent every mile travelled.  The latter plan would seem to be a most effective one.


JANUARY 18, 1862

The Atlantic Telegraph.

Mr. George Saward, of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, has addressed letter to Mr. Cyrus W. Field, urging the expediency of revising the project of the Atlantic Cable. Mr. Saward argues that the experience and information gained by the Company in their former experiments have served to point out the defects of the old cable.  It has been found that the internal construction of the first cable was all wrong.  It should have contained about eight times as much copper and three or four times the quantity of gutta percha then were really employed; and the construction of its external sheath should have been regulated, as to specific gravity, by the depths of ocean to be encountered; and as to its material, by the conditions of strength and indestructibility.  These discoveries will, of course, render the next cable more expensive, but this will be commercially compensated for by the fact that instead of working at the rate of two words per minute, a due increase in the size of the conductor will give almost any speed that may be desired, even across the Atlantic, if the quantity of insulating material surrounding it be proportioned to it on scientific principles.

We cannot but believe, that if we had been in telegraphic communication with Europe, much of the bad blood lately excited between England and America would have been dispelled before and it brought either nation to the menacing attitude exhibited toward us by the British people and government.  Under our present system of communication, a plausible lie about us in England works potentially upon the public sentiment of that country for near a month, before it can be authoritatively contradicted.  The emissaries of the South are many and active in England, circulating the poison of falsehood and malice against the American government, and working artfully for its ruin by other means than sending arms and munitions of war to the rebels.  In fact, it would seem that the public mind of England was fully charged and primed, and so went off, slam bang, at the touch of the Trent torch.  Almost the whole British public flared up with indignation.  The British lion was immediately upon the rampage. Nine-tenths of the British press, including some papers which had most generously defended us, hurled their thunders at us; and why?  Chiefly because they supposed they detected in the unauthorized and unanticipated act of Capt. Wilkes the result of a studied purpose on the part of our government to insult the British flag, and provoke a war.

It is difficult to believe that John Bull really supposed we entertained a desire to open a new contest at this exigency, but an irascible old man who has a gouty toe crushed must not be expected to act or talk in a perfectly sane manner; so, for half a month the old gentleman raved upon false premises, and prepared for war.  The few thrills along  the wires of telegraph underlying the "grey and solitary waste" of the sea now separating and isolating two kindred nations, might have so informed with words of explanation and peace, as to scatter and subdue the gathering war-storm before it should acquire resistless headway.  The lack of it may cost us more treasure than would lay a thousand telegraphs, and thousands of lives more precious than any treasure.  It may be that we have narrowly escaped a war with England for the want of the means of speedier intercourse.  Ought we to run the hazard of neglecting to provide those means any longer?  Do we not owe it to

humanity to facilitate intercourse between its sundered families everywhere?  California felt the new glow of loyalty when she found herself en rapport with the Atlantic States, and we all grew more patriotic at the thought.  We should love England better, and England would love us better, if we could be brought into telegraphic tete a tete, and be thereby enabled to exchange frequenter tokens of goodwill, and to dispel the unfounded imputations of unfriendliness which our mutual enemies so industriously circulate.


The Judgment of an Opponent.--The New York Journal of Commerce--the paper which we hardly need say is not strongly partial to any of the present a cabinet--disapproves of the system pursued by the Secretary of the Navy in his purchases.  It adds however,

"We presume that the custom which has been adopted by Mr. Welles in this instance, will be discontinued hereafter.  It is worthy of special remark that this is the only accusation of wrong which has been made against the Navy Department during the war, and that it is abundantly evident, from all the circumstances of this case, that it was but in error of judgment, and in no manner reflects on the personal integrity or ability of Mr. Welles."


The Savings Banks.--The Savings Banks of Massachusetts had in 1861, deposits amounting to $44,785,438, belonging to 235,858 depositors.  It is a remarkable and gratifying indication of the condition of the Commonwealth that after a year of financial revolution and civil war these deposits should have fallen off only $298,797.


Steam Air Cannon.--The Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate gives the following description of a "steam air cannon," invented by a Louisianan, which it recommends to a favorable notice by the legislature of that State:

This invention consists of a locomotive capable of running on common roads, which supersedes horse-power in all draft operations, and is adapted to either land or water.  To this is attached one or more air cannons, which, in view of the present scarcity of powder, is a great desideratum, and as a air can be made more effective than powder, being liable to compression many thousand times less than its bulk.  These cannon will also have the following qualities to recommend them, viz: no report, little if any concussion, no heating, and no smoke, of which proves their great availability, whether placed on board of gunboats or war ships, or used on land for river protection, where it would be most serviceable.  Along the banks of the Mississippi the levees would protect the lower part of the machine, while the upper is secured by its own inclined planes.

The cannon, being breechloading, is loaded with great ease and speed; and by being removed from the machine, the latter can be applied to making ditches, throwing up the embankments, and can also be used as a fire engine.

In the open field it may well be called a flying artillery, as it could run through any ranks, either of infantry or cavalry, and open a lane 14 feet wide.

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