FEBRUARY 16, 1862

The Visit of the Federal Gunboats—Citizens Leaving—Three Gunboats Burnt.

The following interesting account of the recent visit of the federal gunboats to Florence, Ala., and the destruction of property and great excitement of the populace consequent thereon, we take from the Gazette of the 12th:

On Saturday last, our citizens were thrown into the utmost state of excitement by the appearance of two Yankee gunboats, which were seen from an eminent position overlooking the river for many miles down its nearly straight current. The black, ugly things, wrapped, as they were, in the habiliments of death and mourning, well represent the principle upon which this unholy war is waged, for the destruction of Southern rights and lawful interests.

Three beautiful steamers, one well laden with valuable freight, had been hotly chased by these gunboats for hundreds of miles. They had arrived in safety at our landing, but were placed in a condition that the more agreeable if not less destructive element of fire could place them in thirty minutes beyond the reach of the destroying foe. Instantly that the approach of these black agents of destruction was discovered, the torch was applied to the combustible material, previously arranged, and soon one of the most sublime scenes that has ever been witnessed by our citizens was exhibited. The three steamers were now wrapped in curling flames, and were useless to the hungry vultures, whose appetites had been whetted doubly keen by having, for many hours, been in close pursuit, constantly expecting to grasp in their expanded talons the dainty prey.

A fire was then kindled upon the holy altar of patriotism, that found a hearty response in every heart, except the disappointed pursuers. Soon the destructive element had done its work, and the burning wrecks were drifting along by the surging flood. Our landing was made, and the soil of North Alabama was desecrated by the tread of our invading foe. One of the warehouses was opened without a key, and such articles as were supposed to belong to the Confederate States were taken; private property, we were informed, was respected. A courteous interview took place between the commander of the expedition and a deputation of our citizens, in which the citizens of the town were assured that violence was not intended to person or property of peaceful citizens. We believe this pledge was kept, and soon after the sable shadows of night were drawn over this sad spectacle, the cables were loosed, and the demons of an abused power went steaming down the river. We were honestly told that we might expect them again. . .

When it was certainly known that the gunboats were coming, a good many of our citizens took  moveable goods and went to the country for safety. Some reported that 10,000 Yankees were in town, some 20,000, and that they were destroying everything before them. One fellow affirmed that he saw twenty-seven gunboats land here, on Sunday evening, with his own eyes. That is the way such rumors get afloat. Suffice it to say, the gunboats lay at our wharf about three hours and then  retired, since which time we have seen nothing of them, but heard a great deal.

We hope the noble example of the masters and owners of the burnt steamers will be followed by our planters, and rather than a bale of cotton should fall into the hands of the foe, that they themselves will apply the torch to the last bale of cotton in the Tennessee Valley.

What Becomes of the Soldiers’ Supplies.

The Richmond army correspondent writes to the Savannah Republican on the 31st, as follows: On my return to this city, I noticed what appeared to be a large pile of soldiers’ boxes, at the depot in Wilmington, N.C. There seemed to be several hundred of them piled under a shed. There were several volunteers on the train returning from a short visit to their homes—some of whom were bound to Norfolk, some to Yorktown, and others to Manassa and Winchester. I overheard enough of their conversation to learn how it was that so many boxes belonging to soldiers had been left at Wilmington.

Upon the arrival of the train at Wilmington, which is after midnight, the soldier who has been working and struggling along the route to get his box through, is informed that it is impossible for it to go forward then, but that it will be sent on by the next train—say, the following day. The box contains such supplies of food and clothing as loving hands at home have prepared for him. His furlough will soon expire, and his stock of money is rapidly diminishing. If he remains over in Wilmington, he must sleep on some friendly door-step, or seek a hotel, where the charges will be disproportionate to his means. If he goes on, the box may be lost. What then shall he do? He has allowed himself barely time to get back to camp before the expiration of his leave of absence; so he decides like a brave soldier, to continue his journey, and trust to the railway authorities to forward his luggage. And that is the last he ever sees of his box.


All the late movements of the enemy, says the Memphis Avalanche, disclose the fact that they have received important information from spies in our midst. They would never have ventured to Florence, Ala., with their gunboats, if they had not known that country to be undefenced by our soldiers. Let a stricter watch be kept upon suspicious persons, and let them be summarily dealt with if detected.


Latest from the Cumberland Gap.—An officer who arrived at Nashville on the 10th, from Cumberland Gap, reports the health of the troops at that point as excellent. He states that the Lincolnites were reported in large force at Loudon. Our troops are actively engaged in strengthening the fortifications.


Late from Tennessee River.—The Memphis Avalanche learns from passengers arrived there that the Federals are still guarding the Tennessee river bridge. They have made no movement yet towards Paris. There is great excitement in Henry county, and the slaveholders are moving their families and slaves out of the way of danger.


Gen. Beauregard.—The Memphis Avalanche of Friday says: “As the movements of this distinguished leader possess unusual interest at this time, we may state that he left Bowling Green yesterday, and will arrive at Columbus Saturday afternoon. His arrival is anxiously looked for by the patriotic army at Columbus, who ardently desire an opportunity to meet the foe.”

, 1862

From Fort Donelson.—The news from this point is glorious and decisive. The fight began on Thursday, and was kept up with only brief intermissions through Friday and Saturday. The result, so far as known, is that we have taken a redoubt commanding the fort, and General Grant was confident of taking the works yesterday. Flag officer Foote, as appears by his report, opened fire with only four iron-clad gunboats and two wooden ones. After an hour-and-a-quarter’s fighting within 400 yards of the fort, the wheel of the St. Louis and the tiller of the Louisville were shot away, rendering the two boats unmanageable. The two remaining iron-clad boats were greatly damaged, the flag-ship (St. Louis) receiving 59 shots, and the others an average of half that number. Our loss in killed and wounded upon the fleet was 54. Commodore Foote was slightly wounded, and retired to Cairo. The mortar-fleet from the latter place for Fort Donelson. The rebels had three batteries bearing upon the river, the highest (which the land forces have taken) being 110 feet above the water.

There was a report circulating in Boston yesterday of the capture of the fort, which is confirmed. See dispatch.

A special dispatch to St. Louis, from Cairo, dated yesterday afternoon, says:

Commodore Foote reached here at 12 o’clock last night on board the gunboat Conestoga. He stormed Fort Donelson Friday afternoon with the gunboats St. Louis, Louisville, Pittsburg, Carondelet, Tyler and Conestoga. After fighting a little over an hour he withdrew. Fifty-four were killed and wounded, our gunboat pilots, Riley and Hinton, of the St. Louis, being among the latter. Commander Foote, while standing on the pilot house of the St. Louis, his flag-ship, was slightly wounded. The Tyler and Conestoga remained out of range of the enemy’s guns.

The fire from the enemy’s three batteries is described as very accurate. The upper one mounted four 18-pounders, and was held in reserve until our boats got within 400 yards of the fort. Our fire was directed principally at the water battery. One of the enemy’s guns burst and a number were dismounted. The enemy could be seen carrying the dead out of their trenches.

A dispatch, dated in rear of the fort, Friday afternoon, says:

Last night was very severe on our troops, rain having set in which turned to snow. It is freezing to-day, and old citizens say they rarely have such cold weather in this latitude. The more I see of the fort the more convinced I am that it cannot be reduced without a terrible battle. Its rear seems almost impregnable. The outer works and bastions of the fort are located on ridges 150 to 250 feet high, covered with dense timber and underbrush.


Contrabands at Port Royal.—General Sherman has issued an order in relation to the treatment of contrabands at Port Royal. He proposes that the government shall take charge of the plantations coming into its hands, shall raise the cotton, employ and pay the Negroes, keeping the latter under a strict but kind discipline of overseers. He also proposes that suitable teachers be provided for the blacks, and that religious instructions be given.


At quarter to 12 o’clock this forenoon, Mr. Brickett, telegraph agent in this city, received the annexed dispatch from Boston:

“Fort Donelson is captured. General Pillow, Floyd, Buckner, and Johnston with fifteen thousand prisoners, were taken. . .”


The Attack Upon Savannah.—A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, writing from Port Royal, Feb. 10th, says:

Advices have been received at this place from the fleet now en route to attack Savannah. These advices are up to Sunday afternoon at one o’clock. Not only have the vessels succeeded, as heretofore known, in cutting off all communication between Fort Pulaski and Savannah, but the forces have destroyed the water pipes leading to the city, and supplying it with water. The gunboats, eleven in number, and transports (three), under command of Gen. Wright, expected to land eight thousand troops this (Monday) morning. The obstacles encountered by these boats were of the most trying character. The piles driven into the Savannah river were of heavy timber, and had been placed with the greatest care. It was a work of no small labor to cut them off, at a depth of sixteen feet below the water. This was done, however.


The Accident at Newport News.

A correspondent of the New York Herald gives quite a lengthy account of the bursting of the Sawyer gun at Newport News on Thursday, the 6th inst. It is supposed to have been caused by not “ramming home” the charge. From the article we learn that James W. Shepard of this city, who was instantly killed, was merely a spectator, and was struck by a piece of the bridge, weighing about fifty pounds, that fell some forty feet from the place of the explosion. When the gun burst, he commenced running, although warned to stand still by his commander, Capt. Wilson. Had he remained in the place where he first stood he would have escaped unhurt. Shepard was a house carpenter by trade, and a great favorite with all who knew him, and was always willing to oblige any one to the best of his ability. He had the day before got a furlough made out by his captain to go home and visit his wife, and only wanted the general’s signature. The body of Mr. S. was brought to this city on Saturday, and was buried from No. 21 Suffolk corporation yesterday afternoon. His head was shockingly mangled, the back part being entirely gone. The deceased was a member of Co. B of the 29th regiment, Col. Pierce, commanded by Capt. I. N. Wilson, of Billerica, formerly first lieutenant of the Richardson Light Infantry. He enlisted with Capt. W. last August and left in company with several others to fill up the company on the 26th day of the same month, for Fort Monroe. On the very day of his enlistment he was married to Miss Agnes H. Coffran, a native of Scotland, who still resides there.1

, 1862


The Capture of Fort Donelson.

St. Louis, Feb. 17.—Fort Donelson surrendered at 9 o’clock Sunday A.M. to the land forces; the gunboats were present at the time. An immense amount of war materials are among the trophies of victory.

Floyd skulked away the night before the surrender.

The gunboat Carondelet, Capt. Walke, has arrived at Cairo. A large number of our wounded have been brought to Paducah and Cairo hospitals.

Chicago, Feb. 17.—A special dispatch to the Times says that McClernand’s division, composed of Wallace’s and McArthur’s brigades suffered terribly. . . Gen. Lewis Wallace2 with the 11th Indiana, 8th Missouri and some Ohio regiments participated. Taylor’s, Williard’s, McAllister’s, Schwartz’s and Decesse’s batteries were in the fight from the commencement.

The enemy turned our right for half an hour, but our lost ground was more than regained. Lanman’s brigade of Smith’s division was first in the lower end of the enemy’s works which were carried by a charge of bayonets. As nine tenths of the rebels were pitted against our right, our forces on the right were ready all night to re-commence the attack on Sunday morning. They were met on their approach by a white flag, Buckner having sent early in the morning a dispatch to Gen. Grant surrendering the fort. The works of the fort extended some five miles on the outside.

The rebels lose 48 field-pieces, 17 heavy guns, 20,000 stand of arms, besides a large quantity of commissary stores. The rebels are completely demoralized and have no confidence in their leaders, as they charge Pillow and Floyd with deserting them.

Our troops from the moment of investment on Wednesday lay on their arms, night and day, half the time without provisions, all the time without tents and a portion in a weary storm of rain and snow.

A private message this evening to the Sanitary Commission from Cairo says that there are 300 killed, 690 wounded and 100 missing at Fort Donelson.


Official Confirmation.

Cairo, Feb. 17.—To Maj. Gen. McClellan—The Union flag now floats over Fort Donelson. The Carondelet, Capt. Walker, brings the glorious intelligence. The fort surrendered at 9 o’clock yesterday (Sunday) morning.

Gens. A. Sydney Johnson and Buckner and 15,000 prisoners, and a large amount of material of war are among the trophies of victory. The loss is heavy on both sides. Floyd, the thief, stole away during the night previous, with 5,000 men, and is denounced by the rebels as a traitor.

I am happy to inform you that flag officer Foote, though suffering from his wounded foot, with the noble spirit characteristic of our navy, notwithstanding his disability, will take up immediately two gunboats, and with the eight mortar boats which he will overtake, will make an immediate attack on Clarksville, if the state of the weather will permit.

We are now firing a national salute from Fort Cairo, Gen. Grant’s late post, in honor of the glorious achievement.

Geo. W. Cullum,
Brig. Gen. of Volunteers.

Success upon Success!

The line of rebel fortifications is giving way in all directions, and the Union Flag waves triumphant where but a few days since the rebels boasted they would welcome “with bloody hands to hospitable graves” any who might desire to fly the old flag. So many insurrectionists, who, for no decent pretext, rise against a good government, always fare and fail!

The President of the United States, in an official document, now proclaims that the insurrection has passed its culminating point, and must wane away henceforth.

With Forts Henry and Donelson in our possession we command the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Nashville must be ours, as soon as our generals choose to take it, and Columbus on the Mississippi must ultimately fall. That gone, the road is open to Memphis and New Orleans. The forces now in rear of Columbus can readily penetrate to the Mississippi river, and cut off all supplies from any source to the rebels, now defending Columbus. However strong may be the natural or artificial defenses of the place, under such circumstances it must succumb.


The Negro colony on North Edisto Island, S.C., numbers 1,000. Lieut. Ammen, who reports from there Jan. 21st, states that impressed upon them the necessity of supplying themselves from the neighboring plantations. Some of the Negroes, in attempting this, have been fired at. Lieut. Ammen says:

“It is worthy of note, as indicating the changes in the blacks, that now they express themselves most anxious to obtain arms. The black man who has general superintendence of the colony wished to land his forces in Rockville and drive the soldiers back, expressing the utmost confidence that with twenty old muskets that they had picked up, many of them flintlocks, he would be able to effect his object."3


A number of gentlemen are about purchasing Bull Mountain, Vermont, with a view of trying the experiment of domesticating the Moose. The entire base of the mountain is to be inclosed by a high fence. The object is to make the Moose serviceable in driving singly or by pairs.


The military genius thus far displayed has been on the part of our own generals. The movements of McClellan, in Western Virginia, McDowell’s plan of battle at Manassas, Lyon’s march through Missouri, Sigel’s advance on Rolla, and his retreat through the Western part of the State, Thomas’ attack on Zollicoffer, and the recent capture of Fort Henry, all exhibit a degree of military genius which no rebel leader has shown. Our reverses—with the exception of Ball’s Bluff and Big Bethel—have been the result of causes beyond the control of the generals in command. The victory of Manassas, as it appears from Beauregard’s own report, was no victory to his arms, but the result of a causeless panic among our own troops—a panic from which no body of men were ever entirely exempt. Wherever the rebels have been attacked in the open field they have fled. Wherever they have been met by any reasonable force, they have either fled or been frustrated. Fort Henry was reduced in two hours, with a brigade of infantry in reserve; Forts Beauregard and Walker gave way to a  few hours’ shelling; while Fort Sumter, with its company of artillerymen, stood the fire of twenty batteries for a day and a night; and Bragg, with his forts and miles of concentrating fortifications, has been unable to reduce Fort Pickens.

FEBRUARY 19, 1862

The Extravagance at Washington.—A Washington letter in the Springfield Republican says:

“Something must be done to reduce the expenditures of the government in civil matters. They are enormous for times like these. I feel ashamed when I walk through the Capitol buildings and see the extravagance manifested there. The halls and committee rooms of Congress have been freshly fitted up with extravagant splendor. Carpets in committee rooms that might have lasted five years longer, have been torn up to make place for fresher patterns and purchases. A stop must be put to this criminal extravagance, or the nation will end up in pecuniary ruin. It is not the one particular act that is so bad, it is the disposition. Our public men love extravagance. Somebody makes money, and vast sums, too, out of these expenditures—if nobody else, the upholsterers and carpet dealers. An immense debt will soon be weighing us down, and economy will be absolutely necessary. It is said that John Sherman will come into the Senate with certain radical propositions for economy in the public expenditures. One the items, I hear, is a proposition for the reduction of the salaries of all government employees. This is good, as far as it goes, but will it include Congressmen’s salaries among the rest? If not, Senator Sherman, the people will brand your proposition as selfish and unsatisfactory. Whether Congress will diminish its own pay we shall see. For one, I will not believe it till I see it done.”

The people will see the importance of these suggestions of reform, ere another twelve months, and Congressmen will wish they had voted them.


No More Arrests.—The Secretary of War, in the name of the President, has issued an order upon the subject of arbitrary arrests of persons suspected of disloyalty. After detailing the circumstances which are alleged to justify the numerous arbitrary and illegal arrests, with a view doubtless to “let down” the President and Seward as easily as possible, he says that a favorable change in public opinion has occurred, that the Government is form and stable and the insurrection declining; and he closes his order as follows:

“The President, in view of these facts, and anxious to favor a return to the normal course of the Administration, as far as regards faith and the public welfare will allow, directs that all political prisoners or State prisoners now held in military custody be released, on their subscribing a parole engaging them to render no aid or comfort to enemies in hostility to the United States.

“The Secretary of War will, however, in his discretion, except from the effects of this order any persons detained as spies of the insurgents, or others whose release at the present moment may be deemed incompatible with the public safety.

“To all persons who shall be so released and shall keep their parole, the President grants an amnesty for any past offence of treason or disloyalty which they may have committed. Extraordinary arrests will hereafter be made under the direction of the military authorities alone.”

Pay of Soldiers.—A proposition is before Congress to reduce the pay of soldiers ten per cent. A volunteer from this city in the 5th Regiment, writes what he declares to be the sentiments of the soldiers of all grades in the army of the Potomac upon this subject, under date of the 7th inst., as follows:

“It is thrown into our faces by some that we did not come out here for mere pay, but for the purpose of putting down this unholy rebellion. This is true. If the Government cannot meet its expenses, the army is willing to go forward in the work of crushing out the traitors; but if she can pay big salaries to her civil officers, and grant fat contracts to such as Morgan, and pay them in hard specie, can any one blame the soldier if he wishes for his thirteen dollars per month and is willing to take it in Treasury notes? Do we hear those ranting, bombastic members of Congress--who do nothing but growl about Negroes and plunder the exchequer--talk about reducing their own salaries? No! they seem to be of the opinion that the army expenses are the only ones that need to be curtailed. Let them begin at the Executive Mansion and make a clean sweep from the President to the clerks; for is it not better for them to live a little on a reduced scale, when they can be surrounded with all the comforts of civil life, than to pinch the soldier who is now exposed to this stormy season and all the rigors of a soldier’s life? Instead of making provisions whereby to carry on the war, Congress does nothing but wrangle about emancipation and what sort of doctors to employ in the army. If the expenses of this war of inactivity cannot be borne, why not try an aggressive one, just for a change?

“It is now said that the State of New Hampshire is going to charge the soldiers with the clothes they were fitted out with, and has already sent in her bill to the United States for the same. Can this be? Is it just? I leave it for the people of New Hampshire to decide. His Excellency Gov. Berry, and the honorable Secretary of State, Mr. Tenney, made us a brief visit last Sunday, and the Governor made a short speech, in which he congratulated us on our fine appearance, and extolled us for the sacrifices we had made in leaving home and friends to come to the country’s assistance. Can it be that it was his Excellency that sent our outfit bill to Washington, thereby making us pay for the clothes we wore away from the State? It does certainly appear so. I would that our State officers would take pattern after those of Vermont, which State not only gives to her soldiers their outfit, but pays them seven dollars per month in addition to the pay they receive from the United States, making twenty dollars per month, besides a bounty of twenty dollars.”

FEBRUARY 20, 1862

Weekly Review of War News

All things being ready, a forward movement has taken place, and the week we are now called to review, is marked by a series of brilliant Union victories most inspiriting to our army, and cheering to all friends of the Union, while forever blotting out any hopes of success the Confederate were foolish enough to indulge.

We closed our last issue with the first news of the success of Gen. Burnside’s expedition . . , the accounts being from rebel sources. We to-day give very full and interesting particulars of the brilliant exploits of this expedition, resulting in the capture of Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City, together with six forts, some 3000 prisoners, 3000 stand of small arms, 40 cannon, and the destruction of the entire fleet of the rebels. The loss is much less than first stated, being officially reported at 35 Federals killed and 200 wounded, while that of the rebels is still less, our soldiers making the attack at great advantage.

From Missouri we have the gratifying intelligence that the rebels have evacuated Springfield, and that the town is in possession of the Union forces. Our army under the command of General Curtis, marched from Lebanon on the 11th inst., and formed in three divisions, the right under Col. Jeff C. Davis, the left under Gen. Carr, and the center under command of Gen. Sigel. Six miles from Springfield, on the 12th, a skirmish took place in which 9 of the rebels were killed, and one of our men was slightly wounded. At sunset 300 of the enemy attacked our pickets, but were driven back with a loss of thirty. At 3 o’clock the next morning our army advanced in line of battle, and at daybreak entered and took peaceful possession of the town. Price had left at two o’clock the same morning, leaving over 600 of his sick behind. Large quantities of forage wagons were also left. He had 12,000 effective troops, and fifty pieces of artillery. Gen. Curtis followed on and attacked the fleeing rebels, who, after a brief resistance, again retreated, leaving the road strewn with their wagons and baggage. One hundred wagons with stores for Price reached Springfield but a few hours before he left. Gen. Curtis reports that he has taken more prisoners than he knows what to do with. “It never rains but it pours.” Among them are four rebel officers, the notorious Capt. Freeman, Major Barry, Aide de Camp to Gen. McBride, Capt. Dickinson, Chief Engineer, and Capt. Donell, Quartermaster. The people in and around Springfield express unbounded satisfaction at the arrival of our troops, and general rejoicing is manifested throughout the Southwest at the retreat of the rebels. This expedition will doubtless end the campaign in Missouri. At the last accounts Price was at Crane Creek, 29 miles from Springfield, and our forces 5 miles in the rear, Gen. Curtis pursuing by one route and Sigel by another.

Following this good news came that of the evacuation of Bowling Green, Ky., by the rebels, which has been taken possession of by the Federal forces under Gen. Mitchell. The rebels on leaving probably divided between Fort Donelson, Clarkesville and Nashville. Kentucky is now mainly clear of rebels except at Columbus, which is a doomed city.

From Gen. Lander’s division we also have good news, of the opening of the railroad and telegraph to Hancock, Va. Gen. Lander with 4000 men made a reconnoisance on the 13th, broke up a rebel nest at Blooming Gap, and captured 17 commissioned officers, among them colonels, lieutenant-colonels, captains, &c., took 75 prisoners, killed 13 of the enemy, and lost 2 men and 6 horses at their first fire.

But the crowning news of the week, which has everywhere been received with enthusiastic demonstrations of delight and joy, is the great victory at Fort Donelson, won after three days’ severe fighting. On Sunday morning General Buckner, in command, surrendered his entire force to General Grant, by which act two rebel Generals—Buckner and Bushrod Johnson of Tennessee—15,000 prisoners, 3000 horses, and a large amount of war material, fell into his hands. Gen. Pillow and the thief Floyd, stole away during the previous night, with 5000 of the men, and are denounced by their fellows in arms as cowards. The numbers engaged on each side are estimated at about 30,000, but the rebels had every advantage except an unworthy cause. Our loss is set down at 400 killed, 800 wounded. One fourth of our officers  were either killed or wounded. At daylight Sunday morning a simultaneous assault was to have been made on all sides, but as our soldiers approached, white flags were everywhere seen, and they were informed of the surrender—a correspondence having taken place between Buckner and Grant. Buckner asked for a commission to fix terms of capitulation—Grant told him to surrender unconditionally or he should move upon him; Buckner very ungraciously consented, and our soldiers took possession of the whole establishment. The principal flag has been sent  to Washington as a trophy. The prisoners are being removed to Cairo, and the wounded to St. Louis and other hospitals.

Com. Foote, (though suffering from a wounded foot) has gone up the Cumberland some 25 miles further to Clarkesville, where is a strong rebel fort and force, to give his gun and mortar boats another trial, and we shall soon hear from them there, and at Nashville. When these two places shall have succumbed, as they soon will, Tennessee will be pretty essentially cleared of rebellion.4

A rumor is given that Savannah has surrendered without a gun being fired. We give this only as a rumor—but with the utmost confidence that we shall soon be enabled to record as facts the capture of Savannah, and Charleston also.


The news from abroad is of the most favorable character, affording increased evidence of the favorable disposition of England and France towards the Union, and the determination not to intermeddle in our affairs. A motion was before Parliament to recognize the Confederacy, which it is assured will be voted down. Messrs. Slidell and Mason have not received half the attention in England and France that they did in Boston harbor! The Nashville had left Southampton and the Tuscarora would follow her in 24 hours. The Sumter was still at Gibraltar, minus funds. It was reported that the American Government was anxious to renew the efforts to re-lay the Atlantic Telegraph, and that Cyrus W. Field would re-visit Europe on this errand.

FEBRUARY 21, 1862


Individuals or even companies of men pass for little in times like these. A day now counts for weeks. Events come thronging upon us so thick and fast from such unexpected sources, that no mind can discern their foreshadowing results. The persistent and guilty inversion of right principles has by degrees plunged our country into a struggle most desperate and sadly solemn; and no man among the wisest can tell how much suffering is yet in store for us, before we shall be willing to accord to all others such rights as we rigidly claim for ourselves.

The poor unoffending African, and the treatment he has received at the hands of this nation, lie a the bottom, and are the cause, both remote and immediate, of all our woes. The many, many years of the unhallowed connection between the African and Caucasian on this continent, is yielding up its bitter fruits. War, “grim-visaged” war, with its dread implements of destruction, is now full upon us—the chosen arbiter of the great dispute. It would be useless to allege that this might have been averted by listening to  the voice of reason and conscience. Wise men and foolish had in vain warned the country of the danger; but, ignorant and unscrupulous majorities chose to smother conscience for pelf,5 and in selfish cowardice visit their iniquity “upon the third and fourth generations.”

The past justly yokes together both North and South as principals in the great social and political abuse. This we all know when freed from prejudice. In our purse-pride or egotism we either deny it, or fail to see any cause or object in the events which we shall sooner or later have cause to deplore. Unjust as has been the English press towards us, however much it may side with English conservatism, there is also much that pictures faithfully what all honest Englishmen see, that here on this side of the Atlantic is a great nation deserving praise for growth in all that pertains to material prosperity, and for much that adorns and ennobles morally and intellectually, but, by its organic law, the Government and people under it are held to the support, tied up and committed to a social and political crime unsurpassed in magnitude in any age or nation; and all this in the sacred name of freedom. They see us, after many years of schooling under the auspices of a dominant and unscrupulous political power, pledged to the belief that the Constitution under which we live is little less worthy our veneration than the maker of the Universe; while they and we know that when interpreted away from the influence of this political power in the light of history and reason, in the stern and ever reliable interest of common sense, its authors meant it and framed it, that, long before the year of our Lord eighteen hundred sixty-two, it should be henceforth and forever purged from the stain of slavery. These honest Englishmen see, and so do we all of us who have not owl’s eyes in our heads, that from the date of the first cotton crop to this hour, a mighty, and as wicked as mighty Slave power, through long years of sleepless activity, has sought the overthrow of this Constitution, while it has prated to us, and the greatest among us at the North, of its purity and sacredness. 

But for this infernal school of politics, its insidious and crafty corrupter of pulpits and seminaries of learning through these many years of its intense labor, we should long since have unloosed the shackles of the slave. The truth is, we are not a free people in the sense of many of the noble founders of this republic. For considerations of gain and political power, North and South, by complicity and directly, we have been cruelly unjust to what we deem our inferiors. And if England, a monarchy, has been overbearing and cruel to weaker nations, so also have we, a republic. The form of government or politics is no indication, in either case, of the presence or absence of justice.

In the eyes of the civilized world, this people, two of whom all others have a right to look for the best examples of good government, honor and humanity, presents to-day a dark record of the absence of these essential features.  And it is beginning to be more and more evident, that so unobservant had we become of the plainest principles of right and honor, that nothing short of a revolution through which we are now passing could bring us to see ourselves as we are seen.  The first step to extrication from our troubles lies in seeing and in heartily acknowledging our great injustice to the slave.  If our national sufferings bring us to this point, the day of our deliverance will soon draw nigh.  But if we artfully dodge this momentous question, and continue to couch the dodge in phrases so fraught with selfishness as that of "military necessity," now that Divine Providence seems to open before us this golden opportunity to perform a long sought act of justice, then, if it be done in spite of us, with or without our instrumentality, and against our will, in all time to come we shall deserve only the name and the brand of cowards.

If the country is to be saved, we must in all cases be willing to do ample justice.  Not only must the slave be liberated, but generous as well as suitable provision must be made, in consonance with his wishes, too, for his future home.  If his freedom is effected by the violence of war, our dealings with him afterward must be especially tender.  If there is a human being on this continent deserving of our warmest sympathies, it is this poor, down-trodden brother.  Whether the country is ready for this unquestioned act of justice cannot be so well discerned through the conflicting political elements.  Net we shall never prosper as a people till this great work can be done, and done heartily and thoroughly, is most certain.  Should it take place while yet in our power to direct it, than war will cease in our borders.  We shall regain our long-lost self estimation, and the civilized world will cheerfully welcome us to the circle of the nations.  Then shall the oppressed once more find it, in a dearer sense than ever, a land of the brave and free.


Loyal Blacks Helping Our Soldiers.—We learn from Hatteras that loyal blacks from North Carolina helped to man the fleet of Flag-Officer Goldsborough, and to serve the guns which have sunk Lynch’s boats and compelled the surrender of Roanoke Island. The Navy, although a large proportion of its highest officers are from the slave States, has not been in the habit of examining a seaman’s complexion before shipping him. “Can you fight?” is the only question.—N.Y. Tribune

FEBRUARY 22, 1862


Gov. Harris has called the Tennessee Legislature to meet on Monday, for the purpose, it is affirmed, of having all the unconstitutional acts passed by them, immediately annulled; and Tennessee officers and citizens declare that the State will soon be back in the Union.



Washington, Feb. 21.—The following was addressed to the Senate and House, but Congress had adjourned before it was delivered.—

“The President of the United States was last evening plunged into affliction by the death of a beloved child. The heads of Departments, in consideration of this distressing event, have thought it would be agreeable to Congress and to the American people, that the official and private buildings occupied by them should not be illuminated in the evening of the 22d inst.”

Wm. H. Seward, S.P. Chase, E.M. Stanton,
Gideon Welles, Edward Bates, M. Blair
Washington, Feb. 21, 1862.


The New York Allotment Commissioners, in explaining to one regiment the manner in which the allotments are made, said, “Suppose John Simpson writes to send home ten dollars each month to his wife Jane Simpson; the government gives him a treasury draft payable to the order of Jane Simpson, which John sends home to her, and as it is drawn to her order, no one else can use it; and if it is lost the government will replace it.” The first person on the roll said he would send home ten dollars to “Jane Simpson.” The commissioner was surprised that his chance illustration should have hit the right person the first time, but was still more surprised when the next dozen avowed their willingness to set off the same monthly sum to “Jane Simpson,” which mythical personage came near to being endowed by the regiment with a monthly stipend exceeding by several thousands that of his Excellency the President of the United States.


More Rebels Surrendering.

Special dispatches from Cairo to the St. Louis Republican and Democrat say that on Tuesday two rebel regiments from Clarksville came to Fort Donelson and gave themselves up, saying that they had been deceived and were tired of fighting against the old flag.

It is declared that strong objections will be raised by the Tennesseeans against the Bowling Green force offering battle at Nashville.

The Provost-Marshal at Clarksville has sent word to Gen. Grant to come up and occupy the town at once. (He has done so.) The officers of the gunboats now lying there represent the Union feeling as very strong. The people state that they had been made to believe that the Union army was entirely composed of Germans and Negroes, for abolition purposes; but now that they see it is not, they are anxious to return to their old allegiance. Prominent citizens say that a similar feeling will prevail in the whole State within a week.

What the Year Has Done.

We feel it not a little interesting to look back and see how far the past year has brought the nation on its way to union and peace. The following words were the best which we could find one year ago today, to describe what was then the condition of the country:

“We suppose that no more gloomy 22d of February than this has dawned since the winter at Valley Forge. The time has finally come when the very Union, which was the result of Washington’s labors, seems in the opinion of many to be already hopelessly sundered—not merely by the secession of one-fifth of its members, but by seemingly irreconcilable divisions among those which remain. The country is not menaced by any external enemy, nor by any of those calamities which ordinarily cut off material resources and reduce the prosperous to distress. Such misfortunes it could bear with a brave heart, but it seems to have become its own enemy, to be working its own ruin; and few are there who can suggest the means of defence from an attack so dangerous, and a  calamity so overwhelming as this.”


Clarksville Evacuated.—It is almost ceased to excite any unusual emotion to hear that a great rebel position has been evacuated. The entering wedge at Fort Henry did its work so well, that there is no point at which the rebels are now secure, or even in a position for defense. Retreat and abandonment of one place after another is now the regular order of the day.

Nashville is certainly lost for them, and that gone it is not easy to see where they will bring up. But they must certainly make a stand somewhere, unless they wish to give the matter up altogether; and wherever this point is General Grant will probably find them out, and then perhaps at last we may have a fair fight in the open field to close the war.


Various Matters.

Congress having failed to make the requisite appropriations relative to the World’s Fair, the Committee are unable to proceed, and adjourned today. Exhibitors, therefore, are thrown upon their own resources.

The Senate bill conferring medallions on meritorious soldiers excites much comment in military circles. The objection is that it omits to similarly reward officers.

President Lincoln is ill today, and exhausted by continued watching at the bedside of his son Willie.


The Charleston Courier of the 15th inst., publishes a long editorial on the recent reverses to their arms at Roanoke Island and Fort Henry. It says: “We have sustained heavy losses in munitions of war, our country has been deprived of the services of several thousands of her best disciplined and bravest soldiers, and parents and wives weep in the bitterness of grief over those who will never again bless them with their smiles. The enemy pushes on, flushed with victory, to win more triumphs, and to cause other hearts to bleed. We feel these reverses. We acknowledge them openly.”




The Committee on Clothing will be happy to receive at WELLINGTON, GROSS & CO., 100 Devonshire st., any Cloth or Clothing for the use of the Contrabands at Port Royal, and will forward them free of expense.

1 Meaning Scotland, Mass’tts, a small village southwest of Bridgewater.

2 Future author of “Ben Hur.”

3 Lieut. Ammen of the U.S. Navy, which set up and superintended a number of small refugee camps along the Southern coast. The Navy stationed gunboats nearby to defend the camps, and quietly armed both the freed slaves and white Unionists who resided there. Thus refugees of both races remained in the area of their homes, and were not subjected to the harsh and unfamiliar weather of a Northern winter—as they were if taken by the Union Army, whose camps were described as massive, nasty, and poorly run. Each Navy camp was supervised by a naval officer, and provided a safe haven for the families of black  men who chose to volunteer for service with the fleet.

4 Actually, fighting went on in Tennessee right until the end of the war.

5 “Money or wealth, especially when regarded with contempt or acquired by reprehensible means.”

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