FEBRUARY 23, 1862

Richmond Items.—From our Richmond  exchanges of the 13th we extract the following:

Important Purchase by the Government.—We learn that Messrs. Talbott & Brother, proprietors of the extensive foundry corner of Seventeenth and Cary streets, in this city, have sold out their entire establishment to the Navy Department. The sale includes the machinery and tools of all kinds, stock on hand, work completed and manufacturing material, with a lease of the buildings. An officer of the navy has been appointed general superintendent. This establishment has recently finished and sent off five double engines for gunboats, constructing at a point which we need not mention.

Our Hostages.—Col. Lee, of Massachusetts, and his brother officers, selected by the Confederate States government as hostages for the good treatment as hostages for the good treatment of our captive privateersmen in the North, have been removed from the jail in which they were closely imprisoned, to the Confederate States prison, where they are provided with better and more comfortable quarters. The change was induced by the recent action of the Federal government in placing our privateersmen on the same footing with prisoners of war.

Communicating with the Enemy.—William Fallon, a Virginian, and captain of a small sloop, with which he had several times succeeded in running the blockade of one of our rivers, was yesterday brought to this city in custody, upon a charge of treasonably communicating with the enemy. The accused has heretofore been regarded as a loyal Southern man, and has near relatives in this State.

To be Exchanged.—Four hundred prisoners of war are expected to leave Richmond for Newport News in a day or two, probably tomorrow, in exchange for an equal number of Confederates released by the Federal government, and who reached Norfolk on Tuesday. The prisoners selected for exchange comprises fifteen officers, three hundred and eighteen privates and four Negroes.


Affairs in Tennessee.—The Mobile Advertiser learns, from what it considers good authority, that Gen. Johnston has a powerful army under his command at Murfreesboro, the precise force of which it is not prudent to state. Referring to the progress of the Federals into Tennessee, the Advertiser says:

“The enemy having reached Nashville can no longer avail themselves of their gunboats to protect their advance. They will have to fight our troops face to face on the field. Nor can they keep their gunboats as high up the Cumberland as Nashville long, for they have to provide against the risk of a fall in that river, now at its flood, and get their boats over the shoals below the city. When the river falls the Federal army at Nashville will be cut off from water communication, and will have to draw its support by land from Southern Kentucky.

“On the whole, the situation is full of hope. The field is broad enough for skillful generalship and courageous fighting to glean a full crop of triumphs, and snatch from the enemy the fruits of his dearly bought successes.

“We have faith that it will be done. There is one way to make it absolutely certain, and it rests with the people. It is to throw aside all other business and pleasure, and to take up arms. It is a burning shame that a people fighting for honor and freedom should be outnumbered on any battle-field by the invader who comes to destroy and enslave. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee can, with half an effort, send 100,000 men, with shot-guns and rifles in their hands, to the standard of Johnston and Beauregard, and sweep the enemy from the ground he has just gained by weight of numbers. It needs but the will to do it.”

The Importance of Roanoke Island to the Federals.—Our Richmond exchanges have Northern papers of the 10th. Speaking of the importance of Roanoke Island to the Federals, the New York Herald says:

“The object of taking Roanoke Island by the Union forces is to take the initiative towards seizing other points on the railroad running directly South from Richmond, and thus effectually to cut off the supplies from the Southern States. If the Union troops are fortunate enough to secure its capture, it will put a stop to the inland coast navigation of North Carolina, which means of transportation has been so useful from its safety against hostile cruisers.

“The most important object of this seizure will, however, be the threatening of Norfolk, and, if it is thought advisable to follow up the advantage, the flanking of the rebel army at Norfolk. A movement securing Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and thus commanding the great Albemarle and Chesapeake canal and the Dismal Swamp canal, would command the adjunct canal known as the Jericho canal, connecting, through Lake Drummond, with an important railroad junction at a town called Suffolk, on the Nansemond river, where the main railroad route from Norfolk branches into what are called the Norfolk and Petersburg railroad and the Seaboard and Roanoke railroad, thus completely cutting off all connection by rail or water between Norfolk and its surrounding country and the other parts of the rebel regions. The strategic importance of such a movement, if successfully made, will form one of the most important features of the war. The island is a position which is valuable to us, commanding, as it does, the Currituck Sound, which opens into Albemarle. Currituck is about fifty miles long, ten miles wide, and is navigable for vessels drawing ten feet of water. Owing to the natural breakwater which protects a large portion of the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia, the water is as placid as a lake and easily navigated.

It has been fortified by the rebels, who have established an intrenched camp in the center, and erected five forts to defend it, at important points.


Great Distress Among the Poor Classes.
[Manchester correspondence of the London Herald.]

I may here observe that the distress [is] daily increasing; in fact, is assuming a magnitude truly alarming, whilst the poignancy of hunger is doubly increased by the very severe and inclement weather now so unhappily prevalent. You do not know how great is the distress here, and why you do not I leave the following extract from an article on the “cotton crisis,” in the Revue des Deux Mondes, a French journal, to explain:

“In England,” states the writer, “the organs of public opinion take great pains, out of self love, to conceal the national calamity, or, at least, to diminish the extent of it. They have touched very lightly on the increase of pauperism since the commencement of the manufacturing crisis, and it is with great difficulty that one can collect the necessary information.”

Thus this England, this “mistress of the seas,” placed, as she says she is, in the “Thermoplylæ of the universe,” has to hide the starving state of her people from the world. But yet we get an inkling of it from the local journals, though as a general rule their information is very erroneous. The last accounts from Blackburn inform us that a sum of about a thousand pounds was raised for giving relief in food, the mayor stating that in the borough alone there were six thousand operatives wholly unemployed, and several more mills are daily expected to stop. And so on throughout Lancastershire, and in the manufacturing districts generally; and not only in these, but to a greater or lesser extent throughout the country.

A letter now before me, from Stockport, states that the destitution existing there is rapidly on the increase, so that on every side there exists nothing but very gloomy prospects for the operative class.

, 1862

What the Rebel Prisoners Say.—The Tribune’s correspondent at Fort Donelson reports that in talking with the captured rebels he found many of the dissatisfied with the rebel cause, and in a state of mind to welcome the returning power of the government. He says:

“Almost every rebel with whom I have conversed expresses himself weary of the war, and hopes peace will soon be made on mutually acceptable terms. They confess the victories at Forts Henry and Donelson took them completely by surprise, and say they had no idea we would have the temerity to attack them on their own soil. They felt completely confident of their ability to repulse us at Donelson, and many of them vowed, when that fort was taken, they would vote for Abe Lincoln for the next president. A very large number of the secessionists state they are disgusted with their political leaders, to whom they ascribe all the existing troubles; and say they would not wonder, in the event of the hopeless defeat of the South, if Jeff Davis, Toombs, Breckinridge, and others, would run away and leave the people to their fate, as Pillow and Floyd did on Saturday night. In conversation with many of the officers and men, I learn that a majority of the Tennessee regiments enlisted for twelve months, and since they have been in service have not received a cent of pay, but have been obliged to defray their own expenses from the beginning.”

A letter from Fort Donelson says: “I have had large opportunities for observing the intercourse between our soldiers and those of the rebels, and the results of such observations are gratifying in the highest degree. Our artillery upon entering the fort fired a salute, our army did some cheering, and our band played the Star Spangled Banner, the Red, White and Blue, and some other national airs. But in a whole day’s walk about the place, I witnessed not a single instance of insulting boastfulness, or conduct that was calculated to wound the personal feelings of a fellow enemy. Indeed, it was difficult to realize that these men in various colored blankets and those in blue overcoats were enemies, or that these were prisoners and those captors, so considerately did they treat each other. ‘Hello!’ cried a cannoneers belonging to McAllister’s howitzer battery, to a rebel cannoneers whom he recognized by something in his apparel. ‘Hello! Where was your battery stationed?’ The secesh stopped and pointed out the direction. ‘What! Over there?’ exclaimed Howitzer, ‘then you must have been the fellows who were popping us so like thunder yesterday. Did you see any little 24-pound shells over your way?’ ‘Well, I reckon we did, and plenty of’em. Did you throw them?’ And the two cannoneers stopped to discuss the relative merits of 6-pound shot and 24-pound shell. It is strange how well we like a man after we have fought him.”

A Prediction Fulfilled.—Gen. Scott was asked last summer how it was proposed to conquer the rebels. The veteran slowly shut his hand. The gesture was more eloquent than words. It told the whole story of the campaign from its opening to its culmination. The hand has begun to close—the pressure has begun to grind at the heart of the great conspiracy. Slowly but surely the relentless fingers are tightening about the throat of the monster. Day by day, hour by hour the avenue of escape is narrowing; the possibility of averting gloom is becoming more and more remote. The end of the rebellion is nigh at hand.—Albany Evening Journal.


The news of our recent brilliant victories had evidently not been received in England at the date of our latest advices, and Mr. Gregory’s speech on the “paper blockade” of the southern ports. And the sage conclusion of the Times that we cannot conquer the South, sound ludicrous on this side of the water. Parliament has taken to discussing the American question quite extensively, but evidently with a great deal more zeal than knowledge. When the intelligence of our successes is received, the British parliament and the British nation will get a new insight into the position of affairs over here, and one that they very much need.


The Hartford Times and its little clique of secesh sympathizers would not unite in the general rejoicing over the victories of the Union, Saturday, so they got up a little private meeting of their own, most fittingly presided over by Mr. Toucey—his first public appearance since his distinguished services in the naval department. There was not another city in the Union where a partisan celebration of the day was attempted, and there is scarcely another where it would have been tolerated. Hartford has the misfortune to have its name linked with a former conspiracy against the Union, and she sill cherishes in her midst a class of men who would like to make their city and state infamous by sympathy with treason.


The official dispatches of flag officer Foote in relation to the occupation of Clarksville, have been received at the navy department, and fully confirm our reported success in that direction. About two-thirds of the inhabitants fled from the place, but a proclamation assuring them of protection has been issued, and they will probably soon return. A brief dispatch from Louisville also announces the occupation of Cumberland Gap and Russellville. At the former place the rebels have been calculating to make a formidable stand, but they were evidently disheartened by their numerous defeats, and deserted the place, and it will doubtless now be used as the base of federal operations against Knoxville. Russellville is the seat of the rebel provisional government of Kentucky, which will not be likely to meet there at present. The rebels at Norfolk continue to report the capture of Savannah, but official dispatches from Com. Dupont to the 18th, make no mention of the fact, and the rebel report is premature, evidently originating in their fears that the event will happen.

, 1862

The Mails.

The patience of the merchants and citizens of Portland has been tried and taxed to no limited extent, by the present insufficient and defective arrangements for the arrival and departure of the mails in this city, from and to the South at noon.

If the fault is not in the arrangements, then it is in the execution; and in which ever it may be, it is needing greatly a corrective power.

The mails arrive from the South and West at half past twelve o’clock, P.M., and depart again at half past two, P.M. But they close for departure at two o’clock—thus affording only one and a half hours for the service of distribution, and for answering, by return of mail, the correspondence that arrives.

It occupies from one hour to more than an hour, ordinarily, in the distribution at the office; and before a delivery of letters can be had—with the time needed for a latter to be taken to one’s place of business, and the time needed to carry or send a letter to be mailed, taken out of this interval of half an hour between the opening at half past one, and closing of the mails at two o’clock, it is very obvious that it is impracticable for any convenience of reply to be afforded to our city, by a return mail on the same day of the receipt of letters here. They can only go on the next morning train.

For all useful purposes, therefore, the mails might as well arrive at two, three, four, or even five o’clock in the afternoon, as at half past twelve o’clock, P.M.

Now there are three ways open to an efficient administration of the P.O. Department, and for correcting this just ground of serious complaints. And they are these:

1st By requiring the mail service to be performed between Boston and Portland, in four hours time, instead of in five hours—if the starting time in Boston be continued as heretofore, which probably is early enough to suit all interests. The mails then would arrive at half past eleven A.M., instead of half past twelve P.M.; and this change is in no wise unreasonable for the Rail Road service—not unusual upon either route. The distance is but 110 miles from Boston to Portland, and the average speed would be less than 28 miles per hour, inclusive of stoppages at every station—far less than the rate of speed between Boston and New York, where the rail Roads, although well conducted, are no better conducted nor under better qualified management than between Boston and Portland. It has long been a subject of very general complaint with the travelling public, and justly so, that five hours should be consumed for passenger trains, saying nothing of the mail, between Boston and Portland. True, there are forty or more way-stations to be accommodated on the route. But why should the through trains, with the great mails on board, be subjected to a stoppage for passenger traffic, at paltry way stations on a 110 mile mail route? It is out of joint with the energy and activity of the times to suffer it, and it ought to be corrected by the Post Master General at once.

A second remedy, in the absence of the first one above suggested, might be found in a greater efficiency, by an increase of the number, or of the capacity, of the clerks employed in our city office, so that the service which now consumes an entire hour, should be performed in half that time at most. That the clerks now employed here are wanting in either disposition or effort, or are wanting in the anxious desire on the part of the Post Master, too serve the public promptly and in a spirit of courtesy, we are far from alleging.

But, be that as it may, if their capabilities are not equal to the demands upon them, whether from lack of needful qualifications or lack of needful numbers, the public have a right to claim a remedy, and it is not inappropriate for us to suggest such a one as occurs to us, with a willingness to advocate any better one which any other mind may desire.

A third remedy, which we believe to be perfectly feasible, is for the Post Master General to order the letters to be distributed into alphabetical classes in the Rail Road Mail Car during the four or five hours transit between the two cities, which may be appointed, besides reducing the number by this measure, of local clerks in the local offices of the two cities to less than one half of their present number, without adding more than one clerk on the Road; the time that would be required to distribute the mails at the office, from this pre-arranged classification, would be reduced to very considerably less than half, if not to one-quarter of the time now employed in such distribution.

The same method of increasing the efficiency of distribution at the Portland office would be no less prudent and economical for adoption on every other great mail route between large cities.

The saving of time thus made to the business community by this latter improvement in the mail service, or rather in the Post Office service, would be almost incalculable in amount and in value. A half hour daily saved to each of 500, or 1000, or 5000 recipients of letter at a Post Office, is no small improvement to be effected, and by measures so simple as those we have suggested.

If, to the office in this city, the saving of one entire hour in the transit of the mails to and from Boston is secured under our first suggestion above, and then the further saving were made by the classification of letters on their way, as suggested in our third proposition above, the merchants and citizens of Portland would not only secure time to respond to their correspondents by the return of the afternoon mail, but also might avail themselves of the afternoon mails East, after the arrival of the mails from South and West. This is not unimportant.

With every deference to the wisdom and efficiency of the Post Master General, we proffer our complaints, and suggest a choice of remedies, each one of which is obviously practicable.


The late conduct of the British government in keeping the Tuscarora from pursuing the Nashville till she had a forty hours start after leaving port, will be remembered. By British downright rascality the Nashville has been allowed to repair and coal, and depart to capture our vessels, steal their cargoes, and then burn them. “It is a long lane that has no turn to it.”

FEBRUARY 26, 1862

Abolitionism in Uniform and Rampant.

We learn from an intelligent and reliable gentleman who attended the meeting at the South Congregational Church in this city, Sunday evening, that the Rev. Mr. Denison, who appeared in the pulpit in a military dress and represented himself as a Chaplain in the U.S. navy, delivered the most ranting and extreme abolition discourse listened to by any portion of our people since the commencement of this unhappy war. He said he was engaged in circulating petitions to Congress for emancipation, and he conjured every man, woman and child to enroll themselves in the great organization at home, which is to insist upon no peace without emancipation, while our soldiers, far from their homes, are encountering the privations and dangers of the field and many of them finding their graves. He said now was the time to agitate—that the war would never be closed until every slave was set free—that a majority of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Senate, a majority of the Cabinet, and, he knew, the President, were in favor of it.

Are we, on the eve of our annual election, to have as usual this old raid of Sabbath-treason over again? Is this the service for which Rev. Mr. Denison receives his salary as the religious teacher of those to whom we now look for the preservation of the Constitution and the Union? Does he tell the truth when he thus speaks of the President, a majority of the Cabinet and of Congress? Is he permitted to sport the navy button in order to give weight or authority to his passionate and treasonable appeals? So far as the President is concerned, we do not believe the assertion. This tirade was in direct conflict with his repeated public declarations; and it is not less decidedly in conflict with the resolution passed nearly unanimously by Congress immediately after our disaster at Bull Run.

Speak out, gentlemen holding positions of control and responsibility. Let us know your real purposes and all your plans. If it be intended to overthrow the Constitution and to trample down all the law, under the pretence of saving the Union, say so. In other words, if you mean abolitionism by force of arms, let that be proclaimed not merely in the pulpits at home of a Sunday evening, but let it be proclaimed in orders to the brave men of the 8th N.H. Regiment, recently at Fort Independence, and to all the gallant and Constitution-revering soldiers who have entered the service of the country, not to destroy, but to preserve it.


Death in the White House.—A Son of the President, named William, aged about 10 years, died the 20th, of pneumonia.


War News.

The Union army in Missouri, under Gen. Curtis, pursued the rebel forces into Arkansas, capturing large numbers of them and a large quantity of munitions. At Warsaw four members of Gen. Price’s staff were captured, viz: Gen. Edward Price, (son of the rebel commander,) Col. Dorsey, Col. Cross and Maj. Frye. A dispatch from Gen. Halleck, dated the 20th, says:

“Price, being reinforced by McCulloch, made a stand at Sugar Creek Crossing, Arkansas, on the 19th, but was defeated after  a short engagement and again fled. Many prisoners were taken and a quantity of arms, which his men threw away in their flight.”

The number of prisoners taken in the capture of Fort Donelson is stated at 13,300. It is stated that 12,000 stand of arms, 2000 barrels of flour and 1200 boxes of beef were also found in the Fort. Before surrendering it is said that the rebels threw many of their guns into the river, and that Floyd’s brigade, fearing capture, also did the same; but many of them have been recovered. Dispatches state that 1000 Confederate troops coming down the river to reinforce the fort, not knowing it had surrendered, were made prisoners.

Our boats proceeded up the river towards Clarksville and burnt the extensive manufactory of shot and shell located a few miles below that place, and captured two large boats loaded with munitions. On the 20th the boats proceeded to Clarksville and found the place had been evacuated; and it was occupied by Gen. Smith’s division of our army, who found there, Gen. Halleck says, “supplies enough for our army for twenty days.”

Dispatches received from the South, through rebel sources, state “that gen. Sydney Johnston is at Gallatin, Tenn., 20 miles N.E. of Nashville, and had no idea of surrendering Nashville. Pillow and Floyd are at Nashville. Gen. Beauregard is sick in Nashville of typhoid fever or sore throat, and prayers have been offered for him in the churches at Charleston.”

A dispatch from St. Louis dated the 24th says:

“A special dispatch from Cairo to the Democrat says the latest intelligence from the Cumberland is that Gen. Buell’s forces occupy Nashville; that the Governor has called in all the State troops, and that a strong reaction has occurred among the people.”

An arrival from the Burnside expedition reports all the fleet at anchor off Roanoke Island; and no further advance had been made or was immediately expected. An immense amount of trophies have been captured, including the splendid flag of North Carolina.

A revised list of the killed and wounded at the battle of Roanoke Island and at Elizabeth City, including both army and navy, footed up 50 of the former and 222 of the latter. The prisoners captured numbered 2527. The arms captured were 3500 stand, besides the cannon, and the ammunition amounted to 75 tons.

The N.Y. Post says re-enforcements have been sent to General Burnside, which will increase his force to 40,000 men.

A dispatch, dated Norfolk, 21st, says the federal forces again ascended the Chowan river, yesterday, to Winton, with several gunboats and a large number of troops. The rebels opened a heavy fire upon them. The Yankees landed and burnt the town. The Southerners retired. Our loss is said to be two men.

It is stated that the Department of New England, constituted in October last, has been abolished, and the authority given to Major Gen. Butler by the War Department to raise and equip volunteers in New England for certain purposes, is withdrawn. All contracts made by his authority, and now in course of execution, will be completed. He will however make no new ones.

By order of the Secretary of War, Governors of States hereafter are the only authorized persons to raise regiments. Independent regiments will not hereafter be recognized or received.

FEBRUARY 27, 1862

Attempt to Blow Our Gunboats
Five Infernal Machines Discovered

Dispatches have been received at the Navy Department from Commodore Dupont, dated Port Royal, Feb. 17, enclosing a report from Commodore Rodger, in which he says: “While standing in the Savannah River, a short distance above the mouth of the Wright River, he discovered several objects floating upon the surface, which appeared on first sight to be empty tin cans, and as such were not regarded by him as worthy of notice. Lieut. Sprotson of the Seneca, shortly afterward hailed him that the objects alluded to were buoys attached to an infernal machine. Upon close examination they saw enough to satisfy them that their suspicions were correct. The buoys, five in number,  were placed several yards apart at right angles to the shore, immediately in the channel leading from Wright River, and were visible at low water. They were connected by a special wire, one end of the wire entering an orifice in the upper part of the buoys. They were also secured by wires to what they presumed to be weights at the bottom, but which further examination led them to believe were vessels containing explosive matter. An attempt was subsequently made to produce an explosion by pulling the wires. One buoy was cut out and brought off in one of the expedition boats. In consequence of the deadly nature of the explosive apparatus, and the result of the examination of the buoy brought on board, it was deemed more prudent to sin k the remaining buoys rather than attempt to remove them; so that the enemy should not have the satisfaction of feeling that a single life had been lost by the diabolical invention. The buoys were sunk by firing rifled shot into them. One of them exploded the night previous from some cause unknown, and shortly after a launch had passed up the spot where buoys were placed having in tow a lighter with guns. It further appears that the torpedo1 of infernal machine brought on board was afterward set on a bank and a rifle ball fired through it, when it exploded.


Evacuation of Bowling Green
What Rebel Troops Were There and Where They Have Gone

The rebels burned the bridge across the river at Bowling Green, early Sunday morning, and evacuated the town. Gen. Mitchell’s division, by a forced march, reached the river the same day, built a bridge, and crossed, as the rear of the enemy were leaving the place. Thus, this “great stronghold,” which the rebels were to defend unto death, has been overthrown and taken without a gun. The force of circumstances made it politic for Buckner to leave all his carefully constructed fortifications, and betake himself to the aid of his co-rebels at Fort Donelson, but it was only leaping from the frying-pan into the fire, for he has been captured at the latter point.

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial gives an account of the evacuation of Bowling Green, with a report of the troops which were there and their commanders. The rebel army at that place was organized into six brigades, under command respectively of Brig. Gen. Buckner, Col. Wood, Brig. Gen. Breckinridge, Brig. Gen. Hindman, Brig. Gen. Floyd, and one who was formerly Hardee’s command. This gives a force of about 25,000 men. Gen. Floyd’s force left on the 25th of January and went by rail to Nashville  and East Tennessee. If he went in that direction at that time, he was then probably called to the westward, as it will be seen that Gen. Halleck says that he is now at Fort Donelson. 

Buckner’s brigade departed for Bowling Green about the same time, going toward Hopkinsville, and afterward to Fort Donelson. About the 1st of February Gen. Hindman began to destroy everything that could be made of advantage to our troops, and to prepare to leave. He has now left, and gone to the southward.

The fortifications at Bowling Green are unfinished. They were planned and begun on a large and magnificent scale. Indeed the suit was not cut according to the cloth. The works were intended for heavy guns, which they did not have to mount. Anticipating an attack on Columbus, the demand was made by that place for the heavy guns at Bowling Green, and supplied.


Execution of Gordon—Nathaniel Gordon, the Slave dealer, suffered the highest penalty of the law, at a little after twelve o’clock on Friday. Every effort was made to get a respite but all in vain. The condemned man attempted to take his life by taking strychnine, but he was discovered in a short time after swallowing it, and the poison removed by means of stomach pumps. Let the fate of Gordon be a warning to all slave dealers.


The inauguration of Jeff Davis on the 22d inst. passed off without any enthusiasm. It is stated by those who were present that hardly a cheer could be raised.


Stewart, the New York merchant prince, has our venerable Uncle Sam on the hip. Some months since he engaged the entire production of the eastern cotton mills ahead and so controls the supply of army cloth, and of course sets his own price. He is making money faster than any man in the United States. His regular sales will average a million dollars a week. This year’s business will bring his fortune up to $20,000,000 at the lowest estimate.


Manufacture of Wood in Massachusetts.—There are in Massachusetts sixty-eight chair factories, forty-three pale and tub factories, 150 carriage and car factories, 1394 saw mills, and forty-two wooden-war factories, besides 448 steam and other mills not otherwise enumerated. The amount of capital invested is about $2,500,000.


Why So Much Beauty in Poland?—Because, says Bayard Taylor, “there girls do not jump from infancy to young ladyhood. They are not sent from the cradle to the parlor, to dress, to sit still and looks pretty. No, they are treated as children should be. During childhood, which extends through a period of several years, they are plainly and loosely dressed and allowed to run, romp and play in the open air. They are not loaded down, girded about and oppressed every way with countless frills and superabundant flounces, so as to be admired for their clothing. Nor are they rendered delicate or dyspeptic by continually stuffing candies and sweet cakes, as are the majority of American children. Plain simple food, freed and various exercise, and an abundance of sunshine during the whole period of childhood, are the secrets of beauty in after life.”


FEBRUARY 28, 1862

Peculiar Camp Disease.

An Alabama volunteer writes from one of the rebel camps:

“There’s a new disease broken out here—the ‘camp disease’ they call it. The first symptom is a horror of gunpowder. The patient can’t abide the smell of it, but is seized with a nervous trembling of the knees, and a whiteness about the liver, and a longing inclination to advance backward. That’s the way water serves mad dogs. Then comes what our major calls home fever; and next the sufferer’s wife and nine children are taken sick; after which the poor fellow takes a collapse, and then a relapse. But it’s mighty hard to get a discharge, or even a furlough—awful hard. Fact is, you can’t do it without working the thing pretty low down.

“I tell you what, Bob, between you and me, I’m afraid I’m taking the disease myself; I don’t like the reports we hear every day from the coast. We hear cannon booming down there by the hour, and they say the Yankees are going to play the very devil with our ducks. I think I can detect a faint smell of powder in the breeze, and I feel a strange desire to go into some hole or other. It may be the climate; I hope so, but don’t see how that should make me turn so cold about the haversack every time I see a bayonet. If only I had some good spirits, now, to take every morning, I think I could stand it very well. Please send me some on receipt of this. (N.B. Mark the box, ‘Drugs, care Surgeon 2d Batt. Ala. Vols.’) Our major is sharp as a brier, and down on brandy like a duck on a June bug.”


The Union Feeling in Nashville.—The following letter was found in Fort Henry after the battle:

Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 7, 1862.

Dear Son: I received your always welcome letter yesterday, and I am going to answer it speedily. I received your package containing $300 of C.S. scrip, for which I am very grateful. I am glad that you are doing well and that you are well, but I tremble when I think of you being engaged in this horrid war. Henry, my son, I can but feel the South is in the wrong. We may console ourselves with whatever belief we choose, the U.S. is bound to subdue us. General McClellan has and is exercising great generalship. I fear that soon a movement will be made that will crush us out. Henry, I know you must think as I do. I wish you would resign, and we would move North. No one suspects my Union proclivities. I am obliged, for the sake of your mother and sisters, to talk and be a secessionist; but I say to you, what I said when you were at home, I do not believe that Northern men desire the ruin of the South. A great interest is felt here as regards your position (Fort Henry); if that is taken, the South is surely conquered. You can see this as well as others.

Destroy this letter, as it may get you in trouble. Your affectionate father.


Jeff. Davis, it is rumored, has proposed a measure of compromise and suggests that a convention be held to arrange matters; what that means he knows better than we. We understand, however, that Government has concluded to agree to a convention, and will shortly send 100,000 representatives from various States to Richmond. Gen. McClellan will probably be president of this convention.

Democratic View of Unionism.

Chicago, Feb. 27.—A special dispatch to the Times of this city from Clarksville the 23d, gives a gloomy account of the state of feeling among the people there. It says that there is but one Union man in the town, and he is sixty years old or would have been killed long ago. Hon. Cave Johnson, a powerful advocate  of the Union till the war commenced, is now as extreme on the other side. He says the only result of our success will be to drive the people of Tennessee into the mountains, and render them desperate. “There is not a spark of Union feeling here, and no one pretends to disguise the fact. The people of Clarksville glory in secession, but at the same time are trembling lest the town should be burnt. There was a large quantity of rebel stores, a portion of which was carried off and the remainder destroyed. The rebel leaders shipped a thousand Negroes from Clarksville last week.”

[The above dispatch should be regarded as coming from rebel sources, as the Chicago Times, like its namesake in this city, is intensely Democratically pro-slavery, and in sympathy with Jeff Davis.—Ed., Courant.]


The Rebel Flags.—No single act of Congress, for a long time past, gives so universal satisfaction to the people, as their refusal to receive the rebel flags, of the 22d inst. If Congress has aught to do with them, let them be publicly burned. I would suggest that Congress, or whoever has the authority, issue an order that any officer or private in the U.S. army, volunteer or regular, who may capture a rebel flag, may keep it as a trophy of his courage; and whenever a rebel flag may be captured in a fort, it shall belong to the regiment which first enters the fort. If the garrison capitulates, cut up the flags and distribute them among the men, or sell it for rags. None of them should be preserved in the archives of the government, as an eye-sore for the future.


From Washington.

The house bill prohibiting army officers from returning fugitive slaves who may come within the lines of the army meets with the favor of the Senate Committee, and will be reported as it stands. The law, however, does not seem to reach those cases where Negroes are refused admittance within the lines.

Within a few days a large number of applications have been made to the Treasury Department by the citizens of the Western and Southern States for permits to open trade with the South. It is urged that the opening of most of the navigable portions of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers by the Union forces is a sufficient reason for the restoration of trade with the States through which they run; the same argument is also employed in reference to the ports of the Southern coast which are now in our possession. There are, furthermore, similar proposals in regard to the Mississippi river.

1, 1862

The Intervention in Mexico.—The last mail from England brings new proof of the suspicion with which the British government regards the proceedings of its allies in Mexico. As lately as January 20th Earl Russell made known to the French government his regret, that the latter should have been led to send reinforcements by the Spanish general’s precipitate action, and expressed discontent with the tone of the Spanish proclamation, intimating also to the Spanish government that its explanations were not entirely satisfactory. He also instructed Sir John Crampton to make the following explanation to Marshal O’Donnell at Madrid:

“Should the Mexicans choose to constitute a new government which can restore order and preserve amicable relations with foreign nations, her Majesty’s Government will be delighted to hail the formation, and to support the consolidation, of such Government. If, on the contrary, the troops of foreign powers are to be used to set up a government repugnant to the sentiments of Mexico, and to support it by military force, her Majesty’s Government could respect no other result from such an attempt than discord and disappointment. In such a case the allied governments would only have to choose between withdrawing from such an enterprise with some shame, or extending their interference beyond the limits, scope and intention of the triple convention.”

The necessity for this explanation was shown by a dispatch which came a few days later from Earl Cowley at Paris, in the following words:

“I have heard from so many quarters that the language of officers going with the reinforcements to Mexico is, that it is for the purpose of placing the Archduke Maximilian upon the throne of that country, that I have thought it necessary to question M. Thouvenal upon the subject.

“I inquired of M. Thouvenal whether any negotiations had been pending between this government and that of Austria with reference to the Archduke Maximilian. His Excellency replied in the negative. He said that the negotiations had been carried on by Mexicans only, who had come over for the purpose and gone to Vienna.”

To this Earl Russell replied:

“I have little to add to my former instructions on this head. If the Mexican people, by a spontaneous movement, place the Austrian Archduke on the throne of Mexico, there is nothing in the convention to prevent it. On the other hand, we could be no parties to a forcible intervention for this purpose. The Mexicans must consult their own interests.”

The London Times, remarking upon this correspondence and defending the original policy of the intervention, is forced to admit that “we cannot tell what may occur, or whether Constitutional England may feel altogether grateful at the ultimate results of intervention in Mexico.”


A dispatch, dated San Francisco, Feb. 27, says that the steamer Cortes, from Oregon and British Columbia, has arrived, bringing $120,000 in gold. The weather throughout the northern coast has been very cold. Many persons on their way from Portland to the mines have been frozen to death. Thousands who left California for the new El Dorado are detained at Portland until the spring opens.

Making a Virtue of Necessity.—The Richmond Enquirer thinks that recent reverses have a “good effect on the vitality of the southern confederacy.” It supposes that in the event that Johnston loses Nashville, the rebels will have to abandon the greater part of Tennessee, and withdraw “to the water-shed which divides the rivers that flow North, like the Tennessee and Cumberland, from those that tend towards the Gulf of Mexico.”

The advantage of this is thus described:

“They would then be delivered from all territory with the taint of disloyalty, and stand where the whole population is a unit. Kentucky, Missouri, the greater art of Western Virginia and Tennessee would be temporarily in the enemy’s possession, but that very fact would render his task more perilous and difficult. He would then have to march his columns and draw his supplies from a distance while our best resources would be under our hands. He would suffer the same disadvantage that we have felt in Northwestern Virginia, of a hostile population under his feet, always conspiring and ready to cripple him in case of the least strife. We should then hold Eastern and Southwestern Virginia, the Carolinas, and all the Gulf States. There is the true South, the heart and the right and left arm of the revolution.”

One would suppose from this that a retreat to “the water-shed” in question would be rather a good move, but not so. The Enquirer is quite ready to regard it as an improvement of the rebel position if need be, but:

“It is hoped that the Southern Government will not have to defend a new line, or trust to the contingencies of war and negotiation for the future recovery of its soil. It is hoped that General Johnston will lose no battle, that Nashville will never be captured, or the Chattanooga road never be endangered. But such things are possible, and it is childish to shut our eyes to reverses that are possible, and then feel shocked when they come. A more manly policy is to foresee the dangers that they may be encountered with composure—if they cannot be rendered impossible by preparation.”


Letters of Marque.—The following note from Earl Russell to Lord Lyons, written while the Trent affair was still in suspense, is a significant trifle:

Foreign Office, December 20.

“My Lord: You may speak to Mr. Seward on the subject of letters of marque. Should Great Britain and the United States ever, unhappily, be at war against each other, her Majesty will be ready to relinquish her prerogative, and abolish privateering as between the two nations, provided the President would be ready to make a similar engagement on the part of the United States.”

The President had offered to make that very engagement a few months before; and the English ministry then declined to agree to it, unless it were occupied with reservations I the highest degree offensive to this country and totally inadmissible. It makes an essential difference whether it is merely some Golden Rocket or Harvey Birch that is to be burned by a Sumter or a Nashville—or an East Indiaman that is to fall into the hands of some Marblehead or Jersey privateer.

1 The word “torpedo” was used in the  mid-19th century to refer to what we today would call a “mine,” the “automobile torpedo” which moved through the water using a propellant not being invented until, initially, Pascal Plant in the U.S. in 1862 and, later, Robert Whitehead in the U.K. in 1866. The “automobile torpedo” caught on with the world’s navies by the 1880s. 

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