, 1862


In our columns Gen. Lovell announces that by the authority of the President of the Confederate States of America and in his name, he subjects the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemine to the operation of martial law, that is, subjects the inhabitants of these parishes to military government. The necessity of the proceeding seems to be admitted, the precise mode in which it is to be carried out will, we suppose, be made public in due time. The proclamation of the fact itself explains in certain particulars what are the objects contemplated here, and we commend them to the attention of every reader, as the way to keep out of trouble is to know where it exists and the mode of evading it. The following more especially, as being particularly specified, demands attention, as it contains the directions which must be immediately complied with:

“All grown white males in the aforesaid parishes, except unnaturalized foreigners, will be required to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States; and all persons, whether foreigners or not, who are unfriendly to our cause, are notified to leave the district embraced by this order without delay.

“A system of registry and passport will be established, and no one will be permitted to sojourn in the above-named parishes without satisfying the provost-marshals of their loyalty; and all good citizens are requested to report to those officers all who are suspected of hostility to the government.

“All places for the sale of liquor will be closed at 8 o’clock P.M. Any found open after that hour will be closed permanently and the liquor seized.

“A number of persons who have no ostensible business, nor any interests in the city or State, have recently arrived in New Orleans. They must satisfy the provost-marshals of their good intentions and objects here, or leave immediately.”

We cannot see in these requirements anything to complain of. The taking of an oath of allegiance is an idle formality, which no one will refuse; but the other matters embraced in the proclamation are of practical importance, and the rascal who has no scruples about oath-taking will find himself exposed to the necessity of giving a good account of himself, and explaining how and why he is sojourning in the parishes subjected to martial law. That the people of the four parishes named have been sleeping in dangerous obliviousness of the enemy around them we have long regretfully observed, and it is a marvel that, in this parish more particularly, some terrible calamity has not awakened us to a fearful sense of our past negligence and indifference. But the four parishes embraced in the proclamation are all accessible from the sea, and, therefore, constantly exposed to visits from the emissaries or forces of the enemy, and yet reliance to guard against possible injury through such channels has been mainly upon the forts on the sea-board, and every intelligent citizen can himself see how unwise and deceptive such expectation must be.

Late information from Plaquemine advises us of the necessity of very great vigilance on the part of planters and authorities, and particularly in what concerns the police of the plantations. If there be any owned by persons resident out of the State, or under administration which is lax or unfaithful, attention should be immediately given to them, and the legal corrective be at once and energetically applied. 

On one plantation in that parish, exposed on its rear to a bayou navigable to the sea, three Negroes, within a few days past, one of them armed with a double-barreled gun loaded, attacked a white man, dragging him from his horse and assaulting him. He also had a gun, but it was unfortunately unloaded, and he was therefore compelled to give the African marauders battle with nature’s weapons, which we are advised he so successfully did as to put them to flight, after capturing their guns and munitions.

We suppose among the immediate steps which the commanding general will deem it advisable to take to exact respect for order and law in this place, the establishment of military patrols and a rigid surveillance of all low haunts may be confidently looked for. There is no doubt whatever of the fact, stated in the proclamation, that numbers of fellows who have no ostensible business nor any interests in this city have recently arrived here, and upon no good or lawful errand; and it is apparent that the sooner such dangerous and suspicious persons are brought from their lurking-places the better it will be for the comfort, security and well-being of this community. The well-known villains, also, who have so long been a terror to peaceable and well-behaved citizens here, it is to be hoped, have now reached a point in their infamous career when the hand of power will be employed to crush, not foster and protect them, as it has long culpably and scandalously done. The gentlemen known as Provost-Marshals in the four districts of the city are well-known and prominent citizens, and will discharge their duties, we are sure, with firmness, discretion and fidelity. We are sure they will do it; positive, too, that the evil-does alone will feel the pressure uncomfortably heavy of their official authority. We may be mistaken, but are very confident we cannot be, in believing that the saturnalia of ruffianism which has so long been allowed to afflict and disgrace this community, will, under the administration of military law, have a termination. New Orleans was once a model city, and its population renowned for their order, respect for the law, honesty and decorum, and we think before the reign of corrupt partisans is again restored, the people will rejoice in good government, and the peace, security and respect for individual rights it establishes and maintains.


Cotton-Laden Vessels Running the Blockade.—We copy the following from the Augusta Chronicle of the 8th:

Seven vessels loaded with cotton passed the blockade at New Orleans one day last week. Six vessels passed the blockade at Charleston the same week. We are inclined to think that Lincoln’s vessels turn a blind eye to cotton vessels going out, while they keep a sharp look-out for vessels loaded with arms or goods inward bound. At any rate it is somewhat strange we never hear of the capture of any of the outward-bound, cotton-freighted vessels. Are there certain favored parties who have permits from both belligerents to carry on this trade?

, 1862

A Question for the Knights of the Green Bag.1—The Philadelphia Inquirer tells a story of a Yankee who was lately discovered printing a large number of rebel treasury notes, and who described his motive to be the supplying of the southern states with the spurious article, with the patriotic desire of crippling the rebel treasury. The man is represented to have sent several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of this bogus scrip into Secessia; and the Inquirer says that, in doubt that his conduct constitutes a crime, the enterprising Yankee in question is allowed by the government to be at large. The counterfeit is said to be a perfect one.


End of Slave-Catching.—The President on Thursday approved the additional article of war, which goes into immediate operation, viz: all persons or officers in the military or naval service of the United States, are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any person to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due; and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court martial of a violation of this article shall be dismissed from the service.


Missouri Cleared of Rebels.—An official dispatch to the secretary of war, dated St. Louis, 14th, makes the following gratifying statement:

After several daily skirmishes and a number of attempts by the enemy’s gunboats to dislodge General Pope’s batteries at Point Pleasant, the enemy evacuated his fort and intrenchments at New Madrid, leaving all his artillery, field batteries, tents, wagons, mules, &c., and an immense quantity of military stores. Brigadier General Hamilton has occupied the place. This was the last stronghold of the enemy in this state. No rebel flag is now flying in Missouri.


Locomotives and Cars.—An agent of the government was in this city last week to purchase cars and locomotives to run on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. We understand that twelve long freight cars were sent on last week via New York to Washington. The Eastern railroad will furnish two locomotives, the Maine two, and the Boston and Lowell two, and probably some from the other roads. The locomotives and cars on the B. & O. railroad were destroyed by the rebels and the track torn up. The track has been rebuilt by the government, and will be run by them for the present.


Brought to Lowell.—The body of Edward Garrity of this city, who was killed on board the Congress in the recent fight at Fortress Monroe, was brought here on Saturday in charge of his brother William, who was also on board the same vessel. The body was not seen, it being badly mangled, and was buried yesterday in the Catholic cemetery. Deceased was about 19 years of age, and leaves a mother and two sisters in this city, and a brother in Boston.


It is stated that the plan in the West is to flank Memphis by seizing the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, by a short march from the Tennessee river. The national forces are accumulating on that river. Among others, troops are being moved over from Fort Donelson to Fort Henry, which is on the Tennessee.

War News from the West.—Besides the complete success of our forces at New Madrid, reported elsewhere, we have this morning very cheering accounts from the naval expedition which started down the river from Cairo last Wednesday. The following particulars came by dispatch from Hickman, Ky., which town, as will be seen, is captured, with an immense amount of property:

A naval expedition, composed of the gunboats Benton, Louisville, Cincinnati, Carondelet and Conestoga, under Flag Officer Foote, left Cairo at 7 o’clock this morning. At Columbus they were joined by the Pittsburg, St. Louis and Mound City, and were overtaken by eight mortar boats in tow of four steamers with transports and ordnance boats. They arrived here at 4 o’clock this afternoon. The mounted pickets, and a quantity of property of not less value than $1,000,000, has fallen into our hands. The men only escaped. The enemy’s whole force is demoralized, and dispersed in a swamp on the opposite side of the river. The enemy abandoned their works so hurriedly as to leave all the baggage of their officers and knapsacks of the men behind. Their suppers were on their tables, and their candles were burning in their tents. A furious thunder storm, which raged all night, enabled them to get across the river without being discovered. Our heavy artillery was established during the night of the 12th inst., within 800 yards of the enemy’s works. We opened fire at daylight on the 13th inst., just 34 hours after the guns were delivered to us at Cairo. During the whole of yesterday our lines were drawn closer around the works of the enemy under the furious fire of 60 pieces of artillery. The fear of an assault upon their works at daylight induced them to flee precipitately during the night. Many prisoners have been taken, and the colors of several Arkansas regiments. Our loss is about 50 killed and wounded.

Hollins was in command of the rebel fleet, and Gens. McConn, Stewart and Gnatt of the land forces. The gunboats went down the river.

Gen. Pope has 25 heavy guns with two works of the enemy which command every point of the river.


Fallen Men.—Rev. Mr. Fletcher addressed a full audience in his church last evening on the subject above named. In commencing, he admitted the novelty of the subject, for, while the expression, “fallen,” as applied to the other sex, is often flippantly used, little is said of fallen man, unless Adam, our progenitor, is referred to, and even then his fault is generally shoved upon the shoulders of Eve. The speaker dissected in detail various practices entitling the sterner sex to the appellation of fallen; vividly depicting the snares placed in the way of youth, and allurements to vice made use of by those who intentionally wish to lead astray such as are novices in the ways of the world; the sordid avarice of others who are disposed to defraud the government in its hour of need; the great wrong done by others still who grudgingly pay to female help the pittance which alone keeps multitudes from starvation, and which often forces from honest poverty into vicious practices.

MARCH 18, 1862

Fighting at Island No. 10

Cairo, March 16.—The reporter of the Associated Press now aboard the flag-ship, two miles above Island No. 10, sends the following:

The flotilla got under way at 5:30 this morning and dropped down slowly till about 7 o’clock, when the flag-ship being about twenty miles ahead and six miles from the Island, they discovered a stern wheel steamer run out from the shelter of a point of the Kentucky shore and steam down the river. Four shells were thrown after her, but the distance was too great for effect. At 9 o’clock the fleet rounded to about three miles above the island. Commodore Foote then ordered three of the mortar boats into position. At this hour, 2 P.M., we are within range, but as yet nothing has been heard from the enemy.

There appears to be a large force on the Kentucky shore. We have counted thirteen guns in position on the bluff. A large number of transports can be seen across a low point of land near the Missouri shore busily engaged around the Island, but what they are doing cannot be determined. The mortar boats momentarily expect to open fire. We discern the much talked of floating battery at the Island.

The rebels have a  very strong position. Forty-six guns are counted. Eight mortars shelled the battery above the Island today. The enemy left it several times, but returned. They only fired with 2 guns. Our shells reached the Island easily. Gen. Pope has sent dispatches to Flag-Officer Foote saying that his heavy guns command the river, so that neither steamboat nor gunboat of the enemy can pass.

Firing has been heard in the direction of New Madrid all day. It is supposed that the rebel gunboats are trying to force a passage.

Seven rebel transports near Island No. 10 are hemmed in. The encampment of the enemy is visible, and is supposed to be large enough for 15,000 to 20,000 men.

March 17.—There is nothing later from Island No. 10 than a dispatch today, which says that the accuracy of the firing of the mortars yesterday was fully equal to previous expectations. The mortar fleet threw 240 shells, and the Benton 41. It is expected that one or more of the enemy’s works will be reduced today, and the place closely invested. It is thought by some that the rebels are marching across the neck of land from the Island to Merriweather Landing, on the Mississippi, only five miles, over a practicable road, and below Point Pleasant, the place where Gen. Pope has his batteries, and that when they are embarked on the boats (the smoke of which was plainly seen yesterday at or near Merriweather Landing from the gunboat Benton), we shall find the rebel nest empty and the river clear of rebels from Randolph or Fort Pillow.


Island No. 10 is Ours—Another Victory in Arkansas.

St. Louis, March 17.—In response to a serenade tonight, Gen. Halleck announced from the balcony of the Planters’ House that Island No. 10 is ours, with all the ammunition and transports the enemy had there. He said also that another victory had been gained in Arkansas, in which three rebel Colonels had been captured. The particulars have not transpired.2

Who Gave Us the Monitor?

As public attention is drawn in an eminent degree to this novelty in maritime warfare, it is only due to unobtrusive merit and devoted loyalty, to award more than an ordinary share of the credit for its success to the judgment and sagacity of Commodore Joseph Smith.

It is confidently believed, if the joint views of the Board of Naval Officers had prevailed, at the time iron-clad vessels were under consideration, the “Monitor” would never have saved what is left of the fleet at Fortress Monroe.

To Commodore Smith, more than to all the others, Ericsson alone excepted, is the country indebted for the opportune presence at a most portentous hour of this triumph of mechanical and engineering skill; and unless we misapprehend the generous spirit of Ericsson, he is willing to accord to the Commodore his grateful acknowledgements for many most useful and valuable suggestions.

It seems but just that one who labors so steadfastly and earnestly for his country’s good, should not be overlooked among the many rivalries for fame’s honor. If Com’r Smith’s plans could have been carried out, the Merrimack would have found her grave, even where the evil genius of treason was investing the monster with her powers of destruction; for we have heard it said the Commodore strongly urged that the Monitor should be sent to Norfolk, weeks ago, to attack the Merrimack while still in dock. If this bold project had been executed, and the invulnerability of the Monitor proves its feasibility, our flag would still have been floating from the peaks of the Congress and Cumberland; and a noble youth, gathered in the rich harvest of death on the 8th inst., would have been gaining other laurels to shed luster upon a venerable and patriotic sire.


The Tables Turned.—What a very large Tartar the rebels have caught at Fort Pickens may be seen from the language of the Mobile papers, which are in constant fear lest our troops on Santa Rosa Island may undertake some enterprise against Mobile. The Register of March 4, says:

“The Navy Yard and approaches to Pensacola have been made impregnable by the activity and skill of Gen. Bragg, and as the enemy has proved it by two unsuccessful bombardments, he is not likely to repeat the experiment. Time will not make these defences less impregnable. They guard the gateway of the capital to Alabama and a harbor of priceless value to the foe, which can never cease to be watched with sleepless vigilance.”

It would seem to be forgotten at Mobile that the rebel batteries were erected, not to defend Pensacola, but to reduce Fort Pickens. Instead of doing this, however, they are in danger of being themselves reduced.


A Stolen Idea.—Something has been said in the last few days about a floating rebel battery at Island No. 10. From the following description of it, given by a Western correspondent, it would seem that the rebels have made use of one feature of the Steven’s battery, in providing for sinking the boat a certain distance, at pleasure:

“On Island No. 10 they have formidable defences, and the great floating battery mounting twelve guns is there. This battery is so made that it can be sunk at pleasure, leaving only a foot or less above the surface. Three of four steamers, carrying eight guns, are also at that place.”

MARCH 19, 1862

The Advance into Virginia.

The rebels seem to have left behind a rear guard near Manassas, to cover their retreat southward. It is represented to be a brigade, comprising infantry, cavalry and artillery, and to have approached within a mile of Manassas on Sunday night. From Saturday afternoon to Monday evening they were alternately advancing and retreating, as if to invite attack. Of the movements of Gen. McClellan’s army nothing is allowed to be disclosed, but the correspondents say it is moving against the enemy, “steadily, surely, powerfully, nor has it ceased its progress since Monday week,” Gen. Sumner has taken command of one of the corps d’armee, consisting of his own division, now commanded by Gen. Kearney, and the divisions of Blenker and Sedgwick.

Upon examining Centreville and its defences the Prince De Joinville remarked that in Europe, to have compelled an army to evacuate such a stronghold without the loss of a man, or even without firing a gun, would have been considered the most brilliant achievement of the whole campaign. The story of the Quaker guns turns out to be entirely a joke of our own troops. Some of the reporters were badly “sold” by it. Among the earliest in entering the works at Centreville and Manassas were Col. E. H. Wright and Col. J. J. Astor, of Gen. McClellan’s staff. These officers rode all through the works soon after they had been entered by the advanced guard of the federal army, and they state most positively that there were neither Quaker guns nor painted logs, nor logs of any kind, in the embrasures at that time.

Conductors on the Manassas railroad say that the siege guns of the rebels were not taken to Gordonsville, but to Richmond. If this is true the talk about making a stand at Gordonsville is intended to mislead Gen. McClellan.

Many of the regiments suffered exceedingly from the storm of Saturday, several being exposed to it without any shelter whatever. A member of the New York 21st regiment was drowned fording a stream swollen by the rain, and a fine team attached tone of the baggage wagons was swept off. Several men belonging to other regiments were also reported drowned.

The following were among the amusing notices left behind by the rebels:


“Whenever you arrive at this place don’t think we have vacated it through fear, no never. We are a people that fears no army that comes from any abolitious country. Where any people wages war against a people like us, for the purpose, and the bold purpose, of robbing us of our homes and property you will find you can never succeed. Recollect Manassas, Leesburg, and many other places, and before long you will meet us again. So look out, we are fighting on our own Soil, and sooner than we will Surrender, we will die. With this Determination we never can be subjugated. You have caused this regiment to be absent from their friends and relations for nine months; revenge we must have, look out, look out!”

--8th Va Regt Vol.

“If any damned Yankee should occupy this hut, I would inform him that it has cost me much labor, and some money. I have had a good time in it, and in order that you may have the same, I leave you for your amusement two ribs of a New York Fire Zouave, for castanets.”

--Jim Ferguson

At the entrance of a circular fort was placed a common board coffin, with the rather unpleasing invitation to “walk in.”


Gins and Guns.—About seventy years ago Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, and in that cotton gin existed the seeds of the greatest rebellion in human history. It developed the cotton interest which made slavery profitable and developed the slave power until it became dictator in American politics. In the same town in which the cotton gin was invented and perfected—New Haven, Ct.,--lives Eli Whitney, son of the inventor, and the maker of arms for putting down the rebellion which his father’s invention so innocently inaugurated. Muskets for the government to the number of 50,000 are contracted to be furnished by this establishment, and revolvers without number are turned out, of the best pattern. And thus is the “law of compensation” vindicated.

St. Patrick’s Day.—The observance of this festival of Ireland’s patron saint was quite general on Monday. At Boston the turn out was larger than ever before. A procession was formed on the common, including nine Hibernian societies with bands of music, banners, evergreen badges, etc., and nearly 1000 men. They attended high mass and listened to a sermon in the new Catholic church at Charlestown. At Hartford there was a procession of the sick an burial societies, with the armory band at their head, and religious exercises and a lecture indoors. At New Haven, the Irish benevolent societies and Emmet Guards were out in procession, and afterwards attended religious services. At New York city, notwithstanding the absence of many thousands Irishmen in the Union army, both the military and civic processions were much finer than in any previous year. The 69th regiment, whose behavior at Bull Run has made Irish pluck and daring indisputable, appeared in the procession about 700 strong, and excited great applause. The procession was reviewed by Mayor Opdyke and the common council.


Miscellaneous War News.

A letter from a brigadier surgeon who is with our advancing army in Tennessee predicts that they will be in New Orleans by the 1st of April. We believe it.3

The adjutant general of the regular confederate army, Samuel Cooper, was born in New York; Brig. Gen. Ripley was born in Ohio; Pemberton in Pennsylvania; Whiting, Pike, Ruggles and Blanchard in Massachusetts; French in New Jersey. Massachusetts furnishes as many generals for the rebel army as either Alabama or Mississippi, one more than Texas, as many as Florida, Arkansas, and Missouri, all together, and lacking one of half as many as South Carolina. Of course these men were citizens at the South at the breaking out of the rebellion.

The reason why the wrought iron balls were not used by the Monitor in the contest with the Virginia, was not owing to “red tape,” but from a well grounded fear that they would burst the guns, wrought iron expanding much more than cast iron from the effect of the gasses generated by powder. It is now proposed to have steel balls to use against iron-clad ships, or balls pointed with steel. These would, it is believed, pierce through the iron plates.

Gov. Brown of Georgia, in his proclamation forbidding all distillation of spirits in that state after the 15th of March, suggests that the copper whisky stills be worked up into cannon; and adds that such use of them would make them agents of destruction to the enemy, instead of, as now, instruments of ruin to friends.

Lieut. Prescott of Gen. Pope’s division, just before the attack on New Madrid, wrote as follows to his brother in this city, of the country and the intelligence of the inhabitants of that part of Missouri: “Since we left Bird’s Point we have had a long and tedious march through swamps and across prairies. Of all the God-forsaken countries I ever saw, this beats them all. I met a man in our camp this morning, who was born in this country, and who had never seen the American flag before. Everybody in this part of the world is secesh, and thinks we came here to free their Negroes.”

MARCH 20, 1862


The Capture of Newbern.
Desperate Valor of Our Troops

The various brigades commenced embarking from Roanoke Island on Tuesday, the 4th of March, which occupied the time until Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, the 11th, the whole fleet was under weigh, and on Wednesday evening reached Slocum’s Creek, in the Neuse River. The following morning was rainy, but about eight o’clock the weather cleared up, and the order for disembarkation was given, producing enthusiastic cheers throughout the whole flotilla. The troops were landed on the upper bank of Slocum’s Creek, the water being so shallow that they were obliged to wade ashore, holding their guns and ammunition aloft in order to keep them dry. The distance from this point to Newbern was sixteen miles. The only artillery used by our troops was a battery of six navy guns, or mountain howitzers, and two Wiard rifled 12-pounders. Along the creek the land was marshy and the traveling difficult for about a mile. Succeeding this was a piece of woods, passing through which and over a mile of sand beach, the troops came to a country road. A little way up the road they found an extensive cavalry barracks, some distance back, in a wooded ravine. So great had been the hurry of leaving that the officers had left their breakfast untouched—the men theirs in the mess-tins, while furniture, books, clothing, and the conveniences of camp life, were strewn along the cantonment. The roads were in a sad plight, owing to the rains of the previous week, but no straggling was allowed. The 24th Massachusetts led the 1st brigade, and the 11th Connecticut closed up the rear of the 3d brigade. They had proceeded about five miles, when they came upon a deserted line of batteries and breastworks, very elaborately built, with a wide moat in front and abattis of timber on the flanks. Guns had not yet been mounted, our troops not being expected so soon. In the afternoon a drizzling rain commenced, and our tired troops were anxious for the word to halt. Just about this time, a man on horseback was seen coming from the direction of Newbern, who was arrested, and gave information on the evacuation of Manassas. The intelligence revived the jaded soldiers, and with renewed vigor they pushed forward to within a mile of the enemy’s fortifications. Here they halted and bivouacked for the night; the rain falling, and damp dead leaves making uncomfortable couches.

The next morning the column was on the march, the Mass. 21st leading the advance on the railroad. The regiment had not proceeded far before, on turning a curve in the road, they saw a train of cars, which had brought re-enforcements to the enemy, standing on the track. In front of the locomotive, on a platform car, had been a large rifled gun, which was evidently to be placed in a position to rake the road. Our men, however, advanced at the double-quick and poured in a volley with such accuracy of aim that the enemy, who had already rolled the gun and caisson off the car, did not stop to unload the carriage, but ran into the intrenchments, and the train was backed towards Newbern, leaving the platform-car standing on the track.

The line of battle was formed in the woods just in front of the enemy’s earthworks. The 24th Mass. on the right, the 27th on their left, in support, and the 23d in front, which opened fire on the enemy, and was replied to by a heavy discharge of artillery by the enemy.

Gen. Foster’s line of battle was completed by moving the gallant 10th Connecticut to the extreme left, to a position where they had to fight under the most discouraging disadvantages. The ground was very wet, swampy, and cut up into gullies and ravines, which mostly ran toward the enemy, and, of course, offering no protection from his fire, exposed them on elevations and in valleys. The regiment had shown, at Roanoke, however, the behavior of veterans, and nothing else could  have been expected at this time, but that they would stand their ground to the last.

Gen. Parke’s Brigade, which had followed the 1st Brigade up the main road, was placed in line between the 10th Connecticut and 21st Massachusetts, the 4th Rhode Island holding the right of the line, the 8th Connecticut the next place, the 5th Rhode Island next, and the 11th Connecticut on the right. Our line of battle was now complete, the 24th Massachusetts on the extreme right and the 51st Pennsylvania at the extreme left, and extended more than a mile.

The naval battery was placed in the center, and was handled with great skill and daring, the offices of some of the guns standing by them when they had but a single man to assist them.

The 21st Mass., suffering very much from the enemy’s fire, the order was given to charge upon the intrenchments. The rebels at the guns, seeing the movements, abandoned their guns and fled.

Col. Clark mounted the first gun ad waved the colors, and had got so far as the second, when two full regiments emerged from a grove of young pines and advanced upon our men, who, seeing that they were likely to be captured or cut to pieces, leaped over the parapet and retired to their position in the woods.

Col. Rodman of the 4th Rhode Island was informed of the position of affairs, and being unable to communicate with Gen. Parke, decided, on his own responsibility, to order a charge with the bayonet.

When the command was given to charge, they went at the double-quick directly up to the battery, firing as they ran, and entering at the right flank, between a brick-yard and the end of the parapet. When fairly inside, the Colonel formed the right wing in line of battle, and at their head charged down upon the guns at double-quick, the left wing forming irregularly, and going as they could. With a steady line of cold steel, the Rhode Islanders bore down upon the enemy, and, routing them, captured the whole battery, with its two flags, and planted the Stars and Stripes upon the parapet. The 8th Connecticut, 5th Rhode Island, and 11th Connecticut, coming up to their support, the Rebels fled with precipitation, and left us in undisputed possession.

The 51st Pennsylvania on the left, which had been held in reserve, were now ordered to charge the batteries opposite them, which they did, supported by the rest of the brigade. This movement was assisted by another charge of the 4th Rhode Island from the captured main battery upon the works which were being assailed, and the enemy, already demoralized by the breaking of their center, fell back before the grand charge upon the left and front of their position, and fled in confusion. On our extreme right the brave 24th, and its supporting regiments, had been advancing inch by inch, standing up against the enemy’s musketry and cannonade without flinching, and at about the time when the 4th Rhode Island charged in at the right flank, the colors of the 24th were on the parapet at the left, and the whole of the First Brigade poured into the fortification. The whole line of earthworks was now in our hands, and the cheers of our men, from one end of it to the other, broke out with fresh spirit as each new regimental color was unfurled on the parapet.

The approaches to Newbern were defended by a line of water batteries or forts communicating with field fortifications of the most extreme nature. The lower fort is about six miles from the city; the next communicates with the unfinished batteries and breastworks passed on our march, and the others distributed at about equal distances along the shore. The line of fortifications attacked and stormed in this brilliant engagement was some three miles in extent.

All the fortifications—batteries, redans and breastworks—were located with rare judgment, and constructed with great engineering skill. The courage and endurance of our troops was most wonderful. Most of them were raw volunteers, who only four months ago were marching through our streets in the most unmilitary style. The inside of the intrenchments presented a most revolting spectacle of mangled bodies and bleeding carcasses of horses.

The troops were at once pushed on the road to Newbern, and they arrived at the bank of the river opposite early in the afternoon. Long before they arrived dense columns of smoke were seen, showing that the town was on fire. It had been fired in seven different places, in opposition to the wishes of the citizens, who afterwards succeeded in subduing the flames.

Preparations were immediately made by Gen. Foster to cross his forces, and this was accomplished by the assistance of a light draft stern wheel steamer which had been captured with four or five small side wheel boats by the naval gunboats, which by this time were quite up to the city wharves.

To the eastward of the city a very large Rebel camp, with barracks and tents, was found deserted, and taken possession of. Stragglers from different regiments wandered through the city, and some acts of depredation were committed, but a strong Provost Guard was called out; all liquor casks were staved in, and by midnight the streets of the city were as quiet as if one army had not just fled from it in one direction, and another entered it from the other.

The value of the property captured is estimated at $2,000,000.

The whole fight was desperate and won at the expense of many a brave soldier, but it is cheering to read of the indomitable endurance and pluck of the noble men who fought the battle.

The number of the enemy is estimated at from 9,000 to 11,000. Our whole number was about 10,000.

MARCH 21, 1862

Capt. Ericsson Describes the Working of the Monitor.

At a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of New York on Wednesday, Capt. Ericsson, the inventor of the steam floating battery Monitor, made a speech descriptive of the mode of operating it, which we give below. He first reviewed the statements made in Capt. Stimers’ letter to him, explaining that the shield therein mentioned is an extra plate of two-inch thick iron placed on the fighting side of the tower of the Monitor, intended principally to deaden the sound of the balls that might strike it, the sound of the concussion being expected to be such as would knock down the men working the guns, if not careful in obeying suggested orders. By referring to Capt. Stimers’ account, it will be seen that three men, among them himself, were thus prostrated. On this subject Capt. Ericsson says:

“Before the Monitor left I charged the officer particularly to tell the men not to be frightened. I told him to fell the men, let every man go down on his knees, and don’t be alarmed when the rebel shot strikes you, because it won’t hurt you. They all put the question to him, ‘Won’t the shot go through?’ ‘No,’ says he, ‘it will stay out.’ ‘Then we don’t care,” they said. But for this precaution there would have been great consternation when the turret was struck. You may estimate the shock when a shot of 200 pounds weight moving at the rate of 2000 feet in a second, strikes within a foot of a man’s head.

“I proposed to the captain to let the sailing master turn the turret. On one side of the turret there is a telescope, a reflector, the image being bent by a prism. This sailing-master, who has nothing to do on the Monitor, I proposed should be stationed there. He not only looked through the telescope, but by means of a small wheel he turned the turret just exactly where he liked. He did that to admiration, pointing it exactly on the enemy. As the Monitor went round, the turret kept turning (it no doubt astonished Capt. Buchanan) so that wherever the Monitor was, in whatever position it was placed, the two bulldogs4 kept looking at him all the time.

“The men were new; their passage had been very rough, and the master had to put his vessel right under the heaviest guns that are ever worked on ship-board. It is evident that but for the presence of a master mind on board of that vessel, success could not have been achieved. Capt. Worden, no doubt, acquitted himself in the most masterfully manner. But everything was quite new. He felt quite nervous before he went on board. The fact that the bulwark of the vessel was but one foot above the water-line was enough to make him so. When I was before the Naval Committee, the grand objection was that in sea-way the vessel would not work. I gave it as my opinion that it would prove the most easy working in sea way, and it is an excellent sea boat. The men are supplied with fresh air, though there is no opening except through the turret, by means of blowers worked by the engines, and they are perfectly comfortable. They can remain on the top of the turret in the sea way; it is sixty-four feet in circumference—quite a promenade. Though the deck is but a foot above the water-line, the top of the turret is nine feet above it; and here is the important point, that the vessel is in the sea way perhaps the safest vessel ever built. It takes 670,000 pounds to bring her down. There can be no danger of her swamping. It is very much like a bottle with a cork in it.

“In relation to the points whether the Monitor is capable of taking care of the Merrimac, let me say that she would have sunk the Merrimac but for the fact of her having fired too high. If they had kept off at a distance of 200 yards, and held the gun exactly level, the shot would have gone clear through. But Mr. Stimers had the guns elevated a little, and the roof of the Merrimac is so strong that the balls rebounded. Next time they will encounter the Merrimac they will leave the guns level, and they won’t mind if the ball  strikes the water, because the ricochet will take it where they want it. The next time they go out, I predict the third round will sink the Merrimac. There is another great point. They had 50 wrought-iron shot which were not used. Capt. Dahlgren issued peremptory orders that they should not be used, and they obeyed those orders. Now, wrought-iron shot is one thing, and cast-iron shot is another. A wrought-iron shot cannot break. The side armor of the Merrimac is insufficient to resist it. The channel is very narrow, and the Merrimac must follow it. But the Monitor can go anywhere and take the very best opposition.”

A Member—“How often can they fire?”

Mr. Ericsson—“In about one minute and a half. It is often said one gun would be sufficient, but it is not so. By having two guns you have time for one to cool. You may depend upon it is the Merrimac comes out again she will be sunk.”

A Member—“I would like to ask Capt. Ericsson whether his battery could not be erected on various points in our harbor for its defense.”

Mr. Ericsson—“I imagine that the best kind of harbor defense is a floating structure that can be moved from place to place.”

The Member—“You can move this turret in any direction, and save all the expense of your vessel, and you require only a small steam engine.”

Mr. Ericsson—“This vessel is equal to twenty forts. It can move from place to place. In this battery you have a vessel that draws only twelve feet of water. The Warrior, drawing thirty-four feet of water, must come in the middle of the channel, and we could move along the shore. By means of one single floating battery you could defend the harbor better than by twenty forts. That is easily demonstrated.”



The internal tax bill reported by the ways and means committee of the House contains 109 sections, and would fill ten columns of The Caledonian. It will be much discussed and perhaps altered before its passage; for in the lack of financial wisdom and of full statistical information, the committee has adjusted the burdens very unequally in some respects. It has omitted to tax slaves, which could be made to bear $5 per head, and it levies far too little on liquors and cigars, those indulgences which men will have at almost any cost. Cotton, too, whose kingly assumptions have brought on this war, is permitted to escape.

MARCH 22, 1862


St. Louis, March 21.—A special dispatch to the Republican dated “Island No. 10, March 20,” says the cannonading by the gunboats and mortars continued through Wednesday. All the guns in the upper battery, except one on the Tennessee shore, have been silenced, and one gun on the island dismounted. Shells were constantly falling in the rebel camp and batteries, and numbers have been killed and wounded, the later being carried away on litters. A large number of loaded wagons are leaving the Tennessee shore, from which it is believed that preparations are being made for evacuation of the works. The floating rebel battery has been moved nearer the head of the island.

Gen. Pope allowed a rebel gunboat to approach within 50 yards of a masked battery on Tuesday and then sunk her, killing 15 of her crew. He had previously allowed 5 rebel steamers to pass on towards New Madrid, and they are now between his  batteries, unable to escape. Over a dozen vessels, together with a  floating battery and ram, are now above Gen. Pope’s batteries, and all will be captured or sunk.

Mr. Bendell, one of the oldest citizens of Memphis, arrived last night. He reports that there are but three rebel regiments between New Madrid and Memphis, and they are stationed at Fort Pillow. The rebel government is manufacturing pikes at Memphis for new levies, but less than 100 men have responded to the call of the Governor. The railroads terminating at Memphis are being connected so as to send all the rolling stock down the New Orleans road when necessary.

Another correspondent, who left Island No. 10 yesterday noon, says the firing is only moderate from the Benton and Mound City at intervals of 15 minutes each, the object being to reduce the upper battery. Five guns were dismounted, and 2 only are left from which occasional shots are fired. Some of them came very near our boats. The works on both the main land and the Island are far more extensive that was generally supposed. There are at least 80 guns, many of them of the largest size, several of them rifled, and 20,000 troops. The correspondent says he saw at one time ten regiments on dress parade on the main land. Their quarters are out of reach of the mortars. The Island is pretty well covered with tents. Our shells reach all parts of the works on the Island. It is evident that all the rebel batteries have bomb proof casemates, as the men can be seen to disappear when a shell falls into the batteries. As son as the upper fort is reduced the gunboats will advance and take the others in detail.5 On Tuesday night the Mound City kept up  steady fire upon the upper fort, preventing the rebels from making their usual nightly salutes. The result was that early in the morning they commenced removing the dead and wounded from the casemates of the fort. A large number were carried out and taken back into the woods. On Monday 900 shot were fired from the gunboats, mostly shells, besides 300 shells from the mortars. On Tuesday Commodore Foote directed the fuses to be wet, with a view to destroy the works and dismount the guns. The result was satisfactory. As yet but one man has been killed by the enemy.

Chicago, March 21.—A special dispatch from Cairo to the Journal says that a moderate fire was kept up by the fleet on Island No. 10 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The gunboat Minnesota dismounted a 128-pounder gun on the enemy’s upper battery. Some rebel gunboats tried to force their way up yesterday morning, but had to return. Gen. Pope had 22 guns mounted at Mount Pleasant, and has erected a new battery 4 miles below.

Snubbing England and France.—The Richmond Examiner has a pleasant paragraph, in which, referring to a proposition to offer the whole cotton crop for sale abroad, it says:

“The discussion in secret session took a very different direction from what was primarily intended, it being moved that our present embassies to Europe should be recalled, and that our diplomatic relations with England and France should be terminated for the present. This proposition has been renewed in open session of Congress, and is understood to be chiefly intended as an exhibition of spirit and resentment at the shuffling and selfish policy, especially of the English government, on the question of our recognition.”

It would be hugely amusing to see England and France “cut” by the southern confederacy!


A Sensible Letter.

The following is said to be part of a letter from a Louisiana Major to his sister in New Orleans, picked up after the battle at Pea Ridge, Arkansas:

“Dear Sister Carrie: You asked me in your last letter what I thought of the prospect of our dearly beloved cause. To be candid, I have little hope for its success now, though last December I felt confident we would be recognized before the coming June. I don’t like the Yankee a bit; I have been educated to hate them, and I do hate them heartily; but I must acknowledge the South has been sadly mistaken in their character. We have always believed that the Yankees would not fight for anything like a principle; that they had no chivalry, no poetry in their nature. Perhaps they have not; but that they are brave, determined, persevering, they have proved beyond question.

“The trouble with them is that they never get tired of anything. They lost all the battles at first, and after Manassas we despised them. This year has inaugurated a new order of affairs. We are beaten at all points. We do nothing but surrender and evacuate; and while I hate the Lincolnites more than ever, I respect them—I can’t help it—for their dogged obstinacy, and the slow but steady manner in which they carry out their plans.

“I have lost heart in our cause. There is something wrong somewhere. Jeff Davis and our political leaders are either knaves or fools. They drew us into our present difficulties, and now have no way of showing us out of them.

“If the South had known what would have been the result of Secession, no State, unless South Carolina, would have gone out of the Union. We all thought we could go out in peace; I know I did, and laughed at the idea of the North attempting to keep us in the Union by force of arms.”

1 A “Knight of the Green Bag” was a travelling salesman, as per this definition from The Christian Spectator for March 1826, p. 134: “A class of people that I frequently meet with in my excursions . . . are travellers technically so called. They are either traders, manufacturers, or their agents. Their business is to go about the country and solicit orders for goods. . . . They are ascertained by the green bags they carry, in which are their samples. From this circumstance they bear the title Knights of the Green Bag.”

2 This report was in error, and was retracted the following day.

3 The brigadier was almost right. Union forces would be in New Orleans on 26 April 1862—but it would be the U.S. Navy, coming up from the Gulf, and not the Federal army.

4 “Bulldogs” was slang for a ship’s big guns—because of their bark (and their bite!)

5 “in detail” means “one by one.”

  Having trouble with a word or phrase? Email the transcriptionist.