, 1862

A Dozen Merrimacs Wanted.—The Petersburg Express, commenting on the brilliant exploit of the Merrimac, says:

The opportunity is now a fine one for the navy Department to retrieve all errors and supply all omissions. We urge upon Congress instant measures for multiplying our war vessels on the plan of the Merrimac. Let that body make, without any delay, the requisite appropriations for this purpose, and then let the secretary turn them to account. Ten such structures as the Merrimac would give us the power to annihilate the whole Yankee navy. The battle of Newport News has proven we could do it, for the Yankees have not got a single vessel afloat that can begin to compare with her for invulnerability and destructive capacity. She is a perfect masterpiece of naval architecture, and serves as a model by which, in the course of six months, a dozen others, exactly lie her, could be got ready for service. There ought to be a duplicate of her in every important Southern harbor, in that time. She is, without exception, the most ingenious, extraordinary, and irresistible craft that the world has ever seen.

Let the government then profit by the experience it has just had of her eminent adaptability to the end for which she was constructed. Let us have more like her and in the shortest possible time. We have gallant naval commanders panting to distinguish themselves as Buchanan has done. All they want is a Merrimac each, and it is no less wisdom than the duty of the government to go instantly to work thus to provide for them. Let the Yankees not think any longer that the South cannot meet them on their favorite element.

Time is now more precious than ever to us. Let not another day be lost in setting about doing what the victory of Newport News bids us in tones of thunder to do right away. In six months we can go forth upon the ocean and sweep from it the enemy’s navy and commerce, and thus prove to the nations that the Southern Confederacy is a power upon the earth. But in these six months we have to work like beavers in our ship-yards. We have got to build a dozen Merrimacs.


The Good Effects.—The Norfolk Day Book thus tells of the good effects of martial law in that place:

Since the establishment of martial law over the two cities there has been a perfect dearth of rowdies. The nights pass off quietly and re not made hideous, as heretofore, with the yells and curses of the intoxicated. Indeed, no drunken man is now upon the streets night or day, and in this respect, if no other, martial law has proved a blessing.


A Good Suggestion.—A Georgia contemporary suggests to those who are amateur of curiosities that a collection of the various specimens of shin-plaster that now flood the land would be very interesting to the next generation. Some people are interested in making mineralogical collections, some in plants and weeds, some collect butterflies and bugs—why not humbugs?

The Good Results of Our Late Disasters

That misfortunes are often blessings in disguise, is a proverb of many languages. Those lately suffered by the Southern Confederacy, in one essential point, certainly illustrate its truth. At the end of this war we may look back on Fishing Creek, Dranesville, Roanoke, Henry and Donelson, as the true causes of our salvation.

Had not the Northern army made these general movements in mid-winter, the people and the government would have lounged through the spring as they did through the winter and the autumn, and the opening of the true campaign would have found us with half an army. Had not the impatience of the Northern people and the pressure of the European cabinets forced the hand of McClellan, and had he been able to assemble and arrange his troops and stores in the positions he desired without a conflict to arouse the attention of the Southern people to what was going on, our condition in April and May would have been tenfold more dangerous than it now is. The disasters we have suffered are mortifying to us and exhilarate our enemies; but they have startled without crippling the Confederacy. Had it lain still two months more, with the army dwindling daily under the furlough system, disgusted with the inaction of stationary camps, while the government was squabbling with the generals, and the people sinking into indifference, we would have been overrun between 15th of April and the 1st of May.

Fortunately for us, the Northern Government was unable to wait. Fortunately, its first movements secured success on the frontiers, while the season incapacitated their armies from attaining great results in consequence of those victories. The facts that have put the United States beside themselves with frantic joy, have had an effect equally powerful, though of a different description, on the people of the Confederacy. Never has a resurrection been more complete. Every man, in and out of place, was satisfied by those events that he must take part in the common defense if he desired to escape ruin. The army is no longer diminished by furloughs. Its ranks are rapidly filling. The volunteers of twelve months have nearly all re-enlisted, and those who have not done so will be forced to it. New regiments and companies arise like the harvest that Cadmus sowed. Drafts are decreed, without hesitation, by all the States, and the advocate of conscription no longer preaches in the desert. If the government has the capacity to wield the force of the country, there is at least no longer a doubt but that it will have that force under its command before the Northern troops can make any considerable advance towards the heart of Southern territory.

These are the good results that clearly flow from our late disasters. The arms of invasion cannot now close on a slumbering prey. If we are beaten in the great battle which will follow the drying of the roads, it will be because we are badly managed by the government and its generals, not because we are occupied at home with other things than the defense of our property and liberty.—Richmond Examiner.

, 1862

Federal Vessels Within Sight of Savannah, Panic Among the Citizens

We find in the New York Post of Friday evening full details of the bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski. After stating the result of the summons for the fort to surrender, the account proceeds as follows:

“General Gilmore immediately opened fire upon the fort from the batteries on Tybee Island. After a few rounds had been fired from all our batteries, which had been rapidly brought into action, a chance shot carried away the halyards of the flagstaff in the fort, and the rebel flag fell. At this moment our fire slackened, our officers thinking that the white flag might make its appearance instead of the Confederate bunting; but there was no surrender yet. The flag was replaced, floating from a temporary flagstaff erected on the parapet.

Our batteries on Tybee Island then recommenced the fire with redoubled vigor, and the bombardment continued without cessation during the remainder of the day. Toward night, Gen. Gilmore ordered a slackening of the fire, having been convinced, from the effect of the Parrott guns, of the practicability of breaching the walls. Arrangements were immediately made for planting more guns in  the batteries on  Goat Island, the point nearest the fort, the distance being sixteen hundred and eighty-five yards. From sunset to midnight there was no firing; after midnight an occasional shot was fired until daylight appeared.

On the morning of the 11th two small breaches were visible in the southeast face of the fort, and by noon, under the heavy and well directed fire of the Goat point batteries, these breaches assumed wonderful proportions.

At 2:18 P.M., on the 11th, after a sustained and terrible fire from our batteries, during the continuance of which over one thousand shells fell within the fort, and seven breaches were made in the walls, a white flag was displayed from Pulaski. Gen. Gilmore sent a boat to the fort, and received the unconditional surrender of the garrison. Col. Olmstead declared that it was impossible to hold out any longer, as our rifled shots were fast working their way into their magazines, and a number of his guns had been disabled; he was therefore compelled to comply with Gen. Gilmore’s command. Accordingly, on the same night, the 7th Connecticut regiment, Col. Terry, was thrown into the fort, and the munitions of war, provisions, &c., were turned over to the credit of the Union.


The last advices from Washington are to the effect that it is seriously proposed to let the tax bill lie over until the next session of Congress. The delay in reporting it to the Senate, the immense interests engaged in throwing impediments in the way of adoption of any burden of this kind, the reluctance of congressmen to be identified with a measure involving so much local unpopularity, gives color to this alarming rumor. It has been determined to adjourn in May, which is near at hand, yet we are told that the Senate committee will not report it before the close of this week. It must then be debated, amended, and sent back to the House, a process likely to take months rather than weeks, and yet the session is near its close. We do not like the bill under discussion. A far better one might have been framed in a quarter of the time with one-tenth of the labor. But, bad enough, it is infinitely better than none at all. Better for the country that we lost one of our grand armies than that Congress failed to pass a tax bill at this present session.—N. Y. World.

The Spencer Rifle is a new arm which Northern ingenuity and mechanical skill have produced and which, in efficiency bids fair to eclipse all prior productions, even that of the celebrated Colt. The arm is the invention of Mr. C. M. Spencer, and the manufacture is conducted by an organized company in Boston, of which J. W. Clark, Esq., is President, and Warren Fisher, Jr., Treasurer and Agent. The arm is a breech loading repeater of wonderful power. Last Saturday its powers were exhibited before Gov. Andrew, and Staff, and several commercial men of Boston, and one of the Journal reporters gives the result as follows:

Eight shots were fired in thirteen seconds, and eight more were inserted in less time than an ordinary muzzle loading rifle can receive its single charge. This firing is at the rate of nearly forty shots per minute. The ball is propelled with very great force, as was shown by placing thirteen separate boards together, each an inch in thickness, and firing at a distance one hundred and fifty feet directly through the whole of them. It will throw a ball two thousand yards, or nearly a mile and a quarter, and in the hands of a scout or sharpshooter, or infantry-man, may be relied upon for accuracy six or eight hundred yards. The extraordinary force and range are required with a charge of powder but little more than one-half the quantity used in the regulation cartridge. The entire force of the powder is preserved by the perfection of the mechanism, which prevents the slightest escape of gas. This was signally illustrated by binding a white handkerchief over the joint when firing, without receiving the slightest discoloration or even odor.

The metallic-cased cartridge is used, and it combines many advantages, among the chief of which are its indestructible character and the great facility with which it may be transported.

The Spencer rifle has been submitted to some of the most experienced ordnance officers in the army and navy. Capt. Dahlgren, (the inventor of the famous cannon,) says he caused “the piece to be fired five hundred times in succession” and that “the mechanism was not cleaned and yet it worked throughout as a first.”

The company are now vigorously at work in filling Government orders from both the War and Navy Departments, for considerable number of the rifles, and they are sparing neither labor nor money. Their armory is extensive and well arranged, and is destined to prove one of the fixed institutions of Boston.


A very general feeling seems to prevail that the end of the rebellion draweth nigh. Our great armies are now face to face with the enemy at every point where he is known to be in force. McClellan stares Jeff. Davis in the face at Yorktown, Banks is pressing hard upon the heels of Jackson, McDowell is bearing down hardly upon Richmond. Foote and Pope are looking upwards to the heights from which Bragg is soon to fall. Grant and Buell have their united gaze upon Beauregard, and Hunter will soon hunt out the rebels at Savannah. Porter’s mortars will soon report at New Orleans. Should but the past success be vouched safe to our arms, we shall soon hope to see the end of this accursed Confederacy. Stirring events are immediately at hand.


Repopulation of Virginia.—The repopulation of Virginia in the rear of our victorious armies, by settlers from the free States, has already begun. Buyers of land at and in the vicinity of Manassas have appeared, but they experience a difficulty in purchases. The real owners are chiefly rebels, and are fugitives from their possessions. Of course, purchases will not be made of any but the owners, and they must be loyal to insure future protection to the transactions.

The result will be, in the absence of loyal owners, that strangers will take possession in the manner of the squatters of the West, and leave to the future the settlement of title, which will be doubtless confirmed to the new holders in process of time. In this way, and in various other ways, the deserted wastes of Eastern Virginia will be reoccupied by a people who will make them blossom as a rose, and who will afford protection and remunerative employment to the colored laboring classes whom the war will have emancipated.

MARCH 25, 1862

War Facts and Rumors.

New York, March 24th.—The commanding officer at Fort Craig writes to the Government that he has no doubt of being able t hold that post.

A Nashville letter of the 18th in the Times says that the advance corps of our army under Gens. Mitchell and Dumont is ere this in Murfreesboro, and it is reported here that Hardee has fallen back on Chattanooga and is reinforcing Gen. A. Sydney Johnson, who with a large force is fortifying the hills around that naturally strategic position.

A gentleman from Mobile, who arrived here yesterday with a pass from Gen. Beauregard to our lines, informed me that he had left that city only a week since, and on his way up he found trains filled with soldiers, their principle destination being Corinth. The train he came up on contained several batteries of rifled cannon for light artillery service. A large quantity of provisions was being shipped to Chattanooga and nearly all the forces from the seaboard were being drawn up near the Tennessee line. He had conversed with many troops who assured him that they had not received their pay for six months, and when their time was up they intended to go home. The rebels are determined to make a desperate stand at Chattanooga. There is not the least doubt that if they are whipped there they will yield and sue for peace.

Key West letters leave no doubt of the non-capture of Yancey. The rumor was caused by the fact that the Consul of Havana sent word that Yancey was aboard the schooner Mallory, subsequently captured by the Water Witch. The mate of the Mallory says Yancey sailed the day before her in the schooner Break of Day for Mobile. The schooners Tennessee and Florida escaped from the Mississippi river, while our vessels were chasing the Magnolia. The former had 1600 and the latter 1800 bales of cotton.

Baltimore, March 24—Among the passengers by the Baltimore boat are four deserters from the rebel army—all citizens of Eastern States, who were made prisoners by the rebels last May at Cedar Keys, Fla. Compelled by necessity they enlisted in the 2d Fla. regiment last July. They state that Magruder’s force around Yorktown is composed of about a dozen regiments not numbering over 6000 effective men; but that at Great Bethel and other points on the peninsula, he has not less than 15,000 men.

There are some heavy guns mounted at Yorktown and on the fortifications three miles below Wyoming Creek. During the last few weeks a force has been engaged in building casemates, but they are not very formidable.

Winchester, March 24.—The rebels have been driven back to Stransburg. There has been very little fighting to-day. In the skirmishing we have lost about ten killed and wounded. Mr. Luce, assistant to Capt. Albert, Topographical Engineers, was taken prisoner by the rebels. We have captured more than one thousand small arms.

St. Louis, March 24.—A detachment of the 1st Iowa cavalry, sent out from Jefferson City by Gen. Totten against a guerilla band, had a skirmish with the enemy, killing two, wounding one and taking seventy-five prisoners, and over twenty horses, forty-eight kegs of powder, and a quantity of arms were also captured. Our loss was four wounded.

Chicago, March 24.—A gentleman just from New Orleans says the rebels are building 13 gunboats at that place to be completed soon.

Cairo, March 24.—An arrival from the Tennessee river says 8000 men, under Gen. Wallace, visited Adamsville eight miles from Pittsburg Landing, where there was understood to be a large rebel force. On arriving there they found the rebels gone. Armed rebels are concentrating at Corinth, where a stand will be made. All unarmed recruits are being sent to Decatur, Alabama. At Memphis all rebel stores are being removed.

A special dispatch to the Tribune, dated Saturday night, says the gunboat Mound City fired twenty shot at the middle batteries with considerable effect. Our officers, with a glass, counted five rebels killed at a single shot on Sunday. Our mortars fired with considerable regularity, but the results were not ascertained, owing to the unfavorable condition of the weather.

There is but little known at Memphis of the movements at Island No. 10 outside of military circles. The Superintendent of the Mobile and Ohio railroad, placed 14 locomotives and 200 cars at the disposal of Gen. Polk, for transportation of troops to Corinth.

Beauregard is at Jackson, Tennessee.

On Tuesday the bridge across Turkey Creek, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, was burned by Union troops.


From Island No. 10

Chicago, March 24.—A special dispatch to the Tribune, dated 9 o’clock, Sunday night, off Island No. 10, says that the firing continues slowly, day and night, at intervals of half an hour. Our fire is mostly concentrated upon the upper battery, which is now fairly to pieces. This battery has not replied for two days. Only one gun can be seen in position, and that is probably a Quaker. The batteries on the main shore are also mysteriously silent, and the encampments grow smaller day by day. Transports still continue flying about, apparently carrying away troops. The river is still rising, and everything is overflowed. The rebels were drowned out of some of their batteries, and have been attempting to erect new ones, but the well directed fire of our mortars prevents them.

A special dispatch to the Times from Cairo says the officers of the steamer Lake Erie No. 2, which left Island No. 10 at 11 o’clock last night, saw a large fire near the Kentucky shore, which kept increasing as they got up the river. It was supposed to be the rebel transports ignited by the bursting of shells.


Capture of Beaufort.

Fortress Monroe, March 23.—The steamer Chancellor Livingston arrived from Hatteras Inlet last night.

Immediately after the occupation of Newbern an expedition to Beaufort was started. The place was evacuated, however, before our troops approached. Fort Macon was blown up by the rebels and the steamer Nashville burned on the day Gen. Burnside occupied Newbern. 16,000 troops were on the road between Goldsboro and Newbern.

MARCH 26, 1862

A Boston Merchant on the Rebellion.
From Willmer & Smith’s European Times, March 8.

We see in a Manchester1 paper of yesterday a letter written by a well-known Boston gentleman of high character and repute, Mr. Gardner Brewer, addressed to a large Manchester house, the principals of which had asked Mr. Brewer’s opinion of the probable results of the conflict. We have only space for a paragraph or two from this ably written rejoinder, written by one who has access to the best sources of information, and is well capable of estimating at its proper value all that is passing around him. Mr. Brewer says:

“You ask if there is any sign of a settlement. The Federal victories of this month are the most significant, and the welcome extended to our flag in East and Central Tennessee and North Alabama serves to confirm what has long been said, that there was a reign of terror at the South which overawed the majority. We expect, before the month is out, to drive the rebels out of Kentucky and Tennessee; and in March to carry the war into the cotton States. We shall soon hold nearly all their cities on the Atlantic coast, if our naval expeditions succeed as Dupont’s and Burnside’s have succeeded. Our preparations are now all made; our armies are beginning to move, and so far they have moved only to triumph. It is possible the war may cease in three months, but I have little doubt it will in six, provided England and France do not interfere; but if either or both do, it will not affect the resolution of the North never to consent to the dissolution of the Union.”

Mr. Gardner Brewer enters fully in this conversation into the capabilities of the people of the Northern and Western States to bear the pressure of taxation caused by the war, and though his facts may have little weight with certain writers in the city who furnish articles on monetary affairs to the London press, these facts at least convince every dispassionate person that the North is much better able to bear the burden than the South—the planters of the South, even in times of peace and apparent prosperity, being nearly always, in a pecuniary sense, at the mercy of the merchants of New York and Boston, to whom they stood indebted. Our London finance writers, who aspire to rule the money market, exhaust all their ingenuity to prove that the North cannot stand the costliness of this war, but the capability of the South to do so is a point which is rarely or ever approached. The persons to whom we refer, and amongst them Mr. Gregory of Galway, will doubtless derive considerable consolation from the following passage in Mr. Brewer’s letter, which, by the way, we may state, bears the date of February the 17th:

“It is a remarkable but nevertheless an undoubted fact, that there is less poverty in the cities than has ever before been known. Most of the enormous expenditures of government are within ourselves. The mercantile losses by Southern failures were heavy at first, causing many bankruptcies among those merchants doing a Southern business, but we have recovered from those losses. The novelty of being at war has caused the most rigid economy in all classes. This fact, and not the Morrill tariff, has caused the remarkable curtailment of importations, and although there will be a moderate increase, they must continue small until the return of peace.”

Stock Market Reports.—There is just enough anxiety now mingled with the elation of the public mind to make this an excellent season for stock exchange stories, and the supply of these manufactures is therefore bountiful.

For instance, it was reported in New York on Monday that a dispatch had been received at the navy yard, Brooklyn, stating that the Merrimack had left Norfolk, and was seen from our vessels in Hampton Roads, just off Craney Island. We heard of a rumor yesterday that McClellan had either been arrested or was to be; and it was widely reported that a disaster had happened at Winchester instead of a victory. All authentic information, however, is most monotonously favorable.


Island No. 10.—The protracted contest at this point does not yet prove to our mind that the rebels have displayed any remarkable art, or that their position is of extraordinary strength. It simply appears that Commodore Foote suffers from a difficulty which was anticipated long ago—the difficulty of using gunboats at close range, when the current runs towards the enemy instead of from them. If he were to approach boldly as at Forts Henry and Donelson, and were to meet such mishaps as there, he would drift under the enemy’s guns and be taken. He is forced therefore to pound away at long range. We question from the reports, whether the practice with the mortars has yet been sufficient to give such accuracy as is to be expected from them.

It appears pretty certain that in this state of the case Foote must be whiling away the time, in expectation of assistance from land forces. A body of troops with even field artillery on the Tennessee side would probably enable him to close the business in short order.


Kentucky Methodists, in Conference assembled, resolved that this rebellion is most wicked and ungodly, and should immediately be put down; that they heartily approve the Legislature’s Act requiring ministers to take the oath of allegiance before solemnizing matrimony; and that they will not hold communion with nor recognize any preacher who is not truly loyal to the Government of the United States.


The school expenditures of Worcester in 1861 were $33,771. The cost per scholar was $9.73, which is a large reduction, the average for the four previous years being $11.36. There are 24 school-houses, 60 separate schools, 80 teachers, and about 5500 pupils. The aggregate value of the school property of the city is $160,000, which requires about 2 per cent. annual outlay for repairs and preservation.

MARCH 27, 1862


President Lincoln Visiting Lieutenant Worden.—The following extract is from a private letter dated Washington, published in the Advertiser. It illustrates the warm and generous sympathies of the President:

“That night I left the fortress, and got Worden safe home in Washington city, when, leaving him to the care of my wife, I went with the Secretary to the President, and gave him the particulars of the engagement. As soon as I had one, Mr. Lincoln said, ‘Gentlemen, I am going to shake hands with that man,’ and presently he walked round with me to our little house. I led him upstairs to the room where Worden was lying with fresh bandages over his scorched eyes and face, and said, ‘Jack, here’s the President, who has come to see you.’ He raised himself on his elbow, as Mr. Lincoln took him by the hand, and said, ‘You do me great honor, Mr. President, and I am only sorry that I can’t see you.’ The President was visibly affected, as, with tall frame and earnest gaze, he bent over his wounded subordinate; but after a pause, he said, with a quiver in the tones of his voice, ‘You have done me more honor, sir, than I can ever do you.’ He then sat down, while Worden gave him an account of the battle, and on leaving, he promised, if he could legally do so, that he would make him a captain.”


Barbarism of the Rebels.—The war has developed in various the savagery which the institution of slavery has implanted in the characters of the rebels. Their treatment of the Union men, bad as that has been, is not the worst feature in the barbarism of their natures. One of the least of their sins of inhumanity is indicated by the following gentle summons which was served upon loyal men in Virginia last summer:

Winchester, June 6, 1861.

Dear Sir: You are hereby notified to leave the place in ten days, or chose death, you traitor to the South.

Yours, Rattlesnake Company.

But their treatment of the dead could not be exceeded in atrocity by the most heathenish of cannibals. We read numerous apparently well attested instances of their fiendish mutilation of the fallen heroes of the Republic—such as severing the heads from the Zouaves, and making cups, rings and other articles from their bones, with nameless deeds too horrible to be told—leaving our dead either unburied, or indecently or half interred—with like manifestations of a degraded and totally depraved nature. So, too, we find that the correspondent of the New York Tribune, writing from Winchester, Va., under date of March15th, says that, in the Medical College there, is preserved the body of John Brown’s son, killed at Harper’s Ferry, first skinned, and only the frame and muscles retained. It stands at full length in one corner of the museum, labeled “John Brown’s son—thus always with Abolitionists.” The malignity that dictated this monument surpasses language.

If such brutes do not deserve a sound thrashing, no beatings that have disgraced the human form in all the tide of time ever did.

Nor is this all. Our readers will remember that one of the charges urged against the King of Great Britain, in the Declaration of Independence, was:

“He has excited domestic insurrections among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.”

The rebels have done all this and more. Under the lead of Albert Pike of Arkansas—alas, that our own Essex County was his birth-place! Let his name be infamous forever!—an Indian band has been gathered to massacre, tomahawk, and scalp our brave soldiers, as the bloody field of Pea Ridge too sadly testifies.2

Not content with wreaking their vengeance on the Unionists among themselves; not satisfied with making their own ignorant and deluded followers the victims of their vile deceptions; with insulting and maltreating our living, prisoners among them, and mutilating or leaving unburied our dead; they must needs exert their diabolical arts upon the poor Indian and coerce him to their aid, or drive him, destitute and necessitous, in mid-winter, from his wilderness home. A terrible tragedy of this kind has been enacted on the Western Plains, as is manifest from the report of Dr. Campbell, who has visited the loyal Indians that have been driven from their homes into Kansas by their relentless persecutors. At Rae’s Fort there are forty-five hundred of these refugees, in a state of fearful destitution, and even larger numbers are scattered elsewhere. Dr. Campbell says:

“It is impossible for me to depict the wretchedness of their condition. Their only protection from the snow on which they lie is prairie grass, and from the wind and weather, scraps and rags stretched upon switches. Some of them, had some personal clothing; most had but shreds and rags, which did not conceal their nakedness; and I saw seven, varying from three to fourteen or fifteen years of age, without one thread upon their bodies. They greatly need medical assistance. Many have their toes frozen off; others have feet wounded by sharp ice, or branches of trees lying on the snow—but few have shoes or moccasins. They suffer from inflammatory diseases of the chest, throat and eyes.”

This, says the Philadelphia Inquirer, is a scene drawn from actual observation in this present year 1862. This is what is found on our own borders. The sickening details are enough to shock even a heart of stone. They must awaken a feeling of burning indignation against those whose infamous plottings have brought forth such fearful fruit. Well may the Inquirer add:

“Jefferson Davis and his infamous colleagues have been whining about their hypothetical pleas to be let alone; they have been prating of the right of self government and shrieking against coercion. But here is a commentary which they themselves have been making on their real spirit and purposes. Let our loyal, true-hearted people look at these miserable subjects of Southern coercion at Rae’s Fort; let Europe look; let our Congress look; and let the voice of humanity urge on those movements which shall break the power of the oppressor and quickly bring to the authors of such miseries the reward of their crimes."3

MARCH 28, 1862

The week opened with a hard battle and a brilliant victory on Sunday near Winchester, Virginia. Gen. Shields with about 8000 men under him, defeated the combined forces of the rebels under Gens. Jackson, Smith and Longstreet. The returns from this conflict are very meager as yet, for what reason, we are at a loss to conjecture. It is supposed, however, that Gen. Shields is pursuing the rebels and may bag some game yet. The  federal loss is estimated at 100 killed and 250 wounded—that of the rebels much larger.

We shall doubtless get full particulars sometime. There is such secrecy in army movements now-a-days that it is not even known what regiments were in the Sunday fight, though it is supposed there were several from Massachusetts.

Gen. Burnside is following up his success at Newbern, by occupying Beaufort, N.C. The rebels evacuated the town after blowing up Fort Macon and burning the steamer Nashville, which the Tuscarora watched so long at Southampton. It is believed that the occupation of Beaufort will be of great advantage to Gen. Burnside, more particularly as a base for future operations.

Gen. McClellan’s movements are carefully kept from the public as no doubt they should be. There is a believe that he will attempt to bring his fine army face to face with the rebels on or between the York and James rivers; though if the rebels persist in running, how can the man fight them? McClellan is popular in the country, notwithstanding the hullabaloo raised against him by a few; and he is immensely popular in the army. In a letter from the 5th Vt. regiment the writer says: “Our confidence he (McClellan) already has, and if his plans and strategy demand another draft upon our patience it shall be freely honored. It makes no difference what political leaders think or newspaper marshals write about our general—his soldiers love him, and nine out of ten are perfectly familiar with the objects of his traducers. Of one thing these men may rest assured, this army fight under McClellan or it never fights. It has combated the enemy once, under the supervision of politicians and journals, and that once is enough.” Little Mac is the trump that is bound to win yet.

The sanguinary struggle that is going on at Island No. 10 in the Mississippi river is growing intensely interesting; and the fact that only a moiety of news is transmitted from this point increases the interest into almost a fear for the result. But the right man is at the head of that besieging army. Commodore Foote is not a man who put his hands to the plow and then turns back. The cool, deliberate manner with which he invests this strongly fortified rebel position is almost a guaranty of success.


Gen. McClellan, we are assured on all hands, has now fully entered upon his campaign. We thought, respecting him, as with regard to the secretary of the navy, that his place could be filled with a more effective man, and as we thought, we spoke in either case. The president of the United States has decided against our conviction, and we bow to his conviction.—New York Tribune.

The Tribune reminds us of a crazy fellow whom we knew in Westfield, Mass., some years ago. He considered himself a sort of supervisor general of the whole community, and as possessed of dictatorial authority over all functionaries—civil, military and religious; a standing trouble with him was that his orders were so much disregarded. “Now here,” said he one day, “is that Parson Knapp,” (a clergyman of the village.) “I told him more than a year ago, to stop his preaching—and yet he keeps at it, just as if I hadn’t said a word to him about it!”—Burlington Free Press.

Suppressing Army Movements.—The good people were somewhat startled a day or two ago by a telegram which announced that a couple of New York papers and the Boston Journal were suppressed for persistently publishing news prohibited by the war department. The thought of doing without the daily Journal was anything but pleasant to a very large class in this vicinity. It turns out, however, that the Journal continues, but it is a fact that it has fallen under the displeasure of the war department for publishing an army letter in Saturday’s issue, wherein some movements of the army which had not then taken place were chronicled. The Journal disclaims any intention of breaking faith with the government, and claims to have gone by the spirit of the war department’s order. The proprietor says the Journal will be the last paper that shall intentionally violate the spirit of Secretary Stanton’s order.

It will be noticed that we use a good many three-em dashes in the letters from the army in this paper.4 Very likely it is quite unnecessary, but the edict has gone forth and it becomes all loyal citizens to co-operate in their little way with the government in all suitable efforts to hasten the end of this wicked rebellion. Stand by the flag.

A contemporary truly says: “There is no disposition on the part of the loyal press to disclose the movements of the army to the rebels, and if the departments at Washington were watched half as vigilantly as the editors guard their own columns, the enemy would not learn everything that transpires before it is a day old, as they evidently do.”


Vermont Sharpshooters.

John A. Wightman of he 1st company Vt. Sharpshooters, returned home Tuesday. It appears that the company has not been armed and that it is now disbanded, and that the members had their choice to be discharged or go into certain New York companies. About forty preferred discharge.—Bellows Falls Times.

So it seems that one of the most efficient corps in the service is recruited, kept five or six months without arms, and then discharged without being able to strike a blow for their country. There is a pretty big screw loose somewhere.


The builders of the Monitor have been ordered to build six more vessels, similar in construction, but more formidable. They are to be 204 or 205 feet instead of 170 feet long, and are to carry two 15-inch instead of 11-inch Dahlgren guns. The pilot house is to be mounted on top of a turret, and will be candle-snuffer shaped. The mail protection of both will probably be a good deal thicker than the Monitor. It is intended that they will be able to run ten knots an hour and shall be thoroughly sea-going. The proposals, under the navy department’s advertisements, for iron-clad vessels, will be opened next Monday. It is not unlikely that a dozen similar to the Monitor will be contracted for; Wiard, the steel gunmaker, has prepared plans for a mailed war vessel, which some experts pronounce superior even to the Monitor.


A hoop skirt firm at New Haven have introduced a desirable improvement by making the articles with suspenders, by which the weight is borne on the shoulders, as it should be.


The brave and pious Com. Foote received the news of the recent death of his son, on board his flag-ship on the Mississippi, amid the smoke of the guns and the booming of the mortars. Though quite overwhelmed for the time with the sudden sorrow, he was soon recalled from it, by his imperative duties, to the exciting scenes around him.

MARCH 29, 1862

Who Are the Slave Oligarchy?

The Negro owners and breeders, who demand the sacrifice of their own section and of the whole country to the supposed interests of the barbarous institution, are really a very small minority in the South. They foot up but $19,525 in a white population of 8,280,630, according to the census of 1860. They are less than one-twenty-fourth of the white population of the slave states, and they hold on an average about eleven and a half Negroes each. Of course the white population connected with these slave-owners, and so dependent with them on the labor of the Negroes, is much larger; but supposing the families of the slaveholders to average five each, and the number of whites directly interested in slavery is only 1,787,625, or less than one-fifth of the white population. These figures show how slavery is to be removed by the action of the people of the South, as soon as the majority there understand their true interests. On that point the experiment proposed by the president in the border states would very soon enlighten them. The following table of slaves and slaveholders in the southern states is instructive, and furnishes a basis for many interesting calculations:

Number of Slaves Slave-
Average of
each Owner
Alabama 435,473 29,295 15
Arkansas 109,065 5,090 18
Delaware 1,805 809 2
Florida 63,809 3,520 18
Georgia 466,461 88,450 12
Kentucky 225,490 38,385 6
Louisiana 312,180 20,600 16
Maryland 85,882 16,040 5
Mississippi 470,607 28,116 20
Missouri 115,070 10,185 6
N. Carolina 328,377 28,308 11
S. Carolina 407,185 25,596 15
Tennessee 287,112 33,864 8
Texas 184,956 7,747 24
Virginia 495,826 55,053 9
Total 3,999,535 847,525


The average of the aggregate is eleven and a half to each owner. The average of the whole number in the eleven seceded states is thirteen and one-sixth to each holder, while in the non-seceded states the average is but five and three-quarters.5


Another Cloud Passed Away.—The probability that the difficulties of the allied powers with Mexico have been satisfactorily settled, indicated by the withdrawal of the whole English and part of the Spanish force from Mexican soil, removes another cloud from our political horizon. The United States could never have consented to the placing [of] a foreign prince on an American throne. If the allies had persisted in their intention of transplanting the archduke Maximilian to Mexico, it would have been our duty to remonstrate against it, or if need be resist it by force of arms. In our present condition we were but poorly prepared for a foreign war, and the satisfactory adjustment of the question brings cause for satisfaction that our active intervention was not necessary. Thus one after another, the dangers and difficulties which beset our cause are removed, and we are left undisturbed to give our whole time and attention to the  speedy crushing out of the rebellion. Our fears of European intervention were all dissipated long ago, and now all possibility of an unhappy entanglement in the affairs of Mexico is precluded by the settlement of the Mexican difficulty, and the withdrawal of the allied forces. Some little time will necessarily elapse before the treaty can be ratified by the home governments, and part of the troops will remain in Mexico until such acquiescence has been obtained. But there can be little doubt that France, England, and Spain will speedily ratify the work of their representatives, and all danger of an imbroglio is passed.

Disquietude in Europe.—Every arrival from Europe brings fresh intelligence of the threatening stage of European politics. We have before alluded to disturbances in Russian growing out of the emancipation of the serfs, the unquiet state of affairs in Germany and Italy, the insurrections in Greece and Turkey, and it now appears that France is not exempt from threatening signs. The failure of the emperor to induce the corps legislative to pass the bill of dotation to Count Palikao for distinguished military services rendered in China, is a significant fact, and is regarded with anxiety at the Tulleries. Napoleon wants to imitate the example of his uncle, and e founder of a war nobility, and the idea does not meet with favor among the representatives of the people. Another cause for anxiety is the state of feeling in the Quartier Latin, or students quarter at Paris, where signs of restlessness and revolution have lately appeared. On the evening of the third of March the sidewalks of the Quartier were covered with slips of paper on which was printed a threatening song, called “The Lion of the Quartier Latin,” in which the people are reminded that the student is ever in the advance guard to lead the people to battle, and the life of the emperor is threatened. The official Moniteur of the 5th has also a little paragraph stating that the police have been for some time past on the track of guilty intrigues, and have at last arrested the principal ringleaders. With the poor success he has had among his legislators, and the unquiet feeling among the paper, Napoleon must pass many anxious hours. The disturbances at Rome have recently been greater than usual, and the French troops are placed in the principal square of the city to preserve order. The Greek rebellion still holds out, though the latest advices do not award it so grave a character as the last reports. It does not have the sympathy of the people, and probably, like our own civil war, was brought about by disaffected politicians, who are likely to meet the fate of the unprincipled leaders of the American rebellion. But the threatening signs in almost all European countries indicate that the political institutions of the old world are built on slumbering volcanoes, which may break forth into activity at any time. How long it will be before Europe instead of America will be the scene of desperate  conflicts, time only can tell.


1 Manchester, England.

2 Pike was born in Boston. In 1861, the Arkansas state convention named Pike its commissioner to Indian Territory and authorized him to negotiate treaties with the various tribes. As a result of his experience there, the Confederate War Department appointed him a brigadier general in the Confederate army in August 1861 and assigned him to the Department of the Indian Territory. Pike assisted the tribes that supported the Confederacy in raising regiments. He believed that these units would be critical to protecting the territory from Union incursions, but his belief that the Indian units should be kept in Indian Territory brought him into early conflict with his superiors. In the spring of 1862, General Earl Van Dorn ordered him to bring his 2,500 Indian troops into northwestern Arkansas. Despite his opposition to the move, Pike obeyed, and his Indian force of about 900 men joined Confederate forces in northwest Arkansas. On March 7–8, 1862, they participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge (a.k.a. Elkhorn Tavern), led by Pike. Pike proved a poor leader, and he failed to keep his force engaged with the enemy or in check. Charges circulated widely that the men had stopped their advance to take scalps. After the battle, Pike and his men returned to Indian Territory. –The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

3 Of course, the Federal government’s track record of dealing with the Native Americans was so much better, and there was worse to come.

4 Indicating that information has been omitted.

5 The columns actually sum to 3,989,298 for slaves and 386,058 for slaveholders.

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