, 1862

A Most Startling and Daring Act.1
From the Atlanta Confederacy, 18th

We give below a full account of the strange and daring achievement—the theft of an engine and three cars belonging to a Georgia railroad---briefly mentioned in our dispatches on Tuesday:

Startling Intelligence.—On yesterday morning, while the regular mail and passenger train on the State Road was stopped at Camp McDonald, or Big Shanty, and the engineer, conductor and passengers at breakfast, some four men, as yet unknown, after having cut loose all but the foremost three cars, got upon the engine, put on steam, and shot away like an arrow, leaving the baggage and passenger cars, passengers, conductor, engineer and train hands lost in amazement at this unparalleled and daring outrage.

Some distance above they tore up the track and cut down the telegraph wires and went on, stating to those who inquired who they were, or what such an unusual train meant, that they had some car loads of powder, and that the engine and train had been pressed that morning by the government in great haste to carry the powder t our forces in Huntsville.

They arrived at Kingston, where they met the down freight and went upon the turn-out—showing that they understood the schedule and minute workings of the road. As the train passed them, the conductor thereon made the same inquiry of them concerning the unusual train, and received the same answer—taking powder to Gen. Beauregard’s army. As soon as the down train passed and the switch could be changed, they shot away with all their speed and mystery.

We learn that a train has been put in pursuit of them—having repaired the track—and hopes to overtake them before they reach any of the many bridges across the Chickamauga and other streams. No doubt they are Lincoln emissaries, sent down among us to destroy those bridges to retard our movement of troops, and the thought is a very serious one to us.

For cool impudence and reckless daring, this beats anything we ever heard or read of. We are in agony of suspense to hear the denouement of this strange and daring achievement.

P.S.—Since the foregoing was in type, we have received additional particulars—though nothing later.

The conductor at Big Shanty, Mr. Fuller, as soon as he found his engine gone in so mysterious and startling a manner, brought into requisition a hand car, which, luckily, was at that place, and followed on with all speed. He soon came to where a rail had been torn up, and was carried off; but the hand car was soon lifted over, and again in hot pursuit. On the way he learned that the engine had stopped to take in wood and water—representing that they had powder in the cars for our army.

At Etowah Mr. Fuller obtained an engine from Maj. Cooper and pressed on.

Arriving at Kingston, he got the Rome road engine, with its engineer, all in fine condition, with perhaps 40 armed men, and pressed on. He was just 25 minutes behind the fugitive train when he left Kingston.

At Adairsville the regular passenger trains, up and down, meet, and the thieves would have to pass them there. The down train, due here at 4 P.M., has not yet (9 P.M.) arrived, and it is feared there has been a collision with the engine—though the torn up track may be the cause of the delay.

Various surmises looking to a solution of the mystery are indulged here. Everybody at first concluded that it was a most daring effort of some Lincolnites to burn the bridges to stop the transportation of troops over the State Road. It is reported that the whole of the troops at Camp McDonald were going off yesterday morning, and a n umber of the soldiers came through here last night on their way to the scene of action.

Some said there really was ammunition in the three cars which were carried off, and that the object was to take it to the enemy at Huntsville. We, however, learn officially that the cars attached to the engine were empty.

Another solution, which has gained credence and is not at all impossible, is that they were simply thieves on a large scale, and took this method to escape. We learn that a very large amount of money was stolen in this vicinity night before last, and it is not improbable that these men were the thieves, and took this method to escape.


The Raleigh (N.C.) Journal of the 2d says the Yankees still continue to perpetuate their characteristic outrages at Newbern. The Journal adds:

It would disgrace the columns of our paper, and shock humanity were we to publish the description we have received from an eye-witness of their seraglios. They are making war upon the dead as well as the living. From the same eye-witness, a reliable gentleman, we learn, and are authorized to say, that they are actually robbing the graves in Newbern, having savagely broken open the doors of the vaults in the cemetery, and carried off the plates of the coffins. Our information on this head is sure, direct and reliable.


Either from most censurable ignorance or a most defective organization, the commissariat of our army at the seat of war in Tennessee falls far short of the just expectations of our soldiers; and, indeed, other departments of the military administration there are freely censured. Making all proper allowances, however, for the  proneness to complain of persons to whom the hard realities of camp life are new, who have not been accustomed to scant fare of inferior quality and wretchedly cooked, and who think that the privations incidental to a soldier’s life in the field in a time of actual war resemble the trifling inconveniences experienced in the camps of Chalmette and Carrollton; we are still of the opinion that the commissaries, regimental and other, have no excuse for not furnishing abundance of good nutritious food to our troops, situated as our army is at present on a great line of railway, and within reach of the best water communication on the earth. But the truth is, our army administration, like our civil, seems to be entirely in the hands of men who would conduct everything on the only models they are capable of comprehending, and those are of the obsolete and antediluvian order exclusively. Pork and beans and bad bread having immemorially constituted the soldier’s rations when in active field service, it is not to be expected when these delectable articles are scarce, dear or unprocurable, that the original idea of substituting other food, a thousand times more palatable, wholesome and desirable, will ever present itself to the governmental or commissariat mind. Because Benjamin purchased sugar in Richmond at fabulous prices, and found it expedient to restrict the daily allowance of that most nutritious article to six pound for every hundred men in the Potomac army, it will never occur to the successor of that consummate little charlatan, that another army, differently situated as regards the price and supply of the same article, might be more economically fed with it than by badly cured pork or beef, even accompanied by bread made from sour flour, or the delectable bean so dear to the New England palate. At this present moment the complaint is universal at Corinth that food is bad, scarce and dear; ye here, within twenty-four hours reach of the camp, thousands of hogsheads of sugar can be bought at one-fifth the price of flour, or one-fifteenth that of pork, and it is preferable with abundance of corn meal and a little fresh lard to every other description of food procurable for our men, the first named inclusive. If half a pound per man per day, or fifty pounds per hundred men, of good dry sugar, such as is procurable everywhere in this region to-day, were dealt out to our soldiers, with half that quantity of pork and sufficient corn meal added, no troops in the world would have less to complain of or would find less fault, although their knowledge of the proper mode of preparing them most agreeably for use was a deficient as that of the British soldiers, when Soyer, the great cook, went to the Crimea to teach them how, out of the commonest materials, to make very agreeable dishes. How can men be expected to stand up against severe weather, heavy burdens, long marches and scant clothing, with empty stomachs crammed by indigestible or unwholesome provisions? And of what use is an army department presided over and controlled by men who are destitute not only of the knowledge of the topography of the country where war exists, and is being prosecuted, but absolutely so ignorant as not to know what its capabilities are for the sustentation of large bodies of troops? If plenty was to be deluged over the land from the cornucopia of committees of public safety, or followed a military ukase2 in the shape of absurd or impracticable tariffs, any food could discharge the duties of commissary or commissary-general, and favoritism or political influence might be blamelessly employed for the advancement of such description of office-holders; but as these posts are arduous, laborious and delicate, to all who accept them without an intention to make them subservient to cupidity and corruption, it follows that those only who are fully fitted by the possession of the experience, intelligence and integrity requisite for their faithful and honest discharge, should be appointed to them. If, however, the head of a department is ignorant, indolent and corrupt, the subordinates under him will soon imitate their chief, and in this way, and owing to this cause—incapacity and venality in commissaries—more armies have been destroyed than the ablest generals leading the best appointed troops could accomplish. If committees here, instead of carrying out the treasonable schemes of Know-Nothing plotters, or putting in operation vindictive suggestions, or aiming to make the industry of others than themselves sustain the weight of this war, would undertake to aid the medical and commissariat departments connected with our army, we should have fewer complaints, and suffering and loss of life would also diminish. Beauregard cannot do everything, and that he may not be prevented from preserving this valley from subjugation, aid in the manner we propose should be speedily supplied.

, 1862

The Next Presidential Election.

There is no doubt that, while the men who made the revolution of 1777, and the men who formed the Constitution, intended to guarantee to each State the right (the States’ right) to hold as property African slaves, and their return to their masters if they escaped out of a slave State into a free one, yet they all looked upon slavery as an evil forced upon us by the mother country while we were yet helpless colonies, as a temporary evil that, in the nature of things inaugurated by the revolution, would gradually die out and become extinct.  And this would have been the case, in every State in the Union, had not the invention of the cotton gin, and the ingenious contrivances for making sugar from the sugar cane, given an unforeseen, and otherwise impossible value to cotton and sugar, and consequently to labor employed in the production of cotton and sugar. The profitable employment of labor in the production of rice and tobacco, in the United States, and of coffee in Brazil, and of coffee and sugar in Cuba and other islands, in the seas of the sunny South, all conspiring to increase of the wages of labor, have prolonged chattel slavery. And so also has the working up the annually increasing cotton crop in the factories of the world. This crop, in its cultivation, transportation, manufacture, and distribution to consumers, and working up into garments—and the manufacture of its cloth after worn into rags, into paper, together with the other stable products of slave labor, gives employment, directly and indirectly, to more than ten millions of people, black and white, and thousands of millions of capital.

The British and French Governments derive more than  $40,000,000 of their revenues from the simple item of tobacco, and probably all other European governments, as much more.

Thus it will be seen, that king cotton and his cabinet, rice, sugar and tobacco, employs people enough to make a great nation; and yield ample revenues to support its government, and feed and clothe its people.

The cotton crop of 1860, alone, if memory be correct, exported from the Gulf States, amounted to $290,000,000, of which only about $60,000,000 was consumed in the United States; and, besides the products of our own forests, and the plantations of Louisiana and Texas, we consumed sugar, the product of foreign slave labor, on which we paid $15,000,000 of import duties, in one year.

We give these figures from memory, and in round numbers; and for the purpose of indicating the immense interests involved in the results of the national insurrection now raging between the Gulf States and the National Government.

It is reasonable to suppose that, let the rebellion be substantially crushed out, as we have no doubt it will be, before the 4th of July, proximo, both belligerents will have expended twenty-five hundred millions of treasure and lost 200,000 precious lives; whose labor, at $200 per annum, would be worth $40,000,000 a year. And it is safe to say, that the depreciation and absolute destruction of productive, and once available property, is not less than twenty-four hundred millions more, in the United States, and as much more in all the rest of the civilized world.

Now, it is not likely, that the cotton crops of both the last, and the present year, should the war be closed, as we anticipate before the 4th of July, will reach one average crop, tested by five years preceding the war.

It is impossible to exaggerate the destruction of life and property, that a million of men armed to the teeth with powder, iron, steel and lead, and filled with bitter sectional hate, can effect in a single year; and taking this picture, underdrawn as it must be, as a birds-eye view of the United States and the world, what is the conclusion? Why, that nothing short of the greatest civil revolution is in progress, that the world ever saw. Ad that this revolution, like other revolutions, will not go back—but sweep onward—onward till the millennium foretold by ancient seers, and sworn to by the progress of passing events, from Adam to Noah—from Noah to Moses—from Moses to Jesus, and from Jesus to our pilgrim fathers, and the changing events of the current hour.

In the process of this mighty storm of passion, men are wafted about as straws, in the currents of tornadoes. But as modern philosophy has laid bare the secrets of thunder, rain, and the wind furies, so it has fathomed the secrets of mental revolutions and storms, and can tell with as much certainty the end of the mental as the physical disturbance.

As the mariner, mid the physical storms that sweep the ocean, watches his compass and his barometer, and takes his compass every hour, or oftener, so does the statesman watch the uprising, progress, and climax of mental tornadoes, constantly taking bearings—and with care and skill, riding in the whirl-wind, and directing the storm, he cannot stop; and when at last comes a calm, as come it must, he stands ready to repair the battered walls of peace—clear the rubbish from the unploughed field, remove the obstacles that have choked up the trade and travel of the world, and repair damages generally, thus as quickly as possible, putting in motion again, all the suspended powers of civilization.

The recuperative energies of nations is absolutely astounding, to those, who have not carefully studied history.

England, after the most exhausting and prolonged wars, not only suddenly revived, time and again, but soon regained all she lost, and added vastly to her previous resources.

France, after her terrible defeats, and immense losses in blood and treasure, from complete exhaustion, from the defeats in her Russian winter campaign, and at Waterloo, on the return of peace, soon recovered all she had lost; and more than all, and is to-day more rich and powerful than she ever was under Napoleon the first.

So it will be with us after the close of this unnatural war and the return of peace.

The North and South will have learned their relative strength and power; and be more than ever disposed to respect each other’s rights. After this terrible storm of passion will come a calm, and with it, the still small voice of peace, whispering forgiveness—and bringing repentance and reformation.

Heavy direct taxation will lead to economy in public and private expenditures—and industry and economy in a marvelously short period will make us, as a people, more wise, more rich, more powerful, and more respected than ever before.

We have had mock musters, and drilled, for forty years, with cornstalks and broom-handles. Hereafter we are to be a military people. Military parades will hereafter glisten with cold steel; and the folly and fun of the past will be succeeded by earnest reality.

With this view of the subject, we cannot afford to enter the elections of this coming year as partizans. Nor must the next Presidential election be contested as partizan. Patriots must make it a contest for the best interests of the whole people.

It was always a question, whether it was not shortsighted policy, to inaugurate the one term policy, in electing presidents. I think it was. And if it was not, it certainly would be to continue it, under existing circumstances; and we must not do it. THE TIMES IMPERIOUSLY DEMAND THE RE-ELECTION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

There are no lack of other competent Union men, both Republicans and Democrats. Already among the democrats, the names of Stanton, McClellan, Guthrie and Holt are whispered about. And among the Republicans, the names of Gov. Seward, Gov. Chase, Pitt Fessenden, Fremont and Charles Sumner, have been mentioned in connection with the Presidency.

We hope all these premature discussions about Presidential candidates may be hushed for now, and be kept hushed forever.

Lincoln for President, and Joseph Holt, or some other good Union man of the Border States for Vice President, with a Cabinet composed of Pitt Fessenden for Secretary of State, and James Guthrie for Secretary of the Treasury, or other equally good men, and others like them, to fill up a new Cabinet; with men like Wm. H. Seward, Minister to France, and Salmon P. Chase, Minister to England, and so on to the end, is what the nation, if true to its best interests, will insist on.

We cannot afford to go into a party scramble about men for office, high or low, during the coming six years, AND TO AVOID THE APPEARANCE OF ANY SUCH CALAMITY, WE MUST LET WELL ENOUGH ALONE.


The Battle at Fort Pillow.—Fort Pillow, the only work at or near the Hatchee river on the Mississippi, has been planned with skill, the engineer service of the rebel army being performed by the best graduates of West Point. In commencing the attack upon the fort, Commodore Foote, profiting by his experience at Island No. 10, ran past the fort and took up a position below it, so as to fight with his boats headed up stream, a very decided advantage in view of the mighty current of the Mississippi. It is impossible in such a river, to fight with the boats headed down stream. Moreover, their most vulnerable parts are in the rear. The fort is built to hold a large force, which it no doubt has, as Memphis is not far distant, and this is its outpost.


Shamefully Small Pay.—In an examination recently held before an Alderman in Philadelphia, of a sewing woman, for some illegal dishonesty, it was ascertained that only seven and one-half cents per pair are paid by contractors, on army work, for making cotton flannel drawers, two pairs being as much as a common workman can make a day, three, a good day’s work for a smart hand. Thus, while the patriotic contractor is putting thousands in to his own pocket by his fat contract, those whom he employs can, by hard labor, make from fifteen to twenty-one cents per day; and even then, when the work is finished, it is stated that the money is sometimes not forthcoming.

22, 1862

Action of General Hunter.—The prompt action of General Hunter on taking possession of Fort Pulaski was promulgated on the 13th inst., in an order which declarers as follows:

“All persons of color lately held to involuntary service by enemies of the United States, in Fort Pulaski and on Cockspur Island, Ga., are hereby confiscated and declared free, in conformity with law, and shall hereafter receive the fruits of their own labor. Such of said persons of color as are able-bodied, and may be required, shall be employed in the quartermaster’s department, at the rates heretofore established by Brig. Gen. W. T. Sherman.”

No exception can be taken to this order for any want of conformity to the laws of the United States. The principle involved is the same as that embodied in the celebrated order of General Fremont, and is “up to the occasion.” The idea of adopting conciliatory measures in our dealings with rebels should not be entertained. The history of the past year ought to satisfy the doubting that such a policy is not appreciated by them, but will only be met by fresh barbarities as occasion may offer. The conspirators are not the men to be coaxed into submission, any more than the brigands and marauders of Mexico. In fact they have shown a disposition of late to introduce the guerilla system where the ordinary methods of warfare are not convenient.

Assuming that General Hunter’s order has the sanction of his superiors at Washington, we hail this as a most favorable omen.


War Items and Movements.—Apalachicola is successfully occupied by our troops. The capture was effected by the gunboats Mercedita and Sagamore with little opposition on the 3d. A few shell dispersed the rebels, and the non-resistant portion of the population were found to be almost starving. The blockade had effectually cut off the supplies on the seaboard, and their resources from the island were not sufficient to maintain the ordinary comforts of life. It is not to be wondered at that the people should proclaim loyalty to the Union and accept the protection of Commander Stillwagen cheerfully, municipal authorities and all.

Saturday afternoon the President, Secretaries Chase and Stanton, Captain Dahlgren, and David Dudley Field of New York, went down to Acquia Creek in the revenue steamer Miami. General McDowell came over early next morning, and accompanied the President to Washington. He will immediately transfer his headquarters from Cattlett’s station to Fredericksburg.

On the President’s return from the Navy Yard to the Executive Mansion, the horses became unmanageable as the carriage was descending Capitol Hill, and turned suddenly to the side of the street against a bank, which arrested their progress. The President experienced no other inconvenience than being compelled to take another carriage to the White House.

Fredericksburg, now in possession of General McDowell’s troops, is sixty-five miles from Richmond. Its occupation by the federal forces must alarm the traitors at Richmond, and compel them to take measures to prevent a further Union advance on the same line. The railroad communication between Fredericksburg and the Virginia capital is direct.

Everything was quiet at Fortress Monroe and Yorktown yesterday. They had stormy weather, however.

Educational Commission.—Letters recently received from Port Royal give encouraging accounts of the success of the teachers. They are called teachers, but their teaching is by no means confined to intellectual instruction. It includes all the more important and fundamental lessons of civilization—voluntary industry, self-reliance, frugality, forethought, honesty and truthfulness, cleanliness and order. With these are combined intellectual, moral and religious instruction. Some of the teachers are volunteers, who gratuitously devote their time and labor to this cause. Others receive a monthly salary from the educational commission, the funds being derived from voluntary and almost unsolicited contributions. At present the expenditure is about two thousand dollars per month. At Concord in this county, some friends of the movement have, we learn, undertaken to furnish the means of sustaining one teacher. The commission in Boston will cordially co-operate with all other associations, and will faithfully apply all contributions from societies or individuals, to the great objects for which they are intended. Subscriptions may be sent to Mr. Wm. Endicott, Jr., treasurer, No. 33 Summer street.


High Prices in Georgia.—The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph draws a very disagreeable picture of some of the effects of treason in Georgia, as follows:

Since the Unionists have taken possession of Tennessee, prices of every article of food have risen every hour. Blue beef has risen from ten to twenty cents in the Macon market; corn is a dollar and forty cents; salted swine’s flesh, of the most miserable description, is from thirty-five to forty cents per pound.


Treason in Washington.—The correspondent of the Philadelphia North American thus describes the feeling prevalent at the National capital:

The emancipation excitement still continues among the slaveowners. Many of them swear they will sooner be disfranchised than take the oath prescribed before voting at the District elections. If this should prove true, the republican ticket in the coming election will be elected by an overwhelming majority. Secession and treason were never before so rife in the city as they are at the present time.


Reported Dispatch from Beauregard.—The New York Herald’s correspondent at Nashville gives what purports to be a dispatch from Beauregard to the confederate adjutant-general at Richmond. If the thing is genuine it is of some importance as disclosing the weakness of the enemy:

Corinth, April 9, 1862.

To General Samuel Cooper, Richmond, Virginia:

All present probabilities are that whenever the enemy move on this position he will do so with an overwhelming force of not less than 85,000 men. We can now muster only about 35,000 effectives. Van Dorn may possibly join us in a few days with about 15,000 more. Can we not be reinforced from Pemberton’s army? If defeated here we lose the Mississippi valley, and probably our cause; whereas we could even afford to lose for a while at Charleston and Savannah, for the purpose of defeating Buell’s army, which would not only insure us the valley of the Mississippi, but our independence.

G. T. Beauregard

23, 1862

Underrating the Enemy.—It is said that Mr. Seward continues to prophecy that the war is to end in a few weeks. He talks this was to all comers. The Indianapolis Journal says that Hon. Henry S. Lane of the U.S. Senate, and Hon. C.B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior, have written letters to that city stating that the war will be terminated within ten weeks.

Senator Wilson says that we have 150,000 more troops than we want. Secretary Stanton stops recruiting on this ground; and rightly enough, for though we have not an excess of troops, we have enough. If this war cannot be fought out by 600,000 men, we had better give it up.

But we must not underrate the enemy. We have just escaped a most disastrous defeat in the Southwest. Our great expeditions on the coast are at a stand still. Burnside, Butler, Hunter, Sherman, all want more forces. McClellan has been deprived of a large force, which was to have accompanied him to the Peninsula, and his operations are thus weakened and delayed.

Let us not deceive ourselves. The work we have undertaken is an immense one—to encircle the Union with armies ad fleets; and the Confederates, who, forming an inner and narrower circle, which meets and parallels ours at every point, are still formidable, though suffering and far from unsubdued, though girdled as it were by fire.—Albany Argus.


What Russell Thinks of the American Army.—The Washington correspondent of the N.Y. Journal of Commerce, relates what Wm. H. Russell said of our troops as a regiment was passing his residence at Washington:

“Not in England or France, not in Italy or Russia, have I ever seen such well proportioned healthy men, and all things considered, such splendid material for an army as are presented by that regiment, which is in reality only an average specimen of the American forces generally. The common food of your troops is such as no European soldiers ever receive, and what is wasted in your camps would feed an immense army under the economical management of French or Russian generals; and while few European soldiers receive more than sixpence a day, the rank and file of the American army receive the princely pay of thirteen dollars per month. And considering the short time that your army has been in existence, its present efficiency is to me a marvel.”


The Negro.—In a late speech on the Negro question, Senator Sherman of Ohio showed that he has abandoned the doctrines of Helper, the endorsement of which defeated his election as Speaker of the House three  years ago. In that speech he said, in relation to the Slave States: “I would not interfere with the rights of the States over this subject in the slightest degree.” This is explicit from so decided a Republican politician.

But Senator Sherman has done far more than express an individual opinion, for he has spoken for his State and for the Republican portion of it. His precise words, as to the feeling in that State, and other States, are significant. “In the State where I live,” he says, “we do not like Negroes. We do not disguise our dislike. As my friend from Indiana (Mr. Wright) said yesterday, the whole people of the Northwestern States are, for reasons, whether correct or not, opposed to having any Negroes among them; and that principle or prejudice has been engrafted in the legislation of nearly all the Northwestern States.”

But Senator Sherman goes further than this and says of the future of the Negro race in the States where four millions of them were born and now live: “In the States where the people of the States govern, they (Negroes) must always be held on a lower level;” and elsewhere he speaks of “the peculiar prejudice which will always mark them as a degraded caste.”

Liberty of Speech and of the Press.—The reaction setting in against the arbitrary excesses of certain government officials has found expression even in the pulpit. On Sunday, set apart for Thanksgiving by the proclamation of the President, in many of the churches of New York and its vicinity, the pastors protested against the assumed disregard of civil rights manifested by the government. The interference with the press, and the imprisonment of citizens on suspicion, without warrant or trial, are expressly denounced (say the World) by several noted clergymen. It would be well for government to heed these significant indications of  public opinion.


The Cost of Military Glory.—A perusal of the tax bill now before Congress—a bill of 109 sections, and 116 pages foolscap—with its provisions for superintendent, assessors, collectors and other officers, and for the imposition of “internal (and, we are afraid, external) duties, stamp duties, licenses and taxes”—brought forcibly to mind the warning voice of Rev. Sidney Smith of England, to “Brother Jonathan,” against too fond a love of military glory. Though we are not after the object against which the spicy lesson of the great English wit was aimed, yet as the result deprecated is about the same—a permeating and pervading and oppressive taxation—we give it for the reflection of our readers. The Reverend gentleman said:

“We can inform Brother Jonathan what are the inevitable consequences of being too fond of glory—taxes upon every article which enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under foot—taxes upon everything which it is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell or taste—taxes upon warmth, light and locomotion—taxes on everything on earth, and in the water under the earth—on everything that comes from abroad or is grown at home—taxes on the raw material—taxes on foreign material—taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the industry of man—tax on the sauce which pampers man’s appetite, and the drug that restores him to health—on the ermine which decorates the judge and the rope which hangs the criminal—on the poor man’s salt and the rich man’s spice—on the brass nails of the coffin and the ribbons of the bride—at bed or board, couchant or levant, we must pay. The school boy whips his taxed top—the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a taxed bridle on a taxed road—and the dying Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has paid 7 per cent., into a spoon that has paid 15 per cent.—flings himself back upon his chintz bed, which has paid twenty-two per cent., and expires in the arms of an apothecary, who has paid a hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole property is then immediately taxed from two to ten per cent. Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the channel, his virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed marble; and he is then gathered to his fathers—to be taxed no more. In addition to all this, the habit of dealing with large sums will make the Government avaricious and profuse; and the system itself will infallibly generate the base vermin of spies and informers, and a still more pestilent race of political tools and retainers of the meanest and most odious description, while the prodigious patronage which the collecting of this splendid revenue will throw into the hands of the Government will invest it with so vast an influence, and hold out such means and temptations to corruption as all the virtue and public spirit, even of Republicans,3 will be unable to resist.”


“We of the Free States have expressed a great deal of sympathy for the African race while in bondage. Now let us receive them as freedmen, and give them honest employment.”—Correspondent of the Boston Journal.

Upon this the Boston Post remarks that the mechanics and working men of New England can think of this: half a million of Negro competitors for labor, or support in almshouses, in Massachusetts—(as but few Free States will tolerate the presence of the colored brethren at all, our proportion would amount to this)—would be the consequence o the success of the emancipation schemes of Sumner, Greeley, Phillips, Garrison & Co. Pleasant anticipation! especially upon the approach of warm weather.

APRIL 24, 1862


Three Vermont Regiments Engaged

A severe skirmish took place before Yorktown on Wednesday night, in which three of the Vermont Regiments were engaged, viz: the third, Col. Hyde, the fourth, Col. Stoughton, the sixth, Col. Lord. The enemy attached Gen. Smith’s Division a little after midnight and attempted to carry his guns. But they were repulsed. The conduct of the Vermonters is spoken of in the highest terms of praise. The New York Herald’s correspondent says:

The attack was made by two companies of the Vermont 3d, under Lieut. Whittemore. After fording a creek up to their armpits they drove the rebels in superior numbers from their rifle pits at the point of the bayonet.

While in the stream three rebel regiments opened on these two companies but they moved steadily on, gained the banks with thinned ranks and wet cartridges and drove the rebels before them. They were ordered to retreat, however, and did so, fighting step by step.

Subsequently the Vt. 4th, Col. Stoughton, and the 6th, Col. Lord, made a brave, but ineffectual attempt to pass the stream on the dam, but the enemy had the gun of his own gunboat trained particularly upon this point, ad they were swept back by the combined fire of that gun and the enemy’s rifles.

There was considerable loss in the 6th which was in advance. The division General at this time ordered the fire to cease and our men slept upon their arms in the position they respectively held, and beyond a doubt the fighting will be renewed to-day.

The loss of the enemy was severe. The names of Lieut. Whittemore who led the two companies of the 3d Vermont, and of Cols. Lord and Stoughton of the 6th and 4th regiments are all in the mouths of the especial heroes of the day. Some from the 3d were killed in crossing the river and others after having crossed. Their bodies were not discovered.


Mortality Among the Rebels.—The mortality among the rebel troops during the last summer was really frightful, as evidenced in a graveyard about eight miles from Manassas. An Alabama regiment was in camp at that locality, and upwards of two hundred of the command found a final resting place. The average age of those who fell victims to camp disease far from their friends and he, was 18 years. Many were but 16, and the oldest but 20 years of age. The graves were placed in order, and a slab of cedar, with the name and age of the sleeper beneath, rudely cut with a knife, marked each.


The Boston Traveller hears, on excellent authority, that the family circle at the White House will, in all probability, soon receive an addition to its numbers, replacing the one lately departed. This, the Traveller apprehends, is not “contraband” intelligence. If it should happen to come under that head, we shall await the arrival of one of those circulars headed “private and confidential,” with all possible resignation.

A Queer Victory.—Beauregard claims that he won “a splendid victory” over the Union forces at Pittsburg Landing because he was able to fall back upon his works at Corinth and hold them. That will not do. When he marched his troops from Corinth, he told them that they were to annihilate or capture Gen. Grant’s division, and then fall upon that of Gen. Buell—thus getting possession of all the railroad lines. Instead of doing so, the confederates were beaten, their commander slain, and they were forced to retreat as far as General Grant deemed it prudent to pursue them. Even the cavalry, with all their gullibility on the subject of achievements over Yankees, will not believe that a victorious army would fall back ten miles before a beaten one. A few more such “triumphs” would wind up the Southern rebellion pretty effectually.


Sharpshooters Before Yorktown.—The correspondent of the N.Y. Commercial says:

“The Sharpshooters have, thus far, enjoyed the honors of the siege. They have burrowed themselves in rifle pits, in which they ensconce themselves early in the morning and remain until sunset. Their rations are brought to them, and as their pits are damp, a ‘wee drap of whisky’ is included. They use their telescopic rifles, which they load with old-maidish precision, ramming the patched ball with great care, rapping away with their mallets on hickory ramrods. Then the sights have to be adjusted, and then—woe to the rebel who approaches one of the guns mounted on their earthworks en barbette. When one of these sharpshooters is sure that he has dropped his man, he cuts a notch on the stock of his rifle, and some of them have already a formidable array of death scores.”


Gen. Grant.—By a letter received from Lieut. W.L.B. Jenney, son of Wm. P. Jenney, Esq., of Fairhaven, and one of Gen. Grant’s staff, we learn the reason of the temporary supercedure of the latter officer, a matter which created not a little feeling among the admirers of that bluff but gallant soldier. After the battle of Fort Donelson, Gen. Halleck for nearly a week could get no response to telegrams sent to Gen. Grant, and for this supposed neglect he was relieved of his command. It was soon ascertained, however, that both Generals had been sending dispatches, which neither received, a secession operator having suppressed them all.—New Bedford Mercury.


George Peabody, the American banker in London, whose magnificent gift of £150,000 to the poor of that city, has excited so much comment and praise from the London press, has during his successful career, given away to charitable objects, no less than $1,800,000. He is a native of Danvers, Massachusetts, and a descendant of the Pilgrim Fathers, his ancestors having emigrated from St. Albans, England, in 1635. He began his life poor, as an office boy, when eleven years old. At fifteen he was a merchant, at twenty-seven a partner in a Baltimore house, with branches both at New York and Philadelphia. In 1837, he went to England, and entering the banking business in London, has since remained there.

25, 1862


The correspondent of the St. Louis Republican, under date of Fort Union, New Mexico, April 13th, says:

Col. Slough, after the battle of Apache Canyon, fell back and took possession of Bernal Springs, 45 miles south of Fort Union. This was deemed the strategical point, as within supporting distance of Fort Union, and near enough to harass the enemy and to form a junction with Col. Canby when he should leave Fort Craig, 300 miles south.

We had been there one day when Col. Canby sent from Fort Craig his Adjutant General, with peremptory orders to Col. Slough to fall back with his column to Fort Union, which was immediately obeyed.

It would seem that we crippled the enemy in the fight at Apache Canyon more than was believed at first. We have reliable information that we killed over 100 men, including six officers, and wounded over 200. We have now at Fort Union as prisoners 21 officers and 82 privates.

The enemy immediately fell back to Santa Fe, and are again, it is believed, concentrating in their old position at Albuquerque .

Yesterday an express arrived from Col. Canby, stating that he would leave Fort Craig on the 31st of March.

If the enemy is near Albuquerque, with ordinary travelling, Col. Canby is in their immediate vicinity, and as our column is 180 miles from Albuquerque, and will only leave this morning, he will be unsupported by this column, and with 900 regulars will have to encounter their force, unless he can slip by and join the column which leaves here this morning.

It is understood that Kit Carson, with a regiment of New Mexican volunteers, 700 strong, will remain and garrison Fort Craig.

It is rumored that Cols. Steele and Baylor of the rebel army, are advancing into New Mexico with 800 additional men. Important events will probably occur before the next express leaves for the States.

A well authenticated report has just reached here that the Texan force 2000 strong, are entrenching themselves at Santa Fe, and that Col. Canby, having strengthened his command up to 1200 men, is 50 miles south of Santa Fe. This may enable our two columns to act together and make us 2400 strong. If this is the case we will have one of the bloodiest battles on record. The enemy’s artillery numbers about 18 pieces, ours twelve pieces.


Bombardment of Fort Macon.—A telegram from Wilmington, N.C., to the Richmond Dispatch of the 19th says that the federal attack on Fort Macon commenced on Saturday, the 12th inst., and that the bombardment had been going on from that time until Wednesday evening the 16th. The rebels were reported as making a gallant resistance, and it was supposed by their friends that they would be able to hold the fort.


Large Alimony.—In a divorce suit at New York, brought by Mary Ann Singer, against Isaac M. Singer, the noted Sewing Machine Needle patentee, the Court ordered her an allowance of $8,000 per annum, alimony, and her counsel fee of $750. It was given in evidence that Singer’s income was $200,000 a year.


Gen. Fremont reports to the War Department, under date of Wheeling, April 24:

A telegram from Gen. Schenck states that a squad of 25 infantry sent from Romney by Col. Downey to look after some guerillas, were attacked yesterday morning on Grass Lick between Sash river and Caration, by 43 rebels. Our force lost three killed, but drove off the rebels, who took refuge in the house of one Pollard.

Col. Downey went with a reinforcement of cavalry, but the rebels fled at his approach, carrying off several dead and wounded. Among the latter was Col. Parsons, their leader, and Pollard, the owner of the house.

Col. Downey reports that the interior of the house was covered with blood. He burnt the house and pursued the enemy, taking five prisoners.

Gen. Schenck sent a reinforcement of 160 cavalry and one field piece of Debeck’s artillery to come on the enemy in the rear. These must have reached the place about 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon.

Our messengers passing to and fro between Grass Lick and Romney, were fired on 4, 6, and 7 miles from Romney by guerillas.



New York, April 23.—Reliable information places Gen. Lee in command of the rebels at Yorktown. Johnson does not remain. All the rebel stores, ammunition, baggage, &c., have been removed three miles to the rear of Yorktown.

Contrabands say the rebels had near 20 killed and wounded in the recent affair at Lee’s Mills.

A gang of 3000 Negroes who were at work on the dam had a dozen killed and were stampeded by our shells, and had to be forced back with bayonets.


Speaking of the surrender of Island No. 10, the Richmond Dispatch says: “But even the surrender need not have carried necessarily along with it the ammunition and the boats. Could they not have been destroyed? Why add all this and the provisions to the new present of cannon to the federalists? Our gifts of cannon have been quite munificent—even to impoverishing ourselves—and we need not add so liberally  of the other things in offerings to those who are better supplied than we are. We do not know that we would inquire into these matters. We are utterly disgusted with these islands, and trust that they are ended with Island No. 10. They and the lost forts were all fruitful enough of disappointment and mortification; but Island No. 10 seems to have capped the climax, and by right excellence ought to wind up this miserable history.”


Running the Blockade.—The steamers Arizona and Wm. G. Hewes, from New Orleans, arrived at Havana on the evening of the 17th, with 2300 bales of cotton.

The rebel steamer Nashville, now called the Thos. L. Wragg, had returned to Nassau from an unsuccessful attempt to run the blockade at Charleston, with one of her paddle-boxes badly injured, probably from a cannon ball. She had a full cargo of ammunition and guns brought by the Gladiator from England.

The Ella Warley, with potash and saltpetre, was soon to sail for  some southern port.

The steamer Cecil had arrived at Nassau from Charleston. Several rebel vessels are reported to be at Nassau.

APRIL 26, 1862


Almost the only news of interest by the recent arrivals from Europe is the intelligence of the European mania for iron-clad vessels, excited by the contest in Hampton Roads between the Merrimac and Monitor. The English people and papers talk of little else than plans for the strengthening of their navy, in order that they may not lose the naval supremacy they have so long claimed, and the government is not backward in taking means for the accomplishment of this end. Work has been stopped on wooden vessels at all the royal navy yards, and contracts have been made for new iron armored ships of the most approved plans. In France and other nations on the continent, although the excitement is not so intense, the great revolution in naval warfare is recognized, and steps are being taken to bring their navies up with the times. The English people, if not the English government, still continue to aid the rebels, covertly it is true, but none the less surely. Several vessels, including an iron-clad steamer, have recently sailed from Liverpool with arms and ammunition for the South, and a number of vessels have arrived there laden with cotton. The government evidently winks at these proceedings, to say the lest. If it desired to do so, it could prevent this illegal traffic, and make English neutrality real as well as nominal. The relations between England, France and Spain, relative to Mexico, are very unsatisfactory. Spain has got round to the side of England, and France is alone in her desire to march upon the City of Mexico. The Mexican question appears to be getting more and more complicated every day, and it may yet assume a shape and direction little dreamed of by the allies when they commenced their operations. Meanwhile we are fast disposing of the rebellion, and shall soon be ready if necessary to have a voice in the matter.


Defects in Census Returns.—It would seem that the government ought to have something creditable to show for all its expenditure of men and money in taking, preparing and printing the decennial census. Especially does it seem that Massachusetts, the synonym for liberty and education, should make her returns with great accuracy and precision. But such is not the fact, assuming the annual assessors returns in the several cities and towns as correct. There is a discrepancy of more than four and a half millions of dollars in our state valuation. One of the marshals returns his own valuation one-fourth less than the assessors, and kindly made the valuation of the 205 acre farm of a neighbor $700, which the assessors tax for $8000. There is evidence that the number of horses returned is too small by 48,000, cows 26,500, hay 88,000 tons, &c. According to the census, Haverhill has forty farms, but no hay grows there. Only fourteen towns of the commonwealth are returned as selling milk, while it is known that this is one of the leading branches of agriculture. Four towns in Massachusetts are returned as raising rice, Westfield taking the lead with 4000 pounds, and one of her sons raising 2500 pounds. There is carelessness somewhere. None but the wounded will flutter. Every man in the state is injured when the value of a great public work is deteriorated forever by such inexcusable blunders.

The Abuse of Words.—It may be a small matter to some that the noblest words in the English language are daily prostituted to the commonest affairs of life, but to an admirer of his mother tongue it is certainly painful. The constant application of great words to small things is gradually undermining the native strength of the language, insomuch that to make an impressive statement it is not unfrequently necessary to pile on a Pelion of adverbs upon an Ossa4 of adjectives. But that is not the only bad phase of the subject; to plain matter of fact sort of people nothing can be more nauseating than this hectic grandiloquence so fashionable among the codfish aristocracy.5

To illustrate, take the word “splendid,” a splendid word, but most shamefully used or rather abused, for everybody seems to have a wonderful facility for its articulation, from the newsboy to the magistrate, and from the servant girl to the lady of the house; so we hear of splendid news and splendid diplomacy, of splendid sausages and splendid silks, of splendid onions and splendid sermons, of splendid cuffs and splendid caroms, of splendid pigs and of splendid fiddlesticks. Tradesmen, from the costermonger6 to the merchant prince, seem to have a penchant for warranting everything, but what they warrant their wares to be or do, is not so apparent.

Quacks warn you that no nostrum7 is genuine unless it has Hippocrates blown in the glass or a facsimile of his autograph on the wrapper. Nomadic showmen are sure to be the original Jeremy Diddlers,8 with immense success, and so they go on spoiling words to the end of the category.

But verbum sat;9 we do not mean to lay an interdict on any particular word or words; we only wish to hear them used as occasion requires, with a proper regard to truth. It is well enough to speak of the splendid sidewalks in Springfield, of the delightful odor that salutes the olfactory organs in divers localities, or of the elegant and commodious post office that adorns the town; but even in these extreme cases one might be suspected of hyperbole. On the whole, it is better to avoid every appearance of evil.


The English Rebel Gun.—This heavy piece of English iron ordnance is an object of much attraction to the curious who visit the Washington navy yard. It is constructed of cast iron, with a heavy wrought iron band shrunk on at the breech. It was manufactured at the Low Moor works in 1861, and weighs over 10,000 pounds, costing the rebels over $8000, including transportation—a dear price to them—and was found at the Evansport rebel batteries on the lower Potomac. When found it was spiked with rat-tail files, and shells loaded were wedged into the muzzle, and a fire built under the carriage to burn the wood-work, and by its heat explode and burst the piece. The carriage was burnt, dismounting the gun, but failing to heat it sufficiently to explode as anticipated. The files were soon taken from the vent, and the shells drawn out, so that the gun was comparatively uninjured. On Tuesday morning it was submitted to a test, but varied considerably in its ranges with equal charges of powder. It has not been thoroughly tested, but it is said Capt. Dahlgren considers it a very dangerous piece of ordnance.

1 This the Andrews Raid or “The Great Locomotive Chase,” in which a party of 24 Northerners was sent south to steal a locomotive and burn the bridges near Chattanooga—just as Conductor Fuller feared. See and for detailed accounts. 

2 “ukase” means “any order or proclamation by an absolute or arbitrary authority.”

3 Meaning “citizens of a republic,” not “members of the Republican party.”

4 “To heap Pelion upon Ossa” means to make matters worse or to aggravate. Pelion and Ossa are two large mountains in Thessaly in eastern Greece.

5 Specifically, the social aristocracy of the Massachusetts families enriched from the trade in codfish, but generalized to mean the parvenu aristocracy based on commercial success.

6 costermonger: One who sells goods from a cart or stand in the streets.

7 nostrum: A medicine sold with false or exaggerated claims and with no demonstrable value; quack medicine.

8 "Jeremy Diddler" was a needy, artful swindler in James Kenney's 1803 farce, Raising the Wind. Today we would define him as a con man.

9 Latin, verbum sat [satienti]. A word to the wise is enough

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