MAY 11
, 1862


By proclamation, Gen. Butler has undertaken “to allay the hopes of the bad and the fears of the good and timid” in regard to health regulations, having “established, since the capture of the forts, at the Quarantine Grounds,” the strictest health regulations. Believing that an error is none the less mischievous, whether originating in military or civil minds, we cannot allow this proclamation to pass without entering our protest against the impression or hallucination it is intended to produce, although doubtless unintentional upon the part of Gen. Butler. Quarantine against fever is a recent thing here. It was established partly to allay clamor and satisfy ignorance, and partly, perhaps mainly, as a part of the domestic machinery wherewith, with railroad velocity, every political faction of late years, here and in other States, were hurrying to plunder the people for its own and its emissaries’ advantage. Its establishment was advocated by physicians who had all their life time opposed the absurd theory the moment it entered their heads that a snug sinecure might reward their endeavors; but except as an active branch of a most rascally political organization, we believe no human being ever accused it or claimed for it a higher or more useful importance. Whether, therefore, it be perpetuated, or swept away like any other superfluous and senseless invention, so far as yellow fever or its generation here is concerned, nobody will take the least interest in inquiring; inasmuch as not a single medical authority in this place, not a physician of note, will be found attaching the smallest preservative importance to quarantine, whether laxly or rigidly enforced. For years in succession the yellow plague has decimated the inhabitants of this place who were unacclimated; again for years we have been entirely free from the visitation; but whence it comes, whither it goes, or how it is produced, none can say. Is it miasmatic, is it a poisonous condition of the atmosphere, is it the result of extreme heat which produces this terrible malady, who can say, what human skill can satisfactorily demonstrate? As to the “bad,” referred to by Gen. Butler, they have always been here. At no time within the many years we have lived here, have we failed to hear persons thus described praying for the fever to kill off some competition of some kind or other; but our observation satisfies us that the prayers and supplications of such people, if their efficacy is to be weighed, scarcely deserves the notice he bestows upon them. We are persuaded, however, that a dependence upon quarantine for the exclusion of yellow fever from this place is a dangerous delusion, and if encouraged may be the means of doing immense injury to the health of this place. Yellow fever is an intertropical scourge, the cause and the nature of which have puzzled and perplexed the ablest medical theorists, and no doubt will continue to do so. Here, as we have said, the ablest and most experienced members of the medical faculty ridicule the contagiousness and communicability of the fearful malady, and know and accept the futility of all attempts to exclude the yellow destroyer, consequently their efforts have been constantly directed to practical curative processes to mitigate the destructive nature of the scourge, rather than to useless discussions or acrimonious controversies as to its origin.

It is possible that the medical staff of Gen. Butler are equally capable as our own experienced and talented faculty in treating this disease, if it should be the will of God to add its visitation to our other previous afflictions. Be this as it may, our main object now is to invite Gen. Butler’s attention to obvious producing causes of deadly maladies, which it is in his power to prevent and remove, and which if not prevented and removed will generate fevers as deadly and more dangerous than the yellow. We know very little of military affairs, and we pretend to none of that knowledge as to the disposition of troops in a city like this, which military authorities may deem essential to their safety in a hostile community. We do know, however, that the congregation of large numbers  in such places as the unfinished Custom-house building, where everything required for the preservation of health, air, light and water, is wanting, must produce the deadly typhus or some other murderous plague. If any human being doubts the correctness of this opinion, he can easily satisfy himself of its soundness by walking down Chartres street to the intersection at Custom-house street, where the stench from the gutters is so insupportable that the occupants of the contiguous dwellings can scarcely endure it. To guard the river, ever so vigilantly to exclude the visitations of the saffron-visaged plague of the tropics,2 is, therefore, harmlessly useless; but to allow diseases of no less malignity than yellow fever, to be generated in the very quarters of the troops, is to our mind a most extraordinary if not unpardonable neglect. The Northern troops now doing duty in this city seem to us very unfitted to endure this climate; this, however, it may be an impertinence to utter, but, we believe, an acquiescent opinion in regard to the sanitary suggestions we throw out will be entertained at headquarters. If yellow fever should unhappily come upon us, complicated with typhus, God knows who among us shall survive the visitation, and for that reason, as well as others wholly unconnected with the national troubles, we had hoped Gen. Butler would have allowed families, willingly, permission to seek in the interior suitable places for estivation.3 Commending these few remarks to the attention of the commanding general and his medical staff, we shall add the hope that all our readers will do all in their power by cleanliness and attention to their dwellings, sinks and sewers, to secure us this summer from destruction and from deadly pestilence.


Many public men consider themselves the pillars of the State, who are more properly the caterpillars of the State, reaching their high position only by crawling.

MAY 12
, 1862

The news which reaches us this morning is unparalleled in importance by anything which ahs transpired during the war. The surrender of Norfolk and the great naval stations in its neighborhood, the destruction of the Merrimac and Yorktown, the capture of the Jamestown, and the death-dealing blow struck at the rebel fleet on the Mississippi, and come together, and it is difficult to see how more effective blows could have befallen the rebel cause. We have, it would seem, only to wait a little longer to witness the utter rout of the rebels from their capital—and then comes the end.


Great and Glorious News!

Washington, May 11.—The following was received at the war department this morning:

Fortress Monroe, May 10, 12 o’clock, midnight. Norfolk is ours, and also Portsmouth and the Navy Yard.

General Wool having completed the landing of his forces at Willoughby Point about nine o’clock this morning, commenced his march on Norfolk with five thousand men. Secretary Chase accompanied the General.

About five miles from the landing place a rebel battery was found on the opposite side of the bridge over Tanner’s Creek; and after firing a few discharges upon two companies of infantry that were in the advance, the rebels burned the bridge. This compelled our forces to march around five miles further.

At five o’clock in the afternoon our forces were within a short distance of Norfolk, and were met by a delegation of citizens.

The city was formally surrendered.

Our troops were marched in, and now have possession. Gen. Viele is in command as military governor.

The city and navy-yard were not burned. The fires which had been seen for some hours proved to be the woods on fire.

Gen. Wool, with Secretary Chase, returned about 11 o’clock to-night.

Gen. Huger withdrew his forces without a battle.

The Merrimac is still off Sewall’s point.

Commander Rodger’s expedition was heard from this afternoon ascending the James river.

The iron-clad steamer Galena had sunk the rebel steamer Yorktown and captured the Jamestown.

Reports from Gen. McClellan are favorable.

[signed] Edwin M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.

A dispatch from Fortress Monroe to the assistant secretary of war says the Merrimac was blown up by the rebels at two minutes before 5 o’clock, yesterday morning. She was set on fire two hours before the explosion, which is described as a grand sight. The Monitor and the other gunboats then proceeded up to Norfolk.

The reception of the news at Washington caused great rejoicing.

From the special dispatch to the New York Times we gather some particulars of the progress of the expedition against Norfolk. Active preparations were going forward on Friday evening, when a dozen steam transports were busy landing troops opposite the Rip Raps, including infantry, cavalry and artillery, President Lincoln superintending the expedition. Meanwhile the works at the Rip Raps poured shot and shell into Sewall’s point. At 2 o’clock the president went ashore at the point chosen for landing, a mile below the Rip Raps, and, examining the ground, returned to the point, cheered by the troops. The troops left during the night, and at daylight could be seen from the wharf landing at Willoughby’s Point, within eight miles of Norfolk. The first regiment landed was the 20th New York, known as Max Weber’s regiment, which pushed on immediately under command of Gen. Weber, and were at 8 a.m. picketed within five miles of Norfolk. 

The 1st Delaware regiment, Col. Andrews, was pushed forward at 9 o’clock, accompanied by Gens. Mansfield and Viele, and staff. They were soon followed by the 16th Massachusetts, Col. Wyman. The balance of the expedition consists of the 10th New York, Col. Bendix; the 48th Pennsylvania, Col. Bailey; the 99th New York Coast Guards; Maj. Dodge’s battalion of Mounted Rifles, and Capt. Follett’s, Co. D, 4th Regular Artillery. Gen. Wool and staff remained to superintend the landing of the balance of the force, all of whom were landed off before noon.

The President with Secretary Stanton accompanied General Wool to the wharf, and then took a tug and proceeded to the Minnesota, where the President was received with a national salute.

Our troops landed during the night upon the spot selected by the President, who was among the first to step ashore. The rebels fled as our troops advanced.

The Merrimac remained stationary all day off Craney Island.


“On to Richmond!”—The latest reports from General McClellan’s army is from New Kent Court House, twenty-seven miles from Richmond, on Saturday afternoon at three o’clock. The pursuit of the retreating rebels, up to that time, had been every way successful. The indications all along the route are that the people are seized with a panic. The dispatch of Saturday says:

The force under General Stoneman consisted of the 2d Rhode Island and 9th Pennsylvania regiments of infantry, Captain Robinson’s battery of light artillery, and the 6th cavalry under Major Williams.

The rear guard of the enemy, which remained here last night, and which our men had to drive before them, was General Longstreet’s division, consisting of ten regiments of infantry, two batteries and a regiment of cavalry (the 1st Virginia).

Our advance was this morning strengthened, upon ascertaining the force of the enemy, by the 8th Illinois cavalry and two regiments of the 1s New Jersey brigade.

The enemy on leaving here this forenoon fired two buildings containing commissary and quartermaster’s stores.

The engagement yesterday between our advance and the enemy’s rear at Slater’s Mills, three miles from here, resulted in fourteen of the enemy’s cavalry being killed and several taken prisoners. They secured their wounded.

The inhabitants have in nearly every instance left, but from the best information that has been obtained, the enemy will make a stand at Bottom Bridge, fifteen miles from Richmond, at the headwaters of the Chickahominy river.


Arizona. The bill to organize that part of New Mexico known under the name of Arizona has been passed by the house of representatives, with a provision, in the words of the ordinance of 1787, prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude. This action of the house has doubtless been hastened by the attempts made by the legislative assembly of New Mexico to re-establish slavery there without authority, and after it had been swept away by New Mexico herself, before the federal authority was extended over the territory. What the action of the senate may be is yet to be seen. The territory in question is said to have a white population of some ten thousand.


The funeral of Henry D. Thoreau, which took place in Concord on Friday, was attended by a large company of citizens of that and neighboring towns, and the services are described as unusually impressive. Selections of Scripture were read, and a brief ode, prepared for the occasion by W. E. Channing, was sung, when Mr. Emerson read an address, marked, says the Transcript, by all his felicity of conception and diction—an exquisite appreciation of the salient and subtle traits of his friend’s genius.

MAY 13
, 1862

Naval Engagement on the Mississippi

Cairo, May 11.—The desperation of the rebel cause on the Mississippi culminated yesterday in an attack on the flotilla.

Early Saturday morning eight of their gun-boats came round the point above the fort and advanced toward the fleet. The Cincinnati, which was stationed at the point while the rebels came up on Friday, did not attack them until the fleet had passed above her. As soon as she was seen a simultaneous attack from the whole of their gunboats was made upon her, but little effect, as the guns were poorly aimed. The Cincinnati in the meantime hauled into the stream, where an iron ram, supposed to be the Mallory, advanced in the face of the continued broadsides from the former, until within forty yards, and being a faster sailer, succeeded in moving between the Cincinnati and their right hand, when men appeared upon her decks, preparing to board with grapnels thrown out, which was frustrated by throwing hot water from the steam batteries of the Cincinnati.

In the meantime the rest of our gunboats had arrived on the scene of action and engaged the rebel fleet. The Mallory, undaunted by her failure, crowded on a full head of steam and came towards the Cincinnati, evidently intending to run her down. Capt. Stemble, in command of the latter, waited until the rebel monster was within twenty yards, when he sent a broadside into her from his Parrott guns, which did fearful execution. The two boats were so close together by this time that it was impossible for the gunners of the Cincinnati to swab out the guns, and it was only by bringing the steam batteries to bear upon her that the Mallory was compelled to haul off. Capt. Stemble shot her pilot with his revolved, and was himself wounded by a pistol shot fired by the pilot’s mate of the Mallory.

While the engagement between the Mallory and Cincinnati was in progress, our shots exploded the boiler of one of the rebel gunboats and set fire to another, burning her to the water’s edge. The air was very heavy, and under cover of the dense smoke which hung over the river the rebel fleet retired, but were pursued until they gained shelter under the guns of Fort Wright.

None of our boats were injured except the Cincinnati, and the damage to her is so slight that she can be repaired in twenty-four hours. Four men were wounded in her, including the master’s mate; no other casualties are mentioned. When the smoke cleared away, a broadside from the flagship Benton was sent after the Mallory, and, shortly after, she was seen to careen and went down with all hands.


The March Towards Richmond.

New Kent C. H., Sunday, May 11.—A company of the Sixth cavalry pushed on last night to White House, five miles from here, on the Pamunkey river, better known as the Curtis estate, owned by a son of Gen. Robert E. Lee. The company secured 7000 bushels of wheat and 4000 of corn.

The rebels had burnt the railroad bridge and town, and torn up the road for some distance towards Richmond.  The distance from White House to Richmond by railroad is twenty-three miles.

The gunboats arrived here this morning and are now on their way to White House. The rebels had blockaded the river two miles below here, but they were blown up without much trouble.

The rear guard of the enemy is at Trimmel’s Depot, five miles from White House. A contraband who left Richmond on Friday reports the city full of sick soldiers, and that citizens are flocking in from the surrounding country.


Foreign Intervention.

The Etna brings the important announcement that the question of intervention for the purpose of putting a stop to the war in this country has been seriously discussed by England and France, and that the news of the recent Union successes has determined the French government to postpone any action for the present. In what shape the intervention was to be made is not so clear, but it seems that a recognition of the rebel confederacy was one of the alternatives. We have no doubt, and never had, that, so far as any liking for the United States is concerned, the English and French governments would take such a step whenever a plausible pretext should be united to their own views of self interest in the matter. But, without any such pretext, there does not appear any immediate danger of interference.

Our great safeguards against foreign complications, at this time, are energy and success, and we have been found lacking in neither of these requisites for the past two months. Every steamer that has left these shores for Europe has gone freighted with the news of a fresh Union victory. And if the news of Federal triumphs which had reached Europe on the first of May was sufficient to cause a suspension of action, what will be the effect when the reports from Fort Pulaski, New Orleans, Fort Macon, Yorktown, Williamsburg, West Point and Norfolk shall have been received?


The Hero of the Varuna.

Among the heroes of the splendid naval success on the Lower Mississippi, none displayed more gallant conduct than Capt. Charles S. Boggs, of the gunboat Varuna. He is a native of New Jersey, and a nephew of the brave Capt. Lawrence of the Chesapeake, whose dying words “Don’t give up the ship,” are as familiar as household words. It is stated that last summer Capt. Boggs applied to the President for a command, and, on being asked what he wanted to do, replied that he desired to bombard Charleston and sow it with salt. His appearance and bearing pleased Mr. Lincoln, and he was told to select any vessel to which a commander had not been already appointed. He chose the Varuna. His brilliant action in that vessel has justified the foresight that assigned him to the command. The achievement of the Varuna, which sank six out of the eleven rebel steamers—two of them being ironclad—is almost without parallel. Her triumph in death is described in living words her hero commander, when he writes: “My last gun was fired as the decks went under water!”

“We were taken off by boats from the squadron, which had now come up; the crews cheering as the Varuna went down with her flag flying, victorious in defeat, and covered with glory!”

MAY 14, 1862

Pennsylvania Exempted.—Pennsylvania’s products were left entirely untaxed by the Committee of which Mr. Stevens was chairman. Yet a tax of fifty cents a ton on pig iron, produced in that State, would yield a revenue of $250,000, and twenty-five cents a ton on anthracite coal, with half a cent on bituminous, would yield $3,000,000 more.

It was part of the agreement, by which Pennsylvania’s vote was secured for Lincoln, that the State should have protection, and Congress is carrying out the bargain. So in the debate on the tax on liquors, Mr. Blair claimed a reduction for lager beer, because it had done more to elect Mr. Lincoln than any other liquor.—Albany Argus.


The Nashville Again.—It is not strange that the friends of the rebels in Europe insist that our blockade is inefficient, when the steamer Nashville finds it so easy to run in and out of blockaded ports. It was known that she was off the coast watching an opportunity to slip in, with a large cargo of arms and munitions; yet no precaution seems to have been taken to prevent it, and accordingly we hear that she arrived at Wilmington, April 26, with 18,000 stand of arms and 100 tons of powder. It is stated that in running in she got aground on the bar and remained so two days, during which time a portion of her cargo was taken out by other boats. Where, during all this time and while all this was going on, were our vigilant and efficient blockaders?


A Courageous Lady Commissioned as a Major.—The Peoria Transcript says Gov. Yates has paid a rather unusual but well merited compliment to Mrs. Reynolds, wife of Lieut. Reynolds, of Co. A, 17th Illinois, and a resident of that city. Mrs. Reynolds has accompanied her husband through the greater part of the campaign through which the 17th has passed, sharing with him the dangers and privations of a soldier’s life. She was present at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and like a ministering angel attended to the wants of as many of the wounded and dying soldiers as she could, thus winning the gratitude and esteem of the brave fellows by whom she was surrounded. Gov. Yates, hearing of her heroic and praiseworthy conduct, presented her with a commission as Major in the army, the document conferring the well-merited honor being made out with all due formality, and having attached the great seal of the State. Probably no lady in Am Erica will ever again have such a distinguished military honor conferred upon her. Mrs. Reynolds is now in Peoria, and leaves to join her regiment in a day or two.


That’s So.—Gen. Richardson of Illinois said in the House, on Friday, that “if the riot act were read dispersing Congress, the army would get along much better.” This is undoubtedly true, and we wish it could be done. It will come to something worse, we fear. The patience of the people and the army will become exhausted, and a Cromwell may be applauded in dispersing the Congressional rabble at the point of the bayonet.


The ice companies of New York stored about 400,000 tons the past season, notwithstanding the difficulty in getting it on account of the great depth of snow. Two millions of dollars are invested in the ice trade of that city.

Destruction of Property.—The telegraph from Louisville reports the following:

“Two thoroughly reliable gentlemen, (Kentuckians,) who have just arrived from New Orleans, represent that all along the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans, there is one general bonfire of property, particularly cotton, of which 11,700 bales were burned at New Orleans.

“At Memphis, sugar and molasses in large quantities are on the bluffs ready to be rolled down into the river, and all the cotton is ready to be fired on the approach of the federal fleet.

“The people of the river towns are retreating inward, and destroying property all along the tributaries of the Mississippi, the planters in many cases applying the torch to their own cotton.

“The rebel government also has boats running up the river destroying the cotton. Among the great number of planters, only one was found who objected to the burning of the cotton.”

Another account states the amount of cotton burnt at New Orleans and Baton Rouge and on ship board, at 32,000 bales.


The Pacific Railroad.—The Pacific Railroad bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives establishes a company to be called “The Union Pacific Railroad Company,” with a huge body corporate composed of men from the several States, and five commissioners to be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior; its capital stock will consist of one hundred thousand shares of one thousand dollars each; all the persons named in the bill are styled a Board of Commissioners, eleven constituting a quorum for the transaction of business; the first meeting to be held in Chicago within three months from the passage of the bill; there are to be a President, Secretary and Treasurer and fifteen Directors, two of which to be selected by the President of the United States; a right of way is to be granted to the company through the public lands; they are also to receive every alternate section of land as a present from the Government; and the road is to be built on the most direct, central and practicable route.


The Southern papers speak of the surrender of New Orleans in the most dismal strain, and demand that “the mystery of the surrender of the city shall be explained.” The Norfolk Day Book, in an editorial, says: “It is by far the most serious reverse of the war. It suggests future privations to all classes of society, but most to be lamented of all, it threatens our army supplies.”


A newspaper correspondent accompanying one of our armies, took a twenty miles horseback ride the other day, with no other result than the discovery that “the difference between sitting on a sofa and in the saddle, is marked in the extreme, and painful in the same place.”

MAY 15, 1862


Extracts from Southern Papers.

Chicago, May 14.—Memphis papers of the 11th are received. A dispatch from Natchez states that the Federal fleet had returned to New Orleans.

The Appeal commenting on the growing disposition on the part of the citizens to refuse confederate notes, characterizes the parties as traitors.

The same journal says the only conditions upon which the South will accept peace is the recognition of the independence not only of the cotton States but of every border State whose people desire an affiance with the Confederacy.

The following items are taken from the Appeal:

The Provost Marshal of Memphis has ordered the arrest of all persons refusing to take Confederate money in payment for goods.

The Appeal of the 11th says we have certain intelligence that Halleck’s army has lost over 5000 by desertion, the country between the Tennessee river and Kentucky being full of them. The whole of the 40th Ohio deserted and disbanded after the battle of the 7th. Numbers of Kentuckians and Missourians followed their example in consequence of the disaffection produced by the late anti-slavery movements in Congress.

A report has been received from Little Rock, Arkansas, that Gen. Curtis’s division of the Federal army has commenced to march upon the capital of Arkansas, and says that gen. Steele is marching to the same point from Pocahontas.


The Palmetto in the Shade.—A great many letter-writers from the army agree in saying that the rebel prisoners very generally express the strongest dislike for South Carolina. Especially is this true of the rebels now in Virginia—if there is one thing that they hate worse than they do a Yankee, it is a South Carolinian. They feel very generally that they are fighting the battle for the Palmetto State, and complain that the Carolinians are careful not to take any large share of the danger. Very little sympathy is likely wasted upon the latter, by those whom they have led into these disasters, when our forces undertake the capture of Charleston. In fact, the hard knocks given there are likely to be regarded with some pleasure by al parties, except for the South Carolinians themselves.


The Coast Survey.—Remembering the strenuous opposition of some penny-wise people to the appropriation for the Coast Survey, we are glad to see Captain Porter’s prompt recognition of the services lately rendered by the Survey to the mortar flotilla below New Orleans.

We have already stated that officers from the Survey obtained by triangulation the distances necessary to determine the range for the mortars. The Coast Survey sent out five officers—Messrs. Gerdes, Harris, Oltmans, Halter and Bowie. These gentlemen surveyed the whole ground carefully, when under fire from the forts and from the sharpshooters of the enemy. The position for mortar vessel was marked, and her distance from the fort given to a yard. Messrs. Oltmans and Harris remained on board during the bombardment also, to fix the positions of the vessels that it was necessary to move, while Mr. Gerdes supplied the fleet with charts laboriously prepared, and giving the position of all obstructions in the river. Captain Porter does not hesitate to say that he is mainly indebted, for the success of his mortar practice in bombarding the forts, to the accuracy with which the positions were given by these gentlemen.

Captain porter’s letter to Professor Bache, in which he states these facts in detail, close with this pithy remark:

“It was very curious to hear some wiseacres asking here: ‘What in the name of Heaven a Coast Survey party had to do with a bombardment.” They know now.”

Confiscation.—The Washington correspondent of the New York Evening Post says the Senate select committee on the confiscation bills have had one or two meetings, and that they will report “an effective bill” to the Senate. This bill, it is further stated, will probably authorize the President to seize the property of a rebel without trial, and to hold it temporarily, but will also provide for a jury trial for the final decision of the question.

This provision for a jury trial, if made, will be likely to be a pretty sharp disappointment to those who are most anxious for confiscation. That class of persons have shown a general disposition to deny the “effectiveness” of any confiscation bill, which undertakes to forfeit property only after trial and conviction of the owner—necessary as such provision is for constitutionality of legislation on the subject.


The New York Journal of Commerce says that in conversation with a distinguished clergyman from Albany, who was at Gen. Scott’s residence last week, the general said: “I think Davis will not be caught. He will probably escape through Texas into Mexico. To the more prominent traitors that may be taken, I would mete out a system of judicious but liberal hanging.”


It is thought that in addition to the ports of Beaufort, New Orleans and Port Royal, in a few days the ports of Norfolk, Newbern, Washington and Richmond will doubtless be opened, and probably Mobile, to be followed in thirty days at the furthest by the opening of the ports of Pensacola, Fla., and Savannah, Ga.



Boston, May 15, 1862.—Captain Foote arrived at Cleveland, O., on Tuesday. He is quite feeble from his wound and disease.

Com’r T. A. Hurt of steamer Narragansett, arrived at New York yesterday in steamer Champion from Aspinwall.

The veteran Commodore Charles Stewart, who christened the New Ironsides at Philadelphia last Saturday, was born in 1778, entered the navy in 1798, and became captain 1806. In 1800, during the French war, he fought three engagements against superior forces, and in each instance captured his adversary. He also re-took four captured American vessels. In 1801, during eh war with Tripoli, he took a vessel of 14 guns. His famous cruise in the Constitution, during the war of 1812, when he captured the Cyane and Levant, is well known to every school boy. It was at this time that he acquired the name of “Old Ironsides.” Although 84 years of age at the breaking out of the rebellion, he expressed a warm desire to take part in the struggle, and in answer to a friend at that time, who remarked, “Commodore, don’t you wish you were a younger man so you could take part in the present struggle?” he exclaimed, with vigor and animation, “I am young as ever to fight for my country, and only wish they would give me a chance.”



Boston Museum.—Mr. Booth, whose engagement excites constantly increasing interest, repeats Richard III this evening, and tomorrow, for his benefit, plays Hamlet, by which he will bring himself into close comparison with his brother. The stock company are rendering him excellent support.

Academy of Music.--The general topic of conversation in dramatic circles is the performance of Macbeth by the Avon Club, in aid of the Soldiers’ Fund, to be given at the Academy on Wednesday next. Mr. Wade is selling seats very rapidly, and the audience will doubtless be large and fashionable. It is said that the chorus will number sixty voices.

16, 1862

Interesting Items.

At the funeral of a fireman recently killed in New York, while on duty, over three thousand firemen were present and joined in the funeral.

Portland, Maine, is to have two more steam fire engines. Those already in use have given unqualified satisfaction.

Jabez. C. Knight was re-elected mayor of Providence, on Wednesday, without opposition. The other republican municipal officers on the ticket with him were also chosen.

A new organization for military drill has been formed in Springfield by some fifty or sixty of the Irish citizens of that place, whose service will be tendered to the government in case of foreign war.

A pack of wolves are infesting the north side of the Androscoggin river at Shelburne, N.H. They visited the sugar orchards and followed and frightened one man.

The Newport News states that a lady named Wilcox, who resides near Wickford, gave birth recently to four bouncing boys. The happy father of these newly arrived youngster is a private in the fifth battalion Rhode Island cavalry.

The greatest smash of crockery that ever took place in Boston occurred at the fire on Monday, when the wholesale stock of S.W. Waldron, with the building, was leveled to the earth by a falling wall. Scarcely a ware escaped demolition.

The number of postage stamps sold in the New York Post Office has been gradually increasing for the past two months, and is considered a sure indication of the revival of business generally. The amount now averages about $2,300 per day.

A Cairo dispatch says Beauregard has issued a proclamation stating that the Federal forces virtually had possession of the Mississippi river, and ordering all forces to Corinth, and all cotton, molasses and sugar along the river to be destroyed, which order has been enforced.

The recent splendid achievements of the navy, and the excellent service it has rendered, has wrought a visible change in the position of the head of the Navy Department, and removed the probability of any change in the Cabinet. There is no longer any talk of Mr. Welles going out.

An effort to rob the jewelry store of George A. Perry at Millbury, on Friday night, was foiled by a blind man next door, who hearing the noise and supposing it to be caused by rats, knocked on the ceiling, which frightened the thieves so that they left in a hurry. Seventy-eight holes were bored in the panel of the door.

The new Gunboat Eastport, captured from the rebels on the Tennessee river, will be reported to the Navy Department, ready for service, the latter part of this week. She is at Mound City, and would have been in duty some time since, but the flood caused work on her to be suspended. She is quite new and strong, and cannot fail to be quite a valuable acquisition to the navy.

There are now, singular as it may seem to some, as many seamen employed actively in the navy of the United States as there is in that of England. The personnel of the latter, including the 470 superintending officers of dock yards, 10,850 established workmen, 1,400 hired workmen, 15,000 mariners, 2,361 factory laborers, and 6,100 boys, amounts to 31,000. In these figures coal heavers, firemen and stewards are included. It is estimated that we have some 33,000 persons attached to our vessels afloat.

A young fellow calling himself Harry M. Williams has been raising “the old Harry” in a pecuniary way, among boarding house keepers and others in Springfield, and at last has absconded. His debts amount to several hundred dollars, and could be bought up as cheaply as confederate bonds. He was employed in the U.S. Armory, and by pretending that he could not obtain any pay, he promising to give orders and by other tricks, he succeeded in cheating almost every one with whom he had any business transactions.

The French Minister has received intelligence from his Consul at Richmond to the effect that the Rebel Government had notified him that, should it be found necessary to evacuate the city, the French tobacco must be destroyed with the rest. At the same time the rebels offer to pay for it—a proposition not much relished by the Frenchman.

Captain Raphael Semmes, of the privateer Sumter, is a small, thin, but wiry man, with a weather-beaten countenance of a thoroughly determined looking character. Although of middle age, his moustache and beard are quite white. On his arrival in Paris from Gibraltar, recently, he was anxious to know whether the confederates had fought any great battle after retiring from Manassas, and what progress the United States forces had made at the mouth of the Mississippi. Amongst his baggage was a large trunk, which Dame Rumor said was filled with booty selected from captured ships. Captain Semmes is a native of New Orleans, and is related to Jeff. Davis.


Important from South Carolina--
Proclamation Freeing Slaves.

New York, May 15.—The N.Y. Post says: Advices per the Cahawba state that Gen. Hunter has issued a proclamation freeing the slaves in his department. He was organizing a Negro brigade, and had delegated some officers to train the contrabands to the use of arms.


Deserters from Beauregard’s Army--
They Bring Doleful Accounts.

Chicago, May 15.—A special to the Times, by steamer City of Memphis, from Pittsburg, Monday, states that two rebel regiments from Kentucky ad Tennessee attempted to desert and come over en masse, to the federal army. The enemy held them in check, and a mutiny ensued. A strong force from our advance line went over to interfere, and in a short time returned with 60 prisoners, mostly from the ranks of the deserting regiments.

They give a doleful account of affairs in Beauregard’s army, and confirm the previous statements that troops from the Border States are anxious to return to their former allegiance.

Deserters say there is plenty of subsistence at Corinth.


Interesting from Richmond.—Capt. J. A. Farrish of the New York 79th, and Lieut. J. W. Dempsey of the 2d New York Regiment, have arrived in Washington from Richmond, and furnish the annexed interesting intelligence:

“They report that a large meeting was held in Richmond to decide what should be done with the city on the arrival of the Federals. The property holders and most substantial men of the city favored a surrender, while those who had no interest there, and generally blacklegs and thieves, were rampant for burning it.

“Capt. Farrish thinks there is a very strong Union feeling in Richmond. Every corner is nightly pasted thick with Union sentiments and mysterious writings, which alarm the secessionists very much.

“Last Saturday, and all day Sunday, there was much excitement in the city, and the troops were being rapidly sent off, while all the artillery that had been sent south of Richmond some time previous was hurriedly brought back and shipped north.

“The Confederates at Richmond have every vehicle and cart engaged busily hauling stores and filling them in the canal and all other boats, for the purpose of sinking them in the James river, on the approach of the Federal fleet.”

MAY 17, 1862

Slavery Abolished in Georgia, Florida and
South Carolina

The following is the proclamation of Gen. Hunter, abolishing slavery within the department of which he is the commander:

Headquarters, Dep’t of the South,
Hilton Head, S.C., May 9, 1862.

General Order, No. 11.

The three States of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, comprising the Military Department of the South, having deliberately declared themselves no longer under the protection of the United States of America, and having taken up arms against said United States, it becomes a military necessity to declare Martial Law. This was accordingly done on the 25th day of April, 1862. Slavery and Martial law, in a free country, are altogether incompatible; the persons in thee three States, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared free.

David Hunter,
Major General Commanding

In reference to it, the Boston Journal thinks “if Gen. Hunter has issued this proclamation without the sanction of the President, as we presume is the case, it is a stretch of authority which is to be deprecated. It is certainly to be regretted that the Administration has had no definite policy upon the subject of slavery within the jurisdiction of the army, but has left the question to be dealt with entirely by the commanding General in the field. While Halleck at the West keeps all the slaves without his lines, not even giving those of rebels a chance to free themselves, Gen. Hunter declares the freedom of slaves who are beyond his actual jurisdiction. Thus, there are two extreme ideas prevailing in the treatment of slavery, which might be harmonized by the simple promulgation of some simple, well-defined plan for the guidance of the Union forces.”


From Corinth.

Camp on the Corinth Road, May 15.—The following is a paragraph of a special field order just issued. Guards will be immediately placed along [the] line of Chambers Creek. No officers or soldiers will be permitted to pass to the rear, and no citizens to the front of the line without special authority. Commanders of corps and divisions will see that their camps are cleared of all authorized hangers on, and any one attempting to evade this, will be compelled to work on the entrenchments, batteries or construction of roads.

This is understood to apply to all persons, correspondents included. Fifty-seven privates, three corporals, and one sergeant, captured at Dresden, Tenn., came in this morning under a flag of truce. An equal number will be sent to-morrow in exchange.

Col. Jacob Thompson, of Beauregard’s staff, formerly Secretary of the Interior, accompanied the flag of truce. He admits the fall of New Orleans, Norfolk and Pensacola, but denies the fall of Richmond.

Deserters are coming in by squads daily. All agree that the rebels are still at Corinth fortifying.

There have been picket skirmishes all day in which six were wounded on our side. Weather very warm.


Removal of the Confederate Capital.—A gentleman at Cairo from Richmond, via Norfolk, reports that the rebel capital is in process of removal to Montgomery, Ala., the place of its nativity. This was being effected in the most quiet manner possible, to avoid creating any increased public alarm. Union sentiments are boldly avowed at Memphis.

From Corinth.

Before Corinth, May 16.—It having been satisfactorily shown that spies visited our camp and crossed the Tennessee river, and proceeded by night in dugouts to Florence, Ala., where they held easy conversation with the enemy, it was deemed necessary to exclude all civilians from the camps, and the general order mentioned yesterday was issued for such an object.

A Federal sergeant, captured at Shiloh, exchanged yesterday, says he was taken from Corinth to Jackson, Miss., thence to Jackson, Tenn., and back to Corinth. He states that from the time that he left Corinth until his return, he was guarded by unarmed men.

A contraband, purporting to be an intimate friend of Gen. Hardee’s servant, also reports having been told that Hardee was very sick of the war, and would leave, but Beauregard would not let him.


War Facts and Rumors.

St. Louis, May 15.—Cleveland Leaders, the notorious jayhawker and robber, was arrested on the 11th, at Osawatomie. He endeavored to escape and was shot.

Barbour, one of his gang, was also arrested and taken to Fort Leavenworth.

A Frenchman, member of the 18th Louisiana regiment, arrived here. He reports three companies, composed of Frenchmen, were obliged to enlist, being unable to obtain work, food or money. The whole army are without coffee. At one time they were more than three days without rations. He says Van Dorn and Price left Corinth three days ago, and it is not known where they have gone.

The weather is clear and hot, and the rods are very dusty.


From Washington.

Washington, May 16.—The Fugitive Slave Law is being quietly enforced in the district to-day, the military authorities not interfering with judicial proceedings. There are at least 400 cases pending. It is said that some of the Negroes whose owners or agents from Maryland are here seeking their recovery, mysteriously disappeared this morning.


The Fugitive Slave Law.—The Washington correspondent of the Baltimore Sun, usually very correct, says the President has decided that the fugitive slave law shall be enforced in the District of Columbia. Much agitation prevails in the lower counties of Maryland, in regard to the shelter afforded in the District to fugitives in that vicinity.


A Sale of Free Negroes Stopped.—Three hundred and sixteen free blacks of both sexes were advertised to be sold at Norfolk last Monday, for failing to pay taxes. Gen. Wool’s arrival a few days before interfered with the sale.


MOSES G. DOW, Special Agent.
Will supply the citizens of Portland with pure ice of unsurpassed goodness during the summer season of 1862, on the most favorable terms. Orders left at his store, 156 Bliddle street, will be promptly attended to.

1The folks in New Orleans were absolutely correct that Butler’s health regulations regarding yellow fever were totally ineffectual, and also right in saying that the source of that scourge was unknown. It would be 1881 before a Cuban doctor, Carlo Finlay, suggested that mosquitoes might be the vector for the contagion, and the 1890s before a U.S. Army surgeon, Walter Reed, and his team confirmed this theory (Reed is credited with the “discovery,” but always maintained that he based his work on Finlay’s hypothesis). The locals were also right to advocate a general cleanup of the city in order to minimize the danger of typhus. General Butler did this and is, grudgingly, given the credit by New Orleaneans.

2“saffron-visaged plague of the tropics” translates from Victorian prose to modern English as simply “yellow fever.”

3Estivation (also known as “summer sleep”) is a form of hibernation or removal to a more suitable environment by an animal to increase its chance of survival during extreme heat.

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