, 1862

Suffering at Sea.—The Boston Commercial Bulletin, of the 11th inst., says:

On the 6th of September the whale ship Constitution, of Nantucket, Capt. Winslow, put into Paita [Peru] to land a boat and nine  [men] which she had picked up about 600 miles from the west coast of South America. They were the survivors of  crew of an Italian ship bound from the Chincha Islands to a port in Spain, with a cargo of guano. The ship foundered in latitude 25 south, and longitude 96 west, and the crew took to the boats. The mate and those who were with him in a whaleboat separated from the captain and the longboat, and all are supposed to have either died by starvation or been drowned. Among those returned in the longboat was the owner of the ship; five of those who left the ship had died, and the survivors were living upon their remains. The mind shrinks, appalled as it contemplates this tragedy of the sea, and sympathizes with the  sufferers without inquiring their nationality. The sufferers were kindly treated, and the ship ran off her cruising ground to land them at the nearest port. This case shows the advantage of keeping a lookout aloft at sea, for the boat was no doubt discovered by those who were at the mastheads looking out for whales.

Another case of suffering at sea occurred on board the bark Joseph Maxwell, Capt. Davis, on the passage from Philadelphia bound to Laganyra. On the 16th of September she encountered a hurricane, in which she was thrown on her beam ends until her tops were in the water, and the crew had to take to the rigging to save their lives. Her fore and main masts were cut away, when she righted half full of water, and the sea swept over her fore and aft, washing two of the crew overboard, who were drowned. The second mate and one of the best seamen lashed themselves at the wheel in case the vessel should pay off, to be on hand to steer her, and the others made themselves fast to the mizzen mast and mizzen rigging. The hurricane all this time blew with undiminished violence; the sea swept off the hatches and everything moveable from the decks, including the boats, burst the poop [deck] open forward of the mizzen mast, and often submerged the men, so that they had to watch [for] an opportunity to breathe.

Affairs continued in this condition for a day and a half, when another man was washed overboard, and shortly afterward the cook perished from sheer exhaustion, and was carried away by the sea. When the gale moderated, the remains of the poop deck were about two feet above the surface of the water, but often overwhelmed by the sea, which compelled the survivors to remain in their lashings to avoid being swept before it. In this condition they remained six days without food or water; their clothes had been torn from their limbs by the relentless waves, and they were more dead than alive when the brig Conflict, Capt. Ruland, from St. Kitts, rescued them, and finally landed them in New York. The season of the year is now approaching when, we fear, such scenes as these will be of frequent occurrence; we, therefore, urge masters of vessels to  send a man aloft at least once every hour, to see if there are any vessels in distress, and to relieve them.

A New Infernal Machine.—A Copenhagen letter has the following:

In the royal dockyard at Nyholm, experiments have just been made with a new kind of infernal machine, which is said to be capable of destroying the strongest iron-cased vessel. The inventor is Lieut. Col. Ramsted, a Finlander, who has been in the Russian service. The apparatus is extremely simple, and costs but little. It consists of a glass reservoir, which, being filled with powder, will float at a certain depth, where, by very simple chemical means, it produces an explosion which will pierce the bottom of any vessel. In the experiment in question, when loaded with a small charge, the effect was amazing. The framework of the gunboat was shattered, and some of the planks thrown to a height of eighty or a hundred feet. Of course the boat sank instantly. On a second trial, the explosion threw up a column of water one hundred feet high, and the shock was felt at a considerable distance. Among the persons present on the occasion were several officers of the Italian frigate Eurydice, which now lies at anchor in our roadstead.


Provost Court.—Judge Bell. —The newsboy burglary was yesterday investigated, and the result was the involuntary retirement of four newsboys to the shades of the Parish Prison. With most of the particulars of the case our readers are already familiar. Half a dozen newsboys, either of their own accord or on the suggestion of some one older than  themselves, went on Saturday night a week ago to the watchmen having guardianship of Commercial Alley, and a portion of St. Charles Street near the Alley, and told them a piteous tale of some man who had been beaten and  almost murdered, some distance up St. Charles street. The watchmen, as in duty bound, went to investigate the supposed murder, and while away on that good Samaritan mission, the young rascals got into the rear part of the shoe store through a broken pane of glass, having entered by a passage leading from Commercial Place. They succeeded in stealing about $400 worth of shoes and boots, took them to a tailor’s shop on Poydras street, kept by Louis Israel, and sold them, as Israel says, for $40. The boys, however, declared that they acted under Israel’s instructions, and that he gave only $15 and a pair of shoes. Two of the boys were discharged, it appearing that they had nothing to do with the theft; four of them were sent to prison for three months, and Israel, the tailor, was sent to prison for six months for his part in the affair.

OCTOBER 27, 1862

Unprofitable Discussion.

Under all the pressure of a vast war to vindicate the rights of the States, which our enemies say are mere municipal corporations—large counties; but which we contend are independent sovereignties, entitled to judge of and redress their own grievances—the Congress of the Confederacy has found time for long and labored discussions to ascertain the exact boundaries between State and Confederate jurisdiction, and whether the citizen holds any allegiance at all to the Confederate Government, other than that which is merely derivative from his position as a citizen of a State. Moreover, in the prohibition against the use of the term “national” by the  different organs at Richmond, we see it inferentially asserted that there can be no such thing in reality as citizenship of the Confederate States, for an organized nationality is an essential implication of the term in the sense in which we employ it. If the Confederate Government be a mere league between the States, the States alone are parties to it and the people hold no relation of any kind to it outside of their capacity as citizens of the States. But we see that the Constitutions of both the States and the Confederate States Government do distinctly recognize citizenship of the Confederate States, bind us to allegiances by oaths and punish treason by penalties. There can be no mistake about this, whatever mistake there may be about non-national theories. Upon the broad ground of State sovereignty and paramount allegiance there will probably be little disagreement of opinion in the South. We are all agreed that the States were originally free and independent, and parted voluntarily only with such of their rights and privileges as sovereign States as were necessary for their mutual protection and convenience. We are agreed that when the end for these concessions were made failed us, it was competent for the States to resume their original powers and provide for their own welfare in some other way.

So far, there is no difficulty; and this is as far as the great Fathers of the Constitution and expounders of the States rights theory pushed their positions. All beyond—all these vain questions of non-allegiance, all this talk about leagues and to nationality, are mere modern refinements—attempts to be wise above what is written, and are to a great extent the offspring of mere factiousness or personal ambition.

Discussion will never fix the exact line of demarcation between State and Confederate jurisdiction, or determine the precise character and amount of allegiance due to each. As the State governments represent more intimately the feelings and wants of the people and can not well be used as instruments of oppression, the sympathy of the people will naturally side with them against the Confederate government, unless these absurd and overstrained ideas of States sovereignty be carried so far as to emasculate the Confederate Government and leave us exposed to intestine disorders or external perils. In the latter case, a vast reaction in the public mind would take place; for, after the distress and insecurity of this war, the first demand of the people will be for order, peace and quiet.

Let the States Rights men, therefore, consult the welfare of their own principles—the security of their own position and their ascendancy in the national counsels, by refraining from these absurd and overstrained ideas—not of State sovereignty--but of State omnipotence and Confederate States imbecility. Take just and defensible ground, and the people will sustain it. Take overwrought and factious ground—ground fatal to an efficient central Government at home and abroad, and the States Rights theory itself will perish under an overruling demand for quiet, order and peace. The latter the people will demand and obtain, though it be at the expense of fine spun  theories of States Rights.

Why Not Make Moccasins.

In the course of the newspaper discussion about shoes for the army, some have proposed to let the Negroes go without shoes during the present winter, while others insist it will be economy to buy shoes for them at any price. Now, in old frontier times, it was the custom alike of the Indian hunter and settler to make moccasins out of dry hides and nobody ever thought of shoes. Every man made his own covering for the feet, and it was not only made very easily and cheaply, but it answered every purpose of shoes. Why, then, may not planters get up at home, with a very little labor and expense, moccasins which will answer all the substantial ends of shoes and keep their servants dry footed and healthy during the winter. It does appear to us that a very little ingenuity and labor will be required in this way to make all the Negroes comfortable, and still save the shoes for the soldiers.


From Europe.

Cape Race, Oct. 20th.—The London Times says that the proclamation of Lincoln is a political concession to the abolitionists. When the Union existed the Constitution gave no right to the President or Congress to free the slaves. Emancipation was the thunder bolt in the hands of the President, to destroy the organization of the South at a blow. Lincoln has assumed the right to launch without the power to enforce his decree; the North must conquer every square mile of the South before it can make the proclamation of more effect than merely a waste of paper.


Salt from Common Earth.

Mr. E. H. Chamberlain, of Edgefield District, S.C., showed yesterday a specimen of pure salt, made from the common earth on an Edgefield plantation. The sample exhibited had as strong saline properties nearly as the best quality of foreign salt, and the crystals were bright and clear. The earth was some thrown up in digging a ditch, and Mr. C. tells us that the same quality of earth abounds there for ten miles around, and that enough salt could be made, with the proper appliances, to supply the whole Confederacy. He informs us also, that Prof. Jones, of this city, has made analysis of the dirt, with what results we are not yet advised.—Augusta Chronicle.

, 1862

Must the Republic Perish?

History records no example of such terribly rapid depletion of a nation’s resources, as that sustained by the people of the United States in carrying on this war for the maintenance of their government against armed insurrection. Never did a nobler cause demand the best efforts of all true men and certainly never was a people so pressed for contributions of men and means. Within the last eighteen months our government has called into the field forty-five per cent of our entire fighting strength, and expended nearly a thousand millions of dollars! Yet the people of the North have responded with alacrity to every requisition upon them, giving their lives freely, and pouring out their money like water—asking only of those to whose hands was entrusted the use of their limitless supplies of means that the great object in view, the suppression of the rebellion be effected without needless delay. They have not paused to count the cost, but with free hands and willing hearts, have responded on the instant to every call from the government. They have been looking forward with confidence to that triumphant and happy conclusion of this terrible trial of fire and blood which the assurance of their leaders and their own devoted efforts have entitled them to expect at no distant period in the future. Sustained by that hope, they have heeded no obstacles, delays or disasters; nothing has for one moment daunted their indomitable zeal or checked their self-sacrificing exertions to furnish their government and its Generals with everything they could ask as essential to success.

It must be confessed that in its present stage the aspect of the war is not satisfactory to the Northern people. A moment’s survey of the situation is enough to disclose to the reflecting observer the depressing truth that no results that have been accomplished are by any means commensurate with the frightful cost incurred. Great armies have melted away—the North has become filled with crowded hospitals and new-made graves—mourning and desolation have invaded every community, great and small; and these are the tangible results of the war to this people. But we are not measurably nearer to the promised triumph and a return of peace than we were at the beginning. The standard of the Union is hardly yet advanced beyond the Potomac—our grand army is held at bay at the outer gateway of the rebellious region! We have waited month after month for the hour to strike when we should at last see the beginning of the great success, but we have yet no sign.  We are conjured to have patience—and the last year’s assurances that all will be well if we will but wait long enough and keep quiet enough, are now our most satisfactory advices from the camps.

In the main the record of our campaigning to this point is but a dismal picture of protracted inaction in camp—a dreary monotony of inertia, broken only occasionally by convulsive exhibitions of misdirected energy, resulting in disaster. How can this repulsive truth be explained if it be true that the vast military resources of the country have been managed by Generals who have been both competent and faithful? An officer on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief has recently declared positively (maintaining the truth of his statement even to the face of the President himself) that our armies are in the hands of leaders whose “programme” is not to conquer the enemy. The assertion, although it was at once repudiated as too monstrous for belief, nevertheless struck a painfully sensitive chord in the public heart and sent a thrill of exquisite agony through the loyal North. If the calumny were truth instead, what would so readily or so well explain the fatal paralysis which has held back the armies of the Union from their work?

But, dismissing as unworthy of credence the heart-chilling intimation that thus issued forth to the nation from the very headquarters of the army itself, we are compelled to adopt the alternative proposition that the management of our military operations has been such as may justly give rise to complaints of incompetency. An expenditure of blood and treasure enough, and more than enough, to have yielded a successful result long before to-day—an expenditure more than three times greater that that incurred by the rebels in frustrating our purposes—has come to nothing, simply because we have been outgeneralled. Our commanders have shown themselves unequal to the task of effectively using the ample means at their disposal—they cannot wield the ponderous weapons which the people have placed in their hands. This is the plain, palpable, indisputable truth that now, at last, stands fully disclosed. We are awaking, as from some wondrous enchanter’s spell, to perceive that paralysis and strategy are not precisely identical, and that retreats, or even temporary successes that are not followed up to advantage, are not victories that contribute to ultimate triumph.

To find, at this late period of the war, that we are without efficient commanders for our armies, is indeed disheartening, but it need not discourage us. It is but needful, in order to restore the waning confidence of the people, that the government at once give satisfactory proof of its inexorable purpose to place the conduct of the war in competent hands and secure its prosecution with earnestness and vigor. Give us this reasonable evidence that all is right at headquarters, and the people will rally with renewed confidence and unflagging zeal to the support of the administration. Let the country and the world have proof that imbecility, as well as treachery, is now and henceforth to be banished from the high places of authority at Washington and in the federal camps, and hope will not forsake us. The golden hours in which the nation must be saved, and if saved at all, are speeding away, and so long a delay and indecision rule in our councils our hopes must vanish with the falling sands of the hour-glass. Every day that passes without bringing us nearer to the end of our work tells against us. The solidification of the South to present a firmer, sterner and stronger front of opposition to us goes steadily on as by a process of crystallization, every moment when we are not strenuously pressing forward upon the foe. The chances of foreign intervention, of domestic dissensions, of discontent in the army, multiply and strengthen with every passing hour—and we are the while steadily, and at no snail’s pace, progressing toward the fatal point of its exhaustion of our available resources—of bankruptcy.

From the dark cloud of perils that compass us about in the present, and ominously thicken before us in the near future, the door of escape—the only way given for our deliverance—stands open for us if our government will but see it and improve its hour of grace. We need “new measures and competent men” in the direction of our armies.

, 1862

Army Matters.—The New York Evening Post has the following comments upon the plan of vigorously prosecuting the war, now said to be the policy of the government:

We have information from Washington of such a character as enables us to say with confidence that the government are resolved that the delays which have so strangely hindered the expected progress of our arms shall be tolerated no longer. Measures have been taken, preparations have been made and expeditions planned, of which the public will shortly see the results. The great military and naval resources at the command of the government will no longer be allowed to stagnate, but will be wielded in many places at once, on the coast and the interior, to strike the rebellion in its most vital parts.

The Philadelphia Press denies the correctness of the rumors in relation to the proposed changes in the army, and adds:

Gen. McClellan is now prepared to advance upon Lee at Winchester. His army has been strengthened and equipped; the arms, clothing and ordnance stores captured by the enemy on the Peninsula and at Manassas, or used by the soldiers, have been replaced; immense reinforcements have been sent into Maryland from the Northern states.


Various Items.

As a general rule, says Gen. Halleck, troops marching for many days in succession will move at the rate of from fifteen to twenty miles per day. In forced marches, or in pursuit of a flying enemy, they will average from twenty to twenty-five miles a day. Only for two or three days in succession, with favorable roads, thirty miles a day may be calculated on. When marches above this occur, they are the result of extraordinary circumstances.

There is not a single type foundry south of Baltimore, and most of the Southern papers, unless they succeed in getting type from Europe, will be compelled, in the course of a year, to suspend publication on account of the worn-out condition of the type from which they are printed. So far as typography is concerned, the rebel newspapers already present a wretched appearance.

Aliens in the South seem to be losing faith in the Confederacy. On the 21st, no less than 300 applied to the British Consul for passports to go North.

It is estimated that the cargo of the prize steamer Bermuda will yield at least $600,000. The cargo of the prize barque Fanny Lowrie, discharged last week at Philadelphia, consisted of 10,730 bushels of salt, besides a lot of chicory.

A soldier from Delaware county, Iowa, states that the first information he had of the president’s proclamation was from a runaway Negro slave in Northern Mississippi. The soldier did not hear it from northern sources till he had arrived within twelve miles of the Ohio river.

A bear weighing three hundred and twenty-four pounds was killed on Thursday last at Irasburg, Vt. It was sold for eighteen dollars and a half. It is reported that the bears are making great havoc in that vicinity.

It is mentioned as a remarkable fact that a settlement of Quakers, near Mount Vernon, have been unmolested during the entire war, although alternately included within national and rebel lines.

Those people here at the North, who fancy that some compromise with the rebels is to be the upshot of the present struggle, cannot have studied the Southern oracles much. The Richmond Whig talks in this fashion:

“Henceforth we are two peoples. If conquered—into forced into provincial vassalage—we must bear our condition with such fortitude as we may. To that which is inevitable—to that which involves no culpability of their own—the best and bravest men may submit. But to voluntary debasement—to willing fraternity with the robbers and murderers of our people—never, never.”

That is the tone of Southern sentiment, and it demonstrates the need of vigor and unity at the North. We must sustain the President’s policy in this conflict. There is no alternative. The South scorns compromises and fights for a distinct nationality. We are to choose between the government of Jeff. Davis and that which he aims to overthrow. That is the issue, and it must be met.


From the South.—Richmond dates to the 24th are at hand. The following paragraphs furnish some items of interest:

In the Richmond markets prices of all articles rule very high. Wheat has advanced to $4 per bushel. Flour sells at $21 a $25 per barrel. Corn $2 per bushel. Apples $10 a $15 per barrel. Potatoes $3 a $4 per bushel Whiskey $10 a $15 per gallon. Tobacco, inferior, $4½ a $11; good, $15 a $17; and fine shipping [tobacco] $18 a @28.1

Governor Z. B. Vance of North Carolina has issued a stirring appeal to the citizens of his state in behalf of the army, and calls for contributions to clothe the soldiers for the coming winter. He says that the quartermaster’s department will fall far short of providing for them, owing too speculation and extortion.

The Lynchburg Republican says that there is a general stampede from Culpepper throughout the county, owing to an anticipated early advance of the Yankees in that direction.

Some of the Richmond papers profess to have confidence that Belgium is soon to lead off in recognizing the confederacy.


Stewart’s men behaved quite decently in Chambersburg, Pa. It is not known that they made any attempt to enter a single private house. The taverns were all visited directly after they arrived, and a considerable quantity of whiskey punished, for which payment was generally proffered in confederate scrip. The men were, as a general thing, friendly, and even sociably disposed towards the inhabitants, entering into conversation with the citizens in the taverns, barber-shops, &c. In one instance, one of them entered a tavern in which were several citizens, and slightly hesitated at the door. Some one remarked, “Come in, we won’t hurt you.” Whereupon he entered, remarking, “Well, perhaps not; but some of you Yankees lie so.”



The Cruise of the U.S. Barque Kingfisher.

We take from the Journal the following account of the cruise of the U.S. barque Kingfisher, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant J. P. Couthouy commanding, which arrived at this port on Sunday, after a year’s absence in the blockading service:

“The Kingfisher left this port on the 11th of October, 1861, and joined the Gulf Blockading Squadron. The first important operation in which she participated was assisting in the capture of the English barque Express, with a cargo of coffee valued at $260,000. On the 1st of January the noted rebel ram Manassas made her appearance inside of Pass-a-l’Outre, and Captain Couthouy was desirous of making an attempt to capture her. Capt. Selfridge, the senior officer, in command of the United States steamer Mississippi, deemed it inadvisable, and the Kingfisher was ordered to Ship Island to report the appearance of the Manassas to Flag-Officer McKean, it afterward appearing that the Manassas lay aground at the time, the crew expecting an attack, being prepared to set fire to and abandon her. The Kingfisher was next ordered to cruise between the Yucatan Bank and the mouths of the Mississippi, for the purpose of intercepting vessels which, under cover of a neutral flag, were engaged in supplying contraband of war to the rebels. While engaged in this service she boarded some thirty vessels in eh course of five weeks, including the Spanish barque Teresita, which she captured on the 30th of January, with a cargo worth $80,000. The barque was subsequently released by Judge Marvin, although it was shown that she had a confederate flag on board. On the 25th of January, after a chase of 420 miles and during three days and nights, she captured the schooner Lion, under British colors, formerly the Alexandria of Parkersville, Texas, with an assorted cargo of provisions and five tons of gunpowder, which, although invoiced at 75 cents per pound, was sold at Key West for three cents per pound. The Kingfisher blockaded the port of St. Marks [for] four months, during which time she captured James R. Bates, the Surveyor General of the State of Georgia, a man of great wealth, who came down for the purpose of erecting a salt establishment, and who boasted of being a rebel of the first water, and of using his influence and ability for twenty years to bring about a separation of the north and south. Half a dozen able-bodied contrabands were brought off. Running short of water, the ship was compelled to enter Ocilla river with boats to obtain a supply. The place was a perfect wilderness, and so little sign of inhabitants appeared that the birds allowed themselves to be taken from their nests by hand. The boats made several trips with perfect security, but it appears they were watched by the rebels from the lighthouse, and on the last trip they were attacked by a party of eighty of the confederate forces from Tallahassee, who hid in ambush, and on the approach of the boats they valiantly poured in a volley which killed two of the men and wounded two others severely. After the boats’ crews had returned the fire, the confederate rushed upon them and made prisoners of the survivors, consisting of Acting Master Samuel Curtis and seven men, who are still prisoners at Tallahassee. The next blockading action to which the Kingfisher was ordered was the coast and bays of St. Joseph and St. Andrews, Florida. While entering the bay of St. Andrews the ship was struck by a whirlwind and forced on shore, where she lay twelve hours thumping very heavily. On the 18th of August she proceeded to St. Joseph’s bay, and while at this point eleven contrabands came off to the ship, and, like the others, enlisted in the service of the United States.

“Capt. Couthouy found at St. Joseph very extensive salt-works for the manufacturing of salt for the Confederate army, which were furnishing two hundred bushels per day. He reported the fact and applied for instructions to Rear Admiral Lardner, but the next mail steamer passing without communication, Capt. Couthouy considered it his duty to assume the responsibility of destroying so important and valuable a source of supply to the enemy. On the 8th of September he accordingly proceeded with his vessel to within 1600 yards of the shore, where she had but eight inches of water under her bottom, and sent a note on shore, allowing the rebels 2 hours for placing their persons in security.

The woods were then shelled to disperse a party of eighty mounted guerillas who were lurking in the vicinity, and a detachment of forty men was sent to destroy the works, which was done in the most effectual manner. The property destroyed consisted of two steam pumping engines (one new from the foundry); one fire engine, also used for pumping; two plate iron boilers, 40 feet long, set in solid brick masonry; six other boilers, 12 feet long, set in similar manner, all of which were rendered worthless.

“The following were reduced to ashes: a wooden reservoir and a substantially constructed aqueduct 1000 feet long, supported by trestle work; seven well built dwelling frame houses; a blacksmith’s shop; two large canvas-covered cabins for the Negroes; three large army baggage wagons, with several sets of spare wheels; 160 sacks of salt and other articles essential to carrying on the works. The total value to the rebels of the property destroyed was at moderate estimate $40,000, while the injury to the Confederate government, as reported by intelligent refugees, was very severe, and created intense excitement throughout the States of Florida and Georgia, these works having been the main source on which those States relied for their supply of salt for winter provisions for their troops, and was a greater blow to the rebels than would have been the capture of 20,000 prisoners.

“The Kingfisher remained at St. Joseph’s Bat until her supply of provisions was reduced to four days’ rations, when she proceeded too Key West. On arriving there on the 10th inst., there was not a day’s provisions on board. The yellow fever was still prevalent at Key West, there being some thirty cases on the vessels in the harbor. After laying in supplies, the Kingfisher proceeded, under orders from Rear Admiral Lardner, to Boston, sailing on the 12th inst., and after encountering several severe gales, anchored off the Navy Yard at 3 o’clock on the morning of the 26th. The health of the crew has been remarkably good.”


Political Biographies.

We take from two of our New York contemporaries the following rival “biographical notices” of one of the candidates for Congress in that city:

“Capt. Duffy, born in Ireland, migrated to this city twenty-five years ago, entered a leading commercial house, and by industry and probity gradually rose to a high position in it. Quitting it after long service on the retirement from business of its head, he was appointed consul to Galway, and there bore an active and efficient part in establishing a steamship mail between that port and this city. Returning after a short sojourn, he engaged in business on his own account, which he still pursues. He volunteered for the defence of the capital as an officer of the Sixty-ninth, and bore his part in its first term of service. He has devoted much time to our public schools, &c., &c., &c.”


“Capt. Duffy—Daffy for short—born in the Emerald Isle, emigrated twenty-five years ago. He began life here as a bar-tender, and gradually acquired a skill in the mixture of cocktails and other recondite beverages, and in the making of change, which well qualifies him for discussing the political problems of this crisis, and for the financial measures upon which a New York representative should speak the voice of the nation. He has since acquired a grog-shop or two of his own, and got on the board of school trustees of his ward. In the latter place he improves the children of the parents—in the former the parents of the children.”


, 1862

An Account of the Merrimac No. 2 by a Released Prisoner.

Fortress Monroe, Oct. 28.—A man who says he was taken prisoner by the rebels several months ago, and who finally succeeded in obtaining his release, furnishes the following account of the Merrimac No. 2:

I have been in Richmond for some time. During my stay I went on board the Merrimac No. 2. She is strongly and heavily clad in iron and in every way a tough customer. She has been completed about a month and has made several trips to Fort Darling. She has yet but one gun on board, but the other guns for her were all ready. When I left, the rebels were about putting the remaining guns on board, and they intended to have them all mounted in three weeks. She can and will easily make 8 miles an hour.

The rebels have every confidence in her capabilities, and she is certain to prove a success. When the people of the north hear that she is a failure—that the rebels declare her to be so—then they may expect her too come out and do all the damage she can. The intention of the Confederates is to delude and deceive as much as possible, so as to take us napping. It was for this reason that a rebel officer made the remark that the obstructions in James river at Fort Darling had all been removed, evidently conveying the idea that they had been removed to let the Merrimac out.


The “Laughing Gas.”—During this critical period in the nation’s history, when “the air is full of farewells” for the departing and the dead, many people turn away from all amusements as from things inappropriate and forbidden. Of course some allowance must be made for individual tastes, but a general asceticism would be a  grave mistake. We need some innocent reaction against the pressure of deprivation, anxiety and sorrow. We need relaxation from the perpetual strain. We need perfect health of body and mind, and cheerfulness is the most potent member of the “Sanitary Commission.” We need clear heads and sound judgments, and for that purpose there must be relief and variety of mental occupation. We cannot long think healthily upon any subject if we think of that subject alone. He who devotes his whole mind to the state of the country will soon cease to think of it as he ought.

We must have the relief of amusements, but of what kind? They should in no case be expensive. Every dollar wasted in these times bears the strain of blood. They should involve no pernicious indulgences, no wasting vigils, no enervating luxuries of food or drink. They are to be accepted and sought as means of health and vigor, not of exhaustion and fatigue. They should give us refreshment, not dissipation. They should be free from the taint of immorality. We want freedom and playfulness as a moral tonic, not as a debilitating poison; and when it is such a tonic, the more we have of it, the better.

Cr. Colton’s exhibition of the Laughing Gas would come under the above head. It furnishes a very rich fund of amusement at a moderate rate, and is admirably managed by one who has made this branch of science a special subject of study and thought. We have no doubt that Dr. C.’s entertainments will be  as liberally patronized here as they have been in all our other large cities.


Maimed Soldiers Belonging to the New England States.—Soldiers who have lost their legs will be glad to learn that the Surgeon General of the United States has authorized Palmer & Co., of Boston, the justly celebrated artificial leg manufacturers, to furnish legs to all who elect to accept “Palmer Legs.” It is almost unnecessary for us to add that this firm has acquired not only a national but a European reputation for the excellence of their work; and all who require artificial legs should know that in procuring a “Palmer Leg” they get the only really reliable limb that is made, others being to a great extent imperfect imitations.—Boston Journal.

Pay of Discharged and Disabled Soldiers.—An order in regard to the procurement of back pay and bounties to discharged soldiers has been issued by the War Department, which is so interwoven with red tape that if the friends of a discharged or dead soldier get from the government what was due him without spending more money than the amount of the claim, they may consider themselves fortunate. Here is the order:

1st—The identity of the soldier must be proved.

2d—Heirs and representatives must show that they are such. In these cases, the proof may be by affidavits from creditable and disinterested persons, certified to be such by an acting justice or notary, whose official character should also be made to appear.

3d—When an agent acts, he must produce his authority in each individual case, complete with the proof of the party who empowers him in the manner above indicated.

4th—When the object is to obtain pay or allowances, the application must be made to the officer of the government, under whose direction payment would be made. When this officer is satisfied on the right of the claimant, he will call on the Adjutant General for any information necessary to perfect the claim, which, if found in the records, will be furnished to him, but not to the party concerned.

5th—When the affidavits or other evidence proceed from a foreign country, the official character of the magistrate or acting officer before whom they were taken must be verified by a Minister or Consul of the United States resident in the country where such evidence originated, verification in all cases under the hand and official seal of such Minister or Consul.

6th—Application for certificates under the seal of the War Department, to be used in foreign countries, will only be entertained when coming from the highest representative of the foreign country, through the Department of State. All facts connected with the subject of inquiry should be communicated, particularly the full name, rank, regiment and company, of the soldier when last heard from, and the name of the officer under whom he served.

L. Thomas, Adjutant General.


The Memphis Bulletin of the 20th of October says that the previous day a woman was accosted while passing the lines in a carriage. She was desired to alight, and did so with evident difficulty. The guard was suspicious, and turned her over to the attentions of a female, an intelligent contraband, by whose attention she was safely relieved of a girdle passing round her waist, from which depended, by strings, no less than twelve pairs of boots; each boot contained bottles of whiskey, or military lace, and other articles much wanted in Dixie. Another was detected with five gallons of brandy concealed under her crinoline. There is much smuggling done by the secesh women of Memphis.

NOVEMBER 1, 1862


New England Patriotism.

The tax-gatherers are fast at work throughout New England, calling together the tribute money of a loyal people. As yet the word is obeyed promptly and cheerfully, all parties vying with each other in making the sacrifices which the hour demands. Those who prophesied an outbreak and northern revolution as soon as taxes should be levied, have found their calculations a mistake. The people of New England were never more cordial in their hatred of rebellion, and never more resolved in their determination to put it down, than they are at the present time. As proof of this, Vermont and Maine have sent their last men under both calls, and Massachusetts has her nine months regiments in complete marching order. If a third call should come at once, the response would be hearty and prompt. The burden rests heavily upon many portions of New England, especially as the cost of provisions is speedily increasing till some necessary articles are almost out of the reach of the laboring classes. But there is no murmur. All are content to be pressed down and to suffer, if but the great work of punishing treason may be finished up. The regiments in camp at Greenfield, Pittsfield and in this city have been reviewed by the governor during the week. He expressed himself highly pleased with all three, and thought they might be got off during the coming week.


Foreign Affairs.

The rumors of foreign intervention are growing in frequency and plausibility again, and there can be no doubt that considerable uneasiness about the prospect is felt in official circles. The language used by Mr. Gladstone, saying that Jeff Davis had founded a nation, is regarded as looking towards recognition, and various movements in England and France are interpreted to mean no good to the United States. It is certain that the president’s emancipation proclamation has not been received abroad with that favor which we had reason to expect it would be, from the great hue and cry that has formerly been made about slavery. The English papers profess to see in it a scheme to excite a servile insurrection in the South, and say it will be the duty of foreign governments to interfere in such a case. If something is not accomplished before the 1st of January, it looks now as though England and France would try and make us trouble. But we are confident that something will be done before that time, and that all these rumors will blow over as numerous similar ones have since the war commenced.


Other Expeditions.

Gen. Banks is at New York, organizing a powerful expedition for the South, to which several of the last New England regiments are assigned. There are hints that its destination is Texas, but nobody knows, and it may be Charleston instead. But there are to be active operations in Texas, and Galveston has already been taken by our fleet, and will be held as a center of operations. The rebels spiked their guns in the fort at Sabine Pass and evacuated it., and we now hold that point. The Sabine river forms the boundary between Texas and Louisiana, and is the avenue through which a great deal of smuggling was carried on by way of Mexico. Its capture must seriously cripple the rebels. Corpus Christi has also been bombarded. The occupation of Texas will cut off the trade of the rebels with Europe through Mexican ports, which ahs been quite large in spite of the difficulties if land transportation. Com. Farragut’s fleet is at Pensacola awaiting orders to attack Mobile, and there are various other naval expeditions planned, from which we shall doubtless soon hear important and gratifying accounts. One of the small but important recent naval achievements is the destruction of the rebel salt works on the coast of Florida.

The Cotton Famine Abating.—The London Daily News of the 6th has an article on the cotton supply, in which it argues that it is already evident that the world is to be supplied with cotton independent of the slave states of America. It says:

“At the end of last week the cargoes from India began to arrive. Upward of 10,000 bales from Bombay came in during three days, and the quantity from that port actually at sea and at Liverpool was found to be about 397,000 bales; so that Mr. Villiers, whose promises were held to be rash when he spoke of 400,000 bales, appears to be fully justified in the hopefulness of his tone. The next disclosure was, that we have a prospect of a supply, in 1863, of 1,630,000 out of the 4,000,000, which is the largest quantity desired at the ordinary rate of prices. This amount will be just double the quantity used per week for the last three months; and thus it would seem that the worst must be past. At the recent high prices, the weekly average taken by the trade has been 15,278, and the promised supply, independent of any change in American affairs, will yield 31,346 bales per week. The sources of this supply are India, the Brazils, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, chance cargoes from America, and ‘other sources;’ These ‘other sources’ are credited with only 25,000. Considering that the West Indies are included under this head, it is reasonable to hope that the supply may turn out to have been underrated even for the coming season. The reports from Jamaica are in the highest degree encouraging, both as to the flourishing condition of the growing crop and the rapid increase of the area devoted to cotton. In Guiana and Demarara the proprietors are setting heartily to work to procure the requisite labor, which may probably be supplied from the United States. Agricultural machinery of the highest order has been sent to Porto Rico, which is expected to supply a large quantity, not less than the produce of 2,000 acres, next year, and the quality of the West Indian cotton is declared to be scarcely short of the highest rates of American. Already we see that, as time passes on, we find ourselves under the process of being weaned from our obstinate reliance on the slave states; and from month to month we shall learn to give up the irrational hope of any settlement in America which can restore the old state of affairs.”

1 Unsure what the letter “a” between two prices indicates; assume it is used to express a range, as we today would write “$10 to $15.”

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