, 1862

Letter from New York.
(Special Correspondence of the Picayune)

New York, Nov. 19, 1862.

Gen. Burnside has selected Fredericksburg (when he takes it) as his base of operations in preparing for a march upon Richmond, which, it is said, is to be undertaken by way of the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad. His supplies are to be received from Washington and Aquia Creek, which latter place was taken possession of by the Federals a few days since.

The friends of the administration anticipate the best results from this change of base, but those with whom I have conversed, and who know the condition of affairs in Virginia well, as also the particular portion of country through which Gen. Burnside proposes to march, assert with the utmost confidence that his campaign will be a failure. Indeed, this opinion is already confirmed by private advices from the army itself, which intimate that the prospects are far from flattering.

But then, the successor of McClellan must do something, and I dare say that Gen. Burnside is doing all that it is possible for him to do. The Shenandoah valley route to Richmond he saw enough of while acting under the “Young Napoleon” to convince him that the prize did not lay in that direction, and he has accordingly chosen the route via Fredericksburg.

Gen. Burnside, since his appointment as the successor of McClellan, has not hesitated to state publicly that he had rather the choice would have fallen upon another, and if his wish was gratified, he would retire from the command immediately. In his recent interview with Halleck he let himself our pretty freely, for when the latter urged upon him the importance of a speedy advance, for both military and political reasons, Burnside replied that in his position as a soldier, he had nothing whatever to do with politics, but as a military man he would do the best in his power. The remark rather amazed Halleck, and ever since there have been mysterious rumors that another change of commanders was inevitable, with the probabilities in favor of Fremont. Indeed, bets are offered that he will be in command within 30 days.

The arrest of a portion of McClellan’s officers at Trenton, you were advised of by the Creole; it is said to have been in consequence of a violation of orders, which permits only a certain number of the staff to accompany their general, whereas, in the present instance, some half dozen came on to Trenton with him. The extra officers were therefore arrested, and sent back to their quarters in the field.

The removal of McClellan is now known to have been the work of Messrs. Stanton and Halleck, and the important event was clearly foreshadowed in an extract from one of our papers, which you published nearly a month since. There [are] those who believe he will yet be recalled to his old position, but I apprehend that will only be when the efforts of the whole catalogue of generals shall have been exhausted.

I hear that a powerful effort is being made to induce the President to divert the Southern expeditions now fitting out, from their original points of attack, and concentrate them all in James river, for a combined assault upon the batteries that line its banks. If these can be carried, the advocates of this measure assert that Richmond will certainly be ours in a short time after, and then Mobile, Charleston and Savannah can be attended to. I am of the opinion, however, that the President will think twice before he says “Yes” to this proposition. The reminiscences of that particular locality and especially of the powerful battery (Fort Darling) on Drury’s Bluff, from which the Monitor, Naugatuck and others recoiled, are not such as would warrant a second visit there, unless certain success was promised at the outset. The Administration, and every one else of common sense, knows that the James river route is the shortest and most feasible to the rebel stronghold, but the fact that it has been studiously avoided is ample proof, I think, that there is a lion in the path.

Confederate Privateers.—The New York Journal of Commerce, of the 12th ult., says:

The foreign mail contains further reports respecting the movements of Confederate steamers. The London Star says it is known that, besides the Alabama, “as many as nine other ships are being built or equipped in British harbors for the service of the Confederates,” and the Danish ship Jupiter, arrived at Plymouth, England, reports, Oct. 14, lat. 41 N., long. 58.30 W. of Greenwich, was fired at by a ship carrying the Confederate flag. “The vessel was an iron screw steamship, mounted with six guns, three on each side, English built, about 700 or 800 tons burthen, three masts, schooner rigged; on the main and foremasts a small top-sail and topgallantsail, long lower mast, black painted outside, round stern.” These pests need watching.


The Federal Army.—The New York Tribune, of the 22d ult., says:

The estimates for the expenses of our army for the ensuing year are set down at four hundred and twenty-eight millions of dollars. The requisitions upon the Paymaster’s department still unpaid amount to forty-eight millions. According to the reports in the Adjutant General’s office, the number of soldiers on the sick list at this moment amounts to nearly one-sixth of the entire army in the service of the United States—namely, one hundred and six thousand men.


A Washington dispatch states that resolutions were passed at a meeting of chaplains recently, requesting the Secretary of War to allow each chaplain in the army a chapel tent to hold religious services. The request was not granted, on the ground that such a tent would be an unnecessary encumbrance to a moving army.


The Paris correspondent of the London Globe says that the spinners of cotton at Rouen have obtained a supply of cotton from the mattresses and bedding stuffed with that article in every household.


DECEMBER 8, 1862

Plot to Burn the Bridges of the State Road Detected.

We have before us a letter addressed by an officer of the State Road at Dalton to Mr. E. B. Walker, the Master of Transportation at this place, from which we make the following extract:

“The news was brought here this morning (Dec. 1st) that some four or five men have been arrested in and near Ringgold. It seems that one of these men was playing the idiot, when some persons had him arrested and pretended they were going to hang him, when, terrified, he said he would reveal all he knew. It had been planned, he said, to burn the bridges of the State Road on Monday night next; that, in all, there were twenty-one of them to do this work. Upon this revelation, the citizens generally had turned out in search of the party. I now await further information, and have notified our watch to increase their vigilance. I understand by Mr. Lochman, two men, pretendedly idiots, have been arrested to-day at Resacca, and have sent word by the down train to hold them.”

It is more than probable that the plot referred to above and others similar to it, do exist, and will be attempted to be executed at some time, while the enemy are near to us in North Alabama and in Tennessee. The destruction of the bridges of the State Road would be, to the Abolitionists hovering near the Georgia line in those two States, worth more than a victory over fifty thousand of our best troops in either of those States. The advantage to them, and the loss to the Confederacy, cannot be calculated. Hence, the most vigilance of an active, reliable, and strong force is required to keep off the bridge burners during this winter and the coming spring. The Lincoln Government, and its General now in command of the Tennessee forces, Rosencrans, would not hesitate a moment to give any reward demanded to any set of rascals who would destroy the bridges of the State Road. The guard now on duty to protect them is too small. It should be largely increased, and made as efficient as possible.—Atlanta Intelligencer.


The Floridians Preparing for the Abolition Colonization Scheme.—The Tallahassee Sentinel of the 1st inst. says:

There is pending before the Senate an important Militia bill—which will probably pass in some shape the general Assembly. We have not seen the bill and cannot explain its details; but we have understood that it is as it ought to be, quite stringent in its provisions. Its object, as we understand, is to put every man and boy between the ages of 16 and 60 years in the service. We mean by that, that all persons between those ages are, except for cause, to be enrolled and held subject to the order of the Governor. The bill contemplates an immediate organization of the Militia, and imposes heavy fines upon officers and privates for non-performance of the duties required. The object seems to be to make the bill efficient, otherwise its passage would be useless. That some such measure as is now before the Senate will pass the General Assembly, we have the best reasons for believing.

The Cćsars.

The Governor’s seizers of clothing and clothing material for the soldiers were busy in Macon yesterday; and we need not say that their advent and operations produced universal discontent among dealers. The resolution for impressment, as it was amended by the House, provides, as we understand, for “just compensation” for the goods seized, and therefore ought to hold the seizee harmless of any actual pecuniary loss upon them. The misfortune, as to holders, however, is the interruption and stoppage of all their regular business—the forcible annulment of contracts they have entered into, even in many cases with soldiers in the field, and the entire insecurity which everybody feels who finds his purse, store, stock, business and property at the mercy of the public. As unwelcome, however, as is such a condition of things, it is better to acquiesce gracefully. Let us all remember that thousands of citizens of the Confederate States are now being violently dispossessed of their all, without compensation, by the invading hordes of the Federals, and the same fate would befall each and every one of us, but for the protection of our gallant army, which it is the obligation of these seizures to clothe. We regard the movement as an ill-advised one, and likely, like all violent proceedings of the kind, to end in seriously impairing the ability of the State to accomplish the object it is designed to secure. Far better it would have been to have made contracts for clothing and clothing material on the best terms the case would admit of, and enlisted the hearty co-operation of all the people in the good work. But the Legislature did not think so, and now it is the duty and interest of all to submit. Surely, we in Georgia, are least of all entitled to complain of losses and sacrifices necessary to secure independence.


It used to be said that we had no mechanics in this country; but it can’t be said now. The conscript act is working wonders in that respect, and shoemakers, tanners, foundry men, coopers, blacksmiths, wagon makers, mill wrights, iron-makers, &c., are multiplying rapidly. And not less remarkable is the fact that mechanical occupations covered by the exemption act have suddenly attained a degree of respectability they never possessed before in the estimation of some very clever people. We shall soon be a community of artisans. The conscript act is certainly supplying the South with a great many useful mechanics that would not have known anything about trade under any other circumstances—in short, they would have been shocked if you had talked with them about such matters.—Augusta Chronicle.


From Richmond.

The Yankee gunboats proceeded up the Rappahannock river to-day, and when opposite Port Royal our batteries opened on them. The Yankees returned the fire. No further particulars.

Burnside seems to be following the occupation of his predecessors. He has taken to ditching on the other side of the Rappahannock in the mud, and does not venture across for fear of falling on a Lee shore with a Stonewall in his rear.

, 1862

By Telegraph to Evening Papers.

A portion of Burnside’s army has crossed the Rappahannock at Front Royal. The rebel camp fires in front of Falmouth have almost all disappeared, yet all the fords are well guarded.

A lady who came over the river on Sunday says the rebel army is in a most destitute condition, fully one-third being without shoes.

Three rebel schooners while attempting to run the blockade into Wilmington, N. C., on Wednesday last were captured by the U.S. steamers Cambridge and Mount Vernon. They were from Nassau. But another, with 540 bags of salt, ran the blockade.

The native North Carolina Union troops who belong to the native organization, strenuously insist upon the vigorous enforcement of [the] confiscation and emancipation acts of Congress.

A special dispatch from Washington states that six of our pickets in the army of the Potomac were frozen to death on Saturday night while at Camp Misery, Alexandria. Seven more died from the effects of the cold.


From Washington.

The bill introduced in the House by Mr. Van Wyck proposes a monthly addition of $3 to privates and $5 to farriers, blacksmiths, musicians and non-commissioned officers. His bill for immediate compensation for clothing lost in the service provides for the payment of the same on the next pay roll, and making provision also for soldiers in hospitals and those discharged.

Mr. Hickman’s bill provides for enlisting 100 regiments of Negroes, to be uniformed in a distinct manner, and enlisting them for seven years or less; privates to receive $6.50 per month, non-commissioned officers the same pay as in the Regular Army; commissioned officers, either white or colored, to be graduates of colleges, and receive the pay of the same rank in the Regular Army. The bill also provides for a line of steamers to run between New York and Liberia, touching at Norfolk and Port Royal, to carry such freed men as desire to migrate. It also gives the proceeds of confiscated rebel property to carry out the provisions of the bill.


Paper Stock.—E. G. Squier, in the New York Tribune, recommends for the manufacture of paper the thousands of tons of flax now lying outside the oil mills in Ohio, Illinois and other places, which have literally been thrown away after the extraction of the oil from the seed. Of these rejected stalks about one-fourth part in weight is first-rate paper stock. He estimates that in the two States of Ohio and Illinois, 55,000 tons of flax raised this year for seed and oil and thrown to waste, might be converted into paper. Properly broken and cleaned, this aggregate would yield 14,000 tons of the very best paper stock in the world, equal to two-thirds of the total amount of rags hitherto imported annually, and equal in value, at the present price of paper stock to nearly $2,000,000.

New machinery now exists, simple, cheap, portable and easily managed, which is destined to work an entire revolution in the production and manufacture of flax. The want of such machinery has hitherto rendered flax-raising not so profitable as it would be now. This machine will easily clean a ton of flax-straw per day, and it requires but little skill to work it. These suggestions, we hope, will induce some of our shrewd Yankees to look about them and see if they can’t make fortunes themselves out of flax-straw, and at the same time confer a benefit on the country.

Crinolines and Aldermen.—During the hearing of a case at the Guildhall, London, Alderman Hale asked what number of yards of steel was contained in a crinoline which had been stolen. The reply of a witness was, “only seven yards, because they are small, but the largest size contains as many as 25 yards.” Alderman Hale: No wonder ladies monopolize the whole of the pavement. These crinolines are most dangerous things. It was only a short time ago I was thrown down by them in passing two ladies, who occupied the whole of the pavement. Alderman Humphrey met with a similar accident not long since, and narrowly escaped serious injuries. The owner of the crinoline made off as soon as she perceived she had knocked him down.  


Whereabouts of Little Crow.—The Band Preparing for a Vigorous Attack—The Commissioner of Indian Affairs has had laid before him by Senator Rice a letter from an intelligent correspondent, dated St. Paul, Nov. 23, giving the whereabouts and intentions of that daring and dangerous chief, Little Crow, and urging the propriety of a winter campaign for the purpose of driving him from his position.

He was discovered by this correspondent’s party, encamped with about 1200 Sioux warriors, near Devil’s Lake, situated 80 miles from St. Joseph’s and about 200 miles from Abercrombie.

A council was held, and among other things revealed by Little Crow, was the fact that, expecting to have about 3500 men by spring, through acquisitions from the Gros Ventre and Missouri Indians, he intended a vigorous attack at that time. The writer says that Devil’s Lake is a most advantageous position, and a great stronghold for defence, and unless Little Crow be dislodged before spring, he will be able to arrange a campaign in comparison with which our Indian war thus far has been mere child’s play.

Senator Rice endorses the views of the writer with regard to a vigorous winter campaign, as does also Commissioner Dole.—Washington Republican.  


Riotous Proceedings Among Soldiers.—New York, Dec. 6. —Considerable trouble has occurred within the past few days at the camp on the Union Course, said to have arisen from complaints that the food furnished by the contractor was poorly cooked, &c. Demonstrations on the part of the troops ensued, during which a poor woman’s house was burned down, the fences of the Course burned and general terror spread throughout the neighborhood. A portion of Col. Marsh’s regiment had a disgraceful row at a drinking house in East New York, during which it is stated that one soldier was shot dead and another wounded, when the soldiers retired for reinforcements. During their absence, the man who kept the place removed his family and escaped. The soldiers soon returned and set fire to his house, burning it to the ground, after possessing themselves of all the liquors, over which they held a carousal. An officer sent out by Gen. Andrews on Sunday to ascertain the facts found very few commissioned officers on the ground, and the men in a very uproarious state. Most of the officers were at the hotels in this city or had gone home. A house in which 16 tons of ammunition were stored was razed to the ground during their demonstrations, but not an officer, it is stated, endeavored to prevent, but rather encouraged the men in their riotous doings.  

, 1862

Great Battle in Arkansas!
24,000 Rebels Routed!

Battle-field near Fayetteville, Ark., Dec. 8.—Gen. Heron’s forces, en route to reinforce Gen. Blunt, met the enemy yesterday on Crawford’s Prairie, ten miles south of Fayetteville, Ar., and won a decisive victory. The enemy were 24,000 strong, divided into four divisions, under Gens. Parsons, Marmaduke, Frost and Rains—all under Gen. Hindman, and embraced the flower of the rebel Trans-Mississippi army. Supplied with 18 pieces of artillery, the enemy flanked Gen. Blunt’s position at Cane Hill, and made a sudden attack on Gen. Heron to prevent their junction. Gen. Heron’s force consisted of the 94th and 31st Ill., the 19th and 20th Iowa, 26th Indiana, 20th Wisconsin, and a battalion or two of cavalry—in all 6,500 or 7,000 men, with 24 pieces of artillery. The battle raged from 10 a.m. till dark and was desperately fought throughout. Our artillery drove the rebels from two strong positions, and kept their overwhelming numbers at bay. The 20th Wisc., captured a rebel battery of four heavy guns, but were forced to abandon them under a murderous fire. The 19th Iowa also took the same battery, and fought most desperately, but were also obliged to yield it. Almost every regiment distinguished itself. About 4 o’clock Gen. Blunt arrived from Cane Hill with 5,000 men and a strong force of artillery. He attacked the rebels in the rear. The rebels made desperate efforts to capture his batteries, but were repulsed with terrible slaughter. We held the whole field at dark, and before nine o’clock that night the entire rebel force were in full retreat over Groton Mountains. Our loss in killed and wounded was 600; the rebel loss was 1500, by their own admission. Several rebel field officers were killed—among them Col. Stein. Only a few prisoners were taken. We captured four caissons filled with ammunition. Lt. Col. McFarland of the 13th Iowa was the only field officer killed on our side. Maj. Hubbard of the 1st Mo. Cavalry was captured.


It appears from information derived from the Navy Department, that the proceeds from seizures which have been made by the Navy amount to about forty millions of dollars—nearly enough to defray the entire expense of the Department, thereby making it self-sustaining. The amount expended last year was forty-one millions.


Icy Sidewalks.—The present condition of the sidewalks in some parts of the city render it extremely doubtful, when one is walking, whether he will return without a broken or sprained limb. In many places the walks were not cleaned after the late snow storm, and children have improved the chance to make a nice sliding or miniature skating pond. Won’t the police have an eye to the matter, and cause icy walks to be cleared, or at least sifted over with sand or ashes.


The Indian Troubles Again.

St. Paul, Dec. 8.—A body of 150 citizens, armed with hatchets, knives and other weapons, forced their way through the guard with the avowed purpose of murdering the Indian prisoners confined at Camp Lincoln, Mankato, but were surrounded, captured, and released on parole.

The governor issues a proclamation urging the people of Minnesota not to throw away their good name by acts of lawlessness; that the people have just causes of complaint at the tardiness of executive action, but ought to find reason for forbearance in the absorbing cares which weigh upon the President. If he declines to punish them then the case come already within the jurisdiction of the civil authorities.

Louis Napoleon’s American Designs.

The French Emperor is evidently hostile to the United States. No professions of friendship can disguise the fact that his late attempt at mediation grew out of no good will to the parties in whose behalf he volunteered his services. The terms of the proposed intervention, under flimsy disguises, point directly to the permanent dismemberment of the Union. He wished to secure the co-operation of Great Britain and Russia, in order to compel this Government to yield obedience to his exactions. With three powerful empires in readiness to enforce the demands for peace, he believed that the United States would submit, however reluctantly, to the dictation of overwhelming forces. He proposed an armistice of six months, so as to allow the belligerents to confer together and arrange the terms of settlement. Meanwhile all military operations were to be suspended.

Every one in Europe and America readily sees that all the advantages of such an arrangement rest with the South. While the salve States send abroad the cotton crop and replenish their exhausted stores, the million of armed men at the North must be supported in idleness or disbanded. If kept together, our volunteer force, which enlisted from no natural thirst for war, but for the sole purpose of preserving the nation, would become rapidly demoralized, and at the expiration of the armistice would be found in sad plight to renew the conflict. While statesmen were negotiating, all the material advantages gained by eighteen months fighting would be lost to the Union cause. The rebels, as Napoleon well knows, are deadly opposed to re-Union. At the conference proposed in the terms of mediation, they would not for a moment listen to any propositions for peace, except such as every patriotic supporter of the Government would indignantly spurn. Nothing but extreme disaster and suffering can bring them back under the old regimen.

The question of most interest to us in this connection is, will Napoleon hereafter desist from his machinations? He will not willingly. It is not his nature to do things by halves, or recede from positions once taken. If he believed the step safe, no one doubts his disposition to take part against us even alone.

He is now collecting an immense fleet in the Gulf of Mexico, and a large army in the neighborhood of Vera Cruz, ostensibly to operate against the Mexican republic. If a convenient pretext arises, this force can be thrown upon the Southern coast of the United States.

Very little glory and few material advantages are to be won in Mexico. The prize is by no means worth the grand preparations mad for its capture. The only safe course for the United States is to frustrate the evil designs of Napoleon by speedily putting the rebellion beyond the reach of aid.


Rebel Forebodings.

Newbern via Fortress Monroe, Dec. 5th.—Great dissatisfaction exists in the interior, and the impression prevails there, that a victory by Burnside will be followed by the abandonment of the border States, including North Carolina and Tennessee.

The Charlestonians have pulled up all their lead pipes, contributing 6,000 pounds to the rebel government.




We have not made so much progress in crushing the rebellion during the year as we had anticipated, though much has been done. Our want of greater success is owing to several causes. In the first place there has been a lack of Statesmanship. Our most intelligent and most experienced public men did not understand at the outset the power and magnitude of the conspiracy to overthrow the government, and of course they were ignorant of the means and resources necessary to overthrow the conspiracy. They had to be educated, and the knowledge and experience which they have gained in conducting the war thus far, have probably by this time given them a better, if not a full understanding of the gigantic nature of the rebellion, and of the means and resources necessary to end it. Even Mr. Seward, who so often predicted the end of the war in a few weeks, must by this time have a better knowledge of our affairs than he has had. And the President is evidently wiser in the matter than he was six months ago. The education of our statesmen has been a costly one for the country, but it was unavoidable.

In the second place the country has suffered from a want of Generalship. Gen. Scott, who had won a great reputation as a skillful and successful Commander, either on account of the infirmities of age, or his near alliance with persons of secesh proclivities, who were likely to divulge his plans to the rebels, showed himself incompetent for the difficult task of conducting the operations of or immense armies. There was no other man of like experience with him to whom the country could look. We had younger men of promise and military education, but they had never been called to conduct warfare on a large scale, and they too must be tried, must be educated to the work. The conduct of the war thus far has shown that the men in the ranks were not wanting. They have been found “true as steel.” It is the commanders who have failed. But this deficiency is being remedied. Our Generals as well as our statesmen have been at school, and they have learned much. We know better now than we did a year ago who are capable and who are not. Many line officers who have failed in duty have already been dismissed, and more we presume will share their fate. And now three officers of the highest rank are under court martial on various charges, which looks as though our chief commanders are in the future to be held to a strict account for the faithful discharge of their duties. The evil then of incompetent leaders for our armies is diminishing, and we are in future to have more experienced and better educated officers to lead our men in battle. This education has been expensive to the country, but it was unavoidable.


The Delay at Fredericksburg.—The Washington correspondent of the New York Times says: “It is no longer a question that the army of the Potomac owes its failure to cross the Rappahannock promptly, on its arrival, to inexcusable delay in the furnishing of pontoon bridges and means of transportation. From this cause, the most magnificent military movement of the war, and one which, if promptly executed, could scarcely fail of success, has been ruined in its first step; and the army on which, more than any –other, depends the hope of the nation, again placed in a critical position, necessitating an entire change in the programme for its operations. Once in possession of Fredericksburg, and beyond the river, the army would have found a country whose roads are rather improved than injured by the rain; and no one doubts that a continuation of their first rapidity of movement would have practically taken the enemy by surprise, and enabled them to enter Richmond beyond the power of the rebels to prevent.”


Mexico, Germany, Holland, France, England and Russia have abolished slavery, and this country alone, of all the great nations of the earth, is the upholder of bondage. It is an unenviable position.

Slave Insurrection.—The Washington correspondent of the Independent gives the following views of the President on the probability of a slave insurrection under his recent proclamation:

In discussing the whole subject, the President gave evidence of much thought upon it; and some of his ideas were original and startling. One of them I will allude to in detail. Mr. Lincoln said that he had often thought of the narrow escape of the South from a general slave insurrection the winter after the election of 1856. The Fremont campaign, as is well known, was followed by one attempt at insurrection in Tennessee. The slave masters of the South charged the Republicans upon the stump with desiring the freedom of the slaves; and not only that but with a purpose, if Fremont was elected, of forcibly setting the slaves free. The slaves all over the South were full of discontent at the defeat of the Republicans. This discontent in some localities came near to developing into open insurrection.

This fact made a deep impression upon the mind of the President, and he told Mr. Casey that the slaves of the South understood fully now, as they have never understood before, that the Northern people are friendly to their freedom. Whether they are mistaken or not, the whole slave population of the South expects its freedom at our hands. These black millions are waiting patiently for their time to come, and if the war ends without giving them their freedom, they will take it! This was the idea of the President, and it strikes me as a very important one. It is therefore, says Mr. Lincoln, a mercy to all parties concerned to take the matter into their own hands, for we can control it. The slaves in their anger, should the war end without giving them freedom, will burst out into cruel insurrection. Such an insurrection would very probably be accompanied with great atrocities, as the slaves would act from a feeling of bitter disappointment. Not so now. Now they have every inducement in the world to wait and act as the Government shall teach them.


The French and Mexican Troubles.—Whether such is the design of Napoleon III, or not, the fact remains the same, that the invasion of Mexico by the French is already beginning to have its effect upon our country. During the past week or two the affairs of Mexico have attracted much attention in the northern states, There are in our army many foreign offices who view war as a profession to which they have been bred and instructed, for which they have a decided partiality, and in which they feel disposed to take part whenever they get a favorable opportunity. The high pay of the United States service has attracted these warriors to our army, where they have done faithful duty. At the same time they are willing to better themselves if they can, and there is reason to believe that they look to the Mexican army for their desired promotion. Overtures have been made by Mexican agents, and favorable answers sent by officers now in the United States service. One military man, originally from Germany, in his reply says that he can furnish from his native land two thousand troops at a few weeks’ notice.

There was a rumor in the city yesterday that the federal authorities had seized several French transports fitting out in this port with supplies for the French army in Mexico; and if this be true, it may open a question with the French government which will still further direct attention to the Mexican complications.—N. Y. Evening Post.


A Sewing Machine, enclosed in a case about even inches square and two inches thick, can be sold for $5. It sews a running stitch. The needle is stationary and the cloth is corrugated and crowded upon the needle by a pair of wheels, the needle passing through the folds, and then the cloth is drawn along by hand upon the thread. This machine is designed especially for thin goods, which cannot be sewn well with the ordinary machine. A person with one of these machines could do about seven times the work that can be done by hand.—Scientific American.

, 1862

Be Patient.

One of the greatest faults of the American is impatience. Whatever he undertakes, whatever he expects, he wants to see moving towards a finish at once. When this war first broke out the whole North and West rose en masse with a fire that bid fair to burn brightly for years amid all the discouraging gloom of defeat, with a steadiness and a constancy that would at last consume the rebellion. We often heard it said by even the most conservative of men that “we would never give up to the rebels.” It was claimed by our lawyers, ministers and statesmen who spoke to the people at our war meetings that tho’ we had less fire than the Southerners and were less ready to begin a fight, yet we would prove to have the most endurance and be the last to back out of it.

The first great battle was fought and won by the rebels. A few words of regret and then the loyal states pushed on anew. Mothers sent their sons to the war with tears in their eyes and patriotism in their hearts. Wife parted from husband, sister from brother, friend from friend—those staying and going feeling alike the great need that was upon them—the great want that lay at the heart of our country.

Other battles were fought. Some were lost and some were won. We had driven the rebels from Missouri, Kentucky, and most of Tennessee. We had driven them from the strong holds near Washington. We had shelled their towns, blown down their forts and destroyed their hopes of a speedy close of the war.

Then came the great struggle of the war. The rebels had thrown into the field nearly a million of men and we were driven back in almost every place. Again we fought in Maryland, and defeated the army of Lee. But no good came of it that could be seen by the people. In the mean time, we were getting impatient for something decisive—for some great battle that should end the matter. It began gradually to creep through our brains that so vast a territory and so many millions of people could not be put down at once—that the South with slaves at home to till the soil were about as strong as we were—that although we have the sea yet they have the foreign aid of countries that long to see us broken and divided. And then we began to hear such expressions as these: “If we cannot put the rebels down after all this fuss, let them go.” “We don’t get along, hadn’t we better compromise?” This comes, not from the sympathizers of the rebels but from men whom impatience has robbed of the needed firmness to endure years of adversity, hardship and failures. Dangers, defeats, deaths of friends, heavy taxes and enormous prices for all we have to buy have had something to do with this, but the great cause of the present despondency and want of interest in the war among the people is the natural impatience of the American mind. “We can’t see why Lincoln has not put down the rebellion,” because we cannot see that when we commenced this war we undertook a long and hard task. We forget the months spent by England and France, the grandest warlike nations on the earth, with Turkey and Sardinia to aid them, in taking one city, in Russia, and that too no stronger defended than was Yorktown when McClellan drove the rebels from it.1 We forget the awful magnitude of the war, such little matters as the taking of New Orleans, Norfolk, Suffolk, Yorktown, Port Royal, Newbern, Columbus, Memphis, Nashville, and more territory than half of Europe. We forget that we fought England seven years when we were poor and feeble and not half a strong as the South is now. >

With a blind eye to what has been done and a keen eye to what we think ought to be done, we go about wishing for “one fight that should close it up,” or else “give it up in disgust.” The South always called us “white livered;” if we don’t look out we shall prove so. We want to work and fight and hope. We want to be patient. With a firm trust in the justice of our cause we ought to be willing to fight for twenty years, and if then we crush the rebellion we may well say we have done a profitable job in a reasonable time.


A Good Fashion.—Chopping-bees, to supply wood to the families of absent soldiers, are very fashionable in Iowa.


Warning to Editors.—The 57th article of war imposes the penalty of death for “holding correspondence with, or giving intelligence to the enemy, either directly or indirectly.”


Indemnity Demanded of Great Britain.—The following is taken from Mr. Seward’s note to Mr. Adams, dated Nov. 3, 1862:

“The telegraph announces the destruction of another half-dozen American vessels on the high seas by steamer 290. The president is obliged to regard these destructions as being made by British subjects in violation of the law of nations, after repeated and ample notice, warning and remonstrance had been given by you to the British Government. It is presumed that you have already brought the subject in that light to the notice of Her Majesty’s Government. The legal proofs in support of a claim for indemnity will be collected and transmitted to you as speedily as possible.”


The shoemakers of St. Albans have struck for higher wages, and demand 25 cents per pair more than formerly for making boots. Failing to obtain their prices, they intend to form a company and open a shop in opposition to their old employers.


The President has decided to hang only ten of the Minnesota Indians at the first execution. The people are bound to have the whole lot hung, especially as the western Indians have lately been committing new barbarities.

DECEMBER 13, 1862



Our news from then army on the Rappahannock is encouraging. By an enfilading fire, the enemy were driven from the rifle-pits near the bank of the river on Thursday night, after which the construction of the pontoon bridges became an easy matter. Our forces at once crossed the river and occupied Fredericksburg, driving out the rebels at the point of the bayonet. Our army began moving over the river in force at an early hour yesterday morning. The rebels have two strong lines of batteries in the rear of the city, the first a mile and the second two miles back. At a quarter past two o’clock the enemy opened fire from the first ridge, but with apparently little effect, and their guns were at last effectually silenced. One hundred of our men were killed in the streets of Fredericksburg on Thursday night in driving out the enemy. The city, under the heavy fire of artillery, has suffered severely, and many of its finest buildings have been destroyed. Last night our men slept on their arms, the advance being three-quarters of a mile from Massaponax creek, while the enemy are in force on the opposite side. If the rebels do not retreat, a battle today seems inevitable.


Occupation of Fredericksburg.
A Battle Imminent.

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Friday, Dec. 12.—10 o’clock a.m.—After occupying the river front of the city last night we lost about 100 men in killed and wounded, while driving the rebels through the city. They fired on our men as they advanced through the streets while secreted in and behind houses. Not much mercy was shown to those who were caught.

This morning a dense fog hid everything from view, but now it is partially passing away.

The troops began moving at an early hour, Gen. Sumner’s grand division leading the way over in front of the city, to be followed by Major General Hooker’s grand division. Gen. Franklin’s grand division, which crosses nearly three miles below the city, is nearly over. At a quarter past nine the first gun was fired, the engagement lasting about half an hour, the rebels not making very spirited reply. It is thought the troops will all be over by noon.

Information received during the night and this morning from deserters and prisoners shows that the rebels have two strong lines of batteries in the rear of the city, the first one being one mile back, and the second a mile back from the first.

The whole army is in rapid motion and well concentrated. The troops are in excellent spirits and anxious to be led upon the works. The enemy have concentrated their forces, and it is believed will give battle.  Much will depend upon the result of today. All feel sanguine of success.

Dec. 12.—Evening.—At 10 o’clock this morning, the fog began to clear away, but before 11 o’clock was again thick, which continued until 2, when it entirely disappeared.

At a quarter past 2 o’clock the rebels opened with all their guns posted on the first ridge of hills. Their main fire was directed upon the city, which was filled with our troops.

More guns which were posted on the left of the ridge were opened on the larger body of troops, which crossed on the two lower bridges, and had formed in line of battle and were moving obliquely down the river fronting the Massaponax. Although several of their shells exploded, none were injured. Gen. Bayard’s cavalry, which crossed on the lower bridge, had 5 men killed while endeavoring to ascertain the enemy’s position. >

The troops which crossed below are sleeping on their arms tonight, the advance being within three-quarters of a mile of Massaponax Creek, their left resting on the Rappahannock. The enemy occupy the opposite side of the creek in force.

The guns posted on the bank this side of the river silenced the enemy’s artillery after a duel of half an hour. This ended the firing for the day.

The only damage done by the rebel shells thrown into the city was to add so much to its destruction. Nearly every house in the city has been damaged more or less by the firing of the past two days. Several splendid residences have been completely riddled, as also all the churches. The fire appeared to be directed to the most prominent edifices.

Several cases of wanton destruction of property by our troops occurred when they entered—property which could be of no use to the enemy. In many houses the furniture all remained, showing that their occupants left in haste.

Some of our troops mistook the British flag for a secesh flag and tore it from the residence of the British Consul. This morning the owner came over to recover it, and the flag was returned to him.

The main body of the army is now over the river, the balance being in position to cross at any time. There are no indications of the enemy evacuating. If he remains a battle must immediately ensue.


From San Francisco.

San Francisco, Dec. 11.—The steamer Moses Taylor sailed from Panama today with 546 passengers. Among the passengers per Golden Age are a company of 100 rangers, recruited here for a Massachusetts regiment. Eighty-nine cases of tobacco and 429 bales of wool went forward for New York.


Conquerors sometimes threaten to destroy a city and “sow its site with salt.” The rebels would be very glad to have us destroy any of their cities if we would scatter salt over the localities. In their salt famine they would value the salt more than the cities.


Amusements.—The Boston Theatre was crowded last evening to witness Mr. Booth as Sir Edward Mortimer, and as Petruchio. Into the latter character especially he seemed to put more than his usual spirit, and called forth the heartiest applause. This afternoon he appears as Richelieu, to meet a renewed public demand. On Monday, “Richard the Third” will be brought out, and we learn that much time has been devoted to its preparation that the appointments and scenery may be all that the play could require. It is imperative on all who would obtain seats for any of the early nights of the coming week to secure them today.

1 The “one city” is Sebastopol, which suffered a year-long siege in 1854-55 by the allied armies of nations mentioned. It was rather more stoutly defended than Yorktown . . .

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