, 1862

From the Schley Rifles.

The following is an extract from a letter received from a member of the Schley Rifles, 22d Regiment Georgia Volunteers, now at Fredericksburg, Virginia, dated 18th December, 1862:

“Our regiment was not in the fight with the infantry, but was supporting a battery, and was under shelling for five days; but it was an awful fight, for the Yankees charged our men nine times, and were repulsed with great slaughter. Hey have at length gone back across the Rappahannock to the north side. The battle field was six miles long, and about a half a mile wide, and for as far as my eyes could see, you could walk on dead Yankees, and not put your foot upon the ground. They are burying them under a flag of truce, and there are so many of them that they are digging pits, one and two hundred yards long, and just rolling them in. We lost comparatively few.”

We think the above gives a better idea of the real extent of the Yankee loss than any account we’ve seen. The first account states the Yankees as having five or six thousand killed and wounded. Later acknowledgements from the Northern papers put it up as high as twenty thousand, and from the above, seems nearer the mark, when, from the personal knowledge of a young soldier, “the dead lay, as far as the eye could reach, so thick that you could walk and not put your foot on the ground.” It has been, in the slaughter and the effect, “The Battle of the War.”


Serious Naval Disaster.
An Iron-Clad Destroyed in the Yazoo River by a Torpedo.

Cairo, Dec. 18.—On Friday last the gunboats Cairo, Marmora, and Signal, ascending the Yazoo river, reached a point a mile below Hayne’s Bluff, when a torpedo exploded under the Cairo, shattering her bow. She sank in fifteen minutes in forty feet of water, and cannot be raised. No lives were lost.

The Cairo was one of the first seven ironclad gunboats built for service on the Western rivers, and participated in the captures of Forts Henry and Donelson.


It is remarked, after the experience of eighteen months of warfare, that the smooth bore rifle is generally preferred by the Southern soldiers to the Enfield or Springfield. The Confederates do not believe in long shots, and seldom fire until within two hundred yards of their enemy. At this distance the constant tendency of the rifled musket is to throw its ball too high. It is asserted that, in the battles around this town, traces of the musket balls fired by the Confederates indicate an average height of from three to six feet above the ground, whereas the Federal bullets ranged at a height of from six to nine feet. There is not a question that a vast majority of the Federal bullets go high above their opponents’ heads.


It is most creditable to the Confederacy to remark how, under all the pressure of their circumstances, public liberty has never been sacrificed, the habeas corpus act never suspended. As an instance, I may mention that there are two journals published daily in this town, which animadvert upon the President and his Cabinet, and upon the Governor of Virginia, in language which could scarcely be surpassed by the New York Herald. It has been held better to put up with inconvenience of their strictures, and with the apparent manifestations of dissensions thus exhibited to the North, than to suppress or interfere with the freedom of the press. But one effect of this tolerance is observed in the fact, that nearly all the quotations copied into Northern papers, from the Richmond press, are extracted from these two journals, and the appearance of dissension, which has no real existence, is thus delusively presented to Northern eyes.

European News.
Arrival of the Steamship Scotia.
European Views of American Affairs.

New York, Dec. 19.—The Royal mail steamship Scotia from Liverpool, on the 6th instant, arrived at port this morning.

The Paris Moniteur, in a quasi-official form, alludes to the presence of a French squadron at New Orleans, which is represented to have greatly elated the disaffected population.

The London Globe thinks that the situation of America promises striking results soon.

The Times thinks the Democratic successes have rendered the Government desperate instead of daunting it; and it looks upon the last advices as the worst yet—indicating that the propagation of a servile war is about to commence.

Mr. Gladstone, in a letter to Professor Newman, denies that he has expressed any sympathy with the Southern cause or passed a eulogium on Jeff Davis. He has thought it out of his province to praise or blame in such a complicated question. He claims to be “a much better friend of the Northern Americans than those who encourage them to persevere in their hopeless and destructive enterprise.”

The French Government has concluded contracts for the supply of the army in Mexico for two years, from which a prolonged occupation of that country is inferred.

The cotton famine distress in France was increasing in severity.



Late from the United States.

The New York World, of the 18th and 19th instant, has some interesting Northern accounts, of which we make some extracts.

A letter from Fredericksburg, dated the 16th, says the army of the Potomac has no idea of repeating the attempt of Saturday, as it is believed impossible to drive the rebels from that position. A second effort was warmly urged by several of the Generals, but “Fighting Joe Hooker” contended that it would be mere folly, unless a night attack could be successfully carried out.

The terrible loss in the Second Army Corps will appall the public, says the writer, and yet in the summary I send you to-night I put it a thousand less than its commander does. Hancock lost over half his command, and he feels deeply the fate of his noble men. Cauldwell, Meagher and Zook, who led brigades, did their work well. Before going into action Meagher addressed his brigade, exhorting them to stand firm, and promising them that he would share with them the privilege of being the last to leave the field. That they did stand firm we knew yesterday when two hundred and fifty rations were all that were required for the brigade, which went into action twelve hundred strong.

The World says, editorially, that no further effort to reach Richmond will be made by Burnside’s army at present, and that it will go into winter quarters because it can do nothing else.

DECEMBER 29, 1862

Affairs in Charleston, S. C.—The Bangor, Me., Whig publishes a letter written by a gentleman now residing in Charleston, S. C., on the 10th, of which the following extracts are made:

My opinion is that the majority of residents of this city, at this time, would not mourn to see the old flag waving in the breeze over the town. The fire-eaters who are too old to be in the army have generally retired into the interior, where we trust they will remain. When the grand crash comes, it will find us not grieving, but glad. Sieges and storms have lost their terrors to the people of this city. We have had so large a share of liberty under our new Government that we can cheerfully submit for a time to the oppression of the Federal Government. The bombardment of the city is not so great an evil as some others.

With flour at $30 a barrel, corn at $2.50 per  bushel, potatoes at $4 per bushel, coffee at $2.75 per pound, common calico at $2 per yard, shoes $16 for my wife, to say nothing of $30 for a pair of pants, $1.30 for a pound of butter, and $1.55 to $1.65 a pound for yellow soap, bomb shells are not regarded as very terrible. More people will suffer for want of fuel and food in Charleston this winter than in all New England, unless the city falls into Federal hands. Hundreds cannot buy salt. It was sold at auction the other day at $46½ per bushel, at wholesale. I have just paid $22 per cord for poor oak wood, and there are thousands of cords within a few miles of the city, but no boats, no cars, no carts to haul it, no Negroes to cut it—every body, every thing being used by the Confederate Government on the public works. The efforts of the Government seem like desperation, but to any one who has common sense there seems very little chance of any successful defence.1

I prophecy that when this town falls into the hands of the Federal Government there will be such a different state of things here from what is general anticipated as to surprise many outside of it and many in it. The leaders of secession are no longer here, and they are thoroughly killed off as far as future influence goes, however this war ends. Of no man is there more thorough detestation today, in South Carolina, than Robert Barnwell Rhett—not even Abraham Lincoln. The news of the death of his whole family would give more joy than any other event I could name. How sure it is that every revolution of such a character as this kills its own sires.

The Northern papers talk about the absence of Union feeling in the South. There is no want of love for the old Government. It is daily growing stronger rather than weaker. But the power of that Government must be shown to be strong enough to occupy and possess the territory. Once give us a chance, and the pressure of the peril off, and the welkin will ring with joy at the downfall of the Confederate Government. But as long as the Confederate Government is the one which exercises exclusive power over us; as long as the army of Virginia stands defiantly in front of the Federal army, so long will men hesitate to take the risk of openly espousing the Union cause. >

It is hard now to find any man who will avow that he was an original secessionist. But their pride is engaged in the conflict. That will yield to hard blows this winter. Then let Jeff Davis and Co. look out for a peace party at the South. They have been straining their eyes to see one at the North; they may see one in the South before they want it. There is no single grievance of which the Southern States complained at the hands of the Federal Government (except the one in conjunction with slavery) which has not been aggravated by the Confederate Government, and the common opinion here is, that whatever the result of the war, so far as connection with the Federal Government goes, the axe has been laid at the root of slavery.


From New Orleans.
Resignation of Army Officers.
Movements of Commodore Farragut.

New York, 29th.—A New Orleans letter of the 29th inst. states that Judge Peabody, who arrived with General Banks, intends to open a court in this city in a few days, as soon as he can obtain a building and have rooms properly fit up. It is expected that the first cases heard before this tribunal will be certain actions brought against General Butler by citizens of New Orleans, to test the legality of the seizure of their property. Their trials will excite considerable interest and much anxiety will be manifested in regard to the decisions.

Col. Wheldon of the 31st Mass. and Col. Brown of the 8th Vt. regiments have resigned.

Com. Farragut with his fleet have gone up the river to reduce the Port Hudson rebel batteries.

The Herald’s Washington dispatch says it is asserted that Gen. Banks has carried with him to New Orleans the Emancipation Proclamation, to be issued on the 1st of January, so as to promulgate it at New Orleans simultaneously with its publication in other parts of the country. This, however, is very doubtful.

Major Gen. Butler is by this time on his way to Washington, he having been ordered to report here. Report already assigns him an important command in the field.


At a late review in Berlin, a dragoon, whose girths had given way, kept in the ranks and rode through the manœuvres without a saddle. The fact having come to the King’s knowledge, he said to his aid-de-camp: “Say nothing about it, gentlemen; if the Chambers were to hear of it, they might strike out saddles from the war estimates.”


Tax Commissioner Boutwell has decided, in a case in New York, that when a dealer or manufacturer removes his business from one building to another, he must take out a new license. This decision is commented upon as rather queer.

, 1862

From Gen. Burnside’s Army.

Headquarters, Army Potomac, Dec. 28.—The latest reliable intelligence relating to the rebel army in our front, states that they have massed their forces on both sides of the railroad from Fredericksburg to below Gurney’s Station. The track for two miles south of Fredericksburg has been torn up, and the rails are being used for turnouts at the present terminus of the road. On Tuesday a brigade of rebel cavalry were outfitted with rations and forage for several days, and revolvers were distributed to the men near Gurney’s Station. It was believed there that their destination was King George’s County via Port Royal.

On Saturday a new encampment made its appearance on the second range of hills in the rear of Fredericksburg in full view of our position. A considerable number of tents have recently been sent up from Richmond to Lee’s army.

The Richmond Examiner of the 25th indicated that Lee with a portion of his army was moving toward Culpepper to make a demonstration in front of Washington, but it is known that Lee was still near Fredericksburg on Friday noon.

The enemy are all engaged every night in raising and extending their breastworks along the streets fronting the river, as if to prevent any future crossing by pontoon bridges. A friendly intercourse has existed between the respective river pickets until recently. To prevent communication of improper information, a positive order has been issued to suspend the fraternizing. On Friday a rebel commissioned officer and two privates were seized on this side and sent back to their side. The exchange of newspapers has also been interdicted by Gen. Burnside.

Flags of truce cross the Rappahannock every day, principally to transfer to the other side citizens who came within our lines to escape the bombardment. Our soldiers are taking advantage of the pleasant weather in providing against the cold weather by building huts.

A general order has been published to facilitate the return of convalescents and stragglers in camp at Alexandria to their regiments. Major W. H. Wood of the 17th Infantry has been detailed to accomplish this duty.

Notwithstanding the presence of our gunboats in the Rappahannock, the enemy has of late procured large supplies of cattle, horses and forage from the Peninsula counties. Last week Gen. Pleasanton captured 150 head of cattle, which had been thus collected and were on route for Leeds.

An officer of General Longstreet’s staff, who had crossed into King George county for the purpose of getting married, was taken prisoner by General Pleasanton. His two groomsmen escaped.


Lecture on the Mormons.—Miss Helen M. Dresser delivered her lecture on the Mormons, in Tremont Temple, last evening, before an audience, which although not large, fully appreciated the salient points in her exposition of the follies of this peculiar religious sect. The first part of the lecture was devoted to the history of the rise and progress of Mormonism, of the successful impostures of their prophet, Joseph Smith, and of the persecution to which Mormons have been subjected in Missouri, Illinois and other western States. The second part was an account of her experience among this peculiar people, from the time when a child of eleven years, in 1854, she was taken among them by a company of her relatives and friends, emigrants from Scotland, until the time of her escape. Miss Dresser is a young lady of prepossessing appearance, quite unembarrassed, and with a clear pleasant voice whose sympathetic tones were audible even in the distant parts of the hall. Her lecture was not uninteresting although it would have perhaps been more striking, if she had dealt less with generalities and confined herself more closely to her own experiences.

Lands in the back Bay.—We invite the attention of our readers to the auction sale, on Saturday next, at the Merchants’ Exchange, of forty-four lots of land belonging to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on the Back Bay. Twenty-two of these lots front on Beacon street, beyond Clarendon, and twenty-two upon Marlborough street. The lots on Beacon street (excepting two at the corners) are put up at the very reasonable minimum price of $1.50 per square foot; and those on Marlborough street (with like exceptions) at $1.25. The lots are all of them 112 feet deep. We are confident that we are correct in saying that there has been no previous opportunity so favorable as this for securing a site for a dwelling-house in the very best situation at so reasonable a rate. The lots on the north side of the Milldam sold, we believe, at the same price by the Mill Corporation, have considerably greater depth, and have accordingly cost a larger sum. The terms of sale proposed by the State Commissioners, which, as well as the minimum prices, have received the approval of the governor, according to law, being the same as those of the late sale, are of a character to prove satisfactory and convenient to purchasers. One quarter only of the purchase money need be paid in cash, the residue being payable in one, two, and three years, with interest at the rate of five per cent per annum. Messrs. N. A. Thompson & Co. are the auctioneers. Catalogues and plans may be obtained at their office where they are now ready for delivery.


A Magnificent Result.—Those who are always croaking about the lukewarmness of the loyal States may comfort themselves with the following facts:

At the meeting of the United States Sanitary Commission held in New York city last week, it appeared that besides immense supplies of hospital stores distributed, they had received $520,000, in money, of which $180,000 are still in their treasurer’s hands, and subject to order.

The Western Sanitary Commission (of St. Louis), which is an independent organization, has received and distributed hospital stores to the value of $300,000, and $100,000 in money. It had on the 1st of December $15,000 on hand, and its expenditures are at the rate of $10,000 a month.

The whole of this is by purely voluntary gift from individuals. Nor is this the whole. Every State, and almost every city and town, has its separate channels of munificence, for soldiers in the field or their families at home; and what is done by the above-named commissions is probably less than half of the voluntary contributions in the past eighteen months.

We call this a magnificent result.

, 1862

The Feeling in the Army.—The Chaplain of one of the New Jersey regiments, writing in regard to the Battle of Fredericksburg, says:

The five days’ battle may thus be summed up. We marched over the river and we marched back again, minus 10,000 (killed and wounded) who “beat their funeral march to the grave.” We went over hopefully, we came back despondingly. We not only mourn the loss of the thousands of “unreturning brave,” but the moral effect of a victory. This would be equivalent to 50,000 men. There is nothing, so far as I can see, humanly speaking, that this army so much needs as confidence, hope. Men may disguise the fact, but they cannot deny it, that the army is sadly disheartened.

The prevalent feeling is that we cannot conquer a peace; that we are no nearer subduing our “enemies under our feet” than when we first began; that the rebels fought better on Saturday than on the first Bull Run battlefield. Some may question the policy of writing this, if true, but I believe otherwise. If from the beginning “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” had been written, we should be in a different condition from what we are to-day. It is one thing to say how the army ought to feel and another to say how it does feel. While I write from the army, I mean to state what is. If the armies could settle it, it would be settled without any more bullets or blood.


The Alabama Still at Work.—On the 7th inst., the steamship Ariel from New York for Aspinwall, with passengers and freight for California, was captured by the rebel privateer Alabama, off the east end of Cuba. She was taken to Jamaica, where she was detained two and a half days, and robbed of $12,000 in specie and a lot of boots and shoes, and then released upon a bond for $260,000 as ransom. There were on board some U.S. officers and 140 marines on their way to California, who were paroled after all their arms and equipment were taken from them.


Severe Threats.—Jeff Davis has issued a Proclamation against Gen. Butler, denouncing him as “a felon, deserving of capital punishment,” for certain alleged offenses, and ordering that he shall be hung by any Confederate officer who may capture him; and ordering that no captured federal officer shall be released on parole, before exchange, until Gen. Butler “shall have met with punishment for his crimes.” All officers serving under the said general shall, if captured, be considered felons deserving of death, and be reserved for execution. All Negro slaves captured in arms, and officers found serving with them, shall be turned over to the authorities of the States to which the Negroes belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said States.


The schooner Jeff Davis, with 288 bales of cotton, was lately captured in running out of a southern port. The rebel schooner Retribution ran the blockade off Wilmington, N. C., on the 27th of last month, and reached St. Thomas on the 7th of this with a cargo of 370 barrels of spirits of turpentine, 100 bales of cotton and 100 barrels of rosin. She had a crew of fifteen men, and carried three guns in her hold.

Some of the Consequences.—The terrible battles, marches, deprivations and sufferings of our soldiers, since the withdrawal of Gen. McClellan from the peninsula, are the direct consequences of the malignant political hostility to him manifested by those who control the management of the war. When he was ordered to withdraw, he said he could take Richmond if he could have 35,000 more men. This number was refused him, because it had been determined that he should not take Richmond. He was therefore ordered to withdraw, and thus lost the opportunity of taking Richmond. We were compelled to fight Pope’s disastrous battles, in which we lost about 40,000 men and millions of property; we were compelled to fight the terrible battles of South Mountain and Antietam, in which we lost about 12,000 men; we were compelled to give up Harper’s Ferry, with 11,000 men and millions of property; we suffered the losses of men and property in the advance down to Warrenton; and more disastrous than all, we have suffered the terrible slaughter and repulse at Fredericksburg—all this because it had been resolved, for political reasons and to gratify partisan malice, to crush McClellan. Here is the plain truth; how do the people like it? Are they willing to support men who thus conduct?


The amount demanded for the support of the army for the next year is only $750,000,000—seven hundred and fifty millions of dollars! It is very easy, says the N. Y. Herald, for members of Congress to vote money out of the pockets of the people. It is not so easy for the people to pay it. Before they do they want to know in what manner the money already raised for the army has been expended, and whether it is not incumbent on the President to appoint an entirely different set of men to manage future expenditures. These people are willing to expend their treasure and their blood to any amount for the restoration of the Union, but not a cent or a drop of blood to carry out the visionary, impracticable ideas of fanatics; nor will they patiently look on while their sons and brothers and neighbors are slaughtered by wholesale through the criminal carelessness or ignorance of pretenders, who have never seen a battle, and who undertake, at Washington, to lead in the field armies of 150,000 men, at sixty or a hundred miles distance, by a click of the telegraph.


Investigations in regard to frauds upon the Government in New York City show that a vast amount of knavery in the expenses of recruiting and organizing troops. It is stated that nearly one half the amount paid has been paid on fraudulent accounts. Hundreds of persons are implicated, and one colonel is proved guilty of enough to send him to the State prison for life. But “that’s the way the money goes” all over the country. Similar investigations in Washington and in all the States would show that many millions of dollars have thus been “appropriated” by those engaged in the raising and organizing of troops.


Destruction of the Gunboat Cairo.

A letter from Cairo gives the following particulars of the blowing up of the gunboat Cairo in the Yazoo River by a torpedo of the enemy, which has been heretofore mentioned in a telegraphic dispatch.

On the evening of Thursday, the 11th instant, orders were issued for the four boats Pittsburgh, Cairo, Marmora and Signal to make ready to ascend the Yazoo on the following morning. The Pittsburgh and Cairo are of the iron-clad flotilla. The Marmora and Signal are light stern-wheel boats, designed for use in the shallow tributaries of the Mississippi.

A short distance below Haynes’ Bluff, on the Yazoo, it was ascertained that the rebels had placed a row of torpedoes across the river, with the desire of sinking any boats that should attempt to descend within range of the batteries. The experience of the Navy with the torpedoes at Fort Wayne and Columbus, in the early part of the year, was not such as to induce much dread of these engines of war. Boats were lowered and the work of raising the torpedoes commenced at once. Five of them had been secured and taken on board the boats, and it was thought that but little more labor was necessary to open the channel of the river.

The Cairo was slowly pushing ahead up the stream, and several men on the bow were engaged in dragging for one of the torpedoes. The apparatus used for dragging had caught upon the anchorage ropes of a torpedo, and the men had almost brought it to the surface on the port side, when an explosion took place under the bow and about four feet below the surface of the water. The force of the explosion threw up a huge column of water that thoroughly drenched the men in the immediate vicinity. A hole of considerable extent was made in the bow, the planks being loosed and torn apart, so as to admit the water at a rapid rate. The entire boat was shaken from stem to stern, and her bow was lifted so high in the air that the water swept over the portion of stern aft casemate.

The Cairo commenced filling immediately after the explosion, and sunk in less than twelve minutes. At the time of the explosion the boats of the Cairo were mostly full of men engaged in dragging for torpedoes. All those on board rushed at once to the upper deck, and before the water had filled the interior every one had escaped.

The Cairo sunk in twenty-nine feet of water and disappeared completely from view. Her smoke stacks were fished up her pennant was secured as it floated upon the water. Nothing else was saved from the boat. The officers lost all their personal effects. No one saved anything except what he was wearing at the time.


Paper Stock from Liberia.—We have just concluded a commercial treaty with the Liberian Republic; and the Liberians claim that they are an enterprising people—indeed, they have proven so much. They have now an opportunity to benefit us and themselves at the same time. We find in a late number of the Monrovia Herald a catalogue of articles exhibited in the World’s Fair which just closed at London, by Liberian agents. In this list the first six numbers are fibers, described as follows:

“No. 1. Bundle of fiber from the trunk of the bamboo tree. This fiber is taken from the external coating of the tree, and makes the strongest cordage of any material known to the aborigines; they use it for nooses in their snares for taking wild animals of the greatest strength. >

“No. 2. Bundle of fiber from the leaf of the bamboo tree. This fiber is extensively used by the natives for finer articles manufactured from fibers.

“No. 3. Bundle of fiber from the palm tree—the same that produces the nut yielding the palm oil. This fiber is taken is taken from the leaf.

“No. 4. Bundle of pineapple fiber. This fiber is taken from the leaf, which yields a considerable percentage. Wild pineapples cover extensive fields in Liberia.

“No. 5. Bundle of fiber from the plantain tree.

“No. 6. Bundles of African hemp. Grows wild near the sea-shore, and may be collected in any quantity.”

Here are six kinds of vegetable fibers, all useful and easily prepared for the paper maker. Paper is now very dear; labor is abundant and cheap in Liberia, and once assured of a remunerative market for a new industry, the Liberians can draw on the native population back of them for considerable additions to their laboring force. Let them use their opportunity—they may make it a truly golden one. There are machines invented and in successful operation by which every one of the fibers can be quickly prepared for the market; and they have only to offer paper-stock to get the highest price for it. Without paper, civilization would almost stop; it would be peculiarly appropriate, could Africa, on the borders of which civilization now stands, supply us with that which we need to make her progress rapid and sure.—N. Y. Evening Post.


Distress of the English Operatives.—The bitter famine in Lancashire is so severe that twenty-one and seven tenth per cent of the whole population of that district—more than one in every five persons—are dependent for existence upon parochial relief of public charity. It takes one hundred dollars a week to keep the Lancashire operatives from starvation.

When the famine actually began to pinch, in the early part of last summer, the operatives commenced withdrawing their funds from the savings banks, and in this manner put off the evil days; but as the season advanced, and mill after mill stopped, this temporary relief failed, and with the expenditure of the last of their savings came the real distress of the people. Then they began to sell their furniture, and when that resource failed, they pawned their clothes. The last struggle having been made, they came upon the parish, or were the recipients of the public charity provided by the national subscription. The total amount of this subscription, up to the 1st of December, was five hundred and forty thousand pounds. The American contributions, amounting to a hundred and sixty thousand dollars, had not been received when the record was made up, and is not included in the sum total. Added to the British contributions, the amount swells the aggregate of the Relief Fund to three millions, three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

, 1863

The Drummer Boy of the Seventh Michigan Infantry.—The drummer boy who crossed the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg on Thursday of last week with the Michigan seventh, is Robert Henry Hendershot, thirteen years of age. His only living parent, his mother, resides at Jackson, Michigan. He first enlisted as a drummer boy in the ninth Michigan infantry, and went with the regiment to Tennessee. The first battle that he was present at was that of Lebanon in that state, where he acted as drummer for the fourth Pennsylvania cavalry. He was also at the battle of Shiloh, and received a severe flesh wound under his right eye, and now carries the honorable scar with him. After this battle he was stationed with the regiment at Murfreesboro, and captured there by the rebels. A few weeks since he went on with the chaplain of the eighth Michigan, and joined that regiment. On the day of the taking of Fredericksburg, he left his regiment and pressed to the river bank, and was the third one in the boat, following the captain and lieutenant. The captain in command ordered him out against his protestations, telling him he would surely be killed. He then waited on the shore, and shoved off the first boat when it was fully loaded, and instead of remaining on shore, clung to the stern of the boat and was borne across half under water. The shot and shell flew thickly. Two men were killed within arm’s reach of him, and his own coat was torn open by a bullet. On reaching the opposite shore, a shot struck his drum, knocking it into splinters, and he caught up a loaded gun, dropped by a wounded or dead soldier, and followed on. He was one of the first to tear down the secession flag, and has brought off a piece as a trophy. He then broke open a house and found in the yard a rebel sharpshooter, wounded in his right hand. He immediately brought his gun to bear upon him, and marched him on to the boats in triumph as a prisoner. He then recrossed the river, and Gen. Burnside met him and said, “I glory in your spunk, boy; if you go on that way, you will soon get my place.” Among the trophies he found in the house he broke open was a human bone, partially carved in the shape of a ring, which he brought off and now has with him.


A Prophetic Rebel.—The Richmond Dispatch of the 24th ult., has an article on national retribution, which threatens all sorts of divine judgments upon the North for its invasion of the South. Its talk about slavery and its queer mixing up of things that differ is not exactly in the style of the ancient maledictory prophets. It says:

“The North need not expect to escape the universal law of retribution which has visited every nation that disregarded the rights and destroyed the peace of others. For all the national sins of the United States—and young as that country was in years, it was old in iniquity—it is equally responsible, to say the least of it, with the South. In all the filibustering of the old United States her agency has been as great as that of the South. Even in regard to slavery, New England divides with old England the honor of establishing slavery in the South, and if the South has owned the labor, the North has reaped the principal share of the profits. >

 If the South is receiving its punishment, we cannot expect that the North will escape. At present it is having a very agreeable time, carrying on a war and feeling none of its perils at home. It cannot expect, even upon its own favorite idea that slavery is a sin which provokes the vengeance of Heaven to escape retribution. It will one day have to drink the same bitter cup which is now pressed upon the lips of the South, aggravated by the punishment of its crimes in the present war. It is inconceivable that the Almighty should fail to visit such gigantic wickedness as the present invasion, and inhuman and atrocious manner in which it is carried on, with His most signal displeasure. War, such war as even the persecuted South has never yet suffered; civil war, not sectional, bloody and brutal war of races at its own doors; war of those who have not against those who have, will yet rage at its own hearthstones, and convert its fairest fields into howling deserts. There are men yet living who will see the flames of the first revolution rekindled in all their homes in the northern states. If such a community as Fredericksburg, pure and innocent beyond comparison, are reduced to such suffering, what will be the fate of the polluted northern cities—the Sodoms and Gomorrahs of a depraved and infidel race?


Emancipation Proclaimed.

The complementary and final proclamation of freedom to the slaves of rebels came on New Year’s day according to promise. It is explicit and to the purpose. Tennessee as well as the loyal border states are exempted from the action of the proclamation, as also are the western counties now held by our forces, and the two congressional districts of Louisiana that have elected members of Congress. Emancipation is proclaimed as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing the rebellion, as it should be, for the president deals with the matter solely as commander-in-chief and not as a philanthropist, although his personal opinions and feelings on the abstract question of slavery of course coincide with his duty as the executive head of the nation.

There will of course be honest differences of opinion among the people as to whether this measure will tend to promote the legitimate objects of the war or not, but since it has become the established and declared policy of the president, whose duty it was to determine it, and since it is approved by both the legislative and executive branches of the government, and cannot not be recalled, there is no course for genuine loyalty and patriotism but earnest and unwavering support of the government in the enforcement of the measure. It is to succeed, and sooner or later slavery is to become a thing of the past. Is any man worthy to be himself free who does not rejoice in the prospect? Or can any man doubt that the destruction of slavery will ensure the safety and glory of the country for all coming time; or consider any price too great to be paid for so great a boon?

JANUARY 3, 1863


Heavy Loss by the Union Troops.

Richmond papers have dispatches from Vicksburg to the effect that on Saturday last the Union forces attempted to capture the works at Vicksburg, but failed. On Sunday they again tried it, but failed. On Monday there was a third attempt, and another failure; and at the date of the dispatch (Tuesday) fighting still continued, with no important results. Our troops are said to have been mowed down like grass yet the rebel loss was just about nothing at all. The Union troops have destroyed a large portion of the railroad running west from Vicksburg, toward Shreveport, La., and burned the village of Delhi. Although boasting of the unparalleled valor of their soldiers, we do not see any satisfactory evidences of a victory on the part of the rebels.


Gen. Sherman Gone up the Yazoo River.

A steamer from below reports at Cairo that the gunboats accompanying Gen. Sherman’s expedition had gone up the Yazoo River. At Drunning Old’s Bluff, 20 miles above the mouth, a rebel battery was discovered, and a severe cannonade followed, during which the gunboat Benton was struck sixteen times, the shots penetrating. Gen. Sherman’s force will debark up the Yazoo and march to near Vicksburg. A train with supplies was to leave Memphis on Thursday for Holly Springs.


What Slaves
the Proclamation Reaches at Once.

One of the leading statists of the country (Mansfield of Ohio) says: “The statistics of the United States show that the largest body of plantation slaves are massed on the Mississippi and its tributaries and the Gulf coast. The lands most productive for cotton and sugar are the alluvial lands of the rivers and the coast, especially in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Take a map and look at the navigable waters of the cotton states, beginning at Memphis. There are the Mississippi, Red river, Yazoo, Big Black, Tombigbee, Alabama, Chattahoochee, Arkansas, and all the numerous bays, bayous and estuaries which intersect the south in every direction, and which are navigable the largest part of the year. This is the heart of the slave country; and as the best lands are on the water-courses, the largest and best cotton and sugar plantations are on or near navigable waters. More than half of all the slaves in Mississippi, for instance, are in nineteen counties, lying on the Mississippi, the Yazoo and the Big Black—all navigable for steamboats. In Louisiana, more than half of the slaves are on the Mississippi and its bayous. The same is to a large extent the case in Florida and Georgia. Not only this, but the greatest mass of slaves are within three miles of those rivers. The reason is obvious. The emigrants from the Carolinas and Virginia sought the best lands and the most accessible to market. The military consequences of this state of things is that a million of slaves in the South lie literally under the guns of the army and navy of the Union this day. Those masters remain on their plantations with their slaves only by our permission.


Gen. McNeil, of Missouri, whom the English editors are abusing as a “murderer,” “barbarian,” &c., for hanging guerrillas, is not a Yankee, but a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

An Important Canal Project.

The Washington Chronicle makes mention of a canal project to unite the waters of the Mississippi with those of Lake Winnipeg. By constructing a canal about three-fourths of a mile in length from Big Stone Lake to Lake Traver, steamboats from St. Paul could navigate both the Minnesota river and the Red river of the North to Lake Winnipeg, a distance of seven hundred miles. The country traversed by three rivers is surpassingly fertile, and capable of sustaining a dense population. Lake Winnipeg is larger than Lake Ontario, and receives the Sas-katch-a-wan river from the west. The Sa-katch-a-wan river is navigable to Edmonton House, near the Rocky Mountains, seven hundred miles west of Lake Winnipeg, and only one hundred and fifty miles east of the celebrated gold diggings on Frazer river, in British Columbia.

The digging of that one mile of canal would, therefore, enable a steamboat at New Orleans to pass into Lake Winnipeg, and from thence to Edmonton House, some five thousand miles. A bill has been introduced into the Senate by Mr. Rice, which makes provision for the building of the canal. The Chronicle says:

“Probably there cannot be found in the world a spot across which the digging of so short a canal would effect a result so prodigious. And what is almost equally remarkable, the ground between the two lakes is so low and so level that, it is said, the water flows in times of freshets, from one to the other.”

To conduct this one mile of canal Mr. Rice proposes a grant of one million acres of land.


The New York Tribune assumes to have trustworthy advices “that the recent interchange of sentiments between our Democratic leaders and the Rebel chiefs has resulted in no understanding, but rather in a more hopeless estrangement. The former sounded the latter with regard to the terms of accommodation they were prepared to accept, and were plumply answered that they would consent to no terms of reunion—that no number, no completeness, of Democratic triumphs at the North, would shake their resolution—that they regarded all opponents of their independence, no matter of what party, as enemies, and as such should treat them to the end.”


The Negroes of New York had a grand jubilee on New Year’s eve in Shiloh church, spending the night in prayer and praise, and welcoming the opening of the year of emancipation with demonstrations of great joy. At Washington and elsewhere, the people of color made the night vocal with thanksgivings for the great deliverance that is being wrought out for their brethren in fire and blood.


The number of slaves declared free by Mr. Lincoln’s proclamation is about 8,125,000. In the portions of the slave States excepted there are only about 830,000 slaves.


1 For reference, modern equivalent prices (using The Inflation Calculator at would be: Flour: $666; Corn: $55; Potatoes: $89; Coffee: $61;  Calico: $44; Shoes: $355;  Pants: $666; Butter: $29; Soap: $34-37; Salt: $1,032; Cordwood: $488.

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