, 1863

The Alabama, or 290.—Much astonishment has been expressed through Northern papers at the boldness and success of the privateer Alabama. Sharp censure and severs criticism have been freely indulged in at what is supposed to be supineness of the Federal Secretary of the Navy in not having intercepted and arrested the career of Capt. Semmes. It is a very easy thing for civilians and landsmen to cast reproaches, manifest great indignation with the ill success attending the action of the Navy and the authorities. The catching or arresting of a vessel at sea is not fully understood by the public. Our attention has been attracted by a communication from Geo. W. Blunt, of New York, the son and successor of the old teacher of navigation, and author of that great work, “Blunt’s Coast Pilot,” Edmund Blunt, whose name and authority have been household words for the last fifty years, with all who have been connected with the great maritime and shipping interests of the country, and whose home is on the mountain wave. Read what Mr. Blunt says about arresting the Alabama, or any vessel on the broad Atlantic.

“To the Editor of the New York Times:

“Your article on the Dreadnought’s round-about passage, to avoid the pirate steamer Alabama, and implying censure on the Navy Department, has induced me to look into the question as to the chances of seeing and catching her, and how many vessels would be necessary to make it a certainty, and I have the following result:

“I started upon the basis that a vessel at sea would be seen from the foretopsail yard of another at a distance of 20 miles; two vessels, must, then, be stationed not more than 40 miles apart to see one passing between them. The route between Sable Island and the chops of the British Channels has an extent of more than 240 miles in latitude; this would require seven vessels in a north and south line, 40 miles apart. In longitude, the distance is over 2100 miles—say 2000; this would require 51 vessels to longitude, making, in all, 357 vessels to catch one.

“Again, this route will not be within 250 miles of the Azores, where the Alabama was last heard from; and she has all the rest of the area of the ocean to cruise on.

“Two well known instances of the difficulty of even finding fleets at sea can be quoted. Nelson chased the French fleet which carried Napoleon to Egypt, passed without seeing it, and afterwards found it at the Nile; he afterwards followed Admiral Villeneuve to the West Indies, and did not fall in with him until the French and Spanish fleet came out of Cadiz to fight at Trafalgar.

“A fair, independent criticism on the acts of any Department of Government is not only proper, but desirable; but in times like the present, when the disaffected and the treasonable are doing all in their power to break up the Government and its organization, charges should be made with care, so as not to leave them a plan to argue upon to further their wicked designs.—G.W.B.

During the war of 1812 to 1815, Com. Rodgers, of the United States frigate President, with four other vessels, were in search of the British homeward bound fleet of 250 vessels, from the West Indies, and were so near to them that they picked up cocoa nut shells and oranges which had been thrown overboard, and still missed them. This was effected by the fleet and convoy merely changing their course two points.1

Distress Among the Operatives of France.—The Paris correspondent of the London Times says accounts from the cotton manufacturing districts of France continue to be quite gloomy. He gives the following official figures, from which a notion may be formed of the immense loss French industry has sustained by the American war:

In the year 1859, the full value of the silk exported from France amounted to 499,000,000₣, of which 186,000,000₣ went to the United States. In 1860, the value of silk exported to Am Erica was reduced to 103,000,000₣, and last year to 25,000,000₣. The value of the woolen clothes exported in the year 1859 was 180,000,000₣, of which the United States took 28,000,000₣, and 34,000,000₣ in 1860, but only 10,000,000₣ in 1861. The exportation of cotton clothes to the United States fell from 4,400,000₣ in 1859 to 400,000₣ in 1861.

France exported dressed leather to the amount of 74,000,000₣ in 1859, of which the United States to 20,000,000₣, which was reduced in 180 to 14,000,000₣ and in 1861 to 2,500,000₣.

The wine exported from France in 1859 was valued at 103,000,000₣, of which 28,000,000₣ worth were sent to the United States. It amounted in 1860 to 29,000,000₣, but in 1861 it fell to 12,000,000₣. The value of the brandies exported to the United States fell from 20,000,000₣ in 1859 to 10,000,000₣ in 1860 and to 4,300,000₣ in 1861.

The porcelain and metallic ware exported to the United States fell from 5,200,000₣ in 1859 to 1,700,000₣ in 1861; madder from 3,600,000₣ to 1,700,000₣; fruit from 3,300,000₣ to 1,700,000₣; millinery and artificial flowers from 2,000,000₣ to 400,000₣; wrought iron and steel from 2,300,000₣ to 300,000₣.


A Gunboat Sailing Stern Foremost.—A letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated Port Royal, S. C., December 29, says:

The Conemaugh arrived on Saturday afternoon stern first. It is a remarkable and disgusting fact that some of the double bowed boats will steer well. Some of them go sideways about as well as any other. They cannot be relied upon at any time. The Conemaugh will steer pretty well stern first, but how awkward that looks. Only imagine a man-0f-war built from the plans of the Chief Naval Constructor of a country like this going crab-fashion. It is true that she by this means carries the flag ahead, but to see the gaffs of a schooner-rigged vessel pointing over the forward part of the boat, and eh masts and smoke-stacks raking forward is disgusting to the eye of the sailor.2


“Demoralized.”—The New York Tribune tells a good story of a stout, athletic Zouave, who, running away from the battle at Fredericksburg, was checked by a lieutenant with a drawn sword. Said the latter, “Stop, sir! Go back to your regiment, you infernal coward; you are not wounded.” “For heaven’s sake, let me pass,” implored the fugitive;” I know I am not wounded, but I’m fearfully demoralized!”

FEBRUARY 2, 1863


The achievement at Charleston is alike glorious and fortunate—two gunboats sunk, a third crippled, and “the rest they ran away.” The enemy must have been panicked by the apprehension of another Merrimack disaster, or how shall we account for the fact that our little gunboats were not struck by a single shot, and came away unharmed? The Federal fleet was a large one, and it seems the mere weight of metal from the broadsides of such frigates as the Susquehanna and Canandaigua should almost have upset our little craft, if they could not be penetrated. But thirteen Yankee blockaders fled, and of the defiant fleet which kept watch and ward over the port of Charleston not a ship remained. The Yanks will despise and hate this performance particularly; and in the thirst for vengeance may perhaps reverse their programme ad attack Charleston first. The month of January closed up gloriously.


Glorious Achievement.

Charleston, Jan. 31.—This morning the gunboats Palmetto State Capt. Rutledge, Chicora, Capt. Tucker, accompanied by three small steamers, the Clinch, Etiwan and Chesterfield, all under command of Commodore Ingraham, made an attack on the blockaders, and succeeded in sinking two and crippling a third. The engagement commenced at fur o’clock, the Palmetto State, with Com. Ingraham on board, opening fire on the Federal gunboat Mercedita, carrying eleven guns and 158 men, which was soon sunk in five fathoms of water. Her commander, Captain Stellwagon, with a boat’s crew, came on board and surrendered. One shot pierced her boiler, going clear through. Captain Stellwagon and crew were paroled by Com. Ingraham. Capt. Tucker, of Chicora, reports sinking another Federal gunboat, and the disabling of steamship Quaker City. The latter was set on fire by the Chicora and hauled down her flag to surrender, but afterwards made her escape using only one wheel. She was very badly damaged. The number of blockaders outside at the time of the engagement was thirteen, with two first class Federal frigates, the Susquehanna and Canandaigua. The Federal loss is very severe. It was a complete success on our part, with not a man hurt—the gunboats were not even struck. All the blockaders have disappeared—not one to be seen within five miles by the strongest kind of glass. Our boats are returning.


H’d Q’rs 45th Ga. Regiment,
Light Division, Jan. 1, 1863.

Lt. Gen. Thomas J. JacksonSir: The officers and men of the 45th Regiment of Georgia Volunteers have delegated to me the pleasant duty of delivering to you the enclosed amount of money—seven hundred and sixty dollars—it being the amount contributed by them for the benefit of the Fredericksburg sufferers. We have heard unofficially that it was a request of yours that each Regiment in your command should have an opportunity offered them to contribute to so good a purpose, and rest assured, General, that the 45th Ga. Regiment will always be ready to respond to any call made upon them in the cause of humanity, and equally as ready to any request of Gen. Jackson made in the cause of our suffering country. Will you please acknowledge the amount received and accept the good wishes for your present and future welfare of those I represent as well as my own.

Respectfully yours,

John T. Brown,
Capt. and A.Q.M. 45th Ga. Reg.


The following extract from a letter in the New York Times gives the condition and spirit of the Yankee army about Fredericksburg. It is certainly in very strange contrast with the boast of Burnside that he is about to strike “the great and mortal blow of the rebellion.” This letter in the Times is the one that caused so great a sensation in the North, and led to the arrest of a number of newspaper correspondents on suspicion of having written it. The truth is not very palatable to the Yankees, and hence their indignation at this frightful picture of one of their greatest armies:

“Sad, sad it is to look at the superb army of the Potomac, the match of which no conqueror ever led—this incomparable army, fit to perform the mission the country has imposed upon it—paralyzed, petrified, put under a blight and spell; and, on the other hand, the noble nation bleeding to death and pouring out the rich wine of its life in vain.

“But the root of the matter is a distrust of the general conduct and ordering of things. They feel that things are at loose ends—and in fact they know it, for our army is one that reads and thinks. This spirit of discontent is augmented by many causes of a special nature. For example: 1. They have not for many months been paid. Shameful and inexcusable in the Government. 2. The stagnation, ennui, disgust, suffering, sickness and discontent of camp life in winter, (without winter quarters,) amid Virginia mud, cold and rain. No small hardships, I can assure you; and it is doubtful if any European army ever had to submit to equally great ones. 3. General feeling of despondency, resulting from mismanagement and our want of military success. Soldiers are severe critics and are not to be bamboozled. You may marshal your array of victories in glittering editorials—they smile sarcastically at them. You see men that tell you that they have been in a dozen battles, and were licked and chased every time—they would like to chase once to see how it feels. This begins to tell painfully upon them. Their splendid qualities—their patience, faith, hope, courage, are gradually oozing out. Certainly never were a graver, gloomier, more sober, sombre, serious and unmusical body of men than the Army of the Potomac at the present time. It is a saddening contrast with a year ago.”



Mobile, Jan. 31.—The Advertiser and Register contains a dispatch dated Vicksburg the 30th, which says that scouting parties of the enemy have appeared on the opposite side of the river, and have burned four houses under range of our batteries. They are supposed to be erecting batteries opposite the town. No new movements among the fleet. 1863.



Charleston, Jan. 31.—Our gunboats Chicora and Palmetto State left their moorings last night about eleven o’clock, and commenced an attack on the blockaders at four this morning. The firing has been very heavy, but up to nine o’clock no details were received.


New Orleans Threatened with Submersion.—The New Orleans Delta of the 24th of January says it is reported the levees above that city were in a very dangerous condition, holes having been cut into them by rebel guerrillas, and the river having risen to within a few feet of overflow.

Nearly the whole surface of the State is several feet below the river at high water mark, and if the rise continues it is feared that the whole country will soon be several feet under water. Not only Louisiana, but a great portion of Arkansas and Mississippi would be thus submerged.


Cotton from Texas.—The schooner Planet arrived in our port yesterday, direct from the Rio Grande, having on board 118 bales of cotton. The captain reports 78 vessels, loaded down with all sorts of goods, at the mouth of the Rio Grande, unable to get up on account of the low stage of water. The cotton was originally from Texas, but it was taken across the river, and shipped from Matamoras as Mexican cotton. There is a great quantity of the staple at Matamoras, and an enormous amount of goods at the mouth of the river, but the want of lighters at present puts a stop to the trade.

There are no Confederate troops at Brownsville, nor along the frontier. A few thousand men, under a dashing officer, or under Gov. Hamilton, sent to the mouth of the Rio Grande, could take possession of this line of Texas, secure to the New York merchants an enormous trade in cotton, and in sixty days, with the assistance of loyal Texans, secure that State to the Union. Why this is not done, seems to me impossible to understand. There are troops enough rolling about New Orleans and vicinity to go down to the place named, perform the work as a frolic, and then come back again before they seem to be needed at this point for active operations.—N. O. Cor. N. Y. Times.


Good.—It seems there is one army inspector who won’t wink at the rascality of contractors. A few days since, a shoe manufacturer in Essex county had a lot of shoes returned on his hands with a large hole cut through the bottom of every one, so as to effectually preclude the possibility of their subsequent acceptance by any less conscientious inspectors.


Anti-Tobacco Lecture.—The Rev. Geo. Trask will give a free lecture in the Representatives’ Hall on Thursday evening (the 5th) at 7½ o’clock. Subject: The Injurious Effects of Tobacco on Individuals, on Church and State.


A Valuable Prize, Washington, 2d.—The Princess Royal, captured off Charleston, had on board 600 barrels of gunpowder, 2 Armstrong guns, a large lot of machinery, 880 bales of sheet iron, 500 boxes of tin, 1 steam bakery, 141 bales of ordnance, 95 cases of boots, 229 bags of coffee, and other valuables.3


Fight with Indians, Salt Lake City, 1st.—On the morning of the 29th ult., Col. Conner had a desperate fight with the Indians on Bear River, Washington Territory, 142 miles North, and killed 224, and many supposed to have been drowned. He took 175 horses, destroyed their lodges, provisions, &c. The fight lasted 4 hours. Our loss was 15 killed, and 4 officers and 33 men wounded.

Permanently disabled soldiers.—It has been ascertained that from two to three hundred Massachusetts soldiers, entitled, in the opinion of the surgeons, to their discharge on account of entire disability for further service, are in the hospitals in New York and its vicinity. Gov. Andrew, by a special messenger, has called the attention of Major Gen. Wool to the facts, and arrangements re in progress, with the hearty cooperation of that veteran soldier, to restore to their friends the men who are only an expensive burthen to the Government, whilst uselessly deprived of their liberty and kept from the comforts of home.

In this as in other cases, Governor Andrew has shown his deep interest in the welfare of the invalid soldiers of this State; and the promise now is, that seconded by the humane zeal of the Commander of the Department of the East, he will; secure the speedy release from the N. Y. Hospitals of the class above named.


News and Miscellaneous Items.

It is said that at least 100,000 men are yet wanting under the last call of the President, of which not less than 35,000 are due from the State of New York alone. Every New England Stat has filled its quota except New Hampshire, the last regiment in which has been organized, but lacks a few hundred men.

It is stated that with 125 presses the Treasury Department are now just able to print enough greenbacks in two-thirds of a day to pay the expenses of the Government for one day.

Pennsylvania last season exported coal to the value of thirty-four million dollars. Of coal and coal oil she produces more value than California does of gold.

Cotton is coming into Memphis freely, and the price is advancing: 105 bales sold on the 17th ult. for 60 cents per pound.

A lady communicates to the Harrisburg Union the conclusion, resulting from long investigation, that diphtheria is mainly caused by the want of a sufficient quantity of common salt in ordinary diet.

The President’s Emancipation Proclamation is to be photographed. It is entirely in Mr. Lincoln’s handwriting.

The trade between the Bahama Islands and the South is quite large at this time.

The Supreme Court of Connecticut has pronounced the law allowing absent soldiers to vote unconstitutional.

The Secretary of State has received a letter from the ladies of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, transmitting a large quantity of lint, dressings and hospital supplies for the use of the wounded Union soldiers. The articles have been turned over to the Medical Department.

Among a lot of contraband goods bound for the South, seized at Baltimore last week, were seven trunks filled with fine tooth combs.

FEBRUARY 4, 1863


A Mutinous Illinois Regiment from Egypt.—The 109th Illinois regiment has been disarmed, and the officers and men, with the exception of Co. K, have been put under arrest. The regiment was raised in Williamson and Johnson counties, in that part of Illinois known as Egypt. One company was composed of Republicans and war Democrats. The rest were violently anti-slavery, and many were suspected of being Knights of the Golden Circle. It was ascertained while they were stationed at Waterford, eight miles south of Holly Springs, that the officers and men had formed a plan for surrendering to a party of rebels. They said that all were ready except Co. K, which was composed, as they charged, of “black Republicans and abolitionized Democrats,” and that they could be easily overpowered. Gen. Grant accordingly issued an order, disarming and arresting the men, but making honorable mention of Co. K, and assigning it to duty.4


Important from Mexico.—Advices from Mexico to the 9th confirm the reported defeat of 4000 French under Gen. Berthier by 800 Mexican cavalry. It occurred in a fog on the morning of December 18th. The French were completely routed. The Mexican Gen. Quesada had captured a convoy from Jalapa to Perote. The Mexican Gen. Vegreta, with 10,000 men, made a sortie from Puebla and attacked a French division 14,000 strong at Acapete, eight leagues from Puebla, completely routing the latter. The French retreated to Aristaba, and their communication was almost cut off. Jalapa and Tampico are abandoned by them. The small pox was raging at Vera Cruz.


A Disgraceful Scene occurred in the United States Senate on Tuesday of last week. Mr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, was making a speech against the government and the war, when he said the President was “an imbecile,” calling him by name. He was at once called to order by the Vice President. He refused to obey the order, and said he should do as he pleased. The Vice President then ordered him into the custody of the Sergeant-at-arms. Upon this Mr. Saulsbury drew a revolver and with it threatened the Sergeant-at-arms in presence of the Senate. He was taken out uttering oaths and threats.

Such bullying as this is intolerable. Much has been endured in both houses of Congress from the rabid attacks of members who have apparently determined to uphold the rebellion on the floor of Congress, but when one goes so far as to apply contemptuous epithets to the President, calling him by name, and then draws his revolver on an officer of the Senate, he deserves summary punishment. A resolution was introduced on Wednesday for the expulsion of Mr. Saulsbury.


Senator Saulsbury, after two days reflection, thought best to make an apology to the Senate for his disgraceful conduct. In consequence of his apology, the resolution for his expulsion was temporarily withdrawn.

The Escape of the Oreto.—The rebel privateer Oreto.5 which has been harbored at Mobile for the past four months, left that place on the 13th inst., and according to the latest reports, proceeded to Havana, The gunboat Pembina had been stationed near the mouth of the harbor to signalize the fleet outside if the Oreto should endeavor to slip her moorings and proceed to sea.

The fleet outside consisted of the flag ship Susquehanna, Commodore Hitchcock, Kanawha, Oneida, Cuyler, Kennebec, and three others whose names we could not ascertain. On the 13th the Oreto was observed by the Pembina to hoist her anchor and commenced to move seaward. The commander of the Pembina, instead of signaling the outside fleet at once, proceeded to the fleet and informed the commander of the Cuyler of the movements of the privateer.

The Cuyler at once got up steam and made every necessary arrangement for chasing the Oreto, which shortly came out of the bay and proceeded to sea. The Cuyler and Oneida at once put chase, the latter vessel shortly afterwards returning to the fleet. The Cuyler, however, continued the chase, and is reported to have run the Oreto into Havana, where the pirate at present remains—the Cuyler keeping watch at the mouth of the harbor.

The armament of the Oreto, however, is equal to double that of the Cuyler, and can easily run past that vessel unless the Cuyler can be reinforced.

On the passage of the Oreto to Havana she destroyed a Boston brig, laden with sugars. The Oreto had on board 1700 bales of cotton when she left Mobile. It is believed that if the commander of the Pembina had signalled to the fleet as soon as the Oreto began to move, instead of moving towards the fleet himself, the capture of the Oreto would have been certain. This, however, must be taken for what it is worth, inasmuch as the armament of the Oneida and Cuyler combined is hardly equal to that of the Oreto.


Vicksburg.—Our troops are already at work on the “big ditch” opposite Vicksburg. The river bank is full, and we believe that our vessels will soon be able to go through the cut-off, while wharf property in Vicksburg goes down in value at an unprecedented rate. That story about 150,000 rebels being there will bear considerable deduction, and yet be as large as Joe Johnston’s muster-roll.


Terrible Tragedy in Pittsburgh, Pa.—On Friday evening last Elizabeth Beatty shot John McCormack, her seducer, in the office of the magistrate, before whom [the] deceased had been brought to answer a complaint for seduction. The deceased had just given bail in $500, and as he was passing out of the room, his victim shot him through the heart. After her arrest and committal she said to a friend who visited the cell: “If John McCormack had married me, just to save me from shame, I could have forgiven him, even if he had not lived with me an hour. If he had consented to make me his wife, I would have done the best I could for him. But I could not bear the thought of having the finger of scorn pointed at me, and I shot him.”—N. Y. Com. Adv.


Contrabands and What They Cost!—We see that a Massachusetts member of Congress proposes to create a Bureau of Emancipation, to take charge of freeing Negroes, feeding and paying them. What a commentary upon Emancipation as a War measure! If we could get at the truth concerning the number and cost of these pensioners, through this Bureau, or in any other way, we would be instructed.

The Emancipation League of Boston reports that there are 18,000 contrabands in the Department of the South. Of these 12,000 are in South Carolina and 6000 at Key West, Fernandina, and other points in Florida. Nearly all the able-bodied men and women are employed by the Government. Common laborers receive $5 a month, besides a soldier’s ration. Mechanics are paid $8 to $12 a month, besides the ration.

There are large numbers at Fortress Monroe. Two thousand are employed by the Government, but their pay is irregular, and there are arrears amounting to $30,000. The Agent says their treatment by the officers of the Government, “as a rule, has been brutal and cruel in the extreme.”

At Craney’s Island (Hampton Roads) there are 1381 Negroes, of whom only 200 are men. The number at Helena, Ark., is 4000, of whom 1800 are men. One thousand are employed by the Government, but from $20,000 to $50,000 back-pay is due them. Three thousand three hundred and eighty one have passed through the contraband camp within the last 6 months. Five hundred remain.

These scattered figures give no idea of the numbers of these unfortunates, which probably reaches a hundred thousand, or their cost—probably millions!—Albany Argus.


The N. Y.  Post and Tribune are not satisfied with Gen. Porter’s punishment, but intimate that he ought to be shot! So thought General Roberts, of Pope’s staff, the man who has been busy in circulating such portions of testimony as bore against the accused, for some time. The Post says:

“It must be kept in mind that General Porter is a devoted friend and passionate admirer of Gen. McClellan. The relations of the two have been of a very intimate nature.”

This is an intimation, we presume, that McClellan ought to be shot also. The disposition evinced by the Tribune and Post indicates, at least, the demoniac spirit which governs them, whoever deserves to be shot.—Boston Post.


Resolutions strongly condemnatory of the General Government, of the action of the “partisan” Court Martial by which General Fitz John Porter was dismissed, and deprecating the mismanagement of the war, were presented in the Board of Aldermen in New York, and after some discussion, passed on a vote of 13 to 3. They contain some hard and fearless knocks at the Federal Government and the Court Martial. How much will local legislation be stagnated, asks the N. Y. Herald, if these fearless thirteen city fathers should be sent to Fort Lafayette?

From a careful comparison and discussion of the monthly “casualty returns” made to the office of the Adjutant General, and after certain allowance for estimated deficiencies in such imperfect returns, it is calculated that the number of deaths in the volunteer forces of the United States during the present war (“home guards” and other bodies not in active service being excluded) has been at the annual rate of 53 (53.2) per 1000 men, of which about 45 (44.6) were from disease and accident, and nearly 9 (8.6) from wounds in action. It appears from the returns that while the death-rate from wounds in action is greater in the case of officers than of privates, (being respectively 11½ and 8½ per 1000) the death-rate of officers from disease and accident is much less than that of privates—22 for the former and 46 for the latter—and that the rate from all causes (embracing both disease and violence) is less with the officers than with the men—the entire rate for officers being 33 and for the men 54 per 1000.


The Policy of Extermination.—The National Intelligencer concludes a leading article as follows:

At this moment it is probable that the white and black populations of the South are more numerous than they were at the beginning of the war; and if they repeat the experience of France in her twenty years’ struggle against all Europe, they will be more numerous twenty years hence than now, even supposing the present war should last that long. In truth, Nature abhors the extermination of a people, and seems to have provided against it by that singular law which in time of war increases the proportion of male births, in order, as it were, to repair the ravages of battle.

But it is proposed in the present case not only to exterminate our rebellious fellow-citizens, but after this has been done, to fill their places with loyal men and women from the North. The one process is the complement of the other in the work of regeneration. The object is not to make a solitude, and call it peace, but to recover 13 States, which shall be filled with a loyal and patriotic population. The process of repletion, according to all experience, is fortunately more rapid than that of depletion; and supposing, contrary to what we have just said, that the latter is possible, we cannot presume it would be more rapid than the former. We may, then, form some approximate idea of the time likely to be required, under the most favorable circumstances, to eliminate the Southern population by the time required to replace them. It is computed that within the last twenty years we have populated to a moderate density (excluding the gold country) one hundred and twenty thousand square miles of territory. At this rate we should require one hundred and twenty years to re-people the South; and while clearing the territory for re-colonization, at an average cost of five hundred millions a year, we would have run up a debt of $80,000,000 when it was done.

On the whole, we profess our preference for those plans which have for their avowed object the reclaiming of hostile populations, and reducing them to obedience, over those which contemplate their destruction and the substitution of others in their stead.

, 1863

Breaking the Blockade.

The Richmond Dispatch of Monday, commenting on the late naval raid upon the blockading fleet off Charleston, comes to this conclusion: “The blockade of Charleston has been broken—the secretary of state has given notice of the fact to the British and French consuls; by the strict rule of international law the Yankees must give sixty days’ notice before they can re-establish it.” The Dispatch expresses some fears, however, that the Yankee government will be as little bound by international law as it is by its own constitution and laws, and that neither England nor France will have the spirit to compel the Yankees to respect the rights of other nations in this matter. The Dispatch therefore concludes that, beyond the glory of the deed, the confederacy will gain no permanent advantage by the naval victory off Charleston. This conclusion is at least reasonable.

Kent, who is the authority in all questions of international law, is quoted as saying that “when a blockade is raised voluntarily, or by a superior force, it puts an end to it absolutely,” and notice must be given to de novo.6 Gen. Beauregard and Com. Ingraham were careful to quote Kent’s phrases in the proclamation which they issued on their return from the raid, declaring the blockade “raised by a superior force” of the confederate states. The case was evidently dressed up to induce foreign intervention, but it is hardly one that England or France will venture to make an issue upon, and the rebels have no very great prospect of getting sixty days of free trade at Charleston by any such means. Nor at Galveston either, where Magruder has tried the same experiment. The rebel statement that our fleet sailed off out of sight after the attack may well be doubted until confirmed by testimony from our side, unless indeed a fog made them invisible at short distance. And if they did disperse for a time, the fact that they were back again and the blockade was firmly re-established the same evening—so firmly that the rebel navy has ventured no further interference with it—leaves very slight ground for claiming that the blockade has been actually broken up. If either France or England wants to fight for the rebels enough to endorse and defend the proclamation of Beauregard and Ingraham, they must even be allowed to do it. But we have as little reason to fear this as the rebels own they have to hope for it.

What we do hope and expect is, that the affair will stir the government up to do all that lies within its power to strengthen Gen. Foster and Admiral Dupont, so as to make it reasonably certain that we shall have possession of Charleston before half the sixty days have half expired. That will be an opening of the port which will inflict a heavier blow on the rebellion and its foreign allies than almost any other victory we can hope to achieve at present. And if we fail in that effort now, the failure will damage us more than the breaking of the blockade all along the coast.


The Blockade All Right.

The reports in regard to the encounter off Charleston harbor, being from rebel sources, are doubtless greatly exaggerated. There has been no interruption of the blockade, and no such assumption will be admitted by the government. A telegram was received on Thursday from Fortress Monroe, saying: “Gen. Dix is in receipt of rebel news from Charleston to the 3d inst., at which time that port was thoroughly blockaded, the federal iron-clads lying inside of the wooden vessels. The former were not with the fleet at the time of the attack on the 1st inst. An attack on the city was momentarily expected. A dispatch boat, with an official account from Admiral Dupont, was hourly expected.


Capt. William Nichols of Newburyport, one of the veterans in the naval service of the country, is very sick and not likely to recover. In the war of 1812 he was the most famous of all the privateer captains on our coast, and was widely known for his exploits in the Decatur. He is now 80 years of age, and when the war commenced, his only regret was that he was not 40 years younger, that he could take part in it.

A lieutenant in the 32d Illinois regiment, falling in with a charming rebel siren at Nashville, Tenn., became so infatuated that he some weeks ago deserted and with the young lady escaped beyond the federal lines. The young lady was wealthy, and by the use of her money the pair managed to run the blockade at Charleston, and arrived at Havana last Christmas day, when they were married, and are now living, it is said, in happiness and elegance.

Two boys in Detroit, about 11 years of age, were kidnapped by Gypsies last week and carried some distance from the city, but finally released and left to get home the best way they could.

Considerable excitement has been caused in Great Salt Lake City, Utah territory, by the message lately sent to the legislature by Gov. Harding. The governor has found upon intercourse with the people, a great lack of sympathy with the government, and in his message is pointedly and plainly rebukes this indifference. He also pitches into polygamy, and of course the Saints are very wrathy.

The Negroes at Key West, Florida, hoisted United States flags on receipt of the emancipation proclamation, and kept them up, notwithstanding the threats of the slaveholders.

Central Park, New York, has cost seven and a half millions, half for land, half for “fixins;” but the increase of taxes from the advance in the value of contiguous real estate will pay the interest.

There is a lieutenant, says the Burlington Times, in the volunteer service of the United States, who thinks that the only way to end the rebellion is to anticipate the slaves. When the companies of a regiment are not full, he is convinced that the minimus companies should be taken and consoderated. The mails used to arrive with very respectable regularity at his regiment, but they were not always dissipated promptly. These are almost equal to the remark of another malaprop who spoke of taking the wounded off the field of battle in an avalanche.

FEBRUARY 7, 1863


The First Regiment of
South Carolina (Colored) Volunteers.

Gen. Saxton has transmitted the following to the War Department:

Beaufort, S. C., Jan 25th, 1863.

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

Dear Sir: I have the honor to report that the organization of the first regiment of South Carolina volunteers is now completed. The regiment is light infantry, composed of ten companies of about eighty-six men each, armed with muskets and officered by white men. In organization, drill, discipline, and morale, this regiment, for the length of time it has been in service, is not surpassed by any white regiment in this department. Should it ever be its good fortune to get into action, I have no fear but it will win its own way to the confidence of those who are willing to recognize courage and manhood, and vindicate the wise policy of the Administration in putting these men into the field, and giving them a chance to strike a blow for the country and their own liberty. In no regiment have I ever seen duty performed with so much cheerfulness and alacrity; and as sentinels, they are peculiarly vigilant. I have never seen in any body of men, such enthusiasm and deep-seated devotion to their officers as exists in this; they will surely go wherever they are led. Every man is a volunteer, and seems fully persuaded of the importance of his service to his race. In the organization of this regiment I have labored under difficulties which might have discouraged one who had less faith in the wisdom of the measure; but I am glad to report that the experiment is a great success. My belief is, that when we get a footing on the main land, regiments may be raised, which will do more than any other now in service, to put an end to the rebellion.7

I have sent the regiment on an expedition to the coast of Georgia, the result of which I shall report for your information, as soon as it returns. I have the honor, also, to report that I have commenced the organization of the Second regiment, which is to be commanded by Col. Montgomery.

I am, sir, with great respect,

Your obedient servant,

R. Saxton, Brig.-General.


League Island vs. New London.—A vote in the Senate this morning encourages the Pennsylvania lobby, which Gov. Curtin so ably leads, to hope that they secure the adoption of the mud flat in the Delaware river as a naval station. This, too, in the face of the following resolutions, adopted by the board, sanctioned by Congress, and appointed by the Secretary of the Navy:

Resolved, That in the opinion of the Board the public interests will not be promoted by acquiring the title to League Island for naval purposes.

Resolved, That the harbor of New London possesses greater advantages for a navy yard and naval depot than any other location examined by this board.

It will be rather remarkable if Congress, in the face of this evidence, sanctions the commencement of enormous expenditures at League Island. Yet a well managed lobby can effect wonders.—Washington letter to Com. Advertiser.

Vicksburg.—A dispatch from Cairo, Thursday, says:

“Our forces at Vicksburg are now engaged repairing the crevasses of last fall to keep the water out of camp. The water in the old canal is six feet deep, but doing little execution. The rebel force at Vicksburg is estimated at sixty thousand. It is believed that this is the largest number that can be brought to its defence. A thousand Negroes will be sent from Memphis to work on the canal.”

Other advices say:

“You may look for great news from below soon. There will be Union force enough to surround and starve the rebels. Our heaviest cannons and mortars will be on hand, and the prospect is that it will be the grandest affair in the whole annals of war. The first operation, undoubtedly, will be to send a sufficient force below Vicksburg, on the west side, so as to command the river below, where two or three steamers are running to and fro from Port Hudson and other points, bringing the rebels at Vicksburg the most of their supplies. This is very easy to do. All that portion of Arkansas north of the river of this name is now getting into our hands. Cotton is coming up the river in considerable quantities again. Much may be expected out of Arkansas soon.”


The Air-Line Railway bill, before Congress, provides for a road to be done in two years from New York to Washington; first-class trains to go through in eight hours; fare not to exceed 2½ cents per mile; first-class freight not over 5 cents per ton per mile; Government to have priority of business at 2 cents per mile for troops, and 3 cents for freight.


There are now three thousand eight hundred of Jeff Davis’ men in Camp Douglas. On Thursday, a feeble attempt was made by a few secession plugs of Chicago to rescue the prisoners as they were being conveyed to camp; but a few pricks from bayonets in the hands of the guard were arguments sufficiently strong to cause them to fall back.


There is said to be in the hands of the President a list of General officers belonging to the Army of the Rappahannock whom a competent judge occupying a position which gives him a right to speak considers unfit to retain their present commands because of loud-mouthed abuse of the President or his policy or of other manifestations of disloyalty.


The Height of Impudence.—The correspondent of the Courier des Etats Unis has learned from Mr. E. de Girardin, the editor of La Presse, who defends both secession and abolition, that Mr. Slidell has really tried to make Mr. Girardin believe that the South was desirous, if let alone, to get rid of slavery as soon as possible. They only wished to do it of their own accord, and after having provided for substituting white for black labor.

1 A point is 11¼° so two points would be 22½°.

2 Conemaugh was one of a number of “double-ender” gunboats designed to allow the Navy to penetrate far up the narrow rivers of the South. Having rudders at both ends (and propelled by sidewheels), the ship would not have to turn about to return down a river—it had only to raise the rudder in what had been the stern, lower the one in what had been the bow, and reverse the direction in which the paddlewheels spun. Obviously there were a few issues that needed to be resolved, but the idea was a sound one.

3 Ref. footnote for 13 January 1863.

4 Company K was transferred to the 11th Illinois Infantry.

5 Oreto was the ship’s original name; at this point, once converted into a rebel raider, she is officially CSS Florida.

6 de novo is a Latin phrase meaning “from the beginning”  or “beginning again.”

7 While historically significant, the creation of the 1st South Carolina Regiment was not the first organized military body of African Americans in the War of the Rebellion. That laurel belongs to the U.S. Navy, which crewed the vessel Arago in March 1862 with blacks recruited from among the stevedores at Fortress Monroe. What is more, the crew of the Arago volunteered for what was universally considered a suicide mission—to ram and sink the Merrimack. Two crews of white civilian sailors had previously refused the duty. Ref. “The Rams at Hampton Roads” in A Dog Before a Soldier by C. Veit. 

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