, 1863

A Bold Adventure to Dawfuskie Island.
From the Charleston Mercury.

A most hazardous enterprise has just been successfully accomplished by Capt. Mickler, whose forays last summer on the islands held by the enemy (in one of which he was severely wounded,) are familiar to our readers. The scene of his last scout was on Dawfuskie’s island; a glance at the map will show its location, which is in the very midst of the enemy’s lines—on one side Fort Pulaski, on the other Hilton Head Island—between which points steamers are constantly passing.1 In company with private McGee, formerly of the Rutledge Mounted Rifles, but now on special duty as a scout, Capt. Mickler, with a picked command taken from companies B and E, 11th regiment South Carolina infantry, started on Thursday last, intending to make a thorough scout of this island, and to observe the movements of the enemy on Hilton Head and other contiguous points.

We have not been informed how the officer made his way to the island, his plan for reaching the enemy’s lines being, as we understand, a secret; but he reached a safe landing on Dawfuskie on the afternoon of Thursday, secured his boat and began his business forthwith.

Passing themselves off as Federals, the party mingled among the gang of runaway Negroes, eliciting valuable information and becoming very well acquainted with matters and things on the island. The scout, McGee, with his blue suit, got decidedly the advantage of an old Negro, Scipio, belonging to the Stoddard estate, which was formerly one of the finest-located plantations in the South, looking out, as it did, upon the ocean, with Tybee light in full view.

Scipio said that none of the rebels ever came there, but that the federals were constant visitors; there had been formerly a garrison on the island, but they were subsequently removed, possibly on account of the insalubrity of the place, as several graves were visible near the house; and Scipio, upon being questioned, gave it as his opinion that the night air was not good for these people from the ships. Of the four graves seen by the scouting party, but two were marked—one inscribed “Edward Hackett, Company G, 3d R. I. Artillery,” the other “Michael Megan, of the same corps;” the first died on the 21st April, 1862 and the last on the 8th April, 1862.

When the Negroes found out who they were dealing with, their manner changed, and they became polite and obedient as was their wont. From what appeared to have been a sutler’s store, a quantity of homespun and clothing was taken, including some good United States infantry coats and pants, with Connecticut buttons thereon, from which some of the boys good fits, looking very much like Federal soldiers on their return. An amount of specie was also found, which has been appropriated to a charitable purpose.

On the north side of Dawfuskie’s wharf has been built. At the bend of a creek which runs through Pine Island, near this place, is the wreck of an iron steamer, about two hundred feet long, which got aground on a bank some months ago and broke in half when the tide fell. All the machinery, furniture, &c., had evidently been removed.

At Spanish Wells, on Hilton Head Island, there is an observatory on the house top, from which all our movements can be watched. At Baynard’s house, on Braddock’s point, there is another. Other information of a valuable kind was obtained and communicated to the proper authorities.


Mr. Stafford, the inventor of the shell named after himself, has succeeded in driving one of his projectiles entirely through the iron plating and half-way through the wood of a target representing in every respect a complete section of the British frigate Warrior. It exploded in the target, shattering it seriously. Afterward a solid shot was driven entirely through the target, penetrating the earth beyond five or six feet, and all this was accomplished with a smaller charge of powder than is used with any but a Dahlgren gun.—N. Y. Express, 2d inst.

How Deserters Escape from the Union Army.—A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, writing from Stafford Courthouse, Va., January 30th, says:

Shortly after Gen. Burnside commenced moving his army, with the intention of attacking the enemy, immense numbers of men deserted from it. The number that left in this clandestine manner have been variously computed, but probably no one can determine the exact number. Sufficient to say, however, that from Falmouth to here and Aquia Creek, for nearly a week, the roads were daily lined with hordes of deserters. So great was their number that a regiment of cavalry and one of infantry was detailed by Provost Marshal Robinson of the Grand Reserve Division to pick them up.

During the past week, an examination, which was only concluded yesterday, took place before Col. Robinson and his assistant, Capt. Brown, which implicates many citizens of rebel proclivities residing within a circuit of ten miles of here.

Some of the offenders, who aided the deserters, have thus far eluded our officers, but three of the principal ones have been arrested, and are now in Stafford Prison. In a day or two they will be sent to the Old Capitol, Washington.

The names of those now in custody are Wallace, Woodward and George. They profess to be entirely innocent of the charges, but their guilt has been strongly fastened upon them. The soldiers who deposed were, by the force of circumstances, compelled to divulge the truth. The chain of evidence against the offenders is very strong.

Statement of Jonathan Bishop, of Company I, 83d Volunteers, under oath:

“On the 21st of January I left camp with the view of deserting the service of the United States; I left in the morning and reached the house of a citizen named Honey; from there I went to Michael Wallace’s. He is the man who gave us citizens’ clothing for our uniform; he seemed to be glad of the opportunity of doing this, and he said that he would render Federal soldiers all the assistance in his power when they desire to go home. Whilst at the house of Mr. Wallace, a body of Union cavalry was perceived coming; Mr. Wallace concealed us by putting us up stairs.

“Our party consisted of five deserters, all of whom were furnished with clothing by Mr. Wallace.”


The Cost of the Central Park, New York.—It having been reported that the Central Park cost the citizens of New York already $15,000,000 or more, the New York Argus corrects the statement by giving the following figures as the true amount received by the commissioners and disbursed by them:

Cost of land   $3,778,751
Construction and improvements of Park 3,583,674
Total cost to city, to Jan. 1863  $7,362,425


As a mere business enterprise alone, this has been a fortunate one for the city. The enhancement in value of the real estate (and its corresponding increase of taxation) in the three wards outlying the Park, has been so great as to pay the interest on the whole cost of the Park to January 1st, 1863.—N. Y. Express, 2d inst.


FEBRUARY 23, 1863

Important from Mexico—The City Taken.

The Galveston News of the 2d inst. says:

“An official letter from the French Consul at Matamoras states that the city of Mexico had been captured by the French troops. Tampico was occupied by 8,000 French, and some reactionary troops on the 22d Dec., and that there were at the time of writing 8,000 troops in the city. Matamoras may at any time be occupied by the French, and will certainly be soon. The French army numbers over forty thousand men, four times the number necessary for the taking the whole of Mexico.”

The News thus alludes to this interesting information.

We look upon this as very important news. The conquest of Mexico by the French, or, which is the same thing, the absolute military control over that country by Napoleon, places French power in contiguity with the Confederate States on the South, as the English power is in contiguity with Lincoln’s government on the North. It is worthy of note that while France has been steadily and noiselessly establishing her power in Mexico by large fleets and armies, Great Britain has been equally indefatigable in sending some forty or fifty thousand troops and immense army supplies into Canada. These military preparations in Canada and Mexico have been going on simultaneously and, apparently, with a like determination by both Governments to avoid attracting much observation. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to believe that these operations are being carried on without a mutual understanding between those governments and without a predetermined purpose to be accomplished.


The Yankee Soldiers Kill Their Officers.—A correspondent of the Philadelphia Sunday Dispatch states that there is not a shadow of a doubt that their officers have been “picked out” and shot by their own men on the battle-field, in numberless instances, to gratify private grudge. “A staff officer, in conversation with me on this very subject,” says the writer, “stated that he had been informed by a surgeon who had gone over the battle-field at Antietam, that he found to his great horror and surprise that nearly all the officers killed were wounded from behind!”


The London Globe notices, as the most interesting points in the American news by the Asia, the growing feeling in Richmond, New York and Washington, favorable to some sort of direct negotiation for a settlement of the dispute between the North and the South.

The London Shipping Gazette remarks that, should the Emperor’s proposal be rejected, he has left himself apparently by an alternative to recognize the South and raise the Southern blockade. It may be taken for granted that the offered negotiation will be rejected at Washington; and the Gazette asks: “What follows—the compulsory cessation of hostilities or a maritime war with the North? Can the country afford to let the French Emperor proceed alone in his American policy? Or is he acting upon an understanding with Her Majesty’s Government? These are questions of great importance, and we hope their solution is not far off.”

Confederate Congress.

Richmond, 20th.—The Senate occupied to-day in further consideration of the exemption bill. The amendment was adopted exempting one person on any farm on which resides a family of women and children, not less than ten in number, dependent on the labor and presence of a white man for support and protection, with various conditions to prevent the abuse of exemption. Senate then adjourned until Monday.


Gen. Johnston and Judy Paxton.—We heard of a little incident yesterday that may profit some of our Northern foes should this paper fall into their hands, and they will take the trouble to peruse.

General Joe Johnston was receiving his friends at the Lamar House on Sunday. He was surrounded with many gallant officers who had called to pay their respects, and conversation was at flood tide, when there came a sharp wrap at the door. An officer, shining with stars and gold lace, opened the door, and there stood a venerable Negro woman with a coarse sun-bonnet on her head and a cotton umbrella under her arm.

“Is this Mr. Johnston’s room?” asked the American lady of African descent.

The glittering officer nodded assent.

“Mister Joe Johnston’s room?”

Assent again being condescended, the swarthy woman said, “I want to see him.” In she marched, sans ceremonie, and familiarly tapped the great military chieftain on the shoulder. He turned and clasped her ebony hand in his, while she for a moment silently perused his features. At length she spoke.

“Mister Joe, you is getting old.”

What followed? We cannot record the conversation, but we do know as the General affectionately held his old nurse’s hand, and answered her artless inquiries, large tears rolled down his soldierly cheek, and among the dashing and reckless officers who witnessed the interview, “albeit, unused to the melting mood,” there was not a dry eye. We may say in the words of a well-known plaintive Ethiopian ditty, “the tears fell down like rain.”

The venerable Negress who made the commander of the Armies of the West cry like a baby was Judy Paxton, slave of Dr. Paxton, who had “toted” Joe in her arms when he was not a General, and nobody knew he would be.—Knoxville Register.


The Non-Combatants.—There was little or no response yesterday to the request of Gen. Beauregard that the women and children should leave the city. Most persons have concluded to put it off till the last moment. We would simply ask how can they all go at the last moment? It is the duty of the rail road companies to take care of their stock, and there will be little of it left when the Yankees get to the gates of the city—should they ever get there, which we do not believe. Still, it is wise to provide against all contingencies, and we simply mean to be understood as saying that those who intend to go, but only at the last hour, will find themselves disappointed when the time arrives.—Savannah Rep., 19th.


The Telegraph at Home and Abroad.—The American printing telegraph instruments have been banished from the lines of this country because the telegraph companies consider it in their interest to use the Morse machines. But the Hughes printing telegraph is being extensively introduced abroad. The French government has adopted it, and paid Mr. Hughes $40,000 of its use in France; Italy has done the same, and pays him $20,000; while the United Kingdom telegraph company of London, which has just introduced the Hughes machine on their lines, pays $45,000 for the patent in England. The printing telegraph has obvious advantages over others in accuracy and speed, but it costs more to work it, and there is no prospect that the telegraph companies in this country will ever consider their dividends large enough to warrant paying much regard to the public interest. There is some satisfaction, however, in knowing that the greatest and most useful achievements of American genius in this department are appreciated abroad, and that the rest of the world gets the benefit of them if we are not allowed to.


General News Summary.

The Supreme Court is engaged at Washington on questions connected with the prize cases. Most of the vessels and cargoes captured by our fleet while attempting to run the blockade belong to Englishmen, and they set up the plea that, under our constitution and laws, no war has been declared; and that, according to the laws of nations, war does not exist, that the present state of things is nothing but an internal civil rebellion, which gives no right to our government to declare a blockade of a portion of our own territory, so as to affect the rights of citizens of other nations who are carrying on commerce with our own citizens. The blockade breakers have employed able counsel, including Messrs. Edwards and Lord of New York and Mr. Carlisle of Washington, and they actually profess to believe that the court will declare the blockade null and void.

F. O. J. Smith, better known as “Fog Smith,” has made a tremendous three days’ speech in the Maine legislature. He is against emancipation, and against the administration generally, and threatens that if the Union is broken up, Maine will unite with Canada—in his own poetical words, “when despair shall overtake her, she can and will mount the wings of hope and go back to the mother government, clothed with a new loyalty, and bidding adieu to the slaughtered hopes and ruined glories of her sister states.”

The submarine battery generally called the “What is it?” which has been building at New York for some time, is not  failure as has been reported, but has succeeded so well on trial that another of the same description, intended for active service, s to be immediately constructed.

A new life raft has been experimented with at New York, made of gutta percha cylinders, and found so successful, that the government has ordered one to be sent at once to the Weehawken, Nahant, Patapsco, Lehigh and Sangamon.

Twenty-one Indians of the Chippewa tribe have arrived at Washington upon business with the government. They have failed to agree with our treaty agents, and have come to treat direct with Father Abraham. >

The Louisville Journal says that Col. Gilbert is sustained by all loyal men in dispersing the recent convention at Frankfort, and that the conversation of the delegates was exceedingly rebellious; that they were as disloyal in their sentiments as if they were devoted subjects of the arch-traitor Jeff Davis.2

An anecdote for those who are proposing to drive New England out of the Union: Thomas Starr King once alluded to a protest he had received from some of his church against a sermon he gave them about Anthony Burns. The letter to him said that if he “preached many more such sermons, he would lose many of his most respectable members.” The Sunday following, Mr. King read the note in public, and quietly remarked that “if they wrote him any more such letters, they would lose their most respectable minister.”

Ten thousand bottles of whisky were captured at Aquia Landing, Virginia, some days since. It belonged to sutlers who, had the stuff reached the army, would have realized from its sale, fifteen thousand dollars in profits. At Winchester, Virginia, whisky sells readily at $40 per gallon, while flour is only $20 a barrel.

Thirty girls—lady “feeders” in the congressional printing office—struck for higher wages on Friday, and the wheels of legislation were actually clogged until their demands were granted. The rebellious crinolines made the Senate wait for the naval bill.

At a grand skating tournament in Chicago last week, a lady—Miss Wheeler—bore off the palm, whether in speed, backward movements, cutting rings, making spread eagles or sculling. Her chief lady competitor failed on account of her long skirts.

A new style of dressing ladies hair, called frizzling it, prevails in New York, and so funny does it look that gaping crowds stand at the church doors on Sunday to see the women come out. We don’t know how it is done, but suppose the pretty things leave their hair just as it is when they get up in the morning.

A wag got an awful sell on the democrats of a town out west. He telegraphed that Gov. Yates of Illinois and Gov. Morton of Indiana were going through with a large delegation of democrats, and when the faithful got to the depot to see them, they found only a train loaded with jackasses, which greeted them with brotherly brays.

In his speech on the conscription bill, Senator Wilson said: “Clergymen may not be rich enough to pay the fee for a substitute, but they generally have influential friends—most of them have rich men in the front pews; and there is no great danger, if a clergyman should happen to be drafted, of his not having friends enough about him to aid him in anything of this kind.”

FEBRUARY 25, 1863


Rebel Official Report.

New York, Feb. 25.—The following is from the Richmond Whig:

Port Hudson, Feb. 17.—Capt. Cannon, from Red river, brings information of the capture of the Federal steamer Queen of the West at Gordon’s Landing, Fort Taylor, on Red river.

The Queen of the West captured the Confederate steamer No. 5, forced her pilot, John Burke, to take the wheel, and ordered him to take the boat to our batteries. Burke feigned fear, but finally took the wheel under a Yankee guard. Upon nearing the batteries, he told the Yankees they were 15 miles from them. Immediately they were close in, when she received a shot which broke the steam pipe, disabling the boat. The Yankees being totally unprepared for a fight, and expecting no danger.

Burke jumped overboard and drifted ashore. The boat drifted to the opposite shore, when the crew made their escape with the exception of eighteen, who fell into our hands.

The crew subsequently got on the Yankee boat De Soto, and with 200 stolen Negroes effected their escape.

The Queen of the West is now in the possession of the rebels, and will be towed to a place of safety for repairs.

It is reported that the Yankee gunboat Indianola has gone up Red river to capture her.

The conduct of Burke elicits the highest encomiums.

Later intelligence states that the Confederate steamer Webb closely pursued and captured the Eva.

The Queen of the West is but slightly injured and will soon be in fighting trim, under Confederate colors.

We have positive information that the transport De Soto was burned by the Yankees to prevent her falling into the hands of the Confederates.

Rebel Official Report.

Port Hudson, Feb. 18.—The Alexandria, La. Democrat contains the official report of the capture of the Queen of the West by Capt. J. Kelso, commanding the fortifications on Red River. He says: “Two gunboats made their appearance in front of this position at five last evening. After a brisk cannonading, the leading gunboat, the Queen of the West, struck her colors. I immediately ordered Capt. Hudson, of the Crescent Artillery, and Lieut. Delahunty, to go on board and demand the surrender.

The visible results of eh capture consist of one 32-pounder rifled Parrott gun, one 24-pounder, three 12-pounders, besides a large supply of ordnance stores, and a large supply of Quinine; two cases of amputating instruments, clothing, flour, bacon, beef, pork, lard, bread and other stores in proportion.

The Democrat says the victory was complete, grand and decisive, and we are ready to capture all such craft as Vicksburg allows to pass.


Letters of Marque.—The New York Commercial Advertiser looks with disfavor upon the bill which recently passed the Senate authorizing the President to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal. It argues that privateers are not necessary against the rebels. It says:

“The only argument that with any possibility can be employed in favor of the passage of the bill is that there is a possibility that some foreign nation may take sides with the Southern insurgents, a step which national honor would require us to resent by every means at our command; and that privateering would be a useful ally in the war that would follow. If that argument is to be yielded to, however, the authority conferred upon the President to issue letters of marque and reprisal should be accompanied by well-defined conditions and limitations as to the time and circumstances of the issue.”

High Prices in Mobile.—The wife of a late Captain in the navy, who has escaped from Mobile, gives the following as some of the prices for commodities in Mobile:

Soap, poor quality, $1.75 per pound, or $7 per bar. Matches, fifty in a box, 25 cents per box. Flour, poor quality, $50 a barrel. Tea, $15 per pound. Corn meal, $5 per bushel. Butter, of the poorest quality, $1.75 per pound. Sugar, brown, 65 cents per pound. Coffee, $3.50 per pound. Salt, 65 cents per pound, or $90 a sack. Coat’s spool cotton thread, $1.25 per spool. Homespun ladies’ dress goods, $2.50 per yard. Men’s boots, $35 to $50. Ladies’ sleeves, $25 per pair. The poorest kind of tallow candles, 30 cents apiece. Flannels, such as formerly retailed at 60 cents a yard, now sell for $10. Lard, $1 per pound, and bacon, of poor quality, 75 cents. Two quartermasters sent 5,000 pounds of damaged bacon from Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines to some soapboilers to be made into soap. The soapboilers cut off all the fat, and sold the tainted meat for 35 cents a pound, and the people were glad to get it at that price. A pair of infant’s shoes, $5. Kerosene, poor quality, $20 per gallon.

There is scarcely any paper in the State of Alabama, and in Mobile nothing is wrapped in paper by the storekeepers, purchasers being compelled to carry baskets and towels to envelop their purchases.


Mrs. Fitzdragon has long been waiting to visit the Highgate-wood Cemetery, and the other day se said to her husband: “You have never yet taken me to the cemetery.” “No, dear,” he replied, “that is a pleasure I have yet had only in anticipation.”


The Depreciation of Paper Currency.—It is generally believed that when gold is worth fifty per cent premium, a paper dollar is worth only fifty cents, and that its depreciation is uniformly the same as the rise in the premium on gold. This error arises from its confounding of premium with discount. Fifty per cent taken from an article is much greater than the addition of that amount. If we add 50 per cent to 10, it makes 15, or one-third more; if we deduct 50 per cent, it reduces it to 5, or one-half. So a paper dollar, when gold is worth 50 per cent premium, is worth 66 2-3 cents, instead of 50; and when gold is at 60 it is worth 62 1-2 cents instead of 40. The following is a simple way of showing this: Five gold dollars at 160 are equal to eight paper dollars at 100; hence each paper dollar is just five-eighths of the other, or 62 1-2 cents. But the premium on gold is not now a test of the value of the bank and government circulation. The premium varies from day to day according to the caprice of the brokers and speculators, ad it is absurd to quote the results of their alternate inflations and depreciations based on constantly changing circumstances.


New Party Movements.

The speculations in regard to the foundation of a new party, by the Conservative Republicans so-called, are interesting and sometime amusing. The idea is occasionally thrown out that Democrats are to go into this new party, but Democrats are content to stay where they are. They have learned by experience how futile it is to abandon their own party, in any hope of gain to the country or of advantage to themselves, by going into any new-fangled organizations. The contemplated change of parties means only a disruption between the Republicans and the extreme Abolitionists.

The headlong course of destruction upon which the Abolitionists are bent alarms the Republican leaders. They are powerless to arrest it, and they are determined, rather than share the destruction, to cut loose! Mr. Weed sees what is coming—the ruin of the country and the infamy which will fall upon the fanatics guilty of this great crime. He wishes publicly to wash his hands of the future and he advises his friends to follow his example. The “New Party Movement” is a movement to escape from the fate of abolitionist Republicanism, and, in a shipwreck, a raft or a plank is seized to float on, so the refugees are willing to accept of any device that will carry them out of the reach of the catastrophe.—Albany Argus.


White and Black Soldiers at War with Each Other.
Correspondence of the Boston Traveller.

New Orleans, Feb. 7.—Since writing yesterday, a very painful collision has been witnessed here between some members of the Maine 13th Regiment and the Louisiana First, colored. This latter regiment, with two companies of the former, were stationed on Ship Island. For some time past there has been much dissatisfaction and trouble between these regiments, arising from the dislike of the Down Easters to obey colored officers or associate with their men. Yesterday news came here that the Negroes had fired on and killed six of the Maine men, and that much more trouble was anticipated. Com. Farragut was ordered immediately to Ship Island with his flag ship. Nothing further has been heard nor can I obtain any particulars. The mail for the North closes in an hour.


From the Army of the Potomac.

A snow storm commenced late on Saturday night, and continued until Sunday afternoon, drifting in some places two to three feet. The depth of snow averages about 7 inches. The shelter tens of the soldiers afforded but poor protection from the storm. Sunday night the atmosphere was piercingly cold, causing some frost bitten extremities. Previous to the storm, the mud had partially dried up, but now many days must elapse in this peculiar locality before the roads will become passable under the most favorable atmosphere.

The anniversary of Washington’s birthday was celebrated on Sunday in the army of the Potomac, notwithstanding the prevailing tempest, by salutes from several batteries. Nothing of the kind was heard from the rebel batteries on the south side of the Rappahannock.

The War News.

A special dispatch from Memphis, dated on Saturday, furnishes us with advices from Vicksburg to the 18th inst. Active hostilities against Vicksburg commenced on that day. The mortar boats were towed into position and opened the ball by firing briskly. The effect of their shots was not known. The firing was responded to by three confederate batteries, when our position was found to be too much exposed for effective operations and was changed. The bombardment was then renewed. The gunboat Indianola, which ran the blockade, had provisions and coal sufficient to last her three months.

The dispatch from Vicksburg states that the sickness in our army is increasing. A barge containing 7,000 bushels of coal, ran the blockade last Saturday night. Her object was to supply the Queen of the West, which will now be enabled to make fresh ventures. The rebels reported, on the 9th instant, that the river was submerging the city of De Soto, about which our troops are encamped, but we have later advices from our side which, though admitting that such an accident was imminent, do not intimate that it has yet occurred. We learn that the Queen of the West, having been supplied with coal, has gone on another expedition down the river.

We have two more names to add to the list of the Alabama’s victims. The bark Golden Rule, a fine vessel of 250 tons, was captured by this audacious rover on the 26th January. The ship was burned and the crew landed at St. Domingo City. The next day the Alabama fell in with the brig Chatelaine from Boston. Taking out all the nautical instruments and $300 in gold, Capt. Semmes sent the brig on the blazing path of the bark. The record of our marine disasters for t0-day is completed by the capture of the schooner Hanover by a privateer supposed to be the Retribution, off the coast of Hayti.


From California.

A serious controversy is going on in Honey Lake valley over the boundary question between California and Nevada, both sides claiming jurisdiction over the land in dispute. The California sheriff attempted to serve a civil process February 15th, when the residents of the valley armed themselves and fired on the sheriff and his posse comitatus. Six of the sheriff’s men were wounded. The sheriff then sent for reinforcements, and his assailants are also expecting reinforcements; both parties are ready and defiant, and at the last accounts were fortifying themselves in log houses.



Recognition of Northern Masons by the Southern Fraternity.—An event has recently been made known which creates quite a stir among the Masonic fraternity. It appears that in 1860 the Grand Lodge of the Masons in Virginia issued an edict prohibiting all intercourse between the Freemasons under their jurisdiction and their brethren of New York. At their recent session held in Richmond, this resolution of non-intercourse was revoked, and several Yankee prisoners belonging to the Masonic fraternity were admitted in Virginia lodges, thus placing the Northern Masons once more on a social footing with their Southern brethren, and illustrating the principles of Friendship and Brotherly Love, the watchword of Masons all over the world.

, 1863

Wholesale Murder of Union Men in Texas.

A reliable correspondent of the Boston Journal writing from New Orleans gives the following terrible account of the atrocities of the traitors:

One of the most heinous crimes of which a man can be guilty in Texas is speculating in Confederate currency, which is held to be so sacred that the slightest attempt to depreciate its value is punished with death. Brokers stand a poor chance of getting rich in that country, where if you are a simple farmer, having a calf or a pig which your secesh neighbor craves, and you refuse to sell for Confederate shinplasters, which may be counterfeit at that, you are unceremoniously treated to a short ride, a drop scene at the nearest tree, and a free ticket sent to your family to witness the performance. Here is a case in point. A man living on the Solon river, near San Antonio, was asked if he had steers to sell. He replied in the affirmative, but added that he preferred not to sell them for paper money. The next day two men, well dressed and of gentlemanly deportment, drove up to his house in a carriage, and with an air of the utmost friendship, inquired the way to some point. The famer came out to give the desired information, when he was seized, forced into the carriage, and without permitting the poor man to bid his family farewell, they hurried him away. Two days after, his agonized children, wondering at his long absence, started out in pursuit of him, when they were horrified at finding his lifeless body suspended to a tree. A venerable man named Nelson, whose head was silvered o’er with the frost of nearly seventy winters, and who had amassed a snug property, believing that the Union of all the States would best conduce to the interest of each, was hung, his wife being compelled to witness his murder and then, as if to leave no habitation in which the ghost of a Unionist might dwell, the murderer burned down his house.

If the foregoing incidents of the horrible state of affairs in Texas do not furnish a suitable commentary on the proclamation of Jeff Davis, threatening Gen. Butler with death for the hanging of Mumford, then perhaps the following statement, vouched for by half a dozen men of veracity, several of whom were witness to the atrocious deed, will prove a fit rejoinder to the frothy ebullition of the arc traitor. Several months since, the Union sentiment cropped out so strongly in the counties of Kendall, Kimball, Gillespie and Kerr, they were declared to be in a state of rebellion against the Confederate government, and a force of five hundred armed men under one J. M. Duff was sent into the several counties too crush out the Unionists and confiscate the property of every man who refused to take the oath of allegiance within ten days.

Duff commenced his bloody work by instructing his minions not to take prisoner any man found away from his family. In one day he hung sixteen Union men, and some time after the bodies of five others were dragged out of a water hole in a creek near Fredericksburg, each with a stone fastened about his neck. Perhaps the rebel government will disavow its responsibility for these cold-blooded atrocities and secession sympathizers at the North attribute them to mob violence, but the fact that Duff, the leader of the expedition, has been promoted for “gallant services” shows in what light his acts are viewed by the rebel authorities.

The Highest Proof of Loyalty.

The Murfreesboro correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette relates the following touching incident: “The sentiments and bearing of the Negroes hereabouts are most extraordinary. They acquiesce in the decision of the president not to grant them their freedom as a matter of loyalty. Contrary to expectation, the slaves of Tennessee manifest not the least uneasiness, disquiet or disobedience at being excepted from the operation of that benign policy which is to make millions of their brethren free. Yesterday I was conversing with several slaves, and endeavored to explain to them that the President had refrained from proclaiming freedom to their class in Tennessee, Kentucky, etc., because there were some good union people in those who did not wish to have their slaves liberated, and because it was thought that the cause of the Union would be strengthened in those states by allowing things to continue as they were. ‘O, well,’ said a fine looking young man, ‘I’se willin’ to agree to anything Massa Linkum thinks right.’ ‘Yes,’ added a gray haired African, ‘if dey make all those oder cullud folks free, I can stand it to be a slave a few years longer.’  As he said this he looked upward, as if to catch a glimpse of a country where he knew all bondage would end. Poor degraded slaves! Unlettered, untaught, they indeed were. And yet I could not refrain from thinking that the two who had spoken, the young man and the old, were imbued with a devoted loyalty and Christian spirit seldom found even amongst the best and most patriotic of us all. The young man was willing to sacrifice forever his hopes of personal freedom in obedience to the President; the old man would submit to spend the remainder of his days in slavery for the sake of his brethren.”


The hate that the pro-slavery men of the North bear the colored man is unaccountable. They not only [afford] themselves opportunities that present  themselves too insult, abuse and oppress this much-abused race, but they study occasions in which to do it. A few days since in New York there was an unprovoked and cowardly assault upon colored boys as they came out of school, by men and boys of whiter skin, maybe, but of heart as black as crime can make them. On Friday last a Negro boy 16 years old was murdered at Washington by an Irish boy; the only provocation being that when the Negro was snowballed, he took the liberty to snowball back. Will not a God of justice and mercy, who has always been on the side of the oppressed, appear for His people and punish the oppressor?


A nobleman having given a grand party, his tailor was among the company, and was thus addressed by his lordship: “My dear sir, I remember your face but forget your name.” The tailor whispered, “I made your breeches.” The nobleman took him by the hand and exclaimed: “Major Breeches, I am happy to see you!"3

FEBRUARY 28, 1863


“An Olive Branch.”

The presiding officer of the late “Hartford Convention” states, “that when the war broke out, he was offered the command of a regiment. That offer he refused by stating that he would sooner carry an ‘olive branch’ than a sword.”

Appreciating his devotion to the southern cause, the rebels have sent the general as a souvenir as “Olive Branch” plucked from the veritable tree in Jeff Davis’ Garden at Richmond. This memento is still more interesting from the fact that the tree itself was planted by John C. Calhoun in 1832. The seed was imported by Benedict Arnold, in 1780, a true “Copperhead.”

Here is the “Olive Branch.”

“We have created many errors in our treatment of the Yankees. Not the least has been in regarding them as something better than they really are. They are by nature menial, and fitted only for menial duties. They are in open and flagrant insurrection against their natural lords and masters, the gentlemen of the South. In the exercise of their assumed privileges, they deport themselves with all the extravagant airs, the insolence, the cruelty, the cowardice and love of rapine, which has ever characterized the revolt of slaves. The former leniency of their masters only serves to aggravate the ferocity of their natures. When they are again reduced to subjection and taught to know their places, we must take care to put such trammels about them that they will never have an opportunity to play these tricks again.

We warn the democrats of the North to dismiss from their minds at once the miserable delusion, that the South can ever consent again, upon any terms, to the old Union. If the North would allow us to write the constitution ourselves and give us every guarantee we would ask, we would sooner be under the government of England or France than under such a Union. In short, we never want to see another d––d Yankee south of the Potomac!”–Richmond paper.

Take another “Olive Branch,” General?–Tract for the times.


A Liverpool letter of February 9th, in the Manchester Examiner, noticing the arrival of the American food ship George Griswold at Liverpool, mentions, as showing the way in which some people reciprocate the sympathy of our transatlantic brethren, the fact that as the George Griswold was coming into port with succor for our distressed operatives, the steamer Dolphin was sailing out with a cargo of munitions of war, &c., en route, via Nassau, for a Confederate port.


The New London Star (Democratic) of Thursday says:

“We shall continue to go for a vigorous prosecution of the war, and denounce the Hartford concern. We never voted anything but the Democratic ticket, or in any way aided the election of any other ticket. And we can tell the satellites of the Hartford Junta that the people of this region will sustain us to the end. We shall stand by our country in the prosecution of the war, and turn neither to the right or left. While we do not endorse all the acts of the Administration, we shall sustain it to the utmost in the prosecution of the war, and if a person comes in and stops his paper and even induces others to do so, we shall lose no sleep. We can only pity him, and have the consolation that the people of New London and this region are with us. They say we are right. Our conscience says so, and we are willing to bide our time. The loyal heart beats in unison with the position we occupy. We, nor the people, care nothing about the little back room politicians. They will be swept in to merited oblivion by the tornado that is about to sweep over the land in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war.”

A correspondent from Hilton Head gives the following version of the remarks of Gen. Stevenson, which led to his arrest by Gen. Hunter:

Gen. Stevenson, on his arrival at Port Royal, called, in company with several members of his staff, at the Custom House, the officers of which are mainly Boston men and former acquaintances of the general. While there the conversation turned upon the subject of Negro troops, the general stating emphatically that he was opposed to arming the lacks. A conversation, substantially as follows, ensued:

“Well, said one of the gentlemen present, “I had rather the Negroes fight for us than for the rebels.”

The general responded that he had no evidence yet that the Confederates used Negro troops against us; but if they did, it was no reason why we should fight with the same allies.

“But,” interrupted an officer of his staff, “you know that black troops were successfully used in the war of the Revolution.”

“That was a different war.”

“And you know,” continued the officer, “that Gen. Jackson employed black men at New Orleans, and publicly thanked them for their services.”

“I don’t care anything about that,” was the reply. “Circumstances were not the same then as now. I don’t want to fight with a Negro.”

“Hadn’t you rather have them for us than against us?”

“No, sir.”

“But, general, you had rather employ them than to be beaten, hadn’t you?”

“No, sir; I had not.”

Several days afterwards a formal complaint was made to General Hunter of the language used by Gen. Stevenson, and an order was issued for his arrest.


The Tribune’s Hilton Head correspondent, Feb. 19th, says that for some weeks preparations have been secretly made for a foray into one of the most thickly populated districts of the South, orders for which were about to be issued. The plan is to surprise the rebels by the sudden appearance of 5,000 armed Negroes led by whites and properly supported by regular troops. It is said that communications are opened by trusty contrabands with the slaves in the chosen fields of operations, who will welcome the liberating hosts.


Gen. Logan and the Copperheads.—A Cairo letter says:

“The majority of the regiments from the North West are in a state of the highest indignation and rage at the fire in the rear from the Legislatures of Illinois and Indiana, and a storm is rising which parties concerned will do well to heed. In addition to the thousands of private letters expressed in fiery terms, we have the proceedings of meetings held by the several regiments signed by all the officers, which uphold the Administration, and speak of the traitors in the rear as more cowardly and infamous than the traitors in front.

“Gen. John A. Logan recently addressed the men of his division on the traitors at home, and among other things, he say the time will come when they will be considered infamous. And of those who deserted and sneaked home, he says their memory shall forever be held in detestation, and that their children and their wives, and their kindred and neighbors, should look upon them with scorn.”

Gen. Logan is an outspoken Democrat, but has no sympathy with Connecticut traitors.

1 Daufuskie Island plotted on Google Maps.

2 Ref. 16 February 1863 for mention of plans for this convention.

3 I don’t write’em, I just report’em.–Editor.

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