9, 1863

The Capture of the Steamer Aries.

The Port Royal correspondent of the New York Herald, under date of March 30, gives the following particulars of this vessel, whose arrival at New York we have already announced:

Another valuable prize was made off Bull’s Bay on Friday night last by the gunboat Stettin, Acting Master Debbins commanding. The Stettin was lying at anchor off the bay, with a sharp lookout, on the night in question. At about 12 o’clock, a steamer was observed close upon the Stettin, steering towards the land, steaming at a rapid rate. The anchor of the Stettin was immediately slipped, and a shot fired at the stranger, which had no other effect than to accelerate her progress. Chase was immediately given, and fire opened upon her by the Stettin, but without result. The strange timer made good time, and the Stettin was being surely left behind. After an hour’s chase a dense fog set in, which enabled the pursued steamer to elude the Stettin, and for the time being to effect her escape. The Stettin continued the chase for a while longer, and then lay to to await daylight. At early dawn the fog cleared up, and the Stettin stood to the northward, and son discovered the Anglo-rebel again, hard ashore, with her cargo going overboard as rapidly as possible, to lighten her.

The Stettin immediately bore down upon her and fired a gun. The English flag, which flew on the stern of the steamer, was instantly hauled down, and the steamer was taken possession of and became a prize to the navy. She proved to be the Clyde-built iron steamer Aries, constructed specially for blockade running, of about six hundred tons burthen. Her model indicates great speed, and surpasses in point of beauty anything that has yet been taken. She is a schooner-rigged propeller, with masts arranged with hinges, so that they may be lowered upon the deck. Her engines are splendidly constructed and of immense strength. Her cargo consists of assorted dry goods, saltpeter, brandy and cigars. A large quantity was thrown overboard while ashore to lighten her, and before the Stettin took possession. Her value is roughly estimated at about $200,000. Acting Master Debbins and a prize crew go North in her to-morrow to deliver her to the authorities at Boston. The Captain of the Aries was quite sick at the time of the capture, and the first mate had charge of the vessel. The loss of the ship, in which the captain was heavily interested, so affected him as to occasion delirium, out of which the physicians have not been able as yet to bring him to his senses.1

The Herald adds the following:

The vessel was fitted out in England, and came to St. Thomas, where she lay until a favorable opportunity presented itself to start. Admiral Wilkes watched her for some time. On the 16th of March she put to sea in company with the steamer Pet, of the same character, under the convoy of the British frigate Phaeton.

The Aries has a very valuable cargo, and it is said the rebel captain is interested in it. While at Port Royal, he “played lunatic,” and deceived the surgeon, but Acting Master Debbins suspected him, and, upon search, it was found that the would-be lunatic had no less than sixteen revolvers, loaded and capped, ready to make an attempt to retake the vessel.2 Previous to this exposure he denied the presence of any firearms in the vessel or even in his possession.-->

The New York Times says:

The Aries, prize steamer, which arrived here yesterday en route to Boston, is the identical vessel that was convoyed out of a neutral port by a British man-of-war. She is a very useful steamer, of medium tonnage, and was built in England by James Lang. She escaped with a cargo recently from Charleston, which port she reached through the aid of a rebel pilot sent over to Sutherland. She is a prize to the Stettin. The Aries had a ship’s company of twenty-four men, besides four passengers–Spaniards–who professed to own the cargo, and a pilot, Simpson Adkins, well known in New York as formerly on the steamer Marion, in the New York and Charleston trade. This Adkins and the Spaniards are now prisoners on board the steamer Bibb.


The United States and England.–A special Washington dispatch of April 5th in the Philadelphia Inquirer, says:

The War Committee waited on the President yesterday to urge the issuing of letters of marque, and to induce the President to inform England that the letting loose of the ten iron-clad war vessels now building in her harbors for the rebels will be considered a declaration of war upon us, and that, unless steps are taken at once to prevent further operations in that line, Lord Lyons be furnished his passports and that Charles Francis Adams be recalled. It is urged upon the President that English vessels are now under the rebel flag, sweeping our commerce from the seas, and that in less than ninety days a fleet of English iron-clad steamers, of most formidable character, will sweep away our blockading squadrons and open rebel ports. Secretary Seward, however, hopes to settle the whole matter amicably, and fears that something may be done to offend England if we do not act with great caution and deliberation. The President is much incensed that Lord Lyons should have been plotting treason with the leaders of the opposition to the Government here in the National Capital, and unless something unforeseen occurs, the next four days will bring forth some of the most important movements in the whole history of the rebellion, as some deliberate policy must be adopted at once. 


The Postage Stamp Mania in Paris.–The mania for collecting postage stamps has assumed such a proportion in Paris that a little bourse is established in the garden of the Tulleries, where this scrap of paper stock is bought and sold with the same avidity as speculators exhibit at the money market. A tremendous excitement has been created at the postage mart by the announcement that the newborn national government if Poland has issued postage stamps, and that some of them had actually reached the metropolis.


What becomes of pennies? During the month of March 5,300,000 pennies were coined at the Philadelphia mint; yet they have disappeared, or nearly so, from circulation in the Northern cities.

APRIL 20, 1863


The reports and accounts from Vicksburg are unexpected. It is certain the Confederates have entertained the opinion that the siege of this place has been practically abandoned by the enemy, and that his actual and reported movements look like an assault in force. The successful passage of the Vicksburg batteries by five of Porter’s fleet is certainly strong evidence that they still entertain the idea of “opening the navigation of the Mississippi.” These vessels are no doubt designed to co-operate with that portion of Farragut’s fleet which ran the gauntlet at Port Hudson, and which must now either reduce that place or repeat the fearful experiment of slipping by again. It seems a reasonable supposition that they all mean to concentrate in an attack upon Port Hudson, co-operating for that purpose with the land forces under Banks. They have now, when united, a fleet of eight or nine gunboats–formidable craft–those from Porter’s fleet being iron-clad. But their position is embarrassing. Cut off from their base of supplies both north and south, they have no means of procuring food or fuel.

There is no chance, we presume, of either foraging or obtaining seasoned wood to any extent on the banks of the rivers. Whatever they have to do, therefore, must be done quickly, before supplies are exhausted. If, in co-operation with Banks, they can reduce Port Hudson, the way will then be open for more leisurely operations against Vicksburg; but failing to open either barrier, their case will be desperate in the extreme. A very few days, it seems to us, must disclose their plans.

The story of sixty-four transports leaving Memphis, and the suppression of the Bulletin and Argus, probably for tattling about army movements, is Northern news, and may be trumped up to mislead, while Grant pushes forward his columns to effect a junction with Rosecrans, The only thing which renders it probable is, as we have said, the running the gauntlet of our batteries by Porter’s fleet. We cannot imagine that they would have made this movement, except in anticipation of some subsequent arrangements for getting back without encountering a similar danger and loss. News from Vicksburg will now be exceedingly interesting.


Running the Blockade.

We clip the following from the Richmond Enquirer and Richmond Whig, having been impressed with and expressed the same ideas a good while:

We know, also, by Mr. Mason’s correspondence with Lord Russell, that the import duties collected in Charleston last year, though with very low duties, exceeded the amount collected in any former year.

We know also that lines of steamships ply regularly between Nassau and our ports of Wilmington and Charleston; and that they enter those harbors with assured impunity under the guns of a blockading fleet.

Further, we know that while these Nassau vessels are scarcely ever interrupted–and then probably by mistake–every vessel coming from Europe with army stores, machinery, cannon and ammunition, is chased and fired upon, and most of them captured.

Ever since the late attack on Fort Sumter, and while a great Federal fleet was lying inside the bar, the Anna and Emma, with general cargo from Nassau, ran in at her ease; but next day a steamer from England, with ammunition and shoes, was attacked and destroyed.

Has any one taken the trouble to analyze these remarkable facts, or draw any inferences from them? What do our readers think of the following explanation?

It has lately become known, through several channels, that many large commercial houses in New York and Boston, which lost by the war their direct legitimate custom with the Confederate States, have established branch houses in Nassau, to which they send goods adapted to our market, making up and labeling their packages as English. With these are laden the steamships that “run the blockade” to Wilmington and Charleston. The steamers are known to the commanders of the blockading fleet, or there is a private code of signals agreed upon, and they pass, without interruption, inward and outward.

The pretended “blockade,” then–if this explanation be the true one–is nothing more or less than a contrivance for monopolizing or trade, and shutting other nations out of our harbors. It is a fraud, first upon us; secondly, on all outside mankind–and the existence of a certain risk, consequent on an occasional capture, ensures the higher profit to Yankee merchants. Thus, while they waste our substance and burn our towns on the one hand, they swindle us on the other under the cunning pretext of smuggling. The Confederate resources are a candle lighted at both ends; and if we cannot be conquered by fair fighting, it is hoped we may be subdued by an exhaustive drain of our resources, debt, starvation. Who shall escape the Yankees? Secession does not make us rid of them; war is no interruption to their deadly embrace; if we take the wings of morning we cannot fly beyond the reach of their unwholesome and fatal “demand and supply.”


The War a Failure: Future Plans for Success.–Senator Wade, from the Joint Committee of the two Houses of the Yankee Congress, consisting of three members of the Senate and four member of the House of Representatives, appointed in December, 1861, with instructions to inquire into the conduct of the present war, has presented a report with the testimony taken. The committee came to the conclusion that during last spring, summer and winter, the “Union” armies did literally nothing, and wind up their report with the following work which remains to be done:

“We now see clearly what we have to do. We must obtain uninterrupted control of the Mississippi. We must reach these great railroad arteries, the one bordering on the Atlantic seaboard, the other stretching through the Virginia and Tennessee valleys to the West and the South. We must as soon as possible take the few fortified seaports remaining in possession of the rebels; and then we shall have virtually disarmed the rebellion, cut it off from all external sources of food and arms, and have surrounded it by forces which can press upon it from any quarter, at the same time severing into isolated portions the rebel territories and destroying their means of intercommunication, by which alone they have hitherto been enabled to meet us in force wherever we have presented ourselves, and which alone they have been able to feed and supply their armies.”


Affairs at Suffolk.

Offensive Movements of the Enemy.

Advices from Suffolk state that on the 16th inst. the enemy drove back our skirmishers on the Somerton road, which is Gen. Corcoran’s front, and opened on Fort Union with two pieces of artillery. Our forts at once replied to them and drove them back. Our skirmishers on the south Quay routed and drove the enemy back some miles from our lines. Deserters say the enemy intend to make an attack this week. Guerrillas prowled about our flanks on the 16th inst., killing one man. They also cut the telegraph wires, which were soon repaired. Both railroads between Suffolk and Norfolk are in running order and amply guarded by a cavalry patrol. No letters are now allowed to be sent forward by the flag of truce except to prisoners of war.

The Rebel Force Near Suffolk–The Prospect.

Suffolk letters report that our forces hold the Nansemond river for sixteen miles and have defeated every attempt of the rebels to get in our rear. The rebels expect to bring against us, including reinforcements from Gen. Hill, some 60,000 men. The delay of the enemy in making the attack is as good as a reinforcement to us of 10,000 men. Gen. Longstreet has expressed the opinion that Suffolk is too well fortified for him to risk with his present force a direct assault on our works. A Norfolk letter expresses the pinion that there will be no great battle at Suffolk. We outnumber the enemy there and have the advantage of strong entrenchments. Unless Gen. Peck takes the initiative and advances on eh enemy, I am confident there will be no battle.

Capture of a Rebel Chief of Staff.

A Washington dispatch says that official information has been received of the capture, on Friday, of the chief of staff of the rebel Gen. French on the Nansemond river, by Lieut. Commander Cushing of the Commodore Barney.


General News Summary.

A young lawyer named Joliffe has been hanging round Washington, obtaining the names of those soldiers who died in hospitals and then writing to the relatives to send him a sum of money to forward the remains. He has obtained considerable sums of money, but rarely attempted to fulfill his part of the contract. On one occasion, however, he sent on a body, but as it was not the one asked for, the fraud has led to his detection, and the effectual shutting up of his swindling operation.

Those who are in possession of all that is known on the subject of our relations with Great Britain feel that they have reason to be more hopeful of a pacific solution of pending questions than they were a few days ago. They think that England is beginning to see the error of her ways, and that she will, either through the agency of the courts or by some other means, stop the fleet now being fitted out in her ports for the rebels from putting to see. All the evidence of the late points in this direction. So says the Tribune’s Washington correspondent.

It is expected that from the taxation of incomes, which will commence on the 1st of May, a large revenue will be produced, quite sufficient to make up the deficits in the estimates of ex-Commissioner Boutwell.

There is but one Irish Mormon at Salt Lake, but he “improves his opportunities.” He has nine wives and forty-seven children.

The Failure at Charleston.

The prospect of Future Operations.

Advices from Port Royal in the N. Y. Evening Post, state that a movement is making for the removal of Admiral Dupont, and that gen. Seymour, who has been to Washington, urged it upon the government. The feeling among the land forces is said to be very strong against Dupont, and the confidence of the sailors much weakened. Gen. Seymour’s mission was also to urge the reinforcement of Gen. Hunter. It is understood that the troops belonging to Gen. Foster’s department will be returned there. A rumor said the order for the attack on Charleston was countermanded from Washington, the countermand not reaching the admiral until too late to prevent the assault, and that it was partly in obedience to this last order that the assault was not renewed. The report that the monitors are to go to New Orleans was not credited in well-informed circles. There is good reason to believe that Gen. Hunter has not relinquished the idea of early offensive movements against Charleston. The monitors could be made ready in two or three hours, and as efficient as before the late engagement. It is the opinion of Captain Worden, though the Post is not authorized by him to state it, that the monitor fleet is able to batter down Fort Sumter, and in this opinion nearly all the officers concurred. It is also believed that the obstructions might be passed, though at the risk that the monitors might not be able to return. The Ironsides remains off Charleston bar.

Fort Sumter–Panic in Charleston.

Deserters from Savannah state that Fort Sumter was breached in several places, and many rebel gunners out hors du combat. At one time Gen. Ripley telegraphed that there was a possibility of our fleet forcing the obstructions. This created a panic in Charleston, and all the citizens and many soldiers ran away from the city beyond the range of the Yankee shells. During the engagement the rebel forces were under arm, and anxiously watching the points from which they expected the Yankee troops to emerge. There is said to have been 20,000 rebels on James island alone, and 22 rebel earth fortifications on James, John and Morris islands.

The Injuries to the Iron-Clads.

The turrets and hulls of the monitors are unscathed. In no instance is the armor perforated. The sum total of the injuries was the simple riddling of the smoke-stacks. The fleet, with this exception, are ready for active service.

Land Forces Near Charleston.

A detachment of troops was left on Folly Island to co-operate with the fleet in Stono Inlet and prevent the construction of new rebel batteries. A similar force was left in Edisto Inlet for a like purpose.


British Gunboat Fired into by Mistake.

The bark J. W. Andrews, which arrived at New York Sunday, reported that April 6th, in the Bahama channel, she was boarded by the British gunboat Signet, which reported on the 4th inst. being fired into by the United States gunboat Connecticut, which took the Signet to be the Alabama. The captain of the Signet went aboard the Connecticut when the affair was amicably adjusted.

APRIL 22, 1863


On the night of the 12th inst., the steamer Stonewall Jackson, while attempting to run into Charleston harbor, was chased by half a dozen blockaders, which fired at her, and she received several shots through her hull. The captain, finding it impossible to escape, ran the steamer on the beach and burned her. The cargo consisted of several pieces of field artillery, two hundred barrels of saltpetre, forty thousand army shoes and a large assortment of merchandise.


Good at Retreating.—The Washington Republican represents that the 12th and 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry can beat all creation in the speed with which they run from the enemy. It adds in proof of this:

“A portion of the Twelfth were sent out from Winchester, on the 11th, to scout on the Cedar Creek road. A small party of rebels made their appearance, when the ‘Pennsylvania Racers’ suddenly made a left wheel and came back into town at the highest speed they could get out of their jaded animals, and alarming the whole command by a ridiculous report that a large forces of rebel cavalry was advancing upon us.”


Vicksburg.—The Boston Post remarks that if recent statements concerning Vicksburg are all true, the strength of the place and its capabilities for repelling attack have been in no wise exaggerated. The pleasant fiction with which some of our newspaper campaigners were deluding their readers a while ago, that the enemy would soon have to evacuate, if for no other reason than the lack of food, is rudely dissipated by the assurance that beef, bacon and corn meal are plenty; and not only plenty but superabundant, “enough having been stowed away to supply the army for two years.” It is further stated that the stories about the destruction of the Indianola are all moonshine, concocted by the enemy to throw dust in the eyes of Admiral Porter, to prevent gunboats coming down the river to capture her.


While the “no party” administration was sending 3000 soldiers to Connecticut to vote a partisan ticket, Gen. Foster was in sore trouble, and in danger of capture, not many miles from the camps from whence the political soldiers were sent.


An order has been given to Gov. Andrew from the War Department to arm the colored regiments from Massachusetts with first-class arms. According to President Lincoln’s idea, this is about the easiest way of supplying the rebels with “first-class arms.”


Complimentary.—The Bermuda Mirror of April 1st (suspicious date) says the British war-ship Cygnet was fired at by two U.S. ships off the coast of Cuba; and that upon an explanation being demanded, they stated that they thought she was the Alabama or Florida. Whereupon the “sassy cuss of a Britisher” says:

“In all probability if it had been the Alabama or the Florida, the Federal war-vessels would have kept at a respectful distance, as they always have done, and managed to let her escape to save their own lives.”

How to Increase the Value of a Cow.—Every one who owns a cow can see at a glance that it would be profitable to increase the value of her, but every one cannot tell how to do it. We can, and we think we can make it equally palpable to our readers. If a cow is kept for butter, it certainly would add to her value if the butter making properties of her milk should be improved. In summer or winter this can be improved just as the yield of a cultivated crop can be improved by what is fed to each, and it is simply a question of will it pay, in manuring the one or feeding the other. Indian corn will add to the quantity and quality of the butter to a very sensible degree; and it is simply a question of easy solution, by experiment, whether it will add to the profit of the butter-maker to buy corn at one or two cents a pound, and convert a portion of it in to butter at twenty-five cents a pound, or whatever the market price of corn and butter may be, and another portion of it into fat, and another portion of it into manure, for that is the natural result of the chemical change produced in the laboratory of the cow’s stomach. The same result will follow any other kind of feeding. Good pastures will produce an abundance of milk, often as much as the cow can carry; but it does not follow that even then it will not be profitable to feed her with some more oleaginous food to increase the quantity of butter, just as it sometimes proves profitable to feed bees to enable them to store more honey. It certainly does appear to us that the value of a cow feeding upon ordinary winter food, may be almost doubled by making that food suitable for the purpose of increasing the quantity of milk, if that is the purpose for which the cow is kept. Farmers general understand that they convert corn into beef, pork and lard, and some of them know exactly at what price per bushel it will pay to convert it into these substances; but does any one know at what rate it will pay to convert corn or any other grain into butter, or any other kind of feed into the dairy products? Is the whole business a hap-hazard one? We fear so. Some persons know that they can increase the saleable value of butter by adding the coloring matter of carrots to it. Does any person know the value of a bushel of carrots fed to a cow to increase her value as a butter-producing laboratory? Experimental proof upon this point would be far more worthy of an agricultural prize than it is to see who can show the largest roots; for by a few carefully conducted experiments we should be able to increase the value of a cow almost at pleasure.


The safe of the Paymaster at the Brooklyn N. Y. Navy Yard was recently robbed of about $140,000 in “greenbacks.” But Mr. Chase can print that amount in a very short time.


It is stated that the number of American vessels captured by rebel privateers is 68–11 of them by the Sumter, 29 by the Alabama, and 7 by the Florida.3


Admiral Farragut’s Movements.
Official Account of Operations on the Lower Mississippi.

Washington, April 22.–The Navy Department has received the following official dispatch, dated U.S. Steam Sloop Pensacola, off New Orleans, April 13:

On the morning of the 27th ult., at about daybreak, Admiral Farragut, in the Hartford, engaged the batteries at Warrenton, three miles below Vicksburg, and passed below it. On the morning of the 29th ult., before daylight, the Albatross, having taken in a full supply of provisions from a barge which had been floated down the morning previous by Admiral Porter also passed Warrenton battery, and anchored near the flagship. It was blowing quite heavy from the North.

The morning of the 29th, about 1 o’clock, the wharf boat Vicksburg having broken adrift from her moorings at the city, floated down and ran ashore opposite to where the Hartford and Albatross were anchored. During the day an officer was sent on board the Vicksburg, who found that all the machinery had been removed. She had nothing on board save four muskets and equipments, which probably belonged to the guard. While the Admiral was hesitating as to the propriety of retaining her as a wharf boat or rather a depot, the rebels came down on the night of the 30th and burnt her.

The Switzerland, Hartford and Albatross being all filled up with coal and provisions, floated down by Gen. Grant and Admiral Porter in barges, and the damage to the Switzerland being fully repaired, the vessels passed Warrenton on the forenoon of the 31st, and at daylight the little squadron got under weigh and proceeded down river to Mr. Turner’s plantation, where they, on their passage up the river, had seen the wreck of the Indianola, but no traces of the wreck were found. They learned that it slid off into deep water during the late gale.4

They anchored at this place and remained until about 6:30 p.m., when they got under weigh and proceeded down and engaged the battery at Grand Gulf. This battery consisted of some two or three navy guns sent down from Vicksburg. One of these guns was mounted on a steamer which had been concealed up the Big Black river. The enemy had also a light field battery. They struck the Switzerland twice but did no damage. The Albatross was not struck. The Hartford was struck only once, but this shot struck an iron hammock stanchion ad threw a fragment of it forward near half the length of the ship, killed a man named Jones, a landsman. This was the only casualty. They passed this battery in about fifteen minutes and anchored below Grand Gulf for the night.

At daylight on the 1st inst., they got under weigh, and proceeded to the mouth of the Red river, where they anchored about sundown, destroying in our passage down a large number of flat boats.

They remained blockading the Red river at its mouth until the forenoon of the 6th inst., when they got under weigh at about 4:30 a.m., and proceeded down to Bayou Sara, where they stopped, seized upon and threw into the river about 10,000 sacks of corn, and then proceeded on their way to Port Hudson, where they anchored about five miles above the batteries, at 3 p.m. on the 6th inst.

On the evening of the 7th, at 8½ o’clock, the writer of this communication, the Secretary of the Rear Admiral, left the Hartford and boarded the Richmond off Baton Rouge about 2 a.m., 8th inst. The health of the squadron above is good.

Passage of the Batteries.

Cincinnati, April 22.–A special dispatch from Memphis to the Gazette gives the following particulars of the passage of the Vicksburg batteries:

Seven gunboats and one ram, the one taken from the rebels, and three transports, started on Thursday last to run the blockade. All went well till about two-thirds the way down, when the hills back of Vicksburg were lighted with large fires. The transport Forrest Queen at once returned. The Henry Clay was compelled to stop. Several shells struck her below the water line, and others passed through her. All hands made for the flat boat as the vessel was sinking. It is believed they were lost. The pilot floated down river nine miles on a plank, and was picked up opposite Warrenton. The Forrest Queen was considerably damaged, and had her steam drum show away.

At last accounts heavy firing was heard in the vicinity of Warrenton, supposed to be the gunboats shelling the batteries at that point.


Buy My Images!—Galignani’s Messenger relates the following as an actual occurrence:

“Leon Gozlan said, one evening, in the green room of the Theatre Français, that, perplexed at seeing the Italian image sellers eternally hawking their tray of statuettes on their heads through the streets, without a human creature ever appearing to bargain for any, he asked one of those vendors if he had exercised that profession long. ‘Thirty years,’ replied the man. ‘And did you ever,’ continued the author of the Medecin de Perq, ‘happen to sell one of your figures?’ ‘Never, sir.’ Gozlan reflected for some time on the strangeness of the answer, and then said, ‘My good man, do me the favor to tell me why you have been thus walking about, for the last thirty years with the load upon your head? Is it in obedience to a vow you have made?’ ‘No, sir, certainly not; it is to get my living–that is the only reason.’ ‘But you say you never sell anything.’ ‘I never sell anything, it is true,’ returned the man, ‘but there are so many clumsy people in the world that a day never passes without some one running against me and upsetting my board. My figures are thus broken, and a crowd collects and makes the person pay for them all!’ ”


, 1863

For the latest news we copy a brief summary from the Boston Journal of April 22: Yesterday was quite a bright day so far as the reception of god news was concerned–a precursor, we hope, of more and even better intelligence of the same kind. There was the news by the foreign steamer that the English government had shown some sense of returning justice by the seizure of one rebel pirate, and its attempt, though unfortunately unsuccessful, to seize another; the report of a rebel defeat at Corinth; the gratifying news of the relief of our gallant troops at Washington, N. C., through the abandonment of the siege by the rebels; the equally gratifying news of the running of the blockade at Vicksburg by six gunboats and several transports, thus reinforcing Farragut, and enabling him to do great damage to the rebel supplies, and also to attack either Port Hudson or Vicksburg on their weak side; the important and, so far as heard from, successful movements in Gen. Banks’ department; the seemingly authentic and gratifying news of a terrible defeat of the French invaders in Mexico; and last, but not least, the discomfiture of the gold speculators. Taking it altogether, it seemed to raise the feelings of the public several degrees.

A report from Charleston states that the Monitors were then lying off the bar, none of them having gone to Port Royal. It is also stated that another Monitor had reached Port Royal, and iron plates for strengthening the ships had arrived at that place, and in the course of ten days they would be stronger than ever.

The rebels attacked Fayetteville, Ark., 3000 strong, but were handsomely repulsed. There have been skirmishes in Tennessee, but nothing of importance.

The last news from Europe says the insurrection in Poland is spreading.


Great Britain and Our Commerce.

“Burleigh” writes from New York to the Boston Journal as follows:

“If the sale of ships goes on for a few weeks as it has for the five weeks past, we shall have no commerce at our wharves flying the American flag. No ship master can get a cargo, and all importations are made under a neutral flag. The Alabama is sweeping our commerce from the ocean. The British are buying our ships, and no American has a chance now. I conversed with an intelligent Englishman in regard to the new iron-clads building in England. He says that the new vessels are formidable; that no one is allowed to see these ships; that they are enclosed in ship-houses. One rumor says that they will open southern ports at once, for their destination is not a matter of debate.”


The Rebel View of Connecticut Election.—The Richmond Dispatch of the 11th inst. has an article upon the recent election in Connecticut, saying:

“The hopes which rested on the triumph of Seymour have fallen to the ground. The importance of this defeat of the democracy cannot well be exaggerated; for if the result had been otherwise, the Northwest would have risen, the peace party would have been organized on a permanent basis, the next meeting of Congress would have been followed by a summary abrogation of the imperial powers bestowed upon Lincoln by the abolition Congress just ended, and a cessation of hostilities might have been confidently looked for, at or before the close of the present year. Lincoln has succeeded. Connecticut is lost, and with it goes the hope of an early peace, based upon party action at the North, which so many entertained.”

Are the Rebels Starving?

We hope so, most assuredly. The accounts that we receive from our own soldiers who have been prisoners, intercepted letters, and those highly reliable persons, rebel deserters, all go to show that the confederacy is on the borders of starvation. Even Jeff Davis himself cannot wholly ignore the fact, but acknowledges it in his last speech, recommending the people to raise corn instead of cotton; and while admitting that the rebel army is now on half rations, says: “Measures have been adopted which will, it is believed, soon enable us to restore the full rations.”

One of the New York papers publishes a letter found in a Confederate mail bag recently captured, in which the writer, an artilleryman engaged on the defences at Richmond, speaks as follows of the hard fare of the army:

“We were sent to guard a bridge across the North Anna river, close to Fredericksburg, and had a hard time of it. The federals gave our army their hands full, and the losses were heavy on both sides. Our men must die for something to eat. They cannot stand these hard marches and half feed. We get a quarter of a pound of pork and one loaf of bread, and that is all we get in one day and nothing else, and we have not been paid off in three months. We look for an early peace, and that is all the cry at this time. For my part I have lost all hope of this unholy war coming to an end during old Abe’s term. They say we will be sent to Western Virginia; but I have seen enough of the mountains and would be glad if they would let us be where we are.”


A Hard General to Conquer.—The Savannah News of a late date says:

“The Yankees have arrayed against us powerful armies, under the lead of Gens. Hooker, Hunter, Banks, Foster, Siegel, Rosecrans and The Beast. But we are threatened by a more formidable general–general starvation. Our farmers, every man, woman and child that can wield a hoe, can meet the latter in the field. If they will drive him from our midst, our brave soldiers will vanquish the others.”

If the rebel armies are already upon half rations, as Jeff Davis admits they are, what want and woe are in store for their families and the deluded population of the south generally.


 “Why are nails designated by the terms sixpenny, eightpenny, &c?” In Sheffield, England, where immense quantities of nails are manufactured, they used to be sold in small quantities by the hundred; and the terms fourpenny, sixpenny, &c., referred to such nails as were sold at fourpence, sixpence, &c., per hundred nails. The length of the nail of that day was exactly the same with nails that are now known by those designations.


A man being asked, as he lay sunning himself on the grass, what was the height of his ambition, replied: “To marry a rich widow with a bad cough.”


APRIL 25, 1863


The Fashions in Richmond.—The wife of a rebel officer writes in a letter recently intercepted, concerning dress and parties in the rebel capital:

“A calico dress costs thirty-six dollars, that is three dollars a yard. White cottons three dollars per yard, lawns and ginghams the same. The most ordinary merino or silk, one hundred dollars. A simple bonnet fifty dollars. A pair of ordinary three dollar gaiters, twenty dollars. Notwithstanding these prices, parties were very numerous till Lent began. There was a wedding next door to us which five hundred people attended, and where all liquors were abundant, and champagne and other wine flowed like water. . . The oranges at the wedding cost one dollar and fifty cents apiece, and everything was as plentiful as of old. The whole of the wedding paraphernalia and supper must have cost twenty thousand dollars or more.”


The Last of the “Gumbacks.”—The counting of the soiled postage stamps, which were two or three months ago deposited at the New York post office for redemption, has been completed, and most of them redeemed. The aggregate amount was over $260,000. Only about five per cent were rejected as worthless. The sorting and counting occupied three months’ time. Some idea of the extent of the labor may be formed, says the Evening Post, from the fact that the counting would have occupied one man for the space of two years and a half; and it is believed that that man in consequence of the perplexing nature of the work, would, at or before the end of the time, have become insane.


The newest thing under the sun and the simplest, is a contrivance for loosening the risibles of persons sitting for a picture for a photograph. The great trouble heretofore has been that sitting for a picture makes the countenance appear too cross and severe. The remedy hit upon is to wheel a large mirror to the side of the camera, so that the sitter can “see himself as others see him.” The effect is said to be instantaneous on every sitter. When the scowl has become lost in a look of satisfactory happiness, the operator suddenly “fixes” the expression on the plate. The experiment will be tried by artists hereabouts, when every body can appear “so sweet,” and all at the old prices.


There is one umbrella in the army of the Potomac, the gift of a little girl to her brother who is a private, to protect him from exposure on the long marches. It is the subject of much mirth among the soldiers, who have about forgotten the use of such things.


The Washington correspondent of the N. Y. Times says the public feeling is that we are actually contending with Great Britain as well as the rebels, and that British guns of the latest improvement and greatest power, sent to South Carolina to break up the Republic, saved Charleston on the 7th from her merited destruction.

A Rebel Voice for Peace.—A correspondent of the Chattanooga Rebel, written under date of “Camp near Vicksburg, Mss., March 16,” says three men were shot at that place on the 6th for mutiny and desertion, and adds:

“Such a scene ought deeply to impress the minds of the soldiers that witness it, but this terrible war has so accustomed our soldiers to scenes of blood and death, that they are little affected with anything. This is a cruel, horrid war, and it is surprising that some of our Congressmen and a part of our press do not appear to desire a speedy end to it. If these fine gentlemen could leave their comfortable houses and mingle for a time among their dirty, ragged, weather-beaten countrymen who are baring their bosoms to the storm, they might be induced to change their minds. If they could see, as I have seen, our sturdy Tennessee farmers and Georgia planters, standing on picket for days and nights in [the] mud and water of the swamps here, with the rain all pouring down upon them, as only a Mississippi rain can pour, everything wet, muddy and nothing to eat but coarse brown bread and molasses; if they could see these men, who have all their lives been accustomed to every comfort and luxury that independent circumstances could afford, trudging ten or twelve miles through the mud, and begging the privilege of paying a dollar a pound for a little bacon to eat or a little soap with which to wash their clothes; if they could see, as I have seen, dear friends waste away and die in camps or linger and perish in hospitals; if they could witness a few soldier burials–the detailed squad grumbling because they have to dig the grave–the rude, unpainted coffin, brought in by another detailed squad–the dead soldier rolled in his blanket, and the coffin lid nailed down upon him with a loud, grating noise–then the final, unceremonious putting of the poor fellow away in an unhallowed ground; a board marked with his name and the name of the regiment tells where he lies, but no one will ever visit it, and after a few months have elapsed no one can tell where his last resting place is. If these home patriots could witness some of these sad pictures, and could have an opportunity of observing how the young men of the Confederacy, who were taught good manners and good morals by their fond parents at home, are fast becoming demoralized, and learning all the vices and evil habits incident to the wild, unrestrained soldier life, thus blighting all their future promises–they would learn that the friendship, and even the alliance of the people of the Northwest is to be desired. I do not believe that we ought to go wild about the revolution now going on in the Northwest, but it certainly is our policy to treat it with respect and to court its influence.”


A rebel newspaper announces with no little exultation that specimens of shoe pegs have been produced at the work shop of the South Carolina railroad. It is an encouraging evidence of the progress of the useful arts under stress of the blockade. If the war continues two years longer, and the blockade puts the inventive and constructive faculty of the rebels to its trumps, it may yet rise to the dignity of clothes-pin and tenpenny nails.

interested here means “invested in financially.”

2 Although assuming a modern form by the end of the war, ammunition for both rifles and pistols in the early 1860s generally came in a paper cartridge that contained black powder (the propellant) and bullet (the projectile). To ignite the powder and propel the bullet, a cap containing fulminate of mercury (the same chemical used in modern cap guns) had to be placed over a cone, through which the spark created when the hammer of the weapon struck the cap was projected. Having a loaded gun did not make the weapon any more dangerous than having it unloaded, as there was nothing to ignite the powder; but having these sixteen pistols loaded and capped meant they were ready to be fired instantly.

3 The other 21 having been taken by assorted other rebel ships to make the total of 68.

4 under weigh is the original (and correct) manner of writing “underway;” it refers to the ship’s anchor having been “weighed” or raised, so that the ship can then proceed.

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