, 1863

The Supply of Salt and Iron.

The Milledgeville correspondent has already furnished our readers with an abstract of the earnest remarks recently made on this subject in the Senate by the Hon. Mr. Bigham. No more important matter can engage the attention of those persons who are not immediately connected with active military operations, than that of procuring for the country these articles of prime necessity. “Every man, woman and child in the State,” said Mr. Bigham, most truly “will painfully feel the destitution, if we do not provide in time a supply of these articles.” Without salt it will be very difficult to feed our families at home, and it will be impossible to feed our soldiers in the field. Without iron, our agricultural operations must be seriously embarrassed, and in some cases suspended entirely. Without iron neither our manufactories, nor our railroads and other means of transportation can much longer be sustained. Iron is incalculably more valuable to us than gold. It is with us, at the present time, really “the precious metal.” We can dispense with gold, without much damage. The currency which we have used for two years may continue to supersede the use of gold for two years more, if necessary. In the arts it is mainly in request for purposes of luxury, and luxuries are not indispensable. But iron we must have, without it, some one has said, civilization could not be supported; and any civilized people, now deprived of it, would relapse into barbarism. And if it be so needful in time of peace it is still more necessary in time of war. It is as essential to the prosecution of war as gunpowder. Without iron we must be a conquered people.

It is a matter of congratulation that the two grand necessities of which we are speaking are not barred out by the blockade of our enemies. A beneficent Providence has placed an ample supply of both within our reach, if we have energy and enterprise enough to stretch forth our hands and grasp the prize. The ocean which washes our coast holds in solution salt enough to supply the world. The upper counties of our State abound in iron ore of the best quality. All that is necessary for us is to devise some means by which we can avail ourselves of these treasures. In Troup county, there is a flourishing Iron Supply Company, with a capital of forty thousand dollars. Let us have similar companies in other sections of the State. Are there not sufficient capital, enterprise, and patriotism to organize a company in this county? Who will be the first to move in this important matter? Why should not Richmond, on the eastern boundary, be found working, side by side, with Troup, on the western line of the State? In the course of his remarks, Mr. Bigham most earnestly besought his fellow Senators to go home and rouse their constituents everywhere to the consideration of this subject. He believed, he said, “that they would, in that way, render a far more valuable service to the State than by remaining in session a whole year.” We fully concur with him in his views of this question. Agricultural implements which should always be so cheap as to be accessible to all classes, are held at enormous prices; and, if the scarcity of iron is not remedied, they will soon cease to be procurable at any price. Who can be employed in any work more philanthropic and more patriotic than in devising some means of supply?

We are aware that some persons shrink from adventuring their capital in enterprises which may be injured by the termination of the war. We believe that such a company as the one in Troup county will prove a good investment in any issue, if judiciously managed; and, even if the profit were uncertain, the public benefit must justify the hazard, in the view of every patriotic man.

Affairs in the Cherokee Nation.—The late session of the Cherokee Legislature, which assembled in the Delaware district of the nation, at Cowskin prairie, organized on the 18th ult.

Among the measures effected was the revocation of the ordinance of secession and the treaty with the Confederate government passed by a former Legislature. An act was passed deposing from office all Cherokees disloyal to the government of the United States, and declaring them forever incompetent to hold any office. A resolution was passed, asking the President to extend to the Cherokee nation the offer of compensated emancipation. At the same time a bill became law unconditionally abolishing slavery. It is understood that another law was also passed declaring all persons born in the Cherokee Territory citizens of the Nation. This, of course, includes persons of African descent as well as whites.

Delegates are appointed to proceed to Washington and confer with the general government.


From Mississippi.

The Yankees are amusing themselves every day in shelling the city from their twenty and thirty pounder guns on the tongue of land across the river. They have inflicted little damage as yet, but their shells are a considerable annoyance as the iron visitors burst into fragments frequently in the heart of the city, causing pedestrians to “skedaddle” in fine style. Our guns have not “growled” once in return, and they suppose they will not, as we have always been very prudent about expending our ammunition. If the Yankees persevere, and the past should certainly teach us they are the most constant people in the pursuit of an undertaking that the sun ever shone on, considerable damage may be done. We cannot believe that they will be satisfied with two small Parrott guns. Our pickets represent them to be working constantly every night, and unless we endeavor to drive them off, gun after gun may spring up until Vicksburg becomes too warm for comfort.

The Jackson Appeal of the 21st says: Our latest information is from a gentleman who left the city yesterday afternoon. The fire from the battery opposite was going on when the train left. Thus far comparatively few of the missiles thrown have reached the city. Several buildings, however, have been hit and slightly damaged. Among them is the passenger depot, which has been struck several times, and it having become apparent that its range had been ascertained, trains are now stopped some distance this side for safety. The firing to-day seemed to be directed toward the vicinity of the Washington house.


APRIL 27, 1863

From New Orleans: Sharp Fighting and Captures.

New York, April 26.—The Era of the 19th, the only paper received, gives an account of the late military movements. On the night of the 17th, Gen. Banks reached Vermillionville after a hard fight at Vermillion Bayou, where the rebels had poised their batteries and infantry, but were driven after hard fighting, with considerable loss on both sides. A letter in the Era, dated on the field above New Iberia on the 17th, states that Col. Kimball, with the 53d Massachusetts Regiment, entered the rebel bulwarks at Bethel Place on the morning of the 14th, planting our flag on the parapet. Gen. Weitzel’s division followed, succeeded by the whole line. The rebels left their numerous dead unburied, and evidences were plenty of bloody work in their ranks. Large stores, ammunition, some Enfield rifles and other arms were captured. Our army then marched through Pattersonville, skirmishing continuously, and reached Franklin. Captures of whole companies of rebels were being made at the time.

At Franklin, the steamboat Cornie was captured, with three officers of the late gunboat Diana on board, thus restoring them to our service. The rebels also destroyed ten steamboats to prevent their falling into Gen. Banks’ hands, and two large gunboats and the Diana. Included in the destruction of these gunboats were immense stores of provisions, 20,000 pounds of bacon, and 1,000 cases of ammunition.

The expedition of Gen. Grover has been eminently successful, and in a battle with the rebels at Irish Bend, the 13th Connecticut, supported by the 26th Maine, 25th Connecticut, 12th Maine, and 91st New York, charged the rebel line and batteries, and defeated them, leaving silk flag and other trophies in our hands. The rebel force consisted of two regiments of Texans, [and] three batteries, including the famous Pelican and Sims’ batteries. The whole rebel force at Bethel Place and Irish Bend numbered some 10,000, posted in highly advantageous positions, under command of Gen. Dick Taylor, son of the late Zachary Taylor.

Important captures of horses, mules and beef cattle, to the number of over a thousand, were made.

The celebrated salt mine or salt rock was captured, and the revel works destroyed.

Rebel soldiers are not loath to be captured, and over 1500 are now in our hands, and more being taken.

A rebel iron foundry was found near New Iberia, containing a quantity of shot and shell.

Our fleet has reduced the rebel fortifications at Butte la Rose.

The prospects are that the rebels will be driven out of Opelousas county, or all captured.

Our troops are in splendid condition. The wounded in the late battle have all reached New Orleans, numbering 179, where they are quartered at the Mechanic Hospital. Among them are Lieuts. Oliver and Barming, of the 25th Connecticut; all were doing well. Large numbers of rebel wounded were in hospital at Franklin and Iberia.

Nothing new from Kentucky or the West.

Strange Proceedings.
Vessels to Run the Blockade Fitting Out in New York.

The steamer Tubal Cain, which was captured on July 24th, 1862, while attempting to run the blockade, has been re-seized by the Federal authorities in this city, under peculiar circumstances. When the vessel and cargo were sold it appears prominent parties purchased her, and put a cargo on board with the object of running the blockade. Information of this extraordinary treasonable adventure, however, was communicated to Washington, and the vessel was at once seized. She is now lying at dock on the East river, and her decks are guarded by a patrol from the 4th Artillery. A few days since laborers were employed to remover her cargo. They found a considerable quantity of military caps and clothing concealed in the vessel. This morning arms were discovered in trunks with false bottoms, and kegs of powder, as alleged, were found concealed in barrels of flour. Only two officers were found on board the steamer when she was re-seized, whose names are reported to be Sutton and Bloome, and they have been sent to Fort Lafayette.


Recall of the French Mexican Expedition.—The New York Times of yesterday morning says:

“The accounts which reached us yesterday from Paris and Mexico foreshadow the speedy recall of the French forces in Mexico, if orders to that effect have not already gone out. From Paris, we learn that the Emperor has determined to get out of the Mexican expedition at whatever cost; and from Vera Cruz we learn that the French troops are busily engaged re-embarking stores for France. The intelligence is mutually confirmatory, and we are inclined to believe that it foreshadows the beginning of the end of this affair, whatever may be the result to the French arms of the siege of Puebla.”

The Times adds that the idea on which Napoleon based the Mexican expedition was the assumption that the Union, and consequently the power of the United States, was at an end, and that the abandonment of this assumption has led to the Emperor’s relinquishment of his designs on Mexico.


The Negro law of Indiana is being enforced. Several Negro families have been notified to leave the State, and are preparing to emigrate to Canada.


The Richmond Enquirer of the 23d says that “a Lieutenant was ordered to report at the Libby Prison on the 20th inst. for having taken eleven Yankee officers, of whom he was in charge, to the Linwood House, where they breakfasted.” It adds: “This new style of entertaining Yankee prisoners of war has been too much in vogue here of late.” The prisoners on either side should, since ours is a family quarrel–a house divided against itself–be treated as humanely as circumstances will allow, and not as wild beasts.


Army Officers & Cotton Speculation.

The Military Court of Inquiry now in session at St. Louis has already revealed abuses of such enormity in the military service, as connected with cotton speculations, as must cause the blood of every patriotic citizen to boil with honest indignation. From the very commencement of military operations in the Mississippi Valley, it seems a horde of unprincipled, mercenary cormorants have followed in the track of our armies, plundering the government without mercy, and fattening upon the spoils of war. The darkest feature of these damnable transactions, however, is the league which has existed between these speculators and military officers of high rank, by whose connivance, and in many cases positive orders, the means of transportation at the command of the government has been frequently perverted from its legitimate use, and placed at the disposal of the former for the purpose of carrying on a contraband traffic.

It is probably known to the public that, under a real or supposed necessity, nearly all the river steamers on the Mississippi have for a long time past been impressed into the government service at the cost of some $40,000 or $50,000 per day. But there is another fact which the public did not know, but which has now come to light–that this large fleet of transports, instead of being used to supply the wants and facilitate the movements of the army, have for a large portion of the time been placed under the control of trading Shylocks,1 who have employed them for the purpose of plying their vocation and transporting their ill-gotten gains between Memphis and Cairo and other points on the Mississippi. This has been done as the commanders of these transports testify, in all cases without compensation to the government, and often when Quartermaster’s department was suffering for want of transportation facilities, with its hay, grain and other stores rotting upon the wharves at Helena and Oldtown.

Not only so, but the land trains, and teams of oxen and horses, belonging to the army, have been used ad libitum,2 under permits from commanding officers, for hauling cotton from inland plantations to convenient points of shipment. And worse still, our brave volunteers, who enlisted only to fight the battles of the Union, have been detailed almost daily and nightly to scour the country to pick up spoil, to guard cotton trains, and have been compelled to toil like slaves in loading and unloading cargoes of this article on its way to market–not on Uncle Sam’s, but some broker and Colonel or General Somebody’s joint account. So far as could be ascertained by the testimony already before the court, but one single bale, the ownership of which was in dispute between two speculators, had been sold for the benefit of the government.

The cotton thus procured, by converting the Federal Army and Navy in to a grand expeditionary force for the securing of private plunder, was either seized from the neighboring plantations, (in many cases those of loyal proprietors,) without compensation or, if paid for at all, was merely taken from contrabands in exchange for bogus Confederate scrip, and criminally bartered with rebel agents for interdicted supplies of whiskey, salt, drugs, boots and shoes, dry goods, &c.->

The modus operandi of conducting this contraband trade–of course with the connivance of Federal officers–as disclosed in this investigation, was for the government transports to smuggle on board large quantities of these forbidden articles at Cairo, or some upper port on the Mississippi, run down to Helena and take a small force of soldiers, under the nominal command of a subaltern, but really under the control of a speculator, to be used in handling cotton bales–and under the pretense of making an important reconnoissance down the river, to start off for the nearest point of Secessia where the coveted staple was known to abound.

Parties of rebel soldiers and officers were sometimes entertained on board and supplied with whiskey, salt, and other contraband goods during these expeditions; and the transports when loaded with cotton invariably returned in the night, so that the nature of their mission could not be detected in passing the various military posts in the river. In some cases, these contraband goods have been laden on government steamers at Helena openly, and under the supervision of army officers, and the return cargoes of cotton landed and stored in charge of officials at the same point.

Since these transportations occurred, it is true, government has ostensibly made a movement to take this monopoly of the cotton business out of the hands of army officers and private speculators. But if accounts from the West are to be relied on, this corruption and abuse in the public service is far from being reformed; and it is due to the people who are being generously taxed to pay the expenses of this war, that they should know for what base purpose their money is wasted, and the time and strength of their armies wasted away.–Boston. Com. Bulletin.


Intervention.—The London correspondent of the Boston Commercial Bulletin, writing on the 4th of April, says:

Intervention is no longer spoken of, even in France, and there appears little doubt but that we shall be left to settle our own affairs in our own way. M. Thouvenal is reported to have stated at a private dinner party in Paris recently that Napoleon would have recognized the Southern Confederacy long ago, had it not been for him! It is well known that this gentleman and M. Rouher, Minister of Commerce, &c., as also Prince Napoleon, are strongly in favor of the Federal Government.”


A Good Suggestion.—In the pockets of each of the three Ohio deserters who are to be shot in Western Virginia next week, letters were found from their fathers advising them to desert. Governor Tod has advised the President to shoot the fathers instead of the sons.


No Time to Lose.—A correspondent of the Chicago Tribune writes that the western rivers are rapidly falling; that there has been a drought throughout the region drained by the feeders of the Mississippi, and “no rain in Northern Illinois for four weeks. Everything indicates that the Mississippi, high as it has been, must soon go down, and the season of low water come this year much earlier than usual. It would be not at all surprising if, in four weeks, there were twenty feet less water at Vicksburg than there is now.”

APRIL 29, 1863


Gen. Fremont, in an able letter on the subject of the Pacific Railroad, makes the following important suggestion. He says:

“It would be a measure fruitful in good results to employ immediately on the work of the road large bodies of men who are freed by the President’s proclamation. The fact that so large a number of our able-bodied citizens are under arms, and the consequent economy and the great rapidity with which the road could be driven forward by the employment of these people, make this subject worthy of the most liberal discussion. The road is national, and it is sufficiently obvious that considerations of great public utility are involved in this suggestion. Many of these people will soon require some provision to be made for them. Stretching indefinitely south of this projected road are great regions of available country, partly occupied, and partly inhabited sparsely by whites or mixed races, or Indians more or less civilized. Already as far north as the Gila river the Indians regularly cultivate cotton, the country is well adapted to stock, and fabulously rich in silver and other metals. In all this region there is abundant room. The character of the population, the extent of the country, and its undeveloped resources, seem to me very suggestive in connection with the employment of freedmen on the Pacific Railroad.”


One of our seamen, just paroled from Port Hudson, heard while there that our fleet did much damage to the rebel fortifications; that one of the lower batteries was spiked preparatory to abandonment; that many persons were killed–as many as 25 in one battery, and that a few hours of continued bombardment would beyond doubt have given us the place. He says the rebel ram Webb was destroyed during the fight.


The Richmond Examiner of the 22d contains an advertisement for five thousand laborers, slave, free and white, to work on the Richmond fortifications.


John Batterson, of the Liverpool Corn Exchange, met the members of the Corn Exchange at Philadelphia Monday morning. He made a speech expressing the gratitude of the operatives of Lancashire for the Philadelphia contribution for their relief. He also reviewed the course of feeling in England, saying the people were with us in the war for the Union.


Col. Baker, Provost Marshal of the War Department, has evidence in his possession implicating several persons, some of whom are holding offices under the Government, in a plot to effect the release of certain of the inmates of the Old Capitol prison. One of the suspected had the effrontery to bribe Col. Baker to silence with an offer of $10,000. After a portion of the money had been paid to Baker, who handed it to the Sanitary Commission, the donor, with his accomplices, was arrested. Three of the alleged conspirators have been indicted by the Grand Jury now in session.


Two officers from each regiment in Washington have been detailed to organize regiments out of the convalescents in the hospital around the city.

From Mexico.
The French Not Prospering.

New York, April 28.–Vera Cruz dates of the 5th, by the barque Henry Trowbridge, state that Mexican guerrillas captured a camp of railroad laborers near Vera Cruz, destroying and carrying off all the property. Several similar camps near Tejeira were also captured and sacked. Some 20 laborers were killed and 50 or 60 wounded. It is stated that the French are making very slight progress in Mexico. A small fort near Puebla had been captured, with a loss to the French of over 700 men. A heavy storm at Vera Cruz destroyed over $20,000 worth of French stores. Reinforcements for the French army are continually arriving.


The Doctrine of State Rights.–The doctrine of State Rights bequeathed to the South by Mr. Calhoun is, in its final result, fatal to the Federal Union. There cannot be a One Nation created out of twenty or fifty states that refuse to yield their sovereignty, in all things pertaining to the common welfare, to the National Government. The single claim of a reserved right to withdraw, for reasons of its own, whenever a state chooses, is fatal to National Unity. What building could stand if every column had a right to withdraw at its own pleasure? What chance would there be for wine committed to the care of a cask from which each one of the staves had a right to withdraw whenever the wine did not suit it?


Dr. Guthrie, the most eminent of the Scottish ministers since the death of Dr. Chalmers, says in a recent letter:

“The advanced position which the Federal Government and the North have taken on the subject of slavery has made their cause that of humanity and religion; therefore I cannot but heartily wish their success against a power which rests on principles as insulting to God as they are cruel to man.”


Police Court, Tuesday.–John Thompson, a colored barber on North Main street, was fined five dollars and costs for assaulting a white woman whose name is Sarah Brigham, and cutting her with a razor. These parties, a black man and a white woman, have been living together as man and wife for some time. She is a low character and he is not much better, often getting grossly intoxicated, and while so, abusing this woman shamefully. Considering the circumstances he received an unusually mild sentence.


The success of gen. Banks in his Louisiana expedition, is regarded by the military authorities at Washington as of the highest importance. In connection with the movements of the gunboat fleet on the Mississippi, it is supposed that the expedition of gen. Banks will render it necessary for the rebel forces occupying the strongholds upon that river to fall back upon some new base of supplies, as their communications with Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, through which they have been receiving a large amount of provisions and munitions of war, will have been cut off.


“Last, Not Least.”

Fashion, who since the days of Eve has absolutely dictated what habiliments shall be worn by mortals, is more unkind to the foot than to any other part of the human body. Her ministers, the tailors, carefully measure the length and breadth of the body and of its separate limbs, and strive to adapt their elaborately garments to its wonderful curves and angles; and even the hatters, absurd as some of their inventions appear to the artistic eye, make use of ingenious instruments for ascertaining to the ninth part of a hair the exact size and shape of the head to which their remarkable structures are to be adjusted. But the shoemakers, who, with the permission of the goddess from whose decisions there is no appeal, preside over that most useful and most admirable organ of locomotion, which contains within its delicate organization no less than twenty-six nicely adjusted bones, consider themselves at liberty to disregard its natural formation, and assume the right of determining its shape by prescribing an arbitrary form for its covering, thus virtually deciding that the foot is made for the shoe, and not the shoe for the foot. Every one who has experienced–and who has not?–the misery of having to “break in” to the shape of the foot an ill-fitting boot or shoe, made according to the fancy of a stupid shoemaker, or fashioned on a last having little or no resemblance to the human foot, must be painfully aware how well grounded is this complaint. It would be fortunate, indeed, if after the “breaking in” torments are over the foot should suffer no more; but the after-clap is still worse. Misery is the seed, and corns, bunions, flat and splay feet, in-growing nails, and weak ankles, are the painful crop. All these results of ill-fitting shoes, which in their turn are the result of ill-shapen lasts, are so prevalent throughout the civilized world that they have furnished subjects for learned treatises by the most skillful surgeons for several centuries. The wars of Napoleon are declared to have wonderfully advanced the science of surgery by the sad opportunity they afforded for the study of the human body. So, foreigners declare that the bad teeth of Americans are the cause of the well-known superiority of American dentists over those of all other countries. And thus, according to the saying that when things come to worst they sometimes mend, the dreadful torments which bad boots have inflicted on men have worked or are about to work their own cure by the discovery of the simple truth that the best to make a boot comfortable is to make it on a last that conforms to the actual structure of the foot. This discovery, long ago made in theory by anatomists, was never practically made before Dr. Plumer, of Boston, invented his patent last.

The best illustration of the merits of this invention is to be found in the defects of the old-fashioned lasts. The natural, well-formed foot has two arches, one transverse, extending across the foot at the ball of the great toe, the other longitudinal, extending along eh foot from the ball of the great toe to the heel. The foot, therefore, as every one knows, is concave beneath, except in cases where bad shoes have broken it down to such an extent that, as in eh case of the heroine of the Negro song, “the hollow of the foot makes a hole in the ground,” as it sometimes actually does. These arches require no artificial support when one walks on the ground bare-footed, because of the inequalities of the surface, which fill the concavities, and because of the elasticity of the soil. But when one walks on a hard pavement, he needs something to protect him from the hurtful contact of a hard and cold material, and to brace the arches of the foot, that is, the instep and the toe-arch.

Now, the ball portion of the common last is convex on the under surface, and the sole of the boot made on it is, therefore, concave on the under surface. When the concave surface of the foot is applied to this common form of concave sole, a wide space is left between the two concavities, and the foot, in order to conform to the harder material of the shoe, as it invariably will, must break down and become flat, the pressure on its sides meanwhile causing painful callosities. At the same time, the toes necessarily gliding down the concave surface of the sole toward its center, are crowded together, and the elasticity of that part of the foot is destroyed. Moreover, in the common shoe, the heel is thrown so far back that it furnishes but little support to the heel of the foot, and thus again, the main arch of the foot, wanting of its main abutments, has a tendency to settle down and flatten. ->

The patent last of Dr. Plumer remedies all these defects, simply by giving support where it is needed, and by exactly following the shape of the foot. The ball portion of this last is concave on its under surface. The sole of the boot made on it is convex on its upper and flat on its under surface. The flatness of the under surface corresponds with the flatness of a pavement, while the convexity of the upper surface gives uniform support to the concave portion of the sole of the foot, into which it fits, and prevents the lateral gliding motion of the foot, or treading out or in. In other words, the elevations and depressions of the sole of the boot correspond with the outlines of the solid structure of the foot. In order to make due allowance for the shortening of the foot by curvature when the heel is raised, the shank of the patent last is shorter than that of the common last. Finally, by the extension of the heel of the boot forward beneath the interior portion of the heel of the foot, a firm support is furnished for the foot beneath the point where the bones of the leg are jointed to the bones of the foot. Thus the instep is relieved from pressure and prevented from breaking down.

We lately examined the sole of a new army shoe. It was convex on its under surface. At the same time we examined the sole of an old army shoe of the same make, “broken in” by the foot of a soldier. By dint of long and certainly painful marches, the poor soldier’s foot had considerably flattened the sole beneath, and had worn on its upper surface three distinct concavities for the reception of the three bearing points of the foot, namely, the heel and the two ends of the transverse arch. Thus, when the boot was nearly worn out, the well-worn bones of the soldier’s foot had reduced it to an approximation to the very shape which Dr. Plumer’s last would have given it at the outstart. The question naturally arises, why not, without pain, give our boots when new that comfortable shape which they must finally take or strive to take with so much pain and pedal deformity? Why not make a new shoe “as easy as an old shoe?” The question is one of much practical importance. Easy shoes make easy walking, and easy walking is a condition precedent to beneficial exercise. Let pedestrians think of this. Beatrice thought “a good leg and foot” more essential even than money for winning the good will of a woman. A boot that fits well, and properly supports the bones of the foot, gives it strength and elasticity, and makes it “a good foot;” and the proper exercise of a good foot gives “a good leg;” and thus it appears that Dr. Plumer is the lover’s friend. Let him who “adores his sweetheart’s slipper” and “loves her by the foot,” think of this, and learn how he may come into her grace.

Who can estimate the value of well-fitting shoes of an army on the march? Better let our soldiers go barefooted in the mild season than have them crippled by the miserable torture-boxes provided for them by contractors. The soldiers of Stonewall Jackson could never have made their famous long and rapid marches in our army shoes. Luckily for them, they had no shoes. Luckily for us, they had not Dr. Plumer’s shoes, or they might have marched to Boston!

In thus commending Dr. Plumer’s patent last, which is so highly prized by scientific, literary, and medical men, and, indeed, by men of all classes in the North, where it is well known, we have said that we are convinced is true, both from our own examinations and observations and from the testimony of gentlemen who have worn shoes made on this last, and who, as Postmaster General Blair says of himself, in a letter to the inventor, like them so well that they mean to wear them altogether. Like one of Shakespeare’s lower heroines, though in a rather different sense, we are “overdone by the last”–by the old fashioned last, and wholly unsolicited by the inventor, we desire to bear our testimony in favor of the eminently reasonable alterations effected by the new last.–Washington Daily Globe.

, 1863


Our legislators are scarcely entitled to carry with them to their country homes the light hearts that befit Easter holidays. There are elements of exceeding gravity in the condition of the country. The last debate before the adjournment raised questions of serious difficulty and measureless importance. For the first time these twenty years, the Home Secretary has to assure the House of Commons that the peace of Lancashire is secured by the precautions taken to repress disturbance. In the most populous district of Great Britain, the contentment and forbearance of the people is held to be an insufficient guarantee of good order. On the same night, the Government is asked, entreated, almost adjured, to relieve the apprehension of war with the United States, in consequence of the equipment in our ports of vessels intended to make war upon American commerce. The case of the Alabama is, in itself, a sufficient cause of anxiety. We must not flatter ourselves that we have heard the last of that accursed barque. As the catalogue of her captures lengthens, the excitement of the American people against the Government by whose neglect she escaped to sea will naturally increase. If a demand for reparation is not made, it will be because the statesmen at the head of the Republic are guiltless of that disposition to make political capital of a cry against England, which Lord Palmerston thoughtlessly attributes to all parties in America. But if the demand should be made, how will it be met? No impartial judge can accept as a reply to such a claim the special pleading of the Solicitor General. No one acquainted with the facts, set forth in the official correspondence, can deny that they are utterly mis-stated by Lord Palmerston. Unless a better spirit than that of the noble lord should decide the counsels of the Cabinet in deliberation upon the claim we have suppose, the result might be in the last degree deplorable.

But we are less apprehensive about the past than the future. There are other vessels preparing for the same desperate work as that of the Alabama. “If those vessels get out,” writes in a private letter an American whose friendship for England is only second for his love of the Union, “nothing can prevent our people making reprisals upon your commerce. That is my conviction. If you have read and properly appreciated the speeches and votes of our Congress at its last session, and the independent position in which it left the military, naval, and financial departments of the Government, you will share it. Our Government is not strong enough to stand against the popular voice as it would express itself in such an emergency, nor would it try to if it could, for the honor and dignity of the nation would be involved. Your Government, in openly tolerating the equipment of Confederate steamers, seems to be defying us to resent it, and we are too much like the race from which we are descended o stand such provocation long.” These are the words of a man who deprecates, as much for his own country as ours, that drifting into war, of which both have had a sad experience. On neither side of the Atlantic is there a statesman so wickedly insensible to the horrors of an Anglo-American conflict as to deliberately accept its awful responsibilities. The most frivolous or the most depraved of mankind must shrink appalled from acts that would incur so huge a load of guilt. To the people on either side, the calamity would be incalculable and unmitigated. There would be to them neither gain nor glory to compensate in the slightest for the losses and suffering that would rapidly accumulate. To the Union, it would probably be destruction. To ourselves, it would more certainly be a famine of grain as well as of cotton. The Atlantic would be strewed with the wrecks of our commerce. A hundred privateers would infest the ocean, and prey upon the merchant navies of the two greatest maritime nations, like wolves upon flocks of sheep. Every seat of manufacture or trade would be desolated by the suspension of business. The cost of maintaining our unemployed operatives would be doubled by the rise in the price of bread, and the funds from which they are now->

fed would be diminished by war taxes and public loans. Destitution would then, indeed, become discontent, and, instead of abortive Staleybridge riots3 to compel the payment of relief in money, there would be a Lancashire insurrection against the powers and policy that had produced so vast a catastrophe. Trades-union orators would substitute for argumentative speeches in favor of American institutions fierce invective against the classes who had, they would say, for the second time within three-quarters of a century, gone to war out of hatred to democracy. Confederate prophecies of English convulsion would at length be fulfilled, and their authors would rejoice at having set at each other’s throat the only two nations in the world whose love of freedom obstructed the establishment of the great Slave Republic.

The prospect is so terrible that it may seem impossible of realization. What conceivable chance is there, it may be asked, of things arriving at so dreadful an extremity? Has not Lord Palmerston declared that the Government will promptly act upon any legal evidence that may be furnished of the equipment of more Alabamas? Is it not the universal interest of Englishmen, as of Americans, to refrain from stimulating the excitement already occasioned? To this last question we answer first. Peace is unfortunately not quite the universal interest. There is, in both countries, an exceptional class–and that a powerful one. When windows are broken in a riot, glaziers are so greatly in request that they might be suspected of having initiated the tumult. But there are men who get paid for breaking the laws designed to preserve the peace of nations. In two of our great towns, Liverpool and Glasgow, the building of Confederate war ships is the most lucrative employment in which capital can be engaged. It is well understood that the loan of three millions is chiefly intended for expenditure among these among these gentlemen. No doubt Federal money has been spent in Sheffield and Birmingham on swords, bayonets, rifles and percussion caps. Both parties have been free to buy in our markets munitions of war, and neither complained of the other while both violated, in common with the vendors, the Queen’s proclamation of neutrality. And if the Confederates had been content to smuggle into their harbors, not only cargoes, but ships, no serious grievance would have arisen. But there is a wide difference in the effect upon the peace of nations between the sale of warlike stores and the equipment of privateers. The European powers had renounced for themselves this barbaric mode of warfare, had put their brand upon it, as unworthy of civilized nations. The United States had virtually acquiesced in that agreement. To this day, President Lincoln refuses to issue letters or marque. But gentlemen, like Mr. Laird, have no scruples of this kind. They see no difference between selling to a soldier citizen a rifle or sword, and equipping a sea-robber for his piratical career. The member for Birkenhead s not at all ashamed of what he has done–and the vociferous cheers that acquitted him of conduct unbecoming an English legislator will not give weight to the words in which both the Solicitor-General and the Premier admonished Mr. Laird and his class against persistence in their lawless practices. They will not be deterred from exchanging wood and iron for Confederate gold, except by measures of positive intervention and punishment. To such measures the Government must have recourse. It must be vigilant to detect, and vigorous in repression. And the country will do well to stimulate its rulers to watchfulness and energy by unceasing protests against the acts that stain the honor of our laws, imperil our peace with America and encourage men who are the avowed enemies of a civilization founded upon freedom.–London Star, March 31st.

MAY 2, 1863


Advance of Gen. Hooker’s Army.
The Passage of the Rappahannock.
Rumors of a Victory?

Washington, April 30.–From the best attainable information from persons arriving from the Rappahannock, it appears that some important movements took place yesterday. There was no fighting of any importance. The force crossed at Kelley’s Ford. Pontoon bridges were laid two and three miles below Fredericksburg, and we had possession of those points last night. The enemy formed lines of battle and planted batteries on the heights in their rear, and also fired a few shots to get the range.

In crossing we lost one or two officers killed, and from 30 to 40 men wounded. Our men crossed first in boats and drove the enemy out of their rifle pits, killing and wounding many and taking 100 prisoners, including several officers, one of whom was Lieut-Col. Hammond of the 5th Louisiana regiment. These prisoners arrived her yesterday, and were sent to the Old Capitol prison.

Another informant says the left wing, 35,000 strong, crossed four miles below Fredericksburg, a little below where Gen. Franklin crossed previous to the first battle at Fredericksburg. They fought twelve hours and drove the enemy eight miles out of their rifle pits and behind their entrenchments. The 3d brigade of the 1st division of the 1st corps has suffered more than any others in the fight.

Our forces have captured between 500 and 600 prisoners, who will soon be brought to this city, Many of these prisoners have voluntarily come over to us, having thrown away their arms in small squads and begged for food. They picked up what our soldiers had thrown away on the march. Other rebels, however, say they have plenty to eat.

The right wing crossed at Kelley’s Ford, and Gen. Stoneman’s cavalry is reported to be somewhere in the rear of Fredericksburg. One corps remains at Falmouth as a reserve.

Philadelphia, May 1.–The Evening Bulletin publishes an extra with the following:

“We have no dispatches relating to the movements of our army beyond the Rappahannock, but are able to assure our readers that everything is going on favorably in Gen. Hooker’s army.”

Later–A Victory.–We learn, though not from an official source, that gen. Hooker with 50,000 men has had a battle with the rebels beyond the Rappahannock. We have no particulars, but the Union troops were victorious.


The Fruits of the Victories in Louisiana.

Washington, May 1.–The National Republican of this afternoon publishes semi-official dispatches from Gen. Banks, dated near St. Martinsville, April 17. From them it appears that when Gen. Banks left Baton Rouge, three regiments of colored troops were left for its defense. The results among others of Gen. Banks’s expeditions are–accomplishing a march of over 200 miles; beating the enemy in three battles, two on land and one on Grand Lake, dispersing the rebel army utterly; destroying the rebel navy; capturing the foundries at Franklin and New Iberia, and demolishing the salt works ten miles southwest of the latter place, capturing the camp equipment of the enemy, also several guns and between 1000 and 2000 prisoners, and so deranging the plans of the rebels that they cannot for some months, if ever, reorganize their land or naval forces in that portion of Louisiana. Other successes of Gen. Banks, already known to be public, are mentioned. Our loss in the two land battles was 600 or 700. The conduct of the officers and privates in Gen. Banks’s command could not have been better. The dispatches say:

“We have not only destroyed the army and navy of the enemy, and captured his materials for the reorganization of his forces, but we have also in our possession his ablest officers of the sea and land.”

The Internal Revenue.
(Correspondence of the New York Times.)

Washington, April 30.–The falling off in revenue from excise, from the estimates made by Commissioner Boutwell, upon data at the time correct and justified by the statistics of the country, has been frightfully great, and it is still diminishing. The cause of this is the very general neglect to comply with many of the requirements of the Revenue Act in regard to the use of stamps, and the prodigious extent to which stamps once used are fraudulently detached from the instruments to which they were affixed, and used again. The business of collecting stamps, even cancelled postage stamps, is organized in all great cities, and their [removal] for use is a commerce of large proportions. Commissioner Lewis is actively exploring this new villainy, and maturing plans that shall at once punish its authors and effectually protect the revenue.


“Greenbacks” Forged in England.
(From the Sheffield [England] Independent.)

On Saturday afternoon, a person carrying on business as an engraver at Sheffield, and one of his workmen, were apprehended on a charge of forging American government notes, probably such as are known to our readers by the now familiar term “greenbacks.” Several months ago information was communicated, anonymously, to the police and the American minister, that an engraver in this town was doing a brisk trade in the manufacture of American notes. This information was communicated about the time when the great reward was offered for the discovery of the Bank of England note forgers, and it is supposed that the informer had in view a similar golden reward in this case. Further details were given, in a letter signed with the real name of the writer, and the information appeared to have been sufficiently authentic to put the authorities in motion, for a short time afterwards, Sergeant Spital, a London detective, came down to Sheffield, and has for several months been prosecuting inquiries in conjunction with the Federal Vice-Consul here and Sheffield police. We hear that their inquiries satisfied them that large numbers of notes, varying in value from 5 dollars to 10 dollars, have been forged in Sheffield and sent to New York, where they have got into circulation to the great injury of the government and the public. It is said that for a period extending over several weeks the forgers were constantly engaged in their nefarious occupation, and if that be so they must have made large profits. The arrests were made by Inspector Alfrey and Sergeant Spital, nit nothing criminatory was found in the possession of the prisoners. It was stated on Sunday that two other men had been apprehended near Worksop, and that they were found in possession of a number of “greenbacks,” which they say they received from one of the persons arrested in this town.

Shylock is a merciless usurer (money lender) in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The name indicates someone who lends money at an excessive rate of interest or who is simply ruthless, greedy and dishonest.

2 ad libitum is Latin for “according to pleasure.” It translates figuratively as “At the discretion of the performer,” and is used mostly in reference to a musical performance. Today we are most familiar with its abbreviated form, ad lib, which we use to mean “make up on the spot” or “perform spontaneously.” In this article is indicates that military transport could be called upon at the discretion or on the whim of the civilian freight hauler.

3 Ref. the BBC article on the Staleybridge bread riot of 1863.

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